THE GAMBLING INDUSTRY’S CONSTRUCTIVE CRITIC: Detail man extraordinaire Casino owners could profit handsomely by following Bill Friedman’s principles of design

Pressed up against the sidewalk on Las Vegas Boulevard, dressed in its Vegas-meets-the-Arabian-Nights theme, the Aladdin is an intriguing resort.

If not quite a mirage, the year-old resort is at least a 2,547-room oasis.

Like a tale from the Arabian Nights, the Aladdin offers walk-up visitors a mystery in the form of a question: How could a resort that cost $1.4 billion be built without a front door?


In truth, the entrance does exist, and you don’t need to shout “open sesame” to access it. It’s just that many tourists are finding it easier to make a  Pengeluaran HK carpet fly than to step inside the building.


In recent weeks, Aladdin executives have spent increasing amounts of time denying the resort is in such a weakened financial state that its sale was imminent. With its $725 million debt and double-digit interest, what’s even harder for them to deny is that the Strip resort faces a serious financial restructuring ahead. Of late, they appear to have finally come to the realization that bankruptcy, despite earlier denials, is a genuine possibility.


Of course, the Aladdin’s executives might have saved themselves a mountain of misery and many millions if they’d only seen the state of the casino industry through Bill Friedman’s eyes.


Friedman, an industry consultant for more than 25 years and the former president and general manager of the Castaways and Silver Slipper casinos,is the author of “Designing Casinos to Dominate the Competition.”


If you haven’t heard much about Friedman’s fascinating book, you’re not alone.


At 629 pages, the $150 hardback is physically and intellectually weighty. It was greeted by nary a public whimper from the industry when it was published late last year by the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno. Although its cover price and subject matter will probably keep it off the best-seller lists, “Designing Casinos” is a must-read for anyone interested in seriously examining the

physical makeup and psychology of Nevada’s gambling halls.


The fact Friedman has the courage to tell it like it is makes his book all the more valid. After analyzing the Aladdin, for example, Friedman notes the problems with the entrance, but adds that the resort’s greater challenges

are found once prospective customers cross the threshold.


“Obviously, design, from my point of view, plays a key role in the problems that it’s having,” he says. “I don’t think anyone would disagree that the entrance to the Aladdin has weak design. But since we already have a casino that has many people entering it every day, especially since it’s the newest on the Strip, attracting more people into it with a low ratio of gambling isn’t going to help much. They aren’t going to accomplish much by improving the exterior.


“The best thing to do is to address the exterior and interior, but it is the interior which will have the effect of dramatically increasing the ratio of people who will gamble. If only one of them can be done, the interior is the

most important.”


The Aladdin, he observes, suffers from the “barn” factor, a design malady common to all new major resorts. The ceilings are too high, the lines of sight not well defined. In short, a barn does not a winning casino make.


By Friedman’s pencil, as little as $12 million in smart interior redesign could begin to change the Aladdin’s casino fortunes. For a company paying more than 10 percent interest on more than three-quarters of a billion dollars worth of debt, that’s pocket change.


That is, if it’s not already too late.


Like a lot of newer businesses, the casino industry attracts critics from without and breeds sycophants from within. Cutting through the industry’s mayonnaise-thick layer of propaganda is so rare that when corporate titans

such as Terry Lanni or Steve Wynn utter even a few critical remarks, their words lead TV broadcasts and are splashed on the front page of the city’s dailies. When a Great and Powerful Oz speaks, the Emerald Kingdom gets all aflutter.


With few exceptions, industry leaders paint in broad brush strokes and leave the detail work to others.


Friedman is a detail man extraordinaire.


“When the data regarding every competitive situation were combined, they revealed that particular interior design elements substantially influence player counts,” he writes. “I was stunned! I had not anticipated that consumer gambling behavior would be so consistent and quantifiable, or that the simple interior design concepts I was developing could so accurately and mathematically predict a casino’s degree of success or failure.”


Ever the self-marketer, he calls his 13 concepts the Friedman Casino Design Principles. Those casinos which adhered to his principles, without exception, produced the highest player counts and beat the competition.

Those which strayed suffered the consequences, Friedman observed, “no matter who managed them or what marketing programs were implemented.”


“These findings do not suggest that weakly designed casinos will be unprofitable, but that they will always fail to achieve anything close to their potential …” he says. “Some Strip megaresorts that opened in the 1990s are good examples of casinos that fail to maximize potential. They have achieved good profitability despite weak casino interior design.”


It is important to note that by “interior design,” Friedman does not mean the decor or theme of a casino, but the structure and lay-out of the gambling area itself. In fact, observes Friedman, much of what modern casino “visionaries” perceive as attractive interior design actually turns off



Which casino does it best?


None of the new ones, he says.


Despite their grandeur, they all fail to overcome their “barn” feeling, which he asserts is a major turnoff to casino customers. One casino which almost got it right, in his opinion, was The Mirage, which managed to create a cozy table game atmosphere, but entirely missed the mark with its slot machine methodology.


“Every one of the major hotels is a large barn, which my research shows has the most detrimental effect on play,” Friedman says. “The big barn has the worst impact on player counts that I know of. The Aladdin has the highest ceiling in the state of Nevada, and ceiling height is a major factor. Almost everything is visible throughout. From the front door you can see the back walls.”


There’s an undeniable irony in what Friedman proposes: The megaresort era,with its handsome facades, was a major departure from the traditional methods of doing business. While profits increased from rising room rates and other nongaming areas, which in past times had been loss leaders, casino revenues did not increase in proportion to the huge expansion in visitor volume.


It’s no secret Las Vegas now attracts many millions of nongamblers. But Friedman believes the newer resorts also repel potential players.


“Historically, there’s been casinos with ugly fronts that did tremendous business because their interiors were so strong that people kept returning and recommending them,” Friedman says. “One in this category would be the (old) Castaways. It had one of the highest wins despite the fact it had few rooms and an ugly exterior. It pirated away a good deal of play during the junket era. … The Aladdin can do the same thing today. The hotels are much larger, but the player-to-visitor volume is lower than it’s ever been.


“The good news in all of this is, the one who does it first in each section of the Strip is going to dramatically increase its player counts, win, and profitability.”


In his foreword, Institute for the Study of Gambling Director William Eadington gives Friedman credit for attempting to quantify interior design as it affects players. Although he falls short of endorsing all of

Friedman’s theory, he notes, “This is heady stuff. If Friedman’s arguments are right, then modern conventional casino design standards are akin to what 18th century doctors prescribed for many of their patients: bleeding for the purpose of ridding the body of ‘bad blood.’ If Friedman’s arguments are right, then there are opportunities for casinos all over Nevada, and all over the world, to alter their interior designs and capture market share,and to increase revenues and financial performance even if there is no competition for them to confront.”


Adds UNLV International Gaming Institute Executive Director Shannon Bybee,”The sheer audacity of attempting to analyze 81 casinos and identify their physical aspects of the operation that correlate with success is to be admired.”


And he’s right.


Whether the casino industry’s titans endorse Friedman’s principles and observations, or believe he falls short of the mark, they ought to respect and admire his effort.


In an industry hooked on hype and riddled with copycats, Bill Friedman’s constructive criticism is refreshing.



John L. Smith ( is a Review-Journal columnist.


The 13 Friedman Design Principles:


  1. A physically segmented casino beats an open barn.


  1. Gambling equipment immediately inside casino entrances beats vacant

raised entrance landings and empty lobbies.


  1. Short lines of sight beat extensive visible depth.


  1. The maze layout beats long, wide, straight passageways and aisles.


  1. A compact and congested gambling-equipment layout beats a vacant and

spacious floor layout.


  1. An organized gambling-equipment layout with focal points of interest

beats a floor layout that lacks a sense of organization.


  1. Segregated, sit-down facilities beat contiguous ones.


  1. Low ceilings beat high ceilings.


  1. The gambling equipment as the decor beats impressive and memorable



  1. Standard decor beats interior casino themes.


  1. Pathways emphasizing the gambling equipment beat the Yellow Brick Road.


  1. Visitor perception beats reality.


  1. Multiple interior settings and gambling ambiances beat a single

atmosphere throughout.



The Slot Psychology of Poker

“What in the world were they thinking?” I’m sure I’m not the only poker player who has asked this questions literally hundreds of times at the poker table. What drives players to play the way they do, especially if they play badly? What drives each of us to do things at the table that we know are costing us money? In The Psychology of Poker, Alan N. Schoonmaker, who holds a PhD in psychology, attempts to understand what motivates poker players and to understand how they think and why.


After an introduction, Schoonmaker asks the reader to examine their own game, looking at one’s own motivations and skills critically and honestly. Of course, if one isn’t truly honest, much of the rest of the book won’t help, but the author does a good job of guiding the reader toward understanding their true motivations. Poker skills are covered next, including reading hands and game selection, with a discussion about how one’s personal tendencies influence these skills. Next, Schoonmaker introduces a grid system on which players can be rated. Tightness vs. looseness and passiveness vs. aggressiveness are discussed, and the reader is guided through the process of rating oneself and other players on this scale.


The problem is that this doesn’t cover the whole picture. As one example, a Slot player can be tight and aggressive, playing few hands but playing those strong, but if these hands are garbage, they won’t go very far. There’s at least a third axis (and probably several more) that includes good and bad decision making. Counting the number of hands and the proportion of raises to calls can be useful, but it still gives an incomplete picture, and this may lead to an improper strategy. The author does mention the possibility that a player may be of a mixed type, for example, tight and aggressive before the flop, but a calling station from then on. However, the book doesn’t give us a lot of information about why these people might play the way they do.


The next four sections cover various types of players focusing on the corners of the grid. We are told what the characteristics of players in each of the zones are likely to be, and some suggestions are made as to what motivates them. This is done from the perspective of analyzing the play of other players in each of these categories, as well as coming to terms with our own game if we fall into any given classification.


After this, the book presents some analysis of ways in which players self-destruct in their games, and what can be done to avoid it. Then we have the conclusion, and finally there are three appendices: A quiz covering whether the reader has the “right stuff” to play poker well, an article on why an aspiring poker player should think again if they’re considering turning pro, and quick summaries of the previous chapters.


Schoonmaker claims that he’s not a poker professional by any means, that he is a moderate winner in low limit games. He says that the purpose of his book is to analyze players, not give strategic advice, and that’s fine by me. However, I see a great deal of strategic advice in this book. Some of it is quite good, for example, I don’t recall seeing the concept of “buying outs” explained better. Some of it I have some minor disagreement with. The fact that David Sklansky reviewed the book from a strategic angle probably explains the generally good quality of this information. However, there isn’t nearly as much information about examining the motivations and methods of other poker players as I would have hoped, which is the author’s field of expertise, although what’s there is fairly decent.


Another deficiency is that almost nothing is said about the less extreme, “average” players that don’t have tendencies near the edge of the author’s grid, which is where we would probably locate the majority of players. While it may not seem interesting to cover the average case, I honestly don’t know what a “5,5” player in a local 3-6 Hold’em game might be thinking about, but I’d like to. I was hoping this book would tell me, but it doesn’t.


Overall, we probably get a better grounding of the psychology of the people who play poker, both our opponents and ourselves, than we do in any other book. However, the book has more advice on how to play against these people and how to alter our play than it has information on why people play the way they do. I was hoping for more of the latter than I got. However, it is a good book, one that I found worth reading, although the true masterpiece on poker psychology has yet to be written.




While The Psychology of Poker is probably the best book written on the mind of the poker player, there is more strategic advice and less psychology than I would have expected or liked. The book is certainly worth reading, not just to understand our opponents, but also to understand ourselves. However, the ultimate book on poker psychology has yet to be written. I do recommend it, however.




The Cincinnati Kid from Sbobet88

Have you seen the movie The Cincinnati Kid? It’s available on video, and excellent candidate for rental by those who like movies about poker. It’s great, that is, except the climactic scene, in which The Kid (Steve McQueen) plays five-card stud against Lancey Howard (Edward G. Robinson).

And if you haven’t seen this classic, don’t read any further till you rent the video, unless you don’t mind my giving away the ending.

The final hand produces aces full of 10s against a queen-high straight flush. This scene exemplifies how Hollywood envisions Sbobet88 poker. They think that unless one monumental hand gets crushed by an even better hand, audiences won’t be moved. This is the same thinking that believes that audiences aren’t satisfied with a simple shootout anymore. No, James Bond has to face down the villains with rocket launchers against guided missiles. And the same thinking that has to blow up entire buildings to kill one bad guy because audiences would say ho hum to the hero just clapping the cuffs on the supervillain.

But let’s not even consider that. Let’s just talk about the math and how the Kid reacted to the “bad beat.”

Not only was the hand played badly, but its occurrence was so unlikely as to stagger the imagination. The odds against getting a particular straight flush in five-card stud are 2,598,959 to 1. That is, in the deck of 52, there are 2,598,960 possible hands. Only one of them is a queen-high straight flush in diamonds.

Given that one hand is that particular straight flush, the odds that the other hand will be specifically aces full of tens are 127,827 to 1 against. (One of the tens is in the straight flush.)

The odds that both of these hands will appear in one deal of two-handed five-card are 332,220,508,619 to 1 against. That’s over 300 billion to 1!

Okay, let’s be charitable. Let’s say the scene would have been just as dramatic with any full house being beat by any straight flush. The odds against this happening are “only” 45,102,784 to 1.

Don’t you think the Cincinnati Kid would be suspicious if he had a full house beat by a straight flush in a two-handed five-card stud game? Let’s put this in perspective. If the Kid and Lancey Howard played 50 hands of stud an hour, eight hours a day, five days a week–let’s give them a break, weekends off, plus one extra day per year–this situation should come up once in about 433 years.

By the way, it’s considerably less likely than that. Most of the time, the two hands wouldn’t be played to the end. Most of the time the player with the pairs or three of a kind would bet his hand properly, and the other player with two or three cards to a straight flush would fold. Say the deck has been shuffled, randomly, such that this deal aces full of tens and a queen-high straight flush in diamonds will be dealt. The Kid has an ace on the board and one in the hole. Howard has an eight of diamonds up and queen of diamonds in the hole. The Kid bets $100 and Howard wisely folds. Gee. Now we gotta wait another 433 years.

Others have suggested that those two hands look like a setup, and I’m sure knowledgeable poker players who see the movie agree. But that, too, is really farfetched. Not just mathematically, either. Any poker player who had aces full beat by a straight flush would be sure he had been cold-decked. He wouldn’t sit still for it for a minute. And therein lie two more points of implausibility.

First, why didn’t the Cincinnati Kid start screaming foul when he got beat? If you got beat like that, would you just walk away shaking your head, muttering to yourself, “Well, them’s breaks”? I doubt it. The epiphanal line of the move is Lancey’s final remark, “Gets down to what it’s all about, doesn’t it? Making the wrong move at the right time.” Oh yeah. Now that he hears that, the Cincinnati Kid can be satisfied and walk away understanding everything.

Second, assuming Howard and Lady Fingers (the dealer) were in cahoots and had cheated the Kid, do you think they’d do it that way? Nah. They’d know that no one would ever “go for it.” Likely they’d give the Kid three of a kind, and have Howard fill up two pair on the last card. Or, probably they wouldn’t even go that strong. They’d give the Kid something like three sevens, and Howard a pair of nines, one of them in the hole, and have him catch the third nine on the last card.

When I first saw this movie, by the way, I thought that totally unbelievable climactic scene was a Hollywood fiction. But in the book on which the movie is based, The Cincinnati Kid, by Richard Jessup, published in the early ’60s, that last situation is exactly the same. Same two hands. And that I don’t understand. Except for that scene, the book is one of the best fictional treatments of poker and the life of a hustler I have ever read. All the rest of it rings true.

I heartily recommend the book to you. You can probably find it in your public library. Just at the end pretend that it’s three sevens being beat by three nines.


The Beginner’s Guide to Winning ligaz888

Everyone’s doing it. Walk the floor of a rammin’ jammin’ casino and you’ll see throngs of people pulling handles, throwing dice, and playing cards. They’re laughing, yelling, and acting like they’re about to own a piece of the joint. It looks like fun.

In fact, it looks like something you’d probably like to try. There’s just one tiny little hang-up: You get a raging case of the cold-sweat wobblies every time you even think about joining in. Well, don’t worry, that’s natural. These games are scary. Almost all beginners are intimidated by the live table games at first. It’s not that they’re afraid of losing money, they’re worried about making mistakes and looking foolish. That explains the popularity of slot machines, which are much less threatening to play.

Fear of embarrassment is a powerful deterrent. My first experience was about as traumatic as they come. I began studying the mathematics of card counting as a junior in high school when I was given my first book on blackjack. That meant I had five years to study, practice, and think about gambling before I actually walked up to my first blackjack game–in the old Marina casino in Las Vegas. Could I count cards? You bet I could. I could count cards like crazy–speed drills against a stopwatch, accuracy against a computer, dry runs with friends dealing to me at the kitchen table. But I’d never done it in a live situation with real money, real players, and most importantly, a real dealer.

As I approached my first table, I suddenly felt that awful twinge of anxiety that lets you know that you’re about to embarrass yourself. I no longer wanted to step up to that table, but I wasn’t about to wimp out, either. I put a twenty on the layout and the dealer gave me chips. I’d watched the game long enough to know how to place a bet, and I pushed two dollars into the ligaz888 circle. So far, so good. What came next, though, was a blur. Count the cards? Fat chance. The dealer was delivering them so fast, I was confused before the second one got to me. Then, horror of horrors, it was time for me to play my hand. The dealer was pointing at me. The other players were looking at me. Even if I could remember whether I was supposed to hit or stand, I didn’t know how to convey it. Next thing I knew the dealer was scooping up my cards and money. And I barely had time to take a breath, when–here came the cards again.

By about the tenth hand, though, I’d gotten into the swing of things.

Since then I’ve logged hundreds of thousands of hands and seen an army’s worth of beginners make just about every crazy goof-up that a novice can make. Some of the most common mistakes are avoidable simply by knowing about them beforehand. I’ll alert you to a few of them here, in an effort to keep you out of harm’s way, and protected from a first-time experience that in any way resembles mine.

Keep this rule of thumb in mind: The easier it is to play, the more you can expect to pay. Mechanical games like slot machines pose only a minor threat to your ego, but a major one to your wallet. You can knock down the casino edge by playing table games, but you’ll have to expend a little effort to prepare.

Gambling Online: Should you play?

Here are three questions you should ask yourself first:

Can you pay off the credit card deposits each and every month?

If not, Don’t Play.

Will you keep good records of deposits and withdrawals?

If not, Don’t Play.

Do you think you may have a gambling problem or addiction?

If so, Don’t Play.

My own experiences playing online have been almost entirely favorable. The few transactions where I experienced problems were frustrating, and somewhat time consuming. But, they were fortunately rare. I keep records of all my transactions so that I can easily follow-up on any errors. I’ve made a decent profit by taking advantage of the generous bonus offers. And, surprisingly to me, I found playing online to be a lot of fun. This year, I played more hours online than I did in land-based casinos, although my average bet size is a lot lower online. I expect to be a regular at some of my favorite sites for many years to come. Maybe I’ll see you there.

Disclaimer: This site is supported by advertising from online casinos, so…

Why have I just spent this time telling you the good and bad side of online gambling? I think this industry is going to continue to grow, and I think its reputation will improve as the better casinos gain market share by treating their players well. If and when you do decide to play, I’d like you to consider this site to be a source of accurate and relevant information about gambling online. And, hopefully you’ll choose one of my ads to take you to a casino. Even then, if you follow my blackjack strategy advice, my advertisers are unlikely to make much money from you as a player. That’s fine with me. I’d rather provide accurate helpful advice and recommend reputable casinos here than make money by duping players into foolish strategies at questionable sites.

Best of luck at the tables.


It All Started with UFASoccer

It all started with soccer, football actually, but in American lingo “football” means something else, so I’ll stick with soccer. Soccer started in England. Two teams try and kick the round ball into the opponent’s goal. Rule No.1 is that you do not touch the ball with your hands. One day, at Rugby school, a boy named William Webb Ellis became bored with the game. Maybe it was the lack of goals. Whatever the reason, he decided to pick up the ball and run with it, and thus was born “Rugby Football.”


Rule No.1 of Rugby Football is you do not pass the ball forward. The introduction of the forward pass was what transformed Rugby Football into American Football. Along the line the ball also changed shape, so that in Rugby Football, as in American Football, the ball is guaranteed to bounce in an unpredictable fashion, usually in the direction you would rather it hadn’t.


But soccer, and soccer betting, is my subject. It’s a big business, popular with punters worldwide except in America. Its success rests on the fact that it is honest. The players are sufficiently well paid to make winning the best proposition, rather than conspiring to defraud us poor bookies.


Looking at UFA through American gambler’s eyes I would immediately perceive the paucity of goals. The whole purpose of the game is to score goals but, sadly, there aren’t many of them. Nearly 9% of games end up with no goals at all. The crowd will turn up and pay their cash to watch two teams try and score goals, but at the end of ninety minutes neither side has managed one. Despite this, soccer is a great game to watch and, if you are watching it, you should bet on it. The problem is what to recommend for the experienced American bettor.


You will have noticed that if the scores are level after ninety-minutes the game is a draw and the players and crowd go home. While this is not always true, most soccer betting is on the ninety-minutes play, even if the rules allow for extra time. This means that there are three possible outcomes to a soccer match. I’ve found that most American bettors prefer to find winners from only two possibilities. Americans also find it difficult to accept the roughly 11% “juice” that results from 3-way betting.


For Americans it just has to be the total goals. Here are the stats. In the English Premiership over the last five years, 8.79% of games finished goalless, 18.47% with just one goal, and 24.11% with two goals, making 51.37% under the usual 2.5 goal’s line. Last season the figures were 9.21%, 17.11%, and 26.58%, making 52.90% under. So you would expect the under to be favourite? Wrong! Usually there are more games where the favourite is over 2.5 goals than where the favourite is under. This is because English punters, being optimists, expect to see goals and bet accordingly.


So, here’s the deal. Wait for the next live TV game and have a good wager on the under 2.5 goals. There are two possible outcomes—you lose your wager but discover the truth that with every goal soccer is the most beautiful game in the World; or you watch a boring game for ninety interminable minutes, turn off the TV in relief, and then realize—hell, I just backed a winner!





Great Sign-up and Deposit Judi Online Terpercaya Bonuses

Captain Cook’s offers a whopping 48 Las Vegas style games to choose from, some great bonuses, and a Flash casino option.

New players are eligible for a 100% sign-up bonus up to $50. There’s also a $12,000 Jacks or Better giveaway, a $24,000 Blackjack giveaway, and a $50 weekly giveaway if you’re looking for more.

Captain Cook’s offers all of Microgaming progressive jackpots, including Treasure Nile, which is over $40,000 right now and SupaJax, which is about to go through $30,000.

One great giveaway at Captain Cook’s is the weekly draw. Purchase and play $100 between midnight Saturday and 5 p.m. following Saturday, and be online between 8 and 10 p.m. that Saturday for a chance to win the big jackpot. The total is up to $13,000 this week, so be sure to enter for your chance to win.

Captain Cook’s accepts FirePay, PayPal, Visa/MasterCard, and players can check the payouts and account balances using the casino’s CashCheck System.

Grand Banks

Grand Banks offers players a free download and a 25% deposit bonus up to $150.

There are 32 games to choose from, including 15 video poker games, at Grand Banks. Players can earn free chips with Red Carpet Rewards or $75 cash for the Refer-A-Friend program.

Grand Banks is now accredited by TGC (The Chance Group), which offers members ChanceRewards that are transferable between casinos and the ability to host their own tournaments. New members are eligible to win a million free Chance rewards.

Grand Banks accepts FirePay, Visa, and MasterCard.

Crazy Vegas

Crazy Vegas offers players a choice of 32 games, including all of Microgaming’s progressive slots.

New users are eligible for a 15% deposit bonus up to an amazing $1500 when they purchase with PayPal, FirePay, and ACH purchases.

Visa and MasterCard users aren’t shut out, either. There is a 10% deposit bonus up to $1000 on credit card purchases.

Crazy Vegas is also giving away $500 in the End of Summer Crazy Giveaway Slots Tournament for rest of October, so be sure to check those out.

The Judi Online Terpercaya casino accepts PayPal, FirePay, and ACH, and is licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.

Pai Gow and High Roller Blackjack at CherryCasino

CherryCasino has added Pai Gow Poker and a high roller Multi-Box Blackjack to its already extensive selection of casino games.

Casino manager George Lindgren commented, “CherryCasino is releasing a variation of the Chinese game Pai Gow, played with a 53 card deck, including a joker.

“The object of the game is to split a seven-card hand into a five-card and a two-card hand and beat the dealer’s two hands. It is a challenging game, but the player is helped by a suggestion from the game.

“The game also features an optional side bet, where you can win up to 8000 times your bet. Table limits are $1-100 for the regular bet, and $1-40 for the side bet.”

Lindgren went on to say that, “[CherryCasino software developer] Net Entertainment is also extending its range of blackjack games with a high roller version, where you can bet up to $500 on each of up to three boxes. This is a game for the real blackjack player.”



Never Judge a Book by its Cover

In this day and age, poker players at all levels have access to endless amounts of information on how to play the game. Practically all the major books and poker gurus stress that it’s very important to study your opponents and to work out what sort of category they fit into. This is indeed very good advice, but it’s normally a good idea to go a little bit further. You may place a player in a particular category and later discover that while you were right at the time, this was only because circumstances dictated that a guy deviate from his normal game. Tilt is one example, or having a bankroll too big or too small. To illustrate this point, I’d like to tell you a story involving the legendary Mike Sexton.


Before Mike experienced a change in fortune a couple of years ago, he was a frequent and very popular visitor to the Aviation Club in Paris. Mike’s the only guy in the history of the Aviation’s restaurant to have a personal bottle of ketchup kept for him by the restaurant manager from trip to trip. He holds the interesting record of having eaten steak and chips on 53 consecutive visits. Mike has quite a tasty tournament record in Paris, including a memorable victory over local favorite Claude Cohen in winning the European Championship. Mike also frequently played the Aviation’s cash games, at which he was less than successful. This surprised him, as he played a very tight and steady game, which should have been a winning formula against the French players back then. At that time, if you were to ask any of the French players to put Mike into a category, tight was exactly how they’d rate him — too tight, maybe. Imagine how surprised they’d have been if they knew the bluffer hidden just beneath the surface.


Mike lost his case money one afternoon in the Aviation Club and was so shocked by the beat he’d just taken that he left the club before realizing that he didn’t even have the price of a metro ticket in his pocket. He was so fed up that he decided to take on the long walk to where he was staying rather than having to face going back into the club to borrow some money for the trip. The inevitable happened, and when Mike was halfway home, the skies opened. Mike decided to take cover from the downpour and stepped inside the door of the nearest hotel, which just happened to be The Crillon, one of the classiest and most expensive hotels in Europe, and a little beyond Mike’s budget at the time. When you approach The Crillon, two doormen open the door for you, a sure sign that you can’t afford it, but very nice, nonetheless. As Mike stood in the foyer, he was approached by the manager, who asked if he could help. Mike took a look back out the door, saw that the rain was still bucketing down, and decided to make a big play. He told the manager that he was an American businessman who visited Paris five or six times a year and was staying with one of the hotel’s competitors, but that The Crillon had been recommended to him by a colleague, so he had come along to check it out, with a view to upgrading his accommodation on future visits. The manager was absolutely delighted and proceeded to personally show Mike around. After showing Mike the lounges and the dining rooms, he took Mike upstairs and showed him one of the bedrooms. As it was still raining, Mike decided to play for more time and said that although he was quite impressed with the room, he was really looking for something a little larger. The manager got very excited and took him to see the best suite in the hotel. It was called the Leonard Bernstein Suite and cost a mere $4,800 per night. Mike carried out an inspection of the suite and, as soon as he noticed the rain easing off a little, told the manager that he was very impressed with what he had seen and was looking forward to staying there on his next visit to Paris. Obviously, the tight game that Mike had chosen to play in the Aviation Club wasn’t the game at which he was best.


Free is Too Cheap

I like Jeff Shulman. I really like him, and it’s got nothing to do with his daddy owning this pkv games magazine, because his daddy doesn’t pay me enough to like anybody. Jeff would be a much more famous guy than he is (and we’d think Jesus was still just a God guy) had he not lost with a pair of sevens against Chris Ferguson’s pair of sixes for half the chips in play during the 2000 World Series of Poker. I’d like to think that I’d have taken this setback as well as Jeff has, but there’s no way I nor most others would have. Jeff is absolutely amazing for an American poker player, because he’s got a good sense of humor and is great fun to play with. But everybody has an off day, and Jeff certainly had one recently when he wrote an editorial in the American offshoot of Card Player Europe.


Ten years ago, Mike Sexton told anybody who’d listen in the bar of the Metropol Hotel in London that one day we would all be playing on TV for free. The English thought he was mad, and the Irish thought it was just the drink. Everybody else thought it was both. Imagine our surprise when the Professional Poker Tour commenced this year and 200 poker players were invited to play in five $500,000 events in a place known to us as America, and to Americans as the world, for free. Wow. Everybody was absolutely delighted, except for Jeff, seemingly. Jeff, by his own admission, played badly at the recent PPT event in L.A. and was struggling to find an excuse for his performance. He found one. He blamed his lack of concentration on the fact that he hadn’t had to part with any money to play in the event, and came up with the wonderful suggestion that we all pay an added entry fee to the free tournaments for his convenience. I rest my case.



Who Can Predict the Situs Domino99 A-League?

Who can predict the A-League? Just when it looked like the die had been cast for the season, a few results have turned everything on its head.


Brisbane Roar still retain their seven point lead at the top of the table, but they just cannot seem to beat their nemesis, the Newcastle Jets. The Jets unlikely 1-0 win at Suncorp Stadium on the weekend reminded everyone that, as good as they have been, Brisbane are beatable.


A seven-point lead with eight Situs Domino99 games remaining should be enough to see them claim the Premiership, but suddenly this week’s game against the rampaging Melbourne Heart (who would’ve thought we’d be saying that a month ago!) takes on more importance.


It’s top vs bottom, yet Heart come into this game having won four of their last five, including a 5-0 demolition of Wellington Phoenix in Wellington on Sunday, and chock full of confidence. The arrival of John van’t Schip and the sale of the club to Manchester City has given the red and whites new found belief and, as crazy as it sounds, they’re an outside chance for the top six.


It’s a long shot, but with eight games left to play they are sitting seven points behind sixth placed Sydney FC who probably best epitomise the inconsistent nature of the A-League this season.


The Sky Blues lost three of their first four games, then went on to win five of their next six before slumping again to win only two of their last nine. Yet in that horror run was arguably one of the best moments in the club’s short history – the 5-0 demolition of fierce rivals Melbourne Victory. In Melbourne, no less.


After enduring the week from hell Frank Farina’s side did what they had to do on Saturday and claimed all three points to put them back inside the top six. Reports suggest Farina needs a top four finish to guarantee his position for next season. And while they are only two points behind fourth, it would be a brave man who would suggest Sydney will achieve that.


The three teams with the toughest run home are Australia’s three participants in the AFC Champions League – Western Sydney Wanderers, Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne Victory.


After Melbourne overcame Thai side Muangthong United on Saturday night in Geelong to earn a place in the group stage, all three must now navigate their way through the group stages while also trying to maintain their Premiership and Championship hopes in the A-League.


Tony Popovic has been well aware of the looming congested schedule and has been preparing accordingly, rotating his squad regularly in the first four months of the season to ensure his players are fit and firing for the rigours of competing in two competitions.


All three clubs will play 13 games in 53-55 days, which equates to a game every four days. Add in the lengthy travel times to Japan, China and South Korea and all three clubs will need to be meticulous in their planning to ensure they can compete favourably in both competitions.


We’ve heard about the tough travel for A-League clubs in the past. It was always a pre-planned excuse for A-League teams who didn’t take the ACL as seriously as they should have. And while there is no doubt it is a factor, it will not change now or into the future. So rather than complain, clubs have to learn to adapt and plan their season accordingly.


While Popovic was criticised in some quarters for his constant tinkering, if the Wanderers can maintain their A-League title challenge and perform well in the ACL he will be proven correct, and may well create the template for other coaches to follow in the coming years.


The only A-League club to have any success in Asia is Adelaide United, and after a less than positive start to the season, things seem to have turned around for Josep Gombau’s side.


Lambasted at the start of the season for his decision to implement an entirely new philosophy and game style, and focusing on performance over results, it has started to pay off for Adelaide who have climbed to third on the table and are playing some of the best football in the league, led by their Argentine play maker Marcelo Carrusca who has just re-signed with the club for a further season, a massive boost to the club in the run in to the finals.


While there have been some obvious little tweaks to his plan from the start of the season, not much has changed at Adelaide other than the players are executing the game plan better than they were at the start of the season, which was always going to be the case as they grew more accustomed to the style.


This was clear to see in their second goal on the weekend when, as they have done all season, they opted to play out from the back through Eugene Galekovic. And whilst it almost came unstuck (it would have earlier in the season), the fact they were able to play their way out of trouble and in the space of a matter of passes find their way down the other end of the field to score the winning goal shows how far Adelaide has progressed.


With another eight matches to fine-tune their game plan in the run home they are a side every team will want to avoid come finals time.


And this weekend they have a great chance to cement their spot in the top three when they travel to Melbourne to take on their biggest rivals at AAMI Park. Adelaide fans still talk about the day they broke their hoodoo against Melbourne Victory with a 4-0 win at AAMI Park.


They would love nothing more than to repeat that feat this weekend.


But with just under a third of the season remaining there are no doubt a few more twists and turns left in this A-League season. Absolutely nothing can be taken for granted.


Colombian gold melts the solid Judi Online States



‘Meaningless’ friendlies are supposed to be on borrowed time. The national associations are getting fed up of endless spats with big clubs who don’t want their precious stars coming back injured from international duty.


But any skeptics of these games’ value should have been at Craven Cottage tonight where Colombia and the USA went at it all guns blazing.


The sell-out crowd who turned up on the back of both nations’ impressive World Cup showings got their value for money after a fiery friendly by the Thames.


Both teams picked up where their World Cups in Brazil had ended – the USA still stout, well-marshalled and trying to win via counter-attacks and set pieces against superior opponents, and Colombia fearlessly positive with an attacking and energetic game-plan.


The crowd made the occasion memorable. Despite Judi Online US Soccer hosting a ‘home’ game, London’s oft-forgotten Colombian community had turned out en masse: Cumbia drums, straw hats and flags aplenty, children decked out in national colours and plenty of beautiful women. This was a national carnival run riot.


When Colombia pulled back Jozy Altidore’s early penalty for the US with strikes from Carlos Bacca and Teofilo Gutierrez, their fans celebrated as wildly as anything Fulham had seen before. And whenever James Rodriguez, skippering the side, merely touched the ball, the decibel level shot up.


2-1 to Colombia was a fair result given their dominance of the 90 minutes, but once again Jurgen Klinsmann showed his US eleven are no pushovers and can startle the great, in this case the team who are third in the FIFA World Rankings.


The Americans kept their shape and solidity and in Brazil 2014 stars Kyle Beckerman, John Brooks and Jermaine Jones, have a new spine to build around.


The US also had attacking elements which could trouble Colombia, albeit in isolation. And they certainly had their chances.


Altidore, still forgotten about by Sunderland, maintained his double life as a first-choice international striker, worrying Colombia’s modest centre-back pairing of Pedro Franco and Jeison Murillo with his prize-fighter’s physique.


On the right flank, DeAndre Yedlin’s fast feet reminded Tottenham fans what they can look forward to when he makes the move from Seattle in 2015.


A quicksilver dash by Yedlin late in the game almost yielded a goal but Pablo Armero’s last gasp lunge saved the day.


Debutant US striker Rubio Rubin, all of 18 years old, was a revelation, slotting effortlessly into the starting lineup and providing Altidore with a talented foil in attack. On his knees in prayer before the kick-off, the Utrecht forward might have had divine assistance.


But the magic deserted him just after half time when he guided a header from Alejandro Bedoya’s delightful cross achingly just wide of the Colombian net.


The Hawaiian Bobby Wood, old by Rubin’s standards at 22, was another useful young marksman who equally spurned a chance, toe-poking a shot at Colombian goalie Camilo Vargas at the end of a lovely move forged by US substitutes DaMarcus Beasley and Lee Nguyen.


Rodriguez had it tough, surrounded by American jerseys every time he loitered in his favourite spot, in the centre, twenty yards from the opposition goal. His goalscoring threat remained limited to set pieces until on the hour mark he was instrumental in Colombia’s equaliser.


Combining with Bacca on the edge of the box, the Real Madrid man slotted his return pass expertly between US defenders for the Sevilla striker to bypass Brad Guzan and fire home from an acute angle.


Bacca found himself sidelined in Brazil but started tonight ahead of Jackson Martinez and Adrian Ramos, and made a virtuoso audition for being Colombia’s main striker in the absence of Falcao, who was watching from the stands, wrapped up warm and nursing a calf injury.


He almost found the target in the first half, swerving a shot inches wide of the post after twenty minutes and finding the woodwork on the half hour mark.


Colombia’s winner came three minutes from time when Gutierrez met a cross from substitute Edwin Cardona and flicked his header past the diving Guzan. It was as much as they deserved.


Juan Cuadrado, once again, was their real ace in the pack. The Fiorentina winger was the most lively of Jose Pekerman’s soldiers from the start, beat players with effortless abandon and almost scored himself late on when he forced Guzan into a diving stop.


Colombia have quickly come from nowhere, no World Cup qualification since 1998 to be precise, to being one of the most feared teams in the world.


Their insistence on playing on the front foot, often involving five men streaking upfield in attack, has rightly made them popular in world football, as have their joyful dancing celebrations, which they performed en cue in London this evening.


Being ranked just behind World Cup finalists Germany and Argentina is some reward for Brazil kicking them out at the quarter-final stage in the summer, with unpunished rotation fouling on James.


Maintaining that momentum into the 2016 Copa America and the 2018 World Cup with elevated expectations is now the challenge for their gentlemanly coach Jose Pekerman. On tonight’s evidence, their World Cup fever is still high.


The US, ranked 23rd by comparison, can console themselves with another steady performance with more promising youngsters making the step up to the national team. Klinsmann, who is also the technical director of US Soccer, is witnessing his masterplan of uniting the myriad branches of the American game beginning to bear fruit.


On Tuesday he takes his side to Dublin for a friendly with Eire, while Colombia visit the beautiful city of Ljubljana to take on Slovenia.


Unlike European teams who qualify for the European Championships, teams in North and South America qualify automatically for their regional tournaments, which makes games like tonight’s so vital for gaining experience.


Colombia and the United States at least, kept the friendly fires burning.


GOALS: Altidore (USA) 1:0 10′, Bacca (COL) 1:1 60′, Gutierrez (COL) 1:2 87′


USA: Guzan, Johnson, Garza (Beasley 70′), Brooks, Yedlin (Green 86′), Jones, Beckerman, Diskerud (Nguyen 78′), Bedoya (Morales 67′), Altidore, Rubin (Wood 67′)

COL: Vargas, Armero, Franco, Arias, Murillo, Aguilar (Cardona 74′), Sanchez, Cuadrado (Quintero 88′), Rodriguez, Gutierrez (Martinez 89′), Bacca (Ramos 79′)




England in extasy as Milan and Real Qiu Qiu Online fall



It looks like three English teams will make it to the semifinals of the Champions League, just like they did last season. Arsenal or Liverpool are sure to be there while Manchester United and specially Chelsea are favourits against Roma and Fenerbahce, respectively. We may well see a repetition of last year’s semifinals setup with Liverpool, United and Chelsea, with Barcelona instead of Milan this time.

Well, last year Milan defeated the English competitions, United by a 5-3 aggregate in the semis and Liverpool by 2-1 in the finals, but Milan is out, after being well defeated by Arsenal in the eight-finals.


Milan: End of an era

The Gunners cut short the magnificent Milan’s European run since the 2001/02 season. In the last six campaigns, Red and Blacks made it at least to the quarterfinals, in fact playing five times in the semifinals. Such balance made the Italians the most successful European side in the said period.

Since 2002, when they were stopped in the Qiu Qiu Online UEFA Cup semis by Borussia Dortmund until last season’s grand finale in Athens against Liverpool, Milan failed to make the last four just in 2003/04. On that occasion it took a magnificent performance by Deportivo to kick Silvio Berlusconi’s boy out of the competition.

Apart from that incident, Milan won the Champions League in 2003 and 2007, got narrowly beaten by Liverpool in 2005 and eliminated in the semis of 2006 by eventual winners Barcelona.


Arsenal have thus made history as the team that ended the latest era of Milan’s continental domination, but making it past Liverpool will take an extra effort. The Champions League is Rafael Benítez’s lucky ground and the Reds in Europe regularly look quite a different side, significantly superior to the one seen in the Premiership.

Prediction: Liverpool to progress


Manchester United last year demolished Roma by 7-1, the heaviest defeat in the club’s European history. This season in the group stage the Devils won by a mere 1-0, salvaging a draw in Rome. Francesco Totti and the rest of the ragazzi may be closing on United, but they are not matching them yet.

Prediction: Manchester United by a narrower margin this time


Of all English sides, Chelsea should have the easiest task against the ferocious Turks from Fenerbahce. The Canaries from Istambul boast a reported army of 20 million fans, but Roman Abramovich’s invested millions will count far more on the pitch.

Prediction: Chelsea absolutely must go through


In the remaining tie, the mighty Barcelona’s squad face Schalke, theoretically the weakest side left in the competition. The Germans are struggling even in the Bundesliga, where they have practically surrendered all chances of winning the title (the fans are accustomed to them doing that, by all means). But, this is a spirited, fighting German team which will engage Barca stars in a pitched battle with some, not many, hopes of pulling a stunning upset.

Prediction: Barcelona is so much more talented



Round of sixteen 1st 2nd


Schalke 04 vs Porto 1-0 0-1 (4-1 pen)

Arsenal vs Milan 0-0 2-0

Roma vs Real Madrid 2-1 2-1

Liverpool vs Inter 2-0 0-1

Olympiacos vs Chelsea 0-0 0-3

Celtic vs Barcelona 2-3 0-1

Fenerbahce vs Sevilla 3-2 2-3 (3-2 pen)

Lyon vs Manchester Utd. 1-1 0-1


Quarterfinals (1/2nd and 8/9th April)


Arsenal vs Liverpool

Roma vs Manchester Utd.

Schalke 04 vs Barcelona

Fenerbahce vs Chelsea