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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Did the next Macau bubble just start two weeks ago?


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

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Addamo, Adams, and Bonomo Among Big Sunday Winners

February 16 2021
Matthew Pitt

Online poker tournaments are massive on Sundays and this fact along brings out the game’s best players. Michael Addamo, Timothy Adams, and Justin Bonomo are just three of those stellar names who managed to take down a Sunday major this weekend.
Addamo Takes Down GGPoker Sunday 500 High Rollers $5,250
Michael Addamo enjoyed a super Sunday courtesy of triumphing in the Sunday 500 High Rollers $5,250, a tournament that attracted 113 of the world’s best players to the GGPoker virtual felt.
Addamo’s first bullet didn’t go to plan and he crashed out in 76th place. He re-entered and put used his new stack to full effect.
The likes of Kristen Bicknell, Matthias Eibinger, Elio Fox, Benjamin Rolle, and Anatoly Filatov busted inside the money places but before the star-studded final table.
Austria’s “Filip1” was the final table’s first casualty. Their ninth-place exit awarding a $14,833 prize.
Alex Foxen and David Yan then busted. Yan would go on to take down Sunday High Rollers Bounty King $3,150 for $49,300 later in the evening.
The exits of Michael Zhang, Aleksei Barkov, Pascal Hartmann, and David Peters left Addamo heads-up against Wiktor Malinowski. Addamo rarely loses when he’s heads-up and that was the case again here. Addamo collected $131,187 for his victory while Malinowski banked $99,898 for his runner-up finish.
Defeating Malinowski will go some way to making up for losing a massive $842,000 cash game pot last year.
Sunday 500 High Rollers $5,250 Final Table Results
PlacePlayerCountryPrize

1Michael AddamoCanada$131,187

2Wiktor MalinowskiMacau$99,898

3David PetersCanada$76,072

4Pascal HartmannAustria$57,928

5Aleksei BarkovRussia$44,112

6Michael ZhangBrazil$33,591

7David YanNew Zealand$25,579

8Alex FoxenCanada$19,478

9Flilip1Austria$14,833

¥80 Million Gtd Asian Poker League (APL) Hits GGPoker
Adams Takes Down High Rollers Blade Prime $2,625
Timothy Adams’ latest victory came in the High Rollers Blade Prime $2,625, an event that saw 80 players buy in.
All but two of the players who navigated their way to the final table walked away with five-figures hauls. Fedor Holz and Andrii Novak being that duo.
“LeoJose” fell in seventh and was joined on the rail first by Artur Martirosian, then by Urmo Velvelt, Rainer Kempe, and China’s Kevin Pu.
This left Adams, on his one and only bullet, heads-up against Arsneii Malinov. Malinov fell at the final hurdle and scooped $36,565, which left Adams to add the $46,885 top prize to his GGPoker account.
High Rollers Blade Prime $2,625 Final Table Results
PlacePlayerCountryPrize

1Timothy AdamsCanada$46,885

2Arsenii MalinovRussia$36,565

3Kevin PuChina$28,516

4Rainer KempeGermany$22,239

5Urmo VelveltEstonia$17,344

6Artur MartirosianRussia$13,526

7LeoJoseBrazil$10,549

8Andrii NovakUkraine$8,227

9Fedor HolzAustria$6,416

Other GGPoker Highlights
Shankar Pillai – first-place in the High Roller MILLION$ for $207,692Gabriel Schroeder – first-place in the GGMasters High Rollers $1,050 for $140,355MonkeyD93 – first-place in the Global MILLION$ for $112,712swedishdream – first-place in the Bounty Hunters HR Main Event $525 for $95,817*Sami Kelopuro – first-place in the High Rollers Sunday Blade Opener $5,250 for $57,374L1mpFold – first-place in the GGMasters $150 for $54,631David Yan – first-place in the Sunday High Rollers Bounty King $3,150 for $49,300*Joseph Cheong – first-place in the Sunday Bounty King $315 for $44,349*Ami Barer – first-place in the High Rollers Blade Mulligan $2,625 for $43,288Michael Zhang – first-place in the High Rollers Blade Opener $2,625 for $39,752Andras Nemeth – first-place in the High Rollers Blade Bounty King PLO $3,150 for $35,513*spera91 – first-place in the High Rollers Marathon $840 for $33,695Joao Caetano – first-place in the Sunday High Rollers Fifty Stack $500 for $31,657Boris Kolev – first-place in the Sunday Forty Stack $400 for $30,214Bruno Botteon – first-place in the Sunday high Rollers Bounty Special $840 for $29,113*Dante Fernandes – first-place in the Bounty Hunters Sunday Special $210 for $25,808*Babyccino – first-place in the Sunday Main Event $200 for $24,254Anton Wigg – first-place in the Sunday High Rollers Fast $525 for $13,780
*includes bounty payments
Justin Bonomo Binks the partypoker High Roller Big Game
Justin Bonomo
Justin Bonomo, fresh from his recent Super MILLION$ victory, continued his impressive run of form by taking down the High Roller Big Game at partypoker. Bonomo came out on top of a 127-strong field in the $2,600 buy-in event to get his hands on $79,128.
The final table was brimming with the world’s top poker talent, as you’d expect from such a prestigious tournament.
Tomi Brouk busted in ninth and won $8,739, the tournament’s last four-figure prize. Ognyan Dimov, Roberto Romanello, and Pedro Garagnani were the next players to fall by the wayside. Niklas Astedt and Team partypoker’s Kristen Bicknell followed suit.
Ukraine’s Pavlo Kolinkovskiy’s elimination in third-place, worth $34,935, left Bonomo and Ali Imsirovic heads-up for the title. Bonomo got the job done and secured the $79,128 top prize, leaving Imsirovic to bank $79,128.
High Roller Big Game Final Table Results
PlacePlayerCountryPrize

1Justin BonomoCanada$79,128

2Ali ImsirovicMexico$50,916

3Pavlo KolinkovskiyUkraine$34,935

4Kristen BicknellCanada$24,702

5Niklas AstedtSweden$18,330

6Pedro GaragnaniBrazil$14,667

7Roberto RomanelloUnited Kingdom$12,398

8Ognyan DimovBulgaria$10,539

9Tomi BroukFinland$8,739

Jamie O’Connor Takes Down Big Game
Jamie O’Connor turned $530 into $41,417 by winning The Big Game. O’Connor was a guest on Leigh Wiltshire and Des Duffy’s APAT Show while he was grinding this event but chatting didn’t put him off the grind.
O’Connor defeated Rui Da Silva heads-up to lock up the top prize and resign Da Silva to a $28,678 consolation prize.
Two other players saw their bankrolls swell by five-figures. Fourth-place finisher Joel Nystedt scooped $13,158 with Joao Gaspar reeling in a $19,868 prize for his demise in third-place.
The Big Game Final Table Results
PlacePlayerCountryPrize

1Jamie O’ConnorUnited Kingdom$79,128

2Rui Da SilvaCroatia$28,678

3Joao GasparMalta$19,868

4Joel NystedtAustria$13,158

5Dwayne SluisNetherlands$9,177

6Fahredin MustafovBulgaria$7,273

7Justin OuimetteCanada$5,843

8Joakim AnderssonSweden$4,737

9Jamie NixonUnited Kingdom$3,844

Other Highlights From partypoker
LivviG – first-place in the $320 The 300 for $19,962*BeastFromDaEast – first-place in the $109 Weekender for $17,563*Andreas Puntigam – first-place in the $55 Mini Big Game for $17,155freestylee – first-place in the $111 One Shot for $13,848*youngblood – first-place in the $215 Warrior for $13,450*EZfold55 – first-place in the $55 Gladiator for $12,138*
*includes bounty payments
partypoker MILLIONS Online Schedule Features MEGA High Roller and $5m GTD Main Event
Peter Traply Nets Sunday Super Sonic Top Prize
Peter Traply
Peter “Belabasci” Traply triumphed in the PokerStars $215 Sunday Supersonic and banked a cool $20,378. That only tells part of the story, however, because the Sunday Supersonic is a hyper-turbo structured tournament meaning Traply’s victory only took one-hour 13-minutes for an hourly rate of $16,750, which is nice work if you can get it!
Runner-up “mindreader007” and third-place finisher “acesdesigner” were the two other finalists whose $215 swelled to a five-figure score. Second-place weighed in at $14,591 with the third-place finisher collecting $10,448.
$215 Sunday Supersonic Final Table Results
PlacePlayerCountryPrize

1Peter “Belabasci” TraplyHungary$20,378

2mindreader007United Kingdom$14,591

3acesdesignerBrazil$10,448

4LilharmisFinland$7,481

5Michiel “utreg” BrummelhuisNetherlands$5,356

6Felipe “ultraviol3nt” OlivieriArgentina$3,835

Dutch Star Wins High Roller Sunday Supersonic
“Daenarys T” from the Netherlands took down the $1,050 edition of the Sunday Supersonic and did so in a mere one hour and five-minutes. This meant their $24,032 prize was worth $22,251 per hour!
There were some awesome players at the six-handed final table, including runner-up Bruno “botteonpoker” Botteon and third-place finisher Benjamin “bencb789” Rolle. The day, however, belonged to former Sunday Million champion Daenarys T.
PlacePlayerCountryPrize

1Daenarys TNetherlands$24,032

2Bruno “botteonpoker” BotteonBrazil$18,451

3Benjamin “bencb789” RolleAustria$14,166

4Viktor “papan9_p$” UstimovRussia$10,876

5blackaces93Poland$8,350

6Andy “wiisssppppaa” TaylorUnited Kingdom$6,410

Other Highlights From PokerStars
13shaun – first-place in the $1,050 Sunday High Roller for $60,576Aleksei “AS Leshiy” Smirnov – first-place in the $215 Bounty Builder for $31,476*RaiseUpBlind – first-place in he $1,050 Sunday Cooldown for $29,468*yuhei33 – first-place in the $109 Bounty Builder for $29,419*Felipe “lipe piv” Boianovsky – first-place in the $215 Bounty Builder for $29,289*babecallme – first-place in the $109 Sunday Cooldown for $27,227*Black88 – first-place in the $215 Sunday Warm-Up for $17,941Artur “marathur1” Martirosian – first-place in the $1,050 Sunday Warm-Up for $17,814planty07/08 – first-place in the $109 Sunday Kickoff for $15,407Chris “ImDaNuts” Oliver – first-place in the Hotter $215 for $13,872*Dominik “Bounatirou” Nitsche – first-place in the $215 Fat Sunday for $11,782Christian “WATnlos” Rudolph – first-place in the $530 Sunday Marathon for $11,116
*includes bounty payments
Get Ready for 107 MicroMillions Events Across Only Four Days!
maestro1908 Grabs the $100,000 Sunday Mega Deep Title at 888poker
The $100,000 Sunday Mega Deep had been hitting its guarantee lately but it reverted to type on February 14 when 892 players bought in to leave 888poker nursing a $10,800 overlay.
“maestro1908” netted the $16,350 top prize after defeating the United Kingdom’s “needabridge” heads-up, leaving the Brit to bank $11,900.
The $30,000 Sunday Challenge PKO performed much better with the 335 entrants ensuring the $30,000 guarantee was beaten by $3,500. “troms18” was the last player standing, a result that saw $6,327 head to their account. Swedish star “VnilaVader” was the tournament’s runner-up; they scooped $3,464 with bounties included.
888poker Giving Away $100,000 in 24/7 Freeroll Festival All This Month

The Stars Group is a majority shareholder in Oddschecker Global Media, the parent company of PokerNews.

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In First Hint of WSOP 2021 Revival, WSOP Launches “Ultimate Poker Champion” Sweepstakes Promo

In what is thought to be the first sign that Caesars is planning for a live World Series of Poker festival in 2021, the operator has put on a new free-to-enter sweepstakes promotion, the Ultimate Poker Champion Experience.

Running from February 15 through April 30, 2021, the contest offers anyone in the United States a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of the WSOP Main Event. One lucky person will not only get their entry into the Main Event paid in full, but they will also be treated to an elite experience during their stay. To enter, all you have to do is fill out the form.

With the coronavirus pandemic still causing mass disruption to live events and travel in the United States and around the world, the WSOP has yet to announce any schedule or plan for this year’s series. There is no information around the main event, for which the promotion is centered around.

The Normal Ramp Up to the WSOP

The WSOP is poker’s biggest event of the year. Tens of thousands of players descend on the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for more than six weeks of poker. Action culminates in the $10,000 Main Event, the most prestigious tournament in the game. The winner is crowned the year’s champion, poker’s highest accolade.

However, last year, due to the coronavirus, the regular World Series of Poker 2020 was canceled for the first time in its 51-year history.

In its place was an online series held half in the United States—on the official WSOP Nevada and WSOP NJ online poker rooms—and half outside the US on global online poker room GGPoker.

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In the winter, WSOP and GGPoker joined forces again for a hybrid online-live Main Event where players competed in tournaments online, then met for a live final table. The two winners of these met in a special heads-up match in Las Vegas.

Normally by now, organization and marketing are in full flow. Online satellites are underway on official WSOP sites as well as partners internationally. Schedules are revealed, packages are offered and promotions are spread.

However, nothing has yet been revealed for this year—understandable, given how no one knows how the next few months will unfold. That makes this promotion even more intriguing.

Sweepstakes Package Details

The winner of the sweepstakes promotion will win entry into the $10,000 buy-in 2021 WSOP Main Event.

As noted, normally this is a multi-day tournament held live in the Rio; last year, it was mostly online. What it will be this year is unknown. The implication, however, is that Caesars wants to run this live in Las Vegas, given the other parts of the prize package.

The winner and their guest will be flown to Las Vegas from anywhere in the continental United States. Once in the city, they will be treated to a dinner for two at a Celebrity Chef restaurant, a three night stay in a suite at Caesars Palace, a whisky and cigar night at the hotel’s Montecristo Cigar Bar, and $1,000 in spending money.

The total prize package, including all the extra goodies, is worth $14,000.

Prize
Approximate Value (USD)

$10,000 Seat to 2021 WSOP Main Event
$10,000

3-night stay in a Suite at Caesars Palace
$1,000

Round-trip airfare for two (from continental US)
$1,100

$1,000 VISA Gift Card
$1,000

Whisky and cigars at Montecristo Cigar Bar
$400

Dinner for two at Celebrity Chef’s restaurant
$500

Hotel Stay at the Rio, a Hint of the WSOP Finally Moving?

Curiously, the stay is only for a three nights—which would normally not be long enough for a deep run of the WSOP Main Event. Last year, the tournament was spread over two weeks, with three Day 1s and two Day 2s then a Day 3, Day 4, and final table, with breaks gaps in-between.

Also of note, the hotel stay is in Caesars Palace, not the Rio. Whether this suggests an anticipated location move or not remains to be seen. The Rio was sold back in 2019 though Caesars agreed to manage the property for two years.

The 2020 event was scheduled to take place in the Rio, and the live Main event did go ahead in its convention center. However, no announcement has been made for the 2021 series—and with Caesars potentially coming to the end of its management contract, this could well be the first indication that WSOP plans to move it to another Caesars location in Las Vegas.

How to Enter the WSOP Ultimate Poker Champion Sweepstakes Promo

If you are a United States resident, just fill out this form. That’s it! You can read below for more details.

The contest is open to anyone over 21 years of age, with the exception of employees and family of Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc or Caesars Entertainment Services, LLC. The offer is only valid in the continental United States and void where prohibited.

Entries are open until midnight on April 30, 2021 and the winner will be randomly chosen on May 6, 2021 from all the entries received prior to the closing date.

In the event that the winner does not meet eligibility requirements, up to 5 alternate draws will be made to choose a winner. If no eligible winner is selected after the maximum 5 alternate draws, the prize will remain unawarded.

Prizes are non-transferable, and not subject to change except at the discretion of the contest Administrator. The Administrator reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value if the above prizes are not available for any reason, and winners are responsible for all taxes and fees which may be associated with receiving or using the prize. There is no cash equivalent for this prize.

The dates for the prize will be set once the Main Event is scheduled, but the trip must be taken before December 31, 2021. This gives the organizers a wide window to schedule the WSOP 2021 Main Event—whatever form it takes.

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Paulis Plausinaitis leads GGPoker WSOPC main event final table


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

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เราเริ่มต้นปีใหม่ด้วยความนิยม! เก่งโป๊กเกอร์อยู่แล้ว! รอบ WSOP กลับมาที่ Choctaw ใน Durant Oklahoma ในเดือนนี้และเช่นเคยไม่ทำให้ผิดหวัง !! โป๊กเกอร์ 3 สัปดาห์ที่ยอดเยี่ยมไม่เพียง แต่อยู่ใกล้บ้านเท่านั้น แต่ยังรับประกันความเสียหายอีกมากมาย! ปีนี้ก็ไม่มีข้อยกเว้นเช่นกันการรับประกันทุกครั้งด้วยจังหวะยาว! อย่างไรก็ตามคราวนี้พวกเขาตัดสินใจที่จะทำลาย RECORDS! ทำลายสถิติวันหยุดสุดสัปดาห์อื่น ๆ 1 ล้านรายการกิจกรรมแหวนมูลค่า 365 เหรียญพร้อมรายการ 5280 ที่น่าทึ่ง! ทำลายสถิติของปีที่แล้วด้วยการตั้งค่า 4249 รายการให้เป็นกิจกรรมเดียวกัน! lol ไม่จริง! มันยิ่งใหญ่ขึ้นเรื่อย ๆ สำหรับคาสิโนในพื้นที่ของฉัน! ฉันนึกไม่ถึงว่ามันจะใหญ่ขึ้น แต่ฉันบอกว่าปีที่แล้ว! ฮ่า ๆ น่าทึ่งมากสำหรับฉันที่มีงานดีๆแบบนี้ปีละหลายครั้งซึ่งมาภายในหนึ่งชั่วโมง !! ตอนนี้ Choctaw เป็นเจ้าภาพจัดการแข่งขันรายการใหญ่ 4 รายการต่อปีและ Winstar กำลังเปิดตัวซีรีส์ River 1 รายการและมินิซีรีส์ขนาดเล็กอีก 2 รายการที่นี่ฉันสร้างขึ้นเพื่อโปรโมตการแข่งขันสด! ยังคงมีโป๊กเกอร์ไม่เพียงพอและฉันแทบรอไม่ไหวที่จะออกไปข้างนอกและออกเดินทาง นอกจากนี้ฉันรู้ว่าการเล่นในส่วนต่างๆของประเทศหรือทั่วโลกฉันจะปรับปรุงเกมของฉันต่อไปบังคับให้ฉันต้องปรับตัวให้เข้ากับผู้เล่นประเภทต่างๆอยู่ตลอดเวลา! น่าเสียดายสำหรับ Choctawa ไม่มีความหลากหลายในแง่ของประเภทผู้เล่นฮ่า ๆ ๆ ! เป็นประเภท ABC ที่นุ่มนวลสำหรับกิจกรรมส่วนใหญ่ แต่ในสนามขนาดใหญ่ที่มีเงินเดิมพันจำนวนน้อยมันเป็นมาตรฐานที่ดีไม่ว่าคุณจะไปที่ใด (แต่เดี๋ยวก่อนฉันไม่ได้บ่นนะฮ่า ๆ ๆ ) มันเป็นเรื่องน่าเศร้าที่ฉันไม่สามารถใช้ประโยชน์จากจุดอ่อน! แม้ว่าฉันจะทำเงินได้ดีมากถึง 365 ล้านเหรียญและงานหลักและได้รับเงินสดจากทั้งสองอย่าง แต่ฉันก็พลาดเงินจำนวนมาก! โห่! มันสั่นสะเทือนหัวใจของคุณมากยิ่งขึ้นเมื่อคุณมองไปที่หน้าจอและเห็นว่าทั้งสองงานมีที่หนึ่งมากกว่า 270,000! อ๊ะ! มาคุยกันเรื่อง payday! คงจะดี แต่ฉันไม่สามารถมุ่งเน้นไปที่สิ่งนั้นได้เพียงแค่เล่นให้ดีที่สุดแล้วปล่อยให้ไพ่ร่วงหล่น แต่การเดินทางครั้งนี้ก็ไม่ไกลจากความสูญเสีย! ฉันวิ่งลึกไปสองสามรอบและฉันคิดตามตรงว่าฉันได้เรียนรู้มากมายโอ้และฉันพูดถึงเพื่อนที่ดีของฉันที่ตัดกิจกรรมเริ่มต้นในราคา 35k !! สวี่เย่ !! เขาเป็นผู้เล่นท้องถิ่นอีกคนที่เขาจ่ายให้อย่างแน่นอน! ฉันไม่มีความสุขไปกว่าเขาแล้ว! มันเป็นงานปาร์ตี้ที่ยอดเยี่ยมสำหรับโต๊ะสุดท้ายของเขากับเพื่อนที่ดีมากมายและการกระทำของเขาไม่ได้ผลแม้แต่นิดเดียว! ดังนั้นทั้งหมดนี้เป็นช่วงเวลาที่ดีแม้ว่าจะมีการล้อเล่นในงานใหญ่ ๆ ก็ตาม! มีช่วงเวลาที่น่าจดจำและประวัติมือที่น่าสนใจอีกมากมาย (อ่านสวัสดีอย่างโหดเหี้ยม) ที่ฉันสามารถเขียนถึงในโพสต์ถัดไป แต่ตอนนี้ฉันจะกลับไปที่โป๊กเกอร์ออนไลน์และคุณก็เช่นกัน! สุดสัปดาห์นี้ Intertops เป็นงานเล็ก ๆ ที่จะเดินทางไปยัง St. Maarten และทัวร์นาเมนต์ใหม่ $ 1,500 GTD! เล่นเพื่อรับโอกาสในการซื้อสินค้าในงานหลัก $ 1150, 4 คืนที่ Sonesta Maho All Inclusive Resort และ $ 500 สำหรับค่าเดินทาง! TKPT จัดงานที่นั่นและมอบประสบการณ์ที่น่าทึ่งให้กับผู้เล่นเสมอ! ยังได้ยินเพลงธีมอยู่ในหัวจากปีที่แล้ว !! lol “ฉันไม่ชอบ แต่ฉันรักมัน!” มันจะดังระเบิดดังนั้นอย่าพลาด! นอกจากนี้นอกเหนือจากการรับประกัน 5K รายสัปดาห์และการรับประกัน 1K ที่ใหม่กว่าแล้วยังมีการรับประกันเพิ่มอีก 1.5K ในชุดค่าผสมอีกด้วย !! ในวันเสาร์นี้“ sundowner 1.5 GTD” จะเริ่มเวลา 19:15 น. EST! Intertops ยังคงให้สิ่งที่ผู้เล่นมองหาด้วยการซื้อที่ใหญ่กว่านี้ในราคา $ 55 ในกรณีนี้! ฉันหวังว่าจะได้พบคุณที่โต๊ะสำหรับพวกเขาทั้งหมดฉันรู้ว่าฉันจะอยู่ที่นั่น! อย่าลืมตรวจสอบ Intertops และ TKPT สำหรับข้อมูลทั้งหมด และอย่าลืมเข้าไปดูที่หน้า Facebook ของเราเพื่อหารางวัลกิจกรรมปัจจุบันและลูกเล่นอื่น ๆ ! เริ่มต้นใช้งาน TimPS: อ่านเพิ่มเติมเกี่ยวกับทีมและประสบการณ์การเล่นโป๊กเกอร์ได้ที่นี่และที่นี่หรือเรียนรู้เพิ่มเติมเกี่ยวกับโปรโมชั่นปัจจุบันของเราที่นี่!

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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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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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