PokerStars Signs Soccer Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo as Poker Ambassador

The top soccer player in the world joins a growing list of sports superstars that are being used to expand the fan base of online poker.

Cristiano Ronaldo, considered by many to be the best soccer player/footballer in the world, has signed a deal to promote the largest online poker site in the world, PokerStars.

Ronaldo was seen earlier this month sporting a PokerStars patch, but he officially announced the new partnership to the world today by posting a video on his Facebook page for his 103 million fans to see. At the time of writing, his announcement had received more than 1.4 million views. PokerStars also hopes to capitalize on his 35.5 million followers on Twitter.

“I’m looking forward to taking my game to the online and live poker tables and meeting my fans head to head,” Ronaldo said. “Although football is my world, poker has always been my game. I’m very excited to join the team.”

“Ronaldo is one of the most famous names in the world and PokerStars is thrilled to partner with him. We look forward to him spreading his love of the game worldwide by sharing his PokerStars experiences with his huge social following and fan base,” said Michael Hazel, interim CEO of PokerStars.

The signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, and the signing of fellow soccer superstar Neymar Jr. earlier this month, demonstrate PokerStars’ commitment to leveraging social media as a means to expand its online poker player base.

The two soccer superstars are just the latest sporting figures that have agreed to back the world’s biggest online poker site. Other sports ambassadors in PokerStars’ stable include tennis great Rafael Nadal, soccer legend Ronaldo (a different Ronaldo), and Olympic gold medalists Fatima Moreira de Melo from Holland and Marcus Hellner from Sweden.

PokerStars’ emphasis on social media also extends to the poker players it sponsors. The phenomenon of live streaming online poker on Twitch has certainly caught the attention of the executives at PokerStars as it has recently signed the most popular online poker live streamer, Jason Somerville, and many of its top poker superstars such as Daniel Negreanu and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier have begun live streaming as well.


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How to Deal With Tricky Poker Players

How to Deal With Tricky Poker Players

Poker players come in a number of varieties, shapes and forms, but a vast majority of them are pretty simple to read. They play their hands within a particular spectrum in specific situations. Their trend is passive, aggressive, loose, tight or a hybrid of some of those characteristics. The good thing about that is that once you’ve figured their responses, you can take advantage of their plays and tells and win real cash.

However, that does not mean that all players are equal or that they all have the same reactions when playing poker games.  Some players are very tricky and hard to read. They change up their play routines from hand to hand, being inconsistent with the same type of hand from one situation to the next. They might slow play Aces on purpose from a mid position and then play them as fast as he can the next time. They even might call with 10s on the button when the next time they have 10s they might just fold them to a raise. These are the kind of techniques or qualities that make them unpredictable, and that could also impact or limit your poker strategy.

Learn to read the unreadable.

A lot of players spend a lot of time attempting to get a bead on this type of players. They look for a pattern or even a tell that gives clues away. Sometimes players can spot these patterns, particularly if they are experts. If you plan to reach the highest echelons of poker, you eventually need to develop this sort of discernment when looking at tricky players. However, for now, while you’re still building your skills, you might not need to expend that much effort trying to understand tricky players. Instead, you should focus your energies away from trying to figure out if the tricky player is actually strong or just acts like a solid player.

When you play real money poker, most of your profits will come from the other people at the table, the readable players and the weak ones. You can figure both of these groups out, or some of them will be so awful that you won’t have to figure their strategy out to profit from them. Here are two strategies you can try and master at our free poker tables.

The first is to avoid the tricky player. You try to avoid playing directly against them. Fold when they raise unless your hand is golden. If you raise and they raise in kind, just fold and wait for your next chance. If you think that they’re targeting you because they think you are weak and easy to exploit, it’s time to find another game. This can be hard on the ego, but you’ll make more money by finding opponents who are easier to predict and more deliberate in their movements. You’d rather have a big bankroll and a humble ego rather than the alternative.

However, you can’t always avoid them because you are too far into the hand. In this case, play a passive game. Check when you’re tempted to bet, and call when you’re tempted to raise. This doesn’t mean that you only have easy decisions to face. However, this will counteract the tricky nature of your opponent. By making defensive choices, you reduce your risk at the hands of this opponent, because you are putting less of your bankroll on the table. Eventually, you’ll be better at figuring this type of player out, but for now, keep working on your techniques at our free online poker tables and wait for things to improve.

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Playing Online Poker at the World Series of Poker

What You Need to Know about Playing Online Poker at the World Series of Poker

Free Wi-Fi access for players on newly installed infrastructure will facilitate the play of online poker at the 2015 WSOP.

For the first time ever, players will be able to play online poker from their mobile devices while playing live at the World Series of Poker. Last year, players were allowed to bring laptops to the table, but since then has made its software available for both Android and iOS devices.

Free Wi-Fi will be made available in all areas of the Rio so that players will have access to play online at Guests at the Rio will have Wi-Fi in their rooms included as part of their resort fees. WSOP organizers will be picking up the tab for Wi-Fi in the WSOP tournament area.

Organizers have gone to great lengths to ensure they have the proper bandwidth to accommodate the massive crowds expected at the Rio. Wi-Fi upgrades have been rolled out to all of the Caesars hotels in Las Vegas, with the Rio being the most recent of the properties to receive the technology boost.

The upgrades at the Rio have only been in place for about a month, according to Seth Palansky, Vice President of Communications for WSOP parent company Caesars Interactive Entertainment, and have not yet been tested to their limits. “But we have had the Consumer Electronics Show with plenty of convention business at Caesars Palace, and the Wi-Fi network worked flawlessly.”

Palansky described the improvements as being “light years ahead of our past offerings.” However, he did acknowledge that “the WSOP is its own unique animal.” “I’m sure the usage will test our constraints,” he continued, “but we believe we’ll adequately handle folks’ needs related to emails, social media, phone calls and even playing on”

“I wouldn’t expect folks to stream movies etc.,” but otherwise Palansky expects the free offering to be very good. If players did want to stream movies, an upgrade option with access to greater bandwidth will be available for a fee.


Now that players can easily play online and live at the same time, Bill Rini, Head of Online Poker at WSOP, expects more cash game and tournament action live and online, but some players may find that they cannot access some cash games or tournaments.

Nevada Gaming Control Board Regulations stipulate that only one player per IP address is allowed to “play in a cash game or a specific tournament,” according to Rini. However, the IP addresses from the Rio and other Caesars’ properties throughout Las Vegas are on a “whitelist” which exempts them from this restriction.

Players attempting to play online from other Las Vegas hotels and private residences may not be afforded the same luxury and may need to make other arrangements in order to play in certain tournaments and cash games on, Rini cautioned during the Official 2015 WSOP Media Conference Call.


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Optimum Strategy for No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em

If you’re trying to improve your results in no limit Texas Hold ‘em, you need to adopt strategies specific to this game. However, there are a few quick lessons that you can incorporate as you sit down at the table for your next poker game.

Don’t ever limp into pots. Never call preflop three-bets unless you happen to have a ridiculously good hand.

If you find yourself dragging into the pots, call that preflop raise and check or fold the flop when you miss, you’re leaking badly. However, this is a mistake that just about every new player makes until someone tells him to stop doing it (I’ve seen this countless times when playing online poker). If you just stop limping in, no matter what your hand is, you can protect your bankroll and eventually send your win rates skyrocketing overnight.

But what does it mean to stop limping? Watch your stack and play tighter, particularly when you find yourself out of position. The tighter the better until you establish yourself as a seasoned player.

When your opponents break Rule #1, raise a lot of hands with position, bet the flop and start betting the turn too.

If you think about it, this is actually a simple step, but you’ll love the consistency of your profits at the real money poker tables once you start playing online. Too many players keep things too loose before the flop, are too apt to call preflop raises after they limp in, and are too easy when it comes to checking or folding the flop or turn if they happen to miss. If you have a lot of players, you can stop paying attention to your own cards and just raise the limps, bet on almost all of the flops, and best the majority of the turn cards too.

Here’s an example. If two players limp in a $2-$5 poker game, and you raise up to $25 on the button, then both limpers call. You see the flop is 10 of hearts/8 of clubs/3 of diamonds. They check and you put in a $75 bet. One player calls. The turn shows the 6 of clubs. Your opponent checks, you bet $150 more, and he folds. Ok, an scenario like that is great for you, because whatever the cards you had, it doesn’t matter anymore. Your opponents play call/call/fold so many times that you just have to set the bets down and let them keep taking the bait.

Don’t pay off big river and turn bets.

This might not be true for all no limit hold ‘em games, but in the $2-$5 games in Vegas, this might be the very best advice you’ll get. Don’t pay anyone off. If someone makes a big river or turn bet or a raise, that one-pair hand that you have (or whatever you’re considering calling with) will catch bluffs. The most of the time, your opponents won’t be setting up a value bet with a worse hand. You’ve either lost or your opponent is setting up a bluff. However, in $2-$5 games, players don’t bluff with enough frequency to make calling worth your money. So don’t pay off. You might think you’re losing out on big pots, but this isn’t a complex game. Big bets usually mean big hands, so don’t waste your money by calling.

Remember that you can always practice these techniques and sharp your skills at our free online poker tables before you feel is the right time to make the transition to real cash online poker.

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New York Online Poker Bill Introduced with No Bad Actor Language

The legalization of internet poker in the Empire State is once again on the table

For the second straight year, New York State Senator John J. Bonacic (R-Mt. Hope) has introduced a bill that would legalize online poker in the state. Bill S 5302 closely resembles the bill (S 6913) that Bonacic introduced in 2014, and the companion bill (A 9509) that was introduced in the State Assembly by J. Gary Pretlow (D-Mt. Vernon).

As first reported by Online Poker Report’s Chris Grove, the one glaring difference from last year is the omission of “bad actor” language in the latest version.

Under the newly proposed law, the New York State Gaming Commission would determine the suitability for those seeking a license as an online poker operator or significant vendor.

Similar to last year, Bonacic’s bill has been referred to the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee for which he is the chairman; however, in spite of his influence over the committee, last year’s bill was never brought to a vote.

Bonacic’s bill once again would allow New York to combine player pools with other states provided their suitability requirements are consistent with those in New York.

The issue of consumer protection is prominent throughout the bill. Not only does the proposed legislation call for safeguards regarding problem gambling, it also seeks to provide protection from collusion, poker bots and other forms of cheating. Even the issue of protecting players’ funds from corporate insolvency is addressed.

Up to 10 licenses can be issued with a 10 year duration and a $10 million one-time licensing fee. A tax rate of 15% on gross gaming revenues would be assessed.

If the bill were to become law, the New York State Gaming Commission would be required to issue interactive gaming regulations within 180 days. An additional 180 days would be allowed for the commission to issue its first licenses.


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A message from the CEO

First, let me thank you all for playing on Cafrino. We appreciate every one of our players. We try to make that point clear in all communications, whether it’s social media (Facebook andTwitter) or customer service and support. Our goal is to bring a completely legal… Read more

A regulated CA online poker industry is better for the public

Lawmakers should ignore the industry squabbling and focus on protecting consumers

State lawmakers are debating again whether to allow licensed gambling operations in California to launch online poker sites. And as usual, the bills’ sponsors are having trouble getting those in the gambling business to agree on who, if anyone, should be allowed to run virtual poker rooms. Lawmakers should ignore the industry squabbling and focus on protecting consumers.

As with past proposals, the current bills would require operators to use sophisticated technology to bar underage players, accept bets only from Internet users inside California and identify problem gamblers so that they can be helped. Although such technological measures aren’t perfect, they still offer much more protection than illegal gambling sites do, or even legal sites in foreign countries with weak consumer safeguards. Like it or not, an enormous number of Californians are playing poker online already. Establishing a legal, regulated poker system would also enable the state to track and tax gambling revenue, raising money for oversight and enforcement.

Equally important, though, is deciding who should be allowed to offer online poker if it’s legalized. A cautious first step would be to limit the field to entities that have already passed muster with state licensing boards and have a long record of compliance with state gambling regulations. Nevertheless, that’s too permissive for some tribes and card-room operators, which want to prevent the state’s horse tracks from launching poker sites on the argument that online poker isn’t a natural extension of the tracks’ business. Yet tribes, card rooms and tracks would all be operating poker sites through third parties, such as Las Vegas casinos and firms with legal online poker sites in other countries. There’s no reason why a tribe should be able to hire one of these contractors but a track should not.

Also at issue is whether licensees should be able to work with one specific contractor: Amaya, a Canadian gambling company that owns the world’s top online poker brand, PokerStars. A bill by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Glendale) would effectively bar Amaya because of the illegal bets that PokerStars took under its former owners. Rather than picking winners and losers among tribes and card rooms, lawmakers should set eligibility requirements that protect consumers from fraud and exploitation, and then let state regulators decide who meets them.

The internecine fight within the gambling industry may very well prevent online poker legislation from becoming law. But lawmakers shouldn’t confuse failing to set up a legitimate market for online poker with striking a blow against online gambling. A regulated online poker industry is better for the public than the unregulated and illegal games found today in the underground Internet. And more competition in that market is better than less competition.


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How to Beat Beginners at Poker

You might think that you shouldn’t need any skill to beat a beginner at the online poker tables, particularly if you have a number of months or years under your belt. Unfortunately, just as in any game, luck can play an important role, even if you’re the most seasoned player in the world. That guy who just sat down for his very first hand just might have a royal flush. The odds are against it, but odds are always more than zero in this game.

You already know that you’re supposed to be making your choices on the basis of expected value (Or at least gained some expertise from playing free poker). Sometimes you can have bad luck against a beginner who makes his way to a stellar hand, even though he’s not following the “rules” of how to play. This might set you back occasionally, but if you remember the rules in this article, you’ll take the beginners’ money over time, night after night.

Consider the beginner who plays more hands than he should. You’ll see him doing the same in every poker game they play, showing down such easily beaten hands as K-8, Q-5, or any suited cards. They limp into a lot of the pots and call a raise just because they want to see the flop. They will also do things like calling a re-raise out of position while holding something like A-rag or K-Q. Depending on whether they can fold or are serving as a calling station, here’s how to handle them before the flop.

If they are capable of folding and you have position, raise using a wide range of hands, and bet the flop if they call pre-flop and then check to you. If they call, they generally have a draw or a piece, and you can adjust your strategy depending on your hand.

If they are a calling station, think about limping behind pre-flop with hand that you might raise in other situations in order to keep the pot small. You should not be doing much bluffing pre-flop.

Also, open up the range of hands which you normally would put someone on. You can’t assume that a new player is handling a standard hand for the situation.

What about a beginner who gets committed to a hand? Beginners often show up as table sheriffs or calling stations, so expect them to call bets on all streets that have hands that are easy to beat. Calling all the way with a hand like 8-8 on an A-K-T flop or calling large bets while holding a middle pair are typical strategies.

Never, ever, ever bluff a calling station. They pay you well enough when you do have a good hand. If your hand is strong, keep play rolling, and bet whatever you think they are likely to call. However, when they raise, it’s time for caution because this is often a sign of a strong hand in a beginner. If they have sucked out to nail two pair, this can be deadly.

Using these tips helps you retain your edge over beginners at the poker table. While they might luck out now and then, you’ll rake in the profits over time.

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Research Finds Internet Gambling “Not Predictive of Gambling Problems”

Scientific study indicates online gambling may have lower rate of problem gambling.

In a new paper, Dr. Sally Gainsbury explores the relationship between online gambling and the newly defined medical condition of “disordered gambling.” She concludes that “internet gambling does not cause gambling problems in, and of, itself,” debunking the arguments presented by the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG), which presents online gambling as the “crack cocaine” of gambling.

Her paper, ‘Online Gambling Addiction: the Relationship Between Internet Gambling and Disordered Gambling,” was published in April by the Centre for Gambling Education & Research, Southern Cross University, Australia.

It consists of a thorough review of the research so far conducted on the subject, and suggests that as yet the relationship between live and online gambling is not well understood, and that further research is needed.


One of her key findings is that problem gambling appears to manifest itself primarily in live gambling, and that problem gamblers then become internet gamblers. Studies which fail to account for this can give a misleading impression of the role internet gambling plays in problem gambling.

“Evidence is emerging that Internet gambling is not only not predictive of gambling problems,” she reports, “but that when other variables are controlled for individuals who gamble, online may have lower rates of gambling problems.”

Dr. Gainsbury notes that even though the research shows that internet gambling does not appear to be a significant cause of disordered gambling, the “use of Internet gambling is more common among highly involved gamblers and for some Internet gamblers, this medium appears to significantly contribute to gambling problems.”


In addition to the conclusions which exonerate—at least to an extent—internet gambling from blame for problem gambling, there are other sections which warn operators that they should not be complacent. The research done to date has not been comprehensive, and as internet gambling prevalence increases, more problems may be identified.

There are several pieces of research which indicate that internet gambling may exacerbate problems, or have causal links to problem gambling in sub-groups within the market.

Dr. Gainsbury’s work is a very welcome contribution. She clearly takes a scientific rather than political approach to her research, a practice that not all gambling research follows. It might be a good idea for the online poker industry to provide the access to hand and game histories that she believes further research requires, and act on her recommendations for further developing in-house responsible gaming measures.

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Five Mistakes That Can Dry Your Poker Bankroll

Whether it’s at a free online poker site or face to face with your pals, poker remains one of the most popular past times for millions of people around the U.S. The availability of online poker has made it one of the most widely sought games, and due the increasing interest seen over the last years, more and more people seem willing to give poker a try.

The fact that hands are relatively quick but require more strategy than many other casino games such as blackjack makes it a suspenseful and exciting game. On the other hand, one of the biggest challenges that people face when playing poker is trying to limit the number of mistakes they make during the play time.

Even beginners and recreational players turn a pastime into a profitable activity and win real cash. All they need is to improve their playing skills and get to know the right strategy, and learn how to identify the situations and signals they can use on their favor and avoid the situations that can dry their bankroll.  For example, when you play real money poker, knowing when and how to pick and identify weaker opponents helps bring in the profits, both online and at a real table, is a must for all players regardless of their skills, knowledge or bankroll.

Although, there are a few mistakes that just about everyone new to the game tend to make, but that does not mean that you should send chips away without really needing to. Identifying and avoiding these mistakes help players rake the chips in and secure their bankroll rather than seeing them go into other people’s piles. So here’s a quick list of common mistakes you should avoid starting now:

Playing too many hands at the same time

A lot of beginners take on way too many opening hands. Playing hands that are junk makes you either miss the flop altogether or put together a weak hand. This means that when it comes to showdown, you end up being only the second best. Instead, it’s important to be selective about the hands that you play and commit to only raising when your starting hand is good. Early table positions such as 88+, KQ or AT+ are good starting points. It’s OK to play more hands in position, but make sure that they have the possibility of flopping something in the big range.

Putting all your money on the table

Why would you sit down with your whole bankroll at a poker game? Are you looking to make a big splash? All you’re showing people is how much you have to lose. Also, you are likely to be tempted to send good money after bad and lose your whole take with just one cooler hand or a suck out. A good rule of thumb is only putting 5% of your bankroll out on the table at once. This keeps you from big losses if a buy-in or two don’t go your way. You’ll also stay calmer throughout the game, because your losses won’t be that large. If you’re going through a bad series, why not take a break for a week or so? The best decisions at the table come with a clear mind.

Getting overemotional

If you get mad, you’ll make bad decisions. If you get excited, you’ll make bad decisions. If you get personal, you’ll make terrible decisions. Set stop/loss limits such as the number of buy-ins you are willing to lose before quitting.

Don’t try to do what pros do.

Those crazy bluffs that you see on television? Well, they are wild, but keep in mind that the only hands that make it to the screen are the interesting ones. Poker shows don’t show the boring ones. So those wacky hands and jungle like strategies don’t work the majority of the time – but you don’t see those times.

Climbing stakes too fast.

A lot of new players are excited by the chance to make a lot of money quickly, and so they move up in limits even though they’re not quite ready. Don’t move up until you’re winning consistently at your level.


These five tips help many beginners learn to stop throwing chips away and start building profits over time. Keep an eye out for people making these errors – and make them pay. And remember, you can always try these strategies when playing at a good and reputable free poker site before you’re ready to make the transition to real money poker.

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