Saturday, April 17, 2004

We needed money real bad at home and my daddy told me I had to stop work or stop gamblin'. And I said, "Daddy, if I don't work how can I get money to gamble?" And Daddy, he said, "Son, that's what gamblers got to figure out." So I quit work.
Johnny Moss

Uber post. Get comfortable.
There's no such thing as *too* much poker content, is there?

I think not, but this post might be an argument for it. I hope you take the time to read this and even if you don't finish it, thanks for stopping by. I'm knee-deep in the Guinness and feel like writing. That's always a recipe for verbosity.

Starting off, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out a few of the superb poker posts out there in our blogging scene. Take advantage of the bright minds hard at work for you, folks. These guys are good.

First of all, Hank pontificates on The Big Lebowski as poker metaphor at Cards Speak. Great stuff. For the record, Hank actually sweated me in the tournament this past weekend, yet all he had to offer in the way of insight was:

"Iggy folds like a cheap tent."

Which may be true, but I was hoping for some positive affirmation, damnit. Talk about a tough peer group. :)

While on the topic, allow me to thank Felicia again for her kickass writeup of my tourney play this past weekend. It's always interesting to read someone else's perspective of your play, especially when she can actually make it a compelling read.

Per my queens laydown, I found this amusing anecdote about my hero TJ Cloutier in a WSOP satellite last spring:


I re-read some parts of TJ's book in the tub and am reminded of an argument at the table in the super the other day where TJ told a guy he shouldn't go all in with ‘small pairs' after the guy goes broke with Queens. He defends himself by saying queens aren't small pairs, and TJ boldy proclaims
"Buddy, Im from Oklahoma, and this guy is from Texas, and this guy over here is from Mississippi, and they will all tell you that Queens are a small pair."

There's really too many great posts to point out - I shouldn't even try. But shucks, I can't help but point out the trip reports: everyone's favorite NYC blogger, Pauly, is currently in Las Vegas and reporting daily. Pauly rules. Chris Halverson just returned from a bachelor party vacation in Vegas and has written up the booze-sodden details. AlCantHang is heading to Key West and promises mucho debauchery. And last, but obviously not least, TheFatGuy is heading to New Orleans and promises to take a picture at the statue of my muse, Ignatius J Reilly.

Just remember the next time you're bored at the tables, cruise through the links on the right. You will be well rewarded.

But I gotta mention Mene Gene's latest treatise called 'There's no such thing as luck? Convince someone who's unlucky' - showing yet again that Gene is operating on a different level.

Tons of poker links below, so please humor the next paragraph or two. I wanna shill before I shakily attempt to stand and deliver yet another uber-post.

Sign up on PartyPoker with bonus code IGGY! I'm prepared to grovel!

Or if you are playing on Party already, but haven't signed up for Empire Poker, the exact same site as Party Poker, just packaged in soothing blue tones, (endorsed by Chris Halverson!), you owe it to yourself to take advantage not only of the deposit bonuses, but the SECOND identity. If you track regular players or fishies, you are truly missing out on an opportunity to play under a new name. And the tournaments on Empire have excellent overlay. It must be seen to be believed.

Empire Bonus Code: IGGY1

My humble apologies for the shilling but I've received some new traffic and wanted to let people know they could play on Empire for Party Poker. Hell, I didn't know this back in the day. Plus I've posted some good stuff upon my return, so I'm rewarding myself with a shill paragraph. :)

I remember reading PokerGrub's thoughtful explanation of how he views signups, and I wish I had written it first, because it's exactly how I feel:

It's a nice way of paying it forward for all the hard work they do and in fact, can even help you with various bonus offers (an extra percentage atop your initial deposit). I have a list of links with various signup bonuses, but you can also sign up through other bloggers who are also affiliates. Like Iggy or hdouble who bust their humps day in, day out to provide quality, thoughtful, entertaining writing and linkups. The hours it takes to read through all the wonderful blogs... think how many more hours it takes to research, collect those links, and write 'em up coherently in the first place.

The point is: if you're planning to sign up to a site anyway, sign up through an affiliate.

Truthfully, this blog DOES take time. So I consider my shilling (sign up on PartyPoker with Bonus code IGGY or Empire poker with Bonus code IGGY1!) to be a small reward for my efforts. I try not to shill every damn day, as my long-term readers know. So I'm not sure what my point is, except to thank Grubby for articulating why it's OK to signup with a bonus code (IGGY!). It costs nothing, gets you a bonus, and is a small nod of appreciation for the bloggers out there.

I feel so unclean now. But consider supporting this humble blog. I write so damn much and ask for so little.

Segue: I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's not how you win at poker, it's how you lose.

As Steve Badger says:

The problem is: you just can't will yourself to win -- be it a tournament, a single day's play, or even an individual hand. And then, unfortunately for some, not winning is something many players simply can't handle. And being able to not win well is a fundamental, key ingredient of being a winning player.

I think a particular strength of mine has been my persistence in using losing as opportunities for learning. I rarely experience epiphanies while the deck is hitting me in the face, but I am very diligent about analyzing my play while losing. It's crucial to not only _accept_ that you played a hand poorly, but it's even more important to understand WHY. At least for me, anyway. I'm always hoping to improve my game.

I could wax poetic about this topic all evening, but in the interest of your attention span, I better move on. Most everyone knows the new Cardplayer is out. The new Phil Helmuth column is a must read:
Buried at Sea

Daniel Negreanu was up $8,200 by playing my discards! Yes, you read that right. Whenever I folded my hand before the flop, the other players agreed to let Daniel play my hand from that point forward, much to the delight of the huge crowd sweating the game. Simply put, a night of craziness was brewing.

Poker blogger extraordinaire, Richard Brodie has just posted a new Lion Tales. Final table for Richard!
Once more into the Bellagio: another $2600 No-Limit warm-up
Power on

As a rule I don't eat dessert but they had homemade chocolate-chunk cookies with peanut-butter ice cream so I had just one order and ate it with a fork. The cookies were so rich I couldn't finish two of the three but Andy "The Rock" Bloch helped me out.

From what I've been reading, Party Poker continues to market PartyPoker.net on television. Thought leadership in action. I also stumbled across this article on CNN about an impending Lingerie Football series, based on the Lingerie Bowl, possibly being sponsored by PartyPoker.

There is no word yet on corporate sponsorship. For the first Lingerie Bowl, automaker Dodge nixed its sponsorship plans amid complaints from special-interest groups. PartyPoker.com ultimately replaced Dodge.

Of course, someone hit on the bright idea of this leading to yet another poker show. I mean, forget Celebrity Poker. They should create "Hot Chicks in their Underwear Playing Poker." It's probably only a matter of time before Victoria's Secret co-brands with someone to make this a reality.

For my new readers, make sure you never miss your favorite poker TV show with this wonderful, banner ad free site, TV Poker Guide.

A huge thanks to my man, Pauly, for once again taking pity on a cableless loser such as myself and sending me another World Poker Tour tape. God bless you, Pauly. Also, a big shout out to Jason for hooking me up, as well. My readers rule.

I've mentioned the impending publication of ALLIN Magazine, a new slick glossy poker magazine being modeled along the lines of Cigar Afficianado.

Now I've discovered yet another one, this time from Live Action Poker. They are asking $28 for a year subscription. From the website:

While other publications tend to lean toward the “tournament only” crowd, Live Action Poker Magazine will be geared toward the “Average Joe” poker player. We will give them tips on their play (online & live), information about tournaments, as well as interviews with poker authorities and icons. We will tackle news about online play and cover the issues that affect the casino dweller.

We are proud to have recruited a great lineup of columnists and writers including:

Ashley Adams
Phil Helmuth
Wendeen Eolis
Gary Carson
Oklahoma Johnny Hale
Debbie Burkhead
Matthew Hilger
Al Spath
“North Shore” Mike
Mark Napolitano
Tina Napolitano
Marc Wortman
Susie Isaacs
and more!

This is crazy - I'm seriously not in Kansas anymore. Top-rated TV shows & glossy magazines dedicated to our craft. Bizarre.

Per that thought, I found this apropos post on RGP about Chris Monkeymaker "getting lucky" in last year's WSOP.

All you poker regulars should be grateful that Moneymaker won (Varkoni
too) as they have brought a flood of amateurs to the game who are losing money left and right... If you haven't got a piece of this "dead money" cash over the last six months, it is time for you to give real thoughts about giving up on poker... MONEYMAKER is a POKER GOD for what he has done to bring all the fresh cash to solid poker playing regulars...

Yes he is. We should tithe him.

Sigh. I truly miss the old days of RGP. It's just gotten worse and worse with the exponential growth of poker. I guess you can't blame all the 'names' for leaving, now that the inmates are running the asylum.

I did, however, find this one little nugget of gold amidst the noise. Players were offering their favorite poker insults and I enjoyed this gem that was used on a fish that had been drawing dead in a hand:

"You're like a dog chasing a car, cause even if you catch it, you still can't drive."

That immediately becomes part of my repertoire. Hopefully I'll get the opportunity to use it tonight in my home game.

I'm sure many of you have seen the Subserviant Chicken that is getting linked all over the place. Already, websites have sprung up to track the commands the chicken will and will not perform. Here's the best one:
The Subservient Chicken Request List

While I'm getting all tangential, I discovered a link to part-time poker blogger, Design by Fire, but it wasn't to a post about poker. It was about web design:
Bloggers vs The Gurus: Blogging is clearly the new black when it comes to design. Gurus v. Bloggers Design Shootout.

Interesting stuff, if you care about that kind of thing.
But I digress. Back to poker, damnit!

And where better to start the Best of Poker Linkage than with our good friends at Pokersavvy.com?
Winning Online Tournaments, Part II
In Part II of this series, Derek discusses the first four rounds of online tournaments. Learn how to avoid the dreaded gray zone and see how stack size should influence your play.

From impending poker whore, Dan M, I found this excellent three page expose from the Dallas Observer. A must read.
Poker Face
Clonie Gowen is good for poker. So, how good is Clonie Gowen?

Robert Wilonsky's long-awaited story on poker-pal Clonie Gowen is this week's Observer cover story. It's a great personality profile on the making of a poker star that also sheds light on the business of growing the game. His interview with Scotty Nguyen about women in poker is tasty -- and excellently transcribed.

Speaking of women poker players, I somehow bumped into this gender-exclusive site, Women's Poker Club. I wonder if I could sign up after playing online as a female for over five years?

What kind of uber-post would this be without introducing the new poker bloggers to our kickass community? A crappy one, that's what. And I have a veritable slew of new bloggers.

So here are the new kids on the block: please visit and encourage them to keep it up. For every new one we get, there are two that go neglected, it seems. Believe me, writing an interesting poker blog is much more difficult than it looks.

First off is Stephen, who proves his poker acumen by agreeing with me.
Life is a Game of Poker

I was hesitant to do this earlier because of my limited bankroll. But since I'm above the $400 mark, I thought I'd give it a shot and sat down at two 6 max no limit $50 buy-in tables. And a couple of things surprised me.

First off, the play here is not any harder than at the $25 buy-in tables. Fish were in abundant supply and they filled my pockets very nicely. And the games are still soft and passive. Even people who seemed to be winning consistently through intelligent play were not as aggressive as I expected it to be. So I can only attribute this to the kind of players Party Poker draws. Like Iggy says, if you're not playing at Party, you're losing money!

Poker - It's Life
A blog about a poor university student working as a online poker player. Here's Denis on his poker background - sounds like a quick learner:

I started off with Yahoo! Poker, I then moved to PartyPoker free games. I began reading a lot of material on the net on how to play and learned very quickly. Here's the good part. I found an online pokerroom that has 10 cent giveaway tournaments. I started playing these, and won a few, used that hard earned money to enter into tournaments with a small buy-in (25/50 cents). Once I made enough to play in the .05/.10 limit games I went there, where I made $5 and went into the .05/.10 NL. After that it was all up-hill. Fast forward about a month and I'm sitting at my computer writing my first blog entry.

Tom is a relatively new player who just recently discovered our blogs and has decided to join the fray. Kudos for that and I hope he keeps up his fine writing.
Life's A Grind
The trials and tribulations of a new low (micro) limit Texas Hold'em player.

I’ve noticed two more leaks in my game. When playing one table I get to know my adversaries pretty well and I know who will fold to a bluff in the right circumstances. Doesn’t work every time, but often enough not to stop doing it. I found that I’m still trying it when playing two tables even though I do not know the other players. This is costing me.

I hope Whiskey doesn't take down his site by my linking to it. I read his old blog faithfully and was bummed when he discontinued it. I'm a big fan of all alcoholic poker players.

whiskeytown's downtown
ramblings of a depressed alcoholic poker player - booze, ladies, music, and poker discussed here.

I was bummed last night - got horribly toasted - and after busting out of a 3 buck satellite, signed up for a $25 sit and go tourney - I took 2nd and won $67

problem is...I don't remember doing it - my memory is not clear after signing up - while some would say this is a good sign of my talent as a poker player, I would say I'm a lucky dumbass

It's not that big of a deal, mr whiskey. Hell, I won't even remember writing this blog entry when I wake up tomorrow.

This blog is off to a fine start - Gregg plays both online and at Foxwoods.
Tailgunner's Paradise
A journal of sorts, of goings on in my life. Poker mostly.

BB checked and the flop comes A K 10. I bet 100 and he string bets all in. He puts the chip in reaches back and says "eh, I'm all in". I immediately looked at the leader of the game and said, "I'm pretty sure that's a string" and that's when all hell broke loose. Apparently, some other guy had been talking trash with the stringer, and it escalated into expletive laden outbursts. The stringer then insulted a woman there who turned out to be the guy's wife and poker turned almost turned into a fistfight.

I enjoyed digging through the archives of Nixma's blog. Not always about poker, but enough to call it a poker blog, imho.
Riding the F Train

Red kings in the SB, early stages of a one-table NL tournament. UTG +1 raises the minimum to 30. MP 3-bets to 45, also a minimum raise, before the guy to his left raises to 150. The button then calls, and I'm sitting there in the SB trying to figure out what the fuck is going on. I've seen this sort of thing before. It has all the makings of a classic pig-fuck for yours truly.

Yikes, I left this one for last. We finally have an estoteric philosopher type to fill the void left by Anistropy. I don't know how much of it I understand, but I enjoyed reading it.

Orgy of Lies
Poker and Politics

Poker is a game of decisions; as such, it is based on the assumption that players are independent agents making choices, being the source of an analytical algorithm. If all things, identity most certainly included, are temporal, does my success (such that it is) thus come at the expense of spiritual truth? That is, do I play in order to feed the illusion that I Am Somebody, throwing garbage cans at the feet of insecurities suggesting otherwise that chase me through the dark alleys of horrified anticipation? WHERE IS THE NEXT ONE COMING FROM???

Or, rather than fear the future, I play cards, that I might hope instead- hey, any two cards can win....

Is that obtuse or am I just too drunk stupid to get it?

Damn, now I am truly tempted to repost that Jesse May rant to compliment that last snippet. What the hell, let's do it. Backstory: after a rather ugly public disagreement on RGP between Eric Seidel and Daniel Negreanu, the Late Night Poker commentator wrote this soliloquy.
Hit the archives from two months ago for the full story. My apologies to regular readers but I think it deserves a re-read:


From: Jesse May
Subject: Re: Erik Seidel

It's started. The erosion of poker truth has begun. In today's world
it is he who slings the mud farthest that clamors to the top. Hold
your tongue Johnny come lately, watch out Daniel in the lion's den,
because poker players know that if a man has fleas he's been lying
with the dogs. And the men of respect they know who the dogs are,
with quiet mouths and jerky glances they've been fading dogs for
years, because it's not so long ago. Maybe the microscope got turned
upside down into a megaphone, maybe every televised hand has been
parsed twice and passed through Sklansky, but that doesn't mean that
past is ashes. And in the poker world, character has never been
fleeting. The players have minds like elephants caught in the steel
traps, the world was never so big that you could sit down at the table
and nod just once for times gone by. The water's under the bridge
with the writing always clear on the wall. Poker's big now, but the
story is the same as ever. Someone will be getting fucked, and if
you're desperate enough to want to survive, sell your soul and join
the team. Don't worry. He'll throw you bones, he'll toss mongrel
scraps and promises from above, after all Don King made Holyfield rich
and famous. Rich and famous and collared to a post.

The men of respect have mostly been rangers. They grew up with
talent, they were burdened with honor, and they banded alone and faded
getting fucked. There have been freight trains of others, cattle cars
in and rib roast going out, and the few mangy cows that avoided the
slaughter bled from the jugular and squealed like pigs before the
devil came down and offered the deal. And the men of respect? They
padded softly, out of the limelight, from game to game and in the wee
hours of the night. Stu Ungar showed up in a coffeshop in Tahoe on
the morning of a final table to find the other nine having breakfast
as one. He howled. They shouldn't have made him mad. He didn't
collapse with the Ace-king when the pressure came on. And the dogs
hated him for it. And they always will. The oppressed people, they
never want to be free. All they want is to rule.

Is it true Mr. Molson? Is it true that there are players who will
benefit from the fact that no sponsorships are allowed? Is it true
that one management firm has sprung up, a company whose office is in
some building in Minnesota, the same building as the W pis-pee? Is it
true that Bile has handpicked some players to promote, to promote in
the advertising and the commercials, leading lights to front the team,
while the rest of the players have to listen to prize pool bullshit,
to an incessant drone that is aeons old, band alone and fade getting
fucked? There was only one player at the Sands who didn't take the
money, who said sponsorships are for children while $40,000 was being
offered for two hours wearing of a hat. There was one who claimed to
be above the fray, but players want to know why. Players want to know
why. You think the Furrier's a savior, you think he took something
where nothing's been before? Well then Bill Gates is a genius, too,
with clean hands to boot. But there's a lot more at stake then one
man replacing his Toyota with a Lexus.

There's poker players out there, stars of the game, men of respect who
hold their tongue and go about their business, because they've doing
it since boo. Since the Furrier was a snake. Since he was a hooded
serpent who bought people and smashed them. What you think? You
think they don't deserve what's fair? You think you can tell a man
who's survived the war that the gun is not loaded?

Make no mistake Johnny. Money is not added. Money is not filtering
down. Promises are not being kept. The players are the stars, they
always have been, and the overlords will be thieves long before we
call them Daddy. Basketball and baseball, there is a reason for
players' unions, there is a reason that there is a sharing of
television revenue, that players wear logos, that there is a player
pension fund. And there's a reason why old boxers drive delivery
trucks. One man stands up, a quiet man, a man of respect, and in his
own small way he says, look. Do you see this?

Where's the 40 million for the TV contract? Where's all the money
that sponsors pay to have their brands associated with the most
exciting guy to ever fling two cards and his stack in the pot? You
think people want to watch some schmuck who will crumble at the sight
of a raise? Everybody wants to watch the golden hearted lions, watch
them flock in the jungle. But the man wants them to be stupid. He
needs the smart ones to band alone, to fade getting fucked, and the
stupid ones can join the team and clamor loudly. Because dissent is
the terror of the Furrier.


Geez, refill please.

Moving along, I loved this page of essays about a home game by pro writer Stephen Elliot. Wonderful, well-written, funny stuff.
Timothy McSweeney's Internet Tendency: Poker Report

And I was feeling warm, and good. It's different, the way you can love people that you've known for a while. It's the shared experiences, the lobbing of memories. The night would get ugly yet. Things were going to happen. Bad, prophetic things, mostly on account of Andrew Miller. But they hadn't happened yet. It was the beginning of the night and we were still friends.

No poker news links tonight. Some other time.

Entertaining table chat from two minutes ago:

pocketmaces: go
pocketmaces: dumb ass go
birdybirdy: stfu maces, you were slow as crap at first
pocketmaces: so
birdybirdy: so stfu
pocketmaces: fu
pocketmaces: a hole
birdybirdy: back at ya
PhiPsi205: shut up moron
birdybirdy: f u c k you

Good gravy, I love Party Poker. And best of all, someone publicly posted an email after Party caught a couple cheats. This is one of only a few times I've actually seen this.


Earlier this week, PartyPoker.com became aware of two players playing
in tandem, conspiring to raise players out of pots as a team. You were
involved in at least one tournament with these players, and as such you
were adversely affected.

The players' accounts were closed and their funds frozen pending a
thorough investigation, which is now complete. We discovered this very
quickly and have banned these players from our site.

It has been determined that you were wrongfully denied of $60 in
tournaments that you played with them.

PartyPoker.com has restored this money to your account.

The integrity of the games at PartyPoker.com is of paramount importance
to us, and we will not abide cheating or collusion in our games. We
work hard to police our games and prevent such instances. In the rare
cases where collusion has actually occurred, we make sure that corrective
action is taken immediately.

Thank you for your continued play here on PartyPoker.com. Please do
not hesitate to let us know any time you need anything.

Best Regards,
Robert Ferguson
Investigations Team

Party also announced that disconnect protections will be entirely removed from tournaments. As a modem user, this is a double-edged sword for me. But I'm in favor of the removal - it's been a long overdue rule change.

Locals will want to check out this WPT satellite being held in Dayton, Ohio.

So I'm off to the home game this evening. Speaking of home games, the guys at BuyPokerChips asked me to drop a link for them in case you are looking for some chips.

Geezus, I've officially became the Paul Harvey of the poker blogs. Kill me now.

And I've left this site for last. Maybe Pauly and the guys from Ferrari's home game should invade this NYC game. A goofy site with plenty of funny trip reports to Vegas and other such nonsense. Hell, they were linked to by losers.org - that's all the endorsement you should need.
the upper west side world series of poker 2003

Finally (I mean it this time), from my surfing through the Iraqi blogs, I found this scintillating tidbit about, of all things, poker:

Poker is another ancient Iraqi religion, those foreign reporters don't tell you this because they have no idea how Iraqis have fun.. I had a get together the other day with some old childhood friends.. They stayed together all these years and they enjoy the odd game of poker every now and then. Naturally one is held in my honour.. Yes I did lose but not much!.. The game took place at someone's veranda in the cool Baghdad evening breeze.. We were accompanied by the hum drum of our hosts slightly in need of maintenance generator… Half way in the game the generator packed up as it ran out of fuel.. Luckily there were a few cars parked in the driveway and petrol was quickly siphoned out of one of them to keep the generator going. Just to illustrate to you why poker is an Iraqi religion in its own right I was told that many schools in Baghdad continued their overnight games throughout the war last year.. You can just imagine the small talk across the green tables when all around you is going up in flames.. For those interested in keeping records this particular game was attended by 3 Sunnis, 2 Shias and 1 Christian. See what I mean?

Alrighty then, forgive the disjointed ramblings. Thanks to the three of you who actually read this far - hope you enjoyed it.

Link of the day:
Let Down Your Hair
Mike: "The only time I find the length of my hair detrimental is occasionally when it hangs down in the way of my vision while raking, getting caught on rosebushes or other shrubs."

Monday, April 12, 2004

Poker blogs, poker blogs and even more poker blogs on PartyPoker.net

"Lying in wait is the secret of success in poker."
R.A. Proctor, 1880

Thanks for stopping by. I've added a bonus post below this one containing a bunch of poker article links I've been meaning to blog. But for now, I'm gonna ramble about my little score this weekend.

For a superior write-up of my tournament experience, please go read Felicia's version. She has been writing tournament reports from before I started blogging and knows how to make it interesting. She watched most of the tourney and wrote up her take here:
Felicia Lee Sweats Iggy

While folding playing this weekend, I noticed that Pokerstars has a tourney page up representing every player who's won a seat to the Championship NL event at the WSOP - it's currently up to 110, if I read it correctly. Damn, that's a lot of PokerStars hats & shirts at the tables.

I've been doing some thinking about a recent prior post of mine. Specifically one talking about 'plodders' versus 'adventurers.' And how my game focus may be misspent grinding away long-term incremental wins versus taking shots at some big payoffs. Hank, for one, is someone who has implored me to play for larger scores, and he's likely correct, as he almost always is. Allocating money for the large NL tournaments isn't that big of a deal to me, so why don't I do it?

It's mindset.

I often get asked why I don't write more about my own play in this blog. I typically respond by saying, "it's boring." Because as the Poker Penguin said, "If you are doing it right, it's boring." And I concur with that sentiment: per grinding. Watching me play poker is like watching grass grow, writing about it wouldn't make it any more interesting.

But I'm going to make an exception and ramble about my poker playing this weekend. Friday evening I enjoyed a profitable session at the 2.4 Omaha hi.lo tables on Party - purely by accident. I felt that I got lucky in that session, and because I haven't played O8 in quite awhile, I decided to ask Glenn, a savvy O8 player, to come sit with me and pass along some wisdom, which he graciously did. Thank you Bags!

Although I refuse to divulge any of his secrets, I will firmly say that I believe most players play worse poker in O8 than HE, if only because Omaha gives a player so many more reasons to play a hand (and to play it poorly). I think Sklansky once wrote about this but I'm too lazy to look up the quote. Anyway, I was dealt 2727 that evening and wondered what Grubby would call the double-headed Hammer in O8?

PokerStars Trip Report:
Anyway, after discharging both family and animal duties on Saturday afternoon, I discovered a WSOP qualifier on PokerStars beginning in 15 minutes. It was a NL multi - $33 entry with unlimited rebuys the first hour and hell, only 70 players had entered! I figured what the heck, maybe I can once again build a giant stack by preying on all the rebuying fools, and give myself a chance to get lucky at the end.

I think 125 players were signed up by the time the tourney began. Prize pool to be determined at the end of the first hour - one WSOP seat awarded for every 11k in entry money.

True to my thinking, reckless play was the name of the game that first hour. Players perpetually moving in with only meager holdings, in an attempt to build their own big stack, rebuys be damned! I quietly doubled through three times (mostly on the strength of kickers) and caught up on some reading. Somewhere in the second hour, I appeared #1 on the chip count board, which I managed to juggle the remainder of the tournament. I think it was around then that NL tourney veteran, Felicia, graciously offered to sweat me. Again, her superior report is written here.

Hrrm, too many hands for me to recount. Plus, you probably don't want to hear that sort of thing. So I'll just offer this one snippet: For me, the biggest hand of the tourney (outside of the inumerable allins) was one I didn't play. I opened for 10x the BB with QQ for 6k. I have mebbe 80k, big stack in tourney. 20k small stack moves in. I'm happy. Suddenly, loosey goosey nutjob 55k stack then moves all his chips in from the button. I use up forty seconds of the PokerStars time clock before mucking my Queens.

Nutjob turns over 44
Small Stack turns over AK

Last night, after telling a friend of this hand, he asked me the interesting question, "Would you still have folded if you knew what their cards were?" and I had to think a few seconds before I said yes. Even though I'm the slight overall favorite (46%-35%-19%), why risk that many chips on a coin flip? I knew I could outplay the nutjob over there with 44. Live to fight another day.

Of course, that nutjob with 44 ended up flopping quads.

Oh the humanity.

But you can't play results-oriented poker, we all know this. But I wasn't prepared to get crippled with Queens in that spot. I had worked too hard for my big stack.

I've never really posted about my NL play in here - I'm always blabbing on and on about grinding. But I've played a ton of no-limit, and to be frank, I consider myself a better NL player than limit, when I'm in the mood for it. To be fully prepared to stack off, at any moment, is a must mentality for me to play well.

So anyway, here is the rub. This tournament didn't attract the 11k necessary for a WSOP seat, it totaled out at $10,500, so now, instead of a WSOP seat, we were playing for first, $10.5k.

Second place paid NOTHING. Yikes, there would be no folding into the money in this tournament, that's for sure.

Two tournament factoids:
I never once had an all-in where I wasn't the favorite.
I bought 43 pots without a showdown.

At the final table, the blinds were slicing through stacks like a hot knife through butter, so the small stacks immediately started yelping about a deal. Big stacks offered stony silence. Suddenly we are five-handed. Even though I hadn't allowed myself to think about the reality of winning the ten large, I suddenly DID think about the very REAL possibility of finishing second and getting zilch. I was now second in chips and realized that even though I knew I could outplay the chip leader, ultimately I'd have to gamble with him.

Small stack goes out, leaving us with four. Now the table chat has even the chip leader interested in a four-way even chop. I decide to do it, too, the last to agree. I had played as well as I could for four hours and was content to take the money. So the always alert Felicia emailed support, the staff immediately came in, froze the tourney, and we did the deal.

Bottom line: I parlayed my $30 entry fee into $2600. Sure beats grinding! Thank you PokerStars.

A huge thanks to Felicia and also Hank, Pauly and Al who stopped by to watch the end game. Very cool stuff. I can't help but think about the ten grand I may possibly have won, but a save is a save.

Poker tip of the day: Sometimes by folding, you win.

I want to get this up, so I'm going to leave the rest of my ramblings and Best of Poker Linkage for my next post. Hope this wasn't too boring or self-absorbed - I prefer to stay low-key with my own poker play.

Per my long poker posts and the amount of content I am blogging, a local buddy had this to say:

Dann: Lots of poker reading time needed, though -- don't know how you find the time!
Iggy: I am clearly deranged

That about sums it up, doesn't it? And damnit, please use bonus code IGGY on PartyPoker if you are playing anywhere else!!

What kind of a Monday post would this be, however, without the brand-new post by David Ross, talking about his past week and two of the biggest things he did to become a winning player:
Playing online for a living Week 50


Despite my own stubbornness too. It took me many weeks of urging before I made the switch from Paradise to Party, and that paid immediate dividends.

And finally Poker tracker. I stalled and stalled before buying it, and for the life of me I can’t imagine why. Has to be the smartest $40 I’ve ever spent.

And finally, I took a time out from my poker reading to update myself on all the Iraqi blogs. Fascinating stuff and highly worth reading. Zeyad already has 550 comments from his post yesterday, entitled One Year After Saddam. Check out Healing Iraq and his list of other Iraqi bloggers on the right.

Link of the Day:
Eat Keanu Reeves
Everything you learned about agribusiness from Babe is a lie, according to PETA. "The Meatrix is the story we tell ourselves about where meat and animal products come from. This family farm is a fantasy."

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Poker blogs, poker blogs and even more poker blogs

"Destroying workplace productivity, one post at a time."

Bonus Poker Blog News Post:

I have a backlog of good poker articles and I thought I'd rip through them for you hard-working folks out there who need a break on a slow Monday. I'm all about my readers, damnit.

Except for you RSS whiners and apologists. FUD this. ;)

You RSS hippies remind me of Elaine on that Seinfeld episode when Elaine took a drink out of a 16-ounce bottle of orange juice and said, "Yuck! I hate when the orange juice tastes like this." Jerry replied, "You have to shake it first."

"I don't want to shake it," Elaine replies snottily. Jerry took the bottle from Elaine and began shaking it gently. "Yeah. That's a real burden, yeah, this is killing me."

I despair to think how difficult it must be to point and click to read this website. What a chore.

For those faithful readers who actually tackle the brutal job of loading this site in a seemingly antiquated web browser, thank you. You rule. Now let's get these damn links out of the way so I can actually write some poker content:

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer documents current college poker madness:
TV shows fuel poker craze on campuses


Online tournaments such as College Poker Championship.com are "extremely troubling" because they target students and do not put out warning signs or post helpline numbers for addicts, he said.

"It's actively soliciting kids to gamble, and in some states, that may be illegal," Whyte said. "You wouldn't have a college drinking championship, or a college smoking championship.com."

Maybe you should. Sounds like entertaining TV to me.

Yahoo Biz, Motley Fool has an interesting column about the Las Vegas mentality and the people who play there.
Vegas Psychology

BusinessWeek put together an interesting study which demonstrated that investors in an old, boring utility index actually outperformed investors in the tech-laden Nasdaq from 1970 to 2000. All those hot-seated tech investors took 90% more risk, and yet received less return than owners of the staid, dividend-paying utility stocks.

When I shared this little statistic with the Aces, they were consistently shocked by it. "But boring utility stocks -- dividend-paying stocks -- aren't supposed to beat the market. They're supposed to be for retirees who are only looking for preservation of capital."

Well, not exactly. Dividend payers actually outperform non-dividend-paying companies over time. They've done so for more than 70 years. Don't think you'll be investing for 70 years? You could be wrong there, but fear not, because dividend payers have beaten non-payers over the last 30 years, too.

Worthwhile (peek behind the curtains) snippet about a busted Vegas cheat and his cronies:
Card cheater draws winning hand in court
Using keen eyesight to rip off casinos doesn't justify extra jail time, judges rule.

A sharp-eyed gambler from San Francisco, who helped his pals cheat a Las Vegas casino out of $1.5 million on a day at the baccarat table, caught a bit of luck in his prison cell Wednesday, courtesy of a federal appeals court.

Here's a shocker:
World Poker Tour Events Continue Dramatic Growth

The increase in players catapults the total prize money to $1,633,700, including the $25,000 WPT contributed to the prize pool. With this large prize pool for the tournament, players down to 27th place will go home with a nice payday, and the winner will capture a top prize of $604,469, including a seat in the season finale WPT Championship April 19th-23rd at Bellagio, Las Vegas. Last year's champion, Ron Rose, from Dayton, OH, walked away with $186,298 when the prize pool totaled $420,746. Two years ago, before the tournament became a WPT event, the tournament had 32 entries. The prize pool is determined by the number of players "buying in" to the tournament - in this case the entry fee is $5,000 per person.

Mainstream article discussing poker as cultural juggernaut on MSNBC. Featuring an interview with Cardplayer owner, Barry Shulman.
Poker's Growing Stakes
Card Player magazine's Barry Shulman talks about why the game is seeing unprecedented popularity, especially online.

It's interesting how many business and financial related reports/columns I've been linking to over the past few months. This is the third in a series of articles looking at the changing face of Atlantic City's gaming industry from TheStreet.com.
Casinos Start Courting the Poker Crowd

It's ridiculous to me that every single gambling boat around here refuses to spread poker. Talk about missing a golden opportunity....

And here's USA Today chiming in:
Celeb poker hits the jackpot
No bluffing: Poker is the hottest game in Hollywood.

Celebrities from Ben Affleck to Mimi Rogers to Sara Rue are placing their bets on the card game.

Whoopi Goldberg runs a weekly game on the set of her NBC sitcom, Whoopi, and cast and crew watch televised poker games during breaks.

David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston and George Clooney host poker parties at their homes.

James Woods is part of an elite group that includes Affleck that plays privately on Monday nights with a $5,000 buy-in. Woods shares his new passion with girlfriend Dawn DeNoon (a co-producer for Law & Order: SVU). There's talk of him directing James McManus' book about poker, Positively Fifth Street.

I found this site from a press release sent to me at work. California players take note: The Poker California website lists all the casinos and card clubs in California.

Yikes, even more poker content found in work-related press. Here's AdAge.com giving the scoop on Mark Burnett's new reality TV show. Long article - worth the read if you care for the reality TV show thing.
Inside Mark Burnett's New TV Show 'The Casino'
Replaces 'American Idol' Starting June 8.

The Sacramento Bee featuring our man Phil Helmuth.
Hot poker
The stakes are high, but the action is low-key - at least until the TV editors get involved

Surprise, surprise:

"Poker's at a whole new level right now, and I'm at the center of the storm," Phil says. "I'm the No. 1 guy in poker. Everywhere I go, I'm signing autographs, taking pictures. It's huge, and that's a good thing," says Phil Helmuth.

After a few more hands, the combative former World Series of Poker champ starts jawing with Tracy Scala, who is sitting across the table. "It's OK for you to get confused," Helmuth says. "Confused is good. Are you confused?" Scala sits in silence while Helmuth talks. And talks. And talks.

Alrighty then, I hope that quenches your poker thirst. I'm off to write a real post.

Postscript: too tired drunk - will have a post up on Monday.

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

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