Friday, February 13, 2004

"A woman's total instinct for gambling is satisfied by marriage"
Gloria Steinem


Allrighty then, I'm back & posting every day. Prepare for an uber-long, Guinness-fueled poker post. I may not be top ten, but I'm drunk verbose, damnit.

I absolutely love reading about the new (and not so new) players beating the hell out of Party Poker right now. Has there ever been a better time in history to be a poker player? Party is the main vein in this gold rush of poker popularity and it's great to see other bloggers enjoying it as much as I am. Scroll down or dig through the archives for specifics.

Honestly, poker isn't even gambling right now. There were less than 3,000 players on Party a year ago. Now there are 36,000 freaking players! I'm still pinching myself. Players are giving their money away.

I've known a few degenerate gamblers in my day. Hell, I remember living in Las Vegas (barely) and watching co-workers spend entire paychecks on video poker machines. It was stunning to observe, like a car wreck. I couldn't even conceive of the mindset, the insanity, the compulsion.

So I recalled this anecdote of a casino in Las Vegas receiving a bomb threat one evening. Over the loudspeaker, management advised everyone to leave the casino floor ASAP. So who were the stubborn gamblers?

The poker players were the first to leave, followed by the blackjack players, then the crapshooters, then the baccarat players; finally the roulette players left. But the damn slot machine and video poker addicts refused to leave.

I don't know if this a true story or not, but I sure as hell believe it.

I'm not sure how to tie this into poker except to say, where are all these fish on Party Poker coming from? I mean, I'm sitting here playing 3.6 as I type this out and am stunned - my table is seven handed to the flop nearly _every_ hand.

Oh the humanity.

I'll say it one last time: if you are playing on any site besides Party Poker, you are doing a disservice to your bankroll. BTW, for my new readers, I forgot to mention you get a $100 signup bonus by using the signup code IGGY and/or download the software with the link on the right. Or download it on your own. Seriously, Party Poker has 36,000 players tonight - how money does your site have? And thank God, Party doesn't show the "players seeing flop" percentage like every other damn site out there. Showing a stat like that, drawing attention to those things, is BAD for tight players. Is it any surprise that Party has the loosest games? Grab PokerTracker. Tag the fish. You won't be sorry.

I'm loathe to even mention this, because it's certainly NOT why I'm writing this rambling poker blog, day after day. This is just for fun, after all, and I absolutely love thinking and discussing poker strategy - this blog is only an extension of that, and I hope my ten, err, eleven readers enjoy reading my soliloquies. If someone actually signs up because of this blog, it's a tangible thing, which I appreciate and drives me to write more often.

Maybe I should repost Fuzz's post on how he won $1000 on PartyPoker playing 50.1 in a few months. If he can do it, anyone can. Just see about 18% of the flops.

K, enough crappy shilling, let's get to why you're here. POKER CONTENT! And I've got a ton of it, per usual.

Where to start...where to start?

Can't go wrong with a new article from Pokersavvy, this one relating to changing tables. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I'm digging the fact that they (and others) are using quotes to begin articles. He quotes Oscar Wilde in his intro, which is ironic, since I have a placard hanging above my monitor that says, "Life is too important to be taken seriously," one of my fave Wilde quotes.

But I digress. Solid article, per usual, by the fine folks at PokerSavvy although I'd prefer one that addresses online play, something I've blogged about many times.
Changing Tables
Not all tables are equally profitable. And if you stick at a bad table you could be costing yourself a lot of money. In this article, Ephraim describes the tables you want to avoid and those you should to seek out.

My regular readers know that table selection is extremely important to me. Per online play: there is NO excuse for playing on a tight table. Table hop. Take the time to find a +EV game. The tables are plentiful and the trash talk, constant. It's up to you to be disciplined and seek it out.

David Ross, the online professional poker player, updated during my hiatus:
Playing online for a living week 41

I highly recommend that you read Hdouble's take on David's play.

Speaking of online poker pro's, I am very happy to report that Jason has returned. He even talks about filing his IRS return, so for you winning poker players, go check it out. I'm just happy he's back, so I won't complain about the God-awful framed site.
A Poker Odyssey

Addendum, per Poker Odyssey - thanks a ton to Jason for the tip on Bob Ciaffone's 'Middle Limit' book. I already own 'Improve Your Poker' and 'Pot-Limit & No-Limit Poker' by Stewart Reuben & Bob Ciaffone. Both are excellent books. I completed the trifecta via Amazon upon reading his endorsement.

Someday I'll post my entire poker library on here.

Reading > TV

What kind of post would this be without some Phil Helmuth content?
That's right, a crappy one.

From RGP:

If you want some help getting into Phil Helmuth's head:

I also have a great Phil Helmuth story (too long to insert here) about bluffing him out of a pot on a CALL.

And then there was the prank I pulled on him at BARGE in 2001 where I hacked his presentation.
Hacking Phil Helmuth

Wow, need more proof that poker is ubiquitous?
BBS Poker
We provide the adult webmaster community with the latest news and information regarding all webmaster poker events.

Oh the humanity.

Another nugget from the "I can't make this shit up department:"

Italian poker players are reading our poker blogs - check this out.
Poker Diary
or hit the root of his poker site at
Italian poker player

My favorite quote?

"Un'altra interessante strategia preflop, che corregge quella famosa di Sklansky."

Let's shift gears and post some mainstream poker news from around the web, shall we?

Johnny Fucking Chan - Interview clips with the winner of the 1987 and 1988 World Series of Poker champion.

World Series of Poker: A Retrospective - contains an assortment of historically relevant materials taken directly from the Binion's Horseshoe Archives.

Speaking of poker history, a poker dinosaur gets off easy. Sad.
Poker's Amarillo Slim Pleads Guilty to Assault
The celebrated poker player known as "Amarillo Slim" has pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor assault charges for inappropriate physical contact with a 12-year-old girl, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

The chips are down
Poker's popularity is a sure bet.
Carter bought a few books, like Phil Helmuth's "Play Poker Like a Pro," and started to practice at home with friends and at the casinos. He also checked out a few Web sites. "It took about six or seven months of really paying attention before I really knew the game," he says.

Yikes, after running my poker tournament, this article caught my eye.
Poker game skirts law
An apparently illegal poker tournament at the Blackhawk Country Club has shuffled up residents in this exclusive community and has prompted police to refresh the club and game participants on the laws of gambling.

I keep bumping into the PokerBabe. She's endorsed by Steve Badger. Nuff said.
Poker Babes
Adventures of a Babe in a "Man's World"

Damnit, I have way too much poker content to post. I'm not even close to being done. So much for the Fatguys advice on small posts. I'm starting to get ripped to the tits tired, so I better wrap this up and save the remainder for my next post. Thanks a ton for reading and please come back for more poker goodness.

But wait! I have a few new poker blogs to pimp. Would you expect anything less? Let's just do one tonight and the rest at a later date.

Please welcome Poker for the Masses to the poker blogging scene. Anyone who takes my advice MUST be intelligent.

This blog coincides with a $100 deposit to PartyPoker.com. Thank you Iggy for the 20% bonus. Since I can't email you, I'll thank you here for diverting me to Party Poker. So far I have seen a huge difference, and you know what I mean.

Yet another convert. And you're very welcome, I'm happy to help.
Bonus code IGGY damnit - thank me later.

A local poker buddy, Dann, sent me a humorous email today as he played low-limit poker on Party Poker last nite.

I played 100 hands of $1/$2 6-max limit last night. Final tally: +$122.07

What terrible, terrible, terrible players.

In fairness, though, I won nearly all 17 of my showdowns and had some unbelievable flops. It was amazing, though, what these people would call and raise with.

It truly _is_ amazing. Short-handed poker brings out the worst in the fish. Truism.

And what if they are reading Phil Helmuth and not Sklansky? LOL.

David Sklansky estimates that of those players who try without studying to become solid winners (making good money in middle limit games, for example), no more than one percent succeed. Of those who do study diligently, he believes about ten percent succeed. If we accept Sklansky's numbers, which seem reasonable, books make a big relative difference. Still, they clearly don't guarantee success, by any stretch.

I found this snippet by pro Ray Zee on said topic:

Many new players start getting into these games and some actually play quite well. You see, after studying the best books, you can become fairly accomplished with just a small amount of real experience. (At least a lot less experience than it use to take.) So those players that improve themselves move up and take advantage of their new skills and keep pace with the world. This group improves their win rate due to the new faces and wider choice of games. Those that stay stagnant and don't study, fall back in the pack and either go broke or just slow down their winning ways. The players trying to make a living in this group really need to work on keeping their game in top shape.

Ray also lamented that literature and books may have made the games more difficult for him. Well, before the World Poker Tour, anyway. :)

On that note, many losing (and loose players) don't realize that money you don't lose is exactly the same as money you win. Yet another Poker truism.

It's etched in stone: the date and place of the second Poker Bloggers World Poker Tour. I'll announce tomorrow.

Per poker blogger hippies:

RSS dies a slow death. Sorry, Chris & Scott.
Google spurns RSS for rising blog format
Google's Blogger service is bypassing Really Simple Syndication in favor of an alternative technology, a move that has sparked more discord in a bitter dispute over Web log syndication formats.

Again, thanks a ton to anyone who actually read this entire post. I'm having a blast documenting poker's meteoric rise in popularity and I'm happy to help anyone who needs it. This blog is my way of giving back.

Tidbit: I found two new Party Poker skins. Bonus whoring, anyone? Tune in tomorrow.

Link of the Day:
Roll, Roll, Roll in the Hay
Jesse Ray's plan didn't work out, but you have to applaud the guy for trying: "I figured there's a lot of horny, hot chicks without dates themselves out there looking for something different this weekend!"

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Poker Blogs - Poker Diaries rule.

"The track takes 15 percent, but what's 15 percent of a dream?"
Charles Bukowski

Welcome to my humble poker blog. I'll be back on Friday evening or Saturday!

Poker blogs, our little corner of the blogging universe, are kicking ass. Kudos to everyone out there blogging about poker. It's not as easy as it looks. On top of writing to an above-average intelligent audience, you are only as good as your last post.

Newcomers here: please take the time to visit the links on the right. It's a vast, diverse community, with plenty of interesting writing.

Because of real-life issues, I'll be taking a hiatus from my blog. After six steady months of nearly daily poker blogging, I need a respite.

I'll try and post any interesting snippets if I get a chance. I'll likely be back at the end of the week. Regardless, I'll try to make this post worthy of a top ten poker blog for my eleven dozen readers. Prepare for rambling, disjointed post:

I truly enjoy thinking/reading about poker strategy. The more I learn, the more I question. Learning - improving in poker is a beautiful thing. It's an affirmation. Poker is really nothing but a decision making process over and over. Paper, rock, scissors.

But I've gotten too far removed from focused studying and reading. Running sims. Replaying my hands. Building up my bankroll. I hit my year end goal in '04, (thank you very much Steve Lipscomb!) but I seem to have caught some kind of malaise since early January. As my original poker coach once told me, breaks from poker tend to re-energize you and you come back with a renewed vigor and focus.

I've been grinding so damn hard this past year. I've learned and improved but I've hit the proverbial brick wall. Is it time to take a consistent shot at big games? Online or B&M? Should I follow in Royal's footsteps and play 10,000 hands at a specific limit? Tackle the WSOP or other large buy-in NL tourneys?

Bottom line, I know I'm a far better player when I'm focused on beating A game, and not scattering my skills all over the place.

So for now, allow me a poker link fest extraordinaire. A right proper, drunken, verbose Saturday night post. Enjoy, and thanks for reading.

First off, per the upcoming World Series of Poker. I'll be posting more about online qualifiers as sites announce their plans but for now:

Vegas Dreams Tournament on Empire Poker:
See web site for more details:

For only $10 you can enter the multi-table qualifiers and win your seat to
the WSOP finals, worth $12,000.
Single table ($25+$2 ) and Multi-table ($9+$1) Qualifiers are available on a
daily basis.

10 WSOP Seats Guaranteed:
Over the course of the upcoming months, 6 semi-finals are scheduled with at least 10 WSOP SEATS GUARANTEED. Play and win travel, accommodations, and the buy-in with a full package value of $12,000.

My wife tells me I should focus on winning my way into the WSOP, online. She may be right, per usual. I came pretty damn close the last two years and barely spent any money in trying.

Here was a message board thread from this weekend:

What is the best way to get into the WSOP?

Best way depends on your defintion of best.

Easiest - go plunk $10K down and buy a seat.
Cheapest - go through a series of satelites and hope for real good luck. I played in a $15 super satelite to qualify for a seat in the final satelite. One in 75, will be awarded a seat and accomodations. Doesn't get much cheaper than that. (Wish me luck!)

I guess if I was really serious about taking my "best shot" at it without just buying a seat (which is outside of means as well), and I was willing to risk around $1K to do so, I'd go to vegas and play in one of their SnG winner take all satelites. 9:1 odds. They also have super sats that cost around $100 (winning buys you into a satellite) having to win back to back SnGs 99:1 odds. (Of course these odds are assuming all players are of equal skill, and many of the pros get their seats through satellite entry, so increase these odds appropriately.)

To which there was this reply:

The sats for any of the WSOP tourny's (even the $1500) are tough. Say for the lower limit you pay $175 and play a single table and the winner gets a seat in the $1500 event. At worst, your odds are 9-1 based simply on the number of players - but the fact is that the limits and blinds rise very quickly and the table is usually done in an hour or 1.5 - so you need to get some good hands quickly and have them hold-up.

I have played in a number of these single table games for different tourny's and you should figure you can do the same as in a sit-n-go tourny at your favorite online site. If you do well there and win 2 or 3 times in 10, well - that's about how you will do in Vegas. The supersats - that's about a $225 investment - you have to win 2 tables in a row to get the $10k seat. Ever won two sit-n-goes in a row? It's tough. Party has a $9 tourny to get a seat in a 2nd tourny to win a 10K seat, also Empire has a $25 sit-n-go for the 2nd tourny.

Food for thought.

Sigh. Let's address Russ Georgiev, of GCA cheating fame. After an all-too-brief interlude of leaving RGP, he is back and spamming the newsgroup over and over again, with the same old freaking posts. Paul Phillips, PLEASE come back! Honestly, though, it seems that most people are ignoring Russ and recognize him for the fool that he is. It's obvious that he's preying on the newbies.

Now Russ is addressing himself in the third person. A sure sign of insanity.

Some snippets:


Yes sir, Russ Georgiev claims the online sites do nothing to protect the higher stakes games online. Russ does have the proof and is just getting it nicely organized and properly documented for the whole world to see.

Yes, I do have the DVD and VHS video coming out. Obviously I will be selling it, just as obviously you will be buying it. It will outline how you cheat online poker for vast amounts every week or month, whichever your choice. It will show how you form ficticious accounts without any identities. It will demonstrate how to cash out from account that don't exist.


Wonderful response to this below


I don't think most of will have to, Russ. The first few who do spend the bucks (and I'll happily chip in) will bootleg them for others, those others will
bootleg their copies, and so on. I think the master cheater is going to find
out exactly how it feels to get cheated out of big bucks.


For the love of God, I hope none of my readers would give this professed cheater their credit cards but if someone could join for a month and help the poker blogging community out, copying and sharing his stuff would be a huge neutralizer.

As TheFatGuy would say. Eff him.

And more regurgitated content relating to yet another message board snippet that states "online poker is rigged and anyone who says they win is a shill":


I find it amusing when people imply that anyone who claims to have
made a nice chunk online must be lying (one word there: projection).
It's really not rocket science, people. You don't have to be
world-class to do it. You just have to be better than most you play
against, and that's not hard to do. There are a stunning number of
really bad players in the online poker world. With patience and good
decision-making, a lot of their money will find its way to you. It's a
different game than B&M. There are more weak players. That can lead to
some bad beats, but in the long run, you WANT those fish chasing after
everything. The percentages work in your favor.


And another:


Here is a wonderful response to yet *another* one of those whiny ass players who complain about beating casino poker their entire life, yet always losing online. (Probably the same guys in a casino who proudly tell you they've never had to read a poker book in their life - they don't need to)
Why do they lose? Because the site is rigged:

I don't know if you are a good player or a bad player as I have never seen you play a hand of poker. I will not pass judgment on your skills.

After reading your post, it sounds like you have a bit of a victim complex. What I mean by this is you looked for and found real or imagined reasons as to why you failed. These reasons that you found are all out of your control. This is something that people often do to help them cope with failure. It is also something that also keeps those people from attaining success.

If you are indeed a strong poker player, the solution to your problem is simple. You have to shake off this victim complex. If you continue to play as a victim, your just throwing your money away.


Oh yeah, if you dig through the Internet forum on 2+2, there are posts about a software exploit - bug in the Party Poker software that allow you to skip ahead on waiting lists for tables...I wasn't interested enough to verify the veracity of the post. Check it out for yourself if you wish.

Reason #9 to avoid contributing to the 2+2 forums....a hapless webmaster.

Need any more proof that Mat Sklansky is a complete goofball? I love this post about getting banned:


Anyone responding to Ryan662 will be barred. All future Ryan662 posts will be deleted.

I repeat: anyone responding to Ryan662 or any other new Ryan handle will be barred.


He'd make a great vegan. Efff you, Mat Sklansky. What if someone didn't see your post about getting banned by simply responding to Ryan's posts?

Let's move on to the poker blog scene, shall we?

Found a new UK poker blog per Vagaries.
Go say hello to PokerBunny
I've gone off tourneys lately simply because I get a higher hourly rate in cash games but a decent finish in one of these biggies equals a lot of beer and cookie money. There's value there!

I've sniffed out two new blogs run by the same guy but I'm not gonna link to him. Looks like they are simply for affiliate signups and I think that's a bunch of BS. Posting one line with a link to a news article is NOT a poker blog.

Locals - you MUST go read this trip report to Caeser's in Indiana. Anyone want to go make a road trip? It's been far too long.... Cardplayers journal writes up "Another trip to the Glory of Rome."

Hdouble, in the second best poker blog on the web, Cards Speak, gives some very valuable information on the pokerscape at Party Poker. He gives his wise insight into what are the best games going currently at the different limits and structures. Also, a huge thank you to Hdouble as he took pity on me and sent me the first season of the World Poker Tour DVD. Wooohoooo! Now I can see what all the hubbub is all about, albeit way after the fact. I am enjoying these shows far more than the NBC broadcast on SuperBowl Sunday. Watching Gus Hansen in episode one was sheer joy. Watching the Kamikaze in episode two was even more fun. Thanks again!

I'm not one to sit in front of the TV, but yesterday was poker overload. On top of watching the WPT for the first time, my wife brought home Rounders, a movie I had only seen once before. Good stuff.

Also, I'd be remiss not to mention that Grubby is out in LA and helping Hdouble clean up the games. I'm really looking forward to both trip reports. If you haven't yet, go sign up for the Grublog Poker Classic now!

The Poker Penguin has a +EV post upon discovering the juiciness that is the 25/50 nl ring games on Party Poker after reading Hdouble's analysis. Plus, he called me a trendsetter.

Moving along, go visit Royal as he answers the question:

I admire guys like Royal for playing 10,000 hands of 50ยข poker, but I wonder what the point of that is. My take is that after that many hands of pointless robot poker, you will have seen enough hands and flops that absolutely nothing will ever surprise you again, and there's a HUMONGOUS deal of value in that. On the other hand, what will you see in 10K that you won't see in 5K?

Poker Goddess, Felicia, posted poker blog links on the United Poker Forum. Allow me to speak for all us and say, thank you, Felicia! I think there's a ton of poker people who have no clue we are out here, blogging away.

I enjoyed this recap of the QQ laydown by ex-RGP mainstay, Paul Phillips, in the last WPT. Go hit Design By Fire:
Paul Phillips QQ Laydown on the World Poker Tour

Damnit, Paul was one of my very favorite RGP posters. Always intelligent, logical and often snarky, he was one of the few reasons to continue to read RGP. I understand that he didn't come across very well on the latest episode of the WPT, but I've been reading him for God-knows how long on RGP, and he was always a beacon of reason in a maelstrom of net kooks. I pray that he posts about poker in his blog. Yet another invaluable poster, gone. :(

What kind of Guinness-fueled post would this be without poker news and few other interesting link tidbits? Let's get right to it:

I've been patiently waiting to see the ratings of the NBC World Poker Tour broadcast. Thankfully, it did very well.
World Poker Tour on NBC Scores

Second only to the Super Bowl pre-game show in the 4-6 p.m. (ET) time slot, The World Poker Tour showed that its ratings juggernaut on The Travel Channel is no fluke. The network debut of the skillfully crafted series that has taken the nation by storm scored so impressively that it will drive momentum for the launch of the World Poker Tour's second season March 3 on The Travel Channel.

Yikes, from the Yale Herald:
Trumbull poker group to be in Esquire

But the Esquire feature is not the group's first brush with poker greatness. Last year, they managed to lure professionals Daniel Negreanu and Allen Cunningham away from a Foxwoods tournament for a few hands. After another Master's Tea, Andy Bellin, author of Poker Nation also sat in with the sharks of the Trumbull buttery.

We all owe Chris Moneymaker.
Over one hundred people show to challenge poker champ

Dressed in a blue shirt, khakis and cream vest, Chris Moneymaker, 28, looked more like an office manager than a poker celebrity.

Focus: Invasion of the cyber-gangsters
Before the game started, Ido Raviv, the manager of Netgames in Belize, which runs the Yahoops.com online sports book, said: "I expect that on Sunday, during the Super Bowl, you're going to see a lot of [sports betting] websites down. I know it for a fact. Everybody's scared."

Jump the shark alert: Last evening's opening skit on Saturday Night Live was a spoof of Bravo Celebrity Poker. Uh oh, is this an omen? Is poker going to be the next CB radio? Anyway, hit Chris Halverson for a recap of the skit.

Continuing poker's assault on culture:
Math puts on its poker face
Department of Mathematics hosts poker player and award-winning professor for lecture on game theory.

The OSU Department of Mathematics is sponsoring a free lecture entitled "Quit Work, Play Poker, Sleep 'Til Noon" as part of their weekly colloquia series highlighting different areas of mathematics.

The talk will outline an "unbeatable" bluffing strategy using one of Game Theory's fundamental results, Von Neumann's Minimax theorem, and David Sklansky's Fundamental Theorem of Poker.

From today's Chicago Sun Times, a feature article on Barry Greenstein.
Power from poker

I keep meaning to post a link to Brian Alspach.
Alspach's Mathematics & Poker Page - hit the Poker Digest link to read a ton of articles written for said poker magazine.

Interesting poker site.
Monday Night Poker - A bunch of guys get together and a game breaks out. This is the group's personal website, with standings.

Alrighty, time to wrap this up. I really meant to complete this post last evening but I became too drunk tired. Hope you enjoyed this uber-post and will come back when I resume my regular poker blogging schedule.

Poker truism from several years ago. Ribsmeister chatting with me:

WorstKarma: it is easier to play against bad opponents than improve your own game


Want one last poker tip? How about four from Abdul?

Build pots preflop with big suited cards, suited connectors and pairs above 77.
Jam your flush draws if you expect three or more callers.
Seldom call if you can't raise.
Don't try to bluff the fish.

Anyway, to anyone who has enjoyed this blog, please consider signing up on Party Poker with bonus code IGGY or you current Party Poker players should most certainly sign up on Empire for the $$ bonus and second identity with bonus code IGGY1. Shilling aside, if you aren't playing at Party or Empire, you are missing out on the gold rush.

And for my long-time readers, I offer this definition of a Vegan from an online dictionary site.

One who does not shave, shower, or consume animal products.
Soap? No thank you. I am vegan.

And thus concludes my longest post. And that's saying quite a lot. Have a great week at the tables everyone!

Link of the Day:
Gay-Hating Puzzle Games
From God Hates Fags: "The object of this game is to place exactly 5 sodomites (represented by a pink swastika) and exactly 3 kids (represented by a baby bottle) on the grid to the right, such that none of the sodomites can get their repulsive hands on any of the kids."

All Content Copyright Iggy 2003-2007
Information on this site is intended for news and entertainment purposes only.

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