Saturday, December 06, 2003

Poker Diary

"See, in my world - the world of high-stakes gin and poker - we play for cold, hard cash. It's all business, pure and simple. Anyone who thinks cardplaying is a 'game' - I'll show you a loser. Money... M-O-N-E-Y. That's how you measure success. One dollar at a time. One chip at a time. That's how you keep score."
Stu Ungar

Poker blogs kick ass.
Create your own - it's free and easy on Blogger.

Woke up feeling good and enjoyed a solid 3.6 session first thing this morning. I won $88, but have dropped $20 tonite, basically in blinds. The night is still young....

Great post about a home game, from Alan Bostick at the top-tier blog, As I Please.

I want to gather a cluster of a few friends every week and have them bring buckets of spare change and whip up some exceptional food and enjoy much laughter and discussion and raunchy jokes and music and expensive scotch, and stay up too late until the last hand is played out and the last drop of whiskey is enjoyed and everyone goes home buzzed and askew and tired.

I once made lobster bisque for my home poker game. If you run a game, nurture it, it's worth it's weight in gold for friendships alone.

Fuzz asked if I would blog my beer drinking like PokerGrub does his meals. Negative.

I found a post on a poker message board about poker blogs that included mine. From there, I re-discovered Felicia Lee's poker journal. She really needs to get on Blogger.com.

I keep finding new poker blogs. Here's one that I hope doesn't die on the vine. Someone email this guy and tell him to update.

BoyGenius posted about poker. He knows how to update.

Chicago Sun-Times poker article:
The Travel channel is getting ready to debut its "World Poker Tour Ladies' Night" on Dec. 10.

There's a lot of poker things to talk about, but I wanna go play.

Been devouring the Sopranos season four DVD with da wife. The Sopranos might be the best thing that television has ever produced. And relating to Stu Ungar and Michael Imperioli, I hope the movie, Stuey, is released on DVD sometime this decade.

The Bengals shall be defined tomorrow.

Heading to Empire poker with the reload bonus code IGGY1 - woohoo!

Link of the Day:
Stu Unger Tribute

Friday, December 05, 2003

Poker Blog

"The overlay is of paramount importance."
Stuart Reuben

TGIF. Even though I'm sick again.

Been playing $50 NL this evening. Still wearing my grinder hat and slowly re-adjusting to the no-limit mentality, but playing well enough to be up about $30. I suppose I'm better off erring on the side of caution rather than pushing any perceived small edges.

I had an interesting discussion tonight with a friend about what Jung-Myers-Briggs personality types might be best suited for poker. The answer, we ultimately decided, was just like every poker question answer, "it depends."

Thanks again for the too kind emails regarding this blog. Makes it worthwhile.

Because I've never seen the World Poker Tour, HDouble had an excellent idea in the comments to split the cost of the DVD with a buddy. In the spirit of Internet piracy, I'm actually hoping someone will burn a damn copy for me. The retail cost is outrageous, imho. If it was moderately priced, I'd buy a copy in a heartbeat, but damn, it's not like there is a ton of re-watchability in a show like that. Or maybe someone will put all the episodes on VHS and sell them on Ebay. That's how I finally got to watch this year's WSOP, after all.

I admire this guy for writing this because it's true. Part two.
David Sklansky Ate My Brain, II.
Yes, I am a Sklansky disciple in spirit, but I'm sorry, regarding the play on Party Poker, you'd be better off burning his books.

I truly enjoyed the content at Poker Savvy - especially the article about Jay playing pot-limit with Chris Moneymaker at Foxwoods. Good stuff - I hope they continue to update.

Speaking of pot-limit, I saw that Party Poker broke out $200 No-Limit and Pot-Limit ring games. Amazing.

I'm going to skip my first Bluegrass Poker Series (monthly No-Limit tournament - please see prior posts) event tomorrow. Bad weather coupled with the wife isn't going to allow it. First one I've missed.

This was a first. At least the site is up.

------This is an automated response to your message------

Dear Player,

Our mail server is currently being upgraded and unfortunately cannot respond
to your query at this time. We will reply to your mail as soon as our mail
server is up.

We appreciate your patience and understanding.

For immediate help, please call our toll free number + 1 (888) 206-4659 or
click on our live help feature located in the PartyPoker.com lobby.


Link of the Day:
Are You Low on the Ladder?
The inventor of the ladder theory of male/female attraction has a question for his critics: "Why does everyone always say I'm bitter just because 99.999% of chicks are bitches?"

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Phil Helmuth Poker Blog

"Poker is America's most favorite game. Seventy million adults play cards and about 47 million Americans prefer poker. Poker is as American as baseball and hot dogs. Many of our most famous presidents were poker enthusiasts. Poker contains a greater amount of skill than bridge, or any other card game, according to authority John Scarne."
From a 1970's Gardena cardroom brochure

Thanks for reading. Lots of content today. Iggy = verbose.

Hot damn, I'm running well at Empire with my reload bonus code IGGY1. The $50 NL ring games are a tad on the insane side. It's all about being patient and taking time with table selection. I think a lot of these guys just love to gamble - moving allin with flush draws and enjoying the thrill of moving you off a hand. I love these guys.

I think my post yesterday wasn't very well-written (damn Guinness!) so I wanted to clarify about Empire and Party.

Empire poker IS Party Poker. Same exact site, just a different "skin". As Henry correctly pointed out in the comments, it's true, there are some minor differences in "software" but I'll take the blue interface of Empire over the orange of Party, anyday. And yes, Empire supports Party player notes (and vice-versa) - you only need to copy them over on your hard drive from one directory to the other.

You are allowed to have accounts on both - you can even play on both
sites at the same time - you just can't sit at the same table
simultaneously. Everything is the same in terms of players and tables except for the multi-table tournaments. But the single table tournaments and ring games - same site, same players.

Why should you care? Well, if you are a regular, the second identity should prove to be valuable for obvious reasons.

Also, if you only have a Party account (or play somewhere silly like UB, TP or PokerStars), you should use the bonus code IGGY1 get your $100 deposit bonus on Empire right now. It's available cash for the taking. Make sure to close out all of your money on your Party account. Why?

Because while you are doing your hand requirement for Empire, Party
will email you, offering you $100 to play there. So you hit your bonus on
Empire. cash it all out. Head back to Party. Play and get your bonus
there. Get an email offering you a bonus to play on Empire.

Rinse and repeat.

I'm only reiterating this because no one ever told me this rather important nugget of information back in the day. And it's profitable information. Go do it yourself or use my signup codes. Party - IGGY. Empire - IGGY1. For the love of God, I won't post about this again for awhile, I promise. I just thought it was important enough to clarify so I didn't lead anyone astray in my prior post. And hell, they could stop offering this. Get it while you can.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me. I'll help or find someone who can.

If you send me a hand history asking how you played a hand, I will respond:


Just kidding. I've actually received some great email today - thanks to everyone who took the time to write. God knows I love poker.

Back to regular scheduled blog programming: The Russ Boyd interview I linked to is getting some serious flaming on the poker message boards out there. I've read everything from brutal sarcasm to death threats. In the interest of adult conversation, I'll offer this post from well-known player/poster, MS Sunshine.

The interview puts a nice spin to Russ's past, but it glosses over a few things. When it was a done deal to sell the software only covering the player's debt, Russ supposally upped the price because he thought it was worth more and the group buying backed away, per Burton Richie's account of trying to broker the deal. Not enough in it for Russ. 1000 people would have been paid.

Russ always promised that everyone would get paid, because the assets, mostly software value, of the company could be sold off to pay everyone.

I missed hearing about the old PokerSpot software being offered to anyone in the very pro-online poker atmosphere of the last six months.

I don't buy that "I've been on both sides of the table" crapola or it's his name he brings to this new project. No, I think he brings the assets of PokerSpot which he always promised would make the $56,838 he owes my wife and I good.

You want to be treated like any other failed business owner then sell the remaining assets of the business and pay your creditors as much as possible. Don't walk with them into your next business venture.

Rake-free, my ass. As a move of solidarity, I'm deleting the link to Boyd's blog. Go search the RGP archives if you want the backstory.

Finally dug through some Cardplayer columns. Sadly, Phil Helmuth continued writing about his wonderful read on Eric Seidel and subsequent bet with Johnny Chan. Did you see inside his soul, Phil? On the flip side, Lou Kreiger stated the obvious in his column, pontificating on how poorly players play that have been "educated" by TV poker. I've never seen an episode of the World Poker Tour but does Lou really need to write a damn column on this fact? Even my bankroll knows about this. Bonus points to Lou for quoting Marshall McLuhan, however.

Despite the domain name, this poker blog is pretty good. I just assumed when I saw the domain that it was one of those poker "review" sites that I hate so much. He even beat me to the punch on this funny post from UPF about celebrity poker on tv.

I can't believe Hollywood caught on to our beloved game and is attempting to kill it with celebs. What's next?

Everyone Bluffs Raymond
Kings and Queens in Queens
Survivor - Binions
Big Blind for the Straight Guy
7th Street Heaven

And yet another poker blog, link courtesy of my man, Guppy to Shark, who is beating the games at Party since he made the switch.

Anyone else watching the new 30.60 limit poker tables at Party Poker? I see two full tables = average pot size $372. I LOVE PARTY POKER!

Also, PokerStars started tournaments with rebuys ala UB. I'm not going to comment except to say I refuse to play in unlimited rebuy tourneys.

Interesting argument on 2+2 about which game has more luck - no limit or limit. That's not necessarily the way I would look at it - I would prefer to figure out which game has a greater "edge" to the skilled player, no limit or limit. One of the few things I agree with Russ Gorgiev about (hey Russ, where the hell is that website? You are two months late and I'm ashamed to wear my Poker Mafia t-shirt in public!), is the most difficult game to play of all. Too bad I can't talk my home game into playing pot-limit, damnit.

Snippet from said debate:

If what you believe in is "short-term" luck, ask yourself whether, given basic math, a short term "cards" variance is accentuated or diminished financially by the amount of money which can be potentially risked in each case.

Doesn't the fact that there is a LIMIT to losses in any given hand in limit holdem sort of overwhelm a luck of the cards factor, compared to where there is no such limit ? (The corrollary, that there is a limit to the amount won in a given hand, also supports the same proposition.)

If you made it this far, thanks. Poker blogs rule.

When poker has gone too far: My fellow poker fiend, Royal, is reading SuperSystem to his six day old daughter.

Link of the Day:
Peter Pan's Home Page
I can't even say anything about this guy. It has to be seen to be believed. An oldie but goodie.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Poker Blog

"When we play, we must realize, before anything else, that we are out to make money."
David Sklansky, Theory of Poker

The bold text above is actually Sklansky's and not of my doing.

Thanks for reading my daily updates.

Because I am a cableless loser, I didn't get to watch the big Celebrity Death Match Poker show on Bravo last evening. I truly enjoyed reading all the disparaging and insulting comments on RGP and other assorted poker message boards, however. Also, interesting to see BG and BB's insights in the comments selection below - appreciate it guys. I need someone to fill me in on the carnage. :)

But then, while I was worrying about the negative overall effect the show would have on televised poker, my favorite vegan, Howard Lederer, weighed in with this comment:

Disagree. Yes, the poker is really bad. But, celebrities are playing and
having a great time. America loves its celebrities and they like to do what
their celebrities do. This can't be bad for poker.

Who am I to disagree with Howard?

I just realized the new Cardplayer is up, but haven't had time to devour it yet. Hopefully, Phil Helmuth wrote something ridiculous.

Online poker update: Got a great email today from a low-limit 50.1 player who is currently on PokerStars. If you have read prior posts or know me in real life, you know that I have vast experience at PokerStars. As much as I love the software and the tourneys, I would never consider playing there while Party Poker is fat, juicy and succulent.

Why? Good God - I just counted eight nearly full 50.1 tables on PokerStars. Let me try to count how many on PartyPoker.....there are over ONE HUNDRED on Party Poker right now with only 16,000 players connected. It's probably close to 150 tables on weekends. Any more questions? Shill plug: $100 deposit bonus if you use the code IGGY or download the software to the right. Or go download it yourself and try it on your own - I'm not stroking Party to get money out of doing so - that's not why I come on this blog and spout off Guinness-fueled rants. But I do have an important tip for you current Party Poker players who are NOT signed up with Empire Poker.

Take advantage of this. And I'm only stating it because hell, I didn't know this was the case until nearly a year after my original signup with PartyPoker.

Empire Poker = Party Poker. If you are playing on Party, you can sign up on Empire Poker, get another $100 deposit bonus, and play against the same damn fish you do every day on Party. In fact, because Party has a garish orange interface and Empire has blue: Empire > Party. So there are three keys to this equation as a Party Poker player. 1. You can copy your player notes from the Party directory into the Empire directory (let me know if you need help with this) and retain all your tedious player notes - you *are* keeping player notes, aren't you? 2. PokerTracker: if you use Tracker, and you *are* using PokerTracker, aren't you? Now your valuable database of fishies carries over to Empire and you can play against them with a second, hidden identity. 3. You can bounce back and forth from Party and Empire and receive repeated deposit bonuses. It's a vicious circle of cash. This alone makes it worthwhile, even if you are barely a break even player.

Don't forget to thank me later, Party players. Sign up with the code IGGY1 to get $100 deposit bonus. Clear out Party Poker, sign up for Empire and take advantage of this. By the time you clear your hands played requirement, Party will have emailed you offering $100 to play there. Remember = IGGY to sign up for Party. IGGY1 for Empire Poker.

And then you can send me an email like this one today from one of my favorite bloggers:

a followup "thank you" for turning me on to party poker. a couple weeks of very limited play has me up over $450 pure profit, and that's with a few downright horrible sessions mixed in. mostly 2/4, though in the last few days i have been playing the $25 NL tables and doing nothing but winning. amazing some of the stuff i've seen at those tables. that's it, thanks for the blog, keep it up.

I just counted over forty no-limit $25 ring game tables on Empire - Party. Think you can find a soft game in one of those?

I'm personally running well again. Won $70 in 2.4 on Monday and $40 last evening. Coupled with my deposit bonus, that's easy money. I admit, I like to bang out the deposit bonus in 50.1. It's free money if you play uber-tight.

Found a fun new poker blog. A domain like pokergrub.com makes me want to grab my own - a permanent home for my poker ramblings.

Finally, I thought you'd enjoy a Phil Helmuth post - a post from 'The Hendon Mob Forum'. (Phil Helmuth flew over to the UK for a few days and one of the things he did was give a speech to Oxford University students).

The event was great fun, bringing together students from all over the
country and many thanks to all the pros that came down.

Special mention must go to Mr Phil Hellmuth Jnr for becoming the all time
record holder for biggest ever loss at the Thursday night Oxford
University Poker Society cash games. If only we could get him there every

Link of the Day:
Satan's Retirement Plan
Pastor Tony Alamo: "The Roman, satanic-led world government wants to destroy the citizens of the United States and other countries ... because this will save the government at least 1.4 trillion dollars a year in medical expenses and old age benefits alone."

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Poker Blog
I've got your poker links per usual

Article About Doyle Brunson & the World Poker Tour in Slate Magazine.
Crash and Bluff

Also, a poker link from MediaWeek. The online article is shorter than the one in the actual magazine (page 8!), but is still interesting, nonetheless.
Doubling Down on Cards

CNN says poker is a cultural phenomena, yadda, yadda, yadda.
The hottest game on television

I'm very curious to see how poker does on NBC Super Bowl Sunday. If it does well, I'm certain we'll see more poker on network TV. Good God, this is the stuff that dreams are made of.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Poker Blog

"There can be no self-deception for a poker player. You have to be a realist to be successful. You can't think you've played well if you lose consistently. Unless you can judge how well you play relative to the others, you have no chance."
Mickey Appleman

God, ain't that the terrible truth. I learned that lesson the hard way.

Again, thanks to everyone reading. It's nice to see folks here after the holiday week.

Sick as hell today so I haven't played yet. I'm only 30 or so hands away from completing my Empire bonus requirement so I'll prolly go play after I bang this post out. I'm exactly $11 damn dollars up right now, not counting my impending bonus. Fortunately, Empire doesn't have the garish orange of Party and I get to play under another identity, which I think is a big plus if you have a database of players built up.

Glad to see Mister Decker updated his poker blog and wrote a very interesting post about schooling fish, cashing out/assorted bankroll issues and the ever-shifting mindset of a online poker player. For the record, Mister Decker, you had a great run and I truly like the idea of treating yourself to something special with your winnings. My man Fuzz just did the same thing. WE LOVE PARTY POKER!

My personal perspective on my bankroll has changed a lot over the years. I've become much more serious about it as I have continued to win. It's very ironic because (much to my wife's chagrin) I am extremely cavalier about money, in general. But that, in part, perhaps made me a better poker player quicker than someone with a better understanding of the value of a dollar. But then I got my ass handed to me back in the days of Paradise Poker. Once I started doing serious tracking, I realized I had to step back and take stock of the situation.

So I ended up reading some random Mike Caro article about "protecting your bankroll" in which he espoused that you can be more reckless with a small bankroll than you can with a large one. And more importantly, how most players treat their bankrolls just the opposite. And how, if you have a poker bankroll, it's for poker *only*. It was an epiphany and the beginning of the building of the bankroll.

Hell, I didn't mean to rant on this tangent. It's Mister Decker's fault, damnit.

Another fine poker blog post, Up for Poker wrote on something I've wondered about for a long time - the effect of television cameras on the hole cards and what the poker tournament pro's (or at least Phil Helmuth) think about it.

Saw a revisionist history interview with Russ Boyd. Hate to link to it, but it's a worthy read if you didn't get ripped off by Russ and PokerSpot.

Link of the Day:
Jailbait and Switch
Perverted-Justice trolls the Internet posing as underage girls, then posts chat transcripts and all of the information provided by the wanna-be sexual predators who turn up on the hook.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

"To check-raise with a hand with which you want to thin out the field, you want the probable bettor to your right so that people will have to call a double bet to stay in. With a very strong hand and most come hands, you want the probable bettor to your left so the other players in the hand might call that bettor's single bet and then be invited to call the raise."
David Sklansky, Theory of Poker

Food for thought:
David Sklansky Ate My Brain, Part I

Made the switch to Empire tonight. I LOVE EMPIRE POKER!

Spent some time catching up on poker reading tonite. Found a vegan poker blog, of all things, which I refuse to link to. With all due respect to Howard Lederer, I hate vegans. Don't even get me started. Also found a poker blogger who is spending his time on TruePoker, yikes! As someone who has logged hundreds, if not thousands of hours on this site, I have some advice for them. PARTY POKER. It simply blows me away that someone would waste this golden age of poker playing at TP. Sadly, PokerPulse doesn't track TruePoker or I would compare the number of players at True versus Party at this moment.

Don't get me wrong, I used to be a big proponent of True Poker back before the World Poker Tour and Moneymaker WSOP win. The said blogger above was correct - they do have incredibly weak, passive players. But these are different times. "True" Poker, with it's 3D interface and avatar laughter, doesn't cut it these days. The smart money is where the soft games are. And True, despite a unique player experience, great customer support and responsive CEO, is a waste of time, imho.

Bottom line: you can only play one table at True. Hence, with the much smaller player population, you end up battling many regulars. That makes it much more important to track other players. As far as I know, there isn't a tool that allows you to do that with TruePoker. And that alone gives it a thumbs down.

BTW, did anyone else play with the ScoopMonster software on TruePoker besides me? :)

New 'David Ross Playing Online for a Living Week 31' post is up:

So after 5 weeks of shorthanded play I’ve made $8,600, around 1,700 per week. Clearly this is an improvement over the full table games and I will continue to play them. If I throw out the first week where I made only $600 the average is even more significant.


Short handed poker is more comfortable to me in person than online. Weird, I know, but I feel that people reading skills are very important in short-handed play, just like no-limit. It's all about having an edge.

I decided tonight I'm a check-raising whore. I love to check-raise more than anything else on Party Poker. Someone will *always* bet your hand for you, you never have to worry about the dreaded free card.

The main thing that bothers me about Sklansky literature is that he doesn't discuss multi-way pots very often. And that's online poker, in my humble five year experience. If you are playing heads-up on the flop more often than not, for the love of God, change tables. Or change sites.

./end poker rant

Bengals > Steelers

Link of the day:
Black People Love Us

Sex is good, but poker lasts longer.

Listening to Bach, drinking Guinness and playing online poker. Damn, does life get any better than this?

Thanks to anyone who has linked to me - I finally had some time today to peruse my traffic and saw a link from a porn blog. Too funny. Whoever you are, God Bless you.

I've been playing no-limit ring games. Insane. Can anyone tell me the phrase for buying into a big-bet ring game, doubling through, leaving and coming back in the game for the original buyin? Rat holing? Anyway, several players were doing this last tonight and some other guys were getting seriously irate.

Tip of the day: As I've stated before, I play under a female moniker online and I found this interesting post about doing so. Consider this the next time you create an online account. :)

Maybe 2 months ago I posted about playing online under a female name.
I’ve actually done it now.

I opened a new account at Empire. I chose to be a female character
and chose a name that I don’t want to reveal. Suffice it to say that it
not only represents me as female, but is also provocative. After about 2
weeks of play, I’ve noticed some significant differences in the way
opponents treat me.

I’ve been playing in the 50 and 100 buy in NL games. On Emparty these
games are .50/1.00 and 1.00/2.00 blinds respectively. The basic
difference I’m noticing is a predictable lack respect for my raises and
attempts to bully me. This is especially true preflop, and preflop is
where I make most of my money. The best example so far ran as follows,
in a $50 game. I catch AA UTG and call. Player A made it six, player B
called. I made it 20. A pushed in for about another 20, B called, I
called. Flop came and I realized I had about a buck left and threw it in.
B called. After the hand, the other players showed A-10 off (A) and 77
(B). I won.

More generally, I’ve found that when I represent a strong hand, players
are much more likely to play back at me, even with trash. I think they
love the idea of scaring me off a nice hand as this is a way to dominate
me. They often refuse to believe I have AA or KK in spite o the fact that
I play VERY tight. Of course, I can’t say for sure how much of this is my
female persona and how much of it is the loose, Emparty players,
especially as I am used to UB, where the play is fairly tight. However, I
have had other players make comments like “wow, you get no respect.”

This has backfired on at least one occasion. I had top pair, top
kicker, but put an opponent on an overpair. I was about to fold when I
remembered that very few of the people who had been representing an
overpair against me actually had it. I made a call all in. He had AA.

Is playing as a woman an advantage? Yes! Especially in NL where you
can make a nice profit by winning only a few hands and bullying costs
more. I think I’d be up even if I was only playing AA and KK because I am
able to get opponents in for big chunks before the flop most of the time
with these hands. This especially true if they are already involved, even
for $1. Post flop I am able to significantly over bet pots and still get
action. I think this is because players hate the idea of me pushing them
off the better hand just as much as they love the idea of pushing me off a
better hand

One way to think of a female persona is as a free table image. No work,
no “advertising,” which I don’t think works that well at these limits
anyway. Just play premium hands and get plenty of action.

If there’s a disadvantage, it’s that bluffing is less profitable. I
don’t really care. I steal maybe one pot every hour and a half on
average. More if I seem to earn some respect. Generally I play much more
of a trapping, super tight, passive aggressive style than a straight
forward aggressive style. Again, this is because the dumb calls usually
come from players already tied to the pot and because it’s tough for me to

Any comments? Am I utilizing the advantages of this situation properly?

And this smart ass response:

I too have done this. I notice more people try to chat with me. I think
they're hitting on me. Anyway, my profit DID increase after the sex change.
However, now I get really moody about once a month. I also like to listen
to Michael Bolton songs.

I will only say that I truly believe I get much less respect at the table because of my female appearance. It's a profitable play. As an example, one of the best players in my home game plays on Party Poker. During the summer, I followed him around (unbeknownst to him) from table to table for awhile. So I come clean at our game, and tell him my screen name. He is shocked and yells, "I thought that was a Goddamn housewife!" Exactly. :)

While I was away, I received the latest Conjelco The Intelligent Gambler. Chuck Weinstock, the publisher, explained how there nearly wasn't an issue this quarter because of the insane popularity of poker. As he states, "The result of this nexus of poker goodness is that every publisher of decent poker books experienced sales that exceeded anything they were prepared for." Doh! The fish are educating themselves. Anyway, I always enjoy getting this publication because of the quality of authors. This one featured Bob Ciaffone and Lou Krieger. Good stuff.

OK, more later - gotta root on my Bungles.

All Content Copyright Iggy 2003-2007
Information on this site is intended for news and entertainment purposes only.

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