In an interesting move in online gambling, Carbon Poker just announced that they are welcoming American players again. This new development occurs exactly six months after the US Government started to indict online gaming operators believed to be breaking online gambling laws while offering real money poker games to US based players.
Five operators were banned at the time (pokerstars, full tilt poker, absolute poker, UB Poker and Doyle’s Room), but smaller ones such as Carbon Poker were not accused of any wrong doing. One question is why.
Is it because the DOJ chose to focus on the bigger players and did not build a case against Carbon? Is it because Carbon Poker did not break the law (this seems hard to believe as the law practically forbids any form of gambling related fund transfer through the banking system). Or is it because they cannot at this time find any evidence proving their point (as the April indictment were possible thanks to an insider’s revelations).
Is it hard to tell, but if Carbon Poker has decided to come back, they must strongly believe that it is safe for them. Anyway this is a great news for American online poker players who now have one more option to play their favorite card game on the Web.
Unfortunately all current poker rooms participating in the US market are rather small, compared to the rooms that were shut down such as Pokerstars. These rooms offer good micro-limit or low-limit games, but high stake games have totally disappeared in America as well as large tournaments. So all pros for the most part cannot do much at this time, and their only choice if they want to continue their profession is to move to another country. And some do, to Canada, Costa Rica or Europe.
When will US online poker get finally properly regulated, that is the one million dollar question. And it is not expected to be happening until next year or maybe 2012. Congress should move a bit faster as the major benefit of such a new law would be to raise well needed taxes in a time of double dip recession. This will also create new jobs. So if France or Italy can regulate their own online gambling markets, it is time for the USA to do the same, is it not?
How to select the right game at online poker
It is important to be in the right poker games for you. The games where you are comfortable and where you can earn good money.
Select the games that allow you to play your way, but give you the best chance to win. Here are a few pointers to find the right games:
- The lowest limits you can tolerate:
- The smallest antes or blinds.
- Lots of loose-passive players.
- No more than one loose-aggressive player.
- A large pool of players.
- A full table.
Why low limits and small antes or blinds? Generally, the lower the limits, the weaker the players. In the smallest games many players are loose and passive. In addition, most of them will not recognize your style or exploit your predictability, but the better players in the larger games will quickly identify and adjust to your style, turning you from a winner into a loser.
The ratio of antes to bets also favors you in the smallest stud games, but works against you in the larger ones. You are virtually unbeatable at the smallest stud games because there are no antes (or trivial ones), and the players are so loose. The one negative in the smaller games is that the rake is relatively high, but you still have the edge in them. Unless you play at some micro-limits games without rake.
As the game gets larger, the antes become a larger fraction of the bets, and the players get tighter and better. These changes cause your style to shift slowly from an asset, to neutral, to a liability.
The same process occurs more slowly in hold ‘em because the blinds are always about the same percentages of the bets.
A good idea is to play at an online poker room that has a lot of traffic and attracts plenty of new players with their promotions. This way you are guaranteed to find loose or new players who make mistakes while playing poker.
In this respect, the largest poker room pokerstars has plenty of small fish. Use a pokerstars bonus code 2014 in order to qualify for their 100% bonus up to $600. That is a cool incentive to boost your bankroll when you sign up.