Live Events 1

Railbird Report: Dan Cates Doesn't Think Online Poker is Dead

Dan Cates

Talks about bots in online poker go back to the early days. But where bots were hardly an issue when online poker got started since combatting their simple tactics was relatively easy, it's a bigger issue today and might be an even bigger problem to solve in the near future. Just this week, poker bot Libratus won an award for best use of AI after beating a team of poker pros in no limit hold'em heads up.

Dan Cates, talking to the team behind Paul Phua Poker, shares his thoughts on the subject in the following video. He isn't all too worried, explaining how people are still playing suboptimally even though there's enough knowledge out there to improve drastically.

Cates doesn't seem to realize that people learning from bots isn't the most threatening thing about their existence. Because, while people might not improve enough live, the bots themselves are still a threat when they play online — and the rest of the poker players online have to rely on bot detection and protection by the online poker rooms.

Catching Up on High Stakes Action: Three Biggest Pots Online

Cates still plays online regularly, but was no participant in the biggest hands this week, nor has he been one of the players in the Top 10 of biggest winners or losers this year so far. He's currently down $362,592 for the year on PokerStars, but won over a million dollars live at the beginning of the year finishing third in the Triton Super High Roller Series in Manila.

All three of the biggest pots this week came from a session between "RaúlGonzalez" and "JayP-AA". The former came out as the winner of that match up.

1) "RaúlGonzalez" Wins a $80,080 Pot (400 Big Blinds) from "JayP-AA"
($100/$200 PLO Heads Up)

"JayP-AA" opened the button for $680. His opponent, "RaúlGonzalez" in the big blind, three-bet to $2,120. "JayP-AA" followed up with a four-bet to $6,440. That wasn't the end of the action, though, as "RaúlGonzalez" made it $19,400. "JayP-AA" called.

With a massive $38,960 already in the middle, the two of them checked on the {k-Diamonds}{k-Hearts}{a-Diamonds} flop and the {3-Hearts} on the turn as well.

With the {9-Diamonds} completing the board, "RaúlGonzalez" checked for the third time. "JayP-AA" bet a hefty $20,560 and "RaúlGonzalez" called.

"JayP-AA" showed {8-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds}{10-Spades}{k-Spades} for a flush with a blocker. The pot, however, went to "RaúlGonzalez" who tabled {4-Diamonds}{j-Diamonds}{6-Spades}{j-Spades} for a higher flush in a 400-big blind pot on a paired board.

Railbird Report: Dan Cates Doesn't Think Online Poker is Dead 101
Click for replay via HighStakesDB

2) "JayP-AA" Wins a $80,080 Pot (400 Big Blinds) from "RaúlGonzalez"
($100/$200 PLO Heads Up)

Again, "JayP-AA" and "RaúlGonzalez" played a big pot. After a series of raises, the two got their chips in before the flop. "RaúlGonzalez" opened to $680, "JayP-AA" three-bet to $2,120 and "RaúlGonzalez" four-bet to $6,440. Then, "JayP-AA" five-bet to $19,400 and called "RaúlGonzalez"'s six-bet shove for $39,960 total.

"JayP-AA"{3-Hearts}{5-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{2-Hearts}41%(0.78% chop)
"RaúlGonzalez"{4-Spades}{q-Diamonds}{q-Hearts}{5-Clubs}58.22%(0.78% chop)

"RaúlGonzalez" was the favorite going in, but the board would not favor him/her as it came {j-Spades}{10-Clubs}{8-Spades}{3-Diamonds}{5-Spades}, giving "JayP-AA" runner-runner two pair and the full pot.

Railbird Report: Dan Cates Doesn't Think Online Poker is Dead 102
Click for replay via HighStakesDB

3) "RaúlGonzalez" Wins a $80,080 Pot (400 Big Blinds) from "JayP-AA"
($100/$200 PLO Heads Up)

Wouldn't you know it, the two of them got $40,000 each in once more. This time, "RaúlGonzalez" opened for $680. Again, "JayP-AA" three-bet to $2,120, "RaúlGonzalez" four-bet to $6,440, and "JayP-AA" five-bet to $19,400.

After "RaúlGonzalez" called, the flop of {q-Hearts}{a-Clubs}{10-Diamonds} saw both players check. On the {j-Hearts} turn, "JayP-AA" bet $20,560. "RaúlGonzalez" called to see the pot grow to $80,080.

Both of them checked when the board paired with the {q-Diamonds} on the river. "JayP-AA" tabled {k-Diamonds}{9-Hearts}{7-Hearts}{8-Clubs} for a king-high straight with a blocker to broadway. "RaúlGonzalez" showed {a-Diamonds}{2-Hearts}{k-Hearts}{10-Spades} for the higher straight and took down the pot.

Railbird Report: Dan Cates Doesn't Think Online Poker is Dead 103
Click for replay via HighStakesDB

This Week's Online High-Stakes Biggest Winners and Losers

 (user)namehandsprofit/loss 11/09-11/16profit/loss 2017profit/loss all time
 Winning Players    
2BERRI SWEET3,169+$72,260+$1,511,117+$2,072,036
4Alexander "joiso" Kostritsyn560+$45,070-$385,380+$4,034,219
9Jordi "prot0" Urlings667+$23,043+$508,020+$435,911
10Liviu "0Human0" Ignat891+$22,860+$1,455+$225,163
 Losing Players    
1Viktor "Isildur1" Blom1,014-$174,706+$1,135,804+$2,646,975
2Luke "Bit2Easy" Reeves2,545-$48,916+$23,967+$73,644
3Gavin "gavz101" Cochrane2,536-$45,766+$59,003+$495,213
4Laszlo "omaha4rollz" Bujtas1,056-$27,510-$149,337+$114,277
5Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro673-$27,081-$1,249,136-$1,952,299
7Jens "Fresh_oO_D" Lakemeier675-$24,313+$10,212-$350,673

The 2017 Leaderboard

Viktor "Isildur1" Blom has exited the Top 3 of biggest winners online in 2017. After dropping again this week, he now sits in fourth, still up $1,135,804 for the year. In his place, Carlo "Ravenswood13" van Ravenswoud has entered the Top 3. The Dutchman, living in Malta, is up $1,163,065 for the year.

The Top 3 of biggest losing players has been unaltered and still consists of Kelopuro, Stern and "8superpoker".

 (user)namehands 2017profit/loss 2017profit/loss per hand 2017profit/loss all time↑/↓most played game 2017
 Winning Players      
1Timofey "Trueteller" Kuznetsov53,050+$1,627,768+$30.68+$3,518,534PLO
2BERRI SWEET44,901+$1,511,117+$31.28+$2,072,036PLO
3Carlo "Ravenswood13" van Ravenswoud48,668+$1,163,065$23.89+$380,786PLO
 Losing Players      
1Sami "Lrslzk" Kelopuro53,987-$1,249,136-$23.13-$1,952,299PLO
2Dani "supernova9" Stern10,039-$777,373-$77.43-$1,439,781-PLO

The above top winning and losing players in online poker for 2017 only takes PokerStars accounts into consideration. All public data courtesy of If you want to opt out of being listed in this PokerNews update on the high-stakes action, send an email with your username to [email protected]

The Stars Group is a majority shareholder in iBus Media

  • "Even though solutions come out, people are going to not play perfect." [email protected]

  • "RaúlGonzalez" was the biggest winner and Viktor "Isildur1" Blom the biggest loser online this week

More Stories

Other Stories

Recommended for you

Tilly, Boatman Preview 'Short Stories of Long Nights at the Poker Table' Tilly, Boatman Preview 'Short Stories of Long Nights at the Poker Table'