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Reality bites: A secret Internet Cafe obsession and dreams of Las Vegas stardom!

More than 10 years ago, during the times of internet-less mobile phones and life without iPads, if you can imagine it, I was a poker obsessed, timid gambler afraid of playing anything else.  But I was keen to make a name for myself in a game I regarded more as a sport than gambling, and the result was a secret love affair with playing poker in Internet cafes at every given opportunity.

I remember playing in the Internet cafes in Eastbourne at University, in London working as a work experience trainee, in Gloucester doing nothing (the closest city to my home town), led by a strong pull by the game and willingly handing over my £1.50 an hour to play for the privilege of trying to win big bucks.  


It was one dark and stormy night....no I'm just kidding, it was probably just a normal bang average day when I started playing in Internet cafes, I didn't even like coffee then, I was just there for the poker.  But I must ask myself, why on Earth didn't I invest in a computer?  

I'm guessing that I didn't bother to consider buying a computer and/or wi if connection at this time, and I'm further guessing as I don't remember, that because the Internet was such a relatively new thing, that I felt it too complicated to go and have the flipping wi-fi installed.

It is amazing to think that all we have now at our finger tips is actually still very new! It's all so easy now.  I try to remember every day how different it was before, for better or worse, and be grateful for living in an amazing time (technology wise), where we can play poker from a small device anywhere in the world at top speeds and with flawless connection.


Believe it or not 10-15 years ago, not having wi-fi in the home was actually a thing, and it goes to show how quickly things have changed in our lifestyles since then.  Add this year's COVID-19 in to the mix and our use and reliance on powerful and complex computer devices and the internet has been pushed even further forward towards our dependence on it in today's world.  I look around and see young people holding these compatible devices 6 inches from their face merely waiting for the bus to work, unaware that they hold the equivalent power of the first space ship which took man to the moon on July 20th, 1969, unwittingly in the palm of their hand.


 It was long haired, womanising, football betting Nathan, two years older than me (which at the time when I was 19 meant he seemed like an old wisened bad monk in my young eyes), who first introduced me to playing internet poker.  He showed me how to register for Coral poker and deposit money into my account.  The thrill of playing online for real money was without comparison for me at that time, realising that If I played well I could actually make money; in virtual time!  

My first win came within a few hands playing short handed in a 6 player max table $10 buy in at the micro stakes cash tables, which I still play today at 0.02/0.05c.  My hand came up QQ which I raised before the flop.  One caller.  The flop contained a Q, I check raised all in, and there you have it my first double up and an incomparable feeling of exultation.  I couldn't wait to play again.  Thus my affair with playing poker online via Internet cafes had begun.  

Was my time in playing internet poker that successful?  Yes and no.  I made (and lost) money and got a lot of experience, but boy was it fun!  The idea of making money in my own time virtually. Wow.  

The downside was all the travelling to get to the places and having to pay every hour for the Internet of course and you could only play at certain hours.  Also, the time restrictions meant you were under pressure to try to win and made a lot of moves you wouldn't normally would.  My up and down swings were incredible!

Reality bites.  The Internet cafe 'affair' lasted about 6 - 9 months for me...until I woke up and broke up!  Fortunately no photos of me here, but this is just to paint the picture.

These days I regard myself as a more experienced, calmer, more realistic player and thankful I don't have to chase the illusive dreams of stardom driving me towards such circumstances as playing poker in Internet cafes!  Be grateful guys; it didn't use to be so easy trust me!



Back to poker strategy talk.  To complete today's blog I have added a 10 question quiz to test your knowledge of earl position play (with answers at bottom of the page)

Note: the questions and answers are taken directly from Sklansky & Malmuth's 'Hold'em for Advanced players' book.


NL TEXAS HOLD'EM (10 players)

1.  If you are first in, or if there is only a call to you right, what should you be prepared to play?

2.  What do we mean when we refer to a loose game?

3.  What do we mean when we say a tough game?

4.  Why would you play a hand like 6 ♠️ 7 ♠️ up front?

5.  If no one has yet called, what hands do you almost always raise with?

6.  When can you re raise a hand like J 💎 10 💎?

7.  When is it correct to limp with AA or KK?

8.  What if no one has opened and you have JJ?

9.  What if you opened with JJ and the pot has been raised & re raised?

10.  What if you called with JJ and the pot has been raised and re raised?



1.   Should be prepared to play those hands in the first four groups (chart)

2.  A game without much before-the-flop raising and with many players in the pot.

3.  A game with a fair amount of raising, but not many large multi way pots.

4.  To stop more observant opponents from stealing against you when 'rags' flop, or if you feel that your early position raises are getting too much respect.

5.  AA, KK,  QQ, AK, AQ

6.  If a lot of people are in the pot

7.  When your early position raises are not getting any callers

8.  Raise in a tight game and call in a loose game

9.  Call.

10. Fold.


8 - 10 points  -  winning advanced player 😄 $$$

5 - 7 points   -  doing well! Intermediate player

3 - 4 points.   -   Not bad.  Practise needed 😐

1 - 2 points    -   Uh oh!  Get grafting! And learning! 😩

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I have been playing poker for about 15 years. I play online currently and I've played poker in casinos, card rooms, local games and with friends. I play NL hold'em tournaments and cash games and can also play Pot Limit Omaha, a game I also love.
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Comments (3)
Nemoruso17 user
User's aura Nemoruso17 1731
5 - 7 points - doing well! Intermediate player


2 replies
Maroonfish user
User's aura Maroonfish 925

Niiicceee! Well done man 😄😄

Nemoruso17 user
User's aura Nemoruso17 1731

Yes 😄

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