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Latest News

Legal Online Poker Comes to Iowa

Iowa has become one of the most recent U.S. states to develop a proposal to legalize the activity of online poker for its residents.  The Iowa State Legislature has been presented a bill to promote the changes and is now in development over a decision.  Sources state, Senator Jeff Danielson has commented the proposition’s draft would become a “win-win” situation for the many Iowa residents who participate in and enjoy gambling, as well as for the residents who don’t gamble, maintaining a gambling policy combination that carries merit.

If the legislation approves the proposal, U.S. Digital Gaming is expected to gain the contract to operate the Iowa online poker network.  While the discussions are certainly preliminary for now, it has been noted that the virtual poker network would be regulated by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.  Iowa residents wanting to participate as players would have registration options via in person, e-mail, phone, or at one of the many state-regulated casinos.  Safeguards will be installed to certify proper customer age (21 or older), and registered accounts in order to have access to the network.

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NFL Disallows Football Players to Play Charity Poker Tournament

Several of the biggest names in poker, which include Johnny Chan, Annie Duke, Howard Lederer and Phil Hellmuth joined forces last weekend with entertainment celebrities and NFL sports stars for a charity poker tournament at the Golden nugget Casino in Las Vegas.  The event raised money for the Starkey Hearing Foundation and Pros for Africa, a non-profit organization, which provides for children in need in Africa.

Unfortunately, the NFL saw the involvement of its players in the gambling event as a “no go.”  The League received word about the activity and disallowed its players to participate.  A total of about thirty NFL stars showed up to play and help the benefit.  All were only allowed to contribute their support from the sidelines.

The NFL is known as a major adversary of online gambling.  The NFL lobbyists were among the first in line to fight against Congressman Barney Frank and his plans to regulate online gambling.

This controversy between the NFL and online poker began in 2006 when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed.  U.S. access to online poker and gambling was made more difficult, and the NFL fought to ensure that fantasy football was exempt from the bill.  After the NFL won the battle, the league pulled all strings to keep its billion-dollar brand name away from anything related to gambling.

After the development of Frank’s Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act (HR 2267) in July of last year, it was reported that the NFL had lightened up its advocacy against to poker.  The bill aimed to regulate internet gambling and, at the same time, outlawed online sports betting, which supposedly relieved the NFL of any concerns about poker in the U.S.

Yet, the actions of the NFL last Saturday display an entirely different perception on the matter.  The charity event was still tallied as successful.  Over 350 people participated for a buy-in of $2,000 with $500 re-buys.  Some celebs on the scene were Steve Martin, Don Cheadle, Kevin Sorbo, Jordin Sparks and Lou Ferrigno.

Big prizes were given away for the benefit including a 2011 CSM #2 Shelby Mustang, iPads, and adventure trips to Africa, Mexico and South America.  Supporters for the Starkey Hearing Foundation were most pleased with the outcome.

The Starkey Hearing Foundation was funded in 1984, and strives to create awareness for the change of the social consciousness of hearing and hearing loss prevention.  Through its endeavors, the Starkey Hearing Foundation delivers more than 100,000 hearing aids throughout the world.

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Critters Play Poker Too

Quite a few poker terms are derived from names for animals.  Some of the varieties might surprise and amuse you.

A bear commonly brings to mind the image of a powerful animal with great strength.  However, it is the opposite in poker terms.  The term bear describes a very conservative player, who places few wagers and plays in an overly cautious manner.  The player may try to set different rules for the game, or ask for very low betting limits (also known as a drummer or a milker).

A dog is often called man’s best friend but that doesn’t apply in poker.  It refers to a bad hand, or a bad card.

You can also find a duck in poker, only this duck doesn’t quack.  A duck is simply another name for a deuce or a two.

Swimming along, we have the fish. This term is used to refer to an unskilled or new player, who would probably be better off playing Go Fish than Poker.  A fish tends to bet wildly even when he can’t beat what’s showing, has little knowledge of the nuances of poker, and loses frequently.

Similar to the fish, the minnow tends jump into a game even though this player does not have enough money to compete.  A minnow also bets beyond their means, and often loses.

You don’t want to be the monkey in poker.  A monkey is a person who gets taken easily and either loses a lot of money to more savvy players, or they may be easily duped by a player who cheats.

Finally, we have the rabbit. The rabbit is a lot like the fish, only usually plays a bit more timidly or may ask too many questions (i.e. “Does this, beat that?”).  Refined players have very little patience for fish and rabbits.

Hopefully, you won’t hear of yourself being referred to as any of these beasties around the table.

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Poker Hand Nicknames

You’ve just been dealt your hand in a round of no-limit Texas Hold’em.  Excitement and anxiety builds within you as you begin to slowly fan your hand and eyeball those first few cards.  Maintaining the calm you want to convey, you control your breathing as you begin to assess the potency of your hand.  As you pick up the cards you run through the range of possibilities from the worst starter of a weakly 2-7 off-suit to the mighty pocket aces.

We all have our favorite starting hand, and many of us know where that hand ranks in the pecking order of starting cards.  Yet, what many of you may not know are some of the nicknames given to these starting hands.  Most of us have heard a starter hand such as A-A referred to as “Pocket Rockets” or “American Airlines,” but did you know they are also called “Eyes” or “Eyes of Texas”?  Certainly, you witnessed pocket kings in play with the commentary from your opponent, “Cowboys” or “Gorillas” (K-K being the initials for King Kong), or “Ace Magnates.”  You may also have heard the starter hand Q-Q referred to as “Ladies,” “Sisters,” “Four Tits,” or “Siegfried and Roy.”

Nicknames for starting hands have developed in a variety of ways over the years.  A-K, known as “Santa Barbara” and “Big Slick” received those names from a destructive oil spill which took place of the coast of Santa Barbara.  “Little Slick” has been given to the starting hand of A-2.  The “Lollipop Hand” refers to A-Q because at first the hand looks sweet , but often times gets licked in play.

The following list presents other starter hand nicknames that are commonly, or uncommonly used by poker players:

Acey-deucy: A-2
Ajax: A-J
Barbara Hutton (after the dime-store heiress): 10-5
Baskin-Robbins (symbolizing the chain’s “31 Flavors” of ice cream): 3-A
Beer hand: 7-2
Broderick Crawford (because of the actor’s tendency to say “ten-four” during the 1950s
television show, Highway Patrol): 10-4
Canine: K-9
Colt 45 (after the firearm or even the malt liquor): 4-5
Computer Hand (because it is the exact middle-ranked starting hand between A-A and 2-7 off suit): Q-7
Crabs (because they look like pinchers): 3-3
Darth Vader (the “dark force”): 4c & 4s
Dead Man’s Hand (the hand “Wild Bill” Hickok was holding when he was murdered in Deadwood, South Dakota on August 2, 1876): A-8
Dime Store: 10-5
Dolly Parton (from her starring role in the film 9 to 5): 9-5
Eubie (as in “If you play these, you be broke”): 8-6
Five and dime: 10-5
Heinz (from the Heinz slogan of “57 varieties”): 5-7
Hockey Sticks: 7-7
Jack Benny (because the comedian often joked that that was his age): 3-9
Jackson Five (from the Motown music group): J-5
Jesse James (after the gun he was shot with): 4-5
Katie or Katy (because the 10 is often represented with a “T”): K-10
King Crab: K-3
Kojak (after the old television show): K-J
Kokomo: K-8
Little Oldsmobile (after the 88 model): 8-8
Lumberman’s Hand (after the 2″ x 4″ board): 2-4
Marriage (from the game of pinochle): K-Q
Mongrel: K-9
Motown: J-5
Newlyweds: K-Q
Office Hours: 9-5
Oldsmobile (after the 98 model): 9-8
Pedigree: K-9
Pickle Man (representing a Heinz variety): 5-7
Pinochle (from the game): Jd -Qs
Presto: 5-5
Quinine: Q-9
Railroad Hand (because saying it out loud sounds like a steam train): J-6
Raquel Welch (after her curvaceous measurements): 3-8
San Francisco Busboy (a queen with a trey): Q-3
Snowmen: 8-8
Speed Limit: 5-5
Trombones (from the song 76 Trombones in Meredith Wilson’s play and movie The Music Man): 7-6
Union Oil (from company’s symbol) 7-6
Wayne Gretzky (his jersey number): 9-9
Walking Sticks (which the numbers resemble): 7-7
Woolworth (from the retail five and dime store): 10-5

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PokerStars offers Private Games for Friends

PokerStars introduces a new online Home Game section, which offers an Ultimate Home Game $100k freeroll!

PokerStars is one of the foremost leading online poker play sites in the industry that has climbed its way to the top of the reputation ladder by continuously innovating new approaches in gaming software and entertainment.  The latest gem to shine on the PokerStars site is an area of Home Games, which allows PokerStars players to enable private games for friends and invitation only.

Now at PokerStars you can participate in private cash games and tournaments for any variety of stakes, or even for free with your own group of like-minded friends.  One player is designated at the “club manager”, who can invite up to seven other members to the group to join in on the game action.  The software can then be customized in a variety of formats to suit the needs of the group.

As an incentive for the launch of this groundbreaking online poker play format, PokerStars is offering each registered group a grand trip to either the EPT Snowfest in Austria, Vancouver, Macau or Buenos Aires and funding for a private VIP poker game with members of the PokerStars Pro Team.

In order to be eligible for the Ultimate Home Game $100k freeroll taking place on March 6, 2011, the club manager must enlist seven poker playing buddies and play a minimum of two real money, or five play money poker games at PokerStars.  Club Mangers will be awarded an entry ticket after completing registry.

Get in on the latest hand dealt by PokerStars today!

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