Saturday, September 10, 2005

"The overlay is of paramount importance."
Stuart Reuben

Quick note before I start playing in Event #7 of the WCOOP, the $500 pot-limit hold em. Maybe I'll live blog this sucker. Check below.

I found this sweet deal from the folks at Poker Blue and thought it worthy of pimping for all my low-limit friends and readers.

Hell, you just need to play four hours of 1/2 to qualify for a nice freeroll:


Virtually one out of four players who entered our $3000 freeroll won last week!

Last Sunday, only 87 players competed in Poker Blue $3,000 freeroll -
and 20 of those were in the money!

And as of today, less that 50 players are eligible for this week's freeroll.

That means if you play just 4 hours this week on PokerBlue.com, you'll
get unbeatable odds to make some easy money this Sunday. To qualify,
you can play ANY No-Limit Hold 'Em Game or ANY $1/$2 limit or higher.

First place is $1,000 CASH and all TOP 20 finishers get paid:

• $1,000.00 = 1st Place
• $500.00 = 2nd Place
• $250.00 = 3rd Place
• $150.00 = 4th Place
• $150.00 = 5th Place
• $100.00 = 6th Place
• $100.00 = 7th Place
• $100.00 = 8th Place
• $75.00 = 9th Place
• $75.00 = 10th Place
• $50.00 = 11th thru 20th Place

This Sunday's tournament starts at 6 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (3 p.m.
Pacific Daylight Time.)

Consider signing up on Poker Blue with my link or with bonus code:



4.30 - cards in the air.

4.41 - first player already knocked out at our table. cracked aces.

4.46 - big slick nets me the blinds.

4.52 - bored. folding. surfing the web already.

4.56 - raise it up from the button with 9th and flop top pair. turn two pair. river a boat. win a nice little pot.

4.59 - kitten on desk, annoying me.

5.02 - yikes. pocket tens with two overcards on the flop. big raise on turn gets the evil villain to fold.

5.04 - only 1045 players left!

5.11 - watching fossilman's table.

5.17 - railbird chat

DrgonBalls [observer]: Greg, do u have the fossil in front of the PC when u play online
FossilMan: nope

5.19 - found this railbird chat from the other evening.
BillMueller [observer]: do you feel this tourney should be broken down into a day or two, similiar to WSOP? this is a lot of time at the computer without looking at girls

5.21 - fossilman wins massive pot. up to t-8200

5.23 - misplay pocket jacks. again.

5.26 - fossilman pimps his bobblehead at http://www.pokerheads.net/

5.28 - get re-raised preflop with KK. he folds to my re-raise. doh!

5.30 - first break. refill time.

5.40 - down to 880 players. i'm a smidge above average stack. playing uber-tight. need to shift gears in a bit.

5.48 - card dead. waiting.....defend my big blind and win a lil pot.

5.51 - wondering why i'm doing this. missed a flush draw. bye-bye chips.

5.52 - second big pocket pair - rockets. two raises in front. i max raise. no callers for this rock. boooo.

5.56 - FossilMan: people always think I'm bluffing, and they try to bluff me a lot
FossilMan: nowadays

6.03 - wheww, folded aq on a flop of akq. one player held aa and the other tj. still hanging around, about avg stack.

6.12 - must. make. moves.

6.18 - bluff snapped off. severely crippled now.

6.35 - second break. double up or die time.

6.46 - out. pocket jacks lose to ak. damn, i hate jacks.


Thanks to Otis at the Poker Stars blog for this nugget:


Barry Greenstein takes Robin Hood to radio at PokerStars WCOOP

Poker pro Barry Greenstein will join Rick Charles tonight for the audio
commentary at the WCOOP Event # 7 final table. In addition, Barry has generously
agreed to donate 100% of his winnings to the Katrina Relief Fund, which will be
matched dollar-for-dollar by PokerStars (and since Barry is currently in 15th
place, his finishing in the money is not out of the question).
You can listen to the audio webcast by following this link when we reach 15


The audio link will also be in the main lobby and the tournament lobby for Event
#7, as well as in PokerStars news (accessed by clicking the help button at the
top of your client)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

"Josh Arieh has awakened from his pastry-induced slumber and given us a great entry today on his blog about watching himself in the Pot Limit Omaha tournament on the ESPN’s World Series of Poker. He reminisces about last year’s outing by wormy Norman Chad as poker’s new King Twat, questions the generous amount of coverage to Chris Ferguson, and then, in what surely must’ve been a Jesus toast-like epiphany, he considers how he comes off on television."

K, let's do a blogger tournament on September 20th (as a celebration of Pauly's 33rd birthday). Details forthcoming. We're simply way overdue. Plus, I've had so much damn fun playing with bloggers the last couple nights that I wish we could do it sooner, but I want the Katrina tourneys to be over with before our gathering.

I found these three little snippets about blogger tournaments from fellow poker bloggers:


The best times I've had playing poker this past year were the two times I played with other bloggers. I sat down knowing I was going to have a good time, regardless of the outcome. That's an awesome feeling - and that feeling hasn't crept into my life very much these days.


In fact, my purpose when I began about two minutes ago was to simply pimp out Iggy's next Poker Blogger Tourney. I've played in one before, and they are much fun. The poker is good, of course, and the pre-, post-, and during-game banter is always priceless, as you might expect when dealing with a bunch of dorks who have nothing better to do than write about poker all day.


Poker used to be a social event for me. I love a good party. In the last year or so, I adopted a more serious approach to poker. And at times, that new mentality took a lot of the fun out of the game. Sure I have plenty of poker passion, but the fun had slowly slipped away in my most recent sessions. Last night was unlike so many other nights. I actually had a blast... losing. I guess technically everyone was on tilt, playing garbage starting hands and trying to outbluff each other. Maybe it was the liquor or the pain killers or the excitement, but that table was one of the best I ever sat down at.


Yup, it's gonna be fun. Hell, I'm thinking about starting a lil small stakes weekly home game for the bloggers. It's just too damn fun playing with you guys and girls.

So - I played some truly horrific poker today in the WCOOP. I just don't think I was in the proper state of mind for NL, for whatever reason. That said, I think I won the blogger last longer bet, but that's little comfort considering how poorly I played. I only won 3 outta 12 pots when hands were shown down. Dreadful. I built a nice stack and just gave it away. I called called called way too much. What the hell is going on - that's the opposite of my natural game, damnit. You know that thing called Feel in poker? A combination of guts and instinct? Well, today it packed a suitcase and left town.

Go read Otis at the Poker Stars blog for the best WCOOP writeups. I also really enjoyed Wil's live blogging of his play.

And even though I'm not a tourney player, I'm going to take some shots at some more WCOOP events. I've won two seats already and will likely pony-up for a few of the more enticing events.

And no more weak, tentative play on my part, damnit. I'm gonna go out swinging next time.

Let's move along, shall we?

I saw this column on Motley Fool about the Party Poker stock
Will Poker Stocks Fold?

Notable quote:


Just remember that PartyGaming booked $171 million in net profit on $473 million in revenue for the first six months of the year. That's an astounding 36% net profit margin. A company like that doesn't need hype.


Man, I just fired up Poker Stars to see how the WCOOP was going and Fossilman, Greg Raymer, is kicking some serious ass. And getting treated very well by the incessant railbirds, I'm happy to report. Unlike Chris Moneymaker who is getting harassed by this idiot:

Moneymaker getting harrassed at the WCOOP today

Who is KIDDONK? What a retard...


Kid Donk [observer]: MONEY OWNZ
Kid Donk [observer]: HAHAHA
karlos,uk [observer]: ok
Kid Donk [observer]: 4 TOURNEYS
Kid Donk [observer]: 0 CASHES
Kid Donk [observer]: TRUTH
Money800: donk, you wake up everyday waiting to find and harrass me
Kid Donk [observer]: I DONT HARASS
Money800: get a life
Money800: you keep typing i will have your chat banned
Kid Donk [observer]: U INSPIRED ME
Kid Donk [observer]: TO SHOOT FOR THE STARS
Kid Donk [observer]: EASY?
Kid Donk [observer]: U MUST HAVE POWER
Money800: you follow me everyday and talk crap
Kid Donk [observer]: NO SIR
andyroo671 [observer]: LMAO
Kid Donk [observer]: I ADMIRE
Kid Donk [observer]: YOUR PLAY

Money800: then shhhhhhhhhhh and watch
Kid Donk [observer]: OK LETS SEE WHAT ICAN LEARN
Kid Donk [observer]: I HOPE U CAN BUILD BACK UP
Kid Donk [observer]: TO HALF THE AVERAGE
Kid Donk [observer]: YET

Per my opening quote, I thought it would be interesting to revisit a post from last year after the WSOP TV coverage showed Josh Arieh behaving like an ass. For the record, I actually enjoy Josh Arieh's blog.

So here's where I blogged the fallout:


Kelly (Fort Collins, CO): Josh, on TV you came off as a cocky player,
which seemed to rub some people the wrong way. Do you agree with that or
were they inacurrately portraying you?

Josh Arieh: Well, it's a little of both. I'm definitely very confident.
There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence. I know that I have
a hard time playing players that I sense are very confident. So that is
who I try to be. It's a message that I send by body language to the other
players without having to actually say anything.

For now I shall just regurgitate all the Josh Arieh asshole and apologist posts I found interesting. Lot's of poker pro's gave their two cents below, from Edog, to Greg Raymer, to Lou Kreiger, to Daniel Negreanu, to Paul Phillips et al. Enjoy.

Let's start with Josh's apology in RGP:


My big hand with Harry, from the Ass himself

From: josh arieh (anonymous@comcast.net)

First off i want to apoligize for the way i acted after winning that hand... let me explain myself... Imagine believing you are going to win 5 million dollars the whole time you are playing and seeing it all flash in front of you at once... i was definitely caught up in the moment and acted childishly. I am definitely an emotional player, but not to that extent... As i watched tonights show, i couldnt believe the way i acted and wanted to publicly apoligize to harry, it disgusted me to watch my reaction... I should have reacted in a much more professional manner...

Now to explain the hand.. i raised in first position, then after the flop i had 900k remaining, i bet 400k, basically telling my opponents that i am playing this hand to the river... AJ wasnt a hand i thought an opponent would shove with... i was wrong, there was a moment of shock, dissapointment, and humility all at the same time... hopefully that explains the way i acted... At this point in the tournament every hand is the most important hand of your life... i lost my cool and i want to send a sincere apology to Harry, and when i see him in person i will apoligize again.. thats not like me, i just hope that people that know me explain that i am a compationate person who cares about others feelings... Dont get me wrong i looked at the WSOP this year as a war for 5 million dollars, thats why you will see me needle people here and there, but that was uncalled for and was kicking someone when they were down... i hope you understand


Of course, he was flamed unmercilessly. Rather than pick out one of 80 million individual flames, allow me to post RGP stalwart, Arlo Payne's post on the matter that doesn't directly address Josh:


When you play without class.

From: Arlo Speaks

Many of the new young players (mind you, not all) just don't understand what is involved in making real money playing poker.

Sure you can grind out in the low and mid range games but when you reach the high levels you must consider who is feeding and funding the game. Oh you can hit it big in a major tournament but this really only happens to a few each year and one year does not make a life time.

In low and mid level games you have a lot of people trying to grind it out or dealers feeding back in their tokes. These people you can abuse if you must. However I have never understood how someone could find a reason to bad mouth someone based on their play. You should love it when people play bad not bitch about it.

The true feeders in the higher games are mostly people with money that like to play cards and also enjoy a good time. When you have an ass or two in the game many times the players feeding in the money walk away.

I have seen big game after big game killed by one or two jerks that don't know how to control their mouths. When I was playing high limits you can bet I was a real sweetheart to those that lost week after week. Those in the know know you never ever say anything bad because you want these people to want to play with you. I would
always make it a point to remember anything they told me about their personal life and would always make it a point to ask about their kids or what ever interest they had going.

In the 90s when I was playing almost full time I had a day job making around 125K per year and winning around 120K per year playing cards. I had no time to grind it out nor did I have any need to put up with jerks. Many times we would just freeze the jerks out of the game and by the time they got in on any given day we would just break the game.

For many different reasons I found myself in Tucson. I was part of a pretty sweet private 1k 2k mixed game. However this game has faded away due to the summer plans of most that head out of the heat and my back that really stuck me to the house almost all summer. Now Arizona has killed off the pot limit games and in Tucson when you go out to the casinos there is nothing worth playing unless you want to grind it
out for a buck or two and deal with nut cases. Now do you really think any of the jerk asshole types could get into a private 1k 2k game? Not a chance the people in the game just will not have anything to do with anyone that displays no class. The only reason I was in the game I am from this area and my family is well known in a few correct groups and I can be so much fun and just a sweetheart to play with :)

I no longer need or care about making money but I do hate to see people go down the wrong path for the wrong reasons.

If you are going to play poker and try and make some real money remember where it is coming from and take care of your sources.


An email sent to Norman Chad about Josh Arieh from Erick EDog Lindgren


Thanks again for the beer at the wsop it went down nicely for warm miller. I have a few thoughts about the wsop broadcast and wondered how you felt
about them.

I sweated Josh from the minute I was knocked out of the tournament....in fact I became his coach. I decided the only way to make it thru the tournament and all the highs and lows was to make him a warrior. I'm not talking your average aggressive poker player, I'm talking Kellen Winslow locker room speech. For the duration of the tournament he was the best player and to be honest I'm not sure there was a close second, tho the play of john murphy and greg raymer was very good. Josh was in the zone. He was picking up chips by stealing like a madman and picking off bluffs.

It was his tournament. I preached to him that this was his shot and he was the best and fuck luck, he was going to win. This is why when Harry Demetriou made a very questionable call that he was shooting glances at me and wondering why Harry had called. I won't get into the specifics of the call but with Josh raising up front and then betting half his stack on the flop there was no way that Harry had him beat unless Josh held exactly what he did, a straight and flush draw. After five days of blood sweat and tears his tournament was on the line. The one thing we had talked
about was eliminating luck as much as possible, this wasnt the situation Josh wanted to play but with the price he had to. In this instance it is hard to defend Josh's behavior but I will. His tourney was on the line and sure he got lucky. His celebration is no different than Ray Lewis making a great tackle and trash talking or T Mac smoking his defender and letting him know about it on the other end. I felt it wasn't fair to portray Josh as such an ass. He broke no rules, nor did he attack anyones character. He challenged Harry's call just as a hoopster might say you reach, I teach. The berating of Josh continued as in his interview Josh claimed he outplayed his opponents 95% and that he was the best player at the final table and was going to win. Now he was "cocky" and a young punk. What he said he believed and I wish each player at the final table had felt the same way, but they didn't. In all honesty the only players who played to win and thought they could were Dan and Greg, the others simply tried to move up. Go ahead, ask them who the best player was and they would readily admit it. Josh made one of the best laydowns in poker television history when he made his flush and laid it down, but it was hardly a blurb on the show.

I apologize for going off and enjoy what you bring to the show minus a lack of some knowledge of the game. It seems you may be to focused on what the cards are not what the thought processes are in the players minds. ( David Williiams play with the two fives vs josh was awful) I just felt he didn't get a fair shake in the coverage and wish it would have portrayed poker talent more than character. After all we arent paid athletes, the only way we get paid is to win and that's exactly what he deserved.

best regards
Erick Lindgren


Hrmm, the football analogy is just plain stupid, imho. Erick was flamed pretty hard as well, but would you expect anything less?

Lou Krieger did chime in, though:


Poker reveals character like little else. But the way one behaves at the table is simply a matter of choice. Although he might have been the best player at the table, that's no guarantee that he was going to win, and if David Williams made a poor play with his pair of fives and got lucky, that's poker too. I watched the final table from the stands and was very impressed with Arieh's play. I thought he and Raymer played extremely well, as did Dan Harrington. But you couldn't hear the remarks Josh made from where I was sitting, so all that revealed itself was the stunning quality of his play. It was only later, on TV, that the quality of his character revealed itself. But I'm betting, and hoping, that Arieh learns from this and behaves differently in the future. He's a terrific player and he might as well decide to be a terrific person too. But only time will tell, and the choice is his.
Lou Krieger


Daniel Negreanu couldn't resist his two cents. Check out his new poker site in his sig file at the end of his post.


My thoughts on the whole "Josh Arieh Thing"

From: Daniel Negreanu

I consider Josh a friend but the purpose of this post isn't to defend his behaviour during the WSOP broadcast. Anybody who watched it, INCLUDING Josh knows that he was out of line on a few occassions.

The reason for this post is to illustrate how much power we (the players) give over to the people putting on a show when we sign those release forms. Basically, once we sign those papers they can tell any story they want to tell, and they can tell it any way they feel with get the best ratings. Hey, I can't say I blame them.

What I can say is that it was pretty clear to me that they took those few bits (where Josh was out of line) and summed up his character based on those actions.

For example, there was one clip where they focused in on Josh looking flustered by Matt Dean's call with JJ. Josh was just looking over at Erick like, "What the?" He wasn't saying anything to Matt, he wasn't going off on him or anything like that, but they used that shot to make Josh look even worse.

There were two hands left off the show where Josh played brilliantly. Two stone cold bluffs that would have showed how well Josh was playing. That wasn't the story they were trying to tell though. They were selling Josh "the Punk" not Josh "the Great Player." The hand where Josh makes a great laydown with a king high flush, there
was NO mention of the great laydown really. Instead, they said something to the effect of, "John Murphy with some great play continues to build his stack."

Again, I think Josh acted like a jerk on several occasions, but I know Josh and know that he is not a jerk. At this point, there is little Josh can do to prove to anybody that he is truly embarrassed about the way he acted. He's already apologized here publicly, and I'm assuming learned a great deal from his first TV appearance.

Back to the point, again I don't condone Josh's behaviour on the show one bit. I just want to warn the viewers that you may not be getting the whole story. If the producers want a villian, they can make anyone a villian just the same way they can make a chump look like a hero.

I guess this applies to all television, especially reality shows. Personally, I try to avoid judging anybody based on what I see on TV. It's not real, it's edited.

Daniel Negreanu


Some peanut gallery observations:


The notion that he *didn't* think it would be overheard is even more telling. It reveals his true nature. A mean-spirited, cocky, arrogant prick. Defend him all you want. He may possess keen poker skills, but his social skills are sadly lacking. I was thrilled when Raymer busted him.


i respect your view as well as Ericks but maybe you are too close to the subject. ESPN did not edit Josh Arieh telling David Williams to beat that mutherfucker..twice. Any more then they edited Scott Fischman doing the fosbury flop on the table. any more then they edited Mike Matasow telling Greg Raymer about his balls.

They may have edited out other evidence Of Josh, Scott and Mike being good sportsmen but who cares? Someone who is a good sportsman some of the time and a bad sportsman some of the time is a BAD sportsman. Someone who shows class some of the time and a total lack of class some of the time has NO class.


Very well said! Like the reality tv slut: "They didn't show the 8 out of 12 days I didn't get blindingly drunk and bang a random dude!"

Sheesh. As if the producers put the words in Josh's mouth.
Where do you people come from?

How you handle stressful situations *is* your character.


Dude showed zero class when he lost.

Bust that MFer?

Seriously, this isn't high school.

You learn a lot about people when they lose. The guy won $2.5 million dollars. More money than most people can ever dream of having in their entire working lives. And all he can exit with is Bust that MFer?

Seriously, Daniel, I even buy the fact that ESPN tried to make the guy look like an ass, but he showed zero grace, zero class, and deserves the criticism. It is pathetic to win that much money and act like a spoiled little 12 year old. 99% of the people in the world would take that kind of payday and be thankful, not spiteful. He played well, but acted like a bitch.


Well, Dan, I know you have assumed this odd role of World Class Player's apologist for jerk-like behaviour.

You did it for Hellmuth and now you're doing it for Arieh.

"They're not really jerks, they just played jerks on television"

I've said this before and I've said it again -- how you behave when things are at their worst demonstrates something at the core of your character...

I remember when you got busted out of that tournament on TV and you were kind of pissed off at your finish (something about "not being able to get a car" with what you'd won)

A couple of people trashed you for that, but I thought you were mostly angry with yourself -- you didn't blame other players, and you didn't trash them when they busted you. You showed class.

Phil doesn't show that when he gets busted and neither did Arieh.


John Harkness


And I loved this post:


Subject: If Josh Arieh was someone else...

If Josh Arieh was Howard Lederer:

"You are the worst player ever Brunson. How the hell did you ever win one
of these things. Putting all your chips in on just a flush draw? I had a
set of 7s. I could beat you any day of the week. I'm the best player
here...I should have won." (Actual Lederer response: "Good hand Dolly")

If Josh Arieh was Doyle Brunson:

"WTF? You called my all-in with A7 offsuit? What kind of loser freak are
you. You are the worst player I've ever met. I'm the best player in this
tournament and some freak beats me with hand like that." (Actual Brunson
response: a smile and a wave)


Paul Phillips weighs in from his poker blog. I'm still gonna quote it here, though, for the two of you don't visit his site.


josh arieh

In the post-WSOP discussions on rgp and twoplustwo, everybody I've seen who was at the final table with josh (mike mcclain, greg raymer) or knows him personally (erick lindgren, daniel negreanu, myself) has said that he was quite unfairly portrayed on television. I think that should be a clue to everyone willing to hate the guy based only on what was shown. Neither mike nor greg is the sort of person to have ANY reservation about calling a spade a spade.

Mike said: "I also think Josh was unfairly portrayed. I played with him for two days and never witnessed anything that was shown by ESPN. Still, he obviously gave them something to work with, since they were able to find a few snippets of poor behavior. I know of a few things that I said and did during the telecast that could have been used to portray me rather poorly, but they chose Josh as the bad boy."

Greg said: "I think he's mostly a nice guy who said a couple of things he now regrets, and most of them being things he thought he was saying privately. [...] If anything, I take his "bust that MF" comment as a compliment."

Plenty of people just don't seem to believe that it's possible to take film out of context -- I mean, the guy obviously really did what you just saw, right? I see these as the same kind of people who walked out of "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Bowling for Columbine" saying "wow, michael moore is a genius who has opened my eyes to the truth."


And let's finish with 2004 WSOP champ Greg Raymer and his wise thoughts:


Re: Paul Phillips comments on Arieh and Williams

In what I think will be food for thought for many posters here, my opinion is a lot more like Paul's than it is like most of the posts about Josh here. I think he's mostly a nice guy who said a couple of things he now regrets, and most of them being things he thought he was saying privately.

If anything, I take his "bust that MF" comment as a compliment. I am going to assume, at the risk of being wrong, that I got under his skin without ever being a jerk about it. That is, having me behind him for a day and a half, and my frequent playing back at him got him at least somewhat upset with me. Such that, when it came down to Dave and I, Josh was cheering for Dave (since Dave didn't make his poker life so difficult during the proceeding couple of days).

Later, Greg Raymer (FossilMan)


Geez, that was a ton of formatting. Thanks to anyone who read this far.

Dear Lord, what a drunken, awful post.

Please consider bonus code IGGY on Party Poker. The fish are in full-force and you owe it to yourself to give it a whirl. Sign up now!

Party Poker

Link of the Day:
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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Weee, the games were so damn good on Party Poker I stayed up all night. It's hard to quit when you're running hot. And damn, I'm tired but tickled pink. So now I'm close to crashing hard but wanted to post a few links for ya'll.

Per the latest buzz about Party Poker and their stock, feel free to read their PDF right here:

Go hit Bill Rini for the latest announcement about the blogger get-together in December. Dates are etched in stone.

Please go tell my man, SnailTrax, to not give up the ghost and pull the plug on his blog. Don't do it, Matty!

Go have some laughs at this incredible post and thread on 2+2.
An alltime classic.

For any of my blogging brethren, this is a clever read.
Click on the images and have a chuckle.
What everyone should know about blog depression

Revenge for SpiritRock versus Mike Matasow last evening. I even went and railbirded a bit, a first for me. Read all about it in this thread.
Matusow vs. Spirit Rock right now

And finally, another great column in the 2+2 internet magazine by Alan Schoonmaker, Ph.D. You're gonna need to click the link here to read it:
Should You Quit Your Day Job? — Part II

Quitting your job to pursue poker as a full-time job is a weighty decision. Are you thinking about the right things?

He pointed out a new poker documentary entitled Poker Bustouts.
The definitive look at the OTHER side of poker. The seedy underbelly that no casino or TV poker show wants you to see.

Geez, I wonder how hard it was to find degenerate gamblers in Vegas.

I just watched the 3 minute preview video on their website and ordered it. Can't wait.

Random photo of the day:

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

"When I read that I may be wasting my life gambling, I decided to give up reading."

Thanks for stopping by this humble poker blog. I've got a bunch of new poker content that I’ve managed to scrape together, despite my intermittent internet connection. Have mercy on me, gentle reader.

Anyway, I'd written a lengthy rant about Katrina and thankfully deleted it. You don't come here for my two cents on that stuff. You come here for pure, unadulterated poker content.

And the weird pictures, admit it.

I still remember reading a link to me in a non-poker blog that stated thusly:


Most of my favorite bloggers, (Robert Scoble, Mark Cuban, Joel Spolsky, Gabe and Tycho, Tim Bray and Iggy, besides being authoritative, all share a focus and consistency of content that makes their respective sites worthwhile. Their adherance to a topic is one of the key qualities that makes their respective sites valuable.


I was blown away to be listed in such elite company (and I know I'm not - this is just a silly poker blog) but it was then I realized how important it was that I stay on scope. Of course, I could ramble about all sorts of peripheral topics but who the hell would want to read it? My mom, perhaps?

But like everyone else, Katrina's devastation is overwhelming to me. I don't want to start ranting again so I'm better off just acknowledging and moving along. A big thanks to everyone who participates in the online poker charity tournaments.

Moving along, I watched a great movie this weekend that showed how deep the human drive is to survive. I'm a documentary junkie, so I'm not sure why I waited so long to watch this one. It's called Touching the Void and in Roger Ebert's review (he gave it 4/4 stars) he said, "I didn't take a single note during this film. I simply sat there before the screen, enthralled, fascinated and terrified." It gripped me in the exact same manner. Must be seen to be believed.

So how's poker treating me? Pretty ugly online, truth be told, but doing well at the boat. Too bad the swings are FAR larger and faster online. But hell, I'm used to it and that's half the battle. Been playing more and more of the 30.60 and paying the price. Just gotta suck up the big losses and be prepared to play another day.

Sorry for the pithiness but it is what it is. Sometimes the more vapid the poker cliche, the sharper the canines of the real truth it covers. Damn downswings.

K, let's start the tangential Guinness-fueled post, shall we? I've a ton of stuff to get to and a limited amount of soberiety. Let's Boot Up Cyberspatial Holographic Poker Linkage:

The very first thing you should read is this interview with Mike Matasow.
Mike Matusow: More Than a Mouthful

A great snippet:

MM: Online poker players are the worst poker players in the history of mankind. I play against really bad players who just give their money away. Guys put in $13,000, $14,000 when they can’t beat anything. Only online do you see that. That can never happen in a live game. I crush the no-limit online.

Mike obviously lives in a far different universe than the rest of us, which is what makes him so damn fascinating. Don't gloss over, go read the interview above!

Important advice here. Read carefully.


The 5 Musts to becoming becoming a World Class Player

1. Value bet the river.

If you've been leading with a hand like TPTK (top pair top
kicker) and you get raised on the river, always cap it if either of
the following is true:

your opponent has a screenname like BettydaBoop, AnnieDuke, or
AngelWings. All these names clearly give-away the fact that you're
against a woman and it's a proven medical fact that women can't play

your opponent has an enormous chip stack. This is a clear giveaway, a
"tell" in poker lingo, that your opponent is insecure. Why else would
he need so many chips in front of him? If I'm HU with this sort of
player and the poker site offers unlimited raises, I always go to at
least 12 raises before I back off, and then it's usually just to save
him the embarrassment of losing too much at once. I don't want him to
get sore and leave.

2. Get to Know your opponents.

All the WCPs (world class players) know the crucial importance
of getting to know their oponnents. Therefore, if you're to become a
World Class player, you've got to take the time to get to know yours.
The simplest way is just to ask them some questions. Here are a few to
get you going,

"what's your favorite color?"
"do you like animals?"
"Have you ever been to Disneyland?"

And remember, it's not enough just to ask questions, any idiot
can do that. You've got to pay close attention to the answers and then
make notes, so should you meet that player again, you'll know just
what's what.

3. Don't be fooled by the myth of suited connectors.

The myth states that suited connectors are valuable because
they can win in 2 ways. A hand like 76s can make a straight or a
flush. But only 1 straight and only 1 flush.
Non-suited gappers can win in 4 ways. A hand like T2o, can make 2
different flushes, and 2 different straights. It was no fluke that
Doyle Brunson won the WSOP 2 years in a row with this very same hand.
4 ways to win is always better than 2. It's pure math. This quadruple
ways to win is the cryptic meaning behind the Malmouth and Sklansky's
website: 2+2=4. Therefore, with non-suited gappers open for a raise
from any position, unless you want to mix-up your game in which case,
limping is acceptable. But if you do limp and it's raised, ALWAYS

4. Don't read poker books.

What do poker players want to do? If you answered "take my
chips" you're clearly WCP stuff. It follows logically then, that,
either a poker author doesn't know what he's talking about, or he's
deliberately teaching us wrong things, so that he can, more easily
take our chips. The books sound rational, sound correct, but that's
just how they dupe us into buying them. Poker, i repeat, Poker, at the
World Class level simply isn't a rational game. At the World Class
level, poker is all about guts and courage and creativity.

5. Realize that Poker at the World Class level is an Art.

And that no Art worth it's name was ever produced without an
enormous amount of alcohol. Therefore, in planning your poker sessions
be sure to have enough alcohol to get you through them. A session for
me is about 3 hours and I drink a can of beer every 10 minutes so I
need 18 cans of beer on hand. This rule is even more applicable to NL,
than Limit.

Well, there it is.
Good luck. And may the chips fall where they may.


Here's a question and answer for you, with a valuable online poker tip.

If you're playing Texas Hold 'Em and the three cards dealt face-up in front of you are all the same suit, what's one thing you should absolutely avoid doing?

Hi I just read this question in Edward Hutchinson's post (boot camp for poker players) and I wondered if any one could give me the answer. Thanks in advance.


Don't look at your hole cards. Dead giveaway that you didn't flop a flush.
Duh. You are obviously looking back to see if you have one of the flopped suit.

When I'm playing online and three suited cards flop, I always look away from the screen and look real casual; I NEVER look back at my cards.

I've blogged about this before - playing shorter sessions at a time to stay focused. And I can play far longer at the boat than online, especially if I'm in a good game.

Subject: Length of Poker Sessions

Lately, I've been playing shorter poker sessions than I used to. I find 2 to 3 hours are enough for me, if I'm ahead. The longest session I've played in the last 3 months is 4 hours, even though I was stuck pretty good.

Of course, my age has something to do with it (I'm an old broad). That, and the fact
I don't enjoy playing poker that much any more. Also, if I stay longer than 4 hours, I get too tired to make good decisions.

I've always heard that putting in longer hours is better, since a decent player can expect to make at least one big bet per hour. This doesn't work for me anymore and never did, for that matter.

Back in the day, I would sit for long hours, especially if I was stuck. That never worked well for me. It was a losing strategy.

Since I've been logging short sessions, my hourly rate has sky-rocketed. Of course, I've been on a rush, but I also don't sit for a long time when I'm running bad. This is better for me too.

I'd like to hear from other people what works for them.

Now to clarify, I still play a shitload of online poker. After all, I quit my job nearly a year ago (was it that long ago?) to pursue this path. As Fast Eddie constantly reminds me, "It's all about getting the hands in. Get the hands in, the money will come."

And current downswing aside, he's right.

Wait, before I get going here, I'd be remiss if I didn't remind everyone of the Katrina charity poker tournaments going on this week. I'll be playing every one that I can.

Where: Party Poker
When: Wednesday, Sept. 7th at 8:50pm EST
Entry: $30

Where: Poker Stars
When: Monday, Sept. 12th at 9:30 EST
Entry: $5

Where: Poker Stars
When: Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 9:30 EST
Entry: $20

Where: Poker Stars
When: Thursday, Sept. 15 at 9:30 EST
Entry: $50

Where: Poker Stars
When: Friday, Sept. 16 at 9:30 EST
Entry: $100

I thought this post by Ed Miller was so dead-on that I'm reposting it here.
Just a great article - wish I had written it myself. Excellent perspective.


Living on Easy Street

If you've made more money playing poker in the last year than you've ever seen before, this article is for you.

The last few months I've written about the planning and mindset required to make it successfully as a professional player. I hope those readers with lots of ambition and few responsibilities have taken my advice and are preparing to take their shot at playing for a living. Now is a terrific time to give your dream a go; there may not be a better time in your lifetimes.

A fair number of recently minted pros are making money like they've never seen before. Fifty thousand over a summer. Online poker accounts with over a hundred grand. If you are twenty, you just started playing poker two years ago, and Lee Jones just called you to warn you of the dangers of playing four tables of $100-$200, listen up. This article is for you.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm only twenty-six myself. I grew up comfortable, but without a ton of money. The poker boom has brought me more money over the last few years than I have seen before. I'm not trying to preach; I'm in much the same situation as many of you. I'm just sharing some of the things I've thought about for myself.

It's Not Going to Last Forever

This notion is already cliche in poker discussions, but it's foolish to dismiss it simply for that reason. For you (and many others) to be making the money you're making, other people have to be losing far more. Nowadays, tons of people are losing tons of money playing poker. There will always be plenty of people willing to lose plenty of money at poker. But there are simply a ridiculous number now. In ten years, expect a high, but somewhat less ridiculous, number. Less "dead money" entering the economy means less to spread around amongst the pros.

Expect a pay cut at some point. No matter how good you are, less money lost by amateurs means less money won by you. This isn't theoretical. It will happen.

Other low probability, but highly catastrophic, things could happen to your poker career. Bots could wreak havoc on online poker. The government could make online gambling illegal. (Napster used to be "legal" too. Then again, the government could make online gambling totally legal, too.) You could get cancer, leaving you broke, owing a hundred grand, and physically unable to play poker seriously.

(Fortunately, you should have medical insurance to protect you somewhat from the financial consequences. But cancer strikes quickly and indiscriminately. One day you are healthy, the next you wake up with cancer. An alarming number of friends my age have recently been diagnosed with the big C. It's scary, but it's a very real part of life, and professional poker players are particularly vulnerable because they have to work for every penny they make. Lying in bed sick means zero income.)

In any event, the next few years are likely to be the highest-earning years you will have playing poker. It's probably downhill from here. Plan accordingly.
It's Probably Not Going to be Your Final Career

Most people switch careers multiple times during their lives. They get sick of what they are doing, new opportunities arise, or unexpected things happen in their lives. If you are reading this, poker is probably your first career. It probably won't be your last. Very few twenty-year-olds play poker fulltime for forty years straight. You probably won't either.

Why do I point this out? Don't quit school to play more poker. That's why. It's dumb, and most of you who do will regret it.

College provides general knowledge, preparation for jobs, and, for better or worse, social status. If you knew you would play poker forever, maybe going to college wouldn't matter so much. But you don't know that, and furthermore, you probably won't play poker forever. Most of you won't be playing poker fulltime even five years from now.

You don't want to be in your late twenties, a college dropout, and desperately looking for something else to do because poker just doesn't do it for you anymore. Maybe you say, "Well, if it gets to that point, I'll just go back to college."

I guess that's possible, but only some actually do go back. You might have a family with kids to support and no time to devote to school. You might have to settle for a school much weaker than the one you're currently in, and that might cause you to get lose interest. Besides, college parties aren't as fun when you're 28.

If you're in college, stay in college and play poker in your free time. (I know you have lots of it. I went to college too.) If you are already sick of school, spend less time on homework and more time on social stuff.

I think people are dropping out of college because they see poker as their "way out." Poker isn't a way out of anything. It's a game, and it can provide some nice extra cash. Some really nice cash if you are good. But eventually you are going to have to (or at least want to) live like a normal person again. Normal people finish college.

Don't Gamble all Your Money Away

So you have a hundred grand burning a hole in your pocket. First, don't buy stupid stuff with it. Stupid stuff means things that lose their value over time (or get completely consumed): cars, trucks, computers, electronics, expensive hotel rooms, bottles of Grey Goose at the club for you and twenty friends every weekend, etc.

You need a car? Spend $10,000 on a used Honda, not $50,000 on a new Hummer. In five years your Honda will be worth $5,000 and your Hummer $15,000. Would you prefer to burn $5,000 or $35,000?

Don't buy an $8,000 television that will be worth $1,000 in three years. Don't stay in $400/night hotels when $150/night ones are basically just as good.

In general, American culture is designed so people feel compelled to buy stuff with their money. The more money they have, the more and more expensive stuff they should buy. That culture was designed by people who sell stuff so that they can get all your money. Don't indulge them.

Also, don't move up to a higher limit without moving a fraction of your bankroll to a long-term investment. Say you normally play $30-$60 on Party with a $30,000 bankroll. Over the past two months, you won a big tournament and cashed in another one, and now you have $250,000 staring at you. You want to move up to $100-$200.

First, you are going to owe taxes on $220,00 provided you don't lose big. So take about $40,000, give or take, and stick it in a safe, short-term savings vehicle like a savings account or CD.

Next, pay off any high-interest debt (i.e., credit card) that you might have.

Assuming you don't have any debt, you now have $210,000 left. If you win that much for the year, you should consider filing as a business (Schedule C), and opening a SEP IRA. That's a tax-deferred retirement account that lets you contribute a huge chunk of your poker income tax free. If you open a SEP, put $40,000 in it and stick the other $20,000 in a long-term investment. If you can't think of anything else, sign up with a big discount brokerage (Fidelity, eTrade, etc.) and put the money in an index fund.

That leaves you with a $150,000 bankroll to take your shot at $100-$200 or higher. And if you lose a big chuck of your bankroll, you'll still be okay.

(Disclaimer: I'm not intending to outline a comprehensive personal finance plan in half a page of a magazine article. I'm giving a bare-bones example to give you an idea about the general sort of thing you should do with your money. If you have real money (more than $30,000 perhaps), you should have significant amounts of it invested in places other than your poker bankroll. If you don't, you could be setting yourself up for problems down the line.)

I feel like a bit of a grandpa writing this article. But I've seen several friends take $80,000 or more bankrolls and grind them literally to nothing through frivolous spending and unwise risk-taking. I don't want that to happen to people who read my articles. A little planning and self-restraint, paired with your poker skills, should allow you to be "set for life" if you take advantage of these fat poker times. Set for life is a lot better than broke with no job and no degree.

Having warned you the entire article about what ills might befall you if you aren't prudent, I wanted to congratulate you. Building yourself a little poker empire is impressive, and you should be proud of your achievement. Good luck in the future, and if you are planning to move up soon, I hope you crush your new game like you crushed your old one.


I quit my job on October 18th of last year. My faithful, long-time readers know how much I've struggled with this poker thing as a job. It was extremely difficult for me for far too many reasons. Go hit the archives if you want a taste.

And so what are my expectations since I've finally accepted that This is What I Do now? I'm hoping to play for another year, two at the most. By then, I'd like to have a better idea of what I'd like to do in my next career. I did the advertising biz for 17 years. I don't really want to go back to it, sadly. I dunno, just rambling here. It's obviously ironic to me that I am one of the lucky ones - I have the internal fortitude to avoid tilting - I'm a long-time winner - I have a fully supportive wife backing me - I lived in Vegas a long time ago and thus learned the hard way about Gambling - I'm blessed with friends who love what I'm doing and love to talk poker.

But playing for a living just sounds much cooler than it really is, that's all. Sure, I'm striking now during this poker gold rush, but it's unsettling to have no plans beyond a juicy game tommorrow.

Whine, whine, whine.

I loved this captured chat posted by the Poker Princess after the Full Tilt charity tournament:

nyconnection (Observer): Phil Josh Arieh a jerk or no?
Phil Gordon: jerk
Phil Gordon: yes, I like Raymer a lot
Phil Gordon: great guy
hhhgamewmx7 (Observer): Hey Phil, Hellmuth, Jerk or funny guy
Phil Gordon: jerk jerk jerk
Phil Gordon: I get along with PH, just think hes a jerk at the table

Did anyone else see that Marcel Luske has his own Rings and Rocks posse?
Poker Circle of Outlaws

And here someone asks and gets an answer about Marcel and his antics at the poker table:

Marcel Luske

Is that singing and dancing and chatter he does at the table more than just him having a good time? What I'm asking is... is he actually using NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and/or hypnosis to get his opponents to subconsciously do what he wants, and the whole act is one big mind-fuck he's laying on the others? If so then I would have to say that he's somewhat of a genius.


> I don't think Marcel thinks through to the point of hypnotizing his table. I
> think he is a fun guy who likes to lull the table into a fun easy going mode
> when he is actually very serious and competitive inside. He and Negreanu
> both
> are chatty types who like to control the table mood.

When you are an aggressive player who likes to steal a lot of pots, it pays to have the table "like" you; individual opponents will be more likely to lay down marginal hands. Applies to players like Danny and Luske.

When you are a tight-ass player who only bets big with strong hands, it pays to have the table dislike you; individual opponents will be more likely to call with marginal hands because they are eager to bust you. Applies to players like Hellmuth.

My two cents.

What's going on with all the tons of online poker is rigged posters? It's always been steady white noise through the years, but it's really hit a fever pitch lately. Lotsa players realizing that poker ain't easy, I suppose.

Subject: Does anyone really believe online poker is legit?

The reason I ask is because of an article I read in which the claims to know of a computer programmer who dicovered the use of a "Doom Switch" at AbsolutePoker.com.

If any of this is true then there are some serious issues that need serious answers. Furthermore, if none of these allegations are true then why don't these sites band together and mount a PR campaign to dispell all of these rumors once and for all? Look at what Major League Baseball is doing in the face of the steroid scandel. Jesus Christ! they've got Congress threatening to legislate rules and procedures to protect the integrity of the game.

None of these online poker sites seem to give a rats ass about all of these rumors. I know that I have been playing at Pokerstars for about three years now and if they don't employ the use of a Doom Switch in their game software, I'll eat my shoe.

Funny how between doom switches, pattern mappers and online poker bots, I'm able to keep cranking out the dough. Must be luck.

You know that Ace-Rag is the biggest losing hand in online poker, dontcha? Someone pointed out this fine column in CardPlayer, by TJ Cloutier, about playing these two in a NL tournament.
Playing an Ace With a Wheel Card By T.J. Cloutier, Guest Columnist

I personally don't care for these kind of "What-If" games, but hell, lots of folks responded to this post so I'm sticking it up for you.

Subject: Which supernatural ability would you rather have in poker?

Let's say God came down from heaven to grant you one superpower for your poker playing. Which of the following would you choose:

The ability to know your opponents hole cards?
The ability to know what the community cards (flop games) / your board (stud) would be?

I've thought about this a little bit, and I don't know. Some hands and games it would be better to have one, then again there are times when the other would be much better.

I think in tournament NL Holdem I'd have to go with the community cards though. That would make races a whole lot easier.

Again, I'd rather spend my valuable (and dwindling) brain energy on thinking about Real poker issues. I truly enjoy thinking/reading about poker strategy. The more I learn, the more I question. Learning - improving in poker is a beautiful thing. It's an affirmation. Poker is really nothing but a decision making process over and over. Paper, rock, scissors. Making adjustments to your and your opponents adjustments.

It's skill and judgement that determine profitability. Culpability is crucial. In the long run, you don't get paid paid to win pots, you get paid to make the right decisions.

Microbob gets involved in this thread about the math behind the Party Poker BadBeat Jackpot.
Party Poker BBJ now +EV

Random gambling factoid: The Egyptian god who invented gambling is depicted on the doors of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Think poker has peaked? I disagree and submit as evidence:

Subject: 10, count'em 10 poker magazines in circulation now!

Action - P.O. Box 581045; Elk Grove, CA 95758; 916/691-1984;

All In - 100 Park Ave. #1600; New York, NY 10017; 800/95-ALL-IN;

Assets - 8275 S. Eastern Ave. #247; Las Vegas, NV 89123; 702/241-8888;

Bluff - 15600 Roswell Ave. Suite East 250; Atlanta, GA; 404/250-1798;

Card Player - PO Box 8436; Red Oak, IA 51591; 866/LVPOKER;

High Roller - 6825 Shiloh Rd. East #B4; Alpharetta, GA; 678/990-0285;

Poker Player - 3883 West Century Blvd.; Inglewood, CA 90303; 310/674-3365;

Poker Pro - 2151 W. Hillsboro Blvd. #203; Deerfield Beach, FL 33442;
888/565-3777; www.pokerprofs.com

Top Pair - 3454 E. Southern Ave. #104; Mesa, AZ 85204; 800/964-2846;

Woman Poker Player - www.womanpokerplayer.com

Amy Calistri had an article in Poker Pages asking where are the women? This had quite a few responses but I enjoyed Mr. Harkness's take.

Where are the Women

I wonder if it's because ESPN doesn't show very many events that get
won by women? Annie Duke wins Omaha hi-lo, Cindy Violette wins stud/8,
but ESPN doesn't want to explain split=pot games to the audience, so
we don't see those games. (okay, we got Annie as the side show on the
women's LHE tournament.)

I suspect that while women's participation in poker is up in absolute
numbers, it's down proportionally, overshadowed by the arrival of
thousands of testosterone driven, backwards baseball hat wearing guys.

I once decided not to "turn pro" because I didn't want to spend 40
hours a week sitting around the kind of people you meet in cardrooms.

Perhaps women take one look in cardrooms and decide much the same thing.

John Harkness

Geezus, what can I say that I haven't already said?
Read the following insanity.



I am selling an e-book on how to use mouse movements (patterns) to be dealt certain hands on Stars and how to almost perfectly predict turn and river cards. The price is $50 accepted via Pokerstars Transfer or PayPal.


Man, I sure as hell don't feel bad about shilling with idiots like the above around. At least I provide fine fodder for your dreary workday.

And on that note (cue drumroll)
Support a sponsor if you enjoy this humble poker blog.

Golden Palace Poker
Caribbean Sun Poker

Damn, I guess that's it for now. Plenty more coming. But I gotta play some poker. Online or boat? Decisions, decisions. It's quite a life I lead, lemme tell ya.

Allow me to leave you with this brilliant poker literary gem.


By: Phil Cerasoli

'Twas past midnight, damp and dreary, I in bed awake but weary
Trying vainly to establish with sound slumber a rapport,
When I heard a sound so muffled, sounded like cards being shuffled
Coming from the other side of my sturdy bedroom door.

I tossed and turned and said, "It is the wind and nothing more".

But the sound it was remaining. With bravado in me draining
I donned my robe and tiptoed to my sturdy bedroom door.
I opened it a crack, peeked out and saw the back
Of a man who was just sitting, playing cards upon the floor.

"'Tis a nightmare of my mind," I said, "Just this and nothing more".

'Twas a cloak draped 'cross his back and a Raven, shiny black,
Was facing him and pacing in a circle on the floor.
My jaw dropped when I heard the soft voice of that huge bird
Saying, "Deal me in this card game for a couple hands or more".

And the man tossed four chips to him; four blue chips and nothing more.

Then I must have made a sound, for he slowly turned around
And his face was pale as misty, eerie fog that hugs the shore.
Then he whispered to me low, "I'm the ghost of Allen Poe
Who has come here to play poker as I did in days of yore.

'Tis a poker game I'm craving. Only this and nothing more".

"Won't you sit in for a while?" he asked me with a smile,
"It will make a better card game than it was an hour before".
And, not wanting to incite him, I slowly walked beside him
Meekly asking what the stakes were as I sat down on the floor.

"Penny-ante," said the stranger. Quoth the Raven, "Nothing more."

From the start I had a streak of luck that reached its peak
By my winning all the pennies that the two had owned before.
Then the man said, oh so slyly, (as the Raven grinned so wryly),
"This low stake game we're playing I'm beginning to abhor.

"Then by all means", said the Raven, 'we should surely play for more".

Then the man, with gesture bold, from his cloak withdrew some gold
In a bag that was so heavy that to move it was a chore.
His sly look I failed to heed for my soul was filled with greed
As I saw the golden coins from the sack begin to pour.

"Yes," I whispered weakly, "We should surely play for more".

Then he said in voice so solemn as he stacked coins in a column,
"The hour grows late; I'm weary, so we'll play but one hand more.
If you win, my gold you'll own. If I win then it's your home
That will be mine to have and keep...to keep forevermore".

Quoth the Raven: "Evermore".

I said, "That's fair, I feel." Then the man began to deal
And the cards I had were aces and the aces numbered four.
I said, "My hand is pat and I'm only sorry that
The pot has been established and that we can bet no more."

Quoth the Raven: "Bet some more!"

"He speaks true," I then was told, and the man pulled out more gold
And tossed it with the other coins that were strewn across the floor.
"But I cannot match your bet," I sadly said, "but, yet,
I must have something left; something you two would adore".

Said the Raven, "You in bondage. Only this and nothing more".

"He speaks wisely", said the man. "If you want to bet, you can.
But lose and you're our slave and servant now and evermore".
I stared at my four aces, smiled and looked at my guest's faces,
Sealed the bet and spread my aces down and out across the floor.

Said the Raven in a whisper, "I see aces numb'ring four!"

The face of Poe just glowered as his poker hand he lowered
'Til it covered my four aces that were resting on the floor.
Then amid a quiet hush, I saw his small straight flush
And knew that I was beaten and was doomed forevermore.

Said the Raven, "You in bondage here and now and evermore".

Now on dark nights, cold and dreary, my sore body grows so weary
As I dust and wash and clean and sweep the droppings on the floor.
While my master and his Raven live in comfort in their haven
With their slave who's held in bondage, held in bondage



Link of the Day:
No Testament Like Old Testament
If you need someone to blame for the Hurricane Katrina disaster, look up. "God destroyed a wicked city," proclaimed Repent America director Michael Marcavage. "New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin."

Monday, September 05, 2005

I'm finally sitting down to write up a post. Any ideas on what the hell I should I write about? Geezus, I may have to crib from Pauly and start a readers Q&A mail day.

Anyway, I just left Party Poker. The BadBeat Jackpot is at $325,000 right now.

Go fire up some 2.4 tables and try to get uber-lucky, will you?
That's Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker for those of you deeply and profoundly retarded enough to NOT have an account there.

Back once I figure out what to ramble about.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The plot thickens.
From my prior post, a clarification about a possible takeover of Empire Poker.


PartyGaming urged to show its hand over bid

PartyGaming, the newly floated £6bn online gaming group, will face pressure this week to reveal whether it plans to spark an £800m-plus takeover battle with a rival offer for Empire Online, the internet poker operator.

Sportingbet, which operates the Paradise Poker.com site, will this morning confirm that it was the mystery suitor behind a £790m cash-and-shares approach to Empire on Friday.

Although PartyGaming and Empire have a close relationship - Empire is a marketing company that drives punters on to other gaming sites - insiders at the world's biggest internet gaming group played down the significance of that commercial partnership.

Just 3 per cent of PartyGaming's total revenues are generated by Empire, according to the group's listing prospectus. By contrast, Empire's biggest partner by far is PartyGaming. The marketing specialist, known as a "skin" in the gaming industry because its EmpirePoker.com site wraps itself around its rivals' technology, makes money by getting a share of the winnings from each customer it drives onto PartyGaming's software.

Sportingbet, a direct rival of PartyGaming, is keen to acquire Empire to rob its biggest competitor of the stream of new customers Empire puts its way. Internet poker sites rely on having a liquid pool of high-rolling users so that anyone looking to join a game can do so immediately.

PartyGaming's chief executive, Richard Segal, will be pressed to confirm whether the group intends to show its hand when he reports the company's maiden interim results tomorrow. Earnings before interest and tax profits are expected to be about $245.5m (£133m) on sales of $440m.

PartyGaming, the newly floated £6bn online gaming group, will face pressure this week to reveal whether it plans to spark an £800m-plus takeover battle with a rival offer for Empire Online, the internet poker operator.

Sportingbet, which operates the Paradise Poker.com site, will this morning confirm that it was the mystery suitor behind a £790m cash-and-shares approach to Empire on Friday.

Although PartyGaming and Empire have a close relationship - Empire is a marketing company that drives punters on to other gaming sites - insiders at the world's biggest internet gaming group played down the significance of that commercial partnership.

Just 3 per cent of PartyGaming's total revenues are generated by Empire, according to the group's listing prospectus. By contrast, Empire's biggest partner by far is PartyGaming. The marketing specialist, known as a "skin" in the gaming industry because its EmpirePoker.com site wraps itself around its rivals' technology, makes money by getting a share of the winnings from each customer it drives onto PartyGaming's software.

Sportingbet, a direct rival of PartyGaming, is keen to acquire Empire to rob its biggest competitor of the stream of new customers Empire puts its way. Internet poker sites rely on having a liquid pool of high-rolling users so that anyone looking to join a game can do so immediately.

PartyGaming's chief executive, Richard Segal, will be pressed to confirm whether the group intends to show its hand when he reports the company's maiden interim results tomorrow. Earnings before interest and tax profits are expected to be about $245.5m (£133m) on sales of $440m.

Since Empire Online listed on AIM three months ago, poker fever has swept the City. PartyGaming is set to join the FTSE 100 this week with a higher market valuation than stalwarts such as Marks & Spencer. 888.com, the world's largest online casino by number of visitors, launched a £700m initial public offering last week.

With much of the highly fragmented industry still in private hands, internet casino operators are keen to have a public quoting to raise their profile and enough cash to mount an acquisition spree. Empire's admission that it had received a takeover approach so soon after listing triggered a sharp rise in the sector.

Sportingbet, which had net cash of £19m in June, made a small bolt-on acquisition last month, while Empire made two. All three companies declined to comment.

"Judged by the dollars spent, gambling is now more popular in America than baseball, the movies, and Disneyland combined."
Timothy O'Brien

I was all set to announce a WPBT tournament for all the bloggers and readers before Katrina hit. I mean, we're long overdue for one. But playing in the charity events at Full Tilt and PokerStars are making it happen. Had a great time friday evening playing with lots of bloggers and we even commandeered a mini-stakes NL game on Stars later in the evening. Fun times.

So again, tonight - there's another tournament on Full Tilt Poker. Here's the skinny:


We want to thank everyone for helping us make our Friday night Hurricane Relief Tournament such a success.

Still, considering the overwhelming scope of this tragedy and the continued horrors being faced by residents of the Gulf Coast, we believe there's more we can do to help. Therefore, we're asking you to take some time out of your holiday weekend to help us raise even more money to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina by playing in our next special charity tournament at 9:15PM ET on Sunday, September 4th.

Once again, registration for this tournament will be $20 + a $10 donation to the American Red Cross' Hurricane 2005 Relief fund. Full Tilt Poker will again match 100% of each donation, meaning that for every person who plays, we'll send $20 to assist the victims of this devastating storm.

Thank you again for your support of this worthwhile cause. We look forward to seeing you at the table.


I'm 98% sure I'll be playing - hope the bloggers turn out again.

Anyone else notice that the bad beat jackpot on Party Poker is at $240,000 right now? I four-tabled some 2.4 for the fun of it - I'd forgotten how poorly some folks play there.

Few other random tidbits: rumours are flying about Party Poker potentially buying Empire Poker. Here's a Reuters article about it:
Online gaming services firm Empire in bid talks

I'm sure many of you already saw that Jennifer Tilly won another poker tournament.

Check out this guy doing a Rubik's Cube... under 30 seconds... with one hand... he's not human.

Let's post some strange random pictures and leave you with some online poker chat between Mike Matusow and Spirit Rock (Prahlad "Pragress" Friedman).


Subject: FTP: Mike Matusow vs Spirit Rock (Prahlad "Pragress" Friedman)...
Needling to the MAX

FullTiltPoker Game #204430016: Table Gardenia - $50/$100 - No Limit
Hold'em - 1:58:31 ET - 2005/09/02
Seat 5: Spirit Rock ($26,811.50)
Seat 6: Mike Matusow ($16,146.50)
Mike Matusow posts the small blind of $50
Spirit Rock posts the big blind of $100
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Mike Matusow raises to $300
Spirit Rock calls $200
*** FLOP *** [Tc 4h 5s]
Spirit Rock checks
Mike Matusow bets $600
Spirit Rock raises to $2,400
Mike Matusow calls $1,800
*** TURN *** [Tc 4h 5s] [3d]
Spirit Rock bets $3,000
Mike Matusow calls $3,000
*** RIVER *** [Tc 4h 5s 3d] [5c]
elitekilr (Observer): oh man big pot here
Spirit Rock bets $21,111.50, and is all in
Mike Matusow has 15 seconds left to act
Mike Matusow calls $10,446.50, and is all in
Uncalled bet of $10,665 returned to Spirit Rock
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Spirit Rock shows [6s Qd] (a pair of Fives)
Mike Matusow shows [Qs Ah] (a pair of Fives)
Mike Matusow wins the pot ($32,292.50) with a pair of Fives
Mikeh77 (Observer): YES
The_Trench (Observer): LOL
chipdynamite (Observer): LOL
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $32,293 | Rake $0.50
Board: [Tc 4h 5s 3d 5c]
Seat 5: Spirit Rock (big blind) showed [6s Qd] and lost with a pair of Fives
Seat 6: Mike Matusow (small blind) showed [Qs Ah] and won ($32,292.50) with a pair of Fives
Mike Matusow: kiddy games down the fking street
Spirit Rock: you are such an ahol
Mike Matusow: already know that
Spirit Rock: just take the pot nice call
Spirit Rock: no need to needle
Spirit Rock: you fking jerk
Spirit Rock: dont ever speak to me again
Spirit Rock: cant just take the pot
Mike Matusow: hey when i went broke u started needling
Spirit Rock: gotta needle after 32k pot
Mike Matusow: u said i suck come oon coomeo
Mike Matusow: so i came
Spirit Rock: seriously dont even come up to me
Spirit Rock: if you see me in person
Spirit Rock: dont come near me
Spirit Rock: call everytime you gonna win sometimes
Mike Matusow: p that was the easest call ever
Spirit Rock: you gonna need a lot of luck
Spirit Rock: to beat me
Dealer: Mike Matusow mucks
into 5k then all in on river on pure bluff
Spirit Rock: you right
Spirit Rock: very easy call
Dealer: Spirit Rock wins the pot ($200)
Mike Matusow: it was
Spirit Rock: if that was a easy call
Spirit Rock: you must be back on drugs
Mike Matusow: n aim just that good sir
Spirit Rock: yeah ive been noticing you been playing real well lately
Dealer: Mike Matusow raises to $300
Spirit Rock: LOL
Spirit Rock: actually worst ive ever seen you play recently
Spirit Rock: but you just in slump
Spirit Rock: i mean you are playing terrible
Spirit Rock: its crazy
Mike Matusow: u wouldnt talk to me for weeks now i play great and u cry
Mike Matusow: lol
Spirit Rock: never ever seen you paly this bad
Spirit Rock: cant believe i ever gave you chances to be friends
Spirit Rock: oh well thats all done
Spirit Rock: chat off
Spirit Rock: i mean you are truly playing my god aweful
Dealer: Hand #204438266
Spirit Rock: insane
Mike Matusow: nh guess the crying is over
Spirit Rock: just call everytime
Spirit Rock: maybe you'll win another won soon
Spirit Rock: MIKEY
Spirit Rock: good call to win that 1600 in middle
Spirit Rock: ALL I DO IS BLUFF
Dealer: Hand #204439384
Spirit Rock: so mike can i get it in writing that you will never quit me?
Spirit Rock: lol
Mike Matusow: i will always play u
Mike Matusow: u know thath
Spirit Rock: that is terrific!!!!!!!
Mike Matusow: i polay anyone
Spirit Rock: good then i wont have to wait around
Spirit Rock: for people
Mike Matusow: dont worry if i dont bust u ivy will
Spirit Rock: i will always have you to play
Spirit Rock: sweet
Spirit Rock: i heard you claimed i would bust ivey
Spirit Rock: i guess now you changed your mind
Spirit Rock: you sure go back and forth
Spirit Rock: back and forth
Mike Matusow: well that becuse hes not a fking prick like u
Spirit Rock: this thing one day that thing the other day
Mike Matusow: u not a tenth of a player i am or ivy so go cry
Spirit Rock: id rather be known as a prick
Dealer: Spirit Rock wins the pot ($200)
Spirit Rock: then have 100 fake friends
Spirit Rock: poker world is a joke
Spirit Rock: you woulda put all the money in
Spirit Rock: im sure
Mike Matusow: see the thing is i can make the big call
Dealer: Mike Matusow wins the pot ($100)
Dealer: Hand #204449262
Mike Matusow: that what u havnt figured out yet
Mike Matusow: see now hes trying to play good as soon sa he loses apot
Mike Matusow: his seamy self shows
Spirit Rock: the fold button is located on the left
Perry Friedman (Observer): Hey Mike, did they have you breaking rocks while you were in prison?

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

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