Thursday, February 05, 2004
Paul Phillips Poker Blog
"It's hard to hide success or failure in this profession we've all chosen."
There's something about a midwest winter that makes any particular day seem an awful lot like all the others around it.
Anyway, this is gonna be a quick post tonight because I wanna play poker with my attention undivided. Stepping up and playing some higher limits for a bit. Also read a damn funny flame by Paul Phillips on RGP.
I officially signed up for Grubby's inaugural February tourney. Hurry up and get your butt over there to get a seat at the table! This is only the first in what will surely become an epic monthly event, The World Poker Blogger Tour.
I'm looking forward to receiving that last place mystery prize. I hope it's a copy of Poker For Dummies, because some newbie friend never returned mine.
The follow-up March tourney will be held on Sunday, March 7th at 9pm. More details when I have time to post them. But for now, mark your calendars. This will be a two table event, if we have enough players.
I immediately have taken a liking to Suited Trash. Anyone who calls Paul Phillips a smug fuck is cool in my book. To be fair, I've _always_ enjoyed Paul's RGP posts, but it appears as if that's sadly coming to an end.
I used to have his blog linked on the right, but he only posts a line per month so I removed it. Anyway:
Paul Phillips blog
I'm done with rec.gambling.poker
For those wondering when I'm going to post on rgp again, I'm not. A certain lowlife on rgp has succeeded in causing me real-life problems, and the nature of those problems is such that there is no defense for me save leaving. Sorry to abandon it but my hand was forced. I suppose if I write anything about poker I'll do it here for now.
Inspiring story about an online player cashing in through Empire Poker:
Good_one’s story of the Crown tournament in Melbourne, Australia
Speaking of inspirational, one of our own, LordG, has quit his job and is moving into pro territory. It goes without saying that I wish LordG the best of luck, and I'm looking forward to reading his travails.
I started this silly poker blog to force myself to document, think critically and above all, study the game of poker that I enjoy so damn much. Mission accomplished, methinks, thus far. But because I never expected anyone to read my Guinness-fueled ramblings, I have been overwhelmed with the too kind words and links. And because of this emerging little poker corner of the BlogSpace, I've occasionally done some surreptitious and not-so-surreptitious guerrilla internet-PR for all of us.
So one drunken evening I emailed a shill, fake "review" site to feature a Top Ten Poker Blog list. Hell, they create top ten lists of everything else poker just to provide some content to cover the garish shilling. Anyway, they finally did so tonight. And the fuckers didn't even list me. :)
Oh the irony. I'll let other folks link to them. Bastards. I'm sure if they had expanded to a top #15 instead of #10, I woulda been listed. Ha!
Also, for my man Scott (and anyone else who is interested), I'll soon do a post on getting under the hood of Pokertracker and what I find relevant. There is a veritable plethora of number-y goodness to sort through, and I may need screen shots to do it properly. Yet another reason to move to
moveable type a domain name, eh?
Tagging fish isn't hard, either, if you take the time and start building up the database. Tracking them is a tad tougher, especially when savvy players use both a Party and an Empire account. But it can be done through due diligence.
Ok, gotta go. Got more to post but it shall have to wait.
Wish me luck tonight.
Link of the Day:
Where Sesame Street Hits Crack Alley
USA Networks rejected Vernon Chatman's Kids Show on the grounds that it was "anti-social and immoral." It's also demented, disturbing, exploitive, and shows far too much of the hot-dog manufacturing process.
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
Evelyn Ng & Phil Ivey Poker Blogs
"At that point I ought to have gone away, but a strange sensation rose up in me, a sort of defiance of fate, a desire to challenge it, to put out my tongue at it. I laid down the largest stake allowed - four thousand gulden - and lost it. Then, getting hot, I pulled out all I had left, staked it on the same number, and lost again, after which I walked away from the table as though I were stunned. I could not even grasp what had happened to me."
Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Gambler
Good Lord, it sure takes awhile to catch up on poker blogging goodness. So many great blogs and posts. But damnit, now I've had a few too many Guinness. Prepare for a verbose, drunken post.
I think there is a distinct correlation between poker players who desire to improve, to study and become winning players and the poker blogging scene. It's difficult sometimes to be brutally honest with our play, to dissect it and try to understand the "why and how" of what we are potentially doing wrong. I guess I'd like to rant about losing versus winning poker players, maybe bash the online poker conspiracy theorists again (head to the archives if you want a taste) but that's a dead horse.
It seems like many losing players have a propensity to blame losing on outside forces like bad luck, bad cards or rampant cheating. Winning poker players (to me) believe that winning is a direct result of their own studying, ability and preparation. Losers, because the idea of incompetency is so damaging to their ego, tend to point to reasons outside of themselves.
I'm not disavowing bad luck or a terrible run of cards, believe me. It's accepted that even good players will experience long losing streaks - it's unavoidable. I'm just referring to the gambloors who whine and complain and post about "fixed" internet poker instead of taking a hard, cold look at their game.
And that's what it takes to become a winning player. This and more. It takes a gut-check of our emotional discipline at the table to play _each_ hand as they come, one by one, to shrug off the bad beats and play each hand in a vacuum. Don't think about the money, the last hand, the last hour. Just focus on playing *this* hand correctly.
Poor players don't even care about these concepts. They play hunches. They beleive in hot seats or rushes. They think certain dealers never deal them winners. That's insane thinking to the rational poker student.
I absolutely believe that game selection & emotional discipline are two of the very biggest issues for the vast majority of pro wannabes or players who simply want to win & build a bankroll. Too many players spend too much time focusing on the wrong thing. They play on tight tables (PARTY POKER has 35,000 players right now!!) when there is no reason to do so.
Because most winnings come from the relative difference between your skill
and that of your opponents, and are not just a function of ability alone,
any player - pro or not - who plays to win money, should simply table hop and find a table to their liking.
It's not that difficult to use Pokertracker and follow fishies around. So my long-winded, roundabout 'tip of the day' to my ten readers is: focus more on game selection and developing iron-willed discipline. And play at Party.
A focused grinder will get the money in the long-term.
Can you tell I've been grinding again? :)
To be truthful, this post came from Hdouble's excellent tip:
Any time you play a hand without firmly believing that you have a positive expectation, you are on subtle tilt
This is a concept that John Feeny first articulated in his fine book, Inside The Poker Mind, and that Hdouble wisely pointed out in his own play. Being reminded of such an important concept is in large part why I continue this poker blog. Hank rules.
While I'm mentioning fellow poker blogging brethren, allow me to say Hi to Liz, of Suited Trash, the newest poker blogger on the block and welcome to the wacky world of poker blogs! It appears as if she is starting a meta-blog, which is a nifty idea. I received an asterisk for my post today! Thanks, Liz!
Couple quick notes: Pauly of Tao of Poker fame joined Ugarte and Rick's home game in NYC and had a fine write-up, per usual. Nearly better than that, however, Pauly has taken the leap and started to play online! Woohooo! Good luck!
Speaking of Mac users, I enjoyed Paul's rant about Mac's, summed up in this one thought:
Steve Jobs can lick my toes
I'm still waiting for my favorite blogger across the pond, Vagaries, to start posting again.
Lord Grezsdlkdklf has a wonderfully long and interesting post as he grapples with aspirations of quitting his job and moving to Vegas to play full-time. I really enjoy the lengthy posts, plus he's dealing with some serious life decisions. 10k isn't enough to move to Vegas with, unless you can live in your Mom and Dad's basement. Lord G, as someone who moved to Vegas on their 25th birthday, email me and I'll be happy to give my two cents.
Woohoo! World Poker Tour Pro, Lion Tales, has yet ANOTHER new post. A must read.
Richard Brodie - WPT Pro
Another top-tier update:
David Ross: Playing online for a living week 40
K, that's enough for today. Thanks a bunch for reading.
Finally, I want 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.
I have lots more to post about. Plenty of news (I can't help myself), poker bots, the blogger tourney and beating low-limit poker. Coming soon.
Link of the Day:
Brevity is Solely for Fuckwits
A 1991 Saturday Night Live skit introduced Johnny Letter, an Old West vigilante who used his strong writing skills to exact revenge on others. Johnny would love an encyclopedically detailed discussion board flamewar.
Monday, February 02, 2004
Evelyn Ng & Howard Lederer Poker Blogs
Casino Queen, my lord you're mean
I've been gambling like a fiend on your tables so green
The big news is the first official Grublog Poker Classic, a NL tournament for the poker bloggers. Please go hit Grubbies site and sign up if interested. He's giving away some fantastic prizes, in addition to the cash.
My favorite take on this historical event? From the FatGuy:
it's a $20+2 SNG on Feb 22 at some new joint called Choice Poker. Looks a bit like the UB client, except uglier in a 1979 Burger King kind of way.
That's funny cause it's true. Now go sign-up!
The second tournament in our World Poker Blogger Tour will be set up by yours truly. Date/site should be announced in a day or two. Best of all, we can have 'last longer' bets and 'bounties' in the March tourney. Specifics to come. For now, I'm psyched that an off-hand comment in this blog has finally come to reality. Thanks Grubby, you rule.
Also, the March tourney will be scheduled for a Wednesday or weekend so Felicia can play. I still list her as the prohibitive favorite, even though tournaments are a crapshoot. Also, thank you, Felicia, for linking to poker blogs in UnitedPokerforum. That was very cool.
Pauly posted odds in the tourney but he's way off-base. Felicia, BG, Lord Grezsdlkdklf, Royal and many of the talented new kids were left off that list. I agree with Hank, everyone goes in at 9-2.
Saw this RGP post about the WSOP structure this year:
Seems absurd to me to play half the field on Day 1, half on Day 2,
then play 5 more days? Do they have such little room to hold the event
and are expecting so many people?
- Saturday, 5/22/2004 World Championship Event Day 1 4 Full Levels 1/2
- Sunday 5/23/2004 - World Championship Event Day 2 4 Full Levels 1/2
- Monday ,5/24/2004 - World Championship Event Day 3 4 Full Levels
- Tuesday, 5/25/2004 - World Championship Event Day 4 4 Full Levels
- Wednesday, 5/26/2004 - World Championship Event Day 5 Play to 36
- Thursday, 5/27/2004 - World Championship Event Day 6 Play to 9
- Friday, 5/28/2004 - World Championship Event Final Play to 1
Mr. Decker is correct, there are nuggets of poker info on RGP but without the old-school regulars, it's not worth the effort, imho.
No more poker news linkage unless it's top-tier. I simply don't have the time. I want to get back to my roots - using this blog to think critically about poker. Analyzing my strengths and weaknesses. Documenting the good, bad and ugly. Supplementing my studying. The blog, as it is, is getting in the way.
Fave chat snippet of the night last evening, after I sucked out with a river flush versus a Montreal player with railbirds talking non-stop in French to him:
happyjaypee [observer]: booooooo
Elvis-73: calice de marde
Iggy: Canada sucks
Here's a list of WPT Players
Alrighty then, I'm off to play. Good luck to everyone tonight. Empire Poker deposit bonus rules!
Hey, Lady, Need a Lift?
The World Wide Web is the first mass media that has enough room to cater to every conceivable sexual fetish. No one is happier about this than men who like women who get their cars stuck in mud.
Sunday, February 01, 2004
Evelyn Ng & Howard Lederer Poker Blogs
"I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"
Captain Renault, Casablanca
Oh joy! SuperBowl Sunday!
For the record, this year's TV ads sucked. But the game was fantastic.
I truly enjoyed my first ever World Poker Tour broadcast today on NBC. Unfortunately, no Party Poker ads, but the poker exposure is a great thing. Because of the tournament of champions format, I thought the tournament itself lacked drama and significance. And there was nary a scrap of table talk. But I enjoyed the play and rooted for my favorite vegan, Howard Lederer.
Vegans are immoral people, though. Don't you think that a cow or a pig or a chicken would eat YOU if he had the chance? You bet your ass he would!
Also, I didn't know about the 60 second clock. That's an interesting addition for the TV poker format. Have they always had the clock on the World Poker Tour? I'm not sure I like it -- this is poker, not basketball....
By the way, does anyone have any advice for a friend who is trying to learn hold em without losing money? He is currently playing on Yahoo and I think we can all guess how that's going. Anyway, I know nothing about the play money scene (although I did beta-test Pokerstars back in the day, when I was using StatKing and playing 5.10 on Paradise) so if anyone could offer any advice for him, lemme know.
My personal opinion: you will NEVER learn on play money tables. You'd be better off playing the tiniest micro money stakes you could find, before spinning your wheels in play money. There's nothing to learn there.
Mister Decker followed up with some reading on the pattern mapping madness that went on at 2+2. Thought I'd provide one long thread in case you wanted to take a peek.
Can Party Poker 4th and 5th street cards be predicted?
I'll tell ya, with the rabid regulars at 2+2, it's tough to ever want to be part of the "community" over there. It's freaking skull and bones. Or worse, you can have netkooks follow you around and attack your posts, like Felicia's situation.
Speaking of which, a big thank-you to the ever-popular Felicia for linking up several blogs in her email digest! I'm happy I finally got a link, although this is by far the weirdest thing anyone has ever said about my blog, hands down. Icky pooh? Damn Felicia, what kind of poker player are you? ;)
Iggy, gotta love him, even if he is a beer drinker (icky pooh).
Hrm, allow me to post some of my favorite drinking quotes here on the most massive beer day of all, SuperBowl Sunday:
"I feel bad for those people who don't drink, because when you wake up in the morning that's as good as you're going to feel all day long."
"Always remember that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me."
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
"He was a wise man who invented beer."
"An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools."
For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
"Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying
himself a pleasure."
How dare you insult my beloved beer. Go back to Russia! ;)
I found Felicia's take on tournament poker versus ring games fascinating from a psychological standpoint. For her, ring games feel like practice. Tournaments feel like the real thing. I feel the complete opposite, but that doesn't mean we aren't both correct from our unique perspectives. It depends on the mentality of a player. That's part of the allure of poker - there are so many different games/formats to play and/or master. It's up to you to figure out what style and game fits your personality.
But tournaments (for me) are much more about luck. That being said, if Felicia were to grace us with her presence in the much anticipated blogger tourney, I'd list her as the favorite, hands down. Too bad she doesn't play online.
Grubby has something up his sleeve regarding our tourney, too. Between he and I, we should have a firm date soon.
I recently read about poker pro, Mike Laing, making the final table of a WPT event and not being allowed to drink. LOL, apparently there have been some issues there. Anyway, that reminded me of the fantastic NPR show, This American Life, featuring Mike in their segment about poker. If you are at work, take the time to listen to this fine show:
Meet the Pros
Act Two. Know When to Walk Away, Know When to Run. Host Ira Glass travels to Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker, gets hooked on poker, and tries to figure out what it would mean if he'd ditch his job in radio to become a professional cardplayer. What he learns: a professional gambler can suffer two heartbreaking losses back to back, costing over $100,000, yet moments later, at the casino bar, calculate the million-to-one odds of his unlikely losses... in his head. (26 minutes).
Hdouble had a great pre-WPT and SuperBowl post, running thru the blogging of the last few days. And on the difficulty of grinding while maintaining an active poker blog. I feel his pain and may take a week or two off just to focus on playing. Or maybe I'll stop posting news articles to save time. My playing time has been severely cut into.
Well, I'm listening to Marv Albert and Boomer Esiason call the SuperBowl on radio rather than watching the second half. After two hours of TV poker, I hit my tolerance of sitting in front of the television.
Do you know the difference between Sharon Stone and Marv Albert?
Marv Albert wears panties.
Party Poker reflection: two months ago, they were at 22,000 players. Weee, has there ever been a better time in history to be a poker player?
I'm remembering a comment from the Poker Penguin:
I mean a central part of the Penguin wisdom is to sit down with fishies.
Exactly. And the biggest pond on Earth right now is Party Poker. I know guys who WANT to play with great poker players. Not me. I've paid my dues and am more than happy to take advantage of the influx of new players at the low/mid limits.
Slow and steady says the Grinder.
Obligatory poker news links. Some interesting stuff here - we may be hitting saturation, the apex of poker media coverage.
Poker gone wild
So, it's a spectator sport? Stake your ratings on it
Fox Sports plans a Saturday Night Poker League, hoping to make it the next "Monday Night Football."
A full house cited at park poker game
But Garner said television news accounts of the incident have been blown out of proportion.
"It was just a bunch of guys getting together to play a quarter to a dollar poker," Garner said. "They didn't arrest us or carry us to jail. They wrote us a ticket, and we went home."
Feature article in the Toronto Star.
Nice photo of Evelyn Ng and praise for TV poker from this TV critic.
Player flushed with success
Toronto-born Evelyn Ng, who learned when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em
"Playing poker is not the same as trying to play blackjack for a living. You're not playing against the casino. The casino will always have an edge. In poker, you're playing against other players. And if you're the best player at the table, over the long run, you are gonna make money," says Evelyn Ng.
Humorous perspective on the enigma that is TV poker. Go read.
A super deal - televised poker
Once upon a time it was the "Battle of the Network Stars," before it was "Home Run Derby," "Celebrity Boxing" and the XFL. Now it's poker, the latest pseudo sport taking various dimly lit clusters of your satellite uplink by storm.
Then again, it might surprise us. Televised poker has a powerful, if difficult to explain, appeal, the kind of out-of-left-field hook that had us tuning in to watch Gabe Kaplan run the 200-yard dash, and Tonya Harding throw right uppercuts.
From the Sunday edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, an article quoting Mason Malmuth. Did Mason hire a PR guy?
TV poker a gamble that is paying off big
"The demand from people looking to hone their skills has been tremendous," says Malmuth. "There was a time last year when six of the top 100 books sold by Amazon.com were poker books, and we had three of them."
Wow, what a tremendous football game. It's so enjoyable to see the sheer joy on the winner's faces.
Sadly, I put it in poker context and while watching Patriots coach and quarterback hug, I thought of Chris Moneymaker beating Sam Farha in the final hand of the WSOP and heading over to bear hug his father, ala Tiger Woods/Earl Woods in Tiger's first Master's victory.
Still, I'm not as bad as Grubby. I'm not thinking about it while driving, contemplating a check-raise of the BMW in the high-speed lane....
Thanks for reading.
Link of the day:
Everquest Daily Grind
These are real postings from a message board where people can talk about their troubles with their partners who play EQ.
I have had it. After reading and hearing many stories about how partners of some Everquest players are left handling most of the daily life chores while their partners are lazy arse-sitting wannebe-escapists dreaming of a better life.
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