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rec.gambling.* FAQ: Welcome

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Archive-name: gambling-faq/welcome

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Welcome to Rec.Gambling.*!

This is the Welcome section of the rec.gambling.misc Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQ) list.

Changes or additions to this section of the FAQ should be submitted to:

Page last modified: 9-03-95


Table of Contents

Section W: Welcome to Rec.Gambling.*!
     W1 What is Rec.Gambling?
     W2 What guidelines are there for posting to rec.gambling.*?

Section I: Information Sources
     I1 Where can I find the latest FAQ list?
     I2 What gambling information is available on the World Wide Web?
     I3 Where is the gambling archive?
     I4 Where can I get books about gambling?
     I5 Where can I get discounts on gambling books/software?
     I6 What other sources of gambling information are available?

Section H: History of Rec.Gambling
     H1 A brief history of rec.gambling.
     H2 What is WRGPT?
     H3 What is BARGE?
     H4 What is IRC Poker?


Section W: Welcome to Rec.Gambling!


Q:W1 What is Rec.Gambling?
A:W1 (Steve Jacobs)

Rec.gambling was originally a single newsgroup, but has now been split into
several different groups in order to allow readers to more easily focus their
attention on specific topics. Although rec.gambling has been superceded by
these new groups, it is likely that the term "rec.gambling" will live on to
refer to these groups as a whole, especially in connection with such activities
as WRGPT and BARGE. These newsgroups are devoted to discussion of all forms of
gambling and wagering, and the gaming industry. If you are new to rec.gambling,
or you have not read this message previously, please take a few moments to read
this message, since it may help you to find many different sources of
information on gambling.

The purposes of this message are:

   * To provide guidelines for posting to rec.gambling.*

   * To help you find the latest versions of the rec.gambling.* Frequently
     Asked Questions (FAQ) lists, which should be read before posting questions
     to rec.gambling.* newsgroups.

   * To help you find other sources of information about gambling, such as the
     rec.gambling archive and the World Wide Web home page for rec.gambling.

   * To provide some of the history of rec.gambling, and the various events
     associated with the newsgroups, including:

        o WRGPT (World Rec.Gambling.Poker Tournament)
        o BARGE (Big Annual Rec.Gambling Excursion)
        o IRC Poker (online poker games against live opponents)


Q:W2 What guidelines are there for posting to rec.gambling.*?
A:W2 (Steve Jacobs)

If you have not already done so, we would strongly urge all readers of
rec.gambling.* (especially those who are new to USENET) to review the material
in the group news.announce.newusers. Although this group is primarily intended
for new users, it would be a good idea for anyone who posts messages to USENET
newsgroups to review this material periodically. Guidelines which generally
apply to USENET newsgroups will also apply to rec.gambling.*.

Use appropriate subject lines in order to target your message to those who are
most interested. Whenever practical, try to include one of the following
keywords (or something similar) in the "Subject:" line in order to make it
easier for readers who are only interested in one or two topics:


A few points of netiquette to keep in mind before posting to rec.gambling.*:

   *  Before posting, consider whether your post will be of general interest to
     the group. If your message is primarily targeted to one or two
     individuals, then use email instead.

   *  Appropriate topics for these groups: Gambling and wagering in all forms.
     Although the groups tend to focus heavily on games which permit the player
     to gain an advantage over the house, many games which are "unbeatable" are
     discussed here as well. Trip reports from recent visits to casinos are
     also welcome, and enjoyed by many readers (especially those who are unable
     to get to the casinos as often as they might like). Discussions often
     include some heavy mathematical analysis as it relates to gambling
     (especially combinatorics, probability/statistics, and game theory), and
     results of computer analysis and/or simulation of specific games.

   *  Try to stay on topic as much as possible. If the discussion strays to
     non-gambling topics, please consider moving the topic to a more
     appropriate forum or to email. An occasional stray discussion is OK, just
     don't get carried away.

   *  Before posting, check the FAQ to see if your question is already answered
     there. If you are unwilling (or too lazy) to check the FAQ first, then
     don't be surprised if the only answer you receive is "see the FAQ".

   *  It is a good idea to read the entire FAQ at least once (even if you don't
     have specific questions), and to "lurk" for a while before posting to the
     groups. If you are just stopping by to sell something, don't bother --
     we've seen the "MAKE MONEY FAST" post and other scams before, and we don't
     appreciate them. We're primarily here for discussion of gambling topics,
     so if you won't be around to hold up your end of the discussion, then it
     is very unlikely that your post is appropriate for this group. Messages of
     the form "gambling is evil/stupid/unhealthy" are completely unwelcome

   *  If there is any question about the legality of your message, then you
     probably shouldn't post it. Although it is perfectly OK to talk about
     gambling here, we cannot actually _gamble_ here, and we cannot post
     messages which could be construed as assisting someone to perform wagering
     services of any kind.

   *  Advertisements are generally not welcome in USENET newsgroups, and
     rec.gambling is no exception. If you have something to sell, please use
     the appropriate .forsale newsgroup instead. However, some leeway may be
     permitted for software and books that are gambling related, especially if
     special discounts are offered to the rec.gambling community. Long ads are
     simply not appropriate. Frequent posting of ads is also not appropriate --
     once a month is often enough.


Section I: Information Sources


Q:I1 Where can I find the latest FAQ lists.
A:I1 (Steve Jacobs)

The FAQ files are posted to the specific group for the FAQ file (such as
rec.gambling.craps for the Craps FAQ) as well as to rec.gambling.misc. These
posts are made regularly, usually once every three weeks. This welcome message
is actually part of the FAQ for rec.gambling.*, but the welcome message is
posted once each week in order to provide a convenient starting point for new
readers, and to avoid posts by people who are looking for the FAQ.

The multiple posted (ASCII) parts of the FAQ are archived at
( in the directory /pub/usenet/news.answers/gambling-faq. The files
are: welcome, general, casinos, blackjack, poker, craps, sports, and misc. To
obtain the files, first try ftp to and look under that directory.
If ftp does not work from your site, then try the mail server:

send email to with

     send usenet/news.answers/gambling-faq/welcome
     send usenet/news.answers/gambling-faq/general
     send usenet/news.answers/gambling-faq/casinos
     send usenet/news.answers/gambling-faq/blackjack
     send usenet/news.answers/gambling-faq/poker
     send usenet/news.answers/gambling-faq/craps
     send usenet/news.answers/gambling-faq/sports
     send usenet/news.answers/gambling-faq/other-games

in the body of the message (leave the subject line empty). If you don't want
all of them, include only the lines of the ones you want. You must repeat the
path information for each file.

The ASCII versions of the FAQ are also available from in the
directory pub/faq.

Q:I2 What gambling information is available on the World Wide Web?
A:I2 (Steve Jacobs)

Chuck Weinstock has created HTML versions of all sections of the rec.gambling
FAQ, and made them available at ConJelCo. The latest versions of these FAQ
lists may be obtained via the World Wide Web at:

     Rec.gambling FAQ

The following sites may also be of interest to gamblers:

     Atlantic City
     ConJelCo Home Page
     Foxwoods Maillist Homepage
     Las Vegas Advisor
     Las Vegas Online
     Maryland Casinos
     Reno Hilton
     Virtual Las Vegas Home Page


Q:I3 Where is the gambling archive?
A:I3 (Abdul Jalib M'Hall)

The gambling archive is intended to store stuff *useful* to rec.gamblers, like
the FAQ lists, blackjack card-counting information, poker statistics, etc. It
is not intended at this time to store all the daily drivel of rec.gambling.*.

The archive is accessible via anonymous ftp to
( (Type "ftp" or "ftp" and
then "anonymous" when it asks for the name, followed by your email address when
it asks for the password. Then "cd pub/rec.gambling".)

If you have some things you would like to contribute to the archive, contact


Q:I4 Where can I get books about gambling?
A:I4 (Steve Jacobs, Mike Northam)

Gambler's Book Club has a vast selection of books on topics related to
gambling. They are located at 630 South 11th Street in Las Vegas.

  Gambler's Book Club
  Box 4115
  Las Vegas, NV 89127
  (702) 382-7555
  (702) 382-7594 (FAX)
  (800) 634-6243 (orders only)

  Gamblers Bookstore
  99 N. Virginia St.
  Reno, NV  89501
  (800) 748-5797


Q:I5 Where can I get discounts on gambling books/software?
A:I5 (Chuck Weinstock)

One of our rec.gamblers (Chuck Weinstock) has established relationships with
publishers of gambling books, newsletters, videos, and software and offers
their products at a discount to rec.gamblers. Orders must be placed through
Chuck Weinstock ( Contact him for a list of what is
available, and ordering information, or look for the ConJelCo Home Page at on the World Wide Web.

Q:I6 What other sources of gambling information are available?
A:I6 (Martin Veneroso, John Murphy, Steve Jacobs)

Horse Racing

     There is a mailing list for discussion of horse racing and handicapping.
     If you are interested in joining us, send a note to and be sure to include an Internet email
     address (i.e., a "@" address.).

     Also see the newsgroup

Bay Area Poker List

     The ba-poker mailing list is just a bunch of folks, mostly located in the
     San Francisco Bay Area, who like to read about poker as it is played in
     the Bay Area, and a few who like to write about it. We discuss both home
     and commercial (card room) poker, including who's doing what where, a
     smidgen of strategy, a few tall tales, and very little flaming (although a
     couple of battles have broken out in the past).

     A fair estimate of the traffic probably would be ten or twenty messages a
     week, but they tend to be clumped around someone raising an issue. The
     list as gone a couple of weeks without distributing any messages, although
     that is becoming more rare as the number of subscribers climbs slowly --
     we have about 150 now.

     To subscribe, send a message to, with a message body

     SUBSCRIBE ba-poker

     or, for the digest version of the mailing list:

     SUBSCRIBE ba-poker-digest

     -- if you would like your message to be seen by a human rather than an
     automated server, send it to (which goes to Martin

Colorado Gaming Mailing List

     Send email to to join a mailing list for
     gaming in Colorado.

The Foxwoods Maillist

     The Foxwoods Maillist consists of folks who like to indulge in a little
     poker, BJ, craps, roulette, etc., etc., even Bingo(!) at their favorite
     cardroom/casino,... in this case the Foxwoods Resort Casino located near
     Ledyard, CT. The maillist is used to trade trip report, discuss issues of
     game strategy, checkup on "ride-sharing", plan for get-togthers and
     special events (e.g. NETS tourney's), cry about "bad-beats", crow about
     those big wins, etc., etc. There are (as of 5/15/95) approximately 100
     subscribers to the list, and not all are located in the
     Boston/Providence/Hartford/NYC area (there are even some CA rec.gamblers

     A World Wide Web page is also available to FW Maillist subscribers as well
     as to the rec.gambling community in general, and contains information on
     "Where is Foxwoods?", "How do you get there?", "What about the hotels and
     restaurants at FW and in the surrounding area?", "What are the games, and
     the comps policies?", Special Events, a "Who's Who", an email archive, and
     a collection of FW trip reports. The URL for The FW Maillist Homepage is:

     All maillist administrivia (e.g. subscription requests, "unsubscribes",
     etc.) should be sent to To send mail to
     the approx. 100 folks currently subscribed to this maillist, send to


     Questions about hotels and restaurants are often posted to
     rec.gambling.misc. Similar information about Las Vegas can be found in the
     newsgroup alt.vacation.las-vegas


Section H: History of Rec.Gambling


Q:H1 A brief history of rec.gambling.
A:H1 (thunk, Steve Jacobs, Selim Guncer)

The orginal RFD for rec.gambling was posted in mid 1989. alt.gambling was
created in August, 1989, by an over-enthusiastic netter who couldn't wait for
the voting. Meanwhile, the vote for rec.gambling was held, and passed 189-41.
The election results were announced on September 23, 1989, and the group
created one week later.

During the early years (roughly 1990 and 1991), blackjack and craps were
probably the most popular topics on rec.gambling. This was before there was a
FAQ, and much of the focus was on card counting and computer simulations of
blackjack games. Flame wars between blackjack players and craps players were
popular. There was virtually no discussion of poker during this time. The first
BARGE took place in Aug. 1991 (before it was ever called BARGE), and the
Presto!/Irwin legend emerged at that time. The Frank Irwin Memorial Commode
Ceremony also came from this BARGE trip. There were perhaps a dozen
rec.gamblers at the first BARGE. The first rec.gambling FAQ was created late in

The first WRGPT was launched in early 1992, with Will Hyde acting as dealer.
Poker discussions gained in popularity, partly as a result of this tournament.
Traffic on rec.gambling probably averaged about 10 to 20 posts per day during
this time.

A formal proposal to split rec.gambling we presented early in 1995, and passed
by popular vote. The new newsgroups were created on June 5, 1995. The original
rec.gambling group was superceded by rec.gambling.misc, and was scheduled to be
rmgroup'ed on Aug. 7, (coincidently) right after BARGE '95.

[This section could use a lot of work -- any volunteers?]


Q:H2 What is WRGPT?
A:H2 (Steve Jacobs)

WRGPT stands for "World Rec.Gambling.Poker Tournament". This is an annual poker
tournament played by email. The tournament usually begins in the fall, and
usually lasts many months, to the complete aggravation of some of the players.

WRGPT1 started early in 1992 with 30 players. WRGPT1 was dealt by hand, with
Will Hyde devoting much of his time to the task. Steve Jacobs won the
tournament by eliminating Ken Butler and Bharat Rao on the last hand with K-T

WRGPT2 attracted about 130 players, and began in the fall of 1992. This
tournament, and those that followed, were dealt by Ron Duursma's excellent
email poker server. Ed Baker took first place in this event, coming from behind
to eliminate Jeff Jennings. Roy Hashimoto was 3rd.

WRGPT3 attracted about 200 players, and began in the fall of 1993. Roy
Hashimoto won this event, becoming the second rec.gambler to win both WRGPT and
BARGE titles. Marco Westerweel placed second in this even, and Kristofer Munn
placed third, edging out fourth place Ron Duursma (to whom we all owe much
thanks for writing the mail server that is used to deal WRGPT events).

WRGPT4 attracted 376 players, and was won Lee Jones, well known to rec.gambling
as the author of "Winning Low Limit Hold'em". Can Lee win the BARGE '95
tournament to become the 3rd rec.gambler to win WRGPT/BARGE tournaments


Q:H3 What is BARGE?
A:H3 (Steve Jacobs)

[This is pretty rough folks, anyone with fond BARGE memories? If so, please
send them in for inclusion in the r.g history FAQ. My apologies if I've left
out important details, or gotten some fact fixed up here.]

BARGE stands for "Big August Rec.Gambling Excursion". This is the annual
rec.gambling gathering, so far always in August (can you imagine a worse time
to go to Vegas?), but if we go some other month we can change the "August" to
"Annual" in order to preserve the acronym.

The first BARGE consisted of maybe a dozen people, mostly in Vegas to attend
SIGGRAPH '91 (well, at least that's how they got their companies to pay the
airfare). We met at the Frontier for breakfast, and at Gambler's Book Club to
check out the latest periodicals. Several rec.gamblers pitched in to purchase a
book to help launch Abdul Jalib M'Hall's blackjack career.

BARGE 2 had more attendees, about 20 in all, and included meetings at the
Frontier, GBC, and a live poker tournament held in a hotel room. The main
gathering took place at the Frontier coffee shop, where about a dozen
rec.gamblers met for a midnight meal (thanks, Edmund). In keeping with
rec.gambling tradition, Steve Jacobs won the first live BARGE poker tournament,
becoming the first rec.gambler to win both an WRGPT event and a BARGE event.

BARGE 3 had about 30 attendees, of which about 20 participated in the live
poker tournament held at the Rio. Special chips were created to commemorate
BARGE 3, and were sold through rec.gambling to raise a prize fund (including a
set of 300 chips as a trophy) for the winner of the tournament. Roy Hashimoto,
who flew to Vegas especially for the tournament, took first place. Each
attendee at BARGE 3 received a special limited edition purple BARGE chip, which
have becoming highly prized collectors items.

BARGE 4 had about 90 attendees, of which 60 paid entry fees in advance for the
live poker tournament at the Luxor. A calcutta was held the night before to
auction off players from the poker tournament. Roy Hashimoto designed some
fabulous poker chips for the BARGE 4 trophy, which went to Dave Hughes. Cash
prizes were paid for 1st through 6th place, with teddy bears going to Jeff
Jennings for placing 7th and to John Murphy for being the first player to bust
out of the tournament. This year a live blackjack tournament was added to the
agenda, attracting about 30 players and many spectators to a high roller suite
somewhere on the world famous Las Vegas Strip. [Who won the BJ tournament? Who
bought Dave Hughes to win the Calcutta?] An informal gathering for pot-limit
Texas Hold'em was held later at the Luxor, and a bachelor party was held for
Steve "Bozo" Blackstock at a location which might cause him undo grief if it
were revealed here.

The early BARGE trips were mostly spontaneous events, with little advance
planning and consequently little advance notice, so if you couldn't drop
everything and fly to Vegas then you missed out. But, such spontaneity isn't
too practical for large groups, so now we try to plan things a bit more. An
email list has been created to help those interested in BARGE to plan for the
trip. To be added to the mailing list, send email to
Messages to the mailing list itself should be sent to

See for the latest information on BARGE 95.


Q:H4 What is IRC Poker?
A:H4 (Steve Jacobs)

IRC poker is a real-time network poker game that allows people from around the
world to play poker with each other via the internet. The stakes are imaginary
"etherbucks". For more information about IRC Poker, see the

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