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Late Night Poker III
The players are back 23rd March, 2001: (see TV)

In this series the players put up £1500 of their own money to shoot for a first prize of £45,000, a substantial amount to most of the players and probably the top poker prize on mainland Britain. Each show features seven players playing down until there are only two left, they in tern play until one person has all the chips. The person in 2nd place gets a seat in the semi-final whereas the victor goes straight into the final.
The commentary comes, once again, from colourful yet soft-spoken American Jesse May, author of Shut Up and Deal. May is accompanied by the rather dry Nic Szeremeta, editor of Poker Magazine.
If poker is growing on you and you're watching this program, then some of the action might be too fast to make sense to you. The game is Hold'em and its played No-Limit. Thats the jargon for you but here is a quick look at what it really means:-
At the beginning of the game a player is chosen at random to be the "Dealer". That person will not actually deal the cards, the house dealer will do that, but its a title that means the house dealer knows who gets the first card of each hand. A big white button is placed in front of that player with 'Dealer' marked clearly. After every hand the title of dealer moves along one position to the left and people speak of the button moving along.
The two players to the left of the dealer must each make a blind bet (called blinds) before the cards are dealt. This creates a pot before cards are dealt which makes sure the game gets some flowing action. (Otherwise people could sit forever and just play their very best hands). Now the dealer deals two cards to each player.
The third person from the button is the first person to have to make a decision or speak. This is because they are the first in line who hasn't already made a bet. They must at least call the blind bet, which means placing the same amount of money as the blind bet into the pot. They can of course raise and the No-Limit feature of this competition means they can bet any part or all of the money in front of them. Alternatively, if they feel that their hand isn't worth playing then they can fold, which simply means throw their cards in to the discard pile (normally means just giving them to the dealer).
If any player raises, all of the people after them in the order of action must at least call the same amount of money to continue playing in the hand or else they must immediately fold their hand.
When the initial round of betting is over the dealer deals the flop, three cards face up in the middle of the table. These are communial cards which all players can combine with the two they hold to form a poker hand. After the flop is dealt, betting starts once more, this time from the first person after the button who is still playing in the hand. This time however no blind bet has been made and so the player can check, which simply means make no bet now but reserve the right to raise antbody who does make a bet.
When the betting stops (there might not have been any) then the dealer deals a forth card in the middle and another round of betting starts. After this a fifth and final card is dealt. There is a final round of betting and when that is finished all remaining players must turn over their cards (the showdown) to see who wins the pot. The best hand wins according to the ranking of poker hands and is made from using five cards from the seven card combination of players hands and the five communial cards.
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