Archive for the ‘Poker’ category

But How Much Do You Loooooooooooose?!

July 30, 2007

This is mostly for the benefit of my mum, who is always worried that I’m going to go broke and starve to death.

This graph is money won/tournaments played. Notice the smooooth linearity. Over 5000 tournaments. Which is enough to be statistically significant, I think.


Note to ATO agents! Not To Scale! Windfall Earnings! Please Ignore!

The G.O.P.’s Bad Bet

October 22, 2006

Charles Murray slams the internet gambling legislation:

Thus society is weakened every time a law is passed that large numbers of reasonable, responsible citizens think is stupid. Such laws invite good citizens to choose knowingly to break the law, confident that they are doing nothing morally wrong.

The reaction to Prohibition, the 20th century’s stupidest law, is the archetypal case. But the radical expansion of government throughout the last century has created many more.

Sky Not Falling

October 12, 2006

Hi. ChrisV here, I’m back on the Yobbo blog team. There have been some developments in the world of online poker since Yobbo’s posts on the subject. Mega-site PokerStars issued a short statement to the effect that they’ve decided it’s just going to be business as usual for them. And Neteller have, in the words of the WSJ, vowed to stay in the US.

All this means that poker should go on more or less as normal for the next 270 days, while regulations are drawn up describing what transactions banks need to disallow. And I’m not sure what Yobbo thinks, but I really don’t think it will be a problem after that, either. Even if Neteller gets somehow shut out of the market, the amount of money at stake for PokerStars is mindblowing and I have no doubt they’ll figure out a way to get around whatever the regulations end up being.

The other thing it means, of course, is that PokerStars is shortly to become market leader in the industry by a gigantic margin. They deserve it. Their software, security, support, game choice and marketing are all first-rate. Meanwhile, while it’s been profitable for me playing at Party, I’m getting some strong schadenfreude from their demise. Their support was nothing short of horrible and they did some scummy things. Think of them as the Telstra of the online poker world.

Black Friday: Nolan Dalla

October 4, 2006

Nolan Dalla’s view of the ramifications of the online gambling bill. Full article here.

As to the impacts on poker and sportsbetting, this new law is going to be DEVASTATING. Especially for poker.

Consider that:

A. If poker sites cannot accept deposits from US players, that will kill 70-80 percent of the overall market. The question becomes — is there enough of a remaining market and enough contributing players in smaller markets to sustain operations and expansion? Perhaps. But it will take years, if not a decade to return to what has been the golden age of poker.

B. Online poker sites and sportsbooks will no longer be able to advertise (.COM-related services) inside the US. Media outlets will simply refuse to accept the ads. This includes print, television, and radio. Consider the implications. Thousands of new players were signing up daily at various sites. All of that vanishes. Sports gambling is less-reliant on advertising. However, the loss of the US market will force unforeseen changes in how these businesses are run, especially those companies that have multiple-gambling related products, such as BoDog, Paradise, etc.

C. Online betting sites will likely not be able to post banner ads and links to gaming sites, especially those based inside the US. “Aiding and abetting” laws could result in arrest and prosecution for those who provide links to US residents. Poker magazines, online betting forums, and even MadJacks could suffer. I remain uncertain as to how severe this impact will be, especially at MadJacks. But for the hundreds of poker sites/sports sties and blogs out there that are dependent upon online poker and sportsbook advertising, many will go out of business. Once again, this might not seem a big issue to everyone, but these are the pioneers who are bringing in new poker players and sports bettors and when they dry up, the market shrinks and everyone is adversely affected.

D. Many sites use what are called affiliates. Persons who are affiliates and live inside the US will now be subject to arrest and prosecution, particularly those who do not block financial transactions from the US.

E. The celebrity poker culture around star poker players will diminish. One poker site is heavily branded to many big names. Now, these players will no longer be able to promote their sites inside the US. Hence, their value and stature diminishes.

F. Big events like the World Series of Poker, which attract meany players and great interest from online poker sites, could decline in size for the first time in history. I am most sensitive to commenting upon this event because I still have a longstanding association with the WSOP. However, anyone who looks at the situation must conclude that the WSOP and major poker tournaments will be hurt by this new law.

G. Online gaming sponsorships of various products and services will decline. For instance, Golden Palace ads in boxing arenas, NBA stadiums, and on halftime shows will diminish, if not end completely. PartyPoker ads that are seen regularly on TV, on all stations, will fade away. Millions in advertising revenue will be lost by media companies (which begs the question (why were they not fighting this legislation?)

This article would be fairly reasonably classified under the “pessimistic” category. ChrisV and others are more optimistic. However, ChrisV and many others have another career to fall back on if they’re wrong. Dalla and I don’t. We can’t afford not to think about the worst case scenario.


October 2, 2006

Online gambling stocks nosedive

PartyGaming and 888 both said they will suspend their US operations once the new law comes into effect. President Bush is expected to sign the legislation within the next two weeks, after which it will be illegal for American banks and credit card companies to process payments to online gaming companies.

Resume Rewritten

October 2, 2006


US Congress approves bill banning US banks from dealing with online gambling businesses. This could be the end.

Steelers Win!

September 8, 2006

Mansion Casino loses 5.5 million on their free bet promotion. Anyone who was in on this ridiculously good deal is now $1000 US dollars richer after the Pittsburgh Steelers accounted for the Miami Dolphins in the NFL approxiamately 1 hour ago.

Congratulations to all you lucksacks who had enough in your tank to place a bet.

Update: Ha-Ha!

Points On Pokies

August 30, 2006

This is not a terribly coherent essay. It’s just a collection of stuff I’ve been commenting on Harry Clarke’s site. I’ve been arguing with Harry over gambling again, and the topic of pokies came up.

Since apparently “WA doesn’t have pokies”, and WA is so great because it doesn’t have pokies!!!!! Here are some facts about gambling in WA.

WSOP Video

August 1, 2006

For those of you who have yet to check out ChrisV’s World Series of Poker blog, here is a link to his panoramic video of the main event poker room. This years WSOP was tipped to have around 10,000 entrants. I’m not sure if they could fit them all in there, but it would have to be close.

Yobbo, ChrisV Banned

June 21, 2004

Worried about the potential for terrorist financing, federal cabinet has examined wide-ranging legislation to ban foreign internet gambling and ordered further work before it makes a final decision, which may be next week.

Government sources said cabinet was looking at options including total prohibition, stiff industry regulations, or leaving policing to the states.

Here are your options regarding total prohibition: Pull out the plug that connects Australia to the internet. That’s it, very simple! That’s the only way you will stop internet gambling. Is it really worth it?

Let me provide a quick explanation of how useless further “industry regulations” will be. The gambling site that I use most days, Empire Poker, is incorporated in that great nation “Kahnawake Mohawk Territory” which, for those of you who need to brush up on your geography, is located on the South shore of the St Lawrence river, across from Montreal.

Internet Gambling is also banned in the US, see. Most companies are therefore based in various financial islands in the carribean, (such as good old Tuvalu, which also gives us the very handy .TV top level internet domain), or on other Indian reservations. Now, regardless of Australia’s status as “deputy sherriff in the Pacific”, I’m pretty sure we are quite incapable of defeating France in a future war over gambling in their former colonies. After all, they have nukes.

Therefore, to prevent Australians accessing internet gambling sites, you have to stop the access from our end. How the Howard government proposes to do this is a mystery to me. Sure, you could block the IPs of every current internet gambling site, which would work quite well until a new one opens in 15 seconds time…

I also like the oh-so-scary threat of terrorist financing used to justify the bans. Funny how it doesn’t stop the government from running the TAB or Casinos located in Australia. In fact, it’s vastly easier to launder money at a bricks-and-mortar casino, because most internet sites place strict limits on the amount of cash that may be transferred through their systems on a daily basis. Around $5000 in most cases. You could launder hundreds of thousands in a real casino before they took any notice whatsoever.

The terrorism angle wasn’t needed last time they banned internet gambling, why bring it up now? Is it because the traditional “gambling is evil” justifications are losing their effect? Unlike the US, Australia’s conservative party doesn’t have a large Christian segment that pushes for anti-sin laws at every turn. Who among the Liberal party faithful is actually pushing for this ban? I grew up in Liberal/National heartland, and everyone there gambles. Australia has a public holiday for a horse race, for fuck’s sake. Why the hell are the Libs still pursuing this rubbish?

Myself, ChrisV and a lot of our friends were kinda hoping that with Alston gone, the Howard government would seek out a less retarded internet policy in the future. This is an issue that could be a Sullivan-style “Deal Breaker” for all of us, as they are basically planning to outlaw our livelihood. I’m yet to see any response from Labor on this issue, but something tells me their policy will be no different. In the event that these laws are ever actually enacted, we will probably have to emigrate.

A lot of lifelong Liberal voters read this site: What are your thoughts on internet gambling?