Friday, August 27, 2004

"When we play, we must realize, before anything else, that we are out to make money."
David Sklansky, Theory of Poker

Ahh, it's been awhile, hasn't it? Prepare for an uber-rambling, Guinness-fueled post. It's truly been too long.

Get comfortable.

This damn tourney completely screwed up my blogging. Now I'm simply praying that everything runs smoothly on Sunday evening and we have a blast. I'm quite certain that Pacific Poker will do everything they can to ensure the tournament runs without a hitch. That's right: I'm a goofy optimist. And hell, the fact that we have 87 players speaks volumes with how far this community has come. It was painful to organize, that's all I'll say. A big thanks to my man Al for helping.

However, the one upside to the tourney snafu last weekend is it's allowed me to focus on simply playing the higher limits on Party Poker with blogging taking a backseat. And it's been good to me. Sure, I've suffered some brutal beats and staggering session losses, but overall, I'm up at a healthy clip. I'm to the point where I'm tagging fish, too. If you don't think there are some real nutjobs playing high, you'd be mistaken.

As Fast Eddie says, "They play so bad."

FYI, I'm leaving for Aruba next week so I'll be away for a bit after the tourney. Which is perfect timing - I need to recharge the batteries. Yeah, it takes some effort to write these bigass honking posts, and worse, it's difficult to be even halfway interesting, even half of the time.

Thank God for Guinness. At least I'm amusing myself.

Holy shit! The bad beat jackpot at Party Poker is freaking SEVENTY FIVE GRAND RIGHT NOW!! Damn. I'm gonna have to go open four tables of 50 cents / $1 later tonight.


  • The losing hand must contain four of a kind (8’s) or better to qualify.
  • 4 or more players must be dealt into the hand.
  • Both hole cards must be used in the winner and the loser's hand and the hand must go to a showdown.

    They are going to seed the jackpot with 50k everytime it gets hit, too. Yikes!

    I'm continually shocked at players who insist that all these BAD players, the massive infusing of white hot schooling fish is BAD for your bankroll. Where is the logic? Where is the constructive thinking? So here's a long, 2+2 whining post about the same old song and dance. He can't beat the fish.

    Wow has Poker changed in the last year...You used to go into a Poker Room and sure there were bad players at your table....Great ! I mean it would be you and 5 or 6 others regulars and a few fish (Smelt) sitting at your table. I mean if you had AK and pre-flop raised and a K hit the flop...you bet 6 regulars folded and 2 smelt called...You only had 2 fish to beat in any given hand....Not so hard. I mean if a 3 came on the turn it was a save perfect card for your AK.

    But not any more...

    That 3 is a monster.....there are no safe cards left in any deck, anywhere....None !

    Now, because of the World Poker Tour and all of the TV coverage on Poker.....It has all changed....

    You go to your local card house and sit down in your favorite game and look around for old Frank, or Buddy or Sammy....your old buddies...and they are no where in sight...Everyone at your table except maybe one player you have ever even seen before....the fish are schooling....You are now like the fish in a tank of barracuda's....not very smart Barracudas either...They saw the WPT on TV....They know a 3 might come on the turn or river......YA that's the new way to play it...You now get AK and there is 7 or 8 smelt seeing the flop and 6 or 7 seeing the river every time, hand after hand...There is no safe card in any deck...The deck is covered....Your K on the flop with top kicker the A is no good....you have to improve it to win. If the flop was K, T, 8 all different colors....the 3 on the turn now just gave one of the fish a pair of 3's with a 4 kicker...and of course a 4 will come on the river.....or if a 2 comes on the turn and a 7 on the river, one of the fish rolls over 7, 2.....Ya I saw it on TV and that is the way you play this game......I saw it! You can now be a math pro, odds pro, EV pro, check raise pro, player reading Pro, you can be so on your game you are like Obi Wan Jedi Master Poker Kanobi.....and it makes no difference to the smelt...You have to flop sets, make flushes and open ended draws to even have a chance of beating the games right now ...

    Poker is now like:

    Playing on the Freeway at 5 p.m. rush hour...

    Being the Bait at the fish hatchery feeding time...

    Being in a Mash Pit at a Rock concert...

    Being near the door of a indoor concert and being crushed to death by all of the people coming out...

    I know, I know you online pro's are saying bring on the fish...I can out play them. I am super Poker online playing man! I mean I am really good....so let me tell you how good I really am!...

    In reality....your odds have went way down in the current style of play...You cannot bluff a hand at the river very often......there is still 6 fish to call behind you...You cannot check raise....the fish don't know what you are doing anyway and they just think, wow a bigger pot for me with my monster 7, 4 off suit....

    Remember: I saw it on TV and it must be True...........

    Standard retort among the flames:


    Does this mean that you don't know how to bluff less, value bet more, and check-raise for value more?

    This is the old "you make more money playing against good players" fallacy.

    Yes, the games have changed. Learn to adjust. They're more profitable than before if you can figure out how, instead of wasting your time whining about it.

    This is about the 51 zillionth post on this subject, and the answers don't change. The seasoned veterans and pro's are still right, and the newbies and rookies to the game are still wrong.

    Any of you wanting to jump in the fray that is Party Poker, now is the time. It's never been a better time to be a student of poker. EVER. And that's Bonus Code IGGY for my new readers.

    It's a shame but the poker newsgroup, RGP, is now utterly worthless. I concede defeat. Thank God we have these poker blogs to read or I'd be going nuts for interesting poker content on the web.

    BTW, here is my XML feed for you RSS folks - Bloglines users:


    Fine, I've been converted. Happy now? ;)

    A young Chris (Jesus) Ferguson endorses Bonus Code IGGY

    Moving on, it's been entertaining to read the vicious attacks on both Mike (The Mouth) Matusow and Scott Fischman. Apparently both of them came across as complete assholes by fucking with the wrong players, respectively. Matusow with Greg Raymer and Fischman with Doyle Brunson.

    Dissing Doyle Brunson?

    Oh the humanity.

    So here's some commentary from the peanut gallery:


    Mike Matusow, why would you EVER want to act like such a complete and
    total prick on national televison? Very impressive display. Classy.

    Keep up that disrespectful, insulting attitude and eventually somebody is
    going to yank your shit right over the felt and out the door where the
    street will then be mopped up with your ass.

    Phil Helmuth isn't the only one who can get his ass kicked you pile of shit.

    I'm really just posting this next snippet because of Gary Carson's perfect rejoinder.

    I just watched the wsop from tuesday night.........It was finally good to see Doyle Brunson show off his amazing skills....Many new players to the Poker world only think Doyle is a myth and have never seen his abilities......also I thought Fischman appeared to give Doyle alot of respect in the hands that i saw.....It appears to me Fischman is "growing up a bit more"..Doyle even said he was a good player..i feel the same....I know he is a bit cocky but I think some of that is good for the game...also mike the mouth is a complete IDIOT

    Gary Carson:

    >>.Doyle even said he was a good player.

    Doyle has been telling losers that they're good players who got unlucky for 50 years.


    And because this blog is a well-rounded one, I offer up this Poker Haiku for Fischman:

    This title is mine.
    I read Brunson with great ease.
    Oops. He has two kings.

    Here's another snarky recaplet from ESPN's WSOP coverage:

    I wish I could remember exactly what Fischman said, but it was after Doyle had outplayed him once again. As Fischman was talking some smack about all of his poker knowledge one of the other players at the table said to Fischman

    "When is your book coming out?"

    I literally LMAO

    Damn, I can't wait to watch this on tape. Looking back, I'm happy knowing that I made the trek to this year's WSOP, the historic last one to fully be played at Binion's. Best of all, I got to meet my poker blogging hero's, Hank & Felicia. But there are many more left to meet, so plan on hitting the WSOP in 2005. We'll have our own damn crew. :)

    Has anyone tried out Gus Hansen's new poker room at Poker Champs? How about Doyle's new place?

    Speaking of online poker, I'll be following Roy Cooke's CardPlayer articles for a bit as he attempts to document the history. There are several things I'd like to comment about from his latest, but I'll pull a nice snippet so you can read it for yourself. Read the full version here: It's the Future

    At peak times, more than 100,000 players are playing online poker from the convenience of their homes — betting, bluffing, check-raising, and cussing out their opponents. It's poker, as it will predominantly exist in the future.

    While governmental regulation and its effect on transferring funds into and out of games may cloud the horizon, the Internet game is here to stay, and will be the foundation of poker's future.

    As I'll discuss at greater length in a later column, an important concept in the Internet poker business is keeping games "live" and encouraging future action by having rules and policies that are designed to some extent to assist weaker players, such as offering a note-taking feature. Keeping "live" players in the game longer serves the interest of the game on many levels.

    The note-taking feature made player recall strengths much less important and replaced them with good organizational and note-taking skills. It also made playing multiple games less mentally taxing, allowing players to play longer hours more effectively. Additionally, it strengthened the position of the serious player who was willing to make the effort to take notes, and weakened the position of the recreational player who found that making that level of effort took much of the fun out of the game.

    Because the note-taking feature significantly increased the edge of serious players at the expense of recreational players, I encouraged my company's management to resist the trend to add the feature. As time went on, more and more sites added the feature, until it became clear that we would eventually have to add it for competitive reasons. Although it might hurt the game in the long run, by shifting money from softer players to tougher players faster, the competitive marketplace dictated the adoption of the feature.

    I agree with Roy about one thing. Online IS the future of poker.

    Ahem, my humble apologies. I had to get that out of my system. But it's still true.

    Two poker announcements - there is an Ohio Championship Event you can read about at Texas Hold Em Events. Also, Lou Krieger announced the 2nd Annual College Poker Championship. Read all about it at their website.

    I did find one post in RGP about the new breed of kids playing our beloved game. It's from long-time, altruistic poster, Tad Perry. He meant no disrespect with this post even though he was flamed good and hard.

    Young players

    From: Tad Perry

    I've said I love all the young players before. They're so dumb. I remember
    posting about one who raised and raised and raised and caught perfect to
    beat me. That was interpreted as a whine. Well, it wasn't. It was more of a
    warning than a whine, because I definitely know what it means when I see it.
    It means, YOU WONT LAST LONG.

    As I've said before, if you can't beat one limit why would you go up and try
    to beat a bigger one?

    Forget about debates for a second. I have friends that keep records and beat
    4-8 with a 3 plus 1 (jackpot) rake, so I wouldn't be interested in a debate
    with one of the "low-limit raked games can't be beaten" crowd. Those people
    are just refusing to admit to their own short-comings as a possible reason
    for poor results, because it CAN be done. Even I've done it.

    In any case, a young kid was playing 30-60 in my game today, and he was
    making some really rookie mistakes.

    And I was wondering, "Wouldn't he rather learn these lessons at a lower

    Okay, part of me wants him to learn it right there in the 30-60 game with me
    taking his money. But is this big ego thing that drives himself to dress and
    look like Daniel Negreanu (right down to oversized sportswear) really
    necessary on his part? Isn't it a self-destructive case of a guy falling for
    his own shit?

    I'm just wondering out loud.

    I've been of the opinion (and some of you hot young players will hate me)
    that you have no outs against someone who's 10 or more years at that level.
    Why sit there at the 6-month mark?

    I'll even allow for people who catch on quick, because I have seen it. So I
    wouldn't argue that it's impossible, but just that it's very rare and the
    vast majority of you are not progidies.

    I'm not going to pull that guy aside and say anything. No way. He can lose,
    lose, lose for all I care. But, just in case any other youngsters out there
    are sitting in games too high, I want YOU to ask yourself if you've EVER put
    together a record of 200 hours of winning at ANY level.

    If the answer is "no," stop playing bigshot and go back to a smaller limit
    and build a track record of winning.

    Remember, if you already have a winning record, I'm not talking to you.

    PS: Both young players in question in my post of last year busted out and
    had not been seen on the local poker scene for months and months, until one
    hit the 30-60 game again last night and busted. At least, he was on his way
    to busting when I left, and I figured I'd just give him credit for a bust.
    After all, he wasn't back today. Meanwhile, this post isn't about that kid
    but a completely new one that showed up today. Certainly I'm happy that he's
    in my game, but I'd feel a lot better knowing he had millions of dollars in
    back rather than a wife and baby and silly dreams of being a professional
    poker player.


    I love the kids. Some of them are learning this game so fast it's frightening. It's an amazing time to study poker. A veritable plethora of knowledge is there for the plucking, all free, on this here web thingy. And online play speeds up the learning curve exponentially.

    Use Poker Tracker if you are serious about your online poker game.

    Allow me to stress how important it is to track your own play. I still know several guys whose play I respect who do NOT track hand histories or their play. That's just crazy to me. As a long-time player, I understand that like water over time eroding into the soft rock, your play tends to go in a certain direction, not necessarily the right one either.

    Abdul wisdom about tilt per my ramblings above.

    Maintaining emotional control: You say you are mystified by the phenomenon of tilt. Suppose you would be put to death if you did not make a profit by 6 am. Imagine then how you would play if you got stuck. Imagine your emotional state if you lost a rack to a 1-outer! As you got more and more stuck and it got later and later, you would become increasingly desperate, and quite logically so. Instead of stepping down in stakes due to shrinking bankroll and poor emotional state, you would step up in stakes. At 5:55 am, if still stuck, you would play *every* hand, in a quite logical attempt to get even and avoid the guillotine. This is my theory of why players act this way. They place great value on winning today, little value on winning overall. My prescription to remedy this problem is to track your winnings and graph them, concentrating on making the graph go up, learning that
    the little dips are just inevitable noise. If you're too lazy to do this, at least keep your poker "wad" banded and separate from your personal money, and concentrate on making the "wad" grow.

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

    Social Psychology and Poker

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

    Geez, I think he read or stole one of my prior posts.

    When I return, I'm going to throw a Debutante Ball for the new poker blogs. I promise to write em all up...nothing but new poker blogs as far as the eye can see.

    Is this an uber-post yet? Probably not, but it shall have to suffice. It is Friday evening, after all.

    Thanks to anyone who read this far.

    Again, good luck to everyone tomorrow evening in the Monty Memorial Poker Blogger Tourney. Thankfully, I'm playing 'host' and I don't really care how I do. I haven't played no-limit poker since God-knows when. I just want everyone to have fun, and more importantly, some laughs.

    Link of the Day:
    Young Love is a Bitch
    One of the first signs of trouble with Karina was when she declared he could no longer wear shorts: "I have hairy legs, and the boy that she slept with over the weekend had hairy legs, and she wanted to forget about it."

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