CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Young Poker Pro Graham Has Much Knowledge to Share

30 September 2009

Professional poker player Matt Graham is only 26, but his fierce devotion to the game has already reaped some handsome dividends.

Graham has won tournament championships and the coveted gold bracelet that goes with them at the last two World Series of Poker competitions in Las Vegas. His career earnings in sanctioned tournament competition have already surpassed $1 million.

The New Orleans native, who now makes his home in Houston, is on the road making appearances in casinos nationwide for the World Series of Poker Academy.

It is his first participation in the traveling WSOP Academy, a two-day comprehensive poker school that also features many other all stars of the game as part of its illustrious faculty.

When it comes to what combination of skill and luck are necessary to play the game on a professional level, Graham insists that time is of the essence.

"If you're talking about any given day, it's mostly luck." he said. "But the longer period of time you use as a sample, the more it is pure skill."

One of the skills all professionals seem to possess is the ability to have a pretty good idea what kind of hands their opponents are holding.

"Several factors come into play," he said. "You have an idea of a general range of hands they may have. You get a feel for the likelihood of those hands coming out and you play accordingly.

"There are a lot of things that help you figure this out, such as how much they bet. I generally have a good idea of what people are up to and what their mood is at the table. There's a range of possibilities, and with certain outside information you can weigh that range toward certain hands.

"I'm right more often than I'm wrong, but you're going to be wrong plenty. Everybody's wrong. You think you know what a person is up to and then they surprise you. It's not an exact science, so there's no way to always be accurate."

Graham admits that knowing his opponents and their style of play has its advantages, but there also are drawbacks.

"You have to consider the fact that players I play with regularly and know are generally much better players than others," he said. "I may have a better idea of what they're up to, but it still doesn't change the fact they're better than some random guy I may not have played with."

Graham is looking forward to sharing his knowledge with poker players at the academy, but he also knows that poker strategy is a process that continues to evolve.

"As soon as you have it figured out how to play the best, there's going to be a different way to play that's going to counter that," he said. "It's always an endless cycle of trends and what people are doing with certain hands.

"Whatever level I see the academy participants are at, I will attempt to take them two levels above. You don't want to throw a complex strategy on a player who's just learning the game."

Additional details about the World Series of Poker Academy and all other academy happenings and information are available at www.wsopacademy.com or by calling 1-800-989-WSOP.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp