Twelve years ago, an amateur poker player from Tennessee won the main event at the World Series of Poker, and suddenly, the entire world wanted to play Texas Hold ’em. The craze spawned countless underground poker rooms. Greenville, S.C., was one of the South’s hottest underground poker towns — until the whole thing went sideways in a hail of gunfire. This week, as the 2015 WSOP draws to a close, The Bitter Southerner will tell you a week-long story about that night in Greenville — and the South’s twisted relationship with legal poker. [more inside]
How Poker Player Annie Duke Used Gender Stereotypes To Win Matches - "By the time she got to that championship game 10 years later, she had also figured out a way to make people pay, quite literally, for the stereotypes they had about her." (previously)
"It was the first step to uncovering what he says is a $134 million scam by the Oregon Lottery." Once upon a time, Oregon resident Justin Curzi was playing video poker on a Jacks or Better machine. He was playing draw poker, which allows you to discard cards. However, the game's "auto-hold" feature recommended that he discard a different card than he was considering--which he thought was terrible advice and would cut his chances of winning. [more inside]
Two player limit hold 'em solved, say University of Alberta researchers. You can try it yourself here. Poker (at least this variant) now joins such solved games (solved games previously) as tic-tac-toe, connect four, and checkers. [more inside]
Diagnosed with terminal cancer two years ago, and given only months to live, Sam Simon is still alive and still racing to spend the fortune he made as co-creator of The Simpsons on causes he loves, whether he is rescuing grizzly bears (and chinchillas and elephants) or funding vegan food banks. Sam Simon and philanthropy previously on Metafilter
As a single woman, I received a lot of attention. ... It felt that I was either pissing people off with my bubbly attitude or breaking hearts. All that said, the most difficult part of all was having everyone think I was bad at Magic simply by looking at me—and them being right. This was by far what drove me the most.There and Back Again: A Wizard's Tale — Feminist gamer/producer Tifa Robles writes candidly about her journey in, out, and around the world of competitive gaming. [more inside]
(NSFW) Dan Bilzerian is ". . . a high-stakes gambler who drives an Italian supercar with a license plate that reads SUCK IT."
The hottest poker room in the US is at Maryland Live, a casino just Southwest of Baltimore. The reason is that the poker rooms are well stocked with fish, amateurs that regularly lose large sums at poker, but keep coming back to lose again. The sharks are enjoying the feast.
Loved by some but often ignored, passed on by Spielberg, peppered with famous poker player cameos, the boldly painted, logorrheic portrait of real gambling life, California Split might be the quintessential Altman film. [more inside]
When We Held Kings: The oral history of the 2003 World Series of Poker, in which an amateur named Moneymaker turned $39 into $2.5 million and the poker boom was born.
Meet The World's Foremost Quantitative NBA Sports Bettor: Raconteur and humorous tweeter Haralabos Voulgaris
What It's Like to Be a Woman Who Plays Professional Poker is an Atlantic piece profiling Vanessa Selbst, an amazing poker player who just got engaged last weekend, as well as an examination of the challenges of being a professional poker player in an often hostile and sexist community.
Computing Texas Hold'em - Dr. Avi Rubin, a Johns Hopkins professor, computer security and electronic voting security expert, writes about learning and playing poker. [more inside]
With a new baby and wife to support, out-of-work filmmaker Matt Gallagher tries his hand - and some would say “luck” - at playing poker for a living. Grinders is the director’s inside journey into the unconventional, often bizarre, underground world of illegal poker clubs.
How to make money with £100 Five Guardian writers speculate to accumulate.
"I never go looking for a sucker. I look for a Champion and make a sucker of of him." - Thomas Austin Preston Jr, aka Amarillo Slim, poker's first celebrity, has died at age 83. [more inside]
Finally, Gilbert Arenas reveals the whole story behind the infamous Washington Wizards guns in the locker room incident.
U.S. Alleges Full Tilt Poker was Ponzi Scheme. The Justice Department has filed suite against popular online poker site Full Tilt Poker, asserting that money players believed to be stored in their accounts was actually diverted to the site's owners, with money from new players being used to pay off bets when necessary. Reaction from the poker community when the site was first shut down in April. Reaction now. Always good for a contrarian spin, Deadspin says the Ponzi scheme is really all the Justice Department's fault.
Do you remember the scene in Oceans 11 where the Brad Pitt takes a bunch of Hollywood kids for everything they've got? Well, they really do play poker for big money in Hollywood and it turns out that not all the kids are sheep: Tobey Maguire is at the center of a lawsuit alleging that the actor won millions of dollars in an elaborate ring of underground poker games attended to by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon...
Online Poker Doomsday. Feds indicted eleven executives at PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker. They face charges of bank fraud and money laundering. Prosecutors also want $3 billion in civil money laundering penalties. Poker players panic. [more inside]
The High Is Always the Pain and the Pain Is Always the High // Gambling addiction is a simple disease. Living the addiction is a bit more complicated. A chronicle of dependency in seven parts, by Jay Caspian Kang, about poker, Lolita, and how to lose $18,000 in 36 hours. [more inside]
Ron Fanelli was a poker player. Victoria Coren liked him. Then she learned that he had confessed to brutally killing 'bar girl' Wanphen Pienjai in Thailand. [more inside]
"It was my luck (perhaps my bad luck) to be the world chess champion during the critical years in which computers challenged, then surpassed, human chess players. [...] What if instead of human versus machine we played as partners? My brainchild saw the light of day in a match in 1998 in León, Spain, and we called it "Advanced Chess." Each player had a PC at hand running the chess software of his choice during the game. The idea was to create the highest level of chess ever played, a synthesis of the best of man and machine." The Chess Master and the Computer: A article/book review on computer chess and the state of the top-level chess world by Garry Kasparov. [more inside]
Esteemed actor Christopher Walken performs Lady Gaga's "Poker Face". Not a cover. Not an impression.
Several months ago, poker player Tom "durrrr" Dwan issued an unprecedented challange. In effect, he is offering 3:1 odds—his $1.5 million to the challengers $500,000—that, playing high-stakes heads-up (one on one) online poker, he will be winning after 50,000 hands. The challenge is open to anyone except for durrrr's good friend Phil Galfond; three players have reportedly accepted, and play in the first match began yesterday. The results are being tracked in real time here and here; you can brave the inanity of twoplustwo (previously) and read the ongoing match thread here.
A long-brewing online poker scandal reaches the mainstream: 60 Minutes Report (1, 2) (text version) and two consecutive front page Washington Post articles (by Pulitzer winning investigative journalist Gil Gaul) (plus lots of web exclusive content about the investigation)! [more inside]
Poker hand simulator. Get a feel for the odds before you bet the farm.
Desperate for money? Short on good sense? Bull Poker might be for you! Last one to get up from the table and run for his life wins the pot! All YouTube links. Warning: Some gore and blood. [more inside]
Poker is pretty popular, and it seems like almost everyone is making money at it. At the tables, on Wall Street, and online. The World Poker Tour helped create the current boom and, with the World Series of Poker, helped make poker players into rock stars. [more inside]
Related to this post from long ago:Engineer Steve Albini plays poker. On a poker playing forum he's started answering all sorts of questions with his Ask ask a music scene micro celebrity . He talks at length about the records he's worked on, bands he's dealt with, and his opinion on whether Kurt Cobain was a genius.
H.R. 4411: The Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act is a bill aimed at making online gambling illegal by blocking any US funds to foreign servers from American banks and credit cards. It passed the House on Saturday and sent British gambling stocks tumbling. I was kind of surprised at the swift passing of this bill, given that online poker is a pretty serious business, but one poker site says they'll be in the clear as poker is a game of skill and not just chance (good luck with that). Oh, and this is just one cog in the 10 tooth wheel of The American Values Agenda, the republican attempt to push socially conservative issues in time for the election.
Google Web Toolkit + Texas Holdem Poker = gpokr.com. I should probably be embarrassed about how much time I've spent in the last few weeks playing poker online for pretend money. As the site operator mentions in his development blog, it seems to be the small things that make the site so sticky: elegant ajax design, players' rankings displayed and updated right next to their names at the table, a slew of player statistics presented on the main ranking page, even more statistics and graphs on each user page. (Oh, and out of 5000 or so current players, I seem to be #1).
Foreign owner of internet gambling site arrested as he attempted to change planes in Dallas. The Department of Justice announced his indictment on 22 counts and caused stock prices to drop rapidly on publicly traded gambling issues. A cynic might suppose that the arrest was related to his outspoken role as a critic of the pending anti-gambling legislation. The proposed legislation is clarified on the Daily Show
When it started more than 36 years ago, the World Series of Poker was more like a trappers' rendezvous than anything else: a small gathering of professional poker players and road gamblers getting together amongst themselves to see who was “the best.” Now, of course, it is an industry unto itself, with extensive media coverage, televised coverage on ESPN, and a large fan base that follows the daily results of this now six-week long series of tournaments, which culminates in the $10,000 buy-in “main event” to determine the “world champion.” In 1970, eight gamblers put up the $10k each to play in the main event; in 2005, that number had grown to more than 5600, making the total prize pool of $56M one of the largest ever contested, a number that is either exciting or appalling, depending on your point of view. The 2006 WSOP begins today with the casino employees event, and then the larger “open” events begin tomorrow, and continue until July 28, when the main event kicks off. This year’s main event has been lengthened to almost two weeks to allow for enough play to reduce the field from the estimated 6000 starting participants to the final 9 who will vie for an estimated first prize of $10M. Shuffle up and deal!
Poker and politics have often been intertwined. Former U.S. President Richard Nixon reportedly financed his first political campaign with money he won playing poker in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Harry Truman had his own presidential poker chips, and the "buck" which stopped at his desk is also from the game. Today David Mamet (House of Games) has some interesting poker advice for the Democrats, in the LA Times.
A Chip and a Chair: The World Series of Poker's Main Event started today at the Rio in Las Vegas. That's a change from every other year, when Binion's Horseshoe hosted the event. With the rise of online poker and televised tournaments, it's no surprise this is the biggest year ever: 5,661 people registered for the $10,000 no-limit event. That's about $50 million in prize money, once the tournament and casino costs are taken care of. CardPlayer has up-to-the-minute updates on the tournament. Things at the WSOP can get pretty crazy, as you've got thousands of gamblers ready for any sort of action. For instance, poker celeb Phil Gordon put together a Roshambo tournament (paper rock scissors) together with a $10,000 first prize, just to kill time. The main event, by the way, is only one of 45 events, started back in 1970 by a group of hard-core gamblers. Despite the record turnout, however, there's still plenty of people who didn't make it to the main event, including former Harper's reporter James McManus, who placed 5th in the Main Event in 2000 and wrote a fascinating novel on the subject.
Shuffle up and deal--Phil Gordon's Podcasts from WSOP 2005 Featuring between level commentary on hands played and interviews with World Series of Poker players--well-known and not--Phil Gordon's podcasts are entertaining and informative. It's way better than waiting till ESPN broadcasts portions in September.
Online poker company's flotation sends owners into billionaires list. Party Poker.com has announced plans to float on the London Stock exchange. This will see the biggest online gambling site on the planet get even bigger. Will the stock market be happy with the current returns or are the voracious demands of shareholders mean we are going to see more people needing help?
The Reader of Gentlemen's Mail In the spring of 1919, when the father of American cryptography, Herbert O. Yardley, drew up a plan for a permanent State Department codebreaking organization — a "black chamber — he estimated that a modest $100,000 a year would buy a chief (Yardley) and fifty clerks and cryptanalysts. Yardley rented a three-story building in New York City: on East 38th Street just off Fifth Avenue, he put two dozen people to work under civilian cover—as the Code Compiling Company. His summary dismissal happened in 1929 at the hand of incoming Secretary of State Henry Stimson, who closed down the Cipher Bureau with the casual observation that "gentlemen do not read each other's mail". The son of a railroad telegrapher, a man with a lively Jazz Age interest in money, good-looking women, and drinks at five, Yardley not only taught his country how to read other people's mail but wrote two of the enduring American books—the memoir The American Black Chamber (1931), and The Education of a Poker Player (1957).
Poker player plays for 24 hours in a row? Yawn. Online poker player plays eight tables simultaneously for 24 hours in a row? Interesting.
What is the deal with Texas hold'em??? Texas Hold'em (in the U.S.) has become the poker players crack. Its OK, but not that fun for me, and I don't understand what has caused this huge craze sweeping the nation. Poker Chips are in definately in demand... 1 In 10 Kids Will Become Compulsive Gamblers so Do Your Kids Know When To Fold'em? at least there is some texas hold'em charity work aiding victims for the holidays
Are bluffing bots outplaying human poker players online? They might not be as strong as Vex Bot, but they could spell trouble for the booming online-poker industry.
Pokerinathens.org. Passionately dedicated to bringing poker to the 2004 summer games. Funny.
I'll raise you 5 bananas. What do Primate Programmers do in their off hours? Using David Sklansky's theorys to play Texas Hold'em online. As a poker-playing, programming, primate myself, I can relate.
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