Archive for February 2012

Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe, let alone understand, that there are still people who just don’t “get it.” Now I know that if you’re reading this it means you probably get it because, after all, you’re on a poker-related blog and so indubitably you get it. You know poker is here to stay.

So, even after all the setbacks caused by the FBI blocking online poker sites like PokerStars and Fulltilt Poker, the game itself has become more and more popular. So much so that you can pretty much watch poker games from around the world every night on TV.

PokerStars has now been airing a new series of TV commercials that are pretty cool. They will not only make you want to watch the different televised tournaments but also play a little poker yourself.

Watch this commercial and then go get yourself a casino poker chip set, some cards and a poker table and join in on the explosive pastime we all know and love so much: Texas Hold ’em

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I have watched a lot of poker at live tournaments everywhere and lots more on TV.  But I have to agree with Gabe Kaplan of “High Stakes Poker” that this game is one of the “most outstanding plays in high stakes poker, period.”

Tom Dwan outplays Phil Ivey and bluffs him out with an 8-9 of spades against his A-6 of diamonds. After everyone, except Ivey,  folded to Dwan’s cool $25,000 raise, the flop showed a 10-d, Q-c, and K-d. Tom is dominated by Phil’s nut flush draw and inside straight draw but it doesn’t scare him and he raises $45,800. Phil calls. The turn is the 3 of spades, a total blank for both players. Tom Dwan, with only a 9 high, bets $123,200; that’s a scary bluff. Phil calls again. The river is the 6 of clubs giving Ivey the wining hand by making a pair of sixes on the river, even though he misses on both his nut flush and straight draws. The pot is now $408,700 and Tom Dwan blasts out a $268,200 raise. Phil folds to one of the greatest bluffs in high stakes poker ever.

I don’t think I could ever do that and get away with it. I would be sweating bullets and giving off every tell known to mankind. Are you a rock steady, non-readable bluffer? How much would you bluff with an 8-9 of spades at a table with six players? Would you bet all your hard earned clay poker chips?

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Sometimes you just gotta step back in time to take a look at how some of today’s legendary champions became champions to begin with. They say that to get the biscuit.. you gotta risk it.. and if you go back and analyze what most of your WSOP champs did to win, you’ll find that they risked it many times.

In this little video flashback, Phil Hellmuth becomes the youngest ever WSOP Champion at the age of 24 by beating “the Oriental Express” Johnny Chan. Phil took home not only the WSOP Championship title and Bracelet, but also the then current record high payout of $1,250,000.

Sometimes it’s great to walk down memory lane to some of those great moments in poker history when you can watch the likes of  “The Mouth” Phil Hellmuth rake in all those deluxe poker chips. Do you have any favorite Memory Lane moments in your past?

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We are constantly being asked about playing position in Texas Hold Em . We know that question has been asked and answered a gazillion times but it still confuses a lot of players. Here is a brief description on the positions in Hold Em. Naturally the number of players tends to change the importance of positions, but generally speaking, when a table is full with nine or ten players as in our illustration below, the positions are usually titled Early Positions or EP,  Middle Positions or MP and Late Positions or LP. And as their name implies, EPs act first, then MPs and last players to act are LPs.

Early position players:

  • The small blind is usually considered the worst position after the flop. This player is always the first player to the dealer’s left.
  • The big blind is to the left of the small blind and his position is usually considered just as bad.
  • Under the gun is the player who acts first pre-flop. He sits to the left of the big blind and many consider this to be the worst position pre-flop because he must bet or fold first without having any advantage of knowing what everyone else might do.

Middle position players:

  • These players have a very slight advantage but they are basically in about the same position as EP players. They  just get to see a little more action before them and can act accordingly.

Late position players:

  • Hijack  is to the right of the cut off player and has the ability to steal the blinds but needs to be careful because he still has 2 more players to act after him.
  • Cutoff is a solid position and has the advantage of “cutting off” the dealers chance of stealing the blinds; that is if they haven’t already been hijacked.
  • Dealer or Button is the absolute best position because this guy has the advantage of acting last on the flop, the turn and the river.

Texas Hold 'Em Poker Positions

These are your basic positions but how you play them really varies according to your style of playing and, of course, the style of every other player at your poker table.  How to play your position, based on the layout of the playing field is entirely up to you. So the question is; do you really know your position?

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