series the players put up £1500 of their own money to shoot for a first
prize of £45,000, a substantial amount to most of the players and
probably the top poker prize on mainland Britain. Each show features seven
players playing down until there are only two left, they in tern play until one
person has all the chips. The person in 2nd place gets a seat in the semi-final
whereas the victor goes straight into the final.
commentary comes, once again, from colourful yet soft-spoken American
Jesse May, author of
Shut Up and Deal. May is accompanied
by the rather dry Nic Szeremeta, editor of Poker Magazine.
|If poker is
growing on you and you're watching this program, then some of the action might
be too fast to make sense to you. The game is
Hold'em and its played
No-Limit. Thats the jargon for you but
here is a quick look at what it really means:-
beginning of the game a player is chosen at random to be the "Dealer". That
person will not actually deal the cards, the house dealer will do that, but its
a title that means the house dealer knows who gets the first card of each hand.
A big white button is placed in front of that player with 'Dealer' marked
clearly. After every hand the title of dealer moves along one position to the
left and people speak of the button moving along.
The two players to
the left of the dealer must each make a blind bet (called blinds)
before the cards are dealt. This creates a pot before cards are
dealt which makes sure the game gets some flowing action. (Otherwise people
could sit forever and just play their very best hands). Now the dealer deals
two cards to each player.
The third person
from the button is the first person to have to make a decision or
speak. This is because they are the first in line who hasn't
already made a bet. They must at least call the blind bet, which
means placing the same amount of money as the blind bet into the pot. They can
of course raise and the No-Limit feature of this competition
means they can bet any part or all of the money in front of them.
Alternatively, if they feel that their hand isn't worth playing then they can
fold, which simply means throw their cards in to the discard pile
(normally means just giving them to the dealer).
|If any player
raises, all of the people after them in the order of action must at least call
the same amount of money to continue playing in the hand or else they must
immediately fold their hand.
initial round of betting is over the dealer deals the flop, three
cards face up in the middle of the table. These are communial cards which all
players can combine with the two they hold to form a poker hand. After the flop
is dealt, betting starts once more, this time from the first person after the
button who is still playing in the hand. This time however no blind bet has
been made and so the player can check, which simply means make no
bet now but reserve the right to raise antbody who does make a bet.
When the betting
stops (there might not have been any) then the dealer deals a forth card in the
middle and another round of betting starts. After this a fifth and final card
is dealt. There is a final round of betting and when that is finished all
remaining players must turn over their cards (the showdown) to see who
wins the pot. The best hand wins according to the ranking of
poker hands and is made from using five cards
from the seven card combination of players hands and the five communial
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