New York and California Closer

March 5, 2017 Category :Legal Off

Several states in the US have been pushing to legalize online poker for years back. Currently it seems that New York and California are the closest to achieve this feat. New York Senate Gaming Committee voted unanimously in favor of online poker bill proposed by Senator John Bonacic, while one of the key men in the Assembly, Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow has recently stated that there are strong chances of New York legalizing online poker n 2017. Meanwhile in California another Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer and Assemblyman Adam Gray are pushing this year’s online poker bill.

Pretlow Making Way for the New Law in New York

The first attempts to legalize online poker in the State of New York date back to 2013 when the first proposals were made in the Senate. However, these attempts had no results as at that time Assembly had another gambling issue on their agenda – legalizing non-tribal casinos. At that time Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow was working on the expansion of land-based casinos.

The following year Senator John Bonacic, Chair of the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee appears with a draft bill and pushes the initiative further, but again with no significant results. In the years to come Bonacic continued pushing further until 2016 when his bill passed the Senate Committee but the person who denied it the support in the Assembly was precisely Pretlow. The main reason for that was, as Pretlow explained is that he had doubts concerning arguments that online poker would be considered a game of skill and legalized as such.

The main aim of Bonacic’s bill S 3893 and consequently introduced bill A 5250 sponsored by Pretlow himself, is to legalize online poker as a game of skill in which case the process does not conflict the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. After a careful analysis of the procedures and operations of New Jersey and other states that allow online poker, Pretlow stands behind one of the bills and believes that by the end of 2017 New York could become the fourth state where online poker is legal.

California Plans to Boost Horse Racing Industry with the Revenue from Online Poker

California is continuing ten-year long battle to legalize online poker and last year Assemblyman Adam Grey came close as his bill passed the Appropriations Committee but failed at the Assembly. This month Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer joined Gray in the battle and they proposed a new bill under which the racetracks will not be eligible to compete for a license but they will receive an annual subsidy worth $60 million. Card rooms and tribal casinos will be entitled to apply for a license. Under the new law persons under 21 and outside state borders will not be allowed to play.

As both California and New York continue to make progress on legalizing online poker, check back here in our poker news section for updates regarding USA legal poker. Until the states figure out what they are doing and get the appropriate bills passed use any of the USA poker sites we list and recommend here on our website. All are highly reputable and offer a great online experience.

Graton Resort & Casino Adds Hotel

November 12, 2016 Category :USA Poker Off

The tribal casino Graton Resort & Casino operated by Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria is set to open in new attire on November 15th in Rohnert Park California. The newly built Resort will include a hotel and amenities aimed at customers from Sonoma County and the North Bay who will finally have the chance to fully enjoy the casino games alongside spacious hotel and restaurants in the midst of the picturesque wine country.

Graton Resort & Casino was opened in 2013 even though the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria had the idea to launch it much earlier. For ten years the tribe had been trying to realize this project of building a casino but only in 2012 did they manage to reach an agreement with the Governor. The management of the casino is entrusted with Station Casinos, a company from Las Vegas. The Casino was finally ready to launch in November 2013 and now three years later it will be expanded.

The casino is situated in the Sonoma County, California, outside Rohnert City. It is set in the beautiful wine country but unfortunately far away from the urban areas. Their customers can enjoy full gaming experience but if they need accommodation they would need to go either to Rohnert City or to San Francisco. This was a major downside for the casino. The next logical step was to add a hotel to the resort, which would seat all the visitors who are eager to spend several days enjoying the games and the remarkable nature.

The hotel will spread on six floors and it will house around 200 rooms. In addition to that the guests will be able to enjoy in the pool and spa, dine at restaurants or spend a pleasant night at the bar or club. The resort will also offer space for conferences and meetings with the capacity to accept 1,700 people. The resort has already opened the option to book Premium King room or Premium double room and they are now accepting reservations for 2018.

As for the casino it will feature 120 table games including Blackjack, Baccarat, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Pai Gow and 3,000 slot machines. The gaming space will also include VIP gaming salons and live poker room. The new Graton Casino & Resort will offer a complete experience for any visitor. The guests from Sonoma County and North Bay will be able to come and spend several days whether they plan to relax and take a break from city life or if they want to schedule a business conference or meetings.

As Tribal Council Chairman Greg Sarris says: “One of the reasons we built this is that there is no other place in the North Bay that can actually seat this many people with all of the amenities right here. So what a beautiful opportunity to be in the wine country to have a convention and where you can sit in a ballroom eighteen hundred people for dinner, and go swimming, and go to a spa and take wine tours, all at the same time. What a perfect place to accommodate conventions where there was not a place before.”

Even though the gaming establishment is planned to be upgraded to compete with the best Las Vegas-style resorts, it will not sport flashy signs and neon lights. The new resort will be designed to fit the surrounding hilly landscape of wine country.

While we focus on mainly online poker venues and USA poker sites, we thought our California visitors would be happy to know they can now stay in a great hotel when they visit this resort and poker room. For online poker rooms open to California residents see our listing of online California poker sites.

Play Online Poker and Bet the NFL

October 24, 2016 Category :Featured Legal Sites Off

BetOnlineIf you are anything like me, not only do you like to play some online poker but also like to bet on the NFL and college football from time  to time. I use to have an online sportsbook account and then also has a few account where I played online poker. I never really thought about it, but why would I have my money spread around in so many different places? Once I wised up, I have only one account that I use to play both online poker and bet on the NFL and college football.

If you want to be able to bet on some sports and still play online poker from the same account I recommend BetOnline. BetOnline is where I do the majority of my sports betting and they offer a great online and full service sportsbook. I live in the United States and if you do also, BetOnline welcomes USA players.

BetOnline opened back in 2001 and actually opened as a sportsbook. Not until their sportsbook became pretty popular did they then launch the BetOnline Poker Room. With a fully functional sportsbook, one advantage BetOnline has over other poker start ups is they already a player base. While not every sports bettor came over to also play online poker, they did have quite a few which helped the poker room right from the start. Now today, the BetOnline Poker Room has became pretty popular n its own and has adequate site traffic.

Find a full selection of sit and go’s, multi table tournaments and plenty of ring games. Because many of the players are first sports bettors and only come over to the poker room for a little fun and entertainment, you can find some pretty juicy games and tournaments. Do not be afraid to go to the river against a few players when you have a decent hand.

The sportsbook at BetOnline is available both online and for use over the phone. It has received all kinds of awards and was a hit with USA residents as soon as it opened. Bet on just about anything you can imagine at BetOnline and have every and any type of bet available. Whether you only make straight bets or like to parlay, tease, do if bets or reverses, you can them and plenty more bets at BetOnline.

So if you want to play some online USA legal poker and also have access to a sportsbook, BetOnline is a great choice. USA players like myself really like BetOnline because deposits and withdraws are some of the easiest you will find anywhere. Credit cards get approved easily but they also offer Bitcoin deposits and cash transfers as well. Withdraws are processed fast and if you need cash quick, request a cash transfer and have your pick up details in as little as 12 hours! In most cases it takes about 24 hours but we have had our cash pickup details in 12 hours in the past.

Play online poker at one of the best USA poker sites and also bet on sports at one of the best USA online sportsbooks. For more information and/or to get started, see our full BetOnline Poker Review. BetOnline also offers an online casino so if you want to try your luck on some slots or casino games you can also do that. If you do decide to try out the casino, check out the live dealer casino. There you can play blackjack, roulette, baccarat and casino holdem with a real live person as the dealer. You actually play at a brick and mortar casino and are connected by a live streaming feed to be able to communicate with the casino. For more information about live dealer casinos and games see another website we run, which is dedicated to USA live dealer casino play.

What is a Bad Beat Jackpot?

March 27, 2015 Category :General Off

Before we explain more about Bad Beat Jackpots, it might be wise to discuss what a bad beat is, for those who are new to online poker or simply not familiar with the term.

A bad beat can really mean a number of slightly different things but essentially refers to a hand that a player “shouldn’t” have lost. This might be because they had a very good hand or it might be because they started out with the far stronger cards but were undone by the cards on the turn, the river, or especially both! Much as poker is a game of skill and math, it’s also a game of luck and sometimes luck just isn’t with you.

When playing poker online a bad beat is generally used in the wider first sense, a hand that a player “shouldn’t have lost” just because they had a good hand and were undone by a better one, rather than a hand they lost due to their opponent making the logically and mathematically wrong bet but getting lucky.

Bad Beat Jackpot

The best online poker sites know that a bad beat hurts but they very kindly take some of that pain away by offering bad beat bonuses or jackpots. In games that offer such a payout, a small part of the rake from each hand contributes towards the Bad Beat pool and any player who suffers a bad beat will receive a payout.

The precise details vary from poker site to poker site, with each having certain requirements that must be met in order to qualify for some form of bonus. These involve the quality of the hand that the losing player had and also, sometimes, whether the player used both hole cards to make the hand.

Which Poker Sites Offer a Bad Beat Jackpot

Most top quality sites offer some form of Bad Beat Jackpot on at least some of their games. America’s Cardroom has one of the biggest and best around, whilst Bovada also offers a good Bad Beat deal. Why not join one of these great sites today, grab a bonus to welcome you in and get paid whether you’re lucky OR really unlucky?

Poker Hall of Fame

February 20, 2015 Category :General Off

The Poker Hall of Fame was created in 1979 and is located in Las Vegas, where else? Originally owned by Binion’s Horseshoe, the current owner is Caesar’s Entertainment. Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is the aim for all top poker players, whilst many recreational and online poker fans can only dream of such success. Whilst poker is, of course, primarily about winning money – and of course having fun too – there is no doubt that the prestige of being added to the list of great names already on the roll of honor means a great deal.

The legendary gambling icon and mobster Benny Binion, who passed away in 1989, created the Hall of Fame in 1979. The Dallas-born owner of the iconic (Binion’s) Horseshoe Casino established the Hall of Fame partly as a marketing ploy to attract tourists and gamblers to his casino (another stunt was to create a display with $1m in cash on the casino floor). It was also, of course, a fitting monument to the great players of the time and the concept proved an instant hit.

Seven players were inducted in 1979, including the first World Series of Poker winner Johnny Moss, aka The Grand Old Man of Poker. Nick Dandolos, much better known as Nick the Greek was also added, whilst the wonderfully named Felton McCorquodale (Corky) also got his name on the list, partly for his roll in bringing Texas hold ‘em to Vegas way back in 1963. One of the more interesting inaugural members was Wild Bill Hickok, a man who was born in 1837 and had been dead for more than 100 years when he received this honor.

Since 2004, when Caesar’s bought the rights to the WSOP, they have, through the WSOP, effectively owned and controlled the Hall of Fame. Prior to that poker luminaries such as Doyle Brunson (1988), Binion himself (1990) and Amarillo Slim (1992) were added to the Hall of Fame, whilst more recent additions have included Stu Ungar in 2001, Johnny Chan in 2002, Binion’s son Jack (in 2005) and in 2007 the Hall got its first woman inductee in the shape of Barbara Enright. Daniel Negreanu was among the 2014 intake, whilst Scotty Nguyen and Phil Hellmuth have also been inducted.

Best Poker Books

February 6, 2015 Category :General Off

Poker is one of the world’s most popular games and in recent years the popularity of the game, and Texas hold ‘em in particular, has really soared. Much as we have a wealth of information right here, there is simply too much to say, too many theories to discuss and too many great tales to tell for us to cover everything. But if you know someone who loves poker or you like the game yourself then read on as we take a look at some of the best books ever written on this beguiling, frustrating, magnificent game.

Super System by Doyle Brunson

This classic focusses on the strategy of poker and was published in 1978. It enlightened people on the concept of “power poker” and what Brunson wrote almost 40 years ago is still very much impacting the game today. His brand of super-aggressive play still dominates at the top tables and this book is a must-read for any serious player.

Shut Up and Deal by Jesse May

The only fictional entry on our list, Shut Up and Deal was published in 1998 and is a great, character-led book about Mickey, a slacker with a great appetite for the game. With brilliant prose and a style that grips you from the off, if this doesn’t get you in the mood for a game then you don’t like poker!

Super System 2 by Doyle Brunson

Okay, we might have a soft spot for the legendary Texan, a two-time WSOP main event winner, but his “sequel” gets its place on this list on merit and is a brilliant choice for players who play a variety of poker variants including limit games (although the revised information on no-limit hold ‘em is also well worth a read).

The Biggest Game in Town by Al Alvarez

If theory and strategy are making your head hurt then this brilliant book will provide a little respite, focusing as it does on the history and characters that have made the biggest poker tournament in the world, the World Series of Poker, so compelling. Alvarez is an English poet and essayist who went to the 1981 tournament and, despite sticking out like a sore thumb, managed to capture the magic of the times and the hard-to-believe tales that poker’s finest recite like the alphabet.

UK Poker Player Jailed for Fraud

January 23, 2015 Category :Legal| Online Poker Off

Playing online poker should be fun and if you make a few bucks along the way then even better, but for Darren Woods of Healing, England, it was an activity that allowed him to accrue huge profits… by cheating.

Woods, 29, denied 13 fraud offences that took place between 2007 and 2012 but was found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court in South Yorkshire. He was jailed for 15 months but could face a further six years in prison if he doesn’t comply with a confiscation order that demands he pays back £1m (approximately $1.5m) within six months.

It is thought he “won” considerably more than the amount he is being forced to pay back, with some of the money being used via the online poker site to recompense players it is proved he cheated. Woods has assets worth more than £1.4m and it is thought the vast majority of this fortune, equivalent to more than $2m, was obtained by fraudulent online poker activities.

Woods, whose father also admitted to money laundering charges, “rigged” online poker games by fraudulently playing as multiple players at the same time. Effectively he was colluding with himself in order to cheat other players at the table whilst also accumulating commissions and cashbacks from the poker sites themselves.

He used private online networks to disguise his multiple identities and the judge said, “In individual games, other people playing against you stood to lose money because the odds had been rigged in your favour by the creation of multiple identities which were undisclosed to other players. Cheating undermines confidence in the recreational gambling industry.”

Woods was declared bankrupt in 2006 but bounced back to win $213,000 in a World Series of Poker game in Las Vegas in 2011 but rather than continuing to play fairly he thought he had found a way to scam other online players without being caught.

However, both the authorities and the online poker sites are well aware of the risk of such activities and have various methods of combatting them, including algorithms that spot unusual playing patterns and investigations into suspicious poker accounts.

Woods’ father was given a six month suspended prison sentence and will be forced to pay back around £19,000 he is thought to have personally gained from the money laundering.

Poker is “Solved” by Super-Computer

January 9, 2015 Category :General Off

Scientists from the University of Alberta in Canada have reported to respected journal Science that they have devised a computer program that cannot be beaten at poker!

Before you get too excited and head out to access the program before cleaning up playing online poker, the program – for the time being at least – has only mastered fixed limit, head-up Texas hold ‘em. That said, with many programs already out there for playing more complex variants of poker, it may not be too long before the two technologies meet which could have serious ramifications for online poker and possibly even casino multi-player poker.

The researchers have created an algorithm based on the research their computer did whilst playing a staggering 24 trillion hands of heads up EVERY SECOND for two months. That’s a lot of poker! The computer was able to learn what plays worked and what didn’t and so create a methodology so close to perfect that “it can’t be beaten with statistical significance within a lifetime of human poker playing”.

It has played more hands of poker than have ever actually been played out in the history of humanity and, moreover, unlike most poker players it has recorded exactly how those hands panned out in order to be able to play as close to optimally as is possible in a non-perfect information game.

Previous strategies and computer programs had been designed for perfect information games – where all players know all information – such as chess and blackjack but this is a first because in poker there is unknown information – such as what is in the opponent’s hand.

Michael Bowling, the lead researcher on the project said “Our model has spent two months playing poker again and again… more poker hands than all of humanity – so in some sense it’s not surprising that it has developed the perfect strategy.”

It remains to be seen how casinos and online poker sites will react to the breakthrough but the poker genius program is available online for players to test and play against and it is sure to be of interest to a wide range of companies, both in the gambling industry and the wider world. Whilst we may be hoping we can crack the game and clean up at the table, it is thought the technology may have uses in the fields of security and statistical analysis.