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You have managed to navigate your way through a field of a few thousand players. You are playing extremely well and now there is only one more person standing between you and that first place.
You feel confident, aggressive and in the mood. But now is a good time to slow down. When you reach the heads-up stage of the tournament, a lack of experience can be crucial. It doesn’t matter how confident you are, because you are now sitting in a completely different dynamic.
When taking your moment of contemplation, think back through your action in the past few hours. It doesn’t matter how you have been playing. What matters is how your opponent perceives you have been playing.
If you have a good handle on what your opponent thinks your moves mean, then you have a huge advantage in the heads up format.
So, how do you use this information to your advantage? According to the Betfair poker tips page, you need to change gears. If you have been very active at the table, opening a lot of pots, then slow down and wait for a hand. It’s very likely that your opponent won’t notice your change of pace for some time.
Similarly, if you have been playing very tight, and have a robust image, then open up your game somewhat. Start widening your range and three-betting at opportune times. Then after a while you switch and mix it up again.
If you find that you are involved in a heads up encounter against a vastly superior opponent then apply your pressure by moving all-in more frequently. Don’t get embroiled in a post flop war when you know you are outclassed.
Similarly, if you are clearly better than your opponent is, then you want to avoid the flips and take the game to the flop, turn, and river.
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Poker is all about playing the odds, but most poker players aren’t mathematicians. There are dozens of poker odds calculators that have been developed over the years and we’re going to take a look at a few of the highest rated calculators and why you need one.
The goal in poker is to get your money in when you have an edge against your opponent, but most poker players don’t even bother looking at the odds to determine if they’re getting their money into the pot with a statistical edge against their opposition.
Free Poker Odds Calculators
1. Holdem Genius
We like Holdem Genius because the tool is compatible with over 250 poker rooms including PokerStars, Full Tilt and many of the biggest poker sites. PokerStars is strict about the tools they allow, but Holdem Genius is allowed with the advice feature disabled. Holdem Genius instantly calculates the pot odds, hand odds, odds of making hands and odds of your opponent making a hand. The odds are presented in a neat HUD at the poker table and are updated in real time after each street.
Poker players can receive a free Holdem Genius license key by opening an account with a reputable poker site through HG. You just need to deposit $50+ to Party Poker, Titan Poker, 888 Poker, William Hill Poker or Betfair Poker using the HG links.
2. Texas Calculatem
Texas Calculatem is a very advanced poker odds calculator that uses an amazing algorithm to determine probabilities. The tool will not only calculate basic odds like every other tool, but Texas Calculatem also provides advice based on the situation. The software takes into consideration your hole cards, playing style, fold depth and position before coming to conclusions. The algo also bases probabilities off of how your opponent has previously played similar hands, which gives you a nice edge.
Texas Calculatem is provided to poker players for free as long as you sign-up to a poker room they recommend. The software will work fine on over 250+ poker rooms. The only restriction is you can’t use the advice feature at PokerStars only.
Poker-Edge we recommend for more advanced poker players that want to take their statistical analysis to the next level. The P-E software comes packed with five different tools including a fully integrated poker odds calculator. Some of the other tools packed with Poker-Edge include a table finder, notifications, player reports and more. Poker-Edge is fed by a huge database on over 1M poker players, so finding stats on your next opponent is a breeze with this software.The one downside to Poker-Edge is that it’s too advanced and restricted at many poker rooms. Poker-Edge is compatible with over 60 poker rooms on the Merge, iPoker. OnGame and Revolution networks. The cost for full access is $29.95/month, so it isn’t cheap.
If you want to learn more about poker odds calculators, you should visit AintLuck.com, a site dedicated entirely to online poker. Click here to check it out. You’ll be able to learn about the latest odds calculators, and more importantly, how to use those calculators to become a winning poker player.
Knowing the pot odds, hands odds, odds to hit the nuts, odds to have the best hand on the river and other statistical information is vital to being a successful poker player. Rather than worrying about doing the math, you can utilize one of these tools. I wish more poker rooms would develop in-house poker odds calculators for players to use like Carbon Poker. Carbon has a poker odds calculator that every player can utilize. The tool calculates win odds, pot odds, expected value, outs, player stats and more.
Until more poker rooms develop poker odds calculators that are built into the software poker players will have to rely on 3rd party poker software tools such as the tools we’ve described above. Since most tools are free there is no reason not to be using one.
Blair Hinkle is a man who is always hoping that tomorrow is the day that the Department of Justice (DOJ) waves the green light, allowing American players to access their funds that have been locked up on Full Tilt Poker (FTP) since the darkness that enveloped the poker world during Black Friday.
In Feb 2011, Hinkle won the Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) Main Event for $1.2 million. It was one of the biggest prizes ever won by anyone playing tournament poker on FTP and, unfortunately for Hinkle, it coincided with the insolvency of that very company.
Hinkle couldn’t get his money off the site because he had a restriction giving him a ceiling for withdrawals. Despite asking FTP several times to raise the limit to $8,000 per-day the change never materialised and $1.2 million still lies in limbo hoping that Hinkle will be able to one day claim it has its own.
Undeterred by his lack of fortune, Hinkle returned to the live tournament felt where he finished in fourth place in a $1,500 event at this summer’s World Series of Poker (WSOP), and he has just followed up that success – and six figure score – with his second World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) gold ring, after securing victory in the $1,675 No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE) Main Event at Council Bluffs.
Hinkle was paid $121,177 for his victory that was his second, after winning his first gold ring and $88,566 in prize money back in Aug 2010, once again at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs.
Now give that man his money back!
There used to be a time when a poker player with a degree of skill could clean house in the virtual world, as the online felt was full of fish. Over time the player pool has become heavily weighted towards the regular players and the weaker players have either run out of money or have simply gotten the message.
It’s becoming ever more difficult to earn a few bucks playing online and so it’s more important than ever to make sure you manage your bankroll so you can stay in the game. Nowhere in the world does variance cut you deeper than the semi/professional game of poker. Even the best players in the world have losing streaks when they are at the top of their game. If you don’t manage your bankroll then variance will knock you down – stone cold.
One of the most important Online Poker Tips to remember is to always make sure that you are playing with money that you can afford to lose. Even better, just imagine that the money no longer exists, and that you have lost it already. If you are attached to your bankroll in anyway then it means you are playing with money you cannot afford to lose and you should get out of the game.
Once you have a designated bankroll that conforms to this description, you need to start playing a level of poker that is supported by the size of your bankroll, be it a game with your mates at home or at one of the WSOP 2013 Qualifiers. This means your bankroll needs to be of sufficient size to take a long hit of variance and still remain intact. There is so much advice on the Internet on actual sizes, and it all depends on your own risk tolerance. But as an example you might only allow 5% of your bankroll to be on the table at anyone time.
You need to move down when your bankroll shrinks and you have the option of moving up when it grows. This is how you stay in the game.
Poker is a game with more styles than David Bowie, and this is what makes it so enduring. The top players in the game come in a variety of different guises. Some are loose and some are tight, and the very best are a mixture of both; pulling tricks out of the top hat at exactly the right moment.
If a tight style is something you are thinking of adopting, then here are some great tips to keep you tight and ready for the fight, courtesy of the Betfair poker news page.
Tip #1 Find The Loose Players
If you are playing tight then your money is going to come from the players with a looser style. You are going to find yourself in dominating positions more often and you should exploit that. It’s true that you are going to be faced with tough decisions, as people try and bluff you off the pot, but stay resolute and your hand strength will see you through.
Tip #2 Awareness of Image
Figure out which players are paying attention to the fact that you are playing tight. The ones who are prime targets for the occasional bluff, and those that are blind to you will be the ones you need to target. These types of players will never understand why you always have it; and when playing with these guys, with your tight style, you always will.
Tip #3 Don’t Show Your Cards
Never give away information by showing your opponents your cards. If you are playing tight in a Betfair Poker Live event, then you don’t need to expose your cards to hammer home this fact, as they should tell by your play. Giving away information is nothing but a source of negative equity.
For those of us who enjoy the experience of playing poker both in person in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, and on the Internet, it’s always a revelation and a distinct pleasure to find an online site that seems to incorporate the best of both worlds. That’s why I was thrilled to come across 888 Poker, which is actually one part of a larger 888 Casino site.
Both 888 poker and the larger casino web site rock. I particularly like some of the promotions and the tournaments offered, but what’s really cool are some of the extras that you don’t see very often (if at all) at other casino sites. Stuff like PokerCam (webcam poker), Private Games, Teams Poker and 3D poker. The site offers lots of free and interesting downloads, for example the Daily Challenge series or Double or Nothing tournaments. When you go to the website, don’t forget to click on those “buttons” to find out more and then let us know what you think.
A monotone board is a board where each card contains the same suit, and they can be a little tricky to play. The board can mean flop, turn or river and it is a term used in relation to where you are in the hand.
Imagine you are the pre flop raiser in a Betfair Poker LIVE event and you receive one caller. The flop is [Qs] [8s] [Ts], you bet and are raised. What thought process should you apply in this spot?
It is more likely that your opponent called with a suited hand than a non-suited hand, as it is optimal game theory (suited hands give you more post flop equity). So players are not raising that often with their one-spade hands. It’s true that your mind will often trick you into believing this is the case, but the maths just don’t stand up to scrutiny.
Your opponent is very likely to have great equity. Unless you are involved in some sort of levelling war, players generally steer clear of bluff raising on these types of boards.
Players often get their thinking skewed in these types of spots. They think that because there are more draws than flush hands that they should call the raise, but they are not taking equity into consideration.
Look at it a different way, from the perspective of the Betfair poker blog. Imagine we have flopped ace-queen on the same type of board (with no spade) and we face a raise.
We need to be right a large percentage of the time in order to call, and we just aren’t going to find what we are looking for. Monotone boards are tricky, and always remember there is a hand waiting just around the corner. If you get raised, then fold, and wait for a better spot.