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    Joker Stars

    Thursday, October 26, 2017, 6:10 PM [General]

    Up late last night and totally bored I flicked the Tv over to where Joker stars was hosting their Monaco event.  I don't usually bother with this but as I now have played live, thought I would watch to get some tips.  I was staggered at some of the bad play on the tables.  It was like watching the typical on line play, calling any two cards and hoping to get lucky.

    One particular table had three players in the pot.  Pre flop, the  First player raised and he had Ace Queen off suite.  He was subsequentally called by Queen  nine off suite and  the third player who had seven four suited,  also called the raise.  After the flop 7 4 bet, as he had hit a 4 on the flop, which was  called by Q 9, who still had nothing,  and which saw Ace Queen fold.  Clearly the King that sat on the flop had  scared the Ace Queen Player,  but not good old 7 4,  nor Queen nine.  Laughing.  There were two diamonds on the table along with a spade.  Both checked again, which until this point 7 4 was ahead.  Both checked and the fourth card gave another spade.  Having put in a really small bet by 7 4 the Q 9 called again giving a river card of Q, to which Q 9 then won the pot.  I bet the player who had Ace Queen, wished he had called,  he should have "grown a pair"  !!  But I understood why 74 bet as he was chasing a flush draw, but anyone else holding diamonds would have had him beat with his silly little 7 4.  I could not work out why Q 9 was calling.  No possible straight no pairs, at best until the river he was sat with only Q high.  i wondered if 7 4 had made a larger bet would the Q  still have called with nothing?

    Reminded me today of the 3 snap tables I sat on, and on one  with ACES. 10 4 called my raise, and on the flop I pushed all in and he called as he had hit a 4!!!!!!!!!  I am not complaining because I more than doubled on the three tables, but is this what poker has become?  On a larger table I raised from position one with AK spades and was called by 5 8 of spades.  This was not a small raise. I was betting every time with him calling despite him not having a pair, he was chasing the flush with the spades. By fourth street we both had four spades each.  River came, and you could not make it up,  gave him the straight flush!

    So from what I experience on here and from the play I saw last night, has poker just become a game of chance, no longer a game of skill  What has happened to the really great play with the likes of Brunson and Devilfish?  The buy in was $5000, and over 100 had qualified from 10 dollar satelite entries.

    Has poker lost its way?  With so many gambling sites and now with many hundreds of thousands people  playing has play actually become just call any two cards?

    And your typical 888 player calling a 5 dollar riase pre flop and then calling the all in on the flop and of course gets lucky on the river

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    Saturday, February 18, 2017, 6:44 PM [General]

    I found myself on a forum game table last night with the lovely Ken, otherwise known as Lambone, a really friendly nice guy, and aslo a MOD.  One of the players behaviour was appaling, and as the game progressed became really nasty.  The final straw came when he called Ken the son of a H,,r.

    Having looked he was not even a forum member.  So looking further we discovered actually quite a few of the players in last nights game were not forum members.

    I suggested that the passowrds should be changed, but apparently this has been suggested many times, but obviously the new passwords would still be given out or the system abused!  So I promised I would Blog, and hopefully create some debate as to a solution!

    Some of you reading this will be saying so what, it adds to the amount of players that play.  BUT THAT IS NOT THE POINT.  If it did'nt matter then there would be no point in continuing with these games OR even having them password protected.  Just make them open to everyone, well that's what happened at Christmas wasnt it?  And the same when a new sponsored player joins 888.  Anyone can enter, regardless, and then of course abuse is rife, and its not a reward for being a forum member.

    How many regular players could'nt even register to the games, due to actually being at work when registration opened?  I figured that these games were in effect some kind of reward for being a community member, but clearly I am wrong, and actually 888 don't care about their forum members.  The same as the monthly Blog,  where are these members, now there is no current competition?

    I am not knocking 888, they are fantastic with their generosity, the free rolls and  with the Birthday Bash,  but it is time for a shake up with the forum games!  I have been given all sorts of excuses why you cant change the passwords, or why certain things wont work, well lets try!  BE positive for a change.  The glass is half full,  NOT half empty.

    It is not about numbers, if so, remove the passwords!  If you posted the forum games as they are with no requirement for a password, I bet you would get in excess of a 100 runners every single time. 

    I asked Ken why we could'nt request a password from a MOD for the games, he replied he had offered by way of email giving out passwords for the tournaments, but this offer had fallen on deaf ears!  A regular member offering to take this on himself, what more could anyone want?

    Make the games an incentive for being a forum member!  How about you get a free game for a certain amount of posts on the forum, or for a certain amount of forum games played?  Shake up the forum, make people want to write posts!

    The worse game for me was last year.  I had been playing in one of the games, when an observer asked for the passowrd.  A player on the table gave him the passsword, and the new player actually went on to win the tournament, still not even being a forum member!  So there we have it,  a reason not to bother with a password system.  Chris said changing the passwords would not solve the issue as you would still be able to obtain them from somewhere, so this is a waste of time!  This is not looking for a solution, OR even encouraging new members to the forum.  Especially if there was one free forum game per month.  You know either you have played so many forum games this month, and having posted actual writing, not a smiley, you get a free game.  That would certainly make the forum a lot livlier.

    OR what about this then?  No winner actually gets their tournamnet winnings until they they have posted after the game to claim their prize.  That would be a terrible shame for a winner not to receive his/her prize if it turns out they were not even a member!  Can you imagine what  would hapen going forward?  Yes  we would asctually get a member and one that had to have posted prior to having played!  OR no winnings!  Shock, horror, a forum game for a forum member!!!!!

     Especially if one of the conditions was to have actually posted.  REMOVE the silly emotives,  How many people post happy/sad/angry faces and earn points?  This isn't a post, I could post lots of silly emotions earn points and the site thinks I have posted.  The emotives offer no actual value at all to the forum.

    And tonight on the social page on the forum, there is a site giving out the forum passwords! Including a face book page with all of our forum passwords on it.... Time for action.

    It is time for a shake up this is 2017  not the dark ages.  Drag 888 into the now, and reward loyal forum members.  We all actaully care..............
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    2016 Birthday Bash

    Thursday, November 3, 2016, 4:14 PM [General]

    For the past couple of years I have read the Birthday Bash forum posts, never daring to think I could possibly go.  This year I followed the posts and did not think I would be up to playing live.  I mean who wants to go out first?  Or to be caught making stupid calls, or checking or even calling out of turn?

    Well almost at the last minute, I decided after being encouraged by some of the forum members that it would be a great time to play live, and where better to play live than with friendly forum players?

    I added my name to the list and having googled where the casino was and where I could stay,  which was the closest place, I opted for the Travelodge.  On the Friday I managed to leave work early and managed to arrive at 6.30, having agreed to make our way to the Hilton to meet up with some of the other forum members.  I was greeted immediately by WKD, who gave me a massive hug and welcomed me to the bash.  It did feel daunting approaching a group of strangers with only forum names known! 

    Soon though we were chatiing and drinking, although I still not feel totally at ease. Members started to head off to eat and we decided just to find a local place to have a steak.  We wandered down the town, which was full of happy laughing people in fancy drees enjoying a friday night out for Halloween.  Heading into a local pub I quickly looked up, and just for a split second wondered how on earth the poor girl could work with a slash across her neck!  Great  makeup and of course she actually was dressed for Halloween!

    The following morning we headed towards the Casino, and found a few members sat outside enjoying coffee and chatting waiting for the casino to open.

    Here goes, I thought as the casino opened for play.  I actually felt nervous, excited and could not beleive I was just about to play my first live poker game ever.

    Sean and the MODs were really welcoming and soon the first game of the day commenced.  Lambone's tea pot challenge.  I went out just before making the final table.  My pair of 10's to Dee's KK.

    Dinner and a free bar had been provided, another great showing of hospitality, and I was actually looking forward to the Knockout game.  888 had added prize money to this, and I was just hopeful that I would survive, and not be first out!

    The forum players were really helpful and I did not actually feel like this was to be my second only live game.  I soon settled in and to my amazement found myself on the final table.  The banter was friendly and finally I felt I had known some of the members for a long time!  I now know why they are a community and go the the Bash every year.

    The lovely Bill took me out 7th with his pair of 9's against my AQ suited.  There we go my two cards I struggle to fold, and usually end up going out with!  I had actually won £40.  I felt proud of myself.  Having consumed a fair few glasses of wine, we finally headed of to bed around 1.00am, and I could'nt wait for the main event on Sunday.

    Now this was a breeze meeting the lovely members for brunch on Sunday and could not wait to start the poker.  I was hoping that it would not be a really late evening, as I would be leaving in the evening, unfortunately I had work monday morning.

    Sean, Dee and Bill were on my table, and I could feel myself inwardly groaning, all great players.  My first hand dealt was AJ of clubs and was reraised by Sean.  Flop fell with 2 clubs on the table, with Sean betting.  I missed my club flush, and Sean revealed his pair of Kings.  I got a few small pairs but actually went card dead for the rest of the game, but still managed to go down to the last two tables.

    It was actually one of the most enjoyable weekends I have ever had.  The company was fantastic, and the atmosphere was friendly.  The bar again was free for part of the day, and despite this there was no trouble.

    Wkd looked fantastic in her costume and red sparkly shoes, and I am not sure where she parked her broomstick!

    Those that I had not seen pictures of, did not look anything like I expected them to. Sorry Slim, I expected a really old guy, although I am not sure why as he had mentioned a young son!  Grumpy, I did actually see you smile.  Sylvia again another one I expected to be doddery, and she to turned out far younger than I expected, also a lovley person.

     I want to say a huge massive thank you to everyone that turned up, and for all the hard work that went into organising the weekend.  I can honestly say you are a great bunch of people and cannot wait to meet you at another event.

    THE only issue now is I have the bug for playing live.  Thank you to Jon and Pam for keeping an eye on me.

    So what are we waiting for, when is our next live meet up?

    And for those of you reading and have never been to a birthday bash, you really don't know what you are missing!  A really friendly game of poker with great banter which is what poker should always be about.
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    Saturday, July 30, 2016, 9:30 AM [General]

    To have cart blanche with a poker site would be amazing, to be the best you would need to attract the players, but also maintain a profit in order to continue to survive and generate new players.  So it would have to be a balance between rewarding, attracting and retaining players.

    I want my players to know that they are important, as without them there is no site.  No one needs too many fancy gimmacks, just to know that my site doesn't tolerate cheaters. So everyone feels that their hard earned cash isn't being gobbled up by coluders, and that everyone has an equal chance to win.

    All new players will have to, on opening an account being fully vereified with ID and a Valid address.   So when a player is sat on a table, hovering over his name will show the town he comes from.  You can chose your own avatar, by uploading one of ours or one of your own.

    I won't have a chat bar on the tables, but there will be a live lobby chat bar. So if you wantt advice tips or just want a genereal coversation then this is where you can do so.  This will be monitored by our team to ensure it remains friendly!

    No software will be able to be added, so that every single player is playing from a level playing field.  In live games they don't have software to help, just skill, which is what I want to encourage.

    There will be an automatic tagging system, which everyone can see.  So this means you can look for the donkey and fish players.   This to can also work to your benefit, helping you to improve your play, watch yourself go from a fish to a Shark, as your play improves.  To help with this we will have a monthly live coach from a pro player, for which all players can watch, and as it will be interactive you can obtain the best tips and advice.  Or remain a fish player, taking in unsuspecting sharks!  But to do this you would also still have to play like a fish on a regular basis!

    My site will be easy to navigate, and will also contain a player search bar.  This would allow you to find the fish/donkey player that usually manages to pay you, and so you can join his table.

    We will have every type of poker game, including poker scrabble, for the player that wants to try something different.


    For the late night player, who wants a little extra, we will have a monthly live topless dealer.  Not being sexist, but its a way of providing a "keep you awake" and playing at 2.00am to 5.00am!  minimum table bets wil be £2  Get titilated with our lucious ladies! Mind you don't get distracted.


    For our web cam games there will be a live dealer available.

    Once a month I will be hosting a celebrity player tournament.  Play not just against a pro player, but also perhaps one of your admired film stars or sporting stars that also likes to play a game of poker.  The bounty on their heads will be £1000, and entry will only be £10.  I want this game to be affordable to all player, and to encourage the fun and "awe" aspect to the poker game.  There will be a minimum of 5 celebrity players ,  to encourage more people to enter.


    We will have a monthly bad beat tournament.  Our software will automatically offer you a ticket, once you have encountered a real bad beat.


    There will be an annual guranteed £100,000 tournamnet, to anyone that has deposited more than £1000 over a 6 month period.  This will always be played 2 jan, to help players get over New year, and perhaps give a good bank roll start to the year.

    Local tournaments, mean just that, and only valid to the player from the country that is running our specials.  This will then give the winners entry  to a live tournament in their country hosted by a pro player, and the odd celebrity added for additional Kudos.

    None of my games will have a late buy in period for more than 1 hour for the larger buy in stakes, and a max of 30 minutes for the small buy in tournaments.

    Then ther's my annual loyalty free roll!  Open to all active players who have been playing for a minimum of two years, regardless of the size of stake that you play with. Guaranteed first prize £1500.


    For added fun, we will hold this tournament monthly.  There will be two games played, one for the men and one for the ladies.  Buy in will be £5.  The last 4 remianing players from each gender will go on to play a final table, to see who is the better player!  With a guranteed £100 first prize, and only the last 10 are paid.  All surplus funds from each monthly tournament will then roll over to our annual Battle of the sexes tournament. Each monthly winner, along with a runner up from both games, will then play our annual battle of the sexes event.  Last table only paid, with the winner collecting cash as well as our silver battle of the sexes trophy.


    I want my players to know that they come first! My site will have live web Chat, and I am so convinced that complaints will be resolved within 48 hours, that if I can't achieve this I will give you £50 and a ticket to a tournament.  All emails will be responded to on the same day that they are sent, and a toll free telephone number will also be provided.


    Everyone will earn a small amount of rake from each pot that they win.  The rake can be cashed out monthly, no minimum amount.  Or used to purchase torunament tickets.

    My theme will be a Sea world, where the small fish can swim in their shoals, until they progresss to the shark pool!

    Tables will look like small pools, and the playing cards will have various fish/ and sharks on the reverse.

    And for the really bad callers each day, at a random time,  a net will scoop you off the table and deposit you on a table, with other equally bad players

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    Monday, May 23, 2016, 10:33 AM [General]

    Trembling with anticipation, I can not believe that I have just landed in Vegas, the most crazy wildest place on the earth where dreams can really come true!  Stepping off the plane, the first thing that hits you is the intense heat, wrapping its warmth arouind you, reminding me, yes I am really am here.  I have travelled light, having clearly read the instructions on my qualifying ticket!

    Fighting through the bustling airport I find my way to the exit where a coach is waiting to pick up the 888 players that qualified for the 888 crazy eights tournamnet.  There are 40 of us  babbling all at once, still not believing that we are all here.  Every one beaming, laughing excitedly, me still shaking in disbelief.  My dream has come true, playing in vegas, but also my first ever live game!  I am apprehensive.  Will I remember what I am supposed to do?  Will I make stupid calls or will I be aggressively tight not wanting to be embarrassed getting caught calling a stupid hand?

    Our bags are stowed and we take our seats all gazing out of the windows ready to catch the sights that tell us this is vegas.  Everything is a blur, I dont remember how I arrived at the hotel, just bright colours all merging into one, as I press my nose against the glass window as the coach pulled into the Rio for the start of my game!

    The noise is over whelming every one pushing towards registration eager to grab passes, and taking in  the measure of the "competition".   One declaring loudly that he loves 7 5 and has won lots of poker games calling with these two cards!  Smiling sweetly I tell him "not the two cards I would ever play unless on the blinds and had no raises!"   He is wearing over large dark glasses and a baseball cap, and tee shirt bearing the slogan " I've done vegas and kept my shirt"  Good for you I smile.

    We take our seats and play starts. I make a stupid call, berating myself,  calm down or you will never survive the day, I tell myself.  I have short stacked myself within the first 2 hours.  I tighten my play and slowly start building my stack again.  At the end of day one I find to my shock I am still in play and can't wait for day 2 to start. I return to my room too excited to eat, nor see the sites of vegas.  I don't want to over sleep and find I have missed the start of day 2.

    Day 2 passes quickly, and I have still managed to remain in the tournament having taken out two players and trebling my stack.  I have posted on face book and twitter, text every single one of my contacts telling them my news.   I look at the posts I receive back,  every one wishing me luck for the final day.  I spend a restless night going over my game strategy, do I loosen my play? Limp in ? Remain tight?  No, just play each hand as you think fit.  No breakfast, I think I would throw it back up with nerves and excitment. My hands are shaking this is it I tell myself, taking a deep breath I hurry down to the lobby ready for the last day of play.  The last  hundred players all standing in the lobby waiting for play to commence.  I spot Mr Baseball cap and glasses still wearing his Tee shirt lounging against the wall, feeding a slot machine. "For luck" he says.  I smile back and being gracious wish him the best of luck.  Finally as we are all getting restless, and wondering why play has not yet commenced, 888 Poker Manager Sean appears and holds up his hands asking for a few minutes of quiet whilst he has an anouncement to make.  "At 888 Poker we play different, and today is no exception, our final games will not be played here, so please go out side and take the coaches that are waiting for you"

    Everyone starts talking at once, what is going on?  We are pushing and asking questions, but Sean just smiles and repeats "we play different"

    The natural sunlight is bright, after the last couple of days sitting in unnatural light, I struggle with the brightness, and  I grab my sunglasses.  Outside are several coaches each with a driver who looks amazingly like Elvis.  Elvis is to chauffer us to our final destination.  We climb aboard still asking questions.  Laughing, a few players start singing Viva Las vegas.

    The coach moves down the strip passing the world famous casinos and starts travelling out of Vegas.  I spot a sign for route 93, what a site seeing trip?  Surely not, this is the final day of play!  No one still knows what's going on.  We pass Boulder city and the Hoover Dam, the blue water looking increasingly inviting in the heat and yet we still keep travelling on.

    As the coaches finally come to a stop, none of us can believe what we are seeing. There on lake Mead is a paddle steamer, bearing 888 banners and flags, gently billowing in the breeze.   

    "Welcome to your home for the final day of play," says Sean smiling broadly.  "As I said 888 do things differently and we are about to make history.   It is believed that poker spread across the USA by poker players playing on the old paddle steamers. So today we are going to re create that experience.  The boat will start in Lake Mead, and follow the Colorado River. The final table will be played with the Hoover Dam as its back drop.  888 have arranged traditional wild west outfits, and once you are all changed play will commence"  Sean indicated that we all hurry as the boat was waiting to start its journey.  Did I hear him correctly?  Recreating history? What genious thought of this idea?  Playing poker on a paddle steamer, with the Hoover Dam in the background.  What fantastic publicity for 888 and the world series.

    As I take in the scene, I cannot begin to describe my feelings.  blessed, euphoric and over awed still don't tell the whole story.  A room full of players wearing traditional wild west outfits seated at tables, made the hairs on my arms stand.  I felt proud to be an 888 player, this certainly was a different way to play.

    As the day progressed and the boat sailed towards the Hoover Dam, there were now only two tables still in play.  I was still there along with "Mr baseball cap, glasses and Tee shirt",  only he was now sporting a sherrifs badge along with his cowboy hat and boots.  As slowly players knocked each other out, my heart thumping I was now sat on the final table.  I was sure they could hear my heart beating with excitment, taking deep breaths I reminded myself to play my way.

    I had made the final table and would make some money, that was all I ever wanted, a final table somehwere in a vegas game, my dream had become reality.  
    But I had done better than somewhere in Vegas.  I had made the World series games.  

    The play had tightened up on the final table, and everyone was holding onto their chips, determined to walk away with 888's final prize.  I looked down at my cards, I had aces and raised to half my stack.  Trying to avoid eye contact.  Could they read my face, did they know I had aces?  Would anyone call such a large raise?   Mr "Cowboy hat and glasses" called me.   There on the flop fell Ace Five Five. I had flopped the full house.  I was a certain to win, if he had called me with 7, 5 he had a set, so I pushed all in.  I winked at him and I held me breath as he turned over his 7, 5 revealing his set!  He could'nt win. Fourth street came,  a king, and there on the river fell a five!  He had knocked me out with quads.  He lifted his glasses,  
    returning my wink, he said "I always call with 7 5, its my lucky hand.

    I should have known,  but there was no way I could have folded a set on the flop. Of course I wasn't happy, that he had called with his 7 5, but do you know what ? It has been the most amazing time and experience of my life, one that could never ever be bested.  I had cashed, I had done "Vegas",   888 had been true to their word, "we play different"  No one would ever be able to match this final series.

    It was my final eveing, I arranged a helicopter flight over vegas, taking in the lights. I wanted to spend a little of my winnings.  We flew over the Bellagio fountains as they danced to their own tune in a display of glorious colour.  We took in the site of the Mirage Hotel's volcano,  shooting its fire and smoke into the air.  We passed the stratosphere tower and landed at my final destination for the eveing.  I was taking in a show, where I was  to watch Penn and Teller whilst enjoying a steak.  No champagne for me, I would rather have a glass of good white wine.  The act was amazing, how on earth did that Bullet pass right through the playing card and land in his coat pocket?  Well we will never know!

    As I said good bye to vegas, I vowed to come back, play a little poker, and site see, but at a leisurely pace the next time I visit  Vegas.    As I boarded my flight home, I received a text, giving me a link to my local newspaper,  telling of the fantastic 888 game along with my own name in print.  History had been made with the wonderful change of venue for the final day of play.  That's when I realised, I now too, was in 888' s hall of fame.

    I had played different, of course, I was on a table with people, and not looking at my computer screen.  I too now have my own slogan T Shirt,   At 888 I played different WSOP 2016.

    Thank you for reading and sharing my experience, even if it is only currently a dream!

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