Category: Poker

Harrah's Poker Room – Atlantic City

If you're looking for scantily clad female servers, gaudy artwork or anything "over the top," Harrah's poker room is not the place for you.

If you want reasonably quick food/drink service, friendly dealers and a warm atmosphere to play poker in, I highly recommend that you stop in. Though not the best poker room in Atlantic City, Harrah's is perfect for players with a low budget as they offer some of the cheapest tournament buy-ins around.

Their Sunday tournament has a modest buy-in of $50.00 ($40.00+$10.00 registration fee) and you can sit at the $1-$2 cash tables for $60.00. Players on a limited budget can play for quite a while without having to risk too much money, and I have gone home a winner more times than I have lost. It may be the caliber of players that go there regularly or it may be sheer luck. Either way, I love it!

Also, the dealers are very good about keeping rowdy players in line. I like a more relaxed atmosphere and can't stand the wannabe professionals that attempt to insult my poker ability. If a player gets out of line, the dealers reel them in right away. Harrah's management runs the room exceptionally well and cater to the players that are there to have fun and be social.

What to expect at the table: Tight play is rewarded here in my experience and there are plenty of bad players to go around. Don't be crazy with your betting unless you have a great hand. There is a lot of action at almost every table, so the patient players get rewarded handsomely.

Pros: As I mentioned, the friendly, professional staff and buy-in minimums are great.

Cons: The dealers are slow to ask for extra chips when they need them. Every time I have played in a cash game for more than two hours, there are extreme delays in the game when new $1 chips are needed. This problem doesn't occur as much at other poker rooms I frequent. This negative alone however, isn't enough to keep me away from Harrah's. I'm confident you'll enjoy yourself if you decide to go. I'll be the guy with shamrock hat who is taking your money.
Just joking. Maybe not.

Misconceptions About Cheating at Poker

There are numerous articles out there on the world of poker, and specifically on cheating at said game, so why do we need another one telling us what is and what isn't going on in this underground world? The main reason is that the majority of information out there on cheating at cards is wrong, plain and simple. They tell you that cheating doesn't occur that much or that cheating occurs all the time, that cheating is easy or cheating is hard, all of which are incorrect. The only correct answer is: it depends. Cheating can be easy or hard, depending on where you are playing and who you are playing with. If you are playing in the World Series, then it would be infinitely harder to cheat than if you are playing with your friends in your kitchen. See cheating is very hard to prevent and even harder to catch. But with a better understanding of how a cheat works, you will be able to better protect yourself.

Misconception #1 – Cheaters are bad poker players

The biggest misconception is that cheaters are bad poker players. The logic behind this is that because they are cheating, they have never taken the time to really learn the ins and outs of the game. This is wildly untrue. Most card cheats are way better at poker than you will ever be. They have to be. A card cheat cannot cheat every hand, and most of the time cheating will only occur once per game. That's not once per hand, but once per game. I

n ten hours of playing, a cheat may only use his skills once or twice to avoid getting caught, and he may actually be seen to lose most of the hands because he knows that when playing, money matters. A cheat will take down the big pots and lose the small ones to put forth the apperance of losing all night, but being able to walk away with all the chips.

Misconception #2 – It is hard to cheat

Another huge misconception is that it is very hard to cheat at poker. If you are wanting to manipulate the cards in any way, then yes, cheating will take some time and practice, but most cheats that you will run into are cheats of opportunity, that is cheats who don't actively cheat. These people cheat in ways that they themselves may not even consider cheating, ways like seeing the bottom card on the shuffle or shuffle tracking, both of which can be done without any skill. These are the people who, when they see someone else's hand, will keep that information quietly to themselves.

The hardest part about this is knowing how to use your knowledge. If you see a Ten of Spades and a Queen of Spades on the bottom of the deck, you know a few things: First, there is one less ten and queen in play, and thus if you are holding a ten or queen then you are at a disadvantage. Also you know there are two fewer spades, making a flush much less likely. Finally, you know that you cannot make a royal flush or high straight flush in spades. This is enough information for the average player to use to their advantage, even without knowing the exact odds of everything.

Misconception #3 – Cheaters are morally bankrupt/ cheaters are thieves

This misconception is simply altogether wrong. Many people see cheating as immoral, and as such tag those who cheat as morally bankrupt. But having one part of who you are slightly off the moral balance does not mean that you don't have morals. And all of this is assuming that cheating is immoral to begin with. People will bemoan cheaters saying that they don't respect anyone and that they are petty thieves, but what other thief can you watch take your money with a smile on his face and you never even know about it? You are after all gambling, and more likely than not you are expecting to lose that money anyway.

So, with a few of the misconceptions out there for you to think about maybe you will figure out the motive behind cheating. For some it is money, for other adventure, but for each cheat it is different. So try to step into the shoes of a cheat next time you plan a card game

Reasons not to Play Online Poker

Have you ever wanted beautiful women? A nice car? A big house? A vacation in Hawaii? Well if so, you've come to the right place. Online poker will get you everything you've ever wanted and more! That is, if you are part of the lucky 10% of online poker players that win more money than they lose. I'm no statistician but I wouldn't want to gamble away my future on a 10% shot.

It started as an innocent hobby for me. My friends showed me how to play poker one summer and I had a lot of fun playing with them. We never played for real money but I seemed to win a lot, so I always wondered what would happen if we raised the stakes. I played my first money game at a barber shop, with a $20 buy-in and walked out of there with $120. Then with my confidence rising, my friend showed me a website where he plays free online poker. I was also winning at a high percentage on that website so I decided to take it to the big leagues and play online poker for real cash.

I made my first real money deposit on a website called absolute poker and jumped into a money table. Within 10 minutes, the money I deposited was completely gone. So you would think the next move would be to just quit while i'm ahead right? That's what I should've done, but instead I wanted to win back what I had lost so I deposited again and then lost it again. This process went on maybe 5 or 6 times until finally it happened. By then I had deposited $300 and my poker stack was about $370. So the next logical move would've been to withdraw that money and retire. However, once you see that stack rising, it gives you hopes and dreams. You feel like the sky's the limit and that you're earning potential is unlimited.. So with that in mind, I kept playing with that money until next thing you know, I was out of money again and now $300 in the hole.

I decided to quit for the day and continue my quest to regain the money that I had lost at a later time. The next day went pretty much the same as the previous day. I had some winning moments in which I didn't cash out and a lot more losing moments. Days became weeks and weeks became months. I didn't lose every time I played, in fact I had some pretty big cashouts at times. But when it was all said and done, I ended up about $4000 in the hole.

You probably look at that number and think, how could someone be so stupid? Well 3 years ago I would've said the exact same thing until it happened to me. I've never been addicted to anything before, until this. Online poker created an addict out of me. I was thinking of poker all the time, in class, at work, at home,in Church, anywhere and everywhere. I skipped out on my friends to play poker, I put aside my studies, and pretty much lived, ate and breathed poker. The feeling I would get when I won big was thrilling. But the feeling I would get when I take those winnings, try to win bigger, and come crashing down to the ground was horrible, believe me.

What they show you on TV or on the computer are happy people with loads of cash. What they don't show you are the 90% of us who fell into the trap of depositing our money week after week in hopes of winning it big. I was promised money, women, cars, dream vacations and what did I really end up with? Many sleepless nights, high blood pressure, a gambling addiction, and thousands of dollars in credit card debt that to this day i'm still trying to pay off. So this article is my plead to you. If you have started playing online poker, please quit while you're ahead. And if you're just thinking about getting started, don't. Your life will never be the same if you do.

Playing and Winning a Sit-And-Go Poker Tournament

A sit-and-go poker tournament is normally a single table poker tournament with a fixed amount of players. Sometimes you will see a multi-table sit-and go (SnG) with two or three different tables, but the idea is the same: A set amount of poker players compete until only one remains, with the top few finishers collecting all of the money. Mastering the SnG tournament is a must for any beginning poker player because it is final table practice for the larger poker tournaments you will compete in later on. What strategy should you bring to a SnG tournament?

Because so few players are playing against you in a sit-and-go, it is important to track your opponents' play early on. Are they loose or tight? Are there any maniacs at the table? In a large, 1,000-person field tournament, you may move around to different tables so often, you won't play against one opponent long enough for a read to matter. But for a single table tournament, learning about your opponents' tendencies is very beneficial. If you plan on winning the tournament, you will be forced to go head-to-head with many of them in order to eliminate them from the poker tournament. Information you pick up at the start of play could come in handy late in the tourney, and mean the difference between and first or second place finish.

Play tight at the start of the SnG. Patience is your virtue. A regular one table sit-and-go pays the top three players. Many low-limit players (tournaments that cost only a couple of dollars) do not take sit and go's seriously. They think of the tournaments as a time waster and risk their chips unreasonably. Do not mix it up with these players with marginal hands. Wait for a strong, made hand, then attack. These types of trigger happy players are just waiting to hand over their poker chips. Avoid pots with more skilled opponents, and focus on your weaker SnG competitors

Around the bubble (a term used to describe the last few poker players to be eliminated without making the money), action begins to tighten up, as players hope to sneak into the top 3 without having to involve themselves in pots. They hope another remaining player will make a drastic mistake and bump them up another spot on the sit-and-go leader board; what they don't realize is that changing the style of play at this critical intersection is its own mistake.

This is the time to open your game up wide. Raise with a larger range of hands. The timid poker players whose only goal is to win some sort of prize won't be calling. Winning the chips your opponents are fine with surrendering will be vital for accomplishing your goal of winning the sit and go. Once you are in the money, congratulations, but continue to apply pressure to your remaining opponents. By this point, the blind value will be higher, making aggression more profitable, and the players will be less likely to defend against your raises for fear of being eliminated prematurely. Play for first place in a sit-and-go because that is where the real money is. Second and third pays much less.

Always remember, the prize money is awarded to the poker players who survive. Do not needlessly risk being knocked out. You will have to take stands once in awhile with a big hand, like pocket queens. Otherwise, think defensively during a sit-and-go poker tournament until the bubble. From then on your strategy and actions should be aggressive.

Las Vegas Poker Rooms: MGM Grand

My recent trip to the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas was an interesting one. While the caged lions for our visual consumption were nice and the nightlife at the hotel was top-notch, I was much more interested in the poker room at the MGM Grand. If you have been to Las Vegas in the last six months, then you should be well aware of the recent changes at this casino. Nowhere is this more evident than in the revamped poker room.

Everything in the MGM Grand poker room is state of the art. From the brand new comfortable chairs to the modern tables, the place was set up as a haven for poker comfort. With the recent renovations, the fine staff at the MGM made sure to add brand new poker tables that feature fine felt and marble table rims. These tables are made for speed, as well, as they all come with complete automatic card shufflers and convenient drink holders. If it's a hip, comfortable environment that you are looking for, then the MGM Grand poker room is your place.

The room is located right in the middle of one of Las Vegas' most chic locations. Inside the MGM, there is the live lion exhibit, the popular Club 54, a new bar called Centrifuge, as well as a couple of other attractions. Appropriately, the resort placed their poker room in between all of this action. Simply put, the setup attracts poker players from just about every angle. The very hip Centrifuge bar is one of the Strip's hottest new attractions. It features loud music, hot women, and unique go-go dancers. While this adds a certain young feel to the atmosphere, it does make playing poker a little bit of a challenge. With loud music coming in at almost every minute of the night, it can sometimes be difficult to hear the other players. With gorgeous women swarming the place, it can be an even greater challenge to focus on the play at the table. Still, there isn't a more hip place to play poker in the entire city.

Keeping with the young and modern theme, the competition at the MGM Grand poker room is somewhat weak. Since action within the bars and clubs is still going strong late into the night, poker players are drawn from their locations to play poker just like the pros do it. If you guessed that this means some weak and drunk players, then you were right. For serious players, the best time to stop by the MGM is at about midnight. From then until early morning, there are a number of struggling players who are willing to dump their money at the tables. The best game for finding this weak competition is the No-Limit $1/$2 game, which runs all day.

As far as tournament play goes, the 6PM $65 dollar buy-in no-limit tournament is one of the most popular "cheap" tournaments in the city. The play here is fairly weak and experienced players should find it easy to make big winnings with the somewhat limited competition. Beyond that, there isn't much need in playing tournaments at the MGM Grand. Stick to the weak cash games and the money should flow in.

Want to Be a Professional Poker Player? Part 2

There are a few reasons I can't advise anyone to become a professional poker player. I know that I might get flamed for posting this article, but if you really look more closely at the top flight professional poker players and you'll see that they own their own businesses. One of the poker players own a chain of dental offices, another living legend and highly regarded poker player owns several restaurants. Let's not mention one professional poker player who has made a complete ass of himself on High Stakes Poker on several occasions –he has a lucrative endorsement deal with a popular online poker site along with many of the other top flight professionals. In other words, these people have businesses or endorsements to supplement their income —you don't!

It would be nice to be able to say that anyone who has immaculate skill can always win a ton of money. No poker player wins every time he plays including the top flight professionals. Furthermore, you must understand that any player regardless of skill level can win any given hand at any given pot. With that said, realize that the majority of the time you only have a small edge over your competitors at best. That small edge is more than enough to realize a profit over the long term. However, the same small edge accounts for the abundance of variance in a poker game, especially Texas Hold 'Em. This is why very bad players can win sessions in Hold 'Em. Those same bad players that you have an edge over can win YOUR money some days.

Its not the lack of technical poker skill that makes players crash and burn, its their inability to weather bad streaks. Most of us have an emotional attachment to money –including many professional poker players. The professionals have learned how to manage their emotions to the extent where they don't blow their entire bankroll just because they're steaming from an earlier bad beat. Poker players refer to bad poker play as going on tilt. Whenever they feel like they're going on tilt, they'll get up and walk away from the poker table. A good book to read on the realities of the lifestyle of a poker player is A Thousand Chances which is available at Amazon.com Another good book for poker players to read besides my book is Ace on the River by Barry Greenstein.

My point is that if you're fortunate enough to have not been laid off and your company isn't eliminating positions KEEP YOUR JOB. Even if you're an above average poker player, now is not the time to quit working just because you've won a couple thousand over the past week. This game has too much variance to be fooled by such short-term results which are more of an indicator of your potential in this game instead of your true ability as a poker player. Keep your job and play poker after work or on your off days and don't spend your entire check trying to offset your poker losses. Instead, open a separate bank account for your poker bankroll and keep your old bank account for your regular paychecks and to pay bills. That way you don't feel pressure to try to get all your money back in one sitting after a bad beat. Instead you can walk away and allow your bankroll to live to play another day. If you do this right, over time your poker bankroll will equal or exceed your yearly income at your square job, and it beats working a second job.

Want to Be a Professional Poker Player?

A few articles have been written on select tournament poker pros who, behind the scenes are nothing more than habitual deadbeats scamming the starstruck out of loaning them buy-ins and ultimately living on the borrow. While I don't know the "elite" poker players personally, I can speak on the lifestyle of a professional poker player as a low stakes NL Hold 'em specialist. Playing cards to pay rent and eat is not as glamorous or as profitable as it appears on television.

During the World Series of Poker telecasts you will often hear Norman Chad profile poker players who dropped out of college to pursue poker full time. Let's not forget the countless stories of poker players who used to be grocery store baggers and stockers that are now professional poker players who are beating countless "fish" out of money. I can tell you from experience –me included– that poker players tend to embellish the amount of money they're making as they grind it out at the poker tables.

While I certainly make more money at a poker table than I would working a 9 to 5 for 40 hours a week at an hourly rate of $15 per hour; poker comes with many valleys, peaks and plateaus. Some weeks you're winning an average of $600 per day playing 1/2 NL and some weeks you're hemorrhaging your bankroll because river rats are hitting their 2 outer bingo cards on you nonstop it seems. In most cases, poker players will brag about the insane amount of money that they won during their winning streaks, but they'll almost never tell you about their losing streaks since you are an outsider and are embarrassed to talk about their negative bankroll swings..

A career in poker is all about grinding out success for the long term and part of playing long term is being able to withstand those bad beats (hands that you lose when you start out as a favorite) and I'm telling you from personal experience that they're very tough to endure. Norman Chad will never tell you about the long days spent at the poker tables chasing an insatiable desire for money –either making money or trying to win back the money that you've been losing for the past 3 days. He won't tell you that most days you're going to be at the casino from 5pm until 5am trying to maintain your bankroll. This is tough to do 6 days out the week, and let's not mention the bankroll killers such as tournaments, side bets, and in most gamblers' cases women. It is no wonder that most talented players do not survive one year as a professional poker player.

My First Experience at a Poker Table

As I walked into the smoke filled room, a steady mixture of anxiousness and excitement ran through my body at a vividly momentous pace. It is not every day an 18 year old kid is able to go to the nearest casino and go play poker. My family was visiting my grandparents in Oklahoma, and as luck would have it, the legal gambling age in Oklahoma is 18 years. I have been playing poker steadily throughout the course of my life to this point at small home games and online tournaments, and prior to this day the only aspirations I had in my body was to become a well known professional poker player. But nothing would equal the thrill of taking down a monster pot in an actual casino, or so I thought.

About fifteen minutes after signing up for a seat at the poker tables, and playing a few preliminary hands of blackjack to pass the time, my name was called over the intercom system to the poker room. I had never been more excited in my life when I heard that soft feminine voice call out my name. I walked into poker room, and sat down in fourth position. I was greeted by a mix of intimidating scares, and a few attempts at small talk.

An hour flew by and I was up a considerable amount. The only thought that kept rolling through my head was how badly I was going to run over this table if I was able to catch a decent run of cards. Then my moment came. It was my big blind and action passed throughout the table. After a raise and a re-raise, I had already decided I was most likely folding, due to the tight nature of most of the players at the table, and even more considerably the players that were still in the hand. I peeked at the first card and stared at the prettiest card in the deck, the ace of spades. My heart jumped a little bit, but I still realized that I was probably going to fold if the second card was considerably worse than an ace. I squeezed and peeked at my second card and I felt the overbearing urge to jump on the table and praise god at that very instant. The second card was also an ace, and I found myself with the holy grail of poker hands. Bullets, rockets, how sweet it was. Every ounce of my poker career to this point had led me to this moment. I only called to try and get as much money possible out of the other two suckers still in the hand.

The flop came down with crashing authority. Two kings and an ace. “Oh my God” kept repeating over and over again in my head. I had picked up the second best hand possible in this situation, and short of someone having pocket kings I was golden. I checked my option first to induce a bet, and that was exactly what I received. A small bet and then a considerable re-raise. It was after the re-raise that I had decided to take my stand. I pushed in my entire stack of chips in front of me, and sat as stoic as I could in an attempt to give nothing away. “These idiots have no idea what they’re up against” was the basic thought in my head, and of course I anticipated a call. The man that initially bet the pot had swiftly folded, and to my surprise the call from the next man came more swiftly than I had originally anticipated. “No matter”, I thought, “I basically have the nuts, and I am taking this pot home with me”. The man then showed his hand with an adequate grin on his face. Big slick, the Ace and the King. I heard the table laugh at my foolish play. They all thought I for sure was behind in the hand, and perhaps even drawing dead. The smile from the mans face morphed into one of disgust. I flipped over my better full boat and the room erupted. The old men that were familiar with the disgusted man took several jabs at him, and even included that he was beaten by a kid.

The room settled down and we prepared for the rest of the board to fall, even though it was seemingly futile. The turn cam a meaningless card, and I started to count my chips to give him a figure to pay me off. No sooner had I finished counting my chips, the room had erupted once again. I looked up quickly to see what the commotion was about. “perhaps someone at a different table caught a straight flush” I was thinking, and spun my head around quickly. “‘wait a second, why is everyone crowded around my table?” I looked at the man and he was standing up now yelling something about how invincible he was, and then my stomach sunk. There was no way this had happened. I quickly looked down at the board, and the river card that had fallen. The last king in the deck had given the man four of a kind, and I had lost the hand. I was absolutely devastated. I was a 98 percent favorite to win the hand before that card had fallen. There was only one card left in the deck that could have possibly beaten me, and it hit with authority.

I sat there for another minute staring blankly at the table. The room manager walked over to me and apologized. He then proceeded to ask me if I would like to buy back into the game. I looked at him and attempted to say no, but the only thing that came out of my mouth was a pathetic sigh of pure disappointment. I stood up and began to walk out of the room when felt a hand on my shoulder. It was one of the players at the table that I had grown fond of during my short stint at the table. He looked at me solemnly and said “Kid, you just took one of the worst beats I have ever seen at a poker table. Recovering from these situations is what separates professionals from hobbyists. Take my advice, roll with the punches. Settle down, regain your composure, come back when you’re good and ready.” This piece of advice has stuck with me ever since. There is not one instance now at a poker table, whether it be in a casino, home game, or virtual, where I count my money before the hand is over.

Many times within my short life now have I realized the virtue of good luck. I reflect on the situation now and smile. In the very least this incident was a character building experience for me, and it gave me a nice story to tell. Besides, by losing that hand, I made a donkey’s

How Street Fighter 4 is like Poker

After the recent EVO tournament, it got me to thinking about how similar Street Fighter 4 is to the game of poker. If you’ve ever been into poker or even watched the World Series of Poker on ESPN, you’ll see what I mean. Here are just a few observations I’ve made…some obvious, some (hopefully) not.

Mind games are a big part of the game.

In poker, you can learn all about the strength of hands, pot odds, betting position, and how to play it by the book. In Street Fighter 4, you can analyze frame data, learn combos, find rankings/tier listings, and watch replays.

But in the end, it comes down to playing the man. It’s about making the other guy fold when he has you beat, or giving him a false sense of confidence when really, he’s walking into certain defeat. It’s about giving your opponent the impression that his strategy is full-proof, only to punish him painfully at the most (in)opportune time. It’s all about being unpredictable and rattling the other guy to the point where all his pre-game knowledge seems to go out the window. Heck, Justin Wong almost beat Daigo while playing a character he admittedly didn’t know very well or practice much. I doubt he was thinking about frame data while he was missing combos, but still giving Daigo all he could handle.

The head knowledge definitely comes in handy, don’t get me wrong. I’m just saying it’s about how you actually use what you know.

Luck is required to make it through.

Back in the day before poker got huge-which I attribute largely to the movie Rounders, by the way-the pros seemed to have a death grip in big tournaments. This led to the argument that skill ultimately triumphs. But eventually, more and more amateurs started flooding the scene, and soon, seeing pros make it to the final table became a rare sight. It went from “Tiger versus the field” (Tiger Woods representing the top professionals in poker) to anyone’s game. Why did this happen? Because even if there is skill involved, a bad beat or a lucky draw could win over the correct play. While this used to happen in isolated incidents when the pool was small, it became commonplace by the time the good players became the small minority.

The same thing is happening in the Street Fighter scene, although it hasn’t quite reached the level of mass randomness that poker has. Perhaps it never will, because arguably (and in my mind quite certainly), Street Fighter has a much smaller luck component. But the recent EVO tournament showed that upsets are bound to happen as the pool of competitors grows. You will have some random amateurs beating old legends (see Wildcard vs. SoCal) because they bring a level of unpredictability and unrefined playing to the mix. It’s growing harder to consistently beat everyone else, mainly because the console release of Street Fighter 4 has allowed so many new people to join in on the fun. That brings me to the next point…

Online vs. primarily offline players.

For months from 2008 to early 2009, the only way to play and compete in SF4 was to find an arcade that had the game and a consistent group of people who were willing to play. Around the U.S., these hotspots were few and far between. These offline arcade players consider themselves to be the purists, and they argue that no one can reach an elite level without following the scene locally.

Enter the console masses in February 2009. Xbox 360 and PS3 owners joined in on the fray, and a multitude of old-school gamers who had moved on after the SF2 glory days found themselves drawn back in. With constant access to competition online-without paying a dollar per play-these players embarked on a furious catch-up mission to one day overtake the arcade purists.

By July 2009, the gap has already narrowed considerably. The pros who once scoffed at console players are now acknowledging that there is an undeniable impact, whether due to skill or sheer numbers. In the months and years to come, it’s not a stretch to think that we’ll be seeing the first non-arcade-pro EVO winner … just as poker saw random online gamblers take over the main event.

Yes, there is something to be said for competing face to face with someone. Playing poker at a live table is different than clicking on a computer screen. Dealing with the hype and pressure of playing in front of people at an arcade is different than beating anonymous players at home on your TV. But the constant availability, variety, and cheapness ($) of it seems to make up the difference over time.

Underground to the mainstream.

This is probably obvious at this point, but yea. Street Fighter 4 has converted into the mainstream-without a doubt, it is exponentially more popular than its predecessor, Third Strike. Rather than a few hardcore purists playing at great expense and exclusivity (due to the near-extinction of local arcades), anyone can play and compete. If you have hundreds of thousands of people trying to improve, chances are, they will eventually overtake the hundreds of purists. The purists realize this also and largely complement their arcade playing with console, online competition. The grand finals EVO stream reached a viewership of 500,000 people despite being shown at a late hour in most parts of the world.

Just as poker went from dark, smoke-filled places to regular people’s homes and screens, Street Fighter has made its way from Japan to a few local arcades to countless consoles around the world.

Now, let’s see if we can keep this thing going. And like Mike Ross said, let’s please take things like the Spelling Bee off of ESPN and show people the exciting world of Street Fighter competition. We know that at least half a million would tune in for sure, while the rest of the world might soon find interest also.

Rise of Texas Hold'em Poker Breeds the Same Old Characters

You can't go anywhere these days without seeing or hearing about poker. The extensive television coverage has helped make Texas Hold'em poker a worldwide phenomenon. With local casinos and charity poker events popping up all the time, now anybody can get in on the action. While the increasing popularity of poker has brought created a slew of new players, the same five personalities always seem to be present at every game:

1.) The Young Punk: The "Young Punk" is a 21 to 26-year-old kid who plays video poker at home any chance he gets. He is aggressive and arrogant. He makes lewd comments about girls he's conquered and after he bluffs you out shows you his cards to reinforce his superiority and your stupidity.

If he wins a big pot, he instantly irritates the table by recapping the brilliant strategy he used to win your money.

When the punk finally loses, it is never his fault — it's always a fluke.

2.) The Big Mouth: The "Big Mouth" is the guy at the table who never stops talking. He thinks his yapping is a great tool in psyching out his opponent. He tries to be witty and entertaining by offering insults to other plays regarding their weight and receding hairline.

The irony however, is that the "Big Mouth" is always a balding 300 pound man that sweats profusely. When he loses, his bravado is destroyed and he returns to his natural state as a fat slob
with a big mouth and no money.

3.) The Turtle: The "Turtle" is the guy who takes forever to make a decision. He sits there, cards in hand, with a blank stare unable to make a move. He is oblivious to the other players at the table. As time passes the players grow impatient. They start to fidget and make annoying sounds.

This is done to try and get the "Turtle" going. Finally, he folds his cards and play resumes.

When entering the casino bathroom the "Turtle" will read the gender description, hesitate slightly and finally make the appropriate choice.

4.) The Retiree: The "Retiree" plays poker just to pass the time. Due to his poor eyesight he often asks the dealer to read him the flop. The "Retiree" is generally a conservative player who sits out an occasional hand to administer his medicine. Everybody at the table likes the old timer but have no qualms about taking advantage of his failed memory and other senior moments.

5.) The Fish: Finally there is the "Fish." The "Fish" is usually a middle-aged man who goes to the casino because he does well against his friends at his weekly card game. You can usually identify the fish by his low stack of chips. During the game he frequently visits the ATM machine. He constantly fields calls from his wife and lies about his whereabouts

After losing his bankroll and realizing he is out of his league, the "Fish" is sadly relegated to writing Internet articles about poker.

I'm all out.