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)