"If you are still at the same skill level 6-months from now then your poker game has actually got worse."
- Calvin Anderson, Poker Pro
There's Always Room for Improvement, Right?
If you wish to remain profitable at the poker table it's essential to continually improve your game. With so much money up for grabs in today's game, both online and live, players around the world are working hard each and every day to improve their game. Are you? High Roller Radio has some tips on staying sharp when the cards fly.
Use Online Poker to Your Advantage
Poker's landscape is forever changing, as evidenced each year at the World Series of Poker, as players get introduced to new games. If you've been playing Texas Hold'em for a decade now and you're looking for something new, but you're worried about losing your bankroll due to inexperience, online poker offers a variety of games, like Omaha, Omaha Hi/Low or 7-Card Stud, that can be played at low limits, or even for free. This is a great way to practice. You'll be able to get into a lot of hands without much risk and learn the intricacies of the game in the process. Also, if you are a Texas Hold'em Junkie and you're live game has been suffering, online poker presents an avenue to work out some of the kinks by playing multiple tables at once. Again, low limit or free play is a great way to gain experience at online gambling with william hill.
This can be a great asset in the never-ending quest to play perfect poker and rake in large pots. For tournaments, online Sit 'n' Go's can be a dynamite way to gain some final table experience. For as little as one dollar, you can play a one table showdown and get great value!
Did you know? Professional poker player James 'Crazy Canuck' Worth will sometimes play a $5 online tournament and, in the first few hands, purposely lose 80 per cent of his stack just so he can practice his short stack play.
Review Hand Histories
Online poker is great for this. Reviewing hand histories can be a laborious but you will reap the benefits and notice huge improvement to your game by just doing this one task. Often, when you look back at some of your past decisions you will spot mistakes and you can work to correct them for the next time you face that situation. Hand histories are a vital tool in staying sharp and improving your game.
Did you know? Well-known poker pro Andrew Robl, an online killer who's played on the television show High Stakes Poker, goes over his hand histories while eating breakfast. Everyday.
Keep on tracking your results, even if you're a profitable poker player. There is so much software available these days and it's easy. How can you really know if you're a profitable player if you're not tracking your results? It's key to track everything. Like reviewing hand histories, you'll be surprised how much you pick up from this information.
Pick the Right Game for Your Skill Level
You see it all the time at the casino; someone wins big one night and the next they're playing in a game way above their head. They win $200 in a $1/$2 game only to lose it all back later, and then some, in a $5/$10 game. Always remember: as the stakes rise so does the average skill level. You're aim in game selection is to find a game that contains as many weak players as possible. You want to be one of the best at the table, not the fish who sits down with the sharks. If you are a consistent winner you will sense when it's the correct time to jump to higher limits.
Learn to Fold
The number one mistake beginning or weak poker players make is they play way too many hands. These types of players want to play poker and often times stay in the hand until the river. Remember: playing more hands doesn't mean winning more. It's a good idea to tighten up your pre-flop game by upgrading your starting hand requirements. It's okay to fold 10, 3 offsuit!
Never Become Complacent
Self-satisfaction is a dangerous thing in the game of poker. Once you think you've got everything figured out, the game passes you by. Poker is alway changing, and so should your poker strategies. It never hurts to be on the lookout for various poker forums, where certain hands can be discussed at length, or strategy articles that can be found easily online. You hear players talking about how unlucky they got to lose all their chips, how bad the other player was, but often times the hand could have been played differently and chips could have been saved. Do not be afraid to self-critique your play, or ask other poker playing friends for their opinions.
Read Poker Books
This sounds obvious but many players just don't read poker books. The good thing about reading a poker book is that you'll always be introduced to new theories. Also, you're opponents are probably reading the same books so you've got to stay ahead of the game. If you find one piece of useful information in a poker book, just one, it'll pay for itself again and again over the long run.
Here are a few suggestions:
* Super System I and II, by Doyle Brunson
* Harrington on Hold'em I, II and III, by Dan Harrington
* Theory of Poker, David Sklansky
* No-Limit Hold'em for an Advanced Player, David Sklansky
* Play Poker Like the Pros, Phil Hellmuth
Hope this helps! Once you recognize the mistakes you're making at the table you can start to work hard tackling them. This is the only way to improve your game, hard work, but there are tools out there to help you make the adjustments. Start by analyzing the list above and you'll be well on your way to improving your game and becoming a better player.
Good luck at the tables!
The Blackjack Man
Ken Uston is a Blackjack Legend! He's written a number of books on blackjack and video games, one of which, Mastering PacMan, hit the New York Times best-sellers list. He's been featured on 60 Minutes and the History Channel, which aired a documentary called The Blackjack Man.
Ken Uston Books
* Million Dollar Blackjack
* The Big Player
* Ken Uston on Blackjack
* Mastering PacMan
Did you know?
In a 1983 Blackjack Forum interview, Uston said he became enthralled by blackjack after meeting professional gambler Al Francesco in a poker game. Francesco had just launched his first 'big player' style of card counting and recruited Uston to be one of his main team members.
In the 19th century, the foremost faro player on the Mississippi was Italian immigrant Charles Cora. After winning $85,000 and breaking several faro banks in New Orleans, Vicksburg and Natchez during one six-month period, he was banned from many resorts. J.J. Bryant, perhaps the best-known professional gambler on the lower Mississippi, lost thousands to Cora.
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