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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Is Hellmuth vs Negreanu happening?


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

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

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

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

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

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

The final table

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

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

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



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New year, new plan!


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

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I get an amazing hand & this always happens


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


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


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

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แอปพลิเคชั่น Wsop


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

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Adjusting to world-class players

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

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

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

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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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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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