Wednesday, June 23, 2004

In the Beginning...

Online poker is all the rage these days. Ever since the Travel channel started televising the WSOP everyone wants to play. It seems so simple, watching these guys make their moves. It’s exciting to see the pair of 4’s beat the AA when both players call all in. It is fun to second-guess the great poker players of the world.

I decided to start playing online poker for several reasons.

A. It is fun. The excitement when you call all in is amazing. You never know if your hand is really going to win, and as those cards start appearing, your heart starts racing, the endorphins kick in, it is a real rush!
B. It seems easy. Watching on television, and then playing in free tournaments online it seemed very easy to win. Before I ever picked up a book and tried to figure out how to play, I was winning in free tournaments.
C. You can make money. I am still trying to get to the point where it would be profitable. I will keep everyone posted as to my win/loss state as I progress in the game, but I think you can make decent amounts of money online.

Once I decided to play for some money I picked up a few books on playing. I decided to read Ken Warren Teaches Texas Holdem. I found it to be a decent book on playing. It gives nice simple lists of hands that you should go in on, based on pot odds and position at the table.

I signed up with Empire Poker. It was a little scary giving them a credit card number, but they have some other options you can use. I find the site very easy to use, and the UI is very good. You have to download an Application that installs on your system and handles the gaming. It is all very easy to setup. I use the screen name of SirFWALGMan (Maybe let you know what the hell that stands for later), so if you see me at Empire say hello.

Obviously I though I would jump straight into 1/2, 2/4 dollar tables and start making some money. This was probably a mistake; since I tended to loose money ask quickly as I made it. It is much easier to win a little money, and much safer, by playing in online tournaments. It is very easy to loose a lot of money quickly in table games. So while I am in my learning stage I am sticking to the 5$ and 10$ tourneys. The way these work is you pay the ante plus 1$ fee for the poker site. If you wind up being one of the last 3 players, you win the pot. Each tournament has 10 players, so for a 5$ tourney the take is 25, 15, and 10. The $10 tourney is $50, $30, and $20. I have found that the key to winning these is playing good starting hands, and knowing when to fold.

I will post more of my observations and some of the games I play in future BLOGS. Let me know if any of this is interesting.


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