Archive for August 2017

Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris
 
In about an hour, the live XVI World Poker Tour (WPT) Legends of Poker Main Event Final Table will hit the felt with six players remaining. They will be playing live and streaming (on a 30-minute delay) on PokerGO, just the way it worked for the 2017 WSOP Final Table.

If you cancelled your subscription to PokerGO after the WSOP, it’s a good time to sign up again to catch the action. Leading the pack is JC Tran, with a huge chip lead (8.295 million) over the second-place Art Papazyan (6.005 mill). Coming up in third place is the Poker Brat himself, the legendary Phil Hellmuth (2.94 mill) who has NEVER won a WPT Title and wants one very badly, followed by DJ Alexander (2.73 million), Adam Swan (1.655 million), and Marvin Rettenmaier (1.225 million).

If you wish you’d signed up for PokerGO to watch the relaunched Poker After Dark series, but you didn’t get around to it, you NEED a subscription to watch that as well as the Legends final table. So kill two birds with one stone and sign up now at PokerGo.com. Then sit back and have some fun tonight watching some big-stakes tournament poker. (7:30E. 6:30C 4:30P)

Send me your thoughts and comments

Tadas PeckaitisTadas “My Poker Coaching” Peckaitis

Poker players sometimes miss a lot of value just because they do not think about the reasons for a particular play. For example; always know WHY you are choosing to bet or check. One of the most important decisions you will face comes on the flop (assuming you bet pre-flop) when you decide whether or not to make a continuation bet(c-bet). Most of the time it dictates the course for the whole hand so make sure to play it for the right reason.

Ideally, you want to c-bet in one of these situations:

  • Betting for value. If this is the case, better make sure that your opponent can have some worse hands with which he would call. Otherwise, it is not a value bet and you can end up overplaying your hand.
  • Betting for protection. If you have a medium strength hand, which is vulnerable to over cards, betting for protection is a definite. You deny your opponent’s equity and don’t give away free cards.
  • Bluffing. Like in the first point, you need to make sure that you can potentially make your opponent fold a better hand. I see many players who choose to bluff with showdown value hands, which is usually a mistake because your opponent is unlikely to fold a better one. In this case, you’d be better off checking.

When you know what the purpose of the bet is, it is much easier to plan the hand ahead and choose the right play. Moreover, this way you will make more educated decisions, which will add up to a bigger win rate, and that is something everyone wants to see.

Missing a c-bet and checking instead

You should adopt a similar thought process for checking as well. Just like before, understanding why you are checking will help you build a better strategy. Here are the main reasons for making this play:

  • You have a very strong hand on the board which completely misses your opponents’ range.
  • You block many value hands of your opponent.
  • You are not afraid to give free cards.
  • The board is much better to your opponent, and you are just giving up.

If any of these statements is true, you are probably better off checking instead of making a continuation bet. In a case where you have a strong hand, you let your opponent catch up, giving you a chance to win more on later streets. On the other hand, when you have nothing, you can see the turn and hopefully improve your holding or even bluff, which gives you an additional chance to win.

Summing it up

Obviously, it is not that black and white and to make the best possible decisions, you need to consider other factors as well. You need to understand how to play on different boards, when you are IP (In Position) and OOP (Out Of Position), when to use GTO (Game-Theory Optimal) or exploitative strategies and much more. Luckily, you can learn all of this reading my detailed guide to making a continuation bet to master this aspect of your poker game.

Check out this video on C-Betting and Barrelling …

Send me your thoughts, comments or questions!

Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

Poker fans that enjoy watching professional poker players battle it out live on the felt fell in love with a series called Poker After Dark that ran on NBC from 2007 until Black Friday, 2011. Some of the biggest names in poker played in the high-stakes cash games yet it felt like they were in your living room. Late at night you can still catch reruns and some of the most memorable highlights can be found on YouTube.

Well folks, get ready to fall in love again. Poker After Dark is back, produced by Poker Central and streamed to you exclusively on PokerGO. In fact, its first new episode debuted Monday night August 14th at 8 p.m. with following episodes to air at the same time Tuesday and Wednesday nights throughout the year.

To give you a taste of the caliber of the poker players participating, Monday night’s game featured Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari and Tom Dwan (one of the most popular high-stakes player from the original series) along with Jean-Robert Bellande, Lauren Roberts and Bill Klein. All six players began with a minimum of $100,000, with the blinds at $200/$400 and more than $2 million on the table.

The series has begun with No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em, but the producers are planning to include some of the mixed games like pot limit Omaha that are gaining in popularity in high-stakes action.

What made Poker After Dark such a fan favorite was the intimacy of the setting, and the producers of the revival have kept it that way. Although the expert commentary of Ali Nejad and Nick Schulman will be provided, the real fan appeal is that feeling of being a voyeur with the ability to listen to the banter/trash talk of the players. So, unlike the commentary-heavy coverage of the recent 2017 WSOP, Poker After Dark relies on the up close and personal style of the original series, bluffs, bad beats, controversies and all.

Of course, if you did what we did, you may no longer have a subscription to PokerGO. We paid for two months in order to watch all of the World Series. However, we had some complaints (let’s just say we weren’t always satisfied with the coverage) so we didn’t renew. With the advent of the new Poker After Dark, however, this may be the perfect time to re-think our decision. For $99 a year, it seems like there’s some great poker ahead of us.

Send me your thoughts and comments

Tadas PeckaitisTadas “My Poker Coaching” Peckaitis

While more and more players are turning to live games, I decided to revisit a crucial topic for live play – poker tells.

Tells can be a powerful source of information if used correctly and help take your game one step further. However, poker players often miss the opportunity to build their stack by not noticing some obvious signs. I will just touch the surface and highlight the most common and trusted signs in live poker games.

Watch for poker tellsTiming

Timing is very player dependent, but when you spot some tendencies, you are likely to have a dead-on tell. People cannot change their habits very quickly, and you can use that to your advantage.

If you see someone taking a lot of time with weak hands and then checking, while checking much faster when trapping with a strong holding, it is not likely to change anytime soon. So, if you notice players taking different amounts of time to make decisions with strong and weak hands, it will be one of the most reliable tells you can use.

As a rule of thumb, when people think for an extended period and then check, they (usually) have a pretty weak or medium strength holding and almost never a nut type hand.

When someone bets big almost at once, it means they have made up their mind about betting before even seeing the following cards, and it (usually) indicates strength.

Bet sizing

Similar to the timing tell, sizing is also player dependent and is essential to use against weaker players. Regulars can easily manipulate bet sizing and will tend to remain fairly balanced unless they’re trying to trap you, but either way, you should not go out of line versus professional or more experienced players.

However, when you are up against recreational players, you can get pick up on a few signs. First, they are very unlikely to bluff with small sizing so if you face lower than ½-pot size bet, most of the time, it is going to be for value.

Second,  when you face a huge bet on a dry board, the vast majority of the time it indicates strength. However, this is not the case on connected boards so you should not make your decision based on bet sizing in that situation.

Talking

I can assure you that very few players talk while they are running a big bluff. Most likely, you will see them trying not to show any signs of weakness and staying quiet. They don’t want to risk talking and giving up the strength of their hand with a shaky voice, so many prefer not to say anything.

Therefore, when someone starts talking while in the hand, they are much more likely to be confident with their holding, and it is (usually) an indication of strength.

All things considered

Obviously, you should be aware that poker tells can give you a lot of information about recreational players, but not so much about regulars. Moreover, some of them can be faked, so you want to treat tells  as extra information without making your decision based entirely on a perceived tell.

There are many other signs you can notice and take into consideration both live and online. Therefore, I encourage you to learn more about poker tells and make more informed decisions with that extra information.

Send me your thoughts, comments or questions!