Thursday, March 04, 2004

"Is it a reasonable thing, I ask you, for a grown man to run about and hit a ball? Poker's the only game fit for a grown man. Then, your hand is against every man's, and every man's is against yours. Teamwork? Who ever made a fortune by teamwork? There's only one way to make a fortune, and that's to down the fellow who's up against you."
Somerset Maugham

Howdy all, welcome to our regularly scheduled BlogCast. Party Poker is down again, of course, so I'm taking the opportunity to blast out a drunken rambling, link-laden post. Some great poker content and lots of new poker blogs to pimp.

Tonight, the huge news is the Party Poker software update. Big changes. I'm sure most of you already know about this, but for the record, here's the initial highlights:

1. New Lobby Design.
2. The All New 'Re-buy' Option.
3. Player 'Search' Feature.

Ditto for Empire Poker. Sadly, my buddy list still wasnt working on either site, but the new search feature should help a ton. Of course, whether or not it actually works, is another thing entirely. Here's the skinny from the Party Poker website:

Player 'Search' Feature
PartyPoker.com’s unique Player Search feature now lets players find their buddies, playmates and competitors across the entire gamut of games available in the lobby. The player now has the option of searching for a table as well as other players according to his requirements. The player also has a choice of making himself invisible to other players…
Click here for further details.

I haven't had time to read the message boards and absorb the feedback yet. It looks like a pretty solid update (if the site ever comes back up), but people will always find something to complain about, especially on the Net. Face it, PokerStars software and support is superior in every way to Party Poker, yet Party's player base just keeps going through the roof. Why is that, I wonder?

I wonder, what kind of traffic spikes do the other poker sites get when Party goes down for a long time? Infinitesimal or noticeable?

I went out to a local tavern last evening with MadCow to watch the season opener of the WPT. After asking the incredible, redheaded female bartender what imports they have in bottles, and the first brand out of her mouth was, "Guinness," Patrick and I immediately looked at each other and I knew I was in for a long evening.

I was rooting for Carlos and couldn't believe the river beat he suffered. See, NOW I feel cool commenting on the WPT! Tip of the day: go watch the World Poker Tour at a bar so you can't hear Vince Van Patten prattle away.

Here's regurgitated content from yours truly that seems apropos right now:

I've written several rants on how losing in poker can make you a better player, should you decide to take the necessary steps to improve. In that vein, I came across this quote by WSOP champ, Bobby Baldwin, that echoes my previous posts.

"Playing poker for a living gives you backbone. You cannot survive without that intangible quality we call heart. I don't care how bad you are going or how good, you have to stand solid. Poker is a character builder - especially the bad times. The mark of a top player is not how much he wins when he is winning, but how he handles his losses. If you win for thirty days in a row, that makes no difference if on the thirty-first you have a bad night, go crazy, and throw it all away."

I also found this engaging quote by Jack Strauss:

"If money is your god, you can forget no-limit poker, because it's going to hurt you too much to turn loose of it. The way I feel about those little pieces of green paper is, you can't take them with you and they may not have much value in five years time, but right now I can trade them in for pleasure, or to bring pleasure to other people. If they had wanted you to hold on to money, they'd have made it with handles on."

Of course, you and I are not Bobby Baldwin nor Jack Strauss, so we'll have to take our poker pleasure where we can. It's pretty cool to be able to grind out money month after month, even at small-mid limits. It's so much damn fun to "beat" the game - it's a veritable ATM machine. It's an affirmation that there really is a right and wrong way to play poker.

Damn, Party Poker is back up. Time to run through the links and hit the tables.

Pokersavvy has brand new content. A must read.
Building a Home Game
Which cards to buy? How much to spend on chips? A table? An ... air purifier? Seasoned home-game host Greg answers all these questions and more.

Someday I shall regale you with tales from my home game. It's quite the scene.

My favorite poker blogger, PokerWorks, has yet another new URL for her blog. Anyone linking to her, please update your links to http://pokerworks.com/blog/blogger.html
If you haven't read Linda, go do so now. She's about as close as you can get to the Sauron-like epicenter of Poker.

I'm pretty surprised to see Howard Lederer hawking a DVD called:
Secrets of No Limit Hold Em

Will I buy it? Of course.

Yet another new post by WPT pro, Richard Brodie!
The 2004 Bay 101 Shooting Star Championship

The poker room was packed. Actor James Woods sat at the 20-200 Hold 'Em table, trying his luck against World Champion Chris Moneymaker, top pro Cathy Liebert, and long-time pro Steve Zolotow. The waiting list was 30 players deep do I headed back to the hotel.

The format of this event was a little different: each starting table had a "Shooting Star" in seat five. The stars had bounties on their heads: whoever knocked one out received $5000. The buy-in for the tournament was $5000 plus a $200 entry fee so some of the people were thinking about winning the $340,000 first prize, some were hoping to rack up $5000 prizes knocking out stars, and I was thinking I was only going to lose $5000 instead of the usual $10,000 this week

I know everyone reads PokerGrub anyway, but I truly love the fact that his poker playing sister posts there as well. Go read:
Grubette does Vegas

One of the major benefits of the poker blogging scene catching on fire is Jeremy at Love and Casino posting much more often. He has yet another great post about the latest Lee Jones Cardplayer column relating to playing AQ to a pre-flop raise. This comes from the conundrum posited by John Feeny, in his excellent book, Inside the Poker Mind. John is a PhD psychologist, for the record. Highly recommended.

Here's a dead-on snippet from Jeremy relating to online play:

I generally don't raise in early position because I've found that I either am in a tighter game where I'll only likely get called or re-raised by hands that have me beat, or I'm in a looser game where my raise won't really thin the field. As with almost all online games I play, I will play for the best hand, not to outplay opponents after the flop except in rare cases.

By the way, I haven't downloaded the blogger newsreader. I refuse to do this early-adopter thingy. Hell, I'm old-school. I'm still using Netscape 3 as an email client. At some juncture, RSS feeds will be bundled into the O/S, browser or email client. It's only a matter of time.

Eddie Shore. Old time poker.
Poker nerds rule.

Speaking of which, let's run down the latest in new poker blogs, shall we? Sprouting up like dandelions, they are.

So show your support and visit:

Dead Money = AlCantHang
Random thoughts about Poker and booze. But mostly booze.

Bullets In The Hole
Rod and Don's excellent adventure into the world of online Texas Hold 'em

These two are off to a good start. Let's hope they keep it up.
Speaking of poker blog staying power, I found this insight from long-term poker blogger, Felicia:

I have noticed in the poker journal world that some journalers seem to fade away. Their entries get fewer and farther between, and then just stop. I wonder what happened. Most of the time I take an educated guess and figure that they are losing, and their obsession with poker has been replaced with something else. This doesn't just happen with the journal keepers, I see it on poker forums, too. It is just more noticeable when I go to a website which is no longer being updated.

Lots of the journalers are newbies. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I encourage any newbie to keep a poker journal. The problem that most of them seem to have is being way too results oriented. Any given session to them is a big experience. It's a make or break session. Their moods swing depending on their outcome. Instead of thinking of poker as a lifetime session, they break it down into each playing session and let themselves get emotional over the outcome. Even some of the more experienced players think in terms of "this week" and "this month." While it is just naive to ignore an overall trend in your results, it is also a beginner's trait to base your emotions and reactions on such small samplings.

That's gold & seems obvious, but it's not. It's a concept you need to feel in your bones. Poker is not a get-rich quick scheme. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

OK, anyway, back to new poker blogs:

This guy doesn't link to other poker bloggers and has a disturbing background image.

Pokerfish 2.0
Geezus, he has a garish banner.

A collaborative blog with a distinctive poker theme, but the latest posts are all about PTA meetings.
The International Gentleman'sSociety

And last, and least, per Intrepid Card Player
Poker Grinder

Damn, London Froggy had to give up his blog but now Jeni will be taking over. Go say hi and welcome her:
Vagaries of an online poker player

Well hell, I've already made this a big-ass honking post so let's pimp some poker news articles, shall we?

Pro card sharks, Hollywood stars square off at TV poker event in S.J.

Phil Helmuth of Palo Alto has been dubbed the John McEnroe of poker because he berates other players. Chris Ferguson, who after 40 minutes of play was the first bigwig eliminated at the Shooting Star, looks like a modern Wild Bill Hickok with his cowboy hat and long hair. Phil Laak of San Jose earned the nickname ``the Unabomber'' for wearing shades and a hooded sweatshirt in tournaments.

WPT Introduces New Event Format, Secures Full House in San Jose
Business Wire
Bay 101 Shooting Star Tournament at San Jose's Bay 101 Casino Rewards Players for Knocking Out Poker Stars and Celebrities; 243 Players Contend for $1,240,000 Million in the High Stakes WPT Tournament

Read Richard Brodies's first-hand blogger account of playing in said event:
Lion Tales

Speaking of poker celebrities, there is a vicious rumor going around that Wil Weaton is gonna play in our poker bloggers tournament, this coming Wednesday at

I've got my proverbial fingers crossed.

So, thanks for reading. Yet another uber-post.

Link of the Day:
Hurl Responsibly
Modern Drunkard: "I'm ashamed to say that some drunks I know think vomiting sounds just like last call, when it should sound like the bar's door being unlocked."

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

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