Author: Dorene Smith

Internet Singapore Online Casino Gambling Report IV



The “Internet Gambling Report” by Anthony Cabot is one of the most referenced publications in the online gambling industry. So what is it? That’s not an easy question to answer, but it’s safe to say that anyone interested in online gambling — player, provider or pundit — should have a look at it anyway.


The Fourth Edition of IGR is hot off the presses and while the report can be said to be many things, Cabot himself says it best when he labels his 450 page tome “An Evolving Conflict Between Technology, Policy and Law”. That’s exactly what you’ll find inside: in-depth discussions of the technical, practical and legal issues that define the internet gambling industry.


Having said that it’s important to realize that we’re probably talking about one of the most complicated and contested industries on the globe. To tackle this complexity Cabot divides his text into five parts:


Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: The Market

Part 3: Business Perspectives

Part 4: Legal, Regulatory and Policy Issues

Part 5: Where From Here?

Part 1 forms the heart of the report wherein Cabot introduces the industry by asking three essential questions: “What is the Internet?”, “What is Singapore Online Casino Gambling?”, “Can Gambling work on the Internet?” As Cabot answers those questions he takes the reader a very long way toward understanding the fundamentals of the entire internet gaming issue in all its legal, technical and business complexities. I cannot recommend Part 1 too highly. It is necessary and sufficient reading for anyone wanting to educate themselves on the basics of this industry.


Take for example the issue of casino credibility. How would a casino raise its credibility with players? Cabot provides the following (p.38):


Becoming a public company…

Associating with non-gaming brands and celebrities.

Creating strategic alliances (race tracks or land-based casinos).

Obtaining accountant certifications of their operations.

Being licensed in quality jurisdictions.

He’s hit the nail squarely on the head here, five times in fact. It took me a year of active participation in the industry to learn what he has summarized in less than 50 words.


There are many other examples but I was particularly struck by his insights into probable future trends in online gambling.


“… Internet casinos are beginning to compete based on price … As more sites compete for the patron’s dollars, their odds will become as competitive, and eventually lower [than Vegas].” p.44

What business person isn’t interested in where their industry is going and what competitive moves will be expected of them in the future? Only the unsuccessful ones I’d bet.


Parts 2 through 4 of the IGR feature articles on their various subjects written by guest contributors, occasionally co-written with Cabot. Unlike Part 1, these sections have a definite “anthology” feel to them: even if you’re interested in the specific subject, you may or may not find a given article worthwhile. And the structure that binds the articles together is very loose indeed. The bottom line is that these sections don’t hold a candle to the educational artistry of Part 1, but should be of interest to industry insiders with specific needs.


In the opening to the brief Part 5, “Where From Here?”, Cabot writes:


“One thing is certain when addressing the future of internet gambling: variables overshadow certainties.” p.409

With that sage observation Cabot goes on to summarize those variables and leaves us with a few inconclusive words on possible regulatory options. The moral? His crystal ball isn’t much clearer than anyone else’s.


All things considered The Internet Gaming Report, Fourth Edition is far from perfect. The “Market”, “Business”, and “Legal …” sections (Parts 2 through 4) suffer from the inevitable scatter-shot approach that their anthology format bestows. And as mentioned, “Where From Here?” (Part 5) simply declines to answer its own question.


Despite its imperfections The Internet Gambling Report is the closest thing the online gaming industry has to a Rosetta Stone. Its pages bring together the innumerable related issues in one place, under one guiding hand. As such it will be constantly referenced and quoted in the coming year, as it has been in previous years.




Crypto Gambling

What Skeptical Finance Workers Say About Crypto Gambling

As our readers may know, I am a cryptocurrency evangelist and love to talk about Bitcoin and altcoins until I am blue in the face with anyone who will listen. Apart from fielding questions and concerns from Bitcoin beginners, this means that I also talk to many people who either do not fully understand cryptos or people who have absolutely no faith in them.

Recently I had two of these conversations, one with a close friend and one with a close family member. Both of these individuals remain skeptical of and cynical about Bitcoin, and both of them are heavily involved in traditional investments.


One of these two works for one of the largest investment and financial services banks in the world as a consultant. He knows finance back to front, and is an incredibly sharp person. He fails to see Bitcoin as anything more permanent than a financial fad. That is to say, he does not believe that cryptocurrencies’ tokens will have huge impacts on the global markets.

He may not be entirely off about this. We keep talking about how the market cap for Bitcoin and other altcoins is incredibly high, but they’ve only recently passed the value of some -albeit large- companies. Cryptos may just not be on the caliber needed yet to be game changing as currencies. Though, the Consultant did concede that trading may still be viable, since many businesses that he is invested in also are not fundamentally shaping the market with their overall value.

What he did find most valuable was the concept of the Blockchain. For the Consultant, a distributed public ledger could bring markets and many other aspects of financial life closer to a trustless business model. This is what he thinks can be a game changer. Though, he noted that since the technology is open source, the Blockchain can be implemented without having tokens themselves being traded -however I suspect that as long as tokens are mined/minted, people will trade them as assign them value-.


The other individual in our two stories is a good friend of mine who works as a Quantitative Data Scientist, he also is very active on the stock market for Crypto Gambling. He and I will text daily about various positions on the market. “Wtf is Tesla doing right now?!” “Ahh! I should’ve shorted Snapchat!” and other messages like this are typical for some of our conversations. I’ll also add in “Hey, did you see that Bitcoin passed $2,000 a coin today?!”

He always is flabbergasted by the performance of Bitcoin, and other alts. “But it’s not backed by anything, like, no institutions are buying it up or have it in reserve like USD.” Again, he is not wrong. Bitcoin is not a reserve currency like USD is. Bitcoin is also the antithesis of many values which large banking institutions -both private and government- hold. He does admit that there may be some money to be made -and lost- in the volatile nature of cryptos.

I think the heart of his thinking here is that Bitcoin, to both of them really, does not seem like a long term viable investment. For me, this is a difference of opinion. Where they are placing more faith in current institutions -that may adopt various aspects of cryptocurrencies-, I place more faith in the disruptive power of cryptocurrencies to institutional norms.



Augur, a fully-decentralized, open-source prediction market platform based on blockchain technology, intended to revolutionize forecasting, decision-making and the manner in which information consensus is collected and aggregated, has been selected as one of the five finalists in the “Breakthrough” category at the XCS Challenge at Exponential Finance 2015.


The Singularity University and CNBC hosted the Exponential Finance 2015 conference (New York, 2-3 June), which examines how rapidly accelerating technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, crowdfunding, digital currencies, and robotics are rapidly disrupting businesses throughout the financial industry. Learn more about SKYBLOCK COINS SHOP


The Singularity University, based at Moffett Federal Airfield in California and sponsored by high-profile high-tech firms including Google, is an educational center dedicated to world-changing applications of disruptive, exponentially accelerating technologies.


Augur, a fully-decentralized, open-source prediction market platform based on blockchain technology and Ethereum, intended to revolutionize forecasting, decision making, and the manner in which information consensus is collected and aggregated, has been selected as one of the five finalists in the “Breakthrough” category at the XCS Challenge at Exponential Finance 2015.


“Singularity U traditionally highlights the most innovative and cutting edge technology and we feel Augur definitely deserves to be here,” said Augur’s Marketing Director, Tony Sakich, to CoinTelegraph. “Prediction Markets have the potential to create more accurate forecasts in so many fields that the applications could go on for a long time. The most exciting immediate application is for political polling as Augur would enable the largest consensus of models possible.”


“Harnessing the blockchain, Augur has created the first online platform for a global market of predictions,” states the Exponential Finance website. “Anybody can create a market for an event, and anyone can wager whether that event will occur or not.


”Prediction markets harness the “wisdom of the crowds” to create powerful and uncensorable forecasting engines. “This is the future of forecasting,” says the Exponential Finance announcement.


Prediction markets are speculative markets created for the purpose of making predictions. The current market price for a prediction – for example the election of a particular candidate – can be interpreted as an aggregate, crowdsourced estimate of the probability of the prediction. For example, if a prediction market security rewards a dollar if a particular candidate is elected, those who think the candidate had a 70 percent chance of being elected should be willing to pay up to 70 cents for the security.


Evidence suggests that such financial incentives make prediction markets more effective than other forecasting strategies. The Iowa Electronic Markets typically predicts elections within one percent, more accurate than polls or expert opinions. Since 1988 it has correctly predicted the outcome of every U.S. presidential election. The Foresight Exchange, one of the oldest active prediction markets, is a public, play-money market allowing individuals to sign up for free and predict the future.


Prediction markets had a moment of fame in 2003, when the Policy Analysis Market (PAM), a proposed futures exchange developed by the United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), was canceled after a wave of accusations of incentivizing terrorism, which resulted in the resignation of John Poindexter, head of the DARPA unit responsible for developing the project.


“The idea of a federal betting parlor on atrocities and terrorism is ridiculous, and it’s grotesque,” said Sen. Ron Wyden.


The PAM was inspired by the work of George Mason University economist Robin Hanson, a leading researcher in the field, co-creator of the Foresight Exchange, and author of a seminal paper on “Idea Futures,” who is now one of the Augur advisors. Hanson explains his ideas on prediction markets and Augur in a short video posted on the Augur website.



According to Hanson, real money markets such as the Iowa Electronic Markets – and Wall Street – predict election outcomes better than opinion polls. Referring to previous regulatory obstacles encountered by prediction markets such as PAM, Hanson notes that all of our familiar financial instruments: stocks, insurance, commodity futures, options were once forbidden by anti-gambling laws.






Mandalay, Park Place team for Macau license to Sg Online Casino

Las Vegas Strip casino giants Park Place Entertainment Corp. and Mandalay Resort Group have joined the race for a gaming license in the Chinese coastal city of Macau.


Park Place spokesman Robert Stewart said this morning that his company and Mandalay have jointly applied for a gaming license in Macau. The two companies submitted a tender bid through an entity called MP Entertainment, one of 21 contenders for three licenses in the former Portuguese colony.


He declined further comment and Mandalay officials could not be reached for comment.


The two companies are the latest in a crowd of contenders for the Macau licenses from Las Vegas. MGM MIRAGE, Steve Wynn’s Wynn Resorts and Venetian owner Sheldon Adelson have also submitted offers for a Macau license.


Another bidder with apparent Las Vegas connections is Las Vegas East Macau Ltd. This company is linked to Macau-Las Vegas East Development Corp., a Nevada corporation.


Records with the Nevada Secretary of State list the company’s president as Emmett Munley, and its secretary and treasurer as George Johnson. The address given for the company is Johnson’s downtown Las Vegas law firm.


Johnson could not be reached for comment.


“Any operator that tries to bring high-end play from overseas to its Las Vegas properties would rationally be interested in a gaming license in this market,” said Robin Farley, gaming analyst with UBS Warburg. “It’s putting an outpost close to where the high-end players come from.”


Park Place serves high-end customers primarily through Caesars Palace, but it isn’t considered as big a player in the Asian high roller business as MGM MIRAGE, the Venetian or Steve Wynn, analysts said.


Still, “it would be strange for such a big gaming – Sg Online Casino market to open and them (Park Place) not to be there,” said analyst Jason Ader of Bear Stearns.


Mandalay’s been even less of a player in the high-end business with its mid-market Strip properties, though the company’s been more focused on these efforts with Mandalay Bay.


“For a small investment, should they be successful, this gives both Park Place and Mandalay an ability to grow their high-end Asian business,” said Andrew Zarnett of Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown.


But they aren’t the favorites, Zarnett said.


“MGM MIRAGE has the greatest probability of winning a license, given (Chairman and Chief Executive) Terry Lanni’s strong relationship with the Asian high-end market for over two decades,” Zarnett said.


The Macau government, in an effort to break up a monopoly held by casino mogul Stanley Ho, plans to award three 20-year gaming licenses sometime this month. The government has said it will consider such factors as experience in the gaming industry, overall interest in the Macau market and investment plans.


Macau’s 10 casinos, all owned by Ho, gross an estimated $2 billion a year in gaming revenues.





judi online 24 jam



Perjudian secara singkat dapat dijelaskan sebagai kegiatan bertaruh dengan mengharuskan petaruh untuk menyiapkan harta bendanya sebagai yang akan ditaruhkan dengan tujuan untuk memenangkan pertaruhan dengan hasil akan mendapatkan seluruh yang ditaruhkan oleh petaruh lainnya.


Pada awalnya, kegiatan berjudi pertama kali pada jaman mesir kuno oleh para pejabat, petinggi dan bangsawsan secara bersama-sama sebagai salah satu kegiatan saat berkumpul. Dapat dikatakan berjudi hanya dilakukan untuk bersenang-senang pada masa tersebut atau untuk seru-seruan semata. Mereka melakukan pertaruhan di bangunan berbentuk kuil kuno dengan cara taruhan melalui benda-benda berharga, ternak, tanah, sampai dengan budak-budak yang ditawarkan. Semenjak itu, berjudi menjadi salah satu kegiatan yang terus berkembang keberbagai era dan negara.


Sekitar tahun 1980-an, sudah mulai berkembang tempat-tempat perjudian. Namun pada jaman tersebut, sekelompok orang yang akan melakukan perjudian harus janjian pada jam tertentu, setelahnya baru bisa bermain judi bersama. Namun banyak resiko yang akan terjadi, salah satunya tertangkap apparat atau banyak terjadi kekerasan secara fisik akibat perkelahian saat bermain judi secara langsung.


Di Indonesia, pertama kali masuk perjudian akibat masa penjajahan jaman Belanda. Para pedagang yang berasal dari china, eropa dan daerah lainnya juga membawa perjudian dengan permainan beraneka ragam seperti domino, poker, dadu, kartu, dan yang lainnya. Dalam masa penjajahan belanda pun, pihak colonial memperbolehkan bandar judi untuk membuka rumah judi. Salah satu alasannya untuk memperbanyak keuntungan yang didapat oleh mereka dari pajak yang ditarik dari rumah berjudi yang dibangun. Namun pada saat itu, perjudian hanya dilakukan pada masa-masa tertentu dan hari besar. Orang pribumi Indonesia juga pada awal-awal tidak banyak yang dapat memainkan perjudian, karena banyak masyarakat pribumi yang menjadi lapisan bawah pada masa penjajahan Belanda


Pada saat setelah merdeka, masyarakat local baru mulai bermain perjudian secara bebas. Di bawah kepemimpinan Ali Sadikin, kegiatan berjudi semakin tinggi karena berjudi menjadi legal. Saat itu, keputusan untuk melegalkan judi agar dapat memungut pajak dari izin perjudian sehingga dapat menambah modal untuk pembangunan kota. Namun pada saat judi dilegalkan, usaha perjudian hanya diperbolehkan untuk kaum tionghoa (china) karena kegiatan berjudi dianggap sebagai budaya china yang dibawa ke Indonesia. Perjudian yang dibangun olen bandar judi china adalah lotre. Setelah terjadi pelegalan perjudian, anggara pembangunan Jakarta naik sampai dengan 1000% dalam 10 tahun dari penarikan pajak izin perjudian yang digunakan untuk pembangunan fasilitas umum seperti rumah sakit, sekolah, perbaikan jalan dan infrastruktur pembangunan sampai dapat menjadi tabungan di akhir masa jabatan Ali Sadikin oleh pemda Jakarta di akhir masa jabatan beliau.


Akibat perkembangan pembangunan Jakarta, banyak beberapa daerah mulai mengikuti jejak Jakarta untuk melegalkan perjudian. Di tahun 1960, secara resmi pemda Surabaya meresmikan Lotto (Lotre Totaliastor) untuk menambah anggaran pergelaran acara PON VII di Surabaya pada jalam tersebut.


Namun walaupun dianggap dapat menaikkan anggaran pembangunan, bangunan perjudian tetap ditentang oleh banyak kalangan masyarakat sehingga oleh Presiden Soekarno, kegiatan berjudi dianggap menjadi salah satu kegiatan yang menentang budaya timur dan mencela moral negara.


Lalu Pada masa order baru, pemerintahan ingin mengubah permainan judi menjadi undian tanpa ada budaya judi. Akibatnya tahun 1974, Lotre Toto dijadikan ilegal dan dilarang oleh pihak pemerintah. Tepat pada 28 Desember 1985, pemerintah mengadakan kupon dengan hadiah porkas sepak bola. Tujuannya untuk meningkatkan prestasi di bidang olahraga. Kupon Porkas yang diadakan sangat berbeda dengan permainan togel karena bukan tebakan angka tetapi berisikan tebakan siapa yang menang pada satu pertandingan sepak bola.  Lalu kupon dapat disebarkan. Tidak sulit dimainkan dan bebas untuk diedarkan karena resmi. Kupon yang disediakan hanya diperbolehkan untuk yang berusia di atas 17 tahun dan hanya tersebar sampai tingkat kabupaten.


Dua tahun kemudian tepatnya pada tahun 1987, Kupon Porkas diganti dengan KSOB (Kupon Sumbangan Olahraga Berhadiah) dengan sistem yang diubah menjadi dua kupon yang dibagi dengan permainan yang berbeda. Pada tahun 1988, menteri sosial menginformasikan bahwa dari hasil KSOB telah terkumpul 962,4 milian. Kemudian di tahun 1989, KSOB dilarang dan tergantikan oleh Sumbangan Dermawan Sosial Berhadiah (SDSB). Pajak yang diterima negara dari SDSB bisa mencapai delapan miliar pertahun.

Sampai pada akhirnya kegiatan tersebut ditentang oleh beberapa masyarakat karena dianggap dapat merusak perekonomian masyarakat sehingga muncul anti SDSB dipelopori oleh mahasiswa sehingga pada tahun 1994 pemerintah melarang kegiatan SDSB diadakan. Di tahun 2004 pada masa pemerintahan Presiden SBY (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono) secara resmi melarang kegiatan berjudi dengan cara apapun sehingga para bandar judi di Indonesia mencari celah untuk tetap mengadakan rumah berjudi.


Perkembangan teknologi yang semakin canggih dari tahun ke tahun digunakan oleh bandar judi online 24 jam sebagai media untuk melakukan perjudian. Judi online 24 jam mulai bermunculan dan sangat diminati oleh pemain karena dianggap lebih aman dan mudah untuk diakses. Situs-situs online mulai banyak bermunculan dan diharapkan dapat membantu para pemain yang ingin menambah penghasilan dan sampingan seperti situs palace303. Sampai saat ini, judi online berkembang dengan pesat di Indonesia. Banyak permainan judi online yang dapat ditemukan di situs secara mudah dan menguntungkan. Diantaranya : GAME SLOT ONLINE, CASINO ONLINE, TOGEL ONLINE, JUDI BOLA ONLINE, POKER ONLINE, SAMBUNG AYAM, dan masih banyak lagi.


ISWI’s SportXction Software Provides Basis for Agreement Between GIG and Europe’s Freedomland Internet Television: GIG’s first Ligaz888 deal with a Pan-European Interactive TV (iTV) Platform Expands Its Inter

Freedomland Digital TV- broadcasters will offer real-time betting via DTV using SportXction, a patented software platform developed by Interactive Systems Worldwide, Inc. The first product to market of its kind- Digital TV broadcasters look forward to increased memebership and advertising dollars by offering this hot new game.


WEST PATERSON, NJ,–Interactive Systems Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ SmallCap:ISWI) announced today that its exclusive licensee and financial partner, Global Interactive Gaming, Ltd. (GIG), signed its third agreement with Italy’s Freedomland Internet Television, Europe’s largest open access Interactive Internet TV provider. This deal is significant for both companies, marking GIG’s first deal with a Pan-European Internet TV (iTV) platform, and Freedomland’s first entertainment-based signing since June of 2001.


The service will significantly enhance Freedomland viewers’ enjoyment of sports, by providing betting propositions on all the key moments in a live Ligaz888 sports event and will be available in early 2002, joining existing content from Blue-Chip partners such as BBC, and WHSmith. Simon Mellinger, General Manager of Freedomland, comments, “GIG has come up with a market-leading product that fits perfectly with the demographic of Freedomland subscribers. Gaming is one of the pioneering applications on Internet and interactive TV platforms, and GIG offered Freedomland a great opportunity to be at the forefront of this explosion. It is a product that underlines the convergence between television and the Internet, enhancing and enriching the viewer experience and thus precisely mirroring the Freedomland philosophy.”


Cees Zwaard, CEO of GIG adds; “We firmly believe there is a bright future for interactive TV, especially for value-added, revenue-generating services like ours, that integrate with and complement existing broadcasts. We are thus delighted that Freedomland shares our vision. Freedomland provides the UK’s lowest entry cost for open Internet TV access, so I am highly optimistic that our revolutionary service will soon be available to a much wider audience.”


GIG, backed by the digital services arm of Germany’s Kirch Group, aims to become iDTV’s betting benchmark by providing the first truly interactive consumer based gaming system. The agreement between GIG and Freedomland will provide its subscribers with a betting service that uses as its core technology ISWI’s patented SportXction™ sports wagering software system, which offers continually updated, computer-generated odds on multiple outcomes during the course of a sporting event.


Barry Mindes, Chairman & CEO of Interactive Systems Worldwide, Inc. stated: “Including Telewest and ITV, this marks the third agreement between GIG and a major Interactive TV provider and further validates GIG’s global marketing strategy. Freedomland’s sports viewers will enjoy enhanced on-screen action through a picture-in-picture interface that allows for frequent, but relatively small wagers to be placed on the outcome of individual events throughout a game in real-time.”


About SportXction™

SportXction™ is a patented, real-time, software system, which allows a player to make play-by-play wagers on a sporting event while the event is in progress. Wagering may be conducted while viewing a television broadcast of a sporting event. The wagers offered are mostly oriented to short-term plays, for example, is the next play a run or a pass, is the next pitch a ball or a strike, does the shooter make two foul shots, and many more, including parlays, in most sports. The wagers have odds associated with them, which relate to the probable outcome of the proposition being wagered upon, and the odds are adjusted in real time by proprietary artificial intelligence software to reflect player sentiment, as derived from the betting patterns. The system also supports traditional, pre-game sports wagers.


About ISWI – GIG License Agreements

Under the Agreements, signed on March 17, 2000, GIG was granted the exclusive license to market, distribute and use the Company’s interactive SportXction™ software, technology and patents where such technology is legally usable, including for contests and wagering on sporting events world-wide. Under these Agreements, the Company will receive a revenue share, subject to a guaranteed minimum annual license fee.


About Freedomland

Established in Italy in April 1999 and floated on the Milan Stock Exchange in April 2000, Freedomland is Europe’s largest open access Internet TV offering a low entry cost

for open Internet TV access at just £ $9.99 per month, connection to Freedomland via a

set top box (free with the subscription) and takes less than 10 minutes with three simple connections (SCART lead, power and telephone line). Freedomland offers a High Street shopping experience from the comfort of your own living room with a host of first rate content from more than 30 retail partners. More information on the company website at


About GIG & Prisma iVentures

Global Interactive Gaming Ltd. was created in April 2000 as a joint venture between Prisma iVentures Ltd, and Multisports Games Development, Inc (MGDI) of Delaware, USA. Prisma iVentures is a dedicated digital services company 90 percent owned by TaurusSport GmbH. The latter is a wholly-owned subsidiary of KirchMedia GmbH & Co. KgaA, the division of Kirch Group responsible for commercial-free television, license trading, New Media, sport, film and TV production and for film technology. KirchMedia is a multimedia conglomerate whose annual revenues are in the multi-billion dollar range.


Formed in 1999, Prisma iVentures’ mission is to create a portfolio of companies focussing on different aspects of the digital distribution and production of sports content. By identifying and developing added value for rights holders in the future, the aim is to create a significant lead in new media applications for sport.


Prisma iVentures’ sister company, KirchSport GmbH, is wholly owned by TaurusSport and manages the broadcasting rights for world-class sports properties such as the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cup™ in Europe; the Ice Hockey World Championship; the Wimbledon Tennis Championships and Germany’s Bundesliga. KirchSport also markets television, sponsorship and advertising rights for four other European soccer leagues, 11 European national associations and more than 25 football clubs. Through this connection GIG gains access to the vast experience of one of the world’s leading sports marketing organizations.


This press release contains “forward-looking statements” made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including, but not limited to, whether the interactive betting service will be launched on the projected dates; and whether use if the system will increase Freedomland’s subscriber revenue and the consequences thereof to GIG and the Company. Investors are cautioned that these statements involve risks and uncertainties. Additional risks and uncertainties are detailed in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Form 10-KSB for the year ended September 30, 2000.


Slot Online

POKER Slot Online ROOM

Walk into virtually any public cardroom in America, and you’ll find a game of Texas hold ’em in progress. Texas hold ’em is the single most popular form of poker played today, and because it is, it will be the focus of our study in this column.

Let’s start with the basics.

In Texas hold ’em, each player gets two cards to start with. There’s a round of betting, and then three cards are turned over in the middle of the table. These cards (collectively called the flop) are common cards or community cards; they’re part of everybody’s hand. Thus, if you start with an ace and a king (A-K) and the flop presents you with another ace, another king and a ten (A-K-T), then your hand so far is two pair, aces and kings, with a ten kicker. Another player who starts with a pair of queens (Q-Q) would only have two queens with an ace kicker at this point, so you would have the best hand. After the flop, there’s a second round of Slot Online betting, and then another common card, called the turn card, is revealed. If the turn card in this case were a queen, your hand would not have improved; you’d still have your two pair and your ten kicker. But your opponent would now have three queens, and you’d be in trouble! After a third round of betting, the fifth community card, the river card, is placed on the board. There’s a fourth and final round of betting, and then those players still left in the pot show down their hands. The best five-card hand out of the seven available between each player’s hand and the board is the winner. So if that river card were an ace, your hand would have improved to aces full, a full house comprised of three aces and two kings, just narrowly edging out your opponent, with her three queens and two aces, or queens full.

In most public card rooms, the betting is structured, which means that there are fixed amounts you can bet on any round. The most common structure allows for a certain bet, say $2, on the first two betting rounds, and double that amount ($4 in this example) on the last two rounds. So if you sat down in a game of $5-10 limit hold ’em, you’d know to bet (or raise) $5 before and after the flop, and $10 on the turn and the river.

Some casinos offer spread limit betting, such as $1-4-8-8. In this variation, you can bet anything from $1 to $4 before and after the flop, and anything up to $8 on the turn and the river. Obviously you’ll want to know the betting limits before you sit down to play, but where will you get this information? You can ask the floor manager, of course, or any of the other cardroom employees, but if you want to gather information on the sly, just look for a little brass plate on the table to the right of where the dealer sits. There you’ll find the name of the game being played at that table, the betting limits imposed, and also the structure of the house rake.

The rake is the money that the house takes out of each pot. It’s payment, if you will, for all the services that the house provides, including a dealer, cards and chips, tables and chairs, security, and often amenities such as free drinks or food. A typical rake is 5% of the pot up to a certain ceiling, such as $3 per pot. Sometimes the rake is taken out of the pot directly; in other cardrooms, each player in turn posts a collection before the hand begins. There are strategy considerations to be made, depending on whether you’re in a rake game or a collection game, but we’ll get to those later. For now, all you need to do is watch a hand or two being dealt and notice whether the dealer is collecting the rake before the hand begins or while the hand is underway.

Texas hold ’em is known as a button game. That is, there’s a round disc, called a dealer button, which moves from player to player, in a clockwise fashion, with each hand. Though players don’t deal for themselves in public cardrooms, the button represents which player would be the dealer if the deal were advanced from player to player as the game went along. This is important because some players to the left of the button have to post blind bets, or blinds, at the start of each hand.

In most hold ’em games, you’ll find two blinds. The small blind, to the dealer’s immediate left, is usually half the amount of the small bet in a fixed limit game. The big blind, to the immediate left of the small blind, is usually equal to the full amount of the small bet in a fixed limit game. If you were playing $4-8 hold ’em, the small blind would post $2 and the big blind would post $4. In the case of a game where half the single bet is not an even amount, the small blind will post either 1/3 or 2/3 of the single bet. In a $15-30 game, then, the small blind would post either $5 or $10, depending on the house rules at that particular casino.

The purpose of the blind bet is to get at least some money into every pot. If there were no blinds, then no player would enter the pot with anything except the very best hands. There would be very little betting; the game would get dull and probably die. With the blind bet, each player takes his turn entering the pot involuntarily. Then the other players, acting after the blinds, can decide whether they want to compete for the blinds’ money by contributing bets of their own. The blinds, then, serve to stimulate the action in a button-style poker game.

As you’ll soon see, position is very important in Texas hold ’em. The later you get to act, the bigger an advantage you have, with the players in the blinds being in the most vulnerable position, and the players near or on the button having the biggest positional edge. Even before we get to that, though, you can see that players posting the blinds are entering the pot involuntarily, with hands that are probably no better than average. That’s why the button moves with every hand: so that each player takes his or her fair turn at posting the blinds and at being in late position, near or on the button.

Next time we’ll look at the kinds of starting hands you’d like to have in hold ’em – and at the kinds of starting hands you’re most likely to see! Until then, here’s your homework: Deal yourself a bunch of two-card hands and ask yourself which you think are the strongest hands and why. Also think about why a player in late position has an advantage over a player in early position. Finally, find a hold ’em game in a cardroom (or online cardroom) and take note of the start hands that players in that game favor. Start to imagine yourself taking a seat among them, because it won’t be long before you’re ready now!




Wendeen EolisLyle Berman and Steve UFALipscomb’s Confection:

Ed. Note: The original version of this two-part feature appeared as the cover story in Poker Digest. Ms. Eolis has added material on Lyle Berman’s experience at the 2002 WSOP and Berman’s “poker philosophy” for The story is an adaptation of interviews and material that are part of a chapter in Ms. Eolis’ forthcoming book, Power Poker Dame.

With an unstoppable brain for business and a honed passion for poker, Lyle Berman, thrives on cutting edge projects and calculated gambles. Lyle thinks big. So, does Steve Lipscomb, the lawyer/businessman -turned television producer, who sidled up to the multimillionaire Chairman of Lakes Gaming, Inc (“LGI”), during the last World Series of Poker, to propose the idea of a poker tournament season on television.

Berman and Lipscomb team up

One year later, the introductory patter, has given birth to the World Poker Tour, LLC., a joint venture between Lakes Gaming Inc. (the gaming company that Lyle founded and took public) and Steve, the creative genius who has previously filmed the WSOP and the Party Poker Million tournaments for the Discovery and Travel channels, respectively. According to their unified voice, “the nation’s most popular card game is poised to become the next significant televised mainstream sport.

The “PGA” of Poker is coming

The World UFA Poker Tour will consist of 13 nationally televised poker events, filmed at prestigious casino sites. The WPT is projected to launch between the football and baseball seasons in 2003. Each show will be two hours each in a season of thirteen shows, run twice, for a total of twenty-six weeks. The tournaments consist of eleven “member” events, one $200,000 “free roll” event sponsored by the WPT and then the grand finale.

The $200,000 “free roll”

Each member casino sends one entrant of its choice and the WPT selects ten entrants of its choice for this event. And there is a kicker here- bigger than the Ace of Spades! This free roll tournament is also open to every WSOP Final Event World Champion and all inductees into the Binion’s Poker Hall of Fame. So expect to get roughed up here if you’d rather be lucky than good!

The $25,000 Buy-In grand finale

The tour begins fittingly in Las Vegas where big time poker tournaments were born, and the conclusion of the first season is expected to return there, full circle, for the grand finale- a $25,000 Buy-In No Limit Hold’em Championship. The final WPT event will feature the winner of each tournament on the tour (their entries are pre-paid off the top of each individual event’s total prize pool) and everyone else with the guts and the cash to ante up “ten dimes” for a chance to beat the twelve defending WPT Champions. Viewers (during the telecast, but not during the tournaments themselves) are sure to witness heart stopping bets, brilliant “calls” and “bad beats” through cameras that show the players’ hole cards while the hands are in progress.

The WPT 2002-2003 tentative production schedule

The casinos taking part during the first year’s televised tour are dispatching poker representatives to Las Vegas to formally accept their roles as “Charter Members of the World poker Tour. The casinos (including dates and locations, to the extent already determined) are listed below in the order in which their tournaments are expected to take place:

The WPT is SRO

With the exception of the World Series of Poker and the Trump Taj Mahal United States Poker Championship, the WPT has snared every major event in the United States. Taj Mahal Vice President Vince Mascio comments, straightforwardly, on his casino’s absence, “Our budget is set for the immediate future. We may take a look at this down the road and wish the WPT well in its venture.”

In addition to the longstanding major tournaments on American soil, the 2002 -2003 WPT schedule also includes a tournament in Costa Rica, and another in France as well as a tournament with on-line qualifiers that moves to the final table on a luxury cruise ship (in the Caribbean). Another event will feature a live final table (location yet to be determined) drawn from a sophisticated Internet poker room with an around the world client base.

The reception to the WPT’s marketing effort has astonished even the visionaries behind it. Mr. Lipscomb says, “I can’t believe the extraordinary response happened quite so fast with completion of agreements for our entire tour within six weeks from sending out the first contract.”

The WPT launch event

The WPT will be launched with a Media Event at the world-renowned Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, NV on Sunday May 26th, at 5 PM. The posh cocktail reception/buffet and WPT Press Conference will take place in the Gauguin Conference Room, an aerobic five-minute walk from Bellagio’s lush conservatory and a museum that has featured Gauguin masterpieces in its collection; through July 24th, thirty eight precious works by Alexander Calder are on view.

The marketing foot remains on the peddle

The media event will be short on self-congratulatory remarks by CEO Lipscomb and lavish in appreciation of its charter members. Mr. Lipscomb crows that the WPT team is “awesome” (Audrey Kania, Senior Vice President, Robyn Moder Supervising Producer, Robert Cusolito producer) noting that this team is the underpinning of the phenomena of the new poker era that is about to unfold before your eyes. Canapés will be floated, wine and beer will flow and no doubt all but the smile-challenged will be photographed during the ninety-minute party, which according to Mr. Lipscomb will include a promotional tape on “how we take poker to the next level.” He continues, “The press event room will have blown up pictures and a 3D model of the set that will go to each tournament so that whenever you tune in, you see it and know you are at the WPT.”

A media tournament

The press conference will be followed by a $5,000 “free roll” Poker Tournament for each authorized member of the media, providing a shot at winning a piece of the $5000 prize pool for oneself or for the charity of his/her choice. The icing on the cake is the list of No Limit Hold’em tips that Lyle will tick off before the tournament gets under way-with powerful assists from fellow world champion poker players.

Mr. Lyle Berman is the force behind the WPT

Lakes Gaming, Inc. (“LGI”) has invested a hefty $3.500,000 in hard cash to get this tour rolling- with Lyle Berman in place as Chairman of both LGI and World Poker Tour, LLC (“WPT”) and Steve as President and CEO of WPT.

Lyle on Lyle begins

At the beginning of many hours of conversation, when I marvel at his company’s undertaking, Lyle (widely recognized in the poker world by his first name), quips, “I’ve done a little less well” than fellow Wharton Business School alumni gaming executives Donald Trump and Steve Wynne. But Mr.Trump’s skyscrapers and Mr. Wynn’s glitzy, groundbreaking hotel deals are hardly intimidating to this newest member of the illustrious Binion’s Poker Hall of Fame. In business, as in poker, Lyle is securely in the chips, and he regards his friends’ accomplishments as inspirational competition.

The early days

Born in 1941 in Minneapolis, MN, Lyle was the middle child between two sisters-one two years younger and one two years older than he is. Both of his parents are alive. Lyle says proudly, “I have good genes.” Good grades and good “testmanship” came easily to Lyle. He completed his elementary education in poker, and both grade school and high school in Minneapolis. The University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton Business School accepted his application and he eagerly accepted his placement there.

College poker proves risky

At Wharton, Lyle studied business by day, but there were also more than a few evenings that the poker wily youngster hosted card games at an apartment near the campus. As is wont to happen in a poker game when talented, players like Lyle are in it, more than a few students got their comeuppance, and at least one of them went for broke while Lyle was proving his mettle. His success at the poker table spelled a schooling crisis for Lyle, when he was among the players called into the dean’s office to explain his illegal gambling operation. Before escaping from the incident totally unscathed by a criminal record, Lyle first managed to get himself arrested, thrown out of school, and hauled into court to defend against the charges.

In a court appearance with fellow poker players, Lyle faced the judge, confidently. All charges were dismissed, but Wharton left no option to return. He took his punishment in stride, and showed little apparent remorse. So thought the University of Minnesota where Lyle retreated with a plea for admission to complete his college education. Initially, the school refused him, but the unflappable Lyle simply picked up stakes and parked himself in the army to learn a little more humility. He reapplied to the university, the second time around, demonstrating the required remorse. Lyle was admitted a few months later and obtained his college degree.

Lyle grows Grandpa’s business

Following his graduation from the University of Minnesota, Lyle plunged into the family business, going to work with his Dad in his grandfather’s lifelong labor of love, begun in 1899 as Berman Brothers Fur and Wool Company. In the early days, Grandpa traded furs and hides. Then in the 40’s, Lyle’s Dad and uncle transformed the business, “into a wholesale company for Indian and Western motif tourist stores -leather and related stuff. Late 60’s Hippies loved leather. So, we went retail.” The company was energized and invigorated by this move. Lyle pumped up the profits to sell the prosperous business to W. R. Grace, Inc. in 1978, continuing to run the company for the giant conglomerate until 1986 when he bought it back at ten times the selling price

Lyle climbs poker ladder fast

As his business successes mounted so did his passion for poker. In 1982, Lyle read Doyle Brunson’s book, Super System (known by Doyle’s legions of fans as the Poker Bible), he then set his sights on Las Vegas. Upon reaching the gambling paradise, he promptly played in his first tournament, a $100 Buy-In event (with re-buys) in which he knocked out then reigning WSOP Champion Tom McEvoy, shortly before going to the rail, himself.

Lyle chuckles at the memory, “I discovered I enjoyed losing $300 in the poker tournament more than I liked winning the $10,000 at the crap table a few minutes before I got to the poker table.” Then he recalls, with amusement, how he played in a one time only charity event in Aspen a couple of years later, only to run into the WSOP World Champion McEvoy, again. As in the first encounter, Lyle zoomed past McEvoy, this time straight into first place. Lyle was more thrilled to beat McEvoy than the whole rest of the field that left him as the last man standing. Since 1984 Lyle has played every WSOP and the famous side games that have run along side them over the years. Two years after his first poker volley in a public card room (1983), he took the blue ribbon and a pile of cash in the Pot Limit Omaha Tournament at Tom “Amarillo Slim” Preston’s Super Bowl of Poker, a one day tournament in which he held the same seat (was never moved to another table) for the entire proceedings.

Poker in the Golden 80’s

From the first of his jaunts to Las Vegas in 1983 to places like the Stardust, the Golden Nugget and the WSOP and through the Golden Eighties decade, Lyle was a middle limit (by his standards) “black chip” Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) and No Limit Hold’em (NLH) specialist in games that called for $25, $25, $50 blinds (three blinds including a small blind on the button were de rigueur in those days) and minimum Buy In-Ins of $2,000, Lyle, like most of the …

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Bet on the Oscars

Hollywood’s big night! Intrigue, famous faces, fashion, and, of course, the movies. It’s a close race this year, with whisper campaigns and promotion to rival any election. As always, bookmakers around the globe have tallied the odds-on favorites.


No golden Oscars have been lost this year, but rumors of smear tactics against A Beautiful Mind are rampant. Stories abound that the movie is a very loose interpretation of real events and that the real John Nash (the schizophrenic economist on whom the story is based) made anti-Semitic comments and fathered an illegitimate child. Does it matter? It shouldn’t, but it makes for good press and controversy breeds interest.


The Net teems with critical predictions. Start at for the official rundown and nominee list. CNN critics square off in an Oscar debate. Roger Ebert always has something to say. Check out Entertainment Weekly’s for stories, predictions and the “inside dirt”. Enjoy the lighter side of Oscar with Yahoo’s Oscar Pool. And I never miss an article by humorist Dave Barry who has a skewed view of the awards, to say the least.


On with the odds! provides links to many bookmaker sites, including Gamebookers and Victor Chandler. Betbrain does a nice job averaging bookmaker predictions. Overall, average odds give The Best Picture nod to A Beautiful Mind (-178) with The Lord of the Rings second (+163).


Australian bookmaker favors the following: Best Picture-A Beautiful Mind (-175); Best Actor-Russell Crowe (-200); Best Actress-Sissy Spacek (-167); Supporting Actor-Ian McKellan (+100); Supporting Actress-Jennifer Connelly (-455); Best Director-Ron Howard (-161).


And Vegas, you ask? Legally speaking, “Nevada sports books may legally only take wagers on events that are decided openly on a field of play, like a game or a race,” says an archived article from Since the Oscar ballots are already sitting in a vault somewhere, this type of betting is off-limits in Nevada.


My Two Bits:


For the first year in many I have seen all the Best Picture nominees. I am disappointed that Memento was neglected. But I like the broad spectrum of this year’s pics, so I grade them from 1-10:


Gosford Park: 8/10: character driven English period peace, rich in dialogue and subtlety.


A Beautiful Mind: 7/10: pseudo-true story of a brilliant poker deposit pulsa mind battling itself and the world around.


In The Bedroom: 8/10: Slow-moving piece with realistic characters, stays with you like the memory of a great meal.


The Lord of the Rings: 9/10: What can I say; I’m a Tolkien fan, having screamed through all 3 books in advance of the first film. The movie had it all, but I fear the “fantasy” aspect may hurt Oscar chances for the meatier awards of best picture/director. *my best picture pick*


Moulin Rouge: 8/10: As a rule I avoid musicals but my wife dragged me to this one, and I came away with respect for the scope and pure Bohemian joy evident on screen.

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Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing

Thank God that I have had the chance of witnessing the real thing. I mean the World Series of Poker at Binion’s Horseshoe. For three months leading up to it, I played fantasy cards in my head and won gold bracelets head up against top Americans, meanwhile scraping the money together to get a flight and accommodations. Can the World Series of Poker be the same anywhere else but at Binion’s Horseshoe? As soon as you arrive, the heat hits you, while you get your taxi downtown and check in to the hotel. Is it a real carpet or just a tarmac on the floor? My feet always stick to it anyway. Did Binion’s ever turn the lights on inside the casino? Not while I was there. Once settled, I would go straight to the bar to find the Irish team and find out who was winning, so as to get the best exchange rate for my pounds. Then, I’d be off for one of those famous cheeseburgers at the Horseshoe Snack Bar.


I remember the first time I ever got a seat to play in the World Series of Poker. You would have thought I’d already won it; all I did was walk around telling people, “I’ve won a seat! I’ve won a seat!”


Can it ever be the same at the Rio? With 2,500 runners last year and 5,000 expected this year, you will be the odd one out if you don’t play. Actually, the biggest poker tournament I’ve ever won was at the Rio, the first year that the Carnivale of Poker was held there. I was 40 years old and they say life begins at 40. Mine sure did. I was so emotional after winning that I was in tears while phoning home. People actually stopped to ask if they could help me, and I had to explain that they were tears of joy.


It looks like poker will bring the whole world to the Rio this year, and I feel sorry for those new players who have never played at Binion’s Horseshoe. I have a picture at home of Stu Ungar and Doyle Brunson when Stuey won his first WSOP title. Binion’s has been a shrine, but now it’s just another memory. Will the up-and-coming stars of tomorrow really understand the prestige of the WSOP? For years, everyone used to say that it was going to get bigger and bigger. And now the future is here. This year, the chances are that you are going to become a millionaire just for reaching the final table, some prospect for reaching a final. Poker has gone from cabbages to caviar, with numerous players getting sponsorship deals worth thousands of pounds. Gone are the days of four players sharing a room for $20 per night. Sometimes your life can change so quickly. We are all only one turn of a card away from being judi poker mogeqq millionaires.


What are the chances of winning the World Series of Poker twice? Not the same as when “The Grand Old Man” Johnny Moss did. I had the pleasure of meeting and playing against Johnny years ago when he sat next to me in the $1,500 no-limit hold’em tournament. I introduced myself as Mad Marty. “Why do they call you mad?” Johnny asked me.


“Because I shot someone for asking too many questions,” I replied. This made Johnny laugh, and we became good friends for the few years that I knew him.


The only thing missing from Binion’s is a chapel, as we’ve all heard about the difference between the card player who prays in a casino and the man who prays in church. The card player really means it. “Please let me win the next hand.”


Maybe next year we will be saying that the Rio is the best thing to happen to poker. Let’s hope they do keep the final table at the Horseshoe. It is the history of poker, and should not be forgotten.


Marty’s Holiday Camp

Are you ready to get the adrenalin flowing? Then listen to my new idea. What would happen if selected players considered poaching minifestivals from casinos and running them in holiday camps, with light entertainment for players’ wives and children? Consider a week in Butlins at Skegness. It would promise to be one of the most competitive, fascinating, daring, and entertaining tournaments ever. We could make poker a family occasion — bring the kids, your parents, and your next-door neighbors. Imagine having this conversation with your friends.


“Have you booked your holiday?”


“Yes. I’m going to Clackton for two weeks with The Devilfish, Marcel Luske, and Mad Marty Wilson.”


This could all be to come, so remember where you heard it first.


And don’t forget — there ain’t no party without Mad Marty!