There are many great things about poker but one of the game’s strongest points is the fact that there is something for everyone. The mainstream media presents an image or identity about a poker player that indicates they are hardened gamblers with nerves like steel and a gritty determination to win at all costs. It is fair to say that there are some poker players that fit this description and to be a successful poker player at the highest level, you need to show this sort of determination and will to win.
It would be wrong to say that every poker player was like this though and the emergence of online poker has helped many different people develop a love and admiration for poker. There has also been a rise in the number of different poker games available to choose from, which has helped different people find the game that is right for them. Poker has always been an activity with a number of different disciplines and playing styles but with the advent of online gaming, the variety and versatility available with online gaming has risen dramatically. Most poker players and observers in the online gaming industry see this as a positive thing.
There is a lot of variety in online poker
When it comes to types of poker games, these are some of the most commonly offered poker types:
- 5-card stud
- 7-card stud
- Omaha Hi
- Seven Card Stud
- Texas Hold ‘Em
- Triple Draw
One of the most popular styles of poker games at the moment has to be speed poker. There are a number of variations on this game and different poker sites may refer to it as turbo poker, fast poker or any other name which indicates the fast moving nature of the game. Some poker players find poker to be too slow moving and too deliberate to enjoy so this style of poker game provides players with an alternative. Speed poker is ideal for players that get bored quickly, players who don’t have a lot of time, players who like to quickly cut their losses when they are losing and players that love the intensity and excitement that comes with playing a lot of games in a short period of time.
No matter what type of poker you like to play or the style of poker game, having a healthy bankroll will always be of benefit. It is not as if having access to a big bankroll will automatically make you a winner but it can help players to make the most of the poker playing time. This is where you want to find the best poker bonuses on offer and this is where checking out what is on offer at the MaxPokerBonus.co.uk site can help you out. Anything that helps you stay on top of the latest poker bonuses and promotions has to be seen as a good thing for poker players. With a wide variety of poker games available for everyone to enjoy, there is a genuine opportunity to share in the fun of online poker.
A survey carried out by Save the Student, a website aimed at helping students to take better care of their finances, suggested that one in five students across the United Kingdom are turning to gambling in order to make money. The survey questioned over 2,000 students on their current financial status and over 80% of respondents indicated that they had regular money worries. This will undoubtedly impact on their studies and their health and has left many students looking for alternative ways to bring in income.
It seems as though gambling and especially poker has become a popular way for many students to supplement their income but this has to be seen as a risky move. There is absolutely no thing as a guaranteed success when playing poker and a lot of players will find that even though they hit a good winning run, it will not take a lot to knock them down, which could see them being in even harsher financial situations that what they were previously in.
Poker can bring money in but it shouldn’t be the chief source of income
The Independent newspaper spoke to a Nottingham based student that has turned to poker to bring in extra income. The student, called Thomas, said;
I came to see poker as a part-time job at university. My friends gambled a bit here and there, but mainly for a laugh- their livelihoods were not dependent on it. For me, a session online would last anywhere between 18 and 36 hours and I would do at least five a month. I spent a lot of my winnings on drinks and bought myself a BMW for my 21. The main thing though is that I can now afford to take a Maths PGCE without having to apply for yet another loan. I was called anti-social once or twice but I never saw it as a risk. Swings of losses and wins happen but it’s about the bigger picture- as long as the overall trend is up its okay. I once lost close to £4,000 in 14 hours but in my best session I won close to £11,000 in 22. I am looking forward to entering the working world but this is a job that fitted into my student lifestyle at a time when I needed funds.
It is interesting that these findings have come to light at the same weekend as the Oxford Poker Cup, the annual prestigious poker tournament put together by the students of Oxford University. In that case, the tournament welcomes poker players from around the world and is a showcase for talent and skill. However, it seems that in homes and dorms up and down the country, many students are playing into the small hours to ensure that they are making enough money to pay for food and rent.
Poker is a great game but for the majority of poker players, it should not be considered as the main source of income. There are plenty of great professional poker players around the world but in comparison to the number of people that actually play poker, the professionals are hugely outnumbered by the amateurs. Times are tough for everyone in the current economy but these findings will be particularly worrying for students and their families.
The idea of having some friends round to play a few poker games is something that appeals to most people. It can be difficult to find the time to get this arranged but if it is possible, having your pals over for poker is a brilliant way to spend your spare time. You also know that at some point in the evening there will be one person that says how great it would be if we could open up this place as a poker venue!
The idea and sentiment is great but of course, the legalities of it all are very different and there is no way that anyone should think this is a good idea. If it is drink talking, it can be a great conversation but you have to hope that when alcohol wears off and the hangover kicks in, the dream of owning a poker venue and gaming casino in your own home wears off. If not, and you go ahead with it, you may find yourself in a lot of trouble.
This is what happened in Peterborough recently and this tale should be a warning to all entrepreneurial sorts that think setting up an illegal poker den is going to be of merit or value. Bulent Bakir from Peterborough was sentenced to six weeks in jail this week after pleading guilty to allowing unauthorised use of his premises and to allowing a gaming machine to be used in his home.
Major poker play can be a crime
His home was raided back in January after the Gambling Commission tipped off police about suspicious gaming activities taking place in Alma Road which is in Millfield. Police found a number of electronic gaming machines and a table where there were a number of poker chips and around £2,000 in cash. There were six people inside the premises at the time, using the machines or playing cards!
Court records stated the defence said;
This was not a professional, commercial operation and the defendant did not make much profit out of it. He would open his house for his friends. They would play cards, he would provide food and hospitality. They might contribute money towards it but this was not a large scale operation. The defendant told me that he had a bit of a gambling problem but he now wants nothing more to do with gambling. He asked for counselling to help do this.
Life is simple when things go along as they are. Occasionally change can be a good thing but it is often something that brings about a lot of hassle and stress for the people involved. When you add in the fact that the Government is involved in bringing a change about and you just know that it is not going to be something that brings about positive benefits for people. Whenever the Government, any Government gets involved, people miss out. It is almost as if the bye-word for any ruling party is to stop people having fun.
The latest move looks sets to hit UK online gamers and of course, this means that poker players will be in line for some changes. It is hard to be overly critical of the current UK gaming legislation because you only have to look at the problems poker players around the world face but that doesn’t mean that things are perfect in the UK. Things are okay, they could definitely be better but it seems as though things may be getting bit worse in the near future.
This is down to the fact that some major changes to the 2005 Gambling Act have been made by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee. This is a committee with a lot of influence so what they say is likely to have a big impact on what actually happens.
A controversial tax change is never going to be a popular move
A big change that could be on the cards, and it is certainly one that is controversial, is the fact that the location of online poker players will be the basis for the taxation of online gaming sites as opposed to where the sites are licenced. This will mean that poker sites which are currently viewed as being operated from off-shore will find themselves having to pay a rate of tax that is linked to UK players. This is going to cost many poker rooms, sites and companies a lot of money so you can see that not everyone is going to be too happy about this. The committee has already agreed with this legislation in principle which means that it will be going forward in the full process.
There may be some benefit though in the fact that there is a thought that the proposed 15% level on revenue from gross gaming is too high. While the Government needs to look to bring money in from online poker play, no one would argue too strongly with that, there is a need to ensure that sites can still generate a profit. If sites can’t make a profit, they will close, poker players will lose their favourite site and then less money will come. This always needs to borne out by the decision makers and there is hope that sense will be seen in this area.
Online poker sites, rooms and players will be watching on intently to see how they are affected by any possible changes.
Sometimes in life we all need a bit of confidence to get us going and this can come in different ways. Some of us like to listen to a song that gets us pumped up or other folk will think about what they will do after they achieve success to make sure that they are in the right frame of mind to take on whatever challenge is thrown at them. For some people though, the quickest way to developing confidence is to have a quick drink and this can often give you a lot more confidence.
This is definitely something that many poker players will live by which makes you think just how good an idea this is. It may be that one or two drinks will loosen you up, helping you to make bolder decisions, which can often be the key to poker success. However, there is a very thin line between playing boldly and playing recklessly and it can be difficult to know exactly when to stop in this regard. It is even more difficult because on different days, there will be different limits for a person. One weekend you may be completely confident but still in control after three drinks but on another weekend, it may be that your second drink is the one that cause you to drop your inhibitions which can lead to bad decision making.
Keep a clear head for poker
If you think that this is something that just affects the millions of home poker players around the world, think again. One of the best UK poker players Sam Trickett has been going on about the exact same situation on his twitter account and it seems as though Sam has the same problems as many of us. You know what it is like on a Friday or Saturday night when you’ve had a couple of drinks and you’ve staggered home.
It can be all too easy to fire up your computer or laptop and play a few rounds of online poker. The next thing you know you have fallen asleep and when you wake you find that you have lost an awful lot of money by playing drunk! Sam admitted that he was going out for a few drinks at the weekend and he made sure that one of the last things he did before heading out the house was to cash out from his account to ensure he never lost the money had spent a lot of time building up.
This came on the back of a previous night out when the decision to play drunk backfired on Sam! We all have different tolerance levels to alcohol but when one of the best poker players in the UK at the moment is admitting that alcohol is not a good thing for his play, it should be something that plenty of other poker players should consider. The message of “don’t drink and drive” is an important one but perhaps “don’t drink and play poker” should be another message to live by too!
When poker plays a role in films, TV or book storylines, it is inevitable that there will be a focus on the high roller and the massive stakes. This is where the lives of people can be changed in an instant, for better or worse. When it comes to drama, having a person’s future depend on the turning of the card is definitely something to be heralded and the high stakes of poker can certainly add a lot to the twists and turns of a great storyline. However, for most poker players, it is not about the high stakes, the low stakes are often what is played for and these can still provide plenty of thrills and spills for the average poker player. Let’s be honest though, there is nothing average about poker!
One of the great things recently in poker has been the celebration of the low-stakes poker game because there is definitely something to like and enjoy about this type of game. The Poker Player UK Tour (PPUKT) has been providing low-stakes poker events and the opening leg has recently taken place in Newcastle. The lucky winner in the £110 buy-in event was Anthony Pringle, who managed to overcome 55 other players to take the top prize. Some people may sneer at a big poker event only having 56 players involved with it but that would be the wrong attitude to take. The tour is taking place all around the country, so there will be plenty of local events and there seemed to be a great atmosphere in the Grosvenor Casino in Newcastle.
A tough Saturday to set up final day
The opening day on Saturday was quite tough for many players with 49 making the exit that day, which left 7 players returning on Sunday. The title was always going to be something to aim for but with a top prize of £1,960 up for grabs, there was definitely a lot to play for. Pringle was initially in second place with respect to chips at the start of Sunday but he quickly overtook the leader and then managed to keep on ploughing through the rest of the field until he came out on top!
There was drama in the final hand with Garry Shepherd hunting Pringle down and at times it looked as though the challenger had Pringle on the run but Pringle held his nerve and Shepherd was sent to the rail, although he has the consolation of a £1455 prize. Being interviewed after his triumph, Pringle said it was the biggest live win of his career and that he was delighted, coming hard on the heels of a similar cash prize he received at a New Year’s Day poker event which was held on the PKR Poker site. You can bet that Pringle couldn’t have felt much more elated if he was playing for higher stakes so it does indicate that there is a place for low-poker stakes amongst the high roller and high intensity poker games.
Even though it is not long after the UK Students Poker Championship took place in Coventry, it seems as though there are more events for UK students to get involved with. Far be it from us to suggest that these students would be better off spending their time studying for upcoming exams but we hope that one or two students are not neglecting their studies. If the current crop are the doctors, dentists and lawyers of the future, we may be in for a rough ride. You may not have a doctor that is capable of taking out kidney stones but they will all know a great deal about poker, which isn’t a completely bad thing.
The online league for UKSPC, the UK Student Poker championship has begun in earnest and in total there will be 12 weeks of poker action to look forward to. The event started on the 7th of April and there looks set to be 12 weeks of poker action before there is a break for the summer. So, in effect, this league is running while the students are meant to be studying and will be unavailable during their free time! Hopefully some of the young poker players will be able to earn some poker winnings to enjoy some travelling when it comes to making the most of their summer break. There will be a further 12 week session of online poker action after the break continues.
Play poker to win and get the rewards
The fact that the UKSPC is now aligned with the GUKPT, there are some interesting prizes on store. It is always good to take on your peers and earn the respect and kudos that go along with beating them but when it comes to poker, money is always going to be a big factor. There is a great incentive for players in the UKSPC because the winner will receive a seat at the GUKPT Grand Final, which has a value of £2,000. They will also receive a trophy to commemorate their success.
Other prizes on offer include buy-ins to major GUKPT events and to the UKPC High Roller events too. There is set to be a number of different poker games and disciplines available in the tournament so there should be something for everyone. Anyone looking to prove their poker skills while studying would be advised to see what the UKSPC has to offer.
Playing poker tournaments around the world and mixing with the jet-set is a lifestyle that we can all dream about. While most of us are happy to play online poker and enjoy the occasional poker game with friends or in a casino, some people manage to take things a step further. Ben Callinan was one such player who seemed to be living the high life that we all dream of emulating and he had some success in his time.
An online database points out that between 2003 and 2009, Callinan won over $220,000 in poker tournaments in the USA and in Europe. He even took first place in a £500 No Limit Hold ‘Em tournament at the Blackpool leg of the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour in November 2008. This triumph saw Callinan take home £12,000 and there were numerous second place and third place finishes around this time. Clearly it was a period of time when Callinan was at the top of his game and he seemed to have a lot of income from poker rolling on a regular basis.
The poker tables have turned now
However, if Callinan was on top of the world at this point, he will be feeling rather low now as he has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for money laundering. Ben’s father Walter was the head of a gang that brought cannabis into the United Kingdom and laundered a sum in millions of pounds in the country. Callinan Snr had a great lifestyle with over £5 million worth of assets in his name, including a Spanish mansion which was called Vale Park, named after the home stadium of his favourite football team Port Vale.
Walter Callinan had been sentenced to 11 years in jail back in December 2011 but it is only now that the full story of what he and his gang were up to has been revealed. Callinan Snr admitted to passport offences, money laundering and all of the drugs charges that were put in front of him in court. This income also helped to fund the jet-set poker lifestyle that Ben Callinan enjoyed and no doubt the poker winnings helped to launder even more cash.
With playing poker games around the world being the dream for so many people, it seems strange that someone who had it all would throw it away in such a fashion. The glory nights at the poker table will seem a long way away for Ben Callinan now.
Even though there may not be an answer within the next 18 months, the battle to be given the rights to run the super casino in Southampton looks to be warming up. Whoever gets the licence to operate the super casino will find that they have a great opportunity to bring some needed poker excitement to the area too. The licence makes reference to the fact that there be up to 30 poker tables included in the casino, which will definitely be something that will get the poker players of Southampton out in force. In addition to the poker possibilities, the casino would be able to host 150 slots and provide jackpots of up to £4,000.
The super casino will form part of a massive redevelopment of the Royal Pier area of the city with hotels, flats an indoor arena and a number of restaurants also lined up for the area.
Plenty of hopefuls wanting to bring poker to the masses
Aspers was the first company that said they would be interested in applying for the licence but if the company felt that they were going to get things all their own way, they would be sadly mistaken. The Rank Group, which is responsible for the running of the Grosvenor Casinos have stated that they have an interest in running this casino. So far, the Gentings Group have only indicated that they are considering placing a bid but have refused to commit themselves to anything more concrete than that at the moment.
Aspers have a level of experience due to the fact that they are the company behind the first ever super casino to have opened in the UK. This took place in London last year and the local council was delighted to welcome the intention from Aspers. However, with Rank and Gentings having considerable experience in the casino field, there is no such thing as a cut and dried tendering process for any of the applicants.
A spokesperson for the Rank Group would only say, when questioned by local press in Southampton; “I can confirm that we are interested, but as it is early days it would be premature for us to talk further about it at this stage.”
A similar non-statement statement was issued by the press office of the Genting Group to local press in Southampton; “At this stage we are reviewing the opportunity of a new licence in Southampton, but cannot currently comment further as to whether we will progress any interest.”
When it comes to names like Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld, darts is obviously the activity that springs to mind. These two heavyweights have been at the top of the darts game for decades and when they face off against each other, there is always something worth looking out for. The two have had their disagreements in their time with both making complaints to each other about their attitude and behaviour but they always seem to fall back into friendship. When it comes to their sporting rivalry, they will have a lot to fight over but at the moment, it seems as though the two are on a good level with respect to respect!
Can darts legends be poker greats?
They will be facing off in a darts exhibition in Bradford but of greater interest to UK poker fans is that the two will also be facing off against each other at the poker table. Given that these darts legends spend most of their spare time practising and honing their darts skills, it remains to be seen if they have developed the poker skills and understanding to be great poker players too but the event at the Gala Casino in the Leisure Exchange at Vicar Lane in Bradford will be one that is well worth watching.
Also on the bill alongside two current darts legends is major darts legend and reality TV star Eric Bristow. For those who grew up with the golden era of darts in the 1970s and 80s, Eric Bristow remains one of the biggest heroes you can find in the world of darts. This means that there should be an excited and noisy crowd at the event with the poker event being a huge attraction on a night which should be filled with fun and excitement.