Archive for March 2013

Vinny at the Indian Poker Legends TournamentFor those of you who regularly follow our blog, you’ve probably noticed the addition of “Confessions of a Grinder” by our new blogger, Vineet (Vinny, The Venetian) Bailur. We are thrilled to have Vinny blogging for us, because he’s actually a professional poker player currently based in Columbus, OH. His blogs are filled with the insights and commentary of someone who isn’t just a poker lover like me, but one who really has the experience and expertise to offer some great tips and advice to all our followers.

Vinny grew up in  Mumbai, India. He obtained his Master’s Degree from Texas A&M University and is a proud Aggie. He’s an Architect and a creative designer who is passionate about graphic and web design, architectural design, fine art and renaissance. He has also been an avid musician since 2001 and loves classic and old school rock ‘n roll and world music. He has been in many bands such as Xenon, REVD UP, and Dhwani. Vinny is a writer and hopes to publish his own books someday.

Vineet started playing poker for survival in 2009 and took it up as a profession in 2011 owing to a combination of his disdain for the corporate life,  his love of freedom and his ability to make money playing poker. If you haven’t read his blogs, go back and catch up; we’re putting our poker chips on him because we know you’ll enjoy his poker wisdom!

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Jason_Alexander_Poker_-_80814540Vinny at the Indian Poker Legends TournamentConfessions of a Grinder

Have you ever watched the episode of Seinfeld titled, ”The Opposite” in which George Costanza (Jason Alexander) decides to do the exact opposite of what he usually does? This decision garners him not only a beautiful date, but also a high paid job with the New York Yankees. Seinfeld is my all time favorite sit-com and this is indeed a great lesson to learn and apply in the Casino.

What are we doing wrong?

I have noticed many players play tight after winning a big hand or getting a double-up. In both poker tournaments and cash games, these players avoid gambling with this ‘scared money’ and can be bluffed out of many pots. However, if they lose a lot of hands and are short stacked, they tend to play fearlessly and aren’t scared of gambling. Unknowingly, this works in their favor. Also, most poker players tend to leave when they are playing well and are ‘in their element’. This is mainly because they have pocketed a reasonable profit for the cash game session and are scared of losing it all. If they have a bad session, however, they tend to buy in again and again in an effort to win back all of their lost money.

Do the opposite! Learn from George.

Paulson Clay Poker ChipsWhen you are up, be aggressive. Whether you’re playing a tournament or a cash game, use your chip lead to your advantage. Raise a lot in late positions with a wider range of hands, and keep the aggression going, collecting a lot of poker chips.  When you do catch a monster hand, you will eventually get called or raised all-in by shorter stacks with weaker hands. Tighten up and be patient only when you are short stacked and things aren’t going your way.

Similarly, if you are in your element playing good poker, continue doing so until you start making mistakes. Don’t be scared and get up. Keep playing when you are doing well, and get up when you are losing. This will maximize your profits. In a previous blog post, I mentioned my belief in the proverb ‘Fortune favors the brave’. It does! Be brave, not stupid. Steaming and frustrated losing  players tend to exhibit a lot of tells. When you are playing good aggressive poker and are in a winning mode, you will be able to pick up on a lot of these tells and make better decisions.

Thank you George Costanza! Watch this hilarious clip of George trying to apply his ‘Opposite’ theory. George Costanza Does the Opposite

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keith-hayes2We love to give out prizes, especially when it means that we’re making new friends all over the country. Last month, the winner of our “Click It To Win It” prize was Keith Hayes, from Marietta, Georgia. He’s obviously a huge fan of the game and plays Fresh Deck Poker and Texas Holdem online. We were happy to send him a deck of-top-of the-line Copag playing cards and a Texas Poker Store key ring to bring him luck in his poker games; all we asked is for him to send us a picture when he received his prize. He did, and here he is, holding his prizes. Keith is our first winner from the state of Georgia, but hopefully, not our last.texas-holdem-poker-cards

You, too, can win a prize and have your picture posted online. Just go to to our Facebook page and play “Click-It-To-Win-It” to be eligible for our March prize.

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pocket-bulletsVinny at the Indian Poker Legends TournamentConfessions of a Grinder

Pocket Aces a.k.a. Bullets, Batteries, American Airlines, Pocket Rockets, The Eyes of Texas or Alan Alda. How often do you hear losing stories involving Aces? “I had them bullets but I ended up getting shot in the head” or “I don’t even know why I play Aces. I never win with them”. Beginners tend to overplay Aces over-assuming their strength, or underplay them in a greedy effort to win more.

ultimate-Red 01Playing Aces can be tricky. On a poker table, where people are ready to call almost any raise pre-flop, it’s probably more profitable to ‘just call’ with Aces in an early position, and hope someone raises, so you could make a sizable re-raise. The key is to always play them aggressively either in a pre-flop situation to isolate, or in a post-flop situation to avoid letting someone draw out on you. Play them hard but at the same time, polish your antennae, and get ready to surrender them, when you sense danger.

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