Saturday, June 05, 2004

There's opportunity in poker. If Horace Greeley were alive today, his advice wouldn't be "Go West, young man, and grow up with the country." Instead, he'd point to that deck of cards on table and say, "Shuffle up and deal."
Lou Krieger

Howdy all, thanks for stopping by. Got a big old honking uber-post for you today. Sponsored by, well, sponsored by NOBODY. I do it all for you, gentle reader, because I am profoundly & irrevocably deranged.

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Just wanted to get that out of the way.

I've got plenty of fine stuff today so let's just jump into it, shall we? I'm not sure what's going on, but the tables have been especially fishy lately. I suppose it's the WSOP hype that's pushing things into a frenzy, but damn, my win rate has skyrocketed the last week. Plus, I finished 22nd in a large multi last night. Thanks to Hank, I've been playing a lot more multi table tournaments as of late, and am knocking at the door for a nice score.

There are a couple trip reports I'd like to post, including this next one from a guy who sat next to Phil Helmuth in the Big One. But everyone is seemingly waiting for 2004 WSOP champion, Greg Raymer, to write up *his* trip report. His reply?

"Watch it on ESPN."

Fair enough. So here's the report from the fellow who sat next to Phil Helmuth at the WSOP:


My first WSOP trip (very long)

I go to Las Vegas twice a year, with two buddies, Mike and Lee. We
play strictly mid limit Hold Em (10-20 to 30-60) and some NLHE
tourneys. I'm an OK/decent player nothing great. But when we go
to Vegas, we have one rule: we are there to have fun. I tell the
table, "if you don't liven up, I'm taking my money elsewhere." I won't
sit in the rock garden. If I can't talk to the other players, yuk it
up, and have some fun, it's not worth it to me. I have a job. I can
be bored at home. I WON'T be bored in Vegas. Sorry if you have a
different take on poker. For me, it's a hobby; granted, a hobby that
more than pays for itself, but a hobby nonetheless. We started
playing tourneys, and did what every other poker player in the world
does: dream about playing in The Big One. We always thought of it as
"someday." The three of us made a deal that if one of us won a seat,
he would fly the other two out, and the other two would pay his meals.
In the flukiest of flukes, I was one of the bazillion Internet
qualifiers this year. I qualified in my first online attempt (came
close in a couple of live tournaments, finishing third each time) at
the end of March, and had my eye set on May 21 for nearly two months.
I went out on Friday. Mike and his friend, Bob, would join me Friday
night. Bob would leave Monday, and Mike would leave Tuesday night.
Lee would come out Tuesday morning and fly home with me.

I played on Saturday, and the tournament started at 1:00. Per
Pokerstars rules, I was in full Pokerstars regalia: hat, shirt,
jacket, etc. I didn't have to wear ALL of it, but if I wore a hat, it
had to be a Pokerstars hat. I am at table 51, seat 2. It was nice
because it faced the rail and Mike and Bob could watch very easily.
1200+ players on day one (plus 75 alternates), and still they got
underway precisely at 1:00. I get dealt my first hand in the WSOP
and I just pray that it is garbage. It is and I fold. In fact, I
don't get anything playable until my BB. I get KsJs. Early player,
who has played quite a bit, has limped, as has another player. I
check and we see the flop. Flop comes J 8 3, so I bet out 200 into a
175 pot. I just want to win a pot. He raises me, and the other guy
folds. It cost me 300 more. Did he limp with AJ? I call. Turn is a
blank. I check, and he bets 500. I decide that I am calling him the
whole way unless he goes all-in. I'm NOT going bust in the first
hand I play. River is a blank. I check, he bets a couple hundred, I
call, and he shows A8 for flopping middle pair top kicker. I show
my KJ and scoooooop my first WSOP pot!! Now we're talking!!! In the
first level, I get AA once (got it UTG, raised, and won the blinds),
JJ twice (re-raised someone and won the pot right there once, and won
it on the flop the other time), AK and AQ. Nice cards, but in the
early stages you don't get much for them. At the first break I am up
to 12,400!! Then, the fire marshals apparently broke up a few tables,
and disbursed those players. We were now playing 11 handed at a
stud table no less!! But what did I care? I was in the WSOP!!!

Second level I see nothing. I play a few pots, and get nowhere, and
same with the third level. My table is playing relatively tight,
although there are 2 guys who play just about any ace, and most other
paint. I lose a couple of pots just before the dinner break, and go
to dinner with Bob and Mike at about 10,000. They had already lined
up for dinner so that when I got there, it was on its way. They ask
if anyone noteworthy is at my table. I see Mel Judah, Freddy Deeb,
Scotty Nguyen, and many others, but none are at my table (thank G-d).
I come back from dinner, and blinds are 100-200 with 25 ante (making
the standard raise about 800 or so). Second hand I am dealt, I see
Phil Helmuth walk by. That's kinda cool until he sits on my
immediate left!! You want bad players on your left, and good players
on your right, and I have Phil Friggin' Helmuth on my IMMEDIATE LEFT!!
I get up from the table and call Mike. "Get over to the Horsehoe," I
whisper into the phone. "Come over there? You want me to come to the
Horshoe? Now?" asked Mike. They come running over, and get a front
row view of me sitting next to Phil Helmuth for the next 6 hours.

Next hand it gets folded to me, and I have KcQc. I make it 1000 to
go ( I want to win it right there), when Phil looks at me, and asks
how much I have left. I spread out my chips (about 8500 or so Phil
has about 6000), and he throws 4 yellow ($1,000) chips in the middle
and says "raise." Everyone folds to me, and there is no way I can
call another third of my stack with KQ Phil HAS to have me beat. I
fold, and Phil jumps up and says, "$4,000? I just bet $4,000? I
haven't bet $4,000 all day." He then turns over AdKd, and says, "oh
yeah, I LOVE AK suited!!." (good fold on my part). I don't play
another hand for a few orbits, when I get KQ again. I raise again,
and AGAIN, Phil asks me how much I have. I show him my 6500, and
AGAIN he raises to $4,000. This time, the old guy in the BB re-raises
Phil all-in. I quickly fold (vowing to NEVER again raise KQ), and
Phil has to call. The re-raise was only 1000 more to Phil. Phil
shows AK (again and again a good fold on my part). Old guy flips up
JJ, and PH goes nuts. "JJ? You called me with JJ? You HAD to know
that I would re-raise with only AK, AA, and KK. You are dominated
with 2 of those hands, and a coin flip on the other. How can you
call???" When the board helps no one, Old guy doubles through, and PH
is left shaking his head for the ESPN cameras. (BTW -- ANY time Phil
put money in a pot, ESPN came running over to film it. Who knows,
maybe I'll end up on TV?).

A few hands later, PH and another guy get involved in a hand. On the
river, a bizarre four card straight shows, and the guy bets $3,000.
"$3,000? No one has bet $3,000 into me all day!" says Phil as he
jumps from his seat. Phil looks at him, and says "musta caught your
straight, huh?" and mucks his hand. The other guy shows the straight,
and Phil smiles. A few hands later, there are no raises, and I take
a free ride in the BB. Phil bets $3,000 on a ragged flop that totally
missed me, and it gets folded to me. I stare at Phil and say,
"$3,000? No one has bet $3,000 into me all day!!! This flop must
have helped you more than it did me," and I muck my hand. I don't
care what he had, I had 83offsuit, and had no chance at the pot.

A few hands later is the ESPN hand of the day. One player raises, and
another player calls. I fold, and Phil calls ESPN over, shows them
his hole cards, and tells them to stick around as they will want to
film this hand. Flop is Td 7d 4h. Original raiser bets out 3500, and
the next guy cold calls!! Phil sits up in his chair and starts
thinking. He can't figure out what to do. "Did you flop a set?" he
asks. "Diamond draw?" he mutters. He picks up his hand, and looks
at his chips. He has about 5k left, so if he calls, he's pretty much
pot-commited. He then takes his hand and SHOWS ME!!! He has KK. I'm
thinking to myself "what's the issue? My chips would be in the middle
faster than you can blink. Does he REALLY think one guy flopped a
set???" Phil looks at his chips again, and says "I've only folded
this hand three times in my life this is the fourth" and he mucked
his hand. We never see the outcome as the turn is a blank, and the
first guy bets a ton and the other guy folds. Phil's point, however,
is whether or not he is losing is less relevant than his point that he
wasn't willing to risk his tournament life on that hand. Right or
wrong, it doesn't matter, because about 90 minutes later, Phil builds
his 5k into 33k. and will survive to play on Monday. Phil does spend
the rest of the night telling anyone who would walk by that he mucked

A few hands later is the hand of the table. Battle of the blinds
(same two as in the hand noted with Phil above) between two of the
chip leaders at the table. BB must have had about 22k, and SB had
about 30k. Folded to the blinds, SB raises, and BB re-raises. Flop
is QQ2s. SB checks, BB bets 5k, SB calls. Turns is 3s (QQ2s3s). BB
checks. SB says, "I haven't acted yet." BB says" my mistake, you are
right. Action is on you." SB bets 10,000. BB, with about 13k left,
ponders a while, then calls. River is 5c (QQ2s3s5c). Sb checks, BB
bets his last 3k, and SB has to call. BB tuns over As4s for the
wheel!!!! He re-raised pre-flop, tried to buy it on the flop, and
then CALLED 75% of his chips on a straight and flush (and straight
flush) draw!!! And got home!!! EVERYONE'S jaw dropped, including
Phil's. The SB was nearly in tears as he mucked his hand.

Phil's troubling hand comes when a middle player limps, and Phil
raises on the button (which means that Phil has two cards that he
wants to play). Flop is 982. Guy checks, Phil bets, guy calls. Turn
is a 6. Guy checks, Phil bets (at this point, he has lifted his cards
so that I can see he has 9d6c and has just made two pair), and guy
calls. River is a 5. Guy bets out, Phil stands up and screams,
"NOOOOOOOOOOOO!" (at which point everyone around him at the other
tables scream "YESSSSSSS!!!"), and flings his chips into the middle
for a call. Guy turns over A7 for the straight. A7!! He called a
flop of 982 with A7!!!! AND HE GOT HOME!!!!

Meanwhile, yours truly hasn't seen a pocket pair higher than 4's since
the first level, and my chips have quickly dwindled. After posting
the BB (200-400 now), I have 1700 left. I have 56. Four people limp,
and I quickly check. Flop is 256. I hang my head, as I know that I
have no other play I have to push all my chips in and hope to take
the pot right there. I go all-in, and get called TWICE!!! Just as I
am screaming in my head for no 3 or 4 the 6 comes on the turn, and I
no longer care. My full house holds up, and I more than triple
through, and have about 6000 or so. Couple of orbits later, a
relatively tight Swedish kid (who has raised and re-raised only with
solid hands) raises to 3000. Two players later makes it 6000 to go.
I look down in the BB to see KK. I have 6100 left. I say to myself,
"I'm no Phil Helmuth, I'm not laying down KK. If she's got aces,
she's got aces," and I push all-in. Swedish kid folds (later tells me
he had QQ), and the re-raiser has to call the additional 100. She
turns over AdKd. I show my Cowboys, and say to Phil "I've never
mucked these pre-flop, and I can't now." He laughs, and says "no, you
didn't have much of a choice there." When the board helps neither of
us, I am sitting on 15,000+ chips!

Somehow, I get into a hand with Phil in my BB. It's not raised, and I
have 25. Flop comes K28. I check, he checks. Turn is a 7. I check,
he checks. I can't figure out what he has that he hasn't tried to
steal it at some point. River is a deuce. BEAUTIFUL! However, I
decide that betting it isn't worthwhile. If he was slow-playing a
set, he's now trapped me. If I bet, he doesn't call me with an
inferior hand, but if I check, he might try to buy it on the river. I
check, and he checks. I show my hand, he shakes his head, and mucks.
Don't know what he had; don't care. I stacked the chips.

At this point, everytime I win a pot, Mike and Bob keep shouting
"HEADHUNTER!!!! Gooooooo HEADHUNTER!!" Of course the rail roots for
me when I am in a pot against Phil - they always root against Phil.
At one point, someone behind Mike says to his friend, "who's that
sitting next to Hellmuth?" To which his friend replies, "oh, that's
headhunter." (as if I am a somebody all of a sudden).

We are winding down the last few minutes of play, and I realize that I
just actually will (probably) be playing on Monday. Annie Duke comes
over to talk to Phil and shows him her new tattoo on the small of her
back. I look down and see KhQh. Now, here I am, trying to look at
Annie's tattoo, and trying to raise, AND trying to get Phil's
attention that I have raised, all at the same time. I don't get to
see the tattoo very well, but I put in my raise. Phil looks at me,
and AGAIN asks how much I've got. I show him my chips, and then look
him in the eye and say "well, Phil, you've come over the top of me
EVERY OTHER time I've raised, you might as well do it now." He looks
at me, laughs, and mucks his hand. I show him my hand and say "the
same god damn hand I've had every OTHER time you came over the top of
me." He said I had him this time the whole way. For some reason, my
confidence is now boosted, and as they deal the last hand of the
night, I get QsTs. Folded to me, I try to steal the blinds. Phil
would have none of it, and he re-raises me. I lay it down. He tells
a friend at the other table that he finished the night with QQ but I
don't believe him. However, it doesn't matter. I have $16,225 and
will be playing on Monday!! As we count our chips, I turn to Phil and
ask him a question "Do we re-draw for seats on Monday?" He says
"yeah, we do." I reply, "good, 'cuz THIS REALLY sucked!!!" He laughs
and gives me a high five.

Say what you want about him. I hear all the talk about the whining
and the crying .. and he certainly did more than his share of it.
However, the player next to me started attacking him as soon as he sat
down. Phil sits down and the guy next to me says "humility is a
virtue, Phil. You need to learn humility." Hell, Phil hasn't even
put chip one in a pot, and already he's getting shit! He looks at
this guy and says "name me one great athlete who was humble." This
shut the guy up for about 20 minutes. He then shouts "Bill Russell.
Have you heard of Bill Russell, Phil?" Dude, give it up. Phil
challenged you, and it took you 20 minutes to come up with Bill
Russell? I mean, yeah, great champion, but the fact that it took you
20 minutes kinda proved Phil's point. Besides, the whole whining
thing is part of Phil's shtick. Many of the players were intimidated.
Some would go into check-call mode. One even kept betting 200 into a
$2500+ pot - and priced Phil into hitting his gutshot. A few times,
people played back at Phil (especially the Swedish kid, and this guy,
William in a UB hat) and Phil would lay down. He's a damn good
player who TOTALLY controlled our table. Watching him play was
amazing. He played about 6-7 hands every orbit. He accomplished what
he wanted, which was to build up his stack, and never risk all of his

On Sunday, I get a call from my wife. She is out of town with some girlfriends and is due home at dinner- time Sunday night. Her message
says that it is 1:00 and they are on their way home. I say to Mike "this doesn't sound good. They are coming home 3 hours early." I call her and ask if everything is OK. She says "umm." And the phone cuts out. She is in Amish Country Ohio, and can't get a cell signal. I wait an agonizing 30 minutes to reconnect. I find out that my father has been in the hospital since Friday morning (they didn't want to tell me) and will need surgery Monday. I later learn that my
nephew is in the hospital with RSV (a respiratory virus). Turns out my dad has surgery Monday morning (Ohio time) and everything is OK, and my nephew came home Monday. Both are doing well.

I draw a GREAT table. There are no "names" at my table, and the chip
leader has only $34,000 in chips - none of the monster stacks I had
heard about. The low guy at the table had 3500, but most were between
16 and 25k like me. Chip leader is on my immediate left for one
hand. He calls an all-in with QQ, and loses the coin toss to the AK
when the A flops. Chips shift to my right (cool), and we continue on.
Unfortunately for me, I get nothing. I re-raise a late position
raiser with garbage, and I get him to lay it down. I am merely
treading water, just waiting for a hand. Then, the original chip
leader makes a huge mistake. With the "normal" raise at 2k, he tosses
two chips in. As soon as they hit the felt, he realizes that instead
of two yellow ($1,000) chips, he tossed in a 1k and 5k chip. Dealer
announces that the raise stands at 6k. It is folded to the button
(who has played a lot of hands) who pushes all-in. First player
announces that he normally would fold, but that he is too invested in
the hand, and calls, showing QQ. Button has KK and doubles through,
leaving QQ man with about 2600. (QQ was NOT his hand that day as he
lost with it three times). Just before a break, I raise with KdJd,
and he comes over the top of me all-in. Everyone folds, and I have to
call as it is only 600 more to me. He shows QJ so I am feeling
good, until the flop has a Q in it. However, the flop is Th Qd 4d,
meaning I flopped a straight, and a flush draw. The diamond comes on
the turn, and I bust my first player of the WSOP. BOUNTY ON TABLE
46!!!!! At the next level, I don't get much again. Then, the UTG
player raises, and I am in the SB with 99. I am relatively
short-stacked and need to take a stand sooner or later. It's the best
hand I've seen in a while, so I go all-in. UTG flips over AdQd, and
when the board is all low cards, I basically double through (I had him
outchipped by 500 or so).

Unfortunately, that is my highlight of Monday. The guy who became the
chip leader on the first hand has one move: ALL IN. Whenever he
entered a pot, he went all in. The rest of us were DYING for a real
hand when he did it, but it never happened. Although he RAISED
all-in, I NEVER saw him re-raise until he did it to me. I raise in
middle position with AcKc. He re-raises me all-in. I think forever,
and decide that since he has not re-raised at all, I had to put him on
a big hand (Aces or Kings) and folded. There is a chance that he also
has AK .. but then I am risking all my chips to hope that we have the
same hand, and I am freerolling the clubs. Didn't sound like a wise
call there. I SUPPOSE he could have had QQ or JJ in which case I am
still the slight dog. It is the only hand of the tournament that I
still have doubts about. After that break, I don't see AK/AQ or a
pocket pair higher than 6's until after dinner. After dinner, I steal
a couple of blinds (just to stay alive). Late into the 11th level, I
have 17,000 and the blinds are 1,000-2,000 with a 300? ante. I post
the BB, and the middle player raises. I look down to see AK in the
BB. I decide that I cannot call here, and with an all-in, I MIGHT get
him to lay it down. Even if he calls, unless he has AA or KK, I'm not
TOO bad off. I push all-in. He calls the extra 9500, and I show Big
Slick. He looks bummed as he turns over AsQs!!! I think, wow, 34k in
chips! Maybe I will make it to Tuesday. AQ is one of the best
holdings I could ask for until the flop comes 2s3s6s!!!! Bam, just
like that I am drawing to a runner-runner (4s5s) to hope for a
straight flush just to chop!! Of course it doesn't come, and I am
out of the tournament. Even though I was low on chips and (I think)
made the right move, getting busted out still feels like a kick in the
gut!!!! What can I say? I accomplished my 4 goals (survive the first
hand, survive the first level, survive the first day, and have more
fun than anyone else with the possible exception of the eventual
winner). My first WSOP and I had a blast.

Notable hands of the tourney:

I wasn't involved in them but either saw them at other tables, or
heard about them:
1. Quads over quads. Yep, player A had 55. Player B had 99. Flop is
55x. They go all-in, and the turn and river are 9's. A 990-1 shot
and it's at the WSOP.
2. AA vs AK flop is Ten high, and THEN they get all their money in
turn and river are Kings. AA go home.
3. AA versus KK. Flop is a King, turn is an Ace, river is a King. AA
go bye-bye.
4. Player A's first hand that he plays is JJ. Flops a set, but
player B flops a straight. They go allin on the flop. JJ doesn't

Ring Games:
I played 10-20 and 20-40 at the Mirage and Golden Nugget, and 15-30 at
1. 10-20 at GN: Raise UTG with AA. Get 4 callers. Flop is Ad7cQc. I
bet and get three callers. Turn is a 7h. Bet and get one caller.
River is the dream ticket Ac. I bet and we go 6 bets on the river
before he gives up and says "you got the full house, huh?"
2. 10-20 at GN. I limp with TJs, as does the entire table, to the
button, who raises. Everyone calls, and the flop is Kh7d2c. Checked
to the button who bets, and I announce a stupid call as I throw two
chips into the pot. The turn is an Ace, and now I'm stuck. Checked
to the button who bets, and 3 people call (including me). River is
the Q, giving me the nuts. We check to the button who bets, others
fold, I raise, and we get 4 bets in before he asks "did you REALLY go
runner runner for the straight?" As he calls, I show him the nuts,
and he flips up Big Slick.
3. 20-40 at the Mirage. Two limpers, and I have KK. I raise, and we
see the flop 5 handed. Flop is 246. Early player bets, I raise,
called by two others. He re-raises, and I re-raise, and he caps it
with 4 of us in. Turn is a Two. He bets (I can only hope for the K
now) two of us call. River is the King. He bets, I raise, other
folds, and he calls and starts bitching up a storm.
4. On Sunday, I play in the 10-20 game at GN. I'm just blowing off
steam, knowing that on Monday I won't play many hands in the
tournament. I've more than loosened the game up - straddles, blind
bets, you name it. Several of us were Internet qualifiers, including
the two guys on my left (one from Washington, the other from Denmark).
Washington guy raised UTG to drag a HUGE pot when his 2h3h caught a
wheel on the river (AK945 board). Yep, Raised UTG with 2h3h - that's
the kind of game it was. Heck, I limp/capped with 5s6s and dragged a
huge pot with a Q55 flop. So, after Washington played his 23, I
played 57, limp capped it again. 7 way action. Flop is 256. I bet,
Washington raises, and the Dane sits back and starts laughing. I look
at him and say, "I know why you are laughing - you're wondering if
he's flopped the straight, and you're drawing dead (or very thin)
already. I'm thinking the same thing, so I hope the board pairs."
The Dane looks at me, laughs, and mucks. Everyone else mucks, and
Washington and I are heads up. Turn is an 8, and I check call, and
when the river is a J, we both check. He turns over A9 for pure
overcards on the flop, and my pair of 5's drag a monster. Dane
screams that he folded 99 (I have a hard time believing that, but,
5. I play 4h9h UTG. Flop is 993. I check, One guy bets, two people
call. I say "I check-raise with my 9." They all call. On the turn, I
say "I bet my trips." They all call. On the river, I say "I bet my
trips for the last time." Two people call. They ask what I have. I
say "trips," and turn over my hand. First guy says, "damn, he DID
have them." They muck.
6. Lee's ugly hand of the week. He had limped with AJ. I had limped
with KJ. Flop is Jh9c2s. He bets, I raise, Asian woman calls,
everyone else folds. Lee raises, I call, she calls. Turn is a 5. He
bets, I raise, she calls both. Lee re-raises, I call, she calls.
River is a 5. Lee bets, I call, SHE raises, Lee calls, I have to
fold. She turns over Qd5d - for no draw on the flop, and to go
runner-runner 5's to snap his AJ.

At the Mirage, Lee and I played with a woman named Maureen. A local,
we play with her every time we are out in Vegas. She's fun to play
with, and we have a great time with her every time we play. This time
was no exception, except that the table wasn't that great and Lee
and I dropped a bundle there. Moved to the Bellagio, and played in a
very volatile 15-30 game. I was up $900, and 2 hours later was stuck
$500. We went to dinner, and when I came back, I got to sit next to
RGP'er Jonathan Nut No Pair Kaplan. I told him that I thought that
was he when I returned from dinner - I had recognized him from his
ESPN confrontation with Scotty Nguyen. JK is on my RGP list - there
are a handful of posters that, when I see their name, I ALWAYS read
their post. JK is one of them. We talk for a long time (he probably
wanted to get back to his music, but I would have none of that and
continued to babble on and on). Turns out that he just got married
(congrats, again, Jonathan) and he married someone whom I knew from
poker circles back home. The cards came my way (caught quads for the
third time this trip - of course NEVER in the WSOP), and I got up
about $1,000 when we decided to leave.

All in all, great time. I won a little on the side action (about
$150), got a week free at the Golden Nugget, played in the WSOP, and
got a simulated leather vinyl duffel bag full of Pokerstars
merchandise all for $80.


While I'm on the topic, someone posted the True Secrets to how Phil Helmuth plays. I'm sure you noticed the picture above...

A study, published in the May 21 issue of the journal Science, compared the reactions to a gambling game among healthy participants and people who had injuries to the orbitofrontal cortex, a part of the brain that links regions involved in reasoning with other areas involved in emotion. When the players were informed of what they would have won or lost had they chosen differently, adding the possibility that they might feel regret, the healthy players minded losing far more than the injured participants did.

The researchers then changed the odds, making bolder bets lose more often. The healthy subjects quickly shifted to a cautious strategy, while those with injuries stuck to their original strategy, even as their losses piled up...

I always suspected brain damage amongst many of my opponents...should I feel guilty taking advantage of the disabled?

Don't answer that, it's a rhetorical question.

I enjoyed this email to Party Poker support:


I'd appreciate it if you would ask the above-named player to change his ID.
Thank you.

Oh the humanity, how do I segue after that one?

How about this, for my local and long-time readers: I participated this past year in the Bluegrass Poker Series, a series of local monthly NL tournaments created to send a player to the WSOP Championship Event in the BPS name. Basically, they would run a tournament with rebuys, and the rebuy money would go into a separate prize pool used to send a player to the WSOP, which they did. It's a great model for perhaps the bloggers to follow - I'd love to send a poker blogger to the WSOP - but I'll wax poetic about this later. For now, here is the latest on the Bluegrass Poker Series:

We have been back for almost two weeks now, and I think I just got my legs back under me. It was 5 non-stop days, starting by 9:00 AM every morning and ending at 4:00 AM every night...Oh Yeah, Brad played in the World Series of Poker.

We carried $10,000 cash into Binion's downtown on Thursday night. We waited in line to register right behind Norm McDonald. The first person we saw was Mike Sexton from the World Poker Tour. He talked to us like we had been old friends. Very nice guy and probably one of the biggest celebs there. Angie was excited to see Annie Duke (all 5'4" of her)....Oh Yeah, and on Day 1, Brad knocked out a current pro and former champ, David Pham.

There were 2576 entrants in the $10,000 main event. Brad ran his stack up to $24,000 on day 1 and ended Day 1 with $14,000. He sat out Day 2 as the 2nd half of the field played. On Monday, day 3, there were approx 1,200 players remaining. Unfortunately, our man lost 3 back to back pots and was eliminated right around 1,000. All in all, it was a great showing and he represented well. You can get all the details from him when we start BPS II.....That's right BPS II.

Here's the deal...BPS II will be 6-8 regular season tournaments and then a BPS Masters Championship in January...the winner will receive an entry into Jack Binion's World Poker Open in Tunica, Mississippi. The World Poker Open is a World Poker Tour $5,000 event. I am working out the details. Stay tuned.

There sure has been a ton of great blogging and poker writing going on all over the web. For starters, Mister Decker has a wonderful response to the Nigerian email scam artists. I hope they write back. The Poker Prof has a well-reasoned treatise on the legality of online poker written on June 2nd. Worth a read - go now.

This whole 'legality of online poker' issue keeps getting thornier. I don't see any way the government can stop it, except at the ISP level and even then, I'm not so sure. And what about regulation of the poker sites? Is that in our future in some dark day down the road? I have many more questions than answers on this subject, but I did find this compelling column about web gaming at Technology News:
Luck or Skill? A Niche for Web Gaming Firms

The generally accepted standard for legal gaming is that it must involve a contest where skill is the predominant factor in winning or losing; if a game is too easy or too hard for the participants, skill is less a factor in the outcome than luck.

Killeen's site offers about 30 games, and it provides game services to Yahoo, Lycos and Electronic Arts' Pogo.com. He compares his company's role to that of the U.S. Tennis Association, which organizes the U.S. Open tournament. "We provide the setting, award the prizes and create the draws," he said. "We take a management fee and award the prize to the winners. The difference is, we do it for millions of people."
WorldWinner has more than 10 million registered users, which places the site near the top of its category. Sixty-five percent of the registrants are women over age 40.

"It turns out they really like to play games online," Killeen said. "Mostly, they like the traditional games they're used to playing offline."

2+2 regular and new poker author, Ed Miller, is writing a monthly column for the new Casino & Gaming Television website. You can check out the first one here:
Opposite Day

This well-written story made me a little sad.
From our twisted 'Fear and Fetish' friend at Loser Variable blog.
The Reeper

I'm loving everything that Paul Phillips writes. I just wish he updated every damn day since I can't get a daily dose of his biting sarcasm on RGP anymore. He's fended off and belittled and bitch-slapped so many trolls on RGP - it's truly a thing of beauty. It sure must be fun to always be the smartest person in the room. Write a damn book, Paul!
Paul Phillips Blog

Fascinating column here about Poker and Introverts.
A winning combination? YES, according to Dr. Norm McAullife.
See why:
Poker and Introverts

Champions like Johnny Chan, Dan Harrington and even Chris Ferguson also come to mind. Are they introverts? I wonder. I strongly suspect deep-thinking poker people like David Sklansky and Mason Malmouth are introverts also.

Extroverts are expressive—not exactly a winning characteristic at the poker table. They generally talk a lot—and we all know you cannot listen when you are talking. Extroverts want to be, and perhaps are compelled to be—the “life of the party”. Expression, expression and more expression. How can any of this be good for your poker game?

Poker is the playground of the intelligent introvert. Wonderful brain fodder - I need to noodle around on that for a bit, maybe post an essay later.

Here's a unique take on publishing a book. God bless the internet - I need to print out this site and see what I can glean from it.
Hold em Brain book online


I am writing a book on Limit Hold'em which will be published by Pi Yee
Press. Currently, I have the entire book available online at my site
HoldEm Brain.

There are no ads on the site, the entire purpose for
the site is for me to get feedback from readers about my book. I am
specifically looking for constructive criticsm, suggestions, problems,
anything that can help me make the book better. I suspect the contents of
the book will be up on the site for two to three weeks. After that I will
take it offline and submit the final manuscript.

Per my surreptitious guerrilla marketing for us bloggers, I've bugged Maryann Guberman to write about our damn poker blogs to no avail. I don't think she even plays online, though. Perhaps linking to her will help? Here's a link to all of her columns.

Let's move back to the WSOP, shall we? I'm even more pleased that I made the trek to Vegas for it this year, especially from a historical perspective. That was the very last time the entire World Series will be played there.
Hopefully, we'll have a full contingent of poker bloggers joining Hank, Felicia, Glenn and I for the festivities next year. Perhaps we can all crash at Grubby's. :)

I found this excellent take on Greg Raymer's WSOP victory by RGP stalwart, Ashley Adams.

Response to WSOP Whiners re: Raymer

I'm copying an article I wrote for www.thepokerforum.com. Thought it might
interest some of you.

Greg Raymer is the World's Champion of Poker. He has done the difficult,
winning the final event of the World Series of Poker. There are so many
superlatives that describe his feat. By winning five million dollars
($5,000,000.000) he is the winner of the largest prize in a poker tournament;
the winner of the most money in WSOP history; and the winner of the largest
first place prize in any competitive sporting event. By beating 2,575 opponents he wins one of the (if not the) largest poker tournament ever held in a real (versus virtual) casino. He is, quite simply, the man. Lancy Howard would be proud (read The Cincinnati Kid if you don't know that reference).

Even so, there is some obnoxious and silly sniping along the fringes of the
win. I've recently read many posts complaining about the lack of "name pros" at the final table. Somehow, these posters have come to the conclusion that since no one they have ever heard of (and they haven't even heard of final table contestant and former WSOP Main Event winner Dan Harrington) won the largest event in poker history, the victory must be more the product of luck than ever before.

Some poker "purists" opine that with the mammoth field, luck clearly outweighed skill. Some famous players criticize many contestants in this large field for not having the skill to fold to a bluff, making the aggressive tactics of the world's best players less meaningful. "How can you outplay someone who doesn't recognize the great hand that the bluffer was representing" seems to be his or her mantra.

To all of these critics I say "HOGWASH". They are wrong on so many levels that I have to laugh at their inanity. This victory by Greg Raymer is the greatest poker no limit tournament victory in the history of the sport. Consider the following.

If a player is too bad to be bluffed out of a pot then how skillful is it to
attempt a bluff against that player? Don't whine just because the tactics that work against your regular crew of tight players doesn't work against a loose tournament newbie. If these well known professionals are such experts then why were they bluffing a guy who was going to call? What kind of a read was that?

The ability to bluff is not necessarily any more important a skill than the
ability to adjust ones play to fit the situation. It sure seems in hindsight
that the experienced player -- at least the player with experience playing
against a lot of unknowns of limited experience -- would know enough not to
attempt bluffs and other fancy moves against the typical loose, inexperience
big field player. Toward that end, maybe the guys who have the most experience playing in large on line tournaments against loose, inexperience players have a decided advantage over those big money players who generally are up against players whom they know and play regularly against in brick and mortar casinos. Adjusting to game conditions is a valuable skill indeed.

But let's say that the top pro really is significantly better than the field.
How much better is he? And how does this advantage translate into his chances
for winning an event with such a large field? How incongruous were the results from what we'd expect the results to be?

Is the top pro fifty percent better than the average player in the WSOP? That's a whole lot better -- certainly much better than I've ever been in a ring game (and I'm pretty good). To be fifteen percent better is to beat the rake at the $20/40 game I'm usually in. And there are darn few players who beat the rake -- maybe 10% of us at most. To be fifty percent better would be to win three big bets an hour or so -- maybe four or five big bets an hour. I honestly don't know anyone making that good a living playing poker anywhere in the world.

But let's really bend over backwards to give full credit to the best pros in
the business. Let's credit these top-level pros playing in the WSOP's final
event with being even better than the best. Let's say they're one hundred
percent better than average -- no, make that three hundred percent better --
four times better than average. If the average player has a ten percent chance of winning a one-table tournament then let's give these players a forty percent chance. That's an absurdly huge advantage. But then I want to make an absurdly huge point.

Now let's apply that to the WSOP. There were 2576 players. The average player
would have been a 2576:1 long shot to win the event. What shot would the best
pros in the world have? Even if we give them the benefit of being three hundred percent better than average, they'd still be a 644:1 long shot. Them's long odds folks.

But let's not look at just the chances of one particular pro winning the event. Let's look at the whole field of "name pros". How many pro players do you know by name? Can you name 30? 40? 50? OK, maybe you read a lot of poker magazines and have a good memory and can recognize 60 of them as the top pros. Good for you! Then the odds of one of them winning is about 10:1 against! So why be so surprised that the winner wasn't one of the people you thought was the most skillful.

As it happens, the universe of excellent no limit hold em players is probably
much broader than most observers think it is, and much broader than it ever
was. Consider this. Up until fifteen years ago or so, you had to have very deep pockets and be one of a select few touring professional players to get much experience at all playing no limit hold em. Up until a decade ago, if you wanted to play in no limit tournaments on a regular basis you really only had a few more options than that. You either had to live in Southern California or Las Vegas where these tournaments went off with regular frequency or you had to have the freedom and bankroll to travel around the world to play in tournaments as they happened. In the mid-90s these options expanded to living in Eastern Connecticut or Atlantic City and playing each week or so in small no limit tourneys. But that was pretty much it on a regular basis.

But then, starting in the late 90s and expanding exponentially each year until the present, on line poker really took off. Today, thousands of no limit tournaments a year can be played from the convenience of your home -- a few every day if you so desire. And while it isn't the same thing as playing in a live tournament, it's certainly close enough for hundreds of thousands of players to develop serious no limit tournament chops.

All of this points to the enormity of the recent victory by Greg Raymer. He not only won the world's most prestigious poker event (going away, by the way, for those of you who didn't follow the action live. Make sure to watch the overwhelming play of the final day when the event comes to video). He not only beat the largest field ever assembled in a live tournament. He beat the largest field of players with no limit hold em experience.

Some attempt to downgrade the proficiency of the competitors in this year's
final event by pointing to the number of players who won their seat in a
satellite or qualifying tournament of one sort or another. But this seems to be inverted logic. Which is the more skillful means to a seat at the Big Dance, buying your way in for $10,000 or earning your way in by beating other players? Seems obvious to me that those who won their seats by beating hundreds or even thousands of other players had the more difficult route.

All in all then, Greg Raymer's victory demonstrates that he is, right now, the best no limit tournament poker player in the world. Besides that, by the way, he is an amusing, intelligent, and affable player from my home casino of
Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. He is a credit to the game.

Congratulations Mr. Raymer. Long may you reign!

Ashley Adams
author of Winning 7-Card Stud

And not to deluge you with RGP threads, but I finally found an intelligent discussion that's worth passing along. Here's the abridged version - someone posted a Las Vegas Review-Journal article about "Harrah's Expects WSOP numbers to triple again next year". Yikes, tripling! But someone made a perfectly cogent point that the massive TV exposure on mainly No Limit Texas Hold Em was killing the split games (Stud hi-lo and Omaha 8). Of course, showing the split games on television is too confusing and difficult for your average television viewer. So recognize the writing on the wall regarding Omaha/8 and Stud/8 at land-based card rooms (both cash games and tournaments) and take appropriate action. All the same, I'm a huge believer in learning other games to deepen your overall poker knowledge. I know for a fact that hold em decisions become far easier to make after say, a week of nothing but O8.

And then came this two cents:

I am sure that the numbers could go that high but I doubt if they
will...the growth of the main event is tied directly to the various online
sites that create the satellites, which this year put over 900 extra people
in the tournament. The incentive for these sites to run the sats and boost
the entries was taken away by the disallowing of logo wear and the fact that
their marketing machines cannot operate successfully under the current
scenario. If Harrah's wants these sites to help boost attendance at the
WSOP, they will have to come up with a solution to also allow them to market
their product.

I know for a fact that Party was not happy about it, and I am sure that
PokerStars felt the same. Party, PokerStars and Paradise took over 9 million
off their sites to do this, and got little in return...Party could run a 20
million $$ tourney once a year and draw many new players to their site
without the WSOP or ESPN or Harrah's.

They and other online sites may forego the WSOP next year if Harrah's does
not change the way the sites can operate. Certainly the sites will look very
hard at their costs to do this and their potential gain before committing to
this next year. This of course is just my opinion.


And this was rebutted:

They didn't take anything off their sites. That was the players' money. If the tourneys they ran weren't WSOP sats, then the winners would've gotten the cash right there, not the site owners. And the sites collect a fee from each tourney entry, so they make their cut regardless. If they think they can fill up more tourneys without the tie-in to WSOP, then
maybe they will stop promoting it. If not, they still will sponsor it,
and continue to make a killing doing it.

Look at it this way. Those sites sent 900 players to WSOP. Packages were
worth approx $12K. The sites collected roughly 10% in fees for running
the tourneys, so let's say $1200 per package awarded. $1200 * 900 =
$1.08M. That's roughly how much the sites made running the sats for WSOP.

And I agreed with this succint assessment:

The only site that added significant value (beyond a shirt and a cap) to
the WSOP packages that I know of was PokerStars, which paid for the hotel
rooms and at least one meal for the 300+ players from its promotional

PokerStars knows its clientele: serious poker pros and semi-pros. Having
4 players at the WSOP main event final table was no accident.

PokerStars run the best online tournaments, bar none: fair number of
chips, slower blind structures, time bank, and official support for prize
chop deals.

And then the thread disintegrated into a buncha noise, as it usually does. But finally, Steve Badger, waded through the crap, as he always does, and offered these final words. Prior post snippets that he is responding to are in italics.

I think the numbers will go up, but 7500? I wouldn't bet on it. I am sure that the numbers could go that high but I doubt if they

Three first days, 10,500 cap, over $100,000,000 prize pool, if...

the growth of the main event is tied directly to the various online
sites that create the satellites, which this year put over 900 extra
people in the tournament.

Harrahs made a poor decision about logos. The growth of this event is
mostly due to online site participation. If Harrahs chooses to get in bed
(< wow, a pun) with Levitra instead of benignly ignoring the online sites,
growth won't be much. Online sites will still send players because players
will want to go, but they won't do anywhere nearly as much.

The incentive for these sites to run the sats and boost the entries was taken away by the disallowing of logo wear and the fact that their marketing machines cannot operate successfully under the current scenario. If Harrah's wants these sites to help boost attendance at the WSOP, they will have to come up with a solution to also allow them to market their product.

There is no solution needed. Harrahs prevented people from wearing shirts
because it diminshed their own brand and that of their paid sponsor. This
would not be a very bright decision to say the least, for the long run, but
at the time, with a trapped audience of players, they could freely do what
they wanted.

I know for a fact that Party was not happy about it, and I am sure that
PokerStars felt the same. Party, PokerStars and Paradise took over 9
million off their sites to do this, and got little in return...

Certainly not true. The online sites got a huge windfall that was worth it.
It's a enormour no-brainer positive for Pokerstars, for sure, and pretty
good for online poker in general. If a non-online player would have won
though, it would not have been good for the online sites.

They and other online sites may forego the WSOP next year if Harrah's does
not change the way the sites can operate.

Harrahs may be shortsighted but they aren't morons. You can bet that
Levitra won't get exclusive logo rights next year... or if they do, they
will pay a monstrous number.

Fortunately the online sites have a lot of leverage here, and the MOST
important thing, there are the one ally that players have. The online sites
allow players to get endorsement money. It will be a good thing to end the
sick status quo of a casino charging an entry fee AND pocketing all
endorsement money itself due to the free labor of players.

Steve Badger

Excellent points, all. But damn, watcha wanna do there, Steve, unionize the poker players?

Oh the humanity.

By the way, if anyone out there wants to pity this cableless loser, please consider making a tape for me of the ESPN poker shows. I resorted to paying $35 bucks for a tape on EBay of the 2003 Series after reading about it for months. My favorite moment of that one is still Sam Grizzle needling Phil Helmuth. I'd be remiss if I didn't deeply thank both Hank and Pauly for previously sending me poker tapes. Too damn cool of them.

Speaking of poker on television that I never get to watch - why is everyone bitching about Phil Laak in last week's World Poker Tour episode? From I can ascertain, he just goofed around for the camera - peeking at cards, knocking over chips and doing something called the Dinosaur Walk after a suckout? Entertaining or obnoxious?

Moving on, I've made several posts about online poker bots, so there's no need to rehash them here. But still, I thought I'd post this message - review to anyone considering using WinHoldEm. The guy who wrote this program is a real jackass, imho. Go read his tired posts on RGP if you don't believe me. I think he's already been banned from 2+2. Anyway, here's some perspective:

Here are the real facts on WinHoldEm pokerbot for those considering purchasing the product:

1) People using WinHoldEm have had their accounts closed/suspended owners
of those accounts may or may not have gotten their money back from their
2) Almost all of the Poker Sites have a way of detecting WinHold Em.
3) After 12 hours of using WinHoldEm you can expect to earn $2.38 an hour
at $3/$6 or less than 1/2 BB per Hour. This data was provided by an actual
test of the product.
4) It will take you roughly 50 hours just to make the $100 back you spent
on the program. If during that time or anytime after the poker site detects
your bot your account can be closed and bankroll may be confiscated.
5) WinHoldEm.com is registered to:

Name : Ray Edward Bornert II
Address : 4143 Red Laurel Way
City/State/Zip : Snellville, GA 30039
Phone Home : 770-736-7870
Phone Fax : 770-736-7890
Phone Mobile : 770-309-7870
E-Mail : ray.bornert@hixoxih.com
DOB : 1961-OCT-02

6) Providing software with the intent to fraud may or may not be a
violation of FTC or Government regulations and can be reported to the
Attorney General of the State of Georgia, Mr. Thubert Baker
(http://ganet.org/ago/), the Federal Trade Commision (www.ftc.com), and the
Internet Fraud Complaint Center which is a joint operation between the FBI
and White Collar Crime Center (www.ifccfbi.gov).

If this sounds like a good proposition for you then by all means buy

Nothing impacts better than a customer testimonial, eh?

I wanted to thank Pokernerd for reminding me about the WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker) on PokerStars. I completely forgot about this event - PokerStars has announced the main event. It has a guaranteed prize pool of 1.2 million but it will likely exceed that, once things are all said and done. I hope I find time to hit some satellites...

Let's recap some of the very best poker columns from the mainstream press. Everyone light a candle to the Poker Gods tonight, please. We've got Dave Barry and MSN for you....

Screw it, this Dave Barry column is so damn funny I'm gonna post it here:

Be advised that a Poker Craze is sweeping the nation. Almost every night there are poker tournaments on television. And if you think that watching people play cards on television would be boring, I have three words for you: Correct-o-Mundo.
The problem is that there's not a lot of action in televised poker, where the most strenuous thing the players do is push small plastic chips a distance of about 15 inches. (Granted, this is more action than you see in televised golf.) To make matters worse, poker players do not betray any feelings, so most of the time what you have, visually, is a bunch of grim-faced guys sitting around a table looking like a hemorrhoid support group. Most of the emotion is supplied by the TV commentators, who, in hushed, dramatic tones, say things like:
"He's thinking about what to do here, Bob."
"You just know that, inside, he is churning with emotions, Bob."
"I'm sure glad I took powerful methamphetamines before this broadcast, Bob."
The guys are usually playing "Texas Hold 'em," which is the hottest poker game at the moment, although there are many other popular variations of poker, including Seven Card Stud, Five Card Draw, Alabama Grope 'em, Omaha High Low, Iowa Bore 'em, Six Card High Low Medium Jacks Wild Stud Draw Go Fish, Cincinnati Lawn Flamingo, Florida Recount 'em, Kansas City Clam Enhancer, Arkansas Geld 'em, New Jersey Whack 'em, New York Kvetch 'em, Red Rover and Whist.
All of these games are essentially the same: A person (or, in poker slang, "dealer") gives you some cards ("cards"), which you look at in a furtive manner ("sneaking a gander") to see if you have a good hand ("bling bling") after which you bet (or "kiss the eel") by placing money ("cheese") into the pot ("marijuana"). This goes on until somebody ("not you") wins, at which point all the losers express heartfelt congratulations in colorful slang terms.
Sounds like a lot of fun, right? Not to me, either. But as I say, poker is sweeping the nation, and so I decided to experience it first hand by going to the poker room at the Miccosukee Resort and Gaming Casino, located west of Miami right next to the Everglades, which makes it one of the few casinos in the world where not only can you gamble - excuse me, I mean "game" - but also you can experience the excitement of knowing that you could be attacked by an alligator in the parking lot.
I've never played serious poker, so I took along a friend, Philippe Boets, who is an expert. Unfortunately, he's not an expert on poker: He is an expert on petanque, an extremely French sport where you toss steel balls around, the object being to eventually stop and have lunch. Philippe is president of Petanque America, which consists largely of Philippe. When I thought about a possible companion for my poker expedition, his name came immediately to mind because of a certain indefinable quality he has, which I would define as "not having a real job."
On the way to the casino, Philippe told me that the only poker game he has played is "Indian poker," in which each player sticks a card onto his forehead, so that he can't see it, but all the other players can.
"Then what?" I asked.
"I don't remember," Philippe said. "There was a lot of rum."
Things were much more serious in the casino poker room, where the tables were fully occupied by grim chip-pushing hemorrhoid-support groupers. There was a nice lady there, and Philippe and I asked her how we could get into a game. She asked if we knew how to play, and we said sure, we knew the basics, in the sense of being able to recognize most of the cards on sight. This did not satisfy her: She wanted to know if we knew the winning hands, and we had to admit that we did not. She told us, apologetically, that we would not be welcome in the games, because the groupers get upset when, in the midst of all the rapid-fire dealing and bluffing and betting, a novice player (or "moron") says something like: "O.K., does a flush beat a trump?"
So Philippe and I did not get to participate in the national Poker Craze. Instead, we went to the bar and participated in the national Beer Craze, after which we spent a couple of hours losing money at the slot machines. This is an unbelievably mindless activity. It's only a matter of time before it's huge on TV. ("She's pulling the handle again, Bob.")

From Slate/MSN, is this great feature article:
Not in the Cards
How the World Series stacks the deck against the gods of poker.

Thanks to constant reruns on ESPN, the 28-year-old accountant from Tennessee has re-won the tournament two or three times a day for the past year. The network sold Moneymaker as poker's Roy Hobbs, the gifted youngster who started as "dead money" and dismantled the game's cagey veterans one by one. The broadcasts were also a vehicle to promote the game's established pros—former champions Scotty Nguyen and Phil Hellmuth, legends Howard Lederer and Men "The Master" Nguyen, and hot up-and-comers like Phil Ivey. Moneymaker's surprise victory didn't undermine ESPN's storyline, though. He may have been a newbie, but Moneymaker wasn't lucky: The wraparound shades, steely glare, and calm under pressure made him an instant member of ESPN's star system. He was a hard-bitten, old pro in a young man's body.

Alrighty then, I gotta finish this up. I don't even have time to proof this so my humble apologies for typos or broken links or whatever. I have a poker game / pseudo bachelor party tonight for my good friend, Filmgeek. I'm actually not sure how much poker will be played, but if so, it will probably be no-limit SNG's. Filmgeek has already stated that anyone getting knocked out will be forced to do a healthy shot. As if I need to get knocked out of a tourney to do such things....

I don't have time to proof this damn post nor to pimp all the blogs I want to. It's just time constraints. So allow me to announce a few brand new poker blogs:

First off is Daniel, the first French poker blogger to join our ranks. I love the following metaphor.
Poker experience

When I was young, I used to live in a region of France where hunting is more than a tradition, it's a religion. In this region (south of bordeaux) most of people have a gun, and most of people use it for hunting ringdove.
Hunting Ringdoves is not an easy game. You have to use decoys to lure the birds. You can kill them only if they land to eat. Most of the time, you see them flying around you, waiting for them to land near you.

For me, Texas Holdem is like hunting Ringdoves. Let me explain why.

This guy is off to a rousing start, I enjoyed the link to Shana Hiatt.
JackNine Off Suit
Death....taxes....and you catching your 2-outer on the river to beat my A high flush.

I am a fairly emotional guy and, while all the guys at the table seem to be having fun with it, I think if Phil came dancing around that table after catching a river Ace - I might put one right on his chin......accidently.

The Poker Bookie
A journal dedicated to my exploits into Poker, Sports Betting, and Thoroughbred Racing

And so it has been with poker, I have logged many hours online playing, reading hand histories, reading blogs, and reading some of the recommended poker books. I am now taking the next step to share with you my experience. What I am looking for is some critique of my play so that I can continue to improve and maybe one day be able to sit at the final table of the WSOP. Lofty dream, I know but don’t count me out!

I don't know what happened to my links to this site, but I forgot to add him to my poker blog list on the right. For that reason, I'm giving fhwrdh.net another pimp.

Poker Chip's Poker Blog
Hi! I'm Chip, and I'll be detailing my ongoing exploration of online poker in this blog. I'm new, and I'm not very good, but with any luck I'll improve.

Whew, I think that's it. Thanks a ton for reading and damnit, use bonus code IGGY on Party Poker. :)

Link of the Day:
Senator Has a Nice Ass
When the office of Sen. Mike DeWine read Washingtonienne, a weblog by one of their entry-level staffers, I bet they totally reamed her.

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

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