by George “The Engineer” Epstein
News of U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein’s ruling regarding poker quickly spread across the nation, to the delight of poker enthusiasts.
Specifically, on August 21, the good judge decided that a New York electronics dealer had not violated a federal gambling law by offering Texas hold’em poker games in his warehouse. The judge’s rationale: Unlike roulette or slot machines, poker is not “predominated by chance.” This ruling focused renewed interest on the age-old question: Is poker a game of skill, or chance (luck)? Which predominates?
by David “The Maven” Chicotsky
In a game with only three options: fold, call, or raise— we sometimes find ourselves searching for what to do in any given hand. As the Rush song goes, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” When we’re in the heat of battle at the poker table, we’re forced to make a decision in all situations that arise.
One way to help root out indecision is to add an extra element of analysis to the decision; let’s call it filtering. By continuously adding extra relevant pieces of information to the equation, we have a better chance at coming to the correct solution. Think of it as an imaginary profitability scale inside your head that you move up and down along. This will aid us in our multi-stage estimation efforts. When we add another filter, or relevant piece of information, we’re able to slide up or down that profitability scale.
by Diane McHaffie
In poker, “going on tilt” means playing emotionally and recklessly. The cause is often one or more bad beats. But boredom can also lead to going on tilt, with the same devastating results, if you don’t learn to manage those moments.
Patience is an important element of poker play. But impatience frequently accompanies boredom, which can prompt impulsive action and disastrous outcomes. So, today we’re going to learn about boredom management. Chat. Full-handed poker tables can often prove tedious, but you shouldn’t allow it to affect your play. Yes, many of your decisions will merely be to fold, due to either your position or the disappointing quality of your cards. But, that shouldn’t determine the quality of your play. Good decisions are still a must! Flops will come and go, frequently without your participation. Use that down time wisely.
by Lou Krieger
In this short, three-part series, we’ll examine expected value, or EV. It’s one of poker’s foundations, and it’s difficult to imaging winning at poker without understanding this concept. Good players take it into account whenever they’re faced with a decision at the poker table.
What is Expected Value? Even real poker mavens do not win all the time, which means even poker’s biggest names book losing sessions, just like you and me. If that sounds counterintuitive, consider playing a game or sport for money in which you had no chance to win. If you found yourself in a boxing ring with a top-ranked heavyweight, or were confronting a grandmaster over a chess board, how long would you continue to wager on the outcome of these matches?
by Barbara Connors
Suppose you call to see a flop with suited connectors, let’s say 8-9 of clubs. Of course something like 7c-10c-Jc would be your dream flop, though any kind of made straight or flush would be welcome. But suited connectors are generally looking to flop a draw — four to a flush, an open-ended straight draw, or the everpopular double-belly-buster. Failing that, hitting top pair on a ragged flop would be decent, or hitting trips on a flop like Q-8-8 would be even better. But on this particular occasion the flop comes down Q-9-8 giving you two pair. Bottom two pair.
Bottom two is a funny hand. At first blush, it seems like a strong holding. And maybe it is. But that strength goes handin- hand with incredible vulnerability—made all the worse because two pair is difficult to get away from. This hand can win you a big pot, or it can make your entire stack disappear faster than you can say “counterfeited.” In his classic book, Super/System, Doyle Brunson said he’s gone broke more often with bottom two pair than with any other hand. But assuming that you aren’t facing off against too many opponents, you’re likely to be ahead on the flop. Conventional wisdom says to play bottom two pair fast on the flop, much as you would play top pair with a good kicker. One of the biggest mistakes players make with bottom two pair is to slowplay it on the flop, thinking this hand is some kind of a powerhouse. It’s not. You can’t afford to give lesser hands a free or cheap card to suck out.
by Professor I Nelson Rose
A federal judge in New York shook the gaming world in August 2012 by ruling that poker is predominantly a game of skill and therefore not “gambling” under the federal Illegal Gambling Business Act (“IGBA”).
The editorial headline from the Christian Science Monitor was typical: “Misdeal on Internet poker gambling: A federal court ruling that poker is mainly a game of skill and thus not gambling could steer Congress down the wrong path of approving Internet gaming.”
The opinion is significant. The IGBA was the most important remaining federal statute that could be applied to Internet poker, now that the Department of Justice has limited the Wire Act to sports betting. And any court that wants to declare that poker is predominantly chance will have to deal with Judge Jack B. Weinstein’s detailed 120-page-long opinion.
by Ashley Adams
I used to go up to Maine from time to time on vacation. I really like to fish – and my Dad had a house on a beautiful pond with a very healthy largemouth bass population. It was almost heaven. The only drawback was that there was no poker. I used to have to make do with penny ante family games or, a few times, small stake private games in the area.
That has finally changed, as the state of Maine joins the list of states with legal public poker. They have only one poker room in the state as of now, the Hollywood Casino (formerly Hollywood Slots) in the northern city of Bangor. Another one, to the south in Oxford County, between Portland and the White Mountains, may come online later this year, or in 2013.
by A.C. Clark
The Pacific Northwest is dominated by several major mountain ranges, and is home to lush, extensive forests and scenic views, although known for plentiful rainfall. Located on Fidalgo Island, Anacortes is homeport to the San Juan Islands. The city is conveniently located approximately halfway between Seattle and Vancouver B.C and home of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, which attracts thousands of visitors.
In particular, Swinomish Casino & Lodge provides infinite opportunities to satisfy passions with unparalleled casino action, open 24 hours. Enjoy non-stop gaming excitement that features over 800 of the latest slots, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Pai Gow, Poker, Keno, and Bingo. With 98 guest rooms, the newly-constructed lodge captures breathtaking views of Padilla Bay, Swinomish Channel, San Juan Islands, and Mount Baker. Rooms are furnished to capture the culture and natural beauty of this unique region. Local artwork, luxury bedding, stylish furnishings, and glass-enclosed showers ensure comfort and a pleasurable stay. Greeted with a personal note, this beautiful new resort is an enjoyable and affordable getaway.
by Barbara Rogers
This fall brings more poker action to the East Coast than you could ever hope for!
Some of the biggest news to hit the East Coast comes out of Dover, Delaware, where the ambitious new TV series, PRO POKER CHAMPIONSHIP, will be hosted! There will be 25 days of play, from October 26th to November 19th, including five nationally televised events.
This Halloween, trade your trick for a treat at Seneca Niagara. The Seneca Fall Poker Classic begins on October 29th. The main event will begin on Saturday November 3rd at 11am with a $1000 buy-in plus $80, 60 min. blinds, 30,000 in chips. You can find the entire schedule on page 10 of this issue of Poker Player.
By Barbara Rogers
Designed by renowned experts in coastal architecture, entertainment destinations, and theatrical design, the unique design of Revel Casino is unlike anything you have seen before. It is strikingly gorgeous, fit, in particular, for those willing to do some walking as there is a vast amount of property to explore.
When you are checking in, if you choose to self park, it’s easy. Just drive to the 11th floor, walk a short distance to the registration area where you’ll get your key to one of the incredible guest rooms- each of which has an unbelievable view of the ocean. A touch pad in your room answers your questions. In it’s design, full of remarkable statements from small to huge, Revel rivals Vegas. The SkyGarden with its 72 evergreen trees among plenty of other foliage and four fire pits is something to be seen and experienced high atop Atlantic City.