Archive for the ‘Poker Tips’ Category

Daniel Negreanu Explains Why You’re Losing at Poker

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

negreanu-how-to-become-poker-proCurrently first on the all-time poker winnings list with $31.88 million, Daniel Negreanu knows a few things about poker. This includes why you and other players may be currently struggling with the game.

Through a video entitled “5 Reasons You’re Losing at Poker,” Negreanu starts with bad luck. Even when you play hands perfectly, there are occasions where you’ll lose because, like it or not, poker does contain skill.

Another reason Kid Poker discusses is that you’ve become too predictable.

“You were playing against the same players, and you were winning,” he says. “And now, over time, you’re playing against the same people and you’ve noticed that you’re losing. It’s possible that they’ve caught on to what you’re doing.”

Negreanu adds, “Maybe you’re bluffing too much, or you’re not bluffing enough and they’ve caught onto that. If that’s the case where you’re playing against the same type of people, and you’ve gone from a winning player to a losing player, maybe they’ve also changed the way they play, but let’s focus on what you can control, which is whether you’ve become too predictable.”

Another reason he covers is that you may be playing in games that are too tough.

“Let’s say that you’re the fifth best Omaha Hi-Lo player in the world. But you sit down everyday with the other four, who happen to be better than you. Well, congrats on being fifth, but in this game, you’re the sucker. So I would really try to be self-aware enough to look around the table and ask yourself the real question: okay, I like my poker skills, but am I better than these guys? And if you’re not certain about that, then you might want to pick better spots.”

Maybe these aren’t the most-revolutionary poker tips you’ll ever find. But Negreanu does do a good job of covering basics that players get away from as they play poker more and more.

That said, check out the video below, which covers a couple more reasons that we didn’t discuss.

Daniel Negreanu Explains How You Become a Poker Pro Today

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

negreanu-how-to-become-poker-proEvery poker player wishes they could be transported back to 2003, when the game was booming and the average player was 300% worse than today. Unfortunately, those days are gone, so how do you grind up to being a professional in this poker climate?

With over $30 million in poker tournament winnings and counting, Daniel Negreanu is a pretty reliable source in this department. And he recently shared his thoughts on becoming a professional player.

First off, Negreanu says that every poker pro is a small business owner who needs to create a vision/mission statement. As he explains, the vision statement is a cornerstone and you “will be coming back to this statement often. It is the statement that will guide you during your career.”

Next, Kid Poker explains that you need to understand how much each game is worth and if it’ll meet your standard of living. Negreanu works through the math of what you’d need to do to be successful at cash limits of $2/$5, for example.

It isn’t a pretty picture for the average player, but it is possible. Here’s one excerpt from Negreanu that perfectly explains his point:

“This is all painting a dark picture by design. It is the reality that most of you who are hoping to become professional poker players face. One that can’t be ignored. Is it possible that you have the work ethic, the modest monthly nut, the skill set, the emotional stability, the drive, the will, the bankroll, etc. Sure, but don’t be fooled.

There are maybe 2%-5% of people that can make this lifestyle work. Less than 5% of ball players in the minor leagues will ever make the big leagues. Even less high school football players putting on weight in the hopes of an NFL career will make it.

There are many careers where the odds are heavily stacked against you. There are heroes, those special people who have “it” and find a way to make it, but most will fail. This holds true in poker as well.”

Be sure to read Negreanu’s entire post here, which further breaks down the reality of what’s required for the average poker pro to succeed.

Negreanu in Norway: “I’ve Been Faking Tells for 20 Years”

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

negreanu-norwayDaniel Negreanu has been in Norway, helping promote PokerStars and competing in tournaments. And this is a good spot to be for a famous poker pro right now because the game is exploding in Norway.

During his promotional efforts, Kid Poker did an interesting interview with “Nuts,” where he gave solid advice on tells.

“Any tell could mean something different for somebody else,” said Negreanu. “The flop comes out and you see a guy look at his chips. That’s probably the most reliable tell of any tell there is … when he does that, the first thing he’s thinking is ‘I wanna bet.'”

But Negreanu warns that this is one of the most-basic tells, and it’s easy to fake too. Kid Poker has been using this and other fake tells to make him quite unpredictable at the table.

“I’ve been faking tells for 20 years,” he said. “There was a guy, he was an FBI guy and he would look at body language tells, and he did a bunch of poker players. He said with me, that you can’t really read anything because I do so much other stuff that counters the other stuff.”

Negreanu also said that he looks at what he does on TV because he wants to know what other pros are seeing. He then flips any potential tells to throw off opponents.

One special thing that Kid Poker does is keep a list of notes in his smartphone on different players. He then scrolls through this list to see what tells they give off.

Negreanu stressed the importance of bankroll management to the Nuts crew, talking about how hard it can be to keep living and poker expenses separate.

“You work a job, you get a paycheck, every week, every month, you know how much you can spend,” he explained. “You play poker, you don’t know. Some months you might lose money, you might lose for 3-4 months. You have a lot of money, you spend it, you do this, you do that, you go through a losing streak and it’s all gone. Bankroll management is much more difficult for poker players than it is average people.”

This is only part of the 17-minute interview, so check out the rest of it below.

5 Good Poker Goals to Aim For

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

setting-poker-goalsSetting poker goals seems like an easy matter that can be measured by how much money you earn. But given that poker involves both luck and skill, you can’t just base your entire poker self-worth off dollars won and lost.

Instead, you should measure your poker success in other ways and the money will eventually come. That said, here are 5 different ways to set your poker goals.

1. Play the Perfect Session

One great way to begin your goals is by playing the perfect session. This doesn’t mean the session where you win the most money, but rather one where your mind is clear, you’re rested, and there are no distractions. When you can play in these conditions, you’re likely to play your best poker.

2. Aim for a Certain Number of Hands

Forcing yourself to mindlessly play hands is the opposite of the first goal we discussed. But if you want to become a better player, you need to increase your volume beyond 100-200 hands per day. Setting hand goals for a session, week, or month is a good way to keep yourself on track and playing poker. If you’ve only played 1,000 hands in a week, aim to gradually increase this number and get better.

3. Dedicate 25% of Your Poker Time to Strategy

We all know that poker strategy is important to improving as a player. But exactly how much time should you dedicate towards strategy? A good mix is 75% playing and 25% studying, or about 1 hour of studying for every 3 hours you play. If you have 16 hours to dedicate towards poker, four of these hours would go towards studying.

4. Set Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

As with any pursuit, you should set goals for both short and long-term progress. Your long-term goals may be to play 35 hours a week, study 12 hours a week, become a pro, and make a good living with poker. But how are you going to get there? Short-term goals are important for bridging the gap and keeping you focused while grinding towards distant goals.

5. Beat the Stakes You’re at Before Moving Up

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to win huge profits before you move up. But once you’re on your A-game consistently, have good reads on opponents, and make the right moves yourself, then you can be pretty confident about moving up.

Dealing with Downswings – Poker Strategy from Doug Polk

Friday, October 7th, 2016

doug-polk-downswingsEverybody who plays poker is guaranteed to experience downswings, where nothing goes right and you just keep going deeper into the red. For some players, their downswing starts from the very beginning until they give up the game.

But no matter what your skill or experience level is, it’s important to know how to deal with poker downswings. And who better to learn from than high-stakes pro Doug Polk.

Polk just did a video where he discuses the two biggest downswings of his life – one was Black Friday, and the other was a period where he lost $1.7 million through high rollers.

“I have had two life-soul-crushing downswings I’ve dealt with,” says Polk. “They both lasted a year or two years. Luckily the in-between periods have been pretty good for me.”

So how did he survive these low points in his poker career and life?

“I’ve always been a big believer that when you’re on a downswing, it’s okay to move down in stakes that you might be very comfortably bankrolled for just to prove to yourself that you can still do this,” advises Polk.

He adds that you need to get over the feeling of downswings where “You feel like you’re always losing, you always lose the flips, always get in the cooler situations. You end up in these same spots where, you kind of start to get gun-shy.”

Polk also says that you might sacrifice some EV by moving down, but we’re not robots and you need to overcome these losing emotions.

If the losing continues, Polk says that it gives you an opportunity to really assess your game and see what you’re doing wrong.

“What do the best players do? Do these use these (bet) sizes? Use these hands? Get some analysis in there. Start to look at things. Look at the best people in your game, and figure out is this really the best strategy.”

This is only a fraction of what Polk discusses, so check out the video below to see his other advice.

Poker Pro Matt Smith wins $1 Million in Fantasy Football

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Fantasy sports have been growing in popularity over the past decade and a half. And since fantasy sports offer positive expected value for those with skill, it’s little surprise that many poker players embrace the activity.

Case in point, numerous poker players flocked to the recent “Millionaire Maker” fantasy football event at DraftKings. For a $27 buy-in, entrants got to play for a $1 million top prize and an overall prize pool of $2.2 million.

As this event got near the end, poker players Brian Hastings, Aaron Jones and Tony Dunst all had a shot at winning. However, it was a lesser-known poker player named Matt Smith who’d eventually capture the title along with a $1 million payout. After winning, Smith wasn’t quite sure what to say so he just tweeted this:

I don’t even know what to say. I’m in complete shock and can’t thank everyone enough for all the support!

As mentioned before fantasy sports have been attracting more and more people every year. And this has given rise to daily fantasy sports, where players pay a buy-in, draft their team and see the game play out in a single day.

Switching to another note, somehow daily fantasy sports continue to be completely legal across the United States – yet online poker is only legal/regulated in three states. I’m not sure why this is the case….oh wait, yeah I am. Professional sports leagues have done heavy lobbying over the years for various interests, and making sure that fantasy sports stay legal is one them.

The NFL has especially benefited from the widespread popularity of daily fantasy sports – and season-long leagues too – because these generate far more interest in the games. Call it a double standard while online poker waits on the sidelines, but it’s an unfortunate reality now.

Randy “Nanonoko” Lew uncovers Secrets of Multi-Tabling

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Randy “Nanonoko” Lew is perhaps the most legendary multi-tabler of all time. The online poker pro has made millions from his ability to handle numerous tables at once and still make profits. And recently, Lew was in the sharing mood as he offered up some great tips on how players can become better at multi-tabling. Here’s a quick synopsis on the five pieces of advice that Nanonoko offers:

1. Add Tables Slowly

One of the biggest faults of multi-tablers is that they try to move up tables too quickly. But rather than worrying about how many tables you’re playing, you should concentrate on win rate and move up slowly.

2. Use a Heads-Up Display (HUD)

When playing 10 tables or so, you don’t have time to analyze each player at every table. So HUDs can help you quickly identify which players are loose and tight.

3. Limit Distractions

Keep your phone away, TV off and distance yourself from any other distractions. After all, it’s nearly impossible to focus on many tables when you’re worried about what your latest text says.

4. Use Hotkeys

Rather than wasting time clicking the bet, fold and check buttons in the exact spot, hotkeys help you do this with a simple keystroke. Using hotkeys can even be helpful for bet sizing, such as a 3 big-blind bet for example.

5. Tile your Tables, rather than Stack Them

Tiling tables is better because it gives you a better visual of all the action. Stacking, on the other hand, makes it more difficult to follow each street on every table.

If you’d like to see Nanonoko explain these tips in their entirety, please visit PokerListings and watch the multi-tabling video.

Annette Obrestad relives “Blind” Online Tournament Win

Monday, August 11th, 2014

From winning the 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event as an 18-year-old to starting her poker career through freerolls, Annette Obrestad has become one of poker’s living legends. But if there’s one act that truly defines Obrestad’s career more than anything else, it’s when she won an online tournament without looking at her cards.

The Norwegian was playing in a $4 buy-in, 180-player sit and go and decided to go in blind. According to Wikipedia, she only looked at her cards once during the entire tournament. The idea was to “show just how important it is to play position and to pay attention to the players at the table.”

That was back in 2007, and Obrestad says that she still gets asked about the impressive tournament win. In a recent interview with PokerListings, the 25-year-old said that she put some paper over the screen where her cards were. “At first it was kind of weird because it was so different to not be able to have any other reads,” she recalled. “Just like bet sizing and how people had played before. And the more I played the more I realized that you actually don’t always need to see your cards to pick up on stuff.”

Obrestad also discussed the lessons that players can learn from her blind tournament victory. “Basically what it comes down to is that poker is a game of reading people,” she explained, “and the more you play the more you understand how the betting patterns work and how people think. And once you can kind of get into people’s heads, understand more how they play. And that’s really what you have to do to become a good player – it’s not so much about the cards.”

Obrestad finished by saying that many people who sit at live tables with her ask if the legend of the blind tournament win is true. She added that more people recognize her for winning a tourney without looking at her cards than for the WSOPE victory.

Rebuy Poker Tournament Tips

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

In the average poker tournament, you are finished when your chips are all gone. This differs from rebuy poker tournaments, where you can buy back into an event after busting out, and add chips to your stack when the rebuy period is over with (normally one hour).

That said, rebuy tournaments allow players to be more aggressive because they can buy back in after being eliminated. However, it’s important not to get too crazy with rebuys, as you’ll see in the following tips.

Set a Limit on Rebuys

Some players get a little crazy in rebuys and will re-enter 4-5 times after busting out. And while this might give you quite a bit of action and excitement, it’s also a great way to burn through your bankroll. So the first tip for rebuys is to set a limit and stick with it.

The original buy-in will have a lot to do with this because rebuying into an $11 event is a lot easier than doing so in a $1,100 tournament. But as a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t exceed more than 3 rebuys in a single event. Also, be sure to have enough money left for the add-on at the end of the rebuy period.

Don’t be a Maniac

Some players think that rebuys give them the green light to become a maniac and go all-in with pocket 3’s from early position. But just because you can re-enter after being knocked out doesn’t mean you should go crazy.

Instead, a better approach is to alter your aggression level slightly. If you’d normally only play AA through JJ, you could expand this to include AA through 99, and AK in a rebuy event. Of course, your observations of the table will affect this decision too.

Try Unconventional Playing Methods

In most cases, common poker strategy advises against limping in with marginal hands. But in a rebuy tourney, you can actually make unconventional moves like these work.

The reason why is because players are looser, and as long as they’re not being too aggressive before the flop, your speculative hand will pay off. After all, these loose players will be more likely to call big raises post-flop because they know that they can rebuy following a bust-out.

As you can see, rebuy tournaments are a little different from your average tourney when it comes to strategy. But you can definitely have some success in them through experience and hard work.

Why Open Freerolls should be avoided

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

A common starting point for many poker players is open freerolls. As the name suggests, open freerolls don’t feature any requirements at all. Instead, anybody can register and play as long as they’re a member of the poker site.

It seems like open freerolls are perfect for beginners because you can compete for real money without having to risk anything. But these free tournaments certainly aren’t the best route towards steady poker profits and we’ll explain why.

Not Enough to Go Around

The biggest problem that open freerolls present is the prize money-to-player ratio. For instance, these freebies might offer a $50 prize pool, but 2,000-4,000 players will likely register for the event. After all, there are no restrictions, so why wouldn’t a crowd of players enter?

But here’s where the big problem comes into play since these large, crowded fields make cashing much harder. Using a $50 freeroll with 4,000 players as an example, the average player would only earn 1.25 cents per tournament (5,000 cents/4,000 players). And nobody is going to consider 1.25 cents as being proper payment for a lengthy freeroll.

Still Useful

While open freeroll tournaments may not be profitable over the long-term, they aren’t entirely useless. This is especially the case for beginning players who are merely looking to sharpen their game against other players without risking money.

However, the key is to avoid getting overly wrapped up in open freerolls and relying on them to build a bankroll. Sure these are fun to play and can earn you a little pocket change. However, the best way to make serious poker profits is by playing in real money games and studying poker strategy. With enough hard work, you can eventually move up in stakes and make some nice profits.