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.

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.

Most Popular eSports Right Now

If you like video games, why not try competing in eSports for some very exciting prizes! Of course, the competitions are dominated by South Koreans exercising day and night, so the chances of actually winning are very slim, but you can still have incredible fun by entering one of the popular tournaments. Below is the list of currently most popular eSports.

Counter-Strike Global Offensive

Counter-Strike Global Offensive is an online multiplayer first-person shooter. The game pits two teams against each other in a battle between terrorists and counter-terrorists. Your task is to eliminate players from the opposing team while taking care of minor objectives. Of course, there are competitions that are organised on a large scale that attract professional eSports players. Why? Because the game is great and the prize pool has risen to 1,000,000 USD. Gamers that excel at this game can make a living just training for these events. CS GO won the 2015 “Game of the Year” award which gives testimony to its public appeal.

Dota 2

Dota 2 is a MOBA game which means multiplayer online battle arena. Developed by Valve Corporation, this game puts you on a map in a team of five players against five other players on the opposing team. The goal is to occupy the enemy base located on the map while at the same time defending your own. In the game, the player controls a hero and gains experience through battle in order to spend their points in upgrading their chosen champion. This team includes leagues where teams battle to become ultimate champions and the prize pool is the highest of any eSport – for the international competition the prize is over 14,000,000 USD.

League of Legends

Another MOBA, League of Legends is a game where the player controls a summoner or champion that will battle the opposing enemy player or computer controlled champions. The goal of the game is to destroy the opposing team’s “nexus.” The game was released in 2009 and has been gaining popularity ever since. In 2014, 67 million people played LoL per month which is an astounding number of people who return to this game. In social media, it is usually the most watched eSports game on YouTube and Twitch TV. In 2017, 60 million viewers tuned in to watch the LoL championship competing for a 4,000,000 USD prize pool.

Overwatch

Released in 2016, by Blizzard Entertainment, Overwatch is a 2-year-old multiplayer first-person shooter. You can play it on Windows, PS4 and Xbox One. Its total prize pool is currently close to $3 million, and there are 55 tournaments in 2018. Players are divided in two teams, with 6 players each. Each player can choose his or her “hero”, with unique powers and characteristics. The goal of the game is to control more areas on the map than the opponent. The game has received many awards for its gameplay and graphics, as well as the Game of the Year Award in 2016.

How to Bet on Dog Races

Bored from betting on regular sports such as football, basketball, or horse races on BetAmerica? Why don’t you try something totally new and visit a Greyhound racing track? The races are taking place daily all over the UK and fun and excitement are guaranteed!

When it comes to most simple bets, the rules are not much different than when betting on horse racing. You can bet on a dog to win a race or a tournament, and you can also bet “each way”, placing two bets on the same dog. In other words, you are actually betting half your stake on a dog to win and the second half on it to “place” (i.e. finish second). This is a very common way of betting on outsiders, because it secures that even if your dog ends up second, you will get a small return on your bet, usually calculated as ¼ of the odds for your dog to win.

There are also more exotic and riskier bets, but promising much bigger winnings. Forecast and Tricast are bets on two or three dogs to finish first, second and third in an exact order. The US variants of these bets with winnings determined by the number of winners are called Exacta and Trifecta. Reverse Forecast and Reverse Tricast bets, on the other hand, don’t require you to pick the exact order of the first dogs to finish. Instead, you can pick them out in any order.

Finally, you may also consider betting on an accumulator. Accumulators are multiple bets and they require you to predict the outcome of several races. There are numerous combinations thereof, and you will win only if all your predictions turn out to be true. These bets are extremely unlikely, but they can lead to truly life-changing winnings.

Another exciting option is betting live, meaning that you can place your bet as the race is taking place, based on direct observation of the race. This option is only available to online bettors.

If you decide to bet online, make sure to choose a reliable bookmaker, and compare the odds between several bookmakers to find the best ones. Keep up to date with the latest news from the world of Greyhound racing. Also, you should study the form, age, and gender of the dogs, as well as the racing lines that dogs take. Soon, you will start noticing patterns that will lead you to better predictions. You will become a dog racing expert in no time!

One last word of caution: always bet responsibly, don’t chase your losses and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose.

Good luck!