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Pocket Q-School
by Karl Yu
Winner Online.com

There is a reason that the phrase “practice makes perfect” is a cliché; it can be used in almost every situation.

Practicing shots from the charity stripe will increase a basketball player’s free throw percentage.

The more a QB in football practices with a team, the better he learns the offensive system.

Solving more equations will help a student build a stronger foundation in mathematics.

Even poker pro Daniel Negreanu is constantly telling readers of his syndicated column to play as much as possible.

In a November 30, 2007 Card Shark column entitled Raising Questions: Practice pre-flop tactics for No-Limit success, Kid Poker put it best saying, “As with most things in life, practice makes perfect in poker, too.”

While practicing on a medium such as the internet can help players cut their teeth in poker; there is no substitute for live play.

Getting advice from someone well-versed in poker can be helpful as well.

Heck, Johnny Chan even taught Jamie Gold a few things about the fine art of Hold’em prior to the 2006 World Series of Poker.

Poker professionals don’t share their wisdom with just anyone, but a lesson from one can expand the scope of your knowledge and game.

Model and poker pro Lacey Jones has also learned a thing or two from Johnny Chan and isn’t against sharing tips with amateurs.

When it comes to beginners and less seasoned players, Jones sees a lot of mistakes and offers some advice:

“Hand selection is the most important,” Jones told WinnerOnline.

“A lot of people will go with any Ace or King, they don’t care if it’s suited or not, what other card they have; they’ll play too many hands and in relation to their stacks, they don’t realize that the bets they’re making are too much if they’re not willing to go all the way with the hand.”

Not everyone can make it out to a casino to work on their poker skills, which is on reason why online poker has become popular.

Lacey Jones said online poker is a good training tool, but said that it shouldn’t be the sole way to sharpen your skills.

“I think that live is always going to be the best, you’ll see that some of the best online players right now are having a difficult time in the live tournaments.”

“I think online is a great way to get the basics down; to see a lot of hands; play a lot and keep it fresh if you’re not [close] to a casino.”

Many people like free play at online sites and while that’s a good way to get your feet wet, Jones cautioned against betting with play money.

“I don’t recommend using free play unless you’ve never seen a poker hand in your entire life,” Jones said.

“People play differently with free money then they would with regular money and even online with money people don’t care as much.”

Brad “Yukon” Booth also isn’t against sharing his wisdom either and his biggest piece of advice is not to sweat the small stuff.

“My advice for people starting out is to get good at it but have fun, don’t let it control your life,” Yukon Brad said.

“I could sit here and say to play hands certain ways but you have to make sure you have a well balanced life otherwise you’ll be lonely.”

Like Jones, Booth sees beginners making numerous mistakes but says that the mental errors are the ones that can be most costly.

“The common mistakes I see involve ego,” explained Booth.

“You’ll see a lot of people playing above their means with no cash game experience and hopping to bigger games than they should.”

Booth also saw value in playing online poker and using it for practice.

“Online poker as a training tool is probably one of the greatest things and if you’re going to use it, it should be on Full Tilt Poker,” joked the Full Tilt Poker pro.

“Honestly, it’s a great, great learning method and what you learn in two months is like two years of probability.”

But Booth also said that it has limitations and like Jones said that there’s nothing better than the real thing.

“You have to have an intuitive knack and you can have [that] online but when you’re playing live, you need to have really good people skills.”

While practice makes does make perfect and since many people like to hone their skills on the internet, lessons learned online can be invaluable but like both Lacey Jones and Brad Booth said, there’s still no substitute for live play.

For More, visit: Winner Online.com.


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