Gambling Income and Expenses - TaxesWritten by Richard A. Chapo
Hit a big one? With more and more gambling establishments, keep in mind IRS requires people to report all gambling winnings as income on their tax return.
Gambling income includes, but is not limited to, winnings from lotteries, raffles, horse and dog races and casinos. Unfortunately, gambling income also includes fair market value of prizes such as cars, houses, trips or other non-cash prizes.
Generally, if you receive $600 ($1,200 from bingo and slot machines and $1,500 from keno) or more in gambling winnings and your winnings are at least 300 times amount of wager, payer is required to issue you a Form W-2G. If you have won more than $5,000, payer may be required to withhold 25 percent of proceeds for Federal income tax. However, if you did not provide your Social Security number to payer, amount withheld will be 28 percent.
Evaluating Starting Hands In No-Limit Hold'em TournamentsWritten by Marc W.
There are three main factors that influence how you should play your hole cards in No-Limit Hold'em Tournaments. They are: your position, size of your chip stack, and size of blinds. As a basic rule you need to avoid marginal hands that appear playable pre-flop but which can lead to huge losses in a single pot. The classic starting hands that fall into this category would be any Ax lower than AQ where both cards are unsuited, any Kx unsuited lower than KQ, and low suited connectors.
The tricky aspect of no-limit hold'em both in a tournament structure and in a regular cash game is that these hands can also lead to greatest rewards. They are extremely volatile, however, and much of skill of no-limit is knowing how to recognize when that starting hand is a liability and when it could potentially break an opponent. This requires a great feel for game after flop. Naturally beginners lack this experience and nuanced understanding of game, and so it is far safer for a novice to limit himself to playing premium cards only before flop. The problem then becomes one of predictability - if you only raise with big pairs you are unlikely to get any action, and when you do get action you're in trouble because rest of table clearly knows what you're holding to begin with.
If you are one off button or on button you should loosen your restrictions and play more starting hands, including those marginal ones, provided no one else has entered pot showing obvious strength. To vary your play effectively you should also consider raising with these hands as a semi-bluff tactic, but no more than one in four times.
Keep most of your initial raises down to between 75% and 100% of pot. If you make it 3 times size of big blind to go that typically equals an 80% pot bet. This will protect you in case you get re-raised or called by stronger holdings. If there are limpers in front of you and you are going to raise then you need to make a significant bet, especially in no-limit where you have to make it punitive for other players if they intend to draw out. In that case you could raise as much as 6 times big blind.