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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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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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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Poker Idols – Jack Straus


It’s not hard to imagine why a poker player who measured at 6’ 6” (just under two meteres) was called ‘Treetop’, but the story of Jack Straus is perhaps even taller than he was.  Who was the man who won the 1982 World Series of Poker Main Event from having only one chip halfway through the tournament? How did he die early, and what is his lasting legacy on the game?  It’s time to find out why Jack ‘Treetop’ Straus is a bona fide poker idol.  From the Ground Up  Straus might not have written his poker legend until 1982, but over a decade earlier, he was following the game of poker around the United States. Having attended University in Texas, he played basketball while he was there and was also known locally as a hunter and marksman who could bring down the big game.  That reputation gained a second meaning as Straus transitioned into a poker player who became a ‘road gambler’ travelling around the United States in search of a game as all the professionals would do in the days before the World Series of Poker was born in 1970. He specialised in heads-up poker and wasn’t afraid to gamble when it was full ring, either.  In some ways ahead of his time and playing with an attacking flair beyond his years, at the start of the 1970s, Straus was front and centre in Las Vegas to take part in the newly-formed WSOP. Straus, who once said, “If they had wanted you to hold on to money they’d have made it with handles,” wore a lion’s paw about his person, which was inscribed with the following legend: ‘Better a day as a lion than one hundred years as a lamb’.  The prophetic nature of that phrase would sadly come true in more ways than one.  A Chip and a Chair In 1972, Jack Straus would make the final table of the WSOP Main Event, eventually finishing in 5th place as Amarillo Slim would win the only prize of $80,000 by beating Puggy Pearson heads-up. It would only be a year later that Straus won his first WSOP bracelet, however, as he took down the $3,000-entry Deuce to Seven Draw event for a top prize of $16,500.  As well as winning his first bracelet, Straus went on to finish 3rd in the Main Event of that year, this time missing out on the heads-up he would have fancied his chances in by just one place. It would be Johnny Moss and Puggy Pearson who would battle it out for the bracelet, with Pearson prevailing to the tune of $130,000, with Moss (and the other 11 entrants who busted before him) winning nothing.  Straus would keep coming back to the World Series of Poker, but would have to wait another nine years for the bracelet he really wanted – the WSOP Main Event. A year before his big win, Straus lost heads-up to Mickey Perry for the $2,500 Limit Ace-to-Five Draw bracelet, but the 1982 WSOP Main Event wouldn’t just see him win the most sought-after title in poker but in a manner that has never been repeated.  Halfway through the tournament, with 104 whittled down in number a little, Straus pushed what he thought was all his chips into a pot. Called by his opponent, Straus lost the pot and thought he was out of the tournament, but unbeknown to him, he’d left a single ‘500’ chip under a table napkin. Good natured banter at the table aside, the official rulings stated that as Straus hadn’t declared all-in, the bet stood only at the poker chips he had pushed over the line, and that single chip he found was still his.  Sitting back down in his chair, Straus put that chip to phenomenal use. The very next hand saw play folded to Straus’ big blind, doubling his chip to a micro-stack. Next, he doubled back to a short-stack he could play and eventually grinded his way not just back into genuine contention but as table leader by the close of play with 90,000 chips. By Day three of the most famous event he would ever play, he was chip leader of the whole tournament. Reaching the Heights  Reaching the final table was a miracle in itself, but Straus would go on to complete the unlikeliest of victories, taking down the title after outlasting a final six players that included Doyle Brunson (4th for $52,000) and Berry Johnston (3rd for $104,000).  Straus had almost single-handedly busted most of the final table players, but he saved the cous de gras until his speciality play and just Dewey Tomko sat between him and the title of world champion. Heads-up, Straus took down Dewey Tomko, who committed his stack with ace-four in the final hand and was no match for ‘Treetop’, whose ace-ten paired up to seal the most remarkable win in World Series history.As a side-note, just by reaching that 1982 final table (the last he would reach), Straus joined a select band of players which is unlikely to grow in number as the popularity of the world’s biggest and best poker tournament continues to increase. Only Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Stu Ungar, Johnny Chan and Dan Harrington have reached three WSOP Main Event final tables with Straus… what a six-max tournament of champions that would be to watch!  The Broken Heart of a Giant   Jack Straus didn’t limit excitement to that one Main Event. His poker legend would grow even larger after he made a huge bluff in a cash game, holding 7-2 off-suit with a flop of 7-3-3. Heads-up in the hand, Straus was on a roll and after a raising war pre-flop, played the aggressor posot-flop too, calling a large raise when it came. The deuce on the turn inspired Straus to represent the three and made a huge bet, offering his opponent a novel way of gaining information.  “I’ll show you whichever one of my cards you choose if you give me $25,” said Straus. With his opponent taking the bait, Straus was asked to turn over the card, which he did, revealing the deuce. Straus’ opponent decided to fold, figuring Straus would only make that move with pocket deuces or a deuce and a three. Straus won the huge pot on a massive bluff.  Sadly for Straus, he would live just six years as world champion. Aged just 58 years old, Straus suffered an aortic aneurysm on August 17th, 1988 as he sat in a high stakes poker game. Later that year, as Johnny Chan won his second and back-to-back world title, Straus was posthumously inducted in the Poker Hall of Fame along with Doyle Brunson in that same year.  Straus was one of three men in the Hall of Fame to die at the poker table while in a game, with the others being Wild Bill Hickok and Tom Abdo. ‘Treetop’, however, was a unique player, and one who will never be forgotten as a poker idol another 100 years down the line.  

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Universal Entertainment in the market for a SPAC for Okada Manila


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

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Seefeld’s Winter Poker Open!


Another great trip with Intertops has come and gone! The Winter Poker Championships (CAPT) in Seefeld, Austria!!It’s a small ski village that’s filled with spectacular sites, all the winter activities you can think of and plenty of poker action! Great locations, great fun and poker action is what Intertops is all about and this was no exception! This trip had it all! Amazing views, wild aggressive players, TheTrooper97 ski crashes and, of course, schnitzel! It was yet another experience of lifetime!An 18 hour trip from Ft Worth to London to Dusseldorf to Salzburg then drive 21/2 hours to Seefeld! It’s a test to even experienced travelers, but well worth the journey once you see those snowcapped mountains. I can’t believe I got to travel back to where it all began! When I was here year last, I was beyond thrilled to experience what I thought was a one in a lifetime trip! I never expected that I would be able to return, never mind have it be my third time to Austria now! Beyond fortunate! For the people who haven’t been following from the beginning of this journey, I won a satellite on Intertops to play in this tourney last year! After quitting my job in November of 2015 to take a shot at playing professionally, I managed to win an event on the site that started this whole amazing adventure. Flying overseas for the first time, meeting the Intertops crew, playing my first $2k+ tourney, and eating A LOT of schnitzel! Here’s the start of it all if you want to catch up to speed! www.2Fit2fold.com/seefeld. Last year is also when I met fellow satty winner and Intertops player Chris Perkins. He and I were amazed and overwhelmed by the whole experience. We didn’t do as well as we had hoped in the tourney, but it was hard to be upset for too long in such a great place.One of the reasons we didn’t do as well as we wanted last year was due to the surprisingly aggressive play of the European players! I mean, I had never seen so much 4 betting EVER! lol It was a little bit confusing to us because this was also one of the best structures we had ever played, with 50k starting stacks and 1 hour levels! I had thought it would be an easy waiting game for good hands and good spots, I mean 50k starting, c’mon there’s so much play there! WRONG! lol What we didn’t take account for was the fact that these players are used to this structure and know how to take advantage of all the players with my same strategy. So many players pour on the aggression, knowing they can keep hammering tighter players and force folds. It’s a good plan, until you realize many of these guys also have that same idea AND play against each other fairly often. It makes for a crazy dynamic that I still have yet to see anywhere else! The closet thing might have been some of the WSOP Vegas events, but still not quite as aggressive. It proves to be a difficult adjustment to make and requires another level to your poker game! So this year, armed with that knowledge and more experience of playing against such aggro players, I was prepared to have some revenge. lol Unfortunately though, the European players had other ideas!! It was a tough table draw again for me this year, but at least I had position on the most aggressive players! Still even with the 3 most aggro players on my right, I was often hand-cuffed by the 3 and 4 betting before I even got to act! It was an interesting dynamic as I had a few calling stations on my left. I had thought I would be able to take advantage of them but that backfired as well, because strangely enough, every time I put in a raise or re-raise to combat the aggros on my right, the donkeys on my left would cold call!? lol Ever have one of those tourneys were you feel like everyone’s out to get you!? Well this for sure felt like one of those for me! I lost almost 15k in the first 30 minutes of the tournament! I had AA, KK x 2, AKo and AJo all lose on the river. With the majority of the chips going in the hand where I had KK for the second time in 20 minutes and had to fold the river to an all in shove after the 3rd flush card hit! It was brutal, as obliviously had that sick run of starting hands all had gone in my favor, I would have enough chips to coast to bagging up for day 2. Not only that but given how early it was, a good chance to bag up a significant stack for a real shot at going deep on day 2.It wasn’t in the cards for me again this year at Seefeld and history repeated itself when I played all of day one, just to bust out on the VERY LAST hand of the night!! Watching my KQs lose to AQ suited on a queen high flop! BOoooo! Oh well, what can you do right? I will put up some hand histories in the next post and maybe we can figure it out together! And of course winning would have been nice, but poker is always just PART of these trips with Intertops! There are worst places to bust tourneys for sure! Being out of the event meant I was able to head up to the top of the mountains the next day and enjoy everything else Seefeld had to offer! Not to mention we still had a day back in Salzburg waiting for us! Seeing Salzburg again is always a treat. The history of Old Salzburg is so impressive. Seeing a castle at the top of a small mountain from literally right outside your hotel window is pretty bad-ass. Not something you see every day huh? lol The birth place of Mozart and apparently Red Bull lol, you see those two things everywhere you go. Along with buildings built right into (or from?) the mountain, with dates on them showing just how old they are, it’s like stepping back in time. The oldest one I remember seeing was a church with the date 1409 on it?! How cool is that?! Being surrounded by all that really is quite the site to see and a pretty great way to put things in perspective (especially after busting a poker tourney lol).There’s plenty more to write about from this one, between hand histories, views from the top, weird Euro poker chips and TheTrooper97s brutal ski crash! So I’ll get to another blog to fill you all in, but if your too impatient for that (and really wanna see Trooper crash lol) check out all his videos of our trip here! Be sure to give him a like and a follow! And let us know what you would like to read and see more of in the future! Don’t forget to check us out on Twitch for give-aways and upcoming promotions from Intertops. Maybe you can win yourself a seat and come along for the next adventure!Til next timeRun GoodTim 

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