|Peter Costa, one of the world’s top poker players, has very kindly allowed us to use an edited set of beginner’s articles featured in the PokerEuropa publication.
Peter’s poker biography includes:
Aussie Millions Champion, Melbourne, Australia 2003.
Late Night Poker winner 6th series.
Hall of Fame Champion, Binion’s Horseshoe Las Vegas 2002.
California State Champion, Commerce Casino, Los Angeles 2002.
Bellagio Champion, Bellagio Casino, Las Vegas 2002
World record Holder for Limit Hold’em when he beat a field of 1166 players at the Orleans Casino, Las Vegas July12th 2003.
Took 2nd in both the 2001 and 2002 European Championships at The Victoria Casino in London.
The only player to be nominated for both the 2002 and 2003 European Player of the Year Award.
LIMIT HOLDEM - a great way to learn
By Peter Costa
Even though No-Limit Hold’em is all the rage at the moment - I would suggest that Limit poker may be the best way for a complete novice to learn. The best route for this is probably through one of the many Internet sites such PokerPlex.com.
Firstly, try out the play money games (play money means that it does not cost you anything to play and is just for pure fun) and see how you go. Although the first couple of lessons will focus on Limit Hold’em, try and use the same guidelines for Pot Limit (PL) and No Limit Hold’em (NLH).
Limit means there is a limit as to how much you can bet. For example; a 15-30 Limit Hold’em game means that the maximum bet at any time will be 30.
So take your seat and play away. Do not be afraid to lose your play money chips as they can be replaced. After all, those chips are there for you to learn. Also, don’t worry too much about playing badly as you will tend to see a lot of bad play in these types of play money games. However, if you want to learn from the outset to play well; be selective with your stating hands. In other words, don’t just play every hand to see if you would have won.
By selective, I mean that you should start with good hands in the first place. Suited connecters (this means hands that are of the same suit and closely connected, like (9 -10 of diamonds or 10 - Jack of spades etc.). These hands should be played when there is value in the pot. For example: Four or five players. But as play money games go, there will probably be value in many of the pots.
For even better hand selection, play big cards only like JQ, QK, AT, AJ, AQ, AK and of course big pocket pairs like JJ, QQ, KK and the best of all AA. You should only play A with any other card when they are of the same suit. As for most other pairs 2-2 up to TT, you will find that with more than one or two players in the pot; you will need to improve your hand in order to win.
The above instructions should be a good guideline as how you should approach Limit Hold’em. However, these are not rigid rules. After a little experience, you will develop a better feeling for the game. You can then look to adapt your play to suit the various situations that arise during Limit. These include general play, position, calling raises and when to raise.
In the next article, we will look at general Limit play.
Until then - play well, get lucky and enjoy life.
Peter "The Poet" Costa