Category Archives: Poker News

Dealers Win with Automated Poker Gone

Ever since the invention of automated poker machines, dealers have had good reason to fear for their jobs.  And why wouldn’t they since automated poker machines cut the dealer out of the picture and save casinos a bundle on the salaries that they have to pay dealers.  What’s more is that many casinos have started experimenting with automated poker machines to see how well customers will take to them.

The thinking behind this is that casinos can gradually phase these automated poker machines onto the floor and phase out some of the regular tables.  Also, many casinos believe that they can attract a younger generation of players by doing this.  Of course the argument against this is that many people enjoy keeping the dealer, chips, table, and other human players in the equation for the experience.  And it seems that the experience has won out over the automated poker machines in Atlantic City.

Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino became the latest place in AC to realize that automated poker wasn’t winning any of their customers over.  In fact, Trump Plaza has decided to remove every automated poker machine in their establishment and they have no intention of trying this experiment again.

I must admit that I’m quite surprised at the fact that automated poker machines have failed so miserably to the point where casinos are completely removing from the floor.  Obviously this is done to make room for more profitable machines, but I’m still surprised at the move.  I think people believe they also have a much better chance at making money in live poker too so that could’ve been a factor as well.  And the belief that one can actually make money with poker is what keeps people playing in the first place.


Is playing Poker a Good Idea for the Unemployed Right Now?

The amount of Americans that are unemployed right now is at an all-time high since millions of people are without jobs in the US.  Blandino Gines happens to be one of the millions of unemployed people right now, but he has managed to turn his misfortune into an excellent opportunity as he recently won a $20,000 seat in the NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship that will be held in Las Vegas. 

Gines was able to defeat 590,000 other players through a series of poker satellites and qualifiers to earn his seat to the event where over $500,000 in prize money awaits.  And the win has brought great joy to the unemployed San Jose man who has been waiting patiently to secure any kind of job he can.  Now Gines finally has something to cheer about during these tough times as he will be heading to Caesars Palace with a guest very soon.  However, the question must be asked, “Should he have been playing poker in the first place?”

Of course it is Blandino Gines choice on what he will do with his time off of work, but it seems that playing poker might not be the best idea right now.  And I like poker as much as the next person, however, I don’t think you should be playing if you don’t have extra disposable income rolling in to play with.  And this doesn’t just go for Gines either as there are plenty of other unemployed people that are playing poker when they should probably be focusing on other more important things.

Now it is everyone’s dream to make it big playing poker or even just to win an incredible prize package such as the one Gines scored.  But for every Gines that wins something like this, there are thousands of other people that lost money in the satellites and they don’t have a job to back them up.  I definitely fear that there may be some who are spending more money than they can afford to as well.

Poker Room finds way to Greyhound Track

Poker has managed to find its way to many places throughout the world since it is commonly featured on five of the world’s continents.  But one place that you don’t find a whole lot of poker being played at is horse races and greyhound tracks.  However, that trend could change due to a new twist at a greyhound track in Pensacola, Florida.

Realizing the lack of jobs in the area and the fact that there are no new jobs for these people to go to, Escambia Country officials voted 3-2 in favor of allowing a huge poker room to be put at the Pensacola Greyhound Track.  The vote is no doubt controversial since the poker room combined with greyhound betting will create somewhat of a gambling extravaganza in Pensacola.  But it is a move that needed to be made in the eyes of three of the officials involved in the vote.

After all, Pensacola has been hit hard by the loss of jobs just like other parts of the United States and they needed a way to create new ones.  In fact, the amount of jobs at the track had fallen down to just 35 and this ruling will ensure that at least 150 new jobs will be added at the Pensacola Greyhound Track due to the poker room alone.

If adding a poker room at this greyhound track proves to be a success, it could be possible that other places will follow in Escambia County’s footsteps.  The idea of being able to not only play poker, but watch and bet on live races in the same place is very appealing.  I would definitely like to see poker rooms added at some of the tracks in my area too!

Will Phelps Pot Smoking Scandal make Him turn to Poker?

Michael Phelps was once America’s sweetheart after breaking the Olympic record for most gold medals won in a single Olympics.  My how times have changed after he was photographed smoking weed out of a bong at a University of South Caronlina party.  Suddenly, the squeaky clean image had been crafting for the past 4 or 5 years was gone and so is one of his major sponsorship deals.

The Kellogg Company has decided to part ways with Phelps after the damaging photograph was plastered all over the news and Internet.  Now, his other sponsorship deals with companies such as Visa, Subway, Omega, Speedo, and Hilton Hotels are all in question too.  And while he certainly won’t lose all of those deals, he is definitely in danger of losing one or more. 

All this has led people to speculate what Phelps will do for extra money if he does lose any more sponsors.  Some believe that he might turn to his friend Doyle Brunson and become the next star for Doyle’s Room since he has such good ties with the poker legend.  Phelps has already met many of the pros through his poker excursions in the fall and he is a pretty solid player on top of all this.

Obviously, Phelps will still be training for swimming too, but he could definitely fit in some tournaments and promotional events for Doyle’s Room on the side.  And he has said that 2012 will probably be his last Olympics so he’s going to need to build for something after swimming.  Most of his sponsors probably won’t carry him after his Olympic days are done with either so being a major figure for Doyle’s Room would be a great way for him to make money after swimming is done with. 

Steve Martin says Ambien helped Him win at Poker

I certainly wouldn’t advise people to use sleeping medications when they don’t need them.  After all, this stuff can make people really groggy the next morning and, even worse, it can be harmful to your health if you use too much sleep medication.  However, it might be worth a try to use a little Ambien some night after the story I heard Steve Martin recently tell.

The former SNL funny man and movie star appeared on David Letterman to talk about The Pink Panther 2 and other stuff he is working on at the moment.  And during the show, Martin also started talking about online poker which brought up a very interesting story involving him and Ambien.  Steve Martin takes Ambien to help him sleep better and Martin happened to play poker one night before he took his Ambien.  Before he went to sleep, Martin had $500 in his account and, when he woke up the next morning, Martin found that he had $1,500 in his account.

Martin wrote the site he was playing at to find out how the money got there and, much to his surprise, found that the money made its way into his account during the hours he thought he was sleeping.  Apparently, Martin was playing online poker while he was kind of sleeping under the influence of Ambien and had added $1,000 to his account during this time. 

Ambien has been reported in other odd cases where people will do stuff while they’re sleeping such as drive, make food, use their phone, etc. while they’re on this medication.  It looks like you can add playing online poker to the list of things you can do on Ambien now, but I still wouldn’t recommend it for this purpose.  It seems like you could just as easily lose money this way too.

Someone is Finally getting a Clue

Coming out of the same state where a judge ruled that poker is a skill game and should not be considered illegal gambling, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is trying to get video poker machines legalized so that the profits can be used to help pay for students to go to college.  According to Rendell’s plan, video poker machines would be put in various establishments all over the state and the 17,000 machines that currently operate illegally would become scarcer.

If the state approves Rendell’s bill then as much as $7,600 for college money would be generated for each student that comes from a family earning under $100,000 a year.  Right now it is much tougher for students and their families to pay for college since the recession in the US has hit so hard.  An extra $7.6K would certainly go a long way to helping these people pay for school.

Now I now that legal video poker machines isn’t the same thing as poker but, if this bill did go through, then lawmakers might start looking more seriously at legalizing regular poker in the future.  Just like video poker, online and live poker could provide the US government with extra revenue in America instead of having players spend their cash at offshore sites.

This is the first serious attempt I’ve seen at (totally) legalizing anything related to poker in an area where such things are considered illegal.  And I think that this is a great idea since it would give the authorities more time to do meaningful things such as investigating real crimes rather than running around trying to seize video poker machines from bars and other places.  Plus the taxes on these machines would be providing the government with a ton of extra money.

The Introduction of Free Poker Training

Almost every poker player knows about the concept of poker training since there are multiple sites across the Internet offering this service.  Poker training, or coaching, sites have several skilled professional players that teach others winning strategy for the game.  In return for this training, players will pay the site a fee so that they can keep getting more coaching. 

And the whole poker coaching scene has created a mini-industry within poker with lots of people rushing to these sites to learn from the best.  However, things could all change since CardRunners is offering free poker training via the poker room Full Tilt Poker.  Last year, the CardRunners pros signed a deal with Full Tilt where they would represent the room and now Full Tilt has included a deal where people can use their rewards points to get a month of free training at either CardRunners or their newly acquired StoxPoker.

Of course the deal isn’t totally free since players will need to use 2,500 Full Tilt Points to get training from StoxPoker or 4,500 points for training at CardRunners, which is geared towards higher limit players.  But, when you look at how many points everything else costs in the Full Tilt store, this is actually quite a deal.

And with two major poker training websites like CardRunners and StoxPoker offering free poker training via the second largest poker room in the world in Full Tilt, it makes me wonder if other training sites will follow this trend.  I’m sure people will still be paying for poker training services for quite some time, but if the deal that Full Tilt/CardRunners/StoxPoker is offering goes as planned, the other poker coaching sites could set up similar deals with other poker rooms.

Playboy is Out of the Poker World Already

When Playboy Poker opened its doors 3 months ago, it seemed like it would be another successful business venture for company icon Hugh Hefner.  The mixture of Playboy bunnies and poker seemed like a perfect combination since there are so many males who enjoy playing online poker.  Plus I noticed that the site had some very unique offers such as the one where a person could get into exclusive Playboy parties if they had earned enough rewards points (called Bunny Money) from the room. 

I don’t think anyone ever earned enough Bunny Money to get into one of these parties though since no one really had time.  That’s because Playboy Poker has closed up shop already and has decided to end their poker venture far earlier than anyone could have imagined. 

The major reason for the premature closure is that Playboy Poker was primarily focused on the European market since the UGIEA scared them out of allowing US players.  The only problem is that Playboy isn’t really a huge brand name in Europe and so they were bound to struggle by only offering poker to Europeans.  And yes, Playboy is known internationally, but not well enough to open a poker room on another continent. 

Plus, even if a European person was able to earn some of the cool rewards such as entry into a Playboy event they would have to cross an ocean to get there and most wouldn’t be able to communicate with others at the party anyways.

If you ask me, I think Playboy Poker was doomed from the beginning and should have waited a little longer to open.  With Barack Obama in office and more favor being shown towards poker, it seems that legal online poker in America could become a reality.  And I think that Playboy Poker definitely could have succeeded in an American market.

Pennsylvania Court Ruling could make Poker Legal

The game of poker hasn’t had a whole lot of legal victories over the past few years.  The most crushing blow has been the UIGEA which put some severe restrictions on poker in the United States while causing many poker rooms to pull their services from the US.  In addition to the UIGEA, there have also been countless smaller court battles which have sided with the government instead of with poker.

But poker players can finally rejoice now that a case has went the way of the game in Pennsylvania.  That’s because the judge in the case ruled that poker is a game of skill and can’t be classified as gambling under law since it involves the element of skill.  This is a very interesting ruling considering that the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) has been making this same argument since the dawn of time yet they have gotten nowhere with it.

What I’m really wondering is if this ruling will set a precedent where other courts start to make the same determinant about poker since it obviously does involve skill.  After all, how do you explain many of the same players consistently cashing in major events if there isn’t skill involved with poker?  It seems that the judge in this instance asked the same question and answered it with the ruling.

One issue that still has to be answered with regards to poker’s legality is the subject of taxation.  As it stands, poker is a difficult game to keep track of when it comes to taxes since so many rooms are located offshore.  A lot of people who make money with poker can slip under the radar because they’re earning the cash through an avenue which doesn’t send out W-2 forms.  Hopefully, this issue can be solved though so poker can gain some more momentum towards becoming legal.

The Best Damn Poker Show is Back

You won’t have to worry about being able to find poker on TV right now since the game seems to be extremely popular among television executives nowadays.  ESPN is airing the World Series of Poker Europe, the World Poker Tour has kicked off a new season on Fox Sports Net, and High Stakes Poker will be debuting on GSN very soon.  On January 12th, you’ll be able to add another show to the mix when the Best Damn Poker Show airs its second season on Fox Sports Net. 

This show features a really interesting format since Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke teach contestants how to play the game of poker on each episode.  The cool twist is that a person gets booted off of the show each week which really adds a reality show flavor to the Best Damn Poker Show.  And to me, the Best Damn Poker Show is the best there is on TV.

I just think that it’s cool how the contestants and viewing audience are both being taught poker by two of the better pros in today’s game and the entertainment value is also there with people getting kicked off of the show.  Not only is it cool to try and pick up some extra knowledge on poker, but you also become interested in each of the contestants on the show and begin to pull for certain ones while rooting against others.

Now some people might think that the reality show aspect of the Best Damn Poker Show is a little corny and played out, but I really think it adds a lot to the program.  I’m not one for watching shows like The Bachelor, The Ultimate Fighter, Big Brother, The Pick-up Artist etc., however, seeing poker in a reality show format is something that does peak my interest.  Hopefully, the second season of the Best Damn Poker Show is even better than the first!