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.
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.