Bad Beat Jackpot Hit on €20 Max Table

July 23, 2015 by  
Filed under News

The Bad Beat Jackpot has been hit, paying out multiple players who opted in and were playing at the same blinds level as the ‘winning’ hand.

For the latest hit the progressive jackpot total was €49,473 when four of a kind, twos, lost to four nines. Five players at that limit opted in, each receiving €989 for simply clicking on the BB icon!

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Do the same – don’t miss out…

Find out more

Bad Beat Jackpot Hit on €50 Max Table

April 16, 2015 by  
Filed under News

The Bad Beat Jackpot paid out multiple players yesterday. Remember that opting in means that playing at the same blinds level as the ‘winning’ hand qualifies you to be involved.

For the latest hit the progressive jackpot total was €25,461 when four of a kind, aces, lost to a straight flush. Seven players at that limit opted in, each receiving €318 for simply clicking on the BB icon! Do the same – don’t miss out…

Click here to find out more.

Bad Beat Jackpot: 2 Hits!

March 27, 2015 by  
Filed under News

The Bad Beat Jackpot has been hit twice in the space of a few hours. A number of players now have bigger bankrolls thanks to their share of our progressive Bad Beat Jackpot, which pays those who opted in and play on a table at the same blinds level as the ‘winning’ hand. The latest hits both happened on a €50-max table, with the running totals €19,335 and €17,563 respectively.

To get involved simply click on the BB icon – good luck!

Win a €1,500 Package to Tallinn, Estonia

October 8, 2014 by  
Filed under News

After successful events in London and Malta, the MPN Poker Tour will move to the picture-postcard Estonian capital, Tallinn, 15-18 January 2015. Live poker is always thrilling, but being part of a poker festival in such a great setting makes the experience even more memorable.

We’re giving our players at 32Red Poker the opportunity to qualify for a €1,500 package  which includes the €550 buy-in for the €40,000 Guaranteed Main Event, a €150 buy-in for a Side Event, four nights’ accommodation at the fantastic Radisson Blu Olümpia venue hotel and €400 expenses.

That should be more than enough motivation to begin your qualifying quest, which is as bankroll-friendly as it gets. There are satellites to suit all pockets, with buy-ins starting as low as 40c. Furthermore, the tournament formats are also varied, featuring SnG, Freezeout, Rebuy, Turbo and even Carnage tournaments. These, of course, each require different skill sets, and will make the qualifying experience an interesting and rewarding one whether or not you win your way to the €1,500 package (and the  15 January Welcome reception that also comes with it…).

Good luck, and hopefully you’ll be celebrating the New Year with a trip to Tallinn…

Click Here to find out more.

Poker: Do We Help Ourselves?

June 4, 2014 by  
Filed under Angus Dunnington, News, Poker School

Today’s poker enthusiasts have at their disposal a vast array of tools, information, books and various other means through which to improve their game. It’s tougher than it used to be but we have no excuses as far as fine-tuning our performance is concerned, especially when learning tends to be a fun exercise.

However, there is an area which – for just about all of us – leaves plenty of room for improvement, and it has nothing to do with statistics, pot odds, betting patterns or bluffs: life. Of course the way we live from day to day has far more significance in the real world than it does in terms of poker but, nevertheless, it really isn’t too difficult to address a few issues that would ultimately benefit our performance at the poker table.

From a practical perspective it’s worth reminding ourselves of a few home truths which we tend to either fool ourselves into believing we appreciate or – if we’re being honest – blithely disregard. We might study theory and put great effort into playing, but that’s essentially only half the battle. We tend not to adhere to other, important unwritten rules, and this consequently means – to borrow a term from elsewhere – that we’re essentially playing with a crooked bat.

For example we should get rid of outside noise and similar distractions when sitting down to play. Music – with lyrics that demand our (subconscious) attention – is a popular poker accompaniment but, alas, isn’t likely to be conducive to optimal concentration. Playing in a quiet environment might seem ‘boring’ but will lead to a greater level of performance.

Sleep. This is almost a dirty word nowadays as we are surrounded with so many forms of entertainment that we can feel like we’re somehow missing out on something if we go to sleep. But – of course (because we all know…) – if we don’t get enough sleep, we simply can’t expect to concentrate very well. It should come as no surprise that research proves time and again that people can’t function at full capacity on insufficient sleep. Concentration levels on too little sleep are on a par with those who have consumed too much alcohol, and we wouldn’t dream of playing poker while intoxicated (I hope). The recommended amount of sleep is eight hours, and if we could manage that consistently the beneficial results would be evident.

Another ‘awkward’ subject is that of exercise. Healthy body, healthy mind. Just because we’re sitting down to play, it doesn’t mean we should underestimate the importance of exercise. Enough said. The same goes for diet.

Play happy. There’s no point sitting down for a poker session if our minds are elsewhere. We should consider playing only when it’s fully justified, when it isn’t to the detriment of any other aspect of our life.

Poker, after all, is fun.

Good luck at the tables!

Angus Dunnington, 32Red Poker Ambassador 

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 Poker: When a Value Bet is a Loser

February 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Angus Dunnington, News, Poker School

‘Value’ is often used in poker and, being such a sensible sounding word, tends to be incorrectly assigned to situations where ‘caution’ might be a more prudent subject matter. A very common example of this is when players, believing they have the best hand against a lone opponent, attempt to extract the maximum from a hand in which they have been making the running by raising the river for value.

Of course such a strategy may well add a few extra chips to the coffers but, alas, doing this kind of thing can be a recipe for disaster. Apart from laying ourselves open to a massive bet (bluff) that forces us to make an awkward decision, there is also a good chance that we are falling into a trap. And herein lies the crucial difference between value and a good old common sense slice of caution – a distinction that we come to appreciate with experience.

Here’s a typical example of this kind of scenario. We are dealt Ad Qd on the button and our standard raise is called by the big blind and a mid-position limper. The flop comes Ac 8d 5s, giving us top pair with an attractive looking kicker, a backdoor flush draw and, of course, we have the advantage of position. It’s checked around to us and we make a pot-sized bet which is called only by the big blind.

The turn throws up the 3d, which is both pretty innocuous and not exactly unwelcome as we now have a nut flush draw to add to our collection. The BB checks once again and, perhaps buoyed by the turn, we make another pot-sized bet which, again, is called. It’s by no means clear what our opponent is holding (maybe a flush draw), which is more troubling than we might assume because poker is all about information, and it can be more convenient to know we’re up against a strong hand than a complete unknown.

The river is the 5c and, breaking the rhythm of the pattern of play thus far, the BB bets around a quarter of the pot. If it was a – now unfulfilled – flush draw, this could be an attempted steal against our possible, albeit unlikely bluff. Alternatively, we might have been up against a poorly played pair of tens or even 8 9. Not only is this the kind of thinking we should adopt, but the process should have started earlier (in fact we should get used to it from the very beginning of a hand). It prevents us from, in a situation like this, now raising with our absolutely beatable top pair and being called by a holding like 8 5, thus wasting money. The possible hands we’ve just considered wouldn’t be calling a raise, and there’s a chance we could even finding ourselves calling a crafty re-raise here. Note that by raising we are also walking into hands such as AK. Moreover, even if we held AK ourselves a raise would still be foolhardy.

Essentially, a would-be value bet can end up being a losing bet, so beware, and listen out for those internal alarm bells that come with experience (and are heralded by a paired board!)

Good luck at the tables!

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

No Limit Bullies: Run? Or Rope-a-dope?

February 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Angus Dunnington, News, Poker School

Here’s a typical unpleasant poker experience – having eagerly anticipated sitting down to play a hopefully rewarding poker session (and with that familiar determination and confidence with which we tend to begin), perhaps after brushing up on our game, things soon don’t appear to be going as we had planned. Read more

Short-handed No Limit Poker Tips

January 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Angus Dunnington, News, Poker School

Years ago, when first introduced to online poker, we would start off on the No Limit path by sitting down at full-ring games, where the conventional, solid ABC approach tends to be a good foundation on which to build a repertoire of strategies. It’s a good idea to do the same today, not least because it teaches us to have patience and appreciate the (relative) value of starting hands.

However, short-handed poker is so popular now that we tend to try out the murkier waters of 6-player tables earlier in our careers, and it’s important to appreciate the implications of there being fewer players at the table. Read more

Expected Value in Poker

July 16, 2013 by  
Filed under Angus Dunnington, News, Poker School

Many poker strategy articles start with something along the lines of there being countless strategies, tricks and traps ‘but this particular subject is especially important’ etc. Well, there are indeed countless important aspects of the game… but understanding Expected Value (EV) is absolutely crucial if we have any intention of actually playing poker properly, because it is the subject about which decision making revolves.

Expected Value is the bedrock of poker thinking. As far as poker is concerned, it is – as its name suggests – the average amount (of chips/money) we expect to win/lose on our bet. Whether it’s a raise, bet, call, check or even a fold, any action brings with it an expected value. Clearly, depending on the outcome, these values will not only be both positive (win) and negative (lose), but there will also be varying degrees and extremes of expectation.

Note that it’s not merely a case of maximising our gains, but that we should also endeavour to be prudent in terms of minimising our losses, and thus have respect for the significance of EV each time we are faced with these important junctures of the decision making process.

Ideally, then, we would like to approach each situation with a view to making the play that has the greatest EV over time, +EV being how we describe a positive expectation play and -EV a negative expectation. Those who make +EV decisions make money in the long-term, and those prone to -EV decision making are long-term losers.

EV can be well explained in the context of the traditional coin flip game. Normally this 50-50 proposition (let’s say the stakes are $1 per flip) represents neither +EV or -EV as the heads/tails distribution over time is going to be evenly split.

But what if our opponent offered us $2 for Tails and we have to pay them $1 for Heads? Of course we’d be more than happy with this +EV situation because, over time, we’d come out on top.

But what is our expected value per coin flip? To calculate EV we simply multiply the results of the possible outcomes by their probability and add them together.

In this case:

Heads – we lose $1
Tails – we win $2

Each outcome is 50% likely and thus has a probability of 0.5

Therefore we have the following EV (Heads + Tails):

EV = (-$1 x 0.5) + ($2 x 0.5)
= (-0.5) + (1.0)
= $0.50

Thus for each coin flip we will win an average of $0.50 – note that the whole point of EV is that we are not concerned with a one-off outcome. We don’t care in this situation if Heads comes up a dozen times consecutively (remember we must have a bankroll big enough to survive such a bad run) because over time we will come out ahead. After 10 evenly shared outcomes, for example, we will lose $5 but win $10 for an overall profit of $5, which is $0.50 per flip.

Of course this is a rather simplistic illustration but, essentially, it is exactly what we are aiming for when playing poker – in other words, recognising and extracting maximum value for ourselves over time while trying to engineer situations in which our opponents are getting poor value.

In Part 2 we will see EV in action.

Good luck at the tables!

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

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