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Win a Share of $1.5 Million in PokerStars’ Tetris® Spin & Go Games

February 16, 2021
Matthew Pitt

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?
 1st2nd3rd

2×432

3×321

Over 3×211

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

0401003001,200

1802006002,400

21203009003,600

31604001,2004,800

n=40*(n+1)=100*(n+1)=300*(n+1)=1,200*(n+1)

208402,1006,30025,200

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.
 $0.25$1$2$5$10$25$50$100$250$500

1$50$150$250$400$500$500$750$1,000$1,500$3,000

2$40$100$200$300$400$400$600$800$1,000 

3$30$75$150$250$350$350$500$600$750 

4$20$50$100$200$300$300$400$500$500 

5$15$25$50$150$250$250$300$400$500 

6-10$10$20$40$100$150$150$150$200  

11-20$5$10$20$50$100$100$100$100  

21-50$5$5$10$25$50$50    

51-100$5$5$5$10      

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 

0-1100%0%100%0%100%0% 

2-580%20%80%20%50%50% 

6-960%40%60%40%40%60% 

10-1340%60%40%60%30%70% 

14-1720%80%20%80%200%80% 

18-2020%80%20%80%10%90% 

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.

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Tips for success at the WSOP

Every summer, poker players from all over the world flock to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker. Luckily for the professional players, most of these visitors have little to no chance to actually come away with a big score because they set themselves up to fail from the start. To last the seven weeks at the WSOP you must remain focused and ready to play your “A” game the entire time.
Here are a few tips that will greatly increase your expectation at any tournament series without even mentioning how to technically play poker.  It should be noted these are tips for players who want to have the highest expectation possible during a long series and only care about poker. If you’re going to Vegas to party and to play a few tournaments on the side, these tips probably aren’t for you. Then again, neither is the life of a poker tournament professional.
Get a lot of sleep
To be ready to play your best at noon every day, you simply have to get a lot of sleep. I make a point to get home as soon as the tournament is over each day or around midnight, whichever comes last. For example, if I play a $1,500 tournament and bust in the first hour, I will play satellites or cash games until midnight and then go home. If I play the same $1,500 tournament and survive the entire day, I will go home when play ends, usually around 1 a.m. When I get home, I go straight to sleep. I don’t sit around and have dinner and watch a movie. I get sleep so I’m ready to go the next day.
Play side games
In the past, I never really played the side games during the WSOP. I now realize just how much money I was missing out on. I’ve played mostly $500 and $1,000 single-table satellites in my spare time and have been happy with my results. I also hear the cash games are excellent. I used to simply go home whenever I lost a tournament, which would often waste an entire day. Now, I’m earning around $200 per hour.
Assuming you play four hours of side games per day, you will find that you profit $40,000 by the end of the series. That’s a nice way to supplement the daily tournaments. It can turn a losing series into a break-even one and a break-even series into a decent winner. Obviously this will take time away from goofing off or enjoying the outdoor world, but seeing how the profitability of poker has been shot in the foot because of the problems with online poker, you simply have to make the most of every tournament series.
Eat right
A few years ago, I lost around 40 pounds simply through eating right and exercising regularly. Throughout the WSOP, I make a point to eat a few eggs, some veggies and some lean meat as soon as I roll out of bed every morning. During the WSOP, there are a few food delivery services that will bring healthy food to the poker table. I have my healthy breakfast plus two meals delivered to my table each day. This allows me to not take dinner breaks, which will make me slightly more profitable, and it allows me to stay in decent shape, especially since I have to cut out a little bit of my routine workout time.
That being said, I still try to get in the gym at least three times per week, even during the hectic WSOP. Also, for those looking to quickly lose fat and keep it off, simply stop eating sugar, fatty foods and starches. This means no smoothies, potatoes, rice, yogurt, fatty meats and bread. If you cut these foods out of your diet, the weight will drop off quickly. Realize though, this isn’t a diet, it’s a way of life.
Avoid your vices
My past vices have been drinking and degenerate gambling. I never had a legitimate problem with either, but I realized they cut into the profitability of poker. If you have a few drinks at night you’ll find you won’t sleep as well and will wake up with a mild hangover, which will make you play worse during the day.
If you gamble on random things, such as blackjack or sports, you will find when you lose, you’re on tilt from losing and when you win, you would rather be doing those things than playing poker, both of which are terrible for your concentration. My advice is to cut these activities out of your life, and not just for duration the tournament series. If you do, you will find yourself a much happier person in the long run.
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
If you enjoyed this blog post, please share it with your friends. Good luck in your games!

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News

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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Business Gambling Ireland

The luck of the Irish has Ireland at the top of global gambling spend


It may not have originated in Ireland, but the phrase “the luck of the Irish” rings loudly in the country. According to The Irish Post, more money is spent, per capita, on gambling in Ireland than in almost all other countries around the world. Only in two countries – Australia and Singapore – is more spent hitting the slots and the tables than in Ireland.The media outlet doesn’t source its data, but indicates that the Irish love online gambling more than any other form. Online gambling spend is 60%, greatly superior to other forms gambling and sports gambling, which only accounts for 15% of the money. The lottery receives a 10% cut, the same amount given to gambling machines and slots. Casinos, of which Ireland has around 20, pick up 5% of the action.While Australia and Singapore may see more gambling spend per capita, Ireland is the hands-down winner in online gaming spend, with The Irish Post asserting, “Ireland takes the lead globally when it comes to online gambling.” It adds, “With almost 3 billion American dollars spent on gambling and betting every year, that means that each man, woman, and child in Ireland are spending roughly 500 [euros] ($607) annually on this type of entertainment.”The media outlet further indicates that online gambling is most popular in Ireland because the segment is more regulated. It cites “outdated laws” that some casinos are exploiting to attract attention, but the transparency and accountability afforded gamblers by online operators give them an edge. The Irish Post explains that, according to reports, many Irish would prefer to gamble in a British casino than in a domestic one, possibly as a result of the outdated laws.Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Irish loved to gamble online and the segment increased about 15% each year. Last year, with the coronavirus in full swing, the numbers jumped substantially and, with the introduction of live online casino games and live sports gambling, the online segment has skyrocketed in popularity. Online gambling is inarguably the future, looking down the road 20 to 30 years, but it’s never too early for casino operators to start preparing.Surprisingly, the U.S. ranks fifth in terms of per-capita gambling spend, even less than Finland. However, with a population of over 330 million, it’s the largest market available. $120 billion was spent on gambling in the country in 2019, while the Irish spent $2.7 billion through its population of less than five million.

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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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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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“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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ขออภัยที่โพสต์ยาว / ระบายล่วงหน้า! สำหรับการอ้างอิงการเสพติดเป็นสิ่งที่ฉันไม่คุ้นเคย ดูเหมือนลักษณะครอบครัวที่ทุกคนติดยาเสพติดหรือแอลกอฮอล์เป็นส่วนใหญ่ แต่แม่เลือกที่จะเล่นการพนัน สิ่งที่แย่ที่สุดเกี่ยวกับเธอคือฉันอาจจะเข้าหาเธอตอนที่ฉันอายุ 10 ขวบเท่านั้น เราเล่นกับเกมบิงโกที่ “เป็นอันตราย” ในช่วงวันหยุดมีอยู่ช่วงหนึ่งตุ๊กตาหมีกำลังพูดเหมือนเงินเพื่อเล่นและชนะ มันเป็นช่วงเวลาที่ดีและชื่นชอบความทรงจำ แต่ฉันมีความเข้าใจเกี่ยวกับอินเทอร์เน็ตและเมื่อเรากลับถึงบ้านฉันได้แนะนำวิธีการเล่นออนไลน์ที่บ้านและจะมีเวลาระหว่างเรามันปลอดภัยที่จะบอกว่าเราชนะด้วยโชคดีครั้งใหม่ มันสนุกอยู่พักหนึ่ง แต่ตอนเป็นเด็กฉันเบื่ออย่างรวดเร็ว ฉันแทบไม่รู้เลยว่าฉันปลูกเมล็ดพันธุ์เพื่อการเสพติดของแม่ของฉันเอง ตอนนี้ฉันรู้แล้วว่าตอนนี้เขาตื่นเต้นแค่ไหนที่เขาน่าจะตื่นเต้น แม้วันนี้ฉันเกลียดตัวเองในสิ่งที่ทำ เธอเสียเงินมากมายเราเสียคริสตมาสมากมาย ไม่สามารถจ่ายบิลหรือซื้ออาหารได้ภายในสองสามสัปดาห์ เธอไม่เคยให้อภัยตัวเองสำหรับเรื่องทั้งหมดนี้ ฉันมักจะโทษตัวเองอย่างสมบูรณ์และสัญญาว่า ID จะไม่มีวันสิ้นสุด คืนนี้ฉันมีความสำนึกว่าฉันมีอยู่แล้ว การปิดกั้นและการ จำกัด โควิดทำให้ฉันเบื่อฉันเชื่อ เบื่อมากพอที่จะลืมว่าการพนันเป็นอันตรายแค่ไหนและในอดีตมันทำร้ายฉันมากแค่ไหน ฉันลงทะเบียนบนเว็บไซต์บิงโก 20 ปอนด์ไม่เป็นอันตรายมาก ฉันถูกรางวัลแจ็คพอต เหลือเชื่อในที่สุดฉันก็สามารถชำระหนี้เล็กน้อยที่เหนือการปิดกั้นและไม่สามารถหยุดคิดอย่างจริงจังว่าฉันโชคดีและรู้สึกขอบคุณแค่ไหน ครอบครัวของฉันแสดงความยินดีกับฉันพร้อมกับพูดติดตลกว่า “ระวังอย่าโง่ง่ายเกินไปอย่าไล่เงิน” และฉันก็ตอบอย่างมั่นใจว่าไม่ไม่ฉันรู้ว่าฉันกำลังทำอะไรอยู่ ก่อนหน้านี้ฉันรู้ว่าฉันจะไม่เป็นแบบนั้น ฉันไม่ระวังเงินให้มาก … ตอนนี้หยุดไม่ได้แล้วฉัน จำกัด บัญชี แต่ฉันยังคงสร้างบัญชีใหม่ในเว็บไซต์ต่างๆ หลังจากที่ฉันแพ้ที่นี่อีกครั้งฉันมักจะแบนพวกเขาที่นี่ 10, 20 ปอนด์, 50 ปอนด์และอื่น ๆ อีกมากมาย ฉันไม่เคยทำลายซึ่งหายาก แม้ว่าฉันจะชนะฉันก็เก็บเงินส่วนใหญ่ไว้ในบัญชีเพื่อเล่น อาจจะอยู่ในม้วน … ดีแค่ถอน 50 ปอนด์ป่วยที่ฉันใส่ จากนั้นก็ส่งใหม่อีกครั้ง .. และอีกครั้งฉันไม่ทันคิดเลขเพื่อหาว่าฉันจะเสียเท่าไหร่ ฉันรู้สึกว่างเปล่า ฉันสะสมมากกว่าที่ฉันคาดไว้จะรู้เช่น ID ทำอะไรสำเร็จ ฉันแค่รู้สึกมึน ๆ ฉันเพิ่งเริ่มเล่นเดิมพันโง่ ๆ เพื่อดูเงินที่มองไม่เห็นหรือไม่? ฉันไม่รู้สึกอะไรเลย ฉันหยุดไม่ได้ จำนวนเงินฝากไม่สำคัญแม้กระทั่งเมื่อฉันรอจนถึงเที่ยงคืนเพื่อเพิ่มอีก คืนนี้ฉันตระหนักว่าฉันมีปัญหามันถูกฝังอยู่ชั่วขณะและฉันได้ปลดล็อคบางอย่างในตัวฉันที่ไม่ได้ใช้งาน ดังนั้นฉันจึงถูกแบนมาก และทุกคนมี ขออภัยที่ไม่ได้อธิบายรายละเอียดเพิ่มเติม แต่ฉันเสียมากกว่า ID ที่ชนะไปแล้ว ฉันใช้จ่ายไปมากเป็นสองเท่าของความสุขที่ได้รับชัยชนะเป็นครั้งแรกในพื้นที่ของสัปดาห์ที่แล้ว อย่าติดตามเงินทั้งหมดที่ฉันชนะและไม่เคยถอนออกโดยคำนวณว่าฉันอาจจะเสียสามครั้งฉันโกหกคู่ของฉันเกี่ยวกับเรื่องนี้แล้ว “โอ้ฉันมีเงินโบนัส” “โอ้ฉันมีเงินเหลือจากครั้งที่แล้ว” ฉันบอบบางและหงุดหงิดเกินไปฉันกำลังเล่นและหยุดตอบสนองเมื่อฉันเล่น ถ้ามันกวนใจฉันระหว่างเกมฉันก็ตัดมันและดึงมันออกมาและฉันก็รู้ตัวในวันนี้และฉันก็รู้สึกไม่สบายตัวจริงๆ เป็นเกมกลยุทธ์ที่เล่นเกมแอพของตัวเองดังนั้นบางครั้งเราจะไม่พูดมากเกินไป ฉันพยายามปรับการใช้จ่ายของฉันเพราะเขาเอาเงินเข้าเกมของเขาด้วยตอนนี้เราทั้งคู่มีเกม อีฟไม่ค่อยเล่นเกมด้วยตัวเองมากนักจนถึงตอนนี้ตอนนี้ฉันโกรธที่เธอพยายามคุยกับฉัน ฉันตระหนักว่ามันอันตรายแค่ไหน ฉันเกือบจะโกรธเขาที่อยู่รอบตัวฉันและหันมาสนใจฉัน แต่ฉันก็ไม่รู้สึกอะไรเลยถ้าฉันชนะหรือแพ้ในเกมเหล่านั้น ฉันแค่กลัวว่าเรื่องนี้จะยุติลงเร็วแค่ไหนดังนั้นฉันหวังว่าฉันจะหยุดได้แล้ว ก่อนที่ฉันจะทำลายทุกอย่างไม่ใช่แค่การเงินฉันหวังว่าฉันจะทำได้ดีขึ้น

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