Saturday, July 10, 2004
Maria Sharapova Poker Blog
"The single greatest key to winning in poker is knowing thy enemy — yourself."
Alrighty then, I'm back. Do I even have any readers left?
If so, all ten of you prepare yourself for tasty poker goodness.
Hot Poker Action!
You know what cheers me up when I'm feeling bad?
Rolled up aces over kings.
Check-raising stupid tourists and taking huge pots off of them.
Stacks and towers of chips I can't even see over. Playing all-night high-limit Hold'em at the Taj, "where the sand turns to gold."
Let's play some cards!!!
Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker!
Hell, I STILL can't believe Andy is dead. We've lost one of the elite, one of the good guys. Here's Andy's obituary from the LA Times.
What made this all the more shocking was Andy had emailed me Friday afternoon - letting me know he was interested in talking about the poker blog phenomena in an upcoming article. Thanks to Felicia for passing along the poker blogs to Andy. Andy was wise to recognize her talent for tournament writeups.
Damn, the WSOP just won't be the same without his brilliant recaps.
There are a littany of wonderful posts about Andy throughout RGP, but it takes a ton of digging to find the gems. Not many people are as well-liked across the spectrum of the PokerScape as Andy Glazer.
I never pass up the chance to bash Phil Helmuth in this blog (see archives and nuggets below for a veritable plethora of examples) but I'm going to post Phil's eloquent post on the passing of his close friend:
Hi All, the most impressive thing about Andy Glazer to me, were his impeccable honor and unquestioned honesty.---
Andy lived with us for over a year, and my sons remember him saying,
"Go ahead and play video games today, and if you parents catch you,
I'll take the heat." They also remember him taking them to Stanford
day camps in the morning. My wife, upon hearing that he had died,
said, "There weren't many nicer guys out there than him."
I first met Andy in a hot tub in Esalen, when some stranger in this
spiritual place (Esalen) was talking about, of all things, a poker
tournament! When he found out my name, he stood up (naked!!--all 6'
4" of him!!) and walked right over to say, "Glad to meet you Phil, my
name is Andy Glazer." I tell this story often, and Andy loved it!
A great friend, always willing to listen
sensitive and caring about others and how they would react to anything
that he did
a great writer--the best poker writer out there for sure!
a "Trekkie," "Highlander," and Star Wars fan to the Nth degree
he used the above three shows as metaphors for what was happening in
WSOP poker tournaments, do you remember him writing, "There can be
Passionate--he really wanted to win the WSOP, preferably, he said,
with me finishing second
He just finished "The Idiots Guide to Poker," but Andy was no idiot
I believe that Andy was quite happy at the end, working with websites,
poker sites, Card Player, and persuing his dreams (writing books, and
winning poker tournaments). He was in cloud nine in Australia earlier
this year when he won TWO events there, one walking just off of the
plane--after being up all-night (pot or no limit Hold'em)--when my
wife and I visited with him over there. The other a Stud tournament,
Stud being the game he had an absolutely remarkable record at, making
more final tables than not when he played stud tourneys!
And he sure knew how to follow his dreams! Here is a guy that was an
attorney in Atlanta and went out to visit Esalen on a "two week trip"
that lasted over 20 months (gutty!)! He lived there, cooked there,
gave messages there, and slowly figured out that he wanted to write.
When he met me he had written his first book, "Casino Gambling the
Smart Way," and was interested in collaberating on my life stroy
tentatiovely entitled "Poker Brat."
He followed me on tour, finally to the WSOP, where suddenly he said,
"I just accepted an offer to write articles about the final tables."
Those articles became legendary, and he was proud of the feedback that
he received from the non-gambling writers out there! Next thing i
knew Andy was following his dream, and he landed in LA where he
continued to pursue writing along with a few other projects.
Andy went for it in life! And the straight up way he dealt with
everyone was inspiring. No BS, you knew where you stood, and I don't
think anyone was on his bad list. I saw him breifly in ireland last
week, where I am right now, and he looked healthy and happy. By the
way, he had passion! I know of at least three times he was in love,
his "three great ones."
I have much more to say about Andy, but not today, I'll wait and tell
those at his funeral on Thursday in Long Island. Andy was my close
and great friend, and I'm afraid that the world will be a little bit
dimmer without his brightly shining light. He will especially be
missed on the poker tour, by all of his friends and fans there.
Andy was a one of a kind, and I will grieve him, whilst I celebrate my
memories of him, and his life. Thank you for the the support, help,
understanding, and patience that you had when you dealt with me,
Love, Phil Hellmuth jr.
Well done, Phil. Andy was your greatest apologist, tis true.
Also, I love this Andy Glazer tidbit from LoveAndCasinoWar:
Andy Glazer has written some of the best poker articles out there over the past few years, and his latest is no exception. I love stories about misread hands, and his is a doozy.--
Without even looking at the river card, which had been dealt off a bit to the side, I reached for my first two hole cards, and I announced as I was flipping them face up, "flush going in," meaning that I had a flush at least and I'd see about the low when I looked at the river card.
There was only one problem. You know how you hear about those people who spontaneously combust, or who get abducted by aliens? Well, something similar must have happened to my 5c-6c, because when I flipped the two cards up, they were the 2h-6h. That's right. Not two black clubs. Two red hearts, and one of them the wrong rank, even.
I'd have paid $500 for a videotape of what my face must have looked like when I turned those cards over.
There's just too many great Glazer articles to link to, damnit. So I'm just going to post to his last ESPN column, entitled: Are Poker Superstars Possible?
Alrighty then, time to bang this out. I've been gone nearly a month, amazingly enough. And came close to deleting this monstrosity of a poker blog, if you can believe that. In that vein, a buddy forwarded me this insightful article from Wired news about blog burnout.
Bloggers Suffer Burnout
Authors of some of the most popular political and general-interest weblogs are calling it quits or scaling back their sites, claiming that the pressure to post or moderate reader feedback is too much to handle.
Alot of folks write for 'themselves' and that's cool, but I'm not one of those people. I write this all out for you, gentle reader. Because, as a voracious reader myself, this is the type of blog *I* would freaking love. Thanks to anyone who gave advice and/or encouragement during my break. As I've said many times before, I'm just making this up as I go along. Insight is always deeply appreciated.
Maria Sharapova enjoys a snack.
Big news from the patron saint of the poker blogs: Wil Wheaton was picked to play in the WPT Hollywood Home Game. Someone make me a damn tape, puhlease! From The Man himself:
It is absolutely killing me that I can't talk about playing in the WPT Hollywood Home Game last night.---
I'll have to save the specifics for the forthcoming story (working title: "lying in hollywood") but I think I can safely say (without violating any of the NDAs I signed) that I had an incredibly good time, and that everyone involved in the production of that show: the Travel Channel execs, the series producers, Mike, Vince, Shana (sigh) and all the poker pros . . . every single person there is So. Freaking. Cool.
It's a classy production they're running there, and I still can't believe that I got to be part of it. I can't wait until I get to play with them again!
Wow, here are four ESPN poker articles listed on their home page this past week:
Poker's Taking Over The World
Poker Ain't Like It Used To Be
Does Poker Qualify As A Sport?
'Rounders' in real life
Thanks to Jeff's blog, I was tipped off to a 300 person $200 buyin NL tournament here on Friday night. First place paid over 10k, but more importantly, it was the free beer for participants that put my ass in a seat.
I honestly didn't have any aspirations in fending my way through the dead money packed like sardines in the gym. We only started with 200 in chips and the blinds began at 5-10, meaning after three orbits of folding, you would be down 25% of your stack. Crapshoot, indeed.
Abridged version: lots of newbie players (FISH! There, I said it). Lots of young guys in sunglasses and baseball caps trying to look cool. Lots & lots of calling stations. It was amazing - I even saw an old guy call an allin with 23 SOOTED!
My cards started off cold so I simply decided to drink as much beer as possible until I got a playable hand and could move in. There were guys just giving away chips and I wanted a piece of it, if possible. Finally, down to t150, I get Big Slick and move in, get called in two places (a5 and Q9) and triple through. Yikes, Q9?
An orbit later I get AA, manage to stack off preflop after limp - reraising from UTG, and triple through yet again, called down by AT and A3. Geepers, suddenly I'm big stack and I'm slicing through the free cold beer like a hot knife through butter.
Big stacked or not, respect didn't mean much in this tourney, you simply could not bluff in this game. Callers galore. However, I did make one move on a WPT wanna-be kid when he made a big stab on a heads up pot on the flop and I came over the top with nothing from the big blind. He turned and stared at me through his sunglasses for a full 20 seconds before I burst out laughing. Drew, a friendly knowledgable tablemate, exclaimed, "He's looking into your soul!" and then I started teasing the kid a little. Dumb, I know, but I was
Geez, I hate writing about my play like this so let me cut to the quick. I built my stack up to about 2,000 without any memorable hands - just steady poker. At the five hour mark, around midnight, we were down to four tables from our original thirty. The blinds were suddenly doubling every thirty minutes and with volunteer dealers, we weren't seeing many hands in the time allotted. They were only paying the top 15 places so I was playing to win the damn thing, nothing less. But alas, my cards went ice-cold and I went out in around 35th place, missing my nut flush draw on an allin. Boooooooooo. I lost to a really shitty hand, too, but I'm not complaining. One other thing, I must have seen five or six different players, mostly old-timers, fold their hands when it was checked to them.
All in all, I had a great time, met some cool folks, and realized that these local tournaments are serious +EV. I need to tackle more of them, fer sure. I found this poker tournament event site called Texas Hold Em Events that tracks upcoming events.
I haven't played any poker since the tourney - I was planning on rebounding by playing in today's $200 NL Sunday tourney on either Party Poker or Poker Stars. But because I didn't get home in time, I played in the 1000 player $30 NL tourney to blow off some steam instead. I only misplayed one hand (the last one, of course) and finished 12th, damnit. I'm looking forward to counting how many times I went allin.
If I can ever get rid of this modem, I'll be playing multi's every nite instead of once a damn month. One thing that I've never really accepted until now is that more of the bad players *fundamentally bad* are playing tourneys more than ring games. And that's good to learn, after all this time.
Here's a humorous anecdote from RGP stalwart, Irish Mike, about said newbies:
I thought the following comment was funny and illustrates the impact of TV on new poker players. A young guy sits down in the $10/$20 HE ring game I'm playing in. He looks scared and clueless. He plays the first hand he's--
dealt and I check raise him on the turn with the stone nuts. He stares at
me through his sun glasses and then says, "How much you got left?"
I actually felt bad about giving the sunglass-wearers shit, but that's what happens when you have an all-you-can-drink-event with degenerates like me attending. The Internet Poker Pro has this perfect bit of advice about getting players to "like" losing to you. Can I get an AMEN?
The fact is that any kind of winning player, certainly in pot limit games where the pool of players and potential players is very limited, must accept that it is much better for players to “like” losing to them than to fear or dislike them. For most losing players Poker is a recreation, it must be felt to be enjoyable and they must “get something” from it. It is far more profitable, and fun for all concerned, for them to get a feeling of camaraderie and entertainment, than sly looks and “see you next time” grins.---
I found some interesting tidbits about Poker and it's continuing popularity. It's still hard to believe, especially the action on Party Poker. 45,000 players?? Sign up now, folks, you're missing out on the biggest fish tank in history.
Ray Cooke's latest Cardplayer article details pokers cultural ascendance.
Hell, I coulda written this:
As the game gets more public attention, it also gets more governmental scrutiny, and that perhaps casts a shadow on the long-term picture. These stories are a warning, and underscore the importance of the poker industry distinguishing itself from gambling.---
Popular culture embraces and then abandons many fads and trends. But, as long as people keep writing about it, poker has the potential to avoid the fate of pet rocks, the Rubik's Cube, and disco, and be woven ever tighter into the fabric of the national identity. Our game has an allure that transcends faddishness. The growing press coverage reflects the increasing solidity of poker's place on the national scene.
Moving along to the poker media saturation toteboard we have Curtis Hanson slated to direct a new poker movie, "Lucky You."
Not many details out yet, but apparently this movie is very close to coming
to fruition. With the team it has behind it, it may have some box office appeal.
"After exploring the world of rap contests in 8 Mile, Oscar-winning director
Curtis Hanson will helm the drama Lucky You. Set in the world of
professional poker, a young player tries to beat the odds and his own demons
in order to win a world championship. The script is by Oscar-winning
screenwriter Eric Roth."
It sucks being a cable-less loser and missing the new ESPN 2004 WSOP poker coverage. Ah well, reading about it ain't so bad. And I found this guy writing recaplets of the hands. Weirdly enough, it's devoid of commentary and simply lists the hands shown and how they were played.
I've been diagramming televised poker episodes for my own edification and I thought I'd share. Actually, what I really want to ask is if anyone else is doing this so I don't waste time duplicating their efforts.--
Anyways, here's the first episode of the 2004 WSOP on ESPN
It's pretty much a hand-by-hand recap of the show with the detail that
people do for other television shows. If people think this is a good idea and not something other people are already doing, then I will continue posting these.
OK, OK, I can't go an entire post without slagging Phil Helmuth, especially after complimenting him earlier. Phil is endorsing just about every poker product known to man these days and I'm fully expecting a Phil Helmuth breakfast cereal next. But if you really love Phil, go buy his new professional chips sets FEATURING his face (FOUR different face shots!) on the chips.
Phil Helmuth's poker chips.
Because I have the pulse on poker society, here is an interesting Fortune article about, God forbid, POKER, and the impending World Poker Tour IPO.
Fortune.com - Investing - A Poker IPO Is In the Cards
While on the topic of Poker & TV, I found this random snippet with two responses about some problems with Celebrity Poker.
Bravo may drop celeb poker show because of drinking and bad remarks.---
Absolutely NOT true. Cingular Wireless dropped sponsorship because of
contestants drinking shots of tequila and swearing, but Bravo defended the
show and said they will find a new sponsor.
Bravo is in discusion regarding an amicable break relationship break up.
The drinking and language is not what Bravo envisioned going into this
venture and it continues to get worse. Go to Bravo website for more
detailed breakdown of situation.
Forbes magazine has an interesting article on Harrah's & the WSOP.
Harrah's poker profits.
One interesting tidbit is that the TV rights to the WSOP were sold to ESPN for a whopping $55,000 per year. Although not mentioned in the article, this deal was presumably negotiated by the archaic Becky Binion Behnen regime.
Damn, I don't think I've ever linked to the CanadianPokerPlayer web site before. I suppose that's because only the feature article is published on the web site. Cmon, get with the program, eh? Put the damn content online.
Speaking of great poker content, here's an excellent article about Phil Helmuth, from 1991. I'm surprised I haven't pimped this before.
THE BIG BLUFF
Telly Savalas was at the table when Helmuth sat down to play in the poker room at the Dunes. Hellmuth played almost constantly for three days, and he won.---
Helmuth might have gotten rich right then. The problem was that when he'd take a break from poker he wouldn't lie down; there were other games to be played. At the craps and blackjack tables, Helmuth quickly lost all his poker winnings. On each trip from Madison to Las Vegas the pattern was the same. "I became pretty much of a compulsive gambler," Helmuth admits.
SOON AFTERWARD, HELMUTH BEGAN telling people that he was the second-best tournament player in the world, below only the masterful Johnny Chan, who had now won the World Series two years in a row. The boast earned Helmuth a joking nickname among the old-line players: Number Two.
And even my favorite blogging WPT touring pro, Richard Brodie, is mentioned.
TWO DAYS AFTER TAKING OUT THE POKER loan, Phil Hellmuth is back in action for the start of the 1990 Hall of Fame Poker Classic's climactic event, the $5,000 buy-in no-limit Texas Hold'Em game. He takes seat number nine at his assigned table, turns up the volume on his Walkman, and stares intently at his fingernails. His air is grim and concentrated. Richard Brodie, a curly-haired, California-based pro, sits down across from Hellmuth and, with mischief in his eyes, wishes him good luck. Hellmuth ignores him.
"Giving me the silent treatment won't help you, Phil," Brodie needles him.
Hellmuth dials down the volume on his headset and sends Brodie a cutting look. "Playtime's over," he says.
Speaking of which, Mr. Brodie has a brand new Lion Tales up in his poker blog.
What, no TV? The 2004 Bellagio Festa al Lago Championship.
Celine Dion's husband, Rene Angelil, was in seat one. Ted "Teddy Bear" Forrest was glued to my left hip in seat four and Tracy Scala, who had knocked me out of an earlier event when he made a Straight to beat my top Pair, had seat five. Dan Alspach, who made the final table at the recent televised Plaza event, had seat five. David "Harpo" Levi, a major-tournament regular, had seat seven and a scowling Asian man named Tommy who apparently was a high-stakes cash game player had seat eight.---
I still have oodles of great poker content to pass along but I'm wanting to play. Thanks for stopping by and please check back daily, because I plan on updating pretty often.
And so I leave my comeback post with one last thought. You know it's coming....please consider signing up on Party Poker with bonus code IGGY. Or better yet, you Party players really need to check out the nightly 10k tourneys on Pacific Poker - they are currently losing money on those and from what my buddy Dann says, the tourneys are uber soft. Please use my link to sign up, if you would. There are no sign up codes there but you do get a 25% deposit bonus when you begin your account.
Ugh, my heart isn't into shilling tonite. Hopefully I can get this blog back to being worthy of getting a signup or two every month. I can dream, can't I?
One last note: Monty the cat is now at home. He's improving slowly but he still has some serious issues. But honestly, it's all gravy now. The fact that he made it this far is enough...
What's that? You want one more poker link before you get back to work? Well hell, pop on your headphones and listen to this NPR audio segment about poker:
A Peek Inside the World of Celebrity Poker - NPR
If anyone is reading this drivel, thanks again for stopping by.
It's good to be back.
Link of the Day:
I Fucked Alec Baldwin in His Ass
I can't decide whether to read this book now or wait for the movie, which I see as an Oscar-potential project for Halle Berry and Jake Gyllenhaal as you've never seen him before.
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Information on this site is intended for news and entertainment purposes only.
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