Very Fishy

Very Fishy

Friday, 1 May 2009

Dear Dr Tom,

I am a beginning poker player trying to get to grips with online play. Are there any poker sites that are particularly good for beginners? And is there any tuition software that you can particularly recommend?


Dear Fishy

At low stakes poker you’ll find the same motley crew wherever you play. Just make sure you sign up on some kind of rakeback deal since you’ll be glad for it when, in a few months time, you’re larging it up at the high stakes tables and paying thousands a month in rake.

As for training software, you can sign up to a poker training website, most notably Cardrunners, which will happily separate you from your cash for the privilege of watching teenagers run arse-clenchingly scary bluffs for thousands, or you can buy a sit-n-go analyser that will tell you how to put all your chips into the middle with K-2.

I’d start with a book. The training websites are in danger of forcing you to learn a game that doesn’t suit you, and the pushbot analysers are not much use if you have more than ten big blinds. Books teach you general principles which you can apply to any game. They’re also much cheaper so you can use the cash left over to try things out at the tables. The Theory of Poker by Sklansky is where it all started for me. But anything that has chapters on pot odds, implied odds, equity and other general concepts is a good start. By the way, online play is no different from live play. Happy reading!

Dr Tom

Tags: Tom Sambrook, Strategy,