Heart-to-heart: cutie Xuan Liu
Heart-to-heart: cutie Xuan Liu

Xuan Liu, a young Canadian poker player, shocks with her beauty and results. It took her only 9 months to win $1.1 million and it’s no laughing matter! The finalist of EPT Sanremo and PCA is considered to be one of the most promising modern players.

The whole world got to know about Xiun Liu several years ago when at the age of 25 she took the third place in the EPT Sanremo Main Event 2011 ($524,705), and at the beginning of the following year she became the fourth at PCA ($600,000).

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Rise of the Machines, or Why Is It Better to Play Alive
Rise of the Machines, or Why Is It Better to Play Alive

Machine Tartanian 7 is said to be the best poker robot. In fact, the robot which operation is based on Nash equilibrium in heads-up gambling is unwinnable. And it will be soon when its analogues will appear in the network.

In the famous Hollywood masterpiece Terminator the story was about Skynet artificial intelligence that would trigger off the nuclear war, and human race would become an endangered breed.

Thanks God that scriptwriters’ idea is far from turning it into reality, though local analogues already exist.

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Venetian Macao: Chinese alpha-casino
Venetian Macao: Chinese alpha-casino

The top-of-the-range casino in Macau, the largest one, the most famous one, the most beautiful one. The seventh largest building in the world has everything inside of it: gondolas, shops, boxing matches, poolside cocktails, baccarat and even poker.

Summary:

Name: The Venetian Macao

Owner: Las Vegas Sands

Location: Cotai Zone, Macau

Total area: 980,000 m2

Opened in: 2007.

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How to become a live pro, Part 1: Poker is really complex
How to become a live pro, Part 1: Poker is really complex

Poker fantasy is so alluring. When you are winning, when the deck is hitting you in the face, when you on are the good side of coolers, nothing in the world seems easier than poker. And therein lies the rub.

Variance is a two way street however human beings are only capable of seeing the “bad” side of variance. When we are experiencing the “good” side of variance, ego and memory bias work together to alter our perception and convince us that “good” variance is just “normal”. So while we are winning during positive variance, we believe it is due to our awesome skill which enables and drives the Poker Fantasy.

Poker reality

The reality is that poker is comparable to Chess in terms of complexity and the skill required to master the game. Notice I said “master” not simply have a winning session. Because Chess has no variance the skill aspect of Chess is 100% front and center.

However, since poker has a variance component, that variance component combined with human memory bias, ego, and misperception masks the skill element and complexity of poker. The result is that players have a severely limited view of just how complex poker is. Players tend to develop all types of erroneous systems, methodologies, theories, dogmas, etc about poker that have little basis in reality.

But seriously, how complex can poker be? Well, there are 1326 possible preflop two hand combinations possible. Below is a table of how many hand combinations there are possible vs. opponents.

Opponents / Number of possible hand combinations
1: ) 1,225
2: ) 690,900
3: ) 238,360,500
4: ) 56,372,258,250
5: ) ≈ 9.7073 × 1012 (more than 9 trillion)
6: ) ≈ 1.2620 × 1015 (more than 1 quadrillion)
7: ) ≈ 1.2674 × 1017 (more than 126 quadrillion)
8: ) ≈ 9.9804 × 1018 (almost 10 quintillion)
9: ) ≈ 6.2211 × 1020 (more than 622 quintillion)

There are 1,712,304 different possible boards (flop, turn, river) that are possible. If we were to apply the # of possible boards to the above table we’d get numbers that were beyond ridiculous (as if 622 quintillion isn’t ridiculous enough already!).

Human factor

The above is just the simple math of possible hand/board combinations. Now factor in the human element. Is your villain aggressive, passive, or neutral? How skillful is your opponent? What about multiple opponents? What about the influence one opponent has on another opponent? What about the influence one opponent has on another opponent who has on another opponent?

But wait there’s more. Now let’s include game dynamics such as: Position, effective stacks, bet sizing, preflop, flop, turn, and river actions.
But wait there’s more. Now let’s include the human dynamic such as: fatigue, fear, anger, ego, tilt, focus, lack of focus, joviality, indifference, etc.

Poker formula

Now, think of the numbers of the above table and multiple those numbers by every factor we can think of and the total complexity of the system (i.e. poker) works out to something like:

A x B x C x D x E x F x G x H x I x J x K = SUPER COMPLEX. And if this weren’t enough, some of the factors do not apply multiplicatively but exponentially so the “complexity equation” actually looks more like this:
A x B^C x D x E x G^F x H x I^J^K = RIDICULOUSLY SUPER FREAKING COMPLEX

Becoming a pro

Okay, okay, okay, so poker is really complex, what does that have to do with whether or not I should turn pro?

Because step #1 in the question of “Whether or not I should turn pro” involves having a realistic understanding of the task/challenge you want to undertake.

What would you say to someone who said, “You know, the last couple of months I’ve been playing pick-up basketball down at the YMCA and I completely killed the game. I’m thinking about dropping out of school and becoming a professional NBA player.”

What about someone who said, “You know, Last night I was singing at a Karaoke bar and everyone loved my singing so I’m thinking of quitting my job and becoming a professional singer.”

You would tell the above person that just because they can beat the locals at basketball or rock the house of the Karaoke bar down the street doesn’t necessarily mean they could/should quit everything and chase the dream of becoming a professional. On the flip side, it’s possible they could become a pro but they would have to proceed in stages. Each stage would be a proving ground and if they cannot master and conquer each “stage” then they simply do not have what it takes to “turn pro.”

Well the same thing can be said in poker. It is possible to become a poker pro, but to do so means going through a gauntlet and if you can get through the gauntlet and progress through each stage then at the end you will have proven yourself and have become a poker pro.

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WPT Borgata Poker Open: MTT pro Darren Elias celebrates his victory ($843,744)
WPT Borgata Poker Open: MTT pro Darren Elias celebrates his victory ($843,744)

The third time at the WPT Main Event proved to be the charm for the 27-year-old Canadian professional. Darren Elias who had earned more than $3.3 million online won the first offline title in his career. And what title!

It all started in mid-September, the venue – Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, one of the most profitable gambling venues in Atlantic City: about 4,000 slot machines and a few hundred tables. The most significant stages of the World Poker Tour are regularly held here.

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Poker in England
Poker in England

The English like nothing better than betting. Great Britain, and England in particular, is the kingdom of scratch cards and lottery tickets, the poker empire and the homeland for the most powerful bookmakers in the world.

About 150 casinos are scattered across the United Kingdom. A significant number of gambling venues are situated in London. Generally speaking, most people do not consider Britain as a single state, as well as the United States or India. That’s why we won’t cover the situation in the whole country; we would rather focus on the most developed and densely populated part of the UK – England.

It all started during World War II. The soldiers became addicted to the game that was similar to the modern bingo. The first casinos were opened in the 1960s, and the very first casino was situated in Wales.

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The Colman effect or why the stars keep silent
The Colman effect or why the stars keep silent

A young 24-year-old American Daniel “mrGR33N13” Colman won more than $15,000,000 in the tournament $1M Big One For One Drop 2014. Afterwards the grinder added another $6,000,000 to his bankroll. But even now Colman refuses to talk to the media.

After his staggering success in the tournament with $ 1,000,000 buy-in, his flat refusal to give a detailed interview and his stirring post on the TwoPlusTwo forum, where Colman condemns modern society and poker itself, the new poker hero has been viewed as a renegade.

At least by most people, and especially by the media.

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Macau casino revenue falls for the third straight month, why?
Macau casino revenue falls for the third straight month, why?

In June the Macau casino suffered the first year on year revenue decrease in five years. The new trend has continued in July and August, and the crisis is gaining momentum.

In August the world gambling capital sank 6%: the revenue amounted to $3.6 billion. The black spot expands with every new report. It wasn’t enough that Macau hadn’t seen revenue drops for the last five years, but now it is a trend.

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Poker Discover: life without spam
Poker Discover: life without spam

Tired of spam from poker clubs? Poker Discover is offering you a new way of interaction between gamblers and gambling establishments. It is an ideal choice for poker community.

Just leaving a phone number in the poker club an unsuspecting gambler may become a spam-target. All days long a flow of worthless, illiterate and ugly formed messages is rushing into people’s life. But they just like poker and want to find other gamblers.

A gambler has to find a game by himself and sometimes his duty is to prepare the card-table, which means to keep calling to establishments, friends and keep reminding that he is interested in some special poker version, not just anything.

So, we see some one-sided and crooked relations: a person does the duty of the club organizing his leisure time by himself.

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EPT 100: Great anniversary – great records
EPT 100: Great anniversary – great records

The first round of the 11th season of the European Poker Tour is over. It is the 100th round in succession. Some incredible records have been set and the dreams of some individual players have turned into reality.

It all began long before the start of the August EPT round.  First players hadn’t strived to Barcelona yet but the entire poker world was already set on its ear: the 100th stop of the most influential poker series in the world – it was definitely worth visiting.

Everyone understood that history would be made in Spain.

And it happened that way.

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Belarus Poker Championship reaches a new level
Belarus Poker Championship reaches a new level

With Belarus Sports Poker Championship started actually the whole Belarusian poker. During this time, a whole generation of professional players was born, and nowadays they are playing for their country in the international arena.

In mid-April of 2009 the Belarusian Federation of Sports Poker was created, and just in five days, the 1st Belarus Sports Poker Championship was announced.

It is with this massive tournament, which is still called a national one, that started "live" poker in Belarus.

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Appeal to poker players
Appeal to poker players

Dear poker players, we need your help!

PokerDiscover is making its first steps to create a global poker network which will cover the whole territory of the Independent States Commonwealth and other countries. We want to pull all who love live poker games together, we want the casinos and poker clubs to prepare poker-tables with any stakes in short time and we want players to find easily a live and appropriate cache game or even create it themselves.

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Live poker is the future
Live poker is the future

Gone are the days when it was possible to make millions in online poker. Competition is unbearable even for professionals, profits are decreasing. Obviously, in the future poker in clubs and casinos will prevail.

Online poker has become one big hunt for those who are weaker. How can you have fun in such conditions? All people care about is money.

We in Poker Discover believe that there is a solution – a “live” poker. Watching the development of poker clubs and casinos in the CIS, Europe and around the world, we see how the once “dated” type of the game is regaining popularity. More and more players are choosing a gaming table, live people, communication and real experience.

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Poker in Belarus
Poker in Belarus

Gambling in Belarus is thriving, but poker still has an uncertain legal status – it belong neither to sports nor to gambling. Belarus Poker is a trademark, though.

The key point in the development of gambling in Belarus was, curiously enough, the ban on gambling in Russia in the summer of 2009. Many major gaming networks were transferred to Minsk and other cities – to take at least a casino “Shangri-La”.

Another important feature of poker in Belarus – a rigid distinction between tournaments and cash. The latter is only allowed in casinos. Because of this, many refuse to open poker clubs or simply go underground. Because tournaments without cache have a short lifetime. Where is the sense in organizing them if they do not bring tangible income?

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