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  • Archive for April, 2007

    Bigger Deal – The Game Goes On

    In 1988, when I played in the ‘main event’ of the World Series of Poker at the start of my book Big Deal, there were 167 starters and the world title was worth $700,000. By 2006, when I take part at the end of the sequel, Bigger Deal, nearly nine thousand starters are vying for […]

    A game of skill?

    How long, O Lord, how long until poker is officially classified as a game of skill? It didn’t happen in 1960 when Parliament passed the Gaming Act which legalised casinos in the UK, thereby putting out of busin ess not only all those sleazy basements in Gerrard Street where Greek hard men played stripped-deck five-card […]

    Under Pressure

    Soundtrack: “Under Pressure”. I can’t even imagine what must have been going through Paul Wasicka’s head… In my opening piece, I promised a mix of teaching and story-telling; this weaves both together. Here we have a setting that a Hollywood producer could only dream of: the World Series of Poker $10,000 no-limit hold’em main event […]

    Shady characters and carcinogenic backrooms

    The set up Most people seem to like the fact that poker is clean and safe now. But when I first started playing, part of the attraction of the game was the chance to mix with shady characters, to hang out in carcinogenic backrooms, to rub shoulders with people who talked about “shooters” and “grasses” […]

    That loud-mouthed table bully

    You know the type. That loud-mouthed table bully who decides he’s going to have some fun and pick on you tonight. Whenever I run into one of those, I immediately think “Richie” because that’s the name of my nemesis. Too many years ago I was playing in a Thursday night game in Manhattan. The rest […]

    Does reading books on poker strategy help your game?

    I have been involved in the poker world for forty years now (am still a bad player), and there is something that has recently happened in the TDA rules that I do not agree with. This rule applies to both tournament and cash games and your opinions on this ruling would be greatly appreciated. Example […]

    Business of Gaming – The Rake

    Julius "Big Julie" Weintraub said that the man who invented poker was bright but the man who invented the poker chip was a genius. If you own a poker room, you might add that the man who invented the rake was an absolute legend. The rake is a player’s biggest enemy. It eats away at […]

    A guide to poker

    THE SET UP Rule one of successful poker? Play within your bankroll. Yeah, I know that. But what about the other guy’s bankroll? I found myself wondering this when I sat down at a home game in Kew on Thursday night. We were just four handed but I’ve never seen so much wealth around the […]

    Stepping Out

    Soundtrack: Booker T. and the MGs. Cool music in honor of one of the coolest gamblers of all time. A poker player starts his series with thoughts about blackjack… I’m pretty sure that the second gambling book I ever read was Million Dollar Blackjack, the seminal tome by legendary blackjack player Ken Uston. I say […]