Thursday, September 15, 2005
"One way to stop a runaway horse is to bet on him."
Thanks for stopping by this humble poker blog. I've some fine stuff for you tonight.
Ok, maybe not so much fine as verbose. Hell, read on and decide for yourself.
This post brought to you by Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker.
I'm announcing the WPBT blogger and reader tournament right now since Pauly & I finally decided on a site. I'm gonna call this one Pauly's Birthday Bash because next Tuesday is his 33rd Birthday and what better way to celebrate than with some poker and some drunken friends?
WPBT Tourney - Pauly's Birthday Bash
Tuesday - September 20th
Open to ALL bloggers and readers. I'm excited as hell to get everyone to play together again. And sure, we coulda ran this on Stars again, but Otis gets screwed everytime we play there, which sucks. So Pauly and I decided on Titan Poker. It's getting rave reviews and Joanne from Chick & a Chair and CardSquad gave it a thumbs up for the soft games. And besides, it's always fun to try out a new poker site.
Best of all, they've agreed to change their normal tourney structure for us. We'll start with 1500 in chips and the blinds will escalate every 20 minutes. Pretty damn cool.
Plus, they have a $500 matching deposit bonus.
Please, for the love of all things decent, if you enjoy this silly poker blog, please consider signing up with my links. I don't get much from it but it's still a sign that it's worthwhile for me to come on here and bang out uber-posts for you. So again, consider supporting this humble blog by clicking on the Titan Poker links here.
Damn, Pauly is The Man. Now he's off in Barcelona, Amsterdam and AC. Honestly, Pauly's life is a fantasy camp. People should PAY money to live life as Pauly.
One quick note: I truly enjoyed Wil Wheaton on the PokerStars radio broadcast of the WCOOP event #10 final table. And not to be a dick, but co-host Rick Charles was painful. Yes, I know he lost everything in Katrina but that still doesn't make him a good announcer. Voice of poker, my ass.
Don't make me post the Paul Phillips flame about him, damnit.
First, a little rambling about my recent ugly downswing. First off, I've experienced some especially ugly sessions. In reviewing my hand histories, it's clear that I've had plenty of second best hands, but more importantly, I've been making some truly awful reads. Dreadful. And while hand-reading probably isn't as important in limit versus no-limit, it's still a crucial skill in the mid-higher limit games.
I'm a pretty tight player. But I've also gotten used to the (often) hyper-aggressive games on Party Poker, by fighting fire with fire. Serious aggression. Once I became comfortable stomaching the swings, I was able to really begin to push thin edges. And that's part of what allowed me to become a profitable player. Because, after all, most of your profit comes from borderline decisions.
And let's face it, in limit poker, you have many borderline decisions. Often one action seems just as good as another, on the face of it. It's reasonable that many of these decisions are borderline because, so often, in poker, you're dealing with plays that will only earn or lose a small percentage one way or the other. The one thing you Don't want to do is maneuver around that borderline at whim, sometimes going one way, sometimes deciding another. And I've had the aggression factor amped up too much.
Part of the problem is that there are so many borderline decisions because of the speed of play, most especially online. If you were able to call a timeout and sit back and concentrate for a few hours, you could easily come up with the correct decision, looking at all the factors involved instead of the more superficial feel. I mean, there's hundreds of factors involved in playing poker. But again, that ain't our beloved game. Poker is fast.
And frankly, it's these thin edges that I'm making wrong decisions on. Over and over.
I could wax poetic about all the psychological factors involved here but I don't want to bore you (too late!) and frankly, I can sum it up by saying, "I'm playing some shitty poker." No harm in recognizing that.
In fact, it's huge. Not acknowledging this fact will seriously damage my bankroll, if I allow it.
One of the best poker lessons I've gleaned from playing at the boat so much is that most poker players are mentally treating a poker session as a win or lose proposition. Only focusing on the single session. That's crazy, but they do. Most of em feel they have have to get even or cut their losses for the session. But the right attitude is far different. The correct attitude - the one you should always strive to have - is that you are ALWAYS even when the hand begins. No matter what's happened previously - play your hand for what it's worth NOW.
Hell, some folks at the boat stop playing good poker once they're winning....they don't want to risk their "winnings" thus far. Or worse, they start really gambling it up, figuring that they are "free-rolling" now. This Doyle Brunson approach is fine and dandy for Doyle but I doubt any of us would compare ourselves to him. And then, some players fall apart when losing - turning an average loss into a major one. Do some thinking about your own play.
And then remember. Play the hand for what it's worth now.
Note to self - take your own advice. Idiot.
Stream of consciousness posts rule.
It's what I do.
And hell, now I've lost my train of thought and want to write about bankroll management. I'll save that for next time as it segues nicely into this post:
Subject: Poker, Bankroll, and Marriage
Have had a fairly succesful year +1850 on the internet and + 1550 on home games (mostly 25 dollar buy in tourneys)and B&M - now here's my question
Has anyone here had problems with their wife "dipping" into bankroll saying ... GREAT WIN honey that'll really come in handy for ... gifts ... extra vacation whatever.. "
I was ok with this UNTIL i get the bitching about "you've lost quite a bit lately" etc ... etc...
MY answer has gotta be to completely seperate my poker bankroll.... but i like to provide extras for the family etc...
This is a subject near and dear to my heart. Mostly because one of the most difficult adjustments since leaving corporate America has been "living off my bankroll." I still hate it. It was so much more fun having this separate account that was strictly for poker, instead of paying bills (and taxes) with it. I've said it many times before - poker has made me fiscally responsible. Growing my bankroll back in my nascent days taught me how important bankroll management was.
This kinda sucks - I really do have a ton to say but am feeling scattered and inhibited cause of the parents factor. I received some good advice from a friend today telling me to open my books to them - show them how I've done and allay their fears.
But I digress.
The reality is that despite this ugly downswing, I'm still in great shape. I'm just gonna take some time off from the online poker tables and regroup. If anything, I'll jump on Party Poker and screw around on the Badbeat JackPot tables.
Hey, did everyone read HDouble's classic new movie post? You better go, if not:
The Poker Wisdom of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Here's another post on a topic I struggle with. Sometimes I'm bored shitless playing limit poker.
Picking a discipline?
I read a post a while back either here or on 2+2 that spoke about picking a discipline and sticking with it, i.e. either play limit cash, NL cash, MTT, or SnG's. The article suggested devoting all your time towards one of these and mastering it.
I've been grinding limit for a while, up to 5/10. The money is great, but I've run into a problem. I really don't feel like i'm getting any better at poker, and part of me tells me that all the fish will be playing NL or tourneys [like on TV!]
Is it worth trying my hand at other things even though I feel like I have a bigger edge at limit cash games?
Of course, playing poker for a living has its downsides. I've struggled long and hard about the ethics and/or purpose of doing so. And being the fantastic rationalizer that I am, finally came to grips with the negatives. Here's a fine post about it all:
Subject: The ethics of playing poker
You may call me old-fashioned (or something worse), but I just had to raise this issue here. First, I want to say that I believe that any decent or civilized practitioner of some long-term vocation or job should judge its ethical status.
Asking oneself what are the moral consequences of one's primary (or secondary) occupation seems reasonable and minimally decent. Sometimes, it's a quick question with a quick answer ('Negligible.' 'Unknowable.' 'Neutral to good.'
I'm not saying that the answer should solely determine one's choice of work (there are almost always other factors to consider, and sometimes all the realistic alternatives are worse, anyway), I'm just saying it's more humane to at least answer the question for oneself rather than blithely dismissing it ('Who cares? It's fun.' Or 'Who cares? It's work.')
So I was wondering about the case of poker. Say that you play for a living, or play regularly to supplement your income; you belong to that fabled 15% of winning poker players and rely on the other 85% for your profits. You also rely on some of the following: the booming popularity of poker, the fact that it's harder than it looks, the fact that it sucks in gambling types and over-confident novices.
I'm not denying that it takes diligence and intelligence to become a disciplined, winning player. But to what sort of enterprise have these two commendable traits been applied?
I have heard glib arguments ranging from 'taxing the stupid' and 'Darwinism' to 'caveat emptor' and 'capitalism, baby!' I've also heard more direct and substantial responses to the question of moral consequences: poor players lose a little and leave, to be replaced by new ones, so that no one individual is grossly harmed; those who keep playing get better and win their losses back. Or: yes, it seems marginally unethical to target weaker players who don't know any better, but it's actually a kind of win-win situation: they're paying for entertainment and we're on the receiving end of that process.
But I was hoping for some of your thoughts. Are you completely at ease about the ethics of playing poker, or are there some minor twinges? Are there never any 'real' victims, or rarely, or regularly, and in what moral position does this put the one who profits?
(Thank you for reading and sorry if it was grim or boring; I was just really curious.)
I've experienced much more than minor twinges, for the record.
I think most people picture the life of an online poker pro as being something like this:
Of course, it's pretty close.
I know some folks count on me for insider stuff on RGP and I'm here to deliver. The best news is that crazy Russ Gorgeiv GCA is finally getting ignored. He just keeps posting the same old fucking posts and emails and FINALLY getting zero comments. Not that this will stop him, oh no. But we can hope.
Anyway, I loved this parody post heckling Russ for his supposed "pro bowling past".
Subject: Re: Before I was a Pro Poker Player "GCA"
Wait, let me guess, you were the best cheater around but only after all
the other top bowlers took you under their wing and taught you to cheat
first because you were winning too much. If you had refused their offer
to join their gang, well, they would have made you an offer you could
"We used a special set of magnetized pins, they weren't cheap let me
tell you. Every time one of the cheating gang was in danger of only
knocking down only 9 pins we turned the juice on one of the sides of
the pin enclosure full blast to help it fall down. Similarly whenever
one of the naive (mind boggling that anyone can think pro bowling is
not fixed) oppostion was about to strike the pins, the floor under the
pins was magnetized, tending to keep a pin up here and there.
"It was very subtle in its effect. Only a professional bowling cheat
catcher would know what to look for.
We have proof. More will follow."
Is this close?
I love the poker bloggers. Isn't that obvious?
And Mr. Rini posted the latest news on our big get-together in Vegas in early December. You can't even imagine the fun, trust me.
This sums up how I feel after a winning month at Party Poker.
Or after taking someones stack at the boat:
I'm looking forward to feeling that way again.
K, I think I posted this before, but this 2+2 thread is so freaking funny it simply must be read. Stockman has taken trolling to a new level. Mathematical genius, indeed!
ONLINE POKER IS 100% RIGGED
This was a superb response in an "online poker is rigged" thread.
Post and top-notch reply follows.
Subject: How Do Rigged Poker Sites Designate...
Here's a typical scenario:
We have a full table. There is one good player whose DOOM SWITCH has been turned on, and the remaining players are all MAJOR suckers (no BJ jokes please).
It's a family capped pot. The good player has KK. The flop is something like K-8-2, all different suits.
Now we *KNOW* KK is going to lose by the river, that's a given. But how does the poker site determine which sucker is going to win the pot?
Practically all poker sites cater to US customers. Obviously, and like all things having to do with the average American citizen and their money, the sites primary motivation would be to satisfy their wealthier customers while culling their poorer clientele.
Hence this would be tied to their individual credit score. The higher that score, the more disposable income that player has. The more such wealth available - the more valuable that player is to the site.
Hence the doom switch is flipped on all those within the lower aggregate percentiles of the customer base as a whole. Perhaps the bottom third as an estimate. There you have it - the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the poker site has an ever richer field to mine for rake as time goes by.
Here's the Rolling Stone article about Hunter S. Thompson's funeral and they even published his suicide note. Bless you Dr. Gonzo.
Football Season Is Over
Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's final note . . . Entering the no more fun zone
I somehow forgot to point out this article about online team poker play, after a well-known player, Noah Boeken, admitted to playing a tourney with multiple accounts at Poker Stars. Details by Jon Eaton over at Poker Trails:
Team Play Online – Destroying Online Play?
Todd Brunson is interviewed over at Poker Lizard. Go read the disturbing story behind a high-stakes game and water spitting with Sam Farha, Chau Giang and Annie Duke.
I haven't tried the new show over at Poker Talk Show so I'm blogging it here for my own edification. Plus, I think I read that esteemed Matt Matros might be doing some announcing there. Do you think Matt knows he has legions of girl fans?
Speaking of poker bloggers, this is me at the bloggers table. I try, at least.
Subject: Playing EVERY hand no matter what
I posted on this late last night but I thought it was a sufficiently interesting
poker topic to bring it up again.
As an experiment in loose-mostly passive play, I played 5 cheap sit and goes last night with one goal: play every single hand regardless of what I was holding, position, or chip stacks. In the most extreme example, if I had 7/2 off and someone went all-in, I called. For these 5 games, the only time I didn't see a flop was when it was folded to me in the big blind or when I made a pre-flop raise and everyone folded.
I lost several big pots when someone moved in with a premium hand and I had terrible cards, but I was dedicated to my experiment and gave no consideration to anything other than playing every hand. I also sucked out on AA, KK, and AK several times with trash cards.
For the most part I played normally after the flop, although my post-flop strategy was altered by the fact that everyone knew I was playing every hand no matter what (in each game I eventually told the table what I was doing in response to various player's outraged comments).
With the table(s) knowing I was playing every hand regardless of my holding, it threw
everyone off their game, and thus altered my post-flop play a bit. No one ever knew where I was in a hand, so I found there to be more value in playing passively when I caught a flop. I let others do much of the betting for me, and used the check-raise much more than I normally would.
My results for 5 games were three 2nd place finishes, one 3rd place finish, and one 5th place finish. For the four in-the-money finishes I was the chip leader when it got down to three players and I think it likely that I would have won each time if I had shifted gears and changed my strategy to normal play after getting to the money, but I wanted the experiment to go all the way.
I found this very interesting because to some extent it challenges the conventional wisdom in single table tournaments to just sit back and wait for big hands while the other players eliminate each other. Granted, five games is not much of a sample size, but it's better than one game! Except for the game in which I finished 5th, I was amazed at how often my crap cards turned into strong hands on the flop.
The effect this has on the other players is the most interesting part. People tend to become very tentative when they see your 4/8 offsuit crack AA on one hand, and your 5/7 crack AK on the next. I'm going to try this again today, only this time I'm going to revert to more or less normal play after getting in the top 3.
Requiring yourself to play every hand no matter what is an educational and entertaining experience. I encourage everyone to try this experiment in whatever game is a throw-away amount of money for you. Afterwards, please post your impressions.
Ahhh, it's just like old times, cranking this post out. It's gotta be more fun to read than write. Wait, don't answer that.
Here's an interesting 2+2 thread talking about the Neteller debit card which then tangented into people trying to "hide" money from the IRS.
Why would anyone use the Neteller Debit Card
I guess it's obvious that Howard Beale is one of my favorite RGP posters. Of course, he doesn't have much competition over there anymore, but I still look forward to his nuggets and tales. Here's a good one.
Subject: Math, Schmath Or: The Idiot "Pro"
Yesterday I left the 8-16 when Casino Arizona's Tuesday tournament started
at 7pm and the game got short to go have a bowl of Matzo Ball soup. Next
time I get the small.
An hour later I'm seated again in the 6 seat and there is now a "Rounder Kid" in the 8. He is decked out as you expect. He had his buddies checking in regularly and he was denigrating the level of play at the table. He was whiny, smart-alecky and aggravating.
He spouted odds, statistics, outs, how the hands should be played and everything else you could imagine. And he was losing. On my right was a very loose player who will call down with any pair, plays weak hands too far and had been getting lucky. The Kid won't stop riding him and lecturing. He talked about the loose players' play to his buddies, snickering. I tried to tell him to shut up but it's NG. He even tells his buds that this player called him with Ace high and says "He won with the Ace high but it was a stupid call."
Another player, a young nerdy-looking Vietnamese kid, was torturing the "pro." His overcards were hitting on the turn to the "pro's" small pocket pair. This happened 3 times in a row and the "pro" called everytime. He was fuming and I could read his mind. "How could this idiot beat me? He doesn't know what he's doing! I'm the smart player here and everybody should know it! I have a baseball cap on! Backwards!"
After the Vietnames nerdy guy (all 120 lbs of him) won for the third time when his overcards hit the "pro" went totally off. I have a great memory so I'll relate the entire barrage:
"How could you beat me like that 3 times in a row? Dealer, how could you put overcards on the board like that 3 times in a row? Do you know what the odds are of me starting with the best hand and then losing 3 times in a row are? I had the best hand to start! I always have the best hand to start! The odds are:
shouldsubtract8! Did you know you should subtract 8 when Saturn is in it's current position? Of course not but I know it!"
Well, Math, Schmath and Odds, Schmods. I don't need no stinking odds to know that when the Vietnamese guy bets at me and looks at me like it's the Vietnamese Happy New Year to know I'm beat. And I don't take my pocket 5's to the river against a guy who can't bet fast enough, either.
Most people on here know to keep their mouth shut and not lecture, wise-up or denigrate the losing players but nobody has yet come up with a way to make someone else stop doing it and until a death-ray is invented it's going to stay that way.
The "pro" eventually won a big pot, got even, and ran away.
Enjoyed this article by Daniel Kimberg entitled" Is Poker Skill Just Intelligence?
There's more to poker ability than just intelligence. Check it out.
This is a strange thing to post, but hell, a lot of people appreciated it on RGP. So I'm doing the same here.
Subject: Some good basic fraud advice
Hey all - Got this from a friend, some good basic advice.
ATTORNEY'S ADVICE -- NO CHARGE
A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his
1. The next time you order checks have only your initials (instead of
first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your checkbook,
they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials or your
first name, but your bank will know how you sign your checks.
2. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put "PHOTO ID
3. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO
NOT put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead, just put
the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the
number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through
all the check processing channels won't have access to it.
4. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If
you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not
have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your
checks. You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have it printed,
anyone can get it.
5. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both
sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in
your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and
cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. I also carry a photocopy of
my passport when I travel either here or abroad. We've all heard horror
stories about fraud that's committed on us in stealing a name, address,
Social Security number, credit cards.
Unfortunately I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge because my wallet
was stolen last month. Within a week, the thieve(s) ordered an expensive
monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit
line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to
change my driving record information online, and more. But here's some
critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or
someone you know:
1. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. But
the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you
know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.
2. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your
credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were
diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever
But here's what is perhaps most important of all : (I never even
thought to do this.)
3. Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to
place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. I had never
heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an
application for credit was made over the Internet in my name. The alert
means any company that checks your credit knows your information was
stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.
By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft,
all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks
initiated by the thieves' purchases, none of which I knew about before
placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and
the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in). It
seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks.
Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet,
etc., has been stolen:
1.) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
2.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
3.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
4.) Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
Mildly amusing post about a mildly amusing hand:
Subject: Mildly Amusing Hand from Borgata Last NIght & A Question
So last night my dad has a business obligation at the Borgata, after which he decided to play some 1/2 NL. Now, my dad has never played poker in a B&M before and was understandably a little nervous. He also tends to overplays TPGK and flush and str8 draws. Anyway, he messed around for a while, +/- 50 the whole night until the following hand came up. Not sure of the stacks:
Villian (immediately to his left): 4x4x
Dad bets out $20 (about the size of the pot i think after all the limpers), Villian calls.
Turn: Xc. Dad bets out $50, Villian calls.
River: Xc. Dad bets out $75, Villians calls and shows his set.
Dad sees the set, picks his cards up a little high, still face down though, and tosses them down a few inches in front of him (not entirely into the muck but in a gesture of defeat) obviously not realizing he had the flush.
The dealer, as he's collecting the cards, doesn't turn them over but takes a peek at my dad's cards. Then the following convo took place:
Dealer: "You know what you had right?" Dad: "Yeah, a King". Dealer: "You know what the other card was right?" Dad: "A Queen". Dealer: "Do you know which suit?"
Dad's face goes red. Almost a $300 pot goes to the Villian bec he mis-read his hand/the board. They were laughing about it on the table the whole night, and whenver a 4-flush was on the board they would offer my Dad eyeglasses and stuff (good-natured ribbing).
My question is, was the dealer justified in peeking at the cards after they were tossed? If so, how far must the cards travel in order to indicate "mucking" them? Just wondering as I never throw my cards at the muck, I usually flick them my finger.
I enjoyed this funny tale from Poker Chips about the English only rule at the poker tables in Vegas.
I was playing at the $3/$6 holdem tables at the Stardust in Vegas this last weekend. And at one point, I looked at my hole cards, and I said, "Carpe diem". Then I raised.
The dealer shoots me a dirty look and says, "English only at the table, sir!"
Here's another classic post of poker wisdom. I wonder how much this guy charges.
Subject: Need a poker pro to tutor you?
As a full time professional poker player, I've decided to offer my services to anyone wishing to become better at NL HE. Below is my story. I hope you find it inspiring.
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 $15,000 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.
I got the Poker Bustouts DVD. Wasn't that good. If you watch the 3 minute video snippet on their website, you've pretty much seen the movie right there.
Lots of people are curious about poker professionals online poker screen names. Here's a fine updated list for you:
Re: Pro Poker Players Online Usernames
Josh Arieh - razorbax
Aaron Bartley - GambleAB
David Benyamine - magicpitch
Steve Billirikas - MrSmokey1
Noah Boeken - Exclusive
David Colclough - el blondie
Hoyt Corkins - EasyH
Scott Fischman - Emptyseat88
Layne Flack - reloadthis
Prahlad Friedman - Prefontaine
Kirill Gerasimov - kirillG
Pete Giordano - TheBeat
Gus Hansen - broksi
Phil Hellmuth - #1_Lucky_One
Brett Jungblutt - gank
Thomas "Thunder" Keller - bigglesworth
Kathy Liebert - Kathy Liebert
Erick Lindgren - EDOGN
Hans "Tuna" Lund - luckysucker
Marcel Luske - El Capitano
Mike Matusow - MrPokeJoke
Chris Moneymaker - money800
Dan Negreanu - DoubleSuited
Scotty Nguyen - Noo limit
The Poker Babe - Siren
Greg Raymer - Fossilman
Shawn Rice - WestTexasMan
Erik Sagstrom - Erik123
Simon "Aces" Trumper - PateK
David Williams - RugDoctor
Todd Witteles - Dan Druff
Dustin Woolf - neverwin
David Benyamine - magicpitch
Lyle Berman - buckskin
Freddy Deeb - kid44/kid55
Annie Duke - Annie Duke
Layne Flack - LayneFlack
Prahlad Friedman - Spirit Rock/Mahatma
Russ Hamilton - pokerchamp94
Phil Hellmuth - Phil Hellmuth
Bobby Hoff - DaWiz
Phil Ivey - joe buttons
Thomas Keller - GummyBear
Shawn Keller - catchoftheday
Erick Lindgren - Mr Belvedere
Dave "Devilfish" Ulliot - Devilfish
James Worth - KrazyKanuck
If you play online poker and dont read my blog every day, you are deeply and profoundly retarded. Even more so if you aren't playing at Party Poker.
Here's an interesting take of a guy playing as a pro poker player for a few years.
Three years without a regular job, two years of Online play
A recap on playing as a pro, with my very biased opinions.
The last "regular" job I had working for a company was in Sept. of 2002 - so three years, and since then I have had some investment income, and also secondary income, but the bulk of my income has come from live and online play.
During the past two years, 90% of my "poker" income has been via the internet, and after starting at .50/$1 I have played as high as $30/$60 but regularly play $5/$10 and some $10/$20. My income spiked at $74 an hour, but overall for this period is $33 an hour (It's tough raising your hourly when you have hundreds of hours at a micro-limit).
I'm being honest here, for those interested (expecially those that are new to online play), there is some nice money to be made, but I am starting to reach a point where it isn't much fun. If I was making $250K, it might be different, but I am looking at a job offer in Greece because its over 100K plus housing, and that's more than I will make this year.
I played as a pro in the 1980's (I'm 46) and quit college to do so, but have been back in college since April of '04, and will get a degree in about a year. I wish I had just finished when I was younger. High school and college should be a major highlight in your life, and losing that to poker is a mistake. The more I see poker "taking off," the more I think it will be around way past your graduation. My opinion is enjoy your schooling, play poker on the side, and get your degree.
I had my first five-figure down swing, then took a week in San Diego with the family, and am back home - I've had a great time playing poker in my life, but I need a break/vacation about every two months now, and I'm not sure that's a good thing.
I'm hoping to see a great deal from the "O'Doyle" group that can get me to 3-4 major tournaments next year, and that will probably be enough to keep me playing, but without that, I may give it a rest.
If I had to sum up my life, and poker, I would use one word:
Before you play poker, you should leave your ego at the door. I've done way too many foolish things due to my ego, instead of not worrying what other people might think of me or my situation. Don't let that happen to you. Do what's right for you - after giving all avenues an honest look. We get in certain games because of our ego, we chase down a player who "drew-out" on us because of ego, we often don't see the truth because our ego does not want to see it. Hell, I post here because of ego - and it's probably time to rethink that too.
Good luck everybody.
Conventional wisdom says the casino industry (and taverns) is recession-proof, but this might be taking it too far. Steve Lopez of the LA Times has a fine tale about someone gambling in Lake Charles, Louisiana, even though his New Orleans-area home is still underwater. Evidence, perhaps, that the human urge to gamble is almost as strong as the survival instinct.
"I've been cryin' for a week," a red-eyed Gail Plank of eastern Texas said as she played the 25-cent Sizzling 7 slot machines Sunday morning and drew hard on a Doral cigarette.
"I have family that's still lost."
Plank insisted she wasn't really in the mood to yank slots after the Gulf states tested their luck against Katrina and lost big.
But she gambles so often, she was invited to participate in the Lazy Labor Day Slot Tournament at Harrah's Casino & Hotel, so she figured why not?
If she wins, Plank said, Hurricane Katrina evacuees are in luck.
"I'm giving it all to the Red Cross."
I had seen the riverboat out of the corner of my eye as I sped toward the center of the disaster zone and drove right past it before realizing it was a casino.
Who, I wondered, would be throwing money away in a casino when thousands of Gulf shore residents have lost their lives, their homes and their jobs? When the Big One hits Los Angeles and one-story houses suddenly become split-levels, will we all meet up around a poker table in the City of Commerce?
Doubling back to Harrah's, I figured maybe the place was being used as a staging or rest area for rescue crews, even though Lake Charles is two hours from the worst of the damage.
But I was wrong, of course.
Down the long corridor I walked, past the food court, past the "Come On Down" $1 million giveaway promotion and down the ramp to two riverboat gambling halls: Pride of Lake Charles and Star of Lake Charles.
I went with the Pride, and although it was sparsely populated, it was filling up fast with gamblers, not rescue workers.
Not far away, I noticed another man whose body language said "losing streak." He was wearing a shirt that read, "I Got Out Of Bed For This?"
"Oh, I'm losing all right," Ralph Moten said as a slot machine ate his quarters. "Down $100 already." Yeah, that is a lot.
"I lost my house," he went on. "Lost everything."
You lost what?
"Lost my house."
To the hurricane?
Yes, he said, hitting the "Bet One Credit" button again.
Moten said he left his four-bedroom home in Metairie, close to the New Orleans boundary, just before the hurricane hit. Neighbors who stayed behind have told him the whole area is underwater, including much of his house.
Moten and 11 other family members, including seven grandchildren, made their way to Lake Charles and met a cop who escorted them to a shelter at the local civic center.
It's all been a bit too much to handle, said Moten, 56, a former welder who is on disability after a serious car accident several years ago. He has no idea how badly damaged his house is or when he'll be able to return, and his bed is now a narrow cot in a crammed, noisy auditorium, where he tosses all night but can't really turn.
"I had to get out of there," he said. "It's too much stress and too depressing, and one little baby cried all night." One of the other evacuees said he'd been to the casino for a little relief, and Moten found himself out back of the civic auditorium, looking across the lake at the casino.
"You can see the riverboats from there," he said in his own defense. "I had a $10 Harrah's coupon in my pocket, so I had to come."
Moten didn't tell any of the relatives what he was up to. "I just said I'm going for a ride."
Now he wondered if he should quit while he still had enough money to buy lunch. Then again, he was way overdue for a change of luck.
It's all a roll of the dice, Moten knows all too well. Who loses his house in a hurricane, who wins a million bucks at a casino. A roll of the dice.
I saw him a half hour later, way up on the third floor of the Pride. The casino was mobbed by then, and he was playing the 1-cent slots, still waiting for that lucky break.
Here's a poker movie tidbit for my west coast readers.
Subject: Indie Poker Movie "Freeze Out" to Premiere in L.A. Sun. Oct. 2nd
Sunday Oct. 2nd 10:30PM as part of the Westwood International Film Festival.
"Freeze Out" is an independent comedy about 8 friends who play poker and the night that their home game goes terribly awry. Plus cameos from poker pros: Scottie Nguyen, Mark Seif, Kathy Leibert, and Peter Costa.
You can see the trailer at www.freeze-out.com
If you're in L.A. and you want to see a funny comedy about poker please come
check it out.
-M.J. Loheedwriter/director "Freeze Out"
Anyone out there interested in the near future of Vegas? If so, this is a must read.
From the fine folks at Vegas Tripping: a feature about the Project City Center.
Over The Boardwalk : Project CityCenter
Alrighty then, I guess that does it. Hope you enjoyed this drivel.
Aw hell, you know what? I'm gonna pimp some new poker blogs, in honour of our WPBT blogger tournament coming up next Tuesday. Go check out the new kids on the block:
First up, here's "The Marks" wife who knocked Otis out at Bradoween.
From GVegas, it's:
TrumpJosh is back and posting fresh in his new blog. He's been enjoying playing poker at the blogger tables.
The Armchair Fisherman
Rabbit Plays Poker
Raise The Hammer
A poor man's attempt at beating the game. Unlike poker, Life is ultimately a game with no outs.
Biggestron Plays Poker
Blogs have not only jumped the shark, they've taken off their waterskis and are having a beer on the dock
The written account of a 30-something IT professional learning the ropes of online poker.
Low Limit Grinder
Follow a low limit poker player on his journey (hopefully) up the ladder.
I'm all in....
Raemius is a proud Canuck!
Random Poker and Other Stuff
Some hands, tourneys, good play, bad beats and thoughts on Texas Hold 'em, mostly NL and Tourney NL.
This is the web log of Angela Adams, poker fish, artist, WSOP junkie.
Recently turned pro
Poker tales, talk and a whole lotta whatnot.
Poker and Music
Life, Poker, and Video Games
And finally, but certainly not least, is
Texas Holdem Newbie - an adventure in online poker - The reason this blog is so damn interesting is that he's posting his diary entries from his service time in Iraq. Very interesting read.
And Thus Endeth the Pimpage. Whew. I gotta say, this sure as hell feels like an uber post. I sure hope some people didn't get any work done today. That's when I know I've done my job, damnit.
Where do these freaks come from?
And that will do it, my friends. Hurry up and get signed up on Titan Poker for our tournament on Tuesday. It's gonna be a hoot and I'm even gonna throw in some prizes.
The details again:
WPBT Tourney - Pauly's Birthday Bash
Tuesday - September 20th
Sign up now, damnit! Support your local poker blogger who helps you Destroy Workplace Productivity!
Well hell, now that this monstrosity of a post is finally completed, I can start drinking with impunity. It's about damn time.
I leave you now with arguably the worst troll post ever on 2+2. I lost the link to the entire damn thread, sadly, but just imagine the responses this post received.
i dropped out of high school today
its my senior year and school just got back in session.
i wake up in one of the periods, second or third, i couldnt remember which subject it even was until i heard the teacher mr. harrison running his fat mouth about how we students need to work harder studying and need to stop screwing around or we will end up in downward spiral in a sewer eating dog food for dinner. you know that pep talk teachers give you. they pretend they care about you, but really, the only reason they teach is for power.
its a math class that i flunked last year due to absenses. i spent the entire summer 12 tabling SNG's on party and i was up all night playing until 6 am when i caught the school bus. i slept all through the class so far.
one of the jock rejects in the back says something to harrison like: Why do we need math in the real world.
to not get all-in with TT in EP on the bubble of a MTT I say a little too loudly.
harrison gets pissed that i interrupted him and wants to know what the hell im talking about. i say that i am a pro poker player and i am trying to give him a hand helping these donkeys understand math better.
he basically tells me to stfu. he says poker is a great way to become a degenerate. he says its a sinful and motions to the jesus on his desk. he says that if ive gotten lucky i outta put that money in a mutual fund and save it for my future.
i cant take anymore. lucky?, i say. i make more in a hour then you do in a week you min-wage 40-hour Clown.
he is a little pissed off and tells me to watch it. he says something about anyone can get lucky.
I mutter, over 70K hands? Keep dreaming Grandpa.
I take a deck of cards from my jean pocket and put it on my desk. You want some of this bitch?, I say.
He goes mad at that, and tells me to get out of his classroom. At this point my future is written. Im done with high school. I pick up my backpack and empty it on the floor. I knock over a row of books on my way out the door. I know that i wont be coming back to that class or any class.
I jump over the fence to avoid the min-wage affro security guard whose always stoned I jog home hoping to catch the next $100 MTT Nl Holdem on party.
i was born in the wind, and will die in the wind.
Link of the Day:
Tragic: The Gathering
The real cause of New Orleans' problems was this card: "All creatures with power greater than 1 take no damage this turn. All creatures with power of 1 or less are destroyed."
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