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Apology to poker players owed by FBI Assistant Director Mark J. Mershon
FBI Assistant Director Mark J. Mershon said the multibillion-dollar onlinegambling industry is "a colossal criminal enterprise masquerading as legitimatebusiness."That's funny because I just had an FBI background clearance done (requiredin adoption proceedings) and there was no mention of me being charged with beinga collossal anything. I am deeply offended by Asst. Dir. Mershons ill-consideredcomments and I ask on behalf of all American online poker players for at leastan apology and at best his resignation!
Vote Greg Raymer for U.S. Vice President, 2004 WSOP Champion
BC: Generally, I promise not to mention politics while interviewing someone outside that domain, but, since you gave me permission beforehand, allow me to ask you what your political inclinations are? GR: My mindset is very libertarian. I believe in individual freedom, and that you should be allowed to do anything you wish that does not directly harm another person. I also believe that you are responsible for yourself, and that the government has no DUTY to help you (except to protect you from others). That does not mean I am against all government programs that help people, but such programs should not be undertaken merely because they help people, but only if they are economically beneficial to the majority. BC: Also, are you thinking of becoming a politician? If so, what kind of office do you desire? What types of positions would you support? GR: In many ways, I would not make a good politician, at least not the way the business of politics presently works in our country. I am not very good at compromising. If you convince me you are right, I will agree with you, but until you do, I will do what I think is the smartest thing to do. Having said that, I am currently talking to some people who run the Libertarian Party about the possibility of running to be the party's official candidate for Vice President of the United States. With a few exceptions, I would support the official planks of the Libertarian Party. BC: I too am a Libertarian, and am frankly surprised that more poker players are not. Isn't personal freedom the major benefit to becoming a professional poker player in the first place? One comes and goes as they please, and avoids statist bureaucracies altogether. Even better, you're free from having to deposit your brain into the self-mutilating, anti-intellectual cauldron of political correctness. GR: Every successful poker player is intelligent enough to succeed in almost any career, but many of them are much too independent in their attitude to do well in modern corporate America. In a team environment, it is sometimes more important to get along than it is to be right, but most of us poker players just want to be right. Having said that, my experience with large corporations makes me believe that getting along and being inclusive and such ideas are taking over to the point that there is not enough focus on getting the job done right. To work as a team, you need to not be selfish, but you shouldn't take it so far that you favor the mediocrity of the group over getting the job done as intelligently and perfectly as possible. Basically, in most modern American bureaucracies (and probably most of the rest of the world, though I wouldn't know first-hand) the balance is out of whack, and there is too much focus on the team, and not enough focus on the results. BC: Back in April, you went to Washington D.C. along with Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer, to protest the government's attempts to ban online poker. What impression did you have of Congress from your visit? What's your overall opinion of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA)? Did your visit to Capitol Hill have anything to do with your desire to become a lawmaker? GR: My impression of the Congressmen we met was generally positive, but my impression of how business gets done in Congress was pretty negative. There is too much emphasis on getting elected or re-elected, and not enough emphasis on voting intelligently with respect to each bill in and of itself. My overall impression of UIGEA is that it is a load of BS. The bill accomplishes nothing much in reality, but it gives the impression that it does. It is a further example of politicians passing a law not because they are trying to do the right thing, but because they think it will help them get re-elected. BC: What books or individuals had the most influence on your development and game? What players do you respect the most? GR: The biggest influence on my game was David Sklansky's book "The Theory of Poker". It was one of the first books I bought, and it taught me all of the most important basic concepts applicable to any form of poker. I still consider it the most important single poker book anybody can read if they want to improve their game. I respect all players who behave as ladies and gentlemen at the table, and who do their best to win within the rules. There are also many great players whom I respect for their talents, too many to mention them all. For the most part, they know who they are. BC: Lastly, let me ask you about your own book. We're been hearing rumors about it for a couple of years now. Is it close to completion? Can you share with us what topics and issues it will address? GR: I have a bad combination of being busy and lazy. I was approached by Two Plus Two Publishing about writing a book just after I won the Main Event, and was very excited by the idea. Two and a half years later, and I am still far from done. When finished, the book will be a tournament strategy book, not a life story type book. I doubt I will ever write a life story type book, as I don't consider my life to be that interesting. I could have finished this book a long time ago by getting a ghost-writer or co-author, but I wanted the book to be all mine. When it comes out, I am going to deserve all the credit, or all the blame.
> "Not only is poker good for you, it's the American way, where winners play > fair, have the right stuff, and nothing else matters, except, perhaps, a bit of luck> every now and then." Lou Krieger > Lou, this is one of my all time favorite bits of poker insight. However, after the Frist and the gang's "Act" when I read it now I just get depressed. Any new insights or changes to the old in light of our new laws?
Lou Krieger's response was:
Thanks for the kind words about my writing. I believed it then, and when I wrote it poker was still marginalized, not at all mainstream, and yet the game of poker was still a big part of American mythology, and skill at poker -- it didn't have to be practiced at the poker table either; poker skills could be demonstrated in business negotiations, politics, and other phases of our lives -- was one of the ways we have always defined ourselves as a people.I still believe that. And yet poker historically carried the moralistic connotations because it was a gamble and many people believed (and still do) that gambling is not good for you. Bill Frist hijacked the most American of our virtues -- our freedom of choice and our ability to choose how and where we choose to spend -- or win -- our money. He did so for one reason only: to pander to the religious right, a group that has had the Republican Party in thrall for years.So far his actions seem to have hurt investors overseas and the large, publicly-traded rooms, such as Party and related organizations such as Neteller. He's also hurt affiliates, those who were earning a living writing for poker sites, and I guess he's made his deal with the devil and is happy with it. I fully expect Kyl, Goodlatte, and Leach to come back in 2007 with a harsher bill that would make playing poker online illegal. I also expect their bill to have exemptions for horseracing, fantasy sports, and state lotteries.But I'm not giving up. I am nimble and will find a way around this insanity until such time as the USA decides to join the rest of the world and regulate online gambling rather that try prohibition.I'm still playing. So are a lot of others. And the number of online players will continue to grow worldwide. There's a game out there and the lunacy of legislators who want to protect me against myself is not going to stop me. I doubt that it will stop many others either.
Not only is poker good for you, it's the American way, where winners play fair, have the right stuff, and nothing else matters, except, perhaps, a bit of luck every now and then.Lou Krieger
Poker is a microcosm of all we admire and disdain about capitalism and democracy. It can be rough-hewn or polished, warm or cold, charitable and caring, or hard and impersonal, fickle and elusive, but ultimately it is fair, and right, and just. ~L.K.
First ParadisePoker.Com Million Final Table in Costa Rica (L-R: Lee-Hugo-Me)
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if not now, when? Leon Pinsker
PokerNation Freeroll 9pm EST Fridays at AtomikPoker & Saturdays at TitanPoker
Understand all of the potential consequences of your actions so that you may properly balance the competing goals of survival and chip accumulation.Every time the action passes to you whether it is to bet, check, raise, or fold, any action or inaction you choose will have consequences.Therefore, it is imperative that you consider all of the consequences prior to making a decision.In no limit hold âem tournaments, a failure to consider all of the consequences can be fatal.If you make a substantial semi-bluff bet from early position after the flop, you must know what you will do in the event of a re-raise.Any tournament strategy should revolve around two main driving forces â chip accumulation and survival.These two forces will frequently be at odds with each other because in order to survive, you must protect your chips and in order to advance, you must accumulate chips.Therein lies the paradox of tournament poker.You must accumulate chips without jeopardizing your own stack.How do you accomplish this?While it is impossible to play poker with zero risk, careful consideration of all of the consequences of every action on your part can certainly minimize your risk and give you a significant advantage.Poker is a game of imperfect information, which is why it is so important at least to know all of the available information each time it is your turn to act.Maximizing your knowledge will open the door for you to pick up chips at minimum risk.To learn more about this principle and other principles, read Tournament Poker and The Art of War.
Times Square Billboard
Whether he likes it or not, a man's character is stripped bare at the poker table; if the other players read him better than he does, he has only himself to blame. Unless he is both able and prepared to see himself as others do, flaws and all, he will be a loser in cards, as in life.Anthony Holden
In fact, good poker players are more likely to be the victims of luck than the beneficiaries. Michael Craig
http://www.pokerplayernewspaper.com Poker news, tournament reports, strategy, biographies, stories and reviewsCopyright 2005Tue, 26 Sep 2006 12:30:12 -0500http://www.lasvegasvegas.com/pokerblog/http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss - - -
In the early nineteen-eighties, I defined a concept that would become central to my teachings about poker and the world beyond. It explains the enigma of relationships. It defines a world of comparative talents that isn't always easily listed in ascending order. Understanding it will make your life less confusing. Here is a lecture I delivered about a decade ago on the subject...
Caro's Conception: The lecture
It is a concept that takes us far, far beyond just the basic strategies of winning at poker. "Caro's Conception" makes us aware that there is a level of poker prowess that is very real, yet nearly not definable. This doesn't just happen at poker, but in real life, too. But, I'm getting ahead of the story. First, I've got to tell you what the Conception - or concept - is based upon.
It's based upon a puzzling truth, long known to those who ponder such things - the truth that strengths are not always ordered by hierarchy. Sometimes stren... Continue reading Today's Word is... Conception
If I told you that you could win a half of a million dollars playing poker without leaving your house or apartment, would that be something you'd be in interested in? Of course, you are! The World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) sponsored by PokerStars allows you the opportunity to play in the largest online poker tournament with prize pools that rival the World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker. The most appealing aspect of the WCOOP is that you do not have to travel long distances to play against some of the best players in the world. All you have to do is turn on your computer and log on to PokerStars.
On September 16th, PokerStars kicks off the 2006 World Championship of Online Poker featuring 18 different tournaments, ending with the $3 million guaranteed NL main event on October 1st. Just like the winners at the WSOP, every event winner in the WCOOP will also be awarded a gold bracelet. The 2006 WCOOP will be the largest series of online poker tournamen... Continue reading 2006 WCOOP
In my prior article I addressed starting requirements of stud and how they differed from hold 'em. Let me address the later streets in this the second part of this two part series.
If you are selective on Third Street, you will generally continue to bet your Premium Pairs, even if they don't improve, unless you see opponents who seem to have surpassed your hand. On the other hand, if you are going for a straight or a flush with a drawing hand, you generally want to call or check, sticking around cheaply until you make your hand.
In Stud, unlike in Hold Em, you have extra information available to you to help you determine where you stand relative to your opponents - both in terms of your hand's current value and its prospects for improvement. You need to take advantage of this information.
Last issue I revealed how our local maniac stumbled onto an extremely effective strategy in tournament play. The wording here has double meaning as Doug was usually plastered at this point in the tournament as a result of his intake of alcohol. While everyone else was tightening up their play hoping that someone else would get unlucky and bomb out, Doug was stealing pot after pot and increasing his stack size even more. It didn't matter to Doug whether he won or lost and as a result he had no fear. This made his aggressive play even more effective than usual and doubly so in tournaments (at least on the sober and reasonably minded players).
There are several strategies that one can utilize to make it deep in a tournament ( the structure of the tournament does influence these strategies ). The two most common styles that are successful in most tournaments are loose aggressive play and tight aggressive play. There are definite advantages and disadvantages to each style of ... Continue reading A Maniac Named Doug
]]> http://www.pokerplayernewspaper.com 3Mon, 25 Sep 2006 12:00:00 -0500 - - - I've run into people even now who do not know that I have not dealt a card in over 5 years - sans some extra curricular activity that I am waiting to divulge. No matter, to them I am still that dealer that dealt them broke, a jackpot or have always given them good cards. So, even though your opponents at the table are either betting, folding, or receiving cards, the one person that players remember just as well are the dealers.
Conversely, when I dealt the cards and then played afterwards, I would make mental note of most of the player's tendencies as it related to some unconscious gestures they would do.
That brings me to the point that I was illustrating in my last paragraph in the last issue. People reveal more about themselves unconsciously than if they were to engage you in conversation. Before there was ever card games people were revealing "tells" about themselves on a daily basis.
Why else would a person gifted in this respect -readi... Continue reading Listen Carefully