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How would you describe the life of professional poker player? As taught by Hollywood, professional gamblers mostly have the rags to riches story. Once they hit it big with their skills, it’s all about being surrounded by money and skimpily-clad girls. However is that all the life of a professional poker player is all about? Well, not really. In fact, professional poker players don’t lead a life all that glamorous.

Under the hiding

poker playersAsk any professional player, and he/she will probably reply saying that their life deals around a bit of luck and a lot of hard work, skills and patience. In fact, some of them do not even reveal their real identity out in public. Dave (name changed) is one of them. He is a full-time poker player, but for people he does not know, he is an IT professional. Why does Dave choose to keep his identity under wraps? Is it because gambling is not regarded as the best professional by the society? For him, the reason goes beyond that – to stay away from tax related and legal issues.

Dave got into poker by fluke, five years ago. He was enjoying a break from work when he got tried poker for the first time. He made around $40,000 in just two months. That is when he decided to work as a full-time poker player as it seemed like an easy way out to him. Though he is reluctant about letting out the exact money he has earned from his ‘job’, he already has his own house, which speaks for him.

Typical day at work

On an average he either makes or loses $2000 per day. Dave also has an insider’s piece of information for budding players. He says that the chances of winning in poker are greater than in any other game, provided you play it long enough. Usually he plays for around 10 hours every day for five days of the week. With that, he makes a profit of around $13,000.

Another quick-tip for poker players wanting to try their luck at the game: select a table with amateur players, which will increase your chances of winning.

Combining traditional video game sword fighting with professional poker may seem unusual. However, a game called “Sword and Poker” managed to successful mix together the two worlds and create an incredibly popular video game. The game can be thought of as a hybrid of playing regular Texas Hold’Em Poker and enjoying a role playing game with sword fighting. Sword and Poker came out in 2010, with a sequel following a few months later.

However, the two games did not last long. They were removed from Android and Apple app stores by early 2011. Since then, the games have endured a long history of vanishing and resurfacing on app stores for various mobile platforms. When the parent company TouchArcade was contacted for explanation, they would remain mum.

Despite that unusual behavior, it is clear that these games are a bona fide hit. For that reason, Konami has decided to invest in the franchise and release a third version of the game, titled “Sword and Poker Adventures”.

The game will be started off on the Singaporean market, with further launches planned in the coming months. The game is said to be a major graphics and game play upgrade from previous versions. The game involves having to defeat several “bad” characters, not through sword play, but by beating them at poker.

For example, if you get a four of a kind, you automatically defeat the monster. Getting a pair or a double pair only gets you a certain number of points, which have to be totted up in order to defeat your enemy.

The game is a highly addictive experience, with users claiming that they could keep playing Sword and Poker Adventures for hours at a time. The game was recently demoed at the World Wide Developers Conference, where several smartphone, tablet and computer games are showcased. At this event, users were very pleased with the game’s experience. Despite a few unusual rule changes, such as timers on the free poker games, the game is said to have received positive feedback.

Konami is hoping that a move for Sword and Poker will help them establish a base in the Asian smartphone gaming market.

For more information on this story, click here.

In April 2014, the UK Parliament passed the Gambling Act, which will be the new ‘point of consumption’ or POC regulatory framework for remote gambling activities including online poker. This new act will change quite a lot for white market operators who are likely to apply for a UK license soon. Another significant change is that the operators will not be able to select the regulator like they could before.

Online Poker

Impact of UK licensing regime greater than anticipated

The new UK licensing regime will have a significant impact on the white as well as the grey markets in Europe and around the world. In fact, the impact of this new licensing regulation on the future of online poker is highly underestimated. According to reports, online poker sites that apply for this new UK License cannot cater to grey markets any more, which means they are likely to lose a huge share of the online poker market. A number of players in countries and regions where legality of online poker is questionable will lose access to some of the biggest online poker rooms.

UK gambling market most important

The UK Gambling Act makes one point very clear: whether you are an online gambling operator, a casino software developer, or a casino equipment supplier, if you are serving UK citizens, you must have a UK license for remote gambling. At present, the UK is the most evolved and developed gambling market in the world. The UK online poker market was evaluated at $559 million or £329 million, while the entire gambling industry in the UK was valued at £2.5 billion.

The revenue of top poker site PokerStars was around £100 million in the UK alone. Even though the UK market only constitutes 8 percent of the global gambling market (US gambling market is 10%), experts believe that any online or remote gambling operator willing to serve only the white markets should consider entering the UK.

The UK Gambling Commission’s ultimatum to remote or online poker and gambling operators is clear—if they wish to serve the grey markets, they should exit the UK market. The new changes in the UK regulation will result in polarization of the online poker market. Due to this, the major online poker sites will choose to go with the new UK regulation, for the UK market is too important for them to give up.

Online poker has become a staple for many gamblers in the United Kingdom, with players being able to access games from their personal computers, smartphones and tablets. This accessibility ensures that players can play games 24/7, no matter where they are. The only thing required is an internet connection and funds in your account with a specific website.

UK-Online-PokerThe major players for online poker in the United Kingdom are William Hill, Ladbrokes, 888 Poker and Sky Poker. Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars are also two emerging providers, especially among online only players.

Sign Up Bonuses –

888Poker provides a 100% sign up bonus up to $888. William Hill provides 200% with the maximum at $2000. Full Tilt and PokerStars both have 100% bonuses with $600 maximums, with Sky Poker offering 200% up to 500 pounds. These are the top five companies as rated by various independent poker experts.

Security –

The best part about signing up with one of the major online poker providers is the security and peace of mind you have. These are companies that earn millions of pounds a year, with heavy regulation and scrutiny from the government. The online poker divisions have been active for almost ten years, with plenty of software updates, security upgrades, and algorithm changes ensuring that the system is as perfect as possible.

Many players worry about the legitimacy of online poker, where one does not have the benefit of physically watching a dealer whip out the cards for each hand. However, extensive checks and tests are done at all of these providers, ensuring that everything is 100% legal and impartial.

Deposits and Withdrawals –

Being heavily regulated by government means that there are no legal issues associated with deposits and withdrawals. It is important for players to read the sign up bonus fine print. Most sign up bonuses mean that all of the initial sign up money has to be used to place bets or play games before a first withdrawal can be made. Aside from that, there should be no problems in getting your money in and out. Most sites have the option of credit/debit card deposits, wire transfers, or PayPal/Bitcoin payments.

Winnings are Tax-Free –

There are no tax issues to worry about when you are taking out your profits from 888Poker or other websites. Since the money you earn is already taxed, placing a tax on poker winnings would mean a double tax, which is not allowed in the European Union.

For more information on the top UK online poker websites, click here.

It’s good times indeed for online poker. Traffic in online poker for cash games continues to grow. Traffic grew three percent in the last month for online poker games, much of the growth attributed to the $700,000 Milestone Hands promotion from PokerStars.

PokerStars is an industry giant when it comes to online poker around the globe. PokerScout says PokerStar increased its ring game traffic by more than 14 percent this year. This ie because players were intrigued by cash bonuses offered for playing a certain number of hands. The promotion was so successful that it’s expected to continue in the future even though it was initially intended to be a short-term promotion.

Online Poker Game

Traffic at PokerStars is estimated to be 10 times greater than its nearest rival, 888poker. With promotions like Milestone Hands that lead is anticipated to increase in 2014. Industry buzz has it that milestone promotions will move to the U.S. soon if PokerStars merges with Amaya Gaming. This partnership will allow for corporate restructuring of Amaya and allow it to enter the U.S. market.

Amaya is in charge of Ongame Network. That online poker outlet is ranked nearly 30th in online poker traffic and has experienced a one-third stock price rise in the basis of takeover rumors. This mean that global giant PokerStars may be on the verge of breaking through to the U.S. the company already has moved into a tie with Bodog/Bovada for sixth place in worldwide online poker traffic.

Other online poker news revolves around the Equity Poker Network’s failure to expand it’s global reach. EPN lost 5 percent of its online poker traffic this year due to Full Flush Poker and Integer Poker failing to attract a good number of players. This online poker site also lost s=certification in some markets.

Historically, poker has always incorporated a number of variables. Some of these variables are statistical (the chances of a particular hand based on the number of decks and players), and some are more intangible (the particular bent or personality of the people you’re playing with). It’s this mix of concrete and abstract that tends to make poker more fascinating than, say, a round on the slot machines.

So what’s the attraction in a game of online poker? With online poker, you can’t adjudge the character of your opponent, and you can’t estimate whether or not he’s bluffing. You have, essentially, no point of reference to decide whether or not to go all in or retire from the round.

Poker GraphicsBut therein lies a supreme advantage. Most of the better poker players out there will be so practiced in the art and skill of bluffing that an online game could in fact save from making an unwise judgment –going all in, perhaps, when you shouldn’t, or retiring from a round when you in fact hold the best hand.

Additionally, there are a host of creature comfort benefits. Some users say that they love being able to play in their pajamas and slippers. They say they appreciate the fact that they can roll their eyes and make other gestures of disrespect as and when they feel like without fear that they’re giving some essential clue away about their game. Still others cite how they can dance the funky chicken when they win big without fear of looking like a fool in front of casino personnel. Online poker players have no need to worry about finding parking at a casino and driving home afterwards. They can play as long or as little as they want without noisy cocktail waitresses asking them to order a drink.

Importantly, online poker offers players the chance to practice play, and tend to give them a variety of sign-up and renewal bonuses that land-based casinos simply aren’t able to offer. Generally, this is because online establishments have managed to reduce, quite drastically, their operating costs and they readily pass this saving onto their clientele.

Finally, it’s a mistake to believe that online poker creates a sterile environment without the buzz and atmosphere of a real game. Many of the better sites have implemented a truly multi-sensory experience to online play, giving users the feeling of gambling at a real table, with a real dealer and real opponents. And if you insist on playing with other live players, many casinos will also offer a live video streaming option with real-time views of other contenders.

On balance, online poker is a really fun way of engaging with the game in a safe environment that free from pestering pit bosses, glaring cameras and tipsy patrons.