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Michael Shackleford interview part 4 - Poker

On http://wizardofodds.com/askthewizard/sorted/poker.html you answer a lot of poker related questions. In 2000 you respond to a question "First let me say that I'm not an expert on poker [...] I'm thinking of taking up Texas Hold 'Em myself." In the meantime (online) Poker has become very popular due to the TV coverage it's getting and the memorable wins of Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer in the last two World Series of Poker.

Q: Would you consider yourself to be a poker expert now - four years later ? What would be your advice for players who want to become poker experts themselves?

A: I would say I have the basics down but still have a long ways to go before I could say I’m an expert with a straight face. Lately I have been playing a lot more live and Internet poker. My advice to new players is to read an introductory book on low-limit hold’em. Learn the basics of starting hands, position, reading the board, and pot odds. As a beginner forget the fancy stuff and just stick to basics.

Q : You are an experienced card counter. Which game do you like better, Blackjack or Poker? What is your favorite poker game?

A: Yes, I’ve been counting cards for 18 years now. That is definitely my strongest game, much stronger than my poker game.

Q: Have you been involved in the design/analysis of multi-player poker games for online or land-based casinos?

A: No. There isn’t much I could do. You just deal the cards and score the hands. Since it isn’t a house banked game so the odds are not much of an issue.

Q: Which online poker rooms offer the best software in your opinion?

A: I have only tried two so far. With such a small sampling I’d rather not say.

Q: eCOGRA recently announced that online poker rooms can also earn the 'eCOGRA seal of approval". Do you have plans to offer your "Certified Fair Gaming" service to online poker rooms also?

A: No. As I said earlier I am phasing out of that service.

Thanks Mike for taking the time to talk to us. It has been our pleasure interviewing you, and we would like to wish you every success with the continued development of 'The Wizard of Odds' website, as well as with your gaming consultancy. Thanks very much!

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