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House of Cards
by Ashley Adams

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No Limit Hold'em Small Stakes Tournaments: Part 3 - Betting

As we continue to look at what makes for a successful strategy in low buy-in tournaments, always remember that if the blinds have not caught up to you yet, they soon will. For this reason, it is important that you understand how to bet effectively.

I learned the importance of betting your big hands properly in one of my early tournaments. There were six limpers who saw a flop of J-9-3. The player who initially limped under-thegun fired a big bet at the pot, was called by a middle position player, then the button minimum-raised.

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The word for today is... 'Idiots'

Sometimes I like to call people idiots. Not to their face, because that might make them mad. Not behind their backs, because that would be beneath my dignity. So, I settle for calling them idiots in my imagination.

I'm usually angry when this happens, but I get over it quickly, and then I regret hurting their imaginary feelings. Like today. Right now I'm mad because some otherwise- intelligent experts keep diminishing the importance of psychology in poker. They say image doesn't matter much.

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Relax and Do Exactly What I Tell You

I have been asked many times to teach poker players how to play poker and how to win poker tournaments. Well, I would like first to tell you folks that today I teach poker-a lot better than I play poker.

I have been playing poker for over 70 years and that's a long period of time to do most anything. In my long lifetime, I have done most everything, seen most everything, heard most everything, been most everywhere, had my foot caught in a lot of traps, got out of the traps and snares of life with a few scars of the battles...
...And have played in a lot of poker games.

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Book reviews : Brunson's 'Online Poker' and Shoten's 'No-Limit Life' - Both Invigorating Books

World Series of Poker Champion Doyle Brunson's Online Poker and Charlie Shoten's No- Limit Life are new arrivals in poker literature and both have value for those who are serious about improving their game.

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United States of Poker: Illinois

Gambling in Illinois has a long and infamous history.

Havana, Illinois was known as Little Reno because of Al Capone's development of floating casinos on the Illinois River. In the mid- 1930s, the Nitti gang ran casino games in Calumet City and Cicero, and this continued under Accardo and Ricca in the 1950s. In 1953, state troopers raided 14 casinos and taverns in Mason County, ending gambling in that area. Eventually the Mafia influence on gambling in the Chicago area decreased and legal lotteries and riverboat gambling sprung up.

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Falling in Love

I fell in love recently. The world's incredibly beautiful. The colors all around are brighter. I appreciate what I take for granted at times. Such as, how much I love my family and friends, how fortunate I am to be living in this day and age. The awesome possibilities the future may hold, that I may achieve with commitment and Faith. I've realized how precious and short life is, whether one lives a hundred years or even a fraction of that number. This enables me to slow down and experience each day, hour, minute and most importantly, moment.

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Ego & Strategy

Continuing on our quest to examine all elements of our game in order to find possible weaknesses to improve upon, let's discuss egos today. Egos are a curious part of our makeup. They may be inflated, bruised, overactive or any number of other things but we all have them. Do you keep yours in check when playing poker? You really should check it at the door or leave it in the car! Have you ever witnessed someone win a big pot with ugly hole cards and then hear that individual explain to the table that he was in the big blind. Why is this explanation necessary?

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Poker Cop: 'L' is for Limp

Detective Sweeny has told the newspapers: "The people of this city can rest easy. A 'Mad Dog Killer' has been put down."

I, "The Mad Dog Killer," put down the paper and quote Mark Twain, "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." Reading the story of my own exaggerated death leaves me uneasy. Again I get the feeling Something's wrong. Something's. . . ."

"Something's wrong," I say to Jake, "Listen!"

"I don't hear anything." "That's what's wrong! No cards being shuffled. No chips being riffled. No. . . ."

Jake grabs for his shotgun as the door is kicked in.

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Superstitious Forces

Mike teaches that superstition can influence your outcome at poker. When he was giving me this lesson about not acting superstitiously, I remarked, "There are many people who are very superstitious. What you're saying is that superstition doesn't affect your outcome at poker?"

He said, "Wrong! Superstition does affect outcomes at poker in dramatic ways."

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Pumped on Steroids

We have become a win at all cost society, so that the shortterm results have yielded a mix bag of consequences. Namely, for all the heralded accomplishments of this era there is an equal amount of failures and embarrassments. According to any number of sources, the increased steroid usage can be directly attributed to the overwhelming success of today's athlete. In addition, to what degree has the influx of new era poker player's success attributable to steroid usage? Many celebrated athletes in sports are linked with the illegal practice of steroid usage, either directly or indirectly.

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