Monday, March 31, 2008

When It's Been Too Long

I haven't played real poker since last year, literally. It's been that long. At first, the reasoning behind it was because I just wasn't in the mood to play. Anyone who plays poker knows you should never play when you aren't in the mood. You make goofy plays and don't play the way you are supposed to, which is what I did the last time I was at a table.

Then, poker became an incentive. If I lost a certain amount of weight then I would be able to go play poker again (I'm a girl and this is the stupid way I think).

Last week, I was in Tampa for spring training. One of the night I ventured over to the Hard Rock Casino and went in to the poker room. I looked around and watched one hand. Just one and the itch was back. I know poker in Florida is slightly different, but I want to play now.

I need the feel of those chips in my hands and the satisfaction of picking off someone's bluff. I want to throw down my chips and cut them out so deliberately so that someone has to call me.

Of course, many will think that's easy. You live right in Atlantic City!

I'm in Greensboro, N.C. where the closest legal card room is the Borgata. The one time I want to play cards, I am stuck in the middle of a state where there is no where to play.

I have the chance to go to Tampa next week (though it's looking doubtful) and I am definitely going back to the Hard Rock if I do.

However, I have a feeling that come Wednesday, MT and I will be in a cardroom. The two of us have the itch. He actually hasn't played either, but him for different reasons. He has gotten sick of the game, the attitude of many players and just couldn't handle the scene, which includes many reasons that I can't list on the blog.

Despite that MT wants to play again. I am rooting for him.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Unsportsmanlike Conduct? And they say poker isn't a sport

Check out this story from the Baltimore Sun about the WSOP poker event going on Caesar's this week. This is pretty funny.

We have news of what may be a poker first -- at least for organized tournament poker. Yesterday, at a World Series of Poker circuit event at Caesars Atlantic City, the chip leader at the final table of a major event was disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The player, who is identified in the WSOP press release as a general contractor from Richmond, Va., was thrown out of the game and "forcefully removed from the tournament room" at a point when five players remained in the opening event of the WSOP Circuit tournament that had a $300 buy-in and started with more than 1,000 players.
At the point the Richmond man, Lesley Thornburg, was disqualified, he had earned about $19,000 for his fifth-place standing. The winner, a 76-year-old retiree from Brick, N.J., collected a little more than $76,000.
According to the official tournament report, Thornburg had been given two warnings for unsportmanlike behavior the previous day. The behavior was described thusly: "Ceaseless display of loud comments and baiting tactics lasting several hours."
The final straw came when Thornburg was actually the beneficiary of great luck twice. On one all-in, his ace-7 was dominated by an opponent's ace-queen, but Thornburg caught a 7 to grab the chip lead. Then, two hands later, he knocked out a player in sixth place when Thornburg had 4-4 against 7-7 and caught a 4.
But then Thornburg lost control, the report said, and he "began jamming chips into the pot with reckless abandon." He was warned by tournament officials and finally, when he shoved half his stack into the pot and announced "all in," officials ejected him for the "annoying and confusing antics."
Thronburg may consider himself lucky. In the Old West, all this would have ended much differently.

Here is the recount from Bluff Magazine.

5th Place Then, all hell broke loose. Literally. Holding onto a perilous chip lead, Thornburg lost self-control and began jamming chips into the pot with reckless abandon. Warned by tournament officials (repeatedly) to stack his chips properly and obey the rules, Thornburg crossed the final demarcation of everyone's patience when he shoved half of his stack into the pot and then later announced, all in. Fed up with the annoying and confusing antics, officials announced Thornburg's immediate disqualification. Lesley Thornburg, a general contractor from Richmond, VA earned $19,026 in prize money.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Poker Players Can't Hide From the Tax Man

Here's a story from the AP. Poker players are going to have to start reporting winnings. blah blah blah. It's something to put up.

Starting Tuesday, it's going to get harder for poker tournament winners to bluff the tax man.
Casinos will be required to report winnings of $5,000 or more to the Internal Revenue Service, and will hand gamblers a tax form to record the payout.
It's actually a compromise from an original IRS proposal that would have made casinos withhold 25 percent of tournament winnings for tax purposes.
"There was such an outrage and outcry from the community, to suck all that money out" that the government changed its mind, Marissa Chien, a gambling tax expert in Las Vegas, told The Press of Atlantic City for Monday's newspapers.
"It allows the IRS to keep track of poker players, because poker is real big now," said Chien, who is co-author of the book "Tax Help For Gamblers."
Kevin Lillo, a shift manager at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, said the new rule will be little more than "a slight inconvenience."
"It's always been the law" to report winnings, he said. "All they're doing is making the casino enforce it. They're seeing money that's falling through the cracks."
Bruce Kramer of Voorhees has never won $5,000 in a single tournament, but he could see how it would be a problem for serious players.
Gamblers across the country are already required to report all their winnings, whether it's from tournaments, slot machines or table games.
"If you're already reporting your income and being truthful and honest, this shouldn't affect you one bit," Chien said. "But for those who try to stay off the radar, this is going to make it that much harder."
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