Saturday, January 26, 2008
First of all, Fuck Absolute Poker.
Secondly, two nights ago, the head of Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society, Harvard Law Prof. Charles Nesson, was on the Colbert Report.
He talked poker, of course, and asked Stephen Colbert to host a poker tournament for the presidential candidates.
Nifty idea, but cmon.
Here's the following press release and video of the show.
"Quintessential American Game" Reveals Strategic Thinking Ability and other
Life Skills Says Harvard Professor
NEW YORK, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Harvard Law School Professor Charles
Nesson made a special appearance as a guest on COMEDY CENTRAL's The Colbert
Report last night to talk about the virtues of poker as a teaching tool,
call for legalizing poker games online, and to propose hosting a poker game
for presidential candidates to test their skill and strategic acumen.
Professor Nesson's appearance can be seen in rebroadcast on COMEDY CENTRAL
today at 8:30 PM EST.
During the interview with Stephen Colbert, Charles Nesson, founder and
President of the Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society (GPSTS) said, "I
want to make poker a legitimate thing for teaching strategy ... Poker is a
marvelous game for seeing what a situation looks like from the other side."
"But why not play with your buddies around the table?" Colbert asked.
"Online is like a school and it is right there for you and it is an
easier way to master the mathematics of it," Nesson said, as to why
Americans should have the right to play online poker.
"I have made it my mission to make poker legitimate as a teaching tool
and a learning tool," Nesson continued.
The interview concluded with Nesson proposing that Colbert team-up with
Nesson by inviting the presidential candidates to play poker to show their
strategic skills in front of a camera. Colbert endorsed Nesson's proposal
saying, "That would be nice ... I can just see Hillary with the sunglasses
with the little snake eyes on them."
Elaborating on the idea, Professor Charles Nesson said, "Poker is a
quintessentially American game that draws on the best traditions in our
culture, mixing individualism and sociability, and placing a premium on
smarts," Nesson said. "Poker is more than just a fun game; it has real
educational possibilities. It is one of the best tools we have to teach
negotiation, risk assessment, strategic thinking and other essential life
skills," Nesson continued.
"This is an exciting opportunity for the public to see how poker
provides important insights into a candidates' personality more effectively
than any debate."
More information on the tournament series can be found at
Founded by Harvard Law Professor Charles Nesson, the Global Poker
Strategic Thinking Society views pokers as a game of skill that can be used
as a teaching tool at all levels of academia and in secondary education.
The concept is to use poker to teach basic life skills, strategic thinking,
geopolitical analysis, risk assessment, and money management. The goal is
to create an open online curriculum centered on poker that will draw the
brightest minds together, both within and outside of the conventional
university setting, to promote open education and Internet democracy.
About Charles Nesson
Charles Nesson is the William F. Weld Professor of Law, Harvard Law
School and Founder and Co-Director of the Berkman Center for Internet &
Society. He is joined on the GPSTS board by Stanford Law School Professor
Lawrence Lessig, who is the author of Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace and
a previous Berkman Professor of Law.
Friday, January 25, 2008
I'm getting all worked up again over this Absolute poker bullshit. Where is the outcry from the poker bloggers?
Where's any coverage over this insanity in the press?
Blarg, I'm gonna get good and Guinness-fueled and rant about this ASAP.
But for now, my main man, Johnny Hughes, has a fine historical poker essay for you.
Pat Renfro: Texas Road Gambler, the Tightest of Them All!
by Johnny Hughes, author of Texas Poker Wisdom, a novel
A.V. "Pat" Renfro (1903?--1988) was a legendary Texas road gambler that made his living from poker for sixty years. Pat always attended the World Series of Poker, playing the high cash games until he was in his eighties. The pictures in Super System of the first two World Series show Pat standing near the back with the other outlaws, some with slightly changed names. Pat looked a lot like the comedian W.C. Fields. His attitude and pithy, on-target, anti-establishment, anti-law, anti-Square John, nine to fiver comments were like what Hispanics call Nichos. Proverbs and Sayings that we live by. The Rooster taught me about that.
Pat was a road gambler longer than anyone except his old partner, Johnny Moss. When Doyle Brunson lists the early poker greats on the Texas circuit, he mentions: professional gamblers: Johnny Moss, Sailor Roberts, Amarillo Slim, Bob Hooks, James Roy, Pat Renfro, Aubrey Day, and Crandell Addington.
Pat Renfro and Johnny Moss ran poker games together and moved around the oil boom towns together from 1928 to 1938. Graham, Olney, and Lubbock. Renfro lived in Lubbock full time after 1953 but traveled to where the biggest games were. The name road gambler is a bit of a misnomer, because a poker player would like to have great games where they didn't have to travel. Lubbock provided great action for many, many years. At varied times, Johnny Moss, James Roy a.k.a Tennessee Longoodie, Bill Smith, and few still around I won't mention lived in Lubbock. The poker would dry up and they'd move on, but not Pat. In his eighties, Pat played he high games in Vegas, flying from Lubbock with a load of cash in his pockets. I'd see him at the airport looking very, very old. Folks wouldn't dream that he was toting his beloved B.R.
Pat always looked old to me. He had gray hair and a flat-top and as I said, was a ringer for W.C. Fields, in mannerism and sayings. The most dramatic, incredible thing about Pat Renfro was that he was the single tightest poker player before the flop of any of the top players. I have played against him in some of the biggest games of the times for decades and his manner, starting hand discipline, money management, were not impacted by anything: the size of the game, drunks, danger, the way the other players played, the clock, wild-loose games, tight games, small games, big games. Pat and Johnny Moss started out before Texas Hold 'em playing stud, mostly five stud. Pat carried that strategy of giving up when you think they have higher cards over to Texas Hold 'em.
Pat would start with $500....o.k., o.k. for the fans, like $5000 now...when others would start with $100 or $200. Poker was a job. He was going to sit there four hours and try to double that money once, maybe twice. He'd show up with AA, KK, or A,K paired on the flop. By the time he came to life on a hand, he really had the best of it. Pat Renfro wanted to you to be drawing. He often said correctly, "I have my hand. He is trying to get his hand."
When I first started playing Hold 'em with Pat, I was twenty and he was in his mid fifties. The talk at the poker table was full of teaching about the outlaw life and the old days. However, poker coaching or talking about the odds on a hand were forbidden. You didn't want to wake up the suckers. There was only one poker book, Yardley's Education of a Poker Player which said just play tight. I was sitting at the table with some top talent, future World Champs, but none of them would teach me about the mysterious game Hold 'em.
Pat was the tightest player. Bill Smith was the best player and I copied his moves. One time when I was sitting next to Pat Renfro, he showed me A,J and folded to a small raise. This was a huge deal to a young man. First that he would coach me, even a little. Second that I should be folding all hands as BAD as A,J. Hell, I was moving a short stack in on A,J for an ace and a face and a race.
Once I caught him after the game and asked him to comment on my play. I had asked him to put in with me one time and he said, "I don't put in with nubbins." When I asked him what he thought of my play, all he said was, "You need to get a tighter holt." He is still right for me and most everyone reading this.
However, Pat had this body language signal to send me the message to "get a tighter holt" during the poker games. He would act out a stage-coach driver pulling on the reigns, with his elbows going back and forth several times. All he ever told me or taught me was the same thing: play tighter.
In his book, Johnny Moss tells of the time he and Pat Renfro were running a poker game in Olney, Texas during the oil boom. The Texas Rangers raided the game and asked, "Which one of you is Johnny Moss?"
Pat Renfro broke the code and pointed at Johnny Moss. He said there wasn't any use of them all going down on gambling charges.
Pat was at a big robbery near Beeville, outside Corpus Christi, Texas. The robbers gave the same speech they often do, "Hand over all your cash. We are going to search you and if you are holding out, we are going to pistol whip you."
Pat Renfro pointed at his shirt pocket which had a few hundred-dollar bills. "You missed a little dab." he said.
Once when I was driving Pat to a poker game, he insisted that we drive all around the Texas Tech campus to make sure we were not being followed. He was arrested many times. He told me that the laws put KG, for "known gambler" by your name.
There was a raid on a big poker game in Lubbock about 1959. The game was higher that a Hawk's Nest with cross-roaders coming in from all over. In those pictures of the early World Series, circa 1970-72, it shows many of the rounders we played with as they went from town to town. Dave Wilkens is Don a.k.a. Polo Joe Lloyd is Joe Floyd, (maybe) a.k.a. Oklahoma Joe. In the first year's picture of the World Series, there is exactly one Dude in a cowboy hat and you all know who that was.
When the law busted into this poker game, there were fifteen gamblers there. The police were always very friendly, no guns or cuffs, etc. While everyone was standing around the poker table, Pat Renfro politely excused himself, walking past the fourteen or so laws and hiding in the houseman's daughter's room. They took all the rest of us to jail, where we made sly jokes about Pat and when he would show.
We played with paper money, currency rather than chips, because of the law. Chips, cards, dice, especially dice layout were gambling evidence. When the laws run in, everyone folded their money and stuck it in their pocket which was fine with the police. They did not confiscate the money. We joked and laughed with the cops and they showed us some old pictures of the gamblers in prior arrests. Odessa Red, a poker player who played a lot like Pat, tight.tight.tight. had $44,000 on him. Back then, $1000 and $500 bills were in circulation and a large amount could be carried by the high rollers, however, I never saw anyone with that type of money. For a hundred dollar limit crap game, one man I knew would carry $20,000 even though he only needed $10,000.
One night Pat had me drive him to this motel to see the goods of these boosters...thieves. They had the whole room full of awful looking clothes. He bought a couple of dresses for his wife.
I played in a lot of bridge tournaments and traveled more for bridge than I did for poker. Cards were my only way to make a living. We all played gin and some auction bridge before the poker started. Pat was horrible at bridge but liked to play. Bill Smith came with a prop for Pat Renfro and Tennessee Longoodie to play Bill and I at auction bridge if we spotted them what I think was fifty points per rubber. We trounced them over and over. I had taught Bill a little bit about bidding and given him this thin volume on baby bridge.
We played all night long. Pat accused us of cheating saying we knew what each other's bids meant. I can't remember what the score we tipped over was, maybe a little over a dime. I do remember I was short on bankroll and only had 25% of the action. When we got off winner and it was apparent we could beat them, I asked for half in front of Goodie and Pat but Bill refused.
When Pat Renfro was in his eighties, he was still playing the biggest games around Texas and flying back and forth to Vegas. Sometimes, he and Tennessee Longoodie would play tag-team, one playing the stack awhile and the other taking over. He still played the same way. He still grinded out a score. Unlike nearly every poker player of the days, Pat managed a bankroll and stayed in money. He lived in a nice, upscale house and wore expensive clothes.
I ran into Pat once when he'd found a big game in McAllen, hundreds of miles away, in the valley. He was enthusiastic about how great and safe it was because of all the old people, winter snowbirds who come for the great climate. He said he had never been around old folks before. They were all right.
Once in Las Vegas, Pat asked me to walk with him down Fremont Street to find a jewelry store to have some type of watch repair. He was overly paranoid that he would not get his watch back. The old outlaws were very cynical and thought everyone was a crook. He questioned the jeweler and made it apparent he was worried about getting his watch back. Pat told the jeweler he was close friends with Benny and Jack Binion and all he had to do was "drop a dime in a phone." The jeweler never knew that W.C. Fields had just threatened his life.
When he was in his eighties, Pat and his wife of many decades were robbed at home by especially cruel robbers. There are definitely a much lower class of people robbing poker games and poker players than there were in my day. We'd tell 'em, "Don't hurt anybody, we won't call the law." These robbers handcuffed Pat and his wife to the bathroom pipes under the sink and it was two days before they were found. He told me he didn't know who did it, but I wondered.
Pat and the Mule became fast friends and the Mule drove Pat or watched out for him. That's a bit ironic because the Mule robbed Pat the very first time they met. Both were wild, drinking men in their younger days. Pat, for one, had calmed down by the time I met him.
The Mule became a grinder, playing just like Pat. They'd both head home before the last hour of the game when luck started being a bigger and bigger factor. The Mule had half Bill Smith's action when he won the World Series, $700,000 in 1985. Pat did not loan and did not stake. However, he would play stake money or sell a piece of his action on rare occasions.
On one of his birthdays when he was in his early eighties, the guys at the poker game thought they would surprise Pat. They got this beautiful, curvaceous, and totally naked woman to come up behind him. Then they told him that was his birthday present. Pat went into full W.C. Fields mold. He slapped the woman on the butt and said, "I'd rather have a cheesburger."
That line keeps getting repeated at one time or another by the older gamblers.
I went to Pat Renfro's funeral in December, 1988. After the funeral, I told the Mule a joke. I said, "I heard that God called Pat. You know what Pat showed him?"
"Two aces," said the Mule.
My man, Dann from MMAjunkie, is in Atlantic City playing poker at the Taj today. He called me while on a break to give me the skinny. Out of the entire cardroom, which is substantial, he estimated that perhaps four people in the entire room had taken a shower this week. The filth that he described made me glad that I have never yet popped my cherry at AC.
He also stated that if he could buy a surgical mask to wear in the poker room, he would.
Now please put in perspective that we play poker at the boats in Southern Fucking Indiana, for Gods sakes. We are not accustomed to high falootin poker rooms, so I can only imagine how foul the scene is.
Hopefully, he'll write up a quick trip report for us.
Per Dann's observations above, I saw this post, which is a common complaint amongst us non-germy poker players.
Subject: OT: Are men just pigs?
As long as I've been playing in cardrooms and casinos, and using the restroom in these places, I am going to go out on a limb here and estimate that close to 50% of men do NOT wash their hands after using the restroom and before returning to the gambling.
And this is not just your average lowlifes at the dumps in downtown Vegas. I'm talking about the high class ritzy places too. It is absolutely amazing to me. Were these people raised with any lessons in manners? In fact, I was at the Ritz Carlton in Vegas earlier today. The RITZ FUCKING CARLTON! I mean, these are not lowlifes, you would think. These are the guys who have BMWs, Mercedes, etc., and they wear the little polo logo on their friggin shirts and stuff.
Yes, you guessed it. They STILL DON'T WASH THEIR FRIGGIN HANDS after taking a leak. At least 45% of them. And I just can't help notice it when I'm in there with these classless bums.
In other words, if you are playing cards or dice or slot machines or whatever, there's a very good chance that there are penis germs on the chips that you are touching. Disgusting!
So here's my question. (besides wtf is wrong with people). I want to know, does the same thing happen in the women's restroom? Are women just as friggin disgusting as men are? Or is it just men who are pigs?
Even though this is an ancient gripe, I gotta admit this still creeps me out.
But then I saw this weird reply to the above post and got all WTF:
Womens washrooms tend to be worse then mens. They hover and pee all over seats on a regular basis. No not all wash their hands either. Thinks about that when you are touching the hand of some PYT at the bar trying to connect.
Think about this they don;t wash their hands, you do. They are walking out while your hands are drying. You now have nice clean hands and have to touch the door handle they used. congrats you haven't even left the room and have urine on your hands.
Strippers don't wipe as the TP lint shows up under the blacklight.
I also read a review that the bar mix, mints and tooth picks that are at the door when you leave a restaurant have a 85% chance of having urine on them.
This begs the question of why would mints and toothpicks on a front desk have an 85% chance of having urine on them?
Armed with this knowledge, I don't even want to leave the house anymore for fear of getting peed on or eating pee-covered mints.
I discovered yet another Dutch Boyd - Pokerspot debate thread on RGP. Yup, beating that dead horse NEVER gets old.
And some folks were defending Dutch with the age argument. Which friends of mine in the poker blogging community have used on me - how can I hold a kid culpable?
But then someone made an excellent point here:
"Then I find out that Dutch Boyd was 20 years old."
Help me out here. You're saying it's OK to lie, steal and cheat people out of their money as long as you're only 20 or 21?
So, at what age are people expected to develop some character and conduct their activities with honesty and integrity? It might interest you to know that many soldiers and military officers are younger than 21.
I guess it's OK to expect a 20 year old to lead men in combat but unreasonable to expect him not to be a lying thieving scum bag in his business affairs. Can't say I agree with you on this one.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
"The PPA does not, and never has, represented poker players. It’s a con, it’s a money laundering operation."
I've never been a fan of the PPA. They've been a miserable failure, imho.
I've been having a little email back and forth with popular poker cartooner, Frank Frisina, over at Life's a Bluff about the lack of coverage on the poker cheating scandals.
He's been blogging his frustration with the PPA and lack of coverage from the media outlets per Absolute. And I sure as hell don't blame him - it's a joke.
So anyway, I asked if I could post one of his emails and he allowed it:
Anyway I wanted to ask you what you thought about about blog organized boycott of Absolute Poker, Ultimate Bet, and possibly Kahnawake?
I think we really need as a community to capitalize on these moments and spark government regulation. I just called out the PPA and I plan on asking my readers to do the same..
I am concerned that Absolute's site numbers have not dropped significantly since the scandal broke... I am positive it has everything to do with the average poker player is not active on the internet reading blogs and forums.
My mother is a prime example. She plays poker every day and yet I walk in on her the other day playing Absolute.. I mentioned what had been going on and she had no idea. Now granted a boycott will not do much for those type of players but if we can raise big enough stinks maybe we can start getting bigger media involved.
And unless I missed it... how come these scandals have not been plastered on the covers of the major magazines? It should be blatant.. in big bold letters. I just don't get it.
And the PPA... needs to do something besides issue press releases on candidates. In fact they should be in the poker news on a regular basis and using the membership numbers to get airtime on TV. They have the emails of of almost a million members and yet don't send out a newsletter.. If legalization of poker is what they are supposedly after... You would think that using these scandals as firepower would be top priority.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
"Yes, she is taunting me. She thinks and I am going to quote her, "This is all so very funny Brandon. I wish I had a camcorder to tape me cleaning out all your ****"
Ironically enough, she did steal a camcorder from me."
OK, that's purty funny. And now barring any outrageous new news, I'm gonna put this whole sordid tale behind me.
Our office is having a chili cook-off tomorrow and I'm still debating on whether or not I'm going to enter. It looks as if most of the entries are pretty traditional fare, so I'm tempted to throw my maple-syrup spiked chili at the judges.
But I had wanted to hit the Argosy's poker tables tonight, damnit. I suppose I'll wait till the end of the day and see how itchy that poker scratch still is.
And speaking of live poker, I found this interesting interactive quiz by the BBC that asks if you can:
Can You Tell a Fake Smile From a Real One?
I thought I'd do well but only got 11 out of 20 correct. Here's the BBC's explanation:
Most people are surprisingly bad at spotting fake smiles. One possible explanation for this is that it may be easier for people to get along if they don't always know what others are really feeling.
Although fake smiles often look very similar to genuine smiles, they are actually slightly different, because they are brought about by different muscles, which are controlled by different parts of the brain.
Fake smiles can be performed at will, because the brain signals that create them come from the conscious part of the brain and prompt the zygomaticus major muscles in the cheeks to contract. These are the muscles that pull the corners of the mouth outwards.
Genuine smiles, on the other hand, are generated by the unconscious brain, so are automatic. When people feel pleasure, signals pass through the part of the brain that processes emotion. As well as making the mouth muscles move, the muscles that raise the cheeks – the orbicularis oculi and the pars orbitalis – also contract, making the eyes crease up, and the eyebrows dip slightly.
Lines around the eyes do sometimes appear in intense fake smiles, and the cheeks may bunch up, making it look as if the eyes are contracting and the smile is genuine. But there are a few key signs that distinguish these smiles from real ones. For example, when a smile is genuine, the eye cover fold - the fleshy part of the eye between the eyebrow and the eyelid - moves downwards and the end of the eyebrows dip slightly.
Scientists distinguish between genuine and fake smiles by using a coding system called the Facial Action Coding System (FACS), which was devised by Professor Paul Ekman of the University of California and Dr Wallace V. Friesen of the University of Kentucky.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Not content with trashing her name in the forums, here's a video made by Brandon, the guy who allegedly was ripped off by Brandi.
Crib notes? Prostitution, drug use, robbery, converting to Judaism and she didn't sleep with David Sklansky, thank God.
Let's move along, far away from this train wreck, shall we?
I'm not sure how the existence of LARPERS (Live Action Role Playing Gamers) has managed to elude me, but they certainly have. Until today.
Dear Lord, there are some stunningly hilarious and tragic YouTube videos out there around this dork world, but this short "Lightning Bolt!" video was my favorite.
And let's segue away from whores and dorks for just a moment to talk about something seriously meaningful.
Here's a rundown of the pending uber media buys along with a backward glance at last years hits and misses.
Let's recap last year's game first. CBS aired it. A whopping 93.2 million viewers were said to have tuned in. Thirty-second spots cost as much as $2.6 million.
So this year Fox has the game, and has gotten upwards of $3 million for a :30.
Here's a rundown of who and what we know about the ads, as reported in Ad Age:
Of course there's beer. It wouldn't be the NFL Super Bowl without Anheuser-Busch. The "King of Beers" has a whopping 10 spots. Everyone looks forward to the Bud and Bud Lite ads.
Then there's cars: Audi of America purchased a :60 in the first quarter. The VW-owned company is said to be taking a "Godfather" approach to tout the R8, Audi's new sports car with a starting price tag of $109,000.
It's no surprise that GM purchased a :60. It will be in the second quarter.
Toyota Motor Sales is reported to have two spots. I'm not sure of the length but one is for the Sequoia, the redesigned SUV. The other is for the Tundra pick up truck.
Hyundai Motor America is already being talked about. The company was said to have pulled out of the game, but now it's back in with two :30s in the third quarter. Not sure what the company is promoting, but rumors say it's a new luxury car called the Genesis.
The Web site Cars.com has two :30s between breaks of the first and second, and third and fourth, quarters.
I guess Bridgestone tires falls under this category, too. The company has purchased two :30s during the same timeframe as Cars.com. Ads will tout the company's higher-end tires.
Garmin GPS has purchased a :30 in the second quarter. I guess the company is creating its own buzz prior to the game by promoting it at the end of the month.
Food and Drink
Coca-Cola has purchased several ads but I wasn't able to find out details.
Pepsi-Cola North America. I'm not sure what was purchased, but the company typically has a good minute-and-a-half to two minutes in the game. The company is said to be promoting a new partnership with Amazon.com where consumers can download MP3s. Justin Timberlake will be featured.
Hershey is said to be in, but I don't have details.
Gatorade has two spots (maybe more). The company plans to promote G2, its new beverage, in a spot that uses professional athletes.
Frito-Lay has a :60 between the first and second quarters. Similar to last year, the company is using amateur content to promote Doritos. This year it's a contest for unsigned musicians to have their song professionally produced and aired.
Kraft Foods has a :30 in the second half of the game. The company will be promoting Planter's, which has never been promoted during the game. In fact, the company hasn't placed an ad in a good 10 years.
Entertainment and Leisure
NFL: I've heard mixed information. I think it's one ad. The organization will be letting fans vote on football videos.
Technology and Telco
T-Mobile -- a :60 in the second quarter, promoting the My Faves service.
Dell has :30 spot in the first quarter.
Victoria's Secret has a :30 in the second half of the game.
Under Armour has a :30. A new cross-trainer line will be promoted.
Unilever has a :30 during the two-minute warning in fourth quarter. The company is said to be using the Super Bowl to kick off a new global campaign using past and present celebrities.
Procter & Gamble has a :30 in the second quarter promoting instant stain remover Tide-to-Go.
Other ads to note:
FedEx has a :45. Not sure of the details, but the company's past ads are some of my faves.
Careerbuilder.com has two :30s, one in the second quarter and one in the third. The company's spots are always focused on unhappy workers. The company fired its agency last year, as it failed to score well in USA Today's consumer poll of favorite Bowl ads. Yikes! Fingers crossed for the new agency this year.
GoDaddy.com. I'm not sure what they have or what wackiness the company's CEO will get approved this year. We'll have to wait and see.
Salesgenie.com, a mail order company, is said to have three spots: one in the pre-game, one in the first quarter, and one in the third.
So last year we saw a smattering of UGC, search engine marketing, word of mouth, and usage of social media sites among all the traditional vehicles and tactics.
It oughta be interesting to see if we get more of the same or if things get a tad more sophisticated.
"me and ashley were trying to figure out
who was the greatest african american
of all times"
Sunday, January 20, 2008
I hope you've watched the Tom Cruise internal Scientology video awards spreading all over the web. Seriously, go find em on Gawker or Google it and tell me that man isn't batshit fucking crazy.
My boss watched them and sent me this fine Venn diagram.
| The reservation | Tom Cruise
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