Saturday, February 12, 2005

"No man is an island, entire of itself;
Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main."

John Donne

I wanna pimp some new poker blogs. Let's do a few, shall we?
Please take some time and check out the new guys & girls.

Anyone familiar with 2+2 knows who MicroBob is. Yup, even he's caught "Poker Blog Fever" and posts nearly every day, sometimes several times.
Poker and other Random thoughts

Not that he needs the stellar endorsement, but Tooloftheman is from the UpForPoker contingent, and sadly, I'm long-overdue in pimping his blog.
JMC Automatic
Stuff no one really needs to know about the law, poker, and my overused TV.

I really enjoy the design on this blog. And the writing.
9-2 Offsuit
Just slightly better than the worse possible.

I've been reading him for quite awhile now:
Slayre's Poker Quest
I thought I would join the crowd with my own personal experiences with the lovely sport of Poker, specifically, No Limit Hold Em, which is all I play. I'm a 40ish man with a nice paying job which is very boring and for the last 3 months all I think about is how I should've played a certain hand different last night, while here at work.

GambleAB is a well-known RGP poster and online tourney player.
He nailed a big score recently.
GambleAB's AC Adventure

Excellent blog here:
Simon Galloway from the UK.
Poker Payroll

Another excellent damn blog.
A team blog with Matt Dean, 7th place finisher in the 2004 WSOP Main Event.
Ship It Poker
Created by three poker players, this site was built for the advancement of Texas Hold'em, with an emphasis on no limit cash games. SHIP IT!

Isn't it obvious by now?
Poker bloggers are smarter than yer average bear. Especially this guy:
A Pirate's Life for Me
Poker, life, beer, roadtrips. Sounds about right.

I took a little bit of the money I won on Jeopardy and decided to gamble it away. Now that it's gone, I'm trying to learn to win it back.

For the record, I went through an Absinthe phase.
Loved the ritual, the weird buzz.
Absinthe's Troubles
Being a brief history of the early twenty-first century

Mark is in Santiago, Chile. That alone is reason enough to read this blog.
No Check, Only Bet

And if that's not cool enough for you, then hell, go read Milanflyer in Bergan, Norway. Non-American poker blogs get bonus points. Just because.
MilanFlyer goes Vegas

Long-time readers know I'm a huge Andy Bloch fan. His girlfriend is now getting paid to follow him around the world and blog. Lucky girl.
J is for Juicy

Scapegote's Year as a Poker Pro

Lacerated Cards
A blog about great music and bad poker.

My humble apologies for the lame post but I simply wanted to catch up on the pimping. Again, please go support the above and the links to the right. There's a veritable plethora of superb poker content out there.

Time for a random picture. I suck at captions.
If I wasn't so trashed, I'd photoshop a Bonus Code IGGY banner in the background of this:

Bonus Code IGGY allows you stand above!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

"The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit."
W. Somerset Maugham

Whew, what a shitty week. I'm still forced to 'sleep' in a recliner - so lack of sleep is taking its toll. The funeral was as awful as I anticipated. And I haven't been playing any poker. All this adds up to one cranky Iggy.

Thanks for all the emails & support. I truly appreciate it.

But let's move on, shall we? I feel the urge to navel-gaze a bit. I'll prolly try to write an uber-post tonite to amend for this drivel.

Anna says Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker Rocks!
Anna says Bonus Code IGGY Rules!

I happily read several thoughtful poker blogger posts this week, responding to Pauly & BG's essays on blogging and the ever burgeoning scene. The founding Fathers, as it is, and the New Kids on the Block. There's simply too many posts to link up, but suffice to say, everyone understood where Pauly and BG were coming from, and for that I'm thankful. Myself, and everyone, is excited to see such an explosion in poker blogs. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all. And hell, we need new blood to take up the slack for when we eventually suffer burnout and quit.

Burnout is very real.

After 18 months here, this blogging thing is a high-wire act. It's so easy to do or say something wrong, but so very difficult to be interesting and prolific. Hell, I'm embarrassed by the amount of work I've put into this here blog. I'm now over 400,000 words. That doesn't take into account the voracious amount of reading I do to provide (hopefully) valuable content. Hell, go click around in my archives if you think I'm bullshitting - I'm a verbose hard-working mofo. My long-time readers understand. If I deleted my blog tomorrow, the most gratifying thing I'd walk away with is the respect of my peers, helping to build a prodigious community with incredibly intelligent people, and last and least, the fact I've been deemed the BlogFather.

As Pauly said after the Vegas get-together: It's all about the people.

You have to believe me when I tell you the trip was extraordinary...

not because of the poker...
not because of the partying...
not because of the poker pros...
not because of Vegas...

the trip was amazing but because of the people involved.

I count myself very lucky to be a part of this.

Anyway, as BG (internet celebrity boy genius) says, it's awfully weird to read about yourself from outsiders perspectives. But I've grown used to it.

Mitigating point:
I was happily playing with bloggers last week when I surfed to Maudie's blog and saw a link to an unknown (rare, for me) poker blogger on LJ. I then read a post about the old blogs versus the new blogs that BG called, "Terrific, if a bit over the top."

Damnit, Junction Joe, I was all set to send you thousands of visitors. But alas, he deleted his blog. I'm not sure why he freaked and deleted it, but I did manage to save one paragraph.

There is a Leader among the Elders. They have various names for him, and he rejoices in mis-direction. The BlogFather is Iggy. He is the director, in many cases the producer, the crowd and the cheerleader, of the group. The highly individualistic personalities of the Elders orbit this individual. He is the glue. Where he points, the group will probably go. But understand, each member of the group suggests, points, occasionally takes independent action and has their own life. Therefore, Leader, is an applied term, but real in usage. Iggy once wrote that he would honor all the blogs by linking them to his site. Another elder wrote he was available to assist writers. Another, to give advice on poker. Others, said this is good in their blogs.

I tilted upon reading this and left the table for the evening. Look, I'm used to being quoted and linked and even analyzed....hell, I've several of my very own stalkers - it's the price you pay for writing something popular - I've grown to reluctantly accept that. And unlike Pauly's stalkers, mine are not cute Canadian girls offering up late night phone sex.

But I'm not a leader. And none of the strong personalities orbit me or this blog. That's just silly. I like to think that we are all protective of each other. That's very different from what Joe implied.

Someone told me (correctly, I think) that it's far more likely that Pauly is the glue and I am the Patron Saint. Fair enough, but what does that make Otis, then? The Pope of the bloggers?

Per Joe's post, part of me enjoys the ego stroking but the other half recoils in horror. I'm not sure if I can even explain why. Lack of confidence is certainly one big reason. Admiration for my peers is right up there - there are far better writers than I populating this little corner of the BlogoSphere, so for me, it's embarrassing.

I shouldn't be navel-gazing like this.
I'm still wacked out on Vicoden, so I have a legit excuse.

Allow me to summarize in this way - blogging is still very much a solitary pursuit. Most of us feel like we write in a vacuum, without assent or acknowledgement. I feel like that 99% of the time.

Also, I saw this insightful comment from the aforementioned Junction Joe that I agree with wholeheartedly:

Ever thought how the Bloggers have somehow manufactured their own success?

And while I agree with this, I think it's easy to forget that success is often being at the right place at the right time.

Anyway, forgive the above. I wish I could get a full-time gig blogging about poker. In fact, I found an interesting article about getting paid to blog that I'll post below. For now, this blog is brought to you by Bonus Fucking Code IGGY on Party Poker. You are brain dead if you aren't playing there.

BTW, I kept meaning to link up the famous essay by Tony Pierce, who literally wrote the book on How to Blog.
how to blog by tony pierce

Here's that column about blogging going mainstream. Damnit, someone hire me.
Pfft, as if that will ever happen.

Would You Buy a Car from this Blogger?

As blog readership rises, some smart marketers are wisely dipping their toes into the blog marketing waters. However, they’re overlooking perhaps one of the most attractive and untapped opportunities -- signing bloggers to product endorsement deals.

In 2004 the blogosphere established itself as a major influence on public opinion. According to a study released earlier this month by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, a full 27 percent of all online users now read blogs, a 58 percent increase from early last year.

With interest in blogs rising, some bloggers are rapidly becoming celebrities. They’re popping up in the press, attracting flocks of followers and, in some cases, even a roster of advertisers. And why not? They deserve it. After all, these "A-listers" can easily sway the opinions of thousands.

Unfortunately, minus a few exceptions, most marketers are still playing very safe when it comes to blog advertising. They’re taking a big media approach to the new wild, wooly micro media world. This includes buying ads on blog advertising networks operated by BURST!, BlogAds, Pheedo and Google AdSense, or sponsoring entire blogs outright as Audi did with the Jalopnik auto blog.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of these methods, they fail to capitalize on the blogosphere’s greatest value -- their influence. Blogs are very different animals than mainstream sites. They are written by passionate individuals you can reach out and touch, not by professionals. Bloggers share a deep sense of connection with their readers that marketers would die to tap into. They’re like rock stars. This is why you should treat bloggers like celebrities who can have tremendous power to inspire and lead others, rather than treating blogs as just another place to advertise.

Consider this. Mention the name Michael Jordan and what product immediately comes to mind? Naturally, it’s Nike’s Air Jordan sneakers. For years millions purchased Air Jordans simply because they wanted to "be like Mike." On a smaller level and at a far lower cost, you can sign bloggers to different types of endorsement deals. Here are five ideas worth considering:

Hire a Blogger to Write a Custom-Published Blog: Many bloggers feel a higher holy calling to maintain their integrity by not outwardly endorsing products on their blogs. Nevertheless, they still might be interested in making a buck on the side. Consider enlisting a well-known blogger to write a blog for you either about your product/service or perhaps a broader subject that’s related to it. For example, if you sell enterprise antivirus software, you could hire an IT blogger to track this issue on a separate custom-published blog.

Put a Blogger in Your Ad Campaign: If there’s a blogger you feel will be instantly recognizable to your target audience, consider getting in touch with him or her to see if they would be interested in appearing in your online/offline advertising campaign. Like celebrities, they can carry instant cache.

Get Bloggers Using Your Product: Sports marketers have been doing this for years. They identify a personality who they feel resonates with their audience and then pay him or her a nice hunk of change to use their product on the field or court. You could easily do the same thing with a blogger.

Build PR Campaigns Around Customer Evangelists: If you have a valuable product or service offering, there’s a high likelihood that there are some vocal yokels talking about your product in the blogosphere. Find these individuals, learn how they’re using your widget and build a case history PR campaign around them. If you are successful in generating media coverage, you can go for a two-bagger by encouraging the blogger to spread the word.

Hire a Blogger to Work for You: If there’s a particular blogger you have your eye on who has truly achieved superstar status, hire him or her to work for you. Microsoft’s "investment" in Robert Scoble, who was hired 19 months ago because of his Scobelizer blog, has already paid off ten-fold through positive PR and online word-of-mouth. You get extra credit if you hire a blogger who was recently fired from another company for blogging.

Now that blogging has gone mainstream, savvy companies would be wise to endorse bloggers. It’s cost effective and, if it’s done right, can offer a high return. I even bet that new firms will soon emerge to negotiate endorsement deals for bloggers, much like CAA does for celebrities. Now is the time to get in the ground floor while the fees are still low.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

funerals tend to put things in perspective. they can be a powerful filter to help you discern what is truly important and what is not.

this blog is not important.

ps: open caskets suck.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

I'm sorry for the lack of posting. I'll be back soon.

A friend just sent me this positive news featured in today's USA Today about online poker and such.


Online gambling sites expect big payoffs
By Jon Swartz, USA TODAY

Online gambling has hit the jackpot.

After years of escalating growth, it's poised for its biggest year. That reflects a growing obsession with poker, advances in broadband and wireless technology, and the temptation to strike it rich from a PC.

More than 2,000 gambling Web sites this year will rake in nearly $10 billion in revenue, most from U.S. consumers. That's up 40% from 2004. In 1996, when lawmakers first sought to curb Internet gambling, 30 sites collected $30 million, says researcher Christiansen Capital Advisors. That makes gambling one of the Internet's largest moneymakers, even though it is illegal.

Poker revenue is expected to double to more than $2 billion and attract 1 million players a month. Americans play at 266 Web sites, up from 53 in June 2003, says gaming site CasinoCity.com.

"Poker has jolted the industry," says Mike Sexton, a professional poker player who consults for PartyPoker.com, which is expected to haul in $1 billion in revenue this year. "Playing poker is a skill and considered cool," he says. "It's acceptable whether you're sitting around a table with friends or in front of a PC."

Technology and TV are paving the way. Peer-to-peer technology lets players compete head-to-head over the Internet in real time. Matches on ESPN, Bravo and the Travel Channel draw solid ratings. The popularity of poker, in turn, has further legitimized an industry once considered taboo by squeamish bettors.

"The fear factor is largely going away," says Alex Czajkowski, marketing director for Sportsbook.com. "The bigger, more reputable online casinos are not going to rip you off, and more people are betting."

That has meant more business for virtual slot machines, bingo and roulette. At the same time, advances in wireless technology make it easier for consumers to place wagers on sports events from cell phones or a personal digital assistant.

About 3% of people acknowledge gambling online at work, vs. 2% in 2003, according to a survey by Harris Interactive last year.

The surge hasn't escaped the attention of law-enforcement officials. But they are powerless to stop it.

Almost all gambling sites are offshore, where they are immune from U.S. law.Federal and state officials have discouraged some banks from allowing their credit cards to be used for cyberwagers.

The federal 1961 Wire Act prohibits the use of phone lines for placing bets, but there is no national law that applies to Internet gambling.

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., who has spearheaded efforts to crack down on Internet gambling since 1996, might try again this year.

"When you were born you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice."
Cherokee Saying, from Andi's web site

I hate February.

I'm not a big fan of getting maudlin. This is supposed to be a poker blog, damnit. And I hate to stray from poker, but sadly, some bad shit happening in my neck of the woods. I'll post some solid poker stuff, in a few, but I gotta try to write this.

I'm ill-equipped.

What is it about February and tragedy? Two short February's ago, after an exhaustive and emotional search, I located my birth family. Which completely blew up in my face, but that's a story for another time.

The following week after initial contact with my birthmom, four of my co-workers were driving to a clients office for a PR meeting. It was a very snowy morning, bad conditions. They ended up in a horrific accident, killing three of them instantly, while the driver, a close friend, miraculously survived. I still have the news photo of the mini-van:

I can honestly say that attending those three funerals on one day was prolly the most painful experience of my life. Still, to this day, when I walk to my car and snow is on the ground, I think of that accident. And the funerals. And my friend who lived. Every damn time. I often wonder when these thoughts will stop, if ever. Will I always associate snow and cars with death?

But this post is about Huggy Bear.

Huggy Bear has often been mentioned in my blog. We are old friends. Running mates for too long to recount, including our Vegas days. Anyway, he was the best man at my wedding, and vice-versa. Nuff said.

Three years ago, he met and married a young, brilliant, beautiful girl named Andi. They bought a big house on a hill, overlooking the Cincinnati skyline. Life was good.

But Andi became seriously ill and tragically passed away Friday evening.

For the first time ever, words fail me.

Send some positive mojo Huggy's way, if you could. And hug your wife/husband and kids today. Don't take anything for fucking granted.

I truly am sorry for this depressing post, but fuck it, it's my blog and my feelings today. Just ignore this post - I'll be back with poker soon - I need the distraction.

But in a few hours I'm going to walk through the snow to my car and attend a wake.

I fucking hate February.

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

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