Sunday, February 15, 2004

"You cannot beat a roulette table unless you steal money from it."
Albert Einstein

Thanks for reading yet another uber poker post. I'm truly happy to be back playing poker and blogging.

There's a lot going on in the poker world, so let's get right to it, shall we?

I had a great day at the tables today, a triumphant return for me. Ditto for Dann, as he continues to crush the low-limits on Party Poker. It's just too damn easy to play with bad players if you take the time. There's way too many guys just gambling it up, having fun. Again, table/game selection is key.

I really oughta go sit in the NL ring games, but why fix it if it ain't broke?

Supporting evidence to back my ranting yesterday, from Mike Caro:


"If you're no longer a novice, but not a professional player, game selection may be the key to winning money. Without using any selection, you'll probably lose dramatically. By using selection moderately, you'll probably lose a little or break even. But by using game selection prudently and consistently, you probably will be a winner from now on."


Can you guess what poker site offers the greatest table selection? Of course, you can. Lord, I've been reading tonight about players playing on PokerStars and Paradise and frankly, I'm shocked. Hell, there's one "respectable" shill site out there currently ranking poker sites and they ranked Paradise Poker #1. WTF - are you kidding me? I feel sorry for any poker newbies that hit those sites and actually believe them.

That being said, if Mike Caro were objective, I'm quite certain he would recommend Party Poker, if only for the sheer number of players. 34,000, as of this moment. 34,000. Does Paradise or Poker Stars even have 1/5 of that number?

Oh the humanity.

Thanks to anyone who wisely took my advice and signed up for Party with the bonus code 'Iggy'. I'm not doing this to get referrals - it's easy enough to sign up with any of the hundreds of bonus codes being spammed on RGP, but seriously, please don't play on a site where game selection is made for you, rather than vice-versa. Do the math.

Sorry for the shilling above, but it seemed to match up with the Caro quote and what I saw on the web tonight. I mean, I've played on PokerStars since beta. There's no comparison. PokerStars may have the best software and customer support, hands down, but they are lacking one very important feature: 20,000 fish.

PartyPoker > Poker Stars

That being said, PokerStars finally announced that they will be running 100 FPP (frequent player points) satellites to the WSOP qualifiers again this year. Woohoo, I've been waiting for that confirmation. So, they're giving away 14 WSOP $10,000 seats this year. I'll make a comprehensive list of all the WSOP seats being given away by online poker sites here soon.

I'm still contemplating a prodigal-son-like return to Vegas for the WSOP this year. At the very least, I could harass Phil Helmuth by asking him to autograph his worthless tournament book and then demanding a refund.

It's funny, though, after taking a week off from playing. Grinding at limit on Party is like slipping on an old, comfortable robe. I know that's a terrible metaphor but it's so damn familiar and stress-free. There are truly some bad players on Party.

Quick segue: I re-watched the movie, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, today. All you poker players should watch this flick if you haven't. The scene of our Hero losing an all-in hand (and then some) truly captured the sick, punched-in-the-gut feeling you get when losing a massive pot. Wonderful cinematography. Damn, my wife brought home three movie favorites today, Rushmore, Lock Stock and Smoke Signals. Life is good when your wife just wants to hang out and watch movies on Valentine's Day.

K, back to poker. I wanted to address "why play poker" and all of the psychological needs it satisfies for some of us; the need to compete, the social aspects, the money, et al but instead, here's something I've thought a lot about: what type of player do you *most* dislike playing against? For many of us, the answer would be the tight, tricky aggressive player, regardless if you are playing in a NL tournament or grinding in a limit game. So here's my tip of the day: BE that player. Work on becoming the type of player you wouldn't want to face. It won't happen overnight or even in a few months, but if you make this your mantra, your style will change over the long-term. And let's face it, poker is a life-long skill - that's a huge part of the attraction for me.

Damn, almost forgot to mention this huge change on Party Poker. They are no longer allowing you to hide where you are from. I've always hated jumping on a table with six players being from: "undisclosed."

So now when you mouse-over a player you will now see where EVERY player is from. This will slightly hurt the colluders. Jump on a table with three or four players from Dallas? No thanks. Tip: Make sure to Google any suburbs.

Let's hit the poker news scene real quick:

From the Las Vegas Business Press an excellent article summing up poker and it's influence.
Poker draws major attention

Less than two weeks after the purchase, Harrah's announced that the renowned WSOP tournament would continue this year, including the broadcast rights to cable television network ESPN, and even enhanced, with more than $20 million in official prize money.

The reason for Harrah's quick action is that poker has become one of the hottest commodities on television, even drawing attention from network giants. When NBC recently aired the Travel Channel World Poker Tour's (WPT) Battle of Champions opposite the Super Bowl pre-game show, the poker tournament drew the second highest ratings in the time slot behind the quintessential football event itself.

Good Lord, I despise all those banners but for players looking for a game, check out,
Home Poker Games - Directory of home games and players looking for them.

Party emailed a statement that they were being blackmailed in DOS attacks.
For deeper reading on this latest form of cyber extortion, go read:
DDoS attacks go through the roof

Gasp, brick and mortar poker rooms are going crazy!
New poker faces
Playing is hot on TV and smokin' in game room
"There are a lot of real greenhorns that are playing poker now," said Bordages, who lives in Lakeshore and goes to the poker room six times a week. "I like that. They'll throw $8 out on a hand when they don't have anything."

I really should stop posting the 'POKER IS TAKING OVER THE WORLD' type news articles. I'm sure everyone gets it by now. My humble apologies, I just can't believe this is the world I live in. Poker will surely jump the shark, but I think it's too far gone to ever go back to the way it was. Believe me, nobody knew what texas fucking hold em was five years ago....

Damn, there's just way too many great poker blog posts for me to point to. I'll leave it to you, gentle reader, to go surf through the links on the right and discover the gems that are poker blogs.

However, I must point to Grubby. First and foremost, because of the inaugural Grublog Poker Classic, our first poker blogger NL tourney. Secondly, because he finally had the opportunity to write up his trip report to LA and playing poker with Hdouble. Coupled with the casting call (complete with photo's!) for his zombie play, a very entertaining read.

This line caused me to laugh out loud.

Yeah, that's right, I check-raised my sister.

I promised brand-new poker blogs in a prior post, and I shall stand and deliver.

I'm hoping my regular readers will go read this new poker blogger. He's actually been writing since mid-January.
College and Poker
The poker exploits of a poor college student
I decided that my NLHE play was much too limity.

This isn't technically a new blog, but the most popular poker blogger of them all, Felicia, finally got up and running with a website rather than a Yahoo group email list. Superb writing and it looks great, to boot. Kudos to ThatFatGuy for setting it up.

More new poker blogs: a new one per Lord G:
Ralph Nader's Chocolate Poker Jam

I'm not entirely sure what it means, but I dig the name.

Redux: new poker blog - encourage him to go all poker.
Poker for the Masses

Allow me to officially post the date/place of the second Poker Blogger World Poker Tour. True Poker! Sign up through this link or not. Anything I get as a referral will be plugged back into the prize money. Be forewarned, said prize will likely be an autographed, framed picture of Phil Helmuth brushing his teeth.

TruePoker, one of my favorite old poker haunts, has graciously allowed us to play there:

What: Poker Blogger World Poker Tour II
Where: TruePoker
When: Wed, March 10 @ 21:00

A little backstory: TruePoker CEO David Gzesh actually called me a while back after I wrote and asked if they would host our tourney. This guy is the hardest working man in the online poker biz and with his participation in 2+2 (TruePoker hosts private tourneys for the 2+2 folks, a demanding crowd, to say the least) and other poker message boards. He is easily the most responsive - accessible executive of any poker room out there, bar none. I had the chance to ask all sorts of crazy questions about the poker biz but I had to promise I wouldn't write about them here in da blog.

So anyway, go download and signup for the tourney, it's already posted in their site. Email me for the password.

It appears as if True is offering a 20% deposit bonus, too. Anyway, let me know if anyone wants to make any side-bets or whatnot. I think David is throwing in some hats for us, too.

Anyway, I found this recent post about True Poker that I found both accurate and apropos:

I've been playing on TP for several years now, along with all the rest of
the major sites. I find it to be 1 of the nicest places to play. On the plus
side is definitely the graphic interface, the best in the biz. Although
Patti finds it terribly disturbing to have to click on her cards, I think
they do that to give you more of a feel of a B&M casino. It's not a big
deal. Secondly, the atmosphere at TP is superior to most other online
sites. Most of the people are friendly and, due to the fact that they don't
get the enormous traffic that PS and Party do, people tend to know each
other and actually have conversations with one another. All you see on PS
and Party are whinners complaining about bullshit flops and dumb calls. On
the negative side, the action at TP is lacking. Tournaments rarely fill and
u have to wait for the SNGs to fill as well. Rarely can you find an Omaha
table in play and the action at the HE tables is lacking as well, although
there is generally always a NL table going. If big action is your pleasure,
look elsewhere. If you are looking to hone your game and play with some
friendly people on a visually pleasing site, stop in.

There aren't many games going (usually in the evening they have about 4
1/2, 2 2/4, maybe 1 each of: 3/6, 4/8 sh, 5/10, and 10/20, and 3 NL
games). The players are by far the most talkative (and usually pretty
friendly) of any of the sites I've played. Very passive games.

I enjoyed the 3D aspect of the game and the chat. I haven't played there in awhile, so I'm gonna jump on right now.

Thanks a ton for reading.

Valentine's Link of the Day:
Spare the Rod
Men: This Valentine's Day, give your wives (and your hand) a present -- stop looking at porn. It'll free up time to spend with strippers and mistresses

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

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