Ever heard of Pacific Poker ? Yeah, we thought so. Pacific Poker is notorious on the Internet for loose, bad players. That, of course, is music to a good player’s ears. That’s why we’ve decided to add another page of “insiders’ advice” for Pacific Poker, to go along with our first and second insiders’ guides to Empire Poker and Party Poker, respectively. When there’s a true money-making phenomenon on the Internet, we feel obliged to inform our visitors about it, so you’ve come to the right place to get informed about the “legend” that is Pacific Poker.
First off, we’d like to surprise you by telling you that a lot of people we’ve heard from feel like they CAN’T beat Pacific Poker! They feel frustrated, especially after all the hype they’ve heard. We want to clarify the reasons behind this surprising frustration, and we want to help you learn how to be successful at Pacific’s games. Let’s get started.
If you log on to Pacific Poker, you’ll immediately notice that the average flop percentage for low-limit games is often over 60%; even 70% is common! This, of course, is insanely high. In a longhanded game (more than six people), a group of professional players probably wouldn’t have a flop percentage higher than 20%. You have to realize that this kind of really bad play makes Pacific Poker very profitable, but it also leads to high variance. In other words, you’ve got be patient when playing and you’ve got to handle the bad beats. A lot of people give up far too early.
Because of the loose playing and frequent showdowns at Pacific Poker, hands that do well in a multi-way pot go up in value (pocket pairs and suited connectors). Essentially, the main reason those hands go up in value is because once you see the flop, you’ll have the near nuts in your hand and you’ll be drawing to them, so you can bet or call with confidence. Hands with big cards like ace or queen go down in value because even if you hit top pair, you have no idea if you’ve got the best hand or the second-best hand. Read our Dynamic Hand Value page for more information on how to play these hands.
Besides playing hands that do well in multi-way pots, you should realize the fundamental mistake many Pacific players make. That error, simply enough, is playing with dominated hands. Many Pacific players will play A-5 offsuit, which is dominated by, say, an A-K combo. Even if you hit an ace with A-5 offsuit, you have little chance of winning; you must hit an ace and a 5, or two 5’s, to have any chance of winning. Thus, when you play big cards, you’ll frequently be called by someone who you have outkicked; it’s just a matter of whether or not that person is lucky enough to hit his other card at some point on the flop.
Pacific Poker is a fun and potentially profitable place to play. Absolutely. But you do have to realize that there’s a high level of variance involved both in the game and in which types of hands do better in their frequent multi-way pots. Because of the high variance, we suggest playing at a lower limit than you’re used to playing. That shouldn’t be hard, as Pacific Poker has lots of games as low as $0.25-$0.50.
If you want to read more about how to beat these crazy, loose, low-limit games, we suggest buying a copy of Lee Jones’s “Low-Limit Hold’em.” Until then, take advantage of Pacific Poker, but don’t go in expecting a complete cakewalk. It’s not THAT easy.