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The future of US online poker

Posted by betlover on Jun 7, 2012 in online poker

Just a brief update one year after this article was written: not much has changed really, so most of it is still current news.

As of June 2011 the US online poker landscape looks like a battle field with very few survivors. Indeed if you like to play poker online and you live in the United States, very few choices are currently available to you for real money games.

In fact Cake Poker seems to be pretty much the only way to play poker online currently. Carbon Poker and Bodog poker just announced that they are not welcoming US players for the near term. Doyles’ Room and True Poker were shut down by the FBI 2 weeks ago. PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, UB Poker and Absolute Poker were banished from the US market 2 months ago when the Department of Justice seized their .com domains (later released). And of course 5 years ago after the implementation of infamous UIGEA the major rooms of the time already left, such as 888poker, Party Poker and Pacific Poker to name a few.

This witch hunting crusade has no goal other then satisfying the bigots in the USA as well as the ego of a few officials in the DOJ who have a very ambitious career plan. Remember that Rudy Guliani started his ascension to political prominence by conducting a similar crusade about some of the investments bankers on Wall Street. And this certainly led him a long way as he was a Republican presidential candidate at some point. So here we go again, if the DOJ can indict some of these online poker rooms and collect a few billion dollars in fees in the process, what a victory will it be for the district attorneys at the top of this process.

But this is a story very unlike the one of Drexel Burnham Lambert and Michael Milken who robbed the public of hundreds of millions of dollars. Here the DOJ is simply trying to restrict the freedom of millions of online poker players who love the game of poker and love to play it on the Internet. They are using a technicality regarding deposit and withdrawal processes to indict and close these businesses, adding to unemployment while doing so.

Let’s just hope that this fiasco leads to a clean online gambling regulation in the near term so that the major players are allowed to offer the game to everyone who decides to enjoy his favorite hobby.

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Poker news

Posted by betlover on Jan 11, 2012 in gambling

What are the main poker news at the start of 2012? So far in 2012 there is no major news, mostly small stories that are a continuation of the 2011 stories.

The main story which we have not yet heard much about is Full Tilt Poker and the Group Tapie acquisition of their assets. As both the US Department of Justice and the current shareholders of the private company have given their approval to this deal, the technical details are now negotiated and finalized between Tapie and the DOJ. That step is expected to be completed for the most part in the next few months. Then the final step will be the reopening of the poker room and how they handle existing players’ bankrolls. This is the big question in the online poker community. It was even rumoured that some players will be reimbursed in shares of the new company. This type of transaction would only make sense for the largest bankrolls and it remains to be seen if this goes through.

Another news is the building up of the team of pros at lock poker. In the past Full Tilt and Pokerstars were the rooms hiring a lot of pros, and there were quite a few at UB Poker too. These were the major hirers of pros, now obviously a lot of these pros are looking for a new home. Interestingly Pokerstars has been somehow bucking the trend as they have let go a number of their top pros, Joe Hachem most recently. So with respect to Lock Poker, they are the ones doing a lot of hiring at this time, and they just added Kevin “Civell” Vandersmissen to their stable. Kevin is a young gun from Belgium who has been noticed in particular for finishing second at two EPT events. Lock Poker has not always been lucky with their pros as they was a cheating scandal last year involving one of their previous pros: José “Girah” Macedo. The latter could not resist the temptation to fleece his unknowingly students as he could see their hole cards. Lock Poker now have the largest stable of poker pros outside the majors and they are one of the dominant operators of US online poker.

Another interesting story is about what is going on with Phil Ivey. Phil was the leading player at Full Tilt Poker and is considered by most as the best living poker player (possibly the best poker player ever if he continues to be successful long enough to outshine Doyle Brunson and Stu Ungar). Phil was not just their top player, he was also a major shareholder and he took a big hit on both fronts after the downfall following Black Friday. Since April last year Ivey was nowhere to be found, not even at the WSOP. He was seen at the end of the last year at the Macau high stakes tables, but not at any online poker site. In fact given his caliber he could only possibly play at one site other than Full Tilt, and this is pokerstars. Coincidentally rumours are now spreading that a pokerstars poker player under the username ‘RaiseOnce’ is none other than Ivey himself. There is enough evidence including his playing style to be almost certain that this player is none other than ‘No Home Jerome’. A player to watch for sure.

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Texas Holdem

Posted by betlover on Nov 25, 2009 in online poker

Online poker has many advantages for most players, including my sister. She was already a good gin rummy player, but after she started to play Texas Holdem poker online, that was it. Now she does not play anything other that poker on the Web. But she has a lot of free time,
so why not?

You will find in this post the main points that make online poker so interesting, such as easy money and large bonuses. And first of all a lot of online entertainment.

First, like many of you know, one of the best skills but also the most difficult is to read your opponents by their physical actions. Most good players you will find in casinos have developed this skill to the extreme to have a big advantage. However, at a poker room online, you cannot see your opponents.

Whatever you do while playing your hands your opponents cannot see, so the first advantage in online poker (which may also be a drawback) is that many players playing based on poker tells (physical signs giving clues on their hands) cannot see you. This somehow evens the field versus these more experienced players.

Then poker online is simply convenient. You can find a Texas Hold’em table 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No need to take the car to the casino. No travel or hotel cost; you can invest all your money directly into your poker bankroll as you play from your home quietly.

Online poker is also more generous with the beginners. Why? Because the majority of players at a poker room online are beginners too, and they may just want to try their hand at poker after seeing a poker table on the television. Hence online poker rooms such as Full Tilt Poker offer very generous incentives for new players to join, such as sign up bonus and freeroll entries.

Another very important point for winning players, there’s a lot of money in online poker. The fact that there are so many novice players at online poker rooms gives a considerable advantage to good holdem players who take the time to consider the situation before putting their chips in the middle of the table. The industry of online poker is the fastest growing business segment on the Internet, full of opportunities.

If you learn the game of texas hold’em poker properly without a rush, there is no reason that you cannot become a winning player like us. There are many people who have demonstrated that.

Finally, another important point, there’s always a lot of promotions available. Many poker rooms offer online signup bonus of 100% or more, why not taking these freebies?

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