Friday, March 11, 2005

Take a seat at the table - Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker!

"If the world were coming to an end, I'd go to Cincinnati, because everything happens there ten years later."
Mark Twain

It's funny cause it's true.

Howdy all. Quick update and announcement with a few nuggets of poker goodness. How about a random picture or two? It is Friday, after all.

Don't forget about our little WPBT event coming up this Sunday evening. Bloggers and readers are more than welcome to participate.

$5 tourney
Sunday. March 13th
9pm EST
Name of tourney: WPBT HORSE Tournament
Full Tilt Poker - Bonus Code IGGY
password: thehammer

Because this is a HORSE tourney, I don't expect we'll have as many players per usual, so I went ahead and set up the next official No-Limit WPBT tournament on Poker Stars, open to all.


Wednesday, March 30th
$20 + $2 - No-Limit
Poker Stars - Private tournament tab
Password: thehammer

Because I will be eliminated in the HORSE tourney within the first few orbits, I'm really looking forward to the Stars event.

K, I gotta get back to the tables - one of my favorite fish is three tabling on Party Poker and I need to get lucky relieve him of his cash. March is looking to be a good month for me - I've been putting in lotsa time and it's paying off. So much for heading back to corporate America....

Here's the follow-up to the rumours of a 60 Minutes report on poker.
I'll be back soon.


Author: Nolan Dalla

Let me be as clear as I possibly can in response to the RGP post that was made over the weekend about a pending news report that allegedly claims many top online poker sites are rigged. CBS News has not done, and is not doing such a story.

I have been involved in a project on behalf of PokerStars.com from the start which pitched "60 Minutes" -- a division of CBS News -- on the idea of doing a poker story. In fact, I wrote the initial proposal. The focus of the story was initially on the popularity of poker and television, but as the lead (Dan Rather) gatherred more material and became more immersed in the subject matter, the focus of the story
shifted and ended up being on poker psychology and 'tells' (you will have to watch "60 Minutes" when it airs to appreciate what I believe will be a very interesting and positive segment on poker). Chris Moneymaker and other players were interviewed by Mr. Rather. The air date has not yet been determined. Since a poker story is not 'time sensitive' the segment could air anytime between now and the 2005 WSOP.

When I saw the initial RGP post, I thought it best to go straight to the source -- the producer of the segment at "60 Minutes" and ask him directly if there was any truth to it. He emphatically denied any such focus, slant, mention, or story currently in production that mentions online poker cheating or other alleged improprieties. When queried further about the possiblity that another division of CBS News might be pursuing a story, the producer was even more forceful in his response. "No," he said.

I hope this will settle the issue, once and for all.

For the past three years, PokerStars.com has maintained a policy to send full hand history files to any player who expresses a concern about our shuffle and questions of randomization. We encourage such players to run tests themselves or consult with others to run such tests. Even though many players, including experts in math and
statisstics have made such requests of hand histories, there has not been a single case of anyone showing a statistically significant deviation at PokerStars.com.

Nolan Dalla
Director of Communications -- PokerStars.com


Obligatory random photo, and hell, who doesn't enjoy girls getting all kissy?

Monday, March 07, 2005

"I know Iggy has said it many times, but just to reinforce the point - Party Poker is a goldmine for anyone with an ounce of poker skill."
Div, my favorite Scotsman

Goldmine being the operative word.

This post brought to you by Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker.
And Guinness. OK, OK, mostly Guinness.

Settle in, tis gonna be a long one. So much to blog about - so little is the window of sobriety. Plus, I've got too many old notes hanging around so I'm using this post as a big old dumping ground. Links and posts and Lord knows what else. I also just realized I had a Daniel N & Annie Duke flame that I've never posted before. Enjoy.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for the kind comments about our Poker Tracker Guide ebook. And a huge thanks to anyone who actually bought it. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive but we're still surprised at the sluggish sales. I hope everyone who has even a passing interest in improving their online poker tracking will take a chance and peruse our work.

I should provide numbers to back up how valuable Poker Tracker has been to me. I couldn't (and don't) play without it. Wouldn't even consider it. I'm tapping the glass here, folks...

In fact, because it's so difficult to articulate this after eight a few beers, allow me use a visual aid to make my point.

Here's what online poker players who DON'T use PokerTracker look like, once they finally realize the awesome power behind Poker Tracker.

You don't want to be Mustard Man, obviously. So go try the free 1000 hand demo of Poker Tracker and wise up. I guarantee you'll find some surprises in your game when it's all laid out for you in black and white. Hell, don't believe me? Go check out Ship It Poker's explanation of Poker Tracker and why you shouldn't play online poker without it.

If you want a great FREE beginner to intermediate user guide, please head on over to Bet The Pot. Once you assimilate all that Excession has to offer, step up and try out our book. His work is based primarily on No-limit, whereas our book is primarily written for the limit player, and while his stuff is great, I feel that ours is much more comprehensive, considering we have 64 pages with zero fluff.

Not to mention HDouble's big brain anchoring the logic behind it. Quit procrastinating and get yer copy.

To borrow a Tom McEvoy quote from the PokerProf: "How could a poker player be so shortsighted that they won't spend money on a book that will pay for itself if they win just one or two more pots because of reading it."

I just saw this great Peter Dinklage banner over at Fred's blog.
Well done.

The Poker Tracker Guide is worth $20 damn dollars.

So what now? Drunken ramblings, you say? Sure - I can do that.

This whole poker blog thing sure has been weird. It's been so much fun to document the cultural juggernaut of everything poker, but now that we're hitting 75,000 a night on Party, I'm getting tired of repeating myself. God knows you're tired of reading it.

But hell, I still sometimes feel like I'm dreaming - I just went back in my archives and discovered there were 35,000 - 40,000 players playing on Party Poker at this time last year. We're now double that. And hell, WPT Season three is just starting.

It's insane. There's been a rip in the space/time continuum. Poker has blanketed television and the media in general. Moneymaker, WPT, celebrities and Jim McManus. Somehow everything converged and there are 75,000 players on Party Poker every evening? Can someone pinch me, please?

I distinctly remember how thrilled I was when Paradise poker hit 2,500/3,000 players many years ago. That was huge. Back then, my beloved hobby, poker, was primarily a solitary pursuit outside of a few poker playing friends. Nobody gave a damn about Texas Hold Em, much less knew what it was. It was the ultimate conversation killer, second only to, "Have I told you about my fantasy sports team?"

Except with poker, you'd get a raised eyebrow and a sidelong look that said,
"Shouldn't you be out on a ledge somewhere?"

And poker back then was freaking hard. The mid to high limit online games were downright TOUGH. There just weren't many fish back then, you were typically playing against skilled, tricky, experienced players, players who thought and studied about the game. And you sure as hell better be tracking and taking notes on players. You faced alot of the same guys night after night.

I remember hopping from poker site to poker site, looking for fish, searching for any tiny edge in my desire for a 'good game'. Table selection, that's always been my thing.

As Ribbo once told me, "It's easier to find bad opponents than it is to improve your game."

Hint: Play on Party Poker with Bonus Code IGGY.

Appreciate what you have right now! Strike while the iron is hot because it won't always be like this. Read, study, think, discuss. Improve your game NOW. We're so freaking lucky to have this explosion - in a few years we'll be looking back wistfully.

That's what makes poker such a wonderful hobby. It's a skill-for-life.

And think about it: season three of the World Poker Tour is now gearing up, and the 2005 WSOP is only a few months away. There will likely be a brand new wave of players entering our midst, perhaps not akin to last year, but new fishy players, nonetheless.

I don't know, I'm just pondering how far this has all come. Poker = mainstream. Nobody saw this coming, least of all me. And sure, it's popularity will crest, but I don't believe it will EVER be like it was. Never. Too many players have the bug, have discovered the affirmation of learning and beating a poker game.

Poker is a fun itch to scratch.

I really should cut back on the drinking when I blog.
Have mercy on me, gentle reader.

Enough of me and my inanity. Let's get this post rolling, shall we?

First up - Howard Beale asks the burning question:

It's 3:00am at Casino Arizona where I'm at the 6-12 08 game. A real hottie, early 20's, is strutting around the poker area wearing a tight tank top (cut low), 3 inch heels, black stockings that reach half-way up her thighs, and a white *skirt* (looked more like a big napkin) that comes down just 1/2 inch from there. All the guys are looking and she knows it.

Q: What denomination chip do you place in her path to see if she will bend over to pick it up?

I enjoyed this wise post from RGP:

Subject: rgp

Ok, I am no pro, but I do know something about poker. Below are my proven tips that will help ANYONE'S game...from beginner to expert. I have spent WEEKS perfecting my system. And yes, I realize that by giving away my secrets I am effectively hurting myself to better others, but I want to give back to the game. So, without further ado, here they are. (And yes, they work in ANY situation!!!)

10. Always sit to the left of loose players, unless they are right handed, then you want to be on the opposite side of their dominant hand so you wont be left out when the right opportunity comes to play right so that your aren’t left underbetting chips that are rightly yours which were left on the table because you didn’t make the right play before you left the hand.

9. Always play black nines. Always muck red.
The reasons should be obvious.

8. Suited cards are overrated. Holding 2 cards of different suits gives you TWICE AS MANY FLUSH POSSIBILITIES!!!!! This way, you are in at least 50% of the hands, rather than just 25%. Also, no matter what, if you hold an ace, always play it until the river. You could still get the flush or an ace may appear. Both of these situations virtually guarantees you the nuts.

7. 2-7 OS is NOT the worst hand in poker. 2-7 suited is (see above). While I wouldn’t play this hand UTG, it’s usually worth a call in most other positions, as it gives you deceptive strength should the flop come 2-7-7, or 7-7-7. (These 2 flops actually account for 23% of all flops in poker.) Also, many times you will have double gutshot draws. (i.e. With a flop of A 5 9, you are in GREAT position. RAISE!)

6. You should raise aggressively at the start of most hands. If someone re-raises you, call. If 2 or more people re-raise, well…you can’t be pushed around…RAISE MORE! Continue this pattern until the river. But if someone raises on the river, don’t call more that 2 raises before folding.

5. A-x is a great hand. X can be any card, so it is wild! If you hold Ax and the flop comes A x x, the you flopped a boat!! Always play Ax.

4. Table position is overrated. Personally, I prefer sitting back, and casually tossing my chips into the pot. But, I have seen successful players who sit up straight and play. It’s really your call. Don’t listen to people who say “position is everything.”

3. Steal BLINDS!! I can’t stress this enough. When you are on the button or SB, distract your opponent and takes those chips right off the table. You’d be surprised how this can add up over the course of a session.

2. Rivers are good. People who complain when you hit the river card to make your hand don’t understand that poker is a 7 card game!!! ALWAYS play till the river. [Example: Lets say you are hold 9c 9s, and the flop comes K K A. Well, now all those people holding Ks and Aces will be raising, but so what? You still have a 66% shot at filling up on the turn or river!! (There are 52 cards in the deck. You hold 2, 5 on the board, 5 are burned, 5 are at the bottom of the deck (and will never be used),and 20 are in play, leaving 20 cards remaining in the deck. Since people have
raised already, you can assume the have aces or kings, and no 9s. so, you can now subtract 5 more cards (the remaining aces and kings) so that now 15 “live” cards are in the deck. Each time a card is dealt, you have a 2/15 chance of one being a 9. (multiply that by 5 cards, 2/15 x 5) and you are at 10/15, which means that 66% OF THE TIME YOU WILL HIT A FULL HOUSE!)

1. Higher stakes = more money = more comps! Poker players are VERY nice. Often times, I will be playing in a mid-low limit game, when one of the “high rollers” will take note of my game. They admire my play so much, they will often even invite me into their table!!! This is where I clean up. Even tho I don’t always win, the comps at higher limit tables just can’t be beat. The alcohol is less watery, the crackers aren’t stale, and the people are great. Of course, because I can’t really afford to play much at these tables, I usually have to fold at the turn or early in the river, unless I have the absolute nuts. But players at these levels are MUCH more conservative, and some play LESS THAT 50% of their HANDS!!!! If I play 90% of my hands, I can make up for my loses with volume play that these guys are missing out on. Plus, While these “fish” are content to take maybe one or 2 big pots per hour, I usually win 4-5 times in an hour!

Ready for keyboard shortcuts on Party Poker, Poker Stars and Paradise?
Mouseless Poker
I haven't tried these yet but I know a lot of folks swear by em. You can apparently choose from a couple of different key mappings. From the author:

These shortcuts work for any number of tables, but I use them when playing 4 tables (one in each corner of the screen). Now I don't need to use the mouse to switch between tables or to fold/call/raise.

Here's an interesting Phil Ivey anecdote from Bluff Magazine about the armed robbery at the WPT event a while back:

Subject: Phil Ivey is my Hero

The story is being told by Josh Arieh. He and Ivey, Lindgren and Greenstein were all at the Aviation Club in Paris. They were playing a 800-1600$ blind big money game, when the following happened: Some guy in a Motorcycle helmet came in holding a hand gun demanding (in french) more money. Arieh stated numerous times how he was in the fetal position praying to God to let him get home and see his wife and children. He said there were 2 gunmen screaming at the people to give them more money. In the story all he kept saying was how scared he was, and how all he could do was pray. Well Phil Ivey during the middle of all of this was under a table doing the following. This is a direct quote from the story.

In the midst of all the chaos, there is no group of people I would rather be in this situation with than a bunch of poker players. When all the chaos started there had just been a flop in the 800-1600 game that Lindgren, Ivey and Greenstein were playing, so to say the least the robbers interrupted their game. Ivey and the boys have some sort of way of betting on the side if certain hands win each pot. While I was in the fetal position praying for my life, Ivey was under the table calm as can
be and, turning to Lindgren and Greenstein said "Boys, I wanna' double up this hand"...... this isnt right, I'm praying for my life, and Ivey is under the table cracking jokes-how cool is he?

Speaking of new poker magazines, have you checked out 5th Street Magazine yet? Take a read - it sure beats working.

There have been a plethora of rumours going around poker message boards and RGP about an impending CBS 60 Minutes story about the corrupt nature of online poker. Because I couldn't locate an original source, I figured it was silly nonsense. But someone smarter than I went ahead and emailed Poker Stars and asked about the rumours.

Here's the reply

Hello Jeff,

CBS 60 minutes did film a segment with Chris Moneymaker and other poker
players. It is not scheduled yet for a specific date.

According to our best knowledge, and we are in constant contact with CBS, there is absolutely no truth about CBS talking about rigged games on our site. We are not aware about anybody running any tests for CBS on our site.

Furthemore we have a practice for the last 3 years to send full hand history file to any player who expresses a concern about our shuffle. We encourage such players to run tests themselves or use a 3rd party to run such tests. There was not a single case where anybody came back with results that showed a statistically significant deviation.

We are contacting CBS again after reading these notes on RGP and will post our response on RGP either later today or tomorrow.

Kind regards,

PokerStars Management

I'll keep everyone appraised of this, of course. A 60 Minutes segment on poker will prolly be a watershed mark for poker saturation.

Anyway, per online poker site cheating, here's a quote from my hero, Paul Phillips:

Do any of you geniuses who claim that "online poker is rigged" ever stop to do the math on the likelihood that not just one site, but ALL of the sites, many under COMPLETELY DIFFERENT OWNERSHIP, running DIFFERENT SOFTWARE written by DIFFERENT PROGRAMMERS with DIFFERENT AUDITORS... that they're ALL rigged?

I mean, does this make sense to you? Does that sound like a likely scenario? And with that many people involved (dozens and dozens at the minimum) that nobody CREDIBLE would EVER have blown the whistle on any of these sites? Every single person involved at the higher levels of the management AND technical side of EVERY site is a thief?

Does this sound like a rational belief to you?

If it does please check yourself into happybrook fields ASAP.

Paul excels at succinctly summing things up.

Hell, it ain't 60 Minutes but Judge Judy is cool in her own right...
Thanks to Irish Mike for posting this scintillating poker court case.

Judge Judy and the Texas Holdem case

Just saw an episode of Judge Judy where a woman is suing a casino owner for $5K for injuries suffered during a HE game. The defendant is a casino owner - a white haired guy named Worsham. They didn't give the casino name but said it was in Sacramento.

The plaintiff is an older heavy set black woman. She starts playing HE in the afternoon and apparently played around the clock until 6:30 am the next morning. She gets up to make a seat change and claims a casino employee pulled the chair out from under her and she fell on her ass. She gets up, sits back down in the game and continues to play HE the rest of the day. She said she took some vicodin she had in her purse.

Two days later she is back in the casino playing HE and asks the casino owner what he is going to do for her because of her injury. He offers her $500 but she turns it down and sues for $5K.

Judge Judy, who apparently doesn't know much about poker players, can't believe that after the woman fell, she sat back down and kept playing HE the rest of the day instead of going to a hospital.

She ruled that the woman wasn't really injured and that she gets nothing - not even the $500 the casino owner originally offered.

I guess the lesson is that if you ever get injured in a poker game, at least take the time to get checked out by a doctor before you asked them to deal you back in.

The big Pink Poker Bunny auction ended with no official buyers but he did offer this nugget of info:

The auction ends tommorow morning. I 've actually had 3 serious inquiries. It should be interesting to see if it closes. I don't know if I should be
scared or excited.

Yikes, here's an account of a poker game bust. I doubt the veracity of it but I'm still gonna stick it up here.

Subject: Atlanta Poker Bust (Long Post)

I wish to extend a hearty “bravo” to the Gwinnett County Police department for the great job they did Saturday shutting down the dangerous low-limit poker game in their county. No doubt the 21 officers (deployed in full SWAT gear) were stunned at the lack of resistance put up by the motley assortment of two dozen lawyers, brokers, engineers, and the occasional wife/girlfriend. By all accounts, the players at the game simply laid quietly on the floor as the police (hidden behind “ninja” masks) brandied their assault rifles, stepped on the occasional player, and screamed that “one @$!#ing twitch” would get the offender “shot dead”.

One could imagine the officers sitting around after the bust and querying, “Man – What kind of poker players were these?” “Yeah, they didn’t even put up the resistance found in the typical Crack Den. Did you see the way that lady cried when I stomped on her hand – geez – she cried like a… like a… girl!” In defense of the players’ inaction, they may have been intimidated by the way the two dozen officers smashed in the front door and streamed into the private home. Undoubtedly, if the officers had allowed time to open the front door, the players would have been more brazen and a bona fide blood-bath would have ensued.

As it turned out, a lone officer with a writing utensil and a notepad could have handled the whole thing. Alas, apparently no pens were available, so the police were forced to rely on their somewhat less wieldy AR-15s. As one officer noted at the crime scene "Man - can you believe there is this many people here and not one of 'em was holding anything?" [Disappointingly, the police did not find a single player in possession of any drugs, weapons, etc. - nonetheless, they were determined to justify the taxpayer's expense associated with the "sting" operation.]

Wisely, the officers left no “wiggle room” in the plastic & metal cuffs they used to bind each player. True believers in the “if you ain’t bleeding, it ain’t tight enough” theory, the officers left the deadly criminals bound throughout the 3+ hour arrest. As a side note, props to the “honest” gentleman who, after cuffing the last of the suspects, admiringly fondled the Paulson top hat & cane chips used at the game while telling a fellow officer “Hey man – look at this – REAL clay chips – we need these in OUR game”. Further props to the officers video-interviewing the suspects, who gave randomly inaccurate information about what would happen in Jail, once they loaded everyone into the transports. In addition to bagging the “house cash” and chips as evidence, the agents boldly removed any cash in players’ pockets and wallets. Frankly, if the cash were to be distributed among the officers after the bust, who could say they did not earn this untaxable bonus, with their brave heroics Saturday night.

Congratulations are also in order for the Gwinnett County Department of Corrections. These hardworking under compensated laborers rarely have the chance to exercise their power over a group of white-collar professionals… and they did a great job capitalizing on the opportunity.

Inferior departments might be satisfied with simply verbally abusing the detainees; ensuring they remain sleepless, dehydrated and hungry; refusing to process them for the first 20+ hours; and keeping them all standing shoulder-to-shoulder in an unventilated holding cell decorated by human fecal matter. But Gwinnett County really went the extra mile to demonstrate their contempt for the prisoners. They wanted to ensure that the incarceration period would be unique and unforgettable for all involved, lest the inmates enjoy the experience so much that they lose their fear of prison (and progress to even worse offenses – like speeding 57MPH in a 55MPH zone, or tearing the “Do not remove” labels off of mattresses).

Notable quotes from the All Night-All Day-All Night event included:

“We will process you in about 2-3 hours” [Commitment made every four hours or so, for 2 days, when inmates would ask how much longer until the booking would occur and the detainees would be charged with something or released.]

“Yeah, none of the phones in that cell work. We might be able to get it fixed on Monday but this is the weekend.” [Officer’s response to concerns about the inability to contact anyone for bail]

“Shut up @#$!head. A Phone Call? We provide the phone, its up to you to complete the call” [Officer’s response to final pleas for a working phone, or help contacting spouses that remained ignorant of the bust and were frantically contacting hospitals]

“Look out that window again and I will crack your head. Don’t any of you look out that @#$#ing window. You have 4 hours to make bond or you go to general population” [Apparently windows in cells are only for looking in – not out] “So tell the doctor” [Officer’s response to a diabetic inmate’s request for insulin]
“So tell the doctor” [Officer’s response 1 hour later when asked the same question. The officer was the only individual with access to the doctor]

Unfortunately, entrepreneurship was not a strong point for the correction officers. When an older inmate began having violent seizures, the officers cleared the cell and then simply stood, stared and laughed with each other for an hour, before finally rushing off to get a doctor and a stretcher. Considering how long the man’s spasms endured, and the obvious injuries he was incurring, it is inexcusable that no one recorded any of the incident on videotape. The footage would have been equally compelling on “Cops”, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” or “Ripley’s” and the officers missed a legitimate opportunity to “cash in” on America’s reality TV craze.

On the positive side, it was great to see the affection and admiration that Gwinnett County has for its Hispanic inmates. Mexican inmates that had the audacity to sing while incarcerated were summarily removed from the cell and dragged away, never to return. Particularly endearing was the treatment of a prisoner suffering from the pepper spray he received in the face prior to arrest for public intoxication. After clearly asking for help with the pain, the officer said “Hey $@#$er, do I look like a Hernandez, or a Rodriguez, or some other #$!@ing spic name to you? I don’t speak that amigo talk so shut the @#$! up and deal with it.” To “deal with” the pain, the 5’2” (and 100 lb. soaking wet) man foolishly ran his face and head under water – spreading the additional pepper spray from his hair into his eyes, ears, mouth and nose. Upon seeing the man writhing in the cell, the officer opened the door to remind the “amigo” how “#@$!ing stupid” he was, and how much more he would now suffer from that mistake.

Lastly, honorable mention goes to the phone operator at the jail, for gems like this one: “Yeah, your husband is here and waiting for bond. Why didn’t he call you? Well bitch – I’m sure he would rather be in that cell than with you!” [Response to woman that figured out what had happened to her husband, contacted the correct jail, and wondered aloud why her husband had not been able to make a phone call]

Overall, a job well done by Danny Porter, Gwinnett County’s District Attorney. He has made our streets safer and has inspired a number of the more affluential citizens of his county to become far more involved in local politics.

- JJ

Why haven't I ever linked to the Hendon Mob diary before?

For all you bloggers out there, here was a fine Slate column entitled:
Rappers and Bloggers
Separated at birth!

I'm looking forward to the WPBT live event in Vegas in June. I'll be sleeping in AlCanHang's bathtub. Please check out CJ's latest news per the tournament at the official WPBT web site.

After all - who among us at that first blogger gathering can ever forget this image?

Damn, the monkey riding the dog was a wonderful metaphor for that incredible weekend.

Hey now - I saw this on a blog when I was looking to pimp new ones and found.....um, this.

I did NOT write this. Geepers, I get the weirdest shit. Taylor is gonna laugh when she reads this, methinks. Or scratch her head just like I'm doing.

I just asked hel1xx if this was too weird to post because I'm ripped my judgement is severely clouded and he said, "its weird more than funny - its one of those things you finish and scratch yer head about like a david lynch movie."

he1ixx : it teeters on the edge of incoherence at times too
he1ixx : which doesn't help

I'm not gonna link to the blog so I'll just post it here. I'd recommend skipping it and moving on...

The following is PURE FICTION, to the best of my knowledge, and bears only a passing relationship to truth and propriety. To the best of my knowledge.

No attempt is made to protect the innocent by changing names and places, as places (other than cyber space) will not be mentioned, and the names have been, in fact, changed by the named. Well, less one. That being the primary victim.

CENTRAL CHARACTERS: Iggy and Stripper by Night, a dwarf, and a hoax. Minor character(s): Blog writer (victim), all Blog readers (eager, voluntary victims).

OPENING: Flashback; develop character Iggy. Explain hoax of claiming Dwarf status and hesitation meeting eager, fellow Bloggers because of physical envelope. Expand the theme to include the charade to an actual presence at the 1st conclave of Bloggers in Las Vegas, by introduction of a Lilliputian in a casino cardroom. Demonstrate the lengths of deception showing actual skulking techniques used by MAIN CHARACTER to evade detection by fellow Bloggers.

SECOND CHARACTER DELEVOPMENT: Scene; normal poker table, full, containing an indistinct form/figure of female character playing poker. Voice over, not eminating from the table, but elsewhere: Explaining the status of bankroll, bank accounts, abilities at the tables. CHANGE SCENE FOR CHARACTER: Indistinct form in room, at computer. Voice over reading the words beginning a Blogger Flame war.

INTRODUCE VICTIM BLOGGER: (Caution: Female cast in this role MUST NOT be allowed license to overact illnesses. They are not primary to the action, nor in-character to real life.) Demonstrate the sharpe mind and writing abilities, used to analyze various poker situations and enviroments. Show effects of SECOND CHARACTER actions on victim and Bloggers, which should lead into:

REACTION OVERVIEW: MAIN CHARACTER and various other Bloggers, selected at random. Possibly best done by indistinct images and voice overs reading various selected posts expounding those reactions.


RE-OPEN: SCENE: Keep simple. However, show reconsillation, methods used and, the live- and-let-live, truce that set in. Dwell a bit on the various minor Blogger characters; explain the schooling, and personalities of one or two. DO NOT OVER PLAY THE FACTS. Do demonstrate the abilities of Bloggers to accept other points of view (critical to their character). Re-introduce Iggy during this. Place him:

SCENE: At a computer center, back to viewer; sweating, opened bottle of adult beverage at elbow; voice expounding on the readers demanding that instead of the Uber-posts filled with borrowed material (while of great interest and of timely nature) which reveal nothing of the nature of the poster. Demonstrate further, the lengths to which the writer goes to bring his Blog to the public, keeping it alive and fresh them. Explaining to the viewer why no posts on personal figures on poker playing are possible. (HAVE THE FIGURE ACTUALLY USE THE COMPUTER TO TYPE)


FADE SCENE: Return to POKR TABLE SCENE, used in developement of SECOND CHARACTER. Solidify primary female figure to semi-solid. Repeat voice-over relating poker activities, etc..


MORPH: The female to dwarf. (Don't over- do, just long enough to register on the viewer)

MORPH: The Dwarf to Iggy at the computer desk (or elsewhere, as the director chooses.).





Um. Words fail me. I'm too daft to understand it, even. Hel1xx had to explain it to me.

If you watch Tilt, you'll prolly enjoy this satire site:
Tilt: the Blasphemy of Poker as we Know it

Gawddamnit, Phil H beat out Chris Ferguson for the heads up poker championship for the upcoming NBC event. I suppose this will make for some excellent TV and that's good for all of us. As much as I bash Phil, he's obviously great for the game.

Head on over to the PokerProf's site for a great writeup of the event and pictures.

Moving along, let's clean up this back and forth between Abdul and Phil Helmuth.
I've never used the names Abdul and Hellmuth in the same sentence before.

Abdul first, then Phil.

Abdul Jalib wrote:

I wanted to ask Phil Hellmuth something at his r00ling BARGE speech, but I was having difficulty coming up with a diplomatic way to phrase the question. So here goes, after a bit of thought. I've played a huge number of hours of limit hold'em against WSOP winners and other big name tournament players. Here are a few example hands, at
20-40, 60-120, and 80-160 limits:

* WSOP winner open-raises early-middle position, gets a caller, and WSOP winner bets and raises all the way with no pair and no draw, shows down A2 offsuit.

* Very tight player raises UTG, two players cold call, WSOP winner cold calls with JT offsuit. The flop comes low rags, completely missing the JT, tight player checks, one player bets, next calls, and now WSOP winner calls to take a card off with his overcards (he snags a jack on the turn and wins the pot.)

* Player open-raises middle position, fairly tight player 3-bets, WSOP winner 4-bets from the small blind with 76o (there was some out of order mucking, which could have
caused WSOP winner not to respect those raises), original raiser folds, WSOP winner shows his 76o to the 3-bettor alone, after the 3-bettor folds on the turn (76o actually was the best hand at that point, though the 3-bettor had odds to draw.)

* Tournament pro has been 3-betting early raisers with Q7s and other crazy things for a while, and will be leaving soon and probably won't be playing against the same players any time soon. Now he open raises one off the button, fairly tight player 3-bets from the big blind, he calls. Flop comes K65, big blind bets, and he turns over 83 offsuit before mucking.

These are four real hands from four different major tournament winners, and they are fairly typical. I suppose Phil might argue that the tournament pros had their reasons - tells or whatnot for each and every seemingly wacky decision - but didn't even Phil say in his speech something like, "Tournament pros should stick to tournaments and avoid limit ring games"?

Now my questions for Phil:

Should this style of play be emulated by those wishing to win tournaments?

Does this style of play facilitate monetary success in tournaments?

Do you consider there to be a significant difference between the strategy for winning tournaments and the strategy for making the most money in tournaments?

Do you try to win tournaments or make money in tournaments?

You were one of the players in those hands... which hand was yours, A2, JT, 76, or 83?

Others, please feel free to jump in too.

And thanks for the good talk, Phil.

Abdul Jalib

And Mr. Hellmuth graciously responds, dragging Daniel into the sludge:

From: Phil Hellmuth
Subject: Re: TOURNAMENTS: Questions for Phil Hellmuth

OK Abdul, here goes...

I am not sure which hand that I played in your scenario, but I could see
myself in a 'non tilting' moment play the A-2 strongly. I think that a
lot of top tournament players go on tilt very easily, myself included.
My guess is that this is what you witnessed in each case.

Yes, I do try to make money in tournaments, but more importantly, I try
to win tournaments! I believe that you have to 'make the money' in
order to make the final table in order to make the top three, and then
finally, win the event. Erratic play in general is not helpful towards
achieving tournaments success. Erratic play - usually brought about by
the top pro tilting in any given event - does have its payoff over the
next few events from the people that witnessed the meltdown.

I believe that there isn't too much difference between the correct
tournament strategy for 'making the money' vs the correct strategy for
'winning the tourney.' Of course, you need the ability to adapt to the
changing conditions of your table along the way. For example, I will
play non-agressive poker at a table full of maniacs, but after I make it
down to the final three tables, they always seem to be filled with tight
players, so then I step up the raising quotient of my game.

On another note, I have a big disagreement with Daniel Negreanu over
side game players vs tournament players.

Daniel wrote (in this thread):

I've said it time and time again, the best tournament players
couldn't hold a stick to the best live game players. The live game
players could more easily adapt to tournament play than a tournament
player to a ring game.

Although holding Daniel to his exact words of, "I've said it time and
time again, the best tournament players couldn't hold a stick to the
best live game players" wouldn't quite be right, he really does believe

that the top side game players have more skill. You see, I witness
these top side game players play hard every year at the WSOP, and rarely
do I see them win an event. Conversely, if many of the top tournament
players had to make a living solely in the sidegames, then I believe
that they would just tighten up their games and eventually play in the
highest limit games in the world.

In fact, I am going to post another thread right now challenging Daniel
to a bet!!

-Cheers, Phil Hellmuth

Yeah right, Phil.

2004 tourney cashes for Daniel: 11 final tables $4,420,221

2004 tourney cashes for Phil: two final tables. 64k. hah!

Daniel > Phil

I discovered this online 43 minute WSOP episode of 2-7 lowball ready for viewing.
WSOP 2-7 stream

Not sure what to say about this news from the LV Sun. Harrah's just closed their online gambling site.


Harrah's Entertainment Inc. has suspended the operations of an online gambling site based in the United Kingdom after posting losses of $9.3 million last year.

The move marks the second time a Las Vegas casino giant has tried and failed to tap into the lucrative Internet gambling market.

The site, called Lucky Me, was introduced in November 2003 for British bettors and was suspended in October, the company disclosed Tuesday in its annual report to shareholders.

The site was discontinued because it was losing money, Harrah's spokesman David Strow said.

Rather than the typical method of gambling for money, the Web site allowed players to access as many games as possible -- with new games offered every seven-and-a-half minutes -- with a monthly subscription. Gamblers paid from about $17 to $84 per month for access to bingo and other games with cash prizes ranging from $8.50 to $1.7 million.

Lucky Me featured an identification process that prohibited bets from U.S. residents as well as from other countries where Internet gambling is prohibited.

The site was developed in partnership with Revahertz Networks, a Boston-based, privately-held software game developer that founded Gamesville, a games-for-prizes site that was sold to the Internet search engine Lycos in 1999.

Poker Wire has been providing some damn good updated tourney information. Check em out for the latest and greatest.

I really enjoyed the book American Roulette by casino cheat, Richard Marcus. If you dug Bringing Down the House, you'll enjoy this one, too. Go check out Richard's blog for the latest on the History Channel doing episodes on him.

Jeff, a fine local blogger, emailed me this Small World tale this morning.

I have a funny, how small is the world story for you. My friend was talking about your guide the other day, trying to encourage me to buy it. He said, "This guy
says he lives in New Orleans with his mother, but he actually lives here and posts some funny shit on his website." I said, "I know. I told you about his website."

Turns out his good friend Shawn (Sean) is your physical therapist.

What's the odds?

Veteran poker writer, MaryAnne Guberman, writes about the poker blogging phenomenom at Casino Gaming. Thanks MaryAnne - now it's time for YOU to start a blog!
Blog On

Now, what can you learn from these kindred spirits? We hope to pick up methods of integrating our knowledge and experience with another person's and synthesizing it into some form of poker wisdom. I think it's possible but even if it isn't, I'll eke out an hour or two a week to come back and visit. These writers are, after all, the poker community I haunt.

Random gambling factoid:
Traditional Native American dice are two-sided.
There are over one hundred different traditional Native American dice games.

What's wrong with our Northern neighbors?

"Canadians 'opposed to Internet Poker'"

As printed today in the Vancouver Province Newspaper:

"Ottawa - More than half of Canadians think playing Internet poker for cash is unacceptable, suggests a new Decima poll obtained by The Canadian Press.

Fifty-six percent were against such a pastime, one-quarter had no problem with it, and the rest fell somewhere in the middle.

The poll, one of the most detailed snapshots to emerge of gambling attitudes, suggests great unease about online casinos.

There's no shortage of foreign-based Internet commercial casino games. But such sites are illegal in Canada, unless run by provincial governments.

Canadians are more than twice as likely to say addiction is a problem in provinces where VLTs - dubbed electronic morphine by their critics - aren't restricted to casinos or racetracks.

These include Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Atlantic Canada.

Over all, Decima's National Gambling Report suggests about half of Canadians think out-of-control betting is a serious issue.

That doesn't stop them from dabbling or, in about two per cent of cases, getting in way over their heads, said Decima survey director Richard Leigh-Bennett.

"You're seeing that half the people think it's a problem, but then you've got almost 80 per cent of the population participating in it. If you look at (rates of) smoking and drinking, it's quite a bit lower."

The controlled online survey of 3,538 adults was password protected to ensure participants only responded once. It is considered accurate within 1.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20."

I almost forgot: 2+2 is now selling shirts.

Good God, I'm drunk. Damnit, I wanted to do a monster post. Allow me to pimp some new blogs and finish this up. Drumroll please:

She Verb
Another girl poker blogger. Can never have too many of these.
Especially funny ones.

Mr Subliminal's Blog
Speculation, poker and other assorted goodies from the inside looking out.

Wired Aces
Texas Hold 'Em and the Bad Beat

While drinking, I...
Thoughts about poker, sports, maybe politics and the best ideas thought up while drinking.

The Virtual Nuts

Poker and Other Things.
A fave new blog.

Further Thoughts on Poker

The Bovine Musings
Inside the mind of a deranged cow.

Jen's Poker Blog

i can't believe i'm giving a concert tonight!

Returning Champions
Poker Cartoons!

The Sponge
Another Study of No Limit Texas Hold 'Em from a n00b's Perspective.

Poker Pundit

LimpingGeezer from Texas
I Was a Jarhead back in the late 70's and early 80's, and now have been serving in the Army over most of the last two decades; so my feet really, really hurt.

And last, but most certainly not least:
Tom Bayes Live Journal Poker Blog

K, that's all I can muster up right now. Please take the time to go read and support the new guys and gals. Lotsa worthy writing out there.

Again, this drivel is brought to you by Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker. If you aren't playing there, please consider supporting this humble blog by signing up. I'm willing to grovel.

And finally, don't forget about our little WPBT event coming up this Sunday evening.

$5 tourney
Sunday. March 13th
9pm EST
Name of tourney: WPBT HORSE Tournament
Full Tilt Poker - Bonus Code IGGY
password: thehammer

Thanks for anyone actually reading this far. Sorry for the especially disjointed post this evening. At the least, I hope I destroyed some workplace productivity today.

This is almost how I feel after writing all this up:

And for a finale, I present an old Daniel Negreanu bitch-fest post about Annie.


Subject: Annie Duke Anecdotes (long)

I'm often asked what makes me think that this woman is such a low life. Here are just a few examples of facts that make up what this woman truly is as far as I‘m concerned. For those of you who don't care to read it, you can stop now and save your complainin':

1) Wanna Split it?- Playing in a stud 8 or better side game, Annie was heads up with one other player. After much betting it appeared as though Annie had the high hand and the other had a low made by sixth street. The player with the low board asked if she wanted to split it. Annie said, "Yeah, ok". The player threw his hand toward the muck expecting the dealer to start chopping the pot, when Annie said, "Wait, only if you have a low I mean."

Once she said yes however, the pot should ethically be split. Despite virtually everyone in the game explaining to Annie that once she says yes to a chop, she has to chop. She wouldn't budge. Finally, after much hysteria she decided to give the player back ONLY the money he put into the pot. Had the tables been turned, she'd
still be blue in the face about how unfair that was.


2) I swear on my kids!- Annie habitually leans over to look at the cards of the person sitting beside her in a game, whether they like it or not. Well one day one of the players was fed up with her sweating her neighbor's hole cards and he spoke up about it. She obliged saying, "Ok, I won't look anymore."

Not an hour later, a triple draw hand comes up, and she is caught red handed looking at her neighbor's hole cards again. This time the player objected furiously, "I told you to stop looking at your neighbor's cards!" To which she replies, "I SWEAR ON MY CHILDREN I WASN'T". This was an absolute lie. She saw EXACTLY what card her neighbor got and ANNOUNCED the hand before it was turned over, also saying something to the effect of, "Oh you would have made it anyway."

**A 4 had been flashed that would have been her neighbor's card. Instead she received a 6 to complete a 2-3-5-6-7, which is the third best hand in 2-7 triple draw (the 4 would have been the mortal nuts).** Later, Annie falsely claimed that the player who was upset with her threw a chair AT HER. Again, impossible.


3) Just checkin'- Playing in a one table satellite for the main event at the WSOP, Annie was up against Tony Ma and Dan Alspach. Tony moved all in on the button, Annie folded in the small blind and Dan began studying. After some time, Dan folded his hand, and Tony threw his cards towards the muck telling Dan "Aces. I had two Aces." Well after the hand hits the muck, Annie GRABS THE HOLECARDS, LOOKS AT THEM, and says "Just checkin‘" as if she had done nothing wrong.


4) Sitting in a short handed 300-600 mixed game in 1999 I was unfortunate enough to have to sit beside Annie. Again, she has a simple rule that she lives by, "It's ok for me to look at your hole cards when I am out of a hand but I can't show you mine because I can't give away any information". Niiiice. Anyway, after about 30 minutes of her sweating my hole cards, I KINDLY say, "I'd actually prefer it if you didn't look at my hole cards since we are short handed and all." (5 handed at the time). About 15 minutes later, another player sits down in the game making it six handed.

So know after I've raised before the flop and she'd folded, she looks over at my hole cards again. This time saying, "It's six handed, I can look now". Niiiice.


5) Oh my God, it's so my seat- On a Monday night Annie walked into the poker room to put her name on a list. When the seat opened up, the floor man called out a name that wasn't yet present. Annie said, "If he's not here it's my seat." To which the floor man replied, "He's just outside, he's on his way."

"Oh my God no way! You can't do that! You can't lock up a seat if you aren't even here!" After much bickering the poor floor man succumbed and gave her the seat.

Wednesday night, EXACT same scenario, only this time Annie was the one who was first up on the list but not present at the time the seat was called. Now this time, she is arguing for the OPPOSITE ruling. "Oh my God, I was right here. I was here to put my name on the list. I didn't even leave the building" (how the floor man is supposed to know that is anyone's guess). Anyway, after throwing yet another hissy fit she got that seat too. This is one of Annie's common practices: "Argue NOT for what's fair and just, argue only for what benefits you." Niiice.


6) This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me in a tournament- At the WSOP main event in 1999, Annie was involved in a pot with another player who had limped under the gun. Annie raised the limper from the button with A-7 offsuit. When it got back to the limper, he went to make a raise, but DIDN"T SAY RAISE, and then went
back to his stack to raise even more. Well, in any no limit tournament that is considered a string raise. Not always called, but it's a string raise nonetheless. Well, another player, Steve Kaufman, called the string raise to the dealer's attention. To which Annie shouted, "Oh my God, you're not even in the pot! What are you doing! Oh my God, this is the worst thing that even happened to me in a
tournament!" etc.

She was upset with the fact that she had now been raised the minimum by the limper and was "forced" to call the extra 60,000 raise. After lambasting Mr.Kaufman for something he had EVERY RIGHT to do, she ended up flopping an ace and WINNING the pot because of the called string raise. "Well maybe that was the BEST thing that ever happened to me in a tournament." Snort, snort, giggle, giggle.


7) Cup Boy- Finally, my first ever meeting of this woman was at the Four Queens in 1996 when I was just barely 22. Up to that point I'd had virtually no success in tournaments in the US, but was eager to learn from the so called "superstars" of the game.

** Before I go any further, It's important to give you a little background info. At the club I played in in Toronto, we had no bottled water, just purified water you could get from the gallon. So I'd fill up a Styrofoam cup with water, and when it was empty, would leave it hanging from my lips so the porter wouldn't take it away and I'd have to waste another cup. This became somewhat of a habit you could say.**

So here I am in this tournament, where across from me was this woman and another well known tournament player. This woman doesn't know me from Adam, but goes out of her way to ridicule and make me feel like an outsider. As though I didn't belong in her "clique". After witnessing her behavior I was pretty sure I didn't want any part of
that "clique" anyway.

KNOWING I could hear every word she was saying, she says to her "clique" member, "Oh my God, what's up with cup boy over there. I wonder what that cup's all about. You think it's for medical reasons." She then went on to giggle arrogantly. At this point I actually spoke up and said, "If you'd really like to know there is actually a pretty normal reason for it?" Apparently acknowledging my existence may have looked less "too cool to talk to the low limit players" if you know what I mean.

In conclusion., with two odd tables to go I play a hand against her in which SHE WINS. I had a good amount of chips at this point and she was all in for less than a bet on the river. I had actually bet the turn with a draw, and checked the river when I made a pair. The board was (10-8-2) A- J. I held Q-J in the blind and called her raise from middle position. I checked and called the flop, and bet the ace on
the turn hoping to steal it. On the river I made jacks, but didn't think she would call me with a worse hand but may check a better hand or even bluff. That's not important though.

What is important, is that she berated me for playing the hand that way! "Oh my God, if you were going to call on the river anyway why didn't you just bet?? I mean, oh you know what forget about it. I shouldn‘t be educating."

I was beyond puzzled, but to be completely honest slightly embarrassed. I was there alone and knew no one in the tournament whatsoever. At the time I wasn't certain if I actually made a horrendous error or not. I may have spoken 20 words the entire
tournament, and couldn't fathom why someone would want to be so mean to a complete stranger?

Anyway, I later thought about the hand and realized that she was absolutely WRONG about the correct strategy in that situation. Considering the information I had, I played the river just fine.

Couple years go by, I get lucky and win a few tournaments… and all of a sudden she is all nice to me. Phony nice of course, but nice nonetheless. The more I got to know this woman however, the more I was witness to her true colors and the more I disliked her. Despite making my BEST efforts to tolerate her obnoxious personality I no
longer wanted to put up with it.

The only thing I'm sorry about in all this, is what it has done to many of my friends who happen to have thicker skin than I and can tolerate Annie. It puts them in a peculiar position. That I regret. Other than that, NOTHING I've ever said to her, or about her is something I'd ever consider apologizing for. Those are my true feelings… and I sleep well..

You see, I don't NEED to be Mr. Phony Nice Guy, all I gots to be is who I is. I ain't gonna say what y'all want me to say, I'm gonna say wazz on my minds when I feels like it. Na' I mean? Damn straight.


Don't get me wrong I've done some pretty stupid things in my time. I'm not afraid or worried about what anyone has to say about me, it's all out there. I have few secrets if anyway. I been broke, blew some stake money, loaned railbirds, staked deadbeats, been on the borrow, all kinds of bad decisions. That's real. In all honestly though, I ain't NEVER disrespected no man or no woman unless they had it comin'.

I was never one to see bullies get their way, and I was never one to close my eyes and shut my mouth when I see somethin' I don't like. I keep hearing, "But Danny, this isn't in your best interest. "Danny just go with the flow and don't rock the boat." Hell no!

You a cheat, I'll say so.
You a bi-atch-- I'll say so.
You a angle shooter, I'll let my peoples know.
You a fraud? huh, I'll expose you and feel no way…y'understan?

I'm out.

Daniel Negreanu

Link of the Day:
The original Jesus is With You Always site was funny enough. But sortakinda.com went a step further and added their own captions. Safe for work and good for a laugh.

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Information on this site is intended for news and entertainment purposes only.

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