PokerListings Blog


In just eight weeks or so, one out of the nine players at the final table of the WSOP main event will win $10m.

Getting that kind of money - basically for playing cards for a week, wrapped around a four-month break -  is a pretty unique thing.

The famed winner shots of the happy player standing behind a wall of cash also contributes to the general image of poker players as guys who live the good life without doing much for it.

It's true to some extent. Top poker players make millions of dollars. And the $21m Dan Colman has earned so far in 2014, which has spurred much debate about both the glory and realities of tournament poker, is an impressive number to say the least.

But, truth be told, top poker tournament players are miles away from what top earners in other businesses cash out every year. PokerListings Germany's Dirk Oetzmann breaks it down.

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There's more to fitting in at a poker game than fancy chip tricks and an encyclopedic knowledge of WSOP history. You have to know the ins and outs of poker etiquette.

Enter the latest PokerListings infographic, explaining the top 12 worst possible etiquette mistakes you can make at the poker table.

Stalling, hygeine, acting and talking out of turn, collusion, physical violence and being a bad winner or a bad loser are just some of the essential tips we cover in this poker infographic.

Click here or the image below to see it in full size.

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etiquette mistakes top 12 620

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huck seed video poker

It's pretty clear what's happened. Black Friday was a conspiracy by the casinos to drive high-stakes players to their $100 video poker machines.

They knew that dedicated grinders like Huck Seed would be helpless against their need for poker action. It's all so obvious.

Seed tweeted this photo yesterday, clearly showing a royal flush worth over $670,000. Since then a few more facts have come to light, mainly thanks to Allen Kessler's encyclopedic knowledge of video poker.

  • Machine was at Aria in Las Vegas.
  • Seed was playing $100 per credit, five credits per hand, for a total of $500 per hand.
  • Seed bought a $40,000 ticket to avoid the hassle of manually feeding in 400 c-notes.
  • Seed has admitted to regularly taking $40k-$50k shots at video poker.
  • With the progressive jackpot and all comps, plus a high rate of hands per hour, Seed's EV was in the range of $1,500/hour.

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poker decision tree

Poker pros will try to sell you massive tomes of poker knowledge for outrageous prices (cough, Super System) but the truth is that succeeding in poker is much less complicated than they'd like you to think.

That's why we're busting out the super secret poker strategies the pros don't want you to know, for free, right here on

Let's get it started with one of the most important aspects of poker: Succeeding as a tournament pro. This concept is literally the foundation that the entire tournament poker world rests on.

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Isaac Haxton

Earlier today Isaac Haxton announced on 2p2 that he's willing to sell his UB/AP bankroll for 20 cents on the dollar, all $300,000 of it!

In reality he might as well be selling it for one cent on the dollar because in light of recent developments, no one in their right mind would even think about it.

Terrence Chan posted earlier, "I don't know whether it's more insane that Ike Haxton is selling 300k on UB at 20c/$ or that I'm not even considering buying it."

Haxton has unique experience dealing with this kind of uncertainty. When he came second in the 2007 PCA he won $861,789, which was awarded to him in his PokerStars account. He then transfered it to Neteller, which was promptly shut down by the Department of Justice the next day.

Haxton had to suffer through months of worrying whether he'd get that cash back. In the end the money was returned. It's doubtful things will work out as well for him this time around.

***Update*** New information has given some hope to UB/AP players with money on the site. Click here to read the details on our Black Friday Bulletin Board.

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As far as poker celebrity goes Eugene Katchalov isn't exactly a superstar. What he does have are results, over $6 million worth.

Katchalov has only been playing poker 100% professionally for a few short years, having split his time to that point between cards and day trading in New York.

In light of his recent endorsement deal with PokerStars, and the fact that he's one of the most profitable tournament players in the world, we wanted to get to know him a little better.

We've got a feature piece in our news, to which this Q&A is a companion, so click here for more info about Katchalov's decision to play poker professionally instead of working in finance.

And now, the full Q&A.

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zynga poker

In early February we caught wind of a man in the U.K. who had pled guilty to hacking into Zynga's electronic systems and stealing 400 billion play-money poker chips!

That man, Ashley Mitchell, has now been sentenced and will receive two years in jail for the online crime. Is the theft of play-money chips worthy of a few years in the slammer? Zynga maintains that since the play-money chips are sold for real cash, Mitchell actually stole the equivalent of $12 million!

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nfl football browns ravens

This past weekend the Golden Nugget in Vegas hosted a big charity poker tournament to benefit the Starkey Hearing Foundation. The Starkey Foundation raises money to provide free hearing aids to children all over the world.

25 NFL stars were slated to play but were forced to pull out at the last minute when the NFL stepped in and forbade them from participating in this philanthropic evening of poker.

With a $2,000 buy-in and $500 re-buys, the NFL's decision denied hearing-impaired children of at least $50,000. We're not sure about the price of hearing aids but that sounds like a lot of kids who will be unable to improve their quality of life.

Let's look at the reasons for what, surficially at least, appears to be an incredibly callous decision by the NFL.

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It's Christmas at the Nguyen house and Scotty's celebrating like only Scotty can.

The Prince of Poker is very enthusiastic about the whole Christmas thing. Watch as he tells us of his love of trains, carols and exotic pet presents.

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ADZ124 Epic Life Story Part 3

Created By: PokerListings
11 October 2010
Posted in: Matt ADZ124 Marafioti's Blog, Cold Hard Facts
Matt Marafioti

Matt "ADZ124" Marafioti is back with the third installment of his poker life story. Be sure to catch up with Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven't already.

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ADZ124: Epic Life Story Part 1

Created By: PokerListings
27 September 2010
Posted in: Matt ADZ124 Marafioti's Blog, Cold Hard Facts

Matt "ADZ124" Marafioti is a writing machine and he's decided to open up and share some personal thoughts and stories from his past.

Matt talks about his early runs in online poker and the reasons he decided to become a professional poker player.

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Jason Mercier

Well it's now (almost) official, we are done with the first quarter of 2010. I wanted to reflect on how the year has gone so far, and also update everyone on my plans for the upcoming months.

I want to take a look at some of the goals I made for 2010 and where I am at with them along with a few bets I made.

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When we got in this morning we heard a great story about a man at the WPT Bucharest event flying off the handle, hurling his chips in the air and taking a swing at the tournament director.

Well, we just got the video and we're pretty disappointed with what we're seeing.

The man, reported to be a football agent named Giovani Becali, does get pretty upset and he does throw his meager stack at the ceiling. To describe what he did next as "taking a swing" is gross exaggeration.

He takes a little swipe at the TD but it's barely even that.

The story being told now is that he became enraged over another player at the table hogging the only masseuse's time.

We find that kind of hard to believe, unless the masseuse was Frida, then we completely understand.

Anyway, watch the video above and tell us what you think.

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Earth Hour is just over a day away and since online poker is an electricity-based activity, it's out between 8:30pm and 9:30pm tomorrow night.

Now we know there are people out there who will choose online poker over climate-change awareness, we get that. But for the rest we've put together a quick list of alternatives to get you through those 60 minutes without juicing the power bill.

5. Read Super System by candlelight. We know it's dated but they teach ancient history in school for a reason.  

4. Bet on random things you see in the street. Prop-betting has a rich and storied history. Satisfy your gambling needs by wagering on things like homeless people fighting or which pigeon will fly away first.

3. Online poker athletic training. Your computer doesn't have to be on for you to brush up on essential grinding skills. Sit in the dark and practice mouse-clicking and alt-tabbing until the hour's up.

2. Find some real friends and have a home game. Skip this step if years of reclusive poker grinding have isolated you from the rest of the population.  

1. Contemplate the plight of the planet and how turning off your lights for one hour is a small step in the right direction. Cheesy but probably worth thinking about.

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home game

The title might seem sensational but I assure you this is the greatest poker variant I have ever played. This is a game guaranteed to spice up that otherwise dull home game.

In fact, this game is so awesome, so terrifically badass, so freakin amazing! I felt I had to write a blog and share it with all of you.

The game is called Sviten Special and it was invented by some Swedish guy named Anders Bengtsson.

Obviously this Bengtsson guy is a player with a sick need for constant degenerate action on every hand. Although I've never met the guy, I'm sure him and I would get along well.

I learned the game from a friend of his, Franke Boy. All I have to say is thank you.


Sviten Special is a split pot game, but not in the way you're thinking. The game is basically a mix of Pot-Limit Omaha, and Five-Card Draw. Half the pot goes to best draw hand, half the pot to the best Omaha hand.

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Top 10 Poker Players to Watch in 2010

2010 is going to be a huge year for poker so we're taking a look at the best of the best, those players poised to make big moves.

Some are building on successful careers, others are ready to make their names in the poker world. Together they make's Top 10 Players to Watch in 2010.

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Before we get started, let's be honest for a second. Poker players, as a whole, are not the most physically fit group of people.

Our brains are processing information on a regular basis but our bodies get little more than the occasional chair wiggle or lethargic stretch.

Articles like these need to be realistic. The point isn't to turn grinders into Olympic athletes; the aim is to offer practical advice that can keep the mind sharp and the body healthy.

Whether you play live or online, poker guarantees one thing; you spend plenty of time sitting in a chair. In order to be profitable in the long run it's crucial to revitalize the body and mind with exercise and healthy food.

Eating well and exercising have a real effect on your ability to make good decisions, the same decisions that translate into wins and losses at the poker table.

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We've seen people playing poker underwater, but we've never seen pirates playing poker underwater before. This past weekend that's exactly what happened at the Key Largo Pirates Fest.

Apparently someone has organized a festival to give people with the uncontrollable urge to dress like a pirate an opportunity to do so in a looting- and pillaging-free setting.

We're not sure about the authenticity of this festival given that one of the activities was underwater poker, assisted by scuba gear for all participating pirates.

Pirates were a gambling group of people but as far as we know they didn't have poker back in the pirate days, or scuba gear for that matter.

At any rate, here's a video of them playing. Kind of gives a new meaning to the old saying, "If you can't spot the fish at the table in the first ten minutes …"

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Slides are cool

Ask nine out of ten children what they want in life and they're going to say a slide in their living rooms. The sad thing is that 8.9 out of ten kids' dreams of slides go unfulfilled. Phil Galfond has given hope to children worldwide, however, by installing a slide in his living room.

Maybe his parents used to tell him that the house wasn't a jungle gym and he vowed to prove them wrong. Maybe he needed an escape route from the bedroom and the stairs just didn't cut it.

Whatever the motivation, the result is sheer awesomeness. Some people might argue the aesthetics of having a giant metal tube coming through the ceiling into your living room but I say to them, "Shut up."

Galfond is finally doing something worthwhile with his poker winnings. Watches and cars are all well and good but nothing says, "I've got too much money," like a giant slide built into your living room.

Check out Galfond's blog for a couple more pics of his condo.

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The world.

October 15 is Blog Action Day, the day when the otherwise ineffectual and self-centered blogging world is directed towards something worthwhile.

The issue is climate change and if you read this blog you're probably already part of the solution, whether you realize it or not.

By playing online poker you are literally saving the world. There, I said it. So go ahead and contact all those people in your life that said you'd never amount to anything and that playing online poker was a waste of your life.

I might be a little narrow in my definition of saving the world but as a blogger on the internet I feel I'm entitled to a certain amount of creative license.

The fact that you have to play poker is a given, there's no changing that. So, you're presented with two options: Drive to your local casino and use up a bunch of gas in the process, or sit on your couch and play on your computer.

If you chose the latter I applaud your good judgment and hearty social conscience! So the next time someone brings up Al Gore and An Inconvenient Truth, just tell them you play online poker.

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