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Intralot Gaming Services (IGS) Wagers and Wins Australian 15 Year Deal

Tatts Group is out and Intralot Gaming Services is in with a chance to win, and win big in a new 15 year deal with the State of Victoria, Australia. The Tatts current contract is up in August 2012, and the Coalition Government has confirmed that a 15 year EGM (Electronic Gaming Machine) monitoring license has been granted to Intralot. The result of this intention now sees Tatts ending its association with Victoria completely – they failed to re-secure within new Government structures and 27 000 hotel and club electronic gaming machines will soon be under Intralots control (outside of Crown Casino Bet – which is actually quite interesting in itself). The monitoring license also requires that Intralot provides all the data and information required for taxation, regulatory and research purposes.

While this is a once-off licensing deal, now that the deed has been done with; the coalition government is to start looking at regulation and legislation for Australian online gambling. Victoria’s gambling industry is currently undergoing restructure, something which also has to apparently take place at Federal level. The EGM monitoring license forms a large part of the restructure, and follows close on the heels of a new 12 year license deal for wagering and betting which was granted to Tabcorp in July 2011. It also means that this will be the last license to be granted before the coalition government looks at restructuring the industry in terms of changing laws or regulations.

At the moment online gambling is allowed by residents of Australia, but offshore online gambling concerns are not supposed to provide these services. Police find it difficult to prosecute under a paradoxical situation such as this, and the Australian population continues to gamble online. Like all cases of prohibition – it just doesn’t work, and this is very good news for the online gambling industry. Australia is a major gambling country (like most countries), the population likes to take risks, and if they can’t do it legally, they will gamble any way they can.

Michael O’Brien who is Minister for Gaming of Victoria, made the decision regarding the competing bids, based on criteria which are set out in the Gambling Regulation Act. Assessments for the granting of the license included criteria such as: Pricing, probity, technical, financial, commercial capability, as well as willingness to comply with the projected monitoring agreement. He believes that it was in the best interest of the public to accept the IGS bid.

IGS’s offered fair and competitive pricing, was compliant with all agreements and currently provides similar monitoring services in New Zealand, Italy and various other countries. Their experience in this field would strengthen the integrity monitoring of EGM’s in Victoria. Now all that needs to be done is to work with the industry, to ensure a comprehensive engagement and information program with hotels, clubs and pubs, to help owners and management to prepare for the new systems. This will be done in close contact with the coalition government.

Fancy a Career in Poker Without Being a Professional Player?

Contrary to what people may believe, you don’t have to be a professional poker player to enjoy a career in the poker industry. This industry is expanding all the time, both online and live in the real world out there. Even Swedish company Entraction has signed a deal to take their online poker systems into China. You also don’t have to be technological whizz-kid to work in the poker industry – all you really need is a good working knowledge of the game, a great deal of interest and the desire to travel and star on TV. Perhaps journalism may also be of assistance if you have a degree in this field.

Being a poker writer, I see advertisements all the time, the poker tours are looking for hosts, but mostly hostesses as an attractive addition to this wonderful game. Just think of the travel opportunities and all the people you could enjoy the opportunity of meeting? Poker tournaments are played all over the US, the UK, Europe, Australia, Macau, the Bahamas, Central and South America.

This is what Amanda Leatherman does and now she is part TV Personality, poker tour presenter, and part poker player; apparently a brilliant young ambassador for the game. Poker players are getting in younger and this game has tons of youth appeal. She got her start as an online poker hostess in 2006 for PokerWire and later graduated to PokerNews. From there she landed a job as the PokerNews hostess/correspondent for the World Poker Tour. She has met and conducted dozens of interviews with world renowned poker players and is on of the latest inductees onto the PokerStars Team. She has Daniel Negreanu’s approval, but then again, every time a new pretty face is signed to the PokerStars team he has something nice to say – I say he has goo-goo eyes for the girls!

With the recent launch for the North American Poker Tour (NAPT) Amanda Leatherman left the WPT to concentrate on this great new event. We are expecting big things to come out of this poker tour including a few more new dates during 2011. She is acting as a Webcast Hostess to interview participating players, and I see that PokerNews is advertising for a new poker hostess.

Amanda recons that the NAPT is going to be the next big poker attraction as it has positioned itself to be popular with both a web-broadcast fan base and a well established television viewership. She obviously believes in it enough to have left the WPT. Or perhaps this poker tour just happens to make it easier for her to combine a busy poker playing schedule and her first choice in career – but will she be playing more poker, does she even have the time?

She is also a host with PokerRoad, on the interview show called “the Poker Mind”. Known affectionately as a “Bombshell” hostess, she is in great demand because of her huge working knowledge of this game, and this is also what makes her unique in the poker media community.

The different version poker

You probably know that it exists a number of versions in Poker and you know that this game is more and more popular. So you know also that most of people want to play it differently because they are tired of playing Hold’em poker. I am probably sure that you know the rules of the Hold’em poker, the 5 draw and also the Omaha. So this is why I will try to teach you 3 different versions of poker. The USA is full of new versions so don’t worry; you won’t be disappointed and never tired of poker.

We can start with the HORSE poker.

The HORSE poker is a different version of poker and it is quite famous in USA. It is more and more popular. When you play a game after a while, you get bored so this is why it can be important and exciting to play the HORSE. Horse is an anagram, it means:

H : Limit Hold’em
O : Limit Omaha Eight or Better (Hi/Lo)
R : Razz Poker
S : Limit Seven Card Stud
E : Limit Stud Eight or Better (Hi/Lo)

So, the horse is a game with which you have to know all of the rules of the others games. Actually when you play the horses, at any time you can change the game as you can play the Hold’em and 5 minutes later you can play the Razz Poker. It means that you have to know all of the rules of all of these poker games. You can win a lot of money on a game that you manage well but you can also lose a lot when you play a game that you don’t know properly the rules. Also the opponents can play differently at any game. Be careful and appreciate strategies.

The Cincinatti Poker

The cincinatti Poker is a variant of poker. The version is quite new in USA but at the moment, you can’t play it on Internet. So at the beginning of the game you receive 5 cards. The possibility to get a good game such as a full house, a flush or a straight it is quite recurrent. So you receive 5 hole cards. You raise or call before discovering the cards of the river as usual and after that the dealer is putting 5 hole cards on the river. The difference with the Hold’em it is that you discover the river card by card and no 3 cards in once. This is the only difference. Poker players get more excitement by this poker version.

The double Flop Hold’em

The double flop is a new version of poker as well. As the title of this version said, you get 2 rivers, 2 flops. At the beginning of the game the dealer decides how to determinate the winner. It can be by 2, between 2 players, the best combination on each river or the best combination with both of the river.

This game is quite crazy but after that the rules are similar to the Hold’em.

Strategic Fundamentals to Winning Poker

To be a winning poker player it is vital to learn to think and make your own decisions. Situational thinking which is creative, sensible and logical is how players win, and win big.  

Playing for cash is the purest form of poker; the game was invented for this reason and no other. It is important to use strategic poker playing fundamentals right from the word go which means raising hands pre-flop from the correct position and also playing correctly post-flop. And speaking about position, in poker it’s all about position, much like real estate being all about location, location, location. 

The “Button” is where players make the most amount of money and if you can play more hands where the button is, you will win more than your opponents. This is where a poker player can raise hugely and if you allow other players to steal your blinds this is ok, but never let them steal your position. 

As tight aggressive poker playing is the ideal pre-flop style of a poker player, what exactly does this mean? It means you play a few good hands (tight), taking note of what a “good” starting hand is and the hands are played aggressively by betting and raising. Loose aggressive is another poker style and both of these poker styles obviously have merit according to situation. If a poker game is tight you play loose, if it is loose you play tight.  

Playing tight aggressive generally means you will be playing better hands and decisions are generally easier to make in situations like this. Opponents will fear you and fish or weak players will pay you off more often. A lot of raising from position and consistently betting on the flop will keep the initiative on your side. 

If you lack aggression, then it is better to deal with this sooner than later – it may be due to anxiety and it is bad for your game. Aggression means betting, raising, bluffing or part-bluffing and it generally pays off.  

Grasp the concept of “value betting”, this is relatively simple when playing poker in a tight aggressive style. This type of betting is related to your hand and it will either be good, so that you want an opponent to call, or it will be bad and you will be bluffing to take the prize pot. Either way, you value bet to get opponents to pay more money into the prize pot.  

Poker is notorious because it is the only card game which can be won with a losing hand and this is where bluffing plays a role. Bluffing can be simple or incredibly complex but one thing it should never be is at the wrong time. New poker players make this mistake time and again – they bluff at the wrong time, so learn in what situation bluffing can be of benefit and when it can be wrong. This is one of the most strategic fundamentals to get a grasp of.

What’s News in the World of Poker?

I have just read a very interesting poker article by Howard Lederer, with regards to how he equates his mastership over poker with lessons he learned in “Zen”. No matter how far apart these two worlds appear to be, they actually do collide according to him, and if you want to improve your poker game, you should get your hands on this article and really study it. Be warned, it is a long one, but is it also brilliant.

In the meantime, what else is new in the world of poker? Well fans will be happy to know that a WSOP new and very exclusive line of clothing will be coming out in time for the 2010 series. Apparently this is not a sponsorship deal; it is a collaborative effort between the World Series of Poker organizers and a sportswear company called Nat Nast. Poker memorabilia collectors will be happy to know – this is a collectors’ series of clothing.

If wearing a 2010 WSOP T-shirt is going to help improve your game, then go for it, buy one. The items which are going on sale will be casual, yet elegant in silk and cotton, and typically sold in Saks or Nordstrom. They will also be available in casinos and luxury resorts throughout the US, Canada and the Caribbean. The good news for those of you who haven’t managed to bankroll your poker career into the realms of stardom as yet, is that these goods will also be sold online. Ty Stewart the VP of WSOP is said to be delighted and is hoping this will end the appearance of hoodies, glitter shirts and track jackets at his poker tables.

Also in the news is that the Government of Lithuania has decided to recognize poker as a sport. This happened on the 20th March 2010 and sets an example for the rest of the world who still believe this game to be merely a gambling activity. Essentially this means poker is recognized as a game of skill and is embraced into respectable competition.

Playing poker has inspired film, music and now art. You may be familiar with the “Dogs Playing Poker”, a series of paintings from the early 1900′s by C.M. Coolidge. They were painted with the express purpose of advertising cigars, but became so popular that they became cultural icons. Another artist has taken a variation on this theme and is now featuring past US Presidents in a similar series of two paintings. Andy Thomas of Missouri calls his paintings “Big Dawgs Playing Poker.”

He is primarily a self-taught artist with a passion for history and he is commonly called the “storyteller” because of his ability to tell a tale through his art. Intrigued with the idea of US Presidents sitting playing poker (very apt indeed), the paintings are separated into Republicans and Democrats. Features include political logo’s rather than bicycles on the backs of the cards, and various personality traits of each of the featured presidents. There is a good deal of activity for the eye, and the images are a lot of fun. I wonder if Ty Stewart would consider buying them and placing them where they could be seen by poker players for the next event in the WSOP?

Play 7 Card Stud Poker – Bluffing

7 Card Stud was the online casinos and poker rooms.

Getting the basics of betting, bluffing and generally how to play, before you play, is always a good way to go, because at some point in time, if you take your poker seriously, you will be called upon to play 7 Card Stud Poker as one of a series of games in a tournament – HORSE for example!

Poker is the only card game played in which you don’t actually have to have a winning hand in order to win and this calls for bluffing. You can pretty much bluff you way to win with a bad hand, but it means taking bad risks. However, bluffing is still believed to be the cornerstone of playing 7 Card Stud.

Bluffing means understanding how to read boards, but whatever else you do, avoid bluffing if you don’t have the hand to back it up. This is called the “dark-tunnel bluff” and it is a bluff made with absolutely no reason. This is decisions made arbitrarily, generally in a whim and is only done because the player wants to feel like they are playing poker.

As playing poker calls for decision making skills a dark-tunnel bluff with a pair of 8′s is a really bad decision. This is like playing two-card roulette, a close cousin to Russian roulette!

Poker psychology is called to play and to make a good bluff the player needs to understand what is happening in the minds of their opponents. This includes betting patterns, the texture of the board and implied odds as well as the prize pot.

There are a number of relevant questions the 7 Card Stud player needs to ask of themselves. Is the opponent a draw maths player, are they a mad gorilla? and many more. Until all the relevant questions have been asked, a bluff cannot be made with any sure outcome.

The game of 7 Card Stud is a five-card community board, and this is one of the factors which will help you to win or beat you. This is why reading the board before bluffing is so important. It offers a total combination of hand, the one you hold, excluding two cards and the hand on the board. This keeps decision making simple and is what makes the game easier than Hold’em. So it’s a case of the board and your hand!

Making a strong bluff depends on the odds of other players in the game also having strong hands. It is pointless going into a bluff without at the very least a starting hand and the probabilities of being dealt a stud starting hand vary. If you are not dealt a strong starting hand, fold. Wait until you have a strong starter to bluff. One of the biggest mistakes new 7 Card Stud players make is playing with a weak or non-starter hand.