Reno Spring Seminar

We have heard about available reservations for The Reno Spring Seminar March 12th and 13th. The seminar will be held at the Peppermill Casino and will be focused on a variety of games and ways to increase your income playing poker as a full or part time job. We couldn’t be happier to be working with the Peppermill, they will be rolling out the red carpet for our attendees and they have a lot to offer.

The cost for this seminar is $1,199 and includes everything except airfare and a few meals. We recommend you book your airfare online through a site like Kayak.com. You can see a tentative schedule for the seminar soon.

Instructors we have already booked include:

Chris ‘Fox’ Wallace – Professional player, coach, and author, Fox has coached hundreds of players with an incredible success rate. Read more about Fox later.

Dr. Alan Schoonmaker – The ultimate poker psychologist, Al has published multiple books on the subject of tilt control and worked with some of the best players in the world. Read more about Dr. Schoonmaker soon.

Lou Krieger – If you have trouble dealing with typical loose live games, we have the coach for you. Lou is an excellent writer and teacher, and has published books on Omaha and Holdem, as well as coauthoring Poker for Dummies. Lou is a veteran of the low-limit cash games in California, and a master of beating the “no foldem holdem” games. Read more about Lou at his website.

Mark Scellato – As an online tournament pro Mark has had great success, and he has translated this success in to the coaching world, often working with PokerXFactor.com to teach tournament strategy.

Adam Stemple – Coauthor of No Limits: The Fundamentals of No-Limit Holdem and twenty year pro, Stemple has been through it all in the poker world. Stemple focuses on pot-limit Omaha and mixed games these days, and is a well known expert on Seven Card Stud High-Low.

We do expect this seminar to sell out, so sign up now to make sure you get a spot!

Help your opponent to bluff

There are so many techniques to make a good bluff and it will lean on numerous influences. The flip side of the coin is to know how to entice your opponent to bluff to take a lot of his money.

The key for profit is to understand the best situations for succeeding with this kind of play. Also it is crucial to have a good idea of poker players capable of getting caught in such a trap.

One first situation where you’d like to be bluffed is when you are sure to win the hand. In this scenario, several choices are possible for you. First, you can check from the flop to the river if you think that your opponent will react to apparent weakness. You therefore will content yourself with simply calling each of his bet. He may guess that you are on a draw for example if the board is somehow drawy.

Secondly, you can make a min-raise, thus leaving him room for a 4-bet. If your stacks are deep enough, performing the min raise will in some situations push him to send all of his remaining chips. Leading to an amazing victory for you.

The opponent type is the main factor to consider next. It is quite clear that to induce an opponent to bluff, it will be better for you than he is aggressive enough and able to go far enough with his continuation bets. To perform this maneuver, you have to select your targets and to know who you are dealing with. Theoretically, the more your opponent is aggressive and a bluffer, the easier it will be to take a maximum of his chips with a bluff induction move.

Conversely, a very tight or very suspicious player will rarely continue to bet after being paid the first time. You must therefore in this case find another way to extract his chips from him.

To induce your opponent to bluff is not easy in general and you must fully control the situation. Note that you should not float too often, as it will be costly in the long term. Use floating with parsimony.

Inducing a bluff and consequently winning a large pot is one of the most enjoyable feelings in poker. So practice the skill of this trap for future pleasure at the poker table.

Doyle Brunson

Hollywood and Vegas come together to celebrate Doyle Brunson

Name: Doyle Brunson.

Also Known As: Texas Dolly, the Godfather of Poker.

The Man: Arguably the finest player ever dealt pocket aces (or a 10-2, the hand that bears his name), Doyle Brunson was the first person to win a $1 million poker tournament. In a career spanning over 50 years, Brunson has won ten World Series of Poker bracelets, ranking him second alongside Johnny Chan below Phil Hellmuth (11 bracelets). That includes two WSOP main event titles in 1976 and 1977.

The Bible: Doyle Brunson’s Super System, his own personal guide to playing poker, is universally considered the best poker handbook in history. Originally published in 1979, his long-awaited sequel, Super System 2, was published in 2005. In his introduction to the original Super System, Brunson wrote, I thought playing poker was tough. That was before I started trying to create a poker course.

The Party: On October 17th, 2005, Light Nightclub at the Bellagio hosted the Doyle Brunson Player Appreciation Party. The event was sponsored by DoylesRoom.com and some of Hollywood’s finest came out to pay their respects. Among them were poker pros like Gus Hansen and Jennifer Harman, poker entrepreneur Jack Binion, and Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio. But Doyle’s favorite guests just might have been the young models courtesy of DoylesRoom.com. At 72 years old, Doyle Brunson still had plenty of living (and playing) left to do.

In 2010 five years later, Doyle has not really changed and keep on his busy poker career. Both as a player and as a poker entrepreneur, as he runs Doyle’s Room and Doyle’s Casino. So if you are thinking about retiring, think twice. At 77 Doyle is an example to follow of someone who keeps his intellect intact in his old age.

Doyle Brunson has ten WSOP bracelets but he could surprise us all and win an eleventh one, thus equaling the current record held by Phi Hellmuth. Good luck, Doyle.

Why raising

There are six major reasons to raise. Make sure you know and understand all of them, and practice them. This exercise will improve your game by increasing your aggression, and help you better channel it. If you notice that there is one type of raising you do not do much, then you must practice this particular one, as all are needed in the armory of a good poker player.

  1. Raise because you have the best hand: so that you collect more chips. Power poker consists if betting your strong hands, not slow playing them, so raise with strong hands.
  2. Raise to limit the field: for example raise pre flop with AKs, as you do not want to get called by all the A-rag, who could outflop you; get rid of the weak hands who could outdraw you.
  3. Raise for a free card at the next street: by raising, you induce your opponent to check at the next street, so that you see that next card for free.
  4. Raise your strong draws: some strong draws such as an open ended straight flush draw have great odds and EV, and you must raise to monetize the strength of your hand.
  5. Raise as bluff: you should on occasion raise as a pure bluff; especially if you have a strong image, you may win pots this way with pure bluffs. Do this rarely in order to preserve your image.
  6. Raise with a semi-bluff: this one is more common than the pure bluff, raising with a semi-bluff such as a flush draw give you two ways to win the hand; either now or later with a bigger pot if you hit your draw after getting called; so unlike the pure bluff you may get the stronger hand in the end.

Raising is power poker, don’t be afraid to raise but do it strategically as described above. You will be feared a the table and your bankroll will improve.

A testing decision

Hand History: a good flop from the blind and a testing decision.

This hand was played at a PokerStars $200 NL holdem table. The blinds were $2/$4.

This hand took every bit of hand reading ability that I have. I’m in the BB with T4o. 4 players limp in, the SB completes and I check. We see the flop 6 way in an unraised pot.

The pot is $24 and the flop comes T43 rainbow. The SB checks. Sometimes I would lead out here, but with this many players I figured someone would bet so I check. MP checks, second MP bets $5, it is folded to me and I raise to $20. The first MP calls, and the guy who had bet $5 folds.

OK, this is strange. MP called a bet and a check raise, so maybe he has a set I thought?

The pot is now $69. The turn is a 6. I bet $30 and he immediately goes all in and has me covered. The bet is $172 to me with a pot of $271. Why is he betting $172 into a $100 pot? There’s no way he has a straight and is betting that much. A set? I don’t think so, he would bet less and try to milk me because he has to know I like my hand.

Most people would raise much smaller here with a set or straight. He had overbet some other pots and folded off the opponent so I didn’t see his cards, but because of this, his overbets were very suspicious to me. I really couldn’t put him on a hand here so I hated to call the all in, but the pot was huge and I felt like my 2 pair was pretty well disguised.

I have some guidelines I use when deciding whether or not to call an all in. One of those is that I will call an all in, when the strength of my hand is disguised to the opponent who is putting me all in. I think hes putting me on here AT and is greatly underestimating my hand.

Like I said, I really couldn’t put the opponent on a hand which is normally a recipe for disaster when you’re playing a monster pot, but I was leaning towards thinking he had an overpair, so I called.

He had AA and I won the pot.

Remember this rule when faced with a big all in bet and you’ll be happy you did.