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Recent poker news!

Playing poker for the love of the game

Poker has become the game of the century.  A poker player can be out of shape, too old to play physical sports, or simply not inclined to sports as such.  Poker is an amazingly challenging game that has gained exponentially more players in the 21st century than it ever had before.

Here are some important tips for new poker players.

5 Excellent Tips for New Poker Players

There are millions of words written about how to play poker, how to win at poker, how to bluff in poker, how to “everything” in poker.  As many words and books and internet sites there are about poker, new players need some simple, straightforward help getting started.

Play Poker Online

There is a tendency amongst poker players to look down upon online poker players.  The only significant difference between live poker and online poker is reading tells.  It is true that when you can’t see your opponent, you can’t tell if he or she is flashing a tell.

Because of this and also despite the fact that online poker propelled Chris Moneymaker to stardom, many players see online poker as a format that they have to “graduate” from.

So, another way to describe our first tip for new poker players is: Do not belittle online poker.  There are many things you’ll learn when you play online.  You’ll play more hands online since the medium is suited to faster play.   When you evaluate hands, the process will be the same whether you play online or in a land-based poker room. 

Everything you need to practice will be available to you in online poker.  Instead of belittling online poker, you should embrace it.  One of the main aspects of poker is intimidation.  In live poker, the better players will try to intimidate the lesser players.  Of course, this also happens in an online game but it is easier to withstand in an online game.  Merely looking at a newer player as if he or she is clearly inferior can be intimidating enough for the player to fold a good hand. 

Accept Your Present Limitations

In sports this happens all the time.  A player may be excellent in one facet of the sport but mediocre or worse in another.  Coaches take their players’ limitations into account all the time.

Your present limitations don’t have to be limitations forever but they are truly your limitations now.  Whereas we said earlier to embrace online poker, here we say to accept your limitations.

When you know where your weaknesses are, you know what to study for improvement.  When you know where your judgment is weak, you’ll know when to take more time before arriving at a decision.

We see this all the time in the best YouTube clips of great decisions by the pros.  The pro who folds a very strong hand after long deliberation shows that taking your time is as valuable as knowing all the subtleties of poker.

Some players fall in love with a certain hand.  They see that the top pros seem to have their own favourite hand and try to copy that.  Accepting your present limitations also means realizing that as a new player you are far from being able to play demonstrably poor hands in most situations.

Accept the Hard Work You Need to Get Better

The other side of this coin is that if you don’t have the time to work really hard at getting better in poker, you’ll never get a lot better.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t win at poker.  It simply means that you’ll need to play in specific games at low stakes against players like yourself.

A lot of players never get to high stakes tournaments.  If you’re just a little better than the range of players in your range, you can win often.

When you play against players similar to yourself and for low stakes, the game takes on a friendlier demeanor.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with playing poker for fun!

We can learn a lot about playing for fun from Michael Jordan’s short experience playing baseball.  Michael Jordan was the best-known athlete in the world in his prime years.  After his father was murdered, Jordan quit the NBA and tried for a career in baseball.  He played in the Chicago White Sox system and started at the lowest level.  Michael Jordan knew how hard he would have to work to get better.

The single most important thing that Michael Jordan learned during his time playing baseball was that most of his teammates on every team he played on knew that they would never reach the highest league.  They had accepted that reality and instead of quitting baseball, they played baseball for the sheer joy it gave them!

Learn to Think in Poker Terms

Poker requires clear thinking and no panic.  Thinking in poker terms also means accepting that even though you make the best analysis every time, you can’t win every hand.  The key is to win more hands than you lose and to find a way to make your winning pots bigger than your losing pots.

Thinking in poker terms means seeing the hand in broad terms rather than narrow terms.  It forces you to think in terms of ranges and outs for both you and your opponent.  It requires you to observe carefully every hand, not just the hands you play yourself.

Thinking in poker terms also means learning the complex math of poker.  This side of the game will take quite some time to learn but it is a vitally important aspect of thinking in poker terms.

Learn How to Control Tilt

Many poker players think that this is so obvious that they don’t have to think about it or learn techniques for avoiding tilt.  The thinking is that the pros don’t tilt so it’s easy to avoid tilt.

That is simply not true.  Every pro who rarely, if ever, tilts has learned through hard work and sad experience how to avoid tilt.  Daniel Negreanu affects a happy-go-lucky attitude.  The real reason he does that is to keep himself not from getting angry and frustrated but from acting out when he is angry and frustrated.

Tilt makes some players quit.  It makes some players bet wildly.  Controlling tilt may actually be the most important lesson new players need to learn since poker will always make you angry and frustrated.

Smiling after a bad beat is a great way to win in the long run!