Easy Game Episode 3: Shaun Deeb
Published on Nov 2012 by Pokerlistings
Shaun Deeb is one of the original online tournament grinders and we flew to Mexico to shoot the latest episode of Easy Game as he played the biggest tourney in online poker, the WCOOP Main Event on PokerStars.com. Deeb shares his story and tells us how a college dropout from New York became one of the most successful online poker players in the history of the game. Stay tuned for more episodes of our Easy Game mini-documentary series as we show you the many sides of online poker culture.
In the latest episode of our beginner poker strategy video series How Not to Suck at Poker we show you why most of those huge bluffs you're attempting are costing you tons of money. Despite what a lot of people think, being good at poker isn't about pulling off huge bluffs every other hand. The way to win is by making less mistakes than your opponents, and a lot of the time when beginners are making big bluffs, it's a mistake. There are plenty of opportunities for betting and raising without a hand but most of these spots are about taking advantage of your position, or a big draw, opposed to putting lots of chips at risk with a huge stone-cold bluff. The important thing to remember is that it's better to make lots of simple bluffs that are likely to succeed, than to make one huge bluff for your whole stack where you're basically just praying for a fold. Quick bluffs refer to things like continuation bets and three-betting loose, late-position raisers. They're designed to take advantage of your position and what you know about your opponents, but they're not designed to lead to huge pots or all-ins. These are simple plays that stand a high chance of success. When you're betting and raising with a big draw that hasn't hit yet it's called a semi-bluff. Semi-bluffing is really important because it adds a lot of value to your draws by giving you two ways of winning the pot. Either your opponent folds to your semi-bluff and you win the pot uncontested, or you hit your hand and win a big pot at showdown. Stone-cold bluffs, or naked bluffs, are when you have no clear positional advantage and no hand value whatsoever. People seem to think that stone-cold bluffs are what poker's all about but the truth is, you'd be better off ignoring them completely. Until you're at a level where you can put your opponents on an exact hand and understand how to make them fold, you should focus on playing solid poker and not spewing chips by trying to get fancy.
Not sucking at poker is one of the most important things you have to do if you want to have fun playing poker. In the 6th installment of our landmark poker strategy video series How Not to Suck at Poker we explain one very crucial way you need to not suck, by having a poker bankroll and following proper bankroll management. Most people are extremely attached to money. They work most of their life to have enough of it and losing it can be pretty scary. That's why to be an effective poker player you must have a poker bankroll that's separate from the rest of your regular money. Even the best poker players in the world have losing weeks or even months. The best way to deal with that psychologically is to trust in your ability to win in the long run, and to structure your bankroll and the stakes you play so that you can make it through long stretches of bad luck without going broke. When you have a big enough bankroll you won't be stressed out about a couple losing sessions, and you won't be afraid to pull the trigger on a big bluff, or make a big call when the time is right. The most common guidelines say that in a cash-game you should never put more than 5% of your bankroll in play at a time. That means if you're playing $1/$2 No-Limit at your local casino and you buy in for two hundred dollars, your bankroll should be at least two grand. If you're multi-tabling online you should have even more. For tournaments you should have a bankroll of at least 100 buy-ins. So if you're playing the nightly $10 MTT at your favorite online poker room, you should have at least $1,000 in your account. That probably sounds way too high for recreational players but that just goes to show how much variance there is in tournament poker. These numbers are also designed to make sure you never bust your bankroll. If you're an amateur player who has no problem re-depositing if you go broke, it's definitely okay to take bigger risks with your bankroll.
In 2007 Annette Obrestad won a 180-person online poker tournament without looking at her cards a single time. Obrestad, then just 18 years old, covered the portion of her computer screen that showed her hole cards with a piece of paper and proceeded to crush her way to victory playing aggressive, position-based poker. Obrestad has since won the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event for £1 million but says more people know her from winning a $4 online tournament blind than being a WSOP champion. In the latest episode of PokerListings.com's new series “Best Poker Moments”, Obrestad reflects on what it was like winning that tournament blind and the reaction she got from poker players and fans. In addition to being an amazing feat, her accomplishment also stands as compelling evidence for poker being a predominantly skill-based game. Listen to Annette Obrestad talk about her best poker moment and keep your eye out for new episodes coming to PokerListings.com soon.
Nicolau Villa-Lobos and Bruno Kawauti should probably be in Rio de Janeiro watching the World Cup but their insatiable desire for poker action has brought them all the way to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker. Poker is getting huge in Brazil and according to these two, it's going to get even bigger. Villa-Lobos and Kawauti both agreed that Brazil could host a World Series of Poker, and that it would be bigger than either WSOP Europe or WSOP Asia-Pacific. While poker continues to grow in their home country, both these members of Team 888poker continue to travel the world in search of big tournaments. PokerListings.com caught them on a break to find out how it feels being away from home for such an important event, and where they see poker in Brazil going in years to come.
Even if you learn a ton of poker strategy, it's not going to pay off unless you pay attention to your opponents and what's happening at the poker table. In the latest episode of our beginner poker strategy video series How Not to Suck at Poker, we teach you exactly how to pay attention at the poker table to make more money. Pay Attention to Every Hand This is a tip that every poker player has heard but many fail to put into practice. Every hand that plays out at your table is a chance for you to learn something about your opponents. That means that even if you fold, you need to watch and take note of how the people still in the hand are playing. Pay attention to how often players are raising before the flop and from what position. And if their preflop raise gets called, how often are they continuation betting on the flop? Do they like to play their draws fast by betting and raising, or are they just calling and shutting down when they miss? The second you sit down at the poker table you should be watching every other player in the game and profiling them as tight, loose, aggressive or passive. Most players are a combination of more than one style so make sure to pay close attention. Identify the Weak Spots To win at poker you don't have to be best in the world, you just have to better than your opponents. The same thing goes for your table. You don't have to be better than everyone, but if you're the worst player at the table you're going to lose. Most of your profits will come from the worst couple players at the table so you have to be able to identify the weak spots and focus on playing as many pots against them as possible. You also have to be honest with yourself and be able to see when you're the weak spot at the table. Don't let your ego get in the way. Just pick up your chips and find a game where you're not the mark.
There's no two ways about it: Sucking at poker sucks. We're here to show you how not to suck and our latest episode is an important one: Learning basic poker odds. This video will teach you the basics of pot odds, pot equity and how to compare the two to find out whether you should make a call. Keep watching our 10-part series on How Not to Suck at Poker to stop sucking and start winning today. You don't need to learn any advanced math but you do need to be comfortable calculating things like pot odds, equity, and how common hands match up against each other. If you shy away from learning math, don't worry. You already learned everything you need to know to calculate basic poker odds when you were in elementary school. The whole point of learning poker odds is so you can judge how likely you are to win a hand and how much you should bet or call to get to showdown. Pot Odds The first thing you need to get familiar with is pot odds and it's a really simple concept. Pot odds refer to the amount you have to call compared to the amount you stand to win. Pot odds are important but they're only one piece of the puzzle. Pot Equity refers to your chances of having the best hand at showdown, and by comparing it to your pot odds you can figure out whether or not you should make a call. If your pot odds ratio is bigger than your pot equity ratio you should make the call, if it's smaller, you should fold.
Poker Basics is a 10-part crash course in beginner Texas Hold'em poker strategy. Today's installment covers how to count chips and it's a skill you need to have to play poker live. When you're playing poker it's really important to be aware of how many chips you and your opponents have in your stacks. But when you've got multiple denominations and tons of chips to deal with, getting an exact count quickly can be tough for beginners. But don't worry, there are a few easy tricks to counting chips easily and accurately. The first thing you need to do is make sure your chips are organized by denomination in towers of 20. The easiest way to do that is to grab a handful, drop five on the felt and use your thumb or finger to cut the rest into three more stacks of five. Stack that up and now you have a guide to get all your chips into towers of 20. Now figure out how much each tower is worth. Common tournament denominations include 25, 100, 500 and 1,000. In stacks of 20 they're worth, 500, 2,000, 10,000 and 20,000. Now just add the values of each tower together to find your total. Always knowing how many chips you and your opponents have is really important, especially in tournament poker, and if you spend some time practicing now it'll soon become second-nature. Pokerlistings.com, start your poker journey today.
Randy "Nanonoko" Lew has made over $1 million playing online poker and holds the Guinness World Record for most hands played in eight hours while showing a profit. Lew routinely plays more than 24 tables at a time and told PokerListings.com that it's the skills he learned from competitive video gaming that allows him to do it. Lew went even further saying that no matter what video game you play, chances are you've developed skills that will help you win at online poker. Lew played Marvel Vs. Capcom, a one-on-one fighting game, and even though he loved the game and the competition, he quickly realized he couldn't make a living playing it. Once Lew found online poker, however, he was able to earn more than enough money to get by, and even scored a coveted sponsorship deal as a member of PokerStars Team Online. Lew stopped by the PokerListings.com studio in Vancouver to discuss how his background in gaming set him up to succeed at poker, as well as what a great opportunity online poker is for other gamers looking to use their skills to earn a living.
If you play in home poker games where each player deals you’ll see beginners making a lot of mistakes shuffling the cards. To make sure the game’s fair it’s really important that the cards get properly shuffled, and that no one at the table sees where cards are in the deck. The good news is that there are a few easy steps to learning the right way to shuffle cards. Every shuffle should start by giving the cards a wash. Just spread them out facedown and make sure every card comes in contact with the felt. Then gather them up and use one card to pick up the pile. Turn the pile on its side and square the deck. The second step is called the riffle. First, break the deck into two halves. Grab each half using your four fingers, align the inside corner, and use your thumbs to bend the corners up and left the cards fall into place. Relax your grip and push the two halves of the deck together. The third step is called the box. Pick up the deck in one hand and use your other hand to take about a quarter of the cards off the top. Put it down on the felt and repeat until you’ve gone through the entire deck. The last step is cutting the deck. Now let’s put all the steps together. In most casinos, poker dealers are taught to wash the cards, riffle twice, box, riffle one more time and then cut the deck. And make sure to keep the deck on the table while you’re doing it so no one can see the bottom card. PokerListings.com: Start your poker journey, today.
They say Texas Hold'em takes five minutes to learn and a lifetime to master. We can't promise you'll ever master it but we can teach you how to play in way less than five minutes. In the latest episode of Poker Basics we run through the fundamentals of how to play Texas Hold'em. In Hold'em the game revolves around the dealer. It doesn't matter if each person is dealing, or you have a dedicated dealer like in a casino, the dealer button moves one seat to the left each hand and it determines who acts first in each betting round. Before you even deal the cards there are always mandatory bets called blinds. The player directly to the left of the dealer is known as the small blind and the player to the left of that is the big blind. It's important to know what the big blind is because it determines the minimum opening bet on each betting round. So if you're playing a cash game and the blinds are 1 and 2 dollars, the minimum you can bet on any round is 2 dollars. Next comes the deal. Each player receives two hole cards and the action begins on the player to the left of the big blind. This position is known as “ under the gun”. Action always moves clockwise around the table and players have the option of folding, calling the big blind, or raising. If more than one player is still in the hand after this round the dealer deals the flop, three of the five community cards. When you deal the flop remember to “burn” one card face down before dealing the three community cards face up in the middle of the table. Now comes another betting round with action starting on the player to the left of the dealer. Players now have the option of checking or betting. Next comes the fourth community card, known as the turn. Another round of betting follows before the dealer puts down the final community card, known as the river. A final round of betting follows the river and then comes the showdown. The highest ranked hand wins the pot.