The Terms: Start with $500 and build a substantial poker bankroll over within one year. You may only play live games in casinos and poker rooms; no online or home games.
My conclusion, reported in my last column “Location, Location,” leads me to return to Las Vegas to grind out a living playing poker.
Frank Kassela had a spectacular summer at the 2010 World Series of Poker with two bracelet victories in $2,500 razz and $10,000 7-stud/8. The pro, originally from Germantown, Tennessee, hadn’t garnered significant TV time or won a major event, so he was not a “known pro” in the eyes of the masses. Perhaps that will change after Kassela wins the WSOP Player of the Year (POY) title. At present, he has POY virtually locked up. At the worst, he will tie for first place if Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi wins the main event when the November Nine reconvenes.
A federal judge in New Jersey has issued the most complete and comprehensive judgment ever about whether a compulsive gambler can sue a casino.
The short version of her 10-page-long legal analysis: “No.” Arelia Margarita Taveras, a disbarred lawyer, sued most of the casinos in Atlantic City, as well as many of their owners and employees, alleging that, “the Defendants facilitated Plaintiff’s gambling addiction and induced her to gamble away money belonging to her and others . . .” She pleaded 12 separate causes of action, including negligence, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and violations of the federal racketeering statutes and the Bank Secrecy Act.
Nowadays it’s almost de rigueur to multi-table online, with some players taking on as many as 20 tables at once. But is multi-tabling all that it’s cracked up to be? Is it a surefire path to poker riches, or are we toggling ourselves and our bankrolls into poker oblivion?
We’ve all been exposed to foolish arguments about what percentage of poker is skill versus luck? Frankly, that discussion has no real meaning. It’s a waste of time. More important is to understand that poker skill—proficiency and talent—can help you to get luckier.
We had been at sea for two days on Lazybuns II, Hobby’s new super yacht. The ocean was calm and the food excellent as Patsy Fortuna showed off his culinary skills. We played poker into the wee hours. Besides the crew, and Hobby and I, there were three other male guests: Hank and Barry from Palm Springs, and a late comer, L.A. lawyer, Pete. Sue and Kim, our special lady friends, had plans to meet us in France.
In the last column, we introduced you to the concept of semi-bluffing—a bet with a hand that’s probably not the best one right now, but is a hand that can win if your bet induces your opponent to fold, or stands a good chance of outdrawing any opponents who call. Though semi-bluffs can be quite varied, the most common Semi-bluff by far is to bet the flop with a flush draw or a straight draw. Here are some factoids about semi-bluffing:
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.
If a stable, predictable personal history is important to you, don’t choose poker as a profession. I’m in the mood to reflect on a couple of my life adventures.
Admittedly, my life fascinates me more than you. So, if this isn’t your cup of tea, well, I’ll see you next time and have a nice day. Here’s today’s self-interview.
Question 1: Can you remember the first time you took poker seriously?