Thursday, March 11, 2004

"Your mother has this crazy idea that gambling is wrong.
Even though they say it's okay in the Bible."
Homer Simpson

Damn, I love poker. Reading about it, studying it, thinking about it, and best of all, playing it.

In the interest of not cutting even *more* into my playing time, I'm going to make this short and sweet (at least, by my standards) and get into the Best of Poker LinkageTM and go jump on Party. After my dismal showing in the tourney last evening, I have a serious itch to play, and I'm going to scratch it.

Speaking of which, thanks for the shoutouts per the World Poker Bloggers Tournament II last evening at TruePoker. There were plenty of valid complaints (fast all-ins sucked), but in their favor, they did bump the starting stack size up to t1500 from t1000 after I emailed the request.

There are a ton of great posts about last evening's epic battle - next time you and a beer are sharing quality time at the computer, take the time to read through the links on the right. If you like poker, that is. If you don't, what the hell are you even doing here?

Because I didn't last long enough to personally write a trip report (Grubby took me down early), I simply must insist that you visit Pauly, at the Tao of Poker. A superb writeup of last night's tournament, and not just because he said many nice things about me (none of which is true), but because he's an excellent writer. He does write for a living, after all. There's simply too many funny things to quote, but I'll allow myself this one gem:

"What's going on?" she insisted.
"Yo, Mom! I just bluffed with The Hammer!"
"What did you win?"

Kudos, my man. Go read about Pauly's wild rush and tilting bullying at the end.

Anyway, congrats to Otis for winning (XL Party Poker jacket!) and a big hoist of the Guinness to everyone else in the money.

For the record:

1. $196 Otis B Dart - Up for Poker
2. $140 ChrisHal - Chris Halverson
3. $112 PaulyMcGrupp - Tao of Poker
4. $84 STICKandMOVE - Stick and Move
5. $28 FeliciaLee - Felicia

Nobody above finished in the money in the PokerGrub Classic I, so it's wide-open on the career earnings list.

I just saw that second place finisher Chris Halverson got his writeup posted, so go visit.

Felicia is running the third tourney so if you have a poker blog, and you want to play, please email her ASAP. The tourney is the Sunday, the 21st, and you must pre-register. Hit her site for more details - time is running out.

Time for me to link up and get going.

Per my Howard Stern - poker post the other day, here is the full audio segment (mp3 - click and listen) of Robert Varkonyi on the Stern show - funny stuff, especially at the end when Howard and Artie discuss quality starting hands. You will enjoy, trust me.
SOOOOTED is a strong hand!

Hrm, not sure how to describe this trip report to Vegas. A poor man's "Tiltboys" perhaps?
The Itch

I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that Poker Perspectives was posting again, and even played in the tourney last nite. More importantly, Maudie built us a forum to chat in.

Anyone thinking of joining the poker bloggers, please do so. It's free and easy at Blogger.com. And hell, they let poker-playing drinkers like me write whatever I want. What more could you ask for?

Best of all, here are two new poker bloggers, one that has been surreptitiously posting about poker for a while, and the other is brand new.

Please go visit and encourage The Neurotic Fishbowl Archives

Wow, I've also inspired cracksmokers.org to start a poker blog! Woohoo! Now that the crackheads are online, I truly am the Johnny Appleseed of poker bloggers.

Last, but never least, MeanGene is letting his brother post to his blog, one in which he actually admits that he's lost more than he's won, and why.

Here's a great RGP post about LA players in the Commerce Club - I think the PAPER BAG-MAN might be Hdouble.


Am I mistaken, or do the weirdest people frequent the Commerce Club,
in L.A.?
I've only been there three times, but here's a sample of people I've
been with or spotted at the tables (I hope I'm not describing any of
the RGP-ers).

BEE-HIVE LADY: About 70 years old, with the most outlandish hairdo (or
wig) I've ever seen. It looked like a giant birds' nest. Imagine Marge
Simpson's hair, but double the size. The ‘do' was covered with nets,
and filled with pins and pearl-tipped needles, and looked like a hairy
Leaning Tower of Pisa. When she looked at her cards, she couldn't tip
her head forward, becasue that would have shifted her center of
gravity foward, and she probably would have tipped over on her face;
she had to cup the cards in her hands and bring them up to her face.

PAPER BAG-MAN: This guy had a paper sack over his head, like the guy
on the old Gong Show. I saw him sitting at a table as I walked through
to my seat. The other people at the table were tossing in chips and
acting like everything was normal. I though maybe it was a joke
(taking the poker-face thing to the extreme) and he'd remove the bag:
but I glanced over at the table a few times, and he still had it on
for at least a half hour, and then was gone.

NEWSPAPER GUY: At my table this Asian guy was reading an Asian
newspaper during the hands. He never put the paper down. He'd glance
at his pocket cards, make his bets, and check the flop, etc. but he
kept reading, even when the betting was robust. Multi-tasking I guess.
And doing OK -- he won a decent amount of hands; and then I guess he
finished the paper, because he got up, folded the paper, tucked it
under his arms, gathered his chips, and left.

FOOD DUET: Two guys, in their 50s I guess, with Jackie Gleason
physiques, were both eating at the table (you can order food at
Commerce, and the waitress brings it to the table on treys they set up
on little wheeled tables of some kind). These guys got into an
argument over who's ordered the best meal for the money, insulting
each other over their menu choices, really taking it seriously (like
the Road Rage movie "Changing Lanes." But their argument was over
whether or not the home-made French Fries sucked or not. So what do
these gastronomic gladiators do? Fist fight? No. Food Fight? No.
Belching Fight? Yes!!! Each trying to outdo the other with awful,
disgusting belches. It's kinda funny in retrospect, but wasn't then.
It's hard enough concentrating on the flow of the game, without
hearing gurgling stomach noises. The Dealer rolled her eyes in
disgust, but didn't say anything else to them (I guess there's no
Casino rules to cover noisy regurgations). They stopped after a while,
but when they both ordered more food from the waitress, I gave up, and
went to another table…

Are things (and people) like this normal? Or did I just 'get lucky'

Here are a couple news articles to whet your appetite. Yes, poker is still red-hot.
Poker ace turns math skill into riches

"I try to follow the wisdom of the Bible," he said. "I like the book of Proverbs, because if I've got a problem, I don't want to get uptight. Whatever happens out there, it's just one day - one step - of the rest of your life."


Know When To Fold 'Em Tales from a secret life in poker:

Championship poker players, once known only to their peers, have become quasi-celebrities. Last year, the improbably named Chris Moneymaker, who had previously only played poker online and with his family until he qualified, won $2.5 million at the World Series of Poker with a personal investment of only $40. (Incidentally, he got part of his airfare from a man named David Gamble.)

There's a bunch more where that came from, but I must go play.

Thanks for reading, I'll blog a sober decent post tomorrow. I've gotta go play on Party Poker.

I'll leave you with these two gems to keep in mind, regarding pre-flop play from TwoPlusTwo:

"You should be cold calling so infrequently that you can't even remember the last time that you did so".

"Cold calling raises with medium and small suited connectors is the fast track to the poorhouse. Yes, even with 3 others in the pot."

Also, per my comments in my last post (thanks BG!), how can you know what "correct play" is without knowing pot odds? Can learning positive expectation be learned without odds?

Remember, Hold em is a post-flop game.

Thanks again to all the great bloggers out there.
From Anisotropy:

"It's always great to read something about other people's take on the game and about the swings they go through. It's even better to have those same people supporting you when you are trying to do the same frustrating things they are. Smart people, smart writing and great support."

Link of the Day:
Do Not Taunt Butt Pillow
After people at work laughed at her hemorrhoid relief doughnut, Melanie Loomos dedicated her life to bringing peri-anal relief to the people. The result was Butt Pillow, a present for your ass.

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