< Best Cash Game Poker Players and What You Can Learn From Them


Best Cash Game Poker Players and What You Can Learn From Them


The best way to learn just about anything is to consult the experts. It’s no different when it comes to online poker strategy; the people who have consistently crushed this game over the years are the ones you should be listening to. Almost every scrap of poker knowledge here at Bodog was handed down from the brightest minds in the sport. To keep the ball rolling, here are 17 pearls of wisdom that will help you find success at online poker cash games.


Poker is a hard way to make an easy living. – Doyle Brunson


The legendary “Texas Dolly” can still be found playing in the Big Game at age 85, so if you’re looking for longevity in your poker career, heed his words. Poker is the greatest card game there is, and you can make some money at it with the right strategies, but you’ll have to log some serious hours if you want to turn professional. That’s one of the reasons why poker is best suited as a hobby for most players.


It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to be good at poker. – Phil Gordon


Best Cash Game Poker Players and What You Can Learn From ThemThen again, if you’re willing to put in the work, you too can become skilled enough at poker to be considered an expert player. It helps if you know some basic math, so you can quickly calculate your pot odds and make good decisions at the table. But you certainly don’t need an advanced degree to become a quality poker player. The key word here is good. If you want to be one of the best, you’d better have some extraordinary natural talent, but if you want to be good at poker, the mere fact that you’re reading this suggests you’re qualified.


Poker is a lot like sex; everyone thinks they are the best, but most don’t have a clue what they are doing! – Dutch Boyd


What you do need is humility. Nobody is born knowing how to play poker; you have to take the time to learn the game, and most players either don’t bother, or they assume they’ve learned enough and stop working on their craft. Even if you already play at the best online poker cash games, always be honest with yourself about your skill level, and never stop learning. It’s only been a short while since people started taking poker strategy seriously, so there’s always some new strategy to learn, and you can always download poker software to help you analyze and get better at the game.


Poker – particularly cash game poker – isn’t like other games. You don’t have to “beat” your opponents to win. You don’t have to get the best score. Just a positive one. – Ed Miller


Striving to be the best poker player in the world is noble, but you only have to be better than average in order to make a profit at the cash tables. It doesn’t take too long to become a winning player at the microstakes; the further up the ladder you climb, the more time you’ll need to put in to gain an edge on your opponents. You’ll also encounter more variance as you move up in stakes, which means you’ll have bigger upswings and downswings. Don’t panic when the short-term results aren’t falling your way. All you need is a positive expectation in the long run.


In poker, as in business, the secret is in knowing how to manage risk and capitalize on opportunity. – Lou Krieger


Best Cash Game Poker Players and What You Can Learn From ThemEvery hand of poker is a series of financial transactions. It’s all about risk and reward, so if you practice sound poker bankroll management, cash games will be easier for you to beat. Game selection is also very important; put yourself in the best games possible, where you can get the maximum return from your strategic decisions. Specialize in one game, but try to learn as many games as possible, so you can open yourself up to more profitable opportunities.


Aces are larger than life and greater than mountains. – Mike Caro


Whether you’re playing Texas Hold’em, Omaha or Omaha Hi/Lo at Bodog Poker, there’s no card more valuable than the Ace. Poker is a lot easier when you start with great hole cards. Alas, there are 12 other ranks (Kings through Deuces) in the deck, so you’ll need to learn how to handle those cards, too, because that’s what you’re going to get more often than not. In Hold’em, you’ll only receive pocket Aces once every 221 hands. Treat them like gold when you get them.


Poker is 100% skill and 50% luck. – Phil Hellmuth


Taking a page from Yogi Berra, the “Poker Brat” perfectly encapsulated the nature of the game. The true skill/luck split might be closer to 70/30, but make no mistake – poker is a mind sport, and your focus as a player should be on the things you can control. At the same time, be aware that there’s so much about poker that you don’t have control over, like how many times you get dealt Aces. And yes, Hellmuth goes postal all the time when his less-skilled opponents draw out on him, but that only goes to show how difficult it is to keep your emotions in check on the felt.


The cardinal sin in poker, worse than playing bad cards, worse even than figuring your odds incorrectly, is becoming emotionally involved. – Katy Lederer


No matter how good you are at poker strategy, bankroll management and game selection, if you go on tilt at the poker table, you’ll end up lighting money on fire. Keep a stoic attitude when it comes to the whims of luck and the deal of the cards. Let the game come to you; don’t enter a pot with weak cards just because you haven’t played a hand in a while. And watch out as well for “positive” tilt, where you get too happy after a good run of cards and start splashing around with your chips.


When we play, we must realize, before anything else, that we are out to make money. – David Sklansky


Best Cash Game Poker Players and What You Can Learn From ThemThere are a lot of benefits aside from money that come with playing poker. But if you’re interested in glory, consider playing tournaments. Cash poker is what it says on the tin: You’re playing for cold, hard cash. Every decision at the table should first and foremost be a “plus-EV” decision, as in Expected Value. Again, keep your emotions out of this decision process. Making instinctual moves as a “feel” player is fine, as long as your instinct stems from hours of proper poker analysis.


The winner is not the player who wins the most pots. The winner is the player who wins the most money. – Anthony Holden


This is one of the most important leaps of logic new cash poker players need to make. If you win nine $10 pots and lose one $100 pot, what good does that do you? Put yourself on the other side of the equation; if you win a big pot now and then, you can cover your losses from all the times you got away from a small pot that wasn’t worth chasing down. This goes for entire poker sessions as well as single pots – it’s not how many sessions you win, it’s how much money you make at the end.


The majority of players are looking for reasons to fold. I am looking for reasons to play. – Daniel Negreanu


This is the No. 1 mistake (based on emotion, naturally) that people make at the table: They get scared and they fold too often. You need to start with an aggressive approach when you play online cash poker at Bodog. That doesn’t mean playing every hand – you still need a reason to play, and it needs to be a good reason. But don’t sit down at a poker table with a timid mindset. That will only ensure that you click the Fold button too much.


Fold and live to fold again. – Stu Ungar


Many of life’s idioms seem contradictory, especially the ones that pit growth against security. Look before you leap, true, but he who hesitates is lost. Poker shares the same dialectic; while Negreanu is correct to look for opportunities, there’s a time when you have to cut your losses and fold. It’s a shame Ungar wasn’t able to practice this away from the table. He died penniless at age 45 from a heart condition, after nearly 20 years of drug abuse.


The one who bets the most wins. Cards just break ties. – Sammy Farha


Best Cash Game Poker Players and What You Can Learn From ThemHere’s the thing about poker: Most of the hands don’t go to showdown. An aggressive approach with bets and raises allows you to win the pot by getting your opponents to fold, and if they happen to call you down, then you can still win by having the best hand on the river. As always, don’t take this approach to the extreme and bet willy-nilly. Strike a balance and let the cards fall where they may. Bluff only when the conditions are in your favor.


Limit poker is a science, but No-Limit is an art. In Limit, you are shooting at a target. In No-Limit, the target comes alive and shoots back at you. – Crandell Addington


There are three different betting structures in use at the cash tables: Fixed-Limit (or Limit for short), Pot-Limit, and No-Limit. When you play Limit games, you’ll have more success with a mathematically driven strategy, but as the restraints come off and the bets get bigger, the game gets more complex, and there’s more room for creative plays. This is especially true when you play No-Limit Omaha, where you get four hole cards instead of two.


You can shear a sheep a hundred times, but you can skin it only once. – Amarillo Slim


Most of the money you’ll ever win at poker will come from players who are worse than you. Game selection is all about finding these players and sitting down at their tables. But once you do, don’t get greedy and try to felt them at every single opportunity. Recreational players are the lifeblood of online poker; treat them well, never berate them or make fun of them, and they’ll be more likely to stick around and play poker with you.


The object of poker is to keep your money away from Phil Ivey for as long as possible. – Gus Hansen


On the flip side, most of the money you’ll ever lose at poker will go to players who are better than you. Even if you’re one of the few players in the world who can hang with Ivey, the best you can hope for is to have a small mathematical edge at the tables, and small edges call for small investments. As previously stated, if you want to experience the glory that comes with beating the best in the world, try a tournament setting, where most of the other players are decidedly sub-Ivey.


You get your chips your way, I'll get my chips mine. – Phil Ivey


The last word goes to the man many consider the finest cash game player of the Moneymaker Era. Poker is a game with certain mathematical principles that are universal to all players, but there are many ways to shear a sheep, and there are many ways to win a poker hand. Take all the online poker tips contained in these quotes to heart, then make this knowledge your own by applying it however you see fit. Don’t just try to copy the good things that Ivey does; instead, look for any weakness in your opponents that you have the ability to exploit. Let Ivey be Ivey, and let you be you.