Author Archive

postheadericon The Planet of the Apes Meets Online Poker

I’m sure everyone at one time or another has seen a painting of a group of gentlemanly canines engaged in an anthropomorphic game of poker as created by Cassius Coolidge in his wonderful series of poker playing dog paintings. But check this out, the artists whimsicality was not entirely removed from reality. You may be nave enough to think that chips and chimps cannot play together as a team and it sounds more like something out of a Douglas Adams novel. Should you ever play online poker with a player who has an ape photo for his icon, it may not have been just a player with an odd sense of humor, the dude that took your money by his excellent play may really be a poker playing primate. I kid you not. Apes can do a lot more than wield tools in this twenty first century of technological advances and “intelligence explosion” they can also beat you at online poker.

Primate Programming Inc has established that great apes (sharing 97% of their DNA with us) make efficient IT specialists. Individuals are employed by PPI, undergo training and offer their services to PPI clients for peanuts. A later PPI discovery was that the same employees, for purposes of pastime or secondary sources of income, are capable of being taught to play online poker, evincing particular talent for no-limit Texas Hold’em.

These card-playing apes are drawn to no-limit poker due to their natural bent for playful displays of aggression. So, this particular feature enables them to be particularly proficient at aggressive bluffing. In no-limit games, any player can bet his entire wad at any time, a strategy (?) requiring risky, aggressive behavior and the ability to retain a poker face while bluffing.

Since online poker games are anonymous, this helps our poker playing primates. You cannot determine who is of the human persuasion versus the ape persuasion. The human types have actually lost thousands of dollars to a player who played the early rounds with betting very little money and showed lame cards on a regular basis then out of the blue bet big time, of course, everyone in the game called, and the big time better revealed aces. Our winner was undoubtedly jumping up and down and pounding his chest in glee.

Apparently, and not coincidentally, the primate poker players early employment as computer programmers led them to independently, according to PPI, create programs to aid and abet their poker game. PPI is not talking about the specific contents of these programs. These apes could have a professional online poker career, but that is not their nature. Once outside the office, they will probably neglect their training and revert to being the real primates they are, propelling themselves with their arms from branch to branch and climbing fences. In any case as long as they are paid, fed and have their girlfriends and boyfriends nearby, they will continue with their poker games. Authors of no-limit poker books should take note. They may have to come up with some rewrites.

There is ongoing investment of money and effort taking place in the research of these programmer apes. Norm McAuliffe, a Yale biology Phd and the scientist leading the discovery research team at Primate Poker Inc is now hiring profitable primate-players to play for cash in rotation shifts 24/7. Mr. McAulliffe is very much committed to his business model and plans to continue his work.

For more interesting poker content please visit The Poker Source or Big Poker Blog

postheadericon Intuition as a Science Regarding the Poker Mind

To be good at poker “psychology” – to effectively predict your opponent’s likely thought processes – there is no need to take a seminar on Card Games and their Relation to the Unconscious. Your opponent is not your patient, and even if he/she is, no matter how well you apply Jacques Lacan to their neurosis, you are still not guaranteed to win.

Strategy is more basic to poker than psychoanalysis. But strategy is only the first step on your way to fame and fortune. “Reading” your opponents’ minds is the key to smart play, but such “reading” does not require you to listen to the other’s life story.

Outstanding players, like outstanding artists, don’t get that way from reading a manual. They progress intuitively, summoning their powers of observation, diligently practiced and enhanced over a period of many years.

You have probably noticed a dearth of technical manuals dealing with the psychology of poker. That brings us right to the crux of this issue. Whatever tips and advice may be out there for you to read up on, you cannot put them to practical use without your own sense of intuition that is achieved by putting your own thought processes to work beyond the grasp of your opponent.

Most players will lose more than they win because they depend on strict models of play, much like computer programs, or simulations that present themselves as predictions to be used robotically by the savvy player. This could be quite simple depending on the number of variables involved in the prediction.

The talented player, on the other hand, disdains crude cribs. Instead, they make their own observations about their own play and about that of others. Guided by their own intuition, they then combine those observations into principles according to their own whim and fancy. The resulting strategy is known only to them. The more talented the player is, the more complex (or ingeniously simple, which is basically the same thing) and idiosyncratic his secret strategy, making him less vulnerable.

This may be another reason why artists and players (two creatures in the same family) do not easily and never fully reveal their trade secrets to the general public: at best they allow some general theoretical discussion of their work or a few relatively trivial technical tips. Which may be very nice of them, but the problem is that they did not achieve their status by reading somebody else’s tips.

It is then most vital to commit yourself to the intense study of personal observation from your own practice to develop your observational skills as well as your imagination. Do this and you will independently create ways of acquiring a manner of play that is unique to you in its every detail.

By far the best bluffers of the game are those who do it with regularity in a manner that prohibits anyone at the table from deciphering the bluff. This requires a strong intuition developed by lots of practice and known only to them.

While hard work and persistence are involved here, they are of little benefit unless you have the courage and independence to use your imagination in some cases that make you seem less than sane but are innovative and demand a curious nature and the soul of an explorer which puts you way out in front.

One could now proceed to elaborate on the processes of intuition, or suggest where to start or what not to neglect, but even that would be too much. Everyone is blessed with intuition; not everyone has the drive to aggressively hone and use it. If the results of your unique intuition are to be unique, you had better start on your own.

What I have written about here calls for a lifetime commitment. Nobody who was ever considered a master at his craft, whatever that may be, was given that title. They worked long and hard and on their own and they earned it.

To read more poker articles like this one go to Random Poker Blog or Poker Chips Pro

postheadericon Strategies Of Rakeback

Rakeback is a term that many on-line poker players are not familiar with. These are the fees that a person pays for each pot that is played on a poker game. A person playing poker for several hours per day, or playing several tables, can spend a lot of money on the rake of the games they play.

When a player enters a game they usually pay around 5% on the pot in rakeback. The cap for most of the on-line poker sites is three dollars. The fees can rake up fast when a person is playing multiple games. This is where the term “rakeback” originated.

Poker sites have different ways of calculating the rake for each pot. Some figure the rake based on the amount of the pot and number of people at the table. Other website figure the rake on the number of people who are actually playing for the pot and the amount of the pot. In either case the amount of rake paid is normally almost the same.

Once a person knows that there is a way to get part of their rake back they begin to search for rakeback plans that are available. There are many rakeback websites which offer players a return on the rake that they play for each game. These websites work with the on-line poker sites that pay up to 45% of the rake they receive to the rakeback site. A person is paid a percentage of what is received by the rakeback website when they are registered with that site.

When a person visits a rakeback website they will find a list of poker sites that participate in the website’s program. The list will include the percentage of rake being paid by the poker site. In addition, the list includes information about any promotions that a particular poker site may be offering.

There are many on-line poker sites that offer bonuses to players to register with them. The bonus is added to the deposit that the player makes. Usually the bonus will match a deposit up to a maximum amount. This money is added to the deposit and the rakeback is paid on the total amount when it is played.

There are many incentives offered to registrants on rakeback websites. Many of these sites work with on-line poker sites offering rakeback at their site. An individual can play poker on the on-line poker site and receive rakeback at the site. Then, they receive money from the rakeback website as well.

Rakeback is unique to on-line poker and many players do not know the benefits they get from participating in a rakeback plan. A person receives rakeback when they are registered and play whether they win or not. This can offset losses, wins, and fees paid for a person who plays poker on-line.

The author is a successful limit cash game player. He plays poker online and receives Red Star Rakeback as well as Carbon Rakeback.

postheadericon The Importance of Discipline at the Poker Table

It is true for every sport that discipline is a key factor in consistent success. Despite the common understanding that poker is a gambling game of chance, you have to realize that if one day you are to become a profitable pro, you will have to establish sportsmanlike discipline of learning, understanding, and incessant practice. “Talent” is certainly essential, but even the greatest talent needs a method, and method is acquired from careful study.

Mozart was certainly a child protg of great talent, but even Mozart practiced his music relentlessly even as a child. Mozart knew that talent is well-practiced potential. But don’t depend on anyone else to impose discipline. You must impose it on yourself.

The fun of the game to most amateurs lies in the excitement of pitting themselves against blind chance. Poker is popular because of the adrenaline rush that comes with taking a risk. The professional knows his basic chances at poker, but rather than having a pleasurable time, he studies and takes advantage of opponents’ mistakes, remembers them and uses them against them while calculating immediate odds. Chance is only one element to challenge his skill and wits. The pro is not playing a half-blind game of chance, he is playing a strategic game of matching himself against another’s method and besting him.

It is vital to be familiar with the varieties of poker games and to know which of them best suit your abilities and predispositions; not only to realize what your weaknesses are, but to know also which game incites you to your best effort and best engages your intuitions. Players who haven’t the habit of self-introspection keep sullenly playing a game which doesn’t engage their best faculties. Sometimes a benevolent professional looking from the side may advise the person to try another game type and the player is surprised to discover that they are much more talented than they thought.

There is a big difference between limit and no-limit poker. A disciplined player will not yield to temptation and will prefer the game in which he feels in full, cucumber-cool control. In limit poker, disciplined players tend to play with caution, act cool, taking the time to covertly collect information about opponents, intending to milk them by small moves. They will play only the hands worth playing: the best ones play only about 20% of the hands dealt them.

The no-limit pro will appear to be the opposite of the reserved, cool limit player. He will play aggressively before the flop, and play hands that to a limit expert would appear to be pure folly. The disciplined no-limit player is always aware of exactly what he is trying to achieve with every bold move.

Whether limit or no-limit, of at least the same importance as the right move, is to not get so carried away that you don’t refrain yourself from knowing when to fold. If the situation is hopeless, or you feel a lack of control, which is certainly not uncommon, as a disciplined player aware of your performance, you will not continue with a game bringing only frustration.

On better days, never trust chance to maintain your good fortune forever – learn to leave before you loose the edge. Good players learn to establish not only the limits of their losses, but also the limits of their gain during each session.

If you enjoyed this article you may also like to read the poker articles at Random Poker Blog or Poker Chips Pro

postheadericon Don’t Let MultiTabling or Rakeback Slow Your Poker Growth

People play poker for a lot of different reasons. Some play for the competition, some for the social aspect, and some play for the pure fun of the game. When these players sit down an play poker they generally don’t mind much if they loose a few bucks. This is the price of entertainment for some players. Other players play strictly for the money. This group of players is all business and have only one goal in mind. The reality of it is that most of play the game for some combination of reasons and money is on most of our minds to some extent or another.

If your main motivation at the poker table is money, you should be looking to improve your poker at all times and move up to bigger games. Bigger games are where the bigger money is at and if that is your motivation, you need to stay focused. With the higher stakes generally comes tougher competition. If you continue to evolve as a poker player you should grow as a player along with your bankroll so that you will be ready when you get to the bigger games. Unfortunately there are some traps for online poker players that often stunt the growth of a player and prevent them from ever making it to the big game.

An easy trap to fall into as an online player is what I refer to as “The MultiTable Trap”. This is when a low limit player continues to add more and more tables to his daily routine instead of focusing on moving up the ladder to the real prize. Low limit grinders may find that they can beat 1/2 limit holdem for 1 big bet or more per hundred hands. They start to think about playing 6 tables at once. How about 8, 10, or 12 tables at a time. Before long they have 4 monitors hooked up to their computer and they’re playing 16 tables at once. While this may be a decent income, I guarantee you’re not improving your poker. There is very little time to think when you play this many tables and zero time to learn anything. You are playing ABC poker against very poor opposition. Your bankroll will grow and you will have the money to move up in limits before too long assuming that you can maintain your winrate with that many tables. Unfortunately your skill level will not be ready and you will find yourself back in the kiddy pool trying to recoup your losses over and over.

A similar pit fall is what I refer to as “The Rakeback Trap”. This is when a player focuses on how he can earn the most rakeback rather than trying to get better. This often involves playing too many tables or playing short handed poker. Rakeback is a great way to pad your bankroll and anyone serious about online poker has to be taking advantage of it. Just make sure that you treat rakeback as what it is. Something extra. This trap is especially tempting when you get to the 5/10 games. You can easily make a decent living playing break even poker and collecting rakeback at these levels if you play a few thousand hands per day. Focus on getting better and rakeback will simply become and after thought to what can be made in the high stakes games.

If you play poker to make money, real money, than make sure that you keep your goal in mind and remember where that real money is being made. Its being made in the big games. Not by playing 16 tables of 1/2 limit hold’em with a 30% rakeback deal.

If you enjoyed this article you may also like to read the poker articles at Big Poker Blog or The Poker Source