Poker Road Warrior: January 2007
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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Norman dba "Cardluvr" MTT Tips

One of the best online MTT players that I know was kind enough to ship this sweet guest blog (at my request).

MTT Strategies

The first thing I want to say is---there is no one guaranteed foolproof way to play winning hold'em. There are several things that come into play to be successful, beginning with luck. If you never get any decent cards, eventually you will lose. If you always get great cards and hit all your draws, you can win even if you are a donkey! For the 99% of players who fall somewhere in between, there are some things to remember that will help you win more than your share. It is important to be able to play more than one style, meaning, if you are always aggressive, or always tight, other players will see that and eventually use that against you.

You must be able to change gears. You should come out early in a tournament showing a certain style of play, and then when your opponents think they have you measured, change pace. By the time they figure out what you are doing, you might have won several big pots. You have to be willing to lose a few chips to sell your style. If you want to be seen as a calling station, you have to call to the river with nothing and then fold a few times. Trust me, many players will make note of this, and later when you flop the nuts, they will bet out and build the pot for you, because they think you will fold on the river. I like the trap play, because it is possible to win large pots by trapping. (This probably follows because my biggest weakness is impatience----I can't wait to win all those chips!).

In order to use the trap play successfully, you have to be able to read the style of play of your opponents. It is easier to trap aggressive players, because they bet out more often, with any kind of hand. If you have established yourself as a calling station, when you flop a monster they will do most of the betting for you, and you can raise them out of the pot, or take down a big payoff if they don't believe you.

Tight players are more difficult to trap, but it can be done, using a lot of patience and good reads. It is important to learn (and remember) what tight players' tendencies are. Do they only play with pocket pairs? Will they only enter a pot with an Ace in their hand? If you have a good read on a player, you will know when he hits a flop, and if you hit it too, you can bet out, feeling confident he will call. Don't forget, though-----a tight player is more likely to call an all in when he hits the flop, so don't push unless you have the absolute nuts. Obviously, you aren't going to win every time you try to trap. Don't be afraid to fold a hand if you aren't sure your hand is best. It's better to throw in a winning hand once in a while, than to push with a loser.

In a tournament, if you go all in and lose, your tournament is over. I have read many books on poker, and I try not to pattern myself after any particular player, but rather I try to use a little bit from all of them. People are not all alike, so I believe everyone has to establish their own game that suits them best. I think the important things to remember are being able to vary your style of play, being able to read your opponent's style of play, and to exercise patience! You also have to have confidence in your ability, because if you go into a tournament thinking the other players are better than you, you quite likely will lose.

You won't win every time you play, so don't waste time complaining to yourself (or others) about how unlucky you were. Remember where you made mistakes, or bad reads, and use that knowledge to do better the next time out. See you at the tables!
Take care. Norman

Monday, January 22, 2007

Shark Tour Announcement, Updates

After 4 years and about 800 tourneys I took a much needed break in January, 2007. I entertained a few nice offers to purchase our sites but decided to keep the business and continue onward with a few changes. The Shark Tour is back in February. Post in our forum if you have questions or ideas to improve our Tour!

This is my current plan. It may need tweaking but here goes.

Less Tourneys.
I think we had too many going and its hard on me doing that many, plus blog, forum etc. I'll do a better job in other areas if I host less tourneys and don't have set dates where I have to set one up (ie, every thurs, every sunday, etc.). I can get better adds and prizes with less events also.

Keep the forum up. I'm not going to get disappointed anymore with the players that don't support us there. I'll continue to ask for support and if they come great. I would miss all the great contact (and jokes) from my many friends there if we closed up.

The blog is a great way to communicate tourney problems and upcoming events. But I quickly got tired of talking about myself. It gets old and I really don't think i'm that exciting, i'm not a high limit player and have not traveled much in the last few years so it seems boring talking about my life. Maybe when we move to Vegas I will be able to report on more live tournys which is interesting. Where I live now the structures are horrible and they are mostly allin fests.

So i'm going to work hard to get my VETS to post guest blogs to keep the blog going. I have some nice SWAG stored up and will do poker site CASHISH transfers also for good guest blog posts. I wanna hear about anything interesting. Trips, Poker, Mustang Ranch reports, Norms endless supply of good jokes, your neighbor getting arrested, a BORN street brawl, a final table WIN, basically anything and everything.

Here is a great example of what I want to do with the blog. Death Donkey (fellow 2+2 poster and high limit player) has a blog and several of his friends post on it. So its not all about one guy. I think a blog with several interesting people posting would be much more fun for the readers. And that takes the pressure off me to find something to write about all the time. Maybe I can get a few of you to commit to 1 post a month or something like that. I bet I could get 2 a month outta the jippster. Guys with web sites (Gumbee, Headwaiter, etc) can promote their dealo's when they post also so maybe I can help you out a lil also. If you have a home biz or something to promote go for it on my blog when you make a good post. Lets all network and help fellow shark members.

Check out this bloggage for an example:

I would love comments, ideas and requests in our forum! If you can help out with more forum posts, write a blog or would be willing to help out by encouraging more forum posters or buyin players you will help our TOUR survive and we will get stronger. If you are a sharkette (lady shark playa) we need you to tell your friends and help promote the ladies freeroll to make it work. Posting in the Ladies Threads in the forum also is a big help. If I can see improvement and interest in special events (ladies, Omaha, etc) then the sites will let us continue.

Okay, thats enough for now. I'll get a few good tourneys up next month. Short handed, Omaha, Ladies event and some freerolls.

Fire some questions at me or make suggestions NOW! There are NO bad ideas.....Whats on your mind donkey boy/girl?

Your once feared short handed, limit leader (in training now, NL donk),


NOTE: I'm looking into setting up a fundraiser Tournament for 2 of my good friends (Guy and Joanne, Sempaii Jo and PokerPadre). Jo has been very sick and they need our help. Ideas for this February event in the forum please. If we could raise a thousand or 2 it would be a huge help to a great couple.