Lucky Straights

The ramblings and mumblings of a wannabe poker pro

Online Poker Tournament Tips

Ever since Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2003, many people have jumped in the game of poker hoping to emulate his success. After all, Chris was just an amateur who made it to the WSOP through an online poker tournament and others think they can do the same.

One great one to remember is that anyone can enter an online tourney so be wary of the out-of-control players. These are the people who have no regards for poker tournament tips and think they have a shot to win every hand no matter what worthless cards they hold. A good thing to do is to only play hands you know will be winners to experience success in the beginning so these crazy players can be avoided.

Once you play online poker and make it past the early stages of a tournament, you can start to utilize your online poker tournament tips and open up your play a little bit. Most of the people who are in the middle stages of the tourney have a solid knowledge of what’s going on and play reasonably well.

In order to attain success at this part of the tourney, you will need to use all of the tips that you have learned to make it towards the final table. However, be careful before the final table as play will tighten up tremendously.

People at this stage are hoping to be one of the few to make the final table and would rather let other players bust than take chances. Using your online poker tournament tips, this would be a good spot to get some free chips from people by betting out.

June 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Moving Day

This will be the last post I’ll be writing here at, all future blog posts will be at the new site location :

Thanks for stopping by xxx

February 13, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Daily Grind

I’ve come up with a rough outline of a schedule I’ll like to base my play around, for when I clear my bonus. I’ve never had a schedule for my play before, so I’ll appreciate it if anyone could give me some feedback on it please?

I’ve started the day off with the heads-up matches, as they are relatively simple at these levels, and are a quick way to get me settled back into the game. I’ll then sit in a regular tournament, either 9 or 18 handed, to ease me into the longer sessions coming up, I’ll follow this with a 30 minute break.

I will then sit in my first NL cash game sessions, multi-tabling between 2 and 4 1c/2c tables, and I’ll finish the session when I have completed 200 hands, unless a specific situation dictates I should stay longer.

After a break I will then sit in a single 1c/2c table, for another 200 hands, and after another short break I will follow this up with one more. To finish the day I will throw in another 9 or 18 person sit-n-go, or occasionally do a freeroll or larger tournament instead.

I have no ideas on times, as I can find myself starting the day at any time and ending it at any time, but I do want to put some structure into my daily poker play to ensure I’m playing enough to try and earn some money and advance my play. I don’t have any funds on another account yet, so all of the games will be played on Poker Stars.

Here’s the outline :

# $2 Heads-Up sit-n-go
>>> if lost, or if on tilt, take a quick 5 minute break

# $2 Heads-Up sit-n-go
>>> 10 minute break

# 9 or 18 handed, $1 sit-n-go
>>> 30 minute break

# 1/2c NL cash game session 1, multi-tabling 2 – 4 tables, up to 200 hands per table
>>> break

# 1/2c NL cash game session 2, up to 200 hands, single table
>>> break

# 1/2c NL cash game session 3, up to 200 hands, single table
>>> break

# 9 or 18 handed, $1 sit-n-go
>>> or a scheduled tournament or freeroll

February 2, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment


After watching Mike Matusow among other pros on Full Tilt last night playing Pot Limit Omaha cash games, I decided I’ll finally sit in a play money game and get a feel for it myself. Its been a game I’ve wanted to learn to play for ages, just never gotten around to it, until now.

The only table available was a 25/50, I would have preferred something lower, but even with only 4k in play money, I regular sit in the 1k/2k limit razz games, and didn’t expect this to be any different and at first it wasn’t. Only played a few hands and quickly doubled up, then it all went pair shaped and I was quickly felted. I would start of with solid drawing hands or strong hands, such [7s 8s 9hTc] or [AAKJ], but would either end up with little more then a weak pair with my draws or have my premium pairs beat, by a strange two pair or straight, which I suppose is understandable giving the wide range of possible holdings in the game.

The really frustrating thing was, I just couldn’t get a fold, the guy on my immediate left would call almost any bet, with almost any hand it seemed, are more often then not come up smelling of roses, I was obviously missing something (besides the board, lol) so I’m going to try and learn some basic hand selection criteria for the game and see how I do with that.

A quick search on Google found this article which may be of use :

Yep, a quick skim read was enough to win back all of my play money roll, plus a nice bonus within 5 minutes or so, on a much lower limit game.

January 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


The hand says it all :

Here’s my HPT post on the hand :,14008.0.html

January 28, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Notes Mean Profit in Cash Games

I’ve just sat in a 1c/2c NL game for awhile, and am totally amazed at how beneficial careful observation of your opponents and quality notes can be. I’m not new to note taking obviously, I used to do it in play money sit-n-go’s, but here in the cash games, if you carefully watch your opponents and take notes on there actions, they practically tell you what they have.

This is far more profitable here, then in the sit-n-go’s and I’m ashamed I’ve never paid much attention in previous cash sessions. Its totally changed my perspective on the profitability of these full ring 1c/2c tables for me. Previously I wouldn’t bother with them unless I found a table full of maniacs with plenty of cash, so I could wait out for a good spot and double up, now though, I think I should be able to make less stressful cash bit by bit.

Here’s a few hands :

The first hand I take beyond the flop is 97s, a trashy hand I would never play in a sit-n-go, well usually never :p . Here though the table felt right to try and hit a nicely hidden straight and take down a big pot. I’ve missed on the flop, and have to restrain myself from making a play straight away when they both check to me. The turns another story though, as it gives me both an inside straight and a flush draw, so I lead out. Miss both draws, but with the board pairing I try and buy the pot, and lead out again. After much thought I get called down by A high, AK.

So I lost the pot, but gained a valuable piece of information, this guy didn’t like to drop a hand, and even more important he will call the BB pre-flop with AK, and not make a continuation bet if he missed.

Around 12 hands later I picked up KK, and open with a raise from MP. I get one caller. I’ve seen this guy pick up lots of pots, by making a 10c bet on nearly every flop he’s involved with, here though he checks it to me, so I over bet the pot trying to sell a bluff, and he calls.

The 9’s a safe card for me here, but its a nice card to check back on to make it look like I was bluffing on the flop. With the T on the river, I grit my teeth, hoping I didn’t let him make a straight, and re-raise him just enough that he might call if he had something else.

Here, I find KQ and see a free flop from the BB. I miss the flop, but against these guys I know I can’t represent anything, so I check. The turn makes my hand, giving me a pair of queens, but brings the threat of a diamond flush. A player I’ve been watching closely leads out for the minimum, and now I know he’s got the Q, I could easily raise here, but with 3 cards to a flush, and my bluffing image, decide its better to see the river first, as the guy in MP would likely call if he had a diamond draw.

On the river, I dodge the flush, and the weak player opens for the minimum again, I quickly re-raise him and he calls, showing Q8. Only issue here was should I have raised more on the river?

Sorry, I don’t think I did a very good job of illustrating my point, but its nearly 7am, I’m tired, and get bored quickly trying to find hands I wasn’t involved in lol

January 27, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seeking Suggestions for Online Poker Goals?

Despite playing for several months now, I haven’t managed to come up with any goals to aim for, besides some rather vauge ones about improving my win rate, cash rate and moving up, etc. Goal setting isn’t a strong point of mine, in fact I’m pretty rubbish at it. However, I’m sure having some set goals written down will help me progress, so with that in mind, I would like to ask my dear readers if they can come up with some suggestions for me to use as my Online Poker Goals

Here’s a bit of background, which might help you, to help me :

1. I currently play $1 regular no-limit hold’em sit-n-go’s on Poker Stars

2. I also occassionaly play 1c/2c no-limit  hold’em sit-n-go’s on Poker Stars

3. I am interested in playing the 3c/6c 6-max no-limit cash games on Sun  Poker, but don’t have the funds to deposit there yet.

Thanks xxx

January 25, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 6 Comments

Online Poker Rooms

As I’m still yet unable to get back to some regular games, I thought I’ll take the time to write about my favorite online poker rooms.

Full Tilt Poker

The first poker room where I deposited was Full Tilt Poker, where I deposited $50. That first $50 lasted me around two or three days. I began playing 0.25/0.50 limit cash games, and with no knowledge of bankroll management I was unaware that I was out of my depth even if I possessed the necessary skills to beat these games, which I clearly did not have.

Full Tilt left an impression with me though so I kept playing on the play money limit and PL cash tables until I learned what I was doing and could afford a re-deposit. It was only when I discovered bankroll management that I realized I couldn’t afford to play at FTP for awhile and reluctantly looked to find a new poker room.

The main thing I like about FTP is the look and feel of the tables (with the racetrack theme), and the lobby interface. The lobby is very easy to navigate, with convenient tabs taking you to your preferred game and variety. The cashier button is another nice addition too and saves going though a drop down menu to add funds or check the status of your bonus. I even like how the adverts and promotions and organized at the top of the lobby window, generally out of the way, but just noticeable enough that anything your interested in catches your eye.

Another clever thing I like about the lobby is the simple key of tournaments symbols, giving you a simple description of what each symbol represents. This is so simple yet is lacking in many poker rooms I’ve visited, where I simply don’t know what all there symbols mean.

There are a few things that I dislike about Full Tilt however. The first is that the lobby doesn’t have handy buttons to limit the viewable Sit-N-Go’s and tournaments into different stake categories, such as micro, low, medium, high, etc, although you can fine tune this, by clicking the small edit tab and entering a minimum and maximum buy-in. Another small dislike I did have with Full Tilt was that the freeroll and “point” tournaments where mixed in with all regular tournaments, but this has now been changed.

My biggest issue with Full Tilt however, is to do with the way in which player notes are entered. You basically have to open a new dialog box for each opponent you wish to make notes on, which isn’t a terribly bad thing, I just prefer to have one dialog box tucked in the corner for notes and chat, like Poker Stars.

Overall I think Full Tilt Poker is an excellent poker room and despite not playing real money games there for awhile it has remained one of my favorites. If I had to give it a rating I would give it an 8.6/10, if they offered the note taking method I prefer it would get an unequivocal 10/10.

Poker Stars

Poker Stars was recommended to my be a member of the Home Poker Tourney forums, as it offered the smaller stakes cash games that would suit my bankroll better. As with Full Tilt I deposited $50 and have been playing most days since.

Initially I wasn’t keen on the look and feel of the tables on Poker Stars and I even began to look elsewhere, thankfully however, I found the Hyper Simple theme and I was able to settle in, eventually coming to prefer Poker Stars over Full Tilt.

I’ll start of with what I like about Poker Stars. Firstly the lobby is very easy to navigate and as a simple look and feel, which I prefer, as with FTP I like cashier button, and the game clock. I really appreciate the “stakes” buttons within the tournament and sit-n-go tabs where you can quickly narrow down the available list of tournaments to fit your individual bankroll, which saves struggling to find a suitable buy-in game hidden by hordes or lower or higher stake games.

The instant hand history took some getting used to, but I now prefer it over the graphical system used on Full Tilt, as you can copy and paste the data from a hand, whilst in a game and have it ready to upload to a hand converter, such as

The biggest attraction with Poker Stars fro me though is the way the interface manages player notes, it doesn’t sound like a big thing, but I make notes on every player I sit down with, so its a key thing to get right for me to feel at home.

I can’t fault Poker Stars and would give it 10/10

Sun Poker

The latest poker room for me to visit is Sun Poker, and its already earned the number 3 spot without me even playing there yet.

How?, you ask, well firstly the nice people at support gave me $5 when I signed up, always a nice bonus, but even more importantly the use the same player notes interface that Poker Stars do, told you this was a biggy didn’t I lol, the lobby is also familiar being very similar to both PS and FTP, so its naturally easy to navigate.

Now to a few things that separate Sun Poker from FTP and PS. Firstly you have to use the menu to login, as there is no automatic login window as with FTP or no convenient login button like PS, you have the option to have your loging details remembered, but you still have to login via the menu.

The Sun Poker lobby to me is a kind of blend between the FTP and Poker Stars lobby’s, I think its harder to find a game from the available list for each game type, as they are so many different buy-in’s and varieties returned, but the lobby makes it very easy to find other games such as 7 Card Stud or Omaha which have there own tab within the main lobby window. Another interesting thing with Sun Poker is that you can find games listed in both £ and $ from the same account by default.

So far, I would rate it at 9.4/10.

January 15, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 5 Comments

Sun Poker

Haven’t played a single game today, been in too much pain with my eye, each time I considered playing the pain would peak and I couldn’t concentrate on making a cup of tea let alone sitting still for an hour in a poker game.

I did manage to get one thing done though, I found a new poker site where I can get a rake back deal. This has been bugging me for a while now. My two main sites have always been FTP where I neglected a rake back deal (how I regret it now!) and PS which don’t support rake back deals yet, and I’ve been itching to find a new site where I could benefit from one of these deals, trouble is that was getting hard.

I first tried to sign up with UB via a rake back deal from Poker Source Online, but PSO require a minimum $100 deposit before I can complete the registration, which is out of my reach at the moment, and that’s a lot to deposit on a site I’ve never used before. Most of the other sites I would try with a rake back deal, I already have an account with  them, so that was a no go either.

Finally however I found Sun Poker, and actually managed to find a rake back deal that didn’t require me to deposit $100 too. I haven’t managed to play there yet, as I’ve been in too much pain, but I did take a look around the software and watched a Sit-N-Go for a while and I think I’ll enjoy my time there, the software is very similar to that used by Poker Stars which I am used to, and they use the same system for player notes / chat that PS do which is my preferred method.

More good news came when the nice people at support gave me $5 for free, I’m not sure whether this is a standard thing, or because I replied to an e-mail letting them know how I found there site and why I like it and such, either way I’m very pleased 🙂

January 15, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments