CardsChat Forum

CardsChat Interview with Debi O’Neill

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.

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Best Poker Tournaments

Finding the Best Poker Tournaments: How Does Your Favorite Rate?

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.

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How to Negotiate the Best Poker Chop

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.

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Best Poker Apps

5 Best Poker Apps for Recreational Players

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.

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The Playground Poker Club is a great cardroom outside of Montreal

Playground Poker Club Room Review

The Playground Poker Club outside of Montreal is one of our favorite card rooms. We first visited three years ago after seeing a major televised tournament held there and expected grand things. While our initial approach to the card room elicited a ‘”this can’t be right” reaction, upon entry all was revealed. We returned last month (December 2019) and were excited to see further evolution. The Playground Poker Club is truly an elite North American venue for poker.

Playground Poker Club Setting 

The Playground Poker Club is located in Kahnawake, Quebec. It is about a twenty minute drive from Montreal. However, the drive can vary substantially – dependant more on construction status than the amount of traffic. Returning to Montreal around midnight after one tournament took well over an hour, with bridge repairs narrowing many stretches to one lane. As we discussed in our travel post about Montreal, road conditions are a fearsome obstacle to contend with.  If you’re staying in downtown Montreal, this is one of the Playground’s biggest drawbacks. Taking a bus or a short car ride to the Casino de Montreal becomes an attractive alternative in the winter when the weather is bad or you’re not feeling adventurous.

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