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Springtime in Sochi: PokerStars Brings Championship Back
In March 2018 the PokerStars Championship will return to Sochi, Russia, for the second time.While PokerStars just had an event in Sochi in October, that one was part of its smaller buy-in festival series.  The main event attracted 699 players to the dazzling resort on the Black Sea and spearhead of Russian poker, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, finished second. This time around it'll get the full championship treatment and the main event will have a guarantee of €2.2 million (RUB150 million). Springtime in Russia Means Poker Not everything about the upcoming PSC schedule has been publicized yet, but here's what’s already official. The full Championship schedule will take place March 20-29 with the main event scheduled for March 23-29. The main event will have a buy-in of €2,830 (RUB192,000) and a guaranteed prize pool of €2.2 million. This is the lowest buy-in for a PokerStars main event in their premier tournament series since Season 1 of the EPT. Re-Entry, High Roller Included PokerStars has added the clause “single entry per starting day," which leaves some room for interpretation, but likely means that players who bust on Day 1A will be allowed to re-enter on Day 1B. There will be a High Roller event for €9,000 (RUB617,000) with a single re-entry. A PokerStars National Championship with a €975 buy-in (RUB66,000) and a Sochi Cup for €280 (RUB19,000) will also run. The location of the event is the Sochi Casino and Resort in Estosadok Village, which is Russia’s most popular holiday resort. Second PSC in Sochi PokerStars hosted a PSC in Sochi last May with the buy-in then twice what it will be now. The main event guarantee was also the same RUB150 million. The main event didn’t reach the guarantee which meant the players got to enjoy quite an overlay. There were 387 players in that main event, which means that this time PokerStars will have to attract more than twice as many to reach the 150 million. Things went well for Vovtroy last time. There were several reasons why the first PSC didn’t have the turn-out it was supposed to. The event was scheduled relatively late, and it was moved to the end of May after the PSC Monte Carlo and to a time when many players were already on the way to the WSOP. Also, it was the third new destination on the new PSC calendar after Panama and Macau in March/April, which probably was a bit too much travelling even for professional tournament players. For 2018 the schedule has been scaled down and the PSC Sochi has hence become more accessible. It is now scheduled for the end of March, meaning that it’ll take over the spring slot from the events in Panama and Macau. Prague next! PSC Schedule First Half of 2018 Although there hasn’t been an official finalization for the first half of the 2018 PSC schedule, it’s very likely going to look like this: January 6-14, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Paradise Island, Bahamas. (NOTE: The last direct satellite runs on November 5!)  March 20-29, PSC Sochi, Russia May 2018, PSC Monte Carlo On the immediate horizon is the PSC Prague, running December 7-18. You’ll shortly find more information here on PokerListings. PokerStars is the largest online poker operator in the world running thousands of tournaments on all buy-in levels every day. Find out more on our PokerStars review page. You’ll also find secure download links there to start you own poker career in a matter of minutes.Visit

Last Week to Scratch for $100k with 888poker Action Squad!
More than 60,000 players have already won cash and prizes in the daily Action Squad tournaments on 888poker.But there's still plenty of cash left to be had. All this week the 888poker Action Squad is giving away $10k every day and a shot at a daily $100k prize. The final $10,000 Ultimate Hero Freeroll runs this Sunday, Nov. 5 but in the meantime get your hands on extra cash through a trio of high-value freerolls. Fast Fold, 4-Max & Super Turbo Mania There are three different types of Action Squad freerolls but they all have one thing in common – they’re lightning fast. It's a Blast. The freerolls are called Blast Man, Turbo Warrior and Captain Snap and you can read in detail how they work right here.  Every Action Squad freeroll has a prize pool of $3,000 and the top 888 players receive a scratch card to give them even more chances of winning great prizes. On top of that there’s a Daily Power Up Freeroll that has a prize pool of $1,000. You need tickets to play in any of these, but it’s never been easier to get them. All you need to do is spin the Wheel of Fortune that will automatically pop-up once you start your 888poker lobby. You can spin once a day and you will win tickets if you keep on trying. We’ve tried it; it works. Action Squad Schedule Name Date Time Captain SNAP Daily 16.10 CET Turbo Warrior Daily 20.10 CET Blast Man Daily 1.10 CET Power Up Daily 23.10 CET Ultimate Hero Nov 5 21.30 CET Scratch for $100,000! The Wheel of Fortune can also provide you with Power Scratch Cards and Super Power Scratch Cards. They're the same you can win in the Action Squad tournaments. Power Scratch Cards are nice, while Super Power Scratch Cards are amazing. Power Scratch Cards can win you tickets to the $10,000 Ultimate Hero tournaments and cash bonuses up to $1,000. Super Power Scratch Cards are the ones that give you the chance to win the ultimate prize of this promotion - $100,000 in cash straight into your 888poker account. To sum things up: Action Squad freerolls let you win money and scratch cards Scratch cards let you win money and tickets Wheel of Fortune gives you all of the above In short: you can’t lose. Play at 888poker with $888 Bonus! The Action Squad promotion only runs for a few more days and all the freerolls will end after November 5. If you haven’t taken your shot at the $100,000 main prize, do it now. Get in the game! If you still have a couple of freeroll tickets in your lobby (which you do if you play regularly on 888poker) go ahead and use them in the freerolls.  888poker is the second-largest online poker site in the world and runs big, high-value poker promotions for low-limit players in particular. To be eligible to take part in these promotions get your own 888poker account. Learn more and get started through our 888poker review page, where you’ll find all the information you need and safe download links to install the 888poker software and access our $888 sign-up bonus.Visit

888poker Raises $90,000+ for REG to Help Battle Malaria
The poker world has a long history of charitable giving but in recent years, more and more young poker pros have made an extra effort to contribute something meaningful to society.Of those who have made the decision to "give back to the world," many have done so through donating a percentage of their wins to the Raising for Effective Giving (REG) charity. REG is an organization co-founded by poker pros Phil Gruissem, Igor Kurganov and Liv Boeree that's dedicated to Effective Altruism - meaning maximizing the benefits to at-risk populations via the most effective donations. 888poker has jumped in to the cause as well and, this year alone, generated $100k in contributions to REG via tournament fees collected during the XL series. 888poker Directs XL Funds to Combat Malaria For the inaugural XL Inferno tournament series back in March, 888poker decided to raise money for REG so declared it would donate all the fees from three major tournaments of said series. Gruissem: Seen first-hand how much of a difference it makes. That generated $50,400. During the following XL Eclipse series 888poker repeated that initiative with another three events for charity and gathered another $40,825. So, with just a few online poker tournaments, 888poker managed to collect almost $100k and contributed it directly to the Against Malaria Foundation, which is one of the institutions REG supports. And if you’re wondering what they money went to, in the case of the AMF it was something as simple as mosquito nets. That might not sound like much, but every year more than 700,000 people die from malaria and a mosquito net costs but $2.50. With the money raised by 888poker during the XL series, almost 40,000 people can be provided with mosquito nets -- meaning that they can protect themselves and their children, the most vulnerable victims of this disease, for the next 2-3 years. 888poker Collaborates with REG REG was founded in 2014 and has since raised more than $3 million for its various causes. Its founders mentioned above, along with Stefan Huber, have all committed to an ongoing donation of a percentage of their winnings. Since, many others have joined. If you check the REG website their main ambassadors are listed as WSOP champion Martin Jacobson, Erik Seidel, Cate Hall, Justin Bonomo, Christopher George, George Danzer and John Juanda. World champ Jacobson also on board. All of these personalities are involved in all sorts of charitable activities, some of which are directly connected to poker and thus easily accessible for the poker community. This summer, for example, Liv and Igor won the Tag Team event at the WSOP. The teams were allowed to have four members so there were four bracelets for the winning team. Liv and Igor put the two spare bracelets on eBay and collected a sales price of $10,200. That’s $10k for charity that didn’t hurt anybody, didn’t cost anybody anything and didn’t even involve any work. Phil Gruissem once told PokerListings that being a poker player and putting his talent to work making money through the game was the way he was 'most useful' in the world. He also compared it to one of the teachings of Buddhism. “Buddhism says giving will make you happy. I agree with that a lot.” All you have to do is play! You Can Contribute, Too If you play on 888poker you can also support these kinds of important and effective charitable institutions just by playing. The next XL series - the XL Blizzard series starting in January - will have more REG Chip In events which you can play and contribute your fees to a great cause. Create your own 888poker account by downloading the software securely from PokerListings’ 888poker review page. You'll have an account up and running within a few minutes and get access to our exclusive $888 bonus.Visit

X-Ray, Intel Rank High with Pros for Power Up Success
PokerStars’ new Power Up game went live last week and is now running smoothly with $1, $3 and – since October 20 – $7 buy-ins.Power Up features several “super powers” added to regular No-Limit Hold’em that let you control parts of the gameplay, your hole cards and even those of your opponents. The game was first introduced at PSC Barcelona last August and we spoke with the Director of Innovation, Severin Rasset, about it. Meanwhile, the members of Team PokerStars have been eager to try Power Up out and have a few suggestions about its best weapons. X-Ray & Intel Best Power Ups It appears that there’s one power – out of 9 total – that resonates particularly well with the pros. Given how successful they are in the regular game of No-Limit Hold'em, you might want to pay attention to it when you play Power Up yourself. Igor Kurganov, Jeff Gross, Jason Mercier, Felipe Ramos, Jamie Staples, Adrienne Rowsome and Mikhail Shalamov were the pros asked for their first impressions of the game and their answers were revealing. Three out of 7 opted for X-Ray -- the power to see one of your opponent's hole cards at random) as the one power card they like the most.  Mercier picked X-Ray because it “seems like a huge advantage and should make it very easy to make decisions throughout the hand.” Shalamov agreed, saying it’s “always easier to play against your opponent when you know 50% of their holdings." Rowsome raved about X-Ray’s ability to “reveal so much about your opponents’ hand and there is nothing they can do about it." There's something about seeing more cards than other players that PokerStars pros consider to be more valuable as Intel -  which let’s you peek at the top card of the deck - proved to be the second most popular power in this group. As Jaime Staples explained, it "gives you a sick advantage while the your opponent is still blind." Kurganov agreed and adds “having certain information, or as certain as it gets in Power Up, is a very nice advantage – more so than getting to shuffle the cards." Upgrade & Clone Have Their Fans 2017 Most Inspiring Play nominee Jeff Gross says he prefers Upgrade, " as being able to obtain an extra card and then combine two of the three is a very nice advantage to have.” 2016 Most Inspiring Player winner Felipe Ramos, on the other hand, is known to be excitable and for having his own views on things. He picked Clone as his preferred power: “Imagine if you could clone anything in your life … you can in this game!” Avatars, as Expected, are Personal Another feature of Power Up is that get to pick an avatar to represent you at the table. All the characters depicted have different background stories and playing styles, although they don’t actually have any effect on the game. So you can either pick your personal avatar to describe your own style or you can pick your avatar to hide it and mislead your opponents. Or, of course, you can go the Jason Mercier way, who decided on Sora Hamada not just because Hamada has strong memory and a short attention span, but also because “he has facial hair." Hamada is the only avatar that two of the PS team pros considered their favorite as Jeff Gross also said Hamada’s memory skills and focus weaknesses reminded him of himself. The other favorites of the PS players: Jaime Staples – Hitch Reider Mikhail Shalamov – Arlo Shank Adrienne Rowsome – Shayu Jyn Igor Kurganov – Charlotte Nagy Felipe Ramos – Miles Legend If you want to know more about the natures of the different avatars, check in on Power Up in the PokerStars lobby. You’ll go through a short tutorial before you get started to learn all you need to know to play the game. If you don’t have a PokerStars account yet visit our PokerStars review page where you’ll find links to download the PokerStars software securely and get yourself a $600 bonus.Visit

24 Books Not About Poker That Will Make You Great at Poker
At his peak, David Beckham was the richest sportsperson of his era.The Manchester United/Real Madrid/England star was the icon for millions of people of all ages - a truly global star. Can you imagine Beckham turning up for training, drinking a can of Red Bull, a razor in one hand, and a rusty can of shaving foam in the other? Do you think he had football genes enabling him to turn up and play - no training, no advanced learning, no need to reach peak fitness, no dietary considerations, no brand awareness, no business acumen -  and he was that good? So why do so many poker players think they can sit down in the local library, read a few poker books by Dan Harrington and hey, presto!? No Room for Troubled Joints There has been a shift in power within the higher echelon of poker; gradual, but it's there. To win millions today you need to be a well-oiled machine. There is no room for frozen joints and troubled minds. It's time the casinos began erecting signs of poker boom players in wheelchairs leading to the exit. The education of the new breed is different. Sure, they work on the technical aspects of their game, harder than anyone else. But they find their edge in the work they do away from the tables. The hard work is in the smoothie ingredients, the posture of the downward-facing dog and the 40-minutes of daily transcendental meditation. They have Silicon Valley savvy, they draw business plans on the blackboard using the finest chalk and they exist in the most fulfilling, loving and spiritual relationships. If you want to join them, here are 24 books that will help get you there. 1. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield Steven Pressfield hammers home his points with a minimum of fuss. You will finish the book during your morning poo. The War of Art is a tale about resistance and how it constantly tries to cripple us. Poker is art and resistance is everywhere in poker.  Also try Turning Pro and Do The Work.  2. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene At times this book can feel morally incomprehensible. But it’s perfect for the cutthroat world of poker. Law #3 Conceal Your Intentions. Law #4 Always Say Less Than Necessary. Law #5 So Much Depends on Reputation - Guard it With Your Life. Get the picture? 3. Deep Work by Cal Newport Knowledge is power in poker but how you accrue knowledge is critical. Don't lie in bed watching RunItOnce training videos until you fall asleep. Focus on one thing and devote 100% of your attention. Distractions are a hum that will reverberate around your life until something cracks.   4. Meaningful by Bernadette Jiwa If you want to be a professional poker player you need to learn about marketing and branding. If you don't want to be a pro but you want to sell some action, or get backing, you still need to learn about marketing and branding. Bernadette Jiwa is a genius in both areas. Also try: Marketing: a Love Story, Difference and Hunch.  5. It’s Not What You Sell It’s What You Stand For by Roy M. Spence Here is another fantastic book on marketing and branding. Roy M. Spence shares his personal experience working with some of the world’s most profitable businesses during his time at the ad agency GSD&M. Learn how the very best cultivate the right brand story and create your own. 6. Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy This book is designed to get you to see that eating meat is an invisible, violent and dominant belief system called Carnism. It makes this list - not for that purpose - but for the way it teaches you to look at the world more philosophically. Thinking about the way the world works is a skill that is often overlooked by poker players and yet all the top poker players have this skill. Also, try watching Okja on Netflix.  7. Doing Good Better by William MacAskill Poker has become one of the most charitable sports in the world. In recent years, Raising For Effective Giving (REG) has made it cool for young poker players to donate to effective charities. If you want to know why people like Martin Jacobson donated over a quarter of a million dollars to charity, let the founder of Effective Altruism tell you all about it.  8. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg The poker world is full of vices. Addiction lies not only within the core structure of the game but on the periphery in the form of drugs, alcohol, and expensive food bills. Learn to understand why we do the things we do so that you can make a more informed decision next time. 9. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance Elon Musk comes across as a right dick. But deep down, his empathy is so far beyond what we can comprehend; it's invisible to us. He is a man making billions of dollars so he can change the world in ways people haven't even considered. Poker players looking for greater meaning in life can learn a great deal by using Elon Musk as their poster boy. 10. An Astronauts Guide to Life by Chris Hadfield There are two reasons why this book is perfect for poker players. The first was Chris Hadfield's desire to be an astronaut at a time when no Canadian had ever been in space and then making that dream come true. The second reason is Hadfield's continual preparation and management of risk. When you are living millimetres from death, you always have to figure out what can go wrong and how to adapt. This should be one of poker's 10 Commandments. 11. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns Even those amongst us who have won 14 WSOP gold bracelets can feel a little depressed or unworthy from time to time. The pressure gets to us and, the next thing you know, you're calling cage fighters moronic motherfuckers. David D. Burns is the Gandalf of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and this book is a brilliant way to diagnose and fix a variety of different mental disorders that will prevent you from reaching your true potential. 12. The Path of Least Resistance by Robert Fritz What are your Primary and Secondary choices in life and how do you make them? Have you made a Fundamental choice in life; and if so, in what direction will it take you? Robert Fritz teaches you that The Path of Least Resistance is the one containing the most footprints but it's not the one that you want to be taking. 13. E3 by Pam Grout Pam Grout's thought experiments are both fun and insightful. Think of the number ‘222' and it shall appear. Do you want to see rabbits? You'll see them everywhere? Based on the theory of the Law of Attraction this book is less hocus pocus and more about the power of positive mind and visualizing what it is you want in your life; WSOP bracelet, anyone? Also try E2. 14. Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal You should give this book to every person who doubts that you can make a difference in the world by playing poker. Jane McGonigal is a gaming expert who believes that games have the power to change the world. As a poker player, you will learn a great deal about how you can add deeper meaning to the time you spend on the felt. Also try SuperBetter. 15. Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse Who doesn't need a little help organizing life? Poker players need to play, study and spend time with those they love. Kevin Kruse asks the billionaires, Olympic athletes, top-grade students and some of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world for their productivity tips. The only problem is where to start implementing all the strategy. 16. The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren If you aren't religious, then this book may be a little difficult to stomach, but stomach it. If you can push aside the religious tone of the book and focus on Rick Warren’s message, there is some great advice on how to find meaning & purpose in life. As a poker player, whose sole purpose is taking money from people, it will help. 17. The Here And Now Habit by Hugh G. Byrne Fedor Holz didn’t create Primed Mind because he was bored. Holz believes that the edges in the game now come from places other than the game and mindset is on top of that list. The Here and Now Habit is the perfect portrayal of mindfulness and how you can implement it into your life to help reduce stress, anxiety and tilt. 18. The Liver Cleansing Diet by Dr Sandra Cabot Playing poker is a dangerous pursuit if you don’t look after yourself. Casinos aren’t renowned for the best haute cuisine in the world and even Jake Cody lives on Pot Noodles when in the midst of a Sunday online grind. The Liver Cleansing Diet teaches you the importance of maintaining a tip-top liver and you will also lose a lot of weight in the process. 19. Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez Money is fuel and you can't play poker without it. You need solid bankroll management skills to become a great poker player and why this book stands out is because of the way it uses your time as a financial metric. How many hours of your life are you willing to sacrifice playing poker, learning about poker and talking about poker? This book hits home the importance of prioritizing how you spend money. 20. It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be by Paul Arden Paul Arden's classic is another one of those books that you can finish during a trip to the loo. It's short, sharp and concise. It's witty and thought provoking.  If you want to persuade people to buy something from you - whether that's a bluff, pieces of action, or your brand - then this book is a delight. 21. Results by Jamie Smart Every poker player has blamed external forces for their failures in the game. The deck, the idiotic fish who can't play, or the stupid dealer. Jamie Smart is a student of Sydney Banks and the Three Principles of Mind, Consciousness, and Thought. It's a perfect book for a poker player looking to find clarity through all the noise. Results help you realize that all of your feelings come from thought in the moment, a powerful lesson for a poker player. Also try Clarity.  22. People Skills by Robert Bolton How often do you see someone selling communications training for poker players? And yet, isn’t that what the game is all about? Robert Bolton helps you to communicate with people both verbally and non-verbally better than anyone, in particular, his advice on how to manage conflict.  23. If The Buddha Married by Charlotte Kasl Poker can be a very time-intensive pursuit that doesn't leave you much time for the special loved one in your life. If you find that time at the tables, or financial difficulties, is having an adverse impact on your relationships, Charlotte Kasl's book is a great way for you to resolve your issues. 24. Tribes by Seth Godin All great poker players will confirm that the most exceptional education in poker is talking shop with other great poker players. But how do you do this? Where are they? Why would they listen? Fedor Holz became one of the greatest players of his generation because of the support of his tribe. Martin Jacobson won the 2014 WSOP Main Event because of the support of his tribe. You are already a part of a tribe. You are a poker player. Learn how to cultivate and create more intimate tribes through this fantastic book. Bonus: 4 More Non-Poker Books to Help Your Game 1. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle (Ego) I know a lot of poker players who have read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. And why not? it makes perfect sense to learn to be present. Rocky Balboa told baby Creed to take it "One step. One punch. One round at a time." If Eckhart Tolle was a poker player I'm sure he would say to take it "One card. One hand. One Level at a time." I chose A New Earth -- not only to be different but because I think his two chapters on Ego are essential reading for everyone. Ego, or 'Everyone has Got One' as I like to say, is one of the main reasons players suffer from losses of emotional control or seemingly random acts of madness at the poker table. Take complaining about a hand as an example: "Resentment is the emotion that goes with complaining and the mental labeling of people and adds, even more, energy to the ego." When you ridicule a player for making the bad play, Tolle refers to a quote from Jesus Christ: “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” The answer is: "When I criticize or condemn another it makes me feel bigger, superior." The reason you need to read this book spills from Tolle’s mouth when he says: “I didn’t realize yet that thinking without awareness is the main dilemma of human existence.” 2. Start Something That Matters by Blake MyCoskie (Service) I believe that it’s within service that we find happiness. I am an effective altruist. I am a member of Raising for Effective Giving (REG). I considered suggesting a series of books by Peter Singer or William MacAskill, but it was MyCoskie - Chief Shoe Giver at TOMS - who first infiltrated my mind and made me want to give to others. I think service is incredibly valuable in the poker industry. We take from people. That's what we do. I think it evens up the scales to use some of that money to improve the lives of others. If you think like that, then even the losers in the game are winners. TOMS is much more than a shoe. It's a story. This book was a New York Times Bestseller, and so it should be. It gets you thinking about helping others but at the same time also helping yourself. The one-for-one model means you are running a for-profit organization instead of a non-profit organization and I think that might appeal to the poker-playing community. 3. Transcendental Meditation by Jack Forem (Spirituality) I honestly believe that the difference between two similarly skilled poker players lies in their spiritual practice. Before I found Transcendental Meditation (TM) I was consumed by anger. I was like a volcano. You wouldn't know it; then BOOM. Lava still flows occasionally but nowhere near the veracity it once did. It’s not just in life. In poker I am so much calmer. The bad beats don't affect me like they used to. Players who used to wind me up can't find the lever. I have more compassion for those who deliver the game. It all stemmed from TM. It costs too much money and there is an "airy fairy" ritual during your learning that involves cake, candles and a lot of chanting. But it’s the only form of meditation that has stuck with me. I don’t have to remember to meditate anymore because I am a meditator. 4. Holistic Dental Care by Nadine Artemis (Health) I didn't just choose this book because poker players have bad breath and work in proximity to one another (although it's a point worthy of the book entry on its own merit). I chose this book because I never understood the importance of dental health and the relationship that it has to the rest of the body until I picked up this little beauty. Artemis talks about the traditional form of dentistry and how they are always treating symptoms instead of working hard at discovering the causes. “Treating the decay instead of correcting the sources may explain the statistic that 90% of 60-year olds have 63% of their teeth missing, filled or decayed.” She also clues you in on the relationship between mouth hygiene and the rest of the body. “80% of all illness is related to decay in the mouth.” Did you know that there is a ‘constant microscopic flow of fluid in the teeth that originates near the intestinal area and flows upward and outward through the tooth?’ Nadine Artemis did. And don’t get me started on Mercury amalgam. Did you know that Mercury is the second-most toxic substance on earth after plutonium? And dentists tell us this is fine to put into our mouth? Google "Mercury Vapor From Mouth" and you will be spending your next three-bet on a dentist who knows how to extract Mercury amalgams (which by the way go into a bag labeled "toxic waste.") Those talented Swedes won't know what I am talking about. Mercury amalgams were banned in their country back in 2009. Since reading this book I have created my own toothpaste from baking soda, coconut oil, salt and peppermint oil. I have also created my own mouthwash from tea tree oil, baking soda and salt. Since using these new inventions my gums don't bleed, my breath smells better and my teeth are whiter. According to Nadine Artemis, I will now be healthier. ------------ Now it’s your turn. What non-poker book would you recommend?Visit

BillyBon8 Sees Double, Germaxii Maxes ROI on 888poker Sunday
There was a new Sunday Major in the 888poker lobby this past weekend.Dubbed The Great 8 it’s a $88 buy-in tournament played 8-handed with 8,888 starting chips. Low buy-in players might recognize the format as it echoes the popular 8-8-8 event – a daily event with an $8.88 buy-in that regularly draws 500-700 players and gives them plenty of room for deep-stack play. The new Major certainly agreed with Russian player BillyBon8, who swept to victory in the first Great 8 to top a weekend where he also won the Baby Whale. Double for BillyBon8  Last year BillyBon8 had an amazing couple of days on 888poker in November. He first won the Lightning 6-Max and then 48 hours later won the Crocodile. Moorman in contention as always. This time around, he won tournaments simultaneously. For a player to take down two tournaments on one day is a rare feat but BillyBon8 did it again in the new Great 8 and the biggest Sunday Major, the Baby Whale. There were 582 entries in the Great 8 including 888poker pro Chris Moorman, who finished 51st, but BillyBon8 was the last man standing. That was worth almost $9k, but he didn’t stop there. BillyBon8 also prevailed against the strong player field the Baby Whale always has. 888poker pro Parker Talbot, for example, finished in 24th. At the final table BillyBon8 survived highly profitable players like DonkMaster99 and eventually both Jans Graftekkel Arends and Simon Isildur1337x Mattson, who finished in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Overall the $320 event had 378 entries to generate a prize pool of $113,400. 888poker Baby Whale Final Table Payouts Place Name Prize Money 1 BillyBon8 $23,190.30 2 Isildur1337x $17,010 3 Graftekkel $12,814.20 4 WorldIsOurs $9639 5 Ineedmassari $6577.20 6 samuelbt $5103 7 saiyajin1337 $3969 8 lrdvoldemort $2835 9 DonkMaster99 $2154.60 Germaxii Maxes Out Despite BillyBon8 being a double winner, the player of the weekend was arguably Argentinian player germaxii. The former XL Eclipse winner had six tournament cashes this weekend -- four of which were final tables. Germaxii is now at 24% ITM rate and 135% ROI for this year. Impressive stats and proof that playing online profitably is still possible. The Action Squad wants you! Daily Super Hero Freerolls! It's difficult to make deep runs in tournaments but 888poker will give you plenty of chances to make one yourself - for free. Three different Super Hero freerolls run daily with $3,000 prize pool each and you can win tickets to play in them just by spinning the wheel when you open your 888poker lobby. Don’t worry if it doesn’t work the first time; It will work and you’ll get plenty of tickets. There are also Power Up freerolls with $1,000 prize pools and once a week there's an Ultimate Hero tournament with a $10,000 prize pool. To play in that one you just have to make the top 888 in any of the Super Hero freerolls. More about the Super Hero freerolls here.  To kick-start your poker career, create your 888poker account by downloading the 888poker software from our 888poker review page. If you do, you'll also get up to an $888 bonus.Visit

Poker Hand of the Week: Smart Jungleman Outsmarted
Dan Cates turned his online nickname, "jungleman12," into a full-on poker brand when he clearly dominated poker whiz kid Tom Dwan in the second durrrr challenge.Since then Cates has become renowned as one of the best cash game players around. When he came to play on the new Poker after Dark he had to face players like Ike Haxton, Doug Polk, Jason Koon and Brian Rast and it proved to be a tough test. One of the most exciting hands of the episode was, however, a hand between Cates and Matt Berkey. It didn’t go exactly to Cates’ plan. A Little $300/$600 Holdem Among Friends The game is $300/$600 No-Limit Hold’em and Berkey just put in a straddle of $1,200. Cates is in first position. He sits with $321,000 – way over 500 bb – and finds     Cates raises to $3,000. Haxton gets out of the way and Rast ($71,000) calls from the button. Polk and Koon fold and Berkey ($355,000) calls from the straddle. There'd $10,500 in the pot and they go to a       flop. Berkey checks and Cates bets $5,000. Rast calls and Berkey raises to $25,000. Cates calls and Rast folds. There's $60,500 in the pot and effective stacks are $296,000. The turn is the   Berkey takes the lead and bets $30,000. Cates calls. There's now $120,500 in the pot and effective stacks are $266,000. The river is the   Berkey slows down and checks. Cates bets $97,000 and Berkey thinks about it for several minutes. Evntually, he calls reluctantly and shows     Berkey wins a pot of $314,500. Analysis What a hand! The run-out is quite different depending on the perspective you take. We’ll take both. Pre-flop, Cates opens with the second best hand in NLHE. His raise is standard and exactly 2.5 straddles. He gets two callers: Brian Rast has pocket tens but Matt Berkey’s call with Q-5o is on the loose side of calling here. Yes, Berkey gets great pot odds. And because of the deep stacks he has the chance to take down a huge pot with a hidden monster – if he flops trips fives, for example. It takes a lot of chutzpah to call out of position with such a poor hand like Q-5 when you’re up against Brian Rast and Dan Cates. But there are even more astounding things to come in this hand as we’ll soon see. Betting is the Obvious Play The flop Q-9-7 might be rainbow but it opens up several straight draws. Berkey checks his top pair to the initial aggressor, who doesn’t need long to c-bet his overpair. Betting is the obvious play for Cates here. He wants to get money from every queen and straight draw as well as from a hand like Rast’s tens. Rast calls indeed and now Berkey goes for a surprising move. He check-raises top pair, which is a move usually a weaker player would make. Why does he do that? It’s a dubious move as Berkey is basically turning his hand into a bluff. There really aren’t many hands that call his raise and don’t beat top pair, weak kicker. On the other side, the board is draw-heavy and goes very well with his perceived drawing range. So he’s putting himself in a position where he might be able to represent a straight and make better hands fold by the time they get to the river. But maybe his predominant motivation here is to balance his check-raising range for this spot, so that he doesn’t only raise with monsters like sets or with semi-bluffs like J-T, but also with top pairs. Holding an overpair to the board, Cates is unwilling to go away. So he doesn’t only call the flop-raise but also the turn bet. The Donkey End of the Straight The 6♥ doesn’t change much except one reasonable draw has come in – T-8 – while 8-5 can be excluded here with almost certainty. Berkey bets half the pot, but he has so many bluffs in his range that Cates can’t lay down his pocket kings. Already here on fourth street you can see how fierce high stakes games are but the river turns everything on its head again. Berkey finds himself at the donkey end of a straight -- meaning he has the low end to a four-card straight on the board. Would you check or bet? Many weaker players would lead out here but Berkey is smart enough to do the right thing, which is check. It’s highly unlikely that a weaker hand like a queen or an overpair would call him here but Cates might well have a hand like J-T, so Berkey would be crushed. Brilliance denied. The Brilliant River Bluff Cates bets 80% of the pot and that move is nothing short of brilliant. With the action that's happened he’s aware that his kings might not be good anymore, but he sees the chance to represent something much bigger – big enough to make two pair and even sets fold. Let’s compare Berkey’s range and how it plays against Cates’ bluff bet on the river. Remember he still holds a pair of kings. top pair hands worse than his are going to fold two pair hands like 9-7 or Q-9 as well as sets with 7-7 or 9-9 better than his will fold more often than they call hands with a 5 better than Cates’ kings will fold some of the times Overall, the bet clearly gives Cates positive expectations about the outcome. Also, by checking the river, Berkey has capped his range as he would certainly bet a ten or better. Cates’ bet makes a lot of hands better than his fold. Look at how difficult it is for Berkey to even call with a 5. He takes ages to make the decision. How did he finally make that call, you ask? Cates’ body language might be one factor, as it’s not very confident. But the main point is certainly that Berkey believes Cates is good enough for a bluff like that. He’d probably have folded to a weaker player. Cates Bluffs the Wrong Guy Now we know why Matt Berkey can call a pre-flop raise out of position with Q-5. His post-flop game is good enough to make it profitable. Dan Cates played the hand beautifully. He just tried to bluff the wrong guy.Visit

Newcastle's Bowers Breaks Big at 888Live London Festival
With its accessible buy-in and relaxed atmosphere, many poker players came to the recent 888Live London festival just for the experience.For Newcastle's Jonathan Bowers, it was a chance to break through into bigger and greater things. Bowers was a student when he started playing poker back in 2013. He acquired his first live poker experience at the Circus Casino where he played plenty of low-stakes tournaments. He went on to take a job as a data analyst but his idea of a career, at least since he turned 18, was based around poker all the time. “I just got the bug right away," he says, "and it just went from there.” Jonathan Bowers Makes the Leap Bowers played dozens of under £50 tourneys at the Circus in 2013 to hone his skills before he moved on to bigger buy-ins. He also met his now-girlfriend through poker and they now travel and play together -- although they try to avoid each other at the table. About eight months ago Bowers eventually (and after a lot of hesitation) quit his job while his girlfriend Beth put her medical studies on hold. They went to Malta first where Jonathan finished 11th in the MPNPT main event. They then went on to Sin City itself where Bowers managed to clinch a first big cash when he finished 2nd for $15k in a $400 tournament at the famous Aria. “It Was a Risk, but It Paid Off” Bowers got lucky. Dropping out of a day job to pursue poker full-time has been the demise of many a poker player. But it worked for him. After travelling to Malta and then spending three month in the US, Jonathan and Beth came back to England and ventured out to play the 888Live festival at the Aspers Casino in East London. Bowers registered for the £2,200 High Roller event against players like 888poker pro Chris Moorman, the most successful online tournament player of all time. Bowers made it to the final table and finally found himself playing heads-up against Jamie Lunt. Lunt prevailed and took the title but Bowers earned the highest pay check as he ahead in chips when they agreed on a deal. Travel just one of the perks of pro poker. Bowers came out of that tournament with around €40k in his wallet and it looks like he’s not going to go back to his old job. “I don’t miss early mornings," he says, "and getting up to work 9-5s at all.” Still Down to Fate Jonathan and Beth's living costs are comparatively low as, when they’re not on the road, they live with Beth’s mom -- a rather unusual lifestyle for a poker pro. Beth will at some point go back to University and finish her studies but she hasn’t made a decision yet. But she finds some surprising parallels between poker and medicine. “You use all the knowledge you have," she says, "but still it is down to fate if you win or if the patient gets better.” $888 Bonus Awaits at 888poker 888poker offers a wide range of online poker tournaments and cash games. It also hosts plenty of live events and you can qualify for them online 24/7. To get in the game, you simply need to get yourself a personal poker account. Download the 888poker software via one of the secure links on our 888poker review page and you'll instantly get access to a world-best $888 sign-up bonus.Visit

PCA Qualifiers Off to Big Start, Power Up Re-Powered
The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure will be the big kick-off event to the 2018 poker year and last weekend 100 players were added to the main event field.The first of two Ultra Satellites for the 2018 PCA ran on Sunday and not only did the top 100 win full PCA prize packages, they reaped the rewards of a $500,000 overlay. While 1,906 entries equaled just over a million dollars in buy-ins, the 100 guaranteed packages were actually worth $1.5 million to make for an extra level of value. Ultra Satellite #2 Runs Nov. 5 All 100 winners received a full $14.8k prize package that covers the $10k Main Event buy-in, hotel, $1,000 in cash into their PokerStars accounts and 1,000 in hotel credits to spend at the Resort. Door to Atlantis still wide open. With that kind of value out there, you're likely wondering how you can get in on it. Thankfully you haven't missed your window. A second Ultra Satellite will run on November 5 with the same $530 buy-in and multiple ways to qualify. There's no guarantee of an overlay again, of course, but it's still a good idea to put the date in your calendar. There are lots of sub-satellites to the Ultra Satellites all this month but also plenty of alternate ways to win a 2018 PCA package outright. PCA Spin & Gos and Cash Game challenges are also running. Overall there will be over 400 online qualifiers in the PCA main event field this year which is the highest number in years. Nov. 5 is the date when all qualifier promotions for the PCA come to an end. More details here.  Power Up Powered Up Again Last week PokerStars went live with its new game Power Up but it had a few teething issues. Due to a bug the Power Up games were the only ones shown in the mobile lobby when certain filters were used -- although the games weren't affected. Powered up again. PokerStars Head of Communications Lee Jones published an official statement to explain the issue. PokerStars has since resolved the issue and Power Up is back in the lobby and running fine. At the moment games are offered with $1 and $3 buy-ins but a bigger buy-in range is coming soon.  If you want to try Power Up but feel a little intimidated, note that there's a guide to how to use the powers of Power Up. Every Power Up player has to go through the tutorial before playing a Power Up hand. The tutorial is just two minutes and quickly gives you a grasp on how to use the powers correctly. Want to give it a go? Create a new PokerStars account via or download link to access it all along with a $600 bonus. Our review page will also give you all the information you need about the biggest online poker room on the internet.Visit

From Floor to Host to Final Table, Women Make BoM Tick
If it weren't for Tournament Director Ivonne Montealegre, the Battle of Malta wouldn't exist.The native Costa Rican walked in to the PokerListings offices in 2012 to pitch the ‘crazy’ idea of a poker tournament in Malta in November and walked out with a directive to make it happen. She did. After some impossibly long hours and a litany of hurdles overcome, 349 players put up the buy-in for the first BoM main event in 2012 and sowed the seeds for the 6-day, 9-event poker festival you’ll see this year. Now six editions in, Montealegre is still the backbone of the Battle of Malta. And the work of more women behind and in front of the cameras is likewise. Battle of Malta Works Hard to Change Percentages Over the last decade since the peak of the American poker boom, there's been a slow tick upwards in the amount of women playing the game of poker. Estimates of 20-30% of online poker players being female might even be too conservative.  In live poker, though, it’s still another story. A generous average for female players in any given tournament field might be 5-7%. At the highest buy-ins the figures are even smaller. Just 272 female players played the $10,000 WSOP Main Event in 2017 to make up 3.8% of the field. At the Battle of Malta, we’re working hard to change those percentages. And that means in all aspects of poker tournament production as well. "It hasn't necessarily been on purpose," says Montealegre, "but Battle of Malta relies a lot on the hard work on women. Mothers, daughters, colleagues and wives ... all amazing dedicated workers. "From the Swedish House Hostesses to the Portomaso dealers to our floor managers to our sponsors and ambassadors, women are indispensable in making BoM happen.  "Every detail at BOM has been carefully designed and has a female touch. We work very hard for something we care about. The commitment we get from our female staff members is just overwhelming."  From Kara Scott to Maria Ho to Gaelle Garcia Diaz  Host Kara Scott was the most prominent female player/personality at the first BoM but, much like that first event, the groundbreaking Scott set a precedent for BoMs to come.  As the prestige of the tourney increased (it won Event of the Year Under 2k buy-in at the 2015 European Poker Awards), so did its female leads.  Maria Ho took over from Scott as host in year 3 while prominent poker players like Fatima Moreira de Melo, Leo Margets, Sofia Lovgren, Claire Renaut, Sabina Hiatullah, Charlie Godwin, Silje Nilsen, Jackie “Poker Mama” Cachia and Gaelle Garcia Diaz have all taken seats among the field. Celebs like Norwegian actor Tone Damli and Finnish DJ Amanda Harkimo have also jumped in to BoM to get their poker feet wet. Finland’s Anne Meri became our first female final-tablist in 2015; last year we had more women in the field than ever before with Norway's Anne Mette Standal, Spain's Marina Ribas, Poland's Anita Kmiciewicz and American Sally Stephens (on a poker "bucket list" tour no less) all putting on impressive showings. Nilsen, Cachia and last year's Last Woman Standing Standal have all confirmed they'll return for 2017. And keeping with our tradition of having a strong female host who plays great poker, Garcia Diaz will take over hosting duties. New Battle of Malta Ladies Event in 2017 Alongside Diaz comes our first-ever Ladies Event set to go this year. With a €100 buy-in the stakes may be relatively small but with a growing contingent of female players led by Malta local Cachia, Standal and Nilsen, it’ll be one of the most spirited and social events of the series. Anne Mette Standal It’s also fitting that on the year we introduce our first Ladies event that none other than Liv Boeree – who we also hope to see at the 2017 BoM to receive her award in person – ran away with the votes for our 2017 Most Inspiring Player Award. Friendliest Poker Festival in Europe Beyond our high-value, 'big tour' feel, BoM is renowned for its friendly atmosphere and that starts with our popular group of hostesses, affectionately dubbed the ‘Swedish House Hostesses.’ Pernilla Sakert, Mimmi Bengtsson, Linda Vesterby, Carolin Kumlin and Anna Lindegren spend each tournament day circulating through the Hilton and Grandmaster Suite helping people find their tables, answering questions, listening to bad beat stories and making people feel as welcome and comfortable as possible. When it comes to the nitty gritty details of the poker itself, women are front and center as well. BoM floor manager Mikol Taifu has the daunting task of coordinating all of the dealers and staff for the events while Betsson VIP Manager Claudia Lama takes care of a massive group of Scandinavian players.  When it comes to our huge cohort of Italian players, ambassador/journalist Romina D’Agostino has carried the torch across the Mediterranean to extol BoMs virtues and will be on hand in November to ensure our Italian contingent is celebrated and looked after during the festival. "When You Get the Opportunity, Go!" Ariela Rojas Gonzales, who took care of the photography for last year's Main Event, returns this year all the way from Costa Rica fresh from snapping pics at the Punta Cana Poker Open. "When you get opportunities you can't really believe," says Gonzales, "what else can you do but go!   "It's an amazing tournament that should interest any poker player. I'm excited to come back and work with the incredible PokerListings team and amazing BoM TD Ivonne Montealegre."  As a Mom of 2, no time to waste! Our in-tournament massage therapists, REVIVE TOUCH, will be all over the tourney floor again keeping everybody relaxed and in the mood for poker but it’s a decidedly collective effort from all that makes the BoM so special. It couldn’t happen without the leadership and talent of our female staff. "In my personal case," adds Montealegre, "BOM has become a substantial part of my life. "And now that my life has to do with being a mother, my level of commitment is even more focused. The fact that I can’t be wasting time is a great motivator!"Visit

Hall, Saliba Dazzle with Big Wins at 888Live London
It was a festival of long nights in London.In the 888Live London Main Event, which wrapped on Sunday, the night had already advanced into the wee hours when Tom Hall won the last hand. After a 13-hour marathon in the £2,200 High Roller Jamie Lunt was the last of 69 players at the table as dawn broke in East London. And while it didn't run quite as long, 2017 Rising Star nominee Vivian Saliba from Brazil put her stamp on the Ladies Event to add another impressive line on her growing poker resume. Tom Hall Steals the Show Brit Tom Hall has been a steady presence on the European poker scene over the past few years and announced himself as part of the elite with a win in the 2016 EPT Prague High Roller. Hall on top again. He did nothing to change his rep at 888Live London with another impressive performance.  Hall came into the final with a big lead and kept it for a long time, dominating alongside Spanish player Pol Hernandez. But when Ning Lu eliminated Paul Scipioni to make things 3-handed he caught up with Hernandez and later even took over the lead. Lu actually started the heads-up with a 3-1 chip lead over Hall. On the way there Lu had his opponents and the rail shaking their heads in slight disbelief when he took several minutes to call with pocket nines when Scipioni pushed 13 big blinds from the small blind. There were more gasps when Hernandez pushed his last 15 BBs into the middle from the button and Ning asked for a count before he made the call – with pocket queens! The heads-up players agreed on a deal before they sat down to play to a winner. Despite “only” £8,888 to play for and despite the levels being shortened to 30 minutes, it took until 4:30 AM before both players finally had hands good enough to risk all their chips. Hall had the upper hand with A♣ 5♥ over Ning’s Q♣ T♦ and also found an ace on the flop. It was his second tournament win this year after he took down the DTD200 at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham in July. 888Live London Main Event Final Table Payouts Place Name Country Prize Money 1 Tom Hall UK £78,888* 2 Ning Lu UK £72,142* 3 Pol Canals Hernandez Spain £39,945 4 Paul Scipioni UK £29,590 5 Daniel Stanway UK £22,190 6 Charles Akadiri UK £17,750 7 Paul Nugent UK £14,750 8 Shao Zhen Canada £11,835 9 Pascal Pflock Germany £8875 *2-way deal Lunt Wins High Roller Over Geilich, Sperling As mentioned it was a festival of long nights in London and the £2,200 High Roller event was no exception. It was a small affair but it was a top-class field that included 888poker ambassadors Chris Moorman and Dominik Nitsche as well as Scotsmen Niall Farrell and Ludovic Geilich, who were happy to return to 888Live after they both made the Main Event final table in Rozvadov last winter. Jack Salter, Martin Jacobson, Fabio Sperling, Giovanni Rizzo, Opening Event winner Christopher Kyriacou and Main Event winner Hall were also in the field but it was Lunt who claimed the title at 6 am London time. 888Live High Roller Final Table Payouts Place Names Country Prize Money 1 Jamie Lunt UK £34,985* 2 Jonathan Bowers UK £36,115* 3 Ludovic Geilich UK £20,000 4 Iaron Lightbourne UK £15,100 5 Oliver Price UK £11,000 6 Aymon Hata UK £8200 7 Fabio Sperling GER £6220 8 Giovanni Rizzo ITA £5000 *2-way deal Saliba Rises Above Ladies’ Field Fifty-one female players and 75 entries got together to sort out their own champion and it turned out to be Vivian Saliba from Brazil. Star continues to rise. Saliba, who we caught up with at this year’s WSOP Main Event and who was nominated for the “Spirit of Poker Award” in the category Rising Star, came back from being down to three big blinds and managed to take down the whole tournament. Saliba captured her first official tournament win which also came with a £13,000 Main Event prize package for the WSOP Europe at the King’s Casino – compare that to the buy-in of just £55! Meanwhile, 888 ambassador Nitsche lived up to his reputation of being a poker nomad. He went from the Aspers Casino straight to the airport, travelled 30 hours to Macau and jumped into the HK$250,000 6-max event. Finally made it to Macau. Casual 30 hour trip. Quick nap and then time for the 250k hkd 6max@888poker — Dominik Nitsche (@DominikNitsche) 16. Oktober 2017 Get Your Own 888poker Bonus! Would you like to play in 888poker live events? Then get yourself a personal account at 888poker and start playing. Download the 888poker software through our PokerListings review and you'll immediately be eligible for an $888 bonus. It’s quick and it’s easy and you'll be playing in minutes.Visit

Poker Hand of the Week: Strong Threat, Strong Execution
What do you do with a decent overpair if the board gets wetter and wetter on every street?If you’ve ever played a couple of cash games, you know what that situation feels like. Your overpair is almost never going to improve and your opponent might even have a higher pocket pair. It’s a spot where you can end up getting crushed terribly. Jared Jaffee and Jim Carroll faced that very situation at the Golden Gate Casino. Body Language Says It All in Poker We’re guests at the Golden Gate in Las Vegas for a new episode of Poker Night in America. The game is $25/$50 NLHE and the line-up is a healthy mix of amateurs and professionals. In the hand in question, Brandon Cantu has put in a $100 straddle. Jim Carroll – who has over $3 million in tournament winnings – opens with a raise to $400. He has     It’s folded to Jared Jaffee on the button who re-raises to $1,275. The blinds fold and Cantu gets out of the way, too. Carroll decides to call and the two players go to the flop with each of them having about $15,000 in front of them and $2,725 in the pot. The flop is       Carroll checks and Jaffee bets $1,550. Carrol makes the call. There's $5,825 in the pot and both players have roughly $13,500 behind. The turn is the   Carroll has already checked in the dark and Jaffee fires another barrel of $4,200. Carroll gives up his hand after a little hesitation. Jaffee wins a $10k pot and shows     Watch the hand again in the video below and pay extra attention to the body language of Carroll. Poker Hand Analysis As we said before, this situation probably sounds familiar. You have a good hand out of position and are put under pressure all the time. Does your opponent maybe have a higher pair? How could Carroll have gotten away from Jaffee’s pressure? Could he have avoided getting into that spot at all? Carroll's open with JJ is a standard move but then Jaffee pops it up to $1,275 from the button. When the other players fold and the action comes back to him, Carroll needs a plan for how to proceed. Right now raise, call and fold are all legitimate options. But which one is best? Let’s take a look at each of them. 1) Call – By calling Carroll can keep Jaffee in the hand with his full button 3-bet range. But he also has to brace himself for at least one overcard on the flop (this happens the majority of times) and for a tough time out of position. 2) Re-raise – A 4-bet to about $3,500 would have a couple of advantages as Carroll might be able to take down the pot of $1,500 right there. He might also be able to lay it down to a 5-bet. Both players are deep enough that Carroll wouldn’t be pot-committed even after his 4-bet. 3) Fold – Against a very tight player you might even consider folding pocket jacks to a 3-bet, but against any regular player that would be far too weak of a play and easily exploitable. That means we’re basically down to call or re-raise. As we’ll see, the decision depends on the opponent. Carroll Already Uncomfortable After Carroll makes the call the flop is rather friendly to him. There's no overcard so he’s probably still ahead if he was ahead before the flop. The only reasonable hand that has overtaken Carroll’s jacks is a pair of sevens. Consequently Carroll check-calls Jaffee’s bet of a little over half the pot. However, if you look at Carroll, you can clearly see that he already doesn’t feel comfortable with his hand. Although he calls rather quickly his body language doesn’t really confirm the move. But this is a must call as Jaffee will continue here not only with better hands than Carroll’s but with basically every hand. Carroll’s plan has to consider that against such an aggressive player he'll probably have to face two more barrels. Carroll Gives Up On the Turn Apparently Carroll’s plan was to call the flop and fold the turn whatever the board is as he folds pretty quickly when Jaffee fires $4,200. Carroll's aware that not only will he have to pay the $4,200 but probably more -- maybe everything -- to get to showdown. If Carroll calls the turn he invests more than a third of his stack, which means that from a mathematic standpoint he’d have to call the river, too. But does that mean folding here is the right move? That depends on several factors. The two most important are: A) what Jaffee’s range is and B) is he capable of betting all three streets with air? The Threat is Stronger than the Execution Let’s take on range first. Sure, it has aces and kings in it. But a player like Jaffee would also 3-bet hands like 9-8 or A-J. We also have to take into account that Jaffee might have flopped a club flush draw and is trying to break Carroll’s resistance by betting twice. The only thing that’s for sure is that Jaffee isn’t necessarily holding premium hands and is very capable of a double-bluff. The question that remains is whether Jaffee would really bet out again on the river. But we simply can't get a satisfactory answer to it. This hand is overall a good example for how important aggression and position are at the table and how much persistence is required when your opponent has the upper “hand." In the great game of chess they say that “the threat is stronger than the execution." It’s the threat of an all-in that makes Carrol fold his jacks on the turn versus a hand that he has beat. He possibly regretted afterwards that he didn’t go for the 4-bet pre-flop. Conclusion Jared Jaffee makes Jim Carroll fold a much better hand with his massively aggressive play. Part of Carroll’s demise was that he capped his range when he made the pre-flop call while Jaffee still had kings and aces in his.Visit

More Action, Less Edge: Play PokerStars Power Up for Money
We know you like poker already.How do you feel about poker mixed with science fiction, fantasy role play and esports? PokerStars' game-changing Power Up variation was introduced to the poker world at the PSC Barcelona last August and PokerListings got a first-hand impression of the new game. We also spoke with Severin Rasset, PokerStars Director of Poker Innovation and Operations, about the idea behind it.  As of this week, Power Up is now online for real-money play. The goal of the new variation is more action and less edge. Will it become a must-play game for poker players? Here's a quick look at the main features, the differences to regular Hold’em, the powers explained and more. What is Power Up Poker? Power Up is a 3-player Sit-and-Go. As with every Sit-and-Go the goal is to collect all the chips -- particularly because it’s played in winner-take-all format. There might be more players at the table in later stages, PokerStars says, but for now the 3-player SnG is the only format available. Game play follows the regular Texas Hold’em rules but it adds “special powers” that turn a lot of traditional Hold'em game play on its head. How PokerStars Power Up Works At the core of PokerStars Power Up is the power to change the game in your favor by changing cards – your own, your opponents’ and the board cards. There are nine different powers (at least for now). You'll be dealt three of them at random at the start of the game. You can use one power at a time. It’ll then be replaced by a random new one (but not one that you already have in your arsenal). You are also provided with a certain amount of energy. Using a power will cost some of that energy. It says at the top of each power how much energy it costs to use. When you run out of energy you can’t use any more powers. Every hand you don’t use a power you’ll get more energy in your “energy account.” Every Power Up Revealed PokerStars can add, remove and replace any of the powers at any given time to prevent players from developing an edge and to perpetually change the dynamic of the game. Disintegrate! Here are the powers in place as the game went live this week. The order is alphabetical and doesn’t represent the quality or force of any power. Clone – Passive; gives you the last power that was played in the hand instead of a random one Disintegrate – Active; lets you destroy the community card just dealt when used on turn or river; when used on the flop, you pick the card for destruction EMP – Passive; protects one card on the board from being affected from any powers your opponents might use Engineer – Active; reveals the next three cards from the deck for all to see but you pick the one that’ll be dealt on the next street Intel – Passive; reveals the top card of the deck for you before it’s being dealt for any of the streets still left in the hand Reload – Active; discard one of your hole cards at the start of the hand and get a new one Scanner – Active; lets you peak at the top two cards of the deck and discard one of them; your opponents will not know which card you eliminated Upgrade – Active; gives you a third hole card at the start of the hand but you have to get rid of one of them before the flop X-ray – Passive; lets you look at one of your opponent’s hole cards; neither of you can pick the one that’s exposed NOTE: If a player goes all-in they lock the cards, visualized by red frames. When the cards are locked no more powers can be played. Who are you? PokerStars Power Up Avatars Contrary to regular Hold’em, you’re not just picking a screen name that you play with. Instead you’re picking from a wide range of avatars like you do in fantasy and video games. Every avatar has its own unique history and personality. The avatars have no actual influence on the game, though (albeit maybe a psychological one). Says Severin Rasset: “…we believe it will make a difference for you and how you play depending on which avatar you pick. It’ll show some part of your own personality and that’ll be different from one person to the other.” How to Play PokerStars Power Up PokerStars Power Up should be live as you read this although it did go offline temporarily during its launch week. Play now! Availability in international markets will added one by one so the game won’t show up everywhere at the same time. When Power Up goes live on your market it’ll appear in the lobby in the top tabs next to “Cash," “Zoom,” “Spin & Go” and so on. Play PokerStars Power Up or any other poker game on PokerStars for real or play money any time you want. if you've yet to get your own PokerStars account, find a secure download link on our PokerStars review page and get a $600 bonus.Visit

Win 1 of 100 2018 PCA Packages in Ultra Satellite Oct. 15!
The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is one of the longest-standing traditions in live poker and, with a return to its roots in 2018, should see one of its best editions ever.Back are the $10,000 Main Event buy-in and the original PCA branding (after a year of being PokerStars Championship Bahamas) in the hopes of revitalizing the PCA as a 'must-play' festival to bring in the New Year. Also back is the emphasis on qualifying as many players as possible online to bulk up the field, and that's reflected in one of PokerStars' biggest promotions ever. Hundreds of qualifiers will win their way all-expenses paid to the Bahamas in January and it starts with a massive 100-package Ultra Satellite this Sunday. How to Qualify Online for 2018 PCA There's a whole range of ways to make your way to the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure main event but pay special attention to the PCA Ultra Satellites. No shortage of ways to spend money. These are $530 buy-in online tournaments that each guarantee 100(!) main event packages. This is what these packages are made of: $10,300 Main Event buy-in Accommodation at the Atlantis resort (worth $3000+) $1,000 pocket money paid into your PS account $1,000 spending money put on your room tab At the Atlantis Resort it’s customary to pay for everything with your room card so the last bullet point above is for your daily expenses at the hotel. $1,000 should not only be enough to get you through a week there it’ll let you 'live the life,' so to speak. And there’s plenty of opportunity to spend money at Atlantis. If you don’t have the bankroll to buy directly into the Ultra Satellites, though, you can satellite into them in several different ways. Phase Tournaments and Sub-Satellites You can satellite into the Ultra Satellite by making it through three phase tournaments. Phase 1 is just $1 to play and the top 25 of Phase 3 get tickets to the direct qualifier. If you want to save time and spend a little more, you can also play an $11 Phase 1 and you only have to go through two phases to claim your main satellite ticket. There are also MTT sub-satellites to get into the $530 satellite starting at $11. There are both scheduled and SnG sub-satellites. Spin & Gos can get you there, too. 250 Full PCA Packages and More! You can also qualify directly for the PCA by playing Spin & Go satellites. Spin & Gos have become an extremely popular pastime with PokerStars players and that popularity continues to grow. On the $27.50 level PokerStars is throwing in: 800,000 $55 PCA satellites tickets 180,000 $109 PCA satellite tickets 18,500 $530 Ultra Satellite tickets and 250 full $15,855 PCA prize packages per 1 million Spin & Gos played. There are also Spin and Go challenges where you simply have to play and win enough of them to collect a certain amount of points. When you get there, you’re in the weekly Road to Bahamas Spin and Go final. There are 729 tickets to the Ultra Satellites and sub-satellites and one full PCA prize package up for grabs in every weekly final. Cash Game All-in Shootout Sounds cool and works a little differently from the ways described above. Click on the challenges tab on the right column of your PokerStars lobby. You’ll see a puzzle and a guide for how to complete it. For example, you might have to get each of the four aces as a card in your starting hand, so it’s pretty straightforward. When you’re done you’ll be automatically registered for the daily All-in shootout at 6.05 PM CET. The top 128 players of the shootout will take part in the Road to Bahamas Cash Game Weekly Final. Each weekly final has a $50k prize pool. The winner will go straight to the PCA Main Event while the next 200 players all get tickets to further satellites worth $27.50 to $530. Only 2 Ultra Satellites Scheduled! Get started soon because there are only two of $530 Ultra Satellites and the first is this Sunday, October 15 at 8:35 PM! The second Ultra Satellite will take place on November 5. The cash game and Spin & Go challenges run all the time but also end on November 5. Here’s a little extra tip: While you’re trying to qualify, you’ll collect Stars Rewards Chests. These are mostly filled with Star Coins but there are also tickets to the Ultra Satellites hidden in some of them giving you additional chances to qualify without doing anything. If you don’t have a PokerStars account yet, click through to PokerListings’ extensive review of PokerStars. We provide you with the download links to get you started quickly. Watch the big kids live! Highlight PCA Events As always the PCA will take place in January, partly because that’s a good time to get away from the winter in North America but also because it’s not hurricane season. The main event, which is the one that you can satellite into online, will run January 8-16. One of the major changes for this year is that the buy-in is $10,300 again after being cut in half for the last couple of years. Also watch out for the following events which you'll be able to watch on the PokerStars Live Stream: $100,000 Super High Roller Event, unlimited re-entry, January 6-8 $50,000 High Roller Event, single re-entry, January 8-9 $25,000 High Roller Event, single re-entry, January 12-14 Visit

888Live Opener Draws 650+ to Aspers; Talbot Conquers Phil
The latest 888Live poker festival has started and, once again, the tables in the Aspers Casino in East London are buzzing.888poker kicked off the festival with a £220 buy-in, £120,000 guaranteed tournament that featured four Day 1s. Over 650 players registered, making sure that the guarantee was reached. The tournament ran through the weekend and reached its conclusion on Sunday night with Christopher Kyriacou claiming the title and £20,000. Incredibly, last year’s Main Event winner came second. Kyriacou ftw. Ka Him Li Thrives Again The final three players agreed on a deal and Kyriacou was utlimately the one to claim all the chips. Most astoundingly the man Kyriacou had to beat heads-up was Ka Him Li, the player who came to the inaugural 888poker festival at the Aspers Casino last year and went on to win the main event. Li also placed 35th in last year's opening event which had an even bigger field with about 700 players. Quite an achievement for somebody who doesn’t play poker on a regular basis, as the fact he only has one other cash in a live poker event points to. Don’t be surprised if his name pops up again in the Main Event. 888 Opening Event Top 5 Payouts Place Name Prize Money 1 Christopher Kyriacou £20,000* 2 Ka Him Li £17,900* 3 Terry Simpson £17,675* 4 Tom Hughes £8430 5 Vinny Anderson £6210 *represents a 3-way deal High Roller Wednesday, Main Event Thursday The 888Live London poker festival is now in full swing with side events playing out every day at different buy-in levels. The £2,200 High Roller Event starts on Wednesday and then on Thursday the £1,100 Main Event kicks off. There are still live satellites directly in the 888poker room, so hurry up if you’re up for a major poker experience. Talbot almost topples KOTH. Talbot Climbs Half the Hill While London was preparing for the festival, Pittsburgh was hosting a completely different event. The second 4-player, heads-up King of the Hill Challenge was on and 8888poker pro Parker 'tonkaaaap' Talbot took on the reigning champion Phil Hellmuth in the first round. The match was played as a best-of-three and Talbot came back from 1-0 down to knock the champion off his throne. He wasn’t able to take his seat entirely, however, as Olivier Busquet (who beat Shaun Deeb in his first match) rolled over Talbot for the title. Busquet said afterwards that he was 'hit by the deck so hard it would have been difficult to lose.' Busquet took the full $200,000 prize money as it was a winner take all event. The Home Alone Experience While all this happened in places thousands of miles apart, the player you’d least expect to be at home made it to the final table of 888poker’s last edition of the Baby Whale. Dom dominates as usual. We’re talking about none other than Dominik Nitsche  (who by the way is on his way to East London, too, so there’s another reason for you to try to satellite into the main event). Nitsche spent the weekend online playing a couple of tournaments and, as it happened, made his deepest run in the one with the highest buy-in – the Baby Whale. The term “Baby” is a little misleading as this tournament has a $320 buy-in and often high six-digit prize pools.  Nitsche finished that tournament in fifth place for $8k. He also won five of the seven $1k Heads-up Turbos he got involved in, so be careful when 888Dominik is waiting for you at a table that only has two seats. If you’re a beginner and don’t have an account yet, visit our 888poker review page and read more about the second largest poker room on the internet. You’ll also find the links to download the 888poker software there and get started with an $888 sign-up bonus.Visit

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