BY RUSS SCOTT
RELEASE: DEC. 27, 2011
Poker Pros’ Playing Tips Join Holiday Gifts This Season
‘Tis the holiday season, so some gift-giving seems in order. How about a few tips from pros?
This collection of can’t-miss suggestions to make you a better player is updated from LuckyDog Poker archives, based on interviews with some top players:
— From Greg Raymer, World Series of Poker main event champ in 2004:
You need to practice, and you need to learn more. To practice, you need to play, so you must find casinos in your area or home games with friends if those are legal where you live.
I always tell people who are brand new to the game to start with play-money games until you understand the rules. Then try super-low stakes, and don’t play any higher until you prove you can win.
— From Jennifer Harman, the only woman with two WSOP bracelets in open events:
I think it’s really important to stay focused on your opponents when you’re not in a hand. You actually learn more than when you’re in one. You’ll have more information on your opponents to be able to make better decisions later.
The same is true for small-limit games. If you want to beat a $3-$6 limit game, I suggest you play really tight upfront (early position) and play pretty loose in the back (late position), where you’ll be able to see what people are doing ahead of you.
— From Chris Moneymaker, WSOP main event champ in 2003 in his first live tournament, launching the modern-day poker boom:
Wait until it’s your turn to act to look at your cards. That way, no one can read you as strong or weak because you don’t know what you have yet.
Once you fold your hand, make sure you stay engaged. Try to guess what your opponents have, even when you’re not in the hand. If you continue to do that, you’ll start getting better at it.
— From Marsha Wolak, 2011 WSOP ladies event champion:
Women are under-represented at major poker events, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Learning to play poker for me was similar to when I learned how to ride a motorcycle. I was terrified at first, but I learned the necessary skills and was able to relax and fully enjoy the sport.
Male-dominated poker competition is intimidating at first, but with proper training can be learned and enjoyed as well. Actually, women have some advantages over men at the tables and should learn how to maximize them.
— From Dennis Phillips, “November Nine” chip leader before finishing third in the 2008 WSOP main event:
I recommend tutoring, whether you’re an amateur or a pro. A coach provides two more eyes watching your play and your moves. Every player can benefit from just talking on a higher level about poker and the moves and intricacies of the game.
Also, don’t be that player who gets drunk at the table or makes inappropriate comments. Poker has evolved away from its reputation of smoke-filled back rooms and shady characters. We need players today who will draw it even further away from all of that.
— From LuckyDog Poker: No matter how much your game improves as an amateur, your first goal when you play should always be to have fun!
E-mail your poker questions and comments to email@example.com for use in future columns. To find out more about Russ Scott and read previous LuckyDog Poker columns, visit creators.com or luckydogpoker.com.
COPYRIGHT 2011 RUSS SCOTT
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