The Top Poker Players of 2021

Poker requires skill, precision, time, and dedication to learn how to play, no less play well. These are essential traits for making it big at anything in the United States. Thinking about that, it’s not a surprise that some of the world’s best poker players came from the USA. The USA is constantly at the top of the winners’ table at the annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Today we’re going to be looking at some of the best of the best of 2021

Phil Ivey

Having been featured in a number of poker shows on television like High Stakes Poker and even having been the face of Full Tilt Poker before the two entities fell out, Phil Ivey sure has quite the resume. Nicknamed “The Tiger Woods of Poker” for being the youngest player ever to have won seven WSOP bracelets, he’s already surpassed that total and is going into 2022 with nine bracelets in total, the most recent high-stakes game of the nine bracelets coming from 2013’s WSOP APAC in Australia. He’s probably the most diverse of all of the top bracelet winners. His titles include H.O.R.S.E., 2-7 Draw, and No-Limit Hold’em. Phil Ivey could easily take the top spot in money earned from Antonio Esfandiari. Ivey’s currently sitting second place with $21.2 million won, and the all-time WSOP bracelet table, sitting fourth, four bracelets behind Phil Hellmuth, Jr.

Phil Hellmuth, Jr.

Also known as “The Poker Brat,” this Madison, Wisconsin native is famous for his knowledge and prowess at the No-Limit Hold’em tournament tables. He’s constantly entertaining and fascinating to watch. Phil Hellmuth, Jr. currently sits sixth in all-time money-earning, having almost $18 million in tournament winnings, and sits at the top of the WSOP bracelets list with 13. 

Antonio Esfandiari

Antonio Esfandiari, also known as “The Magician,” was born in Iran but moved to the United States as a child. He’s one of the “Second Generation” of poker players who benefited from the televised boom of the game back in the early 2000s. Esfandiari put himself on the map with his WPT titles, and WSOP bracelet wins. As the game gets younger and younger with the fearless internet poker pros, Esfandiari isn’t fazed, having won first place at the inaugural $111,111-buy-in Big One for One Drop Event at 2012’s World Series. His first prize win was $18.3 million, and he immediately followed it by hitting the final table of the Big One the next year. He now boasts over $26 million in all-time earnings, sitting comfortably at the top of his table.

Different Types of Poker Games for Beginners

Today we’re going to look at a few of the best poker games for beginners. 

Texas Hold’em

Found both in card rooms or on websites, this game has a wide variety of stakes and tables for even the most experienced players to choose from. No-Limit Texas Hold’em is one of the most popular poker games that can be found: it’s been heavily televised and is one of the easiest games to learn rules-wise and hand ranking-wise. This is widely known as the Cadillac of Poker– the most popular variant of poker played. There are a wide variety of informational sources (videos, books, articles) that one can pick up to learn strategic tips for the game. Find out more about Texas Hold’em games here.

Omaha Hi

This game is 2nd ranked in popularity behind the effervescent Texas Hold’em. The “hi” in the game refers to the highest high being the winner of the pot. This game is usually played as a pot-limit game (Pot-Limit Omaha, or PLO). This game is almost exactly the same as Texas Hold’em, except for the fact that the players are all dealt four hole cards instead of two. Players are still making the best of their five-card hand like in the previous game, but they’re required to use two of the four hole cards and only three of the five community cards. As the players are dealt more cards to use, it’s easier to make better hands.

Omaha Hi-Lo

This game, also known as Omaha 8-or-Better, is similar to Omaha Hi, but the pot in the showdown is divided into two equal parts between the highest-ranked 5-card poker hand and the lowest. There are a number of different combinations of hole cards that can be used to make both the high and low hands. However, if you’re going to be going for the low hand, there are conditions that have to be met– this is where the game’s name 8-or-Better comes into play, as all five cards in the hand you’re trying to play should be ranked 8 or lower. Also, straights and flushes don’t count against a hand like this. So the lowest possible hand would be any combination of A-2-3-4-5, while the highest low hand would be any 8-7-6-5-4 combination. The lowest hands are ranked from the highest to the lowest, so 6-5-4-3-2 would be a better combination than 8-4-3-2-A for the pot. 

World Series of Poker During the Pandemic

The World Series of Poker Tournament was recently held from September 30, 2021, to November 23, 2021. They complied with an emergency directive from the state of Nevada that allowed them to allow players to take off masks while seated at the player tables if they could show proof of a complete vaccination. They stated in an article that they’d be complying with the state of Nevada’s directives for immunization, and they did a relatively good job, considering the circumstances.

Their website says that it’s mandatory for players to be fully vaccinated for at least 14 days prior to their participation date, so for the players who had signed up to start on the 30th of September, their vaccination needed to be complete by Thursday, September 16th. They disallowed negative COVID-19 tests as substitutes for vaccination and said that medical or religious exemption weren’t allowed as well.

That’s also not to say that they weren’t allowing masks at all. If they made you feel comfortable, they were also complying with the CDC’s guidelines to the appropriate face masks.

They also had guidelines that they followed, saying that if you answered yes to any of these questions, to please refrain from attending: 

  • Within 14 days before attending WSOP, you have tested positive or been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19;
  • Within 48 hours before attending WSOP, you have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., a fever of 100.4F or higher, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking muscle pain/achiness, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, nasal congestion, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue or any other symptoms associated with COVID-19 identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention);
  • Within 14 days before attending WSOP, you have traveled to any international territory identified by federal or applicable state or local governments as subject to travel or quarantine advisories due to COVID-19.

The tables are the only place they’ll be allowed to take masks off in the presence of other patrons. Nevada is currently under a mask order, so if you’re spectating or walking around, you would be required to wear a face mask.

What to Expect at a New Poker Room

What to Expect at a New Poker Room

Visiting a newly opened poker room can be a lot of fun, but it is a different experience from playing in an established room. Many time, players will imagine what they will find and end up being completely wrong in their expectations. Here are just a few things that you can expect to find:

Bad Players

Calling them “bad” players may be a little harsh, but new poker rooms tend to attract inexperienced players. Expect to go up against novices who play hands that they should fold while making recklessly large bets. This can be a blessing or a curse depending on the kind of player that you are. If you’re looking for a challenge against experienced players, being in a room full of novices is annoying, but it can also be a good thing if you’re looking for some easy victories. Keep in mind that you cannot expect this to last forever. In time, the truly bad players will either improve or move on to other rooms.

A Bigger Variance

A new poker room will likely be full of novice players who make large bets and play high-stakes games. This kind of playing could be used to your advantage if you are an experienced player. In this type of atmosphere, you’ll see much bigger swings than usual when you play. This means that you will want to be in more pots than you would if you were playing against more experienced players. Bring a larger bankroll than usual, and be prepared to play more aggressively. As a more experienced player, you have higher chances of winning against the novice players making the big bets.

A Different Projected Image

Those who play in your usual rooms most likely know about your playing style and will strategize accordingly. This will not be the case when you’re in a new room. Other players may be able to read you, but it will all be based on superficial observations; they won’t know how you usually play. This means that you will have to be conscious of the image that you present in this new room. You could use the other players’ unfamiliarity with you to your advantage, or you could start to establish a reputation if you plan to keep coming back to this new room.

Regardless of how you play, try to be as kind and helpful as possible. You may be an aggressive player who cleans up at a table, but you also have to remember that this is just a game. Be nice, and treat the other players with respect if you want the same respect in return.

The Outlook of Online Poker

The Outlook of Online Poker

Poker legend Ed Miller recently penned an opinion piece for Cardplayer detailing what he thinks the outlook for online poker in general. In particular, he discussed how online poker in the U.S. will be over the coming decade. This may come as a shock for players who love the game, but the future of poker is looking quite bleak. In his piece, Miller offers some optimism and little realism as to where the future of poker will be headed:

The future of online poker in the United States is “hot but not white-hot”

While the self-deprecating Miller claims that he has frequently been wrong about the direction of online poker, in most aspects, the main points of his past predictions have played out more or less as he called it. Miller is one of the few figures who has maintained a high level of fame in the poker world who was around well before the major online poker boom that began in 2003. Since the beginning he has predicted almost perfectly how the boom would progress into a bust and what would likely emerge from the rubble.

Unfortunately, those who have come to love the online game are at what is likely to prove to be a trough in the fortunes of internet poker. The question now is what will arise from the ashes. Miller thinks that, for the United States in particular, there is cause for cautious optimism. One of the reasons is the large number of populous states, like Pennsylvania and Michigan, that are seemingly on the cusp of erecting a legalized online poker regulatory framework. Another factor is that many of the companies that will come to dominate the U.S. poker scene in a regulated and legal environment are likely to have learned from the serious missteps of the poker boom, making an organic bust out for the entire industry much less likely this time around.

Miller advises strongly to encourage recreational-style play

The best and most important takeaway from Miller’s piece is his solid advice to future poker operators. Miller advices to discourage game specialization, multi-tabling, heads-up displays and other means by which professional players can maximally and viciously exploit the recreational players.

Miller correctly points out that the optimal strategies between even variants of a game like Hold’em vary so dramatically between limit and no-limit varieties that it makes it very difficult for a single player to become an expert at both. This is even truer if players are encouraged or forced to play five or 10 different poker variants at a sitting. This would lower the expert players’ edge and make the experience far more enjoyable for the recreational or net-losing players.

Finding an Online Finance Course

Finding An Online Finance Course

The new innovation with education is all about courses that can be taken online. Various universities have released classes that can be followed without need of actually being a student. Numerous other companies like Udemy or Coursera are making it more accessible to both share and receive knowledge on almost any topic that someone may be interested in. However, the courses available are so numerous that it may be hard to actually pick the right ones. Too many choices sometimes aren’t a good thing, especially when choosing amongst things of varying quality. Here are some tips to consider when choosing an online course.

Pay Attention to Details
Look at the type of courses available and intently read through the information. There may be courses that promise a lot of new knowledge at a cheap price, but end up taking up too much time. Will these new skills actually be used in whatever is going to be pursued? Is it too good to be true? Is the course actually worth the time? Luckily, pre-selection is sometimes the right thing to do especially when Ivy League colleges have platforms that are offering free courses.

Watch for Schemes
Some free online courses may bring promise of a certificate at the end but how? Some courses say that you can be apart of 481 lectures for $15 while a real degree at a university costs about $30,000. How accurate can these lectures be? Are they going against any copyright laws? For everything you do, you should be watching for services that seem too good to be true.

Focus on Your Needs
Find the right course for you. There are different courses given that may provide a tangible benefit in the end, just as a recommendation or certificate. There may be courses that provide nothing. There may be courses that actually cost quite a bit of money. It is important to do a cost versus benefits analysis because engaging in a course – if looking to pick up a new skill for fun the criteria is different than if a specific job is requiring specific new skills – perhaps a certificate is better there.

The take away is when is comes to online courses or online schooling, make sure you are reading all details necessary and seeing if this is the right for you. Furthering your education is a great opportunity that allows you to add another qualification to your résumé and another skillset to your life.

How to Get the Raise You Deserve

How To Get The Raise You Deserve Sarang Ahuja

Getting a raise can easily be the highlight of your working year but asking for that raise can be difficult. Getting a raise is more than just asking for your manager, it’s putting in the work and going in with insight for what you are asking for.

Do Your Research
Long before sitting down with a superior, employees should heavily research their specific job title to see what other companies are paying for similar roles. It is important to take note of the location the jobs are, the years of experience that the employee has and a variety of other factors to see if you are being underpaid.

Come Into The Meeting Armed With Facts
Simply asking for a raise because an employee has been “working hard” isn’t usually going to cut it. Come in armed with charts and figures that will show the boss why you are such an asset to the company. Talk about the huge deal you landed or the incredible relationship that was developed and turned into a big sale for the company. The more concrete facts you have, the more likely a raise.

Be Willing To Walk Away
Unfortunately, there are companies out there that will do almost anything not to give out raises to the employees unless they absolutely have to. For this reason, it is important to have a backup plan if you have asked multiple times and been denied in the past. This way, if you are denied a raise you deserve, you can politely resign from the role and take a position at a company where you are more appreciated. In some instances, this leads to the original company offering a larger raise than you were initially seeking.

Be Open To Other Perks
While a raise in salary is ideal, there are other perks that businesses can offer that are just as valuable. For example, a business may not be in a position to offer a raise at this time but they may be able to offer other perks such as increased vacation days and the ability to work from home. This shows good faith on the companies part that they have other means of showing employee appreciation.

New To Poker? Learn One Of These Common Games

Sarang Ahuja—Common Poker Games

Poker is a fun pastime that millions of people play each year. However, though it is a popular and fun activity, many are unsure of how to play and hesitant to commit money to learn. Below, I’ve listed several common poker games for anyone looking to discover a variant that they enjoy.

Omaha

The object of Omaha is to make the best five card hand using two personal cards out of the four dealt and three out of the five community cards that the dealer reveals. One of the more common types of Omaha is known as “Pot Limit” Omaha. This means that the maximum bet by any player is the amount in the pot at that time. Bets are made after the initial dealing and then again after the community cards are released. The dealer should rotate after each hand is played.

Texas Holdem

One of the better-known poker variants, Texas Holdem is another poker game that starts by dealing each player two cards. The player to the left of the dealer is the first to make a bet. Every other player can choose to either call this bet or fold their cards depending on the two cards in their hand. The dealer then discards the top card and then flips three cards called the flop. Another round of betting takes place. The dealer then flips two more cards known as the river and the turn. Rounds of betting occur between each one and then a final round of betting occurs after all card are showing. Players can fold or raise at any time. The player with the best five card hand wins the pot. The dealer rotates clockwise after each hand is decided and a new hand begins.

Seven-Card Stud

This somewhat complicated game starts by having two down cards dealt and one card dealt upwards to each player. Three cards are then placed in front of the dealer facing up and a final fourth card is place face down. There are rounds of wagers between each card. Once all wagers are made, the best five card hand wins.

It is important to remember that these are all games designed to let people have fun. Players should never bet more money than they are willing to lose and should never gamble with money that should be used for basic necessities.

The Difference Between Amateur and Professional Poker Players

There’s always a big difference between professional players of a game and amateur players, and poker is no exception. While it may appear that poker is just a matter of luck, there are certain things that separate the pros from those who like to think they’re pros.

An Attention to Detail

First of all, a really good poker player has a strong attention to detail. Amateurs tend to pay attention only to themselves when they play. They worry so much about how much they should bet or how strong their hand is that they don’t pay any attention to what the other players are doing. They watch how the other players bet, how they react to what’s going on at the table, what kinds of hands win, and everything else that might help them develop a winning strategy. They’re always watching, even when they aren’t playing a hand.

A Good Poker Face

Good poker players have what is aptly named a poker face, a kind of blank expression that is impossible to read. They wear their expression at all times, never letting their emotions get the better of them. They don’t show their excitement when they have a great hand, nor do they show their frustration when they lose a big pot.

Adaptabilty

Good poker players have the ability to change up their play style to fit any given situation. Someone who plays the same way all the time is too predictable, and they end up losing big as soon as the better players at the table figure out their strategy. The pros who consistently win big tournaments take what they’ve learned from watching the other players and develop a strategy that best suits the current game being played, and they’re unpredictable enough that their “usual” betting strategy can be used as a bluff once in a while. Many amateur and professional poker players will tell you that there are technically “right” and “wrong” ways to play the game, but they never use the same playing strategy every time they sit down at a table.

Spending Time Away From The Table

Even though experience is the best teacher, good poker players know that they need to take some time away from the poker table. Marathon poker sessions are exhausting, and nobody learns well or thinks clearly when they’re too exhausted. Good players can still learn a lot when they step away from the table and study the game when they aren’t active participants in it. In other words, everyone needs a break once in a while.

Borgota Poker Open 2017

Looking forward to traveling to Atlantic City for the Borgota Poker Open 2017!

Read more here!

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