Monday, August 15, 2005

"Those that blog for free obviously have a reason. Most probably love to write about things that interest them. Our egos make us think our thoughts are worthy of dissemination. The free (literally) market of ideas dictates the popularity of our blogs. Write a good one and hits abound. Write a bad one or post infrequently and no one shows up. Once enough people start showing up, it should be natural to think, "Hey, I wish there was some way I could make money out of this."
Big Pirate

I'll admit, I've been thinking about it for quite awhile. And today, after nearly two years and over a million words written in this here poker blog, I'm announcing my first sponsor.


Is anyone shocked that it's.....Golden Palace Poker Room? These brilliant and infamous marketers have deemed me worthy for a one month trial - I hope anyone who has a chance (and wants to keep this damn blog alive) will click a link and try out their site. I'll be writing more about these fine folks, have no fear.

Best. Casino. Site. Ever.
Golden Palace Casino.

I'm know I've arrived when I received an email from Variable, the author of the debauched and brilliant Loseriad Tales.

Best. Trip. Report. Ever. I need to grovel and ask if I can ever participate in a Vegas Trip with them. Just because.


A little later we're playing Homoha, a game Manbeast invented in honor of Spaulding's aforementioned gay experience. It's Omaha high, queens are wild, and straights don't count. I'm dealt KQJJ. Board comes J4T94. Capped every round. Spaulding has two queens in his hand.


He really needs to write a damn book.

Lots of great posts floating around the Blogosphere right now. But I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the last two posts by Prof and FlipChip over at the Las Vegas poker blog, about: what else, poker blogs and their evolution. Hell, even BJ Nemeth from Card Player wrote out a long ass comment asking goofy questions.

Speaking of blogging, here's an excellent post entitled:
Everything you wanted to know about blogging but were afraid to ask

The Pitbull, Maudie, has a new podcast up. I just love it when she drops the F-bombs.

I'm slowly getting back into the poker groove. I'm a big believer in taking breaks to recharge and refocus. It works for me, anyway. And it's interesting to me how my session lengths keep getting shorter and shorter. I could play steady, solid online poker for hours and hours back when I was working. Now I find I'm better off playing for a shorter period of time - it just allows me to keep total concentration. Yes, I'm easily distracted. Again, this is just me. But I rarely, if ever, leave a table if there's a live one. As always in poker, it depends.

Jonathan Swift once said, "Satire is a sort of glass wherein beholders generally discover everybody's face but their own."

As Lou Krieger pointed out, this analogy also holds true for losing poker players. They see flaws in everyone's play but their own. It's far easier to cut someone else down than to take ownership of our own inevitable flaws. This is especially true in poker.

It's too easy it is to fall into a funk. To start blaming the cards. The poor players. Our abilities. The poker site. Blaming variance, even, as if you could EVER escape it.

As Steve Badger says:


"The problem is: you just can't will yourself to win -- be it a tournament, a single day's play, or even an individual hand. And then, unfortunately for some, not winning is something many players simply can't handle. And being able to not win well is a fundamental, key ingredient of being a winning player."


I'm not even sure this is something that can be taught, it has to come from within or perhaps it's simply experience - but I've just seen too many players come and go after losing and not being able to dig out of it mentally and/or emotionally. It's too easy for the downward spiral to kick in.

Hell, I've had such massive losing weeks that I ultimately decided that everything I knew about poker could fit into a thimble. Perhaps a shot glass is a better example. But regardless, poker for me has simply become a game of stomaching swings. That's it.

Playing NL at the boat gives me an outlet for some fun, though. I'm not sure why the NL game attracts such a regular cast of characters compared to limit. It's downright clubby in that game. One of my tablemates said it was probably because of TV's impact. I'd say he's right.

Anyway, because of my hiatus I've a ton of backlogged content to get to. Plus, I have some awesome strange links for you at the bottom. Safe for work and you'll want to send them to friends, family and co-workers.

So let's hop right to it, shall we?

Here's an interesting post on voice activated poker. Anyone else dabbled with this?

Voice Activated Poker!!!

I'm not sure if this has been done before but i have recently been feeling the symptons of rsi. have purchased the gyroscopic mouse and tried mouseless keyboard poker but neither really helped with the problem.

so because of rsi and because i'm a lazy bastard I've setup a quick and dirty voice activated poker system using Dragon Speaks Naturally Pro. I say quick and dirty because i have voice macro's setup to press the hotkey i have asigned through the mouseless poker system. (like i said.. lazy bastard)

I currently have it setup to handle 8 tables (4 per monitor), by which i choose by saying "Table One" thru to "Table 8". and the current commands are "fold", "Check", "Call", "bet", "raise", "Reraise", "Auto-Post" and "Deal me out"

For now i guess this is only going to work for limit poker, and there's a half a second delay between saying the command and it happening. since i usally only 4 table i've only tested it 4 tabling and haven't had a problem with timing out. i'll try it out on 4 - 6max tables tomorrow.

Since i was being lazy today i cheated at the setup. i'll try and find some time to setup actual dragon vb scripts to eliminate the virtual keypress that it does right now. and if anyone's interested i'll post them.

Let me know what you guys think

Here's a devil advocates view on poker players and job hunting. I remember watching a poker documentary that featured Robert Varkonyi out interviewing for a job and his poker credentials (such as they are) not helping him.

Pro Poker Players as Job Applicants

As a hiring manager familiar with poker, I have to say I would be very impressed by a college-grad applicant that explained a 2-year gap in employment like this:

"At college I learned to master aspects of the game of poker, and I successfully played poker for a living and continue to do so up to the present time. For various reasons I have decided to apply for this full-time, 'real' job."

I'd be intrigued now, because this candidate employee would have some mastery in aspects of personal discipline, personal psychology, statistics (EV, standard deviation, variance etc), mathematics, money management, risk management, game theory, statistics, finance, general psychology, etc. You get the idea...

A successful player will usually be more attuned to how others think and feel. I like this kind of aptitude in employees who must align personal efforts with the efforts of numerous others in the organization.

Therefore, successful poker players, especially young, trainable, moldable ones, absolutely make the best employees.

All other things being equal, if I have any understanding of poker whatsoever I want young, successful poker players on my team, in business terms.

I might be willing to fund the prospective startup business of a young, winning poker player who can prove the annual poker profits with documentation to back it up.

Accordingly I do not see a 2-year gap on a resume (covered by poker) to be a big negative.

Indeed a college-educated player who does support himself from poker, but is now choosing full-time work.... this type of candidate is probably going to be way more successful than average.

Want to argue against these points? Come and get me.

I've been a long time fan of David's excellent (and underrated) gambling blog, Die Is Cast. He might have one of the coolest jobs around, a Gambling History professor at UNLV.

So I found this nifty interview with David at Vegas Tripping. Check it out.
The VT Interview With David G. Schwartz, UNLV Gaming Historian

David has a fantastic collection of casino carpeting. You should go peruse it if you haven't before.
Notorious casino carpet gallery

Hrm, is the new Hold Em game, Stacked, available yet for xbox? I'm too lazy to google it.
Here's the official Stacked website. And here's one players thoughts:

Subject: Stacked: good for online poker or bad?

I'm still undecided as to whether or not the video game stacked will be
good or bad for medium and low limit (around 30/60 and less) online poker.
For those who aren't familiar with it, "Stacked" is a new video game for
X-Box, PS2 and PC that should be coming out this summer. The game's being
pushed by some big name pros (Negreanu, Harman, Lindgren etc.) and will
have the Poki AI system controlling the computer players. In addition to
this, Negreanu will have a "poker school" included in the game to teach
players Hold'em strategy.

Assuming that the game sells well, do you guys think it will have a good
(i.e. profitable for players at those levels who are currently profitable)
or bad (decrease their profits) for medium and low limit online poker? I
suppose it could have an effect on live poker as well, but I doubt the
effect will be as large since you'll still have to be 21 to enter many
cardrooms. But 3-5 years from now, we may feel the "Stacked" effect there
too in a huge way, since they'll have had 3 years experience against a top
notch poker bot...and likely 3-5 years of online experience too. And yes
I am aware that Poki Academy has been around for some time now and uses
the same (or at least similar) AI, but with this being half the price and
not limited to PCs, with some decent marketing I believe it will have a
substantially larger audience.

So, what are your opinions?

I'm not sure what's up with all the fascination of poker tattoos on RGP but I'm gonna keep documenting them here:

Subject: 40 more posts needed for poker tattoo thread
Author: Howard Beale

I started the poker tattoo threads, now totaling 3. The combined number of posts is up to 60. In order to reach 100 (a personal milestone) 40 more are needed.

Suggested additional topics:

Famous historical persons w/ tattoos.
Strangest tattoo you have ever seen.
Strangest tattooed body part.
Would you vote for a presidential candidate w/ a tattoo?
Do you think Hillary Clinton has a tattoo or two?
What tattoo would suit Hillary?
Which tattoos are considered conservative and which liberal?
Does Antonin Scalia have a tattoo?
Could you see a tattoo on Clarence Thomas?
What is the best color for a poker tattoo and why do so many ppl pick green?

Carry on.

Howard Beale

2005 WSOP runner-up is still blogging away at the official site of David Williams.

Forbes has an interesting slideshow with the the richest gambling magnates in the world.

Funny, but I just read this story by Bob Ciaffone:

A businessman was once leaving the poker table in Las Vegas after having thrown off a nice lump of money. Suddenly he turned and said, "You'll probably laugh at me once I'm out of earshot. I come here three or four times a year and blow off some energy and steam. Whenever I return, you are always sitting here, trying to scratch out a living. You tell me, who's the mug?"

Per playing poker for a living, I saw this post from last month by Josh about poker burnout.
Poker Burn Out

Poker offers such a unique opportunity to make it big doing little, but it comes at a significant emotional and mental cost. Working a 9-5 job may not be the most magnificient thing to do, but for the most part, no matter what job it is, doing it performs a service or benefits society in some way. Admit it or not, that gives us, or at least me, some sort of satisfaction. I lack that satisfaction with poker. Unless its a live game, I don't have any communication with anybody while I'm "working" and when you boil it down, all my "job" consists of is taking other people's money and giving them an ass whooping in return. There is something very unsatisfing about that.

And another insightful, tongue in cheek perspective.

Subject: You CAN succeed at poker!

For anyone who is currently struggling and having doubts about their poker playing ability, I just wanted to offer a few words of encouragement.

I discovered internet poker a couple of years ago. It became an obsession. I was determined to become the best poker player I could possibly be. I studied several books and practiced as much as possible.

My devotion did not have an immediate pay-off, however. I played correctly, as defined by the experts, but I kept losing. This did not discourage me. I kept playing. But, unfortunately, I kept losing.

And money wasn't the only thing I lost. While I was pursuing my dream, I lost my job, my wife, my home, virtually everything but my car and my laptop.

For awhile, I abandoned my dream. I collected unemployment and wallowed in self-pity, missing my wife and kids. But the dream would not die. My life was now radically different -- for the first time in my life I was all alone and practically broke -- but I still had the burning desire to play poker for a living. So I put the past behind me and began playing again, two games at a time, often for as long as 14 hours a day.

It didn't happen overnight and it was a journey with many obstacles, but I am proud to say I did finally achieve my dream. As I sit in this hotel room typing on my old beat up laptop, I have a smile on my face.

I have earned nearly $12,000 playing poker this year.

I did it and so can you. Don't dwell on the bad beats you encounter at the poker table or in life. Stay focused on your goal and don't let anything get in your way. You CAN succeed at poker! I'm living proof. Good luck, everyone.

Which ties in nicely into Dutch Boyd whining about being lonely once and outting himself as a Trekkie fan.

Poor Dutch.

Wil > Dutch

My main man, Howard, asks the question I sometimes wonder about and gets an informed response. Both below:

Who is reading the poker books?
Author: Howard Beale

The last time I was at Barnes & Noble (to buy Harrington's book) I was astonished to see that the poker books were prominently displayed with an entire case to themselves and the covers facing forward right at the front of the store. It was the sort of display you'd expect to see for best sellers. 10 years ago I used to have to look in the games section for the paltry few titles available.

When I went to check out the cashier mentioned that her husband also played poker but she didn't like that he did and, as I guessed, it was because he was losing. When I asked what books he had read on the topic and she answered "none" I went back and
brought her Carson's, one by Krieger and "Zen".

I ask the above question because I just returned from playing, and while I certainly don't just "play by the book" I have read quite a few and do have an appreciation for the concepts that you find in them. I am one of the few, it seems. 90% of the players fling chips all over the place w/o regard for odds, position, other players actions, etc. It's apparent that they've either not read anything on the subject or are just ignoring it. Yet the books are being sold. If the players aren't reading
them then who is?


Seeing as how I am a manager for Barnes & Noble, let me answer this to the
best of my ability.

The numbers that I have seen indicate that a high number of traffic from our
poker section is from the ages of 18-25. Judging from the numbers at my
store, people usually buy two or more poker books at a time, and they
usually peak from May (as WSOP warmup period begins) through November (when
the college games that seem like a great idea at the start of the year start
to break up).

In the end, basically, college students are buying them the way past
generations may have owned a copy of the Communist Manifesto or an Abbie
Hoffman title. They may not ever read them, most probably only get through
2-3 chapters of their purchases, but it makes them look cool.

Those are my opinions, as supported by the numbers in my store.

Interesting. Can I state the obvious and say there's a huge difference between 'reading' and studying?

Why is this site in my bookmarks?

I'm not a fan of people asking to see my mucked cards at the end of a hand. Sure, it's within the rules but I still don't care for it. I understand the implied Tilt factor that this action has, so I try not to let it get under my skin. but here's a guy who enjoys this play so here's his rationalizations along with a follow up comment that I fully concur with.

I've had this argument a million times, with people calling me a cheat, liar, and worse. The bottom line is this: a rule exists. Every player has the option to exercise the right given to them by this rule. If some players choose not to
utilize this right, so be it. However, if they dislike the rule, then dont play
in cardrooms that enforce it. the 'spirit' of the rule is irrelevant. It would
be very simple for them to change the wording of the rule to reflect the
intention of the rule, which is to deter collusion. They dont change the wording
of the rule. Poker is an amoral game. exploit every edge to your advantage.

(as an added bonus, you have just discovered additional powers of this rule: it puts people on tilt, rather quickly. When i find someone who is offended by having their cards shown i make sure to ask them every time they get to showdown. Try it, and watch the chips spew.)


Players with this attitude are disliked. They usually defend themselves
with the remark "I'm not here to make friends."

Guess what: It's working. The problem is that your action will start to dry up.

Players don't like to give action to people they intensely dislike. I think Mike
Caro has made a point of this over and over again.


First of all, if you haven't tried Noble Poker, it's actually a great place to bonus whore.

And NOW - if you sign up through my damn banner or text links, you get a special deal. $800 Signup Bonus! That's pretty damn generous and worth doing. So please sign up thru this humble poker blog for this offer.

But here's that promotion I mentioned earlier:


One skillful player will scoop a $1,000,000 payout in Noble Poker's latest, most unique promotion to date.

All it will take to walk away with the $1,000,000 is for one champion player to win seven consecutive $10 Sit 'n' Go tournaments - easy!

The $1,000,000 challenge will begin on August 1st 2005 - so the countdown to $1,000,000 is ticking.

In addition, Noble Poker will give a $75,000 prize to any player who wins six consecutive Sit 'n' Go tournaments and a $25,000 prize to any player who wins five consecutive Sit 'N' Go tournaments.

The Million Dollar Challenge is Noble Poker's newest promotion, and there is no other online poker venue offering anything like it.

Please visit the Noble Poker site for further details about this amazing promotion:
Noble Poker Challenge

Crazy. A million dollars?

Damn, I still haven't read Barry's new book but I've heard plenty of good things about it. Here's one little anecdote:

Has anyone read Barry Greenstein's new book yet?

It's interesting. I for one liked it quite a bit. Some thoughtful
analysis and some interesting stories. My favorite is when Pug, in a
moment of weakness, asks his girlfriend "Would you still love me if I
were broke?" Her response: "Yes, I would, Pug. And I'd miss you,

I'm a pretty big fan of Amy Calistri over at Poker Pages and not just because I had such a fun phone conversation with her. I admire her for this post, telling it like it is, about Doyle's alleged pump and dump of the WPT stock.
How low will it go?

Good grief, I still have oodles of content. Maybe you'll get a few uber posts this week, if you're lucky.

This one was brought to you by not only Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker, but more importantly. by Golden Palace Poker. Please give them a try and support this humble poker blog.

Here we go. Wacky Links.

Again, all safe for work. And I wouldn't be posting them if they weren't, um, interesting.

WTF is this?
Goddess Bunny
Polio victim. Gender-bending marvel. Glamor queen and fetishist's fantasy. The Goddess Bunny - has to be seen to be believed.

Rubber Johnny
This is the creepy video everyone is talking about. Might be the strangest music video I've ever seen. Tip of the Guinness to Helixx for the link.

Rubber Johnny documents a 16-year-old, inbred mutant's solitary existence, locked in a pitch-black basement by his ashamed parents. They are TV addict rednecks who occasionally feed Johnny and yell at him for making noise. Johnny's only company in the basement is his little dog. His dog's I.Q. far outstrips Johnny's, who is a completely insane, bi-polar imbecile. Featuring music by Aphex Twin

From AlCanHang's favorite magazine, Modern Drunkard, comes the wonderful 86 Rules of Boozing. There's more to it than tipping a glass and acting foolish.

Continuing the booze theme, why havent I seen this before?
Here's a drinking game played to the Karl Rove ongoing investigation from White House press briefing by Scott McClellan.

Good Gord - I don't know what the hell this is, but its certainly one of the strangest midget videos I've ever seen. And that's saying a lot.

Damn, what the hell did we do before the internet? I can't even remember anymore.

Take care and thanks for reading.

Link of the Day:
Dead Puppies Aren't Much Fun
I'm not going to read anything by PETA Kills Animals until they concoct publicity stunts involving semi-nude models.

All Content Copyright Iggy 2003-2007
Information on this site is intended for news and entertainment purposes only.

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