Biggest Mistake while playing Texas Holdem POKERWritten by Rory Monahan
The BIGGEST MISTAKE you can make while playing no-limit Texas Holdem is to focus too much on your cards...
If you're playing draw, stud, limit, or any other form of poker, then it's important to concentrate on MATHEMATICAL ODDS and PROBABILITIES.
But no-limit Holdem is different.
You can be a math WIZARD and know odds of every possible scenario in deck... but it won't do you much good at no-limit table.
Hell, you can even know how to COUNT CARDS... but I'll still knock your socks off and take your rent money if you face me heads-up.
Because no-limit Holdem is a game of PSYCHOLOGY.
To win, you must learn how to play PLAYERS, not CARDS.
The reason no-limit Holdem is so different from other types of poker is because it's possible to bluff HUGE pots and go ALL-IN...
And only thing that separates YOU from your OPPONENT is just two down-faced cards that are dealt at beginning of each hand.
That's it. Just two cards.
The reality is this...
No-limit Holdem is PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE, and if you want to WIN, you've got to learn how to get INSIDE THE HEADS of your opponents.
You've got to know them better than they know themselves... and predict their every move.
There are a lot of strategies and techniques around identifying "poker tells".
A poker TELL is a habit or mannerism of a player that is a "giveaway" to strength or weakness of their hand.
Like a twitch of nose... a crack in voice... a shaky leg... or a rapid pulse...
Tells like these are IMPORTANT.
And you must learn how to spot them and take advantage of them.
But there's one tell that's MUCH, MUCH MORE IMPORTANT... and it has NOTHING to do with body language, voice, or mannerisms.
In fact, this tell is technically not even classified as a "tell".
But it WILL give you a read on your opponents.
What am I talking about?
Stay with me here.
BETTING is KEY to getting a read on your opponents...
It is through BETTING that you find out strength or weakness of another player's hand, which is how you WIN in no-limit Texas Holdem...
BETTING is how you get inside your heads of your opponents. Especially ones you've never met or played against before.
Now, I'm not talking about just ANY kind of betting...
I'm talking about bets YOUR OPPONENTS make IN RESPONSE TO THE CONDITIONS AT THE TABLE.
Think about online poker, as an example.
How do pros quickly and consistently win at ONLINE POKER... where you can't even SEE your opponents?
That's right... The answer is BETTING.
You've got to watch and STUDY what each player does in response to action...
This is true no matter WHERE you play no-limit Holdem... whether it's online, at home, in a casino, or in a tournament.
Now notice how I said IN RESPONSE to action...
This is key.
Because you can't get a good read on an opponent every time they make a bet.
The best time to get a read is when they have to REACT TO ACTION AT THE TABLE...
When they have to make a DECISION.
Because this is time when they're NOT in control of hand...
For example, let's say action is to Drew to call a $10 bet...
Does he fold, call, or raise?
Does he hesitate, or immediately make a decision?
If he makes a raise, he's representing a good hand, and takes control of action...
If he hesitates and then calls, there's a good chance his hand is weak...
If he immediately calls, he may have something or be on a draw...
You get point.
You can get a read on your opponent when your opponent has to REACT TO ACTION.
Unfortunately, your opponent won't always HAVE TO react to action at table.
In fact, your opponent will often take CONTROL of action and force YOU to make a decision.
Which means everyone will get chance to get a read on YOU...
And that is NOT what you want.
So how do you counter this?
How do take control of action AND force your opponent to a decision?
The answer is this:
Feeler bets are bets made in order to "see where you're at" in hand.
They're named "FEELER bets" because they allow you to "feel" out strength or weakness of your opponents...
And they're a CRUCIAL part of becoming good at Texas Holdem poker.
Let me demonstrate with an example...
Let's say you're fifth to act in a $1-2 no-limit game at a 10-man table.
You've got over $200 in your stack.
You look down at pocket nines.
You're not too excited about your position right here, but you've been on fire whole game. The action is on to you to call blinds.
This is where you make a FEELER BET... which would be a pre-flop raise in this situation.
"$10 to play", you say as you splash pot with ten white $1 chips.
This feeler bet accomplishes four things:
1. You get to find out who's strong and who's not...
2. You get control of action at table...
3. You're not allowing your opponents to get a good read on you...
4. You're getting a read on your opponents by forcing them to make a decision...
Okay... so let's say action around table
The Music Revolution Has Begun--A Guide to Internet Music Downloads Written by Larry Denton
For tens of millions of people listening to digital music, there is no going back. As music transforms to ones and zeroes from physical products, way it is produced, sold, given away, and heard is changing forever. And consequences for musicians, fans and recording industry itself are profound.
Millions of songs are now available--for free or for sale, legally and illegally over Internet. The emergence of this audio landscape has delighted music fans, but has undermined business model of music industry. Major record labels are squeezing less profit out of fewer artists and attempting to ward off losses by a frenzy of mergers.
According to International Federation of Phonographic Industry, as of end of 2004, four corporations--EMI Records, Vivendi Universal, Warner, and Sony BMG--controlled 80 percent of shrinking $32 billion global music market.
Even as music industry has consolidated, CD sales have steadily declined since consumers have become increasingly reluctant to pay $17.99 for a CD, often to get only one or two good songs. "There is a major disconnect between music industry and reality of way most Americans relate to music," said Michael Bracy, a lobbyist for Future of Music Coalition. "There is an effort to commodify music which is fundamentally impossible to do."
Although strongly opposed by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), music downloading has become a way of life for most music lovers, worldwide. As Janis Ian, a musician entering her fourth decade of recording, recently said in a radio interview, "The Internet and downloading are here to stay . . . Anyone who thinks otherwise should prepare themselves to end up on slagheap of history."
Why, in fact, do people download music from Internet? Primarily to hear NEW music, or to listen to records that have been deleted by major record companies and are no longer available for purchase. The goal of listeners is not simply to avoid $5 bargain CD bin at local record shop, but to hear music they can't find anywhere else.