Saturday, October 11, 2003

Phil Helmuth - Sam Grizzle

Wild nite. Saturday nights are *always* wild on Party Poker.

Up $142. 2.4.

I really feel like a loser commenting on the WSOP here in mid-October but what can I say? I don't have cable, damnit. Thank you EBAY!!

That being said, I am LOVING the ESPN WSOP 2003 coverage. I'm through Day Two now. The Sam Grizzle - Phil Helmuth table talking had me in stitches. Very fun stuff. I've always hated Phil Helmuth (Andy Glazer apologetics, notwithstanding) but a search on the RGP archives shows that Sam Grizzle is hands down the "Meanest Man in Poker."

Spit on a dealer, gets in fights, verbally abusing anyone and everyone. Apparently he can be very entertaining with his acerbic wit, however.

My fave line:

Hellmuth says after scooping a pot (something like): "That's what happens when you're a
hold-em champion."

Grizzle: "What if you're just a goofball who catches cards?"

Good one, Sam. For the record, Phil knocked Sam out a day later.

I've pulled out some of the gems from RGP on this topic and thought I'd share them with you. Even Doyle Brunson chimed in with a story or two (back when Texas Dolly still posted on RGP - pre GCA days):


I was playing in a $20-40 game with Sam a couple of years ago (at one of the dips of his perpetual roller coaster), when he bemoaned his fate, exclaiming "Here I am, 40 years old, and I'm playin' $20-40. Maybe if I'm lucky by the time I'm 80, I'll be playin' $40-80."

A few months back, Sam was being staked to play in a $300-600 game at the Bellagio, when he put a bad beat on another player. His opponent started to whine, and Sam cut him off, saying "Listen buddy, you play your money any way you want, and I'll play someone else's money any way I want."

I just want to comment on Grizzle. The guy is an A S S. I really don't
care what history is following these two, but when you sit at a table and manage to make Phil Hellmuth look like a patient old nun, you have fucked up somewhere along the way.

And this wonderful thread:

>In the previous message I also meant to write about why they didn't do a quick puff-piece type profile on Sam Grizzle?

My guess is that Sam Grizzle wasn't willing to invite them into his

Who really wants to see an angry old man sitting around his apartment eating Chef Boyardee out of a can?

And you know I'm pretty dead on.

"Who really wants to see an angry old man sitting around his apartment eating Chef Boyardee out of a can?"

Careful bucko. If you deleted "old" from your sentence and substituted "in his car" for "around his apartment", you would insult half of the professional poker players in Las Vegas.

Phil Helmuth > Sam Grizzle

Poker Bots < Humans

If there was a perfect way to play poker, then I think we'd see more computers playing and winning as we do in chess. There is too much about this game that is situation dependant.

Why can't computer opponents beat humans in poker?

Playing a rigid style, using a chart or system to play Hold Em would be futile. Transitive math: the example of hands heads up against each other. AKo is a favorite over JTs heads up, and JTs is a favorite over 22 heads up....but lo and behold, 22 is a favorite over AKo. This game has so many permutations and combinations that make it a pleasure to play and think about. I see something new each time I play.

JT > 22
22 > AK

The concept of “correct play” I find most interesting. Is it the play that mathematically (over the long run) will yield the most EV? Table texture, player types, tells, etc. would have no impact. That can’t be right since the game would just boil down to a set of algorithms. So is it situational with probability underpinnings? Or is it what the majority of good players would have done faced with the same set of circumstances? Wouldn’t that be the essence of “correct” since making the best situational decisions are what makes a player good in the first place?

I mean, ABC Poker, while not really bad, fails to achieve maximum profit. Playing a hand one way against a tight player isn't neccessarily the way you should play it versus a loose one. An advanced player adjusts to the individual player and situation he faces, thinking about ways to extract more money from the hand.

John Feeny talks about the "strategic moment" in hold em in his fine book, "Inside the Poker Mind." He's referring to the moment when a strategic decision is made during the hand - the brief time before and during the moment finds a player assessing the relative merits of his playing options and choosing the one he deems best.

One of the major elements he says separates an average player from an advanced one is a well developed tendency to think about what opponents are thinking.

I struggle with this. Playing on Party Poker more often than not causes me to think, What the HELL was that guy thinking?"

Friday, October 10, 2003

Variance Redux

Not sure what to say. I caught cards.

+119 in 1.2.

Won two out of three monster pots.

Held 55 on the button. Three bet to me.

Flop comes: 5JJ with two diamonds.

Seven handed on flop. Flush comes on river.

Massive pot with one guy typing in and folding, "I guess my flush is no good," after a three bet on river. I cap and get called in three places.

It's been that kind of night. Leaving early to watch the Cubbies.

Who Loves You Baby?

It's too bad I knew nothing about Las Vegas beyond Kojak reruns when I moved there in '92.

Hell, I didn't even know what Texas hold em poker was. Of course, that was probably for the best.


Oh. My. Lord.
Site of the month.

Rush Limbaugh military fact.

VERY loose, aggressive tables on 2.4. Very different from last evening. Lost a massive pot with KK on the button - capped pre-flop, SEVEN freaking handed. A4o cracked me.

The crazy, loose play knocked me for a loop tonight. Punished.

Zigging when I should zag. Zagging when I should zig.


I had so many playable pre-flop hands, yet I feel like I misplayed every hand at the "strategic moment." I really played terrible, terrible poker.

Looking at my balance, I'm only down $61 after several hours of 2.4 and 3.6. That's amazing, considering all the horrific plays I made. Expected worse.

Poker = swings = variance. But that doesn't excuse the poor play.

Still, some bad mo-jo tonight.


I've never seen an episode of the World Poker Tour or the '03 WSOP. Until today, that is. I ordered a tape off EBay (entire WSOP) and my man delivered. Joy! Watched about an hour and a half when I got home from work and truly enjoyed it.

I wanna see a Phil Helmuth reality show.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003


Chat directed at me tonite.....

Joe2010: you are a house player arent you



My mantra: lose early, win late.

Was losing early, won late. Down early perhaps $70 (need to check hand histories) while playing 2.4. AA lost twice and got rivered thrice on top pair hands... Didn't flinch and patience paid off.

+$84. The evening still isn't over and Joe is still playing...

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Is poker the next CB radio?

A fundamental rule of poker is money flows from the impatient to the patient over time. And this is true in low-limit, mid-limit and high limit, over time. It's much easier to blame the cards (or luck) than to blame your poor play.

Tally for the evening: +$36. Played 2.4 and had a bouncy ride. My tables seemed tighter than usual.

I sat 50.1 Omaha hi.lo tonite for about 30 minutes. Made my brain hurt cause I actually had to think. Played too loose but wanted to mix it up and learn on the cheap. I think I ended up winning $3. Note to self: check-raising on the river in Omaha is stupid. Err, check-raising EVER in Omaha hi.lo is stupid, even.

Poker Rebound

The drugs are slowly taking hold (hellish dental appointment in an hour) so I thought I'd get last nights results in before I am a puddle of drool.

Recovered from the drunken lost weekend, winning $115 in 2.4, in roughly two hours of play. Table hopped alot whenever the game went short and threatened to break. I don't mind short-handed play but sometimes I prefer jumping around and building up my notes on players.

Felt good to recover the lost money. Felt good to have naive men "hit on me" because of my damn screen name. If I can hoodwink them into thinking I'm some silly girl - that equals postive expectation in my book. I'll wax poetic about this angle at a later date.

I had nearly forgotten what it was like to get big pairs and have them stand up to the onslaught of schooling fish. It feels like....winning poker.

Ahh, here's why Dann was irked about his move on the all-in play:
All three of us went all-in right after the flop. The eventual winner of the pot (who was also at the final table) had already made his straight, and I had a meager two pair.

K, I'm slowing down. More later.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Poker Truisms

An email to me regarding the Salon article about Rush Limbaugh.

Thanks for the Rush L. article ... he sure is caught up in himself and knows a mere fraction of what he carries on about. There is a huge audience, however, of people who don't have the privilege of thinking on their own, and they seem to buy what he says hook, line, and sinker.

Pretty much echoes what I've been saying to torment my right-wing friends. I'm not a left-winger, just a button-pushing contrarian. :)

Live by the big mouth, die by the big mouth.

So I have a protuberant piece of paper hanging above my monitor that provides three little rules for online poker play.

1) Other players bad play will make me far more money than my fancy or brilliant plays.
2) The guy that leads with a bet on the turn after not betting out previously, has a big hand.
3) Folding costs me nothing pre-flop. If it's a close decision, I can't go far wrong by folding.

Big Blue Poker

Sign up on Party Poker for a $100 free deposit bonus.

Whadda weekend. Let's see if I can recap in succinct fashion.

"Royal" came down from Michigan on Friday evening. We ended up hitting Century Inn for some prime rib, beers and baseball. The prime rib and garlic mashed potatoes were the perfect foundation for some heavy drinking.

Back at the farm, we laid waste to over a case of beer. We initially were destroying Party, winning about $60 on 2.4 in fifteen minutes and then finishing second in a $30 nl freeze-out. And then the wheels fell off. I think we lost $130 by the time it was said and done - all in single table tourneys....UGH. Not that it mattered, cause I had a blast. Ended up playing heads up NL versus Royal and beat him two outta three. That was the highlight of my weekend because he is a superior no-limit player. I'm just a limit grinder. But after about twelve beers, it's just easier to move-in everytime than to use any type of strategy and anyone who knows me knows that beer = my spinach. Like Popeye.

Royal > Me

This weekend is not ordinary behavior with me - but still, my wife is very cool to put up with chaos with a buddy once in a blue moon. I think we were hooting and hollering pretty loud when our flopped straight went down to a river flush in a massive no-limit pot.

And now for the good stuff: BlueGrass Poker Series!!! Dann came over and picked up Royal and I in his spiffy red Mustang around 4:00. We hit Lexington in plenty of time to go grab some grub and prepare for the evening of no-limit fun. Royal and Dann are very similar, extremely smart guys coupled with wry perspectives, so the drive down banter was fun to listen to.

A little explanation: the BlueGrass Poker Series is a 125 person, monthly no-limit tourney tourney that has grown from one guys home game to a spectacle of poker unmatched in this area. Apparently the guy who runs it went to college with a guy who owns a rather large hotel in Lexington and gets banquet hall rental space on the cheap. Each monthly tournament has one rebuy that goes to another prize pool for the final tourney in April. The winner of the tourney in April will win a seat to the WSOP 10k NL championship event. They keep monthly records and chart players rankings which makes it kinda interesting. As an added bonus, they have a full cash bar and being that the tourney is located in Kentucky, smoking at the tables is fully encouraged.

You get $100 in tourney chips and the blinds start at either 1.2 or 2.4, depending.

Dann, Royal and I got our seats and dug in. I had finished 50th in the last tourney and I had decided to play a loose, aggressive game this time around instead of the tight game I typically play. I figgered I was better off trying to build a stack than getting blinded off like last time (when I came down by myself and didn't want to leave in the first few orbits, after the drive).

Long story short: in my nearly three hours of tourney play, I won exactly ZERO hands at showdown. I can honestly say that has never happened to me before. I only played 3 hands to a showdown and all three lost. I never, ever got a hand. The best hand I was dealt was KTo. Amazing. I stole and stole and managed to tread water, but at some point I needed a legit hand and it never happened. Finally moved in when blinds hit 10-20 (my stack was down to 50) on my big blind with K9o and got knocked out by Big Slick.

But here's the awesome part of this tale: Dann had been playing great, muscling his stack up to t430 when he moved in after flopping two pair. He got called in two places and ended up losing to a rivered straight.

The amazing thing was: DANN WAS DOWN TO $4. He had four stinking white chips. FOUR WHITE CHIPS.

My buddy, down from the weekend, made a funny move by telling the third guy who was allin that the side pot belonged to Dann, giving him an additional $4 chips, when actually Dann had lost it. Not that big of a deal EXCEPT Dann then ran that $8 into $900 by the next break. Freaking unbelievable display of comeback poker. People were all talking about him. :)

Funny thing is, Dann was very irked about that all-in with his two pair. In a good way. :)

This post is already too long so I'll wrap it up. Dann ended up finishing seventh. I'll have to ask him about the hand that knocked him out.

Regardless, he played no-limit poker as well as you possibly can.

An odd note was that the guy who runs the tourney AND his wife both made the final table. They both wore matching baseball caps and wraparound sunglasses. I've internally mocked most of the people wearing sunglasses in this tourney cause quite simply, they look like idiots. It's not like this is the WSOP or anything. But now I'm contemplating wearing them.

Played in a 2-4-10 spread game after I got knocked out. Drunken, massively extroverted guy from Queens kept wanting to put me in the game even though he knew absolutely nothing about hold em. After he went and sat down in the game, I followed suit and sat with $100 which I promptly lost to a rivered flush, straight and boat. For the record, I did not win ONE single showdown hand the entire night of poker. Damn fluctuations are due to swing my way.

But I truly had a blast - the Kentucky guys are more than friendly. The boys and I talked about running a similar tournament here in Cincinnati. I could easily get several dozen players in a poker tourney, just among friends and acquaintances - with some dedicated PR I could do far better. I really need to research both rental halls and the legality. Perhaps we could host the poker game in Northern Kentucky for certain unnamed reasons......

Sigh. This is about as verbose as I get on a Monday morning.

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