Friday, July 29, 2005

Poker, is it just a game??

For a couple of months now I have become interested in Poker. The World Series of Poker World Championship has just finished in Las Vegas and Joe Hatchem won the accolade of World Champon, $7.5m and the gold bracelet. Well, that is a bit out of my league but the game is fascinating. Their are two TV channels devoted to all things poker and the increased publicity is drawing in thousands of players from all over the world. Poker is not a game for old grey-haired guys smoking huge cigars in back rooms anymore. No, it’s for young hip guys with iPods and shades and girls, yes, girls beating the guys at their own game. Players are being recognised in the street and signing autographs. The game has it’s own stars now. The Devilfish, Phil Helmuth, Greg ‘fossilman’ Raymer, Annie Duke, Cyndy Violette and loads more.

The internet has played more than a part in the increase in popularity of poker. There are literally hundreds of online poker sites where you can sign up, make a deposit of real money and off you go. Play is 24/7, ring games, MMTs (multi-table tournaments), SNGs (sit and gos), satellites and the rest. If you’ve got the bankroll and the bottle you can play big time. Well, the buy-in for the World Championship main event is $10,000 so you’ve to be serious and good to play in it, but anybody can have a shot. Just enter one of the many online tournaments that offer a seat as a first prize and win it. Many players at this year’s championship did just that.

I don’t play for real money, for one thing the wife would kill me. She says it’s all luck anyway. But it isn’t is it! OK, it’s luck what cards are drawn, but it’s how you play those cards and read the other players, that’s the GAME. You can go to most online poker sites and sign up and get 1,000 play chips and off you go. Players from all over the world are just waiting to take those chips off of you. It’s ideal for learning how to play the game. The internet is just overflowing with poker information, strategy and tips. And if you want blogs, wow, there are just hundreds. The bad beats and success stories, the road trips to Vegas it’s all there. I have a few bookmarked and one of the best if you are at all interested is Table Tango, published by a lady called Linda R Geenen. Linda lives in Vegas and deals poker at the Bellagio Hotel. The Bellagio has one of the best casinos in Vegas and Linda details her experiences dealing low and high stakes poker 5 days a week. The players famous and not so famous all have a tale to tell and Linda’s writing is always entertaining. Take a look:

I am still very much a beginner but I am in red and slowly building up my stack. One day I might play in Vegas, anythings possible.


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