Saturday, July 22, 2006
Friday, July 21, 2006
INSIDE THE MIND, HEART, & SOUL OF A POKER PRO
By: Will Everly
It is commonly thought that poker pro's play tightly and aggressively.
Although they don’t play many hands, when they do play them, they play as if they had all the nuts. This is a nicely cooked-up saying and all, but it is for those who really don't know how to play and who just want to sound smart, like they've been there and done that. Case in point: It doesn't necessarily apply to no-limit games where a good, loose yet aggressive player can throw you off your game in a heartbeat. Therefore I ought to shed some light on what it really means to be a tight and aggressive poker player.
* Think Like A Pro: Do The Math
Generally speaking, you will have about a 1 in 8 chance of holding a set in your pocket pair while you will have roughly a 1 in 3 chance of attaining a flopped flush draw by the river.
Likewise know your "outs" that give a percentage shot at hitting. (Count the outs, multiply them by two, and add one to give you an idea the likelihood of hitting.)
However, knowing your "outs" to calculate hitting percentages are useless unless you match them with the pot odds; your percentage chances of hitting should be no less than the amount you have bet in proportion to the total pot at the river. (Simply divide the size of what you speculate will be the pot at the river flop by the amount you have put in.) Having come up with a 25% chance of hitting/winning by counting your outs, and the bet to you is 25, make sure that the pot at the river will be greater than 100 to call. If it isn't, cut your (potential and likely) losses and fold.
* Feel Like A Pro: Psychological Skills
The latter part of the saying "keep your friends close, hold your enemies closer" is true of any competition. A poker pro is always on the hunt to get a good feel on what his opponent is trying to do.
- What does my opponent have?
- What does my opponent think I have?
- What does my opponent think I think he has? And so on.
Contrary to what you may think, the mindset of poker pro's is not about obliterating their enemies into utter and complete destruction. Often, it is a battle to use your opponents simply to discover your own strengths and weaknesses on equal footing with keeping your ego in check. Developing an understanding that you must empathize with your opponents helps you to answer the previous questions and empowers you to manipulate those answers, putting you at a superior level of game play.
If you have KK and your opponent has AA, and you both know what each other have, why play the game of poker? You have other tools such as bluffing, slow playing, or fast playing. Use your acting skills to complement your math skills and tip your opponents off balance.
* Be a Pro: Discipline, Discipline, Discipline
Good poker players are consistent in their demand to seek advantages. A fish looks to get lucky, whereas a poker pro expects to win.
However, discipline is not to be confused with stubbornness. If a particular strategy is no longer working a poker pro will know how and when to change. A high level of alertness will clue him in as to whether he's on tilt or just being too cocky. If a mistake has been made, he will learn from it and move on.
Fundamentally, these three skills can be encapsulated into one word: awareness. Like in school you should be able to learn how to read by knowing your mathematical odds, write by manipulating your opponent's mindset, and finally to think for yourself when new or otherwise unknown situations arise. Once you grasp this triple-threat concept, success should be knocking at your doorstep.
For most of us, this is a constant work in process.
Friday, July 14, 2006
My 1st Cash in the WSOP!
It's not that 283rd place is an accomplishment that I am normally proud of; but now with so many entrants and the fields are so huge, it is very difficult to make it in the money. There were 2,849 entrants in Event #17 the JULY 10, 2006 $1000 no limit hold'em event, so you see how many people had to lose just to get where I finished. There are a lot of people who go a whole WSOP without cashing, so it is also a small confidence booster. The stats aren't too bad: 1st cash (so far) in my first year of play at the WSOP. Anyway, the $1517 I cashed is hardly enough to brag about (or to break even with, having played 3 events); but I thought everyone might like to know. Event # 17 was the largest single day event in the history of the World Series of Poker.
I had a great coaching session with Poker Specialist Barry Tannenbaum the day before the event and I am certain it helped with my results. I also took some the advice I got from my good friend and tournament poker genius Alex Outhred.
Event 31, the $2,000 no limit hold’em event beginning on July 21, is in my sites now and I am focusing on what I need to do make a good finish in that event.
The Main event of the 2006 World Series of Poker is now only two weeks away. I am hopeful I will be in group A, which means my start date will be the 28th and that I can focus on playing favorable situations which will allow me to build my chip stack and put me in good shape for my second day of play. This will give me the opportunity to relax and get some rest before my second day. Of course, this means I have play smart in order to make it through to the end of the first day of play. Each of the four groups of 2000 will continue play on the starting day until 800 players remain. This could easily mean that day one will be twelve to 14 hours of play with limited breaks.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Thursday, July 06, 2006
By: Will Everly, Jr.
Luck is a huge factor in poker. Just to win a major event these days you must get lucky more times than you can count. You are going to have to win every race that you find yourself in. Skill is important, but you must be sure to overcome the luck and beat the odds.
With a lot of the new internet players hitting the felt, hand expectations have dropped. There are many players playing hands with marginal consequences. Because of this the luck factor in poker has increased. Even if you are going into an all in situation with the best of it, worse players are calling and sucking out. Even though it is impossible to avoid this, there are ways to keep the skill high and the reliance on luck lower.
Make sure you are playing the right hands. You shouldn't be getting involved with a marginal hand against an aggressive player. If you know you are going to get called, you shouldn't be wasting your chips to try and bluff. Now, if you know your opponent is weaker you can mix up your game more and play different types of hands. It is all about reading your opponent to decide where you stand in a hand.
Try not to go into any situation with the worst of it. Try to stay away from drawing situations, and don't get all your chips in the pot if you don't think you are ahead in the hand. If you are going into hands with the better percentage of winning then you don't have to rely on luck as much to help you win. You do, though, hope to avoid bad luck where the person sucks out on you! You shouldn't necessarily hope for good luck in a tournament, but hope that bad luck stays away. If you always play with the best of it then you won't need good luck.
If someone does suck out on you and you are still in the tournament you must make sure you avoid letting it get to you. You have to realize that this hand is done and you have to move on to the next one. If you are mad about something that happened at the table, you should never let your opponents know, because they will try to take advantage of that. You should act as if whatever happened didn't bother you a bit, and know that if they sucked out on you they may not be as good as you and you will be able to get your chips back from them later.
There is so much poker advice out there, but in general you should be playing tight but aggressive. You should have an idea of everyone's playing style at your table. Play the looser players tighter and the tighter players looser. Mix up your game and be sure never to get all of your chips involved when you have the worst of it. If you do this then you won't have to rely on luck, and you will find yourself beating the odds and hopefully becoming the next World Series of Poker Main Event Champion.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Since I already have my main event seat taken care of, I thought I would try my hand at some of the Single Table Satellites and 2nd Chance Events as I had done in Lake Tahoe in early June.
While it took me several tries in Lake Tahoe to actually win a Single Table Satellite, and believing that experience would give me an edge in the WSOP Single Table Satellites and 2nd chance events, I instead learned is that nothing except being there can prepare you for a room filled with several thousands of people playing in tournaments of various levels.
The most important lesson I learned is that playing tight aggressive alone, is not going to win very often in events where your starting chip counts are so low. I regularly ended up in hands where I had the best possible starting hand, (at a minimum top pair with top kicker) only to have all my chips in the pot and lose on the river. You will rarely hear me complain of a bad beat as in the end the best hand always wins, but the irony is that you need to win more than your share of races and enjoy some luck in your favor. More important than all that is that you need to keep from having bad luck as well.
I spent several days analyzing the hands played by different professional players in a couple of No Limit Events as well as the outcome of the play. I have concluded your intuition of where you stand in a hand can often have more value than the strength of your cards, especially when it is tied into your perceived table image.
One common thing I have seen throughout the last week, is that the only thing that can crush your intuition of the value of your hand is to misread the perceived value of your opponents hand. Misreading can be both in the positive and negative respects.
On two different occasions I actually had four of a kind. Pocket Queens and two more on the flop on the first occasion, where I raised 4 times the big blind and had a few callers. Also I had just moved to the table and was the big blind, so it was probably expected based on my chip stack that I would defend my big blind.
On the second occasion, I had pocket sevens and two more on the flop so I made a standard raise and everybody folded. Upon reflection, I know that I should have checked, leaving the betting to someone else or it being checked around to get another card, hoping the next round would give others a betting hand.
These examples go back to my statement of perceived hand values, I knew my hand was the best hand, yet I had not considered the hand values of others at that point in the hand which ultimately cost me money as the hand was over. Why was it my first nature to bet, when I knew my hand was not likely to be beaten?
Despite the fact that I finished just outside the money, I played some of my best poker ever.
The structure of this tournament was very good and there were some tough players. Approximatley 353 actual players when nearly 500 were expected. My table and seat assignment were excellent in that the table I was at on the first dau was the last table to break.
For the most part, I spent most of the first day just staying out of the way of the Big stacks and the calling stations. In the last hour of the first day I caught the right cards and managed to double up twice. At the end of the first day, I was 17th out of about 120 players remainining.
Day 2 began fairly uneventful and I continued to build my stack. About 3 hours in I caught pocket Kings and bet them up and got all of my money in to lose to a set of Jacks. Out in 31st place. The ironic thing is had I of pondered my hand another 15 to 30 seconds, I would have finished in the money as almost immediately after I went out three others were out from another table.
My nature is to constantly play to win, so I sometimes forget that getting my money back is a win of sorts as well, which is what I would have done if I had waited. I felt I had the best hand and I played it out and lost. This was a race of sorts and this time I lost. My hand was the best hand up until the river.
Congratulations to Allen Kessler winning first place of $51,619.00.
1-800-817-4760 - 713-429-5567
The ships are filling up! It's time to get your room.
Brought to you by PlayersCruise and Carnival Cruise Lines
Just a short trip to Galveston and you are on your way to the vacation you have always dreamed of.Sail off to the Caribbean on a luxury cruise liner. Enjoy the entertainment, fine dining, night clubs,casino, and of course our professionally run poker room. While in port, go scuba diving, snorkeling,play on the beach, do some sightseeing, party at the local clubs, and go shopping.
Treat yourself, you deserve it!
Sail Dates: All Meals, Shows, Taxes, & Port Charges Included in Price.
4 Day August 31 - September 4
Labor Day Weekend Cruise
Starting at $410.25
Port: Cozumel, Mexico
Pro Instruction from Matt Dean
7 Day September 10 - September 17
Carnivals Largest Ship - Pictured Above
Starting at $649.10
Ports: Jamaica - Grand Caymans - Cozumel
Pro Instruction from Freddy Deeb
Rates:Rates are per person based on double occupancy
Rates include port charges, government fees, and taxes.Rates can go up as the ship fills up, so book early.
WHAT IS A POKER CRUISE?All the amenities of a Carnival cruise with a 24hr poker room.
We provide professional dealers, game hosts, & tournament
directors, just like your favorite casino.
Bring your whole family!!They will all have plenty to do while you are grinding away at the poker table ;^)Check our website for fun things to do on the ship, and in port.Game Hours:We will be open 24hrs while we are at sea.
Check the website for itinerary.Poker Events and Limits:We will have plenty of tournaments and cash games to suit your poker needs.Daily multi table, and Sit&Go tournaments, with a final Players Championship Freeroll.
Most tournaments will be $50 - $100 Freezouts (No Rebuys)
$.50/$1 $1/$2 $2/$5 No Limit and Pot Limit Hold Em Cash Games.
$2/$4, $3/$6/$12 & $10/$20 Limit Hold Em Cash Games.Other Games and Limits available by request.
2-3 weeks before we sail, you will be sent a survey asking what games you are
interested in. We will build our final schedule based on your needs.Free Lessons:Daily group table lessons.
Low limit learning tournaments.
Some cruises offer professional poker players & Seminars
4 Day - Matt Dean - 7th Place 2004 WSOP Main Event
7 Day - Freddie Deeb - WPT & WSOP Champion.
How many players do you expect?
A minimum of 100 players per cruising.
Can my kids go?
Yes, There are a ton of things for kids to do on the ship.
Check Carnival's website for kids activities.
How old do you have to be to play?
18yrs or older.
Can I travel by myself?
Yes, BUT... All cabins are based on double occupancy.
You would need to pay for 2 people even if you go alone.
We always have players that have to travel alone.
We can help match you up with someone if needed.
Can we get 3-4 people in one room?
Yes, the rate is lowered for 3rd and 4th person.
Call us for a quote. Avg. is 3/4 the regular price.
Why is your price higher than the website?
It's really much lower. Carnival's website does
not include port charges and taxes which can
be as high as $200 per person.
When should I book?
Of course I am going to say NOW!!! ;^))
Our group rates are only held till June 25th
After that we have to beg for more time.
The rates will end up being the rack rate
you see on Carnival's website.
Do I have to play poker?
No, not at all. You pick the games, and times you
want to play. It's your cruise. Do what you want!
Need More info? Ready to Book?Call us at 1-800-817-4760 - 713-429-5567
or check our website at PlayersCruise.com