Sunday, January 11, 2004

Russ Georgiev & Phil Ivey Poker Blogs

Russ Georgiev is back on RGP after a brief hiatus, stating that his site, Poker Mafia, will be up in a few days. I think I'll wear my poker mafia t-shirt to the no-limit tournament I'm running next weekend just to see if anyone comments.

My favorite comment from Russ was:

A tape about ONLINE POKER has been made. I'll let the public decide
how honorable and truthful the people speaking for ONLINE POKER are,
after viewing this tape. Please have your VOMIT BAGS with you. Perhaps
you may want to VOMIT on those that say it ain't so? But you'll see it
with your own eyes.

Send me a tape, Russ! I believe you cheat, and cheat well! God only knows what will entail from this tape. He's prolly playing on a dozen different computers and ID's on Party, sitting four deep on three no-limit tables.

He's one determined SOB, I'll give him that. See prior posts for more info.

You NEED to be playing at Party Poker. 42,000 players right now. How many does your site have? Seriously, give Bonus Code IGGY a try - you'll thank me later.

This is a great article about poker in the Daily Racing Form.
Hottest new game is good ol' poker
A little more than three years ago, a headline on the front page of the business section of the Las Vegas Review-Journal read, "Poker Rooms on Strip Declining" and that "Harrah's Las Vegas, The Venetian become latest casinos to remove game; both properties cite lack of customer demand."

The Review-Journal story reported on the waning interest in poker, which included the previous closure of poker rooms at The Rio, MGM Grand, Treasure Island, and the Santa Fe. Also, the four casinos that opened in 2000, the Aladdin, Arizona Charlie's East, Suncoast, and Terrible's did not offer a poker room at all.

How times have changed, eh?

GSN's World Series Of Blackjack To Be Taped on Location at Mohegan Sun
Yahoo Biz article about this upcoming show
GSN, the Network for Games, has selected Mohegan Sun, one of the largest entertainment, gaming and sports destinations in the United States, as the host site for GSN's World Series Of Blackjack. Situated on 240 acres along the Thames River in southeastern Connecticut, Mohegan Sun is a full-service casino and spa sporting over 6,400 slot machines, nearly 300 table games and a state-of-the-art race book facility, among other luxurious offerings. Matt Vasgersian, San Diego Padres lead television broadcaster and former host of "Sports Geniuses" will serve as the host; Melana Scantlin from "Average Joe" will be the show's co-hostess and Max Rubin, casino veteran, gambling consultant and professional blackjack player, will be the expert commentator for the series produced by R.C. Entertainment, Inc.

World Series Of Blackjack will feature the world's top Blackjack players and tournament competitors and will award $250,000 in total prizes. The players will compete for the grand prize purse of $100,000 and the bragging rights to the title of the World Blackjack Champion. The series will air on Monday nights at 10 PM ET/PT beginning Monday, March 15. The show will tape January 24 and 25 in Mohegan Sun's Wolf Den.

World Series Of Blackjack will consist of a series of seven episodes. Players will start with $10,000 in tournament chips and the one who has the most money at the end of each of the first five respective shows will advance to the final seventh episode which pits the winners against each other. However, it is the sixth episode that is adding an extra twist to the series. The sixth episode will feature the second-place finishers from the previous first five shows thus adding an extra incentive for the players to finish in the top two positions. The winner of the sixth show will advance to the final seventh show which will feature six players at the table instead of five. All shows will feature the style of play of "tournament" Blackjack -- meaning players compete against each other as well as the house.

Poker > Blackjack

After all my Party Poker cheerleading, I finally have a beef. I've had a question for Party customer support for the last week. After dozens of banal emails and non-answers, I finally called the toll-free line today...

Mitigating point: I've actually had Party support CALL ME after I've made a large cash out, making sure it WAS me. Now *that's* cool and inspires confidence.

That being said, today's call was straight out of hell. On hold for 40 minutes before I finally gave up. Is it because it's Sunday?

But I'm not irate about that. While on hold, I'm livid after hearing:

"Thank you for holding. Your call is very important to us. Please continue to hold for the next available agent."

EVERY TEN FUCKING SECONDS. That inane message was spaced in ten fucking second increments. I almost deleted their software from my computer.

But then I saw 25,000 players moving chips around and came to my senses. I really should post to RGP about this but I'm too drunk lazy. I'll call again tomorrow evening and give a full report.

WSOP to be sold?
Today in the Las Vegas Review Journal:
Binion's Horseshoe: Casino to remain closed
Unable or unwilling to raise the money required to maintain her casino bankroll, Binion's Horseshoe owner Becky Binion Behnen agreed Saturday to keep her casino closed.

My favorite RGP response to this scenario:
Whatta joke. Like if Augusta National had gone out of business after
Tiger's first win there, or Wimbledon shut down after the first
Borg-McEnroe final.

Yet another John McEnroe poker reference. Coincidence? I think not.

And a fun look at, gasp, poker's popularity:
Lights, camera ... POKER
Thus, the aptly named Mr. Moneymaker now joins a pantheon of legendary card players who are rapidly becoming household names in many American homes -- the scholarly Howard Lederer and his sister Annie Duke, Erik Seidal, the flashy Johnny "The Master" Chan and Scotty Nguyen, quiet Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, the outspoken Phil Helmuth Jr. and Dave "The Devilfish" Ulliott, cagey veterans Doyle Brunson and T.J. Cloutier and the intense, young man they call the "Tiger Woods of Poker," Phil Ivey.

"I played with some of these guys at Fowoods, Binion's and the Orleans in Las Vegas," says Mr. Furtado. "There was Phil Helmuth, who I don't like, Scotty Nguyen, and Phil Ivey, who I do like."

"My favorite players are Howard Lederer and Sam Farha -- quiet, conservative players. I hate it when players wear sunglasses. I've also played with Telly Savalas, Jerry Orbach and Gabe Kaplan -- all good guys."

Sam Farha; quiet, conservative? Linda would know.

Tourney update: I'm very disappointed with my play in the Big One today. Embarassed and pissed. I really would rather not admit to this gaffe but what the hell, that's why I write this damn blog. To document the good, bad and ugly.

Here's the scenario, over two hours into the tourney, 650 players already gone and I'm a little under the average stack size. I was playing hardly any hands and took advantage of my tight table image by stealing once the ante's kicked in. Then came the dreaded brain cramp.

No matter what the game or limit, there is a major poker truism that I violated. After two hours of navigating tricky rivers with trouble hands and coming out ahead, I blew it. And that's what pisses me off. It was an obvious fold and I called.

See, the truism is that you always need a better hand to call a raise with than to raise yourself.

So here's what happened. Blinds are 300.600 with a 50 ante. There's one of those notorious Bergen Swedes (Bergen must have the highest per capita of poker players in the world) manhandling the table with a giant stack. He's playing nearly every hand, always with a standard $800 pre-flop raise. He's been snapped off once but quickly built his stack back.

Sooo, I'm in the big blind with AQo. A tiny stack moves in. I'm happy until all fold to Giant Stack who moves in from the button. The allin is what threw me. I figured he made that move to shut me and and small blind out of the hand so he could go head-to-head with small stack. I sat and thought and thought, knowing I should immediately muck this easily dominated hand and move on to the next deal. And even if he has something like a baby or middle pair, why gamble? But some unknown force caused me to shrug and call. He flips over AK and I'm bounced.

That's what I get for playing sober, damnit.

I'm really disgusted. I'd rather suffer an egregious bad beat than do what I did. Sigh. Terrible, terrible call. And I'm not saying this through results-oriented glasses. It's poor NL poker.

I got back on the horse tonight and entered another satellite. The beautiful thing about these cheap satellites (outside of parlaying a few dollars into fifty grand) is that you can try different moves and styles on the cheap. Wanna play loose, aggressive Phil Ivey style for the learning experience? Perhaps Dan "Action" Harrington's style is more foreign and you'd like to see how far you can get playing mostly premium hands? Sign up and do it. It certainly worked well for Chris Moneymaker. Let's face it, "tells" and such in poker are vastly over-rated. You can glean much more information from betting patterns and bet size in no-limit. The tournaments help sharpen these skills.

TheFatGuy had a humorous message in his comments. Keep posting about poker, Scott!

I see that you're writing half of your weblog entries in Martian now. (Speaking as a non-Poker-player.)

Alrighty then, I've built up to 12k in this satellite (playing like a tight madman, purging my poor play) so I need to post this and concentrate.

Down to 70 players now, have 35k stack.

Thanks for reading. Try Party Poker.

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