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Indy Lifestyle Online
It's always nice to get a call from Las Vegas, especially when it's from Annie Duke. The estimable Ms Duke came within an eyelash of the final table at the World Championship recently. "Maybe I'll manage to get into the money this year," she tells me. She keeps busy. Besides playing high-stakes poker, she has just had a baby, and also launched a new magazine, Poker World.

"The magazine will cover all aspects of poker and gambling," she explains. "It is intended to be glossy and sold on news-stands. Please write for us." Who could refuse? The first two issues are now out. One clever feature is analysis of a tricky Hold 'em hand by a panel of experts:

Ox: 47 !7

Rave: 4Q &J

Flop: 410 29 !3 -

&10 - 49s

The Ox raised with his pair and the Rave, big blind, called. The flop came down 10-9-3. Rave decided to semi-bluff with his open-ended straight draw and two over-cards. He bet $200. The Ox called. On the turn another 10 fell. The Rave continued his attack, betting $400, and the Ox still called. The river card brought a second pair. The Rave was in too deep to stop bluffing now and continued to bet. The Ox, somehow suspecting a bluff, called. "I have nothing," Rave announced. The Ox proudly displayed his pair of 7s. The Rave suddenly stopped raving, stunned by his unexpected success. His 10s and 9s with a Queen was a better hand than the Ox's 10s and 9s with a 7!

The expert panel agreed with Rave's call on the big blind. After the flop, the panel was divided whether to bet out or try for a check-raise. On the turn, the panel agreed with continuing the semi-bluff, but some favoured checking and calling. On the river, since the stubborn Ox had shown no sign of giving up, it might be more prudent to check along and fold if he bet. The Ox's initial raise was commended. But his call at the end was suicidal. He should either fold or raise.

Poker World is available via Visa card from 6330, South Eastern Avenue, suite 7, Las Vegas, Nevada 89119. Price: $3.95 a month (plus $1 postage).