Fedor Holz is one of today’s top poker players. With earnings approaching 30 million dollars, I thought a mini bio would be an inspiration for many people looking at the world of poker and everything you can get out of it. Born July 25, 1993, his mother was a teen mom and he grew up with a distant father and two younger sisters. Since his mother had to quit school because of him and raise not only him but two daughters as well, he sees this period as a time of lots of challenges. In his family expectations were extremely high but he couldn’t meet many of those expectations and often lost interest in many things. Being a smaller guy, he was often bullied. He thinks that showing interest in some things and being excited could have an impact on those around him but not necessarily a positive one. He felt his enthusiasm could spark a backlash around those who might not have been as interested in things as he was. As a result, he lost interest in things and just went along with the flow, passionless but just going.
He went to college for computer science but again he wasn’t interested in it. He was playing poker since he was 16 but at college he. He continued playing poker with friends who were making 2000 Euros a month. It was enough at the time to afford trips and etc. He was interested in something at that point. He wasn’t successful in the beginning. He stuck with it and set strict goals that are hard to achieve and would stick to them everyday. During this period, he changed his mentality from results driven to overall goal related. One of the key reasons he loves poker is that everything is really on the individual. Any mistake as well as any victory is all about the individual.
After 2016, his first major year when he won or made $16,000,000, he found himself at a crossroad. Though being one of the world’s top poker players was his goal. He found the most important thing was the process of getting there and not necesarily the end result. How he reached the overall goal was more important than the overall goal itself. The interest in poker was more important than the cash itself. At this point he started a business Primed Mind and he briefly retired from poker.
During his retirement from poker he started Primed Mind. Primed Mind was launched with Holz’ poker coach Elliot Roe. It takes the same principles used to help Holz achieve his poker goals. These same principles can be used to achieve anything else in life according to Holz and his coach. It’s an app available at Google Play. Users listen to a mindset coach named Elliot. The goal is to allow visualization, and relaxation techniques to set goals. The ultimate agenda is create self confidence, better health, personal growth and recovery skills. He along with Nathan Schmitt and Duane Ludwig are the three key people at Primed Mind along with Elliot Roe, the mindset coach. It’s an interesting concept and has led to dramatic results for Holz. This is also a way to give back and help others who want to achieve their goals. He has won tens of millions of dollars at live poker events as well as online.
PokerStars is where Holz has played poker the most online. His nickname is Crownupguy and his results there are impressive as well. He was Pocketfives top player for the years 2015 and 2016. More recently, Holz has signed on with Party Poker. The online poker juggernaut to become one of their representatives. This means major money, lots of great compensation in the forms of being able to play top games and salary. It is hoped this move will attract more players to the site. He will wear the Party Poker logo at live tournaments and help design a high roller series to offered at Party Poker.
Holz’ top ten cashes, though they probably don’t mean too much to him since they are in the past. Everyone is salivating over the numbers. So here’s a look at his top cashes. It’s arranged with tournament date, name, buyin, Holz finish and cash result.
 Jul 10, 2016 $111,111 No-Limit Hold’em for One Drop 2016 World Series of Poker $111,111 1 $4,981,775
Jun 01, 2016 $300,000 No-Limit Hold’em Seven Max 2016 Super High Roller Bowl $300,000 2 $3,500,000
Jan 04, 2016 $200,000 No-Limit Hold’em 2016 WPT National – Philippines $196,000 1 $3,463,500
Oct 20, 2017 HKD 1,000,000 No-Limit Hold’em 2017 Triton Super High Roller Series $128,150 2 $2,131,740
Dec 20, 2015 $100,000 No-Limit Hold’em 2015 Five Diamond Classic (WPT) $100,000 1 $1,589,219
Aug 22, 2016 €50,000 No-Limit Hold’em EPT Season XIII / Estrellas – Barcelona $55,253 1 $1,471,485
Apr 03, 2017 HKD$400,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shot Clock 2017 PokerStars Championship Macau $51,473 2 $877,392
Jun 04, 2016 $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em 2016 Super High Roller 9 $50,000 1 $637,392
Sep 15, 2017 $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em 2017 Poker Masters $50,000 2 $550,000
Sep 20, 2017 $100,000 No-Limit Hold’em 2017 Poker Masters $100,000 3 $504,000
Jul 17, 2017 HKD 250,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six Max 2017 Triton Super High Roller Series $32,022 1 $451,386

Card Player Poker Tour

The Card Player Poker Tour will return to the Venetian from December 4 thru 11. The series features over $900,000 in gtd prize money. It’s one of the most popular poker circuits with tourneys held around the U.S. like Seneca Niagara in New York.
The main event features a $500,000 3500 buy-in event. This tournament lasts four days starting December 8. There are three satellites for the event at the Venetian from December 6-8.
Additional events scheduled include the $600 DoubleStack on Dec. 5 and offering a guaranteed pool of $150,000, as well as a no-limit hold’em $300 rebuy tourney with a guarantee of $25,000 starting on Dec. 10. Earlier this year, the Venetian hosted the Card Player Poker Tour Venetian $5000 buy-in main event, which drew nearly 700 poker players. That event had anticipated a guarantee of $2 million; however, the overwhelming attraction of entries resulted in over $3.1 million being awarded, with the first-place winner, Javier Gomez, receiving $561,349. Hopefully, this one will exceed the guarantee as well. Card Player is one of the top destinations online for poker players and enthusiasts.

Hong Kong Poker player Park Yu Cheung Breaks Cashes in Year Record

Hong Kong poker player Park Yu Cheung has broken the record for the most cashes in a year with 62. He broke the record at Asia Championship of Poker in Macau.
His recent streak of luck has boosted his career earnings to over a million dollars. This year he won almost a third of that with $317,000 in cashes this year so far. Previously, he averaged $75,000 annually.
Before becoming a professional poker player, he was an accountant. He is chairman of the Hong Kong Poker Players Association.

Patrik Antonius Gripes about Poker

Finnish professional poker player has over $20 million dollars in tournament wins both online and land based. He is one of the elite top poker players in the world and he has criticism for both online and land based tournaments.
He stopped playing online tournaments because of HUDS or poker analyst software that sizes up situations and technically help players win more. Will online operators stop the use of HUDS? Who knows but many places accept the use of them.
He also has criticized players who take too long to make decisions at live poker events. This takes away the momentum. Also players having conversations while at the tables interfere with concentration and the ability to make good decisions and taking up more time for players to make decisions.
Bill Perkins, a poker wunderkind, also agrees and won’t play anywhere that doesn’t have a shot clock. Another poker player, Steffen Sontheimer tweeted the absence of a shot clock is killing the game. The World Poker Tour, WPT, introduced a shot clock in 2016. Maybe other live poker events will follow.

 

By Rick Braddy

Welcome to the fifth in my Texas Holdem Poker Strategy Series, focusing on no limit Texas Holdem poker tournament play and associated strategies. In this article, we’ll examine starting hand decisions.

It may seem obvious, but deciding which starting hands to play, and which ones to skip playing, is one of the most important Texas Holdem poker decisions you’ll make. Deciding which starting hands to play begins by accounting for several factors:

* Starting Hand “groups” (Sklansky made some good suggestions in his classic “Theory of Poker” book by David Sklansky)

* Your table position

* Number of players at the table

* Chip position

Sklansky originally proposed some Texas Holdem poker starting hand groups, which turned out to be very useful as general guidelines. Below you’ll find a “modified” (enhanced) version of the Sklansky starting hands table. I adapted the original Sklansky tables, which were “too tight” and rigid for my liking, into a more playable approach that are used in the Poker Sidekick poker odds calculator. Here’s the key to these starting hands:

Groups 1 to 8: These are essentially the same scale as Sklansky originally proposed, although some hands have been shifted around to improve playability and there is no group 9.

Group 30: These are now “questionable” hands, hands that should be played rarely, but can be reasonably played occasionally in order to mix things up and keep your opponents off balance. Loose players will play these a bit more often, tight players will rarely play them, experienced players will open with them only occasionally and randomly.

The table below is the exact set of starting hands that Poker Sidekick uses when it calculates starting poker hands. If you use Poker Sidekick, it will tell you which group each starting hand is in (if you can’t remember them), along with estimating the “relative strength” of each starting hand. You can just print this article and use it as a starting hand reference.

Group 1: AA, KK, AKs

Group 2: QQ, JJ, AK, AQs, AJs, KQs

Group 3: TT, AQ, ATs, KJs, QJs, JTs

Group 4: 99, 88, AJ, AT, KQ, KTs, QTs, J9s, T9s, 98s

Group 5: 77, 66, A9s, A5s-A2s, K9s, KJ, KT, QJ, QT, Q9s, JT, QJ, T8s, 97s, 87s, 76s, 65s

Group 6: 55, 44, 33, 22, K9, J9, 86s

Group 7: T9, 98, 85s

Group 8: Q9, J8, T8, 87, 76, 65

Group 30: A9s-A6s, A8-A2, K8-K2, K8-K2s, J8s, J7s, T7, 96s, 75s, 74s, 64s, 54s, 53s, 43s, 42s, 32s, 32

All other hands not shown (virtually unplayable).

So, those are the enhanced Sklasky Texas Holdem poker starting hand tables.

The later your position at the table (dealer is latest position, small blind is earliest), the more starting hands you should play. If you’re on the dealer button, with a full table, play groups 1 through 6. If you’re in middle position, reduce play to groups 1 through 3 (tight) and 4 (loose). In early position, reduce play to groups 1 (tight) or 1 through 2 (loose). Of course, in the big blind, you get what you get.

As the number of players drops into the 5 to 7 range, I recommend tightening up overall and playing far fewer, premium hands from the better positions (groups 1 – 2). This is a great time to forget about chasing flush and straight draws, which puts you at risk and wastes chips.

As the number of players drops to 4, it’s time to open up and play far more hands (groups 1 – 5), but carefully. At this stage, you’re close to being in the money in a Texas Holdem poker tournament, so be extra careful. I’ll often just protect my blinds, steal occasionally, and try to let the smaller stacks get blinded or knocked out (putting me into the money). If I’m one of the small stacks, well, then I’m forced to pick the best hand I can get and go all-in and hope to double-up.

When the play is down to 3, it’s time to avoid engaging with big stacks and hang on to see if we can land 2nd place, heads-up. I tend to tighten up a bit here, playing very similar to when there’s just 3 players (avoiding confrontation unless I’m holding a pair or an Ace or a King, if possible).

Once you’re heads-up, well, that’s a topic for a completely different article, but in general, it’s time to become extraordinarily aggressive, raise a lot, and become “pushy”.

In tournaments, it’s always important to keep track of your chips stack size relative to the blinds and everyone else’s stacks. If you’re short on chips, then play far fewer hands (tigher), and when you do get a good hand, extract as many chips as you can with it. If you’re the big stack, well, you should avoid unnecessary confrontation, but use your big stack position to push everyone around and steal blinds occasionally as well – without risking too many chips in the process (the other players will be trying to use you to double-up, so be careful).

Well, that’s a quick overview of an improved set of starting hands and some general rules for adjusting starting hand play based upon game conditions throughout the tournament.

Until next time, best of luck to you at the Texas Holdem poker tables!

Rick

Rick Braddy is an avid writer, Texas Holdem player and professional software developer and marketer for over 25 years. His websites and Texas Holdem poker software helps people become better Texas Holdem players. If you’re a poker player, be sure to visit his Texas Holdem poker poker today and learn how you can play better Texas Holdem poker, too.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Rick_Braddy/2011

http://EzineArticles.com/?Texas-Holdem-Poker-Tournament-Strategy—Starting-Hands&id=13814

By Rick Braddy

Welcome to the third in my Texas Holdem Strategy Series, focusing on no limit Texas Holdem poker tournament play and associated strategies. In this article, we’ll build upon the poker tournament strategy fundamentals from last time, with some important poker betting strategy basics.

Winning at Texas Holdem poker doesn’t have to be a gamble, since it’s actually a game of skill. Of course, there will always be an element of chance, but there’s a lot more strategy and skill to poker than meets the untrained eye. When you learn to play the odds properly, it can make a huge difference in your winnings.

No limit Texas Holdem is the game of choice these days – and for good reason. The fact that anyone can decide to push a large raise or all of their chips into the pot by going “all-in” at any moment, adds an exciting dimension to the game. Unlike limit Texas Holdem, where each round of betting takes place in prescribed, fixed increments, no limit Texas Holdem is as varied as the players at the table, since everyone chooses their own betting style and approach.

When playing no limit Texas Holdem, you’re faced with some important decisions. Arguably, the most important decision you’ll make is how much to bet in a given set of circumstances; e.g., hand strength, your position at the table, total number of players, their styles, etc. There are many different betting strategies, but one of the first things to learn and pay close attention to are “pot odds” and whether you have a positive “expectation” to win.

You have a positive expectation whenever the odds favor you winning more than you’re wagering at anything greater than 1 to 1 odds. For example, when flipping a coin, there is a 50/50 chance of it coming up either heads or tails. If you flip a coin enough times, both heads and tails will come up an equal number of times.

Casino games, such as craps, blackjack, slot machines, etc. all give the player a “negative” expectation and the casino a positive expectation. If you play these types of “gambling” games long enough, you will ultimately lose, since the game’s odd structure is never in your favor – negative expectation. People who experience “hot streaks” also have losing streaks (they just usually quickly forget about the losing and don’t discuss it). When you’re making a wager, you’d always prefer to have a positive expectation. This is generally true in poker, but not necessarily always in no-limit poker. I’ll explain why.

Pot Odds are the odds the pot is giving you for making a bet. Let’s say there is $50 in the pot and it’ll take $10 more to call – you’re getting 5-to-1 pot odds to call, since if you win you’ll be paid $50 in exchange for risking only $10. For purposes of this decision, any amounts you previously placed into this pot are irrelevant, since they’re already expended and gone (if you fold).

It’s essential to understand pot odds as it relates to your hand odds, as one key factor in making your betting decisions. If the odds of you holding or drawing to the winning hand are better than the odds the pot is giving you, you should call or even sometimes raise; otherwise, you should typically fold (unless you’re going to bluff, a different story).

Continuing this example, let’s say you’re holding a pair of fives, and the board flops 9, K, 2 “rainbow” (no flush draw, different suits). With 9 players at the table, it’s certainly possible and likely that someone else holds a King or a Nine, or both, making your 5’s look pretty flimsy at this point. Your best shot to win is to draw another 5. There are two more 5’s remaining out of the 47 cards that you can’t see (in the deck or in another player’s hand).

So, the odds of pulling that next 5 on the turn or river are: 2 in 47 (2/47 = about 4%) on the Turn, plus another 2 in 46 on the River (an additional 4%), for a total of roughly 8.6%, which equates to a 1-in-11.6 chance of pulling that third 5 to make a set. Since the pot is only giving 5-to-1 odds, it’s generally time to fold. Otherwise, you’d just be “gambling” with a highly negative expectation of losing that additional $10. In no limit Texas Holdem, players will often raise the pot sufficiently to actually lower your pot odds so far that you can’t possibly justify staying in the hand – at least not statistically.

Clearly you can’t sit there in a real poker room with a calculator and run through all of these pot odds calculations while at the table! So, how does one learn poker odds well enough to apply them in real-time? Well, it starts by seeing the poker odds repeatedly, in a context that’s suitable for you to learn and eventually retain them. A poker odds calculator is a piece of add-on software that runs on your PC, monitoring your actual online play. A poker odds calculator computes the prospective hands you and your opponents are capable of drawing at any point in time. It then displays all possible hands you and the opponents could draw, teaching you what the odds of making that kind of hand would be.

This makes it easy to see what’s going on, and since a poker odds calculator displays the poker odds right there in front of you while you play, you’ll begin to learn them, making it semi-automatic, so you don’t even think about poker odds any more – you just know them. So, the first step is learning and internalizing these “hand odds”. Then, you can quickly calculate pot odds anytime you’d like.

Calculating pot odds requires you to pay close attention to the game, a key trait of good poker tournament players. Unlike playing online, where the total size of the pot is easy to determine (the online Texas Holdem poker program typically displays the pot amount right there on the screen for you), when you play in traditional offline poker tournaments, you must keep track of the pot size and chip count yourself, so you can estimate the pot odds and your best betting options.

Pot odds become especially interesting as the blinds and antes increase as the tournament progresses. Let’s say there are 10 players at your table, and the poker tournament structure has you at $25 antes with $200/$400 blinds. That’s a total of $850 that’s sitting thre in each and every pot before anyone even places their first bet! So, before you even look at your hand, you know that the minimum bet is $400, so you’ll need a good hand (with roughly 1 in 2 odds or better) in order to simply break even.

At this point, people will be angling to “steal the blinds” by placing a hefty bet, typically at least two times the big blind, or $800, in order to make the pot odds so unattractive that everyone just folds. Therefore, the first player to act often makes off with the booty, since the pot odds become even less attractive and most everyone hasn’t made a good enough hand to call. Of course, this can definitely backfire…

Let’s say the first player to bet raises to $800 in an attempt to steal the blinds, making the total pot now $1,650. Let’s say that a second player then calls with another $800, boosting this pot to $2,450. To get in on the action, you’d only need to call with $800, which means if you win the hand you’re getting a slightly better than 3 to 1 on your money. If it’s the Flop and you are one card short of making a King-high flush, then your hand odds are roughly 1-in-3. This would be “even money” if you joined in on this basis alone; however, you’re holding a King and there’s a King on the board from the Flop, so you now have a better than 1 in 3 chance of winning – a positive expectation! You place your $800 bet, so now the pot sits at $3,250.

You should generally make this bet, since it will yield a good return and you have the high pair (Kings), plus a flush draw, thereby improving your odds even further. Let’s say there was an Ace also showing, making your Kings second best pair. In this case, it time to fold because you have a less than a 1 in 3 chance of winning this hand, and if you continued throwing money at this pot, you’ll end up “pot-committed” and beaten by a pair of Aces (there’s usually at least one player in 10 hanging in there with an Ace hole card).

So, let’s say the last player to act goes “All-in” – after we’ve put our $800 in this pot. Now what? The first reaction should be – what kind of hand *could* this player actually hold? If the player is a relatively tight or solid player, chances are they’ve made a set or an Ace high flush. It’s always possible they’re bluffing, but very unlikely if they’re a good player, since there are already far too many people in this pot and it’s likely they’d get called with a real hand when bluffing.

So, what’s happened to our pot odds? Let’s say they went all-in with $5,000, pushing this pot up to $8,250. If you called with $5,000, you’re now only getting a 8.25 to 5 return, or roughly 1.65 to 1 – especially unattractive under the circumstances with highly negative expectation and so many players in this hand, further reducing your chances of winning. Therefore, everyone will likely just fold; unless they have a very strong hand plus a great draw (some outs).

There’s clearly a lot more to poker betting strategy, including position and acting first vs. last. Generally speaking, though, if you’re going to take a shot at that pot, and you’re in a position to act first, there’s a good chance everyone else will fold; however, you’d better think carefully about the pot odds the opponents will be getting after your bet is in there.

If your bet modifies the pot size such that it improves their pot odds (by limping in with just a small bet), you’re actually encouraging the opponents to hang in there with you, since they still have a good, positive (and improving) expectation level. If you bet enough, such as two to three times the size of the big blind, you’ll be reducing their pot odds enough to swing into a negative expectation, so they’ll be much more likely to fold. It’s really important to think your bet amounts through and understand the pot odds implications of your betting.

When you make such a play at the pot, it’s ideal to have some kind of hand, along with a good draw. If you find yourself short-stacked, then this may be as good as it gets. Bluffing will be covered more thoroughly in a later article, but at this point it’d be great to have at least a small pair, as well as a good straight or flush draw (since you’ll also have the potential to make a set of trips, too). In this situation, you have so many good “outs” that your small pair begins to look a lot stronger, and your hand odds acceptable enough to go on a “semi-bluff” at this pot.

So, these are the basics of Texas Holdem poker tournament betting strategy that you should know and practice (the other good players do). Knowing your basic hand odds and being capable of quickly calculating pot odds are essential to making intelligent betting decisions under fire in poker tournaments, and regular ring game and limit play for that matter. A good poker odds calculator will help you learn the hand odds, and along with practicing calculating your pot odds, you’ll be making better decisions and getting the best of it the next time you play Texas Holdem poker.

In the next article, we’ll explore a popular Texas Holdem poker tournament format – the Sit & Go poker tournament. Until then, have fun. And as always – good luck!

Rick

Rick Braddy is an avid writer, Texas Holdem player and professional software developer and marketer for over 25 years. His websites and Texas Holdem poker software specialize in helping people become better Texas Holdem poker players. If you’re a poker player, be sure to visit his Texas Holdem website today and learn how you can play better Texas Holdem, too.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Rick_Braddy/2011

http://EzineArticles.com/?Texas-Holdem-Tournament-Strategy—Poker-Tournament-Betting-Basics&id=9278

By Rick Braddy

This is the second in the Texas Holdem Strategy Series, focusing on no limit Texas Hold’em poker tournament play and associated strategies. In the first installment, we examined a real-world tournament scenario and how to handle a particular class of difficult players – the “maniacs”, aggressive, wild players that are commonly encountered in today’s poker tournament venues.

In this article, we’ll examine the techniques that were used more closely to best these players, along with stitching a Texas Hold’em tournament poker strategy together with some good poker tournament fundamentals.

Let’s begin with some foundational elements of any winning tournament poker strategy – clearly understanding our priorities. In poker tournaments, each player’s primary objectives are:

1. Survival – first and foremost, surviving to play at the final table, and ideally to be the last surviving player (the winner!) is of paramount importance.

2. Building and Protecting that Chip Arsenal – to survive increasingly large blinds and tougher competition at the latter and final tables, a player must build up and sustain a “chip arsenal” – a substantially large stack of chips – early enough in the competition to be capable of surviving and taking various necessary, calculated risks from time to time.

This must be accomplished without risking the entire tournament and building that chip arsenal in the process. Failure to build an early chip lead is a sure ticket to being eroded away once the blinds and antes increase, chewing away at your stack until you’re cornered or dead.

3. Sustained Focus – concentrating on your game plan, attacking when the right cards and situations present themselves and converting those opportunities into “profits”, while avoiding killer momentary lapses of reason (i.e., making occasional mistakes by not paying close enough attention). Focusing like this over an extended period of time is much more difficult than it seems, requiring a constant vigil, self-awareness and self-discipline.

4. Adaptability – as the tournament progresses, it’s critical to recognize when the game dynamics change and quickly adapt to new conditions such as:

o Number of players at the table

o Style of the players

o Size of your chip stack vs. opponents’

o Odds the pot is giving you, especially as blinds and antes increase

o New players arriving that are initially unknown quantities

o New table you’ve been moved to and avoiding mistakes.

Since Texas Holdem tournament events are specifically designed to progressively eliminate players, your foremost objective must be to survive and protect your stack of chips. Taking unnecessary risks is a formula for disaster and an early trip home…someone can always get lucky against you.

Demonstrating the patience to hold back and attack at the most opportune moments, when the odds favor your success, and with a proper battle plan in mind is critical. While others are visiting and socializing, daydreaming, watching the waitresses, and otherwise taking their eyes off the ball, when you’re at a tournament table, it’s time for your focused attention on the game at hand. This kind of extended attention span becomes increasingly difficult to maintain, so rest up before playing in a tournament – do not play when tired if you can avoid it.

I also recommend against alcohol while playing, as it leads to impaired judgment and fatigue.

Here are some basic guidelines to use when playing in poker tournaments or at any table where there are many players that you don’t know well:

1. Prepare and Refine your Battle Plan – when you enter a tournament, you’re going to be fighting a “battle” for survival – against the blinds, the antes, fatigue, as well as against the other players. Would any good military commander go into battle without having first surveyed the battle field, understood the enemy and its tactics, and without having a well-conceived battle plan which takes these facts into account and ensures success? Of course not! If they did, they probably wouldn’t live to tell about it.

You shouldn’t go into a poker tournament without having completed some pre-planning for the battle ahead either. Think about your plan and several things you’ll do in each typical situation ahead of time. Refine this once you’re at the table as your battlefield unfolds before you.

2. Start out slowly. Be patient. Use the early tournament period, while the blinds are still low, to study everyone at your table, identifying the most likely prey, understanding their habits and play styles. Use this time to mentally prepare and refine your “battle plan” for transferring their chips into your stack. It’s best to formulate several strategies during your pre-tournament planning, and then refine each one as you see how the game is actually shaping up, the types of players at your table and how you’ll approach each situation.

3. Set the Stage – play a few “ugly” hands early, limping in occasionally and feeling your way around the table with the other players while the blinds are still low, playing a few hands you wouldn’t normally even consider. This prevents you from starting out with a table image as a solid or tight player; otherwise, you may not get the action you’ll need when you do get those pocket rockets (AA) and great opportunities later.

4. Know Your Own Table Image – Everyone develops a “table image”. Be aware of your own table image, and be careful to mix your game up along the way so that you can’t easily be “typed”. Once others can predict your behavior and your likely reaction to a given situation, they’ll definitely use it against you. For example, if you play mostly premium hands and fold at the first sign of trouble, other players will quickly type you as “weak” and will steal you blind, taking advantage of that knowledge by representing hands they don’t actually have so you’ll fold. If you project that image, know it, so you can trap them with a good hand – make the most of it, since that will definitely destroy your weak table image…

In the first article, I let several aggressive players push me around a little early on, then limped in and dropped out on a few draws, so they all thought I was a tight, weak player and a good target for their aggressive style of play. Letting them push me around some, while not losing much to them, conditioned these aggressive players to push me even harder when they absolutely shouldn’t have – a huge error on their part that I converted into a chip leadership position.

5. Be Careful, Protect Your Stack – You must protect your stack and survive until you get some good hands you can use, so be careful to expend that chip depot deliberately and judiciously – always with purpose. When a player raises you significantly, you must think: 1) how much of my stack can I afford to invest in this one hand, 2) can I win this hand if I play it fully, and 3) what kind of play will yield me the most chips and give me the best overall odds to win against this particular player.

6. Get a Real Hand and Extract Its Value – don’t go up against maniacs and aggressive raisers without a real hand – and definitely, do not challenge them while you’re chasing a draw! Their strength is their bravado and wild, aggressive betting style – it’s also their biggest weakness. When you do get a real hand that you believe is a winner, you must get the most value for it by extracting as many chips as possible from the other players:

o Hit aggressive players head-on, triggering their aggressive response systems, and be willing to stick it out with them, re-raising them all-in if necessary since you know you’re likely in top position, or

o Trap them with a check-raise play. You can often just let aggressive bettors take the initial lead, betting into you and thereby become pot-committed, leading them to putting many or all of their chips at risk. That’s another reason you’d better have a real hand whenever you challenge the aggressive players – they typically just will not fold or back down, and

o Bet enough to extract a significant chip “profit” from the opponents, without forcing them to fold, if you’re sure you have the winning hand.

7. Pay Attention and Focus Outwardly – watch everyone and everything that’s going on at your table. Don’t daydream, and for Pete’s sake – do not focus on your own hand! As a general rule of thumb, spend 3 times as much energy and time trying to determine what other players are holding (especially when you’re not in a hand), gauging their play and betting styles, and refining your battle plan – than you do thinking about your own hands and play. You won’t be playing that many hands if you’re a good poker player, so use this available time wisely.

8. Play the Pot Odds – most people think too much about their own hand and what they might draw next. That’s because calculating and playing the pot odds isn’t yet second nature to them. If that’s you, then you definitely need to get the poker odds ingrained into your subconscious mind, so they’re second nature and you don’t even need to think about them while you’re playing. Find yourself a good Texas Holdem poker odds calculator, practice with it, and you’ll learn the odds of drawing each type of hand and find that you don’t need to think about them.

9. Bluff for the Pot from Good Positions – as the blinds and antes increase, the size of each hand’s pot becomes substantial. Bluffing for these pots from proper positions (e.g., acting late with a big bet, acting first with a semi-bluff hand and bigger bet) is a good way to hold your own while everyone else struggles against the blinds.

10. Play the Player – the key to winning in poker is to get other players to make the wrong play, which you then profit from. To do this, knowing your opponents, understanding what kinds of hands they play, whether they’ll fold when bluffed, and knowing when it’s time to lay down your hand to simply survive and play another is crucial.

The alternative is to do what many players do – just leave most everything to chance and play the game in a random, unpredictable fashion with whatever hands you’re dealt; a.k.a. “gambling”.

They say “those who fail to plan, plan to fail”, and that “hope is not a strategy” – a couple of my favorite sayings that come to mind…have a plan, and execute it.

You must be prepared to mix up your play enough that players aren’t sure what to expect from you. It’s helpful to “shift gears” from one mode of operation to another from time to time. It’s also recommended to play the opposite from everyone at the table; e.g., if most everyone is playing tight overall, then loosen up your play and take advantage of them by overplaying some hands, going on some draws, and a few semi-bluffs. If the table becomes loose, tighten up and attack with a good hand or trap them.

Remember, aggressive players’ egos usually can’t handle being overtly raised or publicly challenged. They expect to be the preeminent raisers and dominate the game, so they’ll often re-raise or go all-in in order to leverage their aggressive position against you. Be ready! You can just about count on it. When they push you at the wrong time, sock it to ’em! You can use these types of players to build up your chip arsenal and possibly earn yourself a seat at the final table.

There aren’t any absolutes in no-limit Texas Holdem tournament strategy, which is one of the things that make it so entertaining and challenging. These are just a few good tips and techniques that will help you get started and do reasonably well against some good players and some aggressive ones.

Finally, it’s been said “if you can’t spot the sucker at your table, it’s probably you!” I love this saying, because it’s so true. If you do your pre-planning and have confidence in your game plan, along with an ability to observe the opponents and apply the proper techniques against different kinds of players, you’ll go far in Texas Holdem poker tournaments.

So, there’s your first set of Texas Holdem poker tournament strategies. I sure wish someone had condensed things down like this for me when I first started playing. It would’ve saved me years of learning it the hard way. Enjoy.

Good luck!

Rick

Rick Braddy is an avid writer, Texas Holdem player and professional software developer and marketer for over 25 years. His websites and Texas Holdem poker software specialize in helping people become better Texas Holdem poker players. If you’re a poker player, be sure to visit his BetterHoldem.com Texas Holdem poker website today and learn how you can play better Texas Holdem, too.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Rick_Braddy/2011

http://EzineArticles.com/?Texas-Holdem-Tournament-Strategy—Poker-Tournament-Fundamentals&id=8317

By Tamas Sziladi

First I will ask some important questions and throughout the article I will answer them to give you a full understanding of freeroll tournaments. Who can benefit from playing freerolls? How does your strategy differ in a freeroll tournament from a normal cash tournament?

Let’s start with the most important question: Who can benefit from playing freerolls? Freeroll tournaments are no buy-in tournaments where usually hundreds or thousands of players register for a very small price pool. Sometimes you see 2 000 people fighting for $50-$100! (About 5-6 years ago, when many players have started online poker, the freeroll possibilities were a lot better and the poker rooms provided better freeroll options for new players.)

These freerolls can give you a free chance to play poker if you are a new player and want like to get some experience. You can play these freerolls and get a feeling of what the process of the game is. You can learn how the hands are played from the beginning until the end, the importance of position; see how the blind levels change the playing style of people etc. Freerolls give you a great chance to start your poker career without depositing any money, or put another way: it is a risk free way to play poker for money. However until you fight your way to the end of freeroll tournaments, you have to play tens or hundreds of freerolls and maybe you do not have the time for that. I mean you can imagine how hard it is to be in the top 20 of 2000 people to win $5-$10. Not even mentioning that with such a small amount of money if you get a bad beat on a NL$10 table, you lose all your winnings and you can start your freeroll tournaments all over again. (This whole process can take months or even years!) This is why bankroll management is a key factor when you win. You should not throw away your freeroll winnings but consider seriously how you want like to invest it.

Now comes the most important part of the article: How does your strategy differ in a freeroll tournament from a normal cash tournament? You have to play a completely play a different strategy. As it is a free registration tournament, many players do not want to wait for premium hands and they go all-in with all kinds of hands in the first hour. This means you have to play a lot tighter strategy than in real money tournaments as the bluff factor does not work well. You should play premium hands only, and when you get them, do not try to be tricky, play them hard and fast because often someone will call your bets and pay you off with second or third pair.

You also have to think about the advantages of other players going all-in with all the time. In a $150 buy-in tournament it does not make any sense if to go all-in in the first blind level. Someone makes a call with a TsTh or JsJc type of hand and risks the elimination from the tournament. In a freeroll it will happen often that your opponents push with small pairs, unsuited aces with small kicker like Ad7s, or simply with two high cards like KsJh. Even if AQ is not my favorite hand, in a freeroll tournament I would call an all-in with it if I had the right pot odds.

It is also important to mention that freerolls are usually not deep stacked or slow blind level tournaments. If you find one where the level change and the blind structure are slower and deeper, then you can be a bit more patient and not make calls with AQ type of hands.

Even in freerolls there are time when there are not too many loose players even in freerolls and you can take advantage of your skills and start bluffing successfully. When the field is close to the money (or to the bubble), most players start playing their best poker and try to reach the price. During this period the tournament looks more like a small buy-in real money tournament than a freeroll.

This is the right time to build your stack and give yourself a chance to win the tournament. Of course do not be eager and enter every pot. Although in late positions you can try to steal some blinds and antes. Once you reach a high enough stack (after you steal 4-5 times the pot) you can even increase it even easier in the following rounds as the other players realize that you have so much money that it is not good to mess with you and they rather fold their hands. With this strategy sometimes you run into huge hands and eliminate yourself from the tournament but other times you will give yourself a chance to win the tournament with the largest price pool.

This will compensate for all your losses in other situations when you would always reach the money but with so small stack size that you would not have a real chance to give yourself the opportunity for the first place.

I do not know how many freerolls you have to play until you have enough money to play at real money tables but if you follow these guidelines you will get there eventually. I wish you a lot of patience and luck in your journey!

If you would like to see deeper analysis with the concrete numbers and chances, please visit our website and take an active part in the analyzing process.

Tamas

Learn freeroll strategy [http://www.howtolearnpoker.net/2011/05/the-best-poker-freeroll-tournament-strategy/] – learn poker with real money hand analysis so you master poker strategy not only theoretically but in practice!

For even more news let me invite you to my Twitter site at: http://twitter.com/HowToLearnPoker.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Tamas_Sziladi/839644

http://EzineArticles.com/?The-Best-Poker-Freeroll-Tournament-Strategy&id=6222763

By Pankaj Diya Gupta

In freeroll poker tournaments, players can enter without paying any entry fees and yet compete to win some handsome cash prizes or rewards. This article is a step-by-step guide for learning how to play freeroll poker tournaments.

1. First of all, find a freeroll poker tournament to play in.You can search many online poker sites on the internet which are offering the best freeroll poker tournaments. To help you find one more easily, try visiting Online-Poker-Play.com link given in the resource box of this article. It provides an updated list of all upcoming freeroll poker tournaments available at best online poker sites. You may also check other online casino or poker sites or any other gambling site to see if there are any private freeroll games available to play.

2. Check the type of poker games that is being played in the tournament. As there is no entry fee, you may consider this chance to try a new variation of poker, one that you have not mastered. It will cost you nothing if you don’t play well, but you will get some valuable experience of playing under real tournament conditions. You can also experiment a new strategy on your favorite poker games. However, if a freeroll poker tournament is the only time you are able to play for prize money, then adhere to the game that you know best.

3. Check whether the game if online or offline. Now adjust your strategy according and ensure that you are able to attend. Also, check you computer and internet connection to ensure that they are running properly.

4. Now check the amount prize money that will be awarded. A really low amount may not be worth your time, while huge cash prize is very inviting. Also consider if the prize has value besides the monetary award. Winning a free seat into a bigger poker tournament, for example, could be worth a huge cash prize if that tournament has a high buy-in.

5. Check out the number of players participating in the tournament. If there is no cap on entrants, the game could possibly last too long for you to be able to play. It may be possible however, that the entrance is limited. In this case, ensure you register before the tournament entries are closed.

Pankaj Gupta writes for Online Poker Play, an in-depth online poker guide to learn how to play poker online and providing live and upcoming Freeroll Poker Tournaments updates of world’s top 10 online poker rooms.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Pankaj_Diya_Gupta/695029

http://EzineArticles.com/?How-to-Play-Freeroll-Poker-Tournaments?&id=5482685

One of the most exclusive, and highest payouts of all highstakes poker tournaments, the Aria Super High Roller Bowl, is slated to begin May 28th. 55 high stakes poker players will be competing in the event that sports a buy-in of $300,000. Yes that’s three-hundred-thousand dollar buy-in per seat. To be considered, potential players have to put down a $30,000 deposit! This will be one of the year’s most lucrative poker tournaments and features the top names in poker.
The 2016 Super High Roller Bowl saw German poker player Raine Kempe pocket $5 million dollars. Fedor Holz, another German took home second place prize of $3.5 million dollars. The 2017 payouts are bigger. The first seven finishers will be in the money. Top prize is $6 million and second prize is $3.6 million. The seventh place finisher will get $600,000. The total payouts are $16,800,000. The Super High Roller Bowl runs from May 28th till June 1st.
The poker pros who are scheduled to be in this event and brief bio include:
Andrew Lichtenberger
From East Northport, Ny, Andrew Lichtenberger, 29, is an American poker player. Aka LuckyChewy, his total live poker earnings are almost $9 million dollars with his best cash at $1.7 million dollars in the 2014 World Poker Classic. His second best cash was last year in the 2016 $3000 No Limit Holdem Event 52 for $569,158. He is sponsored by Ivey Poker.

Andrew Robl
Aka good2cu is an American poker player from Michigan.Andrew Robl, 30, has gone broke several times before hitting it big. Though he focuses on cash games, he won the 2013 Aussie Millions for $1 million dollars. His total live earnings are over $4 million dollars.

Ankush Mandavia
From Georgia, Ankush Mandavia has total live earnings greater than $4 million dollars. His top cash was nearly $800,000 in the No Limit Holdem Eight Max event at the EPT XII Jan 2016.

Antonio Esfandiari
A former magician, Antonio Esfandiari, has made history in the poker world with the largest cash ever, The One Drop for Water Tournament where he took home over $18 million dollars. His total live earnings exceed $27 million dollars. He has been in several movies and involved with tv shows like “Underground Poker”, a three-part mini series on the Discovery Channel.

Benjamin Sulsky
From Brewster, Mass. Benjamin Sulsky has nearly $2 million in live earnings. His greatest cash was over $1 million at the 2015 One Drop Event 58.
Benjamin Tollerene
From Texas, Benjamin Tollerine is an up and coming player. His most recent cash and one of his largest was over $500,000 in the Poker Stars Panama Event 5 in March 2017. His total earnings are near $3 million dollars.

Bill Klein
Bill Klein is a retired businessman turned poker pro. He’s had several cashes at the Aria including the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl for nearly $350,000. His largest cash was nearly $2.5 million dollars at the 2015 One Drop for Water Tournament.
William Perkins
A renaissance man in the making, William Perkins runs the Skylar Hedge Fund Investment group. He’s produced three major motion pictures and plays poker as a past time. His career earnings are nearly $3 million dollars. He is friends with Dan Bilzerian.

Robert Baldwin
One of the older players in the tournament at 65, Robert Baldwin is a casino executive who is CEO of Mirage Resorts and overseas several Mandalay Resort Group resorts. The Bellagio has a high stakes poker room named after him called “Bobby’s Room”. He has four WSOP bracelets under his belt.

Brian Rast
He was valedictorian at his high school but later dropped out of Stanford to become a poker player. He never looked back. He’s earned three WSOP bracelets and has made several videos on playing poker. A major poker player, his total earnings are over $20 million dollars.

Bryn Kenny
Bryn Kenny is no stranger to the Aria. He regularly plays the Monthly High Stakes Tournament there that has a $25,000 buy-in. His total winnings are over $14 million dollars. He was runner up in the Aria High Roller Series in both #54 and #55 and is second on their leaderboard.

Byron Kaverman
Another poker player familiar with the Aria High Roller Events, Byron Kaverman has nearly $10 million in live cashes. He cashed at the Aria Hotel Feb 4 in their Super High Roller for over $100,000. He also had multiple cashes over a million dollars at the PokerStars Championship Bahamas in January 2017.

Cary Katz
The student loan mogul and pro poker player had an opulent Las Vegas mansion on the market some years ago. He also founded Poker Central. He often plays at The Aria Super High Roller Event and cashed most recently March 4 for $92,000. His total earnings are over $10 million dollars.

Christian Christner
A newcomer in the high stakes poker world, his total earnings are slightly over $600,000. He has most recently cashed in PokerStars Championship Panama. He hails from Germany.

Christoph Vogelsang
One of Germany’s top poker players, Vogelsang has the Big One for One Drop under his belt for a whopping cash of $4.5 million in 2014. His total other cashes round out his total cashes of nearly $7.5 million dollars.

Daniel Colman
He really has looked back since the One Drop for Water tournament in 2014 for nearly $14 million dollars, the second largest cash in poker history. He added several other 7 figure cashes to his total that summer as well. And even this year he’s added nearly $2 million dollars to his cashes for a total cash of nearly $28,000,000. At 26 years old, he’s one of the youngest players. He is also second in for the most cashes of an American player.

Dan Perper
With nearly $2 million in cashes, he’s nothing not to look at. The Illinois is an experienced poker player with many cashes under his belt including nearly $900,000 at the 2015 One Drop for Water Event.

Dan Shak
He is hedge fund manager and semi pro poker player who specializes in high stakes buy-in tournaments. He has nearly $9 million in earnings. His most recent cash was $86,400 at the Aria Super High Roller 13.

Dan Smith
One of the top 10 in the money of all time for Americans, Dan Smith is a force to reckon with. His total earnings are over $15 million dollars. This year is no exception with nearly $800,000 in cashes so far in 2017. It could be a very good year for him.

Daniel Negreanu
The Canadian has made a name for himself as the all time top of the in the money list with over $32 million dollars in poker winnings. Lately his streak has been off at the live tournaments. His most recent cash was over $250,000 at the PokerStars High Roller Event in the Bahamas.

David Einhorn
David Einhorn, a semi pro player, he is the founder of Greenlight Capital. He is a billionaire businessman. His most recent cash was $44,728 in 2014 in the No Limit Holdem Event 66. His total poker earnings are over $5 million dollars.

David Peters
Hailing from Ohio, Peters is a force to reckon with. He’s been a success almost from the start at age 21. He’s racked up over $15 million dollars in earnings. His most recent cashes was over $100,000 at the PokerStars Macau Event 28. For 2017, he’s made almost $450,000 in cashes.

Dominik Nitsche
Originally from Germany, Nitsche, who lives in Scotland, has an impressive list of cashes. In 2016, he cashed over $1 million dollars for the year. His most recent cash was $2000 in the Asian Championship of Poker.

Doug Polk
The California native has made his mark in the poker world. He specializes in heads up play. He ran a $20 deposit at PokerStars into $10,000 but still didn’t find lasting success till he decided to focus solely on poker. His most recent cash was $86,000 in the Aria High Roller 49.

Starting the final table of the WSOP 2016 Main Event by playing aggressively has paid off well for Qui Nguyen. He won the event and the $8 million dollar first place prize. Though it wasn’t always smooth sailing, he pulled out a win which has become expected for those who play aggressively.
He came into the final table winning small to medium and several large pots against Gordon Vayo who was second in chip count and Gordon Josephy who was third. Josephy came out early moving up but his rise was crimped by Vayo who was dealt some strong hands as Josephy doubled up. He was left short stacked. He rallied for a bit till being eliminated by Vayo. Josephy took home $3.5 million for his work. This set the stage for Nguyen and Vayo.
The heads up match was long at 8 hours with many twists and turns. Vayo had gotten the chip lead briefly but that was changed after half an hour. The two battled back and forth till Nguyen took control. He went all-in on the river and Vayo folded with 80,000,000 chips on the table. Later Nguyen took another chunk of chips leaving Vayo weakened.
Nguyen continued to build on his lead eventually winning with a pair of kings against Vayo’s jack – ten spades combination.
Highlights of the tournament are in the video below.

Nguyen’s win highlights the effects of aggression in poker. If you sit at a table, you see it all the time. Players who raise often, even with questionable hands, often come out ahead.
The results were:
Qui Nguyen $8,005,310
Gordon Vayo $4,661,228
Cliff Josephy $3,453,035
Michael Ruane $2,576,003
Vojtech Ruzicka $1,935,288
Kenny Hallaert $1,464,258
Griffin Benger $1,250,190
Jerry Wong $1,100,076
Fernando Pons $1,000,000
For most of the players, this is a high point of the poker career. Nguyen had his largest cash at this event. His previous top finish was $9000 and he earned his first bracelet. It’s rare to have repeat winners who place tops in the Main Event over and over.

On day two of the WSOP Final Table, Qui Nguyen increased his lead to nearly 200,000,000 chips. He played aggressive, winning medium pots and he got one large pot against Ruane, who he eliminated with an ace – jack combination. Nguyen didn’t start off so well though. He doubled up and lost to Ruane with pocket sixes against Ruane’s pocket eights. Nonetheless, he still retained control of the board.
At one point in the tournament, Vayo held the chip lead. He eliminated Ruzicka with a pair of eights against a ace – king combination from Ruzicka who also bluffed.
The remaining three will battle it out for the last of the series. The chip counts of the remaining players are:
Nguyen 197,600,000
Vayo 89,000,000
Josephy 50,000,000