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How to Become Poker's Next World Champion
by Timmor L. White

In 2003, the world of poker was forever changed when Chris Moneymaker, a man who learned and practiced the game online, became the World Series of Poker Champion. The next two years, Greg Raymer and Joseph Hashem, both of whom became proficient from playing online, won the titles. In the years since, thousands upon thousands of new players have graduated to a world-class level of play by developing their talents through Internet poker.

Everyone knows that poker has seen explosive growth in recent years. Not everyone realizes, however, the quantum jump that has occurred in the average playerís level of skill. Ten years ago, there were a few dozen top players who could be considered the best of the best. Today, there are literally tens of thousands of young players at that same level of ability. These new faces know the intricacies of the game as well as old pros did a generation ago, and they utilize a tight-aggressive style of play every bit as effectively as world champions did in years gone by. How did this happen? The answer: online poker.

The availability of online poker has changed the landscape of the game forever. Millions of dedicated players take to the Internet every day for fun and profit. Of these millions, some learn the game well enough to gain notoriety. Without question, the future champions of poker will rise from the ranks of todayís online players.

You could be one of them. With sufficient drive and dedication, there is no reason you could not become an exceptional player. If you are new to the game of poker (or specifically online poker) and you have your sights set on one day being among those players you see on television, know that such a result is within the realm of possibility. Online poker has the potential to give you that.

But it wonít be easy. And you must approach the game in ways that support your efforts. Here are five guidelines to assist you in your quest for greatness:

1) Fall in Love. You must feel an intense and immediate love of poker, not for the money you can make, not for the fame you can attain, but for the wonderful game of poker itself. I am talking about a love affair: a love for every facet of the game, for its incredible beauty, so beautiful you cannot help but worship its magnificence with every breath you take. You feel gratitude that the game of poker exists, that generations of players have lived and died to perfect this pure treasure, that it is here now and you have the privilege of sitting at a table in the 21st century and partaking in this miracle of competition. You love all the world because poker is part of it. That is how you must feel about the game of poker. Appreciate it. Treasure it. Love it. All top players have this one thing in common: they profess an unbounded love for the game of poker itself. So should you.

2) Learn the Game. Do not cut corners; study everything you can get your hands on. Read books by Doyle Brunson, Dan Harrington, Mike Caro, David Sklansky, Phil Gordon and other top pros. Watch televised games and study the probabilities of various situations. Keep learning. And then learn some more. Learn as much as you possibly can about every aspect of the game.

3) Devote many hours. I mean lots and lots of hours playing poker online. In the old days, a seasoned pro would need to play for thirty years, traveling the countryside seeking quality games. Gaining useful experience was a slow arduous process. After decades of commitment, the old-timer might then have the experience necessary to develop the proper sense of the game that is required to become a world-class player. Today, a person can acquire the same degree of experience by playing online for a single year! What used to take thirty years, now can be accomplished in one. Due to its faster pace and more concentrated experience, online poker is capable of transforming a novice into an expert in a relatively short time. That is the miracle that online poker is capable of producing... and has produced. Again, do not cut corners; nothing substitutes for many long hours of online play. You must devote literally thousands and thousands of hours to pick up the subconscious nuances of play. With enough hours spent, you can achieve the kind of internal sense of the game you need to compete favorably with top pros.

4) Donít cheat. Yes, it is possible to cheat at online poker. Many people are doing it all the time. There are ways to create an unfair advantage for yourself in online games and make big money. But donít. If you want to succeed on the big poker stage, I urge you not to embark upon a path of cheating. Iíve seen it time and time again: players who cheat get good at cheating, but thatís all they ever get good at. Cheating causes you to focus on the mechanics of cheating and not on improving your game. In fact, you eventually conclude that you never need to improve your skill, since you can simply cheat your way to riches. Cheating is morally wrong, and it is always reprehensible to highly-skilled players. Most importantly, cheating robs you of your self-esteem and confidence, two qualities you will need in abundance to succeed in professional poker. And keep in mind that when you are seated at your table in the World Series of Poker, you will not be able to cheat.

5) Go for it! After at least one full year of online poker experience (hopefully more than two thousand hours), you may be ready to graduate to top-quality poker competition. Youíll never know how you compare with the big boys unless you take a shot at it. Summon the courage to jump in with both feet and start swimming.

If you have what it takes, and youíve prepared yourself adequately, you just might have a future ahead of you as a famous professional poker player. And with a little luck, you may even become the next world champion.


Timmor L. White is the founder and president of Online Poker Systems and the OPS Group. With a background in Internet technology, he is active in the study and reporting of online-poker playing strategies. If you wish to explore a specific way to cheat when playing online, click here: Online Poker Cheat.


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