Saturday, December 13, 2003

Pokerbrat Poker Journal

"Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow."
Proverbs 13:11

My wife taped this to my monitor when I woke up this morning, stating she thought of me when she read it. And she's right, that's exactly how I feel about growing my poker bankroll. Let's call the above a 'prayer for grinders' shall we? Poker has taught me many things about odds and probability, game theory, human nature, emotional control and discipline, but mostly about fiscal responsibility (something previously never associated with me). And these are life lessons, not a fleeting epiphany, to be forgotten the next day. I look at my poker bankroll and am astonished. Apparently, this grinding thing works.

Strolling through our kickass poker blog universe today, I found this interesting tidbit about a new poker movie project. Hit Up for Poker for the backstory.

The Fat Guy wrote a superb poker post yesterday. I truly hope he posts more. My favorite snippets:

To this day, I get really nervous if I am at a card table with someone in a wheelchair, because I know I am fixing to get my ass handed to me.

So far, I've seen nothing that's anymore egregious than what I've seen in 40 bajillion hands of cards over the years. Therein lies the problem, though. Cards is cards, and gambling is gambling. Crazy, hair-pulling rivers happen and people go bust everyday in every cardroom in America. But you don't care about that. Here's what I think of online poker -- I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! I can concentrate on my game. I can sit there in my boxers. I can smoke a stogie without ticking anybody off.

Amen, brother! No travel, no tipping. I can get up and leave anytime I want. One of these days we'll need to get a private table and have a poker bloggers only game. Or can we arrange a private SNG? That could be purty fun, imho.

The Poker Penguin is back and posting poker content. Woohoo!

Mister Decker has graciously offered to tape future World Poker Tour events for me in exchange for a lifetime supply of Guinness. I am eternally grateful. Go read his impressions of the new live poker games in Florida.

Low limit champ Fuzz took my advice and signed up on Empire for the $100 bonus and ALSO signed up as an all-caps hilarious female moniker. He was promptly dealt his first ever royal flush a few hours in and got paid off. I think he typed in, "Do you like apples?" after showing his hand down. We'll see if he finds any differences in the way he is treated at the tables.

"How do you like them apples?"

Last, but certainly not least, a top-notch post from new poker blogger, Chris Halverson, who had some compelling commentary on Phil Helmuth. The comments by HDouble and BoyGenius were excellent, as well, and just show how Phil is (in a top-of-the-trees viewpoint) a positive force in poker's popularity. You can't argue - he's entertaining.

That got me thinking about the comparison of Phil to John McEnroe, perhaps the most talented left-hander to grace the Wimbledon Courts. I *loved* watching McEnroe play tennis back in the day. I can still picture him, standing with hands on hips, screaming at the umpire, "YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS." And hell yes, the reasons I loved watching John play are very similar to Phil. Unpredictable, volatile behavior. I love that. They are both emotionally unbalanced, fierce competitiors who despise losing. And that makes for good tv.

So I found this interesting article about McEnroe as he looked back upon his career and I thought about Phil as I perused it.

"For the first few years, I almost never spoke an obscenity to an umpire or a linesman. ... Then, at a certain point I went over the line," he wrote. "Once I began to go over the line, I should have been defaulted. In fact, I was only defaulted twice in my career -- and once was for being late for a doubles match."

The better he got, the more money he made, the more TV networks looked for him on court and the more he got away with. Still, he says, like any bad child, he would have benefited from and should have gotten appropriate punishment.

Let that be a lesson to those who must put up with the next l'enfant terrible of tennis.

So let the Phil bashing continue. He's good for poker, damnit. But recognize the difference between a Scotty Ngyuen, who also is very emotional, yet likeable, and Phil Helmuth. There is a wide gap in wisdom/discipline/perspective there. Phil *talks* about being blessed and thankful, but Scotty actually walks the talk.

I've made so many damn posts about Phil that it's difficult to pull just one from the archives but here it is. Daniel Negreanu had this to say, comparing Phil Helmuth to Phil Ivey:

It's that same stubborn attitude that impedes Phil Helmuth from ever being a successful cash game player. He allows ego, stubbornish, and flat out tilt to get in the way of him learning the other games. He sees someone makes a play he doesn't agree with, and automatically, "They play so bad."

Now conversely watch a guy like Phil Ivey play. Always learning, always
humble, and always respectful of his opponents. When Phil said on live
TV, "I have a lot to learn" he meant it. This is what allows Phil Ivey to
grow as a player, and what holds Phil Helmuth back from ever really learning how to play properly.

Phil Ivey believes he has a lot to learn, while Phil Hellmuth believes
he can only teach! The amazing thing is, at 26 Phil Ivey is twice the
player Phil Hellmuth ever was, or could ever be for that matter.

I've never been able to find a complete bio on Phil Ivey. Anyone know of one?

And finally, check out this amazing hand from a Party Poker PokerStars NL ring game. YIKES!!!

Samourai: posts small blind $3
pat_c: posts big blind $6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Samourai [9h Kd]
Ector: raises $1713 to $1719 and is all-in
AmFghtngHero: folds
NoHandNoDraw: calls $1719
DaBrain: folds
DaBrain said, "uh oh"
B Buddy: folds
Johnster: folds
Samourai: folds
pat_c: folds
*** FLOP *** [9d 7d 6c]
pat_c said, "wtf"
B Buddy said, "wow"
Ector said, "AA"
*** TURN *** [9d 7d 6c] [9s]
*** RIVER *** [9d 7d 6c 9s] [Kh]
B Buddy said, "72"
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Ector: shows [As Ah] (two pair, Aces and Nines)
NoHandNoDraw: shows [8s 5s] (a straight, Five to Nine)
NoHandNoDraw collected $3444 from pot

Oh the humanity. I feel for Ector, having played against him a lot.

I didn't play much last evening (up $25, though!) and ended up drinking copious amounts of Guinness while sweating my man, Royal, in a 1,200 player nolimit tournament on Party Poker. He played extremely tight aggressive poker and ended up around 30th. Cha-ching!

Link of the day:
The First Amendment's a Bitch
Hard-working Internet lothario Tucker Max is again free to write about sexing the drunken Miss Vermont, abstinence and sobriety advocate Katy Johnson. I'm still holding out hope these kids can get back together.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Phil Helmuth Poker Journal

"The whole problem with most players is that they want success without work. Their mental picture of a successful gambler is like the Hollywood image - some guy betting big money and doing nothing but win. Well, gambling is a profession that takes hard work to learn and skill to stay on top. You can't buy an education and say, "Stick it in my head." You can't become an athlete by sitting in your easy chair and watching sports events on television. It isn't until you turn away from the dream and get down to real work that you get on the right track."
Doyle Brunson

God bless you, Doyle. He makes a valid point - I mean, whatever doctors and lawyers say, we know what they do and how they achieved their status. But for a marginal occupation, like a professional gambler, it's easy to see how individuals may certify themselves as members without any formal criteria involved.

Because I don't have cable, I surfed around and found a funny discussion of Vince Van Patten's remarks last evening on World Poker Tour - Ladies Night.
Stating "Slam bam thank you ma'am" at the onset of a commercial may be considered inappropriate, imho. But hey, that's just me.

Great column from the University of Wisconsin
The World Series of Poker is like crack
The main reason why the World Series of Poker, against all logic, is entertaining to watch is because it is heavily edited for time. Imagine it being like a football game in which the only parts that are televised are the plays that are interesting and matter and people care about, except it also lasts several days and the competitors don't need to be in shape because they're playing cards.

Allow me to reiterate that I've become a big FeliciaLee fan. She's the only female poker blogger I know of (outside of PokerGrub's sister, who enjoyed a funny debut).

Anyway, sorry for the length of this - I just can't link to 2+2 so I've gotta post it. I read a very interesting thread on 2+2 entitled 'Nasty People' began by psychologist Alan Schoonmaker, the author of Psychology of Poker. Felicia followed up his initial post by detailing some ugly episodes at the Mirage poker room and why she will never play there, as is her right.

Then the fun began. Mason Malmuth, resident Grand Poo-Bah at 2+2, challenged her and basically defended the Mirage and poker room manager Donna Harris. The very fact that he got involved, speaks volumes, imho. I'm not sure what Mason's problem is, but I'm sure it's difficult to pronounce.

So Clarkmeister, one of the finest poker posters anywhere, weighed in. The quoted lines are from Malmuth's prior post debunking Felicia.

"So what I'm saying is if you put a negative post up about a make believe cardroom my guess is that you would get some feedback from a few people telling you their even worse experiences. It's just the nature of the Internet"

Even if we ignore the unnamed people who emailed Felicia, this thread has 3 respected posters (Felicia, Fossilman and myself) whose have had negative experiences of a similar nature at the Mirage. None of us have any personal axe to grind, either.

"Now with that being said, if you have a problem with The Mirage Poker Room I believe I can put you in touch with Donna Harris who is Director of Poker Operations where you can discuss the problem with her. And if there is a problem, I guarantee it will be fixed."

Felicia talked with the manager on duty the evening of her incident. She was rebuffed and basically told to butt out. Her experience is entirely consistant with how I have seen the Mirage Shift Managers deal with similar issues and I am not alone in this observation.

I really don't want to get into a long debate about the merits of the Mirage management. I do, however, wish you would respect that others may have had different experiences than you have.


Next, Felicia classily withdrew herself from the thread. Taking the high road always impresses me, especially on the internet.

But Clarkmeister hung in there and posted:


I don't think it is a stretch to think that you and your wife are treated better and see a different side of the Mirage poker room because of your relationship with Donna.


To which Mason posted this telling reply:

I'm treated better everywhere. That's just the way it is when you are as successful as I have been doing what I do.

Geez, he's already treated as a deity by the fawning neophytes at 2+2, does he really need to be this crass? "That's just the way it is when you are ME."

Continuing with the self-obsessed, here's the obligatory Phil Helmuth Cardplayer column aptly named:
Wow, are You Serious?

T.J. then rapped the table and said, “You got it.” I flipped over my holecards, thinking I had just made an incredible call. Also, it sent a message to the table, “Phil is on, so don’t mess with him today.” The pot was about to be pushed as T.J. started folding his cards. Then, all of a sudden, T.J. said, “Wait a minute, I have a flush,” and he rolled over the 10 9.

Now, I know T.J., and I love T.J., and I know he would never slow-roll me (slow-rolling is the worst possible etiquette in a poker hand). Plus, his heart rate — which was being monitored — spiked up when he saw the 10 in his hand. I fell to the floor stunned at what had just happened to me.

Face it, Phil, you got slow-rolled. You think TJ didn't know what he had? You fell to the floor? Are you twelve?

TJ Cloutier > Phil Helmuth

Sigh. Picking on Phil Helmuth is like shooting fish in a barrell. Poor Phil. Go visit Phil. See Phil fall down.

Link of the Day:
Watchful Eye for the Queer Guy
According to the International Organization of Heterosexual Rights, homosexual activist groups, the National Education Association, and the liberal media are conspiring to keep the public in the dark. And then sodomize us.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Poker Blog

"Poker is the game closest to the western conception of life, where life and thought are recognized as intimately combined, where free will prevails over philosophies of fate or of chance, where men are considered moral agents and where - at least in the short run - the important thing is not what happens but what people think happens."
John Luckacs

I discovered today that I have a few poker aficionados at work. Of course, these young guns don't know a damn thing about poker basics like position and starting hand requirements. Of course, they haven't heard the terms implied or effective odds, but still, you can tell they love the game. I'm really looking forward to running my no-limit tournament in January and giving these guys a taste of a multi-table WSOP style tourney.

Let's fire up the links:

First off the bat is this nifty new TV Poker Guide site. What a great idea and best of all, it's devoid of flashy banner ads and/or gratuitous poker site "review" pages. I gladly hoist a Guinness to the fine folks at Penguin Poker (coming soon!) who developed this site, and hell, I don't even have cable.

RGP - GCA Update: Russ Gorgiev is now saying "January" for his upcoming Poker Mafia site. Now I'm genuinely curious about the damn thing. What on earth is he putting up as content? His insane rambling diatribes from RGP that he's posted 800 times already? William (Ramashiva) Coleman posting more pro-Osama Bin Laden bullshit? How those two guys banded together is beyond me. Birds of feather fly together, I suppose.

Ok, back to reality. Here's another article about poker's explosive popularity:
Full House: High-Stakes Poker Is Packing Casinos and Making a Run on TV

Need more proof that we are in the golden age of poker?
Iowa State Daily
Poker tournament spills into Great Hall
Crowd is six times larger than expected for first-ever Texas Hold 'em tournament

And this is an interesting development relating to the expansion of the World Poker Tour.
WORLD POKER TOUR Joins Forces with Casinos Nationwide to Develop New WPT Satellite Events
The WPT now has an answer. The WPT and Lakes Entertainment, which owns 80% of the venture, have formalized a WPT Satellite program designed specifically to encourage casinos and online poker rooms to run low cost satellite events that will feed directly into the season-ending World Poker Tour Championship, April 19-23, 2004 at Bellagio, Las Vegas, where the total prize pool is estimated to reach over $5 million.

And good gravy, I have to comment that apparently a poker site (Paradise perhaps? I can't recall now) was running advertisements on Monday Night Football. Is this for real? When will the madness end?

I'm sure everyone who reads this blog is sick and tired of hearing me whine about never having seen a World Poker Tour episode. That may be coming to an end as I discovered copies on sale for $100, which seems far more reasonable. So tell me, is it worth it?

Found a new poker blog by Chris Halverson, who's a grad student playing low-limit at Empire. Good luck, Chris, and follow Fuzz's (see prior post) advice! His latest post title is an oxymoron, 'Whiskey and no poker.' I can't imagine Guinness and no poker. /shudder

And lastly, I actually had some interesting reads in the Psychology forum of Two+Two. You are better off going there on your own, however, because of the 1996 technology being employed by the webmaster, Mat Sklansky, at this site. You would think they would WANT people to link to them, considering how important Google weighs incoming links. Arrrrrrrg. Screw it, I'll link to one post.

My "Tilt" Problem (or, "Dr. Al, Please Psychoanalyze Me!") from the talented Yahoo blogger, Felicia Lee.

DAMN, I hate their site. It's worth digging through for posts by Clarkmeister, Fossilman, David Ross and others, but GawdDAMN, I wish they'd fix it.

PokerGrub has a superb post from his sister, of all things. Hell, I wish my sister played poker.

Allow me to leave you with a great column by Rolf about "being polite" in poker games and why saying "nice hand" probably isn't for the best.
Nice Hand?

I'm still running well on Empire. Only played for about an hour last evening but still won $45. Slow and steady, says the grinder. Think about it, there's never, ever been a better time to be a winning poker player than right now. There are more bad players playing poker right now than ever before in the history of cards. Play TIGHT, damnit. It's as much fun as watching paint dry, but it gets the money in the long-haul.

Thanks for reading and don't forget to come back tomorrow.

Link of the Day:
Another oldie but goodie, one of my favorite sites for years now:
Landover Baptist

Monday, December 08, 2003

Phil Helmuth Party Poker Blog

"Whether he likes it or not, a man's character is stripped bare at the poker table; if the other players read him better than he does, he has only himself to blame. Unless he is both able and prepared to see himself as others do, flaws and all, he will be a loser in cards, as in life."
Anthony Holden

Blogger went down again tonight. Lost my original post. VERY angry. I really need to grab a poker domain name.

Be prepared for a long, Guinness-fueled poker rant.

Thank you for reading. Err, all ten of you. As BoyGenius pointed out, my readership has increased exponentially. BG made another fine poker related post, showing that he is on the path to profitability, by quickly learning the adage 'tight is right.'

Damn, Empire Poker is treating me well. I'm still riding an upswing that began prior to Thanksgiving. I've read many posts and even been asked if I think the games are getting tighter on Party/Empire. Hell, no! I see 22,000 players right now - if you are on a tight table get the hell off it. Table hop!

I popped $47 last night in a very late, drunken 3.6 session. Up this evening, too, and was happy about it until I was berated on the phone tonight for playing such "low-limits" by a local online poker pro friend who I assist when he experiences computer problems. He has zero fear of being cheated at the upper limits, unlike me. Of course, he's shifted most of his game to strictly $100 SNG's so he's correct, there ain't much to fear in those. But anyway, he cleared 6k last month but is down 2k this month. He really has an amazing attitude and emotional control for someone 15 years younger than me. Someday I'll write a long post about this guy - it's like he lives in NeverNeverLand.

But there is a major difference between my friend and I. As I told him, I don't *need* to play for a living. Online poker for me is an excellent way to gain experience, to recognize board patterns instantly, to practice hand odds - pot odds, and make some easy money. For him, he _has_ to. He doesn't know anything _but_ poker. Cards have been his entire life. He sure is in the right place at the right time, though, eh?

Alrighty then - time for poker links!

I'd have to say PokerWorks is my favorite poker 'blog' site, if only because it's been around so long and is so consistently interesting. Linda is a veteran high-limit dealer at the Bellagio and tells it like it is. If you haven't been there, you owe it to yourself to go through all the archives. Latest post, from the high-roller game with Sam Farha, DevilFish and Minh:

Devil Fish thought and thought about what he wanted to do while Sam goaded him, trying to talk him into calling. He finally folded.

On the Flop, Minh ended up all-in for roughly $60,000 more. The Flop was K-7-2 with two Diamonds.

The chips were still in front of them, I sat with deck in hand, waiting while they talked...argued would be a little more like it. Minh wanted to know if Sam wanted to make a deal. Sam asked, "What do you have?"

Great review of Pacific Poker from Mister Decker. Go read his full report.

Cards Speak once again has an excellent post - this time on Abdul Jalib's starting hand concepts. Abdul is right up there with Sklansky, imho. I love Abdul, especially his theory of sucking out. We miss him on RGP. Hell, I miss everyone on RGP - anyone worth a damn has left.

Found a neglected poker blog called the Poker Penguin which desperately needs to be updated. Also, he should start playing on a site that PokerTracker supports. Like PartyPoker. And for the love of God, use the Party Poker bonus code IGGY when signing up for Party! :)

PartyPoker > PokerStars

Related 2+2 post:

no wonder nobody plays ring games at pokerstars
only came back to try and get in the 200 millionth hand. 1/2 blinds NL everybody has a 200+ stack we go two complete orbit and only see one flop. A $6 raise buys the blinds all the time. I raised UTG+1 $2 with KK and it gets folded around. I've raised $100 UTG at party and have gotten called in 3 places.

Average pot was $45 before I sat down which was huge here, at party I see like 7+ tables average 85+. I love the 2 table sit n go's here and the tourneys but ring games need some juiced cards. Never thought I'd be avocating juiced cards but that place just made no money the 20 min I sat there.

Good God, that seems draconian.

I'd like to drink a Guinness with this guy. He needs to write more on poker and less on the political polarization of America, damnit, even though that's a subject near and dear to my heart. Anyone with a domain name of The Fat Guy deserves to be read. He has a link on the right side of his blog to his poker related posts - check it out.

Here's a Pittsburgh poker player who finally wised up and moved from Stars to Party. He's thinking about starting a poker only blog - cmon, do it, Gene!

Well, I was told the playing was easier on PartyPoker, and so far that's been borne out.

I'm shocked! Party is easier?

I'm reluctantly linking to CaveButter because he had the unmitigated gall to call my blog "a decent poker blog." Decent? Why not just tell the truth and use the phrase "sub-par?" CaveButter needs to get off Planet and Paradise. Paradise Poker is sooooo 1997. But he did link to Little Green Footballs, one of my favorite political sites.

Damnit, I started this blog to write about my online play and thinking about strategic poker concepts. Yet all I do now is link all over the damn place. And that takes a lot more time than pounding a few Guinness's and pontificating on poker strategy. It's cutting into my damn playing time - hope you guys appreciate it.

So I will leave you now with my favorite type of poker message board post. The "online poker is rigged" or any derivative post on said topic.

In time, it will be proven that each and every one of these sites have
cheated people out of their money to gain maximum rake.

Anyone that has played 50 hours of live poker can see that cards come
out differently online. I am a software developer and have played poker
all my life. Online poker is rigged, end of story. It is so obvious
that it shouldn't even be up for debate.

The shills will argue, of course. But then again, they are paid to
argue. The jockey club often argues that horse racing is clean, yet it
is clear to everyone that it is completely corrupt from top to bottom.
This is a sport that has been running for over 200 years. I suggest
online poker is the same. The sites that I have played at most and
where rigging is obvious are as follows:

True Poker
Bugsys Club
Poker Daddy
Party Poker

It is a real shame because there is no reason, apart from greed, that
these sites need to be corrupt.

Evidence, what evidence do I have? None ! I can't be bothered anymore.
I have kept hand histories. I have been beat in 29 out of 30
tournaments where I have been anything from even money to 1/140
favourite to win the hand. I have had these runs on numerous
occassions. Statistically this is possible, realistically it is
impossible. If I posted these hand histories here do you honestly think
that anyone would take serious notice?

Just play for real money on any of these sites for an extended period.
See what happens when you win a certain amount of money. I can
personally guarantee that you WILL be the victim of some of the most
outrageous beats imaginable.

It is not all doom and gloom. Things will get better through time but
none of the above sites will be involved. They will be long since

I may even start my own site at some point, where the source code is
open for all to see, so that everyone knows that nothing underhand is
going on.

Until then, good luck at the tables. You will need it.

Perfect response to the "no-evidence" post:

Call up Dutch Boyd, he is looking for some partners.

Link of the day:
Jesus Inspirational Sports Statues
I have one of these on my desk at work. You know you want one.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Phil Helmuth Poker Journal

"I think that we are all in the right place at the right time almost every day. It's the people who are prepared to be lucky who can take advantage of being there. How do these people position themselves to be lucky? It was Goethe who said, 'Anytime that you take the first step toward trying to achieve something in life, all manner of good things will mysteriously fall into your path to help speed you along your way.' Amen to that!"
Phil Hellmuth, 1989 WSOP Champion

Please consider supporting this humble poker blog by signing up on Party Poker with Bonus Code IGGY. Take some time and read my posts - I work my ass off for you. :)

Arrrg, Blogger was down all day. This inspired me to search for a domain name. Sadly, pokerblogs.com and pokerblog.com are already taken, even though they are collecting dust. Then I started thinking how one of my poker buddies stated he 'comes here for my commentary but stays for the links' and how this is kinda like a DrudgeReport of poker with all my linking (his words, not mine). So I checked pokerreport.com. Gone. Pokernews.com. Gone. Actually, the Pokernews site really pissed me off. It's one of those Godawful "review" sites disguising itself as poker content. I really wanted to send him a rude email but figured I would just rail about the site here. Here's what this jackass "expert" had to say about cheating & online poker:

There is very little that cheaters can do online. No one can mark the cards, no one can peek at your hole cards, and no one can stack the deck or put a cold deck on the table. Playing poker online is very safe. I know this is a concern for many players but it is easy to put your mind at rest. Most card rooms should have information available about secure play on their websites. Look out for anti-collusion prevention and information on random card generators. This should be monitored by an external source for extra piece of mind.

Oh the humanity. Mitigating points for the photo of Cincinnati poker maestro, Jim Lester, on his home page. You can read a great article about Mr. Lester in the Cincinnati Enquirer. But anyway, that's what makes me appreciate a site like PokerSavvy so much. They not only post quality content, unlike the faux content on 98% of the crap out there, but they get bonus points for Sklansky bashing.

So anyway, one of my fine readers alerted me to the fact that pokerandguinness.com is available so perhaps that will suffice.

I feel a long post coming on. Plenty of links (I can't keep up with all the media coverage) and my standard rambling. Enjoy and thanks a ton for reading.

Great column from the St. Petersburg Times - I worried about this in a prior post:
Adding celebrities could hurt TV poker
Why I question the marriage lasting is, well, this celebrity thing. Poker on television is too young a beast to die such a quick death, but celebrity poker has the potential for a Jump the Shark moment.

Yet another Sunday column, sports page of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
WPT = PGA of Poker.
Dealing Into The Mainstream
Poker finds its place as a staple on cable TV
Filmmaker Steve Lipscomb is the individual most responsible for the poker boom. A few years ago, he shot a poker documentary for the Discovery Channel and noticed that the audience grew every time it was shown. So he signed up a bunch of existing events, most of them in California and Nevada, and created the World Poker Tour.

"We set out to transform poker into a mainstream television sports sensation, and we've done it," Lipscomb said. "We've created a PGA of poker."

Ditto for Sunday's sports page in St. Pete.
This poker thing is catching on, so deal me in

Damn. Maybe Phil Helmuth was right about being in the right place at the right time.

I mean, I received a snail mail flier last week about Charity Poker Tournaments going on every weekend in Dayton, Ohio. What's up with that?

Couple of comments regarding the current state of poker content on the web. To be succinct, it sucks. As Mister Decker rightly pointed out, 2+2 may have some solid content but it gets lost in the freaking horrific software. Would someone please email Mat Sklansky and point him in the direction of message board software? Or perhaps hit Amazon and buy him a book on PHP for Christmas?

Seriously, it's almost 2004, Mat. Learn the medium.

And for my faithful readers who have managed to read this far, I give you these two interesting posts on table image:

Post #1:
I've recently watched a WPT show where Dutch Boyd was talking about the importance of chip tricks in a poker players arsenal as a means of intimidating other players. When I think about this, it makes sense to me that players may be less inclined to bluff or go into a pot against someone who looks like they've been around a poker table before and can handle themselves, but I've never had any experience with it. What does everyone think?

"The last I checked, manual dexterity had precisely zero to do with the ability to play poker."

Post #2, from pro Tommy Angelo, a final word in a long thread about wearing sunglasses at the tables:

As to sunglasses, I can see how they might be helpful to any player under bright lights in high-stress games, but at a regular casino, at mid-limit, sunglass-wearers smell like fear.

Amen. Personally, I am 100% in the Mike Caro camp here. A laughing, fun table is much more profitable than a silent, serious table. Ditto for online play - I prefer a chatty, fun table. It's common sense, imho.

If I had my druthers, I'd rather learn how to slice a banana in half with a thrown playing card, ala Chris Ferguson, than any chip trick.

Oh my, David Ross Playing Online for a Living, Week 32 is up. Shitty framed site compliments of Mat Sklansky. God forbid anyone wants to link to the site. Nepotism, anyone??

RGP sucks. It's worthless to read right now.

Cards Speak blog cracked me up tonight when he had this to say:

There was also more drinking and smoking in this movie than in Iggy's home games

Pffft. That's just not possible, trust me. :D

But more importantly, Cards Speak remarked that he saw a Party Poker commercial on Saturday Night Live! I'm getting tingly all over just thinking about it.

Again, sorry for the length of this post. I'll leave you with this Mason Malmuth post about playing AQ, and raising pre-flop or not. Solid stuff.

As for calling or raising with a hand like AQ in late position in multiway pots, that is discussed in our books and has been addressed many times on these forums. What you need to understand is that when the pot is multiway but not raised, you will (in general) show a profit by raising with AQ. However, the question is can you show a greater profit by not raising with it?

Not raising will give you some strategic advantages, and you save a bet the times the flop comes bad for your hand. So our advice is to consider how well your opponents (in the pot) play. If they are awful and come with lots of weak hands, you lose too much by not raising before the flop. On the other hand, if several of them play reasonably well and require legitimate hands to be in there, what you give up before the flop can now probably be made up for plus a little by only calling.

Link of the day:
How Madame Got Her Butterfly
The prosthetic female vaginas being sold on this site aren't nearly as disturbing as the voice describing the merchandise. It's like hearing dirty talk from an airport's "white zone is for loading and unloading" woman.

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