Thursday, April 28, 2005

It's Thursday folks. Only 13 people registered for our tourney on Sunday night.

Please go sign up ASAP. Stop procrastinating!

WPBT WSOP Satellite Tournament
Poker Stars
May 1st, 7pm EST
$30 + 3 No-limit
One WSOP seat awarded for every 50 players
Password = the same as last time - email me if need be

Well hell, I sure hope we don't fall short.
I wanna give away another damn WSOP seat!

At any rate, I'll be announcing the WPBT event for bloggers AND readers right after our Sunday event. Woohoo!

I just spent the last three hours going through my entire blogroll. Damn. Too much great writing over there - I'm really stunned. Take some time and dig around next time you're folding on Party Poker, you'll be pleasantly surprised, as well.

Hell, I even went thru my 'Languishing' list of blogs. It was like an archeological dig.

Per usual, much to blog about but I'm gonna throw you a changeup today. Many folks have been wondering where Lord Geznikor at Rhymes with Joker has gone. His last post had 34 comments - check it out if you need the background.

Anyway, I offered Lord G to give us all an update here in this humble blog, which he took me up on. So here it is:


Iggy tells me people have asked about me lately. Great: I'm 34 years old and I'm a "whatever happened to ..." guy.

I'm not sure whether my site is even up at the moment; my drained checking
account has made it impossible for me to actually pay my internet host. In
any case, I haven't blogged in several months; the reason I usually give is
that I don't have anything to say. That's only partly true; my last post
was about the possibility of taking my last few bucks and moving to Vegas.

I talked myself out of that, or let others talk me out of it, but I'm not sure I shouldn't have gone. It would have been a desperation play but I was--and am--desperate.

I dithered for a long time about getting a job. As I saw it, and still see it, a job can do nothing but make me more miserable, so why do it?

Some people have picked up the threads of suicidal thought in the last couple of
posts I made, whenever that was. That was real. Even though suicide is not
truly something I want to do, I've felt like I haven't had a choice.
A job makes me miserable. Being dead means I'm not miserable anymore.

Nonetheless, I find myself about to be hired by the National Federation of Independent Business, to sell memberships to small businessmen. The guaranteed money isn't great but the potential exists to about double the guarantee, which would make a decent living. Nonetheless, I can only see this as a way to get to where I really want to be, which is in Vegas playing a lot of poker.

My dad asked me last weekend, if I could have any job (within reason), what would it be. My answer was "nothing," by which I meant that there is no job I think I would enjoy long-term. But I just realized that that's not true. In my win-the-lottery fantasies, I live in a Vegas high-rise condo, a lot like the condo on "Frasier," and I play a lot of poker. So I change my answer: If I could have any job (within reason), it would be that of a professional poker player.

It might be a bit skewed, but in poker I primarily compete against myself: I look to play each hand the best it can be played. I don't always succeed, though, and to me these are the leaks in my game. I think if I were a decent golfer or pool player I would look at my game the same way. The challenge is to come as close as possible to playing perfectly.

The positive benefits of being a pro player are many, and I don't need to go into them all here, but the biggest positive for me is that I get to play on my own schedule. There's a game at 2AM just as there is at 2PM. Since the natural length of my day is 25-26 hours, that's important to me, and it's a big part of my failure to adapt to work life in the past. Another major benefit for me is the lack of a boss. In other jobs, if I fucked up and cost the company $100, I heard about it forever. In poker, if I fuck up and cost myself $100, then as long as I can figure out what went wrong, it can actually be a good thing.

So, what have I been doing for the last few months? I'm totally out of action now, but I have been staked several times by Gil (a buddy I've mentioned a number of times on my site). He's probably negative in doing this, but that may be mostly because he keeps buying us into these very –EV charity tournaments that I'll mention in a bit. In casino trips, because of one good weekend, he might be positive. Overall, though, I believe I'm well negative for 2005, despite a lack of records. I think
this is primarily due to an effective stop-loss set by Gil; he doesn't want to
reach into his pocket to buy me back into the game, for understandable reasons. And, actually, our practice of sitting different tables when we play causes another problem: Whoever is on the good table has his night cut short by whoever is on the bad table going broke early.

Low-buyin no-limit has finally come to the midwest; four of the five closest
cardrooms have begun dealing $100 or $200 max-buyin no-limit. Unfortunately, the holdout is the closest of the casinos, and since they're very poorly run, they'll probably never get no-limit. This has become our game of choice; in Gil's words no-limit is "way too much fun." Oddly, one of my best performances in this game was in one of the worst games, after the tournament in Manistee. There were a lot of good players in that game, including one fellow I suspect is a pro. (The suspected pro figures in the story from last year where Gil was drawing to a two-outer against my total bluff—and got there.) Somehow I pulled nearly $400 out of that
game, which wasn't bad even after I paid Gil his cut.

Another thing we've been doing a good bit is playing charity tournaments around town. The biggest problem with these is that less than half, and sometimes only a third, of the money they take in, is paid out; Michigan caps winnings at a "Vegas night", which is what these are under our law, at $500, so the payouts typically start there and go down, with around 10% of places being paid. The competition is always very soft, even though there are a lot of regulars at the tournaments, but I don't think it's soft enough for what's effectively 100–200% juice on the tournaments.

However, one of the organizers of these has been dealing $1/$2 no-limit side games after the tournaments, and they rake those pots normally. Since the competition is just as weak in those games, a strategy might be to show up specifically for the side games. I suspect the organizers work several nights a week for different charities; these might become a very lucrative few hours' work from time to time.

My current long-term—well, medium-term anyway—goals are to take the money I get from this new job, assuming I am in fact hired, and build a bankroll back up. I don't really want to move west until I'm regularly beating PartyPoker's $15/$30 game, which implies the bankroll to do it, which implies that it will be at least six months before I can move west, and likely longer than that. From here and now, I would expect that I'd want to transfer to Vegas with the NFIB, although who knows what I'll decide when that time comes. (If I were the NFIB I wouldn't let me move,
since it would probably be apparent that I'd quit shortly thereafter.)

In any case, the answer to "whatever happened to ..." is that I'm not dead.
I'm just not playing poker. Or is that the same thing?

Lord Geznikor


RollingStone today posted a feature article about poker, a good read about Danny and Phil Ivey.
The New Superstars of Poker
Young guns like Daniel Negreanu are the envy of a poker-crazed generation

Random Photo of the Day:

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

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

OK, now the uber-post by Iggy, the blogfather of poker. If you don't know about Iggy or what an uber-post is, think back to English 101. Your English professor assigned you a paper on "Paradise Lost". You could, of course, read "Paradise Lost" and write your paper several days before it is due, proofreading several times. What many people did, of course, was procrastinate, read about the first 10% of "Paradise Lost" before falling asleep, and frantically realize the paper is due in 10 hours. Cliff Notes to the rescue. Instead of reading "Paradise Lost", someone else has read it for you and summarized it for you. This is great, because as I learned watching Donald Sutherland's virtuoso performance in "Animal House", even English professors hate "Paradise Lost".

So what does that have to do with Iggy? Well, there are just so many forums and newsgroups and journals in the poker blogosphere that any reasonable person can keep up with, just like most of us can't read all of "Paradise Lost". Iggy, though, can. The "uber-post" are huge Guinesss - fueled rants with a combination of Iggy's stream-of-unconsciousness and the rest of the poker blog world.

Tom Bayes poker journal

I like that quote because it's true - I WAS that kid in English 101.
Sad, ain't it?

It's time for uber, tangential, tasty poker goodness.
Destroying Workplace Productivity, indeed.

Commence Guinness-fueled ramblings:
First things first. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did Sunday evening. The chat at the tables was truly priceless and the camaraderie was clearly evident. This community truly kicks ass - it was great to look around at all the tables and recognize nearly every single player.

In fact, it was so damn much fun we're doing it again next Sunday. Same Bat-Place, same Bat-Time. It's already posted on Stars, so go sign up please.

WPBT WSOP Satellite Tournament
Poker Stars
May 1st, 7pm EST
$30 + 3 No-limit
One WSOP seat awarded for every 50 players
Password = the same as last time - I can't go thru 70 emails again.

And in other big news, we'll be running an official WPBT event (points count on the leaderboard) open to ALL bloggers AND readers next week. I'll announce the details in a day or two.

I'm still taken aback by the success of our lil community. Whoda thunk that blogs would have proliferated such as they have, much less predicted their popularity?

Not me.

I actually wrote up a drunken rant about computer gaming, communities and poker last evening that will never see the light of day. Tis a shame, cause it was kinda interesting but I'm trying to hard to stay on topic - Lord knows what would become of this blog if I started ranting every day.

A snippet:

hell, that's why i consider playing poker drunk to be so easy. it's not like i'm bunny-hopping around at full-speed and snapping off 180 degree railgun shots anymore - fuck - playing two cards while seeing double seems like childs play compared to playing first-person-shooters competitively.

Anyway, it's been nearly six months to the day that I quit my job and entered the ranks of playing poker for a living. Do I have any searing insights or observations for you, gentle reader?

Sadly not. It's mostly about emotionally riding the waves of variance and exercising cold, hard decisions per table/game selection. The latter being different for everyone - I personally prefer loose, aggressive games, but many folks would rather have a tight or passive table. To each their own, but I love loose games like a fat kid loves cake.

Per the job thing - I cant help but think about it, sometimes. It's like a nagging splinter in the back of my mind. I can't figure out if it's residual Catholic guilt or my Protestant work ethic that's getting in the way. I'm sure the cultural/gender issues of allowing a job/career to define "who you are" is part of it, as well.

But for now, I'm comfortable banging away on Party Poker every day. It's damn profitable. Although, I'll admit I've been tackling the bigger limit tables at Pacific Poker fairly often . . . I can't get over how passive the tables are there. It's as passive as Party is aggressive. Yes, the Pacific software is an abortion, but I think that fact, combined with the fact you can't multi-table, keeps many sharks away.

Don't tell anyone.

Back to the gaming thingy - there are alot of correlations between the online gaming community and poker as it relates to cheating. Sad, but true.

And while I'm loathe to blog about anything Russ Georgiev - GCA related, I figure it's worthwhile to document cause Roy Cooke has a rare RGP post about him.

Russ G is a fucking nut, that's the first thing. I was reading RGP daily when he first appeared with his 'cheating tapes' and accusations and am still angry that he basically drove every worthwhile poster away. I think it was akin to arguing with the TarBaby - everytime a "pro" engaged him, things got stickier and stickier and the accusations became wilder and wilder.

Actually, I'm pissed at Mike Caro since he's the one who gave Russ a fucking voice. Funny how Mr. Caro has all but disappeared during these poker boom times, isn't it? Yeah, he's made blips here and there but.....

Like any serious poker player, I'm concerned about cheating. I've spoken to two online poker room CEO's about it (not much they can do - their biggest concern is money laundering - chip dumping) and even talked to Russ on the phone a few times, just to ask a few pointed questions. Lord knows I could rant and rant about this but I'll spare you, gentle reader. Someday I'll write the definitive post on Russ, detailing his insanity. The 'recant of the recant' was a high point of stupidity.

The only thing I wish PokerTracker had was a way to show how often players played on the same table with each other, along with other various data in that vein. Wouldn't be hard to do.

But I digress.

So let's get this over with. Roy Cooke wrote this column for Cardplayer entitled:

Integrity — Part II: Sooner or Later? That's the $64,000 Question!

I'm going to post the article itself and then the follow-up RGP post that Roy wrote.
Here we go.


Sooner or later, it’s going to happen. The $64,000 question is, “When?”

I’m too young to remember the TV show The $64,000 Question and the other quiz shows of the ’50s. But they were the hottest thing on television — hotter even than poker on television is today. They were big money, too; their cash prize money adjusted for inflation translate equivalently to some of the prize money in 21st-century televised poker tournaments. And those shows, like poker, held out the allure that people on the street could have a shot at the big time. They, like today’s TV poker, were as much about fantasies and hope as anything.

Television was just entering its prime, the networks dominated the national stage, and big corporate America had its money and power behind the quiz shows. As so tellingly portrayed in the Robert Redford-directed movie Quiz Show, the whole thing came tumbling down in a U.S. Congressional investigation over cheating scandals. American entertainment hadn’t seen anything like it since the 1918 Chicago White Sox of Shoeless Joe Jackson, forever to be known as the Black Sox, tanked the World Series, which led to the creation of the omnipotent position of commissioner of baseball.

Not long ago, I watched a major tournament final table on television, in which one of the finalists had been bankrolled into it by another finalist. I know the principals involved fairly well, and I watched the play fairly closely. I genuinely believe there was no collusion involved, and I have some expertise in identifying collusion. They both played to win. But, it got me thinking.

Tournament poker has a fairly short history, really born in the late 1970s. It has enjoyed several growth spurts over the years, fueled by the promotional genius of Benny Binion and Amarillo Slim Preston, the shrewd business sense of Jack Binion, Eric Drache, and Jack McClelland, the California poker boom, the opening of the East Coast to poker, the twin phenomena of the Internet and cable television, and all capped off by Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 World Series of Poker win. It’s gone from small time to big time, as I’ve watched.

The tournament phenomenon began about the same time as my poker career, and in my early days, I competed and won a few healthy prizes before I realized that my forte was the live ring game. But I have watched the growth of tournament poker throughout its life, played from time to time, backed a few competitors, bought a piece of a player here and there, and heard almost every tournament story, true or false. One of my favorites is about the well-known tournament trail character with a bankruptcy and a pile of IRS liens who offers to cash your wins for a modest $2,000 fee. He makes a few bucks and takes the (uncollectible) IRS hit. I’m not sure it’s true, but it tickles me. Of course, lots of stories involve accusations of impropriety. Most but not all of them, in my opinion, have been unfounded. But I’ve heard just about every cheat ’em to beat ’em scam theory there is, usually from somebody explaining why he didn’t finish in the money.

Sooner or later, there’s going to be a Godzilla-sized poker cheating scandal. There’s too much money in play — and too many smart people trying to figure out how to beat the system. You can’t put that much cash on the table in a population of millions of tourney players ranging from quality poker minds to professional angle shooters to average working Joes to high-IQ geeks to brilliant psychopaths to the lowest form of hustler and expect everybody to act like a gaggle of nuns.

I’m not talking about cheating, collusion, and partnerships in tournaments. I’m talking about a full-blown scandal: millions of dollars at stake on national television, and investigative reporters from the mainstream media, live feeds on CNN and ESPN, and maybe even Quiz Show-type Congressional hearings and IRS audits; a Black Sox kind of scandal, threatening the very existence of one of America’s favorite pastimes, creating the possibility of a dictatorial control like that of Kenesaw Mountain Landis to save the game, or maybe even killing off the game in its present form altogether.

Like public cardroom and Internet poker, tournament poker’s best interests are served if the games are honest and if people believe they are honest. The people behind tournament poker know this quite well, and very much want it to be honest. Players, sponsors, producers, regulators, and networks are all served by high standards of integrity. The industry must and should do everything in its power to protect the game, for the sake of its own survival.

There’s nothing wrong with teams of poker players. Tournament history is full of backers who put 10 or 20 players into a tournament. Competitors taking a piece of each other is practically a tournament tradition. It happens in other individual competitive endeavors, from tennis to golf to bridge to auto racing, although each of those has its own issues, which are different from poker’s.

The key is transparency, full disclosure. If everybody knows who has an interest in the outcome of a player’s results, the likelihood of impropriety is significantly lessened. It also creates opportunities for examination of the play of hands, a higher standard of scrutiny for those who have an interest in each other. Such transparency, of course, is not an easy thing to enforce.

Players on the same money, potentially colluding, are not the only threat to the integrity of tournaments. From time to time over the years, there have been suspicions about dealers in some major tournaments being in the employ of competitors. The poker industry recognized this for the threat to its very existence that it was, and has made serious efforts to keep it clean. One way to address this risk is to have standards of training and background checks for dealers. Another is to use mechanical shufflers.

The Internet is full of ideas about how to cheat in tournaments, ranging from daubing and contact lenses to advanced electronic communication equipment. With millions, even tens of millions, of dollars at stake in any given event, how far might the unscrupulous be willing to go?

Internet tournaments are just as vulnerable to integrity problems as live tournaments, and perhaps more so. There are thousands of small tournaments on the Internet every day, and dozens of big tournaments every week. The solutions to Internet integrity issues are somewhat different, as addressed in my last column, but Internet tournaments are the path to live tournaments for many players, and must be factored into any long-term plans for tournaments. How much should the industry be willing to spend to protect the integrity of Internet tournaments? What should they spend it on?

As I have written before, the poker industry is under a quiet but steady attack from regulators at the state and federal levels. If and when a scandal happens, they will swoop down on our industry like vultures on roadkill. The biggest money in poker today is in tournament poker. The most public money in poker today is in tournament poker. The richest potential rewards to the scumbags of the world are in tournament poker. Eventually, the weight of governmental scrutiny and regulation will fall on tournament poker — and tournament poker must protect itself, for the sake of itself, for the sake of players around the world, and for the sake of the poker industry as a whole.

In addition to taking proactive measures such as disclosing who has an interest in whom, raising standards to protect the integrity of the shuffle and deal, electronic counter-surveillance measures and the like, tournament poker must develop a strategy, a plan. It must know before something bad happens what it will do when something bad does happen. It must not react to scandal, it must be ready for scandal — or else suffer dire consequences.

Of course, the question is: Who will do this? Who is poker? Who is tournament poker? That is a $64,000 question for another column.

Alrighty then. That was interesting and somewhat dire. And here's Roy's post to RGP:

Roy Cooke on Russ Georgiev, GCA & Poker Cheats
Author: Roy Cooke

I’m mostly a lurker on rgp and I know some people resent that I don’t post more. As you probably know I have other forums I write for. And I have 3 jobs – my Internet job, my Real Estate business, and playing poker. Plus there’s always a book in the works. (My new Rule Book from ConJelCo should be out in June or July, finally!). And I have a family with whom I love to spend time. Then there’s golf. Can’t have life without golf. So I don’t have time to post here often, but I do stop into rgp from time-to-time to peruse the latest in flames :-)

Of all that I have read here over the years, perhaps the most interesting things have been the GCA posts on cheating. I recently wrote two articles about cheating in poker in a general way. (http://www.cardplayer.com/poker_magazine/writers/view/name/Roy_Cooke).

These articles stirred a lot of conversation and mail. Fact is though, that there’s
lots more I could have said, but for a variety of reasons, including space limitations, I didn’t.

The bottom line is that cheating exists, is probably less prevalent than most players think, and the industry has a vested interest (these days – things were different in the old days) in keeping the games honest. Some of the things I might have said have already been said by Russ.

I have been playing poker a long time, and I have known Russ Georgiev longer than that. As a young teen I had visions of being a champion bowler. Russ was a top bowler in the Pacific Northwest at that time, and I bowled against him in pot games at Magic Lanes. (I lost.) Later when I started sneaking into poker rooms at 15, Russ was there. And his reputation way back then was much what he has told you all – as a person who knew more than the average bear about cheating, and reputedly wasn’t bashful about using what he knew.

We were never friends – but we knew each other in more than passing. I also ran into him at the table from time-to-time over the last three decades in LA and Vegas. Usually when he sat down I figured it was time to get up. Not that I knew I’d get cheated by him, but I suspected I might. I am sure of one thing though: When Russ tells you he’s an expert on cheating, he ain’t lying.

Russ is by nature a fellow given to exaggeration and hyperbole. (I have a few friends with the same tendencies.) He tends to overstate the case to make his point. But that doesn’t mean the case should be ignored.

I do not know that every detail of cheating described by Russ is true. When he describes specific incidents, I wasn’t there and I don’t know – though I have heard some of the same stories Russ has told from other (more?) credible sources. I would guess there is at least a kernel of truth in a lot of Russ’s accusations. The fact that when he names names he doesn’t get sued is telling to me, although I have been told by some the reason they don’t sue is that they could never collect.

Mind you, this is not a blanket endorsement of everything Russ says – there’s lots I just don’t have knowledge about. Further, there are differences among what you think is true, what you know is true and what you can prove is true. It concerns me some that Russ doesn’t always differentiate these. He treats all three with equal dignity; he doesn’t distinguish between a fact and a belief ----- a belief which may or may not in truth be a fact, but which in either case cannot be dispositively established. But the man does know his stuff on this subject.

Also, to any person Russ has pointed a finger at – I know that some of his accusations are true, I believe some of his other accusations are true, and many of his accusations I have no personal knowledge of. It’s likely that in some cases he’s incorrect. I’m not necessarily talking about YOU.

Here’s the bottom line – if you’re playing $10-$20 or lower, to the extent there are cheaters they tend to be incompetent and get little edge. As you play higher, the likelihood of being effectively cheated grows with each level you step up. If you play VERY high regularly (I’m guessing most rgpers don’t) it is almost a certainty that you will eventually run into some form of cheating. In tournaments, you want to know who is playing the same money – and as with ring play the higher the stakes, the more risk you have.

On the Internet, you really want to play sites with published procedures for stopping cheats, especially if you play $15-$30 and higher. Don’t just rely on celebrity spokesmen affiliated with a site – ask exactly how they protect you. Also if you suspect collusion do yourself, the game and everybody else a favor and report it right away with the players’ names and the hand number of the suspicious hand.

Russ’s pokermafia site is the only place in the world I know of that regularly posts information about cheats and protecting against cheats. And though he certainly has a history as a slimeball (which is a big part of why he is so credible on this subject), and though he is prone to exaggeration – the higher you play the more you need to pay attention to much of what he has to say.

Russ, I ain’t particularly interested in being friends – but when you’re right you’re right. And since I’m sort of launching my own attack on cheaters I figured you deserved the courtesy of me saying so. You said it publicly first and loudest.

I won’t be posting again on this thread, though I will stop in from time-to-time to see what y’all have to say. In between my three jobs and occasional websurfing, including stops at pokermafia.com to help keep me on top of protecting myself against being cheated. And of course, golf.

Life is Good :-)

Roy Cooke

And a response with a question:


Nice post Roy but forgive me for wondering why it has taken you 4-5 years to
come forward with some support for Russ. I know Russ knows many players and has
protected some or so he claims. Did he turn the heat up on you?


Ugh, I can't believe I'm posting crazy Russ stuff again. Damn you, Roy. Damn you.

Let's finish this thread up with a post from Razzo:

Author: RazzO

We know the facts about Doyle knowing about cheating in poker. He and
others cleaned it up and are still policing the games. He has stated this.
Martino has confirmed this by stating the games were cleaned up by 1980.

I spoke with Roy Cooke on the phone tonight. I called him just to confirm
that it was him that made the posting. Of course he confirmed. He told me
that the post was not intended to implicate Doyle and others in the big
game as Russ has done. He went on to say that he cannot stand Russ.
Knowing secrets about him and his professional and personal life that he
will never reveal.

Roy told me that even though he gave John Bond the rough draft, it was
John who edited it and produced it to RGP. This is fine with me. John is a
good guy too. Roy signed off on it.

Roy said that if RGP'ers interpreted his post as implicating Doyle
"According to Russ", they would be wrong. He posted as general cheating in
poker. Roy states in his post that "industry has a vested interest",
meaning they are policing the games. Contrary to Russ' claims that they
are allowing it.

Bleh. Posting that makes me tired. Russ is an ass.

Lordy, there's an IGGY'S Irish pub on the lower east side of NYC. I'm trying to find out if they sell IGGY mugs or whatnot, but their damn email addy bounced. Thanks to Joaquin for the link.

So much to blog about. What to tackle next? It's funny cause I literally do come on here and just start babbling, beer in hand. I don't have the energy or time to edit or re-write so that's why this crap comes out like it does. It's simply a big old brain dump.

Actually, I feel kinda bad cause a blogger I enjoy called my uber-posts unreadable.
I hope that's not the case, but I'm used to getting slagged now. Hank calls the trolls and naysayers 'Buzzing Gnats'. Pauly's called 'em worse.

I prefer to use the term Ankle-Biters. It's very apropos, trust me.

K, let's get rocking and rolling. Otherwise I'm gonna be drooling over the keyboard, trying to finish this up at 6AM. I'll just pretend I didn't have a great poker road trip this past weekend. In fact, I'm even fantasizing about a cross-country poker blogger road trip.

Good God, if only I could talk Fast Eddie into it. There's a damn book right there.

Moving along, it appears the NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship will be shown on 5/1, next Sunday. It's one of the few poker shows I'll be able to witness. I love the fact that I toiled in my solitary poker hobby for so many years and then suddenly BAM! - Poker shows are smothering television. And I can't watch the damn things. Irony is a cruel master.

But I sure as hell can document what I can with the written word, can't I? Or at least try, anyway.

Here's some WSOP & ESPN news for you. In the "ESPN Club" chip set press release, ESPN disclosed that telecasts of the WSOP Circuit events will start on Friday July 19. There will be 32 hours of total coverage devoted to WSOP Circuit and WSOP.

WSOP at Rio Pavilion: a few factoids

The 2005 WSOP will be held at the Amazon Ballroom of the Rio Pavilion Convention
Center starting June 2.

The Amazon Ballroom is part of the new addition of space at the far north end of the Rio Pavillion. It has over 39000 square feet of space (2/3 the size of an American Gridiron Football field) and has a seating capacity of over 3200 for banquets according to the information provided at harrahs.com.

(Be warned that the walk from the casino floor to the Amazon Ballroom at the Rio Pavilion will take about 10 minutes even if you walk fast.)

According to the handout at the front desk of the tiny 11-table Rio poker room (next to the race and sports book), the Rio will start spreading single-table satellites on May 1 at the Rio poker room (the satellites will be held at the Amazon Ballroom once the WSOP starts on June 2).

Single-table satellites for 10-handed OPEN events will start at $125 buy-in (with a prize pool of 2 $500 buy-in chips and $120 in cash) all the way up to $1030 buy-in (with 1 $10000 seat awarded plus $120 in cash).

Single-table satellites for 8-handed OPEN events (various forms of Stud, and Kansas City Lowball if there is sufficient interest) will start at $215 buy-in (with a prize pool of 3 $500 buy-in chips and $120 in cash) all the way up to $685 buy-in (with a prize pool of 10 $500 buy-in chips and $120 in cash).

No Limit Hold'em single-table satellites will be spread continuously on demand, while satellites for specialty events (i.e. Omaha, various forms of stud, and Kansas City Lowball if there is sufficient interest) will be spread starting on the afternoon prior to an event right up until 2 hours before the start of the event.

Also, Oliver chimed in with the latest on what poker games will be shown on TV this year:

Re: What WSOP events does ESPN plan to televise this year?
Author: Oliver Tse

No official announcement yet from ESPN. Until Keri Potts puts out the press release, I cannot post anything here.

The only thing I can say to players for planning purposes without getting in trouble with ESPN: play the full-table open No Limit Hold'em and Pot Limit Hold'em bracelet events at the WSOP if you want to make a TV final table.

Don't bother with Limit Hold'em, Omaha (Limit High-Low or Pot Limit High), or Stud (High, High-Low, or Razz) if you are looking for TV time.

Limit events don't work well on TV because players cannot be "put to the test" with a big pot-sized or all-in bet.

I do know that $1500 Stud High, the $1500 Razz, and the $2000 with rebuys Pot Limit Omaha High, which were all televised in 2004, are not scheduled for TV in 2005 at this time.

When an opponent catches an especially egregious 2 outer on you, do you think the phrase "I got Partied" could ever catch on?
Prolly not.

Chris Moneymaker, 2003 World Series of Poker champ and official Patron Saint of poker players everywhere, married Christina Jean Wren, 25, at Little Church of the West on Tuesday night. I hope she has a good job.

Kidding, kidding.

Here's a four page interview with Moneymaker for Playboy where he mentions his divorce and new girlfriend.
Playboy feature interview with Chris Moneymaker

Per WPT news, Mike Paulle at Pokerpages said that the last tournament was Shana Hiatt's last WPT episode. Anyone know who is going to replace her? Let the
recommendations begin. Any ideas, BG? Gene?

Here's something to bear in mind, per tourney rules. Apparently this isn't in the TDA rulebook.

Subject: What a Ruling from WPT.....Whats your take

I took this from cardplayer.com's update section. A very interesting ruling by director Jack Mclelland and am interested in hearing opinions.

Here's what happened at Table #52: Ted Lawson (seat 1) had pocket queens, and Alan Schein (seat 9) had 9-8. The final board read 6-3-2-4-5 -- a six-high straight. Lawson showed his pocket queens, but Schein said something to the effect of "I'm playing the board," and mucked his hand. At that point, the players at the table jumped out of their seats claiming his hand was dead, and Lawson should be awarded the entire pot.

There was a lot of shouting and chaos, and one of the floorpeople asked all of the dealers in the room to stop dealing after the current hand. The pause in action only lasted 2-3 minutes before McClelland ruled that Schein could play the board, and the pot was chopped. Order was quickly restored in the room, and a few minutes later the players were on a 15-minute break

I always thought that once your hand hit the muck, it was a dead hand.

Obviously, when you are playing the board, it doesn't apply.....or does it. What
do you guys think?



From Robert's rules of Poker: Texam Hold'em section:

6. You must declare that you are playing the board before you throw your
cards away; otherwise you relinquish all claim to the pot. - Bob Ciaffone

This is a pretty damn funny read. Compliments of Bill.
Exposed! Inside an Internet Poker Player's Secret Lair!

You know, between Grubby's porn collages and SnailTrax's Donkey post (most disturbing post ever), I'll never again feel weird about some of the shit I post. Compared to those two, I'm feeling pretty PG-13.

Here's a nifty timer tool for those of you looking to run a home game poker tournament:
The Poker Genie

There was a huge thread on offshore banking and hiding yer poker winnings on RGP.
If you are interested, here is something from the IRS on their approach to tracking down foreign bank tax evaders.
IRS Sets New Audit Priorities

New chapter in Fillmaff, although I didn't find this one as funny as the last, it still has some good parts.

Here's a fine interview with Andy Bloch at Poker Lizard.
Read how an MIT and law school grad found his way into poker, and ultimately joined the FullTilt team.

Andy's also interviewed in this American Bar Association article on poker.
Reading Reactions, Controlling Emotion Are Among Skills Lawyers Learn From Poker

Favorite confession from today's GroupHug:
"I only have one nut, and only five people know that. Oh well. It's big."

Random photo.
Playing Counter-Strike? WTF?!

You know you're a Mike Caro fan if you know what this means:

Subject: I've never in my life heard pokerclack at the poker table...

And nope, I've never heard it either.

Here was a press release touting Daniel Negreanu, as if he needs touting. I'm posting it only because of the typical saucy RGP retort.


Daniel Negreanu launched his brand new syndicated weekly newspaper
poker column, "Playing Poker with Daniel Negreanu", last week.

For more information, please visit www.cardsharkmedia.com.

There are an estimated 50 million poker players and fans in the United
States, and until now, none have had the opportunity to learn poker
tips, strategies, and other insightful and entertaining information
from the 2004 ESPN Player of the Year, 2004 Card Player Magazine Player
of the Year, and 2004 World Poker Tour Player of the Year, Daniel

As most of you already know, Daniel "Kid Poker" Negreanu is among the
most popular poker players today because of his engaging sense of humor
and aggressive style of play. Unquestionably, Daniel is the "good guy"
on the poker tour. Daniel's personality comes shining through in his
newest venture.

When you visit the website, you'll learn a bit more about Daniel,
have the chance to read a sample column, and review a list of upcoming
column titles. You'll even be able to watch a video of Daniel in
action as he captures one of his 2004 World Series of Poker titles.

You can also submit your suggestions for future column topics on the

If you're interested in reading "Playing Poker with Daniel
Negreanu", simply contact your local newspaper and let the Sports
Editor and Features Editor know that you want this column in the paper!



And the classic RGP response:


Whether the world needs more poker tips from Negreanu is certainly
debatable...what is not is calling him the "good guy" of poker. He's not 'good'
in the, gee, sorry I stabbed you in the back but I was just being my jovial,
happy-go-lucky self kind of way...

And if your mom still cooks and cleans for you; you listen to show tunes on your
iPod; you're rich and famous and have never been photographed with a supermodel;
you have some fuzzy engagement to a woman that fizzles; you're white but rap at
karaoke bars; and your drink of choice is called an "infusion" -- are you even a
guy? Is the new poker column syndicated in The Advocate? The next time I see
"Kid Poker" at Karaoke night I think I'll ask him to sing "I'm coming out."

Not that there's anything wrong with that.


For those of you who wanna slap on a headset and listen to a new poker radio show, I've got one right here for ya. Big Poker from Canada.
Guests for the first show include Mike Sexton, Greg Raymer and Daniel Negreanu.

Most of you already know about the Pink Bunny WSOP auction. Things are now getting out of hand with a guy on eBay offering to dress up as a giant Tortoise.
Tortoise vs. The Hare at the 2005 WSOP
Advertise on the Giant Green Turtle at the WSOPoker

When I was a kid growing up in St. Louis, afros were big, literally, and there was Afro Sheen all over everything, on doorknobs, on the backs of chairs, everywhere. I don't really miss Afro-Sheen.

There was a massive honkin post about the 'best poker/gambling songs' out there. I won't bore you with the tedious discussion but I thought this song was worthy of posting. It ain't Proud Mary but will suffice for historical context. Actually, I have no idea why i'm posting this now that I think about it.

Damn Guinness.

Subject: Greatest Poker Cigarette Song

Written by Merle Travis for Tex Williams; the release not only saved Tex Williams' waning career, but also became Capitol Records' first million-seller. Travis later released his own version. These two are the most commonly heard versions, although Phil Harris also had a hit with the song.

>From the New York Times, Oct. 13, 1985

Country-western songwriter and entertainer Sollie "Tex" Williams, a heavy smoker best known for his tune, "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette," died after a year-long battle with cancer, his daughter said. . . . her father, who was diagnosed a year ago as having cancer, smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, dropping to about a pack a day before he died. "He tried to quit, but he couldn't," she said.

Smoke! Smoke! Smoke!(That Cigarette)
Now I'm a fellow with a heart of gold
And the ways of a gentleman I've been told
Kind-of-a-guy that wouldn't even harm a flea

But if me and a certain character met
The guy that invented that cigarette
I'd murder that son-of-a gun in the first degree

It ain't cuz I don't smoke 'em myself
and i don't reckon that it'll hinder your health
I smoked 'em all my life and I ain't dead yet

But nicotine slaves are all the same
at a pettin' party or a poker game
Everything gotta stop while they have a cigarette


Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette
Puff, puff, puff until you smoke yourself to death.

Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate
That you hate to make him wait,
But you just gotta have another cigarette.

In a game of chance the other night
Old dame fortune was good and right
The kings and queens they kept on comin' around

Aw, I was hittin' em good and bettin' 'em high
But my bluff didn't work on a certain guy
He kept callin' and layin' his money down

See, he'd raise me then I'd raise him
and I'd say to him buddy ya gotta sink or swim
Finally called me but didn't raise the bet!

--Hmmph! I said Aces Full Pal -- How bout you ?"
He said, "I'll pay up in a minute or two
But right now, i just gotta have another cigarette."


Now the other night I had a date
with the cutest little gal in any state
A high-bred, uptown, fancy little dame

She said she loved me and it seemd to me
That things were sorta like they oughtta be
So hand in hand we strolled down lovers lane

She was a long way from a chunk of ice
And our pettin' party was goin' real nice
And I got an idea I might have been there yet

So I give her a kiss and a little squeeze
Then she said, "Travis, Excuse me Please
But I just gotta have a cigarette."


Fer Fuck's sakes, I'm heading to the UK and Ireland for a literary tour in a few months and just discovered that Ireland has gone non-smoking. The four horseman must be close to brushing off their saddles...

I saw this poll at 2+2 and thought I'd share it here.

Question: Can D Sklansky beat the $4/8k

Can David Sklansky beat the $4/8k mixed game for at least .5 BB per hour if he played it whenever it was available? (5 hours every day for a 200/365 days a year)

David's reply:
No one can. No one who plays would even say they can. No one on this forum should think anyone can or should think anyone who plays would say they can

Obviously I am talking long run here. And obviously it takes a long time to reach that long run. Thus if your true hourly rate is $2000 and your standard deviation is $100,000, your results after TEN THOUSAND hours could still have you erroneously believing that you could make a half a big bet per hour. There are probably a few players who have been making this much in the past. But when you take away the volatility and the amateurs who feed the game IT IS CERTAIN that no one can EXPECT to win that much.

It is not necessary that I play in that game to know that. It is only necessary that I know that all of the players who usually play are very good- capable of beating 400-800 games. The difference between them and PERFECTION can not amount to a half of a big bet an hour (In a full game. Shorthanded is something else).

Yikes, I still have a ton of stuff to blog but I'm sensing that sobriety will be leaving me shortly. I think I'm going to pimp the new bloggers, instead.

In no particular order:

2 Cards, 1 Die
Me, Myself and Poker - finished third in the WSOP Satellite

Poker, Golf and Hockey!

Wicked Chops Poker

Performify's Poker Page
Yet another poker blog, authored by "Performify"

Brian Sheridan - Poker and Life

Confessions of A Losing Poker Player
Finished 32nd in the WSOP satellite

Poker Musings
Let’s not say, "obsessed with poker." Let’s say, "Takes his poker seriously."

Broke Gambler
Finished 4th in the WSOP tourney. Distracted by railbird chat. Can't blame him.

Sell the Kids
Sell the house, sell the car, sell the kids

Jon Eaton's poker blog
full-time poker player part-time journalist. i travel a lot, obviously.

Mike's Poker Blog

Gecko's poker blog

Life, NYC Poker, and Boxing Promotion
My life, I think it's interesting, i'm probably the only one.

EY400's Poker Blog

the wild crazy game of straight $2 texas holdem poker at the miami jai alai fronton..

Poker Chick
Tales of a Chick with Chips

Life of a Poker Player
A blog about my life, Las Vegas, and poker.

[Blog Goes Here]
My continuing blog page for an attorney who isn't sure what to do within the law.

The [bl]og of Poker
Featuring his wife, Supergirl

The Tsunami Hitchhiker; Parallels in finance, investments, and poker
Poker and Investment, Finance and Poker, Poker and Life

Steal The Blinds
Another Girl’s Adventures In Poker

Writings on getting shafted in the poker world

Theatre and Poker (Poker is Theatre, Theatre is Life)

Hagbard's blog : pour jouer au poker : le_jeu_pre-flop
French blog that links us all up.

Follow Suit
Trials and lessons of a poker newbie.


The Back Room
A blog from the Great Republic of Texas

Geezus, enough already.

I'm thinking I shoulda kept plowing ahead and just kept blockquoting but because many of the new bloggers are playing with us in the satellite, I thought it appropriate to have a debutante ball.

Obligatory shill mention:
Give me Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker or give me death!

Thanks for reading. I'll be back soon with full details on the OPEN WSOP satellite tournament for readers and bloggers. Allow me to leave you with this nice troll post from RGP:

This is absolute horse shit!!!

Ok so I'm sitting at a 1/2 NL game in Atlantic City. I get dealt QT offsuit on
the button. Everyone folds to me before the flop and I raise it 10 dollars.

The BB calls my raise and we see a flop.

QT2 is the flop. Giving me top two pair.

BB checks to me and I bet 20 dollars.

He calls instantly.

The turn is an Ace.

He checks and I move all in for $100 more and he says "call".

The BB turns over AQ.

The river was a blank.

THEN the sonovabitch dealer awards this asshole the pot! Can you believe it? He
literally pushes the chips to the BB.

What he doesn't understand is, I had the two pair ON THE FLOP. Yea, so my
opponent gets a two pair on the turn, but SO WHAT? I'm entitled to the pot
because I made my hand first, correct?

I tried arguing that with the dealer to no avail. So I called over the floorman,
and that prick says the same thing.


Of course, the funny thing is the number of goofs who took this post seriously. Finally we get this perceptive rejoinder and response.

Which establishment was this? You have to realize that in today's world of poker, there are many people who come into their jobs without proper
training. It is clear that in this case, the dealer and the floorperson are just uneducated. Please post the name of this poker room so we can all steer clear from such blatant stupidity. Thank you, drive through...

And so the original poster replies:

FINALLY somebody sees the light.

I'm referring to the hellhole called the Borgata btw.
On top of all this, that peabrained retard of a dealer protested when I tried using Taj chips. A chip is a chip is it not? It's still worth the same amount

Kind of a crappy post, actually.
Aw hell, let's leave you with a photo from Aruba that I forgot about.

Link of the Day:
Brought to You by the Letters F and U
The HBO series Deadwood is trying to become the Nolan Ryan of dramatic profanity, dropping 1,519 F bombs in only two seasons.

Monday, April 25, 2005

That was so much damn fun, let's do it again, shall we?

WPBT WSOP Satellite Tournament
Poker Stars
May 1st, Sunday, 7pm EST
$30 + 3 No-limit
One WSOP seat awarded for every 50 players
Password = the same as last time - I can't go thru 70+ emails again.

I'm getting silly drunk and trying to write an uber post......hopefully back soon.....

Congrats to Bob at One Too Many for winning the WSOP Satellite.

Joe over at The Obituarium finished second.

Err, whoops - it appears that Phil over at Poker Dice was the bridesmaid.

What a damn hoot that was.

Pauly has his typical fine writeup here.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Whew, barely made it home in time.

And we're off! 78 players!

Good luck to everyone. I can't wait to see who wins.

WSOP - here we come!

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

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