Friday, April 16, 2010

Touchscreen Poker

The following is a shared article with my new poker site Enjoy!

It’s 2010. We really should be on some kind of space odyssey. Hell, we should be on the sequel. I am willing to accept that I still don’t have a flying car or a robot butler, but do I have to accept playing cards with the same dead trees we’ve had since Gutenberg? Actually, no, I don’t. There are two innovations currently on the rise that allow players to holster their decks in favor of touch-screeny goodness--the Apple iPad and the Microsoft Surface.

First, a word on the iPad. To me, the main draw is the interface. The iPhone made navigating cell phone features not just easy, but fun; the iPad does the same for laptops. There is something exciting about not using a mouse and traditional keyboard to browse the web and interact with apps. It’s new, it’s shiny, I want one. One of Apple’s first apps for the iPhone was a Texas Hold’em game, so I have no doubts that a poker game will be available for the iPad soon if they aren’t already. I am confident it will be fun, on-line enabled and, unfortunately,  “play money”. In other words, no matter how slick the design, I won’t be playing more than a couple games before returning to Full Tilt and the like.

Apple’s app store is a walled-garden as they say in the tech world. This means corporate has to approve every app before the unwashed masses gets their grubby little hands on it. Full Tilt has little incentive to make an app for the App Store because it will either be denied or lack real-money play.

So why do I even bring up the iPad? Because it is the shape of things to come. “Me-too” tablet computers with follow Apple’s lead. If history has taught us anything, these new tablets will be less elegant yet more open than Apple. Imagine Full Tilt ported to a touch-screen tablet running a Google Android or Chrome OS? Sign me up!

The Microsoft Surface’s gambling application is already apparent. The consumer electronic blog Engadget has already featured a video of the Surface running a poker table. Picture a Surface at your local casino. You place your drink on the table and it lets the bar know when you need a refill. You place your credit card on the table and the transaction provides you as many digital chips and you’d like. Your cell phone pairs with the table over bluetooth or Wi-Fi and displays your hole cards. The touch screen recognizes all the gestures you already know. Tap the table to check in poker or hit in blackjack. Swipe your cards forward to fold. Drag your chips into the pot as if they were real. Who needs a dealer?

Of course, we may want a dealer. I doubt casinos will ever run their whole operation as a Microsoft Surface farm, but it would be a great supplemental option. Expect to see them soon. The future is now.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hard-Traveling Hero, Part II

About my last post: first mistake, I was too aggressive to bet out in money game with AK. I should have just called. Knowing that if any one on the table had a hand they would raise. All I had to do was re-raise. If the raise was not too big I would have re-raised, and fold if he re-raised back.

Second, I got greedy. I should have checked the turn after being called because the pot was already huge. By now, I should known either he is chasing or is sitting on trips. I should have cut my losses.

Tournament later that day. 86 players...

I was the third man out. I went out little by little. I did not play tight, and when I did have a hand I was scared to play. I did not converge from my good hand. To paraphrase a famous player, all you need is more chips every round then what you had in previous round. Meaning as long as you are up from previous round you are on your way to final table. I did not do that. I simply kept calling...and let my opponent catch their cards. Where I should have been aggressive I wasn't and where should have been passive I was aggressive. I had my game mixed up.

Vegas is tough, especially for online players. Online is fast paced. Live is slow paced. Online poker is like playing poker on steroids.

Next week I gain experience, and return with a vengeance in Sin City. This time I am ready.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hard-Traveling Hero, Part I

A friend of mine travels the country in his big-rig, stopping from time to time to play cards. He will begin to chronicle his casino hopping exploits on HCD starting today in a series I'm calling "Hard-Traveling Hero."

Hello, all you online poker foes! I have traveled to almost all the casinos in the continental US, the only exception being the Hollywood casino in Connecticut. Yes, Connecticut has a casino and happens to be one the top casinos in United States.

Sure, you already know that playing a live game is different from playing online. Here is my experience in past one year traveling around the country

First time I ever walked into Bellagio I was "awwwwed". Luckily, Bellagio's poker room is right near the entrance if you take the bridge. And that's what I ended up doing. I sat down on a live table, decided I can play few hands before the $300 buy-in tournament. (You can find all the tournament times and buy-ins online.). I lost $380 dollars in 45 minutes. 1/2 blinds no-limit. 30 minutes in I raised with AK, something I am use to online. I raised $15 dollars, 1 person re-raised me $15 more. $63 in pot. Flop was A K 2. Money hand for me. I bet $80 on flop. He calls without much hesitation. $223 in pot. Turn was a 7. I bet all-in $180. He calls and shows KK. River did not help me. Can u guess what I did wrong?.

Next week I will write about the live tournament at Bellagio.