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Poker’s Friendlier Cousin – Daily Fantasy Sports!

If you’re at all into poker and haven’t been hiding under a rock the last year or so you’ve probably heard a little about DFS, daily fantasy sports.  A lot of the best poker players, particularly American poker players, have moved to daily fantasy sports now that the major online poker sites have moved out of the US.  I’ve moved along with players and have significantly dropped the amount of online and underground poker I’m playing and have moved to greener pastures.  I’ll write more about it over time, but in the meantime come play along with me at Draft Kings. Right now they’re holding a free $100k DFS tournament here.

NJ Gaming Forum

I’ve been writing a lot about New Jersey’s online gambling launch recently.  I know this isn’t strictly related to my usual topic of playing in underground poker games around New York City, but I think it’s really important to stress how incredible this launch is for people like me.  I’ve been grinding it out in Manhattan’s poker games for a bunch of years now and I always supplemented my live poker income with online.  When the games stopped running in 2012 I lost a pretty good part of my income.  With the launch of poker and other casino games in New Jersey I am excited to start earning that income back.

I got an email earlier today about a new forum that was launching to help support just New Jersey online gambling / NJ online poker players and checked it out.  It’s obviously VERY early, but I’m excited to see folks supporting this industry.  So, if you have a chance, head over to NJGamingForum.com (I’ve also linked it in the header) and participate / give your thoughts.  I know there are other broader forums out there, but if we can create our own little community here in the tri-state area I think we can really build a great network.

UPDATE – Seems they’ve been having some spam issues and have shut down for a bit to clean up.  Hopefully they’re back online soon!

 

Congratulations to the Winner of the Allan Houston Foundation Charity Poker Tournament!

A huge congratulations to our winner of the Allan Houston Foundation Charity Poker Tournament drawing!  The winner has been notified and will be at the tournament tomorrow!  Good luck!

If you didn’t win you can always buy a ticket at the tournament’s website and support this great foundation!

2nd Annual Allan Houston Legacy Foundation Charity Poker Tournament FREE TICKET DRAWING

Every once in a while an event comes along that looks like something my loyal readers might get excited about.  The Allan Houston Legacy Foundation Charity Tournament is such an event.  The foundation’s mission is “To facilitate individual and collective growth through initiatives that – 1) Restore a strong family unit, 2) Provide economic empowerment through entrepreneurship, 3) Encourage education and life skill development, and 4) Enhance spiritual growth” and is supported through the good works of Allan Houston, Assistant General Manager of the New York Knicks!

If you are in NYC and looking for a great event to support check the tournament out at AHLFPoker.com on Tuesday December 3rd, with guests like Jamie Gold and Andy Frankenberger!  Prizes include a WSOP main event ticket, court side tickets to the Knicks and more!

Now, the entry price starts at a $1,000 donation and I absolutely encourage you to support this great event and charity.  That said, we have partnered with the tournament to get our hands on ONE FREE TICKET FOR A LUCKY READER!  Here’s how you can win:

1.  Visit: http://manhattanpokerrooms.com/email-list-signup and sign up for my email list (Note: signing up for the email list on the right side of the page will not enter you into this drawing).  I will give you an ADDITIONAL entry for each friend that signs up and puts you as their referral, so forward this to a friend! (Note: You must include an NYC or NJ zip code to be eligible.)

2.  Confirm your email address.

3.  On Sunday December 1st I will draw one lucky winner to go to the event!

4.  I will put you in touch with AHLFPoker’s PR person who will set you up with everything you need to know about your entry and getting in.

SUPER excited to be able to support this great event and my loyal readers.  Check out the flyer below.

 

A Review of Parx Casino

For any serious poker player in the NYC area a new legal poker room gets you pretty excited.  That’s definitely how people felt when the Parx Casino finally opened their room a number of years ago.  It’s probably sacrilegious to say this, but I just never made it out there until recently.  It’s not that I didn’t like the idea of free money or of a close drive from New York, but I was in a rut.  I had a lot of good games I was playing in the city and the occasional reasonable game down in Atlantic City.  Why would I change it up?

Well, I’ll tell you why… First of all, Parx Casino is less than 90 minutes from Manhattan.  That’s totally insane.  And hour and thirty minutes from leaving home I can be seated at a table in Bensalem, PA stacking those chips.  Second, the games are like the good ole days.  Random rich guys sitting down without a clue of what to do.  Walking around the room you’ll see guys sitting at a 1-2NL table with $2,000 in front of them because they’ve just spent the entire night playing with a wealthy guy who somehow got lost on his way back from the ATM.  Finally, the room is just pleasant.  The floor staff is great, the food is great (and served at your table… ahem Borgata…) and the poker tournaments are actually run incredibly well.  So, if you’re ever in the area, definitely head on out to Bensalem and try out Parx.

How to get Into an Underground Poker Room

This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a long time.  Almost every week I get an email asking how to get into an underground poker game in Manhattan.  As a rule I never give out the names or locations of the games I’m playing in, but I can give some hints and tips for how to find the right game for you.  Because of the crackdowns by the NYPD since 2006 you almost always have to know someone, and if you don’t know them yet they will likely want to get to know you a little to make sure they can trust you.

First of all, ask your friends.  You may have no idea that one friend or another has played in an underground poker game at some point and has a contact number for a dealer.  And if one of your friends hasn’t played, maybe one of their friends has!

If your friends don’t know where there is a good game, the next step is to do what you are doing now and look around online a little.  As I said, I can’t give out information on games, but there are other resources out there.  Places like twoplustwo.com and others are a great place to meet poker friends.  They might not be willing to take you to a game right away, but that doesn’t mean they won’t eventually!

Ask around in casinos.  I know this might sound counter-intuitive, but a lot of the people you play with at the Borgata, Foxwoods, Parx Casino or Mohegan Sun also play in Manhattan’s underground games.  Be social and get to know your table-mates and maybe you’ll find out about a great local game.

Once you’re in though, be warned, you are in!  This means that you will likely start getting texts at all hours of the night and day telling you about the next game and pushing you to come.  Be ready for it!

Online Poker Coming to New Jersey

Big news!  Online poker will be legal in the state of New Jersey starting November 21st!  They’ll start with play money gaming to test out the sites and then move on to real money poker 5 days later.  I can’t being to describe how HUGE this is for poker players in the New York City area!

If you’re interested in more frequent updates on the state of poker in the NYC area (including New Jersey), I have started an email list that will keep you up to date, just enter your email over in the right sidebar to be kept in the loop on all the best action!

Well, I guess I’m moving to NJ to play online poker…

As regular readers of this blog know, playing poker in the underground NYC poker games has become more and more challenging over the years.  Some of the games have gotten harder, and more and more it seems like we have to watch out for police and robbers…. UGH.  Who needs that crap.

So, yesterday Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey signed a bill making New Jersey the third state in the US to legalize online gambling (and particularly to make online poker in New Jersey legal).  This is HUGE news for those of us poker players living in the NY and NJ area.  As the states start to make online poker a legal and regulated industry, we can come out from the shadows and start playing online poker for our livings!

It looks like the bill won’t take effect for another 3-9 months, but you can count on me moving, or at least getting an office and commuting (LOL) to play online poker in NJ every day!

You can read a little more about the bill from the NYTimes. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/27/nyregion/nj-legalizes-internet-betting-tied-to-its-casinos.html?src=rechp

Getting Robbed Playing Underground Poker in New Jersey

After all these posts about online poker it’s about time I wrote about actually playing poker again… or maybe not quite playing, but why I had to stop playing last week…

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that I mostly play in underground games around NYC, but every once in a while I hear about a juicy game outside the city that just seems oh so worthwhile.  That was the case last week… I’d been hearing about this poker game in Jersey City, NJ (just across the river from Manhattan) at a little mini underground New Jersey casino.  Just a few poker tables, a couple craps tables and a roulette wheel.  Like I said, mini.

So, I’d been hearing about this game for a while.  It’s not a huge game, just 2-5 no limit, but it plays MUCH bigger.  In your normal 2-5NL game in a casino most guys have about $250-$1,000 on the table.  In this game everyone starts with about $500, but the reloads come fast and furious.  I made sure to get there nice and early to start the game, but within an hour EVERYONE had over $2,500 on the table… DAMN.

I’d had to reload once after getting coolered, but then ran my stack up to $3,200.  Just another day in paradise!  Except…

“EVERYBODY DOWN! GET THE FUCK DOWN!”

Oh crap… I’d been busted by the NYPD vice squad before, but this didn’t sound like the New Jersey police coming after us…

“I SAID GET THE FUCK DOWN!”

Damn.  Hit the floor.  I’ll be totally honest when I say I didn’t even look up.  From what I could tell there were three of them.  And I saw a big ass gun, but they were in and out so fast I barely knew what was happening (except that I couldn’t stop shaking for about 24hrs…).  All in all the guys who robbed our game got away with about $50,000.  Not bad for 5 minutes “work”.  Ugh.  I just don’t want to be there when the game’s owner finds the robbers..

Needless to say, our game was done at that point.  Luckily they left me my metrocards, so I waited about 10 minutes then wandered out into the ice and cold, took the PATH train back to NYC and vowed never to play underground in New Jersey ever again…

New Jersey Online Poker Follow-Up

This is just a follow-up post to let you all know that yesterday NJ Governor Chris Christie made it ALMOST LEGAL for online poker companies to operate in NJ!  Christie conditionally vetoed the online poker bill presented to him, but really all that means is that he wanted a few minor changed (more tax on the operators of online gambling sites, money for excessive gambling prevention, etc).  The NJ online poker bill should make its way through law makers quickly and be back on Christie’s desk asap.

We’ll all cross our fingers and wait for New Jersey to legalize online poker in the near future!