Posts Tagged ‘poker table’

Tadas PeckaitisTadas “My Poker Coaching” Peckaitis

Sometimes I feel that GTO poker strategy is almost a myth. Many players are not exactly sure what it means and, more importantly, when to implement it to achieve good results. Without going into complex explanations, I will try to define it in a very simple way.

GTO strategy shows how to balance your range and your value hands-to-bluffs ratio in a way that no one can exploit you. If you can execute GTO play most of the time, you are guaranteed to at least break even against the best players in the world.

GTO Poker Strategy

Therefore, your best bet is to learn GTO fundamentals and use those against very good or unknown players. So let’s figure out what advantages GTO play has and how you can improve your poker stats.

GTO Advantages

The reason top poker players utilize GTO play is that it carries some distinct advantages, namely:

• You’re guaranteed not to lose money

Using GTO play practically guarantees that you will not lose money even against the strongest players in your games. This is obviously a huge benefit and, if implemented correctly, could make you a very tough player. It is probably one of the greatest advantages of GTO play because not many other strategies can help you play profitably against excellent players.

• It’s great against good regulars

Game theory optimal is the best strategy to use when playing against top-level competition. First off, these opponents are not going to be making huge mistakes, so you will have very few chances to exploit them. Most of the time, irregularities in their game accrue because of the variance in their hole card distribution and, if you don’t stick to GTO strategy, you could end up making adjustments that will hurt you.

Moreover, if you drastically change your game to try and exploit someone, that makes you easily exploitable yourself. Obviously, good players will spot this very quickly and make you pay for it.

Using GTO strategy, you will be able to play even against the toughest opponents who try to exploit you. If you can balance your ranges, it’s only a matter of time until your opponents start making mistakes. Thus, it gives you a reliable way to win even against better players.

• It’s the best strategy against unknowns

Just as you are not able to exploit top regulars because they don’t make big mistakes, you are not able to exploit unknowns because you have no idea how they play. So, if you find yourself playing against new players (or at anonymous tables online), GTO is the best strategy to give you an edge over your competition.

• It’s perfect when you are not sure of the proper play to make

When you’re not sure of the right play to make in a particular situation, trying to balance your ranges is the best option and it ought to be your priority. It does not matter whether you are playing against a tough opponent or recreational player.

For example, if you’re considering betting the river as a bluff and are not sure if this is profitable because you don’t know how that player plays in this spot, simply balance your range, choose value-to-bluff ratio according to your bet size, and you are good to go. If you choose another route, you’ll have to guess what tendencies your opponent has and you can easily end up making the wrong decision. Thus, GTO play gives you a huge advantage in this spot and lets you make the most profitable play without making unreasonable assumptions about your opponent.

• Learning GTO can help you find ways to exploit your opponents

Even though GTO strategy is intended to help balance your own ranges, it allows you to exploit other players as well.When you know how a balanced range looks, it is much easier to spot deviations from it in your opponent’s game. Once you spot them, you can attack them. This alone can help you improve your game and considerably increase your win rate.

Conclusion
Now that you’ve read through all of the advantages the next step is to figure out why this approach is not always the answer, and I will cover that in my next article.

For now, remember that GTO strategy will help you make the best decision when you have no information about your opponents or are unsure how to exploit them. Stick to this strategy at the beginning and move to exploitative play only when you see massive leaks in your opponent’s play.

Texas Poker Store Nighthawk Poker TableLearn and practice GTO every time you take a seat at a poker table and your results will improve.

Send us your comments or questions!

Tadas PeckaitisTadas “My Poker Coaching” Peckaitis

Learning poker strategy, improving skills and mastering advanced topics is always rewarding and beneficial. However, many players forget that they are not playing alone and leave their good manners at home.

It is becoming a problem in online casinos, but even more so in live games. Now, when the whole poker environment is struggling to build the traction it had before, it is more important than ever.  That’s why it’s so vital to follow some etiquette rules, help new players feel welcome in the game and have some fun.

The following are some poker etiquette pointers to always consider.

Be friendly

Being friendly is especially crucial when encountering new players, who are likely just trying to have fun at the tables. It does not matter if they play badly, make random decisions, call your bluff when they should have folded or do anything else you do not like. You have no right to be rude or berate anyone just because they are inexperienced or play differently. To be honest, you should not do that in any case.

Firstly, you can scare them away or make them feel stupid and wind up discouraging them from playing poker at all. Obviously, this is a disastrous result for you and the entire poker community. It is enough that new players have a huge strategic disadvantage and lose their money at a fast pace; you should never make them feel bad about it.

Instead, try to be polite and open up conversations when you are playing. Have fun and make others feel good in your games.

Do not disturb other players

If you are not in the current hand, talking is almost forbidden. Obviously, you can speak with another player who is not in the hand as well, but that is just rude. You are undoubtedly disturbing players who are thinking about the hand and making their decisions harder. Would you like to hear someone sitting next to you chatting all the time when you’re trying to figure out what to do? Guess not, so do not do it to others!

Moreover, even if someone asks about the hand while it is still live, you should never say your opinion, how you would play it, or even worse, what you had. Saying any of these things while not playing can give away information to others and influence the outcome of the hand. Thus, whatever happens, do not comment on the hand while others are still playing it. If you want to say something, wait until the hand is over.

Pay attention and act in turn

Nothing is more annoying than someone consistently misreading the action and wasting valuable time at the table. If you are not able to see what is going on, or pay attention because you’re  listening to music or browsing your phone, then stop doing that. No matter where you are in a hand, you should know what happened before and when it is your turn to act. Otherwise, everyone ends up playing fewer hands just because of you.

Another crucial point is acting in turn. Even if you have a trashy hand that you are ready to muck, never do it before it is your time. It can easily give an unfair advantage to the players who are sitting before you and is considered one of the worst things you can do at a poker table.

Never slow roll

Here we have it, the most unethical, rude and disrespectful action – slow rolling. If you take away just one thing from this article, I hope it will be this one – never do it.

If you have a winning hand at the showdown, just show it. You should never tease other players and let them think that you lost when it is not the case. Moreover, you should never say anything misleading, making your opponent believe he won when you have the nuts. Just be a gentleman and play in a straightforward and fair way.

Although it’s still done occasionally by some players, I cannot think of any situation where slow rolling is ok, so avoid it at all cost or this might happen to you.

Summing it up

Playing straightforward and in a good manner will help you build a good table image, and you can easily take advantage of that. All weaker players will be more willing to play a hand with you than with someone who is rude or unpleasant, and that is how you can drastically increase your win rate.

Always remember that you are not playing alone and if you can make other players feel welcomed in the game, you will have a chance to get the best out of it!

Send me your comments or thoughts!

Pocket Bullets ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

As we continue with the madness, drama, and excitement that has defined the World Series of Poker for the last 48 years, we recognize that every year has brought bigger and bigger audiences and thousands more participants. Imagine how shocked Johnny Moss, the winner of the first real Main Event against only a handful of players, would be to witness this year’s Main Event, with a players’ list surpassing 7,800 and a prize pool of $74,015,600. Of course, we’re all waiting to see who wins the 2018 championship, but there are still a lot of great poker players in the hunt.

In the meantime, we’ll bring you up to date on a few events that had not been completed as of our last report:

Jeremy PerrinEvent #6: GIANT – $365 No-Limit Hold’em was finally concluded when Jeremy Perrin defeated Luis Vazquez in heads-up to take home his very first gold bracelet along with the sweet sum of $250,966.

 

Tim AndrewEvent #11: PLO GIANT – $365 Pot-Limit Omaha Not easy to run over a field of 3,250 entries but Tim Andrews managed to do just that to take away his first bracelet and $116,015.

 

Galen Hall Event #62: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’em 8-Handed Galen Hall was all smiles as he turned over pocket nines to top jack-ten and take it all down. Hall picked up his first WSOP bracelet and a dazzling $888,888 to fatten his bank account.

And now for the latest:

Dan MatsuzukiEvent #64: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship was taken down by Dan Matsuzuki to win his first gold bracelet and pocket $364,387 for his effort. Not bad, Dan.

Event #65: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em MAIN EVENT – World Championship – STILL IN PLAY

 

Longsheng TanEvent #66: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Longsheng Tan managed to hold on to take home his first WSOP bracelet and $323,472 to celebrate with.

 

 

Event #67: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty  Anderson Ireland emerged victorious after ten hours of play at the final table to grab his first bracelet and the top prize of $141,161. Not a bad paycheck for a few days of work/fun.

 

So another couple of million dollars paid out in just first prize money with only six more events completed and we still have a long ways to go with more than 10 events remaining, including of course, The Main Event Final Table.

If you want to get in on all this action you better get yourself a nice poker table and practice, practice, practice  as much as you can. Then maybe by next year, you too could walk away with your own bracelet and tons of cash from the 50th World Series of Poker.

Leave us your thoughts and comments

Tadas PeckaitisTadas “My Poker Coaching” Peckaitis

Building on top of the last article, I want to mention another extremely profitable way to increase your win rate that many players miss – delayed c-betting. It’s a strategy  that although it’s not covered as well as Texas Holdem hand rankings, bankroll management or math concepts, but it can give you a significant edge over your opponents because most poker players are not using it as they should.

Getting the most out of a delayed c-bet

First, let’s say you are in position and after checking back on the flop, you see another check from your opponent. You can safely say that when your opponent checks twice, he is not looking to play a big pot or risk a significant part of his stack calling you down. Most of the time their range is full of weak bluff catchers or show down value hands; they just want to see a free showdown and are ready to give up when facing any significant betting.

Therefore, this is a perfect spot to bet or even turn your weak hand into a bluff and put the pressure back on your opponent. It looks obvious, but many players go into check back mode without even thinking. Moreover, you will lose more often than you think with weak show-down value hands because a lot of the time your opponent will be bluffing air hands himself, but may still have a better hand than yours. Thus, when he checks a few times in a row, he is extremely likely to have a weak hand himself and you can get him to muck his hand.

Let us take an example to illustrate this. You are playing 6 max cash game with 100 big blinds and get A3s in the CO, it is folded around to you, you raise, and big blind calls. Flop comes J76, you both check and see meaningless 2x. Your opponent decides to check again, and you consider your options.

Many players just automatically check back thinking they could win a showdown, but that’s a mistake. First, you are losing to every single hand that has showdown value, such as better Ax, 7x, 6x and few low pocket pairs. However, if you decide to bet the turn and river, you will almost surely make him fold the vast majority of those holdings and you’ll take down the pot. You need to take into consideration that your opponent is not likely to have many strong hands because Jx or better would likely get him some value and he’d be betting on the turn.  Therefore, you can easily manipulate your opponent’s play by putting on the pressure at the right time.

Same could be said when you are out of position as well. Obviously, you will get fewer folds on the turn because players tend to float a lot while being in position, but if you continue your aggression on the river, you will make him fold most of his holdings.

Summing it up

Poker Tables from the Texas Poker StoreWhen you find yourself in a similar spot at the poker tables, don’t be afraid to pull the trigger and you will surely get more folds than you can imagine. Most players are just not capable of defending as much as they should in this area, so take advantage of that!

Send me your thoughts, comments or questions!