News Gerardo Gamboa who handed in $300,000 found in the back of his taxi

A Las Vegas taxi driver proved it is the season of goodwill - after he handed in $300,000 left in the back of his cab.

Cool-hand Noel is $1m poker champion of the world

NOEL FURLONG, an Irishman, calmly outplayed the best of the West yesterday to clinch the $1m (pounds 625,000) first prize in the World Poker Championship in Las Vegas.

Video Round-Up

The Spanish Prisoner (PG) to rent

Pursuits: Poker

YOU THOUGHT Hold'em was a simple game, didn't you? Just two cards in the hole and five in common on the flop. Could hardly be easier, could it?

Independent Pursuits: Poker

ANYONE WHO thinks gambling offers an easy way of life is seriously mistaken. Just how badly mistaken can be seen in a new television programe entitled Winners, which shows a trio of the best poker players in the country in action: David Mosely, Dave "Devil Fish" Ullyott and Surinder Singh.

Sporting Vernacular 6. Jackpot

WHEN THE Tote jackpot, worth nearly pounds 700,000, was held over last week from the Cheltenham Festival to Fakenham on Friday, a nation's punters went collectively crazy.

Motoring: My Worst Car: Eddie Shah's Mini - Taking a gamble on a Mini

I HONESTLY don't think that I have owned a worst car. For me, the motor car is a fabulous expression of freedom. It gets you precisely where you want to go, which isn't as stupid a statement as it may sound. Purely as a business tool, I have found them invaluable as a mobile office. That is why my cars always look so untidy inside, whether they have been Minis or Bentleys.

To live and die in Vegas

There was nothing Stu Ungar didn't know about playing no-limit poker. Unfortunately he knew nothing about anything else.

Obituary: Stu Ungar

STU UNGAR, three times World Poker Champion in Las Vegas, was regarded as the best no-limit player on the professional circuit. He was found dead last Sunday in a motel room on the Las Vegas Strip, with $800 in his pocket.

Essay: Hollywood looks for a flush (in an underhand way)

As the film 'Rounders' opens, Daniel Rosenthal pays tribute to poker's tense role in 100 years of movie-making

The Critics: Cinema: The Matt Damon backlash starts here

Rounders (15) Ronin (15) The Eel (18) Les Miserables (12) Dead Man's Curve (18) The Fountainhead (PG)

Poker

ACES! DON'TCHA love 'em? Here are two examples from a low-level game of Hold 'em, blinds pounds 1, pounds 1, pounds 2, which I encountered recently.

Independent Pursuits: Gambling

INSIDE EVERY poker player a monologue is going on, beneath the surface of the game. It's a kind of inner reflection on your state of play - the mistakes you made, how you feel about the other players and how they are doing, the equation of getting back to even or hanging on to some notional figure of profit - elusive, personal things that are not really related to the cards and hands as such.

Games: poker

Poker tournaments seem to be the dominant feature of the contemporary game and the way of the future. According to one estimate, there are probably 30,000 small-stakes poker tournaments held across America in a year. Entry is often as low as the $10-$25 range, as distinct from the thousands of dollars required in the World Series. In Britain too, tournaments are increasingly popular, with buy-ins of pounds 10-pounds 20 or so (and no casino charge to pay). The point of these events is that you can win a prize of several hundred for a very small outlay.

Back to the day job for cardsharp Matt Damon

SOME pretty colourful characters normally take part in the annual world poker championships here, but they do not, as a rule, attract yearning teenage girls, let alone 20 television crews. So other players were unaccustomed to the fuss when they were joined last week by Matt Damon, high-school heart-throb, Oscar winner and star of the recent movie Good Will Hunting.

Games poker

Lowball, the version of seven card stud when the best possible hand is A-2-3-4-6 off-suit, is a tricky game. Someone once told me it was merely 2 per cent skill and 98 per cent luck. I think it is more complicated than most players realise. It certainly can be very expensive. Here is a case in point.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
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Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn