A poker whiz works at playing poker for a living and we get to watch for a day. The Internet has created a new job title for people all over the word and that is professional poker player.
The first hand of the challenge is a flop of four, four and a five to my three, four. I have a monster hand to draw to, but I will have to risk the £200 ($494) given to me by my editor to write this story. The player in front of me bets eight dollars into an eight dollar pot, I call and the player behind me raises to $32. Now that does not look like a bluff as he could be holding an Ace four or two fives. In either case he has the bes of it against my hand. I play conservatively and fold. I could reraise but opt to wait for a better situation to make a big bet out of my stake. This game is NO Limit Hold em and is being played on the Internet with real money deposited by credit card. The raiser could be in Lyons or celebrating in Kansas as he has two fives and the flop gave him a full house. I do not like the smell of it for this hand and I fold after being warned by a flashing sign telling me that I have 10 seconds to respond. For this hand I decided to be conservative. By folding I have heeded the message from PokerIn Europe, a Victor Chandler site. I folded during my time limit. I like to think I am playing in the conservative style of Lee-Anne Smyth who is a mathematics grad from Belfast, who is at age of 25 making £4500 ($11,000) a week playing at Ladbrokes.
Online poker has all kinds of stories and her's could be true. Some players on the Net are wildly aggressive and their rash play can give a player like Smythe a real advantage when dealt a good hand.
Smythe is a rock and only raises when holding a strong hand. Lee-Anne is said to read a book to help her get through her nine hours of playing. My patient play is rewarded just two hands later when I get pocket Queens and trip up on the flop. I bet $25 dollars and my opponent goes all in his stack of $70. When the cards are revealed, he is chasing a spade flush and my trips hold up giving me a $90 profit after only four minutes of play.
Pokeroom in Sweden claims it is the 19th most profitable company in Sweden. The estimates of online play range from millions to billions, but no one knows for sure how much is wagered. Poker sites are money makers as the a number of active tables generate a rake of the pot of 1 to 2 percent per pot. Ladbrokes claims to have dealt over 100 million hands in three years. My $90 profit is whittled down to $50 after an hour of cold play.
Thirty minutes later I get an Ace King suited which is an excellent starting hand and can be played a number of ways. I bet $10 and the flop brings a king of diamonds along with the jack five of clubs. Two players called the bet. I bet $30 and get raised another $40 by a player from Glasgow who is a young man between 18-29 years of age. He plays the next cards strong and then checks showing weakness. He bets $60 when a five gives the flop a pair of five to go with the King Jack. I just calls and he turns over a King Queen and I am up $159 again after beating him with my Ace kicker.
If this sounds like a grind to make money it is, but the job is a money maker for a patient player that never goes on tilt. A shorter stint or playing two games at once is the way to cut down the hours of play. The secret is solid play against crazy players or a few good pots early in the day and quit.