Is Statistical Tournament Poker Gambling?

I’m a poker player, not a professional by any means, but not bad player either. This last month a new poker parlor opened in Portland, Oregon that got my interest. I had seen lots of tournament poker in bars around Portland but they didn’t appeal to me for a few reasons…

1. They were in a bar, which meant a smoke filled environment and I am not fond of cigarette smoke.

2. The nights of play varied, often it was like every Tuesday night but not every night, if I wanted to vary my nights of play I had to go to different locations.

3. There was no guarantee that I could play, if I made the trip to the bar and the seats at the tables were already assigned I was SOL, I made the trip for no reason, or I had to wait 2 hours for the next game to begin, which might already be all assigned.

4. There was an expectation to use the establishment, and I agree with this, if they host a poker game they should expect the participants to buy food, drink, and whatever else. But extra bar food is not always in my budget.

5. Because the game was free it was usually crowded and the seats taken up by regulars who usually did not use the establishment, they even had the audacity to bring food or drink from another location into the establishment where the game was being played.

So, needless to say I did not play in the bar tourneys much. In steps this new poker room, National Poker Challenge, opening a new location here in Portland in the Cedar Hills area. I had to check it out and I was pleasantly surprised. They had addressed all of the issues I had with bar tournaments.

1. The room was non-smoking, a smoking area had been set up outside for the players that had to have their addiction to get their fix.

2. There are games every day, several times a day. They open at 3:00pm and close around 10:00pm with their first game at 3:15pm and their last game currently around 8:30pm.

3. They have online sign-up available or you can call the room for a seat, if the game is full they can tell you the likelihood of you getting a seat as an alternate and if they don’t have enough players for a game they will call you and tell you so. They exercise an in-your-seat policy, at the time the game is supposed to start if you are not in-your-seat or at least called and told them that you are on your way, your seat is given to an alternate.

4. and 5. Because the location is devoted to the game and not a bar or restaurant itself there is no expectation to purchase anything from the establishment because poker is its business.

Their business model is similar to the bar tournaments in that you are not playing for cash but are playing for points and statistical analysis of your play. Rather then charging the bar owners for running the tournaments they charge the players directly and statistically track the players play. The players are charged a monthly subscription that pays for the facilities, the dealers, and the statistic tracking. They do offer invitational tournaments for the top players that have cash and prizes. There is no charge for the invitational tournament. So is this gambling?

According to the Oregon Department of Justice it is, because the players are paying a fee to play and there are prizes at the end. But what makes this different from other events? Is it the poker chips? Are poker players being discriminated against because they use a piece of clay to track their points during a game? Think about it, you can have a chess tournament with an entry fee, there are prizes at the end for the best players, but does the Department of Justice call that gambling?

You can have a marathon where the runners pay an entry fee and there are prizes at the end, and most of the runners don’t even have a chance of finishing first, but is this called gambling? But because poker players play a game that uses chips it is called gambling when the games they are paying for don’t even have prizes. So, again, is it gambling? In my humble opinion, No it is not gambling. You are playing a game of skill and having your skill tracked. My hope is that the Oregon DoJ is not successful in its discrimination of this location and drops their investigation.

I invite you to join us in the poker room and try your skill at the table, see how they track your statistics and see how it may improve your play. After all, their tag line is “Do you know who the best poker player is? We do!”

Sports Betting Tips – Get All the Information You Can

There are many ways in which people place sporting bets, and many different strategies used in order to maximise their chances of winning. But the number one key strategy for maximising your chances of winning that all important bet is information. Having all the relevant information you can muster before placing your bet is all-important to ensuring you stand the best chance of winning big.

This is the same idea behind many other financial investments in life. If you’re buying a home or purchasing a car, you undertake some research in order to be sure you’re investing your money wisely. The exact same principle applies to betting.

It certainly helps if you know a lot about the sport you’re betting on. Nobody should be betting on a game of cricket if they don’t know the first thing about the game. But if you follow your local football team every week and know their strengths and weaknesses, you have a much more informed view of how they might fare in their next match than your average gambler.

Bookmakers and other big stakes gamblers exploit the ignorance of the average bettor. By doing your research, you stand a much better chance of winning. Trying to get that information is a slightly trickier proposition. If you want to know the horse racing form, then you buy the Racing Post. Unfortunately everyone does that, and you will only get information that anyone serious about betting on the horses already knows.

Often the best idea is to look into a small area of a sport, and become an expert in how that area operates and the various intricacies of the competition. You might focus on say, 20/20 cricket, and know the form of the various players, and whether a run chase is doable or not based on previous games on that particular pitch. Many successful gamblers have made their fortune just focusing on one specific area, and becoming all knowledgeable about it.

Another important tool to use is odds comparison websites. Now because of the Internet, it’s possible to check the various odds offered by all the major bookmakers on an event, and selecting whichever bookie is offering you the best value. A few examples of these sites are http://www.oddschecker.com and odds.bestbetting.com. These websites also allow you to gauge whether you’re getting a good deal by viewing the history of the odds. If you see what was long odds rapidly fall just before the event, you know that a lot of late money has gone on it. Obviously you can’t tell why this has happened, but it allows you to get an idea of what the rest of the betting public are thinking. Every piece of information you can gather counts.

Travel To Singapore – The Strict Entry Requirements To The Casinos

With the launch of the two integrated resorts in Singapore, this has opened up a flood gate of tourists visiting this wonderful city-state. In Singapore context, what is known as the integrated resorts is another meaning for a resort and casino complex.

The two resorts that have successfully obtained the licenses required to run a casino in Singapore are the Marina Bay Sands Resorts and Casino, run by the Sands Company which is headquartered in the United States, and Resorts World, run by Genting Group which is headquartered in Malaysia. Regardless of which integrated resort you visit, if you intend to visit the casino, you must abide to the strict rules in place. Here is a quick guide to the entry requirements to the casinos in Singapore.

Age Requirement

The minimum age requirement to enter the casino is 21 years of age. Anyone below that age is not allowed to enter.

Documents Requirement

For all visitors who are neither Singapore citizens nor holding any permanent residence status in Singapore, the only requirement is to bring their passports as a form of identification to prove that they are purely tourists from overseas and that they meet the minimum age requirements to enter the gambling areas. There is no levy fee for these types of visitors. If you qualify as this type of visitor, then you can simply line up in the foreign visitor’s lane while entering the gaming areas.

For visitors who are Singapore citizens or holding permanent residence status, they must present either their passports or national identification card, and also pay the mandatory 100S$ (Singapore dollar) levy fee. Please note that the levy fee only allows you to enter the casino for 24 hours from the time and date you paid the fee. After the 24 hours is up, then your current levy will expire and should you wish to stay longer, then you will need to pay the levy fee a second time in order to enter the casino for another 24 hours. To enter the gambling center as a Singaporean or permanent resident, you will need to line up in the lanes designated as “Singaporean citizen/ PR holder” to enter the gaming area.

Dress Code

For both integrated resorts at Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World, the dress code to enter the gaming areas is smart casual. Shorts, singlets, and “flip flop” slippers are not permitted. The security guard will check to ensure you meet the dress code before allowing you to enter.

By taking note of these entry requirements to the casinos of both integrated resorts in Singapore, it will help to ensure that you can enter the casinos as smoothly as possible.

Is This The World’s Fairest Casino?

We all know casinos are built to make money from poor saps like you and me, yet no matter what, people keep on gambling. However, this article isn’t on the socio-psychological habits of gamblers, this is a look into what could possibly be the world’s fairest casino.

Just quickly, in case you don’t know why casinos aren’t fair, it’s because of a thing called the ‘house edge’. This is something that gives the casino an advantage over the player, for example the ‘0’ or ’00’ slots on a roulette wheel which mean the player automatically loses and the house wins. All casinos (well not all anymore as we’re about to learn) have a house edge on all their games, giving them the inherent ability to make money.

Then comes along BetFair. BetFair is an online casino that has been operating for a while, though they’ve just launched what they call their ‘Zero Lounge’. This is an area of the casino where most of the house edges have been removed from their games. For example in roulette, the ‘0’ slots in the wheel have been removed, making the game just as fair for the player as it is for the casino.

In the casino and gambling world this is absolutely astonishing. No casino previously has ever considered doing anything like this as it would basically take their guarantee of making cash away from them and put them on an even playing field with the player, though despite this, it’s exactly what BetFair have done.

The only logical reason I can surmise is that they’ve done it is to draw players to the site in the hope that once there, you’ll also spend money elsewhere on their webpage like their sports betting. If this is the case, it’s an absolutely fantastic marketing ploy to get customers to the site. Hell, it got me to go there!

One game which hasn’t technically had the edge taken away is blackjack because you still can’t see the dealer’s second card, however they do give a higher payout if you achieve a two card blackjack.

Anyway, this isn’t a plug for the casino at all, just a tip that if you want to bet somewhere that you can actually say your odds are even with the casino, then this would be the only place on earth I know you can do this.