Thursday, July 29, 2004

"You're an idiot for not playing 15.30 on Party Poker"
Fast Eddie, to me

That's likely true.

Ready for a story? This is probably not as interesting to you as to me, but let's throw it out there anyway. I'm still in a daze.

I've mentioned poker professionals, Fast Eddie and M, in this blog every once in awhile. I met them several years ago, running a sweet backroom game in a rural area of northern Cincinnati. I immediately took a liking to each of them. They were both humorous, skilled players and Fast Eddie was especially adept at working a goofball image, something I highly respected. In fact, watching him work in those many sessions helped cultivate my own brand of image, albeit it in a much different strain.

Upon finding out that neither played poker online, I made it my duty to cajole them into doing so. And to their credit, with not one iota of computer experience, they did. And quickly became very profitable.

But over the years, whenever I visited these guys who derive 100% of their income from poker, I always left their place feeling like I just left NeverNeverLand. It was such a surreal existence, yet me and my corporate existence with the 401k and the assorted perks were just as foreign to them. I was the one who was jealous, though.

Fast Eddie is 23 and a high school dropout (GED) from a very rural area. School got in the way of his 'real education'. Some people might call them crackers. Fast Eddie calls it white trash. He is a hustler with a twang. Gin, pool, poker - you name it. Eeking out a pretty cool existence for himself with only his wits and skills on the fringe of society. A truly self-made man.

Welp, except for computer knowledge, of course. He still needed help with that. So he had been harassing me to come over and help him out, which I did last evening right after work. Cleaned up some spyware, re-installed PokerTracker on his new box, and even got his new webcam up and running so he could, in his words, "Meet some web ho's."

Meanwhile, we're drinking beer, having fun bs'ing about poker and always folding, folding, folding. Fast Eddie had entered the first WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker) on PokerStars. $300 buyin event and the game was Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo - easily Eddie's (and mine) worst game. But Eddie built up a nice stack through selective aggression and position. And extremely tight play. And me. I'll admit I won him a nice pot when he had to take a long leak. ;)

Anyway, let me give the abridged version of this sordid tale. I truly wanted to write up this great Trip Report but I'm pinched for time. So here it is:

He fucking won. Fifty grand. 50k. 50,000 simoleans. $50,000.00

Oh the humanity.
My bill for fixing computers went up dramatically, that's fer sure.

If any of you follow these things on the message boards, you will have read many nasty things about the player Austin Kearns. And all I can say in his defense is that he was drinking heavily and also: UP YOURS, he won 50 grand.

The gist of the story is that he gambled with the chip leader and won. Once he had all those chips, it was over because he most certainly knows how to wield a big stack with authority. He had everyone outchipped nearly 4-1 at the final table. I can't defend his horrific chat techniques because I'm used to it and don't judge him. Except for his shitty music taste in rap - that I DO judge him on. I was sick when he was quoting Eminem at the final table - it truly made me ill. But the criticism leveled at him is withering and it's just what he wanted.

I hate to post all these following negative posts about Austin, but quite honestly, he doesn't give a fuck. He plays eight tables of 15.30 every night and if you want a piece of him, knock yourself out.

I'm doublesuited!
I used bonus code Iggy, and I won $50,000!

But for the sake of posterity, I must post all the negatives from the boards. So here we go:

Proof that PokerStars isn't rigged

In case you believe that Lee Jones has the power to "help" out players that he likes, tonights event #1 of the WCOOP (PLO8) has proven that idea wrong.

In case you didn't watch, a semi-literate caps-lock chatting grammar-challenged buffoon named "AustinKearns" played like a maniac, lucked into a huge stack, and bludgeoned the final table with it. He was the most unlikeable poker player I have ever seen. With all the crap he was spouting, surely anyone with the power to make him lose would have taken advantage of it.

Yikes. I tried _very_ hard to get Eddie to STFU to no avail.
LOL, I tried, I promise. He wanted to make a stir, and by God, he did.

Razzo posted this:

OBSERVER comments after AustinKearns' victory in 1st 2004 WCOOP

From: RazzO (anonymous@razzo.com) Sent: Jul 29 2004 1:52AM

AustinKearns chat during final table is re-pasted at bottom

Below are comments immediately after poker client defaults
to observer chat [ON] at the conclusion of Event #1 2004 WCOOP

---from 8 players down to 3---

Lee Jones [PokerRoom Manager]: Good game schum
MIK22: wait, can we make a deal?
Naslund: you want to save some mik?
Naslund: can we have time lee?
Lee Jones [PokerRoom Manager]: I can't stop the play unless all three
players want it.
MIK22: can we stop the clock, pls
AustinKearns: NOPE
AustinKearns: NO
AustinKearns: ITS OVER
MIK22: we 'll see
MIK22: save 3, naslund, ok?
Dealer: We are now Heads Up
Lee Jones [PokerRoom Manager]: Good match Naslund - well played.
MIK22: gg ,naslund
Langfuhr [observer]: lexington
Lee Jones [PokerRoom Manager]: Good game - both players.

--client defaulted for observer chat to be enabled--

PrinceHal [observer]: you got some luck man
action cincy [observer]: YES
BettnTibetn [observer]: whoa
etching [observer]: wipeout
RiverPuller [observer]: wow
Langfuhr [observer]: yea
sotem [observer]: lol
RiverPuller [observer]: AMAZING
fusionarena [observer]: nice
BettnTibetn [observer]: what a joker
zivTLV [observer]: gg Mik
sotem [observer]: lame
RiverPuller [observer]: HES AMAZING
gooberific [observer]: too bad no deal mik - loser
all aces [observer]: austin is SO lucky
jabarilikewo [observer]: wowowowow
joejean19 [observer]: wow
jabarilikewo [observer]: owowwowo
SweetWaterBK [observer]: i hate that guy
tomnshell [observer]: cards sweep the reds
Dat pato [observer]: vn done
tidus17 [observer]: what ar se
MIK22 [observer]: ty, Ziv
Syrun [observer]: lol wow his cards were amazing
jabarilikewo [observer]: yeah
BettnTibetn [observer]: raise every hand
eMarkM [observer]: what a classless ****
all aces [observer]: LUCKY
FLNC [observer]: gg mik
dafugginman [observer]: he's amazing?
Langfuhr [observer]: AUSTIN
Berman44 [observer]: wow
BettnTibetn [observer]: what was that
all aces [observer]: LUCKY
PaNdaY [observer]: LOL
sotem [observer]: I liked how he told the other players to SUCK HIS **&**
action cincy [observer]: GG
BettnTibetn [observer]: psycho
Didyouhaveit [observer]: gg
seanillman [observer]: wow
RiverPuller [observer]: YES HES AMAIZING
M'darling [observer]: the ahole won
whosierdaddy [observer]: kk
whosierdaddy [observer]: k
Kevmath [observer]: he's amazingly bad?
whosierdaddy [observer]: k
dafugginman [observer]: you're dumb if you think he's amazing
BettnTibetn [observer]: i wish i had that luck
ProfessorJ [observer]: AUSTIN is A JERK, shoulda let them deal for the
remaining money
sugar teddy [observer]: gg mike
iHATEpants [observer]: WAY TO GO NAZZY
El Macho [observer]: GG MIK
BettnTibetn [observer]: *******
SCTrojans [observer]: he dominated simple as that
PureMeppage [observer]: good game everyone
jabarilikewo [observer]: stomp down
BettnTibetn [observer]: dominated by luck
strassa2 [observer]: that guy stunk
strassa2 [observer]: that guy stunk
jdm1111 [observer]: Austin was horrible..
AABIGSLICKK [observer]: 4 ever
BIG_SLlCK [observer]: he's a lucky 8 year old fool
Abomb [observer]: whoisyourdaddy - you are a moron
HairyItalian [observer]: 2-6 of diamonds vs. Alex or else he wouldnt even
be there
fabsoul [observer]: GG MIK
Sassy1 [observer]: lucky as all get out
BettnTibetn [observer]: learn how to play the game
SydSyd [observer]: jealousy
action cincy [observer]: Y WOULD HE DEAL... HE ISNT THAT STUPID
BCinNY [observer]: LUCK LUCK LUCK
BIG_SLlCK [observer]: he's a lucky 8 year old fool
Ronin29 [observer]: total @sshole
MIK22 [observer]: Thanks for supporting me , all my friends
Didyouhaveit [observer]: he beat 500 players and its luck
BIG_SLlCK [observer]: he's a lucky 8 year old fool
SCTrojans [observer]: ya the 26 diamond was only retarded thing he did all
Abomb [observer]: you guys are idiots
M'darling [observer]: who says turkeys cant win??
SydSyd [observer]: jealousy
neilmck [observer]: the deal was so 2nd and 3rd could split the difference
i guess
ProfessorJ [observer]: no, he keeps he 1st place, and 2nd and 3rd are split
casinogeves [observer]: a monkey could have won with those cards
Didyouhaveit [observer]: get a life guys
Abomb [observer]: ****ing morons actually
BIG_SLlCK [observer]: he's a lucky 8 year old fool
BIG_SLlCK [observer]: he's a lucky 8 year old fool
BIG_SLlCK [observer]: he's a lucky 8 year old fool
BIG_SLlCK [observer]: he's a lucky 8 year old fool
CASHDIAMOND [observer]: v
BIG_SLlCK [observer]: he's a lucky 8 year old foolhe's a lucky 8 year old
foolhe's a lucky 8 year old foolhe's a lucky 8 year old foolhe's a lucky 8
year old foolhe's a lucky 8 year old fool
LordPye [observer]: Lucky fool who won 47k
BIG_SLlCK [observer]: he's a lucky 8 year old fool
RangerC [observer]: this tournament was a perfect illustration of why PLO8
pokerface_05 [observer]: gg
Slarty [observer]: gg
Abomb [observer]: BIG SLICK = ****ING MORON
SydSyd [observer]: jealousy reings
Slarty [observer]: HE IS A WANKER THOUGH
Slarty [observer]: lol
BABY CHARLES [observer]: YEP
Slarty [observer]: a lucky one
neilmck [observer]: yup def a wanker
Hold em 888 [observer]: that took almost 10 hours
tunaeatr [observer]: don't look here, the joke is between your legs
russlcat [observer]: yes
SydSyd [observer]: lol
russlcat [observer]: good but a wanker
tidus17 [observer]: fdop'joipgfjs
SweetWaterBK [observer]: that guy was such a doosh bag
tidus17 [observer]: dsajipgfjigpsa
neilmck [observer]: but a rich awnker
neilmck [observer]: wanker
Kevmath [observer]: austin makes fischman a wimp
russlcat [observer]: wanker
Langfuhr [observer]: GJ AUSTIN
Kevmath [observer]: look like a wimp even
tunaeatr [observer]: VOTE BUSH
dee33444 [observer]: lucky or something else no way that player wins in a
real game
russlcat [observer]: yeah
SydSyd [observer]: VOTE KERRY
Slarty [observer]: BUSH IS A C U N T
Sassy1 [observer]: hell with bush
neilmck [observer]: indeed
Slarty [observer]: AND NEEDS TO DIE
neilmck [observer]: vote KERRY
russlcat [observer]: bush- and austin
Sassy1 [observer]: yes
russlcat [observer]: 2 morons
The $ting [observer]: hi sass
neilmck [observer]: do the decent thing!
shakapawn [observer]: were even dee
shakapawn [observer]: lol
Sassy1 [observer]: kerry for pres
RangerC [observer]: that's why they don't have PLO8 at the WSOP
dafugginman [observer]: kerry is a fuggin communist
action cincy [observer]: VOTE AUSTIN KEARNS
RangerC [observer]: joke of a game
Slarty [observer]: lol
dee33444 [observer]: even
shakapawn [observer]: lol
neilmck [observer]: haha
shakapawn [observer]: the $2 bet
dee33444 [observer]: but send me 1 anyway
shakapawn [observer]: lol
Kevmath [observer]: austin's ruining cincinnati's good name
Slarty [observer]: transfer me some money Austin you *****
russlcat [observer]: ohio blows
action cincy [observer]: DOUBT THAT
shakapawn [observer]: my horse took a stab at him though
RangerC [observer]: PLO good, Limit 08 good, PLO8 = garbage
action cincy [observer]: YEAH IT BLOWS WHILE WE SPEND UR MONEY
Kevmath [observer]: reds suck, bengals suck, bearcats suck
SydSyd [observer]: lol
russlcat [observer]: and ohio state
Sdouble [observer]: sdouble
SydSyd [observer]: BUCKEYES
Sdouble [observer]: represented
Sdouble [observer]: all he could
Sdouble [observer]: sorry he let down
Sdouble [observer]: all of his fans
Sdouble [observer]: gnite
russlcat [observer]: SUCK
Kevmath [observer]: drop an s there
shakapawn [observer]: yes...sdouble...and boy can you talk
russlcat [observer]: cheaters
dafugginman [observer]: sdouble has middle school tomorrow
shakapawn [observer]: i was impressed by the singing alone
action cincy [observer]: SDOUBLE WAS JUST A BIG WHINER
RazzO [observer]: heh
1742787 78
This table has been closed

-reposted AustinKearns chat-

AustinKearns: ARE U SAM FARHA?
Dealer: Limits going up: blinds 6000/12000
AustinKearns: SO SUC MY DIC
HostTerrence [Supervisor]: Austin, we're glad to have you here, but please
keep it clean
AustinKearns: HEY BUDDY
AustinKearns: OR SHOULD I USE CLOROX BLeach?
Lee Jones [PokerRoom Manager]: Austin - listen very carefully. We're
going to give you one free pass since this is the final table. One more
inappropriate comment and your chat is gone.
AustinKearns: I AM COOL
AustinKearns: WHAT HAVE I SAID
AustinKearns: BULL

Dear Lord, I'm cringing upon re-reading that. Poker punks are evil, damnit.

Razzo followed up with:

Sorry...he typed so much I couldn't keep up with it.

There was a day when I would have asked him to let me have a hit of what he was smoking.

This how much he controled the chat with unintelligible garble....OnlineChamp couldn't get a word in edge wise. Capish?

With all the mention he gets here, it was actually the first time I watched him play.
Thank God.

I don't know about a "classless piece of crap", but if I ever play against
him the chat is muted.

On the deciding hand between the two chip leaders, Razzo accused Austin of a check raise allin when it wasn't. The hand in question is posted here:


And here was some analysis that I agree with per that hand:

That play was beyond horrible... and it won him the tournament. Sad.

Ok, maybe I'm not the best O8 player in the world, but I mean it's a gamble for Austin, but I think it's a worse play by Alex. With the hands as they are Austin will win Hi like 40% of the time and makes low 18% and of that 18% he never will lose. Why would Alex commit all those chips with just 2 pair into a 2 diamond board with no possible low or flush? He's putting all his chips on the line against someone who's worst possible hand is a flush draw. In terms of EV it's like 56/44.

It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me why either of them would risk that many chips with the hands they have, but I think Alex's play is mind boggling. Of course, if this was a Hold 'em tournament and the 1st and 2nd place got all their chips in with AK vs QQ we wouldn't think twice about it. I agree with the observer though, PLO8 is a pretty stupid game.


I'm in complete agreement. Two pair with no redraws is a total trap hand
in Omaha H/L, and it's just insane to commit all your chips (as 2nd chip
leader, no less!) with that hand. Alex's reraise all-in was VERY foolish
against a gambling idiot like Kearns who won't lay down a hand. There
are very few possible hands he could have dominated, and there are a ton
of hands that have him slaughtered (KT33, KQJx, JJxx, QQxx, etc, etc).
Kearns could easily have been holding a hand like JJ42 with diamonds (the
type of hand even he probably would just check in the BB) that has Alex
drawing to two outs. Even if Kearns just has total garbage like T942 with
diamonds, Alex is not a favorite.

Raising on the flop was OK, but once he
was reraised, he should have thrown the hand away immediately. He still
would have 240K chips, and would still be in 2nd chip position - it would
be hard for him not to make top 7 with all the short stacks, and he'd
still be the likely favorite to win. Instead, he tried to hit a home run
with a hand that is good for singles only. It turned out he had the best
hand and should have won the pot, but that doesn't make gambling all his
chips with a mediocre hand the right decision.

Lee Jones had to warn him about taking his chat away after he typed some
nasty stuff. Then he said to Pstars after being warned - "...but I am the
best... Oh I'm sorry Pokerstars I'll give you plenty of props on T.V.

What a jerk

Hell, I might as well post all the threads for those of you who rely on me for this:

WCOOP leader is the cockyest guy i have ever seen

From: mikwit

wow i was watching the wcoop O/8 PL and there is this guy whos name i will
not say but he has over 700K and the guy in 2nd has like 180K this guy is
one of the worst players i have ever seen any one else watch this guy he
pushes a guy all in with only ace high and rubs it in his face when he
wins and then since observer chat is off he keeps on chanting where are
you at now

i have seen some annoying poker but this has to take the cake

And from 2+2 we have even more commentary:

1st event yesterday...

...was won by a player who's handle was AustinKearns. He was quite rude and arrogant with his chat at the final table. Lee jones even had to warn him to cease his profanity or his chat would be revolked immediately.

Just wondered if anyone else sweated the final table yesterday and knows who this yo-yo of a character is?

----- response:

He plays OF for the Cincinnati Reds, but he's been out with an injury for much of this year.

Funny, he seems so softspoken in interviews...get him behind a computer playing poker and he becomes obnoxious.

Damn. I left late in the evening, when they finally wittled down to 40 or 50 players (in the money) and he started cranking up rap music. If you ever want me out of your house, that's a sure-fire way to do it. But he honestly hadn't said boo the entire time I was there.

I hate to show him in such a negative light with all of the above but damn, I was there to witness it all. Eddie promised that if he won he would freeroll M and I at the boat immediately following his victory. LOL, and me with zero available sick days or vacation days for the next month. ARRRRRRRRRRRG.

The voicemail he left me in the wee hours of the morning is priceless. I'm still trying to pull it off, digitize and post here for your amusement.

There are so many things I could/should say here. Like how Fast Eddie realizes how lucky he is, like many of us, to be in the right place at the right time, during this Poker Gold Rush. And how it could go away in a second. But most importantly, how amazing it is with all the terrible players right now.

He never calls what he does 'playing poker'. He calls it Work.
And for him, it is.

The thing I admire most about this kid, a mere 23 years old, is his unflappableness. Is that a word?

To keep in the zen of poker when he plays on Party Poker, he enters a random number for his buyin on each table so he never knows if he's up or down - he can just play each hand for what it's worth. "It's about seeing as many hands as possible," he says, "You gotta do this while poker is hot."

So despite the fact he clearly comes across as a 'semi-literate caps-lock chatting grammar-challenged buffoon' - he knows how to play.

Whoops, I found another snippet:

Watching this a bit. Sdouble, the notorious trash talker, was mixing it up with the chip leader before being eliminated. The chip leader is an idiot.

Swearing at the final table in Cap Lock mode. Lee Jones threatening to take his chat away. Makes Sdouble look like a gentleman. Unfortunately, he has more chips than the rest of the table combined.

Sigh. It's easy to talk shit when you have 800,000 in chips. Doesn't make it right, though.

Damnit, at one point I had IM'd myself his tourney stats when we were deep into it and I was playing for him while he took a leak. Arggg, and now I can't find them. Hopefully he will send me the recap so I can post it here. But the stats at this point showed how tight he played. After about 200 hands he had seen the flop right around 12%. But when he played a pot, he pushed it HARD. Tight, aggressive play. Always with position.

And I suppose this is Way Too Much Information at this point. Let's just say it was a thrill to see a poker buddy win 50 large. He's really taking advantage of this Poker Thing right now when all I have to show for it is this stupid blog.

I asked him if he cared if I posted the negative shit cause I didn't want to offend him (although he never reads this) and he responded:

"tell them how bad they play to let a drunken bastard beat them"

Nuff said.

Last thread
Official WCOOP #1 thread from 2+2

Sigh. There's alot of other shit to say but I prolly shouldn't. Like about Eddie's new poker tattoo. So I won't.

Allrighty then. Please allow me to throw a couple random tidbits at you to make up for my narcissistic content above.

John Vorhaus is serialing his new novel Three of a Kind at Ultimatebet.com. Chapter one is up and running. You can read as it's posted here at:
Ultimate Bet Poker

In a twist of irony, the only poker book in Fast Eddie's collection that I don't own is the Vorhaus book on online poker, which he allowed me pilfer. Thoughts forthcoming.

There's a photo of Greg Raymer & David Anthony Williams & the WSOP cash in this MSNBC article entitled:
Wheeling and dealing on your next vacation
Poker tours and tournaments are sweeping the travel industry. Maybe it's time for you to ante up, too

Did anyone else see the front page of ESPN.com this morning? Nice poker reference on the front page dealing with baseball trades...

From yesterday's New York Post, more Poker is Hot coverage with a nice photo of Johnny Chan in a shirt I can only describe as 'festive' :

Here's an entertaining op-ed piece from Minnesota, the Land of Chris Halverson.
Poker: new sport of the annoying masses
I absolutely have to tell you about how I won our poker game.

Several months ago, I wrote : “Anybody who says poker is a sport is an idiot.” At the time, I might have been on top, or perhaps even ahead, of the curve with my condemnation. After all, with the exception of weekday afternoons on ESPN2, you could toss the figurative brick through both the television schedule and pop culture as a whole without hitting poker. I figured the phenomenon would peter out, like swing-dancing and Kurt Warner’s deal with the devil.

How naive I was....

I guess that's enough for now. I was hoping to crank out a full-blown uber post but this quick wam-bam post will have to suffice for tonight. I hope you aren't offended by my tangent and will continue to visit this humble poker blog. I'm posting my ass off for you - I can only hope that someone out there appreciates it.

./cue drumroll

So please consider signing up on Party Poker with bonus code IGGY in support of this lil poker blog. I'm actually close to tripling my signups from last month, when I got ZERO players. So take a chance on Party Poker.

An update: Monty is doing very poorly. Doesn't look good. Long seven weeks... :(

Also, per the poker blogger and The People Who Read Them tournament coming up, I must concur with Pauly in the comments who suggested:

Please pick Pacific or Planet... :) so I don't have to download another program and fund yet another account!!

Good idea. I'm going with Pacific then. Looking forward to the next blogger tourney. I hope all my poker blog favorites are there. :)

Thanks again for reading and I'll leave you with some insight on starting hand requirements from Lou Krieger.

Fast Eddie rules.

When it comes down to starting hands, there's a lot more that ought to be factored into the analysis:

1. How's your bankroll? Do you have enough money to play optimally, or are you on a short bankroll and feel the need to sacrafice some EV in order to offset a whole lot of variance. You can earn just as much money that way, but it will take a few more hours at the table to get there.

2. How well do you play compared to the skill of your opponents? If you can outplay them after the flop, or if your opponents are very predictable players, you can see a few more flops -- don't carry this to extremes, however -- than you can against tougher opposition.

3. How good are your opponents at reading you? If they are clueless, there's no point in disguising your hands of varying your play. If they are aware of what you seem to be doing, then you can make a play every now and then.

There's just so much about deciding what hands to play and under what circumstances to play them that if you spend some time thinking about it you can probably come up with a long list of factors that should be brought to bear on the "play/no play" decision.

After all, if all there was to playing your first two cards was rote memorization, anyone could be expert at this phase of the game.

Having said that, I recognize that my books have suggested starting hands for early, mid, and late position. But those suggestions are are GUIDE, and as soon as the beginning player learns what hands are good starters, and garners sufficient experience playing hold'em, he's free to move off that list and begin to interpolate his play based on a wide variety of factors.

New players, obviously, need guideposts. But as soon as they get their chops down, they can improvise a bit. But if they are grounded in some sort of hand selection theory, the very guidelines they are deviating from will serve as a basis for understanding what they are doing and why they are doing it.

The analogy to music is easy and obvious. Until a musician has his chops down, can handle his instrument, and knows melody, theory, and harmony he probably shouldn't do a whole lot of improvising. But once he's got his chops down cold, then he's free to become another Miles, Mingus, Monk, or Rollins -- or try to.

Keep flopping aces,

Lou Krieger

Link of the Day:
Hunger for Victory
The International Federation of Competitive Eating sanctions the sport of gluttony. "I'll stretch my stomach until it causes internal bleeding," says athlete Donald "Moses" Lerman.

Oh my. Oh my.

Do I have a story for you....

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

"Satire is a sort of glass wherein beholders generally discover everybody's face but their own."
Jonathan Swift

As Lou Krieger pointed out, this analogy also holds true for losing poker players. They see flaws in everyone's play but their own. It's far easier to cut someone else down than to take ownership of our own inevitable flaws. This is especially true in poker.

Reading Poker Maudie's great post from a few days ago caused me to ponder about poker, as I often do. About how easy it is to fall into a funk. To start blaming the cards. The poor players. Our abilities. Blaming variance, even, as if you could EVER escape it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's not how you win at poker, it's how you lose.

As Steve Badger says:

"The problem is: you just can't will yourself to win -- be it a tournament, a single day's play, or even an individual hand. And then, unfortunately for some, not winning is something many players simply can't handle. And being able to not win well is a fundamental, key ingredient of being a winning player."

I'm not even sure this is something that can be taught, it has to come from within or perhaps it's simply experience - but I've just seen too many players come and go after losing and not being able to dig out of it mentally and/or emotionally. It's too easy for the downward spiral to kick in.

I think a particular strength of mine has been my persistence in using losing as opportunities for learning. I rarely have many epiphanies while the deck is hitting me in the face but I am very diligent about analyzing my play while losing.

Blame the river if you want - it won't help your game.

Whenever I get hit with bad runs or a big session loss, I typically blame my poor play first. This is my natural tendency after indoctrinating myself in Sklansky and the ilk - they ingrained in me the knowledge that a good player can suffer large losses - in fact, they are unavoidable. How you handle them is the key.

I try to win more and lose less by constantly staying on top of my game. Making sure my starting hand standards aren't slipping, making sure I'm not chasing without proper pot odds, making sure my play is "correct" and not session dependant. Not letting bad beats affect me one iota. This criteria and much more (drinking) helps me keep a healthy attitude about losing.

This is probably very basic to any of you card players out there. Of course, it's smart to examine your play. But it's crucial when you've been losing.

Many years ago, I learned about (and am still learning, to some respect) about how you can start playing sloppy while losing. And I vowed to never let it happen again. It may be difficult for players to appreciate this without experiencing it for themselves. I know a few players who have a superb A game while winning, but once losing, literally give their chips away.

I could truly care less about individual sessions. My need is to focus not on short-term results, but on the quality of my play. I let the results take care of themselves. And it works.

Tilting. Steaming. Threshold of misery. These terms I knew as a neophyte are now the stepping stones of a solid grinder. I never could have beat the games consistently without beating those demons first.

Alrighty then, enough on that. Let's crank through a quick post so you can have something to do at work tomorrow and I still have time to grind tonite.

Interesting article here from the Sunday-Herald. The leader of the Jim Rose Circus is now a pro poker player. Is this a jump the shark moment?
Leader of the Pack


I’m heading for the Palms Casino, one of the newer additions to the Vegas skyline, to interview the self-styled King of the Freaks, Jim Rose, who for ten years corralled the strange, the sickening, the surreal and the ‘uniquely gifted’ under one canvas roof and entertained audiences all over the world. If the international success of the Jim Rose Circus proved anything, it was that people will turn out in large numbers to watch a man lift heavy objects with a hook through his penis.

But no more. It has been a year and a half since the circus tent was taken down and folded away for the last time; the freaks have limped slowly back to their day jobs; the chainsaws and stomach pumps have been auctioned on eBay; and the whip-cracking ringmaster has found a different group of ladies, knaves and cowboys to be his servants. Rose, who could sell timeshares on St Kilda, has swapped his Mexican transvestite wrestlers for a pair of queens and become a full-time, professional poker player in legendary Las Vegas.

Oh my, you simply *cannot* miss this link. I can't explain it properly - you have to see it for yourself. Thanks to the MiddleAgedMan for this wonderful poker abomination.

Seriously, go check this out. The product photo of one guy in sunglasses and the other in a cowboy hat is beyond description:
"Honey! How cute! You look just like a poker outlaw!"

So tell me. Is THAT the jump the shark moment? We must be drawing near...

I'm not sure how to segue past that thing. I need more beer.

Couple poker blog notes. Looking at running another poker blogger AND reader tournament the third week in August. We are overdue, after all. In our last tourney, that Otis won and Gene took second:

poker bloggers > readers

So let's see if the peanut gallery can't exact some revenge this time. Details to come.

Sad to report that the Poker Penguin is going on hiatus. He shall be missed. I'm hoping that he will find the siren song of poker blogging too strong to resist.

I'm admitted this before. I'm a huge Paul Phillips fan. He's one of the few RGP posters that I always read every single one of his posts. He's almost as snarky as me. So anyway, there has been oodles of discussion on his post here that follows about a tournament tipping issue on PokerStars. You really need to go hit his poker blog for the ensuing comments and such. But here is the post for now, allowed by Paul:

pokerstars tipping fiasco

I've been meaning to write this up for a while but I wanted to give pokerstars a chance to rectify the situation. That's clearly not happening so I should at least document what took place. Usually I don't want people reposting from my livejournal but in this case I encourage redistribution, or posting a direct link to this livejournal entry. Here is the direct URL:


On the pokerstars cruise, an amount equal to 3% of the prize pool was pre-allocated to the dealers. The pokerstars spin on this is that they added the money as opposed to taking it out of the prize pool; but for people who bought directly into the tournament the buyin was a very steep $7500+500. As high an entry fee as that is, it was considered by all of us to include dealer compensation (a $250 entry fee and $250 dealer toke represents a reasonable fee and 3% of the prize pool.)

What that means is that no matter how they spin it, those of us who paid $8000 paid our full share of dealer compensation out of pocket.

At the conclusion of the tournament the top three finishers -- Gus, Hoyt, and Daniel -- each left ANOTHER 3% on top of this. When they discovered on the way home that they had essentially tipped 6% they were all quite surprised. I believe based on their accounts of how that happened that they were deliberately misled into believing the dealers had not been compensated.

Pokerstars claims that they announced the tipping situation to the room. That may be so; but it was very difficult to hear and clearly plenty of us, including myself, did not know. Regardless, the people who NEED to be informed of this are the big winners, at the time they are tipping! It's completely disingenuous to suggest that they "should have" known, or should have asked the right questions, or any variation thereof. If none of the three big winners knew that 3% was already going to the dealers then tournament management at a MINIMUM abrogated their responsibility, and looked at in less favorable language, flat-out hustled the players.

Since this kind of abuse drives me crazy I appointed myself delegate and approached pokerstars to remedy the situation. The amount of money at stake here represents a few minutes rake to them; I honestly thought it would be a no-brainer for them to return the overtipped money out of pocket, but they refused to offer anything, not even a compromise position.

I realize some will say that hoyt, daniel, and gus, being worldly and successful poker players, should have asked different questions before tipping. Maybe, but that doesn't make it right. In those circumstances, when you ask what tip is expected and are told "3%" (as at least one of those three was) it is quite strongly implied that dealer compensation has not yet been handled.

I offer this story to those who have come to think that pokerstars is on another level than the other online cardrooms with respect to ethical behavior. I too have thought that pokerstars has on the whole acted far more ethically than any other poker site, and even in spite of this event I still believe that; but this is a serious black mark and it has destroyed my former confidence in their corporate ethics. To my eye those players were conned out of that money and pokerstars was complicit -- and when faced with an inexpensive opportunity to make it right, they washed their hands of the whole thing.

Also, I should point out that I write this on my own; if you think I'm in the wrong you should hold it 100% against me, not against daniel, hoyt, or gus. I believe my account of what happened is accurate but I'm the only one who cared enough to publicize these events. And it's entirely possible, even probable, that all of them would have left large tips anyway; what incited me to write this is that tens of thousands of dollars were accepted on false pretenses. If you play in big buyin tournaments, next time that could be you.

Paul's kind of like me. Only successful.

So I see that poker blogging tournament champion, MeneGene, is trying to weasel his way out of a David Sklansky sex post. How Dare He! I highly recommend that everyone politely request this said essay. Gene's one of the best that we have, damnit, and he too rarely gives us these gems. We can't let this one slip away.

Per the Sklansky theme, here is a David Sklansky apologist explaining:
Sklansky, is "nice" better than "right"?? A player's view

Sklansky is the "Scientist" of the poker community. He tests theorems,
constructs mathematical models, uses designs of expirements, and looks to find objective "fact" and "truth" as opposed to subjective opinion, about such things as poker strategy, correct analytical approaches to poker problems, etc.

He then writes on the matter so we can all evaluate and test his work. Many agree that before HPFAP was written, there was no true, general populist, truly valuable to the average player, master work on the subject.

We don't need scientists to be masters of human emotive interaction. We need them to be objective, and "correct" in their approach to problems. Notice scientists often have acrimonious ego driven disagreements and debates, but this is how they peer test each others ideas.

For the "nice" part of human interactions, we have women. It may sound sexist in today's PC world to say so, but even today there is an article on the wires about a new study, latest of many, showing women's brains being wired for "emotion" more than men's, amd men's more for problem solving.

If I had the choice of a "nice" but poker theoretically mediocre Sklansky in the poker community, or a straightforward, mind driven, problem driven, fact driven Sklasnky who writes his books, I'll take the later any day.

The relatively dumb and "nice" we have in plentiful abundance. Those who are not as human interation friendly, but stand out in their field and make truly valuable contributions we can all benefit from however, are few. We need the former for relationships, but the latter are much more rare, and extremely important for a society to move forward.

Einstein was not a paragon of emotion based human ineraction. Neither were hundreds of other great minds who have moved us forward. I'm glad they were more intellect (and even ego) driven, than "please like me" driven dimwits.
We are all better off for it.


Yeah, but what we really want to know is how often David is scoring with the cocktail waitresses, damnit.

Hrm, up until this post, I've written 237,697 words. Yes, it's still rubbish, but I wanted to take note of how MUCH rubbish I've spewed out there into the BlogoSphere. Not to mention the 1,752 links I've provided thus far.

Here's an interesting tidbit. I accidentally discovered this press release from PRWeb detailing ALLIN magazine's conception.
Young Entrepreneur Goes ALL IN with Launch of Poker Magazine

God bless them for featuring the poker blogs in a six page spread. We all owe Hank a beer for his fine article.

Damn, I still have sooo much to link up but I wanna play some damn poker. I'll save the great stuff for next time. ;)

Thanks to anyone reading. Most especially to our Patron Saint, Wil Wheaton. Talk about owing someone a beer....I owe Wil a keg.

Bonus code IGGY on PartyPoker.
./ends futile shilling

Let's close with the final essay from Tom, shall we?
Part 3, Confessions of a Math Guy.

Subject: Confessions of a math guy, part 3

From: Tom Weideman (no_spam_i@hortas_rule.net) Sent: Jul 1 2004 2:35AM

I promised in part 2 that in this final installment I would explain how math
guys go about using their math skills to actually play better. I want to
point out right away that with all my discussion of optimal play and game
theory, there is quite a bit of work done on exploitive play, as I will try
to explain...

First of all, the math skills I refer to are NOT the abilities to do
arithmetic at the poker table. This is a trivial aspect of poker math, and
just about every "math guy" detractor who has posted to rgp seems to feel
that poker math is an important, but trivial aspect of the game, since
anyone can master counting outs and computing pot odds. Well, yes, if that
was all there is to poker math that would be true. But the real triumphs of
the mathematical approach are made AWAY from the table.

There are several tools that are used to study the mathematics of poker away
from the table, and I'll describe a few here. Sorry, I won't be going into
any detailed findings I might be privy to, nor will I go into detail about
the methods themselves. I provide this list in no particular order of
importance or frequency of use:

1. Computer simulation. It is exceedingly difficult to draw conclusions
about the profitability of certain types of plays because the game tree
(which enumerates all the possible sequences of events in a hand) gets very
large. So instead, one can draw conclusions by simulating play and
repeating the process for millions of hands. The difficulty of course is
accurately simulating the play of opponents, but at the same time
conclusions can be drawn regarding how to play against various types of

2. Statistical study. Until recently, this method really wasn't available.
The advent of online poker has brought about the availability of large
databases of hands played, which can be studied for trends and results from
real play.

3. Assumptions and logical thought. This is an old-but-effective method for handling broad, common scenarios. It is not always obvious what the proper course of action is in a given spot, but when one lists the hand sets of the players involved and the likely actions taken by each hand in the future, one can work out the results of the various options available. This is particularly effective when one "notices" certain tendencies that all players seem to have in certain spots - once an appropriate action in a common spot has been worked out away from the table, it doesn't have to be re-worked at the table.

4. Toy games. These game-theoretical studies of simplified versions of poker give a broader (and in that sense often more useful) view of the game. For example, a study of a toy game may provide an answer to the optimal play that is surprisingly "loose". This might tell the person doing the study that for situations well-approximated by that toy game, people tend to play too tightly, indicating how he might go about exploiting them and avoid being exploited by them when the roles are reversed.

That's it. I just felt that someone had to write a somewhat comprehensive description of what goes on behind the scenes of poker math. All the things that are outside of this area like hand reading, tell-catching, and so on, are very important and useful in the exploitive approach to the game, and there are some math guys that are very talented in these aspects, just as there are some that aren't so good at them. But unlike the "poker is a people game and math is for calculating pot odds" crowd, we math guys don't think that those two elements of poker (math and people skills) are mutually exclusive, so we get flustered when we are backed into a corner to choose one or the other.

Tom Weideman

Link of the Day:
No, You Di'Int, Bill Cosby
After Bill Cosby made fun of young blacks for names like Shaniqua and Taliqua (but not Ensa), 13-year-old Kiah Thomas demonstrated why her name means, in Swahili, "shut up you crotchety old windbag."

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.

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Information on this site is intended for news and entertainment purposes only.

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