28 November 2003

Fox Sports taking gamble on poker coverage
Nothing particularly new here, I have already reported on the Fox Sports bet. But the article highlights a few interesting items: "Fox used 21 cameras, 21 tape machines, 12 instant-replay machines and three continuously running editing computers to cover the event. There also were heart monitors hooked up to several players to track changes as they played big hands."
Admittedly, I have never watched poker on Television (Actually, I don't even have one) and until now just couldn't figure out what all the excitement was about. But I would agree with the statement "I think there's drama in seeing someone take $250,000 in chips and go all-in".
I tell you, Poker is the new Religion!

27 November 2003

A small update on my recent post regarding the top 10 gambling sites in the UK, and the position of Pokerroom at number 9. An FT article from Monday 24 (unfortunately not available online) titled: "Swedes to take on UK gaming giants" states that Pokerroom is already attracting 10% of its customers from the UK. And Pokerroom intends to continue throwing the gauntlet at its UK competitors by applying for a UK license once gambling is deregulated. The intention is to invest £1.75 million in the UK. Oh, and, the site was launched in 1999, and is now Sweden's 19th most profitable business, with £2.5 million profit on about £10 million turnover. Do you need any more convincing that online poker is BIG BUSINESS!?

World Poker Tour ladies night
The profile of 6 top women players, who were invited at a $25000 World Poker Tour night event. Good to see that women are being acknowledged as the fantastic poker players they can be!

26 November 2003

Leeson gambles on casino website
I love this. Nick Leeson, the trader who notoriously lost $100m on the Singapore foreign exchange in one day and subsequently brought investment bank barings to its knee, has been hired as a celebrity host by celebpoker.com, a new online poker room. They hired him to host online games because of his "reputation as the world's biggest gambler with a knack for losing money".
Unfortunately, you'll need to register and pay with the Independent to read the whole article. But trust me, the exerpt above is the most interesting part of the article.

Those excellent folks at Hitwise have released the figures of the top 10 online gambling properties. Top 10 gambling-entertainment sites. And Poker makes its entry in the top 10, courtesy or Poker Room! There a few interesting things in there: First, only in the UK is there an online poker room in the top 10. Secondly, according to Pokerpulse, Pokerroom is big but not so big that it would take over rooms like partypoker or pokerstars. Even if you accept that there may be some pretty intense local marketing from Pokerroom in the UK, (Anyone seen their ugly ads in the London tube?), I doubt they have more traffic than the local Brandnames, i.e. ladbrokes, William Hill and Victor Chandler or than Pacific poker (which belongs to 888 / casino on net), with its enourmously aggressive online marketing. You may remark that William Hill, Ladbrokes and 888 appear in the list (respectively in 2nd, 4th and 6th position), but that does not cover their Poker activity, which is situated under a different URL and is considered a different site (and therefore accounted for separately - I did check it with Hitwise).
So why oh why does Pokerroom appear so high when its competitors don't make it? Well, after a wee bit of investigation, it became clear that it is all linked to the fact that Poker room is an online java based environment, requiring no download! And therefore, it is the only poker room where play activity is recorded by Hitwise. All the online Poker rooms which require you to download a client (as far as I know that's 99.9% of the market) then redirect you through another secure port for playing. This port is not captured by the ISP logs which Hitwise use for their stats.
So the logical conclusion of all this is that the reality of the online gambling market is probably quite different, with Poker representing a much larger proportion of online gambling than accounted by Hitwise. In fact, I declare hereby that, on the basis of my failproof analysis, Poker is the number one online gambling activity in the UK (and probably the rest of the world). So what are you waiting for, join the revolution, Poker is the new religion!
On a slightly more serious note, the success of betfair is gobsmacking. Peer to peer gambling (as in poker, and as in a betting exchange) is definitely the growth segment for gambling operators! You've heard it here first! (well, almost...)

25 November 2003

Out of curiosity, I quickly investigated to see if there were other online poker dictionaries, and of course I found a few. So here goes:
planet poker dictionary is written by Michael Wiesenberg, card player columnist. This dictionary seems to be the reference, if you believe Mike Caro.
Otherwise, there is a small, slightly old but still useful
glossary on the FAQ of rec.gambling.poker
That's it for online poker dictionaries.

I was looking for a review of the Serious Poker book by Daniel Kimberg and stumbled accross this excellent site maintained by Nick Christenson, who is a regular writer for Poker player magazine. All the gambling book reviews one could dream of.
But back to the serious poker book. Nick's review is mixed at best.
Amazon reviews gives the book a four star rating, but with comments like: "If you were 'serious' about something you would be a professional or at least attempt to be one. If you can't make it you should not be writing books, especially not 'serious' ones.".
Daniel Kimberg states that the book serves only one purpose: "The idea behind Serious Poker was simple: provide a comprehensive book with coverage of all the topics a new player will need to learn about.".
So Serious poker is a book for beginners or regular poker players who want to become more serious at it...
I think I'll give it a brief go, and I'll let you know what I think of it. In any case, I recommend you look at the
Serious Poker site, which really holds gems. I particularly like Dan's poker dictionary. Very handy.

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