Major Events

There is no doubt that there are more people playing online poker then live poker, but at the same time there are some major poker events every year that both live and online players frequent. The one thing about the major live poker tournaments is that they generally cost more to buy into, but they have massive prize pools often reaching well into the seven figures. We’re going to talk a little about some of the major events that take place each year so that you don’t miss out on them.

* The World Series of Poker started way back in 1970 and is easily the most anticipated event of the entire calendar year. What once started out as a single tournament has evolved into a massive series of tournaments that culminates with the $10K WSOP Main Event. The past several years have been huge in terms of success for the WSOP. Thousands of people travel to Las Vegas every year now to take part in this massive series of tournaments and many people walk away with more money then they came with.

* The World Poker Tour is another massive series of poker tournaments that are played each year. The WPT events are spread out throughout the year though and aren’t played within one timeframe. If you want to play in the WPT you may also need to travel since the events are played all over the world. Recently the World Poker Tour was taken over by Party Gaming and I’m sure we’ll see some nice improvements over the next couple of years.

* The European Poker Tour is only a few years old, but if you have played poker at all recently then you’ll have most likely heard of it. The EPT is very well advertised and has quickly become one of the biggest series of poker tournaments every year. One of the reasons the EPT is such a success is because it’s owned by Poker Stars which is the biggest online poker room in the industry. The EPT is played in various countries throughout Europe every year and they constantly add new events to their roster every year.

* The Asia Pacific Poker Tour or APPT for short is one of the up and coming poker tours. It started in 2007, but already has a loyal following in Asia and Australia. Without the APPT there would be thousands of poker players in Asia that would never have played live. The APPT brought the first ever live tournament to several countries including China and Korea. The size of the APPT tournaments are much smaller then the ones listed above, but within 5-10 years I could see this becoming the second largest tour of the year.

* The Latin American Poker Tour or LAPT is much smaller then the ones listed above, but it definitely has room to grow as poker becomes more mainstream in the region. 2008 was the first year that the LAPT was played and it featured only three tournaments including one in Brazil, Costa Rica and Uruguay.

Andrew Brokos Poker Strategy

Being a poker player is like being an investor. To improve your results as a poker player you have to learn to build larger pots and get more value when you have the best hand. With every risk comes a load of risk together with it, the higher the risk the higher the gain. Without its risk, it’s a lot more reliable than bluffing or bluff-catching more aggressively. Best of all, maximizing value is an area where, in my experience, even seasoned players have room for improvement.

Having a clear idea of what you’re trying to extract value from is the key to getting more value. It is a great idea to have a clear target so that you can be able to avoid the struggle of slow play and knowing how large your bets should be and once you identify the hand or hands from which you’re trying to get value, you can make better decisions about how to play your own hand. In case you knew how the opponent you have either has one type of hand or a different way if you knew he had something else, in which case you would choose to play if you have a strong holding. It is possible to enumerate every possibility along with their relative likelihoods and the expected value (EV) of playing against them in a certain way, and then determine mathematically the betting line that will yield the highest return, if you are given time and the proper tools.

It is important to make a quick decision on how to play your hand in the midst of the heat of the battle; however, you have neither the time nor the tools to do this. Targeting hands that are just a notch or two weaker than yours is generally recommend. When having kings preflop, you’d really like your opponent to have queens or jacks. If you have A-K on an A-9-5 flop, you’d really like your opponent to have A-Q. These are the hands most likely to pay you off.

As much as all the mentioned above may to be seem obvious, most people go wrong in giving their opponents an opportunity to fold these hands. For instance I will not three-bet a player with A-K because I want to make sure that he still has A-Q in his range when we see the flop, if he raises in early position. In the case that he does hold A-Q, the odds of seeing an ace on the flop aren’t that great. That’s the only scenario where I stand to win a big pot, though, so I want to do what I can to make it happen.

In some cases, you may choose to target weaker hands in your opponent’s range rather than those that are just slightly worse than yours. One reason for this would be if your hand is so strong that you’re virtually guaranteed to stack slightly weaker hands no matter what you do.

The above mentioned strategies are just a few, there is more to it. Find more at

A Brief History of Turkish Republic

The Turkish Republic became evident on the map of the world after the disastrous defeat of Ottoman Empire during First World War. The war hero of Ottoman, Mustafa Kemal Pasha organized the army into a great fighting force and fled to Anatolia. He was also known for his contributions regarding the rallies he organized for various nationalist causes. Mustafa Kemal was later known as Ataturk among people. During the year 1923, the nationalist government drove all the armies that invaded the area. Ottoman Empire was defeated and abolished that year. A new republican constitution was promulgated by the nationalist government. Ankara was introduced as the new capital of Turkey.

It was not easy to bring the Ottoman society to the twentieth century. Therefore, this government tried various reforms for changing the mindset. Polygamy was forbidden by the government. They worked a lot for the development of women’s rights. They were granted equal status to that of men, before the law. Women were given the right to vote for the first time. Religion was separated from government. The replacement of Arabic alphabets with Latin alphabets was a major change. European dresses were placed into the picture, while Fez and veil were outlawed by the nationalist government.

Ataturk was tried his level best to establish democratic institution in the country. However, these people were difficult to be taught about democracy, as they had been ruled for six hundred years by an absolute ruler or monarch. Turkey was considered as a one-party state until the death of Ataturk. There was only a single undisputable leader at that point who was leading the country. After the death of Ataturk, the position was taken by General Ismet Inonu, comrade-in-arms. He was also considered among the heroes of the War of Independence. He followed the advice of the founder and preserved the neutrality of Turkey during the Second World War. He knew that this war can end in disaster for his nation, if he chose a side.

Multi-party elections were held between the years 1946 and 1950. Democrat Party managed to cede the power. Adnan Menderes was the leader of the party at that time. He was considered as Peron-style leader. He tried to govern the country according to his rules and wanted everything under his control. The democracy was threatened by his presence. The Turkish army stepped in, because it was tasked by Ataturk to protect the democracy of the country. They put Turkey under martial law. Menderes and other officials were convicted of undermining and threatening the Turkish democracy. Menderes was hanged because of this conviction.

Turkey was affected by the Cyprus crisis. The oil crisis during 1970s was also a great challenge for this country. The country was on the verge of a civil war, during that time due to poor economy. A new constitution was placed by 1983. A number of parties came into ruling after that. In 2007, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the former mayor of Istanbul became the prime minister of the country. Although the AKP leaders are considered as Islamist in their personal life, they are supporting the traditional secular state of Turkey. They are also respecting the concept of separation of religion and state.

Most Common Cultural Habits in Turkey

There are many cultures present in this world. The best way to experience different cultures is by visiting another country. These differences do not seem normal to the people. However, these are differences that are creating a line between different nations. Following are some of the cultural habits that are being practices in Turkey:

  1. Turks are known to be habitual of removing their shoes every time they enter their house. It is not unusual for a Turkish family to have a lot of shoes lying in front of their doorstep. Cleanliness is the biggest reason behind this habit. While walking in the streets you come across different unwanted things that stick to your shoes and Turks do not want to take those things home.
  2. The marriage lasts for just ten minutes. A Turkish bride will always wear western bridal clothes.
  3. In Turkey, every newly-wed couple will receive numerous gold gifts along with money. Almost every relative give gold coins, necklaces, money shines, and bracelets. The bride is supposed to wear all these gifts at the party that is given after the wedding ceremony. Every bride is witnessed to be carrying a small bag for carrying the gift. From this, you can evaluate the number of gifts that are offered to the couple.
  4. The official marriage is always done at the notary in Turkey. The religious people give a religious party after the ceremony. Turkey is one of the secular countries of the world. A man is allowed to wed only a single woman in the notary. However, he can marry at most four women in the religion of Islam. The number of polygamists in Turkey is very few in number. The majority of the people do not approve of such marriages in the country.
  5. A gold coin along with red bow is given to the couple at the birth of their child.
  6. Coffee bars are a major attraction of this country. They are always filled up with men. On the other hand, women are also allowed to meet at their own houses and have discussions on various matters.
  7. Studies have shown that every Turk drinks more than ten glasses of black tea every day. Tea is considered as one of the most popular drinks in Turkey.
  8. The entire country practices one minute of silence on 10th November at 9:05am. It is very interesting to see the most crowded places becoming quiet at once. This silence is observed in the memory of the founder of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal.
  9. Turks are superstitious and do certain things that are not understandable for a common person.
  10. Kissing each other’s cheek is the common way to greet in Turkey. However, religious women are not seen kissing men, while greeting. The same gender kisses each other at the time of meeting.
  11. People in Turkey love to offer something to their guests. They always present the visitor lunch, tea or dinner. Turkey is a country, rich in culture. If you are planning to visit any place, this country is the finest place.

Blackjack: Don’t listen to the Casino Dealer

Of the number of things to keep in mind at the blackjack tables, one of them is never listen to the dealer. Not that you should be such an amateur that you’d be seeking the advice of a casino employee as it may determine whether you win or lose money to said casino, but even if it’s offered unsolicited (it happens), you should turn a blind ear and take care of your own business by yourself.

Many dealers, regardless of how much they smile at you and thank you kindly for your tips, are extremely loyal to the online casinos, and are interested in screwing you out of your money, pushing the limit up to but not including stacking the deck. This often can include misdirection with advice, and to the unsuspecting player, will often lead you down the wrong path. It might not cost you the hand, but it likely will cost you some winnings.

What am I talking about specifically? How about a dealer claiming it’s a good thing for everyone that he has an Ace but not blackjack? How about a dealer who’s telling you to hit a 13 against his five? Or better yet, one that discourages you from splitting Aces against his…anything. I’ve seen and heard it all, and it’s amazing to see how many players who seem to know what their doing abandon their strategy and better judgment to follow what the dealer has to tell them, often leading them straight into a brick wall.

Don’t fall prey to this. Some casinos even have profit-sharing systems with the employees on the floor, so the motive and incentive is there for them.

Also, if you’re at any of the USA online casinos and hear it, try to resist the urge to start an argument with the dealer, it won’t end well for you. Since the “wrong decision screws up my hand” theory has been disproven fairly convincingly, you really have nothing to worry about except some other poor schmo losing his bank account. I recommend you play until you win one more nice-sized hand and intentionally stiff the dealer of any tip. Then gather your chips and get up to leave. If you want, you can slide in a “there’s a reason for that” comment to let everyone else here. I can’t see any harm in that.

Poker: He’s a maniac…maniac.

That’s right, no matter how well you play, how much time you spend trying to surround yourself with friendly, reliable, calm players, you’re going to eventually end up in that one online poker tournament where the maniac gambler shows his face. This guy’s raising so much you have to factor it into you’re pre-bet strategy as an assumption.

So how do you handle this guy? There are many schools of thought, and they all have valid advice to give depending on what your tendencies are as a player.

A maniac player is just another name for a bully, and like a bully in any other situation, they’re looking to expose and abuse your weakness. If you’re playing tight, that’s a perceived weakness and he’ll target you to throw you out of your comfort zone and out of the hand. As a calculated tactic, bullying can actually be quite strategic. However, most of the time the bully gets carried away in the moment, and eventually just becomes “that guy” who raises every hand.

As I was saying, though, the bully will back down at most signs of true strength. Although, a bully is not to be taken lightly. Just because he seems out of control doesn’t mean he is. He might be playing over the top the first hour to see what emotional response he can pull out of you, and he might be trying to read you during a strong return or initial bet on your part. So I would recommend, if you are going to try to butt heads with the poker maniac, that you are either confident in your ability to bluff, or just wait until you have a strong enough hand to back up your wager. The upside to playing a bully is if you have the cards, it’s free money.

It’s easy to put the maniac on nothing when he bets pre-flop, too. If he’s betting at least 75 percent of the time, then statistically speaking he will have nothing more often than not. Don’t play your strategy any different than you normally would when it comes to this, though. Assuming someone who may be difficult to read has nothing is a recipe for disaster. Especially since it’s someone you’re not likely to knock out before the flop, thus giving him at least one big chance to catch a card.

Just accept the bully, that’s the best option, and when the time is right, strike with confidence.

Tips for Improving Your PL Omaha Hi/Lo Game

Omaha Hi/Lo holds about the same popularity as Omaha Hi on Party Poker and it will only be a matter of time before you will want to play this game. It’s one of the only poker games where two players could potentially win the pot due to both a high and low hand being able to win. I’ve gathered some tips for all of you new players who want to try playing Omaha Hi/Lo and we’re going to look at them now.

* Try to play hands where you’ll have the chance to win both the high and low hand. In order to win the low hand you need to have the lowest hand using two of your cards and three from the board. In order for the hand to qualify for the low hand there needs to be three cards 8 and under on the board. If you have a hand such as an A-K-Q-2 then you have the chance to potentially win both hands depending on what hits the flop.

* Don’t chase the low pot because sometimes even if you end up hitting what you need for the low pot you’ll end up splitting it with the winner of the high pot. This means you’d only get 25% of the pot, so if you’re the only other player in the pot betting into it you’d lose 25% of the chips you bet. It’s not always smart to call down the low hand unless you have the nuts and you’re getting the right value.

* Play at Poker Stars with a strategy similar to the push/fold strategy when you’re playing pot limit. If you have a hand then bet the maximum and raise it up when you can and if you don’t then just fold. The only time you should flat call is when you have a nut draw that you’re chasing.

* Don’t get in the habit of calling three raises preflop even if you’re playing on the small limit tables. Often players will have very good hands when the action is being raised and called down so unless you have the nut high hand or nut low hand you should stay out of the action.

* Watch how the other players play their hands and see if you can pick up on any tips from the players who are making money. Often you can learn a lot by analyzing hands you lost or by analyzing hands that go to the showdown with other players on the table. You can also take notes in most online poker rooms about the information you learn when analyzing hands so that you can look back on them later on.

The tips I’ve presented you with above will no doubt help you prepare yourself for playing Omaha Hi/Lo. In order to become a better player though, you’re going to need to put these tips and strategies in use on the tables. Practice will make perfect just like in anything else you try learning so make sure you start playing. You can play for free if you don’t have a bankroll already or you can play low limit games if you have money to fund a bankroll.

Caribbean Stud Poker Tips

Once you have read the rules of Caribbean Poker and you know how to play the game I would advise going through the tips below. The tips I have organized for you today will help you with the basics of the game and are ideally for new players who have just finished reading the rules of the game. If you already know how to play the game then you probably won’t the tips very useful.

* Make sure you read what the minimum bet is before you sit down at the table. Often in casinos you will find that the minimum is $15 ante which means a hand is $45. If you don’t have the bankroll for this type of action then you will need to play in an online casino where you can play for a lot less.

* Since your goal in Caribbean Poker is to beat the dealer’s hand you should make sure you learn what the value of poker hand is. Although it isn’t really that important due to the fact you should call with any pair or better, it’s still worth learning them now. Your second bet is also paid based on your hand value so you can find out how much you’ll win before the dealer looks at your hand if you know the values.

* You’re not supposed to see the other players hand when you’re playing this game, but often it won’t matter. Most dealer’s won’t say anything if you’re glancing at the other player’s hands and it helps you lower the house edge so make sure you do it when you can. The worst thing that can happen is that they will tell you not to do it again.

* Always bet on the progressive jackpot when there is one at the Caribbean Poker game you’re playing. Nothing would be worse then winning the progressive jackpot, but not qualifying for the money because you didn’t put in the $1 bet that hand. It’s very rare to hit the jackpot, but it’s worth a $1 a hand because you never know when your lucky day could roll around.

* When you have A/K at the poker table, it’s often profitable to make the call because the dealer doesn’t have the best odds for qualifying. If the dealer doesn’t qualify then you win the hand no matter what you have. It will be more risky to call without anything, but you can often win $15 due to the dealer not qualify and you getting paid 1:1 on your ante bet.

* The dealer’s up card can be used to help determine the likelihood of whether or not they have a pair. If you or another player has the same card as the dealer’s up card then that lowers the chances of that card being paired up in the dealer’s hand. This is a good hand to bet even if you don’t have anything because the dealer will only have four cards to make a pair and not five.

Blackjack: A sure thing? Be reasonable

I recently was asked a question in general conversation. “What’s a sure thing?” Turns out this guy needed to parlay about a hundred bucks into thousands to pay off some mounting bills.

Let’s all get the laughs out of the way and focus not on the absurdity of the question (obviously, if there were a sure thing, it wouldn’t be called gambling), but the topic that it spawned. That being, what really are the best odds in the casino? What games give you the best chance, statistically, to hold your own against the house.

Blackjack, while it has some of the most favorable odds at the casino, is surely not the game for this guy’s situation. Why? Because it takes money to make money, even in a casino. For game’s like blackjack, the trade-off to decent odds is the need for around half what you think you’re going to win. So if you want to walk out with, say, a $3,000 profit, you’re going to need at least $1,500 to get yourself going. Even seasoned card counters will tell you that.

Now, that’s going to be true of most games, but with craps or roulette, you can man up and put it all in play in one hand if you want. Dropping that roll on the “come” bet in craps isn’t a half bad idea if you’re desperate. If it hits, you’re walking away with your winnings. You can start off on the pass line for a few hundred, and then hope you get reasonably lucky 5 or 6 times in a row. I’d rather take my chances there than betting a color on roulette any day.

Avoid three card poker, though, as the payoff just isn’t worth it. Same with Caribbean Stud. On three-card, the most you’ll see on a payoff is about 40:1, and that’s with a three-card straight, which you’re not likely to see nearly enough to make it even worth your time, not to mention your money. Caribbean Stud is a trap, I won’t say more. If you really need to hit the jackpot, you can just as easily play your local lottery, you don’t need to Caribbean progressive to do that.

The safest option, but one that requires the most time, is to continue to bet on near sure-things of sports matches. The payoffs will be like nickel and dime-ing your way up the ladder, but it’s better odds than any casino game you’ll find across the way.