PokerStars Championship Barcelona

So I’m here in beautiful Barcelona, for a couple of weeks filled with sunshine and live pokers. The day after arriving I decided to hop into the “National Championship” €1,100 main event. This was of course also the same day as the horrific terror attack at La Rambla in the heart of Barcelona. Naturally, there was a lot of tension in the poker room. People were busy on their phones, getting updates on the progressions of the event while assuring their loved ones that they were safe. Truly horrifying stuff, again… Anyways, let’s get on to the poker.

Hand #1 – Rivering a full house and getting paid

We are playing 250/500/50, and the CO opens to 1100. For context, he was a private equity investor from New York, and he was splashing around a fair bit. Button calls, I call sixes from the SB and BB defends as well. Flop comes 369hhh, so we flop middle set on a monotone board. I check and so does everyone else. Turn comes Js, and we for sure need to bet now, to get value and protect our hand on this very draw heavy board. I bet 3,200 into the pot of 4,950 and the open-raiser calls. River is the 9c, giving me a full house. I figured that my opponent was likely to have at least a jack after calling the turn, or potentially a hand containing the ace of hearts. I fire out a bet of 7,600 into the pot of now 11,350 hoping to get some value. My opponent moans and groans for a bit, before calling. I turn over my full house and to my surprise, he turns over AhTh for the flopped nut flush. Seems like we got lucky there!

Hand #2 – Flopping a nut flush multi way

So UTG+2 opens to 1,800 on 400/800/100. I call AQdd OTB and the BB defends. They are both good and solid players. Flop comes 459 all diamonds, giving us the nut flush. They both check to me and I fire out a bet of 2,700 into the pot of 6,300. I think you could make an argument for going both bigger and smaller here, depending on how you want to size different parts of your range. Anyways, the BB calls and the turn comes 2c, changing nothing. He checks and I bet 7,200 into 11,700, with effective stacks being around 30k. He calls making the pot 26,100 with him having approximately 23k behind. River comes the 8d, not a very good card making a 4-card flush on the board. Most of our bluffs on the turn are gonna be hands that contain the ace or king of diamonds, so river basically leaves us with 0 bluffs. He checks and I try to come up with a size where we can get called by the K or J high flush, in case he has those. If he doesn’t have a medium-high flush here I don’t think we are ever getting called anyways. I bet 6,700 and he folds JTdd face up. FML

Hand #3 – Getting the rest of his chips

One orbit after we played the AQdd vs JTdd hand, we get another spot vs the same opponent. I open KK to 1,800 OTB and he 3-bets from the BB to 6,500, leaving himself with 18,000 ish behind. I thought this was a weird size for him to use, as it does not look like I have fold equity anymore, as he makes it more than 25% of his stack. At least it’s not a size most people would make, with the intention of folding. I also decided that flat-calling here would look too strong, so I put him all in. He snap-called and turned over AJo. I hold and he busts.

Hand #4 – Tough spot with AKo

We are now playing 800/1600/200, and UTG opens to 3,200. UTG+2 3-bets to 8,000. UTG is playing a 50k stack and UTG+2 has over 100k. I’ve only been at the table for a few orbits but UTG seems semi-fishy, while the 3-better seems solid and good.
I am sitting on the 3-betters direct left and I look down at AKo, with a 73k stack. So IMO I have a few options here. I can:

1. 4-bet and call all-in.
2. 4-bet and fold to all-in.
3. Flat call and play some poker.

I’m still not sure which of these options I prefer, and I would love some feedback here. I decided to go for the 4-bet fold option, as I figured it would look ridiculously strong, and he would maybe only shove AA/KK/probably QQ. We also have the best blockers for this play, blocking both AA and KK. So I made it 17,700 with 55,500 behind and the 3-better thinks for a long time before shoving. I fold my hand and he tells me he had QQ. He said he wasn’t expecting me to fold however, and he thought he had little fold equity. Meh, I dunno. Leave your input in comments through the last post on my Facebook page, and I’ll pick a winner who gets a couple of €10 tickets on Unibet!

Hand #5 – Flipping with AQs vs 77

Some orbits later we are playing 1,000/2,000/200 and I look down at AQs with my 44k stack from UTG+2. I make it 4,400 and get two callers from middle positions. BB squeeze-jams for pretty much exactly my stack and I call. He turns over 77 and board runs out A98 (yey), 7 (ney), 9 (meh).

So that was it for the PSNC ME. I’m not really sure what else I will be playing while I am here. Originally I was planning to play the €1k, €2k and the €5k, but I think I might skip €2k and €5k and just grind alot of cash games instead. Way lower variance and more freedom to do other stuff! I’ll make sure to write down some interesting hands from the cash game streets, so expect those in the next blog post!

Until then – thanks for your attention and stay safe out there!

Bonus picture:

The guy to my right was destined to be a nit.

Can I really fold a full house here?

Now, this hand is a truly interesting one! We are playing 500/1,000/100 and Ian opens to 2,000 UTG. I call from the HJ with the lovely QJ of hearts. Button, SB (Lappin) and BB also call and we see a flop of AsJc6h. Checks around. Turn brings the Js giving me trips and also bringing a flush draw. It checks to me and I bet 5,200 into 10,900, trying to get value from Ax hands and making flush draws pay to see another spade. Lappin has other plans, however, and check-raises to 15,600 from the SB. I think his range here is very strong overall, as I am showing a lot of strength betting into 4 people on this board. I think his value range is: 66 (3 combos), AJs (1 combo), KJs (1 combo). The reason I exclude AJo and KJo here is that I think he would not flat call these pre-flop, but rather squeeze AJo and probably fold KJo. His bluff range is quite hard to estimate here, but it will obviously be made up of spade hands. His (assumed) possible spade flush draws here are: KQ, KT, K9, QT, Q9, T9, T8, 98, 97, 87, 86, 76, 75, 65, 64 and 54, in total 16 combos.

Lappins potential spade draws

This is clearly a rough guesstimation, but it will do. I don’t think he would check-raise all these combo’s, so let’s make some more assumptions. Let’s assume he folds his worst ones, calls his best ones (the royal draws) and bluff check-raises the medium ones. Let’s remove KQ, KT, QT, and then 98 and everything below. That leaves us with K9, Q9, T9, T8 so four bluff combos in total.

Lappin giving the stare down treatment (Photo by: Tommy Mandel)

I think QJ is a clear call here, as first of all he could be bluffing, and second of all we have outs against some of his value range. We make the call and the river brings the 6d, making the final board AsJc6h Js 6d. Lappin thinks for a bit and shoves his whole 53k stack into the pot of 42k. Let’s sit back and do two things here. Let’s have a look at my perceived range on the river, and then another look at his. My range after first betting into 4 people on this turn, and then calling a check-raise, is probably KJs, QJs, JTs, J9s and nothing else. I think I bet all my 2 pair/set hands on the flop, and I fold all my flush draws vs the turn check-raise. FWIW I think Lappin is a good enough player that he understands this. Now let’s have another look at his range on the river. 66 is still there, but it’s now 1 combo instead of 3. AJs is still the 1 combo, and KJs is still 1 combo (but we are now chopping with that one). His bluffs are still the same 4 (guesstimated) combos.

Davids guesstimated range

Against his guesstimated range we have 64% equity. Even if he only bluffs half of the spade combos we gave him, we have 50% equity. So let’s find out how much equity we need to have here to make the call.

Villain is here risking 52,000 to win 42,000, so:
B (ratio of what he is risking to what he can win (bet size/potsize) = 53,000/42,000= 1,26
A = B/(B+1) = 1,26/2,26 = 0,558
Minimum Defence Frequency: (1-A)% = 1 – 0,558 = 44,2%.

So we can see that even if he bluffs only half of the estimated bluff combos we gave him, we need to call here. The big question is however, would he bluff here? Does he trust enough in our ability to make big laydowns? Does he expect us to hero-fold our jack here? I thought about the hand for a couple of minutes, before some Italian guy at our table called the clock on me. Fuck Kassouf for making this an accepted thing to do, but I digress…

In the end, I state that I would fold this hand vs everyone else at the table (which honestly I think I would) but that I believe Lappin is tricky/good enough to try to make me fold a jack here. I make the crying call before my 1-minute clock runs out and Lappin tables 66 for quads. He scoops a nice 150k pot and I am left with 35k or so.

If you wanna check out other interesting hands from this tournament, including how I lost my last 30 bigs with JJ vs Ian Simpsons AQ, check out my previous post.

Next tournament will be PSC Barcelona in a couple of weeks. I will be selling some action for the €1,1k, €2,2k and €5,3k events down there, so get in touch through some social media if you are interested in a piece!

Unibet DeepStack Open Malta

What’s up people of the internets!

Yesterday (and the day before) I played the €550 Unibet DeepStack Open main event here in Malta. This was my first DSO, but surely not my last. The structure was amazing, the venue was nice and the field was softer than a bag of marshmallows. I fired three bullets without making it to day two, but I blame variance…

Welcome to DSO Malta! (Photo by: Tommy Mandel)

In this post I will go through some of the most interesting hands I played throughout the tournament. There was quite a few to choose from, so let’s get to it!

Hand #1 – Folding bottom set?

The first hand is a pretty sick one, where I make one of the tightest laydowns I can remember making. CO (Italian looking middle aged guy, who has been playing well/solid so far) opens to 325, pre ante. I defend my BB with 55 and we see a flop of A95r. I check and the opener cbets 225 into 725, so typical internet reg sizing really. I make it 800 and he thinks for a bit before calling. Turn is a queen and there are now four different suits on board so no flush draw. I decide to polarize my range, and I make it 2,650 into 2,325, thinking that he would not put me on A5/A9 combo’s with this sizing (since he could easily have AQ). To my surprise and somewhat disgust he makes it 7,500 after deliberating for a bit. I think for a while before making the call. I don’t think there is any folding here as we are literally at the top of our range, vs a guy we don’t know too much about. After all, he could just be going for value with a hand like AQ. The river is a 4 and he quickly throws in 3x 5k chips for a 15k bet after I check. We are still at the top of our range (we never have 99/QQ/AA/straights), and it’s a really gross spot. I thought for a couple of minutes, and in the end decided that he was not gonna make this insta-15k bet with a hand like AQ and that I did not think this player was tricky enough to turn one pair hands into bluffs. I make the face-up fold and 3-4 people around the table utter “that is for sure a call”, “how can you fold there”, etc. Villain tells the dealer to show one card. The dealer turns over a queen and I spend the next 15 minutes worrying that I made a bad fold vs him overvaluing his AQ. He told me after I busted the tournament that he had QQ and that I made a good fold. I suspect he was being sincere as well since he was the guy who had just busted me. At least this is what I tell myself to sleep at night.

Hand #2 – Getting some thin value with AA

In the next hand, we are playing 150/300/25. Utg+1 limps and fellow Unibet ambassador Ian Simpson makes it 1k utg+2. I make 3k from the button with the American Airlines/pocket rockets/bullets/whatever you prefer to call this beautiful hand. Both of them call, so the pot is now 9,765. The flop is T95r, so not a great flop for my range, and a decent one for both of their ranges. I do however choose to make a cbet, as I am playing against two huge whales (bang bang). I bet 4,700 and the limper calls. Turn brings a jack, another card that helps his range more than mine. He checks and I decided to check back, to avoid bloating the pot with a losing hand. The river is a four, and he checks pretty quickly. I now figure that I have the best hand, but that it will be tough for him to call big bets here (unless he specifically has QJ/KJ). I make it small and bet 7,125. He moans and groans for a bit, before making the call and mucking his hand after receiving the bad news.

Hand #3 – Herocalling A high like a boss

We are still on the 300bb level and I open the button to 725 with ATo. The BB calls and I get the feeling he doesn’t really believe me (he was smirking and staring, implying that I was just going after his blinds). The flop is J52r and we both check. I saw no reason to bluff with my showdown value here, and I felt pretty comfortable manoeuvring turns and rivers vs this opponent. Turn is a six and he leads for 700 into 1,825. I call. Riv is a queen and he bets 1,200 into 3,225. It looks like thin value, but I didn’t really think this opponent would go for value with anything worse than a jack, leaving his range too bluff heavy. I call and he tables T8o for absolutely squadoosh.

Don’t bluff this guy. (Photo by: Tommy Mandel)

Hand #4 – Doubtful line with AA

We are now playing 250/500/50 and Ian Simpson opens utg+1 to 1,300. I look down at aces on the button (again), and I 3b to 4,000. The BB cold calls and Ian also calls. The flop is K74r, a flop that heavily favours the 3-betters range. I cbet 5,050 into 12,700, and BB folds and Ian calls. Turn brings a jack and Ian checks again. I think we could go both ways here, either value betting turn or value betting the river. I think going for 3 streets will be too thin on most runouts. I decided to check the turn, which in retrospect I don’t really love. I think betting turn here looks way bluffier than checking turn and betting river. The river was a six and he checks again, I now bet 10,050 into 22,800 and he folds after tanking for quite some time. Meh.

Ian Simpson making the correct fold. (Photo by: Tommy Mandel)

Hand #5 – Herocalling vs our good friend Lappin

We now get two more Unibet ambassadors on our table, namely David Lappin and Estonian Jesus (that’s his real and full name, yes). This is starting to look more and more like an ambassador SNG and the table is definitely not the softest one in the room. OH WELL. We are still at 250/500/50 and I open to 1150 from the CO with K5s and Lappin defends his BB. Flop comes Q53 with a flush draw and I cbet 800 into 3,000, he calls. In retrospect, I like a bigger sizing here, as the board is fairly co-ordinated. It’s also a flop I will check back a fair bit of 5x combo’s, but I decided to cbet this one. The turn is another queen and I bet 2,500 into 4,600. The queen is obviously a pretty good card as it makes it less like Lappin holds one in his hand. He makes it 6,900, and I call. I don’t think we can ever fold 5x here if we bet it, as there are sooo many bluffs he could have in this spot. Especially when we bet so small on the flop, his range is gonna be even wider on the turn. The river is an offsuit jack and he bets 6,625 into 18,400, trying to make it look like he is going for thin value. I don’t really think this bet makes too much sense, and I will explain why. On the turn, he is representing a queen or better. He is not gonna make this play on turn/river with a hand like 77/88/99 I think. So considering his range here is Qx+ and a bunch of missed draws, I think a bigger sizing is more appropriate here. He cooould make a super small bet with a missed draw, to fold out other missed draws, but then I think going even smaller than this makes sense. Anyways I make the call and he flips over the 64o for a missed straight draw.

Get rekt son. (Photo by: Tommy Mandel)

#Hand 6 – Busting out vs Ian Simpson

In our last hand of bullet #1, Ian opens to 2,000 UTG at 500/1000/100 and I jam JJ from the button with a 30,000 stack. I was considering inducing to 5800 and calling a jam, but decided to just stick it in. Ian snap calls and tables AQo. Flop brings an ace and he knocks me out of the tournament.

I approached Dara O’Kearney after the hand to ask his thoughts, as he is one of the people I trust the most when it comes to ICM/shoving/re-shoving ranges etc. In my opinion, AQ seemed marginal at best, while Dara thought it was a clear fold. I decided to run the hand in HoldemResources Calculator (HRC) the day after, and sure enough, it was very close indeed (I used ChipEV for these calculations).

Dara O’Kearney, human ICM-calculator. (Photo by: Tommy Mandel)

There are 3 main factors deciding if this is a call or not:

1. What range Ian is opening UTG here
2. What range I am shoving here
3. If I induce the top part of my range

If he opens a 20% range or 15% range will influence what hands I should shove, and therefore what hands he should call.

Visual representation of a 20% range vs a 15% range.

HRC says that vs a 20% opening range as pictured above, I can profitably re-shove: 66+, ATs+ and AJo+. If we assume that I re-shove this range, Ian needs to call 88+, AQs+ and AKo. If he however only opens 15% of hands, I should be re-shoving 77+, AJs+ and AQo+. Versus this range, Ian can only call 99+ and AK.

However, these ranges would be heavily influenced by me having an induce-range here, which I believe I do. If we assume that I induce QQ+ (and therefore remove them from my shoving range), AQ naturally becomes stronger vs my shoving range. AQo is still a fold thought if he opens the 14,8% range, and a call if he opens the 20% range (and I respond by re-shoving accordingly).

Hand #7 – Sick sick hand

I also played a very sick hand vs David Lappin. For that one, I will go quite in detail, so it will get its own blog entry in a couple of days. Teaser: He makes quads against my full house and wins a 150,000 pot.

That will be it for this one. make sure to follow me on social media to get notified when new blog posts gets posted!



Now offering coaching!

Since I started streaming on Twitch, there have been people asking both in chat, through email and through social media if I could coach them. In the beginning, I told them that I did not feel comfortable offering coaching at that time since I was not proficient in all the new software tools out there (PioSOLVER etc.). Since then I have put a lot of effort into learning these tools, and now feel comfortable both using them and passing on the knowledge from them on to potential students.

About me:
• Consistent winner in multiple game formats since 2004
• Currently playing and beating NL400/NL800
• Turned €10,000 into €50,000 in 6 weeks during this bankroll challenge
• Strategy content writer for Bluff Europe magazine
• Streaming at

What you can expect:
First-time students will need to send me a couple of paragraphs about their poker background to provide me with an idea of their skill level. After that, you can basically choose which format you prefer. We can either:
• share my screen while I am playing
• share your screen while you are playing
• go through hand histories or specific spots together in PioSOLVER/HRC

If the student has specific aspects of the game (bet sizing, 3-betting, check-raising, etc.) he/she wants to improve, we can also go in depth at any concept. In the end, you are paying for my time, so you have final say on how the session looks like. As I play 96% of my volume on Unibet (a poker site without any scripts or huds), I will not be giving in depth advice in either of these two areas.

Hand review example:
If you want an example of how I think about poker, check out this hand review (which was also featured as a strategy article in Bluff Europe magazine): Interesting hand from the Unibet NL800 streets

Coaching rates:
1 hour: €80
3 hours: €225
5 hours: €350

If you are interested in getting coaching or just want more information, tune in to my stream and simply ask in the chat, pm me through one of my social media channels or email me here:

Monthly Norwegian poker streams!

Hello, dear blog readers! This post will be written in both English and Norwegian, so if you prefer reading the Norwegian version, scroll down below the English part! (Skriver denne bloggposten både på norsk og engelsk, så scroll ned om du heller vil lese den norske versjonen)!


I have been considering to do Norwegian speaking poker streams on Twitch for a while now, as I am indeed Norwegian myself. However, I think there are both potential upsides and downsides to this.

A clear upside is that I can reach and connect with an audience who might not be interested in watching my English streams. Another upside is that I can connect better with the Norwegian poker community, which I have been a part of since 2004. Potential downsides I see is that my regular viewers might tune in when they see I go live and be like “wtf is this?”. I think this problem can largely be avoided through information through social media etc. though.

So I have decided to give this a try, and the plan is to do streams in Norwegian the first Friday every month. If this works out, great! If it does not really work out, we will just omit it and go back to 100% English speaking streams. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

On very short notice, the first stream will be tomorrow (Friday 7th of July), and I will begin at 17:00. To promote this first Norwegian speaking stream of mine, I will be hosting a couple of freerolls, as well as giving away a bunch of Unibet tournament tickets throughout the stream. In total there will be a few hundred euros of free value to be had during the stream, so unless you absolutely despise free money, make sure to tune in at 17:00! These freerolls and giveaways will naturally only be available for the Norwegians tuning into the stream, and yes, geo-restrictions will be put in place. 😉

So let’s hope this will be a success, so we can continue doing streams like this monthly! Hope as many of you as possible have the time to check it out, and please don’t be shy if you have suggestions/comments/criticism/whatever!

So the stream will be found at and if you don’t have a Unibet account yet you can create one through this link: Sign up here and receive 100,- NOK for free as well as a €200 playthrough bonus, that releases as you play.


Jeg har vurdert å kjøre norsktalende poker streams på Twitch en stund nå, siden jeg er nordmann selv. Jeg tror forøvrig det er både potensielle fordeler og ulemper med dette.

En klar fordel er at jeg kan nå og bli kjent med et publikum som kanskje ikke er interessert i å se mine engelsktalende streams. En annen oppside er at jeg kan connecte bedre med det norske pokersamfunnet, som jeg har vært en del av siden 2004. Mulige ulemper jeg ser er at mine regelmessige seere kan tune inn når jeg går live, og tenke “hva faen er dette?”. Jeg tror forsåvidt dette problemet i stor grad kan unngås gjennom informasjon på sosiale medier etc!

Så jeg har bestemt meg for å prøve det ut, og planen er å kjøre en norsktalende stream første fredag, hver måned. Hvis dette blir en suksess, flott! Hvis det ikke funker særlig bra droppes det bare, og jeg vil gå tilbake til 100% engelsktalende strømmer. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

På noe kort varsel vil den første streamen være i morgen (fredag den 7. juli), og jeg begynner klokka 17:00. For å skape litt blæst rundt denne første første streamen kjører vi et par gratisturneringer på Unibet, i tillegg til å gi bort en haug med Unibet turneringsbilletter underveis. Totalt vil det være noen hundre euro i gratis verdi å plukke opp, så med mindre du absolutt forakter gratispenger: vær på plass kl 17:00! Disse gratisturneringene og turneringsbillettene vil naturligvis bare være tilgjengelige for nordmenn, og ja, geo-restriksjoner vil bli satt på plass. 😉

Så da er det bare å satse på at dette blir kjekt, så vi kan fortsette å kjøre et slikt opplegg fremover. Håper så mange som mulig har tid og mulighet til å sjekke det ut, og kom gjerne med forslag/innspill/kritikk/hva som helst!

Streamen er altså på, og om du ikke har Unibet konto kan du opprette det via denne linken: Registrer deg her, og få 100,- kroner gratis og spille for, samt en €200 pokerbonus som utløses etterhvert som man spiller. Snakkes på Twitch!


Interesting hand from the Unibet NL800 streets

To give some context for the hand in question, we are playing at an NL800 cash game at Unibet Poker. The hand is played at a fairly soft table, but the villain in this particular hand is one of the toughest regs in the game (although I did not know that at the time, and this is not the real Jakeeeeeeee fwiw). To explain how we should be constructing a defending range against villains line, I will use the concept of “minimum defence frequency”.

The hand begins with me looking down at KQo in the small blind, and I open for 3x the BB to €24. I’ve got close to €2000 at the table and the big blind covers me. He 3-bets to €80 and now we have a decision. We could turn this hand into a bluff by 4-betting, as our hand has very strong blocker effects, blocking many of his value hands (QQ/KK/AQ/AK). However, our hand plays fairly well post flop and I think our hand is just too strong to turn into a 4-bet bluff here.

So I click call and the flop comes AdTc7h. I check (as I would with my entire range in this spot), and he bets 1/3 pot for €52 into the pot of now €157. I like this bet size by him, as it is a cheap way for him to put pressure on my range. KQ is not a super strong holding at this point, but we have a gutshot to the nuts as well as some showdown value with our KQ high cards.

I call and the turn brings the gin card, a jack. So we turn the nuts, but there is now also a flush draw on board with two hearts. I check again and he makes a slight overbet for €300 into €261. At this point we have two choices: we can either flat call and let him keep barreling his bluffs, or we can raise to get value from his value hands (AA, JJ, TT, AJ, AT etc) and to prevent him from drawing cheaply to a heart flush.

I ultimately decide to flat call, as I strongly suspected he would keep firing the river with a lot of his bluffs, thinking that my range would be somewhat capped just flatting the turn. The river brings the 4 of hearts, completing a possible flush. This is not a great card as we no longer hold the nuts, and a heart flush is definitely possible for our villain here. I check a third time and he overbet-jams for €1537 into the pot of €861 for slightly less than 2x pot. Sigh…

What now?

What we need to do in a spot like this, is to think about our range, and what hands we get to the river with. Then we need to decide what pot odds we are getting, and how often we need to call. To figure out how much we need to call this bet, I will use the concept of minimum defence frequency (MDF). MDF is basically the minimum we need to call to avoid that our opponent automatically profits with his bets.

Villain is here risking €1537 to win €861. So:
B (ratio of what he is risking to what he can win (bet size/potsize) = 1537/861 = 1,79
A = B/(B+1) = 1,79/2,79 = 0,644
MDF: (1-A)% = 1 – 0,644 = 35,6%.

This means we need to be at least calling 35,6% of our range. This should basically be the top of our range, but blocker effects to his possible value-jams need to be taken into consideration. If we assume his value-jamming range on the river is KQ straights and all flushes, then holding a king, a queen or a heart in our range is naturally good, as it reduces the number of combinations he can have of those holdings.

Let’s assume we get to the river with all suited aces, A9o+, KJ, KQ, JT, 98s, 77, TT and JJ, and some heart flushes (all Axhh, KThh, QThh, T9hh, T8hh and 89hh). The total amount of combinations we reach the river with is then 127. If we want to reach our MDF of 35,6% we then need to call 45 of these combinations. If we call all straights and flushes, that totals to 33 combinations, meaning we need to find 12 more combinations to reach our MDF. The remaining 12 combinations should be strong hands that also blocks our opponents value jams. So for example, calling a hand like AxQh would be better than calling TT, even though AxQh is weaker in terms of absolute hand strength. This is because AxQh blocks both the KQ straights and his Qxhh flushes, lowering the frequency our opponent will have these holdings.

Breaking down the hand we can see in this example that KQ definitely is a call. In real time I was not super confident though, as I suspected that my average opponents at Unibet were underbluffing this line. Anyways we ended up pressing the call button, and villain showed Kh5x for king high. I remember my Twitch chat going off the rails when he showed his hand here, but in reality, this is a really good bluffing hand on this runout. The Kh is obviously a very good card, as it blocks all Kxhh flushes as well as the KQ straight. The Kh is probably the best blocker card to take this line with, as the Ah has enough showdown value to check back at some point. Also by not holding the ace, he unblocks a lot of the hands he wants to put pressure on (all the Ax hands). The 5 in his hand doesn’t mean all that much, but it unblocks a lot of the hands I will call twice with and fold river, like AQo/A7s/JTs.

The hand in question was streamed live on my Twitch channel, and I exported the clip to YouTube after. Check it out here: YouTube

Twitch partnership celebration marathon stream!

It took a while to get there, but we have finally received that elusive Twitch partnership. Along with it comes a flashy subscriber button, custom chat badges and emoticons and a bunch of other cool stuff. To celebrate this great piece of news I am going to do a 24-hour poker stream this coming Sunday! During these 24 hours, I will play a variety of different games (poker games that is). I will play cash games (anything from NL4 to NL800), SNG’s both 5-max and HU, and tournaments. The main event for the evening will be the €50,000 guaranteed on Unibet, a tournament they are hosting to celebrate the 500,000,000th hand being dealt on their poker platform. It’s gonna be a €100 buy-in tournament with unlimited re-entries and one add-on available. Not only will this tournament have a €50,000 prize pool, it will also have 3x €3000 packages added for a poker trip to Las Vegas!

There will also be a number of giveaways and freerolls during the stream, totalling a total value of €1000! There will be five €100 freerolls in total. They will be starting at 12.00, 18.00, 21.00, 00.00 and 08.00, all times CET. In these freerolls there will also be a bounty for €25 on my head. I will also give away 3x €100 tickets to the €50,000 Guaranteed tournament that evening, as well as €200 worth of different satellite tickets. These will be given out at random, or to people I feel deserve it! I’m sure I’ll come up with a competition or two by then as well.

So yeah, hope to see you guys on Sunday! Feel free to reach out to me if you got ideas for competitions we can arrange during the stream, or if you have any other suggestions!

Unibet Open package giveaway

Hey there, long time no see! I haven’t been blogging for a while, for a number of reasons (the main one being laziness obv). Another reason is that I have been spending some time vlogging instead, as I believe the vlog format is more interesting for and better received by a 2017 audience. I am still not sure if I will be vlogging AND blogging, but for the time being, that’s the plan. So expect some of those vlogs to show up on YouTube very soon!

ANYWAYS, I wanted to make a quick post here to tell you guys about this new promotion I am running through my stream. As most of you probably are aware, Unibet has a live poker series called the Unibet Open. There are four Unibet Opens every year, and they are held at various locations around the world. The first two this year were held in London and Copenhagen, while the next two will be Bucharest and a mystery location! Anyhow, Unibet has satellites running for these Unibet Open events on their online poker client. They begin at €2 and €4, and you need to win your way through 3-4 steps before reaching the €250 finals, which are held on Wednesdays and Sundays. In the €250 finals you can win packages to the live events. These packages are usually valued at €2000, but for the mystery event, it’s €3000. This includes buy-in to the tournament (€1100), hotel and travel/spending money.

Since I am now a Unibet Poker Ambassador, I receive packages to all these events anyways. I do however enjoy playing the satellites for them, so I got this idea… What if I could grind my way up from the lowest tickets (€2 and €4), up to actually winning a package, and then donating it to a viewer of the stream? Sounds good? Alright! So that’s essentially the plan. Unibet will provide me with 10x €2 tickets and 10x €4 tickets every week (surely I can get more if I run out and ask nicely). I will then try to grind these tickets up through the different levels and hopefully manage to win a Unibet Open package (or five). The way I will choose a winner (or more winners), is that I have created a competition through Gleam, where you can collect points for a raffle. To check out the Gleam competition and give yourself a chance to win a €3000 package and go to the next Unibet Open for free, follow this link:

That’s it for now guys. Hope you like the idea of the promotion, and good luck to everyone participating! Expect a new blog post in just a couple of days, where I give some details on the 24-hour stream I have planned for this Sunday. Teaser: There will be giveaways and freerolls with a value of €1000!

Unibet Open London 2017 winner Gerret Van Lancker qualified for the event online (photo by Tambet Kask).

Edit: It has been pointed out that by doing this promotion I was taking EV away from the people grinding these satellites, and that giving away packages was against Unibet’s T&C. I had, of course, arranged this through Unibet, but I guess we did not think it through properly. However, since the promotion already has been launched, it will be completed as planned (almost). To make up for the EV I am (presumably) taking out of these satellites, Unibet came up with a way to recompensate the other players. So if I happen to win a €250 satellite, Unibet will add another €2000/€3000 package, which will be given away to the bubble boy of that given satellite. The plan was to keep this promotion going throughout the rest of the year, but this will now simply be too expensive. So, as soon as I win a package and raffle it away, this promotion will come to an end.

New surroundings and Malta life!

Since I left Hungary about two months ago, I have basically been living out of my suitcase. As much as I love traveling, seeing new places and meeting new people, I am now super happy about finally getting to unpack my bags and stay in one place for a bit more than two weeks. Since I left Budapest I have spent 1 week in London, 2 weeks in Steinkjer/Trondheim, 1 week in Brighton, 1 week in Belgium, 2 weeks in Dublin and now I have finally arrived at my destination. I have now been in Malta for one week, and I am already in love with Malta life.

My accommodation for the first couple of weeks.

Temporary housing solution

Arriving in Malta I did not yet have my own place to live. I figured the best way to find one was to get down here, and then go to house viewings etc in person. This way I could get a better feel for the different areas on the island and the apartments themselves. I spoke to Marco and Stubbe from the Unibet Community about my plan, and they were kind enough to offer me shelter until I got settled in my own place here. So for the past week, I have been staying at their crib (which is basically the perfect bachelor lounge). It has a backyard swimming pool and BBQ, a poker table, a dart board, some gaming consoles and a sweet projector set-up to watch movies/sports/play games on.

Marco crushing me at some darts.

First few days

I arrived late on Sunday evening and spent the night just getting settled in, unpacking a bit and relaxing. The next couple of days was mostly spent sightseeing Malta, hanging by the pool, playing darts and enjoying some cold ones with the guys. I obviously managed to get sunburned the second day, convincing myself that the sun was not that strong early in the day, and it’s only April, right? Well, I spent the next two days looking like a lobster. Next time I plan on spending a full day in the sun, I might just apply some sunscreen.

No need for sunscreen, right?

Saturday home game

On my first Saturday here we hosted a home game, with me, Marco, Stubbe, Søren (who lives with Marco and Stubbe) and Jami aka ReCorpH from the Unibet community/Twitch. We only had two webcams available, and not the best upload speed of the internet, so the production value was not as great as we had planned. The stream was super fun though, and the feedback from chat/forums was great. We played a €25 rebuy turbo SNG first, and some small stakes cash games after. I ended up winning the SNG after rebuying with 2.5BB’s at 2000/4000/500. SeemsGood. We had different extra rules, to literally spice the game up. I.e. “whoever loses this Omaha flip gets to choose between eating a raw chili or taking two shots of this horrible pepper candy liqueur”. Other examples included that if you got bluffed on the river, you had to wear a poop-hat until the next time someone got bluffed on the river. And if you got bluffed by 72 on the river, you had to jump in the pool. Or whoever folds preflop next hand needs to drink, and so on and so on… We sure had a lot of fun, and I am sure we will do a similar stream in the near future. Hopefully with some hole card webcams and some better lighting!

Very high tech streaming setup.

In an attempt to make these blog posts a bit shorter, I will cut it here and throw in some random pics from Malta to compensate. Next blog is probably gonna be in a week or two when I’ve (hopefully) settled in to my own place!

Sightseeing Sliema.
Sightseeing some more.
Strike a pose.
Awkward smile is the best smile.

Irish Open + Norwegian Championship of Poker 2017

Alright, a slightly delayed blog post coming up! I just spent two weeks in Dublin, playing the Irish Open and the Norwegian Championship. I was planning to write this in two parts, with the first part getting posted during my first week in Dublin. The schedule in Dublin was however so packed, that I simply did not find the time. The first week especially I was going hard on the tourney grind, basically registering for a new tournament as soon as I busted the previous one.

Citywest Hotel outside of Dublin. Host of the Irish Open and the Norwegian Championship of Poker.

Arriving in Dublin

I arrived in Dublin on Thursday the 27th of March, and took a taxi to fellow ambassador Dara O’Kearneys crib. He was naturally out on his weekly 52 km run, but I was kindly greeted and let in by his lovely wife Mireille. I had never met her before, but after talking to her for 15 minutes I felt like I had known her for ages. I stayed at their place for the first night only, as I had a hotel room booked at the Citywest hotel for the rest of my stay, courtesy of Unibet (thanks)! I shared that hotel room with Bulgarian pro Daniel Chutrov, who I met back in 2015 at Unibet Open Glasgow (an event he ended up winning, the luckbox ;-)).

Well, thank you!

I had two amazing two weeks in Dublin, meeting many many people I have known through poker for 10 years+, as well as making some new acquaintances. I have been attending the Norwegian Championship most years since I turned 18 (in 2006), and it’s grown alot since then. For the main event this year there was 1250 people entering, which is amazing! It’s always a very friendly atmosphere, and I think most of the Norwegians who go there treat it more like a social vacation, than strictly a poker event.

Playing some cards

Since we played 7 events, I can’t really go through all of them in detail. I will however spare a few lines of the blog, to sum up the results we had in the tournaments. We had a lot of deep runs in te Irish Open events and came close to pretty big scores a couple of times. We played the following events:

Irish Open 6-max €350 – finished 23rd with 17 paid
Irish Open HU €350 – finished 2nd for €1750 (but no trophy FeelsBadMan)
Irish Open main event €1150 – finished 160th with 135 paid
Irish Open JP masters €550 – finished 13th for €1800 (€27k up top)
Irish Open high roller €2000 – finished 13th with 7 paid (€35k uptop)
Irish Open 8-max €350 – finished 27th with 25 paid

Besides the Irish Open tournaments, I only managed to play 1 event at the Norwegian Championship this year, and that was the main event. I was planning on playing the main and the HU event, but the HU collided with day 2 of the Irish Open main event. The main event of the Norwegian Championship was basically the only tournament of the trip where I didn’t make a good run for it.

Hand discussions

As I try to do in all of the live event blogs, I will discuss a few interesting hands from the Irish Open and Norwegian Championship main events here. Feel free to let me know in the comments what you think about these segments. I realize that some of my readers don’t care too much about poker, while the bulk of my readers probably are poker players themselves.

Hand #1 (Irish Open main event):

I open AJs from the HJ to 925 at 200/400/50. An aggressive good player 3bets me from the SB to 2800, and I call. Effective stacks being around 25k, with me covering him. Flop is J85r with a backdoor flush draw for us. He bets 2400 and I call. Turn is a 4, which gives us a flush draw to go with our TPTK. He bets again, this time for 6k. I call. The river is another 4 and he jams for 14500. Pretty messed up spot, where I think his value range is something like QQ/KK/AA/67s/possibly AJ. His bluffing range is probably 9Ts/QTs/Q9s/some turned flush draws which we block. He could also possibly be just firing 3 barrels with a hand like AK/AQ here trying to fold out Jx/TT/99 etc. I ended up folding my hand, figuring there would be better spots to pick up chips in a tournament like this. I asked him in a cash game the day after what he had, and he said KK. He seemed like an honest guy, so that gives me some comfort!

Norwegian Championship main event table.

Hand #2 (Norwegian Championship main event): 

I had a pretty soft table, with one guy being very drunk (at 13:00 in the afternoon, SeemsGood). The drunk guy opens UTG for 300 at BB100. MP calls and I call QJss on the button. 3-ways to a flop of Q83ss. Amazing flop for us, flopping top pair and a flush draw vs the soft spot at the table. He cbets for 375, and we have a choice to make. Do we flatcall to keep variance as low as possible, or do we go for value against someone drunk and spewy? Probably in a soft tournament like this, I should just have got for the low variance route of calling, but I decided to raise and made it 925. He thinks for about 1 second and throws in 3500. I now kinda hate my life, as I really don’t wanna bust this early in this super soft tournament. If this was a re-entry I would be super happy getting it in here, but in a freezeout I think it’s not amazing. We can’t fold however, holding top pair and FD. So I make the call, and the turn is the 3c, pretty bad card for us… He bets 4500, and again I think we need to make a call here. We still have a decent holding, given that he could be drunk spewing with any two cards, and we still got 11 outs against aces or kings. So I call again and river is 7h. He checks quickly and I figure that he gave up, and that I could be winning. I check back and he flips over KK. Mehhh.

Hand #3 (Norwegian Championship main event):

This hand I open 99 to 275 from the HJ, still at 50/100 blinds. Both blinds call (drunk guy in SB). Flop comes 36Kss, and they both check. I throw out a small cbet of 300 and they both call. Turn is the 9 of spades, giving me trips but also completing a possible flush. They both check again, and I think we have a pretty close spot. I thought it was fairly likely for one of them to have a flush now, as they both called flop, so I decided to check back. The river is an offsuit 5, and the drunk guys leads for 625, a fairly small bet. As in the previous hand, I get greedy, figuring he is probably just making a small value bet with a king here. I raise to 1825 and he snap-3bets to 3600. I hate life and put my cards in the muck. He told me he had a small flush.
I feel like the two last hands here was slight misplays. I should probably try to take the lowest variance route possible in tournaments as soft as this one, at least when there is no re-entry.

Action packed poker room.

Making a straight flush in the cash games

I will also include a hand from the cash game tables, which was pretty interesting/enjoyable. We are playing €2/€5 hold’em and we are 8 handed. UTG who is a good Romanian player opens UTG for 15, and MP calls. I look down at 9Thh in the BB and I defend. I am sitting at around €1200 and the UTG player covers me. Flop brings 5x7h8h, aka the dream. As I think the UTG player is gonna check back a flop like this a fair bit, I decide to lead out. So I lead for €40 and the UTG makes it €150. At this point I believe he is pretty strong, either holding an overpair, a set or a big flush draw. He could also just be bullying sometimes, as many players perceive leads (donkbets) to be weak. MP folds and I think for a while. I’m certainly not afraid of getting it in here, as the only hands we really don’t wanna see are hands like AJhh. I also believe that by 3betting the flop we can fold out overpairs very successfully. So I make it €380 and he tank-calls. When he calls on this board I believe his range is pretty much only big flush draws or combo draws like 67s/56s. I’m not sure he would raise those on the flop though. Turn brings the Jh, giving us the straight-flush and locking up the hand. As I think most of his hands at this point are big flushes, I decided to go for a check-raise. It doesn’t really matter what we do if he has a big flush, as the money is going in anyways. But at least this way we give him a chance to bluff if he for some reason doesn’t have the flush. So I check and he bets small, like €280. I put him in for the rest and he snap calls. I tell him he is drawing dead and he just gives me a funny look, like I am joking. I flip over my hand, and he turns over his A2hh in disbelief over what just happened. Shipppp ittttttttt!

I approve of this turn card.

As I will try to keep these blog posts fairly short, I will wrap it up here. Next blog post will be from Malta, where I just moved. I am currently staying at Unibet Community guys Marco and Stubbe, until I find my own place down here. Having an amazing time so far, and I am sure the next year is gonna bring a lot of excitement and fun!

See you next year, Citywest!