Archive for March, 2008

Cheat or treat?

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Cheating in gambling isn’t the best of ideas, and when it comes to cheating in professional poker it is down right damn risky. That doesn’t change the fact that it does happen. And it isn’t always that easy settling what is cheating and what is not. After all, poker is a game that is partially based on dishonesty and bluffing. We are trying to create the illusion of disappointment when looking at our Royal Straight Flush, in order to make the other player bet higher. In the same way we act confident however cold cards we are holding.

I don’t suggest cheating – on the contrary I recommend strongly against it. But to be able to spot cheaters, and just for the fun of the observation, let’s take a look at how poker cheating can be performed.

It is generally much easier to cheat when you have a partner in crime. If you are two that are playing unfair, then one of you deal good cards to the other and then the pot is split between you.

Note that there are a few different kinds of cheating, where “soft play” is the mild one whereas so called “sandwiching” is a bit worse. “Soft play” is just to be nicer to one of the other players and not betting against him or her. This can even happen when it is not deliberately, like if your spouse or sibling is at the table. However, that is not allowed in professional poker in some places in the U.S for example.

“Sandwiching” is when two players at each side of the table take turns raising the pot. If you get a winning hand and manage to signal that to your co-player, then the two of you can start to bid over each other and make the other players do likewise.  

This brings us to the signalling systems that cheating poker players are developing. To use signals is probably the most effective way of cheating, but also one of the most dangerous ones if you have attentive players at the table. A signal for a certain card or a certain combination of cards could have almost any shape. It could be a word, a gesture, a frown or a tap. The only real requirement is that it is possible to do it over and over again without anyone else taking notice, which makes a certain sentence, melody or dramatic move too obvious.

You can be more than two to cheat, but at this point it is starting to get highly immoral. If you really want to scam someone, the fastest way would be to collaborate with all the other players at the table but one. It would naturally not be as profitable as cheating alone or in a pair, but it would work gruesomely well as, say, revenge.

The most famous, or infamous, ways to cheat is to fiddle with the cards. This calls for some practise that definitely should be performed in solitude. There are different kinds of trick to be pulled, all of which goes under the name “sleight of hand”. A sleight of hand could be dealing from the bottom of the deck, cutting it in a certain way or hiding cards. 

Regardless of who your fellow players are, you don’t want to get caught cheating. But if you do, remember the old saying:

Denial is, at all times, bliss.

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Posted in Articles

French Casinos are Affected by Anti-tobacco Decret

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

After the controversial smoking ban law was put into effect this year, Enghien-les-Bains, the first french casino, shows a serious fall of its sales turnover since the beginning of the year. Its financial loss represents already 1,5 million euros.

In order to restitue it’s revenue, the casino issued a complaint to the Higher Comission of Gaming in order to get new tables of Hold’em poker and slot machines.

Smoking and playing Poker

Concerning the question of tobacco near the players, some see this application like a relief. Nevertheless, the legislatioin is very unpopular among players, and the majority disaproves this law. Apparently, tobacco brings a better stimulation to the play and even, some players claim, it helps them stay awake. Dissatisfaction regarding the ban are numerous and increasing.

A woman even suggests installing machines under the open air. Another player explains how this ban has made him enjoy much more the online action at his favorite online poker site-

Due to this restrictioin, more and more casinos in France are being emptied. Would this be their end and a new era for online poker ?

We leave it up to you to answer…


Guest Columnist – Francois Samuel

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Posted in news

World Series of Poker on Satellite

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

The World Series of Poker is the biggest poker competition in the world, or at least the most prestigious poker tournament there is. Winning WSOP is the same as placing you permanently on the poker map among the great players of the world. Other players that have won the main event are Doyle Brunson, Stu Ungar and Phil Hellmuth. These of course being players everyone recognize.

World Series of Poker

A big change to the poker society and to WSOP in particular came in 2003 when something big took place. This was the first time someone that came from an online satellite won the main event. The proud winner of 2003 years main event was Chris Moneymaker who had qualified from a $39 satellite online.

Lots of poker players didn’t want to admit that the online players had the talent but the main event of WSOP in 2003 changed it forever. In 2004 the “Moneymaker effect” had it’s way and the participants in the World Series of Poker Main Event increased from 839 participants to 2 576 in 2004. In 2006 the same number had climbed all the way to 8 773, some claim that better media cover has a part in the increase but it’s not called the “Moneymaker effect” for nothing. There is no question that online poker changed the WSOP forever.

Today most poker rooms offer some sort of WSOP Satellite where participants can win the entrance to the most prestigious poker tournament in the world. The number of players playing the satellites is incredible and the competition is getting harder and harder every year in the main event. Most WSOP satellites starts with a small qualifier to the real satellite and in most cases even more steps between the first qualifier and the actual World Series of Poker main event.

Most of us have tried our skills in at least one or two qualifiers but as you might guess, most players don’t make it to the main event final table, most of course does not even make it to the qualifier final table. Even less of us have done with Chris Moneymaker did but in 2004 the year after Moneymaker won the main event Greg Raymer, another satellite player did it again. Raymer and Moneymaker managed to add a lot of credit to the online poker community by showing what the community could produce at the final table of the World Series of Poker Main event.


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