A review/story of this website and the POKER STARS Online Poker Room.
by Jim Ish
As a young boy, I played quite a bit of petty poker with friends and relatives. I knew the game, I knew the hands, I very much wanted to test my skill for some real stakes. Never in all the hands I had played, existed a single game of Texas Holdem.
In this last year 2002, I decided that I was going to try the game out. I had a trip to Vegas scheduled near Thanksgiving with some relatives. I was gonna do it, I didn't want to wonder about it anymore.
I Arrived in Vegas a day before thanksgiving and met with the family. I was quite hesitant to find a Holdem Seat. My nerves didn't seem up to it. Instead, I visited with a cousin, showed him around town, and introduced him to many new games. His favorite was Pai-Gow.
A while later that night, I mentioned to him about all the poker we used to play as kids and why not go try it out. He agreed, and this gave me the confidence that I needed. I knew I was going in to swim with the sharks, and I was taking him with me.
I had asked a cab driver for a recommendation. He told us the Mirage, Horseshoe, and Stardust, were the best places to play. We were off. We arrived at the Mirage, and made our way to the poker room. 3/6 seats were available for us. The stakes aren't to rich for us we agreed, and took our seats.
We both bought in for 100 bucks. We thought we knew the game, by watching T.V., movies, and the W.S.O.P. Oh Boy were we in way too deep. My cousin had lost his entire 100 in about 1.5 hours and was quitting. A short time after that, I also had lost and had to go in another 100. I was here to learn, I wasn't giving up that easy.
Still, I had not won a single pot. I was so darn scared. How was I supposed to bet anything? I didn't know what to do. At this time the casino was consolidating tables. We drew for the open seats. I drew an Ace, and got 1 of the seats. I was shown the table, sat down, and dealt in the next hand.
I peered at the two cards, something like (A,5). It was probably the best hand I had up to this point. So, I called all preflop bets. The game flopped an (A, A, 5). At that moment, I think my heart almost stopped. I have gambled very often since 18 years old. Nothing at all comes close to that feeling I had at that moment. I was so nervous and shook up, anybody within 20 feet could have smelled A,5 on me. That wasn't the case though, and I did end up winning the hand.
My first Holdem win, it felt good, maybe I had reached poker manhood or something. I ended up playing for about 3 more hours, and actually won some of the first 100 back. In that experience I learned what poker is about. "The Fear Factor".
Since we were staying downtown, The next 3 days I spent about 26 hours and 150 bucks playing at Binions all day and night. I wanted to learn as much as I could, from anyone willing to instruct me. What I found out was that players want to take your money, not teach you to take theirs. Poker isn't necessarily a friendly game. At least, what I have seen so far.
Back at home again, I decided to search the internet for a website giving Holdem Poker Information, tips, betting strategies, ect. ect. I found a website called www.TexasHoldem-Poker.com. I read all the information available on the site, and felt ready to start playing "online" for fun.
The website at the time recommended PokerStars as a place to play for beginners. I joined the site and began playing for fun. The antics in a "Play-Money" are what you would expect, play. I tried to not play like it was just fun. I wanted to win, and win only. After about 2 months of playing almost an hour everyday, I got to the point where I almost could win at will.
I had always told myself that I would never play for real on the internet. After doing more research about online cheating, I concluded that it was just as safe as in a cardroom. One advantage I found, is that I can jump up and down with my pocket aces and nobody will know.
I recently just won my first Sit and Go, 2-Table Holdem Tournament at PokerStars. It was so exciting when the 5th place guy fell. I knew I was in the money.. thats all that mattered. What was even better was when we were heads up, and my opponent had to leave cause of an emergency. Easy 1st place finish.
I am writing this because I want to personally thank this website for a great presentation of the game of Texas Holdem, its rules, odds, and strategies for playing.
PokerStars is a great website that has something for everybody. Lots of different poker games, Omaha, Stud, H/L, and my favorite "Holdem". Pot Limit, No Limit, or Fixed Limit Tables, Tournaments, Sit and Go Tournaments, Freeroll Tournaments for Frequent Players, and of course, 100+ Play Money Tables.
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