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House of Cards
by Ashley Adams
 

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When Is Poker Legal?

When, exactly, is it legal to run a poker game? Opening a cardroom without a license is obviously illegal. But what if the operator doesn't rent seats or rake the pot?

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Why Didn't He Call?

So he didn't call. Ouch! What a blow to the ego. Boom! Could it be he didn't like me? Could it be I wasn't attractive? Could it be my personality? Could it be I'm too fat? Could it be I'm "high maintenance?" Could it be I talked too much? Could it be because I beat him at poker, pool and air hockey? It just baffles me, why did he not call?

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Heads-up Pairs

In a ten-handed $4-8 Hold'Em game on a sultry afternoon in early summer, I was down about half a rack when Fred trudged into the poker room of my local casino. I hadn't seen Fred lately and asked him why. He said that Internet poker had him in thrall for a week or so. He thought he could sharpen his final table play for regular tournaments by playing lots of single-table tournaments on the 'Net. Just getting to the final table is my problem, so I could neither agree nor disagree. Fred said that he had just finished second in a No-Limit Hold'Em single-table tournament.

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LIPS kicks off WSOP Circuit at Harrah's

The 2005 version of the World Series of Poker Circuit Tournament kicked off today at Harrah's Las Vegas in the center of the Strip. Event #1 was an added LIPS No-limit Hold'em tournament limited to ladies only. The buy-in was $200 + $30 for this event which attracted 126 players ponying up enough to fill a prize pool with $22,944.

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Thinking Through Your Tilt

Dear Poker Counselor,

I lost my entire bankroll while playing angry and tilting. I've seen all the of books saying to never play too long, never play with personal problems to sort out, etc. I always figured I'd never let that stuff get to me. Well, I was wrong. I guess failure is the best way to learn, but how can I make sure this doesn't happen to me again?

-Colin in Boston

Dear Colin,

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Poker Cop: K is for Kicker

What," I ask, "does Vendetta! mean?"

"Revenge!" says Jake angrily.

"We must revenge Gyp's death. You and I will work together. You will find Gyp's murderer. I will kill him."

I tell him, "I want nothing to do with any vendetta! My answer is no."

"No!" he screams raising the shotgun.

"Jaco, Jake, Jackal! Wait! I..." Again he screams, "No!" aiming the shotgun.

I stare straight down the O of the shotgun's barrel.

He says two words and fires. The two words are Get down!

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A Lesson from the Ancient Chinese

Many years ago, as I was advancing in my engineering and business career, a friend recommended I read a book entitled The Art of War by an ancient Chinese general named Sun Tzu. Indeed, I found his teachings very useful during my career. (So too was Dale Carnegies' book on How to Win Friends and Influence People.) Recently, while reading about a fierce high-school class election competition, I was reminded of Sun Tzu's teachings on how to win a war.

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Entertainment Report

Don't know about you, but I love Latin music and I particularly like the music of Marc Anthony, who will be performing Sept. 5 at the Mohegan Sun Casino. I've only seen him once live, but I gotta tell ya, he puts on a great show. I also have to admit that several of his CDs, including his first salsa album, Otra Nota, get played a lot while I drive around town.

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Small Stakes Tournaments: Playing Each Stage

Why do we do it? Why do we pay $100 of our hard earned money for a few hours of watching the blinds climb faster than Lance through the Alps only to end up putting our tournament on the line with hands like Q-J suited and pocket fours? Because it's the only game in town.

Any time you discuss poker strategy, you are forced to paint in some broad strokes. Please remember that every situation is different, and you have to respond appropriately.

In order to keep things simple, I will use what seems to be a typical structure for small buyin NLHE tournaments:

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Today's Word Is... Value

If you want to get a casual poker player confused in a hurry, just talk about "value betting." There isn't even a universal definition of what it means, so you're free to make up your own. Here's mine: A value bet is a risky wager designed to extract every penny's worth of profit from opponents.

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