by George “The Engineer” Epstein
Wendeen Eolis’ fascinating feature, “Who Says Poker is Skill?” (March 12 issue) drew me to her primary reference source: The Fordham Intellectual Property, Media, and Entertainment Law Journal article by Bennett M. Liebman, entitled, “Poker Flops Under New York Law” (2006, Vol. 17, Issue 1, Article 1). Liebman thoroughly researched the skill vs. chance legal issues used in defining whether poker should be considered a form of gambling—and hence illegal. Courts have ruled based on varied opinions about the relative importance of skill vs. chance (luck), or whether money is involved. Most Significant: According to Liebman, the “…courts in New York State have always stated that poker is illegal without giving the matter significant analysis or thought. For a century, the New York Courts have stated that card games, such as poker, are games of chance.” Indeed, legal citation after citation, court rulings, etc., go back and forth on the issue—but, in the final analysis, they often agree that, “Poker should not be legal because it involves chance.”
by Diane McHaffie
What is a kicker in hold’em? It’s the smaller of the two cards that you’re holding, if they aren’t a pair. If you’re holding A-10, then the 10 is your kicker. But if the board pairs your ten, then the ace becomes your kicker, which is fantastic, because it will beat—or at least tie—any other pair of tens.
Here comes the tricky part for those new to hold’em. If the board pairs your ace, then the ten is your kicker. Not so good. Why? Well, imagine that another player holds an ace. That hand also pairs the board, but if your opponent’s kicker is a jack, queen, or king, you’re sunk!
By Barbara Rogers
Back so soon? And why not, with the amount of player traffic generated in the big poker room at Parx Casino, another WPT event looks to be a guaranteed hit. And the prize pool is guaranteed to be a big hit too, with $365,000 in pay-outs. The WPT Parx Spring Showdown kick off is April 20, and the event runs through May 2. The Spring Showdown includes 14 tournaments, 6 mega satellites, and a three-day main event that begins Sunday, April 29 at 11 a.m. The main event’s is $1,500 + $100, with a guaranteed pay-out of $200,000. Parx Casino, with its world class poker room, is located in Bensalem, Pa., just minutes north of center city Philadelphia.
by Tom “TIME” Leonard
Recently, I participated in an online forum thread with individuals who shared their favorite hold’em starting hands with the group. These favorite hands were certainly not off any published list that ranks starting hands by positive expected value, where pocket aces are always on top. I bet you know just what I’m referring to, and that you have a favorite hand too, aside from the normal aces, kings, queens, and Big Slick. I can see the smirks from here. Hey, even the godfather of poker, Doyle Brunson, has a piece of junk as his favorite hand, 10-2 of spades.
by Paul 'Dr. Pauly' McGuire
I moved to San Francisco, the epicenter of hipster geekdom, and played in a home game with an eclectic gaggle of tech-savvy poker enthusiasts. The weekly gathering epitomized binge-drinking and cardslinging, but unfortunately, the more intoxicated everyone became, the more the action slowed down. A few bored players killed idle time by playing Zynga Poker on their iPhones.
Zynga Poker became the most popular version of online poker played in America, because of its partnership with the social media behemoth, Facebook. Bored housewives, college students, and cubicle slaves, battled it out on the virtual felt through Zynga Poker, a free app readily available on Facebook.
by Ashley Adams
I regularly drive down to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, one of the largest poker rooms in the world, and one of the nicest, where I usually play $1-$2 no limit hold’em or either $10-$20 or $20-$40 stud.
Two broad categories of players that can be found at Foxwoods, and every other public poker room for that matter, are regulars and tourists. Regulars habituate the same poker room at least a few times every week—if not daily. Everyone else is a tourist.
by David J. Valley
After being faced with a put-up or shut-up situation, Hobby and I succumbed to the idea of marrying our long time girlfriends. It was a weird deal, to say the least, but it goes to show that our ladies have gumption and we needed some serious prodding. It wasn’t a bad thing. We were fortunate to have these exceptional ladies in our lives and our commitment was way overdue.
When Hobby and Sue joined us at breakfast with the news that they were also getting married, it was a time to celebrate. “Hobby, I hope you have some champagne in your wine closet,” I said.
by Lou Krieger
Poker is a zero sum game. If there wasn’t any rake, the money won by players at the table would always equal what others lost. Because of that, poker doesn’t seem like a place where you’d expect to find many win-win opportunities.
by Tricia Tequida
The WSOP is fast approaching and I can hardly wait! I downloaded the schedule the first day it was out and there are 61 events this year! They’ve added a few very fun and exciting new tournaments like antes-only and doubles poker. If you know what events you want to play I suggest making your hotel reservations ASAP. Rooms are not going to get any cheaper and there are still some bargains to be had.
by Barbara Rogers
This is fertile ground for intelligence. Bensalem, PA is where Ben Franklin famously flew his kite. So for an investment of $1,000, this is what you get: A lot smarter, and a lot better, at poker!
The Deepstacks Turbo “1 Day, 1 K” Workshop at Parx Casino on April 28 will give you the power. Taught by Tristan”Cre8tive”Wade, Matt Glantz, Randal “Randallin” Flowers, and Jay “WeHaveAProb” Houston, you will be treated to an eight-hour course by some of the keenest, sharpest minds in the poker.