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The New Gambling
In another provision of the Kyl bill, the US Secretary of State is directed to try and get other countries to stop taking US bets.9 It would be difficult to convince other countries to turn off the spigot of bets; many of them are undeveloped islands with limited alternatives and little to lose. The full persuasive power of the American state would have to be brought to bear on sovereign nations and then maintained indefinitely. Meddling with the laws of sovereign nations is a serious action to take, and it would require strong political will to weather the international outcry against gambling imperialism. Such a crusade against net wagers may not be feasible - the current political climate has permitted land gambling to expand faster during the 80s and 90s than at anytime m history.

Aggressive enforcement would also have to overcome the hypocrisy of forbidding some computer bets while protecting others, such as Youbet.com horse racing. Youbet began web-casting live races from 18 tracks in 1999. Although they pulled out of California after a raid, it is still legal in forty states and in Washington, DC, for you to Youbet.'10

Players who are worried about the legal climate have a handy barometer in the banks and ISPs that facilitate gambling. Effective prohibition would start with the big players, and right now, credit card companies seem confident that they are safe from prosecution. The fact that nearly all Visa and MasterCard banks are still in the games suggests a margin of safety, although this might change under Kyl. Although a few headline-grabbing busts of players can never be ruled out, the major participants would be the big targets.
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A Key Skill In This Game
Overcoming a short stack is a key skill in this game. You shouldn't panic every time you are below average, but when you are clearly trailing the pack and each pass of the blinds is taking a significant portion of your stack, you need to resign yourself to the fact that You will lose unless you do .something drastic arid get lucky doing it. Each pass of the blinds reduces your ability to shape the hands that you play, so it is better to act when you have enough chips left to make opponents think about calling you. Tightening up when you are behind will only prolong your demise. Instead, loosen up and focus on trying to see flops whenever you can do so cheaply. As soon as you sense any relative advantage over your opponents, including a good bluffing opportunity, you should put in big bets or raises and make them decide how much they want to risk to eliminate you. You will often take those pots uncontested, which will put a few more blinds in your stack and buy you some time and flexibility If you have made a genuine bet and get called, you should have a reasonable chance of winning. And if you get caught bluffing or lose to a better hand, at least you went down fighting.
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