Happy New Year! May 2009 be a good year for you.
We got into a debate on new year’s eve, about the different types of poker, the rules for each game and how to play them. Most people specialize in one or two versions of poker and get to know the intricacies of these games very well. They know the basics of the other poker games, that they don’t play that often, but think they know more than what they really know – hence the debate!
For a very good explanation of the different versions take a look at Poker versions. The site explains how all poker games fall into three main groups: stud poker games (eg. seven card stud), draw poker games (eg. five card draw) and community poker games (eg. Texas Holdem and Omaha). The different guides for each of the games take you through all the steps of learning more about the game.
I think they have gone to a lot of trouble to explain the different games. Their emphasis is on Texas Holdem, but heh, thats what they are – a Texas Holdem Portal – written by poker professionals. There is a lot of useful information, even I picked up some new poker tips.
So maybe something good came from all the discussion and debate, over the poker table, late at night… or should I rather say early in the morning… early at the very start of a new year.
I wish you a wonderful year ahead, enjoy developing your poker knowledge!
I trust that you have had a good Christmas. Well maybe mine has been a little too good! I’ve put on a few kilos from all the over-indulgence over the holidays, so I guess my January will have to include some trips to the gym. Damn thats only going to get in the way of my poker playing!
For many, this is the time of year to look back, to reflect on what has happened and to think about what you want to happen in the new year. In order to set our goals it is important to look inwardly at what we want to achieve, our experiences through the year, what we have learned, what we could have done better and perhaps what we would like to change.
It is also important to set achievable time limits to our goals, for example: by June I want to have finished in the top ten in a poker tournament… If we don’t put time limits, then we keep allowing more and more time to complete it, or we keep putting it off. Perhaps that is why we put so much emphasis on goal setting at the beginning of a new year, because it is the start of a new calendar. Or maybe its just a good time to wipe-off the old goals we didn’t get to…
And note, I said achievable goals. All too often we set crazy ”new year’s resolutions” that we can’t achieve and by the end of January we have given up ever trying to accomplish the goal. Know the feeling?
Break-up one big goal into many smaller goals. By setting many smaller, achievable goals, you will feel much better achieving these goals and will become more focused on your goals. By achieving all the small steps you will get to the big one. Bite size chunks!
One of my goals for 2009 is to keep my blog up-to-date and to keep you informed. So watch this space!
I have decided to start blogging again. I miss sharing my thoughts on poker with you guys. Lately I’ve been playing lots of poker online and the urge to write about and discuss poker has increased.
A few years ago some people feared that online poker would peak and then slowly decrease in popularity. Maybe the influx of new players has slowed down, but the online poker action is as good as it ever was in my opinion. I play on several sites at the moment; my favorites are Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker. There are always plenty of good games at the mid stakes levels where I play and I see no evidence that this will change anytime soon.
Follow my blog to read about everything regarding poker – especially online poker with a focus on holdem. But I’ll also write about tournaments and lots of other stuff concerning this wonderful game.
The World Series of Poker is at full swing and we are already at event eleven. It’s hard to keep interest up with so many events going on – I mean, what does a WSOP bracelet mean these days when there are at least 55 of them up for grabs. I am still waiting for the big ones like the $50,000 HORSE Event and the (in)famous Main Event. But things are already getting interesting with the controversy between Tony G and the Schulman family.
CardPlayer lost to Bluff
The Schulmans are the main owners of CardPlayer magazine and used to be the ones providing live coverage from the WSOP, but not this year. The exclusive rights to provide the live coverage, including the chip counts, this year went to Bluff Magazine. They in turn sold the rights to provide live chip counts and updates to PokerNews.com where Tony G is one of the main owners – and this is where it is getting interesting.
Tony G goes ballistic
I can imagine that it is quite costly to buy the rights for the chip counts from Bluff and then have a 40 person staff running around the tables counting chips. And it is understandable that you would go ballistic (especially if you are Tony G) if someone uses that information on their own site as soon as you make it available, which is in fact what CardPlayer seems to have done.
Tony G could off course not stand for this and he wrote a threatening statement in his blog where he talks about how he is from the streets and would not stand for anyone stealing from him, yada, yada, yada. But the question is, is providing chip counts that are made available on the internet stealing? Probably not.
You can’t own public information
NBA recently lost an interesting case against Motorola. Motorola developed a delivery system for real-time statistical updates of NBA games and was sued by NBA for doing this without authorization from the league. The district court in New York ruled in Motorola’s favor and stated that: “federal copyright statute forbids ownership of purely factual data”. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t see any difference between this and what CardPlayer is doing and it will be really interesting to see how the issue will develop.
Well, well what do you know. While I was writing this text Tony G put up another post on his blog. It says that CardPlayer has agreed to stop posting PokerNews chip counts’ and follow the WSOP guidelines for media reporting from the events. The two parties are supposed to meat in Vegas in about two weeks to discuss the matter.
It is too early to say what will happen now. But I will definitely keep you posted.
No matter if you are going to Vegas or not; keep your head cool and good luck at the tables!
If I ever read another poker article or blog about poker and the good life, or about what poker pros do with their winnings, it will be too soon. I love poker, but I don’t give a heck about what poker players do with their money.
I mean, I am not making millions, but earn a good enough living. It’s no coincidence that you never read about what car I drive or the brand of my watch in this blog. My interest is mainly in poker, if you want to read about the other stuff, read a lifestyle magazine or a fashion blog.
I admire Paul Wasicka as a poker player, but I don’t want to read about which new car he is thinking of buying – the topic of his latest blog at Bluff magazine. And I not interested in young Scandinavian poker pros writing about renting houses in the most expensive areas of California in their blogs. Why you wonder? Because I have a life and couldn’t care less if Paul Wasicka drives a Lexus or a BMW. So please Paul and all you other blogging poker pros, write about interesting stuff like how you play middle pair heads up or how to handle large swings in Omaha and leave the other stuff to the glossy magazines.
And for the ones of you that don’t agree with me I only have one piece of advice: log off, walk outside and start enjoying your own life.
Over and out,
Mike G, who usually takes a cab.
If you are a poker book buff like me, you definitely want to be at Binion’s in Las Vegas in the end of the month.
On Sunday, January 21, the first annual Poker Author Challenge is taking place at Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas. Imaging going head to head with your favorite poker writer and try out all the things you have learned by the hours spent deciphering his or her latest work. The tournament is presented by Lou Krieger and Sheree Bykofsky and their newest release, the much talked about “The Rules of Poker”.
There will be bounties on all the participating writers – and the list is pretty impressive: Lou Krieger, Gary Carson, George Epstein, Susie Isaacs, Russ Fox, Tony Guerrera, Maryann Morrison, Alan Schoonmaker, Neil Myers, Sheree Bykofsky, Richard Sparks, Kathleen Watterson and John Vorhaus among others. So take the chance and beat the one you like the most (least) and get rewarded for it!
There is only one writer I miss – I would really like to knock out David Sklansky.
Read my book reviews here
Are you dreaming about playing in the World Series of Poker next year? Maybe you are hoping to win a satellite at PokerStars or one of the other large poker rooms sending numerous of players to the WSOP. Well it looks like those days are over.
Harrah’s, the company running the World Series, has announced that it will not accept third party registration any more. This means that poker rooms will not be able to arrange tournaments with buy-ins to the WSOP as prices. The reason for this – yes you guessed it – the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). 2006 almost 9,000 players entered the WSOP Main Event, but this number is believed to decrease considerable in 2007. So is this the end of the WSOP-satellites, you ask. I don’t think so; I am an optimist and believe that the UIGEA is only a temporary set back for online gambling. You can’t regulate the Internet, people will always find a way to overcome obstacles in order to do the things they like. When it comes to the satellites there is nothing stopping the poker rooms from awarding WSOP buy-ins and let the winners themselves use them to enter the event and in that way eliminate the third party. I don’t believe that the WSOP attendance will decrease that much.
Maybe I should bet on it I read that some betting sites offer as much as 33-1 odds on there being as many registrants next year as it was 2006.
Read more about gambling in the U.S: here.
As I wrote in my last post the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) does not change that much really. It is still legal to play online poker in the U.S. (except in states like Washington that are passing their own bills making online gambling unlawful). The sad thing is that some online poker rooms have decided to suspend American players.
I can’t really see why they do this and hope that most of them will change their mind soon. But all news from the world of online poker are not bad. PokerStars recently announced that they plan to stay at the American market, which to me is very good news indeed. This is one of my favorite sites (read my review here) and the fact that they choose to stay in the U.S. gives me hope for the future. When the biggest online poker room in the world decides to continue to stay open for Americans, after the passing of the new law, some of the sites that don’t will probably reconsider. So my fellow poker players the future is looking bright. The law makers haven’t managed to take away our favorite pastime this time either.
Well I have to go, time to log on and play some poker. Over and out.
The times are hard for us U.S. online gamblers these days. The lawmakers are doing there best trying to stop us from enjoying our favorite hobby, but rest assure, they won’t manage to do it this time either.
September 30th was a sad day, it was the day when the U.S. Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). The act was attached to a bill to increase port security (HR4954). The aim of UIGEA is to make it unlawful for U.S. banks to transfer funds to offshore gambling sites, but it does not change the legal status of online poker and other forms of gambling in the U.S. UIGEA says that it is forbidden for financial institutions to transfer funds used to make “illegal” bets, but it does not state what an illegal bet is.
The debate of the legality of online poker and online gambling in the U.S. has been fierce and the question is how the 1961 Wire act shall be interpreted. The old law makes it illegal to place to place bets over a telegraph wire, but this was long before the Internet. Neither online poker nor online casino gambling has ever been condemned as illegal in a court of law in the U.S. Americans can still enjoy a game of online poker without breaking the law, and the new law does not change that. Unfortunately some poker rooms have decided to temporarily suspend Americans from playing, but I am sure that this will change once the worst commotion has settled down.
Check out this excellent Card Player article if you want to know more about the new law. One thing is sure though, we can still enjoy online poker! Have a look at my list, here you will find the best poker rooms for American players.
The online casino and poker room Golden Palace is always looking for new ways to promote themselves. I mean they have paid a woman to tattoo their logo on her forehead, bought a car belonging to the old pope, and William Shatner’s kidney stones, among many, many other things. Read more about their doings here. The latest publicity stunt involves German b-movie director Uwe Boll.
Boll is constantly slaughtered by the critics when he releases a new movie. But he has decided to get back at his critics by kicking their asses. September 23 Boll enters the ring in Vancouver, facing four of his fiercest critics. He will also fight a Spanish movie critic in Malaga, Spain, but the date is not set yet. Will Boll get back at his antagonists? I will keep you posted.