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Online Poker Kings Get Cashed Out
The Village Voice ^ | February 29, 2012 | Chris Parker

Posted on 02/29/2012 12:56:45 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

When you've turned nothing into something once already, you tend to feel like you can do it again. There's faith your luck will turn. Perhaps it's delusion. But for a professional poker player, self-confidence is essential.

So it is for Walter Wright, who now finds himself in Costa Rica. He left his wife and two children behind to redeem their failing finances and faltering marriage by doing something that's now illegal in the United States—playing poker online.

Wright's life began to change in 2005, when he followed his then-girlfriend from New Orleans to Virginia, where she was beginning law school at Washington and Lee University. He had played strategy and role-playing video games as a kid in Houston and later began to obsess over chess. That's when he noticed his chess buddies were becoming increasingly dedicated to online poker and raving about the returns. Wright became engrossed.

He started as most people do, playing what's known the "cash game." It's simple poker—win by pushing your advantage when the cards are good and bluffing when they're not. If you know the odds, bet wisely, and seek out tables with lesser players, within a year or two, you can be making a grand a week or more. Five to 10 times more.

Wright started at low-stakes Texas Hold'em with table limits of just 25 and 50 cents. The beauty of playing online is that he could work eight tables at once. It wasn't the best of money. Pokerstars.com was taking its own cut from the pots, generally capped at $2 to $3 per pot. But as a volume player, he also received rewards points redeemable for things such as Amazon gift certificates, which he used to buy food in bulk.

"I was grinding my face off," Wright recalls.

(Excerpt) Read more at villagevoice.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: april15; ban; blackfriday; feds; gambling; nannystate; onlinegambling; onlinepoker

1 posted on 02/29/2012 12:56:50 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: Eric Blair 2084; SheLion; Gabz; Hank Kerchief; 383rr; libertarian27; traviskicks; bamahead; CSM; ...

Pseudo-religious, pseudo-moralist, crony-corporate Nanny State PING!


2 posted on 02/29/2012 12:59:53 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Occupy DC General Assembly: We are Marxist tools. WE ARE MARXIST TOOLS!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Breathtaking to think how many people’s lives and families have been ruined by gambling.

The lucky ones are the ones who lose early on and aren’t attracted to devoting lots of their time and hopes on it.


3 posted on 02/29/2012 1:14:13 PM PST by Mount Athos (A Giant luxury mega-mansion for Gore, a Government Green EcoShack made of poo for you)
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To: Mount Athos

It’s not the government’s business though. Either we believe in smaller government or we don’t. Otherwise what you really want is “pick & choose” freedom...as long as it’s something you agree with it’s okay. The problem with that is we don’t always get to be the ones choosing. People have to rise & fall on their own. Gambling has destroyed a lot of lives but when you consider the millions of people who gamble and don’t get in trouble, well it becomes just like anything else. Punishing everyone to “save” the few is absurd. Of course, they could always play the lottery or other government sponsored games.

Cindie


4 posted on 02/29/2012 1:23:36 PM PST by gardencatz (I'm lucky enough to live, walk & breathe among heroes! I am the mother of a US Marine!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

The dirty secret of online poker - the successful are all cheating the dupes who try to play. It is way too easy to either keep in voice chat communication with your friends at the table to cheat any patsy that joins or simply fill the table with alternate accounts all run by one person leaving one empty seat for a patsy.


5 posted on 02/29/2012 1:26:08 PM PST by Teflonic
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To: gardencatz
Either we believe in smaller government or we don’t.

We don't. Just ask the DEA.

Otherwise what you really want is “pick & choose” freedom...as long as it’s something you agree with it’s okay. The problem with that is we don’t always get to be the ones choosing.

Yep. It's like the old joke: we've already established what we are, now we're just working out the details.

6 posted on 02/29/2012 1:47:33 PM PST by Wolfie
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Well, reading the village voice article, everyone wins at online gambling. Let’s send all our unemployed there to become millionaires.


7 posted on 02/29/2012 1:49:34 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: gardencatz

>It’s not the government’s business though. Either we believe in smaller government or we don’t.

None of my response related to government intervention — only to the large scale wreckage gambling has caused to families and individuals.

As an advocate of smaller government let’s set aside the discussion of government intervention and laws for a moment and look at right and wrong outside the scope of the law.

>People have to rise & fall on their own.

This is an altogether wrong and immoral attitude in my opinion. If you see someone running back and forth across a freeway, you’d feel responsible to say something wouldn’t you? Hey, that’s very dangerous, bad choice.

Likewise if you saw a friend who is the parent of small children, considering taking up heroin, gambling, or similarly highly dangerous, destructive and addictive behavior, wouldn’t you have enough compassion to speak up and warn against it?

Yes, you’re not their mother, but surely said something concise about the dangers and suggest taking up a different hobby. Isn’t that what real friendship is, saying slightly uncomfortable things to help them?

>Gambling has destroyed a lot of lives but when you consider the millions of people who gamble and don’t get in trouble, well it becomes just like anything else.

Wow!!! I COMPLETELY disagree with this statement. People might get away with controlling and hiding it for years, but you never know when the fever will strike and there goes the retirement fund, the savings account, the kids college fund.

Those giant mega hotel palaces in Vegas are built on the wreckage of families who never thought it could happen to THEM.

No that’s not a silly statement, the whole point of why gambling is different is because it is addictive.


8 posted on 02/29/2012 1:50:56 PM PST by Mount Athos (A Giant luxury mega-mansion for Gore, a Government Green EcoShack made of poo for you)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

When Americans have to go to Costa Rica to find freedom, something is definitely wrong.


9 posted on 02/29/2012 1:54:07 PM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Mount Athos

Does anyone truly believe that the government’s interest here is in protecting the public rather than extracting a piece of the action?


10 posted on 02/29/2012 2:06:12 PM PST by Dr.Deth
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To: Mount Athos
Wow!!! I COMPLETELY disagree with this statement. People might get away with controlling and hiding it for years, but you never know when the fever will strike and there goes the retirement fund, the savings account, the kids college fund. Those giant mega hotel palaces in Vegas are built on the wreckage of families who never thought it could happen to THEM. No that’s not a silly statement, the whole point of why gambling is different is because it is addictive.

Because if it wasn't "addictive", it be the person with the problems fault, right? Most people aren't ever going to gamble too much, or drink to excess, or smoke more than a couple joints every once in a while. To build a whole nanny state to keep safe the minority who are just wired wrong is backwards, if you ask me. Help the ones with problems, and leave the rest of us alone.

11 posted on 02/29/2012 2:08:52 PM PST by cryptical (The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.)
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To: Mount Athos

So you’d be in favor of making all gambling illegal, and shutting down all casinos? Just checking...


12 posted on 02/29/2012 2:19:12 PM PST by blowfish
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To: blowfish

You must have really severe reading comprehension problems


13 posted on 02/29/2012 2:20:42 PM PST by Mount Athos (A Giant luxury mega-mansion for Gore, a Government Green EcoShack made of poo for you)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

bfl


14 posted on 02/29/2012 2:44:13 PM PST by Oshkalaboomboom
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To: Mount Athos

Bottom line is you need to know when enough is enough. I play in local games and sometimes home games with friends. If I bring a couple hundred in cash and expect to lose it, so be it. I don’t run out to the atm and get more....I can deal with the winning and losing as a fun, competitive adventure and nothing more. My wife loves that I play...it’s a way to let off some steam and be with the boys.
My day job takes care of my family.
Unless I hit a huge tournament for 8 million I’m still showing up to my day job. I love hold em and the other games that go along with it...I just know when to stop.


15 posted on 02/29/2012 3:21:37 PM PST by oust the louse (The presstitutes think after a few primaries it's over ...Santorum says: GAME ON)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Yea, it’s all fame an glory. Nobody writes stories about the losers, the ruined live’s, the suicides, the life of crime.

For every online winning player there’s 3 cheats making 2 x more with 1/2 the effort, and for every winning player including the cheats, there are 98 losers of varying degrees.

Everybody I’ve ever met claims to win online, but all the players I know who actually do win in B&M (including me), say it’s impossible to play online without getting cheated or scammed or having your money confiscated.

I loved it after black friday (they day they were shut down). It was like shooting ducks in a barrel at the live cash games. All those players who thought stats like VP$IP, CB, AGR and W$SD simply ruled the game found out otherwise. It was almost embarrassing watching most of them degenerate.


16 posted on 02/29/2012 3:29:37 PM PST by Usagi_yo
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To: oust the louse
Both my mother and father loved poker...Saturday night was poker night at our home...mom, dad, brother sister and sometimes someone would bring a friend. I got to sit and watch until about 8 then they let me play.

strict house rules....2 cent limit, nickle on the last card and 3 bumps only....table stakes...no leaving the table to dig into your penny bank.

If you lost your money early you were out. You learn to poker face and no one lost a lot of money. as I said penny ante...dad didn't have to go out to play poker with the boys.

.and my mother said when she sat at the table she had no friends...cut throat woman to play with.

a good bluff can beat a fairly good hand....everything you need to know in life is found at the table.

you don't borrow or loan money, if you lose your out and its how you play the hand your dealt that determines weather you win or lose.

No crying if you play your hand bad and dad was a big believer in luck...we had about 5 decks of cards and if he wasn't having any luck, he'd use a different deck of cards.

At cribbage he'd get mad if the cards were running bad for him and he'd quit, but never at poker.

You don't quit unless your out of money. Dad determined the time to stop, before we started....my brother had a lot of boyfriends that lasted about 15 minutes at the table before they were out of money....lots of family fun...

Pinochle was another family game, partners.

Dad and I against mom and my husband...keep the table relatively free of arguments....I still remember a once in a lifetime game, I had a beautiful playing hand, no meld.

Was depending on dad to give me at least a marriage, I had 2 losers. Bid 26, he had a marriage and yelled at me what the heck was I doing bidding with no melt. He picked up my 2 losers and we ran the table....Never happened again...was thrilled to play that hand and dad shut up when we took all 25 points...

17 posted on 02/29/2012 5:45:58 PM PST by goat granny
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To: Mount Athos
"Those giant mega hotel palaces in Vegas are built on the wreckage of families who never thought it could happen to THEM."

Just ask Adelson...

18 posted on 02/29/2012 6:40:25 PM PST by StAnDeliver (Or ask Mittens whose deal it is...)
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To: Mount Athos
Those giant mega hotel palaces in Vegas are built on the wreckage of families who never thought it could happen to THEM.

Unless you can cite supporting statistical data, I'll contend that you are woefully misguided on the matter.

I'd wager (i.e., gamble) that the casinos in Vegas (or Atlantic City) make 98% of their profits off of people who are not habitual gamblers. Just like brewers and distillers make 98% of their profits off of people who are not alcoholics.

Purveyors of legal products should not be held responsible for the small fraction of people who misuse and abuse the product. Would you hold automobile companies responsible for reckless drivers?

19 posted on 02/29/2012 6:56:56 PM PST by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance On Parade)
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To: Mount Athos
Breathtaking to think how many people’s lives and families have been ruined by gambling.

What is breathtaking is that the federal government has ruined a lot of lives and families by banning on-line poker.

This guy could have continued to do it from his own house, but instead was forced offshore - physically, financially and mentally.

Great idea.

20 posted on 02/29/2012 7:31:07 PM PST by elkfersupper ( Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Thanks for the ping!


21 posted on 02/29/2012 8:06:26 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: okie01

>Unless you can cite supporting statistical data, I’ll contend that you are woefully misguided on the matter.

>I’d wager (i.e., gamble) that the casinos in Vegas (or Atlantic City) make 98% of their profits off of people who are not habitual gamblers. Just like brewers and distillers make 98% of their profits off of people who are not alcoholics.

Looks like you lost the bet.
The first study I found said this:

The proportion of gambling revenue derived from problem gamblers is an important issue when considering the appropriateness of government-sponsored gambling. Figures obtained from prior research are tentative due to methodological problems and the mismatch between reported expenditures and actual gambling revenue. Using improved methods for assessing the prevalence of problem gambling and the accuracy of self-reported gambling expenditures, the present study estimates that the 4.8 percent of problem gamblers in Ontario in 2003 accounted for approximately 36 percent of Ontario gambling revenue. This proportion varied as a function of game type, with a lower proportion for lotteries, instant win tickets, bingo, and raffles, and a higher proportion for horse racing and slot machines.

(You guessed 2% of revenue from problem gamblers, this study estimates 36% )

>Purveyors of legal products should not be held responsible for the small fraction of people who misuse and abuse the product. Would you hold automobile companies responsible for reckless drivers?

I don’t know how I could have been more clear that I wasn’t advocating government involvement.


22 posted on 02/29/2012 8:29:04 PM PST by Mount Athos (A Giant luxury mega-mansion for Gore, a Government Green EcoShack made of poo for you)
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To: Mount Athos
the present study estimates that the 4.8 percent of problem gamblers in Ontario in 2003 accounted for approximately 36 percent of Ontario gambling revenue.

There is something about the cited report which makes me highly skeptical. Could it be that "4.8% of problem gamblers accounted for 36% of gambling revenue". What percentage of revenue did all "problem gamblers" account for? What about "non-problem gamblers"? Do they even exist.

Did this report classify all gamblers as "problem gamblers"? Was it a self-serving study conducted by an anti-gambling organization?

Sounds like it to me.

23 posted on 03/01/2012 2:13:03 PM PST by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance On Parade)
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To: Mount Athos
the present study estimates that the 4.8 percent of problem gamblers in Ontario in 2003 accounted for approximately 36 percent of Ontario gambling revenue.

There is something about the cited report which makes me highly skeptical. Could it be that "4.8% of problem gamblers accounted for 36% of gambling revenue". What percentage of revenue did all "problem gamblers" account for? What about "non-problem gamblers"? Do they even exist.

Did this report classify all gamblers as "problem gamblers"? Was it a self-serving study conducted by an anti-gambling organization?

Sounds like it to me.

24 posted on 03/01/2012 2:13:22 PM PST by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance On Parade)
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To: Mount Athos
the present study estimates that the 4.8 percent of problem gamblers in Ontario in 2003 accounted for approximately 36 percent of Ontario gambling revenue.

There is something about the cited report which makes me highly skeptical. Could it be that "4.8% of problem gamblers accounted for 36% of gambling revenue". What percentage of revenue did all "problem gamblers" account for? What about "non-problem gamblers"? Do they even exist?

Did this report classify all gamblers as "problem gamblers"? Was it a self-serving study conducted by an anti-gambling organization?

Sounds like it to me.

25 posted on 03/01/2012 2:13:43 PM PST by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance On Parade)
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