Friday, May 23, 2008

Twitter this 

Fine. I'm on Twitter. You can follow me here.


Someone sent me this video of these colorful cloud phenomenons, apparently showing up 30 minutes before the quake in China. Some fark commenter explained that the seismic activity polarized water crystals which caused them to align and cause these prisms of light.

Lord, I just realized it's a three day weekend. Trust me when I say I'm not the brightest bulb.

Looking forward to a weekend of beer, golf, GTA4 and maybe some poker. And fishing.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mini Uber | Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker 

"85% of the book was totally my thoughts. The majority of the criticisms of the book involve the other 15%."
David Sklansky, replying to critics of 'No Limit Hold'em Theory and Practice'

Nothing quite like throwing your co-author under the bus, eh?

Sigh. I'm in a pretty shitty mood here tonight, but I think writing up some random poker snippets will help take my mind off real-life for a bit, anyway.

My mom has improved a ton but I'm still freaked out.

Expect lots of f-bombs in this post.

And so, prepare for rambling, tangential gambling content ahead. I've got everything from some Sklansky hatred from a noted poker authority's wife, WSOP Main Event odds, to poker cheating shenanigans and thoughts on the future of online poker.

Oh yeah, and photos. Can't forget those.

I finally watched the poker movie, Lucky You, a few days ago. It was an abortion. My wife walked away from the TV in disgust after the first 20 minutes and was shocked that I managed to sit through the entire thing.

Thankfully, I wasn't alone in my sentiments. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a surly 28% freshness rating. But I still wonder -- who's that 28%?

I blame our public school system.

So let's get right to it, shall we?

First off, Wil Wheaton and others will be disappointed to hear that the 'Star Trek the Experience' may be leaving the Las Vegas Hilton.

From the Las Vegas Review Journal: Experience Ending: Hilton Star Trek attraction may seek out new life elsewhere.

The lease on the biggest nerd magnet since the International Consumer Electronics Show expires at the end of the year, and a spokesperson for owners Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. told the Web site TrekMovie.com “there are currently no plans to renew” it.

If Cedar Fair were to beam Experience out of the Hilton, it could mark the demise of a 10-year run that has made Las Vegas the center of the universe for fans of the seminal science fiction franchise.

The lease on the biggest nerd magnet since the International Consumer Electronics Show expires at the end of the year, and a spokesperson for owners Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. told the Web site TrekMovie.com “there are currently no plans to renew” it.

If Cedar Fair were to beam Experience out of the Hilton, it could mark the demise of a 10-year run that has made Las Vegas the center of the universe for fans of the seminal science fiction franchise.

TrekMovie.com editor-in-chief Anthony Pascale stopped short of saying Experience would bolt, but he said it didn’t look good for Trekkies who make a pilgrimage to the Hilton as part of their Las Vegas vacations.

“It is the premiere, and right now only, live Star Trek attraction in the world,” Pascale said. “A lot of nerd weddings go on at that place.”

I've never been, but I've talked to more than a few poker bloggers who went and loved it. It seems like a unique opportunity for Vegas to cater to a crowd that might never come to visit. And nerdlets have money, damnit.

Secondly, the franchise will be getting a new breath of air as a new Star Trek movie is in production with J. J. Abrams, the "creative force" behind Lost, directing it. Seems like bad timing to kill this.

For those of you who care about these things, the Wall Street Journal blog had an interesting post up about the Yahoo - Microsoft talks: Microsoft, the World’s Worst Poker Player

I gave up reading CardPlayer during the WSOP, but hell, how can I resist this excellent Sam Grizzle story as told by Todd Brunson: 24 Hours in the Life of Sam Grizzle.

Speaking of degenerates, it looks like Charles Barkley will have to pay up. From ESPN: Prosecutor: Barkley faces felony if he doesn't pay back $400K

"Do I have a gambling problem? Yeah, I do have a gambling problem," Barkley said. "But I don't consider it a problem because I can afford to gamble."

Someone needs to buy Charles a poker book and soon. With this attitude, he'd be a very popular player at the tables.

Moving quickly away from poker and into real sports, I also watched Muhammad Ali and Frazier III this weekend. Wow. Again, I'm a huge boxing fan and whenever I hear MMA folks talk about a fighter's "great striking" I just sneer and laugh. And hell, there's talk of the UFC's greatest fighter, Anderson Silva, stepping into the boxing ring to fight an old, past-his-prime Roy Jones, Jr and I laugh yet again. Anderson would get destroyed.

But what really put me on tilt during the Ali and Frazier fight were the non-stop Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker commercials. For fucks sake, can someone please write ESPN and perhaps mention how corrupt this company is?

I guess it's true. Never underestimate the stupidity of the American public.

Case in point: I've got to assume that the Ultimate Bet Bad Beat Jackpot is rigged. One guy hit the jackpot twice in the last 60 days.

Online poker player, dhc2lovr, hit his SECOND BBJ hand on UB. On May 6th he won $448,920.71 for losing with an extraordinary hand at a Bad Beat poker table.

But hey, it gets better. Only 1-1/2 months ago, on March 25th, ‘dhc2lovr’ accomplished the same feat, winning another Ultimate Bet Bad Beat Jackpot of $171,498.31.

Now, I failed all my college math courses so I'm not the one to run the numbers, but cmon, coupled with the other online cheating issues on UB, this is just one more red flag in a series of shenanigans. Anyway, I read about it on 2+2 here: UB Bad Beat Jackpot rigged?

Speaking of gambling cheats, here's an interesting press release about a bust of a gang of casino cheats: Leader of Casino Cheating Criminal Enterprise Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy Targeting at Least 16 Casinos

Phuong Quoc Truong, also known as John Truong and "Pai Gow" John, pleaded guilty today in San Diego to conspiring to participate in the conduct of the affairs of a racketeering enterprise, the "Tran Organization," in a scheme to cheat at least 16 casinos across the country out of millions of dollars, Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Karen P. Hewitt, and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington Jeffrey C. Sullivan announced today.

I apologize to any and all poker dealers who read this humble poker blog, but this thread had mucho vitriol and bile after this initial post:


Fact: Poker Dealers Think FAR Too Highly Of Themselves and Their Profession

This is an indisputable fact. Poker dealing is unskilled labor. It requires less practical knowledge than even most other unskilled positions, and should be paid as such.

Furthermore, it's a simple fact that poker dealers are dealing poker because they failed at their other gambling pursuits. Show me a dealer, and I'll show you a losing poker, pit, ponies or slot/VP player. Probably a loser at more than one of the above. Simply put, if a dealer could make money playing, they wouldn't be dealing.

Furthermore, it's a slam dunk that any dealer over about the age of 35-40 is a bitter washout at their dealing career as well, having been passed over for promotion to management at least twice by that point.

Food for thought any time a dealer pretends to speak with any authority on any poker topic.


I'm going to post the likely best retort to the above, and I apologize for the long cut and paste, but hell, I'm just shocked someone on RGP knows how to write and actually use paragraph breaks.

In response to John Brian K regarding his comments on dealers; K9 regarding his comments on Harrahs, and others interested in the dealer-player-house debates. These are just some thoughts I have from the perspective of one who has been dealer, player and manager at one point or another. The thoughts are random and the cohesiveness of what follows is admittedly questionable.

There is no dealers union that I am aware of. Dealing is not the most difficult job in the world although it is a bit more complicated than tossing cards, knowing what hand beats what and taking 10%, even if you include shuffling (most tables in most rooms do not have auto shufflers). It is basically a job that requires no college which young or old can do and which in the modern era of poker requires about 100 hours of classroom time to learn proper technique, procedure and technical aspects of the law. Depending on a student's acumen and familiarity with the games(s)
prior to entering the class, it takes 100-300 hours more of practice before one gains "competency," and generally speaking this competency improves greatly over time with real life experience.

One only needs to have attended a recent WSOP (which Mr K, I doubt you have) to understand the difference between a competent, experienced, technically efficient dealer, and one who simply tosses cards and takes a rake. Last year playing in some events at the WSOP and other Las Vegas venues, it was apparent that many of the dealers were recent graduates of short poker dealer courses and had zero live game experience. In many cases it was a great disadvantage to players at the tourney tables dealt by these dealers because it meant less hands than tables where seasoned
dealers worked. In other cases it meant large errors in cash games. Fortunately most of these dealers were smart enough to let the players run the games.

Because of the popularity of poker since the WPT started televising tourneys using the hole cam and the internet started both teaching people for free and letting them qualify cheaply for large tournaments the demand for quality dealers has far exceeded the supply. This is quite evident here in Florida, where new rooms are opening and old rooms are expanding with great frequency. The boom here is far from over. And many of the Florida rooms will not release there experienced dealers to go and deal
the WSOP, so again, a major tourney will probably be riddled with inexperienced, barely competent dealers.

So one point I would like to make is that a good dealer is something not that easy to find, especially at a big event like the WSOP. In my opinion a good competent dealer should be better compensated than a technically deficient, slow rookie, but unfortunately they are not. In live action most players tip X per hand regardless of how good the dealer is. Yes, the better dealer will make more because they will get out more hands, but s/he is not generally rewarded for excellence, or penalized for sloppiness or errors. In tournaments, dealers get paid by the down, so it makes no
difference whether one is a perfect dealer or a terrible dealer.

Now, in terms of tournament tokes, as someone, perhaps Mr. Payne, pointed out, quite a hefty sum is taken from the players buy-ins to compensate the tournament dealers. It has been a number of years since I worked a major tournament, so I don’t have any idea how much this contribution works out to per down. I suspect that with the number of players and the number of downs though, more was pocketed in the old days when the tipping was left to the discretion of the winner(s). It is hard to blame a player who sees a substantial percentage (I am not sure what it is, but somehow 17% sticks in my mind and is shared with floor personnel) for not tipping and additional large chunk of money, especially when a large number of dealers are fresh out of school and do a less than stellar job.

It would be great if players had a better understanding of dealer income and dealer expenses, particularly during major tourneys, but also just in regular cash game houses. And since there are many, many dealers now being trained who have never even played a hand of poker before starting school, it would be damned nice if they took the time to understand why many players gripe about toking.

I’ll address the players point of view first:

The card room where I will be working set up its own dealer school to train new dealers for the new room. Anyone who investigated the potential income of a dealer in Florida could see that it was a fantastic opportunity. Here the economy is severely depressed, there is little industry, hardly any construction, and just no other way to take a 6 week class four hours a day for about $1k and gross over $20 an hour, in many cases significantly more than that, particularly if the dealer reaches a level of speed and competence. The school was run by the card room manager, who has significant poker experience and expertise, and also has run a dealers school in another city and turned out some excellent dealers.

Now, the manager, being pretty busy opening the card room, appointed some of his A+ students from previous classes to teach the new classes. The student-teachers had learned well the manager’s specific preferences and Florida laws and were mechanically and technically sound. Only problem was, they never dealt a hand of real poker.

So one day I came in to practice with some of the other newer dealers and brush up my skills. And learn some new things that were different from places I had dealt previously. Since I never worked for this manager or in Florida, I had many new things to learn and old habits to break as well. I hear this story being told by a student-teacher to the new class. He is explaining how he went and played in a game at the Hard Rock, which uses $2 chips. He was involved in a hand ($2-4 limit) and the pot was about $130, and a player who was on a rush won the pot, tossed the dealer
a $2 chip and asked for $1 back. Now this student-teacher was incredulous and referring in unkind terms to the player who had asked for change. He was just going on and on about how unfair it was for $130 pot to get $1.

It would be a benefit to dealers to get educated on the real cost of playing poker. In most Florida card rooms, like everywhere else, there is a core group of players. I would say the Hard Rock gets a lot of tourists, but probably at least 30% of the players are regulars there many hours a week. What does it cost? High priced gasoline to get there, possibly paying for valet parking, here you pay for food and drink, and tip the servers, the rake is 10%. Plus one must consider that if the
player is a regular, just because he is winning today does not mean he is ahead for the week, month or year. It is so much cheaper to play on the internet.

I tried to explain this to the A+ student now teacher. What an injustice he was doing implanting in the minds of new students that they should ever expect a toke, and that that toke should be based on the size of the pot, or how much money is in front of the player. How unfair; how unrealistic; just plainly wrong thinking. Downs in Florida are 30 minutes. I believe we will be doing 4 downs and a 30 minute break. Shifts will generally be 6 or 8 hours. If you deal 10 downs a day, you should be getting out 200 hands minimum. ONE DOLLAR PER HAND IS GREAT MONEY. ANY TIP IS A GRATUITY NOT MANDATORY. ANY TIP SHOULD BE VERY APPRECIATED AND THE RESPONSE SHOULD BE THE SAME NO MATTER THE SIZE OF THE TIP: A SMILE AND A SINCERE THANK YOU. If dealers would just concentrate on doing their job well, keeping the game running smoothly, and stop worrying about individual players and how much they are making from who, they would be much better off.

Now, lets look at the dealers point of view for a moment. Yes, a dealer might average $25 an hour (I don’t know because I haven’t worked in a while so I am just going on hearsay). But of all the dealers hired, only 5 are full time, and the rest have no or few benefits. The dealers have to toke the floor staff and chip runners. The room is located in place where few live, so they must either relocate or commute, a good many are driving 1 ½ hours to work; we know what that costs nowadays. Here in
Florida, all tips go into a locked box. At the end of shift it is counted and you are given a receipt. Every two weeks you get a check, with taxes taken out. You get caught accepting a tip off-table from a player, you are fired. Busy times are weekends and holidays so precious little family time for those that have them. Carpal tunnel syndrome and back problems persist. It’s like any other job, there are good points and bad. BUT YOU DON’T JUST SIT THERE AND TOSS CARDS AT PLAYERS AND A GOOD DEALER SHOULD BE APPRECIATED AND REWARDED.

Mr. K argues that dealing poker is not a skill job. HE IS WRONG. Just because it is a skill that is not difficult to learn does not mean it is not a skill. I would like to see Mr. K deal a hand with 5 all-in players with different amounts of money, make the correct side pots, take a rake, take a jackpot, ask two players not to discuss the hand; admonish another for having cash on the table; ask another for the third time to keep his cards on the table, remind another to play in turn, call for cocktails, make sure the new player posted, make sure the button is right when the
small blind gets up, count down the deck, call for a fill, count down the rack (because if it‘s wrong it comes out of his pocket), change money out of the rack, listen to the know-it - player is telling him how to do his job; and all while smiling politely and keeping the game moving. IT IS A SKILL to do it all well hand after hand. A dealer who is capable should be appreciated and rewarded. He gets paid server wage and lives on tips. $1 per hand is fair for a decent pot, but don’t begrudge him his dollar.

I would like to know where you play Mr K, that dealers are in a Union and can therefore treat players rudely. No place I have ever dealt or played was it tolerated to treat a player rudely. Management does not tolerate it, and dealers lose money. Yes, dealers may complain in the break room or after work, but the few times I have seen a dealer be rude to a player, the dealer caught hell and was suspended or punished in some way which directly effected his pocket. Blame management if the room you play in tolerates this kind of behavior from its dealers. It is not acceptable, and for you to say

“I hear/see dealers ALL the time complain about this and complain about that and even being downright nasty and rude to the 'customer' The reason they feel they can get away with it is because dealers are typically in some kind of union and also because they think the people they are doing it to do not care”

Is such total hogwash and about as believable as there being a dealer union. Personal opinion: since I doubt you win any significant money playing cards, your job must pay you way too much since you can apparently afford to frequent card rooms.. You are obviously incredibly ignorant and probably not at the top of your field. Just an observation. You are probably the guy I will have to ask to keep his cards on the table 3 times a down, or tell to stop talking about his hand, or stop arguing with the other players. Then you will claim I am rude because I corrected your
poor behavior. Yep.

As far as whether Harrah's is fucking the dealers. Personally, there are so many sides to this it is hard to say. I hate what Harrahs/ESPN has done to the series. I wish they called it something else because it does not have the spirit of the original WSOP. I mean, they are actually encouraging players to go get sponsors, hire coaches, study video tape of their opponents like a sporting event. They are out to make superstar celebrities for the media hype. It's so convoluted and to me somehow diminishes the value of the championship, takes away too much from the
instinct and guts that make poker the game it is and turn it into something else. That is just my feeling though.

Still, they are taking the percentage from the players to give to the dealers and the floor, and that percentage will go to those dealers for the downs they dealt. The final table is not that many downs. I can not say how Harrahs will be chopping any tip money above and beyond the percentage taken from the prize pool. It would be fucking the dealers who deal pre-final table if they do not get a fair share of actual tips. But I think it is premature to say that Harrahs will be using their own in house dealers and screwing everyone else. Not unlikely, just premature.

Another perspective is that even though to a poker purist Harrahs/ESPN has ruined the WSOP, as I dealer, I know I would not have a job if it were not for the media hype and new interest they generate in card room poker every year. The more publicity, the more new players flock to public card rooms. That is why I have a job in Florida, and do not have to live in Vegas or California to get handsomely paid for what is a basically easy job.

Damn, that was quite the copy/paste.

I like this post/response far better:

Should Poker Dealers earn more than Teachers or Nurses?

Back in the late 80s, the dealers in California were making in excess of 100K plus benefits a years. Some in excess of 250k a year and benefits. Now they settle for about 70k plus benefits, provided they can deal at all.

Few dealers earn less than $100 a day in tips, plus minimum wage and benefits.


Fair? Prolly not!!

John Sutton had a few drinks with me at the bar at the Bicycle, when Andy was working there, and he said his A dealers were making too much.

I jokingly said "Yeah you want them to play 10-20, not the stock market, eh", John laughed and said "Exactly"

Let's segue, shall we?

When you find out sites like Full Tilt allow multiple player accounts, you have one of two reactions: either you're thrilled or sickened. There should be no middle ground.

And so I read this chat by Mike Matasow on Full Tilt where Mr. Mouth alludes to the fact that FT might finally decide to end this practice. At least for Joe Six-Pack anyway.

Go hit the 2+2 thread for the chat: Looks like Full Tilt might be looking to clamp down on multi accounting finally...

Fuckity fuck - more online poker cheating snippets in my notes. Anyone noticing a theme here tonight?

World famous multi-accounting cheater, Justin Bonomo, aka ZeeJustin, has been signed by BoDog as a representative of their poker site. What can I say?

BoDog has a history of signing players with integrity.

And the sheer stupidity just keeps coming. I remember reading this next thread and thinking, "OK, it's time to delete my poker blog." Why even bother? Gentle reader, if you even give this next thread more than 30 seconds of thought, please kill yourself.

For me, reading the thread was like jamming bamboo slivers under my fingernails. And There Were Five Hundred Fucking Posts!

Does "The Secret" have an impact on the Poker Community?

Once again, I'm going to blame the public school system. And Oprah.

Continuing in the stupidity vein, you can go argue if Doyle Brunson writes his own blog in this 2+2 thread: Learning From Doyle, Not About Poker, But About BLOGGING.

I should set up a web cam so you could witness me writing out this post. It's basically me pounding Guinness and shaking my head, muttering, "Why Lord, why?"

Someone called NVG the Special Olympics of poker forums and I gotta concur.

I didn't realize that poker and poker blogs jumped the shark about a year and a half ago, from what people tell me. The reality is just hitting me now in the solar plexus.

But hey, the best part about all this is since the legislation passed, I get to write all this nonsense out for you for free. I mean, I did have ONE freaking signup at Party Poker last month, so really, that oughta make it all worthwhile, right?

Of course, I'm still six months behind on everything and still playing catch up, but you won't hold that against me, right?

And just to prove my point, allow me to blog this end of '07 solicitation for young poker ballers to appear on True Life on MTV.

Looking for folks to participate in documentary

I'm producing a documentary for MTV about people who lead "alternative lives" online. We're reaching out to a number of different online groups and cultures, and we thought it could be fascinating to profile someone who gambles online. The key thing we’re looking for is that our subject leads a life that is very distinct/unique/interesting when juxtaposed to his or her online gambling activities. You must be in the age range of 18-28.

This would be part of the documentary series “True Life” which has won numerous journalism awards. I anticipate some eye-rolling when folks see everybody’s favorite whipping-boy network, MTV. The “True Life” series really does stand out from your typical MTV programming, as it is far less “reality tv” and more objective documentary. The series is always told POV the characters we choose, so there is no editorializing or commenting-on that we engage in. The effort, simply, is to tell the subject’s story in as objective a way as possible.

Please email your story, age, and a photo to: brosen@leftright.tv (Left Right is a NYC-based production company hired by MTV to produce this show)


Of course, the best part of the thread was that the guy didn't know a damn thing about the UIGEA.

Hey everyone,

One of the guys I work with is starting to do some research for me about the legislation. If you could send me some

- useful links

- opinions on the topic

- whats going to happen next with the legality of online gaming?

I would really appreciate it.


Again, more stupidity. I'm starting to have an epiphany -- are all these deeply and profoundly retards the reason playing poker was so profitable back in the day?

I'm thinking so.

But hey, the sheen is off the rose. Poker ain't all that anymore as shown by dropping TV ratings. Not surprisingly, GSN chose not to renew High Stakes Poker, but the cash game format of HSP will move to NBC's Poker After Dark this coming fall, with two weeks of cash games to be aired.

NBC's Heads Up Poker Championships, or whatever it's called, is airing again in repeats here on Sunday. I watched about 15 minutes before realizing my brain was slowly atrophying.

The only thing worse than poker on TV is poker in movies.

But I found these encouraging insights from my boy, Oliver Tse, on the future of poker in terms of expansion and legislation.

Oliver rules.
Not only is he smarter than you, but he dresses much better than you, as well.


The marketing emphasis among the major online poker websites (with the notable exception of FullTiltPoker.net) is EMERGING markets.

The newest poker hot spot in 2008 is BRAZIL, which is now a creditor nation with a trade surplus thanks to the production and the export of abundant quantities of offshore crude oil.

PokerStars.net will hold its first land-based tournament in Brazil in 2 weeks. PokerStars.net hired former ESPN Brasil poker commentator Andre Akkari as its Brazilian spokesperson last July. The PokerStars.net Latin

American Poker Tour, if Season 2 were to be televised (Season 1 will NOT be televised), will likely air on men's lifestyle cable/satellite TV channel FX Latin America.

PartyPoker.net has purchased 2 hours of TV time each week on ESPN Latin America, which has a dedicated Brazilian Portuguese feed.

888.com has purchased time on FOX Sports Latin America to air the land-based final table of an online tournament taking place in Barcelona in 3 weeks.

And as much as I like to see the UIGEA repealed, I would NOT bet on that happening anytime soon.

(And I do know that several people involved with the online poker industry have donated money to the Obama campaign.)

McCain is currently leading in the opinion polls vs both Hillary and Obama, though the general election is over 6 months from now and the Democrats haven't figured out who will run against McCain yet.

Also note that the latest sabre-rattling by the U.S. Department of Justice has forced online payment processor ePassporte from doing any more business with offshore online poker websites.


Well hell, I'm just gonna take him at his word.

But just an FYI here: Milwaukee's Best is in the last year of their contract with the WSOP. I've heard rumours that they might not want to renew, not that there isn't plenty of folks to step in and hand over their wallet to replace them.

Just saying.

And so I've given up on all things politics. But if I have one or two Californians who read this humble poker blog write Ms. Feinstein's office, then I'll have done my job.

A friend wrote her last week about the UIGEA and this was the response he received:

Dear Mr. Jackson:

Thank you for contacting me regarding Internet gambling. I appreciate you taking the time to contact me on this important topic and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

There is no doubt that the Internet and related technologies have had a remarkable effect on the U.S. economy in recent years. The flow of commerce on the Internet has enhanced American industry's ability to distribute goods economically and efficiently. The continuing development of this industry in California has provided hundreds of thousands of new, well-paying jobs, and I am committed to strengthening online commerce and preserving and expanding this vital job base.

While the advent of the Internet has been beneficial to American society, I believe the same cannot be said for Internet-based gambling. Internet gambling has become too easily accessible to minors, subject to fraud and criminal misuse, and too easily used as a tool to evade State gambling laws.

I understand your thoughts on internet gambling, and as you may be aware, I have supported legislation aimed at curbing Internet gambling during my tenure in the Senate. For example, I supported the SAFE Port Act, passed into law as Public Law 109-347, which included (as Title VIII) the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

Please know that I have read your letter with interest and value your thoughts. Additionally, I appreciate hearing your concerns that such restrictions are vague for poker players, and your support for legislation to exempt online poker from the Act. While we do not necessarily agree on this particular topic, be assured that I will
certainly keep your thoughts in mind should this issue come before me during the 110th Congress.

Again, thank you for your letter. I hop you will continue to keep me informed on issues of importance to you. Best regards.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

I'm not sure what to say here. I mean, on one hand, I hate the idea of people getting ripped off on unregulated gambling sites ala Nigerian email scams, but that's nearly what it's come to here in mid-2008.

On the other hand, this legislation is clearly insane.

Back in the day, I used to think if you used common-sense and a modicum of due diligence, you could get a fair shake in online poker.

I don't know if I can say that anymore.

I'm not saying it's all rigged, far from it. But fuck, the online poker landscape now is all about sheering sheep by any means possible.

Someone posted this news story and entitled it Don't F*** With Texas Poker Players.

I think the more accurate title would be, Don't fuck with the wives of Texas poker players.

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- A Texas woman who caused her lover's shooting death by falsely crying rape was convicted Friday of involuntary manslaughter.

Tracy Denise Roberson, 37, cried a bit when the verdict was announced. The punishment phase was set for Monday, and she faces two to 20 years in prison.

In late 2006, Darrell Roberson came home from a late-night card game to find his scantily clad wife with another man in a pickup truck in the driveway. Tracy Roberson was with her lover but cried rape, and her husband fired four shots into the truck as Devin LaSalle drove off, killing him.

Darrell Roberson initially was arrested, but a murder charge was later dropped and a grand jury indicted Tracy Roberson instead.

During her three-day trial, defense attorneys called no witnesses but blamed LaSalle's death on Darrell Roberson's jealousy and rage.

But prosecutors placed all the blame on Tracy Roberson, showing evidence of the affair with LaSalle, 32, and a text message in which she invited him to her house that evening.

Damn crazy women.

Speaking of which, Noted Poker Authority, Ed Miller's wife has a militant vegan feminist blog. I honestly never thought I'd write those four words out on G&P but there they are.

And while I wholeheartedly agree with her that 2+2 has become a joke, I'm not so sure that she should be accusing David Sklansky of helping to bring on Brandi's suicide through sexism and misogynistic writing.

Yes, he allegedly wrote that email to Brandi that ended with:

“Basically the only option available is to leave the poker world forever. Ply your trade elsewhere. Suicide wouldn’t be a bad option either. If you do that I will promise to stop badmouthing you.”

but we don't know for sure if he did. Notice the word allegedly.

But we do know that 2+2 made a major major effort in cleaning up any and all references to that email in any and all threads on their site.

Some crazy lady commenter said this in the comments:

2p2 and neverwinpoker are examples of what happens when young men in their late teens/early twenties are allowed to do whatever their testosterone suggests without any kind of social boundaries and without any kind of civilizing authority. So are the Crips and the Bloods.

Really? The Crips and the Bloods? Thankfully, Elaine (last name not used because she's just her husband’s appendage) corrected her crazy fan. But she did say she hoped someone sued David and took all his money to teach him a lesson. That's pretty damn hateful for a vegan, ain't it?

For what it's worth, I only have two food rules.

It has to have both a face and parents to be edible.

Anyway, you can read her post on the topic here: Sexism -> Suicide

No mention of mental illness = suicide?

So let's segue over to Ed, who I'm a big fan of. It seems that something strange happened over at his poker blog. I saw this forum thread that said:

Just what goes on in the murky world of online blogs? Just who has threatened Ed Miller to move to a subscription service?

Ed went ahead and wrote about it a few days ago: Changes At Noted Poker Authority.

I’ve been receiving pressure and threats aimed at forcing me either to shut down Noted Poker Authority or to make the vast majority of its content available for pay only (sounds ridiculous, I know). Up until now I’ve refused. But it’s become unpleasant and disruptive enough to me that I’m giving in. I’m not proud of it, but
when I weighed my options this one made the most sense for me personally.

How weird, eh? I guess the long and short of it is that Ed Miller "Poker Made Simple" series will be on Stoxpoker.

From Mason Malmuth in the original thread:

Hi Everyone:

The agreement to change Ed Miller's site is strictly between Stoxpoker.com and Ed Miller. Also, at the request of Stoxpoker, we are locking this thread.


I only bring this whole thing up because it's an interesting conundrum. I'm a huge web hippy and a core belief of mine is that Information Wants To Be Free.

But I'm also fascinated by internet marketing. Folks who can pull off 'premium' content memberships or recurring charges for memberships always amaze me. It's the rare Golden Goose when done ethically, and so I wish the best for Ed as he transitions to this. I personally can't imagine anyone paying for online lessons, but that's me and why I find it so damn interesting.

I've actually been doing a lot of reading and writing around this topic lately.

It's all about FREE.

It's amazing, the ongoing rise in free, valuable stuff that's available to consumers online and offline. From AirAsia tickets to Wikipedia, and from diapers to music. Blame an all out war for consumers' ever-scarcer attention, the post-scarcity dynamics of the online world, the avalanche of free user generated content, and an emerging swapping and recycling culture.

Times, they are a changing.

Good gravy, I'm getting drunk tired. I better wrap this the hell up for my three readers who actually made it this far down.

Thanks for reading, if you're there. I'm coming back around to 100% poker.

Last random poker factoid:

Ireland's supposed largest bookmaker, Paddy Power, just put out their lines for the 2008 World Series of Poker. Defending champion Jerry Yang is available at 300/1 and 2006 champion Jamie Gold is available at 200/1, while some of the world's most famous players, including Gavin Griffin, Phil Ivey, Patrick Antonius and Gus Hansen, make up an elite group of professionals available at 100/1.

Here's a sampling of odds on folks you've heard of:

WSOP $10,000 Main Event - To Make the Final Table* - selected odds
Daniel Negreanu 100/1
Allen Cunningham 100/1
Erik Seidel 125/1
Chris Ferguson 125/1
Tony G 150/1
Doyle Brunson 150/1
Jennifer Tilly 300/1

Sadly, these Mick bastards don't accept bets from US players. Discrimination runs rampant.

OK, the rambling fun is over and now comes the ugly effort of sticking photos in. At least I have some Jack Johnson to keep me company.

Hope I Destroyed Some Workplace Productivity today.

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

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