Ivey League cuts a deal with Global Poker Index

Phil Ivey is mired in a series of scandals, that seem to be never ending, but somehow the poker professional found the time to sign a profitable partnership. Surprising or not, the company that decided to shake hands with Ivy League is Global Poker Index, which is gradually expanding its area of expertise. At this cornerstone of this new partnership we find once again the effective algorithms used by the GPI, with Ivey’s contribution being somewhat more subtle.pokergame

After the two shook hands, the two partners expect that the number of players who will pick up the poker cards and those who make the transition from amateur poker to professional gaming will also rise. This assumption makes perfect sense, because the Global Poker Index already runs a very successful, albeit targeted business, while Phil has all the exposure one could hope for. The GPI set up other partnerships over the last couple of months and they are on a constant expansion.

Now that they also benefit from the consistent support of Phil Ivey and his league, they are entitled to expect to spend even more time in the spotlight. Among those who would also be interested in tagging along are more than 100,000 fantasy poker manager players who are currently enjoying the platform provided by Phil. The poker professional has greatly diversified his area of expertise, but he remains quite active at both live and online poker tables.

Meanwhile, he is trying to shake off those lawsuits that were started by two prominent casinos, in an attempt of stripping him of a lot of money. The London casino is unwilling to pay a dime, while the Bovada in Atlantic City is trying to recuperate the losses suffered at the baccarat tables. His lawyers are very confident in his chances of getting what is rightfully his, but it might take a while before a verdict will be given in these cases.

Despite all this hassle and the associated problems, Phil Ivey finds the time to provide one-on-one training to aspiring poker professionals. The business he runs over the Internet has helped many players hone their poker skills while making a lot of money at the tables. It is only fair to assume that the new partnership with the Global Poker Index will not only benefit the two parties, but also poker players regardless of skill level.

Doug Polk wins $1.6 million in Bellagio $100k Super High Roller

Those who are under the impression that everything that matters in the world of poker this June and July occurred at the Rio Casino tables, should have a conversation with Doug Polk. The poker professional has a reputation for playing over the Internet at nosebleed limits against some of the most aggressive players in the world. Until recently he has been only mildly successful in live tournaments, but in 2014 he reached another milestone by winning $1.6 million in Bellagio $100k Super High Roller.onlinepokers

The highly anticipated tournament attracted a total of 37 players, which is quite an impressive number, given the fact that each of them had to pay a six digit amount out-of-pocket. There are no qualifiers running online for such tournaments and those who want to play among the best poker players need to take a leap of faith. expected that the winner to receive in excess of $2 million, but the numbers were eventually contradicted, even though $1.65 million is not an amount to frown upon.

The tournament began on July 4, which is a day of special significance for American players and it made perfect sense to choose it for this glamorous event. This is in fact the second Bellagio $100k Super High Roller held in 2014, and the first event took place just a few weeks ago. It goes without saying that there is a lot of interest for such tournaments and there is never a shortage of players ready to go a step further when it comes to playing high-stakes poker.

Not surprisingly, the vast majority of those who sat down at the tables were poker professionals, with many of them also competing in the World Series of poker. Among those were sent to the rail in the first day of the competition were many bracelet holders. On the other hand, there were a couple of poker pros who made the final table and Eric Seidel, Philipp Gruissem, Brian Rast and Dan Smith brought the healthiest stack when action began in the final day.

Dan Smith was the first to be eliminated and Eric Seidel was the last poker professional standing, winning $366,000 for his accomplishment. He outshined Frenchman Fabrice Touil after winning the big pots against him, but was unable to survive long enough to reach three handed play. The surviving players didn’t even contemplate the possibility of a deal and instead were poised to fight until the bitter end.

Jacob Schindler and Alberto Gomez were trailing the leader and they were desperate to win a big pot before heads-up began. The latter took more chances and when he shoved his chips against Schindler, he emerged victorious, setting the stage for an epic confrontation with Doug. Unfortunately for him, the experience poker Pro who uses the nickname “WCGRider” when he plays over the Internet was more than a match for him.

The runner-up had to settle for less than $1 million, while Polk got $1.65 million as shown below:

  1. Doug Polk – $1,648.350
  2. Alberto Gomez – $915,750
  3. Jacob Schindler – $549,450
  4. Erik Seidel – $366,300
  5. Fabrice Touil – $183,150

Reimbursements continue in June for Full Tilt Poker players

It’s been a while since action returned to Full Tilt Poker and most of the new players have no idea what Black Friday meant for former customers. Back then, those who had an account with this poker room got their funds seized indefinitely and it took several years for the Department of Justice to begin the reimbursement process.

The authorities work together with Garden City Group to make sure that the operation goes silky smooth and those who were entitled to reimbursement will get their share. Everything went according to the plan and earlier this year, the first players got a portion of their money back, Reimbursements Full Tilt Poker players

They had to go through a process that included the submission of various documents, but at the end of the day, they got the money they were eligible for. This left $80 million to be reimbursed and this is exactly what the DOJ now tries to achieve together with the same company. None of this would’ve been possible if PokerStars hadn’t purchased the struggling company, as this is where the money came from in the first place. They are diligently working with the authorities to speed up the process and conclude it in 2014.

June 12 was the deadline for those petitioners who had approved applications to submit their forms and the money is already flowing towards their account. It is very important for players to provide complete and accurate banking information, so that the money can be sent without unnecessary delays. Those who don’t comply with these regulations will have to wait a bit longer, until the ones in charge will send the money via Postal Service, which is known to take of these longer.

The bottom line is that Full Tilt Poker players are finally getting what is rightfully theirs and virtually all of them can play their favorite game, without worrying about the security of their funds. The process took longer than expected and for many careers, the blow caused by Black Friday proved to be deadly, but there were plenty who survived. Once Garden City Group concludes its reimbursing activity, it can be business as usual and neither existing nor prospect of members will have a reason to worry.

Arthur Boatman crowned winner of WSOPC event

Arthur was not the first Boatman to win a WSOPC event with another player bearing the same name emerging victorious one year ago. They were both driven by the same unbridled enthusiasm and burning desire to win a significant trophy just a couple of days before the World Series of Poker 2014 tournament began. Arthur Boatman didn’t win a huge amount in New Orleans, but he only paid $1135 and increased his investment 44 times.

For some odd reason, there was no shortage of players willing to participate in this event and all of them dreamt about the possibility of winning the first prize. Those who simply made the money didn’t get rich overnight, but at the end of the day what really matters is to go home with more money than you started. Arthur Boatman is not necessarily a poker professional, despite the fact that he definitely has the skills for making the transition to this line of work.

onlinepokergamesHe makes his living as a hospital executive and he decided to take the day off to participate in the WSOPC event, which proved to be a good decision. He has limited experience at online poker tables and prefers to play in live casinos, where he can get a better read on his opponents. Arthur started playing poker casually but found this hobby to be very lucrative and engaging, so he gradually raised the antes.

This is by far the most important tournament he has won so far and it wouldn’t be far-fetched to assume that he will participate in the World Series of Poker 2014 main event. Boatman plays aggressive poker and apparently he has no hesitations in sticking to this bold style at the final table. It was exactly this approach that helped him outlast his opponents and he put the full weight of his stack behind his actions at the final table. These were the nine finalists and you can check out the money they made below:

1. Arthur Boatman – $49,665
2. Puneet Modha – $30,677
3. Ladarren Banks – $22,150
4. Kevin Eyster – $16,267
5. Nicholas Palma – $12,153
6. Farshad Doulatshahi – $9,235
7. John Holley – $7,134
8. Joshua Reichard – $5,602
9. Justin Bond – $4,469

Vanessa Selbst bests Nadal in friendly game of poker

When two champions go head to head, it is only fair to assume that the fight will be intense, regardless of sport. This is exactly what happened when Vanessa Selbst and Rafael Nadal set down at the poker table, an arena where the lady of poker is more experienced. This didn’t have a deterring effect on the tennis champion, who took his chances and valiantly defended his stack until there was nothing left to protect.selbst

Rafael started his poker career with baby steps two years ago but over the course of 2013, he pushed this activity into overdrive. He is now one of the best tennis players who also plays poker and he has plenty of accomplishments to be proud of. Just a couple of months ago, in December he outshined a few fellow sportsmen, including Ronaldo but the biggest victory came against Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu

This time, the stakes were not as high in terms of financial gain but the tournament was every bit as important. The reason is that the one who would win at the luxurious Casino de Monte Carlo would be the one to donate the prize to a charitable organization. This is something definitely worth fighting for and that’s why none of the competitors took their assignment likely. In the end it was Vanessa that emerged victorious, but this is less important, because the fight was memorable.

The format of the tournament was in her advantage and Vanessa was quick to admit that she started as favorite, but praised her competitor for the manner he played. Nadal’s poker coach Alfonso Cardalda can be really proud of his accomplishment, because in a matter of months he managed to turn a regular tennis player into a skilled poker gladiator. The €5000 that Selbst won’t will be donated to Care International charity and both players are looking forward for a potential rematch, one that Rafael will try to win.

Stealing blinds in sit’n goes and tournaments

Winning sit ‘n goes is supposed to be much easier than prevailing in tournaments, as fewer players participate and a conclusion is reached relatively quickly. The two forms of poker have one thing in common, as players are supposed to double up several times, until they are the only ones left standing. The obvious way to advance and inch closer to the final table is by going all in with the best hand, but poker professionals agree that committing your entire stack frequently is a big mistake.


The reason for why going all in often is not the right way of playing sit and goes and tournaments alike is that you are no longer in control of what happens. The only way of doubling up is by being called by someone who has a strong hand that is still inferior to yours. Organic growth is more durable and poses fewer risks and when it comes to poker, winning small pots without taking chances is better than waiting for opportunities to go all in.

Stealing blinds in sit ‘n goes and tournaments is different from performing the same action at cash game tables, due to their special format. When you buy in for a cash game, you know exactly how high the blinds will stay throughout the session and there is little pressure to double up soon. At these tables the blinds have the same worth regardless of how much time passes, whereas in a sit and go and tournament they keep growing.

Having said this, stealing blinds in the early stage of a tournament doesn’t matter and the risks greatly surpass the benefits. During the middle stage of the tournament though, the blinds represent a bigger percentage of your stack and stealing them makes more sense. By winning hands pre-flop you take down decently high pots that will enable you to play more cards, especially speculative ones.

You won’t win a tournament by stealing blinds alone, but you will be able to afford more pre-flop raises and calls. As a result, your chances of hitting something on the flop and turn improve and you only need to get lucky once to double up. At the final table, the blinds sometimes represent more than a 10th of the short stacker’s chip, which makes it far more difficult to steal blinds. The problem resides in the fact that players will be willing to protect their blinds at any cost and you will be pit against a difficult decision.

Unless the victim of your aggression is simply waiting for other players to be eliminated ahead of him, so that he can improve his finish position, it is better not to push the envelope. When you steal blinds at this stage you need to accept the possibility of calling an all in pre-flop or when the first 3 board cards appear.

Daniel “FakeSky” Alaei crushes Isildur1 at mixed games

Daniel Alaei2014 started slightly better for Viktor Blom, despite losing a couple of sessions in the first few weeks of January. One year ago, he won millions of dollars only to squander all his profits in February and the same happened all over again in mid-summer. This time, he appears to be climbing up the ladder one step at a time but he recently suffered a serious blow at the hands of Daniel “FakeSky” Alaei.

Those who follow Isildur1 at the tables know that the Swedish poker player has no hesitations in sitting down at games that he is not favorite to win. He played against some of the best No Limit Texas Hold’em players in the world the 2013 and lost significant amounts and now he took a leap of faith with mixed games. He was somewhat unlucky to face Daniel Alaei, who is widely regarded as one of the best players of this genre.

He confirmed his superiority by winning $111,000 in 111 hands, which prompted Blom to leave the table immediately and shift to $500/$1000 CAP PLO. Daniel Alaei didn’t play overly aggressive, but both players were dealt strong starting hands and they decided to go all the way, with Daniel winning all important pots. The entire session lasted less than half an hour, which is not a record but still a short session that Viktor decided to end early.

He did much better at pot limit Omaha tables despite the fact that once again he was pit against one of the best players of the genre. Bttech86 made a lot of money in 2013 playing exclusively $500/$1000 CAP PLO, but this time he was no match for the Swede. He dug himself into a massive hole in the first couple of hands and lost $170,000 but he offset most of these losses, eventually conceding a five digit amount.

Just like Viktor Blom who realized that he is beaten and moved on, did be the German made the transition to the $200/$400 CAP PLO tables. He took his opponents by surprise and in 40 min. he won back all his money and some more, while causing a big dent to Harry Cassagrande, Ola Amundsgard, Benny Spindler and Hac Dang. Among those who also finished the day with a big smile on their faces were “jLlama”, “forhayley” and “yurasov1” who won a combined amount of $250,000.

Poker pro Alex Millar’s advice on handling downswings

Alex MillarA poker player needs to know how to handle success as well as failure, as a career in this line of work is never a smooth ride. Most of those who play poker for a living have realized that downswings are a part of the game and unless you’ve got a strong will and flawless self-control, you will sooner or later fail. Alex Millar is one of the best players in the world, equally suited for online and live poker, so his advice on handling downswings is worth following. published an insightful article written by Alex, in which he describes his experiences in 2013. Overall, the year was a huge success, with the poker Pro winning $2.7 million, but he frequently found himself into a hole and had to dig himself out. The year started rather poorly, as Millar lost $1.5 million to Phil Ivey and Viktor Blom despite the fact that he was supposed to have an upper hand over these players at NLHE.

Luckily for him, Alex didn’t lose his focus and in time he completely offset those losses suffered to the poker professional from Sweden. Overall, he won $3.2 million of Blom and finished the year with a significant profit, even though only a fraction of that amount was credited to his own bank account. The reason for why Millar got less than $1 million despite winning $2.7 million is that he had to repay his investors. These are basically people with a lot of money who are willing to stake a poker player that they trust, and in return they receive a fraction of his profits.

This is how it was possible for Alex to play through 2013 despite the awful start and he was never in danger of losing a significant part of his bankroll. These are the kind of critical blows that can throw players off-balance, which translates into career ending downswings. Last year, Millar competed mostly at pot limit Omaha tables, frequently squaring off against poker pros at $200/$400 limits.

Having the cover of a steady flux of money, made it far easier for Millar to focus at the task at hand, so he strongly recommends players to seek sponsors. This is easier said than done, because even though there are people out there with the kind of money that makes it easy for them to invest in a poker player, they need to be confident in his abilities to compete. This is not charity work and the return on investment is pretty much all that matters, which explains why so many are reluctant to get into this business.

What does it mean to “run it twice”?

onlingamesThose who watched televised poker tournaments are very familiar with the concept of running it twice, as this is something that sometimes happens at cash game tables. Players get to choose between letting the hand wind down on its own volition or ask the dealer to reveal two boards instead of one. There are no limitations regarding the number of additional cards as players can ask the dealer to run it twice pre-flop, on the flop, on the turn or on the River.

In fact, some people go a step further and choose to run it three times or even four times, with the main purpose being to decrease the role played by luck. Those who compete at high-stakes, are more likely to use this method usually because they don’t want to lose their entire stack in one swing. In most cases, players are evenly matched when they go all in but there are many examples when one player is the underdog and the favorites still accepts such an agreement.

It might sound a bit strange for someone who has 80% chances to win to ask for the river to be just twice, but there is some reasoning behind such an action. 20% might not sound like much, but when millions of dollars are at stake, you don’t want to have an interesting story to say if things go sideways. There are funny YouTube videos depicting poker professionals who found themselves at the wrong end of a “run-it twice” gig and lost both times.

There are only three possible results for such a practice, with one player winning both runs, losing them, or splitting the money. Furthermore, those who choose to run it three or four times will collect a portion of the pot that is a percentage given by the number of successful runs. For example, someone who wins three out of four rounds will collect 75% of the pot while the loser will have to find solace in the fact that she recuperated a quarter of his losses.

Over the Internet, there are few examples of poker companies that allow players to run it twice, as this practice causes slight delays, which eat into their profit margin. Sometimes it is worth to have a safety net in place to mitigate the risks, but in most cases you don’t need to run it twice or three times. As long as you made the right decision and committing your stack with better chances to win, you should stick to your decision and accept the outcome regardless of what the board reveals.

How to “get in the zone” when playing poker

onlinepokergamerSo much has been said about the comfort zone, that the entire concept got devalued and poker players among others tend to dismiss its importance. Professionals on the other hand are taking it seriously and have even come out with a more advanced concept, which is explained in details by coach Jared Tendler. In his latest book, he explains what it means to “get in the zone” when playing poker and how important it is not to leave this virtual area when at the poker tables.

The author emphasizes the factors that can easily distract players and prevent them from getting in the zone, with the leading threats being anxiety and boredom. Apparently, these are factors that being at opposite ends of the spectrum are unlikely to affect the same category of players. The truth is that under certain conditions, players can succumb to both anxiety and boredom, with a couple of factors being enough to trigger the state of mind.

While there are many who are reluctant to spend money that would otherwise go towards fueling their bankroll on a book that explains abstract concepts, there are many who realize the importance of making such an investment. The idea is to learn from the mistakes committed by others instead of employing the old-fashioned trial and error procedure that can prove so costly. With online poker being a highly competitive industry, you simply can’t afford to learn while sacrificing significant a part of your bankroll.

Boredom is an insidious threat, because you don’t even realize that it eats away at your game, instead many players assume that they simply relax as a result of beating the limits. The moment you assume that you have everything under control and nothing can surprise you at the poker tables, you are in danger of getting bored. Whether the stakes are too low, or the money you could lose no longer impresses you, the wheels are set in motion for significant losses.

The safest remedy is to open additional tables or move up to the next limits, but make sure that this transition is smooth and not artificial. Anxiety happens when you play at stakes that are above your skill level or when your bankroll is not large enough to make these limits affordable. Afraid by the fact that you could lose a lot of money or even go bankrupt during a lengthy downswing, you tend to play a narrow range of cards and shift from tight aggressive to tight passive poker.

Since it doesn’t pay off to wait for monster hands and then slow play them to win a fortune, the strategy usually ends in financial losses. If anxiety is caused by pressure, simply move back to the limits where you are comfortable, while if there are external factors that keep you under constant stress, try to address them first and foremost. The bottom line is that The Mental Game of Poker is a book worth reading by those who want to learn more about how to “get in the zone” and most important help stay there.