Based on 6-seater S n’ Gs, $5 buy-in, $21 (1st) – $9 (2nd) payout. Games last approx 70 mins. 1500 chips, blinds go up every 6 mins.

‘Needless to say, down at this level you’ve got to learn to grind. To beginners I’d say even if you make early profits here, resist the temptation to play higher stakes. Get a feel for the tables and make your mistakes here. Dealing with frustration is essential in becoming a good poker player. No one likes it but poker pros are great at sensing rattled opposition and rinsing them. Learn to deal with your anger at this level!

In your standard 8-10 handed games there’s a tendency to start slowly, play in a conservative manner and make a lot of pre-flop folds based on position.

However you CANNOT sit back and assess the calibre of the opposition as the chance to improve your stack for the all important MIDDLE session will be lost. 8-10 handed, I’m not a fan of the limp at all but on your averagely aggressive table, use this play with all sorts of hands early on.

When we get to the middle section- say after 30mins – you will have about 4 players remaining. Learning basic strategy for the beginning and end of these 6-seaters is pretty instinctive.

Experience of just playing game after game will help you here. It is here that generally you must tighten up after your initial looseness. Mistakes from opponents and good play on your part are THE most crucial ways to increase profitability.

These games often descend into all-in fests in the slightly longer games where 4 players stick around for a while. The TIMING of when to switch from early aggressiveness to a conservative mode and back to aggressiveness is everything.

The best way to master this “transition” is by playing, playing and playing again. Not insightful I know, but as I said earlier, getting a real feel for the format and blind structure is why beginners should avoid the draw of bigger prize money initially and get some experience under their belts.’

For more on this and other poker stories / tips, head over to the excellent www.pokerstars.com today.