Poker Strategy Archives


PocketFives Strategy Archives

*Archives revision in progress — Spring 2011

Balancing Life and Poker

Maintaining Balance

Life Will Never Be The Same (November 8, 2010) – Veteran high-stakes poker tournament specialist Mike SowersUNCCSowers shares a heartfelt recount of how facing one’s fears could be the key to future success.

Day Job, Young Family & Poker(June 28, 2010) – A number of PocketFivers get together to share their common tales about spending time with both young children and poker.

Kinda Quitting Poker(March 31, 2010) – This thread links to Mike TimexMcDonald’s CardRunners blog entryannouncing that he’s leaving the grind.

Has Poker Stolen Your Soul(March 15, 2010) –jokerpoker88 reflects on the myth of online poker glamour, and the reailty of the grind taking away from the rest of your personal life.

How Does Poker Fit into Your Life?(July 12, 2009) – PocketFives forum moderator thearthurdog tells us about a change in his poker schedule and how it has helped the rest of his life in this front page article.

MTTs Are Just Too Painful For Me(March 23, 2009) – CalBandGreat expresses a frustration every tournament player can have: the swings and disappointments of not winning are incredibly tough to take.

I’m Okay. You’re Okay.(November 18, 2008)grapsfan relays an anecdote about a Costco cashier to make a point about the need for honesty when it comes to playing poker.

Game Selection and Your Lifestyle: Part 2(August 10, 2008) – Part 2 of Assassinato‘s write-up regarding table selection.

Game Selection and Your Lifestyle: Part 1(August 3, 2008) – PokerPwnageinstructorAssassinato writes about picking the best games to fit your lifestyle and profit needs.

Perspective (February 6, 2006) – Underdog34tells his story about what makes his life better after a bad beat.

Dealing with Poker Guilt and Depression(October 11, 2005) – dhubermex shares his story how poker almost took over his life, and how he struggled to find a positive balance.

Staying Afloat in the Poker World(July 31, 2005) –the_schmenxlays out his code of poker conduct.

College Life

Life, Poker & My Future(February 22, 2010) – Deoxyribo works to maintain focus on school after achieving MTT success.

School, Poker & Social Life(January 20, 2009) – BobbyDig needs to know how to find the right balance between school, social life and volume at the tables.

College or Poker?(July 22, 2008) – CardXFactor‘s article looks at the question…can you have both?

Consumed by the Game(February 14, 2006) – Years before he became a top-ranked online tournament pro and DoylesRoom“Brunson 10” member, gboro780 wonders if being distracted by poker during other aspects of his life is normal.

Family & Significant Others

My Brother-In-Law Hates Me(March 23, 2010) – Luna the Dog faces jealousy from his brother-in-law, who works hard labor while Luna is finding tournament success.

Making it Work with a Girlfriend(July 24, 2009) – PiKappRaider just moved in with a “normal career” girlfriend, and is looking for advice on how to find a common schedule.

Live-in Girlfriend Hates Poker(January 3, 2006) – ginzorella has a good job, and loves his girlfriend…but her hatred of poker (even after his success) threatens their relationship.

Bankroll Management

Are You a Bankroll Nit?(February 16, 2009) – grapsfanlooks at the lost profit that comes from playing too low for your bankroll, and tries to define some minimums to go along with Fox’s and Jennifear’s maximums.

SNG/Multitable SNG/MTT Bankroll Guide(December 15, 2008) – Jennifear takes Fox’s data one step further, providing detailed bankroll and buy-in numbers for various types of tournament play.

Thank Goodness I Learned Good Bankroll Skills (January 20, 2006) – scgolfer credits bankroll management for getting him through the worst variance streaks.

Basic Bankroll Management(December 7, 2005) – This basic guide by No Limitsauthor Chris Fox Wallace is the most viewed article in PocketFives history.

Why Moving Down a Level Isn’t a Bad Idea(November 16, 2005) – CardRunnersCo-Founder Andrew muddywater Wiggins writes a great article about when to move down in stakes.

Tournament Bankrolls? (February 22, 2005) – This thread represents one of the first P5s discussions on how tournament field size affects bankroll requirements.

Cash Games

Cash Games versus Multi-Table Tournaments(July 22, 2009) – Rizen provides some insight into the positives and negatives of his shift from online tournaments to cash games.

Fixing a leak on later streets (February 17, 2006) – This thread discusses ways to identify and price out drawing opponents.

Implied Odds and how they affect buy in strategy(November 5, 2005) Andrew muddywaterWiggins lets us know why we should always buy-in for the maximum amount.

High level river bluff(July 27, 2005) Taylor Green Plastic Caby gives his thought process on a big river bluff that pays off.

Big session vs. mahatma(July 8, 2005) TaylorGreen Plastic Caby shares some hands from a big heads-up session with one of the biggest online players at the time, Prahlad Friedman.

Thought this might be interesting…(June 28, 2005) CardRunners founder TaylorGreen Plastic Caby shares a hand from the biggest game online at the time, the $25/$50 full-ring game at UB.

General Strategy

The Well series here at PocketFives has been a major hit among our readers; offering insight from some of the biggest stars in online poker. Dig deep into the minds of professional poker players as they field any and all questions from fellow PocketFivers.

The Well: Jymaster0011 Jordan Young*NEW* December 2010

The Well: Assassinato Alex Fitzgerald

The Well: Corwin Mackey

The Well: SCTrojans Scott Freeman

The Well: gboro780 Steve Gross

The Well: moorman1 Chris Moorman

The Well: peachymer

The Well: Plattsburgh Matt Vengrin

The Well: dipthrong Mark Herm

The Well: The Lab Rat

What I’ve Learned (October 27, 2010)Goldenadwrote What I’ve Learnedas a summary of his experiences as a poker player. The post provides advice to poker players of all buy-in and skill levels on how to approach the game.

This, Too, Shall Pass(August 27, 2009) Lee Jones looks back at the early days of poker rooms, and predicts that when it comes to popular games and styles of play, change is the only true constant.

Why Intelligent People Sometimes Struggle with Poker (August 25, 2009) Jennifearseparates IQ from poker intelligence, and looks at the levels of thinking necessary to succeed.

What is your Biggest MTT Leak?(May 22, 2009) Ranked player BLUEberLEEZ is surveying leaks, and looking for plugs.

Where’s the Edge Coming From When All Players Are Perfect? (May 14, 2009) A question from a frustrated member rallies the community to talk about finding edges, plugging leaks, and having a strong attitude when it comes to the critical lost coin flip.

Who or What Has Helped Step Your Game Up?(January 16, 2009) jtj03 poses the question, and a number of good players respond.

Tips for Better Multi-Tabling(November 30, 2008) mathclub shares what he’s learned about how to play multiple tables to the best of your ability.

Winning at Micro Stakes Poker(October 19, 2008) grapsfandefines his Two Law of Micro MTTs, and how you can overthink the game.

How to Play Pocket Pairs with Short/Medium Stack(August 17, 2007) Annette_15 contributed this gem of wisdom just a couple weeks before winning the WSOP Europe Main Event.

AK, I Need Help… (February 22, 2006) NSXT2 and others share what they would do with one of the trickiest and most over-thought starting hand in NLHE.

Something I’ve Learned(March 1, 2006) TranquilChaos mixes knowledge and humor, and others chime in with their own insights.

The Paper, Rock, Scissors Approach to Poker(January 19, 2006) lilprog79 compares his strategy for table adjustment to the popular children’s game (and game theory favorite).

SNG Squeeze Play – How do you do it? (January 11, 2006) This thread defines some of the most common terms around popular plays.

Fact Filter vs. Judgment Filter (December 12, 2005) This thread provides analysis of the thought process involved in making the big laydown.

Minimizing Value on Made Hands(December 6, 2005) phatcat looks for advice on new ways to get as many chips as possible with the best hand.

Continuation Bets(October 22, 2005) Live pro Blair Rodman and others talk about the validity of continuation bets against sophisticated opponents.

I’m Playing Too Tight(July 9, 2005) Some notable P5ers, including AawwNutz, provide some tips to opening up your game.

Taking Control of the Pot(May 10, 2005) Wachoviashares how he looks to control the players around him to his pre-flop advantage.

Place a Bet or Let Them Bluff? (April 29, 2005) An often-encountered situation in Hold’em: should you bet with a made hand, or check to give your opponents a chance to bluff (and potentially lose value)?

Poker 101 – Lesson A(April 25, 2005) TexasTrollshares his fundamental tips and tricks. If you’re looking for me, you can also check outPoker 101 – Lesson B.

How Mathematicians Think(March 28, 2005) Rileywrites about the mathematical mind, beyond the simple odds into the complex thoughts.

Going Pro

In today’s world, a professional online poker player is often required to put in a considerable amount of time improving his/her skill level and competing at the virtual tables, which can lead to limited free time to pursue other interests. Do most pros hate poker and the lifestyle around it? is a must-read thread for any poker player who is considering taking up the game professionally thanks to the wide variety of well-thought out opinions provided by many of today’s top online poker pros. *Also see: The Lifestyle of a Professional Poker Player, which was written by Chris Big Huni Hunichen in response to this thread.

im a no nameris a SNG and MTT grinder who is dissatisfied with his job and wants to “take the plunge.” In going pro?, he receives feedback from professional poker players, including UhhMee, GambleAB, and jdpc27.

PocketFiver shinka is a college student who wants to dedicate more time to poker once summer rolls around. He’d like to know, “What’s an online pro’s average day/week like?” P5s Forum Moderator jdpc27 Jason Wheeler gives a Reality vs Fantasy look into the life of a professional online poker player in this thread.

jupitert was Considering quitting day job to play online poker F/T. This thread is full of good advice for him and anyone else considering the same thing.

Becoming a professional card player may sound very exciting but there is a lot to consider before you decide ifTaking the Plungemight be right for you.Foxis very cautionary here, with good reason because the life of a poker pro is definitely not for everyone.

Taking the plunge is a thread started by tranquilchaos on his decision to go pro. Much well wishing and some very sober advice follows.

At what point did you “pros” know it was time to go “pro”? is another going pro thread, this time from the Mennas Joint point of view. You’ve got to love the pocketfives community for things like this.

When liprog79 posted the Ten things i learned in my first month as a “pro” we knew we had an instant classic. He shares valuable tips for anyone, but everyone considering making poker their primary source of income should keep this by their computer.

Hand Analysis

Michael rock3656 Rocco reviews a key hand he played in a PokerStars $1k WCOOP event in which he was put to the test several times by his opponent in interesting hand with analysis of every street. Mike’s entire thought process behind three check-calls is detailed in this thread.

Real-life and hypothetical strategy come to play in HH deep in 27.50 on Stars… by shanetrain22. How would you play jacks and ace-king on the final table bubble of the Stars showcase $27.50 nightly event?

Scott stsitron Sitron is in the FTOPS XII $2,500 event with ace-king and a deep stack. What’s your move when faced with a 4-bet re-raise by jordankickz? Read Sick preflop spot 2500 w/jordankickz for insight into what goes through the mind of top players as they compete for major cash in online tournaments.

Mike Caruso, fondly known as rusostreet, has ace-king and would like reader feedback on his 4-bet shove in WTF should I do here? Hand in 100r vs SCTrojans and M8kingmoves.
Being 8-handed in a Full Tilt $100 rebuy tournament with pocket kings sounds like a great pre-flop situation, right? In Holy @#$! spot with KK,gutshtallin faces three shoves in front of him, and would like input on the hand range of fellow high-profile PocketFiver JohnnyBelow.

In this April ’09 thread, entitled “Will Other Pros Share Their Hand Histories?”, several highly respected online poker players and members of the community share hand histories from key tournament victories. (Key contributors: sandler1860, icufish, gutshtallin, andressoprano, wandigo, passonme, MastaP89, and others.) If you’re interested in watching some of today’s top online pros compete in high stakes tournaments with their cards face-up, then this thread is for you!

In Hand Discussion Part 1 Gidders starts a nice thread about a specific hand in a 180 man sitngo.

TT on a ragged flopseems like a dream situation but in this thread we try to get a read on a player making some odd plays and decide whether our over pair is good. For pre-flop strategy with TT check outMTT Quiz?

Mindwise shows off a new function of his hand history re-player’s New Interactive Quiz. The demo spawns some discussion, plus it’s just cool to see what he’s doing with this software and we look forward to more.

AawwNutz is an example of a great player who is always working on his game. One way he does this is by participating in the strategy discussions on Pocketfives. In this hand he lays down KK pre-flop. Did he make a sick read, or is there more to it than that, What do you guys think? In just the opposite situation – with QQ on an Ace high flop AawwNutz makes his play on the turn in Anybody like this one?. Ina read to talk about he offers play by play analysis of a hand with mid pair early in a MTT. InSituational Pokerhe gives an example ofa hand where he uses his chips to represent a hand to take down a pot on the turn. No wonder he was nominated for “Most Valuable Poster” in 2005.

InAnatomy of a Hand DelaReineshares his process of reviewing his hand histories as a tool for improving his game. The insight into his thought process both during a hand and in hindsight makes for good reading.

Some people post thinly veiled bad beat stories in the Hand Advice forum, but Footballman77 was honestly looking for advice when he asked Rockets again, can one of you hold’em studs tell me how to play differently? Proving once again that it is always better to win small pots than lose big ones, even when you flop top set.

Falling in love with a hand can be a major leak for some players. How do you playMiddle Position QQ when facing a big raise from UTG?

Pocketfives encourages everyone to rail the top players in order to learn from them. One side affect of this is that people often catch someone making an odd play and race over to post about it. In Take a look at this hand The_Takeover played on UB today N 82 50 24 replies with detailed mathematical analysis of the hand. This is not necessarily to defend The_Takeover’s play but to learn from it.

Limit Hold’em

Limit poker is not sexy, it’s not exciting, but it can be very profitable with minimal risk. InHow most pros make a living Fox shares his bread and butter – 4 tabling mid limits.

Gbmantis shares some hand histories in 30/60 hand analysis. A couple of these hands are examples of limit calling stations run amok but mantis and others discuss the importance of saving a bet here and there.

Freerolling has a Question for Fox or other limit specialists about how to play big pairs in limit, and he gets some good responses.

Millie88 asks for help dealing with the mental game in low limit focus. He gets some simple but good advice in this thread.

InLimit Poker : Big blind defense with a call? Beauright examines the pros and cons of loosening your starting requirements in the Big Blind in Limit Hold’em.

Many players these days start out in NL hold’em and can never quite adjust to the speed and strategy required to playLimit Hold’em. Some of the common frustrations and differences are discussed here with some good advice from Adam and others.

Live Play/Major Events

In January 2009, PocketFives Triple Crown winner Bdybldngpkrplyr Carter Phillips was getting ready to compete in his first live tournament – an LAPT event in Chile. In First live tournament… advice?, members post their opinions on how to best adjust to live poker tournaments. Key contributors: skeeze666, and lordxixor101
One fixture of online poker is the dream of playing in a major live event. The online cardrooms make a killing off of the rake for their endless satellites. Not many people stop to ask Why is winning a satellite the only option for most?

InUltimate Poker Challenge Day 1 Blair Rodmangives us an inside look on his experience at a major live event with some in-depth hand analysis included. If you’re in a reading mood he continues in day 2 part 1,day 2 part 2,day 2 part 3, andfinal day.

The live reports can be fun to read if you are stuck at home while these guys live it up in the tropics. So next rainy day you may want to read steely’s PCA Trip Report and SamENole’s My day 1 in the Atlantis WPT.

At first glanceLive Play- Straddling is a sucker bet, but this thread shows us that if you put a little thought into it, the live straddle can actually be a useful tool in a NL ring game.

Multi Table Tournament (MTT) Strategy

World-class online tournament pro and DoylesRoomBrunson 10 member Chris Moorman (moorman1) flops an open-ended straight flush draw in the PokerStars $1k Tuesday event in this February, 2010 thread entitled Stars 1k, how do you proceed?. Key contributors: Puggy82, rock3656, McNallyville, jdpc27, doubledave22, jsagan77, funnygut, B_O_K_E and The Spewtard.

Online tournament bubble play is an intriguing game in itself, where some players look to accumulate chips while others seek to ensure they finish in the money at all costs. In Play to win or play to cash?, 56off56 asks if other players suffer from a lack of aggression at key moments in tournaments.

My thoughts and views on low limit tourneys and rebuys is an October 2010 thread from longtime member mrniphty on how to increase your Return on Investment (ROI) in low stakes multi-table tournaments. The opening post of the thread contains strategy advice, tips and a hand history example that could go a long way to helping that low stakes tournament player looking to take his/her game to the next level.

TheJunkie brings up an oldie but goodie… How much do you value your tourney life? A first-page reply from superstar SowersUNCC sparks more replies from members with opinions on the precise value of one’s “tournament life.”

In 2007, teenage poker phenom Annette_15 Annette Obrestad authored How to play pps in EP with short-med stack, which was adopted by many up and coming players who were looking to improve on leaks with pocket pairs. Exactly one month after making this post, Annette won the inaugural WSOP Europe Main Event for approximately $2,000,000!

We all know there is no one right way to play poker and when Dg0016 asked was this a horrible play? we found out top players like brsavage, gbmantis, and ActionJeffcan disagree completely on how to play the same hand. This is a long thread discussing AK, fold equity, squeeze play, stack accumulation vs. preservation and many more MTT concepts.

One common question on here is “I am getting close a lot but can’t push through, what do I do? Beanieanswers this question very simply: play more! Sometimes sheer volume is what you need to get that big score. He also shares some of his views on tournament play in this post.

Coderman1has a Request(frequent winners): Post your pivotal tournament hands and he gets responses from Aawwnutz, GambleAB and isuck123, who have certainly done their fair share of winning.

When Lightning007 was ousted from a tourney he came to the Pocketfives community looking for help. In MTT Tourney advice needed he gets some good responses to his question about his play with KK in the mid-stages of the tournament.

Pot Odds in tournament play is an area of poker theory that is continually developing. In the threada bad lay down??? you get a wide variety of perspectives, many of them from top players. It is a good example of a time when maybe you take the worst of it in order to chip up. The discussion is continued inPot Odds: To call or not to call, with some fairly extensive mathematical analysis.

Have you won a tournament w/o stealing? is a good thread on the importance of picking up the blinds in MTT play, with some technique discussed.

A user came looking forTournament Specific Advice (a Pokerstars Points satellite for the PCA event) but he gets some good advice for play in any tournament.

InStop-n-go vs. All-in DP388 starts a discussion about how to play mid pairs late in a tourney.

Improving your MTT game is, as supermovessays,”An article for mediocre players who want to get good”. This is very good ABC type advice that will get you deep in MTTs. Some of the responses also have good advice on how and when to depart from this ABC strategy. Another good thread for beginners is Newbie with questions.

We constantly hear about the importance of aggression. InThe whole cockroach thing/patience apestyles reminds us of the importance of having multiple speeds and knowing when to shift those gears. The “cockroach” part comes from this thread about Samenole’sindestructibility. You can’t just let yourself blind off however. Make sure you have a stack with some fold equity in it, as discussed in Patience vs Cold Deck. SamEnole took the conversation a step further with a full article on his shortstack play in The Cockroach Effect. He even went so far as to provide an entire HH from a sngo where he was down to 60 chips and went on to win inA sng pertaining to my article.

The “slow gear” and play style in online MTTs is one of the best threads on MTT strategy in general and the ability to change it up in particular. ActionJeff starts if off and gets some GREAT responses.

supermoves asks “Could someone write an article on this?“, but doesn’t have to wait long before he gets some very good responses on the battle of the blinds in tournament play. Another thread about playing from the blinds isYou make the call part 2 where Awwnutz gives us a scenario of button/blind battle with some good commentary on positional play and AK strategy late in a tourney. In question about a flush draw Tim G.posts about back-to-back hands he played late in a MTT — the first hand receives the most interesting responses. Another common situation you might face is holding AK vs. position raise.

AawwNutz starts off with a self deprecating title, but generally when he starts thinking he comes up with something good and Uh-oh, I’ve been thinkingis no exception. This thread about the style of play required to succeed in online MTTs is definitely worth reading. In another thread, idle speculation onThe Styles of the Ranked Playerssolicits some interesting discussion of the strategies of Harrington and Cloutier in online play. AawwNutz experiments with LAG play inThe Ivey Experiment

A major asset to the pocketfives community is the regular contribution of some of the best poker players on the net. One way they do this is post and discuss hand histories. BRSavage joined the fun with Ok, Here is my educational hand history. It offers some great insight into the concepts of stack preservation versus accumulation. BeLOWaBOVe shares Hands from my MTTs on stars tonight with analysis from many different situations. Moral of the story? Don’t min raise with BeLOW at your table. Another thread with lots of HHs and some analysis is ActionJeff’s Boring Hands Section.

We preach agression at the inflection points in a tourney like right before the money and theFinal table bubble. In this situation AawwNutzgot caught going too far in a hand by a player making some odd plays. The commentary on the hand expands far beyond the paramaters of this one hand.

There has been some discussion ofThe UTG Steal as a new trend in poker. This is a thread from August ’05 with opinons from gbmanits, NSXT2 and others.

Stud/Mixed Games

PocketFiver 7CardRyon discusses a hand that came up in the 2009 WSOP $10k Seven Card Stud event. After turning an open-ended straight flush draw, he raises in hopes of getting maximum value out of his draw hand. Read hand from wsop 10k stud championship to view opinions from P5ers on how they would’ve played the hand.


In 1/2 PLO hand, tough spot.., albari turns a boat, and the river brings a blank card. Eights over kings is the 3rd best hand at showdown… could a check-raise shove on the river by his opponent mean he’s up against KK/TT? What would you do in this situation? Call or fold?
When photonn asked for the Best hand in Omaha? he could have gotten “AAKK doublesuited” end of story, but instead NIURAT responded with a great explanation of what makes Omaha so different from Hold’em.

If you are just venturing into Omaha country then you may have noticed it is a very different game from Hold’em. In Draws in Omaha N 82 50 24 explains this game of “redraws, redraws and more redraws”.

Omaha Hi and Omaha 8s are related, but more like distant cousins. In this article grapsfan gives us Omaha 8/b: An Introduction. He followed that up with Math in Omaha 8/b

Omaha Hi/Lo is a great thread about hand rankings in Omaha 8s.

InOMAHA Hi/Lo Question grapsfan gives a nice analysis why 23xx is not a good starting hand to draw to a low.

How come I’m good at PLO but crap at 8b? This thread has some great advice for the beginning Omaha 8s player.

Rebuy Tournaments

Always add on? is a question that often comes up about rebuys. Further discussion on the issue can be found inGeneral Guideline for Add-Ons

In the first article in a series from Jsup shares his Rebuy tournament strategy. He replays a live rebuy tourney he played in detail by detail. The section about the importance of acquiring a big stack early is very helpful, as is the hand analysis.

Many satellites these days are turbo rebuys and being the swell guy that he is AawwNutz shares his strategy specifically for these games in My Christmas Gift to Some.

Record Keeping/Notetaking

Opposing Player Notes:What do yours say? is a great thread with lots of examples of how to take effective notes on the players at your table.

Step one is keeping comprehensive, honest records. Step two is interpreting those records in a way that is meaningful.Success Question has some good discussion of how to gauge your success and set goals for improvement.

Fox is our resident expert on Pokertracker and there is some good introductory info in his blog including Stats Week for Fox and anything with Pokertracker in the title. Check outFox’s Blog for more information.

We all know that keeping records is important, and probably plan to “get around to it” or have made a half-hearted start. In his articleKeep records and use them to your advantage Adam gives a few examples of why it is so important, and profitable.

Sit & Gos

In this August 2010 thread titled How to use tools to study your game, veteran online poker professional Jennifear celebrates Post #10,000 on PocketFives with an ultra-informative study guide that could significantly increase a player’s Expected Value (EV) in Sit & Gos and other poker games.

This January 2010 thread from PocketFiver Landsbanki titled Variance in Turbos v Normal Speed – a common misconception contains opinions on the ROI and variance expectations of normal vs. turbo blind structures in single-table sit & go tournaments (SNGs). Key contributors: iatetheredcrayon, tyson219, dealace1, dgillis, z06fanatic, Zephyr98 and Faded TV
If you are looking forA guide to single table tournaments then go no further than this article by Adam. It is a great guide to playing and beating mid and low level STTs, with stage by stage strategy.

In Help with an Advanced SNG situation ActionJeffshows why he is such a good player. He is always analyzing every detail and looking to improve. This thread includes in-depth discussion of bubble theory and ICM analysis.

In this post laser16 shares Some random thoughts to help you own SNGs. He covers some intermediate to advanced concepts which will help you improve your SitnGo play.

In aSit and go revisited there is some good discussion of what to do in the small blind with a playable hand as a short stack.

InSNG for the ages? sheetsshares the entire hand history from an epic SitnGo – Priceless! He added another much shorter one in with the tongue-in-cheek title How to win a SnGO in 37 hands. Mindwise and Pokerxfactor turned it into an animation for us in This Thread.

Party Poker Mini Steps includes a good discussion of the different values the step tourneys offer beginning players versus pros.

Short handed play is a discussion of hand selection and strategy for sitngos once a few people have been knocked out.

We’ve all felt the frustration of playing against a maniac. In this threadMr.Gobbles asks When to gamble against bad players?and Fox responds with his strategy based upon game and situation.

How do you play on the short stack in a sitngo? is a question from the early days of the site which gets some very good basic SitnGo advice.

Tilt / The Mental Game

PocketFiver The mini Jew made waves in the Poker Discussion forum in late 2009 when he authored Poker Players and the Mind. His post provides a summary of how attitude affects one’s performance at the poker tables. Key contributors: Goldenad, TheVillageGrinder, pjformella and MastaP89 .

In one of those “aha” moments Jluce describes how he went from a tilt-prone player to cool, calm and collected no matter the situation in An Untouched State of Mind.

Gidders originally wrote You Deserve to Win as a letter to a friend who was going through a rough patch in his poker career. He decided to share it with the whole pocketfives community and we are lucky he did! He gives some good advice on how to get out of a rut and reminds us of the importance of confidence in poker.

Why can’t I be disciplined? is a typical post venting about the frustration of playing yourself out of a tournament but it gets some good responses from the community.

Most players find it difficult to stay focused and play their “A” game when running bad. Sweeet Pea shares how she has made it her goal to focus on Sustaining confidence as a player no matter what.

An often neglected aspect of poker strategy is quite simply “where is your head at” when you sit down to play. Wachovia gives us some of his insight into The Mental Aspect of the Game and also addresses dealing withFrustration in another article.

When running bad it’s easy to lose confidence. Sophiea was totally confused,looking for advice about his Tight Agressive game getting hammered at the tables. He gets some good advice on how to play through it and come out the other side a better player.


This 2010 Valentine’s Day thread by bef99hwk entitled Thoughts on Amount of Makeup results in a number of informative responses from PocketFivers who have opinions on backing and staking in poker. Key Contributors: Wein, Fox, MarkFSU1, idareyouAA, JMaster130, jshark4 and s.l. halper

K1d_Gr1nD posted this thread in May ’09, entitled Getting Backed: Would you rather..?, where PocketFivers can vote and post their opinions on whether they would rather play at lower stakes on their own bankroll, or at higher stakes as a backed tournament grinder.
In this thread some of the top players clear up some of the misconceptions about how theStaking process works.

Jed is the founder of 5th Street Venture Capital, a fund created expressly for Backing Tournament Players, so when he talks about backing he know his stuff.

Why Online Poker Is Safe

In Computer Security by the Numbers,the late “computerb” reminds our readers of a few computer security measures that are very helpful for online poker players.

Fox posted his article Put on your Tinfoil hat… on 4/12/2005 and the debate on the boards raged for days. We still see plenty of “rigged” posts, but now most of them are immediately rewarded with a “tinfoil hat” response. If you are wondering where that came from, read this article.

Those players who have accepted that the RNGs are legit but still feel the universe is conspiring against them wonder about the “CheatatPoker” ads they see all over the internet (and perhaps secretly want to try it out). InSee Your Opponents Hole Cards-Guaranteed Fox says in no uncertain terms what he thinks of these programs.

We all get tired of “rigged” posts, so beanie decided to do something about it in his article Instead of asking if online poker is rigged. He doesn’t even honor the question with arguments to the contrary, but instead directs us to ask more useful questions like “How can I improve my game?”

Pocketfives Classics

Boku made online poker headlines in 2009 when he turned $100 into $10,000 over the course of 15 days by playing low-stakes Sit & Go tournaments on PokerStars. His quest began in this thread: Propbet – Turning 100$ into 10000$ in 15 days.
In From broke to chip leader of main event, pbiebs7 shares his experiences from the 2008 WSOP in Las Vegas.
The now famous/infamous Stars August TLB bet originated when sheets brought us a PROPOSAL FROM GIGABET.

Pocketfives has long been a place where internet pros come to discuss the important issues they face in their careers. When erbloore posted Letter from Steve Libscomb one of the biggest issues facing tournament poker was aired in our forums. This discussion brought Annie Duke to the boards, as it is very important to her and other pros. The discussion continues with another new poster, Michael Craig, in Annie Duke and the WPT.

One of the most popular items on Pocketfives are the Interviews we feature from time to time. These include The Grinder, KrazyKanuck, PokerHO, Green Plastic and many more.

Americans abroad are notorious for being big, loud and obnoxious, but Europeans are also guilty of being snobbish and condescending if not outright rude to Yanks overseas. This clash of cultures came to a head with the resounding words “For America I call!” in POkerH0’s Stories from Paris.

Seal has provided the pocketfives community with valuable strategy and poker advice in his posts and his articles, but he is perhaps best loved for his entertaining ESPoker series. Check it out in his blog.

Comic Relief

In Fatsofat6969 = Kirk Herbstreit (March ’10), PocketFives members take their shot at matching their favorite poker players’ faces with celebrity images. Does Brazilian online poker superstar caio_pimentareally look like “Turtle” from Entourage? You be the judge!

The movie Rounders holds a special place in the hearts of many PocketFivers, as it helped usher in a new generation of poker players. In Mike McDermott, P5er bstillmatic wonders how Matt Damon’s fictional character would fare in today’s poker world. Would he be a cash game specialist and pull moves on today’s superstars like he did on Johnny Chan? Would he be able to grow his three stacks of high society into a high-stakes bankroll or would he seek backing from an online Joey Knish? Relive the magical moments of Teddy KGB, The Worm, and more as PocketFivers reminisce in this A++++ thread.

Years ago, PocketFiver uber noob posted this gem entitled Is table image even important?, which gave the veteran forums members a good laugh. Which “table image” do you think is best?

The first annual Presto award for Funniest Poster went to BigHems for his Bad beat stories from 2005. Just so they will never be lost, here are the “BigHems Classics” : Worst Bad Beat Ever , OMG!?! YOU LIKED THE LAST ONE? THIS ONE IS 83957894x WORSE! , BigHems gives tips on how to PWN , IMPORTANT ACCOUNCEMENT FROM BIGHEMS! , A Poker Story: Owned!!! (Woot Woot)

How to Handle Bad Beats looks like your typical poker post. I came across this thread thinking it might be good for people looking for serious advice on avoiding tilt. What I found was even better.

Ever wonder whereGG Candy machine came from? In the midst of a thread about stealing from UB phatcat added this phrase to pocketfives culture. Thank you sir, thank you.

If you live below the Mason-Dixon Line I’m sure you have a Waffle House story of your own, but here’s one from AdamWaffle House turned mad.

Hawkhill7submitted this clever little tactic on avoiding tilt as a product review. We decided not to include it in that “serious” section but yes, we do have a sense of humor. So if you want a guaranteed way to increase your win rate read Taking Your Game to The Next Level.

the schmenx started off this thread of eerie similarities between certain poker players and celebrites. Perhaps they were really Seperated at Birth?

In a rare public appearance Rileyshares his impersonation of the internet clebrity known simply as the “Numa Numa Guy” in Riley’s Funny Side.