The Weekly Poker Mantra

Often funny - Sometimes strange - Sometimes inspiring. Check in every Monday for The Weekly Poker Mantra.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

If a one eyed mule comes along and eats all your chips
Don't get all huffy and steam your way into oblivion
Be jovial
Buy in again
That same stubborn stinky station
Will pay you off in the end

Do you have a poker or life mantra?  Join the mantra writing contest this month for your chance to get your blog featured.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Submit Your Poker Mantra - Get Your Blog Featured

Okay blog weasels here's your chance to get creative.  Lay your best poker or life mantra on me.  It's so easy to enter just leave your most inspiring, weird or funny mantra in the comment area.  You may take this seriously or you may mock it like a chimp taunting a law enforcer.  The only rule is there are no rules.

The contest winner will be selected in the first week of May.  The winner will be featured in the Weekly Poker Mantra.  The best mantra author will receive a review of their blog in a feature article.  Don't forget to leave the address to your blog just below your submission.

This contest is open to all writers and bloggers.  The judging will be assisted by a third party and will not necessarily favor poker writers.  You may enter more than one submission if you like, but please go for quality before quantity.  Above all, don't forget to have fun with this.

Monday, March 22, 2010

5. Bankroll Management, Fluctuations and Breaking the Rules

Hello Micro Crushers,

Current Challenge Bankroll: $9.07  Holy Blowfish!

Well, I'm still struggling with the challenge trying to grind myself up to the next level.  I am being super conservative with my bankroll management at this stage so any progress is expected to be slow.  It would be really unpleasant to go broke with this challenge so I'm building up from zero very very patiently.  For now I am sticking with the 12 cent buy-in single table tournaments and enjoying success when I play a disciplined game and pay attention to the betting patterns of the other players.

 In this low limit tournament arena I really think it's best to stick to a basic strategy and not try anything too fancy.  The players at this level will make mistakes.  When I play too loose too early in these tournaments it sets me up for trouble because most of these guys don't know how to fold.  If you're going to break some basic strategy rules and start raising in position with any two, be sure that you know your opponent is smart enough to fold when he or she should.

Because discipline isn't always the easiest thing in the world it's easy to say "oh it's only twelve cents" and just open shove with any decent hand.  I know when I'm playing bad sometimes but continue to do so due to boredom.  Don't be like me!  Don't trap yourself with too many raises and thoughtless aggression.  Aggression is good, but only when you're in control of yourself and your table.

Good luck at the table guys and dolls.

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Give yourself permission to win
Determination and strength of will 
Line the path to victory

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

It is better to raise and be wrong
Than to limp and be right

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Surveys Reminder

If you haven't voted on the surveys yet then please do!

There is a great Phil, Antonio or Mom survey that I am leaving up for a while because I'm really curious to see the results and I want to get as many participants as possible.  There is some reason for concern however as Hello Kitty seems to be winning at the moment. I am a huge Phil Laak fan so it's a little distressing to see that he is trailing.  So please if you know anyone that would like to see Antonio Esfandiari or your Mom taken down a notch or two, get them to come out and vote.  Who is the better NL holdem player?!

Also I have added a new blog that I'm following in my blog roll.  It's AJ Benza Neat!  He hasn't posted in a while but still an interesting read.  I think he got a really rotten deal from GSN so I've put up a poll here for him as well.  Please vote for AJ it only takes a second.

Finally I have a Hellmuth survey that I will leave up for a while.  That one speaks for itself I guess...

So please participate!  Thanks for all your votes and good luck on the felt.

The Weekly Poker Mantra

My focus will not waver
I am as calm as a glassy sea on a windless day
As rational and relaxed as I can be at this table
Until, of course, the tournament is attacked by armed gunmen
I'm a mess...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

What's Your No-Limit Hold'em Strategy? Tight Aggressive vs. Loose Aggressive.

If you've been playing no-limit hold'em poker for a while then you've probably heard the expression "Tight is right", but is it really?  What is the correct poker strategy to adopt?  Whether you play in cash games or tournaments you will need to decide what your approach to the game will be.

Are you missing out on taking down some of those pots that you could lay claim to because you're playing too tight?  Or is tight truly right and the loose aggressive card players are dooming themselves with their reckless tendencies?
Let's examine some of the pros and cons for each style of play and see what we can discover;

Loose Aggressive: 
(raising many pots without as much concern for pre-hand selection - may also involve betting and raising out of position or raising from the blinds)

1- You will probably get more action on your premium hands.
2- Poker tends to favour the aggressor and this style is aggressive more often.
3- You will get more comfortable playing a wide range of holdings post flop.
4- You will create more opportunities to steal pots.
5- It will be difficult for your opponents to put you on a hand (provided your pre-flop raises are similar for both strong and speculative holdings).
6- It's less boring than waiting for cards.
7- Players may be less anxious to enter a pot with you.  You may put them off their game with your relentless bets and raises.
8- You will get more practiced at knowing when you can bluff and when you're beat.
9- You will win a fair share of pots with the worst hand.
10- Seven deuce off-suit can be your friend.

1- Your raises might not get as much respect if you are raising frequently.
2- You are more vulnerable to being trapped.
3- If others at the table are running really well then you could bust out in a hurry.
4- Your chip stack and probably your bankroll will take more volatile swings.
5- You are more likely to end up with the worst hand in a showdown.
6- You might be called a donkey more often.
7- By loosening your pre-hand selection you may be hurting your discipline.
8- You will bleed chips.
9- It's easier to trap yourself against players that are incapable of folding.
10- It's a very precarious style of play and probably won't be successful over the long run if used exclusively.

Tight Aggressive:
(raising and betting in profitable situations preferably in position with the best possible holdings)

1- Your raises will generally get more respect.
2- Your chip stack shouldn't take as many volatile swings.
3- You will learn to be patient.
4- You will get into less trouble by only playing quality holdings.
5- You will stop any chip bleeds or leaks in your game.
6- When you do need to bluff you may be given more credit for having a hand.
7- You won't be called a donkey as much.
8- The loose aggressive players will sometimes donate large amounts of chips to you when they are betting into the nuts.
9- Generally when you use this style it is harder to go on tilt.
10- Over the long run you will be giving yourself the best possible chance to win. (that being said everyone needs to bluff sometimes to win)

1- By playing a tighter range of hands it may be easier for your opponents to read you.
2- Your premium hands may get less action.
3- You won't get as much experience playing a variety of hands post flop.
4- There will be less opportunities to steal pots.
5- If the good hands never come you could get blinded out particularly if you are playing too tight.
6- Because the game is so aggressive these days it may be easier for loose aggressive players to walk all over you.
7- It may be tougher for you to win tournaments or adjust to heads up play.
8- Taking bad beats may seem worse if you've waited patiently for a premium hand to play.
9- You might fall asleep waiting for a playable hand.
10- You will never know the joy of getting someone to fold AK when you hold 72 offsuit.

Well I do hope that this list offers you some food for thought when it comes to no-limit strategy.  Of course every situation that you run into at the card table may call for a different approach or a combination of  different styles.  I would never suggest that someone should adopt a passive tight playing style, however perhaps in certain situations this could be profitable too...The best teacher of all is experience so my suggestion is to try a style that is out of your comfort zone and perhaps you'll learn something new.

I am very anxious to get a discussion going on this topic with readers and I hope that you will contribute in the comment area.  What do you think is the best strategy?  Loose aggressive, tight aggressive or something else altogether.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Weekly Poker Mantra

Eat a good healthy breakfast everyday
Get some excercise;
Even whales need to move around a bit
Have some omega 3 rich fish for lunch
But, whatever you do don't eat your chips
Unless of course you have some barbecue sauce...