Business China Macau Macau Bubble stocks

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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Uncategorized

GGPoker Adds More Variety to No-Strings-Attached “Daily Freebie” Promotion

Verified players can continue to play a real-money game, such as Flip & Go and Spin & Gold, for free each and every day.One of the most popular promotions for low stakes players on GGPoker has been further expanded.

During the software update on February 10, the Daily Free Spin promotion changed to Daily Freebie. Furthermore, UK players can now also claim the daily gift for a chance to boost their bankrolls.

All players, both existing and new, just need to have verified accounts and log in each day to claim their gift, which lets plays play real money tournaments—and compete for real money cash prizes.

The update has expanded what is given away. Now, there are Daily Freebie tickets for Flip & Go, the super-successful new format introduced in January 2021. It has also undergone some changes since its launch, with GGPoker increasing the frequency and adjusting the buy-ins as well as the maximum number of stacks for purchase.

“GGPoker is happy to confirm that we’ve relaunched our Daily Free Spin offer as the Daily Freebie; verified players can continue to play a real-money game, such as Flip & Go and Spin & Gold, for free each and every day. All they need to do is log in and claim their daily reward!” said Paul Burke, Head of Public Relations at GGPoker.

“We hope to continue to change up the rewards on offer in the future, giving all players the opportunity to try out GGPoker’s most exciting games, no matter their bankroll.”

For existing players, Daily Freebie is available immediately—just log in and claim.

If you haven’t yet signed up, you can do so today and enjoy the promotion as soon as you have verified your account. You can also take advantage of all of GGPoker’s generous welcome bonuses.

How the GGPoker Daily Freebie Promotion Works

The operator has seen unprecedented growth in 2020 to become one of the leading online poker platforms for tournaments and cash games. GGPoker has achieved that with a plethora of promotions, innovations, and high-profile partnerships. Their continued success has led to a record $7.5 million in promotions given away in February 2021.

One of several promotions for players with smaller bankrolls is the Daily Freebie formerly the Daily Free Spin.

This was launched on September 7, 2020. It has given verified players the opportunity to claim one $0.25 Spin & Gold ticket every day ever since. The free ticket courtesy of GGPoker continues to be available under the new name three times per week—*but this rotates with other ticket types.*

Players can see the next six upcoming Daily Freebies listed under the “My Promo” tab. A new daily gift becomes available after each daily reset at midnight Pacific time. Each ticket will continue to feature an expiration date of 24 hours once the Daily Freebie has been awarded.

The current rotation of Daily Freebie is fixed for the time being. However, GGPoker hopes “to change the daily prizes on a semi-regular basis,” according to Burke. He also hinted at a strong possibility that the Daily Freebie will include the alternative currencies C$ or T$ sometime soon.

Newly included as a prize in the Daily Freebie is a $1 Spin & Gold ticket, which can be claimed once per week. Furthermore, five $0.05 Flip & Go tickets are up for grabs three times per week, giving players the chance at trying the new tournament format free of charge.

As a mixture between a Flipout and regular tournament, Flip & Go was launched on January 12, 2021. However, it only took a few days for the first tweaks to be made. Initially slated to take place once every hour, it was soon increased to once every 30 minutes.

The buy-ins were also adjusted and the lowest available stake was increased to $0.05 with a guarantee of $50. Players can now take a shot at their own leisure three times per week and enter this lowest tier with five stacks thanks to the Daily Freebie.

Upon launch, the Flip & Go featured a maximum of 10 entries for each of the four stakes. However, that number has been adjusted recently and the stacks for purchase are now capped at a maximum of eight. This makes the bonus stacks based on the holdings during the Flipout stage more valuable in comparison.

The overall feedback for the new tournament format has been very positive, as outlined by Burke.

“Players love it! We have been very pleasantly surprised by the positivity seen across almost all feedback, of course not all players are interested in a new game type but those who have tried it have mostly good things to say about Flip & Go. We’ve also received some constructive criticism, which is also valuable.”

Further tweaks to the Flip & Go format may very well possible, as GGPoker is constantly reviewing and optimizing its schedule. One such adjustment was made with the expansion of the popular Daily GGMasters earlier in February.

The changes to the Daily Freebie promotion went live on February 10. All verified GGPoker players in eligible countries can claim their daily gift under the “My Promo” tab after each daily reset.

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Intertops at WSOP Milli Maker!


I can’t believe how fast the time has gone by! Last year was my first World Series of Poker and it seems like just yesterday!Now, My second World series of Poker is halfway through and another year is almost already in the books! Time sure does fly! Going through these blog posts and thinking about my time last year, the good and the bad, sure was an exciting ride! I didn’t have anywhere near the schedule I attempted last year, but that didn’t mean I was going to miss out on the action! Things were just as exciting this year, but from a different perspective for me at least! Intertops had a great idea to send out two online qualifiers out for their chance at glory! After all who doesn’t want a WSOP bracelet and a million dollars!! The two qualifiers won their seats to the Milli Maker through a $100 buy-in satellite on Intertops online poker site. A pretty good deal considering its a $3500 package and the fields were only about 20 players deep! The deal was to set everyone up at the Rio for a 6 nights stay, so we could make the process run smoother and give the players the full experience of the amazingly fun CHAOS that is the WSOP! lol It also included the $1500 buy-in to the Milli Maker and $500 travel expenses. We also may have had a few nights of cocktails and food thrown on the Intertops tab as well.,,,maybe ???? but I’m not admitting anything! lolI met up with the two qualifiers, Barney from West Virginia and Balazs from Hungary for a drink a day before the tournament. They were both excited for Vegas, but it wasn’t their first time out here. Barney had been several times and Balazs once before. It was,however, their first WSOP tournament! Barney thought he had a rough flight, coming all the way from the other side of the country, until Balazs told us it had taken him over 18 hours just to get to LAX and then took a bus ride the rest of the way to Vegas!! While the scenery was probably pretty cool to see, we still had to give him credit for tackling the long journey! It was cool to hear their stories and as usual I told them plenty of my own. lol I kinda have a tendency to ramble on after a “Jack and Coke” lol We had some laughs and talked some strategy and I was happy to get to know them both! I was glad to learn they both weren’t really interested in the craziness of Vegas, they were focused on the Milli Maker and couldn’t wait to get to the tables! So we made our way to the cage for their tickets and their shot at the guaranteed one MILLION dollar first place prize!The World Series of Poker never learns their lesson apparently and again have most of the big tourneys starting at 10 am! So we had an early start the next day! Luckily the guys both came in a day early to help with the jet lag and try to get use to it before the big day. I doubt either player was real concerned about the lack of sleep and more concerned about the nerves of excitement as they sat down to play.The room was packed full of players and you could literally feel the excitement in the air! While it is chaotic many times at the WSOP, there really isn’t another poker experience like it. It’s truly amazing and if you haven’t ever at least gone to witness it, you really need to. I was pumped to sweat the action of these two guys ! They both handled themselves well midst all the madness and after few orbits, they had settled in nicely. We all had a quick chat on break about just enjoying the experience they both seemed to start not only getting comfortable but crushing their tables! Balazs had started to chip up quite a bit, but Barney was the one on a HEATER! He had a massive pot shipped his way, in i believe level 3, that turned out to be the boost he needed to catapult him to a deep run! I know he’s going to explain it better in an upcoming interview with Rikard from PokerTube, but from what he told me, it went something like this…He had Ace Jack of Spades in the big blind and a super loose aggressive player (coincidentally from my home casino lol) opened from mid position and got a one caller. Barney decided to just flat and see a flop. The flop came 9 high with two spades, a pretty awesome spot for Barney, but he decided to check and let the loose aggressive raiser hang himself, but to his surprise he checked and the caller, who was pretty short stacked, moved all in! Barney had the nut flush draw and two overs, so he called, only to have the original pre-flop loose aggro player check-shove ALL IN! Barney went into the tank, the loose guy had him covered , so this was for his tournament life!! He told me later he thought back to our talk about just enjoying himself and said “screw it”, making the call and taking the gamble! I can’t say I blame him for calling off, knowing the player that made the shove to be very wild and spazzy. He turns over his AJ spades to hear the “good call” from the loose player while he shows K10 of spades for the second nut flush draw and two overs. Well the spades missed the turn and river, but a Jack hit and was enough to seal the deal and ship HEAPS to our man, pushing him to over 3 x average stack in level 3!!! Woohooo!I’ll leave you hanging on that high note and in suspense! lol I’ll finish up with part two this weekend and hopefully figure out how to add some cool videos on here by then! We had some great moments and really wanna share those highlights! Be sure to check back for them soon and check out all the current events for Intertops here! Or if you want to ask me directly, come stop into our new YouTube channel and see my new Live Stream on there! Say hello, give us a like and see what we have planned for some cool upcoming projects!Run Good!Tim

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problemgambling

My Confession: Male, Age 21 (AUSTRALIA)


Let me give you some valuable background info first: I live at home with my Dad & my girlfriend (she’s between houses). They’re both my best friends. I am currently going through a chronic pain type disorder that appeared in both wrists & forearms since July 2020. In & out of appointments/checks every fortnight. I am unable to do much in my day, it hurts to do normal things in my day – so I am unable to work or study anymore. Painkillers are not helping. Thursday was the day, the day I basically lost my entire life savings. Since then, I’ve been using every single dollar I can get my hands on to recover this loss & I’m sure you know where I’m at now. $8 in debt & unemployed with no income. But how did I get here? I got caught gambling when I was 17/18, lost all my money then too but it was less than $1000 (my Dad was the only one who knew). Since then, I vowed to never gamble again & I didn’t until 2 weeks ago. My Dad & I were watching the cricket & he placed a $100 multi (he rarely gambles) & won $450. We both thought this was great so I put in $50 myself for the next game. I ended up losing $25 & won it back in the darts later on. I then decided to move on & not do any more as my girlfriend of 2 years (the one I’ll marry) did not approve of me gambling again. So I stopped – until my Dad persuaded me to lie & just gamble anyway behind her back. It was innocent losses, $5-$10 here & there for the next 2 weeks. It wasn’t until last week, the day after my girlfriend’s birthday, that everything went downhill. She had to work Wed & Thu which left me to be alone for 2 days. I was very down in the dumps & just felt like I had all this money & didn’t use it (which is the stupidest thing ever, I know). So I started gambling on the races. With high $1000 bets & spent hours & hours, got up $10k then back down to $5k before I bet my whole bank to get back where I started at $15k. I stopped, went in my room & realised what I did, I almost lost my ENTIRE bank. Did I stop there? Nope, you guessed it. Eventually, one thing led to another & now I’m $15k down & $9 in debt. I confessed everything to my girlfriend & Dad on Thursday. Which they were both very supportive. I had $2000 in my bank then & said I’d stop. But I didn’t, Iost $1500 yesterday & $500 today. So yes in $9 debt. Although I do not have an addiction (oddly enough I studied psychology for 2 years before this chronic pain stopped me), I have definitely fallen into the trap of gambling once again & I only risked losing my last $2000 to not win the money back, but rather I looked at it as an outlet to make money so I can provide my girlfriend & I with a future. But this was such a bad mindset to approach everything. $9 in debt. I am stopping here. I vow to, right here, right now. I have not told my girlfriend or Dad about the last $2000, but I think I will hang onto this one for now as I can make that back in selling some of my collectables that have been collecting profit over the years. So thank god for that at least. Additionally, I may receive a pension for my condition so if that’s approved, must lock my money away. I had to get all this out & it has put me in an awful lot of PHYSICAL pain to even write this due to my chronic pain condition. I don’t expect anyone to read this all as this is rather for me. Thank you. C. submitted by /u/codesfrost [comments]

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Guest Posts

Blueberries: Feed your brain

By Ken Adams:
How do you prepare for playing in the WSOP Main Event?  Everyone has their own ideas about what you can do to increase your chances of making a deep run.  If you think you can’t learn anything useful by studying Jamie Gold’s successful championship run in 2006, you are mistaken.   Whatever your opinion of Jamie’s poker skills, you would do well to copy his habit of snacking on blueberries throughout the long tournament days.
Your brain requires an enormous amount of energy.  And the fuel it consumes is glucose.  When it gets low on glucose, mental fatigue sets in.  When that happens, the speed and accuracy of your decision-making decreases.  So does your patience and self-control.
If you want to see some amazing proof of how mental fatigue reduces self discipline and decision-making ability, check out “Will Power; Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength” by Roy Baumeister, a research psychologist.  The book describes dozens of research projects like the classic marshmallow test, first done 50 years ago at Stanford University.  A child was seated at a table.  A marshmallow was placed on the table.  The child was told (s)he could eat the marshmallow any time (s)he wanted.  But if (s)he waited three minutes until the timer went off, (s)he could have two marshmallows.  Some children ate the marshmallow almost immediately.  Others struggled for a while but ended up eating it before the alarm went off.  Some succeeded in waiting the entire three minutes and were rewarded.  The latter group were then given a series of increasingly difficult puzzles to do, designed to create mental fatigue and frustration. Then they were given the marshmallow test again.  Almost none had the patience and self control to wait three minutes again before eating the marshmallow.
As time progressed, brain scanning technology gave neuroscientists the ability to observe changes within the brain during experiments like these.  They found that both physical and mental exertion reduce blood sugar, causing physical and mental fatigue including reduced patience, self discipline and decision-making ability.
Lest you think that playing in the WSOP Main Event does not cause mental fatigue, read the chapter in Baumeister’s book on “decision fatigue”.  He describes research experiments involving common consumer purchases like buying a car (which color do you want? Which engine? Which interior package? Etc. etc. etc.) or ordering a custom-made suit (which fabric? Solid, striped or plaid? Cuffs or plain?  Pleated or not?  Break or no break?  Single vent, double or none?  Three button or two?  Etc.)  Consistently, as the number of decisions and choices multiplies, the consumer’s patience declines and in the end, (s)he ends up deferring to whatever the salesman recommends.  That is why skilled car salesmen leave the most expensive options to last.  Experiments have shown that having to make a large number of decisions under time pressure consumes energy (glucose) and increases brain fatigue.
During the Main Event you will play five two-hour levels per day.  Assuming an average of four orbits per hour, you will be dealt about 400 hands.  Assuming you fold 300 of them before the flop, another 40 after the flop, and 40 after the turn, (with multiple betting decisions on some rounds), each day you will have to make at least 750 decisions whether to fold, call or raise (and if raise, how much), each in less than 60 seconds.  What can you do to reduce the extent to which fatigue (a) impairs the quality of your decision-making toward the end of the tournament day, and (b) reduces your self-discipline (making you more vulnerable to tilt)?
As documented in the research summarized in Baumeister’s book, the two most effective ways to counteract those effects are with sleep and glucose.  Since there is not much opportunity to sleep during the tournament day, the only option is to pay attention to your glucose (blood sugar) level.  You might think that the thing to do is eat candy, or swallow glucose tablets.  But quick hits of glucose to the brain produce short-lasting spikes of energy, followed by crashes, which is NOT what you need.  Instead, you want to maintain a steady intake of slower metabolizing sources of glucose, of which fruit and nuts are among the best examples.  Blueberries happen to be one of the best, according to Baumeister.  Which brings us back to Jamie Gold.
So if you want to emulate Jamie Gold’s 2006 results, get plenty of sleep each night and snack on blueberries during the day.  If you don’t win the tournament, at least it won’t be because your brain didn’t have enough energy to make good decisions.

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Baylor gonzaga Oddsshark Sports

March Madness odds: Gonzaga, Baylor lead pack


Odds courtesy of OddsShark.comThere are just two teams left in college basketball that are unbeaten, and they are the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs of the West Coast Conference and No. 2 Baylor Bears of the Big 12. Neither program has won a national championship in the sport, but they are the two clear favorites to cut down the nets on April 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Selection Sunday is March 14, with the First Four taking place on March 18.Gonzaga (+275) probably will reach the NCAA Tournament – which this season due to COVID is being played entirely in the greater Indianapolis area – unbeaten simply because the level of competition it faces in the WCC is rather weak overall. The Zags have two regular-season games left and both are at home: Thursday against Saint Mary’s and Saturday against San Diego. Gonzaga has won 47 straight games at home and 24 in a row overall dating to last season.The Bulldogs lead the nation in scoring (93.1 ppg) and shooting (55.1 percent). They are essentially a lock to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga reached the national title game in 2017 and lost to North Carolina. The Zags were the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA men’s basketball selection committee’s mock bracket reveal Saturday.Baylor (+300) has played a tougher schedule than Gonzaga simply because the Big 12 is so much better than the West Coast Conference – the Bears and Zags were supposed to play on December 5 at a neutral site but it was postponed for COVID reasons. Baylor hasn’t taken the court since February 2 due to COVID issues in the program. It reached the national title game way back in 1948 but lost to a powerhouse Kentucky team coached by the legendary Adolph Rupp.The Big Ten hasn’t had a national champion since Michigan State in 2000 but has four legitimate contenders this season in Michigan (+800), Illinois (+1300), Ohio State (+1400) and Iowa (+1600).The Wolverines returned Sunday from a nearly month-long COVID break and won at then-No. 21 Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes have arguably the country’s most dominant player in senior Luka Garza, who ranks first nationally in scoring at 24.5 ppg. Last season, Garza was recognized as the National Player of the Year by six national media outlets and certainly will get similar recognition this year.

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Articles Short Posts

Finding folds at the WSOP

Those who know my game well know I don’t particularly like to fold reasonably strong hands. While being a bit of a calling station works well against most good, aggressive players who almost always have at least some bluffs in their ranges, against weaker opponents who play blatantly straightforward and rarely bluff, calling down with good, but not amazing, hands can get you in a ton of trouble. This WSOP has provided me with numerous examples where I should simply lay down a hand to a weak, passive player that would be criminal to fold against someone with a balanced range.
The first example took place in a $1,500 WSOP event. The blinds were 25/25 and everyone had around 4,500 chips. I raised with Kc-Qd to 75 from middle position and both the small blind and big blind called. Both of my opponents were around 55 years old and had yet to take any sort of an aggressive betting line. The flop came Ks-Ts-6d. My opponents checked to me and I bet 150. Only the big blind called. The turn was the (Ks-Ts-6d)-2c. The small blind checked and I decided to bet 300 for value. To my surprise, he made it 1,000 with little thought. I reluctantly folded and he proudly showed me his Kh-Th.
While most good players could, and likely should, have flush draws and marginal made hands they decided to turn into bluffs in their range, a tight passive player is almost never bluffing. Knowing this, which hands would he realistically check raise large for value and, in his mind, protection? I imagine the worst hand he may think is a “premium” hand on this board would be K-J. If that is the worst possible hand he can have, K-Q is in awful shape. It is worth noting that you will occasionally fold the best hand but against his tight value range, K-Q is crushed. Even if he had a few premium draws in his range, K-Q still simply must be folded.  When your opponent’s range is almost entirely premium made hands, if you have a good, but not premium, made hand, you should usually fold.
Another hand came up a little while later in the same tournament. This time, the blinds were 150/300-25 with 15,000 effective stacks. A tight, passive player raised to 750 from the small blind and I elected to call in the big blind with Js-Tc. The flop came Jh-Jd-9h. My opponent bet 900 and I called. The turn was the (Jh-Jd-9h)-6c. He checked and I quickly tossed in 1,500, hoping to look as if I was trying to blatantly steal the pot. When he check raised to 4,000 with confidence, I assumed the way I put my chips in the pot induced him to run an optimistic bluff. I elected to call, hoping he would shove the river. The river was the (Jh-Jd-9h-6c)-8s. My opponent instantly went all-in for 9,000 and I called with little though, losing to his 6d-6s.
So, where did I go wrong? Some people may think I should have raised the flop for “protection” but if the opponent only has a few outs, you should not be concerned with getting outdrawn, especially if you suspect you will be able to extract an additional street of value later on the turn or river. I was also concerned that he would fold almost all hands worse than a 9 if I raised, which would be a disaster as I certainly want to keep him in the pot with various A and K high hands. Finally, I wasn’t entirely sure I could profitably get in 50 big blinds against this specific player if he elected to reraise on the flop.
I messed up badly on the turn. I thought he would view my splashy bet as a bluff whereas in reality, he probably wasn’t paying attention to how I put my chips in the pot in the least bit. If he had nothing, he would fold and if he had a good hand, he would call. It is as simple as that. I then compounded my error by assuming my opponent would lose his mind and attack my splashy bet, which he probably wasn’t even aware of. This made me think my opponent’s range consisted of almost entirely hands I crush. In reality, he simply has a J or better every time. When he instantly pushed on the nasty 8s river, which improved Q-T and J-8 to better hands, I should have found a fold because I lose to all value hands besides perhaps a vastly overplayed overpair. I leveled myself about as hard as possible.
I know that most players know to not pay off tight, passive players, but I seem to forget it from time to time. When someone who hasn’t put a chip in the pot in an aggressive manner all of a sudden wants to stick his whole stack in, you need an overly premium hand to continue. Don’t forget it.
If you are going to the WSOP, I strongly suggest you spend some time preparing. If you simply show up and expect to succeed, you are almost certain to fail. I recorded a six-hour long training series for you that explains all of the preparations I make in order to ensure I have the best chance to do well. I also discuss how to play with the wildly varying stacks you will be forced to play with at the WSOP. Check it out here: Jonathan Little’s WSOP Coaching Series
Thanks for reading and good luck in your games!
This article initially appeared in CardPlayer magazine.

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News

Updates, Recaps and New Challenges


Wow, it’s really easy to slack on updating this blog!Haha Usually it’s the writers block or fear of making myself look even dumber than I am, but at least this time it’s because too much exciting stuff has been happening to know where to start! (ok, maybe still a little bit slackin’ lol) Between live tourney events, Intertops St Maarten satelites, Youtube additions and training changes, it’s been a hectic few weeks! So I figured a few quick updates are in order to catch everyone up to speed before we get any further along!WPT ChoctawWell first off I have to congratulate my good buddy Kamran Munaf for his insane run in the WPT main at Choctaw! Kam crushed souls the entire event, being in the top five chip counts for nearly the entire tournament! He had some good swings but overall just consistently added to his massive stack every level. His epic run came to a brutal ending though, when he bubbled the unofficial final table, finishing 10th. There were a couple HUGE hands that really wiped him out when they were down to the last two tables and there wasn’t much he could do after that. While I’m sure he’s dissappointed in not winning it all, it was a GREAT run and I expect him to be back in that spot soon to redeem himself! Hopefully we can get him in on the blog and Youtube channel to go over some of that experience!Intertops Poker now on YouTubeSpeaking of YouTube, Intertops and I are going to be doing a lot more with our channel to promote and grow the site. I will be doing some videos of the current tournament series running right now at my local casino, Winstar. The Winstar River series is a good size yearly event that brings in a lot of players from all over Texas and Oklahoma. With a 2 million dollar guaranteed prize pool for the Main Event, it’s been know to also have it’s share of big name pros swing through as well! They also have poker pro Maria Ho being the events sponsored player for added media attention. They run satellites all month leading up to a handful of events right around Memorial day. Hopefully I can scoop up a few of the cheaper satellites and free-roll the whole series! I would happy just giving the Main Event a real shot, but either way I’m gonna try and get some good highlights to share!Still 2Skinny…As far as the Fitness challenge goes, overall I’m still happy with what I’ve done so far, but still have some stuff to improve on for sure. I’ve managed to get from 144lbs to about 155lbs in about 3 months, so I’m happy with that for sure, but Ideally I would like to get back to about 170lbs before I’m really satisfied. I’ve been on point with my training around my Sciatic nerve/Piriformis issue, enough so that I’ve actually gone right back into a “normal” training routine. While I’m still dealing some some pain and needing to modify certain exercises, it still feels really good to be able to get back into that zone with training. There’s just something about being on a planned out exercise routine that seems to center me, and carry over positively to all other aspects of my life. There’s been a few “hiccups”, especially with traveling for the WPT Choctaw, but I suppose that’s to be expected. The consistency is really the biggest thing, with nutrition on Tournament days in particular, but sometimes you just gotta make due with what you have and focus on Poker lol. (Plus fried chicken N waffles are an AMAzing comfort food after busting out late in a tournament! lol)Intertops St MaartenLast and not least of course is the Intertops St Maarten WSOP circuit satellites going on right now! Last Sunday we gave away the first seat and some lucky winner is on their way to play the WSOPc main event! If they can pull themselves away from the beach that is! We are giving away a few more seats, and the next round has already started! Win your way to this dream package from as little as 3 Bucks!! The next event is going to be Sunday the 27th, so be sure to hit the tables now to get ready! Intertops and TKPT run one of the most entertaining series down there and you don’t want to miss this one! I hope to see you there!Run Good!TimPS that Intertops player XXGlorynbaes in the feature Photo! He was my dealer a few times for WPT Choctaw! Small World! lol

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Guest Posts

Live Open Face Chinese Poker

Lessons I’ve Learned at the World Championship
by Jennifer Shahade
The two-time US women’s chess champion, and PokerStars Mind Sports Ambassador Jennifer Shahade admits that her biggest highlight of this poker season was winning the TonyBet Open Face Chinese World Championship High Roller event. Not only was it the biggest live buy-in she ever played, it was also the biggest cash prize of her career.
Since the event was streamed live, the recorded video footage allowed Jennifer to analyze her own game and use it to teach others about OFC poker. In this piece Jennifer shares her thoughts on two hands she played during the tournament and looks at them in more detail.

At this point of the tournament I had Jason Mercier and Marek Kolk as my opponents. Jason is a really good player under pressure, he has a lot of experience. In Open Face Chinese I think he plays a bit more conservatively than average. Jason is also extremely dangerous under new formats and new situations, as he can adjust very quickly, being used to that from high stakes mixed games.
So considering many of the players were not as used to tournament format that could give Jason an edge. I didn’t know as much about Marek Kolk though from the few hands I played with him, he seemed more on the aggressive side and willing to take risks when it’s close, so he and Jason were presenting two very different aspects of the game here.
Just like in other forms of poker, sometimes a more conservative line and a more aggressive line can have similar equity, so in Open Face it’s about trying to figure out when your style is interfering with the correct mathematical choice. I’m not sure where I lie on the spectrum – I think I’m pretty good, of course. Though if I had to identify a leak in this respect, I’d say I am probably a bit too conservative/straightforward when my hand is bad.
When talking about this particular hand, I definitely would have played Queen on top, 2, 3 in the middle and 7, 4 in the back first to act, as Marek did. I can’t see another way to set my hand: 2, 4 in the middle and J, 5, 5 at the bottom seems totally standard, the jack is the perfect kicker for the back.
As for Jason’s hand, anyone who watches my Run It Once videos knows how partial I am to pairs over three-flushes. With all of the kings, tens and sixes live, I’d consider K, K, 6 in the back, ten in the middle and ace up top. Believe it or not we are over 50% to make a boat or quads in this spot, which sounds outrageous, but makes sense when you consider how it’s rather unusual that all of our kings and kickers are live.
It’s also very nice that our other kicker is so live too so we’ll make two pair in the middle quite comfortably. Of course his set is very well designed for fantasyland, though I think my way gets there quite often as well.
I think Marek’s hand was shaping up poorly compared to our hands. Presumably, he did not get a diamond, and Jason was very likely to complete his flush. Meanwhile, all my jacks and fives were live too, and there were still three aces live at the time, so he decided it was time to gamble.
I think I’d play it the same way though I don’t know his discard on the crucial pull where he decided to gamble for Fantasy Land.
I think the value of Fantasy Land is slightly less in three-handed play. As I discuss in my Run It Once videos, however, I think that in three-handed it’s also a little easier to get to it because we will have more information about which kickers will be live and which will be dead.
Whether or not to go for Fantasy late in the game is often a pure math problem! It became a bit more complex in the tournament format with short stacks though I normally believed that if I had a relatively short stack, it was even more profitable to gamble for Fantasy.
It’s also very relevant as to which position we’ll be in when we come out of Fantasy Land. It’s not that important to see our opponent’s first five cards when we set a Fantasy hand, it will only occasionally change our set. However, it’s quite important if we can find ourselves on the button after getting out of Fantasy, rather than “wasting” our button while we are in Fantasy.
A very important factor to consider before playing a live Open Face Chinese poker event is one’s physical and mental preparation. Because you have to play each and every hand, it is very different from Hold’em tournaments.
I had an event in London the day before the OFC High Roller, and I wasn’t confident that I’d be rested enough to play the 10K High Roller. I ended up changing my seat from an aisle to a window the night before, and slept the entire flight. If not for that, maybe I wouldn’t have ended up playing and taking home the biggest cash of my career and the belt!
I was so energized to be in beautiful Prague, and just before sundown, I texted my friend Warren Lush to see what he was up to and how the High Roller was going. He encouraged me to come out and play and I rushed to the tournament. All in all, a great example of the butterfly effect for me.
I also had a wonderful time at the tournament – I’d never played a so-called “High Roller” before, though I’d played 10Ks in Main Events, this was quite different. I noticed that ironically, the atmosphere was more informal and relaxed. I also thought the staff did an exceptional job, especially considering how late the tournament ran. And the food was amazing at Kings Casino, I’ll always remember the steak and champagne I had after winning. I’m missing Prague already!

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News

“It’s Not about the Money”


“You have to have ZERO respect for a dollar when you play tournament poker!”This was the advice I received after busting a recent tourney. I was venting/reviewing with a friend, who is a much better player with A LOT more experience, and he was quick to hit me with this line. We were going over a particular series of hands from the 300k GTD at the Winstar river series in which I went from nursing a short stack for hours, to a sudden heater that propelled me up to almost chip leader at the table. It was a 4-5 hands blitz that had me feeling pretty amazing, but then on the 6th hand a found myself in a gross spot that could have( and probably should have) resulted in getting those new found chips all in! As I discussed the hand history, I mentioned to him that I felt the urge to “save” the chips I had just finally acquired after so patiently waiting all day! He immediately was no longer concerned with the hand history and went right into questioning my mindset and bankroll. “If you want to be a great poker player, you have to have ZERO respect for a dollar when you play poker…as bad as it sounds, it’s true and unfortunately, that’s why so many people become degenerates!” Yikes, straight to the point and brutally honest, but exactly I needed to hear! Suddenly, this seemingly basic hand history review had turned into an explosion of questions about the inner workings of my game! Why was I fearful to lose those chips? Had I been playing scared?“Different kind of playing scared!”The hand history itself was past around and I received several different viewpoints on it, but to this day, I’m still unsure what the correct play was lol So I think I’ll save that for another post, as the more important point was made, maybe THE most important point of my whole poker career!?Have I been letting the “money” effect my decisions?I think we’ve all heard that phrase about being numb to the money in poker. Win or lose, you can’t let the thought of what that money means to you in the real world influence your decisions at the table. All that should matter in the moment is making the correct play. If you bust, you bust. If it’s a tourney you just re-buy or play the next flight. In a cash game you simply reload at the table and move on the the next hand. It’s just standard practice for almost every player I know, myself included. Hell a few times I’ve witnessed friends fire over 10 bullets at a single tournament, with buy-ins ranging from $150 to $1650! I’ve also watched as they reach into their backpacks for another brick of hundreds after getting stacked for the 5th or 6th time. While I’m sure it seems absurd to most normal people,(and it should be) unfortunately for us poker players, that’s kinda just the way it goes sometimes. We chalked it up to variance, running bad, or being unlucky. We just call it a “standard” part of the game and move on. We aren’t being degens, the run bad is REAL, right?! lol“Nah, it’s definitely about the money…”Seriously who burns all that money!? lol Don’t listen to the Joker up there, its always about the money! Well of course, being the best poker player you can be should be the ultimate goal for any seriously player (Sending a message? lol). Hmmm, so I guess for poker players, this quote should say something like “Send them the message; It IS about the money! ” So by showing your skills as a player, you plan on beating them and taking their money!? lol;) All joking aside, at the end of the day, it’s about making money. It’s what makes the poker economy go round! If you play professionally, you need to be earning and saving money to support yourself and possibly your family. You can’t be blowing through 10 buy-ins every weekend, when that money could have been your mortgage payment! It may not be as serious for you if you’re a recreational player, but not making money still means you’re not WINNING and what’s the point of competing if you can’t WIN? So no matter Pro or Rec player, the question becomes; What separates a typical “poker player” and from being a true Gambler. Where do we draw the line? Are we being financially irresponsible or making sound poker decisions?!“Every beginning has an end…”After continuing to hear my friends advice repeat in my head every time I’ve sat down to play since that day lol I realized I had to take a l hard look in the mirror and ask myself; Am I a poker player or am I a DEGEN? I mean I like to think I’m still pretty tame compared to a lot of players out there. Never being THAT out of control, but I’ve clearly made my share of mistakes. I’ve re-bought when I knew I shouldn’t, I’ve played above my means, played in bad games, played too many games at once, etc. You name it, I’m sure I’ve done it at some point, but at least I’m finally here asking, why did I do it? Have I been making the correct plays every time and just getting unlucky or have I been blind to my errors and just convinced myself what i was doing was “standard” !? Why it has taken me this long to really stop and think about it!? To realize something needs to change?So many questions and only one answer comes to my mind…Bankroll Management. The problem and the solution are the same. For me, sound decision making in poker starts with sound Bank Roll Management. Also it’s the only real thing I can control to prove to myself that I’m a winning player. So in the next post I’ll discuss general bankroll management strategies, outline my plan, and officially kick off my Intertops Bankroll Challenge.Run GoodTimPS: use promo code TOK2017 with the link to help build you’re Roll!

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