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.
Being a professional poker player is a daring as well as exciting decision. If you’re successful at the game and want to quit your day job to become a poker pro, it’s an enticing opportunity. However, be warned: Poker strategies and rules are difficult to work, that isn’t for everyone. If you consider taking a risk to become a professional poker player, you should please ensure that it is an educated choice.
Here are some pros of becoming a professional poker player that might encourage you to take the next step!
Professionally Pursuing What You Love
One of the most prevalent desires in the world is to do something that you love professionally. For anyone in the poker community saying that there’s profit in this, they’re certainly not doing it only for the money. They love the game and have passion for it. For those who don’t have that, must understand that it is a skill game and requires practice to get better. This is what encourages them to put in the research time required to excel and achieve success through the downtrends.
Also Read: Advantages of Becoming a Professional at Poker
Self Determination And Versatility
Poker players set their own schedules which is a great thing for any professional in any field of work or sport. To stave off poker exhaustion and keep you going, getting this independence will go a long time away. Also, you’ll only be accessible to yourself. Versatility is something that is quite limited in a number of professions nowadays and there’s nothing quite like poker tournaments when it comes to versatility. That’s not to suggest, of course, that it’ll be straightforward. The assumption is that when you do so, no-one will be blowing down your neck.
Earning Big Money
There is still a lot of profit to be gained by playing online poker if you can achieve a high level of experience. In terms of rake and playing rewards, there have been a few improvements in the market in recent years that have limited online poker’s profitability, but it is still possible to obtain a decent income playing poker game. Getting in and getting out of micro stakes is one of the greatest obstacles facing emerging online pros these days. In present-day games, the high rake and low rakeback eat away at the winnings of a micro stakes player, making it difficult for them to achieve a good score overall.
On the other hand, live poker has been and is likely still a highly lucrative enterprise for professional players. The live player average is much lower than the online player estimate. This may be because, in casinos, live poker is practiced and thus encourages individuals who play poker to bargain instead of because they are successful at it. Or it could be because of live poker’s social aspect. It’s a mix of both, perhaps.
For more interesting articles about poker or poker news, keep reading PokerShots!
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.
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)!
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For more information about the latest poker promotions and poker news, keep reading PokerShots!
After New York Governor Andrew Cuomo finally admitted in December that expediting sports gambling activity in the Empire State would be a good thing, those who have been supporting the idea for the past couple of years found renewed hope in achieving their goal. Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow have been trying to get the state to speed up its rollout of sports gambling, but Cuomo repeatedly made it difficult. Now, facing a massive budget pothole, Cuomo has opened his eyes to reality and Pretlow is optimistic that the governor’s change of heart is going to help New York see sports gambling appear before the end of the year. Cuomo, who has repeatedly come under fire for decisions that didn’t seem to be in the best interest of New Yorkers, was adamant that introducing more sportsbooks would be counterproductive and that online sports gambling, in particular, would require an amendment to the state’s constitution. However, he has completely changed his tune lately as he stares down at a multibillion-dollar budget shortage. Sports gambling and marijuana are seen as a way to offset those losses, and Addabbo is thankful. He recently told Casino.org, “I remain optimistic that should it be in the budget April 1st, with a little initiative, our state government can get it up and running by Sept. 9th, which is the first day of the NFL football season.”New York has missed the boat when it comes to the potential revenue sports gambling could bring. The state has four sportsbooks, all upstate, that combined for $3.6 million in revenue this past January. Indiana, in the same month, saw $29.3 million in sports gambling revenue, and the state is only about one-third the size of New York in terms of population. At any time since legislation was approved in New York to allow sports gambling, the state could have expanded the number of approved operators, which would have gone a long way to combatting the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, New York hasn’t reached the point yet of being completely unstable. Addabbo believes, with the right mechanics, the state can get back on track, but adds, “We’re that car in the right lane with four wobbly wheels, and we’re limping along. And these other fast cars like (New) Jersey and Pennsylvania are whizzing by us. That’s an odd spot for New York to be in.”Based on the senator’s proposal, which is still deep in negotiations, New York sportsbooks would pay 10% in taxes. Previous studies have shown that the local market could be worth as much as $1 billion a year, which would result in $100 million a year in tax revenue for New York. That alone should be enough for lawmakers to take the issue more seriously, especially considering New Yorkers are already heading across borders to place their bets. Addabbo knows that there’s still work to be done, though, and asserted to Casino.org, “I think that’s all part of the budget negotiations. How many skins and the license fee and the tax rate that is all part and parcel of the budget negotiations. It’s all part of the discussions that we’re going to have, and that’s where we’ll have to come to some agreement.”
If you enjoy poker, making a living from playing this game seems like living the dream.
Do something you love, and it will never feel like work.
But, before you go all in, you should be aware of all of the pros and cons that come with playing poker for a living.
If you’re considering getting more serious about your potential poker career, here are some of the most prominent advantages and disadvantages that come with being a professional poker player.
The Advantages of Playing Poker for a Living
You Own Your Own Time
If you’re playing poker for a living, you’re effectively choosing your work hours. Being your own boss, especially in a career path such as this, means that you’re entirely free to tailor your own time and make the best of every day.
The hassle of working night shifts or waking up early every morning to drive to work won’t be a problem if you gown down this road.
Your “offices” are the online poker tables and live poker tournaments you choose to participate in.
Just keep in mind that you must maintain great discipline in such a job, as not to lose yourself in the flexibility and freedom of your own time.
No Salary Ceiling
The biggest reason most poker players want to go professional is the unlimited profit available for those who dare to claim it.
Although money shouldn’t be your primary motivator, it’s hard not to think about the multi-million prizes at the biggest poker tournaments in the world.
Even if you are just starting out playing online on real money poker sites, there are still countless options with prizes significantly more extensive than what most working people can earn in their day jobs.
Plus, the best part about this is that there’s no salary ceiling on how much you can bring home each month.
Living and Traveling Anywhere in the World
Another great advantage of playing poker for a living is that you can experience the feeling of always being on vacation while traveling for work and making money in the process.
If you plan on becoming a full-time poker player, you can look forward to frequently traveling to some of the biggest and most exciting cities in the world.
From Las Vegas and London to Barcelona and Monaco, you make your own schedule as packed or free as you wish.
Moreover, as a professional poker player, you have unlimited freedom in choosing a location where you want to settle down.
If you want to make your home in a sunny and warm place, you can select a popular poker destination such as the Caribbean.
This will allow you to enjoy endless summers while still being very close to some of the most popular and rewarding poker tournaments.
The Disadvantages of Playing Poker for a Living
No Guaranteed Income
The most significant benefit of a day job is that you know exactly how much money you’re earning every month.
When you switch up your day job for a professional poker career, this safety net disappears.
While it’s true that you’ll be able to win massive amounts of money potentially, there’s no telling when or even if this will come.
Instability of income is a typical tradeoff in many careers that offer a higher profit ceiling.
If you like playing it safe and can’t risk running a negative balance for a few weeks or months, pursuing a career in Texas Hold’em probably isn’t the best way to go.
That said, if you’re ready to accept the swings and have the mindset to handle the pressure of unstable earnings, you can turn this disadvantage into your advantage.
The Road to Success Can be Arduous
Watching Daniel Negreanu toy with his opponents makes it seem almost effortless. But, most of us forget that we’re watching the end result of years of studying the game and the psychology of their competitors.
All professional poker players have experienced great highs and lows throughout their long journey.
Don’t go into it thinking that it’s going a smooth ride all of the time. Confidence is a must-have, but you should continuously work on your skills to back this up.
Of course, some players have achieved great success in their first few years of playing the game, but these are outliers.
If you’re aiming to make poker your lifetime career, you need to arm yourself with patience and always remember that you’re in it for the long run, and variance will catch up with you eventually.
Stable Budget Needed to Start
Although poker offers you the opportunity to win a lot of money, you also need to have adequate starting capital before you even consider devoting all of your attention to the game.
The lack of money is one of the more significant reasons why most players don’t commit to playing poker professionally.
For many players, it can take years before they can get to a consistent level of winning in poker. If you don’t have the capital to start or a stable day job to cover your poker losses, you can quickly grow tired of the stress and grind.
It’s crucial to remember that success isn’t guaranteed and that you should never risk the money you can’t afford to lose. Learning good bankroll management is a must!
Are you Ready to Become a Professional Poker Player?
The hard truth is that not everyone is cut out to be a world-class poker player. But, with enough patience and work, you can make a great living from playing poker.
This is because, ultimately, the pros heavily outweigh the cons, and most players who truly commit to studying and learning the game can succeed in it.
If you’re passionate about poker and ready to put your energy into it, nothing is stopping you from making a career out of it.
To get some help on your path, check out the best poker training sites out there, as you’ll find plenty of great resources here.
คาสิโนเก้าแห่งในโอคลาโฮมากำลังจะปิดให้บริการเป็นเวลาสองสามวันเพื่อช่วยอนุรักษ์พลังงานทั่วทั้งรัฐเนื่องจากสภาพฤดูหนาวที่รุนแรงส่งผลกระทบต่อระบบไฟฟ้า น้ำแข็งขนาดใหญ่และพายุหิมะพัดถล่มรัฐเท็กซัสและโอคลาโฮมาสองรัฐที่ไม่สามารถรับมือได้ สิ่งนี้ทำให้รัฐส่วนใหญ่ต้องเพิ่มระบบทำความร้อนทำให้การจ่ายพลังงานในทั้งสองสถานะตึงเครียด ชนเผ่าเชอโรกีประกาศก่อนหน้านี้ในวันนี้ว่าจะปิดสถานที่ให้บริการทั้งเก้าแห่งรวมถึงฮาร์ดร็อคคาสิโนในทัลซาเวลา 17.00 น. และจะปิดจนถึง 13.00 น. วันพุธตามรายงานจาก บริษัท ในเครือของฟ็อกซ์ วันเปิดใหม่อาจถูกเลื่อนออกไปหากสภาพอากาศไม่เปลี่ยนแปลง Southwest Power Pool ซึ่งจ่ายพลังงานให้กับโอคลาโฮมาเท็กซัสอาร์คันซอแคนซัสนิวเม็กซิโกหลุยเซียน่ามิสซูรีเซาท์ดาโคตานอร์ทดาโคตามอนทาน่ามินนิโซตาไอโอวาไวโอมิงและเนแบรสกากล่าวว่าพลังงานเหลือน้อยในวันจันทร์ บาร์ตแฮนสันโปรโป๊กเกอร์ซึ่งเพิ่งย้ายไปออสตินได้ทวีตวิดีโอเมื่อวันอาทิตย์ที่แสดงให้เห็นว่าพายุฤดูหนาวรุนแรงเพียงใด วิดีโอแสดงให้เห็นรถคันหนึ่งเคลื่อนตัวออกจากการควบคุมอย่างช้าๆบนถนนในละแวกใกล้เคียงและชนเข้ากับรถคันอื่น ๆ ระหว่างทาง เรื่องบ้าๆกำลังเกิดขึ้นที่นี่ในออสติน ฉันไม่ได้บันทึกสิ่งนี้ แต่อยู่ห่างออกไปไม่กี่ช่วงตึก .. pic.twitter.com/ebbetkKYAZ— Bart Hanson (@BartHanson) 15 กุมภาพันธ์ 2021
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.