It’s Phil Ivey A Fish?

Phil Ivey is considered by many the best all-around poker player in the world, however, lately when he sits at an online high stakes table in Full Tilt Poker there is a growing number of players willing to play against him. And, perhaps counterintuitively, he will generally finish his session in the same fashion that your drunken neighbor’s night, at the weekly homegame, inevitably ends: with heavy loses.

In fact since poker’s own Black Friday Ivey has dropped a whopping 6.4 million dollars in 194,847 hands played over a span of less than three years, he is amazingly the big fish in this games only surpassed by “The Great Dane” Gus Hansen who is down a cool 17.5 million dollars since Black Friday. Maybe just “The Dane” will be more fitting?

So has Ivey suddenly become terrible at poker? of course not. He is just facing the same problem that many poker players suffer in casinos and poker sites all over the world: bad table election. Simply explained, if you sit the ninth best poker player in a game where the other eight best players happen to be seated, he is bound to lose his shirt.

Easily the biggest factor that comes in play at bad table selection is a poker player’s ego, and we’re not talking your regular nobody can beat me at “whatever silly sporty thing”, no, poker player’s ego is in a league by itself. It’s such a psychological conundrum that should need teams of doctors devoted to it, if not entire universities, just to get a shot at solving it.

So, next time you visit your local casino and find a hundred regular looking poker players, you can be quite sure you just found one hundred persons who feel sorry for the other ninety nine poor souls that are about to be torn apart by their superior poker skills. It’s easy to see then, why this poker masterminds can’t be bothered to take a minute to walk around the poker room looking for the most lucrative tables. But you should. Because in poker success is measured very easily: how much you win.

Of course there are benefits to sitting in a game with a bunch of players better than you. You’ll stand lo learn a lot of useful lessons on how to beat yourself, and all this for the mere prize of the contents of your wallet. Is it worth it? Phil Ivey thinks it is. Or is he just another fish?


Caesars Really Wants You To Play Online Poker, Nevada’s second real-money online poker site to launch this year, is just over two months old. Competitor Ultimate Poker got a five-month head start by getting cards in the air, so to speak, back in April. Its launch was a bit subdued and relied on in-house advertising resources., owned byCaesars Interactive Entertainment, is taking a more explosive approach in trying to sign up new players and take control of the online poker market. If you have a Total Rewards account, step foot in a Caesars hotel room, or even watch TV in the state of Nevada, Caesars is going to let you know about

Online, Caesars is promoting through many of its own websites. staff are reaching out to gamblers elsewhere on the web and regularly post on poker message boards. Additionally, targets existing Total Rewards members with a rewards system that connects to their accounts. Although the levels don’t match up exactly, it is possible to advance your casino status through online play and vice versa. Credits earned online can also be converted to credits for use at Caesars properties.

Caesars hotels are pushing guests towards the new gaming site through the use of branded hotel items. Key cards and water bottles with new logos and slogans are provided to guests at check in. Inside our room during a recent stay at Harrah’s, we found that the ‘do not disturb’ sign had been replaced with a WSOP-branded version.

It’s the recent blitz of TV and radio advertisements, however, that has garnered the most attention. The campaign has been limited to areas where the site can legally operate so, if you’re outside of Nevada or New Jersey, you’re safe. The TV ads, which first premiered in Nevada during the season finale of Breaking Bad, seem to run continuously. Nevada residents can’t escape them and, if you turn on the TV in your Vegas hotel room, you will likely find Scotty Nguyen going all-in.

Fourth question of the promotion: Defeat NTIT at HU and win 100 dollars

All In
All In (Photo credit: banspy)

If you somehow knew for certain that your opponent’s holecards are Red Aces and you had the chance to pick two cards that have the best statistical chance to beat him, if you played to the end of the hand, which two cards will you choose?

NBA back in Mexico with Spurs vs Timberwolves game

English: Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spur...
English: Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs telling the refereee: “What did you just call my mother?” Photo was taken during the Spurs-Nuggets match on 12-22-2010 in San Antonio, TX. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The NBA is back in Mexico for a regular-season game, and the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves are learning there’s an additional rival to conquer: The altitude.

During a practice game Tuesday, Minnesota’s players looked noticeably exhausted.

“It was very tough getting through the sprints,” Kevin Love said. “You lose your breath very easy in here, but it was a good practice. Hopefully we’ll have our wind tomorrow.”

The Timberwolves and Spurs will play Wednesday night at 9:30 p.m. EST.

Sitting at 7,350 feet above sea level, Mexico’s capital is at a far higher elevation than Denver, which is the NBA’s highest venue at 5,280 feet.

“In Denver, which is the highest city in the United states, we can feel (the altitude) in the first five minutes,” the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili said. “I’m sure it will be much more difficult here.”

Minnesota, which will be the home team, has never played in Mexico. During the practice, Love and the rest of his teammates looked visibly tired.

“We did not know the altitude would affect us so much but we were able to run a bit during practice,” said Jose Juan Barea, who has twice played in Mexico for Puerto Rico’s national team – in Cancun and Guadalajara.

“The trainer asked us to drink a lot of water because he wants to make sure we’re OK,” Barea said.

Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said he plans to modify his strategy a bit to take the city’s altitude into account.

“We have to be very aware on probably getting guys in earlier than we normally would,” Alder said. “We had a scrimmage to get ready for it. Our substitutions will be quicker.”

Spurs coach Greg Popovich said he won’t change his substitution plan and simply hopes that “as the minutes go by, the (altitude’s) effect will pass. I’m not planning any changes.”

The game Wednesday will be the 21st played south of the border. Although, this will be the first regular-season game since the Dallas Mavericks faced the Houston Rockets on December 6, 1997, at Mexico City’s Palacio de los Deportes.

The Spurs have played five games in Mexico, including one just a couple of years ago when they played a preseason game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

“It’s certainly different because now is a sum game,” Ginobili said. “In preseason, it’s for fun. Now we do not want to lose.”

All but two of the 21 games have been held in Mexico City.

After their practice, the Spurs took their socks and sneakers off and played against a team of Trique Indian boys, who have earned acclaim in Mexico and abroad after sweeping through a youth basketball tournament despite their generally short stature and the fact that most play barefoot.

The team from the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca won all six of its games to become this year’s champions at the International Festival of Mini-Basketball held recently in Argentina.

“It’s a wonderful story,” Popovich said. “They have good fundamentals. I was surprised to learn many don’t speak Spanish.”

They played a five-on-five that was won by the Trique Indian boys, 10-4.

“We ran, and we had fun,” said Ginobili, who is from Argentina. “I know they did well in Argentina and it was pleasure to have had this experience with them.”

There is a way to win at Connect Four literally 100% of the time

Connect Four is a fun game. It’s also what math geeks call a “solved” one. There’s actually a way to play it perfectly and win every single time no matter what your opponent does. Now, you need to get the first move. But so long as you do, then even if you’re playing a perfect opponent, you’ll win within 41 moves. Hit “Know More” for a paper explaining all the math.

Explaining the World Cup finals draw

Flag of Brazil, 1960 - 1968
Flag of Brazil, 1960 – 1968 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FIFA has caused more than its fair share of confusion in announcing the procedure for Friday’s World Cup draw, with the mysterious “Pot X” ensuring plenty of head-scratching.

As you might expect, it’s all far more simple than it may sound and “Pot X” is a massive red herring.

Let’s take the first decision: making uneven pots of eight, seven, eight and nine teams. Pots for the World Cup draw are always dependent on how many European teams are unseeded (origin of host nation and FIFA rankings being important factors). In the draw for 2010 there were eight, making it simple for FIFA to produce four pots of eight teams. But for 2014, there are nine unseeded European teams, and FIFA has decided to put all these into one pot and perform what is in effect a pre-draw. The European team plucked out in the pre-draw will be moved into Pot 2 to join the five African nations and the two unseeded South American sides.

Anyone who has been playing around with a draw simulator will now be asking why France are not automatically in this pot. The assumption was that FIFA would use the same pot build it used for the 2006 finals, when there were also nine unseeded European nations.

On that occasion, the lowest-ranked European nation, Serbia & Montenegro, found themselves placed in a special pot — though they were in effect the eighth team of a pot (as will happen this year too). They were automatically drawn against a South American team to make sure the geographical rules of the draw were observed.

This time, rather than placing the lowest-ranked European team in a special pot, FIFA has decided to randomly draw which of the nine European nations will fulfill what is effectively the same role — ensuring there are not three European teams in one group.

Now, so we don’t run the risk of causing more confusion, let’s bring it back to basics.

•  All eight Pot 1 teams will be drawn into groups in order from A to H.
•  One of the nine European teams in Pot 4 will be randomly drawn and moved to Pot 2.
•  One of Brazil, Argentina, Colombia or Uruguay from Pot 1 will be drawn out to be grouped with this European team.
•  FIFA will accomplish this by placing Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay into a temporary “Pot X.”
•  The nation drawn from “Pot X” will be in the same group as the European team that was moved to Pot 2.
•  FIFA will then draw the position in that group for the European team.

So what difference does it make to the European team that is drawn into Pot 2 in this pre-draw? It could be very significant.

Whichever European team ends up in Pot 2 is guaranteed to draw one of Brazil, Argentina, Colombia or Uruguay — a South American nation in a South American World Cup is bad news no matter which of the four you get — and also a second European team. So the worst-case scenario is that you could be drawn against Brazil, Netherlands and United States/Mexico. Imagine, then, if the European team dropped into Pot 2 (and therefore making up this group) is, say, Italy or England.

After the pre-draw has taken place, the eight seeded nations from Pot 1 will then be drawn into position 1 in each group, in order from A to H. Brazil are already allocated into position A1.

World Cup draw pots graphic Other / ESPN FCFIFA has revealed the four pots for the World Cup finals draw.

So now on to the mystical “Pot X.” What exactly is FIFA trying to achieve here? One of the rules of the World Cup draw is that no more than two European nations can be in one group. That means the “extra” European team must go to a group with a South American seed. “Pot X” contains the four South American seeds.

Think of it this way. When UEFA does the Champions League draw, it makes sure that only one team from each country is in each group. So UEFA will, for instance, state that only groups A, C, E and H are available to a given team. It will put balls for those four groups together and draw one out. The same thing is happening here, but in a far more convoluted way.

From this point on it gets simple — bar one small caveat. The European team from Pot 2 will be drawn into a position in the “Pot X” group — position 2, 3 or 4 to build the fixtures. Then the other seven nations from Pot 2 will be drawn. The first team will drop into Group A (Group B if Group A was picked from “Pot X”) and have their position drawn, and then through to H in order. The only difference comes with unseeded Ecuador and Chile, who must be drawn against one of the seeded European teams because there cannot be two South American nations in one group.

If Ecuador or Chile are drawn to go in with another South American team, the draw will “skip” that group and place them in the first available group with a European seed. So, if Chile are drawn out for Group A, they cannot be matched with Brazil.

There is no other clash possible, so as soon as Ecuador and Chile are out of the hat, the confusion is over. From that point it is:

•  Draw a team from a pot.
•  The team goes in a group in alphabetical order.
•  The position in the group (2, 3 or 4) is drawn.

The Asia and CONCACAF pot will be drawn third, and finally the remaining eight European nations.

Hopefully that has cleared things up, a little at least. You can follow and question me on Twitter @dalejohnsonESPN

NFL coaches fourth down statistics

Charts: Just How Wimpy Are NFL Coaches On Fourth Down Calls?

Charts: Just How Wimpy Are NFL Coaches On Fourth Down Calls?12SEXPAND

Over at The New York Times, Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats and Kevin Quealy of NYT Graphics have joined forces to create the excellent NYT 4th Down Bot.

The Bot uses game data going back to 2000 to tell you whether you should punt, kick a field goal, or go for it on fourth down, based on your position on the field and the yards to first down. For most of the game (the first three quarters or so), its suggestions are based on maximizing points, but with around 10 minutes remaining in the fourth, it switches over to maximize winning percentage. The charts themselves are interactive and the article has a great explanation of Burke’s “expected points” formula, so you should go check it out.

The image above maps out the 4th Down Bot’s recommendations, comparing them to the extremely timid play-calling of actual NFL coaches since 2002. The Times’s model recommends going for it on fourth and short from anywhere on the field—even inside your own 10—while NFL coaches almost always punt from their half of the field, and generally settle for the field goal near the endzone. At the “sweet spot” between your opponent’s 35 and 45 yard line—where field goals are long and punts aren’t worth much—the Bot says you should go for it with as many as ten yards to go, because this Bot does not fuck around.

There’s no mention of Riverboat Ron, though, whose Panthers are eight-for-eight on fourth down during their eight game win streak, with six of the seven drives resulting in touchdowns. Over on Twitter Football Outsider’s Aaron Schatz takes some issue with the Bot, echoing a sentiment that we’ve expressed on Regressing before.

[NY Times]

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 14

Here is your early betting info for Week 14 NFL; we’ll update on Thursday with money lines and spread movements for these these games, and add info for Browns-Patriots, Falcons-Packers, Seahawks-49ers, and Cowboys-Bears, whose lines are yet to open at several books.

Spread, bet trend, and ATS performance is from (as of 5:11 p.m.), over/under is from (as of 5:33 p.m.). As always, leave any suggestions for how to improve these in the comments or shoot us an email at

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 14 (Early Edition)

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 14 (Early Edition)

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 14 (Early Edition)

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 14 (Early Edition)

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 14 (Early Edition)

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 14 (Early Edition)

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 14 (Early Edition)

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 14 (Early Edition)

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 14 (Early Edition)

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 14 (Early Edition)

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 14 (Early Edition)

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 14 (Early Edition)

Humberto “El Tiburon” Brenes en busca de un lugar en el Salon de la Fama del Poker

Humberto Brenes es uno de los jugadores de poker más reconocidos en América Latina. A mi entender, tiene todos los méritos para ingresar al Salón de la Fama de la Serie Mundial de Poker y por ello, ha lanzado su campaña a través de redes sociales #votetiburon

El costarricense busca convertirse en el primer jugador no estadounidense en ser elegido al prestigioso grupo de apenas 44 integrantes. EL tico subió hasta el tercer lugar del ranking de jugadores que más gananias (cobros) ha tenido en la historia. ¡Ya son 72! Además, tiene dos brazaletes de la Serie Mundial de Poker.

La idea de los hashtags #votetiburon y #voteshark es atraer a usuarios de redes sociales para que voten por él antes del 15 de agosto en el sitio oficial de la Serie Mundial. Aquí les comparto el link:

Habrá incentivos para los aficionados que voten por él, entre los que destacan torneos gratis, artículos de PokerStars, y varios tiburones de plástico se rifarán en los próximos días.

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 13

Here is your betting info for Week 13 NFL; we’ll just be doing this one post this Thanksgiving week, but feel free to check our source sites if you’re looking for a Friday or Saturday update.

Spread, bet trend, and ATS performance is from (as of 4:10 p.m), over/under is from (as of 4:42 p.m.) As always, leave any suggestions for how to improve these in the comments or shoot us an email at

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 13SEXPAND

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 13SEXPAND

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 13SEXPAND

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 13SEXPAND

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 13SEXPAND

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 13SEXPAND

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 13SEXPAND

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 13SEXPAND

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 13SEXPAND

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 13SEXPAND

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 13SEXPAND

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 13SEXPAND

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 13SEXPAND

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 13SEXPAND

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 13SEXPAND

NFL Betting Lines, Visualized: Week 13

Sports Betting & Poker

%d bloggers like this: