Limit Hold'em:
1. Longhand Limit
2. Shorthand Limit
3. Adv. Shorthand

No-Limit Hold'em:
1. Intro to NL
2. Advanced NL
3. Who Pays Off
4. Stack Sizes

1. Intro to Omaha
2. Low Limit Omaha
3. Intro to PLO
4. Omaha Hi/Lo

1. Tourney Overview
2. Single-Table NL
3. Advanced NL STTs
4. Multi-Table NL
5. Multi-Table Limit
6. Tourney Variants

Money Management:
1. Moving Limits
2. When to Quit
3. Short/Long Run

1. Intermediate Mistakes
2. Utilizing Promotions
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The Importance of Specialization in Poker

When you open up the Pokerstars lobby, or the lobby of any major poker site, there are tons of games you can play. There are the tempting sports betting and casino games, which are generally best avoided if you are trying to play poker professionally, and there are many varieties of poker.

When you are beginning your journey as a poker player, it’s fine to start by playing many different types of poker, but the purpose of this is to try and find the one that you enjoy the most.

Texas hold’em has been popular for the past decade or so because of the immense coverage in media and the simplicity of the game, but this doesn’t mean that it’s the only game you can make money in. If you enjoy Omaha or Stud you just need to be prepared for a steeper learning curve.

Why Choose a Specialty

The most important thing you can do to ensure quick and lasting success is to pick a single game and try to master it. Even though Omaha may look like Texas hold’em on the surface, those extra two cards in your hand change almost everything about how to play a hand correctly. Other forms of poker are even more different and have completely different sets of rules. If you are trying to win at multiple types of poker at the same time, you are likely to lose or have mediocre results at both instead of advancing rapidly at one.

The next part of choosing a specialty is picking a format. There are both cash games and tournaments for almost any variety of poker, but there are also various formats of both. For example, within cash games there is heads up, short handed and a full nine or 10 player table formats. The game may be the same, but each format emphasises different skillsets, so you need to see where your natural tendencies fit well with. If you are great at getting inside player’s heads, heads up or short handed will fit you well. On the other hand, if you have great patience and discipline, long handed games may be better.

How Choosing a Specialty Leads to Success

Image via Flickr by Ross Elliot

Think about anything else in your life that you’ve worked hard at. When you focused on that one thing you’ve made incredible progress in a short amount of time. Now think of a time where you started something but got distracted by a side project. In this case you split your time and will make progress, but not as much as the first case. Poker is no different than any other skill in life, if you dedicate yourself to one part of it at first you will have great success.

If you do well at your chosen game I encourage you to stay with it. Once you have achieved a level of success that you set out to, you can then broaden your skillset and try to master a new game.


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