Is Hellmuth vs Negreanu happening?


We recap some stories you may have missed including a huge PKO event and how much of himself is Landon Tice playing for?

KidPoker vs the Poker Brat?
We hinted at it last week and now it seems confirmed that Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth will play heads-up. 
Given both men are traditionally live players it seems inevitable that it will be face to face and streamed on PokerGO. 
The early betting markets have suggested Hellmuth is the favourite, which seems ludicrous given how much Negreanu improved in his heads-up challenge against Doug Polk. 

Happy to play anyone on @PokerGo App’s “High Stakes Duel.” Looks like they are bringing me the GREAT Daniel Negreanu @RealKidPoker, the guy that studied heads up for months w coaches I respect, so be it. It will be a great challenge for me! Hoping I don’t look like THIS photo!! pic.twitter.com/EpE1BqRMWP
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) February 13, 2021

Tice has skin in the game
The other big heads-up match in the works is Landon Tice vs Bill Perkins, and it has been the subject of a lot of debate this last week.
Namely, how much does the poker wunderkind Landon Tice have invested in himself? Rumours circulated that he is playing for just 10% of himself in this challenge where he is already paying Bill Perkins $720,000 to play. 
Tice confirmed that he has sold a lot of action for this event but while his percentage is low, it still means he has a lot of his net worth on the line:

Let me make something clear that I’m sure everyone cares about regarding my challenge with @bp22 I’m selling a lot of action for it. A lot.I’m not rolled to battle at nosebleeds. However, I am putting a very large amount of my relative net worth on myself winning it.
— Landon (@LandonTice) February 11, 2021

MicroMillions the biggest PKO ever?
The MicroMillions Main Event was a PKO for the first time in its history and it (probably) automatically became the biggest field ever for a progressive knockout tournament. 
49,487 entries for the $22 Main Event, which was not quite enough to hit the $1 million guarantee. 
It did lead to one player bagging almost $60,000 for their troubles including $18,651.13 in bounties alone:

The final table

Table stakes only
OK, so this week’s meme classic from Reddit beats all those ‘toilet roll poker home game’ jokes from last year:
When Polaks Play Poker from r/poker

Will we see Hellmuth vs Negreanu heads-up? Let us know in the comments:

Barry Carter
Barry Carter is the editor of PokerStrategy.com and the co-author of The Mental Game of Poker 1 & 2, Poker Satellite Strategy and PKO Poker Strategy



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Pros Of Being A Professional Poker Player


pros of becoming a professional poker player
Being a professional poker player is a daring as well as exciting decision. If you’re successful at the game and want to quit your day job to become a poker pro, it’s an enticing opportunity. However, be warned: Poker rules are difficult to work, that isn’t for everyone. If you consider taking a risk to become a professional poker player, you should please ensure that it is an educated choice. 
Here are some pros of becoming a professional poker player that might encourage you to take the next step! 
Professionally Pursuing What You Love
One of the most prevalent desires in the world is to do something that you love professionally. For anyone in the poker community saying that there’s profit in this, they’re certainly not doing it only for the money. They love the game and have passion for it. For those who don’t have that, must understand that it is a skill game and requires practice to get better. This is what encourages them to put in the research time required to excel and achieve success through the downtrends.
Self Determination And Versatility
Poker players set their own schedules which is a great thing for any professional in any field of work or sport. To stave off poker exhaustion and keep you going, getting this independence will go a long time away. Also, you’ll only be accessible to yourself. Versatility is something that is quite limited in a number of professions nowadays and there’s nothing quite like poker tournaments when it comes to versatility. That’s not to suggest, of course, that it’ll be straightforward. The assumption is that when you do so, no-one will be blowing down your neck.
Earning Big Money
There is still a lot of profit to be gained by playing online poker if you can achieve a high level of experience. In terms of rake and playing rewards, there have been a few improvements in the market in recent years that have limited online poker’s profitability, but it is still possible to obtain a decent income playing the game. Getting in and getting out of micro stakes is one of the greatest obstacles facing emerging online pros these days. In present-day games, the high rake and low rakeback eat away at the winnings of a micro stakes player, making it difficult for them to achieve a good score overall.
On the other hand, live poker has been and is likely still a highly lucrative enterprise for professional players. The live player average is much lower than the online player estimate. This may be because, in casinos, live poker is practiced and thus encourages individuals who play poker to bargain instead of because they are successful at it. Or it could be because of live poker’s social aspect. It’s a mix of both, perhaps. 
For more interesting articles about poker or poker news, keep reading PokerShots! 

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Learning from Phil Hellmuth Jr.

I was recently honored to host a live webinar with 13-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth Jr. While Phil is a bit of an enigma in the poker world because no one quite understands how he wins on a consistent basis in high stakes poker tournaments, I knew there were countless skills I could learn from him. When you have the opportunity to discuss poker strategy with one of the most successful poker players in the world, you listen!
Since the webinar, I have implemented numerous concepts we discussed, drastically increasing my profits at the table.
One of the most important concepts he discussed was the idea that if you have played poker for a long time and studied the game diligently, as I have, you should tend to trust your reads. Since our webinar, I have worked hard on my reading abilities and they seem to be paying off.
I recently played in a $13,000 high roller event in Barcelona. There was one player at the table who was obviously splashing around. Everyone was making a point to play pots with him. Even though he was clearly playing junky hands, he always had the nuts when his opponents decided to call his large postflop bets.
Eventually I raised with A-T from middle position, the splashy guy called in the small blind and the Big Blind also called. The flop came 4-4-3. The splashy guy made a bet and I decided to call. The turn was a J. He bet again and I called. The river was an 8 and he bet enough to put me all-in, which was around the size of the pot.
Seeing how he had only shown the nuts when he took overly aggressive lines in the past, this would normally be an easy fold. However, something did not feel right. I can’t quite quantify what it was, but he looked nervous. I thought he would play numerous busted draws in this manner. My main concern was that he could be bluffing with a hand such as 2-2 or A-Q, which would be a disaster for me.
However, I went with my read and called. He showed the 5-2 and I doubled up with my marginal A-high.
While this is certainly an extreme example, if I did not have the amazing learning experience with Phil, I would have folded. Instead, I won $13,000 in equity.
To get instant access to this enlightening learning experience with Phil Hellmuth Jr. where he discusses numerous other strategies he implements to constantly win poker tournaments, check out the webinar here: Learning from Phil Hellmuth Webinar

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The luck of the Irish has Ireland at the top of global gambling spend


It may not have originated in Ireland, but the phrase “the luck of the Irish” rings loudly in the country. According to The Irish Post, more money is spent, per capita, on gambling in Ireland than in almost all other countries around the world. Only in two countries – Australia and Singapore – is more spent hitting the slots and the tables than in Ireland.The media outlet doesn’t source its data, but indicates that the Irish love online gambling more than any other form. Online gambling spend is 60%, greatly superior to other forms gambling and sports gambling, which only accounts for 15% of the money. The lottery receives a 10% cut, the same amount given to gambling machines and slots. Casinos, of which Ireland has around 20, pick up 5% of the action.While Australia and Singapore may see more gambling spend per capita, Ireland is the hands-down winner in online gaming spend, with The Irish Post asserting, “Ireland takes the lead globally when it comes to online gambling.” It adds, “With almost 3 billion American dollars spent on gambling and betting every year, that means that each man, woman, and child in Ireland are spending roughly 500 [euros] ($607) annually on this type of entertainment.”The media outlet further indicates that online gambling is most popular in Ireland because the segment is more regulated. It cites “outdated laws” that some casinos are exploiting to attract attention, but the transparency and accountability afforded gamblers by online operators give them an edge. The Irish Post explains that, according to reports, many Irish would prefer to gamble in a British casino than in a domestic one, possibly as a result of the outdated laws.Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Irish loved to gamble online and the segment increased about 15% each year. Last year, with the coronavirus in full swing, the numbers jumped substantially and, with the introduction of live online casino games and live sports gambling, the online segment has skyrocketed in popularity. Online gambling is inarguably the future, looking down the road 20 to 30 years, but it’s never too early for casino operators to start preparing.Surprisingly, the U.S. ranks fifth in terms of per-capita gambling spend, even less than Finland. However, with a population of over 330 million, it’s the largest market available. $120 billion was spent on gambling in the country in 2019, while the Irish spent $2.7 billion through its population of less than five million.

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เพื่อต่อต้านการหาเลี้ยงชีพจากแมลง


หากคุณชอบเล่นโป๊กเกอร์การเล่นเกมนี้ดูเหมือนความฝันที่เป็นจริง ทำในสิ่งที่คุณชอบและจะไม่รู้สึกว่าทำงาน อย่างไรก็ตามก่อนที่คุณจะเข้าสู่ทุกสิ่งคุณควรตระหนักถึงประโยชน์และกฎเกณฑ์ทั้งหมดที่มาพร้อมกับการเล่นโป๊กเกอร์เพื่อการดำรงชีวิตของคุณ หากคุณกำลังพิจารณาที่จะจริงจังกับอาชีพโป๊กเกอร์ที่มีศักยภาพของคุณต่อไปนี้เป็นข้อดีและข้อเสียที่โดดเด่นที่สุดของการเป็นผู้เล่นโป๊กเกอร์มืออาชีพ ประโยชน์ของการเล่นโป๊กเกอร์เพื่อหาเลี้ยงชีพเป็นเจ้าของเวลาของคุณเองหากคุณเล่นโป๊กเกอร์เพื่อหาเลี้ยงชีพคุณกำลังเลือกเวลาทำงานได้อย่างมีประสิทธิภาพ การเป็นเจ้านายตัวเองโดยเฉพาะอย่างยิ่งในเส้นทางอาชีพเช่นนี้หมายความว่าคุณต้องทำงานกะกลางคืนเพื่อทำงานในเวลาของคุณเองและทำงานที่เป็นอิสระในแต่ละวันให้ดีที่สุดหรือมีปัญหาในการตื่นนอนทุกเช้าหากคุณไปตามถนนสายนี้ ปัญหา. “สำนักงาน” ของคุณคือโต๊ะโป๊กเกอร์ออนไลน์และการแข่งขันโป๊กเกอร์สดที่คุณเลือกเข้าร่วมเพียงจำไว้ว่าคุณต้องรักษาระเบียบวินัยที่ดีเยี่ยมในงานใด ๆ ที่คุณไม่สูญเสียความยืดหยุ่นและอิสระในการทำงานของคุณ ไม่มีเพดานการจ่ายเงินผู้เล่นโป๊กเกอร์ส่วนใหญ่ต้องการเป็นมืออาชีพเหตุผลที่ใหญ่ที่สุดคือมีผลกำไรไม่ จำกัด สำหรับผู้ที่กล้าอ้างสิทธิ์ แม้ว่าเงินจะไม่ใช่แรงบันดาลใจหลักของคุณ แต่ก็ไม่ยากที่จะนึกถึงรางวัลนับล้านในการแข่งขันโป๊กเกอร์ที่ใหญ่ที่สุดในโลก แม้ว่าคุณจะเพิ่งเริ่มเล่นออนไลน์ที่เว็บไซต์ Real Money Poker แต่ก็ยังมีตัวเลือกมากมายรวมถึงรางวัลที่กว้างกว่าที่คนทำงานส่วนใหญ่จะได้รับจากงานประจำวัน นอกจากนี้ส่วนที่ดีที่สุดคือไม่มีเพดานเงินเดือนว่าคุณสามารถนำกลับบ้านได้เท่าไรในแต่ละเดือน ข้อดีอีกอย่างของการเล่นโป๊กเกอร์เพื่อใช้ชีวิตและท่องเที่ยวไปทุกที่ในโลกก็คือคุณสามารถรู้สึกเหมือนอยู่บ้านได้ตลอดเวลาระหว่างเดินทางไปทำงานและรับเงินในกระบวนการ หากคุณวางแผนที่จะเป็นผู้เล่นโป๊กเกอร์แบบเต็มเวลาคุณสามารถหวังว่าจะได้ไปเมืองที่ใหญ่ที่สุดและน่าสนใจที่สุดในโลกบ่อยๆ จากลาสเวกัสและลอนดอนไปยังบาร์เซโลนาและโมนาโกคุณสามารถสร้างตารางเวลาของคุณเองได้ตามที่ต้องการ ยิ่งไปกว่านั้นในฐานะผู้เล่นโป๊กเกอร์มืออาชีพคุณมีอิสระไม่ จำกัด ในการเลือกสถานที่ที่คุณต้องการตั้งถิ่นฐาน หากคุณต้องการสร้างบ้านในสถานที่ที่มีแสงแดดและอบอุ่นคุณสามารถเลือกจุดหมายปลายทางของแมลงยอดนิยมเช่น Caribbean Select ซึ่งจะช่วยให้คุณเพลิดเพลินไปกับฤดูร้อนที่ไม่มีที่สิ้นสุดในขณะที่ยังอยู่ใกล้กับการแข่งขันโป๊กเกอร์ที่ได้รับความนิยมและได้รับรางวัลมากที่สุด ข้อเสียของการเล่นแมลงเพื่อเอาตัวรอดจากรายได้ที่รับประกันผลประโยชน์ที่สำคัญที่สุดของงานประจำวันคือคุณรู้ว่าคุณมีรายได้เท่าไรในแต่ละเดือน เมื่อคุณเปลี่ยนงานประจำวันไปเป็นอาชีพโป๊กเกอร์แบบมืออาชีพตาข่ายนิรภัยนี้จะหายไป แม้ว่าจะเป็นเรื่องจริงที่คุณจะสามารถชนะเงินได้มากที่สุด แต่ก็ไม่มีการบอกว่าจะมาเมื่อไหร่หรือจะมาเมื่อใด ความผันผวนของรายได้เป็นการแลกเปลี่ยนที่พบบ่อยในอาชีพที่สูงขึ้นซึ่งให้เพดานกำไรที่สูงขึ้น หากคุณต้องการเล่นอย่างปลอดภัยและไม่เสี่ยงต่อการมียอดคงเหลือติดลบเป็นเวลาหลายสัปดาห์หรือหลายเดือนการประกอบอาชีพที่ Texas Hold’em อาจไม่ใช่วิธีที่ดีที่สุด ที่กล่าวว่าหากคุณเต็มใจที่จะรับความผันผวนและมีความคิดที่จะรับมือกับความกดดันของรายได้ที่ผันผวนคุณสามารถเปลี่ยนปัญหานี้ให้เป็นประโยชน์ได้ เส้นทางสู่ความสำเร็จอาจทำให้คู่ต่อสู้ของเขารู้สึกกังวลกับของเล่น Daniel Negrenu ที่ดูเหมือนจะไม่ต้องใช้ความพยายามเลย อย่างไรก็ตามพวกเราส่วนใหญ่ลืมไปว่าเราเฝ้าดูผลลัพธ์สุดท้ายของการศึกษาจิตวิทยาของเกมและคู่แข่งมาหลายปีแล้ว ผู้เล่นโป๊กเกอร์มืออาชีพทุกคนประสบความสำเร็จในระดับสูงและประสบการณ์ที่ต่ำลงตลอดการเดินทางอันยาวนาน คิดว่ามันไม่เคยขี่ทางเรียบ ต้องมีความมั่นใจ แต่คุณต้องทำงานอย่างสม่ำเสมอพร้อมกับทักษะของคุณเพื่อสำรองข้อมูล แน่นอนว่าผู้เล่นบางคนประสบความสำเร็จอย่างมากในช่วงสองสามปีแรกของการเล่นเกม แต่สิ่งเหล่านี้เป็นของต่างประเทศหากคุณตั้งเป้าที่จะสร้างอาชีพตลอดชีวิตในโป๊กเกอร์คุณต้องอดทนและจำไว้เสมอว่าคุณมีมันสำหรับ อีกนานในที่สุดก็จะถูกจับได้ คุณต้องมีงบประมาณที่มั่นคงในการเริ่มต้นแม้ว่าโป๊กเกอร์จะให้โอกาสคุณในการชนะเงินเป็นจำนวนมาก แต่คุณต้องมีเงินทุนเริ่มต้นเพียงพอก่อนที่จะพิจารณาให้ความสนใจกับเกมทั้งหมด การขาดเงินเป็นหนึ่งในสาเหตุหลักที่ทำให้ผู้เล่นส่วนใหญ่ไม่มุ่งมั่นที่จะเล่นโป๊กเกอร์อย่างมืออาชีพ สำหรับผู้เล่นหลายคนอาจใช้เวลาสองสามปีเพื่อให้พวกเขาได้รับชัยชนะอย่างสม่ำเสมอในโป๊กเกอร์ หากคุณไม่มีเงินทุนหรือมีงานประจำวันในการเริ่มต้นเพื่อชดเชยการสูญเสียโป๊กเกอร์ของคุณคุณสามารถเบื่อหน่ายกับความเครียดได้อย่างรวดเร็ว ไม่รับประกันความสำเร็จและสิ่งสำคัญคือต้องจำไว้ว่าคุณควรรับความเสี่ยงที่จะไม่สูญเสียเงินและต้องเรียนรู้ที่จะจัดการแบ๊งค์ที่ดี! คุณพร้อมที่จะเป็นนักโป๊กเกอร์มืออาชีพแล้วหรือยัง? ความจริงที่ยากก็คือไม่ใช่ทุกคนที่จะต้องเป็นนักโป๊กเกอร์ระดับโลก อย่างไรก็ตามด้วยความอดทนและการทำงานที่เพียงพอคุณสามารถสร้างรายได้จากการเล่นโป๊กเกอร์ได้อย่างยอดเยี่ยม เนื่องจากในท้ายที่สุดแล้วมันจะไปได้ไกลสำหรับมืออาชีพและผู้เล่นส่วนใหญ่ที่มุ่งมั่นศึกษาและเรียนรู้เกมอย่างแท้จริงก็สามารถประสบความสำเร็จได้ หากคุณหลงใหลในโป๊กเกอร์และพร้อมที่จะทุ่มเทพลังของคุณลงไปไม่มีอะไรหยุดคุณจากการสร้างอาชีพได้ หากต้องการความช่วยเหลือในการเดินทางโปรดดูเว็บไซต์ฝึกอบรมแมลงที่ดีที่สุดเพราะคุณจะพบแหล่งข้อมูลดีๆมากมายที่นี่

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Adjusting to world-class players

This is my table from a recent $25,000 buy-in event.
Poker tournaments are interesting, especially compared to cash games, because the skill level of your opponents can vary wildly. While there will be winners and losers in a $1/$2 cash game, most of the players simply do not play too well because if they did, they would be playing for higher stakes. In tournaments, especially in major events where many players satellite in, you could be playing with a total amateur who got lucky to win his seat for a small amount of money or a high stakes professional who travels the world and buys in directly to all of the premier events. In fact, when you are playing the “smaller” main events, such as typical $3,500 WPT or $1,500 WSOP events, those could be considered “small stakes” to some of the pros who play $10,000 buy-in and larger events on a regular basis.
This creates an interesting dynamic because you should employ a drastically different strategy when playing against the total amateur compared to the pro. Since most of what I discuss is based on blatantly exploiting my opponent, I thought it would be helpful to use this blog post to share my thoughts about how to play against someone you cannot blatantly exploit. I do not mean for this blog post to be a comprehensive guide for beating world-class players. I simply want to let you know a few of the adjustments I make while playing against world-class competition that you can quickly and easily integrate into your strategy, allowing you to be competitive.
Where does the profit come from?
I have recently been playing primarily $5,000 and larger buy-in events because I have been making a point to travel to the European Poker Tour stops. It simply does not make sense to spend a bunch of time and money for me to travel to a $3,500 buy-in event in America. Because of this, I have been playing in more high stakes tournaments where very few players satellite in, such as the typical high roller events in the EPTs. This has given me the opportunity to hone my skills against some of the best players in the world when there are not many weak players at the table.
I want to make it perfectly clear that when you are at the table with one or two world-class pros and a bunch of amateurs, you should generally make a point to play very few pots with the pros and lots of pots with the amateurs. You make money in poker by taking advantage of your opponents’ mistakes. If your opponents do not make many mistakes, you will not make much money. Since amateurs make many more mistakes than professionals, you want to play most of your pots with the amateurs. That being said, you should not play like a super nit versus the pros. Simply play a fundamentally sound strategy that makes it difficult for you to get exploited.
I made this 1,000,000 chip stack in a $5,000 buy-in event!
When you are playing at a table full of pros and only one or two amateurs, you simply must get involved with the other pros because if you don’t, you will eventually blind off. In general, there is nothing wrong with playing a relatively tight, aggressive style where you pick your bluff spots intelligently. I think one of the major mistakes amateurs make when playing against pros is that they rarely bluff. When they do, it is often so obvious that the pros can make somewhat easy calls with a wide range. If you only apply pressure when you have a premium hand, you will blind off because the pros will not give you action.
Changing gears
If you happen to be implementing a tight strategy and you have not played many hands in the recent past, do not be afraid to get a bit out of line, especially by reraising before the flop and then continuation betting the flop for about the same amount as your preflop reraise. While this play is quite simple, it is super-effective if you have a tight image. Always be aware of your image and use it to your advantage.
If you happen to be at a table where everyone is playing a tight, aggressive strategy, if you realize they are playing too tightly, especially when the stacks are around 30 – 50 big blinds deep, an effective play is to raise when the action folds to you, even from early position, with an overly wide range. If your opponents will only call or reraise with premium hands, you will find that you will often steal the blinds or win the pot after the flop frequently enough to justify a steal attempt. Of course, once your opponents realize you are raising with a wide range, assuming they become willing to play back at you, you should revert to a tight, aggressive strategy. Old school players refer to this as “changing gears”. I call it “playing intelligently”.
Stealing the blinds
Speaking of preflop stealing, you will notice that in high stakes tournaments the “standard” raise size is venturing higher. In the past, people folded from the big blind way too often so strong players started min-raising preflop in order to be able to steal the blinds with a wider range with less risk. This play was quite effective for a few years, but eventually the best players figured out that they should be defending their big blind with a wide range. If you can put in one more big blind before the flop and perhaps two more big blinds on the flop and see a showdown, which is often against the case against someone who raises with a wide range, continuation bets with a wide range, then plays straightforwardly on the turn and river, you should call the preflop min-raise with almost any two cards.
To counteract this adjustment by the best players, you have two options. You can either fire more turn and river bluffs, which gets quite risky, or you can raise larger before the flop. The problem with firing more turn and river bluffs is that your strong opponents will figure this out and start calling down with a wider range. It should be clear that very few good players check-raise the flop when they defend the blind because they want to keep their check-calling range strong so that you cannot happily fire three bluffs. While amateurs make the mistake of effectively turning their hand face-up by check-raising, pros will keep you guessing. Of course, if your opponent will call the flop with his marginal hands that he will fold by the river when faced with intense aggression, you should happily fire lots of bluffs. However, if your opponent may or may not call you down because they do not turn their hand face-up when they have premium hands, bluffing becomes much less palatable.
Instead, you can simply raise a bit larger before the flop. With deep stacks of 50 big blinds or more, it is quite common to see the best players raising to 3 big blinds before the flop. As the stacks start to shrink, their bet sizes start to decrease, but not too much. With 35 big blind stacks, they will still raise to around 2.7 big blinds or so.
I have been experimenting with raising to 2 big blinds when a weak player is in the big blind and 2.7 – 3 big blinds when a strong player is in the big blind. I have been making this play with my entire range so I am not easily exploitable. It has been quite effective so far because it allows me to play more pots with amateurs and fewer pots with the pros.
River betting
One other adjustment I want to discuss is how to bet on the river versus an amateur compared to a pro. Against an amateur, I will often bet an amount that I think will induce the result I want. For example, if I think my opponent is a mediocre player who will assume a small bet is for value, I will bet small as a bluff. If I think my opponent will always call a small bet with a wide range because of his pot odds, I will bet small with my value hands and large with my bluffs. This strategy does not work too well against pros because you will often not be able to out-think them.
Instead, you should choose bet sizes based on the percentage of the time that you will be bluffing versus value betting with your entire range. For example, if you know that in a specific river spot you will have 20% bluffs and 80% value bets (this assumes that your value hands win every time when you get called), you should make a bet that gives your opponent 4:1 pot odds, which would be 33% of the size of the pot, because that way, he cannot make a profit by either calling or folding. You will often see pros overbetting the pot, perhaps betting two times the size of the pot, giving their opponent 3:2, when they have around 40% bluffs in their range.
Of course, this assumes you know how to think about your actual range in a spot. Most amateurs are much too concerned with their own hand. Against pros, you must realize that you are playing your range against their range, not your hand against their hand.  Unfortunately, poker is not quite this simple because you rarely know if you are purely value betting or bluffing.  As long as you are at least thinking about ranges, you will be able to tailor your bet sizes to specific situations when playing against strong pros instead of simply betting some fixed percent of the pot every time.
That being said, if you do want to bet the same percent of the pot every time, the proper adjustment is to set up your range such that you have the correct proportion of bluffs compared to value bets. For example, if you always want to bet 64% of the size of the pot on the river, you should have 28% bluffs in your range. If you can figure out how to construct your range such that you have exactly 28% bluffs every time, this will work, but you will find that it is often easier to figure out what percentage of your range is bluffs and then adjust your bet size accordingly.
As a quick example, let’s suppose you find yourself on the river after you raised preflop from middle position and the Big Blind, a world-class pro, called. You then bet on both the flop and turn on an Ah-7h-5s-3s board and your opponent called. The river is the (Ah-7h-5s-3s)-Kd.
You certainly want to value bet with your best hands, so you must also figure out which hands to bluff with in order to remain balanced. Perhaps you know that your value betting range is all hands A-Q and better. Let’s also assume that you can’t have K-K because you probably would not have bet the turn with that. You also cannot have A-7o, A-5o, and A-3o because you would not have raised with those from middle position. This leaves you with a value range of this:

Notice that this is 68 combinations of hands. Let’s assume that you want to bluff with all of your busted flush draws. There are 14 combinations of busted flush draws that you could conceivably have. I am going to assume that you will bet with the busted K high flush draws that improved to middle pair as a bluff, which may or may not be a good play.

Since you have a total of 82 total combinations of hands (68 value hands and 14 bluffs) you should bet an amount that gives your opponent 68:14 pot odds, which would be 26% of the size of the pot. Of course, if you want to bet larger, you have to find more hands to bluff with. If you want to bet smaller, you should bluff with fewer of your missed flush draws (the ones with a pair of K’s in this example) or add in a wider range of value hands, assuming your opponent will call with worse made hands.
It is worth reiterating that real-world play is not this simple because you will occasionally value bet and get called by a better hand. You will also rarely know every aspect of your opponent’s strategy. The main takeaway should be that it is important to get out of the habit of blindly betting some percentage of the size of the pot on any betting round simply because that is what you think you are supposed to do. Always make a point to figure out why you make each of your actions.
While this strategy works well against the best pros, it is not a good idea against players who will simply never get to the river with a made hand worse than an A. While the best pros are thinking in terms of range versus range, the vast majority of players, most pros included, simply look at their hand and see if it is near the top of their range and then act accordingly. In the hand above, suppose you know that your opponent would almost always check-raise the flop with a flush draw, meaning that once he gets to the river, he has only top pair. If you know he will never fold his top pair to any reasonable bet, you should bet an amount that your opponent will call when you have a hand that is better than his calling range, which will most likely be around A-T or better. If instead you know that he will call up to a 60% pot bet but fold to larger bet sizes, bet 61% with your bluffs and 60% with your value hands. Of course, this again assumes we know a decent amount about our opponent, which enables us to play in an exploitative manner.
I hope this blog post has enlightened you a bit about how world-class pros play against each other. The deeper you think about poker, the better decisions you will make. To get started with this process, always make a point to think about your opponent’s range, your actual range, and what your opponent thinks about your range.
If you enjoyed this blog post, please share it with your friends! Also be sure to follow me at twitch.tv/jonathanlittle to watch me play live in real time for free. You can sign up for my PokerStars Home Game using #1976954 and Password: playpoker. My PokerStars Home Game will be on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 5pm EST. The Home Game is not for real money, but I will give away prizes. That way, everyone can play (even Americans!) I will stream the tournament on Twitch so everyone can watch. I hope you will join me on the live stream at twitch.tv/jonathanlittle. Thank you for reading.
 

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Poker Idols – Jack Straus


It’s not hard to imagine why a poker player who measured at 6’ 6” (just under two meteres) was called ‘Treetop’, but the story of Jack Straus is perhaps even taller than he was.  Who was the man who won the 1982 World Series of Poker Main Event from having only one chip halfway through the tournament? How did he die early, and what is his lasting legacy on the game?  It’s time to find out why Jack ‘Treetop’ Straus is a bona fide poker idol.  From the Ground Up  Straus might not have written his poker legend until 1982, but over a decade earlier, he was following the game of poker around the United States. Having attended University in Texas, he played basketball while he was there and was also known locally as a hunter and marksman who could bring down the big game.  That reputation gained a second meaning as Straus transitioned into a poker player who became a ‘road gambler’ travelling around the United States in search of a game as all the professionals would do in the days before the World Series of Poker was born in 1970. He specialised in heads-up poker and wasn’t afraid to gamble when it was full ring, either.  In some ways ahead of his time and playing with an attacking flair beyond his years, at the start of the 1970s, Straus was front and centre in Las Vegas to take part in the newly-formed WSOP. Straus, who once said, “If they had wanted you to hold on to money they’d have made it with handles,” wore a lion’s paw about his person, which was inscribed with the following legend: ‘Better a day as a lion than one hundred years as a lamb’.  The prophetic nature of that phrase would sadly come true in more ways than one.  A Chip and a Chair In 1972, Jack Straus would make the final table of the WSOP Main Event, eventually finishing in 5th place as Amarillo Slim would win the only prize of $80,000 by beating Puggy Pearson heads-up. It would only be a year later that Straus won his first WSOP bracelet, however, as he took down the $3,000-entry Deuce to Seven Draw event for a top prize of $16,500.  As well as winning his first bracelet, Straus went on to finish 3rd in the Main Event of that year, this time missing out on the heads-up he would have fancied his chances in by just one place. It would be Johnny Moss and Puggy Pearson who would battle it out for the bracelet, with Pearson prevailing to the tune of $130,000, with Moss (and the other 11 entrants who busted before him) winning nothing.  Straus would keep coming back to the World Series of Poker, but would have to wait another nine years for the bracelet he really wanted – the WSOP Main Event. A year before his big win, Straus lost heads-up to Mickey Perry for the $2,500 Limit Ace-to-Five Draw bracelet, but the 1982 WSOP Main Event wouldn’t just see him win the most sought-after title in poker but in a manner that has never been repeated.  Halfway through the tournament, with 104 whittled down in number a little, Straus pushed what he thought was all his chips into a pot. Called by his opponent, Straus lost the pot and thought he was out of the tournament, but unbeknown to him, he’d left a single ‘500’ chip under a table napkin. Good natured banter at the table aside, the official rulings stated that as Straus hadn’t declared all-in, the bet stood only at the poker chips he had pushed over the line, and that single chip he found was still his.  Sitting back down in his chair, Straus put that chip to phenomenal use. The very next hand saw play folded to Straus’ big blind, doubling his chip to a micro-stack. Next, he doubled back to a short-stack he could play and eventually grinded his way not just back into genuine contention but as table leader by the close of play with 90,000 chips. By Day three of the most famous event he would ever play, he was chip leader of the whole tournament. Reaching the Heights  Reaching the final table was a miracle in itself, but Straus would go on to complete the unlikeliest of victories, taking down the title after outlasting a final six players that included Doyle Brunson (4th for $52,000) and Berry Johnston (3rd for $104,000).  Straus had almost single-handedly busted most of the final table players, but he saved the cous de gras until his speciality play and just Dewey Tomko sat between him and the title of world champion. Heads-up, Straus took down Dewey Tomko, who committed his stack with ace-four in the final hand and was no match for ‘Treetop’, whose ace-ten paired up to seal the most remarkable win in World Series history.As a side-note, just by reaching that 1982 final table (the last he would reach), Straus joined a select band of players which is unlikely to grow in number as the popularity of the world’s biggest and best poker tournament continues to increase. Only Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Stu Ungar, Johnny Chan and Dan Harrington have reached three WSOP Main Event final tables with Straus… what a six-max tournament of champions that would be to watch!  The Broken Heart of a Giant   Jack Straus didn’t limit excitement to that one Main Event. His poker legend would grow even larger after he made a huge bluff in a cash game, holding 7-2 off-suit with a flop of 7-3-3. Heads-up in the hand, Straus was on a roll and after a raising war pre-flop, played the aggressor posot-flop too, calling a large raise when it came. The deuce on the turn inspired Straus to represent the three and made a huge bet, offering his opponent a novel way of gaining information.  “I’ll show you whichever one of my cards you choose if you give me $25,” said Straus. With his opponent taking the bait, Straus was asked to turn over the card, which he did, revealing the deuce. Straus’ opponent decided to fold, figuring Straus would only make that move with pocket deuces or a deuce and a three. Straus won the huge pot on a massive bluff.  Sadly for Straus, he would live just six years as world champion. Aged just 58 years old, Straus suffered an aortic aneurysm on August 17th, 1988 as he sat in a high stakes poker game. Later that year, as Johnny Chan won his second and back-to-back world title, Straus was posthumously inducted in the Poker Hall of Fame along with Doyle Brunson in that same year.  Straus was one of three men in the Hall of Fame to die at the poker table while in a game, with the others being Wild Bill Hickok and Tom Abdo. ‘Treetop’, however, was a unique player, and one who will never be forgotten as a poker idol another 100 years down the line.  

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Fine tuning for Winter Poker Open!


So like all poker player, I’ve been stuck re-living all the hands from the last time I played, both good and bad…ok mostly the bad.It’s a mental beating we all give ourselves, especially those of us that are extremely passionate about the game. It’s a blessing and curse! It’s a huge help in realizing the faults in our own games, and moving us towards getting better, but there in lies the problem, Admitting our faults! Who likes to do that, certainly not me lol It’s a tricky thing, using past mistake to improve, particularly in poker. There’s a clear advantage in using these previous blunders to keep improving your game, but if we aren’t careful, it can quickly become a huge disadvantage. The downside is that we poker players have a tendency to obsess over hands waayy too much, usually causing much more harm than good. I know I’m ridiculous about this myself, always my own harshest critic, completely destroying myself mentally after losing session or big bust outs in tourneys. I have to constantly remind myself that it’s just part of the game and it happens to the best of us. Whether its variance or just poor decisions, it’s all par for the course. Regardless of what anyone tells you, no one plays perfect all the time and nobody dodges the math forever lol. So we do our best to keep our sanity(and our bankrolls), by reviewing our mishaps, learning from them and moving “on to the next one”. That being said here’s a few quick recaps of some hands played in the last few months. I hope I they provide you with some entertainment and insight,but mostly I hope that they force me to make sure I listen to everything I just told you guys! lolThis is a nice punt I made in a smaller WSOPc event at The Bike in LA his past December. LOL I have a 32k stack and we are at 300/600 blinds with 100 ante. The under the gun, very active player opens to 1300. He gets 2 pretty loose active callers. I have Q9d in cutoff and decide to call as well.(meh lol) Small blind then raises to 6k! Oops. He’s pretty predicatable though and think I have a good read on his game. It folds back to me, I see $12600 in the pot and need to call 4700 for a shot at winning what’s already a $17300 pot!! I call. Q,10,7 rainbow flop. He instantly leads 10k. Just grabs and spIashes it in!? I just thought he looked weak and had about 26k left. So I ship, and he snaps me off with AQ. Oops again lol Not my proudest moment lolThis ones from the kickoff event, 200k GTD, of the WSOPc Choctaw. Ran pretty bad this whole weekend lol These hands happened back to back. In limped pot, 3 of us see a K,10,3 rainbow flop. I have k9 off in BB. I bet 500 into a 900 pot, wild older guy calls, other folds. I bet 1000 on 9h turn. He snap calls. I check a 10h river, and he snaps 3000 into the middle. I puke lol then Fold…next hand, the Blinds are 150/300 and I now have only 5400. I open from UTG to 800. The fun donkey, older guy on my left calls. Pretty nitty younger guy on his left calls too. Flop comes Qd,8d,5s. I try to hide my excitement cause I know the old guy can’t wait to bet! So I check, he doesn’t dissappoint and snaps a 1k chip out. Then to my surprise the younger guy thinks for a minute then makes it 3500?! Shit! Lol I think I’m probably toast but I think he’s capable of having the same read on this guy as I do. So I think he either can be making a move or doing this with a draw?! Plus I have a huge hand and not enough chips to fold anyway lol so I go all in, old guy folds, and of course the kid calls. Shows me KK and board runs out good for him. Cool story lol Ouch, REBUY! LolHere’s one from the WSOPc Choctaw 1 million GTD main event! We are at 300/600 with 100 ante and I have about 50k. The player in the LoJak bet 700 for the last 3 or 4 hands and was super active all day. He does it again and gets 1 caller. I call in SB with K10 off.(boooooo). The BB folds. The Flop is 7h,Qc,Jc. I had planned on check raising him if he bet, but it checks through. Turns comes Kc! Yikes! I check, and original raiser bets the pot!? About 3600. Other caller folds. I was pretty confused by his large bet size on such a scary card, but overall I thought it looked weak, so I call. Turn is Js! More yikes! Another scary card. I decide to check. He tanks for about a minute, then bets pot again! Just under 11k! This was the last hand before a break and I tanked a good 2-3 minutes into the break before I made a hero call. I was confused by his large bets on both streets and thought it looked so polarized on that crazy board. He shows QQ for a full house on the river. I still don’t understand his flop check or his hide turn bet when such a bad card peels off, but what can you do. LolHopefully I can learn from these tough lesson so soon! Intertops, along with TheTrooper79 and I, are heading back to Austria! It’s business as usual for Intertops, sending players to exotic locations for exciting tourney action! With player Douglas Klein coming for a poker trip of a life-time, after winning a satellite with us online worth $4000! Check out his whole story here at Live-Dream-Poker! For me it’s a chance to redeem myself from last years performance and take it to those Uber aggressive Europeans! lol As for The Trooper, he’ll be there to kept tabs on is and take you on all his crazy adventures, poker and travel wise. We leave in a few days, but be sure not to miss the Sunday action on Intertops still! Play in tomorrow’s all new schedule of action packed six max tourneys, as well as our 1k and 5k guarantees! Hope to see you there!RUN good!Tim

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GGPoker launch Flip & Go tournaments


Flip your way into the money right away with a new format from GGPoker for people who just want to play the end game.

Another new poker tournament format with the recreational player in mind has just launched at GGPoker.
Flip & Go tournaments promise to get you straight to the money stages of the tournament. The tournament begins with everybody being forced all-in on the first table until one player remains. Once every table is complete the tournament slows down and becomes a normal MTT after the bubble has burst. 
It’s not a complete gamble at the first table. Players will be dealt three cards instead of two and discard one before going all-in, so you have a chance to pick the hand that plays the best multi-way. 
Players who get dealt a strong three card starting hand preflop and go on to win the flip will see their stack increased. x1 if they get a straight, x2 if they get a flush, x3 if they get dealt trips and x4 if they get a straight flush. 

Discard one card in the Flip & Go stage

You can also buy a bigger stack in the flip stage, up to x10 your starting stack. So in a $5 MTT you can pay as much as $50 to get a x10 bigger stack, meaning you have a better chance if surviving the flip stage. It also means that the money stage of the tournament begins with different stacks in play. 

This format could prove popular with recreational players and professionals alike. Casual players don’t have to play all night only to miss the money. Serious players already like to late register and could easily justify these tournaments if the early gamble they go through means they get to play against recreational players in the money stages. PokerStars have previously tried something similar called Bubble Rush where the fast structured tournament slows down after the bubble bursts. 
Will you play this format? Let us know in the comments:

Barry Carter
Barry Carter is the editor of PokerStrategy.com and the co-author of The Mental Game of Poker 1 & 2, Poker Satellite Strategy and PKO Poker Strategy

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Nine Oklahoma Casinos Close To Conserve State’s Power Supply


Nine Oklahoma casinos are closing for a few days to help conserve power across the state as severe winter weather affects power grids in the state.
A massive ice and snow storm is affecting Texas and Oklahoma, two states that aren’t adept at handling it. It is causing most in the state to crank up their heating systems, which is putting a strain on the energy supply in both states.
The Cherokee Tribe announced earlier today that it will close all nine properties, including the Hard Rock Casino in Tulsa, at 5 p.m. and will stay closed until Wednesday at 1 p.m., according to a report from a local Fox affiliate. The reopening date could get pushed back if weather conditions don’t change.
The Southwest Power Pool, which provides energy to Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Missouri, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Iowa, Wyoming and Nebraska said that they were running low on energy supply Monday.
Poker pro Bart Hanson, who recently moved to Austin, tweeted a video Sunday that showed how bad the winter storm is. The video showed a car slowly sliding out of control down a neighborhood road and bumping into other cars along the way.
Some crazy shit going on here in Austin. I did not record this but from a few blocks over.. pic.twitter.com/ebbetkKYAZ— Bart Hanson (@BartHanson) February 15, 2021
 

 

 

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