An editorial by Stanley R. Sludikoff, Poker Player Newspaper Editor/Publisher
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. —Georges Santayana
Thanks to a very slow moving US Attorney, we are still in the midst of a major poker industry scandal. Do you remember how electronic cheating was found on the now bankrupt Ultimate Bet/Absolute Poker network? Do you remember how all the customers of those internet web sites did not get their deposit accounts back? Are you still waiting to get your Full Tilt Poker deposit back? Indeed, will you ever get it back? These questions, and their answers, should be at the forefront of your mind if you are contemplating playing internet poker in the future.
by David “The Maven” Chicotsky
At a town hall meeting for the Poker Players Alliance at this year’s WSOP, I heard a speech from Congressman Joe Barton (from Texas), one of the most public and outspoken advocates for legalized online poker in America. After addressing the crowd, he was asked about, “timing,” as it relates to presenting a Congressional bill and pushing it through the House of Representatives and United States Senate. He explained that there is no perfect formula for timing the introduction of a bill to increase the odds of passing both chambers of Congress. However, there are many indicators among political chatter and national occurrences signaling a ripe time for writing new law.
by Stanley R. Sludikoff, Publisher
When Benny and Jack Binion created the Poker Hall of Fame in 1979, it was clearly oriented to rewarding famous players, and, unfortunately, it still is. There was also a matter of ignorance in naming at least one of the original members, Sir Edmund Hoyle.
When the $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship first debuted in 2006, most poker purists rejoiced. Finally, there was a comprehensive event that weighed multiple forms of poker on a more equitable scale -- rather than just the relatively narrow prism of No-Limit Hold’em.
Sure. No-Limit Hold’em remains the so-called “Cadillac” of poker games. It would be ludicrous to suggest that the Main Event Championship would be anything but this extraordinarily popular form of poker that has been the staple of the world’s championship, since 1970.
That said, a conversation took place following the conclusion of one of the most recent WSOP gold bracelet events which bears repeating. Two-time gold bracelet champion David “Bakes” Baker was asked after his victory if he thought H.O.R.S.E. was the real test of best all-around poker skill.
by Wendeen H. Eolis
Since the 1970s, enterprising men and women in the poker industry have sought to attract women into the fold (as players and industry professionals), but even the World Series of Poker has shown lackluster success in attracting more than a fractionally increased percentage of women into major competition.
WSOP Director Ty Stewart says, “We all need to work toward the goal of doing better to move the needle way up on the participation of women at the WSOP.” Stewart is on the prowl for exciting suggestions from industry leaders who share this goal. Additionally, other WSOP personnel say they are mindful of the need to avoid the appearance of endorsement or partnership with organizations or individuals who may have more self-serving purposes. Beyond the world of women players are women professionals in the poker industry; many have started their management careers in a casino card room, but have seen few opportunities to use their skills in their employers’ broader operations.
by Ashley Adams
I was playing in a $1 - $2 no limit hold’em game at Foxwoods Resort Casino the other day. I had just gotten beaten out of a $680 pot by the gentleman on my left – when my straight lost to his full house. We were chatting amicably about Poker Player Newspaper. He mentioned that he was interested in reading something different from the regular fare. I asked him to suggest a topic. “Well,” he started “how about writing about the future of poker?” So here’s my take.
Continuing the tradition started in 2009, all World Series of Poker bracelet winners will be treated to a special ceremony the day after their victory.
Indeed, many players wait a lifetime for their chance to parade across the grand stage at the WSOP, to be recognized in front of their peers. Some players never get that chance This year, some of the ceremonies have included a special bonus. Each winner has been given the option of publicly thanking those who may deserve an acknowledgement.
Nick Jivkov was honored in the June 2 ceremony, where his speech became a highlight of the event. Standing before a crowd of 1,800, he shared just how special his victory was, and what it meant to his family. Jivkov’s mother and father—immigrants from Bulgaria—later saw video of their son making what amounts to his “acceptance speech.” No doubt, they watched their son with great pride as he stood at full attention during the playing of Mila Rodino, the national anthem of their native land, Bulgaria.
by Diane McHaffie
I’m frustrated and upset! I know Mike is too, because he argued against me writing this column.
Many poker people have been inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame since 1979. With all of Mike Caro’s contributions to the poker world, he still isn’t in.
Criteria. The main criteria for the Poker Hall of Fame are as follows:
• A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
• Played for high stakes
• Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers
• Stood the test of time
• Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.
Mike played poker successfully for 14 years as a pro. He is often called the greatest draw poker player alive, including by Doyle Brunson, in his book Super/System–A Course in Power Poker. He’s certainly played for high stakes.
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 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.