Poker, poker, poker...it's taking over cable TV. No one is exactly sure how many online poker rooms are on the internet. One source currently lists 270 of the most popular ones. A Hartford, Connecticut, women recently auctioned off her baby's legal name on eBay to an online casino that of course has a poker room.
Author/blogger/educator Stephen Elliott wrote a story for Salon.com awhile ago about online poker playing. He notes:
The economist Earl Grinols calculated that 52 percent of casino revenues come from problem gamblers. Of course, you never have a problem as long as you're winning.
His advice for online poker players:
1) Don't, it's a bad idea. I didn't get a thing done last week. Deadlines passed, phone calls went unreturned, my life fell apart.
2) If you think you're in a room with good players, leave the room.
3) Always stay in with a pair in the hole, even 2's: Take it to Fourth Street [the fourth flop card] no matter what the cost.
4) Don't do it, it's not worth the risk, there are six losers for every four winners, somebody has to lose for the house, the odds are against you.
5) Sit to the left of the chaser, the guy throwing money after every card; this will enable you to pick up double bets on your good hands.
6) Fold when you don't have it.
7) Don't drink and play; I know I said that earlier but it's important. Not a single beer.
8) The dealer seat is worth extra; if nobody has bet yet and you're the dealer, you bet.
Other thoughts for gamblers to ponder:
"Nobody is always a winner, and anybody who says he is, is either a liar or doesn't play poker."
-- Amarillo Slim
"The safest way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket."
-- Kin Hubbard
"In a bet there is a fool and a thief."
"God doesn't play dice."
-- Albert Einstein
"He had the calm confidence of a Christian with four aces."
-- Mark Twain
"The track takes 15 percent, but what's 15 percent of a dream?"
-- Charles Bukowski
"Italians come to ruin most generally in three ways, women, gambling, and farming. My family chose the slowest one."
-- Pope John XXIII
"It is the mark of an inexperienced man not to believe in luck."
-- Joseph Conrad
Swimming with the online card sharks [salon.com, May 2, 2002]