Friday, November 05, 2004

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main."
John Donne

It's time for another poker blog debutante ball.

Hell, I just love the poker bloggers. Many of these 35+ blogs don't even link to me, yet I don't care. I'm all about the damn pimpage. We've came a long way, boys and girls, and I'm just happy to see our little corner of the BlogoSphere continue to flourish.

I'll update my blogroll on the right as time permits. But for now, I offer these kickass new poker writers. Please go visit and show some love.

Poker Nation
A journey through a poker-crazed country - is writing a poker book.

Res Ipsa Poker
A blog about poker, booze, bad dietary habits and golf, not necessarily in that order. Oh, the humanity!

Big Slick Nuts!
Degenerate poker player.

Glued to the seat - Poker

Mr. Legendary's Poker Quest
One man's adventure in the world of Poker, Life and so much more!

Sideways Poker
Everything Poker, along with a splash of armchair psychology and an above average amount of alliteration.

Tales of the cyber felt, a Poker Odyssey
Here you'll find info on my current life in poker. The ups, the downs (hopefully more ups) whatever. I'll also probably launch into a nice rant now and then.

Bad Beat Blog
A blog about poker, mostly.

Poker - Another Fool And His Money

Once in a Blu Moon

Musings of a Poker Novice

The Camel Ruminates

Poker Bastard

StretchJones Poker
An exercise in vanity publishing with the primary subject of poker.

The blog of Aequitas58, and his online poker journey.

My Little Poker Blog
My little poker blog helps me think through what I'm doing on the felt.

Poker Queen
Tips, advice, links, and random musings on the game of poker.

Luckyblind's Poker Blog
Random thoughts and reports from a relative Poker newbie. From Ireland.

WSOP Wannabe
Just started gambling.

Nickleanddimes Poker
Ex Volleyball and Softball playing guy, becomes a dad and tries to tackle the low-stakes online poker world

A View From Barad-dur
Diary of an Amateur Poker Player.

Online Poker Rocks!

the hammer
thoughts and musings from the online poker world (yes, another one)

The Case Money - Poker Blog
My poker journey: Turning the Case Money into millions. . . .one dollar at a time.

Dan's Poker Blog
I am a 22 year old Senior in college majoring in political science.


The Palace of Bling
Part poker blog, part crap log

Poker Soft
Andy Ward's Poker Diary

A Chick and A Chair
Poker, from my perspective.

2 Hole Cards
Fold'em More Than You Hold'em

A Poker Blog

Bazkar's Poker Voyage
I am not a professional writer or a professional poker player...........I am simply a man in love with poker and the voyage it is taking me on. One man's thoughts as he struggles with his balance between work, family, and poker

mortal_one's Poker Journey
Finding my way through life and poker. (Through the shuffling madness)

Diary of a Poker Slut
The Fine Art of Addiction Substitution

Hunts Vegas Poker

Drac's Blog aka A Wired Pair in the Five Hole
Poker, hockey...I love 'em, and I love to talk about them.

Professional Hacker, semi-professional poker player, father at heart. Technology, Poker, and life... Welcome to the "PokerHack" Blog.

Thanks for visiting! Have a seat and someone will be with you shortly.

50 Outs Poker
Sometimes it looks like he has 50 outs...

The Poker Boss
My Attempt At Surviving The World Of Online Poker.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Two quick mentions.
Damn, I'm turning into InstaPundit here.

Need a reason to sign up on Party Poker with bonus code IGGY, damnit? Or how about to call in sick to work, just to play?
Go hit Wired Aces poker blog and read how he called in sick, logged into Party and hit the bad beat jackpot, nabbing a little over 14 grand. Woohoo!

On the other side of the spectrum, please go commisserate with Steve, over at skitch-o-rama. An ugly scene with online casino gambling, something I personally cannot endorse.

I'm gonna link up all these damn new poker blogs if it's the last thing I do today....

Whoops, I forgot to include Camille Paglia's comments in Salon:


The Democratic Party bureaucracy and A-list consultants need to be disassembled like matchstick men. After Kerry's failure to win crucial states in the great red sea of the South and Midwest, it should be obvious that party strategists have lost the national war of ideas. First step: Fire DNC chief Terry McAuliffe, a shallow hack whose political expertise is at the Chamber of Commerce level. This is no way to pick the leader of the free world.

Democrats have got to go cold turkey on their tedious old rhetoric about the suffering masses in their World of Pain. The Democrats' condescending portraits of African-Americans and the poor are manipulative, patronizing and ultimately self-destructive. The humanistic vision of progressive liberal politics (which I subscribe to) needs to be projected in inspiring, poetic language.

Democratic principles should not just be a litany of complaints, a fracturing of the body politic into pockets of greedy self-interest. This is an energetic, creative can-do nation: Democrats must celebrate independence and individualism (the spirit of the 1960s) and stop encouraging infantile dependence on the government.

In the weeks leading up to this election, the Northeastern major media (network news and urban newspapers) were caught in blatant displays of liberal bias and overt conspiracy. This can't go on: It is unprofessional and unethical, and it alienates the heartland. But conservative talk radio and TV must admit that they too are now part of the media -- and a very powerful and richly compensated one too.

Progressives must do some serious soul-searching. Too often they are guilty of arrogance, insularity and sanctimony. They claim to speak for the common man but make few forays beyond their own affluent, upper-middle-class circles. There needs to be less preaching and more direct observation of social reality. America is evolving, and populism may be shifting to the Republican side.

And don't look to Hillary Clinton to be the party's savior. I hope Hillary will run for president in 2008, but I am skeptical of her willingness or ability to endure a punishingly long campaign on the stump and, as a New York senator, to win more states beyond the Gore/Kerry list. We Democrats need to groom a far wider slate of national candidates, above all talented women from the Midwest and South who can make inroads into the Republican base.

But the country and world would benefit from making Bill Clinton the next secretary general of the United Nations. He will do the repairing of alliances that would have been President Kerry's greatest achievement.

"It is not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion which makes horse races."
Mark Twain

Wow, what a great day to be unemployed a professional poker player. I spent a large portion of my day reading blogs. About politics.

Oh the humanity.

Sure made for interesting reading, to say the least. So allow me a simple linkfest to some of the more interesting bloggers after the fallout. So please spare me with any troll attacks - I'm not espousing anything political here. I'm just linking, k? Call this a slow poker news day, although I'm quite sure RGP has been completely overrun with outrageous political flame wars. Perhaps tomorrow I'll post a Best Of RGP insanity, if I can stomach it.

But for now, let's start with the left, shall we?

Tony Pierce has three posts up.

Our benefactor, Mr Wheaton, is stunned and sad. 390 comments already.

Marc Cooper says the Democrats have nobody to blame but themselves.

Oliver Willis hates the Right.

The Daily Kos wants Howard Dean as Chair of the DNC.

And finally, two real-life good friends of mine, both beautiful, liberal women have posts in their respective blogs. Please check out I Ain't Afraid to Say It for an anti-Bush rant. Scroll down even further for a kickass post on African American slavery reparations. Trust me, she ain't afraid to say it and she's a better writer than you. Plus, she's uberhot.

I've been reading HMS forever. I can only admire her writing skills from a far off distance. She's another outstanding writer who ain't too happy with the election results. Please go visit HalfMadSpinster. I also must point out that HMS's blog slogan is "I love reading the voyeuristic personal shit. I do." - Iggy. Funny cause it's true. She's also uberhot, so go read her now. :)

And for the right, I'm going to offer ONE post, and one post only.
It's quite over the top. He disabled comments, sadly, as there was quite an intense flame war going on. One can only hope this is satire:

Four More Years! AKA: Take That, You Sons of Bitches

OK, my humble apologies. Go read everyone's favorite Texas poker blogger The Fat Guy, too.

I loved this comment in I forget what blog. What's wrong with common sense?


And many of your commenters imply that a vote different then theirs can only be explained by their oppositions lack of thinking, or their ignorance, or blah, blah, blah.

Here's a little friendly advice.

Get over yourselves.

49% of america can't be ALL wrong about needing a change in leadership.

And 51% of america can't be ALL wrong in keeping the current leadership in power.

To claim otherwise, to refuse any sort of credibility whatsoever to either side of the political spectrum is pure, egomaniacal arrogance... not to mention intellectual suicide.



George Will, the bow-tied freak writer, made an interesting comment. He believes Michael Moore contributed to Kerry's defeat. His believes Moore displayed such rabid hatred of Bush, and everyone that supports Bush, that he turned off a significant number of moderate Democrats and undecided voters. As a result, they voted for Bush.
He went on to say that the Democrats will now have to get as much distance as possible between Moore and themselves. If this is true, it seems ironic that the guy who hated Bush the most actually helped him get re-elected.

I found it interesting that Mr. Moore took down his site today.

Alrighty then, I apologize for my tangent away from poker blogging. God knows I could write a kickass political blog but I just don't have the damn time. I'm simply content to come on here and write about my beloved game of poker.

poker > politics

I had a few comments I'd like to answer here, in lieu of a normal uber poker post.

Are you planning on posting your status during your professional poker run like some other blogs? Bankroll tally or anything like that.

Perhaps, but I'm not sure that's very interesting to my readers. After all, I write this blog because it's something I would fucking love if I was trapped in an office and wanted some quality surfing content. And I don't often post about my own play - perhaps I should, I dunno. I find it a boring topic. I fold a lot.

I've actually only played poker one day thus far this week. See, I've been bouncing around 5.10, 10.20, and 15.30 for quite awhile now. Trying to build my book on players, adjust my game to the varying game styles and not worrying about collusion. I haven't determined my bread and butter ring game yet. Fast Eddie just repeatedly calls me a blithering idiot for not multi-tabling 15.30 and he's likely right. My bankroll can handle the swings and I'm a winning player there, so I don't really have any excuse outside of restraint/caution.

I prefer to play no-limit and short-handed poker in person. Those games are much more 'feel' for me. I can better bully, push thin edges and obviously get actual reads on my opponents. I realize that the soft white underbelly of 6 handed games are where David Ross and Poker Chronicles regularly earn, and that's what I'm dabbling in, too.

I have a couple questions. Do you have a different plan on tourneys with only a big first prize?

Outside of sit and go's, I've only once played in a winner take-all poker tournament. It was only 125 players for a WSOP seat, on Poker Stars, back in April. Felicia wrote a fine recap of my journey in that odd tourney here: FeliciaLee sweats Iggy.

Damnit, this is all I can recall from my lost post last evening.

Don't blame me. I voted for Kodos.

More coming.....

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I fucking hate blogger.

Urge to kill RISING.

Monday, November 01, 2004

"Loose limps sink chips."
Paul Phillips

Thanks for stopping by.

After packing everything up at work on Friday, I gave away my many weird office thingies to my colleagues, per tradition. The most coveted was the heavy, brass urn containing ashes of a one Mrs. Jane Handley (don't ask), and secondly, my touchdown Jesus statue. Both found deserving homes.

You can find Jesus playing about eight different sports at the Catholic Supply web site. I don't know when they began adding that slogan to the statues, but mine doesn't have it.

So anyway, I'm starting to feel like an idiot for leaving my job. It could just be regret over leaving behind a fat paycheck challenging work, or friends, or perhaps it's only bittersweet nostalgia. Hell, I was reading the want ads today (out of guilt - I've never Not worked) and my wife mocked me for doing so. But per usual, my main man, Pauly, was looking out for me and sent me this link, in hopes that I could pick up some extra dough, moonlighting.

But this blog isn't about that. It's about giving you, gentle reader, tons of poker content to surf instead of working. So that's what I'm gonna do.

So where the hell to start? How about Richard "Quiet Lion" Brodie's new massive post called Festa Famine: The Third Annual Festa al Lago Series at Bellagio.

Who is worth more? Paul Phillips or Richard Brodie?

Here is some great news. Please help Jay, the brain behind our fine friends at Poker Savvy. He helped us pimp the poker blogs way back when nobody knew we were here.

As you might have read from pokerati, I sold a book. It's going to be a travel/poker piece, where I tour the country looking to make a living
as a mid-stakes pro. I'm wondering if you'd help me out. I'm really
interested in finding games in interesting/unusual places, and I'd love to hear about good games from your readers. If they've got a decent game in the south, southeast of west, send me an email: jay at pokersavvy.com.

Too damn cool. Please help him out if you can.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I read this constructive post about Mike Matasow's recent legal difficulties and thought it was worthy to share.

Mike's Time

We see what probably adds up to 5 minutes of Mike on TV, and we think
we know him. An easy mistake to make.

The segments shown of Mike portrayed him as generally upbeat but
annoying as hell. Humming the Final Jeopardy theme while a guy is
trying to decide whether or not to call a bet that would put him
allin? That may be fair and it may be legal but it sure is obnoxious.

I assume - lacking any reason to doubt it - that Mike is a normal, ok
guy who has some behaviors that drive people crazy and some behaviors
that make people adore him. He reminds me a lot of my brother,

But for sure he is a brilliant card player, one of the very best.
Anybody who refutes that has an ego problem of their own.

I like Mike from what I saw of him but also I am sure there would be
times when he really would piss me off. I would have to tell him to
shut up if he wouldn't let me think about a bet of that size. That's
just boorish behavior and deserves to be smacked down.

As for the sentence, he got off light. He did a really stupid thing
and it could have blown up much worse than it did, as elucidated by
others in this thread.

Scott, I wish I had you for a brother. You have his back 100% and I
admire that. But, you are coming off a bit shrill. Just check the
extremes a bit and you'll be fine. And it does seem that
'emotionalism' runs in your family...fair observation? :-)

I want this for Mike:

(1) Learn the lesson. Put yourself first at all times. Never take a
risk for somebody else that they refuse to take for themselves. There
were other ways to handle the situation he was confronted with, and by
the way I wonder if he had to rat out his supplier as part of the
deal. If so, his life is permanently in danger. So, learn the lesson.
Get away and stay away from the drug crowd.

(2) Use the time inside for introspection. He admits that he lives
life too fast. That is a choice and can be amended. If he doesn't want
to drop dead from a heart attack, Mike needs to slow the pace and
enjoy life some. Life is not poker and poker is not life. He has
already lost it all at least once. He has some recent wins, so he is
presumably not broke. Take some time for yourself, Mike, after all
this is done. You can be the brilliant poker player that you are (what
a phenomenal call on Raymer! You might have won the whole thing if
that diamond doesn't come) and still be a balanced person. This is a
challenge but you can handle it.

We all - all - make mistakes. We all - all - do the wrong thing and
hope to get away with it. But messing with drugs invokes the enormous
power of the government to make its point to the general public by
punishing individuals. Mike got on the wrong side of that and that's
the bottom line.

I hope it all works out in the end, and I see a lot of upside for
Mike, but only if he commits himself to positive change. If he comes
out of jail the same Energizer Bunny he is today, I believe he will

I say this in the hope it never happens.


The man who made Mike cry, 2004 WSOP World Champion, Greg "Fossilman" Raymer, has an official web site coming soon to an internet near you.
Fossilman Poker

Also, I'm sure most of you saw the new schedule for the 2005 WSOP. If not:
2005 WSOP Schedule

Ever wanted to read about a behind-the-scene look at the filming of a "How to Play Poker" DVD? Too bad, I'm posting it anyway.

"How to Play Poker" DVD Filming Trip Report!

Recently I was chosen to participate in the filming of a DVD on how to play poker. This film was to involve about 30 amateurs and 4 professionals. The pro players were Andy Bloch, Gus Hansen, Antonio "The Magician" Esfandiari (sorry if I got the spelling off) and Phil "The Unibomber" Laak. I was told to be there at the location at 6:30 pm Monday.

When I arrived, about an hour early, I was surprised that NO one was there. I was told that we would be selected on a first come first serve basis because so many people had been invited. Well, as 6:45 approached, there were little more than 35 people for 35 seats...and about 15 of those people were related to/friends with or otherwise "in" with either the owner of the filming establishment or the actual production company. And as such, most of them were picked first.

The rest of us were made to sign a release form, given $500 in chips and sat down to be called. There were 4 tables. Two outside tables and two "featured tables", where the filming was to take place. At one of the featured tables sat Andy Bloch and Antonio, and at the second sat the Unibomber and Gus Hansen. I was sat at one of the outside tables as the tournament director, Bill, explained the process. He explained that we were to play poker as we normally would, that the game was no-limit holdem
and that the blinds were going to stay fixed a 5-10 throughout the tourney. Also people were eliminated from the featured tables, the chip leaders of the outer tables would be inserted in their place. On top of that, every hour, the two outer tables would "switch" with the two inner tables so that everyone would get a chance to "play with the pros". Also, he explained, once we were busted out, our names would be put on the list again and we could be re-sat (in order to keep all the table full,
throughout filming). Our entry was for one night only, although they were filming for three nights (filming ended last night). The top 6 chip leaders from night one would be invited back for night two, top six from night two, to night three...and the chip leader on night 3 would be the "winner".

I was in the 7th seat at one of the outer tables when I heard
"shuffle up and deal". The tourney started and I had only one goal in
mind: Make a big play on Gus Hansen. Thusly, after about an hour, I had
about $600 chips and moved all-in with my Presto (5-5). I was quickly
called by A-Q suited. Flop brought NO help to anyone and I was feeling
confident. Turn, no help and I thought to myself "my god, the favorite is
actually going to hold up". That must be where I jinxed myself because
the river brought and A and I was out. Luckily, there was no line and I
sat back down with a fresh $500 in chips within 5 minutes. I had also
noticed that it had been more than an hour with no switching of tables.
When I brought this up, Bill informed me that there had been some audio
problems and that since we couldn't switch today, all the people at the
outer tables would be invited back the next night (Tuesday) and given
priority. By the end of the night, I was 6th in chips with about $1100,
not that it mattered because we were ALL coming back.

Its now Tuesday night and I am VERY excited because this is my night
to "play with the pros", right? Wrong. The featured tables were again
filled with people who knew the cast and crew and not based at ALL on the
chip counts. I took my $1100 and sat back down...at an outer table.
This time I played SUPER aggressive becoming the chip leader by an hour
into the contest. I was then moved to one of the featured tables with
Andy Bloch and Antonio "The Magician". Here is my chance I thought to
myself. I had about 3/4th the stacks of the pros (they were constantly
reloaded so they would look like the chip leaders on the DVD). I have my
mic on, I'm ready to play. I have about 5k in chips, Antonio has about
8k...first hand, Ad-Kd...Big Slick. Antonio (to my right) raises preflop
to $50(as he has evryhand) so I re raise to $400. He calls. Flop is
A-7-9, he bets $500, I re raise all in...Antonio folds. Two hands
later...I get A-K offsuit. This time I call the measly $10 blind behind
Antonio. Two people call behind me until Andy Bloch raises to $50.
Antonio calls, I call, everyone else folds. Flop is A-J-J. I bet $2000
and everyone folds. From that point on I play very tight and VERY
aggressive and by 9pm (filming stops at 10) I have about $11,000 in chips.

At this point I am dealt A-J of spades. Antonio has raised it $500 to go
and I re raise to $1500. everyone folds, Antonio calls. Flop is 7-K-6.
Antonio checks, I bet $2000...Antonio calls. Turn is 3 and this time
Antonio leads out with a $5000 bet. He also flips over one of his cards,
it is an 8. Hmmmm. Andy asks if he can see my cards, and I show him. He
tells me that I should carefully consider which cards can beat me and what
the likelihood is that Antonio would play those cards. After about a 3
minute ponder (pissing off just about everyone at the table), I fold.
Antonio refuses to show me his last cards, but the dealer says that if you
show one, you must show the other and turns over the king. Good call me!

At this point Bill comes around and informs us that there is going to
be a big hand at Gus Hansen's table and we should all watch. Little known
to the players (except Gus) they have rigged the hand so that the
Unibomber, Phil Laak will put out two of the amateur players. Everyone
has about 30% of their stack in the pot. The flop is 4-K-A. Unibomber
ties his sweatshirt up around his head (his signature move) and makes a
big bet. Second seat calls, third seat moves all in. Phil calls, player
two calls. Phil flips up A-4, third seat cries "YES" and flips up his
pocket 9's for a set, out of turn. Player two says coyly.."I got ya" and
flips up pocket kings for a larger set. No, help comes and Phil Laak is
out of the tourney?! All of a sudden we hear CUUUUUT. Bill is running
over like a madman and after all the ruckus settles down, he explains that
the hand was "rigged" and that Phil lack was supposed to catch a 4 on the
river to win. Well, after setting up the hand again, with the correct
deck placement this time..and the reactions not quite as good, they replay
the hand with Phil as the winner. Normal play on all tables resumes.

So, it is now nearing the end of the night and I find myself with
about 8k in chips. Bill is walking around informing the dealers that
filming has stopped and they should deal two more hands and then play will
end for the night. Antonio gets up and leaves the table. We continue
play when on the next hand I get A-8 of clubs. I raise to $2000, hoping
to get everyone else to fold. I get two calls. The Flop is 7c-Jc-7s.
Again I try to buy the pot with a 3k bet. BOTH people call me. The turn
is Kc, giving me the nut flush. I bet about half my remaining stack. One
person calls, the other folds. River is Jd. Damn, full house possible.
I ask the other player "do you have a full house?" he smiles at me. I
push all in, he calls...flips over pocket Q's and I end the night just
over 18k chips and the chip lead. We are told to come back the next

The next night (Wednesday) when I arrive for filming, I am informed
that they are running behind by about two hours and they are not sure that
anyone will be able to play tonight. Finally, they decided to take the
tables out of the filming room and allow us to play, unfilmed for the rest
of the night. After the tables are set up, the pros sit down, we are
seated (FINALLY I GET TO PLAY WITH GUS HANSEN) Bill comes over and
announces that these table are blocking a fire exit and we are not going
to be able to play. GOD DAMMIT. The filming is called dead, and I am the
winner with $18,300 in chips. The prize is a casino-style poker table, a
500-piece poker chip set with a case and cards. And bunch of
"poker-wear". Bill tells me they are wrapping up and we exchange contact
information. He says he will call me in a day or two to arrange how to
pick up my prize. I am awaiting Bills phone call about how to collect my
prize. HAHA. I talked to the players until about 9pm and the casually
strolled out the door, giving a quick wink to Gus, who was clearly
"getting his mack on" with one of the waitresses.

The overall experience was fun, but the tourney and filming were not
very well organized. Although I have come to find out that it was all
thrown together in 2 weeks because of some permit issues, but nonetheless
it was entertaining. I really wish that I had gotten to play a little
with Gus and Phil, but I did get to talk to all the pros a little and some
things autographed for my girlfriend (who was hit on by Antonio...who also
hit on everything with breasts...HAHA. Hope you guys found this
interesting..and hope it didnt take up your whole day reading it...LOL

Hell, I'd be remiss if I didn't at least acknowledge this is Election Eve.

The legal wrangling is already hot & heavy here in Ohio.

Moving along, Daniel Negreanu posted about his impending new web site:

Hello everybody, I just thought I would let you all know that my "web guy" finally got around to launching my new site. The key difference between
the old site and the new site is that I will be able to update the new
site on my own which means much more frequent updates.

There are still a few things that are being worked on as we speak, and
they will be added in the coming weeks. As for now, the photo gallery is
up (although not fully updated), the news section is up to date, and my
Journal is up to date. All of my CP articles from 2004 are up with the
archived columns coming shortly.

The journal section offers me the opportunity to share things that I
wouldn't necessarily put in print in Card Player. Either because it's not
really poker related or because it's a touchy subject.

Anyway, I hope you all like the set up for the new site and I promise to
keep it updated on a more regular basis.

Take care,
Daniel Negreanu

WSOP Tournament director, Matt Savage, posted this hypothetical per What Can You Wear To The Poker Table.

Mike Laing wore a motorcycle helmet at the final table of a Four Queens event years ago. And some guy tried to wear a mask during the main event
of the WSOP this year before I told him to take it off. These ideas are not blown out of proportion. Where do you draw the line?

Hell, I remember MeneGene threatened to Botox his entire face if he won a seat to the Big One.

MtDew Virus reigns as the premier poker chip trick web pages on the web (as well as being the defending WPBT champion) but for the sake of being complete, Joshua also has a nice chip trick page up.

For the record, not only can I NOT do chip tricks, I can barely shuffle a deck of cards. Sad but true. It's these damn little fingers. And Guinness.

I was asked to pimp AllInPoker, ran by two young guys in California, and I'll gladly do so. Check em out, it looks like some fine stuff, but damn, you guys need to put ME in charge of your t-shirt slogans. First off, I'd suggest 'Annie Duke's Feet Smell!' Hell, I'll give you that one for free.

I'm a fan of The Die is Cast, David's expert gambling blog. He pointed out a fine article from the Las Vegas Sun about the Hard Rock no longer catering to high-rollers.
Hard Rock takes action to stem unpredictable high-roller wins

I linked to this poker story a long time ago. Surprisingly, it's still there on Geocities, just waiting for you. I love this freaking tale of a long-time poker home game.
Shut Up and Deal

I blogged about Poker Edge, the subscription based online database of online poker players, a while back. I'm a Poker Tracker guy, myself, but you already knew that. Anyway, here was a review of Poker Edge that I found while researching before giving it a whirl.

PokerEdge Review

Pokeredge is a small app that connects to a central server of hand
histories. It provides basic stats on actions taken on each street and
what % of time the action is taken.

Pros: It has quite a number of players in the database but most of the
players I didn't recognize were not there. It had me in there although it
only had 1700 hands of the 40,000 or so I've played since August.

The stats provided are pretty limited - basic fold, call, bet %. It does
not provide hand distributions or hand history details. All you get are
the summarized %. Also, you get very few filtering options.

I'd say it is worth it if you only play occassionally and you don't have a
lot of data from pokertracker. It would tell you in very general terms
how tight, loose, or aggressive the player is. Otherwise, it is pretty

Because my readers love women tennis players, here's another Anna K. photo for you.

Oh the humanity.

This guy is a moron, but because we apparently have so many volleyball playing poker bloggers, I thought I'd post this for all the jocks out there.

I was always picked last in volleyball for obvious reasons.

Professional Poker vs. Professional Athlete/Entertainer

In seeing the influx of younger college kids doing well as professional
poker players I began to wonder about that career path as compared to
trying to become a profesional athlete or entertainer.

In regards to a career in athletics the main benifit here is that schools
offset most of the cost so there isn't to much money invested by the
families. For a career in entertainment whereas there are some "naturals"
there is a lot of money spent in acting and voice lessons along with
traveling to auditions etc... In poker, however it could be possible for
poker clubs to form in high schools if not officially at least
un-officially and the internet provides at least play money practice so it
is debatable how much would need to be invested to at least get started

Another thing to consider is how this would effect ones educational
desires. Both athletics and entertainment wouldn't really require and
education but at least in athletics you usually are required to maintain a
mimimum GPA. But for both of these the educational goal is usually
secondary at best. In Poker, there is the immediate desire to at least
become more educated in Mathematics and Statistics so it could actually be
more directely encouraging in school. Additionally, in order to excel in
poker it usually helps to have a bigger bankroll so it might also
encourage students towards successful careers.

The next thing to think about is likelihood of success. It definitely
seems to me that when you take the number of people trying to make it in
Athletics or Entertainment when compared to the number of people who
actually make it I think (although not positive) that poker should have a
much better success rate.

The last thing I want to consider is longevity of the career. In this
case, athletics definitely falls way short. Even if one does not get
injured ending your career earlier it generally only last 5-10 years.
Entertainment should last a little longer if your are really good but for
most it isn't that long. In the case of Poker, your game doesn't seem to
drop off that much until much later in life and even then your experience
still will probably help a lot.

These are just my thoughts on the subject. As I am not any of these
things I am not an expert but it definitely seems to me that if the poker
movement continues that the youth taking to it would be less detrimental
than the delusions most youth have on making it as an athelete or

What do you all think?

I think you're a goofball.

Damn, where to go from here? I really want to leave you with something superb, but the Anna pic will have to suffice for now. Party Poker is calling.

So, thanks for reading and I'll be back with a far better post next time.
One can hope.

Link of the Day:
Happy Strangers with Candy Day
Next year, send junior out as the Littlest Prisoner at Abu Ghraib: "Remind everyone on your child's trick-or-treat route of our national shame."

Allrighty then, I'm finally back at my desk after a 72 hour bender. Even though it was the right thing to do, I still can't believe I left my job. I'm still attempting to fathom it all.

Anyway, I'm gonna write up a Guinness-fueled post in a few, but I thought this next article deemed it's own unique blog. From the Sunday edition of the New York Times, here's a great article entitled:

Poker Faces, and They Haven't Started Shaving

LARCHMONT, N.Y., Oct. 28 - The table was antique mahogany. The chips were casino-quality clay in a gleaming, Bond-like steel carrying case. The game was, of course, No Limit Texas Hold 'Em, except for the players who had already lost their buy-in and joined the poker and dice games in another room. Records of earnings and losses for the 15 regulars and 7 occasional players were kept on an Excel spreadsheet on one of the organizers' computers.

After 11 p.m. or so, the winners pocketed their cash. The players snacked on popcorn and whatever else they could forage from the kitchen, argued amiably about who was the biggest poker addict, and then ran into the backyard, where the floodlights allowed for a high-energy game of midnight football, the perfect way for a group of ninth graders to end an evening out.

Do you know where your high school kids are at night? If the answer is yes, chances are it's because they're poring over poker hands, practicing their dead man's stares, and aping the big timers on ESPN sitting there with dark glasses and million-dollar piles of chips at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

Some youngsters have always played poker for money. But, thanks largely to the mania for televised poker, a night out for adolescent boys (and it is virtually all boys) in nearly any suburban town these days almost invariably takes the form of a marathon game with stakes as low as the $5 buy-in at this game or considerably higher at some impromptu tournaments. The favored game is Texas Hold 'Em, where each player is dealt two cards face down and then plays a hand with four rounds of betting based on those and five communal cards dealt open-faced.

Were this "The Music Man," Robert Preston could easily proclaim: "We've got trouble, right here in River City. With a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Poker." But, as is often the case, when we look at our kids, we see ourselves reflected back, so even those inclined to wag fingers are mostly keeping it in check.

Certainly, most high school students don't see playing poker for $5 or $10 a night as a huge moral issue.

"It's not much different than going to someone's house and throwing around a football or baseball," said Ben Wrobel, a junior at Mamaroneck High School, sitting with two friends outside school on Thursday.

His friend Andrew Klein makes money giving drum lessons. He has won some money at poker, too, and he figures if he loses $10 or $20 at the game - or occasionally a bit more - it's his money. As for kids getting in too deep, he hasn't heard about it, but, with the world weariness of youth, he figures you can never tell.

"Nothing surprises me anymore," he said. "Bomb threats. Middle school kids getting wasted at school dances. You never know." (There was a notorious drinking incident at a middle school dance last year.)

Pick a town, any town, and you'll find kids more often than not who know the difference between the flop (first three communal cards in Hold 'Em), the turn (the fourth) and the river (the fifth). The World Series of Poker, which draws more than a million viewers per episode on ESPN has made poker stars like Doyle Brunson and Chris Moneymaker as familiar to adolescent boys as Kobe and Shaq. (And if the pot bellies and sallow visages of the supremely unglamorous poker elite aren't typical celebrity profiles, their air of eccentric inscrutability does have a certain middle school appeal to it.)

The Travel Channel's World Poker Tour and Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown have also been enormous cable hits, spawning other imitators.

At East Hampton High on Long Island, the principal, Scott Farina, said he hadn't heard about kids gambling on poker. "It has never been brought to my attention," he said. But of a handful of male students interviewed, all said they played.

Kevin Gomez plays once a month or so, Robert Dayton and Noah Kouffman usually play two or three times a week, and James Westfall, likes to play in "block periods" - he doesn't play for a few days and then plays for several days, sometimes from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.

"Everyone has chips and decks," he said, adding that most games are for modest pots, although he once won a pot of $230. "I usually win, but when I lose I walk away."

His mother, Daryl Westfall, said she could tell there were days he was happy because he had won, but poker was mostly a mystery to her.

"It's like a secret club being a teenager," she said. "As long as we don't have to create a new 12-step program for teenage poker players, let's be happy they're doing something. I'm not going to worry until they're booking Las Vegas junkets through East Hampton High."

Poker begins well before high school these days. John Nakashian, who owns Creative Entertainment Associates, which arranges parties and other events, said he now regularly brings poker tables and dealers from casinos to bar mitzvahs, where kids don't play for money but often can win prizes, usually modest, sometimes as pricey as an iPod.

"I started with three Hold 'Em tables; I just had to order six more," he said. "The 13-year-olds know more about it than I do."

For almost all parents, the calculus of teenage poker begins with the alternatives. What's worse, they say, kids playing for a few dollars with friends at someone's house, with parents around? Or in cars, drinking on a golf course, or tempted by drugs? For most, it's an easy decision.

"My initial reaction was concern that it's gambling, but with parental restrictions, I'm comfortable with it," said Lori Brandon, whose son, Matt, 13, was one of the group of youngsters whose poker evening culminated in the football game. Most are good students and athletes at Mamaroneck High School.

"They play for $5, so when it's gone, they're done,'' Mrs. Brandon said. "The risk of losing more than $5 is zero. They're together with friends I know. There's a parent around. I know where he is. He'd spend more money going to the movies."

Some fathers with fond memories of their own youthful poker days not only are comfortable with the games, but like sitting in sometimes. And for some parents, there's the ancillary benefit that the game takes concentration and math skills, so it's not true slackerdom.

"Someone said that the kids usually left at the end are the ones with the highest SAT scores," one Larchmont mother said.

Helene Fremder, the social worker at Mamaroneck High, and experts elsewhere say for some youngsters gambling at a young age will lead to addictive gambling. Experts say parents should be aware if youngsters play too often, become obsessed, or start letting poker crowd out other activities. (It's probably not a great sign, for example, that some Mamaroneck High students play at restaurants, the school steps or at someone's home during lunch.)

"Most of it's harmless," said Nancy Petry, a professor of psychiatry and an expert on gambling and addictions at the University of Connecticut. "But parents should know that it can become a problem, and I think a lot of them don't know that."

Still, she and experts at Harvard and the University of Minnesota were all quite sanguine about poker's hold on America's youth. They note that the country is in the midst of a revolution in its view of gambling - now a $70 billion annual business, excluding Internet gambling - from casinos to lotteries to sports betting to poker on television, and that the young are part of that shift.

People can make different moral calculations about how good or bad this is. But Ken Winters, of the department of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, said that despite real risks of addictive gambling, so far the spread of legalized gambling has not sent the country hurtling toward perdition and probably won't send its youth there either.

"I worry about sexually transmitted diseases and drug abuse a lot more than I worry about gambling," he said. "I really don't think the sky is falling with Texas Hold 'Em. My parents' generation said the Beatles would be the beginning of the end. I don't think it really led to all that much trouble."

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