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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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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Did the next Macau bubble just start two weeks ago?


The entire concept of a “bull market in stocks” makes little sense. Sound crazy? These days, certainly, because we’re always hearing about a perpetual bull market in stocks. Valuations increasingly disconnected from economic reality, asset bubbles in one class or another, armies of speculators moving like zombie hoards descending on the next fad and blowing it up to infinity and beyond, Buzz Lightyear-like.Why is the whole concept of a bull market generally, nonsense? Because if the value of everything is going up simultaneously, then nothing is going up. If everyone is a superhero, nobody is. If, in an imaginary economy, absolutely everything costs, say, $5, (labor, land, capital whatever) and then the next day everything costs $10, then what’s changed? The answer is absolutely nothing.The only thing that matters is relative valuations between asset classes. Let’s divide them into three of the most basic ones. Equities (stocks), bonds (debt), and commodities (consumer goods). If all three are going up in tandem, then there is no “bull market” in anything. If commodities are going up faster than stocks and bonds, you have inflation, or even hyperinflation. Ask anyone in Venezuela whether they care that their stock market is doing great, nominally. They don’t. They’re looking for their next glop of gruel or morsel of moldy bread to survive the day.But if stocks and bonds are rising and consumer goods are static to falling, you have a bull market in financial assets. This is where we are now. And boy are we really hard and deep into it now. Below is the ratio of the S&P 500 to the CRB Commodities Index.And I’ve got news for everyone. This bull market in stocks relative to consumer goods in dollar terms is already over. It ended almost a year ago. On April 20, 2020 to be exact. Red circle blowoff top above. That was when oil crashed to negative $35 a barrel and we all lived in an alternative financial freakhouse universe. But I have more news than that. This entire “bull market” in stocks has been one gigantic illusion from the very beginning. Stocks aren’t going up. They haven’t gone up for 21 years. Money is going down. Here is the graph of stocks relative to the prime monetary commodity, gold, over the same timeframe above.We can see here that from 1990 to 2000, we had a real bull market in stocks. Equities rocketed in gold terms and in terms of consumer goods generally. Everyone felt richer. Portfolios up, expenses down. But since that time, money has been dying at an accelerated pace and the standard of living has fallen.The bull market in stocks over the last 21 years has been an illusion, a tiny echo of the bull that ended at the turn of the century. We have spent the last 21 years trying to reinflate it, but gold has exposed the lie. We are now at the point where the illusion is about to collapse completely. In my view, we have only a few months left until it all hits the fan. Until then, the bubbles will keep coming in staccato frenetic fashion, moving from one asset class to another faster and faster, until we all get so dizzy we can’t follow it anymore. Last week I speculated that maybe the next target for the zombie hoard will be in penny gaming stocks. I was close. It’s in Macau stocks. It may already have started two weeks ago. The frenzy has started over news about China opening up again. I mean, just look at this crazy chart of the Macau proxy ETF:That last surge higher is just since February 1. We could be at the beginning of a crazy but brief ride higher in Macau stocks right now. New all time highs again, and Macau isn’t even fully open yet. The latest full month statistics for December show a 78.6% drop in visitors year over year. And yet we’re at new all time highs in these stocks already. It’s just completely crazy. I can understand the Macau opening up again trade, but to argue that this factor is being priced in at these levels, at new all time highs? As if none of this full year shutdown hurt any of the casinos fundamentally at all? That’s just totally bonkers crazy. It’s a reflection of the value of the currency these stocks are priced in, not the stocks themselves.What’s happening is that the zombie hoard of bubble chasers is reading the headlines regarding China starting to open up again, and they’re slamming buy orders and call options like they’ve been doing with tech stocks and Gamestop and BTC and all the other fads. We just got news out of Bloomberg that China’s Imax had a face-ripping rally due to exploding ticket sales. China is, indeed opening up, and the zombie hoard of speculators is now going to spray their money hoses at anything Chinese. Macau might be at the center of it.How high can this Macau bubble go, if that’s what we just saw start two weeks ago? The truth is, it doesn’t matter. If you get into it, you’ll get hooked and keep levering yourself up, counting your paper gains, unable to separate from them until you get caught in a vortex. At some point, my view this year, it’s all going to come crashing down when all the damage from 2020 is finally revealed all over the world. You can’t paper it over forever. The damage to Macau casinos doesn’t just go away. It festers in the form of more and more debt, and a damaged consumer base that can no longer patronize casinos in the way it once could. Festering wounds need the paper bandage removed and they need to be operated on. That is painful. And it’s coming.When we think of the word “bubble”, what are we really talking about? A bubble is something that looks, from the outside, to be really big and stable. The shape of it, a sphere, is the most stable shape in the universe. It’s why planets, stars, moons, and possibly even the spacetime continuum itself, spontaneously shape themselves into spheres. The force of gravity equalizes at every point on the sphere, forming equilibrium. Nature always seeks equilibrium. And so bubbles take on the illusion of stability, but unlike a real sphere, there’s nothing inside them. When they pop, they are gone almost instantly. This one is about to pop. Macau appears to be the next victim sucked up by the bubble. Macau will survive and rebuild. The question is, in what form? I wouldn’t take a bet the depended on me getting the answer to that question right.

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Pros Of Being A Professional Poker Player


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

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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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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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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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