How to become profitable poker player?

June 11, 2010 :: Posted by - admin :: Category - Q&A Forum

There are more and more sites on the net, where we can find information about places, where to play poker, but there are not place, where is written how to play it with success. So I decided to publish my opinion, which will help new poker players to get success.

<b>Choosing the poker room…</b>

There are offered hundreds of poker rooms – how to choose the best for you!? Definitely you have to pay attention to some important things, which describes poker room. One of the most important thing for new players is an amount of freerolls in this room and amount of possible winnings in these freerolls. I can advice some poker rooms, which have closed freerolls with password (for example, iPoker rooms Titan and CD Poker. Sometimes it is really easy to get into these closed freerolls – just use Google, write the tournament name and you will find some forums, where password will be published. Maybe sometimes you will have to register in some sites to get freeroll’s password.
As the next important thing is strength of your opponents. The ‘’easiest beaten’’ players you can find on Pacific, iPoker, Ongame, Carbon poker, Cake poker, Bodog poker rooms.
But if we want opponents from which we could learn something, I can advice you FullTiltPoker and Pokerstars rooms. When choosing the poker room, you have to also watch for RakeBack ,(RB is not only for RakeBacks, but bonuses, promotions either),speed of deposits/withdraws, support, software opportunities, room security etc.
To sum up everything about choosing poker room, I advice to the MTT and SNG players Pokerstars, Partypoker, Ongame, but for cash games lovers Pacific and iPoker.

<b>Simple MTT strategy..</b>

If we watch game, where is the least limits (1$-5$), we can see many obvious mistakes.
One of the biggest mistakes is game with middle and low strength cards not from the position. In the start of the tournament and in the middle of it we cant play Under the Gun(UTG), Middle position (MP) ,and most of the situations Late Position (LP) with hands like A9, AK, KJ, Q8. These kinds of cards can’t be played by players, which are not sure about their postflop play.
So, where is the problem?! For example: we have called from UTG+1 with A9, so together with us flop is being watched by 2 other players (MP and BB), in flop we see A83 (rainbow) .We are happy, because we have top pair already. When BB checks, we make bet in the size of pot, MP calls, BB folds. In the turn we see 4 and continue to bet in the size of pot, but MP does ALL-in the same time. We have left only some chips and we call. MP shows us A10 and tournament for us is over. Because of this and other similar situation we do not play with those hands. There are only some hands, when we can raise all the time like AA, KK, QQ, AK. About other hands I can write about 10 A4 format papers, so I will just remind the main things, what you have to consider. Very important moment is position we find ourselves against other players in the flop. We are interested, that we are last in making bets, so we can decide about strength of opponents hands.
For example: MP against LP is not in the position, but MP against SB is in the position. My advice is to not use Call button, using Raise or fold instead of that. In the Preflop doing raise we get rid off Middle and weak hands, but in the flop doing Raise we can easily see how strong cards players have. Perfect statement about the Preflop – If your hand is not good enough to raise, then fold it. In my opinion, there are only two exceptions for Calling in Preflop.
The first-there has always been actual question about small (22-55) and middle (66-99) pocket pairs. I advice you call, because if we will catch the Set (it happens every 7.5 time), we will earn big money, if there will be many players left. And that’s only because we had hide our hand and no one will think about our strong hand. Set is the hand, from which we can get the maximum.
If we have two Diamonds and in the Flop we see 3 Diamonds too (Flush together),then our opponents definitely will not bet ,because they will be afraid, that someone has Flush. But if we will have the Set, then no one will be informed about that and we will make opponent chips in our collection
The second-we call with connectors the same suit(56s,67s,78s). In Multipot (Pot where many players have called), strength of these hands raises, because sometimes there are situations, when one player calls with AJ, other with Q10,third with J10,fourth with Q10 and our 67s has big chance to get something good in the flop. The best Middle connectors quality is possibility to connect with the flop like Pocket pairs can do that and it brings us money.
To sum up low level strategy ,we have to remember-play with only good hands, play only from the position, play aggressive in preflop and flop, look for opponents tendencies ,use bluff rarely, after losing analyze your mistakes.

In the first part we looked through basics for players who just starts playing. In this part we will look through things, which need to pay attention. This time more about 5-20$ buy-in MTT tournaments.
Our goal is to make as less as possible mistakes during the tournament, but at the same time we must provoke opponents into making mistakes.

<b>Pot Odds</b>

One of the most important factors, when players make mistakes is calling, when pot odds are not profitable. For example: Begining of the tournament, all have 1500 chips, our cards 10cJc.On the board 4d 8c 4c Kh, there are 400 in the pot (200 we have putted in, but other 200 opponent which is not in the position against us. Opponent bets in the size of Pot (400), now there is 800 in the pot and we have to pay 400 to see the River. Bank possibility for us is 2:1 (800:400).Now lets look possibility we have to get club(c) in the river. There are left 46 cards,9 of them are clubs, so possibility get Flush is 37:9 (4:1).And while pots proportion(2:1) is less than Flush proportion (4:1) , the best decision is to fold even at this kind opponent bet. If opponent had bet 100, then bank proportion would be 5:1, we should call and that would be profitable play for us.
It is very important to offer unprofitable Pot Odds for opponents. If you think ,that opponent waits for Flush or Straight ,but you have stronger hand, then calculate and offer ‘’unprofitable deal’’ , forcing opponent into making mistakes.

<b>Implied Odds</b>

BUT, you don’t have to always do like it is said in Pot Odds. You have to consider your observations about opponents and I want to admit very important thing like Implied Odds-it is relation between your potential winning and ‘’payments’’ for seeing next street. This relation is not possible to definite but it is predictable. For example: Our cards 78, on board A56K rainbow , 2 opponents, we are on BNT, so we have the last call, pot 400 chips. In the turn SB bets 400, other opponent, which is UTG answers with 400, it is our time to do decision. There are 1200 in the pot now, we have to addon 400, so bank relation is 1200:400 (3:1) and possibility to get 4 or 9 which we need for Straight is 38:8 (4.75:1). If we look at Pot Odds, we have to fold, but we look at the board and conclude, that someone has to have A in the hands and if the River card will be 4 or 9 he will continue to bet with his high pair. With this example I wanted to show that always before making decision pay attention to your hands potential in the next streets.


In these kinds of tournaments in weaker rooms there are many inadequate players (sharks).Many players thinks, that at the beginning you have to play tight and when blinds raise, then you have to participate more and more. I can’t agree to this, because exactly beginning of the tournament is the best time for sharks to show up, catch the set and make the money, even with Top pair. When blinds are 50/100 and more you have to carefull
y choose starting hands, because in the middle of the tournament opponents will play with better hands and every your mistake can be deathly. Bubble (before getting in money) has to be played carefully, you cannot forget about things like stealing blinds, protecting blinds. During the tournament you have to watch you’re your opponents-their bluffing at showdown, their blind stealing and other things.
It is very important to use your made image to misinform someone. For example, if you are caught twice bluffing at showdown, then don’t do it next time, change your image. How to do it?
In the next hand, when you have really strong hand repeat the same things, which we did when were bluffing-bet the same bets, thinking as long as before etc. Opponents will not believe in your good cards anymore and will call with middle hands and it will make chips for your collection.
But if you have showed Extra Tight image(haven’t bluffed at all),it is your big chance to steal blinds or make bluff bet after the flop short time before getting in money. No one wants to fight with you, because they think you are honest and you really have strong cards.
There are many players, which goes all-in with middle cards against random cards, when has made into real money. Never will understand them. I can’t find reason why they act like this-playing 3 hours and winning just twice more as your buy-in was? My advice is to follow your previous strategy, don’t invent anything new-play only with good hands and play aggressive, no call, just raise or all-in. It depends on the size of stack against blinds size, opponents etc.
Our goal usually is Final table and we just have to wait for ‘’artists’’ ,who wants only twice more as buy-in was.
Game at the Final table I can describe wide, but this time I will mention only that you have to carefully watch for opponents, their ‘’habits’’+ you have to play extra carefully + motivate yourself with things you can buy if you get 1 place higher than you are at the moment.


It is good if you have inborn talent ,but without any literature player can be just good, but not the best. It is necessary to read something to be profitable in online poker. Literature I can advice to tournament players:

Harrington On Hold’em (Volume 1; Strategic Play) (Dan Harrington)
Harrington On Hold’em (Volume 2; The Endgame) (Dan Harrington)
Harrington On Hold’em (Volume 3; The Workbook) (Dan Harrington)
No Limit Hold ‘em Theory and Practice (David Sklansky, Ed Miller)
Holdem Poker For Advanced Players ( David Slansky & Mason Malmuth)
Phil Gordon’s Little Green Book (Phil Gordon)
Super System (Doyle Brunson S.) – 2 parts.


I am one of the people, which supports using more than one software, because in my opinion, there isn’t one unique and very good software. For self-analysis I advice you Holdem Manager or Poker Tracker 3, but for opponents analysis in real-time the best are Poker Edge, Poker Crusher. The first one I mentioned are not good for opponents, because data are taken from self-made database and making database is usually difficult. But the second one takes info from database with 3 million players in it. The second one are useless for self-analysis, there are no charts, turn analysis and other important things for self-analysis. But costs respectively differ. For the first ones you have to pay 80$ a month, but for second one 100+40$.But it is worth to pay more for quality.

Ending this article I noticed, that I didn’t say many important things, but I promise to fid motivation to write about them later. If someone needs books I mentioned, just ask, I will help with them.

<b>No matter what cards do you have, it is important how good you know your opponents!!!</b>

Visit my poker blog and become <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:pageTracker._trackPageview(‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’);” href=””>Profitable player!!!</a>

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