Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari Visits Stern Tomorrow

Antonio Esfandiari tweeted earlier today that he’ll be on Howard Stern’s show tomorrow (9/18).


The interview will surely touch on the life of a young poker pro living in Vegas as well as Antonio’s historic 18+ million dollar win at the Big One for One Drop at this summer’s WSOP.

Not too shabby…

Stern will likely also ask about Esfandiari’s long time friend Phil Laak and Laak’s girlfriend actress/poker player Jennifer Tilly.

A lovely pair…

U.S. Poker Players Get Good News

U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein ruled a few weeks ago that POKER does NOT qualify as gambling.

Judge Weinstein (NOT pictured above) correctly concluded that the skill needed to consistently win at poker differentiates it from other games of chance.

(Also clearly not the right judge….)

The case could end up being a landmark decision for online poker in the U.S.


Currently the U.S. poker playing population is largely cut off from the rest of the world, but there are still some sites Americans (and the rest of the world) can play at and receive great rewards. Check out sites like Carbon Poker (Merge), Lock Poker (Revolution), or America’s Cardroom (Yatahay) for the best first deposit and rakeback deals.

Merge CEO Out

Sep 05, 2012 00:00 AM
PocketFives published an article Tuesday stating that Anthony Taylor is no longer the CEO of Merge Gaming, a position he held for the past 5 years.

Merge CEO

(Artist’s Rendition)

No official word from Merge has been released yet. Over his watch Merge filled the vacuum left by Black Friday to become the 2nd largest site serving U.S. players and had to deal with the popular site Lock Poker leaving Merge to join Cake to form the new Revolution Network.

Not long after the news broke rumors started that none other than Phil Hellmuth would be the new CEO of Merge.

the mona lisa

Hellmuth shocked to learn he is the new CEO, or amazed by the piss-poor photo cropping?

Hellmuth (formerly involved with UB Poker) seems to be biding his time waiting for the perfect offer before promoting another online site and Merge does not seem to be a natural fit for the poker brat. Until proven otherwise, Rake Refuge will assume that Hellmuth would much rather spend his time riding a giant hot dog in water (Google it) or selling worthless outdated AWESOME poker merchandise.



pimpin' aint easy


Online Poker Guide for Beginners Part 1

If you’re browsing random poker blogs, odds are you’re already playing online poker. You probably have a deep understanding of the game. You know about different software and training sites. You’re more than comfortable playing poker online. This guide is not for you! WAIT! Don’t leave! As a pro you know Rake Refuge Has some of the best Rakeback deals in the industry. Check out the dozens of offers we have and see if one is right for you.
OK. So it’s just the beginners we’re talking to now, right? Good. So what is the first step one should take when they want to start playing online poker? That’s easy. Determine what it is you want out of playing then you can devise a plan to best succeed. Do you want to be a casual player playing to pass some time not really caring about wins or loses? Or do you want to be a very serious grinder; someone playing a dozen or more tables, always dedicated and focused, slowly and steadily building your bankroll. Or maybe you’re a madman constantly risking it all to move up to the nosebleeds so you have enough money to buy your dream house and meet your dream girl!

Dream Girl

(DISCLAIMER: No matter how good at poker you are, you’re not dating Kate Upton)

The bottom line is when you’re starting out with online poker you must have a basic idea of what it is you want to accomplish.

Once you’ve figured out your poker goals, you have to find a place to play. This can be daunting with the great number of poker sites to chose from, but there are some ways to narrow your search. First of all, learn what country’s laws are on online poker. Some sites may not be available where you live. Next find more info on whichever sites interest you. You’ll want to check out how many players play regularly there, if they offer your favorite poker game, and see if there are any major concerns involving the company. It’s your money you’ll be placing on the site so you should feel secure with your choice. It’s probably best to stick with one of the more established rooms initially.
When you’ve found a room(s) you’ll be comfortable playing at be sure to get a rakeback deal. Whether you play once a year or grind for hours each day you’ll earn extra money with rakeback. Rake Refuge has many sites to choose from and the best offers you’ll find.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Online Poker Guide for Beginners and in the meantime, check out some rakeback offers here.

Hello world!

This blog’s focus will be mainly online poker. I’ll be discussing my experiences playing over the past several years as well as the latest news and promotions of different online poker sites. A very brief poker bio: I’ve been playing online poker for 5+ years. I’ve played over1 million hands, from micro to medium stakes (mostly No Limit Hold ’em), and while I’m not the best player, I feel I have unique insights to offer especially to players new to the game or online poker in particular. I’m working on a brief guide for beginner online poker players. I’ll post it here in parts over the next several week, so check back.