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‘Poker Resources’ Archive

Should you play Poker Tournaments or Cash Games

Poker TournamentsOne of the age-old questions in poker will always be, ‘should I play cash-games or tournaments?’ While there is no easy answer for this question, one answer, the notion that they don’t differ all that much and you can therefore learn both, is potentially harmful. While it’s true that an experienced poker player can jump back and forth between tournaments and cash games, new or struggling players are far better off focusing on just one of these games.

In this article I will take a look at how these two formats differ, and which strategies and player types compliment both tournaments and cash games –which will help you decide which of these two formats is better suited to your individual style of play, or just has more appeal for you than the other..

Poker Tournaments

Playing tournament poker requires a strong, diverse, knowledge base. A tournament player must be proficient playing under a number of different circumstances to excel, since conditions are constantly changing in tournaments. Solid tournament players are adept at each phase of the game, and rely on their lesser skilled brethren to be deficient during certain periods of the tournament; whether it’s the beginning stages, bubble play, or when the tournament becomes short-handed. –In this way tournament players are very similar to mixed-game specialists who simply cannot have a glaring hole in their game.

Additionally, tournaments require a larger bankroll, and some serious mental toughness, since players can have extremely long cold-spells in between big scores. BUT, when a player does make a big tournament score, it’s a big number –tournaments are the “Hare” in the Tortoise and the Hare race.

Poker Cash-games

Unlike tournament players who need to be well-rounded, cash-game players are able to excel at a particular game or format, so instead of being able to seamlessly transition between very different stages of a tournament, and hoping that  their opponents are not as malleable, cash-game players seek out lesser skilled opponents and use their long-term edge to make their money.

Since a cash-game player can re-buy at any point, and is never “eliminated” from the game, the situation that a cash-game player faces on hand number 1 of his session, is just as important as hand number 1,000 (provided the stacks at the table haven’t changed drastically).

Both groups (titan poker tournament players and cash-game players) feel that their chosen path is the more skillful than the other groups, and the point will likely be argued for decades to come. What can be agreed upon is that tournaments and cash-games both require a tremendous amount of skill in order for a player to be successful, but both also require a different skill set than the other –although some core principles will obviously be the same.

Club Titan Poker Explained

So, your a Titan Poker player and your interested in learning everything there is to know about Club Titan Poker. This might not be possible over the course of this short introductory article, but we can certainly give you enough information to get you started.

The Basic Point

The basic point of Club Titan Poker is for you to collect points that can then be used towards earning cash bonuses. However, this is modified by the fact that a) you can gain new VIP levels that give you more points and b) you can keep your points and trade them in at higher amounts in order to get a better ratio of points per dollar on the money that you get back.

VIP Levels

There are six different VIP levels available in Club Titan Poker. Everyone that plays their online poker at Titan Poker starts as a VIP Bronze member at the start of every month. Once they have collected 1000 points in a single calendar month, they graduate to VIP Silver. Collecting 5000 points in a single calendar month is good enough for VIP Gold. VIP Platinum is unlocked at 10,000 points in a single calendar month while single calendar month point totals of 17,000 and 35,000 unlock the final two levels of VIP Titanium and VIP Diamond respectively.

The Importance of Levels

The main importance of these VIP levels is that they modify the points that you get. VIP Bronze has no modifier, but at VIP Silver you get a 20% boost to your monthly point totals. This boost is worth 40%, 60%, 100% and 120% respectively for the other four VIP levels. This means that as a VIP Titanium member you essentially earn double points. It also means that you earn more than double as a VIP Diamond member.

Trading in Points

The reason that these point boosts are so important is that point totals that are higher have better conversion rates to money. This was mentioned in an earlier paragraph. At the lowest point level, 2000 points is worth $10 for a conversion rate of 200 points to one dollar. However, at the highest rate, 7 million points is worth $120,000 at a rate of 58 points to one dollar. In between, there are many other point amounts that you can trade in for ratios between 200 and 58 depending on how many points youíd like to trade at once.

Poker language

If you’re new in this card game, you may be confused by some of the terminology used in poker game. It is normal for a beginner, it can be learned easily. Poker language is not that difficult to understand. So here are some pokers terms that often use by poker players.

General Poker terms or language

  • Pot – it is the amount of the money that can be won in a given poker hand.
  • Dealer button – it is a plastic disk use as a marker that indicates which player is the dealer for the current hand.
  • Poker blinds – blinds are forced bets from one or more players, depending on what game you’re playing. There are two kinds of blinds small blinds and big blinds.
  • Antes – these are similar to blinds except that everyone at the table must pay them. It is a forced bet for everyone, but the amount is much smaller than the blinds.
  • Flop – the first three community cards, put out face up all together.
  • All-in – to run out of chips while betting or calling.
  • Slow play – to play a strong hand weakly so more players will stay in the pot.
  • Kicker – when two players have identical poker hands or two pairs and both pairs are the same.
  • Betting actions – this includes folding or pass, betting, calling or agree, raising or agree without raising the bet and checking.
  • Under the gun – this is the position to the left of the big blind which acts first before board cards are dealt.
  • Underdog – referred to a hand not mathematically favored to win a pot.

You may not have all the poker language for the first game but with the help of these terms you should have an easier time entering the world of poker.

5 Tips for the New Poker Player Part 2

by Liv Boeree

1. As a beginner, the most important thing is to start very small. Too many new players either start playing too high stakes or move up levels too quickly and as such find themselves losing their online money and constantly having to re-load. If you deposit $50, then play either free money or the microstakes ($0.01/$0.02) until you become comfortable with the rules, the Poker software and discover how to profit from the game.

2. Be patient! We all hear stories of players who deposited once and moved up to $1000/$2000 NLH in the space of three months. Most of those stories aren’t true or require exceptional circumstances. Give yourself plenty of time to become comfortable with the game, and only play with the spare time you have when you are relaxed and feeling good. Winning poker comes through practice and patience, but cannot be rushed so don’t force yourself to play too much.

3. Tighten up your starting hand selection. Many new players (myself included!) find themselves tempted to play too many hands pre-flop. Chances are, if you are playing the micro-stakes as you should be, the standard of your opponents will be very low and they will be playing too loose. The best way for you to combat this is to tighten up and only play the top 10-15% of starting hands. This way you are giving yourself the biggest advantage at the start of a situation where you are getting money into the pot.

4. Be observant. When learning the game you should devote all of your attention to the table you’re playing at. Look for who is playing loose, who is playing tight, who likes to bluff, who tends to fold too easily and so on. You’ll be surprised how much information you can get from your opponents in a relatively short amount of time online. If it helps, keep a note of each thing a player does at a table. Absolute Poker allows you to do this by right-clicking on the player and selecting “note”.

5. Study the game! If you are serious about becoming a winning poker player, you need to read as much as possible about game strategies. These will accelerate your learning process massively as they will suggest new ideas about the game that may not have occurred to you otherwise. In particular look for articles on understanding pot odds, starting hand selections and bankroll management. Many poker magazines offer these along with the better known poker books so they could be a good investment to a beginner.

5 Tips for the New Poker Player

By Poker Pro Matt Vengrin
1.    Play good starting hands. Only play hands like AA, KK, QQ, JJ, TT, 99, AK, Aqs until you get comfortable playing the rest. They are easier to play and don’t get you into as much trouble as the KJ, KQ etc.

2.    Play within your bankroll. Do not take shots, play in games you are comfortable playing in. I remember when I started I played 5-10 NL one time with only 2k in my account. I was super scared, won a pot and left but I easily could have lost. I definitely was not comfortable in that game. Even today I play 1-2 and 2-4 NL and PLO sometimes because I feel super comfortable in them.

Cash Games
I would suggest leaving yourself some outs as they say. If you lose a session you cannot go broke ideally. So with 50 dollars id probably leave myself with at least 20 buy ins to the game, so you could buy in for $2.50, but lets just say $2. So you could play 1-2 cent cash games. These have a buy in of 2 dollars, and you can move up if you win.
Tournaments 
I normally suggest having 100 buyins for tournaments if you are playing professionally. If you are playing for fun, you could probably play 2-5 dollar tournaments. I remember when I started I had 55 bucks or so, played a 3 dollar buyin with 1700 ppl and won it for like 700 dollars, was a huge boost.

3.    Do not tilt. I cannot stress this enough, I believe mental stability is paramount while playing poker, especially no limit holdem. The ones with the clearest minds will definitely prevail over the long run. That’s what I accredit most of my success to.

4.    Learn all the games. I did this when I started out, if there were no good no limit games but a really good mixed game I would play the mixed game because I knew how. It gives you a chance to take a soft spot and exploit it, something most NL players are not capable of. I like HORSE and I think that’s a good place for people to start.

5.    How to spot a fish. Generally, while playing cash or tournaments people who limp generally are not too good. When I see a limper in my games, ill usually try to isolate him and play pots against him. For example, I was playing a 2500 satalite to the WPT championship a few days ago and there was one guy who had shown down 92s after he limped and hit a hand. He limped and I isolated 3 times in a row, the third time getting his stack.

Signs of a Good Poker Player

Whether you’re a beginner poker player or not, spotting a good poker player in a game or when choosing a table gives you an advantage over him.  It is better to play it safe and be prepared.  Below are the common signs of what a good poker player does and has.

  • Playing tight. An experienced poker player is educated about the starting hands of poker. This is actually a problem for most players, especially those who fail to use the image they have created during a tight play. Players without this knowledge struggle most during shorthand plays. Most of the time, what used to be a key to winning 10 handed hold em deem to have no chance at all in winning shorthanded just because of the lack of this trait. This is something to really ponder about.

  • Playing selectively aggressive. No one becomes successful without being selectively aggressive at some point in the game. This is even more effective shorthanded. When a good player is in the pot, that’s the time he bets aggressively. That only means that he plays it tight to get into the pot, and then becomes aggressive once he is in it.

  • Variety on his speed of play. Just like in a game of chess, there are decisions that take longer than the other. This means you would have to think things first before making a move. This goes best in heavy games where everyone in the table is actually thinking about every move they do. A good player is able to adjust his play depending on who his opponents are, and the game selection he chose.

  • Plays the same hands differently. This works perfectly with the above point. A good player not only changes his speed of play, he at the same time varies his manner of playing it. This means that this player doesn’t just open raise an ace from any position unless maybe if the blinds or the table are tight. Just remember though that the most common mistake for most shorthanded players is raising any ace from any position. The point here is to know when not to and when you should do so.

  • Folding his blinds. It might sound a little odd but almost 30% of the players defend their blinds whole heartedly. This is an aspect in Poker that one should realize. The aim of the game, if you still remember is to gain more chips. This means that you should learn to use the chips to your maximum advantage. Wasting chips would get you nowhere.

These tips may be as simple as it may seem, but knowing how to spot it from a good player gives you an upper hand because you will be able to prepare yourself and be able to make the appropriate moves against him.  When you’ve spotted who the good player is, or Signs of a Good Poker Player, or if you’re in a game with one, you will be able to adjust your play accordingly.

Tips for Poker Beginners

Tips for Poker Beginners

Before you even begin playing poker, there are some tips you should consider to avoid losing so much from the game.  Make sure that you follow and study the guidelines below, and equip yourself for your game ahead.

Remember:

Not to play a game where you will lose more money than you can afford.

Everyone knows that poker involves an element of luck no matter how good you are in it.  See, even the best poker players around experience an unlucky streak once in awhile in several games.  It’s not unusual at all hearing stories of great players going on a cold streak.  But the idea here isn’t about the losses, it’s all about how they handle these losses and still maintain a profit at the end of the year.  What’s their secret?   It’s actually very simple.  These players make sure that they have enough money to weather these unlucky streaks.  In other words, you really shouldn’t push your luck putting all your money in just one game.  Make sure that you’ll have enough savings that would keep you going the rest of the game, or the year.  Keep in mind that the more you know that you have money properly bankrolled and all that, the more comfortable and confident you will be along any game.  Maintain a regular limit because scared money is already considered as lost money.  Even the experts agree that a player needs to at least have enough money in your bankroll to account for 300 big blinds in the game you are playing, and at least 20 full buy ins for big bet games like no limit and pot limit.

Know your spots.

This is all about your game selection strategy.  The tip here is to make sure that you’re playing in a game where you know that there isn’t too much competition or that the players won’t play as well as you do.  Having an idea about whom you’re playing with truly is a plus.  So before proceeding to sit on a table, try to analyze and observe a few games first just to become familiar with the players.  For example, imagine if the poker’s top ten players decided to play with each other every day, wouldn’t that put the tenth place player on the losing end all the time?  Thus the need to change tables and knowing the best one that would suit you will help a lot on whether you’ll win or not.

Never involve yourself in a game if your head is not in its place.

Just like any other sports or game around, it is never beneficial if you join in on it in a terrible mood or state.  So if you’ve just had a fight with your wife, had a very stressful day, been drinking or has done drugs, it’s best that you stay out of any poker game for the time being.  Remember that poker is a game that needs concentration or focus.  When you’re distracted, it’s guaranteed that you won’t be able to play your best.  You’ll probably make stupid calls and lose buy in after buy in, and will be throwing money recklessly.  So chances are, you’ll lose, end up agitated and might even pick a fight with your co-players.  Be careful not to make a scene and simply stay at home or just watch the game when you’re not in the right state to play in it to avoid all the trouble and the consequences that goes with a bad mood.

And lastly,

Don’t over bluff.

Although bluffing seems to be highlighted on televised poker games, it’s really not that much an advantage on the real thing, especially if you over do it.  Learn to reserve those bluffs for worthy causes.  The reason for this is plain and simple: if you bluff too much, you’ll eventually be figured out by your opponents ruining your strategy.

Try to remember these simple tips and make sure that you are emotionally, physically, and of course financially prepared for the game to be assured of not only a probable win, but a fun and exciting time in it too.

Knowing More About Titan Poker at ECPokerTour Malta

One of the most anticipated events of the year is the ECPokerTour or European Poker Tour that happens in Malta every year.

This tournament is quiet known in the poker world and due to its expanding tournaments and prizes at stakes it is guaranteed to be one with big leagues when the time is right. Continue reading Knowing More About Titan Poker at ECPokerTour Malta »

You didn’t Win Money You Earned Money

If you are a poker player that plays to win and plays for money then you have probably ran into those guys who play poker for fun every once in a while. You can always tell that these guys are not every day poker players because they truly believe that the game is luck. They don’t know the difference between poker and blackjack. To some people, those two games are the same and it is all just luck. For these players, poker is just luck because that is how they play the game.

For the more serious poker players out there it is a completely different game. For those people you do not win money; you earn money. There is a substantial amount of money to be earned in poker, and only a small amount to be won. The luck players may win money, but the good ones earn it. The players that are skilled and work hard earn their money. For the ones that look at the game as luck, the money they win comes and it goes; it is certain that most if not all of it goes to the players that earn it.

Even good poker players get lucky sometimes. There is no doubt that there is a good amount of luck in poker. The difference is that the good poker players earn their luck and the money that comes along with it. When they do get lucky they put themselves in the position to make a lot of money. It is not enough to only get lucky; you must be able to do something with the luck you are given. Continue reading You didn’t Win Money You Earned Money »

The Ins and Outs of Club Titan Poker

Intro

When you happen to be a member of the prestigious online poker club named Titan Poker then you might be wondering what’s behind the organization. You can pick up a bit about the Club by reading this article. This is short but descriptive on the benefits you can get from signing in to the Club and will help you get started if you’re just a beginner. Continue reading The Ins and Outs of Club Titan Poker »

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