Poker Table Tops – An Affordable Way to Play Poker During an Economic Recession?

The above question asks whether Poker Table Tops are an affordable alternative for Poker Players in today’s economic climate? And whether or not Poker Table Tops make the playing of Poker more accessible to general members of the public, the ordinary Poker player?

This question is not posed merely to promote the product of Poker Table Tops. It ponders if the affects of the recent / present Recession, which has resulted in growing unemployment, reductions in take home pay and subsequently disposable income and the limiting of individuals earning potential, has led to the playing of Poker in casinos to become an unaffordable luxury for many Poker Players.

In attempting to put forward some kind of rational and logical argument to the question that is posed by the title, one must first ask ‘Who is the ordinary poker Player?’

According to eCOGRA (e Commerce On-line Gaming Regulation and Assurance) the typical on-line poker player was:

  • Male 73.8%
  • Age 26-35 (26.9%)
  • Play two to three times per week (26.8%)
  • Have played for two to three years (23.6%)
  • Play between one to two hours per session (33.3%)
  • Play one table (24.1%) or two tables (24%) at a time
  • Play both cash games and tournaments (34%)
  • Play at big blind levels of $0.50 to $2.00(US) (61.2%)
  • Play with 6-10% of their bankroll on the table at any one time (23%)
  • Claim that they are average in terms of skill
  • Feel that there is slightly more skill involved in poker than luck (31.9%)
  • Travel over 100 miles to play poker at least 2 times per year (38%)
  • 52% Internet Poker players have a bachelors degree or higher
  • 75% of those who did not and would not try internet gambling where married while 56% of internet gamblers were married
  • 37% of casino goers gamble online as compared to 5% of the general population

The above statistics not only show the general make up of the ordinary Poker Player but also their playing habits. Granted the above statistics are applicable to the on-line Poker Player, however eCOGRA went on to state, “Most studies suggest that demographics of online gambling are broadly similar to those of the offline gambling population, with a spread of income, gender and education.”

Given the ravages of the world wide Recession money has become a scare commodity and people are retreating from the high streets. With less money in people’s pockets there is less money for people to spend to help boost the economy.

With any recession people are left to re-evaluate their finances. Usually their little luxuries in life are the first to be sacrificed in their home budget. These luxuries include those trips to the casino to play the great game of Poker. It isn’t a free and desirable choice, it’s a choice dictated by the effects of a failing economy.

Granted on-line Poker offers the ordinary Poker Players the opportunity to play the game but that, in my opinion is impersonal. For me there is nothing like the feel of playing Poker in a room, face to face with your opponents, yet being part of the camaraderie that exist between players.

One could purchase a Poker Table for his / her home. This provides one with the opportunity to reproduce that Casino feel without having to travel. However it does also provide some difficulties. Furthermore, the cost of a Poker Table could be anywhere in the region of $2000 but in these recessionary times the luxury of having $2000 spare is not one luxury many people have.

Another option is to avail oneself of the many manuals on-line that illustrate how to build a Poker Table for between $200 & $300. Unfortunately not everyone has the skills or the desire to build one.

Further to the above, not everyone has the room to store a full size Poker Table in their house. As a result of the Recession, many people have had to downsize on their homes. Be it through choice, enforced sale or by eviction, people have had to seriously curtail their living habits and lifestyles. This includes reducing the living area / space in which most of us live. A full size Poker Table may not be a practical option.

Here is why I believe Poker Table Tops allow the ordinary Poker Player to play Poker during the Recession: Poker Table Tops allow all players to enjoy the game with like minded people in the comfort of their own home without the burden of high cost and with an added bonus of convenience. The cost of Poker Table Tops is relatively cheap compared to other products. Some affordable options start at around just $29. At this low cost, one can still enjoy the face to face intensity of playing Poker, Octagonal or Rectangular shaped Poker Table Tops can fit up to 8 to 10 Poker players at any one time.

Unlike Poker Tables, Poker Table Tops are not bulky items, lay them anywhere on any surface and quickly prepare them for playing on, they are just as easy to store away. This allows one to recreate that casino feel without having to sacrifice much needed space in their home.

I do not profess to be an Academic on this topic. This piece is based on my opinion, an opinion formed by witnessing more people looking for cheaper and more sustainable ways of maintaining a lifestyle they had prior to the world wide Recession. In that I believe Poker Table Tops allow the ordinary Poker Player an opportunity to keep playing Poker in a truly competitive and fun atmosphere, while not having the added expenses that were incumbent when travelling to the casino during the good times.

Therefore, in answering the question posed by the title, ‘Poker Table Tops – An easy way to play Poker during an economic recession?’ I would answer ‘Yes, in my opinion Poker Table Tops do indeed offer an easy way to play Poker during a recession.’

How to Remember Winning Poker Hands and Their Rank

The best way to remember poker hands and their ranking, is to break them into 2 halves.

The first half is the low rankings.

  • High card
  • 1 Pair
  • 2 Pair
  • 3 of a kind
  • Straight

This part is pretty easy.

Basically it’s 1, 2, 3, straight.

The straight is the straight line that divides the first half from the second half.

Visually it would look like this:

1 2 3 /

Representing 1 pair, 2 pair, 3 of a kind and Straight.

A straight is 5 cards in sequence.

How do you remember what a straight is?

A straight is a hand where all the cards are neighbors.

Next door neighbors to be exact.

Both straight and neighbors have an (IGH) in the middle.

Visually it would look like this.

straIGHt = neIGHbors

Back to the rankings

The cards in the second half are ranked as follows:

  • FLUSH
  • FULL HOUSE
  • FOUR OF A KIND
  • STRAIGHT FLUSH
  • ROYAL FLUSH

So how do you remember the card ranks for the second half and highest ranking poker hands?

Just memorize this little saying.

“FLUSH, a FULL, FOUR, or Second FLUSH, Required”

The best way to remember this saying is to imagine flushing you eye or skin with water.

This may sound hard at first but is very easy.

“FLUSH, a FULL, FOUR, or Second FLUSH, Required”

Representing

  • FLUSH
  • FULL HOUSE
  • FOUR OF A KIND
  • STRAIGHT FLUSH
  • ROYAL FLUSH

Pretty self explanatory except

Second FLUSH = Straight FLUSH and

Required =Royal flush

FLUSH, a FULL, FOUR, or Second FLUSH, Required

The easiest way to check that you have remembered the line correctly is to see that flush has 5 letters, full house has 9 letters, four of a kind has 11 letters and straight flush has 13 so they get progressively larger as you go up in ranking.

Tip. Count the letters in the word four not the #4 and a royal flush beats every other hand in poker.

“FLUSH, a FULL, FOUR, or Second FLUSH, Required”

Back to the Rankings.

FLUSH

A flush is a hand where all the cards are the same suit.

How do you remember what a flush is?

Both flush and suit have a U in them.

Visually it would look like this.

flUsh = sUit

Full House

A Full house is a pair and 3 of a kind. The hand is ranked by the highest 3 of a kind. In a tie, the rankings of the pair are compared.

Four of a Kind

Four of the same cards but different suits.

Straight Flush

A straight flush is five Consecutive cards and of the same suit.

So a straIGHt flUsh is 5 neIGHbors of the same sUit.

Royal Flush

A Royal flush is a straight Flush Ace high. A royal flush will always be a 10, jack, queen, king and ace of the same suit.

A couple of things to keep in mind.

Someone wins every hand of Texas Holdem Poker so if nobody has even 1 pair, the person with the highest card “high card” wins. This is the lowest winning hand rank.

If the flop cards are the highest rank, then everybody still in the game shares that pot. For example the flop cards may be 1 pair and if that is the highest hand then anyone who didn’t fold shares the pot.

It is also possible to have 5 of a kind if you are playing with more than one deck of cards or if you are playing with wild cards. Although not commonly listed as a winning hand, it ranks between the straight flush and the royal flush. Nothing beats a royal flush, it is the highest poker hand with odds of getting one 30,939 to 1.

Remember this mnemonic device for poker hand ranks

1, 2, 3, Straight, FLUSH, a FULL, FOUR, or Second FLUSH, Required

Now you learned what all the poker hands are and you now have a handy mnemonic device to remember their ranking.

How to Play Poker For Free

Do you want to play poker? Do you know that poker can be quite an expensive diversion? You are surely quite apprehensive of getting into the poker gaming habit because you know that it can get too expensive. How if you can find a way to enjoy this card game without spending a dime?

It may help to know that you can definitely play poker for free. While you play for free, you get to develop the expertise in playing this exciting card game. Once you are familiar with the game play and that you are comfortable you can win a lot of money from playing poker online. Then, in the future, you may opt to play with real money and probably play the game profitably.

Of course, if you know how to play the game well because it is a card game enjoyed by your family and friends. You surely can play poker profitably when you want.

It may help to know that playing poker for free online is not so different from playing with real money. Playing this game for money may be quite a challenge especially when you have meager wagering budget.

If you just want to play poker as a diversion and for entertainment purposes, then playing without spending a dime is good.

Here are some tips playing online poker for free

There are several options you can choose from but in this article, we will discuss only two of them.

The first is to download poker software from the internet. Some card rooms offer their software for free and when you download it, you can play poker offline and enjoy the game against virtual players. The same poker software if what you will use when you play for real money, thus, downloading it will be both a practice and familiarization of the game play as well.

The second option is to play at social networking sites like the application you can find in face book. If you play in social networking sites, you can enjoy playing against friends or other players in the site.

How to play poker are social networking sites?

The first step is to set up an account and login. You can complete your profile and other details at a later date if you opt to.

The second step is to login using your username.

When you are in the site already, you can find the poker application.

Once you are in the application, you will automatically receive 10,000 worth of poker chips. There is no condition in getting the free chips, it will be given to you once you register and play in the application.

In the application, you have the option to create a table or to find a seat among the poker tables already in play.

If you want to create a table because you have friends who are likewise registered on the site, all you need is to invite them in your table.

When they get to seat in the poker table that you have set up, you will then be poker and may even chat with other players in the field when you want to.

If you however opt to seat in an existing table, you have to click on the find me a seat button. You will have to choose the table you will be playing at from a list that is going to be provided by the site.

Of course, you do not try to play poker without any idea of how to play poker. Thus, you have to know the game play, the rules, and some strategies and when you do, you will be able to play the game well.

When you know how to play and you have a place to play poker for free, you will definitely be able to enjoy the game without risk of being a problem gambler. Remember that you are not wagering for money but merely playing in the platform for some entertainment and friendly chats.

Go on, register and play poker for free.

Stress Less For Poker Success – Is Stress Holding You Back?

I’m going to be completely honest with you. The ingredient I’m about to tell you about doesn’t have near the amount of clinical evidence supporting its use as Rhodiola does. In fact, I’d say it has little evidence supporting it. That’s precisely why it took 4 years of convincing from one of my good friends before I even tried it. What it lacks in clinical evidence, it makes up for in real-world feedback.

I credit Bacopa monniera for single-handedly changing my primary principle from which my professional reputation was built upon. Prior to Bacopa, my mantra was “Nutraceuticals that are strongly supported by clinical evidence.” I was damn tired of being fooled by the marketing of these dietary supplement companies. I was not going to have my reputation hurt by those very same companies. Thus, I went to the medical journals for evidence. If the medical journals supported a nutraceutical, then I was comfortable recommending it. My world was quickly turned upside down.

Then Bacopa came along. So little clinical evidence. So much real-world feedback. What was I do to? I bit the bullet, and tried it. Let’s just say my new mantra is “Nutraceutials supported by clinical evidence AND real-world feedback.” I quickly learned that if I waited for every nutraceutical to have a large amount of clinical evidence supporting its use, I’d be 10 years behind the innovators. Innovation along with documentation is now the key to my success. I may look like a renegade practitioner to some traditional medical professionals, however I’m light years ahead of them. When they say renegade, I say innovator.

Bacopa monniera

What is it?

Also known as Brahmi, has been used for several hundred years in Ayurvedic medicine. Typically grown in India and the tropics, its primary benefits all involve the brain.

Improved memory

Improved learning

Improved concentration

Decreased anxiety

Antioxidant properties

Like all herbals, it contains multiple compounds that are responsible for its beneficial effects. The two that are important to its cognitive-enhancing abilities are bacosides A and B. Thus, that will be your “alcohol proof” for Bacopa.

How it works?

Once again like most herbals, there are multiple theories on how Bacopa improves mental performance. They include:

Enhancing nerve impulse transmission

Helping repair damaged neurons through multiple mechanisms

Antioxidant activity in the hippocampus, frontal cortex, and striatum

Thus, there’s really not just one way Bacopa works. It has an entire arsenal of cognitive-enhancing weapons.

Dosage

When using an extract, the typical dosage is 200-400mg in divided doses standardized to 20% A and B bacosides. I personally use 200-400mg standardized to 50% A and B bacosides. Because of the lack of clinical evidence supporting its use, I feel there’s an unknown as to exactly what the best dosage is. I had to tinker with my dosage until I found what I felt was right for me. I suggest you do the same. The above is a good starting dosage.

Why I like it for poker

Unlike Rhodiola which can be used in acute situations, Bacopa can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks to see the benefits. In fact, the studies that I read, the average time it took to see the benefits was around 6 weeks. Thus, I use it year-round. Over the long haul, it helps to minimize my every day “normal” stress. When things get particularly stressful, I’ll add Rhodiola anywhere from 1-3 weeks. I’ve found using Bacopa year round and adding Rhodiola every once in the while works the best for me. There’s a synergy between the two.

Most poker players play on-line almost every day or every couple of days, while participating in major tournaments once or twice a month. Using Bacopa every day combats the stress of the nightly games, while adding Rhodiola for a week during the tournament is particularly helpful. It’s very convenient for poker players.

Secondly, not only does it help with stress, but it also has cognitive-enhancing capabilities. I’m sure you’ve already noticed that the majority of what I’ve recommend thus far always has cognitive-enhancing effects. I’m always looking for the most efficient nutracueticals available. If I can kill two birds with one stone, GREAT. Bacopa and Rhodiola both fit this profile. I always look at everything from a mental standpoint. Will this nutraceutical improve my mental performance? Mental performance is of paramount importance to me as it is to you also.

I firmly believe that the best poker players in the world are masters of their emotions. Success at the poker table is largely the sum of checking your ego at the door, minimizing mental fatigue, and controlling your emotions. If you can control those three things, you will quickly separate yourself from the pack.

When I look back over my last 10 or so losses, the other guy never really flat out beat me. I almost always beat myself. Probably 7 out of 10 times. Either my ego made the wrong call, I was mentally drained and made a stupid mistake, or I made an emotional, not rational move. Stupid mistakes that will always hold me back from reaching my true potential. Memorizing the odds, the strategy, and the player’s trends is relatively easy for me. However, playing rational, checking my ego at the door, and following my head not my heart is so tough.

That’s why I believe nutraceuticals can have a major impact on your game. They may not be able to check your ego at the door, but I know they’ll improve your mental energy and cognitive abilities while also minimize the stress, anxiety, and pressure associated with poker. When I’m stressed or anxious, I’m emotional. Rationality and everything else I learned about the game of poker goes out the door.

Finding that critical balance between relaxation and stimulation is the key. Like the reader pointed out in the first e-mail I posted, in poker over-stimulation is just as bad as mental fatigue. It’s finding that sweet spot, that exact feeling where you’re so relaxed, yet so focused. That’s the zone. That’s minimizing stress and anxiety while improving mental energy. That’s the goal for my nootropic regimen.

There you go. Read it over. Do a search for Bacopa on the internet, and let me know what you think. I’ll post the small amount of studies I have later tonight. Like I said, the real-world feedback trumps the clinical evidence for this ingredient. Good luck and may the cards fall your way.