Wednesday, May 03, 2006
"If we had to begin our poker careers in today's environment, both me and Phil Ivey would play exclusively online."
Daniel Negreanu on ESPN chat
Sounds right to me.
Damn, I was all set to deliver my manifesto on the state of poker blogs, and blogging in general, when I was distracted this morning by finding my blog pimped on several message boards (thanks to whomever did so) as well as getting a few emails from the Aruba blogging community. Apparently there is a rather active blog scene going on (due to the Natalie Holloway case) and they had found my post on playing poker in Aruba in a hurricane and wanted to know if I had any info about "shady going on's" there. Yikes.
But then I got a lunch invite from a buddy who works in downtown Cincy so I blew off the blog idea and took off. After lunch, I decided to continue on down the highway to my old haunt, the Belterra poker room. I haven't played there lately and was astounded to find only two tables (3.6 and a NL) going around 2pm when I breezed thru the door. I blame both Spring and their management for the low-turnout.
I got my seat at the $500 NL table and simply sat and listened to the gossip. Funny, I'm actually a pretty outgoing guy, but when sober at the poker table, I'm fairly quiet. And I truly enjoy people watching. Usually though, the banal and tired chatter drives me to stick in my IPod. But today was my lucky day. The two seats to my left were both frequented by poker pro's, two guys both around 30 years old. With the exception of the litany of bad beats they told each other, it was pretty damn interesting to listen to.
I wish I had brought a notebook with me, damnit, to scribble down notes with.
Anyway, after listening for a few hours I finally apologized for overhearing their conversation and and asked if either one of them played online poker. They both quickly shook their heads No and Never. Ever.
They didn't trust it.
I was pretty damn taken aback - these were 30 year olds, not some old rural caveman. I probed some more and the one guy told me that he had a friend who claimed to make sweet money playing online but that 99% of everything else he heard is that it was all bullshit.
I was suitably flabbergasted. I told them I played fairly regularly online and they had a buncha questions which I dutifully answered. They were stunned to hear that I have actually won, cashed out and received money from said poker sites. I had to check my watch to make sure I was still in the Year of our Lord 2006.
All this caused me to take pause of the online poker boom. For all of the commercials and TV penetration into people's living rooms that poker has achieved, there's still a rather serious subclass of old-school gambling junkies that haven't gotten on board. These guys are Lifers, to boot.
It's about the technology disconnect. The idea of poker, over a computer, seemed like a distant fairyland to these guys. They couldn't fathom it, much less it being straight up.
I explained about faster hands, less rake and no travel/food expenses, not to mention tokes, per playing online and one guy perked up. "Where's the best site to play?" he asked.
Oh the Humanity.
For my own edification, I had my largest cashout ever in this game. Not bad for only 7 hours of play. I suppose I could recount hands but that's pretty boring. It was all typical stuff. Hell, NL is all about timing, or bad timing, depending on your perspective. Flopping big hands doesn't mean much if nobody else caught a chunk of it.
So hell, now I'm wondering if I should return and play more NL after my nice score. I think mixing it up is fine way to attempt to keep poker fresh.
Ah yes, one other interesting sidenote from the two poker pro's was one stated that he's been playing way better ever since shortening up his session lengths. I inwardly nodded wholeheartedly at that one, having learned that the hard way.
I'm slowly getting Guinness-fueled now, writing this drivel up. I'm not sure how much I'll post here tonite. It almost certainly won't be uber, but I prefer to underpromise and overdeliver.
Let's start off with a random photo.
fast_eddie: dude is that a photo of an al queda training camp?
editor = actual chat quote
I gotta mention my beloved Reds kicking ass. And being degenerate gamblers, Fast Eddie and I have begun making prop baseball bets.
He bet me $100 at 4-1 that Austin Kearns will make the All-Star team this year. I'm gonna make some easy money on that one.
Adam Dunn, on pace for 60 HRS, is offering 15-1 odds to win the NL home run title.
And perhaps the most intriguing wager is: Will Barry Bonds have a drug related suspension in 2006? It's currently at -350. I ain't touching that one.
An amusing and surely true Fast Eddie anecdote about playing with the old guys at the Grand Vic.
fast_eddie: a line i hear alot from them is "Pipe Down"
While on RotoWorld this morning, I saw this headline:
Daly says he's lost $60 million gambling
In an autobiography that comes out Monday, John Daly says he's lost between $50 million and $60 million dollars gambling over the last 12 years. He told one story of earning $750,000 when he lost in a playoff to Tiger Woods last year in San Francisco at a World Golf Championship and instead of going home, he drove straight to Las Vegas and lost $1.65 million in five hours playing mostly $5,000 slot machines. "If I don't get control of my gambling, it's going to flat-out ruin me," he says in the book.
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem met with Daly on Monday when he heard about the book, and while Daly's not in trouble with the Tour yet, they're probably going to be watching him a little more closely. Daly's autograph is very easy to get, as he makes more appearances than any other golfer, which he says he does strictly for the income to help pay off his gambling debts.
Not to be outdone, Charles Barkley says he's lost about $10 million gambling and he ain't done, neither.
Jay Greenspan dropped me a note to tell me about his new poker site: PokerScribes. The concept is pretty nifty. People post their best poker stories. That's it. Sort of the blog for people who don't have blogs. There's no affiliate links at all, BTW. Check it out folks, I may end up contributing anonymously because there's plenty I can't share on this here blog.
I stopped telling people what I do for a living after my Europe trip. It's just too awkward and strange. It's hella easier to say I'm a programmer. To put things in perspective, I found this post:
When I first got to Bangkok, I met a girl working as a waitress in a bar.
I ended up spending a few weeks with her and I began to get details of her life. She supported her meager income by maintaining a couple foreign boyfriends who sent her a monthly stipend. One of the boyfriends, she didn't really like but she maintained the relationship because he was the sweetest of the sugar-daddies. So, she is more or less a hooker and at the very least a gold-digger.
She was too embarrassed to tell her friends that I played poker for a living. Now that's something coming from a Bangkok hooker.
Yes, yes it truly is.
Anyone remember this article about poker blogs by Mark Glaser at USC Annenberg - Online Journalism Review? Gonzo poker bloggers bring World Series to life in real time
I've been writing this silly shit for two and a half damn years.
Kill me now.
Whilst on this topic, Joaquin sent me this insightful slate article entitled:
This Is My Last Entry
Why I shut down my blog.
I've sure come close, myself, but I'm still hanging in there. I kinda feel like I'm punch-drunk in the 12th round of a 15 round fight.
And I guess I'm doing OK because I trust Amy's opinion.
You always remember your first. Iggy was my first. And as a tribute to his great staying power, he still does it for me.
I really do need to blog on blogging. Even if only for cathartic reasons. I truly enjoyed Mr. Rini's post on blogging, in case you missed it.
Not sure what's up here, but on June 7, all online poker players from Washington become felons, apparently.
In January of this year, Democratic State Senator Margarita Prentice introduced legislation in the Washington Senate to “reaffirming and clarifying the prohibition against internet (sic) and certain other interactive electronic or mechanical devises to engage in gambling”. The legislation, called Senate Bill 6613, also focused on keeping the state run lottery off of the Internet as well and announced severe penalties for engaging in online poker and gaming.
Before it was passed out of the Senate for consideration from the Washington House of Representatives with no one voting against the bill on February 14th, the bill was amended to move the punishment for engaging in online wagering up from a gross misdemeanor to a Class C Felony, which outlines a punishment of up to ten years in prison and is usually reserved for prosecution of sex offenders who fail to register with the state under their “Megan’s Law” guidelines. After its passage in the senior hall of the state government in Olympia, it was almost like the bill was put on the fast track to the governor of the state, Democrat Christine Gregoire. The House received the bill on February 16th and, a short two weeks later, passed the bill by a 93-5 margin. With that, the bill was off to Governor Gregoire and, on March 28th,
the bill became law in the state of Washington and will take effect on June 7th.
In the interest of continuing to Destroy Workplace Producivity, I offer this commentary and link.
An Interview Worth Listening To
One problem with trying to keep up with the goings on in the poker world is sometimes I fall behind. The industry is dynamic, unpredictable and ever-growing, and while I’ve been known to be all three, my attributes hardly compare to their poker counterparts.
After sleeping through the NHUPC this morning (My sleep schedule has me going to sleep at 7AM of late) and catching up on the goings on at the Bellagio, where the second-biggest tournament of the year is winding down, I finally had a moment to listen to a little bit of the Circuit, cardplayer.com’s regular on-site program hosted by Scott Huff, Mike Matusow, Gavin Smith and Joe Sebok.
I’d been looking forward to listening because Phil Hellmuth was going to be on, and I wasn’t disappointed. While I like the rants, I don’t exactly live for them. I stopped watching WWE wrestling when I hit my twenties and never really ‘got’ the fighting in hockey, so it’s safe to say I’d rather get on with the game. Thing is though, with no game being played, Phil could get on with the business that is being Phil. I was curious about what he had to say. I wasn’t disappointed.
He spoke with candor on a number of topics ranging from his childish behavior at the table to his time spent away from the game to his present victory drought. He was personable, open and candid. I could say more, but really, you should just go and listen for yourself;
Also, Phil Hellmuth didn't take kindly to busting out the WPT:
John Gale Returns From The Bellagio
K, I'm done here. I have a ton of shit to post and I promise to start blogging more often and get it out there. For now, allow me to preface some bile and vitriol with this post about RGP. It's soooo freaking true.
Subject: Just my observation from lurking on rgp for 3 months
The majority of posters to rgp are self-absorbed assholes. The rest are spammers.
And so let's unleash the bile. Turns out that folks really, really, really didn't like Annie Duke's new TV show on GSN. I haven't seen it so all I can offer is the peanut gallery's impressions. Here we go with the classy commentary:
Subject: Re: GSN Show Annie Duke Takes On The World
I taped it.
If I am ever told that I have one hour left to live, I will put this show on so as to make my remaining time on earth seem like an eternity.
The worst hour of television I have ever seen. Thank God it was 1 in the morning.
Do any of you 'insiders' (or people motivated enough to search for the info) know if the play is scripted? For those lucky enough to not have seen it, 4 folks play a NLHE SNG with the winner playing annie duke heads up for 10k. Annie also dispenses 'knowledge' as the folks play their hands. IMO, there were too many hands that seemed phony...pair over pair dealt twice 4 handed (in the first 2 televized hands), TT losing to AQs where the AQ makes a flush while the Tens make a set, 3 handed a guy gets AQ twice and the same guy wakes up both times w/JJ & KK.
On a final note, Annie's breasts were a good size. I have no idea if she got them reduced or not but they looked much more reasonable than photos I've seen of her last year have.
Overall, I think annie has exploited this poker boom very well.
Let me preface this by saying that I don't personally know Annie Duke, so some of this is admittedly presumptuous, but I just have to get this off my chest.
1) Hair- Jet black or fire engine red. Which is it? Also, would it be to much to ask for you to wash it before you appeared on TV? Must you ALWAYS have that caked together string of hair hanging down in your face? It looks like you have gum stuck in it. Not a good look.
2) Wardrobe- Do you own ANYTHNG besides a stetchy sleeveless cheap looking top? How about busting out a nice blouse every once in a blue moon. Everyone is well aware that you have tits. Also, the long sleeve stretchy thing under the short sleeve stretchy thing is not a good look either.
3) Attitude- You seem to have this huge sense of entitlement. The way you treat amatuer players is dispicable. You appear to be an elitist. On the inaugeral WPT season, they had to stop filming on the Ladies Night Episode because you repeatedly refused to show your cards to the card cam.
4) Skill- Subtract all of your buyins from your tourney winnings? Are you REALLY up? (And don't try and tell me that you won $2M on that one table WSOP Champions deal in '05. Anyone close to the poker world knows that that thing was WAAAYYY chopped).
There...I feel better.
Just watched "Annie Duke Takes On The World". Jesus wept!
The person who picks out her clothes should be shot - at least twice. Talk about a fashion emergency! What the hell is with this "1964 hippie chick" meets "$20 whore"
look? Annie wouldn't pass the dress code for a low rent trailer park. Hopefully one of her sponsors will spring for the complete head to toe make-over that she so desperately needs.
What can you say for the show itself? The set was cheesy, the graphics were mediocre and the host was just another big dumb ass who doesn't know jack shit about poker. I'd rate her show as "God-awful" and put it in the same category with "Poker Royale, Battle of the Sexes".
Heh, we can't have an Annie Duke post without the obligitory update on her mammary situation. I like it. Speaking of that, her bro Howard had stomach stapling I believe, but despite that was still left with some impressive vestigial man breasts, you can see when he doesn't wear clothes that hide them too well. I'm for upating his tit situation when we post on his poker doings too.
Thank God! Even the makeup and lighting were bad. There was no contrast between Annie's hair, face and the background. So, she came across as very washed out and unanimated.
The dealer/announcer was very poor.
The production values were very low.
The scripting was juvenile.
All in all, thanks be to the GSN execs for putting in the "fix."
And the final "insider" word:
1. Chose NOT to promote the Annie Duke pilot during 1st run episodes of High Stakes Poker;
2. Chose to slot the Annie Duke pilot 3 weeks after High Stakes Poker finished its run; and
3. Chose to slot the Annie Duke pilot during May "sweeps", against the heaviest competition of the year on the TV calendar.
GSN basically did EVERYTHING it could to "grease the skids" to ensure a low household rating so that GSN is not obligated to pick up the option for a full season of the show.
Thanks for reading. Obligatory shill: Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker, damnit! If you use it, someday I'll get out of this chair and walk!
And one last photo. This is actually a shot of one of my dogs competing in his first ever official FlyDog (frisbee catching) competition this past weekend. He was a big fan favorite because he gets some serious air, growls like mad when he catches the frisbee and loves to steal other dogs' frisbees. He's a hoot.
Link of the Day:
Her Mom Could Beat Up My Mom
I can't find an explanation for this nine-second Google Video clip. All I know is that one woman is "gutter trash" and someone else "had THC in her system."
The remix version on the right is worthy after you watch the above.
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