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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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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I get an amazing hand & this always happens


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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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Paulis Plausinaitis leads GGPoker WSOPC main event final table


The GGPoker World Series of Poker Circuit event is down to its last nine players and there are some superstars waiting to battle at the felt for the famed Circuit Ring and perhaps more importantly, the $1,236,361 top prize.With 6,395 entries, the $1,700 buy-in was stumped up by a huge number of players and that meant the $10 million guarantee was exceeded to an eventual total prizepool of $10,327,925.With 700 players paid, Day 2 started with 1,112 players, meaning the bubble had not yet burst, and play might have been expected to slow down a little. With the two final turbo Day 1 flights running into that Day 2, however, play carried on at a lick of pace, with an orbit at each of the remaining tables producing over 100 bust-outs.There were some big names who ran close to the money but missed out on profit, such as Christian Rudolph, Juan Pardo, Kenny Hallaert, David Yan, GGPoker ambassador Felipe Ramos and Fedor Holz, with the min-cash of $4,107 eluding them all.Others snuck into the money places, with players such as Brunno Botteon, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Mohsin Charania, Jack Salter, Noah Boeken, Mark Radoja, Laurynas Levinskas and former WSOP Main Event winner Ryan Riess all cashing but failing to make the business end of the tournament. Inside the top 100 places, there were more hard luck stories for big names in the game, with the latest big GGPoker WSOPC winner Niklas Astedt busting, and he was joined on the rail by players such as Ronny Kaiser, Michael Addamo and Mike ‘SirWatts’ Watson to name just three.Later still, others such as Danny Tang, Simon Mattsson and Philippe D’Auteuil all departed, and it was around this time that a certain WSOP bracelet winner began to truly thrive. Joseph Cheong was nestling at the top of the leaderboard and starting to make his quality count.Back in 2010, this epic hand at the World Series of Poker saw Joseph Cheong’s aces lose to 7-5 after all the chips went into the middle on a 5-6-6 flop.Cheong managed to stay at the higher reaches of the leaderboard late in the day and will go into play in the final with 63 big blinds, holding 50.7 million chips. Only two players have more chips than Cheong, with the chip leader heading into the final being Macau-based Lithuanian Paulis Plausinaitis (76 million/95 big blinds) and second-placed Belarussian Artem Prostak (54 million/68 big blinds) also ahead of Cheong’s stack.Those three are not the only big players awaiting in what is sure to be a stacked final table when it takes place on Saturday 16th January. Finnish poker pro Joni Jouhkimainen with go into battle with only 13.8 million chips (17 big blinds) but will have nothing to lose by going on the attack. Romanian Alexandru Papazian has 25.1 million chips (31 big blinds) and will be an even bigger threat to the established players at the table in terms of chips.The action is sure to be superb when the final takes place, with kick-off time on the 16th January (this coming Saturday) being at 6.30pm UTC and broadcast on a live delay on the GGPoker Twitch channel.With blinds meaning the average stack is just over 44 big blinds, only four players have that, so you’ll want to tune in for kick-off as those below the line will need to make moves – and quick.GGPoker WSOPC Main Event Final Table Chipcounts:PositionPlayerCountryChipsBig Blinds1Paulis PlausinaitisLithuania76,004,22495 2Artem ProstakBelarus54,179,29168 3Joseph CheongUnited States50,700,58263 4‘likeboy’China47,269,12959 5Alexandru PapazianRomania25,140,09131 6‘turkey1’China21,939,16027 7‘BetAddict’Israel20,263,05825 8Joni JouhkimainenFinland13,814,88217 9‘DaiMing141319’China8,992,30511 

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แอปพลิเคชั่น Wsop


เฮ้พวกฉันยังใหม่กับโป๊กเกอร์ดังนั้นฉันจึงยังคงเรียนรู้มากมายทุกวัน แอพ wsop ทำให้การออกกำลังกายง่ายขึ้นฉันจึงสนุก สองสามวันแรกที่ฉันมีแอปพลิเคชันฉันน้ำตาไหลทุกคืนฉันได้รับพลังงานจากมือถึงมือ ตรงเพื่อล้างและแม้แต่ล้างครั้งเดียว ฉันยังไม่มีสี่หรือมากกว่านั้น สิ่งที่ฉันทำคือหลังจากนั้นไม่กี่วันมันก็เริ่มยากขึ้นมากสำหรับฉันฉันจะต้องตรงหลังจากที่ล้มเหลวและฉันจะได้รับการล้างจากแม่น้ำ ฉันตระหนักดีว่าเวลาและประสบการณ์สามารถอ่านได้ดีขึ้นและคาดการณ์การลดลง แต่หลังจากสองวันที่ผ่านมาฉันเริ่มสนุกกับแอปน้อยลงเรื่อย ๆ มันสนุกมากเมื่อทุกคนในโต๊ะมีเงินใกล้เคียงกันตอนนี้แม้ว่าฉันจะอยู่ที่โต๊ะชั้นล่าง แต่ก็เป็นเพียงผู้เล่นที่ร่ำรวยสกปรกหยิบของแทบทุกอย่างตั้งแต่เครื่องปัดไปจนถึงแม่น้ำ แน่นอนว่าโป๊กเกอร์เกี่ยวกับการคุกคามคู่ต่อสู้ของคุณ แต่มันจะไร้สาระเมื่อผู้คนต้องยอมแพ้ก่อนที่จะล้มเหลวแม้จะมีความยากลำบากสูงเพราะกลัวว่าจะไม่ได้คู่เพียงเพื่อที่จะรู้ว่าฉันมีมอนสเตอร์ถ้าฉันรอ . บางทีฉันอาจต้องฝึกฝนมากขึ้นหรือดูวิดีโอเพิ่มเติมเพื่อให้ได้ข้อมูลเบื้องต้น (ขอขอบคุณคำแนะนำใด ๆ ) แต่สองวันที่ผ่านมาเป็นจังหวะที่ยิ่งใหญ่ที่สุดที่ฉันเคยมีและนั่นทำให้ฉันไม่สามารถใช้แอปต่อไปได้ แน่นอนว่าเกมนี้เกี่ยวกับทักษะและโชค แต่มันเริ่มรบกวนฉันเมื่อฉันพ่ายแพ้ในเกมที่ทรงพลังทั้งหมดในช่วงสองวันที่ผ่านมา ฉันมีจักรยานไหม มีคนวาดตรงหรือฟลัชสูง มี 3 แบบมั้ย? มีคนสี่คน แม้ว่าฉันจะมีเต็มบ้านฉันก็จะถูกทุบตี บางทีฉันอาจต้องดูวิดีโอเพื่อจะได้ถอดรหัสได้ดีขึ้นเพื่อให้รู้ว่าฉันมีน๊อต แต่ฉันไม่พบวิดีโอที่มีประโยชน์ ฉันรู้ว่ามันฟังดูเหมือนเขาบ่นมาก แต่ไม่ใช่ว่าฉันถูกคนเยอะกว่าเขามักจะเป็นนักเตะที่ร่ำรวยสกปรกที่มักจะโชคดีด้วยแม่น้ำหรือไพ่พลิก แถมคนดังกล่าวยังจะโดนจับมือก่อกวนทั้งโต๊ะอีก แน่นอนว่ามันเป็นแอปอินเทอร์เน็ตซึ่งอาจไม่ใช่การสุ่มที่สมบูรณ์แบบ แต่เมื่อถึงจุดใดแอปนี้จะดูตลก ตามความเป็นจริงแล้วโอกาสที่ผู้เล่นคนเดียวกันจะมีการ์ดสูงที่ดีที่สุดหรือแฟลชโดยตรงหรือมากกว่ามือ 6/10 ขึ้นไปคืออะไร? นรกแม้ว่าฉันจะเล่นได้ดีที่สุดเท่าที่ฉันคิดว่าน่าสงสัยฉันก็จับมือกันด้วยชุดที่น่าทึ่ง แต่ตอนนี้มันแทบจะเหมือนกับว่าฉันไม่มีวันชนะเว้นแต่จะมีใครป้านและฉันเห็นมันหรือใช้กลยุทธ์เพื่อทำให้คนอื่นคิดว่าฉันมี ตั๋วดีกว่า. ดังที่กล่าวมาฉันเรียกว่าแย่มากดังนั้นความพ่ายแพ้ทั้งหมดของฉันไม่สามารถปฏิเสธได้ แต่บางคนรู้สึกว่าแทบจะเป็นหัวเรือใหญ่ราวกับว่าเกมสนับสนุนผู้เล่นบางคนบนโต๊ะ ฉันมักจะเล่นอย่างฉลาดและโทรออกเล็กน้อยและยอมวางเดิมพันสูงก็ต่อเมื่อฉันไม่มีฉากที่มั่นคงหรืออย่างน้อยก็อาจจะมีแฟลชหรือตรงสำหรับฉัน นรกฉันสังเกตเห็นว่าฉันเล่นได้ดีขึ้นในทัวร์นาเมนต์ที่ผู้คนเล่นได้สมจริงกว่าเล็กน้อยและฉันก็ระวังเซ็ตที่ฉันเดิมพันมากขึ้น แต่เมื่อมันออกจากทัวร์นาเมนต์เกมนี้ดูเหมือนจะเป็นแค่การหมุนรอบ ราวกับว่ามันต้องการจงใจทำให้ฉันโกรธ บางทีผู้ใช้แอปคนอื่น ๆ อาจเคยเล่นเกมที่ยุติธรรมกว่านี้ แต่ในช่วงสองวันที่ผ่านมาฉันถูกคุกคามและโกรธมากขึ้นก็ต่อเมื่อคนรวยพูดปดและเมื่อฉันมีคนใจดี 3 หรือสี่คน แต่ฉันตัดสินใจที่จะไม่ไปทั้งหมด – ในการ์ดสุ่มบางใบที่ไม่มีแฟลชหรือศักยภาพโดยตรงเช่น 2 และ 9 ปิดห้องสวีทหรือพ็อกเก็ต 3 อย่าลังเลที่จะอบฉันถ้าฉันฟังดูงี่เง่า แต่จากมุมมองของฉันแอพนี้บางครั้งก็ตลก

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Sports gambling continues to be a huge success in Indiana


Hoosiers love their basketball. Ask anyone in Indiana and they’ll tell you that basketball isn’t just a sport; it’s a religion. The Indiana University Hoosiers’ basketball program has always been one of the best in the U.S. and the NCAA Hall of Champions is located in Indianapolis as a testament to the state’s attraction to basketball. On the NBA level, the Indiana Pacers have a massive following across the state, and all the attention given to hoops is paying off in a big way. Indiana continues to set new records with its sports gambling market, most of which is coming from basketball.In February of last year, the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) reported a handle of $187 million, a 10% increase from January. That wasn’t surprising, given the NFL Super Bowl action; however, assuming the money went to football would be wrong. The Big Game received $11.6 million in bets, while college and pro basketball accounted for over $90 million. Indiana continued to raise the bar on the sports gambling industry when the state’s sportsbooks recorded $251.4 million in November of last year, a $20-million increase over the prior month’s action. Much of that was destined for football as the NFL and college games were heating up, but, if there was any doubt of the importance of basketball in Indiana, the most recent numbers will push all of it aside. The IGC just released the latest figures on sports gambling and January was another record-setting month, the fifth consecutive month of breaking records. $348.2 million was wagered in the state last month, an increase of 11.2% over December and more than 100% over January 2020. Of that amount, $133.2 million went to hoops, making it the most money ever spent on one sport in the state. Football only got $77.6 million of the action. That’s not only good news for sportsbooks operating in the state, but it’s good news for the state’s budget, as well. With a tax of 9.5%, January gave Indiana’s government almost $2.8 million in tax revenue and, over the past 12 months, the state has received over $20 million. That’s not too bad for a local industry that has only been around since September 2019. Indiana can thank its neighbors for some of its additional wealth. Kentucky and Ohio don’t yet have sports gambling, although legislation is in the works, so gamblers in both of the states often hop over the border to place their bets. Illinois has a robust sports gambling market and is ranked fourth in terms of handle among legal states, but it doesn’t allow gambling on in-state college games. As a result, it loses some of the potential action it could be receiving and which might allow it to brag as being first or second in the sports gambling rankings. 

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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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Universal Entertainment in the market for a SPAC for Okada Manila


Almost three years ago, Universal Entertainment Group had a dream. It wanted to see Okada Manila, owned by subsidiary Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment, listed on a stock exchange somewhere. Things didn’t go as planned initially, but it’s time for the pieces to be put in place, and Universal is going to make another run. This time, it wants help from a special acquisition company (SPAC) in the U.S. so it can fulfill its dream. Given the rise in popularity of SPACs in the gaming industry lately, Universal probably won’t have too much difficulty finding a partner, as long as its sordid past can be kept behind it.Universal wants a SPAC, also often called a blank-check company, willing to take a chance on helping Okada Manila become a publicly-traded company in the U.S. It hopes to land a spot on either the NASDAQ or the NYSE, and will take whatever it can get. The resort’s continued cost-saving efforts to combat COVID-19 have reportedly paid off, and Universal is convinced that the timing is perfect for a public launch. In a letter sent to investors last week about the search for a SPAC, Universal asserted, “In view of this situation, [and] having positioned its IR Business as the core business of the Company Group, the Company recently arrived at the decision to pursue a detailed examination of the listing of that business on either the U.S. NASDAQ Stock Exchange or the New York Stock Exchange with the aim of realizing the further expansion of that business and greater corporate group value.”2020 saw a lot of interest being given to SPAC deals, and that was just the beginning. 244 blank check companies connected with entities looking for a way to go public, ultimately attracting $78.2 billion through initial public offerings (IPO). However, 2021 is on par to see even greater activity, with 134 SPACs having attracted $39 billion from the start of the year until last Friday.Universal is reportedly already working on deals to finalize the value of Okada Manila and attract more interest. It added, “The Company has already executed advisory agreements with multiple financial advisory firms in Japan and the U.S. in order to prepare for the listing of its IR Business … and is currently engaged in the selection of a SPAC, the investigation of aspects involving the law and tax systems, the revision of the capital structure of the Company Group as a whole, with the aim of listing the business sometime in fiscal 2021.”

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