A Poker Religion

How is poker religion? I don’t know about you, but only attend one church: the Church of Texas Holdem. I worship there daily and when the collection plate is passed around, it’s me who gathers up the donations.

If you want to find out how to play poker better, the first thing to do is treat your poker like a religion. The poker religion is no easier or more difficult than any other form of worship. It has rules and laws, rewards persistence and strict observance and will welcome you back into the fold anytime you’re ready to return from the wilderness and learn how to play poker to WIN.

Worship regularly

Just as your boss asks you to be at the office by a certain time each day, because he knows you’ll be there to answer the phone, write emails or whatever else it is that people do in offices these days, the god of poker wants you to be there every day too. Try to create a schedule for your poker play and stick to it.

Obviously this does not apply to those androids who play 19 hours per day and seldom sleep! The rest of us have lives outside of poker and must make our poker religion fit in with all our other activities. You’ll find friends and family are far more understanding if they know in advance that you play every day from noon to seven.

Religious observance

So the next question arises: How to play poker religiously? It seems simple, but you must learn to trust the poker gods. Yes, your big pairs WILL be busted by sets. You WILL be flushed out on the river and you WILL endure horrible days (or weeks, or months) when seemingly nothing goes your way. It’s tempting during such torrid runs to turn your back on the poker religion and do whatever you have to to retain your sanity. But you’ll find, looking back, that all this achieves is heartache.

I won’t judge any other religions, but the poker religion frowns on those who stray from the path of light and truth. The penalty is not eternal damnation, but bankroll retraction. Learn how to play poker to win and stick to what works and in the long run, you’ll always be ahead.

Study the poker scriptures

There is a wealth of brilliant poker writing out there. I won’t be able to advise you on what style suits you best: are you a Gus Hansen or a Dan Harrington? The truth for most of us is somewhere between these two extremes of style. Those following my poker religion will learn that prudence is often best, but sometimes you have to be a little crazy.

I prefer to be serious about my poker, but not boring in writing style. Some poker writers are dry as dust and you’ll fall asleep halfway through the first chapter. Others are genius players but unable to communicate their ideas well enough.

If any of this rings true with you, perhaps it’s time to learn how to play poker to win by following my poker religion. The Church of Texas Holdem is open all hours and we’re always happy to have new followers. We hope you join us very soon! Good luck at the tables.

Play Poker Games Online – Become a Millionaire

Poker games online are becoming very popular, as a matter of fact, most poker players prefer playing online as opposed to in person. Even online video poker is being played more statistically than video poker in the casino! People from all around the World are finally realizing you can do all the gambling you want in the comfort of your own home and at your own pace. No more paying for airfare, outrageous hotel fees, gas (especially at over $3.00 a gallon), food, etc… Not only that it’s nearly impossible for online poker cheating to happen and in real life at the casino it definitely can happen. Why do you think all those cameras are installed in a casino? Cheating is definitely going on and even though casino owners try everything they can to prevent it, it’s impossible. There is one solution to solve the problem though. That solution is to play online poker. Online poker has turned your average Joe into the World Series of Poker winner and the World Poker Tour Winner. Take a look at the history of the World Series of Poker and you will see that half of them came from online and over half of them won an entry into the tournament by playing online poker tournaments. Online poker tournaments, especially Sit-N-Go’s can be a great source of income if you learn the secrets behind winning them over and over again.

If you don’t know about Sit-N-Go’s, let me explain. A Sit-N-Go is basically an online poker tournament where poker chips are used at the poker table instead of real money. You only risk losing the buy-in of the tournament instead of all your bankroll. The top 3 finishers out of 9 make it to the money. Third place gets 20% of the overall prize pool, second place gets 30%, and first place gets 50%. That’s a huge jump from first to third so it is best to gun for first every time instead of playing tight just to make the money. The secret behind mastering these Sit-N-Go’s is when there is around 5 player’s left in the online poker tournament. This is where all player’s start to play tight in fear of them not making it to the money. When you get down to 5 players, You MUST start playing aggressive, stealing player’s blinds and showing them who is boss. Don’t back down to ANYONE. If you play aggressive and don’t let other player’s bully you around, you will find much more poker players respecting your game and you will also notice that they will hardly EVER bluff you again. Online poker rooms definitely give you a mixture of players that play tight, loose, aggressive, maniacs, etc…These player’s are all around the world and it gives you a good learning experience and a chance to experience what the World Series of Poker or the World Poker Tour would be like when you get to play in it one day. Stick to your game, play aggressive when there is 5 player’s or fewer left, and you will be on your way to success in the online poker world.

Stress Less For Poker Success – Is Stress Holding You Back?

I’m going to be completely honest with you. The ingredient I’m about to tell you about doesn’t have near the amount of clinical evidence supporting its use as Rhodiola does. In fact, I’d say it has little evidence supporting it. That’s precisely why it took 4 years of convincing from one of my good friends before I even tried it. What it lacks in clinical evidence, it makes up for in real-world feedback.

I credit Bacopa monniera for single-handedly changing my primary principle from which my professional reputation was built upon. Prior to Bacopa, my mantra was “Nutraceuticals that are strongly supported by clinical evidence.” I was damn tired of being fooled by the marketing of these dietary supplement companies. I was not going to have my reputation hurt by those very same companies. Thus, I went to the medical journals for evidence. If the medical journals supported a nutraceutical, then I was comfortable recommending it. My world was quickly turned upside down.

Then Bacopa came along. So little clinical evidence. So much real-world feedback. What was I do to? I bit the bullet, and tried it. Let’s just say my new mantra is “Nutraceutials supported by clinical evidence AND real-world feedback.” I quickly learned that if I waited for every nutraceutical to have a large amount of clinical evidence supporting its use, I’d be 10 years behind the innovators. Innovation along with documentation is now the key to my success. I may look like a renegade practitioner to some traditional medical professionals, however I’m light years ahead of them. When they say renegade, I say innovator.

Bacopa monniera

What is it?

Also known as Brahmi, has been used for several hundred years in Ayurvedic medicine. Typically grown in India and the tropics, its primary benefits all involve the brain.

Improved memory

Improved learning

Improved concentration

Decreased anxiety

Antioxidant properties

Like all herbals, it contains multiple compounds that are responsible for its beneficial effects. The two that are important to its cognitive-enhancing abilities are bacosides A and B. Thus, that will be your “alcohol proof” for Bacopa.

How it works?

Once again like most herbals, there are multiple theories on how Bacopa improves mental performance. They include:

Enhancing nerve impulse transmission

Helping repair damaged neurons through multiple mechanisms

Antioxidant activity in the hippocampus, frontal cortex, and striatum

Thus, there’s really not just one way Bacopa works. It has an entire arsenal of cognitive-enhancing weapons.

Dosage

When using an extract, the typical dosage is 200-400mg in divided doses standardized to 20% A and B bacosides. I personally use 200-400mg standardized to 50% A and B bacosides. Because of the lack of clinical evidence supporting its use, I feel there’s an unknown as to exactly what the best dosage is. I had to tinker with my dosage until I found what I felt was right for me. I suggest you do the same. The above is a good starting dosage.

Why I like it for poker

Unlike Rhodiola which can be used in acute situations, Bacopa can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks to see the benefits. In fact, the studies that I read, the average time it took to see the benefits was around 6 weeks. Thus, I use it year-round. Over the long haul, it helps to minimize my every day “normal” stress. When things get particularly stressful, I’ll add Rhodiola anywhere from 1-3 weeks. I’ve found using Bacopa year round and adding Rhodiola every once in the while works the best for me. There’s a synergy between the two.

Most poker players play on-line almost every day or every couple of days, while participating in major tournaments once or twice a month. Using Bacopa every day combats the stress of the nightly games, while adding Rhodiola for a week during the tournament is particularly helpful. It’s very convenient for poker players.

Secondly, not only does it help with stress, but it also has cognitive-enhancing capabilities. I’m sure you’ve already noticed that the majority of what I’ve recommend thus far always has cognitive-enhancing effects. I’m always looking for the most efficient nutracueticals available. If I can kill two birds with one stone, GREAT. Bacopa and Rhodiola both fit this profile. I always look at everything from a mental standpoint. Will this nutraceutical improve my mental performance? Mental performance is of paramount importance to me as it is to you also.

I firmly believe that the best poker players in the world are masters of their emotions. Success at the poker table is largely the sum of checking your ego at the door, minimizing mental fatigue, and controlling your emotions. If you can control those three things, you will quickly separate yourself from the pack.

When I look back over my last 10 or so losses, the other guy never really flat out beat me. I almost always beat myself. Probably 7 out of 10 times. Either my ego made the wrong call, I was mentally drained and made a stupid mistake, or I made an emotional, not rational move. Stupid mistakes that will always hold me back from reaching my true potential. Memorizing the odds, the strategy, and the player’s trends is relatively easy for me. However, playing rational, checking my ego at the door, and following my head not my heart is so tough.

That’s why I believe nutraceuticals can have a major impact on your game. They may not be able to check your ego at the door, but I know they’ll improve your mental energy and cognitive abilities while also minimize the stress, anxiety, and pressure associated with poker. When I’m stressed or anxious, I’m emotional. Rationality and everything else I learned about the game of poker goes out the door.

Finding that critical balance between relaxation and stimulation is the key. Like the reader pointed out in the first e-mail I posted, in poker over-stimulation is just as bad as mental fatigue. It’s finding that sweet spot, that exact feeling where you’re so relaxed, yet so focused. That’s the zone. That’s minimizing stress and anxiety while improving mental energy. That’s the goal for my nootropic regimen.

There you go. Read it over. Do a search for Bacopa on the internet, and let me know what you think. I’ll post the small amount of studies I have later tonight. Like I said, the real-world feedback trumps the clinical evidence for this ingredient. Good luck and may the cards fall your way.

Wooden Poker Chip Cases – Practical Advice For the Poker Enthusiast

Home poker tournaments and Texas Hold-‘Em games have been gaining increasing popularity over the last several years. Whether a seasoned poker player or a weekend warrior, most of us end up hosting our poker tournaments in the kitchen, basement, or garage due to limited space at home. I usually end up with stacks of poker chips lying around and have to organize them every time the gang comes over to play poker. Another problem is that not all of my friends have enough poker chips, and I have to transport my chips back and forth to my friend’s houses. During my travels, my expensive chips face the risk of damage or getting lost in transport.

The solution… A custom wooden poker chip case with removable chip trays! The chip case can solve a multitude of storage, organizational and transportation problems. A quality case will allow you to sort the denominations of your chips and neatly organize them. Wooden poker cases may include chip trays that can be used to protect and store your poker chips, or can be removed to stack player’s chips at the poker table. Often times, chip trays come with the poker case as a set, but can be bought separately depending on your needs. I found that walking into a poker game with your own poker chip case establishes a great impression. Further, it lets people know that I am serious about my game.

There are a multitude of poker chip cases and trays on the market, from inexpensive plastic trays to outrageously expensive sets. If you have clay chips like me, and not those cheap knock off ones from Wal-Mart, you will want to store them in a suitable case. The last thing you want to be seen lugging around are those aluminum attaché cases. In my opinion, those are not worth the shipping cost! I have found that the wooden cases look classy in any room. Many people think the poker chest is a fine cigar case or decorative storage box. The case is perfect for organizing your chips, and also provides a place for you to keep your cards and buy-in cash. This is excellent because you don’t have to worry about cards getting bent or funds vanishing from someone’s back pocket.

When choosing a wooden case, there are a variety of styles you can pick from, and if you order a custom case made to your specifications, you can choose from a variety of hard woods. You may want to consider a custom built case to house your one of a kind, collectible chips. When spending a great deal of money on collectible chips, it seems silly to display them in a plastic case. One thing to consider when choosing a wooden chip case is to specify that the finish be ‘chip friendly.’ Polyurethane or a non-soluble varnish is an ideal choice, as it does not impart any staining on your chips. Specifically, avoid any type of Oil finish such as Tung or Danish oil, as these oils can penetrate into the clay chips over time and attract even more grime.

When researching a chip case to buy, be certain that your Casino Chips are appropriately sized for the chip case. Generally speaking, the majority of chips are of the 39mm size. Large denomination chips, as well as chips based on the Paulson Inverted Hat and Cane (IHC) fractionals mold, are of the larger 43mm size, and will most likely need custom chip trays and cases. Casino Chip thickness can also impact how difficult it is too add or remove chips from a tray. As a chip begins to show signs of wear, edges may become less crisp and the chip becomes a bit thinner. Over time, chips may begin to wiggle a bit in the case.

From my experience, a wooden poker chip case adds a touch of class to any home poker game, and shows your poker friends you have an eye for style and organization.