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Lynn "Queen of Hearts" Paris

Lynn “Queen of Hearts” Paris

If you are risk averse, like me, and afraid to lose money while learning how to play poker, you need a reliable, free online poker site. According to, the best of the best for free poker games with no registration is the WSOP Poker app. PokerNews

Obviously, lots of poker players get started on “play money” sites on their desktops and on mobile apps to develop their skills, learn how poker works and what it feels like to engage with poker players all over the world in games of Texas Holdem or Omaha. This is where you can try out all the tips you got from reading Jonathan Little’s blogs or studying videos of Fedor and Negreanu. It’s really the safest way to hone the poker strategies you’ll need in order to win before you start playing with real money.

World Poker TourOther well-known free sites are Zynga Poker and the WPT (World Poker Tour). They both have options to play for fun, or in the case of WPT, real money. However, you have to join ClubWPT to play for real money.

Others (like PokerStarsPartyPoker, and 888Poker) combine free poker games and tournaments with real money ones – so you can have an authentic ‘full poker experience’ always playing on the same website.

World Series of PokerOf course, U.S, players can’t play for real money in most states because it’s –unbelievably – still illegal. For example the WSOP online app allows you to play for real $$ if you live in Nevada.

Have fun at your favorite poker tables whether you’re practicing or playing for real money.

Click here to leave me your questions or comments.

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

Has anyone seen Phil Ivey lately? If you have, it certainly wasn’t in the U.S. where he’d been embroiled in legal battles that finally ended in 2017. Instead, Ivey has played mostly in Asia, including frequenting casinos in Macau and attending the Triton Super High Roller tournament in Manila last year.

But, you can expect to see Ivey, the ten-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, back in the spotlight very soon. He recently won the 2018 Triton Super High Roller Series Montenegro short deck ante-only event*. Ivey outlasted a field of 61 total entries, including finally going head-to-head with poker star Dan “Jungleman” Cates, to win $617,396, bringing his career live earnings to $24,083,744. It was his first live tournament cash in more than two years!

When asked by about what his plans were, Ivey said, “I plan on playing the in the 2018 WSOP in Vegas this year.” That should make a lot of poker fans extremely happy!

Since Ivey has always been one of our favorites we can’t wait to see him at the 2018 WSOP poker tables.

* For those of you who have never heard of Short Deck Hold’em, it is similar to the traditional no-limit hold’em known around the world, with the exception that it’s played with just 36 instead of 52 cards. The deuces, threes, fours, and fives are omitted, making for rankings that are rare in traditional hold’em, now a lot more common. The game is incredibly popular in the Asian high stakes poker scene.

What do you think? Send me your comments or thoughts!

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

Imagine my surprise when I checked the Global Poker League’s schedule one last time before posting my GPL blog yesterday, only to discover that the second half of the season, scheduled to begin next week, had been pushed back to September 20th.

What was particularly frustrating is that I follow @GPL and @Alex_Dreyfus on Twitter and Facebook, but the news didn’t come directly from either primary source. The announcement, along with the news that the Playoffs and Finals will take place in Vegas and not at TwitchCon and Wembley, came from in an Aug. 10th blog by Matthew Parvis, retweeted by the GPL and Dreyfus. Their second retweet, after a bit of sleuthing, came from an independent poker site called, which also claimed to be breaking the news exclusively at the same time.

Global Poker LeagueI’ve not only been an advocate for the Global Poker League, but I’ve also blogged about it – 20 in-depth blogs to be exact. I expect breaking news about the League I’ve been following so closely and supporting so fervently to be announced by its CEO and the GPL. I don’t want to learn it in a retweet!

I don’t get it. I’ve focused on The Global Poker League from its inception. I introduced it, explained it, praised it, waxed poetic about it and motivated people to watch it. I applauded the innovative team concept.  I raved about the genius of Alexandre Dreyfus and his vision to “sportify” poker and to make it “fancentric.” I was a huge fan and followed the action closely.

Along the way I also pointed out what I considered its shortcomings and made some constructive suggestions about what I believed needed to be improved.

I noticed that my tweets were either liked and/or retweeted more than 16 times by @GPL and @Alex_Dreyfus when I had posted a positive blog, which the vast majority of them were. The likes and retweets seemed to stop when I incorporated suggestions or recommendations for improvement the League might consider. Probably just a coincidence, but still . . .

One of my major criticisms was directed towards the GPL website. After their incredibly successful professional inaugural draft, it soon became clear that the GPL site needed to be redesigned and then maintained consistently. Stories and features had to be updated frequently, a less cumbersome schedule and video archive had to be developed, the site had to load faster and, of course, it had to be optimized for mobile. In other words, the site MUST be a high class, high-functioning professional website.

I’ve been writing since the beginning that the GPL’s vision of poker as a team sport is what sets it apart. In fact, I wrote:” . . . it was that team concept that was supposed to build the fan base. Unless the mission has changed, I don’t believe the GPL did enough to reinforce the team concept.”

Global Poker League Team logos coveredFor example, during the online matches, I wrote in my blog and in the Twitch chat “, the logos of the teams ought to be prominent. Instead, they are often difficult to see. The design of the graphics covered up the team logos when the hole cards were being shown.”

During the Summer Series in The Cube, I also wrote, “ . . . the players should have been wearing their team t-shirts sporting their team logo”. There was practically no visible branding of the teams or of the GPL for the streaming audience. And, because the team merchandise was STILL not available, I lamented that a huge marketing opportunity had been missed: “ fans of the teams could have worn their t-shirts all over Vegas, including at the heavily attended WSOP.”

In other words, I bought into the team sport concept. Naturally I grew to have my favorites among the players; it was hard not to., But in the end, I explained, “If I don’t know what GPL team Fedor, Nano or Mercier play for, there’s something wrong with the marketing plan. Bottom line:  it’s the team that grows the fan base and excites those who root for them with a passion, motivating them to buy team banners, t-shirts, caps. . . and ultimately bring in sponsors.

The Cube as it is currentlyIn a couple of my blogs, I talked about my biggest concern, which was taking the Playoffs to TwitchCon in San Diego, where it would be competing for the attention of video gamers, a brand new demographic with millions of worldwide fans. I was concerned that bringing The Cube, even with some of the promised bells, whistles and enhancements, could be a disaster, and that “the huge video game audience would walk right by it without ever noticing it’s there.” And as far as Wembley is concerned, it never seemed big enough to be the center of attention in a huge stadium, at least not for a long time.

I’m glad that Dreyfus and team are committed to making the GPL a success on a long-term basis. I respect them for holding back until they’ve made some much needed adjustments. I am betting that within a couple of years, the League will have done what it needs to do to work itself into our hearts and minds; after all, it made me a poker fan and I can’t wait for more! I just wish they would have handled the re-scheduling and venue changes as professionally as they handled their inaugural draft.

Send me your comments or thoughts!

Texas Poker StoreBy: Pocket Bullets Paris

Under the heading of too crazy to be true, we recently read in that poker super-star Antonio Esfandiari  was disqualified from the 2016 PCA (PokerStars Caribbean Adventure) Main Event for . . . urinating into a container under the poker table!  That seemed so bizarre that I had to pursue the story.

It seems Esfandiari, a sucker for prop bets, had made a prop bet with poker-playing businessman Bill Perkins that required him to lunge everywhere he went for 48 hours, beginning on January 8th.

Apparently it was a sizable enough wager to keep Esfandiari lunging around his hotel room all day, even tweeting about how painful it was and noting how he’d be in trouble during play the following day because of his aching muscles.

Lunging EsfandiariIn fact, he must have been in considerable pain, because rather than lunging across the casino to get to the restroom when he needed to, Esfandiari chose to stay put and use, in what might be called the latest version of “live streaming,” the aforementioned container.  Social media went nuts and PokerStars made the call to disqualify him from the tournament for a “serious breach of tournament etiquette.” We thought it was, to say the very least, highly inappropriate as well as a bit funny when you think about it. After all, who would do that and think it was okay, even for a second, especially now when everything is caught on camera and tweeted to the world in 30 seconds?

To Esfandiari’s credit, he was deeply embarrassed, noting that “it was a terrible judgment call on my behalf. I am a new father now, and this is not the kind of example I want to set for my son.” He won the prop bet for $50,000, and then made something good come from his mistake in judgment; he donated the entire amount to two of his favorite charities: One Drop, which provides drinking water to impoverished nations and REG, which helps reduce suffering in the world.

As Esfandiari said, “I believe in balance, and my life would not be in balance if I kept this money for myself.”

We’ve all heard of “splashing the pot,” but seriously; we hope no one ever decides to do this at one of our games!

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