Wednesday, May 05, 2004

"Las Vegas is not renowned as a literary town.
In fact, the word "book" around here, 90% of the time is a verb."

Deke Castleman

How about another old-fashioned, rambling, Guinness-fueled UBER post tonight?

The one downside to the exponential popularity of poker blogs is that I drink far too much Guinness while digging through them, wondering what I'll write about. After all, I have a real, full-time job. And damn, I'm already lit up wore out and I haven't even yet begun to pontificate. I may have a good post tonight, who knows. Maybe more tangential than good. Please humor me & thanks for reading.

Actually, it pains me to stay away from the tables tonight because I'm killing the limit ring games at Party. If you are playing anywhere else, you are a stubborn fool. I'm amazed at the terrible players - how long can this insanity continue? But this current rush isn't really about the terrible players (although I am continually getting paid off - these guys do NOT know how to fold) - it's more about the deck hitting me in the face. My good starting hands are holding up and I'm hitting my draws. I know I'm running good when I haven't spent one second in PokerTracker in the last five days.

Anyway, nobody cares about The Grind. Moving on, the WSOP coverage is killing me. I should be out there, damnit. And who knows, maybe I still will. But I'm heading to Caesar's Palace in Indiana this weekend with some online poker pro's that I know.

To me, the poker student, it's fascinating that one of these guys (as in: 100% of his income comes from playing poker, and has, for many years) has NEVER read a poker book. I'm not even sure he can read. To be fair, he was coached on starting hands and pot odds by an experienced player (and schooled in other ways, too) many years ago, but still...it's surprising to me. I'm not saying you can't be a successful poker player without reading poker books, but I can't help but wonder how much he would improve if he immersed himself in conceptual/strategic thinking ala Sklansky, Carson or Caro.

David Sklansky estimates that of those players who try without studying to become solid winners (making good money in middle limit games, for example), no more than one percent succeed. Of those who do study diligently, he believes about ten percent succeed. If we accept Sklansky's numbers, which seem reasonable, books make a big relative difference. Still, they clearly don't guarantee success, by any stretch.

I found this snippet by pro Ray Zee on said topic:

Many new players start getting into these games and some actually play quite well. You see, after studying the best books, you can become fairly accomplished with just a small amount of real experience. (At least a lot less experience than it use to take.) So those players that improve themselves move up and take advantage of their new skills and keep pace with the world. This group improves their win rate due to the new faces and wider choice of games. Those that stay stagnant and don't study, fall back in the pack and either go broke or just slow down their winning ways. The players trying to make a living in this group really need to work on keeping their game in top shape.

Ray also lamented that literature and books may have made the games more difficult for him. Well, before the World Poker Tour, anyway. :)

Speaking of which, it's 9pm and everyone but me is watching that damn show. A huge thanks once again to Pauly for sending me poker tapes. Pauly rules.

A follow-up snippet to my last post about my wondering aloud if 2,000 players might play in this years WSOP NL Championship Event. Pinch me, I'm dreaming.

Here is the official stance on the # of entrants that will be allowed for the
main event:

Right now there are 101 tables set up in the Horseshoe. This means that 2020 players can be accomodated in 2 heats. Alternates will be taken. If at any time it looks like the number could go over 2000, there will be an effort made to get more tables.

If you had taken me aside, in say, the year 2001, and told me what was in the near future of poker - I would have laughed and mocked you to no end. It would have been an unfathomable scenario - not even worthy of a Hollywood script. Yet here I sit, shaking my head in disbelief again, amidst yet another poker blog post.

For the record, PokerStars is currently sending about 220 players to the WSOP Championship Event. With a field of 2,000 players, that's about 10% of the field. So hell, they have another great shot of creating another Chris Moneymaker story this year. Party is likely sending close to that number, I'd think. And there's a ton of other sites giving away seats....WSOP Tourmanent Director, Matt Savage, predicted 500 - 600 online qualifiers in a recent issue of Pokerplayer.

I'm lighting candles to the Poker Gods and you should, too.

It would be interesting to take an inventory of many WSOP seats, by online poker site, have been given away thus far. If I wasn't a few cups deep, I'd do so.

I think the poker bloggers will be represented by Paul Phillips and Richard Brodie, for sure. I'm not sure if Alan is playing in the final event. If I wasn't blogging, I'd certainly be focusing much more on trying to win a seat. I hope some of us take shots....

More cool poker blogger news here. CJ over at old-school poker blog, Up for Poker, has created a poker blogger mailing list to keep in touch. Here's the skinny:
So, if you'd like to get on board, just send an email to me (pagemaster @ upforanything.net) and tell me which blog you run.

Great idea, thanks CJ.

A neophyte poker blogger messaged me the other evening, asking if he should reap the fruits of Izmet's advice in limit play. Oh the humanity - that would be a resounding YES. If any of you are new or hell, even if you're experienced poker players, take a jaunt through both Abdul and Izmet's essays. Print them out and read them a few times, letting it slowly seep into your brain.

Per Izmet:
Preflop: tight, tight, tight. Postflop: pound, pound, pound. Yes, your variance will increase, but overall, you will win more and lose less if you maintain focus and pre-flop discipline. This strategy works best when you have a tight table image.

Geepers, what to link up next. How about a Shana Hiatt site?
If you want the ultimate Shana fix, check out a very young Ms. Hiatt in the Playboy video "Girls of Hawaiian Tropic" (1995). In the final vignette, Shana gets buck naked on the beach and mounts (well, pretends to mount - this is Playboy, remember) a beach boy. Several nice, lingering close-ups. Definitely good for a healthy raise.

Damn, Paul Harvey would be ashamed of me.

Speaking of poker babes, I hope everyone is rooting for Felicia - she's at the WSOP right now. She had a great run in the Seven Card Stud event, getting high praise from the eventual winner, Ted Forrest.

Here's a great article about the engima that is Ted Forrest, by the inimitable Jesse May:
Ted Forrest, poker player, the freak

I've been meaning to post this hilarious snippet for awhile now. I was chatting one evening with Felicia about how I'd love to post a parody of my posts and mock myself sometime, but how I'm not clever enough to do so. She pointed me to United Poker Forum where a fellow poster did it to her. As the regulars know, Felicia writes the best damn tourney reports on the web with aplomb and style.

Regular readers of Felicia will appreciate this:

It was another crappy UPF tourney, as I was seated at the Monkey table. Ionizer hokie was to my right and druggy John was to my left. UGH! Stuck between two monkeys throwing crap at each other all game. I kept a close eye on hokie, and everytime he threw crap, he made sure some of it ended up on my chips. I told the dealer but she just smiled. Planet Poker never cleans up their chips!!!! So, I end up short-crappy-stacked and am forced to start throwing crap too. I go all-in with 72o and double up, then all in with AA. Hokie and John both called before they even had cards -- LOL! -- and they both had 83o. I started licking my chops, but when the flop came 8-8-3 I started praying for an A that never came. IGHN!!! Damn those monkeys!!

I told the dealer but she just smiled. Good one.
Kudos to Felicia for sharing.

If you aren't reading Jesse May's reports from the WSOP, you are truly missing out. Efff the shill sites - go read Jesse. It's gold.
2004 Jesse May Reports

I pointed out the new home for The Poker Pundit, Andy Glazer, last week. And yes, now he is up and posting daily. Here's two separate insightful snippets from the Stud 8 tournament, won by a kickass woman poker pro, Cyndy Violette.
Final Table Poker: Andy Glazer's WSOP Reports
There is still nearly a month to go, but so far poker’s superstars are not having the same kind of WSOP they did last year, probably a collective result of two factors: larger fields (if the number of stars doesn’t grow but the number of players does, fewer stars make final tables), and better “average” players, better because the literature has improved and because the Internet has allowed educations to speed along at faster rates than they used to.

The toughest opponent any of us can ever face is ourselves, even if most of us rough, tough poker types aren’t confident enough to admit that. Cyndy Violette was confident enough to admit it, smart enough to do something about it, and as a result of that intellectual and emotional intelligence (and yes, something else we all need occasionally, a well-timed card), she’s earned a piece of jewelry that will forever represent more than mere victory over 223 of the best players in the world on the world’s biggest poker stage. It will represent taking responsibility for her successes and failures and doing something to change them, instead of just bemoaning bad luck, like so many poker players do.

I've been meaning to link up long-haired, Amsterdam-based poker pro, Rolf Slotboom. Funny name aside, I've always enjoyed his columns and attitude. He says that his site is now EXACTLY as he wants it - with freaking frames and pastel colours. To each his own, I suppose.
Ace Speaks

Nice article and pic here about college player, Richard Grijalva aka GotMilk, from PokerStars, who won $457,408 from a cheap online qualifier. Ask me again why I bother grinding? Answer: I'm an idiot.
Fourth place world poker prize in the cards for UCSB student
Practice makes a better player, and that's precisely what Mr. Grijalva got online and at the Chumash Casino. He started winning in both arenas -- and now his eyes are set on an even bigger pot than last week's.

Per the Big Tournaments, someone asked poker pro's and long-time 2+2 regulars, Dynasty and Clarkmeister, if they were going to play in the WSOP:
Re: Are Clark, Dynasty Gonna Play In The WSOP?

Neither Clarkmeister or I play any tournaments. I think we both have basically the same attitude about this: The real money to be made in poker is in ring games.

Wow, maybe I'm not such an idiot, after all.

Of course, someone HAD to ask Mason Malmuth the same question. From the The Man behind the 2+2 Curtain:
The biggest EV for me by far is in our publishing business. I would like to play a few tournaments, and this includes the no limit tournaments, but I literally don't have time.

I am now committed to four different book projects. The first everyone knows about. It's called Small Stakes Hold 'em; Winning Big with Expert Play by Ed Miller, David Sklansky, and Mason Malmuth. The second is Business is a Poker Game by Allan Schoonmaker who thinks he owns the Psychology forum.

The books three and four are not titled yet but a portion of the first of these is written and I have material to review. All I will say now is that the author of these books is a former WSOP winner and they are about no limit hold 'em tournament strategy. As I get more into the project, I will release more information.

Best wishes,

Arg, it's late and I haven't even shilled yet. Allow me to link up the new poker blogs. Please support the two new guys: both are worthy.

A fellow Ohioan is posting excellent hand histories, daily. As someone who has passed out several times in The Ghetto at UD, I hope he keeps up the fine work:
A Fool and His Money
I think I played this hand correctly. With middle pair on the flop I wanted to see where I was so I raised, with the 2 calls I figured I was beaten and folded on the turn. A bad suckout for the AA and yet another reason to not slow-play Aces.

I love new online players. It's a ton of fun to watch those "lightbulb" moments hit.
Poker Epiphanies Rule.
My exploits through the world of low limit poker.
There are conflicting stories among the many blogs I have read regarding NL vs. Limit games on Party. It seems that those who are building a bankroll go for the limit games, and those who, like me, just wanted money, prefer the NL/PL.

Anyway, if anyone actually read this whole thing I am really, really sorry. You should probably get a medal.

I could say the same thing for my readers. Thanks to anyone who made it this far.

Bonus Phil Helmuth Link to those who have:
"The Learning Annex" has been in San Francisco for many years. They offer adult, 3-4 hour classes at a reasonable fee for topics like "How to Make a Fortune in Real Estate" or "How to Buy, Sell and Profit on eBay" or "Introduction to Excel" or "Instant Piano" or even "How to date a '10'.

Take a wild guess what they're offering now?
And Phil is teaching it:

*Learn from a (9-Time) World Champion*
*Win Big $$$… Every Time!*

Never Lose at Poker Again with Phil Helmuth Jr.

Oh the humanity. I guess you can't blame him for creating multiple streams of income.

Anyway, this *feels* like an uber post, if measured by how drunk I am. Time to finish this up so I can play an orbit or two.

OK, I know many two people count on me for pointing out the Best of RGP so allow me to post this off-topic troll post from this afternoon:
The All-Time Best Movies

1. The Shaggy D.A. - Great Plot, Acting and Dialogue. It can't be topped, I wish they would make a part 2.

2. Armageddon - Incredible Acting (Bruce Willis should have won an Academy Award).

3. Ghosts of Mars - I don't even know where to begin, best special effects ever.

4. Congo - The acting is incredible, how did they train that Gorrila to do all of that sign language and stuff? Very, very scary movie also.

5. Road Rage - Stars Casper Van Diem and has the best car chases in movie history.

6. Independence Day - Still almost 10 years later, the special effects cannot be beaten.

7. Cop Land - Stallone's finest work ever.

8. Judge Dredd - Not quite on par with Cop Land, but still a masterpiece of cinema.

9. Last Action Hero - Very original screenplay that most people did not understand.

10. The Tuxedo - Amazing film, definitely Jackie Chan's best.

11. The Adventures of Pluto Nash - The $100 million budget was justified in this amazing epic.

12. A.I. -- Most action I have seen in a movie ever, great dialogue too.

13. Godzilla -- Best remake of all time....nuff said.

14. Rent a Cop -- Very original plot and a great cast.

So, those are my picks for greatest movies ever. Please reply back and list your top movies and also whether or not you agree with mine. I seriously doubt anyone will disagree with my picks, but I guess anything is possible.

Can you believe I have even more poker content to post? And I'm just an average married guy with a full-time, challenging job. Can you see why I hate the banner ad shill sites? If you are going to sign up with a poker site, please support one of the poker bloggers. You lose nothing (and gain a bonus) and help someone like yourself. Just another online poker player.

I write this blog because it's something *I* would love to read. Is that silly?

Shill alert: if any of you decide to play on PartyPoker, please consider bonus code IGGY.
Empire Poker is IGGY1 -

Support your local poker blogger, not the over-exposed, over-hyped, over-done big websites from big media with big banner ads that offer very little poker meat to go with their sizzle.

I'm stunned that I've had two signups over the last 60 days. Someone help a brother out, here.

Per the Blogger Tourney:
Here's the details - Open to all
Sunday, May 16th. 9 pm EST.

Pacific Poker
$20 entry fee.

Please sign up through my link above and email me your screen name so you can reserve a seat.

I can only hope that my shilling is white-hot noise behind the content.

Thanks for reading my Guinness-fueled ramblings and please consider starting your own poker blog or supporting one. It takes time to bang this out.

Link of the Day:
Masturbate and Switch
Tom's hobby -- sharing music video files mislabeled with increasingly perverse titles such as Grandma Bingo Sex: "122 people would like to see grandma getting bent over the bingo table ... my penis had shriveled to the size of a 2-day-old Wendy's chicken nugget."

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

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