Welcome to the Ante Up Nation!

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Congratulations! By picking up our magazine you’ve just earned your Ante Up Nation citizenship. Don’t worry, you won’t need to carry a green card (unless you play with one of those weird four-colored decks). There are no taxes, and you definitely won’t pay any rake.

Though this is our first issue of Ante Up, the genesis of this free monthly magazine came more than three years ago when we sat in a tiny office in St. Petersburg as avid rounders and fumbled our way through making a six-minute Internet recording about poker. We had no idea what we were doing, but we learned one thing that afternoon: We had just found our passion.

We fine-tuned our product, became better players, and eventually earned the right to call our poker show the best on the Internet. But we wanted more. Enter Ante Up, Florida’s Poker Magazine.

Is there a more deserving state to get a poker magazine than Florida … after all we’ve been through? Not a chance. And yes, that’s right, we live here; we’re one of you. We, too, have suffered through $2 poker and know all too well what it’s like to play No Fold’em Hold’em. We remember the days of $.25-$.50 betting limits and $10 max pots.

So, who are we? I’m Chris Cosenza (on the left up there in the yellow shirt) and I’ve been a writer, editor and designer for major publications for nearly 20 years. I started playing poker when I was old enough to see over the kitchen table and I’ve been check-raising ever since. My fellow publisher is Scott Long, and this magazine was his brilliant idea. Like me, Scott’s been in the industry for years and he’s a very talented writer. But, unlike me, he’s a true gambler.

We see nothing but good things on the horizon for Florida poker (despite the lack of common sense in Tallahassee) and that’s why we started this magazine.
What can you expect from Ante Up? Well, we’re not crazy enough to try to compete with the big boys such as CardPlayer and Bluff. We’ll let them duke it out over who has the bigger stack.

We’re homegrown, and that’s the way we want our magazine to be. Everything and anything pertaining to Florida poker is game for Ante Up. Is there a big tournament coming up in your card room? We’ll be there. Did you fly to Vegas to play in the Deep Stack events at the Venetian and make the final table? Let us know. Or maybe there’s a poker room on the other Florida coast where you’ve been dying to play but you don’t know if it has a timed rake or not. We’ll have the answers for you. Ante Up will be your one-stop source for Florida poker news and events.

But that’s not to say we won’t have other features to keep you busy while you’re waiting for your seat to open at the $1-2 NLHE table. Look for strategy columns from some of the finest players and instructors in the country, including a piece this month by poker pro Lee Childs, who tells you to stop copying other players. Find your game and then play it. Don’t choose a style you aren’t comfortable utilizing.

“Cowboy” Kenna James lets us in on his first poker experience at Hollywood Park in California, and former FBI agent Joe Navarro, the famed poker author and Tampa resident, explains what nonverbal behavior means at the poker table.

And if you can’t find what you need here, be sure to visit our Web site at anteupmagazine.com to catch the latest Florida poker news and content.

We’ll see you at the tables!

­— Christopher Cosenza and Scott Long