Playground Poker Tournaments Room

Where Have All the Poker Tournaments Gone?

The sun is shining, birds are singing in the trees, and the world is opening back up again. Casino after casino has reopened, and many states have expanded to nine or ten-handed poker. Finally, after a long, hard wait, we get back our beloved poker tournaments. Or do we?

We live in New England, which we once named one of the five best places in the country to live if you love poker. In February 2020 there were no fewer than seven poker rooms hosting large tournaments (which I define as regularly having over 50 entrants) in New England. Today there is one (Filotimo Casino in Manchester, New Hampshire, if you are interested). All but one of those businesses are still open. Two, Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield, continue to thrive as casinos, but have dropped poker “indefinitely”. The other four are seating as many cash tables as space will allow, but have decided not to resume tournaments “at this time”.

Recently I reached out to other players to see whether this is a local phenomenon (time to move?) or whether tournaments have been back-burnered elsewhere in the country as well. Reports indicate that this is, in fact, a widespread concern. Players reported a dearth of tournaments in places as varied as Pittsburgh, Oklahoma, Seattle, Detroit, and even LA. However, there are some areas where tournament poker still thrives. Florida, Texas, Maryland, and of course Vegas all have plenty of tournaments on offer.

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Specific Poker Skills: Folding Aces

Specific Poker Skills To Make the Game Easier

Last week we asked “Is poker easier than we think?” In that post, we talked about some general approaches that reduce the difficulty of poker for any player. Today, we’re going to talk about some specific poker skills to improve your game without hours of study or expensive online programs.

Specific Poker Skills To Make Poker Easier

Opening Pre-Flop With a Raise

Let’s assume you are trying to be profitable when you play poker (as opposed to treating it like a hobby, as we discussed in our last post). When everyone folds to you and you want to enter the hand: raise, do not limp! This is Poker 101, I know. Nonetheless, a huge number of recreational players still play “I just want to see a flop” with their marginal hands. They might as well announce that they have suited connectors, a small or medium pair, a suited ace, or a couple of Broadway cards that aren’t AK or AQ.

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Is Poker Easier than We Think?

Is poker easier to play than we think? At the highest levels of the game, the answer is certainly no. Professionals bet their ranges rather than their cards and calculate complex equations to determine whether their plays are justified. GTO strategy is definitely not easy to follow.

The rest of us, however, play a different game in card rooms across the country. Not that we are unskilled, or our opponents weak (at least not at the rooms we have played). Here, the game is based more on fundamental knowledge of solid play, basic math, and a level of experience and instinct that guides our decisions. However, there seem to be a lot of players, even experienced ones, who make fundamental mistakes both in their general approach to the game and in specific techniques.

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South Beach Income Taxes for Poker Nomads

Understanding State Income Taxes for Poker Nomads

As the curtain begins to lift on the world of travel after a long year of confinement, Paul and I are thinking about our poker pilgrimage. As we mentioned in our recent pilgrimage update, we are itching to get back on the road. One of the issues that we have started researching is the tax implications of mobile work. The topic of state income taxes for poker nomads (any digital nomad, really) is complicated. Rules vary from state to state and are changing all the time.

NOTE: We are not tax experts, accountants, lawyers, or professionals with any official skills in tax matters. We are merely reporting information gathered from other resources. We strongly advise you to confirm the tax situation for states you plan to visit with your tax professional. The details included here concerning state income taxes for poker nomads are as accurate as we can find for March 2021. We will update this post if we learn about any notable changes, but buyer beware. Read More

Fit Poker Player

Top 4 Secrets to Becoming a Fit Poker Player

It’s not easy staying fit when poker is your primary avocation. Paul and I work hard (and often fail) to maintain a decent level of fitness despite the fact that we work at desks all day and sit at poker tables in our off time. Not to mention our Netflix time, my passion for reading, and Paul’s obsession with the Boston Celtics. And don’t even get us started talking about our downhill slide in the last year while we have been stuck in the house. When I last saw my doctor, he actually said to me “So. The weight.” Enough said. We imagine that we are not alone in the struggle to stay fit while loving poker. In the interest of getting back to a fit state ourselves, we have pondered better times. For those of you who love poker and are struggling too, here are our 4 secrets to becoming a fit poker player.

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