Wednesday, September 19, 2012

From the Silver State to the Heartland

Will we see online poker in the United States before the end of this year?

Things seem to be moving along quite quickly in Nevada, where the company that owns Binion’s – the birthplace of the World Series of Poker – has now applied for a license.

They’re just one of many who want to offer online poker in the Silver State. I read an interesting Card Player column lately that noted that visitors to the state would be able to play. So even if you don’t move to Nevada and are just on a one-week Vegas bender, you can create an account and play while you’re there.

I hear Delaware’s moving quickly too.

I don’t think I have to worry too much about my home state (Alabama) or current residence (Missouri) legalizing online poker anytime soon. Very red, very conservative.

This is the home of Todd Akin, after all.

It would be great to see the U.S. take back its rightful place as king of online poker. Obviously, while it was never technically legal here (and, of course, not illegal for us Americans to play either) we certainly offered up the most customers.

These days, the top counties seem to be places like Canada, and you can visit this site to see the offerings there, and Australia – click here to see what they’re doing Down Under.

While I look forward to the day I can again play online poker, at the moment I’m looking forward to the Heartland Poker Tour, which hits St. Louis beginning Friday.

Some familiar faces are likely to drop in for the main event that begins Sept. 28, including St. Louis native Greg Raymer, as well as everyone’s favorite, Allen “Chainsaw” Kessler.

Back in my poker writer days, I interviewed Greg on multiple occasions (and hung out with him and others at Hoyt Corkins’ barbecue in the summer of 2006). The first time I met Kessler, in Tunica, he tried to get me to sign up for some rinky-dink online site so he could get a referral bonus. I later interviewed him for Rounder magazine. Say what you will about the “Chainsaw,” he does work to get improvements made to tournament structures, including the HPT.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Building the bankroll

There was no World Series of Poker for me this year, and truth be told, even when I did go in recent years it's not like I had a big-ballin' bankroll.

There is, however, the Heartland Poker Tour.

Now compared to the WSOP or the Venetian Deep Stack or any of the various tournaments I've frequented in Mississippi it's fairly small potatoes, but the HPT being held at River City Casino in St. Louis at the end of the month fits perfectly in my current poker situation.

After diminishing freelance opportunities and the increase for other certain needs (such as diapers) my former poker bankroll slowly melted away as that cash was used to pay for needed family expenses. And the truth is I never really separated my poker bankroll from the cash-on-hand fund and would thus spend that money on anything we needed or wanted to do.

So a poker bankroll? I never really had one. It was more of a collection of poker winnings that could be used for any purpose.

Now we're doing the Dave Ramsey thing, and trying to set a family budget and stick to it. Along with that I'm taking what I have as my current bankroll and finally keeping it separate. (It helps to now have a steady job that also pays me enough to allow me to do this.) No money from the bank account goes in the bankroll, and no money from the bankroll goes toward other expenses.

It will help when I get my old Full Tilt Poker money from the good ol' Justice Department -- definitely a bankroll builder.

For now I'll be trying to build my bankroll this month at the HPT. It's got some $200 and $300 tourneys, lots of satellites (my specialty, I think) and a $1,650 main event with plenty of chances to satellite in.

Call me eager to dig in.