How Strong Can You Play a Small Flush?

28 Jul , 2009 - Posted by Dan in Poker Strategy

This is a hand that has killed plenty of stacks, most recently at the WSOP Main Event.  The hand in question has one player sitting on a 35d and the other sitting on QJd.  The board hit all diamonds and the smaller flush led out and ended up getting his whole stack in with the second best.  No big deal, only a few million dollars lost on a 5 high flush!

Players tend to get tunnel vision the moment that their hands hit and pay little attention to anything else.  Now this was a notable pro player at one of the most prestigious poker tournaments in the world and he never thought for a second that he was second best. This is proof that it can happen to anyone.


This is something that will also happen with high pairs or when someone hits the high portion of the board with a card.  For instance, you are sitting on K9s and a K hits the board along with two babies.  You lead out and someone comes over top of you and you immediately push.  What makes you think that a 9 kicker is going to hold up?  Even if you are ahead at that moment, more than likely it is a bad play to commit your stack with that type of hand.

The same can be said for the small flush.  Even when the odds are slim that the other player also has a flush, it is pretty safe to assume that they are on a massive draw and if another card hits, you are dead and your chips gets shuffled across the table.  There is no worse feeling than seeing the aftermath and asking yourself, “What the hell was I thinking?”


There is a time and a place to make a stand and a baby flush is not it.  If you are going to make a play, you are much better off waiting until the river anyway.  At this point, you can get a better read on your opponent and pretty much know if they were going after the draw of if they had the same flush as you did, only stronger.

This also gives you the ability to still get out of the hand with relatively little damage to your stack.  If you are leading out, you can do so with smaller bets that won’t cripple you if you end up losing.  You can still make a move on the hand on the river with a healthy raise, but if they come over top of you, you can be pretty sure that they are not just bluffing.

The problem when you get aggressive early in a hand like this is that any draw will come right back at you.  You are then faced with the decision to give someone two more cards and hope that your baby flush holds up or worse, have the cards turned and realize that you are drawing dead.  There is always as time to make a stand, but choose a better hand.

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How to Beat a Maniac

16 Jul , 2009 - Posted by Dan in The Maniac

Welcome to the first edition of this series on how to beat your opponents. We will be discussing the best strategies when confronted with different playing styles. The first style we will be looking at is the Maniac.

The Maniac plays exactly as the name describes. He is crazy, wild, and shows no regard for typical poker theory. In fact, it almost seems like he hates money. This holds true until someone calls one of his crazy bets while he is holding the nuts. This player can win or lose a lot of chips in a hurry. Once they have a lot of chips they can be very dangerous because of their aggressive nature. So strap in as we dissect The Maniac.

Spotting the Maniac will be easy. He makes the biggest bets in the strangest spots and most likely will be doing the most talking. This is due to the fact that everyone will be questioning what the heck he is doing. This is definitely the type of player that we want to beat themselves, but you also want to make sure that you get some of the rewards before he is out of money. First, the setup. Try and play a few pots with this player. Heads up would be nice, but if some others sneak in it won’t matter. The idea is to let the Maniac bluff you out of some pots.

Make him think that he will just run right over you. Once he finally gets the idea that you are soft, you bait the hook. It may take some patience, but we are looking for a decent to good hand that connects on the flop. The ideal situation would be for him to raise pre-flop and you slow-play a top ten hand. Once he has his money in there, he will continue to fire at the pot. Setting a trap seems like the logical course of action, but let’s stop and consider it for a moment.  If you lead out to this person, he will at least call because he already created a big pot. Most likely he will raise because he remembers how soft you are. This is where we get the extra bet out of him or even an all-in.

Remember to trust your instinct when he fires out at you. You may have to grow a pair right there at the table, but you will be glad you did when you scoop a monster.

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Ladbrokes Poker Review

03 Jul , 2009 - Posted by Dan in Online Poker Room Reviews
Download Ladbrokes Poker


Country of Origin : United Kingdom
License : Gibraltar
Year of Foundation : 2004
Software : Microgaming
Currencies Used : EUR, GBP, USD
Audited By : PWC
Available Games : Texas Holdem, Omaha, 5 Card Stud, 5 Card Draw, 7 Card Stud
Bonus : Sign up Bonus of Up To $500

Ladbrokes are the oldest and the most prestigious gambling providers with a rich history that goes down to 1887, when they started off with horse race betting. With more than a century of experience the world-renowned company has opened its doors to online gambling as well. Its reputation as one of the finest bookmakers in the whole of Europe stands guarantee to the fact that its online services will be as trustworthy and efficient as its offline services.

It has a lot to offer in the form of games and promotions with huge cash rewards for their esteemed players. These wonderful offers draw a good amount of traffic to the website. There is a lot of cash to be won and players wanting to make money will find this a very good place.


Ladbrokes Poker has made a recent shift from its own software to the vast MicroGaming software. The new software has added some improvements to the earlier dull look that the website possessed. The graphics are clear and offer 3D effects and the interface is user-friendly. The ‘My Lobby’ option gives you access to all the information such as the various games on offer and their variations and level, player statistics, real time hand histories, average pot size, number of players at a table, flop percentages, chip stack amounts and other necessities.

A chat facility is enabled where players can interact with one another. Also available is a calendar that helps players organize themselves for upcoming events so that they are given reminders as the date approaches.


Peak hour traffic can go high above 10,000 players playing at various cash tables and tournaments simultaneously. The peak hour here is generally calculated by the European peak time. The Microgaming software is also the reason for an improved amount of traffic visiting the Ladbrokes Poker website.


The games offered at Ladbrokes Poker include Texas Holdem, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, 5 Card Stud, 5 Card Draw, 7 Card Stud. The most popular as with all poker sites, are the Holdem games with more concentration of traffic at the fixed limit levels. The games are juicy and loose, resulting in a lot of action and huge amounts in forms of bets can be seen and won. Micro limits starting at $0.05/$0.10 are available for players on low budgets while high rollers can have their fun at the $200/$300 limits.


Ladbrokes promotes a lot of tournaments as they stand to be the favorite among poker players. You can choose to play single or multi-table tournaments, while Ladbrokes Poker offers satellite tournament qualifiers that give players a chance to make it to big international events such as the European Open Tour and World Satellite Open Poker Tournament.

Apart from this there are various other tournaments to select from and these take place at intervals of ten minutes 24 hours a day. Free rolls are offered so that players can accumulate points besides which there are guaranteed tournaments and jackpots too.


Ladbrokes Poker offers Player Points to all those players who players who play at the cash tables. These points are accumulated and exchanged for cash into your account or for buy-ins to live satellite tournaments. The points you gather are also calculated and listed on the leader board placing you at a certain rank on the board. The rake race leaderboard promotion has been designed by Ladbrokes Poker in order to reward the top 3,000 players according to their rank on the leaderboard.

To be able to get yourself listed on this board, you need to play a lot of raked hands. The more you play the higher you go on the ranking board. This is a good way of rewarding those players who play at the poker room with utmost dedication. The amount that is given out every month to players on the leaderboard is a generous $1,000,000 distributed according to the ranks of the players.

Deposit/Withdrawal Options

Deposit options as always are more than withdrawal methods and include VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, Neteller, Solo. Switch, Delta, Bank Transfers and check while for withdrawals you could make use of VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, Bank Wire and Check.


Ladbrokes Poker offers customer support 24 hours a day through toll free telephone numbers and via their email service. The staff is very supportive and comes up with immediate help and answers to queries.

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Reading tells in online poker

24 Jun , 2009 - Posted by Dan in Poker Strategy

playing-cardsReading poker tells has always been a huge part of the game. As the popularity of the online game increases, more and more people are staying at home. This means that the ability to start the player in the face and see their reaction is no longer a possibility. However, this does not mean that they do not have tells. You are going to have to pay attention, but they are there.

One of the most common tells in poker is the amount of time that it takes people to react to making their play. This is especially true for beginner players. Taking too long and acting quickly are the most common tells, but it is easy to get confused if you are not careful.

Check raising is something that you will see quite often, especially if you are in isolation against a player. In order to make the right call when it comes time to make your play, you really need to watch at how the player reacted to each bet that was made.

Assume you are on the button and it has folded around to you. You place a 4x the blind raise and the sb folds, but the bb stays in the pot with you. First take notice if he does a snap call or takes some time to think about it. If he is taking his time, he could be on suited connectors or small pocket pair. Any big hand here would have him throwing his chips in quickly. If he is taking his time, he is more than likely trying to decide if the investment is worth it.

A flop comes and the board hits you with a pair, but also has two suited cards. Now you are sitting on trips and have a huge opportunity to make some money depending upon what your opponent is holding. More than likely, he will check the action over to you, but once again, see how long it takes for this to happen. He checks and then you fire again. His check happened immediately and how he is taking his time to decide what to do. After taking the max time, he comers right back over the top of you.

This gives you a ton of information when you put everything together. His quick check followed by the long decision tells you that he has probably not hit the board, but has the possibility of a huge hand. He may have an over pair to the board or may be sitting on a flush draw. You are now going to be faced with the decision of calling him down or putting him in for all of his chips.

The best play for you in this case is to get them in and make him decide. The thinking here is that he has suited connectors and is pushing on a flush draw. This is a common move and gives the player a lot of outs. In many cases, their opponent will fold the hand to the check raise, but by coming over the top, you now have him on decision to risk his stack or tournament life on a draw. In a cash game, you will probably get called because they can rebuy. In a tournament, you can count on taking this pot down right here with an experienced player. While the odds are in their favor, most players will not risk calling off their stack to a draw.

There are a lot more tells to look for when playing online poker. Remember, just because you are not in the same room with the person does not mean that they are not giving off information.

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