Online poker site Blue Square and Grosvenor Casinos have announced a UK poker tour for 2007. The Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) takes in ten different locations in England and Wales and features ten £1,000 buy-in No Limit Hold'em tournaments plus a £3,000 buy-in end of year Grand Final. Added prize money of £10,000 plus a seat in the Grand Final is being put into each of the first ten legs, with £50,000 being added to Grand Final, which will take place at the casino group's flagship Victoria casino in London.
After a two month break for Christmas spirit and a New Year hangover to wear off, the European Poker Tour picked up again; starting 2007 in Copenhagen, Denmark. It's normally the coldest stop on the tour and last year a blizzard and sub zero temperatures welcomed the predominantly Scandinavian field to the Casino Copenhagen.
1. A PRESCRIPTION FOR DISASTER: Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. From 1998 until 2005 my primary prescription drug was Mirapex. This drug, used by thousands of patients, can create an obsessive, compulsive need to recklessly gamble (often on the internet) as a side effect. The day before going into the hospital for a life changing operation, I remember playing well into the night and losing several hundred dollars on my last hand. After the operation, I no longer felt a compulsion to play. In fact, I did not play another hand for six months.
A funny thing happened to Vanessa Rousso on her way through law school. She discovered poker.
Not that she was a stranger to the appeal of competitive game playing.
Competition ran in the Rousso genes. Her father is a chess grand master. There was always a lot of backgammon, gin and assorted card games in the household. "We are a very game oriented family," is how the 23-year-old Rousso puts it, but no one else in the family plays poker the way Rousso has come to approach it.
Deadwood was created by gold seekers in 1876. It was made notorious by the gamblers and gunslingers that soon came to mine the miners.
The United States ceded the Black Hills in the Dakota Territory to the Lakota Sioux in the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie. It belonged to the Sioux; anyone else was an illegal alien. Six years later, General George Custer, on an expedition through the Black Hills, reported evidence of gold. When the news got out, the rush was on. It wasn't long before a miner found gold in a narrow canyon known as "Deadwood Gulch".
Over its 37 year history, the World Series of Poker has produced many moments of remarkable drama.
Some of these events have already achieved legendary status. Mark Rogers attempts to catalogue and, ambitiously, rank the top 52 World Series moments in his awkwardly titled book, "52 Greatest Moments World Series of Poker".
Rogers' book is a beautifully bound volume that contains brief descriptions of some of the most remarkable milestones in WSOP history. The layout is well executed and the book is filled with photographs carefully reproduced on high-quality paper.
For the past two and a half years I've been covering the standard 7-card stud game found in casinos and poker rooms in the United States. But stud is played more often as a home game these days. As such, it is often given to many twists and turns. I thought I'd branch out for my next few articles and write about 7-Card Stud the home game. I'd like to look at some of those variations. There's a lot of skill involved that players often don't consider. I had an argument with a budding author a few months back.
A Poker Player reader asked me the odds against having quads twice in a row at Hold'Em, because he did so last month. He had been playing poker for 60 years, he wrote, and it hadn't happened before, so he guessed that it was rare. How rare was it really, he asked. Although Texas Hold'Em is more recent than that, it's still a good question.
There are two ways to make Four of a Kind: you can start with a pocket pair, and then have the other two appear among the community cards; you can start with an unpaired hand, and then have three of either rank appear on the tableau.
I once read that "it is the sign of a noble heart to be well-endowed with patience," patience is the sign of a great poker player as well. You will never see a strong player get desperate; desperation is the enemy of patience, it's the worst emotion on and off the poker table. It always amazes me when a dumped lover gets so desperate that they begin to obsess about their ex-lover the dumper.
In early December, I found myself mired deep into a macabre of a losing streak, stuck over $2K playing online in a two week span playing higher stakes than I normally would. Poker is as fickle as the Northern Lights, but I didn't freak out because I had been playing some of the best poker of my life. I won a tournament and had a couple second place finishes in that span, but even those cashes could not overcome the losses at the cash game tables.