Archive for the ‘online poker’ Category

Online poker records

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

It does not matter if you are playing poker for fun or profit, it is important that you keep good records. Unless you have good records you will not know if you are winning or losing.

We all like to think that we are doing better than we really are. The records of your Texas Holdem wins, losses, and expenses will tell the truth. Don’t forget that income from a poker game is income so far as the IRS is concerned. You have to pay taxes on your poker winnings exactly the way that you would any other income. They are unforgiving if you don’t report it.

Poker as a Business

If you are determined to be a winning poker player then you might as well get used to the idea of keeping records. The more detailed you records the better of you will be at tax time. Don’t forget your mileage, food, and drink while at the casino. For those of you who like to play Internet poker you have the expense of your connection and your computer. All deductible. Poker is like any other business. The guy who succeeds, is the guy who does the paper work.

Start off with the date and time of day.

How long you played.

What game you played. Texas Holdem, Seven Card Stud, Five Card Draw, Omaha

What limit did you play. How long you played poker. Did you win or lose? How much?

It is more than likely that if you play poker in a brick and mortar casino or if you play online, you will see some of the same faces over and over again. You might want to start a poker players log. Of who, when, where. And if they have any tells. What kind of player they are: tight passive style player, loose passive style player, loose aggressive player, tight aggressive player,…

You Can’t Bluff The IRS

Imagine this. You have had a good night and decide to have a drink at the bar while you wait for your ride home. You get to talk to a couple of guys and mention that you just won $2000.00 playing Texas Holdem. They are impressed and ask if you are usually that lucky.

Like anybody, you like to talk more about your victories than you defeats so you might mention other good nights that you have had. It takes you about twenty minutes to paint yourself as a Poker King who has won thousands upon thousands of dollars. It is then when one of them whips out an IRS badge and asks for your name and Social Security Number.

Unless you have the records to itemize your deductions you will be paying taxes on all of your wins and get no credit for gambling losses or expenses. While this may sound like an unlikely scenario you should be aware that there are IRS agents in every brick and mortar casino.

Your Poker Stake

If you play poker then it is a guarantee that you will have good days and bad days. A bad run of cards is something that every gambler faces. When you start out, or right now. Establish how much you are willing to risk at the feet of Lady Luck. Take a hard look at your finances and decide how much you are willing to risk. Put that much aside and keep it separate from your other money.

Let your bankroll build up. There will be a time to take profits later. You want to build your stake up to the point that even the most disastrous run of rotten luck will not wipe you out. Make sure that you have at least doubled your stake before you move up to a higher stakes game. When it is time to take the profits you still don’t get to spend all of it. Take a third for yourself, add a third to your bankroll, and set aside a third for the tax man. He will have his.

In summary the tip is that if you are not keeping good records it is doubtful that you will be the one in twenty that will be a winning poker player.

A Pro’s Guide to Being Good At Poker

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Two years can be a long time, but most people would agree that it’s a pretty short time in which to earn over $1 million dollars playing online poker. That’s exactly what a young British pro has done, making a fortune since he took up the game in 2010.

Of course, we can’t all be that good, but we can learn from his approach to the game. First of all, nearly all of that money was made online through companies like SkyPoker who offer free poker games to help beginner’s get started as well as the big money tables where the professionals make the big profits.

The next thing was too study hard and learn the game inside out. Being a good poker player can be natural skill, but even that natural skill requires supporting and being a good note taker is pretty essential. Note down everything you notice, look for mistakes that you’ve made, for the way that people act in a certain situation. Then re-read your notes and try to store as much of that information as possible, if you can, watch hands back over the internet.

All of this might seem like a bit over the top for someone starting out, but if you want to get good at poker quickly, it’s the only way to go, and you can start in the free games. Of course, with free games, it’s important to remember that people bet and act strangely, but whilst this might not be representative of a real game-playing environment, it can be representative of when players at all level go on ’tilt’ and start doing things that they really shouldn’t.

You should also make sure that you make the most of online resources, or peruse the shelves at an online bookseller like Amazon. There’s a lot of information out there for budding poker players, and a lot of good advice, as well as the bad stuff. Starting with a book is a good idea because they’ve often been reviewed by other people, so you know whether the information that you’re getting is worth paying a few quid for or not.

It can also be worth looking into some of the schemes out there where groups will bankroll you in return for your time and effort to become a seriously good player. This is only for people who are really convinced that they want to be good at poker, and is probably the fastest way to do it, although the pressure of playing for other people can be a lot for a newcomer to take.

Most of all, as the professionals say, only gamble what you can afford to lose and then walkaway, self-control is the difference between the very best poker players and those who are simply very good.

Merge Poker Sites Have More Than Just Poker

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

If you are going to play on a poker site, you will want to ensure that it has a good range of poker options. This is the minimum requirement that a poker site should provide to its players but the best poker sites will provide a lot more.

There will be times when a poker player will want a change of pace or perhaps take a break from playing poker and this is where a number of side games can be very important.

There will be some players who have no interest in poker room side games and that is their prerogative, after all, there are plenty of casino sites they can turn to in order to enjoy these games.

Make life easier on yourself

However, having all of your gaming fun in one place can make life much easier so finding a great poker site that provides additional games is often the best solution for any poker player. This is why Merge Poker sites should be your first port of call when you are looking for a poker site that gives you a little bit more. There are many different side games that can be found on an online poker site so no matter what you like there should be something of interest to you.

One of the most common games in any casino would have to be roulette, which has a simplicity about it which means that every player can join in. Some games leave players wondering about the rules or how best to gamble but with roulette, even a novice can have a great deal of fun at the table. The Merge Poker sites understand this and this is why you will usually find a great selection of roulette tables on the wide array of poker sites. If you are looking for a break or if you feel your luck is in, the roulette table is a perfect place to spend some time.

There is more than just poker on poker sites

Even though poker is probably the number one card game around the world, Merge Poker does serve up other card games for you to enjoy. One of the other popular card games would have to be blackjack and again, its simplicity is its key to success. Facing up against the dealer in a battle to reach 21 is a simple duel but it is one that keeps people coming back for more. Sometimes your fate can be decided by luck but there is no doubt that keeping a cool head and understanding the best strategies can help you achieve a winning outcome. Blackjack is sometimes overlooked as a game of skill but a great player can turn most situations to their advantage.

As you would expect from online gambling sites, technology is at the forefront and this can be seen in the array of video poker games that are on offer. Merge Gaming poker rooms offer more than just sit down poker, you can also join in the fun with the video games that have been mainstays in physical casinos for many years. If you are looking for more information about these sites, is the place to visit.

The Full Tilt closure

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

So it seems that things will get worse before that get better in online poker in the USA and elsewhere.

The actions started by the DOJ and FBI two and a half months ago have had an unexpected ripple effect this week when Full Tilt Poker totally shut down. Not just in the USA (where they were closed since April 15th), but all over the world. Indeed the indictments led to Full Tilt’s gambling authority to start their own investigation.

The Alderney Gambling Control Commission is the regulatory body that granted Full Tilt Poker their gaming license. The AGCC regulates all egaming activities for companies operating in Alderney and attempts to comply to the highest international standards of fairness and integrity. Alderney is one of the Channel Islands and part of the British Crown. Similarly to the Isle of Man (that regulates Pokerstars), Alderney has the ability to attract gambling operators while regulating them.

But the similarity with Pokerstars stops there. Unlike Pokerstars which was announced to be following their gambling rules and which had their license maintained, Full Tilt just got their license revoked. This is an unprecedented event that led to millions of non-American players left enable to play online poker there, and worse to dispose of their bankroll. And this sad situation is not expected to evolve fast. The main reason for this negative audit seems to be that Full Tilt had not been able to send their balance back to their American players more than two months after Black Friday. But PokerStars had done so long time ago.

So things apparently are getting worse before they can get better. Hopefully the positive outcome of this entire situation is that online gaming will get better regulated internationally. This is good for everyone. Players will be treated more fairly. Government will be able to raise taxes. Operators will be be better regulated so that the bad apples will be discarded and this business gets the respect it deserves. This will lead to better products on the market.

France is probably one of the leading markets when it comes to regulating their online gambling vendors. The USA is now actively working on their own amended regulation. Other countries will follow as well.

online poker in the USA

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

The sad truth.

It is one month already since the Black Friday of online poker, in other words the FBI crackdown of the four major online poker rooms allowing US players: pokerstars, full tilt poker, absolute poker, ub poker.

Without any bias, we can say that Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker were and remain the two global leaders of online poker and their products are impeccable: fantastic software, a huge choice of games and tournaments, impressive rosters of pros, juicy incentives such as VIP or rakeback programs, social communities with millions of members…

So why did the the FBI shut them down?

Is it in the benefit of users to remove such great products from the market? Are these products dangerous temptations leading to gambling addictions in underage children and unemployed widows? Is removing them a way to improve our freedom? Will it help the US economy? Will employment get better? Are these products worse then online casinos still allowed to operate? Is it better for the public to watch TV instead with 30% of the time used for advertisement? Was this action conducted for the benefit of the public, or it is based on a few individuals who are just ‘doing their job’?

As you can guess the answer to all above questions is NO. But how did it happen?

Is America the great country it used to be, or is it a declining country which has lost the ideals of freedom it is based upon? By the way poker was invented for the most part in the USA (with roots in Europe), what a tragic end game for this beautiful card game!

The reason why this happened is a chain of events. First the Republicans were against online gambling even though they are for live casino gambling. Ridiculous to say the least. But as they could not enact an online gambling regulation, they passed the UIGEA, which is a midnight regulation added and unrelated to a port security law. UIGEA is a technical law related to financing by operators, but it does not address the question of if online poker is legal or not. In short this is a dirty law driven by partisan motivations, not to benefit the public.

But then there are a few ambitious individuals at the Department of Justice who are using this regulation to indict these poker rooms. So here again they are not trying to support the users here, they are not questioning if all of that is making sense, they are ‘just doing their job’.

Jungleman ravages Dwan in durrrr challenge

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

The ‘jungle’ is notorious for all kind of hazards, as Tom Dwan has become only too aware. After months of speculation surrounding the next challenger, Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates has stepped up to the plate and made a blistering start against the casually-coifed Full Tilt pro.

The ‘durrrr’ challenge, (a clever marketing stunt or great money-spinner, call it what you will), is a 50,000 hand challenge thrown out to any budding poker player (except Phil Galfond). If a player can record a profit after 50k hands of PLO or Hold’em against Tom Dwan, he will pay you $1.5 million (on top of the profits). If Dwan prevails, then the challenger must fork up $500k. Episode one of the durrrr challenge featured Patrik Antonius, but the measured Finn finds himself down $2 million at the 40k hand mark. Action has since petered away due to travelling commitments, leaving some to believe Patrik has already paid Dwan off.

Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates is a 20 year old, feisty poker prodigy. Having won over $1.5 million online in the past year, he follows in the footsteps of ‘Isildur1’ as the new high stakes phenomenon. Highly active in the twoplustwo forums, he’s not afraid of voicing his opinions, having blasted Ben Grundy for requiring a stake. Cates, a Cardrunners coach, started up by grinding $5 dollar SnG’s, and credits saying grace as one of the primary reasons for his success.

In just under 7,000 hands (the couple are playing at a furious rate), Jungleman finds himself $692k up. Dwan seems to have met his match in the aggression stakes, but in a challenge of million dollar swings, anything can happen. So there is no foul play, the $2 million being ‘waged’ has been shipped to the impregnable Phil Ivey, and he will credit the winner accordingly. Admittedly, Jungleman has had the rub of the green so far. Cates (K-9) scooped a hefty $141k pot when he out-flopped Dwan (A-K) on a K-3-9 rainbow board. However on several other instances, Dwan seems to be succumbing to clever Jungleman value bets. Let’s see if the High Stakes Poker wizard can adapt.

60-Years Old Woman wins Bad Beat Jackpot

Friday, October 1st, 2010 makes a bad beat a good thing.

For those of you out there who play poker in any form or shape you have heard, experienced, or dealt some really bad beats. There is no more painful feeling at the poker table then watching your quads lose, or your straight flush get beat by a higher straight flush.

At (previously know as Ultimate Bet) that pain can quickly turn into the best feeling some poker players might feel in their whole lives because of the Bad Beat Jackpot. has always been known to have one of the largest bad beat jackpots that quite frequently stay in the six-figure range. At if you play at their tables specifically labeled as a bad beat table and lose with quad 8’s or better you are in for a big payday.

You don’t even have to be the winner or the loser of the bad beat hand, at most players close enough to the action when it happens will get a reward. players who are the table and even at some of the other tables with the same type of game and the same type of limit get awarded some of that bad beat jackpot money.


Towards the beginning of September the bad beat jackpot rose to the massive amount of $670,575.38 before one lucky player hit it. A 60 year-old woman who plays at under the screen name “KAPPIT” had her quad nines get crushed by “CIBV” quad queens. “KAPPIT” who has been playing for 40 years turned her unlucky hand into over a $218,000 dollar payday at, the funny part is she was playing at a .25/. 50-cent table.

The bad beat jackpot at is split up as follows: 25% rolls over to the next jack pot, 10% for the house, and 65% goes to the players with the split up going like this: 50% to the loser of the hand (the victim of the bad beat), 25% for the player with the winning hand, $1,000 for every other player at the table, and the rest is split up amongst other players playing at the same type and stakes when the bad beat jack pot is hit. sure knows how to reward it unluckiest players. Since the inception of the bad beat jackpot UB has rewarded over $58 million in bad beat money and there is no sign of slowing down with 2010 being the highest bad beat rewarding year at

Chaos over at Cake?

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Cake is a blossoming poker network which allows US customers, but a big slice of its credibility has been removed recently.

Since its 2006 inception, Cake Poker has become favoured for its juicy low-mid stakes action, lucrative sign-up bonus, and Daily Lottery Card schemes. But PokerTableRatings, a site that specialises in providing hand histories and player information, uncovered a serious floor in its encryption.

Without resorting to too much technical jargon, ‘encryption’ weaknesses meant that any hacker with access to a player’s network could view his hole cards. The vulnerability extended to server side, which meant a super-user could view all hole card information. Such dangers were ruthlessly exposed in the Ultimate Bet scandal, when super-users including ‘Potripper’ fleeced honest players out of thousands.

As explained by Cake Card room manager Lee Jones, problems arose when Cake switched from the TwoFish encryption algorithm to XOR encoding, instead of resorting to the esteemed SSL encryption code.

But why the suspicion? Does a weak encryption code (as exposed by PTR) necessarily mean abuse? Jones has admitted that several months ago Cake programmers insisted the encryption code was more secure than Cereus, which suggests deceit may have been involved. In response to PTR’s findings, Cake have added the ‘SSL layer in all server-client communications…together with peer verification’. They have also asked UB scandal investigator Serge Ravitch to initiate an official audit.

Despite Jones’s promise of a comprehensive enquiry, several questions remain unanswered.

Why did the programmers originally lie about the ‘fake’ encryption’s security qualities? Was it simply to lighten their workload, or for more devious means? Even if super-users were operating on Cake, it’s unlikely they will be uncovered. The Cake software forbids data-mining, and it allows players to change their nicknames (rendering PTR’s tracking software useless).

Regardless of the confusion surrounding Cake’s encryption, it’s important to stress the phrase ‘innocent until proven guilty’. Let’s just hope Cake Poker avoids the UB path of deception, and keeps us all updated.