ACR CEO: “DFS Sites are Just as Unregulated as Offshore Online Poker Sites”

Americas Cardroom CEO Phil Nagy takes exception to the blind trust of daily fantasy sports players.

Daily fantasy sports operators are essentially the new kids on the block when it comes to internet gaming. Unlike online poker, daily fantasy games—where people wager real money in contests based on individual player’s performance in sporting events—are being offered legally in most states in the US.

Make no mistake about it, daily fantasy sports is big business. Disney recently decided to invest $250 million into the number two operator in the industry, DraftKings, which expects the payout more than $1 billion in prizes in 2015, according to reports.

And though daily fantasy sites are legal, they are completely unregulated—a point that CEO of Americas Cardroom, Phil Nagy, chose to highlight in a recent blog post warning players of “The Potential Downfall of Daily Fantasy Sports.” In the post, Nagy points to the inevitable industry consolidation as a reason for players to be concerned about the safety of their balances on file with daily fantasy sports companies.

Some onlookers found it strange that someone that runs an unregulated offshore online poker site would point to the lack of regulation as a reason to be concerned about the safety of players’ funds.

After all, players have lost tens of millions of dollars at offshore online poker sites such as Lock Poker, Absolute Poker and UB, and there are no reported incidences of players losing money due to the collapse of a daily fantasy sports site.

DFS Sites are just as unregulated as offshore online poker sites, but just because they’re legal, doesn’t mean they’re safe,” Nagy told pokerfuse. “I think it’s concerning that these companies have openly admitted that they are not profitable, and yet players don’t seemed to be concerned for the safety of their funds.”

When asked why players should have confidence that their funds are safe at Americas Cardroom, Nagy replied, “I have worked hard to earn players’ trust. We have made good on every dime we owe since we opened in 2001.”

Nagy also made the point that the cheating scandals that rocked the online poker world were detected because of players’ ability to analyze hand histories—a form of transparency that is not as readily available in the daily fantasy sports industry. While players can access their opponents’ lineups on the websites of many fantasy sports operators, some contests have tens of thousands of entries, and neither FanDuel nor DraftKings offer players the ability to export their opponents’ lineups for off-line analysis.

Nagy emphasized that his concern is about companies that are spending more money than they are making and the potential black mark a failed site could have on the igaming industry.

Interestingly enough, he does not have a problem with fantasy sports in general. In fact, he plans on adding fantasy sports games to his site’s offering. “First and foremost we are a poker site and our priorities reflect that, but we do plan on adding daily fantasy sports games at some point in the future.”

(Source: Pokerfuse)


Bluffing vs Folding: When’s the Best Time to Do It?

Unless you end up with  pocket Aces every time you play a  hand, there are times when you have to win hands even when you have nothing.  Whether you play online poker or at brick and mortal casinos,  you will always find players that consider bluffing a bad a highly risky strategy. However, it’s one of the basic elements in Texas Hold ‘Em. If you couldn’t bluff, you’d be left with luck to help you, and then you might as well be playing Crazy Eights.

The task behind a bluff is a simple one. You only have to get the other people at the table to believe that your hand is the best and that they should fold theirs, because they’re only going to be throwing their money away. Now that you know that, you’re ready to rake in hundreds of dollars per hour, let alone a day of poker, right?

Well, it’s not quite that simple. If it were, everyone would be able to do it. Instead, bluffing is an art that you have to master. Some players win real cash on constant basis, even though they’ve never really figured out how to pull a bluff off. However, you can’t be in the top echelon of poker players unless you find a way to really know when it’s a good time to bluff and when it’s not (My personal suggestion is to look for a free online poker site where you can practice your bluffing skills and master this strategy).

Bluffing gives you the most power of any play in Texas Hold ‘Em. You take total control in the game and can come out a winner even when your cards are junk. Anyone can become a better bluffer, no matter what your talent level is. Take a look at these three simple tips and try to follow them as you get ready to begin your journey toward becoming a master bluffer.

  1. Never bluff the short stack.

The player at the table with the short stack is not the one you should be teasing with your bluffs. He’s going to be slightly more desperate and much more prone to calling or even re-raising you down the line. Instead, fold before this gets out of hand. There are some instances where this might not be the truth. For example, if people could buy pots from the short-stacked guy, and you’re in a bad spot or miss a draw, a bluff might work. In general, though, I strongly recommend you to stay away from this guy.

  1. Watch out for bluffing bad players

Some players are just too tone-deaf to understand what you might have, so they keep following their own inclinations. Some of these will keep calling you even though you carried off the bluff fairly well and their hands are only iffy at best. Skilled players can lose a ton of money trying to bluff mediocre guys who were holding a pair of threes. A bad player calls a bluff more often than a good player, so don’t bluff bad players unless you simply must.

  1. Don’t use calls and small raises to bluff.

Do you always get caught when you’re bluffing? You’re not betting or raising enough to make people worry about your hand. People who have a ton of chips in the pot are not going to fold in the face of a small raise. Make your commitments large enough to make the other players think twice, even after they have put a good amount of money in.

Essential Tips to Win More Cash in Poker Tournaments

When beginners enter real money poker tournaments, just the excitement of playing and the idea of making cash cause them to make a lot of mistakes – and a lot of money. Once you know the mistakes you’re making, you can turn those poor results around almost every time you hit the online poker tables. You’re not guaranteed to win, but your odds are a lot better, not least because you have an advantage over all the players who are still making those beginner mistakes. This article covers some of the rules you need to follow in tournament play and some of the signals you need to recognize in order to win real cash.

  1. Stay as tight as you can early on, win real cash

Similar to free online poker, some tournament poker players tend to play many more hands than they should in the initial stages of a tournament. They have a ton of chips and they can handle a lot of flops hoping that those suited connectors or small pairs will bring in the big money for them. However, over time, you’ll lose money this way. The simple fact of a big stack of chips is not an obligation to throw them away with bad hands. For example, if you have a 75 hand, calling a preflop raise almost never works out. You’re not going to see something like a straight or even two pair with enough regularity to justify this call ahead of the flop.

If you’re a beginner, you’re even more likely to mess up a bad hand after the flop. The possibility that you run into a very costly hand and say goodbye to a lot of your chips is quite high. Early on in a tournament or poker game, you’ll have deep stacks. However, the mistakes tend to pile up just as high.

You need cards that are simple to play and that give you a solid chance when you go to showdown. You need to have these types of cards:

Big pairs – you’ll either hit an overpair which is generally the best, or a second or third pair which you can discard

Medium and small pairs – you’ll either get a set or you’ll have junk.

AK/AQ: You’ll either get top pair or you won’t have a thing.

These three types of hands let you know what’s likely to happen after the flop. With weaker hands, such as J10, you might get top pair with a J-9-2, but there are a lot of ways to lose, such as a better kicker or an overpair, and finding out who has that can be quite costly. Use the early stages to pursue your monster hands but let the others die out quietly, learning more about the players around you.

  1. Turn it up when the antes begin

After the initial levels, most tournaments bring in antes, forced bets that everyone has to place in the pot before the start of the hand. Once you have to ante, it’s time to loosen up your play. The reason for this is that the antes make your winnings larger. The stacks are generally shallower by this point, so winning the antes and blinds gives your stack a big boost.

Here’s an example. You’ve made it to a tournament’s fourth level. The antes haven’t started yet. You have 8,000 chips and 100/200 blinds. At the button, you have Q6. It’s folded to you, and you think about swiping those blinds with an admittedly weak holding. If you win, you’ll take away 400 chips, or about 5 percent of your stack, a nice payday.

However, is it worth having someone re-raise you so that you have to fold, in order to hazard getting this gain?

Let’s look at the same scenario with antes. With all other numbers remaining the same, every player has put in 25 chips. Now, instead of 400 chips, you’re looking at 650. Stealing now boosts your stack even more, and so now it’s time to consider swiping the pot. Once the antes begin, taking those pots before the flop becomes a much better idea.

Test our your skills at!

Tips for Improving Your Bubble Play

Have you ever wondered why players in the know bring in so much money from tournaments? After all, doesn’t luck play a role after a while? The key comes from the huge overlay. Picture a 180-person Texas Hold’em tournament. You only have about 100 opponents, and sometimes the number is way lower than that. That means that you only have, at most, about 100 competitors. The rest only want to win real cash, which means the strategy is different for them. They’re not there to take home the big prize, after all, they just trying to cash some money.

Early on, of course, you’re all trying to rack as much chips as possible. Even though their play may send some of these players into –EV, their strategy isn’t designed to do so. Once they hit the money, they feel golden and often gamble up.

When they are on the bubble, though, players start using tight techniques and fold too many times. If that leaves a pile of cash, then your job is to get into a spot where you can grab as much as you can. This is the very best way you can amass some chips when you’re facing a bubble situation. So let’s check out some of the tips and strategies players can use to notch some extra chips.

  1. Aim for the weak.

The choice to open raise comes from three factors. Who’s in the blind? What’s your position? What cards do you have? Start finding people who are only playing for cash before the bubble even starts. Keep focusing on those who don’t defend their blinds and make big lay downs.

  1. Raise, raise, raise.

You might already know this, but you still probably need to do it more often. Never, ever open limp, not on the button or under the gun or at any other time. The odds that you will walk away with it without a showdown are simply too high, and you don’t want to take the risk of hurting your bankroll.

  1. Always take a look around you.

When playing real money poker, your competition is not the play-to-cash crowd. At this point in time, they are handing out free cash, and you just have to pocket it. However, the other play-to-win people at the table are your competition. They’re after those fat stacks of dead money too. These kind of players are a lot more apt to steal raise and re-steal, among other tricks, so change your own game accordingly.

  1. Watch the chat box (When playing online poker tournaments).

Reading players is hard when you play online poker. Although, the conversations you see on the chat box can provide some information as to who’s looking for cash, and about the atmosphere of the table. Sometimes players notice the frequency with which you’ve been raising and sometimes threaten to call the next time. Watch out for these clues, because they can help you decide what to do about a re-steal.

  1. Share the pain.

A lot of players get offended if you raise their blinds. If you keep taking advantage of the same player, he’ll eventually get mad enough to play straight and win. On the other hand, a lot of play-to-cash people will see that you’re stealing but won’t care as long as you don’t steal from them every time.

These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to taking advantage of the bubble. Those big piles of money are going somewhere, so why not bring them to you?

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Tuesday’s 20 Questions with Petra

Hello Cafrino poker players!! It’s time for a new promotion. We all know how important reading poker players is. Every move, word spoken, bet made, heartbeat, and eye blink can indicate a poker players hand. So today will be the first 20 Questions with Petra (no, that’s not me in the photo).

  • Prize: 500 Cafrino Chips ($500 regular tournament buy-ins)
  • Rules: Typical 20 question game rules apply, with one exception… we’ll keep going until it’s guessed. 1 Question per share, per player (you must share to have your question answered). The first person to guess the object I’m thinking of, wins.

How to Play:

  1. Petra is thinking of a mystery object.
  2. Players ask a Yes or No question.
  3. Players continue asking questions, hopefully ones that build on answers already given.
  4. Players may guess the mystery object at any time.
  5. The first player to guess the mystery object wins.
$500 Level 10 Online Poker Update

Congratulations to the Winner of our March $2000 Level 10!

We caught up with sdknifeguy to find out more about his experience, what he plans to do with the prize money, and more. Here’s our interview with the winner below!

Q: How long have you been playing on Cafrino?
A: Since September, 2014 (beta launch).

Q: How often do you play?
A: 4 or 5 times a week.

Q: Do you play live events?
A: Yes, I play live daily.

Q: Which do you like better… live or online?
A: Prefer playing live to online.

Q: How difficult was it to make it to level 10?
A: Like walking through a mine field!

Q: Have you won cash from Cafrino in the past?
A: Yes.

Q: Have you played in a previous Level 10 Championship?
A: No.

Q: Did you feel confident going into the level 10 game?
A: No more or no less then any other.

Q: How did you feel when you won?
A: Great! I played pretty solid poker.

Q: What do you plan on doing with your winnings?
A: Pay bills.

Q: What advice would you give to players just starting on Cafrino?
A: Play smart , And build up those chipies!

Q: What is your favorite thing about playing on Cafrino?
A: Well its free and you use Paypal.

Q: What is your least favorite thing about Cafrino?
A: I feel your number generator favors flush draws.

4 Steps to Improve Your Online Poker Game

What is the best way to improve your poker game?

K. Anders Ericsson is considered the world’s foremost expert on what it takes to become a world expert. He has studied world class musicians, chess players, and athletes to find out the process to become elite. As it turns out, the formula for success is remarkably similar no matter the domain. (Coincidentally, I was recently contacted by his office as they are interested in studying poker players!)

So what is it that world class performers do that their lesser counterparts do not? It is something called deliberate practice.

Most of us practice, but deliberate practice is not the same as ordinary, run-of-the-mill practice. It has several features that set it apart, and it turns out that the quality of your practice is more important than sheer quantity. Ericsson’s findings show quite clearly that expert level performance is the result of expert level practice. He also stresses that anyone can attain world class levels, regardless of natural ability, provided that they consistently and deliberately practice.

This is the good news. Now for the bad.

Deliberate practice is different from the simple repetition of a task. For it to work, it must have the following characteristics:

1. Your practice must focus on a very specific aspect that you are trying to improve.

For example, you should work on one specific kind of poker problem or issue at a time. Once you have mastered the basics, don’t go for general study as it will do you little good. You must have very specific and concrete goals for each study session.

2. The challenge of your study must exceed your skill level.

There is a human tendency to work on things that come easy to us, but that’s not the kind of practice that will yield improvement. You should push yourself. This will feel unnatural because in general people don’t like doing things that are hard for them. It takes you out of “flow” which is a very pleasant psychological state.

3. There should be immediate, accurate feedback.

This can be a major challenge in poker because there is often a lag between our performance and when we get feedback. You should be doing hand reviews, but these occur after a session. Also, sometimes you get rewarded in poker for doing the wrong things and punished for doing the right things! It’s not like playing a piece of music where hitting a sour note is obvious and you can replay the note until you get it right.

4. Repetition, repetition, repetition.

You can’t become “fluent” until you have repeated each skill many times. Your goal is to repeat a skill so many times that it becomes unconsciously automatic. Once you get to this level, standard lines become so instinctive that you can more easily look for altering lines and make adjustments.

If all of this sounds like a tall order to you, it is. Not being able to commit to the work required by deliberate practice is the main reason why few people attain world class status in any field.

I’d like to leave you with a few bits of advice if you are just starting out in the game and have hopes of becoming a top level player.

First of all, you cannot go from a shaky foundation to elite status. Make sure that you have mastered the fundamentals. Once you’ve mastered them, work on them some more. Your goal is to reach perfection. Also, don’t be tempted to move through the material too quickly. It takes a minimum of 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to reach elite status and 20,000-plus hours is actually preferable.

Finally, keep in mind that deliberate practice is taxing. It takes a ton of mental power to concentrate fully on improving. That’s why even the elite only spend 2-3 hours a day doing deliberate practice. I’m not going to lie to you, there’s a certain amount of drudgery involved in learning at this level, but if you want to join the top ranks, there is no way around it.

Engage in deliberate practice often and over a long period of time your brain will physically reshape itself into that of a world class poker player!

(Source: Dr. Tricia Cardner,

Introducing Royal Flush Fridays!

We’re excited to announce our latest brain child, Royal Flush Fridays! Every Friday, any player who either gets a Royal Flush in a cash MTT or sees another player with a Royal Flush at their table wins an extra 500 Cafrino Chips!

Pretty awesome, right?

If you see a Royal Flush at your table, here’s what we need to award your prize:

– The Royal Flush must be shown and visible to all players.

– To collect, each player must provide the tournament ID, table ID, and hand ID.

– This promotion is not available in ladder games.

Just send this info over to and our poker ninjas will verify your hand history. Once that’s done, we’ll credit you your chips!

Why Play Online Poker?

“Why should I play online poker?” This is a question many people ask, because they assume they can’t win anything of value and/or that it’s illegal in their state. In reality, there are MANY reasons to play online poker!

Here are a few big ones….

1) It IS Legal

Of course, we’re not talking about all online poker websites! BUT, there are a handful of sites (including ours) that are 100% US legal in all fifty states.

2) No Risk

Again, this doesn’t apply to all poker websites. There are some in Nevada & New Jersey where you’re required to make a deposit to play, and therefore you’re risking your own money. This is not the case with Cafrino. We never ask you for a deposit, and it’s always 100% FREE to play.

3) You Can Actually Win Money

Yes, you really can! Some US legal poker sites (including Cafrino) offer cash prizes. At Cafrino, we make it super easy to cash out at anytime via PayPal. It doesn’t get much better than that!

4) Convenience

Online poker is as close as your nearest computer! Instead of driving to the nearest casino, which may be in an entirely different state, all you have to do is sit down at your computer. There’s no need to drive, park, walk, or worry about leaving the casino carrying tons of cash. You can also do other things while simultaneously playing online like reading, talking on the phone, eating, etc. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that!

5) Other Players Can’t Read Your Tells

By poker tells, we’re referring to how players physically bet, breathe, talk, hold their cards, or otherwise react to situations as they develop during the play of the hand. When you play online, these tells become invisible. This is great for beginners who are still learning the game, or for those that don’t have a good poker face!


So do we have you convinced? There’s no reason NOT to play online poker! Cafrino Beta is launching soon, so sign up now by clicking HERE!

Cafrino announces new CEO, raises $100,000

Cafrino LLC, a 100% free-to-play and U.S. legal online poker site, has announced Michael Murphy as the company’s new CEO and revealed a capital raise that values the poker site at $1 million.

Murphy has worked with some of the most recognizable brands in the country, including Sony Online, Sony Pictures, Lucas Arts, and Fox Interactive. Most recently, he held a position as the Senior Vice President of Creative Services at NYX Gaming Group.

In his three years working with NYX, Murphy was very “hands-on” with the online poker product the company had developed.

“I wanted to be involved in a product that catered to the players and made the user experience a top priority. I haven’t found that with any of the free-to-play poker sites available to US players today,” Murphy said.

Murphy has brought that dedication to the players with him to Cafrino, and the company says players can expect some major positive changes when the site re-launches this Fall. In the short time that he has been CEO, he has put in place major changes to the tournament structure, wallet, design, customer service team, and more.

In addition, Cafrino has secured $100,000 in additional capital investment, valuing the company at $1 million.

“Cafrino will be the poker experience I’ve always wanted as a player,” Michael explains, “Whether it’s live poker, online, or free-to play, I know what poker players want: a fun, challenging, cheat-free environment where technical issues are handled promptly and prizes are paid out as promised. Cafrino is going to be a revolution in the world of online poker, and I hope you all will come along for the ride.”

Cafrino is a KAYWEB Angels portfolio company, and the investment firm’s CEO Haig Kayserian said they were delighted with these latest developments.

“Cafrino has had to go through some major changes in recent times, and we never gave up on the product, seeking a new CEO to lead it to the heights it deserves,” Kayserian said. “In Michael Murphy, we have our guy and Cafrino has the guy it needs to fly.”

Cafrino is currently undergoing development updates, but expects to re-launch soon. Sign up for the BETA version by clicking here and stay tuned for more updates.