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Its Poker but not as we know it

[ Posted December 22nd, 2008 ] by The Dean

Carl “The Dean” Sampson.

Back in the midst of time when I first started to work on my poker game, I studied tons and tons of poker theory. This has its advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side is that you are increasing your poker knowledge. On the minus side is that you are acquiring poker knowledge that may not necessarily be earning you money.

You don’t need me to tell you what rapid transformations have taken place in the online poker world over the past few years. In fact I could go back and re-read many of the books that I took to be the definitive works a few years ago and they would be totally inadequate now and could be used for nothing more than primers.

This is the problem that most players have had to face who were active online during the early years. They have basically had to re-invent the wheel (myself included) in order to survive. I have been playing the NL50 and NL100 games recently on Cake Poker and these games are a prefect example of what I mean when I talk about using unconventional theory to try and get an edge.

I often think that online poker is an area that cannot be conquered just from reading books. Getting information is never a bad thing but there has to be an awful lot of hands on experience otherwise you just never build up the feel that regular online players build up.

I am currently experimenting with a system that hopefully will start to generate at least $1000 a month whilst starting with the smallest of bankrolls. If I can manage this then I intend to publicise the system. But first and foremost I have had to almost totally re-invent the guidelines since I first started. Coming from a background of limit hold’em, SNG’s and high-stakes NLHE six-max games is hardly conducive to playing NL50 and NL100 cash games.

One may think that these would be trivial games to beat for an experienced player but it all depends on just what that so called “experience” entails. I am slowly starting to make progress in these games but it has taken a while as I have had to learn numerous adjustments which were not immediately obvious at the outset.

But irrespective of what form of poker you play or what level you play at, you are essentially learning to beat a different game when you switch like this. You simply cannot say that “well I have been doing well at NL2000 six-max so beating NL50 full-ring will be automatic”. When you have played an awful lot of a certain type of poker then you enter a particular mindset. I had this problem when I started to play NLHE from LHE a few years ago.

It cost me at the outset simply because I couldn’t shrug off thinking like a limit player. But one of the things that I have learned to my cost is that the theory that is in most of the books is inadequate for success online. This may sound alarming but I believe it to be the case at the higher limits certainly.

The online game is not only of a very high technical nature but it is also highly technological in nature and much of the material that is in most of the books does not address these areas adequately enough. You can get by at the lower limits because many players lack the skills that you need in order to win consistently but as you move up the you encounter less and less free money and more and more sharks who are doing whatever needs to be done in order to get it.

The online poker world is getting less and less like its live game counterpart every year. Although having said that, some sites are taking steps to ban certain types of software on their sites and this can only be good news for the game as a whole. I think that people need to see that the playing field is level which at this moment in time, you would have to argue that it isn’t.

Carl “The Dean” Sampson is sponsored by Cake Poker and an be seen at www.pokersharkpool.com

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