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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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Playing well in tournaments

Posted by betlover on Feb 5, 2011 in online poker

I came in 250th in a recent tournament. That was only out of 450 players! Why did it happen? What can I do to improve my play? The answers may surprise you. Read on for a full confession and honest analysis after my heartbreaking session of NL Texas Holdem at Full Tilt.

Yesterday night I played in a freeroll at full tilt poker. I got the entrance as I just signed up with a full tilt bonus code. The competition was tough. I went into the event nervous. Big mistake. You can’t play your best when you feel outclassed. I lost the tournament, went out in 250th place. I didn’t do that well – trust me, there were only 450 entrants. I made a lot of mistakes.

The first one as I mentioned beforehand was going into the game nervous. I put too much importance on it. I wanted the prize money. I needed the prize money. I had it spent in my mind. Any poker book will tell you that it is a mistake. I play better in free rolls where I can earn less than $10 for my time than I did in this match. Why? I felt inferior. I assumed when I planned my pre-tournament strategy that they all knew what they were doing. I gave them a lot more respect than I should have and much more respect than I gave myself.

The point is – in fact the point of this whole article is this – there is so much advice out there about poker. I listened to my brother’s advice. I asked him how to play hands during this tournament. I second-guessed and over-analyzed myself. Then, I saw hands that I wanted to play – that my gut told me to play that I ignored playing because I was too rigidly playing the way others had told me to.

I didn’t trust myself. I was playing everyone’s game except my own. That was my biggest mistake – not listening to my intuition. If I could do it over again, I’d be excited – not nervous – to play. I’d be ready to put in hours upon hours of playing time to knock out this field of pretty decent Texas Hold ‘Em players – because that’s what they were – decent holdem players. Some were fantastic; but, most were just okay.

I wasn’t any worse off than the rest. We started with equal chips – and, I wager, pretty equal skill levels. I was no better or worse than my competition! Luck, in my opinion, is also equal over time. Some people seem to have it one night and others will get it another. However, the difference was that I let my own insecurities throw me off my game. I let others’ advice dictate my actions at the table. I also let the other players at the table bully me around.

I will take this loss as a huge learning experience. I’ll get back on the poker bandwagon. I’ll play my ‘A’ game or I won’t play at all. I’ll take chances. I’ll be me. Most of all – I’ll have fun and play poker like it’s a game because that’s all it is in the end, a game. It’s a beautiful, wonderful, fantastic game that I truly love. I lost sight of that because I wanted to buy some extra presents for my kids. And I got angry at myself for failing. Unfortunately, if I was half as smart as I think I am, I would have figured this all out before I entered into that tournament. Live, learn and move on to play another day. That’s my new poker mantra.

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My new gambling blog

Posted by betlover on May 16, 2009 in online poker

Welcome to my new blog about online gambling and online poker.

I would like to fill everyone up on the details of whats this blog is going to have as content. If you play mid stakes on PokerStars, you will have noticed I have been around for a few weeks, the reason for this is I have basically forced myself to learn playing poker better.

I’m pretty sure this is a good thing, but I really do need a break. For the past 3 years I don’t think I have taken more than 2 weeks off but now playing poker is like if I were on vacation. I regularly play for 6-7 days a week since the start of the Summer. This takes its toll and for the first time ever I’m actually really happy to be taking a break.

July was a good month poker wise, I made like $120. August sucked a lot more, I think I ended up about +$15. I spent the best part of a week at a live event where I donked out the tournament and got pretty much all my buyin back playing cash. September has started pretty badly before I quit, I think I was about -$20 overall.

As far as the future for me playing poker, I’m not really sure how much I will be playing. I’m really pumped to do a few things with this blog and have a whole brand new website planned. Hopefully the plan is to spend a few months working on my Internet properties and start generating some kind of income from that.

If for some reason I give it my whole attention and after say 3 or 4 months I’m not making money and can’t see myself progressing, I will be starting back up with poker and going back to the grind. The situation with my poker game is weird, I feel like right now I am very good at 6-max cash games when I am on my A game, the same goes for heads-up. However, for various reasons mostly running bad, I have had trouble getting into the zone and putting in consistent sessions playing a very high quality.

I think if I come back I will be getting a couple of different coaches, one for my mental game and another for my poker game. So if anyone has any coaches to recommend to me in the range of $300+ an hour, feel free to shoot to post a comment on this blog.

For the mean time I will be on a poker detox, and it will probably benefit you, dear visitor, as I will have a whole lot more time to work on this blog. My new site is going to basically be an online poker guide focused at new players with the idea of taking someone with no poker knowledge at all to becoming a winning micro stakes and micro stakes poker player. I definitely think I have some kind of value to add and can make a unique site that will be one of the most comprehensive and free resources on the net.

Thank you for reading and Be the Luck with you.

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