Thursday, December 11, 2003

Phil Helmuth Poker Journal

"The whole problem with most players is that they want success without work. Their mental picture of a successful gambler is like the Hollywood image - some guy betting big money and doing nothing but win. Well, gambling is a profession that takes hard work to learn and skill to stay on top. You can't buy an education and say, "Stick it in my head." You can't become an athlete by sitting in your easy chair and watching sports events on television. It isn't until you turn away from the dream and get down to real work that you get on the right track."
Doyle Brunson

God bless you, Doyle. He makes a valid point - I mean, whatever doctors and lawyers say, we know what they do and how they achieved their status. But for a marginal occupation, like a professional gambler, it's easy to see how individuals may certify themselves as members without any formal criteria involved.

Because I don't have cable, I surfed around and found a funny discussion of Vince Van Patten's remarks last evening on World Poker Tour - Ladies Night.
Stating "Slam bam thank you ma'am" at the onset of a commercial may be considered inappropriate, imho. But hey, that's just me.

Great column from the University of Wisconsin
The World Series of Poker is like crack
The main reason why the World Series of Poker, against all logic, is entertaining to watch is because it is heavily edited for time. Imagine it being like a football game in which the only parts that are televised are the plays that are interesting and matter and people care about, except it also lasts several days and the competitors don't need to be in shape because they're playing cards.

Allow me to reiterate that I've become a big FeliciaLee fan. She's the only female poker blogger I know of (outside of PokerGrub's sister, who enjoyed a funny debut).

Anyway, sorry for the length of this - I just can't link to 2+2 so I've gotta post it. I read a very interesting thread on 2+2 entitled 'Nasty People' began by psychologist Alan Schoonmaker, the author of Psychology of Poker. Felicia followed up his initial post by detailing some ugly episodes at the Mirage poker room and why she will never play there, as is her right.

Then the fun began. Mason Malmuth, resident Grand Poo-Bah at 2+2, challenged her and basically defended the Mirage and poker room manager Donna Harris. The very fact that he got involved, speaks volumes, imho. I'm not sure what Mason's problem is, but I'm sure it's difficult to pronounce.

So Clarkmeister, one of the finest poker posters anywhere, weighed in. The quoted lines are from Malmuth's prior post debunking Felicia.

"So what I'm saying is if you put a negative post up about a make believe cardroom my guess is that you would get some feedback from a few people telling you their even worse experiences. It's just the nature of the Internet"

Even if we ignore the unnamed people who emailed Felicia, this thread has 3 respected posters (Felicia, Fossilman and myself) whose have had negative experiences of a similar nature at the Mirage. None of us have any personal axe to grind, either.

"Now with that being said, if you have a problem with The Mirage Poker Room I believe I can put you in touch with Donna Harris who is Director of Poker Operations where you can discuss the problem with her. And if there is a problem, I guarantee it will be fixed."

Felicia talked with the manager on duty the evening of her incident. She was rebuffed and basically told to butt out. Her experience is entirely consistant with how I have seen the Mirage Shift Managers deal with similar issues and I am not alone in this observation.

I really don't want to get into a long debate about the merits of the Mirage management. I do, however, wish you would respect that others may have had different experiences than you have.


Next, Felicia classily withdrew herself from the thread. Taking the high road always impresses me, especially on the internet.

But Clarkmeister hung in there and posted:


I don't think it is a stretch to think that you and your wife are treated better and see a different side of the Mirage poker room because of your relationship with Donna.


To which Mason posted this telling reply:

I'm treated better everywhere. That's just the way it is when you are as successful as I have been doing what I do.

Geez, he's already treated as a deity by the fawning neophytes at 2+2, does he really need to be this crass? "That's just the way it is when you are ME."

Continuing with the self-obsessed, here's the obligatory Phil Helmuth Cardplayer column aptly named:
Wow, are You Serious?

T.J. then rapped the table and said, “You got it.” I flipped over my holecards, thinking I had just made an incredible call. Also, it sent a message to the table, “Phil is on, so don’t mess with him today.” The pot was about to be pushed as T.J. started folding his cards. Then, all of a sudden, T.J. said, “Wait a minute, I have a flush,” and he rolled over the 10 9.

Now, I know T.J., and I love T.J., and I know he would never slow-roll me (slow-rolling is the worst possible etiquette in a poker hand). Plus, his heart rate — which was being monitored — spiked up when he saw the 10 in his hand. I fell to the floor stunned at what had just happened to me.

Face it, Phil, you got slow-rolled. You think TJ didn't know what he had? You fell to the floor? Are you twelve?

TJ Cloutier > Phil Helmuth

Sigh. Picking on Phil Helmuth is like shooting fish in a barrell. Poor Phil. Go visit Phil. See Phil fall down.

Link of the Day:
Watchful Eye for the Queer Guy
According to the International Organization of Heterosexual Rights, homosexual activist groups, the National Education Association, and the liberal media are conspiring to keep the public in the dark. And then sodomize us.

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