Thursday, August 12, 2004

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you too, can become great."
Mark Twain

That's right.
Another disjointed, inane post of Tasty Poker Goodness.
Brought to you by Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker!

I'm trying to post more often so I can make the Poker Nerd's list of Good Poker Blogs.

But, first allow me get to business before I begin my Guinness-fueled rant. Please sign up for the Monty Memorial Poker Blogger Tournament, open to all poker bloggers and poker blog readers for a whopping $20. I need signups finalized by NEXT Thursday. As in, i'll be sending them in around noon of that day. ANYONE CAN PLAY!!!

Let's try and have a show of force for the damn poker blogging scene.

Please sign up for Pacific Poker ASAP, by using my link or not. Then email me with your Pacific screen name and email address that you used to sign up. I'll prolly post the list of players signed up this weekend to make sure everyone who wants to play is signed up. So far we have plenty of great folks like Hank, TheFatGuy, Pauly & Maudie signed up and ready to play. Seriously, playing with the bloggers is always a blast.

I just don't want everyone to procrastinate. That turns into a big headache for me. So please consider signing up as soon as ya can, for my sake. It's enough work pounding out these posts without trying to organize something like this. And, please, don't wait until the last day to try and fund an account. Get the ball rolling now if you can.

Expect some special bounties, too. (AL already has laid one out)
Any of my fellow bloggers who want to help bring some readers into the fold, please feel free to spread the word. Thanks for any help.

Moving on, thanks to my fine reader, Drew, who pointed out this irascible blog post about poker on TV. From August 11th, posted with permission: You Are Dumb.



It's funny how these weird, sudden obsessions spring up. I mean, three years ago, "scrapbooking" was four middle-aged suburban women sharing a gluestick, and now there's an entire billion-dollar industry devoted to ugly-ass teddy-bear frames being stuck around a Polaroid of some grandson asleep on a couch. I have a number of vague, unformed theories about why scrapbooking is actually a Satanic ritual, but they'll have to wait for another day, because today, we're talking about poker. Specifically, Texas Hold 'Em.

Now, I admit, I have mellowed from my original position on televised poker, which was "Who the FUCK would want to watch POKER on TELEVISION". My position is now the much more refined "Who the FUCK would want to watch THIS fucking MUCH fucking POKER on TELEVISION." As you can see, wisdom develops over time. As do poker shows on basic cable.

But where wisdom accrues slowly, like the buildup of wax in the ear, basic-cable poker multiplies like ebola*. In the next two weeks**, if you wished, you could watch televised poker matches one hundred and thirty two times. That means that if you turn on the TV, and can't find a poker match, WAIT AN HOUR. That's too much poker.

There's Celebrity Poker Showdown, whose fault this all arguably is. Celebrity Poker Showdown is not without its charms, but would be much more interesting if I were in charge. First, celebrities would be betting their own money. And second, the amounts risked and betted would be weighted by the stars' individual successes. So when, say, Gabe Kaplan lucks out on the river, getting his straight flush draw, he takes Ben Affleck for more than a bit of charity chump change. Put some danger into the game. Some drama. I want to see sitcom stars and celebrity chefs at each other's fucking throats, don't you?

That's another thing. I should not be able to throw out phrases like "river" and "straight flush draw". And neither should you. But we can, because the poker in inescapable. We're channel-surfing, and before we can even say "Hey, is that David Cross in a bathrobe?" we've absorbed half-a-dozen bits of vocabulary that we otherwise would have to pawn our kidneys in Vegas to have learned.

But if the allure of famous people just distracts you from the intricacies of the Card Game of Kings Du Jour, don't fret. There's the World Series of Poker, the World Poker Tour, Championship Poker at the Plaza, the Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament, reruns of the World Series of Poker from ten years ago, and even the Strip Poker Invitational, which I'm sure uses a fairly unique variant on "Hold 'Em".

Coming soon are the Superstars of World Poker Tournament Invitational, the Showdown Poker World Challenge, and a very special episode of Veggietales in which Jimmy the Apostate Radish bluffs on a six-two off-suit, loses all his money, curses God from a cardboard box in an alley, and eventually ends up selling himself on the street for ten bucks a tossed salad.

You know who I feel worst for? (Well, besides the whoring radish, of course.) The poor, overworked poker players. With all the touring and invitationaling and championships, I bet they never even get home to see their families anymore. Plus, I can only imagine what this fearsome schedule is doing to their unlit cigar and funny little hat budgets. Not to mention the harried souls at the International Poker Nickname Registry, who are forced to tell people at least thirty times a day that "Moneybags" is taken, as is "Bling" and "The Hammer", and perhaps they could settle for "Fishtank", "Germanium", or "Peel-N-Eat".

Of course, if you're sick of watching poker on TV and have digital cable, you can always watch Celebrity Blackjack! Yes, if all that pesky strategy of poker gets on your nerves, and you just want to sit and watch semi-famous people be handed random cards until one of them cheers, presumably having won, then Celebrity Blackjack is for you. Make sure to catch it before the FTC forces them to put quotes around "celebrity". I mean, the only Baldwin they could get was Billy, and I'm pretty sure the charity Kevin Nealon is playing for is the Kevin Nealon Is Really Really Hungry Foundation.

* Normally, a sentence like this would end with a situation where ebola would thrive even more virulently than it normally does. But I think ebola pretty much just has the one level of near-instantaneous horrible bleeding death.

** Why, yes, I used online television listings in the course of writing this article, why do you ask?

I love the fact that I toiled in my solitary hobby for so many years and then suddenly BAM! - Poker shows are smothering television. And I can't watch the damn things. Irony is a cruel master.

But I sure as hell can document what I can with the written word, can't I? Or at least try, anyway.

I had another excellent tip from a reader reminding me to mention the badbeat jackpot tables on Party Poker. I didn't want to say anything but I've been clobbering the games there. It's just looser for obvious reasons, check em out but don't tell anyone else, damnit. The rake is higher but the games are better, too. It attracts more gambloors. Lotsa folks overplaying any suited connectors from any position, ditto for pocket pairs. But hey, you only gotta see Aces full of Kings get beat to get some dough. Lord G even contemplated opening eight 50.1 tables just for the hell of it.

I'm not a Bad Beat Jackpot kinda guy, myself, but I enjoy the players who are. So here's the skinny on the Party BBJ tables:

Bad Beat Jackpots

Nothing can be bigger or better than winning a jackpot! And it becomes double the fun and rewards when you can hit the big jackpot at PartyPoker.com.

We are launching our Beta Testing of Bad Beat Jackpot tables and to thank you for helping to test these jackpots PartyPoker.com is seeding the jackpot at $5,000! The Bad Beat Jackpot tables are available under the Bad Beat Jackpot Tab in the lobby. Each time the jackpot is hit the house will reset the Jackpot value back to $5000. Please send in your comments and suggestions to info@partypoker.com.

We were expecting the Bad Beat Jackpot to be hit more frequently. As it is a Beta version we have changed the qualifying hand condition to 4 of a kind 2's at 6 AM EST on 18th June. All other qualifying conditions remain the same and listed below.

To Qualify for the Bad Beat Jackpot
Bad beats will be paid out on real money Hold'em games (Limits $1/$2, $2/$4 and $3/$6); available under the Bad Beat Jackpot Tab only.
4 or more players must be dealt into the hand.
Players sitting out do not qualify for the jackpot.
The losing hand must contain 4 of a Kind 2's or better to qualify.
Both hole cards must be used in the winner and the loser's hand and the hand must go to a showdown.

The hand must be raked and jackpot contribution collected from the hand to qualify for a bad beat jackpot. (No jackpot contribution will be collected during the Beta Testing period).

If there are two or more hands that qualify for the jackpot within one hand #, then the two highest hands will be considered for the jackpot, with the highest hand being the winning hand (the winner) and the second highest hand winning the bad beat (the loser of the hand).
In the event that two qualifying Jackpot hands are hit at exactly the same time, the hand starting first (based on our system clock) will be awarded the jackpot.
Players must play their hands independently and cannot tell opponents how to act or reveal their hand to other players. Violations will disqualify the hand for the Jackpot.

Fund distribution
Of the distributed amount, 50% will go to the loser of the hand, 25% to the winner and 25% will be split between the other seated players who actively participated in the hand (any player sitting out will not receive a portion of the jackpot).

I hope that hasn't changed since they are now out of beta. Feel free to correct me, if so.

Let's post poker pro's online names, shall we? From RGP.

Pros & Name Players At Ultimate Bet

dill pickle Mike Matosow
psykokwak is Bruno Fitoussi
Erik123 Erik Sagstrom
atl-angela Josh Arieh
formerly devastator now spirit rock = prahlad friedman (Best NLHE player online, crushes guys heads-up)
Annie Duke - AnnieDuke
Phil Hellmuth - PhilHellmuth
Devilfish/David Ulliot
LayneFlack Layne Flack (has another name on UB but nobody knows it)
joe buttons - Phil Ivey
Tallphil - Phil Gordon
empty chair - Eric Sidel (has a new name, unknown)
scottynguyen - Scotty Nguyen (seldom plays on UB)
Ticker Erik Lindren Swede - (won this years UB Aruba Tourney)
Peasant - Juha Helpi (Last years winner of the Aruba Tourney)
bizingo is ben affleck (does well in pro NLHE game, extremely tight)
tiltboy Rafe Furst
Krullis Daniel Larsson 2nd aruba UB won 300K 2003
wetspot Harley Hall
Zhuge Liang John Juana


Ditto for Poker Stars, only from 2+2:


Daniel Negreanu - doublesuited
Tom McEvoy - Tom McEvoy
Minneapolis Jim Meehan - actiondonkey
Chris Moneymaker - Money800
Pete Giordano - TheBeat
Dutch Boyd - KidDutch
MrPokeJoke - Mike Matusow
LuckBox - John Juanda
Tigerma - Tony Ma
EDOGN - Erick Lindgren
Razorbax - Josh Arieh
DeOhGee - Joseph Cordi
reload this - Layne Flack

Moving into the Arts & Leisure section of this post, I found this wonderful poker poem from Edward R. Hutchison, Official Poet Laureate of RGP.

Them that raises with big pairs
seldom know despair
and ride limosines everywhere.

Them that chases straights and flushes
will have their little rushes
but go home on Greyhound buses.

I'm a haiku guy, myself, but I'm still impressed with the Robert Frost-like approach.

I completely forgot about this thread about Jim McManus, best-selling author of the poker book, Positively Fifth Street. Was McManus shooting an angle? Ron Rose says yes... I was digging through the archives about McManus and noticed this thread:

James McManus angle shooter? by Daniel Rentzer. Go read it for yourself, I can't possibly format that thread properly.

This is some kind of life I lead. Work till 7.00 pm, come home and write this drivel up for you. Please kill me now. But at least I'm not focusing on Monty, so this is cathartic, damnit.

I knew FilmGeek would come through with the photo of Dann, second place finisher in our weekend NL tournament (see prior post if you missed this) with his cursed pocket jacks.

FilmGeek says, "This hat is now the official asshat award for second-place tourney finishers."

Fuck you IGGY and Fuck Your Bonus Code!
this could use a caption

For the record, Dann is playing in the Pacific blogger tournament. He's a SNG specialist at Pacific these days so it will be interesting to see how he does. Hell, the bloggers ran the table last time and I fully expect the same this time. :) Also, Dann is a fine writer for MLB and wrote the definitive book on The Great American Ballpark, available at Amazon. Go buy a copy, I did.

Now where is my freaking guest post, Dann? ;)

Addendum: Dann and I are scouting out Atlantic City, specifically the Borgata for a fall poker road trip. I'm looking at the third weekend in September, as there is a WPT event that weekend. I've never played in AC and am dying to do so.

Let's start winding this down, shall we? I'm getting too drunk tired to play, much less write. Here is an excellent thread about the just announced ESPN Tournament of Champions Event. Ten poker champions, one table. Winner take all. Great concept, no doubt, and I'll wager one that becomes very popular.

Here is Danny Negreanu, rightfully asking about the Why's and How's, followed up by Annie Duke, and finally, a kickass thoughtful post by Eric Seidel. Would you expect anything less?

Oh yes, I wrap it up with a post by Daniel, after Eric posted....

Here we go:

ESPN TOC event update

From: Daniel Negreanu

So this is what I heard. The 10 players chosen are as follows:

Doyle Brunson
Chip Reese
Phil Hellmuth
Men Nguyen
Johnny Chan
TJ Cloutier
Phil Ivey
Howard Lederer
Greg Raymer
Annie Duke

Curious as to what the criteria was to play, apparantly they did an independant poll of 300 players and asked who they thought the best players were.

Of course, I don't know one person that was asked to vote in this poll and have no idea if it actually took place. If it did, I can't imagine who they asked? I'd be willing to bet that this poll never even took place.

I didn't care so much that I wasn't involved in the SuperStars of Poker Show, but now we are talking about a freeroll for two million dollars at stake! I'm starting to wonder what you actually have to do to qualify as one of the best no limit hold'em tournament players.

1. Tournament results obviously don't seem to hold much weight.
2. Being a winning player in the high limit cash games can't be enough.
3. Respect from your peers also doesn't seem to be very important.
4. Longevity? No that wouldn't make sense either based on that list.
5. Winning the ESPN Player of the Year Award? Useless.

So what then, does it take to qualify for the ESPN TOC? Please enlighten me, because I have no idea.

Daniel Negreanu

P.S. Sorry if this post comes off as whiny, but I'm a little frustrated
and feel like I've now been "double dissed" :-)---


How the TOC players were picked

From: JN (anonymous@hotmail.com)

According to Annie Duke:

"Here is the list--except for Raymer they were all picked by a poll espn did during the WSOP. Raymer is in cause he won the main event -- as it should be.

Howard Lederer, TJ Cloutier, Chip Reese, Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Phil Helmuth, Men Nguyen, Annie Duke, Greg Raymer, and Johnny Chan.

There are obviously some notables not on the list: Erik Seidel and Gus Hansen in particular. But I guess if you are polling for 9 there will be great great players not included. It is a shame they cannot do two tables. I personally don't think I belong there but I will take the chance at 2 million!"
-Annie Duke


Subject: TOC Tale of the Tape

From: Erik Seidel

There seems to be a great deal of controversy on the selection process that ESPN used to chose the 10 players for this event. Having read through many of the posts here it seems as if there is some outrage at Daniel being left out. I think there is a case for Daniel, and also a case for a few others (myself among them). Here is the case for:

Gus Hanson- Hottest player on the WPT tour the last year and a half. Even more impressive when you take into account he didn't play many events the first year of WPT. The objection might be that although he has dominated the WPT he has no results or history with the WSOP.

Dan Harrington- I believe Dan might have the most impressive record of anyone in the 10k at the World Series. 6th in 87',1st in 95', 3rd last year, and 4th this year. This is a really impressive record and he certainly warants serious consideration.

John Juanda- Without question John has been the most overlooked and underexposed player in poker. Runner up for Player of the Year in 01, and 02'.

Champion of the Year in 02' and he is leading Champion of the Year list this year. Champion of the Year only counts the major events that the top players play. Phil Helmuth has been publishing the list for 2 1/2 years and Juanda has a chance to win 2 out of 3. The fields have grown so big this is really a remarkable achievement. In my opinion he's the best tournament player in the world and it's time that he get's the recognition he deserves.

Erik Seidel- 6 WSOP titles (4 living players have more than 6, 3 have been picked for the show, the 4th is Billy Baxter/Mr. Lowball, who owns all 7 in lowball).
3 Bellagio Titles, I believe only Scotty N. has won 3 also. Phil Helmuth. has been publishing the stats for Champion of the Year since 02'.

3 players made the top 10 in those 2 years. Myself, Howard Lederer, and Phil Ivey. I am the only player to score in top 5 both years and was the combined points leader going into this year. My record vs. the 10 players ESPN chose, heads-up in tournament finals is 8 wins and 1 loss. The one loss being in 88' to Chan. I wonder if there is anyone else who has even 2 wins against this formitable lineup?

All this said I think it's ESPN's show and they certainly have the right to pick who they want. I was very disappointed to be left off their list. Next year it sounds like we will have a clearer picture on how to qualify.

I also think this show is a huge breakthrough for all of us. ESPN is the first channel to step up and offer real money to some of the players and I'm hoping this will set a precedent that other channels will follow. The players have been waiting a long time for some financial compensation from the other channels and very little has trinkled down. The players have been providing quite a bit of programming for Fox Sports, Travel Channel and ESPN and it is great to see that ESPN/Harrah's is giving something back to us. Even though I am not one of the invited party's and would love to see them expand the show to 2 tables, I think the show will potentially have a big impact on all of the players who are playing these large events.

-Erik Seidel


I agree with your post completely. It's imperative that they come up with a legitimate criteria for qualification in order to protect the integrity of the game. The public in general doesn't have a clue who is a "great" player and who isn't. If the players are so "great" then they'd be making final tables without having to start at one.

The chosen list would just get demolished by a second group of ten. Assuming Greg Raymer is a shoe in, I'd take these nine over the nine chosen in a heartbeat:

Erik Seidel
Todd Brunson
Jennifer Harman
Daniel Negreanu
Gus Hansen
Barry Greenstein
Erick Lindgren
Ted Forrest
John Hennigan

In my opinion, this second group of nine is much, much stronger than the
ESPN TOC group. I could go on with more names that would outduel the ESPN
group in no limit hold'em, but I think you get the picture.

Several of the chosen players have shown absolutely no success in no
limit hold'em. My list here would crush em'.

Daniel Negreanu

Whew, I think the one table finale & the Names in Poker will be a big hit. I'd watch it every chance I could. If I had cable, that is.

Once again, I'm too toasted to post the new poker blogs. Damn Guinness. I swear I'll dedicate an entire post to them within the week. I just need the time.

./ white noise shilling

So thanks for reading and consider signing up on Party Poker with Bonus Code IGGY. It's a small way of supporting this humble blog and you don't lose a dime. 20% deposit bonus either way, with or without my bonus code. At least this way, you can pay it forward.

Lowlimit players should heed my advice - stick some dough in and play the bad beat jackpot tables. You will thank me.

Also, one last pimp for the blogger tournament. Sign up on Pacific Poker and play against all the poker bloggers. And please use my link to download the software - it's the only way I get any credit.

Damn, can't wait for us to play again. I hope you damn poker bloggers out there sign up and play, at least.

OK, time to go tackle the tables. ARRRG, I lost half my post tonite (thank you Blogger!) and don't have time recoup it. I'll have a better post next time. For now, let me just simply point to the TV Guide interview with Celebrity Poker host, Dave Foley. Don't forget the Poker TV Guide for all your poker viewing. And hell, I had two fine chip trick pages that were lost. I'll link them up next time.

your working boy,

Link of the Day:
Never Offend an Offender
Nikolaus Maack, the world's first artist whose medium is sex offender mugshots, says that producing his Web site "keeps me sane." I'm afraid I've got some bad news, Nik

Monday, August 09, 2004

"There is a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot."
Steven Wright

Thanks for stopping by this humble poker blog.

Once again, my poker blog credo:
Destroying Workplace Production One Post at a Time.

Quick recap of my poker weekend: spent Friday nite on the higher limits, full ring game tables on Party Poker and did pretty well. I table-hopped around less than usual and just focused on my tablemates as I'm knuckling down more and more on correct blind play at the higher limits. Figuring out who gives up their blinds too easily is a quick way to pay for your own. Hank and I were batting around some concepts the other evening regarding this and I found this superb snippet showing that Hank was correct:


Everyone should run ideas through the blender of the game they play in. There is no "typical" Holdem game, and any advice that says there is is lousy, laughable advice. In some games you should defend less; in some games you should defend more. In all games you should defend when profitable to do so.

Too many players have an absurd obsessiveness about quality of starting hands, instead of focusing on the $-values and the post flop play. If you lay down 98o headup in the big blind when an early position raiser has raised with AQo, you have made a major error -- if you play good poker, which means playing well after the flop in Holdem. If you play poorly, then perhaps your best choice is to lay down the 98o because it will mean you lose less money. But the focus of your continued study should be on learning to be a better player so that you can play these hands profitably.

To a large degree, a major difference between mediocre players and very good ones is how they deal with the blinds. Mediocre players lose more in the blinds (either by giving up too easily, or chasing too foolishly), and they do not steal equity from the blinds of weaker players (if when holding AKo you do not raise the blind of a weak player who will lay down 98o, you are playing poorly). Everybody loses in the blinds. Where mediocre players lose $40, very good ones lose $32, or $37, or even $39.


Suppose in Holdem an early position raiser who happens to hold AKo raises your big blind. Everyone folds to you. You hold 98o. What do you believe is *your* most profitable action here? Let's assume no one says reraise, so that leaves call or fold. You are getting 3.5-to-1 on your call. Depending on how the suits are lined up, if both hands always went to the showdown, you would be about a 64/36 underdog, or less than 2-to-1.

But of course there is betting. The AKo has position throughout the hand. But the AK is likely to payoff certain sorts of hands that the 98 won't (98 loses nothing on a KK2 flop but AK pays off on a 992 flop). For me, calling is an easy, clearly profitable situation. Apparently others do not believe this is the case. I'm curious, since the 3.5-1 and 64/36 numbers are clear, among those people who think a fold is appropriate, why do you think that action after the flop will cost your 98o more than the AKo to a degree that offsets the pre-flop odds?

Of course, this doesn't speak to how many people are in a hand and how this can drive hand values up or down (and increase the odds of being dominated) but makes a few salient points. Thanks to Hank for pushing me to think about this more. I've been playing too much ABC poker, methinks.

Anyway, my beloved drunken, smoky home game was on Saturday evening, at our gracious newlywed hosts, FilmGeek and Meaux. We ended up with 12 players around 10:00 so we broke down our lil limit game and decided to play a $20 NL tournament for the first time ever in the history of our home game. Geepers, poker on TV is influencing my damn home game now. When will the madness end?

Long story short, (with three damn professional writers at the table, I can't get ONE of these bastards to do a guest post about said home game) I won after getting crippled early. My main man, Dann, finished second. It was an anti-climatic ending once we finally were heads up - I was looking forward to a slugfest, but sadly, on the very first hand, he had JJ and moved in. I drunkly peeked down and found A3 SOOTED and called. I hit perfect runner runner for a straight and this river rat took down the dough. Also yes, O8 specialist, GMoney, finished third. Fuzz went down in fourth place on a hand he didn't, no matter what he thinks, misplay.

We have a comical photo of a drunken Dann in a jester's hat holding up his hated jacks and sneering, but I'm waiting on FilmGeek to send it. Let's see if I can't find another pic of Dann.....

Come play with me on Party Poker
I've been winning on Party Poker with Bonus Code IGGY

I spent all day yesterday cooking a feast for friends, but was able to jump in late at night for about two hours of bigass swings, ultimately ending up a bit. Whew. Playing the higher limits has changed online poker for me. I actually try and pay attention now. Sometimes I get a little nervous when a hand starts getting rammed and jammed. I think a level deeper. I bluff more. I pay attention to my foes.

But I still drink Guinness, damnit. I actually had an entire rant about playing poker and drinking, pro's and con's, but I'll be dipped - I can't find the freaking thing. Argg. Suffice to say, I'm careful now, despite my love affair with Gods Nectar.

I found this and wanted to re-post it because I've actually played against this guy and I wanted to share his take on rude chat. Pretty sure he's just a troll, though.

WHO IS Character0 on Party?

Does anyone else play with this guy on Party Poker? The guy is an utter douchebag, probably the rudest player online. But he's cleaning up, everytime I seem him at 10/20 or 15/20 he always seems to be up a few grand.

Maybe he's a member of the "Crew"? Anyone know his/her real name?



Re: WHO IS Character0 on Party?

I fully, 100% admit to being an asshole. I have no problem with you posting that on here. However, I do take offense at you inferring that I am in any way, shape, or form associated with Dutch Boyd. I don't mind if you are associating me with the crew in terms of our winning - because yes, I, like most of the crew, make a ton playing poker. However, that is where the comparisons end. I dont know if any of the crew are the assholes online that they certainly appear to be in the casinos. I
however know that for me, it is just the opposite. Online, as I said, I am an ass. In a casino, however, I only very rarely get out of line. As any one who actually knows me would attest to, I am actually a very nice guy in person.

Why am I an asshole? Good question, I do realize that for the long term health of poker, it is not a good thing. However, with the current explosion, I am not so concerned. I know most people would disagree with the premise, but being an asshole really helps my game. It accomplishes two goals for me. First, it helps keep me off tilt. Arguing over someone else's idiocy helps me take out my aggression on others instead of on my cards. Second, quite often it gets others to go on tilt against me - either the person who I insult gets mad at me and wants to take my money, or the people who think I am an idiot for insulting get mad at me and want
to take my money - either way, I win when they try to take my money and I end up taking theirs because they come after me with very inferior cards.

Now, as to your main question, who am I? I am character0. Would I ever reveal my real name to you, of course not. That is the beauty of the anonymity that the internet affords us. Does anyone on here know my real name. Yes, but none of those who do would ever betray my confidence and reveal it to you.

So, go ahead and say what you will. This is the only post I plan on making in this thread.

I love how he fully admits being a dick but does NOT want to be lumped into The Crew or be associated with Russ Boyd in any way. By the way, I've downloaded the software and I think I've worked out why there's Zero Rake being charged.. there are ZERO fucking games going.

Speaking of rowdy chat at the poker tables, I saw this follow up post about Austin Kearns AKA Fast_Eddie - local poker pro and World Champ of Online Poker. Perhaps Fast Eddie really *does* know how to play poker....

WCOOP - AustinKearns - PL Omaha

I know how ridiculously stupid AustinKearns was acting at the final table of WCOOP Event #1 (which, of course, he went on to win). We all criticized his play/behavior (me included) and said that he just caught an unbelievable streak of dumb luck.

However, he managed to finish 23/487 in today's WCOOP Event #10, which isn't too shabby. Is it possible that he's actually good at PLO and PLO H/L? Anyway, I just wanted to bring this to the attention of those who posted regarding AK's Event #1 Final Table behavior. I have no idea who this guy is or whether he is or isn't not a
donkey, so please don't suggest that I know him or whatever. I don't.

However, I do know Fast Eddie and I can say with 100% certainty that Omaha is his worst game. So take that for what it's worth.

There is an outside shot that AustinKearns will participate in the World Poker Blogger tourney (open to everyone) on August 22nd at 9pm EST. We shall be playing on Pacific Poker so PLEASE use my link to download and set up the software as a way of supporting this very humble poker blog. We've already had a few players sign up and I'm hoping for a nice turnout. You need to email me with your screen name and the email address you used to sign up. We've got to do this silly pre-register thing ahead of time which is a huge pain in the ass for me. You'll need to register by Thursday, the 19th, so I can send the list in.

But this promises to be fun. I'll put an excellent bounty on AustinKearns if he can manage to participate. Unfortunately, it's his birthday so it's a -EV proposition.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention yesterday's final WCOOP event on PokerStars. Around 4:30 this morning, the final two players in PokerStars' World Championship of Online Poker decided to cut a deal for the money. I haven't found the real identities yet but I'll certainly post them when/if I do.

1st: Ragde $424,925
2nd: mr. steal $396,979

Yikes!! Not too shabby, eh?

The following pros were identified as participating in the event via their known screennames:

Chris Moneymaker, Daniel Negreanu, Layne Flack, Erick Lindgren, Thomas "Thunder" Keller, Mike Matusow, Josh Arieh, John D'Agostino, Scott Fischman, Brett Jungblutt, Erik Sagstrom, Pete Giordano, Spiros Mitroskostas, and Phil Helmuth.

For the record, I played in only one satellite for this tourney, a $100 qualifier awarding seats to the top 5 poker players. I sadly finished 18th out of a few hundred players but I *did* win two last longer bets with professionals, Fast Eddie and Marty. I would have preferred the 3k seat.

Hells bells, I'm gonna start linking up some good poker nuggets. I could sit and babble all night but someone called my posts TEDIOUS and Lord knows, I don't need that. Hell, I'm just a beer drinking guy who loves poker. Playing poker. Talking poker. Reading poker. Writing poker. I don't have an agenda, damnit, outside of my futile shilling for BONUS CODE IGGY ON PARTY POKER! I just wanna come on here and amuse my readers with all of the web's best poker content. Is that so wrong?

Maybe not so wrong as strange.

But anyway, I'm here to amuse. So let's get rocking and rolling with the best of other random poker stuff, shall we?

Casino and Gaming television has a good interview with 2004 WSOP champion, Greg Raymer, here: "I Won the World Series of Poker"
$5 million jackpotter Greg Raymer on learning to play, improving your game and ... Honda or Ferrarri?

Brand spanking new Jay Lovinger poker column on ESPN, further dumbing down the collective writing about poker. I suppose I expect more from ESPN. I'm continually disappointed at Mr. Lovinger's columns and that's a difficult thing to do, considering how much poker content I devour. Here he dares ask the question:

Can you learn how to play winning poker from books?

To which he replies, 'it depends.'

And he then gives the searing insight that low-limit poker is a far different animal than high-limit poker. Thank you, Captain Obvious! As a prolific loaner of poker books, I can't tell you many times an older gentleman, say a colleague in the office, discovers I'm a poker player. I usually get the, "Hell, I've been playing poker for 35 whatever years," before he accepts a book. Upon returning said literature, the comment I get 99% of the time is, "Ahhh, now I see there's a lot more to it."

Allow me to appeal to a higher authority: sex addict, David Sklansky. Sklansky estimates that of those players who try without studying to become solid winners (making good money in middle limit games, for example), no more than one percent succeed. Of those who do study diligently, he believes about ten percent succeed. If we accept Sklansky's numbers, which are clearly dated and pre Moneymaker & WPT, books make a big relative difference. Still, they clearly don't guarantee success, by any stretch.

I found this snippet by pro Ray Zee on said topic:

Many new players start getting into these games and some actually play quite well. You see, after studying the best books, you can become fairly accomplished with just a small amount of real experience. (At least a lot less experience than it use to take.) So those players that improve themselves move up and take advantage of their new skills and keep pace with the world. This group improves their win rate due to the new faces and wider choice of games. Those that stay stagnant and don't study, fall back in the pack and either go broke or just slow down their winning ways. The players trying to make a living in this group really need to work on keeping their game in top shape.

Ray also lamented that literature and books may have made the games more difficult for him. Well, before the World Poker Tour, anyway. :) On that note, many losing (and loose players) don't realize that money you don't lose is exactly the same as money you win. Yet another Poker truism.

Poker books are just another tool, imho. And you don't have to agree with something in a book to learn from it. Sometimes it just reinforces the fact that there are many different ways of looking at a concept and/or poker hand scenario.

As Felicia once told me, there's no such thing as a bad poker book. Surely you can discover something of value in each one.

For all the folks who play poker at Caesers Palace, outside of Louisville, Kentucky, new poker blogger,
Broomcorn's Uncle, linked this interesting article about the games and players there. A two pager, to boot!
Poker: the big deal
"Louisvillians felt called to try luck at World Series"

It's impossible to precisely measure the game's popularity at the grassroots level, but anecdotal evidence abounds. Texas Hold 'Em is the game of choice not only in the World Series of Poker and Bravo's "Celebrity Poker Showdown," but also for local fund-raisers staged by St. Therese Catholic Church and the Center for Women and Families.

The game's explosive growth is perhaps best illustrated by a few key stats from the World Series on ESPN.

Last year ESPN broadcast seven hours of tournament play. This year: 22.

Last year the World Series drew 814 players. This year: 2,576.

Last year the winner took home $2.5 million. This year: $5 million.

The final round of the 2003 World Series of Poker drew nearly four times as many viewers as ESPN's National Hockey League broadcasts — and the hockey games were aired live. The World Series finale was shown on tape delay. A four-month tape delay. The tournament is played in May, but the finale isn't aired until September.

And say what you want about poker overkill - the player numbers are rising at Party Poker. I'm still pinching myself every evening. Here's an interesting snippet about the Party Poker Marketing Machine from a player in NYC.

Say what you want about Party's support, nobody comes close to Party in terms of working to get fresh blood to their site. I was minding my own business riding the elevator this morning and all the sudden there's a really nice Party Poker ad on the display. Apparently, www.captivate.com is not afraid of the FTC ban on gambling sites.

This is a great place to advertise. Just about everyone looks at those displays while they're on the elevator. Captivate is primarily located in more affluent office buildings and condo's. It's a perfect fit for people with hopefully lots of discretionary income.

Keep up the good work Party!

No doubt. It's insane.

A recent interview with Chris "Jesus" Ferguson can be viewed at Recoil Magazine. Here's a snippet:

R: When I first saw the World Poker Tour, I was like, 'This is the best! Too bad nobody's ever going to watch it.' Obviously I was way wrong about that, but you seemed to be associated with the show since the very beginning. So did you expect poker on television to take off like it has?

CF: Well, I knew I loved the show, but I'm a poker player. But no, I never imagined that the country would take such a liking to it. I never imagined this kind of explosion in the popularity of poker. [World Poker Tour creator] Steve Lipscomb is probably the only one who envisioned that. I was in the World Poker Tour's commercials and I also help out behind the scenes with hand histories and statistics for the show. I basically act as their pro poker consultant, because the production company is a bunch of TV people, not a bunch of poker people. They have limited poker knowledge. So if they have a question about poker, they ask me. [Without consultants] it would be like having people who have never seen a football game before trying to produce a football show. Now there are poker broadcasters, but at the time nobody had ever done this before.

If any of my readers are investors in the Big Board, Motley Fool has a column just for you: For Poker Players Only. Hey, at least they are trying.

Alrighty then, time to wrap this up. I wish I could get to the dozen new poker blogs out there but geesh, I'd have to dedicate an entire post to them. I promise to get them pimped soon. In the que: two essays from Daniel Negreanu. Great stuff.

But for now, I'll leave you with perhaps the only decent post on RGP in the last month. This is for you new players out there. My advice to the new players, perhaps guys that are learning and doing the play money thing. STOP. Go get in the game for $50 on 50 cent - a dollar or $5 sit and go's and be amazed. Poker is insane right now - dip your toe in - get a little piece of the action.

One players thoughts:

Subject: My personal observations for players. No links to anything. Just thoughts.

These are my own opinions and observations about online poker. I make
no assurances they are correct; only that I think they might help
players. I happen to play mostly SnG's online so most of this applies
to SnG tourneys not ring games.

I hope that others might add their observations to this thread.

Undoubtedly people selling stuff will reply to this thread. I don't
happen to think you need anything other than your brain to do well in
poker. You are probably the best judge of your ability.

1) Play money tables are good for only one thing: learning the
interface. In fact, I think that spending too much time at a play money
table will be very harmful to your real money game. Even the loosest
real money table is tigher than most play money tables. Players at play
money tables will literally play 'anything', because of this you'll see
abnormally large numbers of hands go to the river. The more hands at
the river the greater the chances you get sucked out if you have a
decent hand. You'll probably see alot of the same loose action in low
stakes real money tables. Think of it like this: The more risk at a
table the better the players and more correct the poker strategy at that
table will be.

2) I see so many new players at tables complaing about what they would
have made if they would have called a bet. STOP! It's gonna happen.
You had 92o and the flop comes 922 for the boat. But the odds say it
won't happen very often. Once you decide to fold the hand, forget about
it. The hands over, it cannot help you at all to dwell on what you
would have made. Instead use the time to watch and take notes about the
players who stay in the hand. This is how you get better. See if you
can figure out what the other players have before the showdown. You'll
see patterns emmerge when you watch for flush and straight draws. Watch
how they bet pocket pairs. It's amazing what creatures of habit poker
players are.

3) Ignore the chat box. Find the setting to supress the chat and turn
it on. In most situations the chat box is nothing but a huge
distraction. There are players who purposefully use the chat box to
distract you. Even if the chat isn't directed at you it can be
provocative or shocking just to distract you. Keep in mind that
Customer Service can get ahold of you if they need too even if your chat
is off. So do yourself a favor and turn off the chat. People won't
think badly of you if you don't acknowledge their 'nh' or 'vnh'. If
fact they'll probably think better of you for being smart enough to have
turned of your chat.

4) Patience, Patience, Patience. I know it's boring to sit there and
fold hand after hand. But that's what happens in well played poker.
You must wait for hands that fit the situation. As a new player you
should only be playing about 1 in 4 hands. So pay attention to the
table play and your opponents when you aren't in a hand. You will learn
volumes if you just pay attention. Personally in SnG's I tend to play a
ratio of hands acording to the number of players in the game. Starting
off I play 1 in 10. As players are eliminated I play more hands, until
there are only 3 left when the number goes to 60-70% of hands.

5) Position, Position, Position. Position in any hand is SO important.
Why people ignore position is beyond me, it's a very simple concept
that most any online site or book covers very well. Learn the rules of
position and apply them every hand. No exception.

6) Limit Hold'em and No limit Hold'em are not the same thing. Mainly
you can't bluff in limit poker. I've found that card strength means
alot more in limit than in NL. For the most part the better hand wins
more often in limit than in NL. This also means that luck has a larger
factor in limit as you must get good cards to perform well.

7) Build yourself a spreadsheet to track your progress. All you really
need is a spreadsheet that tracks: Hands played, minutes played, initial
bankroll, final bankroll(or cost to enter tourney and prize earned).
From this data you can calculate profit/loss per hand per hours and
total for your entire poker career. You must enter every time you risk
money. Failure to do so warps the picture of how you are doing. If you
don't track this data human nature will skew that facts and you will
convince yourself that you are performing better than you really are.
Additionally, if you take your performance seriously, you will be less
likely to play recklessly as you won't want to hurt your overall
performance in your tracking.

8) Freeroll tournaments are great. One caveat though is that you MUST
play ultra conservatively in the beginning. The first 10-15 hands of a
freeroll are exactly like a play money table where players go all in
with substandard hands hoping to hit something and build a quick chip
lead. The irony though is that most of the time those that hit an early
all in rarely have the skills to maintain it and often lose the whole
stack relativly quickly. Freerolls will help you build your tournament

9) Some people are content to lose a certain amount per hour playing
poker, they call it "entertainment value" or something silly like that.
This concept is flawed and ultimately self defeating. If you just
apply simple concepts you can easily play poker for free, making enough
to pay your entry fees. Do not allow yourself to pay to play.

10) Do NOT go into a tourney thinking "I lost $". You must
go into every tourney thinking "If I don't win. I lost $".
The point here is that you must ALWAYS compete balls to the wall for Top
Prize. This doesn't mean compete recklessly, it means play smart every
hand. There is an excellet essay written some time ago about "Foxes and
Farmers". Google for it and read it. Then read it again. This is a
very important concept for tournament play. You cannot be successful if
all you are is a farmer.

One final note. I think most all online poker is legit. Certainly the
big sites are legit. Sure there is cheating, but not by the poker
rooms. To rig the online rooms: One, risks an unbeleivable amount of
potential profit if it was discovered and two, hurts the overall
industry in a way that no poker room would want.

Good Luck at the tables!
54000 players 7000 tables
Party Poker!!


Thanks for reading.

Link of the Day:
Ink-Stained Wretch
I don't care how drunk you are, if you tell an tattoo artist your idea and the artist laughs in your face, maybe it's time to reconsider the whole full-body pattern inspired by Amazing Spider-Man.

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