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Gary Steele on Poker
Gary Steele is the author of The Edge Poker Software, a program for tracking statistics of your opponents in Texas Hold'em Poker. Gary has been playing poker online since 2001, continuously improving his game to the point where he's now making a consistent profit from playing poker online.
Gary's profound knowledge about poker, as well as his clear and concise way of expressing his knowledge in writing, has made him one of the most respected contributors to professional-poker.com.
In September 2004, Gary agreed to write a regular poker column for professional-poker.com. On this page you will find an index of all columns Gary has written. We'd like to thank Gary for all the work done so far, and wish him every success in establishing what will without doubt become one of the premier poker columns on the Internet.
I am often asked who my favorite player to watch is. In my opinion there is nobody better than Gus Hanson. It amazes me how he reads his opponents. There is no way he would be able to get away with the way he plays if he did not have the uncanny ability to tell just how strong a player’s hand is. He is often wild and always unpredictable, but where most other players lose with this style of play, Gus excels.
I have always been an advocate of playing your game to the best of your ability 100% of the time. I have written many articles on the subject and have given advice on controlling your emotions, walking away from games, and dealing with bad beats. I was recently reading “Hold’Em Excellence – A Winner for Life” by Lou Krieger and found some additional tips every poker player can use. I think this is the most important aspect of every player’s poker game.
We always hear and read that Table Selection is one of the most important aspects of playing winning poker. If you want to win money there are certain times of the day and week when it is much easier to find a profitable table.
One of the concepts of poker it took me a long time to understand was the use of Implied Odds in my decision making. It really was not until I started playing Omaha Hi/Lo, where there are many more people in a typical hand than in Hold’Em, that the term really started to make sense.
There is a vast difference in the way you play a poker hand when you flop a “set” versus when you flop “trips”. A set is having a pocket pair and getting a third on the flop. Trips is having one card in your hand, such as a seven, and getting two more on the flop.
My visit to Pacific Poker for this review was not my first visit to the site, but it had been a long time since my last deposit at this site. What I noticed immediately was how much faster the site was today than it used to be. I remember the site being very slow with few players. Boy, have things changed.
There is a lot you can learn from the flop if you are playing your game correctly. When you get no help on the Flop, it is important to understand when you are holding two cards that are a lost cause versus when you have a reasonable chance of bluffing.
Last week I played PokerStars for the first time. I had always wanted to try it out. After all, the 2003 and 2004 WSOP champions came from satellites played at this site. Obviously there is something about PokerStars. It has some mystique.
One of the questions I hear most often concerns my thoughts on the status of online gambling in the United States. I wish I had the answers and could predict the future, but the future is still up in the air where online gambling is concerned.
I was very surprised when I first entered PokerRoom.com. I had never heard of the site before and expected it to be a new site with few players. The site turned out to be very well established with lots of experienced players. They do not advertise on television and their links are not plastered all over the internet like the other big sites, but there are other reasons people play at this site.
So, you are to the point where you have read a few books and looked through the web for all the little pieces of hidden information. Your game has developed over the past few months and you are winning a little more than you are losing for the first time in your poker career. It took me over a year of dedicated playing just to get to this point. Many players (myself included) get stuck here for a long time and do not understand why or how to get past it. Many don’t even have the desire to get past it. I have figured out why this happened to me and I hope my advice will help you push past this point in your poker journey.
InterPoker is one many sites on the Wagerlogic network of Poker Sites. A few of the other sites also connected to the same network are ClassicPoker.com, TotalBetPoker.co.uk, and PokerPlex.com. The first thing that struck me as I looked through all of the sites is that play in Euros is available, not only dollars. There are also many very nice bonuses offered and they seem to be different at each site on the network.
Taking a quick look through the World Poker Tour web site reveals some very interesting information. I visit it every once in a while and they are constantly updating with new player profiles and up to date information. I went back recently and here are some of the things I discovered which grabbed my attention.
Ultimate Bet is an extremely popular site due to the heavy advertising seen on the web and television. It is visually one of the cleaner and more attractive sites on the internet. There are many limit options and types of games available to suit just about any type of player. It is one of my favorite sites to play, even though the cards there have not always been kind.
Many players today are worried they may be playing against computers instead of people. These ‘Bots’ are programs which are designed to always make the right decision and take advantage of weaknesses in their opponent’s play. Do these programs exist and are they being used?
There are many myths about poker which can cost you money. It is important that you understand these myths and do not depend on them. They appear to be logical, but are basically just superstition. Here are a few of them.
EmpirePoker and Party Poker are two very popular sites which share the same software and players. Of course, Party Poker is very well known for their televised tournaments on the World Poker Tour, but Empire Poker shares all of the same features. I enjoy playing at these sites because they are simple to use and the customer service is excellent. After I made a deposit yesterday I was called by a representative to verify that I was aware of the deposit. That is pretty impressive security to me.
The Prima Poker network is a large group of companies which all share the same tables to increase the number of players available to their customers. For instance, when I am playing at Royal Vegas Poker, I am sitting with other players from 7 Sultans, Gaming Club, and Lucky Nugget Poker. The only difference between the ways each company looks and feels are the colors and logos. Otherwise, the controls, the banking, the table limits, the players, and the sign-up process are always the same.
One of my personal favorite poker strategies is the Slowplay. I always look for a table with a lot of wild and loose players to take advantage of, and this is one of the best ways to do so. Slowplaying is when you check or call a bet with a very strong hand in the hopes that someone else at the table will raise. When this works, it is a good way to disguise the strength of your hand and put many extra bets into the pot.
There are an almost unlimited number of options for you to pass the time. So why should you play online poker instead of EverQuest, Pyramids, Warcraft, SIMS, or Solitaire?
If you have read a few of my previous articles you know my opinion on playing poker with play money. Playing for free with fake chips is a big mistake if you are interested in learning how a real money game works.
While each poker player has their own unique playing and decision making style, there are basically only four main categories of players. Each of these styles has strengths and weaknesses, and each of these styles can be profitable in the correct situation. Your goal as a player is to not be labeled as any one of the categories explained below, but instead to adjust your playing style to fit the opponents at the table.
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