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Gambling in St. Maarten's casinos

For some mysterious reason, horses have always been a part of my gambling experience. When I lived in St. Maarten, one of the casinos I played poker at was the Hollywood Casino in Simpson Bay. It had a small poker room with several tables where walls covered with murals of Hollywood actors -- James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and other legends of the Silver Screen. I spent many happy hours absorbed in poker games against players like Jack Parker, a native of Scottsdale, AZ. who owned a popular restaurant called Peg Leg Pete's.

Moving into a new apartment

On Friday morning at 5 a.m., I will board another Amtrak to travel to Jacksonville, FL. for another wild weekend of poker. But in the meantime, I am caught up in a new apartment cluttered with furniture, household things, packed bags, filled suitcases and other fixtures that go with a major move. My daughter and her fiancée decided on the move to another section of charming Charleston, S.C. It is a wooded area of apartment houses surrounded by magnolia, cypress trees and coconut palms -- southern charm at its best. I just went along for the ride.

Remarkable similarities between poker and baseball

There is a remarkable similarity between poker and baseball. I am a former baseball player, by the way. I played it in high school and college and actually tried out with the Pittsburgh Pirates. I was a pitcher and an outfielder, and joined 500 other aspirants at the old Forbes Field in downtown Pittsburgh. It was a crazy, exciting day. One of the Pirate scouts took a few notes on me and then had me take the mound. After I had thrown about 10 pitches, he called me aside. 'Good knuckleball, son, but you don't have a fast ball. And if you can't throw a ball through the side of a barn, the team just isn't interested in you.'

Ben Pritchett - going down the memory line

When I worked on the Clovis News-Journal in Clovis, N.M., my editor Dave Molina and I were always looking for good story ideas we could convert into cash. One day while we were having coffee at a restaurant near the newspaper, Dave said he had a friend he wanted me to meet. 'His name is Ben Pritchett and he manages a ranch for his brother near San Jon,' Dave said. 'He served in the U.S. Marines in the South Pacific and he's writing a book. He needs a collaborator. Want to take a look at it?' I liked the idea and the following Saturday, Dave and I climbed into my car for the 20-mile ride to Ben's ranch.

The winning hands in the final play of the World Series of Poker

Some Texas Hold'em players gripe about certain cards the dealer sends them. They hate looking at hands like 9-2 or 7-3. True, these hands aren't much and should probably be discarded. But a closer look at the history of Texas Hold'em and the winning hands in the final play of the World Series of Poker is eye-opening. It seems that almost -- I say almost -- any two cards can win. I wrote a column a while back about being in Phoenix and hearing about this new poker game that everybody was talking about.

Remembering the army basic training

Neil Simon wrote a hilarious screenplay about his Army Basic Training in Biloxi, MS. It appeared as a movie called 'Biloxi Blues' and did very well at the box office. Every person who has served in the U.S. military remembers Basic Training. As a draftee, I was inducted at the age of 22 and sent to Ft. Ord, CA. for eight weeks of training designed to turn me into an infantryman. I hated the Army.

Wally - killer poker player

You never know who you are going to meet at a poker table. I have taken this position in the past and have told members of this website stories about some of the fascinating characters I have come across while playing poker. The owner of a 50,000-acre cattle ranch from Hawaii. Steve McQueen and Desi Arnaz. A clown in the Clyde Beatty Circus. And an accused killer. His name was Wally. Droopy mustache, wore glasses, a kind smile.

Tips on how to beat men in poker

One of the most interesting emails I have received on this site came from San Diego, CA. Here it is for your enjoyment.'Dear Geno,' the letter reads. 'Several female students and I formed an all-girls poker club at our college in San Diego. I don't know how good we are but we read Doyle Brunson's book, 'Super System,' which I found at a used book store. For the last three months we have been practicing playing in our dorm. Do you think we're ready for Las Vegas and what advice would you give us once we got there? Daphne F., San Diego, CA.'

Making it to the final table

I don't know who came up with the name 'the bubble' to describe poker players who fall just short of making the final table in a tournament, but it's a good name. A couple of weeks ago, I played in a tournament in Jacksonville, FL. We started out with 60 players and the final table, where all the money is, seats 11. A young player who had amassed a big stack of chips and who thought he had a great chance of making that charmed circle suddenly found himself in trouble. He ran into two players who made miracle draws to decimate his stack. In disbelief, he tossed his remaining chips into a pot -- and lost.

Studying your poker opponents

Players who raise constantly are a thorn in the side of most Texas Hold'em players. Part of the problem is the make-up of the game itself and this is where you have to start if you hope to walk away from the table with more money than you started with. It starts with the fact that players receive only two cards. This means the majority of the time, the flop will not help the raising player. It also underlines the importance of position to a player. Stated as simply as possible, if you are in late position or last to act, you have a tremendous advantage over the raiser.


Poker secrets

Let me ask you a question. How good of a poker player do you think Phil Ivey is? Or Daniel Negreanu? Or Doyle Brunson? Or any of the other top 10 or 20 poker legends whose names and photos keep popping up in poker magazines? Before you answer the question, let me suggest something to you, based on my four decades of playing poker. A player's winnings is based more on his image than his skill or what he knows about odds and the game.

Tips for double-raising in poker

Samuel Goldwyn Mayer, the colorful head of MGM Studios in Hollywood, CA., was being interviewed by a writer for one of the movie magazines when he confessed he never would order a banana split. What do you have against banana splits, Mr. Mayer, the interviewer said. 'I have nothing against them,' he said. 'In fact, I love them. But one would not be enough. If I ate one banana split, I'd have to order another one and that would probably make me sick.' Interesting logic, to say the least.

Evolution of poker in casinos across the USA

There is no question that something is happening in the real world of casino poker, and I think I know the cases of it. During the past 10 years, some casinos have eliminated their poker rooms, while others have reduced the number of tables to make more space for more lucrative enterprises. Now I am not a member of casino management, but I can pretty well sum up what the bosses are thinking. We're in business to make money.

From a good-natured Southern boy to the top poker player

To be totally honest, Christopher Bryan Moneymaker doesn't look much like a poker player. At first glance he seems to be just one of those good-natured Southern boys who wears a baseball cap, eats grits, cheers on his favorite football team, and spends his Friday nights drinking beer, catching catfish or shooting pool. That's just on the surface. Moneymaker is in reality a professional poker player who, in 2003, claimed poker's biggest prize, the World Series of Poker.


Lucrative casino rewards for poker players

The competition is getting tighter between casinos and the players are starting to benefit through player rewards. Some casinos are losing money. Others have been forced to close their doors because of lack of business. Casinos that want to survive and stay in the black are finding it necessary to offer lucrative rewards to induce players to give them action. This is especially good news for poker players. Sadly, poker players are usually the last people on the totem pole to benefit from casino perks. That is why I am tickled to report to you that times are a'changing as the folk song goes.

Gambling in New Mexico

New Mexico. The Land of Enchantment. Jackrabbits, rattlesnakes, peyote, home of Billy the Kid, Blackjack Ketchum and Jack Schaefer, author of 'Shane.' My kind of country. I moved to New Mexico when I was 19 to become sports editor of the Tucumcari Daily News. Over the years I worked as a reporter on various newspapers in Clovis, Hobbs, Roswell and Deming. I fell in love with the Land of Enchantment. When I first settled in New Mexico, there were a few places where gambling casinos existed.

AI vs real poker players

Imagine going into a cavernous casino showroom, sitting down at a poker table, and playing against a computer. Who do you think would win? There have been past experiments with computers vs. chess players and even people using computers t win at blackjack. Results have been varied over the years but a recent experiment with a computer designed by Carnegie Mellon University was an eye-opener for the poker world.

The best poker tournament

Every tournament promoter thinks his tournament is the best. It doesn't matter if it's poker, blackjack or slots, the person who operates the tourney believes it is number one. There's an old saying, 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,' so I suppose the public should take these claims with a grain of salt. I just came across a poker tournament I never heard of before which the promoters claim is the 'best tournament of the year.' It's the 9th annual Jon Hall Chevrolet and Halifax Howard Frank Memorial Deep Stack Charity Tournament at Daytona Beach Racing and Card Club in Daytona Beach, FL.

Upcoming WSOP Tournaments

Hoover Dam lies just a few miles south of Henderson, NV. which is the bedroom community outside Las Vegas. It is a gigantic plant that generates electrical power for millions of residents in Nevada, California and Arizona. Just driving over the dam is a memorable experience. You can even park your car and go inside the dam. You will be impressed. But however powerful Hoover Dam is, the electricity generated by the annual World Series of Poker is even more potent to the thousands of poker players who gather in Las Vegas for the event.

Being a proud poker player

Johnny Moss was famous for something he said when a friend told him he should watch his lifestyle because he might get a heart attack. Moss retorted with a sardonic grin, 'That'll never happen. I don't have a heart.' While Moss may have been joking, the publishers of Ante Up, a poker magazine owned by Scott Long and Christopher Cosenza in Clearwater, FL., are serious when they declare poker players have plenty of heart.

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