Sunday, July 25, 2004

"I'll see your Red Label,
And raise you one more."

Tom Waits

Welcome to my humble poker blog. Thanks to any new readers - I'm glad you discovered this smoky corner of the BlogoSphere where thoughts, ideas and news about poker are running amuck. If you want to read about poker, you're in the right place - in fact, it may be more than you bargained for. Verbose is my middle name.

Sadly, though, my blog was dissed in a rather nasty manner by someone over the weekend. It's really unfathomable. Sure, this blog may suck but calling everything I write RUBBISH is a tad much. Well, OK, maybe not. But the truth hurts, damnit.

But I'll plod on, rubbish or no. I've a ton of random poker stuff for you today. Poker news, poker legal issues, David Sklansky posts, Party Poker tidbits and, of course, the new poker blogs that are long overdue to be pimped.

Hell, wait a sec, see, that's what irks me about the criticism - it's not like this guy is a fellow poker blogger. THAT I could respect. I want to challenge him to start one up and let's see how well he does. Get back to me in 200 posts, will ya? It's not like this is my freaking job or anything...I do this for the fun of it, after all.

Hell, Party Poker or Empire oughta be paying me for telling everyone how soft the damn games are. I'm just drinking some lots of Guinness and giving my two cents after my years of experience playing online. And to be frank, I've had so few referrals it doesn't matter, anyway. I'm here to write about poker.

But if Party/Empire (God forbid) ever falters, and someone else steps up and claims their market share, I'll be the first one on the soapbox, letting folks know where to play, referrals or no referrals.

As our ex-UK poker blogger perfectly states:

The revenue models that can be applied to portals or "review" sites, or which makes perfect sense for a poker pulse, just cannot be applied to blogs, which are intensely personal and passion based.

Amen. I HATE banner-laden review sites. DESPISE THEM. They are full of false information and shameless shilling. I doubt that 99% of their webmasters even play poker online, much less play and win.

Anyway...I had an unbelievable weekend at the tables. I know it's the weekend but Good Lord, it's funny how bad some of these players are. Could they be drinking? Hapless newbies? Wealthy guys just fooling around? Tilting Texans?

I asked local poker pro, Fast Eddie, about this last evening:

iggy: it's so shocking, sometimes i have to pinch myself
iggy: to make sure i'm not dreaming or blacked out
fasteddie : they play holdem like we would play night baseball
fasteddie : I have to pinch myself too, do you think I ever thought I would be playing over 1,000 hands per hour?

And yes, I'm only playing at Party. Fast Eddie, ditto. You're missing out if you are wasting your time anywhere else. In this vein, the poker blog at PokerChronicles.com is worth checking out. Again, this young feller makes all his income from playing online poker and these were his thoughts a day or three ago:


I expect in time Party’s lax attitude will catch up to them when the poker boom subsides. I hate to contribute to their success but even despite all of their problems the action there is unlike anything else in the world so in the interests of my bottom line profits I am forced to mainly play there.

Amen, brother. I can barely remember back in the day, trying to grind out a small profit on Paradise. Same guys, night after night. Times, they have truly changed. Sign up on Party or Empire, damnit. Bonus Code IGGY on Party and IGGY1 on Empire.

I know I have a few new readers so allow me to reiterate the situation with these poker sites - skins. Here's a question and answer from the poker message boards:


Something I've never understood about these sites. Are they the same company? Sister companies? Why is it set up so empire players are playing party players, and vice versa?


Party Poker, Empire Poker, Intertops Poker, MultiPoker, and Coral/EuroBet Poker all use the same software and share the same tables. Its a smart idea to market their products individually, but create one pokeroom for everyone to play in. That allows there to be a deep selection of games that other sites don't have.

If any of the Party players out there want to sign up on Empire (for the obvious, unspoken reasons) please email me and I'll tell you how. Hell, I'm open to giving you a rake kickback. I haven't had a signup there since January.

Another interesting positive that Party has going is the tougher stance in their tournaments. Felicia correctly pointed out to me that Lee Jones / PokerStars has been FAR too soft on these rulings. Here's the skinny behind some shenanigans in a PartyPoker Million semi tournament:

Chip Dumping Resolution PartyPoker Million Semi-Final

Justice is served! The chip dumper, downalot, got busted and lost his
cruise package.

The resolution by PartyPoker may have already been posted here but I couldn't find it. The chip dumping allegations were discussed in an earlier thread about the 7/9 tournament. At the time PP was investigating the incident having been reported by multiple railbirds.

Below is a reply by PP taken from a 2+2 posting...


An excellent decision was made in this matter. And this decision affects
my finish in no way. This is Party Poker's email:


Congratulations on your finish in the PartyPoker.com Million IV Semi-Finals. We wanted to inform you of a decision that was made regarding this semi-final tournament.

With 25 players remaining, player 'downalot' made a comment in the chat box during a hand, and then proceeded to play the hand in a suspicious manner. An investigation was done into the hand and the comments that the player made.

In the hand in question, player 'downalot' typed into the chat box:

Downalot: counter man I'm going to raise then fold.

During this hand player 'downalot' was playing from the small blind with a very large stack of chips.

Player 'Counterman' was playing from the large blind and had a small stack of chips. Player 'downalot' proceeded to do as he said he would, by raising the pot to $30,000, then folding when player 'Counterman' re-raised an additional $5,400. In itself, folding in this position would be a questionable play by many players, but the fact that player 'downalot' stated his intentions to, in essence, give the other player chips is blatant cheating as per the rules established on PartyPoker.com.

A decision was made, based on the evidence, to negate the players 9th place finish and award him 25th place instead. ýdownalotý will be awarded 25th Place ($672) instead of 9th Place (PPM IV Package). It was with 25 players remaining that the hand in question took place. Because player 'downalot' was moved from 9th to 25th, the following players were also moved in order to fill in the spots vacated:
Player "spankster" was moved up to 22nd place and he would receive a PPM IV
package instead of 23rd place ($1,680).

Player "PizzaMaster" was moved up to 23rd place (from 24th) and he would
receive an additional $672.

Player "impact3" was moved up to 24th place (from 25th) to receive an
additional $336.

We hope that you appreciate our efforts to be an honest and fair site in the best interest of our games and the safety of our players money. The situation as it happened warranted a severe penalty, and taking away the PPM IV package and awarding the offending player the position at the time of the incident was, we believe, the only penalty that could be handed down.

Best Regards,

Seems like a good decision here. But damn, there is so much talking at the end of these tourneys (mostly from the rail, of course) that I almost wish they would turn off chat at a certain point. It would solve a lot of these issues (telling everyone to stall at a table because they are on the bubble, for instance).

I saw this post on RGP with several similar answers:

What site has ACHIEVABLE bonuses?

Ultimate Bet bonus dollars take forever to convert; I tried Poker Room and the points are also coming too slowly; I think I'm going to give up trying. Poker Stars isn't bad; does any one have any other suggestions as to a site that has a reasonable bonus requirement that wont take forever to achieve?


EmpirePoker and PartyPoker have good periodic bonuses (typically sent via
e-mail) as well as a good first deposit bonus.

I used to take advantage of various bonus codes at the various sites, but I
have since realized that the amount of time taken away from playing my
preferred sites, which has better and softer games, makes the bonuses not
worth chasing. That is why the Empire and Party bonuses are good: You can
cash in on them while playing at (for me) very profitable games.

Per Party and their India based operations.
It was only a matter of time before they were outed. Zero backlash per this article, btw. India has far deeper problems than making millions a day from Party Poker.
This is actually a month old, I simply forgot to post it:

Subject: Party in Trouble?


As we know that Party works out of India, there have been a lot of problems
in the india office lately with a lot of downsizing taking place.(they
might call it efficiency buiding ;)). Also, it looks like the government
of India may be on the case as gambling is illegal in India. Till now they
had carefully disguised their gambling operations as BPO.(Business Process
Outsourcing). Just today there was an article in an India newspaper.

Pasting it below. Can also be visited at


Gambling under BPO veil

Hyderabad, June 24: It describes itself as a “leading business process
outsourcings company engaged in software development and IT-enabled
services”. “We pride ourselves in working with a few select e-commerce
clients engaged in unusual, interesting and rapidly growing businesses —
and delivering them a whole suite of services to support their entire
operations,” says the web site of the Hyderabad-based IVY Com-ptech
Private Ltd.

The “unusual and interesting” business centres around one thing alone:
online gambling, which is an illegal activity under Section 67 of the
Information Technology Act of 2000. The earning is in the range of $3
million every day. IVY Comptech owns and operates a clutch of online
gambling sites, which are serviced from its offices in Ashoka Bhoopal
Cha-mbers in Secunderabad. IVY Comptech has over 750 people working for it
in Hyderabad, who promote and service such web sites as partypoker.com,
partybingo.com, starluckcasino.com and planetluck-casino.com.

Officially, the gambling websites are owned by iGlobalMedia Global
Entertainment, Inc, and promoted in 1997 by two Indi-ans, Anurag Dixit and
Vikrant Bhargav, and an American woman, Ruth Parasol. The company was
based in Santo Domingo, capital of the Domi-nican Republic. But
investigations reveal that partypoker.com is in fact owned and operated by
IVY Comptech. Anurag Dixit, an IIT graduate, is the designated “contact
person” at IVY Comptech, according to the Software Technology Park,
Hyderabad. IVY Comptech has also leased one MB of bandwidth from STPI,
according to STPI director Col M Vijay Kumar.

Internal emails from Anurag Dixit, made available to Deccan Chronicle, to
his colleagues in both IVY Comptech and iGloba-lMedia, include one which
deals with the departure of Steve Heller as CEO of both the companies.
According to sources familiar with the development, Heller was fired in
May and his email gives the Hyderabad “BPO” office number as well.
PartyPoker has since named Prasad Kundru, a former IAS official and
classmate of Vikrant Bhargava at the IIT, as CEO.

And in a live-chat on the partypoker.com website on Wednesday night,
“Rajesh” of partypoker revealed that he was based in Hyderabad.
Partypoker.com offers a slew of card-games, including Seven Card Stud,
Seven Card Stud 8 or Better, Omaha High, Omaha 8 or Better and Texas
Hold’em. According to sources familiar with the games on partypoker.com,
over 40,000 people play at over 1,100 “tables” online, during peak hours.

“The minimum amount of money required to play on partypoker.com is $50,
while there is no upper limit. The games generate a daily revenue of $3
million, of which the commission for the organisers works out to
$8,00,000,” said the sources. Other online gambling sites like
starluckcasino.com reportedly generate $2,50,000 in commission to the
organisers. However, such figures are difficult to confirm, because the
money, in dollars, never enters India.

“The organisers have bank accounts in several countries, and the money is
constantly shuffled between them,” the sources said. Partypoker.com
guarantees the security of its gambling transactions online. The
certificate is issued by BMM International. “BMM International has
evaluated the multi-player poker system and its associated games hosted by
iGlobalMedia and verified that they comply with the relevant Kahnawake
Gaming Commission technical requirements,” says BMM director W Hugh
Monypenny on the BMM web site. IGlobalMedia apparently has a license from
the Kahnawake Gaming Commission to operate the games.

The Kahnawake is a native tribe in Canada. Native Americans and Canadians,
who have their own reservations, are centres for gambling because the
federal laws of the respective countries do not apply to the reservations.

Staff Training
According to the sources, IVY Comptech, founded in 2001, has been rapidly
expanding its illegal online gaming operations in the past one year. “The
company has four divisions to handle software development, technology,
payment processing and marketing and customer support. There are over 270
people in customer support, and about 150 in marketing,” the sources said.

Apparently, IVY Comptech takes the training of its people seriously. It
brings in cardsharps from around the world to train the customer service
staff, who need to deal with angry gamblers, either on the phone, email or
live chat. One such trainer was Michael O’Malley, who describes himself as
a “consultant” to IVY Comptech. Malley, a cardsharp who maintains a web
site of his own, was in Hyderabad earlier this year to conduct a poker
“tournament” for the company’s staff (see picture). Winners were given
gift coupons worth over Rs 15,000 from Life Style.

“Bhargava, who is now in Gibraltar, and Dixit have also hired
iGlobalMedia’s former employees in the Dominican Republic. Ten of the
Dominicans are in Hyderabad as fulltime employees. Their main job is to
train IVY Comptech’s staff in card games. In short, the employees spend
most of their time sharpening their skills at poker, the better to answer
queries from online gamblers,” the sources said.
IVY Comptech reportedly hires people by offering them more than a 40 per
cent jump from their previous salaries.

Tax Issues
By promoting and hosting illegal online gambling, IVY Comptech could be in
violation of several laws in the country, one income tax expert said.
“First of all, as an STPI-registered exporter of software and services, it
needs to account for the foreign exchange, under the Foreign Exchange
Management Act. Obviously, this cannot be done, because the business is
illegal gambling, and the proceeds are largely collected overseas and
parked in banks abroad,” he said.

“The scale of the operations is awesome. With a volume of $three million
per day, the online gambling business will be generating close to $3.6
billion this year, of which eight per cent is the commission which the
organisers will get,” the sources said. “But the Indian tax authorities
will not be collecting even one dollar from PartyPoker.com and its

I don't own a crystal ball so I'll admit ignorance as to the online future of our great game. If you had told me 18 months ago that 60,000 people would be playing on Party Poker, I would have laughed in your face and called you a fucktard. So what the hell do I know?

Maria Sharpova loves bananas

Moving into poker and it's continuing advances on pop culture, I can't even come up with a witty or dignified vanity poker plate, much less a cool poker tattoo. Here was a question and answer for RGP last week:

Poker Tattoos

Anybody have some graphics that will work good as tatoos? This is a serious post so no flaming. If you have a site with pics of your poker tatoos, please post. I'm looking for ideas. And nobody say the Ace that Worm has in Rounders. I want something more colorful.



Ask at rec.arts.bodyart. Read the FAQ first. Some people there will flame
you for the slightest infraction.
Try these to start:



And according to Ken Warren's "Winners Guide to Texas Holdem" (lol),
players with tattoos are mindless twits who will dump their money to you.

With advice like this I'm not surprised he had to start selling books.

Yikes, that's a little harsh. Mike Caro said the same damn thing about poker players with tattoos, after all. It's just dated perceptions, imho.

OK, time to refill and fire up the poker linkage.

Here's an excellent follow-up to an old poker news item: Remember the DOS attacks on poker sites? Looks like the Brits caught the ones blackmailing the sportsbook people, probably the same ones that hit Paradise and the like....
British cybercops nab alleged blackmailers
Britain's National Hi-Tech Crime Unit announced Wednesday that it has caught up with a Russian gang involved in online extortion and money laundering.

Two new ESPN Poker columns from Mr. Jay Lovinger.
Learning from the Professor is a great write-up to Howard Lederer and his poker TV commentary skills.

Jackpot Jay's latest toxic mailbag is a hodge-podge of Q&A's. Snooze.

I did, however, enjoy this ESPN poker column by DJ Gallo.
Play poker, or else

It's a lot easier, for example, for a guy to tell his wife, "Honey, me and the guys are going to start a Thursday night poker league" and get her approval than it is to say: "Honey, I'm going to start getting wasted every Thursday night, and you know those 50 bucks a week we wanted to save for our second honeymoon? Yeah, I'm going to lose that gambling while I'm doing it.

Hrmmm, so what next... How about continuing the snarkiness between poker authors theme: here is a snippet from a thread on 2+2 where Andy Fox suggested to David Sklansky:

"If it were rudeness that makes people sit up and take notice, then Gary Carson
would sell as many books as you."

To which David replied:

"That is a terrible ML (math - logic) error, although I don't think you meant it literally. I am rather sure that Gary Carson's rudeness HAS significantly increased his sales. The fact it sells five times worse than ours is because ours is twenty times better."

So, of course, someone has to paste that into RGP for Gary Carson to see. And he responds in turn:

Fuzzy Logic

I don't know whether my rudeness has incresed my book sales, I doubt it, but that's not David's error.

I don't know what it means to sell "five times worse" (although my book does outsell any book where Mason Malmuth is the sole author), but it's very doubtful that a difference in book sales between David's books and mine are soley, or even primarily, driven by quality differences.

David Sklansky is very well known and has been for 30 years. I’m not well known and
have only recently begun writing poker books. David and his books get mentioned on TV, I don't. David and his books are promoted by CardPlayer, they don't even carry my book.

There are many, many reasons why David's books would be expected to outsell mine, having nothing to do with quality of the books or personality of the writer.

Currently my book is ranked 371 on Amazon, David's Hold'em Poker is ranked #2,804. Malmuth's Poker Essays is ranked #21,182.

While speaking of 2+2, esteemed poker board poster, Clarkmeister wrote up this endorsement of Ed Miller's new poker book. That was enough for me to order it.

Ed's New Book

I'd just like to post a quick note on "Small Stakes Hold 'em: Winning Big with Expert Play" by Ed Miller, Mason Malmuth and David Sklansky.

I have now read the book twice, and some sections more than that. I can safely say that those of you who are so looking forward to this book will not be disappointed. The book is excellent.

Indeed, it addresses some topics so well that I wonder at the title. Calling it "Small Stakes Holdem" is really too limiting. The book targets loose games more than small stakes games per se. With loose games and poor playing opponents permeating B&M cardroom games from $3-6 through $40-80, this book really has something for everybody. Yes, newer players will get more from it than mid-limit veterans, but even the mid-limit players will find some critical ideas spelled out in a way that helps them improve their game.

It is an excellent blend that helps the newer players take the next big step to being significant winners, while at the same time it expounds upon and extends HPFAP in a way that addresses the super-loose games that permeate today's cardrooms. In short, it's the game that most on these forums have really been waiting for 2+2 to publish for quite some time. I expect this book to quickly move alongside Theory of Poker and HPFAP as a definitive 2+2 work.

I have no affiliation with this book, and everyone here knows I don't mind challenging Ed, Mason and David with regularity on this forum. So when I state that I think the book is excellent, it comes with no strings attached. I recommend it highly.

Nuff said. Ignore at your own peril.

Is this an uber-post yet? Should I even bother with the long posts anymore? Would you guys prefer daily short posts or the now classic Uber post? Would changing to a short daily format be the New Coke? Or are the long ones too tedious?

Thank God for Guinness. Guinness gives me strength to bang these damn things out. So
I'm still left with a ton of interesting poker content, but I simply must link up these new poker blogs. I'm long overdue.

So here we go. Please take some time and support the new guys on the scene.

First is the Poker Bully, located in Arizona.

Then the WPT and the WSOP on ESPN became red hot and saw the ads on the shows for Party Poker. Com. I have always had some form of gambling account on the internet so I am one of the folks that actually trusts most of the gaming sites. I figured that since they could afford to advertise on a major tv show that they must be legitimate. I deposited $100 and started playing $.50 - $1.00 limit hold'em.

I have been moderately successful playing online. I have been profitable at every level and now usually play $2-$4.

UWannaBet? is off to a great-start, writing about both online poker play and home tourneys.

So I read poker blogs and play at the same time flipping between screens, hell it's only a $5 bucker. I typically finish in the money, and win alot of them.....but now I'm pissed (anger is that one of the 12 steps?).

Online Poker Thoughts is a Bostonite Microserf who is going strong - I'm really enjoying it thus far. He is regretting his Top Ten poker blog list in an earlier post, and I don't blame him. But at least he had the good taste to list me at #5.

Never do a top ten poker blog list!!!! WARNING: You will regret it. You will forget someone, number 11 will be sad because you forgot him, number 12 will think you abandoned him! The guilt alone is not worth it. So next time I list Blogs it is going to be the top 500!

#5 Guinness and Poker
Sorry for saying Al had long posts! Iggy is the king! His site is great if you either want to hear about drinking, or what’s going on in the poker world. I enjoy his posts, even if I have to read them a few times to get all the way through. Keep up the good work!

Thank you. And I will.

This isn't a pure poker blog but I'm hoping by pimping him here, we might get one. Hell, it's worked before.
Piper's musings
There are many great blogs. This isn't one of them.

The Commish's Desk will be on my daily reading for his following reasons:

I am not nearly as dedicated to my poker play as they are, nor am I as eloquent, and I'm using this blog as more of a poker diary and a spleen-venting rant than a true blog that strives for widespread readership. Some things I just want to get out there, stuff I can't say at work, stuff I can't talk about with my wife, stuff that might come to me in a burst of words that I can upchuck onto someone else's server for posterity.

I should start bitching about my wife on here. But then she'd prolly start her own blog and things would turn ugly quick. Prolly get alot more readers, tho. ;)

MojoPoker has been going since May and I humbly apologize for my tardy pimpage.
This is Mojo's poker blog. I live in Las Vegas, Nv, and these are my voyages into the world of poker. "God Bless the Fish!"

Year of Dave has a category set aside just for poker. Primarily a 15/30 poker player, so worth the read.
tales of a recovering geek, movie fan and part-time poker player

Here's a poker blogger from Spain. Can anyone translate this for me? I went to babelfish and got the gist of it, though...
Diario Poker | Diario online de un jugador de Internet Poker

maximuspoker's Journal is primarily for those interested in discussing low limit Sit and Go strategies. I'm sure there are plenty of folks in that category. Enjoy.

And last, but most certainly not least, I'm re-pimping Pauly's brothers poker blog cause he is back up and posting. Welcome back Derek!
Poker in the Weeds
You cannot beat this hand... Welcome to Derek's poker blog

Whew. There's a veritable army of poker bloggers out there now. The FatGuy once called them "Children Iggy has Spawned" which seems a bit over the top, albeit flattering, but I'm kinda proud of how far this chunk of the Blogosphere has came. Of course, the real strength of the blogs is in our aggregate stickiness. Up for Poker, Hank, Grubby, Pauly, Gene, Felicia yadda yadda yadda...you get the idea. Great writing by these folks. I'm proud just to be mentioned in the same breath as them.

BTW, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the PokerHermit is back up with another cartoon, this time Hammer-related.

And MeneGene is threatening a Sklansky post. Please Lord, make it happen.

So there it is. Another post. Thanks to anyone who read this far and killed some time in the office surfing through my drivel rubbish. If you aren't playing on Party Poker please consider signing up and using bonus code IGGY as a way to pay it forward. Or not.

./end white noise shilling

K, time to play. I'm not proofing this so my apologies in advance for any errors.

Link of the Day:
Palestinian Car Swarm Watch
Swarming around blown-up cars with barbequed terrorists inside — fun for the whole family! Play "spot-the-hated-infidel-logo," I see Packard Bell and Nike represented at this lovely event.

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

100% Signup Bonus at PokerStars.com up to $50

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