Sunday, February 26, 2006

Online Poker Gambling Sees Tremendous Growth

Online poker gambling at casinos and poker rooms is one of the fastest growing forms of wagering on the Internet. Fueled by the televised tournaments seen on Travel Channel's World Poker Tour, ESPN with the 2004 World Series of Poker (WSOP), and Bravo's Celebrity Poker, the popularity of the game is seen everywhere. A huge number of the qualifiers for the 2004 WSOP gained their entries from playing in online satellite tournaments for a fraction of the large entry fees paid by others. Look for more players to enter 2005 world series of poker satellite tournaments for this reason.

Tournaments at land based casinos are becoming so popular that people are being turned away, with waits at some lasting two hours to get a table on the weekends. Smaller land based casinos are promoting poker tournaments in order to capitalize on the growing trend of the game. Even though the cut for the house is pretty slim, they report increasing revenues by the number of patrons who play other games, buy drinks and food. It is also allowing them to attract new players which are mostly twentysomethings and women which expands their customer base.

It seems that most of the upcoming poker stars are a lot younger than in the past. This is because the years of experience formally gained at the brick and mortar poker rooms is compressed into months when playing online. College students watching Texas Hold'Em poker on TV have taken to playing at crowded tables on campus or online where they can take advantage of the 24/7 availability of other players when they can. One college student stated that "Being able to lie (bluff) and get away with it is exciting when you know the hand you have is inferior to the one your opponents have." Plus being able to play for free is also a nice way to learn the game which is a feature that most poker rooms on the Net offer.

Learning the game is also becoming easier with free lessons at brick and mortar casinos and also The Travel Channel featuring review and analysis of poker hands on Wednesdays through it's WPT Poker Corner. Viewers will learn more in-depth about what they did not see. Discussions will go over the tells, the big mistakes, and the bluffing made by others players. This is an excellent way to learn how to improve one's game.

With the huge piles of money that people can win, more and more are getting into the game of poker. The 2005 WSOP championship for next year will boast a $6,000,000 first place prize and anyone making the final table will be a millionaire. The 2004 WSOP winner turned a $160 buy-in satellite shootout into a massive $5,000,000 check and so many endorsements he quit his job as an patent attorney. Visit our sister site to learn more about the 2005 World Series of Poker .

Saturday, February 18, 2006

There are a few reasons luck's not on your side

There's a quote I once heard that I thought was genius: "Poker is a lot like sex. Everybody thinks they are great at it, but most people don't really know what they're doing."

Because of that truth, people generally blame their losing streaks on bad luck. Well, while bad luck can certainly play a role, there might just be other pressing factors for your losing.

Here are the top five reasons:

• Bad luck — If this is your worst problem, then, ironically, you're in luck! Why? Poker is a game where luck does play a part in how well you do, and bad luck could be the reason you're losing.

However, the longer you play poker, smartly, the less likely bad luck will continue as a factor that brings you down. Like all poker players, you have to ride out bad-luck streaks. Just don't be foolish and create your own bad luck.

Losing a few sessions in a row can easily be chalked up to bad luck, but if you're habitually losing after months and months of play, chances are bad luck is not really the key factor.

Here's a suggestion: Chart your results by the hour. See how you're doing after 500 to 1,000 hours of play before throwing in the towel. If you're still showing a loss after that much play, well, you just might have a problem that has nothing to do with luck.

• Too predictable — This is especially true if you were once a winning player against the same opponents and are now losing to them on a regular basis. If you have a straightforward approach to the game, it could be that your opponents are on to you. Solution: Elevate your game by adding some deceptive plays to your arsenal.

For example, if your opponents have caught on to the fact that you simply never bluff, maybe it's time that you come out of your shell and start making some creative moves.

• Playing in tough games — You could be the fifth-best poker player in the world, but if you're seated at a table with the top four players in the world, well, you're the sucker!

Game selection is as important to your bankroll as how you play the game. Swallow your pride, put your ego in check, and simply ask yourself this tough question: Are the guys that I play with better than me? If the answer is yes, you need to find a new game against lesser-skilled competitors.

• Lack of fundamentals — This is a common reason for losing. But there is some good news: Learning poker fundamentals is as easy as picking up a few great books and working on expanding your knowledge. Hey, it certainly couldn't hurt.

If you don't have a solid foundation for making poker decisions, you'll always be a step behind. Learn how to play the game the right way by focusing on the basics, and when you get those down, add the elements of your own style to the mix.

And the No. 1 reason you're losing at poker:

• Playing on tilt — The most significant factor in your overall results is how you handle yourself when you get unlucky. Many players blow a gasket, lose their cool, and their bankrolls soon follow.

Taking a bad beat or two is inevitable. The difference between long-term winners and losers is how bad luck affects their play over the course of the session.

You never want to chase your money. You also don't want to lose your patience by playing hands you know you shouldn't be playing. If you simply can't handle the stress related to bad beats, then do yourself a favor and quit before things turn ugly.

Remember, there's always tomorrow. Poker isn't going anywhere.

Saturday, February 4, 2006

A ROOKIE has bluffed his way into the tournament with £5 MILLION up for grabs

Greenock card shark Craig McFarlane will take his seat for the World Series of Poker — despite never having played on a real table before.

The 28-year-old is hooked on the online poker craze and after beating 800 others he is heading for the world's gambling capital Las Vegas.

Hydraulics engineer Craig, of Brisbane Street, said: "I have only been playing the game for five months and I have never played in a casino before. So I’ll need to get to the casino and get practising my poker face."

He will be playing Texan Hold'em, a spin-off of the original game that has sparked a worldwide craze.

Craig first played the game with friends on a Friday night and started going online.

So far he has gambled with a pot of £300, but now he is raising the stakes.

After entering a competition to win a place in the qualifers, he had a play-off with 800 other hopefuls and his second place finish sent him packing to Vegas.

His $6,000 entry fee is now paid as well as two flights to the super city.

The World Series of Poker starts in August and attracts millions of television viewers worldwide. First-time player Craig is following in the footsteps of icons such as champion player Daniel Negreanu.

But does he have any tricks up his sleeves when the chips are down?

Craig said: "You see them wearing sunglasses and baseball caps but I won't be doing that. I will just try not to give it away if I have a good hand.

"It is obviously going to be a different kind of atmosphere from playing on the computer."

He added: "I might take my mp3 player to shut out the noise and help me concentrate."