Hospital uses poker to rehabilitate patients

We recap some stories you may have missed including HUDs become less useful at MPN and KidPoker's rant is back.

Hospital uses poker for rehab

Once again the benefits of poker beyond fun and money are being expressed in the wider world, with the news this week that a hospital in Henderson (unsurprisingly in Nevada) is using video poker machines to assist with rehab. 

Occupational therapist Sandy McGinnis told ABC News that the game nicely acted as both a motivation for patients to get out of bed, and a distraction while they were standing.

You try to have [patients] stand at a table and lift weights and they won't want to do it, but you distract them with video poker, they can stand for 15 minutes and not even think about it.

The machines, which were played for pretend money not real money, are also said to assist patients with head injuries improve their attention, memory and reasoning. 

MPN to remove hand histories

MPN Redkings

In a bid to make HUDS less useful, the MPN Network now no longer saves hand histories for hands where the player did not contribute money to the pot. They also have removed saved hand histories from anonymous tables entirely. 

This means that you will no longer be able to mine data on your opponents when you didn't play a pot against them. However, it also renders certain forms of self analysis difficult using your database, for example the stats on how often you volunteer money in the pot (VPIP). 

Speaking of the changes in a blog post, Alex Scott of MPN explained the reasoning:

I also think tracking software has changed the game in a way that makes it less fun. It allows you to gather huge amounts of data on your opponents, without requiring any significant attention or observation on your part. It allows you to exploit the weakest opponents exclusively, if you wish.

How to be a winning player

If there is anyone you want advice on how to be a winning player from, it's probably Doug Polk. In one of his latest videos he shares what he believes to be the five key traits of the super successful professional poker players are:

The rant is back

As he is quick to point out, Daniel Negreanu was making YouTube poker videos before many of the current video stars like Doug Polk. Famously around Black Friday he had his 'weekly rant' series which has has resurrected this week and talks about lots of things, including the upcoming rake free All Stars promotion from PokerStars:

Would poker get you out of a hospital bed? Do you agree with MPN's changes? Are you glad to see the rant back? Do you agree with Doug's winning traits? Let us know in the comments:

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Comments (8)

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  • tonypmm


    The screenshot of Redkings' legacy Ongame software posted in the news has nothing to do with its current Microgaming client :p
  • tonypmm


    I'm not sure if the change will benefit me as a potential MPN grinder but it's surely in line with Alex's philosophy and I respect him as a knowledgeable executive who cares a lot about all players so I do hope the change is well thought-out and will benefit everyone. I do rely on MPN's ability to catch bots on its own.
  • tonypmm


    The benefit to good regs will be in that breakevenish regs will quit and move to another network, so the playing field will become polarised - consisting of recreationals and those regs who're able to play without a HUD, and the latter will be winning a bit more due to the improved rec-to-reg ratio and the increased inflow of deposits.
  • tonypmm


    Yes, it's sad that more and more regs are being made 'redundant' but the only way to maintain the poker ecosystem at all is to find ways to increase deposits. The MPN isn't as greedy as some of its competitors, the rake that it charges is reasonable.
  • tonypmm


    It's becoming harder and harder to earn 3 figures an hour at online poker but on the other hand, it's becoming easier to earn 2 figures. Poker is becoming more 'socialistic' - more players than before can become somewhat winning, with less effort.
  • tonypmm


    A small correction: following players' feedback, the hand history changes are postponed until April - see the edited version of the Alex's post in the MPN blog.
  • tonypmm


    And the changes will only affect cash games, so effectively nothing will change yet for me as a tournament player.
  • GingerKid


    I find it total disaster the decision to remove hand histories if you haven'T contributed to the pot because it gives you FAKE stats. Still there are several sites which sell hand histories, so players who buy those illegal hand histories will gain significant edge over others.