About the 'police bust' in yishun

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Re: About the 'police bust' in yishun

Postby ikelos » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:28 am

Dear kakis,

It's been an extremely thought provoking thread thus far, and we thank the majority of you for keeping it civil. As you all know, this forum was created to promote the free exchange of opinions and ideas pertaining to our beautiful game. Regardless of how incensed you might feel towards the views of a fellow kaki, do continue to observe the decencies of debate by going after the idea, not the person.
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Re: About the 'police bust' in yishun

Postby blackchilli » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:42 am

Folks there are 2 issues going on right now. As some of you might know, I was the guy who tried to find out whether online poker was legal long ago.

Ok anyway..

Issue number one
Raked games are illegal. Is this ok or not?

Issue number two
We are grouped as gamblers, similarly compared to people who hold their lucky charms and bet on roulette, blackjack and 4d.

My own personal view on issue number one is that the busted game in yishun was illegal, no question about it. There used to be days where someone hosted a game for free (seriously who charges for air-conditioning?) and everyone brought their own drinks. We'd stop the game halfway, order pizza and chill. That's a friendly game. Self-dealing, no rake. We shall leave this issue aside for now because we cannot do anything about this.

Regarding issue number two, there is definitely something we can do about it. We are probably the biggest poker group in Singapore right now. We all know poker is a game of skill. Personally I feel it has nothing to do with luck and it is purely math based once you have a large sample size of 400k hands plus. We should start raising issues with the government etc. No dumb protests or anything but we should raise these issues somehow, and do it quickly. Graphs online like the ones that belong to chipstar1, nanonoko and tjbentham clearly show that skill is such a massive edge.

I vote we raise issues quickly. Once we can prove that poker is a game of skill, then the whole rake issue can be settled. I'm putting my foot forward first. Anyone wants to join me to start a movement?
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Re: About the 'police bust' in yishun

Postby below85 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:43 am

blackchilli wrote:Folks there are 2 issues going on right now. As some of you might know, I was the guy who tried to find out whether online poker was legal long ago.

Ok anyway..

Issue number one
Raked games are illegal. Is this ok or not?

Issue number two
We are grouped as gamblers, similarly compared to people who hold their lucky charms and bet on roulette, blackjack and 4d.

My own personal view on issue number one is that the busted game in yishun was illegal, no question about it. There used to be days where someone hosted a game for free (seriously who charges for air-conditioning?) and everyone brought their own drinks. We'd stop the game halfway, order pizza and chill. That's a friendly game. Self-dealing, no rake. We shall leave this issue aside for now because we cannot do anything about this.

Regarding issue number two, there is definitely something we can do about it. We are probably the biggest poker group in Singapore right now. We all know poker is a game of skill. Personally I feel it has nothing to do with luck and it is purely math based once you have a large sample size of 400k hands plus. We should start raising issues with the government etc. No dumb protests or anything but we should raise these issues somehow, and do it quickly. Graphs online like the ones that belong to chipstar1, nanonoko and tjbentham clearly show that skill is such a massive edge.

I vote we raise issues quickly. Once we can prove that poker is a game of skill, then the whole rake issue can be settled. I'm putting my foot forward first. Anyone wants to join me to start a movement?




Well, the best way to create government awareness as well as raise the issuse is :

Get a Singaporean to win a WSOP braclet and Donate it to the Charity together with the prize money. Uh huh.. then the government will take note of it.
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Re: About the 'police bust' in yishun

Postby SunScreen » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:55 am

Want a movement? Want awareness?
Simple..
Seek the media.. Ask the Newpaper/Straits Times to come to this forum and they will have things to write..
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Re: About the 'police bust' in yishun

Postby pokerdonkey » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:03 am

haha this tread is very interesting..
havent we learnt that watever that is not to the govt's interest in singapore is probably termed illegal?
when the govt does not earn $$ most likely its illegal lol (just a joke in case police come knocking on my doors)

singaporepools = legal
private 4D = illegal
casino = legal
online betting = illegal
bank loans = legal
loan shark = illegal
much much more.. but sensitive issues since i mentioned abt govt lol

i m not saying the govt is no good or the above mentioned activities are desirable but haha just some food for thought =)

btw i think its pretty pointless to raise awareness abt poker being not gambling because even as a big fan of poker and a regular player i feel that poker is still gambling even u want to argue that its 70% skill 30% luck or watever because no matter how pro u are, how good u are wif maths, ultimately there are chances that pple hit a 2% outs to beat u. U can say that in the long run pple with skills will win but every time u play a hand there is an element of luck involved.. isnt that gambling? have u been in bad runs before where ur luck is so bad that all u can do is to minimize ur losses?

haha and about media potrayal, wat do u expect them to write? lol like a group of friendly and casual players enjoying a game of poker and caught by the police?
and only ignorant pple believes that 100% of the news are true.. honestly i suspect less than 80% is the truth they tend to hide and rephrase lol besides u shud know who controls the media lol

anyway just a question for u guys to ponder about? if poker is not gambling, why does casino offer it as a game? correct me if i m ignorant, from wat i know all games in the casino are games of chance.

i have been busted b4 so i know the feeling haha btw i still play poker these days with a group of very close frens and schmates
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Re: About the 'police bust' in yishun

Postby Clonz » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:32 am

Lets get over the rake issue....Casinos they do charge 5 % but they seldom regularly 'steal' or overrake and they are subject to a system where they have audits and proper accountability(there are always exceptions tho)....so its different kind of services.....All i can say is karma will eventually caught up with those who intentionally out to exploit supposed 'friends' and media who selectively choose to skew facts....

Ha, finally i spotted someone who is offering something that is more constructive to move on from here, we should rope in ideas on how do we change the public image of poker= random gambling.....Blackchilli i am supportive on your movement.....but i am lack of creative ideas on how are we going to do that...poker kakis personally i feel we should start contribute ideas on how are we going to do that rather than engaging in arguments and throwing sympathies around....you can argue and defend but ultimately we are not getting to the root of the problem...maybe it cant be solved...but are we guys doing anything ?or at least start by contributing ideas...everyone has their own opinions but one main flaw of humans is they start to get caught up by their own opinions and they are not receptive and being neutral to the other views and they just totally shut down from there....this isn't healthy as we need to exchange our flow of thoughts to move on...respecting each other opinions(not just paying lip service) is crucial here.

I currently do not have any fantastic ideas...how about trying out on stomp????? I am not sure how are we going to do it but we need feedback so we can tune our direction.....Blackchilli lets do it. I am sick and tired of individuals advocating their self interest and give a bad reputation on the poker community.
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Re: About the 'police bust' in yishun

Postby Clonz » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:43 am

the problem with the image of poker player...yes u can make a living out of it but u r making a living at the expense of others...its not a value added economic activity,unless we can prove the losers actually like losing and they enjoy playing it as an entertainment and gain this utility (which is a measure of the relative satisfaction from, or desirability of, consumption of various goods and services ) from you....So in a very harsh tone, we need to prove we r like prostitutes or social escorts that we can provide utility to people but making a living....but the reality is poker players do not provide any economic value added activities than a regular job..(shd it be frown upon?)
Ultimately , its a game for some rick donks(big fat green fish) splashing cashes and it trickles down from the very top down to the bottom layers of a poker economy(The top does not get it all because sometimes due to bad beats and outdraws they lose).At the bottom layers small fishes fight among each other to survive and they move up to get eaten by bigger fishes and the bigger fishes get eaten up by someone above them and ultimately here comes the fisherman(Phil ivey) have all the fishes....
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Re: About the 'police bust' in yishun

Postby Clonz » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:50 am

Reply to poker donkey:
your reply is insightful in a way ...anyway the reason why casino is operating game of chances is because they are trying to capitalize on Gamblers ruin Theory....Only game of chances can fully complement this theory.....anyway about poker in casinos..casinos don't play against you...i view it as they trying to provide a neutral location and a dealer for interested parties for a fee(rake) with some systems and rules in place...but due to the nature of the game..it still cant totally prevent against collusion and ratholing.
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Re: About the 'police bust' in yishun

Postby ikelos » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:10 am

pokerdonkey wrote:btw i think its pretty pointless to raise awareness abt poker being not gambling because even as a big fan of poker and a regular player i feel that poker is still gambling even u want to argue that its 70% skill 30% luck or watever because no matter how pro u are, how good u are wif maths, ultimately there are chances that pple hit a 2% outs to beat u. U can say that in the long run pple with skills will win but every time u play a hand there is an element of luck involved.. isnt that gambling? have u been in bad runs before where ur luck is so bad that all u can do is to minimize ur losses?

haha and about media potrayal, wat do u expect them to write? lol like a group of friendly and casual players enjoying a game of poker and caught by the police?
and only ignorant pple believes that 100% of the news are true.. honestly i suspect less than 80% is the truth they tend to hide and rephrase lol besides u shud know who controls the media lol

anyway just a question for u guys to ponder about? if poker is not gambling, why does casino offer it as a game? correct me if i m ignorant, from wat i know all games in the casino are games of chance.


Sounds like you've had one bad beat too many. :) Of course getting cards and connecting with boards help tremendously, but i think what separates poker more acutely from gambling is that you don't need the best cards to win the hand. I think everyone's been through stretches where they've run like 50 buy-ins below EV in back to back months and what not, but there are a good many brilliant players from Singapore and Malaysia who consistently win over large samples of 400,000 + hands, in spite of these bad stretches. Maybe they are all just enormous luckboxes, but possibly, just possibly, they simply know things about the game the rest of us don't. The data is freely available on the internet. Oh, and casinos offer it as a game because of its popularity, because they have a license to do so, and because rake is risk free revenue.

With regards to the article posted in the Straits Times (http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_513274.html), my objection is not so much that they marked poker players as gamblers. What concerns me is that it went out of its way to criminalise poker, poker players, and organized games. Look at the expressions deployed: 'illegal gambling den', 'gamblers', 'bust', 'seized', 'nabbing', 'illicit'. It read less like a news report, and more like a direct conviction. And all this before those involved were even hauled into a courtroom, before any verdict was passed. What we ought to have read (for factual accuracy's sake even) was 'charged by the police', 'detained for further inquiry', 'alleged operators of a common gaming house'. We're not gangsters lurking in the shadows, spitting onto the pavements everytime we want to clear our throats, looking over our shoulders for policemen. Well, most of us at any rate. 'Texas Poker with English cards'. They couldn't even get the name right.

As an aside to what Necrohavoc mentioned earlier in the thread, this sort of bad press will easily eclipse the successes of individuals at the game, regardless of how large the group, or how enormous the successes. Winning hearts and minds one player at a time will never undo one damaging article in a national media body. A community will never attain any kind of credibility, will not be permitted to flourish, as long as its institutionally marginalized. I think blackchili a few posts above has hit on the right track.
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Re: About the 'police bust' in yishun

Postby chenghao » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:35 am

Maybe we can take a banner with " Poker is a sport " and march around hong lim park ?
then play a few games in hong lim park to show case? :mrgreen:
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Re: About the 'police bust' in yishun

Postby ohboy » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:45 am

i think most of you here who commented are too close to the subject at hand to discuss it in a rational manner.

here are a few key points you need to understand before you make further justifications for doubtful behaviour:

1) Just because customers are willing to pay for something does not make the activity/good legal. 你情我愿 is not a good legal defence. Think drug dealers/pirate dvd sellers, etc

2) Friends do not charge friends for aircon/drinks when they invite them over to hang out. Raked games are NOT friendly games. The key thing here is the inability to differentiate the terms "friend" and "acquaintance".

3) making silly accusations about government bias just makes your post look like a rant, not a well thought out argument.

4) poker is a game of skill, true. But only when you use the defination of gambling that runs along the lines of : "gambling is a game where players play with odds stacked against them". Meaning, poker is no longer gambling when your EV is >0. Why is this important? It's important because rake screws with your EV. If you had slightly positive EV before, it may no longer be the case once a =>2% rake is imposed. You are therefore once again in the gambler zone.

And here are a few of the really dumb things that have been said here:

1) worst rebuttal ever by pokerdonkey:

it's easy to see why private 4d vendors are illegal. Most ppl think it's because it cuts into spools revenue. That while being true, it's a more important fact that private vendors can decide not to pay out jackpots. I'm not even going to try to touch the banks vs loan sharks argument pokerdonkey tried to shove down our throats. It's a comically failed attempt at a strawman argument.

2) most nonsensical suggestion by below85:

"Well, the best way to create government awareness as well as raise the issuse is :

Get a Singaporean to win a WSOP braclet and Donate it to the Charity together with the prize money. Uh huh.. then the government will take note of it."


First time may be a joke. The fact that he repeats it as a serious point kind of makes me chuckle.

3) Wierd jump in logic:

Bendon compares mj and poker as similar, and then in a strange jump in logic, talks about how rake is ok.

"its the same MJ 3 legs, need one more leg, i calling one other friend come and play, afterall still a home game. anything invole money to me is gamble already, but is it open to public?( any ppl can come in), no it's not. you must at least know someone there or the host right? you think the host so stupid invite a stranger to play and doesnt know who is he? because they are not open to public!! yes you're invited, AND is you yourself WILLING to go. so whats the point of talkin so much here? you think host so ENG host game dont collect rake? then how the service come? aircon, food & drinks, some even rebate cabfare, and most importantly a poker table to play poker? please dont be so stingy, want good dont want pay. NOBODY WILL PROVIDE FOOD DRINK ETC FOR FREE!"


Maybe it's just me, but while it's true I've never been busted for playing mj before, I've never actually had to pay rake on mj either. Pretty sure place which charge a rake in mj and host regularly would not be under the illusion that they are doing anything legal.
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Re: About the 'police bust' in yishun

Postby pokerdonkey » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:03 pm

ohboy wrote:i think most of you here who commented are too close to the subject at hand to discuss it in a rational manner.


And here are a few of the really dumb things that have been said here:

1) worst rebuttal ever by pokerdonkey:

it's easy to see why private 4d vendors are illegal. Most ppl think it's because it cuts into spools revenue. That while being true, it's a more important fact that private vendors can decide not to pay out jackpots. I'm not even going to try to touch the banks vs loan sharks argument pokerdonkey tried to shove down our throats. It's a comically failed attempt at a strawman argument.



sorry for digression from the treads peeps but
This is funny. so u are saying if i sign a contract to pay out all jackpots from 4D, i would be legal?
and if loan sharks do not use violence and other radical means, and charges interest rates same as banks, does that make them legal too?
and tell me y is online betting illegal too and i m not too sure abt this one - playing on poker stars is also in the grey area of legal issues. someone enlighten me.
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Re: About the 'police bust' in yishun

Postby MJFX » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:33 pm

halow all,
wow - this is by far the most serious thread ever discussed in this forum.
few comments i have.

1. i think the debate is not whether home games should be termed as "gambling den" and all the negative words that are clearly, over-the-top sensationalized news reporting. The press can say what they want, the public can think what they want. We are not going to be able to change their perception easily. Under SG laws, they have to term it as illegal gambling, simply because the word "home games" don't exist in singapore law statutes. And its definitely illegal under the intepretation of the SG laws and we can't argue about it.

Yes, we are angry and upset how poker players are viewed..but seriously speaking, we can't do much. Lets just manage our tilt.

This brings me to my next point.

2. Even playing poker in the United States is such a controversial topic as they have different state by state regulations and sometimes difficult to understand what local laws apply to what. ie We can debate until the cows come home on how the rake is to cover dealer and food & drink expenses and we have no where else to play etc etc.... other states/ countries people have this debate before.

3. It will take a long time to legalise home games.... why? simply because the government don't even legalise a poker room/ poker house here. The fact that poker rooms are housed and managed in casino ( need to pay levy to enter somemore) tell us poker is perceived as gambling and poker players are gamblers. (please do not go into debate whether poker is gambling or not here).

4. So what is my point?
WE SHOULD BE UNITED. First and foremost step, let us drive the movement to have our first poker room, run by pokerkakis in collaboration with the singapore pools, sports council and legalised by the government.

Personally, i think that is the way to move forward and not engaging into needless debates and flaming each others' view points. We are here to offer our opinions and hopefully we are all like minded towards the same cause. We will get there eventually and its a matter of time..

5. Meanwhile, if still want to play home games, lets follow the laws. no more rakes, dealer charge by the hour. host collect $$ (at a premium) when you take drinks for their fridge. We do not have much choice. (if so, please enlighten me) Just make sure, when we go home games, if we win, we tip the host. Tip is not illegal right? Sooner or later, it will be unwritten rule to tip when we win since there is no rake involved.
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Re: About the 'police bust' in yishun

Postby zinkboy » Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:12 pm

poker,mahjong,big small,soccer.
Wow Do u guys play blackjack also? Sounds like a gambling den to me.
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