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GOVERNMENT              [February 05, 2006]
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                        Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em: Many WVU
                        students take up Texas Hold ?Em
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                                                                                                                •
Advertise                                                                                                       “Pr
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                        (The Dominion Post in Morgantown (WV)(KRT) Via Thomson Dialog                           Mo
                        NewsEdge) Feb. 5--It was lunchtime in the Side Pocket Lounge of the                     •
News Alerts
Conference Events       Mountainlair and four undergraduates were engaged in a friendly match of                Fu
Free eNews
Publications            Texas Hold 'Em.                                                                         •
Events                                                                                                          Sys
Whitepapers
Publications            Hold 'Em is a variation of poker that, judging by its presence in basements,            •
                        parlors, casinos and dorm rooms, is growing more popular with each passing              En
Whitepapers
Content Submission
Content Submission      year.                                                                                   •
                                                                                                                Ca

                        In theory, it was a rather highstakes match as piles of $10, $20 and $50 bills          •
                                                                                                                Mu
 Subscribe Today!       in front of the college players grew and decreased with each passing hand.
                                                                                                                •
                                                                                                                to
                        In reality, there wasn't much of a gamble here at all; the bucks they were              Va
                        staking were of the miniaturized Monopoly variety, with each denomination               •
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                        sporting its own corresponding pastel color.                                            Ce

 VoIP
                                                                                                                •
                        The play bills weren't as convenient as the preferred plastic chips the players         Sta
Broadband Telephony     use in regular games in frat houses, residence halls and private dorms -- but           •
                        they would suffice for a few passing hands, just for fun, in the student lounge         Se
                                                                                                                Ce
                        between classes.
Broadband Voice



Conference Call/Audio   Poker is enjoying renewed popularity all across America, thanks, in part, to
Web
                        televised tournaments and online poker outlets. Many retail outlets carry               •E
                                                                                                                EQ
                        poker paraphernalia such as cards, chips and strategy books as well as boxed
                        gift sets.
                                                                                                                •B
Customer Interaction                                                                                            We
Management
                                                                                                                •V
                        The growth of the game is easily visible on college campuses, where students            …
Enterprise VoIP         largely view the game as a social activity and play regularly in public places          •H
Gateways                                                                                                        Joi




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Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em: Many WVU students take up Texas Hol... Page 2 of 7


                                                                                                           Joi
                                                                              on campus, in dorms and      •N
Headsets
                                                                              wherever they have           Lin
                                                                              access to the Internet.      •E
                                                                                                           Ge
Hosted IP                                                                  And while most people           •N
                                                                           who play the friendly           Sim
                                                                           game of cards will never        •M
Hybrid IP
                                                                           develop serious
                                                                           problems with gambling,
Internet Phone                                                             experts on the subject
                                                                           say there is a small
IP Communications
                                                                           percentage who will.
                                                                           Gambling foes say youth
                                                                           and young adults are
IPCC                                                                       especially at risk
                                                                           because they are
                         impressionable and frequently misunderstand the odds of the game.
IP Conferencing and
Collaboration
                         Some WVU students say they can't get enough of the game.
IP-PBX
                         "I play as much as I can. There's a lot of people who play here," said Luca
                         Pennisi, a WVU student who is a fan of Texas Hold 'Em.
IP-Phone System
                         Of the game in the Mountainlair, he explained, "We're just having fun
                         because we've got nothing else to do."
IP Services

                         Pennisi plays mostly for the sport of it, but he sometimes backs his bets with
Media Processing         real cash. He said his gambling style, low or no stakes, is governed by the
                         limitations of his finances.
Metro Ethernet           He said his biggest loss was $200 and it happened in a recent weekend game.
                         Grinning, Pennisi didn't appear to be terribly ashamed to have taken the hit,
Open Source PBX
                         but he said he didn't want his girlfriend to learn of the loss.

                         Most students who play Texas Hold 'Em say they seldom play in high-stakes
Packet Telephony         matches, the reason being they and their peers rarely have much money. A lot
                         of students say they'll bring $10 or $20 to the game. Once in a while they get
Session Border Control
                         lucky if it's in the cards and there are enough folks playing to get the pot up
                         into the hundreds of dollars.

Selecting VoIP           Other times, their luck isn't so hot.
Solutions

                         "It balances out," said WVU student Paul Koon, noting students can stand the
SIP                      occasional loss so long as they are followed by the occasional winning game.
                         If the losses vastly outnumber the wins, he said, "then you need to stop
                         playing."
Small Business VoIP

                         Suffer the consequences
SOA
                         Most people don't know that gambling can have negative consequences, said
                         Steve Burton, clinical coordinator for The Problem Gamblers Help Network
Softswitch




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Softswitch
                        of West Virginia. He said parents often don't see gambling as a serious
                        problem for young people, but it can be.
Speech and Audio
Codecs
                        The parental attitude is often "at least they're not drinking," Burton said. But
                        a teen's frequent gambling might deserve more attention.
Telecom Expense Mgmt
                        Problematic poker habits don't appear to be the biggest worry of addicted
Triple Play
                        gamblers in West Virginia. Of the more than 1,300 calls the help network
                        took last year, only 31 were related to cards. Most callers said they had
                        problems with video lottery and slot machines.
Unified
Communications
                        But Burton said he has gotten three phone calls in the last month from college
                        students who reported their poker habits had gotten them into financial
Voice over Broadband    trouble.

                        One of the students, trying to recoup his online poker losses by gambling
VoIP
                        more and more to score a big win, racked up a credit card debt in the
                        neighborhood of $20,000, Burton said.
VoIP Alternatives
                        He said parents often call the help line after they discover their child has run
                        up a sizable gambling bill.
VoIP Call Center

                        Too often, Burton said, students see young adults who win big in
VoIP Contact Center     tournaments on TV and think that they can do the same. A big win early in a
                        poker player's history with the game can also lead to gambling troubles later,
                        as they overextend themselves trying to repeat the experience.
VoIP Developer

                        Education is key
VoIP Gateways
                        Schools need to provide more education to students on the dangers posed by
                        gambling, Burton said.
VoIP Headsets
                        What education is out there is education to perfect skills in the art of poker.
VoIP Switching and
Service Delivery        Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh recently offered a three-day
                        seminar and tournament before the spring semester got under way about how
                        to play online Texas Hold 'Em.
VoIP Test Solutions

                        The instructor was Jeremy Olisar, a 21-year-old music student at CMU, who,
Wholesale VoIP          based on his credentials, seemed qualified enough to teach the seminar.
                        Olisar had recently won a semester's worth of tuition -- about $15,000 --
                        playing in an online tuition tournament sponsored by AbsolutePoker.com.
Wireless Headsets

 CRM                    The tuition prize was something of a fluke for Olisar, who said his interest in
Bus. Relationship
                        the game is only casual. Playing online poker anywhere from a couple hours
Software                a week when school is in session to a couple hours a day when school is on
                        break, Olisar said his other wins were in the neighborhood of $14.
Conference Call/Audio
Web                     On his one and only trip to Las Vegas last year, Olisar didn't do so well. He
                        went to Sin City "with a couple hundred dollars and didn't really come back
                        with much."
CRM Solutions




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CRM Solutions


                         Olisar said online poker offers players plenty of opportunity to sharpen their
Customer Care            skills. You can always find a game, day or night, he said. But Olisar said he
                         sees it as entertainment and he knows going in to the game that no one is
Customer Care
                         guaranteed a win.
Solutions
                         Not all the CMU students said they liked the online experience however.
                         Some took to it immediately, but others said they found it confusing and
Cust. Experience Mgmt
                         missed the face-toface interaction of the game as it is traditionally played.

Customer Interaction     Is it legal?
Management

                         In West Virginia, officials say the legality of friendly, neighborhood poker
eBusiness Solutions      games where money is wagered is questionable, but police and prosecutors
                         seldom, if ever, go after individuals for hosting games in their homes.
Headsets
                         State code does prohibit any person from possessing gaming tables and other
                         gambling paraphernalia, and the state may seize such devices under court
Hosted Contact Center    order and find the owners guilty of a misdemeanor.

                         But officials said efforts by law enforcement to curb illegal gambling are
IP Conferencing and
Collaboration
                         usually aimed at larger, more organized gaming events.

                         Because much of the code relating to gambling was written in the 1930s, "A
OnDemand                 lot of the penalties are chump change," said John Melton, general counsel for
Communication
                         the West Virginia Lottery Commission. That's why a lot of prosecutors
                         wouldn't want to spend money to raid Barney's basement game, he said.
Open Source CRM
                         State gambling fines are generally in the range of $100 to $1,000.
Sales Force Automation
                         Monongalia County Prosecutor Marcia Ashdown said gambling laws are
                         geared more toward hotel and club owners.
Speech Applications
                         "I would suppose anybody could argue home games are illegal, but I've never
                         seen anybody pursue that," Ashdown said. "The laws talk more in terms of
Speech Lifecycle Mgmt
                         keeping and exhibiting gaming tables in semi-public places. Whether the law
                         would attempt to go after someone's Tuesday night game, I don't know."
Speech Recognition
ASR                      Last year, State Police did shut down a Texas Hold 'Em fund-raising
                         tournament that Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Morgantown was planning at
Speech Technologies
                         the Radisson Hotel. Two officials from the nonprofit were charged with
                         misdemeanors for breaking state laws applying to gaming at hotels.

Web Based Help Desk      Most students at WVU said they weren't sure if they were breaking the law
                         by betting at Texas Hold 'Em or not, but said they didn't plan to stop playing
                         as a result of their uncertainty.
Wireless Headsets

                         In the Mountainlair lounge, the dealer turned over another card and one of the
Workforce Optimization   players reminded his chatty partners that the game was in progress. "Double
 Call Center
                         up," he said.
R    t C ll M   it   i




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