Mission Freeroll: €50K to be won!

March 12, 2018 by  
Filed under News

There’s another one of those no-brainer promotions happening at 32Red (9-25 March) that you’d be a fool to miss. Mission Freeroll puts a very tasty €50,000 worth of prizes on the line for you to take full advantage of.

Easy Money

Two €1,000 Mission Freerolls will be held every day during the promotion, at 5pm and 7pm GMT, and to get your hands on tickets all you need to do is play in any of the qualifying games – namely €10 Max and higher Cash games, Sit & Gos with minimum buy-ins of €2 and Scheduled Tournaments with a minimum buy-in of €5 – and complete simple daily tasks (e.g. winning a NLH pot at showdown with less than a pair).

Bonus Bonuses

In addition to the daily €2,000 in prizes we’ll be awarding the winner of each Freeroll an Immediate Bonus that can be anything from €250 to €1,000!

And to make your playing time as flexible as possible, the tickets will remain valid for up to 7 days, so you can choose when to jump into the action.

And that’s it. So, have fun at the tables, pick up free tickets and good luck in the Mission Freerolls!

Find out more

MPNPT Tallinn 2015

Once known as Big Red Castle, it’s not surprising to learn that Tallinn, Estonia’s picturesque capital, is a favourite among tourists looking for a bit of history that’s easy on the eye. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city was a European Capital of Culture in 2011. Sounds a great place to visit, and thus a perfect venue for the third leg of the MPN Poker Tour, which took place January 15-18, 2015 at the Olympic Casino Olümpia.

Medieval Old Town in Tallinn

Winning a package via 32Red Poker is a perfect way to experience a live poker festival, and our players had the added bonus that the casino, a very well respected poker venue, is part of the luxurious Radisson Blu Olümpia hotel, where they stayed.

Day 1

The Main Event was a €500 + €50 No Limit Hold’em tournament with a €40,000 guaranteed prize fund. The combination of a decent structure (25,000 starting chips, 60-minute levels), late registration and unlimited re-entries during the first six levels made for some interesting poker and some awkward decisions.

Having collected their free chips to use at the tables, drinks vouchers and a free sports bet given away by the casino upon joining, Angus Dunnington (Scotland), Simon Taylor, Bruce Shannon (England), LeoLeou (Northern Ireland) and Vladimir Pastushenko (Ukraine) took their seats in the tournament room. Note that, ultimately, 122 players actually entered and, with 26 re-entries, this made for an effective total of 148 entries, thus generating a prize pool of over €70,000 for the top 12 places, with over €20,000 for the winner… well worth playing for.

Vladimir Pastushenko

Vladimir Pastushenko

There was also the added incentive of making an impression in the MPN Poker Tour Player of the Year, which offers as a fantastic first prize free entry to all of the MPNPT Main Events in 2016 (plus a unique trophy).

Angus got off to a decent start but the late arrival of a talkative, dominating Swede to his left seriously cramped his style. He eventually made his exit just before the end of the play for the day when, finding aces for the very first time in the tournament, he got it all in but ran up against a bigger stack’s 555. Meanwhile, the structure might have been welcomed by some, but LeoLeou coped with what he perceived to be the tedium by turning to his iPad for entertainment. This might not necessarily be recommended strategy, but whatever works, and he managed to find a path through the jungle to end Day 1 with 17,900 chips, a little behind Simon’s 23,600 but out of touch with chips leader Revo Rink, who was already racing off into the distance with a stack of 215,000!

Angus Dunnington

Angus Dunnington

Day 2

In terms of the Main Event, fortune didn’t shine on our players today. As the blinds increase the significance and implications of taking a hit – or even failing to keep your head sufficiently above water to afford much-needed breathing space and flexibility – can grow conspicuously problematic, even with the tournament’s player-friendly structure.

Simon Taylor

Simon Taylor

With good opportunities difficult to come by, any ‘decent’ looking hand assumes far greater importance than would normally be the case, while premium holdings are like gold dust. Simon Taylor found himself with KK but, unfortunately, ran into a pair of ace. Coincidences tend to be more memorable when associated with good or bad fortune and, for Simon, it was the latter, as he’d exited the event in the same manner as his fellow 32Red Poker player, good friend and roommate in Tallinn, Bruce Shannon…

Bruce Shannon

Bruce Shannon, aka BigShann

Meanwhile, LeoLeou was still battling away or, in his words: ‘Hand dead at new table. Going to get blinded out’ – which was a more practical assessment of his chances than a show of pessimism, as anyone who has spent time with the likeable player will confirm. Later he was ‘still hanging on’ with around 50K in chips when the average was 95K and, eventually, after 3-betting a big stack with 88 and shoving a 10, 10, 2 flop, he had come up against A, 10 and the 32Red Poker assault on the Main Event had finally come to an end.

The players met up in the Old Town, which is well worth a visit, the plan being to recharge the poker batteries and try their luck in Event 4 on Day 3. Ukraine’s Vladimir Pastushenko had other ideas. He had already made up for exiting the Main Event by taking 2nd place in the 24-player €135 + €15 NLH tournament, and today he made another final table in the €110 + €10 NLH, finishing in 6th place – all the more impressive considering there 105 players this time around.

Day 3

Our players, suitably refreshed, sat down for the €135 + €15 NLH ‘Big Night Out’ event. This was a sort of quasi freezeout with re-starts available during the early levels which, unlike the 60-minute blind levels in the Main Event, were this time only 20 minutes.

At one table, Angus Dunnington, Bruce Shannon and Vladimir Pastushenko were all next to each other. Bruce got off to a flying start, re-raising a player on the steal more than once, making a nice (check-) call on the river with a not very attractive but ‘strong’ enough hand and, even taking into account a bit of inevitable bad luck, deservedly built a hefty looking stack. Unfortunately a series of big pots highlighted how quickly the proverbial wheels can come off the poker train as it hurtles along, and his disappointment will have been heightened by the fact he lost out to players whose understanding of the game doesn’t approach his. That, of course, is one of the occupational hazards of poker, but it always feels particularly cruel nonetheless.

MPNPT Tallinn (Estonia)

MPNPT Tallinn (Estonia)

Angus felt he didn’t seem to get going, yet Bruce’s exit ironically coincided with his recovery. After barely waking up for much of the tournament he was suddenly able to take advantage of his hitherto dormant table image. All good things come to an end, as they say and, as he was starting to finally move up gears, his Q-high straight came up against a K-high straight.

The 32Red Poker presence did continue, though, with LeoLeou finishing in 5th place in the 59-player tournament.

LeoLeou

The last poker fix came in the form of the €50 + €5 Pot Limit Omaha which, with only 39 entries, paid out just five spots. While most of the players were relaxing and thinking of their flight home and the next quest, the indefatigable Simon Taylor took 5th place.

 

Tallinn is a nice place for a poker festival and our players enjoyed their time both exploring what the city has to offer (Can-Can dancers at the casino proved to be a popular, albeit unexpected form of entertainment, but it’s the picturesque capital itself that lives up to its expectations) and the poker itself (although the frustrating nature of poker means some enjoyed it more than others).

As for the festival, the numbers proved quite encouraging in the context of the MPN Poker Tour, with the 148 Main Event entries here – after 109 in Malta and 89 in London, translating to official first prizes of €20,387 in Tallinn, €15,330 in Malta and €9,465 in London – showing how the tour is going from strength to strength.

NL Hold’em: Small Pocket Pairs

January 13, 2015 by  
Filed under Angus Dunnington, News, Poker School

We don’t need years of experience to appreciate a couple of the implications of playing small pairs pre-flop (for the purposes of this article we’ll define small pairs as 22-77). On the upside, when the flop promotes the pair to a set it’s great news, particularly in view of the fact that such a hand can be so well disguised that the ‘reveal’ might come only at the conclusion. However, what happens far more often is that, not only does the small pocket pair remain a small pocket pair but, invariably, the arrival on the flop of at least one overcard immediately starts to sow the seeds of doubt – our pair might already be beaten and we’re effectively sitting in the dark armed with a pretty toothless pair. Read more

Following Up a Continuation Bet (Part 1)

May 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Angus Dunnington, News, Poker School

The so-called continuation bet is practically standard procedure nowadays. We raise pre-flop and continue the aggression on all manner of flops, regardless of whether we’ve hit. Much of the time, against a lone opponent, factors such as the flop itself or our table image might be enough to bring about a fold and give us the pot there and then.

But poker isn’t as easy as it once was inasmuch as players are now sufficiently well acquainted with the C-bet to not automatically surrender. The result is the rather awkward, frustrating situation we tend to find ourselves in when, after carrying out this popular play (and not connecting with the flop) our continuation bet is called and, when the Turn card arrives, with no direct link to our hole cards, it’s decision time.

We know that – in an ideal world – the consistent follow-up to the play thus far would be to bet in order to keep our foot firmly pressed down on the accelerator that we assumed control of at the beginning of the hand when we raised pre-flop. Unfortunately, executing this (‘firing a second barrel’) is easier said than done and, as usual, we have to take into consideration that there is a time and place for such a move. (Let’s assume, by the way, that the continuation bet made sense and thus formed the foundations to approach the hand logically in this particular context).

Before looking at scenarios in which firing a second barrel is the appropriate play, it’s worth considering those times when the prudent option is simply to face facts and not stubbornly throw into the pot money that we are unlikely to see returning home to our stack by the end of the hand. Of course this is a situational game and there are no set rules or watertight guidelines but, while we shouldn’t fall into the habit of putting ourselves off betting in fear of ghosts, it does no harm to get used to properly weighing up the pros and cons of this or that play.

Clearly, when we have no hand, with no potential, having no discernible battle-plan and betting for the sake of it because we’ve bet twice already, is careless, thoughtless poker.

Also unwise in this case is betting against an out-and-out calling station, which achieves nothing more than redistributing money. They simply won’t fold. They enjoy calling with a modest hand, and refusing to take the hint by betting from start to finish with nothing merely justifies their ‘strategy’ and walks right into their hands (reading the opposition, then, is a must – it’s imperative we concentrate on what’s going on, even when not involved in a hand!).

In Part 2 we’ll take a look at following up the Continuation Bet strategy by maintaining the pressure and firing the second barrel.

Good luck at the tables!

Angus Dunnington (AngusD at the 32Red Poker tables)
32Red Poker Ambassador

No Limit Hold’em: Show No Mercy at Loose Tables!

April 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Angus Dunnington, News, Poker School

We all have a favourite style of play, an approach that has proven more successful than others over time and is also best suited to our personality. However, flexibility is part of the game, and it’s imperative that we learn to both recognise the kind of players we’re up against and a table’s specific dynamic and so on and, subsequently, how to adapt in order to exploit others’ weaknesses.

One such example – especially in the modern game – presents itself when the table is populated exclusively by loose players. Many consider themselves loose-aggressive but, essentially, they tend simply to be much too loose because they get involved when they shouldn’t, constantly, and in so doing are losing players. Note that the psychological pitfall for these players is that when they win an enormous pot after filling a draw their mistaken logic supports the ill-fated notion that the ends justify the means when, in reality (in the long-run), the ends don’t come around sufficiently often to justify the accumulative investment in chasing big hands.

There’s a tendency when trying to profit from this common bad habit to revert to ultra-tight mode and get involved only when we find premium hands, but we don’t have to be so selective, and of course we must balance our game. But when we are in possession of a big hand we shouldn’t be afraid on a loose table to put in a big pre-flop raise – if the ‘standard’ is three big blinds, then doubling that with AA (and KK) won’t scare everyone off at this kind of table. We’re playing a bunch of loose players – they’re loose because they don’t worry about being tight and haven’t spent time contemplating ‘sensible’ bet sizes.

The key is strong bets with strong hands. If we raise with AK pre-flop and bring along two players for a flop containing an Ace and two suited cards, then we should remain aggressive and throw in a bet at least the size of the pot. Of course we could be pushing out of the hand a couple of opponents with lesser hands but there are worse things than picking up a three-way pot. However, habitually loose players can be more influenced by the promise of a draw than the fact they’re being asked to overpay for the privilege of chasing it and, while it might initially seem strange to practically announce our hand with a big bet, this is a good tactic on loose tables. What often happens against two players in this kind of situation is that one player will drop out and we will be left in a growing pot, with a significant lead, against a sole opponent erroneously committed to an over-priced cause.

We’ll see our big hands overtaken occasionally but that’s a mathematical characteristic of poker – as is the cast iron certainty that, over time, correct plays reward us with profit. Sets and other powerhouses should be bet big, with no mercy, the price we insist on the opposition paying being at least the size of the pot – otherwise we’re indulging loose players and justifying their poor play. Results in poker are determined by dealing with this or that scenario better than the opposition.

We should keep in mind, too, when contemplating value, that when we have small pairs or suited connectors, for example, we don’t catch the chasing bug by paying too much to see the flop. Position is yet again a major factor when looking to exploit the potential of speculative hands as cheaply as possible.

Good luck at the tables!

 

 

 

 

Angus Dunnington, 32Red Poker Ambassador

No Limit Hold’em: Slow-playing the Turn

February 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Angus Dunnington, News, Poker School

While betting strong hands tends to be a worthy strategy we must, of course, take a different approach occasionally in order to avoid being too transparent and, in doing so, extract the most from a very strong holding.

One such tactic is slow-playing the turn to induce a bet or commitment from an opponent on the river. A typical example is when we are sitting on a powerful hand come the turn, in position, against a lone opponent. This is particularly effective when we have been the aggressor since the beginning of the hand. Read more