Will FairPlay Help to Make Online Poker Playing Safer?

August 21st, 2019 by SEO ManageWP Leave a Comment

Moves are being made to make online poker fairer and safer for everyone, by identifying and blacklisting anyone who gains an advantage through unfair means. This attempt to rid online gambling of different forms of cheating could prove to help recreational players to stand a better chance of winning regularly.

The idea of the non-profit FairPlay initiative comes from Rob Yong and it looks set to start soon. Will this make a difference, or will awkward legal matters such as data privacy mean that the idea can’t be turned into reality?

The Basics

FairPlay was previously known as Online Poker Against Cheating (OPAC). The man behind this project is Rob Yong, the owner of Dusk Till Dawn. European Poker Tour founder and Partypoker Live president John Duthie is the first board member to sign up.

The idea is that online casinos and poker operators work together to stop dishonest players benefiting from cheating, colluding, setting up multiple accounts, ghosting, or using bots to get an unfair advantage. This will give casual, recreational players more of a chance of winning by keeping a level playing field for everyone to enjoy.

It has yet to be officially launched, but the FairPlay website states “coming soon” on it. The site’s first blog post was posted recently but seems to have taken down now. It originally stated that the first sites to join up to the scheme were Dusk Till Dawn and Partypoker.

Yong said that he set up FairPlay so that poker websites and other card game operators can “collaborate by sharing information” on any players that they have found to be cheating. This would lead to a shared blacklist that each operator could consult and add to.

What Challenges Does It Face?

While the idea of poker operators working together to ensure a fairer environment for everyone is certainly worthwhile, there are some challenges that FairPlay will need to overcome in order to be a success.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle to this industry-wide collaboration comes from the data privacy laws that need to be complied with. For example, in the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) ensures that citizens’ data and privacy are protected.

Any organization that processes personal data has to disclose this fact. They also need to show why the information is being collected and how long they are going to hold onto it for. EU citizens can also see the data held about them and can ask for it to be removed.

It isn’t clear yet whether someone who has been found to be cheating at poker and who broken a site’s terms and conditions would be fully protected under GDPR or not. However, any company that breaches the GDPR conditions can expect a tough penalty, as fines can be up to ten million Euros, or two percent of the firm’s annual turnover if this is greater.

Time will tell whether Yong and the other gaming operators involved can find a way to make FairPlay work. If they can, it could signal very good news for poker sites and for those players who use them honestly.

Zang Wins Record-Breaking Triton Million, Kenney Goes Top in All-Time Live Winnings

August 14th, 2019 by SEO ManageWP Leave a Comment

In the game of poker, the World Series of Poker is globally recognized as the most prestigious event in the sport’s calendar. But after breaking multiple records to become the richest tournament in the history of poker, the Triton Million – A Helping Hand for Charity now stands above the richest poker tournaments outside of the World Series of Poker.

On August 4, the Triton Million tournament in London concluded after three days of poker between seasoned professionals and those listed as ‘recreational’ players. From the 54 people who bought into the richest tournament in the history of poker, it was Aaron Zang who emerged victorious, with Bryn Kenney taking a large portion of the pot.

Zang comes out on top, as does Kenney


Part of the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series, 54 players paid £1,050,000 to play in the Triton Million, with £50,000 from each buy-in going to charity. The £54 million prize pool, which converts to roughly $65.6 million, would see 11 players take a prize, with the other 43 losing their buy-in along the way.

While only one champion of the Triton Million could be crowned, the final heads-up play saw two winners leave the table. Aaron Zang of China left the tournament as the winner, hoisting the Triton Million trophy to rousing applause, finishing with £13,779,491 ($16.7 million) in chips at the table but £19 million ($23.1 million) in prize money.

Zang may have left with the title, but his heads-up opponent, Bryn Kenney, will also go away feeling like a winner. At the start of heads-up play, the two came together to strike a deal, leading to Zang becoming champion but Kenney leaving with the lion’s share of the pot at £16,890,509 ($20.5 million). With the take, Kenney shot up to go to the top of the all-time live tournament money list in poker, leapfrogging the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, and Justin Bonomo.

The richest tournament in poker

Prior to the Triton Million in London, as you would expect, a World Series of Poker collaboration event, the $1 million Big One for One Drop, held the title as the richest tournament in poker. In 2012, the 48 entrants to the inaugural Big One for One Drop created a $42.67 million prize pool, with the winner netting $18.3 million.

Had this Triton Million taken place in 2012, with the average exchange rate from GBP to USD over the year being 1.58 according to OFX, the £54 million pool would have been worth $85.32 million. In today’s money’s, the $65.6 million pool ranks it below five World Series of Poker Main Events, with the leader being 2006’s $82.5 million prize pool. In 2006 money, however, £54 million would equate to roughly $99.4 million.

Even with £2.7 million ($3.3 million) being set aside for charity, the event attracted the most entrants to a seven-figure buy-in poker tournament and clocked in as the largest prize pool outside of the World Series of Poker Main Event. Kenney’s second-place take of $20.5 million also put him ahead of 2012 Big One for One Drop winner Antonio Esfandiari, who netted $18.35 million, to stand with the highest single poker tournament payout ever.

Zang walks away from the largest buy-in tournament in poker history as the champion, but Kenney leaves as the all-time money list leader and with the record for a single payout.

British Poker Legend ‘Mad’ Marty Wilson, Obituary

August 14th, 2019 by SEO ManageWP Leave a Comment

Born in Wolverhampton, England in 1957, Marty Wilson rose to fame as a professional poker player, continuing as a personality of the sport long after his playing career slowed down. Known by fans and poker insiders as ‘Mad’ Marty, Wilson is credited with over $450,000 in live earnings but was best known for his enigmatic personality as a raconteur and, above all else, an entertainer. His commentary and reporting skills touched the lives of many poker aficionados, with his love of the game and Las Vegas relayed through his storytelling.

On July 26, the legendary British player passed away following a hard-fought six-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Many took to social media with tributes, including long-time friend and fellow former poker star Padraig Parkinson and Eddie Hearn, whom Wilson had worked with for Matchroom:

The origins of ‘Mad’ Marty Wilson

Marty Wilson became known around the poker and sporting world as a great character, kind person, and world-class storyteller. He’d recount his many tales in poker to anyone and everyone, becoming better known as an entertainer. While many of these stories were relayed by those who heard them as being crazy or mad, Wilson’s nickname originates long before he started recounting tales.

Born in Wolverhampton, Wilson was a big Wanderers fan but, through the 1960s and 1970s, English football hooliganism was at its height. A young Marty Wilson found himself on the run from fans of his team’s bitter rivals, West Bromwich Albion. To escape his pursuers, he jumped into the polar bear pit at Dudley Zoo, found his way out and into the llama exhibit, and then off into the night, as reported by the Telegraph. Labeled ‘Mad’ Marty in the local press following his escape, Wilson took on the nickname and was known as ‘Mad’ Marty through his career.

Marty Wilson transcending poker

In 1985, Marty Wilson visited the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, falling in love with the game and Sin City. Honing his skills, he went on to star on the television series Late Night Poker. Wilson never won the televised tournament but was a mainstay on the roster due to being a fan-favorite.

Along with Late Night Poker, Wilson took part in many major poker tournaments around the world. In 1998, the Midlands man brought in $171,000 by winning the Carnival of Poker Tournament and in 2001, he sealed a £7,500 first-place split of the £300 Pot-Limit Hold’em tournament in Glasgow, Scotland. At the peak of his play, Wilson achieved an all-time money list best rank of 487th, still standing at 260th in the all-time money list for his country, England.

Wilson played numerous tournaments, earning at least $450,000 in live winnings, played online poker, became a consultant for Matchroom Sports, and taught many celebrities how to play the game. Under ‘Mad’ Marty’s tutelage was Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise, actor Michael Greco, professional snooker player Matthew Stevens, the greatest darts player of all time, Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, and presenter Helen Chamberlain, who placed second in the 2005 Poker Millions tournament following Wilson’s teachings.

A masterful storyteller and a tremendous personality in the sport of poker: ‘Mad’ Marty Wilson will be remembered as a great of British sport.

Larson Creates History in Choctaw Durant Golden Run

August 6th, 2019 by SEO ManageWP Leave a Comment

The 2019/20 World Series of Poker circuit kicked off in highly anticipated fashion at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma, and not one but two players in the field secured their slice of poker immortality.

Being able to win one gold ring in these high-quality events is one thing, but to claim two in a single day? That was the stuff of dreams for David Larson.

He made history by winning two rings in the space of just 24 hours, and ironically he wasn’t even entered into the tournament at first – he simply stopped by the Choctaw on his way to the Global Casino Championship at Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina.

Making a quick detour, the 48-year-old entered into Event #7, which was a $400 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em game, and subsequently walked away with all the chips, beating the 123-strong field to the $11,000 top prize.

That was the third ring of the Wisconsin pro’s career, but he achieved something that nobody else has in winning again barely a day later.

That victory came in Event #9, which was a $250 No-Limit Hold’em game, and this time Larson bested 179 opponents to win just over $9k and his second gold ring of the meeting.

Just over $20,000 big ones and two WSOP gold rings… stopping off in Durant is one of the smartest decisions David Larson has ever made!

Holcomb Shows Big Game Pedigree

After Larson’s heroics, all attention turned to the $1,700 Main Event.

And when the dust settled, it was Hollis Holcomb who announced himself as the first WSOP Circuit champion of 2019 by outlasting a near-1000 player field.

The initial prize pool was set at $1 million, but a swell of late entries saw that increase to nearly $1.5m – much to Holcomb’s pleasure.

The 47-year-old, an amateur poker player who works in cybersecurity, earned his first WSOP gold ring and a paycheque of $255,535 in claiming his first-ever big event win.

Mind you, the champion won’t be getting his hands on all the cash. Holcomb plays in a 15-man home poker league in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and the rule of the club is that the overall winner gets their World Series of Poker entry played for by the other members of the league – on the proviso that they give half of their prize money to the members.

So there will have been plenty of people on the edge of their seat when he landed a J-J pair in heads-up play with his final table opponent, Vincent Moscati. Going all-in with A-K unsuited, Moscati could only watch on as a flop of 9-7-4 of clubs gave him the flush draw.

However, the turn and the river were both queens, handing Holcomb two-pair and the chance to celebrate his first major poker success.

The 2019/20 World Series of Poker now moves on to Harrah’s Cherokee from August 1 through 12, before heading on to Connecticut and the Foxwoods Resort Casino for the third leg of the new schedule.

Do US Poker Players Have an Advantage on Foreign Websites?

August 1st, 2019 by SEO ManageWP Leave a Comment

Poker is a game of skill, and while there is an element of luck involved, the very best players have amassed hours of experience to familiarise themselves with all situations to enhance their skill level. The internet has given players all over the world quick access to competitive poker games, making gaining experience quick, easy, and convenient. However, as it stands in the United States of America, people can only engage in online gambling in Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania.

To gain access to the world of online poker, some Americans deploy programs known as VPNs (virtual private networks), which allow them to access websites in other regions which are otherwise blocked or unavailable to them in their state. It’s a method that professional poker player Daniel Negreanu approves of and has publically backed, but given the level of exposure that poker enjoys in the US, do American players using a VPN have an advantage?

Negreanu’s argument

Born in Toronto, Canada, Daniel Negreanu is the proud owner of six World Series of Poker bracelets and a total winnings pot in excess of $40.7 million. The 45-year-old has been on the poker scene for a long time and is a popular figure, but his latest Twitter poll proved to be somewhat divisive.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Do you consider players using a VPN to play online poker from the US to play on sites that forbid play from the US to be cheating?<br><br>Assuming they are playing on their own account, just from the US rather than driving to Mexico, etc.</p>&mdash; Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) <a href=”https://twitter.com/RealKidPoker/status/1152651779143696385?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>July 20, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Through social media and his blog, the Canadian poker pro noted that he doesn’t think that others at the table are being cheated by a VPN user being in play. He continues, saying that once the cards are dealt, the VPN user doesn’t have an inherent advantage and that the only person who stands to lose anything is the VPN user if they get caught.

However, just being a poker player from the US in a pool of overseas players could be seen as an advantage in itself.

The edge of being an American poker player

Despite the lack of opportunities to binge poker games online, Americans still dominate the top end of the sport. In poker, the annual Las Vegas-based competition World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the epitome of the sport. However, despite starting in 1970, the WSOP didn’t have a non-American winner until 1990 with Mansour Matloubi from Iran. From then onwards, only 18 of the 60 winners and runners-up haven’t been from the US.

Poker remains an American game. While people all over the world play poker, it is in America that poker receives the most exposure and is much more widely played casually and professionally. US citizens experience huge doses of exposure from sports news, television shows following professional competitions, video games, DVDs, have access to the WSOP Poker Academy, and they benefit from many American-focused poker tips websites which foreign players will struggle to benefit from if they’re not fluent in English. As detailed in the New York Times, the sport is enjoyed by Americans of all backgrounds.

The sheer level of exposure that US citizens get to poker clearly has an impact on the nation’s chances of producing top players. In other countries, it takes a lot of dedication, often found via online poker, to get to a level of understanding that many US poker players can pick up with ease.

Along with the cultural aspects, American players who undergo the procedure of setting up a VPN and creating viable account details will tend to be the better, more experienced players. Only truly good players would take the risks and pay the costs of avoiding the US ban to win money at online poker in other jurisdictions, meaning that a very skilled player will be entering the lower-grade pool of players.

Using a VPN to access what are most likely foreign-based poker websites does give American players an edge, and while playing with tougher competition could result in those around the VPN user becoming better, in the short term, it may only result in the American raking in the chips.

The Key Omaha Stars to Watch Ahead of WSOP Europe

July 29th, 2019 by SEO ManageWP Leave a Comment

The full schedule for the World Series of Poker Europe 2019 has finally been revealed, and there will be plenty of opportunities for the stars of Omaha poker to shine.

The continent’s largest poker meeting will once again head to the King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic from October 13 to November 4. With 10 WSOP gold bracelets to be won and more than €14 million guaranteed prize money, there are plenty of reasons for the great and good of world poker to make the trip to Europe.

This, the eleventh edition of the annual festival, will feature the €10k buy-in Main Event, where a €5 million prize pot is up for grabs, as well as a selection of new tournaments including the ‘Mini’ series which proved popular at the main WSOP event in Las Vegas. Buy-ins range from €350 all the way up to the €100k high roller special.

As far as Omaha is concerned, there’s a number of different events to savour throughout the three-week action.

The meeting kicks off with a double-header on October 14 and 15, where a guaranteed prize pool of €100k awaits entrants, before a unique Omaha/No-Limit Hold ‘em mix event on October 20, where the field will battle it out for a €200k kitty. Finally, the €2,200 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha event will feature another €200,000 bounty.

So there’s plenty for Omaha players of all skill levels and budgets to get excited about.

The Key Contenders

The big Omaha winners at the WSOP Europe 2018 will surely return to defend their titles. Norbert Szecsi, Hahn Tran and Anson Tsang, from Hungary, Austria and Hong Kong respectively, will be looking to join an exclusive group of multiple-time gold bracelet winners.

They are likely to face stiff competition from the best Omaha merchants in the game, however.

With plenty going on in his private life, Phil Ivey may just be too busy to make the trip to Europe. But, as litigation ensues, he might be tempted to make some extra cash – one of the greatest Omaha players in history would be a serious contender for the big prizes.

Lat year Szecsi saw off the challenge of Shaun Deeb in the €1,650 Mixed PLO/NLHE event, and so the American will surely be out for revenge in 2019. A WSOP gold bracelet winner with a tournament haul of more than $3 million, Deeb is a big stage Omaha stud.

Surely the great English poker player in history is Stephen Chidwick, who will head to the Czech Republic fresh from winning the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller at WSOP in Vegas earlier this year, cashing more than $1.6 million for his efforts. With more than 60 cash finishes on the WSOP, World and European Poker Tours, Chidwick is very much one to watch.

Robert Mizrachi accumulated more than $700k in prize money at WSOP 2019, with the vast majority coming in Omaha contests. It’s been more than three years since he last claimed a bracelet, however, and he will surely be looking to rectify that at what will surely be a riveting WSOP Europe.

Does Schulman’s WSOP Win Highlight How a New Perspective Could Bring Success?

July 26th, 2019 by SEO ManageWP Leave a Comment

When it comes to the world of poker, it is fair to say that New York’s Nick Schulman is no stranger to tasting a bit of success.

The player made his name as the new kid on the block with a string of major wins across the early part of the 21st century and, although he has continued to play since then, a notable recent success has put his name firmly back in the spotlight once more.

Major success

At the end of June, Schulman was named champion of the 2019 World Series of Poker event known as the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha – Hi-Lo 8 or Better 8-Handed Championship. The victory marked his first bracelet in seven years and also meant he took home winnings of $463,670. The top three was completed by another US player, Brian Hastings, who secured $286,570 of prize money and Australia’s Joe Hachem, who won $201,041.

A particularly interesting aspect of Schulman’s win is that it has come at a time when he has built up a reputation as more of a poker analyst and commentator than an actual regular player. Could it be that the insights he has acquired from that role have gone on to influence his style of play?

It is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility. After all, it is likely that his experience of sitting in the commentator’s chair has given him a great opportunity to examine and consider a range of ways to play. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for people to use a perspective developed elsewhere to become a success in poker.

A different perspective

For example, online poker is now widely available across the globe and has in some ways become a great place for many players to start out. Some have even gone to become a major success, with Chris Moneymaker perhaps being an obvious example. Now a member of the Poker Hall of Fame, he won a seat at the WSOP Main Event in 2003 after qualifying online and went on to win the entire competition.

In addition, sportspeople including the likes of Boris Becker and Jose Canseco have brought their competitive edge to the poker table in the past, while names from the entertainment world like Jennifer Tilly and Victoria Coren Mitchell have also embraced the game with outstanding results.

It could also be argued that it works the other way too, with a major poker player like Vanessa Selbst taking her expertise developed from her success in the game into a role at an investment management firm.

Alternative routes to success

All of this perhaps highlights that while regularly playing poker can undoubtedly be helpful as you search for success, it may not actually be the only factor that could ultimately impact on your chances.

Whether it is taking a step back to observe the game from a different angle or bringing an approach learned in online poker or another field entirely, there may be an alternative route which could lead you to success.

WSOP Player of the Year 2019: Could an Outsider Emerge to Take Top Spot?

July 24th, 2019 by SEO ManageWP Leave a Comment

It has undoubtedly been another stellar year in the brilliant world of poker and excitement, in particular, continues to build around which competitor will ultimately do enough to secure the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Player of the Year prize.

First awarded back in 2004, it has become a major part of the game and at present, there is significant debate and discussion around who will go on to win it this time around.

Hotly contested

This year’s WSOP Player of the Year race is based on the same formula which was introduced in 2018 and fundamentally sees points awarded to competitors following play in relevant tournaments. In total, 83 bracelet events in Las Vegas are included this time around, as well as ten events being held in Rozvadov in the Czech Republic towards the end of the year.

But who is in the driving seat? Well, at the time of writing, Robert Campbell was leading the way on the leaderboard with two former winners trailing closely behind. Daniel Negreanu was given the prize in both 2004 and 2013, while Shaun Deeb is still challenging to secure back-to-back titles after his win last year.

However, away from the leading contenders, who are the other players to keep an eye on as matters ultimately come to a head?

In it to win it

Among the names that cannot be ignored in the race for the coveted number one spot is Daniel Zack. At the time of writing, the former student was in fourth position and only around 40 points behind third-placed Negreanu. He has also enjoyed plenty of success so far this year, with his biggest moment being his first bracelet win at the $2,500 Limit Mixed Triple Draw event.

Elsewhere, Phillip Hui has also enjoyed a strong year so far and captured plenty of attention with his victory at the $50,000 Poker Players Championship at the end of June. His reward? Just a fairly sizable stack of winnings worth more than $1 million. Hui currently sits fifth in the WSOP Player of Year rankings and it is hard to bet against him climbing higher as matters progress.

Another name who undoubtedly deserves to be mentioned as in the mix is Jason Gooch, who won his first-ever WSOP bracelet after securing first place in the $1,000 Double Stack No-Limit Hold-em Online Bracelet Event recently. He sits in sixth in the rankings, with the top ten being completed by Joseph Cheong, David ‘ODB’ Baker, the 2017 Player of the Year Chris Ferguson and Anthony Zinno.

All to play for

All in all, it is a fascinating time for poker at the moment and many poker fans across the globe will be intrigued to see how matters develop across the coming months.

While the top three or four are in a strong position at the moment, it may still be too soon to count others out too. There is plenty to play for and all eyes will be on Europe later in the year.

The Migration of High Stakes Poker to PLO

May 29th, 2012 by Dev Ops Leave a Comment

There’s no doubt poker boom was fuelled by the simplicity and exciting nature of No Limit Holdem (NLHE). It contained exactly what people look for in a card game: one that can be picked up in just a few minutes but can take an eternity to master the subtleties of. Why it took so long is a bit of a mystery. Slower, more math oriented games like Stud ruled for many years in the US, while 5 Card Draw was king in Europe until online poker made Holdem the game of choice. Even in those early days of online poker it was the limit tables that saw most of the traffic.

Now, almost 10 years on from the beginning of the boom, online poker is at a crossroads in many ways; legislation has taken the game away from some, and No Limit Holdem strategy is now so advanced thanks to discussion forums and video training sites, that even the fish are aware of the power of position and the 3-bet with air.

The Migration of High Stakes Poker to PLO

The hugely lucrative higher stakes NLHE games that started off at $10/$20 on Party Poker and moved up to $50/$100 and above have dried up. The time where there was a wide spectrum of skill levels amongst the pros has gone; these days the best regulars at $50/$100 only have a tiny edge over the average grinders, and the shrinking edge has the knock-on effect of creating massive variance as people have to get stacks in as a 55% favourite to make money rather than the 80% they may have been able to several years ago. Furthermore the economic situation has all but choked off the supply of dead money coming in at the top of the pyramid.

All of these factors have led to a paradigm shift at the high stakes tables. Around the time when Isildur1 was doing his best Batman impression, the high stakes games tended to be split evenly between NLHE and Pot Limit Omaha (PLO). There are a couple of reasons why PLO has risen in popularity. Firstly, it re-invigorated the games. Pros wanted to jump in and learn a new game, and the fish had something to attract them to the tables. While they were probably well aware that they were getting crushed at NLHE, a though process of ‘maybe I can get the better of them at this game’ prevailed and all of a sudden there were full tables and waiting lists at $25/$50 again. Another reason PLO became popular again is because it blurred the lines between the pros. Everyone knows a bonehead NLHE play when they see it now, but in PLO there’s much more room for someone to make a mistake and convince themselves it wasn’t so bad. There are a lot of unexplored strategies in PLO and opponents aren’t playing as close to ‘perfect poker’ as they would be at the NLHE tables. Ranges are wider, and thus harder to narrow down; the more room there is for hand reading skills, the bigger the potential edge and the potential for poor players to convince themselves they’re better than they are and that their approach to the game is the correct way to play.

The Transition to PLO at Smaller Stakes

At the lower limits, the same shift hasn’t occurred. NLHE is still by far the most popular game. There are a couple of reasons for this; firstly at the small to mid- stakes there’s an element of inertia and ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. Plenty of players are beating the $1/$2 and $2/$4 games using the same strategy they’ve been employing for years. They can 8-table without too much stress and some can even still put up three-figure hourly rates. Why would a player in this position want to abandon the cash cow in favour of learning a new game? The poker TV shows and marketing by the online rooms will always keep a steady flow of fish coming through the low stakes doors and losing their money. The second main reason for people staying put is variance. Variance in PLO is much worse than in NLHE. If you could make the same hourly rate at both, you’d be much better advised to do it in a game where your standard deviation is 80 big blind per 100 hands than one where it is 120 big blinds. In fact the additional variance can be so cruel that even if you’re a small (1-2 big blind per 100) winner in PLO your breakeven stretches could easily reach 500,000 hands quite regularly, while in NLHE the swings aren’t nearly as extreme. If you’re relying on poker for some or all of your income, you’d be better advised to even take a hit to your hourly rate to play NLHE over PLO due to the increased danger of going months without earning anything.

PLO Results this year – so far!

May 28th, 2012 by Dev Ops Leave a Comment

It’s pretty clear that Omaha has become the game of choice for the high stakes games on PokerStars these days, with well over 90% of $25/$50 and above action taking place at the PLO tables. Phil Galfond who plays as MrSweets28 on PokerStars was quizzed about why there has been a shift from holdem to PLO in recent years during a recent appearance on the twoplustwo Pokercast. The basic gist of his answer was that he believes no limit holdem is close to ‘solved’ at high stakes, particularly for heads up matches. He suggests that there is much more room for an edge in PLO as people can ‘believe’ they are playing optimally, but be incorrect and that the battle of adjusting to your opponent’s play in PLO is much more dynamic and allows for a skill edge to shine through.

So, with the World Series of Poker nearly upon us where the online game quietens down a little, it’s a good time to look at the big winners and losers at the PLO tables in 2012.

Popular poker tracking website PokerTableRatings has moved to an opt-in system for PokerStars so these days its back to using HighStakesDB to check out how the games are going. Things have changed a bit since poker’s heyday and instead of games regularly running at $500/$1,000, you’ll usually see them topping out at $50/$100 these days, with the occasional $100/$200 game. By far the biggest winner this year is EireAbu who is up over $1.7M in 2012 over 150,000 hands, more than anyone else. Although he has an Irish screen name and is located in Ireland, EireAbu is in fact Dutch player Jorryt van Hoof who moved to Ireland several years ago, and not Irish pro Andrew Grimason, as was reported by Pokernews.

Ben ‘sauce123’ Sulsky comes in second on the winners list with almost $1.3M over just 75,000 hands. Longevity is a rare quality in online poker players, but sauce123 has been crushing since the days when $5/$10 on PartyPoker was the biggest game online.

Other big wins include Finnish player bernard-bb who is thought to be Ilkka Koskinen, a $1.225M winner in 2012, and Phil Galfond who plays as MrSweets28 and moved to Vancouver so as to be able to play online poker; he’s up $1.14M this year. The only other million dollar winner for 2012 is Jeans89. Jens Kyllönen is the owner of this account and another in a long list of big winners from Finland. At one point this year he was up almost $2M, but is on a pretty big downswing. That didn’t stop him registering for the $1M buy-in Big One for One Drop event at the upcoming WSOP however.

So where’s all the money coming from for the winners? The biggest loser for 2012 is Zypherin. This account is thought to be another one owned by circus master Guy Laliberte and is down $2.3M for 2012 in just 42,000 hands and $3.5M overall. Next on the losers list is the infamous Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom. Blom’s speciality is no limit holdem, and he’s always been considered something of a PLO mark. Through 142,000 hands in 2012, Blom is down $1.1M. 1Il|1Il|1il| is down $809,000 through 115,000 hands but his identity remains a mystery. Other big names that appear on the losers list are Ilari Fin owned by Finnish player Ilari Sahamies, and Fake Love888 which is almost certainly Patrik Antonius, who is down $385,000 in less than 20,000 hands.