I am not a poker expert. I am just a guy who stumbled upon the game during my college fests. It was fascinating , the LIVE format and even though i was initially lost a lot of money, I feel it was well spent. I look at that as phase an investment.
With time, I got pretty good at the game, or so I liked to believe. By the third year, college fests became too sporadic to satisfy my growing hunger for poker. I veered toward online poker. It was perfect! I could play all day! But I wasn’t able to play for long on most sites.
That's actually when 9stacks came into my life. I saw a couple of ads and I looked at their site. I couldn’t believe their offers and tournaments were so simple!
The joining process was pretty easy. After some simple verifications I was on a virtual table playing with real stakes.
It was love at first sight -the hands move smoothly, the interface is quite intuitive . The time that you get for each action is sufficient for a thoughtful decision and not too much that it bogs down the table. There are different alerts to grab your attention when it's your turn. And if that's not enough, you can play on multiple tables at the same time!
Ofcourse, this was no simple college fest game between friends , this was hardcore. Everyone was in it to win it and I was no exception.
I was worried people will learn my playing strategy and was afraid they would categorize me as a frequent bluffer or a slow stacker. But 9stacks had a solution for that. They have anonymous tables for so that no one else can learn and benefit from your style.
It took me a little time to really get used to playing here. It was tough. There is so much action on the site! Wo kehte h na "Pehla pyar ho ya pehla exam, Kabhi accha nhi jata".
In the first few games, my stacks dwindled pretty fast.I realized that skills required for online poker are pretty different from its offline counterpart. Online or virtual poker is all about reading the bets and creating strategies that work every time . I had to change my tactics.
That’s when I found about the skills dashboard they launched sometime ago.
Let's take a sample situation in a game of Hold'em. You get Queens. The guy before you goes all in preflop. Now in an offline game on poker, You might read it as a bluff by reading the guy and Might be tempted to call. When I started on 9stacks, this was one of the mistakes I made . Looking at my stats on Preflop ALL in calls when I had a pocket, (Yes, you can put that many filters in the skills tab, I checked) my win rate on such calls was an abysmal 32%. What ends up happening is online the experience is a bit different, as the stakes are higher, people's tendencies to bluff preflop are pretty small.
There are a host of such habits that I had carried over from offline tables to online version that I needed to change. The skills tab showed me all the data on my mistakes and strengths. I started to get some of my confidence back as I started winning.
As the college fests started approaching, I wanted to see how I compared in a time constrained scenario of tournaments. The hourly free-roll tournaments were a great help here. The more I played, the more I learnt.
This game is insanely fun. It feels so good to win and triple your stacks in one go. I think I am in it for the long haul!
Signing off for now,