Category Archives: Poker

AI in Poker

Humans lick their wounds after losing to AI in poker

Humans lick their wounds after losing to AI in poker

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) — After 20 grueling days, the humans had to admit it.

The best poker player at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh wasn’t a human, but a machine.

“Libratus,” a computer program created by a Carnegie Mellon professor and student, dominated four professional poker players this month, accumulating a $1,766,250 lead in chips.

“Halfway through the challenge we thought we were going to win,” said Daniel McAulay. “But we really got beat down.”

Less than two years ago, Carnegie Mellon staged a similar poker showdown between four professionals and an AI program. The humans won, earning $732,713 more in chips. Two of those competitors, Dong Kim and Jason Les, returned for this year’s tournament.

The computer’s decisive victory this time is a reminder of the rapid advances in artificial intelligence. A year ago, we saw another artificial intelligence milestone as a Google computer program beat one of the world’s best players at the ancient Chinese game Go.

“This has probably been the most challenging experience in my life,” said Jimmy Chou, who finished second among the humans. (Kim finished first.)

Each of the four humans played one-on-one against the computer system. A total of 120,000 hands of heads-up no-limit Texas hold-em were played.

“If anyone had any doubt about the quality of our technology, I can tell you we tried everything we could,” Les said. “It became very demoralizing showing up and losing this hard.”

The good news for the pro players is that they won’t have to pay up the $1.7 million in chips. Instead, they’ll split $200,000 as a thank you for battling the machine.

The margin of victory even surprised the researchers who developed Libratus.

“I thought we had a decent chance of winning, but definitely not a shoo-in,” said Carnegie Mellon professor Tuomas Sandholm. He developed Libratus along with PhD student Noam Brown.

Sandholm credited Libratus’ improved algorithms, which could better predict how to bet, when to fold, and whether bluffing made sense.

He believes the algorithms could be a game-changer for any game where a player has incomplete information, such as negotiations or auctions. Sandholm said he will probably commercialize the technology.

He sees the technology as a way to improve the world by leveling the playing field, provided that everyone at the negotiation table has access to his technology.


NBA Star Russell Westbrook Plays Poker

NBA Star Russell Westbrook Plays Poker Instead of Training

NBA Star Russell Westbrook Plays Poker Instead of Training

NBA star Russell Westbrook is more interested in playing poker than preparing for his opponents according to a recent interview.

The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard recently spoke to the media after his side’s 88-104 loss to the Detroit Pistons.

Despite notching up 33 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists, Russell Westbrook couldn’t help Thunder secure the win and that prompted one journalist to question his pre-game strategy.

Studying Poker Faces Instead of Players

While most NBA players will study footage of their opponents before a game, Russell Westbrook explained that he doesn’t pay much attention during training. In fact, instead of running through tactics with his coach and teammates, Russell Westbrook spends most of his time playing poker.

“I don’t worry about other people. Usually I just sit out and chill, relax, I play poker on my phone, play spades on my phone, listen to music,” Westbrook told reporters.

Now, without knowing what sort of “poker” Russell Westbrook is playing, it’s hard to speculate on whether he’s making money or not. But, it’s worth noting that he probably wasn’t playing for real money.

Unless he’s found a way to circumnavigate the geolocation software used by real money poker sites in New Jersey, Nevada or Delaware, he’s probably perfecting his skills on a play money platform.

Westbrook a Pro Level Player

Although we’ve yet to see Westbrook cash at the WSOP, he does play in some high stakes private games alongside fellow basketball stars and actors, including Tobey Maguire. In fact, Westbrook has also impressed Phil Hellmuth with his skills at the felt. Back in 2015 the Poker Brat told FOX Sports that pro athlete plays like a “professional level poker player.”

Hellmuth’s compliments aside, it’s probably not a good idea for Westbrook to be playing poker on his phone during training sessions. Although Senator John McCain got away with it when he was caught playing poker on his phone during a three-hour Senate committee hearing back in 2013, it’s unlikely Thunder fans would be so forgiving.

Fortunately, his love of poker doesn’t seem to be affecting his performance (he’s averaging 32.0 points per game), but a few slips on the court could easily cause him to regret his recent admission.

Of course, news of a professional basketball player enjoying a few rounds of poker is nothing new. Over the last few years we’ve seen a number of NBA stars anteing up at the WSOP. In 2015 Earl Barron finished 613th out of 7,275 entrants in the Millionaire Maker to take home $3,044.

While LA Clippers forward Paul Pierce told WSOP reporters in 2014 that he plays poker because it make him “smarter.”


Poker Freerolls

How to take real advantage of Poker Freerolls

How to take real advantage of Poker Freerolls

Optimal Multi Table Strategy

Want to know to take real advantage of Poker Freerolls? Before the arrival of online poker, you had to work to find a game. You had to go out of your house and head to a table or bring people over for a night of cards. It was also a lot slower, as you had to play one table at a time. Now, thanks to the Internet, you can play as many games at once as you want, so long as you don’t overload your own stamina (and your ability to pay attention). People who were playing 10-cent and 25-cent games didn’t have a chance of making serious money, but now if you can play 20 tables at once, you can bring in some bank (as long as you can pay attention). A lot of people think that multi-tabling is a waste of time and money, arguing that you can’t make smart decisions because your reaction time is cut down. While there is some validity to this argument, the other side is that since you’re playing so much poker at once, having a decent game running at such a high quantity means that you’re going to make more money than if you have your superior game going on one table. Let’s look at some tips to help you make money off multi-table play.

Learning How to Multi-table the Right away.

This is NOT for amateurs or novices. First try to build some confidence playing at the free online poker tables, start with one game at a time, and start increasing the number of tables until it feels easy and almost natural. Then, feel free to expand the number of games you are playing. When you have more hands per hour, you have more decisions — and a lot of decisions in a short amount of time. If you’re looking at aces on one table, but they time out because you’re considering making a huge river raise on another table, you’re burning money.

Prioritize your decisions.

When you have multiple tables going, your decisions are going to pile up. You have to sift through the easy ones, leaving the ones that require a lot of thought for more priority. If you’re playing ten tables, it’s unlikely that you’ll have more than one really tough decision to think about at once. However, you’re likely to have one tough decision and nine easy ones. It’s hard to block out the nine easy choices and focus on the hard one, but that can often be what separates those who make money from those who do not. Once you’ve focused on the tough choice, then you go back and make those other easy ones. Once you get good at this, you’ll be able to make those easy choices on autopilot while you’re still pondering the tough one, but don’t do that until you’re ready.

Know your limits.

Are you winning money playing four tables, but when you jump to six tables, you’re losing money? Stay at four. You might think that you need to push yourself to play six, but you’ll be able to do that when you’re ready. If you push yourself beyond what you can do, you’re going to hemorrhage cash.

Put your poker skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables at Cafrino and get all the practice you need while winning real cash!

Micro stakes poker strategy

Micro Stakes Poker Strategy Guide

Micro Stakes Poker Strategy Guide

When you start out with poker, you will soon learn that it is a difficult game to master completely. However, it is not difficult to start dominating the low stakes games (2NL to 25NL). If you’re in that micro stakes market and having a hard time making money, don’t take this the wrong way. Instead, put some of these tips to work for you so that you can start winning.

Winning poker isn’t about drawing the right cards. It’s about managing your mistakes so that you make fewer than your opponents do. In the low limit poker tables, players make a ton of mistakes, which means if you know how to avoid them, you can win consistently. Let’s take a look at some ways for you to benefit from the incompetence of others.

Let’s start by talking about starting hand selection. This is a key element in your micro stakes poker strategy, particularly if your post flop play still has some weaknesses. There are a lot of loose opponents at this level, so you can take advantage just with some smart bets.

In the area of starting hand selection, here are some important tips:

  • Don’t go all-in pre-flop with A-K. Just don’t.
  • In the blinds and in early position, make sure you play tight.
  • When a raise happens in front of you, and you’re holding a hand that is easy to beat (K-J, Q-J, A-T and so on), think twice before calling. Poker hands such as A-Q, A-K and high pocket pairs will be well positioned, and you’ll be behind the 8-ball. If you have that sort of opening hand, just fold.
  • Do you want to play suited connectors, one-gappers (such as Q-T) or suited ace-low? Then do it in late position, by raising when you are the first one to act (primarily to swipe the blinds) or call with a lot of players in the pot to take a look at a cheap flop.

A lot of the time, you will get called when you are betting for value. This means that you don’t get any benefit from slow playing. If you do that with a strong hand, you’ll likely miss out on a lot of the value from strong second best hands or draws, which fall away when scary cards come out. So don’t slow play with a big hand when your opponent has the likelihood of a pair, or there is a wet board with a lot of potential draws on the table.

This doesn’t mean that you should never play slow play. Sometimes you come out of the flop with a hand so great that you’ll carry on the river no matter what comes out. Slow playing could allow your opponent get a second best hand that will allow him to kick in some real money to make the pot sweeter, or your opponent might bluff. If you have aggressive opponents, slow playing to draw in the bluff can be very smart indeed.

These are just some ideas to have in mind as you put together your micro stakes strategy. There are other points to consider, but this gives you a starting point, so try to put in them in practice the next time you spend some time at the free online poker tables.

Ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables at Cafrino and get all the practice you need while winning real cash. Good luck!

Poker Pop Culture

Poker & Pop Culture: The Thompson Street Poker Club

As poker clubs began to emerge in America toward the latter 19th century, stories about the games emanating from those clubs became a popular form of literary entertainment. Such stories also provide a glimpse into how poker was played, even in those cases when the stories are fictionalized or embellished.

Last week we looked at one collection of poker stories describing the adventures of an actual (though unnamed) uptown New York club of the late 1800s. Another interesting series of comic stories appeared a few years before that one, these telling of a fictional group of poker players called The Thompson Street Poker Club.

The Club’s “Minutes” (with Illustrations)

Shortly after Life magazine first debuted in 1883, the magazine’s associate editor Henry Guy Carleton began to produce a short poker tales focusing on the invented poker club.

The son of a famous Union general, Carleton was also a playwright who would later have a few of his plays performed on Broadway. He was additionally an inventor who is credited with early versions of smoke detectors and fire alarms.

Poker & Pop Culture: The Thompson Street Poker Club 101
“The Thompson Street Poker Club” by Henry Guy Carleton

Carleton’s stories about the club resemble colorful versions of the minutes of a committee’s meetings, and they proved popular among Life‘s first readers. In the spring of 1884 a collection of 13 of Carleton’s stories were published in a slim volume, titled The Thompson Street Poker Club.

The book was dedicated to Robert C. Schenck, referred to as “that noble expounder of the game.” A former U.S. Congressman, Schenck earned that distinction thanks to his having written an early work of strategy about draw poker first published in England and reprinted in the United States in 1880 (a book we’ll be discussing here soon).

A sequel penned by Carleton appeared five years later, titledLectures Before the Thompson Street Poker Club and containing six longer stories featuring the same cast of characters. This one even more closely mimics the committee-meeting conceit, with each story starting with references to a speaker and those in attendance and even pointing out how the “minutes” of the previous meeting were read at the start of each new one. These lectures in the sequel sometimes recall incidents from the first volume, with the club’s members revisiting earlier conflicts while debating the club’s various rules and procedures.

The Thompson Street stories are notable for a couple of reasons. One is the fact that they are illustrated with drawings by E.W. Kimble, best known for having been the illustrator for Mark Twain‘s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884). In fact, it was after seeing Kimble’s work in Life that Twain got in touch with Kemble and eventually got him to agree to draw illustrations for Huck Finn.(That’s one of Kimble’s illustrations for the book up above.)

Also noteworthy is the fact that the players in the Thompson Street Poker Club are African American, and thus the collections are often referred to as the first ever poker books to feature African Americans. They are also occasionally considered along with other late 19th-century examples of “black humor” or “slice of life” representations of urban blacks (albeit written and illustrated by whites).

Swapping Pots and Stories with Professor Brick, Mr. Cyanide Whiffles, and the Rev. Thankful

Reading through the two collections, the initial 1884 title contains many genuinely laugh-out-loud moments, as well as some very familiar scenarios from other poker fiction — both before and after.

For example, one story titled “The Scraped Tray” reaches a climax with a draw-poker hand being bet and raised with all the two players possess, then ends with a showdown of four kings versus four aces, perhaps recalling the climactic hand of Mark Twain’s story “The Professor’s Yarn” first published right about the same time (not to mention many other quad-kings-versus-quad-aces stories.)

A twist here is the manner of the cheating involved to produce such a showdown — one player has used a razor to scrape a three of diamonds to appear to be an ace. Indeed, the “razzer” is the favored weapon used to settle disputes in the games (unlike the pistol Backus draws in Twain’s story).

Poker & Pop Culture: The Thompson Street Poker Club 102
Trying to get an answer to the question in the story’s title: “Wharjer Git Dem Jacks?”

In fact, the first story in the collection — “Two Jacks an’ a Razzer” — might be read as a variation on the old Wild Bill Hickok story in which the lawman claims to have a full house with three aces and one six, then produces his pistol and announces “Here is the other six.”

Of course, anyone who reads The Thompson Street Poker Club today is immediately struck by the sometimes-hard-to-parse patois devised by Carleton to represent his characters’ speech and heavily employed throughout (again mimicking Twain). Such is evidenced in story titles like “Triflin’ Wif Prov’dence,” “Dar’s No Suckahs in Hoboken,” and “Dat’s Gamblin.'”

The characters aren’t too deeply developed although are suggestive of more thorough comic types, with Kemble’s drawings adding a great deal to the reader’s ability to imagine them. Most are given inspired names like Professor Brick, Mr. Cyanide Whiffles, Mr. Tooter Williams, Elder Jubilee Anderson, and the like.

The Rev. Thankful Smith is also a frequent participant, one of several churchmen who participate in the game. In one story the reverend finds himself involved in a humorous exchange about the relationship between poker and religion (or the lack thereof).

“I rises hit,” announces the Rev. Thankful amid the play of a hand, who then “put up such a stack of blue chips that Mr. Whiffles nearly fainted.”

“‘What yo’ go do dat for, Brer Thankful?’ inquired the Deacon, in wild remonstrance. ‘Dat’s not de speret ob de Gospil.'”

“‘Whar — whar yo’ fin’ draw-poker in de Gospil?’ testily rejoined Mr. Smith. ‘Does yo’ tink do Possles ‘n de ‘Vangelists writ de Scripter after rasslin’ wid a two-cyard draw agin a flush?’ he sarcastically inquired.”

“‘Dis ain’t no prar meetin,”” Rev. Thankful adds by way of clarification.

I find the first collection of the two more engaging, and definitely recommend it to those who are interested. There’s much more to say about them, as well as about their status as historical representations of blacks by whites (and more or less for whites) — mostly sympathetic, though certainly of the era and thus unsurprisingly guilty of stereotyping and other negative connotations.

Later on the two Thompson Street titles would get sold along with another collection from 1888 titledThe Mott Street Poker Club written by Alfred Trumble in which the activities of a group of Asian poker players in Chinatown are described (with markedly less racial sensitivity). Full-text versions of all three books can be readily found online.

Inspiration for an Early Poker Song

Also worth adding to the story of the Thompson Street Poker Club is a later allusion to the collection made by the Vaudeville performer Bert Williams, the first black American to star on the Broadway. Among his many roles on the early 20th-century stage, Williams performed with W.C. Fields (also often seen at poker tables in his films) and with the Ziegfield Follies.

Poker & Pop Culture: The Thompson Street Poker Club 103
Bert Williams

It was for the Follies that Williams performed a song he co-wrote called “The Darktown Poker Club” that proved a hit in 1914 and is certainly among the first-ever “poker songs.”

“The Darktown Poker Club” is said to have been inspired by Carleton’s Thompson Street stories, and the story it tells of a player complaining about cheating going on in a game fits right in with others in the collection.

Later the comedian and singer Phil Harris (voice of Baloo the bear in The Jungle Book) would cover the song in the 1940s, then the country star Jerry Reed (of Smokey and the Banditfame) would do a version titled “The Uptown Poker Club” that proved a hit for him in the early 1970s.

The song tells of a character named Bill Jackson noticing all the cheating going on, and while sharpening his razor he decides to lay down his own rules for the game going forward:

“Keep your hands above the table when you’re dealing — please.
And I don’t want to catch no aces down between your knees.
Don’t be makin’ funny signs or tip your hand
And I don’t wanna hear no kind of language that I don’t understand.

Stop dealing from the bottom, ’cause it looks so rough,
And remember that in poker five cards is enough!
When you bet, put up, ’cause I don’t like it when you shy.
And when yo’ broke, get up, and then come on back by and by.

Pass the cards to me to shuffle every time before you deal
Then there’s anything wrong, why, I’ll see.
Not gonna play this game no more according to Mr. Hoyle —
Hereafter, it’s gonna be according to me!”

Here’s a scratchy 78 of the song to listen to, if you’re curious:

More next week regarding another notable poker club, a real-life one whose members came from one of the early 20th-century’s most famous group of cultural influencers, the famed Algonquin Round Table.


Ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables at Cafrino and get all the practice you need while winning real cash. Good luck!

Poker Cash Games

Poker Cash Games vs. Tournaments vs. SNG’s

Poker Cash Games vs. Tournaments vs. SNG’s

A lot of people who are new to poker have a hard time choosing among poker cash games, poker tournaments or Sit N Go’s (SNGs). If you’re just in this for some fun, then it doesn’t really matter which one you play, as long as you are enjoying what you do. If you want to make some money, though, there are some poker strategies unique to each type of game that will determine which is the best choice for you.

Poker Cash Games

A lot of poker players look at poker cash games as providing the biggest edge and the most reliable income stream for a player who wins regularly. Tournaments and SNG’s have a number of all-in situations, many of them flips that don’t give you control over how things turn out. You can get an edge from tournaments and SNGs, but it generally is not as big as what you can get playing poker cash games going per hand or per game.

Players in cash games often have a bigger percentage of winning sessions, and if you tend to win, your income will be more reliable over time. You can win real cash and make steady profits in the other formats too, but you have to play a ton of games or hands.

If you look at the number of successful players in each format, there are a lot more in the cash games than in the other two. A lot more people have figured out how to turn cash games into a money maker than those that have in tournaments and SNGs.

Also, the cash game will teach you skills that you can take to tournaments and use. Most of the best cash game specialists right now also do really well in tournament play. However, the top tournament specialists generally are not as skilled in cash games.

Multi Table Tournaments

Even though the edge in this format is smaller than what you can get in cash games, it is still bigger than what turns up in SNGs. The best SNG players bring back an ROI of no more than 10 percent, but in the MTT format you can go over 100% in your ROI. You do get a bigger variance in tournaments than you do in cash games, but a lot of the tournament players that engage in online poker are willing to post the additional volume to compensate for this difference.

Sit N Go’s

There are some poker insiders who think that the SNG format is becoming a thing of the past. Not as many recreational players are entering them, and the edge that you can get is really small, particularly if you are playing with a group of regulars. The best way to make money here is to wander outside the traditional SNG format. Heads up SNGs give a bigger edge to savvy players, and the double or nothing SNG seems to draw in more novices than the standard setup.

All you have to do is look at one of the big sites to see that the best nine-man SNG players are only making a small percentage of what the best cash and tournament players are raking in. So if you’re an SNG specialist, it’s probably time to develop your skills in one or both of the other two formats to get your winnings back up again.

Ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables at Cafrino and get all the practice you need while winning real cash. Good luck!

Avoiding Common Poker Mistakes

Avoiding Common Poker Mistakes

Avoiding Common Poker Mistakes that will Affect You in the Long Run

When you sit down to play Texas Hold’em or any other variety of poker games, you’re going to make poker mistakes. That’s just part of the process. The wisest players reflect on their poker mistakes, learn and improve over time. The people who don’t learn simply end up paying their money to the people who do. Check out these steps so that you hold on to more of your money.

Don’t play too many starting hands

Of all the poker mistakes that people who are new to Texas Hold’em make, this is the most common by far. Some people hit a losing streak and think that playing hands is the only way out; others think that the best way to keep a winning streak going is to take more risks and play more hands. You might just be angry at someone at the table — or someone who made you mad earlier in the day — and just play more hands to get back at that person.

Playing more hands means risking your bankroll, and with the easiness of online poker, people tend to believe that engaging in a dozen hands at the same time will increase their chances of winning. So you are going to need to win more hands (or win bigger hands) if you want to win over time. Unfortunately, you’re very likely to hit the number of hands you can expect to win (thanks to the law of averages) fairly soon, and keeping on after that, playing hands just for the sake of playing them, will drain your stacks. What’s the key? Pump more money into the strongest poker hands instead of trying to prop up semi-strong hands and playing them more often.

Don’t lose patience

Sometimes you can go several hands without getting cards that are worth playing. This can make you get impatient and play simply because you think you need to play, not because of the quality of the cards that you have. Then you’ll look up to see someone else raking in your chips, simply because you got bored and wanted to play.

Some people find this to be a real problem when they transition from play money poker to real cash poker games or live poker tournaments. Online, the games go much faster, and players get used to the rush of the speed of action. Then they sit down to play at a table, and it feels like they’re watching the paint dry, even if the games are high stakes. So they push hands they shouldn’t, simply so they get the feel of action — and then they lose money. Don’t let that happen to you.

Don’t force yourself into a strong table

It’s important to know when you’re at a table where everyone is better than you. It’s true that it’s good to challenge yourself now and then, but if you’re the fish at a table of sharks, you’re going to be the prey. As you advance in the game, there will be fewer and fewer tables like this, but you should always give yourself a chance to win. Get up from tables where you’re going to get shredded and head for a table where there are some fish and maybe a couple of players at your level — and a shark or two. So you can learn — and still have a chance of winning some yourself.

Ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables at Cafrino and get all the practice you need while winning real cash. Good luck!

Home Poker Game

Simple tools to improve your home poker game

Simple tools to improve your home poker game

Improving your home poker game is easy. These days, there is more material out there than ever to help you better your skills at poker. If you’re just starting out playing poker for fun, all of the information might seem a little intimidating. Also, not all of the information is really that solid, so you can actually end up losing money if you follow bad advice. Different people have different playing styles, so make sure you are getting the best tips for yourself. This is a list of tips that have helped people improve their own home poker game. Take a look and choose the ones that work for you.

Play as much poker as you can

You can read as much as you want about poker, but until you start playing, those tips just won’t make the same amount of sense. There is no way to replicate being in the different situations without actually having to play the game. You’ll make plenty of mistakes early on, but then you’ll learn from them and you will get better. Then you will know which advice you have read out there works for you — and which advice does not work. Over time, you will find yourself in the same situations time and time again, and you’ll feel more comfortable playing in a variety of scenarios.

Reflect on the hands that you play

The best way to keep from repeating mistakes is to take a mental look back at the hand you just played. If you just move from hand to hand without thinking about what you just did, you’re likely to end up back in the same situation — and making the same mistake. This is why casinos pay players with free drinks, so they will get careless over time and give more of their money to the house. Stay focused and take time to think about why you lost when hands don’t go your way.

Watch some training videos

When the first videos came out, they turned the poker education system on its head. They remain one of the best ways to enhance your chances of winning real cash. Watching the best players as they go through live play, and understanding what those players are thinking, combine to give you a huge advantage as you brush up your own home poker game. There are quite a few solid training websites out there. Many sites offer free poker strategy and poker guides, but the best way to start is to research information about the different coaches and then using the free trials to start. That way you can figure out which sites regularly create solid videos from coaches who play around the stakes that you want to play yourself. Why watch someone going over NL2000 strategies when you never get above NL20? Those stakes are like comparing apples…and ants.

Also, don’t just watch the videos like you would watch that new Godzilla movie. Watch them like you’re in a lecture hall. Try to take some notes and implement your newly acquired skills the next time you play online poker. Remember that ever new trick requires time, but if you have questions at the end, email them to the coach at the end.

Matt Damon Rounders 2

Matt Damon Says Rounders 2 Would Be About Online Poker

Matt Damon Says Rounders 2 Would Be About Online Poker

Just days after he gave the BBC a Teddy KGB impersonation and talked about how much fun was had filming Rounders nearly 20 years ago, Matt Damon’s appearance on The Rich Eisen Show aired this week, and he revealed what a potential follow-up film would be about.

Eisen: What about Rounders? What’s going on?

Damon: That we have talked about. [Brian] Koppelman and [David] Levien, who wrote it, they have a really good idea for a Rounders story, and that would be an interesting thing because of what’s happened in poker. Now, with the online [game], these guys and gals who are playing, this young generation, they start playing when they’re in their adolescence. They’re looking at 10 hands at a time, playing for real money online. By the time they’re 21, they’ve seen millions and millions and millions of hands…It’s now gone into deep game theory. It’s at a whole other level. It’s just a very, very different game.”

Interestingly, Koppelman and Levien already wrote a film about online poker. The movie Runner Runner, which starred Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, came out in 2013.

As everyone knows, Black Friday largely shut down online poker in America in 2011.

Damon added that it would be “interesting to see” Mike McDermott and Teddy KGB “come into that new world.” Over the past several years worth of Rounders 2 rumors, the possibility of John Malkovich returning hasn’t been mentioned before.

Edward Norton, who played “Worm” in the original film, is also interested in a sequel. Norton told David Letterman in 2014 that he couldn’t go to Las Vegas for awhile after the movie became so popular because people were stopping him all the time and yelling “Worm!”

“We couldn’t have had more fun making that movie,” said Norton, who recently agreed to play poker to help the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. “That was one of the best gangs of people ever.”


Ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables at Cafrino and get all the practice you need while winning real cash. Good luck!

percentage of poker hands

What Percentage of Poker Hands Should I Play?

What Percentage of Poker Hands Should I Play?

Many beginners at the real or online poker tables wonder how loose or how tight they should approach the game, more particularly the percentage of poker hands they should play before the flop comes? There is no simple answer, simply because poker is a game that is always in flux. When you are playing, you will hit opponents who have different tendencies, which means that you will often need to vary your strategies to compensate. However, there are some rules that you can take into just about any situation. So let’s review the strategy you must apply whenever you’re ready to make the transition from free poker to the real cash poker tables.

Did you call? Then raise.

Has the action folded to you, but you want to play your hand? Then it’s time to go for some aggressive poker strategy and raise. If you’re not holding a raise-worthy hand, then you just fold too. That means your opponents won’t know that you had a weak hand (and won’t get the satisfaction of knowing how things look when you limp, and the players also have to add more chips into the pot before the flop if you have a strong hand.

Starting your poker hands in early position.

Are you in a 9-handed cash game? If you’re one of the first three to act, you are in early position (EP). Here you will be going with at least six more players to act after you, so you will need a solid hand if you want to play. Generally, solid players raise triple the big blind when they have something like 77+ or AK+. This might seem like a tight strategy, but you are putting three big blinds at risk with the reward of just 1.5 big blinds coming back if all six of your opponents decide to fold. Also, you might find yourself out of position after the flop if someone calls you. Because of all of these potential problems, if you’re going to play, you need a strong hand pre flop.

Starting your poker hands in middle position

If you are in the second and third positions to the button’s right, then you are in middle position. There are fewer people behind you waiting to act, so if a call comes, you find yourself still playing in position more of the time, so you can play a bit looser. The key players now are the ones between you and the button, because you will have to face them out of position after the flop, if they decide to call. If they are playing tight, though, you can play more poker hands. If the people on your left are loose, though, you need to stay tight.

This might seem like a drawback, but you will end up making more money with the poker hands that you decide to play. As you develop confidence in your post flop strategy, you can add poker hands such as QJ/A9/KT/J9/QT/K9 to your range of poker hands that you will play. Remember that when the players to your left are quite loose, you will need to tighten up a little more. However, if someone has position on you but only folds rarely, you don’t want to add to the pot with something marginal, as you are likely to lose.

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