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Guide to becoming a poker shark

Poker is truly one of the best games ever. It is quite easy to learn how to play, but it is very difficult to master. This is a game that involves gambling, deception, reading others and having nerves of steel. Contrary to what many believe, it requires a lot of skill and a bit of luck.

Here are some fundamental rules to follow to become a poker shark...

1 - Never underestimate any player. This is very important. If you see a kid walk into a tournament sweating with nerves and wearing a ‘I Shot JR’ shirt tucked into their underpants, don’t assume they will be a bad player. They could be an exceptional player and will clean you out if you try to bully them with your chips. Never underestimate ANY player.

2 – Don’t listen to annoying players. It’s very rare not to get at least one at a tournament. You will hear things like ‘I wouldn’t have played them that way’, ‘You should have known I had that’, ‘You played that all wrong’... Ignore them, play your game and let what they say bounce off you. If you let it get to you, you will make bad calls to try and knock them out.

3 – Don’t let bad beats get to you. If you get beat with a lucky straight or flush, don’t get flustered - forget it and move on. Many people start playing aggressively after a bad beat. Take a minute and carry on.

4 – Practise. Practise makes perfect. Play as much as you can, whether it is a friendly game with friends after work or a big tournament. You will pick up on things that you are weak at and have time to work on them, and you will be a much better player for it.

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