Everyone loves a rags to riches story, and I can’t think of anything more appropriate for that title right now than the success of Yorkshireman John Hesp at last year’s World Series of Poker (WSOP). All poker fans will be familiar with this series of poker tournaments dating back to 1970, with generous prize money and helping to bring public awareness to many of the current big names in the poker world.
Hesp was typically a £10 stake poker player at his local Hull, UK casino, nothing serious. He didn’t have money to burn. Nevertheless John had a lifelong dream of playing in the World Series of Poker and so scrimped and saved until he’d amassed the $10,000 entry fee. He then headed to Vegas to take on 7220 other poker players. What happened yet took the poker world by storm and captured the imagination of poker players around the world.
With his flamboyant dress sense and happy-go-luck ways, Hesp gained fans aplenty as he progressed through the tournament. And progress through the tournament he did! First John made it to the final 500, then 100, and against all odds eventually the final table. Media fascination with his story increased by the day and he found himself sitting at a table where the winner was set to win an astonishing $8,150,000. As it happens John Hesp eventually finished in 4th place winning $2.6 million. The second biggest win ever by a British player.
John has continued with life as usual after his huge win, taking part in only a handful of poker tournaments since. Regardless of how his future poker career goes, one win will likely always stand out for him.
Red dog is a card game also referred to as yablon or red dog poker. The game first rose to popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries as a kind of in-between or acey-deucey. Though the game is not as popular today in real world casinos, it is still a big hit with online casinos.
The game is played by placing a wager before two cards are placed face up on the table. If the two cards have consecutive numbers such as a 7 and an 8 or a jack and a queen, the hand is referred to as a push in which case the player gets their wager back. Card suits do not count for anything. If the two cards have a similar value, then the dealer moves on to deal a third card and if the third card is also of the same value, then the wager is paid at 11-1. If not, the hand remains a push. If the first two cards dealt do not adhere to any of the conditions aforementioned, then a third card is dealt which should remain between the values of the first two cards or else the bet is lost. If the third card warrants a payment to the player, it is called a spread and is paid according to a set of rules set for the spread.
One interesting aspect about the game is that the house edge reduces as the decks of cards increase. In most card games, typically the house edge increases when more decks of cards are used.
Keno is a lottery-like game whose variants can be played at a casino and are sometimes also offered as lotteries. The game originates from China even though the name itself originates from the Latin and French languages. According to folklore about the origins of the game, it saved a city in ancient China from plummeting into war and helped build the Great Wall of China from its winnings.
In Keno, players choose from the numbers 1 to 80 in most cases. A player picks 20 numbers and hopes to match at least 5 numbers to a list of numbers generated randomly. The house edge on the game is large and sometimes goes up to 35%.
The probability that a player will match all 20 numbers is incredibky unlikely to the point of being almost, and essentially, impossible. For a player to get all 20 numbers they would have to beat odds of a mind boggling 3.5 quintillion – (exactly 3,535,316,142,212,174,320 – 1).
Winning does not depend on any kind of strategy but simply luck when the random numbers come up. This is part of the fun since the big winners know that it has nothing to do with what strategy they used to pick their numbers and was simply good fortune. The chance of winning does, however, increase with more picks.