Poker in Atlantic City

On a recent trip to New York I decided to take a visit to Atlantic City. It’s less than two and a half hours from New York by Greyhound, even if it’s not the nicest way to travel. I stayed at the Hilton Resort this time, which was cool, but they only had a small poker room and the cash games on offer are a little limited. So I spent most of my time playing at Caesars Palace and the Taj Mahal.

While playing poker at the Taj I was seated next to a Russian guy who couldn’t speak a word of English and didn’t really have a sound grasp of the game either. I only found out later that he was Russian because another Russian joined the table. This guy was involved in practically every hand, and I had him to my right. Happy days! I managed to hit a nice winning streak, including quad jacks, and turned what started off as a losing session into a winning one, with plenty of chips coming from the Russian next to me.

My next venue was the Borgata – which is a superb casino with an excellent card room. It reminds me a little of the Venetian in Las Vegas, my favourite poker room in Sin City. Anyway, I gotta tell you about this hand I was involved in at the Borgata, but don’t worry it’s not a bad beat story! We’re playing $1/$2 NL hold’em and I have JQ off suit. There are 5 players in the hand. The flop comes 289 rainbow and everyone checks. The turn brings the 10, giving me the nuts. Someone makes a medium bet, one player calls, and two fold. I raise it up, then the other guy re-raises, the other caller re-raises, and I also move all in. There is probably about $1200 in the pot that I can win. I suspected that one of the players may have the same hand as me, as he was playing super tight, but would you believe that all three of us had the same hand of JQ! It was a 3 way chop!

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.


Trading Money on Online Poker Accounts

Ever since the UIGEA act was signed into effect in 2006, poker players have had a much tougher time getting their money in and out of accounts.  Not only can United States players not use credit cards to fund their accounts, but the number of online payment options have been reduced as well.  So, with only a handful of options at their disposal to receive and withdrawal money, poker players are forced to find alternative ways to make financial transactions.

One way poker players are doing this is through player to player trades that involve Player A who can’t easily fund their account on one site trading money to Player B on another site.  Once the trade is made on the other site, the Player B will then transfer money on the site where Player A has difficulty doing so.  It may sound a little confusing, but it’s really not that bad.

Unfortunately, this process often involves two people that have never met face to face so it can be risky for those involved – especially the person that makes the first trade.  That’s why it is so important to make sure you take some precautions before making poker account trades with other players. 

The first thing that you should do is exchange contact information with the player whom you are thinking of trading with.  This way you’ll have a way of getting a hold of the person if the exchange doesn’t work out as planned.  And make sure to check out the contact information to see if it is indeed a way to reach the player before proceeding.

Another thing to do is to make the player comes to a table so you can be assured that they do indeed have the money you need.  Once you can verify this then it is much safer to make the transaction since you can contact the player and know they have the money needed.

Never a Cheaper Time for a Poker Trip

With the economy in the shape that it’s in America and the fact that more and more people are being laid off or let go from their jobs, taking a trip is the last thing on many people’s mind – especially if it involves live poker.  In these times, not too many people are up for flying or driving long distances just to play in a poker tournament or ring games.  But the truth is that if you’ve got a job and some extra money then there may never be a better time to go and do this. 

That’s because casinos in major gambling destinations like Las Vegas and Atlantic City are desperate to get people to come to their establishments.  They are so desperate in fact that they are dropping the rates of their hotel rooms to record lows.  Some of the best casinos in Las Vegas are letting people stay in their rooms for as little as $20 to $30.  And you won’t find better deals than this at any point when the economy gets better.

Flights are extremely cheap too since airlines are just as desperate to get people to travel.  Some people are getting round trip flight tickets along with a four or five night stay in places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City for as cheap as $300 or $400.  There has definitely never been a better time to go and schedule a trip to somewhere where you’d like to play in a poker tournament.

Now obviously if you don’t have the extra money you don’t want to be spending a bunch of cash on poker and flights.  However, if you’ve got a job and would really like to play some live poker then now is certainly the time to do it because there’s no telling if deals will ever be this good again. 

South Carolina is Finally lightening up

South Carolina has traditionally been one of the toughest states in America when it comes to poker and gambling.  In fact, this state has had restrictions against gambling in general for over two centuries and has been one of the most reluctant states to change.  However, there could be some light on the horizon since a new bill has been introduced that would allow private poker games and gambling-related fundraisers to take place within the state.

The bill was introduced by Glen McConnel (R-Charleston) and it calls for people to be allowed to have private poker games at their house as long as there is not rake taken plus charity fundraisers where slot machines and sports betting are the only things barred.  McConnel did a good job in pointing out that South Carolina’s ancient anti-gambling laws could be understood to prevent simple board games such as Monopoly from being played and said that the state shouldn’t determine whether or not friends can play poker together.

He also went on to state how effective things like casino night can be in helping churches and other non-profit organizations raise money.  A bill similar to McConnel’s was introduced two years ago, but it never made it out of the committee.

This makes me wonder whether or not the new bill has a chance of succeeding in a state where gambling has been looked at as an evil for 207 years.  However, I definitely think South Carolina needs to take some steps forward in relation to their strict anti-gambling laws and consider passing this bill.

How much Money will Full Tilt get for durrrr Challenge

The Tom Dwan challenge has been going on for a couple of weeks at Full Tilt Poker with him taking on Patrik Antonius in heads-up play.  For those who haven’t heard about this, “durrrr” will be playing Antonius under the condition that Patrik will get to keep $1,500,000 if he wins the challenge while Dwan will only pocket $500,000 if he wins the battle.  And since the two will be playing thousands of hands in $200/$400 Pot Limit Omaha it begs the question of how much money Full Tilt Poker will pull in during this event.

The last day I heard about in the challenge saw Dwan earn almost $135K while Antonius lost a little over $135K in 1,541 hands.  There was a $297 difference between the two players and this went as rake towards Full Tilt.  And this doesn’t seem like a whole lot of money to me since the pair is playing for such high stakes, but I went looking for how much rake the two are expected to generate anyways.

The common answer I found was that Dwan and Antonius will make about $10,000 in rake together.  Once again, when you’re talking about $200/$400 limit, $10,000 does not seem like a whole lot of money.  But you have to put things in a bigger perspective too when thinking about how much money this will generate for the site.

And the bigger picture is that the durrrr challenge will be attracting a whole lot more players to Full Tilt through advertising alone.  Lots of poker players have already heard about this challenge and you can count on some of these people being drawn to Full Tilt as a result.  It should be exciting to see who wins in the end! 


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.

When Poker Tournaments Fail

All of the poker tournaments that we hear about are the successful ones that run without any hitches and pay the winners their money as expected.  We don’t hear about the poker tournaments that went wrong or the ones that were so disorganized that they had to be scrapped.  So if you’ve never heard of a poker tournament such as this then here’s your chance because there was recently a poker tourney that absolutely collapsed out in Las Vegas.

Sludikoff Gaming Inc. in (Las Vegas) was hired by Hall of Fame World Poker Championship LLC to run a poker tournament for them where athletes and celebrities would compete on teams and try to advance to the final round where they would compete for $1 million.  Sludikoff Gaming Inc. was paid $10,000 a month to work on the tournament and get it up and running.

The problem came when the owners of Sludikoff felt they were being taken advantage of by Hall of Fame WPC LLC because they said the company was trying to profit too much off of them without further compensation.  What has ensued since then is an ugly lawsuit where Sludikoff Gaming is seeking extra compensation for the mishap.  Hall of Fame has countersued them in a defamation suit since then.

After this big mess, it definitely appears that the poker tournament will no longer happen and it also appears that these two companies will be locked in a long legal battle.  Luckily, we don’t have to hear about poker tournaments falling apart like this too often and there are plenty other ones for us to play in.

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!

Dealing with Poker Jerks

Whenever I get the chance, I like to play online video games with my Playstation 3.  I would say that the majority of the other players in any game you’ll play are pretty cool and reasonable.  Basically, they’re just on there to relax and have a good time.  Unfortunately, there is also a breed of people that get on these games and act like total assholes doing things like berating others for messing up and bragging about how good they are at the game.  Whether they are good at these games or not, it doesn’t matter because the only reason they play for hours is to fill some giant self-esteem void.

I see the same thing in online poker rooms where most of the people are pretty cool while there is also a minority of losers ruining the game for everyone else.  These are the same players that will hit a straight and criticize those that called them at the river with a middle pair.  Then, they’ll turn around and do the exact same thing as the person they were criticizing before and call that player a “donk”, “fag”, or “idiot” through the message box. 

Now, to deal with this type of player, you could always leave the game and find a friendlier bunch to play with.  But this isn’t any fun and the great thing is that, most of the time, these players aren’t really very good themselves.  Personally, I like to challenge these types by raising them a lot and trying to bait them into focusing about me.  A lot of these types will relentlessly go after you until they’re satisfied that they won a pot from you while forgetting the amount of money they lost to try and “get back at you”.

Sure you’ll lose a few pots to players like this and have to hear about it afterwards.  However, I’ve won a lot more money off of these players than anything and think that challenging them is the best thing to do – as long as you can stand the barrage of text insults thrown your way.