Thursday, November 10, 2005

"There is no mercy in the Passing Lane, and no place to pull over and park.... Buy the ticket, take the ride. Some will march on a road of bones, and others will be nailed up on telephone poles. That is the way it works."
Hunter S. Thompson

This humble poker blog brought to you by Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker.

I'm re-reading The Professor, The Banker, and The Suicide King and thought the above was a perfect quote for poker. I look back over the years and reflect on the winners, the casualties and the guys who disappeared without a trace, like a fart in the wind.

And yet here I sit, into year number two on this here humble poker blog. I'm all set to write up a State of the Poker Blog post, but eff it. Al and BG already good-naturedly mock me enough for being the Blogfather, I don't need to give them any more ammo.

But regardless, this blog has been good to me.
It's been more fun to be "Iggy, the drunken dwarf" than just "that drunk".

But I did take the liberty of looking up my first year anniversary post. And found this great comment from Dr. Pauly:


Right on! Keep up the quality bloggery.
Thanks to you, my blog is read in 43 countries.



FYI, Pauly now tells me the country count is up to 243.

Here's a pic for the Good Doctor:

But anyway, I'm wondering if I'll still be writing here in two years. Part of me doubts it, but who knows. Hell, if you had told me what this blog was to become two years ago, I woulda peed my pants laughing.

It is what it is.

I'm sad to announce that I'll be missing all the poker blogger tournaments this weekend because I'm leaving town for a wedding and won't be back till next week.

So I'm gonna try and pound out a crappy quick post for you.

First of all, I set a new record for futility by whiffing on nine straight SNG's.
Impressive, eh?

But let's get to the fun stuff. Only happened yesterday afternoon, but damn, it's already old news.

Must read: Paul Phillips has a hilarious post about getting his post deleted at 2+2. I'm not sure what else to say, but you've got to read it for yourself.
Finally, the inevitable from 2+2

And this is awesome. Paul's apology on 2+2.
I'm very sorry.

Dear Lord. The idiocy of 2+2 amazes me. I really need to dig up the Abdul Jalib incident when Mason banned one of the best poker minds in the modern era. Comedy of Errors, indeed.

These leads nicely into my second sordid tale. I first read about it in Daniel Negreanu's blog here:
Tournament of Champions
"The players have been lied to..."

Paul Phillips blogged his reaction here:
a classic in the making

And finally, here's ESPN's take on it: (Guinness hoist to Joaquin for the link)
Sponsor's decision irritates freerollers

And so Harrah's was faced with the Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules.

I forgot to mention that nepotism sucks. Would someone please tell Matt Sklansky, the evil overlord at 2+2, to get that damn website out of 1997? Try the search function over there - it's laughable.

Hilarious post about the players at Party Poker during the 3 billionth hand promotion.

Subject: Did you see this about the 3 Billionth hand at party poker

On Monday night, the world's largest online poker cardroom, Party Poker, dealt its 3 billionth hand. Prior to the big hand, and as an incentive to get players to celebrate with them, Party announced a prize opportunity for the players involved in the 3 billionth hand.

The hand occurred at 10:51 EST on a $0.50/$1.00 limit hold’em 6-max table.

Everyone at the table immediately scored $10,000 for being in the 3 billionth hand. An additional $50,000 was set aside for the person who would go on to win the hand.

Humorously, 4 of the 6 players at the table folded before the river. Apparently the 10,000+:1 odds on their money to chase a miracle runner-runner were not appetizing enough to warrant a call. At least one player was clearly aware of the situation at hand proclaiming "we did it" in the chat box before the flop.
The same player folded after the flop.

God bless the players at Party Poker.

I found a photo of one of em.

Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker!

Lotsa folks making noise about Mike "the mouth" Matasow winning the World Series of Poker 2005 Tournament of Champions. I think it's pretty damn cool to see Mikey rebound - folks who know him swear that he's actually a good guy and I'm inclined to take their word for it. Who am I to doubt Linda? (Any WPBT attendees need to go hit her blog for some news) - Linda rules.

But here's a typical anti-mikey post from RGP:

Subject: How come no one calls the mouth out on his shady past?

Seriously, if I'm sitting at a tv table and I have some assclown like Mike "the mouth" calling me a donkey and telling me to go play at the kiddie tables to try and humiliate me on national television, then I'm calling him out on his cokehead history.

"Aren't you a fucking cokehead piece of shit? Didn't you go to JAIL for coke, you cokehead??"

Someone seriously needs to put that ho in his place. The Sheik was almost ready to straighten him out, but he didn't want to get disqualified so he held back. The mouth needs a good old fashioned prison bitch-slap to remind him to shut the fuck up and just play poker.

These donks on espn kill me. They let guys like Hellmuth and Matusow berate them and talk down to them like they are 5 year olds and they don't say shit back. What the fuck goes on at the WSOP? Do they chop your balls off before you sit down to play or what??

The only real men in the entire WSOP are the tournament directors. I love the way that one guy handled the shiek and matusow. I swear I saw the tournament director reaching for his belt when the sheik started to make a sarcastic comment about being penalized. The sheik shut up real quick.

Geez, someone woke up cranky today. And hell, he didn't even mention the apparent angle shooting that Mike did in the WSOP TV coverage with the fake calling move. All I know is that my boat is starting to strictly enforce the betting line rule.

Poker Lizard has an interview with seven time WSOP winner, Eric Seidel.

Best line:
Ego has busted many more players than bad beats have.

I've decided not to touch the Tiffany Williams crap. That's right, I'm actually capable of taking the high road once in a while. Well, at least until I see the episodes for myself, anyway. But the vitriol on RGP and other places is just Way Over The Top. Lotsa racists out there.

I love seeing poor poker players doing well in the WSOP and so should you.

Just to illustrate my point, there was a huge thread about the best RGP advice ever given. Enjoy:

Subject: Your BEST RGP Poker Advice

Mike Caro had a contest for best single piece of poker advice on RGP a couple years back. You might want to do a search to find the thread although I think you might be disappointed with the results.

The winning advice was something like
'Play against people who suck worse than you.'

Sums it all up for me. I hear from some folks that they WANT to be challenged with tough decisons....they WANT to play against GREAT competition. Sorry, my friends, but I can't go for that. No, no. No can do.

I am with Mr. Caro on this one.

And honestly, I don't think I'm that good of a player. Faux humbleness? Most certainly not. I obviously have confidence in my skills, I think it's implied and I don't need to crow about the donkeys or what a great player I am. Because I'm not. I'm still a lowly student of the damn game. And unless your name is Doyle Fucking Brunson, you probably are too.

Of course, you've probably never lost 9 SNG's in a row like I have.

This is one of the better reads I've had in awhile. Highly recommended.
I'm a pretty big fan of the self-titled UK InternetPokerPro. He's much smarter than me, plays PLO8 and addresses the following thread and his comments with aplomb.

And I've been reading Rolf Slotboom for what seems like years now.
Wanna see two smart guys butt poker heads in the 2+2 forums?
Fold AAxxss preflop fold vs. other "big" hands??

Saw this and thought of the impending WPBT get-together in Vegas.
Thankfully, we're a big sewing circle and don't need to resort to this.
I just hope Otis picks a night for us to Storm the Castle again.

Subject: Let's settle our affairs like adults
Author: Howard Beale

I have never attended BARGE - the RGP RealLife event - but I propose the following:

At next years largest get together we should rent a large indoor arena and have an RGP paint ball slugfest. Water balloons, too. Silly String and whipped cream pies also allowed. Add in some of those air filled bats and hammers and feather pillows.

The only condition: There must be age and weight divisions. Other than that no rules. All out war!

Let's see who is the best, once and for all.

Doesn't matter, though.
Nothing can touch the Bradoween Olympics.

Here's a product Howard could have used back in the day.
Lock Box for Winners


I have been reformed. Looking back it is hard to imagine the depths to which I had sunk. I have no hope of ever reaching the surface but at least I can see the light. It is dark, dark, dark down at the bottom.

- - - - - - - - -

Atlantic City casinos were irresistable to me. I went to Resorts International Hotel/Casino with a friend on the 3rd day after it opened, got there at 5am and stood on line until the casino opened at 10. They pulled aside a rope barrier after the hotel guests were let in and the crowd literally ran to the tables to get into any game, ANY GAME!, they could. There were people standing 3 deep behind each blackjack seat, waiting for a chance. When we left, the line to get into the casino was a
quarter of a mile long down the Boardwalk. I was too stupid to buy stock in the company or I would now be writing from the beach in the Dominican Republic, covered in baby oil and barely legal girls.

Needless to say I was hooked and began going to AC regularly. It was not that much of a problem as I was playing with-in my budget but I was well aware that I was a problem gambler. I either came home with a pile of money or no money. When I say no money I mean maybe run out of gas and no stopping at McDonalds and run the toll booths on the Garden State Parkway (25 cents each) no money. I don't need to tell anybody which one happened almost 9 out of 10 times. But I noticed, as I am sure many gamblers have noticed, that there was often a time during the trip when I was winning and often enough substantially. The problem was a lack of self control.
If I "had the casino's money" I really sent it in and it was boom or (mostly) bust. I had to come up with a way to prevent this behavior while still allowing me to feed the gambling jones.

My solution was to visit the locksmith shop that I did business with. I brought a casino chip with me and explained that I wanted a small safe. I wanted one that opened with a key and could not be easily opened and could be carried around. The owner showed me a small safe that was designed to be bolted to the floor and was very popular with the local drug dealers, he said. The thing weighed about 25lbs but was the smallest suitable safe. I opened it up and explained that I wanted a metal barrier welded down the middle of the safe and gave him the casino chip. I told him to cut a slot above one side of the divided safe so that the casino chip could just be dropped in without any chance of getting it out. On the other side I told him to drill a 1/4in. hole.

On the next trip to AC I put this 25lb safe into a leather overnight bag I have, locked it with the key which I of course left at home. I lugged the thing with me where ever I went, which was to all the casinos. I doubt that I could do that today because security might think it was a bomb. When I gambled, and was ahead, I would take a few chips and drop them down the chip slot into the safe. When I cashed out I would take some bills, roll them up tight, and shove them down the hole. I would do this the entire time and it worked great. I would go broke but when I got home I
had a pile of chips and a bunch of cash. I had found the perfect solution, or so I had thought.

This "system" worked great for a month until one Saturday night at Resort's. It was 3am. I was at the craps table and started to run bad, real bad. I had been putting chips and money into the box steadily during the day, and at that table, but now I was running out of money fast and I wasn't scheduled to leave AC until Sunday night. Who can stay in AC without gambling? Not me. And I didn't even think of going home early. Let me point out that the dealers and the pit bosses had been watching me
occasionally bend over and fiddle around with the leather bag on the floor. They were real curious but didn't ask what the heck I was doing between rolls of the dice when I hit a number. Finally, I was almost broke and was playing for small money when I asked the dealer "Is there an all night supermarket open anywhere in Atlantic City, or a Walgreens, maybe?" "What do you need a supermarket or a Walgreens for?" he asked. It was hard to get out of my mouth but I said "I need a drill." "A WHAT?"
"A drill." "What do you need a drill for?" "I just need a drill." The dealer called over the floorman and told him that I needed a drill. "A WHAT?" "I just need a drill." "What do you need a drill for?" With a reluctance I can not describe I put my leather bag up onto the craps table rail and opened it, revealing the safe. "I need to get into this thing."

When the dealers and pit bosses finished laughing I found myself being escorted by a security guard deep into the bowels of the Resorts International Hotel/Casino where I was led to the machine shop. A maintenance man placed the safe under his drill press and in a minute the safe was opened. I took out the money, tipped him and the woman guard, and told him to throw the safe away.

Of course I went bust. That was a tough drive home and I was sick to my stomach for the next few days but the weekend was coming up, I knew I was going back to AC, and I had to try again. I went back to the locksmith but this time, after the locksmith finished laughing, I picked a mailbox (much lighter and smaller) the kind you nail to the wall next to your front door and headed off to AC with that.

This time I was at Trump Plaza playing blackjack. High limit section. It was 4am Sunday morning. I had a pile of money and chips in the mailbox, but I was broke, again. I looked at the dealer and said "Call the pit boss." "What can we do for you Mr. Beale (not my real name)?"

"I want a drill press."

Howard Beale

I can't resist posting these Gary Carson zingers, especially when he's the first person to respond to a post like this:

Subject: anyone been to lederer fantasy camp?

i wouldn't pay 4k for it, but i see a cheap satellite on full tilt tonight.

would you say the camp is worth it? i know i have a lot to learn, but also wouldnt mind hanging out with some of the pros.


If you think you'll get some kind of pleasure from hanging out with someone who's only hanging out with you because they get paid then it's probably worth it.

I don't understand how you get pleasure from that, but I never really understood why prostitutes are so popular either.

Gary Carson


But here's a real reply from a prior attendee

i went to the first one in september of 04. it cost 2,800 at the time and i had only been playing poker for about 4 months so most of the material/lectures was new info to me. That was worth the money. (actually my review is posted on the
website for the company sponsoring the camp - all in productions)

Playing and meeting the pros was just lots of fun. If you are new to the game i say go, if you are experienced, i say go. 4K is a little pricey however. All Pros involved are very nice and approachable for autographs, questions opinions etc.

When i was there the pros that took part were: Lederer, Seidel, Duke, Hansen, Gordon, Bloch, Jesus. I hear they have added more.

p.s. I had also never been to LV and it was the same weekend as my 30th bday so that had something added to it I am sure

And I'm gonna post this link in hopes that Bill or Franklin or Hank or Chris get a kickback of some kind.
Allin Camp Schedule

Damn, I wish I had more time but I've got a poker game to get to and a plane to catch. Let's leave with a good old fashioned trip report, shall we?

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend and I'll see you next week.


Subject: Foxwoods Trip Report- Long

I woke up at 6 AM and made the 1 hour and 40 minute drive to Foxwoods with
plenty of time to spare so that I could register for the $500 plus (ouch-too
much juice) $65 LHE tournament at the World Poker Finals. I have an hour to
kill and a cappuccino in hand, but didn’t really feel up to playing yet as I was
still half asleep.

I watched John Myung playing heads up $100-$200 LHE with some other Asian guy
I didn’t recognize. Over the course of about 30 minutes John lost 3K, then went
on a rush and won it back plus, but really, he seemed to have a serious read on
the other player, and it looked like it was headed toward John cleaning him
out. Both of them had the classic vacant stare working for them, thousands of
dollars moving back and forth with no shown emotion except occasionally John
would sort of nonchalantly flick his black chips into the pot with a nice,
artful and arcing motion.

I went down to the Sunset Ballroom and played marginally decent poker (ok I
sucked,) lost all my chips in just under three hours, and was basically wishing
I had stayed home in bed or just played a few online tournaments. I only
brought $700 with me total, because I didn’t figure I would play anything but
the tournament, and didn’t want to be seriously tempted by the table games etc.
if I got knocked out early.

Well, knocked out early I was, and had no desire to play $100 max buy in NL or
1-5 stud cuz, well, I’d rather eat the barrel of a shotgun. And I didn’t want
to go home yet and what, hang out with my wife? I had already schemed to get
this day off from work so I could chill and do whatever I felt like doing. Now
I would normally have brought along heaps more cash, but in the past two weeks
my expenses have been:

Cat: Dental bill, 5 teeth removed, plus medication- $600
House: Shower system replaced with new one the wife likes $1800
Visa Bill: Trip to Hawaii back in Sept.- tickets plus hotel- $3000
Friend X: Broke Ass Mutha- $1000
Wrentham Outlet Stores- hey, we need clothes says the wife, $800
Mortgage, Groceries, Shrink, etc- well you get the picture.

Wandering around the casino like a total vegetable, tired, bored, depressed, I
figured wow, that looks like a lucky video poker machine (I almost never play
video poker and hate slots.) So I put in $40 and turned it into around $460 in
20 minutes, getting some stupid lucky cards and doubling down on draws, actually
hitting two flushes and a straight. Ding, Ding, Ding!!!

Now I had over $600 in my pocket and felt suddenly re-inspired to play more
live poker. I went back to the poker room and they were just starting a 2-5 NL
game, $300 min buy in, $500 max. Lock up the one seat!

At first this game, though obviously juicy, sucked for me. I played almost
nothing because my cards looked like this: 8 3 off, 7 3 off, 8 3 off, 7 3 suited
(I was tempted.)

The guy to my left was extremely solid and made a good read on a guy who bluffed
his whole stack with bottom pair on a jack high flop. He deliberated for maybe
60 seconds, said, “I think I gotta call, “ and flipped up his quite good QQ.
After two bricks hit the dealer pushed him the $900 pot. This guy to my left
was actually very good and says he plays on stars as 2poker2 with a lot of
success. He was enjoyable to chat with.

I made my first “move” an hour into the game with a limp from the small blind
with A J off. Four players saw the flop. The board came ace high and I checked
my “monster.” The turn brought a non-threatening queen, I checked, and the 7
seat bet $20 which I smooth called. The river was a blank, I bet $25, the guy
in the 7 seat thought awhile and said, “If you had an ace you woulda bet the
flop or raised pre. I call” He had Q 10 and I actually dragged a pot. The kid
who had bluffed all of his chips earlier was indignant, “How could you not raise
before the flop? You limp in the SB with A J?” I was like, “Yeah, I basically
suck. You’re right.” It may not be too nice, but I love to reinforce bad
players’ bad habits at the table.

The guy in the 7 seat had a hand a little later that was very helpful to me
down the road, because it gave me useful information on him and another player,
the 9 seat. Two people limped, the seven seat made a whopping raise to $10, the
9 seat called and the other players called. The flop came 5 6 4 with two
diamonds, the 7 seat bet $35 and the 9 seat called while the others folded. The
turn was the J of clubs. The 7 says, “All in.” He has about $600 to the 9
seat’s $450. The nine seat starts hemming and hawing and I figure he must be on
diamonds or have a hand like 55. It is pretty obvious the 7 seat had min-raised
with a big pair, caught what looked like a good flop, then over-bet when he got
scared by all of the draws. After much deliberation the 9 seat mucked pocket
sixes!!! He had to have put the pre-flop raiser on this range of hands to do
so: 7 8, 3 7, 2 3 or JJ. I mean, what the fuck, that is a super-weak fold in
that spot. The seven seat showed KK, confirming my thoughts. 2poker2 and I
have gave each other a look that said, “Wow.”

I got to pick on the 9 seat first, figuring if I never got any cards I might
as well try to make some plays. I had K Q in late position and called a $10
raise from the 9 seat. The 3 seat came along for the ride. The flop was A 10 2
with two diamonds, giving me a gutshot straight and a backdoor flush. Sweet!
(Not!!!) The 7 seat bets $25, I am about to fold, then I think hey, there is
another way I can win this hand other than making a hand, so I call. The 3 seat
calls also. The turn is the 7 of clubs, the 9 seat bets $50, I call, and the 3
seat calls. My thinking went like this: the 9 seat has a decent ace and so
does the 3 seat, maybe even two pair. If the flush hits or a straight card hits
I will see how they react and if I like the vibe I will try to steal the pot
with a good sized bet or raise. The river is the Q of diamonds, and they both
actually wince when it hits. My K is a diamond, and when the 9 seat checks I
act like I am thinking for about 30 seconds, and then throw in 6 green chips,
making it a $150, representing the nut flush, or at least a flush. The 3 seat
insta-chucks his cards and it is back to the 9. He deliberates, and then starts
stacking chips on the side, which of course makes me sick. Then he says, “You
got an ace?” I laugh and say, “No.” He asks me, “What do you got?” I tell him
in a joking voice, “Well, sir, I got cards that made me bet $150. You just have
to put your money and the pot, then you get to see.” He still is thinking and
looks like he is going to call so in desperation I say, “Tell ya what, throw me
a red chip and you can see either card.” He says, “What, did you see the movie
Stuey?” I haven’t and told him so. He decides to take me up my offer. He
throws the chip and it lands on one of my cards so he says, “Show me that one.”
It is the K of diamonds. He makes a face and folds face up, showing A K. I
show the bluff and he can’t believe it as I drag in the $300 pot that should
have been his.

I was now up money, and though I am not a great player by any standards, I was
most likely better than anyone other than 2poker2 at this table. I built my
stack up to about $900 over two hours and then I got my chance to pick on the 7
seat. I am in the SB, again with A J off, and 7 seat raises to 15. I call and
two other players call. I am actually sitting there thinking, “ K Q 10, K Q
10,” when the flop comes K Q 10 with two clubs. I check, the 4 seat checks, the
7 seat bets $50, I call, and the 4 seat calls. The turn is a beautiful 2 of
hearts. I check, the 4 seat checks and the seven seat says, “All in.” I call
instantly and take his stack after he shows A K. It is 5PM, I now have $1500 in
chips, and it is time to GO HOME.

As I am driving back it is clear to me that I like playing live so much more
than online. The ability to read people, to just interact with them, adds layer
after layer to the game and to the social aspects. It is worth the slow pace of
play and the drive to me. Unfortunately, while I used to make it once a week or
more to Foxwoods, my real-life responsibilities now make going a rare treat.

Gregg B.


Link of the Day:
When Insects Attack
Nothing goes down better with a pint of Guinness and a plate of bacon than the merciless slaughter of 30,000 European honeybees by 30 hornets.

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

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