Archives for January 21, 2020

Rainbow Six Mandatory Day set for Sunday Jan., 26

Gulfstream Park paddockSource: Gulfstream Park

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool for Thursday’s program at Gulfstream Park will be guaranteed at $4 million.

The popular multi-race wager went unsolved for the 38th consecutive racing day of the 2019-2020 Championship Meet at Gulfstream Monday, when multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $1,421.20.

The Rainbow 6 jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.

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Mandatory Payout of the Rainbow 6 Scheduled for Sunday

A mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 pool is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 26, when the entire pool will be shared by those ticketholders with the most winners. Should the Rainbow 6 continue to go unsolved through Saturday’s Pegasus World Cup Day card, the pool is expected to exceed $10 million.

Pegasus Post-Position Draw Wednesday

Post positions will be drawn and odds assigned for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) and $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. at Frankey’s Sports Bar at The Village at Gulfstream Park.

The two Pegasus World Cup races, presented by Runhappy, along with seven other stakes races will be contested Saturday, Jan. 25 at Gulfstream Park.

The draw for both races will be shown live on this website (click here to view) and XBTV.com.

Who’s Hot: Irad Ortiz Jr. rode back-to-back winners, scoring aboard My Point Exactly ($12.20) in Race 6 and Looking for More ($4.20) in Race 7, before winning aboard Devoted Kitten ($4) in Race 10.

Paco Lopez also won back-to-back races, taking Race 8 aboard Dr. Shane ($27.80) and Race 9 with Flat Awesome Jenny ($7.20).

Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool
: $4 million guaranteed (Thursday)

Three big questions ahead of the Cheltenham Gold Cup

The 2020 Cheltenham Festival is less than two months away and already punters are gearing up to one of the biggest highlights in the jump racing calendar. The entries to this year’s Gold Cup have been announced and even at this early stage, many are checking out the latest odds in Cheltenham betting with Paddy Power. But ahead of this year’s festival, what are the key points of interest?

  1. Can Al Boum Photo win back-to-back Gold Cup titles?

Not since Best Mate’s trio of wins between 2002 and 2004 has a single horse won consecutive titles. In the race’s history, only seven horses have won the Gold Cup more than once. Looking to make the record books this year is Al Boum Photo, one of the entrants from Willie Mullins’ yard. In 2019, Al Boum Photo could be found at odds of 12/1 ahead of the race and this year he is the favourite at 7/2. In winning last year, he beat the likes of runner-up Anibale Fly and bookies’ favourite Presenting Percy to hand Mullins his first success in the Gold Cup.

Al Boum Photo went into last year’s race in good form, having won the Savills Chase on New Year’s Day at Tramore. On that occasion, he beat Total Recall by six lengths and had the same margin of victory in this year’s chase – this time as one of four finishers. Not only does Al Boum Photo go into the Gold Cup as the favourite but of all the winners, 22 horses have been eight years old, so it looks like a lucky omen for the French thoroughbred.

  1. Will the dominance of Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins be too much for the rest of the field?

Irish trainers Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins are both hugely successful in their own right, but both have one thing in common: just one winner in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. After fielding six runners-up, Mullins received his first victory last year; while Elliott fielded a winner on his debut in 2016 (Don Cossack) but hasn’t come remotely close to matching that in subsequent years. Of his three entrants in the following three races, his best result came last year, when Shattered Love came ninth.

This year, both men field four horses each, the most of any trainer. As well as favourite Al Boum Photo, Mullins enters Kemboy, who’s worth a shout at 11/2, as well as outsiders Bellshill and Real Steel. For Elliott, his best chance comes from Delta Work, priced at 8/1, with his other three entrants (Alpha des Obeaux, Death Duty and Shattered Love) all completely unfavoured. However, it’s rare that the favourite wins the Gold Cup and the last three years have seen lesser-favoured horses win, so anything is possible.

Of the other trainers representing, Henry de Bromhead and Colin Tizzard boast three entries each, while the highly-decorated Paul Nicholls and 2017 winner Jessica Harrington each fancy their chances with two.

  1. Can Paul Nicholls break records and become the most successful Gold Cup trainer?

In terms of active trainers, Nicholls is the most successful in the Cheltenham Gold Cup – with four winners to his name. After a first win in 1999 with See More Business, Nicholls won the race three years running with success for Denman sandwiched between Kauto Star’s two titles. Nicholls hasn’t won the Gold Cup since 2009 and hangs his hopes on Clan des Obeaux (8/1) and Frodon (25/1).

The former came fifth in last year’s race but has recently performed well and won the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day by 21 lengths. It will be the eight-year-old’s second entry into the Gold Cup, despite plenty of experience over the Cheltenham fences.

Frodon looks to make his Gold Cup debut, after winning last year’s Festival Trophy. With five wins at Prestbury Park to his name to date, the eight-year-old made a quick return to form earlier this month, winning the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton.

In Gold Cup history, Tom Dreaper is the most successful trainer with five wins from three horses. He won his first title in 1946 and went on to famously win the treble with legendary horse Arkle in the 1960s. Can Nicholls equal the record this year?

 

*Odds correct at time of writing

Top tips to improve your multi-table tournament poker profitability

poker game of skill

Find out how to accumulate more chips in your MTTs

Are you someone that enjoys the thrill of playing multi-table poker tournaments but struggles to run deep? If so, the chances are you are probably hemorrhaging from your poker bankroll. Chasing the monster payouts from multi-table tournaments (MTTs) compared with sit-and-go’s or cash games might be the “sexy” way to play Texas Hold’em, but there’s nothing romantic about your bankroll dwindling.

If you are self-critical of your MTT poker strategy, consider the following tips that could help you make crucial adjustments to your MTT gameplay, and enhance your live and online poker tournament profitability in the long term:

 

Be prepared to defend your big blind

If you didn’t already know it, to become a profitable MTT player long-term, you need to be ready to protect your big blind. Defending the big blind is something people often avoid because they feel like they are throwing good chips after bad chips. However, in many cases, the big blind gets very generous pot odds to continue, especially if an opponent has only made a modest open raise.

It’s also important to take note of who is open raising. If it’s someone that you deem to be a weak player, you’ll be much better off defending your big blind more instead of surrendering.

 

Don’t switch off when you’re not in a hand

At a multi-table tournament, a critical factor in successful poker strategy is to pay attention to your opponents’ cards, even when you aren’t in the hand. It’s imperative to gauge for “tells” and find out whether they were bluffing when displaying signs of strength mid-hand. This ties in nicely with the previous tip too. If you can recognize when an opponent is leading with an open raise in a weak or speculative position, you’ll be better placed to defend your big blind.

We get it, playing MTTs at any level can be a grueling, energy-sapping experience. It’s arguably the “daddy” of poker. They don’t make the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event a week-long process for nothing. Be sure to eat well and stay hydrated to help your mind remain switched on.

 

Do your best to steal pots regularly

You must use your late position in hands as an advantage, particularly against weaker opposition that’s prone to make rookie poker mistakes. The best way to deter tighter, weaker opponents from getting involved in a hand is to raise small and often. In later position, your hand range can expand, particularly if there have been no other takers to get involved on the flop.

Some poker experts even suggest ignoring charts that tell you the best hands to open raise with when you’re in late position. Instead, you should focus on the mentality of your opponents and jump all over any signs of weakness.

 

Become a master of heads-up poker

One of the best ways to improve your MTT profitability (in a positive way) is to secure more first-place finishes instead of second-place finishes. It’s far from a secret that the jump in prize money between first and second place is very high, which can, therefore, affect your bottom line.

In the main, MTT players focus more on survival, which leads them to avoid heads-up confrontation. That can be detrimental when it comes down to you if you reach the final two. That’s because, in heads-up, there is a greater emphasis on stealing pots.

Those who can master thin value betting and recognize bluffs will be far less likely to come up short in an MTT final table. Heads-up sit-and-go’s are a great starting point to practice for this eventuality, with the chance to get a feel for pre-flop shoving and calling ranges.

 

Try to manipulate small pots to see more flops

In the opening levels of an MTT, it’s essential to try and manipulate the size of pots at your table. If it’s at all possible to maintain small pot sizes pre-flop you will be able to view more flops and expand your hand range.

It’s foolhardy to throw in a third of your entire stack chasing a flush in the opening blind levels. By seeing more flops and keeping pots small, you can gauge how your opponents like to play before the pressure and the blinds rise.

 

Know when to tighten up around the bubble

When the time comes for the bubble in an MTT, your level of aggression must be aligned to the size of your chip stack at this stage. If you have considerably more than twenty big blinds at this level, it’s a good idea to tighten up your hand range and avoid any unnecessary bluffs or confrontations. The last thing you want to do is throw away your hard-earned stack with the money approaching.

However, if your chip stack is significantly higher than the tournament average, you may wish to play the table “bully,” by forcing smaller stacks into submission to steal blinds and small pots regularly. If you want to make regular deep runs in MTTs knowing when to change through the gears is vital.

 

Stay patient after the bubble

Once you are in the money, the temptation can be to get embroiled in all manner of pre-flop and post-flop shoves. The truth of the matter is that some players will simply be happy to get beyond the bubble, mainly as their chip stack doesn’t give them any time to build momentum. If you have a sizeable stack at this point, it’s a good idea to steer clear of speculative shoves from small stacks as suited connectors, and high-card aces can sting you and bring you down to their level unnecessarily.