6 Tips for Playing at Live Online Casinos

Hot Online Poker GirlI have been focusing my articles on live casinos. Live casinos are still relatively new, which is why we only really recommend one of them at this juncture, which is BetOnline.

Unlike most, BetOnline is well-established and offers a wide array of excellent products including an online casino, a sportsbook, and even binary options trading. We love what they have to offer for a variety of reasons, and their foray into live dealer games is something exciting.

What Are Live Dealer Casinos – Webcam Casinos

If you have not yet read my article on choosing live casinos, you may not yet be familiar with what a live casino is. A live casino replicates the brick-and-mortar gambling experience in an online environment by allowing you to interact face-to-face with a dealer. How is that possible? The casino sets up a live video feed between your computer and a remote location. Don’t worry—the dealer cannot see you, so you can still play in your pajamas. But you can see and hear her as if she were really there with you.

Live casinos offer a number of benefits over traditional online casinos:

  • You get the ambiance of the casino without having to actually jump in your car and drive there.
  • There is a higher level of trust since you can see and interact with a live dealer.
  • The dealers who work these live games online are usually lovely to look at.
  • The level of support is higher. There may even be a live pit boss.

There are also some drawbacks however—in particular the fact that live casinos can be distracting (they are designed in part for that purpose). So here are a few quick tips to help you to get the most out of the experience.

1. Start by choosing a reputable live casino.

Good Poker SitesEven though I started out by talking about this, it is worth briefly underscoring again. Because this technology is fairly new, most live casinos are as well—but that means that they do not have well-established reputations. Many of them are fly-by-night companies and may not be entirely trustworthy. With just a little googling you can find online casino webcam jobs, believe it or not!

You definitely should stick with companies you can trust, like BetOnline. That way if you win, you will not have any worries when it comes to withdrawing your money. See more top choices here.

2. Check your technical specifications.

The next thing that you should do before you start playing live dealer games is to check and make sure that your computer and your connection are up to the job. Thankfully these days most connections are powerful enough to stream live video without any serious delays.

Still, you definitely should double-check, because lag is more than an inconvenience when you are gambling. Sometimes it can end up costing you a game. You do not want to lose money unnecessarily simply because your playing on a bad connection. Remember, it takes a lot more bandwidth to play a live dealer game than a traditional online casino game.

3. Do not let the dealers distract you.

The dealers who are hired to work live games online are selected mainly for their looks. This is done partly to draw you to the tables, and partly to make it more likely that you will end up losing when you sit down to play. So if you can, try to keep this in mind, and do not let yourself get too distracted if you can avoid it.

4. Make sure you have your etiquette down.

Some live dealer games involve other players, while others do not. In either case, you will be interacting with other people. Again, right now it is not typical for live casinos to use video feeds of players. No one will be able to see or hear you, but you will be able to talk to the other players and the dealer through text chat.

If you have been playing traditional online casino games, you should already have a pretty good idea of the etiquette which is expected of you. The video feed does add a new dimension, as does the addition of a live pit boss at some live casinos. Make sure that you are ready to interact positively with everybody involved at the game. And know that if you do something to your irritate another player, the pit boss may be called over to intervene.

5. Be prepared for a change in pace.

A live dealer game online may still be faster than an offline game at a brick-and-mortar casino, but it may be a bit slower than a traditional online game. This change in pace may require some adjustment on your part when it comes to your psychology and your tactics. You may find it slightly fatiguing, or you might find yourself second-guessing your moves simply because you have too much time to think. So be ready to compensate for these changes.

6. Be ready for higher stakes.

With a live dealer game, online casinos need to pay additional personnel as well as higher overhead costs associated with the sophisticated technological requirements of operating the live feed.

All of that money needs to come from somewhere, and ultimately it is going to come from you and the other players who patron the live casino. That is going to result in higher stakes and you may be used to when playing online.

There really is nothing that you can do to get around this problem, but it is something that you can be prepared for in advance. For some players, it makes sense to play fewer games when it is more expensive to take a seat at the table. But for others, it may be more of a challenge to develop the awareness and the discipline to hold back.

So before you fall back on old habits, actually do the math and figure out what it would be responsible to risk. If that means playing fewer games over the course of the day, that is what you will need to do.

You now should have a stronger understanding of what it is like to play live dealer games online, and what you need to do in order to be profitable and have a good time. Choose your live casino with care, check your connection, and be ready for some differences in play. If you follow these tips, you are more likely to win and have fun.

Posted in Online Casino |

Legit Online Casinos Now Take Bitcoin

The Bovada casino now accepts BTC for deposits. It is fast, secure and easy. They have long been our favorite online gambling destination and they are best known for their sportsbook and casino. They were late to join the party, as some other of the quality sportsbooks already took BTC for deposits. Here are the best online gambling destinations you can use bitcoin for deposits.

  • Bovada Casino
  • Bovada Sportsbook
  • Bookmaker Sportsbook
  • 5Dimes Sportsbook
  • Ignition Casino
  • BetOnline sportsbook and casino

The good news is that more and more are waking up to the future that is bitcoin. Digital crypto currencies are here and they do not appear to be going anywhere. You can safely and securely exchange them for dollars, buy thousands of different goods and services (even from totally legit online retailers like Overstock) and of course fund your online gambling accounts.

Here is what I would do if I had a little bitcoin in my wallet. First I’d mosey on over to goodcasinos and read up on the online casinos games with the best odds (source) and end up playing a little blackjack.

Deposits are fast and easy and your money is safe. You can refuse any bonuses and be able to withdraw at any time.

I’m excited to give a little action to some online casinos again now that a deposit method (btc) is easy. I was never comfortable hooking a bank account to them via wire or depositing with a check card. The pre-paid debit cards were a pain in the ass as well since they had to be approved for international transactions, which most were not.

Posted in Online Casino |

Fantasy Sports Players Can Qualify For the WSOP

Draftkings Promotion sees Members Heading to Vegas


Draftkings have become the official fantasy sports partner of the WSOP and to celebrate this fact have launched a new promotion in which the ten winners will take seats at this year’s main event. The prize includes the $10,000 entry, a six night stay at the Aria hotel, access to the main event Suite and Party, an exclusive Draftkings Swag Bag and up to $1000 for travel arrangements.

“We have long understood the crossover potential between poker and fantasy sports, so this sponsorship makes perfect sense for DraftKings, the WSOP, and the gaming community overall,” said Anthony Pitts, head of Marketing for DraftKings. “People are looking for more ways to play, and now we can offer just that with affordable satellites into the WSOP Main Event.”

“There is no doubt the demographics of our customers line up perfectly with those of DraftKings,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart.

Qualification to the WSOP

The winner of the World Series Main Event will pick up a cool $10 million, and Draftkings will send ten of their members to Las Vegas to try and get their hands on the prize. From the end of May to the 1st of July the site will be hosting ten satellites, the winner of each grabbing one of the seats.

There is an opportunity for Fantasy players of all stakes to take a shot at the prize, with qualifiers to these ten events running daily, with entry fees ranging from just $2 to $24 – members of the site can also buy-in directly to a satellite for $109. New depositors to the site will gain a free qualifier entry.

Here is a rundown of how one can qualify for one of the ten satellites:

The $2 qualifying tournament features sixty five players with the winner grabbing a place in one of the qualifiers.

The $5 qualifying tournament is a little easier with just twenty five players competing for a place.

For $12, one can enter a thirty player tournament, in which the top three will all be in the satellite.

The $24 qualifier is an event featuring just five players, the winner progressing.

The main satellites themselves will have a maximum field of 140 and as well as the first prize, offers consolation prizes for the runners up. The player finishing second earns $800, the third place finisher gains $400, the player in 4th $255, and players who finish between 5th and 9th will earn another shot at a qualifier.

To learn more, check out this review of DraftKings, or to enter a satellite event, visit DraftKings.com!

The World Series of Poker

The World Series of Poker began in 1970 and is held annually in Vegas, and is seen as the premier event in world poker, testing poker players at many different poker disciplines – the winner of each event winning a coveted bracelet. This year the series hosts 65 separate events and the final and most prestigious is the WSOP Main Event – the winner of which will be considered the world poker champion. The Main Event starts on the 5th July and will run until there are just nine players left – at this point the play will stop and the “November Nine” will come back on November 10th for the live TV extravaganza that is the final table.

Posted in Sports Betting, What's New Blog |

Are Daily Fantasy Sports The New Poker?

The money is moving to Fantasy SportsLet’s face it. Over the past few years, online poker has been on the decline. Since the infamous Black Friday incident where the DOJ shut down PokerStars, FullTilt and Absolute/UB, online poker has been losing popularity. Why?

Few legit choices for US players. Sure you can play at Americas Cardroom, but these are nothing like the awesome times of FTP and PokerStars. Today regulation is snail crawling through at the state level with a few states with legal online poker. Nevada and New Jersey most specifically with legal online poker from a few operators.

But today, the excitement, the growth, the popularity of the daily style fantasy sports are growing. From NBA basketball fantasy games for cash to the new and exciting Masters Fantasy Golf 300k Contest at DraftKings for 2014, fantasy sports are here to stay. Also, since they are 100% legal (as long as you do not live in a few unlucky states) it is super easy to deposit and withdraw. Credit cards, paypal, check etc all are easy and legit.

Millions of dollars in investment are being pumped into this industry with growth at parabolic rates. Just do a bit of google searching and you will find current reports of the hotness of this industry. It’s red hot and 2015 is going to be the year that totally puts this industry on the map. Many could argue that 2013 NFL season was the year that DFS arrived, but I feel that 2014 is going to be gangbusters.

Resources and More Info

Posted in Poker News, Sports Betting, What's New Blog |

Playing Limit Omaha Hi – Lo

So I recently fired up the online software. To be honest, I have became fairly bored of playing holdem. Omaha is what the players are getting into in the local game that I play at every now and then. The problem is that with so few choices of legit US online poker sites, finding a site to play Omaha Hi Lo, and especially the limit variation was not the easiest thing to do.

The good news is that our top ranked online poker site for USA players, does indeed have some traffic at the Omaha tables. The bad news is I can not tell exactly how much traffic they really have because the way the lobby works. They hide the full tables.

The Bovada Omaha Lobby

The full tables are hidden and do not show up on the list of games to choose from. You have to either find a table with an open seat or just hang out in the lobby until a table is listed.

I wish you could see full tables.

Playing Omaha

You are anonymous. I like it. You do not know anyone and they do not know you.

  • All players are anonymous
  • You are “player 1, 2, 3 etc..” only. No names

  • They rabbit hunt every hand
  • They offer 6 person and 9 person Omaha Hi/Lo tables
  • Low limits to higher limits (15/30) seem to have games
  • Never any stat mining software collecting data on your play
  • All hole cards are visible 24 hours later (if you think players were colluding you can do some research. Send findings to their security team etc)

If you are wanting to play some Omaha Hi/Lo in it’s original format (limit) then if you are a US player Bovada poker is about the only site we can recommend where you will get much action. Good luck and I’ll see you at the tables (anonymously!)

Posted in Online Poker |

More Plea Deals in Vadim Trincher Sportsbetting-Poker Ring Case

scales-justiceEastern District of New York Department of Justice attorney Preet Bharara announced on Friday that plea deals have been reached with two more defendants in the case of the “Taiwanchik-Trincher” sportsbetting and racketeering ring, which allegedly operated elite high-stakes poker games in New York City and other locations and funneled millions in sports bets through offshore poker sites.

The two defendants whose deals were announced this week, Kirill Rapoport and William Barbalot, were among the organizers of Trincher’s high-stakes poker games.  Each still faces a possible maximum five-year prison term when sentenced in December, though the actual sentence length will likely be much shorter.  The two were also fined, $250,000 and $150,00 for Rapoport and Barbalot, respectively.

Rapoport and Barbalot are the second and third Taiwanchik-Trincher indictees to plead out in the case, which included charges against 34 separate defendants connected to the sportsbetting, poker, and strong-arming/extortion operations used against a few deep-in-debt players.

The Trincher in the case is Vadim Trincher, who won a 2009 World Poker Tour event for more than $700,000 and was also in the news not too long after suing Trump Towers owners for $6 million over mold damage to his ritzy high-rise apartment, alleging faulty plumbing repairs.  Many of the exclusive high-stakes games were held in Trincher’s apartment.  Trincher’s sons Illya and Eugene are also named in the indictment.

“Taiwanchik” is the nickname given to Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, an alleged Russian mobster who received payment from the men (including Vadim Trincher) who ran the States-based operations.  Millions were allegedly sent offshore to Tokhtakhounov from the racket, who has also been alleged to be a part of international arms-smuggling operations.  Tokhtakhounov, who is also known as “Akim,” remains outside the United States and has yet to be arrested in connection with the case.

Tokhtakhounov has also been linked to the celebrity California card games that included many Hollywood A-listers, and that resulted in a civil suit against its participants by the victims of a investment fraudster who blew his stolen loot at those tables.  Those games were organized by California socialite Molly Bloom, who is another of the Taiwanchik-Trincher defendants and may have been operating the Cali games under Tokhtakhounov’s oversight and protection.

Numerous other poker figures remain as defendants in the case, including Abe Mosseri, Alexander Katchaloff, Justin “BooostedJ” Smith, Peter “Nordberg” Feldman, John Hanson, Eddie Ting and Bill Edler.  Most of those face charges comparative to what Barbalot and Rapoport faced.  Several of those noted players have been charged with accepting and relaying sportsbets which were then funneled through Trincher’s offshore connections.

Posted in Poker Culture, Poker News, Sports Betting, What's New Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

KickAssPoker.com Relaunches Original Blog

kap-emblem-color-200We’ve moved!  Due to SEO constraints, the long-running and ever-popular KickAssPoker blog is returning to its original Internet location, at http://kickasspoker.blogspot.com/.  We recommend that you bookmark this site immediately and add it to whatever service you use to read your favorite blogs — Feedly is one such service, now that Google Reader has moved to the Great Electronic Beyond.

And, hurry.  There are already several brand new posts up at KAP’s original Blogger site, including two new pieces connected to the “Full Tilt” name — one of interest to US players, the other for worldwide players, about the pending launch of the new Full Tilt Gaming.

And there’s a decent summary of this week’s US Senate hearing on online gambling, placed onto the agenda of a committee dealing with cybersecurity concerns.  One analyst called the hearing “brutal”, and when you read about the happenings, you’ll understand why.

Don’t worry about all the great stories here in the archives at kickasspoker.com; they’re going to be available, and we’ll be linking here frequently as well.  We may also be adding additional content here in the future.  But for now, see ya’ll at the KAP blog!

Posted in Poker News, What's New Blog | Tagged , , , |

Barton Drops New Online Poker Bill, Prospects Clouded

us-congress-buildingUS Representative Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, has introduced a new Internet Poker Freedom Act of 2013 in Congress.  The bill was introduced yesterday and immediately referred to two separate House committees, Energy & Commerce and Financial Services.

Barton introduced a similar poker-only bill back in 2011, amid a much busier legislative look at online gambling that included multiple efforts by Barney Frank and the much-discussed Reid-Kyl effort, which failed late last year.

This bill is similar in many respects to Barton’s earlier effort though a handful of elements are worth mentioning here, even if the bill is unlikely to escape from committee.  I’ve skimmed the majority of the 102-page bill already, which references most preexisting legislation, including UIGEA, and also brings up the United States v. DiCristina judgment in favor of its proclamation that poker is a game of skill and thus deserves special consideration and protection from Congress.

Barton’s bill is notable in that it includes opt-outs for both states and tribal nations, with tribal sovereignty superceding state law in cases where they might conflict.  For example, if a state opts out, but a tribal nation within that state opts to offer online poker, then they would be allowed to include the residents of their reservation land in the area deemed open for marketing and use of online poker.

Also, all areas of the United States would be assumed opted in until and unless opted out in writing to the Commerce Department, under which Barton’s proposed Office of Internet Poker Oversight would fall.  Any site licensed at the federal level would then be able to offer online poker to all US citizens not living in jurisdictions which have expressly opted out.

The Barton bill does include a five-year “bad actor” provision for previous US-facing operators, but since the language in the initial bill currently goes into effect for those “convicted” of a crime related to online gambling, it’s toothless in its current form.  Major overseas operators such as PokerStars and PartyPoker would not be affected under the initial language as proposed.

One interesting aspect is that the bill includes a ban on credit-card processing in conjunction with online poker.  This is certainly a nod to both problem-gambling considerations and to banks, the latter connected to the high rate of charge-backs connected to credit-card use online in the past.  While some of the bill’s poker-industry analysts have already decried this inclusion, this may be a case where discretion is the battle part of valor, and that such an inclusion likely increases the slim chance a bill like this might have of garnering mainstream approval.

And those chances are slim.  GovTrack.us puts the bill’s chances at 11% of getting out of committee, and just 2% of becoming law, slightly lower than the 11% and 3% rates for House legislation on average.  Given such legislation’s previous poor track record and the fact that most focus on online-gambling laws has shifted to the states, this one probably represents an exercise in well-intended futility.

We’ll keep an eye on it, but it’s a heavy favorite to do what Barton’s 2011 effort did: Die quietly in committee.

Posted in Online Poker, Poker Culture, Poker News, What's New Blog | Tagged , , , , |

California’s Pala Nation Signs Deal with Phil Ivey and Old UB Figures

California’s Pala Band of Mission Indians has reportedly signed a deal with Phil Ivey and at least two people connected with the old UltimateBet, James Ryan and Uri Kozai.  The deal represents a resumption of planning eyeing a future California online-poker era, with the Palas being one of that state’s powerful tribal nation of Mission Indians — along with the Morongo, San Manuel and Pechanga bands — that have been at the front of CA tribal online-gaming efforts.

This deal’s a bit off the wall, since it includes the signing of Phil Ivey as front man, though Ivey, as a Nevada resident, would have to establish California residency — or have a special… ahem… VPN setup to be able to play on the site.

Then there’s the old UB connection, which involves James Ryan, the Canadian online-gambling exec who served as the CEO of UltimateBet parent Excapsa before leaving that role and moving over to the same post at PartyGaming.  Uri Kozai, a chief programmer for Excapsa as an independent contractor in the years prior to UB’s sale to AP, has also enjoyed a long and friendly business relationship with Ryan.  This deal with the Pala Band reportedly includes a role for Kozai’s firm RealTime Edge, which is expected to provide a poker platform for the Palas in the event California online poker becomes a reality.

There are some other interesting threads.  Kozai was the force behind Centaurus Games, the software firm that managed to acquire a legacy copy of the old UB software; Centaurus was later acquired by an entity affiliated with PartyGaming when Ryan was at that company’s helm.  This Centaurus/RealTime Edge continuation — it’s really all just Kozai and his programming staff, has been responsible for the old UB software re-surfacing (with a mild facelift) on the old ClubWPT subscription, as well as being planned for use on another Frankenstein appearance of the old code on a site called Spotlight Poker.

That Spotlight Poker concept seems to be dead, with the old UB software now more likely resurfacing as the backbone of this Pala tribal effort.

Few details are available as yet.  The original story appeared over at pokerfuse, but the PalaTribe.com site shows no releases on the purported deal.  As for Ivey, he’s a logical name to sign up for something such as this; and Ivey has shown a willingness to endorse just about anything that comes along.  He’s probably also in need of new income streams, since his tens of millions from the old Full Tilt days have dried up, and he’s still in an ongoing court battle with London’s Crockfords Casino over roughly $12 million in disputed punto banco winnings.

ScreenHunter_03 Apr. 12 13.24Ivey also has an old UB relationship.  In the days prior to his investment at Full Tilt, he was one of UltimateBet’s most privileged high rollers, and likely enjoyed a personal relations with James Ryan, Russ Hamilton and others.  In my own massive files from UB, I’ve discovered only nine special “wire only” accounts for UB players out of a couple of million accounts; two of those nine accounts were connected to Ivey, demonstrating his status as an early and prominent UB players.

All this stuff ties together and never really goes away.  That old UB software is another example: How a copy of it ended up in Kozai’s control is a curious, grey story, but it’s there, and it may resurfacing again soon, albeit with another facelift.


Posted in Online Poker, Poker Culture, Poker News, What's New Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Nominations Open for 2013 Poker Hall of Fame

phofAnother year, another call to the public for nominations to the Poker Hall of Fame!  WSOP parent Caesars Entertainment also owns the rights to the Poker Hall of Fame, which was acquired from Binion’s along with the WSOP itself.  In recent years, WSOP and Caesars officials have opened up the nominating process to the poker public, with the nominations then winnowed down to ten finalists and voted upon for final inclusion by a panel of existing HOF inductees and select media representatives.

The Poker Hall of Fame has fine-tuned its voting procedures in a way to ensure that the top two finalists are chosen in each calendar year, thereby creating a ready-made media event to go along with the “November Nine” resumption of the WSOP Main Event final table around the start of each November.

The question, as always, is who’s going to get the nod?  Last year’s election of Eric Drache and Sailor Roberts represented an exemplary case of poker’s old guard looking after its own, and that’s something that’s likely to be repeated in this and future years.  Here are the criteria for HOF election:

  • A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
  • Played for high stakes
  • Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers
  • Stood the test of time
  • Or, for non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results

And here are the eight finalists from last year who weren’t elected, and must therefore be ranked among the favorites this time around:

  • Jennifer Harman
  • John Juanda
  • Scotty Nguyen
  • Tom McEvoy
  • Chris Bjorin
  • David Chiu
  • Thor Hansen
  • George Hardie

It’s anyone’s guess as to how many of those eight will even return as finalists, as for the next year or two, the HOF will be deepening a little deeper into the barrel for its enshrinees. The next wave of prominent names begins with Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu, who are eligible in three and two years respectively, and many of online poker’s biggest names are several years younger.

Of last year’s finalists, I’d think that only Harman, Juanda, and the two euros (Bjorin and Hansen) have a realistic shot of being elected this year, and I can’t think of anyone else who’s likely to be a first-time finalist and go on to be elected.

The nomination process is open now and runs through August 15th, after which the weeding of finalists will begin.

Posted in Poker Culture, Poker News, What's New Blog | Tagged , , , , , , |