Thursday, October 30, 2008

Poker News: Women's Poker Spotlight: Clonie Gowen Wins World Poker Open Main Event

Nine players returned to the Gold Strike Casino on Tuesday to take their seats at the final table of the World Poker Open's $5,000 buy-in. The chip leader of those final nine was professional poker player Clonie Gowen.

Clonie Gowen was introduced to poker as a teenager by a boyfriend's father. She spent weekends driving between Dallas and Shreveport, Louisiana to be able to play on a more serious level. Her competitive nature spurred her further and earned her a tenth-place showing in her first major tournament, The 2002 World Poker Tour Costa Rica Classic. She followed that up by winning the World Poker Tour Ladies' Night Invitational.
This year, Clonie is back with a vengeance, cashing in four separate events at the World Series of Poker as well as her largest win to date, a first-place showing at the Bellagio Cup's No Limit Hold'em Main Event in July. To date, Clonie has won NBC's "Poker After Dark" six-player tournament three times, a record she shares with Phil Helmuth.

Clonie came into Day Two of the World Poker Open in second place but struggled for most of the day. When the tournament wound down to 12 players -- in what Clonie described as a key hand that led her to the final table with about an 80,000-chip lead over then second place Kirby Brewer -- she was able to see a free flop with three limpers from the big blind. The board at the river showed Q-10-6-7-K. Nam Huynh moved all in and Clonie called with 10-6 for two pair to beat Nam's 9-7 for a pair of sevens.

With eight poker players left, Clonie dropped down to fifth place. She jumped into second place when her pocket queens beat out Brandon Jarrett's A-10, doubling her up. She took a huge chip lead with six players left when her A(c),5(c),hit top pair on the flop and Brandon's suited Q-J failed to connect, taking him out of the tournament in third place.

Besides a few short stints, the two-hour heads-up between Clonie and BJ McBrayer was Clonie's game. She played an aggressive style, making the right plays at the right times.

Seeing women like Clonie Gowen take on the odds and make the dream of the felt come true is an inspiration to all the women working towards that same goal.

Congratulations, Clonie!

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2 Advanced Strategies for No-limit Texas Holdem

For players who like to play No-limit Holdem, they really need to acquire some strong skills and poker strategies in order to win in the game. Last time I ever talked about several skills which I think are necessary for players, then the following skills are also crucial for their chances of success.

1 Reading skills

Reading an idea of your opponent's cards is very important in the poker games online. This really takes time and experience. However, a way to improve your reading skills is what I call the 'three question techniques.' Always ask yourself these three questions when someone makes or calls a bet:

• What does my opponent have?

• What does my opponent think I have?

• What does my opponent think I think he has?
Every time you ask yourself these questions when playing poker, you are thinking of your hands and your opponents’ power. By doing this, you are surely on the way to winning.

2 Psychology and Traps

Once you hold the whopper and your opponent also has a good hand, what's the best way to double through him? Learning to get out of and set traps is very difficult and only experience will help in this department.Fundamentally, game psychology and traps are used to manipulate the three questions mentioned earlier.

For example, if you overbet the pot with a flush draw and then check when you hold the flush, either your opponent will fall for the trap, thinking you had top pair, or he will recognize the trap and check-fold to you on river. This slowplay is used to manipulate the variable: what does he think I have?

Generally, this sort of poker game psychology is only used on good players. Against weaker players, you should just build a good hand and extract money out of them bit by bit. Weaker players just play their hand; they don't think about what you have.

Remember that practice makes perfect, so just do it with your head, then you will hear “YOU WIN”.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

World Poker Tour Introduction

The World Poker Tour is putting tournament poker in the spotlight and is composed of two different aspects. On one hand, it is an elite high stakes Texas Hold'em tournament drawing both amateurs as well as poker professionals. On the other hand, it is a television show on the Travel Channel, intended to hit a massive target audience of novice poker players.
Both the tournament side and the television side of the event are equally impressive. The World Poker Tour has boosted the popularity of poker around the world through its poker tournaments and the WPT television shows seen on the Travel Channel.
The World Poker Tour tournament season begins in July and ends with the World Poker Tour Championship in April at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are fourteen poker tournaments on the Tour at various locations ranging from Paris, France, to the mainland USA, to a luxury ocean cruise.
The only qualification for entering any of these poker tournaments is showing up with the buy-in which is usually $10,000.
In each of the 14 tournaments preceding the WPT Championship the winner receives both a $25,000 buy in to the World Poker Tour Championship, and the grand prize for the tournament itself.
Individual tournament prizes vary depending on the number of entrants. Make it to the final table of one of these poker tournaments and you get a share of the tournament prize money while your friends get to watch you on television.
In addition to standard tournaments, each season the World Poker Tour holds a celebrity invitational tournament. This tournament pits Hollywood celebrities against poker professionals. Aside from being fun to watch, celebrities have a chance to win a large chunk of money for their favorite charity, as well as a seat at the WPT Championship tournament.
The final table at each World Poker Tour tournament is filmed in front of a live audience and televised on the Travel Channel.
Many features of the WPT television show make it very viewer friendly: small cameras that show each players hole cards, play-by-play commentary, definitions of poker lingo, and on screen displays of percentages, and how these percentages change as cards fall.
Another feature which makes the WPT unique is the commentary. Two commentators: Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten give play-by-play commentary throughout the show. One of the more beneficial things this does is provide some background information on each of the players.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Advanced Strategies for No-limit Texas Holdem

Playing Texas Holdem Poker in an advanced no limit game, you need to know that the skill involved with No-Limit games is tremendous, even seasoned professionals admit that they still have a lot to learn at No-Limit Holdem.
You must know what your poker skills are at No-Limit Holdem; what stages of the poker game you have mastered. Once you realize how you are good at No-Limit, you must then apply this to how badly others at your table play No-Limit.
1. Pot odds
You must understand what odds you are getting if you call a bet with a draw. Since you can determine the size of the bet (it's not fixed), you should know if you are getting or giving good odds to someone.
2. Realizing the differences between Limit and No-Limit
Check-raising for value is far less valuable in No-Limit Holdem than Limit Holdem because you may be giving your opponent's a deadly free card. In Limit poker, if you have the second best hand, you will lose a little bit. In No-Limit, you could lose your entire stack.
3. Aggression
Betting is far better than calling in No-Limit. When you bet, you can win if you have the better hand or if your opponent folds. If you call, you can only win if you have your opponent beaten. If you bet, you determine the bet size. You determine the pot odds. If you call, you are accepting someone else's odds. The importance of aggression is why tight-passive poker players can win a lot more at Limit than No-Limit.
4. Quick Adjustment
You need to know that in Texas Holdem, there are different types of games that require different amounts of aggression. Shorter games require one to be looser and more aggressive. However, if your up against many loose opponents, you must tighten up and wait until you have a strong hand. Generally, the opposite of what the poker game is does well. If the game is very loose, tighten up. If the game is very tight, take advantage and steal pots. You also must adjust to your opponent's quality. If you are up against weak poker players, simply giving them bad pot odds and taking money from them bit by bit works well. If you are against better poker players, you must set some traps.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Poker Tips for Poker Beginners

With the rapid spreading of Internet, poker games online have become more and more popular among modern humans. Here are some great poker tips for those who just start to play poker games online. But you need to remember that poker is not only about tips and strategy, poker is about practice. Improving your poker games is a task that requires patience and dedication, so, don’t loose it if you can’t be a poker pro in short time.

Tip 1: Start out playing a game that you are familiar with.
When playing online poker for the first time, it is better to just focus on learning how to play online poker the first few times.

Tip 2: Pick one poker game and master it.
More times than not, people like to try out all sorts of poker games which results in very little strategy being formed. Adjust to the poker game and develop advanced strategy. Master one game at a time.

Tip 3: Work with a budget.
The very first thing to do is set your playing budget and you need to adhere to the limit. Additionally it is also advised to set your profit limit, which should be of course reasonable. Once you reach your profit limit then quit. You can loose the very next game.

Tip 4: There’s no point in playing lots of hands
Playing many hands in a poker game is like a confession of your being a beginner, this gives more advanced players the chance to figure out the type of hands you usually play and your poker strategy. You need to learn how to fold when you have a bad hand, you might want to push the limits sometimes but don’t make that your favorite move.

Tip 5: Remember that players will call you more in online poker
There are some psychology and usability aspects in this statement. On the usability level, it's much easier for a player to click on a 'Call' button in online poker as opposed to reaching into their stack, counting up their chips and putting them on the table.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Basics about Pot Odds in Poker

As a regular poker player, you must know the term “pot odds” much more clearly than those poker beginners. You would probably hear this term tossed around a lot, while even the poker beginners may get some clues about it when they learn the poker games. For all poker players who want to win in poker games, it is crucial to understand the poker pot odds.
A basic knowledge of the poker game will get you started, but to be a successful player you need to understand more advanced concepts like statistics and probability. Playing poker without strategies such as calculating pot odds would put you at a disadvantage, as poker is a game of skill, strategy and intelligence.
Understanding the odds inherent with the game and playing in accordance with those odds will improve your results and combining that strategy with skill and intelligence is what makes a great poker player.
Put simply, pot odds should be the basis for all choices you make regarding your hand. Pot odds are determined by comparing the size of the pot to the strength of your hand and estimating what you have to invest to have a shot at the pot. In other words, pot odds are basically the risk vs. the gain for each hand.
Actually, the concept of pot odds is difficult to explain in words but easier to understand in action and can be quite effective in improving your win percentage when applied practically.
So it’s rather necessary to learn some useful methods of calculating the pot odds in order to improve your poker skills and increase your chances of winning in the poker games. Remember that using pot odds to determine how you play does not guarantee you win, but it does make the risks you take and the occasional payoff from those risks more favorable.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Table Selection--One important skill for Texas Holdem

For most poker players online these days, it’s those great bucks that attract them most and let them deeply fall in love with poker games like Texas Holdem. So as a poker player, do you know how to do to win the biggest when playing against others, no matter who are better or weaker than you? You are so lucky that today I’d like to introduce to you a very basic but rather important skill for you to grab the shining bucks---how to select your proper table.
Table selection is by far the most important skill to master and love, and it will make you the most profitable player that you can be. It does not matter how good you are at playing poker if you are always sitting down at the table with people that are as good as or better than you. As you will find in the long run you are losing money playing with players that are as good as you are because of the rake. The rake will kill your profitability. So you need to improve your poker skills at selecting your table to spot and locate the fish as you must know that sharks really feed on fish.
But here the point is HOW you could find the fish in poker games. Normally, you could watch carefully other players when playing against them and find those who consistently make bad or silly moves, weather they get lucky or not, just write them down. Next time when you come across them in poker games, you could easily read them out and know how to grab them of their bucks. Another way to find fish is to share information with your friends by creating a fish list and store all the useful fish information in the list. This information will be valuable to everyone in your group, and will help you and your friends profit.
But if you do not have any notes or fishlists, how will you play then? It’s simple that you need to know that nothing would stop you from standing up and leaving the table. As you know that if you cannot spot the fish in the first thirty minutes, you are the fish, so do not hesitate to stand up and leave the table in search of friendlier and more profitable waters.
Anyway, remember that the poker skills are the most important in poker games though you need to know how to select the proper table to win from the fish.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

How to play pre-flop

Whenever you want to play your pre-flop cards by betting like a maniac in Texas Holdem, you must seriously think of such factors like the number of players, the playing styles of your opponents, your bankroll, etc. which would affect your actions in poker games.
Playing with 10 people in a poker game, it's much more likely that someone else has a strong hand in the pocket than in a short-handed game. And the chances are also bigger that someone's pre-flop hand fitting the flop will be much better. More competition means stiffer competition.
Then assuming that you’ve been playing several hands with a few people and you find that some players always call or raise your bet, you need to adjust your poker strategies to their playing styles and let them win the blinds but win big when you have a strong hand in the pocket pre-flop.
If you have 2$ left, you would play carefully and select one hand to bet on, hoping to get as many players involved as possible for a larger pot. You'll want to be all-in before the flop is dealt. But suppose that you have 1000$ in a 1$/2$ table, then you could take the high-risk, high-payout bets. So your playing strategy depends on your bankroll.
As we discussed before that positions really matter in poker games, you need to vary your playing strategies according to your different positions around the table. If you are in the early or middle positions, you must carefully think before you decide how to play your pre-flop as you have little information of how others play their hands first. If you stay in the late positions, it must be better for you to base your decisions on what others react and optimize the pot size to your wish.
Therefore, next time when you want to play your pre-flop in Texas Holdem, take these factors into consideration and then you could make some wise decisions on how you play it well.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Learn to play against calling stations

First of all, we need to know that calling station can be defined as a player who usually won’t take control of their hands but leave the betting option to you and will probably just call if they hit something on the flop. They may hit a pair of improve into a straight or a flush draw.
Then after we know what they are and how often they play their hands, we shall figure out our correspondent strategies against them.
Calling stations could be double-edged swords as they can be great to value bet and you can benefit from them to gain some extra profit. If you hit some strong hands on the flop you can bet a reasonable amount into them and keep them calling you to the river. They'll offer you the chances of building the pot and winning more bets if they don't draw out on your hand.
However, you also need to keep in mind that calling stations would also be calling on straights or flush draws as well. What you should do under such circumstance is just let them hit their draw cheaply. Adjust the pot odds to your favor by betting the correct amount. If you're heads-up against a calling station and you have a strong hand but could also be outdrawn, you should consider betting at least the size of the pot. If your opponent calls this bet on a straight or flush draw, he's statistically making a mistake and you're making him pay to do it. He'll still draw out on you at times, but most of the time you'll just be gaining extra bets. Keep in mind that most players aren't completely clueless, so if you think that your opponents missed his draw, you should check on the river and try to induce a bluff.
So as soon as you start a round of game, start to watch your opponents and analyze their playing styles for your precise decisions. As you decide they are calling stations, just lead them to value bet and show down strong hands to win the pot.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Learn to Check

As all poker players know, checking is just a very common action poker players take while playing in the game. But how to make full use of this common action as a wise strategy is really not that easy as you imagine. After all, checking is not an act of surrender or a form of capitulation.
To check could means that you’d like to defer your option to act and passing that opportunity over to opponents who act after you in the betting order. You are not relinquishing your chance to act; you are merely deferring it. If someone else takes the lead and comes out betting, you still have three options available when the action gets back to you. If someone bets, you can fold, call, or raise. All of your options are at your disposal. You haven’t surrendered a thing while you make your way ahead much more clearly.
Checking is also a good idea when you have a very big hand and the opponent to your left is aggressive. Your check should convince him to bet. Then you can check-raise and win a bigger pot. If your overly aggressive opponent’s bet attracts calls from players who act after he does, you can trap them all for two big bets in a fixed limit game, or blow them out of the pot with a big raise in a no-limit game. If your opponents realise that you will check-raise very big hands, it might allow you to check and get a free card when you’re the one who’s on a draw and in need of help to complete your hand.
Checking in early position can be vitally important when you’re playing no-limit. No-limit is a game where position is even more important than in fixed-limit poker. If you have a draw in early position and are facing two or three opponents, it’s wise to check and see what your opponents do. If they check, that’s great. A free card may allow you to complete your hand at no cost or risk to yourself.
Again, remember that practice makes perfect. Just try your best and you will pay off.:)

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Playing Texas Holedem against highly skilled players

If you often play poker online and think you are a reasonably skilled Texas Holdem player, you would face a mix of opponents, some less skilled than you, some perhaps a bit more. However, have you ever thought that you may come across some really highly skilled players? And if so, how would you play against them? If you really want to improve your level of poker playing, it’s inevitable and rather essential to sitting together with some tough strong players who will make you learn and move forward.
Someone is a pro doesn’t mean he is going to blow you out of every pot with huge raises or see right through to your soul when you try to bluff. A pro is simply someone who makes more correct decisions than the average player does. If you are a skilled player and play your best game, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to win, at least in the short term. You should have confidence in your ability to play against them in Texas Holdem online.
Another thing you can do when playing against highly skilled players is that you can adopt the tactic of short stacking. By doing this you just buy in to the game for a small amount, often the minimum. The sharks in the game are looking for whales, bad players that will throw money at them. When they see your small stack, they may forget about you and look for tastier prey, therefore a pretty great chance to learn from their playing modes.
Remember that top players are not born on top. They also grow from fish, just like you, he or me. Play your best and you ARE on the way to be one of them or even on top of them.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Types of poker players

For all new poker players, it’s important for them to know different kinds of players. If they do not understand how deifferent players would playe their hands or what their playing habbits are, they might find it hard to play their hands against them. In fact they really need to get rather familiar with different types of poker players in order to beat them down..
Actually, we can divide all poker players into two general groups: tight and loose players.
As for tight players, they often play their hands quite seriously and cautiously. They will be more likely to fold when the odds are against them. They also have more control of their chips and know clearly how much they win and how much they lose. But they have their own flaws that they are easily predicted out by their opponents. So other players could easily make good use of their weakpoints to win.
Loose players, just the opposite to tight players, would play most of the pots. They are most likely to call all the raises and do not care too much about how much they win or lose. Playing with these players, you may find it much more funny as they usually play most of their hands and play much longer. But on the other side, they are also not that simple as tight players to predict them out. Some of them would be much flexible in their playing and make it harder for you to take exact and wise actions.
What is more important is that you need know that you also belong to one group of them. Therefore, you need to be more felxible in your playing style in order to be unpredicatable. When you feel that some one has read you out and glanced at your bucks, you must quickly change your playing style. Play tightly now and then in a loose game and vice versa.

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Learn to bluff

Bluffing seems to be a very basic skill for poker players. If you could use it properly you will find it rather profitable. Here are some tips for you to know when and how to bluff in poker games.

Bluff when the board cards indicate that someone may possibly have a good hand. For example, if three cards of the same suit are on the board, someone could be holding the fourth card, giving them a flush. If you bet like you are that someone, you might convince the other players that you are. If you can do that, the other players will fold, and you will win the poker hand.

Watch out when bluffing if you are playing with some weak and inexperienced players. New poker players may not so skillful as others to think before they take their actions to call your bluff. They may call all bluffs or all the raises others offered.

Do not bluff too often. Some smart players could read you out if you always like to bluff in most conditions and you will lose in the long run. So be careful of those players that looks have the ability of reading others and stay unpredictable.

Think twice before bluffing. If you are sitting in the middle or later positions, you could base your decision of bluffing or not on what other players before you did. Also you can guess what hands they might keep, and then decide your action.

Never bluff according to your first feeling or tuition but to your wise judgments.
Again: practice makes perfect, just keep your eyes open and you will become much more powerful. You bet~!

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Play poker with fish

When you play poker games of any type, you will always have a fish around the table, and sometimes more than one. So you need to tell who is and who is not. Otherwise, they would give you some surprise occasionally, though few but make you feel rather depressed. Remember the saying, "If you can't spot the sucker at the table, you are it".

Playing poker with fish, or loose callers and bad bettors, can have its ups and downs. If you try not to let their loose calling and crap betting get at you, you can get the best of them and most of their money.

Don't you hate it when you try to bluff at a pot with a big bet and someone with 3rd or 4th bottom pair calls you down? These are fish - they have high hopes in every hand and loose call way too often. On top of their bad plays and constant chasing, when they win they act like they are the next Chan. This can get irritating, especially when they start hitting hands, and they may even put you on tilt.

Sometimes it gets really frustrating watching a bad player take down pots by calling big bets on an unreal chase and catch. It is even worse when you try to steal the pot and they call you with some insane small pair. Remember those seemingly aggressive fish. They might call you whenever you want to bluff to win the pot.

So, how to catch those fish? One simple way is to play how you usually play and eventually you will take their stack. If you wait until you have a nut or a very good hand when they have a pair or two, you will catch them. Back to fish having high hopes in all their hands - they WILL call you down when you lay out that big bet.

Fish are fish. What you need to do is just give what they like and enjoy your fishing.

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Poker News:WPT North American Poker Championship Starts Friday

Making its only trip outside of the continental U. S., the World Poker Tour’s North American Poker Championship starts this Friday at Fallsview Casino Resort in Ontario, Canada.
Previously held during the tournament schedule at the Bellagio’s Festa al Lago, the North American Poker Championship has shown growth in every year that it has played. Since its inaugural tournament during the third season of the WPT, the NAPC has grown from 312 runners to last year’s 504 player field. This year’s field is expected to meet or exceed last year as the multitude of transplanted Canadian poker pros enjoy a trip back home and the Canadian dollar offers a good deal for all who participate.
The four year history of the tournament has provided the breakout victory for young players as well as established veterans. In 2004 (when it was named in honor of the legendary Doyle Brunson), former WSOP World Champion Juan Carlos Mortensen outlasted Erik Seidel and John Juanda to capture the crown. The next year was one for the veterans too as noted cash game player Minh Ly defeated “Action” Dan Harrington to win the event.
Once it moved to Canada in 2006, the NAPC dropped the “Doyle Brunson” in its name and became a battleground for the young internet stars. Soren Turkewitsch was the champion on the first visit to the banks of Niagara Falls and last year Scott “BigRiskky” Clements defeated fellow online player Jonathan “FieryJustice” Little, winning over $1.1 million.
With its proximity to the United States, the NAPC is a popular stop for tournament poker professionals and young internet players. Because of the lower age restriction (eighteen years old versus the 21-year age minimum in the States), the best the online world has to offer storm the Fallsview Casino Resort to take part in the action. With this influx of online money, the field should be around 550 players, making a $1 million first place prize, and Scott Clements will be there to defend his crown.
Fallsview Casino Resort is currently offering satellites to enter into the NAPC and the first of three Day Ones starts at noon on Friday. Saturday and Sunday will see the remaining players begin the tournament with the survivors from the weekend combined at the start of play on Monday. Three more days of battle will lead up to the final table, scheduled for October 16th.

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Online poker advantages

Nowadays, online poker games have become more and more popular among poker players and even those who like to try this new hobby or interest. We know that it is different from real poker games in person. But it still has its own advantages over in person games.

First, as we all know, one of the top poker skills and hardest to acquire is the ability to read your opponent by his physical actions. Many of the card sharks you will see at the brick and mortar casinos have developed this skill into a powerful advantage. However, in the online casino, there are no physical players. I can cuss when I get a bad hand or shout for joy when I hit my flush draw, and no one at the table knows the difference! So our first advantage of online play is the fact that it takes away one advantage of the old time card sharks who rely on reading your “tells.”

Secondly, online poker is convenient. There is a game going 24 hours, 7 days a week, and there is seat open for you. No airfare, no hotel room, no bar tab. All of this money can go directly into your bankroll as you play from the convenience of your own home.

Thirdly, online poker is more kind to the beginner. Why? Because the vast majority of players flocking to the online casinos are beginners themselves, who maybe like you, have just watched the latest World Poker Tour event on the Travel Channel and decided they wanted to try their hand at Texas Hold 'em.

Finally, there are so many free money promotions being handed out by the various online casinos that you would be greatly amiss not to at least consider taking advantage of them. Several casinos offer 100% matching deposits, up to $100 and more in free chips. The fact is, I have not seen a single casino that did not offer some sort of promotional bonus to new signups and existing players.

So, if you haven’t tried the online poker games yet, what you need to do now is just to sign up a new account in a few minutes on a perfect online poker site and enjoy its fun and excitement

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Know when to fold

Texas Holdem has now become one of the most popular poker games in the world. More and more people get interested in the game and want to find some nice resources to quickly learn the game rules for them to join the game world. But when they really get into the game, they start to find that they don’t know why they could not take senseful actions but play the game blindly somewhat.

Here is one tip for poker players to follow to overcome what you sometimes cannot control when get involved the game.

No matter you are poker beginners or not, you had better know when to fold, as this is a very important point many poker players might ignore. For poker beginners, they would like to play all their hands to the end of every round without wise considerations. They haven’t got enough experiences and skills to deal with all kinds of hands they have to respond to.

Big hands, big draws and big egos are all possible reasons for new poker players not to fold their hands. Here, poker beginners’ ego would matter in their actions. They might say to themselves that "I will not allow another player to outplay me." Nothing hurts a poker egotist more than getting bluffed or outplayed.

In general, people tend to overestimate their skill level. Even for those poker beginners who just learned a little about how to play poker, they might think that they have already know the general rules or ways how the games go. However they haven’t practiced what they learned to some enough extent. Remember that it will never be enough for people to grasp some skills to the top level. In fact, there is no such place called the top.

So, do not let your ego encroaches your wise sharp judgments on whether you need to fold or to call.

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