Hard life of the poker dealer, or why the croupier is always a faggot
Hard life of the poker dealer, or why the croupier is always a faggot

Once you get to the casino, you stay there for at least several years. The dealer’s job is attractive and exhausting at the same time. Many people become the hostages of high salaries and their habits. You have to earn 10-15 hours a day but it is easy to adjust in some time. You’ve got to make no mistakes to avoid getting hit in the face by a tattooed fist, a pack of chips or getting shot by a traumatic gun.

We wanted to get a little information about the life of poker dealers in various countries. How do dealers work in the heart of the cards world – Las Vegas, at WSOP. And how do they feel themselves in the other corner of the Earth – at underground clubs of Russia and Ukraine. Are there any differences (you bet there are!) and what are they?

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Impudent “Collusion” in Commerce Casino
Impudent “Collusion” in Commerce Casino

Commerce Casino is one of the biggest and most popular casinos in the USA, which is situated in Los Angeles where there are several more big facilities with poker rooms. Poker in the city lives by its own laws, some of which seem to the players some sort of anarchy.

In the article “Las Vegas vs. Los Angeles, or The Last Stand of “Gambling Poker we compared Las Vegas and Los Angeles, and told about specialties of the latter city from poker standpoint.

One of the major advantages was the “gambling spirit” of the local field. People feel themselves looser at the table; don’t like regulars, math geniuses and players like that.

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Underground poker in New York
Underground poker in New York

It is difficult to write about something illegal. That’s because the sources are hard to check and those sources try to talk in the vaguest manner, hiding the most important facts. Thanks God for the Internet where people speak openly about illegal stuff – like it is talked about some toy store.

We may start with "Observer" article, which says about a woman who played in New York underground clubs in the second half of 2000s.

“The game took place in nondescript buildings. Instead of nice dresses I wore sweatshirt with a hood and headphones. There were cameras everywhere, sometimes I had to get through burly securities. Some facilities issued IDs. However, security systems were always dull and ineffective. Cops could enter the room almost as easily as robbers”, remembers the hero of the article.

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Venetian cut the poker room space in half… for blackjack
Venetian cut the poker room space in half… for blackjack

Las Vegas, next to Macao, Singapore and other Asian countries starts the technical revolution. Huge areas (in terms of Western countries) are given to the building of the “stadium-type” complexes: tens or even hundreds of people are able to simultaneously play blackjack or baccarat against live dealers.

It all started in 2012 when big casinos of Macau started to try to find a solution to the problem of limited gaming space and a limit for a number of tables.

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Like in good old days…
Like in good old days…

The time of the cult poker TV shows where the best players had million buy-ins are long gone. But the participants of those games are still there – in the best clubs of Las Vegas. Who would have thought, it is summer of 2016, and Negreanu, Hansen, Harman, Antonius, Brunson and other legends are playing in Bellagio at $2000-$4000 stakes.

The time didn’t go backwards; those games are now closed to public and TV viewers. Although players doesn’t try to keep any secrets.

Daniel Negreanu in his blog told another story of the big poker world and also remembered the incredibly tough game where he lost his first million of dollars.

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New rule for EPT: 20% of players make money!
New rule for EPT: 20% of players make money!

The 13th season of European Poker Tour have separated poker community on two camps. One camp supports the increase of ITM zone from 15% to 20%, the others are very opposed to it, calling it another step to making poker a lottery.

In the middle of August the CEO of Amaya Gaming, Canadian company which owns PokerStars, David Baazov made a statement that he is stepping down from the position as he was accused of inside trading. This is the other story, which began two years ago after the Canadian company bought PokerStars for $$4.9 billion.

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Unknown world of online backing
Unknown world of online backing

Mass media doesn’t speak a lot about poker, and the most of the materials are one-sided. Recently published Motherboard (VICE) article isn’t flawless and describes the world of online backing. Turns out, buy-ins for $111,111 One Drop are governed in merely hours and some famous regulars use crowd funding web sites for quite some time.

We’ve read the article, highlighted the most interesting part and deleted the ads and the hidden ads, also added something from ourselves.

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Tropical Poker
Tropical Poker

Airless smoky rooms with hanging lights over the tables, sloppily dressed dealers, rustling of the rain outside the window and swearing opponents – dismiss me please, poker has long grown out of that cliché, becoming the worldwide popular  game. You can play poker on the beaches of Aruba and Costa Rica, as well as in such distant places as Krugersdorp, South Africa.

The biggest migration of poker players occurred in 2011. And by the way we are not talking about live regulars. When online poker in the United States suddenly became taboo, and potential income was still huge, many players began to look for a new shelter.

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Tell me, do you tip?
Tell me, do you tip?

The issue with the tips (how much and when should we tip? Should we tip at all?) exist in all the countries with poker clubs. The major part of the problem is that the decision is up to the players. From one side, one doesn’t want to seem unthankful chipshot, but from the other side tips can negate all the profit, especially at the lower stakes.

To tip or not to tip – that is up to every individual. It is common to leave 10% of the bill to the waiters in restaurants. This is too much in terms of poker. However, in Japan, for instance, tips aren’t habitual and the level of service is always top. Should you try to handle the Japanese waiter the tip – in most cases – he politely won’t take it.

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The Teleport Man
The Teleport Man

You though such thing as multitabling is impossible in live poker? Or it is possible but barely? The man with teleportation abilities proved you wrong by not just playing at two different tournaments held in one town (and simultaneously) but making to TOP-25 in each of them.

Duke Lee is a young professional player from San Francisco, USA. He and his company of other regulars decided to play tournaments in Las Vegas, including WSOP Events.

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WSOP 2016, Part 6: Big players
WSOP 2016, Part 6: Big players

Well, that’s it. Yet another time World Series of Poker takes a prolonged break after which we’ll know new Main Event champion. By the way. This year some famous people made it to the final table what will make the denouement of the most important final table more interesting.

To be honest, this break for several months is very irritating. It is like waiting for the new season of “Game of Thrones”. They finished on the most interesting part, created an immense intrigue and now we have to wait for the continuation for a whole year.

And the most terrible part – you can’t do anything about it.

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Fedor Holz retires at the age of 22
Fedor Holz retires at the age of 22

Who would have thought of rise of a young man who is able to repeat (or even exceed) an unbelievable upstreak of Daniel Coleman: Dan earned  $22,389,481 in 2014, having won $1,000,000 The Big One for One Drop. Total prize money of German wunderkind is less but only in actual figures.

“I started to play when Antonio Esfandiari won his first One Drop. I was really obsessed by poker back then,” Holz remembers. And that was just four (!) years ago. Just like yesterday.

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Only “noobs” will play in €1,000,000 One Drop
Only “noobs” will play in €1,000,000 One Drop

Famous one million buy-in tournament The Big One for One Drop is back in the new format!  Poker festival One Drop Extravaganza will take place in Monte Carlo on October, 13-17: expensive cash games, tournaments and €1,000,000 Main Event. And major change: no pros allowed!

The founder of charity organization One Drop Guy Laliberte once again invites super high rollers to the biggest event this year, place of action is MonacoCasino de Monte-Carlo. Pro players are welcomed as well, but the participation in the Main Event is prohibited to them.

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WSOP 2016: Mercier and his milions
WSOP 2016: Mercier and his milions

Jason Mercier has already won one bracelet of this World Series and came second in one of the events. Should he win three WSOP titles, Vanessa Selbst will pay $1.8 million to the American. And that is just part of all the side bets Mercier made. On the third day of Event #24: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Jason has the chip lead….

Update: Mercier did win the second bracelet of WSOP 2016!

Jason Mercier won his second title in the Worlds Series by overcoming gigantic handicap in heads up match of H.O.R.S.E. tournament with $10,000 buy-in. Now the American has five bracelets. He is on the pace of catching up Helmuth.

The results of the Event #24: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship:

1. Jason Mercier – $422,874
2. James Obst – $261,354
3. Nick Schulman – $183,779
4. Adam Friedman – $131,519
5. Mikhail Semin – $95,817
6. Jesse Martin – $71,089
7. Yuval Bronshtein – $53,729
8. Bryn Kenney – $41,383

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Winrate calculator for live tournaments
Winrate calculator for live tournaments

Do you want to decide should this or that tournament be played on the fly? Will it be profitable or just a waste of time? American tournament and cash regular who earns for a living playing online and live has made full-scale calculator for live players.

We have published an article under the title Is it hard to be a profitable tournament player?, and the conclusions were not very bright. The players who stepped on the hard path of tournament pro should be really good to consistently show profit. Especially if he travels a lot and plays in different cities and countries.

But at the same time if the player is able to visit local poker room/casino or spend minimum of money for travel and living expense – the picture looks much more promising.

Mister dgiharris from 2+2 forums has got a great winrate calculator for live tournaments. Winrate, not ROI.

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