No one in the industry can underestimate the old fashioned values of building trust amongst customers. Richard Downey, Senior VP for Connections by the Specialist Works, understands that more than most. He sat down with Calvinayre.com’s Becky Liggero Fontana to share his insights on the U.S. sports betting market.Downey emphasized leveraging relationships from prior careers. “I was publisher of a magazine called Poker Player and I moved from there into the agency. I’ve been able to maintain an involvement in the gaming industry by having clients in the space,” Downey said.Downey is a firm believer that operators still require a that branding plays an integral part in building trust with customers in the highly competitive U.S. sports betting market. “In the gaming sector there is an element of credibility and trustworthiness that exists everywhere, but especially in the U.S. market. Getting access to online gaming in the U.S. market for the past period of time has not been completely legitimated. Gaming is being rebranded as mainstream entertainment and it’s really important that the brands that come through with it do a good job for the customers.”Downey pointed out that new operators have to consider the Vegas perceptions of gaming when it comes to brand marketing and alignment.“For a long time gaming has been synonymous with Las Vegas and therefore it’s completely logical that a lot of the Vegas gaming companies are using their brands to do that job of legitimization and credibility. If a gaming operator is trying to break into the mainstream market in the U.S. then I think having a credible brand behind you, either through brand recognition or through marketing is a good way of making people believe that you know that their gaming environment is a safe one,” he said.In the full interview, Downey gives advice for new operators for developing brand strategy in the U.S. sports betting market. And if you haven’t yet, watch all of our videos as they go up by subscribing to the CalvinAyre.com YouTube channel.
February 16, 2021
Tetris® combines with Spin & Go tournaments at PokerStars in a fun promotion that sees $1.5 million paid out between February 15 and March 28.
Head to the Spin & Go lobby in the PokerStars client and you’ll see there are Tetris® Spin & Go games with buy-ins of $0.25, $1, $2, $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, and $500. They all play out the exact same way as a traditional Spin & Go, meaning they’re three-handed hyper-turbo tournaments where the prize pool is randomly determined before the first hand is dealt.
It’s still possible to win up to $1 million in some of these game, but there are a few notable differences.
First, the virtual felt is made up of Tetris® blocks, which actually looks pretty cool. Also, the dealer button is now a Tetris® block too, and other blocks fall down the screen.
The Tetris® part of the promotion comes in the form of leaderboards. There’s a separate leaderboard for each Tetris® Spin & Go buy-in level, so 10 in total. You need to opt-in and then fire up some Tetris® Spin & Go tournaments.
Play your tournaments as you would ordinarily, but do so knowing the aim of the game is to clear lines, just like in Tetris®. The number of lines you clear depends on your Spin & Go multiplier and your finishing position in the tournament.
Your level increases each time you clear five lines. This results in you earning even more points so you can climb up your leaderboard faster.
The 2021 Guide to PokerStars Spin and Go Poker
How Many Lines Do I Clear?
As you can see from the table above, finishing in 1st place in a Tetris® Spin & Go that has a 2x multiplier clears four lines. Just playing a tournament earns you points.
How Do You Earn Points?
The number of leaderboard points you earn is based on your finishing position and your current level. You start off earning 40 points for clearing one line when you’re at Level 0, but this increases to 840 points if you manage to climb to Level 20, which is the highest level you can achieve.
It is possible to earn up to 25,200 points per Tetris® Spin & Go tournament, as you can see in this table.
LevelPoints for 1 LinePoints for 2 LinesPoints for 3 LinesPoints four 4 Lines
Tetris® Spin & Go Payout Table
The leaderboards payout $33,000 every day throughout the promotion making for a combined total of $1,500,000 just for playing Tetris® Spin & Go tournaments.
The $0.25, $1, $2, and $5 leaderboard payout the top 100 points earners, so you have a decent chance of walking away with a cash prize. The prizes don’t have any restrictions on them meaning you’re free to do with them as you wish.
Spin & Go Your Way to a PokerStars Sunday Million Seat
The Tetris® Playing Field – Avoid Hitting Game Over
There’s an extra element to this promotion that you have to be aware of at all times. PokerStars calls it the Playing Field.
Just like in a game of Tetris® where it is Game Over when the blocks reach the top of the screen, it can be game over for you if you go on a streak of out of the money finishes!
Finishing in first place either improves your Playing Field status or makes zero change to it. Finish in second place, however, and your Playing Field status either stays the same or actually worsens, which is also the case when you finish in third place.
Your table, or playing field, is green in color when your Playing Field is in a good state. It turns amber when it is worsening and turns red when you’re in big trouble. Failing to win when your playing field is red could see you reach Game Over which means you cannot earn any more leaderboard points until the next day!
The changes to your playing field status depend on your current level.
1st place 2nd place 3rd place
LevelImproveNo ChangeNo ChanceWorsenNo ChangeWorsen
Get Involved in the Tetris® Spin & Go Promotion
With $33,000 waiting to be won every day until March 28 there’s no time to waste if you want to win some free cash.
Download PokerStars via PokerNews, enter the bonus code “STARS600” when making your first deposit and PokerStars will match your deposit 100% up to $600. In fact, your first three deposits in a 90-day window are matched 100% up to a combined maximum of $600.
All you need to do then is opt-in and fire up some Tetris® Spin & Go tournaments and see if you can pad your bankroll with some of the $1.5 million that’s guaranteed to be won. That and try not to spend the rest of the day humming the famous Tetris® tune!
The Stars Group is a majority shareholder in Oddschecker Global Media, the parent company of PokerNews.
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 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
PokerStars has rolled out Tetris + Spin & Go, a temporary takeover of their ultra-popular lottery sit and go game with a new theme and a lucrative new promotion for players.
F5poker first revealed that PokerStars was working on such a promotion back in September 2020. On Monday, it deployed globally on most licenses on the global dot-com pool as well the European shared liquidity network of Spain, France and Portugal.
The Spin and Go lobby in the client has been redesigned with a Tetris aesthetic, as have the tables. The game itself remains unchanged—fast, winner-takes-all sit and gos with a random top prize.
What is new is the promotion on top: Tetris-themed leader boards. While the mechanics are fairly complicated—it involves Line Clears, Levels and Game Scores—it boils down to daily player rankings where cash prizes are given out to the highest volume players.
For players that fall outside the cash prizes, the operator has a $5000 daily prize draw for players that finished in the top 500.
In total, the operator says that over $1.5 million will be paid out in the dot-com market and almost as much—€1 million—in the Southern European market from now until the end of March. This works out at over $33,000 daily in dot-com, and €23,000 in Southern Europe.
It appears to replace the previous long-running Spin & Go 20 and 50 leader boards. This had given away just over $20,000 a week and had run throughout much of 2020.
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.
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.
Starting from 16th February to 28th February, PokerBaazi will be hosting the Daily Cash Smash! 13 Days, daily leaderboards and prize pool of INR 21.45 Lakhs! The players can grind any of the three (NLHE/PLO-4/PLO-5) cash tables and all the chips won from the leaderboards will be withdrawable (separate for all three variants)!
All players will have a chance to win from a daily prize pool of INR 1.65 Lakhs! All you have to do is play the cash tables between 10:00 AM – 4:00 AM!
The Daily Leaderboard prize pool
5/10 & 10/25 (Texas Hold’Em): Daily 8k Leaderboard
1/2 & 2/5 (Texas Hold’Em): Daily 4k Leaderboard
25/50 & 50/100 (Texas Hold’Em): Daily 12k Leaderboard
5/10 & 10/25 (PLO-5): Daily 6k Leaderboard
25/50 & 50/100 (PLO-5): Daily 15k Leaderboard
1/2 & 2/5 (PLO-4): Daily 2k Leaderboard
10/25 & 25/50 (PLO-4): Daily 8k Leaderboard
It’s time to grind again on PokerBaazi, but this time, it’s going to have to be on the cash felts! Head over to the link below for more information about the Daily Cash Smash 2.0 and Leaderboards
For more information about the latest poker promotions and poker news, keep reading PokerShots!
เจ้ามือรับแทงออนไลน์ Bovada ไม่น่าจะจ่ายเงินเดิมพันที่ชนะมากที่สุดว่า Streaker จะขัดขวางเกม Super Bowl LV ระหว่าง Kansas City Chiefs และ Tampa Bay Buccaneers หรือไม่หลังจากไซต์พบว่า Streaker เป็นส่วนหนึ่งของกลุ่มที่วางเดิมพันครั้งใหญ่ เกี่ยวกับเหตุการณ์ดังกล่าวที่เกิดขึ้นระหว่างเกม Yuri Andrade ชาวฟลอริดาวัย 31 ปีที่หยุดเล่นเกมชั่วครู่ด้วยการวิ่งในชุดรัดรูปสีชมพูและกางเกงขาสั้นสีดำประกาศในรายการทอล์คโชว์ของสถานีวิทยุ Florida Wild 94.1 ว่าเขา เป็นส่วนหนึ่งของกลุ่มที่วางเดิมพัน 50,000 ดอลลาร์เพื่อให้นักแข่งปรากฏตัว Andrade บอกผู้ชมในรายการว่ากลุ่มของเขาล็อคการเดิมพันไว้ที่ +750 ซึ่งส่งผลให้มีการจ่ายเงินที่มีศักยภาพสูงอย่างไรก็ตาม Bovada ซึ่งเป็นเว็บไซต์การพนันในตลาดสีเทาที่ให้บริการแก่หลายรัฐในสหรัฐอเมริกาได้เรียนรู้อย่างรวดเร็วเกี่ยวกับการรับเข้าของ Andrade ก่อนหน้านี้ไซต์ได้รับทราบถึง “กิจกรรมที่น่าสงสัย” ในกลุ่มอุปกรณ์เสริมซึ่งอาจเป็นการเดิมพันที่มากเกินไปที่ 50,000 ดอลลาร์ ด้วยเหตุนี้ Bovada ได้ประกาศแล้วว่าจะคืนเงินเดิมพันจากผู้เดิมพันที่“ ไม่” ทั้งหมดในขณะที่ตรวจสอบความถูกต้องของการเดิมพัน“ ใช่” ทั้งหมดที่ทำก่อนที่จะจัดอันดับอย่างเป็นทางการ ตอนนี้น่าจะไม่โฆษณา Bovada เลยแม้ว่าไซต์จะเต็มใจที่จะรับผลกระทบทางการเงินในระดับปานกลาง สายงานของ Bovada ปรากฏอย่างเด่นชัดในโลกแห่งการพนันกีฬาในสหรัฐอเมริกาในรายการและสิ่งพิมพ์สดและออนไลน์ดังนั้นไซต์จึงยังคงอยู่ภายใต้แรงกดดันอย่างมากจากตลาดที่ได้รับอนุญาตและมีการควบคุมในการเติบโตในสหรัฐอเมริกา อย่างน้อยที่สุดเหตุการณ์นี้มีแนวโน้มที่จะทำให้ Bovada พิจารณาอีกครั้งโดยเสนอการเดิมพันอุปกรณ์เสริมในลักษณะนี้ผู้ที่มีศักยภาพในการขัดขวางการแข่งขันกีฬาขนาดใหญ่ “ ผู้เล่นของเราให้ความไว้วางใจเราเสมอมาเพื่อรับรองความสมบูรณ์ของอุปกรณ์เสริมทั้งหมดที่มีให้ในเจ้ามือรับแทงของเรา” Bovada กล่าว “เราจะดำเนินต่อไปเพื่อให้แน่ใจว่าการแสดงความสามารถในการประชาสัมพันธ์หรือพฤติกรรมที่เป็นอันตรายใด ๆ จะไม่เป็นอันตรายต่อผลการเดิมพันของผู้เล่น” นี่ไม่ใช่ครั้งแรกที่สตรีทปรากฏในเรื่องราวเกมออนไลน์ เกือบ 20 ปีที่แล้วเว็บไซต์คาสิโนออนไลน์ GoldenPalace.com เผยแพร่โดยการลงทุนในกิจกรรมแปลก ๆ ทุกประเภทรวมถึงการสนับสนุนกวางมูสของเหยือกแบบอนุกรม Mark Roberts ในงานต่างๆเช่น Super Bowl XXXVIII ในปี 2004 Roberts เล่นรอยสักชั่วคราว GoldenPalace.com ขณะช็อปปิ้ง . ซึ่งเป็นเพียงส่วนเล็ก ๆ ของแคมเปญการตลาดแบบกองโจรที่แปลกประหลาดของไซต์ คุณชอบบทความนี้หรือไม่? ทวีต +0
This article was written by blackrain79.com contributor Fran Ferlan.
Playing the river optimally is what makes or breaks your winrate.
It’s the biggest money street and you often have to make a decision for your
whole stack. The amount of money in the pot by the river often paralyzes
players, because they are overly focused on the pot size, which affects their
decision making process.
So what should you do versus a big river bet? Well, when you ask a broad
question, you tend to get a broad answer, so here it is: it depends.
There’s a lot of factors to consider here: your opponent type, previous
action, board runout, pot odds, your relative hand strength, just to name a
Not a huge help, so let’s try to break it down in this article.
1. Try to Bluff Catch Versus Loose and Aggressive Players
Let’s start with the type of player we are up against. Most players will
primarily bet for value when they fire off a big river bet, especially at the
The only exception would be loose and aggressive players. This is true for
both regulars and aggrofish. You can generally call wider against aggrofish
than you would against LAG regulars. The looser and more aggressive the
player, the wider you should call them down.
This is an advanced poker strategy that works extremely well in today’s small stakes games. BlackRain79 discusses it in more detail in this video:
So in practice, this means that sometimes you should call them down with hands
you wouldn’t be comfortable calling with otherwise, like top pair weak kicker,
second pair, two pair on a wet board and such.
It’s important to trust your judgment in these situations, otherwise you’re
better off folding earlier if you suspect you’re going to get barrelled and
pushed out of the pot.
However, just because someone is loose and aggressive, doesn’t mean they will
have only bluffs in their range, especially on the river.
The board runout is an important factor when deciding how wide you should
call. Generally speaking, the drier the board, the wider you can bluff
Because your opponent sees the same community cards you see, and if they bet
huge on the river, they’re basically saying that the board doesn’t scare them
and they don’t care what you are holding.
On the other hand, if the river bricks (i.e. a river card doesn’t change
anything significantly, because it fails to complete any straight or flush
draws, for example), your more observant opponents might put you on a busted
draw and try to bluff you out of the pot.
They can also have a busted draw of their own, as decently winning LAGs know
the power of semibluffing on earlier streets, and know a large majority of
their opponents won’t have the heart to call down their triple barrel without
a monster hand.
In this situation, you should look for an opportunity to bluff catch with your
top pair or second pair, for example. Bear in mind that this isn’t something
you should try to do often, as these kinds of situations are more of an
exception than the rule, but who doesn’t love a good hero call from time to
If you’re able to pick off a huge pot with a mediocre hand, it can do wonders
to your bottom line, as most players wouldn’t have the nerve to pull it
It will also make it more difficult to play against you, because you’ll show
that you are able to call down in less than ideal circumstances, and won’t be
Just a disclaimer:
Know that it’s a high-risk, high reward play, and should be attempted only in
specific circumstances, against specific opponents, on specific boards and
against specific previous action.
You should base it on sound information and tells you’ve picked up on, not
just the feeling that this guy is bluffing, I’m gonna call him down with my
Big River Bet Example Hand #1
Effective stack size: 100BB.
You are dealt A♦8♦ in the BB.
A LAG reg open-raises to 3x from the BU.
SB folds, you call.
You check. Villain bets 3BB. You call.
You check. Villain bets 6BB. You call.
You check. Villain bets 16BB.
You should call.
This is a great spot to bluff catch based on our opponent type, previous
action, and the board runout. Let’s break it down.
A loose and aggressive reg open raises from the button. We assume their range
is very wide here, probably close to 50% of all hands. We have a decent
speculative hand. We can even opt to 3-bet light from time to time, but we
decide to flat call.
We flop a gutshot straight draw, and we expect the villain to fire off a c-bet
with pretty much a 100% of their range, which he does.
The turn doesn’t change much for us, except it puts a possible flush draw on
the board. The villain double barrels, but since not much has changed for us
from flop to turn, and are getting about 3:1 odds on a call, we decide to
The river doesn’t complete our gutshot, but we do end up improving to a top
pair. Is it good enough for a call? Let’s look at it from the villain’s
We didn’t give him any reason to assume we are holding an Ace. In fact, we
checked three times, so if they had to put us on a range, they would assume we
have a Tx hand, a busted straight or a flush draw.
Conveniently, that’s a part of their perceived range as well. The river comes
with a scare card, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they tried to buy the pot
Are we going to be good a hundred percent of the time? Of course not, but we
don’t need to be. This is something that BlackRain79 talks about in Modern Small Stakes.
They have a significant amount of bluffs in their range for our call to be
+EV, considering their player type, their open-raising position, our passive
lines, non-coordinated board and so on.
When we take all of that into consideration, we can infer that we can call
As for the aggrofish, aka complete maniacs, you can widen your river calling
ranges considerably. It is also a high risk, high reward play, but these
players are the only ones that will have a significant amount of bluffs on the
Because their ranges are already extremely wide on previous streets, so it’s
fair to assume they will get to the river with all kinds of busted draws,
Ace-high hands, fourth pair etc.
While their aggression can certainly be profitable in the short term, as even
they can occasionally catch a monster hand, they will be the most significant
long term losers.
You can’t outrun math. So when playing against them, you should be making more
hero calls than you would usually be inclined.
Be aware that their maniacal ways are usually short-lived, so you should try
to get them to donate their stacks to you before the next guy.
And you usually won’t have the luxury of waiting around for the monster hand
to try and trap them.
So next time you find yourself facing a huge river bet against them, go with
your gut, take a deep breath and call them down. Your winrate will thank you
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2. Look for Possible Completed Draws
As far as all the other player types are concerned, like fish who aren’t of
the aggro persuasion (which is most of them) and TAGs, you should be very
careful when calling big river bets. This is especially the case if they donk
bet big into you. (A donk bet is a bet made against the previous streets’
Look for possible completed draws and ask yourself if their previous action
makes sense that way. If the answer is yes, your overpair or top two pair
probably isn’t good enough anymore.
Think of it this way: would you bet big out of position on the river against
someone’s previous incessant aggression without a really strong hand? You
probably wouldn’t. And neither would the majority of the player pool at the
Big River Bet Example Hand #2
Effective stack size: 100BB.
You are dealt A♠Q♠ on the BU.
You open-raise to 3x.
SB folds, a loose passive fish calls in the BB.
Fish checks. You bet 5BB. Fish calls.
Fish checks. You bet 16.5BB. Fish calls.
Fish bets 40BB.
You should fold.
Let’s break down the action street by street.
There’s not much to say about preflop. We’re dealt a great hand on the button,
and we can assume the recreational player will call us down pretty wide in the
We flop top two pair and should start building the pot as soon as possible. We
expect to get called by a bunch of Ax hands, gutshot straight draws, flush
draws, you name it.
The turn doesn’t change much, but it does add a couple of gutshot draws if our
opponent called the flop with hands like JT, J9, or T9, for example.
We’re still miles ahead of villain’s range, so we decide to charge them a
premium for their drawing hands. We can even consider overbettting, but we go
for a pot sized bet.
And we get one of the worst river cards possible. The fish fires off a huge
donk bet. There is nothing left for us to do but bemoan our luck and fold
The Jack on the river completes a number of straight draws and a flush draw.
If we go back to preflop, we should expect this particular opponent to have
practically all suited junk in their range.
Fish love chasing draws, and they love playing suited junk. Nevermind the fact
that the chances of flopping a flush are only 0.8%.
Now, we could argue that it’s a fish, they don’t know what they’re doing, they
could be bluffing. Or they could have any number of two pair hands we’re ahead
of. Fair enough.
But if they did have a two pair hand, for example, wouldn’t they go for a
check-call option, considering such a scary board?
Even fish can see three diamonds on a board. And yes, they could be bluffing,
but there is nothing in their previous history that would suggest that.
You should always be on the lookout for disrupting patterns when playing
If an otherwise weak and timid opponent suddenly starts blasting off big bets,
they didn’t just randomly decide to mix it up a little. They are politely
letting you know they have the nuts.
As a rule of thumb in poker in general, calling should be the last option you
consider. As the old adage goes, if your hand is good enough for a call, it’s
good enough for a raise.
3. Check Your HUD Stats to Make an Informed Decision
But how do you know what type of player you’re up against? Well, the most
accurate way would be to check their VPIP (voluntarily put money in pot), PFR
(preflop raise) and AF (aggression factor) in your poker tracking software HUD.These are statistics which are placed right on your online poker table, beside each of your opponents, which tell you what type of player you are up against. This is highly useful information to have especially in the fast paced, multi-tabling, world of online poker.
These three poker HUD stats alone can give you a pretty good idea of the type of player you’re
facing, and only after a hundred hands or so. Of course, the bigger the sample
size, the better, but you can draw some general conclusions pretty
However, as we all know, most hands don’t get to showdown, and while we can
make some wide generalizations about some player types, it’s better to have
more info than less. If you are using a HUD, you might want to consider adding
stats like WWSF, WTSD, and W$SD to accurately assess your opponent’s postflop
By the way, if you aren’t using a poker HUD yet, BlackRain79 shows you how to set up your HUD in less than 5 minutes in this video:
So, WWSF stands for Won When Saw Flop, and is a percentage of times a player won
the pot after seeing the flop. The lower the WWSF, the weaker the player,
meaning they play aggressively with very strong hands only, and conversely,
the higher the WWSF, the more they bluff and fight for the pot post flop.
Here is a rough estimation of the spectrum.Use These Specific HUD Stats to Make Optimal Decisions Versus a Big River Bet
If their WWSF is less than 42%, they are weak and give up too much post flop. They don’t bluff enough, and if they give you action, especially on the big
money streets (turn and river) they have a very strong hand.
WWSF between 42% and 52% is the average. Of course, the higher the number, the
more often they bluff.
If their WWSF is bigger than 52%, they bluff way too often. You can call them
down widely and use their aggression against them.
WTSD stands for Went to Showdown, and shows the % of times a player, well,
went to showdown.
A player with a WTSD below 20% is an extreme nit, and goes to showdown with
very strong hands only.
A WTSD between about 24% and 27% is the norm for most winning players. Players with a WTSD above 30% are huge calling stations, and you should value
bet them relentlessly.
W$SD or Won Money at Showdown (or WSD) indicates the % of times a player won
the pot after the showdown. It’s inversely proportional to the WTSD, i.e. a
player with a low WTSD will have a big W$SD because they only see the showdown
with very strong hands, and huge calling stations will have a low W$SD because
they call down with a bunch of garbage hands.
Nitty players will have a W$SD of about 60% or more, fishy players about 40%
or less. Solid winning players will therefore be right in the middle with
One very important caveat, these stats require a huge sample size in order to
You will need 500 hands at the bare minimum to make any informed assumptions.
1000 hands is a decent sample size, but they get really accurate only after
5000 hands or so.
Needless to say, the more they tend towards the extremes of the spectrum, the
less hands you need to be sure, and the more you can exploit them by either
overbluffing or betting for value, depending on which side they fall.
If you want to learn much more about all these HUD stats make sure you check out BlackRain79’s popular optimal HUD setup guide.
In order to play the river effectively, you need to take into account a number
of factors, including, but not limited to: the pot odds, your relative hand
strength, board runout, type of opponent you’re up against, previous action
and so on.
You basically have to apply all of your theoretical knowledge at the same
time. While it may seem daunting at first, the more you practice, the more
automatic the process will become, and after a while you’ll be able to put
your opponents on correct ranges, maybe even zero in on their exact hand.
It will certainly take a great deal of practice, because as we know, most
hands don’t even get to showdown, and river spots are so rare and unique that
it’s hard to even try to answer what to do in these spots in a single article.
However, there are some general guidelines you should adhere to:
First of all, big river bets usually indicate a strong made hand, especially
at the micros. Most players will bet for value, and aren’t really inclined to
risk a significant portion of their stack without something to back it up.
The only exception would be loose and aggressive players, and maybe some solid
tight and aggressive players who know what they’re doing, and know that a well
timed aggression can go a long way.
But again, these are quite rare at the micros.
So against LAGs, you should try to bluff catch from time to time if you
believe they have a significant amount of bluffs in their range.
Just bear in mind that it’s a high variance play, so be prepared to take it in
stride when they actually had the nuts all along.
Against aggrofish (aka maniac fish) you should widen your river calling ranges
significantly, and be prepared to call them down with less than ideal
Don’t wait around for a monster hand, because these don’t come along as often,
and try to take their stack before the next guy.
Lastly, if an otherwise weak and timid player starts making huge bets, your
top pair hand probably isn’t good enough anymore.
Look for completed draws and assume they have it. Make a disciplined laydown
and live to fight another day.
One bonus tip, be sure to practice hand history review off the felt. Filter
for the hands that went to showdown, and try to narrow your opponent’s range
street by street.
Talk to yourself out loud and tell yourself all the information you have. This
will sharpen your decision-making skills in-game, and you’ll be able to
accurately assess your opponent’s ranges in no time.
You’ll be able to read souls, make all kinds of huge laydowns and hero calls
like a pro. Just remember, practice makes perfect.
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