Friday, January 14, 2005

I've heard so much from Iggy about the fish on partypoker, that I finally signed up and resolved to lug home my PC offce laptop to play with. At home of course, boss! Only at home!

Anyway, I knew there were bad players but jebus, I was unprepared. Because people played such crap, I realize it takes a whole different approach on this site. Now I have to get that down and keep reminding myself that there will always be a sucker staying in to try and hit his flush draw. Always. Does this stop being true at higher limits? Anyone? (I was playing 1-2 to start)

chicks with chips

You are gonna love Party Poker, Toby. :)

It's been a fun couple of days, eh?
Good times, good times.

Hey, for all you folks whining about the poker blogging community "disappointing" you or whatever, get over yourselves. The community is fine, fer Gods sakes. I truly feel that a brutal flame ala StinkyPants is possible here (Lord knows I'd have fun writing it and get bonus points from BG) but alas, this is a kinder, gentler Iggy. Plus, Chad said it nicer better than I ever could.

The older I get, the more I can suffer fools.
And Trolls.
But I'm hoping the mudslinging ends here and we move forward. I simply wanna drink copious amounts of Guinness, bark about Bonus Code IGGY and write massive uber-posts for anyone interested enough to read it. Is that so wrong?

My final comment on this retarded issue:

The Hammer is a fucking meme.

I'm sorry for all of you that don't understand that.
Your loss.

Let's move on, shall we? Let us never speak of this sordid affair again.

Per the World Poker Blogger Tour, the readers can play. I'd say the bloggers are due for a dethroning but we're undefeated thus far....

Feb 2nd, 9pm EST
$20 buyin, NL tournament

Poker sure is a fickle mistress. When the wins happen, they tend to happen so easily and effortlessly that it can trick you and may start causing you to feel that this is the norm - the way things are "supposed" to work. But it ain't. Sometimes I need to remind myself that money doesn't always magically flow my way. And a recent downswing on the 15.30 tables has painfully etched this lesson on my bankroll.

But I'm used to losing. That sounds funny to write, but it's true. I don't get overly excited when I book a big win and I don't get upset when I suffer through extended losses. I obviously wasn't born this way but I taught myself this attitude through experience. Surely, like me, you know some poker players who have the biggest problem in the game are the ones who almost "demand" something from it. It's as if they feel it owes them something or they 'have something coming.'

That's a poor attitude to have in poker, imho. A certain measure of indifference is required to succeed long-term. Impatience in a poker room, especially online, will destroy your bankroll quickly.

Someone was whining to me about a particularly bad beat the other day. I quickly copied and pasted one of my favorite poker quotes to chill them out:

Rarely is any hand greater than an 80% favorite, and we jump at the chance to get all our money in the pot in that situation. But one out of five times we will lose this bet, and if we can't accept this, then we should go play chess.


Intellectually it's an easy pill to swallow but experience is the only way to fully digest the implications of the above truism.

So take a guess - is this me or Taylor? Great tshirt, btw.

Geepers, how do I segue past that?

I swear I'm going to scream if I read one more review of Tilt. Being a cableless loser, I didn't get the pleasure of watching it. But the overwhelming consensus was a big thumbs down, NY Times review, notwithstanding.

My favorite line from the millions of reviews:

Amarillo Slim's Review Of Tilt
"Hey, where are all these games with 12 year old girls?"

Let's link up and pimp. I'm overdue.

I need to cut off Jackpot Jay and his stupid ESPN column. This week he asks the deep and dark question:
Is playing poker really profitable?

Hey Gene, Poker Pages is featuring Isabelle Mercier in their player profiles. Enjoy.

Great new column by Howard Lederer in his website.
Poker and Zen.

There's a new feature on the Tiltboys site that tracks the "buzz index" of various poker players. Direct link: TiltBoys Buzz Index.

The buzz index is computed by first computing a ranking of each player on one or more search engines (currently just Google and Google News), and then adding the rankings together (after inverting). E.g. if there are 20 players being ranked, and one of them has ranking 3 and 12 on Google and Google News respectively, then their Buzz Index is [ (21 - 3) + (21 - 12) ] = 27. Deltas are computed from one run to the next. Enjoy.

What on God's green earth is a
"Phil Hellmuth 8c Clipstrip"?

Encouraged by Felicia, Tanya made this post on RGP about the upcoming Plaza tourneys. I'm seriously considering going, especially if there is a blogger get together sometime around then:

We need to Discuss The Plaza World Poker Classic....

Just got back from Vegas today for one day, I only live about a 2 hour
drive away though, so I go back and forth pretty frequently. I Stayed and
played at The Plaza, Downtown. Decided a few months ago that I really,
really like their poker room. Ben Magee is the tournament director now,
and is willing and able to set up private live tournaments for any group.
He has set up two for me so far, one with only 11 people, but the other
one with 100+ players expected.

Learned a lot about the Plaza World Poker Classic and I think RGP needs to
discuss this event.

In the current poker world, players are being robbed on juice, media
exposure with no pay, etc...etc...etc. We all know this, yet because of
the "they will pay to play" mentality that casinos and networks have, and
because it's TRUE...not much has been done about this.

Sure, the WPPA tried....yet failed. I'm not going to go into a song and
dance about how the players need to unite...blah, blah, blah.

What I am saying is that if players would just PLAY at the places where
they do give a damn about us, the poker players will be rewarded in ways
that we have never been before.

Case in point: The Plaza. This event coming up is (of course) of copycat
of the WSOP, Orleans Open, 4 Queens Classic...whatever. BUT the
difference...not one, or two but THREE main (BIG) differences that should
get players TALKING about this event and get the players over there

3. Plaza will give room rates to poker players of $35 midweek, $50
weekend during this event. Sure, it's not the Bellagio, but it's also not
the Rio charging poker players $250 a night (so I heard) because it
happens to be WSOP time. The rooms are clean, the beds are very
comfortable after 18 hours at the poker table..what more do poker players
need in a room? I know what they DON'T need...to get raped and prices
gauged all because there is a tournament going on.

2. Events Offered. Noticed any missing events at the WSOP? How about
H.O.R.S.E? Ace-5? Games that are being tossed aside because
"Hey...everyone wants to play No Limit!!!" NO, everyone does NOT want to
play No Limit, let's give the players some choices to choose from.

1. The biggest factor. The creme de la creme. I would really like some RGP
feedback on this one, especially from the more well known posters and "big
names" that we have in our forum community here. We used to pay up to 10%
juice in tournaments. Then it went up to 12%, then 15%, next thing you
know...we're being charged 60% in the North, 28% in LA, Harrah's is
charging up to 70% juice in some tourneys (Figures were computed by
Felicia Lee who is someone who watches these things like a Hawk, but
forgive any slight variance).

These amounts are RIDICULOUS. Sure, the casinos need to make money...but

Bottom Line: Plaza is going to guarantee EVERY event at a MAXIMUM of 5%
juice. You read right folks, MAXIMUM 5%. Not only that, but discussions
are occuring now to try and get that maximum actually lowered another
percentage point to 4%.

As smart, savvy poker players...how can we NOT afford to play at these

I am just another tournament poker player who wants to help spread the
word. I want to see people at these events, I want to pay less juice and
get decent room rates and be treated as a human by the staff. Don't you??


Starting April 19, Single Table Satellites, Various buy ins, 24 hours
Starting April 20, Second Chance, $300, 10pm
Starting April 20, Super Satellites, $225, 4pm & 8 pm
Event #1: April 20, Casino Employees, $500, Noon
Event #2: April 21, NL HE, $1,500, Noon
Event #3: April 22, PL HE, $1,000, Noon
Event #4: April 24, NL HE, $2,000, Noon (typo? Might be for 4/23)
Event #5: April 24, Limit Omaha 8 or Better, $1,500, Noon
Event #6: April 25, Stud, $1,000, Noon
Event #7: April 26, NL HE, $1,000, Noon
Event #8, April 27, Stud 8 or Better, $1,500, Noon
Event #9, April 28, Limit HE, $1,000, Noon
Event #10, April 29, Ace-5, $1,500, Noon
Event #11, April 29, NL HE, $500, 2pm
Event #12, April 30, PL Omaha, $2,000, Noon
Event #13, May 1, Seniors NL HE, $1,000, Noon
Event #14, May 2, H.O.R.S.E, $1,500, Noon
Event #15, May 2, NL HE, $500, 2pm
Event #16, May 3, L HE, $3,000, Noon
Event #17, May 4, PL HE, $2,500, Noon
Event #18, May 5, NL HE, $2,000, Noon
Event #19, May 6, Omaha 8 or Better, $2,500, Noon
Event #20, May 7, NL HE, $500, Noon
Event #21, May 8, Ladies NL HE, $500, 2pm
Event #22, May 8, Stud Hi, $3,000, Noon
Event #23, May 9, Shootout NL HE, $3,000, Noon
Event #24, May 10, Media Charity, $500, Noon
Event #25, May 10, Super Satellites, $225, 10am/3pm/7pm/11pm
Event #26, May 11-May 15, NL HE, $10,000
May 16, NL HE, $50,000
May 17, Final Table.

Here's a couple random archived RGP threads that I discovered.
Feel free to explore at your own leisure.

  • Action Flop Theory Of Online Poker - Crazy Russ

  • Ultimate Bet Scam of 2002 WPT event in Aruba

  • Pokerspot Demise...The first sign of trouble...from 2000

  • Russ Boyd (Pokerspot CEO) attempts to explain the problem

  • Russ's explanation of how it all went wrong

  • Offshore Banking - Poker Players Guide

    Here's something I've spent far too much time thinking about. Attire and table image. I'm a blue jeans and t-shirt kinda guy - I'm much more concerned with being comfortable than how the hell I look. And thankfully, I look like a dimwit so that helps my image immensely. Bob Ciaffone says that he tends to play much tighter against poorly dressed players because they might not have the money to lose and will not be 'gambling' as much as someone with da bling-bling. Thoughts?

    So I dress like a bum and play high stakes poker...

    Hi guys,

    I work as a cable engineer. A big part of my work involves a lot of physical activity outside. So I have the luxury of wearing slacks, jeans, cargo pants, with sweaters and any apparel that has lots of pockets so I can put my tools in. Carrying a tool pouch isn't a fancy for me unless I absolutely have to do it. I also get to wear my lucky San Jose sharks cap.

    So my clothes are somewhat sloppy and sometimes dirty depending on the weather and what outside conditions I have to work in. Often times, I head down to cardroom after I'm finished work and play.

    Most of the other people who I play with in the high stakes on a regular basis are either 1. successful business people who like to gamble higher or 2. Very good poker players. I've noticed that either group likes to "dress up" to the part. I see players wearing really nice gold rings, Rolex watches, and other various jewellery. Some players even wear some very nice Armani suits to the game.

    Myself, I like a nice Armani suit, but I rarely get the chance to wear it. The jewellry stuff is a bit too much for me.

    So I guess these people like to show off how well they are.

    Now my question is: Is presenting an image of having so much materialistic goods benefial to one's game of poker? Does looking like a bum make that much of a difference.

    I once had a friend who asked me what I did for fun and I told him I played poker. He asked me how I did, and I said I did fairly well. His reply was that I obviously wasn't doing that well since I looked like a bum. So I started yapping about poker theories, poker terminalogy and that shut him up.

    But then I thought, he's kind of right. I look like a bum. I wear these Old Navy cargos. I wear a watch my x-gf gave me that only cost $80 (yes, I'm sentimental) and my SJ cap is starting to get worn out.

    I'm sharing this next tale for all you bitter, old, married guys.

    invading my sanctuary

    I've been married for 10 years, and although my wife is cute and has kept her figure I really don't even care to see the bitch naked anymore.

    But recently she has started playing poker and invading the one thing I got left to get away from her bitching. Playing in my home games, with me on the vegas trips and watching me over my shoulder on line.

    Last night in a 5/10 game on the very lame Absolutepoker.com
    I get 88 late and call two bets to see the flop which comes 5Q8, she immediately starts bitching, "Don't chase them off!, Don't chase them off!"

    Meanwile it is bet and raised before me, we cap it and the turn comes another 8,
    yes I needed it.

    More bitching. "Let them bet first!!!!"

    I have no problem geting it capped.

    river is a K and it gets capped again.

    I was up against KK and QQ.

    $400 pot. She screams her ear peircing nails on a chalkboard scream that has sucked the life force out of me for the last 10 years.

    Great, Now I can buy a hearing aid.

    How do I end this, without going to jail or giving up half of my stuff,
    or nursing the end of a .38?

    Tis funny, but the bloggers are rarely, if ever, mentioned on RGP. So imagine my surprise when I just came across this succinct post:

    Bloggers = High Schoolers
    You know I used to enjoy the "bloggers" Turns out they are just a bunch of high school mentality drunks.

    It's funny cause it's true.

    In online poker site news, here's an update on Zerorake: It's with regret that
    I inform you that Zerorake has sent it's customers an e-mail on December 23, 2004 announcing it's discontinuation. Zero rake = zero players.

    Press release from the folks at the WPT:


    Two-Day Fantasy Camp for Poker Players Provides Instruction from World Poker Tour® Hosts and Champions

    Several Student’s in Each Boot Camp Will Win a Seat at a WPT Satellite

    FT. LAUDERDALE, FL -- Ever wish you knew the poker pros' secrets for
    winning multimillion-dollar pots? Before now the only way to gain such
    experience was to invest thousands of dollars and hours in high-stakes
    poker. But when the new two-day WPT Boot Camp™ comes to town, people will
    have the chance to learn directly from the World Poker Tour® champions and
    the WPT hosts, picking up enough card-playing skills to put them on the
    "Fast Track to the Final Table."

    A fantasy camp for poker enthusiasts, WPT Boot Camp is designed to give
    amateurs an intensive emersion in poker strategy over a weekend.
    Instruction comes from WPT commentators Mike Sexton and Vincent Van
    Patten, as well as poker expert Alex "The Insider" Outhred, the man behind
    the camera who analyzes all hands played at WPT Final Tables. This core
    instructional group is augmented with a slate of poker champions such as
    two-tournament victor Ron Rose and young buck Scott Fischman.

    The only poker instructional school endorsed by the World Poker Tour, WPT
    Boot Camp limits enrollment to only 50 students so the learning experience
    is maximized. The cost is $1,495 per person, and seats can be reserved at
    www.wptbootcamp.com or call 866-WPT-BOOT. Every WPT Boot Camp will reward
    several student’s with entry into a WPT sponsored satellite tournament!

    This prolly isn't an issue for anyone but serious online poker players, but frankly, it's something I had to sit down and discuss with my wife. What would happen if I were to die tonite? Or tommorrow? Does she have any idea about my online poker money and how/where to get it? Here's a post that echoes this:

    Password question - in case of death

    Morbid question I know but a thought occured to me when I was reading that
    post about the guy who allegedly gave his PokerStars password to his best

    What suggestions do some of the more experienced RGPers have to allow
    heirs/family get money out of online accts. in case of death? I know many
    of you keep far more $$ online then I've built up (so far - heh heh ). I
    just realized that if I get hit by a truck tomorrow I havne't taken steps
    to allow my family to access my online funds.

    I guess I'll show them how to access the various sites to cash out and
    then I'll leave a list w/ my passwords in my safe deposit box where I have
    other important personal papers.

    I'm posting this very late so I might not get responses from the usual RGP
    crowd, if so I'm apologzing in advance if I re-post tomorrow during the
    day but I think this is an important question.

    Here's a photo of some friends of mine. They all love poker, too.

    I've been long overdue in pimpage for the new bloggers. Settle in and visit the new kids on the block - I'll be adding them to my blogroll in a day or two. Some great stuff here, please go support their efforts.

    Pathetic Poker Play
    A feeble and probably hopeless attempt at improving my play and gaining some catharsis about the game I know, love, and hate. The one thing I can promise in a "Read my lips" sort of way is NO NEW BAD BEEEEET stories. . .other than that keep your expectations low.

    Just Another Fish
    This is yet another poker blog written by someone trying to get better at the game.

    Poker, Pique and Parenthood
    Biography of a bad tempered, opinionated, small stakes poker player, full time software consultant and pending parent.

    Swimming with the Sharks
    Another Poker Blog. Here's a humorous attempt at recounting my own development during this recent poker craze. These are the confessions of an ever-evolving fish. I've taken the bait. Hook, line, and sinker.

    Jarooty's Poker BLOG
    This is my poker blog. I'll be posting various trip reports, poker obvservations and other incoherent ramblings...

    Feeding The Addiction - April!
    Follow along as I take a journey through the hell that is micro-limit poker in at attempt to increase my meager bankroll and learn more about playing the game.

    The Sooper Dooper Poker Adventure
    Just your regular 24 year old UK Poker Chiq; wannabe WSOP braclet holder; and general low limit grinder

    Where tatter legs always have respect

    Poker Wannabe
    Life at the bottom of the barrel

    Ultimate Poker Challenge Poker Blog

    The PokerShark's Cardroom
    ...follow a journey with me as I travel the landscape in search of the brass ring--a seat in the WSOP...

    Hella Hold'em
    One hella cool poker blog. Shelly = Pink, Randy = Blue (How precious!) :) Chicago burbs, represent!

    Beer City Poker
    Milwaukee based poker reports from wherever I go whether it be at Potowatmi, the Badger Poker Series, Vegas, online, or who knows where. So grab a beer or two or three or a dozen. Isn't that why they come in 12 packs?

    Short Stacked
    The journey of one man's rise to fame and fortune in the poker world...yeah right!

    Short Poker Notes
    Team blog by Jan Fisher, John Moore & "TV"

    The Poker Bear - Reflections on poker and life


    Poker Round

    Poker and Life

    Pay off my credit cards with poker
    My goal is to pay off my escalating credit card bills with online poker. I am setting this up so that I can stop myself from tilting all my money away, because I can be held accountable by all those that read this.

    MissT74 Poker Blog
    Too much about me to list here...read my blog...you'll get to know me quite well.

    Shortstacked, UTG, gets pocket rockets, only to have the clumsy dealer expose his own card. *Sigh* into the muck...

    Poker Punkass
    I like to play poker. I can't help taking about it too.

    Whew. This post is brutal. I do it all for you, gentle reader, because I am insane.
    Since I stopped playing and started writing this, the Party Poker Bad Beat Jackpot = $730,000. For the love of all that is decent, please sign up with Bonus Code IGGY.

    Note to self: home game tommorrow evening.

    Alrighty then, I'm off for the tables. Thanks for reading and enjoy this Tunica WPO Trip Report (Part One) from venerable RGP poster, Irish Mike. Good stuff.

    Err wait, in honour of this past week, I have one last blog to pimp.
    Please go visit: Seven Deuce
    The best starting hand in poker.

    World Poker Open Trip Report Part One - Long

    Just returned from the World Poker Open (WPO) which is held every January in Tunica, Ms, about 30 miles south of Memphis. Flew into the Memphis airport and took a shuttle [Unique Travel Shuttle Service 901/848-0486] to the Gold Strike (GS) casino where I had room reservations. Shuttle is $85.00 round trip. Gold Strike poker room rate was $49.95 per night, tax included. The GS is the nicest casino in Tunica and the rooms are comparable to the Mirage in Las Vegas. The GS and Horseshoe (HS) are next door to each other and the walk from one poker room to the other is less than five minutes. Both places have the most liberal food comps in the country and, in addition, the GS has a free tournament player's buffet. I was there a week and didn't spend a dime on food. My total trip cost was $600. If you plan to go to
    the WPO book your room well in advance because every place in a 20 mile radius was sold out.

    The HS poker room has 13 tables and another 18 or 20 tables set up out in the pit area. Normally the HS spreads $1-$5 stud, $4/$8 to $20/$40 HE and one pot limit, triple-draw low ball game in their poker room. During the WPO they spread $20/$40 and $30/$60 HE in the poker room and the other games are moved out to the pit area. The main WPO tournaments are held in the convention center at the GS, which is on the second floor right next to the GS poker room. All poker areas in both casinos are non-smoking.

    I make a couple of road trips to Tunica every year but this was my first time at the WPO. My strategy was to fly down to Memphis during the first week of the tournament and play in the $10/$20 to $30/$60 ring games. I also planned to play some single table satellites and the first two tournament events - $550 NL and $550 Limit. The poker crowd was huge and there were tons of side games to choose from, although the waiting list was frequently 60+ deep. Since it was only the first week of the tournament most of the big name players had not arrived yet. I did see Men the master and Clonie Gowen. I heard Dutch Boyd and some members of "the crew" were
    there but I didn't see them.

    2004 was my biggest winning year ever and December was my biggest winning month, so I was optimistic about my chances. Unfortunately my optimism was short-lived. First night was a good example. I took a seat in a $10/$20 HE game at the HS. There were two semi-happy drunks and an Asian guy who gave new meaning to the term "clueless". Between the three of them they dumped at least $3,500 in this game and I didn't get a dollar of it. In fact, I think I lost every big pot I played against them.

    I decided to go over to the GS and play some $65 single table satellites. The winner got a $500 tournament chip. The line stretched all the way around the large conference center and the average wait in line was about 40 minutes per satellite. I played three satellites and finished 3rd, 4th and won the third one. I went out to sign up for the $550 NL HE tournament. The sign-up line was so long it stretched out of the room, down the hall and back past the escalator - wait time was estimated at 3 hours plus. I heard (unofficially) that the tournament was going to be capped at 1,100, nearly 800 had already signed-up and there were more than 300 in line so I decided to pass and sold my tournament chip. Turns out they took a total of 1,500
    with 400 being alternates. Probably a lesson here about not basing your decisions on unofficial tournament information.

    My nest playing session was in a $20/$40 HE game and it was a real blood bath. I don't remember a playing session where I got so many premium starting hands or more action with them. Sadly I lost with nearly every one of them. It was almost surreal. Usually I'm the guy at the table who plays the fewest hands but in this one, I was "action jackson". I usually won't lose more than 30 BBs in a ring game but I got stuck $2,000 before I threw in the towel. So now, when I add in my expenses, I'm down $2,600 for the trip.

    One great thing about playing in Tunica is no matter how bad the poker gets you can always be entertained by the wit and wisdom of the local players. The following are a couple I heard at the table;

    "What do you say to a woman with two black eyes? Nothin' shes done been told twice".

    "When you look out yer winder in the mornin' and the first bird you see is a buzzard, you know yer day ain't goin' to be good."

    "Did your boy get out of prison? Yeah, he's done with that. What's he doin' now? He's in local jail now but it don't have nothin' to do with that prison thing".

    Another local player would always yell, "Well hello darlin'!" every time a card that helped him came up on the board..

    I decided to play in the regular $225 NL tournament at the HS, which was not related to the WPO tournament events. There were 100 entrants and 40 alternates. This proved to be the lowest point of an already bad trip. I knocked out a few players and became chip leader at my table. Another player who was second in chips bet all-in on a ragged flop. I was in the big blind, glanced quickly at my cards and saw I had made the nut straight. I immediately pushed all-in. Turns out I would have been better off if I had taken the time to re-check my hand - which I had misread. I didn't have the straight - only a gut shot, which I missed. I won't say I've never
    misread my hand before but it's been a hell of a long time since it happened. Two hands later I got the remainder of my pathetic chip stack in with AQs and lost.

    Next I took a seat in a $10/$20 game when they announced that there was a professional masseuse in the room. I signed up for a 15 minute massage for $25, which proved to be yet another mistake. The masseuse was a nice but big girl who didn't seem to know her own strength and had apparently learned her trade at the World Wrestling Federation. I've been in fights where I didn't get beat up this bad. When she was done she told me I had a lot of tension and really needed a full two hour massage on a table. She said she could get "a lot better leverage" if I was on a table. I was thinking that if she pounded on me for two hours I'd probably never walk again.

    The remaining days were pretty much a repeat of the first three. I managed to maintain good discipline but couldn't book a win of any size. I just bounced up and down in ring games and was still stuck more than $2,000 plus my trip cost. I went back to the HS to play in one of the ring games in the pit area. The sign-up list was huge and some players had been waiting hours for a seat. I juiced one of the floor men $40 and he got me a seat in a $10/$20 game. My first hand was AA, and second hand was KK so now I'm stuck another $400. I was looking forward to flying home in the morning and just putting this trip behind me.

    The $10/$20 game had started out with a good line up but most of the action players left so I followed suit. It was nearly midnight and the shuttle was picking me up at 6:15 am to take me to the airport. I decided to take one final shot and sat down in a $30/$60 game. On my second hand I pick up QQ and push them as hard as I can. Ace hits on the river and my Queens are toilet paper. I missed every drawing hand and none the few pots I did manage to win were very big.

    I was ready to call it a night when I picked up 77 in the big blind. The betting was capped when it got back around to me so this was a no-brainier fold situation. Out of position, 8.3:1 to flop a set which doesn't figure to hold-up even if I hit it. I see myself cold-call four raises. Flop is 9,9,4 with two hearts. Betting is capped again. I know the odds of trying to hit a set on the turn. In fact, when ever I'm tempted to chase for a set on the turn, I think of a quote from one of my poker references. "Trying to hit a set on the turn is called wishful poker. Frankly, to professional players it's called stupid poker". Yep, that advice fit this situation
    perfectly. Yep, I cold call all those raises again. Turn card was the 3h. It's obvious there are big pairs out and at least one player probably has a 9 in his hand. The third heart on the turn pretty much guarantees that now there is a flush out there as well. At this point the two remaining 7s are my only outs and even if I hit I lose if another player has 9s full. I tell myself that at this point the pot odds warrant a call to see the river. Then a miracle happens in Tunica. Mississippi. The river card is a 7. Well hello darlin'! Amazingly enough, my 7s full hold up and I take down a monster pot. [Remember boys and girls this man is a trained professional so don't try this at home]. From then on my good hands started winning and I hit a couple of nice draws. I made enough in this game to pay my travel expenses and book a $300 win for the trip. I'd hate to calculate what that came out to for all of the hours I played but I was thrilled not to leave stuck. Bottom line, the WPO is a good tournament but if you go, especially during the first week, be prepared for big crowds and long lines.

    PS - I talked to Theresa Sommerfield and she confirmed that she and Jimmy have moved to Florida and will be managing the poker room on a gambling boat out of Tarpon Springs. I believe she said the poker room will open in the middle of February. Jimmy will still run the Reno tournament and help out in some others but she said they have three daughters and he wanted to spend less time on the road.

    Irish Mike

    Link of the Day:
    More crappy children's art work
    The premise: I can draw better, spell better, and run faster than your kids. So being that my skills are obviously superior to those of children, I've taken the liberty to judge art work done by other kids on the internet. I'll be assigning a grade A through F for each piece.

  • Party Poker BadBeat Jackpot now at $690,000.

    I'm gonna writeup a post, methinks, but for now I offer you the full NY Times Review of Tilt.


    'TILT' Poker Itself Is the Winner, Along With the Grifters

    God does not play dice with the universe, but Universal Studios is playing
    God with the dice.

    Gambling, and especially poker, has invaded almost every form of
    television. "Las Vegas," the NBC drama about a Nevada casino, is just the
    prime-time tip of the iceberg. Celebrity poker, championship poker and
    casino-based reality shows abound on cable and broadcast networks. (A&E's
    "Caesar's 24/7" began this week, picking up where Fox's reality show
    "Casino" left off.)

    So it stands to reason that ESPN, the sports cable network that covers the
    World Series of Poker with a hushed reverence once reserved for Wimbledon,
    would develop a drama about cardplayers. "Tilt," which begins tonight, is
    a cable version of "Las Vegas." But unlike the righteous security experts
    and floor supervisors who are the stars of the NBC drama, grifters and
    high rollers are the heroes of ESPN's drama. Networks cannot idealize
    gamblers in prime time any more than they could broadcast "The Sopranos,"
    but cable has no such inhibitions.

    "Tilt" follows three young cardsharps who team up to take down the
    reigning king of poker, Don Everest, a mean, cool and corrupt card
    champion known as the Matador. He is played by Michael Madsen, whose
    granite face and smoky voice are familiar from "Kill Bill Vol. 2."
    "The Matador" rules Las Vegas, not just by skill but also by cheating. The
    three rookies are a kino card version of "Mod Squad": Miami, a beautiful
    blonde (Kristin Lehman); Eddie, a moody hunk (Eddie Cibrian); and Clark, a
    cool black man (Todd Williams III). The trio has a mysterious older backer
    who has a grudge against Everest; Everest is in league with a
    smooth-talking casino operator.

    "You didn't even look at your hand," a Midwestern rube exclaims when the
    Matador makes his play. "I didn't have to," he replies silkily, "cuz I saw
    you look at yours."

    The atmospherics are more compelling than the plot. "Tilt" takes great
    pride in burrowing past the gaudy touristy slot machines and holiday theme
    buffets to bleak, gritty back-room poker games where players wear do-rags
    and pull handguns when the cards go wrong.

    Two of its creators are David Levien and Brian Koppelman, the team that
    wrote "Rounders," a 1998 movie about lowlife gamblers starring Matt Damon,
    and they have a great flair for the seamy, glitter-free underside of Las

    And that alone is appealing. The more the gaming industry tries to gild
    and mainstream its vices, the more connoisseurs veer toward the margins.
    "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" is a happy-talk ad slogan along the
    lines of GE's "We bring good things to life" - strictly for amateurs.
    And we have become a nation of poker professionals. Gambling has always
    been popular, despite the Puritans' ban on it or perhaps because of the
    ban. (Chance was considered the province of the Divine.) Even though more
    Americans are likely to die of clogged arteries in a day than of terrorist
    attacks in a decade, the world since Sept. 11 feels riskier. The lure of
    gambling is highest when the economy is so uncertain that people would
    rather spend than save. It's becoming a common personal finance strategy:
    biographies and how-to books about poker and gambling are piled up in
    bookstores the way investment guides like "The Beardstown Ladies'
    Common-Sense Investment Guide: How We Beat the Stock Market - and How You
    Can, Too," were in the late 1990's. At a time of deficit spending and talk
    of the privatization of Social Security, risk has never seemed safer,
    particularly when television keeps harping on the possibility of a
    spectacular payoff.

    Casino gambling fits our contradictions: we are risk-averse lovers of
    danger (horror movies, Space Mountain, Outward Bound), a workaholic nation
    that exalts leisure and a deeply religious country that lets Mammon into
    the pews.

    And in a reality show culture, we are poker voyeurs: armchair gamblers.
    And unlike so many cable shows that cater to the elusive male viewer (bass
    fishing, Nascar-racing and soon, no doubt, tobacco-spitting), poker is
    gender-blind entertainment. People talk to each other at the card table,
    and few other games so quickly expose the personality quirks of the
    players. Players are judged not just on how well they play but also on how
    gracefully they lose - and the camera captures every tic and tell. That
    helps explain why "Celebrity Poker" has a strong following: even the
    suavest movie star can look foolish when bluffing against an inside

    "Tilt" tries to restore some of the old-fashioned romance of gambling, a
    louche veneer that has been stripped off as television cameras invade the
    back rooms. (The winner of the 2004 World Series of Poker and its $5
    million first prize was not named Amarillo Slim or Nick the Greek. It was
    Greg Raymer, 39, of Stonington, Conn., a patent lawyer for Pfizer

    "Tilt" is not the "Cincinnati Kid," but it creatively evokes an earlier
    era when gamblers were rogues, not chairmen of the Rotary Club.

    I can't believe the Bad Beat Jackpot is still alive on Party Poker.

    We just passed $660,000.
    I guess I know what I'm doing today. Four tables of 2.4 or 3.6.

    You can't win this damn thing if you don't play. Go home sick from work if you must.

    If you aren't playing on Party Poker, sign up now, damnit. Bonus Code IGGY. ;)

    Hopefully, I'll post something worthwhile this afternoon. After I wade through the umpteen negative reviews about Tilt, that is.

    Thursday, January 13, 2005

    If you care:

    Chad from Minnesota at PokerRama

    There's something completely fishy about someone that freely gives out so much information about herself (her jobs, her travel plans, exactly how much she has in various accounts), yet wants to remain anonymous and is oddly ghost-like for someone that should stick out in the poker room like Hitler at a briss.

    Damn, another big announcement coming. So close I can taste it.
    But I still can't say anything.....yet.

    Had a blast playing at the Blogger table last evening despite too many beers. Suffice to say, lots of Hammers were shown down. Too many funny comments to share. It's interesting how many damn railbirds we end up with....sit down next time, guys!

    I swear I'm going to blog later on, after I get some Guinness in my belly, but I just logged into Party Poker and saw the Bad Beat Jackpot at $536,000!!!

    Get on Party Poker right now, damnit, and take a shot. The fish are schooling!

    I'm sure you've read in other blogs how awful the play is at these tables. Nobody is exaggerating, trust me. I haven't sat 2.4 or 3.6 in quite awhile and it's refreshing to just play ABC poker and scoop healthy pots.


    Wednesday, January 12, 2005

    Whoops, I forgot this lil tidbit from last evening. Party Poker closed my account.


    Because I was being a goof in chat, typing in players names as bonus codes. For example, I was playing with my friend Fuzz - so I typed in Bonus Code FUZZ after he scooped a nice pot.

    Bonus Code Fuzz does NOT exist. I did the same thing last week at a blogger table with new blogger, Ephro, typing in Bonus Code Ephro.

    So anyway, I tried to login around 9pm and received an error message stating my account had been closed and to call if I have any questions.

    It takes over an hour phone call for them to figure out the Bonus Codes were NOT real. Despite this fact, I am sternly lectured not to ever do it again.

    My account was restored, thankfully. Let that be the lesson to you chat scallywags out there.

    Soooo, raise your hand if you hit Grubby's site while at work today.

    Damn, I wanted to write up an uber-post but the idiocy (see below) has thrown me off.

    Instead, I'm taking the cheap way out and offering two new poker articles from Slate. The first is a review of the new ESPN poker show, TILT, which the reviewer doesn't care for. The second is about online poker cheating, entitled Hold 'Em, Fold 'Em, Cheat 'Em.

    Reposted here for your enjoyment.

    I'll be back soon with a Guinness-fueled rant....


    ESPN's new poker series: Too much shouting, not enough dumpy Asians.
    By Seth Stevenson

    When Rounders came out in 1998, professional poker players loved it. For one thing, it stirred up new interest in the game … which meant a fresh batch of suckers. But even more gratifying for the pros was this: Hollywood had finally done its research.

    The poker hands in Rounders are supremely realistic. We never see four aces losing out to a straight flush (I'm looking at you, every other poker movie). And it isn't just the cards that the film gets right—the betting amounts and the table talk are also dead-on. When I covered the World Series of Poker in 1999 (yes, before it was cool, waaaaaay before; James McManus didn't go until 2000!) all the pro players there agreed that Rounders was the first time a movie got poker right.

    Tilt—a new dramatic series on ESPN (debuting Thursday, 9 p.m. ET)—gets poker right, too. Tilt was created by the guys who wrote Rounders, and just like Rounders it features lots of realistic poker play. Sadly, it does not feature Matt Damon, Edward Norton, sharp dialogue, or compelling plots.

    The poker hands in Tilt are like the songs in a Broadway musical: All else comes to a screeching halt so we can focus on what we've really come here to see. The problem is, these days we're not all that starved for realistic poker action on television. There's World Poker Tour on the Travel Channel; ESPN's own nonstop coverage of the World Series of Poker; and, to a lesser extent, Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown (which attracts much better actors than the ones in Tilt). It's not enough anymore to nail the basic details of poker. By now, anyone who cares is already schooled in the strategy and lingo. Do we congratulate baseball movies for getting the dugout chatter right and showing guys running around the bases counterclockwise?

    When the action doesn't pause for a poker hand, Tilt is just an episode of Las Vegas (or maybe Dr. Vegas, rest its soul). It's all cheesy dialogue and lame scenarios. My favorite moment: In a back-room game, one guy says (with a carefully scripted blend of anger and accurate poker terminology), "No string bets here, bitch." When his opponent pulls out a small pistol, the guy draws a much bigger gun and shouts, "This time I raise!" (If only the second guy had then rolled in a massive cannon. "Reraise, bitch!")

    But the big disappointment here is the characters. Anyone who's watched professional poker knows it's filled with nothing but fascinating, superintelligent weirdos. These folks are blessed with the sort of mind that could calculate Wall Street futures, but are cursed with the sort of soul that longs for late-night Las Vegas card rooms. None of this contradiction is captured in Tilt.

    Granted, I've only seen the first episode—perhaps in time these boring central-casting toughs will show some hidden depth. But they still won't look the part. Poker players come in every age, shape, and nationality. That's part of why I love televised poker: It's the one place on the dial to see dumpy Asians. Yet Tilt centers on a trio of stylish, slim, attractive young Americans. Haven't these writers watched World Poker Tour? Don't they know that real poker players have awkward facial hair? That they wear satin jackets with casino logos and chew on unlit cigarettes for hours at a time? That they are frequently Vietnamese?

    The truth is, most poker players are nerds—now more than ever, at a time when many winners build their skills in Internet card rooms. Tilt seems stuck in the past—its heroes are freewheeling cowboys who rely on their instincts and hunches. The new generation of pros tends to bank a bit more on math and game theory. And while cheating (the focus of Tilt's central plot) is certainly still an issue, it feels so divorced from the aura of modern poker. After all, it's tough to cheat in a televised event. And why bother when it might sully your new book deal?

    I asked Paul Phillips, a top pro player (and a former computer programmer), what sort of real-life drama goes on in poker now and what might make for a great, true-to-life poker series. He mentioned all the money and drugs that flow around and the sudden influx of fame, but to me the most fascinating notion he raised was this: "In what other line of work do people spend every day trying to take their friends' money? Except for the real lowlifes who have no friends, it's inevitable that you make friends with people you play with a lot. There are so many ways it can impact a relationship."

    I'd love to see a subtle, gripping portrayal of the dysfunctional relationships that form within a crew of pro poker players. I bet HBO could have pulled this off (the constant distrust that haunts the crew of The Sopranos might serve as an excellent model). But this is ESPN—the network that brought you Playmakers. Just as it did with that series about a fictionalized NFL, ESPN takes the easy route here by ramping up the external conflicts: arguments, shouting, fistfights. Don't get me started—it's the same subtlety-stomping path ESPN's been on with all its recent programming (PTI, Around the Horn, etc.). What once was the thinking man's outlet for sports is now just the network of screaming matches.

    By the way, Michael Madsen—as always—is excellent in Tilt. As poker legend Don "The Matador" Everest, Madsen hauls out his usual shtick: shiny eyes, gravelly voice, sudden and violent eruptions. He points at someone every time he speaks a line, just to kick up the intimidation factor. If only he were pointing at dumpy Asians in satin jackets, we might have a show here.


    Hold 'Em, Fold 'Em, Cheat 'Em
    Tricks, scams, and crimes for winning at online poker.
    By Jonathan M. Katz

    If you could fire a six-shooter over the Internet, Greg "Fossilman" Raymer might have been a dead man. Two years ago, the future World Series of Poker champion was playing a Hold 'Em variation called Omaha Hi-Lo online. Facing two players, one with few chips who appeared to be betting too strongly, Raymer sensed weakness. He raised to draw in that dead-money player, hoping to scare off the potential threat from the player in the middle. But the middle player didn't back down. Raymer won a huge pot.

    As the middle player saw his virtual chips (and real dollars) slide away, he snapped: Raymer and the weak player, he shouted over the site's instant messenger, were colluding against him. In another era, the middle player might have thrown the table, pulled a gun, and cleared the saloon. Instead he filed a complaint with PokerStars.com.

    "I wasn't colluding with [the weak player]. I was taking advantage of his" low chip count, Raymer, 40, said he told the site. "That's not illegal."

    It's not, but his accuser's suspicion wasn't unusual either. In an anonymous world where everyone is after your money, and where lying and preying on the weak are encouraged, it's easy to get paranoid that others are cheating. And in fact, others are cheating—or trying to. The same qualities that have made the rest of the Internet a wonderland for deviants, thieves, and nihilists of all stripes—near-perfect anonymity, the ease of taking on multiple personas—encourage behavior most would be too scared to try at a poker game on the Vegas strip. As the Web poker fad has exploded ($178,873,992 was up for grabs in online tournaments on Sunday alone, according to PokerPulse.com) the possibilities for cheating have grown. In 1999, for example, a flawed shuffling algorithm at PlanetPoker.com leaked out, allowing players who'd studied it to win at will. Rumors about players, hackers, and even the sites themselves screwing the system are rampant on discussion boards like rec.gambling.poker.

    Here's what they're talking about:

    Collusion. This is the most common form of cheating, in which several players at the same table (or one player using multiple computers) share information. Raymer was accused of "foot-sawing," where a weak-handed player helps out a strong-handed co-conspirator by staying in the game and raising to convince others to bet more.

    But there's a catch. Good colluders have to be able to play their combined hands well, and they have to win enough for it to be worthwhile after dividing their money throughout the group. Experts say you're more likely to find collusion in lower-money games with empty seats—places where cheaters can make up a larger percentage of the table and are less likely to face experts. As a result, their takes are bound to be smaller. So despite the multiple cases each day on PokerStars, most colluders lose money, said the site's poker room manager, Lee Jones.

    Software cheats. The marketers of "Cheat On Poker v.1.2" promised "special tracking software that helps you to track the hand of every opponent at your e-poker table!" In the interest of journalism—and since none of my friends would collude with me—this was the method I chose to test.

    Guess who got cheated. For $29.95, I got an unwieldy odds calculator bundled with useless shareware. My attempts to use it in fake-money games got me closer to arthritis than a seat on the World Poker Tour. It took so long to log my hand, community cards, and opponents' possible cards that I nearly missed two betting turns. If tricking your opponents into believing you're fading in and out of a coma constitutes an advantage, it was lost on the half-dozen anonyms siphoning off my fake money.

    Some players allege there are software hacks that allow you to see your opponent's cards. But that's almost certainly a myth. "If it were really possible, online poker wouldn't last very much longer," said Matthew Hilger, a poker writer who runs the magazine site InternetTexasHoldEm.com.

    Bots. For those too stupid or busy to cheat in person, there are programs that play for you. Sometimes bots win. But today's computers are better at games like chess, where there's perfect information, than at sorting through the lies, feints, and uncertainties of poker. Besides, security monitors often pick up their scent, especially when they spot one player going 36 hours straight without a bathroom break.

    Cutting the cord. This is the digital equivalent of pretending to pass out on the table: Some players disconnect their Internet connections upon realizing their cards won't hold up, hoping the house will let them keep their wager. Others make a large raise, wait for a call, and then disconnect, hoping to claim a portion of the pot on protest later on.

    The problem with potential scams is that the house is always watching. While there are no video cameras or bouncers standing by, sites have monitoring tactics casinos only dream about. ParadisePoker.com tracks IP addresses, surveys for suspicious betting, and automatically reports questionable moves to its staff, said spokesman Ismail Vali-Tepper. Security can call up histories of every card someone has played to look for behavior patterns or study players who often sit together at the same tables. Offenders' accounts are closed and their addresses banned.

    Raymer, who before turning pro in 2004 was a patent attorney, suggested sites anticipate future schemes by monitoring players' variance—a statistical measure of how far a player is from his or her expected win within a given hour. A high variance means taking on a lot of risk in exchange for winning more pots, which is what the pros do. But players who incur little risk while winning lots of hands are probably cheating, he said.

    Frustrated by their own losses, some players throw the charge of cheating back at the house, alleging that the sites themselves use bots and rig games to heighten excitement. Some accuse them of hiring ringers who fleece novice players. Poker forums are filled with tales of frequent "bad beats"—hands lost despite holding a full house or better—and dramatic defeats on the last community card.

    Site operators are livid at the suggestion. "The security and integrity of the game and the cards we deal is our entire business," says PokerStars' Jones. ParadisePoker advertises that its shuffling mechanism is audited by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Experts point out that the rate of play in online poker allows players to see more combinations of cards than they would in a real game, raising the likelihood of "bad beats." Besides, the sites are printing money these days. Why would they throw away a good thing for a little extra cash?

    Mean Iggy is raising hell, wanting me to let him out of his box.

    Vitriol and Bile is his middle name. And it _has_ been awhile since I allowed him to excoriate someone, after all.

    But I prefer the high road these days. I'm more concerned about the community as a whole than any petty issues I may have.

    But long-time readers know I love to flame. Sadly, I'm refraining, damnit.
    Well, I did remove some links....

    So go read GoBeRude.

    For the record, Taylor, it's not even worth mentioning Felicia's poker acumen versus yours, considering you have none. Now go away.

    Back soon with a regular little post.

    Edit: Felicia posted.

    CJ dismantled her in the comments, with an assist from GRob. Given, it's a ridiculously easy target, but still well done.
    Lesson: The Up for Poker guys (and the collective poker bloggers) don't enjoy being shit on.

    I suppose we were long overdue for a troll.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2005

    Damn, what's next for this blogger community? Iggy as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms? That seems about on par for the way things have been going lately.
    chad - pokerrama

    Boy, it's just one thing after another. Otis with the professional poker blogging gig down in the Bahamas and now Hank with his big announcement. I can honestly say I'm not jealous one iota, simply because I accept I'm not as good a writer as Otis, and not as smart as Hank. But I'll admit to feeling a bit like Charlie Brown after the goodies are handed out - I GOT A ROCK.

    But I'm excited as hell (and even proud) for both of them. And from Hank's tale, the idea that one of my blog pictures made Jesus outwardly groan did my heart good.

    Geepers, Otis is now blogging hand for hand!! Otis so freaking rules - go visit now.

    But one thing that was cool was the 2004 Awards post from our esteemed colleagues over at the Poker Prof's site. After over 15 months of writing my drivel, it's especially nice to get recognition from your peers, so thank you, Prof. And Linda over at Poker Works is one my alltime favorite reads, so it's humbling to be grouped with her.

    2004 Prof Hall of Fame inductees:

    Party Poker Blogs (Guinness and Poker) – Iggy was one of the first poker bloggers and he is instrumental in the community. The terms Blogfather and Uberpost refer to only one site and one blogger, Party Poker Blogs and Iggy.

    Table Tango
    – Linda's site is one of the oldest continuously updated poker sites on the internet and her blog was around before the term blog had even been coined. Writing about her experiences as a dealer at the Bellagio provides readers with behind-the-scenes view of the poker industry.

    Biggest Community Contribution

    Winner – Poker Perspectives, Maudie created the logo for the WPBT, had T-shirts made for the event and always seems to be lending a hand.

    Runner-Up (tie) – Tao of Poker and Guinness and Poker – Pauly and Iggy both genuinely care about growing and helping the community. Everytime I stumble across a new poker blog I almost always see an encouraging comment from Pauly and nobody is better at debuting new blogs than Iggy.

    For the record, I have a veritable plethora of new poker blogs to pimp. Perhaps tomorrow I'll hold another debutante ball and introduce them formally.

    K, now that I'm done with my back-slapping, I have an announcement of my own. Actually, I have two, but I'll save one for later.

    The next online installment of the World Poker Blogger Tour is tenatively set for Wednesday, Feb 2nd at 9pm EST. I've decided on PokerStars again so that folks don't have to fund accounts at a new site. If you are a first-timer to PokerStars, please feel free to use my link. Or not, it's up to you.

    Yes, we will have a celebrity or two playing with us.

    Let's make it a $20 buyin event, shall we? No-limit, of course.
    I haven't yet posted the tourney but will do so in the next day or two. Let's hope for another outstanding turn-out. But I've heard from several bloggers that they want this to be a blogger-only tourney.....shall we allow readers to play? I'm all about the More the Merrier, but I'll acquiesce to what everyone else wants to do.

    Damn, so much to blog about but I'm dying to play. I'll be back soon with much, much more.

    I'll leave you with a Russ Boyd tshirt I discovered while surfing around:

    Sunday, January 09, 2005

    "The most accomplished people have been drinkers. Hemingway was a great literary drunk, and I think a lot of teetotalers would trade their lives for his in a second. Alcohol is the great socializer. Can you imagine a world without it? Well, I guess you can — it's called the Middle East."
    Frank Kelly Rich
    Editor, Modern Drunkard Magazine

    Well hell, where to begin? Shall I leap into a rant on the gestalt of poker blogs or just rip right into the Best of Poker Content on the web? Hell, I've even got new poker blogs to pimp...

    So here we are yet again.
    Destroying Workplace productivity. One Post at a Time.
    Brought to you by Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker, damnit.

    Felicia had mentioned to me that she was looking at doing a Best of 2004 awards thingy on her blog. She kindly told me that she would award me the Best Long Posts award as well as the Least Personal Information Given award, which is pretty cool. Lord knows I am the founder of the Uber Post. And I loathe writing about myself, simply because I feel my readers will find such narcissism boring.

    But for those of you who have wished I wasn't so damn anonymous, here's some wacky news: I was sent a litany of questions by a fellow poker site, which I'll hopefully be answering soon. I honestly don't know why anyone would care what the hell I think, but since this curious webmaster obviously put some time and effort into the questions, I'll navel-gaze and answer them the best I can. Stay tuned.

    The games on Party are treating me well except for that damn Party Poker Million tourney. Go congratulate the Poker Chronicles for winning his way on the boat. I'm trying to talk him into joining us one evening on the blogger NL tables. I'm used to being called a donkey at da tables.

    Speaking of which, I'm extremely diligent about not playing upper limit poker when drinking. And these blogger tables are a perfect way to relax at the end of the day, have some fun and watch the witty banter and crazy plays.

    I thought I'd quote the SpaceMan on cutting his NL teeth on the blogger tables:


    I love playing these tables. On a weekend night you might see as many as twenty-five to thirty bloggers drop in if you hang around long enough, and up to fifteen or twenty during the week. Many times I will sit down with one blogger and within minutes there are five others on the list waiting to get into the game, with none of the already-seated players having a clue what madness comes their way. Only at these tables do you have a legitimate chance of seeing the Antichrist suck out on the Hammer. You get to see fun tricks-with-numbers betting, with certain players leading everyone to believe they have the Hammer when they're really holding TT.

    You get to see fish go on tilt after being bluffed out of pots, only to walk right into monster hands the next chance they get. And the chat - it's the funniest stuff you'll ever read while playing online poker. There are some really sharp-witted folks out there in our little community. But best of all, raises gain respect around the table. Tell me any other Party Poker table where that's going to happen! The play is much smarter and non-recklessly aggressive (on the whole) than you will find at any other $25 NL table on Party, but if you can hang through consistent preflop raises the possibility of catching some real monsters and stacking up quickly is very real.

    Long live the blogger tables!

    I think I have a stalker, BTW. Someone from Cincinnati created an account name of I HATE BLOGS and attempted to sit with us last evening. I only wish he was as witty as his screen name. He asked me out for drinks but I begged off after discovering his picture...

    Party Poker Rocks!

    One quick note about my recent online poker play. I read a post recently that blasted Pacific Poker's software, which is 100% accurate. But here's my little secret....I sneak off and play their 15.30 and 10.20 games more often than I'd care to admit. Why? Couple of reasons: the awful software and the fact that you CAN'T multi-table. I think these two factors keep the sharks away in the higher limit games and that's a profitable thing. Most serious players wouldn't play at Pacific for those reasons alone. I think the tables at Pacific are as passive as Party is aggressive. Sure, Party gets 95% of my action, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to the soft games at Pacific.

    But damn, their software is the worst.

    It's also got me re-thinking my overall tendencies towards table selection. Here's a repost of my drivel.

    It's true that poker fulfills many psychological facets for people, not just one. For me, I love to watch my bankroll grow, sure, and that's a major motivation, but I think primarily poker has fascinated me because I am an ENTP personality type and love to learn. I can't help it, that's just the way I'm wired. Poker fully engages my brain - the more I learn, the more I question.

    You are never done improving at this game. Someone said once that if you're not getting better, you're getting worse - there's no standing still. Stasis = death.

    It's so damn challenging.
    And fun.

    TJ Cloutier, "You get your money in when you've got the best of it. That's all you can do."

    Amen, Sir.

    I was asked to wax poetic about loose, aggressive games, my favorite, and the norm these days. Let's face it, loose games like today, didn't exist four years ago. Or even 18 months ago. And instead of whining when things changed, I adjusted and learned how to beat these games, too. Anyone can do it. It's not like you're playing a table full of Phil Ivey's.

    But first, allow me to state some emails from a few of my readers, who just started playing at Party Poker. I love hearing this stuff.

    Here's some incredible numbers from a player who bought in for $50 and ran it up to a grand, rather quickly, only playing 1.2. Consider that Fuzz did the same thing in 50.1, it only took him longer.

    Here's the email:


    If anyone would find this interesting, I thought it
    might be you.

    I had a rough early-week, but I bounced back today and
    finally (!) turned the $50 Party bonus into $1,000.
    Here are the stats:

    Initial bankroll: $50
    Current: $1,019.93
    Total Hands: 11,238
    $1/$2 (6-max) - 4,948
    $1/$2 - 6,290
    BB/100 Hands: 4.48
    $1/$2 (6-max) - 3.91
    $1/$2 - 4.93
    Win/hand: $0.09
    Total hours: 166.90
    BB/hour: 3.02
    Total rake: $550.75
    Total opponents: 2,190

    I'll probably spend the next few days in PokerTracker
    disecting everything. Small pairs and AXs were costing
    me dearly, but I think I started to fill those leaks
    pretty well a few weeks ago (and even climbed back
    into positive territory).

    I guess it's time to start considering my move up to
    $2/$4, but I hate to give up the 6-max games. My
    BB/100 rate was lower, but I got more hands logged and
    it was easier to tag fish (who seemed to reappear day
    after day).
    $6/hour is nothing to brag about, but I didn't get
    paid anything per hour for sitting on my ass, chucking
    grenades at hookers in Vice City or watching reruns of

    Party rocks.


    This next one is interesting, too. I have a buddy who has played in my home game for the last year. He has never, ever, broke even in this game. He has lost every time. My home game, despite the massive amount of liquor being consumed, is a fairly tough game. It's certainly tougher than Party, that's for sure.

    But being a fellow ENTP, he started asking for literature and began studying the game. He fired up a play account, and gained experience through sheer repetition. And he started consistently winning. He grew tired of me beating on the drum about Party Poker (& screaming about Bonus Code IGGY) and finally bought in for $50 this past weekend.

    His first session?


    Level .50/$1
    Minutes 88
    Won $58.50
    Hands BB/Hr. 76
    VP$IP 22.37
    ASF 55.70


    For the unitiated non PokerTracker users out there, that's almost an average of six players seeing the flop, every damn hand. They call that FRESH FISH, where I come from.

    I think he's hooked now. Sure, that's not a normal session for an hour and a half of 50.1, but it's really not that hard, if you take the time to study and wait out the swings. Taking a shot at beating the 50.1 games on Party Poker is a no-brainer.

    For the record, he posted Abdul's starting hand chart to his monitor.

    I am loathe to even blog about this, despite the fact I love to share knowledge and help, if I can. I rarely post hand histories or bad beat stories in this blog. It's not what it's about. I'm trying to pass along experience. Sure, I play for fun, I wouldn't bother if it wasn't fun, but the questions I sometimes get from new players, "What do you do in this certain situation?" isn't the right question. There is NO correct answer for that. What you should be asking is, "What should you *consider* doing in this situation."

    The answer to nearly every poker question is always: 'it depends.'

    There are some foolish new players who don't care for loose games. They prefer tight ones, because they think it's more predictable or correct or sane. IMHO, that's bs. They should state the truth, which is, they don't care for the larger swings. And that's fine, but just tell it like it is.

    But the fact remains, loose games are the most profitable, and ones you should learn to beat. When it's six-handed to the flop every hand, that is a game RIPE for the plucking. To say otherwise is to contradict the Fundamental Theorem of Poker which states:

    Every time you play a hand differently from the way you would have played it, if you could see all your opponents' cards, they gain; and every time you play your hand the same way you would have played it if you could see their cards, they lose. Conversely, every time opponents play their hands differently from the way they would have if they could see all your cards, you gain; and every time they play their hands the same way they would have played if they could see all your cards, you lose.

    It's all about variance. You will have higher variance in these loose games and that's why it's important to play within your means. Make sure you can play with full impunity. You cannot play with scared money and win, least of all on a loose table. You can expect to have a fair number of losing sessions, sometimes big losses. In the loose/aggressive game, your win rate will be higher than a tight one but you must weather the swings and not allow your play to change. Here's a typical example: you play for awhile, get some big hands cracked, etc etc and you'll be down a fair amount. Then you drag a monster pot when your flush gets there, against a smaller flush that doesn't get the idea that his flush is beaten until he puts in a bunch of raises, and against a straight that can't figure out his hand is no good when 3 flush cards are on the board, and all of the sudden you've won back your losses, and booked a decent win for the session. It sounds like a paradox, but you are more likely to book a win in a saner game with mediocre, weak players than you are in a crazy game against maniacal idiots, but the times you DO win in the maniac game, your wins will be huge.

    I'm always preaching about table selection. Game selection. That's a big reason why I believe anyone wanting to win money should be playing at Party Poker. They flat out have the most games, by a wide margin. And the most fish, by proxy. Do the math.

    OK, I'm gonna start the poker linkage, cause all this talk about Party is driving me to play.

    From the I'm Shaking My Head Department, here is an eBay auction by Russ Boyd, selling off 50% of his action in the European Poker Tour. Only $1,825. I'm shocked, nay SHOCKED, that nobody has bid yet. Go read Russ's ad with nary a mention of PokerSpot.
    Mentions of the Crew: 1.
    Stake Poker Player Dutch Boyd (WSOP, ESPN, WPT)

    And if you're *really* in the mood to piss away your money, go get involved at Stake a Pro.

    Here's an article from FoxSports interviewing Phillies starter, Cory Lidle, about his love for poker: Cory the card shark

    Here's an interesting interview with poker good-guy, Barry Greenstein, on Poker Lizard. A snippet of interest to me:

    Barry: It is the first advanced poker book ever written. I think it will help everyone, although the advanced poker ideas may go over the heads of beginners. I don’t have a beginner’s section. I assume the reader knows how to play poker at a reasonable level. If he doesn’t, he can skip the poker and read the psychology and philosophy. The books holds its own as a novel about high stakes poker.

    Here's a scientific article from National Geographic that might be interesting to poker players. There has been some recent research on how the human brain recognizes
    fear in the faces of others - interesting reading here.
    Revealed: How We Detect Fear in Others' Eyes

    Saw an attempt at creating a poker widows site. Bleh.

    On the other side of the coin, the latest episode of Poker Updates is now streaming online at Poker Updates. They discuss the Bellagio's Five Diamond World Poker Classic and chat with Daniel Negreanu. Also, they've added Patty Steele and Mike Caro to the show's regular lineup.

    I also heard a rumour that Daniel has a new book coming out. Count me in.

    An NPR Business audio segment: Shufflemaster Rides Upward Trend

    IGN Sports has a column posted called:
    The Great Poker Debate
    We love ESPN too, but can a card game really be a sport?

    Saw this announcement from Business Week:
    MBA Poker Championships

    More than 300 MBAs from about 25 schools will let the chips fall where they may at the second annual Susquehanna MBA Poker Championship at Binion's Horseshoe in Las Vegas from Jan. 14 to 16. Including the 10% prize pool, the event should raise more than $15,000 for the Alzheimer's Assn., says co-organizer Stephen Bradford Jones, a second-year student at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

    Jones, whose school was the big winner at the championships last year, had the idea for this event the summer before he arrived on Chicago's campus. "I, like a lot of people, had gotten into the whole poker craze because it's fun, intellectually stimulating, and involves a lot of psychology," he says.

    The championship has grown significantly in size from one year to the next, thanks at least in part to word of mouth over the Internet. The discussion about holding a championship in Vegas got started on the BusinessWeek Online Forums and then headed to a Yahoo! group. From there, the plans started coming together for the first championship, which was held in January, 2004.

    This year, Jones and co-organizer Andrew Favorov of Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business garnered corporate sponsorships and encouraged more students, faculty, and alumni to join in the fun. The weekend has turned into a social and networking event and has even attracted recruiters. Some students last year reported snagging interviews while sitting at the card table.

    Here's a poker tale from RGP stalwart, Patti Beadles, in a poker storytelling contest.

    Subject: Contest: Tell Me a Story

    A story from BARGE a few years ago:

    It's the 4-8 must drink HORSE game, and it's somewhere around five
    in the morning. We've all been drinking heavily, of course, since
    the rules of the table require it. OK, and because we're all a
    bunch of degenerate lushes.

    A noted poker author is seated on my left-- I won't mention his
    name, but it rhymes with Stolen Walla. Mr. Walla and I go way back,
    matching each other drink-for-drink for several hours. We're also
    old friends.

    I can't remember if the game is holdem or omaha-- I think omaha, but
    the hand would make more sense if it was holdem. In any case, it
    was a flop game, and I may only think it was omaha because I was
    seeing double at that point.

    On the turn we're heads-up, and I decide I'm going to make a play at
    Stolen with my total crap hand, so I check raise him. He calls, and
    I bet the river to follow through with the bluff. Stolen looks at
    me and says, "show me a big pair and I'll fold."

    I swear that what comes next was the alcohol talking, not me. I
    turn to him, lean over, and grab the neck of my already low-cut
    shirt, and flash him the biggest (and only) pair I have at the

    He was true to his word-- after he picked himself up off the floor,
    his cards hit the muck.


    You heard it on ESPN first, predicted for May, 2005:

    "Bored with poker, America turns to a new passion -- Yahtzee.
    When broadcasts of the World Series of Yahtzee are a surprise hit, a rash of celebrity Yahtzee shows follows. Soon, ESPN Original Entertainment announces "Rollers," a new dramatic series about the gritty underside of life on the Pro Yahtzee Tour."

    I actually read a few entertaining rants about the show, Tilt, but I can't seem to find them now, damnit.

    But here's an ESPN media column about the show:
    ESPN's new series starts out confusing, but the show has potential

    Any North Carolina readers interested in legal poker in their state? Here's an anti-poker column from the op-ed page of the Winston-Salem Journal.

    And I quote:

    A few legal table games of poker won't mean the end of the world. But legal poker games in Cherokee will constitute one more diminution of the quality of life in North Carolina. It will give the poker and gambling culture a boost in the state and make it all the more popular.

    I haven't posted a picture of Anna's rump in awhile. Time to recitfy that:

    Taking a page from the Russ Boyd school of marketing, here's another goofball auctioning himself on eBay. Stake in Professional Poker Player

    I am seeking a backer in my professional poker playing career. Over the past year I have been at the final table in 7 major tournament with winning over $30,000. I am looking for someone to purchase a stake in my career for at least one year and negotiable after that. In exchange for the cash up front you will be entitled to 50% of my earning, which will be mailed to you in a personal or cashier check each month and a year end bonus.

    The bidding is wide-open, boys and girls....

    Here's a weird little RGP exchange. Someone pointed out Daniel Negreaneu's new CardPlayer post about Asian Poker Players. Apparently, Gary Carson has stopped taking his meds as he launched into this screed.

    I thought the article was confused, and elitist.

    He seems to think he comes from a multi-cultural society, superior to the
    US melting pot culture, and talks about how asian gamblers don't get the
    respect they deserve, and attributes it to american racism rather than a
    fundemental clash between the way Asian and Amercian cultures value

    But, he's real fuzzy about it because he doesn't seem to understand the
    difference between multi-cultural and melting pot cultures.

    The tradition in the US is to view ourselves as a melting pot of cultures,
    where many cultures are blended into one, with a single cultural result
    that retains the best flavors of all. That was easy to do in the US
    because most of the cultures we considered part of the mix were Eastern
    European. The English, Irish, German, Scandanavian, and Polish were the
    primary mix of the early culture. Natives, Aisians, Africans were
    marginaized and not part of the melting pot. There was a blending of
    French, Italian, Spanish, and Arabs along the Gulf Coast. Different parts
    of the ocuntry had dominant cultures that too decades to disperse, some,
    like the Gernams in the Texas Hill Country only gave up their language
    because of threats of violence in WWI.

    Canada was different. The original cultures where French and English,
    predomitantly English. Their sense of self importannce and superior
    culture didn't allow any blending. The French remained a seperate culture
    simply because the English didn't want them. So rather than a melting
    pot, Canada started out as a multi-culturaral society.

    Later, when a wider range of cultures came to both Canada and the US,
    there was less clash in Canada because they didn't want people to
    assimulate, their model kept cultures seperate. The US tried to force
    assimulation, but the melting pot was essentually western european, so
    there was resistant.

    In the US multiculturalism has become a pet leftist cultural model. All
    cultures are equal, except that a multicultural society is more equal,
    it's considered superior by leftists.

    So, the multiculturiasm he saw in Canada isn't any less racist than in the
    US melting pot. In fact, Canada started down the road of multiculturism
    because they were probably more racist. The English in Canada wouldn't
    even accept other Europeans.

    Danny talks about how on Canadain TV you see such a wide range of specific
    cultures represented among TV newscasters for example. He can identify
    each one.

    What Danny doesn't get, is that in the melting pot culture of the US a
    third generation Greek probably isn't easity disernable from a 3rd
    generation Italian except possibibly by surname. And, it's harder to
    guess that someone with a surname of Carson has a mother who was born,
    raised, and educated in Germany.

    It's not nearly as clear to me as it seems to be to Danny that a melting
    pot culture is more racist than a multi-cultural one is. In this country
    seperate but equal is considered by law a bad thing.

    When he gets to the Asians he seems to want to avoid pointing out the main
    cultural difference between asians and americans. In American culture,
    gambling is considered a bad thing. You can look right here on rgp, even
    gamblers want to try to convince everyone that it's not really gambling,
    it's a skill game.

    Asian cultures embrace gambling. Luck is a good thing. Being lucky is a
    positive, valued personal attribute. In the US, having money because
    you're lucky is somehow less valued than having money because you worked
    hard and developed a skill.

    That's a major clash in values, and easily explains why american
    broadcasters shy away from asian gamblers, even without language barriars.

    It's not that one culture is better, it's just that they are different and
    have value systems that just don't translate. You'd think that a self
    described multi-culturist would understand that.

    The sentence I found really funny was

    "But it has always bothered me when soft-spoken, well-mannered poker
    players aren’t recognized for their ability and are pushed to the back,
    while the loud and boorish take center stage."


    Mr. Carson sure has an irrational dislike of Danny.

    Well fuck, while I'm quoting cranky old nutjobs, why not go the Full Monty and post something from Crazy Russ Georgiev, the poker cheat? I'm breaking my only blogging rule here:

    Subject: GCA PokerMafia,

    When I came back to Gardena in 1976, I came with more knowledge than ever before. I had been playing all over the West coast. I came back to my old stomping grounds, Gardena. I went back to the Rainbow-Monterey Clubs where I had done most of my playing previously, but there were more cheats than ever before. Not much had changed. However 5 years had passed. Due to the fact that so many cheats were in the other card rooms, I went over to the Horseshoe. I was in for a treat.

    My old friend from my early days in Gardena [1968], was now the swing-shift manager. He was also a major threat to the 'card mechanics' and the old cheats. He didn't like most of them. He and I went back to the times when our girl friends were best friends. When I first arrived in 1968 he was a floorman. We had many good times in the previous years. We were very good friends. He was now a major manager. He was a good friend. Things were now different. The main manager worked during the day. But the swing shift was the prize jewel. I had as much influence with my old friend as anyone could. Soon I was working the "big games" in the Horseshoe. I had my own team. However, we were few in numbers. More than one big game would start and their was plenty of money to go around. Two casinos were the benefactors when the city allowed the limits to go up.

    The Horseshoe and the Eldorado had the biggest games. Neither card room is around today. The other mega card rooms took their places. However, from around 1976 to around 1982 they dominated the "big action" in LA. After I was in the Horseshoe, I received a call from some of the other cheats from the Rainbow-Monterey card rooms. They wanted to move over to the Horseshoe and wanted to know if we could do business. I agreed to the arrangement. I made schedules up as our pack was enlarged to about 10 members. This made it better for everyone involved. We could always have control of the big game and couldn't be challenged because of our numbers. We then became an even larger team because of all the drug use in those days. We also played the COMMUNITY BANKROLL. We started scamming together and needed a new set of "signals." The old one's were known by all the cheats.

    Prior to the beginning of this, most of the guys had played with a bet saving approach. We now played as a single unit with a new set of card signals. I had developed the "elevation signals" for lowball almost 10 years earlier. We adapted these signals. The old signals were just basic finger positioning signals known by all cheats. These new signals were unknown to any but the new "cheating pack" that was formed. We also had the use of the old "verbal signals" that went like this. King was kind. Queen was quiet. Jack was justice. Ten was time. Nine was nice. Eight was easy. Seven was lucky. Six was should. Five was fine or find. Four was funny. Three was through. Two was loose. And ace was Automatic or automotive. Anything auto. With these combinations of verbal and card positioning signals, we could do many things to cheat in poker games.

    Back in this time, California games were dealt by the people who played in them. It changed in the early 80's when dealers came into the games. However, this did not stop scamming or marked cards. As long as you have management on the payroll you can do anything you liked. Having a "large cheating pack" enabled us to have control of the "big game" at the Horseshoe card room in Gardena. We started playing on the "swing and graveyard" shifts. The "graveyard shift" was always bought by the cheats in all card rooms. However, because of my friendship with my old buddy, I also had control of the swing shift. When he first accepted money, he would only take it from me. I was the buffer. Everyday we would pay everyone associated with us. We paid the boardman [the person who put the names on the board]. We always gave security a few chips. The porters and the lower level employees as well. The floormen and managers could count on getting about $200-$500 a day extra. With occasional $1,000's. Chip girls were toked as they presented a way to transfer money back and forth without anyone being the wiser. Everyone involved at least doubled their income. Most made 3
    to 5 times as much by working with the cheats. It was a "changing of the guard."

    The older cheats lost power when the casino's raised the limits. The older cheats lost power when management shifted from retiring employees. Gardena had been around since the 30's and the people that had come into play when it opened were now old and gone. The newer crews were taking over as things were being handed down. Evolution. When we started scamming we would sit in a position with a live person between us. We would always try to be four deep if the game was full. When it became shorter, seniority would sometimes rule, on who stayed. Also the ability of the cheat was the main prerequisite. When we started a full game, or entered a full game, we would try to get the odd or the even seats. We would use old scamming tactics like "gypsying" in from the front [just calling instead of raising]. This would enable a back member of the "cheating pack" to raise.

    People would think they could get into the pot for just a single bet or unit when in the blinds. However, this was the way we trapped people for large amounts of bets. People were getting butchered to an extent not seen before in Gardena. It would only get worse. After a while we had so much power and people were making so much money that we were in charge of everything. Any person that was needed was bought if we could. The others were fired or laid off because of the management we had. You played ball with us or you didn't play. It didn't matter. Soon we all became "jr. card mechanics." Soon it didn't matter if we were caught cheating on tape. In fact we were caught on tape. That tape mysteriously disappeared. We had everyone in our pocket. The "good card mechanics" were usually bad players and unable to keep up to the signals. To excel in this occupation you needed to be alert. Playing well was the number one prerequisite. It was easy to learn how to cheat well enough as all jr.
    mechanics. Everyone learned how to "play the slug." This maneuver had us sitting four cheats or even five cheats in a row. If you hit the deck [meaning if you were to draw a card] you would never win a hand. When the deal would come to the first cheat in the row, nothing was done. However, after this the slaughter came for the next 3 or 4 hands. All the cheats practiced how to cut 13 cards. It doesn't take much practice to cut 12 or 13 or 14 cards on a consistent basis. It is like cutting chips. Take a deck yourself and try it. See how long it takes for you to consistently cut from 12-14 cards. Not very long. Even 15 or 16 could do the trick if you made a mistake.

    After the deal reached the first cheat, the cards would be arranged by one of the cheats. The cards arranged would be the cards in his hand. Say he had a king,jack,9,5,2. They would be arranged in this order. In case the cards were cut in the exact order then anyone hitting the deck couldn't win. In order to communicate with the cards coming off, some b.s. rhetoric would be stated such as "it's the kind of justice we need. It would be nice if we could find a loose player". In the sentences that were just stated, a "scammer would know" the cards coming off the deck would be "King" because of kind. Jack because justice was mentioned, 9 because the word nice was added with find for a 5 and loose for a 2. Thus a cheaters or cheaters would know all the cards coming out in order. If you try you will see that all it takes is a couple of phrases to tell the cheats what the cards coming off the deck are.

    Say you stated "it was a quiet time, easy to get lucky with a funny card." You would be stating the top card was a "queen" the next was a "ten" then "8""7" and "4." Check the "VERBAL CODE".This was accomplished by the person who is dealing, placing the five cards on top of the deck. He fails to shuffle the top five and then the cards are cut. Trying to cut only 13 cards. The cards are placed together but not directly together. When you deal the cards out, you deal eight hands of 5 cards each. If the cut was perfect then you will know because you didn't place the cards directly together. If the cut was one or two off you still know what is coming. You thus adjusted. You let the "cheating pack" know by the verbal signals. The best way of doing this is by going through the rhetoric. A procedure is also required that enables the "cheating pack" to know if the players in the back can make a hand with any of these cards. Say one of the "pack" in the back needs a 4. You would just sign other members of the pack into the hand. It wouldn't matter what they had. You know
    that the person can make a 6 or 5 low by having the "pack" play.

    A simple hand gesture such as a flat hand on the table will bring a member into the pot. All this is done just in case a "live one" is standing pat. Usually when the "cheats" put a hand on top of the deck they try to place a hand like a K 10,6,3,2. With a couple of big ones on top and 3 wheel or "6" cards below them. This enables the cheats to make a hand every time. All one would need is a "2 card draw." Bringing members of the pack into a hand to enable another member to get the card or cards he needs is a simple maneuver. To an observer it would look like a "wild game." It would look like you couldn't lose. However, nothing was further from the truth. You couldn't win. To get to the cards that are needed all you do is have someone in front of the "cheat," like another cheat. There is a verbal code for taking cards off the deck. To point to a player, would mean you wouldn't say a word. Thus no words would mean no cards. "Cards" would mean take one card. "How many," would mean take 2 cards
    and then the extremes such as "how many cards" meaning 3 or "do you want cards" meaning 4. All of this is part of elaborate scamming from the old days. It didn't matter if you had a hand. It was having the pack member make a hand. If they hit the deck in first position, they could never win. In fact we would always draw two cards in order to win a bet after the draw. Besides all this, there were many other things done that were very easy to do.

    Double burning, no burning. Capping the deck.[placing a card on top of the deck by palming it]. No one had to be a card mechanic. All they had to be able to do is a few simple moves. It was never ending in a scam. I doubt that people ever won a pot on 37 1/2% of the deals. That is if it was four deep. This didn't even count other things that were very simple maneuvers. This was all done in the player dealt games in California since my time began. Whenever the "heat" came down [meaning complaints from players] scamming went back to normal. Without the Jr. Mechanics. Marked cards were not used much in Southern California. It was a waste of time. We weren't that subtle since we didn't have to be. In Northern California it was a different thing, however. The games up north were single limit games or even No limit. Straight $100 limit or higher many times.[straight bet means one limit, hence a different style] I played in a straight $600 limit lowball game twice n Northern California in the late
    seventies. Marked cards were used in that game on a constant basis. I was doubling some of the people off. It was around 25 years ago. The no limit games also contained marked cards. White flash was used extensively in the seventies in the No limit lowball games. Played them also in Northern Cal. on occasion. Basically when you ventured into a "big game" where it wasn't your "turf" you were in trouble, unless you were invited or had permission from someone with the "cheating pack" in control. It is like I have stated before. Cheaters considered games personal property.

    Just by the dialogue that "scammers use". Russ's game. It means I considered this my property, or my turf. I roamed Gardena for years. I was as heavily involved as you could be back in the 60's,70's, 80's. Those games of everyone dealing are history. This is the truth about those games. I was there and am still around. Cheats were intertwined from various areas at times. It always looked good for a stranger to win all the money. Especially when the stranger was involved with the "cheating pack". This was the way it was in California with the player dealt games. I will be getting into evolution soon.

    Russ Georgiev

    I'm sad for me. Perhaps someday I'll post a retrospective on crazy GCA Russ ala the Russ Boyd one. But frankly, he's not worth the time.

    Let's post poker pro's online names, shall we? From RGP.


    Pros & Name Players At Ultimate Bet

    dill pickle Mike Matosow
    psykokwak is Bruno Fitoussi
    Erik123 Erik Sagstrom
    atl-angela Josh Arieh
    formerly devastator now spirit rock = prahlad friedman
    Annie Duke - AnnieDuke
    Phil Hellmuth - PhilHellmuth
    Devilfish/David Ulliot
    LayneFlack Layne Flack
    joe buttons - Phil Ivey
    Tallphil - Phil Gordon
    empty chair - Eric Sidel
    scottynguyen - Scotty Nguyen
    Ticker Erik Lindren Swede -
    Peasant - Juha Helpi
    bizingo is ben affleck
    tiltboy Rafe Furst
    Krullis Daniel Larsson 2nd aruba UB won 300K 2003
    wetspot Harley Hall
    Zhuge Liang John Juana


    Ditto for Poker Stars, only from 2+2:


    Daniel Negreanu - doublesuited
    Tom McEvoy - Tom McEvoy
    Paul Wolfe - DOUBLEDUECE
    Minneapolis Jim Meehan - actiondonkey
    Chris Moneymaker - Money800
    Pete Giordano - TheBeat
    Dutch Boyd - KidDutch
    MrPokeJoke - Mike Matusow
    LuckBox - John Juanda
    Tigerma - Tony Ma
    EDOGN - Erick Lindgren
    Razorbax - Josh Arieh
    DeOhGee - Joseph Cordi
    reload this - Layne Flack


    Did anyone see Johnny Fucking Chan's impending new book? Go check it out at Play Poker Like Johnny Chan. It's pretty cool, he's got a good amount of content online.

    Here's some trend news per poker: The Yahoo Buzz Index had this to say about poker searches:

    Flush With Searches

    Searches on America's favorite new game haven't flopped yet. Poker was up 11% over the past week, and holiday gifts of poker chips and poker tables proved just the incentive to rustle up some search action. Men go all-in with two-thirds of poker queries, but it's not just a man's world -- women 35-54 draw 14% of searches. And the metro meccas of poker searches are far from the bright lights of Vegas. Indianapolis leads the way followed closely by Detroit and Cleveland, all cities where home games must be heating up the icy winter.

    When it comes to buzz, we're never caught with the short stack. We invite you to pull up a chair, ante up, and browse our top poker searches over the past week.

    * Poker Chips
    * Poker Rules
    * Poker Tables
    * Poker Hands
    * World Series of Poker
    * Clay Poker Chips
    * World Poker Tour
    * How To Play Poker
    * Texas Hold 'Em Poker
    * Poker Chip Tricks

    Almost forgot that the Review-Journal posted pictures of the two fellers who tried to rob 2004 WSOP Champion, Greg Raymer, at the Bellagio. Go check these two fucktards out.
    Suspects identified in robbery attempt

    I spent some time this weekend digging through Simon Trumper's online journal over at UK Betting Poker.

    I love these tangential, Guinness-fueled extravaganzas. Here's a wonderful picture that pretty much shows how I feel at the end of an uber-post.

    Thanks to anyone who read this far. I'll be getting to the new poker blogs next.
    For now, I'm gonna leave you with two worthy snippets.

    Sklansky on ten "smartest" poker players

    From 2+2 forums:

    "This list is rating 'ability to think', not mathematical ability."

    1. William Chen
    2. Mark Weitzman
    3. Howard Lederer
    4. Jim Geary
    5. Chris Ferguson
    6. Ed Miller
    7. Tom Weideman
    8. Jimmy Warren
    9. Barry Greenstein
    10. Paul Phillips

    I certainly don't know enough to agree or disagree with any of this, but I really expected Greenstein to be higher. Oh, and just so nobody gets too shocked at his modesty, he intentionally left himself and MM off the rankings.

    Octo said:
    I love that Sklansky actually makes lists like this. It's almost adorable.
    He's like a 10th grader stuck in 50+ year-old's body.

    And here's a poker morality tale to wrap things up:


    This is supposed to be a true story. A friend of mine that had been around some of the "road gamblers" from Texas told it to me. I know I don't have all the facts straight and will not name names, but here goes.

    A big time bookie and poker player from Texas was being driven down the strip in Las Vegas in his limosine with some of his friends. He was looking out the window when he saw a well known Texas poker player with a less than sterling reputation as far as paying off markers, bets, etc. The player was just lumbering along the sidewalk, head held low, hands in his pockets and had the sole of one his shoes just flopping when he walked. It was obvious to the bookie that the poker player was totally tapped out.

    The bookie tells his driver to pull over and wait for the player to catch up. As the player came along side of the limo the bookie called him over and asked him what was going on. The player gave the bookie a run down of all his bad luck, even commenting about how he didn't even have enough money to get his flopping shoe fixed.

    The bookie, ever a generous man to all, but not a man that would forgive or forget a past trangression against him, pulled out of his pocket a bankroll that would choke a horse. The bookie then told the man that the least he could do was to help him enough to at least get his shoe fixed. It was then that he pulled the rubberband holding his bankroll together off, handed it to the poker player told him "fix your shoe with this", rolled up the window and drove off.

    Addendum: Hank, at Cards Speak, updated. Go read now.

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