Here's my .02:
Myth#1: Poker is illegal.
False, the U.S. government recognizes poker as a game of skill. Playing poker for money in some instances is illegal, It's not illegal about playing poker with friends, or even playing poker for a living.
Dan's flat wrong: In may states in the US, poker is explicitly illegal - altho the illegality is usually in the act of organizing and profiting from the game. In at least two states, online gambling is specifically illegal.
Myth #2: It takes several years to learn.
Maybe several years ago. But now with the interent and the books out there today, it's easier than ever to learn how to play poker at a competitive level.
Dan is half-right: the argument that the internet has made it easier to be a competitive player is accurate in a sense, but it ignores that logical extension of the argument - that online poker has made the average player much better, so becoming a better than average player still takes a decent amount of time. Put simply, you still have to work harder than the next person to be better than they are.
Myth #3: Poker is all about bluffing.
"That's one of the big mistakes novice players make when they start out in poker. Professionals win by getting full value for their strong hands, while minimizing their losses on losing hands. Bluffing is a tool that should be used sporadically, making it that much more effective."
Dan's completely right, except for tournament play, where strong moves that over-state the value of your hand are critical.
Myth #4: It's a man's game.
Wrong. There are a growing number of woman playing poker these days. "One of the world's best players, Jennifer Harman, is a regular winner in the world's biggest cash game against the likes of Chip Reese and Phil Ivey."
Dan undermines his own point by his example - the gold standard of poker is still male players, i.e. Jennifer can hold her own against 'the likes of' famous male players. When women start to be regularly included in that list, he'll be right. Please note that I think women players are just as good as men - that's not the question at hand. The question is whose game it is, and men are still receiving an overwhelming amount of the total exposure and prize money.
Myth #5: Online poker is rigged.
"Before the arrival of online poker, complainers blamed the casino dealer for their bad luck. Online poker has become the new victim of abuse from players who would rather blame their computer than their lack of poker skills."
Dan is half right. Collusion is a snap in the online arena, so online poker is rigged - just not by the house.
Myth #6: Poker is gambling and you have to gamble to make it fun.
Yeah, you can gamble on poker but you can also gamble on Monopoly, hopscotch or even the flip of a coin. That doesn't mean you have to gamble to make them fun.
Dan is largely wrong. Without something wagered, poker becomes a largely meaningless game for most.
Myth #7: No Limit Hold'em is the most skillful form of poker.
Actually, Pot Limit Hold'em requires more skill, mainly because it gives solid players a bigger advantage and takes away the beginner's deadly all-in weapon. Not to mention, more sophisticated post-flop play.
This is a bit of an overstatment but PL is a trickier game
Myth #8: The game is all luck.
This comment is usually made by people who don't understand poker or haven't figured out how to win at it. There are thousands of skilled professional poker players in the world. There are other forms of casino gambling, like craps, Keno and Let it Ride and there are no professional Let it Ride players.
Dan is mostly right. Poker involves way more luck than most advocates of the game would like to believe.
That's what I think. It's early for me, take it easy