February 16, 2021
Tetris® combines with Spin & Go tournaments at PokerStars in a fun promotion that sees $1.5 million paid out between February 15 and March 28.
Head to the Spin & Go lobby in the PokerStars client and you’ll see there are Tetris® Spin & Go games with buy-ins of $0.25, $1, $2, $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, and $500. They all play out the exact same way as a traditional Spin & Go, meaning they’re three-handed hyper-turbo tournaments where the prize pool is randomly determined before the first hand is dealt.
It’s still possible to win up to $1 million in some of these game, but there are a few notable differences.
First, the virtual felt is made up of Tetris® blocks, which actually looks pretty cool. Also, the dealer button is now a Tetris® block too, and other blocks fall down the screen.
The Tetris® part of the promotion comes in the form of leaderboards. There’s a separate leaderboard for each Tetris® Spin & Go buy-in level, so 10 in total. You need to opt-in and then fire up some Tetris® Spin & Go tournaments.
Play your tournaments as you would ordinarily, but do so knowing the aim of the game is to clear lines, just like in Tetris®. The number of lines you clear depends on your Spin & Go multiplier and your finishing position in the tournament.
Your level increases each time you clear five lines. This results in you earning even more points so you can climb up your leaderboard faster.
The 2021 Guide to PokerStars Spin and Go Poker
How Many Lines Do I Clear?
As you can see from the table above, finishing in 1st place in a Tetris® Spin & Go that has a 2x multiplier clears four lines. Just playing a tournament earns you points.
How Do You Earn Points?
The number of leaderboard points you earn is based on your finishing position and your current level. You start off earning 40 points for clearing one line when you’re at Level 0, but this increases to 840 points if you manage to climb to Level 20, which is the highest level you can achieve.
It is possible to earn up to 25,200 points per Tetris® Spin & Go tournament, as you can see in this table.
LevelPoints for 1 LinePoints for 2 LinesPoints for 3 LinesPoints four 4 Lines
Tetris® Spin & Go Payout Table
The leaderboards payout $33,000 every day throughout the promotion making for a combined total of $1,500,000 just for playing Tetris® Spin & Go tournaments.
The $0.25, $1, $2, and $5 leaderboard payout the top 100 points earners, so you have a decent chance of walking away with a cash prize. The prizes don’t have any restrictions on them meaning you’re free to do with them as you wish.
Spin & Go Your Way to a PokerStars Sunday Million Seat
The Tetris® Playing Field – Avoid Hitting Game Over
There’s an extra element to this promotion that you have to be aware of at all times. PokerStars calls it the Playing Field.
Just like in a game of Tetris® where it is Game Over when the blocks reach the top of the screen, it can be game over for you if you go on a streak of out of the money finishes!
Finishing in first place either improves your Playing Field status or makes zero change to it. Finish in second place, however, and your Playing Field status either stays the same or actually worsens, which is also the case when you finish in third place.
Your table, or playing field, is green in color when your Playing Field is in a good state. It turns amber when it is worsening and turns red when you’re in big trouble. Failing to win when your playing field is red could see you reach Game Over which means you cannot earn any more leaderboard points until the next day!
The changes to your playing field status depend on your current level.
1st place 2nd place 3rd place
LevelImproveNo ChangeNo ChanceWorsenNo ChangeWorsen
Get Involved in the Tetris® Spin & Go Promotion
With $33,000 waiting to be won every day until March 28 there’s no time to waste if you want to win some free cash.
Download PokerStars via PokerNews, enter the bonus code “STARS600” when making your first deposit and PokerStars will match your deposit 100% up to $600. In fact, your first three deposits in a 90-day window are matched 100% up to a combined maximum of $600.
All you need to do then is opt-in and fire up some Tetris® Spin & Go tournaments and see if you can pad your bankroll with some of the $1.5 million that’s guaranteed to be won. That and try not to spend the rest of the day humming the famous Tetris® tune!
The Stars Group is a majority shareholder in Oddschecker Global Media, the parent company of PokerNews.
Why are the best poker players actually the best?
Every serious poker player wants to be successful and many of them have the right technical skills. However, the truth is that there are key mental factors that separate the big winners from everyone else.
Patricia Cardner is a psychology professor, licensed professional counselor and dedicated poker player. She interviewed a select group of professional poker players who share two key characteristics: ALL of them have been successful over many years and ALL of them have lifetime winnings of more than $1,000,000.
Patricia analyzed the results to determine exactly what psychological skills, techniques, and strategies they use. This book is the result of her studies.
Positive Poker outlines the mental skills that you need to develop if you want raise your game. Positive Poker will help you to:
* Optimize your brain for efficient learning* Increase motivation and stay positive* Use psychological skills to increase your win rate* Increase self-control and reduce tilt
Patricia is aided in her investigations by the highly successful poker pro Jonathan Little, author of the critically acclaimed series, Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker.
Pearl Legend: Hold and Win is a new release which is coming from iSoftBet, a slot machine with a Chinese concentration and utilizing a lot of the designs that are normal for their games. Some of the features included will be familiar to you, as the Hold and Win a part of the title suggests there are a few things which are unique also.You are playing on 5×3 reels with 20 paylines being used each round. Pearl Legend: Hold and Win can deliver top wins of 1,250x the stake but its standard mixes offer maximum of 500x. It has a 96% RTP, while for its huge features there will be Wilds, Pearl scatters, the Pearl Legend Respins, Reel Boosters and regular game modifiers.Betting and Prizes 20 coins are being used and you simply pick their value, in a range of $0.01 to $1. The wagering range coming from this will go from $0.20 to $20.Wins of up to 1,250x the stake can be paid during Respins, which implies that you could leave with $25,000 cash, by utilizing the most extreme wager of $20. Standard wins of up to 500x the stake per spin are delivered during gameplay, utilizing mixes made out of Gold Dragons.A 96% RTP reveals to us that the amount getting back into the pockets of its players is about the same in other slot games.Pearl Legend: Hold and Win Slot Features Anytime you see the Yin Yang image on the reels, it will be joined by the Wild logo, so it will be the substitute which you can use to place along with standard images and get new wins. You can’t have it do likewise for the scatter but that is a standard limitation.There are a few game modifiers which you may use during paid spins. Red Gems will give you 3 to 5 wilds on the reels. Blue Gems will change images into Pearl scatters. There is likewise a Dragon sculpture, which will change Royals to high value images.The Pearls are your scatters and landing at least 5 out of a single spin will take you to the Pearl Legend Respins reward. Both the setting off Pearls and any new ones that go along, will get sticky on the reels. You start with 3 respins but you reset the number on the off chance that you get extra Pearls before the rounds are totally consumed.Pearls may appear during Respins and they can bring certain Boosters, given that you get three that match.Blue Gems: will open up to three extra rows (Reels Boosted).Green Gems: give the Pearl prizes a boost (Values Boosted).Red Gems: gives you 1 extra respin (Spins+ Boosted).Purple Gems: the multiplier goes up as high as 10x (Multiplier Boosted).Theme and Design As far as Chinese themes go, the one from Pearl Legend looks standard. The six images we see are basic in such games, as we’re taking a look at Yin Yang signs for the wilds, a Pearl as scatter alongside premium images with the Dragon, Phoenix Bird, 3 Gold Coins, Frog. The other four base paying images are the ones showing Royals. With everything taken into account, it’s a standard look for such slots. The activity seems, by all accounts, to be put placed in a temple, where we see on the left side a living Dragon holding a pearl in its claws.ConclusionPearl Legend: Hold and Win is definitely not a terrible slot machine, especially as they changed a few things about its major feature, they didn’t just clone the same reward game that every other person is using lately.
The entire concept of a “bull market in stocks” makes little sense. Sound crazy? These days, certainly, because we’re always hearing about a perpetual bull market in stocks. Valuations increasingly disconnected from economic reality, asset bubbles in one class or another, armies of speculators moving like zombie hoards descending on the next fad and blowing it up to infinity and beyond, Buzz Lightyear-like.Why is the whole concept of a bull market generally, nonsense? Because if the value of everything is going up simultaneously, then nothing is going up. If everyone is a superhero, nobody is. If, in an imaginary economy, absolutely everything costs, say, $5, (labor, land, capital whatever) and then the next day everything costs $10, then what’s changed? The answer is absolutely nothing.The only thing that matters is relative valuations between asset classes. Let’s divide them into three of the most basic ones. Equities (stocks), bonds (debt), and commodities (consumer goods). If all three are going up in tandem, then there is no “bull market” in anything. If commodities are going up faster than stocks and bonds, you have inflation, or even hyperinflation. Ask anyone in Venezuela whether they care that their stock market is doing great, nominally. They don’t. They’re looking for their next glop of gruel or morsel of moldy bread to survive the day.But if stocks and bonds are rising and consumer goods are static to falling, you have a bull market in financial assets. This is where we are now. And boy are we really hard and deep into it now. Below is the ratio of the S&P 500 to the CRB Commodities Index.And I’ve got news for everyone. This bull market in stocks relative to consumer goods in dollar terms is already over. It ended almost a year ago. On April 20, 2020 to be exact. Red circle blowoff top above. That was when oil crashed to negative $35 a barrel and we all lived in an alternative financial freakhouse universe. But I have more news than that. This entire “bull market” in stocks has been one gigantic illusion from the very beginning. Stocks aren’t going up. They haven’t gone up for 21 years. Money is going down. Here is the graph of stocks relative to the prime monetary commodity, gold, over the same timeframe above.We can see here that from 1990 to 2000, we had a real bull market in stocks. Equities rocketed in gold terms and in terms of consumer goods generally. Everyone felt richer. Portfolios up, expenses down. But since that time, money has been dying at an accelerated pace and the standard of living has fallen.The bull market in stocks over the last 21 years has been an illusion, a tiny echo of the bull that ended at the turn of the century. We have spent the last 21 years trying to reinflate it, but gold has exposed the lie. We are now at the point where the illusion is about to collapse completely. In my view, we have only a few months left until it all hits the fan. Until then, the bubbles will keep coming in staccato frenetic fashion, moving from one asset class to another faster and faster, until we all get so dizzy we can’t follow it anymore. Last week I speculated that maybe the next target for the zombie hoard will be in penny gaming stocks. I was close. It’s in Macau stocks. It may already have started two weeks ago. The frenzy has started over news about China opening up again. I mean, just look at this crazy chart of the Macau proxy ETF:That last surge higher is just since February 1. We could be at the beginning of a crazy but brief ride higher in Macau stocks right now. New all time highs again, and Macau isn’t even fully open yet. The latest full month statistics for December show a 78.6% drop in visitors year over year. And yet we’re at new all time highs in these stocks already. It’s just completely crazy. I can understand the Macau opening up again trade, but to argue that this factor is being priced in at these levels, at new all time highs? As if none of this full year shutdown hurt any of the casinos fundamentally at all? That’s just totally bonkers crazy. It’s a reflection of the value of the currency these stocks are priced in, not the stocks themselves.What’s happening is that the zombie hoard of bubble chasers is reading the headlines regarding China starting to open up again, and they’re slamming buy orders and call options like they’ve been doing with tech stocks and Gamestop and BTC and all the other fads. We just got news out of Bloomberg that China’s Imax had a face-ripping rally due to exploding ticket sales. China is, indeed opening up, and the zombie hoard of speculators is now going to spray their money hoses at anything Chinese. Macau might be at the center of it.How high can this Macau bubble go, if that’s what we just saw start two weeks ago? The truth is, it doesn’t matter. If you get into it, you’ll get hooked and keep levering yourself up, counting your paper gains, unable to separate from them until you get caught in a vortex. At some point, my view this year, it’s all going to come crashing down when all the damage from 2020 is finally revealed all over the world. You can’t paper it over forever. The damage to Macau casinos doesn’t just go away. It festers in the form of more and more debt, and a damaged consumer base that can no longer patronize casinos in the way it once could. Festering wounds need the paper bandage removed and they need to be operated on. That is painful. And it’s coming.When we think of the word “bubble”, what are we really talking about? A bubble is something that looks, from the outside, to be really big and stable. The shape of it, a sphere, is the most stable shape in the universe. It’s why planets, stars, moons, and possibly even the spacetime continuum itself, spontaneously shape themselves into spheres. The force of gravity equalizes at every point on the sphere, forming equilibrium. Nature always seeks equilibrium. And so bubbles take on the illusion of stability, but unlike a real sphere, there’s nothing inside them. When they pop, they are gone almost instantly. This one is about to pop. Macau appears to be the next victim sucked up by the bubble. Macau will survive and rebuild. The question is, in what form? I wouldn’t take a bet the depended on me getting the answer to that question right.
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Starting from 16th February to 28th February, PokerBaazi will be hosting the Daily Cash Smash! 13 Days, daily leaderboards and prize pool of INR 21.45 Lakhs! The players can grind any of the three (NLHE/PLO-4/PLO-5) cash tables and all the chips won from the leaderboards will be withdrawable (separate for all three variants)!
All players will have a chance to win from a daily prize pool of INR 1.65 Lakhs! All you have to do is play the cash tables between 10:00 AM – 4:00 AM!
The Daily Leaderboard prize pool
5/10 & 10/25 (Texas Hold’Em): Daily 8k Leaderboard
1/2 & 2/5 (Texas Hold’Em): Daily 4k Leaderboard
25/50 & 50/100 (Texas Hold’Em): Daily 12k Leaderboard
5/10 & 10/25 (PLO-5): Daily 6k Leaderboard
25/50 & 50/100 (PLO-5): Daily 15k Leaderboard
1/2 & 2/5 (PLO-4): Daily 2k Leaderboard
10/25 & 25/50 (PLO-4): Daily 8k Leaderboard
It’s time to grind again on PokerBaazi, but this time, it’s going to have to be on the cash felts! Head over to the link below for more information about the Daily Cash Smash 2.0 and Leaderboards
For more information about the latest poker promotions and poker news, keep reading PokerShots!
Since the Alderney Gambling Commission’s role is vital in our industry and it is one of the primary governing bodies that we rely on for the regulation of online casinos, we will now give you an overview of the main features of AGCC.
We’ll start with a short history and definition of what AGCC is. We’ll then go through its activities and responsibilities. We’ll also mention some notable casinos that have an AGCC licence. Finally, we’ll let you know how you can contact AGCC and what it can do to help you.
AGCC – What Is It?
Established in 2000, Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) is an independent governing body that regulates iGaming operators on behalf of the States of Alderney. Together with the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Agency, it ensures that an operator offers players the chance to play at a safe online casino.
Name: Alderney Gambling Control Commission
Address: St Anne’s House, Queen Elizabeth II Street, Alderney, Channel Islands, GY9 3TB
Phone: +44 (0)1481 825500
Alderney Gambling Control Commission – What It Does
AGCC is authorised to issue licences and certificates. There are two types of electronic gambling licences. The first has to do with player registration and verification, contracts and funds. The second one has to do with the management of gambling platforms. These two types are intricately connected.
Alderney Gaming Control Commission has set a clear goal. Its main objective is to defend and improve its name as a first-tier regulatory jurisdiction. It works towards that goal by ensuring the following:
All gambling is conducted honestly and fairly.
Online gambling, including its management, operation, and funding, is free from criminal influence.
Strict regulation and monitoring protect the young and vulnerable people.
Moreover, AGCC takes up compliance testing of licensees. To perform regular technical checks, AGCC Alderney works closely with certified testing laboratories, or test houses, around the world. Finally, AGCC provides players and operators with transparency. On the website, you can find the names of the licensees but also the names of the applicants.
Alderney Gambling Control Commission Casinos
Since the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) is a key issuer of certificates and licences in the online gaming industry, you will often come across its name when looking for the best gambling sites in the UK. Here are some of the top online casino operators that proudly display the logo of AGCC on their websites as proof they have a valid licence from the Commission.
Why Play at an AGCC Casino?
But why should you choose one of the Alderney Gambling Control Commission casinos? There are many reasons. First of all, you should never even consider playing at unregulated casinos. AGCC is one of the best in regulating online gaming sites and promoting responsible gambling. That gives players a lot of advantages. The Alderney logo on the casino website guarantees:
Player Protection: Operators are required to comply with the data protection Act and handle sensitive information properly. Also, those that are vulnerable and the young are paid special attention. Finally, player funds are kept separate from casino funds, thus preserving player money no matter what.
Fair Gaming: Online casinos undergo routine equipment checks by licensed technical laboratories that work with the Alderney Commission. The regular technical supervision and testing aim to ensure all games are fair and that the Random Number Generator (RNG) is indeed random.
Operator Accountability: If there were no accountability, online casinos would do whatever they please, and players would suffer losses. However, Alderney Gambling Control Commission casinos stand by their word. Should an operator stray from the act of conduct, any player could get in touch with AGCC – contact them or file a complaint.
Apart from the AGCC transparency that we’ve mentioned, the Alderney Gambling Commission is easy to reach by phone, fax, email, web form, or mail. Choose your preferred method of communication to request more information about the activities of the organisation or to file a complaint.
Did you know that AGCC Alderney would like to help you in your communication with the online casinos they regulate? For example, if you think you’ve been mistreated, but the casino operator doesn’t respond to your messages, contact Alderney.
Indeed, since one of the goals of the Alderney Gambling Commission is to ensure that players are treated fairly and gaming is conducted honestly, you could rely on the help of the governing body. Contact Alderney – file a complaint – with regards to any case in which you believe a licensee, that is an online casino, has breached any of the provisions, as stipulated by AGCC.
FAQ About Alderney Gambling Commission
We have tried to present the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) the best way possible without getting into too much detail. We’ve explained what AGCC is and what it does. We’ve also made clear how the Alderney Commission could help you in your communication with online casinos. Finally, we have given you the names of top AGCC casinos. We’ll now answer the top questions players have about AGCC.
✔️ What does AGCC stand for?
AGCC stands for Alderney Gambling Control Commission. It is one of the most respectable regulatory organisations in iGaming. The AGCC works closely with the UK Gambling Commission to maintain and ensure a safe online gaming experience for UK players.
📑 What does the Alderney Commission do?
The Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) issues certificates and licences to casino operators that comply with the Commission’s stringent rules for player safety, game fairness, and protection of the young and vulnerable people. It also ensures that operators stay compliant by regular testing.
🃏 What makes AGCC casinos safe?
If an operator displays the AGCC logo on their website, that gaming site a safe place where you can play real money games and expect fair, honest results, thanks to a truly random RNG. Alderney Gambling Control Commission casinos are an excellent choice for UK players.
🎰 What are the advantages of playing at an AGCC casino site?
You are probably wondering what the advantages of AGCC casinos are. Since the Alderney Gambling Commission works to ensure the UK online gambling experience is at its best, AGCC casino sites boast many features of excellence, such as player protection, fair gaming, and operator accountability.
🎲 What can the AGCC do for players?
AGCC has UK players’ best interests at heart, including but not limited to player safety and comfort. So, if you have a problem that an AGCC casino refuses to solve, you can go ahead and use the AGCC contact form or another method of communication to flag the problem. Alternatively, you can file an official complaint.
Glorious Guardians is going to be a joint title, from Ash Gaming and Playtech, one of the 2021 slot games that will be coming out from this developer. The base for this one comes from China and from its amazing creatures specifically. We see the concept both in its design and in its utilization of Twin Symbols during its major feature.Glorious Guardians gives 5×3 reels. The slot will settle up to 2,000x the stake through its fixed bonanzas. It’s major features are the Wild, free spins with Twin Symbols and scattersBetting and Prizes A few fixed bonanzas can be delivered by Glorious Guardians. These are the Mega Jackpot of 2,000x the stake, Major Jackpot of 200x the stake and Mini Jackpot of 50x the stake.Glorious Guardians Slot Features In spite of the fact that extremely basic for an uncommon feature, the Wild image is as yet going to have a significant effect over the long haul, and for some it might simply do what’s necessary to transform a losing meeting into a productive one. The manner in which it works is standard, as a substitute that you can utilize while framing new blends, given that you get different images which are required.The huge feature of Glorious Guardians will depend on the free spins however. When you get those set off, you will locate that the first and fifth reels will have coordinating images on them, with the guardians covering both. During the free spins, this can make it simpler to shape 5 image mixes of that kind.Theme and Design Obviously, there is a major spotlight on the creatures mentioned in the story of China and I love how Playtech and Ash Gaming managed it design wise. We’re taking a look at a background picture showing palaces and sculptures of these creatures on the two sides while the reels mark the outer reels with red and the center ones are kept separate.Images will give you pictures of the Royals at first, beautiful but standard choices in any case. You at that point proceed onward to images with the creatures (Dragons in green or gold, White Tigers, Phoenix Bird Turtles) and the feature triggers (Wild).ConclusionGlorious Guardian is generally a good slot machine with nice features, so you can try it out.
ts911 คาสิโน ออนไลน์…
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.
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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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That is a lot of people!© PokerNews
The 2014 WSOP introduced the concept of the “Monster Stack” tournament, which provides each player with a much larger starting stack than normal.
While it is a well-known fact among professionals that they have a larger edge with a larger stack compared to a smaller stack, the Monster Stack event was one of the largest of the series, attracting a whopping 7,862 players.
When I posted about my confusion on twitter, I was instantly faced with lots of people spewing blatant ignorance. Somehow over the last few years, amateurs got the idea stuck in their head that deep stacks are good for them!
In this blog post, I will explain why the Monster Stack event is bad for amateurs and what they can do to find events that give them the best chance for success.
Before I proceed, please know I am only trying to spread the truth. While it has become clear to me that countless people blindly believe incorrect concepts, if you are an amateur player who cares about money and you seek out deep stacked events consisting of a few professionals, you will quickly find your bankroll is gone.
Playing for Fun
The main reason most amateur players seem to favor deep stacked events is because they allow for “more play.” To them, this means they get to sit at the table for a longer period of time before going broke. This is, of course, correct, because they can lose more hands before becoming handcuffed by a short stack. Compared to normal $1,500 WSOP events, where you are often crippled after losing one marginally significant pot, having a larger stack in terms of big blinds will allow for longer periods of play at the table.
That isn’t a lot of chips!
I want to make it clear that sitting at the table for a long period of time should not be your goal when you enter a poker tournament, assuming you care about money. If you are only playing for entertainment, to complete a “bucket list” item, or for a story to tell your friends, this article is not for you. Those people value experience over money. There is nothing wrong with that at all. However, I try to help people who want to improve at poker, not those who blatantly do not care about knowledge and self-improvement.
In all aspects of life, you can usually find a way to trade money for experience. Most of the time for lunch, I have blended up spinach, kale, parsley, and other vegetables. Yum! However, on some days, I will go out to an overly expensive restaurant and eat fairly unhealthy (compared to raw veggies) food. When I go to a restaurant, I am voluntarily trading money, time, and health for a nice experience and pleasant tastes in my mouth. While I don’t do this too often, perhaps once per week, I enjoy it and will continue to do it.
This guy is clearly having fun. © PokerListings
I think most amateur poker players who are playing poker for the experience view the Monster Stack event similarly to how I view going out to a fancy restaurant for lunch. There is nothing at all wrong with that. Trying to teach me about nutrition and getting a good value when it comes to dining out at lunch is futile because both of those things are not my goals in the least bit, just like some amateurs’ goals are not to win money in the long run.
I am not on the same page as those players looking for an experience at the poker table because we have vastly different goals. If I want to save money, time, and health, I eat spinach. If I want to spend money, relax, and eat cake, I go to lunch. If you want to maximize your equity, especially if it is certain to be negative (the goal, perhaps, should be to lose less), you should play shallow stacked events. If you want to play poker with the pros, sit at a poker table for a long time, and not instantly go broke, you should play deep stacked events. However, you must realize that you are sacrificing monetary equity for experience equity.
Of course, it is possible to have the best of both worlds, playing deep stacked with an edge, which is what the pros do, but you must accept that you will have to spend tons of time away from the table studying and at the table practicing to develop your skills. Most amateurs refuse to study away from the table and do not have adequate time to spend at the table. If you care about money, you must be realistic with yourself about your goals and your commitment to the game.
My problem occurs when someone tells me “I am playing the monster stack because the deep stack gives me an edge” and also “I play one poker tournament per year.” It is almost impossible for that player to be good at the game. I am simply being honest and fighting ignorance. Sometimes the truth hurts.
Playing for Money
If you are playing with the intention of trying to not lose your buy-in, you must be perfectly fine with busting out at any point in a tournament. Some of my best days of the summer are when I bust out of within an hour because I get to take the rest of the day off. I would much rather bust one hour into a tournament than eight hours into it, assuming I am not in the money.
It is easy to make bad decisions with a huge stack. © PokerListings
Most amateur players use the extra time afforded to them by having numerous big blinds by waiting around for premium hands. The problem with this is that they often cultivate an overly tight image and fail to get action with their strong holdings. Waiting around for a nut hand is useless if you only win small pots. In order to succeed in deep stacked poker, you have to get at least a touch out of line and let your opponents know you aren’t playing with only the nuts. If they think you are capable of bluffing, you will get paid off much more often.
As an example, in the Monster Stack event, which I made a point to play due to my gigantic perceived edge, someone raised to 3 big blinds and a guy who had yet to reraise over the course of eight hours all of a sudden reraised to 12 big blinds from the button out of his 75 big blind stack. I looked down and found Q-Q. I folded it with little thought. If my opponent was even the least bit active, I would have happily doubled him up. Instead, I lost nothing. I was not surprised at all to see him turn up A-A. For the record, in tournaments with strong players who play at least marginally aggressively, I don’t think I have ever open folded Q-Q in my life. My opponent’s play cost him around $1,000 in equity and he didn’t even realize it. He was simply happy to win the pot.
Lots of other amateurs claimed they don’t like playing short stacked because they are forced to “flip”. While getting it all-in with around 50% equity is never ideal, you will find that if you can get all-in with around 55% equity or more you will crush the competition in the long run. Believe it or not, it is difficult to do once stacks get shallow.
I will demonstrate this concept using oversimplified, but hopefully enlightening, math. In these simulations, you are forced to go all-in every hand in a heads up match. Notice in an actual poker tournament, when you get all-in, it will frequently be against one player, which is a similar situation. You must recognize that if you are overly focused on getting your money in good, you will often be blinding off, making the math much worse for you because when you win, you will not bust your opponents. This gives them the opportunity to run their stack back up, occasionally busting you despite you initially winning almost all of their chips.
Hopefully you know that if everyone has a 50% chance of winning each all-in, in an eight-person heads-up tournament, everyone will win 12.5% of the time. However, if one guy has a 55% chance of winning his flips, meaning each of his opponents has 45% chance against him and 50% against everyone else, the player with 55% will win the tournament a 16.6% of the time, which provides a hefty 32% return on investment. This is because each of his opponents will only win 11.9% of the time.
If instead of only eight people, there were 64, the player with 55% will win 2.77% of the time, which might sound minuscule, but is huge compared to everyone else, who will only win 1.54% of the time. In that event, the player with 55% will have a 77% return on investment, which is more than most top tournament players expect to have in a tournament with many more people. Hopefully you immediately recognize that if you can consistently get your money in good, you will have a larger return on investment as the field size increases.
It is important to realize that when playing deep stacked, good players do not get all-in against an amateur without a hand that can reasonably beat good, but not amazing, postflop hands, such as A-A on 9-7-4-2. It might be hard to believe, but against someone who is a good poker player, you do not want to get all-in with most one pair hands in most situations when you have more than 150 big blinds.
To make matters worse for the amateurs, pros slowly grind up their stacks with minimal risk by stealing lots of pots that do not belong to them. This allows the pros to get all-in as a significant favorite with more chips than their opponents, killing the amateur’s chances in the long run. Notice in a 64 person flipping tournament, if a really good pro has 60% equity and everyone else is neutral, he will win 4.67% of the time with a gigantic 199% return on investment. If instead, all of the stacks are super short, perhaps the best a pro can hope for is to have around 53% equity on average, cutting his return on investment to 41%, giving the amateurs a realistic shot to win in the short run.
This is why deep stacks are devastating for amateurs, assuming they care about money. This is also why you see the same pros making deep runs in major deep stacked events on a consistent basis while they put up less than stellar results in short stacked events. The math is inexorable.
How Did the Amateurs Do in the Monster Stack Event?
If you look up all of the Monster Stack final table players on the Hendon Mob database, you will see that six of the nine players are what I would consider to be mediocre pros or complete pros in the $1,500 and smaller events. Two of the players, including the eventual winner, had almost no live results, but if you take a look at the events they were playing prior to this event, you will notice they were playing mostly high stakes European tournaments. This tells me they are almost certainly strong online players. If you are an online player who plays mostly on the internet and in Europe but you can find a way to come out to beautiful Las Vegas for the WSOP, you are probably excellent at poker. Only one of the players had relatively weak results and even then, he had some.
How did You Do in the Monster Stack Event?
I got lots of “hate tweets” when I lost, saying that if pros have such a large edge, why didn’t I win? There is a relatively large amount of variance in any poker tournament. How any individual pro fared in the event is entirely irrelevant. You must look at how we did as a whole. Considering that most likely eight out of the nine final table players were at least mediocre pros, we likely did better than average.
That being said, I doubled my 15,000 starting stack to 30,000 without going to a showdown within the first two hours. From there, I got all-in for a giant pot with A-K as an 85% favorite in a spot where I was fairly confident my opponent had A-K, A-Q, or A-J on an A-T-8 board. He had A-Q and got a Q on the river, putting me back to 15,000. I again ground up my stack with no showdown to get to 30,000, and then I lost with A-K versus A-J all-in before the flop to bust. Within a few short hours, I got my money in as an 85% favorite for a two starting stack pot, as a 73% favorite in a four starting stack pot, and I ground up two starting stacks.
I am entirely happy with my performance. The actual outcome (I lost) is irrelevant. Remember, if you are playing poker for a living, you only care about winning equity. Money will come in the long run.
Which Events Should Amateurs Play?
So, which WSOP events should amateurs play, if they are looking for good value for their tournament dollar? They should play events that have the highest variance because those lead to the most flips. This means the typical $1,000 and $1,500 events that have shallow stacks. The Millionaire Maker event is an excellent option for such amateurs looking to play a WSOP event because the stacks are short and the prize pool is huge. If you are looking to gamble hard with at least some equity, that is the event for you. Before buying in, realize you have around a .014% chance of winning, assuming you are a break-even player.
If they play a conservative strategy, they should play events that do not punish being tight with a deep stack. Since pot limit events do not have antes, those are the ideal events for amateurs. Despite this fact, pot limit events attract some of the smallest fields of the series. This is another example of blatant ignorance at work.
My books are a good place to start!
Notice that the WSOP Main Event, which is a giant $10,000 buy-in event, attracts loads of players, and proudly boasts the deepest structure of all events played around the world. This is the one event amateurs should not even consider playing. Instead, they show up in droves.
Of course, the amateurs could spend their time learning the game well before tackling fairly large buy-in events, whatever stack size they provide. That would certainly be a much wiser use of their time and money. Luckily for me, most people find studying to be boring. Poker is alive and well.
Once professionals stop being short-sighted and accept that whatever is good for the amateurs, whether they know it or not, is good for the game, they will fight hard to spread the truth. Sometimes you have to ruffle a few feathers and viciously attack ignorance along the way. I am willing to fight the fight.
Thank you for reading. If you have any comments at all, feel free to share them.