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Revised Mass. Gambling Bill Won't Criminalize Online Poker 104

travdaddy writes "As reported on Slashdot only about a week ago, a passage of a gambling bill in Massachusetts would have criminalized online poker. That passage has been stricken due to the help of a grass-roots organization called the Poker Players Alliance. It 'quickly got the message to all of its Massachusetts members — around 25,000 people — and over 1,000,000 nationwide to make their voices heard; apparently lawmakers were listening since the language making online poker illegal — and online gaming in general — was taken out of the legislation.' Another Massachusetts bill may even 'take [poker] completely out of the gambling genre' and make it legislated as a game of skill."
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Revised Mass. Gambling Bill Won't Criminalize Online Poker

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  • Re:Oh teh noes. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @07:15PM (#31865376)
    Thats heads-up live action, and its true that some poker has low variance.

    The GP was correct that the old guard of pro tournament players do not like the new situation, and it isnt because they dont have an edge against the young hyper-aggressive crowd.

    Its because the hyper aggressive players increase the variance of everyone at the table, including the loose passive players, which is pecisely counter to what benefits the top half of the table (including the *good* hyper-aggressives) the most.

    So the old pros still have an edge, but the edge they pick up on Mr. Raise-A-Lot does not cover the edge that they lose on Mr. Call-A-Lot.

    Ask any pro-poker player what type of cash money table they like to sit at, and the answer is Loose-Passive. When the game gets overly aggressive, the pros pick up and find a new game to play in thats less dramatic.
  • by bmk67 ( 971394 ) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @07:45PM (#31865728)

    The nature of poker is that it's impossible to create a system that can always win, at least practically. Ultimately it relies on gut feelings, or just whims. This makes me wonder what really goes through the mind of a poker player who's pondering the next move.

    Of course it's impossible to create a system that will always win. That would be stupid - the bad players have to be able to win occasionally, or else they won't come back.

    I can't tell you want goes through anyone else's mind, but I can tell you some of the things I consider when I'm deciding what my next action will be.

    What is my opponent likely to have? (Skill: Logic, memory, and observation of prior action)

    How does my hand stand up against the weighted range of hands he is likely to have? (Skill: mathematics)

    If I deduce that I'm likely behind in the hand, how likely is my opponent to fold if I bet or raise? (Skill: observation and memory)

    If I'm behind, am I getting good odds to call? (Skill: mathematics)

    If I deduce that I'm likely ahead in the hand, how likely is my opponent to call if I bet or raise? (Skill: observation and memory)

    If I'm ahead, how much to I need to bet to protect my hand from draws? (Skill: mathematics)

    Is my opponent exhibiting any behavior or physiological signs? (Skill: observation and understanding what the various tells are likely to mean)

    Those are just a few of the factors that I consider. Only a few of them have anything to do with what I'm holding. All of them are intended to lead me to lose the minimum when I lose a hand, and win the maximum when I win.

    It doesn't always work out in a particular hand, of course - but if I make better decisions than my opponent, over the long run, I'll win, and he'll lose. Poker is a game of imperfect information, and therefore cannot guarantee results in a particular hand. It is nonetheless a skill game.

    Most of the time they are not playing a game of skill, but a game of deception, that's why they say things like "You don't play the cards, you play the players".

    Deception is skill. Understanding psychology is skill. You're operating under a common misconception. Poker is not a card game. Poker is a psychological game that happens to be played with cards.

  • by craigmarq ( 1791204 ) on Friday April 16, 2010 @01:20AM (#31868108)
    Poker is a game of incomplete information. You use the information that you do have to draw conclusions and then you make bets based on those conclusions. Good poker players tend to think about poker hands in terms of hand ranges. A hand range is every poker hand that an opponent will take a certain action with. Ideally you'd like to narrow your opponents range down to a single hand because you can then play perfectly against him (it would be very easy to play perfectly against someone who showed you their cards). Unfortunately thats not possible very often as there are 169 non-equivalent poker hands and our opponent is going to play many of them similarly. Each different piece of information that we get from our opponent however allows us to narrow his range and make a better decision. For example if I'm playing in a 9 handed game and someone raises from UTG(stand for under the gun or the first player to act) he is acting with the least amount of information. Therefore he has to player a tighter(better) range of hands. He is more likely to have a premium holding because he made a bet with very little information. If someone were to raise from the button (the last player to act on every street) his range of hands is considerably wider because he has more information with which to make his decisions and can therefore play more hands profitably. Thats a very basic description of hand analysis, but some other information we take into account is our opponents past tendancies, their position, what they perceive our range to be based on the actions that we've taken, and obviously what cards we have and what cards end up coming out of the deck on the flop turn and river.

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva