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I guess casinos are the only places with money these days. I've been deluged with offers from poker and gambling-related sites to advertise on the Dirt -- some automated, some not. For reasons that would take too long to go into there -- not least of which is that I'm really not sure why myself -- I'm really not a fan of the the massive casino boom that has taken place in the US in the past 20 years. It's one of those things that is great in free market theory but tends to have pernicious effects in practice. I have nothing against poker despite the many who have tried to present it as the winner over chess in some zero-sum competition for adherents, especially IMs and GMs.

Nor am I a big fan of ads in general, though I make exceptions for friends and purveyors of products I actually like or use and imagine readers would be interested in. (I mean, we really like chess books, magazines, and software.) There aren't really that many ethical quandaries available in chess blogging, mind you. It's not as if there would be many offers for my soul were I to put it up for sale. But if I can keep the Miglette in organic baby food by selling a relatively minor amount of space (e.g. where the Ninja "buy something" banner is now) to a casino or poker site, it doesn't seem to do any harm. I also understand they want their ads here because of the large crossover demographic in game playing, which means many of my readers would probably see them as an obvious and even useful presence. (Go to the US Chess League site to see what I mean.)

If I do go this way is there a point to distinguishing between casino and gambling related sites and actual playing/gambling sites? Or is that just a lame attempt to split hairs? No matter what, I do draw the line at anything animated. Oh, and nothing even vaguely resembling porn. ChessBase doesn't need the competition.


You may wish to review www.casinomeister.com prior to accepting any ads - it's basically the industry most respected watchdog site for online gaming, and can alert you to any potential "bad seeds". Personally, I would suggest only poker sites, as you can argue that at least players have a possible expectation of winning if their skill is sufficient, unlike casino games. I'd also steer clear of sportsbetting sites for legal reasons.

There's a lot of chess fans who play also poker, maybe this has been so since some centuries ago, when Kings played both. I guess ads for books on poker could also be useful by such fans. In fact not being a poker player myself I sometimes have wondered what sort of strategies do they have in poker, is there an equivalent to the Sicilian or attacking play in poker? Defensive play? things like that.

I typically read your blog over my lunch hour at work. If gambling ads were posted, there's a chance the web site could start getting blocked by the company.

It's considerate of you to run this by us, Mig, but you should do whatever you want. If you can make a little money, that's great.

We DD regulars are such a scurvy crew to begin with: we're gonna turn up our noses at a gambling ad? Not likely.

Do you have to vet this with Garry? In the sense that a close associate of his could be seen as having ties with gambling? I was just wondering if that's a factor at all.

"is there an equivalent to the Sicilian or attacking play in poker? Defensive play? things like that."

I suppose the closest equivalent to opening theory is starting hand selection (i.e., which hands to play and how on the first round of betting). Aggressive (I suppose you could say attacking) play is also one of the first basics of winning poker needed to beat, for instance, low-level limit games: pushing small edges even if they seem "risky," and the like. In short, yes -- there's no shortage of poker strategy.

I don't know if it makes a difference to the advertising, but hasn't on-line gambling technically been illegal for US citizens for the last few years? Otherwise I agree with the first poster - Casinomeister is useful and poker sites are a bit less socially harmful.

I am still laughing at the chessbase joke... well, where else can I watch these chessbabes pics :)

It is true that at Poker you can win if you're good, which you cannot do in any casino game. The problem is that too many ppl, using this as an excuse, actually do ruin themselves playing poker.

I play Poker online and participate in some forums. You cannot imagine how many collage students/schoolboys drop out or simply ruin their future because they read about someone who won 300K in a Sunday tournament.

In this regard, it is indeed much, much more harmful socially than any online "casino". No one drops out from the collage to beat the roulette.

>> The problem is that too many ppl, using this as an excuse, actually do ruin themselves playing poker.

Yea, like that never happens with chess, or basketball, or StarCraft, or Skateboarding, or WarCraft etc. Some of these may be more self redeeming than others, and offer better potential incomes, but anyone can overdo a hobby to the detriment of other aspects of their life. I do it all the time! It's not Mig's or anyone elses responsibility to protect me from myself. If he can make money advertising something, without making his site look like a whorehouse, why not I say!

At least a good poker player can eek out a living at the game, which is more than I can say about chess.

Hi Mig - Your web site, your business! You do what you want/need. It's yours! I'll keep reading either way. Best blog out there.

You just won a nice bet , maybe it is a sign. :)

Stick to top tier sites at least. PokerStars has been a good friend of chess with supporting both the NY Masters and now USCL.

Note - they only advertise the .net sites in the US, as that is the free site.

I wouldn't accept ads from any .com sites that actually do real money since there is some concern over the legalities of it right now.

Question to Mig (or everybody):
Is there any Blog of Poker with the same characteristics as this one?
Or something similar in any way ?

Go for it! I'm impressed that you bothered to ask your readership. Almost no one does that.

@OrangeKing - very interesting!

There must be also a lot of news about the leading players and their tournaments. I wonder if Mig himself plays/knows about the poker world :-)

Looking at the last video report from Macauley one cannot deny that there is a strong connection between chess and gamble, he he.

I never really click an ad, take the money they are offering, any kind of ad is useless on me.

But I would like to point out that the ad you already have, about the Black Lion, is promoting a very low quality chess book, so maybe a pokersite or a casino would be an improvement!

If you can get a little something back for the great service you give us, go for it!

The moral debate around gambling is always tricky, but we (most of us) do not expect the grandmasters to unilaterally take a stand against short draws, we expect the rule-makers to do this...

Personally I would draw the line between poker and AIG ads, but on the other hand I block all ads.

I'm sure that if you start including ads for gambling it will prevent you from ever holding an official position within FIDE due to their high ethical standards.

Believe me lwolf123, too few people make really descent living on Poker. And much, much more drop out of collage because of Poker, compared to, say, Starcraft. WoW would be a comparable "evil" to Poker imo.

European Women's Championship

Hope FF will remember to send somebody with a camera.

Poker sounds harmless Mig. I'm not sure about CAsino ads. Why not Bridge? I hear many chess players are also into Bridge as much as Poker...

Btw Chessbase has a new item on that stuff Mig mentioned :)))))

It all depends on how intrusive the adds are. Those that block
your view for 3-4 secs, those that you can't easily blow off, or
those that self-pop more and more windows rate very high on the
annoyance scale. I wouldn’t mind a nice, tasteful, off my face
add that I may follow if I feel like it. If you can control this
then why not put some ads -- particularly if that helps
sponsorship for the page.

And yes, thank you for soliciting input from the co-/under- bloggies…


Thanks playjunior, I immediately had a look :)). I will not rate the players based on their looks - but it is interesting to see that some seemed to enjoy posing for the camera (BTW, of a female photographer), while others were apparently less interested or amused .... .
I guess it is all 'on popular demand' - as Chessbase also claims for 'advertorials' of their own products (not that sure in that case, but of course they have the right to do such things). And somehow noone complained when Chessbase had similar photo shots of the (male) Corus participants !?

I hope you find a place to keep the "Hey you buy something". I like it.

Anyone heard of casinoguide.com? Doesn't seem evil. Not an actual gambling or even playing site from what I can tell.

Personally I'd steer clear of that type of site. There's a thin veneer of information and advice, but basically it's just a series of links to websites they have affiliate deals with - their casino rankings are random at best. Though to be fair its by no means among the worst of its kind.

Agree with mishanp - there is a huge number of affiliate sites (ie, sites that receive X dollars for every new player that they bring to a site). These sites often present themselves as news or reviews sites, but when they get paid based on how many people sign up, I think you can imagine how unbiased their reviews are.

I think it´s great not to have to suffer the flashy casino ads, especially the pop-ups, but as many said before, it´s your business and it will still be a fantastic blog anyway :)

While it may be a good business decision, it will - of course - diminish the site.

I think
(a) gambling ads tend to be tacky rather than morally objectionable
(b) that our professional business activities can't be separated from our personal lives/values
On point (b), it's your own choice
On point (a), I would prefer not to have flashy, sparkly invitations to gamble on this site (which I'm very fond of). I like my gambling discreet.

I think
(a) gambling ads tend to be tacky rather than morally objectionable
(b) that our professional business activities can't be separated from our personal lives/values
On point (b), it's your own choice
On point (a), I would prefer not to have flashy, sparkly invitations to gamble on this site (which I'm very fond of). I like my gambling discreet.

Speaking of Chessbase porn, it is about time I updated my ranking of chess women at this year's Grand Prix in Istanbul. Now, rather than give a numerical value, I present a few short blurbs about each "woman":

Humpy Koneru (India): Hideous. Hard to believe she was born in 1987 when she already looks like a grandmother.

Hou Yifan (China) : New appraisal says that if she gets rid of the stupid barrette and the glasses, she might be respectable.

Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria) : Obviously past her prime, but still has something to offer.

Pia Cramling (Sweden) : Also past her prime though, as a Swede, she probably has a few surprises to offer.

Marie Sebag (France) : This girl looks depressed and suicidal. You'd think she'd be happy being among so many dazzling feminine figures.

Maia Chiburdanidze (Georgia) : The human garbage bag. This thing is disgusting by any standards.

Zhao Xue (China) : Upon further review, she's actually fairly pretty. A nice-looking, normal girl.

Elina Danielian (Armenia) : Put it this way: You wouldn't find her picture at a sperm-donor clinic. Repugnant.

Shen Yang (China) : Average in every sense.

Martha Lorena Fierro Baquero : Looks like she has a nice personality, no doubt due to South American upbringing. Because she smiles she gets bonus points.

Zeinab Mamedyarova (Azerbaijan) : A normal, good-looking girl.

Betül Cemre Yildiz (Turkey) : Overlooked in my first post. This girl is actually very good-looking.

Congratulations, Chess Auditor, that's easily the most vile post I've ever read on here. If you're not just trolling you seriously should seek psychological help.

Fully agree with mishamp.I hope none of this girls read that garbage.

You don't understand. This is very hard for him. It's just that he feels this is a safe place to explore his feelings and maybe try and come out of the closet.

Nonsense. There are thousands of 2400-average tournaments out there that Chessbase does not cover, yet these girls make headlines. Why? Because they have chosen to advance with help from their gender and, in many cases, their looks, over talent. The double-standard is fair game.

2400-level players deserve to be celebrated.

The problem isn't that women are celebrated; the problem is that men are not.

Why are you so busy savaging deserving fellow chessplayers when you could be using the same time and energy to promote our unheralded players?

I hope you'll ask Mig to delete your post. Or if you don't, that Mig will take pity on someone who's exposed himself as much as you have and will delete it himself.

It's time for a psychological audit of ChessAuditor!

Too late: We already know I'm "mental." Looks like the palace guard is in an uproar again.

Note, also, that everyone has attacked the method rather than the content of the post. That is because everyone knows women's chess is a joke but they choose to go along with it, anyway.

Thank you for your concern, Greg Koster. I'm fairly positive you would enjoy me "exposing myself"; however, blogs get boring very quickly if posts are deleted. You see, even idealess posters who constantly agree with themselves eventually get bored, so blogs look upon people like me to sort everything out.

Chess Auditor - do you really not see what's wrong with posting something like this about any human being!??

"The human garbage bag. This thing is disgusting by any standards."

And your "justification" isn't that this person murdered someone but that she took part in a FIDE Grand Prix!??

Sure, we can debate whether it's good or bad that women's chess has its own competitions, but posts like yours have absolutely nothing to do with that. They just reflect a disturbed individual.

Allow me to add my voice to those of the righteous masses.
Auditor, you are a scumbag. I presume you are having or have had severe problems/ lack of success in your relationships with the other sex.

Ketched em fools off gurrd, be ye? Glad ye was nigh in dis group en hed the sense ta post som. Ye ain't got no use foh no ratin' system. I ain't as young as I uster be but 'roud heah we call 'em type of woman "Buffalo Butts."

Hypothetically, Mig, if you were an active player in the last round of a norm tournament, would you be willing to sell a point if it was necessary to keep Miss Miglette in organic baby food?

Organic baby food = yes.
Gambling ads = no.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on March 19, 2009 1:57 PM.

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