Friday, December 03, 2004

"It's always great to read something about other people's take on poker and about the swings they go through. It's even better to have those same people supporting you when you are trying to do the same frustrating things they are. Smart people, smart writing and great support."


Damn, I'm really jealous of all the bloggers meeting in Vegas next weekend.

Hell, where to begin? Hrm, I suppose I should give a quick update on my status. Yes, I'm playing a ton of poker, primarily in 2-3 hour shifts. My attention wanes quickly after that, so it's been helpful to play in shorter bursts. But that's just me, your mileage may vary. I'm settled in at the 10.20 and 15.30 games and winning at a decent clip. However, thanks to Irony, the Biggest Fucking Fish on Party Poker, who I sit down with EVERY and ANY time I see him playing, has completely abused me with some brutal beats. So fucking brutal that all I can do is laugh. I would have had a massive week if not for those beats by this single player.


If you missed the meaning of this term, please go read my old post here.

But the most fun I've had the last few evenings have been sitting with fellow poker bloggers at the $25 NL ring game table. It's been fun as hell to get all liquored up and sit with Pauly, FilmGeek, Al, BadBlood, Hank, Maudie, Poker in Iowa, TheVenetian, and SirFWALGman.

Playing the Hammer has become a serious addiction for me.
It's a problem and I need help.

But blowing off steam and having fun is a Good Thing. It was an odd experience, during the Thanksgiving holidays, trying to explain to a few curious relatives that I most certainly do not consider myself a professional gambler. Semantics, perhaps, but it's hard for an outsider to comprehend.

For some reason, I've recently seen a few disparaging posts about playing poker for a living, which I'll share below, which has inspired me to ramble a little bit here. Humour me, please.

One of my very favorite quotes about poker is the following:


The uniqueness of poker consists of its being a game of chance where the element of chance is itself subordinated to psychological factors and where it is not so much fate as human beings who decide. In this respect poker is the game closest to the Western conception of life, where life and thought are recognized as intimately combined, where free will prevails over philosophies of fate or chance, where men are considered free moral agents - at least in the short run - the important thing is not what happens, but what people think happens.

Not to wax too existential here, but because of the relentless instability and uncertainty of day-to-day poker, players are wise to continually examine and reexamine their motives, feelings and entire state of being. If the lives of poker pros were comfortable and predictable, such self-reflection wouldn't be necessary. Living, playing and surviving in the crazy, chancy world of poker can assault your sensibilities and I've found many great threads and posts from pro's commenting on the difficulties of 'lasting' and explaining what 'all this means.' Mike Caro perhaps put it best when he singled out two vexing issues, "The most difficult aspects of playing poker professionally are coping emotionally with the losses and coping with the recurring idea that you're not doing anything worthwhile."

Now obviously, the questions about the meaning of 'worthwhile tasks' can be traced to wider cultural values about what is appropriate, gratifying and/or a constructive way to spend time & energy. Many folks just don't see card playing as particularly productive, and that's fine. Someone once used the phrase "sterile excellence" to refer to expert card players - arguing that their time could be more profitably spent on other interests. Here's what one writer had to say on the ultimate value of poker, no matter how much money can be made:

The good player must strive to surround himself with losers....with people who are constantly defaulting on the use of their minds - the opposite kind of people whom the good player could respect and enjoy. This cannot be a very satisfying or rewarding way for him to consume large, irreplaceable portions of his life. Indeed the good player may be the biggest loser in the game. He may be sacrificing valuable segments of his life to the neurotic and self-destructive needs of chronic losers.

Ouch. That's a bit overstated, methinks, but I see the point. For the full-time player, time is not structured by the clock or rigid routines but rather by the unpredictable flow and pattern of the cards. And hell, whereas most games stipulate a preset starting and ending point, poker has no such feature. All of us can pick our own beginnings and endings, moving in and out of tables at will. No rules dictate how long or briefly I must play.

And now I've lost my damn point. I was gonna somehow attempt to tie in that criticisms of gambling made by outsiders (and gamblers themselves) basically stem from the inherent unstructured nature of a poker players temporal existence.

And I'm not exaggerating by using the phrase temporal existence, either. Since leaving my job, I'm basically sleeping and playing whenever and however I want. It's insane.

So anyway, I've blabbed enough with no point. If I had the patience, I'd go back and clean it up, but hell, it still provides a manageable segue into these recent anti gambling/poker posts. First, I'm gonna post one from an idiot and the second is actually a thoughtful perspective. Here they is:

Professional Gamblers = Problem Gamblers

If you gamble for a living, you are a problem gambler, and should seek help from GA or other sources.

Rather than choosing a contructive pursuit, you've chosen to gamble with your resources. Your children's ability to go to college hangs in the balance.

A job is always +EV. Winning at limit poker over the long haul may be
possible with skill, but what if "the long haul" statistically is 300
years? Learning to play perfect limit hold-em takes a couple of months,
tops. With the poplarity of poker, and the easy flow of information on
the 'net, how long do you think it'll be until 90% of players are skilled?

At that point, poker will be a crapshoot.

Are you willing to lose everything you have and waste years of your life
in seedy gambling halls and smoky casinos, running with degenerates like
"AmarDildo" Slim? Are you ready to sacrifice your personal relationships
and your family for your obsession?


Going pro

Ok really I don't care if some of you who are successful yell at me about
this, but to all those college kids who are thinking about "going pro" I
say don't do it. I'm not some old man telling you this, I'm twenty four
years old, college graduate who dropped out of Grad school to eventually
"go pro". One of the dumbest things I ever did. First of all, the advice
on living expenses of six months in advance is a wise one I didn't follow,
and when you take a couple of bad beats, keep playing when you shouldn't,
and go on tilt, well that electric bill is in a great deal of jeapordy for
being paid.

Now when I talking about going pro I'm talking about online, I have little
experience in live play, although I'm sure some of my advice applies.

Here are the main problems with "going pro"

1. Trying to grind a hundred or two dollars a day by playing cards on a
computer gets very boring, I've had lots of regular jobs and most of them
were far more fun than this.

2. Its not that easy to play your top game at several tables at once for
eight hours a day. For me I'm only at top efficiency for about two hours
straight. (Btw, for those of you who will ignore the advice and try it
anyway, this should be one of your main signs on whether you have a chance
at success, your ability to play at a top level hour after hour.)

3. You're not the only one trying this! Based on play at Gaming Club aka
prima I can tell you most players aren't as bad as people on forums like
to tell. About half of your players at an average ring game think
themselves good enough to bring a little extra bread in doing their hobby.

The players that you raise preflop with AK call you with K8 and call you
to the river for all their chips are few and far between.

People whine so much about suckout artists, in my view there aren't enough
of them in poker. I almost invariably find that when I hold something good
like top pair top kicker and get raised my hand really is no good.

Yes, there are the fish everyone loves to talk about, but the problem is
there aren't enough of them, and they don't tend to be the players you see
at the same tables night after night as they soon go broke.

Between the rake, other pros, and good recreational players, the fish or
two's money at the table gets spread pretty thin.

4. Read Supersystem and try this strategy online. I guarantee you will
soon be broke. Bluffing and aggression, which earned great players like
Doyle a living are not effective online, because of too much calling. So
basically, you are confined to playing good cards and playing tight
online. And for all the times you get big wins with say Ak vs K8 about a
third of those times the guy makes two pair on you and your the one who
gets broken.

Now I know what your saying to yourself, well this guy probably isn't too
good at poker and I know a lot more than him, and that's what I used to
think reading a post like this. But the fact of the matter is being a pro
has relatively little to do with your skill level, and much more to do
with your patience, ability to handle long sessions and multiple tables,
ability to avoid tilt, and money management.

Of course there are other issues which are more often addressed in posts
like this, but to restate them they are for one the fact that even if you
could make a couple G's a week playing online, there are potential bills
in Congress waiting to come to the floor for a vote to ban it. There are
no benefits playing poker, no health insurance, no pension plan...so when
you get old and soft in the head you still gotta grind out your rent

Lastly, I'd like to take issue with those in the past who have said if
your thinking about going pro see if you can consistantly earn a profit
playing in your spare time after work or school and on weekends.

I completely disagree with this. The only way to know if you can make it
going pro is to actually try it and have the emotional strain of having to
depend on that money for your livelihood, and play day after day all day
for weeks and months.

I know the prima site pretty well and I know there are quite a number of
people who attempt to make a living on it. From the best I can tell,
probably about five make one worth writing home about. The rest either
grind it out or eventually go broke and find a better way to earn an

So yes, it is possibly to succeed. However, you are not going to know if
that is possible without putting your life on hold and actually trying,
but I can tell you right now the odds are far worse than drawing to a
backdoor flush, which I am sure most of you are smart enough not to do.

Hopes this helps somebody.

That guy might have a better attitude if he played on freaking Party Poker, instead of the Prima Network. Dumbass.

Speaking of dumbasses, I see that the 2+2 forums have been infested yet again with apologists espousing the RakeFree poker site. I swear to God, if I see one more pro Russ Boyd post, I'm reposting my entire take on that sordid affair.

Oh the humanity, even Dutch is blogging these days. Good God. My favorite snippet from his blog:

There's a list of pretty good relationship tips at Men's Health. It's called "Confessions of a Perfect Husband" by Hugh O'Neill, and it's pretty good.

That begs the question: what business magazines does he read for biz tips?
Mad Magazine?

Speaking of Russ Boyd and poker sites going under, I saw this post a few days ago:

YPN Poker Network Going Out of Business

Here is a list of the skins to avoid

DeltaPoker, PokerDreams, PokerPot, TipsyPoker, NutzPoker, Pokeroo,
SeniorPoker, CheckorBet

Dear NutzPoker Players,

We am very sorry to inform you that NutzPoker will be closing effective
December 30, 2004. All games and tournament activity will cease effective
December 01, 2004.

Please cashout your remaining funds prior to December 30, 2004. We can
process your cashout via NETeller, FirePay or PrePaidATM at this time.

I was pretty surprised to see a post by Howard Lederer on RGP. There's nary a pro left these days....

Subject: My Online Identity

My secret online identity is Howard Lederer at FullTiltPoker.com. I don't
play anywhere else. I used to be Lawnboy at PokerStars and I used to be
SDot at UB. I have never been the Shrike at PokerStars, although I hear
he is a very good imposter. And I have never been Tiltological at UB.

I wouldn't have responded to the idle speculation here, but my personal
integrity is in question as to this issue. Whenever I am asked if I play
on other sites at FullTilt, I always truthfully answer I haven't played
anywhere else since FTP went live for real money. I stand by that

Howard Lederer

Wow - just what we needed....yet ANOTHER poker magazine:

Subject: 5th Street

I just got back from lunch at the Palms and noticed they were giving
away a new magazine in the poker room called "5th Street - International Poker Magazine"

Looks like they have articles by Ashley Adams, Johnny Hale and Matthew
Hilger and some others. I can't vouch for the quality of the writing
or the content of the articles, I haven't read it yet!

It looks like it will come out bi-monthly and it's only about 66 pages
or so. It's kinda skinny for the cover price of $4.99 - glad I got it
for free.

Anway, let's hope it does better than All-In or Bluff magazines.
Although to be fair to Bluff, they are bi-monthly and I don't think
the second issue is do until about right now, meaning December. But, I
haven't seen an All-In mag since it's premiere issue in June.

Wow - soon poker magazines will be like poker web-sites and assholes... everyone will have one.

Also, on the back cover one of the most silly poker concepts I have ever seen....


And allow me to again pimp these two fine young entrepreneurs who started a poker clothing company. Please go check out All N Poker.

Because I am a cableless loser, I'm really out of touch with the state of televised poker. But I saw this thread and thought I'd pass it along for those who actually understand what these guys are talking about. I'm sure Felicia could explain this far better since she was involved with some of this stuff...

PPT and the state of TV poker in the US

No surprise if WPT Enterprises (NASDAQ: WPTE) has to cancel PPT events at the Bellagio and Mirage.

Tunica PPT was cancelled because of WPT Bahamas and Harrahs/ESPN Atlantic City.

Bellagio PPT in December was first postponed to April to give WPTE more time to negotiate a TV agreement and sponsorships.

WPTE is having "issues" in negotiating the PPT TV agreement with Discovery

WPTE is also having "issues" in selling sponsorships in the wake of the
Harrahs/ESPN "TV poker one-stop shop" sales onslaught.

The only upcoming PPT event that has been confirmed so far is Commerce.


The TV poker business in the US is shaking out:

1. Harrahs/ESPN, with its "one-stop shop" sponsorship sales concept, will
be #1 as long as Harrahs doesn't get too greedy to chase Disney/ESPN away
as a partner. If Disney/ESPN were to walk, Harrahs will have to partner
with either FOX (FOX/FSN/FX) or NBC Universal (NBC/CNBC/USA/Telemundo).

2. WPTE will have to do what it can to remain a solid #2. That means a)
toning down the rhetoric a bit and b) being nice to Discovery
Communications (Hmmm: how about a "Sharks vs. Crocs" WPT Freeroll
special?) WPTE's current status as an entertainment business is at the
mercy of Discovery Communications.

3. FOX and NBC Universal will continue to lurk in the background by
bartering TV time to the likes of Henry Orenstein (Poker SuperStars
Invitational) in order to have TV poker with ZERO risk. Neither FOX nor
NBC will have to invest a single penny in TV poker as long as Orenstein is
willing to continue to bear all the risk with the PSI series.

4. GSN (Sony), if it wants to have a piece of the TV poker pie, will have
to find another promoter. Louis Asmo (WPPA) had his chance and blew it.

Also, there's some news about a new gambling channel. Question and answer:

Re: Gambling TV Channel "Helmuth"

> I believe there is a new TV channel that is going to be totally devoted to
> gambling, I think it is called EDGE TV.
> Does anybody know their contact info.
> I also heard that Phil Hellmuth is going to have something to do with it.

Hi Ed,

Actually, it's called The Edge TV and they intend to launch in 2005. I do
not work for them but know of them. They'll have experts from every type of
gambling game they intend to televise. I believe Poker, Backgammon, Pai Gow,
Craps and Black Jack are just a few.

They are particularly interested in high stakes event and hope to be on the
scene of major championships and live tournaments around the world. From
what I have seen and heard, they are very professional, so expect first
class stuff.

As for Hellmuth, The Edge TV have this announcement in the Press section of
their website dated August 24, 2004:

"Tobey Maguire & Phil Hellmuth Join Board of Advisors."

You can find that article and learn more about The Edge TV at

They have also formed a programming partnership with Card Player, the world's #1 Poker magazine (also see Press section for that news article).

I am looking forward to their launch and what they will offer in Poker and Backgammon.



Let's spruce up this post with a pic, shall we. Excuse me while I rummage for something to cleanse the palette after my hairy nekkid man monstrosity...

Guess I owe some solid poker content for fellow students of the game. How about two interesting threads from 2+2? Worthy food for thought:

  • Blind stealing experiment
  • 5 things LowLimit players should "unlearn"

    I don't know if I have any Chicago-land readers, but if so, and you are looking for a home game, I have a good friend in the Western suburbs who has some spots available. Email him here, if interested.

    Damn, I'm really running the gamut today.

    Here's a follow-up on my post about the Cecil Fielder gambling addiction story.
    Former Tiger Cecil Fielder files libel suit over Detroit News stories

    Oh my, I almost forgot this wonderful anti-gambling post on RGP.
    Enjoy the idiocy.

    Subject: Poker and the Corruption of America
    Author: A Patriot (America@America.com)

    A friend of mine made me aware of this newsgroup. All I can say is I weep for America and its future.

    Countless posts about "I am going to turn pro" and worshiping of degenerate gamblers. Most poker players (not all) are out of shape, broke, and alone and desperate.

    There is a reason it was/and is illegal in our country. Our great forefathers founded this country on the Puritan work ethic. You worked hard. You produced something. Now all you want to do is check, fold or raise. Wake up late. Smoke your pot. The only ones who played poker before were Texas Outlaws.

    The money is going out of America to third world countries (for the online players).

    The winnings of the few players are used for drugs and prostitutes.

    Truly hilarious. One can only pray he is serious.

    A hoist of the Guinness to Stripper by Night who tipped me off to uber-blogger, poker blog supporter and baseball writer extraordinaire, Aaron Gleeman, who won the Baseball Think Factory Poker Tournament on Poker Stars. Kudos Aaron!!

    I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention that one of my blogging heroes, Tony Pierce, has come out with a new book entitled How To Blog. Tony's da man.

    Hmmmm, I was contemplating posting all the new poker blogs in this post, but I'm dying to play some poker. Duty calls.

    Am I allowed to say TGIF even though I'm unemployed?
    Home game tomorrow night. Woohoo!

    K, thanks for reading this drivel. Sadly, I'm going to cross the line of decency even further by posting this awful tale from RGP. I'm embarassed for myself, delving into the lowbrow zone....You're better off skipping this one, trust me.

    > TIME TO SET YOURSELF FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Allright, one time I got a little funky. I used to play in a rockin
    10-20 game around Houston way, everybody kinda knew each other and it
    was pretty friendly. One night this new guy shows up, doesn't talk much,
    seems to be a good player, but he is getting on everybody's nerves because
    he has this pen and notepad and he is taking notes right there in front
    of everyone. Well, he must have taken a few good ones on me, because
    I'm getting the worst of it. When his pocket 4's busted my AKs I decided
    something had to be done.

    I told everyone I needed to make a phone call, then I stood up and
    said "Lee, why don't you let me use that pen a minute, this guy I am
    calling is going to give me a phone number and I need to write it down."
    He gave me a look and I said "c'mon man it won't be a minute." He handed
    me the pen. I went down the hall and into the bathroom. I took the pen
    and shoved it up my ass and twirled it around for about 20 seconds. I
    remember thinking, this oughta fix that little bastard.

    I went back to the table and handed him his pen. He goes "this pen
    smells like shit." I said " it ought to, I had it up my ass." I started
    laughing and soon the whole table joined in. We laughed Lee right out of
    the game.

    As soon as he left this guy 2 seats from me says "man you are
    funny, you want to get breakfast after the game?" Now I wasn't sure if
    this guy was a pillow-biter or not, I mean I had my suspicions, he
    never checked raised, plus his name was Gary. I only known one other Gary
    in my life and he was a puffer, and I just admitted to putting something
    up my ass, so I wasn't taking any chances. I stood
    up and rammed the back of his head into the wall. I said "I ain't no damn
    queer." I gave him a couple shots to the guts and then to his face, he
    was finished after that. I threw him out the door and into the yard and
    went back to the game. Nobody was quite sure what to say. I looked at
    Gary's cheques and said "look he has about a G there, why don't we
    chop it up." Lefty counted it down and soon we were all laughing and having
    fun again.

    But here is the funky part I never told anyone, I never washed my
    hands after handling that pen.

    Faith in humanity: gone.

    Link of the Day:
    Destroy My Sweater
    By posing online in 25 abortions of yarn, Kevin Sherry has singlehandedly destroyed the myth about gay fashion sense.

  • Thursday, December 02, 2004

    Alrighty then, I'm gonna start an uber-post, but sadly, I am fully aware that I am too drunk to post it tonight. Hopefully I'll finish it when I wake up tomorrow afternoon.

    For now, go hit Bill's poker blog with the final word on online poker and cheating.
    Proof That Online Poker Is Rigged!

    Monday, November 29, 2004


    "Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt represents determinism, the way you play it is free will."
    Jawaharlal Nehru

    It truly feels odd not having a real job. I can't even put it into words....I just feel very uncomfortable, maybe because it's a Monday? Perhaps it's just residual Catholic school guilt kicking in? Hell, I suppose I should just count my blessings - by Wednesday this feeling will dissipate.

    Anyway, strap yourself in for a rambling, Guinness-fueled uber post. I'm refocused on destroying workplace production, one post at a time.

    So I'm not sure what I should pull out of my little bag of poker goodies tonight. The usual, I suppose... Assorted poker news and linkage. A flame or two. Many new poker blogs, per always. And a random photo to ruin your day. This is all globbed together from my recent rushed reading, so my humble apologies for the extra tangential nature of this drivel. Sure, I could break it up into a dozen unique posts, but what fun would that be?

    Oh wait, someone give me a drumroll, please. I'll be posting soon about the impending next installment of the WPBT - I'm trying to settle on a date. I'm sorry I missed Grubby's tourney but since I was in Vegas, offline, I couldn't play. Regardless, I was happy to read that everyone had fun and everything went off without a hitch.

    Whew, it's odd coming back to this humble poker blog, after what seems like weeks away. It's really fascinating, looking back, to our nascent beginnings. Sadly, I wish I spent more time and energy writing about my own play. I often hear that as a criticism about this blog - write MORE about your own play, Iggy! And maybe I should but it's boring as hell.

    For now, I'm still bipping around 5.10, 10.20 and 15.30 ring games. Once I get nice and ripped to the tits, however, I try to find Pauly or other fellow bloggers at a table on Party and start ramming and jamming with The Hammer. Good times - go hit Pauly for the latest on both planned & impromptu poker blogger gatherings.

    With the massive influx of new players on Party Poker, it's often hard to decide what the hell to play. There is a veritable plethora of options for the discerning player. Not including the limit, PL and NL ring games, we have around-the-clock SNG's and huge multi table tournaments. The O8 and Stud8 games are also known for their high fish content, and sadly, I've been neglecting those games since summer.

    I should probably be spending far more time tackling tourneys. I hardly ever fool with them, but my records show them as being profitable for me. I simply hate being chained to my computer for six hours at a time.

    One FYI: I finally noticed that Empire Poker is offering a WSOP freeroll tournament every month, giving away two Championship Event seats. All you have to do to qualify is play 4000 raked hands. I'll be there in December, damnit! Go now and sign up with Empire Poker with Bonus Code IGGY1.

    But hell, I had an outstanding week at the tables upon returning from Vegas. I played a TON of poker and loved it. Party Poker is just as fishy as ever, I'm still wondering where all these players are coming from. It's been quite a long time since I've experienced a losing weekend on there. Also, I did an overdue update of Poker Tracker last evening and can happily report that I have had only two losing months out of the last 20. These were early last spring when I wasn't playing very much, for assorted reasons.

    Gotta love those affirmation moments. When you realize you aren't just throwing dice or flipping coins. When the numbers are stark and bold - no rationalizations possible.

    My friend, Royal Poker, once blogged about sharing his bankroll fluctuations with his wife, for the sake of sheer spousal support - scrutiny. I'm a proponent of that because it ultimately gets at the root of things. We all play poker for different reasons and it's truly important to understand our true motivations for doing so. Honestly, for me, it started out as an obsession of knowledge. Like any complex subject, the more I learned about poker, the more questions I had.

    Money issues are the number one cause of divorce in this country. Be honest. Accountability is a good thing.

    This would make a wonderful segue into the story of how I lost my entire bankroll five years ago. The Big Slide Down, as I refer to it, and a turning point in my poker hobby. After much hard work of building my roll into respectability, well; let's just say I got there carefully, but lost it casually. It was an eye-opening experience for me, and one that I swore never to repeat. And I won't.

    One last anecdote about my Vegas trip. As you may have read, both Hank and I became deathly ill on our visit. And MrsHDouble decided to have some fun with her hubby by sending me this photo of Hank passed out after an evening of drinking, cold medicine, and blackjack.

    This ruined my day.
    Note to self: never re-read this post. Ever.

    Oh. The. Humanity.
    I had to take a shower after posting that pic. I feel so unclean.

    As a peace offering, allow me to offer some Best of Poker Linkage. I found this love-fest about Jennifer Harmon that I think is worthy to pass along, especially after all the objectifying of Annie Duke in one of my latter posts.

    Subject: Some words about Jennifer Harmon...

    For those of you who think this is name dropping, it isnt...but sometimes you meet someone and they make such an impression that you want to tell everyone about it.

    Jennifer Harmon made such an impression on me, this past Saturday when I met her at Foxwoods. I was sitting at the 300/600 table with Greg Reymer and John D'Augustino (now THAT was name dropping) HAHA...actually I wasnt playing, just watching...and I saw Jen sitting at the $2000/$4000 table waiting for other players to sit down. She looked great. I went over, not wanting to bother her too much, to tell her that
    I really admired her for playing poker with all of her health issues in
    the past year..and kiss her butt a little for some free poker
    advice..hehe. Jennifer, I said...almost shaking that I was meeting one of
    the best tournament poker players in the world, I just saw you from over
    there and I wanted to tell you that you look great. Well, before I
    finished the sentence, she had asked me to sit down. Me, lowly $5/$5 no
    limit player, is now sitting with Jennifer Harmon at a $2000/$4000 table,
    talking poker. At no time did she talk down to me or sound condescending.

    I can only imagine how many schmucks like myself must try to talk to her
    on a daily basis and she could have politely excused herself or made any
    number of excuses not to talk to me. But she didn't, in fact, she even
    offered me a piece of gum (which I won $575 dollars while chewing, hey
    Jennifer, send me a pack of that gum!! HAHA) Anyway, thats all I wanted
    to say, just that I hope when (notice I didnt say if) I make it big in the
    poker world, I can be as courteous and friendly as she is. Plus shes


    I had the unfortunate "honor" of having to play at the same
    table with her on day 1 of the semi-finals no-limit Texas holdem tournament at the ULTIMATE POKER CHALLENGE at the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas on October 29.

    She had the button when I had the big blind. I was on a
    short stack and she pounded me every time. Not once did she
    pass when no one had yet entered the pot. I never had a hand
    I could defend! Once she was called by the small blind and
    had to show her hand; a 6 - 3 off suit.

    She was tough. The reputation she has is well-deserved from
    my experiences. She had built a huge stack and she showed a
    lot of class when the largest stack eliminated her with a
    flush when she turned trip lacks. She had played it very
    aggressively - which is why it cost her whole stack.
    Nevertheless, she said "good hand" and left. No tantrum or
    antics like we sometimes see on TV.

    While I wouldn't call her friendly, she was never nasty or
    demeaning. I don't expect people in a tournament to be
    "friendly" anyway.

    Also, I agree she is cute; and cuter in person than on TV.

    I hope she overcomes her health problem and I get to play
    against her again sometime.

    And finally, I'm rooting for the girls, too:

    Although I've never met her "in person," I wish Jennifer the best of luck with her health and hope that all turns out well. You just hate
    to see a person with her talent (and the heart of a lion) slowed down
    by a bad break.

    This may sound like treachery to my fellow members of the male gender,
    but I can't wait for the day when a woman wins the "BIG ONE" - the
    final event of the WSOP. If you think all the hype and publicity
    about poker is big now, just wait until Jennifer, Annie Duke, Kathy
    Liebert, Clonie Gowen, Barbara Enright, Evelyn Ng, Rose Ritchie, or
    .... (get this) "Grandmother" Maureen Feduniak - beats out a table full
    of rough tough men for first place! The "genteel beast" (the press)
    will go crazy! ESPN will start their WSOP broadcast with Helen
    Reddy's "I Am Woman (Hear Me Roar)" playing in the background while
    the camera pans across "Slim" performing a mock act of hari kari ...

    Sports commentators will compare this momentous achievement to the
    1973 tennis showdown between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King. Most
    of us guys will conduct silent prayer vigils asking God to "take it
    easy" on the unfortunate fellow who falls victim to the world's first
    WOMAN poker champion. (Wouldn't it be hilarious if the "losing" man
    turns out to be none other than the illustrious Phil Hellmuth Jr.?
    He'd never live it down ...)

    Bob Ciafonne had an article in Card Player magazine about a year ago
    where he speculated that it will happen - and probably sooner rather
    than later. "The Coach" believes that the top women players have the
    talent to pull it off - any one of them could take home the big prize.
    I hope he's right.

    After all the adversity that Jennifer Harmon has overcome, it would be
    one of the greatest stories of all time if she makes the final table
    and then steamrolls the guys all the way to first place. The
    Hollywood screenwriters couldn't dream up a better script. (I'm
    rooting for the girls!)

    Alan Lawhon

    Ok, let's link up the good stuff:

    Exceptional Andy Beal article by our own Dan M, from Poker Ati, about the Big Poker Game, between publicity shy Andy and The Corporation, headed up by Doyle Brunson and Chip Reese.
    Must read:

    POKER RISK: The Biggest Game Ever
    Millionaire math nut Andy Beal has $ 40 million that says he can beat the best poker players in the world. So why don't they come to Dallas and play him?

    Not long ago, Beal let it be known that he would play just one final round, which was supposed to take place in Dallas this past September. It would be Beal versus a consortium of pros, “the Corporation,” led by Doyle Brunson, the Godfather of the game. The buy-in: $40 million. But Brunson and his team balked, and, in an open letter published in a poker magazine, Beal basically called them chickens. Brunson fired back with his own open letter, saying that Beal was offering up a bum deal. For now, the game is off. So it remains unclear whether Beal has already played his final hand of serious poker—the kind in which the money at stake really matters.

    WPT poker pro, Richard Brodie, has a new Lion Tales up, entitled, Outfoxed: The 2004 Foxwoods WPT Event

    Per the Binion murder trail, I found this interesting old column from American Mafia.com about a possible clue in Teddy's murder.
    Inside Vegas

    Poker Lizard continues interviewing players, this time it's Dutch Boyd. He's still moving forward with another poker website. In a peas and carrots move, they also posted an interview with Josh Arieh.

    Whoa, Mark Cuban stole one of Hank's theories here. I swear to God, we spent some time discussing these very issues in da bar:
    Gambling Hedge Fund

    A sports or blackjack or poker bet doesn’t have value beyond that game or hand. In that respect it’s just like the hundreds of millions, if not billions ,of options that are traded, but never converted, on stocks, commodities and other assets around the world every day.

    I finally made it through all my beloved poker blogs and found this great snippet from Toby over at The Nut Heart Flush. I hope she doesn't mind if I repost this, because I thought it was kinda cool. There's a haiku in there somewhere.

    I was recently reminded of that silly tool, Googlism, and I thought this was a good opportunity to see what else poker is like on the Internet. These are my favorites. I made a rule that they had to be presented in the order that they appeared on the site. It's sort of like a found poem. Enjoy.

    Poker is our horse

    poker is the cutting
    poker is lotteries
    poker is like church
    poker is win big money
    poker is an all
    poker is fun when you're in pain
    poker is a game of people
    poker is not war
    poker is a pimp
    poker is available in neighboring mississippi
    poker is one of the most popular casino games for one solid reason
    poker is a simple game infinite in its complexities

    poker is merciless
    poker is life
    poker is the name of the game
    poker is the devil
    poker is forever
    poker is easy

    poker is a hand with something like 9 of hearts
    poker is the internet full of it
    poker is designed and played
    poker is the payout table
    poker is a registered legal business located in san josé the capital city of costa rica
    poker is a microcosm of all we admire and disdain about capitalism and democracy
    poker is a language all its own

    Someone posted the Most Popular Personal Poker Websites on RGP, based on Alexa, methinks. Anyway, here they all are for your surfing pleasure.

    1. www.philhellmuth.com 166370 Phil Hellmuth
    2. www.fullcontactpoker.com 190135 Daniel Negreanu
    3. www.doylesroom.com 210727 Doyle Brunson
    4. www.annieduke.com 221195 Annie Duke
    5. www.howardlederer.com 262540 Howard Lederer
    6. www.philgordonpoker.com 437166 Phil Gordon
    7. www.chrisferguson.com 442812 Chris Fergsuon
    8. www.evybabee.com 549176 Evelyn Ng
    9. www.improving.org/paulp/ 729747 Paul Phillips
    10. www.andybloch.com 836823 Andy Bloch
    11. www.ericklindgren.com 874264 Erick Lindgren
    12. www.gushansen.com 3156391 Gus Hansen
    13. www.jenniferharman.com 3800000 Jennifer Harman
    14. www.barrygreenstein.com 4514042 Barry Greenstein
    15. www.johnnychan.com 4650000 Johnny Chan
    16. www.hoytcorkins.com 4850000 Hoyt Corkins
    17. www.josharieh.com 4850000 Josh Arieh
    18. www.mikesexton.com 5150000 Mike Sexton
    19. www.mikecaro.com 5350000 Mike Caro
    20. www.philivey.com 5432862 Phil Ivey
    21. www.cloniegowan.com 5700000 Clonie Gowan
    22. www.bobciaffone.com 5800000 Bob Ciaffone
    23. www.roycooke.com 6188000 Roy Cooke

    Did anyone else see that Dan Harrington is coming out with a poker book? No shocker here, I suppose.

    Harrington on Hold 'em, Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments

    $29.95 Retail.
    Pre-release discounted to $23.95

    Scheduled shipping date 12/10, possibly earlier.

    Ebay/Paypal/Neteller store:

    USA and International orders accepted

    Amazon Store:
    (USA sales only at Amazon store)

    From the back cover:
    Poker has taken America by storm. But it's not just any form of poker
    that has people across the country so excited - it's No-Limit Hold-em -
    the main event game. And now - thanks to televised tournaments - tens of
    thousands of new players are eager to claim their share of poker glory.

    Harrington on Hold-em takes you to the part of the game the cameras
    ignore - the tactics required to get through the hundreds and sometimes
    thousands of hands you must win to make it to the final table.
    Harrington's sophisticated and time-tested winning strategies, focusing
    on what it takes to survive the early and middle stages of a No-Limit
    Hold-Em tournament, are appearing here for the first time in print.
    These are techniques that top players use again and again to get to make
    it to final tables around the globe.

    Now, learn from one of the world-s most successful No-Limit Hold-em
    players how to vary your style, optimize your betting patterns, analyze
    hands, respond to a re-raise, play to win the most money possible, react
    when a bad card hits and much, much more.

    Dan Harrington won the gold bracelet and the World Champion title at the
    $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold-em Championship at the 1995 World Series of
    Poker. And he was the only player to make it to the final table in 2003
    (field of 839) and 2004 (field of 2576) - considered by cognoscenti to
    be the greatest accomplishment in WSOP history. In Harrington on
    Hold-em, Harrington and 2-time World Backgammon Champion Bill Robertie
    have written the definitive book on No-Limit Hold-em for players who
    want to win - and win big.

    Ok, I'll admit to enjoying the latest poker column from ESPN and Jay Lovinger, if only because of the nasty things said about TV poker players. Go read Beating the Best is Great Fun.

    Looks like the dimwits using WinHoldEm woke up to a bad day last week.

    Also, some folks at 2+2 were looking to band together to attack the Bad Beat Jackpot tables at Party Poker. Long thread here: Poker Jackpot.

    anyone wanna make a serious shot at the partypoker jackpot?

    With the jackpot as high as it is, I think its worth a shot.

    Are there enough people here interested, that we could take over all ten seats at a 2/4 table. Play jackpot only hands, and check them down to the river. Anyone game to give this a shot? Split the totaljackpot out evenly across all ten seats regardless of who wins

    PM me or post here and if there is interest well see if we can get something going. Hell if there were enough people we could keep the table manned 24/7 until it gets hit.

    CNN just put up another "Kids are Gambling, Oh No!" article about poker:
    Poker's popularity rises with teens

    He's just one of the many young people who have become avid players of Texas Hold 'Em and other poker games -- a trend sparked, in part, by TV shows that feature tournaments for celebrities and professional poker players. But gambling opponents wonder if some teens, and the adults who let them play, are taking it too far.

    "It's fun. It's exciting. It's glamorized on TV and in the media in a way that other addictions are not," says Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling. "There's the impression that through skill you can beat the odds. But randomness is always going to have a bigger factor in determining the outcome than your skill.

    "And unfortunately, that's not the message these kids get."

    Continuing with the negative waves, Dr. Mark Burtman has an unhappy story about a degenerate gambler and his sad demise:
    Casualty of the Game

    Saw this press release:
    PartyPoker Joins Poker Tour International for the Costa Rica Classic.

    Bob Ciaffone writes The Time is Ripe

    Victor Hugo said, “An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.” We poker players have received the wrong end of the stick for a long time, as far as the law is concerned. If we play in a private game, we worry about getting raided, robbed, or stiffed. Public cardrooms have multiplied, but there still are not nearly enough to meet the demand. Internet poker is treated the same way as Internet casinos, despite the fact that they are fundamentally different. Our national and state laws do not reflect the feelings of most 21st-century Americans. We need to alter the law and make it reflect the will of the populace. Our time has come.

    Here was a little commentary that I found somewhat interesting.

    Subject: Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth, and Cognitive Dissonance
    Author: Johnny Hughes

    Cognitive dissonance is a psychological concept that is useful in poker.
    In the decision making process we weigh varied options in our mind. Call,
    Bet, Raise, Fold. After the decision we have dissonance, mental discomfort
    about whether or not we made the right decision. If we ponder calling that
    last bet awhile and fold, we have cognitive dissonance and want to know
    whether or not we made the right decision.

    That is one strong reason never to show your hand ever unless you have to
    or unless you have decided to use a shown known bluff as a psychological
    ploy. The "nice" player who says,"Look, I had the flush" is removing the
    dissonance for his opponent and showing everyone else at the table the way
    he plays. He is also showing them a form of weakness.

    An old saying around the Lone Star State is, "A monkey shows his ass and a
    sucker shows his hand."

    Cognitive dissonance is the reason we hear this outrageous chorus of bad
    beat stories. These are an attempt to remove the dissonance. I made a
    decision (play) and my decision failed. Tell me I made the right decision.
    Remove the dissonance.

    Cognitive dissonance leads to rationalization and self-deception. We all
    know folks who make a series of bad plays (decisions) but rationalize and
    convince themselves they are the victims of bad luck over and over.

    Cognitive dissonance is also called Buyer's remorse in that once we buy a
    car, the decision is made and it is a done deal, then we seek reasons we
    made the correct decision. It is after the decision, the car buyer focuses
    on and brags about the correctness of the decision.

    Cognitive dissonance is the reason you can't get to sleep when you lose a
    series of big pots.

    When it was down to Annie Duke and Phil Hellmuth to see which would be
    the winner of the one winner take all $2 million dollar prize of the World
    Poker Championship, there was a lot of conversation, psychological
    warfare, and mutual attempts to tilt each other. Annie won this contest
    and the $2 million. Mr. Hellmuth would get up and talk to himself out
    loud for the cameras about his doubt, second guessing, and cognitive

    On one hand, Annie flopped the top two pair, Kings and Nines, and Hellmuth
    flopped Nines. When the pot had a little body to it, she made a big bet
    and he made a long troubled mumbling fold. She showed him the Nine! He
    jumped up from the table and debated out loud what it meant. She coyly
    said, "What do I know? I thought the Nine was good."

    She played on the doubt of the self-proclaimed World's Best Player. Annie
    Duke said just the right things to trigger doubt. Hellmuth was muttering
    about hands long after they were over. In the heads up head game, she
    outplayed him. Annie Duke is brilliant and walked away from a Ph.D. in Psychology at the last moment. Women are known to be supportive and good listeners. She listened and supported his doubt.

    Johnny Hughes, Ph.D


    >I found your information on Cognitive Dissonance to be very informative
    >and entertaining

    It might have been, but it was wrong.

    Cognitive dissonance is about a disconnect between belief and information, not about second guessing decisions.

    Gary Carson

    Here was an interesting response to a comment by an author, talking about The Big Game.

    Re: Phil Ivey article - CardPlayer

    > Anyone read the Phil Ivey article in the Nov 19th Card Player?
    > I have a couple of questions:
    > He plays regularly in the Bellagio "big game" ($4K-$8K?) with Brunson,
    > Chan, Greenstein, etc. Anyone familiar with what goes on in that game?
    > Is it pretty much the big names in poker? Do they get the occasional
    > whale who wants to try to mix it up with the greats? Any other comments
    > on this game would be interesting.
    > Also, Phil talks about starting out and playing at the $75/$150 game and
    > then playing the $400/$800 game whenever he could win enough at
    > $75/$150.
    > It seems to me that even $75/$150 would be a pretty rich game for a
    > young kid - he allows as to how he was sneaking in at age 17 or 18. But
    > there is no background on what he did to earn his money or if he is a
    > rich kid who had the wherewithall to start big. Anyone know that story?
    > Thanks,
    > JP in Minnesota

    JP, I have a book coming out in June that provides some informatino on
    some of your questions. I don't know a great deal about Ivey - he didn't
    want to do an interview - but I know quite about a bit about the game.

    It goes on "irregularly," usually at Bellagio, usually during tournaments.

    Caveats: (1) Bobby Baldwin, President of Bellagio plays in the game but
    doesn't play in his own room, so they move the game. They played it at the
    Golden Nugget during last year's WSOP (convenient to the Series and Eric
    Drache had just helped GN open its poker room) or sometimes in Sam's
    Town's poker room (the owner is partners with MGM Mirage in the Borgata in
    AC). (2) It's usually tournament time because that brings everybody to the
    same place. Some players in the game aren't usually in Vegas, but they are
    wherever the tournament circuit goes. They'll get together, probably
    during the Five Diamond and then in late January in Tunica. (The poker
    players are close friends with Jack Binion and turned out for his
    tournament even before the WPT became such a cash-grab. Last year, a group
    of them flew out in a private jet together.)

    The main players in this game - which is open to the public, so you can
    sit down if you've got the buy-in - are Doyle Brunson, Chip Reese, Chau
    Giang, Phil Ivey, Barry Greenstein, Bobby Baldwin, and Lyle Berman. Other
    big names occasionally show up if they are running especially well or if
    they think the game is good and they sell a piece of their action.

    It's almost always a mix game, 10 hands apiece of agreed-upon forms of
    poker. (E.g., hold 'em, Omaha-8, stud, 2-to-7, razz, stud-8).

    Here are two goofy things about the game. (By goofy, I mean something you
    would expect from a bunch of friends tossing dollar chips around but not
    guys with a half-million apiece in front of them. And this is probably
    evidence that they are there for the fun of it, rather than the money.)

    1. They are heavily occupied with a bizarre set of proposition bets based
    on the fall of the cards, like what color the next card will be, or
    whether the board will all be the same suit. Four- and five-figure bets,
    sometimes for amounts larger than the stakes of the game.

    2. When they're waiting for someone to show up or have just a few minutes
    before a tournament, they kill time playing (for the same gigantic sums)
    Chinese Poker, a game with about as much skill as War or Crazy Eights. But
    they are addicted to it.

    I haven't yet watched the show Poker Updates but here was the fallout after some folks did:

    Subject: 'Industry Spokesman' opinions on legality of online gambling

    I watched this episode of Poker Updates and was a bit dismayed by what the
    'industry spokespeople' pitched as their arguments for online poker
    legality. Watch the video first here:

    Mike Caro based his whole argument upon the internet being some type of
    'transportation to another country'. He claimed that since we're free to
    travel to other countries and follow their laws while there, we should be
    able to use the internet to 'travel' to other countries to play on their
    licensed gaming sites. This is a pretty poor argument to make a stand on
    -- I'd certainly hope we can do better than this, or I'm going to have to
    get a job or move out of the country. First, the internet isn't close to
    a mode of transportation, and it certainly wouldn't be held as such in a
    court of law. Second... Caro is just waiting to be nailed with the
    question, 'So, the US now has a law against travelling to other countries
    for purposes of paying for sex with minors, even though it may be legal in
    those countries. Do you oppose that law too?' Great, set us online poker
    players up to be lumped in with pedophiles, just what we need.

    It's possible that Annie Duke's segment only looked as bad as it did
    because of editing, but it sure looked bad. Annie was comparing outlawing
    online gambing with... outlawing bars (drinking alcohol) ??? Apples and
    oranges Annie! Then she gave her reason... that there's nobody making
    their living from drinking, but plenty of people making their living from
    online poker, so look at what poker's doing for the economy, it's way
    better than drinking! Wow is that way off base! In fact, online poker is
    HORRIBLE for the US economy. If the online poker sites took no rake, they
    would still be a zero sum game. Nothing is produced. Our GDP is not
    increased. There are no extra goods to be consumed by others as a result
    of it. Professional poker players are leeches of society, producing
    nothing tangible. Losing players work jobs, earning cash in exchange.
    Some portion of their income is lost to professional players instead of
    the wage earner spending it on goods and services. The professional poker
    player then spends it... on goods and services. Hmm. No extra goods,
    services, or capital produced there! If pro poker players had real jobs,
    they would create more goods and services and be paid in exchange,
    spending that ADDITIONAL money. You could easily argue our economy would
    be better off with online poker made illegal.
    Oh, did I mention that the online poker sites DO take a rake and that the
    money goes OFFSHORE? Heh.

    In the second Duke segment they show, she makes some argument about all
    the tax revenue that could be generated, so I wonder if maybe the editing
    didn't make her arguments look worse than they are. I think it's a matter
    of degrees of bad, though.

    At least Nolan Dalla came through with arguments about personal freedoms,
    etc. Nobody touched on the fact that gambling is legal in some form
    across much of the country already, and that restricting online gambling
    smells like the results of lobbying from those who currently control the
    US gambling revenue and don't want to have to share it.

    Overall, the piece is quite depressing... I hope that somewhere out there,
    the online poker industry has a better group of 'spokespeople' making
    better aruguments for the legality of online poker. If not, I don't see
    how it can remain legal much longer.


    I think that you are being a little hard on them. These guys weren't in
    front of a Senate commitee. They were being interviewed for a tv show
    and probably didn't have a full argument prepared.

    I think that Mike Caro spoke from the heart and he truly believes that
    Internet poker is a right. I agree with him.

    Annie wasn't comparing drinking to playing poker as an argument for the
    legality of online gaming. She was attacking the administration and
    asking why they chose gambling to go after when more people are harming
    themselves with booze. I'm sure that Annie is not anti-drinking
    herself, she was just using it as an example.

    Nolan sounded like he has been wanting to get this off his chest for a
    while and I'm glad that he had the chance. He was strong in his beliefs
    and his advice for the rest of the poker community was sound. I admire
    him for putting into words what so many people may have been having a
    herd time doing.

    Mike Sexton gave a bold statement in the end. I admire him for that too.

    I was happy to see the show touch on the subject. I think it took guts
    for the show and for the people that spoke on it. Hopefully this will
    lead to more exposure and coverage of the topic and that in turn will
    lead to more experts giving their expert arguments on the matter.

    Ah hell, that will have to suffice for tonight. The new blogs shall have to wait. I'm dying to hit the tables so again, my humble apologies for the sloppy post. Thanks for reading & I'll try and make up for it next time.

    Because this is the only damn semi-worthy thing GrannyMae has ever posted on 2+2, allow me to leave you with part 2 of his WPT Trip Report. It ain't Sgt. Rock but will have to suffice for now:

    GrannyMae's WPT trip report part 2. "My sexuality"


    continuing diary from day one. i want to pick up where i left off leaving the pokerroom after destroying that 1-2nl game. next report i will get into the actual tapings and some very funny stuff that happened and why they REALLY don't think it is humorous to touch the $1.5 mil in cash as it comes out.

    tuesday 6pm-ish.

    i decided to stop into the room where the 27 were still playing. i knew it was close to dinner break so i had to move fast. i considered calling for one of them ambulance/golf cart things to whisk me from the pokerroom to the banquet room that the 27 were playing in, but i found out there was a nathan's hotdog stand on the way, so i roughed out the 1/4 mile hike.

    nathan's hotdog stand.
    i'm in line and the smell of sizzling meat has me in this euphoric haze. adding to the delight is the big menu in front of me that shows that footlongs are only $3.50. in a place that charges 51cents for one of them machines that mash a penny flat, $3.50 for a nathan's footlong seems like quite a good bargain. i have 612 wampum points and am fairly confident that i will not be able to eat 178 hotdogs and therefore will still have wampum points when my binge is over.

    as i get closer to the front, i can see that they are re-hydrating the little onions and are changing the grease in the fryolator. MAN-O-MAN, it just don't get any better than this. i suddenly felt myself being lifted from my body and having this surreal spiritual experience. i look up and i see jesus. YES, i saw jesus!! making a beeline past nathan's, obviously on his way to the place that serves lettuce sandwiches, is chris ferguson. he is hatless. this strikes me as odd, but it gives him more of the messiah look so i can live with it. as he walks by, i lean over the faux-velvet rope and say very casually
    "hey chris, how ya doing?"

    how ya doing? that's the best i could do when a world champ walks by? jeez, that was lame.

    he stops, looks at me, looks at the internet-poker size body of mine, glances at the hotdogs rolling on that thing that makes them all black and crispy, then nods an affirmative greeting that basically says;
    "thanks for recognizing me, but it is apprent you will be dead from arterial blockage within 10 minutes and i need to find some lettuce quick or i am going to evaporate into even more of a screcrow if i hang here too long. not only that but you sort of frighten me"

    with that shout out of love, he is gone.

    next thing i know, my hotdog line mate (gladys, according to her name badge from seniorbustours.com) taps me on the shoulder to bring me out of my near-death euphoria and hands me a Foxwoods wetnap. she says 'here honey, your hands are filthy. i clipped a whole bucket of these at the coin counter. wipe up a bit'

    by the time the wetnap was opened and unfolded (are these things getting smaller or are my fleshy palms getting larger?) i was to the front of the line. knowing it was early, i showed some restraint and ordered only 2 footlongs. i proceeded to the condiment bar and was aghast to see that the sauerkraut was not in a warming dish. WTF?? cold sauerkraut for my nathan's dog?? sheesh, the sacrifices we have to make. gladys confirmed my disgust over the cold pickled cabbage and informed me that if i put it in my purse for a bit it will raise to room temp. i scoop a tong-ful into my makeup zippered compartment to be enjoyed later as a snack in my room, but decide to go with mustard only. it is gulden's, and that makes me smile. things are looking up. i scarf the dogs in 6 total bites and am on my way to the WPT room.

    as i approach, i see the doors swing open. i had gotten there just as they were breaking for dinner. as the doors swung open, one of the first faces i saw was lyle berman. i was anxious to say hello and made a beeline for him.

    as my girth propelled toward him, i had to put the brakes on because a demure and attractive woman had stepped into my path. it was annie duke. she looks great. i can't beleive she has kids. i bet she has almost as many stretch marks as granny when she is naked. i'm about to ask if that is true, but decided that it was a bit too early to have my access badge seized and be banned from the events.

    i say "hi annie! lorinda told me to say hello!" she instantly remembers lorinda and gets a big smile and says 'say hello back for me'. she starts to walk away. hmmm. could it be the hotdog breath? (btw, Lorinda will be the Tournament Director for our soon to be launched Internet Series of Poker (ISOP), but more on that later)

    i say 'nice to meet you, i am GrannyMae'. she snaps her head around toward me and says "REALLY??" (oh cool. she knows me and is a big fan. glad i got my sharpie cuz she is gonna ask for my autograph!!)

    instead, she hollers "WHAT THE HELL IS THIS ABOUT MY BROTHER OWING YOU $1,000.00 ?? I SAW THAT POST AT RGP AND I CALLED HIM UP AND ASKED HIM AND HE SAYS HE DON'T REMEMBER OWING YOU NOTHING!!" (i think she spit on me a bit but i kinda like that)

    i casually explained that it was a joke. i had seen a post at rgp a few years ago after howard won a big tourney and thought it would be funny to post "hey howard, now that you got some dough how about paying back that dime you owe me?"

    apparently bro and sis are not genetically programmed for granny humor, only poker. after i explained it was a joke, she smiled (or hissed. i'm still not sure). as i was walking away to go see lyle i looked back and annie was flipping open her cell phone and dialing. i think i heard something like "HEY BUBS! i found Granny. you don't owe her squat"

    hmmmm. i think i better watch my humor at rgp. seems like this has been a mystery to them since the thread. i can't help but wonder how a world class/world champ nicknamed the 'professor' has not figured out in all this time that my post was a joke. oh well, glad i did not ask my next question i had in mind for annie. i was gonna ask if her and bubs 'squeezed' phil h. in the TOC then chopped the $2million. it seems that this humor would not play well at this point so i again headed toward lyle.

    whether he saw me coming, or whether he really felt the need at that point for wind-sprint will forever be unanswered. all i know is that he bolted for a back door that led to the casino back areas. thank god for my pass, i'm gonna follow him.

    as i bounded across the room, i almost fell face first after tripping on a bunch of wires. as i was getting my balance, i looked up and was blinded by a bright white light.. ahhh, such a warm light. it must be time to meet my maker! i'm drifting toward the light feeling all fuzzy and still tasting the footlongs when i hear a loud voice yell CUT! CUT!

    oops. in my chasing of lyle i had stumbled DIRECTLY BETWEEN the cameras & lights and shana hiatt. she was taping a promo and granny's fat ass walked right into the camera shot. OYE.

    2 guys grab walkie talkies and talk to a third guy with a microphone who bellows into the room.
    "PEOPLE, PEOPLE. we ask that you *immediately* clear the banquet room during the dinner break!! thanks for your cooperation!"

    jeez, no need to yell! i hear ya! big fuking deal that shana has to start from scratch!

    one has to see shana 1 foot away in 3d to realize her amazing beauty.

    i immediately realize i am a lesbian.

    coming soon, part 3. the "peek over the urinal wall" trip report. how do your favorite pros REALLY measure up?

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