Sunday, June 24, 2018

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8 Things to keep in mind when playing PLO | WHISP
1. The Nuts – In PLO someone has the nuts much more often than novices expect, especially if they’re used to playing NL-Hold’em. When a player rises in PLO towards the end of the hand, it is very much likely that the person will be holding the nuts. For example, if it’s a paired board till the river, a nut flush should be an easy fold on a pot raise.
2. Bluffing – There is far less bluffing in PLO than is done in Texas Hold’em, Of course, people do bluff in PLO too, but with so many hands possible, it’s much more difficult. So be very cautious while bluffing or I would suggest to simply avoiding bluffing in a PLO game.
3. Starting Hands – This is a much debated topic when it comes to PLO, with so many possible combinations, you can usually play more hands in PLO. You can play a little looser before the flop, if you truly understand the game, interpret the flop correctly and know which hands to play carefully, which to bluff with and which to fold.
4. Drawing Hands – You can play a lot more drawing hands in PLO than in Hold’em, but you should make sure you’re drawing to the nuts most of the times, for example, if your hand is A-10-7-4 and the flop comes K-5-6, it is NOT a good drawing hand, because you are nuts only if you hit a 3, but if you hit an 8, in most of the situations you’ll find yourself in trouble.
5. Backdoor Hands – Backdoor hands are played more often in PLO than in Hold’em. Because you have six hands rather than two. Suppose you flop two pair or a set with one of your flush cards also on the board, you and your opponent who flopped top set get all your money in on the flop. Then it comes runner-runner in your suit to make your flush and win the pot. In other words you have escape valves in PL-Omaha that you don’t have in Hold’em. In Hold’em you have only two cards to start with and sometimes there is no escape possibility – you’re trying to hit two specific cards and that’s it. The odds of two of your suit coming on the turn and river are about 23 to 1. But in Omaha, the odds are more in your favour.



 Let’s say that I have -A? 10? 2? 2? and the flop comes J? 7? 2. My opponent makes trip Jacks and I make trip deuces. We get all our money into the pot. I still have about a 13 percent chance to make a flush if it comes club>club or diamond-diamond on the turn and river. Therefore my backdoor possibilities, my escape valves are pretty important.
6. Volatility – PLO is much more volatile than NL Texas Hold’em. Many times, hands come up that both you and your opponent will put all their chips in the pot, even if the cards were played face up. Typically this happens when a player has top set and the opponent has a big wrap or a wrap with a flush draw.
7. Implied Odds – Your implied odds in a hand take into account what you are going to be paid off with. But more often you cannot count on that payoff in PLO. For instance if you’re drawing a nut flush and you hit it on the river, there is very strong chance that nobody will call you on the river.

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Saturday, June 23, 2018

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How to play Knockout Bounty Tournament | MTT Strategy
Knockout Bounty Tournaments have recently been a big hit. You can now play bounty tournaments on leading poker sites like Pokerstars, Full Tilt and now even India’s leading sites like thespartanpoker. Initially the Bounty Tournaments were started in India in Gurgaon, where the hosts of the house named Rollers Den organized a special tournament where the buy in of the tournament was 5k. Out of this buy in 4k was contributed to the prize pool and a wearable wrist band was given for the remaining 1k.
The tournament usually had around 15-20 participants. The prize pool was distributed amongst the players who finished in the top four positions. Adding a twist to the usual tournament procedure an additional bounty was of Rs 1k was given to the player who eliminated any player during the tournament, leaving the player to get an additional bonus for eliminating the player from the tourney. Each player used to hand over their respective (one)wrist band to the player who eliminated them. By the end of the tourney any player having any number of bands with them could trade each band for Rs1k from the house.
This made the tournaments more action generating and addictive. Now being the initiators of this tournament, there are a few tips by the hosts of the house(Rollers Den) in Gurgaon about HOW TO PLAY specifically the KNOCKOUT BOUNTY TOURNAMENTS.
How to play Knockout  Bounty Tournaments
The main confusion amongst players is the strategy decision for knockout bounty tournaments is whether to adjust your play to actively seek for bounties, or whether to play your standard tournament play and seek bounties as an added advantage ???
The Rollers Pro who actively won most of the bounty tournaments and also seeking the max number of bounties at Rollers Den Live recommends downplaying the significance of bounties themselves. Instead, seek advantage in exploiting the greedy bounty seeking opponents’ BIG MISTAKES, when they try hard to win themselves bounty prizes.
Indeed in a bounty tournament it is very important to have an awareness of what the opponent are doing will help you make better decisions in such tournaments.
5 Proven Strategy Tips for online Knockout Tournaments
1. Avoid All-in Bluffs
As the other players are seeking opportunity of stealing your bounty and stack. The chances are high that they most likely would call your bluff searching for their draws in order to shove you out of the tournament and claim your bounty.
Rather it is best to hit your NUTS and then shove. In that case, people chasing their draws might fall in the trap as they may call seeking your bounty. There is a no sure way of winning in Poker, but the best poker player is a person who makes a decision which is wise in the long run. Maximum number of times the person calling will lose.
2. Less Bubble Check Downs
In a standard tournament you can expect people to check down more often when they are close to bubble, when a smaller stack Player goes ALL-IN.



Instead, in a KO BOUNTY TOURNAMENT when a smaller stack goes ALL-IN , most players eek to call him, since in case they win they earn a BOUNTY + STACK and in case they lose they still stand a chance to cash out the tournament.
3. The Prize Pool Matters the most
The BIG money is still at the final table as 80% of the prize pool is used for standard payouts based on finishing positions. So make sure you are not eliminated before you reach the final table.
4. Try to stay above the average stack
The most TILTING part in such tourneys is winning on a big hand and loosing on the bounty, just because your opponent had you covered by a few chips. Staying aggressive enough to be atleast a little ahead of your opponent, will ensure you get paid those bounties as well as winning those chips.
5. Expect crazy action


Especially in the starting phase of the tournaments, you can sometimes even see more than 3-4 players involving themselves into ALL-IN scenarios in almost every second hand. Especially in case there is any Re-Entry to the Bounty Tournament.

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How much Skill Vs. Luck do you need to win a game of Poker?
Poker is under an indecisive debate and much discussion of the moral Vs. legal privileges that the stalwarts and lovers of the game tend to seek – whether it is a game of skill or a game of luck?…
In Poker, there is serious money exchanging hands and can sure make or break fortunes! Of course, the game lovers and game providers naturally look for scientific ways to prove their point. The statistical model for understanding the nature of this simple yet complex game can perhaps put this issue to rest. It can also then predict the possible outcome of a game underway fairly accurately – a much sought-after and equally elusive aim!
If only it were as easy!… There have been a number of studies that have tried to get into the probabilistic statistics of poker. The mathematics involves application of game theories. One such work that tries to capture the math is Chen and Ankenman’s The Mathematics of Poker.
Any sound and reliable research depends on freely available data. Until the recent popularity of online poker sites, like RollersDen, it was difficult to get hold of accurate poker records as most game hosts were not willing to disclose the details to researchers.
A landmark study
But online poker sites have made collation of data far more easy and convenient. One noteworthy study was the one carried out by Cigital Group, a software consulting firm in Washington D.C. They studied over 100 million hands dealt by poker (Texas Hold’em).
Here is what they reported:
1.       Only about twelve percent of the dealt hands won due to the best hand.
2.       Three-quarters of the hands never reach showdown. This meant that the winner never had to show his or her cards, whilst other players folded in by themselves in successive betting rounds.
3.       In addition to the above, in almost half the cases where there was a showdown, a player who should have won as per the dealt cards, had already folded.
What was their inference?
Cigital concluded that Poker is indeed a game of skill, and that luck played a very small role in the hand. They argued that the lack of showdowns directly implies that poker is skill-based. The winner could have won by his skill, by similar betting, no matter what cards he/she had been dealt, they extrapolated. It was the decisions made by the player that determined whether or not there was a showdown, which is skill-driven.




Yes! Others agree…
A similar independent study of over a billion hands by Robert Hannum, a professor of risk analysis and gaming at the University of Denver, was in line with the findings of Cigital. Hannum found that 85.2% of the hands never had a showdown and 14.8% of the remaining did not have the best cards as the winner.
Economists Thomas Miles and Steven Levitt of the University of Chicago identified 720 players as highly-skilled ones, and noted that their ROI stood at 30.5 %, whereas the average return of all other players was a minus 15.6 %.They calculated the win rate of highly skilled poker players at a whopping 54.9%
Personal clich├ęs
Arbitrary numbers are suggested by players as the percentage of skill vs. luck. They could be as varied as 70% skill and 30% luck to a 50-50 weightage of the two. It depends on the mindset and viewpoint of the individual.
Conclusion


Of course no statistical figure of concluding numbers can clinch the actual percentage of skill vs. luck element in poker. But anyone who is familiar with the game will agree that skill is a very important factor in determining the way the winds of winning blow in every poker hand!

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It's about time the Indian government legalizes Poker 
Poker – an attractive game of extreme skill, patience and practice! Popular throughout the world, it is accepted worldwide today that poker is not gambling, not a game of chance, but rather a skill-based game that requires mastery and expertise, just like any other sport!
Independent India is creating great impressions, being a part of the BRIC community, as a growing economy in the world, arriving on the global scenario and being perceived as a tolerant country that values and cherishes its exemplary democracy. Freedom to practice any profession is woven into the cultural fabric of modern India. In fact, the Indian diaspora has been making impressive progress in the global sports arena of late!
Is it not therefore correct for lovers of poker to expect the authorities to move with the times and change how the legislation views poker? There is ample proof of a changing legislative mindset keeping up with the changing modern trends. The recent announcement by Uttarakhand Chief Minister having the intention to legalize hemp (marijuana) farming across the state is a trailblazer towards a progressive India. Hemp is an important industrial plant and can fetch good revenue for the country, pushed by the Natural Fiber Policy of the Textile Ministry, which recognized a surge in hemp demand across the country and the world.
Exciting ripples are being felt!
Drawing parallels in the Indian gaming world, Indian law classifies all games under two broad categories – those of luck or and those of skill. The Supreme Court has maintained that rummy is a game of skill. The Karnataka High Court passed a landmark judgement in 2013 that declared poker as a predominant game of skill, along with rummy. Andhra Pradesh has also passed a similar ruling.
In fact, it is in the hand of each state to formulate the laws of gambling and gaming.Many states, such as Sikkim, Goa and Daman allow poker to be played in casinos. Nagaland looks all set to propose a bill that will legalize online gaming, claiming to be the first state to actually try and pass a legislation that supports online skill games such as rummy and poker.
These moves have sparked a debate and a hope for the poker players and fans, who like to test their skills at the game, albeit the legal way. There are a number of online poker gaming sites that have become popular owing to the courts’ verdicts above.
The love for poker is on the rise among Indians who find the game intriguing and challenging. Moreover, it gives them a perfect opportunity to test their analytical skills as well. But laws are still ambiguous about the status of poker, and are subject to interpretation. This proves to be a major hurdle in the way of the growth and popularity of this game.
Legalize and thrive
Time and again, it has proven that giving the legal stamp to the existence of a social fact has helped to generate public trust and in turn curbed illicit practices. The Delhi Government’s legalization of ‘unauthorized’ colonies has helped the municipal bodies as well as the people residing in these colonies.
Allowing the poker rooms, both physical and online to operate openly under the legal ambit, would not only suppress corruption and underhand dealings, it can also be a source of great revenue for the country.



The International Scene
The Monte Carlo of the East – Macau, is one great example! The glamorous haven has shot to fame in a short span of time and has even given stalwarts such as Lag Vegas and Atlantic City a tough competition! Macau generated $45 billion in revenues from poker in 2013 alone!
Countries like UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Malta and Thailand are some of the countries that let complete or restricted playing of poker enjoy legal status. Some countries even allow poker playing to be exempted from tax. In fact, some of these destinations are extremely popular and have attracted many global master-players who have achieved worldwide fame owing to highly successful careers built out of their mastery in poker!
Shouldn’t India follow suit?


Isn’t it time that India shakes off its traditional myopic view and legalizes poker? This will enable fans to pursue poker as a serious sport and also help make India a hot destination for fair and open gaming, inviting players from around the globe, while also adding millions or billions to our GDP!

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Poker: A game of skill, NOT a game of luck
Just as the question of chicken or egg – which came first, is often debated, so in playing circles, the question that often arises is whether poker is a game of skill or that of luck?
Piggybacking on this question is a doubt of moral conscience that keeps popping into the minds of those deft at this game, as the horns of dilemma lead to whether one is a patron of gambling or likes to showcase one’s mastery of skills! Since big money is involved, this bearing weighs heavily. This question also becomes vital in order to view the game of poker as legally permissible, especially in the areas where law prohibits gambling because while a game of skill is out of the legal purview of gambling, a game of chance isn’t.
Anyone familiar with the nuances of the game will surely vouch for the fact that Poker indeed is a game of skill, not luck; a fact well supported by landmark judgment in New York in 2012, where the city court upheld this view.
Luck can decide what cards are dealt out to each player in a hand, but it is certainly skill that decides HOW the player leverages the cards for a win/loss. It requires experience, mind-reading ability and a sound judgement the psychology of the opponents that can make a seasoned player decide whether to hold on to the cards, or let go. It is the skill and the judgement of being able to read between actions taken by other players, that guides a player’s next move. So, clearly you can’t count on luck to emerge a winner!
Can numbers nail it?
If luck were the predominant factor, then the rules of probability (or complex derivatives thereof) would be able to mathematically justify how the game takes shape. But time and again, the pundits of poker prediction (and there are loads of them out there, what with such high stakes of moneys doing the rounds in poker circles!) have proved wrong, because no math can significantly predict the workings of  the human mind! That’s proof enough for the argument that poker indeed is skill-based, more than luck!
A number of studies have also proved poker’s strong inclination towards skill. In 2009, a study by Cigital on 103 million cards dealt on PokerStars, revealed that 75% cards dealt never made it to showdown, clearly validating that it was the skills of people betting on the dealt cards which decided the final outcome.
Discipline, not an art!
Mastering poker requires disciplined study, detailed planning, and structured playing. In fact poker is unique, since gambling means the house or gambling den (e.g. casino) can take away your stakes in their favor. But in poker it only provides service and one player can win at the expense of others. Statistically, every player has an equal chance of winning, but it’s skill that tilts the game in their favour!



Just like any other game!
Poker is as much a game of skill as golf, stock trading, cricket or bridge! Each of these games involves some risk, and of course also luck by your side, but it is your skill on how to play out the actual situations that turn the game around.  People have made entire careers out of poker successes, similar to other sports where players prove their mettle and mastery in their respective areas.
Allows for willing Losing
It is possible to lose a game of poker if a player so desires. A game of pure chance cannot be in your control for losing! Only skill can decide that! Similarly it is the skill that decides whether the game can be won and the player with the best skills wins!
A final word!
Hence a deal of poker is not some random money changing round such as the popular slot machine. It is a well-thought of game of strategy that requires skillful thinking!


So go ahead, enjoy the game and let it hone and sharpen your mind, increase your concentration and make you more alert, just like those glitzy brain exercises! A thriving and thrilling world awaits you; one that can help you make money (lots of it!!!) and famous too, provided you get the right skills and practice!

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A Peek into the History of Poker
Poker, as we know it today, surely has a huge fan-following. It is an intriguing game of skill and human psyche. Both amateurs and professionals are hooked on to this game that is loaded with thrills and rides high on money too!
The game as we see it today has an interesting trail of rich history; having been polished from one form to another over centuries! Of course, it is in the interest of the game lovers and history seekers to trace the origins of poker.  As goes with all things in the remote past, there are many claimants to the title! And then yet again, one can always argue that human civilizations across the world may have thought of multiple avatars of the game, each independent from the other!
In any case, the earliest known roots seem to point to the Chinese in 969 AD, when Emperor Mu-Tsung played a domino card game on New Year’s Eve with his wife! Across to Africa in the 12th and 13th  century and the clever Egyptians had invented card games; and in Asia, the Persians hads created their own avatar. In the 16th century – a game called Ganjifa or Treasure Cards– played with exquisitely crafted 96 cards made from paper-thin slices of ivory or precious wood in a complete deck. ‘Exotic’ blended with ‘enticing’ certainly added to the glamour and lure of the game! Persians also played As-Nas which included 25 cards and betting.
Closer to modern times
Cut to Europe; contributors to the modern version of Poker…
The game of Porque was patronized by the French and a variant called Pochen became popular in Germany during the 17th and 18th centuries. Both seem to have evolved from the Spanish game of Primero, dating back to 1526, which dealt out three cards to each player and included bluffing, i.e., betting with higher stakes, even when the cards were not good enough, just to fool the opponents.
With French colonies being established in Canada, the cards found a home in the ‘new world’. Catching the fancy in New Orleans and spreading along the River Mississippi via the riverboats which hosted poker tables, the game gained widespread popularity.
Soldiers in the American Civil War and the rugged cowboys of the Wild West during the gold rush loved the challenges that poker presented – a befitting pastime and a platform to prove their mettle as well! All saloons and bars in the West were incomplete without a poker table, which became the hotbed of many an action-packed night!
Formal birth
A fan called Jonathan H. Green learnt the game in prison and mentioned it as The Cheating Game being played on riverboats in his writings, in 1834.He discovered how different versions of the game were being played and went on to become a professional card player! So fascinated was he, that in his book called “An Exposure to the Arts and Miseries of Gambling” he formally named the game Poker!



Variants and the scenarios today
During the American Civil War, there were the game’s cousins born such as stud poker (five cards), wild card, lowball, straight, community poker game, split-pot poker and the draw. Today there is the 5 card draw, 7 card stud and the most ‘Cadillac of Poker’ –  Texas Hold’em! Casinos and home held games are proud hosts of this version of poker. Las Vegas was of course one of the most prominent nurturing grounds!
Today, the reach of this game is far and wide. The No Limit Texas Hold’em reached out to the American masses via television with the help of poker tournaments such as the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour. 
The digital boom of the 21st century has caused hi-tech online poker rooms and websites to bring this game to your living room and further add to the frenzy! With so much information and endless guides available online, anyone who desires to learn the nuances of poker has many ready references!


So if you too have been hoping to jump onto the bandwagon, the internet is your simplest bet to get started and rake in big moolah!

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Six Types of poker players you bump into at #PokerClubs in #Delhi!
Delhi leads the way when it comes to anything fancy and happening! Poker game in India sure has a lot of oomph attached to it. But glamour aside, it requires a lot of hard work and skills to play the game right. It is as much about body language, mind reading and right attitude, as it is about the technique. So, it’s a game that involves the actual moves on the table and also the behind-the-scenes mental moves and thoughts of the players! Hence you need to possess the skill to read the minds of your opponents. The players themselves will try to prevent you from doing so, by donning masks which you will need to peel off!
Talking of Delhi and its love for Poker, here are 7 types of poker players you are likely to bump into at a poker club there. And mind you, these are not just fancy categorizations. These terms really do exist in poker literature!
1. Calling Station/Fish
Not a title in good sentiment! These are players who keep calling bets, but will almost never raise. They keep chasing their draws and win only if/when their hand hits what they are drawing . Many a time, this gets to their ego and they get overconfident about themselves. Now you simply need to learn to how to overpower them!
2. NIT/ROCK
Here is the diametrically opposite partner of the above – one who sits like a lousy rock and refuses to show the guts to take risks. Only the best hands will entice him to play on. Even then, he/she is hardly visible, and is distinguishable by the top order cards that he/she always plays. Plan your every move with caution, when facing a Nit.



3. Newbie
What a weird one… He/She is someone who may have the zeal, but no experience about the game; or the ‘Noob type’ who is mostly not willing to experiment to get a handle of the game! Both are exasperating opponents, but you can outsmart them.
4. The Maniac
Aptly so, because they are hyperactive and will not let a hand go by. Raising repeatedly is their typical characteristic. Not in their senses due to a high dose of alcohol, adrenaline or both!
5. ABC Poker
The ones that think they are most ‘educated’ and play straight by the standard rules. Very predictable and their moves can be guessed. Aggression can easily intimidate them and often used by others for their own benefit!
6. The Coffee Houser
A bit of a master at deception, here is a player who will look for ways to lead you astray. Be wary of such players and make your own judgement.
7. Sharks
Predators of the game, sharks are well-versed will all facets of the game, so are best equipped to try and turn the game to their advantage and accommodate all kinds of opponents in their own plans! It is very tough to crack what’s going on in their mind, since they may actually lead you on to think exactly what they want to portray… not the truth!


So, log into the biggest poker site of India – xyz – for a shot at online poker. It’ll certainly be fun figuring out which of the aforementioned categories your opponent falls into!…