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Everything posted by Gags30

  1. Poker is an incredibly enjoyable game to play. Its intricate strategies and complex problem solving make it a great game for professionals and poker lovers alike, and its amount of gamble and the chance to "hit it big" make it enjoyable for amateurs. That being said, almost every poker player at one time or another has experienced something else while sitting at a poker table: boredom. Whether it's early in a tournament and you're just doing a lot of folding or you're at a cash game table and it's a particularly dull group of players, many people tend to get bored after they've folded and are waiting for their next hand. This leads players to bring things with them to occupy themselves at the table. I've seen people do all kinds of crazy things while allegedly playing poker, everything from normal activities such as listening to music or playing on their phone to crazier things like having a laptop and a bunch of paperwork out, clearly doing some sort of office work. I even saw one guy pull out a full sized guitar and start strumming in between hands. He was quickly told he was not allowed to play guitar at the table, only to later pull out a harmonica, which wasn't allowed either. Anyway, while some of these activities may keep you focused on the task at hand, others can quickly cause you to become distracted. Then, poker becomes a secondary activity to your primary task of playing with your phone or watching a movie. When you are in the casino to play poker, make it your goal to just play poker. There is a wealth of information available to you, and focusing on other players and their actions can come in handy much more than you may realize. This past weekend, I played in a WSOP Circuit Event in Atlantic City and two hands came up where I had tough decisions. It was pretty early in the Main Event and instead of spending the first two hours playing on my phone, I had been watching the other players at my table. It was the usual mix of younger and older players and in the hand in question, a young player opened from the cutoff to 500. I called from the button with Q-J offsuit, as did the big blind. The big blind this hand was a middle-aged gentleman who seemed like he'd played a few tournaments in the past, but definitely was still an amateur. Anyway, he called and the three of us saw a flop of Td-7c-7h. It checked to me and I thought about betting. However, I noticed something about the big blind that made me think back. The entire time I was at the table with him, whenever he was in a hand post-flop, he would kind of play with his cards, sit back in his chair, and not seem very interested in the hand. Every time I'd seen him do this, he would fold to a bet. This time, he was sitting very upright in his chair and seemed very interested in the action. I checked and the turn came the 8c, giving me a gutshot. It once again checked to me and now I thought, "Maybe my read was wrong," so I bet 800 chips. The big blind instantly called and the other player folded. The river came the 9h, completing the board as Td-7c-7h-8c-9h, giving me the nut straight, and this time the big blind bet 2,000. I thought for a bit and raised to 6,100, as I thought he could have a lot of Jx hands like J-9 or J-T. Without much hesitation, he moved all-in for about 13,000 more. Thinking back to my reads on the player and how interested in the flop he was, I knew my initial read was correct and I had to be beat here. I flashed the Jc to him before tossing my hand into the muck. Later after our table had broken, he came up to me and told me how amazing of a fold I made, and that he had quad sevens and couldn't believe I didn't double him up. Little did he know that I actually had an even better straight than I showed. A second hand from this Main Event came almost as soon as I got moved to a new table. I raised in late position with 9-8 of spades and was called by the button. He was a middle-aged man who is an Atlantic City regular. The flop came Qc-5h-5s and I bet about 600. He quickly called. The turn was the 6s, giving me a straight flush draw, and I once again bet, this time 1,300. He again quickly called. The river was my gin card, the 7c, completing the board of Q-5-5-6-7. With about 5,700 in the pot, I decided that if he had a queen, he was going to pay off any bet amount, so I over-bet the pot and bet 7,300. The Atlantic City regular instantly shoved all-in. He had me covered and I had around 15,000 remaining after my bet. I would expect many players to never show up with less than a full house here. However, I had been paying attention earlier and witnessed him several times over-valuing hands. One hand that stands out is when he put in three huge bets on a board of J-4-3-7-4 with only J-9 and was called by A-J. I began to think about possible hands he could have in this situation - 5-5, 6-6, 7-7 maybe - and then thought, "You know, I wonder if he just thinks a five is good here" and then quickly committed the rest of my chips. Sure enough, he turned over 5-4 of clubs, which was no good to my straight, and I raked in the huge pot. In either one of these hands, if I had not been paying attention while other hands were taking place, I would have not been sure what to do and could have very easily made the wrong decision. But, since I had been paying attention to my opponents, my decisions became easy. With the World Series of Poker right around the corner, now is a great time to start honing your game. So, the next time you're sitting at the poker table, put your phone away, leave your iPad at home, and focus on the true reason you drove to the casino that day: to play poker. Gags30is a long-time PocketFives member and PocketFives Traininginstructor. He is also available for private coaching and is a lead instructor at PremierPokerCoaching.com.
  2. When playing poker nearly every day during the WSOP for five weeks straight, it can oftentimes become very easy to autopilot your decisions. After all, we've all played countless hands of poker and have often encountered the same situations numerous times. However, once in a while, you can still run into unique situations that you have never seen before that can leave you scratching your head. Last week, I was faced with one of these situations. -- InterPokerhas been securely dealing cards since 2002. The recently re-launched site offers a wide array of promotionslike $10 cash free for new players as well as a 25K race for SnG players. WSOP qualifiers are also running now. Check out the new and improved InterPoker. -- I had busted the WSOP event of the day already and was not in the mood to play another long MTT, so I decided to play some sit and gos. For those who do not know, the WSOP offers 10-person sit and go tournaments ranging in buy-in from $125 to $1,060 and, once in a while, they even get some $5,000 sit and gos going. These tournaments are always winner-take-all; however, they are usually chopped two- or three-handed, so they tend to play fairly similarly to normal online sit and gos. Quite commonly during these tournaments, players will have last-longer bets. In these, a few players put some money in and the last of these players remaining wins that money. Almost always during a sit and go, you will get a table last-longer with anywhere from three or four all the way up to all 10 people involved. These last-longers help make the prize pools bigger and everyone usually enjoys them. A second type of last-longer that is common is a heads-up last-longer. This is simply you versus your opponent; whoever outlasts the other person wins the money. Again, these are very fun and also a very easy way to offset the cost of entering the sit and gos if you are smart enough to outlast your opponent. So, I sit down at a $525 sit and go. The table is friendly and we get nine people involved in a $300 last-longer, so the prize pool is already looking quite large, when someone asks if anyone wants to do a heads-up last-longer. I oblige and we settle on $500. I recognize this player and know he likes to gamble a lot, so I already like my odds for this bet. We're only four hands into the tournament and my heads-up last-longer opponent is already down to 1,100 from the 2,000-chip starting stack while I have yet to play a hand. I'm first to act, look down at Ac-As, and raise to 75 (blinds are still 25/25). I get one caller in middle position and the big blind calls as well. The flop comes A-9-3 rainbow, the big blind and I both check, and the player in middle position bets 150. The big blind quickly calls, as do I. The turn is a 6, the big blind again checks, and I bet 375. The player in middle position folds and the big blind again calls rather quickly. The river is a 2, completing the board as A-9-3-6-2 rainbow. The big blind instantly grabs some chips and throws out 600. Now, at this point, there's only one hand that beats us: 5-4. If this were a regular tournament, I would pretty quickly move all-in, expecting my opponent to still have some combos of sets, two pair, or other random hands. However, there are other factors to think about in this situation like the heads-up last-longer. Even though I've played a few sit and gos this year, I'm still fairly new to dealing with the heads-up last-longers and how they affect your play. It's pretty obvious that when you have a heads-up bet, you should play tighter than usual because you don't want to lose. However, how risk-avoidant do I need to be? If I only call this river bet, I'm left with 700 chips. I'm short, but it's definitely a manageable amount at only 25/25 blinds. Also, I already know my opponent in the last-longer likes to gamble a lot, so he very easily could, and most likely will, bust before I lose my 700 chips. So, are the extra 700 chips I gain when I shove and get called by worse worth more than the $500 last-longer that I'm probably still a favorite to win with only 700 chips left? I thought about my decision for longer than usual and elected to play it safe and only call. The big blind turned his hand over and, sure enough, he just had one pair and my top set was miles ahead. I folded the next few hands and, three hands later, my opponent in the heads-up last-longer busted when he open-jammed a flop for three times the pot with only A-high and got called by two pair. I've thought about my A-A hand numerous times and asked several friends what they thought as well. I've gotten some pretty varied responses, so I'm still not quite sure what is 100% correct. Either way, it was refreshing and quite interesting to be faced with a situation so new like this and I look forward to playing some other different styles of poker with situations I have not experienced before. Gags30is a long-time PocketFives member and PocketFives Traininginstructor. He is also available for private coaching and is a lead instructor at PremierPokerCoaching.com. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  3. I recently received an e-mail from a prospective student. He asked about the "poker lifestyle" and the truth to it. He had seen all of these "professionals" on television who all had multiple millions of dollars in winnings and wanted to know if these people really did drive around in Bentleys and have as much money as it appears they may have. Let's break some things down. A lot of people have a very common perception that a player's total cashes or tournament winnings is an indicator of a player's profit and shows how much money a player must have. For example, if we look at a very good tournament player, we may see that they have $1 million in tournament earnings. This is quite a feat, and many players do not ever reach this mark. However, let's look at what this $1 million really entails. For starters, the biggest thing is that this is not factoring in the cost to play the tournaments. The average person who hits the $1 million cashes mark has probably played thousands upon thousands of tournaments. The cost of all of these tournaments can certainly vary, but somewhere around $800,000 to $900,000 is very reasonable (this would actually still be a very good win rate and in many cases players may spend $950,000, $975,000, or more to hit the $1 million in cashes mark). So, we spent $900,000 and got $1 million back; $100,000 is still a lot of profit. However, a second aspect you have to consider is that many players do not have 100% of their own action. People get others to invest in them, they get others to back them full-time, and they swap percentages with friends. All of these things cut into that profit. That nice $100,000 can be cut in half or, with some backing deals, even more! Okay, so our example player was backed full-time and he had 50% of himself (a fairly common deal). We're at $50,000 in profit, still a nice sum of money for most people, and if we were able to make this in a year, we're making a pretty healthy living in most places. But, we're a far cry from the $1 million badge. This $50,000 can get gut down even further when we examine other aspects of the "poker lifestyle." If our player sat at home all year and grinded like they did to make their $50,000, they would probably be sitting pretty. However, many poker players get tired of that; after all, being a "professional poker player" is all about freedom and being able to go where you want when you want. So, players take trips, travel to play events, and head to Vegas for the WSOP. Traveling the world sounds fun, but it can quickly get expensive. I've known many poker players who have vastly underestimated the cost of traveling. Even though they had a very profitable trip playing poker, they only broke even or lost money due to the cost of flying, hotels, and expensive meals. This brings me to the last misconception: the "baller" poker lifestyle. I feel like there are generally two types of people: those who fit this lifestyle and those who don't. Now, don't get me wrong. I've met many poker players who have spent thousands of dollars on huge watches, partying in nightclubs, and eating fancy meals. However, most of these players don't hang onto the money they've earned for very long. It's fairly easy to see why: if you're reckless with your money, you'll find you'll quickly run out. In my experience, many true professionals are smart with their money. Instead of eating at a fancy top-rated restaurant seven nights in a row, they'll stay in a hotel room with a kitchen and cook their own meals or get an inexpensive meal at a local place. Instead of staying in a giant suite in the casino where a tournament is, they'll stay a five-minute walk away in a less expensive hotel. Sure, everyone splurges on a nice meal once in a while or after a big tournament win, but they don't make a habit out of it. It's actually funny: I know a lot of players who play low- and mid-stakes tournaments who actually have a lot more money than some of their high-stakes counterparts, and it's directly related to the lifestyle they live. Let's not forget about taxes. If you're lucky enough to be a U.S. citizen, you still owe Uncle Sam a good portion of that $50,000. The illusion of the super rich poker player is best compared to Hollywood and actors. Are there actors who make multiple millions of dollars per movie? Of course, but there are many more who act in commercials, play smaller roles, and work in other areas of Hollywood; a good deal of them still make very healthy livings. Do "baller poker players" exist? They do, although they're much less common than many people seem to think. But don't worry, just because you're not spending $10,000 at a fancy night club doesn't mean that you can't play credit card roulette and have a little fun! Gags30is a long-time PocketFives member and PocketFives Traininginstructor. He is also available for private coaching and is a lead instructor at PremierPokerCoaching.com. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  4. As an active member of the PocketFives community, there are some questions I have seen numerous times. By far, the one that I hear the most is from players who have already started posting, but simply want to know, "How do I improve and take my game to the next level?" First and foremost, everyone who wants to improve should constantly review their own play: going over hand histories, posting on forums, talking with their friends, etc. Taking time to study away from the tables will do wonders for your game. There are also two main avenues that one can take to more actively improve their game: training site subscriptions and private coaching. Training sites are invaluable tools. For a (usually fairly small) monthly fee, members are granted access to a full archive of training videos and, depending on the training site, a sub-forum for only training members where the site's pros will respond to posts. Many videos offer a lot to the viewer. Besides getting to hear the thought processes of high-level professionals, you get the added bonus of seeing their hole cards and how they approach different situations. A lot of instructors have gotten very good at what they do and not only make hand history videos, but also classroom-style videos where they break down different concepts. There are numerous other styles of videos that all have other benefits to help an individual improve their poker game. The benefits of training sites are clear: for a fairly small fee, you get a wealth of information from high-level poker players. If a member takes time to watch and analyze the videos, they will very quickly recoup the small fee. There are, however, some downsides to training sites. The first problem is that players are limited to the material that is published by the site. If you want to work on one specific area of your game, you need to find a video that best fits what you're looking for. Many sites are good with publishing varied videos, but it still takes time to dig through archives and find exactly what you're looking for when you could better use that time actually studying your game. A second problem I commonly see is that improving your play as a result of a training site requires a lot of studying away from the table and away from the training site itself. Players must objectively look at their own game and pick out leaks that were discussed in the videos and work by themselves to fix them. Many times, players are biased by their own plays and have a hard time realizing the difference between a marginal, but acceptable, play and a major leak. Other times, they make assumptions like, "I saw *insert big name pro* make this play, so what I'm doing must be good" and did not fully understand, or simply did not listen to, the pro's explanation of why they were making that play. Finally, the biggest downside to training videos is not a problem with the site, but with the members. Oftentimes, poker players I know don't really take their training time seriously. They watch videos while they're 12-tabling or falling asleep in bed. If you want to improve, set aside time to study poker, and use that time to only study poker. Focus on the videos and you will be amazed at how much more you pick up from them. This leads me the other common area of improving your game: private coaching. Private coaching is almost always more expensive than training sites, but the benefits oftentimes can be worth the price. Typical lessons involve a coach and a student getting together in person or via Skype and reviewing and dissecting poker hands. Most lessons will involve a hand history review, analyzing the student's play, and pointing out and plugging leaks. Some coaches will also set aside full lessons on specific topics and provide hands as examples or show their own hand histories as examples. By far the biggest benefit to coaching is that you have a coach there with you. Players are not required to reflect on their own game; they have someone sitting with them telling them what they're doing wrong. There's no more uncertainty about whether or not a play was good, marginal, or bad; a coach will tell you exactly what your leaks are, what you need to fix, and give you a plan to take your game to the next level. This is a huge plus that can be worth the price of the coaching by itself. With a coach, there's no more digging through archives looking for a specific video on a topic you need, they will tailor the lessons to fit exactly the areas a student needs to improve on. Another major benefit of having a coach is that sometimes when talking about one specific leak or strategy, the student will have questions about the play or how to approach a slightly different situation. With a coach, a student can get immediate answers and analysis to their questions, instantly giving them the knowledge to fully understand the topic being discussed. There can, however, be downsides to coaching. When a student finds a coach, the coach will often be a professional whom the student follows or looks up to. This can sometimes cause coaching time to not be used effectively. Students can get caught up talking with the coach about poker community gossip, recent trips, or whatever else. While students still might enjoy this, it's not a great way to spend lessons you are paying for by the hour. Be sure to find a coach who is good at staying focused or perhaps will stay a few minutes before or after the lesson to chitchat. Certain coaches can also be extremely expensive, and while the coach may be an exceptional poker player, they may not always be an exceptional coach. More commonly, students choose coaches who charge exorbitant amounts per hour because they think they will learn that much more, when in reality they could learn the same amount from a coach who charges a quarter as much. Many coaches charging the highest rates will only be beneficial for an extremely small percentage of poker players who are already very, very good players. PocketFives offers a great training site with some very good videos as well as an active Training forum. If you're looking for a coach, PocketFives also offers a Coaching Directory where you can read reviews of coaches and see what they have to offer. When finding a coach, look for ones with a lot of positive reviews and be sure to e-mail a few coaches and get a feel for what they do. Find someone who you get good vibes from and who is thorough at answering all of your questions. Overall, regardless of whether you choose a training site, private coaching, or both, take your study time seriously and you will be amazed at the improvements. Gags30is a long-time PocketFives member and PocketFives Traininginstructor. He is also available for private coaching and is a lead instructor at PremierPokerCoaching.com. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  5. Is the page missing borgatapoker scores?
  6. there a gssss portion? can we get leaderboards combined now that njcoop is over?
  7. my $5k to your $1k, assuming 888, wsop, stars, borg/party networks only, and sns listed in your profile. gl
  8. i'll host the draft, but make sure you have all rules figured out, there were a lot of last minute questions last time
  9. Hey guys, I'm looking to buy action for the upcoming borgata poker open and wpt. Post in this thread if selling.
  10. Gl man. As I said, I'm rooting for you too, make it happen! Also, Alienware are fine, but def are over priced. You can get some other quality comps for less
  11. so when playing zoom, if i'm 'waiting for players' in between hands, mosaic seems to think i'm no longer at a table, and changes like i have 1 less table. then the next second i get a hand and it switches again. kind of annoying that i basicalyl can't play a zoom table sincet ables are always bouncin around then anyway to make it so it just recognizes a zoom table even if you're not dealt into a hand?
  12. what's happenin with this low even that got cancelled? is it going to report that everyone in the top 52 won the tourney? we might have to throw this score out, or figure something out
  13. plb are based off of finish place and prizepool total. the amount of money won is irrelevant
  14. streaming the draft now http://www.twitch.tv/gags30
  15. ya kick the last guy that paid out, and shane said he'd be captain LET THE COOOKIE LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  16. ok cool now be a captain so this comp doesn't suck you have at least a portion of a brain and aren't absolutely dreadful at poker, so you'd be a great captain, get in there
  17. i'll start Forthethr1ll is drama let's go drama, ship that money and get in
  18. What's the deal with this? I heard a rumor that people didn't want to play cause they did t want their stars names to be known. Can people just start posting names of others so everyone can then do this comp?
  19. oh you should um start collecting money so people can pay before the draft

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