Poker as a Competitive Sport

Poker belongs to the category of mind sports that require little to no physical exertion but players need to think strategically in order to win. The game of poker is often considered to be both an art and a science. The artistic side is said to be the intuition and creativity that is necessary to play a good hand at the right moment, while the science part is about the mathematical and logical methodology that needs to accompany the intuition for plays to play intelligently.

Because of its popularity, poker is a game played both in person and online. It seems that all online casinos offer poker as their number one game and each one offers their welcome bonus for new players.

Today, the game of poker is dominated by the use of a mathematical approach to decision making, called game theory. The central aim of poker is to make optimal decisions under controlled circumstances with some uncertainty. This approach is ideal for players who wish to save money and play a lot over time. Moreover, being in position is key to great play, for instance, if you are to act last, you can gain valuable information from your opponents and the size of their bets.

In poker, you do not need to have the best hand in order to win. As a matter of fact, you can play aggressively and get your opponent to fold because you fool them into thinking that your hand is worthy of a large pot – imagine the rush you feel when you manage to fool your rivals. Furthermore, it is very important to remain unpredictable and have a varied strategy profile since your opponents will always be looking out for the chinks in your armour or your tendencies to make certain plays – we want to make the game difficult for our opponents but not for us. To make the above more concrete, take as an example a case where we only ever bet when we have an ace, this then makes it really easy for our opponent to adjust his strategies to ours.

Poker is played as a competitive sport all over the world. Here is the list of the biggest poker tournaments in the world:

The World Series of Poker, Las Vegas. The event started in the 1970s and has grown over the years. Players compete for the coveted World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet and monetary prizes.

The Crown Australian Poker Championship (Aussie Millions), Melbourne. Held at Crown Casino, it is the richest poker tournament in the South Hemisphere, with a prize pool exceeding A$7 million.

The Asia Pacific Poker Tour. Started in 2007, and sponsored by PokerStars, this event takes place three times a year and is held in Macau, China, Incheon, South Korea and Manila, Philippines.

The European Poker Tour: created in 2004 by John Duthie, this is the largest poker series in the world by prize pool and the number of players.

Finally, here is the list of the most successful professional poker players ranked by their overall earnings:

  1.      Antonio Esfandiari ($23,439,917)
  2.      Sam Trickett ($18,717,124)
  3.      Daniel Negreanu ($18,252,229)
  4.      Erik Seidel ($17,602,056)
  5.      Phil Hellmuth ($15,805,950)
  6.      Phil Ivey ($14,791,952)
  7.      Michael Mizrachi ($14,180,339)
  8.      John Juanda ($13,163,539)
  9.      Jamie Gold ($12,238,161)
  10.  Joe Hachem ($11,699,019)

Pros and Cons of Individual vs Team Sports

There are plenty of known benefits that come with sports, most notably a healthy physique. But the differences between individual sports over team sports and the advantages of one over the other are less apparent. Usually, people show a preference for one or the other from an early age, but if you are undecided on whether an individual or a team sport would be a better choice for you or your kid, read this article to find out.

In individual sports, the athlete is in more or less in complete control of their own destiny. Because the reliance on other team members is simply not there, the only person that can influence the result is the player. As a result, the stress could be overwhelming simply because if one enters a losing streak it may be a sign of a deteriorating physique. When your goals have been set toward winning and the only person that can achieve it is you, any lack of self-confidence will create a negative self-perception that will immediately affect training. Losing is a negative feedback loop where the athlete can get stuck in a rut and only the best manage to battle their demons.

But athletes need to face great challenges to develop their personality. Individual sports test the mettle of the greatest minds and those who are not up to the challenge at least get to see what it is like. Those that persevere take the lessons that they learn from the arduous mental pressure and apply it to other areas in life, most important of which is that each person is responsible for their own actions. Individual sports teach discipline, courage, and self-reliance.

If you like to be in control and do not like the idea of relying on others to achieve your goals, an individual sport is the right choice for you. Team sports will only make you frustrated because you won’t be able to fully control the game. Sometimes in team sports, an individual athlete does everything perfectly, and their team still loses.

A team sport, on the other hand, requires individuals to work together cohesively where each member has a specific role. Of course, there are stars in the game. Take football as an example, Leo Messi is a fantastic player whose individual record for Argentina is astounding, however, Argentina have recently shown poor performances up until the 2018 World Cup. Just recently Messi was nowhere to be seen in a heavy 3–0 loss against objectively better Croatia. Messi does shine in Barcelona where the rest of his peers are high-quality performers. So, team sports require players to work with their fellow colleagues closely for a common goal and responsibility is distributed throughout the squad. Players learn to look out for each other quickly and develop relationships so that the team’s chemistry will be of the right character. When it comes to developing personality traits, team members develop a sense of solidarity, whereas selfishness is strongly discouraged. Sometimes you just have to sacrifice your hunt for the personal moment of glory and do what’s best for your team. Team sports develop social skills, leadership and work ethics.

Team sports are great for those who like cooperative, joint activities and enjoy the social dimension of sport. If you think that working together in harmony with others to achieve a common goal is a wonderful experience, then team sports are definitely for you.   

Both individual and team sports are great in their own way. Whichever you chose, you will do something great for your body and soul.

Betting on Equestrianism

Equestrianism is one of the most beloved pastimes all over the world, and for the lovers of this noble and ancient sport, there is a lot of betting options to choose from. Most common type of betting on equestrianism in Europe is to bet at fixed odds, meaning that odds are known in advance and you can easily calculate your potential winnings.

In the US, the more common way to bet is called pari-mutuel betting. In this type of betting, a money is being pooled and shared among the winners. Odds cannot be known in advance because they depend on the number of bettors and winners.

In the US, the most common bets are for a horse to win (i.e. finish first), to place (finish first or second) and to show (finish first, second or third).

Lingo is a bit different in the UK: instead of place and show you can bet each-way, placing two bets on the same horse, one that the horse will win and second that it will place. The exact terms of the each-way bet depend on the bookmaker, but the general rule is that if your horse wins you win both bets, and if it finishes second you win the second half of the bet at odds around ¼ of the odds for the horse to win.

In addition to these simple bets, there are also more exotic and riskier bets, that can potentially lead to huge winnings. These include exacta and trifecta, where the bettor must select two or three winning horses and the exact order in which they will finish the race. You can also bet on accumulators, placing bets on the outcome of multiple races at the same time, for example by picking the winner of three separate races.

You can bet online, via a land-based bookmaker, or on the site. Live betting is another exciting option that combines the excitement of being at the race track with the greater variety of options offered by online bookmakers.

As you can see, understanding the odds is crucial for betting successfully on horse races. Odds can be expressed either as fractions or as decimal numbers. Fractional odds are calculated by taking the number to the right representing your stake and the number to the right to represent your winnings if you bet the amount on the left. For example, if you bet at odds 4/1, you can win four for everyone you bet plus your original bet. Decimal odds are much easier to calculate, because you simply need to multiply the decimal number by your stake to calculate your potential winnings.

Study the history with the jockey, with the surface, and whether the horse recently changed group. Observe the horses before the race: do they look nervous, are they sweating a lot, do they look depressed? Chose a horse that looks calm but energetic. This will give you useful clues and soon you will start noticing patterns that will help you make better predictions. Most importantly, have fun!

Why is Cycling Good for Children

Cycling is an activity for people of all ages. Our children are full of energy and require exercise daily. Since physical activity is important for numerous health benefits for a child, it is highly recommended that your son or daughter uses a bicycle as their means of transportation and exercise. Moreover, it is a great way to bond with your child because we can all join in a bit of cycling fun around the block or through the park. Here are some of the most important benefits of cycling for children’s development, both mental and physical.

Exercise and Healthy Lifestyle

Cycling is a great way for children to develop their muscles and endurance. Riding a bicycle will build primarily the hamstrings and quadriceps; the pedalling motion develops the lower body rather than the upper body. In the age of childhood obesity, buying your kid a bike is the best present you can get them. Cycling will burn calories, keep them fit, strengthen their immune system and develop important exercise habits that will follow them throughout the life. It will make your child enjoy sport, which is crucial for a healthy lifestyle. With cycling, you will easily motivate your child to engage in 60 min of recommended daily physical activity.

Ecological Awareness and Contact with Nature

Your child will learn to be environmentally conscious by using this eco-friendly means of transportation. Riding a bike never releases the amountof greenhouse gases comparable to that of a car, bus, or train. Moreover, by regularly cycling, your kid will spend more time in nature, breathing fresh air, that seated in front of a computer.

Being outdoors presents new challenges that would not be present in the gym. Say, on day one you may wish to go uphill and on day two ride around a lake. Children love cycling for the freedom it affords them to explore and get to know their local area.

School Success

Some schools incentivise biking by hosting competitions and rewarding children that their own bring bikes every day to school. More often than not there is a school cycling club where trips are taken to nature, which is both a fun and educational activity for children to do. Moreover, schools report that children that cycle to school are more alert and pay more attention in class than kids that arrive by car.

Building Confidence

You will notice that your child soon formulates the idea in his early teenage years that personal improvement is required if he or she will become the best they can be. The child sets a goal such as “I want to be faster so I need to be stronger.” They do this with practice and understand what needs to be done in order to improve. This is an invaluable lesson for a child – hard work and discipline will result in achievement.

Socializing

Cycling is a great way for children to socialize and have fun together. Kids love to race and go on bike adventures. Going for a bike ride together with other kinds will improve your child’s social skills.

Finally, a word of caution: riding a bike is great but teach your children to be safe and always wear a helmet. If an accident ever occurs it is best to be safe than sorry.

Weirdest Sports to Bet On

One can bet on literally anything these days. You can get an online sign up offer for betting on fantasy sports, soccer, tennis or basketball. But that’s all common knowledge. For this list, we are looking at six weirdest sports you can bet on in 2018.

Chess

It might seem weird, but betting on chess is quite popular. If you love this intellectual sport, make sure to check out some of the betting markets on offer. You can bet on all the major chess events, such as Grand Chess Tour, the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting and of course, the World Chess Championship. There is a lot of betting options too: you can bet on who will win, but also which opening move will be used, who will be the first to lose a piece, how many moves will a player make, and much more!

Sumo Wrestling

Sumo wrestling is a traditional and highly respected sport in Japan. To become ‘yokozuna’, i.e. to reach the highest rank in sumo wrestling, is a great honour in Japan. For this reason, betting on sumo wrestling is not officially allowed in Japan, where punters can legally bet on four sports only: horse racing, motorboats, cycling and motorcycle races. Nevertheless, bettors from around the world can place their bets on sumo wrestling online and in Japan, and several scandals over illegal sumo betting were reported in recent years.   

Badminton

Although extremely popular in many countries, badminton is simply an unusual choice for betting. The fact that bookmakers now offer a variety of betting markets for badminton really shows that online betting is on the rise. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. It is an Olympic sport since 1992 and requires a great level of skill when played professionally. You can bet on the outright winner, but bookmakers also offer over and under betting odds for the final score. The sport is currently dominated by the Chinese, so the players from China could be your best betting option.

Hurling

Here is a sport you might have never heard of until now (unless you are Irish) that is nevertheless an increasingly popular betting choice. Hurling is a traditional Irish sport with many followers all over the world. It is an ancient team game played since prehistoric times (really) and its main objective is to hit a small ball called a sliotar with a wooden stick called a hurley between the opponent’s goalposts. Players can also carry the sliotar in hand for four steps, kick it or slap it with an open hand. The game is incredibly fun to watch and extremely challenging, which is probably why more and more people enjoy betting on it.

Curling

Curling is probably the weirdest and the most obscure game on this list. Its rules are notoriously difficult and it is hard to master the terminology. It is recommended only for punters who really like to experiment. The game, which has been a Winter Olympics sport since 1998, is played on ice and is similar to bowls or boules. The main objective is to slide heavy rocks across ice as close as possible to a designated mark called a house. It is played by two teams of four players. Each team has 8 rocks, each player throws two and they are taking turns after two throws. A game usually consists of 10 stages, called ends, and the team that accumulates the highest score wins the game.

Biathlon

Another unusual Olympic sport, biathlon is a combination of rifle shooting and cross-country skiing. The sport is believed to have originated in Scandinavia and is especially popular in Norway, Russia, and Sweden. Currently, you can bet on who will win the World Cup, both for men’s and women’s competition.