# Texas Holdem Poker Tournament Strategy – Starting Hands

Welcome to the fifth in my Texas Holdem Poker Strategy Series, focusing on no limit Texas Holdem poker tournament play and associated strategies. In this article, we’ll examine starting hand decisions.

It may seem obvious, but deciding which starting hands to play, and which ones to skip playing, is one of the most important Texas Holdem poker decisions you’ll make. Deciding which starting hands to play begins by accounting for several factors:

* Starting Hand “groups” (Sklansky made some good suggestions in his classic “Theory of Poker” book by David Sklansky)

* Number of players at the table

* Chip position

Sklansky originally proposed some Texas Holdem poker starting hand groups, which turned out to be very useful as general guidelines. Below you’ll find a “modified” (enhanced) version of the Sklansky starting hands table. I adapted the original Sklansky tables, which were “too tight” and rigid for my liking, into a more playable approach that are used in the Poker Sidekick poker odds calculator. Here’s the key to these starting hands:

Groups 1 to 8: These are essentially the same scale as Sklansky originally proposed, although some hands have been shifted around to improve playability and there is no group 9.

Group 30: These are now “questionable” hands, hands that should be played rarely, but can be reasonably played occasionally in order to mix things up and keep your opponents off balance. Loose players will play these a bit more often, tight players will rarely play them, experienced players will open with them only occasionally and randomly.

The table below is the exact set of starting hands that Poker Sidekick uses when it calculates starting poker hands. If you use Poker Sidekick, it will tell you which group each starting hand is in (if you can’t remember them), along with estimating the “relative strength” of each starting hand. You can just print this article and use it as a starting hand reference.

Group 1: AA, KK, AKs

Group 2: QQ, JJ, AK, AQs, AJs, KQs

Group 3: TT, AQ, ATs, KJs, QJs, JTs

Group 4: 99, 88, AJ, AT, KQ, KTs, QTs, J9s, T9s, 98s

Group 5: 77, 66, A9s, A5s-A2s, K9s, KJ, KT, QJ, QT, Q9s, JT, QJ, T8s, 97s, 87s, 76s, 65s

Group 6: 55, 44, 33, 22, K9, J9, 86s

Group 7: T9, 98, 85s

Group 8: Q9, J8, T8, 87, 76, 65

Group 30: A9s-A6s, A8-A2, K8-K2, K8-K2s, J8s, J7s, T7, 96s, 75s, 74s, 64s, 54s, 53s, 43s, 42s, 32s, 32

All other hands not shown (virtually unplayable).

So, those are the enhanced Sklasky Texas Holdem poker starting hand tables.

The later your position at the table (dealer is latest position, small blind is earliest), the more starting hands you should play. If you’re on the dealer button, with a full table, play groups 1 through 6. If you’re in middle position, reduce play to groups 1 through 3 (tight) and 4 (loose). In early position, reduce play to groups 1 (tight) or 1 through 2 (loose). Of course, in the big blind, you get what you get.

As the number of players drops into the 5 to 7 range, I recommend tightening up overall and playing far fewer, premium hands from the better positions (groups 1 – 2). This is a great time to forget about chasing flush and straight draws, which puts you at risk and wastes chips.

As the number of players drops to 4, it’s time to open up and play far more hands (groups 1 – 5), but carefully. At this stage, you’re close to being in the money in a Texas Holdem poker tournament, so be extra careful. I’ll often just protect my blinds, steal occasionally, and try to let the smaller stacks get blinded or knocked out (putting me into the money). If I’m one of the small stacks, well, then I’m forced to pick the best hand I can get and go all-in and hope to double-up.

When the play is down to 3, it’s time to avoid engaging with big stacks and hang on to see if we can land 2nd place, heads-up. I tend to tighten up a bit here, playing very similar to when there’s just 3 players (avoiding confrontation unless I’m holding a pair or an Ace or a King, if possible).

Once you’re heads-up, well, that’s a topic for a completely different article, but in general, it’s time to become extraordinarily aggressive, raise a lot, and become “pushy”.

In tournaments, it’s always important to keep track of your chips stack size relative to the blinds and everyone else’s stacks. If you’re short on chips, then play far fewer hands (tigher), and when you do get a good hand, extract as many chips as you can with it. If you’re the big stack, well, you should avoid unnecessary confrontation, but use your big stack position to push everyone around and steal blinds occasionally as well – without risking too many chips in the process (the other players will be trying to use you to double-up, so be careful).

Well, that’s a quick overview of an improved set of starting hands and some general rules for adjusting starting hand play based upon game conditions throughout the tournament.

Until next time, best of luck to you at the Texas Holdem poker tables!

Rick

Rick Braddy is an avid writer, Texas Holdem player and professional software developer and marketer for over 25 years. His websites and Texas Holdem poker software helps people become better Texas Holdem players. If you’re a poker player, be sure to visit his Texas Holdem poker poker today and learn how you can play better Texas Holdem poker, too.

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# Play Texas Holdem Poker And Win

This article will reveal to you how to play Texas Holdem Poker and win. Read it now to learn how to win every time

Texas Holdem has gained significant ground in cash games during the recent past. The online poker sites offer a variety of games where the beginners can practice for free before starting on the real Hold em tables.

For beginners playing online is the best place to play because the poker sites handle the boring tasks over playing by themselves.

Play Texas Holdem Poker And Win – Before the Flop

If you are a new player of No Limit then you better restrict yourself to playing the AA-22 and the big connectors AK and AQ. This will surely help you avoid the vulnerability and still leave you a chance to make big money.

Play Texas Holdem Poker And Win – On the Flop

This is the most crucial stage of the Texas Hold em. You are advised to assess the relative strength of your holdings and release the hands that you suspect to be the second best.

Always make note of the stack size of yours and your opponents’. If you feel your opponent to be weak then take the lead with a raise. You are advised to fold while facing a bet until and unless you doubt the strength or weakness of your adversary.

Play Texas Holdem Poker And Win – On the Turn

As your target is obviously taking the lead and building the pot, you must stay focused and analyse the psychology of the opponents. Think twice and re-evaluate your hands before firing.

Play Texas Holdem Poker And Win – Strategy

Winning Texas Hold em requires as much skill as luck. But even more important factor is your strategy while betting. Your every move, bet, raise and call are as crucial as the cards in your hands. The strategy you need to adapt also depends upon your relative position around the table.

If you are sitting exactly beside the blinds you get almost no time to think and no chance to see others’ moves. When sitting in front of the small and big blinds, you get to witness others’ moves and get time to think and take appropriate action.

Play Texas Holdem Poker And Win – A Piece of Advice

Select the right table for the game. After all, you want at least 2-3 weaker players on the table when you sit down. Analyse the psychology of the players: who plays small hands, who intends to bluff, who can be bluffed, etc. Be respectful to the big raises, especially on the turn and river because such players usually don’t bluff.

Just use your brain on the right way and follow the info in this article and you too will be able to play Texas Holdem Poker and win every time.

If So, Download My Brand New Free Tips Ebook ‘7 Of My Top Texas Hold Em Poker Tips’ here: [http://MyTexasHoldemPokerTips.com]

Alex is an avid Hold Em Poker player. Shoot him an email at alex@mytexasholdempokertips.com with any questions you have about winning Holdem.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Alex_Bannon/357151

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# Online Million Dollar Poker Tournaments at Americas Cardroom

Due to the success of their recent multiple Million Dollar Sunday Events, Americas Cardroom will be offering Million Dollar No Limit Holdem tournaments every Sunday starting in January 2018. If you’re not a member, now is great time to sign up and get the feel that will make you a winner. For new members, you get a wealth of bonuses including up to \$1000 cash back, a couple of freerolls and free jackpot poker entries. Jackpot poker is played like a slots machine where you can win a random jackpot as you play poker. The poker game is run concurrently and is the standard no limit holdem poker.
As noted above, the Sunday Million Dollar Events will be every Sunday from January to March right now. If it works out, then you can expect it to continue. Many players at other online poker rooms have been disappointed with recent changes and have lead an exodus to other cardrooms. Americas Cardroom has picked up many new players and is now according to Forbes, one of the top ten cardrooms in the world. Great customer service, new offerings, nice bonuses all come together for a great way to spend the day. And Americas Cardroom is always on the forefront of whatever is new like mobile poker.
Mobile Poker
Play mobile poker games at Americas Cardroom. To get started you need an account already. From there go to play.americascardroom.eu and enter your username and password and you’re good to go. To get an account simply download the software to your computer, install and create a username and password. Just that simple. With mobile poker, you can play anywhere, anytime. And while Americas Cardroom has a wealth of big buck tournaments, you can play in free cash games, freerolls 24/7 or low to mid stakes poker tournaments and cash games. It’s got something for everyone from new poker players to the very experienced.
Upcoming Events
In November, there will be a High Five Series. The High Five Series is poker festival at ACR, they sponsor several times a year. The theme is “420”. The series culminates in a \$420,000 Main Event and the winner not only gets the top cash prize but a bracelet as well.
Punta Cana Poker Results
For several years, ACR, has sponsored the Punta Cana Poker event in Santo Domingo. This year, 2017, Roberto Carvallo from Chile and Jamin Stokes split the first place prize and each got \$97,590 after a long heads up match. Carvallo was declared the winner for the trophy and title with a pair of 3s. For members of ACR, there have been satellite tourneys for the event. The hotel in Santo Domingo rocks and looks like the kind that has been featured in many music videos of the “good life”.
Million dollar Sundays, mobile poker, and recurrent poker series as well as the land based Punta Cana Poker Classic are reasons to check ACR out. For new members, get a wealth of great incentives and for current members check out the great comp for players.

# Erik Seidel Professional Poker Player Bio

If you thought poker was only for the young, think again. Erik Seidel is pushing 60 and is still going strong winning tournaments. He’s one of the most successful of all poker players. He joined the Poker Hall of Fame in 2010.
He started out playing backgammon but at Brooklyn College, he shifted to poker and hasn’t looked back. He started as stock broker on the American Stock Exchange and joined the Mayfair Club in New York.
The Mayfair Club was a cardroom in New York that was originally a bridge and backgammon club. It shifted to poker and cranked out some of the top poker players of the day including Jay Heimowitz, Mickey Appleman, Dan Harrington, Howard Lederer, Stu Ungar and more. The club was closed in 2000. But this was the area where Erik Seidel got the skills.
Professional Poker Highlights
European Poker Tour
In May 2015, Seidel won the European Poker Tour Super High Roller for over \$2 million dollars. And that’s just part of his winning for that year. In 2015, Seidel took home over \$4 million dollars in live tournament events alone. This doesn’t include private tournaments with wealthy high rollers or online games. In 2016, he took over \$3 million dollars including a \$158,479 win at the European Poker Tour Grand Final in Monte Carlo. He’s truly in the poker elite.
World Poker Tour
Seidel won the World Poker Tour at the 2008 WPT Foxwoods Poker Classic for \$992,890. In 2011 he was runner up for \$155,103. Other notable World Poker Tour finishes include the WPT Five Diamond Classic where he took 4th place for \$335,160 in 2016.
World Series of Poker
Seidel was runner up in his first major WSOP in 1988. He made the final table again in 1999. He’s had many cashes there and has won eight bracelets, the most recent in 2007. He is a flexible player with bracelets in Holdem, Omaha, and Deuce to Seven Draw. Only five other players have more bracelets than Seidel.
Aria High Roller
Seidel is a frequent casher at the Aria High Roller Bowl, a monthly tournament with today’s top players. His largest cash there was for over \$500,000 in 2016.
Seidel in 2017 shows no signs of slowing down. His total earnings for the year that’s not even over yet are over \$2 million dollars. His largest cash this year was the Poker Masters Event for almost \$600,000. He also placed 3rd in the PokerStars Monte Carlo Eight Max for \$461,570.
The amazing thing about Seidel is he’s older than most of players out there. Some say poker is for young guys only but Seidel is proving them wrong.