Posts Tagged ‘gambling’

ICE Totally Gaming

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 | Travel

Earlier this month we visited ICE Totally Gaming to get to know potential customers and suppliers. It was my first trip to the ExCeL centre which is predictably huge.

Many of the stalls were very impressive. One had a slot machine connected up to a Oculus Rift headset and when you won you got taken on a roller coaster ride.

Not surprisingly, there were lots of men in suits and women in far less clothing. I was very proud of the good twenty minutes we spent discussing sexism and objectification of women.Then we had a good stare.

London was as horrible as ever. It took me an hour and a half in a taxi to get there the first morning.

Poker night

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 | Distractions

At the start of the film Rounders, Matt Damon points out that you soon forget your big wins in poker, but your bad beats linger on in your memory forever.

That is true even when given a generous definition of bad beat, as realistically, it wasn’t even that bad. But as Norm had organised a poker night a few weeks ago, we found ourselves sitting round the table, cards in hand.

Chris was obviously going to win at this point – by the time the first two players had gone, he was so far ahead in chip count that there was almost no coming back (we would have probably needed three double ups in a row). So when it got down to the final three, paying the top two, it was between myself and James for second place, both short stacked.

Then a gift of a hand arrived. James shoved on a jack eight, while I was holding pocket kings. Better still, Chris called with an ace ten. Now all I needed was James not to win – if I won, that would obviously bag me second, but even if Chris won, I would place second as well, and there are no jacks or eights to be seen.

James’ only out is a ten to make is straight, and one of those is in Chris’s hand – it was all going so well. Until the river…

Cheltenham Festival 2013

Friday, March 29th, 2013 | Events

The Cheltenham Festival is the biggest event in the racing calendar. Only the Grand National can top it for prize money, and none can top the Gold Cup for prestige. Having spent the past four years in the gaming industry, it’s always a big week.

Most of the betting companies had a smooth week technical wise. Corals had some real problems with their website, and Bet Victor and Paddy Power had some big outages too – but everyone else came through it rather smoothly.

I made the mistake of following the tips from the racing team – and ended the week rather down. But it’s all in good fun, and I did manage three winners, just not particularly well priced ones.

Full Tilt is back

Monday, October 15th, 2012 | Distractions

Last year, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission suspended and then revoked the gambling license of Full Tilt Poker, one of the biggest poker sites on the internet.

Since then everything has been quite, but earlier this month, Poker Stars (the biggest poker site on the internet) announced it had acquired Full Tilt and would be re-launching it in early November.

It’s going to be maintained as a separate product from and players will have access to their existing accounts and balances. This is good times as Full Tilt was my favourite site (especially for when you’re bored and want to play a bit of rush poker 😉 ).

Gambling legislation

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 | Religion & Politics, Thoughts

Last month, a report by the Commons Culture Committee concluded that our gambling legislation was “outdated” and “ill-equipped” to deal with globalisation.

I strongly agree. Having worked in the industry for years, I know first hand that our legislation is lagging behind.

For example, you can only have four FOBTs (fixed odds betting terminals) in a bookies. But over the last ten years, traditional betting has been almost entirely replaced by the use of FOBTs, and without them high street bookies would close. You could argue this is a good thing, but with millions out of work do we really want to go slashing many more jobs?

Secondly, we simply don’t have the legislation to deal with new technology. At Buzz, we developed a bespoke wireless terminal for our games. But what does this count as? A FOBT? It’s just a tablet computer in a case. Does that mean we can put them in pubs? Probably not. But if you took your own tablet into a pub, you could then gamble online. The Gambling Commission simply didn’t know what to do.

Thirdly, because of the online nature and high taxes in the UK, bookmakers can just move abroad – and most of them have. Running a website is the kind of thing you can do from Gibraltar, so they do. Not that it’s cheap – you have to pay staff a lot more money to go work out on some god-forsaken rock, but the tax difference is so great that is still works out cheaper. If we lowered taxes, we would bring that income back to the UK.

This is becoming more and more apparent, as services continue to move online. For example poker tournaments and live dealer casino games, once exclusively the preserve of the real world have now moved onto the internet. You can sit, at a table, with a live dealer, on the internet. When the technology is this good, we need to ensure that our legislation can keep pace with it, or we’re only hurting ourselves.


Friday, July 29th, 2011 | Friends, Life

It was a rather all-star turn out for our poker night last week with myself, Elina, Jonni, Kat, Norm, Casual Dave, Happy Matt and Jason all eventually turning up.

Nobody dressed up this week, which was a little disappointing, but never the less it was a good night with Jason and Happy Matt eventually walking away with the prize, after just managing to knock out Kat the Card Shark.

Poker Night

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 | Events, Friends

It has been eight months since our last poker night, which is far too long a time, so I decided it was time to get another one going.

Given to make it feel like a true Vegas poker night, we of course need bunny hostesses, I invited Kat and Elina stating clearly on the invite they “are also welcome to attend as we need people to wait on us and mix drinks.”

For some unknown reason however, despite Wench Vicky and Batgirl Rebecca, they thought we were joking. Sometimes, I worry our friends don’t even know us… As a result, they were somewhat surprised when they were handed their outfits.

The game carried on long into the night – well, until around 11pm, which when you get to my age, that is rather late. In the end Kat and Jonni were the only people left in so decided to call it there.


Sunday, November 7th, 2010 | Life

Last Sunday we held our first poker night.

It went very well over all, despite the fact I had only started playing poker a week before I managed to win the first game, though in reality, it was almost certainly because I am simply too new to the game rather than because of any skill on my part – once I actually learn what hands beat what and therefore actually understand what I’m doing myself, people will actually get a read on me.

Until then, let the good times roll!

Big money

Sunday, October 31st, 2010 | Friends, Life

On Friday night we headed down to Alea Casino for my birthday celebration.

We almost ran out of space as I had only booked the table for 15 people and 16 people ended up turning up, not that the restaurant could cope anyway – it took them 50 minutes to bring us our starters, of which they then forgotten one, they manged to forget one of the desserts and to top it all off they even got arsey when I told them I didn’t want to pay the service change because the service was rubbish. Food was nice though.

Afterward we hit the casino floor and effectively ended up with our own private table – there was blackjack table down the end that nobody else seemed to know about so we had it to ourselves, even if it was £5 minimum bet. I put down £50 and managed to walk out even but somewhat trailed James’ returns after he hit three blackjacks in a row!

Thank you to everyone who came down, it was a good night.

Not that old, yet

Sunday, October 10th, 2010 | Friends, Life

Oli was in Leeds for a one night special last night so we headed out to the pub, or a few.

I decided it would be good to do some cocktails in the evening so by the time it came to head out to the pub, I was already really drunk. We started at The Library and went through The Dry Dock and Stick or Twist before heading to Fab Cafe. Finally we finished the night at Grosvenor where, despite my inebriated state, still managed to come up even on blackjack before stumbling home.

It’s good to know that even though I’m almost half way through my life, I can still party until the early hours.