By Sebastian Pilaf, Sep 9 2017 02:34PM

Recently we received an email with an interesting issue, see below a piece of that email:

"I have problems with aggressive bets in cash games, and would like advice on how I should handle this. It seems that in the cash games I play every 2 or 3 hands someone is thinking he should raise for the flop a minimum of 5 times the big blind. Usually there are 3 or 4 of this type of players at the table. OK, sometimes they have a top hand, but usually it is just sad. You wont find out what cards they’re holding unless you call. Even a raise of 5 times the big blind is enough for me to fold everything except premium pairs. I've lost many pots because of this aggressive behaviour, at my table.”

This is obviously an interesting situation in times when aggressive play is popular and can definitely be frustrating for a tight player. Even if you want these players at your table, it doesn’t feel good when they push you of a hand several times. Therefore, we would recommend two defensive tactics against aggressive players, starting with: keep a good starting hand selection.

If you see these maniacs take down the pot with weak hands, you might be inclined to get to their level. Although small pocket pairs and suited connectors are good to play against this type of players you'll probably never get the right pot odds to continue playing and you will have to fold before or on the flop because they still keep on going. A better option is:

1) Fight back before the flop. Over-aggressive players prefer to control the pot and do not like to be re-raised or lose control. You know it is impossible to have aces or kings in each hand, although the player wants you to believe it. So re-raise once with a more than average hand and chances are that he does not have much either.

This type of player does not want to fight but wants to maintain control and calmly collect small pots within his reach. Aggressive players often have a good sense of weakness and profit of this knowledge. Don’t wait for the flop, but settle it before that.

2) Trick aggressive players with strong hands. Slow playing against loose players can be very lucrative. For example, the maniac raises from early position, you have Aces in which case you would just have to call. Even if you think you have the best hand after the flop, you can still call and have him build up a nice pot for you.

Sure, there is a risk that he hit something on a draw. Keep your eyes on the board and if you think it is too dangerous then you just raise nicely. In the other case simply use his aggressiveness. An advanced player would be smart and not bother you anymore.

By Sebastian Pilaf, Aug 24 2017 11:40PM

For the successful organization of a home poker game a few things are of interest. First, the host / hostess must know the poker rules, and especially the tournament rules. People will expect that and you’re the one to maintain order.

(Click here if you want information about organising an online poker tournament.)

Below we mention some things you should think of:

Poker Chips

The quantity of poker chips you need depends on the number of players. A set of 500 chips is enough for 8-18 players.

Playing Cards

Two decks of plastic playing cards per table is ideal. Plastic cards will last longer. The player left of the dealer button shuffles the unused cards, so that the next round could begin quickly.

Dealer Button

Almost every pokercase contains a dealer button. If you don’t have a dealer button, then a beautiful card protector from Love2Poker will do just as well. It is easy for all players to see who the dealer is, without having to ask.


An alarm clock or mobile phone can be used as a timer, this makes it clear to everybody when a blind levels has passed and the next one begins.


A real pokertable is the best option for playing poker obviously, but if you do not have it at your disposal a smooth table with a cloth is sufficient too. You can use every table you like, but it is important that the cards do not stick to the surface.


This is a plastic card that is placed under the deck while dealing. This card prevents showing the lower card of the deck during the dealing.

Re-buy or not?

You should also think about the type of tournament you would like to organize. Can participants re-buy or not? And if so, for how long? Usually, for example, for the first half hour to an hour, re-buys should be allowed. You can also consider allowing only one re-buy per person during the first hour. At the end of this first hour, anyone can still buy an add-on. So everyone buys at the start of the tournament, for example, 1500 points in chips for € 10. During the first hour, everyone with less than half of its points (or without anything left) can get again 1500 points in chips for € 10. At the end of the hour, everyone, regardless of the number of points that he or she has left, has the ability to buy chips again for € 10.

You can also choose not to allow re-buys. Anyone who is out of the game, is out of it for good. Some people prefer to play without re-buy, because then they know exactly how much they spend on an evening. Also they are more able to assess how they should play. When you allow re-buy, then also the looser, more aggressive players get a second chance. So actually, you’re playing against more players, which on the other hand means a bigger prize pot.

What should be the buy in?

This depends, of course, on the amount of money that is played with and how serious the game is. An buy-in of € 10 is usually an affordable, but enjoyable amount to start with. Games with a small buy-in often have a friendlier atmosphere, without it having influence on the quality of the game. On the other hand, games for small amounts can also lead to reckless behaviour...

If all of the players are rookies, then you can consider playing for less than € 10. For example, beginning with a buy-in of $ 5, until everyone is more familiar with the game.

With how many chips do you start the game?

You also have to think of the number of chips to start with. For example a quantity of 1500 points, consisting of 1x500, 2x200, 4x100 and 8x25 chips. In a tournament without re-buys is usually you should go for a slightly higher number of points to start with. This is called deepstack, consisting of 3 x 1000, 2x500, 2x200, 4x100, 8x25. It is wise to keep these numbers consequent in any tournament, so returning players do not have to get used to another start quantity and points of the chips.

What about the blind levels?

The blind levels are very important in the tournament. You can divide the levels according to the amount of time you have available and using your own preference for how long you want the tournament to last. In any case, the levels go up gradually, in a predictable way. For example:










For instance, you can choose to raise the blinds every 30 minutes. After the first half hour you take a break and then the blinds go up every 20 minutes. However, it is also possible to raise the blinds every 20 minutes from the start, and later on every 15 minutes. In a tournament without re-buy you can keep the same time interval all night, because the quantity of chips in the game doesn’t change.

How is the prize money distributed?

When you play with 9 people you can, for example, pay the first 3 winners. In this case is a good breakdown:

1st 50%

2nd 30%

3rd 20%

The more players, the more people should get paid, but as the host of the tournament you determine the structure.

Hopefully this information was useful to you. Good luck with the organization of your own homegame!

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By Sebastian Pilaf, Aug 17 2017 10:16PM

After our first post on this domain, that people really loved we considerate to share with you a few tips about MTT. People today are crazy about playing big no limit hold'em tournaments. That’s why there are a lot of players in these tournaments, especially in freerolls or tournaments with a low buy-in. Many poker sites host a big tournament with a guaranteed pot, often around $ 100,000. But this attracts hundreds, if not thousands of players. Even the WSOP had this year had more than 6000 players, even with a buy-in of $ 10,000. The point is, these tournaments are huge, and you'll have to adapt your game to survive to the final table.

MTT Tip 1

If you do not have the winning hand, then stay out of the pots in the beginning. You’ll see that many players feel that they should quickly double to win. They usually do not have a strong hand, but what if they do in the hand you want to challenge them? And what if their 89 suited crack your AQ? Therefore we suggest to only put your chips in the middle with a really strong hand like AA or KK (at least for the first 3 blind levels). The blinds are still not high, so why would you take the risk? If you like playing against maniacs, go ahead, but don't come crying when he pairs his deuce on the river.

It is also true that in these tournaments the number of players decreases rapidly. Often you have already survived half the players without doing anything.

MTT Tip 2

Do not get obsessed with the payouts. It affects your game, because you´re continuously distracted by the number of players left. What does it matter whether you are 50 seats away from the money? You should always play your best game, regardless of the number of players. If you’re out of the game with a good hand, which you've played well, you have nothing to blame yourself for. You've done your best and that's all you can do.

One thing goes for all the major tournaments: that's bubble time. Everyone is playing tight and is just trying to steal the blinds. If you can afford to lose the buy-in, then this is the time to win the big money. Everyone is afraid to bubble, so use that uncertainty. Take a reasonable hand and just raise. Usually you will notice the increasing ease to gain these blinds. When someone is calling or raising you, then watch out again.

MTT Tip 3

Always pay attention. It is very tempting to do other things during the your pokergame, like watching tv or browse the internet. Being moved to another table makes it even more difficult. But go through the trouble of getting to know your opponents once again. Divide them into the obvious categories, whether they steal, raise or fold easily. This can really help you if you need to make difficult decisions. Try to keep only one screen open and really concentrate.

So don´t do strange things in the beginning, never mind the number of other players and stay focused. These tips are simple but useful.If you want another source of tips for MTT you can check this article . Good luck!

By guest, Aug 4 2017 12:34AM

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