Thursday, April 08, 2004

"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge."
Daniel Boorstin

If you sign up on Party Poker with deposit bonus code IGGY, then maybe SOMEDAY I'll get out of this chair and walk!

Thanks for stopping by this humble poker blog, bad jokes aside. If it's poker content you want, you've come to the right place. My goal is to singlehandedly destroy workplace production, across the country, by 20%. I've got tons of links, poker rants, poker site updates, new poker blogs, and poker news. I can only pray that you are sitting in a cube or office, somewhere, with unfettered web access.

So where to begin? Let's commence with what I've been doing (the boring stuff):

My blog hiatus was truly beneficial for my game and mindset. Just what I needed - to simply focus on playing poker. I took a shot at the $200 buyin WSOP satellite for the NL Championship event on Empire Poker - they were giving away two seats and only 67 players bought or won their way in! Can you say overlay?

But this was a freaking LIMIT tournament, which makes zero sense to me. Is it any wonder that Empire is losing money in their multi-table tourneys? You should sign up now just for that - it's a joke. Again, folks, they are LOSING money. Get it while you can.

Anyway, abridged version of this tale: I finish 17th. Made a solid effort, but didn't get lucky when I needed to. Let's blame it on sobriety, shall we?

Segue to the last week: been playing SNG's exclusively for the first time since late '02 - early '03. Why? I can actually get in them now with my lowly modem. I enjoy the focus of SNG's - the strict time allotment, the immediacy of results. It's very different from grinding, and far more fun. I've enjoyed such a nice run on the $30's and $50's that I treated myself to a cashout. Woohoo!

I've said it before, I'll say it again:

I've lost the link but there was an interesting thread about poker sites and current / past market share. Backstory: Paradise Poker was the big dog for quite awhile, before Party crushed everyone. Ever popular, old school veteran poster, MS SUNSHINE, had this to say after predicting Paradise Poker's demise:


Well, *puffing out chest* not to gloat, but I was one of them. Party's PPM guaranteed of $1M first prize brought in the fishes before WPT. Paradise's lame-o promos couldn't compete for the fish's attention. The games were was always softer than anywhere else especially Paradise.

I think I called Paradise the NEW Planet and was soundly heckled.

I'm not knocking Paradise's customer support or the the software, but they never got the handle on marketing themselves to the fishies. Sure, they could market themselves to POKER players with Card Player ads and banner ads here, but they didn't get Joe Sixpack and his son Joe Jr who is away at school to pony up some cash.

Poker players, even the dim ones, like easy games. If you want my rake dollar then I want good product and 18% flop average games is crappy product to me. Any market leader that doesn't gain players during the biggest poker boom ever is doomed to wallow with the Planets, Deltas and Pokerrooms of this industry. We don't want the coolest looking drinks next to our icon. We want players that are willing to lose a pocket full cash most nights and call it fun.

Preach on - you've got the choir right here!

Here are several interesting Party nuggets that you may or may not know. I've noticed that Party's player base has hit a plateau the last few weeks, ever since the banning of poker commercials on television. Party's still far beyond every other site, but I've grown so accustomed to watching the player count steadily increase that the leveling off is slightly disconcerting. Poker may not have jumped the shark, but I think it's fair to say it's crested because of the current television ban.

But again, the Party Poker marketing department proves they are way ahead of the curve by sidestepping the stoppage and creating a new site at PartyPoker.net, which is an "online poker school." Play money only, no real money games. And they are advertising this site on cable television.

Of course, once people sign up at partypoker.net, they'll learn about partypoker.com. Brilliant!

Did you notice that Party Poker made several changes to the "my account" section of their web site. You can now search on your account activity in one-week blocks. It used to only show your activity for the previous time you logged in.

There is also an option to change your screen name. This is available once every six months due to security and privacy concerns. I'm not real thrilled with this last development.

Addendum per the Google and Yahoo advertisement bans (no more online ads allowed) - this is a $5.7 billion industry, including sports books. I fully expect these sites to remain undaunted and aggressive with their marketing. Quite frankly, Yahoo and Google may have just written a blank check to all of their competitors.

Google's official statement: "This change was made as a part of Google's ongoing commitment to enhancing our advertising policies to ensure that we provide the best search and advertising experience to our users," said David Krane, director of corporate communications for Google.

Hopefully someday poker will be defined differently, like pool or darts, perhaps on a tournament level. I'm obviously not holding my breath.

Hell, I have tons to post and I'd love to rant, but I'm gonna begin the best of breed poker links so I don't end up too drunk tired to play afterwards. Let's roll, shall we?

David Ross update. I sure hope he gets a book deal.
Playing online for a living week 49

Only 3 weeks to go to complete a full year of playing. It is my intention to stop the posts at that point. I think I will spend a little time writing an outline for a book and see if there is any interest from the poker publishers.

Because of the hiatus, I missed two kickass posts by WordPerfectTM author, Richard Brodie.
Never, ever miss an installment of: Lion Tales

Andy "The Rock" Bloch had set up dinner once again at Andiamo. This time we were joined by Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, John "JJ" Juanda, Paul "Beanie" Nobles, Avi "Wookie" Freedman, and Steve Brecher. Only Steve, JJ, and I were still in the contest and I was near the chip lead with almost twice the average count. I had the excellent beef carpaccio followed by a nice grilled salmon with the very sweet sauce on the side. As a rule I don't eat dessert but the chocolate Galliano cake had been lucky for me so I had just one.

As lucky as we are to have Richard detailing his exploits in the WPT, we are just as fortunate to have Linda. All-time favorite and I can only admire her posts from a place far, far away. Why? Here she posts about dealing uber high-limit poker at the Bellagio to the most hated man in poker, Sam Grizzle. A must read.
PokerWorks - Dialogue Dance Floor

Right after Sam G., in the 2s, raised the opener, got called and ended up being the caller on the Sixth Street and the River, and was shown 5's full of 7's by his opponent, I got slammed into the middle of the Dialogue Dance Floor. Sam G. was my opponent...ahhh...errrr...dance partner. He was grim and unforgiving as he tried to stomp my toes on every spin and turn.

Go read world class needling and how Linda handles it with aplomb, per always. I hope I can buy her a Guinness one day.

By the way, if Sean from Anisotropy is reading this, please zip me a message. Damn, I miss his blog.

This is for the dedicated readers out there. Utterly fascinating story (10 pages! but worth it) of:
The inside story of two yankees who dodged the law, flew to Belize's Export Processing Zone, and flipped the switch on a get-rich-quick Internet casino. Too bad nobody mentioned the bugs.
EPZ Money

This article is over four years old, so think about these numbers:

Just to get started, it can take 20 minutes for this 5-Mbyte program and others like it to drip onto your hard drive, and days to set up the offshore bank account. Apparently, gamblers are patient people: According to Bear Stearns, 18 million of them have waited through enough downloads to make Net gaming worth $2.2 billion annually, a total projected to triple by 2002. In 1998, a Cook Islands-based Web site called Casinos of the South Pacific claimed to pull down $4 million within four days of its launch. The promise of easy, semi-licit money has led to the registration of about 1,000 gaming URLs, up from 40 just three years ago.

It's a long but interesting read about the shady world of casino start-ups in Belize. Come back and hit it some time when you get a chance.

Uh oh. Now that Sylvester Stallone has appeared in a major film role about Texas Hold Em, this may be it - poker officially Jumps the Shark. Only time will tell, but this could be the watershed moment.

Poker Sting Film 'Shade' To Premiere in Las Vegas in April:

A major motion picture with a plot involving sleight-of-hand tricks used to exploit poker games will premiere in Las Vegas in late April against the backdrop of the World Series of Poker.

The movie, "Shade," is the story of an ingenious sting dreamt up by a grifter and a crafty card mechanic. that works to his benefit or that of his partners.

The cast includes Sly Stallone, Stuart Townsend, Gabriel Byrne, Melanie Griffith, Janie Foxx and Thandie Newton. Rumor has it that this movie, distributed by RKO, is slick, timely, and hot - strong on sex and the
adrenalin rush of high-stakes poker.

The premiere of "Shade" will be the central event in a themed series of "Hollywood Stars Meeting Poker Stars." Along with the movie, there's to be a celebrity poker tournament for charity and a charity golf tournament. The "Shade" premiere promises to be a big, glitzy, Las Vegas style promotion.

Here's the corporate flash site for you to peruse:

Oh the humanity.

Oh yeah, I saw a pretty cool interview with the Patron Saint of poker bloggers , Wil Wheaton, in Developer Shed magazine where Wil pimps The Hammer! Too damn cool.

Wil Wheaton > Sylvester Stallone

Allrighty then, last but certainly not least, time to finish up with an official pimp of the new poker blogs. It's *almost* to the point where I can't keep up anymore. Please don't bother pointing out the obvious RSS solutions, you damn web hippies. I understand...

Cheap Thrills is a well-written blog by JD. He's really hitting his stride, posting his latest thoughts on that tricky question, "Why Poker?" Very good and truly worth a read.

Litton is a very cool poker player, having emailed me several times, and is currently in Taiwan. I'm stoked that he started a poker blog, so go check out:
Tilted Litt
Tilting on the Party Poker fishpond

I had a ton of fun reading Ditty Runs the City. You owe it to yourself to keep up with this one if only because he documented his daily food intake, ala Grubby.

Meal 1: 2 egg white omelet with turkey (9:30 am).
Meal 2: Chicken breast and apple (12:30 pm).
Meal 3: Mesotech bar (3:30 pm).
Meal 4: Myloplex shake (5:30pm)
Meal 5: Chicken breast with potato (7:30 pm).
Meal 6: Chicken breast (9:00 pm – snack)

DAMN, Grubby's meals suddenly look a whole lot better now.

Stephen has been faithfully posting since the beginning of the month at Life is a Game of Poker. I understand where he is coming from with this snippet:

it's really interesting to see the different opinions people have of poker. all of my non-serious poker playing friends call it a friendly gambling game. and when i try to discuss with them the differences i see in poker and gambling, they all just laugh and believe i'm some kind of gambling addict who's denying that poker is gambling. but there are a few people who are starting to understand what i mean once they have played a few hands with knowledge of starting hands, position, basic odds, etc. and it's always good to see them play and progress.

And honestly, this last one is a must read. I've been meaning to link it up for while. Damn Guinness.
The Poker Chronicles
My life as a professional gambler.

Last Wednesday I was playing in the $540 NL tourney at the Bellagio, which had just started, when Daniel Negreanu happened to walk by my table. I had talked to him a decent amount on the Party Poker cruise so I said hey and asked him if he was playing in the tournament. He said he was broke (obviously joking) and told me I should stake him in the tournament and we would go 50/50. I laughed and told him I was a poor college student and couldn't afford it, but after a few minutes I started thinking that I should have just staked him. I mean I'm not rich but I can afford to blow $540, and he is definitely well worth it. Personally I doubt I would ever stake one of the many pros who are always broke (for real) and looking for a backer, but Daniel on the other hand appears to be far from broke and doesn't really need the stake. If he played he would play only to win it, as winning the tournament would be far more important to him than his half of the prize, and I like that a lot. All in all backing him would be a risky proposition but a profitable one, so if he was willing I should have just done it.

Excellent blog. Hope he continues.

I could spend an entire post just linking to the superior poker blogging going out there amongst my peers. I must confess, it's been awesome to just come home and READ THEM and then play poker. Or to read them while playing, whichever. Bottom line, this blog takes time. I don't get paid shit to come on here with my Guinness-fueled ramblings so please consider using my damn bonus code when signing up for Party or Empire.

That being said - allow me a shill for Empire since the tournaments are so juicy. If you have a current Party Poker account, take the time to consider registering on Empire, if only for their multi-table guaranteed money tournaments. They are losing money on these - strike while the iron is hot. It won't be this way forever, it never is. In that vein, here was a post about HOW to sign up on Empire Poker if you are currently playing on Party:


I personally signed up for Empire over a year ago, but since then I've heard of some problems opening an Empire account after a Party account. Here's how to do it these days with no problems.

1. Get a second email address.
2. Open a new funding account with that new email
3. Get to a PC with no poker software on it and a different IP address than
your regular poker PC.
4. Sign up on that clean PC
5. Deposit on that clean PC
6. Now you can play from your regular PC.

K, enough on that. It's there if you want to take advantage of it. And if you believe in bonus whoring, you should. It's free damn money. IGGY1 for Empire!

I do want to take the time to point out Ed, at Openers - A Poker Blog, for his post about his trip to Thailand and Cambodia. It's always fascinating to read West Meets East perspectives, at least for me.

Speaking of mentalities, I think most of us avid players thrive on the psychology behind successful poker. And frankly, it's a difficult concept to write about. I should know, I've ranted and raved about it several times in this here blog (see archives). But the good Doctor sums it up rather well here in this column for PokerPages:
Social Psychology and Poker

The Fundamental Attribution Error is a pretty straightforward concept, which has been supported in countless studies across all types of behaviors. Essentially, what it means is that individuals have a tendency to attribute other people's behaviors to internal rather than external causes.

Geez, I think he read or stole one of my prior posts. Blogbomber! :)

K, I think this should suffice for now. I didn't get to everything I wanted to but hell, I'm sure your eyeballs have glazed over at this point. I hope this was worth your while.

One last thought: if you're going to play poker, whether you are new, playing for recreation or even for a living, make sure you're having fun. There's no real point to it if you're not.

Late edit:
Speaking of fun, I played with Pauly and BG after writing this up - here's Pauly's take:

Now we also have BG's post about the SNG fun: An offer I can't refuse.

Link of the Day:
And Here is the Steeple
After months of hearing concern about his penis from strangers in e-mail, John Hargrave broke down and shopped for Viagra pills online. Then he tested the pill's powers. In church.

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