Friday, March 04, 2011

Poker for a Living

Its easy to get romanticised by thoughts of quitting your job and becoming a professional poker player. The truth is, its not glamorous as it may seem and its certainly not as easy as you might think.

One time when I was playing the $4/$8 limit Hold'em at Adelaide Casino, I got talking to this young guy who I'd often seen at the tables and who's play was pretty solid. He was a poker enthusiast, as I was, and he told me that he played every night after work for a total of about 40 hours a week, pretty much equivalent to a full time job. I asked him how much he makes from playing poker and he said around $400/ week. Not exactly a glamorous wage... but there is an alternative. The world of Online Poker can be much kinder.

Online Poker

If you want to honestly make a run at turning poker into your full time profession then online poker is without a doubt your best bet. Here's why:
  • Lower Rake- The online poker rooms have much lower expenses than their real world equivalents so they can afford to take a much lower rake and let you keep more of your winnings!
  • Wider Range of Stakes and Games- With literally thousands of players online at any one time, you can find people to play with at the games and stakes you prefer.
  • Automated Dealing- The shuffle, deal, chip movements and other actions usually performed by a dealer are controlled by the poker software and fast as lighting with no mistakes so you can play many more hands per hour. If you are a winning player, this means more money in your virtual pocket.
  • Multi-tabling- Another thing that can help you increase your hands played per hour is to play on several tables at one time. There are some videos on Youtube of people playing 10 or more tables at once! Playing this many tables would probably affect your ability to play but you can certainly maintain an edge playing 2 or 3 tables.
  • Assistance- There are many software programs that can help to improve your game by calculating odds, analysing players and giving you advice to help you do better at the tables. Obviously this kind of assistance would never be allowed in a real life establishment.
  • Play Anywhere- The beauty of the internet is you can use it almost anywhere which means you can play poker almost anywhere as well. This includes outside on a beautiful sunny day via mobile internet or at home in your underwear.
Benefits of Live Poker

While I encourage you to embrace online poker if you want to be a serious player, it doesn't mean you should leave live poker behind entirely. Playing live poker can be a great way to get out of the house, meet other poker players and practice the finer points of reading players at the table. Adelaide Casino has a number of great poker ring games and tournaments throughout the week.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Adelaide Casino Gambling

I've recently noticed various advertisements around Adelaide for our beloved casino but something struck me as odd. I couldn't put my finger on it at first, then it dawned on me... 'Adelaide Casino' was what was being advertised, not 'SkyCity Adelaide' as we've come to expect. Apparently the name reverted back in 2009 but I guess I didn't notice until now. Its nice to have the original name for the casino back I must day :).

Casino Game Odds

If you don't play poker, why not stick with the games that you have the best odds of winning.
  • Big Wheel- This used to be my game of choice at the casino, its just so easy to play. But, it has some of the worst odds in the casino. Every bet your place on the spin of the wheel has a house advantage of 7.69%.
  • Roulette- Pay no attention to those standing around the wheel recording whether the previous spins were red or black as they previous spins have absolutely no baring on future spins. The house edge for all roulette bets is 2.70% , not as bad as the Big Wheel but still pretty bad.
  • Blackjack- This is a very unique game as, unlike roulette and big wheel, previous hands in the game DO have an effect on future hands. Its also a game where the player has a lot of control over their chances of winning. The optimal system of play is called Basic Strategy. Playing Basic Strategy at Adelaide Casino will give the house a very small edge of 0.69%.
  • Poker- As you know, this is now my game of choice. In poker you play against other players rather than the dealer so the house doesn't have any edge. They do, however, take a percentage of each pot which is known as the 'rake,' this is how they make money from poker.
Online Casino Gambling

The online casino is a different beast all together! The online casinos have no expensive venue to pay for and no hundreds of dealers, pitbosses and security personnel to pay. That means they can offer a much better game with much more favourable odds for the player and still make a sizeable profit for themselves. The best online casinos also offer all sorts of bonuses, competitions and other incentives to make your playing experience better. You also don't need to worry about driving, parking or getting dressed up, you can even play in your underwear if you like!