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Becoming a winning player

Hey PSO!

It's been a while since I've blogged on here and I wanted to share something that hopefully everyone will find interesting, and also something that would interest me, as it's been a while since I've played.

So here's what I decided to do, check out team PS and find out who is on the team at the moment, delve a little bit into who these greats of the game are and see if I couldn't find some interesting and useful things out from them, so here goes.

First you might be surprised to learn that there are not one, but two teams of PS Pro's.

The first 'Team Pokerstars' is the elitest group of poker players in the world and includes the likes of: Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Victoria Coren, Jake Cody, and many others - in total there are 31 members of Team Pokerstars.

The other team 'Team Online' contains another 22 players, who are amongst the best in the world online. So in total there are 53 Team Pro's right now (there are also more if you include sport pro's which I haven't included).


If you want to check them all out for yourself you can do so by going to

Something I've started doing recently which is really interesting is to randomly check some of their bio's out, it's really interesting to learn about how they all started out and how their careers have grown, also to find the things they have in common (such as mental discipline and work ethic) and things that sets them apart from each other.

Something else that I have enjoyed doing is picking some of the pros and then researching the internet a little to find out what they have to say about the game - either on PSO or in google.

Recently while exploring what Daniel and Jason have to say, I learnt some useful advice about reading your opponent and also using aggression in MTT's - which I thought I'd share: -

How to read people?

Daniel Negreanu (Team Pokerstars) the highest earning tournament player of all time! Suggests 'when in doubt' trust your first instinct, so if you're not sure if your opponent has it or is bluffing, you should go over the hand in your head and ask yourself, how has he played it? How often does he bluff? Is it likely he has a busted draw? But in the final analysis once you've been through that list, you should go with your first instinct if there's any doubt, think back to the very first thought that came to your head and go with it, "it comes from a supercomputer - your brain, and the first thought is often right. Respect it if you are ever in doubt, be it to call or fold. The more often you trust your instincts the better you will become at reading people."


How to win with aggression in MTTs

Jason Mercier (Team Pokerstars) says that the key to his huge mtt success (over $12million), has been smart aggressive play. He says we should not just play sheer aggression but it should be timely aggression, we need to play aggressive against the right opponents in the right situations.

Early on he "might go for a gamble with his aggression to try to develop a decent stack" but he won't do so for his whole stack. A good tactic, because this will give you a lead in the tournament to put pressure on opponents as you continue your progress through the tournament.

But everything is situational, "for instance if there's one good player with 75k chips, and we have 150k and everyone else left are pretty bad and have 30k chips, then we wouldn't go after the good player for 75k chips", it's just not worth risking the damage to our big stack when so many short stacked poor players remain.

At the end of the day though, timely aggression is a real key to online MTT success according to Jason.

Hope you found the advice interesting, I know I enjoyed reading it, and putting this blog article together!

Good luck at the tables

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