Final Table Poker Etiquette

Final Table Poker Etiquette

Final Table Poker Etiquette

The majority of us are versed in general poker etiquette for general tournament play and for cash games, but what about the final table? There are some of you that may have never made a live poker final table or maybe you did but didn’t really last long enough to worry about general etiquette.

Are you a poker player that is uncertain on the general poker etiquette of a final table? Today we give you a few final table Do’s and Don’ts that will help you look like a seasoned pro even if you’ve never made a live final table in your life.

Do – Make Yourself Available to the Media

If you make the final table of an event at most any poker series, chances are that you will be asked to do a brief interview or fill out a questionnaire. Sometimes it will be poker media and sometimes it will be the media person for the casino.

Even if the event is small potatoes, give some time to the media folks willing to give the event coverage. This helps get your name out to the poker world and is something you can show your buddies and family after the game.

Do – Show Your Other Players Respect – Or at Least Civility

When you make the final table, don’t thumb your nose or overly berate the other players at the table. They went through the same field as you to get to this point and you cannot overly discount their play.

Even if you don’t respect the person or their game, at least act civil to them at the table. Acting like a jerk only ruins your image and can even force players to step up their game and target you during play.

Do – Consider Deals that Are Reasonable

There are some players that just won’t consider a deal because of their ego or they believe they can outplay the other players. Depending on the structure of the tournament and the prize pool, there are times where it is a good idea to take a deal.

For example, I was at a HORSE final table in 2008 and the structure was such that the chip leader with five players left only had 10 big bets. The rest of were riding relative short stacks.

When the deal was proposed, I was third in chips but the deal would have given me better than 2nd place money. The only way I would improve my position was to win outright and with the structure, I could have just as well finished 5th as won. We took the deal.

If a deal is reasonable considering the circumstances, consider it. Don’t let ego convince you to forego a guaranteed payout.

Don’t – Overly Hollywood or Slow the Pace of Play

Even at final tables that aren’t televised, some players like to slow down the pace of play or take more time than necessary to make decision. These same players reacted much faster prior to the final table but for whatever reason, they feel they need to Hollywood the majority of their hands.

Don’t be this guy. Act in a reasonable amount of time for most situations. If a situation requires more time, then take your time. Your opponents will know when the spot requires some extra tanking and which are easy spots.


Don’t – Constantly Ask for Chop

Something that’s just as bad as a player that won’t take a deal is someone that is looking to make a deal as soon as the final table hits and lobbies to look at the numbers at every opportunity.

There’s no problem with suggesting a chop at any point of the final table. However, if there is resistance or the numbers just don’t work, let it go until a better spot arises.

Don’t – Collude With Other Players

While blatant collusion during a hand is against the rules, there are times where you can tell that a pair or multiple players are working together to either get to the top payout spots.

Collusion in a poker tournament is against the rules and if you choose to do so, you risk being disqualified. The reason that you will sometimes see this in small tournament final tables is that some players feel that it isn’t really collusion if they aren’t openly doing something during a hand to change the outcome.

However, if you’re soft playing a buddy in any way to improve either of your positions, you are cheating. Don’t do it.


Big poker weekend winners

Cafrino Poker – Big Weekend Winners

Congrats to our big weekend winners at Cafrino Poker!!

We had a great weekend at Cafrino Poker. Were you a part of it? Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for more chances to win a Level 10 invite!

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Good luck at the tables!

Are you ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables and get all the practice you need before making the transition to legal online poker sites. Click here to check it out.
Online Poker - Sandwich Effect

Online Poker Basics: The Sandwich Effect

Online Poker Basics: The Sandwich Effect

It’s true that, centuries ago, the Earl of Sandwich (a British noble) loved to play cards so much that he developed the idea of bread around meat and other toppings so that he would never have to leave the table in order to eat meals. However, the “sandwich effect” doesn’t have anything to do with pastrami and rye. Instead, it has to do with the hand you should have if you plan on staying in a pot. So regardless that you love playing online poker, or you simply enjoy a friendly hand at the free poker tables, there’s always a chance to learn new tricks and get yourself informed.  So let’s talk a little about the Sandwich effect and how can you use this theory to start winning at the real cash poker tables.

How does it work?

Let’s start with an idea known as the “gap concept.” According to this concept, a player must have a better hand if he plans to take on someone who has opened or raised betting on the hand than he would if he were the one opening the betting himself. This is based on the notion that players try to stave off confrontations with opponents who have already shown signs of strength, and that calling only allows one path to victory (having the top hand). However, if you get to open, doing so can lead to victory because some opponents may fold just because someone else folded.

So where does the sandwich come in?

This kind of takes the other perspective from the gap effect, the “sandwich effect” indicates that you need a stronger hand if you want to stay in a pot if there are still more opponents who have yet to play. You don’t know how many of your opponents will play in the pot, and you don’t even know if a re-raise will be necessary, which means that you can’t calculate effective pot odds. So the stronger your hand, the less likely you are to fall prey to the sandwich effect.

One situation in which this comes into play is called the “squeeze play.” This happens when one or more players call their raise pre-flop. In that instance, an online poker player can re-raise while bluffing in what is known as a squeeze play. The first raiser must have a primo hand to stay on when some of the other players have shown that they may have something strong.

Understanding how much stronger your hand needs to be is really a function of understanding the style of play of your opponents. The more hands you play, the more savvy you will be when it comes to deciding when this effect comes into play for you. Picking up on such things as your opponents’ tells and making educated guesses so that you can read the hands of your opponents are crucial steps toward helping you play a more sophisticated game. So try to remember that the next time you play a friendly hand or a online poker tournament.

Are you ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables and get all the practice you need before making the transition to legal online poker sites. Click here to check it out.

Big poker weekend winners

April 8-10 2016 Big Weekend Poker Winners

Congrats to our big weekend poker winners!!

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Good luck at the tables!

Online Poker continuation bet

Poker 101: Continuation Bets Explained

Online Poker – The Continuation Bet

The “continuation bet” in online poker, also known as the cbet, is getting more and more popular among no limit Texas Hold’em players. Because the move is so easy to use – and works so often – players who are new to the game can pick it up and start incorporating it immediately into their strategy. If you’re watching a Hold’em session, no matter what the level, you’ll see continuation bets go down. If you’re playing, you need to know how to incorporate it into your poker game.

What is a continuation bet? If you were the raiser pre-flop, a continuation bet is that bet that you made on the flop, even if your hand did not get better with the flop. So if you made a pre-flop raise while holding the Ace of Spades and the King of Diamonds, but the flop gave you the 2 of Diamonds, the 5 of Clubs and the 10 of Hearts, you can still boost your chances of carrying home the pot by betting, even though you still don’t even have a pair.

Why does this work? The majority of the time, your opponents won’t get a pair out of the flop either. So if your opponent folded every time you put down a continuation bet and he didn’t make a pair with the flop, you will win more pots on the flop that you would if you just checked. This is the basic idea behind the bet, but there are some other factors to think of as well.

The right size of a continuation bet is between 2/3 and 3/4 of the current size of the pot. It is also important to get a read on your opponents before committing to that size, though.

So if the pot is $12, you should bet $8 to make a decent continuation bet. If you don’t bet enough, your opponents are likely to call because they have favorable pot odds if their hand is any good or if they are on a draw. When you make a continuation bet in online poker, you want to make it seem like you have a plus hand, such as a top pair or even better. The purpose of this is to intimidate the opposition from betting. Going between $8 and $9 in this situation is the right choice. If you bet even more, you’re risking more money that you need to, when all you need is $8 to influence your opponents the right way.

You also need to consider the ability of your opponents when you are considering making a continuation bet. When you’re playing in a real money online poker table and you’re dealing with lower level opponents, you’ll notice that opponents will call no matter what kind of hand they have. The fact that they have not learned the benefit of folding means that your profit from continuation bets can actually suffer because you can’t frighten away those iffy hands that your opponents hold. Also, a continuation bet becomes less effective against opponents with more experience because they are also likely to know how continuation bets work and may call you knowing that your hand is likely to be fairly poor. So if you are playing against top-flight opponents, use the continuation bet infrequently.

Also, you’re more likely to succeed if you’re just playing one opponent instead of multiple opponents because the more opponents you have, the more likely it is that one has connected on the flop. It also helps if you are the last to act, so you can see your opponents’ decisions and know where your own continuation bet will succeed.

Are you ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables and get all the practice you need before making the transition to legal online poker sites. Click here to check it out.

Multi level thinking in poker

Multiple Level Thinking: Levels Of Thought In Poker

Multiple Level Thinking: Levels Of Thought In Poker

Anyone who’s involved in poker games has to remain focused on coming up with the best way to out-think the opposition. This means seeing several steps ahead of where you are – just like you would if you were a champion chess player. This is why players that win real cash have the analytical mind to take a look at situations objectively and then take the right action at the right time. If you can’t put together different things in your mind to view a more detailed picture of how each hand ends up, you will not make a lot of money when you play poker. It’s essential to be able to figure out why opponents are doing what they are doing in a game if you are going to win. If you can use that to determine what your opponent is probably holding, you can make the best decisions for each situation.

Here is a look at some of the different levels of thought that you should apply to poker. In his book “NL Texas Hold’em Theory and Practice,” David Sklansky introduced an idea called “Multiple Level Thinking,” and here are the categories he came up with:

Level 0: No thinking

Level 1: What do I have?

Level 2: What do they have?

Level 3: What do they think I have?

Level 4: What do they think I think they have?

Level 5: What do they think I think they think I have?

Once you get beyond that complexity, you’ve left the vast majority of the poker players in the world behind. However, if you look at those levels, you can probably guess that the newest players to the game are probably at Levels 0 or 1. The very best players in the world can operate at Level 4 and 5 – if not even higher.

Level 0 – these are your newest players (or those who have taken too many drinks from the waitresses).

Level 1 – This is still fairly basic. This includes players who are still getting all of the rules down but are pretty familiar with the different ranks of hands. So they spend most of their time determining the strength of their hand and whether they can win overall. They won’t bluff well because they’ll only be thinking of their own hands instead of considering the hands of others.

Level 2 – This is the most common category. Some experienced players are in here, but they haven’t yet started winning regularly. They will think about what their opponent is likely to have in his hand, but they don’t have enough game knowledge yet to make the right play on the basis of the situation’s strategy or the math involved.

Level 3 – These players start to win more regularly because they are always focusing on what their opponents are thinking, and so they can pick up the right time to bluff and the best amount for a value bet more frequently. The difference between playing at Level 2 and at Level 3 is the difference between winning and losing regularly.

Level 4 – Now things are getting complex. However, the best players will be able to manage these thought processes. It’s less likely to need this to win, but you can win more often if you can get here.

Level 5 – If you come across someone who is this ingenious, you need to pick a different table.

Are you ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables and get all the practice you need before making the transition to legal online poker sites. Click here to check it out.