Author Archives: Alexander

Calling Miss Emma

She had long, streaming blonde hair that flowed effortlessly over her shoulders, tantalizingly nipping against her body near where the cleavage would begin on most young ladies trying to attract the attention of the men in the room. The slit in her dress was lower. And she attracted more attention.

A new 15-30 hold’em game was about to start. We would get in 4 or 5 hours of play prior to the beginning of the Memorial Day Classic No-Limit Hold-em tournament at the Four Star Casino in Eagle Pass, Texas. Manuel was setting up the table, getting ready to deal the first hand when everyone’s attention was drawn to the young lady as she approached the cashier’s cage. Ricardo motioned to Manuel to hold up the deal. There was one more player coming in. We watched and waited as the young lady bought in for $1,000 and walked toward our table.

the game - pocket kings deep dof

“My name is Emma,” she said. “Miss Emma.” She cast a panoramic smile directed at each player, and leaned forward just enough to disrupt the thoughts of the nine men at the table as she placed her chips in five equal stacks of 40 reds in front of the six seat. Big Ralph Mendez was in the five seat and a good portion of the six seat. I’d never seen him move his chair for anyone before. If the floor was called to get him to move, Ralph would leave the game. And no one wanted that since Ralph was the main contributor to the bankrolls of the better players at The Four Star. But when Miss Emma sat down Ralph immediately moved his chair to the right, squeezing against the player in the four seat. Ralph gave the player a sympathetic look and everyone shifted to the right to allow for Ralph’s new seating preference. I was in the two seat and had a good view of each of the players. My primary focus was on Miss Emma.

The cards were in the air for the first hand. Miss Emma was first to act and quickly folded. I folded 2-7 in late position. The flop came and Miss Emma’s attention shifted quickly to each of the remaining four players still in the hand. The small blind had folded and Ralph Mendez was first to act. He had not moved a muscle when the flop came. He checked. Ed McCullough was in the seven seat. He always had his chips in his hand rattling them slowly. When the flop hit him, his chips would rattle just a little louder. Al Konoski was in the ten seat. He wore his cards on his face. He’d made a confident call before the flop, but the Jack, Queen, Nine rainbow flop brought a look of disgust. I put him on a medium pair, 7s or 8s. Continue reading

Why You Need to Know the Odds in Online Poker

When it comes to online betting you could save yourself a lot of money and hassle. Although online sports gambling can be difficult to predict accurately the odds can give you at much better idea of your own personal risk.

Poker Pot Odds

Pot odds can give you a good idea of how much return you will get on your investment. This can help you to work out if a poker pot is worth playing on for at the current call amounts. For example if you are playing in a game of online poker and the pot is $100 and the call $10 you will be playing at pot odds of 10:1. This is not bad as for every $1 you put in you could see a payout of $10.

However if you are playing in a game where the pot is $1000 and the call is $10 then the odds will switch to 100:1. This means for every $1 you put in the pot you could get a $100 payout from the online poker game. This is much more worthwhile and you will be risking the same amount to gain a lot more.

Poker Out Odds

This is another important type of odds for online poker players. This tells you your chances of achieving a good hand. Out odds are not easy to calculate and will require some quick thinking. You may want to invest in an online poker odds tool to help you out. Basically you will have to count the number of outs (cards still in the deck) that could help you to get a good hand. Then you will have to divide that by the total number of cards still in the deck.

Using Odds

Understanding the pot odds is an important part of an experienced poker players game. They will be looking not just to win but to make the best use of their time and bankroll. A pot with low odds and a poor rate of return is not worth the risk and hassle so you will find many players will fold early even if they have a reasonable hand. They will then wait for good betting odds to start their real play on.

If the out odds are bad then it can indicate that you will have little real chance of making a good hand in the showdown. This is a good early warning for online betting that will suggest you should fold early and save yourself some money. Although the out poker odds cannot help you to accurately predict the play they can help you to cut your losses.

The World Series of Poker is the Largest Event in Poker

The World Series of Poker is the most exciting and awe-inspiring event in the poker circuit, all over the world. The prize money comprises of millions of dollars.

Legends and records are made each time during this gigantic, adventure-filled event. Several established pros and experts compete with virtually unknown ones. Formerly unknown names suddenly attain celebrity status, after a win at this tournament.

A large segment of players that end up taking part in the WSOP get there by virtue of satellite tournaments that are played on various online poker rooms. A chunk of these players reach there through sites such as Party Poker. This is the largest online poker site globally and at any point in time, at least 50,0000 players are logged on to play poker, during peak hours.

Burned From Texas Hold’Em – Don’t Leave Just Yet

Burnout is a topic that’s very popular in the world of gambling right now, especially amongst people who are total strategy game junkies. We’re talking about the people that live and breathe to play poker all day long, that follow the big televised poker tournaments, and otherwise find themselves adrift in a sea of information about their favorite game of all time. If you’re a total poker fan, you probably have been nodding along to all of these points. We can’t blame you there, as we’re very large poker enthusiasts as well.

The truth is that you need to realize the difference between being burned out on a card game, and being tired of just a variation of the card game you love. Many poker players act like Texas Hold’Em is the only way to play, and that’s just not true. Sure, it’s considered one of the most popular variations on poker around, and just about every casino offering it. But maybe it’s time to let go of NLTHE for a while. The no limit variety of this wild poker game may be just burning you out. That’s primarily because fortunes can really change in the blink of an eye if you’re not careful. Might we make a suggestion here?

5 Card Stud Poker

5 Card Stud Poker. Yep, that’s right — stud poker is making a comeback, and we couldn’t be happier about that. Most gamblers today don’t really know how to play it, but when should a little knowledge gap keep you from winning extra money?

That’s right, extra money — when you’re confident about a game, you raise your odds of winning more chips. If you’re burned out from a poker variant, you probably aren’t making the same wins like you used to. This is a total game changer, if you’re willing to put in the time.

We have a great video for you to check out, as you’ll see below:

You can learn to play 5 Card Stud Poker – williamhill poker school. Don’t feel like the new format is going to hold you back. The people over at William Hill Poker really do live and breathe poker as much as you do! So it makes sense that all of their videos are informative, educational, and just plain fun. You’ll be a wiz at 5 Card Stud Poker in no time. All it really takes is learning the rules and practicing a little bit! Why not check it out today, while it’s still fresh in your mind? That’s the real way to get ahead in your poker wins this holiday season!

Great Gifts for Poker Lovers

If your gift-giving list includes poker players, you might have a tough time picking the perfect presents. There is a massive selection of these types of items on the market, which can be confusing. Your favorite poker players are sure to love some, if not all, of the gifts on this list.

• Online players love to build their bankrolls. You can give your players just about any amount of money for their online accounts. Some sites let you buy gift certificates; others let you make deposits with credit cards or money orders. If those options fail, you always have cash.

• Padding the bankrolls for live games or tournaments is also a great gift. Even if players are doing very well – and, therefore, have plenty of money to continue playing – they appreciate bankroll contributions.

poker gifts

• Players who take their games seriously are studying and learning as much as they can – often from the pros. A gift card to an online bookstore like Amazon will let your players pick out poker-related books or DVDs. Better yet: see if your recipients have wish lists at this, or similar, sites. That way, you can give them exactly what they want – instead of inadvertently giving them duplicates.

• You really can’t have too many good decks of playing cards. Find out which brands and types the players prefer and add to their collections. You can find all sorts of playing cards online or at game shops.

• Similarly: A good set of chips is always appreciated. There are a few different types of chips on the market, and many designs. For a more personal gift, consider giving them custom poker chips. Talk to the players to see what sets are on their lists and buy accordingly.

• Some players like poker-related clothing; others don’t. Many Web sites and retail stores sell everything from caps to shirts. You’re sure to find clothing that fits the players’ personalities if you spend some time browsing.

• If you’re looking to spend big money on your favorite players, consider sending them to the World Series of Poker. This is the biggest event in all of poker: just about every player on the planet dreams of coming home with one of the bracelets that first-place finishers earn. Sending poker lovers to Las Vegas for the Series is one of the biggest, best gifts imaginable.

• Sending players to other poker events is also a nice idea. The World Series of Poker has circuit events in various places. The same is true of the World Poker Tour. And if you can’t afford those types of trips, you can fund trips to smaller events. Depending on where you live, there might even be a decent poker tourney right in your own city or town.

Ultimately, the best way to discover the perfect poker-related gift is to know the people on your gift list. Being familiar with their “poker personalities” will help you figure out exactly what they’ll love the most. Listening to them talk, checking out their wish lists, and starting casual conversations about poker will all help you narrow down the choices and find out exactly what they want.

Texas Holdem Tournament Types

Online poker tournaments are competitions where all of the participants continue to play until only one poker player accumulate all the chips. All poker tournaments are entertaining and profitable to play in because they have a low entry fees and every player have the chance to win large amounts of real cash. There are different types of poker games in every online poker room, but only Texas Holdem, Omaha and Seven Card Stud are the variants, which can be played in a tournament.

1) Single Table Tournament – This is an event where all participants play at a single table until only one Texas Holdem player wins all the chips. If you want to take part in a Single Table Texas Holdem Tournament the first thing you need to do is to register for the event. Once all the places are filled, the tournament begins. In the beginning of the competetion, all Texas Holdem players must sign up and pay two fees. These are the Buy In fee and the House fee. When these fees are paid, the tournament starts. Remember that in every Single Table Tournament all players start with the same number of chips and the blinds and table limits increase during the game. Another important thing you have to know is that you are not able to get additional chips during the competition. Sit & Go Texas Holdem Tournaments are usually Single Table Tournaments, which begin when ten Texas Holdem players register for the event.

2) Multi Table Tournament – This is a competition, in which thousands of Texas Holdem players play at many tables until one player remains and this player is the winner. During every Multi Table Tournament participants are eliminated and moving players to the vacant seats reduces the number of the tables. At the end of the tournament only one table with Texas Holdem players remains and these players compete until one of them accumulate all the chips. Participating in a Multi Table Texas Holdem Tournament is a great way to spend your free time and win some money. Freeroll Tournament is a kind of Multi Table Tournament, in which there is no entry fee, but you have real chance to win real money. These Freeroll Tournaments are probably the best way for all players – new and expert to learn the game of Texas Holdem poker and to try new strategies without losing their money.

If you want to take part in an online Texas Holdem tournament, you have to know that you play until you lose all your chips or until you win all the chips. At the end of the competition the prize pool is divided between the last few remaining Texas Holdem players. The number of participants who divide the prize pool depends on the number of entries and these are usually the players at the final table. Of course the winner takes the largest portion.

The Downswing Revealed

For this article I want to assume that you have been playing cash games such as texas holdem successfully for a very long time. You have a huge sample of hands and you have been a proven profitable player for a decent period (I will talk about the samples and the confidence interval in another article). However over the past few weeks you have found that you are losing any cash game session you play. You may manage to win a few sessions, but the results of the period we are talking about are considerably lower than expected. Or perhaps the situation is even worse, and you have losing session after losing session.Your Pokertracker graph gets closer and closer to the bottom and you start to wonder, what is wrong?


Let’s talk about “Downswing”.

They say that all the poker players – good or bad – are going to experience this period of downswing. The difference is that the bad player believes that it is bad luck, a rigged poker room or anything else that he/she can create in his or her mind. On the other hand, the good player knows that he cannot be happy every day. Players with a lot of experience are talking about “a terrible downswing” and they are giving the impression of a black hole in the earth which is gulping people up and you don’t know when you will be back to your profitable positive variation. They forget their good days, when everything was working and they managed to “sucked-out” their opponents a lot of times with their mediocre hand(s).

This is why poker exists!  It exists because the majority of the players out there are seeing only a small snapshot of their life time poker games. The newbies are seeing only an isolated hand and the more experienced an isolated session or in some cases a sample of a week’s worth of hands.

Let’s do some calculations. A good player wins 55-60% of his sessions. If he or she wins 55% then he or she loses 45%.

# session % to lose odds
1 45.00 % 11 : 9
2 20.25 % 4 : 1
3 9.11 % 10 : 1
4 4.10 % 24 : 1
5 1.85 % 53 : 1
6 0.83 % 120 : 1
7 0.37 % 270 : 1

And it doesn’t stop here. We can lose for 8 sessions in a row, so the possibilities for this to happen will be 0.458 (or 0.0037 x 0.45 = 0.0017 = 0.17%) etc. consequently every time you sit on a table you have 1 in 25 possibilities to lose this and the 3 next sessions, or 1 in 54 to lose 5 times in a row. Of course the possibilities to win the same number of sessions in a row is a little bit better, after all you are a profitable player.

When something is possible 1 in 271 times you may believe that it is very difficult to happen, but if you play almost every day then you should expect to lose 7 sessions in a row once a year. Also, once every 2 or 3 years the situation may be even worse, like losing for a month or more, and many times in a year perhaps you will lose 3 times, then win 1, then lose again 5 times, then win 2, etc. and here comes the Negative Variation!


You have to be confident and play your “A” game any time you are on a poker table. If you have the required bankroll and you know how to manage it then you have nothing to worry about. The key is to play as much as you can and research your results from distance. I know that is difficult to change your feelings and your mindset in a day but the more you start thinking deeper about poker the more calm and prepared for any situation – good or bad – you will be.

Poker Strategy

Hands to play in

Your position to dealer is important when deciding which hands to play. In the early position you should only play the strongest hands, mid position you can play the medium hands as well, or in late position you can play strong, medium or other starting hands.

Strong Starting Hands

Ace pair
King Pair
Queen Pair
Ace King Suited and Unsuited
Ace Queen suited and unsuited

Medium Starting Hands

Jack Pair
Ten Pair
9 Pair
8 Pair
Ace-Jack Suited or unsuited
Ace-10 Suited or unsuited
Ace-9 Suited or unsuited
King-Queen Suited or unsuited
Ace-10, King-10, Queen-10, suited
Ace with any card suited
King-Jack, Queen-Jack, Jack-10 suited or unsuited

Other hands worth playing in late position

Any low pair
Connected cards suited, eg 8-7, 4-5 etc
Ace-10, King-10, Queen-10 unsuited
King-9, Jack-8 suited

Calculating Your Outs

An out is a card that will give you a winning hand, or improve your hand, if it arrives usually on the turn or river. Being able to calculate your outs will enable you to see how much of an underdog you are in a hand and help to see if the pot odds are in your favour or not. So how do you work out what your outs are and the chances of them coming in?

We’ll take an example hand of A♠ K♠ with a flop of 5♠ 8♥ 3♠. Here you have quite a few possible outs with a flush draw, and pairing either of your cards. There are 47 cards that you haven’t seen yet with 2 cards to come. First of all we have the flush draw with 9 spades that could make the hand for you meaning 9 outs. Next we have the chance of pairing either the King or Ace. There are 3 Aces and 3 Kings that you haven’t seen yet giving 6 cards that could make a high pair. However you do need to consider what your opponent may be holding. Since they are still up against you after the flop it’s likely they are holding at least one of the high cards. Also they may be holding a low pair waiting to hit trips or have paired the 8 and waiting to hit 2 pair. With this in mind the possible outs for the pair is reduced and can probably be taken as 4 rather than 6. So we effectively have 13 outs which can improve the hand.

Now you need to know how likely you are to hit one of your outs. A rough rule of thumb when there are 2 cards to come is to multiply your outs by 4. So with 13 outs we have roughly a 52% chance that one of them will come in on the next 2 cards. It’s not an exact figure but does give a rough guide to work with.

This is just a basic introduction to calculating your outs. For a more detailed explanation see one of the many poker strategy books that are available.

Poker Equipment: What you Need and Where you can Get It

This guide is for complete beginners to the game of poker. It will outline what poker equipment you need to play the game and explains how it’s used in poker and what it does.

The first thing you need to play poker is a deck of cards. Make sure you have a full deck with all 52 cards. There are dozens of variations of poker, but for the vast majority of poker variations, jokers are not needed. Still, it is better to just have them in case you may need them for something.

After you make sure you have a full deck of cards, you need chips. Chips are small circular objects made of plastic or other materials. Usually, each poker set comes with chips of three or four different colors and you can assign monetary values to the chips for betting purposes. These chips will be used to bet, and each player usually starts off with the same number of chips, and the winner is the player with the most chips. Some games award the winner all of the money, while in other games, each player is awarded the amount of his or her chip’s monetary value.

You will also have a dealer button that will rotate around the table so that every player will get a chance to be dealer. In professional matches, there is only one dealer and the dealer does not participate in the game.

This is basically all of the equipment you will need to play the game of poker, a deck of cards, chips and a dealer button. You may also want to purchase a poker table, but this is not needed as poker can be played on virtually any surface. The cost of this equipment will vary, but usually, you can get a complete set that will have all of the materials you need to play poker from anywhere between $20 and $500+. The vast range in price is due to the fact that some poker sets are made using more expensive materials (such as gold or silver chips), while others are mass produced using plastic chips or of other inexpensive materials. You can find a poker set at most retailers, both online and offline, and find the more expensive and rare sets at hobby or poker stores.

If you want to play poker with family and friends, be sure to purchase all the materials you need to play. You can buy cards and chips individually, but I would recommend that you save time and money by purchasing a kit. That way you will be sure you have everything you need and most likely save some money.

Poker sets can be bought in store or online at the web sites of many of the major retailers. Check, or for some of the best deals.

WSOP History

The World Series of Poker has grown immensely in the last few years in terms of exposure, fan base, and the amount of money being bet. The World Series of Poker, also known is WSOP, is the largest event of the Poker years and many of the major rounds of competition air live on sports channels such as ESPN.

The World Series of Poker began in 1949 when three men, Nick “the Greek” Dandalos, Lester “Benny” Binion, owner of the Horseshoe Casino, and Johnny Moss, the best poker player in the world at the time, came together to play the largest poker game ever.

Nick Dandalos faced off against Johnny Moss in a gruelling five month long match where hundreds of thousands of dollars were constantly on the table in a wide variety of poker games. At the end of the match, Moss had emerged victorious.

This led to Benny Binion deciding to call together all the best poker players in the world to come together for a large match with very large pots. In 1970, this first match was finally organized and is regarded to as the first World Series of Poker. Those present at the fist WSOP included Johnny Moss, Carl Cannon, Brian Roberts, Puggy Pearson, Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim Preston, Crandall Addington, and a few others. They played No-Limit Texas Holdem and instead of playing the traditional game until one player had acquired all the chips, the players played for a while before unanimously voting that Johnny Moss was still the best poker player in the world.

Johnny Moss won the World Series of Poker again in 1971 and over the years, the World Series of Poker has taken place every year with new stars constantly arising. At first, to get a seat, a player had to pay the $10,000 “buy in” to get a seat, but now, by using smaller local tournaments, players start at the bottom with relatively low “buy ins” and work their way into the World Series of Poker without having to pay the $10,000 fee.

Since 1970 there has been many winners in the WSOP and here is the full list of WSOP winners.

In the recent years, with all the coverage Poker, especially Texas Holdem, has gotten on television (ESPN) and a number of print and online sources, the WSOP has grown into an international phenomenon with hundreds of thousands of fans watching on television or making the trip to see the tournament live.