If poker is America’s holy game, then seven-card and Texas hold’em are the prayers of choice for most parishioners. In spite of what you might read about Omaha high-low split being the “…game of the future,” stud and hold’em are still played by more people, in more locales, than any other forms of poker.


Once you enter a cardroom, “What game do I play,” is your most important decision. When you’re just starting out, choose one you’re familiar and comfortable with. If you’ve played a lot of stud in your regular home games, but not much hold’em or Omaha, put your initials up for a stud game. You will find a lot of recreational players in these games, particularly those with lower betting limits. The games are good, and you’ll find some players who are always willing to play with poor starting cards and continue to draw and pray, regardless of what they hold. And unlike you, they will not be students of the game.


In a $10-$20 7-card stud game (which I’ll use as an example, though you should not start out in a game this big) each player antes $1 and the low board card brings it in for $3. This bring-in is simply a forced bet, to stimulate action. Three raises are usually allowed on each round of betting. Each player can call the $3 bring-in, or raise the pot to $10. On each succeeding round of action, the high board initiates the action, with an option of checking or betting. Betting limits are $10 until the fifth card is dealt (fifth street, in poker parlance) at which point all bets and raises are in $20 increments. (But if there’s an open pair on fourth street any player has the option to bet $20 on …

As we approach the end of the first week of March there has been no significant tournament action in the UK or Ireland to report on. But that’s about to change.

The big event for March is the eagerly anticipated British Open at the Vic in London, which will run from March 10th to the 16th. Most of the top UK and Irish players will attend and we expect healthy numbers of foreign players to also compete.

Napoleons Casino in Sheffield will host their March Festival from the 26th to the 28th and will feature 3 tournaments. Full details are also on our website.

We will of course bring you all the results here at PokerPages. The other big event is, of course, the hugely popular Poker Million 2003. Although it is an invite only event, it has generated great interest due to the fact that Sky Sports have been televising the six heats leading up to the final, which will be broadcast live on March 14th at 8:00pm on Sky Sports 1. Since our last newsletter heat 5 of 6 was televised with the last heat being televised on Friday 7th March at 10:00pm on Sky Sports 1 (with a repeat at 00:30am, and again on Sky Sports Extra at 06:30am on Saturday 8th). So I’ll take this opportunity to recap on events to date and give you the results of heat 5.

Poker Million 2003 Update

Already qualified from the first 4 heats are:

Heat 1 – Steve Davis (the professional snooker and pool player)

Heat 2 – Tony Bloom (who finished 4th in the inaugural Poker Million tournament)

Heat 3 – Bruce Atkinson (the colourful Elvis impersonator who is no slouch at poker)

Heat 4 – Guy Bowles (the man with 2 nicknames – “The Iceman” or …

A copy of Geoff Mangum’s book has been kicking around the office for a couple of months. I hadn’t really had a chance to give it a good look until someone tossed it in my lap the other day and said “go for it.”

Gambling on the Internet is a tiny little book, small enough to fit in my shirt pocket, and yet it contains a surprising amount of information. The book lists its contents right on the cover:

So far so good, but what’s inside? The good 789betting news is there is actually a fair amount of good information between the wine-colored covers. Everything from the business side of internet gambling — including the key organizations and consultants — through a vast array of websites and on to horseracing and sports-betting is discussed.

Each section of the book has an introduction to get you up to speed on the subject at hand and enough details to get you started in whatever area interests you. And in each section there are more URLs than you can shake a stick at.

In fact the bulk of the book is website reviews, one per page. Actually one per half-page because the bottom half of each page is a (bad) photo of the respective site’s front page or logo. Unfortunately the reviews themselves are all over the map.

In some cases the reviews are brief, accurate and informative while others are downright misleading. Take Casino.com on p.70, for example, which Mr. Mangum states is “very useful as a consumer watchdog site.” With all due respect to Casino.com the fact is that that site is an infomercial run by Boss Media to interest players in online gambling and, in the words of a Boss Media representative, “funnel players to Boss Media casinos.” That’s not …

So you’ve read about gambling online, or maybe heard it mentioned in the media, and you’re gonna give it a try. Okay, on your mark, get set — wait!

Before you venture forth it’s time for a quick reality check because the road to online gambling riches is not without its potholes. Here are a few caveats to illuminate the path ahead.

  1. What’s a download? Why do I care?

One of the first questions you’ll be faced with if you decide to gamble online is whether you want to play games that require you to download and install software — these are called “download” games — or perhaps you’d prefer games that simply run over the web — called “no download” games.

This is not a small question and we recommend our own To Download or Not for further guidance on this tricky subject.

  1. So now I’ve downloaded. What now?


With no-download games it’s pretty obvious what you need to do to start the action but with download games it may not be so obvious. You could go back to the casino’s website and read their instructions, they all have them, but if you’re impatient like me you just want to get to it!

The first step after downloading is to install the kayaqq software and reboot your machine. I know, it shouldn’t be necessary, but the bottom line is that computers — especially those running Windows — behave best if you reboot after an install. Once you’re back up, click on the casino’s icon that was placeded on your desktop. If there’s no icon, check your Start menu under “Programs” and it will be at the bottom of the list.

nce you fire up the software it will probably connect to the casino’s home site, verify your install, …

NEW YORK – The vice president of interactive gaming for the first Las Vegas casino to go online will chair the 2nd Annual World Internet Gaming Summit on March 21-22 in Miami, FL.

Tony Fontaine of Station Casino will provide conference attendees with an up to date look at the Internet Gambling landscape, offer his insights regarding Station Casinos partnership with Sun Online, International and demonstrate “Live” casino gaming applications from GameCast Live, a wholly owned subsidiary of Station Casinos, Inc.

Station Casinos, the leading provider of gaming and entertainment to the residents of Las Vegas, recently purchased a 50% interest in SunOnline, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sun International Hotels Ltd. Last September, SunOnline was awarded one of the first three online gaming licenses granted by the Isle of Man. In December, SunOnline became the first Isle of Man licensee to commence operations when it launched http://www.CasinoAtlantis.com, its Internet wagering site.

This year’s Summit will also feature complimentary pre-and post-conference workshops. The pre-workshop, hosted by Marc Lesnick, president of Startcasino.com, will provide an unprecedented opportunity for newcomers to the industry to learn the ins and outs of the industry while meeting the software providers and marketers necessary to succeed, while the post-conference-to be hosted by Mickey Charles, president of the Sports Network-will provide a sophisticated interactive experience for established industry players to elevate their businesses.

The conference will feature speakers from 6 continents. Experts from the fields of gaming, law, regulation, and government will include Peter Gold, Director of Business Development, VegasInsider.com, Inc; Joseph Kelly, professor of business law, SUNY College at Buffalo; Frank Catania, president of the Catania Consulting Group; John Clitheroe, attorney with Kingsley Napley & Associates; Ted Loh, president of Orient Gaming.com; Jeff Modisett, a partner with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; Steve Toneguzzo of GGS and E-Synergies; …

Another season of baseball’s cross-league mixer has come to an end and I thought it would be interesting to discuss the results from both a statistical and a financial point-of-view.


First, a little background. For roughly a century, the American League and the National League played their regular season games oblivious of each other. The only time teams from the two leagues would see each other in a meaningful game would be during the World Series. But five years ago, baseball decided to add a handful of Interleague games to the schedule each season to help sell tickets.


Purists screamed and argued that the integrity of the game was at stake but I think the numerous work stoppages and outrageous salaries have taken care of that. I agree that interesting geographical World Series match-ups such as St Louis-Kansas City (“I-70 Series” in 1985), Oakland-San Francisco (“Bay Bridge Series” in 1989), or Yankees-Mets (“Subway Series” in 2000) lose some significance because the teams have met but I feel that this pales in comparison to the fact that a fan in Seattle would otherwise never gets to see great players like Bonds or Maddux and the fan in Atlanta wouldn’t get to see A-Rod or Clemens. Another good result is that the World Series should be slightly more competitive as the visiting teams will have a little more practice playing by the other league’s rules come October.


The schedule is still a mess as there are more NL teams, the divisions are different sizes and the league wants to promote geographic rivals every year. However, the concept is good and lots of tickets are being sold so it isn’t going away anytime soon. These games represent roughly 10% of the schedule so as a bettor it is worth your …

When I was at Foxwoods, rooms were at a premium, so I ended up sharing a room with top Irish tournament player Don Fagan, known as Anthony in his final-table heroics last year in Aruba. Shortly after we arrived in the room, we decided to make use of the safe provided. I placed my money and passport in the safe, as did Don, and then, as Don was the guest, I allowed him to pick our code. Don decided on 2020, which is a bit of a joke because he’s blind as a bat. He then decided that maybe we should take the money out and first have a practice go at locking and then reopening the safe, just in case. I mentally made a note to try to back Don to get to the second day of the big tournament whilst telling him, “Just go ahead and gamble, for god sakes.” He tried to, but eventually he cracked. Don took out all the contents of the safe and went through the practice routine, which worked like a dream. He then put our money back into the safe and repeated the operation. There’s a bit of a poker lesson in this, in that sometimes you can get from point A to point B without taking any risks at all. Others might have adopted a gung-ho attitude and taken a senseless risk to get to the exact same spot with no added upside.

By the way, 48 hours later, Don was being followed around the table games at the casino by an adoring audience who were hugely impressed with his total fearlessness while gambling at the tables. It’s amazing how a guy can go from making such a tight play at the safe to a loose play at the tables, with …



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Fancy trying your hand at a table or two but not ready to play for real, you can play for Free with our ‘Play For Fun’ option. All you need do, is be logged out of your account, choose your favourite table game from the game lobby and click on ‘Play For Fun’.


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Roulette has been at the heart of the casino experience for hundreds of years and Casino Games does not disappoint as we continue the tradition …



The title race got a lot more interesting as Atletico Madrid thrashed league leaders Real 4-0 in the capital’s clasico on Saturday.


Diego Simeone’s side won comprehensively, as the ‘BBC’ (Bale, Benzema & Cristiano) failed to register a single shot on target.


Barcelona tightened the screw with a vintage display at the San Mames the following night, running out 5-2 winners to shorten Real’s lead to a point. Atletico in third trail Real by four points.


Real reel as Atletico advance Fred Pentland remembered.


Fatigue seemed to have got the better of Real, whose derby defeat came three days after a 2-1 win over Sevilla, where Sergio Ramos and James Rodriguez succumbed to injury.


Ramos is out for three weeks with a torn hamstring but https://synecoretech.com James’ broken toe will see the Colombian skip the key clash with Barça on the 22nd of March as well as the Round of 16 and probable Quarter-Finals of the UEFA Champions League.


So Real are once more ‘in crisis’ according to the press, emboldened by Carlo Ancelotti throwing them the biscuit that this was his worst defeat as a manager.


Normal service should be resumed this weekend at home to Deportivo La Coruna, but their European tie away to Schalke on the 18th is the real test. Losing the versatile James is a blow, but a knight in shining armour in the form of Norwegian prodigy Martin Odegaard might get an unexpected chance to impress.


* Cristiano Ronaldo turned 30, though his birthday bash had the unfortunate timing of a few hours after the debacle at the Manzanares. After showing a lack of spirit on the field, he and his well-munerated colleagues had no trouble letting off steam at the party, which drew …



Newsweek had a fascinating article titled “Do iPods Play Favorites” that reminded me of poker. The author, technology writer Steven Levy, bemoaned the fact that his iPod, which is supposed to play music randomly, seemed to play some songs over and over while some never got played at all. Of course, the author’s error was seeing patterns in what indeed are random events. If his iPod made sure that every song got played, it would not be random.


Poker players also face random events every time they play. Some players also have a hard time accepting the fact that the cards come off randomly, and that everything that can happen eventually will. People mumbling “Unbelievable!” every time their set loses, or “How could I miss this hand?” when their outs fail to materialize, exemplify this inability to accept random events as they come.


And poker players have plenty of company. The human mind has a hard time understanding the concept of randomness. The need to seek patterns is a central element of the brain. Consider a caveman who went out hunting and saw a lion eat his buddy. We know now that lions eat people (a pattern), but the caveman did not really know that. Nevertheless, if he was to survive, he could not think, “That may have been a totally random event. Maybe it was the only time in history that a lion ate a person.”


He needed to guess at a pattern immediately: “Maybe lions eat people; I had better avoid them.”


The better these people were at seeing patterns, the more likely they were to survive. And we inherit that trait today. Unfortunately, poker features a huge amount of randomness; the patterns that we think we see simply confuse us and …