9/24/06: Updates, odds and ends

Starting with the odds and ends and then moving on to the new of Part Time Poker.

Pretty calm week in poker news, as far as that goes. It looks like Frist’s attempt to tie and online gambling ban to the DOD appropriations bill is dead in the water, and the general climate in onlinepokerland seems to have brightened. As always, you’ll find great summaries and insights on the big issues of online poker over at Guinness and Poker blog….

The poker table of the future has arrived … at the patent office, anyhow:

Online poker “physical object connection” with casino poker would use VoIP, RFID

A newly published U.S. Patent and Trademark Office application describes a way for online poker players to “physically interact” with real, in-casino poker games. The process would involve sophisticated RFID technologies embedded in the casino poker cards, and a broadband connection powerful enough to be able to deliver the tactile sensations involved in touching these cards to online players.

While I am not a poker player, this does sound like fascinating stuff to me. Interesting enough that it touches on the broadband/convergence area of this blog. And yes, interesting enough to devote a fair amount of space here to tell you how this is supposed to work.

Then there’s this bit, to be cross filed under “hey, did you hear Mike Matusow has money management issues” and “online poker magazines have run out of shit to write about”:
Title: Mike Matusow Miami Dolphins Jerseys Goes Broke Online Then Begs For Money

I probably wouldn’t even note it save a fairly hilarious chat excerpt:

Dealer: tehdrunky wins the pot ($18,796.50) with a
pair of Aces
Mike Matusow: woow
cheap nfl jerseys Mike Matusow: i run awfull in poker
tehdrunky: =(
tehdrunky: sick
Mike Matusow: drunkey
Mike Matusow: cna u sen dme money tilltomrowo
Mike Matusow: know ones online
Mike Matusow: and im in florida up allnight

Thanks, Internet.

The new on Part Time Poker:

Aaron returns with another lesson about how beating the game at your local casino involves way more than just beating the players – you have to beat the casino too. Just as grocery stores put the milk way in the back, casinos generally put the poker rooms off in some distant corner, testing your self-control as you stroll (jog) past row after row of table games and slot machines, including the new World Series of Poker slot machine that serves as the centerpiece of Aaron’ article, titled Outside the Poker Room at Caesar’s. Excerpt:

I stepped outside of the poker room to take a break from the action when I noticed an elderly gentleman trying his luck at one of the new WSOP poker machines that were recently installed. The man had on a fishnet hat and really represented the average customer at Caesar’s IN that you’ll find on video poker games. He looked like he came from a blue collar family; possibly a UAW member or an operator at UPS, but one thing was for certain: he was determined to beat the WSOP game 2014 in front of him.

For those of you not familiar with the game, the WSOP video “slot machine” installed at Caesars is an attempt by Harrah’s to allow people who do not want to play live poker in the poker room to still have a chance to partake in this nationwide poker craze by playing against a machine that happens to be programmed so that 10 cents of every dollar inserted into the game goes to the house. Essentially, the casino is slowing robbing the customer, just like it does with every other house game they have from slots to blackjack to craps to Caribbean Stud. You get the point.

Read the whole thing here

In reviews, I finally got around to giving a long overdue shout-out to Neil and his wonderful Poker Hand Converter. You can read the review of the poker hand converter if you like, but why not just head right over there and start using it right now?

See you next week

PTP updates + poker news – 9/16/06

John keeps on cranking out great reads – interesting, engaging, and most importantly honest looks into the life of a smaller stakes poker pro. I think the articles are enjoyable to anyone with an interest in poker, but I think they’re particularly instructive for people who are considering playing poker for a living, because John does a great job capturing the emotional swings that come with the territory. This article is no exception – here’s an excerpt from Last Things First:

It was Monday and it was raining. I woke up around 4 p.m., not really from a deep sleep but more of a long, focused period of eyes-closed time. I was too excited to do any real resting. When my alarm clock on my cell phone chirped, I popped up, turned it off, and within three big steps I was in my bathroom brushing my teeth. Shirt, check. Pants, check. Sweater, in case it gets cold, check. I-Pod fully charged, check. Two buy-ins, cheap NFL jerseys check. I grabbed a banana from atop the fridge, kissed my lady goodbye and began the drive.

After losing nearly 75 percent of my bankroll in four days, I took a two week break from the game. Now I was heading back to the office and it had all the feel of my first day at a new job. I was nervous as hell. I kept thinking things like: ‘Am I good enough to do this?’ ‘I hope I don’t screw up too bad.’ ‘What happens if I go bust?’

THAT. I had to consider THAT because THAT meant a ‘real’ first day at a new job, probably waiting tables until I found something in public relations, the field I left to pursue THIS. THIS was better, the hours were better, the pay better (most often), the freedom was better. THIS was a nice lifestyle. THAT, busting and then finding a real job, scares the hell out of me. “You know John in communications? He USED to be a professional poker player. Now look at him.”

Read the whole thing here

I don’t play Backgammon, but the folks over at Play365 chipped in an article for us: 10 Tips For A New Backgammon Player

Two items from the news caught my attention this week, and both highlight a really important point about the future of online gaming for the US – that states will be the ultimate battleground for the issue, no matter how frequently / loudly the feds arrest foreign CEO’s.

Down in North Carolina, a court decision next week on the fate of two men arrested for running a local poker tournament will have a significant impact not only on their lives, but also on the definition of poker in the eyes of the state – gambling act or game of skill? Expect to see a lot of these cases come up as small time operators continue to get busted by police wholesale NFL jerseys and, out of a desire to avoid jail time, start hotly contesting the laws that permitted their arrest in the first place.

Up in North Dakota, my favorite senator in the world has reintroduced legislation to legalize online poker and regulate it. It’s about time that our country’s capitalistic (and ultimately rational side) is starting to backlash against the irrational federal response to the growth of online gaming. As Rep Jim Kasper accurately put it:

“[The casinos] will be able to do business worldwide except where it is expressly prohibited,” he said. “These are computer-based companies that provide an Internet service.”

And the federal government should “keep its nose out of it. Gambling is a states’ rights issue. Congress shouldn’t be regulating it.”

Kasper contends Congress has the right to prevent crime but not to stop online Texas Hold’em sessions.

North Dakota, he said, should be allowed to tap into the “tremendous revenue stream leaving our nation.”

This is a state issue, not a federal one. Accordingly, the laws passed and decisions rendered on the state level will ultimately decide the future of online gaming. Keep that in mind when you’re wondering how you can participate in efforts to keep / make our game legal.


New on PTP for the week of September 10th

This week, another cautionary tale about choosing to play poker for a living. There seem to be more and more of these popping up as a generation of players introduced to poker during the online boom go bust.

It’s a sad, but unavoidable truth: playing poker for a living requires so much more than just an ability to play poker well. It seems like that should be enough, but it’s not, as Aaron notes in his article, Pitfalls of Poker as a Profession:

Well, I’ve been an official poker “pro” (and I use that term loosely) for the last 5 months now, and it has not been working out as well as I had hoped. When I started out playing full time this March, I had about $10,000 to work with in my bankroll, and I told myself if it dipped below $4000, then I needed to get back into the corporate world again. So here I am today with a bankroll less than $4000 looking for a job. So what went wrong over the last 5 months? I’ll try and break it down for you and describe the things I did poorly as a poker professional, and I attribute it to four things that I did poorly … read more

I also feel compelled to spread the word about a story that PokerNews is running with regarding How 2 Одессы Million in Extra Chips Found Their Way Awesome into the WSOP Main Event. A black eye for poker if it’s true, and just about the last thing the community needs right now.

Which provides a nice segue: Make your voice heard via phone as we approach a fairly critical spot regarding 10€ online poker and the law: Participate in the PPA Phone march on Capitol Hill on September 12th. Details:

Dear PPA Member:

Your urgent cheap MLB jerseys action is needed! On September 12th the Poker Players Alliance with the support of leading poker blogs and forums, PocketFives.com, Wicked Chops Poker and others are organizing a “Phone March” on Capitol Hill. From 9:00 AM Eastern Time, until 5:30 PM Eastern Time on Tuesday, September 12th, we are asking all PPA members and anyone interested in defending poker to call this toll free number, 800-289-1136 and be patched through to one of your two U.S. Senators in Washington D.C. When you call the 800 number you will hear a recording from fellow PPA member Greg “Fossilman” Raymer and then you will be prompted to enter your five digit zip code so you can be directed, free of charge, to your Senator’s office.

Note: The 800 number will only be active between 9:00 AM EST and 5:30 PM EST on Tuesday September 12.

Key points you should make:

* I am voter in your state.
* I strongly oppose any legislation that would prohibit online poker, and urge the Senator to vote against such legislation.
* Poker is a skill game enjoyed by 70 Million Americans.
* The Senator should seek to regulate online poker much like the government regulates other forms of gaming, like lotteries.
* Prohibitions don’t work. Any legislation that tries to ban online poker will only drive those players underground.
* Again, I urge the Senator to oppose any attempts to prohibit me from playing the great American game of poker on the Internet.

The threat to poker is real. Please forward this information to everyone you know who cares about poker and an American’s freedom to use the Internet. We need everyone possible to make their voice heard on September 12th!


Michael Bolcerek


Poker Players Alliance


Online Poker and the Law – New on PTP (09/03/2006)

Happy September.

This week, two new bits on PTP that focus on the growing controversy surrounding the legality of online poker.

First, we’ve got a great in-depth analysis and critique of the recent expansion of the Washington State Law that makes online gambling a crime. Here’s an excerpt from New On-Line Gaming Law Confounds, Confuses, Criminalizes

Apparently the lunatics running the political asylum here in Washington State make the assumption that “the people” are too stupid to be able to “protect ourselves from the evil website casino operators.” According to Gambling Commission Director Rick Day, who sponsored the legislation said the law is necessary, partly to protect the gamblers themselves. Uh-huh. Nice sentiment there, Ricky, but I have to call you on that one.

Of course, as in any industry, there are shady and/or crooked operators. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out which are honest and which aren’t. It’s all about informing yourself before you lays-ya-money-down. I think the concept is called Caveat Emptor or Let the Buyer Beware. Anybody who does any type of financial transactions, especially on-line, who doesn’t follow that principle needs far more than the ‘governments’ protection … read more

Good stuff. Also, we’ve got a guest bit by our friends at KeepTheFreedom.org, a new site devoted to making the voice of the online poker player heard. Read 5 Reasons Why you Should Support Keep The Freedom, and then head on over there to do so.

Finally, a pick from the PTP archive: A nice little bit of poker strategy titled: Filtering Advice in No Limit Hold’em

See you next week

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