10 Tips to instantly make you more profitable

In this blog post, I am going to share 10 tips with you that will instantly make you a more profitable player, especially in tournaments. While most players think that playing a fundamentally sound strategy is the only thing that matters, through diligent study and common sense, you will find that the game extends far beyond the felt. I hope this blog post enlightens you to some of these concepts.
Prepare for uncomfortable temperatures
Most casinos keep the temperature quite cold. For this reason, you either need to dress for cold weather or make yourself somewhat accustomed to the cold. During the WSOP, where parts of the tournament venue are freezing, I constantly hear players complaining about how cold it is. They fail to realize that if they prepared ahead of time and brought a jacket, they would be fine. They could also simply order a hot beverage from the cocktail waitress.
I have recently taken this concept one step further. I have started taking freezing cold showers every morning and also long walks outside whenever it is cold. These practices have allowed me to build up immunity to the cold. Even in the coldest poker room, I feel perfectly fine in a t-shirt. That being said, if poker rooms start making the environment hot, I could be in trouble!
Look at your cards properly
If your opponents can see your hand, you are going to have a tough time winning. You must use two hands when looking at your cards. If you only use one, your hand is likely visible from some angle. Don’t think that a chip stack can block your neighbor’s view. You want to make a deep cave with your hands and lift up only the corners of your cards as far back in the cave as possible.
Here are a few images to help you know if you are looking at your cards correctly.
This is not correct:
This is not correct:
This IS correct.

Believe it or not, but I actually had an impossible time finding a picture online of someone holding their cards in an ideal manner! I decided to take this one myself but even then, it was tough to show a good angle because if your cards are concealed properly, the camera should have a tough time seeing the cards. If you are right handed, simply turn the cards 90 degrees before peeking at the corners. If your cards are clearly visible to you and you don’t have to bend over a bit to look at them, you probably aren’t looking at them correctly.
Arrive on time
While some well-known professionals make a point to show up a few hours late to every tournament, I think that if you are in good physical and mental shape, that you should show up on time. There is a ton of value in being able to play short-handed and deep-stacked versus amateur opponents. If you show up late, you miss out on these opportunities. If you start with 30,000 chips in $10,000 buy-in event and can increase your stack to 33,000 on average within the first two hours, which is not too uncommon for a strong player at a soft short-handed table, you have won 10% of a starting stack, which is $1,000 in equity. I am not rich enough to turn down $500 per hour, so I show up and play these levels. Of course, if you are bad at poker, you should not show up on time and instead register as late as possible so that you are effectively gambling, which is much better than you will do compared to playing deep-stacked against good players.
Let your opponents know that you cannot be messed with
Playing in a blatantly straightforward manner is almost always a mistake. There are many reasons for this that I have discussed in my books, but one of the main ones is that your aggressive opponents will assume that they can apply a lot of pressure on you and make you fold unless you have a strong holding. Assuming you want to slowly grind up your stack, the last thing you want to do is induce your aggressive opponents to play back at you, making it difficult for you to steal pots on a regular basis. If at all possible, you want to make your opponents play straightforward against you. In order to do this, you will occasionally have to get a bit out of line and let your opponents know that you are not someone they can pick on.
In a recent WPT event at the BestBet in Jacksonville, I had a fairly aggressive kid directly on my right who made it clear that he was trying to push everyone around. When he reraised me for the first time, I 4-bet, and he called. I continuation bet the flop, and he folded. A little while later, he 3-bet me again. I again 4-bet and he folded. After that, he didn’t mess with me for the remainder of the day. These aggressive actions also induced the rest of the players at the table to stay out of my way because in their minds, it was clear that I was someone who was not afraid to play a big pot. When my straightforward opponents finally showed aggression, I simply folded. I ended up getting seven walks throughout the day, where everyone simply folds around to me when I am in the big blind, whereas no one else got a single one. If players are afraid of you, they will play in a blatantly straightforward manner, allowing you to have your way with the table.
Realize that the “average stack size” is fairly irrelevant
People love irrelevant stats. Just watch ESPN for a few minutes to see what I mean. You will constantly hear the commentators spew irrelevant stats such as “Their quarterback has won 8 straight games in the first week of November.” In poker, there are also a bunch of irrelevant stats. Perhaps the one that amateurs pay the most attention to is the “average stack size”. You instead need to be concerned with the effective stack size at your table and how that should alter your strategy. If the average stack size is 100 big blinds and you have 50 big blinds, there is no need to panic or feel like you are in bad shape. If the average stack size is 10 big blinds and you have 15 big blinds, you should not feel as if you are in a great situation. My best advice is to simply ignore this stat.
I once played in a $1,500 WSOP event where a guy was clearly concerned with the average stack size. Eventually it became clear to me that whenever he turned around to look at the tournament clock, he was checking to see if he had more or less than average. When he had less than average, he would raise with almost any two cards, hoping to get back above average. Once I figured this out, I started reraising him with an overly wide range. He didn’t last too long.
Don’t be distracted
While live poker gives you the opportunity to take in a huge amount of information about your opponents, it also provides you with lots of down time where little is happening. This results in most players becoming bored. They then turn to various distractions, such as their phone, sports, books, talking to their peers, and many other activates to occupy their attention. While it probably isn’t too big of a deal to occupy your time when you are on a break or there is no hand in progress, if you are constantly engaged with activities besides poker, you will not focus well. If you do not focus well, you will miss loads of vital information that will help you adjust to your opponents’ specific tendencies, allowing you to win significantly more money. When playing poker, turn off the distractions and play poker.
Plan your bathroom breaks
If you are anything like me, playing poker when you have to go to the bathroom is not ideal. This should lead you to plan your consumption of food and drinks to line up with when you will have a break in a tournament. For example, I know that after drinking a liquid, I have to pee around an hour later. This means that if I get a break every two hours, I should not drink anything during the first hour. I should also make a point to order my drink around 45 minutes into the level, ensuring it arrives roughly an hour into the level.
I usually have to go to the bathroom around 30 minutes after dinner. This is a particularly interesting situation because if I finish eating at the end of a dinner break, I will have to use the bathroom 30 minutes into the level, meaning I will have to hold it for 90 minutes, assuming two hours between breaks. Since that is obviously not a good situation, I instead make a point to scarf down my food on dinner break such that I am finished eating with 30 minutes left in the break.
By figuring out your tendencies, you will be able to better prepare. Is this too much information for you?!?
Recognize that you don’t have to win every hand you enter
It is important to realize and accept that you will not win every hand you enter. This concept often gives tight players a problem. They assume that since they only enter a few pots, usually with the best hand, that they should win all of them. This leads to them to stick around with obviously beat hands way too long, such as with Q-Q on J-T-7-K or A-A on 8-7-6-3-4. When you are likely to beat, you should get out of the way. If you think you have to win every hand you play, you will almost certainly end up broke.
Do not pay off tight players
This perhaps goes without saying, but if someone only plays premium hands, you do not want to invest significant money without a hand that is better than their range. This means that if a super tight player raises, you should be folding hands that are easily dominated, such as A-J and K-Q. Assuming your stacks are deep, you can play drawing hands, such as 4-4 and 8s-7s, but if you have around 26 big blinds or less, even these should be folded.
I wrote a blog post about this topic in the past. You can check it out here:

Do Not Pay Off Tight Poker Players


Attack the blinds of the tight players
While you should rarely give a tight player action, when the tight players are in the blinds, you should be prone to stealing with an overly wide range, especially if the players between you and the tight blinds are not overly active. It is not uncommon to find spots where you should raise with almost any two cards from the button or cutoff. If you pay attention and actively look for these situations, you will be able to profit with a much wider range of hands than normal.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Did you find any of these concepts to be interesting? If so, let me know about it in the comment section below. If you found this blog post to be helpful, please share it with your friends on Twitter and Facebook. If you want more content about the aspects of poker that extend beyond the felt, I suggest you check out my book, Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker, Volume 2. Thanks for reading!

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GGPoker Adds More Variety to No-Strings-Attached “Daily Freebie” Promotion

Verified players can continue to play a real-money game, such as Flip & Go and Spin & Gold, for free each and every day.One of the most popular promotions for low stakes players on GGPoker has been further expanded.

During the software update on February 10, the Daily Free Spin promotion changed to Daily Freebie. Furthermore, UK players can now also claim the daily gift for a chance to boost their bankrolls.

All players, both existing and new, just need to have verified accounts and log in each day to claim their gift, which lets plays play real money tournaments—and compete for real money cash prizes.

The update has expanded what is given away. Now, there are Daily Freebie tickets for Flip & Go, the super-successful new format introduced in January 2021. It has also undergone some changes since its launch, with GGPoker increasing the frequency and adjusting the buy-ins as well as the maximum number of stacks for purchase.

“GGPoker is happy to confirm that we’ve relaunched our Daily Free Spin offer as the Daily Freebie; verified players can continue to play a real-money game, such as Flip & Go and Spin & Gold, for free each and every day. All they need to do is log in and claim their daily reward!” said Paul Burke, Head of Public Relations at GGPoker.

“We hope to continue to change up the rewards on offer in the future, giving all players the opportunity to try out GGPoker’s most exciting games, no matter their bankroll.”

For existing players, Daily Freebie is available immediately—just log in and claim.

If you haven’t yet signed up, you can do so today and enjoy the promotion as soon as you have verified your account. You can also take advantage of all of GGPoker’s generous welcome bonuses.

How the GGPoker Daily Freebie Promotion Works

The operator has seen unprecedented growth in 2020 to become one of the leading online poker platforms for tournaments and cash games. GGPoker has achieved that with a plethora of promotions, innovations, and high-profile partnerships. Their continued success has led to a record $7.5 million in promotions given away in February 2021.

One of several promotions for players with smaller bankrolls is the Daily Freebie formerly the Daily Free Spin.

This was launched on September 7, 2020. It has given verified players the opportunity to claim one $0.25 Spin & Gold ticket every day ever since. The free ticket courtesy of GGPoker continues to be available under the new name three times per week—*but this rotates with other ticket types.*

Players can see the next six upcoming Daily Freebies listed under the “My Promo” tab. A new daily gift becomes available after each daily reset at midnight Pacific time. Each ticket will continue to feature an expiration date of 24 hours once the Daily Freebie has been awarded.

The current rotation of Daily Freebie is fixed for the time being. However, GGPoker hopes “to change the daily prizes on a semi-regular basis,” according to Burke. He also hinted at a strong possibility that the Daily Freebie will include the alternative currencies C$ or T$ sometime soon.

Newly included as a prize in the Daily Freebie is a $1 Spin & Gold ticket, which can be claimed once per week. Furthermore, five $0.05 Flip & Go tickets are up for grabs three times per week, giving players the chance at trying the new tournament format free of charge.

As a mixture between a Flipout and regular tournament, Flip & Go was launched on January 12, 2021. However, it only took a few days for the first tweaks to be made. Initially slated to take place once every hour, it was soon increased to once every 30 minutes.

The buy-ins were also adjusted and the lowest available stake was increased to $0.05 with a guarantee of $50. Players can now take a shot at their own leisure three times per week and enter this lowest tier with five stacks thanks to the Daily Freebie.

Upon launch, the Flip & Go featured a maximum of 10 entries for each of the four stakes. However, that number has been adjusted recently and the stacks for purchase are now capped at a maximum of eight. This makes the bonus stacks based on the holdings during the Flipout stage more valuable in comparison.

The overall feedback for the new tournament format has been very positive, as outlined by Burke.

“Players love it! We have been very pleasantly surprised by the positivity seen across almost all feedback, of course not all players are interested in a new game type but those who have tried it have mostly good things to say about Flip & Go. We’ve also received some constructive criticism, which is also valuable.”

Further tweaks to the Flip & Go format may very well possible, as GGPoker is constantly reviewing and optimizing its schedule. One such adjustment was made with the expansion of the popular Daily GGMasters earlier in February.

The changes to the Daily Freebie promotion went live on February 10. All verified GGPoker players in eligible countries can claim their daily gift under the “My Promo” tab after each daily reset.

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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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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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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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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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My Weekly PokerStars Home Game

My Home game is currently on hold and games are not running. If there is enough demand, I will re-start the home game in the future.
*****Sign up info is no longer active*****
PokerStars Home Game:
Club ID: 1976954
Invitation Code: playpoker
Weekly Prizes:
These prizes are awarded each week to the top three finishers of my home game tournament.
This is important!!! If you win one of the prizes, you must email support@jonathanlittlepoker.com your full name, twitch name, pokerstars name, and email address to claim your prize.
1sT:
5 Reward Stars for my video training products
2nd:
3 Reward Stars for my video training products
3rd:
1 Reward Star for my video training products
Poker Coaching Account
In order to redeem your rewards, a PokerCoaching.com account is required.  If you do not have an account, sign up for a FREE Poker Coaching account using the link below.
Free Account
https://members.pokercoaching.com/start_trial.php
How to Redeem Your Rewards
Click the video below for instructions on how to redeem your rewards.

How to sign up:
You can NOT sign up through PokerStars New Jersey, only the global clients PokerStars.net and PokerStars.com.
To sign up for the PokerStars home game, simply download PokerStars and then navigate to the Home Game tab.

Click “Join a Poker Club”.

Then enter:
Club ID: 1976954
Invitation Code: playpoker

I then have to manually accept you, which may take me up to 24 hours. Once I have accepted you, be sure to log back into PokerStars and register for the tournament. You will see JonathanLittlePoker under your list of poker clubs.

Then click on JonathanLittlePoker, click on Schedule, then you will see the upcoming tournaments.

Simply register for the tournaments you want to play and you will be all set.

Log into PokerStars prior to the tournament and the table should automatically pop up once the tournament begins. I am looking forward to playing with you. Please please please share this post with your friends. I want this league to be a huge success so I can continue running it. Thank you and good luck!
This game was initially run as a league, with Kuno2001 claiming the title as well as the $1,500 grand prize. I will start the league back up again sometime after the WSOP, assuming there is enough interest.

HUGE congrats to Biszibosz for winning $1,000 plus lots of additional prizes in Season 2. Congrats to Qtunneler for taking 2nd for $500 plus lots of prizes.
I was honored to have a coaching session with the first and second place players from Season 1 of the league. Here I am giving them their coaching sessions live in Las Vegas!

***For those interested, here is how the PokerStars point structure works:
The exact formula for how Home Game statistics are calculated is based upon these factors:
n = number of players in tournamentk = place of finish (k = 1 for 1st place, k = 2 for 2nd place, etc.)p = integer (n * 0.34)
‘p’ determines who receives points. ‘p’ is the number of places that finish in the top third of the tournament. If there are 6 entrants, then n=6, therefore p=n*0.34, making p=2 (integer of 2.04).
If n = 4, 2 points are awarded for 1stIf n = 5, 3 points are awarded for 1st
For n 5, points awarded are:
n * (sqrt(n)/sqrt(k)) / [sum (sqrt(n)/sqrt(k)) for k = 1 to k = p]
Each tournament with 6 or more players pays out the total number of points equal to the number of entrants (n). The numbers generated by the above equation tend not to equal ‘n’, in these cases the points are normalised accordingly, by keeping the same ratio but applying it to n, rather than n.
So if there are 6 entrants n=6, p=2. As p=2.04, only the top 2 finishers will receive points, meaning the equation will work like this:
For 1st, n=6, k=1, p=2.04:
6 * (sqrt(6)/sqrt(1)) / [(sqrt(6)/sqrt(1)) + (sqrt(6)/sqrt(2)) + (sqrt(6)/sqrt(6*0.34))]6 * (2.449/1) / [(2.449/1) + (2.449/1.414) + (2.449/2.04)]6 * 2.449 / (2.449 + 1.732 + 1.71)= 2.49
For 2nd, n=6, k=2, p=2.04:
6 * (sqrt(6)/sqrt(2)) / [(sqrt(6)/sqrt(1)) + (sqrt(6)/sqrt(2))]6 * (2.449/1.414) / [(2.449/1) + (2.449/1.414)]6 * 1.732 / (2.449 + 1.732 + 1.71)= 1.76
These results are then normalised so that 6 points are awarded in total (as each tournament awards ‘n’ points):
For 1st place:
6* (2.49 / (2.49 + 1.76)) = 3.51points
For 2nd place:
6* (1.76 / (2.49 + 1.76)) = 2.49 points

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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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