Wednesday, May 25, 2005
"Let me mention one thing, I have a lot of respect for the poker bloggers and I think that they are going to be having a really big impact, on the online poker community eventually, you know that mainstream of anything tends to look down on bloggers or they ignore us altogether and I think they do that to their peril."
Thanks for stopping by. One last lame attempt at an uber-post before Vegas.
Damn, I had fun playing in Pauly's freeroll last nite.
Oh my, I'm starting to see the Vegas posts cropping up here and there. Anticipation is building, slowly but steadily.
I'm getting nostalgic now, looking back on meeting all my blogging heroes and then some.
Still need to get my tickets. The FatGuy has warned me, thusly:
"Step lively, buster."
But for now, I just deleted a lengthy screed on losing in poker. The shit I delete is far more interesting than the drivel I choose to slap up here, that's for sure. Hopefully that will change someday. Maybe I should just start another fucking blog for all the vitriolic rants I delete.
Played in the $215 Stars tourney Sunday for the first time in prolly a year. Built a nice 7k stack early and choked. Was too frisky.
So now that the civilities are out of the way, let's hop to it, shall we?
Where to start, where to start? How about continuing the conversation about online poker and "team play". I think it's important to post Lee Jones from Poker Stars opinion on the matter so here it is:
Subject: Lee Jones and PokerStars give full endorsement to TEAM POKER-------
We've received a couple of emails at PokerStars regarding this thread, so I
wanted to clarify our position on this:
==> It makes no sense to have a rule you can't enforce.
* It's trivially easy to enforce "No more than three raises per betting round in limit poker games." We do.
* It's hard to enforce "No collusion," but it's crucially important, so we do.
* It is impossible to enforce "one player to a hand" in the online world.
Completely impossible. So we don't.
There's another important stipulation that goes with this, which is:
==> Online poker is different than B&M poker.
In many ways they are the same, but in many ways they are extremely
different, and we have to understand that.
The fact is that wives sit behind their husbands at the keyboard and say,
"No silly, you can't call with K3o."
Bob's brother watches Bob play a big multi-table tournament. Bob says, "I'm going to go grab a sandwich - play my cards."
And Jerrod and Bill and Matt sit around and discuss hands. Perhaps that increases their chances - perhaps it decreases them. 
But the point is that no online site can *enforce* a rule against that. We can
*state* a rule against it, but we can't enforce it. Such rules are bad - they all but encourage people to break the rules. Now the guy who follows the rule is at a disadvantage to those who do not.
This is a key and fundamental difference between the two forms of poker.
Maybe you think it makes the game worse ("What happened to 'one player to a hand?'"),
or maybe you think sitting around with your friends arguing how to play the pocket jacks makes the game more interesting. You get to decide. If you don't want to play in a game where people are gathering around a screen to discuss the play of a hand, I would encourage you to not play online poker anywhere.
Please realize that you are getting this post from somebody who has long (and admittedly well-deserved) reputation as a table captain. I'm infamous for complaining about breaches of poker protocol at the table (Phil Gordon probably has a SQL database describing my various outbursts). But I know when something is completely unenforceable, and this is. So I accept it as a change in the paradigm and move on.
You don't have to agree with this position, but it makes completely sense to me and the other managers and PokerStars.
PokerStars Poker Room Manager
 And we are constantly improving our anti-collusion technolgoy. I just saw an internal email a few minutes ago that made me think "S&G colluders are having a *very* bad day and don't even know it yet."
 "Too many cooks in the kitchen..." and all that.
There were plenty of differing opinions on this matter, as I'm sure you can imagine. I was going to post a few but now I feel it doesn't matter. I'm gonna err on the side of Lee and Paul on this one. I'm not sure if the correlation between using a tool like PokerTracker is quite the same issue, but it's worth thinking about.
But for now, the Powers That Be have spoken.
We may need to set up a poker blogger hotline for conference calls since this is all legit these days.
I've been meaning to address David Sklansky over at 2+2. I wonder if David would like to go into the desert with me, eat some peyote and stare into the Unblinking Eye? He's really been going crazy with the religion - philosophy posts.
And then I read this post which was the impetus behind my link gathering.
Is David Sklansky ill?--------
Please don't misquote me.
I have no factual basis to assume that David Sklansky is ill.
But studies do show that people become a LOT more interested in religion as they near death. Check.
Also, with so many poker players becoming immensely popular (I saw Chau and Doyle at LAX yesterday...they were being gawked at for a long time...), and David certainly isn't getting the air time that Danny, Phil, Phil, Howard, Doyle, Johnny, etc are...is this bothering him? Is he afraid that his legacy won't be 'good enough' compared to these other 'names'?
He talks about how he COULD HAVE won a Nobel Prize...BAM, instant legacy. He made (I think) a comment about being God or the Pope. Instant fame.
Instead, he's still David Sklansky. Instead of dismissing Danny's challenges quickly and succinctly like Mason did, he meandered around them for a while.
I think he wants recognition. I think he wants fame. I think he's worried about what he'll be leaving behind.
These are mostly hypothesis. When my mom made me learn how to iron and do laundry, I was scared that she was deathly ill, and didn't want me to know about it. I thought she was getting ready to be 'gone'.
And, well, I feel like David is also worried about being 'gone'.
Or maybe he just needs to cut back on the huffing. Geez, talk about Destroying Workplace Productivity, some of these threads are over 16 freaking pages! Methink it's time to open a Theology forum over there.
Here's a taste:
"Can God come up with two positive integers such that when you cube each and add them up, you get the cube of a third integer?"
David Sklansky started all these fine workplace killing threads, if you care what the fuck random poker players think about these things:
As David said in one thread:
There you have it. A new religion. Sklanskyanity.
This lead to several threads about Sklansky and Ayn Rand. Good God, I'm not linking those on principle. That reminds me about the fake Ayn Rand blurb on the back of Jon Stewart's "America: The Book":
"This is similar to my works in that anyone who reads it is sure to be an asshole for at least a month afterward." - Ayn Rand
One of my favorite lines from all of those damn threads is David saying this:
If there is a God, he is like me. He doesn't want you to merely believe in him. He wants you to appreciate his stuff. I don't like it when a fawning fan says they saw me on TV unless they also talk about the inticacies of my check raise. God doesn't like it if you haven't spent some time marveling how relativity and DNA serve to make the universe wht it is. A fawning fan who merly believes in him but doesn't take the time to study physics and chemistry at all disgusts him. The atheist who does study that stuff will upon death, be surprised if he encounters God, but God will more likely want him around than the bimbo who doesn't truly appreciate him.
And just to keep you abreast of the latest in the Daniel Negreanu versus Sklansky heads up match, we had this post:
Sklansky/Negreanu - Enough is enough
Let me first state that I would not be playing poker if it were not for David, Mason, and 2+2. I honestly believe that 2+2 books and this forum are the best sources for poker theory out there, but seriously, enough is enough.-------
I've been following the Sklansky/Negreanu pissing match for a while now and I think I speak for a lot of 2+2ers when I say that I'm just sick and tired of this nonsense. Though I have alot of respect for David, I think he misplayed his hand this time.
David, you've been going back and forth with offers and counter-offers for weeks now and still nothing has come of it. Daniel Negreanu agreed to all of your terms except the amount of money being put up. The 2+2 community showed interest in staking you that money, but you didn't even dignify them with response. Gigabet accepted your challenge to 2+2ers, and again no response. I honestly think it's about that time you either put up or shut up. Let's either see this match or let's let these threads die. There's no shame in declining this challenge, but do it with some dignity (though it might be too late for that).
There's a few good poker articles at the 2+2 Internet Magazine. Also, you can download a free sample of Johnny Chan's new book here.
Here is a wonderful big slice of poker WSOP history: the number of entries into the WSOP Championship Events since it's inception:
If I wasn't so
70 - Voted- Johnny Moss (7 entrants)
71 - $30,000 - Johnny Moss (6 entrants, $5,000ea)
72 - $80,000 - Amarillo Slim Preston (8 entrants, $10,000ea)
73 - $130,000 - Puggy Pearson (13 entrants)
74 - $160,000 - Johnny Moss (16 entrants)
75 - $210,000 - Sailor Roberts (21 entrants)
76 - $220,000 - Doyle Brunson (22 entrants)
77 - $340,000 - Doyle Brunson (34 entrants, last winner-take-all)
78 - $210,000 - Bobby Baldwin (31 entrants, winner takes 2/3rds)
79 - $270,000 - Hal Fowler (54 entrants, winner takes 50%)
80 - $385,000 - Stu Ungar (73 entrants)
81 - $375,000 - Stu Ungar (75 entrants)
82 - $520,000 - Jack Strauss (104 entrants)
83 - $580,000 - Tom McEvoy (108 entrants)
84 - $660,000 - Jack Keller (132 entrants)
85 - $700,000 - Bill Smith (140 entrants)
86 - $570,000 - Berry Johnston (141 entrants, winner takes 40%)
87 - $625,000 - Johnny Chan (156 entrants)
88 - $700,000 - Johnny Chan (167 entrants)
89 - $755,000 - Phil Hellmuth Jr (178 entrants)
90 - $895,000 - Mansour Matloubi (194 entrants)
91 - $1,000,000 - Brad Daugherty (prize bumped to $1mil) (215 entrants)
92 - $1,000,000 - Hamid Dastmalchi (201 entrants)
93 - $1,000,000 - Jim Bechtel (220 entrants)
94 - $1,000,000* - Russ Hamilton (268 entrants)
95 - $1,000,000 - Dan Harrington (273 entrants)
96 - $1,000,000 - Huck Seed (295 entrants)
97 - $1,000,000 - Stu Ungar (312 entrants)
98 - $1,000,000 - Scotty Nguyen (350 entrants)
99 - $1,000,000 - J J "Noel" Furlong (393 entrants)
00 - $1,500,000 - Chris Ferguson (512 entrants)
01 - $1,500,000 - Carlos Mortenson (612 entrants)
02 - $2,000,000 - Robert Varkonyi (631 entrants)
03 - $2,500,000 - Chris Moneymaker (839 entrants)
04 - $5,000,000 - Greg (Fossilman) Raymer (2576 entrants)
We aren't in Kansas, anymore.
RGP post appreciating the good old game of internet poker:
Why I love online poker . . .-------
I really should be getting back to work, but a quick story.
Over the weekend, I went to a local casino to play some live poker, after several months of straight online play. I wanted to get out of the house, away from the office, away from the computer, and see some old friends.
I heard a story (I did not see any of this first-hand) that two regular players had been "barred for life", in that there was an incident where a regular player dropped a wallet on the floor and several thousand dollars was taken out of it, and the wallet returned to the floor. The fellow that dropped the wallet is a likeable, friendly, higher limit player who loves action and is a pleasure to play against.
This information bothered me, big time. I then began to notice the cramped setting of the poker room, the noise, the obnoxious players, the slow dealers, etc.
I love the fact I can turn on the computer and play poker whenever I want, for any stakes, in an honest game, day or nite, I can chat if I want or I can turn the sound off, I can speak with good friends met over the years, and joke around with obnoxious on-liners if I care to.
If you had told me even 10 years ago that such a revolutionary concept would be possible, I'd have said you were crazy.
Thanks for allowing me to vent . . .
But he forgot the part where you're sitting next to a guy that smells like 1999.
Have you bought a copy of Poker Tracker Guide yet? Even if you haven't, GameTime+ 1.4.2 has been released. No new features but has a major performance increase.
There's rumours going around about a flaw in Party Poker's software:
Party Poker software new bug
Something is terribly wrong with Party's software.
I actually won 2 hands in the first 10 minutes.
Does anyone have any idea what caused this and how long before they will have it repaired?
I wanna write a poker book called "In search of Jesse May."
I'm not sure where I'm gonna be staying in Vegas. The Plaza is sold out so I'll prolly hang at the Excalibur. But I saw a few posts about where bloggers wanna play poker and such, and then ran across this post from pplayer.com about The Palms 2005 NL Hold 'em Summer Series. Might be worthwhile to check out. Of course, I had fully intended upon playing in WSOP Event #2 as a treat to myself, but now the looming drunken reality of Vegas is making me think better of it.
I hope the guys bringing their wives to Vegas behave themselves.
It's Official........No Pink Bunny at The WSOP. Here's the email:
Yes, I've heard about the promotion, but I have to tell you we will not allow you to wear the Pink Bunny suit at the event. The WSOP rules limit the wearing of logos to one item of apparel with a 1- by 3-inch logo, which cannot advertise a .com site. The rules also reserve the right for Harrah's to ban any apparel we deem inappropriate.
While I appreciate your creativity, we don't want to turn the WSOP into a circus nor a promotional tool for one entity at the expense of any others. I'm sure you understand our position.
I do appreciate your advance inquiry.
Yikes, here's a cautionary tale by a brave, honest player "confessing his sins" about a bad run he's experienced.
My comeuppance: A return to 5/10-------
("lesson I've learned" sort of post)
I have been playing 15/30 on party skins for quite a while now, and often higher in other places. Everything had gone so well for so long I quit my job in corporate america, which has been so fashionable as of late. I've been at it for a month and I've already had both the largest upswings and downswings of my life.
Shortly after quitting, I got a FP2001 clone, did the 2-monitor thing, and started going for 7-8 tables. Everything went fantastic for about 10 days. When it turned bad, it turned real bad. I am currently on a 15k downswing, almost all of which has occured at 15/30 and $1000 PLO8. I am truly convinced that I have gotten atrocious cards throughout, but with the amount I've lost, I'm also forced to accept that I have not been playing well. When pushing past 4 tables, I was basically making reads off of pt data and nothing else, and timing out as much as 6-8 times an hour, often even postflop. The breaking point was when I was 7-tabling, raised all-in with the nut low and an overpair of aces for high... and when the pot was awarded I realized I was playing omaha hi. Oops. Goodbye $1000.
In the midst of all this I've lost half of my bankroll. I'm not yet in any danger of going broke, but my RoR numbers for playing 15/30 are starting to creep up past insignificant. I have decided that for the remainder of April (or for longer, if necessary), I'm going to play 5/10. Besides the bankroll safety, I need to break a habit I've developed lately of paying off way too much. So far I've found the players considerably less tricky, which should help me rebuild confidence in making thos laydowns where appropriate. I've also determined that if I should ever try to push past 4 tables again, I'm going to force myself to post medium-term wins doing it at 3/6 rather than starting up higher.
Why did I write this? I sort of feel like "confessing my sins" in a public forum will help me keep from repeating them. In addition, I suppose it's a "it could happen to you" warning. You can cruise along a 2+BB/hr for a long long time and still end up acting the fool for an semi-extended period... at least, I know I can. You can also step down in limits and live will go on. There's no shame in.. nevermind, there is a little bit of shame to it. But it's better than going broke.
I have ZERO qualms in dropping down. And I don't think there is any shame in playing below your normal limits. It drives me mad when I hear of players thinking they Must play at a certain level when they've moved up in stakes.
Three little words: Fuck George Lucas.
OK, I know
The All-Time Best Movies--------
1. The Shaggy D.A. - Great Plot, Acting and Dialogue. It can't be topped, I wish they would make a part 2.
2. Armageddon - Incredible Acting (Bruce Willis should have won an Academy Award).
3. Ghosts of Mars - I don't even know where to begin, best special effects ever.
4. Congo - The acting is incredible, how did they train that Gorrila to do all of that sign language and stuff? Very, very scary movie also.
5. Road Rage - Stars Casper Van Diem and has the best car chases in movie history.
6. Independence Day - Still almost 10 years later, the special effects cannot be beaten.
7. Cop Land - Stallone's finest work ever.
8. Judge Dredd - Not quite on par with Cop Land, but still a masterpiece of cinema.
9. Last Action Hero - Very original screenplay that most people did not understand.
10. The Tuxedo - Amazing film, definitely Jackie Chan's best.
11. The Adventures of Pluto Nash - The $100 million budget was justified in this amazing epic.
12. A.I. -- Most action I have seen in a movie ever, great dialogue too.
13. Godzilla -- Best remake of all time....nuff said.
14. Rent a Cop -- Very original plot and a great cast.
So, those are my picks for greatest movies ever. Please reply back and list your top movies and also whether or not you agree with mine. I seriously doubt anyone will disagree with my picks, but I guess anything is possible.
Well hell, this was an interesting post and thread. I will admit to this type of thinking myself many times over.
I believe the time is drawing near for the actualization of my little poker fantasy that I've had for the past few years. I've now been playing online poker fulltime long enough that I have developed an adequate notion of security (as far as poker being sustainable income). It has dawned on me that my current source of income is not entirely location dependant and I'm free to wander wherever decent internet connections are prevalent. Unfortunately, I am by no means getting rich off this now delitefully tedious game, but I am managing to aggressively pay off debt I've accumlated through the years, as well as cover bills, rent, taxes, and still have enough left over to support my expensive dining and drinking habits (Sushi has become a "top ten" expense as of recent).
Anyhow, I've been looking at different foreign locations that I might like to travel and reside for a time. Thailand was an immediate consideration because of its striking afordablility. However, I have a fondness for Latin America and would very much like to become proficient in Spanish. Currently I'm almost entirely settled on heading to Buenos Aires, Argentina in late August/early September. My apartment lease expires on July 31st at which time I will drive to S. California from my current home in Knoxville TN, visit with family for a month or so and prepare for the trip leaving, I imagine, from LAX airport.
There is no Visa requirement for Americans staying 90 days or less in Argentina and the Visa is easy enough to renew for a longer stay. The Spanish dialect there is slow enough and interpretable for someone as daft as myself to potentially pick up over time. The city seems quite amazing and is a good central location to venture out to other places for weekend trips. I've scouted out several temporary apartment brokerages with reasonable offers. I'm sure they are a bit more costly than if I were to arrange accomodations from within the country, but for convenience sake I can get a 2-3 bedroom fully furnished apartment in a nice district with high speed internet connection, laundry service, and all utilities included (some even with a pc supplied!) for between $400-$600/m. The only downfall is that there is of course a deposit (typically one month's rent) and whatever term you decide to stay you must pay for up front upon signing of the contract. So, I figure I'll pay for a two month term and sign a new contract if I wish to prolong my stay at said apartment or I can just find a new place at the end of the two months once I'm reasonably oriented.
There are some computer considerations. If I rent one of the places with a pc supplied, I'm going to have to inquire about detailed system specs and likely bring my 2001FP along. I don't have a laptop so I imagine that it would be cumbersome and perhaps expensive to bring my entire pc. I've considered investing in a reasonable laptop for the trip, which I'd like to have anyways. I'll have to contact Neteller and all the sites that I play at to inform them that I'll be operating from an Argentinian IP address. All these considerations seem easy enough to tackle, so hopefully all shall go well.
I've always been a solo, bare necessity sort of traveler...but this will surely be a different beast. I'm considering finding a like-minded person or two to bring along for aid in rent, beer consumption, and well...motivation. I don't imagine any of my close friends will be willing or capable of making the venture with me. I've posted a similar thread in a few travel forums minus some of the poker jargon. But hey, really, if there are any of you out there that would potentially consider a little adventure of this sort, feel free to send me a PM. Also, any advice that you knowledgeable zoosters might have for me is much appreciated.
Cheers all, just thought I'd share with ya. Soon I hope to meet some beautiful Argentinian girls and tango til' I'm sore (pun intended).
Ryan - 23 yr' old restless poker player
I told a blogging hero that I had pondered not blogging anymore, and he put it in a perspective I hadn't thought of before:
your blog has a lot of value, it's a historical timeline of the last 22 months plus of the poker boom. i can't see walking away from that.
I would like to go around to random blogs and comment: "I'm VERY hurt by what I'm reading here - VERY disappointed in you - we'll talk about this later" - Your hurt Mother
Moving quickly along, here's a ruling question from Michael O'Malley. I'm sure Felicia will get a kick out of this:
Subject: Ruling Discussion---------
I get called to a table last night to make a ruling on a situation that
the floorperson that originally got called over wasn’t comfortable making.
What is interesting about this one is that there are many different valid
interpretations of what happened.
The game is $2/$5 NL Hold’em and the situation happens on the river with
only two players in the Hand, Player A and Player B.
The dealer explained it to me this way:
Player A makes a motion with his hand that resembles a check, Dealer
doesn’t hear anything from Player A, Dealer moves the action along to
Player B, Player B makes a bet of $100. Player A takes his hand and throws
it face up on the table. Dealer assumes this is a fold, takes the hand and
puts it into the muck. Player A yells to the dealer "wait a minute, I bet
Player A explains it to me this way:
Player A announced "all-in" on the river, Player B moved his stack in,
Player A took the action as a call and put his hand face up on the table.
When the Dealer mucked his hand without the other player turning his hand
up Player A knew there was a problem.
Player B explains that he also saw what looked like a check on the river
by Player A. So Player B made a $100 bet because Player A checked.
A few other observations from players on the table:
Player next to Player A says he did hear him say "all-in". No one else at
the table heard him say anything.
Player in the middle of the table says that Player A did immediately
respond when the dealer mucked his hand.
Another player says that the way he saw it come down was that Player A
tossed his hand in face up (he took it as a fold because he didn’t hear
him say all-in), and when the dealer mucked the hand Player B made a
motion to muck his hand, which he assumed Player A took to be weakness. It
was only at this point (Player A sensing weakness) that Player A said
There was a total consensus that Player A held the 9Ts and everyone saw it
face up on the table. The board read 369JJ. Player B’s to this point has
never been revealed.
There is no rule in the cash games that an exposed hand is dead.
How would you rule?
The first thing I had to decide was whether Player A made a bet or checked.
If I determined that he made a bet, then Player B’s bet could be pulled
back, and he would be given an option to call the all-in bet of Player A
(and I would have to retrieve Player A’s hand).
If I ruled that Player A checked (He made a hand motion that both the
Dealer and player B (and another player) took as a check) then I would
have to decide if Player A, by releasing his hand without calling the bet
and allowing the dealer to kill it,forfeited his right to call the bet.
I decided rather quickly that Player A checked. This meant that Player B
made a bet of $100 and I now had to decide if Player A’s hand was live and
he would be allowed to call the bet.
I ruled the hand live, pulled it out of the muck and let Player A call. He
won the pot.
Speaking of rulings, long-time WSOP tournament director, Matt Savage, had this to say:
While I am sad that I will not be involved with the WSOP this year I am excited
to announce that today I received the Tounament Director role in the movie
Warner Brother movie "Lucky You".
Plot Outline: Set among the poker tables of Las Vegas, Huck Cheever (Bana), tries to beat the odds and his own demons in order to win a world championship. Starring Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore, Robert Downey Jr., & Robert Duvall.
Picked up the following link from RGP.
Sadly, writer and resident stat expert W. Lawrence Hill, AKA Barbara Yoon has passed away. RIP "Barbara Yoon"
Here's some good stuff for you logic wonks from RGP:
Subject: Variance of a bad player--------
In another thread, I stated that theoretically, a bad player should have a lower variance over profits of his sessions, because he loses more than he wins.
After harsh critism by FellKnight and Gary Carson I must assume I was wrong. After mailing Gary asking for the reason I was wrong, he suggested "someone on rgp" should explain it to me, so here I am :-)
We have the following facts:
EV[Sum(Xi)] = Sum(EV[Xi])
Var(Sum(Yi)) = Sum(Var(Yi)) If all the Yi's are independent.
If EV[Xi] is the EV of the hand i, then EV[Session]
= Sum(EV[Xi]) over all i.
Same goes for Variance: Var(Session) = Sum(Var(Xi))
over all i (if indeed all hands are independent, which in
practice is not the case (see e.g. advertising))
It follows that the variance of all sessions is the sum of the variance of all hands played.
What I state:
Let Yi now be the profit of session i.
Being a losing player implies an overall -EV[Y].
(The expected value of the profit of a given session
is negative). Since a bad player consistantly has
losing sessions, Var(Sum(Y)) is lower, that is, he
has a lower variance.
I provided an example similar to the following one:
A player has played two sessions and loses both
times 5$. Var(Sum(Y)) = 0 although Var(Sum(X))
not equal 0. Note that we are not talking about
expected variance here.
Where is the flaw?
I liked this reply by tad perry
Variance refers to magnitude of swings. A bad player has swings that trend
toward a lower and lower bankroll. There is no absolute reason why a loser
should necessarily have bigger swings, especially if they are near break
even, but the really terrible type of player we tend to think of, who plays
every hand, will have bigger swings than a winning player just as a matter
of course due to the way the game works.
If that player runs cold, it's a sudden plummet that represents a swing
larger than the winning player sees in either direction. If they do get hot,
which only happens once in awhile, they may well win 100 or even 200 big
bets in a matter of hours. A winning player won't even play enough hands to
do anything like that.
When we include other types of bad players in the definition, well, I can
name you strategies that will lose money slowly and consistently so it's
easily believable, but it would not be that prototypical type of bad player
that usually comes to mind.
I'll snip out all of your fancy calculations to try and explain it in an
easier way. For a bad player, it isn't called variance. It's called
Variance on a one-way street?
I just pre-ordered One of a Kind : The Rise and Fall of Stuey "The Kid" Ungar, The World's Greatest Poker Player
by Nolan Dalla, Peter Alson
Here's a great blurb from Greg Dinken, agent to the Pokerati, about the book.
It's been 7 years in the making, and at last, the Stuey Ungar bio is finished
and now on sale at amazon.com and bn.com (It will be hitting stores in
mid-June). In 1998, before Stuey died, he began collaborating with Nolan Dalla
on what was to be his autobiography. When Stuey died later in 1998, the book
become a biography and Dalla teamed up with Peter Alson (author of Confessions
of an Ivy League Bookie) to write ONE OF A KIND. I am the agent for the book,
which is being published by Atria/Simon & Schuster. The current issue of Card
Player has a column by Mike Sexton (who wrote the foreword) about the book.
Here was an odd post that had me scratching my head:
Adoption and Poker--------
My wife and I are going to be adopoting a child this year (hopefully).
However, one thing were both concerned about is the fact that I claimed X amount of dollars on our taxes which the adopotion agency will have a look at.
I'm guessing that will probably turn some heads.
Has anyone been under similar circumstances? It just seems like doing the right thing by claiming the winnings has the potential to seriously bite me in the ass.
If we are turned down because I’m a "gambler" it will be devastating.
Anyway to sugar coat this?
I'm not going to put this post in context, but it was a fascinating thread.
From the CEO of TruePoker:
This is a fascinating time in our industry's development.-------
The larger sites have perhaps turned from working their former "market", selling services to poker players, as effectively as they have in the past, to instead restructure in pursuit of the public capital markets.
The tradeoff for Party, et cetera is a LOT of money NOW. Their risk is minimal, the capital markets are laying off their present risk by buying the perceived future revenue stream now.... that is what those markets do. Capitalism at work involves eliminating inefficiencies in the market for capital .... Do not read anything more into it. It has very little to do directly with providing services.
In order to embrace the public capital markets, some sites may actually HAVE TO adopt structures or practices which increase inefficiency in the very different market of providing services to players .... Why ? Because the capital markets are regulated differently and have certain inefficencies they will impose upon gaming operators.
Perhaps the trade-off is unavoidable for sites going public, but those folks did not get that big by making bad choices or choices not in their own interest ... The issue for people who do NOT own such sites is, are operating/marketing opportunities created by the choices these Major Actors are apparently making ?
..... and how can we, as an operator, and you all, as a self-selected group of entrepeneurs, who may or may not actually play poker, pick up those opportunties.
And one final post. From ex-CardPlayer owner, Michael Wiesenberg, describing how best to win in all forms of poker, online or B&M.
Many years ago I experimented with two playing styles. Mike Caro has----
written about trying out many more than two styles over a long period
of time, and concluded that for him the best image to project was wild
and goofy; that was how he came to be known as "The Mad Genius." I
limited myself to just two.
I had seen one successful player who annoyed everyone in the games.
He deliberately needled his opponents, derided them for bad play, made
fun of those with infirmities, questioned players' parentage, even
made nasty comments about their ethnicity or sexual orientation. I
always thought that one day he would get killed. Nonetheless, he was
a winner, because those who got angry at him went out of their way to
try to beat him. Whenever you have a player more interested in
beating you than in playing well, that player is going to lose money
to you. The player will call you too often trying to embarrass you by
catching you in a bluff. He will pass hands that he ought to be
betting in hopes of trapping you, thereby not getting value from his
good hands. He will chase, trying to beat you, again increasing your
winnings. I knew the miscreant to be a winner, so I tried it. I
needled the others and was generally obnoxious. It didn't last long,
even though I was winning. After having had people offer more than
once to take me outside and threaten to come after me with a gun, I
gave it up as a bad strategy.
So I switched. I started being nice to those around me. I
complimented them on their winning hands and good plays. I tried to
find out what they were interested in and engaged in conversation
those who wanted to talk. I discovered that my win rate was much
higher than when I had adopted the role of bad guy. I realized that
people would much rather give their money to someone who is gracious
about taking it, someone who is generally pleasant, someone who is
genuinely engaging and funny. That was decades ago, and I have never
seen a reason to change, as I have been very successul at the tables.
I do the same online. I never criticize anyone else's play, nor do I
make sarcastic comments about the poor hands they might have got lucky
with. I find it easy to type "nh" (rather than the insincere "nice
catch," by which of course the person who typed means, "Yeah, you got
lucky this time, sucker, but keep it up and I'll have all your
chips"). I don't overdo it, just mainly when others are typing "nh"
and the like in the chat box and particularly when someone has said it
So this very excellent post confirms what I learned a long time ago.
People are happy to play in games where someone is particularly
pleasant, and don't mind losing in such games. They feel they're
paying for a fun time, for the
entertainment, or for the company of a witty tablemate. But you can
be sure they won't be as eager to stay at a table where someone is
abusing other players.
In another thread, someone posted how he tries to tilt the tight
players by criticizing their play and ostentatiously showing when he
cleverly bluffs them. When chided on this philosophy, the poster
quickly clarified that he needles only the tight players, but is nice
to the live ones (with the usual congratulatory "nh"s). I think this
is misguided. He can't always distinguish the tight players from the
live ones. Someone he identifies as tight may be quite live but play
in a way that looks tight based on a run of poor cards that no one
could play or may have a run of good cards and show down only the nuts
for awhile; he may similarly mistag a tight player, who seems to play
loosely also based on his cards. But even if he 100% accurately
isolates the tight players, he still does himself a disservice. Some
live players will detect the hypocrisy and insincerity, and either not
give him any play or leave. Others will just get annoyed by his
picking on the other players and also leave. And they'll leave
quietly and he'll never know they left because of him. Sure, there
are plenty of good games and he can always move to other games, but
better to treat players nicely in all games, because he never knows
when someone just doesn't like it in his game because he insulted
someone at the table the last time.
K, I think this should suffice for now. I didn't get to everything I wanted to, but hell, I'm sure your eyeballs have glazed over at this point. I'm going on sweet, sweet hiatus till after Vegas. I'm sorely tempted to count up every uber-post I've ever done right now, but I'm too lazy. And drunk. But I do it all for you, gentle reader.
I feel like I should have some big close here, but I'm going to spare you. I can't wait to meet all you silly bastards in Vegas.
One last thought: if you're going to play poker, whether you are new, playing for recreation or even for a living, make sure you're having fun. There's no real point to it if you're not.
Thanks for reading.
Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker, damnit.
Gratuitous Links of the Day.
Til Death Penalty Do Us Part
"Both times we tried to do something with each other, something fucked it up," Melissa told Timothy. "And that ain't right, cause it feels too right."
Link of the Day - One of my all-time faves back for another round
Fuck You, Too, Future People
John Titor, who came back from the year 2036 to answer questions on the Internet: "No one likes you in the future. This time period is looked at as being full of lazy, self-centered, civically ignorant sheep."
And this is crazy:
Simon's Last Entry
On May 12, Simon Ng blogged about the unexpected visit of his sister's ex: "Hopefully he will leave soon." He didn't.
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