Maybe Not My Best Plan

Putting Bills Into a Machine

Today’s story has nothing to do with gambling — video poker or otherwise. I’m on a cruise ship and have “checked out” from thinking about gambling. I’ll be back to talking about gambling next week. For those of you who read this despite it being outside of my normal subject matter, I hope you enjoy it.

Before this cruise through the Panama Canal, I had only been to Acapulco once before. While Acapulco is a jewel on the southern end of the “Mexican Riviera,” it takes eight or more days to cruise there from Los Angeles, assuming you also stop at two or more of the mandatory Cabo San Lucas/Mazatlán/Puerto Vallarta ports. Seven-day cruises are much more common than eight-day cruises in addition to seven days being the limit of what’s offered for “free” casino cruises.

For whatever reason, when I was in Acapulco previously, I neglected to see the cliff divers do their thing. Bonnie hasn’t seen them either, so that’s how we decided to spend our day there. There were numerous excursions offered by the cruise ship which included a stop to see this attraction, but I was sure I’d have numerous cheaper options to get there once we got on shore.

Bonnie twisted her ankle a day before Acapulco, so she decided to rest on the ship. She wanted a few things from a pharmacy, so I planned to go ashore. And so long as I was ashore, why not see the cliff divers?

I read in the literature that what I wanted to see was only a 20-minute walk from the ship. Wonderful! I can walk further than that. At the gym at home, I frequently run 2 miles in 30 minutes. Yes, that’s pretty slow, but I suspect most 76-year-olds can’t do that.  And I can use the walk as a pleasant substitute for my daily laps around the top deck. Plus, I’ll keep my eye out for a pharmacy along the way.

In the port area, I was told that I certainly could walk, but it was not easy. Better to take a $5 cab ride each way. But if I really wanted to take that walk, turn left out of the port and look for signs directing me to La Quebrada.   

So, I set out afoot. I had to run the gauntlet of vendors trying to get me to take a tour of some sort or sometimes buy something, but after saying “No thank you” a few dozen times, I was out on the street. The first ten minutes of walking were all along the shoreline, and I identified two separate pharmacies to visit on my return trip. I saw a sign telling me to turn right to get to La Quebrada. So far. So good.

This was about time when I realized that running for 30 minutes in an air-conditioned gym back home is not the same as walking in 95-degree heat with a lot of humidity thrown in. But that wasn’t the part that bothered me the most. Cliff divers jump into the sea, but they do it from elevation. The last half of my trip distance-wise (and two-thirds of my trip timewise) was walking up an incline of 30 degrees or so. After the fact, it seems like I should have realized this would be the case before I set out. But I hadn’t. And it was much tougher than I had figured. 

I made it, eventually. It turned into a 30-minute walk, and I was drenched with sweat by the time I got there at about 10:10 in the morning. The sign at the entrance to the cliff-diving area ($10 admission – not a problem) said the divers jumped at the top of each hour. That meant I had 50 minutes to wait. There were some restaurants and gift shops in the area, but I wasn’t interested in that. They assured me that the next jumping would be in twenty minutes. I paid my fee and went in.

They had two viewing levels. The better viewing, by far, required descending 100 stone steps. Descending didn’t bother me. But after my uphill hike to get there, I debated whether ascending those 100 steps after the show would be a problem. While I pondered that, I noticed the only places to sit (other than on the ground) were stone benches on the lower level. I wanted to sit down, and I wanted to get a better view of the diving, so down the steps I went.

About 10:30, a couple of people with NCL key cards on lanyards around their necks sat down next to me. I didn’t recognize them from the ship, but it was easy to start a conversation. They told me they were told the next show was going to be in twenty minutes! I guess that’s what everybody is told, no matter how soon the next show was actually going to be.

About 10:50, I stood up and made my way to the edge of the viewing area. There were quite a few people waiting and it was clear that not everybody would be able to get next to the edge. I got right next to the 4-foot-tall retaining wall and could see straight down into the water. There were cliffs across the water maybe 100 feet away from my viewing position. It was unclear exactly from where the divers would jump. The cliffs themselves were unimproved on both sides.

At 10:55, two Indian children, approximately 10 years old for the girl and 15 years old for the boy, climbed down the cliffs from our side. I wasn’t sure what they were going to be doing. Perhaps an apprenticeship of sorts? Perhaps there was key information to be passed to the divers? I didn’t know.

Shortly thereafter, four Indian males — ranging in age from perhaps 18 to 30 years old, appeared at the top of the cliffs on the opposite side. Nobody was in a hurry. The whole show could have been over in one minute or less, but what kind of a show would that be?

The first diver threw a plastic sandal into the water which floated on top. I’m not sure what he was checking. It was a rather small area they were diving into — and very likely tides and other factors were important for their safety. The boy swam out and got the sandal. I didn’t see any signals from the kids to the divers. The diver did a nice swan dive and climbed up the rocks on our side. 

One down. Three to go. But once you’ve seen the first dive, you’ve seen them all. They jumped from slightly different places, not all did swan dives, and the last two jumped simultaneously. There were five minutes or so between diver 1 and diver 2, and another five between diver 2 and the at-the-same-time divers 3 and 4. Each diver made his way to the top of the cliff on our side, and the two kids followed them up.

As we climbed the 100 steps to the upper area in order to exit (some of us going much slower than others), others were coming down. Apparently, they heard that the next show will be in twenty minutes! The divers were all standing near the top, holding signs encouraging the viewers to leave a tip if they enjoyed the show. 

There were cabs available for the ride back, but downhill would be much easier than uphill, plus I wanted to stop at one or both pharmacies. So I walked again. The route was simple (go downhill until I reach flat ground and then turn right until I reach the Pacific Ocean. From there I should be able to see the ship. And if somehow I got lost, I had cab fare.)

I’ve been to the other three typical ports on the Mexican Riviera perhaps 10 times each. Shopkeepers and the citizens mostly spoke English fairly well. In Acapulco, not so much. Maybe it’s because cruise ships don’t get down this far very often. Still, with whatever I remembered from 60-years-ago high school Spanish classes and sign language, I got by. In the pharmacy, I typed what I wanted into a cell phone, which translated it into Spanish. I learned an ice bag for Bonnie to nurse her ankle was a “bolsa de hielo.” Not that either pharmacy had one for sale, but at least I learned how to ask for one.

I’m glad I saw the cliff divers. It was a bucket-list sort of thing. I have no need to ever see them again.


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MSG1997 Takes Down Value-Packed PokerStars Mini EPT Monte-Carlo Main Event

MSG1997 Takes Down Value-Packed PokerStars Mini EPT Monte-Carlo Main Event

It was not only the PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) Monte-Carlo festival that wrapped up this weekend but also the Mini EPT Monte-Carlo series that took place online at PokerStars. Like in most festivals, it was the Main Event that was the prime focus of the players, and this Main Event was extra special thanks to the generosity and added extras from PokerStars.

The Mini EPT Monte-Carlo Main Event was already impressive value thanks to PokerStars placing a $40,000 guarantee on the prize pool despite the buy-in being an affordable $5.50. In addition to a chunky guarantee, PokerStars added thousands of dollars worth of Spring Championship Of Online Poker (SCOOP) tickets to the prize pool, plus a package to the upcoming EPT Barcelona Main Event worth €10,200 to the eventual champion. Brazil’s “MSG1997” is that champion.

Mike Watson Becomes Third Player in History to Win Two Live EPT Main Event Titles

Mini EPT Monte Carlo Main Event Final Table Results

Place Player Country Prize
1 MSG1997 Brazil $8,278
2 voltercorwus Ukraine $5,893
3 Teippio Finland $4,201
4 Nizza5 Estonia $2,994
5 devel00per Poland $2,134
6 carloshenr Brazil $1,521
7 DiVine Germany $1,084
8 3leggedmare United Kingdom $773
9 AlexSrg1989 Belarus $551

A bumper crowd of 13,486 entrants meant the guarantee was not only hit but obliterated, and $66,081 in cash was awarded. The top 2,191 finishers saw a return on their $5.50 investment, with those finishing in the top 224 places also banking a SCOOP ticket for their efforts. Those SCOOP tickets ranged from $5.50 in value up to $1,050 for anyone that reached the final table.

Belarus’ “AlexSrg1989” was the first of the nine finalists to bow out and head for the showers; their ninth-place exit came with $551 in prize money plus a $1,050 SCOOP ticket.

“3leggedmare” of the United Kingdom crashed out in eighth for $773, which was the last three-figure sum of the tournament. Of course, they also secured a $1,050 SCOOP ticket, which they can use to try and take down one of the massive Main Events.

What is the Best Way to Play in the 2023 PokerStars SCOOP Main Event?

Seventh place and $1,084 went to “DiVine” before “carloshenr” busted in sixth for $1,521. Then came the untimely demise of “devel00per” of Poland, who reeled in $2,134, then “Nizza5” ran out of steam and had to make do with the $2,994 fourth-place prize.

Heads-up was set when Finnish grinder “Teippio” fell by the wayside in third and collected $4,210. MGS1997 and “voltercorwus” battled one-on-one for the title, and there was a huge disparity in the payouts. Not only was a difference of around $2,400 in the money aspect but the champion also captured a €10,200 package to the EPT Barcelona Main Event in August.

MSG1997 emerged from the clash unscathed and with $8,278 and the aforementioned EPT Barcelona package in tow. The runner-up walked away with $5,893 in cash plus a free shot at the $1,050 SCOOP Main Event.

Mini EPT Monte-Carlo Results

Congratulations to everyone that managed to become a PokerStars Mini EPT Monte-Carlo champion, but especially to “samosisland,” “ktosdes,” and “Pisein31415” who each turned small investments into five-figure hauls.

Event Buy-in Entrants Prize Pool Champion Prize
#1 Progressive KO $11 4,931 $48,323 BluesMan.Ha $2,888
#2 Super High Roller $55 2,888 $144,400 samosisland $20,973
#3 NLHE $1.10 3,181 $3,181 chagas240 $393
#4 Deep Stack $3.30 5,780 $16,993 dennder $2,174
#5 Unlimited Re-Entry $25 3,261 $74,122 ktosdes $10,674
#6 NLHE $2.20 4,838 $9,428 POPOKER1970 $1,354
#7 PLO $2.20 1,867 $3,659 cnola173 $550
#8 Progressive KO $5.50 4,977 $24,387 goodfet $1,858*
#9 Progressive KO $1.10 3,542 $3,542 rgvaz85 $313*
#10 Deep Stack $3.30 4,678 $13,753 IamTABASCO $1,963
#11 Progressive KO $5.50 5,645 $27,660 truechain $2,439*
#12 Heads-Up Total KO $2.20 6,008 $11,775 ZyzzEstoico $751*
#13 H.O.R.S.E. $5.50 681 $3,396 Hariseldo723 $626
#14 High Roller $25 3,770 $85,692 Pisein31415 $12,257
#15 NLHE $1.10 3,046 $3,046 Leoszt66 $441
#16 Deep Stack $2.20 4,653 $9,119 karsten700 $1,007
#17 Shallow Stacks $0.55 3,873 $1,897 Eurenap624 $141
#18 NLHE $1.10 3,200 $3,200 Barthezor $463
#19 Deep Stack $3.30 5,267 $15,484 danielhen29 $1,888
#20 Progressive KO $2.20 4,934 $9,670 garibaldipro $979
#21 Mini Main Event $5.50 13,486 $66,081 MSG1997 $8,278

*includes bounty payments

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PokerStars US Hosting “Ballers and Brawlers” Events in May for Players in NJ/MI & PA

PokerStars US Hosting “Ballers and Brawlers” Events in May for Players in NJ/MI & PA

PokerStars US kicked off the summer in style with May’s Ballers and Brawlers poker series. Ballers and Brawlers bring the familiarity of low, medium, and high-tiered events to a 10-day festival of No Limit Hold’em and Mixed Game events.

The Ballers and Brawlers series will kick off this Friday, May 12, and will run through Monday, May 22. The festival will guarantee $2.5 million in prize pools across Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania player pools with a combined Main Event pool of $250,000.

The schedule features progressive knock-out tournaments along with prestigious high-roller events, whether you are a Baller, Brawler, or both – there’s something for everyone.

The opening weekend gets underway in style with the $100K Baller Special and Brawler Mini Special with a $40K guaranteed. PokerStars US favorites “The Nightly Benjamin” and “The Jackson Jab” have had a B&B makeover as part of the enhanced tournament schedule.

Also featured in the 60+ event schedule are accessible mixed-game Brawler opportunities to play PLO8, Stud Hi/Lo, and more.

Shared Liquidity Highlights

Tournament Buy-in GTD

Pennsylvania Highlights

Tournament Buy-in GTD

Check out the full Ballers and Brawlers schedule in your PokerStars US lobby.

Best Online Poker Sites for US Players

Ballers and Brawlers Spin & Go’s

Special edition Spin & Go tournaments are awarding Ballers and Brawlers Main Event entries and cash.

Find them in the Spin & Go lobby. They’re available for buy-ins of $1 & $10.

Here’s what you could win:

PokerStars US Hosting “Ballers and Brawlers” Events in May for Players in NJ/MI & PA 101

Daily Jackpot Bonus

In addition to the Ballers and Brawlers series, PokerStars players can look forward to another exciting Casino offer throughout the entire month of May.

Thanks to the Daily Casino Bonus Jackpot, there are chances to win every day this month.

Players who opt in and wager $1 every day have a shot at the $5,000 jackpot.

Name Surname
Chad Holloway

Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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Daniel Negreanu Defeats Eric Persson in Round 1 of High Stakes Duel 4 for $100,000

Daniel Negreanu in High Stakes Duel 4

Daniel Negreanu finally got off the schneid. After being swept by Phil Hellmuth in High Stakes Duel 2 two years ago, Negreanu finally captured his first win Monday night, defeating Eric Persson in High Stakes Duel 4, Round 1. For the victory, the Poker Hall of Famer claimed a $100,000 prize pool.

PokerGO had changed the rules for High Stakes Duel 4, making Round 2 a mandatory rematch for double the stakes, but in a congratulatory tweet, Persson said that “due to scheduling conflicts,” he could not continue. Thus, any challenger can now step in to take on Negreanu in Round 2 for a $100,000 buy-in, or a $200,000 total prize pool.

I didn’t really do anything special. I just ran better than he did.”

Negreanu, who wore a padded muscle suit and tank top as an “homage” to Persson, was humble in victory, saying, “I just had all the hands. I had so many big hands, and he never really had much going on. He bluffed me a few times. I didn’t really do anything special. I just ran better than he did.”

According to the show’s new rules, anyone who wins two straight matches is the High Stakes Duel champ, so Negreanu needs just one more. Stakes double every round. High Stakes Duel 3 got all the way up to an $800,000 buy-in late last year; nobody challenged winner Jason Koon to take it up to a $1.6 million buy-in.

The post Daniel Negreanu Defeats Eric Persson in Round 1 of High Stakes Duel 4 for $100,000 appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.

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Daniel Negreanu Wins High Stakes Duel Round 1; Persson Declines Rematch

Daniel Negreanu Wins High Stakes Duel Round 1; Persson Declines Rematch

Daniel Negreanu ended an 0-3 record on PokerGO’s High Stakes Duel by defeating Eric Persson in Round 1 of the heads-up poker competition.

Both players bought in for $50,000 on Monday and were scheduled to return to action on Tuesday night at 5 p.m. PT for a rematch., but Persson declined his option due to “scheduling conflicts.”

For the first time in High Stakes Duel history, Phil Hellmuth wasn’t one of the competitors. The “Poker Brat,” who went 9-2 in 11 matches, lost to Jason Koon in the $1.6 million round of High Stakes Duel III. He declined a rematch and that series of games then concluded, leaving the game open for two new players.

Negreanu Catches Cards Early

Negreanu faced Hellmuth in HSD II in 2021 but lost all three matches for a total loss of $350,000. Things went more his way on Monday against Person, and Lady Luck was on his side.

Both players started with 50,000 chips and the blinds started at 100/200, increasing every 30 minutes. Within the first 20 minutes, Negreanu had picked up pocket aces twice, and flopped top pair in there as well. But he couldn’t get much action in any of those hands.

With both stacks about even, Negreanu raised to 700 with AA and Person called with 88. The flop had two face cards and Persson was forced to fold to a continuation bet. Moments later, Negreanu picked up aces again moments later and three-bet to 2,000 but couldn’t get any action when Person folded suited connectors.

Despite hitting some big hands the first half hour, both players stacks were around the starting amounts. But then it turned around when “DNegs” flopped middle set on a board of 53J and was up against 42 for an open-ended straight draw. Persson bet 3,000 on that draw and received a call.

The turn was the 2 and again Persson bet, this time for 5,000, and was called. When the 4 appeared on the river, both players checked fearing a potential straight or flush, and Negreanu took down an important 18,000-chip pot.

eric persson daniel negreanu

Negreanu would build up a 3-1 chip advantage, but he was facing an opponent who wasn’t just going to lie down and quit. Persson threw out a few bluffs to build up his stack, with varying degrees of success.

In one hand on a board of 7JA77, he bet 5,000 with 43 and was able to talk Negreanu into folding J10. Persson would battle to close the gap, and at one point he nearly evened the match up. However, the rally was short-lived.

Negreanu picked up a 15,000-chip pot with four-high and a missed flush draw on the river when Persson, who had king-high, open-folded from under the gun. PokerGO commentators Nick Schulman and Ali Nejad were confused as to why Persson would just surrender the pot without waiting to see if his opponent would bet the river, especially with the best hand.

On the final hand, with Negreanu holding a 4-1 chip advantage, all the chips went into the middle of the table preflop with Negreanu holding AK and Persson with AQ. The board ran out 107JJ6 and that was the end of the match.

There won’t be a rematch, which means Persson’s seat is now open for Round 2. Whoever ends up taking the seat will be required to pay $100,000 to enter the game.

*Images courtesy of PokerGO.

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Regulators in Seven US States Ask US DOJ to Act Against Offshore Operators

Regulators in Seven US States Ask US DOJ to Act Against Offshore Operators

The following article reflects the knowledge, experience, and well-reasoned opinions of the authors and is not meant to be construed in any way as legal advice. Online gamblers in all US states should consult their state laws or seek legal counsel to determine if online gambling at unlicensed offshore websites or gambling venues licensed by regulators located anywhere but within their domiciled states is a crime or a right to be exercised freely by responsible adults. The same applies to federal gambling laws or any other ancillary issue related to online gambling.

Regulators from seven US states have contacted the United States Department of Justice in an attempt to nudge the DOJ into “doing something” about offshore competition in the online gambling market.

Not Understanding Federal Law?

As is usually the case when such actions occur, the signatories refer to all offshore gambling sites with a broad brush whether purposefully or not – lumping all other operators of gambling into one basket and broadly referring to them as “illegal online gambling sites.

At least that is the implication as state regulators and spokespeople from the American Gaming Association (AGA) consistently leave out any real differentiation among casino sites licensed offshore, illegal sportsbetting sites, and the very small handful of operators that provide services to players in the USA with no known license at all.

Painting every online gambling operator with the same broad brush appears to the informed consumer or observer as disingenuous at best.

The most recent public relations gambit is co-signed by regulators in some of the most financially successful US gambling states including Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, and New Jersey.

Some of the issues addressed in the letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland are some real and unreal dangers the ill-informed assume are associated with gambling online. These include age verification, money laundering concerns, responsible gambling protocol, game fairness, and the lack of each or any state capturing tax revenues.

The letter also states that offshore operators are not subject to any licensing requirements. The vast majority of those points are incorrect and are most likely based on good-faith misunderstandings of how offshore online gambling operators actually operate.

Well over 90% of offshore casinos and most sportsbooks that serve US players are licensed in the jurisdiction of Curacao (formerly known as the Netherland Antilles). Operators are required to verify the identity, age, ownership of financial instruments used to deposit, a player’s address, their subscription to local utilities, and quite often a copy of their bank account statements at a minimum.

Three Decades of Compliance

Operators in the offshore jurisdiction of Curacao have followed essentially the same protocol since the mid-1990s.

These documents cover nearly all of the concerns raised by the regulators including money-laundering concerns.

The over-arching government-sanctioned gambling license issuer makes sure that anti-money laundering concerns are taken care of through international authorities in compliance with an anti-money laundering/counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework that addresses both risk issues.

In a nutshell, what’s known as “document verification” – which is enforced by 99% of all offshore operators as any offshore player knows – addresses all concerns listed except responsible gambling issues and tax collections.

Responsible gambling is only addressed at the most critical level which is gambler self-exclusion. Even there, if an operator refuses to let a gambler self-exclude, they will have their Curacao license revoked. However, there are no auxiliary tools available for players to set deposit or time limits, force breaks at prescribed time intervals, or any of the other things more stringent regulatory regimes such as the Malta Gaming Authority or the British Gambling Commission may require.

That leaves the competition for the gambling dollar and state tax revenues buried in slurs of illegality, and black market accusations.

While this may seem to be counter-intuitive, offshore casinos are actually not illegal at the federal level nor have they ever been in the United States. It is, however, incumbent upon each consumer to check their own state laws to determine if the practice might be legal in their state. If competent legal counsel is indicated, that should be sought.

The Wire Act of 1961

Interstate or Inter-territorial sports betting is illegal in the United States and has been since 1961. While the US DOJ under various administrations has sided with casino moguls such as the late Sheldon Adelson in determining offshore casino gambling to be illegal, the world’s biggest lottery company by gross receipt,s, IGT recently sought and received a declaratory judgment (once and for all) that very specifically informs that The Wire Act only applies to sports betting operations. The act of casino gambling has no federal law to prohibit it.

The sticky wicket in this reality is the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006) which neither creates new gambling laws nor modifies any existing laws as clearly stated in the law itself. It does, however, make most online financial transactions (deposits and withdrawals) illegal and de facto money laundering simply because US financial institutions have been given “guidance” that assumes the Wire Act applies to all interstate or inter-territorial wagers.

However, the very act of providing a gambling service or a US citizen partaking in offshore gambling is not a crime at the federal level by any law this editor has seen in nearly three decades in the industry. so it’s unclear how Attorney General Merrick Garland could be of assistance to state regulators unless he attacks the practice “from the side” and deems them all to be illegal thanks to incorrect guidance from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) which was issued during the Bush administration in 2007 under the false premise that the Wire Act actually applied to anything but sportsbetting.

In the letter to AG Garland, the Executive Director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), Henry Williams states: “In Michigan, strict laws and rules govern internet gaming and sports betting and provide consumer protections, promote confidence and ensure fair and honest gaming. We are willing to help the US Department of Justice in any way we can as it pursues enforcement of US laws against offshore illegal gaming enterprises that take advantage of our citizens.

State regulators like the MGCB ensure operators offer products that pass technical standards and testing, and we also require operators to comply with reporting requirements.

“Offshore operators flaunt state regulations and offer products that do not protect the public, which greatly concerns me and my fellow state regulators,” Williams added.

He continued, “Regulated operators recognize licensing is a privilege that can be taken away, but illegal operators do not face similar consequences for failure to follow laws and maintain integrity.”

Source: Regulators urge DoJ to take action on offshore gambling, iGaming Business, May 5, 2023

The post Regulators in Seven US States Ask US DOJ to Act Against Offshore Operators appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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PN Podcast: Chats w/ Chess Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen & WSOP Champ Ryan Riess



Magnus Carlsen Ryan Riess Joshua Kopp

On the latest PokerNews Podcast episode, Chad Holloway and Jesse Fullen give a final update on the PokerNews Cup on Global Poker, as well as the Matt Berkey vs. Nik Airball grudge match. They also talk about the recent drama involving Doug Polk, Charlie Carrel, and Phil Galfond; highlight winners from the PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo, and a man winning a Ladies Event down in South Florida.

Chad also talks about being down at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown and while there caught up with 2013 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champ Ryan Riess to talk a little about the 10th anniversary of his life-changing win. Laim Gannon also shares a winner interview with Joshua Kopp, who took down the RunGood Poker Series (RGPS) Council Bluffs for $68,799.

Finally, Connor Richards got yet another big-name interview as he chatted with Chess Grandmaster and former world champion Magnus Carlsen, who competed in the EPT Monte Carlo.

No Longer World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen Sets Sights On Poker

Listen to those stories and more on the latest episode of the PokerNews Podcast!

Time Stamps

Tell us who you want to hear from. Let us know what you think of the show — tweet about the podcast using #PNPod, and be sure to follow Chad Holloway, Jesse Fullen, and Connor Richards on Twitter.

Subscribe to the PokerNews Podcast on Apple Podcasts here!

Check Out Past Episodes of the PN Podcast Here!

Name Surname
Chad Holloway

Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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PN Podcast: Guest Patrik Antonius Talks EPT, WSOP & Record Hand Against Eric Persson
PN Podcast: Guest Patrik Antonius Talks EPT, WSOP & Record Hand Against Eric Persson

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Top 10 Most Valuable Michael Jordan Baseball Cards Ever

Top 10 Most Valuable Michael Jordan Baseball Cards

Michael Jordan is an American institution. He is widely regarded as the greatest basketball player of all time, and in case anyone forgot about just how good he was, the 2020 Netflix documentary, The Last Dance, brought MJ back to the forefront of people’s minds.

However, one of the strangest periods in Jordan’s career was when he ditched basketball ahead of the 1993–94 NBA season and tried his hand at baseball instead.

This choice perplexed basketball fans around the globe, but baseball fans, particularly those who collected baseball cards, rejoiced.

In this article, we’ll look at the top 10 most valuable Michael Jordan baseball cards from his stint in Minor League Baseball.

10. 1994 Upper Deck – Next Generation Electric Diamond – Parallel – #8


The card coming in at number 10 on our list of the most valuable Michael Jordan baseball cards ever is a 1994 Upper Deck Next Generation Electric Diamond Parallel #8.

A PSA 10 of this card sold for $898 in May 2020, with PSA 8 currently available on eBay for $250.

9. 1994 Upper Deck – Next Generation Electric Diamond – Base – #8


Number nine on our list is actually the same card as number 10, but the base version rather than parallel.

A PSA 9 of this card has an average sale price of $81.57, but the record price for a PSA 10 was $898.88 in April 2021.

8. 1994 Upper Deck – #19


The average sale price for a PSA 10 of this 1994 Upper Deck #19 is $668.94, which wouldn’t have been close to this top 10 list of rare Michael Jordan baseball cards.

But, in May 2021, a single card of this type was sold for a whopping $932.28.

7. 1991 Ballstreet Hand Cut – #19


The first Ballstreet card on this list is rare, and there has been just one recorded sale of a PSA 10 online, which went for a staggering buy-it-now price of $999.99.

You can pick up an ungraded version on eBay for just $14.99.

6. 1995 Collector’s Choice Special Edition – Gold Signature – #238


This special edition version of the 1995 Collector’s Choice set featured cards with blue, silver, and gold borders.

The silver and gold versions also have Jordan’s facsimile signature, with the gold version naturally being the most valuable.

The record sale price for a PSA 10 of this card was $1,125 in April 2021.

5. 1994 Collector’s Choice – Gold Signature – #661


This Collector’s Choice Michael Jordan baseball card was part of a “Rookie Class” which featured other big names, including Manny Ramirez and Carlos Delgado.

This card had parallel versions that came with Jordan’s facsimile autograph in either gold or silver, and the gold version PSA 10 fetched a massive $1,878 at auction.

4. 1994 Collector’s Choice – Gold Signature – #23


Gold signature baseball cards are a hit with collectors, especially for baseball (or basketball) royalty.

The third card on our list to feature the golden MJ signature, this 1994 Collector’s Choice with Jordan’s famous #23 sold for a record $2,005 at auction in 2021.

3. 1994 Upper Deck SP – Holoview Red – #16


The 1994 SP Holoview Red is number three on our list and sees a huge jump in price from number four.

It’s also the first Michael Jordan White Sox card on this list to be sold for north of $5,000.

A PSA 9 of this card recently sold for just $454.88, but the record paid for a PSA 10 is a massive $6,400.

2. 1990 SCD Baseball Pocket Price Guides – Hand Cut – #51


Number two on our list also sees a massive jump in price, with the highest recorded sale price for a PSA 10 of this card clocking in at nearly $17,000.

Interestingly, this card is the first on our list to record Jordan as a basketball player, which he still was in 1990.

SCD decided to include MJ because, during the NBA off-season of 1989, he joined the White Sox for batting practice.

He impressed, performing well at the plate, and he joined early 90s MLB stars like Cal Ripken Jr. and Darryl Strawberry in the Pocket Price Guide.

1. 1991 Upper Deck – #SP1


The number one most valuable Michael Jordan baseball card ever is another that predates his pro baseball days.

This 1991 card by Upper Deck featured a photo of “His Airness” taking some batting practice ahead of the “Windy City Classic” charity game between the Cubs and White Sox in 1990.

On average, a PSA 10 of this card sells for $650.75. So, why did someone pay nearly $19,000 for one?

Well, the record price for any Michael Jordan baseball card was paid for a rare black label pristine 10 version of this card, so it goes without saying it’s one of the rarest Michael Jordan baseball cards in the world.

Lead Image: Twitter/NinesPsa

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How to Pick Lottery Numbers ✔️ Popular Methods & Useful Tips

Picking Lotto Numbers

There are many reasons for the tremendous popularity of lottery games, starting with the fact that they are extremely fun, easy to play, and generally don’t require a lot of money, so the risk is also fairly low. Now, let’s start with a brief list of the top methods to use when choosing lottery numbers.

List of the Popular Methods for Picking Lotto Numbers

The Best Way to Pick Lottery Numbers

Before moving forward, we should emphasize the fact that lottery games are purely luck-based, and the results are totally random. That being said, every lotto number has an equal chance of being drawn. Therefore, even the best way to pick lottery numbers may not work, but it also won’t hurt, so let’s start with the first method for choosing lottery numbers.

Choose Frequently Drawn Lottery Numbers

One of the more obvious answers to the question of how to pick lottery numbers includes selecting numbers that have a history of being frequently drawn in the specific game you are participating in.

If your favourite game is Mega Millions, what you should do is check the numbers picked at previous draws of the lotto. You can easily do that online. One drawback that we should mention here is the fact that many other players may do the same, meaning an increased chance of having to split the jackpot if these numbers end up being selected.

Pick Lucky Numbers

Now, we all know numbers that, for one reason or another, have been declared as “lucky”. Lucky number 7 is one such example. 3, 9, and 13 are also frequently referred to as “lucky”. When picking lottery numbers, you can use numbers and dates that are “lucky” or particularly significant in your life – e.g., your birthday, a wedding anniversary or alternative major life event.

This is another method that many of us resort to when thinking about how to pick winning lottery numbers. Again, this will give you merely a perceived advantage or edge, as all lotto numbers have an equal chance of being selected. Still, this is as good a way of choosing lottery numbers as any other described in the article.

Choosing Random Lottery Numbers

The next possible strategy you can explore when wondering how to choose winning lottery numbers is to go completely random. Yes, we realise that for some of you, the thought of doing that may cause anxiety but hear us out. We’ve already mentioned a couple of times that the games you can play at the best lottery sites in the UK are luck-based.

Therefore, even if you choose completely random numbers, your chance of potential winnings remains virtually the same. So, leave everything to your intuition in the moment and see how it plays out. Maybe Lady Luck will be on your side, and you will actually get to enjoy a nice prize.

Use the Delta System for Picking Lotto Numbers

If you are not the type to leave everything to luck, then you can use a system for picking lottery numbers. There are quite a few of those out there, but we will discuss the most popular one – the Delta System. This is an actual long-term math equation that is supposed to improve your odds of winning by choosing random lotto numbers. Here is how the Delta System works:

✅ Choose a small number Start by choosing a very low number – e.g., 1, 3, or 5
✅ Pick two numbers between 1 and 8 Select two more lotto numbers between 1 and 8 – e.g., 4 and 6
✅ Select a number close to 8 You can pick 7 or 9, for example
✅ Pick two numbers between 8 and 15 Let’s say you choose 10 and 14
✅ Write the delta numbers in the exact sequence you’ve selected them In our example, this would be 1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, and 14
✅ Add up the selected delta numbers The total of your selected delta lotto numbers should not exceed the highest possible number in the particular
lottery game you are playing. In our example, the total of the selected delta lotto numbers is 47
✅ Rearrange your delta lotto numbers Reorder the selected delta lotto numbers, so that they are not in sequential order. Again, in our example, this
can mean arranging the numbers to be 1, 9, 4, 10, 3, 6, and 14
✅ The first number in the delta lotto system is your first lottery number In the case of our example, this will be the number 1
✅ Determine the second lotto number The second number in your delta lotto system is the total of the first two numbers added together – i.e., 10
✅ Determine the third lottery number This is your second lottery number + your third delta number – i.e., 10 + 4 = 14
✅ Fourth lottery number The fourth lottery number is the total of your third lottery number and the fourth delta number – i.e., 14 + 10
= 24
✅ Fifth lottery number The fifth lottery is the fourth lottery number + the fifth delta number – i.e., 24 + 3 = 27
✅ Sixth lottery number This is the total of the fifth lottery number and the sixth delta number – i.e., 27 + 6 = 33

At first glance, this may look a bit complicated, but let us assure it’s really quite straightforward.
Simply follow the instructions we’ve provided, and you’ll be fine. For some players, this is the best way to pick
lottery numbers as it includes math, meaning it is potentially more reliable than the rest of the methods we’ve included
and described.

Autogenerated Lottery Numbers

For those of you who prefer to make their lives as simple as possible, there is also the option to let the
machine do the work for you
. Most of the best lottery apps and online
lottery sites have this feature. If you have any concerns regarding leaving everything to the machine, fret not. This
gives you equal chances of winning the lottery.

Conclusion & Alternatives for Picking Lottery Numbers

Now, there are many more possible answers to the question of how to pick winning lottery numbers. For instance,
there are players who are into numerology, and they base their lotto numbers selection on that.
Certainly, the biggest lottery winners have used various methods of
choosing their winning numbers.

You can also be creative and think of an entirely different way to pick the numbers. Some even try to
manifest a prize as described in our interesting article about the law of attraction lottery winners. Another helpful post you can
check out is the one including statistics on lottery winners.
Whichever method you decide to use, you still get an equal chance to win.

Frequently Asked Questions

This is the end of our article on how to pick lottery numbers the right way. We’ve discussed five of the most popular
methods used by players worldwide. These include choosing frequently drawn numbers, random numbers, lucky lotto numbers,
and more. Before you leave, make sure to go over the short FAQ section below.

Are there any methods for picking lotto numbers?

Lottery is an extremely popular game of luck available worldwide. Unsurprisingly, you have plenty of options when it comes to methods for choosing lottery numbers. Depending on your personal preferences, you can select the one that works best for you.

What is the best way to pick lottery numbers?

There is no one single best way to pick lottery numbers. Five of the best and most popular methods are selecting random numbers, lucky numbers, frequently drawn numbers, numbers based on the Delta lotto system, and autogenerated numbers. There are also many other alternatives, like, for example, using numerology.

How does the Delta lotto system works?

The Delta lotto system is a long-term math equation thought to improve your odds of winning. You should know, however, that realistically speaking, there is no proof to confirm that this is the case. Regardless of whether you use the Delta lotto system or another method for choosing lottery numbers, you get an equal chance of winning a prize.

Can I use autogenerated lottery numbers?

Yes, you can. The option to choose autogenerated lottery numbers is available at various online lotto sites. This is a convenient way for picking lotto numbers without any effort whatsoever. Essentially, you are letting the machine make the choice for you.

Is there a way to increase your odds of lottery winnings?

Statistically speaking – no, there is no way to increase your odds of winning by using a particular method for selecting your lottery numbers. As per our conclusion, this is not how things work. Still, it won’t hurt to try different options when choosing lottery numbers, even if it is for purely testing purposes.

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Edwin “Hit D’ Heat” Dela Cruz Wins the 2023 Poker Dream Manila Main Event (PHP5,510,000/$99,518)

Edwin "Hit D' Heat" Dela Cruz Wins the 2023 Poker Dream Manila Main Event (PHP5,510,000/$99,518)

The flagship event of the 2023 Poker Dream Manila live poker stop at the Grand Wing Casino at Newport City in Metro Manila has crowned a winner and the golden dragon trophy stays on home soil. Pinoy poker player Edwin “Hit D’ Heat” Dela Cruz entered the nine-handed final table out of a field of 499 entries with the lead and ultimately came out on top of a topsy-turvy heads-up duel with Italy’s Alessandro Taranto.

Both shared the lion’s share of the PHP 28,751,382 ($519,578) prize pool and Dela Cruz scored a third victory on the live poker circuit since February 2023, taking home the top prize of PHP5,510,000 ($99,518). Taranto put in a valiant effort especially considering that he dropped all the way down to just three big blinds in heads-up play and was just one diamond away from securing a miracle comeback victory. However, he ultimately had to settle for a consolation prize of PHP3,460,000 ($62,492).

The final spot on the podium belonged to a veteran poker pro from the Philippines in Terry Gonzaga, while fellow countryman David “Dave Spade” Erquiaga became the first casualty of the day.

2023 Poker Dream Manila Main Event Final Table Results

Rank Winner Country Prize (in PHP) Prize (in USD)
1 Edwin Dela Cruz Philippines 5,510,000 $99,518
2 Alessandro Taranto Italy 3,460,000 $62,492
3 Terry Gonzaga Philippines 2,471,382 $44,636
4 Tor Welo Norway 1,946,000 $35,147
5 Ryan McAllister United States 1,523,000 $27,507
6 William Teoh Malaysia 1,184,000 $21,385
7 Valeriy Pak Belarus 885,000 $15,984
8 Nicola Montalbano Italy 609,000 $10,999
9 David Erquiaga Philippines 499,000 $9,013
Edwin Dela Cruz Wins the 2023 Poker Dream Manila Main Event
Edwin Dela Cruz Wins the 2023 Poker Dream Manila Main Event

The aforementioned Erquiaga has taken the Asia-Pacific live poker scene by storm in the last two years with nine victories and more than half a dozen runner-up finishes. However, he became the first casualty of the final table when his pair of eights and a gutshot was looked up by Taranto with king-jack suited for top pair and top kicker.

The next casualty was Taranto’s countryman Nicola Montalbano, who bowed out in a three-way all-in showdown that propelled Gonzaga right back into contention. Valeriy Pak and the always dangerous William Teoh were the next two to collect their pay checks and Ryan McAllister followed suit in sixth place.

Until then, Dela Cruz was cruising atop the leaderboard but Tor Welo pulled ahead. In a pivotal hand, Dela Cruz then missed a flush draw with eight-six suited but rivered the nut straight and Welo paid off a heavy pot-sized bet in a duel of the chip leaders to shift the momentum back to the pinoy player.

The Norwegian never recovered from that heavy blow and bowed out in fourth place. Heads-up play was reached only a short while later when Gonzaga was dispatched by Taranto and the duel for the trophy started with a small lead for crowd favourite Dela Cruz.

Taranto dominated the early stages to pull even only for a string of hands to cut into his stack. The Italian was with one foot out of the door already when his last three big blinds went into the middle with eight-trey suited. However, the seven-deuce suited of Dela Cruz missed and the comeback commenced. Three double-ups later, Taranto even gained the lead, which then changed several times as both players were on the verge of victory.

After three and a half hours after the elimination of Gonzaga in third place, the champion was then crowned. In a limped pot, Dela Cruz’s ten-six flopped two pair and Taranto’s slow-played pocket queens went down in flames.

Alessandro Taranto
Alessandro Taranto

This concludes the fourth-ever edition of the up-and-coming Poker Dream live poker series, as well as the PokerNews live reporting from the Philippines but the next international poker stops are right around the corner.

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