While we patiently await our poker pilgrimage, we try to explore new poker rooms and parts of the country whenever we can. Last winter we visited South Florida and Key West. This month we will be visiting the Tampa Bay area. And hopefully later this year we will have some time to check out the Philadelphia poker scene. We have perfected a system for identifying areas we would like to visit, researching them, and planning our poker vacation. So here we present the best way to plan a poker vacation. Read More
CardsChat offers a variety of services to recreational poker players including news, resources, and a wonderfully friendly online forum. This week we had the pleasure of speaking with CardsChat’s long-time Forum Administrator Debi O’Neill. We interviewed Debi to learn more about the site’s offerings and about future directions for CardsChat.
Interview with Debi O’Neill of CardsChat
Heather: CardsChat has been around for about 15 years now, is that correct? Tells us a bit about the history of CardsChat? How was it conceived and by whom?
Debi: Yes, we celebrated our 15-year anniversary this past September! CardsChat was launched in 2004 by Nicholas Kisberg, it was right before the big poker boom when online poker was in its early stages. Players were looking for places to discuss poker and Nick wanted to provide them with a great site for that, where a friendly poker community could be formed.
Tournament poker players all have their favorite poker tournaments. But there is a general lack of agreement among players on which tournaments are the best. Are my criteria for poker tournament quality the same as yours? The reasons that one player loves a particular tournament will be completely different from those offered by a second player for loving another. Some want huge fields and potentially big payouts. Others like smaller, fast structured tournaments that will be done in less than 6 hours. And still others just like the dealers and staff who run certain tournaments. How do you break down and evaluate the criteria that meet your requirements for the best poker tournaments? As fans of tournament poker, and having thought way too much about such things, we’ll share our take on how we evaluate poker tournament quality.
Your Poker Tournament Goals
Like most things in life, evaluating the best poker tournaments is largely in the eyes of the beholder. While we’ll get to markers of objective quality later, “fit” is where we need to start. And determining how a tournament fits your needs starts with your goals for playing. While these may be in line with your general reasons for playing poker, some players enter tournaments for very different reasons than they play cash.
After hours of grinding through a 230 person tournament, you find yourself at the final table with a huge stack. Only five other players remain. One of the middle stacks says “anybody want to chop?” What do you do? Do you flatly refuse (and risk looking like a jerk)? Say “sure” and let the pot be evenly divided despite your 2 to 1 chip advantage on the second stack and two other players sucking oxygen? Or do you find a better way? How do you negotiate the best poker chop?
I recently found myself in exactly this enviable position at the Playground Poker Club outside of Montreal. The experience led Paul and me into our four thousandth discussion about chopping poker tournaments. While there’s no single right answer, we have some rules of thumb for negotiating the best poker chop in various situations.
Although we’re both likely past the midpoint of our lives, Paul and I both are dependent on our smartphones. I wish I could resist checking email (and the news) better than I do. But I love the knowledge that my smartphone brings to my fingertips. I have apps for the weather, apps for checking on my bank account, games, and, of course, poker apps. There are a lot of good poker apps out there, but a few are particularly helpful for players like us. We often travel to play poker, and are always looking for information about the best cardrooms, tools to help us track our game, and tools to help us play better. We have found the following apps to be the 5 best poker apps for recreational players.