JavaScript must be enabled for Sign In.
Please check your broswer settings.

Home \ Community \ Blogs \

Bill Curran

Many people have questioned the continued validity of the Open Skill League.

They say things like 'It doesn't teach you how to play Poker' and 'How are you supposed to learn anything when so many just seem to shove any two cards', and 'How are you expected to reach the top positions when all you can do is Fold Fold Fold'.

These people, ( and not just those ) are missing some of the Key points of this League.

Most people ( who are serious ) see the League as a way to qualify for the Premier League and to make some FREE money along the way.

This is only one aspect of the League.

The ones that only see this aspect, still realise the value of the teachings of Patience, Hand Selection, Discipline and the need to avoid Tilt.

What most people fail to realise, is that different people have different reasons for playing this League.

I, for instance play primarily for Fun.  Don't get me wrong, playing for Fun, does not mean playing stupidly such as going all in atc.
Some play for the instant money per Tourney, Some play for the Leaderboard money at months end.
Some play to qualify for the Premier League.
And Some Play for the other Two Leaderboards associated with this League, that the majority are not aware exist.

If you go to the Forum, and open up the Leaguee page, by clicking on the circle with your vpp status next to your name, then scroll down to the large box which shows your score and League position, you will see two smaller boxes, one labelled 'Leagues' and the other labelled 'Stats Leaderboards'.

Click on the one labelled 'Stats Leaderboards' and it opens a fresh page where you will find the Leaderboards for 'Trickiness' and 'Shooter Factor'. Both these Leaderboards pay the top 100 places 5 tickets. ( they used to pay Real Money ).

How these calculate your scores, I don't know, ( I don't play for these ) but a lot of the Open League players do.  EdinFreeMan for instance used to play for these regularly and knew the criteria for prize qualification.

I know some of the things needed, but not all, and I'm not sure which ones apply to which Leaderboard.

I know for instance that your percentage of hands won at showdown is a factor for one, which is why you will see some people betting every street and then open folding the River, so that their percentage doesn't go down because they lost the hand at show down.
Check raising is a factor in one, as is 3 betting frequency.
These are some of the reasons why you will see what appears to be odd or stupid plays.

The Open Skill League is a very useful learning tool, providing that you realise that all of the players are not playing for the same reasons as you.

Playing these secondary Leaderboards can be a very useful way of learning how and when to bluff, of how to make the correct bet sizing for a desired result, of reading opponents goals ( this one is particularly useful in helping to recognise bluffing opportunities ).

So for those that criticise the Open and think that the majority are just freeroll junkies and are not interested in the month end Leaderboard, please bear in mind that quite a few, who appear to be 'Donks', are not, they may be playing for the 'Shooter' Leaderboar or the' Trickiness one.

In order to comment, you must login or register.
Take Quiz
New here? Take our Poker Assessment to start your education.
already a member? sign in here
JavaScript must be enabled for Sign In.
Please check your broswer settings.
Learn From basics to advanced strategy
Practice Improve your skills with our trainers
Win! Establish yourself as a winning player
/Featured Promotions/
Progressive Jackpot Progressive Jackpot Playing our new 'Scratch & Match' game is free and very easy. If you match 3 symbols you win a prize!!!! View details
Earn 10 Tournament Tickets Today! Earn 10 Tournament Tickets Today! Invite your friends to join Poker School and you could earn up to 10 tournament tickets as a reward! View details

Getting PokerStars is easy: download and install the PokerStars game software, create your free player account, and validate your email address. Clicking on the download poker button will lead to the installation of compatible poker software on your PC of 51.7 MB, which will enable you to register and play poker on the PokerStars platform. To uninstall PokerStars use the Windows uninstaller: click Start > Control Panel and then select Add or Remove programs > Select PokerStars and click Uninstall or Remove.

Copyright (c) All rights reserved, Rational Group, Douglas Bay Complex, King Edward Road, Onchan, Isle of Man, IM3 1DZ. You can email us on