pokerstrategy

Poker Ke Side Effects : Juggling Life and Poker

Juggling Life and Poker

Hi guys!

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs by werewolf, maidumji, happyknight and betazoid over the past one year and was inspired to write one about my own poker journey. Believe me, it’s been a long and arduous one. Quite unlike my username, @easymoney.

I’ve been playing poker since 2010 ie 8 years  now. I developed a tremendous liking for cash games quite early on, but as all cash game lovers can vouch for, the grind is steep and full of surprises. Especially when it comes to balancing our poker selves along with our regular social selves.

I admire the game strategies employed by Tom Durrr Dwan and try to imbibe his aggro style into my game. I’m not going to lie to you, my rise in poker came with tremendous financial setbacks, especially in the beginning. Like all newbies, I lost money initially because I wasn’t ‘reading the table’ right, I was only focused on my game and did not really observe the other players and what they were doing. I got bad beats and unbelievable coolers and like every other newbie I got affected by them. There were times where my bankroll would get exhausted thrice a year and there were times when I would have to borrow from family, which i agree, isnt ideal.

I would avail bonuses and rakebacks offered by most sites, but at the end of the day, I’d  lose everything on the cash table. To gain back some money, I would participate in cash grinds and somehow would never be able to ‘make the cut’ on the leaderboard.  I would be playing day in and day out. My sleep schedule suffered, my personal life also got a little haywire. My wife and I would go out for dinner or for shopping and I would be playing on my phone all the time. Balancing life and poker together was getting very tough.

But it wasn’t all bad though. The more I played, the more I learnt and the better I got.  As I played on various sites and got exposed to different strategies used by more serious players. I observed the game more carefully, read up on the internet, watched videos on YouTube and slowly I began to win. I still had a long way to go before I got really good at the game.

Very soon, 9stacks launched their Skills Dashboard, which promised to pinpoint the problems in my game minutely. I would be able to understand what hands I win on, which type of stakes  I am better playing on.

I had played on 9stacks earlier and did have quite a good time on not only their cash tables would also participate in their tournaments and win!  Some of the best players in the industry played here and won. There were other players doing so well on the platform, I wanted in on all that.

So when the Skills Dashboard happened, I was thrilled.

Through the Skills Dashboard analytics, I realised where the leaks  in my current game really were. This analytical, data driven approach to my game helped me realise which hands and in which position did my raises help me win. I could see how I have performed across the number of hands I have played. I realised that I was a better cash game player and my tournament strategy was also beginning to improve.

Once I got on this wagon, I decided to up the ante in terms of developing myself as a serious poker player. I allotted strict hour limits for my poker playing time. I ate better, I tried to focus on my health. Started yoga and meditation inspired by some players . I have seen the change in my game now. I come  in the money regularly. I am able to get into the top ranks of the cash grind contests on 9stacks. This boosts my confidence and every poker player will agree that winning a poker game definitely is the best high. Ofcourse, personally, my life is much less chaotic and much more relaxed.

During the #LFGVegas challenge on 9stacks, I won an iPhone8, I won the trip to Vegas worth 2.5 Lakhs, a hefty rake back , because these guys do have the best offers, rake back deals and and achievable contests.

In the current Aussie100 contest, I’ve currently locked in about 75K and Im hoping I can make 50k points before 15th December to win my trip to Melbourne and play during the Aussie Millions in January next month.

I’m glad to share that I have done better as a poker player here on 9stacks and have been trying to develop as a serious one. I like how the platform has made it easy for me. I have my bad days but  I don’t feel the tilt as badly now. I am glad to say that I’ve begun playing more responsibly now.

My advice for everyone who’s wanting to do well at poker:

  • Play WITHIN your limits

  • Have a life BEYOND poker

  • NEVER take  loan from friends to play poker

  • MAXIMIZE on Rakebacks and Promos

  • On a bad day CHANGE your Login and password :p (That’s the only thing you can change in the tilted state, right? )

Signing off for now,

@easymoney


How to read hands in poker

 Most new poker players begin their journey into the game by playing on the small stakes.

While that is a good way to begin the game, it is not something you should continue for a long time if you want to make serious inroads into playing good , skill based poker. This is because at smaller stakes, one tends to not be careful of their betting sizes as the initial investment is low.

Hand reading in online poker is one of the most important skills required in poker.

This is hard work. It requires all your attention , your patience and you will need to make quick decisions to master this skill.

In this article, we will attempt at jumping into the complex world of poker hand reading techniques and  figure out how to read an opponent’s hand taking into account all their tells.

 Before we start, we need to address the two common misconceptions:

 Myth 1 : All players on the table are ‘random’ and can have ‘anything’

It is true that there is some randomness to every player’s game strategy , however, it doesn’t stay that way too long.

Your opponents are can be truly arranged with their play, they could have “anything.” There are some hands that they will fold, and there are some hands they will never fold. Your goal is to assess their method or at least deduce enough about it to figure out how to capitalize on it. Remember this: There is always some method to their madness.

 Myth 2. : Hand Reading is the answer to all the problems in poker

 The second misconception is to do with the term “hand reading,” which is really a misnomer. As beginners, we are obsessed with only looking at OUR game and we tend to not look at the table and miss out key details about other players and their game strategies.

All good poker players know that to do well in poker your aim should always be to determine the hand ranges and not just read the hand of the opponent.

 This means that you should not know only care  about what exact possibilities your opponent has, but you must also worry about the possibilities and combinations that he could have and what move should be made by you to  get the best average result against all of the possibilities.

Hand Reading in Poker

 Consider the scenario where your opponents play half of the cards they’re dealt. How can you figure out what cards  they have precisely? But there’s a probability of guessing a couple of important things about what they don’t have. Your opponents who will call with half their hands still fold the other half and that folding range might look like unconnected junk hands.

 Your main objective while trying to read someone else’s poker hand , should not be to just  figure out whether they have something even better and find a fold, but should also be able to compare it with your hand to see if it is weaker than yours. You need to be especially aware of the ‘tells’  when your opponents put money into the pot despite having a hand worse than yours.

Every once in a while, you’ll find that you’ve gotten outwitted, or that you were ahead and then got outdrawn on your turn. As long as you have accurately determined that you would usually be ahead when the money went in, then you did all the hand reading you need to do.

This is only the introduction to hand reading in poker. We’ll be back with a more detailed version very soon.

Stay tuned!

Team 9stacks


Position strategies for beginners

 

Position in poker refers to where you’re sitting on the table in relation to the dealer button. It is one of the most important factors in a game of poker. Playing out of position is one of the most common mistakes made by amateur poker players. It often makes them vulnerable to moves made by players in position. Similarly, playing in position allows one to impose his/her will on others. 

What “Playing in Position” Means
Playing in position means, that you are the last one to act. In a game where no one straddles, the person holding the dealer button is always the one “playing in position”.

In Texas-Holdem, there are 169 starting hands. As a beginner it’s best to keep it simple by only playing when you have a really good hand given your position. As shown in the picture below, there are generally 4 positions where one could be categorized. One’s starting hand/pre-flop range depends on which category one belongs to.  Sticking to these starting hands will also make your post-flop decisions much easier.

Table_positions-01.jpg

Blinds
There are a lot of factors that affect the range of your starting hand when you’re in this position. Hence, for beginners, I would suggest that you refer to the early position starting hand range to make things easier and less complicated. 
  
Early Position
This is the worst position to be in as you’re the very first person to act. In this position one should play less than about 7% of their hands. This might sound a little conservative, but as a beginner or even an intermediate player, it’s best to fold anything but JJ, QQ, KK, AA, AK or AQ.

Middle Position
As your position improves you can increase you range of starting hands as there will be less people left to act and your position will improve after every betting round. In this position you could play any middle range pocket pair, i.e 7 pair and higher, and A10, AJ, AQ & AK. It doesn’t matter if the combination of your face cards is suited or not. Your position is decent enough for you to get into the pre-flop action with them.

Late Position/On Button
This is undoubtedly the best position to be in. I would suggest not just calling the blind but raising with any pocket pair, J10+, Q10+, K8+ and A and any other suited card. But if someone has already raised before you, I would reduce my range and only call with, 55+ A8+ and any combination of face cards. 

In lower stake games players usually tend to raise out of position with mediocre hands that they overvalue. It is situations like these that being conservative and playing hands within your range will lead you to win these hands. For example, players siting in middle position often tend to raise with A and a low kicker. If you have position on them and play within your range, sitting with A too, most of the time you’re going to be dominating their hand just because of your kicker.

Once you get a bit more experienced and start to sense how tight or loose your opponents are, you can start increasing the range of your starting hands. But till then, do yourself a favor and only stick to the basics. 


This article is written by Sai Dutta, an advent poker player, who plays  72 as pocket A’s.