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March 17, 2013

I will be leaving for Reno in a few days to play at the Atlantis Casino.  I
was there last September for the WPT Regional event and was lucky
enough to cash with a first place win.  It was a $200 buy-in and the
payoff was over $15,000 which, in today's poker world, is pretty large.  

Today's poker world has become two distinct entities: one is one in
which the buy-ins are 1, 2,and 3 hundred dollar tournaments, and the
other is the big buy-in type.  The larger tournament venues will have
some $1000 to $5000 events, and then a $10,000 with maybe even a
higher buy-in of up to $50,000.  In numbers there are far more of the
smaller tournaments; in money terms, one large tournament will pay
out as much as twenty, or more smaller venues.   

This is the reason I have said for the last 7 or 8 years that a 'middle-of-
the-road pro" will hardly ever be able to reach stardom in the new
poker world that will be reserved for the players with unlimited
bankrolls or lots of money to gamble with.   

This time I have added an article written by DaVita Mintz that talks
about Poker Cruises.  DaVita interviewed my wife and me so hopefully
you will find the article interesting.

For What it's Worth


Why Poker Cruises Are Hot
Posted by Davida Mintz, February 26, 2014

"Love exciting and new. Come aboard, we're expecting you."

That's the kitschy theme song from the old "Love Boat" sitcom. The
cruise ship in that television show catered to passengers looking for
adventure and romance, but it is highly unlikely that it would ever host
an onboard poker tournament.

For poker players, fun on a cruise ship is a sailing stacked with chips. A
cruise gives you a chance to get away from the routine of ordinary life. A
poker cruise gives you all the time you want to play poker, eat, sleep
and play more poker.

Passengers on poker cruises frequently catch up with friends from years
before and start in as if they had just seen each other yesterday. For re-
united poker buddies, a day spent playing and catching up is
mandatory. When the ship is at sea, cash games and at least one
tournament will run daily. Most ships close the poker room at 1 a.m. The
poker room is also shut down when the ship is at port.

Friends for Life
WSOP bracelet winner Vince Burgio and wife Debbie have become
friendly with many couples over the 14 poker cruises they’ve taken.
Four couples in particular have become like family to them. Burgio
remembers their adventures: "We had a group of four couples. I would
say we went on seven, eight cruises together with that foursome. And
then we got to the ports and we'd usually rent some kind of car or van
and do what we wanted to do or see sights that we wanted to see, but
truthfully Deb and I, we loved them. She would always be very sad the
day we got back." The Burgios are talking about taking cruise number
15, a poker cruise to Alaska, but nothing's been settled.

Adventures Ashore and Onboard
Poker cruises are, by definition, also cruises. The ships visit ports of
natural beauty and cultural significance as they ply the oceans. When
the ships dock, most passengers venture out to explore the beautiful
beaches, local shops, and outstanding architecture right outside the
boat. An ideal cruising experience depends on choosing an exciting
destination in the right season. February is high season for cruising on
the Mexican Riviera, the Caribbean and to Australia, where it's summer
through March.

Other passengers on the poker-themed cruises couldn't care less about
what awaits onshore. No-limit Hold'em cash games are available at
limits of $1/$2 up to $20/$40. For a change of pace, most poker cruises
offer a range of games including $3/6 or $4/8 limit Hold'em, $4/8 limit
Omaha/8, $1/$2 Pot limit Omaha and mixed games.

For many, it's the tournaments taking place that attracts them to the
ships. Passengers are enthusiastic about tournament poker. Count on
at least one tournament daily with buy-ins ranging from $80 to $250. Sit
'n Gos are another popular option on many ships. Smoking is not an
option in any poker room onboard, making them friendly to all

Beginner Friendly
They say poker takes a lifetime to learn. Debbie Burgio was in the early
stages of learning the game when she and her husband boarded their
first poker cruise. That worked out well because poker cruises cater to
recreational players, offering free beginner classes with highly qualified
instructors. Debbie’s husband, an experienced player, led some training
sessions for beginning students.

If you are considering taking the next poker cruise bound for sea, you'll
need to pack your sunscreen, Dramamine and your lucky chip protector.
But, don’t pack your bags before learning more about what the trip will
cost. Poker cruises have a reputation for being a good value. They’re
one of the best values to be found. When you're travelling on a budget,
you can find seven-night cruises to the Mexican Riviera with room, food
and most entertainment included for as little as $549 per person. The
prices top out at about $1100 per person, and again all are seven

Card Player Cruises have been the industry favorite for years. Now,
Ante Up Poker Cruises is offering some interesting alternatives with
shorter and longer vacations. Then there's the World Poker Tour Cruise,
where your fellow passengers will include Hall of Famer Mike Sexton,
Vince Van Patten, Kimberly Lansing and the Royal Flush Girls. They put a
lot of focus on activity, with a full schedule of organized poker events.

Choose a destination with warm weather and smooth sailing. Whether
you'll spend your entire vacation at the tables or not, you'll have plenty
to keep you busy, “because the Poker Cruise promises something for
everyone," according to the ships' marketing slogan.
Vince's  Interview
with Legendary
ActorJoe Mantegna