One of the most significant changes that poker has experienced in the past 15 years is the growth of the celebrity culture that surrounds its most successful players. Poker used to be a solitary activity and, like most forms of gambling, it was sometimes frowned upon as it was misunderstood as a practice that always lead to vice (of course it can be risky to play too much or for the wrong reasons, but safe gambling fun is great!). However, the past two decades have lead to the cultural normalization of poker as an acceptable and fun form of entertainment.
Poker is reported in sports channels like ESPN and, like any sport, it has its own catalog of celebrities, rags-to-riches stories, come-from-behind victories, paraphernalia and legendary rivalries. Social media platforms have recently been used by both gamblers and companies as promotional tools. Through sites like Facebook and Twitter we get to know celebrity poker players more intimately.
When in comes to poker, one of the most interesting social media sites is Instagram. This website (which was bought by Facebook for $1 billion a couple of years ago) allows users to construct a visual diary of their everyday. Elite poker players are constantly on the road participating in high-stakes tournaments, in promotional tours or just enjoying la dolce vita that their occupation can bring them. These moments are captured through their smartphones and uploaded to Instagram so poker enthusiasts can maybe aspire to be like them.
Here’s some cool Instagram accounts that you might want to follow as a poker fan:
January 27, 2015
Whether you like placing bets for fun or do so professionally, everyone’s got a little gamble in them. Gambling itself is rich with a full lexicon of words that it pays to understand before you start making your wagers. Here, then, is a rundown of 21 of the more common terms used in all forms of gambling. Why 21? No particular reason other than that being the minimum age to gamble in Las Vegas—and we all know there’s nothing like gambling in Vegas!
January 12, 2015
Sports betting offers some of the biggest payouts you can make in a casino. Sports wagering is also one of the parts of a casino where the bettor can make money. The casino always has a small house advantage but with enough research and smart betting strategy, it’s possible for sports bettors to turn a profit. Today about 1% of all sports bettors are professionals. That’s a greater percentage than you’ll find for other casino game. Before getting down like a professional sports bettor, it’s important to know some basics.
January 6, 2015
Great poker players are not born with winning poker skills and probably don’t have a burning desire to play ‘No Limit Hold ’em’ by the age of five. In fact, many of the top poker players in the world had chosen very different paths for their lives when they developed an interest in poker.
Here are three of those players.
December 17, 2014
Gambling is pretty much all drama and suspense, so it’s obvious that films about poker, blackjack and casino life in general would capture the high-intensity and unpredictability of games of chance. This year will see the release of The Gambler, an adaptation of the classic 1974 movie starring James Caan. The trailer looks amazing with the promise of gambling action.
December 2, 2014
Many poker terms have infiltrated the English lexicon over the years. It’s not uncommon, for instance, to hear people talking about having to “go all in” on an idea or “raise the stakes” in real-life situations. More mathematically-minded professional poker players even talk about whether non-poker decisions they’ve made were “+EV” (expected value) or not. When you think about it, a lot of poker skills can be applied to your life away from the felt. Here are a couple of examples.
November 18, 2014
To become a master chess player (think Garry Kasparov or Bobby Fischer) you must have a certain set of skills that includes cautious recklessness, the ability to react in the face of adversity and strategic thinking and planning. Sure, there are some skills chess players possess that can be applied to poker strategies, but the two games are quite different in that chess is defined by skill while poker is just as much chance as it is skill (that’s what makes it exciting, after all). Chess involves playing on what you can see and poker is mostly about what you can’t see. However, there are some similarities between the two crafts and also a few lessons poker players can learn from chess masters.
November 13, 2014
When we gamble, the goddess of Fortuna decides our fate. It seems like a pretty good deal: you pay to feel the excitement of letting chance define your fate and possibly make a winning. Well, for some individuals this deal wasn’t good enough and they decided to cheat. Now…cheating a casino is quite the feat, and these guys used tech savviness and imagination to trick the entire operation into paying out the big bucks.
The history of modern gambling is populated with fascinating stories of individuals who tried to counter the old adage “the house always wins” by duping the casino. The epic stories of these master gambling scams strategies are practically cinematic, with a few of them even landing on the big screen like, say, “Ocean’s 11” or “21.”
There are two main cheat categories (depending on the type of gambling): digital and mechanical. Although the most infamous of the lot have been mechanical, as it is easier to manipulate objects than it is to manipulate complex algorithms.
October 21, 2014
Sitting down to gamble is a fun, sometimes even thrilling, hobby. So when you can do it from the comfort of your home, many online gambling enthusiasts agree that it makes the pastime twice as enjoyable.
The first online casino available for use in the U.S. was introduced in 1995. Since then, online gambling has exploded, not only in the U.S., but on a global scale. Although due to the United States’ regulations regarding online gambling, it is an immensely popular industry and is expected to grow to a whopping $2.5 billion by the year 2015.
So, which regions are contributing the most to that pot? Here are the top ten gambling nations in the world as of January 2014.
September 16, 2014
The six of spades on the river gave you a full house that won the $50,000 first place payout in an online poker tournament. That $10,000 bet you placed on one hand of blackjack ended up being split four times, with two of the hands being doubled down. The dealer busts and there you sit with $60,000 on your account. Now the question becomes how much of your new-found fortune is actually yours?
The way your winnings are handled is determined by you…and the gaming laws of your jurisdiction.