Monday, January 30, 2012

Poker Acronyms – Sorting Those MTTs From SNGs from STTs

Looking through a couple of my favorite boards over at 2+2 today, in my usual irregular look for ideas for new content for my network of sites. After all these years in the poker business I am used to all the acronyms used… what I started wondering is just how much of a barrier these are to players who are brand new to the games – after all, we should be encouraging them, not scaring them away by making poker seem complex and inaccessible.

Well, the poker acronyms are here to stay, so I thought I’d put together a quick post on some of the main ones which relate to tournaments and Sit N Goes… just the main ones for now, explaining every single one could easily be a 3-day long task!

MTT: This stands for multi-table tournament, there are 100’s of variations of size, buy-in level, game and betting structure for these. What the general definition includes is a fixed starting time and prize pool paid out to a percentage of the field based on your finishing position. You can read up on MTT strategy in 100’s of dedicated articles over at SNG Planet.

SNG: This stands for ‘Sit N Go’ and describes a tournament which starts as soon as the designated number of players enter. These can be any size, though the most common games are between 1 table and 5 tables (there are also 180 player games which are a big draw). To add to the confusion of new players, this term if often used by people to describe only the 1-table games.

STT: Here we have a dedicated acronym for ‘Single Table Tournaments’ this is for those 1-table SNGs specifically… unfortunately this one is not as commonly used as many others – shame as it is a little more specific.

+R: If you see this next to the buy-in amount for a poker tournament then this game is a ‘rebuy’, for example $10+R is a $10 entry game, with additional rebuys at $10 and a optional 1st break add-on for $10 too.

ICM: This one is usually used in the context of Sit and Goes… It stands for the ‘Independent Chip Model’ which is a mathematical formula which converts your chip stack into your average win in the game… all else being equal. This is important in making good decisions, especially at the bubble and can not be ignored by serious players.

Sunday Majors or just ‘Majors’: This references the biggest tournaments held at online poker sites, which are usually on Sunday afternoons / evenings. The biggest weekly game of all is the Sunday Million at Pokerstars – which has more than the advertised million in prizes each week. Other sites have big Sunday games with prize pools of between $100k and $300k. If you can not afford the buy-ins for these games, you can always qualify via online satellites.

Well, there are a few cleared up – if you want to learn more about online poker tournaments of all sizes then head on over to SNG Planet today!

GL at the tables, Mark

Monday, January 23, 2012

This Little Player Went To (Fish)Market

Alright, a little contrived in the title – however I’m always in a happy mood when I find out that there is another ‘Fishmarket’ tournament scheduled.

This is a special which my favorite OnGame Network site – Red Kings Poker – run every few months. The concept is simple and brilliant at the same time… they created a tournament which is guaranteed to be soft (as in an easy to beat field) at the same time as guaranteed to pay out $10k in prizes…

And you know what, you can play in it for free – the next game is Feb 16th 2012.

New players at Red Kings get a free entry worth $11 in addition to a choice of 6 welcome (matched) bonuses and a cool $300 extra bonus the first time you are dealt two red kings… that’s a welcome package which other sites simply can not match – and with Red Kings one of the coolest sites on the huge OnGame network you will be in great hands too. Click this link to check out Red Kings and claim your triple-barreled bonus (token + matched bonus + $300 extra bonus) now!

Now, let me elaborate a little on the softness angle. You see by giving every new player a free entry they are guaranteeing that a large proportion of the field have little poker experience, or even none at all. This makes things lively at the tables, and does attract a lot of the smaller stakes players to the game – obviously they are attracted to the softness! This affects the other guarantee, that of a $10k prize pool… let me just say that this is usually smashed rather than just broken… you’ll be looking at a very big final table indeed.

That’s enough words, I’ll leave you to check out Red Kings for yourself – if you would like to see a (very) detailed review then my Red Kings Poker 2012 review over at SNG Planet is the place to see.

GL at the tables, Mark

Monday, January 16, 2012

8 Ways To Profit From 8-Game Mix Poker

I have been playing a lot of 8-game at Pokerstars recently, usually after a long day of work to wind down in the hour or two before bed! While there are some nitty regulars in these games, they are a generally a big draw for recreational players. This keeps them profitable – if a little frustrating at times!

This posts covers 8 ways to profit from this game… I for each variant. I might put together a part 2 with 1 more mistake for each one at some point down the line.

If you have not yet discovered Pokerstars and 8-game, then you’ll get 3 welcome bonuses (100% matched, total = $600 max) with Pokerstars Marketing Code PSP3108 – click this link to check them out for yourself now!

Profit From 8-Game #1 – 2-7 Triple Draw

While you get the occasional player who simply does not know the rules (will draw to hit high hands), most players make smaller – yet still profitable – mistakes. Bad starting hand selection (3 mid cards 8 and under for example) dooms you to drawing dead in this game far too often, stay solid with the 2,7, x hands to start – preferably from position… and you’ll have an immediate edge!

Profit From 8-Game #2 – Limit Holdem

Too many hands, for too many bets from too many positions would sum this one up. For a more specific play look for players who jam their ace-rag hand s pre-flop… you’ll find this is most of them!

Profit From 8-Game #3 – Omaha-8

The fixed limit Omaha game is also loose. Sure, you will find a lot of mid-card hands and bare high pairs in the pot. Your profit will come from people jamming bad lows early, they are hoping to make their hand and get their money back.... hmmmm.

Profit From 8-Game #4 – Razz

While you should certainly steal in this game when folded to you vs the bring-in with a mid to high card, this is not the environment to be bluffing when several players enter the pot. Simply folding early and jamming when you have an edge will bring in the bets over time here – no need to get fancy.

Profit From 8-Game #5 Stud High

The extra betting round in stud games catches a lot of players out. You get trapped into a pot by the small size of the bets relative to the pot size, and may have been drawing dead from the start. Again solid play will bring its rewards, look out for opponents who raise with rags or always ‘represent’ with the high card showing…

Profit From 8-Game #6 – Stud Hi-Lo

Why so many players with lows re-raise to push out one of two high hands rather than let the pot build is often beyond me in this game. Chasing any low is the norm, and most high hands too. If you know the difference between situations where you should keep pots multi-way and those you should raise to thin the field then you are way ahead of your opponents here.

Profit From 8-Game #7 – No Limit Holdem

You will find the occasional player who knows how to play this game, however the 6x pre flop raises, multiple limpers and bad starting hands are the stuff that many no-limit players dream of. From a profit perspective, your implied odds and chances of being paid off are huge… laying down top pair is heroic in 8-game and folding an overpair as rare as rocking horse sh1t!

Profit From 8-Game #8 – Pot-Limit Omaha

Everyone in the pot chasing non-nut draws… aces which never fold, no matter what the flop texture and betting action. The pot limit Omaha round is a reason to play these games all on its own. Stick to connected hands and isolate the worst players from position… you’ll virtually be printing money.

Check out for yourself now – and start profiting from 8-game mix! (remember Pokerstars Marketing Code = PSP3108 for your 3x welcome bonuses!).

GL at the tables, Mark