Archives For live poker

It is quite a rarity these days for me to take part in a poker game. The main reason is Pokerstars left the Israeli market (thus essentially eliminating online poker as an option) and most of my time and energy these days are dedicated to my career and other projects.

On Thursday night I was fortunate enough to be invited to a very fishy game. This isn’t your typical $1/$2 or $2/$5 game but rather a super fishy, high variance game which plays closer to $15/$30 even though the blinds are $1/$2 and the initial buy-in is $150.

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Since first starting to play poker over seven years ago I’ve experienced what I estimate to be over 200 live poker sessions. Almost all of these sessions have been home games with Texas Holdem being the game of choice. During these sessions I’ve learnt a thing or two about being prepared for the game from a psychological, logistical and financial perspective.

The aim of this post is to cover all of these lessons so that you can be more prepared for your next live poker session.

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Tilt is a son of a bitch, especially when you first start playing poker. As bad as tilt is, it is a part of the game. Tilt is another variable which you can control just like the tables you choose to sit down at or the hands you decide to play. Every poker player, even the best out there, deals with tilt a certain percentage of the time they are on the felt.

The great players realize when they are on tilt and either snap themselves out of it or take a break. In this post I’m going to share my top 3 tips for tilt control. I have no doubt that any one of these tips will help you stop tilting at least some of the time.
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At the beginning of the year my focus was on online poker. I set a specific goal which was that by the end of the year I would be playing 12 tables or more of 25c/50c and beating the level. After a few months of grinding I was on my way. I was feeling confident and thanks to playing tens of thousands of hands of cash game poker. plus the fact that I was working full time and earning a decent salary, I decided to go back to playing live cash game poker. Initially the results were great and for the first time in my life I kept my own and started crushing the live games. I downloaded a great poker app for recording all my sessions and was so happy to see that I was winning 7/10 sessions and making some nice extra cash every month.

Fast forward 2 months and unfortunately the results haven’t continued on the same trajectory. After 24 sessions over the last few months I’ve won money in 54% of the games I’ve played and only made money in 2 out of the last 10. It is runs like this that test your resolve as a poker player and make you question both your ability and approach to the game. Last week I had another losing session, this time it was a combination of bad play on my end and very bad luck, but it wasn’t the fact that I lost money that upset me, it was how I lost the money.
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