Saturday, December 13, 2003
Pokerbrat Poker Journal
"Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow."
My wife taped this to my monitor when I woke up this morning, stating she thought of me when she read it. And she's right, that's exactly how I feel about growing my poker bankroll. Let's call the above a 'prayer for grinders' shall we? Poker has taught me many things about odds and probability, game theory, human nature, emotional control and discipline, but mostly about fiscal responsibility (something previously never associated with me). And these are life lessons, not a fleeting epiphany, to be forgotten the next day. I look at my poker bankroll and am astonished. Apparently, this grinding thing works.
Strolling through our kickass poker blog universe today, I found this interesting tidbit about a new poker movie project. Hit Up for Poker for the backstory.
The Fat Guy wrote a superb poker post yesterday. I truly hope he posts more. My favorite snippets:
To this day, I get really nervous if I am at a card table with someone in a wheelchair, because I know I am fixing to get my ass handed to me.
So far, I've seen nothing that's anymore egregious than what I've seen in 40 bajillion hands of cards over the years. Therein lies the problem, though. Cards is cards, and gambling is gambling. Crazy, hair-pulling rivers happen and people go bust everyday in every cardroom in America. But you don't care about that. Here's what I think of online poker -- I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! I can concentrate on my game. I can sit there in my boxers. I can smoke a stogie without ticking anybody off.
Amen, brother! No travel, no tipping. I can get up and leave anytime I want. One of these days we'll need to get a private table and have a poker bloggers only game. Or can we arrange a private SNG? That could be purty fun, imho.
The Poker Penguin is back and posting poker content. Woohoo!
Mister Decker has graciously offered to tape future World Poker Tour events for me in exchange for a lifetime supply of Guinness. I am eternally grateful. Go read his impressions of the new live poker games in Florida.
Low limit champ Fuzz took my advice and signed up on Empire for the $100 bonus and ALSO signed up as an all-caps hilarious female moniker. He was promptly dealt his first ever royal flush a few hours in and got paid off. I think he typed in, "Do you like apples?" after showing his hand down. We'll see if he finds any differences in the way he is treated at the tables.
"How do you like them apples?"
Last, but certainly not least, a top-notch post from new poker blogger, Chris Halverson, who had some compelling commentary on Phil Helmuth. The comments by HDouble and BoyGenius were excellent, as well, and just show how Phil is (in a top-of-the-trees viewpoint) a positive force in poker's popularity. You can't argue - he's entertaining.
That got me thinking about the comparison of Phil to John McEnroe, perhaps the most talented left-hander to grace the Wimbledon Courts. I *loved* watching McEnroe play tennis back in the day. I can still picture him, standing with hands on hips, screaming at the umpire, "YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS." And hell yes, the reasons I loved watching John play are very similar to Phil. Unpredictable, volatile behavior. I love that. They are both emotionally unbalanced, fierce competitiors who despise losing. And that makes for good tv.
So I found this interesting article about McEnroe as he looked back upon his career and I thought about Phil as I perused it.
"For the first few years, I almost never spoke an obscenity to an umpire or a linesman. ... Then, at a certain point I went over the line," he wrote. "Once I began to go over the line, I should have been defaulted. In fact, I was only defaulted twice in my career -- and once was for being late for a doubles match."
The better he got, the more money he made, the more TV networks looked for him on court and the more he got away with. Still, he says, like any bad child, he would have benefited from and should have gotten appropriate punishment.
Let that be a lesson to those who must put up with the next l'enfant terrible of tennis.
So let the Phil bashing continue. He's good for poker, damnit. But recognize the difference between a Scotty Ngyuen, who also is very emotional, yet likeable, and Phil Helmuth. There is a wide gap in wisdom/discipline/perspective there. Phil *talks* about being blessed and thankful, but Scotty actually walks the talk.
I've made so many damn posts about Phil that it's difficult to pull just one from the archives but here it is. Daniel Negreanu had this to say, comparing Phil Helmuth to Phil Ivey:
It's that same stubborn attitude that impedes Phil Helmuth from ever being a successful cash game player. He allows ego, stubbornish, and flat out tilt to get in the way of him learning the other games. He sees someone makes a play he doesn't agree with, and automatically, "They play so bad."
Now conversely watch a guy like Phil Ivey play. Always learning, always
humble, and always respectful of his opponents. When Phil said on live
TV, "I have a lot to learn" he meant it. This is what allows Phil Ivey to
grow as a player, and what holds Phil Helmuth back from ever really learning how to play properly.
Phil Ivey believes he has a lot to learn, while Phil Hellmuth believes
he can only teach! The amazing thing is, at 26 Phil Ivey is twice the
player Phil Hellmuth ever was, or could ever be for that matter.
I've never been able to find a complete bio on Phil Ivey. Anyone know of one?
And finally, check out this amazing hand from a
Party Poker PokerStars NL ring game. YIKES!!!
Samourai: posts small blind $3
pat_c: posts big blind $6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Samourai [9h Kd]
Ector: raises $1713 to $1719 and is all-in
NoHandNoDraw: calls $1719
NOBODY CARES: folds
DaBrain said, "uh oh"
B Buddy: folds
*** FLOP *** [9d 7d 6c]
pat_c said, "wtf"
B Buddy said, "wow"
Ector said, "AA"
*** TURN *** [9d 7d 6c] [9s]
*** RIVER *** [9d 7d 6c 9s] [Kh]
B Buddy said, "72"
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Ector: shows [As Ah] (two pair, Aces and Nines)
NoHandNoDraw: shows [8s 5s] (a straight, Five to Nine)
NoHandNoDraw collected $3444 from pot
Oh the humanity. I feel for Ector, having played against him a lot.
I didn't play much last evening (up $25, though!) and ended up drinking copious amounts of Guinness while sweating my man, Royal, in a 1,200 player nolimit tournament on Party Poker. He played extremely tight aggressive poker and ended up around 30th. Cha-ching!
Link of the day:
The First Amendment's a Bitch
Hard-working Internet lothario Tucker Max is again free to write about sexing the drunken Miss Vermont, abstinence and sobriety advocate Katy Johnson. I'm still holding out hope these kids can get back together.
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