Stealing the blinds or antes. Some would wonder what the point is since there’s so little involved. However, there is plenty of useful strategy, not to mention reward, in snapping these up a few in a row from time to time.
First, if you’re getting on in the game at Ful Tilt, and the blinds increase, we’re not necessarily talking about chump change anymore. Granted, if you’re even in a position to bet up to steal the blinds, then you already have built yourself a sizable chip stack, and therefore proportionately, the blinds won’t make that much of a difference to you. However, you will be keeping them from building up someone smaller chip stack, of which the added cushion would help much more. You’re also crushing their confidence and forcing them to play tighter with each blind you steal, and each diminished level their stacks reach. You’ll find your opponents start playing “not to lose” instead of playing to win – a death sentence in this game. A poker tournament is all about advancing, being the winner. If you’re playing to simply not finish last, you might as well never sit down to begin with.
So how do you steal the blinds effectively and consistently? I’m a fan of the effect that betting a certainly multiplication of the blinds causes. Say eight times the big blind. First of all, half the table who have chips left won’t even be able to see that raise without going all-in, something they’re not likely to do at this stage of the game unless they think they have a powerful hand and a legitimate shot. Most won’t take that desperation step just to save their small blind. On the other hand, if you want to try to add to a small stack at Star Poker, going all-in can send a strong message to the rest of the table, especially if you do it early in the betting rotation. You might get an apathy call from the chip leader, but in most cases you’ll have his pre-flop hand beat, and you can take solace in the fact that the math from then on out will be in your favor.
What hand is worth taking that chance on an all-in to make or break your tournament? Depends how close to the end you are, but anything with an Ace, any hand that gives you life for a straight and a flush together…even a low pair. You have little to lose and enough to gain to make it worth the risk.
There’s a general rule in Texas Hold ‘Em on PockerStars.net, that being if something isn’t strong enough to raise the bet with, then you should think twice about calling with it. One of the rules to live by…which brings me to a few more trouble hands in the game to discuss.
First one is K, J. Professionals call this one the rookie hand. You see a couple bright, smiling (or suicidal, whichever) face cards and think it impossible to lay down something so strong before the flop. Truth is there are at least six different hands that will be your statistical downfall should you call and go up against one of them. Do yourself a favor and fold this hand unless you can limp in on a check. Otherwise, especially if there are more than a half dozen players, you’re asking for trouble.
Next one is A, J. This is actually a decent starting hand when you are playing on the Full Till Poker Download software – for claiming those tiny pots or buying the small pots nobody else wants – or plans to fight you for. In these situations, the A, J high betting play will scrape you up a handful of blinds to keep you alive. It’s when someone calls with a better hand (and there are enough of them to make this a trouble hand to begin with) that you better pray you can beat the odds later in the hand. Worst of all is if you actually make a pair of Aces on the flop and one of your opponents lays down a monster bet. You’ll be second-guessing yourself all the way to the poor house. It’s hard to fold A, J when you’re unsure if you’re going to lose, but it’s that much harder to fold the high pair with the same feeling.
Finally, the weakest of the trouble hands I’ve discussed so far in it’s ability to trap you is K, 10. Again, if you can limp in, you can postpone the potential punishment (say that 10 times fast), but if someone raises you any amount, it’s best to lay down the hand unless you’re convinced it’s a nasty bluff. They’re too far away for a legitimate shot at a straight, and if you make a pair of kings, you have to wonder if the third or fourth ones are out there, and what their kickers are, because a 10, while decent, won’t guarantee you a tie-breaker by any means.
The beginning of Full Tit Poker dates way back a long time ago when people would play the game in underground bars where the games would often become violent. As time went along poker was never that popular and you wouldn’t find many people who played poker or admitted to playing poker.
Eventually there were some events like the WSOP which started and that’s when poker started becoming more popular and organized. Even in the first years of the WSOP there weren’t very many players who competed in the tournament and the prize pools remained small. Over the years the WSOP has grown and the prize pools have grown as well and now millions of people around the world are playing poker.
Many other world poker events have started and are played every year such as the WPT, EPT and many other great poker tours. Almost every casino you visit around the world now will also have a poker room which will usually be buzzing everyday with poker players looking to make money. What was once a frowned upon underground game is now a mainstream card game that has become a household game.
You can watch poker on the TV all the time nowadays and many poker professionals are household names which would have never been so fifty years ago. With technology people can also play poker online and this had a lot to do with how popular the game has become. With the convenience of being able to play poker on the internet from your own home many people have learned how to play the game and instead of going out they find there entertainment playing poker online.
Online poker rooms such as Full Tillt Poker are very full everyday and you can find a game no matter what time of the day it is where you live. Lots of people make there living playing poker nowadays as well and many of them aren’t known because they don’t play tournaments. With the thriving cash games found in live casinos many people have started playing in these cash games every single day and have made there living doing so.
Fifty years ago there weren’t many people who even played poker and now there are thousands of players who make there living playing poker either in the casino or online. Many young people around the world have been seeing massive success playing online poker and there are quite a few who have dropped out of college to continue playing online poker.
If you practice your poker game enough and become a good poker player then you can also end up becoming a professional poker player. The opportunities to play poker professionally are huge and anyone is able to become one with some luck and skill. With the crazy economic times and many people being unemployed you can only imagine how many people are taking there money and trying to earn more at the poker table.
This is a little bit of history about poker and also the outlook of poker today so that you have an idea about the opportunities out there for you compared to the opportunities for poker player’s years ago.