All The Aces Daily Poker Column

The Poker Lifestyle

So you wanna be a poker player?

The Poker Lifestyle
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People who haven’t started playing poker yet are often asking us: What makes it so appealing? Why does it turn into a major lifestyle addition for millions of people? The answer is poker has its own peculiar logic, its own lingo and its own theatrics. It offers people with ordinary jobs and family lives the opportunity to BE somebody else for a while each day. It’s like joining a closed membership club. It has its own rules, customs and manners (most of the time) and it’s a long way from normal. Maybe you’re a bus driver or office worker by day but you make an extra £100 a week playing online Texas Hold’em. This adds a real boost to the way you feel about yourself. If you become good at poker you feel like an initiate in a very cool secret society.
If you don’t believe all this, ask yourself the question: Why are so many millions of your fellow citizens hooked on the game and why is it expanding faster than any other sporting activity on the planet? Better still. Go to and take one of the FREE tutorials. When you’ve learned the basics, begin playing for a few months. By then you’ll know exactly what we’ve been talking about.

Q: As a new player I see a lot of experienced players launching a pre-flop raise. What are their objectives in doing this and what should I read into it as a relative novice?
A: A pre-flop raise should be treated with respect by new players. Most of the time it will indicate the player concerned has strong hole cards and is determined to see some value in the pot. If the same player has made pre-flop raises regularly over an evening of poker, you should treat it with suspicion and not be intimidated into
folding when you yourself have powerful hole cards. As you gain experience and confidence and are able to build up profiles of different player-types, you may want to attack a pre-flop raise with a re-raise but you need to be sure of yourself and your game to do this. A good tip is to study the hand histories of players’ names that you recognise. This will give you a guide as to how they play and whether or not pre-flop raises are an over-used characteristic of their game. In other words, is he or she a compulsive bluffer or stack bully, or is their use of the pre-flop raise a rare event indicating they have the goods?

ALL THE ACES poker column:
Sunday January 29, 2006: 
The Poker Lifestyle