Follow @daneovermeyer

Sunday, 26 June 2011

200 viewers and counting!!!!

Unbelievable! Its been 8days and my posts have gathered up 200 views.
The Audience is from all over the world, thank you very much for keeping me motivated so I can keep documenting my experiences and techniques.

   I thought I would use this space to acknowledge those whom prompted me to start this blog.
> Poker players often remind me of actors. I guess it takes a some level of acting to bluff from the flop all the way to the river. Check this blog, its amazing and the blogger is both my girlfriend and the one whom inspired me to get blogging. (!

The vast majority of my audience are individuals from countries that don't speak ENGLISH as a first language. So check this site if you are interested in visiting Cape Town, South Africa to learn English and tour. There are many casinos throughout the country and it is quite a vacation!

Thank you
May the FLOPS be with you!

When everything comes together...

I havent had much to report on for the last few days... However, Friday night, my weekly poker night had a couple of interesting moments. The regular table of 7, both serious players online and live mixed in with some social gamers - Its always a big spending, entertaining night!

Things started slow for me got hands like [10.3] and [9.4] off suit in so many hands I had a nightmare about them. This lasted about an hour, but I remained disciplined and positive that a decent hand was arround the corner.

Counting chips for the ALL IN moment
 I didn't stay out of the action entirely, remember your TABLE IMAGE is vital. If I remain too quiet, players will begin to think I am playing TIGHT. With these opponents I try to change my style every now and then, just to keep them unaware =).
Then along came suited connectors [6d5d]. I contemplated a preflop raise to minimise the targets, but the player 1st to act bumped it to 2x BB. In my opinion he got what he wanted and there were 3 players in the hand. Board came down [Jd.7s.4h]. In front of me is an UP AND DOWN straight draw (8outs). The initial raiser makes a puny bet, blind size - too small to even be noted. We both call him, turn is [10d]... This gives me an additional flush draw (9outs), back door but with some luck its almost definitely a winning hand. Check, check, the actions on me, I raise a significant amount the preflop raiser calls and the other player folds. [2d] lands on the river I'm smiling (on the inside ofcourse) because now I have the flush. How much do you have left infront of you? Is the question I'm asked, after I make a count he says ALL IN. I take a breathe and ponder what he could possibly have, theres no way he has a flush! So I make the call and say "I've got the flush", opponent hangs his head after flipping top pair top kicker - [Ac.Js].

This must've jump started the poker gods, a few hands later in the Big blind [Kc5c]. No preflop bets so i check my option! Board comes [5d 10s 5s]. Gigantic raise comes from a generally tight player, I can't just make a call so I double his bet hoping to get him off the hand, doesn't work he calls. [As] comes on the turn, an immediate another large bet is shouted. The thoughts in my head:
*Did he hit the flush? Does he need another spade? or did he just play two pair? maybe he has the other 5? Is the pot big enough to make this call?
I couldn't come to a conclusive reading and just said CALL. The river, delivers me a FULL HOUSE with a [Kh]. My opponent is confident with his Ace high flush and pushes ALL IN. I snap call and flip my cards over saying "HIT THE BOAT!" I agree the river was relied on to win the hand but sometimes its the big decisions that win you the most money.

These dodged BULLETS

Last 15mins of play, I am chip leader by some distance and am more than happy with the profit I'm making.There was only 3 of us remaining, all with significant chip stacks. I look at my hand [JJ] - I wouldn't say I am particularly a fan of this hand as an over card always seems to hit the board. I raise 3xBB, one gets out of the way, fold. The other makes a confident call. Flop opens [J K 4] which gives me three of a kind! This is followed by my opponent sending half of his stack into the pot... could he have KK? I push ALL IN, he snap calls (I have him covered). He proudly topples over his BULLETS [AA] and was devastated at this bad beat for the night so close to CASHOUT TIME.

There were many lessons to be learnt from this session. The main being: stay patient because a hand will come, sometimes it is YOUR NIGHT other times maybe not so much. Focus on making decision that are calculated and timely - even though you have to GAMBLE occassionally.
*However, my new number one rule! LEAVE YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR!! Nobody is better than the game.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Poor run!

You know that feeling when every flush draw you chase doesn't come... I don't understand it.
[Jd.9d].... board [5d 8s Ad] >> this is the exact kinda flop I look for with this hand. I was in BB and just CALLED a raise 3x BB. So I mentally put the guy on a Ace, but it doesn't matter this is the 2nd hand of the tournament. I call his bets on turn and river hoping for 1 of my 9outs...
Obviously, it doesn't come so I'm left crippled with about 235chips (starting stack 1500). I have to fight my way up playing short stack styled: super-tight-aggressive. get KK and climb back to about 1200.
I get dealt [Ac.3c]... yip, you guessed it.... board [2c Qc 6d] i get pushed all in 3handed i have to make the call as i will triple up on a 9outer... reluctantly i make the call knowing my "luck". Surprise! the flush doesn't come [9s] and [Jd]. Busting me in 67/90....

Struggling to keep myself motivated at this stage. I'm playing some textbook poker - just looking for a helping hand from a leprechaun. Now my job here is to stay positive and keep busting on flush draws. Its not an option to remove suited cards from my inventory completely.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Maniac - table bully

Picture this, your seated at a table of about 8players and the table leader is playing so many hands, betting wildly put chip stacks at risks constantly. Can you blame this table bully - all his doing is simply applying pressure on his opponent and pouncing on any sign of weakness. his style: Loose-Aggressive.

*First, you need to identify whether they are maniacs or simply loose-aggressive players. There are many pros that can be put in this category, Daniel Negreanu- likes to see flops and isn't afraid to inject chips into the pot. Yet his still disciplined - if he senses any strength in his opponent or misses the flop completely, HE FOLDS.
Where as, a maniac fires on each street, every hand he plays - which is most!
> In the identifying stage you need to be sure he always plays this aggressive and that he hasn't just hit a run of good cards.... I have watched players getting premium hands five, even ten hands consecutively.

Playing against: Many players fear this encounter because their entire stacks are always at risk. However, a better way of seeing things, the maniac is constantly giving opportunities for you to win their stack. The safest method to play this type of player - stay out of the way until you get a premium hand. My biggest concern with this strategy is there is a chance the maniac picks up a hand - you never know when he does, so in my opinion the time you STRIKE is when you sense any sign of weakness on his part.
Once you have a premium hand, act timid and make reluctant calls and checks, he will do the betting. I have never been a fan of SLOW PLAY.

Being the bully: If you have a lot of chips in front of you, a significant chip advantage on the other players at the table - get involved in a few extra hands. try attacking the majority of pots and keep the pressure on your opponents. Once your loose strategy becomes apparent, tighten your hands up - be sure you'll get action when the next monster hand arrives.

>Your table image is vitally important in poker, as this is used by other players to place you on a hand. So try changing it up now and then - a confused opponent is one who can make mistakes trying to adjust!

heads up...

This maybe a more advanced topic, but all poker players will encounter a heads up situation in their poker careers... It is one of my favourite encounters in the game. During house games I can't wait to be heads up, because I have spent so much time analyzing heads up strategy.
Unlike full tables heads up is an action based session, there's only a big blind and a small blind competing in every hand. So there is a duel hand after hand. This requires you to attack and defend every pot in a slightly more aggressive manner.

In my arsenal I convert my strategy to loose-aggressive, I will see a flop with pretty much any hand. The simplest explanation would be YOU CANT WAIT FOR PREMIUM HANDS. I have a few hands like 7.2 off suit that I avoid playing with completely. (I just feel this hand has no value at all)...
*so LOOSEning up my play means I will be playing more than just premium hands, using more suited connectors, suited cards and pretty much any royal card will work! The AGGRESSIVE part is where my post comes into play:
As you can't wait for the best hands your mission is to put your opponent into pressure decisions, by raising pre-flop it camouflages the strength or weakness of your hand. MAKE HIM THINK! Opening up your range of hand still requires a lot of discipline - it doesn't mean bluff stone cold no matter the cards. I believe a raise pre-flop and then depending on how the flop comes down, a CONTINUATION BET.
Play more Draws... If there's a straight or flush draw don't check it - bet into it. Be as aggressive yet safe as you can be.

*Just this afternoon I played a heads up match, dealt J6 hearts, board comes[7h Ks Jd].
-the betting on the flop was pretty passive, the turn [2h]. I now have a flush draw... My opponent trys 2 put me under serious pressure, but regardless I make the call. I hit the flush on the river... And maximise with an All in. My opponent had K7. But because he wasn't aggressive enough he got nailed. Slowly lol!

Not many people practice HEADS UP, but my advice would be to take advantage of the online facility. Get use to being aggressive and making the occasional CONVINCING bluff. Whether you have a hand, hit the flop or not if your going to bluff your opponent even if you sense weakness make sure your bets make sense, and be ready for whatever he throws back at you.

* In summary be aggressive but not reckless. If the board misses you completely and your opponent fires strong. DO NOT CHASE MIRACLES!!!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

A winning mindset!

Poker is as much psychological as it is strategic. The frame of mind you have while sitting at the table will have a tremendous effect on the result. This post doesn't only apply to poker but to life in general. The key to positive think opens the door to positive outcomes!
Stress is something people experience regularly, when we stress we aren't thinking straight. At the poker table when we don't think straight we don't play our proper game. In the poker world stress can be brought on from happenings at the table or transferred from our 'off the table lives' - the only way to counter it would be to stay POSITIVE.

Sitting at a table, and getting beat by a bad player, can send you to tilt, and cause you to lose even more hands because your not in the right frame of mind. I have seen it both online and live, people are Stunned to see their AA get nailed (almost as if the odds were a million-to-one).

I think I have mentioned this before, poker is about winning the maximum and losing the minimum. Just as life there are UPs and DOWNs, its how we react and deal with them that influences its effects the most.
*Honestly, and I am speaking from experience you will go days with poor results, weeks, even months, and then that's followed by a few days of great results - winning so much you feel invincible and unbeatable. You have to take the bads with the same positive approach as the good.
-consider this, you play and lose money, then u decide to play with more money trying to break even. Odds are you end up leaving having lost double the initial loss. KNOW WHEN TO CALL IT A DAY.
When your on a down session, what are you going to do? Play 24hours forcing things to come right? Change your style because you think its not working? (However, that exact style won you a tournament the night before)...
-If your losing or feel like your being subjected to a run of bad luck, take a TIME OUT - rather be a small loser, than try break even and fix something that is more mental than fundamental, and become a BIG loser.

My girlfriend told me this tonight after I said 'I'm playing such shit poker', CLEAR YOUR MIND, A BREATH!
* Tomorrow is another day. There is no point in playing when your in a negative frame of mind, as the results will be negative.

>clear positive attitude, stay away from the negatives as it can only affect you negatively. Don't be reluctant to take a break whereby you re-gather calmness and focus. To get back to playing that Winning poker, you know your more than capable of.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Online tells...

Playing online and playing at a LIVE table require to very different strategies. I find online to be a lot harder to make accurate reads on opponents.
*Something one needs to do in order to improve their game is, take NOTES. For online use the make a note facility provided by the site. It will help you in the long run as it makes remembering previous experiences a lot easier.

With online, there aren't many means of gathering information only betting patterns and the chat/comments window. So here are a view things I have been noting:
Players whom comment "donk or poor play" - I'm sure you have come across many of them. These are novice players. They mainly play the premium hands, pretty tight and can definitely over play big pairs. Their biggest weaknesses are their lack of understanding of pot odds and they often fold a DRAW.
-Losing to a DONK will put them on tilt!
-They have convinced themselves that AA or KK will always win them the hand.

Watch the chat window, observe where chats between to players who know each other discuss matters like previous hands or tournaments or past experiences. Use these Q & A to get an understanding of their experience levels and whether they are regulars.

>Something I have tried countless times, I'm sure you have too. MULTI-TABLING.
- This is definitely a sign of some skill as its difficult to monitor more than one table at a time successfully. What I have noticed though in their playing style, is it becomes relatively tight - they will waste little time on marginal hands. In my opinion poker takes a lot of focus and unless they are good at multi-tasking they will make a few unusual mistakes when attempting more than one table.
*So, browse the lobby and identify those opponents.

I don't know how true this theory is, but the size of the chip stack definitely is an indicator of skill. For some reason better players tend to accumulate more chips than others.

In summary, in order to be a successful poker player both online and live, you have to remain focused and vigilant at the table all the time, even when your not in the hand - your goal is then to be analysing your opponents moves for a spectator view point....


I know that I just did my post for the day but this i have to share....

Decided to play a free ring game with FULL TILT POKER ( Wanted to test out a theory, so I sat down at a table 300/600 with about 15K the smallest chip stack at the table by some distance.
-My goal, to only play premium hands. Show patience and discipline... The outcome was ridiculous, fold every time I had anything less than premium... in 25minutes of play i took the chip stack from 15K to 450K.
This just proved to me that PDF (patience, discipline and focus) one can dominate a table.

-One of the hands I thought i would share with you, i have [Ac. Qc] obviously i pre-flop raise about 4x BB, get one caller (I didnt stay long at the table but from what i saw this guy was an ACTION JUCKY - calling station)... the board comes [3d 5c 8d]...
*In my mind I know my AQ is in serious threat if he made a poor call with small cards (like suited connectors).
-Anyway, I decide to throw out a feeler bet! Just over half the pot. He makes the call as predicted! Turn comes [As]... I feel confident i have him beat now and bet large, again he just calls.
River [Ah].... don't want to scare him off so a bet that pays me off well....
After a call, He flips [Ad. 7c]...
>> Now even though the board came down tremendously in my favour, it was painful for him.
 Lesson: If your going to play anything less than premium, you have to be able to read your opponents well and know when to fold.
*now I know this was free roll, and no money involved but I honestly enjoyed the challenge of reading players as well as testing out a few theories.

My opponent made several mistakes: Before the flop - he shouldn't of even considered playing [A7 off] when there was such a significant raise. On the flop - when he missed and I bet he should of retreated or if he had a read on my weakness FIRE one back! So by the time the two Aces came he had dug his own grave...

In my next post I will touch on a few TELLS or READS one can look out for when playing online....


Today I took the time out to re-think where i made mistakes in Friday nights poker session, i struggled to come up with flaws in my game of that night that i could highlight to you.
What I remember very clearly though is that one of my opponents played almost every single hand, and when they were in a hand they saw it pretty much all the way to the river.
This type of player is called a CALLING STATION - the name being self explanatory (they call pretty much everything you throw at them).

I decided to do a little homework on them and how to beat them and gathered the following information.
They many tactical mistakes, and in my opinion your opponents mistakes generally I'm meant to capitalise.
* There mistakes include calling too often, calling when they should raise and even when they should fold.
- basically, they chase hands with little to no chance of winning.
Example: They have [As.2d] the board [9h. 2h. 7c], but this doesn't deter them - they make the call hoping for what would be a miracle.
- The biggest mistake however is when they have the BEST hand and just call, not raising there can and often does, lose you the hand!!

The combating part is easy because when you win its at maximum, and when you lose you can only lose minimum - this being because your not faced with raises.

* There isn't much advice I can hand you, except, when you have a winning hand and you facing a calling station - bet till you cant bet anymore.... get as much out of it as possible.

> Honestly though, and I have seen this countless times, DO NOT bluff a calling station!

# I hope you are not a calling station, lol. I have this philosophy: You either raise, or fold. calling is a sign of weakness

Sunday, 19 June 2011

suited connectors

High risk, high reward. I was told as a youngster you have to be in it to win it!
Suited connectors are cards like 4.5 6.7 8.9 and favourite 9.10 of the same suit. The art of using these cards in your game is regarded as an advanced style, owing to the fact you really need to understand your outs and be able to read your opponent well.

>Unlike premium hands, using suited connectors your aim is to hit the flop hard, talkin flush or straight draws. Playing with these low valued cards can cost you as they not guarantees. Your probably going to lose more than win with these cards. Therefore your goal is to make the times that you do win count.
* I have seen, even experienced A.A get cracked by a mere 8.9 suited as the board showed him a straight or flush.

Many professionals have adopted this style of play into their game, players like Daniel Negreanu. One of my favorite players to watch because of his ability to play connectors and read his opponents. Now I am no pro but I love having these hands as part of my armory.

I try to keep it as simple as possible though, stay away from very low connectors like 2.3 or 3.4 even 4.5... This is for personal reasons as 9/10 times these hands get cracked by high connectors. We all have preferences I guess! However, hands like 6.7, 7.8, 8.9 and 9.10 I tend to play pretty frequently. There are many specifics to consider though before making a call preflop. My number one rule is not to call more than 7% of my chip stack - this is because even though these hands have great potential you are very far behind.(Try not to get involved too many times when the pre-flop raise is more than 2.5x the big blind) You also need to consider where your seated at the table and against who, or how many players your going to be facing - this is important facts, you need to be certain that when you win its a substantial amount to allow you the bankroll to continue adopting suited connectors in your game plan.
* If not the most vital component to this strategy, YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO FOLD! Now this may sound ridiculous, but I have seen many a player chasing straights all the way to the river, paying ridiculous amounts for each card.

After a decent flop chasing a straight you have 8outs, and flush 9, but its not worth putting your entire chip stack on the line in hopes of HITTING the turn or river.
*my rule: if you miss the flop, FOLD.

>I have only had the honour of catching a straight flush once in my short lifetime lol, will never forget it. Was online I had [Jh.10h] the board came [7h, 9h, As], my opponent who played tight the whole day, pushes all in. I have him covered but will be left with small change if I lost. I decide to chase the straight flush. He flips [Ah,9d] for two pair... At this stage he has me nailed to the floor. the turn [9s] his got the full house. I am gutted! Swearing at myself in disblief at "the weakest call I have ever made". However the river my friend, [8h], I could not believe my eyes... I went on to win that tournament. Obviously was my day lol.

Its ridiculously early in the morning here in SA, my round of golf was just cancelled on account of bad weather. Maybe I will catch a tournament online now...


Saturday, 18 June 2011

Using A.x & K.x suited...

In most poker books I have read they introduce you to the game of Texas Holdem saying stick to the PRMIUM HANDS - even though these hands have a high win rate, restricting your range will slow your win rate.
A few years ago, i adopted Ace and King with a small suited card [eg: Ad.2d  or  Ks.3s]
- now these are more advanced, and take a liitle more calculation, or so they say... For me however, you can expect a call from any position.
The only conditions:

To be honest, these are some of my favourite hands, owing to the fact that if i do HIT your opponents arent expecting A.2... as your ASSUMED style is tight...
Just last night there was a situation where by i had [Ah. 4h]... the board [2h. Js. 5h... 9h. Kd.] >>> after the pot boiled over to about R200. my opponent flipped [Jh. 7h]... and he was stunned to see i had him NAILED...

> In my oppinion, another way to go about play the "nut flush draw"... (call something small pre-flop) and then send a SEMI-BLUFF on the flop. Its called a semi bluff because you still have 9-outs (36%) and maybe even the Ace landing could win you the hand...

I read this somewhere on the net this morning: Be aware of all the chip stacks at the table so you know who to attack and defend.


the prodigy player!

Tonight I hosted a poker evening with a few of my mates, about 7 of us in total....  It was the most action packed poker session I have seen in ages practically every hand had about R50 in the middle - players      re-buying plenty of times.

Little bro in massive pot flipping his pair.

The evening for me went well,first giant hand I was involved in A2 suited found me a flush on the turn. I was knocking my opponents with everything. Won three or four hands with flushes and trips racking up as much as I could....
*my goal for the evening was to maximise my wins, and minimise the loses.
Here is where the story begins: My little bro was one of the six opponents, I have been coaching him since he was about 6 years old (his 10 now). Honestly, the poker gods were watching over him, consecutively 4 times he managed to pick up pockets (9.9 & J.J)...
He played the role of a calling machine! Involved in just about every hand with the blinds at R1/R2 and R2/R4 - when he won the pots were huge. Hammering his authority with Full Boats and Sets (trips).

- His style of play is a very aggressive one, but not pre-flop. he will look to call a cheap flop, hit (damn, that boy hits every time). and then he bets at you, HARD! I have always believed in a firm pre-flop game but he proved me wrong tonight.

Want to know how I got beat. A POOR READ!!! Sad I know, but I did something ridiculous - I doubted my initial read.
> I had [As.8s] raised pre-flop, one caller, the table's chip leader. Board comes [2d. 6h. 8c]...
- I'm sitting with top pair top kicker. The chip leader bets i raise he raises over my head. I enter deep into thought trying to put him on a hand - immediately i tell him you have a pockets, begging for a twitch.
Things that are racing through my mind ->
*What did he do pre-flop? Did I notice any weak expressions, or were they strong? What range of hands has he been playing tonight? When last did he win a pot? Does he have me covered? Is he bluffing with over cards? Did he make a loose call and hit two pair? Did he hit a set? If i push all in will he back off?
I reckon to myself push ALL IN!!
The eventual winner
>To little surprise he flips over pocket 9s.... I was beat. only had 6outs. it was GAME OVER as the turn and river were both blanks =(.

However, I withdrew a lot of information and further understanding into all of my regular poker buddys, the greatest part was watching my 10year old brother dominate the table. You ask did he go on to win it? Unfortunately not, it got late and he became tired and distracted. We called it a night.

*lesson - "The more you play the luckier you get"
 * "We are only limited by fear, some play like a 10year old with no fear lol"

Friday, 17 June 2011

knowing your OUTS....

Poker is played with one deck of cards obviously you know that... that's 52 cards!
here's the basic calculations which run through my head pretty much everyday and all the time.
>>> If there are 52 cards and you have two HOLE CARDS (cards in your hand) = 50
therefore, we can give each card a value of 2% when calculating the percentage chance of getting the card you need.

1) Flush Draw : 9 outs
2) Open-ended straight draw : 8 outs
3) Inside straight draw : 4 outs
4) Straight flush draw : 15 outs
5) Pocket Pair that needs to make a set (trips) : 2 outs
6) Pair that needs to hit kicker (2pair) : 3outs
7) Two live over cards (pair) : 6 outs

After the FLOP you have to chances of getting the card you need [on fourth and fifth street] so your percentage outs increases... OUTS x 2 x 2 
>{this being two cards that need to still open}
>{the second 2 is the percentage value of each card}

And example: Open-ended straight draw
YOU: Ks.10d
Board: {Qs , 4h , Jd} acquire a STRAIGHT you need an Ace or a 9... four of each in the deck = 8 outs
8 x 2 x 2 = 32%  ------- after the flop
8 x 1 x 2 = 16% ------- after the turn

poker night!!!

Tonight at 7.30pm the first hand will be dealt.
The blind structure is set: R1/R2 R2/R4 R3/R6 R4/R8 (25min each) followed by the infamous POWER HOUR R5/R10 and R10/R20.
During power hour this is where it makes or breaks a players chips stack, separates the men from the boys, there are often only 2 or 3 players left.
We will see what happens tonight!! All of the players tonight have been performing on the ONLINE stage. Placing and winning tournaments - should be a cracker.

I have played in many 'poker nights' and house games both high staked and low. There are simple rules to follow in order to be successful, namely: follow all the house rules, and follow your own game play rules in terms of tournament play.

There is a distinct difference in the way one would approach a tournament structure and a cash game structure. With a tournament every hand counts its the equivalent of a TEST match in cricket. Slow patient and controlled. Especially in a freeze-out your goal is to out SURVIVE the other competitors. Where as with a cash game sums of chips can be accumulated and lost with single hands and players have open entry and exit from the table. (Cash games have never been my strong suit)...

*In order to be successful in your local game with a similar blind structure, you need some kind of a game plan. With me, I consider the blinds R1/R2 and R2/R4 as the levels where by I explore different hands, by doing this I can gather information on my opponents range of hands (the hands he plays and how). I will look to see as many flops as I can with any playable hand, as long as I have enough cash in my pocket for a RE-BUY in case I blowout. My goal by starting so loosely is to A. Build a solid chip stack to work from, B. Depict to the other players at the table my 'lose style' and C. To get the mind working (calculations).
Once these levels have passed and things get a little bit more expensive like R6 and R8 to see a flop can damage your chip stack if you get too involved. So this is the stage where by I tighten up a little - only get involved in decent hands and whilst sitting in good position. (ie: the later to act the better).
By using this basic plan by the time power hour comes if its your night you would have a significant chip stack and be able to dictate play with these high blind levels.
- the way to play in power hour is a whole chapter I would need to explain, soon.

Remember to stay observant of the happenings at the table and calculated in your moves!

premium hands

Poker is considered a game of luck by many folks. This is partially true as there is much skill required in order to be successful in this card game. The key in this game is knowing the values of each starting hand and whether they have the 'strength' to win you the hand.

I'm giving insite into tactics I have tried and tested countless online tournaments aswell as at local house games:
- royal pockets and Very strong hands: A.A, K.K, Q.Q A.K, A.Q K.Q, J.J... These would be referred as the strongest hands to play 'preflop' . *a key to remember, the strongest hand 'pre-flop' isn't necessarily the strongest after the flop.

A very important characteristic in poker strategy is to adapt a game plan that best suits YOU!

With the premium cards your goal is to show you're AUTHORITY. A pre-flop raise (situation and chip stack influence the value of the bet) In my opinion with AA your bet should be large but not too big that it scares everyone off. With KK and QQ there are possible over cards that can land on the flop which will put pressure on the rest of the hand. So a preflop raise of roughly 2 or 3x Big Blind will enable you to retrieve information on the rest of the table.
*poker isn't necessarily about the cards you're dealt, its about how you play them and how you read your opponents!

A.K, A.Q, J.J and K.Q... Consider these high and strong possibilities (excl J.J). These may take more thought than the royal pockets because they aren't made Pairs as yet. So the preflop bet will initiate your hand strength. Bets can range from 2x to 4x BB... Situational of course.

Raising preflop with nothing as yet isn't bluffing its the beginning of your story, and a story requires a 2nd chapter so with these hands a continuation bet can be used to see where you are positioned in the race (hand). This shouldn't be made in situations where its unnecessary like when u miss completely!

*the greatest tip I can give is treat poker like a chess game. Calculate every move knowing exactly what you will do in all possible outcomes. Basically, when you bet know what to expect from your opponent and have an idea of what you going to do next...

How this is related to my game - just tonight when I was beat with AA and QQ even tho there are little to no changes I could make in the way I played these to premium hands. A larger preflop bet might have influenced the outcome a little more. When you raise preflop you remove the small hands from your opponent unless they making 'magic plays' as I call them.
> I leave you with the thought: is it really safe to TRAP or SLOW PLAY *pocket rockets* {A.A}

night of bad beats

I know this post comes long before the explanations of strategies and tips.
but i just crashed out of a online tournament ridiculously pure bad luck.

Although it appeared to be a good night of poker with Strong Hands hitting me left, right and centre - I encountered LADY LUCK and she had other plans.
the tournament started at 12am CAT (late I know but thats my favourite time to play > I will explain that another day)

So this is how my evening went... started solid chip leader within 30minutes of play cruising on about 25000chips (chip average 4000)....
- Proud as a panda i get dealt A A : (now you never really know how to play this hand. WSOP its alot easier because with a significant pre-flop raise only strong hands call), back to the action, a player raises 2x Big Blind (BB), I decide raise over his head 5x BB, after thought he calls me. flop: 6,9,10. he checks, I put him on AK, AQ, JJ or something along those lines... I bet big. expecting a poor call or fold. he pushes ALL IN.
I have him cover 8x so i call. i turns over 10 10.... damn am I stunned... the start of beat beats -

I managed to revive my chip stack with a sneaky play of As.3s suited nailing a flush on the Turn (2s,Qs,8d,9s,5d).....
....then 3 or 4 hands later: Q.Q significant preflop raise in early position get two callers flop (4s,9d,5h) Best looking board I could ask for. I push the two 'river rats' call both all in... they show Ah.Qs and Ad.Ks, the turn is a BLANK and the river is a K.

Went from cruising chip leader to K.O in 10hands - TOUGH!

After this 'experience' - the next few posts will be on PREMIUM HANDS.
Could the saying NO PLACE FOR AN ACE be true???  


Welcome to my blog.
I am a 21year old University student with a passion and love for the game of poker.
I decided to put my thoughts and experiences of the game to paper -
I don't claim to be a professional, as that means its no longer for the love of the game but for the love of money.

I been involved in the game for about 5years watching, learning, even studying this brilliant ART FORM.

> In order for me to relay an in depth analysis of different situations I have found myself in, at the table or online, I will recall past games while noting my current and daily experiences. In addition, the inclusion of the occasional tips.

I have read and researched many "professional players" and their strategies that helped them win big events. my goal is to equip you for the average 'charlie' you encounter at your local house game, or your favourite online site.

So all that is left to say is "LETS SHUFFLE UP AND BLOG"