Even Yahtzee is a form of primitive Draw as players must decide which dice to "discard" or keep. A stop loss is when a player set a particular limit to the amount they will lose in a session and if they hit that limit will immediately quit playing. People who employ angles are dubbed 'angle shooters. Counterfeited describes a poker situation where a hand that once had value of its own has been rendered null and void due to the board texture. Pages with citations lacking titles Pages with citations having bare URLs. That said, if you suspect your villain has a very strong hand himself it can often be correct to play your big draw more passively.
Yes, math is last a distant last actually, though still clearly makes the list. There are also three minor categories, which are less about predicting poker aptitude and potential, and more about predicting how likely you are to reach and use that potential:. These are also in order again, my opinion. Good luck to all the non self-aware people who are congratulating themselves for their excellent logic, math, and people skills. However, I feel that my answer to most individual people is to wait a long time before making the jump.
What sucks about this plan, for many college students today, is that Black Friday destroyed their ability to stay at their school in the US and play online poker on the side. Look no further than Brian Hastings or Z and Hac Dang for proof that you can be a world class player and literally make millions while going to and finishing college. Building your resume with college or your job is an extremely valuable Plan B to have or Plan A!
If transferring to a school in another country is an option, I think you should seriously consider it. I was talking to a friend of mine about some problems she was having. Just kind of general aimlessness and uncertainty about what she wanted or where she was heading.
During our conversation I amended it to four, or three and a half, really:. Stop focusing so hard on working and planning to improve your life. Today is your life. Do something that you enjoy right now. Or, if it has to be a long term goal, set up checkpoints. Write ten pages by next Friday and you should feel rewarded and accomplished when you do.
Spend time with people you enjoy, people you love. Be good to everyone, but especially the people most important to you. That is where your happiness will come from in the long run. More importantly, you owe it to the relationships with people who are truly good to you, who deserve your attention and effort.
If you got this far, I hope you were able to grab a couple of bits and pieces that spoke to you. Writing things like this out helps me as well. A wonderful overview that contains great insight and should be read often. Please continue with this line but a poker insight of the day would enhance the blog. Thanks for all the advice.
I will cut down on poker to enjoy the college experience for a few years now. I will use the years to read up on some of my weaker games and maby return to the filt as a much more reflected player. Poker will still be a part of my life, but I will have to cut down on the Internet grinding. It gives me so much more apple to play live with my friends.
Ultimately, it all boils down to balance. That is, living a life wherein we satisfy the needs that make us human: You might enjoy this documentary that can be found on NetFlix if you ever have spare time.
Basically about people who sorta just take a different approach to life and do what makes them happy. Was a pretty cool film with some great cinematography and quotes. It reminded me of the freedom that comes with playing poker and some cool opportunities that can arise from it. Great words Phil, i really appreciate this, thanks for your advice and time, and for giving so much back to the community. Phil Ivey made 5 million at craps at the Montreal casino last week.
They wanted to close the table So do I play craps or poker as a career!!! Be Phil Ivey for a career, that never hurts. I have never been an online play even thought I did play a little always live. Honestly Im thinking of making the jump and trying it. Would appreciate your option to help me along. Very honest and good Phil, enjoyed. A lot of this stuff is speaking loud and clear to me.
Going through this sort of thing with poker and my career just now, thanks. Your the man Phil! I love your poker philosophy. Great read,I love how you break down everything. Thanks for the advice. Thanks for your thoughts. Wonderful philosophical and practical points. I also appreciate the humor sprinkled in haha. I know u are playing online predominantly but playing live in Vegas couple months out of the year but what do u think about moving to Vegas and playing live for a living? A great read as usual Phil.
Perfect timing for me. Phil — Excellent post. I quit my corporate job last Friday after close to two years of contemplation. You articulate the thought process very, very well in this post. Thank you for sharing. Great read and because of this post Ive taken a lot away to think about. Be proud of yourself and the fact that because of your poker success you are making a positive difference in peoples lives and the world. Poker has been your ticket to making that difference.
I hope a lot of poker hopefuls read this before quitting their day job or dropping out of school. What, are they the luckiest guys in Las Vegas? Of course, that was back in … how times have chancged. The big fish are fewer and far between. So, if someone is still wanting to take on poker as a career full-time, they should be prepared to getting burned out quickly… then what?
Back to square one. Wow, great read Phil. I sent you an e-mail awhile back and this really hit the spot. I must not have been the only one asking these questions. Your philosophys really strike a cord with me also, no idea what this means Recently had major heart surgery repair work from chemotherapy as a teenager and now am unable to continue my career as a gas engineer because of the physical aspects involved.
This post was really helpful, thank you. Any other words of advice for someone like me looking to carve a career specifically as a Tournement player would be much appreciated. It is only getting harder, and you simply cannot count on another boom coming. Eight years ago, I recommended playing poker as a living to anyone with half a brain.
Five years ago, I recommended it to a select few. Today, I cannot imagine a person not already extremely knowledgable, for whom poker as a profession would be the right decision. Seriously, this is not just an attempt to dishearten would-be fellow grinders, tho that obviously benefits me.
Mark my words, the stories of doom and gloom from pros will only keep growing. Thx for that great comment: Mission accomplished, but the game is a grind to beat nowadays. If you do not have the proper personality for the long hours and the constant swings, do not bother. Hey Phil great blog.
Your blog really reminds me of me so thanks for that and hope to meet you one day! You know what bothers me most about your blog? The JPEG compression artifacts on your top banner image. Phil, Thanks for your valued time and advice to write this blog. Hi Phil - As always, very thoughtful and insightful.
I expect a lot of people will get something out of this. There may be one or two whose life you redirect in a positive way. BTW, flying by the seat of your pants: Their way of telling what the plane was doing was to feel it through the seat of their pants — i. So thank you again. This will generate a few torch replies but one key piece missing in this and most other poker life guides I have read is faith. Poker is an inherently selfish profession.
You are engaging in the systematic taking of something of value in order to sustain your own well being. For you to succeed, someone else must fail. This entire mindset is one of self focus.
So no one needs to lose for you to win OR vice versa. This is true happiness in my belief system. Just wanted to throw this it for thought, not as a criticism.
Your comments were very well constructed, well thought out, generally solid and helpful to many I am sure. Why do you need to do good things for your God and not just for the people that you are doing them for? I am a kind and loving person to friends, family and strangers. Why do I need faith to motivate me? LikeBe the first to like this. Great analysis for poker players and people in other professions as well. I spent a lot of time playing poker because it made me happy.
Compared to my day job at the time, it was heaven play vs. Once I pulled myself away from the poker table, I channeled all that extra energy into something that made me much more happy, a business I built from the ground up. The same rush of winning, too. Given the state of the games and the fact online poker is dead for the short term, and the gold rush is over, trying to play for a living sounds like a miserable life choice, but that is just me.
If your in school, finish now while you have the momentum, you can do both. If you have a job you hate, you should put together plan and quit.
I feel that you really must have a love for the game to make it a profession. The money alone will not get you through the daily grind of playing. I think Phil is correct in saying new full time players should learn more games outside of holdem.
Holdem fields are so large in tournys and there are so many really good players. More players should try to be like Phil in his respect for the game and players. I too grew up in Maryland and it feels good to know someone like Phil grew up there as well. He used his time studying other prisoners and trying to figure out why some survived the insane hardships and others gave up.
The focus of his work was helping people find meaning in life. He say the more we seek self-actualization the more we miss it. It is through self-transcendance that we are actualized. The whole book is a masterpiece on finding meaning in life. Never too old to learn. As I grew up I realized my parents were pretty smart and always had my best interest at heart.
When one of my sons married, he told us that he appreciated all the things we have done for him, even though there were some tough times. Life is too short for Net Negative. Thanks for your insight. Amazing blog as always. My response- You will realize as you grow older that life is nothing more than a whole bunch of random variables. What is important is that you are happy, and as long as that is in place the rest of the pieces will fall into place.
You can find it at PhilGalfond. Thanks for the privelege of reading your insightful thoughts, well done. Great read from an recent MBA grad and poker enthusiast, struggling to find my niche in the job market. I wish u a good life. I encourage you to read the Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. I think Coyle would have a different set of points that make a poker player great and your opinion would be amazing.
The book is a good read as well and broadens your knowledge. Unfortunately your entire post is made with respect to one person. Try applying any of this with someone you need to care for. A guy I know was one of the best most profitable poker players in a large metro area, but now he has a family and its no longer an option.
Think about walking in those shoes everyday when using your examples above. Your top-of-mind goals and values are very similar to mine on a way other level ofcourse , but these thrive my happiness too. It feels like an endless struggle and that sucks. Well, i played a lot of poker when i was in college.
It definitely gave the opportunity to live luxury and relaxed, but it also cost me a lot of time. In the beginning of i started to play professionally and it went great until black Friday. To me this give me the opportunity to look at my future.
I ended up to decide to finish of college still had to finish of more then two years , and then look again for next opportunities like Phill said, live the day, enjoy en make short term goals. Amazingly by putting all my energy in the short 1 year goal to finish of college it was pretty ease. It also feels great to have the opportunity to fall back at plan B a degree. When i decided to quit poker for a year actually i played a very little bit i also decided that perhaps in summer after finishing college i would take a shot for one month short term and after playing that month reevaluate things.
But i also realize that i must at least earn like two times a regular job that fits me, just because to compensate for uncertainty and missing benefits that comes with a normal job. Still i should be able to fall back at plan B when plan A is not working games to hard, to few games, new games i cant win, etc.
So i guess, just finish college. Keep some focus and after graduating you decide whats best in your interest right there and then. While poker is still a game, most of professional sporters are playing games. And i know i have had never the abilities to be a prof soccer player or golfer etc.
The same applies to poker, to be a prof player you need to be in consistent winner over long time. Its not about being a good player, its being a good player that is able to compete and is able to win whit skills.
Focus at things you know your good at, and maybe play poker in your spare time. If it works well…………… then you could try to play professionally. If its not working out, you fall back at your degree of work experience. Great read bro, truly inspiring. I am not being a poker pro, totally aware that I have a very very long road to travel before I actually make a final table in the WPT. Poker is all about the journey, not the destination especially to amateur players that have day jobs.
The poker pro qualifies dozens of time and barely remembers the players at the final table online. The amateur remembers every hand. When I asked tedsfishfry in Cyprus if he remembered the final table that I co-qualified with him, he politely told me that no, he did not, because he was probably ten-tabling at the time, sorry.
Nice guy, but the world of a poker pro is different. Wins are normal, there are a lot, and the random amateur just does not register on the radar. To some poker pros, qualifying amateurs are like the mosquitoes of the poker world … annoying and there always seem to be some around.
Clearly an amateur because no one recognizes me. Today I direct a group of companies and yes, it is still a game that I take very seriously.
The bottom line is that playing poker at as high a level as you can is not always about choosing to play or not. You can take on a new challenge and keep the poker because your game personality is not going away anytime soon … it is who you are. Phil, your post motivated my first post here. I personally think you have a double dose of this trait.
I would also highly recommend any aspiring poker player read, study and burn this article into their brain and their way of thinking. I can find no flaws to your article although I am sure may be one or two if I looked hard and I personally asked myself many of these questions five years ago.
I chose my career and I am very successful at it and therefore it allows me to play poker with little pressure along with maximizing my enjoyment of the game.
Good job there youngling. Your honesty and ability to verbalize your decision-making process, in poker and in life, are always refreshing and informative.
Hey Phil, do you have someone you can recommend in nyc that gives holdem and omaha lessons? Looking to give as a gift. You articulate your observations in ways that are incisive and meaningful. Like a modern day warrior poet. Really helps keep things in perspective and how humility is such a important part of poker. Sometime its nice to hear some of your own thoughts from someone else. Reason I ask, I spent a couple of years grinding small-stakes even wrote a couple of articles for poker mags , but quit to start a web company.
If you want to find out more, read his post here. Not sure u read the comments, but that was a nice open-minded, poker-oriented, based on experience approach to life and to decision making. Thx and I am sending you my appreciation for what you do here and for the fact that you like and try to make others better. Just hrs a DAY really makes a difference after couple years.
Take some notes per day and try to analyze how you could have won bit more on this session. And when you put all your time to relationships, poker is just small thing in your life.
Hey Phil, I have something that has bothered me for a long time, and that I would really like to get your view of. Thanks for the post Phil. For your next one, could you consider continuing the story of your poker journey that you started in the post before this one?
Lots of good points in this article that I think most older successful poker players have started thinking about a lot more since April Particularly about evaluating what you think could make you the most happy and if poker do that for you. This is an excerpt from Forbes magazine that has particularly made me re-think poker as a living: The probability of being dealt a pair or better in the first five cards dealt is almost even—to be exact, 0.
So it's almost a 3 to 1 chance, when playing against two opponents, that one of them will hold a pair or better in the first five dealt cards. The probabilities vary slightly depending upon what you hold. The lowest-ranking regular five-card Poker hand is comprised of 7,5,4,3,2 in mixed suits.
The above table is particularly helpful to players who play high-low variants of Poker. In the short run each additional active player in the game increases the odds against you on any particular hand. In the long run, since all players have to put an equal sum into the pot, thus increasing the size of the pot in direct ratio to the increased odds, it doesn't make much difference as far as odds are concerned if you are bucking one or seven players.
In High-Low Poker, where aces count both high and low, the perfect low hand is 6,4,3,2, and ace. Note that your chances of making four of a kind are three times as great when drawing a pair minus a kicker than when holding a kicker. In fact, you have a better chance of improving your hand when drawing three cards to a pair than when drawing two cards to a pair plus a kicker.
The tables above give ample proof of that. However, good Poker playing demands that a player occasionally hold a kicker with a pair so as to keep your opponents in doubt as to your playing habits. These two tables above show that the best chance for improvement with three of a kind is to draw two cards and not hold a kicker. Holding a kicker increases the odds against the player for any improvement. The odds against making a flush by drawing one card of the same suit are about 4.
If you insist on drawing to a three-card flush, the odds against your catching two cards of the same suit are approximately 23 to 1. When drawing one card to a four-card straight flush, which may be open in the middle, at one end, or both ends. A very unusual mathematical situation arises in Joker Wild regarding the relative value of three of a kind and two pairs. As you see above, the chances of drawing three of a kind are one in Since there is a better chance of drawing three of a kind than two pairs the latter should be of a higher rank and beat three of a kind.
This peculiar situation is caused by the fact that there are 82, possible five-card Poker hands that contain a pair plus the joker. When a player holds one of these 82, hands he values his hand at three of a kind, making the joker count the same denomination as the pair he is holding.
But if we should permit the two pairs to rank as a higher hand than three of a kind, we would accomplish nothing; the playing holding one of the 82, possible Poker hands containing a pair plus the joker would use the joker or form another pair with the highest-ranking odd card and would value his hand at tow pairs.
This would bring the total number of two pairs in a pack of 53 cards to , and the possible number of three of a kinds to 54, Under these conditions, considering the relative value of both hands, three of a kind must remain of higher value than two pairs.
There are two solutions to this. I give them here in case there are a few players who may want to play a completely sound mathematical game. If the following two rules are used they will mathematically permit three of a kind to retain its higher value in relation to two pairs.
I did not incorporate either rule in my laws of Joker Wild in Scarne on Cards because I have learned that you cannot change playing habits that easily. In this Unfold Poker strategy article we turn our attention to the precise matter of just how wide we In this article we look at some of the practical preparation a poker player should be considering before If you have forgotten your PokerStars School password you can reset it by following these steps here:.
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Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue. The 1,, possible five-card no-pair hands are divided as follows: The odds against making a full house by drawing one card to two pairs are about 11 to 1. Chances of Odds Against Filling in a Four-Card Straight in Draw Poker Table 7 Odds against making a straight open at one end 11 to 1 Odds against making a straight open in the middle 11 to 1 Odds against making a straight open at both ends 5 to 1 Odds Against Filling in a Four-Card Flush in Draw Poker The odds against making a flush by drawing one card of the same suit are about 4.