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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

December 1, 2008

60 Minutes does its job, not ours

by Otis

Only a few people asked my opinion of the 60 Minutes poker cheating piece. None of them really cared what I thought. Here it is anyway.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

November 25, 2008

60 Minutes cheating poker piece drops Sunday

by Otis

And, frankly, it looks pretty ugly. Here's the preview.

Watch CBS Videos Online

July 17, 2008

Illegal Poker Room Busted

by Luckbox

The Indiana Gaming Control Division busted a place in Tipton, IN last night. Tipton is about 30 miles north of Indianapolis. Investigators say the place ran illegal poker games where patrons were playing for money. Although several card players were there during the raid, none were arrested. Their names have been passed on to the DA for possible charges.

State law permits only non-for-profit groups to host poker tournaments for charity. The man who runs the business says there's nothing wrong with the card tournaments he's hosted over the last four years.

Oh... the name of the business? Holdem House. I wonder what tipped off the cops?

Here's the website which informs us that the place is "temporarily closed."

I guess the only question is why it took the cops four years to shut down a place that has been advertising poker tournaments so brazenly? After all, it's been more than a year since the Indiana Gaming Commission took over regulation of back room poker. Maybe they had better things to do...


June 20, 2008

Charles Barkley: Ready to gamble again

by Otis

It's been less than one month since G-Rob noted Charles Barkley's vow to quit gambling...for now. Now, Barkley says he's going to gamble for the greater good.

Barkley is among a number of celebs planning to play in the Ante Up For Africa event in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks. The entry fee is $5,000 and Barkely says he will donate all winnings to charity. [MORE]

But, really, it's not about the winnings is it? It's the losings.

Listen, we're sitting in a pretty fragile glass house here, so we're not going to be throwing anything too hard. However, I think it's pretty interesting for Gary Loveman and Harrah's to spend a lot of time on TV talking about controlling gambling addiciton and then roll out the red carpet for Barkley's money. A charitable donation from Barkely might be a better idea.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try to organize a "Little Bit o' Smack-A-Thon" at our local methadone clinic.

It's for charity, y'all.

Update:My friend Skip Foreplay sent this to me later in the day and it seemed to fit the theme.


May 16, 2008

The Judge, The Sheriff And The Big Sack Of Cash

by G-Rob

Bobby Medford is a convicted criminal. He's guilty of extorting money from gambling operations. He's guilty of money laundering. He's guilty of conspiracy to run an illegal gambling operation.

When he was breaking those laws, Bobby Medford was the sheriff of Buncombe County, North Carolina. That's Asheville. The story of backroom kickback and illegal operations was just laid bare during a federal trial this week. The US Attorney prosecuting the case says Medford was, "Prostituting the office of sheriff."

Here's how it all went down.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

April 29, 2008

Shooting the legal angle: Ask for a jury, never see a courtroom

by Otis

PokerNews' Haley Hintze reports today that a number of people busted in the Palmetto State's latest poker raid will be opting for a trial by jury.

A few weeks back, the jack-booted thugs local constabulary cited 38 people for violation of our state's antiquated gambling law (yes, the one that makes it illegal to play even some board games on Sunday). Usually, the notion of taking a misdemeanor ticket in front of a jury is pretty silly. In South Carolina, however, it's pretty damned smart. Those people who didn't pay their tickets? Well, they may never see the inside of a courtroom.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

April 24, 2008

Don't Gamble With Your Lungs....We Want Your Cash

by G-Rob

A quick news update for our poker smokers in the Northeast. Starting this fall Atlantic City will ban smoking on the casino floor.

There's been a ban on smoking in public places there for years but, until now, the casino floor was exempt. That'll change this fall.

Starting this October smokers will only be allowed to puff away in special, unstaffed, designated areas AWAY from the gambling floor.

The new rules cleared the Atlantic City council unanimously.


April 7, 2008

Another South Carolina Poker Bust

by G-Rob

Police in Charleston called it the result if a "ten month investigation." They arrested 27 people, including an assistant prosecutor at an underground poker game.

The Charleston Post says the game was run out of the bottom floor of a two story house with games spread on several tables. The host started the games last year and they "just grew."

More in this Poker Blog! -->

April 3, 2008

UIGEA: Troubled child of troubled parents

by Otis

"I am not a biblical scholar," Rep. Barney Frank admitted of his inability to understand. The conservative mores of his colleagues on the other side of the aisle are confounding to some members of Congress. "But I can't find an exemption for horse racing!" The sport of kings' absence in the good book notwithstanding, Frank had a point.

The scene was Wednesday's House Financial Services Committee's Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology hearing and a debate that should've been conducted before the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act became a reality (UIGEA live blog ).

Frank, one of the UIGEA's most vocal opponents, was pointing out a common theme in America's stance on federal gambling law enforcement: hypocrisy. It's an environment where gambling on juiced up athletes and ponies is perfectly acceptable, but betting on a skill game over which the player can affect the outcome is not.

The Committee hearing was one of the--if not the first--public discussions of the UIGEA, a law attached to must-pass port security legislation and spirited through the halls of the Capitol in the waning moments of the 2006 Congressional summer session. After nearly two years of being a burden only on confused government regulators, the law now threatened to disrupt the lives of many more people.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

November 9, 2007

Bad Lead

by G-Rob

CNN's Sanjay Gupta reports this morning that poker chips contain a harmful amount of lead. I copied this from this morning's Kansas City Star.

National business briefs: Warning issued on lead in poker chips

Lead in poker chips

Arizona health regulators issued a warning Thursday, saying Paulson brand poker chips could contain high levels of lead.

The warning about the chips — used in many casinos and sold at retail to gamblers — came a day after a Phoenix TV station broadcast a story about the potential contamination. The station had 200 of the chips tested by a private lab and said all of them exceeded the EPA limit for surface lead.

Paulson’s CEO issued a statement saying the company objected to any implication that the chips, when used as intended, posed a health hazard. He also said the chips had been reformulated to contain far less lead.


August 27, 2007

Underground G-Vegas Game Robbed

by Otis

Looks like I picked a good day to be in Vegas.

There are a lot of games in town. I only play in three rooms. One of them got robbed last night and in a way I'm really glad I didn't have to suffer. Some of my friends didn't fare as well.

From Eddie the Dealer's Blog entry:

I remember looking over and Queen was being held by her hair and a gun was held against the back of her head. From that point, all my fear was for her. She is a very sweet girl and always an absolute delight to have around the game. The piece of shit who was holding her was acting a bit maniacal. He was threatening to "blow her brains all over the floor". (full story)

My reaction to this has been about what you'd expect. I'll likely write more in the future. For now, I'm just going to be glad everybody is okay and plan to stick close to the house for a while.

And to all the G-Vegas regulars: be careful, folks.


July 26, 2007

Poker, The Unabomber, and the Times

by G-Rob

There's a neat New York Times story about computer "bots" playing poker against Phil Laak in this morning's paper. Here's a link

If you prefer a hard copy, as I do, check out the section below the fold in the "Business Day" section.

For the record, Laak was evidently one of 2 pros to play against a new computer poker design. He won 2 of 3 games but git creamed on one day. He claims the computer program is better than most human players.

Worth a read...


February 26, 2007

South Carolina Legislator makes it to first base

by Otis

South Carolina state represenative Willian Scarborough, previously mentioned here for being the first Palmetto State legislator of 2007 to willingly beat his head against the poker wall, has cleared his first and likely last hurdle in his attempt to make South Carolina home poker games legal.

Scarborough, a Republican, introduced a bill this year that would make un-raked poker games a lawful activity. According to CardPlayer, that bill has made it out of subcommittee and will be presented to the House Judiciary Committee this week.

Text of Scarborough's poker bill

I'll refrain from all snark for the time being.

For the time being.


July 24, 2006

Ballot box

by Otis

Two months ago, I wrote my Congressman. Today, I got an e-mail back. A form e-mail no less. Congratulations, Bob. You've tied yourself to an issue that makes sure you'll never pull me into your fold.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

April 18, 2006

Who the F#$% is Aaron Brown?

by Luckbox

From the one and only Blogfather we get this gem from an article in the New York Times on poker:

"The minute you make it a tournament meant to bankrupt someone else then it isn't poker anymore," said Aaron Brown, an executive director at Morgan Stanley and the author of a new poker book, "The Poker Face of Wall Street." "It's the same difference between being a career singer and being on 'American Idol.' Tournament play may be great entertainment, but it's not poker."

Come again? Tournament poker isn't poker because it's meant to bankrupt someone else? Does this guy believe Phil Ivey wants you to keep your money in the ring games?

Am I reading this wrong or is this guy crazy? (By the way, it's an interesting article if you haven't read the whole thing.)


August 8, 2005

The Hammer --Grubby did it

by Otis

Please see the post below for my brother's first final table appearance

Scanning Oddjack for the latest Cinnabon update (just can't get enough of that), I happened across a link to a Newsweek story. In it, the writer gives us the following:

Playing from his home PC against a half dozen strangers from around the world, Kim won three hands with a pocket pair of aces, a two pair of kings and nines and, finally, by turning a full house from what poker pros disdainfully call "the hammer"â€"a seven and two of different suits.


More in this Poker Blog! -->

December 7, 2004

Sorry, South Carolina

by Otis

Allow me to offer a whole-hearted, "Well, sonofabitch" to this story that's about to come out of South Carolina news outlets.

Rather than clog the fun of Vegas anticipation here, I've written up a brief summary over at my news blog, The Poker Papers.

Now, read below for less depressing stuff.


November 1, 2004

Know When To Walk Away, Know When To Run!

by Luckbox

When the cops come knocking at the door, that's when it's time to run. Eight men in Lafayette, LA (my home town) learned that the hard way this weekend.

The Lafayette PD raided a bar named Shannon's early Friday morning and arrested the men on a charge of gambling. It's the first such bust in South Louisiana since I got here.

It's a bust that really caught my attention because Texas Hold 'Em has become increasingly popular across Lousiana. Here in Lafayette, I can probably find a handful of bars every night that are offering tournaments of some kind.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

October 26, 2004


by Otis

My day job lends itself to confirming rumors. So, I did. For full details, you can click on over to Poker Papers.

...a beautiful rumor hit RGP today. If it is true, it will make me happier than just about any non-breathing thing can.

It relates to a so-called casino within a short drive of my house (and by short, I mean a couple of hours). To date the facility has been worthless. This, however, could change everything. Um, yeah. Everything.

As of today, Oct 24.

The tribe plans on opening the Poker room Jan 1,05 but due to Internal
controls for the Poker rules being delayed this might push the date back a
couple of weeks. The poker room will be housed in a tent like structure
located beside the pavilion, it will be smoke-free and consist of 24
table's with several of the most popular Poker games. On a funny side note
the tribe is actually going out of there way to find stand-up tables
straying from the traditional sit-down and deal tables,Of couse the
players will sit and the dealers will stand.

I can only say...ohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboy


June 25, 2004

Debating Ben

by Otis

In the middle of downtown Greenville, SC, there's an Irish Pub with a stage near the door. If you get in the door early enough, pound a couple car bombs, flirt with the best bartendress in town at the back bar, and get a good seat, there's a chance you might hear some good music coming from the stage.

A few nights a month, the musicians have an open-mic night. I've never participated for fear of ruining an otherwise good career as a local personality and back porch guitar picker.

Still, a friend of mine went the other night and sat down on stage. He had the crowd going pretty good, when the regular musicians eventually came up and said, in effect, "Okay, that's enough."

The implication was clear.

This is our game. If you wanna play for real, find your own stage.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

June 23, 2004

Hollywood Taking Over

by Luckbox

The last time we saw Ben Affleck playing poker, he was rolling over to Willie Garson (you know, the gay friend on Sex in the City) in the inaugural edition of Celebrity Poker. Not exactly the best way to demonstrate your poker acumen.

Apparently the star of such blockbusters as Gigli and Jersey Girl does better when he plays with his own money. On Sunday, Affleck won the California State Poker Championship. This wasn't just some little Hollywood home game. Affleck won $356,400 and a spot in next year's World Poker Tour Championship.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

March 5, 2004

When the Price of Poker is Too High

by Luckbox

The small town of Springfield, TN was shocked today by a shooting spree. The community of just 14,000 people isn't used to this kind of violence. Three people are dead and another is critically injured.

So far, police aren't commenting on a motive except to say they believe the shootings are connected. WKRN, however, has confirmed that all four men were part of a poker game last night.

I guess it's all speculation at this point, but it sure does reinforce my reasons for playing online or with friends. The chances of being shot are pretty slim.


February 5, 2004

World Poker Open Action

by Luckbox

Jack Binion's 2004 World Poker Open recently wrapped up in Tunica, MS. The tournament attracted more media coverage than in the past thanks to the explosion of televised and online poker.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal has a nice write-up.

(Warning, possible WPT spoiler to come.)

More in this Poker Blog! -->