Online poker is the game of poker played over the Internet. It has been partly responsible for a dramatic increase in the number of poker players worldwide. In 2005, revenues from online poker were estimated at US$ 200 million monthly.Traditional (or “brick and mortar”, B&M, live) venues for playing poker, such as casinos and poker rooms, may be intimidating for novice players and are often located in geographically disparate locations. Also, brick and mortar casinos are reluctant to promote poker because it is difficult for them to profit from it. Though the rake, or time charge, of traditional casinos is often high, the opportunity costs of running a poker room are even higher. Brick and mortar casinos often make much more money by removing poker rooms and adding more slot machines.Online venues, by contrast, are dramatically cheaper because they have much smaller overhead costs. For example, adding another table does not take up valuable space like it would for a brick and mortar casino. Online poker rooms also allow the players to play for low stakes (as low as 1¢) and often offer poker freeroll tournaments (where there is no entry fee), attracting beginners.Online venues may be more vulnerable to certain types of fraud, especially collusion between players. However, they have collusion detection abilities that do not exist in brick and mortar casinos. For example, online poker room security employees can look at the hand history of the cards previously played by any player on the site, making patterns of behavior easier to detect than in a casino where colluding players can simply fold their hands without anyone ever knowing the strength of their holding. Online poker rooms also check players’ IP addresses in order to prevent players at the same household or at known open proxy servers from playing on the same tables.Free poker online was played as early as the late 1990s in the form of IRC poker. Shortly thereafter Planet Poker was the first online cardroom to offer real money games. Author Mike Caro was one of the founders and the “face” of Planet Poker.The major online poker sites offer varying features to entice new players. One common feature is to offer tournaments called satellites by which the winners gain entry to real-life poker tournaments. It was through one such tournament on PokerStars that Chris Moneymaker won his entry to the 2003 World Series of Poker. He went on to win the main event causing shock in the poker world. The 2004 World Series featured three times as many players than in 2003. At least four players in the WSOP final table won their entry through an online cardroom. Like Moneymaker, 2004 winner Greg “Fossilman” Raymer also won his entry at the PokerStars online cardroom.In October 2004, Sportingbet Plc, at the time the world’s largest publicly traded online gaming company (SBT.L), announced the acquisition of ParadisePoker.com, one of the online poker industry’s first and largest cardrooms. The $340 million dollar acquisition marked the first time an online cardroom was owned by a public company. Since then, several other cardroom parent companies have gone public.In June 2005, PartyGaming, the parent company of the then largest online cardroom, PartyPoker, went public on the London Stock Exchange, achieving an initial public offering market value in excess of $8 billion dollars. At the time of the IPO, ninety-two percent of Party Gaming’s income came from poker operations.To play online poker you have to download software and install it on your computer. It’s graphics is normally very good, though those running on java-based programs are never that good. It’s also advisable to set a budget when planning to play on-line poker; this will help you avoid unnecessary expenses. Try to learn money management; this is a good way of developing your skills as a on-line poker player.Finally remember that to play poker on-line you have to be smart. Let your common sense prevail. You ought to think with mind and not your cash. Just take it easy and have fun.
The topic of the USA struggle against on-line gambling industry disturbs the gambling community. There is the old Wire Act (1961) in force in the USA which prohibits to stake with the help of the phone, telegraph and other wire communication facilities outside the bounds of one’s own state. Gamblers consider that this ban does not apply to the Internet, whereas the official establishment has another opinion. American DOJ has forbidden advertising of casinos in search systems and on television, bank deposits in online casinos (not even forbade, rather than recommended very insistently, but it was a proposal which was not to be refused from). At the same time Antigua through the court of WTO reached a decision according to which the USA either has to forbid its citizens to play in any on-line casinos by law or push aside all obstacles with regard to gambling. Several years ago a try to adopt a prohibitive law failed in the parliament of the USA still at the level of the House of Representatives.At the beginning of 2006 there was no considerable progress on the front of struggle with on-line gambling in the USA, but in the course of the current year there are a number of serious causes to talk about stronger measures against on-line casinos. It all began with a new bill on prohibition of gambling games in the Internet. The same senators Kyl, Leach and Goodlatte who joined them proposed another draft (known now as HR4777) on prohibition for the citizens of the USA of on-line gambling games (all the types of gambling, including stakes on sport, casinos, poker, except for horse racing stakes and fantasy sport). In accordance with this law banks are to fully block any opportunity for gamblers to make deposits in casinos, and gamblers themselves are under threat of a large fine or a sentence up to 10 years in prison. Despite the fact that numerous polls show that the majority of the population in the USA does not support the given law, it was adopted by the House of Representatives of the USA Congress by the majority of 3/4 of votes. It was planned that it would be considered by the Senate, after which it would be passed for signature of George Bush who, as it is known, does not feel any sympathy towards games of chance. Fortunately, there appeared some difficulties with the bill in the Senate; hearings were transferred to the autumn session. There appeared the information that the bill may not pass the Senate from the first, in this case there will be created a conciliation commission of the two Houses of the Congress that will at the minimum delay adoption of the law for a considerable term.Successful passing of the bill in the lower House of the Congress was, evidently, promoted by a scandal around a quite famous lobbyist Jack Abramoff. He was accused of non-payment of taxes and fraud with the money of real casinos. It was his active position that in many aspects contributed to failure of the previous anti-on-line bill, but at the same time after the scandal a lot of legislators are trying to distance themselves from it supporting a new bill.Struggle against gambling in the USA is carried out not only on the level of the country on the whole, as well as in individual states. The first signs appeared in the state of Washington (not to confuse with the capital of the USA, the city of Washington which was the first to pass its own anti-on-line legislation as an extension of Wire Act. From now on gambling through the Internet or other communication facilities (mobile phones, palms are meant here and etc) threaten the inhabitants of the state of Washington with a fine up to 10 000 dollars and (or) prison for a term up to five years. Also, any sites informing of on-line games are banned. The Law took effect on the 7th of June, 2006, though, there have been no cases of its application for two months.One more blow was delivered by the USA DOJ. On the 20th of July David Carruthers was arrested, Chief Executive of one of the biggest on-line gambling companies BetonSports, at that it happened in the airport of Dallas where David was taken from the transit flight from England to Costa-Rica. He was presented a number of accusations, including racket and non-payment of taxes, he was refused to be let out on bail. This case also concerns several people, including one of the owners of the company Gary Kaplan. Interestingly, but David himself is a citizen of Great Britain, and the company is registered in Costa-Rica. By the way, the authorities of Costa-Rica have refused to cooperate with Americans with regard to this case, having explained that David and BetonSports have not broken the laws of their country. BetonSports itself ceased work till the 14th of August, and dismissed David Carruthers trying to distance itself from the scandal.On the whole, the situation around BetonSports is rather controversial. However, this arrest has brought down the market of gambling shares which went down in price by 20-40% in the course of one day, though now the shares are repairing an omission. Apart from that, a large marketing conference was canceled in Las Vegas which had been planned by another big online bookmaker BoDog. All in all, it is not recommended for a manager of gambling sites to come to the USA. Just in case. Several gambling sites after the arrest of David refused access for the citizens of the USA. Thus, the accounts of Americans are closed in the poker network B2B, in the casino/bookmaker/poker Coral/Eurobet and Victor Chandler, though, all these are the companies oriented to Europe, and Americans’ share is not high among their clients.A few prognoses at the end. Hopefully, the Senate will not approve the bill in its current form, and it will be sent for a long revision at the minimum. Though, Americans have to hurry up with their final decision, for they are affected by the decision of WTO, and Antigua has already repeatedly applied to the organization with a request to control the USA actions. If the prohibition is not introduced or a decision will be made to permit on-line games in the USA, the gambling community will certainly breathe with relief, but no particular changes will take place. It will be much more interesting if the law is passed for all that. For at present up to 50% of all the money on-line is presented by players from the USA. Certainly, not all the Americans will leave online casinos, but outflow of customers will painfully hit the majority of gambling companies. Surely, the situation will worsen on the market of poker where it is the USA that is the main supplier of “fish”.© Copyright 2006-2007 http://www.Bonus-Map.com