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The Barney Stare

Named after a certain purple dinosaur, the Barney Stare, also called "attentional inertia," is a phenomenon of fixed focus caused by watching something (like television) for so long that mental processes slow down, the physical body decays into something like a torpor and, quite possibly, drool forms at the corners of the mouth.

Okay, I'm kidding about the drool, but for the rest of it, well, doesn't it sound like something that might happen to you at the poker table? It will, you know, if you play too long, too carelessly, and ignore the Five Warning Signs of the Barney Stare.

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Entertainment Report

International pop music superstar, Ricky Martin will perform at the Borgata in Atlantic City on February 10th, for one performance. Martin is back with a brand-new album, Life, the artist's most eclectic cross-cultural collection to-date, and his first English language album since 2000's Sound Loaded. The album's first single, I Don't Care, features Fat Joe and Amerie on a track that Billboard praised for its "crafty melody that takes less than one listen to haunt the eardrums. A track deserving of a welcome home celebration.

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Seven Card Stud: Dealing with Maniacs

Maniacs present a problem at the table. They greatly increase the volatility of the game. Let me share my strategy for dealing with them. I think you'll find it profitable. I was playing at my friendly neighborhood $10/20 Stud game at Foxwoods. I knew nearly all of the players at the table. All but one were tight players attracted to this tightly structured game.

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Perks and Picks: All Vegas

We're all Vegas this week! Log 50 hours of live poker play at any Station Casino (Palace Station, Texas Station, Sunset Station, Green Valley Ranch, Santa Fe Station, Boulder Station or Fiesta's) poker rooms by February 28, 2006 and receive a colorful free logo jacket.

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Florida Should Listen To The Experts

It always amazes me that highly intelligent men and women make and interpret laws without having the slightest idea what they are doing.

Actually, that is unfair. Judges and regulators try to do what is right, although they are often limited by statutes. Scandals involving a few corrupt lobbyists and members of Congress give a false picture of legislators, who are usually good people.

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Omaha H/L: Single Straight Draws

You're in the big blind. You look at the flop and then down at your cards and voila, you have an open ended straight draw. Should you continue with the hand? How about if there is any kind of action?

Today I will give you a test. Look at the first chart below and decide how many of the starting hands combined with the given flops you would play. Would you play them for a single bet? Write down answers before you continue and look at the second chart.

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Poker in the U.K.: Scotland and Northern England

Fasten your seatbelts - this column's going international!

First stop is the United Kingdom, and we're tackling Scotland and the northern regions of England.

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Cardroom Roundup: Caesar's Palace

Caesars Palace opened its doors to the public in 1966 and was immediately accepted as the most luxurious place in Las Vegas. Las Vegas' original entrepreneur, Jay Sarno, borrowed $10 million from the teamster's pension fund and began construction of the resort in 1962. His goal was to produce a Las Vegas hotel/casino that would provide guests with the experience of visiting the home of a king.

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Locket Caper: A Joe and Hobby Poker Fiction Part 2

Hobby and I were in a heap of trouble. Being the good citizens that we are, we cooperated with the LAPD to entice Pete Francone, a top level hood, onto Lazybuns to connect him with a multi-million dollar crime. When he boarded I gave him a priceless stolen locket. He had planted it in my jacket the night before during a poker game when he thought the Feds might catch him with it. We planned Francone would be nabbed by the cops when he left the yacht. Instead, he had four armed frogmen sneak aboard to take command.

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Player Profile: Erick Lindgren

Erick Lindgren is not your daddy's kind of poker player. Not yet 30, he's a product of what's happening now in the poker world, playing the game of life as though he had been dealt pocket aces in a heads-up encounter, handling the routine of news media interviews smoothly, with enough pizzazz in his responses to explain his reputation as one of poker's rising young personalities.

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