Sunday, January 09, 2005

"The most accomplished people have been drinkers. Hemingway was a great literary drunk, and I think a lot of teetotalers would trade their lives for his in a second. Alcohol is the great socializer. Can you imagine a world without it? Well, I guess you can — it's called the Middle East."
Frank Kelly Rich
Editor, Modern Drunkard Magazine

Well hell, where to begin? Shall I leap into a rant on the gestalt of poker blogs or just rip right into the Best of Poker Content on the web? Hell, I've even got new poker blogs to pimp...

So here we are yet again.
Destroying Workplace productivity. One Post at a Time.
Brought to you by Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker, damnit.

Felicia had mentioned to me that she was looking at doing a Best of 2004 awards thingy on her blog. She kindly told me that she would award me the Best Long Posts award as well as the Least Personal Information Given award, which is pretty cool. Lord knows I am the founder of the Uber Post. And I loathe writing about myself, simply because I feel my readers will find such narcissism boring.

But for those of you who have wished I wasn't so damn anonymous, here's some wacky news: I was sent a litany of questions by a fellow poker site, which I'll hopefully be answering soon. I honestly don't know why anyone would care what the hell I think, but since this curious webmaster obviously put some time and effort into the questions, I'll navel-gaze and answer them the best I can. Stay tuned.

The games on Party are treating me well except for that damn Party Poker Million tourney. Go congratulate the Poker Chronicles for winning his way on the boat. I'm trying to talk him into joining us one evening on the blogger NL tables. I'm used to being called a donkey at da tables.

Speaking of which, I'm extremely diligent about not playing upper limit poker when drinking. And these blogger tables are a perfect way to relax at the end of the day, have some fun and watch the witty banter and crazy plays.

I thought I'd quote the SpaceMan on cutting his NL teeth on the blogger tables:


I love playing these tables. On a weekend night you might see as many as twenty-five to thirty bloggers drop in if you hang around long enough, and up to fifteen or twenty during the week. Many times I will sit down with one blogger and within minutes there are five others on the list waiting to get into the game, with none of the already-seated players having a clue what madness comes their way. Only at these tables do you have a legitimate chance of seeing the Antichrist suck out on the Hammer. You get to see fun tricks-with-numbers betting, with certain players leading everyone to believe they have the Hammer when they're really holding TT.

You get to see fish go on tilt after being bluffed out of pots, only to walk right into monster hands the next chance they get. And the chat - it's the funniest stuff you'll ever read while playing online poker. There are some really sharp-witted folks out there in our little community. But best of all, raises gain respect around the table. Tell me any other Party Poker table where that's going to happen! The play is much smarter and non-recklessly aggressive (on the whole) than you will find at any other $25 NL table on Party, but if you can hang through consistent preflop raises the possibility of catching some real monsters and stacking up quickly is very real.

Long live the blogger tables!

I think I have a stalker, BTW. Someone from Cincinnati created an account name of I HATE BLOGS and attempted to sit with us last evening. I only wish he was as witty as his screen name. He asked me out for drinks but I begged off after discovering his picture...

Party Poker Rocks!

One quick note about my recent online poker play. I read a post recently that blasted Pacific Poker's software, which is 100% accurate. But here's my little secret....I sneak off and play their 15.30 and 10.20 games more often than I'd care to admit. Why? Couple of reasons: the awful software and the fact that you CAN'T multi-table. I think these two factors keep the sharks away in the higher limit games and that's a profitable thing. Most serious players wouldn't play at Pacific for those reasons alone. I think the tables at Pacific are as passive as Party is aggressive. Sure, Party gets 95% of my action, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to the soft games at Pacific.

But damn, their software is the worst.

It's also got me re-thinking my overall tendencies towards table selection. Here's a repost of my drivel.

It's true that poker fulfills many psychological facets for people, not just one. For me, I love to watch my bankroll grow, sure, and that's a major motivation, but I think primarily poker has fascinated me because I am an ENTP personality type and love to learn. I can't help it, that's just the way I'm wired. Poker fully engages my brain - the more I learn, the more I question.

You are never done improving at this game. Someone said once that if you're not getting better, you're getting worse - there's no standing still. Stasis = death.

It's so damn challenging.
And fun.

TJ Cloutier, "You get your money in when you've got the best of it. That's all you can do."

Amen, Sir.

I was asked to wax poetic about loose, aggressive games, my favorite, and the norm these days. Let's face it, loose games like today, didn't exist four years ago. Or even 18 months ago. And instead of whining when things changed, I adjusted and learned how to beat these games, too. Anyone can do it. It's not like you're playing a table full of Phil Ivey's.

But first, allow me to state some emails from a few of my readers, who just started playing at Party Poker. I love hearing this stuff.

Here's some incredible numbers from a player who bought in for $50 and ran it up to a grand, rather quickly, only playing 1.2. Consider that Fuzz did the same thing in 50.1, it only took him longer.

Here's the email:


If anyone would find this interesting, I thought it
might be you.

I had a rough early-week, but I bounced back today and
finally (!) turned the $50 Party bonus into $1,000.
Here are the stats:

Initial bankroll: $50
Current: $1,019.93
Total Hands: 11,238
$1/$2 (6-max) - 4,948
$1/$2 - 6,290
BB/100 Hands: 4.48
$1/$2 (6-max) - 3.91
$1/$2 - 4.93
Win/hand: $0.09
Total hours: 166.90
BB/hour: 3.02
Total rake: $550.75
Total opponents: 2,190

I'll probably spend the next few days in PokerTracker
disecting everything. Small pairs and AXs were costing
me dearly, but I think I started to fill those leaks
pretty well a few weeks ago (and even climbed back
into positive territory).

I guess it's time to start considering my move up to
$2/$4, but I hate to give up the 6-max games. My
BB/100 rate was lower, but I got more hands logged and
it was easier to tag fish (who seemed to reappear day
after day).
$6/hour is nothing to brag about, but I didn't get
paid anything per hour for sitting on my ass, chucking
grenades at hookers in Vice City or watching reruns of

Party rocks.


This next one is interesting, too. I have a buddy who has played in my home game for the last year. He has never, ever, broke even in this game. He has lost every time. My home game, despite the massive amount of liquor being consumed, is a fairly tough game. It's certainly tougher than Party, that's for sure.

But being a fellow ENTP, he started asking for literature and began studying the game. He fired up a play account, and gained experience through sheer repetition. And he started consistently winning. He grew tired of me beating on the drum about Party Poker (& screaming about Bonus Code IGGY) and finally bought in for $50 this past weekend.

His first session?


Level .50/$1
Minutes 88
Won $58.50
Hands BB/Hr. 76
VP$IP 22.37
ASF 55.70


For the unitiated non PokerTracker users out there, that's almost an average of six players seeing the flop, every damn hand. They call that FRESH FISH, where I come from.

I think he's hooked now. Sure, that's not a normal session for an hour and a half of 50.1, but it's really not that hard, if you take the time to study and wait out the swings. Taking a shot at beating the 50.1 games on Party Poker is a no-brainer.

For the record, he posted Abdul's starting hand chart to his monitor.

I am loathe to even blog about this, despite the fact I love to share knowledge and help, if I can. I rarely post hand histories or bad beat stories in this blog. It's not what it's about. I'm trying to pass along experience. Sure, I play for fun, I wouldn't bother if it wasn't fun, but the questions I sometimes get from new players, "What do you do in this certain situation?" isn't the right question. There is NO correct answer for that. What you should be asking is, "What should you *consider* doing in this situation."

The answer to nearly every poker question is always: 'it depends.'

There are some foolish new players who don't care for loose games. They prefer tight ones, because they think it's more predictable or correct or sane. IMHO, that's bs. They should state the truth, which is, they don't care for the larger swings. And that's fine, but just tell it like it is.

But the fact remains, loose games are the most profitable, and ones you should learn to beat. When it's six-handed to the flop every hand, that is a game RIPE for the plucking. To say otherwise is to contradict the Fundamental Theorem of Poker which states:

Every time you play a hand differently from the way you would have played it, if you could see all your opponents' cards, they gain; and every time you play your hand the same way you would have played it if you could see their cards, they lose. Conversely, every time opponents play their hands differently from the way they would have if they could see all your cards, you gain; and every time they play their hands the same way they would have played if they could see all your cards, you lose.

It's all about variance. You will have higher variance in these loose games and that's why it's important to play within your means. Make sure you can play with full impunity. You cannot play with scared money and win, least of all on a loose table. You can expect to have a fair number of losing sessions, sometimes big losses. In the loose/aggressive game, your win rate will be higher than a tight one but you must weather the swings and not allow your play to change. Here's a typical example: you play for awhile, get some big hands cracked, etc etc and you'll be down a fair amount. Then you drag a monster pot when your flush gets there, against a smaller flush that doesn't get the idea that his flush is beaten until he puts in a bunch of raises, and against a straight that can't figure out his hand is no good when 3 flush cards are on the board, and all of the sudden you've won back your losses, and booked a decent win for the session. It sounds like a paradox, but you are more likely to book a win in a saner game with mediocre, weak players than you are in a crazy game against maniacal idiots, but the times you DO win in the maniac game, your wins will be huge.

I'm always preaching about table selection. Game selection. That's a big reason why I believe anyone wanting to win money should be playing at Party Poker. They flat out have the most games, by a wide margin. And the most fish, by proxy. Do the math.

OK, I'm gonna start the poker linkage, cause all this talk about Party is driving me to play.

From the I'm Shaking My Head Department, here is an eBay auction by Russ Boyd, selling off 50% of his action in the European Poker Tour. Only $1,825. I'm shocked, nay SHOCKED, that nobody has bid yet. Go read Russ's ad with nary a mention of PokerSpot.
Mentions of the Crew: 1.
Stake Poker Player Dutch Boyd (WSOP, ESPN, WPT)

And if you're *really* in the mood to piss away your money, go get involved at Stake a Pro.

Here's an article from FoxSports interviewing Phillies starter, Cory Lidle, about his love for poker: Cory the card shark

Here's an interesting interview with poker good-guy, Barry Greenstein, on Poker Lizard. A snippet of interest to me:

Barry: It is the first advanced poker book ever written. I think it will help everyone, although the advanced poker ideas may go over the heads of beginners. I don’t have a beginner’s section. I assume the reader knows how to play poker at a reasonable level. If he doesn’t, he can skip the poker and read the psychology and philosophy. The books holds its own as a novel about high stakes poker.

Here's a scientific article from National Geographic that might be interesting to poker players. There has been some recent research on how the human brain recognizes
fear in the faces of others - interesting reading here.
Revealed: How We Detect Fear in Others' Eyes

Saw an attempt at creating a poker widows site. Bleh.

On the other side of the coin, the latest episode of Poker Updates is now streaming online at Poker Updates. They discuss the Bellagio's Five Diamond World Poker Classic and chat with Daniel Negreanu. Also, they've added Patty Steele and Mike Caro to the show's regular lineup.

I also heard a rumour that Daniel has a new book coming out. Count me in.

An NPR Business audio segment: Shufflemaster Rides Upward Trend

IGN Sports has a column posted called:
The Great Poker Debate
We love ESPN too, but can a card game really be a sport?

Saw this announcement from Business Week:
MBA Poker Championships

More than 300 MBAs from about 25 schools will let the chips fall where they may at the second annual Susquehanna MBA Poker Championship at Binion's Horseshoe in Las Vegas from Jan. 14 to 16. Including the 10% prize pool, the event should raise more than $15,000 for the Alzheimer's Assn., says co-organizer Stephen Bradford Jones, a second-year student at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Jones, whose school was the big winner at the championships last year, had the idea for this event the summer before he arrived on Chicago's campus. "I, like a lot of people, had gotten into the whole poker craze because it's fun, intellectually stimulating, and involves a lot of psychology," he says.

The championship has grown significantly in size from one year to the next, thanks at least in part to word of mouth over the Internet. The discussion about holding a championship in Vegas got started on the BusinessWeek Online Forums and then headed to a Yahoo! group. From there, the plans started coming together for the first championship, which was held in January, 2004.

This year, Jones and co-organizer Andrew Favorov of Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business garnered corporate sponsorships and encouraged more students, faculty, and alumni to join in the fun. The weekend has turned into a social and networking event and has even attracted recruiters. Some students last year reported snagging interviews while sitting at the card table.

Here's a poker tale from RGP stalwart, Patti Beadles, in a poker storytelling contest.

Subject: Contest: Tell Me a Story

A story from BARGE a few years ago:

It's the 4-8 must drink HORSE game, and it's somewhere around five
in the morning. We've all been drinking heavily, of course, since
the rules of the table require it. OK, and because we're all a
bunch of degenerate lushes.

A noted poker author is seated on my left-- I won't mention his
name, but it rhymes with Stolen Walla. Mr. Walla and I go way back,
matching each other drink-for-drink for several hours. We're also
old friends.

I can't remember if the game is holdem or omaha-- I think omaha, but
the hand would make more sense if it was holdem. In any case, it
was a flop game, and I may only think it was omaha because I was
seeing double at that point.

On the turn we're heads-up, and I decide I'm going to make a play at
Stolen with my total crap hand, so I check raise him. He calls, and
I bet the river to follow through with the bluff. Stolen looks at
me and says, "show me a big pair and I'll fold."

I swear that what comes next was the alcohol talking, not me. I
turn to him, lean over, and grab the neck of my already low-cut
shirt, and flash him the biggest (and only) pair I have at the

He was true to his word-- after he picked himself up off the floor,
his cards hit the muck.


You heard it on ESPN first, predicted for May, 2005:

"Bored with poker, America turns to a new passion -- Yahtzee.
When broadcasts of the World Series of Yahtzee are a surprise hit, a rash of celebrity Yahtzee shows follows. Soon, ESPN Original Entertainment announces "Rollers," a new dramatic series about the gritty underside of life on the Pro Yahtzee Tour."

I actually read a few entertaining rants about the show, Tilt, but I can't seem to find them now, damnit.

But here's an ESPN media column about the show:
ESPN's new series starts out confusing, but the show has potential

Any North Carolina readers interested in legal poker in their state? Here's an anti-poker column from the op-ed page of the Winston-Salem Journal.

And I quote:

A few legal table games of poker won't mean the end of the world. But legal poker games in Cherokee will constitute one more diminution of the quality of life in North Carolina. It will give the poker and gambling culture a boost in the state and make it all the more popular.

I haven't posted a picture of Anna's rump in awhile. Time to recitfy that:

Taking a page from the Russ Boyd school of marketing, here's another goofball auctioning himself on eBay. Stake in Professional Poker Player

I am seeking a backer in my professional poker playing career. Over the past year I have been at the final table in 7 major tournament with winning over $30,000. I am looking for someone to purchase a stake in my career for at least one year and negotiable after that. In exchange for the cash up front you will be entitled to 50% of my earning, which will be mailed to you in a personal or cashier check each month and a year end bonus.

The bidding is wide-open, boys and girls....

Here's a weird little RGP exchange. Someone pointed out Daniel Negreaneu's new CardPlayer post about Asian Poker Players. Apparently, Gary Carson has stopped taking his meds as he launched into this screed.

I thought the article was confused, and elitist.

He seems to think he comes from a multi-cultural society, superior to the
US melting pot culture, and talks about how asian gamblers don't get the
respect they deserve, and attributes it to american racism rather than a
fundemental clash between the way Asian and Amercian cultures value

But, he's real fuzzy about it because he doesn't seem to understand the
difference between multi-cultural and melting pot cultures.

The tradition in the US is to view ourselves as a melting pot of cultures,
where many cultures are blended into one, with a single cultural result
that retains the best flavors of all. That was easy to do in the US
because most of the cultures we considered part of the mix were Eastern
European. The English, Irish, German, Scandanavian, and Polish were the
primary mix of the early culture. Natives, Aisians, Africans were
marginaized and not part of the melting pot. There was a blending of
French, Italian, Spanish, and Arabs along the Gulf Coast. Different parts
of the ocuntry had dominant cultures that too decades to disperse, some,
like the Gernams in the Texas Hill Country only gave up their language
because of threats of violence in WWI.

Canada was different. The original cultures where French and English,
predomitantly English. Their sense of self importannce and superior
culture didn't allow any blending. The French remained a seperate culture
simply because the English didn't want them. So rather than a melting
pot, Canada started out as a multi-culturaral society.

Later, when a wider range of cultures came to both Canada and the US,
there was less clash in Canada because they didn't want people to
assimulate, their model kept cultures seperate. The US tried to force
assimulation, but the melting pot was essentually western european, so
there was resistant.

In the US multiculturalism has become a pet leftist cultural model. All
cultures are equal, except that a multicultural society is more equal,
it's considered superior by leftists.

So, the multiculturiasm he saw in Canada isn't any less racist than in the
US melting pot. In fact, Canada started down the road of multiculturism
because they were probably more racist. The English in Canada wouldn't
even accept other Europeans.

Danny talks about how on Canadain TV you see such a wide range of specific
cultures represented among TV newscasters for example. He can identify
each one.

What Danny doesn't get, is that in the melting pot culture of the US a
third generation Greek probably isn't easity disernable from a 3rd
generation Italian except possibibly by surname. And, it's harder to
guess that someone with a surname of Carson has a mother who was born,
raised, and educated in Germany.

It's not nearly as clear to me as it seems to be to Danny that a melting
pot culture is more racist than a multi-cultural one is. In this country
seperate but equal is considered by law a bad thing.

When he gets to the Asians he seems to want to avoid pointing out the main
cultural difference between asians and americans. In American culture,
gambling is considered a bad thing. You can look right here on rgp, even
gamblers want to try to convince everyone that it's not really gambling,
it's a skill game.

Asian cultures embrace gambling. Luck is a good thing. Being lucky is a
positive, valued personal attribute. In the US, having money because
you're lucky is somehow less valued than having money because you worked
hard and developed a skill.

That's a major clash in values, and easily explains why american
broadcasters shy away from asian gamblers, even without language barriars.

It's not that one culture is better, it's just that they are different and
have value systems that just don't translate. You'd think that a self
described multi-culturist would understand that.

The sentence I found really funny was

"But it has always bothered me when soft-spoken, well-mannered poker
players aren’t recognized for their ability and are pushed to the back,
while the loud and boorish take center stage."


Mr. Carson sure has an irrational dislike of Danny.

Well fuck, while I'm quoting cranky old nutjobs, why not go the Full Monty and post something from Crazy Russ Georgiev, the poker cheat? I'm breaking my only blogging rule here:

Subject: GCA PokerMafia,

When I came back to Gardena in 1976, I came with more knowledge than ever before. I had been playing all over the West coast. I came back to my old stomping grounds, Gardena. I went back to the Rainbow-Monterey Clubs where I had done most of my playing previously, but there were more cheats than ever before. Not much had changed. However 5 years had passed. Due to the fact that so many cheats were in the other card rooms, I went over to the Horseshoe. I was in for a treat.

My old friend from my early days in Gardena [1968], was now the swing-shift manager. He was also a major threat to the 'card mechanics' and the old cheats. He didn't like most of them. He and I went back to the times when our girl friends were best friends. When I first arrived in 1968 he was a floorman. We had many good times in the previous years. We were very good friends. He was now a major manager. He was a good friend. Things were now different. The main manager worked during the day. But the swing shift was the prize jewel. I had as much influence with my old friend as anyone could. Soon I was working the "big games" in the Horseshoe. I had my own team. However, we were few in numbers. More than one big game would start and their was plenty of money to go around. Two casinos were the benefactors when the city allowed the limits to go up.

The Horseshoe and the Eldorado had the biggest games. Neither card room is around today. The other mega card rooms took their places. However, from around 1976 to around 1982 they dominated the "big action" in LA. After I was in the Horseshoe, I received a call from some of the other cheats from the Rainbow-Monterey card rooms. They wanted to move over to the Horseshoe and wanted to know if we could do business. I agreed to the arrangement. I made schedules up as our pack was enlarged to about 10 members. This made it better for everyone involved. We could always have control of the big game and couldn't be challenged because of our numbers. We then became an even larger team because of all the drug use in those days. We also played the COMMUNITY BANKROLL. We started scamming together and needed a new set of "signals." The old one's were known by all the cheats.

Prior to the beginning of this, most of the guys had played with a bet saving approach. We now played as a single unit with a new set of card signals. I had developed the "elevation signals" for lowball almost 10 years earlier. We adapted these signals. The old signals were just basic finger positioning signals known by all cheats. These new signals were unknown to any but the new "cheating pack" that was formed. We also had the use of the old "verbal signals" that went like this. King was kind. Queen was quiet. Jack was justice. Ten was time. Nine was nice. Eight was easy. Seven was lucky. Six was should. Five was fine or find. Four was funny. Three was through. Two was loose. And ace was Automatic or automotive. Anything auto. With these combinations of verbal and card positioning signals, we could do many things to cheat in poker games.

Back in this time, California games were dealt by the people who played in them. It changed in the early 80's when dealers came into the games. However, this did not stop scamming or marked cards. As long as you have management on the payroll you can do anything you liked. Having a "large cheating pack" enabled us to have control of the "big game" at the Horseshoe card room in Gardena. We started playing on the "swing and graveyard" shifts. The "graveyard shift" was always bought by the cheats in all card rooms. However, because of my friendship with my old buddy, I also had control of the swing shift. When he first accepted money, he would only take it from me. I was the buffer. Everyday we would pay everyone associated with us. We paid the boardman [the person who put the names on the board]. We always gave security a few chips. The porters and the lower level employees as well. The floormen and managers could count on getting about $200-$500 a day extra. With occasional $1,000's. Chip girls were toked as they presented a way to transfer money back and forth without anyone being the wiser. Everyone involved at least doubled their income. Most made 3
to 5 times as much by working with the cheats. It was a "changing of the guard."

The older cheats lost power when the casino's raised the limits. The older cheats lost power when management shifted from retiring employees. Gardena had been around since the 30's and the people that had come into play when it opened were now old and gone. The newer crews were taking over as things were being handed down. Evolution. When we started scamming we would sit in a position with a live person between us. We would always try to be four deep if the game was full. When it became shorter, seniority would sometimes rule, on who stayed. Also the ability of the cheat was the main prerequisite. When we started a full game, or entered a full game, we would try to get the odd or the even seats. We would use old scamming tactics like "gypsying" in from the front [just calling instead of raising]. This would enable a back member of the "cheating pack" to raise.

People would think they could get into the pot for just a single bet or unit when in the blinds. However, this was the way we trapped people for large amounts of bets. People were getting butchered to an extent not seen before in Gardena. It would only get worse. After a while we had so much power and people were making so much money that we were in charge of everything. Any person that was needed was bought if we could. The others were fired or laid off because of the management we had. You played ball with us or you didn't play. It didn't matter. Soon we all became "jr. card mechanics." Soon it didn't matter if we were caught cheating on tape. In fact we were caught on tape. That tape mysteriously disappeared. We had everyone in our pocket. The "good card mechanics" were usually bad players and unable to keep up to the signals. To excel in this occupation you needed to be alert. Playing well was the number one prerequisite. It was easy to learn how to cheat well enough as all jr.
mechanics. Everyone learned how to "play the slug." This maneuver had us sitting four cheats or even five cheats in a row. If you hit the deck [meaning if you were to draw a card] you would never win a hand. When the deal would come to the first cheat in the row, nothing was done. However, after this the slaughter came for the next 3 or 4 hands. All the cheats practiced how to cut 13 cards. It doesn't take much practice to cut 12 or 13 or 14 cards on a consistent basis. It is like cutting chips. Take a deck yourself and try it. See how long it takes for you to consistently cut from 12-14 cards. Not very long. Even 15 or 16 could do the trick if you made a mistake.

After the deal reached the first cheat, the cards would be arranged by one of the cheats. The cards arranged would be the cards in his hand. Say he had a king,jack,9,5,2. They would be arranged in this order. In case the cards were cut in the exact order then anyone hitting the deck couldn't win. In order to communicate with the cards coming off, some b.s. rhetoric would be stated such as "it's the kind of justice we need. It would be nice if we could find a loose player". In the sentences that were just stated, a "scammer would know" the cards coming off the deck would be "King" because of kind. Jack because justice was mentioned, 9 because the word nice was added with find for a 5 and loose for a 2. Thus a cheaters or cheaters would know all the cards coming out in order. If you try you will see that all it takes is a couple of phrases to tell the cheats what the cards coming off the deck are.

Say you stated "it was a quiet time, easy to get lucky with a funny card." You would be stating the top card was a "queen" the next was a "ten" then "8""7" and "4." Check the "VERBAL CODE".This was accomplished by the person who is dealing, placing the five cards on top of the deck. He fails to shuffle the top five and then the cards are cut. Trying to cut only 13 cards. The cards are placed together but not directly together. When you deal the cards out, you deal eight hands of 5 cards each. If the cut was perfect then you will know because you didn't place the cards directly together. If the cut was one or two off you still know what is coming. You thus adjusted. You let the "cheating pack" know by the verbal signals. The best way of doing this is by going through the rhetoric. A procedure is also required that enables the "cheating pack" to know if the players in the back can make a hand with any of these cards. Say one of the "pack" in the back needs a 4. You would just sign other members of the pack into the hand. It wouldn't matter what they had. You know
that the person can make a 6 or 5 low by having the "pack" play.

A simple hand gesture such as a flat hand on the table will bring a member into the pot. All this is done just in case a "live one" is standing pat. Usually when the "cheats" put a hand on top of the deck they try to place a hand like a K 10,6,3,2. With a couple of big ones on top and 3 wheel or "6" cards below them. This enables the cheats to make a hand every time. All one would need is a "2 card draw." Bringing members of the pack into a hand to enable another member to get the card or cards he needs is a simple maneuver. To an observer it would look like a "wild game." It would look like you couldn't lose. However, nothing was further from the truth. You couldn't win. To get to the cards that are needed all you do is have someone in front of the "cheat," like another cheat. There is a verbal code for taking cards off the deck. To point to a player, would mean you wouldn't say a word. Thus no words would mean no cards. "Cards" would mean take one card. "How many," would mean take 2 cards
and then the extremes such as "how many cards" meaning 3 or "do you want cards" meaning 4. All of this is part of elaborate scamming from the old days. It didn't matter if you had a hand. It was having the pack member make a hand. If they hit the deck in first position, they could never win. In fact we would always draw two cards in order to win a bet after the draw. Besides all this, there were many other things done that were very easy to do.

Double burning, no burning. Capping the deck.[placing a card on top of the deck by palming it]. No one had to be a card mechanic. All they had to be able to do is a few simple moves. It was never ending in a scam. I doubt that people ever won a pot on 37 1/2% of the deals. That is if it was four deep. This didn't even count other things that were very simple maneuvers. This was all done in the player dealt games in California since my time began. Whenever the "heat" came down [meaning complaints from players] scamming went back to normal. Without the Jr. Mechanics. Marked cards were not used much in Southern California. It was a waste of time. We weren't that subtle since we didn't have to be. In Northern California it was a different thing, however. The games up north were single limit games or even No limit. Straight $100 limit or higher many times.[straight bet means one limit, hence a different style] I played in a straight $600 limit lowball game twice n Northern California in the late
seventies. Marked cards were used in that game on a constant basis. I was doubling some of the people off. It was around 25 years ago. The no limit games also contained marked cards. White flash was used extensively in the seventies in the No limit lowball games. Played them also in Northern Cal. on occasion. Basically when you ventured into a "big game" where it wasn't your "turf" you were in trouble, unless you were invited or had permission from someone with the "cheating pack" in control. It is like I have stated before. Cheaters considered games personal property.

Just by the dialogue that "scammers use". Russ's game. It means I considered this my property, or my turf. I roamed Gardena for years. I was as heavily involved as you could be back in the 60's,70's, 80's. Those games of everyone dealing are history. This is the truth about those games. I was there and am still around. Cheats were intertwined from various areas at times. It always looked good for a stranger to win all the money. Especially when the stranger was involved with the "cheating pack". This was the way it was in California with the player dealt games. I will be getting into evolution soon.

Russ Georgiev

I'm sad for me. Perhaps someday I'll post a retrospective on crazy GCA Russ ala the Russ Boyd one. But frankly, he's not worth the time.

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


Pros & Name Players At Ultimate Bet

dill pickle Mike Matosow
psykokwak is Bruno Fitoussi
Erik123 Erik Sagstrom
atl-angela Josh Arieh
formerly devastator now spirit rock = prahlad friedman
Annie Duke - AnnieDuke
Phil Hellmuth - PhilHellmuth
Devilfish/David Ulliot
LayneFlack Layne Flack
joe buttons - Phil Ivey
Tallphil - Phil Gordon
empty chair - Eric Sidel
scottynguyen - Scotty Nguyen
Ticker Erik Lindren Swede -
Peasant - Juha Helpi
bizingo is ben affleck
tiltboy Rafe Furst
Krullis Daniel Larsson 2nd aruba UB won 300K 2003
wetspot Harley Hall
Zhuge Liang John Juana


Ditto for Poker Stars, only from 2+2:


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


Did anyone see Johnny Fucking Chan's impending new book? Go check it out at Play Poker Like Johnny Chan. It's pretty cool, he's got a good amount of content online.

Here's some trend news per poker: The Yahoo Buzz Index had this to say about poker searches:

Flush With Searches

Searches on America's favorite new game haven't flopped yet. Poker was up 11% over the past week, and holiday gifts of poker chips and poker tables proved just the incentive to rustle up some search action. Men go all-in with two-thirds of poker queries, but it's not just a man's world -- women 35-54 draw 14% of searches. And the metro meccas of poker searches are far from the bright lights of Vegas. Indianapolis leads the way followed closely by Detroit and Cleveland, all cities where home games must be heating up the icy winter.

When it comes to buzz, we're never caught with the short stack. We invite you to pull up a chair, ante up, and browse our top poker searches over the past week.

* Poker Chips
* Poker Rules
* Poker Tables
* Poker Hands
* World Series of Poker
* Clay Poker Chips
* World Poker Tour
* How To Play Poker
* Texas Hold 'Em Poker
* Poker Chip Tricks

Almost forgot that the Review-Journal posted pictures of the two fellers who tried to rob 2004 WSOP Champion, Greg Raymer, at the Bellagio. Go check these two fucktards out.
Suspects identified in robbery attempt

I spent some time this weekend digging through Simon Trumper's online journal over at UK Betting Poker.

I love these tangential, Guinness-fueled extravaganzas. Here's a wonderful picture that pretty much shows how I feel at the end of an uber-post.

Thanks to anyone who read this far. I'll be getting to the new poker blogs next.
For now, I'm gonna leave you with two worthy snippets.

Sklansky on ten "smartest" poker players

From 2+2 forums:

"This list is rating 'ability to think', not mathematical ability."

1. William Chen
2. Mark Weitzman
3. Howard Lederer
4. Jim Geary
5. Chris Ferguson
6. Ed Miller
7. Tom Weideman
8. Jimmy Warren
9. Barry Greenstein
10. Paul Phillips

I certainly don't know enough to agree or disagree with any of this, but I really expected Greenstein to be higher. Oh, and just so nobody gets too shocked at his modesty, he intentionally left himself and MM off the rankings.

Octo said:
I love that Sklansky actually makes lists like this. It's almost adorable.
He's like a 10th grader stuck in 50+ year-old's body.

And here's a poker morality tale to wrap things up:


This is supposed to be a true story. A friend of mine that had been around some of the "road gamblers" from Texas told it to me. I know I don't have all the facts straight and will not name names, but here goes.

A big time bookie and poker player from Texas was being driven down the strip in Las Vegas in his limosine with some of his friends. He was looking out the window when he saw a well known Texas poker player with a less than sterling reputation as far as paying off markers, bets, etc. The player was just lumbering along the sidewalk, head held low, hands in his pockets and had the sole of one his shoes just flopping when he walked. It was obvious to the bookie that the poker player was totally tapped out.

The bookie tells his driver to pull over and wait for the player to catch up. As the player came along side of the limo the bookie called him over and asked him what was going on. The player gave the bookie a run down of all his bad luck, even commenting about how he didn't even have enough money to get his flopping shoe fixed.

The bookie, ever a generous man to all, but not a man that would forgive or forget a past trangression against him, pulled out of his pocket a bankroll that would choke a horse. The bookie then told the man that the least he could do was to help him enough to at least get his shoe fixed. It was then that he pulled the rubberband holding his bankroll together off, handed it to the poker player told him "fix your shoe with this", rolled up the window and drove off.

Addendum: Hank, at Cards Speak, updated. Go read now.

Link of the Day: Chopping Down the Family Tree
Just when it looked like breeders had scored a decisive victory, there's a new place for the childfree to discuss crotchfruit and the spermdonors and moos who love them.

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