Saturday, October 15, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
I play at Imperial Palace enough that most of the dealers there know me by name. Last night, however, I was startled to learn that one of them doesn't even remember having seen me before, despite the fact that he has dealt to me well over 20 times. He usually makes small talk with me in a way that has previously caused me to assume that he recognizes me as a local and a regular. (He calls me by name, but only because he's looking at the Bravo display in front of him. I knew that, but still assumed that he knew mine as a familiar face, even if he didn't remember my name from one visit to the next.)
I learned from Twitter a few hours ago that there is now an app for your Android phone (I don't know about iPhone) that displays the current live games from all the poker rooms in the U.S. that use the Bravo table tracking system. It's called the Bravo Poker Live Mobile App, and it's available for free in the Android Market.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
You know that $79 cashout from LuvinPoker (Everleaf network) I mentioned yesterday? Well, maybe not so much.
I'm contacting you with regards* to your requested payout.
Unfortunately, we are unable to process your request as cashouts via credit card are not available for US members.
Due to above, I have cancelled your request and kindly ask that you choose Wire transfer, Western Union or Pic-Club as payment method for your outgoing transactions.
Should you require any further assistance, please feel free to contact me at anytime.
OK. Annoying, but not fatal to the project. I went back to the cashier page and looked more closely at the options. It appeared that, as laid out in the message above, only three were tagged as being open to U.S. residents: Wire transfer, which had a $200 minimum, Western Union, which had a $100 minimum, and an e-wallet service called PIC-Club, with no minimum listed. I really didn't want to go through the hassle and security risk of having yet another e-wallet account (I have about five already, thanks to poker sites churning through them over the years), but OK, whatever.
I'm contacting you with regards* to your requested payout.OK, now they're really irritating me. They appear to be deliberately closing down every means of getting my money back, one by one, with a new excuse for every one.
In order to cashout via Pic-Club, a previous deposit needs to be completed using this method. This is to create a payment pathway. Without previous Pic-Club deposit the transaction would fail.
Due to above, I have cancelled your request and returned the funds to your poker account.
Should you require any further assistance, please feel free to contact me at anytime.
I want to take my money ($79) off of your site. There are virtually no games ever going, and I'd rather put the money on a site with more traffic.The reply:
I first tried requesting a cashout using the Visa card with which I deposited. I received an email saying that could not be done because I live in the U.S.
Looking at your cashier page, two of the other methods that were highlighted (and thus presumably available to U.S. residents)--Western Union and Wire Transfer--are listed as having withdrawal minimums above the amount I have on account, so those are presumably not available to me.
The only other option shown as available was PIC Club. So I went to the trouble of setting up an account there, then requested a withdrawal from your site. Now I get an email from you saying that that option is not available because it is not how I made my initial deposit.
In short, you seem to be deliberately cutting off every means of withdrawal.
Tell me: How do I get my money?
Thank you for your email.With this much hassle, I was getting more than a little paranoid. I could easily envision making an additional deposit as Rachel said would work, then trying to get a withdrawal, only to be told some BS such as the money had not been on the site long enough, or I could only take out the amount recently deposited, not the prior balance. I wanted to get a commitment from them in advance that the proposed method would actually work as suggested, plus point out to them how completely idiotic and inconvenient they were making things. So I sent this:
I'm sorry to hear that you would like to leave the site and feel that there are not enough games going on.
Due to our card room having players from all over the world the time zone can some time come into play with the amount of players that we have online at certain times.
Our busier times are usually evening or early morning GMT, but obviously it varies from day to day and of course holidays.
It might be worth giving it another try and playing around the evenings and early mornings GMT; we have many US members playing at our tables at all times.
Unfortunately, although our US players are able to deposit with Visa, I'm afraid we are not able to cashout to US Visa cards.
Yes you are correct that WU, wire transfer and Pic club are all available cash out methods.
As you know WU and Pic club require prior deposits and as you stated the amount in your account that you would like to withdrawal is under the minimum that is required for a wire transfer cash out.
To withdrawal your money you could make a deposit with Pic club or WU so that you have the required minimum amount you need to cash out, and then withdrawal all your money with the method that you deposited with.
Please do not feel that we are cutting off your means to withdrawal, we have many US players that are satisfied with our deposit and cash out methods.
Please also be aware that unfortunately it is not easy for us to find payment methods for our US players which is why your options may seem limited.
Should you require further assistance please feel free to contact us back anytime.
Let me be sure I’m understanding you correctly. I want to cash out $79. You are telling me that:This reply arrived a few minutes ago:
1) I cannot withdraw that money via any of your methods right now.
2) However, I could, for example, deposit $50 through PIC Club, then, as soon as that transaction is verified to be complete, immediately turn around and withdraw $129.
Is that correct?
If so, can’t you see how absurd a policy and practice that is? Why would you make your customers jump through stupid, inconvenient hoops like that, just to get their money back? How does it benefit either me or your company to make me deposit more before withdrawing the entire amount?
Thank you for your email.Let's give them credit for this much: (1) Getting this many full exchanges of emails in less than 24 hours is as prompt as one can reasonably expect. (2) The messages are polite, clear, and obviously written specifically to my situation, rather than being bedbug letters. They could use improvement in their English grammar, but I'm letting that go with just a stern look of disapproval.
Unfortunately, after visa deposit the only available cashout option is wire transfer and the minimum cashout with this method is 200$. Therefore, a cashout of $79 is not available for you until you increase your bankroll to $200 or open a payment channel via deposit with Picclub or Western Union.
I would also like to confirm that as soon as you make a deposit with Picclub you can cashout your funds with the same method. Minimum deposit with Picclub is $25. Minimum cashout is $20.
You can also make a deposit with Western Union (minimum is $100) and then cashout with the same method. Minimum cashout is $100.
I can understand that requirement of prior deposit with the same method may be inconvenient to you, but the deposit is necessary to open a payment channel in case of both payment methods – Western Union and Picclub. Once you make a deposit with Western Union / Picclub, you can use the same method for cashouts numerous times.
If there is anything else we can assist you with, please contact us again at any time.
*Yes, it seems that the fine folks behind this do not understand the difference between regard and regards. (If you are similarly confused, see here.)
As I've mentioned, I'm experimenting with Poker Tracker. I have done nothing with the data it is accumulating. For now, I'm just getting used to the heads-up display (HUD), getting a feel for the range of normal for the various stats shown, learning to make mental correlations between those numbers and what I can expect from the players they're attached to.
Jeff Greenfield, commenting on last night's Republican presidential debate.
How to Use the Table Better: Next time, have the moderator deal cards, then watch them play a few hands of poker. (Not Texas Hold ‘Em—unfair advantage to Texas Gov. Rick Perry.) Few better measurements of shrewdness and temperament than how someone plays cards.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
There has been a lot of commotion since April in terms of which sites are and are not operative and/or open to U.S. players. It gets confusing. Let me see if I can manage to list them without screwing something up.
Shamus's blog post today points to this blog post by "J.F." at The Economist. It's a worthwhile read, and a generally good riposte to the absurdly shallow and thoughtless discussion of luck versus skill in poker that was found in the New York Times piece to which J.F. is responding.
Finally, consider losing rather than winning. Can you deliberately lose a hand of poker if you tried? Of course: bet badly, fold with winning cards, and so on. Can you deliberately lose a game of baccarat or roulette? No: to play you have to bet on an outcome that might happen, regardless of what you do.This is just wrong. I don't even know how baccarat works, so I won't talk about that. But I do understand roulette. You absolutely can deliberately lose at roulette. Just bet the same amount on every one of the 38 spots (36 numbers plus 0 and 00). The ball will land on one of those slots, and you'll be paid 35:1 there. Suppose you bet $1 on each number. You will have spent $38 on every spin of the wheel, but win $35 back. If that doesn't constitute deliberately losing, I don't know what would. That thought experiment is, all by itself, sufficient to destroy the argument that any game at which you can deliberately lose is necessarily a game of skill.
Offhand, the only games I can think of in which luck plays no part at all are chess and go.Also not true. In chess, the decision about who gets the white pieces--and therefore gets the advantage of moving first--is made by chance.