I may have played in more poker rooms than anyone else in the world; it's more than 200 at last count. My family isn't sure if that's a good think or a bad thing. But it has given me perspective on what makes a good room. My friend and poker buddy Andrei has asked me for my thoughts on the subject. And so I'll share them with you here.
Here are my top ten criteria for a good room.
When might it make sense for you to quit your job and play poker full time for a living? I'm asked that from time to time by players who have won some money and think that they might be ready make the switch from playing poker as a hobby to playing poker for a living.
I'll share with you a typical example of that, from someone I met at Foxwoods who was thinking of quitting his day job. I've found it's typical of many who ask me about turning pro.
I recently returned from a driving trip through the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina. They are a sight to behold-the low clouds resembling puffs of smoke, set against a backdrop of cliffs and trees. The vistas were made even more scenic by a heavy snow that had fallen the day prior to my drive.
I worked as a union organizer in West Virginia from 1983 until 1988, and in many respects, not much has changed in the 25 years or so since I first visited. West Virginia is still largely impoverished, still beautiful, and I still stick out like a sore thumb!
[Editor's Note: The initial article in this series appeared in our November 9, 2009 issue. Regretfully, we lost track of the concluding segment until now. If you would like to, revisit... part one]
In the first installment of my "Deal or No Deal" series, I introduced some of the questions about whether a tournament deal is inherently fair or unfair. In this, the second part of that article, I'll attempt to answer those questions.
I just finished a wonderful weekend of poker fun at FARGO, a poker players' convention of sorts that convenes annually at Foxwoods. (There are similar "ARGE" events in many parts of the country such as BARGE in Las Vegas and ATLARGE in Atlantic City.) The events combine eating, socializing, poker tournaments, and general poker reverie.
You've heard the 1980s hit by the Clash, "Should I stay or should I go?" It's not a great song, but it poses a great question for the poker player. When should you leave the game? Understanding the answer to this question is a major factor in determining whether a player is a long term winner or a loser for life.
Many players and writers have a gambler's approach to the question. It goes something like this.
Minneapolis and the surrounding area are known for many things: lakes, butter, the Twins, Vikings, Scandinavians, and for the politically inclined, Hubert Humphrey and the Farmer Labor Party. It is not generally known as a poker hub. That may all be about to change.
We poker players can usually think of many reasons for performing poorly. I find it instructive to look at many of these excuses for losing, and understand the sometimes humorous, if tortured logic, that justifies them. Even if this list doesn't help with your game-although it should-it will help you explain away your losses to people who have no business knowing about them anyway.
I flew to Las Vegas and entered the World Series of Poker in pursuit of poker glory. I left utterly defeated, literally sick and tired of poker. Here's the story.
I arrived in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 27, scheduled to play in the WSOP's $1,500 7-stud/8 event the following evening. I planned to stay two weeks and play in card rooms around the city. I knew that stud cash games were virtually extinct in Las Vegas. So I was looking forward to working on my no-limit hold 'em.