Welcome to our blog for all lovers of online games. There are free games and there are money games on the Internet, it is up to you to choose which type you want to play. But if you are a minor, only play free games, online betting is not allowed for underage players. We do not promote or support online illegal gambling in any form. If you are over 21, use the carbon poker bonus code when you register at Phil Ivey's poker room. You will certainly learn a lot from watching the top players in action.

Poker and addiction

Like Bordeaux wines or fast cars, poker is great entertainment if used with moderation.

It is estimated that there are millions of online poker players in the world and this figure is expected to continue rising in the near future. Cool but how many are addicted to poker? And what is poker addiction, or more generally a gambling addiction to online casino games like online video poker?

In the United States it is believed that between 2 and 5% of players are pathological and dependent on gambling. This is because the game of poker provides an immediate satisfaction. Our brain is very sensitive to such feelings and may crave for them on an ongoing basis. This is because the brain releases a substance sending waves of pleasure to our mind: dopamine. It stimulates the feeling of satisfaction and pushes players to repeat the experience.

If you think that you are addicted to poker, you should consult a specialized website.

Poker addiction may develop over poker games, following a series of bad luck where the satisfaction has lessened so that the game of poker becomes an obsession to get this intense pleasure again. The online poker player spends more time in the game, he forgets everything around him, lies to his friends and family, becoming aggressive and isolated.

Despite attempts to stop playing, the desire to gamble becomes uncontrollable, the player has become a compulsive gambler, eventually diving into a veritable hell. The financial and social consequences can be impressive: debts, unpaid rent, fractured social environment, etc.

So what to do in a case of poker addiction?

This type of addiction should not be taken lightly, although most poker blogs do not spend much content dwelling on this aspect of the game. If you feel like falling into a spiral of obsession, you must know how to pause, to take a break from the game for a few days, living normally during this period. The game of poker should first of all be and remain a game, nothing more.

Some aid organizations exist which will support players in need of advise. Note that it is very easy to ask your online casino or online poker room to block your access, or to limit it. This is one more difference with land-based venues that do not really have the means to check for people asking to be self-banned.

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my online poker beginnings

Recently I was just thinking of when I started to play online poker a while back. It seems an eternity has passed already since that time.

The first contact with online poker was a shock to me. The possibility of earning money while having fun and most importantly at home, had never crossed my mind before.

A whole new world opened to me, but probably not as easy as I had imagined at first sight. Here is a quick summary of my journey that will better define me. And if you can get some advice from this story, then even better.

Like many other beginners, I spent countless hours watching poker on the television like WPT replays, listening to the advice of Mike Sexton and other pros chatting or getting interviewed. The sums of money involved made me almost faint, and like many gamers, I wanted to be part of this money machine.

Unfortunately for me, the transition from the micro-limits at Party Poker to the EPT London did not happen overnight. The learning was painful, costly, in loneliness and by tiny incremental steps.

Poker is no exception to the rule, like any art, mastery comes with experience, and a lot of it for the ones who understand the meaning of the word mastery. If I had to give a few words of advice to a beginner, it would be: progress step by step, bankroll management is the cornerstone of your development and survival as a poker player, never play above your means and always be patient.

Never try to rebuild your bankroll at a higher limit, while slightly on tilt to add to your troubles. This is not the way for solid poker because you can catch up your losses half the time, and use your credit card the other times. Take it from someone who has lived this experience many times, you will feel really miserable when you lose everything. Because it puts you in the face of reality: mathematically, you’re a fish!

Nothing is more important than the love of the game of poker. If you do not love poker, you cannot stand the variance and the downswings. You must put aside the amount of money involved, and only consider your bankroll as a tool that reflect your skill as a poker player.

Be the master of bankroll management and you will have the foundation for building up your skills.

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Why playing video poker

Why playing video poker online?

In today’s casinos and online casinos, the game selection does not stop from increasing with plenty of gambling games to choose from, old and new. Roulette for example is a very old game believed to have originated in seventeenth century France (roulette means little wheel in French), while Badugi Poker is a game that only appeared in American casinos in recent years.

So with so much choice, why do many smart casino players prefer playing video poker? Of course there are plenty of reasons and it can be a matter of preference related to each player. But there are two good reasons to play online video poker compared to other games according to Phil Ivey, a top poker pro.

The main benefit is that the house edge is very low at video poker, so low that it is even possible sometimes to find machines with a payout percentage surpassing 100%, an ideal situation for any gambler.

Obviously video poker machines with such an amazingly positive expected value for the players are far and between, but they exist. Also unlike any other game, you can see the payout and house edge for each video poker machine. Let’s first review the house edge for other casino games.

The house edge for European Roulette is 2.70%, 5.26% for American Roulette. Keno is very unfavorable with over 25% house edge. Blackjack has a low house edge around 0.50 to 1% depending on the casino rules, while Baccarat is slightly over 1% and slots range from 1% to 25%.

With respect to video poker, Jacks or Better is the standard game variation with a low house edge of only 0.46%. No other game has a lower house edge except Blackjack played from a single deck using Las Vegas rules, but nowadays casinos rarely offer such a game. But wait, that’s not all. Here is a list of video poker games with a negative house edge.

Full Pay Double Double Bonus has a -0.06% house edge, Full Pay Double Bonus a -0.17% house edge, Full Pay Jokers Wild (Kings or Better) a -0.64% house edge and finally Full Pay Deuces Wild a -0.76% house. These are the machines you should seek if you want to put all chances on your side while playing video poker.

This is the advantage of video poker that if you pick a specific machine, you will know exactly the house edge, as all machines are built the same way and run like clockwork. This is not so of slot machines. Also unlike slots, video poker is a skill game requiring to apply a strategy, which makes it more interesting.

Overall, video poker is a game with a lot of fun and it is not costly to play it given the great odds offered to the players. So if you have yet done so, give it a shot.

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Macau, Monte Carlo of the east

Macau is the Monte Carlo of the East.

With a flourishing gaming and tourism industry, Macau just might be the world’s fastest-growing tourist trap.

If you want to get technical, it’s actually a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China. An area barely seventeen square miles in size, it’s only slightly larger than the island of Manhattan.

Its streets and local culture bear the marks of both Cantonese and imperial Portuguese traditions, but visit the small peninsular region and the first thing you’ll notice might be the thousands of people from Hong Kong riding the hydrofoil and ferry services 40 miles southwest into town. They’re not here to see the ruins of Saint Paul’s Cathedral or sample the local cuisine. They are here to play, and there are more of them coming with every passing day.

While the place widely known as “the Monte Carlo of the Orient” does have a modest textile industry, the economy is anchored by the more than 8 million tourists who visit the region every year, most of them with sit and go tournaments and gambling on their mind.

Almost half of Macau’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from gambling, part of which can be found at the small number of racetracks around town, like the Canidrome in northern Macau or Racecourse in nearby Taipa. But people are coming to Macau in droves primarily to sample its immaculate casinos and hotels. And how can you tell that Macau is about to become the gaming world’s new boom town? Americans are starting to invest.

“The key for us is just to draw the parallel between what has become a successful model in Las Vegas. Obviously you have to adapt it a little bit for culture and remain sensitive to that,” says Ron Reese, Executive Director of Communications for Las Vegas Sands Corp., owner of the Sands Macau. “Operating off the coast of mainland China is different from operating in Nevada.” The Sands Macau used to be the only American-owned casino property in Macau, but that is changing.

After the recession, a lot of Las Vegas tycoons are starting to invest in Macau. So if you have not visited Macau and you like gambling, put it on top of your list if you want to be taken seriously as a world class gambler.

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poker is dirty

Poker is a Dirty Business

Poker is a very glamorized game on the outside, thanks to ESPN, the Travel Channel and other networks broadcasting players as young as 21 years old winning hundreds of thousands of dollars in televised tournaments.

Many are college drop-outs who are riding the wave of the Poker boom, and taking advantage of all the loose money floating around the poker world both online and in live games everywhere.

In almost every city in the civilized world you can find a Poker game 24 hours a day whether it be in a local casino, or a home game. Most, if not all of the players in these games have their hopes and dreams set on becoming the next Average Joe to hit it big in the game we all know so well and obsess over.

What many of these hopefuls don’t realize, is that when the cameras are not rolling, poker is a dirty business.

They don’t see one of the best tournament players of all time borrowing money from everyone he meets on the strength of his name. Or his wife having to FedEx his tournament Buy-in directly to the hotel so he doesn’t lose it in the Craps game on the way to the poker room.

They don’t see a very well known internet player racking up over $100,000 in debt to, and allegedly hacking into the account of another well-known player. After repeated attempts to collect, to my knowledge the debt still isn’t paid off.

They don’t hear all of the allegations of chip-dumping in big buy-in tournaments by a syndicate connected to a well known poker player and mentor.

They don’t hear about how one of the greatest, most well known and respected players of all time allegedly making big money early in his career by playing partners with other locals, to squeeze unknowing tourists of their bankrolls.

They don’t know why a certain WPT final table participant just couldn’t make it to the WSOP tournaments for day two, even though he was in a great chip position. They also have not read the cryptic interviews with the player in regard to his absences, as reported by a known poker journalist.

They don’t know that an astounding number of players in these big-money tournaments are backed, or in debt so much that they see little or no money from what they win. In an interview with one WSOP winner, the player was asked what he would do with all that money. “pay some people back that I owe probably” he replied. “What about the rest?” the reporter asked.

“Oh they will just have to wait.” the player responded.

People seldom understand how shady and desperate people become when large sums of money are involved. Money changes people. It makes them do crazy things, but then again–it also makes the world go ’round.

Good Luck at the Tables

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888 Holdings PLC

888 Holdings PLC is a public company listed in the London Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol 888. It is a holding company founded in 1997 that operates a number of very profitable online gamblign websites.

888 belongs to the FTSE250, and as such is a major British company. Its operating subsidiary, Cassava Enterprises, is incorporated under the laws of Gibraltar, where the operations of the company are conducted, thus benefiting from favorable tax and gambling laws. The major shareholders are brothers Avi and Aaron Shaked who control about fifty percent of the holding company, and brothers Shay and Ron Ben-Yitzhak who own another 11%, leaving the rest as passive minority shareholders.

Pacific Poker is 888’s online poker subsidiary. Started in 2002, Pacific Poker is one of the major online poker brands, offering all major poker variations such as Texas Holdem, pot-limit Omaha and Stud.

888 knows how to offer a warm welcome to its new players. They offer a first deposit bonus, but online other poker rooms where you need to “grind” the bonus in order to convert it into real cash, at Pacific Poker you will instantly get 25% of your welcome bonus as soon as you make your first deposit. You are also entitled to their First Depositors Freerolls when you join.

The online casino website of the group is Casino-on-Net, which was launched in 1997 and has served 13 million people. Casino-on-Net promotes responsible gaming and always attempt to address the problem of compulsive gambling. The measures implemented in this regard are the prohibition of players under the age of 18, the ability for every player to set maximum allowed deposit amount, blocking access to the casino at a player’s request and the training of their employees to guarantee that they recognize compulsive or underage gambling when it occurs.

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Phil Ivey: head of the class

Phil Ivey has two homes. The one that poker built, and the poker tables at the Bellagio.

Phil Ivey needs no introduction. At 32, this seasoned poker pro has revolutionized the game with his fresh, suave demeanor, savvy play, and intense concentration, making him one of the youngest poker champions in the world. Just as impressive, he has managed to do so while gaining the respect of pros 20-30 years his senior. His peers consider him one of the best players in the world. His is the lifestyle we associate with a world class professional poker player.

Phil is always ready for action and even does interviews while playing at high stakes games at the Bellagio. These, after all, are the sound bites of Phil Ivey’s game. During long games, players and Phil love to bet each other on card formations. It adds excitement.

Phil Ivey started playing poker for money when he was eight years old when his grandfather taught him the game and they played for pennies. He knew then he had an aptitude and passion for the game. He was 15-16 years old when he started to play for real money and realized the potential to make a living doing it.

How have the players from the Internet coming into live games affected poker? The Internet has enabled people to learn faster than those of us who picked up knowledge of the game at live games in the casinos or at home games. The Internet has truly revolutionized the game of poker, where a person can play a hundred thousand hands a month from the comfort of their home. Practice does make a difference in the game of poker.

How much poker does Phil Ivey play? Is it a job or a passion or both? Poker is really his life, and he is passionate about it. He work when he is called. It’s not a 9-5 job. He plays for a day straight, takes some time off, and can be right back at the table with just a few hours sleep.

Of course his your favorite online poker site is FullTiltPoker.com hands down. No site has as many pros dropping by your table. He enjoys the high stakes games and user-friendliness the site offers to the newcomers to the game. Plus tons of tournaments and bonus incentives for the players.

His favorite poker room in Las Vegas is the Bellagio which has a great poker room. In Atlantic City it’s the Taj Mahal Poker Room.

Is he ready to play at the drop of a hat or does he schedule his poker sessions? He receives calls daily and schedules time in. It’s a business like any other job¡ He goes to work each day and sometimes day turns to night and then day. It’s poker and there are no time constraints.

Phil was married and very happy but he recently files for divorce. His wife used to be his biggest supporter. If she wants to come see me, she knows all she needs to do is come to the game. They met when he was 18 and have been together 10 years. They both enjoy the lifestyle surrounding poker. They truly feel blessed by the success he has had, which enables his wife and he to travel and do things they always dreamed of.

Has he written or plan to write any books on poker? Yes he is very interested in writing a book on poker down the road. He lives it and he is passionate about it, but if he is going to do it he wants it to be special and helpful to the players out there. Keep an eye out for it.

If you’re considering turning pro and making poker your full-time profession, remember this: It’s a lot harder than it looks. I urge you to play part-time for a year or two, and if you keep winning, go for it. Look, I can teach you the game and you could beat me, but if we played constantly for a year I would win most of the time. To determine if you’re good, you need to win constantly. But do not mistake luck for being an expert. Poker is a tough game, and constantly winning is even tougher.

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Sam Farha poker pro

From video games to pinball to gambling, poker is why Sam Farha reflects on his early years in gambling and a misguided if successful youth.

Sammy Farha does not present himself as a particularly imposing fellow. Dressed to the nines in his favorite Italian leisure suit, he hardly inspires any deep visceral warnings. His casual demeanor, smooth charm, and broad smile are more likely to draw you in than send you running for the safety of higher ground.

Being five-feet, eight-inches tall (if that), probably does not strike much fear in the hearts of opponents, either. But get your chips in the pot against this World Series of Poker bracelet winner and you will quickly realize that this grinning, Marlboro-chomping Cheshire cat has got some claws and you are the rodent de jour.

With his aggressive, calculating style and trademark unlit cigarette (he replaces it whenever he starts feeling unlucky) pressed between his lips, this ultra-slick poker icon has become one of the most recognizable faces in the poker world. He has cashed in 11 major events, has won millions in international tournaments, and taken home two bracelets for Omaha in the World Series of Poker. But surprisingly, poker is not how the man who epitomizes the term “shark” thought he would be spending his life.

Born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1959, Farha spent much of his early years confronted with the fear and uncertainty of a nation ravaged by civil war. Strangely enough, it was amidst this turmoil that Farha first began his love affair with poker, sort of. “Since I was young, I always liked games, especially card games. I was really good at all card games,” recalls Farha. “But I never played poker back then. I was interested in pinball and arcade games. I was raised in a civil war so I did not have a lot of choices, and instead of hiding in a shelter, I would go to amusement centers. That is how we used to spend our time: playing these games and shooting pool.”

A good training it seems as Sammy is nowadays one of the best and most feared poker player in the world, especially in pot-limit Omaha.

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Five ways to improve your poker game

1. Learn to step away: One huge mistake that gets made all the time, and one of my poker vices, is taking anger, frustration and loot to a table after something goes wrong. Often times, I might catch a bad beat at a final table to finish 7th or 8th, when I could have had a chance to win, and for some odd reason this prompts me to head to the cash table to make up the difference. This is an enormous mistake. You are going there wanting to get into big hands, wanting to win large pots, angry from the bad beat you just took, and probably a bit burnt out from legging out a tourney to get knocked out at the end. It’s best to step away and do something to clear your head. Drink a beer, take a shower, donk off some play chips, just do not take your money where it shouldn’t be.

2. Play less small blinds: This is one I watch people make very often. People seem to think that because it’s only costing half of the BB you should basically play any 2 cards. Think about it this way, if you could wait for a candy bar at full price, would you buy a turd in a wrapper for half? I personally wouldn’t. Where you run into trouble is that you automatically have the worst position post flop. For example: You’re small blind with K4 suited hearts, you make the call cause its half priced. The flop falls 4sQhAh. Jackpot, right? I don’t think so! It looks nice, but if you lead out and are reraised, you are basically forced to call knowing you probably have the worst. If you check and are bet into, you have to make the decision to waste the half blind and fold or chase a big hand. As odds are against you in this situation, most often you will lose a big hand here. Occasionally you will suck out the heart on your opponent, but not enough to make plays like this profitable. Bottom line here, play big hands in the small blind only. Wait until you have better position to make your bigger plays, it will pay off in the end.

3. Learn to lay down big pockets: Billy Jr.: Dude, just got donked A2 vs. KK! John: Allin preflop? Billy: Nah, he called my raise preflop, and flopped a set. John: So you let yourself get donked? Yes, Billy is right here and I see this happen a ton. You’re holding QQ/KK/JJ and get someone in pre flop. Flops turns a set and your opponent busts his chips in or reraises you. For some strange reason, even though you almost know he’s got that set, you won’t waste the big hand. You call. They show a hand they had no business playing and you are pissed. The reality: After that flop fell and that bet was made, you are the one who had no business playing. Be patient, let those go, shake it off, big hands will come.

4. Ditch the suited cards: Start folding any suited hand that is not connected. Fold connected ones in early position. Fold slightly connected ones (97, T8, KT) in middle position. Do not get in situations where you are forced or encouraged to chase cards. Once again, works occasionally, but very unprofitable over time.

5. Take notes. A massively underused tool on all poker sites. Keeping notes can land you major returns. I make notes at almost every table I play, especially if I’m planning to be in a long ring game session. Making a color chart is a good start. On Full Tilt Poker you can flag other players with numerous colors. I mark beginner’s red, tight players blue, hyper aggressive one in orange, and so on. It’s also extremely helpful to make a text note on someone if you see a pattern in their play. It is amazing that players will make the same play or same mistake over and over. I also frequently go back and use my notes to remind someone of a bad play they made to get them tilted.

Use these 5 tips and your results at online poker should improve immediately.

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Aviation club of France

This is a quick summary of my visit to France and to the most famous poker club in Paris, the Aviation Club of Paris.

It was about 6PM and I went to the 104 Avenue des Champs Elysées, the address that all French poker players and many international poker players know, as this is the ACF, in other words the Aviation Club of French. Even though the name is reminiscent of planes, this is indeed the Mecca of French poker, the meeting place for all poker enthusiasts from all over France.

The bad memories of my last session are far away and I know very well that poker is made of ups and downs. My first surprise in this place is the floor manager who smiles when I showed him my ID card, seemingly saying: “no need for that, we are among gentlemen here!”.

Now I am in the poker room and as expected the tables are full and the waiting list as well. I have some time, so I walk around the side of the 100NL table where I watch a real battle between a gang of maniacs! Each flop costs at least 30€ (7.5 BB) and everyone plays a loose aggressive style. A maniac forces AK to fold on a flop A39 with a reraise for 100€ with T9o. Welcome to the ACF.

Here come the hour of the tournament, this night it is a 30€ with rebuy the first hour and one add on after one hour, starting with 50 big blinds. I begin the first round at a table with 2 beginners and some good players. I see some beautiful hands and my stack goes up to about 70BB at the end of the first step. Then the beautiful hands are becoming rarer.

Later my table breaks quite quickly. I do a quick look and I recognize three good players on the aggressive side. I decide to wait and observe my new table first. Then came my rush as patience paid. I see some good cards and my stack began to fatten a bit.

The other players respected me, I was confident in myself and I managed to eliminate as many as 5 players, 2 on a shove with KQ of clubs on a flop JT3 with two clubs where I touched my flush on the river!

I was now in the top 5 for the tournament, the steps went by and we reached the semi final 2 tables of 9 players. But only the final 9 get paid. To balance my game I decided to tighten my game until the end. At one point I threw my pair of queen against the raise of a tight rock and he showed me KK, good fold.

The guy looked at me questioningly and I spelt it with a big smile. We were finally to 9 for the final table I was the 5th in chips. The game narrowed a bit and I continued to touch good cards, also stealing some blinds. In particular those of a pleasant lady who was folding without hesitation to any raise. My fatal error was to bet aggressively 33 from the small blind with a flop J48. I bet it, get called. The turn a blank. The river was an A and I open-bet it without hesitation. He thought for at least 3 minutes, called and showed QQ, devastating my stack.

I then found myself very short stacked and of course my opponents made use of cooperation and here I am out in 4th place. A little disappointed because I thought I could the final two in that tournament, but happy with my performance for my first Limit Hold’em tournament and a prize of 525 € to cheer me.

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