Best Shows to Stream Part 2: Crime Series and Other Dramas

Today we continue our look at some of the best shows to stream during these dark times. Just glancing back to our take on comedies and post-apocalyptic/sci-fi series reminds us how many good shows we’ve forgotten. Of course, it’s also an indication of how much TV we watch. In these times, our overabundance of screen time has kept us sane.

In looking over our four lists, one thing is clear: crime series have the deepest bench. Particularly once we consider international series, there are so many great crime/police series. Every time we vow not to watch one more crime show, we find and fall in love with another. The British and Scandinavian countries particularly excel in the crime genre.

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The Best Shows To Stream Part 1: Comedies and Post-Apocalyptic Shows

For many poker players 2020 has been rough. Many states have shuttered their poker rooms, and others have seen rooms open and close again. Now, with winter ahead, we  are all seeking other distractions. While we have personally added hiking as a healthy alternative (and started an Instagram account to document it), there’s still a lot of time to fill. And nothing fills those dark winter evenings like great, long, streaming series. While we joke that we have “finished Netflix” we still continuously seek new series. As we do, we figured we’d share some of the best shows to stream with our poker brethren.

We’re going to focus on series that not everyone has seen. We know you know about The Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Game of Thrones (ok, confession time, incredibly we skipped that one). Instead, we’ll share some of the lower profile shows you may not have heard of. Since these are some of the best shows streaming has to offer, not many are really obscure, but we imagine there will be one or two you will have missed. We’re also sharing our favorite international shows, including the best non-English speaking shows for those who don’t mind subtitles.

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online poker

Throwdown Thursday: Online Poker Duel

We are now eight months deep into this current pokerless void, and something must be done. As we have mentioned before, we were very fortunate to be on a poker trip to Tampa Bay when the world stopped spinning. I believe we got in exactly one tournament back home in early March before the world REALLY shut down. And since… crickets. While our neighboring New Hampshire opened their poker rooms over the summer, we have not been in a position to enjoy the live game, and likely won’t be for months yet. Which brings us to online poker.

Paul and I both played online poker before Black Friday, and Paul recently wrote a heartfelt plea for all states to make it legal once again. Recently, we have had some opportunities to play on the Pokerstars home game site. Paul is so happy to get back to some form of poker (any form of poker) that he would play daily if he could. I, frankly, hate it. So we thought, what better topic for a Throwdown Thursday. Online poker: love it or hate it?

First up is Paul, lover of all things digital.

Paul: Playing vs. not playing at all seems like a no-brainer. Live or online: you play your cards, track your opponents’ tendencies, and come up with the best strategy to win. Seems like the same process to me, absent the occasional political discussion that makes me put my headphones on.

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Charity Poker The Brook

Charity Poker, New Hampshire Style

Poker and charity are seldom uttered in the same breath. Sure, special tournaments are sometimes held to raise money for a specific charity. The poker being played at such events is generally for fun, and many of the players are novices. Thus, charity poker usually connotes something very different from  traditional competitive poker.

When the state of New Hampshire started offering legal poker and gaming in 1977, they linked it with charitable giving. Thirty-five percent of all poker and table game proceeds (after prizes) in New Hampshire go to designated charities. Further, of course, the State gathers another 10% in tax revenue. As of October 2020, 15 locations in the state offer poker and contribute to charity and tax revenue. We’ve long wondered what those numbers look like.

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Poker in Texas

What’s Up with Poker in Texas Anyway?

While live poker is now legal across much of the country, the status of poker in Texas is still fuzzy. It appears to lie in a nebulous grey area, much like online poker prior to Black Friday all those years ago. Last week when we published an article on the five best places to live if you love poker, several people reached out to advocate for poker in Texas. The strong response made us re-think our previous avoidance of the Lone Star state, and to investigate the situation.

Is There Legal Poker in Texas?

According to the Texas State Law Library “Because Texas laws on gambling are complex, determining whether or not a particular poker game is being conducted legally can prove challenging.” Additionally, statutes vary across Texas from county to county. Over the past several years, a number of poker clubs which charge membership and a “seat rental fee” rather than taking a rake have arisen across the state. They exploit a legal loophole around the definition of profiting from gambling. While there have been some high profile cases in which rooms have been shut down, these poker rooms have largely been allowed to operate without interference.

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