Updates: Chad Brown Championship, Online Poker Threads, Jeff Freeman

In case you haven't been exploring Chicago Poker Club of late, we have a great deal going on. 

Chad Brown ChampionshipWe've added a new tab for all non-WCPC Fallah Productions shows, and are kicking off our new section with Episode 1 of the 2nd Annual Chad Brown Texas Hold 'Em Championship, which was recently filmed in Jacksonville, Florida.  ChicagoJason worked as a producer on the show, while our friends at Ante Up Magazine, Chris Cosenza and Scott Long host.

We have a brief recap, and a link to some of the best features on the Department of Justice takedown of the three biggest online poker sites

And finally, Jeff Freeman brings us the latest installment in his Primer Series.

Online Poker Takedown

As this author was heading back from a week away, playing some poker in International waters, and visiting the Bahamas, a country where citizens may play poker online if they like, the DOJ back in the U.S.A. was taking down the Big 3 of online poker sites - Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker, and Ultimate Bet.  If you're on a U.S. IP, and visit one of the websites of these online poker houses, you'll just see the following image, as their primary domains as been seized by the FBI as a part of the crackdown:

Big Three Takedown - FBI Seized Online Poker Sites

From Jess Wellman's article in Bluff Magazine:

High stakes pros and young 21 year-old grinders may have a multitude of options before them, but others don’t really have any options at all. Devin Porter is a 27 year-old poker pro from Utah who actually converted from being a live pro to an online grinder so he could stay home and spend more time with his wife and two-year old son. For six years, he has paid his bills, supported his family, and played full time. Now, he doesn’t see much of a way he can continue living the life he’s made for himself.


There is plenty of solid coverage of the event out there, so we at Chicago Poker Club have opted to be the source of the source.

There's lots more out there to read, but this will get you started.

Windy City Poker Championship 2011 Starts Now

Windy City Poker Championship starts its 2011 schedule tonight at 9pm on Comcast SportsNet Chicago (available nationwide,  non-midwesterners may need to add it to their programming.)  Dates and Times for Comcast SportsNet in other regions and Bright House Sports in Florida coming soon.

But why wait?  Full episodes of Windy City Poker Championship can be found online here, at WCPC.ChicagoPokerClub.net.  Episode 1 is available now.

Here's a teaser:

{flvremote width="560" height="360"}http://chicagopokerclub.net/video/S02E01Tease.flv{/flvremote}

The Gap Concept

The Gap Concept is one of David Sklansky's poker theories that states a player needs to have a stronger hand than what they would raise with in order to call a raise. The concept highlights the fact that poker players actually prefer to avoid confrontations with another player who has indicated they have a strong hand and also that calling only has one way to win a hand (being the best hand) whereas raising allows you to win immediately if your opponent folds.

The majority of the players taking part in the GSOP $100000 Betfair Poker events will have some understanding of the gap concept but a much smaller sample size will be aware that the size of the gap is not fixed, in fact quite the opposite is true. Some of the factors that alter the size of the gap include where at the table the raise came from, the size of the chip stacks in play and the playing style of the player making the raise.

It should be obvious that the gap, or the difference in strength of cards needed to call the raise, widens when the player making the raise has a tight range of hands that he plays. This is because when a tight player enters a pot he is more likely to hold a premium hand. Conversely, a player with loose starting hand requirements actually narrows the gap as they have many more weaker hands in their raising range.

Again, if the raise comes from early position then you should tend to give it more credit for being a strong hand than say if the raise came from one of the later positions at the table. Likewise, if you are facing a raise from a deep-stacked player in one of the Betfair GSOP 6 events then the gap should be narrower as they is an increased chance they are simply splashing around in the pot but a standard sized raise, and not an all-in bet, from a short-stacked player should be treated as immense strength, which widens the gap.

So to recap, the tighter the player and the earlier position the raise comes from the wider the gap, therefore the stronger the hand required to call becomes, but a looser, late position raiser narrows the gap so you can call with a weaker hand. Simple when you think of it really!

Announcing Chicago Poker Club Home Games

ChicagoPokerClub.net has just launched their own "Home Game" League on PokerStars.  We will have one or more semi-permanent cash game tables available to you at all times, to test your meddle against our fellow poker enthusiasts.  As we begin to promote this a bit, you will see games getting off more frequently - it may be a bit sparse at first, but don't stop trying!  Remember, we don't give legal advice, so check your local laws before playing online!

In the coming weeks we will begin to announce online "home game" tournaments, and may move to a tournament series in the not so distant future.

To join the ChicagoPokerClub.net Home Game Club (League), you should:

  1. Sign-up for a new PokerStars account, if you don't have one already.
  2. Download the most recent version of the software.
  3. Proceed to the Home Games tab within PokerStars, and search for club ID 75069 (soon to be searchable as chicagopokerclub.net, but NOT Chicago Poker Club).
  4. You need to provide the invitation code: chicagojoeistheman

That's it.  You will be approved within 24-48 hours and can begin looking for other Chicago Poker Club players right away!

POLL 2: Sexiest Woman in Poker

We keep promising Chicago Poker Club has something in the works to celebrate Chicago's sexiest women in poker.... in the meantime, courtesy of our content partner at Scotty Clark Poker, let's talk about the sexiest women in all of poker.  Reprinted with permission:

This is [Scotty's] last post of 2010 and I could not think of a better subject to end the year 2010 with -- than hot poker babes. This is the second of four preliminary polls which will include 16 ladies for the title of Sexiest Woman in Poker History

Please remember this poll is an all-time poll. A nomination's present day age matters not, only her place in her prime, and in poker. Please leave comments at the end of this post to nominate future candidates. Here are the results from our first poll
Liv Boeree (36%) - Vanessa Rousso (27) - Erica Schoenberg (23) - Isabelle Mercier (12)

Criteria: All international female players, television hosts, site professionals, celebrities and media reporters. Any female very active in poker. The top two finishers in each of the four preliminary polls will advance to the next round.

Opinion. The best players should be credited for long-term staying power...

Shannon Elizabeth 37, is a poker playing actress best known for her role as Nadia in the 1999 comedy American Pie. Elizabeth also appeared in Playboy in 1999 and was the covergirl for the June 2008 issue of Maxim. Shannon advanced to the Final Four of the 2007 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship by defeating Jeff Madsen, Barry Greenstein and Humberto Brenes, etc.

Shana Hiatt 35, is the original hostess of the World Poker Tour. Shana hosted WPT for three seasons before leaving in 2005, and she also hosted Poker After Dark and the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Shana left those shows in 2008 due to pregnancy and has not been active in poker since. Hiatt's place in televised poker history is that she was the first notable and most recognizable poker hostess.

Lacey Jones 31, graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Political Science. Lacey was the official Hostess of the 2009 World Series of Poker Final Table Main Event, along with many other prominent poker hosting duties. Jones is very well liked in the Poker World and also conducts interviews for PokerNews.com

Leeann Tweeden 37, is best known as the hostess of Poker After Dark. Leeann is also the hostess for the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Tweeden was a correspondent on the Best Damn Poker Show from 2000 until 2007. During the 25th Anniversary in 2008, Hooters named Leeann one of "The Top Hooters Girls of All-Time".
Chicago Poker Club has something in the works to celebrate Chicago's sexiest women in poker.  "The works" could be coming in January, or in June... in the meantime, courtesy of our content partner at Scotty Clark Poker, let's talk about the sexiest women in all of poker.  Reprinted with permission:

Reid bill could have hurt more than helped

Re-printed courtesy of our content partner Ante Up Magazine.

A commentary by Christopher Cosenza

Garth Brooks has a song called Unanswered Prayers, and in it he thanks God for not giving him what he had prayed for in the past because if God had, then he wouldn’t have what he has now.

The online poker world almost had one of these moments last month. Harry Reid, the Democratic senator from Nevada, very nearly pulled off the Herculean task of getting an online poker regulation bill put to a vote as part of bigger, must-pass legislation during the lame-duck session. It would’ve answered a lot of poker players’ prayers, but as Garth would point out, that’s not always such a good thing.

When players heard online poker regulation might actually get introduced there was joy on Fifth Street. But upon further review this bill smelled as fishy as a postflop check from an under-the-gun raiser. Yes, we all want online poker to be regulated; no one likes legally participating in a game that’s thought of as an illegal industry. But at what cost, and at who’s expense?

For the uninitiated, everything that happens on Capitol Hill comes with a catch. In this case, Mr. Reid nearly snatched an opportunity to pay back his IOUs to MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment for their contributions to a re-election campaign that saw him squeak past Republican challenger Sharron Angle.

And wasn’t Reid an opponent of online poker once? Funny what money can do to a politician’s views, isn’t it? Once the big boys decided they wanted a slice of the Internet pie it suddenly became very important to Reid to get online poker regulated, and regulated just for his interests. But more on that later.

Think back to when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was attached to the SAFE Port Act in 2006. Weren’t you about as livid as Phil Hellmuth Jr. after getting his kings cracked by 10-7 offsuit? How could these politicians attach something so clearly thoughtless and ineffective to such an important bill at the stroke of midnight during the last session before an extended break? Oh, wait, that’s how politics work. It’s disgusting, and it’s sad. And that’s exactly what Reid was trying to do. The old “good-for-the-goose-good-for- the-gambler ” strategy.

Are You Getting Paid to Play Poker? You Should Be.

Do you win or lose at the electronic poker table?  These days, the soft players are few and far between, and being a better-than-breakeven player is harder and harder.

Do you lose money over time?  Break even?  What if I told you that you could make a ton of money by breaking even online?  How about if I told you that you could actually be a long-term loser playing online poker and still come out ahead?  All for money online poker sites take a small percentage of every pot played in their electronic room.  This fee is called a "rake".  Chicago Poker Club has arranged for you to get some of that money back as much as 25%-30%, or more!) when you play online.  Its called "Rakeback", and it allows breakeven, and even small losing players to come out ahead.  

We, at Chicago Poker Club, don't necessarily advocate playing online poker.  In fact, we know that it is illegal in some parts of the U.S. and in parts of the world, and the rules are constantly changing.  So, we must first tell you to check your local laws before considering playing online.

Once you have done your diligence, and made the decision to play poker online, make sure you're getting some of that rake back, as rakeback!

Here's some other news about our Rakeback Offers:


Absolute Poker Reload Bonus
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Minted Poker Reload Bonus
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Carbon Poker- Version 5.0 Released with Mac Client, Reload Bonus
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Absolute Poker Reload Bonus
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Fortune Poker Reload Bonus
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