Sunday, March 07, 2004
Party Poker Blog
"God doesn't play dice."
What a crazy weekend on Party Poker. I'm truly enjoying the new software update (this player search feature is going to make me A LOT of money) and the insane, loose, aggressive games. Sadly, I lost on both Friday and Saturday evenings, but I don't mind one damn bit. One of my 3.6 tables last evening had an average pot size of $85-90 for nearly 40 minutes!
Oh the humanity.
Seriously, anyone playing on UB, Stars, or Paradise right now is profoundly and deeply delusional. You are seriously missing the boat. Get your poker playing butt onto Party Poker tonight.
Let's put it this way: any poker playing newbies out there: I just counted over one hundred and fifty, 50 cent/$1 tables on Party. 150+ on a Sunday! Go buyin for $50 and play 50.1! You can run a tiny bankroll up, even if you have only read Poker for Dummies.
150+ tables on Party. Let's go check Stars, shall we?
With about a dozen short-handed tables. How can anyone play anywhere else? It amazes me to read on poker message boards or even my fellow bloggers that they play on Stars, or UB, or Paradise. WHY? Why not play in the biggest aquarium? Why not play with ALL THESE FISH?
If you are playing on another site, please take my advice and move your game to Party. You *will* thank me. Sign up with bonus code IGGY to get a 20% deposit bonus up to $100 or just sign up, it doesn't matter - I just know you'll be shocked to see how loose and crazy the games are there. I hear it over and over.
Dead Money = AlCantHang finally played at Party for the first time yesterday. According to PokerTracker, he is winning a little over 16 big bets per 100 hands. He's one of many. So again, if you wanna give me a handout and use my bonus code of IGGY as a small tip for writing this damn blog everyday, I am deeply appreciative.
The Dude left this in my comments (comments, rule!):
Dipping my toe into the online hold 'em waters by playing pokerstars before party poker ruined me in that i can't stand the party poker interface. even the new one, its just gross compared to pokerstars!
Um, Dude, I don't play online poker because of the interface. That's just flat out silly. I could care less about the damn software - I care A LOT about game and table selection and so should you. If you want to play on a site that has FOUR tables compared to 150 because of the freaking interface, knock yourself out. But you are costing yourself money and lacking some basic understanding of how to earn some bucks playing poker.
I play at Party for the FISH. I have fourteen damn poker sites installed on this puter because back in the day, you had to scramble around with your fish radar and hunt, hunt, hunt. Nobody gave a damn about the software. I've said it a million times in this blog - PokerStars has the best software and customer support. They just lack 30,000 FISH. Which is more profitable to the discerning player, a nice looking interface or 30,000 FISH?
One other example and I'll let it go. Felicia, esteemed poker blogger and veteran, has spoken several times about her general disdain of online poker. She barely plays online. And I understand and respect her opinions on said matter. While chatting with her one day, she mentioned how she, in particular, hates the Party software but IF she chose to play alot online, she would play at . . . PARTY POKER. It's a no brainer.
End Party rant. I'm not shilling, really, (sign up with IGGY on Party damnit! :) - I'm just astounded that some people think this way. It boggles the mind.
Anyway, since there have been several posts about session dependant thinking, allow me to pontificate on this for a bit. Especially since I've lost the last two evenings, in excellent game conditions. This is apropos, albeit repurposed:
As Steve Badger says:
"The problem is: you just can't will yourself to win -- be it a tournament, a single day's play, or even an individual hand. And then, unfortunately for some, not winning is something many players simply can't handle. And being able to not win well is a fundamental, key ingredient of being a winning player."
I'm not even sure this is something that can be taught, it has to come from within - (here he goes with Zen and the Art of Poker) - but I've just seen too many players come and go after losing and not being able to dig out of it mentally and/or emotionally. It's too easy for the downward spiral to kick in.
I think a particular strength of mine has been my persistence in using losing as opportunities for learning. I rarely have many epiphanies while the deck is hitting me in the face but I am very diligent about analyzing my play while losing.
Blame the river if you want - it won't help your game. Laugh, learn and move on is my motto. Being able to admit you played poorly is a character issue. And learning WHY you played a hand wrong is maybe even more important.
Whenever I get hit with bad runs or a big session loss, I typically blame my poor play first. This is my natural tendency after indoctrinating myself in Sklansky and the ilk - they ingrained in me the knowledge that a good player can suffer large losses - in fact, they are often unavoidable. How you handle them is the key.
I try to win more and lose less by constantly staying on top of my game. Making sure my starting hand standards aren't slipping, making sure I'm not chasing without proper pot odds, making sure my play is "correct" and not session dependant. Not letting bad beats affect me one iota. This criteria and much more (drinking) helps me keep a healthy attitude about losing.
PokerTracker has been very helpful. I wouldn't play without it.
This is probably very basic to any of you card players out there. Of course, it's smart to examine your play. But it's crucial when you've been losing.
Many years ago, I learned about (and am still learning, to some respect) about how you can start playing sloppy while losing. And I vowed to never let it happen again. It may be difficult for players to appreciate this without experiencing it for themselves.
I could truly NOT care less about individual sessions. My need is to focus not on short-term results, but on the quality of my play. I let the results take care of themselves. And it works.
Tilting. Steaming. Threshold of misery. These terms I knew as a neophyte are now the stepping stones of a solid grinder. I never could have beat the games consistently without beating those demons first.
I think back on how difficult the $50 PL games were on Pokerstars back in the day. Playing all those damn Europeans at their own game. And how I beat it month after month after month.
And then came Party Poker. Oh the humanity. Thank you, Poker Gods.
My point in starting this screed was - be smart and analyze your play. Considering is good. The answer to every poker question is, "It depends." That's all.
Yikes, this is turning into yet another uber post. Hopefully I'll get this done in time to play this evening.
So let's run down the awesome poker links for the day. Some useful info and great blogging out there.
Here's a complete list of all the online World Poker Tour qualifiers as well as World Series of Poker satellites going on right now.
Be the next Chris MoneyMaker
For all of you SNG specialists out there, here's a must read from Steve Badger:
One Table Satellites: Sputnik Poker
The high limits at the end of satellites often lead to a pure crapshoot, a series of coin flips. No skill in that. The skill is to get to coin flip time, and either take the flips while getting excellent odds, or make a deal to take luck out of it and cut up the prize money.
Thanks to Jason over at PokerOdyssey, I re-discovered Tommy Angelo's site. Go read his articles. Excellent stuff.
Wow, here's a top-notch post by DesignByFire about playing in a $1500 no-limit hold 'em tournament at the Bay 101 Shooting Star. At his first table was Amir Vahedi, Scotty Nguyen and Layne Flack. Yikes! Superb read.
Bubble Boy at the Bay 101 Shooting Star
When he sat down to play at 11:15 am, Layne Flack already had a Budweiser in hand. He had managed to play a rollercoaster game, raising pre-flop some 75% of the time for the hands he was dealt, and 25% of the time not even looking at his hand. Or claiming not to look, but I caught him doing so quickly a few times. Ask anyone at the table. He was in full maniac play mode
Anyone else still waiting for those hand histories from Choice Poker?
For my local readers, please go read Cardplayer's journal for yet another trip to Caesers Palace, Indiana. I may be heading there myself in a few weeks.
Yet another Glory of Rome report
I love this snippet from the above blog:
Is it me or has it gotten even MORE FISHY on Party Poker lately. I didn't think it was possible but I really think it has.
No, it's not just you, and I sure didn't think it was possible, either.
Also, anyone around Cincinnati may want to check out this satellite to the WSOP in Dayton, Ohio.
Dayton WSOP Satellite
For the record, I'm taking vacation time right around May 22nd. The prodigal son may return to Vegas, we shall see.
Anyone else besides me like flames? Well-written, smart, searing flames? Lord, I do. Go visit Paul Phillips blog and see why I miss him so damn much on RGP. He's working on a different level, one that I can only admire from a far off distance. I won't even quote it, you must go read it for yourself.
Paul Phillips Diatribe
For the record, I've tried several times to listen to the Voice of Poker's radio show, and it's always been terrible. It's been a long time, so maybe it's improved, but I doubt it.
A+ post from long-term blogger, Cards Speak. It seems that the blogging sabbatical has re-energized HDouble as he cranked out an excellent post. A must-read.
The ability to grind out 150 hands per hour online has ruined me for B&M play. I was about to hop in the car and head to the B&M, when I realized that the negatives were just too great:
1. The B&M drops $5 preflop EVERY HAND, compared to a maximum rake of $3 on Party.
2. The wait for a table ranges from 30 minutes to an hour
3. The drive can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour
Not to mention the tipping and the rake and the drinks and food and the parking and the smelly, obnoxious guy sitting next to you.
Here's an interesting nugget of info regarding the WinHoldem bot software. I was playing on Party this morning while surfing RGP. I was reading the idiot from WinHoldEm and his rationalizations about his filthy POS software when I went to check out a new page in his site. Immediately I got this alert prompt from Party Poker:
You have activated a pokerbot program that we do not allow with our software. If the program is not closed within two hands, the poker software will disconnect.
Apparently, Party looks for anything you are running in the background that contains the words WinHoldEm or whatnot, including the title tag of a web page.
Some 2+2 news: hapless webmaster, Mat Sklansky, (or or is it Mat Stalin) is still banning people left and right. It's rather comical, but that forum has been long overdue for a spring cleaning. I say kudos to Mat.
2+2 now has an IRC channel, too. It's #twoplustwo on efnet. I lurked, waiting for David Ross to appear and hold court, to no avail.
Apparently Russ Boyd was banned from PokerStars recently. MS Sunshine had this to say about Russ:
He's a scum-sucking bottom dweller that owes my wife and I $56,838 after taking the assets of PokerSpot for his new venture www.rakefree.com instead of selling them and paying us, and 1000 other players, some of the money owed by him. He also finished 12th in last year's WSOP for $80,000, but somehow never found a need to pay anyone. It is unlikely he was cheating just spamming for his new venture.
And finally, The Poker Penguin chimed in with an awesome reason why you should sign up on Empire Poker.
Empire guarantee tournaments are almost always undersubscribed at the moment. This means that it's almost like free money. Your buyin / satellite win is buying you a share of a bigger prize pool. In other words, if you are even a roughly average player, you have a positive EV in Empire's big multis. Whoops, I'm shilling again. But it is true.
Penguin also mentions the affiliate angle and blogs - quite honestly, I always feel tainted after I "shill" and it's really not worth it. But I don't really feel like I'm shilling. I'm just stating my opinion as a long-time online poker player - Party is the home of the fish. 45,000 of em. I'm not posting some shitty "Review" poker site laden with blinking banners and worthless reviews. Hell, I went to some shitty review site this weekend, PokerCritic, I think it was, and they gave Choice Poker freaking NINE OUT OF TEN STARS!
From their "site"
Service is an area where Choice poker takes a lot of pride in because their site is for the players, by the players. Their security is top notch and they are out to spot any cheating of collusion.
YOU NEED FREAKING PLAYERS TO HAVE COLLUSION.
Plus, they only review sites that have affiliate programs. What a bunch of crap. Even if you couldn't sign up with bonus code IGGY on Party Poker, I'd still be screaming in this blog about all the terrible, terrible players at Party. And if another site takes all the fish somewhere else, down the road, I'll be pimping that site, affiliate or no affiliate.
I don't write this blog to be an affiliate whore. I think my regular readers know this. And in that vein, I saw this post on 2+2 about affiliates:
I think most people feel morally raped by an affiliate making money by just having a banner in their site without providing any other free service/help.
Exactly. And that's the only reason I DO ask that people use my code - I try to provide knowledge and interesting content to my readers. As Grubby said, it's a way to pay it forward. Sorry for the apologetics, but
I've been drinking it's something I wanted to touch on.
Thanks a bunch for reading yet another verbose, rambling post.
Party Poker > PokerStars
Paul Phillips > Voice of Poker
Bonus Code IGGY > No Bonus Code
Now I'm off to play some damn poker.
Party in My Pants
I'll admit it. There are nights that I want to feel "a little special, naughty, and very sexy." But I'm not clear on how a pair of size 34 Minnie Mouse underpants makes that happen.
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