Understanding tells

October 22nd, 2014

Some great players have an uncanny ability to read tells. Since you and I don’t have that gift, we need a system, which is exactly what Mike Caro provides in The Body Language of Poker. Instead of telling war stories, he explains how various tells signal a player’s motives and thoughts. Buy and study it. It will pay for itself in no time.

He identifies the actions that suggest that someone is bluffing, has a big hand, etc. However, some tells are just strong cues you need to use along with additional factors to make your final decision. You must go beyond generalities and treat players as individuals. What does it mean when this player bets forcefully or looks you right in the eye?

This point is particularly true for people who have read Caro’s website, which includes most highly skilled players. Because they know what you are looking for, they may deliberately send you false signals.

Study his website, but go beyond his general principles and record every specific tell you see because they are nearly 100 percent reliable. For example, some players always bluff by throwing their chips forcefully, while others always bluff by betting neatly and gently. If you spot a specific tell and do not record it, you may forget it or fail to look for it. So make a note each time you notice a tell.

Poker authors rarely discuss this subject, probably because the people in their games don’t often telegraph their intentions, but it happens frequently in middle and lower limit games (and occasionally in big games). A telegraph is any signal of what people are going to do. Some telegraphs are subtle, just a tension or relaxation that you may miss without concentrating, but some are extremely obvious, literally unmistakable.

For example, many people hold their cards or put them on the table in a way that indicates they will fold if you bet or raise. These telegraphs are particularly common and noticeable before the flop and on third street in stud because people don’t care about the hand. They indirectly invite you to bluff or steal their blinds or antes, and it would be rude to reject such a generous offer.

Telegraphs can also improve your effective position. You may have three people behind you, but see that two of them are going to fold. Your effective position is now further along, allowing you to bet with a hand you had intended to check, to raise when you had intended to call.

If you have not yet done so, use the party poker bonus code when you register. Note that since Black Friday the major rooms do not provide real money games to American players, but residents from all other countries on the planet are welcome to join this large poker community and enjoy a good game of no-limit holdem or pot-limit omaha.

Online bingo hoists spectacular popularity

March 28th, 2012

Online bingo has taken the world of online gambling by storm with players emerging from all parts of the globe, and very especially from the UK and the US as well. When assessing the population of the UK online bingo sites, they include 5 millions players to a maximum extent and the population still leaps to grow on and on endlessly.

This above figure must just be a fraction from people playing bingo in real bingo halls or community centers obviously, but when the stream of Internet goes on flowing steadily, more and more people will be included in the online bingo sites to cater to their best satisfaction.

If you make a subtle research over so many online bingo sites, you will maximally find a majority of women from the gamut of age category 20-25. In the meanwhile, you will find children of small age engaged to play bingo games in school that help them to learn the complex lessons easily, so it is conclusive that the population of bingo players would soar even higher in time.

Other than what is mentioned above, playing online bingo is not a fashion of the young generation but even the elderly people find it to be a befitting game to be played bingo online by being in the comfort of their home. That’s why it is a better alluring option for them to meet their various friends or other people online. This is definitively a great pastime for the older generation, who needs something fun to do.

In the current situation, the US secures the largest number of online bingo players yet the UK is speedily coming with their own large number of players, while at the same time other Commonwealth countries are in full swing to join the online bingo community. Not only this, but some other Non-speaking countries are swiftly taking the world of online bingo market with Japan and Spain on the top of the list.

Heads-Up SNGs

May 9th, 2015

I’ve been playing a fair amount of HU SNGs lately. It all started when I saw a thread here about someone’s HU challenge where he would start with a $5 HU and go on up. I decided to try it out because I was bored and it looked interesting. I began it, played a $5, won it. I moved to $10, won it.

Now I had $20 won, so I could go to the $20, but the next would be $50, so I would need another $10 win. I played the other $10 first, won, but then lost the $20. That was it for me for that one night, and the challenge so to say. But I’ve continued playing these HU SNGs. Currently, I’ve won 10 and lost 3, for a 77% winning percentage.

Until about 10 minutes ago, I had been shut out in $20 matches, which is the highest limit I have played. I had played two, and lost both of them. I had one $5 win, and had won 6 straight $10 matches, until I split 1-1 today. Then I tried a $20 for the 3rd time and won it in my longest match so far, with 127 hands played. I came back from being down to 450 chips to win the match.

I’ve made $55 (not including the rakes, which would knock the total down about $7). I really enjoy playing these HU matches. Also, I’ve been getting quite bored with both ring tables and MTTs. I hope my enthusiasm for ring tables gets rejuvenated, but right now, I’m not having fun there. I’ve been feeling a little uneasy, and again, bored. Maybe a nice winning session will get me back into them, but I will probably only give ring tables a limited amount of playing time.

I played a $5 MTT today, but couldn’t get anything going. I could never get a good hand to play, so I had to start trying to steal and bluff a little. Those didn’t fare well and I was eliminated.

I also had a short session at $1/$2 limit. When I sat at the table, it seemed like a perfect fit for me. The players per flop percentage was under 20% and with a pot average of $5 (when it’s usually at least $10). My plan was to steal the blinds often, but that plan went askew. The player to my left was one that I had noted previously as being very aggressive in the blinds and a blind defender, so I didn’t want to attempt to steal from him.

Three seats from me (which would put me in a good steal position when he was the big blind) was another player I had previously noted as being a terrible player that rarely folds preflop. So again, another steal opportunity that I couldn’t really take. Then, about halfway through, a player came in to sit to my right that tried to steal every chance he got. So overall, I had little to no chance to steal the blinds, and I never attempted it.

On top of everything else, I couldn’t get a good hand to save my life. The only times I lost money, I was in the blinds. I believe I only voluntarily put money into the pot preflop twice, once when I completed my SB and another when I defended my SB with A8o by reraising the player to my right that had raised.

I knew he had nothing and I was able to take down the pot on a flop that came QJX. Altogether, I lost $0.25. I usually won’t leave a table when I’m down by such a small amount like that where it is easy to overcome, but I just wasn’t feeling comfortable plus I was very bored since I couldn’t get a hand to play.

Not sure if I’ll be playing anymore poker tonight. I’ll probably just get caught up in watching the NCAAs. My brackets did alright in the first round, though not that great. I was 24-8 with only one team that was eliminated in the first round that I had winning in the second round.

So I could have won at most 15 out of 16 second round games, but I’ve done pretty poorly today. I had Illinois over Washington and Tennessee over Wichita St. Both lost, but had very good opportunities to win and basically threw it away at the end of the game. I’ll have to see how the rest of my brackets fair through the rest of the second round.

Life is Good with a Cup of Coffee

April 2nd, 2014

good-coffeeMorning Blues, Everybody has had them, I mean morning blues. You can’t do anything before your first cup of coffee. Sometimes you have to wonder if society runs on caffeine. Not many people can boast of having zero caffeine in their lives. Like it or not, good for us or not, coffee is a serious part of our lives.

In Europe coffee as in espresso is more of after meal drink but people like to enjoy their coffee as they carry on relaxed conversation. In the US however, companies like Starbucks are responsible for introducing coffee as a lifestyle. It is “cool” to hang out in coffee shops and to walk with your favorite cup of Java whether you are young or old.

The coffee consumerism has invaded our malls, offices, homes etc. Bosses want their subs to get them their morning coffee, remember “The Devil Wears Prada”? When dating meeting someone for coffee is considered safe to get to know the person better and does not entail a second date. We saw numerous conversations around coffee in “Friends” and “Seinfeld”.

There have been numerous studies as to how drinking too much coffee is bad for your nerves. Pregnant women are advised to get off caffeine. Nobody knows how true the studies are but I think moderation is the key.

Coffee is a delicious thing given to us by nature so we enjoy it and let the novelty remain as they say too much of a good thing is bad. The variety of coffee flavors available also amazes me.

I love the Starbucks flavors or Macchiato, Americano, Cappuccino and Espresso after lunch. I also like Dunkin Donuts regular coffee and McCafe. However, I do think the best coffees are served at nice brunch places in New York City e.g. Sarabeth’s West, Ze Café, Upstairs etc.

I have nothing against non-coffee drinkers but I do believe they are missing out on one of life’s treasures. A steaming cup of café latte with foam and some sugar has this aroma which fills all your senses and wakes you up. I know we don’t always think of aroma the first thing in the morning since it’s more our efforts to wake up, be energetic and look bright.

But sometimes just hanging out with a cup of coffee in a big mug (believe it’s best enjoyed in a ceramic mug) and spacing out, doing nothing, gives you the feeling that life is good.

Two final tables

January 17th, 2013

Wow is all I can say. Before tonight, my best MTT finish was 16th place. The most money I had made was like $54 in a $5 R. Well, tonight was fantastic. I played four MTTs. I made two final tables.

My first was a $3.30 with 1946 entrants. Well, I won it. Most of it is just a big blur to me. It just seems surreal. This was my first final table and of course, first win. I must admit, I got incredibly lucky many many times, especially at the final table. Really, up until the final table, I had not sucked out the entire tourney, even though I was sucked out on.

At the final table, just everything clicked. Whenever I entered a hand all-in and I had the lead, I kept it and won the hand. When I was all-in and trailing, I hit my lucky card, usually on the river. There were big hands and big plays, but never really any big losses on my part. I almost always made the correct fold in potentially big hands.

Well, I got down to heads-up for roughly $500. My opponent was a good one. Aggressive, but not reckless. I started with the advantage, about 2:1. I quickly lost it with a few consecutive horrible plays on my part. But I worked back, got a huge break when I slow-played AA. My opponent raised preflop, I just called. He bet the flop, and I forget exactly how it went down, but he had caught a king on the flop, but lost to my aces.

I finished it off when I limped with 22 on the button. He checked. Flop came 2AA. He went all-in, I called. He had Q8o or something like that, and I took it down for $1065.44. Man, it felt amazing to win one. Absolutely amazing. Thanks to everyone for their support. It really meant a lot. I think Fink is my lucky charm. Every time he would call for ‘HOLD’ it would happen.

Well, I missed the money in my $5.50 and $2.20 MTTs, but I made my second final table in the $1.10 tournament. There were 1155 entrants in this one. To be honest, I barely payed any attention to this tournament. I was so caught up in my final table, that that took up all of my attention. Well, some how, I did well in it. With about 40 players left, right after I had won the $3, I felt like just giving up because I could not focus at all and I was very tired. Well, I made a few semi-loose plays, but nothing horrible.

I ended up winning some decent pots and got up there in the standings. I stayed as one of the higher stacks the entire time. I felt very comfortable with 2 tables left and at the final table. I was stealing blinds left and right. Everything seemed to be going well. I didn’t win every pot I played, but I did and still do feel comfortable. In the first final table, I was very nervous the entire time. Maybe that was because it was my first ever. Maybe because there was more money at risk. I’m not sure, but I was nervous there, but not here.

I finished in 3rd. With three left, I had the lead off and on. Nearer to the time I got knocked out, I really didn’t play that well. I was making some silly raises and some silly calls. But the main reason I lost was because the guy who won it was ulta-aggressive. Almost every single hand, he would raise preflop. If he didn’t, I usually did, and with pretty good hands for 3-handed mind you, like QJ, KT, Ace Rag.

He would call almost every single one of these raises. Then I pretty much missed every flop. If he was first to act, he would bet too big for me to be able to call. If he was second, he would raise my bet. He just never got off my back. But you know what, it worked for him. He played better than I did. But, I am plently happy with 3rd place. Really, for making a final table, 3rd place would be the spot where I would have no regrets, no matter what the prize, because it’s like making the money in a single table SNG.

I took $82.01 (first was $228.12). I didn’t make anywhere near as much as the first tourney, and I definitely missed out on making $50-$145 more, but I’m very happy on how it all went down.

Well, needless to say, tonight was my best night of poker ever. Hopefully I can keep this up.

Pokerstars tenth anniversary

January 13th, 2012

With humble origins from December 2001, PokerStars began from scratch a decade ago to become the leader of online poker. All the staff would get excited each time the number of connected players would reach a landmark figure. After one year of being in the business, they reached the 100 number mark of players playing at the same time. Another year later, everyone was ecstatic when 10,000 players played simultaneously at their site. The numbers grew continually until reaching one hundred thousand players in 2006 and two hundred thousand players in 2008. By early 2011, the figures show that there were more than 250,000 players that simultaneously played online at stars. It must be noted that these figures show the number of players all over the whole world who are playing poker at the same time.

pokerstars tourneys

Aside from breaking records in the number of players playing simultaneously, PokerStars has also broken many other of their own records. They regularly host record breaking tournaments featuring the largest number of participants in the history of poker. Probably the most famous of all their tournaments is the one with the tiny $1 buyin. On July 19, 2009 this event attracted 65,000 players. They broke their own record on December 27 of that same year when 149,196 participants signed up for the event with only a $1 entry fee.

It was only appropriate that their 10th anniversary last year would also break many records. In celebration of this 10 year milestone, PokerStars had organized 10 special events which run from November 1 to December 17, 2011. For the $1 tournament, they set up a maximum limit of 200,000 players and added $50,000 for a guaranteed $250,000 prize pool.

Registration was quickly filled out and completed over 3 hours before the competition was to get started. A representative from the Guinness Book of World Records confirmed that PokerStars had set a new record with the largest online poker tournament ever. This event was won by a Russian player sokoluk1991 who got $40,258 as part of a 3 way deal.

Probably one of the best winning stories in the series of tournaments was the one of 24 year old Kyle “First-Eagle” Weir from Canada. Before joining the tournament, his biggest monetary win was less than $40,000; he was unemployed and regularly played poker for extra cash. He was just one of the 62,116 players who joined the Sunday Million. Then his life was turned upside down when he was announced the poker winner of the biggest online poker tournament in history (note that large means the field, and big means the prize pool). Weir walked away with $1,146,574 for his feat in achieving just the right balance of skills and bankroll management. PokerStars ended 2011 with a bang and expects 2012 to be grander than ever.

Two sharks of the gambling industry

September 14th, 2011

Currently the richest man in the gambling industry, Sheldon Adelson owns the Las Vegas Sands Corporation which controls the Venetian in Vegas and Macau. He had the classic rags to riches life story. Born in Boston from an emigrant Jewish-Ukrainian family, he spent his childhood selling newspapers on the streets. Even without much of an education, he became one of the best financiers in USA. He was one of the first businessmen who believed in the future of IT with COMDEX as his breakthrough which he sold to the Japanese for $86 million.

He ventured into the gambling industry when he bought the Sands hotel and casino in 1989. He transformed it into an international business center to attract rich entrepreneurs to his casino. He built the Sands Expo business center and the Venetian – one of the most beautiful hotel casinos in the world. It is an exact replica of Venice complete with gondolas and singing gondoliers. A second Venetian in Macau opened in 2004, the first of its kind in Asia. In 2009, another one of his casinos opened in Singapore. According to Forbes magazine, Adelson ranks number 14 in the world’s wealthiest people on the planet with a fortune of more than $16 billon.

Known as one of the fathers of Las Vegas, Kirk Kerkorian is a living legend. Born in California, he was active in boxing and single combat sports until age 22 when he decided to stop and wanted to learn how to fly a plane instead. He became a pilot for the British Royal Air Force during the second World War and upon returning from the war, he bought an airline company to charter planes to and from Los Angeles and Las Vegas. He realized the potential in Vegas and in 1962, bought land on the area which is now famously called The Strip. The gambling boom started and many companies became interested in the gambling industry and he used this to his advantage, leasing out his land to famous casinos line Caesar’s Palace and then selling it, earning more than $10 million.

In 1967, he bought more land and had already put up the International Hotel, the biggest hotel in the world at that time. Kirk was known to hire famous artists like Elvis Presley to attract potential players. He also bought the Flamingo which he sold to Hilton. However, his most crucial move was to buy the film studio MGM and build the MGM Hotel and Casino in Vegas making it the largest hotel in the world at that time. Today, Kirk owns the Tracinda Corporation which holds the controlling stocks of MGM Mirage.

Kirk holds shares outside of the gambling industry as well like a 10% hold on General Motors. As the number 53 richest man in Forbes’ list, he is estimated to be at $8.7 billion.

How To Play A Pair Of Aces Or Kings Pre Flop

April 14th, 2011

Pocket aces and pocket kings are the two monsters of pre-flop starting hands. Pocket aces are the strongest starting hand bar none, and pocket kings are second only to aces, but as the chances of a player holding pocket aces are roughly 0.45% or 1 in 220, if you hold pocket kings, the odds are that you are holding the best hand.

The correct way to play pocket aces or pocket kings is always to raise with them pre-flop. If nobody raised the big blind, you should raise to 3.5 or 4 big blinds.

If somebody has already raised, re-raise to 3 times whatever their raise was. If somebody has already re-raised, then re-raise again to 3 times the amount of their re-raise. If at any point the amount of your raise or re-raise is more than half of your stack, you should go all in instead.

The overriding point is simple, try to get as much money in the pot as possible, while scaring off the weak hands, but not so much with any single raise that you scare off the strong hands. This is the reason that you will only ever raise 3 times whatever the last bet or raise was. You want to make it seem worthwhile for anybody holding a decent hand to call you.

It may seem irrational for you to want to scare away the weak hands. It’s because of this misunderstanding that some players only limp in (don’t raise) with pocket aces and pocket kings. They think that by allowing as many people into the pot as possible, somebody will hit the top pair and think that they are winning, allowing the hidden aces or kings to win more money from them.

The problem with this style, known as slow playing, is that without raising pre-flop, you’ll never know what you’re up against. That is the real reason for raising pre-flop and scaring away the weak hands. To define a range of what your opponents are holding.

If you raise per-flop, get one or two callers, and the flop comes 2,2,7, you can be reasonably sure that your opponents don’t have a 2, as they wouldn’t have called a raise with one. On the other hand, if you and six others had limped in, could you be sure that nobody had a 2?

The same applies to flops such as 3,6,8. If you’d raised pre-flop, you could be reasonably sure that you were winning post-flop, where as if you had failed to raise, and had allowed a few others to limp in, could you be sure that one of the limpers with a weak hand hadn’t made two pairs?

The point is, if you fail to raise pre-flop, then raise with your big pocket pair post flop, if the limpers haven’t made anything good and all fold, you’ll win very little, but if one of them has made something and re-raises you, you could be in a lot of trouble and are left with a very difficult decision. There’s no reason to put yourself in that situation. By raising pre-flop, not only are there far fewer flops that will scare you, but if when you raise post-flop your opponents fold, the pot you win will be substantially bigger.

Live Online Casinos

January 25th, 2011

The gambling industry has not stopped to reinvent itself for the past few centuries and there is no end in sight to the constant innovative creativity that the gaming niche produces every year. The latest in this vein are the live online casinos. It is neither a regular online casino nor a live casino, it is a mix of both.

In a nutshell what online casinos are now offering to the demanding modern gambler are games played like in a brick and mortar casino except that you play from home. But instead of playing purely electronic games from your online casino, you will play with a real human dealer that you see on your screen via a camera. So it is exactly like playing at a live casino, but you do that from the comfort of your living room.

And like for most online casinos, you can play at these live online casinos either with a program that you download on your computer, or with nodownload casinos online systems. This novelty is really the result of crossing all the latest technologies in modern computing.

So why would you play at a live online casino?

It is just a matter of taste and there is something for every taste in gambling. Let’s say you do not have the time or interest in traveling to Las Vegas, Atlantic City or another remote casino. But you love these games. So you have been playing at these online casinos, but you prefer the human touch of interacting with a human dealer (usually a beautiful young woman) and the exciting atmosphere of the brick and mortar casino.

Now you can get the best of both worlds with live online casinos where you play with a dealer, but remotely. This is all the craze in Internet gaming nowadays, try it out if you like to test this new format. The popular games are Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette or even Poker.

For instance All Slots Live Casino launched last year. They have four live dealers reserved for you and you get a cool 100% bonus up to $200 for signing up. The software runs on Microgaming, a solid and reputable service provider for online casinos. In this application the game is real time, so you really get exactly the same speed as what you get at a brick and mortar casino. What the software mostly does is transmit the video feed through the Internet. You still need to click your mouse to play instead of handling chips or cards of course.

And these games are as safe as the real ones, even safer as no one can rob you of your winnings in the back alley.

SunGames announces Poker King

November 4th, 2010

One of Asia’s biggest gaming providers, SunGame, is using the Cake Network to bring you a brand new poker product: Poker King.

SunGame is known for offering a variety of games such as slots, keno, and finance bets. SunGame then produced a film titled “Poker King” to raise awareness in Southeast Asia. The film was created to show people how exciting poker can be, revealing how much skill was involved in the game.

Up until that point, poker was seen more as a game of luck. This movie successfully raised interest in poker, which is why Poker King was created.

The Cake Network had added SunGame to the list of its poker friends, which was relatively easy because the Cake Network takes Asian currencies. In conjunction with the release of Poker King, the Cake Network is introducing its new multi-currency display feature.

This property allows players the ability to see their transactions, no matter what currency it is in. That means it is easier to transfer funds as well as earn prizes and see exactly what you are getting. In addition, the Cake Network is now able to implement any currency they want as well as offering a fresh currency spot rate.

Cake Network is also in charge of such famous sites as Victory Poker, Jetbull.com, Intertops.com, Doyles Room, Betexpress.com, and JuicyStakes.com. It is a network that is dedicated to expanding and delivering the best in online poker. Still in its infancy, the network has been growing steadily in the past few years by adding quality gaming operators to is roster.