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Latest News

2011 Poker Politics

U.S. online poker players and fans are going to have to wait out another year with hope that the U.S. government will recognize Internet poker is as a legitimate gambling activity.

This year’s Republican swing in the House has stalled the legalization and regulation of online gambling, which had a strong forward momentum during the 2010 year end sessions.  Alabama’s Spencer Bachus has been named chair of the House Financial Services Committee much to the chagrin of most online poker players.  Reports are streaming in claiming other GOP lawmakers are also opposed legalizing online gambling within the U.S.

Eyes are on Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) to continue his crusade in promoting the legalization of U.S. based online gambling.  Reid coming out publicly in favor of regulating Internet poker was the best thing coming out of 2010 that should carry over to 2011.  Reid tried to attach legislation to license and regulate online poker to larger, must-pass legislation during the lame-duck session to close out 2010.  If he introduces the bill this year, it will have to stand on its own.

Most likely, for online poker fans, 2011 will become known as the year a state legalized Internet poker for the first time.  At the state level, progress does carry over from previous years.  This stabilizes the bill to license and regulate Internet gambling being offered through Atlantic City casinos within the state of New Jersey, which could be very close to passing.  It has been passed through the State Senate by a wide margin, and gone through the committee level in the State Assembly.  The full State Assembly is scheduled to vote on the issue today and it is expected to pass the bill.  This in turn will fall into the hands of Governor Chris Christie for his signature, or his delay of 45 days, to become law.  With the federal level looking a like difficult haul over the next two years, New Jersey is likely to be the trailblazer of a more state-oriented spotlight for Internet poker.

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New Jersey Internet Gaming Bill Proceeds; U.S. Online Gambling Bill Delays

Running against the calendar is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) trying to find traction for his online poker legalization measure before the end of the present congressional session.  However, the state of New Jersey pushes forward to approve in-state online gaming.  These efforts create a positive progression for US based legalization of online gambling.

New Jersey State Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D), launched the online gambling and sports betting bills related to the state’s horse racing and gambling industries, which were approved by The New Jersey State Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee.  These efforts would legalize online gambling for state residents, and are anticipated to be voted on by the entire Assembly by the close of this year.  If approved by the state’s Governor Chris Christie (R), both pieces of legislation become law before the end of the year.

The New Jersey online gambling bill would not alter the legality of online gambling for most of the United States.  Lesniak announced to the Assembly that both bills would allow New Jersey residents to gamble online.  An earlier amendment to allow international customers to participate has been eliminated.  The bill would lay down a tax rate of 15% on Internet gambling revenue in New Jersey.  Lesniak also stated if legalized, online gambling would generate approximately $250 million in annual gross revenues for the state. He said the action would also create 2,000 new jobs.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Online Poker Industry Collective

More than ever, right now, online poker players are seeking the assistance from any angle to allow the freedom of poker play from the comfort of home.  This motive is why many players are backing the efforts of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as he pushes to eradicate the prohibition of online gambling in the US.

Last week, Reid affirmed his commitment to legalizing online poker, but has it appears that he has decided not to favor using the tax cut bill to attain his objective.  The Nevada Democrat, who sustains close attachments to the gambling industry, had been building support for including poker legalization in legislation to stretch out the Bush-era tax cuts.  But when the tax cut bill was recently introduced into the official realm, it did not contain the poker lingo.

The bill that Reid has drafted is anything but perfect for the “comfort of home online player”.  If approved, the players would likely be locked down from all online poker rooms for approximately fifteen months.  Even in the face of the temporary playing suspension, online gamblers report to be glad that a lawmaker is at last taking a stand for the cause.

As the lame-duck session comes to a close, Reid has a deteriorating number of approaches to endorse the issue before next year.  All is under pressure within the next couple of weeks, as Republicans, who tend to contest gambling extension, gain more seats in the Senate and take power of the House, weakening the outlook for legalization of online poker.  Of course, the likelihood of Reid’s legislation passing is rather lean.  Republican leaders have berated the bill, and several have claimed there is no chance it will survive.

Adversaries of the online poker legislation have claimed that Reid might merely be paying back Las Vegas gaming executives who backed him during recent mid-term elections.  The accusations are convincing, with the bill being heavily drafted to benefit the Las Vegas and Atlantic City gaming arenas.

No matter if there are concealed motives for Reid’s proposal; the fact is this progress is – hands down – the most freedom of online gaming players have tasted since the endorsement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) created in 2006.  This interest definitely has Reid viewed in high stakes amongst online poker players.

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Psychological Poker Battles

The difference between a winning poker player and a fish is that the fish does not anticipate winning at all.  A good poker player will have personal standards of how to play the game – self-discipline and discipline of strategies.  A fish is content to play the slots, or craps – just hoping to get lucky and win a big payout – or any payout at all.  A well disciplined poker player doesn’t hope to get lucky.  A good poker player hopes other players won’t have all the luck.

A well disciplined poker player knows when to play and when to walk away.  A good poker strategist understands when they are on tilt, and is well aware when the game is too tempting with juicy drippings to quit while out in front.  A disciplined player also realizes they are not going to be perfect, nor is any game going to be perfect.  When a good player happens to make a mistake, they learn from it and move on without regret.

A good player is not so introspective as to be aloof to the particulars of the game in play.  Well disciplined poker players will empathize with their opponents.  Good players will put themselves in the place of their opponents – try to think as they think, and understand why certain plays are being made.

A real poker pro will always try to have an answer to the questions:  What is my opponent holding?  What does my opponent think I am holding?  What does my opponent believe I think they are holding?

Step one: knowing the answers to these questions.  Step two: being able to manipulate those answers into one’s favor.  Perhaps, you are holding a pair of kings and you know your opponent has a pair of aces.  If both of you know what each other is holding, and both of you know that you have this information – then why go on with the hand?  A well disciplined poker pro will manipulate the situation to their favor by means of fast or slow play action and bluffing to throw off the opponent and win the hand.

A good player also recognizes that these psychological battles are much more important during a no-limit game rather than one with a limit.  Limit games can often develop into heated math strategies, while the no-limit hands carry the importance of watching for tells and psychological battles.

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Poker and Politics? You bet!

An election which recently took place in southeastern New Mexico ended in a complete tie, and the final outcome may be decided on a game of poker.

The Chaves County Clerk reported the county commission race between Eloy Ortega and James Duffy ended with both candidates obtaining 1,004 votes.  New Mexico state law claims the tie must be broken through a game of chance.

Clerk Rhoda Coakley stated on Thrusday, “They’ll have to either flip a coin, draw straws or cut the cards.  But I suggested they maybe play a game of 5 Card Stud and whoever had the best hand would win.”

The clerk is still in waiting on 16 military ballots for the race, but if those ballots were not postmarked by November 2nd, they will not be included in the count and the election will remain a tie.  If needed, this political election outcome could see a change through a game of chance on Tuesday, with a good old game of 5 Card Stud Poker.

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