Since SO many beginners start at PartyPoker, it is a great place to make money.
You know that at the lower levels, you have a fighting chance, even if you picked up the game yesterday. Odds are, 2 or 3 others at your table did too. I highly recommend PartyPoker as your first destination.
The next thing you do when you get there is hit the PLAY MONEY area. Go to their tournaments, and play a whole bunch of No-Limit SNG's. The SNG I will be referring to most often is a No-Limit, one table, everybody pays the same buy-in and gets the same amount of chips, tournament. The SNG ends when one guy has all the chips.
Play a LOT of games here. Not just to get used to the interface, and where the buttons are, and what they do, but also to work on the gameplay you will learn through this book. Work on your game. Work on your techniques. Pretend that you care. Pretend that it is real money.
I say this because once you play with real money; you won't be able to go back to the play money. Not because it's so "fun" to play with real money. It's because the gameplay becomes more "real" and predictable the higher up you go. The more money the folks at the table pay in, the more they care about the outcome. You will notice as you switch games, up and down the ladder, how different it is at each level.
Don't take too much stock in the play money games. If you know what you are doing though, you should flat-out win most of them. Even with the erratic betting you will see. You will take more bad beats at the play money area than anywhere else; so don't let it make you gun-shy.
Fortunately for the play money games, the end game is the same regardless of how much money you paid, or didn't, up front. People still want to win the game when it gets down to 3 or 4 whether it's at $100+10 or 0+0. Thankfully, this will give you a LOT of practice that is universal to SNG games. I will guess that you won't be able to get away with stealing the blinds, uncontested, for as long in the $100+10 games as you do in the $5+1.
In the play money SNG games, some asshole is going to go all-in on the first hand every time. You are welcome to chase him and take his chips if you have AA, KK, AKs or QQ. These are the only hands I would suggest going in with, as there will be other callers also. If you don't have any of these, don't even play the first hand. Fold it away, and watch to see who has the large stack when it's all sorted out.
The only thing good about this is you get to practice against a larger stack. With his 1600-2400 against your 800, you should still be good enough to take him by the end of the game. Maybe sooner.
If folks think the players in the $5+1 games are bad, imagine how bad the players are playing for free? If they were any good, they'd try to win money.
Spend a few hours to days down in the play money SNG area. Once you are winning, or finishing top 3 just about every time, except when you take a bad beat, then you are ready to move up and make some money.
That is how I advise cutting your teeth. Read the rest of this book, and then hit the play money area. If you win your first 3 or 4 SNG's, you know it's time to move up.
The competition gets a lot stiffer, and the players a lot tighter, the more you move up.
A friend of mine got sick of playing the lower buy-in games because the play was still so erratic. So, he tried out, just for fun, the $200+20 table. Everything he did on that table made sense. He would raise to get someone out of the pot, and they would fold. He'd represent something, and folks at the $200 would respect that, and bow out to fight again later.
At the lower levels, SOMEONE will almost always call you to "keep you honest". Playing the $200 SNG's, he won 3 times that first day and was up over 2 grand.
I am not saying to go straight to the big money because it's an easier game. It's a more "predictable" game. At the $5 level, you still have a lot of fish, and they will catch crappy hands against you. There are a lot of rules to live by at the lower levels that you don't need to apply at the higher levels.
It's a different game.
But, hey, it's only a $6 entry fee, and an hour later, you could have $25 to show for it. That's $19 per hour. If you could do it every time, you'd have yourself a nice little side job.
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