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The Next Video Poker Wave

First we had Texas Hold'em, which required that you play the game with a deck of cards, a table, and of course, chips. Next we had Internet Hold'em, which allowed you to play poker in the comfort of your own home. Then we had wireless modems that hooked up to your laptop, and allowed you to play Hold'em in limousines (two players claim to have played from Atlantic City to Manhattan one Saturday night - they both won over $4,000), in airports and grocery stores, while driving from Vegas to L.A., and everywhere and anywhere in the U.S.A.

Still, as cool as it is to play in a limo or taxi, you needed a laptop. Now we can play Texas Hold'em directly on a cell phone! Bring your cell and play anytime, anywhere!

This is something new to the future of Texas Hold'em: "Phil Hellmuth's Texas Hold'em Powered by Bluefuel." A brand-new App by Summus Cellular Applications allows one to play poker on a standard cell phone face, and it is reportedly quite good. There are two different ways to play the game, one by text only, and the other with full graphics using a small poker table. If you are busy or using the phone (hopefully not while driving, the cell beeps when it is your turn to act, so that you don't have to watch every hand, though this would teach you something about the players, and their styles of play. In any case, the graphic version gives more of a feel of the live game.

One aficionado tells of taking his son to a basketball playoff game, and sitting in the passenger seat playing cell phone Hold'em, when the following hand came up. He was playing 5-10 blind Pot Limit Hold'em, with a 2000 "chip" buy-in. He was down to 1,860 in chips and noticed that it was impossible to bluff the players he was up against. He had just bluffed 200 chips into 3d-7s-9d-Kd-7c, and been called by an opponent with their ace-high. He then thought, "OK, if they are going to call my big bets with nothing, then I will wait for a strong hand and bet it big".

About 15 minutes later our subject had 4-4, and six players took the flop, also. The flop was a beautiful-looking 2d-3h-4c, and he bet out a pot-sized 70-chip bet. He was called by two players. The next card was the Qh, and he bet out 280 chips, again a pot-sized bet. This time he was called by only one opponent. When the last card was a harmless 10c, he then bet out 600 chips (there were 840 in the pot), and he was called again. Although he didn't see his opponents' hand, the chips were instantly put into his cell stack, and he then felt as if he had played the hand perfectly.

Normally his style would be to bet less on the flop to try to lure players into the pot, and bet less on the turn as well, but not too much less, since he then would have to protect the hand against a straight draw. He ordinarily would usually bet more like 400 on the end, to induce an easier call from the opponent. The moral of this story is if your opponents are going to call your big bets with weak hands, then charge them the maximum when you do have a strong hand.

Maybe you'll be a winner, once you discover playing poker in the virtual cell phone world!



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