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Monday, October 02, 2006

 

Bored with Online Poker?

I wrote this to try and help out fellow poker players that have just lost the motivation to play or have fallen off the poker bandwagon. These are some things that help me play better and keep it entertaining so it doesn't become a chore.

Sitting on the computer playing sit n go tournaments, multi-table tournaments, ring games, or freerolls may become boring for any player. Whether you are playing poker recreationally, professionally, or trying to become a poker star doesn’t matter, you can find yourself staring at a computer screen for hours a day, losing interest. This constant poker grind can lead to boredom with the game and even start draining on a poker player. I’m going to offer some helpful tips to try to make this grind a little easier to handle.

Try a New Game

This would be and has been my first instinct when I became bored with whatever I was doing in regards to online poker. If I was primarily playing limit ring games, I may try playing in a no limit ring game. Possibly for smaller stakes, but its still a change in style. If I only played hold em, I may opt to try a new game such as 7-card stud or Omaha, which are becoming more and more popular as there is an increased amount of traffic to the online poker rooms.

There are many variations of each game. For 7-card stud, there is RAZZ, 7-card stud high/low, and regular 7-card stud. For Omaha, there are even more variations. Limit Omaha and Omaha high/low, and pot limit Omaha and Omaha high/low. Each of these games has a different poker strategy behind it, so I would recommend researching these games online before I jumped head first into them. If you want to jump in right away, I’d suggest playing a game with lower limits than you normally play to get yourself accustomed to it before moving to a higher limit.

Change Up Your Favorite

If you’re primarily a sit n go no limit hold em tournament player and find yourself bored with the same old same old, then maybe its time to try out the multi-table tourneys for a while or vice versa. If you love playing limit or NL ring games then you might consider playing in a few tourneys to change up the normal routine.

With the growth of online poker, there are many more specialty tournaments popping up all over. I’ve seen more RAZZ and pot-limit Omaha high/low tournaments than ever before, as well as HORSE (Hold em, Omaha, RAZZ, 7-card Stud, 7-card stud eights or better, also known as high/low). The final table plays no limit hold em. The World Series of Poker introduced a $50,000 HORSE event this year, where poker pro Chip Reese won the WSOP bracelet.

Multi-table

Do you play poker online and become antsy? This used to happen to me. Then I started playing more than one table at a time. Numerous positive things come out of multi-tabling. First, it adds some excitement because you are no longer playing in one game. You see more hands per hour. Second, you don’t become anxious to play many hands because you are seeing more hands. You tend to only play solid starting values and don’t settle for playing bad hands just because you want to play. Third, if you play solid poker, you have a chance to win even more money while reducing the variance you face (cards and flops fluctuate). Lastly, if you bonus chase, which I’ll get to a little later, you will clear bonuses more quickly.

I tend to play in at least two tables at a time. Depending on which site I’m on, I usually cap my playing at three tables when I multi-table short-handed limit games. If the games are moving slowly, I can add more tables and be comfortable with each game. I don’t like to rush decisions, especially if I’m playing in a tournament at the same time. I usually like to play in one multi-table tournament and 1-2 ring games at a time. This way, I play the right number of hands in each game. Poker is about patience, but that’s a whole different topic. The only downfall to multi-tabling is when you get good hands at three different tables at the same time. It takes a little practice, but is definitely worth it.

Change Poker Sites

With the explosion of online poker, there has been an explosion of new online poker sites. There is no shortage of sites where you can deposit and begin playing within minutes. A change of scenery is never a bad thing, unless you live in Hawaii or Las Vegas. You may find yourself a site that you actually like better than your home site or the one you love to play at.

Each site has it’s own feel, with different speeds to games, different avatars, and a different look and overall feel. Sometimes the table backgrounds are even changeable where you can choose the look of the table that fits your preference.

More importantly, though, you will be playing against different players. When playing at the same site for a long time, other players, at least ones that pay attention, record notes and hand histories about you. They will know what you hold, how you play certain hands and will play solid against you. This will slow your bankroll building.

Bonus Chase

While downloading all these new sites, you can get massive free money with each deposit. Most sites now offer huge deposit bonuses to attract the mass amounts of new poker players. This is called bonus chasing and some players spend their entire poker playing by doing this. Jumping from site to site to get the max bonus per site can be extremely rewarding in the old wallet. Other players add this to their arsenal of bankroll building because of the free money you get on top of playing poker. You’re already playing, so why not bonus chase. This can also help when you are running poorly at the tables and need that extra boost.

Some poker sites have a monthly bonus and this can be received each month by following the terms and conditions. Make sure you read all the terms and conditions of any bonus that you chase. Some bonuses are easier than others to clear. Depending on the level you play, it may be nearly impossible to clear some bonuses playing lower limits.

It would also serve you well to do a little research on each poker site before beginning to play there. There are many online poker site reviews listed here and online. You can always ask questions about any poker site or poker site bonus in the Shark Poker Tour forum http://sharkpokertour.com/phpBB2/ and get feedback from many of the top Shark Poker Tour players.

Online Casinos

I know I know, we are poker players. This doesn’t mean that we can’t get added money to our bankroll by playing casino games with great deposit bonuses and free money added. Some sites, like the ones listed on Sharks Vegas Strip, www.sharksvegasstrip.com , have promotions where they let you play with the casinos money to try and win. These can be rewarding promotions that will allow you to build your bankroll by risking very little. I played a free hour of blackjack and won $174 to use in their online casino. Sharky only lists the best online casinos on his site and his integrity is impeccable. I would also recommend using basic blackjack strategy to maximize your winnings.

Once again, review the games, terms and conditions, and anything else you may not understand before chasing these casino bonuses. These can be profitable if successfully and knowledgeably attempted.

I understand the bouts with boredom online, but I hope that these tips will guide you to successfully building your bankroll and reducing the monotony that can come with playing online poker.

Good Luck at the Tables,

Keith

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