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PokerStars releases video detailing how the online poker room Prevents Cheating

Written on November 28, 2014

For years, online poker has been criticized for potential security faults. Time and again, cheating scandals have arisen at major online poker sites, highlighted by the ‘super-user’ cheating scandal that rocked Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet right to their foundation in 2007. Even the world’s largest online poker room, PokerStars, has been affected by incidents of cheating. Now, the operator is taking the initiative to show its 67+ million registered users the extensive efforts taken by PokerStars to prevent bots, collusion and other duplicitous tactics.

PokerStars officials have been working hard lately to increase he brand’s already esteemed reputation by … Read More

Two new poker movies coming in December, Poker Night and Gutshot Straight

Written on November 26, 2014

Poker themes have become a lot more prevalent in Hollywood films over the years, especially since a significant surge in the game’s popularity over the last ten years or so. Some have done very well at the Box Office, while others became derisable bombs. The first week of December will deliver two new films in that genre, Gutshot Straight and Poker Night.

Gutshot Straight

Gutshot Straight is slated to hit theatres on December 2nd, and while it’s hard to condemn a movie I have not personally experienced, movie critics who have had that (dis)pleasure aren’t authoring the best … Read More

PokerStars verifies Online Casino and Sportsbook on the horizon

Written on November 25, 2014

It wasn’t all that long ago that PokerStars officials declared the online poker room would never expand into other avenues of online gaming; that sector had been reserved for sister site, Full Tilt. Since Amaya took the helm however, rumors that a PokerStars Casino was in the works began to circulate. Then came PokerStars.ES Casino (Spain) and an announced rollout in Italy. Now the online poker giant has confirmed the upcoming introduction of blackjack and roulette across all their global markets, with more casino games and an online sportsbook on the horizon.

This latest announcement came on Friday, November 21, … Read More

Why US regulation of Online Poker cannot succeed without Internet Casinos

Written on November 24, 2014

For the last 8 years now, ever since the UIGEA was passed in 2006, the American online poker community has banned together in support of federal regulations. However, their support is generally limited to a poker-only regulatory scheme. It’s becoming more and more apparent that online poker may not be able to succeed in the US, legally or fiscally, without parallel internet casino gambling.

The threat of the lame duck session in Congress passing Sheldon Adelson’s multi-billion dollar backing of RAWA – the Restoration of America’s Wire Act that would create a blanket ban of internet gambling across the nation … Read More

New York ‘Poker Granny’ arrested for running illegal poker and gambling house

Written on November 21, 2014

These days, the gambling industry and enigmatic news headlines seem to go hand in hand, but the latest reports out of New York are beyond bizarre. Last Saturday, November 15th, a raid was conducted on an illegal gambling house in Albany, New York. Among the 16 individuals arrested and charged with various crimes in relation to the incident was Mary Helen Morgan, a 90 year old African American woman alleged to be ring leader, in charge of running the illegal poker games and related gambling activities.

Police reports indicate that officers entered the home of Ms. Morgan at … Read More

San Manuel CEO talks about PokerStars partnership as Amaya stocks soar

Written on November 20, 2014

The California legislative session is poised to reconvene on December 1st, after which a new bill to regulate online poker is expected to be introduced no later than the submission deadline of January 30, 2015. Enthusiasm is high that legislature will move forward with regulation next year, as was evident by last week’s joint venture between the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the PokerStars’ alliance, which includes the Morongo Tribe and California’s three largest card room operators. This week, San Manuel’s CEO spoke out on the new partnership while Amaya Gaming stocks continued to soar to … Read More

Welcome to the DurrrrChallenge

Who is this man Durrrr ? At just 22 years of age, Tom Dwan has become one of the most respected poker pros in the history of the game. From nosebleed cash games to some of the world's largest live and online poker tournaments, the man they call "durrrr" can be found everywhere. Recently, Dwan issued the Million Dollar Challenge: open to any member of the poker community except Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond, the challenge requires opponents to play Dwan in 50,000 hands of $200/$400 or higher on four tables at a time. If either player drops below 75 big blinds in their stack at any point, they must reload. At the conclusion of the Pot Limit Omaha or No Limit Hold'em hands, a winner will be crowned. If Dwan is ahead by $1 or more, his opponent must fork over $500,000. If Dwan's opponent is ahead by $1 or more, the youngster has offered to pay $1.5 million. In each case, the victor will also keep the spoils of the 50,000 hands of play. In addition to the money, the Million Dollar Challenge is about bragging rights.

The Challenge, as you'd expect, generated a considerable amount of buzz even before any poker pros raised their hands to play. However, three of the game's best will face Dwan and receive 3:1 odds on their money: Patrik Antonius, Phil Ivey, and David Benyamine. The latter two are World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet holders; in fact, Ivey owns five of them. In 2005, Antonius won the prestigious European Poker Tour (EPT) Baden event. He also finished third in the 2007 WSOP World Championship of Pot Limit Omaha for $311,000. The trio combines for $5.25 million in career WSOP cashes. Ivey and Antonius are both members of Team Full Tilt.

Dwan also has plenty of live tournament experience. He made the televised final table and finished fourth in the World Poker Tour's (WPT) Foxwoods Poker Finals during Season VI for $324,000. He's appeared on NBC's "National Heads-Up Poker Championship" and "Poker After Dark." First up for Dwan is Antonius. Designated Pot Limit Omaha tables have already been set up on Full Tilt Poker to host the spectacle. Keep checking back for up to the minute details on one of the world's most unique Real Money Texas Holdem Challenge.

Myths about Texas Holdem and the Challenge

Myths can be useful. On the surface they provide plausible explanations of why things are the way they are. Beyond that, they keep believers from discovering the truth, allowing those who know better to profit at the expense of others’ naiveté.

In poker, the abundance of myths certainly keeps play interesting. Following are a dozen of the most pervasive ones, many of which encourage inexperienced players to put more in the pot than they should or inhibit potentially good ones from playing at all.

  • Poker is a game of chance . The inventor of this one obviously wanted to entice more novices to stop studying the game, give up calculating odds and put their chips in the hands of fate (with “fate” being a particularly good player). Quite the contrary, scientific research has shown that a player’s talent is the single most important determinant of success. Winning poker is about six parts skill for every one part luck.
  • Good players always win. Don’t tell that to anyone who has ever finished second at a World Series of Poker (WSOP) title event. Even in cash games, the randomness of the cards is still a factor. Although good players succeed more than they fail—perhaps 60% or even 70% of the time—lose they most certainly do, walking away to play another day. That means there is at least an opportunity for lesser players to take them down.
  • Winners must be super aggressive. Hollywood might like that script, and relentless pressure certainly has its place, especially in big money tournaments. But in cash play and limit games, it can actually work against a good player. Most successful professionals, like a Chip Reese or a Dan Harrington, are selectively aggressive. They can turn it on or off and will go full throttle only for short periods of time.
  • Great poker players are born, not made. There might be such a thing as “natural poker talent,” but it is no substitute for experience and learning. Many of the top players today have an aptitude for math; they are good with numbers and quick at making calculations. Others are masters of human psychology. But those are just foundations on which to build their poker prowess. It takes playing in real game situations to develop one’s skills to the point of greatness.
  • Poker is a man’s game. This has to be true, right guys? Just look at the WSOP poker rankings—all men—except for Annie Duke, Kathy Liebert, Jennifer Harman Traniello, Vanessa Selbst, Vanessa Rousso, Annette Obrestad, Joanne Liu, Liv Boeree and ten other women who have earned more than $1 million at the tables, not to mention dozens of other females who now play professionally. Sorry fellas, but it’s time to apologize to the ladies for this myth.
  • Poker is all about reads . Players who can identify poker tells and understand what they mean certainly have an advantage. But if that were the secret to success, nobody would ever be successful online, where opponents are faceless, bodiless and perhaps just poker bots with poor programming. It’s much more important to know how to play your own cards than to focus on mind reading.
  • Bad players ruin the game . That might be true at the Blackjack table, but in poker, bad players are the fish that feed the sharks. Even the ones that consistently overplay hands, raising when they should fold, staying in and catching lucky draws on the River, will eventually feed the chip stacks of the better players at a table. Bad players welcome!
  • Losing bluffs help big hands win. Folks who subscribe to this baloney truly believe that they can’t get opponents to go along with their monster hands unless it appears they might be bluffing. What nonsense! Although getting caught in a bluff isn’t the worst thing that can happen in poker, it should never be a player’s intention. The sole purpose of bluffing is to turn a weak hand into a winner, not to advertise incompetence. Good players win big on big hands regardless of whether they bluffed previously or not.
  • Online poker is fixed . Pardon the double entendre. Online poker is certainly not fixed (rigged) but it has been fixed (corrected) ever since the poker cheating scandals of 2005-07, involving Absolute Poker and UltimateBet. Today’s reputable online poker rooms are secure, monitored by regulators and audited to prevent any types of cheating or scams. If the games were ever found to be unfair, users and the industry would come down on them like a flopped flush on a pocket pair.
  • It’s easier to win online than at live tables. So much depends on who is playing, where and when that no generalization of this sort can be made. In fact, the opposite may be true. Las Vegas poker regulars say a constant flow of tourists makes winning there easier than online, where the same players can be seen day after day. Online multi-tabling also means a single shark can feed on more fish, so in that respect it may be even more difficult to succeed in the virtual version.
  • More bad beats occur online . It sure might seem like this is true, especially to anyone who has played a lot online and off. But it’s mainly a mathematical illusion. Online play is faster, meaning more hands per hour at the table and, hence, more bad beats in total than at real tables, where play is much, much slower. On the other hand, a real contributing factor might be looser play at online tables, leading to more bad breaks.
  • Playing Texas Holdem for money is illegal . Unfortunately, this is true in some places, but not universally so. In Nevada, licensed casinos have poker rooms. In California, legal card clubs abound. New Jersey bans cash games played at home, but allows poker operated by some 12,000 organizations throughout the state. Online poker playing is lawful in most parts of the world, and some web sites welcome players from the U.S. and other countries where it is not. It is up to each individual to be aware of what laws apply, as they vary greatly from one jurisdiction to another.

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