quinta-feira, 31 de julho de 2008

i´m in BPPT stage 2

for 10 min i couldn´t get in the portuguese BPPT satelite so i decided to enter the satelite to all players. And i did it i finish 1st and i get my seat to saturday.
i´m going to try to finish in top 3 because i really want a seat in BPPT and since i dont get a sponsership yet if i couldnt get the seat i´m going to pay 550€+50 the buy in. one thing i know i will be threre period. Because i got trafic in the way home i couldnt record the match. well wait for saturday i promiss.

have fun
and remember
"if you want to win u couldn´t get afraid to lose"
play agressive
loose or tight
i prefer a more loose in the beggining to raise my chips and after i x2,5 or more i start to play more tight
i really think that is the best option to win a tournment
People normally play alot tight in the begging and then get a bad beat and start to make stupid moves. i dont care about bad beats ... i dont even want to listen to them
they happend to everyone
they will happend to you more and more because if you get afraid play chess or other game
remember that because poker is like life
sometimes its not fair
but at the end the best hand wins
so want you want to do its to make the right moves and dont put all your chips in a coin flip
AQoff AJoff AToff and mid pairs are stupid to go all in
unless you already get a good picture of the other players
i undertand all in moves at mid stage of the tournment not in the beggining

well i´m going to rest now because i´m tired
it was a hell of a day
and the gym just kill me
i´m off
francisco "the truth" Costa


i´m going to record my game at betfair satelite for BPPT. it´s going to be my 1st video and i dont know how it going to be but i thought it would be funny to do so.
At the end i´m going to comment hand by hand.

cya later because now i´m going to the gym

terça-feira, 29 de julho de 2008

nothing mutch

to say

yesterday i played a BPPT satelite but i finish mid table 22 out 44 on betfair
and i played the 10k grt in everest. Even finish ITM i only won small amount.
its was a big field and after i just grt the money i played verry agressive. when i was on the button after everyone folded i bet 3x the pot i dont remember the blinds but i think it was 800-400 or so. i got a call. i had AQsuitted and i had a fantastic flop As Qs 7c i just made a small bet 1/2 the pot and the other guy just went all in. well i couldn´t understand... AA? no... QQ? nah 77 crazy but could be
but i put him on Ashit or even in flush draw.
i was wrong the guy was stupid he had KK
well maybe not because on the river the got that luck K
and it was over
i finish 90´shit over 1000´s nice but not for me

segunda-feira, 28 de julho de 2008

no poker this weekend

my girls asked me to go spend the weekend to his summer house and away we go.
so my friends without internet there was no poker this weekend.

francisco "the truth" Costa

quinta-feira, 24 de julho de 2008


The day started with a nice freeroll.

Freeroll you might ask! yeah
this freeroll gives the oportunity to be in the bankroll builder with a total of 2,5 GTD

so its not total BS.

later i try to get a seat to the SPT aka spanish Poker tour.
i finish 3rd only with 2 seats to the event.
damm i was itm but what i wanted was the seat not the 40$ for the 3rd place
i fell like a bboy with money

well i was crazy mad and i decided to close everest
and went to pokerpt to see the news

then i saw Betfair will organize the BPPT aka betfair Portuguese poker tour with a buy in of 550€+50.
i thought for 1-2 min and decided that i´m going to be there.
Since i could pay the tournment via betfair
i decided to donwload the thing
i deposit 900$
because i wanted to get the special promotion $600x2
well i started to look at it.

betfair is alot different of everest
everest is more easy to find the thing
after having a look there are more GRT money with lower buy in
but betfair have alot of satelites
satelite for this satelite for that
besides poker betfair also have sports bets and that i like alot
because i´m a nba top tiper

well i decided to play my 1st game because i need to see the layout
the players
i didn´t like the layout got to be honest
but i like the bad quality of the players
they played so bad
i finish in 2nd place and won around 120$
well this is important because it will help me pay the buy in in BPPT

cya guys

Francisco "the truth" Costa

quarta-feira, 23 de julho de 2008


i just won again a pack to play next sunday the 100k garanty.
it was a satelite 3+0.3$ with R in the 1st hour and 1 add on ( op )
i will post all my tournment hands ( only the big ones ) and hands from other players in a total of 20 hands.
i will talk about what is ok and what is not
and satelite rebuy strategie
but right now i´m going to the gym
i need to relax!!!

just spend the last hour copy past the 20 hands for you bastards. :)
well you deserv it

cya in 3hours


1st of all Strategy Satelite with Rebuys

---- why people don´t play this even more tight than normal ? ------

i can´t explain that
In this kind of tournments the fish normaly play this tournment too damm loose
they want to see the flop
they dont mind to lose the chips because they can rebuy and its cheap
and they will re raise your hands with nothing

my ADVICE play even more tight choose top pair or AK AQ to play be patience
because the blinds start at 5-10
if you are in UTG, UTG+1 or UTG+2 and you get this kind of hand make only the call of the BB i garanty at least one guy will make a bet after that you go all in and i bet there is a 3/4 chance you get a call to your all in
if you are mid position do the same thing but the chance to get raised is only 1/2
if you are mid position and the hand already been raised re raise it hard dont do 3BB make it hard at least 300-400 raise
if you are CO or button make a big raise or go all in deppending of the nº of calls or call raise

well you can say

But i can lose with top pair or with top cards

yes sure but this is a rebuy tournment and i dont want you to rebuy to mutch
accidents could happend
but you want to avoid them

in statelites rebuy tournments
you should make only 1 rebuy
in this one i only made 1 rebuy because i lost when i didn´t follow my rule and decided to went all with a pair mid pair... WRONG ...Mistake onle TOP PAIRS or AK AQ
but with 44 players entering the game we got a total of 85 rebuys
this is just MAD
i bet some guys just rebuy 3 or 4 times that is arond 9,90$ or 13,20$
why dont they play $11 satelite then?
make one rebuy

the add on
do it only if( your stack + the add on ) x 2 = to one of the seats that gives the pack
why you want to Double up

this is making sence? ok

Rebuys tournment in the 1st hour are NOT poker tournments
you will think to your seft
"this is not poker"

lets give exemples
the best one´s are the hands i played

hand 1 to 6 in the 1st hour
hand 7 to 20 after the rebuys when you start to play your poker

in a case like you are going to watch
final 5 guys
take notice to one thing
if you are chip leader or so relax dont get envolved even with a monster sometimes
you lose and you will get cold feet
even i sometimes make this kind of mistakes
there are always one guy that thinks its a sure thing and its not
if you are short take advantage
raise with position
you got to risk it
but dont be crazy
i will talk later on when i talk about the hands

lets go


i got QQ
and there was 3 guys betting 60
i was with 995
dont had a problem to went all in
did i get a call
why simple
people dont care if they are with 2-4k
lets risk it
or A2-9 i have one ace

i Double up

you say but:
if nobody called? i just had won 240$
if someone got A or K high and it its the flop,turn or river? then rebuy
but you want less players playing the hand giving you more chances to win
do you think a guy with TJsuitted or other suitted 2 cards or low pair wouldn´t call a re raise 60 to 180 or even 240? in a rebuy tournment givin you less chances to win...


Hand 2

like i said before only go all in with top pair or AK AQ
be tight
be agressive
WITH KK i hit the wall

i rebuy

Hand 3

didn´t wait to mutch time only 2 hands latter
i had Kc Th i like alot this hand
since this was not a top hand
i decided because MP i make a raise to 350
and i got 4 calls
blinds where 100-50
the flop was great Ts 4 s Td

but what would you say about this
SB bet 300
BB raise all in 1560
then come to my position
my thoughts were
how many T?
ok joking
the 1st one was bluffing or maybe with one pocket pair
the 2nd with AT? no ofcouse not if he had that he would went all in before
he was a maniac
maybe only have 4 or a pocket pair
call all in
the other folded
and the SB do the same

when he showed 77 i was not surprised
i just won a 3k pot
keep tight and will try to Dup again before the break

Hand 4
i got other mid pair 88
even so i decided to raise it to 300 to get at least one of the two guys out of the pot
but both made the call

on the flop i saw the 8d q 7
but the SB bet 150 i decided to call the same did the other guy

turn 3d

it was the 2nd dimond so you never know
and since the SB check
i bet 1k
in a 1350pot
both players folded

Hand 5

nothing special to add
i saw one opening
the short stack of the tb
i raise 350
he called with 64
he was on the Button

couldn´t you wait?
200-250 is the kind of stack you will call
imagine there is 3 call
if you won
its 600-750 and you are back
unless you grabb a miracle and won with 6high

i won and well played

and i only played big this 6 hands
did i made the add on?
with the add on i would be with 5k the 2nd player on the board had 10k
i was 1 Dup way


all the action happend pre flop
utg made a call
i was mp with AJ raise 1800
everyone fold a buttom made all in for 5k
i didn´t though to mutch he was a bully
so i didn´t put him better than me
and i was right

he had 55
a J on the flop
and i won

Hand 7
a short stack when all in
i had AK suited easy call
he had A7 off
7 on the flop
7 on the river

its poker

Hand 8

was the hand of the tournment for me
i was trying to steal
because we were 600-300 75
so the pot already more 1k
i was with 7.5 or so
so i decided to go all in
i go 2 calls
one from a 66 dumb for almost 8k cmon
and other from a AK guy
on the flop i saw the K and i was saying goodbye
but on the river
i got my 4
won the pot and was chip leader by this time with more 20k

i asked for sorry

Hand 9

i was BB and i got 2 calls
i decided to check with 87suitted dimonds

9d 7x 2x

i bet 3k
one check the other player fold

turn Jd

great now i´m flush draw

i bet 9k and he call all in with 3.9k

he showed 22

river 4d

moral of the story



i was not inthis hand
hidalgos was and played well nice read
the other player
was the kind of guy that ouldn´t let go a top pair
hidalgo knew that too

Hand 11

i was not in this had too
but you can see a normal mistake
people like to do
why in hell do you call a all in of a player that is not in trouble situation
( trouble situation is when the blinds are comming ) this player was on the Bottom
for sure he had a goood hand
bad call by Apikassa

hand 12

what can i say
i got AA
the other got KK
i´m not my buddy orlando
i won
big pot here 60k and chip leader by far

hand 13
agaisnt the same guy hand 12
but now i had AK vs AA
he won and i knew by then he was not orlando´s new nick name

hand 14
i was on BB with 58,5k
the UTG bet 3,5k and he was the short stack with 13.5k
i look at my cards and saw A6off
since there are only 5 players i decided to call the raise
Ad 6d 8c
great this will be finish soon
i bet small 1.2k
and he went all win
with 11k i called
he showed 7d 7x

turn 10d
river 8d

he just hit the flush
he automatic asked for sorry
i replyed "its poker" loled at the play

moral of the story
why with 2x more the 2nd player did i call to see the flop
with A6off?

it was not my war
u could say cmon
you would be left with +-44k but ... why? if i could be with 58k?
if this was not this kind of tournment ok sure
i wanted to play for 1st prize but finish 4th or 1st in this tournment was the same shit
bad play bye me
let the others do the dirty work

Hand 15

pama was the chip leader by then with 44k
and dicided to make the same mistake i did
i was strong but should a AQsuitted deserv to call all in 21k?
later this money will make the difference in his stack because he finnish on 5th place
thx good my brain was good at the time and i folded A6

Hand 16

this was a great read by me
Apikassa made a small raise 6k
i had JJ
well i put him on AK for sure
i decided to call
if a ace come into the flop
i would fold and be with 20k left
if not i would be all in

no ace on the flop
i raise the pot
he fold
now only with 13k
and show all AK

and i was back with 36k
and now with my eyes open because hand 14

Hand 17

this hand is only to prove zawoot know that doesn´t need to push it

hand 18
hidalgo making the same mistake
i did
and pama did
dont do that

Hand 19
my mistake part 2
but now is different he only had 9k
and even if i lost it
i would be 26,5 that what i think
and i had JJ
but i should have thought
if he won he would be with 21k near me
near everyone
he had kq
on the flop i saw the 1st k
on the river the 2nd

2h 55m 30sec
pama decided to push it but after the flop
hidalgo had top pair
he hit 2nd top pair on the turn
hidalgo push it all in
easy call


see you guys next sunday
for the 100k garanty
i hope you guys get 2nd 3rd and 4th


everyting went wrong :(

i started the day with 1611$ after a buy out of 200$

1st i played 3 tournments

the 1st was a multi table buy in 11$+1 satelite for italian LIVE tour
with 55 guys and 5 packs i finish 7th
i was on UTG blinds 800-400 ante 75
i had 7425
i raise 1800
and i got 2 calls
the SB and BB

Kh Tc 3s

i was with KK
both SB and BB check
there was 5575pot
and since i only had 5625
and i made a push with half my stack
so i bet 2825
sb fold
BB who was also chip leader went all in
i check
showing Kd kc
he Showed As Ah

turn Th

river Ac

i didn´t say 1 word
i tryed to phone my friend Orlando´s but say if i was playing agaisnt you i would have won but he didn´t answer.

Then i started to play a 3.5k garanty with 30+3$ buy in
i was chip leader after the 1st hour
and i was owning the table
then someting strage happend
i was distracted because the other tournment i was starting to play just had started
so i was puting the 2 windonws together and i was going to fold the 39off in the other tournment
the windonw changed and i resaised all in in this tournment everyone fold till the guy that just had bet
he was the 3rd in stack
with +-1200 less than me
he asked wtf do you have
i didn´t reply
i was hopping that he folded because i had T2off
and it was a big raise almost 40bb
well he checked with AA
the stranget thing was he won with a flush
and i went on tilt with my 1200
when the average was around 3000
i made one mistake
but i was so mad that i couldn´t think being 1st and went donw like this was too mutch at least for me because it was not my call
it was the Fucking windonw
then in the tournment a alaways play at 20:00 portuguse time
the 11$+1 10k garantty
i was so mad that i said to my self
i´m going to push somebody to go all in in a coin flip
i hate that and who knows me know i´m not like this
so i get a 88
and since i was in UTG+1 i decided to bet 50 because we where on the 5th hand of the game and saw one guy in Bottom already short stacked with 190 and hoped that he went all in
what hapend i got a call from a player in MP
and he went all in
the SB fold
the BB called
and i went all in
the MP fold
and the BB called

the Bottom had TJsuited
the BB had AQsuitted
a A on the flop put a end to my misery

with a loss of 57$ i went dinner
and i came back decided to make some $$ in cash games
i was with 1554$ left and i decided to go
play some 1-2$ NL
i join a tb with 54$
my 1st hand
i had ATsuited_spades
and i call the button raise for 7$
the folp Ah 6s 9s
i raise to pot limit 15$
and he raised all in
he was the short stack
so i paid more 22$
i show AcTc
he showed As 6c
so i was with 10$left

damm i was preparing to add 100$ but i was not fast enought
and i saw in the SB QJoff
everyone fold till me and i went all in 10$
representing a tilt
the BB call me
he showed JToff

i thought
i´m bac....and the flop show a T ...
and for the 2nd time this week
phills spirt went to my body


now i was with 1500
what should i do
CORRECT ANSWER-STOP you are near tilt
go to MSN and talk

i found in MSN other poker player
i talked and i tell him the storys he loled
and we talk about poker starts tournment
and i decided when i was talking with him to play a STG

i join 100$ 6players STG expecting to win the 1st prize
and then i saw other portuguese player
Zecarioca aka jackdaniels

jackdaniels is a wellknowed player in portugal
he just had a great 7Stage in the portuguese tour
he finish in 22º
well at least it wasn´t the 21º aka buble

he give me his email but i forgot to copy
jack if you read this
plz give me you email back

i started great the SNG
1 knock out the 1st guy and i was chip leader with 1700 or so
then other player was out
and i was a litle donw to around 1500 or so
i was playing different
no tight
no agressive
i was loose
i was passive
i wanted to see as many flops i can
and then make the correct call
then i knock out jack
i was litle sad but he was the most tight and agressive player on that table
i was SB and i call
i had JJ
it was 30min or so in the game
so i just make the call
sence he was short stack he tryed to steal
and went all in
i said "shit man nooooooooo"
and i called
i was not affraid
i didn´t wanted to knock him out
he showed J9
and nothing to add here

then i was with 2 other guys and i was the chip leader again
with 3100chips

nothing special to add
and i was still talking with fabio
but i was distracted again
and i make a call to a raise of 700
well at least i had A4
with only3 players
u never know
the flop
K J 7
since he had only 600 more
i decided to make a small raise resprenting the K
so i bet 300
he thought
and went all in for more 300
i called
he showed A8

A8 cmon
with that flop
after calling a 700 raise??
well i went donw to 1000 after some shit hand
then i decided to get agressive
and went all in
and try to steal the blinds
and i went up to 1600

then i had the hand of this stg to me

i notice a player that when he was on the BB and i on the SB
when i call
he always raise it
so i recive
a Fantastic AA
and since he was with a stack near mine
i dicided to just call
the 200
i forgot to say that the Bottom just folded his hand
and the BB like always raise it to 600
well i called
in the flop Q J 8
he went all in
i called
he showed QJ damm i´m going to be the BBoy i thought
but in the turn i saw a 8
and i DU

the other player was the to easy
to win
even with 3100 vs 2900 or so
he was to tight
waitting for a hand
folding everithing till
he had 1500 or so
when he went all in with A2
well i had AQoff it was a easy call
and i won the tournment
with a final prize of 420$
see that i was so fucking loose
i saw more than 40% of the total hands
and at the end i was agressive
se the re-raise
the big % of call was in the beggining / mid tournment
when i was playing loose passive
then i changed to loose agreesive
one other thing
this 6 player SNG was played in 1h and 26min 9sec

and i finish the day with +310$

Francisco "the truth" Costa

segunda-feira, 21 de julho de 2008

Lunch break

I was @ my lunch break time and i decided to play some poker i was with no hungry so i decided to play some cash game.

normally i play 0,5-1$ NL starting with 100$
but i like to play 2-4$NL or 5-10$ even with no bankrool to play that kind of tables
i know i have the skills to play them.
You might ask : " who dont have the money? but i saw you win some nice prizes..."

yeah that is correct but i cash out most of times and i dont like to have more than
1.5k in my bankrool

Plenty has been written about bankroll requirements. This is what i think
Game NL-----you need to have in your bankrool
$0.05/$0.10 = $50
$0.10/$0.25 = $187.50
$0.25/$0.50 = $500
$0.50/$1 = $1.5k
$1/$2 = $4k
$2/$4 = $10k
$3/$6 = $18k
$4/$8 = $28k
$5/$10 = $40k
$10/$20 = $90k
$25/$50 = $250k
$50/$100 = $550k
$100/$200 = $1.2m
$200/$400 = $2.6m

well i look over my bankrool and whatched that i had 1.525,75k left
but decided to go to $1-2$ table and play 25,75$
i know you can loled @ it but i was playing agressive and the size of the pot is ALWAYS the most important factor when making poker decisions. ALWAYS. I decided to Double up or lost 25$ since i was going to be fucking agressive i just need one Doble to be working shit.

Only going to talk about the most important hands
remember it was 1-2NL, in a short table 6players( because i think it would be better than a normal 10 to go all in at the begging of the tb getting 1 call ) i join the tb with 25$ and i was going to play tight agressive

Hand 1
After just folded all my hands for 1 round i was again in the BB
with a nice hand to win some $
2h 7h
i had took some notes about the players and i watch the action
bigshoot the bully of this table he just bet/raise 5 out 7 times
made a small raise
and i decided to call
in the flop
well i just go one pair and since i put him in A_low_kicker or 2 over cards i decided
to go all in with my pair
he thought for 10sec or so almost till the limit and decided to call
( @ this time i knew i was in front if he had something he just had made a instant call. this is why i dont mind to start with low $$$ because i can make this "stupid" all in dont care about if i lose or win - ofcourse i like to win but i think you can get the picture )
he show a As 9c
damm he had tons of outs
3 A + 3 nine´s + 4 jacks + 4 six´s= total 14 outs
wow i was in trouble

he just call me a maniac and said he predict i will lost all my money
i just loled @ him and start to give hints that i was a noob
saying "i read that once Doyle B. won something with 27 offsuited i had 27 suitted so its better", and my best was "every 2 cards can win".

i can say that better than the 44$ pot is my image @ the tb, now everyone there thinks i was a maniac and i would try to get the best
of it

hand #2
i round later and nothing really special and i was again in the BB
now with Ac 9d
not a great hand but in this kind of table ( 6 guys could have some value and in this tb right now there here only 4 guys )
with 4 guys i will call position 0 the UTG and position 1 the button but ofcouse doesn´t have the same value than in a 10 player game
UTG just call the 2$
button fold
SB call the 2$
BB ( hero ) raise it $6

they both called
that was the good thing about HAND#1 (i´m a naniac) and none give a shit at my poker skills. i knew i was in front at this time and both just called because of hand #1

Ah Qh 9c

wow i dont need poker skills to play this
if they had AA QQ AQ they wouldn´t had just call $2 even call the raise for $6
but they could had 99 that i dont belive because i would be sick i had the other. 2 hearts? hummm lets be agressive and find out. Since the 2 other guys had about 190-200$ and i was view in the tb like a maniac i decided if the SB didn´t bet i would go all in.

the SB check
BB??? ofcouse all in
utg instant call
SB fold

utg show As 8d
i was smilling
i just net again and since A9 offsuitted is not that kind of hand the naniac thing was still alive



and i won
now i had 93$

hand #3
two new players just enter the tb
to short stack like me in the begginig
i give some kind of respect to them because they come here to Double up and normally will bet or go all in only with good % to win the pot and people with lot of money think´s that they should play because "its only more $20 or $30" nothing could be more wrong

with 5 players now
i will put this names UTG MP B SB BB
i was on B with Ah Qs

the MP raises to 7$
botton ( hero ) call
SB fold
BB call

well the flop was
8c 8s Qc

the SB check
the MP just hit the fan with a raise of $22
i thought for a while
why would he do that?
he was a litle loose but a solid player like to see the flop
and i knew for sure he had something but when he had something he normally makes a
bellow average pot like 12-15$ bet
so i put him in a lower pair or flush draw
and i decided to ask
"hey we are playing pot limit?"
he jumped "zzzzzzzz"
i normally if you have a hand you want people to call so you dont say nothing
saying that the "zzzz" i notice he wanted me to think he was strong saying something like cmon play so i decided to raise his bet to $66 i had top pair top kicker and i knew if he had just hit something he would not raise the pot
when i shoot the $66 i thought damm only if he thought really i was a maniac and would call that or even wrost re-raise it :)
SB fold
he call

@ that point i knew his hand
i was with 3,75 behind
why didn´t he make a re raise of more 3,75
@ that point i knew he was on flush draw

so i didn´t want no c

lets bet my last 3,75


wow i just hit a full house
great now i was with 203,50 and didn´t thought for 1 second to leave the tb that a commun mistake ppl normally do

hand #4
nothing special till here i just lost some pots but nothing big
i was with 190$ or so and we had a new player @ the tb and one of the short stack guys just Double up thx to the bully

well right now we had Utg Mp Co B SB BB
and i was on the BB
i just got the dream of every poker player except orlando´s
Ah As
i got 3 calls and i decided to bet 8
4x the big blind i knew i could do that because of my image and i probably get a call
45 hands later i still had no respect @ my blinds

i got a call by the short stack that just Du on last play

5h Kd 6s

i bet the pot
he made the call
i thought i got you you have the K


i bet the pot again
he was on all in

he showed a Ks 8c

i thought
don´t give the fucking bastard a 8
well poker gods where good to me

and the river show

now i was with 255,70

hand #5
this is what you shouldn´t NEVER do
5 players
i was on utg+1 and i decided to raise with 2s 3s to 4$
the bottom call it
both SB and BB just fold it

3d Td 9h

i check
and the bottom just bet 11$
i had decided to play this hand since i make that bet in the begging
everyone just thought of myself like a guy that can have everything and i just fell the table start to respect me
so i decided to see if he was strong with that hand
and i bet more $11
i decided to go small
to represent that i wanted him to call
to represent one hand
if i had one re-re-raise
ofcouse i would let the pot go
but he after thinking for a some moments decided to call


lets see if that bet result
i didn´t want to bet
lets imangine that he had two dimonds in his hand
if he dont had the Ahigh flush after my bet he would not bet if i check because i could go all in
he he had 1 pair or strait draw he would not bet either

so i check
and so did he


other 2 or 3 would be great but i think he thought i had the flush draw higher than him or a better hand than him
so i dicided to check again after thinking for 3-5sec because i wanted him to thought i was slow playing

he check

he show 7c 8c
and i won the hand
he was madddddddddddd
and left the tb

now i was with 290$

my last hand
i dicided that i must go
and i was getting close to my blind
and i got 6h 6s
hummm wtf
lets play

i was utg+1
and i decided just to call
other 4players were in there to see the flop
6d Td 3h
great flop
sb check
bb check
i bet 5$
and got 2 calls


the Sb just bet his last 17$
like i said before i give some credit and i put him with Tshit for the TTT and hopefully not with a T3 or T6
so the problem was the other player on my left
well he probably could be on the flush draw
( i make one mistake i just call when i think i should re raise his bet because i would want him to think that i only want to play with the short stack guy make him to go all in or so but i decided to call to give him a chance to get the flush)
he fold

the short stack just show Tc 8s
and the river did not help him

giving me the win with the Jd
finish my luck breack with 316,85

francisco " the truth " Costa

This Sunday

well this sunday started with a update in this blog. I just add here some youtube videos i think could help some of the guys that read this blog.
It´s Poker Roundtable hosted by Fulltilt @ ESPN.
Some pros just talk and give some hints about the game i hope you like it.
Then i played the 100k garantty tournment in everest.
i was doing great till the level 75-150
i was in 85 out 886 players, and almost 350 already out.
i had 3.6k and the average was 2.1k
But i was in MP with Th Tc and i bet 450
everyone folded and i got a call by the BB
the flop was good i think but not great
Jh 8h 4c
the big blind bet 450
after some thought and remember the plays he was involved and his stack ( after the bet he only had more 550 ) i decided to re raise to 1000.
he made the call
and showed a Js 4c
the turn and the river didn´t had notting special
well 2 things to considered
1st i was donw to 2.1k still on the average
2nd why can a guy who only have 1.45k can make a call to a tight player with Js 4c?
its 1/3 of his stack
well keep going
8 plays later i was on the button with As Kh and everyone just fold
and i bet again 450
the SB fold
again the BB called my bet
Ah 9h 2c
great flop i think
well i was with 1.5k because i just lost my 2 blinds ( the small and the big )plus the 450 raise in the bet
and i decided to make a below pot raise half my stack at the moment
so i bet 750
he thought for 10seconds or so
and decided to go all in
well i thougt i was comitted to the pot because i only had 750 left if i fold
the player was the bully of the table and chip leader in the table
so i thought well if he had a good hand why did he re raise it?
probably he have KQ or QJ or JK and his on strait draw
or 2 more hearts and he could be in flush draw
or probably a pair of nines or two´s
well wtf let just call the bastard
we showed Th 9s
and i was yeeeessss
well at least until the turn that show me the 9c
and it was like the spirit of phil hellmuth was on me
i was #$%#$"#$%"$"
how can this just happend
T 9??? offsuited

it was not great tournment for me i was out after 1hour and 30min
at the 435place

well its poker
i played well and i do it again

Francisco "the truth" Costa

domingo, 20 de julho de 2008

9 Poker Tournament Lessons

Lesson 1
Amir Vahedi said about a million times at the 2003 WSOP, “In order to live, you have to be willing to die.” It sounds a little ridiculous, but I really believe in it. I am just as ready to go broke on the first hand, as I am on the bubble. In the last tournment i been ( la toja in spain ) i was talking with other guys and they didn´t follow the same idea. Some just said " i´m going to be so tight that if i got AA in the 1st hand i will fold it " i hope he was joking. Why people have afraid to go donw in the 1st hand? you got the cards you should play them agressive, if you die remember "its just poker"
OT: i was on the phone some minutes ago with Orlandop and Dperfeito both were on the casino stairs because they have been knowed of of solverde season 7stage ( portuguese live tournment that occurs every month) one with AA the other with AKo... cmon guys its poker

Lesson 2
Everything in moderation. When I first started becoming more and more aggressive ( and i´m notting special ) in tournaments after reading a lot of posts, I started going nuts open raising 100% of the time from the button, CO, CO-1, if I had the chance. Obviously players picked up on this, and I would get my raises abused. Stealing blinds is only +EV if well, if it works. Don’t open raise if you are going to get picked off every time by the big blind. I have been at incredibly aggressive tables where I rarely button raised, because I didn’t think it would work

Lesson 3
No fear, and make sure they know it. Let the players to your right know that your blind is like your first born child. Resteal with 72o and if the circumstances are right, show it. If you don’t like restealing, you can call the raise, and lead out on any flop. Be agressive but don´t be mad. whats the difference read lesson 4.

Lesson 4
Watch the action, always. I have stopped playing more than 2 tables when I’m in a tournament, because every hand that you are not involved in is like a goldmine of information waiting to be exploited. Even online, there are tells. Recognize what every hesitation means, and remember it. One important note that I like to take on players is, can they fold top pair or not. Some players are incapable of folding top pair. They just can’t do it. Others can fold the 2nd nuts. Always know who they are. Other thing i notice only good players know how to fold the dark side is that is more easy to make a bluff to this kind of players if they notice that you can play.

Lesson 5
Don’t berate the fish. I was once in a tournment and I ‘lol-ed’ someone for open pushing J9o for 20 big blinds. The guy went nuts on me, and taught me my lesson. It’s really a general poker thing, but it’s a good lesson. Although I never would abuse them, I always would playfully joke at the fish for doing dumb things. There really is no point. Make them feel comfortable playing like a jackass.. In la toja I played a sit and go and the player on my right was a dumb ass. He start to picking up ( and watch them in front of his nouse and shit ) the cards and i notice he folded a 10 3 offsuited and on the flop showed 10 3 3 and he start talking with me. " I folded a 10 3 damm" normally the common guy would say " what the fuck are you crying about? are you stupid?" well I took advantage of him and said " what? man you should never fold any card before seen the flop you never know any 2 cards can make you a winner". He was out 5 plays later.

Lesson 6
You don’t have to win every pot. I think there was a post where MLG basically wrote. “I raise 86s in MP, I get called by the button, flop comes T9A. I check, the button bets out, what’s my line?” Basically the post was a joke and the point he was trying to make, is that it’s ok sometimes to check/fold. If you bet 100% of the time on the flop, well, it will get picked up on.

Lesson 7
Think everything through. This has probably been the biggest improvement in my game lately. Take all the time you need to fully assess a situation, and make the educated decision. Like I said before, sometimes I would act immediately without really knowing why I was making a decision. Never again will I just click call without at least trying to put my opponent on a hand. Your reasoning behind every decision is just as important as the decision itself.

Lesson 8
Be able to judge yourself. In la toja, I made a all in with AQs that was clearly no good on the flop KQshit. Afterwards, I looked at myself and couldn’t figure out what I was thinking when I re-raise the other player. I relapsed back to my old self where I just clicked call or fold without thinking it through. I knew if I was playing that way it was time to take a break. Always be able to assess your current mental state. Know when you won’t be able to play well and don’t play. You can’t just play like a machine in tournaments, the way you sometimes can in cash games. You really have to be in the right state of mind.

Lesson 9
Maximum value, every time. You always want to get every chip you can get when you have the best hand, as it can and will come in handy when it gets late and 1 big blind can make a big difference. This means knowing your opponents’ tendencies, knowing how much you can get out of his TPTK when you have a set, your TPTK vs his TPWK etc. I am really not a fan of slowplaying very often. So many times people just think “wow I flopped trips/straight/etc, I can’t bet.” Well often times one of three things can happen that are bad:
a) You let your opponent improve to a better hand.
b) You let a scare card fall, which kills your action.
c) Despite trying to appear weak, you in fact appear strong and lose all deceptive value.

Exemple A
I defended my big blind to a small button raise by a very aggressive player with 52s. Flop came down, 22T. I led out for half the pot, I didn’t even think of check-raising. Why?
simple lets think about it. Suppose he has an overpair, the money is going in either way. But let’s say he has something like 33-99 range. It’s pretty hard for him to put me on any kind of a hand by the way I played it, so it’s unlikely he’ll fold, whereas if I check raise him he may fear that I have a ten. But there is also a 3rd possibility, that he completely missed with overs, or a total steal like 87o. He is an aggressive player, so if I check to him he will most certainly bet, I will raise and he will fold. So I probably get a half pot sized bet out of it. What a waste. However, by leading out I think a lot of aggressive players will play back at that with any 2 about 75% of the time. As it turned out I led out for half the pot, he reraised 3x my raise and I smooth called, figuring that he still had nothing, and it is unlikely that I would lose action from him if he did in fact have a hand. By just calling I now give him a chance to bluff a 2nd barrel.

sexta-feira, 18 de julho de 2008

other nice result

it was a satelite for the everest 100k tournment last sunday.
this is the most important tournment in everest with a field of 1000players.
i did it one and i dont have nothing special to talk about it
i was the buble boy for the 1st time in my life.
i finish 91th in a fiel of 986 players
i hope this time @ the end i finish at least ITM.
well at least i just garrantty the buy in via satelite
my hand on that satelite was
vilan1 @ utg+1 - call 1200
vilan2 mid position - call 1200
hero CO - Ah Kh - raise 6500
sb - 600 - fold
bb - 1200 - fold
vilan1 goes all in for 8800
vilan2 goes all in for 10100
hero call 10100

show donw
hero Ah kh
vilan1 Ac Qh
Vilan2 Ad Qs

Ks Ts 9h

i didn´t like the flop
they just pass from 2 out the 2 Q to 4 outs add the 10 and loose the Q because the Q
just give the strait


i just love this card because it was not a T lol


hero - ks kh 2h 2c Ah pot 30k + the 4.8k i still had + the ante around 1.2k

after that hand i dont remember to watch a single hand
i had 2 hands i could raise one pocket 88 @ button and one Ac Qc @ utg but whats the point?
And i say that because i cant get why people with a healthy stack just push it?
i remember a guy that finish @ 7th with 3$ started the final table in second with
arund 41k of chips. cmon...
i know u may think bad beat
well i tell you not a single one
he just bet or re-raise
trying to push it
be smart
and manage or chips in a tournment like this
because the 6th place gives the same shit that the 1st and you dont want to finish 7th

cya sunday
Francisco " the truth " Costa

quinta-feira, 17 de julho de 2008

Great Article by Ashley Adams

5 Times You Don’t Have to Call
Many poker players mistakenly call when they should fold. They’ve been led to believe by convention or habit that there are certain situations when they have to call. Most of these conventions are wrong. Here are the top five bad calls that even good players often make automatically. You don’t have to. I’m giving you permission to fold.

1. Calling the check-raise.

Your opponent checks. You have a good but not a great hand. You see the check as a sign of weakness. So you bet. Your opponent now raises you. It’s tempting to call. After all, you might catch a miracle card and turn the tables on this brash check-raiser. You should probably fold.

2. Calling the re-raise.

You have a strong hand but not a monster. Someone bets in front of you. You raise. Someone after you, not a maniac, re-raises. The first player folds. You don’t have to call.

3. Calling a late position steal raise.

You’re the big blind. Everyone folds to the button. The button raises. The small blind folds. You look down and see Jd3c. You don’t have to protect your blind. Fold.

4. You know someone is bluffing.

There’s a maniac to your right. He raises everything. Five people have called and he raises. You have a bad hand. Don’t be a policeman – even though you know he’s stealing. Let the stealer win. Fold.

5. It’s only a partial bet to call.

It’s the middle stage of a tournament. You’re the big blind of $1,000. You have $3,000 left. Someone to your left goes all in for another $600. Everyone folds to you. You have 9s5s. Yeah, it’s a bargain and you’ll knock out your opponent if you win. But don’t call. You don’t have to; you have a lousy hand, and you will save a significant piece of your stack by conceding.

Of course there are situations like the ones above when a thoughtful player may want to call or even raise. But don’t do either automatically.

What turns an average player into a good player is his ability to stop his habitual response and replace it with the proper thoughtful action. He should never call automatically – just because he has initiated action in a particular round of betting. In this sense, a good poker player must reverse the old adage “winners never quit and quitters never win”. He must learn that quitting is sometimes the smart play.

Ashley Adams has been playing poker since 1961 when he learned it literally at his grandfather's knee. He started playing seriously in 1993 when Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut opened their poker room. He can usually be found there at the $20/40 stud or the $2/5 no limit hold 'em table.

Ashley has played poker all over the world, winning money in ring games and winning tournaments in Hungary, Austria, England, the Bahamas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada, California, Washington, British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. He was the most prolific writer of poker articles in 2005, 2006, and 2007 and has written two poker books. His first, Winning 7-card Stud (Kensington, 2003) is available on Amazon.com. His no limit hold 'em book, Winning Low Limit No Limit Hold 'em, is an ebook and most readily available directly from the author for $10.00 at asha34@aol.com.

Ashley also runs charity poker tournaments, teaches poker privately and at the Boston Center for Adult Education, is a frequent guest on radio and television programs (having appeared on WBZ-AM, WHDH Channel 7 TV, WGBH-TV, NECN-TV), and has a regular radio show that can be heard 24/7 on www.houseofcardsradio.com.

quarta-feira, 16 de julho de 2008

The wsop 2008 final table

Official November Nine Chip Counts and Seat Assignments

On November 9th, 2008, the following nine players will return to the felt with 21 minutes and 50 seconds left in level 33:

Dennis Phillips - 26,295,000
Craig Marquis - 10,210,000
Ylon Schwartz - 12,525,000
Scott Montgomery - 19,690,000
Darus Suharto - 12,520,000
David 'Chino' Rheem - 10,230,000
Ivan Demidov - 24,400,000
Kelly Kim - 2,620,000
Peter Eastgate - 18,375,000

Hellmuth gets a penalty at 2008 WSOP Main Event


terça-feira, 15 de julho de 2008


Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck
i can´t remember other word. Yesterday i was playing 7.5k garantty in everest with a field of 254 players with top 20 getting paid.
i was in the 5th position with 27 players left....
And i get involved with a short stack player
i said out and clear to me "vamos" a portuguese word that means go
and i give a litle knock on the computer
and it was the last thing he did
he frezzzzz out
and got blocked
since if you cant get on in everest u lose your spot
so i lost the oportunity to get a big prize because if i won that pot (and i was with flush draw, strait draw and high pair.) i was going to jump to the 2nd place with 26 players left.
at lest i would get 11-20 and i would get 150$
so fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck
í didn´t got nothing and i lost my computer
if that happends to you call a poker friend and ask him to play for you
thats the best conclusion of this story
and i only get to that when i was talking to some friends of mine and they both said that

take care
francisco " the truth " Costa

domingo, 13 de julho de 2008

Back to Porto from la toja


Every tournment have his story and you learn someting from them. This was no different!
I went friday to la toja and the 1st thing i ask in the hotel was " did any portuguese guy arrived?". The girl in the reception ( a beautiful blond } said " not yet but orlando will arrive today".
Orlando? i thought...humm
well orlando is a well known portuguese poker player.
But the question was "will he be a cool or a cocky guy? well lets wait and see ...
i went to the bedroom to take care of my self and after me and my girlfriend decided to go to the Casino of la toja.
On the way out i asked again "did orlando arrived yet?"
This time the answer was different "yes but i think he go out."
we arrieved to the Casino and we find the poker on the top floor. There i saw orlando he was with a tshit saying orlandop on the back. He was playing a sit&go and since i couldn´t see his chips i asked in portuguese "how many chips do you have?".
He turned his back and said "the ones in the SB +1200" and went all in. For 2 seconds 2 things cross my mind:
a} shit what a fucking stupid question to ask if he is piss of now i´m in troble
b}i hope i help the guy with giving him and open with the turn of the back and the going all in ( showing he was satisfied with his 2 cards and he could turn his back to the other players talk with someone and then go all in"
He recived a call and he busted.
we started to talk and 10sec later arrived 2 players i didn´t knew, Nuno Canossa (Didascalos} and Pedro "Amial" Monteiro.
Both seemed to be to verry nice guys and after a quick chat we decied to play a sit and go.
my fist thought in that sit and go was "2 bullys on the table???"wtf... players pick the cards in the hand in front of the eyes,etc...
i thought its in the bag
but i was wrong the bullys 1st take care of Pedro but i dont remember the hand.
then after orland almost doble up and eliminated nuno this hand happend.
vilan1-raised to 300
vilan 2- went all in for 1200
orlando on the SB went all in for 4500
BB after thinking a litle bit went all in too for 2500
the vilan1 didn´´t thought too mutch and also went all in
the flop
great even if orlando lost to vilan2 he is going to take care of most of the pot
well u get the picture now
7 hands later
the bully called a all in for one short stack
short stack-Aj
bully aka vilan1 from last hand- TT
the bully start chanting saying three Ten
and the dealer start to giving him the chips and the worst part the other player was starting to get up of his chair
i could shut up because after that it was only me and more 3 guys and i probably could get ITM but
i went MAD and start shooting in every direction.
to the bully because he was a moron
to the other player because he was worst
and finally to the dealer
well after that my concentration i lost my chips.
I couldn´t be near the casino for one me second and i wasked orlando where can i eat a good parrilhada.
"A solina is the place" he said
he was a gent and was kind enought to give the directions and offered to take us there.
I was glad that i found someone like him friendly enought and with the poker know how.
we had a superb dinner and we went party with orlando, pedro, nuno and nuno´s girlfriend.


i have a hangover....
we went to the SPA of la toja ( one word GREAT } and after that we went to the hotel because the tournment was one hour away.
He arrived at casino la toja and i was surprised some big name there
pakito - professional poker player from spain
Juan Maceiras -the spaish guy that last year won the 3 bigest tournment on fulltilt
and almost the best portuguese players
zummy- the guy with more final tables in solverde
Diogo "Phounder" Veiga-aka wonder kid Sponsored by betfair
among with others well known portuguese poker players.
The tournment started
blinds 25-50
my 3rd hand AhAc
utg+1 who had lost almost 2k on last hand raised to 350.
everyone fold
i was CO
and i raised to 1000
everyone folded
5 hands later QcQs
i was UTG+1 so i decided to call the raise that the utg did 250
but i had no luck
4 calls
utg call
and i bet 800
sb fold
bb fold
utg asked me "what do you have?"
i replyed "ace high"
"let me see... top pair"
he said "AJ???"
i said"yeah something like that"
he fold and show J
and and show him QQ
it was dinner time
i was with 10.5k and the average was around 10k
then i saw orland was out damm
back to the table
i´m a verry tight player and i like to the table to respect me
but i change table 4 times
after 5 min @ my new tb i got AQ suited
everyone fold till my position
so i bet 1500
the blinds @ 600-300
i got 2 calls
diogo phounder on the CO and from quintas on the SB
quintas was the chip leader on the tb
and phounder also have 15k
with that bet i was with 7.0k
sb check
i check
phounder bet 2500
quintas fold on the small blind
well it was time to double up i thought
phounder likes to make some bluffs
and i start to thought wtf can he have
AQ?AK? no if he had that he would had raise in the CO
KQ? or made a tree of a kind with a poket pair in that case on 88 make some sence.could be but that would be sick
K shit? probably
Q shit? probably
or trying to steal the pot
well i decided to go all in
he made a instant call with KQ
i thought
still have 3 outs
was on my mind
cmon i thought
it´s over
i finish in 45th in 84 guys
i will be back

Francisco "the truth" Costa

sexta-feira, 11 de julho de 2008

the truth on tour to la toja

so i´m 1h away to go to la toja spain to play 250+25 buy-in tounment.
I know some portuguese guys are going to be there and since this is going to be my 1st time there i already know at my strategy going to be. @ the end i only hope i have a good time drink some beers and hopefully play the poker i know i can play. Cmon its not to bragg... its only good thoughts.
i´m going to take some picks and make the report later.cya

Diogo Borges ITM @ WSOP Main Event 2008

The only portuguese guy right now @wsop.

@ endding of day 3 diogo is in the 40th place with 500,000k chips

congrats segrob
power poker


since i was fucked up because i lost the qualification to the backroll satelite i try to give it a chance and try other with less buy in but with 25 invitations.

i finished in 5th and i got my entry

pokerinfo league

in the pokerinfo legue (only portuguese players} once again i make a run to the final table

here the results


i dont like to play freerolls because people there are verry loose since its for free and i normally hate that but since i in need to practice i give it a chance and join in.

It was a big field with 1761 players and i finished @ 91 place. I was in the bottom an since and with a short stack and i decided to make a run with my poker 88.

A2 call it and got a perfect flop Ak2.

its poker

in a field de 984 players another ITM

quinta-feira, 10 de julho de 2008

terça-feira, 8 de julho de 2008


Tip # 1 of 52
A tight-aggressive playing style gets the money in hold'em.

Adopting a tight-aggressive playing style is a winning strategy in all forms of poker. You would have a hard time finding a poker game in which this is not the case. To play a winning game of hold’em, you should (and must) adopt this style of play.
How do we define “tight-aggressive”?
Tight means entering fewer pots than most of your opponents. Being selective by playing only quality starting hands is the key here. “Quality starting hands” is a relative term — sometimes hands that are good in one situation are quite weak in another, and vice versa. As this book progresses, you will learn to read situations and how your read influences which hands are playable, and which are not.
Aggressive means that when you do decide to enter a pot, you play the hand for all it’s worth. You place an emphasis on betting, raising, and check-raising. Checking and calling just does not get the job done most of the time. There are some situations in which this is the correct play (and the text will identify these situations for you), but they are the exception. By the way, an aggressive approach does not mean that once you decide to play a hand, you jam your foot on the gas pedal and don’t ease up until the pot has been played out. Like most things in life, hold’em requires discretion, and that will come from experience.
How the World Poker Tour Has Affected Poker PlayTne by-product of the recent popularity of the World Poker Tour (WPT) is that a whole new breed of poker player has been created. If you watch the show with your goal being to learn how to be a world-class poker player, you may be in for a rude awakening when you go to play. The problems with using the show as a learning device for live game limit hold’em are numerous.
Right away, realize that you are watching a different poker game. It may look the same; after all, the players are dealt two cards, and there are blinds, flops, turns, and rivers. That is where the similarities end, though. What you are witnessing is the end of a no-limit tournament, in which the blinds are high, the game is shorthanded, and the program has been edited to showcase the more interesting hands. Also, when you play in a brick-and-mortar cardroom or online, unless you are in a tournament, the blinds are not large compared to your stack size. You are probably in a nine- or ten-handed game. And you see all of the hands dealt, not just those that some producer thinks might turn out to be interesting. Loose-aggressive play seems to be a winning style on the WPT. The successful players are in there dancing around with hands that you toss into the muck without a second thought. And the thing is, they are correct (most of the time) to play these hands, and you are correct to throw them away. The reason for this is that we are dealing with totally different circumstances.As a newer player who has not yet developed a good understanding of the game, you may think it self-evident to emulate the style of play you witness on television. After all, if T-2 is good enough for a world-class player, it should be good enough for you. So, as a new “television era” player, you may enter the game playing an extremely loose-aggressive style, and believe that to be a winning strategy. In reality, what you are doing is playing final table no-limit short-handed poker in a full limit hold’em game. You will not win playing like this, unless your opponents are all doing the same (only doing it worse).

The Tight-Aggressive EdgeSo, how exactly does a tight-aggressive approach give you an edge over your opponents? If you have played much low-limit hold’em, you have probably found the games typically to be loose (with four or more opponents seeing the flop on average), and for many hands to go to the showdown. This means that to win you must show the best hand most of the time, as bluffing is difficult in these games (one more down side to being a TV student).The tight part of tight-aggressive means that you play fewer hands than your average opponent. Thus, it stands to reason that the quality of your starting cards is typically higher than those of other players, which in turn means that a higher percentage of the hands you play reach the showdown as the best hand.

By playing good cards aggressively, you win the maximum amount from your winning hands. If your opponents wish to stay in the pot against you with inferior cards, you should charge them as much as possible to do so. An added benefit of aggressive play (and a key one) is that you will win some pots that your more passive playing opponents do not, by inducing opponents to fold hands that ultimately would have won the pot. You can’t win these “default pots” by checking and calling.

Tip # 2 of 52
Hold'em is a game of position

In poker, position refers to when a player must act on his hand relative to the other players in the pot. When a player is one of the first to act, he is in early position. When a player is last or nearly last, he is in late position. Similarly, players with several opponents on either side of them are in middle position. These terms appear frequently in this book, which provides a clue about the significance of considering position in your hold’em decisions.
Late Position Advantage
As you begin to play hold’em, you quickly become aware of the numerous advantages of having late position in a hand. One of the most important advantages is that you generally have a decent idea of what kind of strength you are up against. For example, suppose you are holding 8-8. This looks like a good hand, and, in absolute terms, it is just that. It is not, however, a great hand, and it is often unclear how (or whether) to proceed with it.If you are in late position with your pocket eights, the actions of the other players influence how you play. Suppose everyone has folded to you, and only the blinds are yet to act. It is highly probable that you have the best hand, so you should choose to play it aggressively by raising the pot. Assuming the blinds call your raise, you now hold a positional advantage over them for the remainder of the hand. This means that on the flop, turn, and river, they must act before you, giving you the advantage of making your decisions with more information about your opponents’ cards than they have about yours. Let’s look at a different scenario in which you hold 8-8 in late position. This time, however, a tight player has raised and an even tighter one has reraised before the action has reached you. Once again, the useful information gained due to your positional advantage can be used. Clearly, your two eights are not the best hand here, and this knowledge, combined with the high price of entering the pot, allows you to safely fold your hand.

Early Position Disadvantage

Contrast this with holding the same hand in early position. Poker is a game of incomplete information, and the earlier your position, the more incomplete the information. Now, you don’t have the benefit of knowing what your opponents are going to do. You must make a poorly informed decision, and in poker these kinds of decisions are often wrong. In the case of the 8-8, sometimes it is the best hand (or at least playable), and other times it is way behind. Thus, the earlier your position, the less likely you are to know which one is the case. But the problems with early position don’t stop there. Once you decide to enter a pot by opening early (or decide to look at the flop from a blind position), you act before your middle and late position opponents for the remainder of the hand. This will cost you, in terms of both bets and pots. Because you must act first, you will at times be unsure as to whether a card helped your opponents’ hands. For example, you may check, when in fact had you bet your hand one or more opponents might have called with inferior hands. Your poor position has cost you one or more bets in this case. Worse yet, your apprehension about whether the development of the board has helped your opponents may cause you to check, when betting would have induced everyone else to fold. Now, suppose everyone checks behind you, and the next card comes. An opponent who would have folded for a bet on the previous betting round now improves his hand and wins the pot. For example, suppose you are first to act with 8-8, and the flop is K-9-7. If you are first, with three or four players behind you, you would probably choose (correctly) to check, as this flop is likely to have helped one or more of your opponents. However, suppose nobody can beat your pair of eights, and the hand gets checked around. Now, an ace comes, giving one of your opponents holding A-5 a better hand. Since this player would probably have folded on the flop had you bet, your check has cost you the pot. If you had the same hand in last position, however, it would have been correct for you to bet the flop once it was checked around to you, likely making you the winner of the pot.Playing Position Clearly, it is to your benefit to try to play most of your hands from late position. As a result, you should enter the pot only with premium hands when you are one of the first players to act. When you play only big pairs and big cards such as A-K from early position, your postflop positional disadvantage is partially offset by your hand being fairly easy to play after the flop. If you have a big pair, you stay aggressive on the flop in nearly all cases (the main exception being when your pair is smaller than aces, an ace flops, and several players are in the pot). If you have big cards, such as A-K, you tend to bet when you flop a pair, and check when you don’t (tempered by certain factors to be discussed later). These hands don’t require as much guesswork; thus, their postflop performance does not suffer as much from poor position as do more marginal holdings like small and middle pairs.Because you have the benefit of observing the actions of all your opponents, you can be much more liberal with your starting requirements when you are in late position. Don’t misinterpret “liberal” as “loose” or “sloppy,” though. Some hands are not profitable to play in any situation. Nevertheless, acting last allows you, first, to see how your hand figures to stack up against your opponents before the flop, and, then, to make well-informed decisions about how to proceed after the flop. Do not underestimate the value of position. It should be a consideration in nearly every decision you make in the game.

Tip # 3 of 52
Be aware of pot odds at all times

Pot odds is another important poker concept, with applications throughout the play of a hand. Essentially, pot odds refers to how the amount of money in the pot influences your decision to play or pass. For those of you new to this concept, here is an example to help clarify. Suppose you are holding K-Q, and see a flop of 3-T-J. As you can see, any ace or 9 will make you the nut straight. Also, a king or queen pairs you, which may or may not produce a winning hand. You can determine your pot odds if you know the following:
• how much money is in the pot• how much it will cost you to stay in the hand• what your chances are of making the best hand
For this example, let’s say that there is $100 in the pot, and it costs you $10 to call a bet. Also, for simplicity’s sake, assume that we are talking only about making your hand on the next card, and that you will win only if you make a straight.
You can express your likelihood of making the best hand by forming a ratio of the cards that miss you to the cards that make your hand. In this case, that would be 39-to-8. (This representation is called odds.) Of the 47 unseen cards, 39 are blanks (cards that do not make your hand), while eight (the four nines and four aces) make you a straight. You can also express this same relationship as a fraction, 8/47, or a shade better than 1 in 6. (This representation is called chances.)
Here, the difference between odds and chances is that odds usually refer to the unlikelihood of an event (like making a hand) and chances usually refer to the likelihood of the event. Odds are expressed as a ratio, with the larger number being the ways of missing and the smaller number the ways of hitting. In our example, there are 39 ways of missing the straight and eight of making it. Thus, the odds against making the straight are 39-to-8.
Chances are expressed as a fraction, with the denominator being the total number of possibilities and the numerator the ways of hitting. In our example, there are 47 possible outcomes, of which eight make the hand. Thus, the chances of making the straight are 8/47.Now, it is time to combine those three points above to determine the correct course of action. It is wrong to automatically call with your hand simply because you have a straight draw. You must make sure that the pot is offering you the proper odds (the right price) to call.
You can express the price the pot is offering you as both a ratio (in this case, it is 100-to-10); and as a fraction (10/110). Reduced, you are getting pot odds of 10-to-1 on your call. What this means is that as long as you will make your hand more than one time in 11, it is profitable for you to draw. Since your chances of improving your K-Q to a straight are about 1 in 6, calling is clearly the right play.What about an inside straight draw? With this holding, you have only four ways to make a straight. This makes your chances 4/47, or just slightly better than 1 in 12. With the same size pot and cost to call, a fold is now in order, since you will not make your hand often enough for drawing at it to be profitable. Had either the pot been larger or the amount of the bet smaller, however, calling often would be correct.How Much Math Do You Need?So, do you have to be a math wiz to play hold’em? Absolutely not! Poker at its essence is a game of people and logical thought. The ability to do complex mathematical equations in your head, while impressive, will probably not be of much benefit to you here.So, do you have to be a math wiz to play hold’em? Absolutely not! Poker at its essence is a game of people and logical thought. The ability to do complex mathematical equations in your head, while impressive, will probably not be of much benefit to you here.
You should, however, have a good working knowledge of odds and probability. Whether you do this in your head on the spot, or take some time to learn by rote the odds of making certain draws, you should not neglect this aspect of the game. Failure to learn the odds may cause you not only to call when you should fold, but also to fold when you should be calling. It is perfectly acceptable to memorize a chart showing the odds of completing the various draws. Doing so will save you from having to make on-the-spot calculations.
There are many close, “coin flip” type decisions in poker, in which it doesn’t appear to matter which decision you make. However, good poker players learn to include additional factors in their analysis of a hand. Decisions that at first appear to be cases of “six of one, half a dozen of the other” become clear-cut after further study.

Tip # 4 of 52
Raise or fold when you are first to enter a pot.

This tip refers to those situations in which no one has yet called or raised when the action gets to you.
Since tight-aggressive poker is winning poker, you should fold your inferior hands. Don’t call trying to hit a lucky flop. Not only is it tough to get a nice flop when you are holding rags (substandard cards), but if you initiate the action by calling, this is often seen as an invitation for other players to call behind you. Now, you must play an inferior hand while out of position. This is not a winning proposition.
When you do have a good hand, you should open the pot with a raise. In addition to putting pressure on the players yet to act and the blinds, your raise allows you to take the lead in the pot. Even if you miss the flop completely, a bet on the flop, coupled with the strength you demonstrated with your initial raise, may be enough to win the pot.
Generally, it is advisable to open the pot only if you feel your hand is likely to be the best. This means that hands such as 8-7 suited, while playable in some cases, should not be played when you are first in. This hand is not strong enough to merit a raise, and calling when first in is not in your repertoire. If you are unsure of whether your hand is worthy of a raise, a good guideline for playing before the flop is that whenever you are in doubt, you should fold. You will be dealt plenty of hands with which you can forge ahead aggressively.

Tip # 5 of 52
Your position is of vital importance in deciding whether to open the pot.

As detailed earlier, you should strive to play most of your hands from late position, since this allows you to ascertain more accurately the strength of your opponents. At no point in the hand is this more evident than in deciding whether to open a pot for a raise.
Very few hands should be played from early position, which can be classified as the first three seats in a 10-handed game. You won’t go wrong sticking to only premium hands, such as J-J, A-K, or A-Q suited. In good games (those with several weak players), money can be made by playing T-T, 9-9, A-J, and K-Q suited as well. This is because the poorer players will be calling your raises with worse hands than these, which would not necessarily be the case in tighter games.
If the other players have folded to you and you are sitting in any middle position, you can add a few more hands to your opening range. Now, pairs such as 9-9 are definitely worth a raise, as are big suited cards such as A-J or K-Q. A-Q offsuit is also worth raising now. The hands 8-8, A-T suited, and A-J offsuit are marginal here, becoming more playable in later middle position.
On the button, you can dramatically expand your playbook when it’s folded to you. The primary reason for this is that you have only the blinds to contend with, meaning that even if they should decide to defend (call from a blind position in a raised pot), you will hold position on them for the remainder of the hand. Pairs such as 5-5 should be played in virtually every situation, and you can raise with the baby pairs too, if the blinds are either very tight or poor players. You want to capitalize on players who play too tight in the blinds by raising them at every opportunity. When a poor player is in the blind and you hold the button, you shouldn’t mind playing quite a variety of hands either, as you hold position on this inferior player for the rest of the hand. This is a good way to attract chips your way.
In addition to any pair, you can open on the button with hands as weak as K-T or Q-T offsuit, or with suited hands such as K-8. The button is the one time you may wish to open with a drawing hand. Again, position is a major reason, along with the fact that if both blinds fold, you win the pot right away. Even if you do get called, your position and aggression will often allow you to pick up the pot with a bet on the flop.

Tip # 6 of 52
When one or more players have called in front of you, you need a big hand to raise.

Although you would prefer to get some action when you pick up a monster (an extremely good hand for a particular situation) such as A-A or K-K, one of the incentives for raising when you enter a pot is the possibility that you may simply win the blinds right away. However, this is not the case when one or more players have entered the pot before the action gets to you. Since other players have shown a willingness to compete for the pot, you need a very good hand to raise.
Some knowledge of your opponents comes in handy here. If you pay attention when you sit in a game to what types of hands your opponents are turning over, you learn their starting requirements. (Also observe their position when they enter a pot.) You may not even need to see their hands; if a player calls 80 percent of the hands before the flop, he is likely to show you just about anything. Conversely, alarm bells should sound in your head if another player enters his first hand since you sat down — hours ago. These types of playing styles definitely influence whether some of your hands merit a raise.
In general, when a typical player has called in front of you, you need a hand such as J-J, A-K, or A-Q suited to raise. When several players are in, you should elevate your standards even more. Raise with Q-Q or A-K suited. If one loose player has called, you can raise with some additional hands, such as 9-9, A-Q, or K-Q suited. If the one caller is exceptionally solid, these hands are only worth a call, however, and raises should be limited to J-J, A-K, or A-Q suited.

Tip # 7 of 52
When players have already entered the pot for one bet, there are some playable hands that are worth a call but not a raise, because they need to improve to win the pot.

As in Tip 6, some hands are profitable to play, but don’t have to be played for a raise. This may seem to contradict the tight-aggressive style being preached here. However, this is not necessarily the case. When you make a raise in hold’em, you should have a clear objective. Essentially, raises are made for one of two reasons. The first is to eliminate players, and the second is to increase the size of the pot due to the strength of your hand.
When players have already called the initial bet, your raise will not accomplish the first objective. It may cut down on the number of additional players to enter the hand, but if several players have already called, you will still be facing a multiway situation. Thus, should you choose to raise, you are not doing it for the purpose of eliminating players.
So, with players already in the pot, the main reason for you to raise is to increase the size of the pot due to the strength of your hand. Few hands are strong enough to merit a raise here. These hands are summarized in Tip 6.
Calling is correct with hands that play well against several players. Primarily, these hands include medium pairs from fives to tens, and big suited cards such as K-Q or A-J. The reason why you don’t raise with these hands is that they need improvement to win. For the big suited cards, you need to flop a pair, straight draw, or flush draw to continue with the hand. For the pairs, you need to flop a set (three of a kind), although flops such as 2-2-5 are frequently good enough for a hand such as 9-9 when four or five players are in the pot. So, by just calling preflop, you are able to make a minimal initial investment, allowing you to release your hand quickly and painlessly when the flop misses you. However, should you catch a nice flop, you can now go into an offensive mode. Essentially, with these types of hands in multiway situations, you are saving your tight-aggressive play until after the flop, when you have more information.
Sometimes you are sitting in late position holding a decent hand when five or more players have limped in. How should these family pots (those with multiple players) affect your starting requirements? First, remember that with so many participants, it will likely require a better than normal hand to end up winning the pot. In two- or three-way pots, hands such as top pair (one of your cards matching the highest card on the board, such as A-9 and a flop of 9-4-2) tend to get the job done. However, top pair (even two aces) will usually not be enough against more than five opponents. So, you should look to play hands that have the potential to develop beyond just one pair. Hands such as A-T offsuit are virtually worthless in these situations, as they contain little straight or flush potential. Instead, good hands include any pair and big connecting suited cards. With a pair, you should win a nice pot if you flop a set, as one of your many opponents will likely pay you off when he holds top pair. The hand T-9 suited is definitely playable here, as it possesses the versatility of turning into a straight or a flush. However, with a hand such as this, you can’t get too excited when you flop a pair, if several players are involved. You will likely be either outkicked* or outdrawn, as a middle pair is extremely vulnerable.

Tip # 8 of 52
When one player has raised, and it has been folded around to you, you should stick to the raise-or-fold philosophy

Following this advice will keep you out of trouble. Many hold’em hands seem like they should be worth seeing the flop, but when you look at the situation objectively, you see that these hands just get you into trouble.
For example, suppose a player has raised from early position, and you have A-J. At first glance, this seems like a good hand. After all, you have two high cards including an ace. However, when you consider the range of hands the raiser is likely to hold, your A-J doesn’t seem so mighty. (The assumption here is that the raiser only raises with decent hands.) It is very important to think about what sorts of hands your various opponents are capable of raising with, and from what positions.
When you think this way, you see that getting involved in a raised pot (when the raiser is a typical player from early position) with A-J is not a profitable strategy. In all likelihood, the raiser is holding one of two hands: a medium or high pair, or two high cards including an ace. If it’s the first possibility, his pair is probably in the range of aces down to eights. So, if you have A-J, you are in decent shape against eights, nines, or tens. However, you are a sizable underdog against jacks, queens, or kings, and a monster underdog should you be unlucky enough to run into two aces. That is, more than half the pair hands he is likely to have put you at a severe disadvantage. Against two big cards with an ace, you are approximately a 5-to-2 underdog if they are A-K or A-Q. You are a favorite against A-T, but many opponents won’t raise with this hand. If your opponent is almost certain to have either a pair or ace-something here — and that “something” is almost sure to be a high card — he’ll have a hand with an ace in it more than half the time. Thus, overall, you’re likely to be severely behind something over three-fourths of the time. So, although your A-J looks like a good enough hand (particularly if you’ve spent the better part of the last hour looking at 9-2 and 8-4), if you play it here you’re asking for trouble. So, fold your hand and wait for a better situation.
With a hand that figures to be the best, it is good to reraise and make things tough on the players yet to act. Against one early-position raiser, if you stick to a general philosophy of reraising with J-J or better or with A-K, and folding all other hands, you will tend to get involved mostly in situations in which you are holding the better hand. And, if you consistently start with the best hand, you should do just fine in the game. However, when the pot is opened by a raise from a late position player, the situation changes considerably. It is helpful to possess some knowledge of your opponents’ playing styles here. Some players feel that “any two will do” when the hand has been folded around to them in late position. So they raise, attempting either to steal the blinds or play against them with position. When confronted with a player like this, you must expand the range of hands with which you are willing to go to battle. Otherwise, you will be folding the best hand too often.
Although you don’t want to loosen up too much, when confronted with a late-position raise, it is frequently correct to reraise with hands such as A-T offsuit or 77. The reason for this is that your opponent may be holding an even weaker hand, such as K-T, A-x*, or 4-4. By reraising, you accomplish two things. First, you knock out the other players (unless they either have very good hands or are extremely stubborn), enabling you to play the probable best hand in position against one opponent. Second, a reraise allows you to take the lead in the pot. Frequently, the flop will be of no benefit to either of you, and your follow-up bet on the flop will convince your opponent to fold (partially due to the strength you represent by reraising before the flop).

Tip # 9 of 52
It's okay to cold-call a raise with A-K.

This tip is not an absolute. There are situations in which a better play exists, and these are addressed here as well.
The problem with “going to war” with A-K is that it generally must improve to a pair or better to win the pot. There are times in which it is preferable to not commit a lot of chips before the flop; rather, you can smooth call (just call, that is, specifically not raise) a raise with your A-K and wait to see what develops. If you flop a pair, you can then kick into a more aggressive gear. By doing this, you tend to lose the minimum amount when you miss the flop. Also, you may win extra bets when you do hit your hand, as your lack of preflop aggression might cause your opponents to underrate your hand.
Basically, calling a preflop raise with A-K is preferable when you feel your hand needs improvement to win, and reraising is preferable when you feel you might be able to win the pot with just ace high. Let’s see how you can determine which condition is the case:
Factors favoring calling with A-K:• When you face an early-position raiser, this player likely has a good hand, probably a high pair or even A-K himself. Typical players do not raise with A-x or hands like K-J from early position. So, it is unlikely that your A-K is much of a favorite over most early-position raising hands. However, it improves often enough to justify a call.• When one player has raised and a few players have called, you definitely have to improve to win the pot, since someone has either started with a pair or will make one. Also, should you flop a pair, it is possible that the original raiser will bet into the field, setting up an opportunity for you to trap the other players for a raise.Factors favoring reraising with A-K:• When the only player in the pot is a middle- to late-position raiser, you should almost always reraise with A-K. In this scenario, it is likely that the raiser has nothing more than high cards (or possibly a hand like A-x suited), and your A-K plays quite nicely against this type of hand heads up. So, your reraise has two objectives. You would like to get more money into the pot with the probable best hand. You would also like to eliminate the rest of the field, enabling you to play the hand heads up and in position. In this situation, you have two ways to win the pot: either with a bet on the flop, or by showing down your ace-high on the river.• When the original raiser is a maniac*, you should probably reraise regardless of your position. The reasons for this are the same as those in the preceding point, since you would prefer to get rid of the other players, plus you will have the best hand most of the time.

Tip # 10 of 52
Paying attention to your opponents allows you to more accurately read the strength of their hands.

Few intangibles affect your results in poker to the extent that your level of focus does. Simply by paying attention to the action, you can learn what to expect from each of your opponents. This does not refer strictly to the times you are involved in a hand; rather, you should be watching every hand, whether you are involved or not.
By focusing on the game, you learn which players play loose, tight, passive, and aggressive, and how their position influences which hands they enter pots with. Once you have a good read on their play, you can start developing effective strategies for beating them. Although adhering to a solid basic strategy will help you become a winning hold’em player, that alone is not enough. You must also make adjustments based on the other players in the pot. Poker is a situational game, and each situation requires independent analysis.
Here are two examples in which knowledge of your opponents allows you to make the proper decision:
Early Raise
You can’t treat an early-position raise from a player who raises every fourth hand the same as you would treat an early position raise from a player who seems to raise only every fourth year.
This should be fairly obvious. The first player could easily have a hand like A-7 suited or K-J offsuit if he raises this frequently. Therefore, you should not be unduly apprehensive of this action. Instead, you should reraise with any hand that you would ordinarily raise with in your position. Ideally, the hand will then be played out between you and the maniac, and you should be holding the best hand most of the time.
But if it’s the tight player who raises in early position, you must fold all but your very best hands. You should be saying to yourself, “This guy hasn’t raised since the Carter administration. Just what can he have?”
The answer, of course, is only a few hands: A-A, K-K, Q-Q, or maybe A-K. So, it doesn’t do you much good to call his raise with J-J. It’s a nice hand in absolute terms, but this is the time to toss it into the muck (the discard pile). Also, if you are holding Q-Q, you are in trouble as well. Your opponent is either a big favorite with his overpair, or close to an even money shot with A-K. If ever there was a time to pass Q-Q, this is it. If you stick to playing only A-A, K-K, and A-K suited when a supertight player raises, you won’t be contributing to his account.
Treat a limp from a tight player differently from that of a loose one.
When a tight player calls, he is far more likely to hold a quality hand than when a loose player limps. The tight player is not entering the pot with trash. Just because he didn’t raise the pot, you cannot assume he isn’t holding a quality hand. Tight-passive players commonly just call with hands such as T-T, A-Q, K-Q suited, or possibly even A-K and J-J. With that in mind, it takes a monster to raise the pot behind him. If you hold a hand such as A-Q or T-T, you are generally better off just calling a limp by a tight player.
Conversely, you can play aggressively behind a loose player’s limp, in an attempt to isolate him in the pot. It is nearly always a desirable situation if you can play a pot heads up against a weaker hand. If a loose player has limped and you are on or next to the button, you can raise with any of the hands you would have played had it been folded around to you. This can include hands as weak as K-T, which still figure to have a decent chance at being the best hand in this situation. Plus, you hold the benefit of position.

Tip # 11 of 52
You are generally receiving good odds on your hand when faced with calling half a bet in the small blind.

Suppose three players have called the initial bet. You are in the small blind with half a bet in. What price are you receiving from the pot on this call? You must put in half a bet, and the pot contains nine half-bets (including the big blind and your small blind) already. So, the pot is laying you a price of 9-to-1. This means you must win only 1 time in 10 for calling to be correct, assuming no additional betting. However, there is additional betting, and your positional disadvantage should also be considered here. Therefore, you should be holding a halfway decent hand to complete the bet.
A broad range of hands are worth a call, though. Any two suited cards will do, as well as any hand containing an ace. Also, any two connecting cards 9-8 or higher are worth a call. Hands with one gap (cards not adjacent in rank, but separated by one rank) smaller than Q-T should typically be folded (T-8, for example). Any pair is playable from the small blind. Some of these hands need to be hit pretty solidly by the flop for you to continue, but they do possess the potential to develop into big hands.
The preceding guidelines apply to games with a 1-2 chip blind structure (such as the $1 and $2 blinds in a $2-$4 game or $3 and $6 in a $6-$12 game), in which the small blind is exactly half the amount of the big blind. However, you may find yourself in a game with either a 1-3 or 2-3 structure. This has a huge effect on how the small blind should be played.
For 1-3 chip games, treat the small blind as you would a late position hand. If the hand isn’t worth a full bet from late position, it isn’t worth two-thirds of a bet from the small blind. Of the types of hands listed earlier as playable, suited trash and bad aces should now be folded, as should connectors such as 9-8 and T-9 offsuit. Small pairs are still worth a call, as are medium to large suited connectors.
In 2-3 chip games, playing the small blind is incredibly simple. If two or more players have called, you should call with everything! Yes, even 7-2 offsuit* is worth an extra chip in this spot. Just don’t get carried away if you flop a deuce. The time to consider folding the small blind for one-third of a bet is when only one player has called, you are holding a bad hand, and the big blind is a frequent raiser. As long as those conditions aren’t all there, though, you should put in the extra chip.

Tip # 12 of 52
Call a raise from an early-position raiser only with very good hands.

A raise from a typical player in early position nearly always signifies a hand of great strength. As a result, you must elevate your playing standards considerably. One of your goals in hold’em should be to try to enter pots with what you think is the best hand as often as possible. Calling early-position raises with a wide range of hands is not the way to accomplish this objective.
What hands are playable against an early-position raise? In the absence of other callers, if you stick to a very selective strategy of playing only A-Q suited, A-K, or a pair of jacks or better, you avoid putting your money in with the worst hand too often.
At first glance, it would seem that T-T is a good hold’em hand. And it is. However, when the first player in has raised the pot, you should ask yourself, “What range of hands is he likely to be holding in this situation?” If the raiser is a solid player, toss those two tens into the muck. The reason for this is that most solid players raise up front with only a few hands: A-A, K-K, Q-Q, J-J, T-T, A-K, and A-Q. Your two tens are a big underdog if your opponent has a pair, and only a slight favorite against A-K or A-Q. It is important to avoid these types of either-or situations in hold’em as much as possible, if you plan on winning at the game. Either you’re a big underdog or you’re a slight favorite.
However, if the early-position raiser is a loose or reckless player, you are playing too tightly if you fold your tens. The reason is that a maniac raises the pot with a huge number of hands that are dominated* by your pair of tens, including smaller pairs, A-x, or even hands like 7-8 suited. Against this type of opponent, the correct play is to reraise in an attempt to play your pair heads up against the maniac.

Tip # 13 of 52
When a player in late position opens the pot for a raise, you should reraise liberally from the small blind if you plan on playing.

There are several reasons why playing your hand this way is correct, all of which center around the basic truth that players open-raise from late position with less than-premium hands. After all, you do this yourself (see Tip 5).
What sorts of hands might you reraise with from the small blind? Against a raise from the button (unless he is a very tight player), you can reraise in the small blind with hands as weak as A-8 offsuit, any pair, or K-J offsuit.
For one thing, it is quite possible that you hold the best hand here. Your opponent on the button may have a hand like Q-T, A-3, or T-8 suited. It is never a bad thing to get more money into the pot when you have the best hand.
Also, by reraising, you will most likely cause your opponent to read you for more strength than you actually possess. This can come in handy later in the hand, enabling you to steal the pot on the flop or turn with a bet if the board is of no help to your opponent. What you have done is take the lead in the hand. Winning hold’em players play aggressively, helping themselves to the large number of pots that are there for the taking.
For another, the big blind will often call one raise, but not two. Generally, you would like to raise this player out if you have the opportunity, and send his blind money to the center of the pot. This creates a bit more value on your hand, with the presence of some dead money* in the pot. You should particularly lean towards reraising a late position raise if the big blind is a good player, as you don’t need him in your pot anyway.
One further benefit of reraising frequently from the small blind against a steal position** raiser is the psychological effect it has on your opponents. They will ultimately tire of your aggressive play, and think twice before raising when you are in the blinds. This may allow you to see more cheap flops than you should be entitled to, a nice perk generated by your aggressive play.

Tip # 14 of 52 It is a bad idea to raise very often from the big blind.

When you raise from the big blind, you are doing so for one reason only: to get more money into the pot. You won’t eliminate players, as everyone who has called one bet will surely call another. Also, you will be out of position throughout the play of the hand, which negates some of your hand’s merit, because you won’t be able to bet as many decent hands for value* from early position.
As a result, it is probably best to raise only with absolute premium hands from the big blind. Against several limpers, only A-A and K-K are true raising hands. While it is okay to raise with AK suited, you should be prepared to check and fold if you don’t flop either a pair or a flush draw.
Against only one or two limpers, you can raise with a few additional hands, such as Q-Q, J-J, and A-K. The reason for this is that with only a few opponents, your big pair is more likely to hold up if one overcard* flops, and your raise gives you the lead in the pot. For example, suppose you have Q-Q in a three-way pot, and choose not to raise. Now, the flop is K-9-7. If you check, the next player is likely to bet regardless of whether he has a king, as he is attempting to win the pot based on the weakness indicated by your check. You are now in a position of uncertainty, which could have been avoided had you raised preflop and then bet on the flop.
The same goes for raising with A-K in a three-way pot. Had you just passed your big blind option and seen a flop of 2-7-8, your first inclination would likely be to check. By raising before the flop, though, you have built a pot worth taking a stab at with a bet. If your opponents don’t flop a pair, they will be hard-pressed to call you.
Recommending not to raise with Q-Q from the big blind when several players have limped in may seem to contradict the advice given in Tip 13 about getting money into the pot with the best hand whenever possible, but this is not necessarily so. All you are doing is delaying the moment at which you choose to increase your involvement. With four or five limpers, it is fairly safe to assume that one opponent holds an ace, and another is likely to hold a king. Why not wait to see the flop before deciding if you wish to make a major commitment to this pot? After all, you are not in a position to protect your hand, as all the A-x and K-T hands are already in, and they will see the flop.
Now, if the flop brings overcards, you can check and try to determine if your hand is beaten based on the action behind you. However, if you catch a nice flop such as 2-4-T, you are in a position to take your opponents by surprise. You can either bet out or go for a check-raise, but either way you may win additional bets because your opponents have misjudged the strength of your hand due to your failure to raise preflop. So, you should be able to recoup those bets that would have been in the pot had you raised, and you can save money those times your pair is outdrawn by overcards on the flop. When you have an opportunity to play a hand in a manner that limits your losses but not your wins, you should capitalize on it.

Tip # 15 of 52
You can call more raises on the big blind than any other position, because you are halfway in.

To call a single raise, you always get a price of at least 3-to-1 on the big blind. The slimmest scenario is when everyone folds to the small blind, and he raises. More typically, however, you get a price of 7-to-1 or better to call. As a result, many more hands become playable.
When deciding if your big blind hand is worth defending, you must first pay attention to who raised the pot, and from what position. You should tend to play tighter when the raise is from an earlier position, or when a solid player has raised. You can be more liberal in your playing standards against loose or late-position raisers. For example, you should fold A-8 suited against an early-position raiser, but this hand is definitely worth a play when the raise is from late position.
Next, consider how many players are in the pot. The more players, the better your pot odds are. In multiway pots, some hands fare better than others. You should try to defend more with hands that have the potential to improve to better than one pair, since one pair frequently won't get the money when several players are vying for the pot. These include any pocket pair and medium to large suited connectors (7-8 or better). Simply having big cards in your hand doesn't justify a call in a multiway pot. The reason for this is that it is too easy to flop a pair and still lose, either to a bigger kicker or to two pair or a better hand. For example, suppose you call a raise in a five- way pot with K-J offsuit. (If suited, you should call.) Now, the flop comes J-9-6. If the preflop raiser had a legitimate hand, you may be beat already. Also, there are three other players to contend with here, one of whom may have A-J, 9-9, or 6-6. Another hand that may be out is Q-T, a hand that poses a serious threat to drawing out on your holding. All in all, a hand like K-J is highly likely to finish in second place in a multiway race, an expensive proposition in hold'em.
Contrast this to calling a raise with a pair of deuces. Although the flop is much more likely to bring improvement if you are holding K-J, the problem is that the improvement may either not be enough, or may help your opponents even more. With the deuces, though, you should have a pretty good idea of where you stand. If a deuce flops (which happens slightly more than 1 time in 9), you are in the driver's seat. This should be all the improvement you need to win the pot, regardless of how many players are in. As a result, you can play the hand very aggressively. Any player with top pair will likely call you down, and the more players in the hand, the more likely it is that someone will have flopped top pair.

Tip # 16 of 52
You can occasionally reraise from the big blind against a late position "blind thief."

Although it is generally advisable to just call a raise on the big blind (since reraising is unlikely to eliminate any opponents, and just calling provides some deception about the strength of your hand), in some situations reraising is proper strategy. Remember, though, that the small and large blinds are different animals altogether.
When you are in the small blind, one of the major reasons to reraise a late-position raiser is to knock out the big blind. Without this possibility, you want to reraise less frequently from the big blind than from the small.
Reraising from the big blind allows you to take control of the pot. As shown in Tip 13, the player with the lead after the flop often wins the pot when the flop is of no help to either player. Typically, whichever player gets the final bet in prior to the flop bets regardless of what comes, putting the burden on the other player to either call the bet or fold.
For example, suppose you hold K-Q offsuit in the big blind, and the button (a loose-aggressive player) raises. Obviously, you are at least going to call here, as the button could have a wide range of hands (most of which you can beat). Suppose you call and the flop comes 9-6-6. No help to you. It seems natural to just check and fold to your opponent’s inevitable bet here, or perhaps call one time hoping to spike a king or a queen. However, what if you had reraised before the flop? This flop is unlikely to have helped your opponent either, and perhaps your reraise, coupled with a follow up bet on the flop, could have won you this pot. Your opponent could have Q-T just as easily as A-T. Either way, he is going to bet the flop if you just call preflop, but he would likely fold on the flop if you had reraised. So, your aggressive play has earned you the chips.
How low can you stoop in your reraising standards? This depends largely on the play of your opponent, as well as his position. For the most part, we recommend making this play (unless you have a monster hand) only against a loose player on or next to the button. This way, you are more likely to be up against an inferior hand. That said, you can make this play with hands as weak as A-8 offsuit, K-Q, or small pairs.
One final reason to reraise here is the intimidation factor. You are better off if the players in late position think twice before raising your blinds. It is sometimes helpful to make this reraise play once or twice early on in a session, as it helps set the tone for the session. If you are successful, your opponents will be more likely to wait for real premium hands before raising your blinds in the future, as they realize you are not afraid to challenge them. Poker is part psychological warfare, and making a few well-timed reraises on the big blind is an effective pre-emptive strike against the enemies to your right.

Tip # 17 of 52
If no one has bet yet, you should bet if you think you have the best hand.

This tip is consistent with the tight-aggressive strategy you should be practicing in hold’em. Because you are playing selectively, you have a good hand when you enter the pot. As a result, your hand tends to be better than those of your loose-playing opponents most of the time, even after the flop. So, you should play aggressively. Bet When Checked To In particular, this is true when the hand is checked to you on the flop. It is common for the flop not to have helped any player, and your bet might win you the pot right then. This is almost never a bad thing, unless your hand is so strong that nobody can catch up (for example, you flop four of a kind).
What exactly constitutes a hand worth betting on the flop? One of the main considerations is the number of opponents in the hand, as this has a major influence on how strong a hand is typically needed to win the pot. Several later tips cover this topic in more depth, but for now we establish some general guidelines for which hands are worth a bet most of the time.
Don’t Be a Rock
It is incorrect to bet only when you are 99 percent certain you hold the best hand. Some players play hold’em this way, and they are commonly referred to as rocks. Don’t be one of them! If you play like a rock, you won’t lose your money as fast as someone who recklessly rams and jams* every pot, but you will just as surely lose.
As a general rule, when the action has been checked to you (or if you are first to act), it is correct to bet anytime you hold the top pair on the board, or an overpair. So, if the board shows 3-7-Q, you should bet if your hand contains a queen, or if you have A-A or K-K. Also, bet any stronger hand such as two pair or three of a kind.
Betting a Draw
Betting a draw is also good strategy at times. The more outs (cards that make your hand into the winner) you have, the better it is to bet. For example, it is generally a good idea to bet if you hold K J and the flop is 4 T Q . Here, you can win with any heart (flush card), 9, or ace. A king might win it for you as well. Added up, this draw gives you 18 outs (9 flush cards, 6 aces and nines that aren’t hearts, plus three kings). With two cards left to come, you will complete your draw most of the time. Playing a good draw aggressively is correct for two reasons. First, you might induce your opponents to fold, allowing you to win the pot without having to make your hand. Second, if they do call, you have managed to build a larger pot with a good draw, enabling you to win more if you hit your hand.
Lesser draws can still be played aggressively for profit, for the two reasons just stated. The possibility of your opponents’ folding is enough justification for betting a straight or flush draw on the flop when it’s checked to you. Betting Middle PairHolding a hand like middle pair on the board is somewhat more complex to play correctly. Generally, your position has a lot to do with how you should play this type of hand. Since you tend to be entering most pots with high cards, a good percentage of the times you flop middle pair occurs when you get a free or cheap look at the flop from one of the blind positions. Being in the blinds is a disadvantage to you, as you will have to act without much information about the strength of the hands behind you.
Thus it is usually best to check middle pair from the blinds if several players are yet to act. However, bet if only one or two opponents are in the pot with you, as you are likely to be holding the best hand. You don’t want to give your opponents a free chance to catch up when you are in the lead.
In late position, bet your middle pair if it is checked around to you. You may very well be holding the best hand here. If several players call, you can see the turn card and then reevaluate your position in the hand. The same goes for virtually any pair when it is checked to you in late position. For example, you should bet if you hold A-3, the board is K-7-3, and everyone has checked to you. Most likely, everyone will fold if they are not holding a king. If you check, you are basically giving up the pot, as someone will probably make a better pair by the river. However, think twice before betting A-3 if the board shows K-Q-3, as it is too likely that some opponents will call you here due to the presence of the big straight draw.

Tip # 18 of 52
When a player in front of you has already bet, raise if you think you have the best hand.

One of the inevitable side effects of playing hold’em is having to listen to your opponents whine about how unlucky they got in the last hand, the hand before that, and the hand last month when some caught two consecutive flush cards to outdraw their set. What you won’t hear is how their demise could have been avoided with one simple action: a raise on the flop! So often it happens that a player calls a bet with a fairly strong hand on the flop, which in turn convinces other players to call as well. Had he raised, the player holding the best hand on the flop might have induced his opponents either to fold or make a very expensive call, both of which are positive results for the raiser.
Make It Tough on Opponents
When you hold the best hand, play it aggressively. Tip 17 encouraged you to bet whenever you feel you have the best hand, and this Tip encourages you to raise when the player to your right has bet, if you feel you have the best hand. Again, you need not be certain your hand is good to make raising correct.
You want to make it difficult for players behind you to remain in the pot. Raising serves to protect your hand; that is, it becomes very expensive for opponents to stay in the hand with you, and they will likely fold. This generally increases your chances of winning the pot, and that is a good thing.
Don’t Give Them Odds to Call
Suppose you have K-Q and the flop comes K-9-5. You flopped top pair. If the player to your right bets and you are next (with a few players yet to act), you must raise here. Yes, it is possible you are behind. The bettor could have A-K or 9-9, for instance. However, most likely you have him beat at this point. The problem with just calling is the players behind you. If you call, they will probably call as well with hands like Q-J or A-9. Raising here relates to the concept of pot odds. You don’t want to call and give your opponents a favorable price to overcall in an attempt to draw out on you. Rather, raise and take away the value of their hands. They may choose to call anyway, but you have done your part. They are throwing money away if they call — throwing it away to you. Don’t give your opponents the proper pot odds to draw out on you. Build a PotAnother reason to raise a bet to your right when you feel you have the best hand is to build a bigger pot. There is nothing wrong with getting more chips to the center when you have the lead. Aggressive play will enable you to win the maximum with your good hands. Don’t Slow-PlaySome players choose just to call on the flop when they have a big hand such as a set or a straight. They want to wait for the “expensive” rounds to bet their hand. Slow-playing* can cause problems, however. First, doing this will occasionally cost you the pot. By just calling, you may allow an opponent to see a cheap turn card that produces a miracle** straight, or helps him develop a good draw. Then, when you do later decide to put some chips into the pot, you may find to your dismay that you are the one who has been trapped. A second reason not to slow-play is that players in lower-limit hold’em games typically call anyway. Why play deceptively when you don’t have to? Slow-playing is generally done in an attempt to gain later action on a hand you feel you won’t be able to get any action on if you play it aggressively right away. However, you rarely run into this problem in the games we’re talking about, so go ahead and raise if someone bets.

Tip # 19 of 52
When a player in front of you has bet, it's fine to call with a good draw or a medium-strength hand.

Although taking a raise-or-fold approach is typically the best way to play hold’em, in some scenarios it can be correct to call a bet from your right.
Good Draw
It is often best just to call when the flop produces a good draw at a complete hand. A typical example is when you hold a hand like 9-7 suited, and the flop is 3-6-T with two of your suit. You have 12 outs, of which nine make a flush and three produce a straight. (One of your needed eights also makes a flush, so you don’t count it twice.) You are close to even money to complete this hand by the river.
So, should you be ramming and jamming with this big draw? Typically, you should not. One key reason for this is that your raise may eliminate other players. With this kind of drawing hand, you would prefer to have as many opponents as possible, since one of them may develop a hand that is second-best to yours, and contribute a lot of chips to your stack. You won’t be able to raise out anyone holding a better flush draw anyway, as anyone with this hand would call your raise. The price you get from the pot will be better if you are up against several opponents, so don’t raise with your draw if you feel it is likely to narrow the field.
Another factor to consider is that the original bettor has you beat at this point. Sure, you are likely to draw out on him, but you probably won’t wind up with the best hand if you don’t make your straight or flush. You do not want to raise and cut the field down to you and the best hand. Rather, leave the field in and give yourself a good price on your big draw. You’ll win more money when you hit your hand, and lose less when you miss.
Medium-Strength Hand
Playing a medium-strength hand is somewhat trickier. With a hand such as middle pair, or top pair-weak kicker, you are often not sure whether you hold the best hand when the player to your right bets. Although making a raise might succeed in protecting your hand, you don’t always want to commit a lot of chips at this point. Ideally, you would like more information about where your hand stands before getting too heavily involved.
If you are unsure of whether to call or raise with your hand, here is a good general rule to follow: Tend to call when it will be difficult for your opponents to outdraw you, and be more apt to raise (or fold) when your hand is vulnerable. Two examples illustrate this point.
In Example 1, it will be more difficult for an opponent to outdraw you, so there is less danger in just calling a bet on the flop. If your ace is the best hand, it is likely to hold up with this board, whether there are two, three, or four players in the pot. However, in Example 2, you are in a tough spot if the player to your right bets, you are next, and a few players have yet to act behind you. This is a raise-or-fold situation for you. A call makes it easy for players behind you to stay in with hands like A-K or K-Q, which are drawing quite live against you. And, for one bet, they probably will call, but might fold when faced with calling a raise.
There is one additional benefit to raising with the two sevens here. Your raise screams out “I have a jack!,” and this will probably cause a few hands to fold that have you beat — 8-8, 9-9, and T-T. Anytime you can raise and induce a better hand to fold, you have earned yourself a pot. Over time, the players who are capable of making these sorts of plays are the ones winning the money at hold’em.
However, you should exercise some discretion here. If you are familiar with the play of the bettor, and know that he is a very solid player, it is likely that you are trailing in this situation. You don’t need to raise with your two sevens every time this situation arises. Against solid opposition, a fold is often the best play.

Tip # 20 of 52
With a bet in front of you, fold if there isn't a good chance that you hold either the best hand or best draw

Perhaps the biggest edge you have over your opponents in lower-limit hold’em games is your ability to fold. You often find yourself in games in which several players stay until the river, and then whoever winds up with the best hand wins the pot. If you make it a priority to remain in the hand after the flop only when you hold either the probable best hand or a good draw, you will be miles ahead of some of your opponents.
Some players believe in “taking one off” after the flop. That is, even though the flop didn’t necessarily help their hand, they call the cheap bet on the flop hoping to develop some possibilities on the turn card. The problem with this strategy is that, with several players in the pot, the flop is very likely to have helped somebody. Often, they flop a hand that requires their chasing opponents to catch runner-runner (two consecutive improving cards) to beat them. Calling the flop bet in a six-way pot when the best hand you can make on the turn is a pair is nearly always a mistake, even if you hold A-K or A-Q. Your pair will often be someone else’s two pair or flush card. So, get out cheap and wait for a better opportunity.
When you hold a hand that stands a chance of winning unimproved — J-J for example — you don’t need to catch another jack on the flop to stay in the pot. Flops such as 4-6-T are typically quite good for J-J, so play the hand aggressively. However, when overcards hit and several players are in the hand, it is time to get out. A good example of this is when the flop comes K-Q-6 or A-T-8. Against a large field of opponents, it’s likely that someone has out-flopped you, leaving you with only two outs. You rarely play for two outs in hold’em.

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on the 20th july