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More Odds and Ends - Miscellaneous happenings in the poker world

by Linda Johnson |  Published: Aug 09, 2005


A few times a year I gather up all the notes I have slipped into my "miscellaneous folder" and compile a column of bits and pieces. This is one such column.

No smoking … The Palms poker room in Las Vegas has just joined so many of the other cardrooms in becoming nonsmoking, according to poker fan Howard Burroughs.

Boot Camp … I will be teaching two WPT Boot Camps this fall; the first will be held at Commerce Casino, Oct. 8-9, and the second will be held at Foxwoods, Oct. 15-16. If you are interested in attending and trying to improve your poker play, visit for more details.

Las Vegas Sets Records … According to the LV Maven, an all-time record was set in March when 3.9 million visitors came to Las Vegas. And another record was broken in March: It was the first month ever that Nevada casino winnings were more than $1 billion. Who said gaming isn't growing?

Way to go, Deborah … Congratulations to Deborah Crumley, who is legally blind, for winning the first Humboldt County Poker Championship. Crumley bested 386 other players to win the $10,000 grand prize at the Blue Lake Casino.

Play Poker in Alaska? The Alaska House of Representatives recently passed a measure to allow public poker games in municipalities with at least 30,000 occupants. At the time of this writing, the House had passed the bill and it was under review by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Skill or Chance? Although we may be seeing public poker in Alaska soon, it isn't looking good in North Carolina, where a judge recently ruled that poker is a game of chance, not skill, and is thus illegal. The Joker Club, which had plans to open a poker room, filed a lawsuit against the former state district attorney and attempted to prove that poker is more a game of skill than luck. The judge decided that poker is too heavily influenced by chance to be considered a game of skill.

Give me a break, judge!

Reno Peppermill Hosts Peppermill Celebrity Challenge … The VIP players at the Reno Peppermill Casino were recently treated to a poker tournament with some well-known poker players serving as celebrity guests. Tom McEvoy, Susie Isaacs, Chris Hinchcliffe, Debbie Burkhead, Tex Morgan, Robert Williamson, and I mixed and mingled with the high rollers, signed autographs, and taught poker lessons during this fun-filled weekend. The players received free entry into the tournament that featured $600 bounties on our heads and $25,000 donated to the prize pool by the Peppermill.

The funniest line I heard during the tournament came from Bill Fain, who said, "I must be a good guy; why else would I keep finishing last?"

To Move or Not to Move … As a board member of the Tournament Directors Association, I sometimes get questions from cardroom managers and tournament directors about policy issues. One recent question involved moving players in a $1-$2 blinds no-limit hold'em game. Specifically, if a player requests a table change from one $1-$2 no-limit hold'em game to another $1-$2 no-limit hold'em game with a $200 maximum buy-in and he has already doubled up his chips to $425, for example, can he take the entire $425 with him or is he allowed to take only $200 into the new game, since that is the maximum buy-in?

We had a great discussion about this in our Wednesday Poker Discussion Group, and the field was divided. We all agreed that if it was a must-move situation, he could take all of his chips to the new game. However, in the case of a voluntary move, I could actually argue either side of the issue. Please send me your feedback and comments about whether you think a player who requests a table change should be allowed to take his entire stack to the other game or should be required to take only the amount to make the maximum buy-in.

World Poker Players Conference … A multi-DVD set of the 2004 World Poker Players Conference, featuring Card Player columnists Daniel Negreanu, Barry Tanenbaum, Lee Jones, Mark Gregorich, Roy Cooke, and me, along with Mike Caro, Jennifer Harman, George Epstein, and Doyle Brunson, is now available at for $39.95 plus $2.00 for shipping and handling. You also can order by calling (888) 999-4880. The DVD set contains the complete, unedited Conference, plus bonus interviews with some of the speakers. I truly believe that this is the best poker DVD available today.

Now, let's play poker!

Linda is available to host poker events, seminars, and corporate nights. You can contact her through her website at