Until July 2010, there was no legal poker in or near Philadelphia, or anywhere in Pennsylvania for that matter. That’s all changed. There are now many rooms, and I plan on visiting all of them. I began with Harrah’s Chester, located in the small city of Chester, Pennsylvania, about 20 minutes south of Philadelphia. I’m glad I started here. It’s a great, well-run room.
I just got back from a fantastic trip to Spain. I saw Roman era aqueducts and bridges, 11th century mosques, gardens, palaces, and baths, 13th century Sephardic Jewish synagogues, and dozens of impressive cathedrals. I toured great art museums featuring paintings by Dali, Picasso, Miro, and El Greco. I drove on serpentine roads around four different mountain ranges and past beautiful coastal and white hill towns.
My friend was playing in a $2-$4 limit hold’em game at Foxwoods. He played for 12 hours and then called to tell me about a number of hands—asking if he played them correctly.
The results are in. I’ve read every one of your answers to my questions about cheating at poker. One conclusion is inescapable. We poker players are experts at things that are a matter of opinion!
I recently visited all ten Louisiana poker rooms, starting with the southwestern-most, the 28-table room at the Isle of Capri Casino in Lake Charles. It’s the largest poker room in the state, by a couple of tables, in the midst of a resort area on a richly appointed riverboat casino. They spread primarily $4-$8 limit-hold’em and $2-$5 no-limit. A $2-$5 pot-limit Omaha game is spread most of the time. It was just starting when I arrived at 2 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon. I played for a couple of hours at a $4-$8 table and found the action moderate, with a bunch of local Cajuns who spoke French. They were predictable and fairly tight. (www.isleofcapricasinos.com).
I drove from there to Kinder—no more than an hour to the northeast, visiting
Do you cheat at poker? I’ve found that the answer isn’t always clear. The line between cheating and taking advantage of a poker situation without cheating is debatable.
Please take the following quiz. For each situation, simply answer “Yes” if you think it’s cheating, and “No” if you don’t think it’s cheating. I’m interested in your answers. Please email me with your comments or questions on this topic (see my email address below). In my next article I’ll discuss your answers and my answers.
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!