Saturday, June 19, 2004

"What we think or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do."
John Ruskin

It's been a jolly good run, hasn't it? This once nascent part of the BlogSphere is now a full-blown community and I’m thrilled to have been even a small part of that growth. I never woulda thought that I’d be referred to as the damn Blogfather of this burgeoning scene, as I was once. I’m both humbled and honored.

And frankly, a tad burnt out.

I have been posting for over nine full months now.
I have 180 posts. That's about 20 a month, on average.
If you consider the length of my posts, it's quite insane.
I need professional help.

And not just ONE shrink, mind you. I need a TEAM. 24/7 help.

It's very difficult to make a compelling poker blog (or any blog, for that matter) - post after post after post. My fellow bloggers (poker or not) understand this. And hell, we do this for free, for the love of poker. I almost love reading, studying, talking poker more than I do playing. And this humble poker blog is just an extension of that.

I truly want to say thanks to everyone who read and supported this Guinness-fueled poker blog with a Party Poker bonus code IGGY, an email or comment, or even just for checking in here, now and then. So, thanks to my peers for the inspiration to continue blogging, and to the silent majority of my visitors who made it worthwhile to do so.

Sure, I enjoy espousing the benefits of Party, Empire and even Pacific Poker (get on there, the tourneys have AWESOME OVERLAY – try it, you’ll like it, I promise! Please use my link to sign up, there aren't bonus codes) but honestly, it’s extremely difficult to make any money this way. Anyone who has tried this route understands the futility.

And in that vein, I must point out PokerGrub’s wonderful behind-the-scenes post about affiliates in both poker and casino whoring. Because he really knows his way around the online casino side of things (and is a far superior writer, anyway), I’d like to quote the Master of Bonus Whoring himself:


When you sign up to a poker site through an affiliate link, your account is tagged as being referred by that person. To you, the player, it's transparent and means nothing. You'd normally sign up anyway and play regularly, and you'd get the same signup bonuses whether signing up on your own or through an affiliate. But it's advantageous to us affiliates because depending on our program, we either get a set amount per signup or we get a small percentage of the rake you generate.

We also pay for part of the bonuses you receive. If you sign up, play the exact number of required raked hands to release the bonus, then cashout never to return, it leaves us in the negative.

This happens often, although I’m not sure why. I can’t fathom why anyone would be playing poker online anywhere but Party and Empire. Well sure, Pacific has some uber-soft tournaments, but still, Party is the biggest aquarium in the world right now, hands down. But it sucks when you end up with a negative equity signup.

So my long-winded point is, please consider signing up with my bonus codes if you haven’t done so previously. You will thank me. And it might provide some motivation for me to get back on the saddle and continue this monstrosity of a blog. Please don't make me grovel! I've had TWO signups the last 30 days and one was the situation that Grubby spoke so eloquently about above.

As it stands now, I’m going on hiatus for the unforeseeable future to focus solely on playing poker. I may only be gone for a few weeks if I re-charge the batteries quickly. If not, I'll be gone longer. I've archived the site, and whatever that implies.

Plus, it's sad. I've turned into one of those losers who post pictures of their damn cat on their web site.

Oh the humanity.

It's been twelve days since a car smashed him into a bleeding, broken mess. He is thankfully still alive and improving slightly. The vets keep stressing that this will be a long, long road to recovery. His face is still completely mashed from the broken jaw issues and he’s looking very rough, but still, this is one damn tough tabby. I don’t wanna jinx him but so far:

Monty 1 Car 0

Here is an excellent summation of Monty's personality:

Sigh, I hope he makes it home soon. Thanks again to all who sent positive vibes.

Segue back to poker: Again, it's hard to believe what's going on right now with poker and poker blogs. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. It's the poker gold rush. Get on board, folks. The main vein is at Party Poker. Stick $50 in and try the fifty cent – one dollar tables if you must – you won’t believe it till you see it. Even if you've only just read one poker book, and that poker book is Idiot's Guide to Poker, still, you are far ahead of the fish.

So now I’m here to attempt one last uber-post before taking a sabbatical. I’ve got an odd collection of poker content: 2004 WSOP stuff, WPT news, poker news articles, a vintage poker pro flame war (I know you love those), and of course, new poker blogs.

So let’s see if I can bang this out quick. I’m leaving town early in the morning for vacation and am counting on Guinness to give me the strength to link all this random stuff up.


Let's rock n roll, shall we?

Want some more proof that Poker is RED HOT? Here's a take from Yahoo Biz:

The Lycos 50(TM) Top 10 Search Terms has poker appearing at number freaking SEVEN. President Ronald Reagan, Top Search Term with Web Users; Poker Reaches its Highest Rank Ever on List; Emma Watson is First Harry Potter Star to Ever Make the Lycos 50
The Lycos 50 for Week Ending June 12, 2004

Interesting snippet here: From Vice Squad

Just read an article in the May 2004 edition of Washington Monthly about "Why the Internet generation loves to play poker," as the sub-title has it. The answer, in short: "Strategy-oriented, individualistic, and embedded in a nice masculine mythology, poker is the perfect game for the revenge-of-the-nerds generation looking to square their intelligence with their inner maleness."

I have been trying to think about various ways that the Internet influences vice control. One way is by providing a low-cost means to avoid some social forms of regulation that are built-in to bricks-and-mortar vice. On the Internet, you do not have to deal with a sales clerk when you purchase pornography, nor do you have to worry about running into your boss. But the Washington Monthly article mentioned another twist on this theme: "For many would-be players, the fear of looking like confused novices in front of a room full of old hands used to keep them from the tables. Now, the online poker rooms provide a convenient place to learn and refine the game at home with no one watching." And one other Internet-based gambling innovation: poker blogs (like here and here)!

Wow, Andy Glazer wrote this interesting piece about poker for ESPN. Not to beat a dead horse, but I truly enjoy everything he writes:
Are poker superstars possible?

As a result of the tournament explosion, it has become almost impossible to compare achievements from different eras. In my recent report on the 2004 WSOP, I stated that Dan Harrington's feat of making the final table (actually the final four, with a third-place finish in 2003 and a fourth-place finish in 2004) the last two years, when the fields included 839 and 2,576 entries, is far more impressive than Stu Ungar's consecutive victories in 1980 and 1981 -- and (though I didn't make this next point in the story) arguably more impressive than Johnny Chan's back-to-back wins in 1987-88, simply because the fields Ungar and Chan faced were mere fractions of the size of those Harrington faced.

Can't argue with the numbers. Personally, as a tight player, I love Action Dan's success in these large field events.

ESPN and now GQ - all the mainstream pubs are latching on now:

Just writing to let you know I have a short piece on poker tells in this month's (June) GQ; nothing fancy or advanced, but a good cheat-sheet for beginners (editor's suggestion: 'write something a wasted home game
player'll be able to use' hmmm). Here's to hoping mags like GQ will
feature more bits about poker!

And how can I forget Playboy? Shana Hiatt's butt is in this month's Playboy, working many players into a lather.
Steve Badger graciously posted the photo here along with this main page of thumbnails.

In a tip of the Guinness to Pauly, here is a top five list from yours truly.

Last five movies watched per Netflix.
1. Devils Playground
2. Life and Debt
3. Nine Queens
4. American Splendor
5. Fog of War

Damnit, the link to this hold em article is defunct. Stupid premium membership needed, arrg. Thank goodness I grabbed the article in its entirety:

Microsoft Corporation has just announced it has acquired Texas
Hold'Em (TM) poker in a cash and stock deal worth approximately 3.6
Billion US dollars. Texas Hold'Em (TM) is a variation on poker that
uses two down-cards (or "hole") cards and five shared up-cards (or
"community") cards to create a fascinating betting game that is easy
to learn but takes a long time to master.

Microsoft Corporation had until recently been the leader in card
games, after its 1995 acquisition of Solitaire(TM) and Freecell(TM).
Solitaire(TM) is currently only number three in market share for card
games. Texas Hold'Em (TM) and Omaha (TM) have taken the number one and
number two spots, respectively.

In an interview by phone with CEO Steve Ballmer, he stated, "With the
explosion in popularity in poker, especially Texas Hold'Em (TM), we
knew we had to get a piece of this. We're number two in card games
now, with Solitaire(TM), but this acquisition will put us back up to
number one!" When asked about number two Omaha (TM), Balmer replied,
"They used to call me 'Old Shoebox'. In the Harvard days, Bill and I
used to play poker with the guys and I kept all my money in a shoebox.
People were scared of me, because they never knew how much bankroll I
had inside the shoebox."

When asked about the legality of such an angle, Ballmer replied, "It's
not an angle unless the floor person rules against it. Let's just say
that I'm 6'10" and 280 pounds."

Microsoft has been known to muscle in on an industry, often with a
number two or number three market share and taking over. The success
of its various operating systems and office productivity suites tells
a story of domination and takeover. Vice President of Marketing at
Microsoft, Yuriy Colader stated, "We [Microsoft] have taken over
almost everything imaginable. The Windows(TM) platform has infected
90% of all computers, our Microsoft Office(TM) suite is installed on
85% of all desktop PCs, and Internet Explorer(TM) has mercilessly
crushed and destroyed pathetic Netscape Corporation!"

Some industry veterans worry about Microsoft's ability to keep high
quality and prevent so-called pirates from playing the game without
paying Microsoft. At press time, there were reports of a card virus
that infects any game of Texas Hold'Em (TM) being played. Often, in
the middle of a hand, the cards all turn blue and play cannot
continue. The only recourse it to "reboot" -- a procedure in which
the players sit idly by while the dealer puts the cards back in their
original boxes, opens them again, resuffles the decks and then begins
the hand again.

Others say that Microsoft's licensing scheme, developed to stop poker
hackers and pirates, who play Texas Hold'Em (TM) illegally, have gone
too far. Microsoft's license strings are only valid if a player uses
the same playing style as when he or she signed up for Texas Hold'Em.
If the player starts playing on tilt, or perhaps too tightly, or even
if the number of chips in his or her bankroll changes significantly,
the license string will become invalid. The player will then have to
contact Microsoft to get a new license string, often for an additional
charge, not including support charges and phone charges, if any.

A well respected professional poker player, Howard Lederer was quoted
as saying, "They [Microsoft] have really ruined the game for us. We
used to be able to play 30 to 40 hands per hour. Now with the reboots
and license strings, it takes a hour to play 3 hands. A lot of people
are upset."

Another well respected and fat poker player who won the World
Championship title last year, Chris Moneymaker, noted, "I've fed cows.
And boy, I tell you, this ain't no cow!"

In a separate interview with Greg Maffei, former CFO of Microsoft
Corporation, he stated, "Microsoft made a really smart move.
Currently, 50 million people play poker regularly in the US. Of
those, about 120 million play Texas Hold'Em (TM). If you count people
who play an unlicensed copy of Texas Hold'Em worldwide, it could be as
high as 1.2 billion people. If we charge each of them $120 per
person, per hand, they [Microsoft] could really add some more money to
the $50 billion they have in the bank."

Microsoft has already released two upgrades to the popular card game.
One feature is the introduction of six more suits, or colours and
shapes used in differentiating types of cards with the same rank. In
a press release on Microsoft's website, Chairman Bill Gates writes,
"This is an extraordinary evolution in card playing. We believe it
will increase card play 16 times and reduce the costs associated with
playing Texas Hold'Em (TM). This is the first step in a long journey
down the poker road. We've only scratched the surface on what we can
do with poker."

Some reports have surfaced that a so-called "Service Pack", or bug
fix, will be available shortly to remedy the "blue cards of death
syndrome". A spokesperson for Microsoft stated, "The Service Pack
will be available for licensed users of Texas Hold'Em (TM) 2003 and
2004. Previous users of Texas Hold'Em (TM) will not be supported. The
Service Pack will be inexpensive, almost free. We believe it will
make a huge imapact in poker players' lives."

Details can be found on Microsoft's Website or by calling Microsoft
support at +11 0870 60 10 100.

I would be remiss if I didn't point out Hank's excellent last post on poker and personality, something I find fascinating. Hank makes several great points about ALL the qualities it takes to become a winning player. Damn, is anyone writing better theory posts than my man, Hank?

Speaking of personality and how it ties into the all important "image" factor, I found this insightful snippet from poker professional, Daniel Negreanu, about Mike Caro's philosophy of a wild image being +EV:

Mike's wild and crazy antics work on novice to average players. Against excellent players, he is just giving away a ton of information about his own hand.

When I used to play 10-20 through 30-60, that wild and crazy image was much more lucrative then a solid tight one. In the higher limit games, it simply doesn't work 'as well'.

For my esteemed women readers and the weirdo's who like to play as females, I found this forum: PokerChix.

Just wanted to make people on the forum aware of a women's only forum called PokerChix. It is a nice friendly forum for women in poker to exchange information and support each other. If you are female, or know someone who is and wants to join, check it out.

Speaking of wierdo's who love to play poker under a female moniker, one of my long-term online poker heroes is Ms. Sunshine, a prolific poster on 2+2. When she writes, I read. And she had a superb response to a low-limit player who expressed concern about playing online poker with sites that PokerTracker supports.

Anyway, here is Ms. Sunshine in bold text, giving this newish player
some excellent advice.

I don't want to play with Pokertracker players- am I mad?

OK, I'm wondering if I'm mad. I'd appreciate opinions.

We don't have alot of information on that, but what we do have, that you're starting to post at the Zoo is not good on the personal mental health front.

I play low buy in NLHE and $5-20 tournaments. I have the choice between playing at sites that Pokertracker supports, allow notes etc and sites that don't. (GoldenPalace for example.)

To the non-PT user, when you're weighting different factors in choosing a poker site, give little weight to whether it is PT supported. Look for the softest games in the limits and game you play.

I regard myself as a good learner, but not intermediate or expert (I'm a profitable player, I know there are large holes in my game but I'm trying to rectify them). Against that, I'm relatively inexperienced compared to most good players.

First, welcome. Good post, it caught my interest. It seems you're on a good learning curve to play winning poker. Let me help. Get PT. It will help you get to the inner game of poker. My PT use is almost all note driven. I rarely study MY game. Here's what my auto-notes show me for NLH players:

{{seeFLOP 24 - raisePF 3 - chkRAISE 2 - H 87}}

This gives just the basics, but enough to give you a handle on what type of player he/she is. My wife who knows nothing about PT, except how to turn on the auto-request HH feature, and actually groaned when she saw the % numbers instead of the plain text english notes, she was used to, loves these notes now. My wife must have notes to play. With Party's recent problem with large notes.txt files and my switching to NLH there were few notes for her $10-20 LH games. She whined for awhile then switched to NLH also. She's a big winner over the last couple of weeks so the whining has slowed. Avoiding the tight guys, except to work on their blinds, making the loose callers pay, and letting the LAGs hang themselves, is helped by the PT auto-notes.

In general, my instinct is to avoid sites where it is easier for good players to use technology like PT to carve me up.

See above, for most important reasons for picking poker sites.

I ask myself: Would I rather be on a site where a good player has to work out for himself that I play too loose in EP or one where he can find out at the click of a button?

Would I rather play at a site where a good player can't find out what I lost with on the river, or one where he gets the hand history instantly?

These are good questions.

Most large sites are PT supported, the other smaller sites have a smaller known pool of players in each game area and limit. With less turn-over, everyone pretty much knows everyone's game and there is little chance, even with PT or good manual notes, of getting an infomational edge.

So, yes, playing smaller sites keeps you from a disadvantage from other players knowing much more about the players in your current game than you.

Of course, if I had PT, then my attitude would be different, but the way I see it, if I sit down at a virtual table that suports hand histories, pokertracker, and player stats, and I don't have the optimum tools for taking advantage of these offerings from the site, I'm just giving away money.

So, should I just buy Pokertracker? My thought is, no, because I'm not at the stage where it will help me refine my game. I'm still learning the core principles, and while learning about how I can make more with KQs from a programme will help, I feel I need to internalise the learning first. From those of you who use PT, am I just being silly?

You should be using the other forums here. When they discuss hands, PT data is frequently used and is an important part of how a hand is played to max +EV. PT is too full of data and it takes awhile to get used to it. It's worth it.

Finally, If I'm right about the advantage PT and the like gives those who use it, isn't that a competitive advantage for those sites that don't support it? As a learner, they're surely a safer place to play.

Most small poker sites, would like to lose the advantages of being small.

Good luck. Continue posting.

MS Sunshine

Geez, it's rare to see such kind and helpful posts in 2+2. You rock, MS Sunshine, for explaining the WHY's of PokerTracker usage. I wouldn't play online poker without it.

Time for another tangent. Per my last post about the new Party Poker multi-table Sit and Go's, here is a solid take:

A) You can't use a 10 hands/blind round format because the tables won't play at the same speed. It would create unfair situations when players are moved to balance tables.

B) It offers good players a better risk/reward ratio. Look at $30+$3
tournament payouts

1 table $150 (5 to 1), $100 (3.33:1), $50 (1.67:1)
2 table $240 (8:1) $180 (6:1) $120 (4:1) $60 (2:1)
3 table $270 (9:1) $225 (7.5:1) $180 (6:1) $135 (4.5:) $90 (3:1)

(not taking in account the vig, but you get the idea)

It only takes finishing 5th in a three table to make almost as much as
getting second in the sometimes crapshoot like 1 table tournaments. So
for the smart, consistant player who makes into the money frequently the
ROI is much better. More chances to cash and higher risk/reward. Yes you
have to take into account the time factor and the average return per hour,
but I still believe these are more profitable for a solid player.

Sometimes I ponder moving my blog into a full-blown, uber-poker web site. I am a web developer, after all. But it's so damn convenient to log into blogger.com and just happily type away, oblivious to the code. I love it. But today, I found this post about available poker domains. They seem kinda crappy to me but I'll let you judge for yourself:

1. 247365POKER.COM

That upforpoker.com URL might be useful to some friends of mine.

Anistropy brilliantly suggested I use http://www.destroyingworkplaceproductivity.com as my new domain.

I'm not going to besmirch ALLIN Magazine after they were kind enough to allow an excellent six page spread about the poker blog scene, written by Hank. But there are plenty of folks complaining on RGP about them....people have requested rate cards to no avail and most people haven't even received their first issue. For the record, the magazine was riddled with typos. In the real world, that I work in, you would be terminated with prejudice for even one, much less a dozen.

Hell, they called PokerGrub = PokerGrab. Oh the humanity. Hire an editor and a REAL art director, guys!

From RGP, yesterday:

I was in a fraternity in college and every week at our chapter meeting one guy would stand up and ask when the pool table was going to be re-felted. He did it week in and week out; it was sort of a running joke because we all knew it was never going to happen. That being said, anyone heard when
the first copy of All In Magazine is going to be delivered??

I never got my copy, either. Bastards.
But again, I'm not bad-mouthing them.

Hrm, I just now found lotsa photos from the 2004 WSOP at this web site. Ignore the banner ads and reviews. Make sure to check out Laura Prepon (Donna - That 70's Show) who is quite striking with blonde hair.
Talking Poker

Hell, I've pontificated many times about how poker has changed over the years - that's one unique perspective I can give....I was toiling alone for many years before the WPT and the Moneymaker win. I simply can't stress enough how things have changed and how much opportunity there is for a poker student with a thirst for improvement.

And then I found this prophethic post by Jesse May from September of 2002, right before the poker explosion. This was right before the Party Poker Million (and consequent explosion of Party) and prior to the WPT - although he prolly had a whiff of it...

The decline in cash game poker around the country points towards the sport of poker's evolution, not to its decline. That's why the new Poker Million should not be looked at as a burden to the existing poker schedule, but instead as a welcome addition.

The problem with poker today has nothing to do with a cluttered schedule. The problem with poker is the profit model by which poker is run. It is a profit model which is absolutely outdated, constricting poker under the confines of "casino game", when poker is in fact a popular sport of skill, like golf. The current profit model for poker is one that sees casinos running poker tournaments because of the money they will make in tournament fees and side games.

It is a profit model that forces the best players in the sport to make their living thru money won from other players in the sport, money that comes up thru the cash game ranks, money that the casinos are already dipping into. It is a profit model that squeezes down.

Consider the profit model of professional golf. Golf courses hold
tournaments because of revenues from television and corporate sponsors, money from which the tournament purses are funded. The top ranked players are qualified to play in the tournaments, and the best players earn a living from prize money in tournaments that they qualified to play in. The best players also earn money from sponsors who pay players because of the television coverage that their sport receives. This is a profit model that looks up for its profit, using the players as the stars who are showcasing their skill to generate the revenue by which the best players are paid.

Poker is not really that far off, and to suggest that poker still is
far off is to be stuck in a rut. Under the table cameras really do
make poker exciting to watch. The fan base is there. The tournaments
are there. And the best players really are that good.

The future of professional poker is a world poker tour. The top
ranked players will be qualified to play in tournaments on the tour,
which will be shown on TV. The casinos that host the tournaments will
generate the purses from television and sponsorship revenue, and
players will earn money through endorsements. That is the future of
poker, and while it has not been a to b to c, one day it will all seem
to have happened fast.

Both of the Poker Million events, while far from ideal, at least look
towards the new profit model for poker. The first Poker Million had
250,000 pounds added in corporate sponsorship. The second Poker
Million, the Poker Million - The Classics, while having no added
money, also has no tournament fees. And because the field is
restricted, and because the television exposure will be maximum (six
two hour shows on Friday evenings on Sky Sports with a six player
table, and the final live on Sunday prime time), and because players
are allowed to wear sponsor logos, for the first time prospective
players really have a product of value to sell to a potential sponsor.

And depending on what the market values of those logos is, some
players could find this tournament better value than any they've ever
played in.

It's really fascinating, looking back. Sadly, I wish I spent more time and energy writing about my own play. I often hear that as a criticism about this humble poker blog - write MORE about your own play, Iggy! And maybe I will down the road.

But for now, I'm going to mention this list of players that you *would* like to play against in B&M poker. I'm not sure I agree with his assumptions, but here it is anyway. From The Mad Genius, Mike Caro:

1. Off-duty Casino Employees
2. Talkative, Loud, Smiling Cheerful Players
3. Beautiful Women
4. Players with Tattoos
5. Players Who Drink Alcohol
6. Players who Expose Cards
7. Nail Biters
8. Poker Players under 25
9. Players Who Play out of a Rack
10. Nervous Players
11. Rich People
12. 7 Card Stud Players

I found this other interesting tidbit from Mr. Caro. He talks about the older, retirement age players and their tendency for rock-like play. He has a thing he calls the Warren's Rule of Bluffing. Here's how it works. Assume you are heads-up on the end with an older player who has bet into you and because of the action and the board you can't decide if he's bluffing or not. What you do is quickly estimate that player's age and subtract that number from 70. Whatever number you're left with, that's the percent chance that he's bluffing. You can laugh, but he swears it works in a typical low-limit hold em game.

Here's a great idea - I've actually wanted to create a site like this for newbies a long time ago. Glad to see someone actually put it up - a daily poker freeroll tournament schedule. I don't think their lists are comprehensive, but it's a start for you players who want to play for free and possibly win some cash....Freerolls.net. The schedule apparently updates daily and you need not register or sign in to view.

Some boring background financial info about the WPT:
The WPT SEC Filing Discloses More Financial Information. Here are a few paragraphs from the prospectus:

Although we realized our first quarterly profit during the first quarter of fiscal 2004, we have a history of losses since our
inception in March 2002. We incurred a net loss of approximately $2.14
million in fiscal 2002, or approximately $0.17 per diluted share, and
a net loss of $493,214 in fiscal 2003, or $0.04 per diluted share. In
the first quarter of fiscal 2004, we realized a net profit of
$791,563, or approximately $0.05 per diluted share. Since our
inception, approximately 94% of our WPT Studios business unit's
revenues (and approximately 88% of our company's total revenues) have
resulted from our broadcast license agreements with the Travel
Channel, LLC. These agreements provide the Travel Channel with options
to license the World Poker Tour television series exclusively in the
United States through its seventh season (which will end in 2009) and
limit season by season license fee increases to prescribed rates upon
the Travel Channel's exercise of these options.

Based on the popularity of the World Poker Tour television series, we
are developing and marketing the World Poker Tour brand in order to
generate revenue from three business units: WPT Studios, WPT Consumer
Products and WPT Corporate Alliances.

WPT Studios. Through its multi-media entertainment business,
WPT Studios generates revenue through the domestic and international
licensing of broadcast and telecast rights and membership fees from
casinos and cardrooms that host the televised World Poker Tour events.
Since we began generating revenues in fiscal 2003 and through the
first quarter of fiscal 2004, the revenue generated by WPT Studios has
accounted for $8,026,696, which represents approximately 96% of our
company's total revenue since inception. See "Management Discussion
and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations."

WPT Consumer Products. Through its branded consumer products
business, WPT Consumer Products generates revenue through the
licensing and direct sale of merchandise that features our World Poker
Tour brand. Through the first quarter of fiscal 2004, WPT Consumer
Products has generated aggregate revenues of $244,945 from the sale of
merchandise and receipt of brand licensing royalties.

WPT Corporate Alliances. Through its corporate promotional
business, WPT Corporate Alliances generates revenue through sales of
corporate sponsorships that include elements of on-air visibility,
corporate live event sponsorship, promotional sponsorships and
corporate hospitality events. Through the first quarter of fiscal
2004, WPT Corporate Alliances has generated aggregate revenues of
$127,500, primarily in connection with our sponsorship arrangements
with Anheuser-Busch. See "Description of the Business - WPT Corporate
Alliances - Corporate Sponsorship."

In addition to these core businesses, we plan to expand the
mainstream potential of the World Poker Tour brand in both domestic
and international markets by developing new programming, utilizing the
Internet as an advertising platform and a means of content
distribution, and exploring new business opportunities that leverage
the popularity of the World Poker Tour brand and other brands that we
may develop."

Per poker/gambling on TV, many people were bitching to high hell on RGP about how horrific the show, The Casino, was.

My favorite comment:


The first 10 minutes showed just how good it could have been. Two dotcom
millionaires with a board of non-casino experienced friends beat the odds
and get a license to gamble. From that it took a sharp left and turned
into a Porky's sequel.

What a joke this show was.

If you want to see a good show, check out American Casino, Fridays on
Discovery Channel. Its actually about the running of a casino, and hasnt
been Foxified.

Hrm, here's an update on the infamous Russ Boyd:

Rakefree.Com Updated
"Thanks to the many supporters of RakeFree. We are proud to announce
that with a strong team of online poker players in place, software
development for RakeFree.com is now in the works.

We appreciate your patience as we continue to develop this site. For
those who have signed up to the mailing list, we will be sending out the
premier edition of our newsletter very soon.

Thank you again for your continued support. Join us as we improve the
online poker industry."

I'll keep my mouth shut.

I thought this RGP exchange was funny, mainly because it makes fun of poker blogs. First of all, RGP blowhard Arlo Payne posted this:

Spend a day with God
Step 1
First start off with 6 grams of Cocaine up the nose in less than 30
seconds. Once your body starts to shake and you teeth begin to grind down
to nothing move to step 2.

Step 2
Mix .5 grams of lysergic acid diethylamide, 1 gram of phencyclidine, two
psilocybin mushrooms, 1.5 grams of mescaline, .003 grams of
dimethyltryptamine (for flavor), .05 grams of alpha-methyltryptamine into
a tall glass of vodka. Drink it all down quickly. Now log onto RGP and
start reading. Once the devil appears on the screen start posting. When
you can no longer see the keyboard move to step 3.

Step 3
Mix 3 grams of Rohypnol with 4 grams of Gamma hydroxybutyrate take with
orange juice and head directly to bed. When you wake up if you do wake up
you will have seen God!

Um, ok. But now fellow poker blogger, Rick Charles, (The Voice of Poker) kicks in with this:

AIYAH! Back in the '70's and '80's I did all of the above (except rohypnol), but even a former "hard-core" drug user like me couldn't survive that cocktail. Besides, where would you find any *real* lysergic acid diethylamide, especially 5 gms? The crap that passes for LSD nowadays is no where near what the "old school" purple microdots, Window Panes, and
LSD25 liquid on a sugar cube was. And for you novices, putting coke up your
nose is a total waste. Just makes your face numb. Get a good CLEAN rig and
do it right :)


Of course, he gets bitchslapped by this guy (since Paul Phillips isn't around anymore to do it):

Now why in the world would anybody want to put this on the internet? Whats the purpose? You probably just chased away more prospective employers for your poker radio announcing gigs. And the stuff you put on your poker diary blows me away. Why do you want to announce to the world that your son just got arrested for stealing a car and then knocked up his high school girlfriend? Why does a grown man keep a little girlie diary anyway? How bout a little discretion, man?

LOL. Why does a grown man keep a little girlie diary anyway? That kills me.

Speaking of catching flack, I'm reposting this negative view of playing poker for a living because this goofball had the audacity to post his link in 2+2. Sometimes, insulting certain poker playing mentalities is like shooting fish in a barrel.
The life of a Professional Poker Player

Here is some poker commentary from Motley Fool.
ECON 101 at the Poker Table

In my freshman dorm, a few guys ran a regular poker night. Five of the guys came from some of the wealthiest families in the world. The sixth was a financial aid recipient from a working-class family. It would be an OK mix if he were better at poker than the others. He wasn't.

If someone actually purchases these videos, will you please email me a review and I'll be happy to post it here for all to read. If you scroll down to the bottom you can watch snippets of video interviews from JOHN BONETTI - JENNIFER HARMAN - JOHNNY CHAN -
Poker Champs Video Series
(plus $8.95 for shipping & handling)

And yet another sports news site is reporting on Poker As The New Hip Sport.
The Stunning growth of Professional Poker

He said 1.7 million households are watching during the WPT's second season, which consists of 25 tape-delayed, two-hour episodes on Wednesday nights. Steve Lipscomb expects the ratings to double in the next two years.

"I think it can grow over the next several years," he said. "In 10 years, I think our audience will certainly rival -- and to tell you the truth, we already do rival -- the major sports."

Geepers, is this an uber-post yet? It certainly feels like it. I really want to make sure I bang out a massive Guinness-fueled post here before my self-imposed break. Leave with a bang, as it were. But damn, I'm really looking forward to expending all of my focus on simply playing. And reading my fellow bloggers, per always.

So let's pimp out all the new bloggers shall we? I'll rip through this list and then post some wonderful RGP dirt from poker 'names'.

Po'Boy is an apparent workaholic. He's a software architect by day, restauranteur by night and, of course, a low-limit Hold'em player. Good grief, his work days make me tired just thinking about it.
Crazy Game of Poker

The Anti-Bluff
I think most Party players are paranoid about being bluffed. The overvalue the bluff and are willing to spend a ton of chips defending it. When I think a player is particularly defensive, I try the anti-bluff. I'll go all-in preflop with AA, KK or AK preflop with many players left to act. About 1/2 the time some player will put me on mid-pocket pairs or a weak ace and will call with A-T or KQs. It's amazing how many times this play works.

I've also got to mention this absolutely hilarious 2+2 thread that Po'Boy pointed out.

I have no intention of turning pro. Ever. However, it's always fun to hear about players who've ditched their full time jobs, bought a 21" LCD and multi-table for a living. There are several well respected pros that blog (a la LionTales) and the en-vogue thing to do is document your decision to turn pro (a la davidross). Oftentimes these journals are helpful and quite entertaining. But, every now and again some not-so-talented person comes along and declares his newfound profession. Read the declaration and the madness that ensues (there are around 130 replies so far). One of the funniest back-and-forths I've read in a while (I really need to think about why I find so many of these posts so damn funny).

theBruiser500 turns pro
It's some seriously funny shit. Nuff said - now go read it - all the way to the end.

This is a brand new poker blog by an old-school RGP'r. I highly recommend starting from post number one and working your way forward.
Internet Poker Pro

So why do so many people think they are winners live but tumble to an online conspiracy? More than likely they don't keep good records live and they haven’t been through the long term yet. What do I mean by good records? Every session, every tourney all detailed and analysed. Graphs. Profit and loss, the works. What do I mean by the long term? I've got good records for 8 years, and I am not sure I'm in the long term yet.

I should have linked up StudioGlyphic a long time ago. My humble apologies - I've been reading it for quite a long time.

Last night we broke out of the rut and opened up the last hour of play to non hold 'em games. We dusted off Anaconda, Heinz 57, Baseball, Little League, 357, Roll Your Own High Chicago Kings and Low-men, the Jake, and Follow the Queen, and the pots instantly escalated to stack-devastating amounts. I had the second best hand in at least three different games and ended down a few bucks for the night

Here is an old coach who hates people who use the word fish to describe opponents. Good gravy, let's drop the PC-crap, mmmk? Anyway, he's been posting very regularly and is worth the read.
Poker Wars

Cockiness in poker happens when we think we're better than we are. A cocky player envisons his play far superior to other's play, and loudly whines when a so-called bad player draws out on the River or enters a pot and wins with a marginal hand. Cockiness is manifest in bragging, berating new players and dealers, overtly reacting to wins and losses and in general, displaying bad manners at the table. I call it the horse's ass syndrome.

Can't argue with that. But I'm still calling a fish A FISH in this here humble poker blog.

Bryan Black is a brand new poker blogger who is trying one of those goofball bankroll challenges. I wish him the best of luck.
$100 to 10k


Howdy! I saw another blog where a gentleman turned $100 into 10k, and found it quite interesting, so I decided to do my own. My background: I lived off online poker for about a year, got a job just recently and cashed out my account down to $100. I was doing OK but was starting to hate poker and decided I would be happier doing real work. I am. :) Now it is just a hobby.

This guy is pounding out the posts and is worth a looksee....
Here's a great observation:

Sometimes you want action on your hands, and sometimes you want fear and respect at the table. You need to be able to determine which of these is going to be the most profitable and aspire to creating the best situation to attain those results. This can change from week to week, table to table, and even player to player. If doing these "different " types of things are uncomfortable for you, I encourage you to step into this zone of discomfort occasionally until it is not longer uncomfortable.

Another poker blogger from across the Pond has joined our ranks. He's currently espousing a Hammer type hand...
Mediocre Poker
The Sad Story of another Poker Wannabe. I've got the Will but not the Skill

Yes, 96 suited is the new monster hand.
After an extensive period (2 days) of non scientific or odds based research and having acquired 3 examples, I have concluded that 96 suited is a hand of such strength that it truly deserves the title "Monster Hand". Like most monumental discoveries, I came across this beast of a hand by accident, let me tell you how...

Damn, where are all these guys coming from? This whole poker blog thing is NOT like the new tattoo. It's more like the CB radio of the internet....
Project 10000

I recently cashed out much of my bankroll to pay for a trip to Japan, and to pay off some credit cards. I currently have $150 on poker sites right now. I hope plan to turn that $150 into $10,000 by playing poker without going broke. It will take some time, work and discipline, but I know it can be done.

High Limit poker pro, Jim Geary, has been posting in LJ for a while now. I devoured all of his journal even though it contains very little poker content. I'm linking this up more for my edification than anything else.
Jim Geary

Someone tell this guy to get off UB and onto Party!!
Small Time UB rounders Poker Blog
Useless blog about daily low-limit poker

I always believed that when you participate in any competative event in life, you should atleast have a fucking clue what you are doing or you are going to make a fool of yourself. Poker involves skill, cunning, math and many other intangables which breed competiton. We compete with each other by putting up our own money against each others and fight until you win it all or go broke. If you don't have a clue in poker, you will be embarrased and broke all in one shot. The million dollar question is why do people play poker at mid to high stakes without a hope or a prayer?

Woohoo, I finally tuned into Mr. Prock's poker blog.
Check out A Slave to Variance

This is a pretty classic situation. You've raised with King-high as a steal, get three bet, and the flop comes AKx. What do you do? Sklansky says you should play it passivly. You could easily be crushed, but you might be against someone putting action in with a smaller pocket pair. Of course, when I rivered trips I hoped that I'd been against a not-too-big Ace instead of the sevens that my opponent actually held.

Fucking river check-raises.

And finally, FeralBoy deserves a pimp for the poker section of his blog. More poker, FeralBoy, more poker!!

Oh the humanity. Could this be my longest post ever? The Mother of All Posts as a kind reader once said? Hell, I'm not even done yet!

Let's get to the poker backstabbing and such. You love this stuff, admit it. And here we have an old incident from a few years ago that some of you may not know about.

I've actually got plenty of these type posts and will make a concerted effort to post all of them when I return to blogging. But I digress. Here's the sordid story here - an anonymous RGP poster made public an incident between Daniel Negreanu and Men the Master.

Here it is:

True story, no one can deny. The night before the main event, a one
table satellite was about to start when Men and Daniel go into a war
of words. Daniel says Men you are a bad man, and you are a cheater.
Men yells and screams at him, denying all of it. Daniel says I don't
respect you and I know about the shit you do. They were both about to
play the satellite, until Men gave up his seat!!!! In the satellite where Erik S, John J, Allen C, Andy B, Tony Ma, and a few others who all saw it! Nobody else spoke. The satellite continued and Erik Seidel won the seat. Daniel was drinking Corona, and appeared to be drunk again. He was being aggressive with Men, and Men was backing off of him. What will come of this turmoil?????? Only time will tell?????

Yikes, some ugly stuff, eh? Well, here are Daniel's first two replies to the 'outing' of this incident, detailing specifics of some side shenanigans by backers.....


I have a pretty good idea who posted this, but that's not important
right now. The incident described, did occur but it wasn't exactly a
'war of words'. I simply stated my opinion of Men's character to him,
and let him know that I will no longer 'pretend' to like him. I
don't. I feel he is a shady individual, and I told him so. I just
wanted him to know that I no longer respected him, nor did I care to
speak to him.

I won't go into the reasons why I believe him to be shady, this is
hardly the place for comments like that. I was happy to feel the
support of many players who will remain nameless, that supported my
stand against Men. As much as I'd like to see corporate sponsorship
enter the poker arena, I don't feel it's 'right around the corner'.
Eventually it may be, but not in it's current state.

As I've gotten older, and more involved in the poker world, I've
made a decision to try and improve the game I love. I don't feel
comfortable, nor do I feel it is in poker's best interest to cover up
the 'problems' we have in the tournament world right now. I will
however, make a concerted effort to clean up the game as much as I
possibly can.

For some time now, I've heard, "Something must be done". Well, I'm
only one man/boy, but I will no longer sit and watch as others tarnish
this great game's reputation.

Daniel Negreanu

Well Dave,

You are actually the first person who thought my comments were out
of line, but that's ok. None of what I know about Men's 'shadiness'
comes from GCA posts. Many past situations where Men has broken the
code of poker ethics, I got from respectable people in the poker world
who will remain nameless. They told me these things in confidence,
and I will never betray that trust. That also includes people in his
camp who have admitted to me what they were forced to do if they
wanted to play for Men.

If you are looking for first hand knowledge, that I feel comfortable
sharing, this is an absolutely first hand fact. I'm curious as to how
you feel about the following hand, and comments that followed:

In 98', after I won a bracelet and had some money, both Men and I
put Nhut Tran into a limit hold'em event, each putting up half the
money. Down to three tables, Men had a moster stack, while Nhut only
had 4 small bets left. Men raised in 1st position, and everyone
folded to Nhut. Who then re-raised it to three bets. When the bet
came back to Men, he had to call one small bet, as well as one more
small bet to get Nhut all-in...he FOLDED! That alone is a cardinal
sin by any competent player, that should have been punished, but

That's not all. Men then takes me aside to the corner and says, "I
had to throw the hand away to keep Nhut alive! We have big percent,
so I have to give him chip." So in other words, Men dumped chips to
one of his horses to keep him alive in the tournament, which is
absolute collusion. It was certainly in Men's best interest
financially to have Nhut still alive in the tournament.

There are a million similar stories to this one, but this is the
only one where Men actually admitted to me that he was doing wrong. I
do not feel it is right to share what I've heard, rather what I KNOW.
If others are interested in putting a stop to Men's antics, I hope
they will eventually come forward with what they have seen first hand.

I honestly feel sorry for some of his horses(who will remain
nameless), who are forced to soft-play Men, if they would like to
continue to recieve financial backing or support from him. Some, not
all of his horses are given the following instruction:

1. Never call him.
2. Don't raise his blind.
3. In no limit, when he re-raises you, fold.
4. In no limit, you are not allowed to move in on him.

Unfortunately, I will not reveal the source who gave me this
information. So, I can understand your skepticism about the validity
of it. I can tell you that I got this same information from more than
one person. Personally, considering Men's character, I believe it.
You can choose to believe what you wish, but I am comfortable with my
decision to come forward with this information.

Daniel Negreanu

Good gravy, this is some serious dirty laundry being aired out in public, ain't it? And you just KNEW that Men the Master HAD to chime in at some point, didn't you? Of course you did. Enjoy:

This is my first post on RGP and I'm sorry that it has to be in my

First let me say that I totally deny Daniel's accusations. They are a
blatant outright lie.

Daniel, jealousy seems to be your only motive here. You made a bet
with me $5000.00 that you would finish higher in the point standings
in CP. You didn't and you couldn't pay. You told me that you didn't
have the $5000.00 and that you would pay me in Tunica.
I was a good sport about it.

Daniel at the final table, John asked you if he should let me go to
the bathroom. You told him not to. He didn't. After I went to the
bathroom anyway you to told your listeners (on the Fancast show)that
now John would have to play with a man who didn't wash his hands.
Disgusting jealousy.
Where is the sportsmanship in this? I let the clock get put on me and
I was a good sport about this.

When I won despite our differences, I put my hand out to shake John's.
As you said on your broadcast, he wouldn't and he didn't. Where's the
sportsmanship in this?
I was a good sport about this.

As to your allegations, I never took chips off the table and returned
them the next day or used them to aid me in a race off. I however find
it suspicious that your calculating mind would find this to be a
player's advantage. Nice plan Daniel, did you try it yourself?

As to the Commerce and your rebuy theory, also very cunning (How many
friends that you know play in those events)but I've never even placed
in one of those events. I never took chips from any other player and I
didn't design the Commerce's add on policy. Most importantly I never
abused it.

Now as far as Nuht Tran is concerned. I stopped doing business with
him in 1997. If he was a loyal, chip passing horse as you say, why is
he no longer with me? In reference to your allegation in 1998 (after I
dropped him)not only did I not put him in with you, but I never soft
played him.

Let me ask this, If I did and you saw me soft play him and you were
there at the table, why didn't you say something then. It's three
years later.
If I came up to you and said it wasn't in my best interest to knock
him out? Why didn't you say something then? It's three years later.

If you knew I soft played and kept him in the tournament and you were
a third owner of him, by you not saying anything does that make you an
Doesn't that make you someone who condoned the action, does this make
you a cheater too.

It never happened Daniel.
This is the worst case of outright jealousy I've ever seen. If I
hadn't won the events I won and then the final beating your good buddy
John, none of this would be said. If you didn't lose the bet because I
caught your friend John in the standings none of this would be said.

You say I have rules for my horses when they play. Let me see one come
forward with this accusation. You'll say they wont because their
afraid I wont put them in anymore. There are plenty out there who used
to play for me but now don't play for me, get them to accuse me. They

Your stories are uncorroborated and can only be sworn to by you.
You bring up things that can only be proven by your word without

This comes from a boy who now owes your buddy John What? Maybe
100,000? And as far as soft playing, playing on the same bankroll,
signals and collusion? Well let's just say that I wouldn't play in a
White chip game where you and John are together.

You may say that I have no proof and that it's not true. It's as true
as your stories Daniel. I at least admit that without proof these are
empty words.

Thank you to those that support me, I value this. I am a Buddhist and
believe that if I do wrong it will come back to me 10 fold. I assure
you I am not worried about these accusations, they are not true!!

I have asked someone who is better in English to help me with this
writing, but these are my words.

It's interesting that Men was frequently attacked by Crazy Russ - GCA for being a notorious cheat prior to these posts. Of course, EVERYONE is a poker cheat in Crazy Russ's eyes so I didn't pay it much mind.

But anyway, allow me to close with Daniel's rebuttal to Men's post as well as John Juanda (the John they are referencing at the final table) putting in his two cents.

(Men The Master Nguyen) wrote in message news:<54973d8e.0112181503.9245069@posting.google.com>...

> This is my first post on RGP and I'm sorry that it has to be in my
> defense.
> First let me say that I totally deny Daniel's accusations. They are a
> blatant outright lie.
> Daniel, jealousy seems to be your only motive here. You made a bet
> with me $5000.00 that you would finish higher in the point standings
> in CP. You didn't and you couldn't pay. You told me that you didn't
> have the $5000.00 and that you would pay me in Tunica.
> I was a good sport about it.

The $5000 you won, is money that I already beat you out of at the
L.A.P.C. We had a bet on the point standings there, which I won and
you paid. Jealousy had nothing to do with my reasons for coming
forward. It was the recent Taj incident that I was informed about
that irked me to do something.

> Daniel at the final table, John asked you if he should let me go to
> the bathroom. You told him not to. He didn't. After I went to the
> bathroom anyway you to told your listeners (on the Fancast show)that
> now John would have to play with a man who didn't wash his hands.
> Disgusting jealousy.
> Where is the sportsmanship in this? I let the clock get put on me and
> went.
> I was a good sport about this.

There was a break scheduled in 15 minutes. John was pounding you,
and you taking a break would allow you to cool off. Of course it
wasn't in John's best interest to allow that. It wasn't his fault
that you were drinking so much corona your bladder couldn't hold it.
The same thing occured in 96' at the Taj, and Ken Flaton refused to
allow Phil Hellmuth to take a bathroom break. They both had every

> When I won despite our differences, I put my hand out to shake John's.
> As you said on your broadcast, he wouldn't and he didn't. Where's the
> sportsmanship in this?
> I was a good sport about this.

He did shake your hand, I wouldn't. I know what you did with Minh
the previous week at the final table. I kow all about Minh sending
the old man over. I was hoping that you wouldn't stoop quite that
low. The rail was cleared by a security guard the following day
BECAUSE of the incident that occured with you there. Do you deny this
one too? There was only about 40 witnesses there that saw that
chaotic incident.

> As to your allegations, I never took chips off the table and returned
> them the next day or used them to aid me in a race off. I however find
> it suspicious that your calculating mind would find this to be a
> player's advantage. Nice plan Daniel, did you try it yourself?

I respect the game of poker, and would never consider doing anything
unethical like that. I can't prove you did this, but I believe you
have. Where there is smoke, there is fire. I've heard too many chip
passing stories from people I trust to dismiss them as hearsay.

> As to the Commerce and your rebuy theory, also very cunning (How many
> friends that you know play in those events)but I've never even placed
> in one of those events. I never took chips from any other player and I
> didn't design the Commerce's add on policy. Most importantly I never
> abused it.

Again, I never mentioned your name specifically when I made those
comments. I simply stated that this occurs, I have no first hand
knowledge of this happening with you. Only what people have told me
they've seen you and others doing. Whether or not you placed is
irrelevant. Extra chips doesn't ensure a final table, it only aids in
the matter.

> Now as far as Nuht Tran is concerned. I stopped doing business with
> him in 1997. If he was a loyal, chip passing horse as you say, why is
> he no longer with me? In reference to your allegation in 1998 (after I
> dropped him)not only did I not put him in with you, but I never soft
> played him.

THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE LIE. You called me at the Budget Suites where I
was staying and asked if I would put up with you to put Nhut in the
$5000 limit hold'em. I agreed to do so. The EXACT situation I
described did happen. I'd be willing to take a polygraph to prove
that. As I said, I wasn't at the table, you took me aside and told me
what you were doing. Shame on you to deny this happened. At least
give us the typical bogus speech like, "I didn't know he was almost
all-in" or something! There was someone else at those last three
tables that also remembers the incident.

> Let me ask this, If I did and you saw me soft play him and you were
> there at the table, why didn't you say something then. It's three
> years later.
> If I came up to you and said it wasn't in my best interest to knock
> him out? Why didn't you say something then? It's three years later.

Good point. At the time I was very new to the scene, and wasn't
sure what to make of it. I felt it was wrong, but since you were
supposed to be a respected player in the community, I wasn't sure. I
am now.

> If you knew I soft played and kept him in the tournament and you were
> a third owner of him, by you not saying anything does that make you an
> accomplice.
> Doesn't that make you someone who condoned the action, does this make
> you a cheater too.

I didn't condone it. I was simply too young and afraid to upset you
or make an enemy of you. I am no longer afraid.

> It never happened Daniel.
> This is the worst case of outright jealousy I've ever seen. If I
> hadn't won the events I won and then the final beating your good buddy
> John, none of this would be said. If you didn't lose the bet because I
> caught your friend John in the standings none of this would be said.

Really? Then why did I confront you well before the event even
started? I told you I don't respect you, well before you won that
final event. I told you I know you do bad things, days before you
won. I came forward, because people approached me with the news of
the recent incident concerning Minh, looking at your opponent's
holecards and sending him over. Ring a bell?

> You say I have rules for my horses when they play. Let me see one come
> forward with this accusation. You'll say they wont because their
> afraid I wont put them in anymore. There are plenty out there who used
> to play for me but now don't play for me, get them to accuse me. They
> cant.

Unfortunately, I can't force someone to rock the boat. They have to
choose to do so on their own. I've chosen to no longer be quiet,
while I and the other fellow tournament players are being raped and

> Your stories are uncorroborated and can only be sworn to by you.
> You bring up things that can only be proven by your word without
> substantiation.

Well how would you like to join me for a polygraph on the 98'
incident? As I said, I've only heard things from others in the poker
community about most of the incidents. The one thing I know first
hand that happened, was the 98' incident. As I said, there are two
other people that could corroborate that incident.

> This comes from a boy who now owes your buddy John What? Maybe
> 100,000? And as far as soft playing, playing on the same bankroll,
> signals and collusion? Well let's just say that I wouldn't play in a
> White chip game where you and John are together.

That's fine. I can sleep at night. I KNOW I've never done anything
that even remotely resembles cheating at a poker table. I KNOW you
can't say the same thing.

What I want, is to stop you from continuing your dishonest ways.
You are certainly a capable player without bending the rules. I
believe you would succeed at poker without cheating, and I hope you
finally put an end to it once and for all. I don't think you are a
terrible person, I just think that sometimes you can't help yourself.
Bad habits are hard to quit.

Daniel Negreanu

And John:

john juanda
I've been reading these posts the last few days, felt like I should
say something (because i knew something), but decided not to, because
I was worried that the people who dont know me well might think I say
something here out of jelousy (because I finished 2nd to Men Nguyen at
the final event at the Taj). But after I read the post by Men Nguyen,
I decided I shouldnt keep my silence anymore.

MentheMaster@aol.com wrote (among other things):
> When I won despite our differences, I put my hand out to shake John's.
> As you said on your broadcast, he wouldn't and he didn't. Where's the
> sportsmanship in this?
> I was a good sport about this.

Men Nguyen seems to have very short memory because I did shake his
hand, not once but twice. Jeff Shulman, Barry Shulman, and Andy
Glazer were among the many people who saw it. Many of my friends,
Daniel Negreanu included, didnt think I should've congratulated Men
because of what he did the night before. He was TAUNTING us, the
players on his table, especially when he beat us out of a pot. For
example, at one point, he beat Tony Ma out of a really big pot, and
then asked to see Tony's hand, which I think was rude (Apparently, the
crowds agreed with me because they booed him for that). Also, many of
the final table viewers agreed that he slow-rolled me on one of the
key hands when we were playing headsup. Despite that, the little voice
inside my heart told me to shake his hand and congratulate him after
he'd won, and that was what i DID.

> First let me say that I totally deny Daniel's accusations. They are a
> blatant outright lie.

I've known both Men and Daniel for 5 years now. When I first met
Daniel, he was already a well known player (even though nowhere as
famous as he is now), yet he came to me (an unknown player at the
time) and introduced himself. During the 5 years that i've known him,
I have seen him done nothing but try to promote poker (writing for
cardplayer, doing internet broadcasts, etc.) and protect the integrity
of the game. Men, on the other hand, the first time I played with him
was at the Legend of Poker (about 5 years ago), I remember beating him
out of a pot, and he ended up throwing his cards at me. Do you still
remember that, Men?

Men, I dont think anything that Daniel said here is because he is
jealous of you or because he dislike you. He simply dislike WHAT YOU
DID to poker. I dislike what you did to poker too. Daniel wrote in
one of his posts, regarding the '98 Nhut Tran 'dumping-chips'
incident, that there were 2 other players who saw it happened. For
the record, I, John Juanda, was one of the players who saw it

> This is the worst case of outright jealousy I've ever seen. If I
> hadn't won the events I won and then the final beating your good buddy
> John, none of this would be said. If you didn't lose the bet because I
> caught your friend John in the standings none of this would be said.

I have no reason to be jealous of you. I dont think you have anything
that i really want and dont already have. Daniel and I have simply
choosen to come forward and spoken up to protect the integrity of the
game that we both love so much.

John Juanda

Dear Lord, I hope this will tide folks over until I return. Actually, there's so many great poker blogs over there on the right that I likely won't even be missed. And that's a great thing. Keep up the fine work, all. If anyone needs a poker fix, head to the links on the right.

I should make a proposition bet and allow wagers on how long this post took to write up. My humble apologies for any spelling or grammatical errors - I'm not gonna bother proofing this stream of conciousness nonsense. It is what it is.

But anyway, thanks again to everyone reading. I'm gonna pound the remaining Guinness sitting here and hit the hay. Again, please consider using bonus code IGGY on Party Poker - IGGY1 for Empire Poker - and my link above to try out Pacific Poker, where the fish are starting to school. If not for me, do it for my cats vet bill. Or because I waste too many hours of my life writing this girlie diary thingy. Take pity on me.

By the way, Monty ate on his own for the first time since June 8th. That's a huge hurdle. I was actually laughing with him today - he's never going to be a pretty cat ever again (not that I care one iota). He now actually kinda looks like Bill The Cat, from the cartoon strip, Bloom County, because of his broken jaw and droopy one eye.

There I go again, talking about my freaking cat.
SEE? That's why I'm taking a damn break.

Hope you enjoyed the run, folks. I sure did.

Link of the Day:
Hot for Teacher
On Friday, a teacher was outraged to discover that presidential polls don't actually contact all 293 million Americans, relying instead on something called statistics. Then the beatings started.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

"A card player should learn that once the money is in the pot, it isn't his any longer."
Herbert Yardley

Thanks for stopping by this humble poker blog. Allow me to complete my abbreviated post from yesterday – I don’t have much in the way of commentary today, but hopefully there is some interesting fodder here for you. Scroll down to yesterday's post for the Shiana Hiatt outtakes video. Also, cat update: Monty has improved but it's still day to day.

Anyway, I’m still plugging away here, hoping to make this a decent post. Tomorrow is a work day, after all, and I wanted to give my faithful readers a chance to slack off.

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

I'm quite sure you all know about the new update at Party:

- Multi Table Sit & Goes
- Life Line for disconnections
- Late Registrations for tourneys

Here’s the web page for the skinny on the new Bad Beat Jackpot.

I found this excellent Trip Report of the new Party SNG’s from RGP veteran, Linda Sherman. This is pretty damn long but it’s very comprehensive and worth the repost:


[Standard disclaimer: I have no affiliation with any poker site--I just play at them.]

Party Poker has just added a few new features, including three-table,
30-handed sit-and-gos. I decided to play in one $30+3 NLHE 3-table just
to try it out. I finished 4th despite mostly rough cards, for a $135
payout and a $102 profit. Flushed with success, I entered another
$30+3, got no cards and no breaks at all, and went out in 15th when I
raised all-in with ATs and got called by AJo. I decided to try one more
time and finished 7th when I semibluffed a pot-sized all-in bet with my
straight draw (76 in hand, 853 on board) and got called by an 87. I
think the moral of the story here is that I probably shouldn't try so
hard to run Party Poker players off a pot.


To register, you can either click on the register button in the main
lobby, or you can go to the tournament lobby and click register. In
either case, you will automatically be seated just before the tournament
starts. Seat assignment appears to be random.

Currently, the only buy-ins offered are $20+2 and $30+3, and the only
games are limit, no-limit, and pot-limit hold'em.

The prize structure is fairly typical of online multis: 30-25-20-15-10.

The game starts with three tables of 10 players each. Each player
receives T1000. The blinds go up every 10 minutes at reasonable
increments. I believe it's the same schedule used in their regular
multis, but I haven't double-checked that. There's a 5-minute break
afer the first hour, and also after the second hour if it goes that long.


Overall, I liked these little tournaments. I vastly prefer them to
Party's single-table SnG's where the blinds go up too fast (every 10
hands instead of every 10 minutes--in the late stages when you're
short-handed, this makes a huge difference). The software has a few
problems (see below) but nothing major. Also, you get T1000 for your
$20 or $30 entry--in the single-tables, you get only T800 unless you
play $50 or higher.

I also liked the structure better than Poker Stars 2-table games. It
takes about the same length of time to finish, maybe slightly longer,
without much loss of "play". The Stars 2-table games start with T1500
and seem to drag too much at the beginning.

For NL, I found the blind schedule to be satisfactory. There's plenty
of play in the middle to early-late rounds, so you don't have to go
all-in on every friggin hand, and smaller stacks have a chance. I
haven't tried the PL or limit tables yet, so I have no opinion on how
well the blind structure suits those games.

The tournament lobby screen is basically the same for the scheduled
multis, and has some of the same design issues. Button movement and pot
leveling bugs that used to afflict the multis appear to have been fixed,
but I haven't played enough hands to be sure. The dead button rule is used.

As far as the qualify of the opposition, it's Party. The typical
line-up seems to be 2-3 genuine sharks, a handful of weak-tight
break-even types, and the rest typical PartyFish. Standard tournament
survival strategy works best: play tight early, start attacking in the
middle rounds, and fire with all barrels at the end. If you're a
winning player in the single-table SnGs, you should be able to clean up
in these three-table games, although you will have to make some
adjustments, including playing tighter in the early rounds. The
variance is also going to be higher because only the top 1/6 rather than
top 1/3 spots pay, so you'll need more bankroll than for the
single-table SnGs.


It goes without saying that New Feature + Party Programmers = Bugs. And
not surprisingly, some old bugs are still with us. None appear to be
showstoppers, but they are all annoying as hell and need to be fixed.

Bug #1: In the main lobby, the list of games with "waiting" status
doesn't always update correctly. It lists games as "waiting for
players" that have long since started. This is not the old slow lobby
update problem, but some problem with the local list in the client not
getting cleared before it is updated from the main server. If you click
on the page for some other type of game then come back to the multi
sit-and-go page, the list will update correctly.

Bug #2: The tournament lobby screen doesn't always update either. For
example, at one point we were down to 7 on one table and 6 on the other,
and it was still showing 10+10 on my computer. After I left the
tournament lobby window in the foreground for a few seconds, it finally

The rest are old ones that I believe the scheduled multis also have (I
rarely play Party's scheduled multis any more):

Bug #3: At the start of the final table, a "Congratulations Players"
banner comes up and stays up until someone is knocked out. It
interferes with the view of the table and should disappear when the
first hand is dealt. Better yet, get rid of the stupid thing entirely.
We know we've made the final table, thank you, and since only 5 places
pay, not 10 like in most multis, it's not really a big deal to make the
final 10.

Bug #4: The server waits one hand too long to combine tables. For
example, if it's down to 6+5 and a player gets knocked out at either
table, the system goes ahead and starts another hand if the other table
is still playing. The correct behavior would be to wait until the other
table is finished and then combine the tables (UB and PS get it right.,
as do most onland TD's).

Bug #5: The option to disable the Congratulations messages in the chat
window doesn't work.

Bug #6: The five-minute break isn't always a full five minutes.


There are some things Party could do to make these tournaments a little
more user-friendly. I suspect the Multis have some of the same issues.
The software basically looks like the Multis except that there's no
scheduled starting time and the number of players is limited to 30.

Ugliness #1: The blind schedule is nowhere to be found in the tournament
lobby. It would be nice to have a button that pops it up in a separate
floating window. A link to the rules page would also be handy.

Ugliness #2: How hard is it to display the current chip counts and
position for all active players when there are only 30 to start with?

Ugliness #3: There are only five places paid, but you have to click on
the "More payouts" button to see the whole list. If the programmers
would remove the button, they'd have enough room to list all five
payouts on the lobby screen.

Ugliness #4: No time bank. I really don't think Stars has a patent on
this. Why other sites don't implement this feature is a mystery to me.
It's not that tough. I'd hate to lose out on a big pot because my ISP
or wifi router picked that moment to expel intestinal gas.


I'd rate these new 3-table SnGs 7 out of 10. Party needs to address the
Bad and Ugly issues to get the rating up. I'd also like to see them add
$50 and $100 games in the near future, as $30 is a little low for me. I
wouldn't mind seeing Stud, Stud H/L, and PL Omaha, and Omaha Hi/Lo either.

I suspect these little tournaments will be a big hit once players find
them and get used to the idea. They'll probably hurt the single-table
SnGs, because the 3-tables are much better structured. I know I'll be
playing more of the 3-tables and fewer of the single-table games,
especially if they add a $50 or $100 buy-in.

Here is an addendum to her post:

Just an update. About 30 seconds after I sent this to Party (I CC'ed
the original message), I got a phone call from one of their support
people, who went through each issue point by point. We didn't agree on
everything, but he did say he would pass the email along to the
technical people and management.

His explanation of one item was interesting:

> Ugliness #2: How hard is it to display the current chip counts and
> position for all active players when there are only 30 to start with?

He said that they deliberately don't do this, one reason being because
they feel that players who are short-stacked will get discouraged and
just throw their chips off if they see that they are at the bottom of
the list.

I think a lot of players do this anyway. What does everyone else think?

Sure, some do, but I disagree with Party on this. Of course, I haven’t delved into these tourneys yet, but most certainly will. My buddy, GMoney, finished second in one and reported that it took about two hours.

I see that some bloggers enjoy the bizarre and esoteric search referrals for their respective sites. And sure, I get a few, but I thought I’d share this odd link from LowGradePanic who posted this:

I need a word describing an irrational fear of web tools, sites, archives, etc. shutting down and disappearing. Also, let me know if you have this condition and what things on the web bring it out in you...for me, it's deli, Amazon wishlists and other Amazon lists, My Movies at IMDB, fitday, various archived message boards, etc.

Yup, I (Guinness and Poker) am the 'etc' link. Sure, it’s wonderful to be lumped into uber-brands like Amazon and IMDB, but damn, all I could merit was an “etc?” Ouch, I guess I won't be selling IGGY pogs anytime soon.

A news story last week about the WSOP had one Harrah's exec predicting 7500+ entrants in the 2005 WSOP, this story released earlier in the week is a "bit" more reasonable.

Continuing the personality types and poker is this compelling column:
Is There an Optimal Poker Personality Profile?

What’s the most valuable personality trait for the winning poker player? Is it patience? Discipline? Imagination? Reason? I believe the strongest poker skill (really more of an innate attribute) to have is the ability to self-examine your play in a rigorous, continual, ongoing way. I also believe that specific personality types are more likely to do this effortlessly.

Felicia graciously pointed out this interesting thread at 2+2, entitled Poker and Personality. I personally feel that Dr. Dan is over-simplifying things – as much as I enjoy the Myers-Briggs insights, it’s far too easy to generalize these things for a game such as poker, imho. So here are a few of my favorite snippets from the discussion. First up, a question and a response:

"A suitable personality may be necessary or very desirable for a great poker player, but it is no substitute for talent."

Could you please explain this to me? I thought having a suitable personality was the thing considered having talent for poker. What do you define as being talented for poker?


An NFL cornerback needs nerves of steel, physical courage, mental toughness, and the ability to perform at peak ability only moments after being humiliated in front of millions of people.

He also needs to run really, really fast.

No amount of psychological gifts can enable a slow cornerback to succeed. If you don't have talent, nothing else matters.

Same for a poker player. If you aren't smart in the right ways you will never be one of the best. Your personality may allow you to work hard on your game, realize your full potential, and always play your best. Still you may find that your best is not as good as someone else's best. Even someone else with a decidedly less useful personality. It happens everyday in every walk of life.

Please don't let me discourage you. Poker talent can't be measured with a stopwatch. If you think you have what it takes and you want it, then go for it. You won't know unless you try. Not trying would be to exhibit a very bad personality trait that no amount of talent can overcome.

I also concur with the PokerBlogDude:

I think the ideal poker personality is the flexible personality.

Someone who can easily shift from being an extrovert to being an introvert
and back again. Johnny Chan has admitted that if he weren't a poker
player, that he would make a great salesman. Chip Reese WAS a great
salesman. Doyle Brunson too. In other words, these guys are comfortable in
social situations as well as being alone inside their own heads analyzing
their thought processes.

The player with the ideal personality has the flexibility to look at the
big picture but at the same time is also good at looking at the fine
details. He also knows how to be perceptive and zen like. But he is also a
good analyst. JMO.

Lotsa great stuff to consider in this discussion. For me, one of the most important rules an aspiring poker player must take to heart is: Know Thine Self.

Ok, where was I. Oh yes, I have a tip I’m loathe to give out, but hell, I give this all away for free anyway, what can it possibly hurt? Check
Pacific Poker for their $10K guaranteed nightly tournaments. A paltry $15+1.50 buy-in (you could play this six times with the free bonus) and a nice-sized overlay because not only does
Pacificr lose money each time, but the players are just as bad as Party. Even Chicago Phil didn’t want to say anything about the nightly PL tournament he’s currently crushing there.

Wow, you know that Poker Has Arrived when it gets a nice article in The Economist.
A chip and a chair

Unlike blackjack or baccarat, poker has traditionally been a private game. Casinos have shied away from it because it tends to be less profitable: people play each other, not against the house (which tends to take a cut of each pot or an hourly fee for the table and dealer). In London, a city full of casinos, until recently there was only one poker room, and the game seemed somewhere between moribund and underground. But now things are picking up. In April a new venue called Gutshot, dedicated exclusively to poker, opened in Clerkenwell, a newly fashionable London district near the City. This is just one sign of the game's renaissance, fuelled by a proliferation of games on the internet and by television shows like the Bravo Channel's “Celebrity Poker Challenge”.

Did anyone else see this goofball trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for playing poker?
Trying to set a poker playing record

We have all heard about all night poker games before, but one man is taking it to the extreme. He's at Foxwoods trying to break the world record for the longest casino poker session. Larry Olmsted is anteing up an awesome task; play poker non-stop for 72 hours. If he bets right, he'll cash his chips in the Guinness Book of World Records.

What's next, what's next... Oh yeah – here’s an interesting tale that dragged on and on for days on RGP. A fellow by the name of Paul Wolfe won a WSOP seat through PokerStars. He claimed the PokerStars stipulation that he wear PokerStars clothing was illegal and he couldn’t be held to the terms because he had no clue about the rules before having won said seat, and secondly, he never signed a damn thing. He then insinuated that Stars shut down his account and confiscated his funds and thus, he started “waging war” on them in RGP.

Here is Dan Goldman, from PokerStars and his response to the madness:

Subject: The full story about Paul Wolfe and PokerStars

From: Dan Goldman/PokerStars (anonymous@pokerstars.com)

As happens so often in these cases, the facts surrounding the situation
with Paul Wolfe have been carefully crafted to support his argument. Here
are the events as they happened, in the order in which they happened:

1. On April 5, Paul played in a $615+35 satellite in which he won a WSOP
package. This package included the $10k seat, $1k cash (out of the prize
pool) and 8 nights' accommodations (paid by PokerStars). Subsequent to
his win, Paul was sent an email from Lee Jones that included the terms and
conditions – here is an excerpt of what he received:

* You will be required to sign a copy of the Terms and Conditions under
which you originally won your seat. You can see it at:


[Note that the T&C that we asked players to sign was IDENTICAL to what
appeared on the site. These terms and conditions were also posted on the
web site beginning the day we announced the WSOP satellites, and there was a link to them in the tournament lobby.]

2. The last week in April, while at the WSOP, Rich Korbin and I
independently discussed some sponsorship opportunities with Paul
(unrelated to the main event – this had to do with the other televised
WSOP events), but were unable to come to terms. Subsequently, Paul signed
a sponsorship agreement with Full Tilt Poker.

3. On or about May 18, Paul asked me about his WSOP ticket, and I
reminded him that he needed to sign the T&Cs. He told me that he wasn't
going to sign because he was now employed by Full Tilt Poker. For the
record, Paul also mentioned that he was completely unaware of the T&Cs.
However, since (a) they are on the site and there is a link in the
tournament lobby, (b) Lee emailed Paul a link, and (c) Paul is a regular
reader here (where there were numerous discussions of the topic), I found
this hard to believe, and told him so.

4. On May 20, I reminded Paul that he needed to sign the T&Cs once again.
I suggested to him in very clear terms that he had agreed to this when he
played in the satellite, and told him, if he didn't comply, that his
PokerStars account would be suspended. I suggested as an alternative that
we could un-register him, credit his PokerStars account with $10,000 in
W$s and he could buy himself into the WSOP. (He would also have to pay
for his own hotel room, of course.)

5. Later that day, I also suggested that Full Tilt might buy out Paul’s
WSOP entry. Paul told me that he would discuss this possibility with
Howard Lederer and get back to me. At no point did I suggest that we
would confiscate funds from his account, although I did tell him that his
account would be closed if we could not resolve these issues.

That was the last I heard from Paul on this topic (and just for the record
- Paul has my cell number, and so could have easily found me). Since he
never got back to us, our assumption was that he simply chose to not sign
the T&Cs, and we took the action we told him we would take (closing his

6. Subsequent to these events, Paul subjected me to an obscenity-filled
tirade in the hall outside the WSOP. Among his comments, he promised
retribution, a threat he repeated during several subsequent cellphone
calls to me (specifically, he said “I will **** you and **** PokerStars at
every opportunity I get”). He then approached at least 3 PokerStars
players, attempting to get them to breach their agreement with PokerStars
and sign with Full Tilt Poker. I was later told that Paul had no
authority to act on Full Tilt’s behalf on this or any other matter. For
the record, we have no complaint with Full Tilt on any of this – they
were, as far as I know, unaware of any of this.

7. Regarding Paul’s hotel room – we are still looking into this. Paul’s
room was on our master account at the Golden Nugget; however, since he was
already staying there prior to the WSOP main event, and stayed in the same
room, it’s possible that we double-paid this (that is, that he paid on his
credit card and we also paid for the room on our master account).

8. Regarding Paul's account being frozen - without good cause (like
proven cases of collusion, when funds may be seized and redistributed to
other players), we have never confiscated player funds, and we didn't in
this case, either. Paul transferred most of the remaining funds out of
his account on May 21, leaving a very small balance (under $50). He wrote
to PokerStars management a few days ago inquiring about this small
balance. We offered to transfer this balance to any of his friends’
accounts. There was absolutely no indication that his money will be
frozen. Interestingly enough, this was before he posted on RGP. So he knew
his balance had not been confiscated, yet he implied in his posts that it

Things like this are rarely as they appear when viewed from just one side.
Most of you have worked with PokerStars in one way or another, and you
know that we don't act capriciously. PokerStars spent close to $500,000
on the WSOP (and sent over $3 million out of the PokerStars economy into
the WSOP), and in return we asked our players to wear our apparel – this
promotional opportunity is our real equity in offering WSOP satellites.
The vast majority of players had no problem with this, but Paul thought he
could get away without complying with the terms to which he agreed, and
without accepting any of the compromises we suggested. We took what I
believed at the time, and still believe, were reasonable and correct
actions to deal with this situation - we simply told Paul after he refused
to honor his obligations that he was not welcome to play on PokerStars.

PokerStars has hosted 5 events like this in the past 18 months - the
Aussie Millions, the 2003 and 2004 WSOP, the PokerStars Caribbean
Adventure and the 2004 World Poker Tour Championship. Players who have
participated in these events can attest to the first-class treatment they
received at these events (parties, dinners, great PokerStars gear and
more). We have always treated our players well and fairly, and expect the
same in return.


Dan Goldman
Vice President of Marketing

Of course, I always enjoy Gary Carson’s cranky two cents:

That's the mindset of the typical regular big buyin tournament player. They live in an insular world, playing with their buddies, swapping loans, and taking care of each other. They think they are poker.

Just look at what Paul Wolfe keeps repeating -- that everyone in the poker
world thinks he's an honest standup guy.

Guess what. I don't have to play in tournaments to be part of the poker world. And, Poker Stars is part of the poker world also.

But, that's not Paul Wolfe's world.

And last but not least, one of the fine lawyers of RGP posted his analysis on his website, Gambling & Law

I reach the conclusion that, while PokerStars was sloppy in keeping
its click-wraps sharp, Paul's actions are not legally defensible.
Chuck Humphrey

I just saw the PokerHermit’s cartoon. Too freaking funny and clever. It appears as if Pauly, The Penguin, CardsSpeak, Grubby, the Hermit and I are all immortalized in this cartoon. I hope you don’t mind my posting this here, Mr. Hermit, I just wanted to show your fine work.

Click here to see the photo.

Damn, I'm gonna frame that. Brilliant!

Alrighty then, I have TEN new poker blogs to point out. Amazing. I can barely keep up with the damn status quo and here we have many more quality writers joining our ranks. But because I wanna play some poker tonight, I’m going to wait to blog the new fellers in my next post. Otherwise, I’d be writing till midnight on this evil modem, which I already do far too often, anyway. As I’ve said before, this blog has become its own hobby, distinct from actually playing poker. But hey, I'm thankful and surprised that I have ANY readers. This whole poker blog scene sure has came a long, long way, hasn't it?

And finally and ONLY because the Hermit reminded me: ;)

Please consider using bonus code IGGY for signing up on Party Poker as a way of supporting this albatross poker blog. For Empire, please use bonus code IGGY1.

Thanks for reading.

Link of the Day:
Iraq Your Brain
Chris Bowers has some bad news for all Americans: "You don't know shit about Iraq. In fact, you don't even know how much shit there is about Iraq that you don't know."

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

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