Posted on 28th May 2013 by in Poker Strategy

Poker Bankroll ManagementMoney management is the most important ”tool” in just about any industry as well as in life, if you don’t manage your money well, you’ll go broke. Same applies to poker players and you should really treat your bankroll seriously, if you’re looking to be in the game longterm. In case you’re just looking for some fun and adrenaline once in a while, don’t bother reading further – you are doing just fine! On the other hand, if poker might be a side income or even more important for you, this is the place you should start at. Understanding the basics of money management in poker is the first step towards a successful poker carer.

So is there one golden rule that applies? No, not even close. Most of the time the answer to a question ”how much money do I need to play xxx?” will be that it depends. There are a couple of factors on whom the answer will be depending:

  • Are you playing for a living? Is poker your main source of income or are there any side income streams that will allow you to redeposit and top up your bankroll in case you loose what you have in your poker account.
  • Do you have any savings? Sometimes people go ”pro” with only a reasonable amount of buy-ins for the stakes they desire to play. This is quite dangerous as you’ll often be stressed and wont have a feeling of safety that is very important.
  • Is Poker a hobby to you? If poker is just a hobby to you, there aren’t all that many rules that you have to follow. You can simply deposit a couple of buy ins or just enough to play, if you’re looking to play tournaments.

Bankroll Management for serious players

If you’re looking at poker as an either extra income or main source of income, you have to be very careful and approach money seriously. Lets go through various poker variations and advisable size of bankroll for playing them.

  • No Limit Hold’em Cash Games – Have at least 50 buy ins for the stakes you’re looking to play. If you plan to play nl100 ($0.50/$1) have at least $5000 in your poker account.
  • Pot Limit Omaha Cash Games – Have at least 100 buy ins for the stakes you’re looking to play. If you plan to play plo100 ($0.50/$1) you should have at least $10,000 in your poker bankroll. This might sound like a lot, but this game features WAY more variance and having 20-30 buy in downswings is a common scenario.
  • Multi Table Tournaments (MTT’s) – Have at least 200 buy ins for the stakes you’re willing to play. If you play a wide range of stakes, have at least 200 average buy ins. If your average entry fee is $100, have at least $20,000. There are factors that can change this, such as if you play tournaments that feature a large amount of entrants, this might even be short of a roll. Vice versa, if you play games with between 200-400 entrants, this might be too much.

Always remember that playing poker professionally is no different than running a business, if you go broke, you’re dead. It’s exactly that simple and you should try to avoid a chance like that as much as possible. Be careful and always have more money than advises, as the saying goes – you can never be to careful, when it comes to money. Having that said, you should also be willing to take some aggressive shots at higher stakes once in a while, but we’ll keep that for another article.


Posted on 22nd May 2013 by in Poker Strategy

Poker Loyalty ProgramThis is almost a never ending tale – should you go for flat rakeback that is paid to your account regardless of how much you play or choose the so called loyalty programs, also known as VIP Programs. These are usually based on VIP point acquisition – you earn a certain amount of points for every dollar paid in rake. Depending on how many points are earned, you are awarded with a VIP level. Some VIP systems will also offer to boost your points, if you earn a specific amount of them. In the end you are usually offered to exchange the points for cash. Loyalty Programs, as per their name are developed to reward those that are loyal in longterm.

Advice for beginners/micro stakes players

If you’re just starting out or still playing the micro stakes, I would advise to always go for flat rakeback instead of loyalty programs. The reasoning behind this is quite simple, you won’t generate a ton of rake that is usually needed to get reasonable value back from the VIP programs. When you take a flat rakeback deal, you’re guaranteed to get a fixed percentage of your rake. Industry standards are somewhere between 30 and 45%, when it comes to flat percentages. On top of this, you can also often participate in promotions and rake competitions, known as races. All of this adds extra value for all your play and can give returns as high as 70-80%.

Advice for high volume players

If you generate thousands of dollars in rake every month, it’s definitely worth going for loyalty programs. If your bankroll allows saving up points for several months, you can get as high as 70% back only from the VIP scheme itself. This doesn’t count in all the extra promotions and rake races. I’ve seen some players receiving over 100% of their rake after they exchange points. Poker rooms actually lose money on these players, but it’s still worth for them, as these VIP players often refer other high volume players as well as keep the high stakes games going.

Getting Extra Value

Seeing how competitive the online poker industry has gotten, you should be striving to get as much value as possible. It’s not all that hard, to be honest. Most legitimate poker sites are in hunt for new poker players so deals of loyalty program + first deposit bonus + promotions are available at most of them.

Other perk that players under loyalty programs enjoy most of the time is the welcome bonus. When you choose to go for rakeback, the bonus will usually be deducted from your rakeback payment.

Rake Races

Another widely popular way of getting extra value is rake competitions, known as rake races among the poker industry. You can find some really large ones that award amounts between $1,000 and $10,000 on monthly bases. All you have to do in order to participate is play! There are no strings attached and everyone is free to take part in these. Once in a while there are some gems that can be found in these where players are able to receive up to 50% of their rake simply for these.

Being a Rakeback Pro

It’s not much of a secret that games have gotten really hard to beat, thus you have to make every little edge count. One of the easiest ways to do this is by obtaining a great deal and receiving incentives to play poker. There are probably hundreds of players out there who make a great living by playing high volume and counting on rakeback or bonuses to make profit. They simply break even in the games they play and take home massive payouts due to the amount of rake they pay.

Posted on 16th May 2013 by in Poker Strategy

Five Important Poker LessonsPoker is a game of cards and also skill. Players compete against each other and the most skillful ones will end up as winners. This might not be true in a single hand or even day, but professional players are aware of the fact that they hold an edge against their opponents, thus short term results are irrelevant. That’s the first thing you have to bear in mind – long term is the only thing that matters and you don’t have to worry about unlucky hands short term. If you have an edge versus other players at your table, you will end up being a winner.

Think in ranges not hands

There are very rare occassions w hen you should be putting your opponent on an exact hand range, actually unless you have a very specific read, this is almost never the case. So why you should assign hand range to your opponents instead of trying to put them on hands? Well, for one they are likely to play several hands the same way. For two, they also will have some complete nonsense bluffs some of the time. All of this adds up to a hand range and after determining what it is in a particular situation, you can base your decision by taking it into account.

Knowledge is key

Some people are born with natural talent or ability and thus do well in poker, but knowledge is even more important. As this is a game of skill, it can be mastered that means everyone can become great at it. Give up any ego you might have and actually try to learn as much as possible about the optimal way to play. When it comes to improving your skills and understanding of the game, there are a lot of good and information and resources out there to help you. There are many educational online portals like offering free poker lessons written by experts.

Search for weak opposition

There’s a great saying, it does not matter if you are the 9th greatest poker player in the world, if you play against the first eight. This is true not only in theory, but also in real time. You don’t have to be among the best players in the world, if you are able to find and play against very weak opponents. Even if you are a great player, battling against other great ones will just bring unneccesary swings into your play.

Act appropriately

I have never understood players who berate other ones because they played a hand bad or even horribly. You as a poker player make money from players exactly like this and every bad play they make earns you money. Why would you ever won’t to make them feel bad? Well, you won’t and therefore try to act as friendly as possible when playing against players like these.

It’s a skill game

Poker is a skill game, no doubt about that, but it also features an element of luck that can be crucial in short term. Try to understand this fact and think longterm instead of short term. If someone got lucky against you, don’t get upset too much and try to stay calm and play with a clear head. Easier said than done of course, but that’s the only way you will ever be a profitable player in this game.

Struggling to find a good poker room? Our current list of top ranked poker rooms online features fully reviewed and rated poker sites.


Posted on 13th May 2013 by in Poker Strategy

Multi-Table Tournament Strategy for PokerAny winning multi-table tournament strategy should be broken down into sub-categories. That’s because early tournament play is way different from MTT play in later rounds.

This multi-table tournament strategy is simple and effective. Follow these tips and combine them with your own poker tournament experience for a winning MTT strategy that really works.

Early Stage MTT Strategy

If you’re new to online poker tournaments, you should play an extremely tight poker game in the early rounds.  Yes, blinds are cheap in the early stages of your average MTT, but that does not mean you should head for the flop with an average hand. Think of it this way—since your cards are relatively cheap in early stages, this is the best time to be picky about the hands you play. Some MTT players are so strict in early rounds that they won’t play anything less than AA or KK.  If you bet tough and avoid trying to trap your opponents, you almost can’t lose.

Early stage MTT strategy is designed to let the fish at your table bust out, so play a ridiculously tight game early on and avoid bluffing.

Mid Stage MTT Strategy

In the middle rounds of your MTT, you’ll sit at a table composed of players with some poker skill. That means it is time to loosen up and play your everyday game of poker, hoping to rake in the chips and hit the final tables with a good stack. The middle stages of a multi-table tournament are also the best time to bluff a little. You’re using a little bit of psychology here, hoping your opponents are thinking too hard about the money they’ll soon make and freezing up at the table. The other reason a slightly loose game works in mid stage sis that you’ve worked hard to convince your opponents that you never bluff and only play the best hands. That means they’ll respect any bet or raise you make. That’s how you steal blinds in the middle stages of an MTT. Just make sure you don’t play so loose that you end up at the final table with a short stack.

Final Table MTT Strategy

At the final tables on an MTT event, your chip power is worth more than the best cards you can hold.  Look for the players who have stumbled into the final table with a short stack—they are your first targets.

The final table is a time to be even more loose and risky. Force those short stacked players all in with any average hand you’re dealt. By the same token, avoid going up against the players with the biggest chip stacks.

The easiest way to blow it in the final stages of an MTT is to get locked up in complex pots.  Ideally, you should let any other two other players beat each other up before you get in the middle of a multi-way pot. Winning final table strategy at an MTT means showing off your chip stack, force short-stacked players to go all-in, keep up the loose game you started at the mid stages, and be comfortable taking risks going after a top finish.

Remember that no tournament strategy or set of poker tips is an exact science. For starters, there’s no way to know just when you transition from early to mid-stage, and in some cases it is even hard to know when you’re at the “final table” stage. Tournaments featuring tough competition will force you to move to mid stage strategy very quickly, while a loose tournament may force you to hold back on final table tactics until you are down to the last 15 or so poker players.


Posted on 9th May 2013 by in Poker Strategy

Strategies for Sit & Go Tournaments One of the most popular games at online poker site is the Sit &Go tournament. Buy-ins for these events balloon from just a few bucks up to several thousand at high-end Internet poker rooms, and Sit & Go tournaments (sometimes called simply S&G) tend to be short and sweet, most ending in about half an hour.

These tourneys are designed for poker players interested in playing more than one tournament table at once. Sit & Go tournaments are perfect for increasing your poker bankroll because they lack the variance found at most multi-table tournaments.

Here’s a quick look at S&G strategy, seven tips to help you win more at your next Sit & Go session.

1. Protect Big Hands with Small Raises

When S&G tourneys start, blinds are just a tiny percentage of your starting stack. Beginners use these small blinds as an excuse for not protecting their big hands (AA, KK, etc.) with the kinds of tiny raises required. If your blinds are low, stick to playing suited connectors and gap connectors. These cost you very little and allow you to hit a flop hard with two pair or hit the flop with a strong draw.

2. Play Big Hands Correctly

Big hands are starters such as AA, KK, QQ, AK, AQ, and other high value cards, suited or simply paired. In S&G tourney strategy, you should raise these hands 3-4 times whatever the big blind is. If you can get two or three callers along the way you’ll be set. Remember that S&G tournament play can be pretty soft, so that your opponents are chasing the pot with any pair above 55, even when the hand carries a low kicker. This will help you to thin the herd at the flop, an important tactic for winning in the early rounds of your chosen S&G. The trick is to make your bets high enough that people with weaker hands get chase you to the pot based on pot odds.

3. Understand Good Starting Hands

As the blinds go up in later rounds of a Sit & Go tournament, you’ll need to vary up your starting hand selection. That means no more playing suited connectors due to higher stakes. Later rounds are the time to raise your standards and play only the best hands and any pairs 77 or larger for raises. If you have played correctly and your stack is high, there’s no reason to rush. Wait for your best starters and play those hands only. If your stack is a bit smaller, you may have to work a little harder to build up before the later rounds.

4. Change Strategy as Blinds Go Up

That isn’t the only strategic change you need to make. As the S&G continues, blinds get higher and higher. That means your strategy needs to change as well. Late in the tournament, avoid going after pots with anything but the best hands. Know where the big chip stacks are and play around them, as you are an easily busted target for their strong starters.

5. Know When to Play to Win

Playing to win means knowing when you’re in the money and playing for it. First place in S&G tournaments typically pays about three times more than third place, so S&G tourneys are one time when it is okay to play slightly risky hands to go for first place. You’ll need to relax and trust your natural poker instincts—you may even want to bluff a little to shoot for the big win. Final round play at S&G events means playing short-handed, so beat up on your aggressive opponents by check-raising all in on hands that you may normally not even play to the flop. If you have ace or pocket pairs pre-flop, move in for the kill. That’s possible because of the size of the blinds at late stages of S&G events.

Posted on 2nd May 2013 by in Poker Strategy

Multi Table Tournament Tips for PokerTMulti Table Tournaments are likely the most popular form of poker and one that hasn’t seen such an increase in overall level of play. These are still relatively easy to beat with an average ABC Poker knowledge. However, you have to hold this knowledge and this is exactly what we’ll look at in this article. You’ll learn about 5 very important tips that will help to maximise your edge and expected value while playing MTT’s.

Play Tournaments with less entrants

ournaments, especially those featuring large amounts of players, are known for their massive variance. In order to play the large field tournaments, one might need as high as 1,000 average buy-ins into their account. This, of course, depends on the playing style and the average amount of entrants in each tournament. However, instead of constantly being put in front of variance, you can choose the alternative way and play tournaments with less entrants. I would advise to play on several small poker rooms that feature between 100 and 300 entrants for most of their tournaments. Not only will these allow you to avoid large variance, but also the smaller European networks usually feature weaker competition.

Change Gears

Tournaments can be divided into three stages – early, middle and late ones. You see, each stage of the tournament features different stack sizes also making the optimal strategy quite different. This is the so called gear changing – when the tournament starts and is in the early age, you should be playing a really tight style. Observe your opponents and try to note down who are the good ones as well as who are the ones that you should be playing against.

When the tournament goes into the middle stages, you should be using the knowledge gained in the early phase to exploit the weak players at your table. Mid stages are also important for building a stack so you can apply pressure in the late ones.

How to approach the bubble

The bubble is a stage in a tournament where entrants are closing in to reach the paid places. Usually players approach this stage by playing very tight, which is understandable as none wants to bust just before making it into the money. However, the correct way is to do the opposite – you should be very aggressive, given that you have at least an average stack size. People won’t be willing to get into coin flips, thus will often give up their blinds and fold to your 3bets. This will account for a really significant addition to your stack size as stack sizes are usually between 25 and 40 big blinds deep on average.

Playing ReBuy Tournaments

ReBuy poker tournaments feature an important addition – players are able to buy extra chips towards their stack during the first hour. This completely changes the dynamic of the game as good players will be exploiting the fact that busting your stack does not equal busting the tournament. You should also be exploiting this fact and playing very aggressively. There’s no need to avoid coin flip situations or approaching play carefully. Your goal is to create a really large stack for the mid level of the tournament, the one where you won’t be able to buy extra chips if you bust.

Managing Your Bankroll

Tournaments can be a bit of a headache. It’s certainly possible to go on bad streaks and fail to cash during 100 tournaments in row. This means that you have to be really careful when managing your bankroll. Have between 250 and 500 average buy-ins you’re playing in your bankroll. This will allow you to overcome the variance without affecting your game. If you’re willing to take a shot at higher buy-in tournaments, try to sell some percentage of your action. This way you can still play the event you want without disregarding safe money management.

Posted on 7th September 2012 by in Poker News

iPoker, the world’s second largest real money online poker network, has now split into two new different entities. They will be naming these entities, iPoker 1 and iPoker 2.

The second and new entity of the site will be targeting smaller player pools and will feature mid to low stakes on No Limit Hold’em cash games. iPoker 1 on the other hand, will be catering to larger player pools.

Players on the Poker 2 platform can incorporate skins or independent card rooms. These rooms have at least 6000 active customers raking in $1 or more every month. This division can acquire a minimum of 850 new active players every month, which earns them $5 on their first 30 days.

iPoker released a statement saying:
“iPoker has decided to extend the network policy to include specific quality standards that would regulate the interaction between various card rooms. Failing to meet any of these standards will cause a separation of the card room from the network main liquidity pool.”
Two of the skins that players can choose from on the platform are William Hill and Paddy Power.

Posted on 4th September 2012 by in Poker News

Last week, the Republican Part in the US conducted a national convention where they had formally announced Mitt Romney as their candidate for the 2012 Presidential Elections. This was also the time when delegates voted to approve a proposed ban on online poker.

The 54-page document will serve as the party’s manifesto as the US goes into a nationwide election called Renewing American Values. The party is advocating the prohibition of online poker ad not to legalize online poker, which will put families and children at risk for exposure to the site.

A snippet of the policy paper stated, that millions of Americans have suffered and are suffering from problems caused by pathological gambling, which potentially destroys the family. It also included the proclamation of the support for the prohibition of gambling on the Internet and called for “the removal of the Justice Department’s decision distorting the formerly accepted meaning of the Wire Act that could open the door to Internet betting.

“The Internet must be made safe for children. We call on service providers to exercise due care to ensure that the Internet cannot become a safe haven for predators while respecting First Amendment rights. We congratulate the social networking sites that bar known sex offenders from participation. We urge active prosecution against child pornography, which is closely linked to the horrors of human trafficking. Current laws on all forms of pornography and obscenity need to be vigorously enforced,” continues the written policy.

The Republicans have made similar moves back in 2004 and 2008 when many Congressional leaders of both parties tried to legalized and regulate online poker.

Richard Muny from Poker Players’ Alliance says in the defense of the online poker community argued that the Justice Department’s decision to reverse the scope of Wire Act did not include online poker. He also said that their “opponents” are adding poker into the list of “gambling” activities, which they seek to ban completely.

Posted on 31st August 2012 by in Poker News

This week, reports have surfaced that the Republican platform will not really be in favor of Internet poker. Its wording would possibly put an end to a multi-billion dollar sector of online gambling, especially online poker.

The platform wrote, “Millions of Americans suffer from problem or pathological gambling that can destroy families. We support the prohibition of gambling over the Internet and call for reversal of the Justice Department’s decision distorting the formerly accepted meaning of the Wire Act that could open the door to Internet betting.”

Earlier, Republican congressman, Joe Barton from Texas, proposed a move that will legalize online poker. This was ironic knowing that their new platform was saying otherwise. A few of Barton’s fellow Republicans have already supported the bill that pushed legalization of online poker.

The Poker Players Alliance has acknowledged the efforts of legislation by these politicians and issued a statement. The statement said, “It is unfortunate that the authors of the plank are at odds with many House Republicans who are leading the charge for licensed and regulated online poker, but it is even worse that they are so out of touch with the actual voters. Let’s all be sure to do our part through Election Day to ensure that all lawmakers understand where the people are on this important issue.”

Posted on 29th August 2012 by in Poker News

Zynga Chief Creative Officer may be quitting the company, but he is moving forward with his new online gaming venture. Mike Verdu will be creating his new online gaming company backed by Zynga itself. The name of his new ventures not been released as of press time, but Verdu has disclosed that Zynga will be its primary investor.

Verdu released a statement saying he is very proud of taking part in making Zynga a remarkable company, especially now that it has grown and become a huge part of the community of game designers, producers and creative leaders. He has been with the company since its early days and now, he said, that it was time for him to try something new, but at the same time it would help if he went back to his roots and start a company of his own.

In a statement from Zynga CEO Mark Pincus, Verdu’s work during his time at the company was praised. He was quoted to say, “Zynga will be on the ground floor of Verdu’s next venture as an investor in the company.”

“Mike has been a good friend to me personally as well as professionally and has been an influential creative leader to us all,” Pincus was quoted saying. He added that the legacy that Mike helped build for Zynga made him very proud and that Verdu’s position will be the “deep bench of creative talent and leaders who will carry the torch and shape the next wave of creativity at Zynga.”

Verdu and many other executives have left the struggling gaming company.