Recent news

Posted by royalflush | online poker | Thursday 31 January 2013 6:21 pm

I am back to posting in my blog regularly now. I’ve been meaning to get back to this for about a week now, and finally got around to doing it. I haven’t been updating because I have just been so mad with my play and results. But the past is the past and I’m back to building my bankroll up slowly, which is the only way I can do it.

I will try to stray from useless hand histories, and I hope to keep up with my sessions. What I am doing now is almost only playing $0.50/$1 limit holdem ring tables at full tilt. I want to stay away from all forms of tournaments and other games, like NL rings, because this area is where I am weak and where almost all of my money losses come from. Even though I love playing in these events, I have never done well and continue to not do well. For that matter, I will just be playing in the big games each Sunday unless a game comes up which I really want to play in. I probably won’t be playing any SNG and I’m going to really try to stay away from MTTs.

As for $0.50/$1, I have been doing fairly well. What I seem to be leaning towards right now is fairly short sessions. I have been playing where if I am up $5, I leave the table and end my session for a while. I know that’s not much at all, but I’m trying to build my bankroll slowly. I lost about $250 maybe two weeks ago, knocking my bankroll down to $628. Since then, I have been playing quite well. I have had all winning sessions at $0.50/$1. At the beginning of today, I started with about $702 in my bankroll. I played a little $0.50/$1 and won about $5 and left.

I didn’t feel like starting another session, I had a lot of time to spare, and no cheap MTT was beginning, so I decided to play a SNG. I didn’t want to waste much money, so I registered for a $1.20 45-man SNG. To be honest, I played better tournament poker here than I have played in months. I won’t go into detail, but I was first for the first half of the tourney, and second for most of the second half (to a massive chip leader) of the tourney until about 4-handed where I took control. I dominated short handed and got heads-up with the chip lead against the player that had been chip leader. I won the tourney after 4 hands of heads-up, winning 3 of the 4 pots.

For me, this was a moral victory. I have been struggling in tournaments and it just feels great to win one with a decent amount of entrants. This victory brought my bankroll up to $719. Tonight, I played a $2.20 MTT, never got anything going and was knocked out after about 1 hour.

After this, I found a seemingly great $0.50/$1 table. I was very tight and passive. These are the types of tables I am looking for because what I want to do at the ring tables is win very small pots preflop or on the flop. Stealing the blinds is great. I don’t want to be involved in really any big pots unless I have the nuts. I don’t want to waste any money from stupid plays, calls, or chases. Well things started off badly and just went south from there. I lost a decent sized pot by getting sucked out by a 3-outer.

Then I lost a huge pot with 44 when I flopped a set of 4s, and hit a full house with a 5 on the river, also putting 4 spades on the board. My opponent happened to have QQ and hit his higher set on the turn, and won a very big pot off of me. Things continued to go wrong when I lost with JJ to JTo when someone chased a straight draw and hit the river. I got my head together, and left the table, down $25.50. This was my first losing session since starting my rebuilding phase. It wasn’t pleasant, but I’m dealing with it. What pleased me was my ability to leave the table when I noticed that I wasn’t winning at all, and my strictness in that I stopped for the night right there. A few weeks ago, I would probably go to a $1/$2 table after this, probably multi-tableing there, and potentially lose even more.

Sit-n-Go Poker Tournaments

Posted by royalflush | online poker | Friday 11 November 2011 11:56 pm

My poker game of choice is the sit-n-go tournament.

I generally prefer the single table sit-n-go tourneys. At the lower limits (under $50 buy-in) the players are mostly fish with a lot of gamble in them. This makes for a profitable playing situation for the disciplined player. Most of my income from poker can be attributed to sit-n-go tournaments.

Single table sit-n-go games are the fastest growing games. Many good players are learning that you can win consistently by playing at these games. In fact, quite a number of players are making a living doing exactly that. That’s right – you can actually earn a living playing sit-n-go poker. I’m not there yet, but I am a consistent winner. I believe I probably could earn a living playing sit-n-go poker and I may take the plunge soon. Sometimes I ask myself why I bother working when I could play poker for a living. I tend to be very cautious. I continue to work my real job which affords me a great standard of living. I also play poker daily and enjoy an additional income stream. This is a great place to be!

A typical sit-n-go tournament is a 9 or 10 player table with the final three players making the money. Another type of sit-n-go tourney is the shorthanded game where 5 or 6 players enter and the top 2 players make the money. I personally prefer the shorthanded games. There are satellite sit-n-go tournaments where you buy in for a certain amount of money and then the top finisher wins an entry into a bigger buy-in tournament. There are also step tournaments where players buy in at step 1 for a certain amount and the top finishers advance to step 2 where the buy in is more. There may be 4 or 5 steps before the final tourney where the final prizes are won.

When the sit-n-go begins, each player is given the same amount of tournament chips. These are not real money. They are chips used to try to outlast your opponents in the tournament.  There are some distinct advantages of sit-n-go tournaments over other forms of poker:

Sit-n-go games are very fast: The blinds rise continously until the end of the game. I would point out, however, that there is generally plenty of time to select good starting hands and find your best spots to get your chips in the pot.

There are lots of sit-n-go games available: Most poker sites have sit-n-go tournaments running around the clock. Party Poker has a wide selection of sit-n-go tournaments at various buy in levels.

Your losses are limited: At a cash game you might lose all your money, buy in again and then lose that. At a sit-n-go tournament you can only lose the money you have invested in the buy in. This reduces bankroll variance for sit-n-go players. Cash players and especially large field tournament players generally experience much greater bankroll variances than sit-n-go players.

Proper strategy can lead to consistent wins: Most of the players at lower level sit-n-go games are fish. They love to gamble and they’re looking for a fast win. They may enter many sit-n-go tournaments looking to get lucky and make the money. These weaker players are thrilled to get a lucky draw (to suck out) and make the big score. You can take advantage of these players by playing a proper strategy consistently.

Consider this possibility if you are serious about playing online poker. You buy in at Party Poker for $500.  Then you get their $500 cash bonus. I must confess that I didn’t follow this path. I bought in for $200 at Party Poker, failing to take advantage of their full bonus offer. I played poker for years before I learned of solid sit-n-go strategies. I was already a decent player and I had somehow instinctively gravitated toward the sit-n-go games. After I started learning the new strategies, I discovered that much of my learning through the school of hard knocks was right on the mark. There were also some new concepts that helped move my game to an entirely new level.

Hello world!

Posted by royalflush | online poker | Monday 13 June 2011 7:46 pm

Hello dear reader. If you are interested in online poker and other online casino games such as online blackjack, then this is exactly what I will be writing about, as these are my passion.

One question that often arises is if these games are gambling or not. For instance there are professional poker players and sports bettors, but not professional roulette or craps players. So if such pros can survive and pay the bills, they must have a skill that give them a profit every month or at least every year.

As a matter of fact there are pros playing poker, blackjack, sports betting and backgammon. These are the main games where you can find pros, and this seem to indicate that skill is involved.

Talking about backgammon it is considered a game of skill in the popular mind while poker is considered gambling. But in fact these 2 games are very similar as the premisses are random, such as the roll of a dice of the draw of a card from a 52 cards deck, but the skill part comes from the player having to make a decision. Is it not strange that most people would consider backgammon a game of skill close to chess whereas they think poker is mostly a matter of gambling your heart out?

Sometimes there are popular misconceptions and considering poker to be mostly gambling is clearly wrong.

This issue is not as insignificant as it seems as most online gambling law make a difference between games of chance (gambling) and games of skill (non gambling). So it is trivial to realize that roulette is pure gambling. But then how come regulators put poker in the same category as roulette, with all the decision  making in poker? Do this people have a secret agenda?

This blog started on a serious note, so hopefully the following posts will be a bit more fun.