The much-anticipated, groundbreaking 888Live London Festival is around the corner.
And by "corner," we mean this Thursday, Oct. 13.
Seventeen events are on the docket, making it the biggest festival to hit the Aspers poker room yet, and a crew of poker stars including Chris Moorman, Sofia Lövgren, Kara Scott, Antonio Esfandiari and Michael Mizrachi will be there to take part.
Also taking part, of course, is poker nomad Dominik Nitsche, currently ranked #11 on the Global Poker Index.
As it's his birthday today, the 888poker pro decided to reverse the gift-giving process and suggest a few things the first-timer could use to prepare for the intensity of a live festival.
#1 - Be On Time
If you think your appearance at a poker tournament is a performance and has to be staged with as much noise as possible - and you have to wait until everyone else is there so they can all see you – you’re probably Phil Hellmuth.
Grab those early chips.
If you’re not Phil Hellmuth you should be there for Level 1 because when the blinds are low it's the easiest time to take chips from weak players. If you’re not there, someone else will take them."
#2 - Adjust to Your Opponents
But don’t over-adjust. What that means is you can’t ignore the way your opponents play, obviously, but you also don’t have to be afraid.
Players who barrel on all three streets still don’t have to have the nuts. They might just be overplaying their hand, and you can’t do too many hero folds.
#3 - There’s a Grain of Truth in Stereotypes
You know where stereotypes come from? They come from the observation of recurring behaviour.
Young players have the reputation to be over-aggressive. Don’t be surprised if they actually are. And yes, particularly in London, you’ll see the friendly elderly gentleman who doesn’t really want to hurt anyone at the tables, too."
#4 - Keep it Simple
The more you learn about poker, the more you might tend to overthink things. Don’t forget to open your eyes and look for the obvious instead of mulling over your next move all the time.
If you see a player 3-betting with A-4s from middle position and then showing his hand when it’s folded to him, that’s valuable information for you. On the other hand, if that guy 3-bets twice in three hands and doesn’t show, you have virtually no information.
Stereotypes can be true, too.
#5 - Be There at Showdowns
Pay attention to any card you get to see. Nothing gives you more information than when you see which hand your opponent just took that specific line with.
#6 - Learn to Read
That doesn’t refer to poker books; it refers to basic live reads. Take the classic 'weak means strong and strong means weak.' It’s still around and it’s still pretty reliable.
An example: "You get to the river in a spot where you suspect the villain has a lot of medium-strength hands, but you are unsure if they will fold.
"The action is on them, and you have position. You bet the turn, and they decide to call. Now, on the river, the 3rd diamond or an overcard hits, and now they start to think.
"If they now reach for chips (or even just quickly glance at their chips) and then decide to check, they are always weak."
Watch yourself, too.
Sounds simple and is simple. Wait for it and you’ll see it works.
#7 - Time Your Reads
Not every tell is a tell. And the better the players are, the more they know how to give away fake tells.
The important thing is to watch out for your opponents’ interest in the pot. When they, for example, become agitated during the hand, make sure you memorize if they did that with the nuts or with a bluff.
This will be important information later on. But make no mistake: a shaking hand might mean he’s bluffing but it can also mean he’s got it.
#8 - Hide Your Own Tells
This is an obvious one, but do try and check on your own behaviour. Try to look at yourself from the outside.
Are you getting tense when you have a big hand? Are you betting less when you’re afraid someone might call your bluff?
There are lots of different possibilities with which you can give away your hand.
Take this advice to heart and try to get into one of the events at the 888Live Festival in London. Online satellites are still running, and in case you don’t have an account yet, click through to the 888poker review and quickly create one.