After last week’s court ruling that upheld the state’s law banning online poker in Washington State, the world’s largest online poker room PokerStars withdrew from the market citing the recent ruling as the impetus for their departure. Fortunately for poker players in Washington State Full Tilt Poker –and other US-friendly poker rooms like UB and Bodog– have continued to offer online poker games to residents of the one state in the US that has banned online poker.
However, all is not sunny in Washington State: Many fearful online poker players have E-Mailed Full Tilt Poker seeking more information on the site’s current stance regarding the law and were sent the following response from Full Tilt Poker’s customer support team:
“In light of recent legal events, Full Tilt Poker notifies all of its players from Washington State that we are closely monitoring and have been assessing the recent legal developments that have occurred in Washington along with our advisors.
While the option to play real-money poker games of skill is still available on Full Tilt Poker, we will have further information about the status of real-money play by Washington residents in the near future.”
Not exactly the most encouraging message I’ve ever seen. You can be sure we’ll be keeping a close eye as this situation continues to unfold.
If you were to ask the question: Who is the best tournament poker player in the world right now? The answer would have to come back Jason Mercier. Over the last few years Mercier has been the King Midas of the poker world, turning his cards into gold –well turning them into the 21st century equivalent of gold, MONEY!
Mercier’s latest triumph occurred in Event #42 of the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) where he outlasted 3,121 other players to win his first WCOOP tournament, and pocketing $435k in the process – the final three competitors made a deal that saw Mercier guaranteed $375k, with $15k and $60k left for finishing 1st or 2nd respectively.
Mercier’s tournament resume over the past couple years now reads like a hardened criminal’s rap-sheet:
* 1st place in the 2010 WCOOP Event #42 — $435,000
* 1st place in the 2010 PokerStars NAPT High-Roller shootout at Mohegan Sun — $475,000
* 4th place in the 2009 WSOPE Championship in London — $440,620
* 1st place in the 2009 WSOP $1,500 PLO tournament — $237,462
* 1st place in the 2008 European Poker Championship High-Roller tournament — $944,847
* 1st place in the 2008 EPT San Remo Championship — $1,372,893
The 2010 World Series of Poker Europe has appeared almost scripted up to this point. In Event #1 we had Phil Laak capturing his first WSOP bracelet; in Event #2 Jeff Lisandro picked up bracelet #5, while Willie Tann AND Chris Bjorin made back-to-back final tables; and heading into the final table of Event #3, the £1,000 No Limit Holdem tournament, last year’s winner JP Kelly was right in the thick of things –with a win Kelly would become the first player to defend a WSOP bracelet since Johnny Chan accomplished the feat in 1987 and 1988.
Kelly began the day in 3rd place on the leader-board, and everything was working out to form until heads-up play began between Kelly and the man who would end his run toward the poker record-books, Scott Shelley –Kelly would also have become the youngest three-time bracelet winner, besting Phil Ivey’s record which was set at 26. Alas, it was not meant to be for the young British poker pro and he had to settle for 2nd place.
Here are the complete final table results for Event #3 at the 2010 WSOPE:
Party Poker has always taken the conservative approach as far as the games it offers on the site –they were one of the last rooms to add micro-stakes games to their site, and for the most part stuck to the poker mainstays of Holdem, Omaha and Stud. So it was a little bit of a surprise to hear about their latest poker game, Double Hold’ Em.
Double Hold’ Em puts an interesting spin on the game we all know and love: The most noticeable difference is that you are dealt three hole-cards, and this is where your first major decision will come about. Each player must select one of their hole cards to be used as an Anchor-card; this Anchor-card can be used with either of the players other two hole-cards (which cannot be joined together)to make their best poker hand.
An example of how Double Hold’ Em will play out is this:
* You hold – AdKdKc and select the King of diamonds as your Anchor-card which gives you the combinations of AdKd and KdKc: If you were to choose the Kc your combinations would be KdKc and the less formidable off-suit combo of AdKc: Selecting the Ace as your Anchor-card would be even worse, since it would eliminate the Pocket Kings from your combinations leaving you with AK suited and AK offsuit!
* The Flop is, KhTdJd giving you top set with your KK or a possible straight and flush draw with AKs, so unless a player flopped the joint and you brick-out this is a huge hand for you.
You never know how poker players will react to new variants, so we will have to wait and see if Double Hold’ Em becomes the next big thing in online poker, or if it joins games like Badugi, Five Card Draw, and Lowball as failed experiments.
A lot of online poker rooms have tinkered with the variety of games they offer going all the way back to the early days of online poker when Ultimate Bet offered games like Crazy Pineapple. But for the most part sites have realized that players like their old standbys like Texas Holdem, PLO and Stud. There have been a few games that have caught on with masses; first Razz on Full Tilt Poker which brought about a slew of mixed games as well, next came PokerStars Badugi tables, and most recently Full Tilt Poker’s Rush Poker.
The latest addition to the mix comes from Party Poker, and is called Double Holdem. Double Holdem is an offshoot of Crazy Pineapple where each player is dealt three hole-cards. The difference between Crazy Pineapple and Double Holdem is that instead of discarding one of your three hole-cards you will employ one of your cards as an “anchor”. This “anchor” card can be used in conjunction with either of your other two cards to make your best 5-card hand.
For example: Suppose you were dealt AhJhJc. In this case you could use the Jh as your “anchor” card giving you two possible hands JhJc and AhJh. A foolish move would be to use the Ace as your anchor card since your two possible hand combinations are now AhJh and AhJc, basically eliminating your pocket pair from the equation –as you can see it’s probably a bad idea to play Double Holdem after a few drinks!
We’ll keep an eye on the popularity of Double Holdem and see if the game becomes a fairly popular poker variant like PLO or Razz, or if it falls by the wayside like 5-Card-Stud.
Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo is a popular split pot version of Seven Card Stud. Stud Hi-Lo promotes more action than regular stud due to the fact that in many hands one player will get half of the pot for having the highest hand, and a separate player will receive half the pot if they have a low hand.
A game of Stud Hi-Lo is normally played with eight players. Before the start of a hand, each player at the table must post an ante. After the antes are pulled into the center, each player receives three cards. Dealing starts in seat one and continues around to seat eight. The first two are received face down and the third card is received up.
After the cards are dealt, the player showing the lowest rank card must place a bet known as a bring-in bet. The bring-in is usually twice the ante. If two player have the same rank showing, then the player with the lower suit has the bring-in. Suits are alphabetical in the order of clubs, hearts, diamonds, and spades. The bring-in player also may complete the bet. For example, in a $3-$6 Stud Hi-Lo game with a .50 ante, the bring-in is $1 and a completion is $3. A completion does not count as a raise. If the player with the bring-in does not complete the bet, then the next player has the option to complete the bet. After the bet is completed, raises must be done in the amount of the small bet amount, or $3 in the example given.
When betting on third street is completed, the next card is dealt face up to each player still in the hand. From fourth street until the river, the player with the highest hand showing opens the betting. If two players have identical high hands, the player closest to seat one opens. Betting on fourth street is also in the small bet increment. One important rule change from Stud to Stud Hi-Lo is that on fourth street, a double bet is not allowed on an open pair.
After fourth street betting is concluded, each player receives another upcard. On fifth street, betting amounts double to the big bet amount. A third round of betting ensues and then the last upcard is dealt. In normal stud, possible straights and flushes are pointed out in many casino as a courtesy to players. This is not permitted in Stud Hi-Lo. Also, if you are the player that opens betting on sixth, you will also open the betting on the river.
After sixth street betting, the last card is dealt face down to the remaining players. The term of river has been given to seventh street and is borrowed from Holdem. One final round of betting commences and after it is completed, the remaining players show their hands. The player with the highest hand wins half of the pot. The player with the best low wins the low half of the pot.
A low hand is a hand with five different cards eight and below. A player with a low straight or a low flush is not disqualified from having a low. Such hands actually play both ways. If a player has the best high and low hand, they scoop the pot. Scooping also occurs when a player has the best high hand and no low hand is present.
The rules of Stud Hi-Lo are relatively simple, but the game is really anything but simple. Take the time to study up on some basic strategy and then find yourself a low stakes game to play in. Good luck at the tables.
If you like to play rummy card games, or rummy poker instead of holdem, we recommend this fantastic new site: Rummy Royal ( visitwww.RummyRoyal.com)
Rummy is a popular game based on poker, typically played with two to six people. Seven cards are dealt to each player, and the objective is to create sets and runs of three or more. The ace is low, and each player gets to draw and discard one card per turn. There is also a twist: participants can play a card from their hand on an opponents set or run, effectively racking up their own score. These poker websites will allow you to play rummy online for real money.
Rummy Royal : The Best USA Site for Rummy
Rummyroyal.com is the most popular site for playing Rummy and its variants. The site is completely dedicated to Rummy; players looking for other games such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Stud should look elsewhere. Royal Rummy includes Gin Rummy, Kalooki 51, Kalooki 40, Okaloma Gin, Traditional Rummy, and Rummy 500. For people who may be unfamiliar with any or all of those games, the site includes interactive tutorials that will teach you how to play each. The tutorials interface is exactly the same as the software used for real money games, so you’ll be able to learn the interface as you learn the game.
Novice players will find even more to love about Royal Rummy. You can participate in free rummy games, without betting any actual money, and practice your skills for as long as you’d like. Buy-ins for real money games are usually low, between zero and fifteen dollars, making for low-risk gaming excursions with relatively high potential rewards.
Similar to other sites, Royal Rummy offers free signup bonuses. These include a $5 bonus just for registering, and a 100% initial deposit bonus, up to $200.
Games4money.com provides gaming enthusiasts with a friendly environment for playing Rummy. Although the site lacks the polished glitz and glam of a typical online card site, it makes up for it with helpful strategies, thorough FAQs, and a live chat help center. A message board is also included, with a forum for each game the site offers. Here, users are able to discuss tips and strategies with other members, although the activity of the forums is currently limited.
The site also features deposit bonuses available at three levels. Serious players will go with the Platinum Package, which offers a $20 bonus for a $100 deposit. If you ever grow tired of Rummy, the site also includes various parlor games such as Dominoes, Backgammon, and Yahtzee.
GameColony is another popular site for playing Rummy and other skill-based card games. Cash tournaments are held daily. The site is completely free of downloads, and the game interface is devoid of advertising. GameColony features peer-to-peer and tournament play, and players have the option of playing for cash or just for fun. Chat and instant message functionality are included. A bevy of other games are available for competitive play, including Solitaire, Cribbage, Chess, and Checkers.
Although Rummy Royal is the most popular of these sites, it is advisable to try a variety of sites before you decide on your favorite. Rummy is an entertaining game of skill, and veteran players will be able to make money playing a game they love.
Many online poker players prefer to play poker for fake money. While it can seem like a waste of time to some people, poker with play money can be a great way to enjoy the game without losing any money or get used to playing poker before making a significant investment on a given website. If you are unsure about the benefits or risks of playing online poker with fake money, this article should reveal the factors associated with no cost online poker.
If you are not sure how to play a certain type of poker, it is very advisable to play the game with fake money before betting any money. If you are not sure about betting practices or poker rules, you may make a very costly mistake when playing for real. This is especially important as you will likely not receive any help from opponents when you are unsure about a rule during a real money game. However, fellow players during a free game will be more than happy to help you out, especially if it speeds the game up. During a free game, it is much better to ask about a strategy or rule rather than continually slow the game down through uncertainty.
Testing a Poker Website
Free money games are almost always available on newer poker websites to allow new players to test the software and graphics before actually making a deposit. You can think of these free poker rooms as “test drives” for purchases that may very well be an important financial decision. So, if a website offers free rooms for players that do not have an account, take full advantage of these services. If you were allowed to view a movie before actually paying for it, you would likely do so. Online poker should be no different.
Dangers of Playing Poker with Fake Money
There are some drawbacks to playing online poker with fake money. Specifically, players who play with fake money are much more likely to make poor decisions. For example, an all in call to when you hold a pair of twos may not be a wise call during a real money game, depending on the circumstances. However, in a fake money game, this call will not result in any negative consequences. You can always get more fake money but real money may be harder to come by.
In addition, fake money games typically go a lot faster than real money poker games. Everyone in the game is just there to have a good time and usually wants play to move quickly. This can develop bad habits when it comes to poker patience and quick decisions. After being accustomed to fast games, slow real money games can quickly become tedious and boring.
With the above facts in mind, you may want to abstain from fake money games unless they are used to test a website. You must use the same play strategies when playing for fake money as real money games to maintain solid technique and proper form. By doing so, you may be able to build up a solid strategic and knowledge base before stepping into the real money poker arena.
We’ve of course all seen the famous poker players like Doyle Brunson, Danny Negreanu and Phil Helmuth who aren’t just making a living playing poker. They’re filthy stinkin’ rich from playing poker, and that’s great.
Perhaps you’ve also heard of online poker players, like Durrr (Tom Dwan) or ElkY (the first ever PokerStars SuperNova Elite), famous online poker players, very rich online poker players.
Perhaps you’re the next poker-made millionaire, maybe you’ll get the next Ferrari from Pokerstars, or maybe you won’t be the world’s next World Series of Poker winner, just your average every day profitable online poker player, making a living grinding at the poker websites. Wouldn’t it be perfect to play poker from home? Playing a game you have a particular passion for, without ever leaving the comfort of your house. This is the same career thousands of other online poker players make a living at, online poker, opting to play poker at home, on the internet.
Anybody that can process simple math can make a living playing online poker from home. We’re not suggesting that it doesn’t take effort, and study, but if you can figure out what beats what, while you begin studying the mathematics of poker, you’re off to a good start.
Play Poker from Home – Make a Living:
The first step is simply to realize that you’re making a career choice, and really to take that career choice seriously. Poker is a game, yes, but it’s more than that, it’s a skill game, a battle of wits, it’s an art. It’s something that has to be learned, and to master the game can take years of experience. It’s likely safe to assume however that you don’t have years today, the bills are still going to come due at the end of the month, and that’s before we even begin to think about what to put back for retirement.
Let’s start with the financials; to play poker online, and win money, you need a realistic bankroll to achieve your goals. The amount of money you’re going to need to get started much depends on the amount of money you set out to make, the stakes you plan to play, and your own personal skill level.
For the rest of this article we’re going to assume you are at least an advanced beginner. If you’re not playing at AT LEAST that level, perhaps you should try beginner poker as a hobby before making any future goals along the lines of quitting your day job.
The things that are going to help you decide which stakes to play at are going to be things like, the size of your bankroll. To figure that out, you should be looking into things like:
·Setting up a Poker Bankroll
·Working out a Home Poker Schedule
·Managing a Poker Bankroll
When you’re first starting out however, lower to mid level stakes are recommended. If you have a lot of time to devote to playing online poker, you’ll be able to play lower stakes, for more time, and make the same amount of money as you would if you were playing higher stakes, you just don’t have as much risk.
A big advantage that online poker play has to offer over live casino style poker games is that while you’re playing from home on your computer, you have the ability to multi-table. So a pro player can lessen their stakes and therefore their risk, stay home, not hang out in a dirty casino fondling filthy poker chips, and make the same amount of money.
It has been several years since Full Tilt became one of the largest poker sites on the internet. When their popularity first began to grow the highest no-limit stakes that you could find were $50/$100 and occasionally $100/$200.
Around this time, Mike Matusow was one of the staples in the high stakes poker game. John Juanda was also one of the most frequent players at the tables.
As the limits at Full Tilt began to climb, the players in the games changed right along with them. Next the $200/$400 games were introduced and soon after that; the $300/$600 games were brought into play. Now players could sit down with as much as $60,000 at the Hold ‘Em tables.
The games began to get taken over by players like “Yukon” Brad Booth. At the time, Brad was living in a suite at the Bellagio on a permanent basis. He estimated his monthly living expenses after tips etc. at about $30,000, but said it was well worth it for the convenience of playing in the big game and never having to leave the building.
Right around the height of the popularity of the $300/$600 NL tables, Brian Townsend (SBrugby) became the dominant player in the game. He took the place of Brad Booth, who is still around these days, but not playing for stakes anywhere near as high as he was playing at back when the games first started to grow.
Townsend had a good run at the high stakes tables for about a 1 year period. After a heavy loss he started to tone down his stakes and he has also started to play in a few live tournaments. Right around the time that SBrugby was raking in his winnings, Tom “Durrr” Dwan was starting to be seen more often at the bigger limits. He hadn’t become the player that he is today quite yet, but he was certainly beating most of the high limit games.
Now the biggest NL tables that you will find on Full Tilt have $500/$1000 blinds. The popularity of these games has fluctuated over the last year. On occasion the games would be full for several days at a time. Most of the money fueling these games has come from Guy Laliberte who is the creator and owner of Cirque de Soleil. His reported losses in these high stakes games are rumored to be more than $10 million in the last year.
Texas Hold ‘Em is no longer the game of choice in the high stakes games either. Now the majority of players are sitting at the pot-limit Omaha tables, and they are usually playing at least 2 tables at a time.
Tom “Durrr” Dwan is one of the biggest winners in these games and he also is probably the player you will see on this poker site most often. Patrick Antonius is also a frequent player at the highest stakes. Patrick and Durrr have a challenge to play 50,000 hands of heads-up poker, in which they have a side bet where Durrr has put up $1.5 million against Patrick’s $500,000. This will all go to whoever has the most money after 50,000K hands, in addition to whatever money has changed hands throughout the series of matches.
Phil Ivey is one of the few players who has always played at the highest stakes on Full Tilt and has always beaten the games. Some of the other pros have come and gone while sort of maintaining a minimal presence in the big games. John Juanda has always done ok on the site, but you won’t see him sitting down too often in the big games anymore.
David Benyamine is also a player who has stuck around over the past few years. He has had his fair share of big nights on Full Tilt poker site. The rumor is that he lost some money in the Hold em games over this past year, but he has been a big winner in the Omaha games.