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Poker's Big Gamble —Dropping Gambling

Poker federation wants to change image into that of a 'mind sport'

(Newser) - The International Federation of Poker is making its biggest gamble yet—that poker can become a bigger game by getting rid of the gambling. “The fact is there are all these people who are attracted to poker but have stayed away from it because they didn’t want to... More »

A-Rod Faces Suspension Over Poker Games

League to interview Yankees' Rodriguez about alleged gambling

(Newser) - Alex Rodriguez may have wagered more than he thought. The Yankees slugger is facing possible suspension over alleged involvement in high-stakes poker games, reports ESPN . The third baseman is accused of playing in at least two games—one at the Beverly Hills mansion of a record producer that included open... More »

Tobey Maguire Sued Over Poker Winnings

'Spider-Man' star caught in poker game ponzi scheme

(Newser) - Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire and other celebrities have been caught in a web of lawsuits seeking to reclaim more than $4 million won during unlicensed poker matches at upscale Beverly Hills hotels, court records show. The lawsuits were filed by a bankruptcy trustee attempting to recoup money for investors who... More »

Freakonomics: Poker Is Skill, Not Luck

Pros have drastically better return on investment

(Newser) - With the US cracking down on online poker , Freakonomics co-author Steven Levitt has published a study demonstrating that it’s a game of skill, not a game of chance. That’s a major distinction, because games of chance are forbidden as gambling under state and federal laws, whereas games of... More »

The New Gambler: Poker Bots

But they still can't beat the best humans

(Newser) - Online poker’s not just for humans anymore: Robots have entered the game, and they’re winning tens of thousands, the New York Times reports. Such bots have existed for a while—but only recently have they gotten good at the game, thanks to advances in artificial intelligence. Top game... More »

Reid Proposes Legalizing Online Poker

...But only for big casinos like the ones that donated to his campaign

(Newser) - Harry Reid’s staff is circulating a bill that would legalize online poker sites, the Wall Street Journal reports, in a none-too-subtle attempt to repay the big casinos that donated to his reelection campaign. The casinos argue that the bill would provide players with consumer protections, while tossing some tax... More »

Why Physicists Clean Up at Poker

To start, they understand numbers

(Newser) - What's the not-so-simple secret of playing poker? Quantum physics, finds NPR . It turns out that several top players are physicists—and that's no fluke. Physicists understand probability, statistics, and modeling. "I mean—when you think about it—they build models of the world," says Jennifer Ouellette, author of... More »

Online Poker Creates Real-Life Teen Champs

Players can participate in thousands of hands a day

(Newser) - The last winner of the World Series of Poker, 22-year-old Joe Cada, had been legally able to play poker in a casino for less than a year. Yet by the time he blew away the competition at the WSOP, Cada had played millions of hands—by his reckoning, 2,000... More »

Stock Fraudster Sentenced to... Play Poker?

Judge orders gambling addict to play to pay off his victims

(Newser) - A New Mexico stockbroker who confessed to stealing money from his clients so he could gamble has been ordered to… continue gambling. Samuel McMaster allegedly stole $400,000 from his elderly victims, but a judge has allowed him to go free, provided he can win it all back in poker... More »

German Cops Hunt 'Dumb' Gang in $340K Poker Heist

Robbers left 'mountains of clues' after raid on Berlin tourney

(Newser) - German police say it will be only a matter of time before they catch up with the gang who made off with $340,000 in jackpot money after storming a Berlin poker tournament over the weekend. The masked, machete- and gun-wielding thugs carried out the robbery "chaotically and amateurishly"... More »

Poker Crowns New Champ, 21

Joe Cada beats Darvin Moon with pocket nines in Las Vegas

(Newser) - Earlier this year, Joe Cada couldn’t legally gamble in Las Vegas—but early this morning, the 21-year-old was crowned the youngest-ever winner of the World Series of Poker in Sin City. “It’s a dream come true,” Cada, who won $8.5 million, tells the Sun . Pocket... More »

Logger Earns World Series of Poker Final

Darvin Moon will take on 21-year-old Joe Cada

(Newser) - A logger and a community college dropout have outlasted 6,492 other competitors and will go head-to-head in Monday's final of the World Series of Poker. Joe Cada, 21, flirted with elimination in the round that ended today in Las Vegas but holds 136 million chips and a substantial lead... More »

Time to Fold Online Poker Ban

(Newser) - The government's online poker ban isn't just hypocritical—given that state lotteries are "the nation's most aggressive promoters of gambling"—it's unfairly slandering a sport that requires great skill by labeling it mere gambling, George F. Will writes in the Washington Post. Professional poker player Howard Lederer—known... More »

Feds Freeze Online Poker Players' Winnings

Prosecutors deal blow to gamblers as crackdown begins

(Newser) - Federal authorities have seized or frozen bank accounts holding $34 million belonging to online poker players in what appears to be the start of a crackdown, the Wall Street Journal reports. The accounts are managed by a company that handles payments for several popular online poker sites, and the cash... More »

'Straight-Edge' Markoff's Pals Wonder What They Missed

Those who knew him see few hints he was dangerous

(Newser) - Those who’ve known Philip Markoff throughout his life are at a loss to explain how a “straight-edge” young man stands accused of being the Craigslist killer, the Boston Globe reports. “If there were any clues” to a sordid alter-ego, “he hid them well,” said a... More »

Phelps' Gal Pal Meets Mom

Girlfriend spends Thanksgiving with fam

(Newser) - Olympic champion Michael Phelps brought his latest prize home: his girlfriend spent Thanksgiving with the family in Baltimore, People reports. The pair met in Vegas, where Phelps is practicing for the World Series of Poker and his gal pal works as a cocktail waitress. The Olympic sensation says the card... More »

The Games Candidates Play, Casino Edition

Poker pegs Obama as deep thinker; McCain's flash evident in craps

(Newser) - The presidential contenders are both gambling men, and long ago picked poisons—flashy craps for McCain, backroom poker for Obama—that reflect strikingly different competitive natures. McCain, whom aides recently had to drag from the tables, loves the “thrill seeker’s” game, Time notes: He heartily plays for thousands... More »

Humans Ace Computer in Poker Match

AI edged out, but programmers plan to up the ante

(Newser) - Two top-rated professional poker players defeated the world's top poker computer after a tense John Henry-like showdown yesterday at an Artificial Intelligence Conference, CBC reports. The victory was determined by a tie-breaking round after both man and machine took one each; over 500 hands were ultimately dealt. More »

Psychologist Wins Poker WS

Laotian-American defeats Vietnamese-Canadian, wins $8M

(Newser) - A psychologist from California with less than two years of poker experience won the World Series of Poker, thanks to a combination of canny, aggressive play and timely hands. Jerry Yang entered the last hand with $107 million, a WSOP record, and personally eliminated seven of his final eight rivals... More »

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