Addamo, Adams, and Bonomo Among Big Sunday Winners

February 16 2021
Matthew Pitt

Online poker tournaments are massive on Sundays and this fact along brings out the game’s best players. Michael Addamo, Timothy Adams, and Justin Bonomo are just three of those stellar names who managed to take down a Sunday major this weekend.
Addamo Takes Down GGPoker Sunday 500 High Rollers $5,250
Michael Addamo enjoyed a super Sunday courtesy of triumphing in the Sunday 500 High Rollers $5,250, a tournament that attracted 113 of the world’s best players to the GGPoker virtual felt.
Addamo’s first bullet didn’t go to plan and he crashed out in 76th place. He re-entered and put used his new stack to full effect.
The likes of Kristen Bicknell, Matthias Eibinger, Elio Fox, Benjamin Rolle, and Anatoly Filatov busted inside the money places but before the star-studded final table.
Austria’s “Filip1” was the final table’s first casualty. Their ninth-place exit awarding a $14,833 prize.
Alex Foxen and David Yan then busted. Yan would go on to take down Sunday High Rollers Bounty King $3,150 for $49,300 later in the evening.
The exits of Michael Zhang, Aleksei Barkov, Pascal Hartmann, and David Peters left Addamo heads-up against Wiktor Malinowski. Addamo rarely loses when he’s heads-up and that was the case again here. Addamo collected $131,187 for his victory while Malinowski banked $99,898 for his runner-up finish.
Defeating Malinowski will go some way to making up for losing a massive $842,000 cash game pot last year.
Sunday 500 High Rollers $5,250 Final Table Results
PlacePlayerCountryPrize

1Michael AddamoCanada$131,187

2Wiktor MalinowskiMacau$99,898

3David PetersCanada$76,072

4Pascal HartmannAustria$57,928

5Aleksei BarkovRussia$44,112

6Michael ZhangBrazil$33,591

7David YanNew Zealand$25,579

8Alex FoxenCanada$19,478

9Flilip1Austria$14,833

¥80 Million Gtd Asian Poker League (APL) Hits GGPoker
Adams Takes Down High Rollers Blade Prime $2,625
Timothy Adams’ latest victory came in the High Rollers Blade Prime $2,625, an event that saw 80 players buy in.
All but two of the players who navigated their way to the final table walked away with five-figures hauls. Fedor Holz and Andrii Novak being that duo.
“LeoJose” fell in seventh and was joined on the rail first by Artur Martirosian, then by Urmo Velvelt, Rainer Kempe, and China’s Kevin Pu.
This left Adams, on his one and only bullet, heads-up against Arsneii Malinov. Malinov fell at the final hurdle and scooped $36,565, which left Adams to add the $46,885 top prize to his GGPoker account.
High Rollers Blade Prime $2,625 Final Table Results
PlacePlayerCountryPrize

1Timothy AdamsCanada$46,885

2Arsenii MalinovRussia$36,565

3Kevin PuChina$28,516

4Rainer KempeGermany$22,239

5Urmo VelveltEstonia$17,344

6Artur MartirosianRussia$13,526

7LeoJoseBrazil$10,549

8Andrii NovakUkraine$8,227

9Fedor HolzAustria$6,416

Other GGPoker Highlights
Shankar Pillai – first-place in the High Roller MILLION$ for $207,692Gabriel Schroeder – first-place in the GGMasters High Rollers $1,050 for $140,355MonkeyD93 – first-place in the Global MILLION$ for $112,712swedishdream – first-place in the Bounty Hunters HR Main Event $525 for $95,817*Sami Kelopuro – first-place in the High Rollers Sunday Blade Opener $5,250 for $57,374L1mpFold – first-place in the GGMasters $150 for $54,631David Yan – first-place in the Sunday High Rollers Bounty King $3,150 for $49,300*Joseph Cheong – first-place in the Sunday Bounty King $315 for $44,349*Ami Barer – first-place in the High Rollers Blade Mulligan $2,625 for $43,288Michael Zhang – first-place in the High Rollers Blade Opener $2,625 for $39,752Andras Nemeth – first-place in the High Rollers Blade Bounty King PLO $3,150 for $35,513*spera91 – first-place in the High Rollers Marathon $840 for $33,695Joao Caetano – first-place in the Sunday High Rollers Fifty Stack $500 for $31,657Boris Kolev – first-place in the Sunday Forty Stack $400 for $30,214Bruno Botteon – first-place in the Sunday high Rollers Bounty Special $840 for $29,113*Dante Fernandes – first-place in the Bounty Hunters Sunday Special $210 for $25,808*Babyccino – first-place in the Sunday Main Event $200 for $24,254Anton Wigg – first-place in the Sunday High Rollers Fast $525 for $13,780
*includes bounty payments
Justin Bonomo Binks the partypoker High Roller Big Game
Justin Bonomo
Justin Bonomo, fresh from his recent Super MILLION$ victory, continued his impressive run of form by taking down the High Roller Big Game at partypoker. Bonomo came out on top of a 127-strong field in the $2,600 buy-in event to get his hands on $79,128.
The final table was brimming with the world’s top poker talent, as you’d expect from such a prestigious tournament.
Tomi Brouk busted in ninth and won $8,739, the tournament’s last four-figure prize. Ognyan Dimov, Roberto Romanello, and Pedro Garagnani were the next players to fall by the wayside. Niklas Astedt and Team partypoker’s Kristen Bicknell followed suit.
Ukraine’s Pavlo Kolinkovskiy’s elimination in third-place, worth $34,935, left Bonomo and Ali Imsirovic heads-up for the title. Bonomo got the job done and secured the $79,128 top prize, leaving Imsirovic to bank $79,128.
High Roller Big Game Final Table Results
PlacePlayerCountryPrize

1Justin BonomoCanada$79,128

2Ali ImsirovicMexico$50,916

3Pavlo KolinkovskiyUkraine$34,935

4Kristen BicknellCanada$24,702

5Niklas AstedtSweden$18,330

6Pedro GaragnaniBrazil$14,667

7Roberto RomanelloUnited Kingdom$12,398

8Ognyan DimovBulgaria$10,539

9Tomi BroukFinland$8,739

Jamie O’Connor Takes Down Big Game
Jamie O’Connor turned $530 into $41,417 by winning The Big Game. O’Connor was a guest on Leigh Wiltshire and Des Duffy’s APAT Show while he was grinding this event but chatting didn’t put him off the grind.
O’Connor defeated Rui Da Silva heads-up to lock up the top prize and resign Da Silva to a $28,678 consolation prize.
Two other players saw their bankrolls swell by five-figures. Fourth-place finisher Joel Nystedt scooped $13,158 with Joao Gaspar reeling in a $19,868 prize for his demise in third-place.
The Big Game Final Table Results
PlacePlayerCountryPrize

1Jamie O’ConnorUnited Kingdom$79,128

2Rui Da SilvaCroatia$28,678

3Joao GasparMalta$19,868

4Joel NystedtAustria$13,158

5Dwayne SluisNetherlands$9,177

6Fahredin MustafovBulgaria$7,273

7Justin OuimetteCanada$5,843

8Joakim AnderssonSweden$4,737

9Jamie NixonUnited Kingdom$3,844

Other Highlights From partypoker
LivviG – first-place in the $320 The 300 for $19,962*BeastFromDaEast – first-place in the $109 Weekender for $17,563*Andreas Puntigam – first-place in the $55 Mini Big Game for $17,155freestylee – first-place in the $111 One Shot for $13,848*youngblood – first-place in the $215 Warrior for $13,450*EZfold55 – first-place in the $55 Gladiator for $12,138*
*includes bounty payments
partypoker MILLIONS Online Schedule Features MEGA High Roller and $5m GTD Main Event
Peter Traply Nets Sunday Super Sonic Top Prize
Peter Traply
Peter “Belabasci” Traply triumphed in the PokerStars $215 Sunday Supersonic and banked a cool $20,378. That only tells part of the story, however, because the Sunday Supersonic is a hyper-turbo structured tournament meaning Traply’s victory only took one-hour 13-minutes for an hourly rate of $16,750, which is nice work if you can get it!
Runner-up “mindreader007” and third-place finisher “acesdesigner” were the two other finalists whose $215 swelled to a five-figure score. Second-place weighed in at $14,591 with the third-place finisher collecting $10,448.
$215 Sunday Supersonic Final Table Results
PlacePlayerCountryPrize

1Peter “Belabasci” TraplyHungary$20,378

2mindreader007United Kingdom$14,591

3acesdesignerBrazil$10,448

4LilharmisFinland$7,481

5Michiel “utreg” BrummelhuisNetherlands$5,356

6Felipe “ultraviol3nt” OlivieriArgentina$3,835

Dutch Star Wins High Roller Sunday Supersonic
“Daenarys T” from the Netherlands took down the $1,050 edition of the Sunday Supersonic and did so in a mere one hour and five-minutes. This meant their $24,032 prize was worth $22,251 per hour!
There were some awesome players at the six-handed final table, including runner-up Bruno “botteonpoker” Botteon and third-place finisher Benjamin “bencb789” Rolle. The day, however, belonged to former Sunday Million champion Daenarys T.
PlacePlayerCountryPrize

1Daenarys TNetherlands$24,032

2Bruno “botteonpoker” BotteonBrazil$18,451

3Benjamin “bencb789” RolleAustria$14,166

4Viktor “papan9_p$” UstimovRussia$10,876

5blackaces93Poland$8,350

6Andy “wiisssppppaa” TaylorUnited Kingdom$6,410

Other Highlights From PokerStars
13shaun – first-place in the $1,050 Sunday High Roller for $60,576Aleksei “AS Leshiy” Smirnov – first-place in the $215 Bounty Builder for $31,476*RaiseUpBlind – first-place in he $1,050 Sunday Cooldown for $29,468*yuhei33 – first-place in the $109 Bounty Builder for $29,419*Felipe “lipe piv” Boianovsky – first-place in the $215 Bounty Builder for $29,289*babecallme – first-place in the $109 Sunday Cooldown for $27,227*Black88 – first-place in the $215 Sunday Warm-Up for $17,941Artur “marathur1” Martirosian – first-place in the $1,050 Sunday Warm-Up for $17,814planty07/08 – first-place in the $109 Sunday Kickoff for $15,407Chris “ImDaNuts” Oliver – first-place in the Hotter $215 for $13,872*Dominik “Bounatirou” Nitsche – first-place in the $215 Fat Sunday for $11,782Christian “WATnlos” Rudolph – first-place in the $530 Sunday Marathon for $11,116
*includes bounty payments
Get Ready for 107 MicroMillions Events Across Only Four Days!
maestro1908 Grabs the $100,000 Sunday Mega Deep Title at 888poker
The $100,000 Sunday Mega Deep had been hitting its guarantee lately but it reverted to type on February 14 when 892 players bought in to leave 888poker nursing a $10,800 overlay.
“maestro1908” netted the $16,350 top prize after defeating the United Kingdom’s “needabridge” heads-up, leaving the Brit to bank $11,900.
The $30,000 Sunday Challenge PKO performed much better with the 335 entrants ensuring the $30,000 guarantee was beaten by $3,500. “troms18” was the last player standing, a result that saw $6,327 head to their account. Swedish star “VnilaVader” was the tournament’s runner-up; they scooped $3,464 with bounties included.
888poker Giving Away $100,000 in 24/7 Freeroll Festival All This Month

The Stars Group is a majority shareholder in Oddschecker Global Media, the parent company of PokerNews.

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New year, new plan!


2017 is here! It’s time to reflect on the past year and plan ahead for the future.What a roller coaster year 2016 has been! Ahhhh, the highs and lows of tournament poker life! From winning my first live tourney(no chop), to traveling all over the country to play tournaments, to getting my ass kicked at the World Series of Poker in Vegas, it has been one hell of a ride. I haven’t had any MAJOR scores this year but I would be crazy to be too bummed about it, as I’m so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to play this amazing game for a living. While I’m sure it’s not anything crazy for a lot of pros, I still have to recognize how lucky I truly am, I have been living the dream! I’ve traveled to more places, played in stakes both live in online that I never dreamed I would, I’ve sat at tables with some of my poker heroes and finally played my first World Series of Poker in Vegas. I’ve made my share of mistakes, blunders and missteps, but they have forced me to learn, and to continually better myself as a player. While all were not positive, every experience I’ve gotten this year will last a lifetime! I learned a lot last year, hopefully I can carry those lessons I’ve learned into the next year ahead and make 2017 the best year ever!I was unsure where to go with my plan for the future, but Intertops was supportive of all my ideas, and I think we have come up with a great plan! I could not be blessed with a better situation or working with a better company than Intertops Poker! I could not be more fortunate and grateful for the amazing opportunity they have given me and I plan to make 2017 great with them!I thought about following a few different tours, trying to decide what was the best value and at the same time, more entertainment for our followers. After a lot of back and forth, I decided I will attempt to hit at least one WSOP circuit a month, with it all leading back to what will be my second World Series of Poker in Vegas! Hopefully I’ll be able to play some other tournaments in between including going to Austria again this year with Intertops! I could not of had a better experience last year, going to both Seefeld and Velden, so I can’t wait for round two!! As far as the circuit goes, I’m going to go start off with the Choctaw in Durant, Oklahoma (nice and close to home), then hitting up the West Palm Beach Kennel club stop in Florida. Next, luckily enough for me, the WSOP is having a new stop this year, in Tulsa Oklahoma at the Hard Rock Cafe. It’s still going to require some more planning, being about five hours away, but overall much more practical for driving then some of the other stops. Then, in April, that much anticipated stop in Cherokee North Carolina, which is been the highlight of many of my friends WSOPs, including one who just final tabled the last stop for a huge score! I’ve heard many great things about this stop, so I’m very excited. After that, in May we will be at Harrah’s New Orleans stop which is also within driving distance or a quick flight for me from DFW. I’ve never been to the stop either but between friends that live out that way, and hearing other players talk about the juicy cash games that run there, I’m sure it will be a blast! So considering I’m not made of money and I want to be as smart as possible about bankroll management this year, my plan will be to play the kickout events for all the stops listed. They are $365 buy ins with most of them having very large guaranteed prize pools. I’ll try to get the most bang for my buck, and if I do well, consider playing the Main events the following weekend!So it will be Oklahoma, Florida, Oklahoma again, North Carolina, and then Louisiana before heading back out to the Mecca of Poker that is the WSOP in Vegas. On top of all this, I know I’ll be going to Seefeld Austria for the last week of February which will for sure be another amazing trip! Back to the place that started it all for me with Intertops and life as a full-time professional poker player! Hopefully, there will be other satellite wins again this year through Intertops as well. I’m sure everyone would love going back to one of their many exotic satellite destinations for more incredible experiences, as well as high-stakes poker tourneys! lolIf you want to get in on the fun, Intertops just started running satellites yesterday for as little as two bucks! It leads to a final, $109 buy in satellite tournament on January 22nd for a $4000 package! It’s a winner take all for a trip to Seefeld, Austria to play in this amazing spot with me in a $2200 main event! It also includes a five nights stay in an amazing bed-and-breakfast up the mountains of Austria and $500 in travel expenses! You can follow along with all the action at www.twitch.tv/2fit2fold or my fellow streamer and sponsored players at www.twitch.tv/chrisp200. The streams have been growing steadily and we have quite a few loyal followers so we just started a super fun free roll challenge! It’s Monday through Wednesday at 7:30 pm. You can check out the all the details at www.killedavariance.com.I hope you fall along on my action and shenanigans for the coming months, as Intertops Poker and myself have big things planned for the future! Be sure to stop in to the blog and to twitch to for all of the latest updates and promotions! PS: Read about Tim’s Aruba action or his previous article here!PPS: Want to know more about our current promotions?

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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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In First Hint of WSOP 2021 Revival, WSOP Launches “Ultimate Poker Champion” Sweepstakes Promo

In what is thought to be the first sign that Caesars is planning for a live World Series of Poker festival in 2021, the operator has put on a new free-to-enter sweepstakes promotion, the Ultimate Poker Champion Experience.

Running from February 15 through April 30, 2021, the contest offers anyone in the United States a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of the WSOP Main Event. One lucky person will not only get their entry into the Main Event paid in full, but they will also be treated to an elite experience during their stay. To enter, all you have to do is fill out the form.

With the coronavirus pandemic still causing mass disruption to live events and travel in the United States and around the world, the WSOP has yet to announce any schedule or plan for this year’s series. There is no information around the main event, for which the promotion is centered around.

The Normal Ramp Up to the WSOP

The WSOP is poker’s biggest event of the year. Tens of thousands of players descend on the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for more than six weeks of poker. Action culminates in the $10,000 Main Event, the most prestigious tournament in the game. The winner is crowned the year’s champion, poker’s highest accolade.

However, last year, due to the coronavirus, the regular World Series of Poker 2020 was canceled for the first time in its 51-year history.

In its place was an online series held half in the United States—on the official WSOP Nevada and WSOP NJ online poker rooms—and half outside the US on global online poker room GGPoker.

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In the winter, WSOP and GGPoker joined forces again for a hybrid online-live Main Event where players competed in tournaments online, then met for a live final table. The two winners of these met in a special heads-up match in Las Vegas.

Normally by now, organization and marketing are in full flow. Online satellites are underway on official WSOP sites as well as partners internationally. Schedules are revealed, packages are offered and promotions are spread.

However, nothing has yet been revealed for this year—understandable, given how no one knows how the next few months will unfold. That makes this promotion even more intriguing.

Sweepstakes Package Details

The winner of the sweepstakes promotion will win entry into the $10,000 buy-in 2021 WSOP Main Event.

As noted, normally this is a multi-day tournament held live in the Rio; last year, it was mostly online. What it will be this year is unknown. The implication, however, is that Caesars wants to run this live in Las Vegas, given the other parts of the prize package.

The winner and their guest will be flown to Las Vegas from anywhere in the continental United States. Once in the city, they will be treated to a dinner for two at a Celebrity Chef restaurant, a three night stay in a suite at Caesars Palace, a whisky and cigar night at the hotel’s Montecristo Cigar Bar, and $1,000 in spending money.

The total prize package, including all the extra goodies, is worth $14,000.

Prize
Approximate Value (USD)

$10,000 Seat to 2021 WSOP Main Event
$10,000

3-night stay in a Suite at Caesars Palace
$1,000

Round-trip airfare for two (from continental US)
$1,100

$1,000 VISA Gift Card
$1,000

Whisky and cigars at Montecristo Cigar Bar
$400

Dinner for two at Celebrity Chef’s restaurant
$500

Hotel Stay at the Rio, a Hint of the WSOP Finally Moving?

Curiously, the stay is only for a three nights—which would normally not be long enough for a deep run of the WSOP Main Event. Last year, the tournament was spread over two weeks, with three Day 1s and two Day 2s then a Day 3, Day 4, and final table, with breaks gaps in-between.

Also of note, the hotel stay is in Caesars Palace, not the Rio. Whether this suggests an anticipated location move or not remains to be seen. The Rio was sold back in 2019 though Caesars agreed to manage the property for two years.

The 2020 event was scheduled to take place in the Rio, and the live Main event did go ahead in its convention center. However, no announcement has been made for the 2021 series—and with Caesars potentially coming to the end of its management contract, this could well be the first indication that WSOP plans to move it to another Caesars location in Las Vegas.

How to Enter the WSOP Ultimate Poker Champion Sweepstakes Promo

If you are a United States resident, just fill out this form. That’s it! You can read below for more details.

The contest is open to anyone over 21 years of age, with the exception of employees and family of Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc or Caesars Entertainment Services, LLC. The offer is only valid in the continental United States and void where prohibited.

Entries are open until midnight on April 30, 2021 and the winner will be randomly chosen on May 6, 2021 from all the entries received prior to the closing date.

In the event that the winner does not meet eligibility requirements, up to 5 alternate draws will be made to choose a winner. If no eligible winner is selected after the maximum 5 alternate draws, the prize will remain unawarded.

Prizes are non-transferable, and not subject to change except at the discretion of the contest Administrator. The Administrator reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value if the above prizes are not available for any reason, and winners are responsible for all taxes and fees which may be associated with receiving or using the prize. There is no cash equivalent for this prize.

The dates for the prize will be set once the Main Event is scheduled, but the trip must be taken before December 31, 2021. This gives the organizers a wide window to schedule the WSOP 2021 Main Event—whatever form it takes.

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Super Bowl Streaker Bet $50,000 on Himself but Bovada Won’t Pay Out


09:1116 FebOnline sportsbook Bovada likely won’t be paying out the largest supposedly winning wager on whether a streaker would disrupt the Super Bowl LV game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the site discovered the streaker was part of a group having placed a large bet on such an event occurring during the game.Yuri Andrade, the 31-year-old Florida man who briefly disrupted the game with his run in a pink leotard and black shorts, announced in an apperance on a Florida radio station Wild 94.1 talk show that he was part of a group that had bet $50,000 that a streaker would appear. Andrade told the show’s audience that his group had locked in the bet at +750, resulting in the high would-be payout.However, Bovada, a grey-market betting site offering services to many US states, quickly learned of Andrade’s admission. The site had already been aware of “suspicious activity” on the prop line, likely the overly large $50,000 wager. As a result, Bovada has already announced it will refund the wagers of all “no” bettors, while also screening for legitimacy all “yes” wagers made before officially grading them.The episode will likely do no publicity favors for Bovada, however, despite the site’s willingness to take a moderate financial hit. Bovada’s lines appear prominently throughout the US’s sports-betting world, on broadcasts and in live and online publications, and as a consequence the site remains under considerable pressure from the US’s growing licensed and regulated markets. At the very least, the event is likely to make Bovada reconsider offering prop bets of this nature, ones that have the potential to disrupt larger sporting events.“Our players have always trusted us to ensure the integrity of all props offered in our sportsbook,”Bovada stated. “We will continue to make sure that any publicity stunts or ill-intended behavior cannot adversely affect the outcome of a player’s wager.”It’s not the first time that streaking has figured into an online gambling story. Nearly 20 years ago, online casino site GoldenPalace.com garnered publicity by investing in all sorts of bizarre activities, including sponsoring serial streaker Mark Roberts’ dashes at events including Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004. Roberts sported a temporary GoldenPalace.com tattoo during his runs, which were just a small part of the site’s bizarre guerilla marketing campaigns.Did you like this article?Tweet
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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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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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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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