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Regulation of Online Gambling

Chris Christie

The Regulation of Online Gambling Could Fix Some Problems.

There have been so many articles in the news recently about the legalization of online gambling in the United States. All of the speculation has made it a popular topic, but is it popular enough?

Many experts speculate that no bills are being passed because there are simply just too many other issues out there to deal with. Legislators are trying to fix the economy, unemployment, and healthcare. Online gambling does not seem to hold a candle to some of these other bigger problems.

The regulation of online wagering could actually fix some of these problems. There is a “debt super committee” dedicated to cutting the government’s deficits by 1.2 trillion dollars over the span of ten years. Taxing online poker would bring in 40 billion dollars in taxes in ten years. This is only solving 1/30th of the problem, it is still something to consider.

The District of Columbia is usually the leader when it comes to these types of bills, but gambling on online operations in DC is not something congress wants to do. Governors just don’t want to resort to online gambling, they think it will lead to the demoralization of society as we know it. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is one legislature that doesn’t seem to be budging on the issue. He felt for a long time that passing the bill to moderate online gambling would result in betting parlors popping up all over the state. But he finally compromised and agreed to allow online gambling for a ten year period.

Legislators like Christie greatly outnumber the supporters of online gambling, so it is no wonder that the only conclusion any of them can come to is to not come to a conclusion, yet.

It doesn’t help that the previous, and current speak, never felt the need to bring this issue to a floor vote. It’s too bad The Donald isn’t still in the race for presidency; he is a huge advocate for online gambling.

Recently some States are moving ahead with regulation but it is still quite slow. What we need first is a regulation at the federal level before the State regulation. And this does not seem like it is going to happen this year given all the other issues Congress is facing.

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Adapting pot odds

Doyle Brunson
In the situation I gave earlier this was a no-limit ring game where house was taking 5% of pot – probably you would fold unless you have better odds. After the 5% house cut calling would only be worth 1470 or so (less than 1500 you would have if you folded).

It would take a few bizzare factors like needing the win to enable you to buy into a tourney starting in 3 min with say 10 players paying 1-10 and say 500$ added – and not being able to just add money to your account to make this pay in a percentage way.

The decision to call would also be justified if you read your opponent as having a lesser holding but if you knew he had at least a pair of K then you would have to be confident that you could use it to exploit your table image.

OK that is ring games. I would beware of justifying decisions on the basis of table image, it is most often used as a way of justifying a bad decision than a justification in itself. It is very hard to put a money value on image, so focus on putting it on mathematical odds.

What about tourneys though? I have taken the view that whilst in tourneys you have to adapt in your willingness to call these sort of things dependant on quality of opponents at the table, general quality of opponents in the tourney, blinds, payouts, etc. All of these factors are hard to put accurate numbers.

If we assume you are in a 5$+1 three table tourney, first gets all in if all you do is risk 50/50′s with people with the same chip stack and your chips dont alter otherwise (impossible I know but useful for the mathamatical model) if you play 900 tourneys you will win 30 (4500) and it will cost you 4500 in stake and 900 in rake. Not very good, most people think a 50/50 is an ok call in this sort of tourney. But it is clearly not.

Assuming that you are not able to exploit a chip stack into being worth more chips from bullying then you want 6/5=1.2, so if it is a 50/50 you need 200 in the pot already if you have 1000 chips or calling is clearly bad. This 1.2 is the expected value of calling / chips left if fold = Z (I will call this Z value here on). It only applies if calling will knock you out if you lose (but crippling your stack amounts to almost the same thing). If you are a good player in a tourney full of fish you may feel that even 1.2 is too low.

Note this only applies when 1) you cant exploit a larger chip stack to a significant degree either to get more chips or in tourneys with wider ranges of payout – get you in the money, 2) if the way players are playing you can envisage getting into either an all in with a higher Z value. In a 10+1 tourney the Z value needed is only a 1.1 or greater, whilst everyone plays much tighter in this sort of tourney stake actually they could legitimately play slightly looser.

I feel I can legitimately take 50/50s early on in 2-3 table tourneys because getting to the final table with a moderate amount of chips will normally see me into the money. I also focus a bit more on $ per hour profit than $ per tourney. My best game is short stack after I have got reads on players and I am a good heads up player. Also most of the players who reach the last 5 or so are normally unable to adapt to the different style of play required. But it is interesting to know the general position that in a 5+1 you want a Z value of greater than 1.2 or subject to superior play later on you are playing in a way that will lose you money.

People often avoid calling 30%ers say calling on the turn with 13 outs, but if the pot is big you will often have a Z value that makes calling clearly justifyable. Whilst you may get a better chance later on or be able to pick up small pots if you fold and save yourself for later, it would be hard to present factors worth folding as far as I am concerned if there was enough in the pot to give you a 1.5 or higher Z value. Also if it gives a 1.2 rate then your call cannot really be legitimately critisized.

One of the key things that should be gained from my Z value concept is that you really dont want to be getting in a lot of these sort of situations. So trying to win small pots and chose opponents with lesser stacks is exceedingly important if you want to make a profit. Adapting this formula for larger tourneys is a bit tricky as so many other factors come in to play but if you were playing in a system style of heavy preflop play you may make it hard for pros to beat you but you would need to steal a lot of pots to even cover the tourney rake, if you were trying to make a profit in the long run.

No one I play against seems to have a mathematical way of adjusting pot odds in all in situations in tourneys. They generally seem to feel a 50/50 is ok even without a pot to give 1.2 Z value is ok but are skeptical about a 1 in three that will knock you out the rest of the time but have a 1.2 Z value and they play tighter in a higher money tourney with only a 1.1 Z value needed to justify a call.

As I play for time and try to keep my stakes well within my bankroll I reckon I can legitimately call on almost even .9 (call EV/ fold EV) early in a tourney but after 40 minutes it would be foolish to do so without a 1.2 (in a 5+1 or a 1.1 if it is a 10+1). My calling on a .9 could be critisised but my calling on a 1.2 mid way through even if I am only .3 to win is sound as far as I am concerned.

What do you folks think? How would you adapt this to larger tourneys? My own feeling is that with solid play in 5$ large tourneys is that terrible play by other players gives more to the prizes than the rake takes out so that I would avoid many 50/50s because I would hope for either small gains or a 60% + double through but that generally speaking I would feel I would need a small +1 to call on a EV call/ EV fold or I am just not taking advantage of the fact that there are poor players there.

After the first hour I would feel I would need a small +1 to call and it would depend on what was happening at my table and after that I would consider calling if I had not over average chip stake anything with +EV pot odds unless there looked safe money on my table to be got in later hands.

Poker Calculators

Poker calculators: Know everything there is to know before buying one.

Poker calculator is a very familiar name for those who play online poker. The rest might not be that aware of it. In fact, there are many things which even the every-day users of poker odds calculators do not know about. Generally people think that it is only an estimator of winning or losing probability in a game. However, it is much more than that.

A poker calculator makes use of probability and statistical techniques to arrive at the results. Out of the total hands played, it makes a calculation of the favorable outcomes for your side. It also judges the chances of the opponents winning or losing. With an Omaha Poker calculator, you can even think about your next move in the middle of a hand.

Aggressive or passive are the two categories of opponents which you can come across during a game. Passive players are those who do call much for raises. Aggressive players are much difficult to handle. They are not able to keep calm and also make the other persons uneasy. For an easy method to decide which opponent is aggressive or passive, an aggression factor is calculated.

The aggression factor is calculated by adding the bets and raises and dividing by the total number of calls. This way, if the result is less than one, the opponent is passive. One denotes a balanced player and greater than one is a sign of aggressiveness. With this tool in hand, you can easily judge the nature of the person sitting in front of you and what is going on in his mind.

Poker games and subsequently the poker calculators have found their place on the Internet. Anything gaining popularity registers its presence online in a very short span of time. You can play games of poker, test and use poker calculators and even practice on it online. This way, you can gain experience before you face the real challengers.

How to set and detect traps in online poker

In this article we are planning to offer you a clear overview of how you can set up and how to avoid the online poker traps. This piece of strategy is less popular and it is meant to be used only by the more experienced poker players.

The game of poker is more about strategy and skills and less about luck. And since poker is mostly based on strategy there are various moves that a player can make in order to get a winning position and one of these moves is to set up poker traps. These traps are meant to create a wrongful image that is going to confuse your opponents and they will start making mistakes.

Setting up poker traps can be easy after you start to manage your game well, but at the same time you will also have to get the abilities to detect and avoid a poker trap crated by your opponents. Some of these traps can be avoided only if you are a skilled poker player and you are able to tell exactly what the intentions of your opponents are.

There are currently many types of poker traps into which a player can fall and in some cases it might not become so obvious what’s waiting for you just around the corner. This is the reason why it’s always best that you read as much information as possible about the most popular online poker traps.

Here we are going to provide you with some tips on how you can avoid getting yourself into some of the most popular poker traps.
It is an essential thing to know how to play the flops. In the flops there are sometimes some fatal poker traps hidden and many of the times the game is going to be decided right at this moment. If the kicker is weak and you currently have a top pair, you might be tempted to go for it and push things forward.

In case you are not absolutely sure that your opponents have a weaker hand, then you should definitely stay out and don’t start playing aggressive poker. Once you get the right signals that your cards are good, you should move on with some massive betting and raising. The flop is definitely a key and crucial moment of the game of poker and this is the reason why you should know how to play the flop.

One of the worst mistakes that you can make while playing poker is to trap yourself. One of the easiest ways to trap yourself is by doing a very bad hand selection. This mistake is currently being done by both experienced players and novices.

Poker is the game where the chances of winning are equal at the beginning of a game, and this means that even if you are a novice player, if you have a good hand and you play your cards right you can be a winner. Make sure that you have enough poker knowledge in order to do a proper hand selection, and practice at the many internet gambling sites. Only this way your chances of winning are going to go up and you will also always have a good start.

Party Poker rakeback

Man, Party Poker Rakeback is the greatest thing for poker players, basically a free money award for playing solid tight poker. Well, I suppose it is also a form of a Party Poker comps program as well, or maybe some players would call it a VIP program. Anyways that is not the point, the point is that when you create a new Party Poker account and play poker, you will get Party Poker Rakeback automatically deposited into your poker account in the form of Party Points. Do not worry bonus whores, you will still get your full first bonus as well.

What’s Party Poker rakeback you say? Man it is nothing short of the coolest rewards program for poker players ever created. Here is the lowdown: when you sit down at a real money poker game at Party Poker you play against the players. Now, I hope you already knew that you were not playing against the house but let’s just for fun sake assume you are not an idiot and arrived here because you are smart enough to want to make the most money possible for your poker time right?

Ok, now that is understood we can get back to explaining what Party Poker Rakeback is. Ok so the Party Poker owners are just ballers making millions and millions of dollars a week right? They make this vast fortune by charging all players a so-called rake to sit and play at the real tables (live casinos do this too, but you are not a poker idiot so you already knew that right?)

Anyways, out of each cash game pot Party Poker takes a 5% rake, a maximum of $3 per hand (live casinos take 10% rake up to $5 on average, clearly the value is found by playing online).

Now, for non poker idiots like yourself Party Poker will give you anywhere between 10% and 50% of that rake back every single hand; or if you happen to prefer playing sit and go’s and huge poker tournaments you will get back 25 cents on each dollar you pay in entry fees on average. For most real poker players (aka non poker idiots) this adds up to hundreds of dollars per month. To be exact this system is an internal rakeback program called the VIP program. You get the rakeback as points that you can then convert into cash.

Poker regulatory bodies

While everyone agrees that a regulated market is a good thing for the poker industry, it is yet hard to find bodies to implement this regulation.

With Full Tilt Poker, we all discovered that whatever these agencies are, none of them had done its work correctly, resulting in an incredible situation where thousands of poker players find themselves relieved of millions of dollars and not knowing how to get their money back.

We can blame the AGCC who seemed to have known for a while how bad the Full Tilt balances were, and we can also blame the ARJEL (French regulatory body) which did not conduct any serious research before granting a license to Full Tilt. French poker players could have been saved from this scandal, but because of the ARJEL they also end up with millions of dollars lost. While the primary role of the ARJEL was to ensure the security of players’ funds, it is difficult to understand how we reached the current situation.

It can be even more surprising to consider the role of the AGCC which in addition to hiding crucial information has also been completely inefficient in understanding the amount of money seized by the DOJ. This money could be recovered as part of an amicable settlement with the Justice Department. Initially the AGCC announced that $331 million were seized when in fact the DOJ only confiscated $115 million, which adds a hole of $200 million to the debt of Full Tilt.

Full Tilt, who was seeking a buyer has been heard on numerous occasions during the hearings with the AGCC but strangely all these discussions were based on wrong figures. We understand better why for the moment the buyers take their time, even if the Tapie Group announced its intention to purchase the site. With this new announcement of a $200 million additional debt, one would think that the negotiations are far from over.

What future has the regulation of online gambling and which structures will be put in place to ensure its integrity. It was clearly seen that ARJEL has completely missed its entrance exam by assigning a license to a site like Full Tilt. So be it incompetence, lack of resources or ignorance of their work, something must be done to rectify the situation.

Now the question remains that smaller operators which spend in marketing to make themselves known to the majority are having a hard time. And that it is time to give the players a better environment to play their favorite game.

November Nine 2011

The WSOP 2011 has finally ended or at least its summer section, as the Main Event will only be completed in November. But the final nine players who will participate in its final table are now known under the nickname of the ‘November Nine’.

6865 players had enrolled in the main event, less than last year but still a more than honorable number given that Black Friday had removed the possibility to qualify through satellite tournaments at Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker or the Cereus Network. There were some players from smaller rooms such as Carbon Poker and its nice Carbon Poker Bonus Code, but less than usual.

This year there is no famous pro at the final table, unlike previous years. In 2010 we had Michael Mizrachi and in 2009 Phil Ivey, plus a bunch of pros. This year there is only one notable pro but he is pretty much unknown to most poker aficionados as he only rose to poker stardom this year with a meteoric rise. Ben Lamb indeed already won a WSOP bracelet. He made two additional final tables and is now the leading candidate for the coveted title of ‘Player of the Year’.

We will have to wait four months to watch this most anticipated final table, but one sure thing is that you will hear about Ben and the other eight lucky finalists. No one will come home with less than $782k, but more significantly the World Champion will pocket the cool sum of $8,711,956.

Clearly a life changer.

Ben Lamb who already has more than $2 million in WSOP winnings is the one player you are going to hear about. Beyond his 2011 WSOP bracelet he has won other poker championships as well as significant online poker tournaments such as one event at the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), which is an online poker competition created by PokerStars.

Why play online poker

The answer at this question is very simple: you can start playing poker because it is fun and also because it is a complex game which implies mental stimulation and skills, it is like a challenge or an intellectual test.

Another reason for playing this game of poker is that there is no limit, you can play as many games as you want, you can participate at numerous competitions and win a lot of money.

Making money. For some people a way of spending their free time is playing online poker. For others is a way of making money, but of course you have to be an experienced player but also a patient one to make a lot of money. This doesn’t happen over night but after a period of accumulating some important skills.

Social aspects. Apart from being a way for making good money, poker is a social game. People sit around a table with cards, play and talk for hours which strengthen their relation and so they become friends. It is a way of knowing people who have the same passion as you do, a way of learning new skills, a way of interaction. Even in online poker, there is a social aspect and you can make friends, and many people do.

Entertainment. Many people compare poker with a sport, but poker is fun and entertainment because you can hang out at a table with some friends, you can enjoy your time. It is also a competitive game and apart from luck, you will need some skills to win. You can play poker live at casinos or from the comfort of your house, playing online poker, it really doesn’t matter as long as you are enjoying yourself.

The thrill of competition. Every game that surrounds money is thrilling on its own, but poker presents a greater thrill since it is not only a game of chance, but it is a game where the most skilled and knowledgeable player wins and not the lucky ones. Basically this game is a tensed competition between people, a nerve-racking event that brings out the best and worst in people and releases adrenaline in players all along the game.

You can choose to not play poker if you have a gambling problem. Playing poker implies to loose some money and you should not play poker if you don’t afford the money. It can become dangerous because you can become addictive and the sums of money you could loose could be enormous.

The biggest leak

For most average players, their biggest leak is that they call too much under all circumstances. You see this in the low limit fish on every round of play. You see this in the high limit fish postflop tenacity.

The simplest way to exploit this “universal leak” is to just value bet them. This is distinct from the usual advice that you hear: Tight but aggressive. That’s your style, Professor.

The tight and aggressive style is designed to exploit preflop looseness, and postflop weakness. What if you want to exploit players who are far too loose postflop? To do this, you’ll need to get to the postflop rounds to effectivly exploit them. In that case, you may want to defer your tight-aggressive style until the flop has come.

Remember, it isn’t about being tight and aggressive, that is a specific style of exploitation, tailored to specific leaks. It’s about finding the exploit which yeilds the most profit.

On the other hand ‘The Wall’ is a pretty standard strategy used in limit games by most of the better players. It is a very simple strategy, and applicable to a wide range of hands and situations. When you have the initiative, bet. If you lose the initiative, call.

So, if you raised preflop you bet, bet, bet, until someone raises you, and then you call, call, call them down. Of course, this doesn’t apply to every hand. Clearly if you have the worst (or best) possible hand, you’ll probably want to play back at the player who is trying to steal the initiative. But if you have a medium hand that you want to show down, ‘The Wall’ should probably be one of your primary tactical options.

So depending if you play fixed limit or no limit holdem, calling can be good or bad.

Online poker concepts

In online poker an odds calculator can help you make very quick decisions with all hands in Texas Hold’em Poker. Online poker plays very fast and sometimes you will not have the time to think about what you should do. Especially if you are meanwhile trying to calculate the odds and probabilities of various cards hitting the board.

Assistance in this case would be coming from one of the Hold’em software available on the market. They can calculate the odds of poker hands at light speed, letting you focus on the important part, in other words the poker strategy itself.

If you are just starting to play online poker and you have no experience of the game, use one of these Holdem software. If you’re not sure which hand is stronger in this situation and what are the chances of your hand to win, the tool will let you know.

But Holdem odds calculators are not just your assistants during the game, with some of them you can also review a particular situation after the game and analyze your actions. You can replay various hands and maybe discover aspects that went too fast for you to notice, such as how a player made a particular play or how a bad beat took place and what
was its likelihood.

There are all sorts of hold’em odds calculators and online poker aids, so you should do some research before you buy one of them and start using it on a regular basis. Some are basic, some very advanced.

For the basic ones, they will provide odds for one table at most, and just the elementary numbers. On the contrary the most advanced online poker aids use databases with million of hand histories used to create players’ profiles.

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