Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

Does the poker community need an up-to-date musical anthem? WSOP 2017 bracelet winner and hip-hop aficionado, Rulah Divine, thinks so. As he told Chad Holloway of pokernews.com:

“I drew inspiration for this song through all my experience and adventures in poker. Nobody has really created a great poker song since Kenny (Rogers) dropped ‘The Gambler’ all those years ago (except of course, for the song we wrote and produced for the Texas Poker Store: “I May Be Bluffin”.) As a poker community we needed an anthem and I was more than happy to fulfill this need. Poker and hip-hop music are my two biggest passions and it was great to be able to merge them both together.”

Check out “Eye of the Grinder.”

The Albuquerque-born Divine has been grinding in both hip-hop and poker for most of his life. After his 2017 win, he turned his focus to creating a modern anthem for the poker playing community. Now his plan is to coordinate with the WSOP and the Rio to obtain the perfect shots for his planned “Eye of the Grinder” music video.

As Divine explained, “Although I have won a WSOP bracelet I feel like this is my biggest contribution to the poker community and I do hope the players love it.”

So next time you’re in a poker game think about our song, “I May Be Bluffin” before you shove your chips in.

Send me your thoughts or comments here!

Lynn "Queen of Hearts" ParisLynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

Like many of you, I watched Attorney General William Barr’s deceptive testimony at the recent Senate hearings on the Mueller Report and also gained some insight into the current dysfunction in our DOJ (Department of Justice).

Depending on your viewpoint, you might say the whole debacle is terrible (or not) for the state of our union, but what does it have to do with poker? Well, we’ve written previously regarding the recent reversal of the “1961 Interstate Wire Act” and its potentially negative impact on the future of legalized online poker. Basically, the DOJ’s OLC (Office of Legal Counsel) issued a new opinion in January in which they reversed their 2011 opinion (that the Wire Act only applied to sports betting) and stated that it applies to online poker as well.

At the time, we took solace in the fact that this was not law but only opinion and would be fought out in the courts. Retired New Jersey state senator Raymond Lesniak, who had successfully spearheaded New Jersey’s online poker legislation in the past, readied for battle, saying “It looks like I will have to go to court again to straighten out the Justice Department’s overreaching on states’ rights.”

Unfortunately, that was before I’d fully grasped the “politics” and the primary “players” involved in this battle. From what I’ve observed, the DOJ and its head honchos are there to do Trump’s bidding, are not too concerned with laws vs. opinions, and big money is the deciding factor in most decisions. In fact, an Op-Ed published in USA Today called the Wire Act reversal “corrupt, unethical, and legally bankrupt.” That was because many industry observers believed the reversal was strongly influenced by anti-online gambling billionaire and Las Vegas Sands casino owner Sheldon Adelson, a long-time patron of the Republican Party and major contributor to Trump’s presidential campaign.

The bottom line is that no one knows for certain how the DOJ’s opinion will play out . . .  and uncertainty can be a momentum crusher. The president of the Poker Alliance, Mark Brenner, was quoted as saying: “Make no mistake, DOJ’s Wire Act reversal was a well-coordinated attack against the regulated iGaming, sports wagering, and poker industries, carried out by Las Vegas special interests seeking to protect their own bottom line,” he said. “In doing so, they are trampling on states’ rights and individual rights, while undermining a growing bipartisan coalition of Governors and legislators across the country who are responsibly modernizing gaming in their respective states. Perhaps worst of all, this move will expose more innocent consumers to a gambling black market that is beyond the reach of law enforcement and regulators.”

The Lumen Poker Table

Whatever the outcome, it will be a long time coming and we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, sit back at your poker table, relax and wait for the dealer; your next hand may be quads!

 

Send me your thoughts and or comments here!

Pocket Bullets ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

We are constantly being asked about playing position in Texas Hold Em . We know that question has been asked and answered a gazillion times but it still confuses a lot of players. Here is a brief description on the positions in Hold Em. Naturally the number of players tends to change the importance of positions, but generally speaking, when a table is full with nine or ten players as in our illustration below, the positions are usually titled Early Positions or EP,  Middle Positions or MP and Late Positions or LP. And as their name implies, EPs act first, then MPs and last players to act are LPs.

Early position players:

  • The small blind is usually considered the worst position after the flop. This player is always the first player to the dealer’s left.
  • The big blind is to the left of the small blind and his position is usually considered just as bad.
  • Under the gun is the player who acts first pre-flop. He sits to the left of the big blind and many consider this to be the worst position pre-flop because he must bet or fold first without having any advantage of knowing what everyone else might do.

Middle position players:

  • These players have a very slight advantage but they are basically in about the same position as EP players. They  just get to see a little more action before them and can act accordingly.

Late position players:

  • Hijack  is to the right of the cut off player and has the ability to steal the blinds but needs to be careful because he still has 2 more players to act after him.
  • Cutoff is a solid position and has the advantage of “cutting off” the dealers chance of stealing the blinds; that is if they haven’t already been hijacked.
  • Dealer or Button is the absolute best position because this guy has the advantage of acting last on the flop, the turn and the river.
Texas Hold 'Em Poker Positions

These are your basic positions but how you play them really varies according to your style of playing and, of course, the style of every other player at your poker table.  How to play your position, based on the layout of the playing field is entirely up to you. So the question is; do you really know your position?

Click here to leave us your comments!

Pocket Bullets ParisJim “Pocket Bullets” Paris

Years ago we wrote about the movie; “The Grand,” an improvisational comedy, which takes a stab at the often hilarious look at what happens at the, sometimes crazed, high stakes poker tables.

So, if you love movies, comedy, and poker then this movie will have you in stitches. It may not help you with your poker skills but you may recognize some of this behavior exhibited by way too many players from Vegas to Macau and anywhere poker is played.

“The Grand” stars Woody Harrelson along with Jason Alexander, Ray Romano, Werner Herzog, Cheryl Hines, David Cross, Dennis Ferrina, Richard Kind, Gabe Kaplan, and Chris Parnell. And, naturally any poker movie should include lots of cameos from real poker stars and poker-celebrities like  Doyle Brunson, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Laak, Daniel Negreanu and many more.

This is one movie where you may see anything from a giant pair of sunglasses to some jumbo playing cards and pass for cool. We certainly have seen some of these shenanigans at almost every tournament we have played.

Leave us your thoughts or comments here!