60-Years Old Woman wins UB.com Bad Beat Jackpot

October 1st, 2010

UB.com makes a bad beat a good thing.

For those of you out there who play poker in any form or shape you have heard, experienced, or dealt some really bad beats. There is no more painful feeling at the poker table then watching your quads lose, or your straight flush get beat by a higher straight flush.

At UB.com (previously know as Ultimate Bet) that pain can quickly turn into the best feeling some poker players might feel in their whole lives because of the UB.com Bad Beat Jackpot.

UB.com has always been known to have one of the largest bad beat jackpots that quite frequently stay in the six-figure range. At UB.com if you play at their tables specifically labeled as a bad beat table and lose with quad 8’s or better you are in for a big UB.com payday.

You don’t even have to be the winner or the loser of the bad beat hand, at UB.com most players close enough to the action when it happens will get a reward. UB.com players who are the table and even at some of the other tables with the same type of game and the same type of limit get awarded some of that UB.com bad beat jackpot money.


Towards the beginning of September the UB.com bad beat jackpot rose to the massive amount of $670,575.38 before one lucky UB.com player hit it. A 60 year-old woman who plays at UB.com under the screen name “KAPPIT” had her quad nines get crushed by “CIBV” quad queens. “KAPPIT” who has been playing for 40 years turned her unlucky hand into over a $218,000 dollar payday at UB.com, the funny part is she was playing at a .25/. 50-cent table.

The bad beat jackpot at UB.com is split up as follows: 25% rolls over to the next jack pot, 10% for the house, and 65% goes to the players with the split up going like this: 50% to the loser of the hand (the victim of the bad beat), 25% for the player with the winning hand, $1,000 for every other player at the table, and the rest is split up amongst other players playing at the same type and stakes when the UB.com bad beat jack pot is hit.

UB.com sure knows how to reward it unluckiest players. Since the inception of the UB.com bad beat jackpot UB has rewarded over $58 million in bad beat money and there is no sign of slowing down with 2010 being the highest bad beat rewarding year at UB.com.

Milkybarkid needs stake

September 17th, 2010

English PLO specialist Ben ‘The Milkybarkid’ Grundy may not be a household name on the professional circuit, but he boasts one of the most astounding Pokertracker graphs.

Grundy, whose blonde, youthful looks earned him the nickname ‘Milkybarkid’, has made over $7 million online.

poker profit

poker profit

Considering PLO’s volatile nature, his win rate is remarkable. Although in a summer update on his blog, Grundy laments a recent downswing and a loss over 300,000 Pokertracker hands.

He cites money being tied up in several houses as the reason for needing a bankroll to play $100/$200 on Full Tilt Poker. Grundy has a solid live tournament pedigree, having come 3rd in the 2009 WSOP, $2.5k PLO/Hold’em event for $100k. Other career highlights include a 7th place finish at the 2005 EPT Monte Carlo main event for $105k. In total he has amassed over $500k in live tournament winnings.

A few users on twoplustwo are questioning the validity of Grundy’s online results, arguing his 13.5 BB/100 win rate seems too good to be true. Much of the $3.4 million he won online during 2008 was on European sites, including Betfair Poker.

Cynics are questioning the reason for a stake given his alleged success. Two respected voices on the forum, Daliman and Jungleman (who is set to face Dwan in the next ‘durrrr’ challenge), have also voiced their doubts. Grundy claims to have suffered two $500k downswings, yet his graph only alludes to swings of $200-$250k. Moreover, why does he need to be staked for $200/$400 when he can crush the $25/$50 games so comprehensively? A defiant Ben responded by swearing on the life of his family his graph is real, and challenging anyone to bet $25k against him.

His $7 million in online winnings should not be considered a liquid bankroll, as Grundy was reportedly staked by badbeat.com in the past, and used some of the money for cars and property.

Grundy’s graph may be a thing of beauty, but the skepticism voiced in twoplustwo will make it difficult for him to find a stake.

Negreanu and Duke at loggerheads

August 25th, 2010

Amanda Leatherman
Daniel Negreanu has been heavily scrutinised after he allegedly used the expletive ‘c***’ in a recent interview with PokerPlayer.co.uk.

The four letter curse was directed towards female Ultimate Bet pro and sibling of Howard Lederer, Annie Duke. Open-minded Daniel has never been afraid to voice his opinion, but the word used to describe Duke was far from diplomatic.

Tension arose when Negreanu and Duke disagreed over the existence of the ladies event at the recent World Series of Poker. Daniel supported such an event, citing his disappointment at male entrants using tampons as card protectors, and Shaun Deeb playing in a dress. Negreanu argued women had every right to hold their own tournament, free of male bigotry and chauvinism.

Duke hit back however, claiming that a separate event did no favours for breaking down the sexual barriers in the game. The shrewd Negreanu, however, found the hypocrisy in Duke’s repost. Despite claiming men and women are equal at the felt, Duke, in sync with her UB marketing image, champions herself as the ‘best female poker player in the world’ on her website. Negreanu went on to say, ‘how offensive are you, you f***ing c***?’.

Daniel’s attack has polarised opinion amongst poker circles. Whereas some people have praised him for his candidness, others have berated his terse choice of language. The row has escalated, with Duke calling for PokerStars to take responsibility for Negreanu’s words.

Negreanu has not replied on Twitter as of yet, but Lex ‘RaSZi’ Veldhuis came out in support for the Canadian ice-hockey lover. Lex added it was quite ironic that Duke asked PokerStars to assume responsibility, when Ultimate Bet has attempted to keep its super-user scandal under wraps. The animosity between the two parties is understandable. Duke’s website Ultimate Bet is in direct competition with PokerStars, and her brother Lederer co-owns further rival site Full Tilt Poker.

In other sections of the interview, Daniel discussed his rigorous training regime and decision to remain t-total throughout the 2010 WSOP. He questioned Phil Hellmuth’s ability to win another bracelet given the younger, superior opposition dominating large NLH tournament fields, and lauded praise on Phil Ivey. Negreanu stressed the importance of bluffing in today’s high stakes poker games, and hinted that he is dating glamorous Pokernews journalist Amanda Leatherman.

Chaos over at Cake?

August 17th, 2010

Cake is a blossoming poker network which allows US customers, but a big slice of its credibility has been removed recently.

Since its 2006 inception, Cake Poker has become favoured for its juicy low-mid stakes action, lucrative sign-up bonus, and Daily Lottery Card schemes. But PokerTableRatings, a site that specialises in providing hand histories and player information, uncovered a serious floor in its encryption.

Without resorting to too much technical jargon, ‘encryption’ weaknesses meant that any hacker with access to a player’s network could view his hole cards. The vulnerability extended to server side, which meant a super-user could view all hole card information. Such dangers were ruthlessly exposed in the Ultimate Bet scandal, when super-users including ‘Potripper’ fleeced honest players out of thousands.

As explained by Cake Card room manager Lee Jones, problems arose when Cake switched from the TwoFish encryption algorithm to XOR encoding, instead of resorting to the esteemed SSL encryption code.

But why the suspicion? Does a weak encryption code (as exposed by PTR) necessarily mean abuse? Jones has admitted that several months ago Cake programmers insisted the encryption code was more secure than Cereus, which suggests deceit may have been involved. In response to PTR’s findings, Cake have added the ‘SSL layer in all server-client communications…together with peer verification’. They have also asked UB scandal investigator Serge Ravitch to initiate an official audit.

Despite Jones’s promise of a comprehensive enquiry, several questions remain unanswered.

Why did the programmers originally lie about the ‘fake’ encryption’s security qualities? Was it simply to lighten their workload, or for more devious means? Even if super-users were operating on Cake, it’s unlikely they will be uncovered. The Cake software forbids data-mining, and it allows players to change their nicknames (rendering PTR’s tracking software useless).

Regardless of the confusion surrounding Cake’s encryption, it’s important to stress the phrase ‘innocent until proven guilty’. Let’s just hope Cake Poker avoids the UB path of deception, and keeps us all updated.

WSOP tournament of champions

June 18th, 2010

There is hardly a more difficult tournament than the Tournament of Champions at the World Series Of Poker.

Unlike all other events at the WSOP, this tournament is different as:

  1. there is no entry fee,
  2. it is invitational for WSOP bracelet holders only,
  3. only elected players can participate,
  4. only star players are to be found there.

This is the largest freeroll tournament in the world with a prize of one million dollars, half of which goes to the winner. 27 players will seat on June 27th 2010 to battle for that money, and what a field!

First of all some past champions (five of them ) had a guaranteed seat: Joe Cada (winner of the WSOP main event 2009), Barry Schulman (winner of the WSOP Europe main event 2009), Annie Duke (TOC 2004 winner), Mike Matusow (TOC 2005), Mike Sexton (TOC 2006).

Then from a list of some of the fifty most revered poker players with a WSOP bracelet, twenty were elected by the public. Phil Ivey came on top of the list (not a surprise, is it?) and Daniel Negreanu came second. This is going to reinforce the big rivalry between these two men who on some accounts can be considered the two best players in the World. For example Phil Ivey has the largest live tournament winnings of all times, and Daniel comes second as well. Pokerstars is number one, Full Tilt second.

The other 18 players in the list are not really surprises either, Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan, Dan Harrington, Antonio Esfandiari.

Finally, the last two qualified players did not get their seats the easy way.

Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier won a special satellite tournament. Only nine-seated, but only with strong players without yet a WSOP bracelet, such as Liv Boeree or Sorel Mizzi.

The 27th players is a totally unknown amateur player, Andrew Barton, who won his seat online. Certainly an unforgettable experience for Andrew to seat among this crowd of top pros.

Good luck to all.

Video poker rules

April 29th, 2010

Video poker is a very popular game at casinos and online casinos. The rules are rather simple, but it requires to apply a strategy, unlike games purely based on chance such as roulette or craps.

This game is played by one player with one machine like with a slot machine. Depending on the cards you are dealt, you can make money. The game of video poker is based on draw poker: at each hand you are dealt five cards, and you can discard any number of your cards in an attempt to draw to a better hand, as your cards will be replaced with other cards.

The hand ranking is the usual poker hand ranking, royal flush, straight flush,…,down to one pair and high card. Depending on what hand you get, there is a predefined payout.

There are many variations of video poker, the most common being “Jacks or Better”. In Jacks or Better and for one unit of betting, a royal flush pays 800, a straight flush pays 50, four of a kind pays 25, a full house pays 9, a flush pays 6, a straight pays 4, a set pays 3, two pairs pays 2, and Jack or Better pays 1. The rarer the hand, the higher the payout, with the royal flush paying massively more than the next best hand, the straight flush. This game only gives approximately a 0.50% edge to the house.

Other variations of video poker follow the same principle, what changes is the hands that have a payout, and the payouts themselves. For instance in Ten or Better, the lowest hand to pay one is a pair of tens instead of a pair of jacks, but some of the other payouts change also.

In another version called “Double Bonus”, the rules are the same as Jack or Better, with the addition of four aces paying a special bonus. The payouts are not identical in all “Double Bonus” video poker machines, but in the most attractive ones, the house has a slightly negative edge of -0.2%.

This is a great situation for gamblers, but note that in order to benefit from this advantage, a player must play “perfectly”, which is far from obvious. Playing perfectly means following an optimal strategy with respect to drawing hands. It is required first to find the optimal moves and then to follow them strictly, and this is the tough part.

Anyway the point is that video poker is a very entertaining gambling game where the casinos do not rip off the players with an outrageous statistical advantage. Two good reasons to give it a try if you have not yet done so.

Online gambling sued in France

March 2nd, 2010

French authorities and some privileged private interests did not rejoice when online gaming companies came to directly compete with the French old-timer gambling operations such as Française des Jeux and PMU or some brick & mortar casinos.

This is why they are suing the largest online gambling operators for illegally providing online casino games to the French public.

A group of live casino operators including Joagroupe, Barrière and Tranchant which between themselves own and manage more than one hundred casinos are suing 888, Unibet, SportingBet and Bwin in the Paris Criminal Court. A trade union has also joined the ranks of the defendants.

The litigation claims that these online gambling companies violate the exiting gambling laws prohibiting licensed gambling operators from promoting and running online casino games in the French market. Under the current French law only sports betting is permitted.

This lawsuit is an obvious attempt to curtail competition before the online gambling market opens up in France once a new legislation is ratified. As the market is estimated at hundreds of millions of euros annually, if the judges sentence these four companies, they may lose their license for two years and not be allowed to compete during the time frame when the market opens up.

Meanwhile a key legislation drafted to legalize online gambling in France just passed through the French Senate on a first reading with a margin of 181 votes “for” versus 140 “against”. The second reading will occur at the end of the month. Then if everything goes well, this law needs to be ratified by the European Union, the French Supreme Court, the French Constitutional Council and finally getting signed into law by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

There could still be a few bumps on the road to a clearer legal landscape for online gambling and betting in France.

There as in other geographical locations including the United States (ask Obama for poker), Governments are pressured to use all possible means to find new ways to supply the State coffers with much needed novel sources of cash. And online gambling is a prime candidate for this task, given the massive expected profits for online gambling companies and the insatiable appetite for games from the public

Full Tilt pot limit omaha games

January 4th, 2010

Pot-limit Omaha is the poker variation gaining a lot of popularity. Will it replace NLHE in the WSOP main event? Not in the foreseeable future, but PLO is certainly on the rise.

By looking at the history of poker, there is a continual replacement of old poker forms with newer forms, and the newer forms always bring more action and entertainment. First we had draw poker, then stud poker which brought a new angle to the game as every player had some of his cards exposed for all to see. The game changed from 5-card Stud to 7-card Stud, as the latter form introduced more complexity to the game and betting opportunities.

Then came up Texas Hold’em, which rapidly became the dominant form of poker. First as a fixed-limit game, later in the no-limit incarnation. What can be attributed to this unexpected success? The community card not only adds more hand possibilities, but also make the game more social. And more entertaining for the public.

Omaha Hold’em is the youngest form of poker and it was only invented a few decades ago. Omaha poker is an extension of Texas Hold’em poker. Apart from a few minor details the rules of the game are the same, expect that each player has 4 hole cards instead of 2. It is like playing 6 holdem hands each time you play one omaha hand, so clearly there is more action.

This is the trend in poker, games with more action and more entertainment value. Omaha and PLO in particular have both of that. If you play PLO you know that it is like NLHE on steroids, and at the risk of giving an arrow to the bow of the supporters of the infamous UIGEA, it is an addictive game.

The PLO games at Full Tilt

One of the best places if not the best place to play PLO on the Web is at Full Tilt Poker. This is where you will find the most action and the most tables available for your selection.

In the ring games section, the stakes range from $0.01/$0.02 to $500/$1000. In the micro and low limits up to $0.50/$1, there are constantly one or two hundred active tables. There are a few dozen tables at the medium stakes up to $6 big blind and about a dozen tables at the high stakes up to $50 BB.

Next there is what is called Ivey’s room, and this is where the so-called nosebleed ultra high-stakes tables are, from $100 to $1000 BB. This is the section where the top PLO high stakes players meet and play. Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius, Ilary “Ziigmund” Sahamies, Tom “durrrr” Dwan and many more.

It does not matter what you level is. You will find what you want in PLO at Full Tilt. Observe the pro battle in huge pots, learn the game at the micro-limits, or simply play at your favorite stake level.

If you want pot-limit Omaha action, Full Tilt is the place.

The European Championship Of Online Poker

October 30th, 2009

The European Championship of Online Poker (ECOOP) is a two-weeks tournament event organized by Titan Poker.

The ECOOP is a major event on the online poker scene and it will be running this November for its 5th edition. ECOOP V promises to be a major event with a total guarantee of $4,550,000 put up by Titan Poker, the organizer.

There will be a total of 14 tournaments. Of course as the most popular poker variation, Texas Hold’em poker will dominate. The main event taking place on Dec. 6th is a $1,500+$80 buy-in NLHE tournament with a guarantee of $1.5 million. Eight other tourneys are in Texas Holdem, fixed limit, pot limit and no limit, including 6-max and turbo, for buy-ins ranging from $100+$9 to $750+$50, and even $2500+$100.

But other variations are represented as well. Limit 7-Card Stud, Omaha Hi/Lo and Pot-Limit Omaha. All other 13 tournaments have a guarantee around a few hundred thousand dollars.

ECOOP takes place twice a year and started in December 2007 with $2,500,000 in guaranteed prizes spread over ten events. Due to the success of online poker in general and Titan Poker in particular, the number of events and pool prize keep on growing each time.

The first winner at ECOOP I main event overwhelmed a field of 992 players who all paid the $1000+$600 buy-in to take home the first prize of $220,000. Kaishi the most recent winner at ECOOP IV earned $330,000.

You do not have to pay the full buy-ins to join ECOOP V, as Titan Poker offers plenty of satellite tournaments for just a few dollars. For more information about titan, check our Titan Poker Review.

Titan Poker does not accept players from the United States unfortunately because of the uncertainty related to gambling laws, but this should be settled rather soon. If you are not American and have not yet opened an account at Titan Poker, use Titan Poker bonus code BONUSTIPS in order to receive an exclusive 100% bonus up to $500.

Good luck at the tables.

Making the Move from Holdem to Omaha

August 31st, 2009

Moving from Hold’em Poker to Omaha Poker can be intimidating for the online poker player, but this is not that difficult.

Whatever the setting, online casino, online poker room or the brick and mortar versions, gambling operators always offer new games, and sometimes some of these games take off on their own. This has been going on for hundreds of years, and most recently blackjack and Texas Hold’em poker became instant successes.

Now some think that Omaha poker may become the new success story, and it is thus a good idea to learn the rules of this game. This article is written with a move from NLHE to PLO in mind, but it it also relevant for the most part for other variants of the two games.

The first thing to keep in mind is that Omaha is an extension of Hold’em, so this move is perfectly natural. Indeed Omaha is short for Omaha hold’em, but the short version Omaha is what is commonly used.

When you make this move, it is highly recommended to start Omaha at the micro-limits. This is ideal for learning the nuances without paying for the lesson. In fact the online players are so bad at PLO micro-limits, that if you are a reasonable player at Texas Holdem, it will cost you nothing to get acquainted to Omaha, and you can then progressively climb up the stake levels.

The main difference between the two games is that now you have 4 hole cards instead of 2. The other difference, and that is not a small one either, is that you must use two of your hole cards plus three of the board cards in order to determine what your strongest hand is. This part can be confusing at first to holdem players who are used to take two, one or zero of their hole cards to make their hand.

For the rest, Omaha is essentially the same as Holdem.

Let us start with the first difference: you have 4 cards. One way to think about that is that there are six ways to pick two cards from a group of four cards. So in essence it is like if you were dealt six times your holdem poker hole cards. But because this set of six pairs of hole cards will share the same board, you want your hole cards to work together so to speak, so that you get the maximum power from your hole cards.

This is why draws are so important in Omaha. Let us say for example that you have QJT9 rainbow as your four hole cards. This straight hand gives a high chance to hit a straight draw at the flop, because most boards with two or three cards higher than 7 or 8 will give a straight draw, like KT3 for example.

Henceforth, some of the strongest hands are either straight hands like above or “double suited” hands, with two cards in one suit, the two other ones in another suit. These hands give you the most chance to hit either a straight or a flush draw. The top hole cards in this category are straight double suited hole cards. In this vein, QJT9 double suited is believed to be one of the strongest hole cards, if not the strongest.

The other category of big hands are two top pairs like AAKK, double suited even better. Mixed hands like KKJT double suited, holding both the power of a big pair and many draws are similarly extremely strong hole cards.

So the thing to keep in mind is that you want your 4 hole cards to work nicely together. If you have 3 cards of the same suit, it is a negative feature as you can only use 2 of the suited cards for your flush draw, so one of your hole cards is not used at 100%. Toss that hand.

The other confusing aspect that needs some training to eradicate is that you must use 2 of your hole cards. So if the board is 8855K without flush possibility and you hold A842 rainbow, you have a set of eights ace high and not a boat. Or if the board is KT854 with four hearts and you have the ace of heart and no other heart, then you do not have a flush. As you need to replace one heart from the board with a non heart from your hole cards.

Spend some time practicing to get used to these nuances. You will not regret trying PLO because this is a very exciting game, where there are more often big hands and where the fish are so abundant.