Friday, May 06, 2005

Hey now - quick post here.

Doctor Pauly and SnailTrax will be here tommorrow morning. I'll be enjoying some cold beers with them at the Reds game before they depart for the Trey show. Now I've got two days to try and throw a game together on Sunday for my esteemed guests. Shouldn't be too tough despite Sunday being Mothers Day. Mebbe we'll do a SNG with a NL cash game afterwards.

Sidenote: Belated thanks to Wil for the linkage. It's always humbling to get called the GodFather from Real Bloggerati such as he. The traffic doesn't suck, either. But more importantly, Wil is blogging about poker again, which is always good.

Tourney reminder! Hurry and sign up!
Stop procrastinating!

Tournament limited to the first 150 players who sign up.
If we hit 150 players: that's THREE WSOP seats we will be giving away.

WPBT WSOP Satellite Tournament
Noble Poker
Wednesday, May 11th, 9PM EST
$30 +3
Password: dahammer

One WSOP seat given away for every 50 players.

As extra incentive to sign up with this harried blogger, Noble is offering a 100% deposit bonus up to $500 with my links. It's usually only $300, but because they humped my leg so hard, they decided to make a special offer and allow my readers to get an extra bounty on their deposit.

$500 bonus offer - what else do you need, damnit?

If any bloggers wanna sign up as an affiliate and promote the tourney thru their blog, feel free to sign up here:
Noble affiliate sign up

Bleh, I know most folks already have an account there but for those of you who don't, please consider using my links. And my humble apologies for anyone I put off with my shilling.

End Groveling.

Err wait - I've gone this far . . .let's post a damn banner.

$500 Deposit Bonus on Noble Poker!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

"You're wasting your writing talents by shouting "Bonus Code IGGY" into the winds of the internet."
The PokerGeek

Sad but true. It's utterly worthless.

Thanks a ton for all the feedback on my last post.
I truly appreciate it.

Whew, I'm kinda irked right now cause I found yet another "poker site" out there simply stealing poker bloggers content. That's all it is - regurgitated posts from poker bloggers - NO original content of their own. Makes me cranky when I think about all the hard work I put into this blog.

I've asked nicely for them to remove it, but they've refused. Let's hope they see the light, and Do the Right Thing. Stop being a parasite. Don't steal other people's hard work. How hard is that?

They use this software http://rsstoblog.com/ (just like the last guy with blogbomb) to use feeds to create sites.
Fucking Pathetic.

Worst of all, they refuse to see anything wrong with what they're doing.


WSOP Satellite Announcement Time!
Tournament for bloggers AND readers!!!

This WILL qualify for the WPBT leaderboard.

Bloggers remain undefeated.

Allow me to preface this with a little info. It's been a long blogging road for me.
And I kinda feel like I'm standing at the crossroads. I haven't been good enough fortunate enough to land a cool gig from my blog. No, I'm not jealous - just making a point that I do this all for free. I doubt many of you know how many times my blog has been ripped off, copied, and flat out used to make someone ELSE money. Many of you bloggers know exactly what I'm talking about.

It's frustrating. Uber-posts take a long time to write. All the damn reading, assimilating, re-formatting and writing it up takes way more time than I'd EVER care to admit. But I do it because it's a blog that I personally would enjoy. And some folks apparently find some value in it.

And also because I'm deranged.

And rather than sell out for 30 pieces of gold by running banners or moving my blog to a shill site or even just taking an extended break, I'm asking for some help here. Because of the buzz from other top-notch blogs, I chose a new poker room to run the tourney at. Hopefully it can help us all.

I want to do this the old-fashioned way. Please, if you like this blog and would like to see it continue, use my links to sign up. That's all I'm asking. I've tried hard not to exploit my blog as a shill, Bonus Code IGGY notwithstanding, but this is the exception.

Of course, I feel all dirty and ashamed but fuck it. I so rarely ask for anything so I'm just gonna grovel and plead this time. Hell, I've written my ass off here - I'm not asking too much methinks. You don't lose anything by signing up with me and gain an extra $500 deposit bonus.

I feel like a fund-drive guy. Ugh.

Sign up now with my links and help keep the lights on here at Guinness and Poker!

Or better yet, if you click on my Noble Poker link and play with us in the tourney, all of your wildest dreams will come through. It's like a vote for Pedro!

Yes, that's right - we're playing at Noble Poker in exactly one week.
The tourney is posted.

Tournament limited to the first 150 players who sign up.
If we hit 150 players: that's THREE WSOP seats we will be giving away.


WPBT WSOP Satellite Tournament
Noble Poker
Wednesday, May 11th, 9PM EST
$30 +3
Password: dahammer

One WSOP seat given away for every 50 players.

As extra incentive to sign up with this harried blogger, Noble is offering a 100% deposit bonus up to $500 with my links. It's usually only $300, but because they humped my leg so hard, they decided to make a special offer and allow my readers to get an extra bounty on their deposit.

$500 bonus offer - what else do you need, damnit?

If any bloggers wanna sign up as an affiliate and promote the tourney thru their blog, feel free to sign up here:
Noble affiliate

Bleh, I know most folks already have an account there but for those of you who don't, please consider using my links. And my humble apologies for anyone I put off with my shilling.

End Groveling.

Err wait - I've gone this far . . .let's post a damn banner.

$500 Deposit Bonus on Noble Poker!

Here's some random odd facts to tide you over until the next uber post.

If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.

If you passed gas consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb.

The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet.

A pig's orgasm lasts 30 minutes.

A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death.

(I'm still not over the pig.)

Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories a hour

The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the male's head off.

The flea can jump 350 times its body length. It's like a human jumping the length of a football field.

The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds.

Some lions mate over 50 times a day.

Butterflies taste with their feet.

The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.

Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than
left-handed people.

Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump.

A cat's urine glows under a black light.

(I wonder who was paid to figure that out?)

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

(I know some poker players like that.)

Starfish have no brains

(I know some poker players like that too.)

Polar bears are left-handed.

(If they switch, they'll live longer)

Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

"I got there carefully, and lost it casually."
Me, chatting with Hel1xx about losing my first online poker bankroll.

"The great thing and the hard thing is to stick to things when you have outlived the first interest, and not yet got the second, which comes with a sort of mastery."
Janet Erskine Stuart.

Thanks for stopping by.
If you're a new reader, bookmark me now if you like poker.

Let's bang out a freaking uber-post shall we?
Prepare to put anything work-related on hold. I'm gonna ramble and link it up good.

I sure as hell hope everyone had as much fun as I did in the tourneys. Good God, the chat just keeps getting funnier and funnier. That's a nice perk of getting knocked out early - you can just sit back and watch the witticisms fly.

Hats off to TheFatGuy for my personal favorite PokerStars icon.

I'm pretty damn happy we're now sending TWO poker bloggers to the WSOP in our name. And hopefully a few more.....stay tuned! Announcement ASAP.

And that's all I could really think about, watching the final table. I couldn't root for any single player, per se, cause as long as a genuine blogger won, all was good in the world.

That's easily the coolest thing about this silly blog. The community. I truly do enjoy bringing the tribe together - I prize that above all things. Even in my home game, I relish matchmaking my eclectic group of friends, and I kinda consider what I do here to be somewhat the same.

Connecting the dots between far-flung members of our wacky Tribe.

Anyway, allow me a rare update on my personal poker journey. April, despite starting off in brutal fashion, was my second most profitable month since quitting my job 6 months ago. Much of it was due to the enormous amount of table-time I put in, but also because I've dialed up the aggression level of my game. I've also been refocusing on live poker, which I can credit with re-energizing my love for poker. Burnout had actually reared it's ugly head at one point.

But suffice to say, I'm not looking for a job at the moment. Maybe in the Fall....

But Yikes, I've been reading some ugly posts about players getting their heads bashed in and wanting to walk away from poker. I hate when that happens, trust me.

Think I don't empathize? Read on:
Maybe my little poker morality tale will offer some encouragement.

This is my big painful poker story. I've alluded to it before.
Here's the abridged version, even though the long one is far more interesting.
Buy me a beer in Vegas and I'll gladly share.

Enter the Way-Back-Machine to Year 2000 on Paradise Poker. I somehow thought I was a pretty damn good player back then, beating the hell out of the 3.6 and 5.10 games, running my online roll up to about 8 grand, which was pretty cool for a lowlimit guy like me, back then. And the damn games were tough, playing many of the same people, night after night. Winning $8k at 3/6 and 5/10 back then was probably 20x harder than doing it now. But I was crushing the games and figured I was on my way....

And then the wheels fell off.

I fucking Lost it all.
Didn't really take long, either.

Stunned and fully aware it was my own damn fault, I walked away for over three months. I went into sherpa mode.

Going belly-up there was the best thing to EVER happen to me, per poker.

I still have all the hand histories from that timeframe printed out and in a big yellow folder in my desk drawer. Thousands and thousands of ugly, ugly hands.

I can't tell you how I improved my game during those months, woodshedding.
But I can tell you the two most important lessons I learned from that experience, and it's made all the difference. These are the two biggest broad issues to learn in poker, imho, for anyone wanting to build a substantial roll.

Emotional Control.
Bankroll Management.

Yes, there were some specific things I did to improve, like devour all the poker theory I could get my hands on, plugging obvious leaks, as well as seeking out players I respected and discussing concepts - trouble-hands with them, but the crucial lessons I learned were far more estoteric and broad in nature.

I don't like to pat myself on the back, but seriously, I don't know how many times I've been able to use the above story to talk someone out of poker suicide. It's made ME a better player, but it's also helped me mentor others - something I enjoy more than playing, oftentimes.

My personal perspective on my bankroll has changed dramatically over the years. I've become much more serious about it as I've continued to win. It's very ironic because (much to my wife's chagrin) I am extremely cavalier about money, in general. But that, in part, perhaps made me a better poker player quicker than someone with a better understanding of the value of a dollar. But when I got my ass handed to me back in the days of Paradise Poker, I realized I had to step back and take stock of the situation.

Someone once accused me of faux-modesty in this here blog. And that's just a terrible read. Trust me, you don't go broke and forced to painfully rebuild your game, attitude and bankroll without a healthy dose of humbleness. At least, I didn't.

And so I did the hard work. There ain't no shortcuts to anyplace worth going.

And ultimately developed mental discipline. The object of poker is to win maximum money. Poker is not a card game at a certain level, it's a game of money management. Cards are merely the tools for manipulating money. The major enemy of poker players is their rationalizations for their failure to think. They continually find excuses for their weaknesses (ie: belief in luck) and lack of self-control. Their losses are directly proportional to their mental laziness.

But then again, I can easily play the contrarian and quote Dr. Wallace who said, "While it is obvious that poker losers are self-made fools for not using their minds, perhaps the biggest fool is the good player - with his effacious mind and willingness to exert effort, he is profligating his most precious possession - time. Time needed to pursue expanded, long-range goals that he is capable of achieving."

Put another way, in a somewhat recent post of mine when I considered heading back to Corporate America, poker can be considered a non-productive activity. One can somewhat assume that happiness and fulfillment are based on a life aimed, in some way, at productive achievment. Or as Dr. Wallace puts it, "The good player may be the biggest loser in the game."

So I've been working hard on having a well-rounded life during this experience. Family, friends, other hobbies....it's something you have to make a concerted effort to do.

But I'm not going to deny that for 99.9% of us, poker is the best thing EVER discovered for profitable amusement.

How many people have profitable hobbies? Not many. And that was a huge attraction to me.

But the players today have it far better. A plethora of solid information available for free online. Far too many great poker books to count. And the greatest games in the history of poker.

Bonus code IGGY on Party Poker Damnit! ;)

Hmm, I guess I wrote this up after some inspiration from friends, who were encouraging me to write more instead of just link. I've got a buttload of stories, afterall, and I should be sharing them. But anyway, I just wanted to show how poker hasn't been a perfect journey like you often read about in the glossy magazines and interviews. It's fucking hard, and oftentimes, ugly.

But it's sooo satisfying when it works. Affirmation is cool.

For you fun-loving recreational players, I remember reading some random Mike Caro article about "protecting your bankroll" in which he espoused that you can be more reckless with a small bankroll than you can with a large one. And more importantly, how most players treat their bankrolls just the opposite. And how, if you have a poker bankroll, it's for poker *only*.

In other words, if you have a good job and a few hundred bucks online that is easily replaceable, take some shots.

Of course, now that I'm playing for a living, I'm living off my roll. Talk about a serious adjustment. But that's a subject for another post.

I find out this Wednesday if I can move down to Caesers's Indiana and play full-time in their newly renovated room. Both fingers and toes are crossed.

It's weird, this pro gig. A fine line is drawn between the status of amateur and professional at poker. Really, it's almost a moral line. How far do you go, how much do you play, how much do you wanna win? There's little doubt that a very good player will get the money in the long run, or that a world class player can win in most games, excepting for variance and other WCP's.

Funny, but I don't think about sitting to "play" poker anymore. It's work. Except when I'm slumming in low-limit - then I'm playing. :)

Geezus, what a bunch of crap. See, this is why I don't write about myself or my play. It's just awful, bumpy drivel. My humble apologies.

So let's get to the good stuff, shall we? Tangential, Guinness-fueled ramblings about the best of poker on the web.

Lock and load.

I'll bet Chris Halverson didn't know he's a celebrity now, as shown by this recent RGP post:

poker blogs by famous players
Author: George Smart

I'm looking for poker blogs by well-known players. So far, I've found Paul Phillips, Wil Wheaton, Chris Halverson, and Annie Duke. Are there more? Please send the links.

George Smart
Raleigh Poker Page

Way to go Chris! I expect you to be endorsing poker sites, chips and putting out your own DVD's very soon.

Oh my, The Tiltboys have a new book out.

In the interest of keeping up with Vegas and poker, here's a pretty good review of the new Wynn poker room.

-----------------Subject: Wynn Poker Room Review

I visited the Wynn poker room yesterday afternoon (4/28/05) and I have to say it's very nice, but not without a few shortcomings, some of which can be attributed to it being their first day in operation.

First off, the decor of the room is fantastic. There are flat screen TV's all over so you can monitor the list or watch sports from anywhere in the room. The walls have framed, poster sized, old fashioned playing cards that I think look very nice. (But, then again, I collect playing cards, so I may have found this more exciting than most). The lighting is a little on the dark side, but not at the tables themselves, they are very well lit.

There is a cage at the back of the room and next to it is a booth where you can sign up for a players card. Wynn comps $1 an hour for poker players, and rumor has it that you can get a poker room rate for 6 hours of play.

The staff is extremely courteous. Everyone I encountered was very friendly, professional and attentive. In fact, you could almost say they were over staffed. There were a lot of floor people and cocktail waitresses. You never had to wait long for anything. The dealers are great and in about 4 hours of playing only one had made a mistake and it was easy mistake. A player had his hand protected a little too well and the dealer skipped his action, but it was no big deal since it was caught before the next player acted.

The tables are nothing fancy, they have an automatic shuffler and that is about it. Not like the MGM's tables with the faux marble inlay and betting circle. One thing that I wished the Wynn room had was the button keypad that allows the dealer to signal to the floor that a seat is available. It gets a little old sitting in the one seat and hearing the dealer yell "Seat open on 18" all night.

The room as 27 tables (if I recall correctly) and a small elevated area in the back right corner for the higher limit games, but it is in no way isolated from the rest of the room. I arrived at about 5pm and just about all the tables were going. I think there were about 3 empty tables. I was about the 12th person in line for the 4/8 tables (their smallest stakes) and was able to get seated in about 20-25 minutes. They also offer Omaha Hi-Lo, Stud and NL Holdem. The NL tables they had looked like they were 1/2 with $100 min. buy-in, 2/5 with $200 buy-in and there was one more, but I can't recall the stakes.

Now, the bad news. Their beeper system wasn't running so you had to wait around for your name to be called. I think they'll have this running later. Also, the room is a little cramped. The tables are so close to each other that you have to be careful when getting up from the table in order to not bump the person behind you. I was hoping it would be more open like the MGM room. Other than that, I have no complaints. It is a very classy looking room and very cozy feeling, just maybe a little too cozy.

Now, if I may, a little name dropping and one funny story. Card Player Magazine's Mike O'Malley was working the floor and doing a great job. He is very attentive to what is going on in the room. That goofball known as X-22 was in the room (can't recall his real name). When I heard his name on the PA I thought it may have been someone just being a smart ass and using that name, but sure enough, there he was. As I was leaving at about 9:30 Daniel N. popped in with his mom, but didn't stay long. I assume he was off to a party for Elaine Wynn, since it was her birthday. (This is pure conjecture though).

Lastly, a funny story. My table was very chatty and there was this funny old woman who called herself "Lady Jane". She had to be around 65 or 70. She wore a lot of bling, including a big Cadillac logo ring. Anyway, one thing leads to another and the guy sitting to her right decides to take out his wallet to show her a picture of his girlfriend. She studies the picture for about 15 seconds, just staring at it very intensely, then she gives the wallet back and says very bluntly, "Her titties sag."

OMG - the whole table lost it, including the dealer.

Anyway, if you're in town it's definitely worth checking out. Is in the best room in town? I don't know. Opinions will vary. I'd put it right up there with Bellagio and MGM though for sure.

in L.V.

If you're playing online poker without PokerTracker, you probably deserve to lose. Go try out the 1,000 hand free demo, for Gods sakes, and tell me that I'm wrong. And then look into purchasing The Poker Tracker Guide for only $20. It's worth every damn penny for the player auto-rate rules alone.

Hank modeled them after Bison's excellent post last year on 2+2 about this very thing. A great old thread worth perusing.
Some notes on notes

While I'm on the Best of TwoPlusTwo posts, here's a 14 page thread that's excellent reading for many of you out there. You know who you are.
Why are you stuck at party 2/4 3/6?

The brand spanking new CardPlayer just hit the web.
I highly recommend Part 2 of To Live and Die in L.V. by Brad Reagan and Michael Kaplan, about Stuey Ungar.

More importantly, you should probably buy the book, Aces and Kings, by Michael Kaplan and Brad Reagan. I just did.
Peruse it here:
Aces and Kings: Inside Stories and Million-Dollar Strategies from Poker's Greatest Players


He seemed like the Brian Wilson of poker — a brilliant guy done in by drugs and his own strange, unmanageable form of genius.


Perfectly put.

Well hell - this is a fascinating catfight over at 2+2.
More importantly, it's a followup to my Roy Cooke post about cheating and Russ GCA. Insane Vincent Lepore is posting all over it, too.
Crazy shit. Full thread here: Roy Cooke on Poker Cheating and Cheaters

Let me post Mason Malmuth's response to Roy's post here:

Hi Everyone:

Here's the way I see it. Russ G essentially called everyone a cheater with usually no evidence to back it up. Cooke should know better than to write anything that appears to endorse him in any way.

Below is an article that originally appeared in Poker Digest that is now in my book Poker Essays, Volume III. It is the position that both David Sklansky and I take on this issue.

Best wishes,

Comments on Collusion

At a recent BARGE gathering here in Las Vegas, David Sklansky and I gave a one hour question and answer session. One of the questions we were asked had to do with cheating, and collusion in particular. David gave a detailed answer which I thought would interest everyone, so I am going to summarize it here.

Before I start, a little background should be given. Over the past few years there have been many posts on the Internet concerning this topic. This includes not only the user group rec.gambling.poker, but also our web page forums at www.twoplustwo.com. Needless to say, there are many different opinions on the subject, and many players, particularly those relatively new to poker, are quite anxious regarding possible cheating problems.

Specifically, the form of cheating that most poker players fear the most is collusion. This is when two or more players get together, and through a predetermined set of signals, play their hands differently from the way they normally would in an attempt to increase their profits. What follows is a short recap of David’s comments on this subject.


First you need to understand that two people colluding is not that strong. This is because one needs to help the other, and there just aren’t enough times when both players will be in a position to do that. So for collusion to work well you need a team of three or four people.

Second, you can’t do anything real obvious. Experienced players will quickly pick up on any hands that are not played normally, or in which something unusual happens. The idea of putting a player in the middle and trapping him for many raises will be quickly identified by other players at the table and cannot last for any reasonable length of time.

Therefore, unless the cheaters are very good players, they will still lose because colluding can only add a small amount to their profits. Also, they would have to trust each other for the rest of their lives to remain silent.

Another point is that they would be forced to constantly play in bad games since they can’t all change to the better game, and they would make less money scamming a bad game than they would make on their own with the freedom to move around. And finally, you as a player would normally be avoiding games with them anyway, because with so many good players at the same table you would usually be choosing a different game.

Now none of this is proof that collusion is not going on somewhere, but it does imply that if you are an unscrupulous person, you are probably making a mistake by joining a partnership. And, since it would be a mistake to join a partnership (even if you are unscrupulous), you have to assume that other good players wouldn’t make that mistake either.

Again, I want to point out that this doesn’t apply as much when there is only one game in town because now it doesn’t look as funny when the same players are always at the table. Furthermore, a mild scam can never be caught because it virtually never involves putting someone in the middle. If you are an excellent player, any extra edge will only add to your profits, but putting someone in the middle is too obvious and an excellent player would understand this and rarely try it.

./end david)

Finally, I’d like to add some thoughts of my own. I have been playing poker consistently since the early eighties and I don’t believe that I have ever run into this type of collusion problem. (This includes the old player dealt games in Gardena, California). I’m not saying that it never happens, but I do believe that it is very rare, especially at the middle limits where I have spent most of my time.

I do believe that if you were playing in high limit games twenty-five years ago you probably would have run into problems. But fortunately those days are over.

Part of the reason for this is that cardroom management has learned that once their room gets a cheating reputation, whether it is deserved or not, it is only a matter of time before their business is doomed. This is one of the reasons that I have recommended to cardrooms not to spread pot limit or no limit games on a regular basis. In a game where someone can and will occasionally lose all their money on the turn of a card, it is inevitable that cheating accusations will materialize.

Another reason why cheating is not widespread as some of the claims represent, is that the players “police the game.” I’m an experienced player, and I’m usually in a game with several other experienced players. If something "funny" were to happen, one of us would quickly pick it up.

So, this essay should almost bring a halt to the fears that some of you have. However, I do advise that you remain forever vigilant. When playing poker you should always be paying attention. This is not only good for your game in that it will help you make strategy decisions better, but it is good for everyone’s game since it helps to assure that the poker games are "squeaky clean," and well run in every aspect.

Sadly, Mason doesn't even mention online poker.

Otis blogged this already but I'm still posting for posterity.

Subject: PokerStars W$ now good for 12 ESPN-televised WSOP Preliminary events

PokerStars will allow players to use W$ to buy into 12 ESPN-televised WSOP
Preliminary events if a player agrees to wear PokerStars logo clothing:

June 3-Event #2--$1,500 No-limit Hold'em
June 4-Event #3--$1,500 Pot-limit Hold'em
June 8-Event #7--$1,000 No-limit Hold'em w/rebuys
June 10-Event #9--$2,000 No-limit Hold'em
June 12-Event #11--$2,000 Pot-limit Hold'em
June 14-Event #13--$5,000 No-limit Hold'em
June 22-Event #22--$1,500 No-limit Hold'em
June 23-Event #23--$5,000 Seven Card Stud
June 26-Event #27--$5,000 Pot-limit Omaha w/re-buys
June 27-Event #28--$5,000 Limit Hold'em
July 1-Event #33--$3,000 No-limit Hold'em
July 2-Event #35--$10,000 Pot-limit Omaha, 2p.m. start

This is one of the most bizarre music videos I've ever seen. Does anyone know what the hell this is?
Apache Video

I thought this journal post by Annie Duke about winning the Tournament of Champions was pretty interesting.


When you are getting 3 to 1 from the pot and you have a pair, you can only fold if you are sure your opponent has an overpair. An overpair would put you at over a 4 to 1 disadvantage; an easy fold if you are only getting 3 to 1. But if your opponent has AK, you are a 6 to 5 favorite, an easy call getting 3 to 1. But what if both are possibilities—he might have an overpair or he might have AK? In that case you are also mathematically forced to call. So I had to eliminate AK as a possibility.


Here's an interesting paper on Poker/Bots/AI. I don't think I've posted this before but this seems to be an overview on the current state of the art poker bots.
Poker bots
Approximating Game-Theoretic Optimal Strategies for Full-scale Poker
D. Billings, N. Burch, A. Davidson, R. Holte, J. Schaeffer, T. Schauenberg, and D. Szafron
Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta

OnlineChump is auctioning himself off on eBay for a chance to play in the WSOP Main Event.

Check out Terrell Owens' profile on his own message boards: himself as his avatar, "I LUV ME SUM ME" as his title, and 4,000 messages posted, most of them consisting of 12-yr-old abbreviations and emoticons. Hilarious.
Terrell Owens

After reading DoubleAs's excellent post about stomaching the swings, I found this question and response that seems apropos. Rolf gives a pretty good answer. Enjoy:

Subject: Dealing with the emotional roller coaster

A few months back i decided to release the controls of my business and go into a very part-time work mode and have devoted most of my time to poker. While profitable month-to-month for the most part, and comfortably overall, I feel as though my life has become somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster with euphoric highs followed by depressing lows, sometimes one day after the other, but more often week to week.
What causes this, obviously is the swings involved in poker, especially in No-Limit, my game.

I am seeking advice on this and any input others have for dealing with this. As a part-time player these highs and lows were very manageable as I would just go to work the next day, or not play for a week. But now I play everday and during the lows it is hard to think of anything else and not be in a shitty sense of being.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated and please save the sarcasm for somebody who cares.



rolf replies:


Hi WD,

I have always done three things to cope with the emotional problems associated with the swings:

1. Creating a system of managing my bankroll in such a away, that my bankrolled still seemed to grow steadily even when things weren't going so well. (For more on this, see my article on bankroll building / managing, available in the CardPlayer archives)

2. By using PokerTracker or some other program for handling your figures, you might get a clear picture on the long-term results of your game. It may help accepting a $3,000 downswing when you know you are still up $41,000 for the year, especially when you look at the special feautues (graphical, but also mathematical) that these programs offer, and it is plainly visible that this downswing is really just a little bump in a growing market.

3. Balancing your playing with your personal life, so that your poker results don't get *too* much significance. (More on this can be found on my site.)

Anyway, these are the things *I* have done. They may or may not be helpful to you, but I thought I'd mention them anyway. Best of luck, man.

Rolf Slotboom

Is anyone reading this far? Are my uberposts unreadable?

Hell, I don't care. If I can destroy only ONE person's Workplace Productivity today, I'll have done my job.

It's been reported elsewhere but I'd be remiss if I didn't blog it. Those two fuckers who tried to rob Greg Raymer at the Bellagio last December were finally caught in California.
Pair suspected of robbing poker champion arrested near San Diego

My man, Boy Genius, is getting published in the Fox Sports poker section. Way too damn cool.

If you ever wanna watch a live poker tournament being held at the Bike - here ya go.
The Bicycle Casino

I doubt that any of my readers find Jessica Alba attractive. But in case I'm wrong, allow me to post these wonderful photo's of her.

Local Vegas Boy follows up with another casino review. Some interesting factoids here:

Subject: Wynn Casino/Hotel Info Here

Despite the strategy of releasing as little information as possible, several details have made their way out of Wynn Las Vegas. Here’s a list of things collected from various sources.

Openings: Wynn’s not settling for a grand opening. He’s calling it his "world premiere."

Casino-Hotel - Midnight April 27.
restaurants and the show Le Reve - April 29
Lure ultralounge - May 5
La Bete nightclub - May 7

The Hotel/Casino:

- The overall feel of the place (which is the same size as Bellagio) has been described as "cozy" and "intimate," using nooks, crannies, and hideaways, gardens and vistas, ubiquitous atriums, and restaurants far from the casino. Natural light and trees are visible everywhere.

- Employees: 105,000 applied, 9,500 were hired: 59% minority, 48% women, 40% over 40, and 2,500 former Wynn employees.

- Restaurants: There are 18 or 19, depending on the source; each has its own garden and stages.

- Slots and VP: They’ll be heavily Wynn branded, apparently introducing a "new platform" for casino machines (due to Wynn’s connection to a Japanese pachinko manufacturer). Random "Bingo Bonus" jackpots, similar to Station’s Jumbo Jackpots, will be paid every 20-25 minutes. Hotel-room key cards will double as slot cards (non-guests use traditional slot cards). Internet chatter pegs the video poker cashback rate at .22%, with $90,000 daily coin-in required for RFB.

- Poker: The poker room is going for supremacy. Poker pro Daniel Negreanu will be the host. An unofficial report that six hours of play per day will fetch a $129 poker-rate for rooms (strong given the current room-rate average of about $270 per night).

- Casino chips: Reportedly, the Wynn will introduce casino chips that employ a state-of-the-art tracking and surveillance tech known as RFID (radio frequency identification).

- Golf course - Par 70, 7,042 yards, designed by Tom Fazio, who also did Shadow Creek; called "classic, old-style"; final four holes most dramatic, with a huge waterfall on 18 that you walk under to get to the clubhouse; open only to hotel guests


- Real estate ROI - Wynn bought the 234-acre Desert Inn property for $1.64 million per acre. Recently, Strip land has sold for up to $15 million per acre. The land alone is now estimated to be worth more than $3.5 billion.

Wynn’s next big thing - Encore, the $1.4 billion, 2,300-suite stand-alone
resort-casino next door to the Wynn, opening in early 2008.

in L.V.

Random gambling factoid:
The Egyptian god who invented gambling is depicted on the doors of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

And here's some thoughts on the future of online poker, something I'm always interested in reading about.

Subject: Future of online poker...?

Hi all,

Just wondering whether anyone had any thoughts about what will happen to the market for online poker - and how lucrative it will be to play (well, obviously) - in the years to come.

It seems to me inevitable that competition among the sites will force down rakes and tournament fees, which should in theory make the game more profitable for winning players, and profitable for those who currently break even. Which is clearly a good thing.

But at the same time, I wonder whether the current "poker boom" can be sustained. The number of new players signing up is bound to start tailing off at some point (if it hasn't already, I don't know).

And as all the newish players get more experienced and the number of new players gets relative fewer, the average standard is going to go up. That would mean that the differences in standards of the players out there would tend to become slimmer - and that would in turn tend to mean that the profits available to an individual who is currently a winning player would go down.

if you are that player, I guess the answer is to get yourself in a position where you can play at higher levels, so that you can maintain your $/hour rate even if your BB/hour rate is suffering.

So I wonder if that's what will happen - you'll just see many more players playing for higher stakes, which in turn allows new players to come in at the bottom without getting ripped to shreds the first time they sit down and then never coming back.

The alternative, I suppose, would be that you'd get millions of players of roughly equal standard shunting cash around between themselves without anyone really making a killing. And the standard would be such that new players would find it increasingly difficult to get into the game.

Don't know. Thoughts?

The problem is that poker players don't always improve. Sometimes they stay fish for years and years and years. Not everyone learns from going broke, some simply refuse to acknowledge flaws in their play and/or approach. Worse, some give up.

Damn that Hammer meme. It's become something of a curse for me - I can barely fight down the urge to play it. Here's a drunken case of playing it and winning a $100 SNG with 7 high. My very first hand history!

***** Hand History for Game 1676170964 *****
400/800 TourneyTexasHTGameTable (NL) -
Table Table 1173 (Real Money) -- Seat 5 is the button
Total number of players : 2
Seat 5: golfer (3233)
Seat 7: iggy (6767)
golfer posts small blind (200)
iggy posts big blind (400)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to iggy [ 2d, 7h ]
golfer calls (200)
iggy raises (400) to 800
golfer calls (400)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ Qc, 9s, 5c ]
iggy bets (5967)
iggy is all-In.
golfer calls (2433)
golfer is all-In.
** Dealing Turn ** : [ As ]
** Dealing River ** : [ Ts ]
Creating Main Pot with $6466 with golfer
Creating Side Pot 1 with $3534 with iggy
** Summary **
Main Pot: 6466 | Side Pot 1: 3534
Board: [ Qc 9s 5c As Ts ]
golfer balance 0, lost 3233 [ 4c 6c ] [ high card ace -- As,Qc,Ts,9s,6c ]
iggy balance 10000, bet 6767, collected 10000, net +3233 [ 2d 7h ] [ high card ace with seven kicker -- As,Qc,Ts,9s,7d ]

Howard is one of the few interesting veteran RGP posters left.
Here's a good one:

Subject: Hand Question and Weirdness At The Commerce
Author: Howard Treesong

10-20 NLH at the Commerce last night. I'm in the BB when UTG limps, two
others limp, SB calls. I check holding the 4c7c, five to the flop. Pot
is 100. Flop comes Tc9c7h. SB bets 70. I call. UTG raises 130 more,
limpers vanish, SB calls. I call. 700 in the pot when the 4d hits the
turn. SB checks, I check, UTG moves in for 950 more. SB calls

UTG is a bit of a novice but not a total fish: in this spot, he's very
likely to have two pair. The SB is much less predictable but generally
solid. The SB has another $4K behind the $950 he called on the turn; I
have him covered by a shade.

What's my play? And should I have bet the turn card?

The same night, I related the Hellmuth prop bet to the table, where
Philly-boy bet Matusow that AK off beat AKs in a heads-up race. A guy
offered me a prop: he gets two black nines, I get AhKs and we run it
101 times. First one to fifty-one gets the money, but he's willing to
lay me 9:5. I offered to take it for $100K, but the guy would only take
it for what he had on him, which was $3600 against my $2K. I had people
coming out of the woodwork for a piece of my action. I laid off $1000
to ensure that I wasn't gonna get taken off in some stranger's hotel
room and we ran it. Our side lost, 51-48.

More freakishness: at the adjacent 20-40 table, a local pro laid a guy
$15K to $14K on a blind race, winner take all. Unhappy, apparently,
that he lost that, the local pro did it again with someone else a while
later -- this time at even money for $19K. He lost that, too. Niiiice.

-Howard Treesong

Hells bells.
Of course, I have a ton more to blog about but I shall be gentle on you, faithful reader. I'm gonna be back real soon to announce our Bloggers AND Readers WSOP satellite tournament next week. Can't wait.

It's almost exactly one month till Vegas. Good God.

I'm going to finish this post with an essay about Howard Lederer by the great folks at GCB, the satirical doppelganger of Russ G of GCA infamy. These guys have done some classics over the years.


Subject: GCB "Howard Lederer"

Howard Lederer

GCB first came to know of Howard Lederer in the early 1980s. At that time, he was nothing more than a common street thug, feared by many, and famous for his imposing physique and street fighting skills. We used Howard as an enforcer in one of our private underground poker clubs in Vegas. As ferocious as he was strong, GCB took an instant liking to this young man.

Unfortunately, what Howard had in strength he lacked in brain power. The boy was not too bright, but GCB knew we could work with him. Like a blank canvas just waiting for the right artists, GCB started remaking Howard Lederer into one of the great cheats of the current generation.

When we approached Howard about or proposition, he was very confused. "Me Howard!" was all he could say. We knew he wasn't ready for the world of poker, so, we trained him in chess. "Howard like chests!" he grunted when we explained our plan. It was a long project.

The first thing we did was teach him the basics of the game. Howard had trouble understanding simple chess concepts, he thought every piece moved like the queen. "Queen Pretty!" he would often exclaim. GCB was about to give up on Howard, when we had an epiphany. Why couldn't every piece move like the queen? We began entering Howard in tournaments, but instead of the standard configuration, we would start
Howard's side with 3, 4, or sometimes as many as 5 queens. He became unbeatable.

"Howard Happy!" He told us one day in 1984, after he and GCB had swindled more than $2,000,000 from the deep pockets of many chess masters. We knew, however, that if this scam were going to last, we would have to make Howard appear much smarter than he really was. So, GCB enrolled Howard at the finest reform schools. We brought in the best teachers. We worked on him day and night. None of it worked. He was just too damn stupid. So, GCB decided that from now on, we would do the speaking for Howard. We implanted a small speaker in his inner ear that enabled GCB to tell Howard exactly what to say, and how to act. It is a device still in use today.

Well, Howard was now on his way to becoming one of the best chess players in the world. This is when we ran into Garry Kasparov. We take great pride in our accomplishments with Howard, but GCB has to admit, there was never a greater chess cheat than Garry Kasparov. If we started Howard with 3 queens, Kasparov would have 4. If Howard had 19 starting pieces, Kasparov had 22. He was simply amazing, and he
beat us every time (including the famous match where Kasparov's 7 queens had all four of Howard's kings mated).

Howard's rage at losing soon consumed him. GCB feared for the worst. We knew we had to get him out of the world of chess and into an even more rigged forum. So, we introduced him to poker. He was a natural (mainly because we fed him stacked deck and stacked deck). Soon, he learned more subtle methods of cheating. We gave Howard special contact lesnes which enabled him to see the otherwise invisible symbols on specially marked cards. Unfortunately, it took a few moments for these contacts to properly focus, which is when GCB invented the "Lederer Stare." He wasn't using this time to "read your soul," or any other such BS. He used this time to "Read your cards." It is a technique he still employs to this day.

GCB and Howard remained close until very recently. After we helped him cheat his way to a second WPT victory, GCB told Howard that it was best to lay low for a little while. We sent one of our crew, Giovanni "ITALY 1959" Goomba to deliver the news to Howard. We arranged the meeting at a seedy motel just off the Vegas strip. When Giovanni told Howard our plans, Howard literally went apeshit. He pummeled Giovanni
into a bloody mess, right on the motel bed. Giovanni was so scared and shaken by the run in, he peed the sheets.

Howard then threatened to come after GCB. Knowing his strength, his quick temper, and the violence he is capable of, we decided it was best to sever our relationship.

We know that Howard does some side work as a "hired goon" for the Polka Mafia. We know the risk we are taking exposing the truth. We know that Howard is out for our blood, and when he reads this will boil over in rage. He may deny these allegations (then again, he may not), but one thing is for sure, he, like the rest of the Polka Mafia, wants revenge on GCB.

While we do fear for our safety, we will not stop bringing you the truth. Exposing the truth, and selling website memberships at www.polkamafia.com, is more important than the physical well-being of GCB.

Link of the Day:
Forrest's Formerly Famous Friends
Don't tell Michael Jackson, but a UNC student has discovered an effective way to attract former child stars: Look them up in Facebook and request to be added as their friend.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Pauly's got the WSOP satellite tourney writeup.
Go read it.

Congrats to AB! We'll be rooting for you in Vegas!
Here's the final table, in order of finish.

ABVidale - my days at the office
Slim99 - Poker Pundit
On_thg - The Humanity
Big Pirate - A Pirate's Life for Me
Max_Pot - A mystery, wouldn't tell us
The Poker Prof - Las Vegas Poker blog
Derek - Poker in the Weeds
StB - Beer City Poker
April98 - Feeding the Addiction
Joe Speaker - The Obituarium

Sunday, May 01, 2005

And we're off!

We've got 63 poker bloggers squaring off for another WSOP seat.
Damn, this is fun.

Good luck all!

Back from another poker road trip - this time with Dann and GMoney. Much fun was had by all.

Looks like we're in good shape for tonite. We just need a few more players to give away that WSOP seat.

Good luck and thanks to everyone playing.

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

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