Carson City, the capitol of Nevada, was named after Christopher "Kit" Carson, famous frontiersman and scout in the 1840s. When gold and silver was discovered around Virginia City, in the mountains high above the capitol, Carson City became a freight center for the mines and miners. Poker has been a popular pastime in the state capitol ever since.
Draw Poker was a popular pastime in the towns and mining camps of the West. One player who came to Nevada to strike it rich as a prospector, but ended up writing for the Territorial Enterprise to make ends meet, was Mark Twain. He loved the game.
As I mentioned in a previous column, Las Vegas is going Broadway, with some of the biggest hits from the New York stage coming to town as permanent fixtures. There's a lot of buzz about Hairspray, which will open at the Luxor in February.
This musical comedy phenomenon is a winner of eight 2003 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Director.
It opened on Broadway in 2002 and takes audiences back to 1962 Baltimore, as 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad sets out to dance her way onto TV's most popular show.
It was the New York Times calling, wanting to know what I thought of the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court. My first thought was, "Yes!! I've made it!"
Then reality struck me, "Wait a minute." So I asked, "Why ask me?"
The reporter replied, "You went to school with him for three years."
I checked the 1979 Harvard Law School yearbook. There it was: Roberts, Rose... his photo was right above mine.
I'd like to say that John and I were great pals. But we didn't hang out together. He spent his time at the Law Review office. I spent mine playing poker.
According to my mentor, Mike Caro, tells and psychology combine to account for most of your profit at the poker table. It's necessary to understand poker basics before concentrating on tells. When you first begin, you're too busy keeping up with the game and understanding everything going on. You may find it difficult at first to carefully scrutinize your opponents for tells. When you're ready to try, watch only one player at a time.
The 2005 World Series of Poker broadcast on ESPN is airing the final two days of the main event played at the downtown Las Vegas Binion's Horseshoe Casino, now named Binion's. I thought it a good idea to review the poker room so readers will have some advance background in the properties poker rich history. If you're coming to Vegas and plan to play some cash game or tournament poker then stop downtown and test your skill and luck where it all started.
I'm hosting a home tournament tonight. Ten of us will compete for a total of $1,000 -- $700 for first and $300 for second. I'm cooking a spicy chili and loading up the frige with high alcohol content beer for the game. Hey, since I'm hosting I might as well try and get everyone else drunk so I'll have some kind of an advantage, no?
Today let's discuss everyone's favorite subject, Bad Beats. I make that statement with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek. As you read the title of this column you may well have concluded that Leonard has truly lost it! I can almost hear the groans..."Embracing Bad Beats"...and you're thinking, "How can I embrace something I despise?" Well, hear me out as to why you should really be embracing bad beats and welcoming them to your game.
Oklahoma is another frontier state with a long history of gambling. It's only recently that Indian casinos have reintroduced the concept to the state, and though the lawlessness isn't around anymore, many casinos in the state still try to promote a frontier theme.
Around the turn of the last century, many enterprising settlers laid claim to land on the Cherokee Outlet. It wasn't long until 110 saloons and gambling houses were open in what is now Perry.
Mike Matusow is the World Series of Poker 2005 Tournament of Champions' Champion! Mike outlasted a field of 119 WSOP Champions to win this prestigious tournament and he picked up $1,000,000 in first place money.
In the last installment of Improving Performance we discussed raising. I think we agreed that, in addition to being your most valuable weapon in poker, raising is fun. Well what could be more fun than raising? Checkraising! Check-raising is the act of checking your hand and expecting an opponent to bet so that you can then raise. Sand bagging is what the old time home game players who abhor this dastardly act would call it. Check-raising can also be considered a weapon. Just don't overuse it.