Online Poker Player

This online poker player article is a story about online poker written by The British paper: The Guardian. This is in my opinion, a very well written and very funny story about online poker. Imagine a totally new online poker player and his very first day as a online poker player.

Part 1 - Online Poker Player Article

"Every day in Britain an estimated £40 million is staked at online poker parlours. Tim Dowling takes out his credit card and tries his hand at the nation's fastest-growing gambling habit

I have never understood why anyone would want to gamble in a virtual environment. Everything about it is unreal, except the part where they take your money away. Why not just throw the money away, and dispense with all the tiresome mouse-clicking? But the news that poker is Britain's fastest-growing form of online gambling made me think again. It is estimated that £40 million a day is currently being staked at online poker parlours. A six-fold increase in the number of players over the course of 2003 is likely to be repeated this year. Poker, as everybody knows, is a game not of chance but of cunning, mathematics, psychology - and chance. At last the expert poker player can work from home, fleecing the beginners from the privacy of his bedroom. Sadly, I am not an expert poker player, or even a very good one. I am not even very good at being online. An attempt to set myself up playing poker at William Hill Poker went awry from the outset, ironically because I already have an online account at William Hill, on a defunct debit card that could no longer deposit funds or be used to close out a modest, longstanding credit. After a quick call to customer support, and a long chat with a woman who had occasion to say "Shan't keep you a moment!" no less than a dozen times, I was ready to log on.

On the internet you have no poker face, which is good news for those of us who like to jump up and down when we are dealt a pair of fours. The only weapon with which you can intimidate and confuse your opponents is your online player name. It must be selected with tremendous care. After some deliberation I chose LordLucan - heartless, famously unlucky at cards (that ought to reel 'em in), with a good reason to be gambling from a remote location. Alas, the name was taken, for all I know by the genuine article. My second choice, TroubledLoner, had too many characters. Finally, I settled on a simple but unsettling mixture of menace and milquetoast: BadChris.

As BadChris I intended to stalk the five-card draw tables until I had parlayed my deposit into a substantial nest egg, leaving nothing but flat-broke farm boys and housewives in my wake. But there weren't any five-card draw tables. No one seems to offer draw poker online, and this is really the only kind of poker that I know how to play. They offer Omaha, but I don't even know what that is. Eventually I found a seven-card stud table with a game in progress and a seat available. I drew up nice and slow and sat myself down (click!) with my $50 in chips (it's all in American money; current gambling laws prevent poker sites from operating in Britain) floating above my chair. On the running commentary alongside the virtual table, the ominous words "BadChris sits down" appeared. All over the world, I fancied, people were swallowing their gum.

What followed was a lot of flashing and beeping that did not help to refresh my basic understanding of seven-card stud. The graphics, no doubt sufficient for a veteran of the virtual tables, were very difficult to interpret: who is doing what? Why is it all happening so fast? Whenever it was my turn I was prompted by a box that offered all the options open to me: CALL, RAISE, FOLD. It blinked insistently while I tried to figure out what I had in my hand. I chose without thinking. Then the phone rang. By the time I got off I had parlayed my $50 into $10.20. I turned off the computer, went into another room and thought about what I had done.

Go to page 2 of 2 of this article - Online Poker Player: Playing Poker Online

By The Guardian - Tim Dowling
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