It’s Omaha time at 32Red Poker!
Whether this variant – with players being dealt four hole cards – is your favourite, or you’re yet to give it a try, we’ve got an Omaha bonanza this week in the form of our Four Card Fright Fest. The thrill of the game will get your poker juices flowing, and there’s also a lot of money to be won.
First we have the €12,000 Guaranteed Fright Fest Tournament Series, with two tournaments each night from Monday 26 October, culminating in the €5,000 Guaranteed event at 7.30pm GMT, Sunday 1 November. Note that playing just one hand of Omaha will instantly earn you €5+€0.50 satellite ticket for this €55 buy-in tournament, with satellites at 8pm GMT every night during Four Card Fright Fest.
Meanwhile, you can also get involved in our Added Money Pot Limit Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo SNGs – the more €1-€20 buy-in SNGs you play, the more added money you can get your hands on (see the Sit & Go lobby for details).
With Team 32Red, groups of online qualifiers, having represented 32Red Poker at the first three MPN Poker Tour events – the most recent being Dublin in September – we’re already building up a formidable looking band of raiders for the next stop on the tour, which will be Vienna, 21-24 January 2016.
Given that the Main Event – held at Montesino Casino in Austria’s grand capital – will have a guaranteed prize fund of €200,000, yet the qualification process starts at a minuscule 25c, it’s a no-brainer when it comes to giving the satellites a go and earning your place at what promises to be a fantastic poker festival.
Vladimir Pastushenko (DNIPRO2010)
Matti Sahinoka (guizilla94)
Phill Huxley (Rixdorf)
Adrian Nica (Lawliet1)
Dara O’Kearney (HopAlongHnsn)
Andrew Bell (andybell1977)
Frank Taal (minnekus)
Angus Dunnington (AngusD)
Adrian Nica (Lawliet1)
Dara O’Kearney (HopAlongHnsn)
Juliano Sabino de Figueiredo (Hinode)
We can now add Paul Aitken (MaoTseTung) to the package winners’ list. There are numerous ways to find yourself in Vienna by playing at 32Red Poker, and Paul, from Glasgow, managed to earn a €1,500 package with a single hand, having hit a royal flush (on the River!) in our nightly €500 Guaranteed Flush Royale tournament, which guarantees this star prize if you hit the magic poker hand.
Join the quest to Vienna now, and win your way on to Team 32Red!
A so-called ‘bad beat‘ – when a seemingly unbeatable hand actually gets beaten – is the poker fan’s ultimate banana skin on the road to fame and fortune. You could be sitting with the best hand you’ve seen in ages, worried only about the ‘problem’ of how to extract the maximum from your unwitting opponent, hoping that they have something big enough to not only remain involved in the hunt but to justify putting their entire stack on the line. Everything might well go to plan, with all available chips in play, but there’s a single, crucial detail causing the ending to this would-be fairy tale to induce a sudden shortness of breath – your monster loses to another monster. Fate has, quite literally, dealt out two enormous hands at the same time and, however mighty your quads looked, there’s no prize for second.
Well, that’s what happens normally. But at 32Red Poker a bad beat could instead be very good news indeed, thanks to our player-friendly, multi-payout progressive Bad Beat Jackpot. Quite simply, the losing hand wins, the jackpot having built up continuously until the above scenario happens – and not only do the other players involved, at the table, receive a share of the spoils, but so does anyone playing at the same blinds level! All you need to do to be eligible is to opt in, which is simply a matter of clicking on the BB icon. And there you go.
The latest hit, for example, was on a €20 max table, with the running total at a massive €51,062… 5555 ‘lost’ to an 8-high straight flush. Only three players had opted in, and each received a juicy €1,702.07 for a mere click.
Get involved. For more details click here.
The Bad Beat jackpot has been hit at a €50-max table… With the progressive jackpot at €59,548.71, four of a kind, 7777, ‘lost’ to QQQQ. It’s easy to opt in to be in with a chance of sharing some of the multi-payout jackpot – simply click on the BB icon. Away from the main table only three players had done just that, so they each earned a massive €1,488.71 for getting involved.
Join the Bad Beat quest when next you play cash games at 32Red Poker!
Many players put a lot of thought into their alias, and not without justification – even a name can contribute to someone’s perception of a player. If nothing else, we can create a little confusion amongst the opposition, who might interpret a name such as ‘RockSolid’ as jokey choice of an actual poker maniac, for example (when, of course, it may indeed indicate an absolute rock…).
Until now it has been the convention that players stick with their original name choice but, from 22nd September, you’ll be able to change your screen name pretty frequently. One reason for this is to protect players from the ruthless datamining specialists who hunt down others, while another is, simply, because changing names is both fun and part of the mind games that make online poker so fascinating a challenge.
Mr RockSolid, for example, will now be able to do a 180 degree turn and switch to ‘PreflopManiac’ should he so wish… In fact it’s possible to change your name every 30 days, or (usually even quicker) after every 1,000 real money hands. This will allow some players the facility to change their name more than once in the space of a day!
The Austrian capital, steeped in culture and history and awash with fancy cakes, is a popular place to visit, so adding an international poker festival into the mix was bound to attract considerable attention. And there’s also the matter of the €200,000 in guaranteed prizes in the Main Event, which spans 21-24 January, 2016 and will be held at the Montesino Casino.
Our satellite set-up couldn’t be more bankroll and user friendly, with initial buy-ins starting at 25c! Phill Huxley (aka Rixdorf) is becoming a seasoned campaigner on the MPN Poker Tour and, hot on the heels of his cashing in Dublin (click here), managed to win the €1,500 package that was up for grabs in our recent 94-player Vienna Freeroll. He was in contention from quite early on and established a strong footing as the tournament reached the final table which, as was pointed out by the numerous ‘spectators’ was an edge-of-your seat humdinger as the players were eventually reduced to Phill and our chess pro turned poker specialist Angus Dunnington (AngusD). Phill started the heads-up ‘match’ with a big chip lead but the roles were gradually reversed, leaving Angus in the driving seat – only to ‘mess up’ (his own words) when he ignored his inner voice and shove with 99 when Phill had QQ. It could have gone either way, but Angus can (sort of) console himself with the €550 buy-in for Vienna that was on offer for the runner-up (there was also another €1,000 won in MPNPT tickets!).
Meanwhile, the vastly experienced Dara O’Kearney (HopAlongHnsn; also in Dublin), who had also been in the running (finishing 9th) in the same tournament, was rewarded for his efforts when he won the Sunday Package Final after coming from behind heads-up.
For more information about how to qualify and be part of Team 32Red, click here.
Our progressive Bad Beat Jackpot gives players the opportunity to win a share of a large pot of money while playing at cash tables. Just playing at the same stakes as the winning hand is enough to be awarded a percentage of the jackpot – all you have to do to opt in is click on the BB icon.
The latest hit happened at a €50 max table, with the jackpot having reached €56,457.38… The winning ‘losing’ hand was 4444, losing to AAAA. Only one player at another table had opted in, a decision that earned an immediate jackpot payout of €5,645.73!
Get involved now! For more details click here.
After a couple of stops in Estonia and Georgia the MPN Poker Tour headed back west to Dublin in early September. Dublin is well-known for all manner of things and is up there with other European capital cities as a popular tourist destination. Thus it was no surprise that poker fans were so eager to qualify for this leg of the MPN Poker Tour via 32Red Poker’s extensive satellite set-up.
Twinned with Barcelona, another international poker venue, the question first-time visitors to the Emerald Isle might have been asking was does the famous Irish ‘craic’ – the art of life – translate to the poker tables, and the answer is a resounding yes. This has nothing, incidentally, to do with the fact that 10 million glasses of Guinness are produced daily in Dublin, but because it was simply a great atmosphere at the excellent Clayton Hotel.
There might have been Viking raids in the 8th and 9th centuries, but no Scandinavian invasion happened in 2015 and, while around 20 nations were represented in the Main Event, one would be hard-pressed to find a country both more passionate and skillful when it comes to poker. It would be easy to put the home success down to numbers, but this would be a mistake made only by someone who hasn’t spent hours at the tables with the likes of the talented Daniel Tighe – the Main Event winner – and his countrymen and women.
Main Event – Day 1a
459 players (collectively racking up 570 entries) would eventually sit down over the three 1st Days. These are impressive numbers indeed, especially when put into context of the tour itself – the first MPNPT in London, last year, had 83 Main Event runners. Successive, successful editions have seen the tour firmly establish itself as a key player in international poker, thanks in no small part to a combination of bankroll-friendly buy-ins and player-friendly tournament structures. The overall positive thoughts of our qualifiers reflect this, too…
Bruce Shannon (32Red Poker alias BIGSHANN0615) and Simon Taylor (TTayseer555) rather craftily opted for Day 1a. Contrary to the well-known saying, the proverbial early bird doesn’t always catch the worm but, in this case, playing the first of three days in a re-entry tournament can afford players an additional bite of the cherry. Thusly, Bruce and Simon busted out, but took a day off to recharge the batteries and sat down again on day 1c (see below…).
With more players arriving, more 32Red players took up the gauntlet today among the 146 contenders. Popular veteran Mick McCloskey (aka riverroe88) took advantage of the re-entry facility when busting out during the second level, but went out at level 8…
Barry Burns (Bazzabhoy) exited at level 7, and while fate had not put father and son qualifiers James Gray snr (jamboisgod) and James Gray jnr (jizzim22) on the same table, they were literally feet away from each other on adjacent tables. After much father-son banter and collective misfortune (James Snr, for example – playing at the same table as Angus Dunnington – flopped a set and lost to a runner-runner straight at one point…), son James busted out during level 5, followed by father James a level later.
One of the most popular Dublin phrases is Chancing Your Arm, meaning, of course, taking a chance. This originates from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where you had to put your hand into a hole to open the Medieval Chapter House door. Much ‘chancing’ obviously went on at the poker tables in Dublin. To call Phill Huxley (Rixdorf) a chancer would be in an injustice as he brings a lot of skill and guile to the table, and a practical gamble around the midnight hour, just before play was to end, saw him eliminated. But he would be back with a vengeance…
Angus Dunnington (AngusD) enjoyed a day of ducking and diving to finish 19th on a healthy stack of 85K, earning a relaxing day off with partner Carole, taking in the Dublin atmosphere.
Not surprisingly this proved to be the busiest day, with a massive 316 runners. Adrian Nica (Lawliet1) had two bites of the cherry but didn’t taste success… Kevin Greathead (Kevathallam) and Sam Welbourne (barrelinmonroe) busted out during level 9. Sam suffered from a dealer error that, ironically, improved his hand – after his second card was dealt face up (under the gun) his third card gave him a pair of sixes (instead of 65)… he opened and ran into a 10BB stack who had 77. C’est la vie.
Shirley Lal (PoKeRiZeR) exited during level 11 but would return to cash in a side event!
Ronald Alino (lil_J) managed to scrape into Day 2 with a 22K stack(!), Bruce Shannon and Simon Taylor were back, surviving to Day 2 at their second attempt with stacks of 32K and 39K respectively. Then came another Simon – Simon Millard (Bada_Bing72) was having his first taste of international live poker, but a good player is a good player, and he maneuvered his way through to the second day (helped by winning what must have been a nerve-wracking AA v KK all-in pre-flop encounter) with 36K in chips.
Husband and wife duo Richard (any4napkins) and Dionne Cowley (RangerMcFriendly) were on good form, coasting along – inasmuch as one can actually ‘coast’ in tournament poker – with stacks of 78K and 65K respectively. Indeed this did include an amusing skirmish between Dionne and the aforementioned Phill Huxley. Finding herself short-stacked, Dionne had gone all-in ‘blind’ and been called by Phill, only for her to find aces!
However, this was a just a minor mishap for Phill, who had put Day 1a behind him and had amassed a stack of 108K to put himself nicely placed for Day 2…
Ronald Alino was seated at the same table as Angus Dunnington but didn’t have the (relative) luxury of a workable stack and, needing a bit of luck to remain in contention, didn’t get any.
Bruce Shannon also would have been hoping for some good fortune to help his short stack along. With 20BB, and in the BB, he found KQo which, not exactly a monster, is nevertheless a welcome sight in this kind of situation. The action folded round to the SB, who raised to 2.5BB and both ended all-in. Bruce must have thought Christmas had come early when his opponent revealed a well and truly dominated KJ… you guessed it – the Turn brought a Jack and, despite the cruel possibility of overtaking on the river due to a 10-high flop, it wasn’t to be.
Simon Taylor and Simon Millard, who had ended their first day similarly ranked, also exited the tournament at around the same time.
Meanwhile, Angus Dunnington, not too happy at having his style cramped by eventual winner Daniel Tighe’s already mountainous stack, went for a cheeky re-raise all-in with AJs, only to see the initial pre-flop aggressor move his own chips in at lightning speed, clearly eager to reveal two shiny aces. As luck would have it… he got none.
Richard Cowley was knocked out (‘mistake/bad timing’) frustratingly close to the money (see below for a very well played hand from Richard), immediately followed by Dara O’Kearney (HopAlongHnsn).
Dionne Cowley added to the husband-and-wife team’s frustration by finishing just a few spots from a cash…
Despite valiant attempts from all, only Phill Huxley (54th) and Jamie Flynn (45th) won their way into the prize money, each earning €1075.
Richard Cowley had an interesting hand during Day 2 that illustrates well the thought process and ‘nerve’ required to survive the cut and thrust of tournament poker. He raised on the button with 84s and was called by the BB. The flop came Q 10 4 rainbow, his opponent checked, Richard bet and was called. The Turn brought a 7 – opponent checked, Richard bet, and was called. At this point Richard had him on a straight draw with either KJ or J9… The River was a 6, at which point the BB made a big bet! Richard thought it all through, trusted his instincts and called, and was rewarded when his opponent turned over his cards – KJ!
It’s a testament to the MPN Poker Tour‘s snowballing presence that a host of side events proved so popular. This made for a truly varied ‘festival’ feel, with the two day Dublin Poker Cup, Irish Omaha Cup, Freezeout and even a Highroller event. More fun could be had in Midnight Hyper Turbos, an aptly named Monster Stack Mega Ante tournament, where the structure took some getting used to (well done Phill and Shirley for finishing 5th and 7th respectively) and – a teaser for those suffering with instant gratification issues – an All-in or Fold event!
Going to the Dogs…
There’s more to life than poker, and part of the attraction when trying to qualify for events on the MPN Poker Tour is the prospect of visiting different places around the globe and enjoying what the likes of Dublin has to offer. As well as the usual attractions – Temple Bar, Grafton Street… Guinness – we thought our players might like a night out with a difference, so we invited #Team32Red to a special night of dining & thrills at Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium.
This was a new experience for many, but one that might well be repeated, as the excellent grandstand restaurant provided great food, a great view of the races and even an at-the-table betting service. When Angus Dunnington returned from the kiosk with his winnings after forecasting 1st and 2nd in the first two races, his partner, Carole, ‘sensibly’ removed the notes from his hand and left only the change to play with. However, like everyone else, she soon got the bug, and even managed a 1st, 2nd & 3rd place forecast.
Next Stop Vienna!
The Main Event in Vienna will be held at the Montesino Casino, 21-24 January 2016 and, once again, you can qualify for a €1,500 package and €550 seat via 32Red Poker‘s extensive satellites set-up. It’s so bankroll-friendly, in fact, that you can start your quest for the home of Sigmund Freud and wiener schnitzel for 25 cents!
I’ve just got back from playing the MPN Poker Tour event in Dublin, the second event I’ve qualified to play in through 32Red Poker. My first bite of the MPNPT cherry took place earlier this year in a Soviet basketball stadium in Tbilisi. Although the venue for this one was the marginally less iconic Clayton Airport Hotel on the outskirts of Dublin, the big guarantee, generous 25,000 starting stack and slow structure remained. All with an affordable €500 buy-in.
Playing Day 1b, my table seemed like a nice mix of locals and qualifiers and I chipped up early on thanks to having AA, KK, QQ and TT all hold up and win decent sized pots. Unfortunately I was unable to kick on and my stack failed to progress any further as the blinds continued to rise and the average stack size caught up and surpassed me. I ended up gambling in the last level of the day and busting with 20 minutes remaining.
A second bullet
Licking my wounds I returned the next day to re-enter. I stagnated throughout the day, making tight fold after tight fold, limping to the last break of the day with less than the starting stack. Importantly I was still alive and had not been all-in as I grumpily visited the deli counter at the petrol station across the road from the hotel to purchase a delicious sandwich. In the last three levels I could do no wrong. I was moved to the liveliest table in the room with a selection of players who were having a marvellous time and enjoying an alcoholic beverage or two. Suddenly I couldn’t lose a pot, quintupling my stack in the last two levels of the day with the help of my inebriated opponents to finish on a healthy 108k. As fellow 32Red player Simon Taylor (aka TTayseer555) commented to me – “that went pretty well for you.”
For day two I was drawn with 32Red player Dionne Cowley (aka RangerMcFriendly) to my left. It was inevitable that we would play some pots together and indeed as she got shorter stacked she went all-in against me several times. The only hand I actually called was when she went all-in blind after losing almost all of her stack in the previous hand, and she managed to turn over pocket aces!
Nothing much happened until, at the first break, I decided I needed to repeat my sandwich move from the day before. As play resumed, I began munching on my snack and open raised six hands in a row. There is an old adage in poker that if someone plays a pot while they are eating then they always have a big hand and so it proved when, on my sixth raise, I flopped a full house with KJ suited and won a monster pot from a non-believing opponent.
My chip stack kept on increasing and after busting my teammate Dionne (sorry!), I cruised into the money feeling hopeful that I could make a deep run. Sadly it was not to be, but I have no regrets about the way I exited the tournament. After defending my big blind with Ace Five offsuit, I got it all in on a 752 all spade board, with middle pair and the nut flush draw vs pocket nines. It was almost exactly a 50/50 flip but I failed to hit one of my 13 outs and found myself at the payout desk with my dreams of victory crushed. Thankfully I had busted out just in time to join the other 32Red qualifiers on a night out in Dublin and soon forgot my disappointment.
Due to the previous night’s activities I slept through my alarm and was late for the hotel breakfast, getting there just as it was closing. With almost no food left available, I resorted to eating porridge out of a cup with a tea spoon for my morning meal. It wasn’t the glamorous life on the international poker circuit that I’d envisaged but, fortunately, I knew I wouldn’t repeat yesterday’s mistake and went to buy my ‘lucky sandwich’ before play began in the side event.
The Monster Stack Mega Ante had a structure unlike any I’ve ever played before. We started 1,000 big blinds deep but the twist was that the ante was huge, in some cases the same or even larger than the big blind itself. I suspected that whoever designed this tournament structure was on strong drugs, but it proved to be great fun to play.
Surprisingly (or perhaps not), a number of people in the tournament failed to adjust to the structure of the tournament. With one round of hands costing you several times more than in a regular tournament, playing tight was clearly not an option.
Fuelled by the sandwich of good fortune, I relished the opportunity to play like a maniac and was involved in lots of pots with what might be generously described as speculative hands. I got very lucky when I four bet shoved Q3 suited from the button into the pocket tens of the big blind. Justice was done when I spiked a queen to knock him out and increase my stack. In defence of my reckless play, he did look like he was Scandinavian! A little later I won a coinflip against 32Red player Kevin Greathead (aka Kevathallam) and finally ended up winning a huge three way all in with AK vs AQ and Q9 to almost triple my stack.
With 13 players to be paid it was now a case of manoeuvring my big stack into the money and hoping the streak of the lucky sandwich continued and, somehow, I even managed to get a few walks in the big blind. Another 32Red player in the shape of Gary Dawson (aka Blackbear32) had been moved to my left and I stayed active as I battled in a few pots with both him and Kevin.
Having lost a few pots, an odd incident occurred after I moved tables and shoved under the gun with pocket fours. The big blind clearly didn’t see that I’d gone all in and exposed his AK in front of him. The dealer assuming he folded then spread the cards out on the table as if the hand was over. Then the big blind let out a surprised “Oh”.
The hand of my opponent was not near the muck, so it was ruled it was still live. A bigger problem was that the deck was now all over the table. Thankfully the cards were just about still on top of each other and it was able to be reconstructed to the satisfaction of the Tournament Director. Amongst all the commotion I almost didn’t notice that I’d won another flip as the board was dealt out all bricks and I knocked out my unobservant opponent.
As two tables remained I hung on through the bubble with a shortstacked Gary and reached the final table without incident. Coming in as a medium stack, the structure of the tournament made the final table an ICM nightmare for me as I was constantly torn between trying to ladder up the payscale and not playing too tight. 32Red player Shirley Lal (aka PoKeRiZeR) joined me and we doubled each other up once, though strangely she only remembered the one that she lost! She played well and eventually finished seventh and I laddered to fifth before I was finally all in and lost. Ironically this time I had by far the best hand.
I had a great weekend in Dublin. Not only did I cash in both tournaments I played, but I also met a bunch of really nice people. So thanks to Nick and Monika from 32Red and players Kevin, Gary, Dionne, Shirley, Joel, Simon1, Simon2, Bruce, Angus, Adrian, Ronald, Barry and all the other 32Red qualifiers.
I’m already looking forward to the next leg of the tour. See you in Vienna in January!
The progressive Bad Beat jackpot continues to make a lot of players happy thanks to multiple payouts. With the jackpot at €52,732 the magic hand came to life on a €20 max table, when a Q-high straight flush ‘lost’ to a royal flush!
Remember that to be in with a chance of sharing the jackpot money you have to ‘opt in’ by clicking on the BB icon and be playing at the same stakes as the eventual jackpot winner.
Only eight players – excluding the main table – had opted in, earning €659.15 each for their forward planning…