Tuesday, March 22, 2005
My advice to aspiring poker pros is to change aspirations. Poker seems much more glamorous than it actually is, and for every player who is living the dream, there are dozens who aren't. If you're smart enough to succeed at this game, you're smart enough to succeed in the real world, with much greater satisfaction. If you don't want to work for "the man", then start your own company and put your efforts into that.
I think poker is a great hobby but a very poor choice of profession. I'm concerned that the current poker craze is going to leave us with legions who eventually discover that poker isn't all it's cracked up to be, but who have also rendered themselves largely unemployable.
I'm back with a genuine, tasty, Guinness-fueled uber post.
Let's stress that Guinness-fueled part again.
Actually it's just a load of random poker crap, but I'll assume some of you would prefer reading this crap to actually working. And that's what I'm here for.
And I do it all for free, gentle reader. All I ask is that SOMEONE out there sign up with Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker. For the love of God, I don't have ONE fucking signup this month. Cmon folks, someone help out a hard working blogger here. Purty Please? For the love of everything decent, if you aren't playing on Party Poker, you are riding the poker short bus. Try Bonus Code IGGY and thank me later.
And don't forget about the Poker Tracker Guide for only $20. We've been getting some nice reviews (a big thank you to anyone who did so), and suffice to say, you're missing out if you don't consider yourself an expert PT user. Quit procrastinating and buy the damn thing now. Access to Hank's big brain typically costs FAR more.
So anyway, in true Guinness-fueled fashion, I'm gonna ramble about playing poker professionally for a bit. I've been rolling this issue around in my mind for
weeks months now. Writing long rants that I inevitably delete after the catharsis passes. I know I shouldn't even blog it because I can't explain it properly. It always comes out wrong.
Yes, I did the unthinkable and quit my job about five months ago. Playing poker has been an incredible experience, one I wouldn't change. But I wouldn't ever recommend it, either. I've loved the freedom. I've loved the challenge and the stretching of my poker game. And the hard-earned money.
Mostly, I've loved wearing sweat pants every day.
Is playing poker a dream job?
It's always seemed like a slice of ambrosia....but for me now, it's become unfulfilling. I've gotten bored. Playing poker full-time isn't much of a purposeful life. It's a bitter pill to swallow, trust me. And this after my best month yet, due to the vast amount of table time I put in.
This is prolly heresy to my readers. I know it is for friends and ex-colleagues who are living vicariously through me. I mean, I'm still winning and enjoying the game. I'm not losing and bitter. I'm gonna keep playing until I find something worthy of giving up my freedom and lack of hygiene.
I never thought I'd say this, but even a life of 24/7 Guinness and Poker can get old after awhile.
I feel so damn blasphemous.
But there is a behemothic gap in playing online poker professionally versus the folks who jet-set around the globe, playing exclusively big buyin tournaments. One could be considered glamorous, while the other seems like missing the point.
Richard "Quiet Lion" Brodie is doing it the right way.
Otis is rocking the free world with his gig, too.
Huggy told me, "I never questioned you winning and paying your bills with poker, but I did question how you would handle the isolation."
I wish I could get drunk with David Ross and bullshit about this. You never get to hear much about the downsides of making a living playing poker, much less from winning players.
I was chatting about this subject with fellow veteran blogger, BadBlood, and he offered me this wise assessment:
some humans are feedback junkies. they want INSTANT feedback on the decisions they make, and poker gives them that. real life doesn't. we all make lifestyle decisions each day, but sometimes, the feedback on those decisions doesn't come until years later. some people can't live with that kind of time delay.
Playing poker full-time is a complicated beast. There are many shades of grey running thru all the different issues involved. And my issues are likely different than yours.
Many friends think I'm looking a gifthorse in the mouth. Whining, even. But that's not it - I still love to play, think and read about poker and consider myself lucky to do so. I guess that's part of it for me - I always wondered if I truly could beat the Game and make a living. I was pretty sure I could.
And I have, for a short while. So now what? And so what?
And so I keep going back to Paul's quote above. I think he's right.
But winning back to back $100 SNG's this afternoon isn't exactly making my decision any easier. But let's just say I'm sending out some feelers and may trade in my sweats for Dockers sometime soon. We'll see - most of this has came about because of an intriguing potential job offer. But for now, I'm still thumping the tables.
I'm done rambling about this. My humble apologies.
Instead, let's ramble about some of the poker goodness I've discovered.
End navel-gazing mode.
First off - is anyone out there keeping up with the insanity that is Russ Boyd's blog? Geezus - I actually pity the guy now and his story about killing an innocent kitten made my stomach turn. I can't tell if his blog is tall tales or if he's slowly falling apart. Hell, mebbe it's Karma. But anyway, I saw this post about Dutch that I kinda empathized with.
My attitude towards Boyd has gone from utter disrespect when I learned about his cavalier attitude during the PokerSpot fiasco when I read it in the archives to plain disgust when he'd post in his blog asking his Dutchettes to praise him on RGP to pity when I read about his bi-polar (my-----------------
mother suffered from this) to what can be labeled concern for others when I read about the poor kitten. My sick sense of humor caused me to post a dark joke about it (nice to know Kilgore Trout and I share same sense of humor). But I'm seriously beginning to believe Boyd is narcissistic at best to downright sociopathic at worst.
I gave his description some thought after my original post and I can't imagine any scenario where even the most rambunctious curious kitten would somehow accidently fall/jump into a tub of hot water and not spring outta there like a bat outta hell.
I tend to give others the benefit of the doubt more often than not. Just like one has to earn a sense of trust, one also has to earn any cynicsm they get from me. Boyd's earned it.
Another thoughtful reader offered this advice:
In future -- How to tilt "Dutch" when staring him down for a big bet:-------------
This is a telling excerpt from Jeff Schulman's interview w/ Daniel Negreanu regarding "The Crew"...
Jeff: There are lots of young up-and-coming players in poker. ESPN really popularized "The Crew" this year. If I remember correctly, you had a------------
little crew that no one really talks about anymore.
Daniel: I thought it was funny. I saw "The Crew" on TV saying that they were going to take over the poker world. And I said, you know what? Before you guys decide you want to take over the poker world, you better check with my crew. When I grew up in my 20s, it was me, John Juanda, Phil Ivey, and Allen Cunningham. I thought, before you all want to take over the poker world, you might want to check with us first.
If only I had comments, we could play the Caption Game, damnit:
Moving along, here's a crazy freaking poker article entitled:
America's Greatest Online Poker Player
The sometimes unbelievable but always profitable childhood of 17 year old Jordan Berkowitz.
Something tells me that kid is doomed.
Howard once again sums things up with this nugget:
Things that last forever-------------
An ex Mother-in-Law's health
Credit card bills
An annoying boss
This losing streak I'm on.
I enjoyed the response to this question about "cheating online poker software".
Hey, was just playing a SNG and someone spammed a thing to go to http://www.spyatpoker.com/ and see what cards your opponents play. Caught my eye because... well... i don't want people to see my cards! Anyone ever heard of it? Is just a thing like pokertracker or is it actual spyware where they can see your cards as you play? Just wondering... never heard of it before.-----------
I know a little bit about this program. A guy I went to high school with went to M.I.T. and created it along with a couple of the guys he met there. You ever heard of the M.I.T. blackjack team? These guys are much smarter. I'm not sure how much, because once people get that smart you really can't measure their smartness. At least that's what the smart people say, and who's to argue with them?
Anyway, the program (according to my high school buddy) works something like the thing they use on Star Trek to show pictures of stuff that's really far away. You ever notice how they can just be orbiting some planet and Spock will say, "Captain, there is a disturbance in one of the cities." and Kirk will say, "Uhuru, put it on the screen." and it just shows up on the screen like it was right there in front of them? I mean, how big of a lens do you need on your EOS Rebel to see that far?
The way it works is the program uses something called Reflective Emissions Technology And Radio Dynamics (R E T A R D) to view the cards on the other player's PC. It has a special locating program that can find the exact physical location of another player's PC just from their username. That program is called the Myopic Origin Retreival Of Name program (M O R O N).
The one important thing to remember, of course, is that the other player's monitor must be turned on in order for this program to be able to show you his cards. If you really want to protect yourself from people with this, you'll have to play with your monitor turned off. Another option is to get a 'cloaking' device - a helper program that can block the ultraviolet waves that R E T A R D and M O R O N need to see your cards. That program is called the Dynamic Ultraviolet Masking, Blocking, And Subsonic Sentry program (D U M B A S S).
Good luck, and let's be careful out there.
I'm pissed off because I can't find this damn credit card - many emails and phone calls invested. Any help, anyone?
Ace of Spades Credit Card?-----------
>>My roomate and I were shopping for groceries the other day, and to our disbelief we >>say a lady pay with a CC that looked just like an Ace of Spades. I kicked myself >>later for not asking her where she got it. Can anyone help?
Capital One makes it. It's a platinum mastercard. The phone number on the back is 800.955.7070
It's a great card and I love it. I'm just hoping they still have them. I got mine a couple of years ago and it expires in July. If they ship me another one with some other graphic I'm going to freak.
I will say that it gets A LOT of attention. I haven't noticed it a lot lately but when I first got it every single person would comment. EVERYONE. Sometimes it's cool, sometimes not. It sucks when you're in a hurry and the cashier just has to show it to every other single person who works there. Plus you get the loaded questions, "so you're a gambler"? "Um, yeah, I sure am". On the other hand, I've gotten into a
couple of relatively interesting poker conversations because of it.
The best thing about the card is that I've never seen or heard of anyone else having one. Now that I know someone else has one I'm upset.
I thought I was a beautiful and unique snowflake.
I want to be a snowflake, too.
Here's a recent post from a fellow who went the poker pro route only to return to work. His take:
From Poker to the Real World -- Almost a Year Later-----------
It is funny going back and reading my old posts.
Here was my initial one:
Quick background -- Got an MBA from a Top 20 school, had a job for a
year at an Internet company (made and lost large $$$ in options),
company folded and then I ended up playing poker.
I made on average $3,000 a month at poker over a period of two years.
Probably in the top 5% of all players. I had one bad month (lost $5k)
and realized this was not the life for me. I guess hypothetically I
could have moved up in bankroll and made more money, but for some reason
we get to a certain level and feel comfortable.
I looked for a job for about 6 months. Very difficult explaining a
two-year gap on the resume. I made up some stuff about consulting. But
it was pretty obvious I hadn't work. Nothing scares a potential
employer more than someone who hasn't worked in a long-time.
Somehow, this agency got me an interview that I nailed (I can bluff
well). Job paid $85k (not as much after taxes, but significantly more
than I made at poker). Job requirements (not stated) included waking up
early in the morning, shaving, dressing sharply, and staying minimumly
from 9-6. Ouch. What a difference from poker and waking up late and
doing whatever I wanted some days.
At first, the day dragged forever. Eventually, I got used to it (and
addicted to the direct deposit).
Lo and behold, the company announced they are closing my division. They
give me 6 weeks severance and said to hit the road (actually, they let
me keep working an additional month and let me look for a new job).
I don't know if the economy has improved that much, but lo and behold I
have had 6 interviews and gotten 4 offers. One was for over $100k, but
it was for an Internet company and I wasn't interested in going back
there. But I did accept an offer at a cool entertainment company making
more than I do now.
And I still do play poker. Not as much. But I have managed to pull
down an average of $1,500 a month over the last year. And I have more
fun playing. It was serious business before and it became an absolute
I just didn't see myself having the opportunity to earn $250k+ playing
poker. Money isn't everything of course, but I live in Southern
California and it is not cheap.
I just don't want to rely on poker for my living for the next 30 years.
Health benefits and 401k's aren't offered at Pokerstars. That is
For those that can make it at poker, god bless. Far and few will make a
career out of it. Too much variance.
Best to all. I am a work-a-day sucker.
Me too, mebbe.
Just a reminder - here's my XML feed:
http://guinnessandpoker.blogspot.com/atom.xml for the RSS folks.
Here's a long post analyzing the current state of poker players. For the record, he got flamed hard.
Subject: Everyone wants to take your money in poker-----------
Was just reading the post about the guy who supposedly lost 7k playing poker and is now going to work at McDonalds. Well I would guess six dollars an hour is better than losing money on a daily basis lol.
Anyway, what I wanted to address was the section he called poker players scumbags, and this is not the first time I have heard this, in fact, someone once told me (professional) poker players are vampires.
I'm not going to try to justify poker players as far as their contributions to the world, maybe they do and maybe they don't. What I will say is that poker is a money game. In other games you might hustle someone. Like in basketball or chess setting up a game where you led your (quite foolish) amateur opponent to think your not very talented, and then taking his money when you win (in games that involve little to no luck leaving your sucker with virtually no chance).
Poker is something a bit different. You go to a casino, you log on a site its clear you're there to play for money. I'm not sure all players are like this, but I'm completely honest about how long I've been playing and that I consider myself a fairly decent cardplayer. (If someone asks), so there's no suckering there either.
Online, there are a few different varieties of cardplayer. The pros (less than 5% of players in my estimation), the regulars (fairly good cardplayers who have jobs, a few make a little money at their hobby, most probably lose a little over the year but probably not much worse than a pack a day cigarette habit), I would say these are about 20% of players.
Next would be occasional, "I play when there is money in my bank account and I feel like entertaining myself with poker" these guys might make up another twenty percent of the total, are rarely skilled, usually bust quickly, some return months later others dissapear. I would estimate another twenty percent are these type.
Then you have New Players, these guys have been watching the WSOP on TV, it looks pretty simple, they happen to be surfing in their computer, and whoop up comes Party Poker. I would estimate these to be 40% of players you see online. This is a somewhat sad group. They tend to have "begginners luck" which seems to exist for their first couple of days online. They tend to be very cocky when they are running well and they think they are God's gift to poker. They come in two main varities: bluffers and callers. (Some players bluff wildly in addition to calling every bet, they have a real short tenure.)
Rather than some mystical luck helping these players, a lot of their results I believe are a combination of the pros and the regulars adjusting to their play. Like I might lay down a strong hand against a new name I have never seen before. But when one of his bluffs goes to showdown, I have an idea I might want to consider calling him down. Or the guy who calls me to the river with king high when I was on a total bluff might win a huge pot from me once this way, but any regular or pro will quickly mark him, and he will then be punished for his calling ways.
Anyways, I believe these to be the largest group, and the pattern generally is they buy in, go up real fast, maybe even end the day up. Maybe they'll get on a run for a few days and get up some more. Usually not. Within a week or two they realize this poker thing is tough, and eventually they run through more money than they're comfortable with losing trying to get their "luck" to return. A small minority will improve or join another category I have yet to mention, the vast majority leave
poker altogether, or become one who plays rarely.
The next group is the "rich" here to have fun player. I put rich in quotation marks because its not so much the amount of money they have but the amount of money the have to lose in relation to the size game they play. These players often tend to play more on weekends. They might have only 20k in their bank account, and play the 50 NL games. They don't mind losing a few hundred one weekend having a little fun. (Whereas a real wealthy millionaire might not mind losing 10k at a 10/20 NL game). They are action people. These are not the compulsive gamblers but they play for the fun of it. Thus they want to be in hands and they want to be betting, raising, reraising and going all in. Some of these people even enjoy going all in preflop with nothing hand after hand, as if it was a play money game. They laugh when some "grinder" waits for Kings to call them, and the flop comes 223 making their 23 a full house and cracking the Kings. Most of these people have fun, and when they lose the amount they planned to (or a little more for some) they quit, not to be seen until another weekend weeks or months later. I would estimate these to be ten percent of players.
The last group would be the degenerate gamblers. Some of these players may have once belonged to any of the other categories but eventually fall into this one. I am sure some former "pros" who never truly had the skills end up this way. Another possibility is some of the college kids I mentioned earlier who see it on TV, decided to try it, lose money, remembering hearing from Rounders that its a "skill game" and really want to recoup their losses. Unfortunately many of them lack the skill and the self discipline to ever win for very long, and they gradually max out their credit cards, which they either blame on bad luck and fish "sucking out on them" or they justify that they are still learning and will eventually make all their money back and then some.
Another segment of this group would be the plain old fashioned "gambler" often a single guy in his thirities or forties (sometimes married). He may also have an alcohol or drug problem. Very depressed on life, he seeks to get satisfied by the moment of gambling. Poker is not his only game. Sportsbetting, the racetrack, craps and blackjack are also good ways of losing money. Since these people are accustomed to games where the house has the edge, they often take the same strategy towards poker that "any two cards can win" and they are the least likely of all groups to actually improve their game.
The last segment of the degenerates is the formerly rich gambler. He has hundreds of thousands, maybe more. The pros like him, show him courtesy (at least while at the table). He rarely starts out at a limit anywhere near being commiserate with his abilities. He thinks fifty dollars is not very much so a 50/100 game would be a good starting point for him. Some of these guys are very intelligent have made good money in the business world, and may even have a fairly sophisticated game.
Unfortunately for them, the cream rises to the top, and pros that could
make mincemeat out of lowlimit pros inhabit these levels. They lose
thousands and thousands, and those that cannot stop before they lose too
much may go too far. They have a lot of resources, so they're in the game
awhile, but at some point they mysteriously dissappear. I would say the
degenerates are numbered in about the same amount as pros, totalling five
percent or less of all online players.
As you can see these people are very different from each other, but they
do have some things in common. Just as when too men who sit down for a
chess match consider it a battle of the minds, so too a man who sits at a
poker table considers it a challenge of his cleverness and manhood
(bluffing and calling big bets), To sit in such a game, nearly every
player has a degree of ego. They think they are great at poker. Many think
they are better than the pros, but "who would want to waste their life at
poker" or they make 150k a year at their job. But a good deal of players
are convinced that if they so desired they too could make a healthy income
playing for a living. No matter what kind of bonehead play they make, if
it is brought to their attention, their ego tells them they are more
sophisticated than the player "whining" and they rationalize it.
If the recreational player is "up" it is because of skill. If they are
"down" it is because of bad luck.
Basically, any player that steps up to the table is challenging me and the
rest of the players. He is risking his buy in for either A or B. A) He is
more skilled and/or has more balls than me. or B) Knows that he is not the
greatest player in the world, but hopes to take some money off the pros
and the regulars by playing decent and getting lucky.
Don't feel bad for these people. They are there to try to take your money,
and possibly to prove they are more clever or have more balls than you.
They are more than happy to take your hard earned bankroll, so you should
have no guilt over taking their hard earned working wages.
The degenerates are a sad case, but these people are not going to be
helped by you leaving the tables. Even if poker were completely outlawed
most have very addictive personalities, and would find other forms of
gambling to satisfy their lusts.
Would the world be a better place without gambling of any kind? Possibly.
But for thousands of years there always has been gambling, and in all
likelihood considering human desire for a quick reward for little work,
there will continue to be. And as long as people gamble, there will be
hustlers and pro gamblers. It is like nature, wherever there is a
hospitable environment bacteria and animal life will inhabit it.
In an individual's lifetime, the social natural selection will shift
people around to ensure that the human race has what it needs. If a job is
very hard and undesirable but is a necessary, a wage will be offered to
fill it. For poker, may will be lured by the temptation of making easy
money, but few will succeed, and most who try will shift to other outlets.
To the few that succeed, they are doing what a good deal of the masses
envy and would dream of doing, that is playing a game for a living. If you
are successful, don't begrudge yourself your own success.
Per Poker and personality types:
I suspect that INTP and INTJ personalities as measured by the Myers-Briggs test are predisposed to playing winning poker. Could it be possible that the current population of poker champions is dominated by two specific personality types? My essay examines the idea and suggests more scientific research into the theory.
Why do you care? You care because if this theory is true, knowledge of the winning personality types will help you play winning poker. Great article by Dan Mezick.
Is There an Optimal Poker Personality Profile?
For example, my buddy GMoney is an emotional, Italian guy. He knows poker inside and out but still battles tilt and emotional control sometimes. I think there is high value in self knowledge. Rather than trying to change himself into something he's not (an ice cold grinder), he should use his emotional quotient to his advantage.
Here's some thoughts about David Sklansky's tournament poker book.
Sklansky bad advice------------
I think Sklansky did a disservice to many players, especially intermediate ones. Soooo many people (live and online) think going all-in preflop with AK is a good play, and many of them extend that all the way down to AQ AJ or AT. I just watched a guy reraise, get reraised all-in, and call with AJo against TT, and get knocked out of a $100 multi on party. I would have folded AJ to the original raise and not lost a chip, let alone getting knocked out.
IMHO, Sklansky has nothing to do with bad play, but TV has. Oliver backs me up here:
From: Oliver Tse (email@example.com)-------------
Sklansky has nothing to do with that style of play.
Blame that style of play on the influence of TV.
Many of today's players, who learned by only watching TV, WANT to be involved in race situations instead of doing everything they can to avoid them.
One player told me recently: "I will go all-in with K9 or higher regardless of whether I raise all-in, re-raise all-in, or call all-in before the flop, at any stage of a tournament, even on the first hand, regardless of the buy-in amount."
The "coin flip" mentality has made no limit hold'em tournaments into crapshoots, especially with professional "all in specialists" running amok in low buy-in and mid-level tournaments.
I have lost count the number of times a player re-raises me all-in with garbage such as A9 offsuit and spike an ace to send me packing while holding KK or QQ.
I have also lost count the number of times a player calls my all-in with KQ, KJ, KT, QJ, QT, or even Q9 with at least 50% of his stack and outdraws my medium pair or AK. Hey, if Layne Flack can do this on TV and get lucky, so can the wannabes.
I found this post kinda ironic. Hazardous occupation, indeed.
Soldier, Coal Miner, Test Pilot, Poker Player-------------
What do the above occupations all have in common? According to the fine folks at World Insurance Company, they are all hazardous occupations and are, as such, uninsurable. I was trying to get health insurance for my son and myself, and made the mistake of listing my occupation as "Poker Player".
I just found out tonight that they will cover my son, but not me, because of my "hazardous occupation". It's not for financial reasons, as they would've covered me if I had listed my occupation as "Unemployed". I'll let y'all know when I find an insurance company that will cover poker players.
I'm sticking this in here cause it cracks me up.
Hot Poker Action!
You know what cheers me up when I'm feeling bad?
Rolled up aces over kings.
Check-raising stupid tourists and taking huge pots off of them.
Stacks and towers of chips I can't even see over. Playing all-night high-limit Hold'em at the Taj, "where the sand turns to gold."
Let's play some cards!!!
Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker!
Oh man, I'm again going to break my ONLY rule that I had when I began this blog. Never post Crazy Russ - GCA. But I want to post this insane shit for the fun of it. But I'm still sad for myself.
Die hard cheats were Brunson, Chan and Slim. These guys had cheated basically ALL of their lives, as I have.------------
We stated Lederer had become involved with them around the 90's, thus putting Duke into a position were she had to have inside info on which games to play and which to stay away from. She also played in games with her brother and his partner, David Gray. Prior to my posting many people were not aware Howard and Annie were brother and sister, or that Howard and David Gray were partners. How would it look to you if you were playing 400-800 ina 5 handed game with Howard, Annie and David?
Howard Lederer is a 100% guranteed cheat. Quite a coincidence that most of the people we stated as belonging to the Las Vegas Cheating pack were among the invitees to the freeroll. The others were added as window dressing.
Duke is not a hard core cheat as all of the above, but she does condone it and does profit from it as she adds a different element to this group.
We discussed Thor Hansen, whom I know VERY WELL. Thor is a great friend of Eric Drache and a good player. He has a sharp mind, but has virtually no discipline and bets on anything and everything. We went into some detail on Thor as he has been known by GCA since he first came to the US. When we did the tapes, Thor wasn't given a definate yes or no. Three years later, he is a YES as he has now been brought into the mix at a different level.
Hellmuth was honest and continues to be. But prior to 2001, he thought he was cheated but didn't know for sure. He was in TERRIBLE financial shape until we, GCA came public with the Tapes. At that time he was arguing with Doyle and thinking he had been cheated. He was.
He has now had his position reversed, as he has been put into a position where he was paid off to keep quiet. He publicly asked me to send him a copy of the Tapes, which I did. The world then changed for Phil as all the endorsement and others doors opened where Phil could earn without playing, for if you think you could live off Phil's earnings in poker, you'd be sadly mistaken. He lost or was cheated in most high stakes cash games he was in. Huck Seed was another target, but he wasn't as fortunate as he wasn't around as long as Phil. Huck seed is basically through, unless a miracle happens.
Bad/ger is low level player without a clue. Was fortunate enough to get lucky and win a couple of tournaments and then prototed himself as someone who knows something, when he'd be hard pressed to beat a honest 10-20 cash game. Bad/ger now defends the cheats as it's in his best interests. In reality he hasn't a clue either way, but money is a great motivation.
Negreanu WAS honest and did at one time try. He sent me an email telling me he knew I was right and to continue what I was doing, but he didn't realize the power and ruthlessness these peolpe possess. They can MAKE or BREAK anyone they want in this business. They could in reality promote a MONKEY as being a world class player. They have done so already, even though they aren't simian.
Negreanu is now IN. He is STAKED and is a front man at worst, along with the promotion and condoning. He accused Men the Master of being a cheat, but as you see, nothing was done even though many others corroborated this. You don't see Mike Caro around in this poker boom do you? He was the one who started this as these people are concerned and is thus being punished.
The Poker Mafia controls everything in this business and at the top of this heap are Doyle and Chip along with Jack Binion.
Many don't know this, but Lyle Berman and Larry Flynt were given settllements from a couple of crooked games about twenty years ago in the Golden Nugget, which Eric Drache ran. They each received close to or 7 figures. Another received a far lesser sum. So Lyle Berman does know these guys are cheats, so you figure the rest out. The Golden Nugget card room was mysteriously closed down. Another coincidence? The same management from those years are stil in the cards rooms, giving the Vegas Poker Mafia family all the power for more than 20 years now.
Brunson, Slim and Chan are life long cheats. Lederer became a cheat about the 90's. Duke is his sister, so you can figure this out. Hansen is involved.
Negereanu is now in with the cheats in many ways.
Hellmuth is honest as far as playing, but as he has been given positions in the promotion of poker, he now dances to the beat of the Poker Mafia's music.
Bad/ger is an idiot and really doesn't deserve any time spent on him. No one in their right mind would cheat with this guy as he hasn't the mentality to think quickly enough. Badger is honest, but supports the cleanliness of the most corrupt business in the world, because of the $$$$$.
Good God, my humble apologies. As they say across the Pond, "He's a nutter."
I read this silly post and figured, what the hell. If I'm posting whackjobs like Russ Gorgiev and his sockpuppets, I may as well post this cocktail. It would certainly explain the awful state of RGP these days....
rgp and god-------------
Spend a day with God
First start off with 6 grams of Cocaine up the nose in less than 30 seconds. Once your body starts to shake and you teeth begin to grind down to nothing move to step 2.
Mix .5 grams of lysergic acid diethylamide, 1 gram of phencyclidine, two psilocybin mushrooms, 1.5 grams of mescaline, .003 grams of dimethyltryptamine (for flavor), .05 grams of alpha-methyltryptamine into a tall glass of vodka. Drink it all down quickly. Now log onto RGP and start reading. Once the devil appears on the screen start posting. When you can no longer see the keyboard move to step 3.
Mix 3 grams of Rohypnol with 4 grams of Gamma hydroxybutyrate take with
orange juice and head directly to bed. When you wake up if you do wake up
you will have seen God!
Here's a list of all contributions to the "One-Liner That Shuts Table Coaches Up" thread.
# For those who don't know, you can turn individuals' chat off by right clicking on their name and selecting 'Disable Chat'.--------------
# Hey pansy, STFU! People are here to have a good time, not to take lessons to come back and beat you with.
# You lose your money your way, we'll lose our money our way.
# Its our money, we'll play our way. Play anyway you want with your money!
# You play with your money how you want, and I'll play with YOUR money how I want.
# Just let us know next time you hold a good hand so we can fold and not suckout on you.
# Shut up... I am counting your chips and it's hard to do with all that talking.
# Party should have tables for pros only!
# Well, it is only play money, its all just for fun anyways.
# Hey, I'm a big sucker. If I stay here, will you promise not to give any lessons? I just want to have some fun...
# Hey, if you think he's playing badly, why would you want him to play better?
# Hey, we are here to have some fun, if you want serious poker and expert play try $15/$30.
# Why do you want the people you're playing against to play better?
# If you want better players, go to the $15/$30, otherwise, stop whining.
# And you want him to play better?
# You'd rather everyone be worldclass players?
# If you can't even beat him when he plays bad, why would you want him to play good?
# Keep talking, maybe he'll play better for you next time.
# Don't be such a crybaby. We're trying to have fun.
# Take your bad beats like a man!
# Please be quiet.
# Dude....take a Xanex. It's supposed to be fun.
# Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
# Don't tap the glass.
# Don't bang on the side of the boat.
# Please dont poison the pond.
# Ok, class dismissed!
# In University I had to pay for lessons. Here, you are paying me...I love poker!
# Are lessons extra?
# Smart pros charge for lessons.
# When did this site start giving free lessons?
# Look everyone, the loser is giving lessons to the winners, LOL!
# How much do we have to lose before we are good enough to shut you up?
# Ok kids, do I have to pull this car over?
# Being a table coach is not a smart play in the long run.
# Just STFU.
# Pokar is easy!
# Yeah, I wish these guys would play better so I actually have a chance to win.
# You need to play me HU, I've been looking for some lessons.
# I will do your girlfriend in the ass.
# I bent your mother over a barrell.
# Whats the matter? Not getting any?
How long, oh Lord, how long?
How many of these ridiculous posts have I read over the years?
Subject: Party Poker Cheating after Withdrawels------------
I have taken out almost $50,000 from PP in 2004 by playing $200 Sit and
Go's and multi table's. Every damn time I make a sizeable withdrawel, the
bad beats come. And as other's noted, not the usual streaks of bad cards
and bad beats "normal" to the nature of swings. I am talking about the
very next day, instant change of "luck."
The pattern was so obvious that I would become afraid to make
withdrawels! And the later part of the year never allowed for the normal
"wait through the withdrawel penalty period" for the upswing and the only
reason I made a few more withdrawels was thanks to hitting a few big multi
table tourney payouts (there system seems to leave you alone on multi
tables, I have found anyway).
As many of you can attest, the bad beats are most often 2,3 or 5 outers,
etc. BIG underdog drawouts, many times runner runners, and invariably come
on river. To the point that I would turn to my buddy watching and say,
"Watch me get screwed on this river card" and sure enough, it happens!
NOT the amount of time that it should, ot even CLOSE to it. I am very
skeptical, and blamed this on coincidence for several months, but after
enough time and the repeated pattern, I finally have concluded that it is
To test this theory, 3 weeks ago I began using my friends account (who had
not made any withdrawels, doesn't play much) and guess what? The FIRST
$200 Sit and go, I won! In four days, I turned 600 into $6,000 (this is
no exaggeration!!) and made a $5,000 withdrawel last week. Guess what?
The bad beats INSTANTLY started happenning again!!! How many more
coincidences are possible????
This post is 100% true and accurate. No exageration, no kidding. And
just a note, December was so bad for me (as others have mentioned) which
is why I switched to buddy's account in early January.
You lose all credibility due to your repeated mispellings of "withdrawal".
I disagree. I think he loses all credibility as a result of the stupidity of his post.
Actually someone came up with this wonderful innovation, called The Badger Rule:
"Anyone who posts these I'm-a-loser-because-of-cheating accusations should legally have to post their last 100 hand histories."
From 2+2, someone asked the good question:
Is wearing partypoker apparel +EV or -EV for playing live (B+M)?
I've never tried, but I'm going to from now on.
I was surfing around and came across Tom McEvoys new site. He has a new poker DVD out. Shocking, I know.
FYI: His poker lessons are $100-200 an hour.
Random gambling factiod:
Playing cards in India are usually round.
Damnit, I lost the link to the full thread but I still wanted to post this about drinking and poker and table image, something I am continually fascinated with.
The psychology/EV of drinking in live games?---------------
I know that this is an incredibly touchy subject for some, and most will fall back on the "never drink while playing cards" mantra, but I have to take a shot at it anyway.
Could drinking (lightly to moderately) at the table be a +EV play? I think that it can be a situation that one can take advantage of. I typically drink during about ~50% of my live sessions, and have only once had it really get in the way of my playing. The rest of the time I think it can work to my advantage. I'm only in my early twenties, and look younger than that, but I'm pretty sure I've been pegged as a tight-aggressive player by virtually every regular in my local cardroom. I try to use the show of drinking, coupled with the illusion of being drunk (or at least a little looser than I actually am) to entice more loose calls than I would normally get. I also hardly believe that 1-3 drinks over the course of several hours would significantly affect my play, although others may argue otherwise.
So the bottom line- Is an average investment of 1 SB in my 10-20 game for some table image and a good time worth it in a session, or am I just handicapping myself? Let the flaming commence.
Dr Al Schoonmaker said some silly things in this thread. I think he's blurring the line between social drinking and problem drinking. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people who drink suffer from only some fairly benign consequences, and on balance, has little to do with quality of life.
Quick segue: Three of the top insider executives at WTP have sold over $12 million worth of their shares in the Company in the past week. The required six-month holding period after the recent initial public offering in August 2004 before which they could not sell shares expired around March 9 and the sales began about March 11.
Steve Lipscomb has taken in over $7 million in disposing of about 16% of his holdings. Two other insiders have each realized gross proceeds of over $2.4 million in disposing of over 60% of their shares.
Information is included in Form 4 reports filed with the U.S.
Securities & Exchange Commission over the past few days.
WPT Enterprises Inc (WPTE)
Here was an interesting 2+2 thread from December discussing the true viability of multi-tabling in online poker.
Thanks to Sideways Poker for pointing out the story, How to win the U.S. memory championship, on Slate.
To attain the rank of grand master of memory, you must be able to perform three seemingly superhuman feats. You have to memorize 1,000 digits in under an hour, the precise order of 10 shuffled decks of playing cards in the same amount of time, and one shuffled deck in less than two minutes. There are 36 grand masters of memory in the world. Only one lives in the United States.-------------
I'm excited for Toby over at Nut Heart Flush as her poker book, The Bad Ass Girl's Guide To Poker, is available. Go check it out.
Hel1xx pointed out this huge, hilarious thread on 2+2. Here's the post that got it all started.
How many 5 year-olds.....-----------
Good drunken debate from a few nights ago.
The question: How many 5 year-olds could you take on at once?
- You are in an enclosed area, roughly the size of a basketball court. There are no foreign objects.
- You are not allowed to touch a wall.
- When you are knocked unconscious, you lose. When they are all knocked unconscious, they lose. Once a kid is knocked unconscious, that kid is "out."
- I (or someone else intent on seeing to it you fail) get to choose the kids from a pool that is twice the size of your magic number. The pool will be 50/50 in terms of gender and will have no discernable abnormalities in terms of demographics, other than they are all healthy Americans.
- The kids receive one day of training from hand-to-hand combat experts who will train them specifically to team up to take down one adult. You will receive one hour of "counter-tactics" training.
- There is no protective padding for any combatant other than the standard-issue cup.
* The kids are motivated enough to not get scared, regardless of the bloodshed. Even the very last one will give it his/her best to take you down.
I set my magic number at 30, but upon reflection, I think I could take on a few more. How many could you take on?
Only one thing to say after that....
Oh the humanity.
So I'm reading Bill Simmons aka Sports Guy on Page 2 of espn.com, catching up on some old articles that I missed, and came across this snippet:
Poker at the Venetian.-----------
That's the smart move -- I could play seven-card stud for a few hours and jump to do-or-die Hold'em after dinner. Not even Daniel Baldwin could lose $500 playing low-risk poker over the course of a few hours. Then again, the people who play poker in Vegas, for the most part, are wildly depressing to be around. And I'm already depressed. I'm also starting to hate poker from all the TV shows that glorify losers like Phil Hellmuth and that Jesus guy. Something's holding me back here.
Jesse May truly is the poker prophet. Check this out from September 2002, before the poker explosion.
The decline in cash game poker around the country points towards the sport of poker's evolution, not to its decline. That's why the new Poker Million should not be looked at as a burden to the existing poker schedule, but instead as a welcome addition.-----------
The problem with poker today has nothing to do with a cluttered schedule. The problem with poker is the profit model by which poker is run. It is a profit model which is absolutely outdated, constricting poker under the confines of "casino game", when poker is in fact a popular sport of skill, like golf. The current profit model for poker is one that sees casinos running poker tournaments because of the money they will make in tournament fees and side games.
It is a profit model that forces the best players in the sport to make their living thru money won from other players in the sport, money that comes up thru the cash game ranks, money that the casinos are already dipping into. It is a profit model that squeezes down.
Consider the profit model of professional golf. Golf courses hold tournaments because of revenues from television and corporate sponsors, money from which the tournament purses are funded. The top ranked players are qualified to play in the tournaments, and the best players earn a living from prize money in tournaments that they qualified to play in. The best players also earn money from sponsors who pay players because of the television coverage that their sport receives. This is a profit model that looks up for its profit, using the players as the stars who are showcasing their skill to generate the revenue by which the best players are paid.
Poker is not really that far off, and to suggest that poker still is far off is to be stuck in a rut. Under the table cameras really do make poker exciting to watch. The fan base is there. The tournaments are there. And the best players really are that good.
The future of professional poker is a world poker tour. The top ranked players will be qualified to play in tournaments on the tour, which will be shown on TV. The casinos that host the tournaments will generate the purses from television and sponsorship revenue, and players will earn money through endorsements. That is the future of poker, and while it has not been a to b to c, one day it will all seem
to have happened fast.
Both of the Poker Million events, while far from ideal, at least look towards the new profit model for poker. The first Poker Million had 250,000 pounds added in corporate sponsorship. The second Poker Million, the Poker Million - The Classics, while having no added money, also has no tournament fees. And because the field is
restricted, and because the television exposure will be maximum (six two hour shows on Friday evenings on Sky Sports with a six player table, and the final live on Sunday prime time), and because players are allowed to wear sponsor logos, for the first time prospective players really have a product of value to sell to a potential sponsor.
And depending on what the market values of those logos is, some players could find this tournament better value than any they've ever played in.
Yikes, what a load of drivel I've presented here this evening. Truly tangential.
I hope I've destroyed some workplace productivity, at the very least.
And once again, please consider signing up with Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker. I am fully prepared to grovel. I really would like one signup this month - is that too much to ask?
You don't have to answer that.
This will probably be me in ten years, after I'm rendered unemployable:
Damnit, I have a buncha new poker blogs I wanted to pimp but I'm getting too
I'm trying to keep the legend of the uber-post alive.
Well hell, I might as well wrap this up. Continuing the "is playing poker professionally a purposeful life" theme, please allow me to post this essay by Dave in Cali. A hoist of the Guinness to Felicia for pointing this one out to me.
The Curse of Knowledge (Long and Bitter)------------
BY: Dave in Cali
This is a satirical essay concerning a few things that an educated, enlightened, winning gambler must face in his gambling career.
It's kinda bitter.
Bitter, party of one, your table's ready!
And it's kinda moronic too.
And it does shed some light on this highly important subject.
I am Dave in Cali. I am a scientist. I have edumacation in mathematics, statistics, logic, and a variety of other brainiac kinda topics too. I study the game of poker. I aspire to be the best player I can be, and to win money while doing it. I understand how gambling works. I know about things like the standard deviation. Expectation. Expected value. Fluctuations. And the nature of randomness and "luck." I have read many books. I have studied the best texts on the game of poker. I "know" the facts. I "know" about the true nature of gambling. I choose my actions based on what I know about gambling, poker, odds, randomness, luck, etc. There are a few individuals who know me that can verify that I "know" all these things. A very small few indeed. The rest of the world doesn't have a clue. And they don't want one either..
So what do you do when you "know" what I know? Well, obviously, you play poker. And win money. And feel smug when you do. You use all these facts that you "know" to win at gambling. And depending on your bankroll, discipline, and personal desire, you can potentially make a lot of money because of what you "know." But WHY does this knowledge of yours allow you to win at gambling? Well, against most gambling games, you "know" that you simply can't beat them, so you don't play them. One of the reasons I have become a winning player is that I really don't gamble. Yes, I play poker, and poker has an element of chance. And many people play poker because they like to "gamble". But not me. I don't like to gamble. I lived ten minutes from Atlantic city for years and hardly ever went to the casinos. And when I did go, I hardly ever spent more than $20. Until I took up poker. Then all of a sudden I was at the casinos three or four nights a week. But I still wasn't gambling. I read the top five books before I had finished my second session. By the second month, I had read fifteen books. By a year, I had read over 30. The competition in Atlantic City at the lower limits is weak, especially at stud. While Hold'em took a while to get the hang of, stud was profitable right from the beginning. Not surprising. I am young, and my memory is good. I remember upcards. Plus, I "know" how to play seven card stud. And the competition was mostly elderly tourists who didn't "know" squat about jack. They had poor memories. These people had come to the casino to "gamble." These people didn't know what I know.
So what good does knowing all this stuff do for you, other than to make you a buck? What else can you get out of knowing all this stuff? I make more money as a scientist than I do as a poker player. I make money in science because I "know" stuff. Stuff that is valuable to my employer. Stuff that allows me to overcome obstacles and make decisions that will ultimately be profitable for both my employer and myself. I make money in poker because I use what I know to evaluate situations and put my money into the pot when I have a mathematical advantage. I use what I know to avoid making costly mistakes that other poker players routinely make while they are "gambling."
But there's a major difference. I can talk about science. I can talk to coworkers. To family. To friends. I can explain interesting stuff. I can educate people on the facts of science that I know about. People want to hear these facts, and when they do, they tend to believe them. If I talk about science, people listen. This is not the case with gambling. Try explaining to the average craps player that he is a loser, and can never win, no matter what he does, because the laws of mathematics make winning at craps impossible in the long run. Try explaining to the little old ladies by the nickel slots that they are doomed to lose. Try to explain to Grandpa in Atlantic City that no matter what he thinks, Let It Ride is a loser game. Try to explain to Loose Lucy that calling two raises cold while drawing at an inside straight in a three way pot is suicidal on your wallet. Try to explain to ANYONE that the idea that you can be "due to win" is simply not true. Try to explain to Mr. Maniac that he is not ON a rush, he HAS BEEN on a rush. Try to explain the true nature of the relationship between the standard deviation and the expectation to anyone. Try to explain that winning or losing in gambling depends on how you will fare in the long run, and that the short term results are pretty much irrelevant. Try to explain just how long the "long run" really is. You will be mocked, ignored, ridiculed. No one will believe you. You can't explain any of this stuff to the average person, they simply won't believe it. The misguided ideas they hold are so ingrained into their brains that they simply cannot even comprehend the possibility that the facts may be different from their beliefs.
Throughout the land, people widely believe many things about gambling that are completely false. They hold onto these beliefs like a security blanket. They use their misguided beliefs to comfort themselves, to justify their actions, and to give themselves hope. But it's a false comfort, a false hope. Their beliefs do not actually change the laws of mathematics. Believing that you are a winning craps player does not provide you with any means of actually beating the game and becoming a winner. If you play craps, you are losing money. If you bet $10 on pass, you theoretically lose about 14 cents every time a decision is made on your bet. Drop a ten dollar bill, pick up nine dollars and eight-six cents. That's what you are doing each time you bet the pass line. It's worse if you play the proposition bets. And if you play the slots, you are losing just the same, but the exact amount that you theoretically lose on each pull of the handle may not necessarily be readily apparent, even to those who "know" about gambling.
All across the land, people are relying on their false beliefs to give them hope, justify their losing ways, and comfort themselves. Ignorance is truly bliss, and I have seen an awful lot of blissful people gambling their hard earned dollars into oblivion. And the greedy know how to exploit this ignorance. Yes, greedy. Casinos. Imagine that. A business derived solely for the purpose of getting people's money. A business that exploits the ignorance of the common man for material gain. A business that knowingly and purposely perpetuates the common man's ignorance and uses it as an avenue to relieve him of his cash. Imagine that.
Now if you try to explain the "facts" to these ignorant, blissful people, they refuse to believe. They offer illogical, mathematically impossible explanations as to why they are exempt from the facts, how they overcome the facts, and how they are really winners. Sometimes they get upset with you because you are saying something which is different from the things they already "know for a fact." Sometimes they mock you. But most of the time, you might as well have just been talking to a brick wall, for they never even heard you at all. They may have been watching you speak, and they may have been nodding their head the whole time, and they may have even complimented you as to how interesting those facts you mentioned are. But it's a lie. They didn't hear a thing. You didn't impart any of your vast extent of knowledge upon them. Their ignorance remains steadfast and strong, their beliefs do no waiver.
It's the same all over. Your average Foxwoods tourist from Maine is just as clueless as your average Vegas tourist from Oregon. You couldn't impart one iota of your vast array of knowledge upon them, no matter how you might try. When it comes to gambling, not only are people ignorant of the facts, but they don't want to hear them either. They don't want to hear anything that might take away that comfort blanket of beliefs they hold so tightly around them. And if they DO happen to hear some actual facts, you can bet they will probably find some way to discount them. They won't accept the "facts," because the "facts" contradict that which they "know." And they use what they "know" to justify their gambling habits. After all, gambling is fun. When you win, endorphins are released in your brain. And people will do almost anything to release endorphins. And if you try to slip in your darn facts, then those endorphins won't get released anymore. And we can't have THAT, now can we..
So there you are. You and your vast array of knowledge. Smugly sitting there, knowing you are a winner, knowing that you won't be the victim of misguided beliefs. You have evolved, and are somehow above the rest of humanity. All because of your extensive comprehension of the facts. You're so impressed with yourself. But you're all alone. No one else here but you and your measly little facts. And you aren't releasing any endorphins at all. No, you are too evolved for that. You know that releasing endorphins is not something you do when you go to the gambling hall. That's because the facts aren't pretty. Actually, the facts kinda suck! They aren't pleasant at all! They provide no real security blanket, no genuine hope, no relief. The facts stand between you and the money, and there is no easy way to get around them. Sure, there are a few gambling games that can be beaten. Poker can be beaten. So can Blackjack and Paigow, but these are much more difficult to beat, because the facts are even less favorable for these games. And on occasion other gambling games can be beaten too. But the facts still remain. And they still kinda suck.
And there you remain, all by your little lonesome self, just you and your pathetic little facts, with no one to talk to. Of course no one will believe you anyway, even if you did have someone to talk to. You're doomed to a life of lonely solitude. Doomed to a life of being scorned, rejected and cast out. Just you and your facts. You don't have hope, you just have the facts. You don't have a security blanket, you just have your EVs and SDs and CVs. You don't have anyone to hear you, no one who will listen. There is no one whom you can impart your vast array of knowledge upon, no one whom you can impress with your extensive wisdom. So you struggle through life, bitter and alone, because you have no one with whom to share your enlightenment with. No one exists who can have an intelligent conversation with you regarding that which you have studied, that which you have successfully applied in order to forge a winning strategy. The truth is a lonely road, and it holds no comfort for those whom choose its path.
But wait! Alas! There's light at the end of the tunnel! As it turns out, perhaps your bitter lonely existence has another side to it, a ray of sunshine on an otherwise cloudy day! As it turns out, you really don't WANT to discuss the facts with people! You CAN be a winning player only because of widespread denial of the facts! If all the poker players in the world knew what you knew, you couldn't win! If everyone knew the facts, and acted in a rational manner because they knew these facts, then gambling wouldn't exist at all! And people wouldn't be releasing any endorphins! THEN what would happen? I'll tell you what would happen. Massive, massive suffering. The end of mankind as we know it. Huge, writhing swarms of people, running like lemmings, eager to jump off the nearest cliff and end their horrible, pointless, hopeless, endorphinless lives! No, life could not exist as we know it if everyone were to truly understand the facts. So you may have to suffer through life, bitter and alone, never able to share the wisdom you have attained with the world. But the world will still be happy anyway. And it's in the best interest of the educated gambler to keep people happy. Because after all, Ignorance is truly bliss.
Link of the Day:
After Orbitz booked a trip that broke the laws of physics and wouldn't issue a refund, Maddox pledged to make it "the most expensive $94 Orbitz will ever make." He succeeded.
All Content Copyright Iggy 2003-2007
Information on this site is intended for news and entertainment purposes only.
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