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Dec 17, 2013

Esquire Magazine Editor Al Jacobs uses Google Glass to Triple his Poker Bankroll

By RTR Dennis

Casinos have banned it, people have privacy concerns over it, and techies are salivating over it...yes, Google Glass is already making waves months before it will be released to the public. So what exactly does this wearable mini-computer do? Well, the advertised capabilities include browsing the internet, taking pictures, listening to music, chatting with people, and basically anything else that a smartphone can do.


But one unique capability that Google Glass provides is the option to live-stream video of your viewpoint to others. It's this ability that has casinos and poker rooms worried about cheating and collusion. If you're looking for a demo on how Google Glass makes this possible, then check out how Esquire magazine editor Al Jacobs used the device to dominate his home poker game.

The Sting
Jacobs, who recently tested out Google Glass for an Esquire feature, decided to further test the product by inviting some friends over for poker. He essentially set up a sting by contacting his cousin - a professional poker player from Las Vegas - and working out a plan before the game.

The cousin could see Jacobs' live-stream video through his computer, while Jacobs could see the cousin through a tiny computer screen. The poker pro would then hold up signs such as 'Call' or 'Raise Five Dollars' so Jacobs knew what action to take during each hand. To hide what he was doing, Jacobs told his friends that he was merely using Google Glass to check emails.

After a rocky start and some delays with the device, the Esquire editor was able to make good use of his cousin's signals and triple his starting bankroll to $200. At the end of the game, Jacobs confessed to what he was doing and returned everybody's money. One of the baffled players at the table could only say, "So what are you seeing? He's (cousin) in that little thing?"

Lifetime Ban
If you plan on duplicating Jacobs' feat in a poker room any time soon, don't hold your breath. Much like casinos, poker rooms are also expected to ban the use of Google Glass. The potential for collusion is just too great with what this device makes possible. Just imagine two players sitting at the same table with these glasses on, sharing their hole cards the entire time.

But while you probably won't see any land-based poker rooms allowing Google Glass, this isn't to say that you can't have fun with the product. After all, it offers a number of very interesting capabilities, and you don't even need to hold it, unlike a smartphone. But keep in mind that cost will be an issue, with the early Google Glass products retailing for £1,000 upon release.