Intelitics, the leading performance marketing and analytics platform provider, has been granted a licence by the Colorado Division of Gaming allowing it to work with licensed sportsbook operators in the state for the first time.Intelitics already holds licences in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with Colorado the third with more to follow in the coming months.Intelitics provides online sportsbook and casino operators with a single platform that allows them to track, analyze and grow all acquisition partnerships and campaigns across web and mobile through access to real-time data which in turn allows them to unlock hidden revenue and boost ROI.Intelitics’ real-time data hub keeps media buyers, analysts and executives on the same page about spend and results. Operators can use one set of metrics to “slice and dice” media performance to discover what activity is delivering the best results.Powerful, streamlined reports provide full visibility into cross-channel interaction and the customer journey. A holistic view of costs v player value means operators can easily determine the most valuable media sources which improves revenue allocation modelling and inform media investment.CasinoAffiliatePrograms, the premier standalone iGaming specific Ad Network, which is powered and run by the Intelitics team, has delivered more than $70m in net game revenue through 150,000+ new depositing customers.Armed with its Colorado licence, Intelitics is now looking to work with licensed online sportsbook operators in the state in order to help them unlock the greatest value from their marketing activity.Allan Stone, CEO at Intelitics, said: “We are delighted to have secured a licence from the Colorado Division of Gaming allowing us to work with licensed sportsbook operators in the state for the very first time.”“As legal online sports betting continues to roll out across the US, there is a tremendous first mover advantage to be had but operators must ensure they are acquiring players at the right cost and through channels that deliver true value.”“Our cutting-edge platform provides the real-time data, insight and reporting that operators need to do just that across all of the channels they use to market to players. We look forward to working with sportsbooks licensed in the state of Colorado.”
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In what is thought to be the first sign that Caesars is planning for a live World Series of Poker festival in 2021, the operator has put on a new free-to-enter sweepstakes promotion, the Ultimate Poker Champion Experience.
Running from February 15 through April 30, 2021, the contest offers anyone in the United States a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of the WSOP Main Event. One lucky person will not only get their entry into the Main Event paid in full, but they will also be treated to an elite experience during their stay. To enter, all you have to do is fill out the form.
With the coronavirus pandemic still causing mass disruption to live events and travel in the United States and around the world, the WSOP has yet to announce any schedule or plan for this year’s series. There is no information around the main event, for which the promotion is centered around.
The Normal Ramp Up to the WSOP
The WSOP is poker’s biggest event of the year. Tens of thousands of players descend on the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for more than six weeks of poker. Action culminates in the $10,000 Main Event, the most prestigious tournament in the game. The winner is crowned the year’s champion, poker’s highest accolade.
However, last year, due to the coronavirus, the regular World Series of Poker 2020 was canceled for the first time in its 51-year history.
In its place was an online series held half in the United States—on the official WSOP Nevada and WSOP NJ online poker rooms—and half outside the US on global online poker room GGPoker.
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In the winter, WSOP and GGPoker joined forces again for a hybrid online-live Main Event where players competed in tournaments online, then met for a live final table. The two winners of these met in a special heads-up match in Las Vegas.
Normally by now, organization and marketing are in full flow. Online satellites are underway on official WSOP sites as well as partners internationally. Schedules are revealed, packages are offered and promotions are spread.
However, nothing has yet been revealed for this year—understandable, given how no one knows how the next few months will unfold. That makes this promotion even more intriguing.
Sweepstakes Package Details
The winner of the sweepstakes promotion will win entry into the $10,000 buy-in 2021 WSOP Main Event.
As noted, normally this is a multi-day tournament held live in the Rio; last year, it was mostly online. What it will be this year is unknown. The implication, however, is that Caesars wants to run this live in Las Vegas, given the other parts of the prize package.
The winner and their guest will be flown to Las Vegas from anywhere in the continental United States. Once in the city, they will be treated to a dinner for two at a Celebrity Chef restaurant, a three night stay in a suite at Caesars Palace, a whisky and cigar night at the hotel’s Montecristo Cigar Bar, and $1,000 in spending money.
The total prize package, including all the extra goodies, is worth $14,000.
Approximate Value (USD)
$10,000 Seat to 2021 WSOP Main Event
3-night stay in a Suite at Caesars Palace
Round-trip airfare for two (from continental US)
$1,000 VISA Gift Card
Whisky and cigars at Montecristo Cigar Bar
Dinner for two at Celebrity Chef’s restaurant
Hotel Stay at the Rio, a Hint of the WSOP Finally Moving?
Curiously, the stay is only for a three nights—which would normally not be long enough for a deep run of the WSOP Main Event. Last year, the tournament was spread over two weeks, with three Day 1s and two Day 2s then a Day 3, Day 4, and final table, with breaks gaps in-between.
Also of note, the hotel stay is in Caesars Palace, not the Rio. Whether this suggests an anticipated location move or not remains to be seen. The Rio was sold back in 2019 though Caesars agreed to manage the property for two years.
The 2020 event was scheduled to take place in the Rio, and the live Main event did go ahead in its convention center. However, no announcement has been made for the 2021 series—and with Caesars potentially coming to the end of its management contract, this could well be the first indication that WSOP plans to move it to another Caesars location in Las Vegas.
How to Enter the WSOP Ultimate Poker Champion Sweepstakes Promo
If you are a United States resident, just fill out this form. That’s it! You can read below for more details.
The contest is open to anyone over 21 years of age, with the exception of employees and family of Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc or Caesars Entertainment Services, LLC. The offer is only valid in the continental United States and void where prohibited.
Entries are open until midnight on April 30, 2021 and the winner will be randomly chosen on May 6, 2021 from all the entries received prior to the closing date.
In the event that the winner does not meet eligibility requirements, up to 5 alternate draws will be made to choose a winner. If no eligible winner is selected after the maximum 5 alternate draws, the prize will remain unawarded.
Prizes are non-transferable, and not subject to change except at the discretion of the contest Administrator. The Administrator reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value if the above prizes are not available for any reason, and winners are responsible for all taxes and fees which may be associated with receiving or using the prize. There is no cash equivalent for this prize.
The dates for the prize will be set once the Main Event is scheduled, but the trip must be taken before December 31, 2021. This gives the organizers a wide window to schedule the WSOP 2021 Main Event—whatever form it takes.
I am thrilled to announce I am re-launching JonathanLittlePoker.com!
Over the last five years, I have been super busy traveling the world playing high stakes poker tournaments, writing books (14 books total, at the moment!) and cultivating my training site, FloatTheTurn.com. I completely forgot about my personal site.
At my site, you can expect lots of FREE educational poker blogs as well as guest blog posts from some of the top poker players and mindset coaches in the game.
You can usually expect my blog posts to be longer than the articles I have produced in the past for various poker magazines, given they typically have a 900 word limit. There is only so much you can say in 900 words! My goal with this blog is to bring you fresh, enlightening content that you cannot find anywhere else in the world.
I also plan to post previews from my upcoming projects, especially when I need your opinion to help improve them. I probably won’t post too much about my day to day life unless you make it clear you want to hear about that. In general, my life is fairly mundane. I work a lot and play a little.
Given I now have lots of educational content to share with the poker world, I want to make the information as easily accessible to you as possible. Feel free to browse my books and video products using the tabs at the top of this page. If you want free poker training videos and exclusive new product information from me, I strongly suggest you sign up for my email list on the side of this page.
If you have any questions or comments at all, or if you find flaws with the site, PLEASE use the contact form. Your comments will help make this site the best it can be.
Thank you for checking out the site. I truly hope you enjoy what I bring to you. Be sure to follow me on twitter @JonathanLittle and check back often for updates.
A title like Silver Trails offers a Wild West theme. Notwithstanding this well known theme, this present Novomatic’s slot has 5 reels, 3 rows and 243 different ways to win. In spite of these features, the game has various and interesting things on offer.The Wilds and Scatters are essential for the combination and they carry multipliers with them just as a Jackpot Feature which allows you to win one of 4 different bonanzas. A bet feature is likewise available.Betting and Prizes Much the same as in most slot games, you’ll need to match identical images to get prizes. You can get 3 images in a combo and win a prize. Be that as it may, you can likewise get 4 or 5 of them and improve prize. As said earlier, this game allows you to win one out of 4 bonanzas. They are the Mini, Minor, Major, and Grand bonanzas. Silver Trails has a lot to offer.Silver Trails’ Slot Features Since the royal card images are very famous you’ll see them in this title too. They are joined by the 10 image just as images that fit the theme. These are the revolver and bullet, the cowboy and others.Normally, there are some exceptional images in the combination. The Wild is the first and it seems stacked on reels 2 and 4. Other than this one, you additionally have the Silver Star image which is the Scatter one. At the point when it lands on reels 1, 3, or 5 you’ll get a multiplier that equals the sum on the stars that landed.Also, the Scatter is liable for another feature too. However, for that, you’ll need at least 6 Scatters to trigger this feature. When this occurs, the images that set off the feature remain and place, and you get 3 Bonus spins. The counter moves to 3 when you land another Scatter.On the off chance that you are able to cover the whole reels with the Silver Star image, you’ll get the Grand Jackpot. Then again, you can get any of the other 3. Strong multipliers are additionally important for this feature and they can get as high as 20x your stake.The last feature that allows you to increase your rewards is the Gamble feature. In any case, it’s a dangerous feature as you can lose them on the off chance that you don’t play it right.Theme and Design With Silver Trails slot fans are given another title that is motivated by the Wild West. The images and the background of the game look stunning and the game mechanics are impeccable. At long last, the game’s engineers didn’t mix out the opportunity to make this a mobile-friendly game too.ConclusionSilver Trails takes you to the Wild West and allows you to earn huge prizes. Because of the Jackpot feature you can leave with 1 out of 4 magnificent bonanzas. On the other hand, you can try our the bet feature and appreciate the multipliers that come with the Silver Stars. Wilds are in the combination too.
เป็นการยากที่จะจินตนาการถึงอุตสาหกรรมการพนันวานิลลาที่ใหญ่กว่าที่บางคนต้องการสร้างในสหราชอาณาจักรเมื่อประเทศเกิดจาก Brexit และสามารถยืนได้ด้วยสองเท้าของตัวเองดูเหมือนว่าใครจะไม่สนใจที่จะตัดแหล่งรายได้ สิ่งสำคัญที่สุดคือบางคนพยายามอย่างหนักเพื่อให้มีอำนาจในการส่งเสริมอุตสาหกรรมการพนันด้วยข้อ จำกัด กฎหมายข้อ จำกัด และข้อ จำกัด ต่างๆมาโดยตลอด เจ้าหน้าที่บางคนต้องตื่นขึ้นมาในตอนกลางคืนเพื่อพยายามคิดว่าจะไปเล่นการพนันได้อย่างไร ในการเคลื่อนไหวใหม่เหล่านี้สภาการเดิมพันและการเล่นเกม (BGC) ได้ใช้กฎใหม่สำหรับสโมสรฟุตบอลที่ป้องกันไม่ให้พวกเขาใช้โซเชียลมีเดียเพื่อพูดคุยเกี่ยวกับการพนันกีฬา แนะนำวิธีการจัดการใหม่ ๆ ในเรื่องนี้สโมสรไม่ควรใช้บัญชีโซเชียลมีเดียเพื่อส่งเสริมการบริจาคการพนันและผู้จัดการการพนันกีฬา รหัสใหม่จะมีผลตั้งแต่วันที่ 1 มีนาคมและจะป้องกันการใช้คำกระตุ้นการตัดสินใจหรือเชื่อมโยงเว็บไซต์การพนันกับทวีตคาร์บอนจากคลับและจะป้องกันไม่ให้สโมสรเข้าถึงการแสดงประเภทโบนัสที่เหมาะสมและเกมหรือการพนันในทวีตสด ข้อแตกต่างเพียงอย่างเดียวคือหากสโมสรอ้างว่าสั่งให้ไม่มีใครอายุต่ำกว่า 18 ปีเห็นสิ่งนี้จะเป็นไปไม่ได้หากโซเชียลมีเดียเช่น Facebook และ Twitter ได้รับอนุญาตให้เข้าสังคม ความกังวลว่าผู้ใช้โซเชียลมีเดียและปัญหาการพนันบางรายอาจ“ อารมณ์เสีย” หากเห็นข้อมูลการพนันขณะเรียกดูฟีดโซเชียลมีเดีย หากเป็นเช่นนั้นโฆษณาประเภทใดก็ตามที่มีอาหารขยะอาจถูกแบนเนื่องจากมีแนวโน้มว่าผู้ที่มีปัญหาร้ายแรงจะได้รับผลกระทบ มิฉะนั้นอาจไม่อนุญาตให้โปรโมตวันวาเลนไทน์เนื่องจากอาจเป็นปัญหาสำหรับผู้ที่เลิกรากัน ระบบการกำกับดูแลใหม่หลังจากการริเริ่มที่นำเสนอเมื่อปีที่แล้วได้รับการออกแบบมาเพื่อลดการพนัน ผู้ให้บริการเกม “ฟรี” เริ่มโปรโมตโฆษณาทางทีวีและวิทยุ COVID-19 และตาม BGC ได้เปลี่ยนนโยบายการโฆษณาเพื่อเพิ่มยอดขายในผู้ที่อายุต่ำกว่า 18 ปี การดำเนินการใหม่นี้เป็นส่วนเสริมและอาจไม่ใช่ครั้งสุดท้ายและบริจิดซิมมอนด์ประธานบีจีซีกล่าวว่า “สโมสรฟุตบอลเป็นส่วนสำคัญของเวทีกีฬาของประเทศนี้ตามด้วยผู้คนหลายล้านคนที่มีอายุมากกว่าโซเชียลมีเดีย สมาชิกไม่มีสิทธิ์เล่นการพนันที่มีอายุต่ำกว่า 18 ปีเนื่องจากเป็นธุรกิจที่เราเข้าใจว่าเด็ก ๆ มีความเสี่ยงในการเล่นการพนันบนอินเทอร์เน็ตโซเชียลมีเดียแนวทางใหม่ของเราเข้าใจมาตรฐานที่ควรใช้กับสโมสรฟุตบอลเมื่อพวกเขาโพสต์ การโปรโมตการพนันบนโซเชียลมีเดียและฉันหวังว่าพวกเขาจะถูกนำไปใช้โดยเร็วที่สุด ”
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ด้วยชื่ออย่าง 40 Supreme Fruits คุณจะรู้ได้อย่างแน่นอนว่าจะมีธีมแบบไหน สล็อตนี้มีความไม่สามารถคาดเดาได้ปานกลาง 5 วงล้อและรูปภาพ 4 คอลัมน์ ซึ่งรวมถึง 40 วิธีต่างๆในการประสบความสำเร็จและคุณสมบัติที่น่าทึ่ง โดยรวมแล้วคุณจะเห็นไวลด์และสแคตเทอร์ทุกที่บนวงล้อและคุณจะเห็นเพชรแจ็คพอตและคุณสมบัติสองหรือไม่มีเลย การเดิมพันและของขวัญเนื่องจากนี่เป็นตัวแทนของสล็อตคลาสสิกคุณจึงตระหนักดีว่าคุณต้องได้รับภาพที่คล้ายกันจำนวนมากเพื่อครองเกมนี้ คุณจะต้องมีของขวัญที่จำเป็นอย่างน้อย 3 ชิ้นจากทั้งหมด ไม่ว่าจะด้วยวิธีใดรางวัลของคุณจะใหญ่ขึ้นเมื่อคุณได้รับ 4 หรือ 5 ด้วยภาพที่ผิดปกติในชุดค่าผสมคุณสามารถทำให้เกมโดดเด่นได้เมื่อเปิดใช้งานคุณสมบัติ 40 Supreme Fruits Slot คุณสมบัติธีมยอดนิยมมีภาพที่คุ้นเคย ในทำนองเดียวกันส้มองุ่นลูกพลัมมะนาวเชอร์รี่และผลไม้อื่น ๆ สามารถพบได้ในวงล้อ อย่างไรก็ตามคุณไม่ได้อยู่คนเดียว Wilds, scatterers และ reels ปรากฏขึ้น โดยทั่วไปแล้ว Wilds จะช่วยให้คุณเดินทางในขณะที่คุณผสมผสานและจับคู่ภาพยนตร์ทั่วไป ในทำนองเดียวกัน Scatter สามารถช่วยคุณสร้างส่วนผสมที่ประสบความสำเร็จเมื่อคุณได้ภาพอย่างน้อย 3 ภาพในการผสม ในเวลานั้นมีคุณสมบัติเพชรแจ็คพอตที่สามารถให้หนึ่งในแจ็คพอตได้ สุดท้ายมีเกมสองหรือไม่มีเลยที่สามารถช่วยเพิ่มรางวัลของคุณหรือช่วยให้คุณแพ้ ธีมและการออกแบบธีมที่เป็นที่รู้จักนำเสนอการออกแบบที่ยอดเยี่ยม 40 Supreme Fruits พร้อมคุณสมบัติที่ยอดเยี่ยมบางอย่าง
ts911 คาสิโน ออนไลน์…
Tyrant King Megaways เล่น 6 วงล้อรับ 117,649 Megaways ในระหว่างการหมุนปกติ แต่ในทำนองเดียวกันจะได้รับมากถึง 200,704 วิธีที่แตกต่างกันเมื่อมีโอกาสได้รับฟรีสปิน นอกจากฟรีสปินแล้วยังมีรีลแบบเรียงซ้อนตัวคูณการขยายตัวไวด์และรีสปิน เงินปันผลสามารถยอมรับได้มากโดยมีการเดิมพัน 10,000x และ 96% RTP การเดิมพันและเงินรางวัล $ 0.20 เป็นเดิมพันต่ำสุดสำหรับผู้เล่นส่วนใหญ่และเป็นจำนวนเงินต่ำสุดที่ Tyrant King Megaways อนุญาต ในทางกลับกันการเดิมพันสูงสุดที่ใช้คือสูงถึง $ 20 และการชนะครั้งใหญ่คือโอกาสในสล็อตที่ต้องพึ่งพา Megaways อย่างสม่ำเสมอซึ่งเป็นแรงจูงใจสำคัญที่ทำให้เกมเหล่านี้ได้รับความนิยม อย่างไรก็ตามไม่ใช่เรื่องง่ายเพราะเป็นเรื่องที่คาดเดาไม่ได้อย่างมาก ทุกสิ่งที่พิจารณา Bonanza RTP ที่มีสัดส่วนการเดิมพันสูงถึง 10,000 ครั้งถูกกำหนดไว้ที่ 96% คุณสมบัติสล็อต Tyrant King Megaways ที่เกี่ยวข้องกับระบบ Megaways ขึ้นอยู่กับจำนวนวงล้อคงที่ (6 ในกรณีนี้) แต่สำหรับภาพจำนวนเท่าใดก็ได้ (2-7 ระหว่างการหมุนปกติ) วิธีนี้ช่วยให้คุณได้รับรางวัลมากถึง 117,649 วิธีในระหว่างการหมุนปกติ เมื่อเกิดการรวมกันรีลแบบเรียงซ้อนจะถูกทริกเกอร์เพื่อลบรูปภาพที่ชนะและเพิ่มรูปภาพอื่น สิ่งนี้สามารถจุดประกายชัยชนะและน้ำตกได้มากขึ้น ฟังก์ชันสปินและ Respins จะทำงาน มันให้รางวัลสไตล์ Hold and Win แก่คุณด้วยการตอบสนอง 3 ครั้งในระหว่างนี้คุณจะต้องได้รับไวลด์พิเศษสำหรับวงล้อของคุณ สามารถแสดงเฉพาะตำแหน่งที่ไม่เหมาะสมและว่างเปล่าในโหมดนี้ คุณรวบรวมการตั้งค่าเสริมและการตั้งค่าใหม่ที่อาจปรากฏขึ้น หากวงล้อถูกปิดทับมันจะกลายเป็นไวด์ตัวคูณ การตอบสนองจะถูกรีเซ็ตเมื่อคุณได้รับไวลด์ใหม่และเมื่อสิ้นสุดคุณสมบัตินี้คุณจะได้รับไวลด์ทั้งหมดที่ใช้เป็นส่วนประกอบของส่วนผสมใหม่ในเกมหลัก คอมโบทั้งหมดสูงสุด 6 ไวลด์จะจ่ายที่ 50 เท่าของเงินเดิมพันและจะได้รับสูงสุด 15 รอบเมื่อแสดงไข่ไดโนเสาร์ที่กระจัดกระจายมากถึง 6 ใบ มีการเพิ่มรูปภาพหนึ่งบรรทัดเพื่อเพิ่มพื้นที่ในเกมดังนั้นตอนนี้คุณสามารถชนะ 200,704 วิธีต่างๆ คุณสมบัติอื่นรวมถึงตัวคูณการขยายซึ่งจะเพิ่มขึ้น 1 สำหรับแต่ละน้ำตกใหม่ ธีมและการออกแบบเราย้อนกลับไปในสมัยที่ไดโนเสาร์เดินทางและควบคุมโลกใบนี้ ทีเร็กซ์จะเป็นดาราในป่าและไข่ไดโนเสาร์จะเป็นตัวแทนของการวางไข่ ภาพมาตรฐาน ได้แก่ Adventurer, Cavewoman, Three Kinds of Dinosaurs และภาพวาด 10 ถึง A Royals เมื่อถึงจุดนั้น Jurassic Park ก็อยู่ในใจเนื่องจากเป็นการผสมผสานระหว่างยุคก่อนประวัติศาสตร์และยุคปัจจุบันและไม่สามารถหาได้จากที่อื่น บทสรุป Tyrant King Megaway นั้นน่าสนใจด้วยคุณสมบัติใหม่ที่เราสามารถทดลองใช้ได้แล้ว ฉันรู้และสนุกกับมัน การชนะสูงสุดของเงินเดิมพัน 10,000x ไม่ใช่เรื่องพิเศษในสล็อต Megaways แต่มันก็ดูดีมากที่ทุกอย่างเท่าเทียมกัน
It’s not easy trying to be a provider of illegal gambling activity in California. The Golden State has a history of digging up underground gambling houses and isn’t slowing down. Last week, police in Anaheim descended on a business they suspected was operating as a slaphouse, an illegal gambling site, and weren’t wrong. By the time the raid was over, around 70 people had been arrested, even as many tried to scatter like rats from a sinking ship.What was reportedly a furniture store was actually an illegal gambling property. Police spent two months gathering evidence and securing their case before moving in last Wednesday, serving a warrant that morning and confirming their suspicions. Inside, there were gambling machines, money and guns, as well as a number of gamblers. Some of those busted out windows as they tried to make a run for it, only to be met outside by more police, including members of the local SWAT team.The slaphouse was reportedly able to function undetected 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Police had received numerous complaints about the operation before they launched their investigation, and are becoming more familiar with the seedy underground gambling scene that continues to emerge across California. Most of these, in addition to offering a form of entertainment California lawmakers don’t want to address, involve illegal weapons and, on occasion, illegal drugs, making them a public risk that has to be contained. 2019 saw a number of slaphouses busted, most around the Los Angeles area. Other cities have to deal with them, as well, with Long Beach often a favorite go-to spot for criminals.This is the second time in five months that Anaheim police have intervened in an illegal gambling house. Last October, 70 people were arrested when they moved in on a supposed slaphouse, uncovering video gaming machines, electronic gaming tables and more. That raid apparently didn’t provide the example that it should have, as the raid last week occurred right next door to that October bust.Slaphouses get their names, according to the way the tale is told, from the sound made when a gambler slaps his or her hand on the controls of the gaming machine. If California continues its crackdown on the illegal operations, a more fitting description would be that the name comes from the sound of having the cuffs slapped on you at an underground gambling house.
คาสิโน ออนไลน์ ได้เงินจริง
Steve at the WSOP Final Table. Image © PokerNews
This is a “Retro Blog” from 11/8/2010 discussing the time I spent coaching 2009 WSOP Main Event final table member, Steven Begleiter.
Back when I initially made this post, I was a terrible writer. I decided to clean up the grammar and fix the typos. Believe it or not, but I used to be (and still am to some extent) a sloppy writer.
I have endless problems proofreading my own writing. I constantly struggle to not overlook countless minor, but obvious, mistakes in all forms of writing including books, blogs, twitter posts, emails, and text messages. Perhaps my brain is broken. Please know I try my best!
Getting the Job
Ylon Schwartz and I have never revealed that we spent three months coaching Steven Begleiter through his preparation for the final table of the 2009 WSOP Main Event.
I was initially introduced to Steve through a 2+2 forum member, Ben Lambert, who knew me from back in my sit n’ go days, where I had a considerable amount of success. Of course, my live success also got me on the radar. Given all final tables are essentially sit n’ go tournaments with funny payouts and stack sizes, he thought I would be an excellent candidate to transform Steve into a player with a better than average shot at taking home the bracelet.
It is worth noting that Steve won his way into the 2009 Main Event through a fairly high stakes local league. Ben also participates in this league, which is how he knows Steve.
Ylon Schwartz. Image © PokerNews
I should mention now that Steve is an extremely intelligent guy. I now look up to him as a mentor. He possesses an important life ability that many lack. He is aware that there are many things he doesn’t know and he isn’t afraid to seek help when he thinks he can improve.
Steve knew he wanted to hire a coach so he interviewed lots poker professionals to find the best fit. He narrowed his search down to me and Ylon Schwartz, a chess master who final tabled the WSOP Main Event in 2008. I had no experience with Ylon but shortly after meeting him, it became clear he had a solid grasp of poker.
I was fairly sure Steve was going to pick Ylon, mainly because both he and Ylon live in New York. At the time, I lived across the country in Vegas. I did some negotiating and succeeded in getting the job split between the two of us, which worked out quite well.
I ended up flying to New York three times, once for our initial interview and two other times to spend long weekends coaching Steve. During these weekends, we discussed and played poker constantly. Steve is a super busy guy with a hectic job and a full family life. Despite that, he always spent our time together working hard and quickly absorbed everything I taught him.
Most people, especially when it comes to poker, are stuck in their ways. They refuse to believe they might actually be bad at poker. Steve was the opposite, realizing that Ylon and I were on a different level than he was. He learned a lot from us because he had an open mind and wanted to learn.
Our First Trip
After our initial interview, we decided it would be a good idea for Steve to fly to Vegas and drive with me to Los Angeles to play the WPT event at the Bicycle Casino. We discussed poker during the entire car ride. I think we both learned a ton. I ended up cashing in the event but Steve ended up taking 9th place, which was really impressive considering the field was tough and we had just started working on his game.
Steve with fellow WSOP final tablist Kevin Schaffel at the Legends of Poker WPT event. Image © PokerListings
He claimed the advice I gave him allowed him to avoid going broke twice in the tournament whereas before our lessons, he would have busted early on the first day. That is a good thing! A lot of what I taught him was to control the size of the pot with his good, but not amazing hands, such as top pair with a marginal kicker. You will find it is quite difficult for your bets to get called on three streets by hands worse than top pair with a bad kicker. This means you need to check them at some point. You will find that checking often induces your opponent to either over value his worse made hand or try to bluff you off your “obvious” weak holding. By checking, you extract additional value you would normally miss by betting.
I learned from Steve that most amateur players simply do not pay attention to stack sizes. The concept that each stack size requires a vastly different strategy isn’t something they are aware of. Poker requires a very different strategy when you have 20 big blinds than when you have 100 big blinds. We worked hard on these two concepts and I think he became a much better poker player almost overnight. Steve was sad to take 9th place, but at the same time, he realized it was a great accomplishment.
Working Hard at Home
Back in New York, we ran numerous simulations where we would set up stacks according to the final table stack sizes and try to match up each stack with a player whose playing styles were similar to those of the actual final table players. Steve did reasonably well in most of these sessions, so that was encouraging.
After our first full NYC weekend, Steve decided to play the WSOP Europe. He was one of the chip leaders early in the first day but ran into a few unavoidable situations and was eliminated. While going broke is rarely a good thing, the fact that he is clearly capable of gathering chips means he always has a chance to win. You would much rather have large swings than break even in a poker tournament because in order to win, you have to get all of the chips. Hanging out, waiting for premium hands, is usually not a good idea, especially if your opponents play well.
Before meeting Steve, I assumed I would have to work hard on getting him in good physical shape, as most poker players are not in shape at all. Luckily, Steve was already in excellent shape. There is nothing worse than being technically sound at poker but crashing late in a session due to poor fitness. Once he made the final table, he was frequently in the gym and worked out much harder than I expected. I was, and still am, incredibly proud of his preparation, both on and off the felt.
I also made a point to ensure he was on the proper sleep schedule. If you get tired at midnight but you happen to be required to play until 4am, the wheels could easily fall off. I believe getting Steve on the proper sleep schedule also helped set him up for success.
That’s enough talk about the preparation. On to the final table!
Tackling the WSOP Main Event Final Table
Steve had one of the worst seats at the table, having Eric Buchman, the only other “known” world class player with a ton of chips, on his left. Also to Steve’s left was Joe Cada, who we assumed would play his short stack well, given that he had a ton of online experience. We assumed Antonie Saout, Jeff Schulman, Kevin Schaffel, and Darvin Moon would play fairly tight. We thought James Akenhead, Phil Ivey, and Joe Cada would look to mix it up a bit and try to double their short stacks. We assumed Buchman would try to go after Steve, due to his position, with numerous light calls and reraises.
You may be surprised that we did not assess Ivey as much of a threat, at least as the chips currently sat. Steve had position on Ivey, which automatically gave Steve a huge edge. Also, Ivey didn’t have many chips, meaning he would have to double up a few times before he got in contention. It is fairly difficult, even for Phil Ivey, to double up a few times. In all of the simulations we ran, I (playing in Phil Ivey’s seat) never really got too far off the ground. Starting with a small stack is a huge disadvantage.
It turned out we were generally correct in all of our assumptions except that Saout wasn’t too tight and Ivey was super tight. Early in the day, it looked like Schaffel was going to double through Buchman, which would have made the table much better for Steve because chips flow to the left and Steve had position on Schaffel, but his A-A couldn’t beat K-K.
This was the first crushing blow to our day that few people seemed to notice. It is really bad when a loose, aggressive player on your left gets lots of chips because he will use them to constantly apply pressure on you. That would have been fine if Steve could have made a strong trapping hand, but, if you have ever played poker, you will find you cannot rely on making strong hands.
A Few Minor Missteps
As for Steve’s play at the final table, I was completely satisfied with all of his decisions except two that came up near the end of the day.
In the first one, he raised with 8c-7c and Saout, who was certainly playing the best out of anyone else at the table, reraised from the big blind. Saout had been going after Steve a little, although not too much. I don’t recall the exact stack sizes but I think Steve had 44,000,000 and Saout had 23,000,000. The blinds were 250,000/500,000. Steve raised to 1,500,000 and Saout reraised to 4,500,000. Steve elected to call, which is fairly loose and likely bad given Saout’s relatively short effective stack size. Saout checked on the 9h-8h-3c flop and Steve bet 5,250,000. I really dislike this bet because if Saout decided to go all-in, Steve would be getting decent odds to call with a fairly marginal hand. In general, you do not want to bet an amount that makes your decision difficult. You want to set yourself up to have easy decisions. A smaller bet or a check from Steve would have been much better. Anyway, Saout did push all-in and Steve made what was likely a “correct” call. Saout turned over a flush draw and won when a heart came on the turn.
It worked out pretty well for Joe Cada. Image © PokerNews
If you watched the coverage of this event prior to the final table, you likely know that Steve loves calling reraises with suited connectors. We worked hard to cut that out of his game, especially against good players who will not blindly stack off to you or when you are not getting large implied odds, but he still decided to take a flop in this situation. Despite that “error”, he got his money in with about 50% equity, so I suppose it wasn’t too bad. It is rarely a bad thing to be in a flipping spot where if you lose, you will still have a decent stack and if you win, you will have a gigantic chip lead. Losing this hand was the second major thing that went wrong for Steve.
The next hand Steve lost may appear to be fairly minor, but it had huge consequences, as it helped determine the champion. Joe Cada raised to 2.5 big blinds out of his 20 big blind stack from first position and Steve called from the small blind with As-3s. The flop came Ah-Jc-2s. Steve elected to be bet into Joe, a move which I despise. Cada decided to call the lead. They checked down the turn and the river, giving Steve a tiny pot. I would have much preferred to see him check-call with the intention of inducing Cada to bluff off his stack. Instead of having a realistic chance of inducing Cada to bluff by showing weakness, Steve won almost nothing.
The final bad thing that happened to Steve was actually a standard bad beat. Steve raised to 2.5 big blinds out of his 35 big blind stack from middle position with Q-Q and Darvin Moon pushed all-in from one of the blinds with A-Q. Steve, of course, called instantly. The flop came X-X-X-X-A and Steve was out. He busted in 6th place, collecting $1,587,160.
Life Goes On
Steve giving an exit interview. Image © PokerNews
Steve took his loss exceptionally well and gave a few excellent exit interviews. I do not know if I would have maintained my composure after running fairly bad during the entire final table. He is a strong man.
Steve was an absolute joy to work with. I don’t think anyone else at the final table would have been a better student. Even though he made a few mistakes, none of which turned out to be too costly in terms of equity, I firmly believe he made significantly fewer mistakes than he would have without coaching. If Steve had a desire to make it on the professional poker circuit, I am confident he could. That being said, he has an awesome job and life, which he has no desire to leave, so he will remain a world class weekend warrior.
When I first got the job to coach Steve, I was happy simply to get the job but I am now honored to have a friend for life. Hopefully someone decides to take the plunge with me again next year. I loved the experience. Better yet, I will try to make the final table myself.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends. Thank you for reading.
I constantly hear immature poker players talk about how they hate poker and how they think it is intrinsically a bad game. In reality, poker is an outstanding game for numerous reasons.
I read very few weekly columns, but one I never miss is Mark Rosewater’s “Making Magic”. Although his articles are about Magic: the Gathering, a card game that is somewhat a mix between poker and chess, if you have any interest in game design, I strongly suggest you check it out as he is the premier game designer in the world.
One of his articles, “Ten Things Every Game Needs”, discussing the 10 aspects of a successful game, really hit home because, while there are aspects of poker I do not particularly enjoy, such as getting unlucky for huge amounts of money, I realize they are necessary for the game to thrive and survive in the long run.
In this blog post, I am going to go through his list and outline why I think poker is a superb game. My hope is that you see the game in a new light and appreciate it for the various nuances that make it amazing.
Before I get started, it is worth noting that Rosewater initially had 10 aspects of a successful game in his article. I will only be discussing nine of them because one of his aspects deals with selling a game to consumers. Seeing how poker is not sold in the traditional sense, I do not think it is worth discussion. Also, Rosewater mentions that in order to be successful, a game can be missing one of the 10 aspects. Interestingly enough, poker, in my mind, seems to be blatantly missing one of them although I bet quite a few people, particularly amateurs, would disagree.
I am going to briefly discuss a tic-tac-toe at the end of each section to contrast how poker, a good game, and tic-tac-toe, a bad game, differ. It is important to be able to look at all games and see why they work or why they do not. While those points will have nothing to do with poker, I think they are worth considering.
All good games must have a goal. If the players have nothing to work towards, they will lose interest and stop playing. The goal of poker is to win money. Tournaments are a particularly engaging form of poker because you often have multiple goals, such as getting your first double up, getting in the money, making the final table, getting heads up and winning the whole thing. Poker also allows for other non-game related goals, such as socializing with your friends or getting a gambling high. Poker definitely succeeds in this category.
The goal of tic-tac-toe is to get three of your symbol in a row. This is clearly defined and concise.
A Clear Set of Rules
The basic rules to poker are easy to learn and understand. Pretty much everyone who plays even small stakes poker understands 95% of the rules. The learning of the basic, and even advanced, rules is not a terribly difficult task. If the rules to a game are too difficult, people will not want to learn to play. I believe one of the reasons Texas Hold’em is the most popular variant of poker is due to its simple rules. If you compare Hold’em to other poker variants, you will see the rules of the other games are much more complicated. While I do not think the rules of any poker game are enough to stop a hardcore gamer from playing, I can see how a novice would not want to learn Pot Limit Omaha 8 or Baducey.
Quite a few players do not know around 5% of the rules of poker, such as the “oversize chip rule” and the somewhat new “first card off the deck” rule. There are various rules in place to deal with a player who acts out of turn or slow the game down. The Tournament Directors Association has done an excellent job in outlining these rules and implementing a progressive series of penalties for breaking the rules. They actually have a rules booklet that is 15 pages long. You can download it here.
When something happens at the table that is not covered in the rule book, which is extraordinarily infrequent, the floor man, who oversees each game, is given permission to use his judgment and make a rational ruling. While some less experienced floor men get some of these tricky decisions wrong, the best floor men in the world are almost always 100% correct and fair with their decisions. I think poker succeeds wonderfully in the “Rules” section.
The rules of tic-tac-toe take around 30 seconds to learn, allowing anyone to play with no prior experience. While having simple rules can be a good thing, the rules are so simple that the game quickly becomes stale.
For contrast, Chess and Magic: the Gathering both have fairly difficult rules to understand and master. Despite this, both games have a huge following because the price you pay by spending time learning the rules is more than paid back in the form of a lifetime of enjoyment. For example, the Magic rule book is currently a whopping 207 pages long. You can download it here.
That being said, almost no one actually “knows” all of the rules of Magic. The game is designed in a way such at most of the tricky rules are explained as the game progresses, allowing for clean, progressive accumulation of knowledge.
Poker is filled with interaction. Since both players have the same goal in poker, winning each other’s money, both players must fight hard to make sure they have a reasonable chance to win. You must adjust your strategy to beat whatever strategy your opponent is currently or expected to be implementing. When you have the nuts, you have to figure out how to make your opponent put in his money with a lesser holding. When you have nothing, you have to either fold or figure out how to make your opponent fold a superior hand. This can be done in numerous ways, such as talking to your opponent, throwing your chips into the pot in a particular way, or simply remaining stoic, using your overall game plan and bet sizing to force your opponent to make an error. Poker clearly succeeds in this category.
There is very little interaction in tic-tac-toe. There is nothing you can say or do to influence your opponent’s decision to play fundamentally sound. You simply make your move and hope your opponent makes an error. That being said, you usually converse with your opponent, mostly due to the game being so boring, which I suppose is a minor redeeming factor.
A Catch-Up Feature
Anyone who has been brutally bad beat can attest to the fact that poker has an excellent catch-up feature build into it. A game will quickly become unplayable when weak players think they have no chance to win. The saying “a chip and a chair” has become famous because you always have some equity as long as you have some money in front of you at the poker table. I have personally watched a guy go from one ante chip with 18 players left in a WPT event to taking home the title. I have gone from having half of the chips at a final table to out in 7th place. Anything can happen in poker, which is one of the reasons people keep coming back to play.
Tic-tac-toe has no catch up feature. If you somehow find yourself behind, you will quickly lose unless your opponent makes an error.
Inertia refers to something that drives a game towards completion. In tournaments, the constantly rising blinds ensure the game will end at a scheduled time. While everyone may start deep stacked and be able to play lots of hands after the flop, as the blinds increase, the game eventually evolves into a short stacked game dominated by preflop poker. Interestingly enough, deep stacked poker and short stacked poker require vastly different strategies.
Cash games are a bit different because they never end, assuming you are not playing fairly high stakes or at a casino that closes each night. High stakes games often break when the weak players quit. This unique dynamic often induces the good players to play way too many hands, hoping to win the weak player’s money before he quits for the day. Some players sit at the cash game tables until they are too tired to stay awake.
The best players are able to find a balance between always playing with weak players and playing while alert and focused. Sometimes the game is simply too good to pass up, forcing good players to play when they are overly tired and not playing their “A” game. This is a sacrifice they are willing to make. I think the total lack of completion is something that drives hardcore gamers to cash games because they can play as long as they want.
I think tournaments do an excellent job of bringing the game to a halt whereas cash games do a fairly poor job of it. For this reason, some poker players play exclusively cash games or exclusively tournaments. I believe this is a smart decision for the vast majority of amateurs as the games are totally different and appeal to different player types. There is no point in playing one variant of poker you don’t like as much as another, especially if you think you will have the same win (or loss) rate in both games.
Tic-tac-toe ends when someone gets three symbols in a row or there is a tie. This usually takes around one minute per game. Tic-tac-toe does a good job of ending the game quickly, although it likely ends the game too quickly.
Believe it or not, people enjoy not knowing what is going to happen next. Why do you think poker television shows spend time displaying how the flop, turn and river run out after two players get all-in? Most people want to see who wins. You will find very few professionals actually care who wins once the money gets all-in. They simply care about who has the most equity and if both players played their hands in a fundamentally sound manner.
Poker offers a huge level of surprise to someone who thinks they lost a huge pot only to find out they won. On numerous occasions, I have witnessed someone get up from a table, thinking they lost a huge pot, cursing and screaming, only to be told they actually won the hand. Poker makes some people lose their minds.
I personally enjoy the surprise of playing a hand and getting an unexpected turn or river card when playing deep stacked. It is extremely exciting to me to have a well thought out plan for a hand that is forced to change because I did not factor something into my thought process. This forces me to rethink my plan and reminds me to think of all possible outcomes on future betting rounds, which is quite difficult to do all of the time. Poker excels in the surprise category.
The only surprising thing that can occur in tic-tac-toe is when your opponent makes a huge blunder.
While there seems to always be a “luck vs. skill” debate raging in the government, I think everyone who has ever played poker for more than an hour realizes there is a huge amount of strategy involved. There must be a built in feature of a game that allows players to define and redefine their strategy as they become more experienced at the game. You must be able to use your experience from the past to learn to play better in the future. Poker allows for this perfectly.
When someone first starts playing poker, they typically learn some basic strategy, such as “only put money in the pot when you have a strong hand.” Clearly, this does not require much actual strategy or thought. Later, those same players have their eyes opened to the fact that they can bluff, which leads them to think about what cards their opponent is holding. From there, they start thinking about how their hand appears to their opponent. This proceeds until the player learns a somewhat game theory optimal strategy. From there, they learn to think one level ahead of their opponents, adjusting their strategy as they see fit. The layers of strategy built into the game are limitless.
There are mounds of tools available on the internet that you can use to improve your game. There are lots of articles and books available on all subjects pertaining to poker that can help you improve. Some of the best players in the world produce training videos, exposing the plays they make that weaker players do not. If you cannot find excellent poker training material, you are not trying hard enough.
Poker is an engaging game because, at the table, you have to figure out your opponent’s strategy then adjust your strategy to beat their strategy. This means you cannot have a default strategy that will win a huge amount all of the time. The best you can do is develop some sort of game theory optimal strategy, but this will always win significantly less than if you varied your play based on your specific opponent’s tendencies. While you can spend as much time as you want to study the game away from the table, you must be able to think soundly and implement your flexible strategy at the table if you want to make money in the long run. Poker is dense. Dense games require a huge amount of strategy.
Tic-tac-toe has an easily discoverable basic strategy that requires only a few brain cells to figure out. Once you master this strategy, you will be unbeatable.
“Fun” is a difficult thing to define because different people enjoy different things. While some people enjoy wild fluctuations of the money in front of them, others have no desire to have any swings at all. Some people despise losing money. Some people love even the opportunity to win money. According to Rosewater, the real way to figure out if a game is fun is to ask the players at the end of a game if they would play again. I have seen numerous players play marathon sessions of poker because they thoroughly enjoy it. I have seen players show up to their local casino at the same time every day to play a small, almost inconsequential, tournament. People love the act of playing poker.
Poker offers numerous avenues of enjoyment besides the act of playing poker. Some players enjoy conversing with other players at the table. Others like to get away from their “real” life and use poker to relax. Some people love to gamble and use poker as their game of choice. Others like to develop strategies and plays that allow them to push the boundaries of what is thought to be possible in the game, figuring out ways to run insane bluffs and make huge folds. While people use poker in different ways to have fun, they all keep coming back, at least until they are broke.
When you play tic-tac-toe, you frequently play for around five minutes then stop. This is because it is not a fun game.
Flavor refers to the theme or story of a game. Candy Land, for example, is a race between players to find King Kandy. In reality, players are rolling random dice and moving through a grid of squares with no skill involved whatsoever, but kids love the game. The flavor of Candy Land is sweet!
In my opinion, poker completely lacks flavor although I think most amateurs would disagree. I do not think many people think in terms of the pocket cowboys drowning the two red Aces when their brother rides into town to save them at the river. However, in the past, poker was played in the backs of bars and pool halls. Poker games would frequently get robbed or raided by the police. Fights would break out over bad beats.
While this is not the case in today’s casinos, some players think they are doing something risky by playing poker. Other players associate poker with the Wild West, thinking they are like the old cowboys who could win or lose the farm, given the right amount of luck. I think these people associate poker with being macho. Lots of kids watch their dads go off to play poker and think that if you play poker, you must be a real man.
For those who did not know, the best poker players are overly intelligent people who spend countless hours studying the intricacies of the game, not the guys who show up in muscle shirts and try to beat people up. In my eyes, poker is a math game where you have to make adjustments based on the mistakes you think your opponents are likely to make. I do not think of back rooms, cowboys, or proving my masculinity while playing. I simply show up and do my best to make the best decisions possible. However, I realize I see the game much differently than most people because I have played it for so long. Overall, I think poker fails in this category once players become the least bit seasoned but initially, the game has gushes with flavor.
To continue hating on tic-tac-toe, it has no flavor at all.
As you can see, I think poker passes these nine criteria with flying colors. While cash games may have a bit of problem with inertia and I believe the game lacks flavor, the other aspects of the game more than make up for these minuscule flaws. Seeing how poker continues to grow at a staggering rate, especially in locations where the game has recently been officially and legally introduced, you can bet on it being around for a very long time.
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