Saturday, October 09, 2004

"There is only one truly philosophical problem, and that is suicide."
Albert Camus

Scroll down to my prior post for the full transcript to the Annie Duke ESPN poker chat.

Damn, I've got too much to blog about and not enough time. In fact, due to Real Life, I may be forced to take a week off from poker blogging. Plus, I'm contemplating the unthinkable. Quitting da job and heading out to play poker as a pro for a year. And then maybe writing a book about it. How's that for genuine 'Oh The Humanity' nuttiness? I mean, it's kinda fun to think about, anyway.

Actually, it's funny how my real-life friends and colleagues have so much more faith in me than I do in myself. Even my wife said, "This has been a long time coming..." Yikes.

So who knows. I'll keep you posted, of course. I'm trying to straighten out my medical stuff (you can't even imagine what health insurance coverage costs for a Little Person) before I do anything drastic but the Forces of Change are closing in.

Hell, maybe I should move back to Vegas. The statute of limitations for my arrest has surely ran out by now.

Also, a shout-out of thanks to Double Through for recommending the fine film, The Station Agent. There is a sweetness and goodness to this movie that one rarely sees in films anymore.

I wanted to point out for the second time that there IS an RSS feed available for this humble blog. You can subscribe with my feed being:

Also, you can search all of my archives with that search box in the upper left hand corner of your browser. Both cool and handy.

Ugh, I'm loathe to blog about Andy Glazer but I suppose I must. I offer no judgement or perspective. I'll leave the philosophy to Camus, how about that? Anyone who has been touched by suicide, as many of us have, know it cuts too close for many people. But I was naively surprised at the vicious attacks on Steve Badger for writing the column stating that Andy died of a suicide. I'm certainly no arbitrer of taste so I have nothing of value to offer there, either. All I can do is pick out a few of the posts from RGP, including Mr. Badger's replies to the vitriol. I truly didn't want to even address this tragedy, it seems inappropriate, but I figure I'll bang it out now and never have to revisit it. Also, from my experience (for whatever that is worth) of reading Mr. Badger for a looong time, he's never been anything but a straight shooter.

Deep breath. Here we go:


Subject: Re: Did Any Glazer commit suicide?
From: Steve Badger

It's unfortunate to see my article of appreciation of Andy twisted by twisted nasties to attack me and/or Andy. I don't know how people can wake up each day with such hate in their hearts.

Andy's taking of his own life has been fairly common knowledge in casino poker circles since it occurred. It was always confirmable by calling the Coroner. The official Coroner's report has been available from the Coroner's office for about three weeks. It details Andy's taking his life, as well as two previous attempts. And that is enough about that.

My article is basically about three things:
- my appreciation and debt of gratitude to Andy in general, and for one specific thing
- my disappointment at Andy's final self-destructive act
- my encouragement to those who are not suited for the natural highs and lows of a poker career to not create unhappiness for themselves and instead find a more suitable-to-them way to spend their lives.

I am disappointed that Andy's tragic self-destruction denied the rest of the world further fruits from his life, but certainly nothing I wrote is intended as a criticism of Andy. I can't imagine why anyone would want to twist the words that way.

I only wish Andy could have been around to feel the genuine joy and appreciation that many people have posted and talked about that he brought them during his life.
Steve Badger

There are far too many typical hateful posts in RGP directed at Steve. So I'm just going to pull one, from Patrick O'Malley, because he's perhaps one of three voices of reason still left on that shambles of a newsgroup.

Subject: Re: Did Any Glazer commit suicide?
From: Patrick B. OMalley

I agree.

Glazer was a great writer who has moved on. Most just knew he died and that's all they wanted or needed to know. His life had ended, most had grieved, and most had moved on.

Now with this article, his death is brought back to many who didn't even know him and changed the perception that many had of him. There was no reason to let the whole world how he died when no one was asking and most had moved on.

I think Badger's article had no class mostly for that reason. His cause of death was known by the few that knew him closely and by anyone that cared. I feel like Badger did this so that people would think Badger is big in the poker world and has a ton of inside information that most don't have. It's not true.

I don't agree with Badger's article in the least and the many that I have spoke with in the poker world also 100% disagree with the writing of this article and the timing behind it.

Just my opinion of course.

Mr. Badger replies:

Subject: Re: Andy Glazer and the Truth

From: Steve Badger

> "DaVoice" wrote...
> "CherryJam" wrote...

>> But I truly loved Andys writing, and it moved me when he died. I think
>> that we deserve some truth.
> The people that knew and didn't post the cause of Andy's demise were the
> ones who DESERVED to know the truth. His friends, colleagues, and family.
> I think much less of Steve Badger now than I ever did in the past. Many
> of us knew, but none of us posted it on our websites trying to sell
> something.

If you can tell me how I will make a nickel out of this, let me know.

A good part of Andy's life was devoted to telling the truth. If I would have died before Andy, I am quite confident that if people deliberately lied about me or my death, that I could have counted on him to correct them.

The lies told about Andy are perhaps the final bit of tragedy in his life.

Now I know haters here and on 2+2 won't stop, but I'll ask anyway.

Stop lying about Andy. Andy *deserves* the truth.

I wanted to write an article of appreciation about Andy. To do that I either had to tell the truth, lie, or ignore one of the central lessons we can learn from his life, a lesson that might benefit some fairly small amount of people greatly. Ignoring it made no sense to me though since many hundreds, probably a couple thousand people, knew the truth. Other people may think lying is better is because it is better for the poker industry or for some people still living. For my part, I owe Andy a debt of gratitude, and as such will not be a party to lying about him.

I personally owe Andy the truth.

Andy may never truly rest in peace, but I hope people will allow him to. Give Andy the respect and positive legacy that this flawed, tragic, talented man earned in his life.

Steve Badger

Damnit, this post is bumming me out. Note to self: you suck.

And because most people consider Gary Carson one of the crankiest dickheads ever to inhabit RGP, I offer this post from the man who helped teach me how to beat loose aggressive poker games.

From: Gary Carson

> Now, if Andy had
>railed against suicide or losing to depression, the circumstances of
>his death would have relevance.

As near as I can tell, Andy was in severe denial about his depression.

I've never met Andy but had known him via email for a while. We had the same agent, and for a time kept each other informed about writing gigs, etc.

But, Andy would get very upset with me if I was critical of anything he wrote.

At one point he got very agitated about an email exchange we had and vowed to do everything he could to see to it that I never wrote for any publication he had any influence over. It was way over the top.

He went into a long explanation of how it was important for him to surround himself with people who could give him positive support, and cut off all contact with those who might offend him or his friends.

In retrospect I feel badly that I didn't recognize the depression, but I didn't. It seems that what he was doing was trying to "self-medicate" my managing his environment, rather than seeking medical help. He was taking a standard new age bullshit approach to managing his condition. Such an approach actually might work if combined with self-reflection about the truth of the condition and general honesty about it. Almost no approach to treating depression works when it's combined with self-delusional denial about it.

Early in our relationship I'd asked Andy if he had a problem with depression, the reason was that his abrupt quiting his law practice and landing in Esalon for a couple of years looked like it might have been motivated by depression. Andy unequivically denied ever having any problems with depression.

All I can say is that depression is a very serious disease, it's very deadly, suicide isn't the only form of death it leads to. If you suspect in any way you might suffer from depression don't hesitate to get help, don't worry about what others will think of you if they know. It doesn't get better, it's a progressive disease which just gets worse and worse if left untreated.

For many years I just didn't know I was depressed. I actually didn't think it was abnormal to be a vice president in Bank of America's Investment Securities Division one year, and be sleeping in a park the next year.

Once I figured out that I really did suffer from depression I got medical help that same day. I'm surprised I'm still alive.

Gary Carson

Whew, enough on that. Allow me simply state that I shall tremendously miss Andy Glazers' poker columns. He was my favorite.

Time to lighten things up here with the random picture of the day.

I'm not sure what's going on here. It's likely illegal.

Folks were upset at Doyle Brunson after getting an email stating a delay in SuperSystem 2. This much anticipated poker book was offered as incentive for new players to sign up at Doyle's new online poker room.

Super System II - expected delay 2 years

From: Toni

God damn it, Mr. Brunson.
Just received this from Amazon UK:

"We are writing to you regarding your order for "Doyle Brunson's Super
System II"

We have contacted the publisher in regard to your ordered item. We have
been informed that this title has not yet been published, however the
publisher now expects the title to be released in October 2006."

Pushed back TWO YEARS?

Two years seems less a 'delay' than a work stoppage. But that's just me.

But wait - I just saw an update from Doyle's newsletter:

"Super/System 2 was sent to the printer this week. It will take only 6-8
weeks for the book to be ready for shipping. If you are one of the
people who have already qualified with 10,000 action points for the
book, we will be sending it to you for free as soon as we receive it. If
you have not yet earned your 10,000 Action Points, then you still have
time to get one of the very first copies - ONLY available from
DoylesRoom.com. This book, not available anywhere else in the world,
will redefine winning poker strategy - just like the original
Super/System did 27 years ago. Watch our website, because we're planning
to publish some excerpts before the end of the month."

Much better, eh?

WPT news here:

WPT to Create Poker Analysis TV Show

The World Poker Tour is to air the first ever poker analysis television show, WPT Poker Corner, on October 13th, immediately after Wednesday night’s broadcast of the Season Two WPT Championship. Hosted by Mike Sexton, the program will include chat, tips and in depth analysis of the final table from the likes of pros Daniel Negreanu, Annie Duke and Phil Hellmuth.

'The addition of WPT Poker Corner to the WORLD POKER TOUR's Wednesday nights on Travel Channel makes for a full night of poker entertainment, perfect for both die-hards and newcomers alike,' said Steve Lipscomb, President of WPT Enterprises and creator of the show. Show host Mike Sexton added, 'Players who are serious students of the game will enhance their own play with what they learn on WPT Poker Corner. Furthermore, watching WPT Poker Corner will offer viewers a completely different perspective into the WPT Championship.'

Well now, I just noticed that everyone's favorite poker blogger, tournament poker pro, Richard "Quiet Lion" Brodie, has put a new post up this evening:
There Are More Horse’s Shoes in the World: 2004 Hold 'Em at the Horseshoe
Too many mosquitoes

Some noise was also made by a few of my other favorite bloggers. You simply must go hit Up For Poker and read the articles by CJ & Otis for ALLIN Magazine. They took the time to write em, scan em and post em. The least you could go do is read them. Kudos.

Now that Glazer has left us, Felicia is writing the best poker tournaments writeups in her blog for the WPPA. They couldn't have picked anyone better and I'm interested to see how this new organization pans out. Hah!

Pauly had the unfortunate experience of dealing with an anonymous fuck coward blowing him shit in his comments. I've experienced the same infantile behavior, and lemme tell you, it's hard enough writing a freaking interesting blog without random fucknuts taking shots at you. Hell, I had assholes make fun of my cat, Monty, dying.

I just wish sometimes that people would accept that writing this, as Pauly put it, "puts us out there" - and that it's kind of a tightrope act. Hell, I've never written a blog before. I can honestly say that I'm making this all up as I go along. And again, it ain't easy.

But the positive has far out-weighed the negative (so far, anyway), and for that, thanks to anyone who takes the time to read the poker blogs. There's a ton of great poker writing over there on the right, take the time and read em the next time you're clicking & folding on Party Poker.

Anyway, back to Mike the Mouth Matusow. There were a few silly apologists trying to sell the poker world on Mike Matusow being SETUP on a cocaine trafficking charge. Give me a break. In the state of Nevada, possessing over an ounce of cocaine constitutes a felony with intent to distribute. That's prison time, boys. He got very freaking lucky to get 6 months in county jail. If he was an inner city kid caught with that weight in rock, he woulda gotten, far, far, far worse.

Interesting background story on Mike Matusow from the Call, Raise or Muck It Poker Blog. I appreciate the inside scoop.

I mentioned Poker Mountain a while back. Here's the follow up story for a new online poker room.

The software for Poker Mountain is being developed by Advanced Global Applications (AGA), the software company founded by WSOP bracelet holder Diego Cordovez.

Daniel Negreanu and Adam Schoenfield are also affiliated with AGA as consultants. T.J. Cloutier will also be an endorsee of Poker Mountain.

Holy shit. This next bit is.....unspeakable evil. And inevitable, I suppose.
House Party Poker - Bringing the poker home to you.

What happens when you combine a surprise house party with your weekly Poker game – you get the newest concept in reality show television - House Party Poker. House Party Poker (HPP) is a simple, seductive show that allows winning contestants to experience a sponsored poker tournament in the confines of their own home along with our zany HPP crew. The final episode features all weekly winners in a ‘Winner-Take-All’ HPP Grand Tournament. One lucky player will walk away with the grand prize -- plus the entry fee into the World Series of Poker Tournament®.

“The zaniest and most entertaining reality show yet! Combines the best elements of Big Brother, Trading Spaces and the Poker craze, throwing in a measure of Publisher Clearing House Sweepstakes. Ups the reality TV ante—a ‘must-see!’ ”
-- BV, Tri-Art Productions

Oh the humanity.
And I quote: "the best elements of Big Brother, Trading Spaces and the Poker craze."

I just choked on my Guinness.

OK, I just found another goofy pic. It could use a caption.

Here's a Phil Helmuth snippet from Friday's Sports Illustrated.

With engaging storylines in short supply, the gaming capital, to its credit, helped fill the void by offering up an off-the-wall surprise. Indeed, the biggest name in the tournament -- at least to the locals -- may not be Riley, or even Mickelson, but Phil Hellmuth.

This week, the infamous "Poker Brat"-- who in 1989, at age 24, became the youngest-ever winner of the main event at the World Series of Poker-- is caddying for Corey Pavin.

The couple couldn't be odder. Pavin has long been one of the most gentlemanly, unassuming players in the game. Hellmuth, on the other hand, is poker's answer to John McEnroe. Tabled with lesser players, he never fails to berate them for strategic miscues. When he loses, he's constitutionally unable to acknowledge he's been outplayed. His signature line: "I guess if luck weren't involved, I'd win every hand."

If nothing else, Pavin's taking Hellmuth on as a bagman indicates the degree to which poker-mania now prevails on Tour. Although few will admit to playing, World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour telecasts have come to rival SportsCenter as must-see hotel room viewing. Anecdotal illustration: Chris DiMarco telling me, early on Tuesday evening at the John Deere Classic, that I'd have to interview him on the phone that night, because he was rushing back to his hotel to watch the WSOP on ESPN.

Pavin, in his words, hasn't "played a hand for money since I was about 12." Yet he's lately become a TV poker addict, and was thrilled when, two months ago, a mutual friend, noted infotech gazillionaire Carl Wescott, introduced him to Hellmuth at Wescott's home in Beaver Creek, Colo.

Part of that Colorado visit was a day at nearby Eagle Trace Golf Club. "The whole round we talked poker and golf," Hellmuth recounts. "At some point, he said, 'You know, I'd like to come watch you play.'

"I said, 'Well, I'd like to watch you play.' So he said, 'Well, how about the first week of October, at the tournament in Las Vegas? Wanna caddie for me?"

(Yes, there was a bet involved in their match, with Hellmuth, who claims an 18 handicap, getting a stroke per hole. Yet the sum that changed hands at the end of the round was miniscule, Pavin says. "He wanted to play for thousands of dollars a hole, but I didn't want to take all his money.")

On Wednesday, the two reunited for a practice round-cum-caddying lesson at the TPC at the Canyons. Hellmuth announced his on-site presence early: his first stop was the pro shop, where he bought a $2 tube of lip balm with a $100 bill, and tipped an assistant pro $20.

Pavin teed it up with fellow UCLA alum McCarron, whose caddie, Rich Mayo, coached Hellmuth through his first nine as a pro jock. But after they made the turn, poker talk dominated the conversation. The shift in focus was largely the fault of 20-year vet Blaine McCallister, who joined the quartet on the 10th hole.

"I'm a big fan of yours!" McCallister cried when introduced to Hellmuth. "Anybody who can talk s--- like you do and get away with it has got to be my man."

Hellmuth smiled, and flashed a sense of humor as strong as his self-confidence. "Are you sure you're thinking of the right guy?" he asked.

McCallister wasn't kidding when he said he was a fan. Hole after hole, he rehashed Hellmuth's most memorable tirades, like the one that followed his loss to Annie Duke at this year's WSOP Tournament of Champions. "Let's see if I can get this right," he ventured. "'I can't believe she bleep-bleep-bleepity-bleeped me!'"

While Pavin snuck in tips on flag-tending and greenside bag placement, McCallister and McCarron rode Hellmuth hard, stressing how important it would be for him to subdue his loudness of mouth. The three cardinal rules of caddying, they reminded him, are Show Up, Keep Up, and Shut Up.

"That last one," McCallister cracked, "is going to be really tough on you."

Added McCarron, "You're only allowed to say three things: 'You were right, boss,' 'I was wrong, boss,' and 'You really got screwed there, boss,'" the last to be employed when a putt inexplicably fails to drop.

In the end, the Brat turned out to be the life of the party, obligingly rehearsing stories of bad beats and crazy bets, and even contributing to golf lore, revealing at one point that poker legend Doyle Brunson was one of Ray Floyd's backers in his storied late '60s match against then-unknown El Paso CC employee Lee Trevino.

As for Hellmuth's fee for the week, he's pledged to hand over his share of any winnings to Pavin's regular man, Eric Schwartz. In a sense, Hellmuth is even paying Pavin, helping broker a potential (and potentially controversial) hat deal with an Internet poker site that is one of Hellmuth's sponsors.

The sponsorship agreement, should it be signed, wouldn't knock Tiger and Elin off of the headlines. But the shrieks coming from Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach would be so loud they'd probably be audible in Barbados.

Per Mike the Mouth and other assorted crass, loudmouth players, here's a post by the always effervescent Daniel Negreanu:

Subject: A Bob Costas Quote I love
From: Daniel Negreanu

On this week's episode of Inside the NFL on HBO, Bob Costas said the following:

Bob Costas:

"Why do so many of us, not neccessarily on this program, but television in general make the mistake of confusing bafoonish and loudish behaviour with colorful behaviour. Colorful and quirky characters are the life blood of sports, but over the last many years we've seen guys who are just louts and television flocks to them. We can't get enough of them. We want to document their every utterance which is almost always dopey."

Chris Collinsworth:
"You understand why, ratings. They drive ratings what else can you say."

Now I have a question for you all: If I didn't tell you that it was Bob Costas who said it and that he was talking about football, wouldn't you have bet your last dollar that he was talking about poker? It amazed me how well Bob's comments related directly to what we are seeing in the poker world today.

I'll add my own two cents: It's human nature for people to want to be recognized which often translates to wanting to be on TV. In the poker world, there are definitely ways to ensure that you will get on the air.

Acting like a bafoon will absolutely GUARANTEE that you will get noticed. If you want to be a memorable character on TV, you can come up with a bagful of gimmicks:

Dress up in a pink chicken suit and you'll get camera time. Beat your chest like a gorilla and scream "I'm the best player in the world!!!" again they'll air it. Throw a temper tantrum when you lose... they'll air it.

What's seems so much less interesting is a kid like Gavin Griffin. The youngest WSOP winner in history who behaved well beyond his years at the table. Was extremely polite and well spoken. Didn't talk any trash, didn't parade around the table doing a victory dance. That kind of thing just doesn't sell tickets.

It does however earn you a great deal of respect from your peers in the poker community. Bafoonery will ensure two things: 1) camera time, and 2) distain from your peers.

I guess this message goes out to all of the new young stars of our game.

There are ways to get your due respect from the media... keep winning.
And there are ways to earn the respect of your peers in the poker world, do it humbly.

There is nothing wrong with being excited.
There is nothing wrong with being fun and colorful.
When doing so, ALWAYS be mindful of your opponents feelings and the way
your behaviour will be percieved. If you abide by that simple rule, you
will have the best of both worlds.

Hells bells, I'm done for now. Sorry for the rambling, crappy post.
I'll be back with lots more soon.

Don't forget about the Poker Stars blogger tournament!

Link of the Day:
Jeff Woods, Player Hater
Jeff Woods, maintenance programmer for Star Wars Galaxies, has a message for the 100,000 users making his life hell at any given moment: "Greetings and suck me."

K, lots of stuff pending but I wanted to post this entire ESPN poker chat with Annie Duke first. Enjoy.

Transcript of ESPN chat with Annie Duke:

Buzzmaster: (1:34 PM ET ) Hey everyone! The day has finally come! Annie
Duke! She'll be here this afternoon at 4:30 ET! Reminder, you can catch
the reair of Annie's Tournament of Champions win on ESPN2, Oct. 10 at 1ET
and ESPN, Oct. 12 at 8ET!

Buzzmaster: (4:37 PM ET ) OK, hang tight. Annie was traveling today and
was set to arrive in Portland by now .. but she could have been delayed.
Buzz is on the case.

Annie Duke: (4:40 PM ET ) I'm here!

Paul (Portland, OR): Fair warning Annie, there are some guys on this chat
who are a little obsessed with you!

Annie Duke: (4:41 PM ET ) That's OK!

Mark (Ma): Annie, I watched the Tournament of Champions "again" last
night. How funny was Hellmuth's freak out after you beat him (K - 10)?

Annie Duke: (4:42 PM ET ) I didn't know that he freaked out until I
watched the show. I was in the room and people were taking pictures. I had
no idea until I watched the show. And yes, it was pretty funny! Phil does
that a lot but I was surprised. A lot of people asked if I was upset when
he said I was a 30-1 but there are only 10 players. It's like he called me
an amoeba. How could I be upset, it's beyond ridiculous.

Jeff (Tulsa, OK): Annie, Do you and your brother ever play one on one? If
so, who wins most of the time?

Annie Duke: (4:45 PM ET ) No! Actually we never have! We've never been
heads up in a tournament yet.

Mike (NJ): Are you able to use the fact that you are a woman in a mostly
man's game to your advantage at times?

Annie Duke: (4:47 PM ET ) Not so much anymore. People know who I am now.
When I was starting out I could use it. Men treat woman differently when
they play them. Not all men, but a lot. Sometimes they are soft on you and
don't play as hard. Others are just pissed off that you are there. They
want to have their boys game. In my early 20s I would pop in and be all
bubbly playing with these old rancher guys. They just didn't want me
there. They would be overly aggressive to assert their manhood. Others
would just give me a total lack of respect.

Cayne (Federal Way, WA): Has anyone ever came onto you at a poker table? I
only ask 'cause if we played, I wouldn't be able to help myself.

Annie Duke: (4:47 PM ET ) Oh, god, yes. Of course. I've been offered
money to sleep with guys. I haven't accepted yet!

Wade (Atlanta, GA): What is your impression of the way the internet poker
players have watered down the WSOP? Has the event lost its luster with all
these geek newbies?

Annie Duke: (4:49 PM ET ) The internet is a main catalyst for the event
becoming so long. The internet can generate so many entries in such a
short amount of time. You don't have the issues of running large
tournaments and getting floor space, etc. An online site can run as many
$5 tournaments as they want and have more people in them than a casino

Jeff (Tulsa, OK): Annie, Do you have a book out yet or are you planning on
writing one?

Annie Duke: (4:50 PM ET ) I have a book coming out in the spring. It's an
autobiography though. I'm filming a couple DVDs soon which are
instructional. One is a beginner's guide for women and the other one is
about how to beat the best in the game.

Jon (Reston, VA): Was it more satisfying to get the first WSOP bracelet or
win the 2 million at the tournament of champions?

Annie Duke: (4:52 PM ET ) That's a tough one. Had I not had so many
seconds at the WSOP it would be a layup for the TOC. But I've been working
so hard to win a bracelet so it really meant a lot to me. I had so many
accomplishments but I didn't have that bracelet. It was a relief for me.
That had always been the knock against me to it was like getting a monkey
off my bad. I didn't feel like there were any expectations on me at the
TOC. A lot of it was just about how the card were going to break. Anybody
could have won and you wouldn't have been surprised. But getting that
bracelet, I'm not sure anything else better has happened to me in poker.

Sham (The WBL): Did you buy anything special with the cash yet?

Annie Duke: (4:53 PM ET ) I'm not really a big spender. I bought a Prias
.. I was going to buy it anyway though! I really haven't done anything
extra. Most will go into a trust for my kids.

George (Miami): Annie, has any guy tried to ask you out after you've
cleaned them out? Or are they scared of you then?

Annie Duke: (4:55 PM ET ) Yeah, poker is poker!

Mike (Minneapolis): You were visibly upset when you knocked out your
brother. Is it hard to play against him the same way you would play anyone

Annie Duke: (4:57 PM ET ) I do play against him the exact same. We don't
end up at the same table much because a lot of tournaments have rules. It
has to be a big money situation for us to be at the same table. But it's
not just my brother, when you are touring, the other pros all become your
family in a sense. I'm going around seeing the same players all the time.
So I'm close to a lot of the players. We are professionals so when we are
at the table, you are always playing against an opponent and not a friend.
I'm really competitive so as much as I want him to be successful, I want
to win!

Zack (LA): whats the deal with you and Who-fleck?

Annie Duke: (5:00 PM ET ) I don't ever contribute to his lack of privacy!

Mike (Miami): Annie, congratulations on your 1st WSOP win and
congratulations on the Tournament of Champions win! Where you nervous at
first when you decided to make poker your living?

Annie Duke: (5:02 PM ET ) It wasn't nerveracking at all. I never made
that decision. The genesis of my becoming a player was me living in a
house that cost $11,000 after grad school. I didn't know what I wanted to
do and I didn't have any income. I was living in a town with 1,500 people
and there were legal card games in Billings, Montana in smoky back rooms.
I was just trying to pay the rent. I called my brother and asked him to
teach me some poker so I could earn extra money. The first month I made
$2,800! I just kept doing it until I sort of became a pro poker player. It
just never was much of a decision for me.

PaulieP (Tempe): Do you know all your brother's tells?

Annie Duke: (5:03 PM ET ) He's not very easy to read because we don't
play against each other much. He finds me hard to read as well.

Sham (The WBL): Is Doyle Brunson the sweet guy they make him out to be? or
is he a crusty old man?

Annie Duke: (5:05 PM ET ) I mean this in the nicest way.. not that he's
dishonest, but he will snap out and bite you when he needs to. He will rip
your heart out if that is what it takes to win. But he doesn't cheat or
anything. Everyone has a cold heart when they are playing poker. As a
personality though, he is a very fierce opponent. In terms of his poker,
he is not sweet though. He is very funny and an incredible story teller.
He has a lot of them too!

Tim Karaus (South Bend): Did it feel better to TAKE home $2 million or to
SEND home Helmuth?

Annie Duke: (5:07 PM ET ) You wanna know something interesting.. it's not
just sending Hellmuth home, it's sending all of them home! And that
includes my brother! The fact is, I went into that with very little
expectations. I didn't feel like I was the best at the table. I thought I
was in the middle of the pack (but don't ask me who I felt was worse!)
When Chip got knocked out, there was a huge sigh of relief from me! I
didn't want to be the first out!

Annie Duke: (5:08 PM ET ) It was particulary sweet getting to knock out
Hellmuth. That was an extra jolt for sure! If you had told me I would have
beat Hellmuth straight up but got no money? I'd still have done it!

Annie Duke: (5:09 PM ET ) Phil and I get along away from the table
though.. but you have to like beating someone who is constantly telling
you how much you suck.

Bill (MA): Annie...do you have any good luck charms with you at the table,
like some people do?

Annie Duke: (5:09 PM ET ) No.

Wade (Atlanta): What is next on your schedule?

Annie Duke: (5:09 PM ET ) I'm going to be taping the two DVDs and then
playing at the Bellagio on the 19th.

Darin (Albuquerque,NM): Who do you think is the best player in the world?

Annie Duke: (5:11 PM ET ) That'sa question that is almost impossible to
player .. you mean all-around? Touranment players? Cash game? Both? No
limit hold 'em? Then there is the fact it can vary from day to day. If you
take the top 10 or 20, there is so little seperating them. Everyone is so
close. Also, everyone has different styles.

Annie Duke: (5:12 PM ET ) My brother has to be vying for that spot in the
all-around category.

Mark (Boston): Do you think we will ever see another repeat winner at the

Annie Duke: (5:13 PM ET ) No. If we do, they better watch out when they
are walking down the street and look out for lightning. If another pro
wins it will be surprising. There just aren't that many top name pros
left. There could be 5,000 people in that event next year!

Annie Duke: (5:14 PM ET ) Whoever wins that tournament will be
unbelievably lucky. There is a group of people that will be good enough to
win and that number will be around 2,000 people! Of those, whoever wins
will be super lucky. The odds of doing that twice? Seriously, a lightning
bolt would hit them as soon as the tournament is over!

Yedi (San Francisco): Do you think the antics of the new younger players
at the big tournament are good for the game or do the professionals detest

Annie Duke: (5:16 PM ET ) I understand that in some sense, that makes
compelling TV but the fact is we are playing tournaments as our living and
our job. Frankly, it depends on which antics you are talking about. But
when you win a pot, you have to play the next hand. Taking yourself out of
the game to hoot and holler? You haven't won the tournament yet! Think how
you would feel if someone was yelling after something horrific happened to
you? When I was younger, I would win pots and start talking about how bad
my opponents were and I'm so embarassed about that. It's just uncalled for
and unnecessary. You have to understand your opponent.

Brad (Havre MT): How big of a problem is cheating at big money cash games?

Annie Duke: (5:19 PM ET ) Most of the big money cash games it's not a big

Justin (Syracuse): How did you not burst out laughing when Hellmuth was
flipping out when you made him think you bluffed him when you really had

Annie Duke: (5:20 PM ET ) I've discovered something about people who are
beraters and insulters.. I found that the best way to make them upset is
to agree with him. That's all I was doing. He really did think I only had
a nine even though he had said before he thought I had two pair. I knew if
I stayed in character that would put him over the edge.

Mike (DC): Does anyone have a more menacing stare-down than Phil Ivey?

Annie Duke: (5:23 PM ET ) Yeah, he has a good one! My brother is neck and
neck with him though!

Jake (WA): Do you kick yourself after watching on TV some of the hands you
could have won, had you not folded?

Annie Duke: (5:25 PM ET ) There is only one hand where I folded the best
hand. I would fold again in that situation. I had two red jacks. Daniel
had two black 8s .. given the range of hands he could have holding, it
just wasn't worth it. Daniel likes to move him on me because he thinks I'm
a big caller. He is usually sure he has a good hand and isn't trying to
bluff me. After he folded, he said whatever I had he still had a better
hand! I played it correctly so I'm not too upset.

Brad (Havre MT): Would you rather take money off of a fellow pro or some
unsuspecting fish in Las Vegas with a big bankroll in his pocket?

Annie Duke: (5:26 PM ET ) I don't get satisfaction from taking money from
people. But I do take money from out of towners. I don't like taking money
from people, it's just my job.

JB (Shreveport, LA): Do you have a backer?

Annie Duke: (5:27 PM ET ) In tournaments yes, not in cash games.

Annie Duke: (5:27 PM ET ) Two more questions!

Brad (Havre MT): So is the Howard Lederer poker school worth the tuition?

Annie Duke: (5:29 PM ET ) I was there for a day and half! It was great!
Totally first class. I went to a banquet and the food was actually really
good and the instruction was great! There were games going on all the
time. It was really great. You could learn the game, then go play, then go
talk to a pro after you get knocked out! I didn't talk to one person who
wouldn't go back! I'm going to go back again next time for the whole

Elliott (Missoula): Had no idea you've been around Montana! Any chance of
finding you in a game up there?

Annie Duke: (5:29 PM ET ) No! But I used to play at Ida's Place!

Mark (MA): Favorite TV poker moment during the past few months?

Annie Duke: (5:34 PM ET ) My favorite TV moment of the WS .. that's hard
.. the funniest thing was Phil Ivey trying to play golf! Oh, I know ..
when Mike Matsuow started crying like a baby.. please God let my read be
right!!! That was funny!

Thanks for the all the questions! It's really fun to have fans! We didn't
have fans for so long and for years nobody knew we were making our living
playing poker! TV has showcased this is a game of skill which is great.
It's just nice to have fans and to be able to talk to all of you. This has
been a lot of fun ... we'll have to do it again! To all of you in this
chat, thanks for all the support!

Friday, October 08, 2004

Uber post pending - check back soon.

For now, kill some time with the new Jib Jab cartoon.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

"If a man who cannot count finds a four-leaf clover, is he lucky?"
Lanislaw J. Lec

Howdy, thanks for stopping by.

Prepare for a strange mishmash of Guinness-fueled poker nonsense tonight. Lots of unrelated poker content as well as some dirt to dish. And we all love dirt, don't we? So let's hop right to it, shall we?

This post brought to you by Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker.

Once again, the next poker blogger and their readers tournament:
October 21st, Thursday, at 9pm EST.
Poker Stars
It's a $20 No-Limit tournament, per usual.
Open to anyone.

The tourney is now officially listed on the Poker Stars Private tournament tab. We already have 12 players, I think, and I don't even care that nobody has used my link. Just go sign up.

The tournament is password protected. The password is: iggy2004

And yes, as rumored, The Benefactor to the poker blogs will be participating. I'm truly stoked.

As an added bonus, World Champion of Online Poker, Fast Eddie AKA Austin Kearns on Poker Stars will also be playing. Fast Eddie is still grinding out a nice living playing eight 15.30 tables at once on Party Poker. I would recommend you read my July post when Fast Eddie won the $300 buyin Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo in the WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker) on PokerStars, coincidentally when I was there, fixing his other computer. Eddie caused quite an uproar on RGP and the message boards with his silly ass chat. Go read it for yourself and hell, I forgot I posted his picture in that post. It's worth reading just for that, damnit. He's not an attractive kid.

Anyway, this past Saturday, my venerable home game was at TeeDub's new spacious mansion in the lush, rolling hills of Northern Kentucky. Had a drunken, fun evening and I only spilled one beer. And I nearly choked to death, too, but that's another story. For the record, I somehow broke everyone at the table, with the lone exception of Mr. Massie.

Big news for the locals here in the Cincinnati area: The Grand Victoria opened their card room yesterday. 45 minutes away!
Grand Vic Poker Room

I called and found out they are getting deluged with interest. They spread half a dozen 5-10 tables last nite and will be opening 10.20 (at least) sometime this week. The card room hours are from 9am-4am on weeknights and 9am-5am on weekends. The lady on the phone didn't know what the rake was, so I'll likely take a drive on down the Ohio River this weekend.

Fast Eddie won't be going, however. As he said in chat:

Party Poker > Grand Vic

Who am I to argue with an online poker champion?

Or to argue with this next guy, Gene Collier, a sports columnist with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette? Hit the link for the full column, but here's a taste:
Poker on TV all-out boring


Something like six weeks ago, I reminded myself that poker on TV might be a viable column topic and resolved to watch it. Here's the way a typical attempt at watching poker went for me.

OK, there's the deal and let's look at this guy's two hole cards via the ESPN Hole Card Cam. Hmmm. An 8 and a 9, both of hearts. How about that. I wonder what's on TV Land.


Hey, it's the "Green Acres" episode where Lisa Douglas gets Arnold Ziffel an audition with a Hollywood agent she knows. She climbs up the telephone in a dress from Saks to call California with a rave review of Arnold's stage debut with the Hooterville Players.

Sure, Arnold's actually a pig, but have you seen the guys sitting around the poker table?

To be clear, my objection isn't aesthetic, but rather dramatic. Poker is merely the next step down in the devolution of televised sports. When television was new, its sports offerings were mostly wrestling and boxing. No one ever had to ask themselves why they were watching wrestling or boxing. It was because two guys were trying to kill each other. If there's a fight on a PAT bus, people will watch it. If it were advertised, ridership would triple.

But then things started to deteriorate. Baseball, football, basketball, hockey, tennis, golf, hunting, fishing, and now poker. The World Series of Poker has apparently just ended, and to be perfectly candid, had I to choose among the World Series of Poker, the Super Bowl of Parcheesi and the Stanley Cup of Clue, I'd be at a loss.

Poker > Parcheesi
Everyone knows that.

Moving along, I read today that over $140,000,000 was wagered in online poker over the past 24 hours, per PokerPulse. That reminds me. I need to light a candle for Chris Moneymaker.

I wanted to write about Morten's Theorem and the white-hot schooling fish at Party Poker right now, but I've got too many other things to link up. I'll write something on a slower news day, or perhaps when I have more time.

This is better, anyway: a fascinating 2+2 thread for those of you so inclined.
The first post:
Internet poker and taxes and moving abroad.

I know this has been covered and I've read the posts, but I have some rather detailed questions and would like to engage in a discussion so I'm starting a new thread.

I am a successful online poker player. I multitable like a madman and play limits where that can pay off without much risk. I am on target to net around 200-300k / year assuming I maintain my work ethic and assuming I haven't been getting incredibly lucky the last few months (let's assume I haven't been). I am pretty familiar with U.S. gambling tax laws. My understanding is to be completely legal, you need to add/subtract losses for every *session*, which in live poker means everytime you take your chips off a table. In online poker this would be almost impossible to keep track of, and since the laws are unclear about the legality of online poker to begin with it's led me to contemplate moving abroad. I know many of you will say "just don't pay the taxes" but I think thats far too risky. The sites can't be compelled by the IRS to give up your histories with them, but I'm not convinced the IRS can't compel YOU to request the histories in case of an audit.

Has anyone here moved abroad for this reason? I'm kind of a loser so this is much more of an option for me that most of you. Again, given our ridiculous tax laws I would have to pay American taxes abroad as well (at a lesser rate I beleive)so I'm even considering giving up my citizenship (yes I'm that much of a loser). A half million untaxed in the next 9-12 months in a country with a standard of living half of the United States would be quite an improvement for me. I haven't done this yet so please don't call me an idiot, I'm looking for information.

There were plenty of interesting responses if you take the time to dig.

I've been overdue in pimping this poker chip trick site. MtDewVirus has opened an all new site featuring well-done instructional video's and photo's for all you wanna-be chip flingers. Check it out:
Poker Chip Tricks

If you are working and want to kill some time, here is a 22 minute streaming video (WMV) of the Howard Lederer Poker Fantasy Camp from the fine folks (Rick Bierman) at Allinenterprises.com. It features talks from Howard, Chris Ferguson, Phil Gordon and others. The next one is being held March 31 - April 3 in Las Vegas.
Link to Video

So let's get to the dirt. I offer zero perspective on this, I'm just providing the RGP nuggets for my faithful readers. That's what I'm here for, afterall.

Here's the opening salvo after far too many rumors:

Mike Matisow et al, drug??

On Oct 4 2004 10:24AM, some fucktard wrote:

> Is "The Mouth" really involved in some sort of drug scandal? If yes, does
> anyone have any proof, or is this just a rumor? I consider proof to be a
> reputable publication or media outlet which mentions the facts. Thanks
> again..
> ~Craig

As I posted last week, he plead guilty to one drug charge (453.337 Possession for Sale CS Class Schd I/II) and is scheduled for sentencing today. Anyone can look up this information for themselves by going to the Clark County Court information system:


On the left, click party search, and enter his last name. Assuming that he is in fact Michael B Matusow, which someone here stated he was, he is scheduled for sentencing today. You can access various information on this case with the links in the left margin.

This is not just a rumor. Take a look and decide for yourself.

And from his older brother, responding to all the noise. Enjoy.

Re: Matusow's sentance?
From: S.Matusow

Yes I am his older brother. Prison is hard time here in Nevada, Jail is county time. MUCH SAFER. In Prison rape and all kinds of horrible stuff goes on. Jail thats rare.. The problem here is that Mike had "padded counts" against him. In Nevada it is considered trafficking if you carry over 1 ounce of coke on you, even if you have no intent to sell it. Thats a cat A felony. Mike had 3 counts. Here is the basic jist of what went down. A friend of Mike, a doctor got into trouble for selling drugs. He was busted by our local police here in Vegas. In turn, the coward that he is, he claimed that "Mike" knew all the drug dealers and that in exchange for narqing on Mike, this guy would get off the hook. When it was discovered that Mike really did not know that many people, and knew the same people the cops ALREADY KNEW ABOUT the cop then asked Mike to get him some Coke. St first Mike refused but this cop who pretended to be Mikes pal begged him that he needed to get some for "His mafia friendsm and his mafia freinds would be upset if he did not score, so Mike being a stupid moron, complied.

You have to understand Mike, HE CANT REFUSE TO DO FRIENDS FAVORS, HE CANT SAY "NO" and many people have taken advantage of Mike because of this. So for you wondering "why would a top pro poker player resort to selling drugs" NOW YOU HAVE THE ANSWER.. HE DID NOT SELL DRUGS.. I DONT KNOW ANY OTHER WAY OF SAYING THAT ANY MORE CLEAR!!

MIKE NEVER ASKED FOR OR MADE A DIME here. Let me clear that up again,

This was a washout bust, the cops had nothing, Mike did not and does not KNOW THE BIG WIG DRUG DEALERS the cops were told he did. When they realized this they needed to bust someone so they busted Mike.

For those of you who think he is abnoxious, yes he is at times ONLY WHEN HE PLAYS, THATS HIS STYLE. People hate Phil Helmuth but Phil is also a very decent guy,, and if you wondering "why did Mike cry when he lost in the WSOP main event. Well everything at once hit him. He has allot on his plate and the culmunation of a bad beat on the river with all of this, he temporaily broke down.

He was looking at 10 years in prison in which that would have killed him.. So please stop judging Mike those who dont know him, Ive known him all my life, he has his problems like everyone else. I am not making excuses for him he was a dumbass, but IT WAS NOT TO MAKE MONEY WITH DRUGS.. I cant tell you how many players are 10 fold worse that are involved with drugs here in Vegas. It is the lifestyle. I used to hang with these guys at Dres. Studio 54, etc etc.. Some of them live a very fast life. I dont
anymore, Myself I was a sucvessful rock and roll drummer for a time.

We all need to grow up at one time or another.. But you guys who dont like Mike, thats fine, YOU DONT KNOW HIM, thats an act he puts on on TV, plain and simple. I ought to know I am his brother!!



Scott is also collecting names for fan mail to be sent to his brother.


I will post info where to write him as soon as that becomes avaible to out

He will feel better when he goes to Jail and has people write him to make
him feel better. He also plans to write a book about Poker while doing his

I can assure Mike is no real criminal. Stupid and poor judgment yes, but a
criminal, that he is not.

Yes Mike is a very nice guy, granted he can be a punk at times, but as I
said before thats done on purpose when he plays poker. He knows damned
well when you hear him say "Im going to win the whole thing, I am going to
bust you, he is not serious. He does that to attempt to pick up tells from
other players. Remember he and Phil Helmuth are good friends, and Mike
picked up allot of this from Phil. He really is not like that when he gets
off the tables. Yes, he still likes to talk allot but he is nice and
respectful. Yes he realizes sometimes he crosses the line and regrets
doing it, case in point with Fossilman. What you dont see on TV there is
the 20 other times Fossilman kept coming after Mike. It's all part of the
game. Most of the players get along fine away from the tables.

I'm not sure, but is continually invoking Phil Helmuth as a character reference really a positive thing?

Continuing in this vein:

TJ Cloutier

I think this pretty much says it all:

Authored by: Andy Bloch

The post makes all too much sense. You're not fully initiated to the tournament circuit until TJ asks to borrow money. Ordinarily, I'd say that this kind of post is inappropriate, but TJ has "borrowed" from so many people that such a post could be considered a valuable public service.

And TJ is one of the worst craps players ever. There are ways to play craps to keep your expected loss to less than 1% and maximize your comps, but not the way TJ plays.
--Andy Bloch

Damn, I have so much more to post but I'm drunk frazzled. And I'm not even going to bother with the Bonus Code IGGY crap because it's futile.

Not to mention the neverending pimpage of new poker blogs.
I have a littany forthcoming.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Check back soon.

Link of the Day:
Sodomy Begins at Home
This Urban Legends page about an incident on the Newlywed Game describes a catchphrase I drop into conversations as often as possible: "Up the butt, Bob."

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Hell, this is depressing. Yesterday, I read Steve Badger's article stating that Andy Glazer's death was a suicide. Unbelievable. Anyway, it's been outed elsewhere so here's Mr. Badgers' essay: "Come Find Out".

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

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