Our 10 Most Popular Posts of 2018

We headed out this week to Miami and the Florida Keys on our next poker/travel adventure.   We scrambled to finish last minute work tasks and remind ourselves how to pack for 10 days away. From this trip, we plan to add six more poker rooms to our list (room reviews to come!). But, while you patiently await those, we’d like to share our 10 most popular posts from last year. As 2018 was our first year of blogging, we’re guessing that many of you missed some of our earlier work. So, without further ado, here are our 10 most popular posts of 2018.

9 Truths We Have Learned in Our 12 Years of Remote Work

In this post, we shared some of the ups and downs of life after ditching the office. Many aspects of working from home are great.  Topping the list for us: not having a commute and jammies being the office dress code.  But there are pitfalls, such as realizing you’ve only taken 600 steps all day and that you can work ALL THE TIME.

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play poker in New England

Where to Play Poker in New England: A Guide to Popular Games

The vibrant New England poker scene offers a wide variety of options in a very small geographic footprint. In less than 3 hours you could drive from the room (with 10 or more tables) furthest north, Lakes Region Casino, to the one furthest south, Foxwoods. The region’s largest city, Boston, sits dead center of the poker action.  Drive a little more than 90 minutes north and you are at the Lakes Region Casino, 90 minutes south to Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, and then 90 minutes due west to the newest venue, MGM Springfield. Five poker rooms in southern New Hampshire are within about 45 minutes of Boston as well. In short, there are a lot of options for the New England poker player. So how does one decide where to play poker in New England?

Some of it comes down to personal taste.   You may just select your favorite rooms, as we did recently. But if you have specific criteria for your preferred game, there’s data available that can help guide your decision.

We have long had a decent idea which venues have the most active cash games, and which tournaments draw the largest fields. But, as data analysts by trade, we decided to take a more statistical approach to our investigation. During the month of January 2019 we used  PokerAtlas and Bravo Poker to track cash and tournament activity for all New England sites which provide live data on either site. On weekdays, we collected numbers at 8pm each night for cash play, and tracked tournaments after the registration period closed. On weekends, we tracked cash both at 2pm and 8pm and the number of entries for all tournaments.

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Happy Poker Partnership

4 Steps to a Happy Poker Partnership

Paul and I both love poker. We feel very lucky to be with someone who not only shares our values and goals, but also our love of poker. Poker rooms are replete with men calling their wives saying they are “at the mall” and others sheepishly reporting that they promised to be home several hours ago, while clearly having no intention of leaving any time soon. Even among couples who both play poker, one is often clearly miserable, while the other can’t get enough. Paul and I came into this relationship both loving poker. There were definitely some bumps in the road early on reconciling our love for the game with our love for each other. However, over the years, Paul and I have found that there are four steps to a happy poker partnership.

1) Do You Both Want to Play Poker?

In order to create a happy poker partnership, first ensure that both you and your significant other truly want to play poker. If one of you is jonesing for the felt every Saturday while the other would rather be tending the garden, and you both separately pursue those passions, that’s one thing.  If the gardener, however, is playing poker just to get time with his partner, that’s a relationship headed for trouble. No one should ever play poker just because their partner is a fan. That’s an expensive, and ultimately, self-defeating proposition.

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Single Day in Toronto - Casa Loma

A Single Day in Toronto

Spending a single day in a major city is the speed dating of travel. What can you report other than the city is “kind of attractive, and seems to have a decent personality”? However, after our day in Toronto, we had a love at first sight reaction. All four of our children liked it as well, with one of them coming away so enamored it instantly became her favorite city.

If you only have a single day in Toronto, here’s a quick game plan. If you have a more civil multi-day visit, these guidelines can give you a start as well. We visited Toronto in the middle of a week in Niagara falls with the kids (ages 12-20). For the poker players, Niagara has casino options on the American side, the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, and Canadian side, Casino Niagara. But take a break from the tables for a day and head up to Toronto for some culture, food, and fun. It’s a mere two hour drive up the road, and definitely worth a day visit.

The Toronto Metro System

Like everything in Toronto, the subway system is very clean, modern and convenient. The entire metro system is called the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and includes bus and streetcars along with the subway.  If in Toronto for a frantic day, grab a day pass, and, if you are traveling as a family, you can get group weekend day discounts.  Basically, park your car near your first landmark, and leave it for the day. In my visit to Chicago, I discovered SpotHero which allows you to reserve a parking garage spot ahead of time, usually at discount prices. Toronto offers a SpotHero subsidiary, Parking Panda.  We’d give that a shot. Or park at a TTC lot in the outskirts for $7 per day.

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