Category: Blog

Playing Poker – What Motivates the Top Poker Players

Why do we play poker? But especially why do you play poker? This might strike you as an odd question but it is very important for your future success in the world of poker. The reason why you play poker is at least as important as the way you play poker.

We can categorize somehow the reasons why we play poker, we can properly analyze them and after that, we can use them to improve our actual gaming style.

If we could ask several hundreds of players “Why do you play poker?” the odds are quite big that their answer would be “For the money”. But if we could access their last year’s statistics we would see that some just didn’t win any money at all, or at least that they didn’t win more than they lost. If money is the only reason these people play poker they why do they keep on doing it? Of course, there are many more answers that they don’t really want to admit. This happens because many other motivations push us to play poker just as great as the desire to win many, but many of them are even greater.

And when you come to think about it, you can surely find many many reasons: fun, the love of the game, competition, making friends, the desire to beat the best there is in the world of poker, and the list can go on and on. But if you understand the various reasons behind your game you will eventually manage to change your view about winning and losing or you will be able to choose the perfect fit games for you, the ones that will bring you the most success. In his book, “Psychology of Poker”, Alan N. Schoonmaker explains in detail the importance of understanding personal impulses in order to find the answer to the question “Why do we play poker?”

If you can think of additional reasons, write those down also. Now you will have to think hard and find within yourselves the real reasons you play poker for.

Once you did that, write after each reason a percentage, even if it is 0%, just keep in mind that all of them added must equal 100%.

If someone would play poker 20% for Money, 10% for relaxation, 50% for pleasure, and the remaining 20% for competition, then he would be what is called a loose player most of the time, playing many hands and staying in the game as much as he can just for the thrill of being there. This is the most important thing for him and it influences his style of playing.

If you manage to carefully and correctly analyze your own situation you can eventually change some parts of your game you don’t like or improve the ones that you consider are good.

In many types of competitions, the battle is firstly within yourself and only after that with your opponents. Bad mistakes in poker are made when you are too proud when you question your ability and doubt yourself all the time when you are too scared or shy when you must take an action or when your thoughts are just somewhere else.

If you play poker just with friends to pass the time, then you must choose games with low bids, so your bankroll will last longer. If you are playing to relax then stay out of the games with poker fanatics and choose some games with less involved players.

The answers can be various and they only depend on you. But answering the question is a must if you wish to improve your game.

Texas Holdem Tips – Three Tips From an Old Pro

There are three things every poker player should know if they wish to be successful over the long haul. I have given these tips to a friend who was about to play in her first tournament and wished to get a quick lesson before it started. She played a quick satellite first and she won that. Then she played in the tournament and ended up in third place. This was the first time she played away from her kitchen table and only the fourth time she played at all.

This is what I told her:

• Play good cards
• Play in a great position
• Be aggressive

Play good cards! It seems very simple. People wish to show off to the table and let everyone know how good they are by picking up a pot with some garbage hand. These hands don’t come up winners very often and even when they do they don’t make up for all the times you miss the flop at a hefty price. Play all the “no brainers”, the AA, the KK, QQ, and AK. If you feel safe, play the AQ, JJ, 10-10. Only play the KQ and KJ if you are the raiser with no player in front of you. Calling a raise with these hands is a sure-fire way to get broke.

Play in a great position means playing with good cards in the last three positions, the button, the cut-off seat (one seat in front of the button), and two seats in front of the button. These are the meat and potato positions. They will get you the money. Don’t defend your small blind unless you have great cards because being first to act is a horrible place to be with less than optimal holdings. Opening (first to enter the pot after the blinds) with suited connectors, say 7-6 of hearts, is a bad spot because these hands play well for value and you don’t have value if you don’t know who is going to play behind you and for how much. The last one is a bit tricky.

Online play is different than how we played over the last 25 years so be careful if this is where you learned to play. I have seen the hyper-aggressive win tournaments, but not until the final table did this strategy work. I have seen people use it when the tourney first starts in an effort to pick up a lot of chips quickly. A tournament is a marathon, not a race. Use good judgment and learn when to push. A passive player (seldom raises with less than AA, KK, or QQ) should go broke either early or in the middle of the event, either way; it is not the way to play to win.

Raise preflop if you intend to play, no matter what. If you win the blinds you can play another round for free, if you get played with, you have both position and card strength on your side. Either way, you will have great success.

Finding That Perfect Poker Chip

Where do you find the perfect poker chip that you can afford? Finding any poker accessory can be a challenge, especially if, like me, you need them at a reasonable price. It may seem like a poker chip is one of those things you can just find anywhere, but believe me, that is not necessarily the case when it comes to finding a set at a good price. I have found, though, that there are three places you should look before you make that final purchase. For that perfect and affordable poker chip set, check online, in a department store, and a second-hand store.

The first place to look for poker chips would be on the internet. Many department stores and gaming retailers have websites that offer poker chips for sale. These sites often have special online-only deals that can assist you in finding the price you are looking for. Be sure to go to a search engine and seek out poker chips as well.

The second place to look for a poker chip set is at a good price would be at a department store, physically. Often at department stores, there are discount or clearance racks with items, including poker chips, that may offer even better prices than you found online. The other advantage to a store’s physical location is that you will be able to pick up, touch, and feel the poker chip to know if you like the way the fabric or stitching is in it. Either way, a department store location or retailer is a stop you really should make in your search for a poker chip at a good price.

The third place to scope out for a poker chip may not be for everyone. Some people are uncomfortable with second-hand stores, but they can be fantastic for getting a good price on almost anything that you want, not just clothing. You have to keep an eye out and find a piece that is in good condition and of a good brand, but you would be surprised what you will see at a good second-hand store. A similar place to look that is not quite second-hand is an overstock store. Many stores now take merchandise from larger retailers that have been overstocked. They get a discounted price and pass that along to you. You may find a great poker chip at an overstock store that is brand and just what you want only at half the price.

Finding a perfect poker chip at just the right price can be a difficult proposition. You don’t want to buy just any brand to save a buck, but you also aren’t made of money (and you need what you have for those Friday night games). Take the time to search all three of these places to find what you need. Check the internet first, the department store, then either a second-hand or overstock store to see if you can catch a deal at just the right moment. Take your time, do your research and you will be surprised at how great a deal you just might find on the poker chip set you want.