Poker Tournament Strategy Tips for 2020

Poker Tournament Strategy

Whether you’re playing micro stakes tournaments or the Sunday Million – you need to know what you’re doing to have a chance at winning. That seems obvious right? But trust me, there are too many players entering tournaments with no clue. That’s great news for you though cos it mean’s poker is not dead, despite what you hear. This article is going to give you poker tournament strategy tips that can be used to increase your cash rate, final tables and wins.

Don’t stop stealing the blinds

Tournament poker regs seem to nit it up and count on making it deep with premium hands. Don’t be one of them. Stay active, keep stealing the blinds from late position and don’t give up. A lot of poker sites are advocating the slow down approach but that’s what your opponents want. Regs are playing too many tables, not paying enough attention and missing profitable spots to steal the blinds. Tournament poker will always reward those who are able to consistently steal blinds and keep their stack alive.  The fact that people are defending their blinds loosely should not make you fold more often in late position. Why? You have position. You have the advantage in a hand, even if your hand is weaker. Never forget that.

Pre-flop bet sizing

Consistency is very important when it comes to raising pre-flop. It’s fine if you want to make it 2.5x then stick with that. Please don’t change it based on hand strength. It’s 2020 and even the most basic of poker players will notice and instantly tag you. If you are a poker training video membership member, you’ll know my preference re’ pre-flop bet sizing but I will re-iterate it here non-members.

Early Position Min Raise

When I’m raising from early position, I lack information on the rest of the table. I want to open raise if I play but I also want to steal cheaply and/or keep the pot smaller against my opponents that flat in position. I also have no problem with it folding to the big blind and them calling a min raise. In fact, I welcome it. I will have position, a better hand and have increased the pot a little. My hand range is likely to be stronger than theirs and I have the pre-flop aggression.

Middle Position 2.2x

With fewer opponents behind us, I am happy to increase the sizing a bit and play a slightly bigger pot against the blinds. I don’t want to raise too much as I am still potentially acting first post-flop if someone in position calls. I am also slightly dissuading the blinds to call which is no bad thing in tournaments. I am likely to have a wider range from here so I have no problem with them just folding.

Late Position 2.5x

This may seem counter intuitive to some. Why raise more with a wider range? I want to play bigger pots when I have positional advantage. Sure, sometimes I will be light but sometimes I will be strong too. I want to charge the blinds more than the minimum to play against my wider range. By making it 2.5x I am also protecting myself against 3 bet bluffs a little more. Consider a min raise from the button. The big blind is far more likely to 3 bet bluff that than a bigger raise.

Notice – my pre-flop raises changes based on position – it doesn’t change based on hand strength. Therefore, it is logically consistent as I am raising 2.5x from late position with A-A and K-6s.

Defend the big blind

Everyone and their dog are loving the small ball approach these days. The standard small raise is popular and with good reason – it works. One of the results of this is that you have to defend your big blind more. It means calling raises with hands you won’t necessarily want to but pot odds and solid poker tournament strategy dictate you must. Let’s look at a quick example to illustrate this.

Blinds – 600/1,200 (antes 120)
Player A- 42,500
You – 36,900

It folds to Player A on the button. He is a capable tournament player. He raises to 2,500. The small blind folds and the action is on you. Before even looking at your hand, let’s do some poker maths.

Pot – (1,080 antes, 1,800 in blinds + 2,500) = 5,380
Cost to call – 1,300
Equity needed to call – 19.4%

As you can see, you need to defend super wide in this spot. You just can’t afford to fold too many hands when you are getting these kind of prices in big blind.

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3 Bet with 30 bbs +

Tournament poker is often playing shorter stacks and less “poker” playing but that doesn’t mean you must play shove or fold poker. You don’t want to 3 bet bluff with short effective stacks cos it means the 4 bet from your opponent will always be all in. With slightly deeper stacks though (30 bbs+), you can afford to 3 bet bluff and take away a lot of pots. Poker tournament strategy is usually to attack short stacks. Screw that, 3 bet bluff the bigger stacks. I find that the big stacks are just as protective as the shorter stacks, if not more. It also means you can potentially get the last bet in if they decide to 4 bet. Good spots for 3 betting are when the raise has come from middle or late position.

CAUTION – Avoid 3 bet bluffing when they are raising from under the gun or UTG +1 as their range is likely to be tighter.

Learn continuation betting strategy

This article is dedicated to poker tournament strategy, not continuation betting but the fact is, c betting is an important part of tournament poker. You need to understand which boards favour your perceived range and what favours your opponent. A lot of players waste chips throwing out foolish continuation bets. You need to appreciate board texture, number of opponents and stack sizes when choosing whether to continuation bet or not. If you want more help with continuation betting, check out our article on the do’s and don’ts of continuation betting.

Isolate the limper(s)

An oldie but goody. Raising over a limper or limpers is still a very profitable play. It’s crazy to think there are still players that adopt this limp in mentality, but it’s great for us. If people want to try and limp into the pot with pocket 3s or A-9 offsuit, that’s fine, we will take their blinds all day. In some scenarios, it may seem prudent to over-limp but most of the time, just raise it 4x and win it. If they call, you can often just win it with a flop bet anyway. It’s a great way to build a stack in tournament poker and is also good for your table image as people. This might help you get paid later in the tournament.

Practice heads up poker

Many tournaments end in deals being done but what if yours doesn’t? What if you’re against a tough player or someone unwilling to deal. You need to know how to play 1 on 1. After all, if you want to win the tournament you have to beat the last opponent. Heads up is a great poker format. Some basic heads up tips are below:

  • Raise every button
  • Bet most flops
  • Check raise more
  • Bluff catch 2nd pair down
  • Stay on top of your opponent, don’t let up
  • Don’t show bluffs

Join Poker Training Video Membership

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Poker Kicker – How Big is Yours?

Poker Kicker

Your kicker is the second card you are playing in a game of Texas Hold’em. To some, understanding the hand strengths is enough to get by in poker. To the rest of us, we know there is a little more to it. Unfortunately, in Texas Hold’em, you are not going to make royal flushes and 4 of a kind very often. You are more likely to end most hands with one pair or high card, this is where your kicker plays.

Kicker Problems

You may have heard the phrase “kicker problems” before. This is when you’ve made a top pair type hand, read your opponent for similar hand but identified a problem – your kicker is low. Understanding when your kicker is no good and getting out of the way is an important skill to develop to help curb your potential losses in poker. To win at poker, you will have to learn to minimise your losses and sorting out kicker problems is one way. One of the biggest problems’ beginners have is overplaying ace rag, not realising the rag is the kicker costing them money.

Example Poker Kicker Hand

You’re in a $1/$2 cash game and a conservative old gentlemen limps in from early position (nice game eh?), 2 others limp in late position, and you complete from the SB with Ac 3c.

The flop comes:
As 9d 6d.

You check, BB checks and the conservative old gent bets out $9 into $10. The button calls and action is on you: What do you do?

This is a spot where you are probably up against another ace in the hand. An observant player will recognise the early position limper almost certainly has an A 10 + type hand and is way ahead. Rather than calling with your top pair and potentially losing $10 +, folding would be a wise move here.

When does a Kicker Count in Poker?

Texas Hold’em is played on best 5 card hand. Remember, the community cards are yours and your opponents. If the secondary card in yours and your opponent’s hole cards exceed that of the board, then the kicker will count. So if you have K-2 and your opponent has K-8 on a board run out of K-3-5-J-J than the 8 plays because the best hand is:

K-K-J-J-8 > K-K-J-J-5

Kings and Jacks with an 8 kicker beats Kings and Jacks with a 5 kicker.

The kicker’s can only count in the following hands:

  • High Card
  • One Pair
  • Two Pair

Final Thoughts

Understanding your poker kicker and when it counts is very important to being a solid player. You need to combine hand reading, hand selection and table awareness to judge whether a kicker will be your friend or foe. If you’re ever unsure, stick to playing solid starting hands and you stand a better chance.

Poker from the Small Blind is the Worst

Small Blind Poker

Whether you are playing short-handed or full ring, you know the positions of the poker table. You probably have them grouped in your head “early, middle, late position and the blinds”. Have you given much thought about the small blind? How much do you win there? What strategy do you employ? Playing from the small blind is difficult for several reasons whether you know it or not. This article will explore why it’s challenging and why I think it’s the worst spot at the table.

Battling with the Big Blind

Blind battles are prevalent in both cash games and tournaments. The psychology involved in blind battles is almost as important as the quality of your hands. The problem is that being out of position from small blind puts you at the disadvantage. When it folds to you in the small blind you know you are getting a fantastic price to play the hand, regardless of your hand. This leads to many players opting to raise with junk in a bid to steal the pot. Here’s the problem, any half decent player knows this and is liable to defend or 3 bet with impunity. Then we are getting into the “I know that he knows that I know” to infinity…. This can potentially lead to a lot of unnecessarily large pots and lost money.

First to Act Every Round

You want to act last when you play poker don’t you? Well playing from the small blind means you are first to act, on every round of betting post flop. This is less than ideal to put it nicely and completely sucks to put it truthfully. You can’t pot control, extract full value or gain information when you are the first one to act all the time. You can throw in a check raise or try to trap an aggressive player but other than that, you’re pretty limited in what you can do. Gus Hansen’s style of donk leading into raiser’s is an interesting strategy but rarely the optimal play.

Solutions?

Of the 6 or 9 spots at the table, the small blind will be the one you lose the most money or win the least. Unless you’re very weak at some other spots at the table, then it’s almost certainly going to be the worst position from a win rate perspective. There are ways to mitigate your loss or help improve your win rate though. Without delving too much into technical poker here is a quick guide to help you:

  1. Throw away the hands that look pretty but play awful heads up e.g J 8s
  2. Adapt to who is in the big blind. If it’s a nit, steal. If it’s a LAG, play solid
  3. Play careful, let the strength of your hand do the work
  4. Limit your bluffing, when you don’t have someone checking to you, it’s harder to narrow ranges


Online Poker Tells to Give You an Edge

Online Poker Tells

A poker tell is a behavioural habit or demeanour that a player gives which indicates the strength of his/her hand. It is not exclusively for weak hands. Poker tells can often be a powerful hand too. We will write an article in the future on the typical poker tells that you can pick up in live poker – and there are many! This article will focus on the online poker tells that players exhibit. Many of these tells will be generalised and be true to the majority of players online. Naturally there is the rare genius player that might just be smart enough to reverse them on you, so be careful.

“Insta-raise” – Strong

The instant/automatic raise is often an indication of strength. It is an easy tell to pick up as it’s usually from new players that have clicked the automatic button available, players that are playing too many tables and need to get the raise in or newbies too excited. If a player is raising fast without need to think, chances are he has a very strong hand so be careful. Naturally, if the player is a donkey, he could be overplaying his hand and your hand could be good but you will need to use your discretion in this case.

Fast Check – Weak

Again, if a player is checking so fast you didn’t realise it’s your action, it’s a powerful clue that he is check/folding. This isn’t a universal truth as some players will check to the raiser but more often than not, the very fast check is a sure sign of weakness and ready to fold and move on to the next hand. Players are not going to be putting on Hollywood acting performances with rubbish holdings. They want to fold fast and move on.

Large Looking Bet – Weak

This tell is not applied to everyone as many people have their custom bet sizes ready to click. It’s more for those that are clearly manually entering their bet sizes. Those players who are betting $99.99 instead of $100 are trying to make the bet look big. Why? More often than not, it’s to look intimidating and bigger than it is. When you see all those numbers and chips, it’s designed to look like a big bet that should cause you concern. Whilst this online poker tell is not seen as often anymore, it still applies to the majority of those who are manually entering their bet amounts.

Delayed Raise – Strong

This is one of the most common online poker tells you can take to the bank. I, myself am guilty of this sometimes. The delayed raise is often a monster hand. I don’t mean a delay of a few seconds – I am talking at least 5 seconds or more. If someone is taking this long to make a decision then chooses to raise, it’s nearly always the nuts or close to it. Sure, there are rare occasions a player will bluff but that is seldom. Most player’s who take ages and consider a bluff end up giving up as the tension and pressure builds.

Eliminate Your Online Poker Tells

In order to eliminate your own poker tells, you need to assess where you may be giving away information that reveals the strength of your hand. Are you changing your bet sizing based on the strength of your hand? Are you acting too fast or slow over decisions? The table below is some basic tips to eliminate online poker tells and make you even harder to beat.

Take the same amount of time on all decisionsTry to take the same amount of time over your decisions. If you are taking ages with weak holdings and quick with strong hands, a competent player will recognise this and have you pegged. Once they know this, they can play you blind.
Consistent bet sizingThis is really key. If you bet big with strong and small with weak, any player who is paying attention can tell what you’re up to. It’s very important you stay consistent and hard to read with your bet sizing. This also balances your range; ensures you get paid off and have successful bluffs.
Don’t be predictableAvoid people picking up on anything by throwing curve balls. Mix it up, make unorthodox moves every now and then to avoid people reading you easily.

Conclusion

Online poker tells are another way of reading your opponent and making better decisions. By being aware of them and incorporating them into your playing, you will have a greater chance of winning money. Remember the tips to eliminate your own tells and you will have the upper hand on most of your opponents who do not give online poker tells much attention at all. Finally, the tips in this article are not universal and don’t apply to every online poker player. They are simply my own observations from many years playing online that appear to be true for many poker players.

Inside Straight Draws? You May Aswell Burn Your Money

Inside Straight

Otherwise known as the gut-shot straight, an inside straight is one of the most improbable hands you can make in Texas Hold’em. As a beginner you may chase these on occasion thinking you will get a big payoff but will you and how often will you hit your insight straight?

Beginner Texas Hold’em Question

What is an Inside Straight?

An inside straight is where you have 4 of the 5 cards needed for a completed straight. You have to hit one card to make your straight, unlike the more favourable open-ended straight which has 2 ways to make a straight.

Example Hand

There are 2 limpers to you and you complete from the small blind with Kc 8c. The flop comes 7s 6s 4d. Everyone checks to the button who bets out 75% of the pot. You need a 5 to make your straight. This is an inside straight draw as you only have 1 card to make your hand.

What are the Odds of Making an Inside Straight Draw?

With 4 outs to an inside straight, you have approximately 16% of making it from the flop. You have just 8% of making it from the turn to the river. Very few poker hands play out that afford you such lucrative pot odds. There are some scenarios where you may have additional outs with an over-card e.g. A-J on a K-T-2 flop. The ace may be good if you hit it but for the purposes of this article, we are only focusing on the insight straight.

Most Famous Pot

There was an episode on High Stakes poker that involved a massive pot of $743,800 with Patrik Antonious and Jamie Gold. Patrik called a 3 bet with ace jack. He check called a flop bet on Q-T-X and proceeded to turn the nuts against Jamie’s pocket kings. This is a rare spot where he had amazing implied odds, as demonstrated by the fact Jamie Gold moved all in on the turn. Anyway, enough of the commentary, have a look for yourself below for one of the largest ever pots for an insight straight. Note – Patrik lose 2/3 of the pots when they ran it 3 times.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, hitting your inside straight is very unlikely. You need to consider will your opponent even pay you off? You also need to think about whether you are even drawing to the nut hand. If you are and you’re facing a minimum bet, perhaps you can afford to peel one, but if not, get out of the pot.

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String Bet in Poker – How to Avoid it

String Bet

You’ve studied your opponent and calculated the bet you want to make in your head. You reach for your chips and put in a decent bet and hear the 2 most annoying words you can hear in a live poker game. “String bet” and the dealer makes you put the extra chips back making your bet look pitiful. Your opponent calls the meagre bet and you win a tiny pot instead of a potentially large one. A string bet is not just frustrating if you win or perhaps lose the pot, but also from a consequence perspective. Placing a string bet can affect you the hands after. This article will look at the meaning of a string bet and ways to avoid it happening to you in the future.

Beginner Texas Hold’em Question

What is a string bet?

A string bet is an illegal bet made at a live poker table. It is where the player has bet chips multiple times with the intention of making a single bet.

Main Types

Dropping ChipsThis is where a player will reach a stack of chips and drop them individually over the betting line. In this situation, the first chip that landed is the bet. Whilst you may think you’re cool dropping the chips in a dramatic fashion like in the movies, it’s illegal to do so in practically every casino.
Reaching BackThis is the most common way. It’s where you push your bet forward, over the invisible betting line. You then reach back for more chips to do this again.

Check out the video below for illustration

Why is a String Bet Illegal?

String betting is illegal because, theoretically, you could be feeding off your opponents’ reactions. By betting and then going to get more chips, it’s as if you are altering your bet and may use the reaction for information. Despite people wanting to devalue the importance of reading your opponent, it’s a part of the game you can’t ignore. By watching your opponent as you make a bet, you can elicit information from them. That being said, the truth is, most string bets are performed by new players unfamiliar with the rules of poker. There are experienced players though who may do this illegal bet on purpose. This is very unethical and something I advise against.

How to Avoid String Betting

The simplest and easiest way to avoid string betting is by announcing your bet verbally. By doing this, it’s irrelevant how you pick up your chips. Verbal declaration is binding so as long you are clear with your annunciation and are saying it loud enough, you will be fine. It’s important you stay consistent though, strong or weak, announce your raises and bets so that you are not easily exploited.

Poker Bet Sizing Correctly is Everything

Poker Bet Sizing

How much thought do you give to the bets you make when playing poker? It’s not a trick question. Effectively sizing your bets is everything when it comes to playing for the long run. Most online poker sites offer automatic buttons like 50% pot, 75% and full pot, but players often just click any and are not giving enough consideration to board texture, number of opponents and relative hand strength. This article will highlight and explain why accurate poker bet sizing is important to your ability to earn lots of money both online and in casinos.  

What Does Good Poker Bet Sizing Do?

Forces Errors

Whilst the small ball style of poker has been popularised in recent years, it does fail to enforce mathematical errors from your opponents. Consider a wet board texture. This type of flop requires a large sized bet to make your opponent pay to outdraw. Anything less than 70% of the pot is unlikely to get a fold nor is it mathematically correct. Any time you are betting 50% of the pot, you are giving your opponent fantastic pot odds. They only need 25% equity in the hand to continue. Put another way, any time you size your bet too small, you are losing money. Even if you win the actual pot, you are making a mistake, allowing your opponent to play correctly and losing yourself money, in the long run. Good poker bet sizing strategy makes your opponent’s make mistakes.

Gets Value

Bet sizing properly doesn’t just mean betting big. It may also mean, putting in that sweet sized bet that gets you paid. Consider a hand where you are betting every street with top set. You get to the river and are automatically reaching for the ¾ pot bet, hoping to get paid. Is that the right bet though? With reasonable estimate, you can predict how often this bet will get paid by a certain player and weight it against a smaller bet. If a bet of $100 gets called 20% of the time and a bet of $50 gets paid 100% of the time – clearly the latter is the correct bet as you are making more money in the long run ($50 x 100% vs 20% X $100). The value of the bet is worth $50 vs $20. Are you beginning to see how important bet sizing is?

Continuation Bet Sizing

Bet SizeBoard Type
25% (1/4 of Pot)The driest of boards e.g. 3-3-9 rainbow
33% (1/3 of Pot)Dry rainbow flops e.g. Q-7-3 rainbow
50% (1/2 of Pot)Mixed flop type e.g. K-9-6 rainbow
75% (3/4 of Pot)Suited and connected e.g. Js Ts 4d
100% (Full Pot)Wettest of flops e.g. Td 8d 9c
Overbet Those special occasions you know you’re getting called and you have monster or conversely you know an overbet bluff will work as your opponent can’t have “it”.

Beginner Texas Hold’em Question

Does Bet Sizing in Poker Tournaments Change?

We need to make exceptions to tournament poker. This is especially true for online poker tournaments that have shorter stacks and quicker blind levels. Generally, you can size your bets smaller in tournaments. It is better poker bet sizing strategy to risk less of your chips, as a bigger bet will often accomplish the same as a smaller one.

Open Raises in Cash Games vs Tournaments

Cash GamesYou should open raise between 3 and 4 big blinds in a cash game. You can raise even more if the game is wild and you want to thin the field out. For each limper, add an extra big blind to your raise.
TournamentsIf you are a member of poker training video membership (see banner below), you will know I opt for a min raise from early position, 2.2x the blinds from middle and 2.5 x the big blind from late position. The reason is simple – I want to play bigger pots when I have position advantage. Add an extra big blind for each fishy limper.

Perceptions of different bet sizes

Small Bet

A small bet used to be a sign of weakness when perceived from a strong player. Poker has evolved though and this is less the case these days. Strong players will no longer assume you have air. They will still throw in the occasional re-raise or poker float to test you but I am noticing a lot of pro’s folding for cheap flop bets.
Awful player’s don’t really think much about what you have and likely perceive it as a weak hand, if anything. it won’t dissuade them from continuing in the pot.

Standard Bet

The standard open and standard 1/2 pot bets are generally considered “usual” by strong players. They will look at the board texture and whether it marries up with your range of hands. This will guide their judgement on what cards you have.
The weaker players are more likely to give some credit for a hand when they see the standard opens and bets. They will probably assign you a top pair type hand but not much better. Again though, the fishes are not really thinking too much about what you have.

Large Bet

Intermediate players and even some experts will make incorrectly assume you are super strong or super weak when they see a large bet. They will polarise your range. This is one thing that makes professionals exploitable, if you can balance big bets with hands that aren’t bluffs or the nuts.
Weak players will usually pause for thought and think you have a strong hand but call anyway if they have a top pair or better hand. That’s why grinder’s don’t care if they pot bet for value on the river. They know the fish will call it.

One of the best things about poker is the freedom you have to choose your bets. Don’t waste it! Sizing your bets accurately is arguably the most important thing that separates winners and losers.

What are the Consequences of Poorly Sized Bets?

The consequences of sizing your bets poorly can’t be understated. If you’re one of the many players prone to auto-betting the same %, you need to stop and reflect on your game. Miscalculating your bets will the following:

  • Getting outdrawn more often
  • Less successful bluffs
  • Less value from premium hands
  • Lower hourly win rate
  • Less tournament cashes and final tables
  • More perceived “bad beats”
  • More multi-way pots – less chance of winning

Conclusion

In order to earn money from poker, you will need to have a solid grasp of bet sizing. You can skirt by and win a little if you’re in fishy games and know about other things, but it won’t cut it in other games. Perhaps you have no interest in bet sizing and just want to gamble. That’s fine, there are plenty of casino sign up bonuses available online that give you the chance to make money and entertain you too. This article is merely a guide on poker bet sizing. The intricacies of how much to bet on the turn to force a bad call from a flush draw or to thinly value bet 3rd pair is just as important. If you are interested in learning more about bet sizing, feel free to contact us to see how we can help.

Continuation Bet – The Do’s and Don’ts

What is a Continuation Bet?

A continuation bet is where you have raised before the flop and bet again on the flop. You’ve “continued” betting, hence continuation bet. This is also known as “C betting”. The continuation bet is necessary tool in a poker player’s arsenal. Without it, they will win fewer pots and gain less information on the cards their opponents are holding. Now you know what it is, we will outline the do’s and don’ts of continuation betting.

Do’s

Heads upIt’s much easier for a continuation bet to get through in heads up pots. Your opponent will only flop a pair 1 in 3 times so this makes a flop bet very profitable in the long run.
In positionContinuation betting is pretty much mandatory if checked to you in position. You can put players under pressure far more easily than if you are out of position.
Against fit or fold playersIt’s easy to continuation bet against players that are only playing the cards in their hand. They don’t care if the board is 2-3-9 and hits none of your range. They will still fold if they have nothing, so feel free to continuation bet.
Big card flopsThe flops with an ace or high card are far easier to continuation bet and get through because they hit your perceived range. Who care if you have pocket 3s? They don’t know that.
Dry flopsFlops like K-2-8 are easier to continuation bet due to the lack of flush and straight draws. It reduces the chances your opponent has anything and makes a continuation bet more likely to work.
When you have “it”If you have the hand, fire away too. There’s no use only continuation betting with air or overcards. You want to build the pot and get value so start putting money in on the flop.

Don’ts

MultiwaySimple statistics dictate the more players involved in a pot, the stronger the hand you need to win it. Player’s don’t like folding so if you elect to continuation bet, be prepared to fire 3 bullets to win it.
Out of positionThis isn’t a golden rule, obviously there are many times out of position when you should be betting the flop. It’s tougher to fire continuation bets with success against tough players on some flops, they will float or re raise many flops if the board doesn’t hit your range.
Coordinated boardsThe boards with 3 of a suit or 3 in a row often prove difficult to get a c bet through. People’s ranges are not polarized either, they may be slow playing a monster, prudently playing 2 pair or 3 of a kind. They may just have the ace of the suit.
After lots of bluffsIt’s a tad ambitious to persist with continuation bets if you’ve been showing bluffs or caught bluffing. Tone it down for a while if you have because people will be looking you up.

How Often Should I Continuation Bet?

It depends on the makeup of your table but you should be looking to continuation the majority of the time, particularly heads up. A rough guide below:

Heads up65%
3 Way45%
More than 3 players involved20%

Continuation Bet Sizing

Generally in tournament you want to bet a little less than you may in cash games. I think continuation betting between 49-52% is fine.Cash games afford more flexibility with deeper stack sizes. You are also keen to enforce errors later in the hand and narrow hands down easier. Therefore, continuation betting should be a little larger, between 56-62%.

Conclusion

There’s no way around it, if you want to win at poker, you’ll need to learn how to continuation bet well. To not know about continuation betting is akin to a golfer not knowing about his 9-iron golf club. It’s one of the most important skills to acquire for both cash games and tournaments.

Football Returns – Time to Bet

Football Returns

The beast is back! Premier League football returns to our screens on Wednesday 17th June and it couldn’t come sooner for regular sports bettors. Strap yourself in and prepare yourselves for six weeks of nonstop football.

Premier League News

So, what can we actually expect? For one, the viewing figures will be through the roof. BT Sports in the UK released figures that confirmed over 600k tuned in for Dortmund’s match with Schalke. Six times higher than their figures for the same fixture earlier in the season.

Part of why we love the Premier League is the fact that on any given day, any team can beat one another. But a huge weapon in some team’s arsenal, is the 12th man. Their loyal army of fans to push them on. That’s been stripped away so wave goodbye to home advantage. That’ll be reflected in the odds bookmakers are providing too.
I’d strongly argue that the usual favourites are better placed now to get the three points. With 5 substitutions available to be made, the likes of Manchester City are undoubtedly going to take advantage of their stacked bench. With just Pukki and Cantwell netting more than once for Norwich City, they however won’t be too thrilled when turning to their bench.

Football Tips

Big Boys To Win

Comprehensive victories can be anticipated. The big boys will show no mercy and be looking to roll over their weaker opponents. The top six in Germany have all already netted 4 in a game since the return. Bayern, Dortmund and Leipzig managing it more than once. Bayern have won all their games. And apart from their defeat to their title rivals, Dortmund have also won every game. Whilst Leipzig in third are unbeaten.

Fitness

Teams with more advanced training facilities and fitter squads will have a significant advantage. After months of no proper game time or training with teams, those with enhanced facility to train and get players match read will take benefit. Now is not the time to bet on the underdogs in this area.

Playing for something? Bet on them.

Definitely get behind the teams who’ll be fighting for something. The corona pandemic has had a massive financial hit on all football teams. Staying in the Premier League or fighting for European football has added even more value to an already lucrative pay.

Tottenham Hotspurs – Kane and Son are back

Don’t count Spurs out just yet. They’ve managed to recover the injured Kane and Son for one last push at getting into the top 4. But only if they get can all three points in a mouth-watering tie against Manchester United, who are also aiming to push Chelsea off 4th. That’ll be Friday 19th.

Final Thoughts

Football and sports returning is reason to get excited. The bookies will be happier than anyone, after several months of inactivity. Betting shops will re-open on the 15th June in accordance with government guidelines, provided they are covid secure. With many betting shops small in size and machines close together, how they operate safely is a challenge in itself. Many football fans will watch from home. Fixtures will be available for free, through either the BBC, Sky Pick or Amazon. While BT are offering a reduced monthly price too.

WSOP Goes Online – a Temporary Solution or Glimpse of the Future?

WSOP Online 2020

Few organizations have done more to boost the profile and popularity of poker than the World Series of Poker (WSOP). What started as a small, invitational tournament in 1970 has expanded and evolved into a series that last year featured 105 tournaments (90 in WSOP and 15 in WSOP Europe), thousands of players, and millions of dollars in prize money.

During the 50-year evolution of WSOP, the series has transformed players into superstars and millionaires. It has helped turn poker into a riveting spectator sport through television deals, and taken the professional game from the fringes and into the mainstream.

Time to Adapt?

To achieve such sustained success and maintain their prominence in the face of the emergence of rival poker tours. WSOP has had to adapt: to its growing influence; to television demands; to poker’s changing landscape; and most importantly, to technology.

That continued ability to adapt, particularly to technological changes, has most recently been demonstrated by the announcement that the 2020 WSOP will, for the first time, be played online.

The new ‘WSOP Online 2020’ must not be confused with ‘WSOP Online Poker’, which is an entirely different series of poker competitions under the WSOP banner.

WSOP Online 2020 Schedule

With the usual World Series of Poker – initially scheduled to run from the end of May to middle of July – postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the launch of ‘WSOP Online 2020’ will fill that void and make the series its most inclusive one yet.

Starting on July 1 and spanning more than two months until the final event on September 6, WSOP Online will see players North American players based in Nevada and New Jersey compete for large cash prizes and daily bracelets. While international players will join the action from July 19 on the GGPoker Network platform.

“It wouldn’t be summer without WSOP , ” said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the World Series of Poker. “While we are thrilled to be reopening our venues and optimistic about future offline events, we couldn’t be more excited about deepening our relationship with GGPoker and watching some history unfold online this summer.”

While regular events will undoubtedly return in the future, there are certainly no guarantees that the 2020 WSOP will take place. The launch of the Online series is, at this stage, almost a necessity; a temporary solution to a current problem.

Look at the Future?

But yet, could this launch of what is expected to be “ largest online tournament series of all time ” also offer a glimpse of the future of competitive, professional poker?

Offering an online version to players is a luxury that poker as a game has compared to other sports and competitive events. Just look at the complications facing major sport around the world during the pandemic. Soccer leagues face numerous issues trying to complete or start seasons; the NBA is re-locating to Florida for a 22-team mini league; and horse racing has had to postpone and completely reschedule its calendar.

Other Sports Returning

While soccer is gradually returning to the pitch, basketball gets back on court, and a new horse will soon add its name to the Kentucky derby winners list, which you can read here in Twinspires.com. It has all proved to be a logistical nightmare after shutdowns that have also caused untold financial damage.

Poker and the WSOP do not have quite the same problems to contend with. Online poker is already immensely popular. While it differs in many ways to the table version, it is a capable substitute, for both players and fans, in the context of the current climate.

“There’s nothing in the world like winning a WSOP bracelet,” said GGPoker ambassador, Daniel Negreanu , who is also one of the great poker players in history. “Bringing this experience online will open the door for a new generation of poker players to feel the rush of competing for the game’s biggest prize.”

Opportunity for New Players

By opening up the game online to an increasing number of players, it will only serve to strengthen WSOP. It will provide a platform for even more talented poker stars around the world to make their mark. If WSOP Online can unearth the next poker superstar who perhaps otherwise would have been denied the opportunity, it will only benefit the WSOP brand.

Additionally, the incredible rise of esports has revealed an enormous interest in online spectator competitions and there is no reason why WSOP Online cannot claim a piece of that pie.

Perhaps, then, WSOP are viewing this online series a potential blueprint for future tournaments. Not to replace the traditional table games long-term, but as another extension to their operation.

So, while WSOP Online was a reaction to the pandemic, it could well prove a coincidental blessing. After all, an ability to adapt and evolve has served WSOP well over the past half of a century: why stop now?