Interstate Poker made legal by Nevada

News has today surfaced how Nevada have made interstate online poker legal, which if you have been keeping up with my latest posts, is quite a big step forward for online gambling in the USA. The bill was rushed through yesterday which allows states to form a pact together, allowing poker to be played legally across them.

An article from the Las Vegas Sun today reported how the bill was rushed forward on Thursday, labelled as an “emergency measure” for Gov.  Brian Sandoval to sign.

As you may know, I personally am all for online poker to be legalized in america, as it makes for healthier gambling habits and leads to less addiction i my opinion. It seems the aim of rushing through the bill was to beat New Jersey in signing their bill, which is to be done next week if reports are to be believed.

Online Poker in New Jersey

Towards the beginning of February, governor Chris Christie announced that he was going to pass a bill for online poker in New Jersey, as long as a few amendments were made to what had been submitted.

The announcement of multiple states hoping to pass an online gambling bill, making poker legal within those states has pleasantly shocked many after speaking to people on Twitter, as there have been quite a few failed attempts to get online poker up and running throughout 2011 and 2012 especially, although now it looks like it is all coming together.

So what do you think? Are you for or against the legalizing of online poker in the U.S?

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Is Online Poker changing in the US?

Lately there have been a lot of news stories and events cropping up in the Poker world regarding Poker in the United States and the transition to online play, and also the opposite, with brick-and-mortar receiving a lot of attention. I have been keeping up with as much as I can on social media sites and through various news sources.

I have found this article which emphasizes that purchasing a casino in Atlantic City seems to be paving the way for online poker to make a comeback in the US . I can see why people are for and against poker being legalized online in the US, there is the view that doing so would reduce the amount of people that play in casino’s altogether, and add pressure to an already struggling casino industry in America. But then again there is the point that if it was legalized, there would be more brick and mortar games available to play, and could easily attract a new audience of people, perhaps those that don’t have access to a computer or the internet. Obviously if people were legally allowed to play poker online in the U.S then the government would receive tax on all money spent, so whilst the money going directly to Atlantic City could potentially decrease, the overall money the government receives would stay the same, if not increase.  Another benefit to legalizing poker online would be that people could have healthier gaming habits.. If somebody sits in a casino all day, and then moves to another the next day, there is virtually no way of tracking how much money they are spending, and therefore building up an addiction, whereas with online poker, there are possible ways of monitoring how much people are spending online, and then procedures could be put in place to stop them spending away their wages, and reduce the risk of people getting addicted.

Atlantic City Casino

Source: blog.nj.com

Brick and Mortar Poker to make a comeback

Not only this, but you get the social side of poker if you are playing online, whilst playing in brick and mortar casinos you do actually meet people face to face whilst you’re playing, you don’t always have time to stop and chat, but with online poker you do. Last weekend (Feb 19th/17th) I managed to play a few games online on Full Tilt and PartyPoker (an old favourite) and suddenly became aware of how friendly players are on there. I often find myself playing on tables where people talk constantly, and I get the impression that if the chat feature was taken away then the player numbers would drop significantly. How many times have you logged on to any online poker network and gone more than 10 minutes without seeing some form of interaction? I personally think it is a much better way to play poker than at a casino as you interact with people a lot more, and are able to concentrate more on your game play.

If Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey does sign a revamped version of the bill for online gaming, it could see a 10 year trial period for online gaming in NJ, which would definitely settle the argument for good, Brick-and-Mortar Poker, or Online Poker?

 

2013 WSOP Schedule Announced

The Schedule for the 2013 World Series Of Poker (WSOP) has been announced.

I, along with many other Poker Players have been expecting the announcement for some time, and finally Caesars Entertainment and official WSOP came forward on February 15th to put us out of our misery.
The 44th annual WSOP is going to run from May 29th through to July 15th, 2013.
With three months until the event kicks off, we have plenty of time to improve our play and ready ourselves for the challenge!

The event starts on May 29th, and is going to consist of 62 events, with a lot of focus no doubt being put on the $10,000 Championship Event. According to the news article on wsop.com, the “November Nine” is to go ahead again, starting on July 15th, and then will be played on November 4th and 5th.

WSOP 2013 Dates

WSOP 2013 Dates announced – May 29th – July 16th Source: http://www.masterspokerclub.com/the-WSOP-2013-dates-are-set-n169

The event I personally am most looking forward to is the Millionaire Maker, or ‘Event #6’ that starts on June 1st. I think it’s going to attract a lot of media attention and get a lot of players interested, as the winner receives a guaranteed $1 million regardless of how many people enter the event.
Of course, the famous Casino Employees Event is going ahead this year, and is going to commence on May 29th, the day it all kicks off.

Sadly. after the success of 2012’s “Big One For One Drop” event, it has been confirmed that it won’t be making an appearance this year, although after talking to people on Twitter and through various news articles online, it is heavily speculated that it will be returning in 2014. This year though, there will be two smaller versions, the “One Drop High Roller” and the “Little One For One Drop” which will apparently feature a $111,111 and $1,111 buy-in respectively.

A different tournament that is said not to be appearing in this year’s WSOP, but could possibly make an appearance in the future, is the Open Face Chinese Poker, not much has been mentioned about it online, but i will be keeping an eye out and updating as more news is released, in the mean time, read the How To Play guide of Open Face Chinese Poker at CardPlayer.com

Beginner Poker Tips

For those of you that are new, or even experienced in Poker, here are some beginner poker tips to help your play and improve your skill:

Beginners Poker Tips

First of all, learn what hands are best to play, and learn that not every hand is going to win. When you first join a Poker table, it’s easy to get carried away and think that playing hundreds of hands is going to make you win hundreds of times – it isn’t.

Obviously, if you are wanting to start from scratch and build up your knowledge, my advice would be to not play for real money at first, get used to the game, get used to losing, because it is going to happen, even the best Pro Poker Players lose.

If you’re playing land based games, practice your Poker Face, the key is to show no expressions, especially when you are dealt cards. The one thing that other players can see at a table is your face, if they look at you when you pick up your cards and see a big cheesy grin, they know you have a good hand. Alternatively, if you are dealt a rubbish hand, DO NOT sigh or show that you are disappointed, because this will only cause other players to raise their stakes, forcing you to fold. If other players think they have as much chance at winning the game as you, they are going to be more cautious, and play less aggressively.
Don’t get too hung up on this though, bluffing is only a minor factor of how to be successful at poker, and for the most part, you wont even use it (especially if you’re playing online).
At first it is definitely better to concentrate on playing better hands than bluffing, as you need to keep your head in the game and not let anything distract you.

One of the most obvious, but not often put into practice rules is to play against people that aren’t as experienced at poker as you. Much like taking candy from a baby, if you play on lower stakes tables where beginners are playing, they are less likely to have an upper hand on you, and can often, but not always, lead to a victory for you. Of course, if you are a beginner yourself, playing on the lower stakes tables is a must, and concentrate on the game until you know how to play. Don’t worry, not everyone you are playing is going to have more experience than you, as often, when people play lower stakes tables for more frequent wins, they often get bored and go on to the higher stakes to win more money.

Another point to consider when learning, is that other people on the table are also playing poker, and think they are going to win just as much as you. This is when you should start to take notice of opponent’s cards and how they are playing. If they appear to be playing aggressively, they probably have a strong hand, and chances are, if you aren’t playing aggressively, it is stronger than yours. Beware though, because this could be bluffing too.
If you do have a weak hand though, it is wise to fold, especially if other players are playing hard and raising large amounts of money, remember, you aren’t always going to win.

How To Play Poker

Something that comes before all of this though, is that you need to know how to play poker. Sitting down and playing random hands without knowing the strength of them, or what it is you’re trying to achieve, is not going to get you anywhere. There are various different places you can visit to read up on poker, obviously there are many books out there such as “The Virgin Guide to Poker” by Alex Tanner, and obviously there are some good quality websites out there that will teach you in the form of an online course.

Finally, play it safe. If you are still at the table with all but one or two other players having folded, chances are, they are just as likely to have cards as good as yours, if you’re not confident you are going to win, play it safe and fold, unless you’re feeling lucky!

What’s happening with Full Tilt’s US Players?

Lately there have been a lot of rumours on social media regarding Full Tilt Poker, with many asking When Will US Players get their Full Tilt Refunds?
Well I am going to try and explain what we know is happening:

So far, we know that the Department Of Justice (DOJ) was said to start work on hiring a third party Claims Administrator in January 2013, this was announced in November last year, and there has been no announcement so far this year to suggest that this has or has not happened.

Full Tilt US Refunds

All that has been said regarding the remission of funds to US Poker Players so far this year is that an announcement is coming “soon” – however, there was no description of how “soon” that is going to be.

It is expected that once the claims administrator is appointed, there will be approximately $159,000,000 to be paid out to over 1.3 million former Full Tilt Poker players in the US, after their accounts were frozen back in April 2011.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much more to go on regarding this issue, however I will keep you posted as more information and dates are released regarding Full Tilt Poker.

Andrew Robl is Aussie Millions $100,000 Winner

Poker Player Andrew Robl has won the Aussie Millions 2013 $100,000 Challenge, after 6 hours of play on Monday and took the AU$1,000,000 prize, along with the champion title.

The Aussie Millions tournament, which started on Sunday saw 21 players at the table for over 9 levels of play. Having being bust in that field, Robl used his re-entry option, and he was the only player to do so (clearly a wise move).
Unlike the usual 8 players to start at the final table, there were 7 this time, after a double elimination in Day 1. And with only 4 seats guaranteed to be paid, this meant that 3 out of the 7 would unfortunately be leaving empty handed.

The last hurdle saw Robl take on Kurganov. After a double, Kurganov worked his way up to 915,000, which was no match for Robl’s 1.285 million. The game ended with Kurganov finishing as runner up with AU$610,000.

What has happened to Virgin Poker?

Many of you may be asking, what’s happened to Virgin Poker?, well I hope to give some answers here:

Virgin Games have removed Poker from their site, after being acquired by Gamesys, but keeping the Virgin branding.
After the new Virgin games website went live on January 29th, the games now available are; Slots, Casino, and Bingo.

Where has Virgin Poker gone?

Virgin Games have said that they are going to look at adding a Poker platform sometime in the future, but for the near future there seem to be no signs of it returning.
For players that have money in Virgin Poker accounts, that money can be redeemed by logging into your Virgin Games wallet, and withdrawing the funds from there. When players sign up, they are asked to agree to new Terms and Conditions for the site.

Gamesys, the group that has acquired Virgin Games, was created in 2001 have taken on Virgin Games in an attempt to widen their reach in the European online gaming market, with Virgin Games being around since 2004, they certainly will have a large fanbase and a whole new audience.
Talking about the acquisition, Richard Branson said: “We are delighted the Gamesys Group has acquired Virgin Games and formed a partnership to build a global games business. Simon Burridge and his team built a strong platform and now with the help of the Gamesys Group we can expand further internationally.”

Until Virgin Games announce a new Poker platform, there are many other Poker sites available to play on, but don’t think you’ve seen the last of Virgin Poker yet..

Betfair Poker Moves to iPoker Network

Betfair Poker has moved to the iPoker Network after it was recently announced that the software was to move from the Ongame Network platform.

The full migration is expected to be completed by July 2013. Originally, the move was to provide an online poker platform for the French and Italian customers, if statements from Betfair in September were anything to go by, although it seems now that the move is going to affect the whole of the Betfair Poker.
Having already provided the online casino for Betfair, many didn’t take the announcement as a suprise when it was announced that Playtech’s iPoker would be hosting Poker for them.

The move to iPoker has been seen as a strategical one, as it is going to secure a wider European audience, generating higher profits and revenue through cross selling casino and sports.
There has been a mixed reaction to the move on Twitter, with some people saying that they are happy with the move, and some people not taking too well to the move. Last year, the Ongame network saw the number of active players on the network fall from 93,000 to 85,000.
A news article on poker.gamble.co.uk earlier this month has more information on the move, and says “iPoker offer Betfair the ability to retain, grow and develop their existing customer base”

Let me know your views on the move to iPoker on Twitter @that_poker_guy as I would love to hear what other players think of the move

PKR Release iPad Poker App

Last week, PKR launched their poker app for the iPad. After announcing plans to release the app a few weeks ago,  the app finally arrived in the App Store last week, allowing the millions of iPad users around the world to play for free money or real-money. The app is free to download, and is not available on the iPhone or iPod touch.

PKR Poker 3D

The name of the new poker app is PKR Poker 3D, and is only available to UK players. Offering a number of games such as real money ring games, and sit-n-go tournaments, unfortunately, multi table tournament play is currently not available for users, however it is expected to be available in the future.

It has been reported that a version is being developed for iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android users, and will be released sometime in the future.
Leon Walters, Chief Operating Officer at PKR said: “This release represents one of the most significant steps forward for PKR since our inception in 2006. We aim to quickly follow this first phase of our efforts to reach the growing mobile poker audience with iPhone and Android versions.”

It was only a matter of time before this app was released, as PKR Blackjack 3D, and PKR Roulette 3D have been available for some time.

PokerStars to Buy NJ Atlantic Club Casino

Rational Group, parent company of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker has joined an agreement to purchase the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The Hotel is currently owned by Resorts International Holdings, although it is known that it is currently struggling, and reports from early December 2012 suggested that the purchase would cost less than $50 million which baffled some poker players as to why the price was so low.

Rational Group’s PokerStars to enter New Jersey Market

Acquiring the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel would safely secure almost 2,000 jobs, although any details regarding the terms of the deal, including the purchase price have not been disclosed, so it is all currently speculative.
It has been known for some time that the Hotel has been operating at a loss of millions, however the Rational acquisition is thought to improve financial viability of the Casino, and increase the offerings available in Atlantic City.
The first 9 months of 2012 saw a $13.6 million operating loss, and the final quarter’s data will not be released until later in 2013. With gambling revenue falling 11% in 2012, Atlantic Club fell to 10th place (out of 12), something needed to change.

New Jersey to legalize Online Gambling

This purchase agreement has come to light at the same time New Jersey has put forward proposals for legalizing online gambling. On 20th December last year, the legislature approved a bill that would allow online gambling in New Jersey, however, the measure is waiting to be signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie, who has until the beginning of February 2013 to decide to sign it or veto the decision. After vetoing a separate online gambling bill almost two years ago, as it would have “violated New Jersey’s constitution”,  the new bill proposal is said to be revised to address Christie’s constitutional concerns.

An amendment to the bill, added in December 2012 allows offshore companies to apply for NJ casino licenses, which obviously allowed Rational Group (located on the Isle Of Man) to swoop in. Being one of the biggest online gambling operators worldwide, Rational Group is expected to be put under intense regulations in New Jersey. After paying $547 million last year over Full Tilt Poker, Poker Stars have admitted to no wrongdoing or guilt, and can re-enter the US marketplace in states and jurisdictions where online gambling is legal.

The Division of Gaming Enforcement confirmed that an application was received from PokerStars on Tuesday.
More news will be posted as and when it is released, you can read more on the application for the license at poker.gamble.co.uk