Archive for April 2015

Pocket Bullets ParisBy: Pocket Bullets Paris

There are a total of 169 pre-flop hands possible in any game of Texas Hold’em. Out of those starting hands, Pocket Bullets (my nick-name) is considered to be the absolute best starting hand. And it is, but it does nothing for you if you don’t play it right. So here are a few things we have learned along the way from watching other players and listening to what the pros have to say.

First and foremost, you need to control yourself from over reacting when you get it; don’t start jumping up and down or laughing or displaying any other emotion except to stay totally cool. Don’t play it up; don’t play it down; just stay neutral.

Second, try to make the right bet. Sometimes it’s better to slow play while other times it may be best to be aggressive and splash all in. It’s really up to the mix of the players and how well you know them. It also depends greatly on your position and it’s usually probably best to bet just right. If there is action before, you always call it. When you’re out of position, raise as many times as possible.

If someone goes all in pre-flop, be careful and call it only when it makes sense to you, but don’t re-raise; just call it.

Pocket BulletsThere’s a lot more that could be said as to how to play the number one starting hand, ACE-ACE, and lots of varying advice from all the pros, but at the end of the day it’s up to you to read the dynamics of the poker table you’re facing. Stay cool and you just may scoop the chips your way.

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Pocket Bullets ParisBy: Pocket Bullets Paris

Sometimes you just have to go “Hmmmm, I wonder what would have happened if I had invested in learning how to play poker instead of….” Of course, you quickly realize that although it’s never too late; you just may have to face a hell of a lot of tougher and younger competition.

It seems as if every year younger and younger players get into the mix and often come into it from the “online”  world of digital poker. They have already played thousands of hands dealt to them on their computer screens, electronic pads, or even their cellular phones. In many cases, they became proficient way before they ever sat down at a live table with live players. Their usual aggressive online strategies sometimes destroy their chances, but often it goes the other way, and they soon find their way around reads, tells, and all the other nuances of live games and come back to rake in all the poker chips.

Here is a list of some of today’s current youngest players with more than $4 million in winnings from live games as well as online games:

Sam Trickett – 28
Young Poker Millionaires $19,696,445

Chris Moorman – 29
$16,000,000 +

Martin Jacobson – 27

Jonathan Duhamel – 27

Jason Mercier – 28

Pius Heinz – 25

Ryan Riess – 24

Jesse Sylvia – 27

Jake Cody – 26

Now, a final table with these nine poker superstars, before they turn 30, would be one hell of a game that I’d love to watch live from the rails. I know there are many more players out there that could be included in this list, but there are just too many of them to add here.

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Pocket Bullets ParisBy: Pocket Bullets Paris

We’ve often been asked “how important is the idea of playing position in a poker game?” As far as we’re concerned, playing to the strengths of your position is extremely important, whether it’s a stud game, a draw game or any poker game variant including, and perhaps more so, in Texas Hold’em.

We know the question about position has been asked and answered a gazillion times but it still confuses a lot of players. We’ve written about it before, so here it is again; we hope it helps.

This 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 finally 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 making their move and can act accordingly.

Late position players:

  • Hijack is to the right of the cutoff player and has the ability to steal the blinds but needs to be careful because he still has two more players to act after him.
  • Cutoff is a solid position and has the advantage of “cutting off” the dealer’s 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. There are lots of players, including us, that know that position is the absolute most important commodity to have at the poker table.

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Pocket Bullets ParisBy: Pocket Bullets Paris

People have often asked “what do I do with baby pairs?” Well, it depends a lot on when you get them, but for now let’s look at pocket baby pairs. Small pairs, a.k.a. low pairs, a.k.a baby pairs range from 2-2 to 6-6, after that they are medium pairs or high pairs. Remember, we’re only looking at “pocket pairs” for now.

Pocket baby pairs are extremely strong when played correctly. My strategy has always been to simply do a little bit of mining, and by that I mean “set mining.” There is nothing new about this concept. In fact, if you googled the term you would quickly discover that it refers to the idea that a player holding a small pocket pair limps in pre-flop with the goal to hit a set on the flop. You will also learn that it is considered to be one of the best poker strategy power moves, one that is best played against players with deep stacks who are more likely to call, and even raise with marginal hands.

So, at your next game, if you’re holding one of these baby pairs pre-flop and a player raises before you, passively call and wait for the flop to be good to you. If you miss hitting trips, back off and fold to any main action. If you hit trips, don’t slow play them; raise immediately to build the pot.

Pocket FoursOf course, make sure the flop is mostly blanks without the possibilities of hitting flushes or straights, or anything else that could easily beat you. For example, if you’re holding 4♦ and a 4♣ and the flop is a 4♥, a 9♦, and a 6♣, then wait for your opponent to raise and re-raise him all the way to the river. More than likely you’ll be raking in the chips, although anything can happen at the poker table.

As we always say, some days you can win with an ace high and other times you can’t win with quad aces.

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