Thursday, January 20, 2005
Damnit, I really wanted to blog about addiction and poker and life priorities per GRob's great post and Rama's followup, as well as biting into the ripe subject of, "Are Blogs Gay?".
Sadly, I'm flying out at 9AM. My humble apologies for the lack of uber-post. Just jumping on here to ramble for a minute.
Because this whole leaving my job thing is still nagging at me, I'm actually repining for my old job. I suppose this is natural.
I miss the structure. The people. The unwavering paycheck. I never thought I'd say that, but it's true. With a tough job that you even semi-enjoy, you still feel a sense of purpose. Not to knock poker, but grinding ain't exactly enriching in the traditional sense.
It is what it is.
Guinness and poker.
poker > job
That said, Grubby is having FAR more fun with the whole "leaving corporate life behind" thing. Maybe I should move back to Vegas.
Grubette sent me this link: Rent a Midget. I hope they are more punctual than my Little Person was.
One quick anecdote per blogging ...last week, a non-poker friend called to mock me for this here humble poker blog, and he did it very well, thank you. He was surprised with the amount of content and asked if blogging had become a compulsion/addiction for me.
I told him what he called compulsive behavior, I considered 'work ethic'.
"Writing an interesting blog ain't easy," I said.
He laughed and laughed and laughed.
And mocked me some more.
Oh the humanity.
Alrighty then, that's all I've got time for.
Consider this a hiatus.
Please consider Bonus Code IGGY if you aren't yet playing at Party Poker.
Seriously, if you aren't playing there - cut back on the huffing.
Johnny did and popped $1700 on Tuesday.
Allow me to leave you with this brilliant (and fitting) poker literary gem.
THE EDGAR ALLEN POKER GAME
By: Phil Cerasoli
'Twas past midnight, damp and dreary, I in bed awake but weary
Trying vainly to establish with sound slumber a rapport,
When I heard a sound so muffled, sounded like cards being shuffled
Coming from the other side of my sturdy bedroom door.
I tossed and turned and said, "It is the wind and nothing more".
But the sound it was remaining. With bravado in me draining
I donned my robe and tiptoed to my sturdy bedroom door.
I opened it a crack, peeked out and saw the back
Of a man who was just sitting, playing cards upon the floor.
"'Tis a nightmare of my mind," I said, "Just this and nothing more".
'Twas a cloak draped 'cross his back and a Raven, shiny black,
Was facing him and pacing in a circle on the floor.
My jaw dropped when I heard the soft voice of that huge bird
Saying, "Deal me in this card game for a couple hands or more".
And the man tossed four chips to him; four blue chips and nothing more.
Then I must have made a sound, for he slowly turned around
And his face was pale as misty, eerie fog that hugs the shore.
Then he whispered to me low, "I'm the ghost of Allen Poe
Who has come here to play poker as I did in days of yore.
'Tis a poker game I'm craving. Only this and nothing more".
"Won't you sit in for a while?" he asked me with a smile,
"It will make a better card game than it was an hour before".
And, not wanting to incite him, I slowly walked beside him
Meekly asking what the stakes were as I sat down on the floor.
"Penny-ante," said the stranger. Quoth the Raven, "Nothing more."
From the start I had a streak of luck that reached its peak
By my winning all the pennies that the two had owned before.
Then the man said, oh so slyly, (as the Raven grinned so wryly),
"This low stake game we're playing I'm beginning to abhor.
"Then by all means", said the Raven, 'we should surely play for more".
Then the man, with gesture bold, from his cloak withdrew some gold
In a bag that was so heavy that to move it was a chore.
His sly look I failed to heed for my soul was filled with greed
As I saw the golden coins from the sack begin to pour.
"Yes," I whispered weakly, "We should surely play for more".
Then he said in voice so solemn as he stacked coins in a column,
"The hour grows late; I'm weary, so we'll play but one hand more.
If you win, my gold you'll own. If I win then it's your home
That will be mine to have and keep...to keep forevermore".
Quoth the Raven: "Evermore".
I said, "That's fair, I feel." Then the man began to deal
And the cards I had were aces and the aces numbered four.
I said, "My hand is pat and I'm only sorry that
The pot has been established and that we can bet no more."
Quoth the Raven: "Bet some more!"
"He speaks true," I then was told, and the man pulled out more gold
And tossed it with the other coins that were strewn across the floor.
"But I cannot match your bet," I sadly said, "but, yet,
I must have something left; something you two would adore".
Said the Raven, "You in bondage. Only this and nothing more".
"He speaks wisely", said the man. "If you want to bet, you can.
But lose and you're our slave and servant now and evermore".
I stared at my four aces, smiled and looked at my guest's faces,
Sealed the bet and spread my aces down and out across the floor.
Said the Raven in a whisper, "I see aces numb'ring four!"
The face of Poe just glowered as his poker hand he lowered
'Til it covered my four aces that were resting on the floor.
Then amid a quiet hush, I saw his small straight flush
And knew that I was beaten and was doomed forevermore.
Said the Raven, "You in bondage here and now and evermore".
Now on dark nights, cold and dreary, my sore body grows so weary
As I dust and wash and clean and sweep the droppings on the floor.
While my master and his Raven live in comfort in their haven
With their slave who's held in bondage, held in bondage
Link of the Day:
The creator of the Office Bow of Death warns people who make one at work today: "This weapon can actually penetrate flesh, muscle and eyeballs."
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Howdy all. Quick post here. I'm leaving Friday to head back to Minneapolis for a wedding this weekend. Hopefully, I'll be able to squeeze in an uber post before I leave.
Immediately upon my return I have shoulder surgery. I doubt I'll be able to post for awhile after that so I'm entertaining thoughts of having non-stop guest posters until I recover. It seems that Teedub's post went over well, so why the hell not? Email me with any submissions. If I receive any, I'll post em next week and perhaps the week after. Again, I'm not sure how long I'll be out of commission.
Per the World Poker Blogger Tour, to reiterate, the readers can play.
The tournament is now posted under the Private tab.
Feb 2nd, 9pm EST
$20 buyin, NL tournament
Oughta be quite a hoot, per usual.
Anyway, allow me to leave you with this wonderful anti-blog rant from veteran 2+2 poster, Busterstacks. Here's the full thread if you wanna read it yourself.
Blogs are Gay
Everytime I see a new blog starting up, I am compelled to sound off, so here goes.
Blog's are gay. Why do people feel so self-important? The problem with blogs is that they aren't written by anyone interesting. If they were, they would be TV shows. Furthermore I think the writers of these blogs are delusional. Do you really think you are captivating audiences with your ruminations on everyday life? Give me a god damn break. Hey man, check out my blog! No fucking thanks, if I wanted to know about your boring ass life, I would hang out with you.
Note to blog authors: If the blog was YOUR idea, it was surely a bad one. Don't you think if someone wanted to know about your life, they would ASK you to write a blog? Hey I know, I'll just start a blog and if nobody reads it I don't care, it's for me anyway. That's a steaming load of crap. If you don't want anyone to read it, then don't write it.
Now that we've established that blog authors desperately want an audience, let's move on to content. My thesis: Nobody in the US has ever written an interesting blog. Why the US? Well, blogs from international spies or people in war-torn countries are obviously cool. Compared to those though, American blogs are dumb. I mean this with absolute sincerity, and it is addressed to anyone who writes a blog: your life is not interesting. No really, I know it seems interesting because it's your life, but it's not. And a poker blog? I hope to god anyone who writes a poker blog is playing at LEAST 15/30 online. I think I'd rather do my own dental work than read a blog about 5/10 or lower.
And wtf is a blog anyway. It sounds like something I dropped off in the toilet after a night of pickled eggs and Jaegermeister. Was "weblog" too many god damn syllables to digest? Or was blog just too "hip" to pass up. Either way, I won't be reading any blogs, least of all any poker blogs. Peace
Link of the Day:
Straight Man Seeks Crooked Woman
Strabismique was 11 years old when a woman in her thirties caught his eye. "The emotional storm that this stirred up inside me was the most violent I had ever experienced."
Monday, January 17, 2005
First time ever guest post. Per my home game, which has been played monthly for almost five years now.
Might be seeing more of these as I'm due for rotator cuff surgery on the 25th.
Unedited from email:
Something never before seen
"You have to play this game with fear and arrogance."
"Fear and ignorance?"
"No, fear and arrogance, you hayseed."
Crash Davis, Bull Durham
(real names have been changed to protect the guilty)
First a little background. My name is TeeDubb, and I'm a pokerholic.
First of all, I take no responsibility for my addiction. I blame it all on Iggy. I was a responsible young man. Married, kid, mortgage, car payment. I'm no degenerate.
That was before I started working with Iggy as a developer during the dot-com boom. It's been a downhill run ever since. ;)
The infamous home game, which is approaching it's fifth year anniversary, is a topic about which Iggy refuses to blog. His discretion is warranted, considering the copious amounts of legal and illegal substances we typically imbibe and inhale during the course of routinely handing our buy-ins to the Iggsta.
Over the course of the four years I've been privileged enough to receive an invite, I've been bitten by the poker bug. I feel like I've come a long way in terms of poker skill, carefully morphing my initial table image of dead-money fish into "a pretty scrappy player," according to GHMoney, who plays regularly at our home game. He knows Iggy from the sin and felony-filled adventures during their formative years in Las Vegas and is no poker slouch himself.
I took it as a huge compliment.
My desire to improve really had nothing to do with the thrill of winning or even the money. It is and was pride. I just got tired of lining everyone else's pockets on a monthly basis. My pride and arrogance made me want to improve, just to save face. My only fear was losing.
So, I finally caved to the constant peer pressure and non-stop shilling and made my initial $50 deposit to Party Poker in March '04, proudly using Bonus Code IGGY (where's my damn t-shirt?).
My first online session in .50/$1, with Iggy sweating me in IM, I scored a huge win. You've seen the stats posted here before: 76 hands, 88 minutes, 22.37 VP$IP, +$58.50.
A taste of victory was all it took. I bought PokerTracker. I played a LOT of hands online. I read Poker for Dummies. I read Super System. I read Sklansky. I taped Abdul's Opening Hand Rankings and Minimum Openers table to my monitor next to my odds and outs chart. My wife thought I was fucking insane.
And I won. And kept winning fairly consistently, finally turning my original $50 deposit into nearly $600 by the end of the year. It doesn't seem like a lot to most of you, I'm sure, but it was enough for me to move up a level or two.
And I even placed in the Monty Memorial, which is still a highlight of my very young poker career.
In spite of my online wins, I still lost routinely at the home game. Though my losses were tempered by the fact that I wasn't busting out anymore. I steadily gained more and more experience and, two months ago, finished in the black for the first time.
Hey, eight bucks is eight bucks. A win is a win.
It felt like a million.
Beginners luck be damned, there is no substitute for playing 20,000 hands.
Anyone who has played with Iggy (online or off) knows that low-limit games are a way for the Blogfather to blow off some steam (i.e. play like a fucking maniac). It's a -EV situation for him regardless of how much he wins. In spite of not being a large man, his faux-dwarven presence at the poker table is quite intimidating to us cubicle-dwelling, day-job-having suckers.
And for the record, he does NOT look like Patrick Swayze. He actually resembles Swayze's redneck younger brother, Don.
But, I uber-digress. This month's home game was witness to two things I have never seen in the four years I've been swimming with these sharks:
1. Iggy busted out.
2. I had a appreciable win, though (disappointingly) very little of my winnings came from my mentor's stack.
Has our "poker pro" gone soft?
Was he drinking too much Guinness?
Was he the victim of a bad beat?
Answers: No, no and no.
Oh, the humanity.
Dann, whom most of you should remember from this uber-post and pic above, was the big winner last night, taking several large pots from numerous players. However, the most significant takedown of the evening was the one worth talking about.
Iggy, who wasn't having a good evening to begin with, was seriously trying to push Dann off a hand on the turn. Dann wasn't budging. Iggy re-raised him all-in on the turn, which was about 2/3 of his original starting stack of $100.
I told you he was having a bad night.
Dann thinks and thinks and slowly says, "Well, I guess I call!"
He had Iggy dominated and the river didn't help.
Dann scoops a pot easily over $100, which is huge at our very tight table in a .50/1 blind NL ring game.
But the key point is: It happens to everyone.
Iggy doesn't mind losing, or so he says. I've seen him compete in other aspects of life and he's yanking your respective chains.
Nobody "doesn't mind" losing, at least not gamblers or anyone with a competitive bone in his or her body. It was his demeanor after the loss that was the true test of whether or not he minded losing.
He wasn't happy. He immediately bought $50 more in chips back from Dann. But, more importantly, he didn't go on tilt. He didn't yell and scream or pull a Hellmuth.
It's not that Iggy doesn't mind losing. He accepts it as part of the game and moves on. I'm sure it doesn't hurt that he lost less all night than he loses in one hand of $15/$30.
Which brings me back to pride and fear. I take pride in the fact that I've been able to turn myself into a decent tight/aggressive player with a solid table image. It makes other players think twice when I raise preflop. Your pride/arrogance can put fear into other players.
But you bet your ass I don't want to be heads-up against Iggy or Dann with a less-than-premium hand. A healthy fear will let you live to play another day.
Pride should be a motivator, not an excuse. Fear should motivate as well. Pride and arrogance are the Yin to the Yang of humility and fear. Poker requires the use of all of the above.
You can't be a complete player if you're too cocky or too meek. You can't be in between either. You have to be arrogant and fearful at the same time. It's an art. An art I surely have not yet mastered, but the fact that I can recognize it is a huge step forward, in my mind.
Iggy's pride got in the way of his fear for one hand and he lost. However, he handled it and moved on.
It was almost dignified, which is not a word I typically use in describing the Blogfather.
FYI, he did not appreciate my screaming victory dance after winning with The Hammer. I'm thinking I might get kicked out of a casino if I jumped up, slammed my cards on the table and yelled, "IT'S THE FUCKING HAMMER, BITCHES!"
I'm sure FilmGeek's new neighbors appreciated it. At 1AM.
HuggyBear didn't appreciate that he folded KQs (then went fishing and found a King on the flop). Nobody called me a faggot, at least.
Maybe Taylor is right. I hurt my friends with The Hammer.
Nah. It felt pretty good, actually. I felt like doing a Randy Moss fake-moon job on the table, but resisted the urge.
Of course, it was a home game with people who read his blog, so they actually understood the meaning of playing the Hammer. To my surprise, everyone still took my preflop raises seriously after that.
I hate this game.
Thanks for reading this humble poker blog. I have no linky goodness for you, nor blogrolls. Hopefully Iggy will find a decent twisted link of the day.
And don't forget:
You're an idiot if you don't play on Party Poker and use bonus code IGGY.
Link of the Day:
Check out this eBay auction per Dutch Russ Boyd by ex-crew member, Brett Jungblut.
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