Friday, April 28, 2006
"First things first though, blogfather Iggy is back to his best with a new workplace productivity destroying post, so go take a gander after you've read this... you know you want to!
By the way, the correct method for destroying workplace productivity is to cut & paste the entire post from said blog into a "real work" application, I find Visual Basic is pretty optimal in this regard, it looks well complicated to the untrained eye, and with a quick Ctrl-Tab you can instantly switch code modules so there's no trace of bloggerdom when the boss walks by!"
That's a nice lil tip.
This Guinness-fueled, tangential uber-post is brought to you by nobody. I do it because I'm deeply and profoundly deranged. But I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker, if for no other reason than to be
Now that spring has arrived, the only thing I have to decide each day is if I'm going to play poker, golf or go fishing. Not too shabby. On the downside today, upon my return from the golf course, I witnessed a nasty motorcycle accident right in front of me when the bike driver apparently had a stroke or passed out or whatever, and slumped over and drove head-on into oncoming traffic. He was only going 25 MPH or so but he wasn't wearing a helmet.
Was good to take a break from poker today, though. I'm playing mostly at the Grand Vic these past two weeks. I pretty much stand out during the day as I'm the only player under eighty years old in there. You'd think these old fellers would be rock-like but they're actually pretty damn gambly yet passive. They like to see the river, by God. And not to be stereotypical, but yikes, these fellers love them some suited cards. Any suited will do.
I'm truly enjoying B&M poker. Hell, I've got three poker rooms to choose from now (with another opening in a few weeks). Despite far better earning power in online poker, I've just been energized by B&M lately. Plus, after this long tedious winter, it feels good to get out of the house and head to the office, such as it is.
I really want to rant about table types and conditions but I fear if I start, I won't get this post done tonight. And I'm gonna get this damn thing up, even if I'm slobbering drunk by the end of it.
Let's Destroy Some Workplace Productivity, shall we?
There's been no shortage of "poker scandals" lately. And I'm actually listening to this podcast from Lou and Amy right now, waiting to hear what Zee Justin aka Justin Bonomo has to say.
ZeeJustin Tells His Story on holdemradio tomorrow night
Justin Bonomo, aka ZeeJustin, the young poker pro who had $100,000 taken from his account by Party Poker when it was determined that he played multiple accounts in tournaments, will appear with Amy Calistri and me on Holdemradio.com, tomorrow night, April 27 at 9:00 PM EDT.
Poker Stars also concluded that Justin was using multiple accounts, but rather then confiscate his entire bankroll, they seized $3,450 he won that way. There's a big difference between Party's approach and that of Poker Stars, and we'll talk about it tomorrow night.
Although Justin readily admits to having played multiple accounts, he wants to tell his own story in his own words in order to set the record straight and begin reclaiming his reputation.
Tune in to "Keep Flopping Aces" at holdemradio.com. Broadcast times are 9:00 PM EDT, 8:00 PM Central, 7:00 PM Mountain, and 6:00 PM Pacific.
The shows are archived at the site and are available as podcasts. You can go to www.holdemradio.com and take a look.
I'm also taking this opportunity to pimp Amy Calistri's new poker blog. I'm a big fan and had a superb time pounding cocktails with her in Tunica. She claims to love my blog but I'm pretty sure she's never read it more than once. Please add Amy, the past long-time editor of PokerPages and a full-fledged member of the poker Illumaniti, to your blogrolls.
"Aimlessly Chasing" Amy
Always a sucker for a flush draw
I'm not sure what to say about 2005 WSOP runner-up, David Williams, appearing in a fetish porno that hasn't been said already. I've gotta mention the name of said pr0n tape simply for the keywords: College Cock, Vol. 8: Tony's first lesson.
Anyway, this nugget first appeared on RGP back in 2004 and I didn't blog it because I didn't believe it nor did I really care. But in the interest of pandering to the lowest common denominator, I might as well link the Fleshbot article up. A rather full accounting of the affair is at the StarkNekkid Blog (NSFW). They offer a fine poker tip of the week in case you're ever involved in a big pot with David Williams. Take yer shoes off. He'll become glassy-eyed and lose all concentration. Apparently Greg Raymer wears open-toed sandals for this very reason.
Brian Micon at NeverWinPoker cried foul when Bluff Magazine removed an article about David and this sordid affair from their web site.
Publisher of Bluff, Eric Morris, explained:
Hopefully, after speaking with Brian he has a better understanding on why we pulled the story and can in fact appreciate our position. Brian I hope you can back me up here!
First, our news editor works out of Canada and is responsible for which stories we put up every day. I personally sent Ian an email asking him not to run the story, but he did not read my request before putting it up. Once we saw it we took it down!
I can assure you that advertisers had no influence on this decision. In fact, I believe that Bodog (DW sponsor) is loving every minute of the attention. Our decision was based on future dealing with poker pros who contribute to our publication. If they see Bluff running stories of this magnitude, we could be denied future interviews and editorial submissions. Basically, the risk is not worth the reward and we have decided to stay away from both the DW and Gavin stories.
I honestly did not think that taking the story off the site would be as contraversial as it has become. Saying that, we have not taken the story off of our forum and people can access the information there.
I apologize if our decision put anyone off as this was never our intent!
Man, I feel all dirty now. Let's move along, shall we?
But here's a screengrab of Scott Fischmans myspace blog thingy.
I'm torn on that Justin interview. There were plenty of unasked questions.
Lemme link up some poker news articles and whatnot first.
Excellent WPT article by Steve Rosenbloom at ESPN. He has some good anecdotes from the floor.
WPT Championship missing some champions
Paris Hilton denies losing her Bentley in a poker game. This is the last time I ever mention Paris in this here blog. It degrades both the writer and the reader.
Here's an interview with Daniel Negreanu on the nbcheadsup.com site.
I enjoyed Paul Phillips going after the 9/11 conspiracy buffs in his blog, complete with a poll.
Most interesting post of the week from the poker blogosphere is prolly Jordan's insightful treatise on the poker blog scene. Check it out for some high-level navel gazing.
Per the wpbt tourney scene - all of the different tourneys going on are very reflective of a burgeoning and influential community. One that's grown from a few random voices in the wilderness like table tango, love and casino war, felicia, and mr decker, to a rapidly expanding universe that is seemingly impossible to keep track of.
I just saw that BG over at Gambling Blues stuck up his own post on the above topic. And we all know that BG has zero peers when it comes to navel gazing.
Find your niche, noodle around, explore the studio space, but quit overthinking this so goddamn much. It's an online diary. Every 13 year-old girl in Singapore has one too. You're not special.
Don't I know it. Let's face it, we're a teeny, tiny niche. We'll never be an Engadget or an InstaPundit. Not even close. Our blog prose might as well be written in Elvish for anyone who doesn't play poker semi-seriously.
Kudos to both posts. Not an easy topic to write about.
Strange, but I found this article from Psychology Today:
Gambling: The Pipe Dream Payoff
Even mild proficiency in statistics requires study. Flying is safer than automobile travel; more than twice as many people lose their lives in car accidents each year than have died in the entire history of air travel. But the shock from a single plane crash evokes awe, whereas the tallies of auto fatalities put us to sleep. Same with gambling: Two percent interest earned on our checking account does not hold a candle to the lights, bells and riches of a casino jackpot. We're drawn to the more astonishing event, regardless of its probability.
I love reading about folks who try to cheat the casinos. Here's a fine piece from VegasTripping entitled Burglar Tools: Casino Cheating Devices.
I really, really, really miss David Sklansky posting in the 2+2: Science, Math, and Philosophy forum. Damnit, I used to be able to entire posts about that stuff.
But David has decided to never do so again. And we are all poorer for it. So allow me to blog David's final say on the matter. Here's the link to the full 2+2 thread:
One Final Post About God and Religion
I made a decision not to post anymore about religion, partly because of personal reasons, and partly because I now see more downsides than upsides.
There are however, a few thoughts that I have had recently, that I think are both clearly correct, and also should be accepted by everybody. So I felt I had to make this last post explaining them.
There are at least four reasonable reasons, even if there was no bible, for humans to think that there is an intelligent higher power out there. Basically they are:
1. There is something rather than nothing.
2. The universe and especially this planet, contain an amazing array of incredibly complicated living and non living things.
3. There is a "you" that knows it is alive in ways that animals or computers don't.
4. The spookiness of some aspects of relativaty and even more so, quantum theory.
Of course only a tiny fraction of religious people have ever pointed to number four as a major reason for their theistic beliefs. In spite of that, I do not think anyone has a right to be a firm atheist if they haven't studied this advanced physics and concluded that the spookiness can easily be explained away without the need for any sort of higher power (even a deistic one that is not omnipotent}.
Anyway, the fact is that three of the four reasons above are still good arguments for some sort of theism. The creation of something from nothing is not something scientists understand. Neither is the existence of human consciousness. (I'll say no more about modern physics.) And if computers can never be made conscious, it not only argues for a God, it also argues for a God that considers humans, and perhaps other conscious beings, special.
Since there seems to be good reasons (especially in the past) to think it not unreasonable that there is a higher power, (and maybe not just a deistic one), people have invented hundreds of religions, seeking to explain this higher power in more detail. The inventors are sometimes charlatans, sometimes philosophers, and sometimes under the influence of some sort of hallucination. But these details that were espoused, otherwise known as "religions" are of course wrong. Let me correct myself. All of these religions, save perhaps one, are of course wrong.
But so what? Most of the debates on this forum are about whether God exists, especially a non deistic one. Even if all the religions are erroneous attempts to explain him and his goals, that doesn't mean he doesn't exist and has goals for us. So athiests shouldn't point to the silliness of specific religious beliefs to make their point.
But their is something else that atheists can now point to that appears to make their case stronger. I speak of #2 above. The argument that the complexity of the universe and this planet is proof, or strong evidence, of an intelligent designer. But it isn't. And those who say otherwise play into atheist's hands with this foolish argument. An argument that is COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY. For two reasons. Firstly, just because things could happen without a designer doesn't mean that there wasn't a designer. Same way that just because a poker player can (rarely) become great without reading my books doesn't mean he didn't read my books. Secondly, even if things came into being merely through the laws of physics, (including, perhaps, the randomness of quantum theory), doesn't mean there wasn't a God who got the ball rolling and still occasionally gets involved, perhaps only after death.
It is important to understand that the subject of whether these things (eclipses, pancreases, etc) could happen all because of a couple of original logic and physics laws and without a designer is NOT a religious question. It is a pure math and science question. A very technical one. And too many religious people make fools of trhemselves when they argue that it couldn't (or that the probability is miniscule) when they don't have the expertise to make these arguments. They are not serving their cause when they are both wrong and they deflect the debate from the three issues that the atheists do not, at least as of now, have good explanations for.
Changing the subject, I would now like to talk about those religions that seem to say that they believe that God will punish those who do not believe in him. This almost cannot be true. But before I explain why, I would say that there is a good chance that the religions in question are not actually making the error I ascribe to them but are rather explaining their beliefs innacurately. If so, they need to change their words a bit.
The point I am making is related to the concept of free will. Many religious people like to emphasize that God can get angry at his creations because he has created them with free will. (Unlike animals who I'm sure can't anger God). OK fine. Except that free will only applies to what you do and perhaps what you feel and desire. Not what you THINK. You can't help that. My father used to tease me when I was very young by imploring me not to think of an elephant for the next ten seconds. And of course I couldn't. On a more probalistic note, take the case of a Seattle Seahawk fan. If he thinks that the Steelers will probably beat them in the Super Bowl, that's just what he thinks. He can lie and say otherwise but it is still what he thinks.
But guess what? No Seahawk player is going to be angry with him. Not if he is out there cheering for them, crying when they lose and jubuilant when they win. Not to mention him travelling to all the road games they play in spite of the fact that he intellectually makes them the underdog.
Given that you don't have free will regarding your thoughts, it seems inconceivable that God would not be like the Seahawks players. Even if it is true that God requires more than good works for him to reward you, it can't be true that he would withold that reward for an intellectual thought that he was less than 50% in your mind to exist. It's conceivable that one of God's requirements relates to how you feel about him. But if so the requirements would be along the lines that you LOVE him, that you WORSHIP him, that you ASSUME that he exists and HOPE with every fiber of your being that he does.
Actually I believe it is possible that many members of the religions being addressed will not dispute me. They might admit that the confusion arises because in the old days everyone assumed that there had to be a God, so professing non belief was equivalent to professing a defiance toward God. But nowadays there are almost certainly people who have studied the evidence and with a heavy heart concluded that the God, or Jesus, that they desperately want to exist probably doesn't. But even though they have no free will to change this THOUGHT, they continue to worship, adore, obey, etc. this entity that they have intellectual doubts about. How could that not be enough?
Also, I just noticed this nifty new feature at 2+2, called the Post of the Day. The Post Of The Day forum is a recap of the most active threads from the previous day from all of our forums. It provides a way for you to quickly scan for the hot topics that you might have missed in a forum you normally do not browse.
Woohoo! Part 4 of the Andy Beal story versus the Corporation is up at ESPN! He plays Jennifer Harmon and Todd Brunson in this installment.
The Banker, The Boss, The Junkman and The Warrior Queen Part 4
This might be my all-time favorite theory about online poker being rigged:
Subject: Websites cheating deep pockets?
I think this is crazy but someone sugested it to me.
Could the poker websites run credit checks on players and if they identify a player with very deep pockets that is constantly willing to rebuy if they lost put the "button" on this player so they keep pumping fresh money into the site?
With this kind of stellar critical thinking, is it any wonder that you can make money playing online poker?
In that vein, I've lost the link to this post but I'll assume it was on RGP or 2+2. But here's some insights from an online poker pro:
Becoming a poker pro
I was recently asked about my opinion regarding requrements for becoming a poker pro. I am going to divide this into two sections: The bare minimum to go pro, and what I wish I would have done.
Bare minimum before becoming a poker pro - I live in San Jose, where 3 bedroom houses routinely go for $800,000 plus. A two hour dive away, you can find the same house for $215,000. The point is that depending on geographic and/or other living conditions,
everyone’s minimum can be very different.
In general, you have to look at the $/hour that you can make playing a certain game. If you can make 5 PTBB’s per 100 hands playing 1/2 6 max. no limit ($20) then you can make roughly $80 per hour playing 4 tables. If you are not at this point in your no limit game, then you should probably put off trying to play full time until you reach these stats.
The reason I say this is that 1/2 no limit is a very easy game and if you cannot handle this game for at least 5 PTBB/100 then your chance of building your bankroll and moving up limits very quickly while supporting yourself is not very realistic. The best players at this limit are earning 7.5+ PTBB/100 ($30+). A good player can eight table this game for $175+ per hour.
A very comfortable living can be made playing NL200 6 max. Moving up to 2/4 no limit is a tougher game, but good players can make 5+ PTBB/100 ($40). This means you can four table at about $150 per hour.
Now, these $ per hour figures seem amazing. You must keep in mind that it is very difficult to play more than 20-30 hours per week. Many weeks I play only 10-15 hours.
If I were to do it all over again - I would keep my job until my bankroll is at least $30,000. This would allow me to comfortable play the NL1000 tables with $25,000 of my money while keeping AT LEAST $5,000 in a savings account for unexpected expenses. A
good player at the $1k tables can make 4-5 PTBB/100 hands. This is $80-$100 per 100 hands. A player who four tables this game at even 3 PTBB/100 can make $240 per hour. At 5 PTBB/100 a player is making $400 an hour four tabling.
In hindsight this is what I should have done. This would have left me with enough resources to make $20,000 plus per month. As of now, I am still trying to climb above $5,000 per month on average.
I hope this helps.
Did you see my prior post? This is pretty big news, actually.
Market Report: Gambling stocks buoyed by US breakthrough
A bleak day for the London markets was given a lift by news that the American Gaming Association, the trade body of the US gambling industry, is to reclassify its position on online gambling.
The AGA, a powerful lobbying association, wants congress to look at regulation and taxation of the industry, a move in effect ending the prospect of legislation criminalising online gamblers.
The news was greeted enthusiastically by investors in London-listed gambling stocks, with PartyGaming and 888 Holdings, the two largest UK online gambling stocks, up strongly on good volume. Rumours over US prohibition of online gambling have consistently knocked the shares in the past few months, and sector bulls think that backing from AGA could give the industry a considerable long-term boost.
One trader said: "In the shorter term it is a relief rally but beyond that, if the US does decide to completely legitimise the industry, the possibilities for growth are outstanding."
PartyGaming ended as the best performer in the FTSE 100, after it gained 6.75p to 152.75p, a six-month high. 888 Holdings firmed 7p to 244p. The smaller online gambling stock BetonSports, which runs sports books on basketball, American football and baseball, also benefited, adding 9.25p to 169p.
Geepers, I'm starting to drag here. Part of me is jonesing to play a few hands of poker since I skipped the boat today. The fish at Party are singing their siren song. I liked what the boys over at the LasVegasVegas blog had to say in their Top Ten Best - And Worst - Hallmarks Of The Poker Boom.
2. The Rise of Party Poker
Best: The biggest online poker room on the Net just keeps growing more dominant. Through strong-armed business tactics and an IPO float that bouyed their capital, Party Gaming has established themselves as the leader in a marketplace that's slowly shedding the dead weight and allowing the cream to rise. Around the clock Hold 'Em against some of the worst players willing to give us their dollars is appealing, feeling secure that the big boy on the block is here to stay is even better.
Amen, brother. I can't even imagine playing anywhere else.
Here's an interesting tidbit for you tournament players out there.
The American Poker Player Championships
Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel & Omni Media and Entertainment are proud to announce the next great American poker tournament.
Launching in May 2006 we will be running a multi event tournament with a $5,000 Buy In Championship Event!
The American Poker Player Championships
The tournament will take place May 10 through 24, 2006 and feature 29 events and a $5,000 buy in Championship. World Series of Poker Champion Tom McEvoy and two time Ladies World Series of Poker Champion Susie Isaacs will be the tournament host and hostess.
Each event in the tournament will be limited to 800 players and satellites will begin soon in card rooms throughout the United States and in Select Online Poker Rooms.
Holy shit - I just realized I forgot to congratulate poker blogger Tony Soprano for winning the WSOP seat in the DADI tourney! I'm not sure how I made the final table and only moved up three spots in the POY points thingy, but hell, I'm not a math guy.
Tournament Director Extraordinaire, Johnny Grooms, called out Harrah's in this RGP post:
Subject: Tim Lavalli's Article on Poker Pages
Has anyone read Tim Lavalli's article on Pokerpages.com called "61 Days and counting"? It calls attention to an issue I addressed in a post on rgp about a month ago.
I am not calling attention to this because I no longer work for Harrah's. It was my choice to step down from the company, as some of their newly implemented policies for the upcoming WSOP are questionable at best.
When the amounts held out for each event are as high as they are, and there is no mention in the literature of ANYTHING being withheld for dealers and staff, then apparently the actual rake is a bit higher than normal. If it isn't, I would at least like to see Harrah's and the WSOP explain the distribution of the withheld amounts from each event. It's their business how they appropriate money, but I think it's fair to ask how monies originally being earmaked for staff payment will be distributed, now that no employee may recieve side tokes or any share of what was originally designated the toke pool.
I fully expect to be flamed by members of Harrah's organization that read this forum. I expect to be discredited as a disgruntled for employee. Keep in mind, I chose to resign. I was not fired. I was offered a substantial position within the company that I chose not to accept. Keep your eyes open, and watch for further developments on this thread, as I expect this to be a good one.
Thanks for your time.
K, enough is enough. Thanks to anyone who actually reads this silly blog. Lord knows these ubers take some serious time to put together. And I've still gotta stick up some goofy photos. Bleh, I'm a tard.
If you aren't playing on Party Poker with Bonus Code IGGY, you're a tard, too.
What a crappy post.
You know, I really should dedicate a post or perhaps a preamble to my ever-patient wife. Without her, there's not a chance in hell I would have quit my job for poker. Without her, there's not a chance in hell I would have succeeded. I owe her a lot. For her trust, patience, and acceptance of my taking the road less traveled. I truly am lucky. Hell, she never even asks me if I won or lost. She asks, "How'd ya play?" which is the entirely correct question.
So allow me to leave you with this apropos post.
Subject: Poker wives
My wife is a great "poker wife". She is understanding and supportive of my play. When I'm running bad she helps me keep things in perspective and reminds me of past success. When I'm running well she helps me stay grounded and realistic. When I speak of playing full time she realistically discusses the pros and cons and leaves the decision to me.
A friend of mine who I initially met in an online game several years ago no longer plays. He is a winning player but always had to battle with his wife for time to play. As he became more and more successful he moved up in stakes. Eventually he had a great week and won $17,000 and made the mistake of showing his wife. She wanted him to cashout and quit. Of course he did not and then lost $13,000 the next week. That was all she could handle. We all know he won $4,000, but she felt he lost $13,000. Now he doesn't play any more.
I know another guy from the card rooms years ago and online now. We were chatting a few months ago and he suggested we have a phone call or two to discuss poker. I thought it was a great idea. We could put our heads together and discuss all the players and the games and some strategy. I emailed him my phone number and asked for his. He responded by asking me when was a good time to call.
A few days later he called me and we had a great conversation. I asked him when I could call him back (I had his number on my phone). He then sheepishly told me I couldn't call him because his wife is uncomfortable about poker. Well, this guy is an excellent player and makes good money. What a shame. I even told him he could have his wife talk to mine. He wasn't interested.
I am so happy that my wife is a great "poker wife". I need the money I make playing poker and would hate for that to be a battle. I have 4 sons and lots of bills. My kids know that poker is one of my "jobs" and treat it as such.
Now if I could just teach her to cook...
Link of the Day:
Player vs. Player
What's better than a World of Warcraft in-game memorial service for a player's real-world demise? Another clan showing up and killing the entire funeral party.
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