Your Questions About Poker

Lisa asks…

What is the best way of starting off poker?

Hi there, I have not been playing poker for long and I am quite enthusiastic about it, but I am rubbish at the moment, any tips on how to start off to become a successful poker player and any websites or games or free online poker with pretend money. Thanks a lot.

admin answers:

1. Start playing with „play money“. The best sites are either pokerstars or fulltiltpoker. AFter you get a feel of the game you may want to progress to the 25/50 cent tables where books and other concepts are much more imporartant than in play money games.
2. Read a book. The most reccomended book is called „The theory of poker. Heres a link:
After you read this book you have to choose between no limit or limit. For limit here is my book reccomedation: Ace on a river, heres a link : For no limit heres a link:
3. There are many concepts that must be mastered to become a succesful poker player. You have to know when to bluff, when to slowplay, when to check raise, when to contiuation bet, learn to be for the most part very agressive yet be able after you put lots of money in the pot, when to semibluff, when to check call your draw, when to actaully pursue your draw (pot odds), must know implied pot odds (in nl holdem), when a good time to call is (rarely), how to play suuted connectors, know how to use position effectively, and many other things. Yea, its a handful. I have a yahoo answers link where i talk about this stuff here it is (just scroll down and you will see a very long passage its mine) :;_ylt=ApvIpwkDimkSBqTcEeWpojzty6IX?qid=20070724131233AA4CMQS&show=7#profile-info-5u3arGBnaa
5. O i forgot, when you first start you want to play a tight game. Resist the temptation to call with K9. Get in the habit of doing this EVEN in play money tables. Eventaully in play money you can play a little more loose because it wont be really fun. However, once you start playing real money you have to be tight again. (and agressive)
6. Practice.

Its a lengthy column I know..
Edit: I just noticed this very good site that explains many basici concepts of poker strategy:

Helen asks…

How can I become a professional poker player?

I am interested in playing online poker and that to professionally, How should I start? Where can i find detail information. Guess I’m just trying to figure out if there is a place where I can gain more information about wanting to take poker seriously rather than just watching it on TV.

admin answers:

Like most professionals, you have to be more than an expert at your craft, you have to learn the game inside and out.. Since you want to be an online pro, you better star by creating an account at an online poker site, build your bankroll and reputation, join tournaments, and win them.. And perhaps next season get a seat at the world series of poker..

There are numerous resources on the internet regarding poker, there are online tutorials, video, e-books, etc.

William asks…

What home online poker sites are good for a beginner?

I am new to poker and want to know what are some relatively safe sites for a newbie? I know there’s lots of scams out there, so I want to play safe. What sites does everyone recommend?

admin answers:

Visit gambling safe
and you will find reviews of the best poker sites that are safe to use.
Fulltilt and pokerstars are the best ones,

Laura asks…

How do I become a professional poker player?

If I wanted to become a ‚professional‘ poker player, how would I start? Online tournaments? Local tournaments? Is there a place I can go to find more information? Or should I just take my 10k buy in to the main event and hope to make the final table (or at the very least, in the money). I guess I’m just trying to figure out if there is a place where I can gain more information about wanting to take poker seriously rather than just watching it on tv.

admin answers:

Playing „professionally“ is a lot tougher and a hell of a lot less glamorous than most people realize. There are a number of factors to consider.

The biggest, yet possibly least discussed, factor is the rake. All casinos, online or otherwise, rake cash games and require entry fees in tournaments. Some are reasonable and can be overcome by a truly skilled player, others are very excessive and should definitely be avoided. And, oddly, it can be difficult to determine the difference without considerable scrutiny.

Another major pitfall is money management. It’s very common for a player to go on a rush, perhaps even an extended rush, and do well only to give back all his winnings in a single session or small handful of sessions. Or possibly to spend those winnings on spoils only to go on a cold streak and lose what little bankroll he left himself to continue playing with.

Others have done well, but lost everything when they have upped their limits a bit too high only to run into competition they can no longer beat, yet refused to drop their limits back down.

And yet others might win a couple tournaments, but get sunk come tax time when they’re forced to pay excessive taxes on the winnings they’re forced to claim (and can’t successfully negate to the satisfaction of an IRS auditor by claiming losses.)

I played casino poker „professionally“ for a while a number of years ago – before most players today had ever heard of Hold’em – so perhaps I can help you to an extent. Today, however, I just supplement with play in spare time only. It keeps me sane and more-importantly permits me to blow winnings on entertainment or things I wouldn’t otherwise purchase without fear of depreciating my bankroll more than I should.

Begin with limit play. Do your homework first! Read everything you can about low limit. Forget about tournaments and all-in play. Learn (or re-learn) the most basic fundamentals as they will apply to all games you may find yourself in. Commit to memory the importance of position, pot odds, aggressive play, etc. – all the fundamentals.

PLAY TIGHT! Seriously, play so tight it almost makes you puke. Rarely does a good, consistently-profitable player enjoy the game – it should be a grind, perhaps even a bore. Get real used to folding and learn to fold monster hands when you’re beat.


Know your competition and learn from them. If you’re playing in a casino, this isn’t too difficult, but if you’re playing online it can be more difficult. If you’re playing online, do not surf the web, walk away from your PC during hands you’re not in, etc. Watch and learn how others play – specifically what hands they play, from what positions, and how they play them. Use that information to your benefit. Don’t waste time trying to read peoples‘ faces.

Know and learn from yourself. Know your limits and analyze your mistakes. For example, when you get your aces snapped, did you bring it on yourself by not raising pre-flop? Did you call a pre-flop raise with K-9, at some point make a straight, only to lose to a bigger straight by the guy holding A-K (the same guy who’s raise you should never have called to start with)?

In „The Art of War,“ the 4th century B.C. Chinese war strategist Sun Tzu wisely states, „Know your enemy and know yourself and in one hundred battles, you shall never perish.“ He must have been a poker player. Re-read the previous two paragraphs. See what I mean?

KEEP BOOKS, BUT DON’T „COOK“ THEM! By that I mean keep a log of your play. Track how much you win or lose along with how long you play each and every session. Don’t „forget“ to log a session because you took an astronomical odds-defying beat or two therefore that session was an anomaly and shouldn’t count. When you’re winning, consistently, more than one big bet per hour, you’re doing good.

Eventually you may consider hedging your bets a bit by playing a higher limit cash game. Go for it, but only if you can afford it. I would recommend playing at a limit where the conventional buy-in (usually 20-40 times the big bet) is no more than about 5% of your bankroll. Don’t get too greedy by upping your limits too high or too quickly. And if after upping your limits, you find yourself losing, for God’s sake, drop them back down and start playing winning poker again!

If you’re able to do all of the above, and do it for a profit, start entering some tournaments. Sure the strategy will differ a bit, but you’ll already be equipped with the tools to know how and when to vary your play.

In tournaments, find what works for you and run with it. As an ultra-tight and good heads-up no-limit player, I prefer single table tournaments where I almost always finish in the money and rarely lose once heads-up (even if way behind to start). If you’re good at bullying right out of the gate, perhaps the multi-table tournaments are more your speed.

Another note on tournaments, if you win big or accrue a certain amount of winnings over the course of a year in an actual casino, you’ll be required to claim those winnings. For that reason, you may consider restricting your tournament play to online. If you prefer the casino setting, however, use your ATM card there often and save all the withdrawal slips. You can use those as evidence when you write off gambling losses in the event that you get audited.

Last note on tournaments: Remember you can’t up and walk away after a huge score like you can in a cash game!

Sorry this has run rather long, but there’s a lot (far, far more that just what I’ve written) to consider and learn before playing „professionally.“ Hopefully it’s helped, though.

Good luck!

Donna asks…

How do you become a professional poker player?

I’m not asking because I think I’m amazing at poker, I would just like to know how the people on television managed to get themselves there? What’s the process involved in making your way up to the top because obviously you don’t get spotted by someone looking for talent?

I’m 17 years old and I’ve been watching and playing poker for years. Since I was about 12/13. I’m just curious to find out how they managed to become so popular?

admin answers:

First of all, you need to get really, really good at poker. It’s not about getting spotted by an agent. A professional poker player makes his living by playing poker, regardless of whether anyone is watching or not.

If you’re lucky enough(and it takes a ton of luck) to win a major poker tournament or make the final table of a few tournaments, then you can consider trying to „brand“ yourself as a personality.

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