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Higher ginko biloba dosage needed for yours truly

6 December 2004

Dear Mark,
In poker, could you please explain the difference between a loose and an aggressive player? Fred T.

An aggressive player is NOT the same as a loose player though the two are often confused. Frequent raising and re-raising characterize an aggressive style of poker play. Good aggressive players are very selective about the cards that they will play, but become assertive once they get involved in a hand.
Playing loose simply means playing more hands and holding onto them longer, essentially being "loose" with your money. Surprisingly, Fred, being a loose player doesn't always reflect poor play, especially since being an extremely tight player can cost you dearly, particularly at higher levels of play.

Dear Mark,
Your answer to the reader's question concerning state lotteries was not on point. All state and multi-state lotteries advertise with the disclaimer that the total advertised prize is payable in annual installments, usually 20-30 years. The two winners could have had the entire $20 million if they wished to take their halves over the 30 year period. It is just like buying an annuity. The winners in this case took the other option, receiving the present value (the cost of buying the annuity) of the $20 million in cash. If the cash is chosen, federal taxes on the whole sum received are withheld immediately. The winners taking cash therefore wind up with about 40% of the total prize, equaling $4 million each. Bob J.

With over 400 columns written, it still amazes me when readers spot everything, especially my fuzzy, at best, response to a lottery question a few weeks back. Many writing in stated the purchasing of an annuity as Bob describes above, while others brought up the facet of federal and state taxes being withheld.

The answer should have been that most lotteries give the winner a choice of either taking the prize over time or taking a lump sum up front. What many lottery players don't realize is that when a publicized weekly lotto grand prize is as the question stated $20 million, the lottery has only half of that amount, $10 million, on hand in cash for the winner. Like Bob asserts, to make up the difference, a state lottery will buy a $10 million dollar annuity from an insurance company or bank, which creates a paid up savings account that promises to collect interest on the money so that the interest and principle will total $20 million in 20 or 30 years. Doing this allows state lotteries to offer jackpots twice as large as the actual amount of money available. If the person takes the upfront cash option, they get slightly less than the amount used to purchase the annuity, Uncle Sam snatches his share, and only then can the champagne wishes and caviar dreams begin.

Dear Mark,
Your Jacks or Better video poker strategy cards states drawing three cards when you have a 3-card straight flush. My question is, must the cards be consecutive? For example, should it be a 7, 8, and 9 of hearts, or can they be any three cards that could form a straight flush? M.C.

A three-card double inside straight flush with one high card (5, 7, and Jack of hearts) or, a three-card inside straight flush with only one gap and no high cards (5, 7 and 8 of hearts) are hands of slightly more value than two high cards. So, M.C., keep your 3-card straight flush. Otherwise, two high cards would be a keeper if your 3-card inside straight were a double inside straight with no high cards (5, 7, and 9 of hearts).

Gambling quote of the week: "Always play the machine nearest the door. No, not because it's programmed to pay out more but because you'll have a fast exit when you lose all your money." --Frank Scoblete, Gambling Author

Higher ginko biloba dosage needed for yours truly is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
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Best of Mark Pilarski
Mark Pilarski

As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.
Mark Pilarski
As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.