An Editorial By Stanley R. Sludikoff, Publisher
As many people know, I spent over 30 years in the United States Army Reserve, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. For roughly 50 years I have been a life member of the Reserve Officers Association. I keep up with military matters through publications sent to me by that organization. In a recent newsletter, an article revealed that the Command Surgeon for the US Army Central Command (includes Iraq and Afghanistan), Colonel Erin Edgar, along with researcher Doctor Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, have recommended that Energy Drinks be banned from sale from Army and Air Force installation stores, where they are currently the top selling cold beverages.
by George “The Engineer” Epstein
The late poker guru Lou Krieger recently wrote an informative three-part column on Expected Value, “EV,” applied to drawing hands in Texas hold’em. This concept derives from probability mathematics to describe the long-term average outcome of a given scenario. To calculate Expected Value, take every possible outcome, multiply each by the probability of that outcome happening, and then add those numbers together. As an example, Lou calculated the EV where you hold four-to-the-nut flush on the turn. This involves the odds against catching the flush on the river (4-to-1 against); how much you lose if you call and miss (as will happen about 80% of the time), and how much you could win (about 20% of the time). The result determines whether the situation provides a positive or a negative Expected Value. Then call with +EV; fold with -EV.
By Wendeen H. Eolis
The history of Internet-based poker forums is as instructive as it is colorful, from its raw roots in the late 1980’s at a forum dominated by zealous blackjack counters and systematic craps players to the latest debates by legal experts fueled by Howard Lederer’s storytelling about the rise and fall of his Full Tilt Poker site in interviews and follow-up full of fanfare.
Poker Forums: The world at large!
Today the lives and lifestyle of poker players and poker businesses are chronicled and dissected. They are subjected to all manner of online scrutiny, chatter, and commentary to the delight and chagrin of the industry’s inhabitants, part-time warriors, devoted enthusiasts, dedicated personnel and visionary entrepreneurs--around the world.
by Russ Fox
The end of one year and the start of a new year is always a time for reflecting back at the year that was and looking forward to the year that begins. Everyone should do this periodically; this is especially true for poker players.
I did not have a particularly profitable year playing poker. Indeed, adding up my wins and losses from my log, I found I won a grand total of $4. I won’t bore you with the hourly rate; suffice to say, it’s not pretty. So why didn’t I reach my goals (and what I thought I should win)?
In checking my results across games, I found I won all my money in cash games, and broke exactly dead even in tournaments. I can exclude winning in cash games and losing the profits in tournaments (or vice versa).
There were a number of outside changes in my life in 2012. I relocated from Orange County, California to Las Vegas. The games in Las Vegas have a far different feel than the games in Los Angeles. Perhaps it took me some time to adjust to the games?
by Tom McEvoy
2012 was quite a year for the poker world. The greatest scandal in poker history occurred when the owners of Full Tilt not only had their site shut down, but made no effort to repay their customers, and (except for Ray Bitar) avoided criminal charges—so far. They all belong in a jail cell as far as I am concerned. On a much happier note, PokerStars, the true hero of online poker, took over ownership of Full Tilt and immediately promised to repay all their customers worldwide. The only thing slowing things down for the U.S. customers is the turtle like pace of our justice department in permitting people to reclaim their money. This is the government’s fault, not the fault of PokerStars.
By Stanley R. Sludikoff
We first met Lou in Costa Rica. We had both been invited down by Casino Europa to a large tournament they had scheduled. During a break in play, while most of the players opted for jungle tours, Lou asked to join in on a San Jose city tour, led by a marketing department executive. We became great friends by the time the tour was over. Later, I invited Lou to become Editor of Poker Player newspaper, where he served for many years. We had communicated with him often when we heard of his illness. I had scheduled Lou for a Senior Editor position in our new electronic publishing venture, but his reluctance to make a commitment set off dire warnings to me. I knew all was not well, although Lou was very positive right to the end. My family and I, Poker Player newspaper, our staff, and, I am sure, our thousands of readers will miss his wisdom and advice. This issue contains the last column written by Lou. Below you will find just a few of the brief comments from some of our key writers and close friends of Lou.
by George “The Engineer” Epstein
Reading the current (Dec. 3, 2012 [read the PDF]) issue of Poker Player Newspaper (PPN), I thought, “there is so much great info for poker players packed into 20 big pages.” Wendeen Eolis provides a timely review of the conflict between the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. online poker world. The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) has been unable to get the DOJ to return the players’ funds held by Full Tilt Poker. Suggestion: With millions of voters playing poker, perhaps the PPA could take advantage of this asset— use its “edge.”
Mike Caro’s advice for winning at poker is always top notch. In this issue, he focuses on “Choice.” Choose your opponents so that you are more skillful than they are. The greater the skill gap, the better. Avoid tables with stronger players. Sound advice, except I don’t agree that I should “try to master several forms of poker.” As I teach my poker classes, it is best to specialize in one variety of poker so you can become the most skilled at that game—rather than a “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
by Lou Krieger
This is the second and final segment in our two-part series on poker etiquette. [Read Part 1]
Discussing hands in play. Discussing your hand with others, even if you have released it and are no longer contesting that pot, may provide information that would give another player an unfair advantage. If you want to discuss a hand with a neighbor, wait until the hand is concluded.
by Lou Krieger
Poker has its own little rituals and unwritten rules that smooth the game, speed it up, and eliminate confusion. It’s all part of “poker etiquette,” and while this etiquette won’t do much for you if you’re invited to take tea with the queen, it will get you through a poker game without any disruptions. Understanding poker etiquette and procedures gives beginning players a lot of problems, simply because it’s all new and the game is played at a rapid pace.
Act in turn. Each player is expected to act in turn as play proceeds clockwise around the table. If someone bets and you plan to discard your hand, wait until it is your turn to act before doing so. Acting out of turn gives your opponents a big advantage. Knowing you will fold makes it easier for an opponent to bluff, and is unfair to the rest of the players. In poker, as in most things, it’s considered polite to wait your turn.
by Tom McEvoy
Mental attitude is everything. There’s an old saying: “Quitters never win, and winners never quit.” Where poker tournaments are concerned, this is especially true. I will give you an example of a quitter.