Best Online Texas Holdem Rooms
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- 5. Bwin Poker $500 9.2 Review Play
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- 6. Ladbrokes £259.2 Review Play
- 7. William Hill €12509.0 Review Play
- 8. Intertops $600 8.7 Review Play
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Getting started online
- Choosing a poker room
- Downloading software
- Buying credit
- Playing the game
- Collecting winnings
Online Texas Holdem
- How to start playing online
- Online poker tournaments
- Online tournament strategy
- Online bluffing
- Online tells
- Player notes
- playing multiple games
- Playing online professionally
Poker Room Reviews
- Poker stars
- Victor Chandler
- TITAN POKER
- 888 Pacific Poker
- PKR 3D POKER
- William hill poker
- Cake poker
- Party poker
- Bwin poker
- Betfair poker
TEXAS HOLDEM BASICS
- Texas holdem fundamentals
- Game instruction step-by-step
- Hand ranking
- Buy-ins and table stakes
- Betting, calling, checking, folding
- Texas holdem rules
- Where to play
- Responsible play
- Poker terms
HOSTING A CHARITY TOURNAMENT
Even though poker is based on outsmarting your opponents into giving you all of their money, which does sound rather inhospitable and, let’s be honest, greedy, professional poker players are actually quite a generous and charitable lot. Annie Duke, Daniel Negreanu, Jennifer Harmon, Phil Hellmuth and other players have hosted charity poker tournaments that have raised millions of dollars for charity. Even online poker sites have hosted charity tournaments, such as PokerStars.com (they raised money to help ease suffering in Darfur and for amfAR, a foundation for AIDS research). Hosting a charity poker tournament isn’t too complicated and is something even non-celebrity poker amateurs can do in their own home or in their community, and it’s a fun and effective way to raise money for a cause you care about.
The first thing you need to find out is what the local gaming laws are where you want to host the tournament. Some states already have legislation allowing for charity poker tournaments, while some states are in the process of changing their laws, and in other states - for charity or not - it is still against the law to play for cash.
If you’re going to host a small, low-key poker charity tournament, you just need to get a hold of the players you want to invite. But if you’re hosting a big poker charity tournament, you should budget for advertising to let people know about your event. Bigger events’ co-ordinators should also have money in the budget for insurance and to apply for any special licences you might need.
Choosing a venue is important. Somebody’s dining room table is fine for small, private charity tournaments, but for events with more people, community centers, school gymnasiums, banquet halls and the like, can all been used to host a charity poker tournament.
Just as in a home poker tournament, you need to create a blind schedule to indicate how much blinds go up for each level. You also need to choose a poker variant to play (Texas Holdem is the best choice as more people know how to play this one and won’t need instructions), a betting format to follow (No-Limit is always exciting and draws a crowd), and how prize money or non-cash prizes will be distributed among the players. You can give all of the buy-in money to charity, or give them a percentage and divide the rest between first-, second- and third-place finishers. Since the goal is to raise money for charity, it’s a good idea to have a re-buy period so there’s more money to give. You can also charge an admission fee to spectators who want to watch the game and sell food and drinks. If you’re going to give all of the tournament money to charity and give prizes to the top finishers, give yourself lots of time to contact businesses to ask for prizes to donate to the tournament. Even if you’re hosting a small, intimate event, you might still be able to get prizes since you’re trying to raise money for charity, so don’t hesitate to contact businesses and see if they can help you out.
Raising money for charity is a noble act - especially during hard economic times when social programs are usually the first organizations to feel the pinch. We commend you on your effort to help ease suffering and to make our world a better place to live.
If you raised and folded all the right hands, you’ll find yourself in the envious position of having made it to the final table in a poker tournament. By now the blinds are extremely high and every player - regardless of the size of their chip stack - is concerned about them. Depending on the tournament prize money schedule, either all or a portion of the players at the final table will finish in the money, and this will also play an important role in dictating players’ strategy as they try to avoid being eliminated on the bubble (where they don’t win any money) and to finish as high as they can, if not winning the tournament outright.
Avoid the bubble
This is the worst position to finish the tournament in: you’ve spent all that time and energy playing your best game, only to go out on the bubble and not win any money to show for your effort. If you had finished the game just one position higher, you would have finished in the money, so players change their play when they know the next player to go out is on the bubble.
Players play tighter as the bubble gets closer and a lot of people will fold to the blinds since nobody wants to be put at risk of getting knocked out. If you have a medium-sized chip stack, since the blinds are so big, this is a good time to play aggressively and try to beef up your chip stack by taking advantage of players with small chip stacks and getting them to fold to an aggressive raise. Even if they have a strong hand, the fear of missing out on finishing in the money will cause them to fold, thus allowing you to steal the very expensive and lucrative blinds.
If you’re the short-stacked player, you should go all-in if you get a decent hand; be prepared to be called no matter what you hold as players will try to knock you out to guarantee they’ll finish in the money.
If you have a big chip stack, you should be passive-aggressive with your play: sit back and let the other players knock each other out unless you have the nuts, in which case you should play aggressively to build your chip stack even more.
In the money
Once you knock out the last person on the bubble and are finally playing for prize money, your strategy will change once again. As players get knocked out and there are less people in a hand, your starting hand requirements should ease up as you don’t have time to wait for a monster hand; you can raise with an ace and a kicker as low as a 7.
Even though you should be monitoring the other players’ chip stack size from the beginning of the tournament, it becomes even more important at the final table where you should try to knock out the weak players as soon as you can. If a player with a small chip stack calls or raises when you have at least a medium chip stack, you should call them even with a marginal hand as they’re probably desperate and will play any hand and you want to try to knock them out. Don’t call them, though, if it appears someone after you might raise since you’ll have to fold and you’ll lose out on those chips.
If the other players are playing aggressively, you should play passively and vice versa. If the players are repeatedly going all-in, sit back and let them knock each other out while you passively move higher up in the money.
Play against the players and not the cards
As you get to the end of the final table, your strategy should be to focus on playing the players and not so much on playing the cards. Try to figure out whom you can trap, whom you can steal the blinds from, and to which players you fold and avoid playing against. If you have a medium or large chip stack, you should focus on eliminating weak-stacked players before the blinds get so huge that you also risk becoming weak-stacked. Also, avoid playing against other big-stacked players unless you have a great hand as they could eliminate you.
Finally it’s down to just you and one other player. If you knock them out, you win the top prize. That’s a lot of pressure and at this stage of the tournament, being calm and keeping your nerves in check is extremely important. The best way to manage your nerves is to have played in a lot of heads-up games, and playing online is the number-one way to get that experience. At PokerStars.com, you can play in tournaments where it’s just you against another player and nobody else (and for free, so this is perfect for players new to tournaments). Getting into a heads-up situation is very rare, so definitely take advantage of PokerStars’ one-on-one player tournaments to get experience non-online players won’t be able to acquire as quickly as you.
Your starting hand requirements will be at their lowest during heads-up play because the odds of just one other player having a better hand than you is also the lowest than at any other time in the tournament. Also, the blinds are going to be so big that you won’t be able to afford to sit and wait for a strong hand.
You can play two ways in heads-up play:
1. Play tightly and wait for a decent hand to trap your opponent with. In that case, you want to get as many chips out of them as possible, if not knocking them out altogether. Be careful that the blinds don’t bleed you dry, though.
2. Play aggressively if your opponent is tight and you can consistently steal the blinds. However, be careful if your opponent does get the nuts and traps you as you could be knocked out in one single hand.
What you’ll probably find, though, is that a mix of the two is the best way for you to play if you want to win the tournament. Again, getting a lot of heads-up training online is the best way to prepare for this final stage of the tournament.
- Introduction to Tournaments
- Tournament Formats
- Poker Tournament Rules - General
- Tournament Strategy - general
- Online Poker Tournaments
- Online Poker Tournament Rules - General
- Online Tournament Strategy
- Live Poker Tournaments
- Live Tournament Strategy
- Hosting a Home Tournament
- Hosting a Charity Tournament
- History of Women in Poker
- Professional Female Players
- Female Advantage and Strategy
- Ladiesâ€™ Tournaments
- Hosting a Ladiesâ€™ Poker Night
Hosting a Home Game
- Hosting a game
- Dealer's Choice
- How to deal a hand
- Drink and food
- Strip poker
- Poker Books
- Texas Hold'em movies & TV
- Famous players
- Poker Hall of Fame
- Hand Nicknames
- Poker Terms
- Poker Leagues
- Collusion in Poker
- Poker Vacations