Poker isn’t just about having the best hands, in fact many players would argue that the hand is mostly irrelevant, and that the key to winning a game of poker lies entirely with your opponent. Not only are you counting on their level of ability, but also on their tells, their weaknesses and whether you can outplay them consistently enough to beat them and win a tournament. Norwegian poker professional, Annette Obrestad, proved that the cards mean little when she famously took down an entire 180 player online tournament without looking at her cards. Annette’s point was that position is one of the most important things in poker, and that you should play your opponent, and not your cards.
If it’s all about playing your opponent then it goes without saying that you want to find some poker software that has weak players, making your job easier and increasing your profits over the long run. That’s what this article is about, and although it’s very subjective, it is an area that I have researched extensively through my own play. Before we get into the meat of the article though, we will take a look at two other factors that can determine the ability level of the players sitting around you.
Best Texas Holdem Sites for Real Money !
There are those that think the level of stakes makes all the difference in the quality of player, but whilst there can be a slight impact, it’s nowhere near as much as many people imagine it to be. There is an assumption that you more money you play for, the higher quality of player you will encounter, but this is not necessarily true. At the free-roll level it is true that 95% of players don’t really care whether they win or lose and will happily go all-in on every hand if it helps to speed things along, but the paid stakes have more to do with the expendable income of a person than their abilities as a poker player.
If a jobless, inexperienced gambler decides to try and learn poker, he’ll probably begin at the micro stakes level, whereas someone who has a lot of expendable income and some history with gambling is likely to begin at a much higher level. So, whilst there is an assumption that the micro stakes are for beginnings, you can just as easily find such players in the medium and even high stake games. You probably think that they are naive for jumping in at the deep end, and maybe you’re be right, but to them it’s the same as a game of roulette or blackjack; it’s not something they need to ease themselves into.
As someone who has played at most levels, having began as a penniless player and worked my way up, I can tell you that whilst the differences are not as great as people think, they do exist, and not in the way people assume. Micro stakes are actually where many of the nittier players play; small amounts of money mean a lot to these players and they go out of their way to hold onto the money that they invested. The same goes for when they get “in the money”; micro stake players are more likely to sit tight and wait for the players around them to drop, rather than taking advantage of the hesitation and making their move.
At the high stakes level the proportion of quality players is higher than at the low stakes level, but if you’re looking for the easiest opponents going off of stake alone, then medium stakes are your best bet. These are the games that cost between $20 and $60, and the best time to play them is usually on the weekend. This is when you’ll get the gamblers, the drinkers and the part-timers, the ones who decide that instead of dropping $50 on a sports game, they’ll have a few drinks and play a poker tournament instead. The weekend itself is a great time to play in general, as we will discuss in the next section.
This is a tricky one, but generally, and as mentioned above, the best time to play is on the weekend, as this is when you’ll run into the gamblers. This is also when the tournaments are at their fullest. Of course, if you play at the micro stake level then it doesn’t matter when you play, because you’ll never run into a professional at that level and the majority of opponents you face throughout the week may be out of work, and therefore more inclined to hold onto what money they have. That’s not to say that everyone playing at these times is out of work, as many retired people play poker throughout the week, as do those who simply don’t work standard shifts, but this certainly applies for the majority.
That doesn’t make them an easy beat though, as these are some of the hardest players you can run into. As discussed above, micro stakes are difficult on the whole, but not only will these players try to hold onto their money, more often than not they will succeed. Think of them like the post-school age kids who flood Xbox live. They don’t have work to go to and spend their days playing the game they love and getting incredibly good at it.
The players you want to face are the ones that work through the week and relax on the weekend with a drink and a game of poker. These are the ones least likely to spend their time learning the game, visiting the poker forums, etc,. and more likely to implement out-and-out gambling elements into their play.
The Weakest Sites
The above shows that just by utilizing the right days and the right levels you can increase your chance of encountering those who don’t know what they’re doing, but there are even more assured ways of playing weaker opponents, and that’s by cherry picking the sites themselves.
One of the weakest sites out there by far, is PKR. This poker room was established in 2006 and caters for the European market. It offers something a little different, with full 3D graphics and the ability to customize your character and even to make him or her interact at the table, but in creating that uniqueness they have created a novelty that appeals to the weaker players. PKR is slow and unless you have a very powerful computer then you can’t multi-table the way you do at other poker sites, and multi-tabling is something that the best of the best love to do. PKR also has a reputation for players that go all-in every hand, and for players that treat the game of poker like a game of bingo, and whilst this deters many professional players, it should be something that attracts them. Players who are easily affected by bad beats or bad runs, and players that shove all the time are very easy to manipulate and to beat, which makes PKR the dream destination for those looking to pick up some easy wins.
When faced with a player that shoves every hand just sit back and wait. Keep on folding and letting him take your blind, because it’ll be a long time before it makes any sort of dent to your stack. Don’t be tempted to call with an ace or even a low pair, just wait it out and eventually you’ll hit a big hand that you can call with. If you come up against a nit, then use the animations in your favor. Do what you can to annoy the nit, to make him frustrated and angry at you, and that will force him to open up, to abandon his patience and to make stupid moves in an effort to get back at you, and as soon as he does that, as soon as he lets down his guard and exposes his weakness, then you can take him down. This goes against poker etiquette somewhat, reminiscent of the style of Tony G, but in PKR there are no such rules and everyone is fair game. Just make sure that you keep it to harmless needling, don’t offend anyone and don’t swear, poker players should never sink that low, regardless of whether the things they say are in anger or to incite a response.
Poker sites that are attached to sports books are also very good for finding weak players, as they attract a lot of first-timers and amateurs. The poker rooms at sites like SkyBet and more are filled with have-a-go poker pros that have just won a handful of cash on sports bets and are looking for a quick game of poker to pass the time and blow some winnings. A good time to run into these types is following a big sports game on the weekend, especially if it’s an evening game as your chances of facing someone who has had a bit too much to drink are much higher. Alcohol is your friend in the game of poker, but only when it’s in your opponent and never when it’s in you.
In general, although there are a number of weak and amateur players everywhere, sites like Carbon Poker, Full Tilt Poker and Pokerstars — those that cater exclusively for the game of poker — should be avoided, because more often than not this is where the higher concentration of poker pros are and where the next generation of poker pros are in training