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Posted by on Apr 12, 2013 in Blog, General Poker | 6 comments

Are Fish and Sharks Swimming in Different Tanks at PartyPoker?


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Imagine walking into a live poker room and signing up for a game.

You get asked, “Are you a beginning player or an experienced player?”

You answer, “I’m an experienced player.”

Based solely on that response, your name is placed onto a segregated list containing just the veteran players.  Beginning poker players have their own set of tables and games to chose from.  It’s like having adult tables and kiddie tables at a picnic.

If you encountered something like this, would you stick around and still play?

This is apparently really happening.  And it’s not taking at some tiny cardroom in the middle of no where.  Based on recent reports, PartyPoker — once the largest online poker site in the world — may very well be quarantining its players based on levels of experience.  READ THE STORY HERE AT POKERFUSE.COM.

If true, this news could be (and should be) devastating for PartyPoker.  Not only is such a practice deceitful.  It’s essentially telling players that if they become loyal devotees to the PartyPoker brand, they’ll eventually be assured of getting less table selection and tougher games. 

Gee, thanks for playing.

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Posted by on Apr 7, 2013 in Blog, General Poker, World Series of Poker | 0 comments

Another Washington Poker Story — Finding the “Sucker”



Writer’s Note:  Earlier this week, I returned to Washington. D.C. for the first time in a long while.  I lived in the District of Columbia and Arlington, Virginia (right across the Potomac River) for 12 years.  So, my recent visit here rekindled some old memories.  This is a continuation of the series which began yesterday.


Remember the old line about trying to discover who the sucker is in the poker game?  If you haven’t found him in ten minutes, it’s you?

The e-mail arrived from someone I didn’t know.

He was a self-described young poker player, eager to learn, and admittedly new to the game.  Fresh out of college and new to the Washington scene, this reader had seen my column in Card Player magazine and managed to reach me via e-mail.

“Do you know about any good local poker games?” he asked.


I knew how difficult searching for a serious but friendly poker game could be.  Back then, there were no casinos around.  Online poker was just beginning.  To play poker you had to reach out — sometimes to complete strangers — and hope someone might connect you to an honest game.

I knew a few spots.  One of the best was a sweet $10-20 Limit Hold’em game that went regularly.  Sometimes, they even got two full tables going.  This game seemed perfect for my new e-mail “friend.”

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Posted by on Mar 26, 2013 in Blog, General Poker, Las Vegas | 10 comments

The Reports of Poker’s Death are Greatly Exaggerated





The mainstream media often get things notoriously wrong.

Consider the case of Mark Twain’s “death” being erroneously reported in the (now-defunct) New York Journal daily newspaper in 1897, eliciting his famous quote in response, “the report of my death was an exaggeration.”

It seems mainstream media haven’t learned much over the last 116 years.  In recent months, major media have reported poker’s popularity is declining.  Last month, the Associated Press ran a national news story claiming the poker boom is over (See Feb. 28 article:  “As Trend Wanes, Vegas Casinos Fold on Poker Rooms”).  As evidence, the report cited a number of poker rooms closing down in Las Vegas — as if that’s really the metric of global popularity.  Hint:  It isn’t.  The AP article claims:  In Sin City, epicenter of the poker craze, at least eight rooms have folded in the past two years.  The trend is also playing out in Mississippi riverboats, Indian casinos and gambling halls near big cities from California to Florida.

Even usually reliable and more knowledeable sources in poker media are spreading the myth.  Since “Black Friday” in April 2011, numerous feature stories posted at various poker news sites have spotlighted the negatives — including (professed) declining popularity in some markets, the cancellation of poker programs on television, lackluster tournament attendance, and the demise of online poker inside the United States.

To be perfectly clear, poker does face serious challenges ahead.  However, this assertion that poker’s popularity is declining is not only demonstratively false, it grossly neglects plenty of evidence which suggests otherwise.  In fact, the opposite is true.  Poker has never been more popular than at this very moment.

Fact:  More people worldwide are playing poker today than ever before.

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Posted by on Mar 16, 2013 in Blog, Essays | 19 comments

What Sex Scandals Really Teach Us




Today’s column makes me feel dirty for writing it.

Not because today’s column is about sex — because I see nothing wrong with two consenting adults engaging in physical acts as natural as eating and drinking.  And not because the salacious “crime” of prostitution is hereby alleged, which is perfectly legal in the world’s more advanced countries where local laws aren’t written by Bible-thumping hillbillies.

I’m sickened by writing today’s column because it forces me to expose myself to the tacky musings of bottom-feeding creeps who revel in the lascivious details of others’ sex lives.

You know who you are.  In recent days you’ve posted “breaking news” to Facebook.  You’ve used your Twitter accounts.  You’ve made wicked comments at the various poker forums.  You look at scandal as entertainment.

Well, I have a question or two for you.

What fucking business is it of yours (or mine) who is having sex with who?  And if you’re really that interested in details, then why is this so?  Is your own sex life so utterly unfulfilling that you must project your natural curiosities upon others — more specifically those who are more successful that you are?  Please tell me — what does this say about you?

Furthermore, why is this the media’s business?  Moreover, why is this law enforcement’s business?

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Posted by on Mar 12, 2013 in Blog, Travel | 2 comments

Atlantic City Short Stories




Note:  Here are a few stories from my last two weeks spent in the lovely garden state paradise of Atlantic City, New Jersey….


Atlantic City Short Story #1:  For Whom the (Fire) Bell Tolls

What do you do if you’re staying in a nice hotel and the fire alarm suddenly goes off in the middle of the night?

Let’s be more specific.

You’re exhausted and have just climbed into a warm cozy bed at 4:15 am.  It’s 26 degrees outside.  You’re slumbering in your birthday suit.

Alarms are ringing all over the place and some annoying-ass recorded voice over the hotel loudspeakers in the hallways are all blasting evacuation instructions.

This is precisely happened last Friday night here at Caesars Atlantic City.

Worse, fire engines were roaring outside.

So — what would you do?

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