Thursday, November 27, 2008

New Meta-Game Section At SNG Planet

Rust, so they say, never sleeps - and neither do Mark and Erika in a bid to make SNG Planet the best (or something equally cheesy anyway).

A quick post to say we started a new section today - called 'Meta-Game'. The idea is to move away from the details of the SNGs, MTTs and Satellites we have been focused on, and look at the wider game.

There are already a bunch of new articles, and plently more to follow covering Poker Psychology, Personal Poker Development and Becoming A Pro... your feedback of course more than welcome.


New Poker Meta-Game Section

GL Those Tables, Mark

Online Poker In 2013 + ECOOP Main Event Freeroll

Reading the lastest in John Maudlin's newsletters this morning. These concern finance, economics and investing. While I rarely agree with him 100% (a little too right-wing for my right-wing tastes!), the letters are always thought-provoking and so make a great read (just like Plan3t gong I hear you all say?!?).

One of the topics of the latest letter was the increasing pace of paradigm shifts. The fact that new technology is appearing (and changing our lives) faster than ever before - yet people still look at the future in terms of projecting current trends outwards and adding a few 'bells and whistles'.

Could draw a parallel with 'The Black Swan' here - everyone knows that things keep coming along that totally change the way we work / communicate / enjoy liesure time etc, yet instead of accounting for the 'inevitable changes' and admitting that we do not know exactly what the next big change will be... we simply bumble along assuming that things will be pretty much the same but faster / prettier / more life-like (or whatever).

So, on to poker in 2013.

Well, I'm not going to stick my neck out and make any big bold predictions about holographic poker client or avatars which express realistic emotions. Instead I want to ask some questions.

- Are you assuming that things will be similar to now, only better? (computers are getting faster, people are being untied from their desks - think about how many laptops now compared to 5 years ago... will all of our computing be mobile in 2013? What about innovations with poker software, could you have predicted PKR??)

- Are you assuming that Stars dominance of the market will continue indefinitely? (Full Tilt did not exist in 2003, Titan was a baby and PKR was not even a twinkle in a designers eye! Will it be one of the current contenders or a brand new site at number #1?)

- And that no-limit holdem will be the game of choice in 2013? (in 2003 the main game was Limit Holdem after all!)

- That the US will still be the dominant market / country of the best players? (They had several years head start so far but there is no practical reason why Asians, Europeans, Russians, South Americans or any others can not surpass them - and soon)

- That rakeback will still exist? (assuming that every room eventually offers such similarly valued player incentives - effectively nullifying the advantage of this at some point down the line)

- That bots will outwhit the software and make the lower-limit grinders an extinct species? (if this came to pass would we need to play against opponents who had been 'certified' as Human beings?)

Anyway, just throwing some ideas out there really - would be great to see your thoughts on this subject!

*** A Quick Note For Non-US Readers ***

The ECOOP3 is now underway... actually tried to qualify for event #1 but was out close to the bubble (the satellite has an overlay (free money!) of alomost $2,000 too!).

This ECOOP has a guaranteed prize pool of more than $4 million, and of course the infamous Titan fish all over the tables. The main reason for this note was a chat with my Titan affiliate manager Chris yesterday... he has offered an extra incentive of a qualifier ticket for the ECOOP main event on Dec 7th (thats a $1000 entry tournament) for players signing up with my bonus code - SNGPLANET on top of the extra bonus (standard = $250, I can offer 100% to $500 + $20 in free cash) already available.

This token comes in the form of a freeroll entry in which the top 5 players all get the $1000 main event tickets - and is of course in addition to the new player and new depositor freerolls.

For those who have not checked out Titan for themselves we highly recommend this site as one of the fishiest (and thus most profitable) around.

Click Here Now To Check Out Titan For Yourself - Rememeber Bonus Code SNGPLANET for the massively improved bonus package!

Gl at the tables, Mark

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cereus Finally Launch + Advance Tickets

Guess readers have noticed that the '+' sign keeps making an appearance in my blog titles recently... thought this one up as a way to add colour to the poker stories here, after all it can be a bit of a dry subject at times!

Feel that this reflects the fact that poker is actually a whole lot more enjoyable when part of a balanced lifestyle...

Anyway - Cereus.

Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker finally pool their players, and with a somewhat mixed reaction... my personal view is that this is an excellent turn of events and allows the potential for a US Network which could even mount a challenge to Tilt for 2nd place at some point along the road (maybe by 2010? Stars being a little too far off for now IMO). Competition = great for the industry and hopefully this will trigger innovations from the Cake Network too.

The haters have their last chance to rattle on about ethics and so on, which is nice. I maintain my stance on this which is the fact that these very same people think that millions of children dying every year from easily preventable disease in Africa is just "one of those things", yet feel that someone playing on / affiliating for UB is the devil incarnate... in other words some pespective is required.

Anyway, those guys will have a week or two to rattle on once more before it all dies down, so up to them!

Funny thought, according to available industry statistics something like half the players who were involved in online poker when the UB scandal broke will not even be playing any more... either bored or bust.

My view is that there is only one question to ask from a business perspective - is the site currently safe for players (relative to the other online poker sites) ? For me the answer is a clear yes... from here the argument is a moot point.

Vested interest notice: I have a nifty little domain on this subject which is in the queue for development just as soon as the psychology section of SNG Planet is completed.


Tickets!

Bought some concert tickets yesterday, for the 23rd June 2009 - a personal record for the longest in advance I have ever bought tickets, and its only a band I sort of like...

There is one band that, for reasons unknown, are adored by Hungarians - they were big enough in their native UK, popular in the US and had a following worldwide... but here they are on a different level. Fan clubs hold regular nights all over Budapest playing their music and videos. Tours which slowly sell elsewhere are sold out in 3 days flat here, even in the biggest stadium around... I'm talking about a band with some instantly recognisable songs, many of us will happily tap a foot along to their tunes... yep of all bands to be obsessed with, the Hungarians love Depeche Mode!

So, we got the tickets... should be, erm, fun!

Gl at the tables, Mark

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Quiet Weekend Poker-Wise + Poker Graphics

Played a couple of tournaments over at Titan last night, was only half motivated to be honest and got exactly what I deserved... nothing! (well, ok a couple of small cashes, but minus at the end of the day). Tiredness from a long day / night Friday was no excuse for the surf / drink / half-heartedly play routine - ah well, not even the greats can win every time!

Seems the poker world is busy launching new ventures at the moment... so another interesting link today (no commercial interest myself etc). This one is the brain-child of Jason - aka the Good Karma Kid - who I was involved with in the poker strategy forums project for a while. The site supplies high quality poker photos and graphics and is aimed at bloggers and webmasters - I have had a look and the site looks great... it is in 'beta / soft launch' mode at the moment... so check it out before the competition does.

Poker Pics

Back to my own projects, have been doing a bad job of completing the poker psychology section of SNG Planet due to a list of 1,000,001 other things to do... promise to get to it first thing Monday morning!!

Gl at the tables, Mark

Friday, November 21, 2008

3 Of Of 100 Ain't Bad + Translators Required!

Like the number 12 bus on a foggy morning, it seems things come in 3's!

A site called Fusion Poker run by a prominent member of the poker affiliate community by the name of Randy has compiled a comprehensive list of worthy poker sites - link below (and it is recommended reading as well as excellent linkbait!!)

100 Poker Sites You Should Check Out

Some old favourites (and actually a couple of past-it dogs!) feature in this list - and I am included 3 times for my own sites and no less than 5 more sites I have written for (a few extensively) are there too... got to be good.

My inclusions are - Melted Felt (my satire poker news blog), SNG Planet (my biggest site) and Plan3t Gong (right here!).

Thanks to Randy and Fusion poker for the accolades - always nice to be noticed.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Can you translate??

Doing a piece of research today on the potential size and scope of various poker markets... plan is to get a decent schedule for next years translations.

Unfortunately we lost our Romanian transator at the half way stage... with just 50 of the 100 articles completed, it is also getting towards the time for the next language to begin - have decided to go with Polish next... big country with the potential to become a major European player in the years to come.

So. If you would be willing to transate 100 poker articles into Polish or 50 into Romanian (potentially ongoing for both) at a reasonable rate then drop me a comment with your e-mail address and details on pricing (average 850 words per article). I am aiming this at poker enthusiasts with good language skills - no need for the pro transation agencies to quote me 5 times the cost of getting the article written, thanks.

Will be looking for German / Dutch in the new year too!

GL at those tables, Mark

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thinking About Tilt + Photography

Re-reading 'The Poker Mindset' at the moment, an excellent book all round from the writing to the points made. I'd be happy to recommend it as a fine use for your Stars FPPs!

Got to the chapter on Tilt, arguably the 2nd most important area of poker (more on ranking the poker skills later in the week). Hilger and Taylor nicely sum-up the different types of Tilt and its varied effects on your play, moving beyond the familiar 'angry tilt'.

What I find difficult is that they divide the forms of tilt by there very specific effects on peoples play 'tight tilt', 'FPS tilt' and 'loose tilt' etc. Now, this is useful for the purposes of discussion and (imprortantly) identification... but I personally still prefer a catergorisation into 'emotional categories' - largely since the effects on play at an individual level tend to stick to broad patterns - for example:

- State 1: Anger --> Loose / Over-aggressive etc
- State 2: Resigned: Passive, timid play since you are 'sure' that your opponents will outdraw you (can include tight / loose / FPS etc too)
- State 3: Frustrated: Revenge on an idividual opponent, fancy play (again) looseness and all that.

Guess what I am getting at is that the cause of these plays is the emotional state you are in, since it is sometimes hard to objectively judge whether you are playing 'too timidly' (for example) I feel more comfortable assessing my own emotions and dealing that way.

Not to say that Taylor and Hilger are wrong, their chapter is both thought provoking and insightful - instead I wanted to suggest that there is more than one way to look at this subject, and of course provide Plan3t Gong readers with something to think about.

On a completely different subject, going to start a photography course this evening... just a short one (10 weeks) to go through the technical / theoretical side. Apparently my old eyes can spot a good pic at 100 paces - so will be interesting to see whether knowing how to do it 'properly' improves the results in any significant way.

GL at the tables, Mark

Monday, November 17, 2008

Some Satellite Relief - Cooperation Plays

Well well, just as the weekend's poker was looking like a washout... I managed to bag a $535 FTOPS Main event ticket in a $24+$2 Satty on Tilt. Did not play the event, it started at midnight CET and with deep stacks - just too late really. Actually used the Full Tilt T$ system in the end to swap it for $508 in cash... not too bad considering the rake required to play it through on SNGs would have been more - at the lower levels at least.

Anyway, cooperation plays... an important part of any satellite (and similar principles to the double or nothing SNGs too). Yet people get them wrong again and again!

Before getting into the specifics I'd like to address the premise for cooperating at the bubble of a satellite, since 'conventional wisdom' suggests selfish behaviour to be optimal. Cooperating to eliminate a short-stack when you are in the comfort-zone works because, on average, you will have a comfortable stack more often than a short one!

So, in the satty I played yesterday, 24 left and 23 get paid - the distribution was 2 desperate stacks (<3bbs),>20bbs) ... pretty standard right... notice that if this is a 'pretty standard' distribution then you will be in the mid-zone or better 80% of the time...

Will start with a couple of pretty standard hands and then move on to something a smidgen more advanced (initiating the cooperation play from EP).

Hand #1: Someone with 20bbs raises the hijack to 3x - a smally in the Small blind shoves 6bbs, the big blind is a huge stack and (correctly) flat calls... adding his cards to the attempt to knock out the smally. Now the hijack folds - even though he would have stayed in the comfort zone by calling and adding his cards (not even to mention the odds)... this is horrible, what hand raises there that now folds??!?!? ugh! Key factor = risk, with 14BBs left even those times the SB wins the comfort + odds + situation make this the world's easiest call.

Hand #2: This was the last hand, and I was involved with my (by then) shortish stack... again the hijack, but this time with less than one BB 'shoves' (or should that be limps??!), I call - fully expecting the largeish stacks behind me to do the same in order to get some lower / middle cards involved (if nothing else)... doh! both the button and the small blind, both with >20bbs fold and the BB and I check it down, I won the hand and we all got a seat... with other short-stacks around could these guys not see that the risk / reward was soo squewed that at least completing the SB was a must.

Anyway, wanted to mention initiating a cooperation play from EP with a big stack... central to this idea is that the blinds are all-in or damn close to it and that there are other shorties around in case you inadvertantly quadruple up this shorty.

Here with a big (comfortably big) in EP i like to limp, enouraging others to limp along, this can be done with a wide range of hands where you think that the other big stacks understand what you are trying to achieve, when the blind throws in those last chips you can all call, maximising the chances of elimination. Don't leave it to the medium-stacks in later position - they have enough worry about losing chips to make the 'right' play (for them) to give a shorty a walk - and that is bad for everyone!

Again, the circumstances are specific for these plays and will change with whether you think that your opponents understand the dynamic. Selfish behaviour is sometimes optimal (for medium-stacks in particular)... but next time you are comfortable and decide that eliminating the short-stack is 'someone elses problem', just remember that statistically speaking you'll be a big / mid stack far more often than you'll be the shorty... there are simply more of them.

For quite a few articles on satellite strategy you can check out the dedicated section over at SNG Planet via this link Poker Satellites , any suggestions for additions to that section are welcome too.

Anyway, quite a long post for 9am, off to the office now absolutely full up with motivation to have a productive week.

GL at the tables, Mark

Sunday, November 16, 2008

General Update - Lack of DoN SNGs + Good Book

General update today, no big ideas on a lazy Sunday afternoon (got no time for worries...).

Productivity has been great over the last week, Insomnia project is all but completed, my xyzxyz project is about 65% there (will launch that this coming week and tell you about it then!), and I am raring to get going with the articles for the new Psychology section of SNG Planet next week (in fact we hope to have it ready in around a week's time) - as well as getting 1 or 2 more balls rolling... oh and our customised banners are looking great over there too, these will now be rolled out in different languages and sites.

So, with all that work I have been taking it somewhat easy this weekend, out Saturday but with the rest free... judging on past performance I really should be returning to those Double or Nothing SNGs and filling my boots with ready cash.... well, guess what? I keep almost doing just that! Even getting as far as the login screen once or twice. Then, well, just can not do it - so it is back to Titan for some fishy PLO (2nd in a small-field $5+r PLO tourney on Friday in fact, whooo-hooo!). Proves that there is not much of a grinder in me at the end of the day!

And finally, as they say. I have been a fan of Richard Dawkins since 'The Selfish Gene', (wow must have read that one 20 years ago now (scary how time flies!)). Anyway, reading one of his latest at the moment - 'The God Delusion' - and my god it is thought provoking (erm, 'pun' intended). Confident, readable and straightforward style too...

Have mentioned before here that I have zero belief in anything 'supernatural' ranging from gods to ghosts to UFOs, well Dawkins has shown me that my 'distanced respect' for the power of religion -the 'I will never believe but have no problem with anyone who does' routine - is actually a little weak. There are billions of us non-believers in the world... yet the 'hardcore' deity worshippers get their opinions heard first and loudest... particularly in the US, ah well.

Anyway... check out www.richarddawkins.net for more, after all - this is primarily a poker blog!

Gl at the tables, Mark

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Limp / Trap In PLO... Is There No Longer A Place For Post Flop Play??

.

Pot Limit Omaha is growing in popularity seemingly every week... at the lowest (recreational) levels I am really starting to notice a disturbing phenomnenon - the limpy weak table syndrome.

In full ring games at 50c / $1 and below it seems like every flop is limped, seen by 5, 6 or even 7 players with a variety of holdings ranging from top quality to uncoordinated junk. The game of 'trap me trap you trap me' then starts in earnest with those individuals who flopped great (and with that many players someone will) trying to disguise their monster by checking / calling.

The result is that a beautiful 'big bet' poker game has turned into a calling-stationesque, wait to trap then win a small pot, forget hand selection and 'looking crafty better than winning cash' game, which is quite frankly ugly.

So, a quick reminder that there are tons of good reasons to raise in any poker game... my thought for today for the weak PLO limpers is that you are only ever going to make money from even weaker players (who will stack with horrible holdings). If you ever want to move up then you'd better stop relying on this as your sole source of income!

So, 5 reasons that raising is good in PLO Cash games... feel free to drop me a comment with any more (or just your thoughts!).

1) You have a decent hand with coordinated cards. Think of it this way, if you played a poker game where every bad hand you were dealt was played at 10c / $25c blinds and every good hand was played at 50c / $1 blinds, you'd make a killing (given time). Now think about how you might achieve this situation quite easily....

2) You have position... the button (or slightly before with weakies to act after you) is a fantastic asset in a pot-limit game, the majority money that you win in any poker game comes from when you act last... this is the same message from every pro, winning player, training site instructor et etc. Do these limpers think that everyone just says it because they like how it sounds! Wake up and raise a wider variety of hands on the button folks!

3) Stops The Limpers... This one should have been first in the list, since it is the big one. If pots are not being raised (or even worse only raised by players with A-A-x-x) it allows people to limp with a wide variety of holdings... that is to say that if no raisers are around every pot will be 7 handed and revert to the 'trapping you - trapping me' post-flop play. By raising your better hands you are putting doubt into the minds of those weakies... sure you can beat them after the flop... but you really want to play an unraised pot against 6 opponents??!?

4) Punishes Bad Hand Selection... understanding PLO comes down to the dynamics of draws and redraws. The best hands are those with the potential to flop great hands with great re-draws. Your opponents may play J-J-2-7 with no suits in the hope of that miracle flop, but you do not - since this is the classic 'win a small pot or lose a big one' type hand. Now, think about the profit dynamic against one or two opponents who overvalue uncoordinated hands in a big pot... one in which you hold the nut straight with the nut flush redraw on the turn... lovely!

5) Disguises Those Aces... Nothing is funnier than the old limp-limp-limp-limp-limp-limp- RAISE!!! routine among bad players... they might as well type 'I have aces and will stack-off whether or not I hit the flop' into the chat box. Of course, anyone with Omaha experience is already aware of this and will happily call that raise with a huge variety of hands, often getting the money in on the flop as 70% favourite... so the final reason to raise plenty of hands in PLO is that you would like to raise those aces without giving away half of your hand. Coordinated cards, high pairs with loads of help and double suited (rundowns in particular) are all raising candidates... so raise 'em.

Hope it did not come off as too much of a rant - I actually love PLO and hate to see the wonderful game turn into a limpy 'trapfest' when there is just so much more to it.

GL at the tables, Mark

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Quick Link - 2+2 Article Analysing Stars VIP Club

Just a quick link in the plan3t gong tradition of pointing out worthy stuff now and again.

This one is in the November edition of the 2+2 monthly magazine and is a frighteningly good in-depth analysis of the Poker Stars VIP club....

http://www.twoplustwo.com/magazine/issue47/pokerstars-vip.php

Enjoy!

Mark

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend Poker + New Income Streams

A quiet weekend of poker, very happy with my disciline to be honest -a had a new project on the boil and so worked instead... managing a few small late night tournaments only.

Starting positively - a 5th in a $15 MTT on UB prevented this weekend being a wash-out, though to be honest it only really cut my losses under the $100 mark! Horrible standard of play over there... people getting in with litterally any 2 suited throughout.

The poker highlight was actually in a $20 MTT at Titan... spiked a set early in this one (bb was 30) and managed to get all in against a donk with an overcard (ace) + a gutshot straight draw. He hit his straight on the river... taking me down to 300 chips. So I went into grind / steal / ninja mode and a couple of hours later caught up with the average of 4500ish chips... a great result! I actually bubbled in the end (i was the aggressor pre with AK and called by JJ then lost) but hey, not the point... those comebacks matter!

Anyway... a busy week ahead as ever.

The project at the weekend was insomnia - and I really hit it hard, domain + keyword research + 20 quality articles (all researched fully totalling 13,000-odd words) + affiliate setups for the product we are selling (some noise - more on this when we launch) + a design for the site... really intense weekend to be honest and with plently still to do.

Today will see Erika start to build a site, I will then upload all the pages and start the marketing side of things (hopefully Wednesday / Thursday) all being well we will see visitors coming through next week and hopefully a non-poker passive income stream to add to the portfolio.

Will also start another project later this week, and have some new custom banners to begin using on the sites (starting with a Titan / SNG Planet combo). These look really good - actually beating my expectations - and hopefully will generate a few clicks.

So, more on the 2nd project later in the week.

Until then - GL at the tables, Mark

Friday, November 07, 2008

How Good Is Your Pot Limit Omaha + Seal Clubbed

Finished up Stuart Reuben's 'How Good Is Your Pot Limit Omaha'... was reading a few hands at a time before bed so it took a while. An interesting book set in the live arena and in a hand quiz format... one thing that stands out - Reuben is loose and very aggressive!

While it was a pleasure to read and gave insights into lots of marginal situations, the crazy hand selection often lead me to answer 'fold pre / fold flop / fold to reraise on flop / oh - we got to the turn with just $10 left in a $5000 pot? Might As well call then'

Actually scored pretty reasonably with that logic. Another error was the lack of information about stack depth during the early stages of a hand... knowing who is able to make that last bet with fold equity from a long way out is an essential PLO skill. Still, a fun read and interesting to hear the logic of a truly great Omaha player - while it would not make my 'top 10' this is definitely worthy of a read.

Now, strange happenings at Pocket 5's - one of the forums I keep a close eye on for both business and liesure.

It started with long time writer for the site 'Seal' making a seemingly innocuous article about using his wife's account and the benefit of playing 'incognito' (without his well known name and RPT logo).... here it is.... Link this got some of the 'dogs' of P5's barking like crazy and chasing their tails.... Seal then comes in to say it was all made up - simply fiction...

Then a twist.

Someone did some investigating in this tread... Here and found that the facts lined up - that Seal was both cheating (in the going against TOC of Stars sense) and lying to the community there - ugly.

My thoughts are that this was a horrible error of judgement on Seals part... and the fact that P5's did not pull the article is a sign of weak leadership. Multi-accounting gives players a huge edge at the higher limits, where they play as 'unknowns' but have all the information on their opponents.

By not pulling the article / issuing an apology for something which appeared (however light heartedly) to support cheating in this way has tarred the reputation of Pocket 5's by association. With the 'good name' of the brand at risk a strong management team would have pulled the article, issued a short apology and then move on... their failure to do this is (IMO at least) a bigger shame than the mis-judgement of Seal in the first place.

What do you think??

GL at the tables, Mark

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Backup Internet Connection... Maybe Not Just For The Online Pros

The worst thing that can happen in online poker (well, other than getting 2-outered on the final table bubble!) is the 'Lost Connection' message... especially when playing several tournaments or SNGs.

Was down to 4 SNGs in a set last night on Party... when pop... my connection goes for an hour. Thinking about it I had reasonable stacks in 3 of them (was from a set of 6) so my equity was probably a lot more than the $44 including fees lost.

This got me thinking.

How often would this need to happen to make it +ev for me to invest in a 2nd internet connection. $50 a month covers it nicely here in Budapest, and here the lack of competition (only 2 main suppliers) keeps prices relatively high.

Several scenarios could come about - such as disconnecting during an MTT final table - which could easily pay for a whole year in one go... then again, the net is actually pretty reliable here - which means it may not pay for itself at all.

As with many things gambling related - it is all about your attitude to risk.

Does the small chance of a big loss motivate you to insure yourself with regular payments for a backup?

Is this just a hazzard of the game and something we should just take on the chin those rare times it happens?

What about alternatives, those wireless sticks which attach to the mobile phone networks... can they be bought on a pay-per-use basis and used only in emergencies?

Something I'll be thinking about more... how about you??

GL at the tables, Mark

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Very Last Poker Commandment

Started looking at Reuben And Ciaffone's '10 Commandments of Poker' (there are really 11) back in August... well well - as the mighty Subhumans once put it 'Time Flies But Aeroplanes Crash'.

Anyway... here is a link to the first post

http://plan3tgongpoker.blogspot.com/2008/08/reuben-and-ciaffones-10-commandments-of.html

Since then there have been 10 more - each debating a particular commandment. While none are particularly controversial, there is certainly some thought provoking material involved. All the more salient is the fact that the original list was put together before internet poker... yes indeed the 'internet generation' did not invent strategy after all!

So, the final 'Commandment' is number 11... and its a shorty: Vary Your Play

For me this is one of those poker 'givens' that is easily understood, acknowledged by almost everyone and kind of brushed aside in an 'of course!' kind of a way... yet rarely acted upon. Similar to both bankroll management and ideas behind dealing with tilt really, you know it, but do not do it!

The question then becomes why not?

Is it because you feel you do not need to vary your play... perhaps due to the level at which you play or the fact that you can 'ABC' over 12 tables to grind a decent profit?

Is it because you feel that your opponents in the mid-stakes are so bad that it really makes no difference?

Is it because you feel you know how to play each hand so 'optimally' that changing it up, even marginally, would result in an unacceptable loss of profit.

I am sure there are more reasons... the idea (as always) here is to stimulate thoughts rather than spell things out. The next question that people might ask is how to successfully vary play... my answer here is that if you do not yet understand pot control, bet sizing, position, flop texture and all of that great stuff then you probably need to spend some time learning and working on your game at the lower limits... once you understand some of the basics then changing it up once in a while will become second nature.

12th and final post over... whew (though I did promise to link them all from the first one.... when I have the time!)

GL at the tables, Mark

Monday, November 03, 2008

Forwards And Not Back!

Changed my mind about having an October review... great a month as it was, it has passed.

Instead, we can focus on November. Going to be a great month - and in fact has already started reasonably well with a 2nd in a small (300ish) player MTT on Party for $500 (and a couple more from a few DON SNG sessions).

Working at home today while the new office gets a coat of paint and have some big plans for November... here are some of the highlights!

- Diversify: By the end of this month we will have our first non-poker affiliate site, the subject will be insomnia... a facinating and keyword rich subject (not something I suffer from often, in fact I can kip anywhere). Will be great to set up a new income stream though and to test the idea that the skills we learn promoting poker will be more successful in less competative niches.

- Salesify: This week will see us release our own custom banners for use on the main sites... these will be moving (though not too flashy) gifs which include words like 'Omaha Planet Recommends' and our bonus codes, along with some highlights of each site. We have large gaps on all the sites which could be filled with banners.... we will keep it reasonable though, do not want to compromise on the quality.

- Translations: Must chase up the Romanian translation which seems to have stalled at the half-way mark... towards the end of the month I will start a new one too. Also planning to have 'A Comedy Of Errors' in Russian... really feel this is the market of the future.

- Contentify: What use are the tricks and adjustments without the core... the backbone of the sites is and will always be the content, and I have some great stuff in plan (some already written in fact).

- SEOify: Internal linking, backlinks and continual focus on this area - staying still in the poker SEO game is the equivalent of going firmly backwards.

Tell you what, tomorrow I'll knock the '10 commandments' thread on the head, the one started about 100 years ago.

Good Luck At Those Tables, Mark

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Relaxing After A Hectic October + PokerBank's Forum

Wow, what a month, moved house and office and went to the UK and completed the Russian SNG Planet and re-wrote a comedy of errors and broke the record for the most ands in one sentence... and well, did tons of other things too.

Has been an excellent month all round, will do a write-up either tomorrow or Sunday.

In the meantime an announcement! Fellow poker affiliate Greg has started up a forum on his quality strategy site http://www.thepokerbank.com/ . I have signed up to post a few posts + answer some questions- it would be great to see a few plan3t gong readers over there. The PokerBank has some excellent quality articles too - mainly aimed at cash game players.... Greg has also stumped up $100 for the best poster in November contest.

Gl at those tables, Mark