Sunday, February 08, 2004

Poker Blogs - Poker Diaries rule.

"The track takes 15 percent, but what's 15 percent of a dream?"
Charles Bukowski

Welcome to my humble poker blog. I'll be back on Friday evening or Saturday!

Poker blogs, our little corner of the blogging universe, are kicking ass. Kudos to everyone out there blogging about poker. It's not as easy as it looks. On top of writing to an above-average intelligent audience, you are only as good as your last post.

Newcomers here: please take the time to visit the links on the right. It's a vast, diverse community, with plenty of interesting writing.

Because of real-life issues, I'll be taking a hiatus from my blog. After six steady months of nearly daily poker blogging, I need a respite.

I'll try and post any interesting snippets if I get a chance. I'll likely be back at the end of the week. Regardless, I'll try to make this post worthy of a top ten poker blog for my eleven dozen readers. Prepare for rambling, disjointed post:

I truly enjoy thinking/reading about poker strategy. The more I learn, the more I question. Learning - improving in poker is a beautiful thing. It's an affirmation. Poker is really nothing but a decision making process over and over. Paper, rock, scissors.

But I've gotten too far removed from focused studying and reading. Running sims. Replaying my hands. Building up my bankroll. I hit my year end goal in '04, (thank you very much Steve Lipscomb!) but I seem to have caught some kind of malaise since early January. As my original poker coach once told me, breaks from poker tend to re-energize you and you come back with a renewed vigor and focus.

I've been grinding so damn hard this past year. I've learned and improved but I've hit the proverbial brick wall. Is it time to take a consistent shot at big games? Online or B&M? Should I follow in Royal's footsteps and play 10,000 hands at a specific limit? Tackle the WSOP or other large buy-in NL tourneys?

Bottom line, I know I'm a far better player when I'm focused on beating A game, and not scattering my skills all over the place.

So for now, allow me a poker link fest extraordinaire. A right proper, drunken, verbose Saturday night post. Enjoy, and thanks for reading.

First off, per the upcoming World Series of Poker. I'll be posting more about online qualifiers as sites announce their plans but for now:

Vegas Dreams Tournament on Empire Poker:
See web site for more details:

For only $10 you can enter the multi-table qualifiers and win your seat to
the WSOP finals, worth $12,000.
Single table ($25+$2 ) and Multi-table ($9+$1) Qualifiers are available on a
daily basis.

10 WSOP Seats Guaranteed:
Over the course of the upcoming months, 6 semi-finals are scheduled with at least 10 WSOP SEATS GUARANTEED. Play and win travel, accommodations, and the buy-in with a full package value of $12,000.

My wife tells me I should focus on winning my way into the WSOP, online. She may be right, per usual. I came pretty damn close the last two years and barely spent any money in trying.

Here was a message board thread from this weekend:

What is the best way to get into the WSOP?

Best way depends on your defintion of best.

Easiest - go plunk $10K down and buy a seat.
Cheapest - go through a series of satelites and hope for real good luck. I played in a $15 super satelite to qualify for a seat in the final satelite. One in 75, will be awarded a seat and accomodations. Doesn't get much cheaper than that. (Wish me luck!)

I guess if I was really serious about taking my "best shot" at it without just buying a seat (which is outside of means as well), and I was willing to risk around $1K to do so, I'd go to vegas and play in one of their SnG winner take all satelites. 9:1 odds. They also have super sats that cost around $100 (winning buys you into a satellite) having to win back to back SnGs 99:1 odds. (Of course these odds are assuming all players are of equal skill, and many of the pros get their seats through satellite entry, so increase these odds appropriately.)

To which there was this reply:

The sats for any of the WSOP tourny's (even the $1500) are tough. Say for the lower limit you pay $175 and play a single table and the winner gets a seat in the $1500 event. At worst, your odds are 9-1 based simply on the number of players - but the fact is that the limits and blinds rise very quickly and the table is usually done in an hour or 1.5 - so you need to get some good hands quickly and have them hold-up.

I have played in a number of these single table games for different tourny's and you should figure you can do the same as in a sit-n-go tourny at your favorite online site. If you do well there and win 2 or 3 times in 10, well - that's about how you will do in Vegas. The supersats - that's about a $225 investment - you have to win 2 tables in a row to get the $10k seat. Ever won two sit-n-goes in a row? It's tough. Party has a $9 tourny to get a seat in a 2nd tourny to win a 10K seat, also Empire has a $25 sit-n-go for the 2nd tourny.

Food for thought.

Sigh. Let's address Russ Georgiev, of GCA cheating fame. After an all-too-brief interlude of leaving RGP, he is back and spamming the newsgroup over and over again, with the same old freaking posts. Paul Phillips, PLEASE come back! Honestly, though, it seems that most people are ignoring Russ and recognize him for the fool that he is. It's obvious that he's preying on the newbies.

Now Russ is addressing himself in the third person. A sure sign of insanity.

Some snippets:


Yes sir, Russ Georgiev claims the online sites do nothing to protect the higher stakes games online. Russ does have the proof and is just getting it nicely organized and properly documented for the whole world to see.

Yes, I do have the DVD and VHS video coming out. Obviously I will be selling it, just as obviously you will be buying it. It will outline how you cheat online poker for vast amounts every week or month, whichever your choice. It will show how you form ficticious accounts without any identities. It will demonstrate how to cash out from account that don't exist.


Wonderful response to this below


I don't think most of will have to, Russ. The first few who do spend the bucks (and I'll happily chip in) will bootleg them for others, those others will
bootleg their copies, and so on. I think the master cheater is going to find
out exactly how it feels to get cheated out of big bucks.


For the love of God, I hope none of my readers would give this professed cheater their credit cards but if someone could join for a month and help the poker blogging community out, copying and sharing his stuff would be a huge neutralizer.

As TheFatGuy would say. Eff him.

And more regurgitated content relating to yet another message board snippet that states "online poker is rigged and anyone who says they win is a shill":


I find it amusing when people imply that anyone who claims to have
made a nice chunk online must be lying (one word there: projection).
It's really not rocket science, people. You don't have to be
world-class to do it. You just have to be better than most you play
against, and that's not hard to do. There are a stunning number of
really bad players in the online poker world. With patience and good
decision-making, a lot of their money will find its way to you. It's a
different game than B&M. There are more weak players. That can lead to
some bad beats, but in the long run, you WANT those fish chasing after
everything. The percentages work in your favor.


And another:


Here is a wonderful response to yet *another* one of those whiny ass players who complain about beating casino poker their entire life, yet always losing online. (Probably the same guys in a casino who proudly tell you they've never had to read a poker book in their life - they don't need to)
Why do they lose? Because the site is rigged:

I don't know if you are a good player or a bad player as I have never seen you play a hand of poker. I will not pass judgment on your skills.

After reading your post, it sounds like you have a bit of a victim complex. What I mean by this is you looked for and found real or imagined reasons as to why you failed. These reasons that you found are all out of your control. This is something that people often do to help them cope with failure. It is also something that also keeps those people from attaining success.

If you are indeed a strong poker player, the solution to your problem is simple. You have to shake off this victim complex. If you continue to play as a victim, your just throwing your money away.


Oh yeah, if you dig through the Internet forum on 2+2, there are posts about a software exploit - bug in the Party Poker software that allow you to skip ahead on waiting lists for tables...I wasn't interested enough to verify the veracity of the post. Check it out for yourself if you wish.

Reason #9 to avoid contributing to the 2+2 forums....a hapless webmaster.

Need any more proof that Mat Sklansky is a complete goofball? I love this post about getting banned:


Anyone responding to Ryan662 will be barred. All future Ryan662 posts will be deleted.

I repeat: anyone responding to Ryan662 or any other new Ryan handle will be barred.


He'd make a great vegan. Efff you, Mat Sklansky. What if someone didn't see your post about getting banned by simply responding to Ryan's posts?

Let's move on to the poker blog scene, shall we?

Found a new UK poker blog per Vagaries.
Go say hello to PokerBunny
I've gone off tourneys lately simply because I get a higher hourly rate in cash games but a decent finish in one of these biggies equals a lot of beer and cookie money. There's value there!

I've sniffed out two new blogs run by the same guy but I'm not gonna link to him. Looks like they are simply for affiliate signups and I think that's a bunch of BS. Posting one line with a link to a news article is NOT a poker blog.

Locals - you MUST go read this trip report to Caeser's in Indiana. Anyone want to go make a road trip? It's been far too long.... Cardplayers journal writes up "Another trip to the Glory of Rome."

Hdouble, in the second best poker blog on the web, Cards Speak, gives some very valuable information on the pokerscape at Party Poker. He gives his wise insight into what are the best games going currently at the different limits and structures. Also, a huge thank you to Hdouble as he took pity on me and sent me the first season of the World Poker Tour DVD. Wooohoooo! Now I can see what all the hubbub is all about, albeit way after the fact. I am enjoying these shows far more than the NBC broadcast on SuperBowl Sunday. Watching Gus Hansen in episode one was sheer joy. Watching the Kamikaze in episode two was even more fun. Thanks again!

I'm not one to sit in front of the TV, but yesterday was poker overload. On top of watching the WPT for the first time, my wife brought home Rounders, a movie I had only seen once before. Good stuff.

Also, I'd be remiss not to mention that Grubby is out in LA and helping Hdouble clean up the games. I'm really looking forward to both trip reports. If you haven't yet, go sign up for the Grublog Poker Classic now!

The Poker Penguin has a +EV post upon discovering the juiciness that is the 25/50 nl ring games on Party Poker after reading Hdouble's analysis. Plus, he called me a trendsetter.

Moving along, go visit Royal as he answers the question:

I admire guys like Royal for playing 10,000 hands of 50ยข poker, but I wonder what the point of that is. My take is that after that many hands of pointless robot poker, you will have seen enough hands and flops that absolutely nothing will ever surprise you again, and there's a HUMONGOUS deal of value in that. On the other hand, what will you see in 10K that you won't see in 5K?

Poker Goddess, Felicia, posted poker blog links on the United Poker Forum. Allow me to speak for all us and say, thank you, Felicia! I think there's a ton of poker people who have no clue we are out here, blogging away.

I enjoyed this recap of the QQ laydown by ex-RGP mainstay, Paul Phillips, in the last WPT. Go hit Design By Fire:
Paul Phillips QQ Laydown on the World Poker Tour

Damnit, Paul was one of my very favorite RGP posters. Always intelligent, logical and often snarky, he was one of the few reasons to continue to read RGP. I understand that he didn't come across very well on the latest episode of the WPT, but I've been reading him for God-knows how long on RGP, and he was always a beacon of reason in a maelstrom of net kooks. I pray that he posts about poker in his blog. Yet another invaluable poster, gone. :(

What kind of Guinness-fueled post would this be without poker news and few other interesting link tidbits? Let's get right to it:

I've been patiently waiting to see the ratings of the NBC World Poker Tour broadcast. Thankfully, it did very well.
World Poker Tour on NBC Scores

Second only to the Super Bowl pre-game show in the 4-6 p.m. (ET) time slot, The World Poker Tour showed that its ratings juggernaut on The Travel Channel is no fluke. The network debut of the skillfully crafted series that has taken the nation by storm scored so impressively that it will drive momentum for the launch of the World Poker Tour's second season March 3 on The Travel Channel.

Yikes, from the Yale Herald:
Trumbull poker group to be in Esquire

But the Esquire feature is not the group's first brush with poker greatness. Last year, they managed to lure professionals Daniel Negreanu and Allen Cunningham away from a Foxwoods tournament for a few hands. After another Master's Tea, Andy Bellin, author of Poker Nation also sat in with the sharks of the Trumbull buttery.

We all owe Chris Moneymaker.
Over one hundred people show to challenge poker champ

Dressed in a blue shirt, khakis and cream vest, Chris Moneymaker, 28, looked more like an office manager than a poker celebrity.

Focus: Invasion of the cyber-gangsters
Before the game started, Ido Raviv, the manager of Netgames in Belize, which runs the Yahoops.com online sports book, said: "I expect that on Sunday, during the Super Bowl, you're going to see a lot of [sports betting] websites down. I know it for a fact. Everybody's scared."

Jump the shark alert: Last evening's opening skit on Saturday Night Live was a spoof of Bravo Celebrity Poker. Uh oh, is this an omen? Is poker going to be the next CB radio? Anyway, hit Chris Halverson for a recap of the skit.

Continuing poker's assault on culture:
Math puts on its poker face
Department of Mathematics hosts poker player and award-winning professor for lecture on game theory.

The OSU Department of Mathematics is sponsoring a free lecture entitled "Quit Work, Play Poker, Sleep 'Til Noon" as part of their weekly colloquia series highlighting different areas of mathematics.

The talk will outline an "unbeatable" bluffing strategy using one of Game Theory's fundamental results, Von Neumann's Minimax theorem, and David Sklansky's Fundamental Theorem of Poker.

From today's Chicago Sun Times, a feature article on Barry Greenstein.
Power from poker

I keep meaning to post a link to Brian Alspach.
Alspach's Mathematics & Poker Page - hit the Poker Digest link to read a ton of articles written for said poker magazine.

Interesting poker site.
Monday Night Poker - A bunch of guys get together and a game breaks out. This is the group's personal website, with standings.

Alrighty, time to wrap this up. I really meant to complete this post last evening but I became too drunk tired. Hope you enjoyed this uber-post and will come back when I resume my regular poker blogging schedule.

Poker truism from several years ago. Ribsmeister chatting with me:

WorstKarma: it is easier to play against bad opponents than improve your own game


Want one last poker tip? How about four from Abdul?

Build pots preflop with big suited cards, suited connectors and pairs above 77.
Jam your flush draws if you expect three or more callers.
Seldom call if you can't raise.
Don't try to bluff the fish.

Anyway, to anyone who has enjoyed this blog, please consider signing up on Party Poker with bonus code IGGY or you current Party Poker players should most certainly sign up on Empire for the $$ bonus and second identity with bonus code IGGY1. Shilling aside, if you aren't playing at Party or Empire, you are missing out on the gold rush.

And for my long-time readers, I offer this definition of a Vegan from an online dictionary site.

One who does not shave, shower, or consume animal products.
Soap? No thank you. I am vegan.

And thus concludes my longest post. And that's saying quite a lot. Have a great week at the tables everyone!

Link of the Day:
Gay-Hating Puzzle Games
From God Hates Fags: "The object of this game is to place exactly 5 sodomites (represented by a pink swastika) and exactly 3 kids (represented by a baby bottle) on the grid to the right, such that none of the sodomites can get their repulsive hands on any of the kids."

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

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