by Lee Davy
Does that sound about right?
Well have you ever heard of online poker? We present you with nine online poker strategy tips from nine different people who had the same question swimming around in their head and found the solution to their troubles on their computer, tablet and mobile phone.
If you want to become great at anything then there needs to be the right blend of dedication, motivation, skill, willingness to learn from your mistakes and sheer volume.
Sam Grafton believes volume is one of the most important concepts any new online poker player should grasp if they want to earn a decent wedge at the table.
“Volume is the key. If you look at all the best players: Phil Galfond, Chris Moorman, Chris Brammer – there was at least one point in their careers where they put in huge volume. Sadly there’s no substitute for hard work.” – Sam Grafton
2. Time Management
If you have ever played Football Manager, Tomb Raider or Resident Evil you will understand the power the video game has over your senses. Normal sensible people are dissolved into agoraphobic crazies as the game consumes their lives for months on end.
Surprisingly, this type of behaviour doesn’t necessarily bode well with those ‘other people’ who are crucial to your life – a point that Paul Zimbler believes is important to note if you want to make online poker an important part of your life.
“You need to play within your means and manage the time you spend playing wisely. It’s all about finding that right blend of work, rest and play.” – Paul Zimbler.
Have you ever heard of the phrase ‘familiarity breeds contempt?’
Well in online poker that phrase has been changed to ‘familiarity breeds cracking online poker players.’
I’m not talking about learning the game in a generic kind of way. Instead, I am talking about moving online poker into your life in a routine sort of way. Turn everyday into a ritual. Tell your brain to expect the expected and slowly but surely you will get into that pokercadian rhythm.
Super High Roller star Philipp Gruissem concurs.
“You need to prepare properly and get into a routine. It doesn’t matter if that routine means eating, sleeping, getting errands done, showering, turning your technological distractions off… whatever you need to get into gear and focus. I always make a bulletproof coffee mix for example.” – Philipp Gruissem.
4. Start Small
Always remember that the giant Oak that pulled the kids out of the window and ate them in Poltergeist started life as a tiny, innocent looking acorn.
Great achievements take time, something that John Eames knows only too well.
“If you are just starting out in the online poker world then play for tinier amounts than you might want to. The little monster in your head will be telling you to play higher, but if you do you will probably lose too much too quickly and give up. So if you deposit $20, don’t immediately play for $20, play for $2 or something similar, and give yourself a chance to gain experience,” – John Eames.
5. The Right Equipment
Everyone knows the importance of making sure your equipment is in good working order, but do you have the right equipment to start out with?
When you start out in the online poker world you probably have no idea that there are technological ways to improve your game. Something that Bodo Sbrzesny thinks is an important point to understand.
“Make sure that you experiment with your equipment until you find something you are comfortable with. Take your screen view for example. I play with a black table background layout and coloured cards for maximum overview. The card backside is bright and this helps me understand how many players are in the hand. I hide all other unimportant stuff like avatars which takes my focus away from the hand.” – Bodo Sbrzesny.
6. Never Play Tired
You will know within yourself that the best levels of performance you have delivered in any area of your life have come when you have been full of energy. It’s admirable to stay awake for 48-hrs at a stretch but not very advisable as Richard Trigg explains.
“You should never play when you are tired and I have learned this the hard way. I find when I am tired I start telling myself off and going on tilt. I also find that at the extreme I start to not care if I win or lose just because I want to go to bed. So stay sharp, prepare and make sure you are full of energy and focused when you play. “ – Richard Trigg.
7. The Right Mindset
The greatest thing about online poker is you can play it whenever you want, but this doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to use it as a vehicle to blow off some steam after arguing with the dragon.
I will let Mathew Frankland explain…
“You should only play when you’re in a good frame of mind. You should never force yourself to play, and if you get this feeling then switch off and do something else. It’s so difficult to make decent folds when you are slouched down in your chair wishing you were on a desert island somewhere.” – Mathew Frankland.
The online poker-sphere can be an intimidating place for someone who is new to the game. There are so many bells, whistles, lights and colours that you could be forgiven you are at a fairground.
Take a deep breath and relax…
“The first time you play poker online can be intimidating. There are so many buttons to press and more exciting noises than a Vegas Casino! Just relax. Don’t try to play every pot, or bluff every hand. Patience is a virtue, the longer you’re initial deposit lasts you; the more experience you will get. The more experience you get; the higher your win rate. This comes ‘full circle’ enabling you to play more with your money, and hopefully win a bunch of Wonga!” – James Sudworth.
9. Pay Attention
Technology has become such an ingrained part of our life that your good lady can be forgiven for tweeting whilst you are on the nest.
It’s become a part of life to wake up and check your e-mail before kissing those that matter to you.
This can be a disaster for an online poker player as Matt Ashton explains.
“Pay attention. Every bit of information you can take in is very valuable for the learning process. Watching every bet and thinking why each person is doing what they’re doing is great for considering how to play your own hands in future and for getting reads for the present. I think too many players fail to use their downtime between hands to continue learning from others.” – Matt Ashton.