Archive for April, 2008.

How to Play Against Evelyn Ng

21 April, 2008

You’ve seen her on television in all the major land-based poker tournaments, including World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour events. As beautiful as she is formidable, last month poker pro Evelyn Ng took on the top two players on the Bodog Tournament Leader Board in heads-up matches.

And the opportunity hasn’t passed. You may be the next online poker player earning the chance to play against Evelyn Ng or one of Bodog Poker’s other poker pros. In Bodog Poker’s ongoing Play a Pro promotion, all you need to do is simply sit in on any of Bodog’s weekly tournaments and win your way up to the weekly tournament leader board and you, too, could face one of poker’s top players – be it Josh Arieh, David Williams, or Evelyn Ng herself – in a heads-up match worth thousands of dollars in your pocket if you prevail – not to mention some serious bragging rights!

Absolute Poker Introduces Bounty Tournaments

14 April, 2008

Following on the heels of  PokerStars and its successful PokerStars Bounty Tournaments, where players win money for being the one to knock any of a group of select poker celebrities out of the competition, regardless of who wins the overall tournament,  Absolute Poker has just started offering a similar type of regular event. Of course, AbsolutePoker puts its own unique spin on it.

Called “Assassin Bounty Tournaments”, AbsolutePoker.com puts a price on every competitor’s head, not just certain poker stars. Otherwise set up and played like every other Texas Holdem tournament, participating players pay an extra buy-in to these Assassin Bounty Tournaments, with that money being paid to any player who knocks another player out of the running.

This makes online poker even more exciting, as now you don’t even have to win the tournament to walk away from the table a winner. Now all you have to do is knock one or more of your opponents out, and you’re golden!

If you are not familiar with some of the poker terms in this post, then please visit our friend Poker Keith to learn more.

Webcam Poker

9 April, 2008

A French-based online poker room, Monbluff.com, has just instituted a new innovation poised to make it even easier for online poker players to read each other’s tells, namely: a live webcam system.

That got me thinking about how a poker room could realistically implement webcam poker fairly and in a way that would encourage players to participate. Because I love the idea of being able to read the other players’ tells, but I’m not so psyched about them being able to read mine. The only fair way to implement online webcam poker, then, would be to have tables that are for webcam-enabled players only. In other words, only people with webcams, who agree to have them on during play, are permitted to sit in at tables where other players are doing the same.

Anyway, I was naïve enough to think the Monbluff.com was the first to do this, when I did a Google search and found out how wrong I was. PlayWinPoker.com has webcam features (though while they suggest you let people see you if you want to see them, it doesn’t appear that they’ve systematized it or enforce it). Looking further I found that Pharaoh Poker started doing this in 2006.

Finally I did just a little bit more research and discovered that what makes MonBluff.com’s webcam poker announcement so innovative is that they’re making the feature available for tournament play.

Has anyone else done that yet? And what’s your opinion of how successful the feature will be? Would you use it?

The Lowdown on the (Alleged) US Online Poker Ban

3 April, 2008

By now it has become common knowledge that many of the most popular online poker rooms no longer accept US players. This has led many American online poker players to conclude that it is illegal for them to play poker at an online casino. This is not the case.

The law in question – the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) – was signed into law in 2006, buried inside the Safe Port Act with the stated intention of increasing port security post-9/11. Since then, there has been much speculation, and even more confusion, about what exactly this act does and doesn’t mean. Let’s clear all that up here and now.

The UIGEA targets gambling businesses, not players themselves. It makes it illegal for internet businesses to accept electronic deposits from US players for the purposes of online gambing. The act also directs the Federal Reserve to impose new regulations forbidding US financial institutions from facilitating transactions to gambling sites (but – interestingly enough – not from gambling sites).

The act does not, however, prohibit transactions by check. So any gaming site only accepting checks as deposit methods from US players may be exempt from prosecution under the act. Electronic checks are also successfully finding their way through a loophole in the act.

The act does not make it illegal to gamble online and it does not refer specifically to poker in any explicit way.

Though this law has scared off many poker sites from accepting US players, numerous poker sites still permit US players to sit in at their tables, including PokerStars and FullTiltPoker.