Poker and Family

Poker is one of the most celebrated games across the world. Poker players have erratic working hours and busy schedules. This might lead to neglecting the family and it may affect the social life of players.
How can players strike a balance? What are the ways of spending time with the family? These questions generally harrow most of the players all the while. This article may be of some help as it lists some great advice for poker players.

You should never bring your problem back home. You should be able to leave your game at the poker table or else it may act as an irritant in your social life. If you have lost a game you must not let the irritation and frustration affect your relation with the family members.

You should be honest to your family about your wins and losses. You may win some and lose some but family is very important as it would always support you whether you win or lose. Talking to your family would help as the conversation would throw light on a lot of rational things that can be implemented to enhance your poker game.

You must chalk out a working schedule and stick to it (something poker pro Jennifer Harman is famous for). As a rule you should avoid working on Sundays and spend quality time with the family. This would increase your rapport and your presence may be felt in the family.

You must plan picnic and vacations with family so that you are able to devote time. You should refrain from living in the poker world always. I know poker is an addictive game and you always want to earn more money for a better lifestyle but this obsession may cause sabotage to many familial relations.

Do not let down your family at important occasions because of the game. Emotions are sacred and you should not play with emotions as people would look down upon you especially family members – according to poker godess Clonie Gowen.

If you are travelling with your family for a tournament you must make sure that you spend time with them and refrain from gluing yourself in casinos as relaxing with the family is also very important. You must make an effort to remember birthdays and anniversaries as it would reflect your attitude and love towards the family members.

Poker players should know that family comes first and the game ranks second.

Basic Sit and Go Poker Strategy

With all the new poker players joining this great game the past few years it’s obvious that many players need some guidance when it comes to poker strategy. Sit and go tournaments are very popular online and you can find these small tournaments being played around the clock throughout a bunch of different online poker rooms. I’ve been playing sit and go tournaments for a few years now online and have become very familiar with the techniques you need to succeed.

Early Stages

The first thing you need to realize is that these tournaments have different buy-ins, amount of players and payouts, but the most common form of sit and go tournament is a nine player one with the top three players being paid money. Some people think you can sit at these tournaments and finish in the top three, but this is very unlikely unless the table you’re on is very loose and aggressive.

In the early stages of a sit and go tournament you should be playing quite a few hands. Pocket pairs, suited connectors, high cards and any marginal hands should be called. The idea is to see some cheap flops while the blinds are low so that you can try hitting your hand and increasing your chip stack. If you encounter a raise and your hand is only marginal then give it up without second thought, but when the flop is cheap it’s worth taking a look at it to see if you hit.

Middle Stages

As the blinds start raising you should start making your hand selection tighter and this means playing fewer hands. Start only playing your premium hands and make sure you bump up the pot pre-flop when you have good hands. Nothing is worse then limping with premium cards and then losing to junk cards because they hit two pairs or something like that, so make sure you avoid this. You should also start looking for chances at bluffing pre-flop by making a marginal raise. You will need to steal blinds in these tournaments as they increase or else you won’t survive, the only exception is if you have a good chip lead and you don’t need to steal any blinds.

End Game Strategy

Once the blinds increase some more and there are only about four or five of you left the action will become really loose. If you’re in good position for top three then I recommend staying out of the action unless you have premium cards. If you’re on the bubble then you’ll need to start making your move, you can do this by raising the blinds. You’ll either need to get lucky and double up or you’ll win the blinds which at this point could be 100/200 or more with potential antes.

If you manage to make it to the top three then you’ve done your job and made money in the tournament. Now no holds bar and you need to either make or break your stack. Play your hands as you want them, but don’t flat-call unless you’re slow playing a monster because it’ll just cost you. I personally prefer putting the pressure on the other players and I do this by making big raises and all-in bets once it’s down to the final three.

Bet Sizing in Poker

Over the course of your online poker career, you will be dealt aces once every 221 hands. So will your opponents. The difference between being a long term winner and a long term loser is getting the most value out of your strong hands and losing the least from your weak hands.

When it comes down to it, you must have the ability to manipulate the size of the pot in your favor with your bets. In some ways, calling bets is easier than making them. Often, you will call or fold based on a mathematical conclusion; however, making bets requires you to think deeper, with consideration for your opponents’ likely holdings and proclivities to certain hands. To master optimal betting strategy you must first master all other facets of the game, because making the correct bet requires you to analyze the situation from every angle.

There are many reasons you might make a bet:

  • As a bluff or semi-bluff
  • To block a larger bet
  • To get value from your hand

Since bluffing is more often determined by your knowledge of your opponent than by the cards on the board, we’ll focus on value betting. Simply put, your goal should be to induce your opponent to call the largest possible amount when they are behind or drawing.

Hand Ranges in Poker

First you must assign a reasonable range of hands to your opponent based on the information already available in the hand. From there, determine how many outs your opponent likely has that will give him the better hand. Your bet should certainly lay odds that are worse than the odds that his draw will come in, but more often than not your opponents will be willing to call bets that are much larger than the mathematical equilibrium.

Using your knowledge of your opponent (does he call large bets with flush draws, does he continue in the hand with second or third pair, for instance), size your bet as large as possible while allowing him to continue in the hand. If your opponent has a flush draw on the turn, you have to bet about 40% of the pot to be sure he has the wrong odds to draw; however, you should usually bet more than that, as your opponents are willing to make that mistake.

Optimal betting isn’t always about betting large. Poker is a game of small margins, so making small bets to keep your opponent in a hand with a subpar hand is often important to raising your winrate. Many players will call small bets when they are clearly beat simply because of the pot odds. They figure that their hand has a certain chance of actually being the best, when in fact it has no chance of being good. As a matter of fact, it should be your hand reading skills that influence you to bet small. If you deduce that your opponent has a weak hand, such as third pair, and you know he will not call more than a quarter pot-sized bet, that should be your maximum bet. Notice that it doesn’t matter what cards you hold, as long as they can beat third pair.

A few more important points need to be made. If your opponent thinks he has the best hand, there’s no reason to count his outs, because he’s certainly not thinking about them at all. In fact, he’s probably thinking about your outs, and he may very well raise you if he believes he is ahead. For that reason, if you think your opponent thinks he is ahead, you should bet significantly more than normal if you can beat his holding. This point has corollary to the next: if you believe your opponent has a strong draw to a second best hand, you should seek to keep him in the hand with a smaller than normal bet. If your opponent makes his hand, he’ll surely go broke, so you win more by letting him hit his draw and bust than by betting large and blowing him off his hand on the previous street.

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