Thursday, June 30, 2005

"Being an asshole is what makes my life worth living."
Gary Carson

Today is the first ever (poker author and infamous RGP crank) Gary Carson Day.

This post brought to you by:
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Its time for the first ever installment of classic Carson RGP quotes.
It's probably much more funny if you've visited RGP over the years, but there are still some wonderful witticisms.

Carson's response to seeing a compilation of his quotes:

"There's a couple of those that I don't remember writing. But, I used to drink a lot."

Random pictures below.

Speeling never corrected.

--- Carson regarding Alan Schoonmaker ---

Y'all need to forgive Alan, he lives in Texas, a state with no state income tax, and he doesn't really understand how taxation works.

His book would have made a nice magazine article -- maybe a long one in 3 parts.
And, he's bald.

This isn't about intellectual property. It's about Alan searching for a way to restore his sense of manhood since his hair fell out.

I suggest you take this to an attorney. Or to the hair club for men.

You can measure your dick with a ruler? No wonder you can't get a date.

I'm waiting for his "So you wanna be a psychologist" series.

Some guys, when they get a little older, they start losing their hair and exhibit other signs of aging. When that happens, they'll do whatever it takes to get it hard again, even writing a book.

--- Carson on his relationships ---

>>>> I'm not kidding - you owe me another highlighter!

Back when I was living with the school teacher she'd bring home all
kinds of stuff and I had plenty of highlighters. But, since she threw
me out I can't help you with that.

Sure I've been broke. Hell, I'm broke right now. But, it's a woman
thing -- nothing to do with poker.

I'd prefer to be getting laid, but with my age, the diabetes, side
effects of the zoloft, bad teeth, lack of style in clothing, and cheap
car that just isn't happening so much anymore.

>>>> Nothing lasts forever. She left and Gary's back in the trailer park again.

Uncanny. Do we know each other? But, you got the part about her
leaving wrong. It was her house, she threw me out

Men who are vegetarians are just doing it as a way to get laid. At
least that's been my experience in being a vegetarian. I used to own
an escort agency and I couldn't get laid.

I wish my clothes would get thrown in the road. They usually burn
them in the tront yard.

In a 1488 game this afternoon, someone said they never win when they
raise with AK so they don't raise with it. I said, everytime I sleep
with a woman she ends up dumping me but I still sleep with women.

>>>>> I heard that you guys are going to get coloured (or should I say
>>>>> colored) bills soon too.

Somethings gotta happen soon to improve my sex life.

>>>> Nor do they have to induce anybody to come.

When I was very young is would sometimes be spontanious, but I pretty
much have to be induced to come nowdays.

Not according to my last girlfreind, the one who gave away all her
money to PETA.

But, that wasn't my live changing event. Mine was when my 6th grade
teacher (who drove a black 1957 chevy convertible) sat on her desk and
crossed her legs.

When you get a little older you realize that getting lucky is a good
thing, it's not something to fret about.

>>>> guys im going to foxwoods in a week. wife is coming along
>>>> who does not gamble. any thoughts as to something she
>>>> can do while im grinding it out at the 3\6 tables?

Sure, glad to help, what time do you want me to meet her?

>>>> Bring that special ed teacher back. There is more work to do.....

She's still back in Austin. Replaced me with a couple more cats.

>>>> However, I did have a possible solution. Find a working spouse.

And make sure she has a car. And that either her kids are grown or
her ex-husband has them.

--- Nobody could ever accuse Carson of blatent hero worship ---

>>>> I honestly believe that you are totally insane and that it's
>>>> pointless to communicate with you rationally.

So, since you're not comfortable communicating rationally you'll just
do so irrationally?

Losing 10's of thousands in a poker game and having no memory of it
the next day becaue you'd too drunk isn't a sign of a problem with
alchohol. After all, it was only beer.

>>>> I think I do. He's younger, more intelligent, more successful,
>>>> better looking, gets more respect

I'm not younger than Danny.

He welched on a bet and I'm still pissed off about it.

I can't help myself. Danny is such an idiot, and it's so much fun to
punch holes in his little bubbles.

Now I have time to devote to ensuring that Caro doesn't rewrite

Danny is very thin skinned, and he's a drunk. Annie, like most
adults, considers him pretty much a joke. Danny can't cope with
people who don't give him the respect he wants. Hence his drunken,
abusive rampage.

That's why Phil can't beat ring games. The only way he can get the
village idiots to play with him is if they draw his table in a

In live games there is always another hand. In tournaments there is
always another tournament. Unless you are Phil Hellmuth and can't
face tomorrow if someone else has more bracelets than you

I'll bet you got that silly idea out of one of those Kreiger books.

>>>>Slim didn't make the final table, he'd have looked super classy.

A rattlesnake hatband, that's classy.

Look, Danny is a drunk. Jennifer Harmon thinks he's cute when he's
drunk. Annie thinks he's obnoxious. Since he knows he's irresitably
cute, he knows Annie is a terrible judge of character. Otherwise
she'd think he was a cute drunk. His judgment, however, is perfect,
so he can play that drek "creatively". Since her judgement is so
poor, she's just being a fish when she tries to be "creative".

I don't recall Howard having been bashed at all on rgp. There's lots
of other high profile poker players who haven't been bashed here. Some
of the ones who've been bashed are bashed by drunks who happen to also
be high profile players

>>>> of said the things I did. As for me being a drunk? LOL, that's just
>>>> laughable. I probably drink on average about two days a week, and
>>>> when I do it's only beer and wine. I rarely if ever drink hard
>>>> alcohol.

You're right. That is funny. I've never heard a drunk use that
rationalization before

>>>> Question...WHY does a player who is tied for the all-time lead
>>>> in WSOP bracelets won, get himself staked by anybody else...?!

Because the advance check on his book bounced and his wife's medical
malpractice insurance went up?

They don't count. Negreana isn't an American, he's Canadian. And,
Hellmuth is from Wisconsin or Minn. or something like that, he's
almost a Canadian.

The current issue of CP has photo's of most of the event winners
wearing their bracelet. Of course Phil's picture shows him waving it
around rather than wearing it.

And, don't call me a liar. You might piss me off.

I dont' beleive anything you say, but I do think you're funny.

I thought you promised you'd stop talking to me?

I dont' see any reason to pay any attention to Malmuth at all if
you're not gonna make personal attacks?

I'm pretty sure Malmuth isn't even human, so that wouldn't count.

Russ's poker ideas are generally good. The problem is that his verbal
skills are barely better than Malmuth's.

what planet is this guy from? Is he related to Malmuth?

>>>> What's Lou K's poker background? I was considering buying one of his
>>>> books but I'd like to know the depth of his poker experience.
>>>> Thx

I'm pretty sure he's accredited by the Caro Institute of Poker for the
Western States. Not sure what name he uses on the diploma though.

Sklansky will talk to you even if you don't buy one of his books.

Next we'll get into the computation of standard deviation. Lou screws
that up too

Mark is the head of the satanic cult that killed Laci Perterson.

I heard he got into a poker game with willie nelson, pissed away all
his money on drugs, now he's being staked by Tom McEvoy.

--- Carson and Paul Phillips ---

What do civilized people think about spitting in someone's face?

In Paul's case, many players would think what he did was okay when
it's him and his good looking girlfriend. If it would have been me
(his homeless looking buddy) he was talking too those same players
might have objected.

If you don't know the difference between reading a book at the table
and seeking another's advise about how to play then you're beyond
help, spitting in someones face wouldn't even help.

How about somebody who's afraid to go to a Las Vegas cardroom becuase
a wealthy Walther Mitty imposter threatened to spit in his face?
Would that count?

--- Carson and his fellow RGPers ---

>>>> I have spoken with the parties behind FabulousPoker and can
>>>> absolutely assure you 100% that Russ " the dipshit thief" Boyd
>>>> has nothing to do with them.

You know this because you talked to somebody?

Well, at least we know now that you're at least as smart as an east
Texas peckerwood.

>>>> it is Winning 7-Card Stud: Transforming Home Game Chumps Into
>>>> Casino Killers.

I thought Tad just stalked her. I didn't know he actually killed her.

Of course. I had a brain hit and forgot this guy is so stupid that he
actually used his own phone. Whenever I'm stalking someone I use a
stolen cell phone.

I thought Tad only stalked poker dealers.

Razzo is a troll. Unless he's posting about popular poker, then he's
a shill. Unless he's posting about the Iraqi poker game, then he's
the floorman I would never say anything that might offend him.

Also, do you actually know Razzo? What does it take to convince you
that someone is stupid?

Eric is in Mississippi. The phone in Biloxi is at Fayad's gas
station. Fayad's aunt is the 911 operator and after she send her boy
down to fetch Eric for the phone call she hung around the store and
was able to record the call.

I think it means that Linda is one of those violent man haters who
snips of the end of the mail response.

but linda is so easy to pick on, because she's a girl.

>>>> I challenge Mr. Carson to toss some coins with me.

Yawn. How about if I challange you to a reading comprehension match?

No, Vince, I was talking about the yahoo that's using yahoo. How's
that VW bus boing btw? Austin still has some hippie chicks who think
fat bald-headed guys with ponytails and VW buses are sexy, so be sure
and drive thru on your trip.

Frank is a 19 year old bisexual swedish girl interested in
corresponding with an overweight, middle-aged American man.

That's right. You dont' want the player to make mistakes that can be
exploited by others, only mistakes that can be exploited by you.
We should make that a rule.

--- Carson and penis's (peni?) ---

Caro's roulette system is a waste of time only if you're a humorless prick.

>>>> I am not a humorless prick

Yes, you are.

You really are a humorless prick. I'm not pissing on your leg, it's
really raining.

And, I'm not equating them at all. I think a president strutting
around in military uniform is much, much worse than a president
getting a blowjob in the oval office.

One of the instructors in the training class for Texas correctional
officers used to tell the students that you could tell the gay inmates
because they were the ones with big dicks.

Back when Danny N. was challanging me to a duel (before he found out
how big my dick really is)

We compare dick sizes here. IQ comparisons are done at

Maybe I should have just put my dick on the table. That would have
impressed them.

>>>> Why don't we compare penis sizes while we're at it.

Well, I would, but I'm sorry, you just don't make my dick hard.

>>>> Clinton got a BJ from a CHICKEN too ;~))

It's legal in Arkansas.

>>>> It's absolutely amazing that your book sold even one copy.

If you'd read my chapter on blow jobs you'd understand.

--- Carson about himself ---

I guess it's a character flaw. I don't like to leave until I have all
the money.

I mean he's a proven failure in judging people, he doen'st like me.
And, I'm the nicest guy I know.

I was reading the paper this morning and the Gulfport police ran a
prostitution sting with a bunch of female cops trying to solicit
customers on the beach, just down the street from me. A bunch of
arrests. Luckily for me I'm broke so had to turn them down when they
approached me.

My biggest career mistake in the Navy was telling our XO that I could
come back and see him when he got thru sucking LBJ's dick. I'm not
sure how many of today's sailor would make that kind of career

Well, I do have a close, personal relationship with god. That's why
I'm so lucky at poker.


I don't have any. But, then again I don't need any. I think it's
good that WSOP bracelets go to those who need them for a sense of self

>>>>Throwing stones are we ?
>>>>Better sell that glass house :)

No glass in my trailer house. Plastic windows.

You got that out of my book? Cool. How do you do that? I didn't even
know I knew how.

>>>> He is often abrasive, but it's said that "those people in the top 2% of
>>>> intelligence have a hard time getting along with the other 98%." :

I'd probably have to take 4 or 5 mensa tests before I passed one. So,
most of the time I'm in that 98%

>>>> When i first found RGP there was this obnoxiousy biterr man named
>>>> gary Carson who would be amongst the rudest, nastiest individuals
>>>> in all of usenet.

I do my best.

gary carson can't play for shit

I've been homeless and it wasn't by choice.

>>>> Gary - don't you find it interesting that he still wants poker
>>>> lessons, even after admitting to owning your book? :D
>>>> I wonder if he's read it - or perhaps he's just using it as a booster
>>>> seat.

To use it effectively as a booster seat you need to buy two copies

Actually, I"ve been working (shudder), trying to get a book manuscript
finished. I discovered that it saves time when I spell stuff right
the frirst time, so that temporary work ethic has spilled over into my
posts. I'll get finished with the manuscript soon, and that crap will

>>>> And how come your spelling is so much better now? What the
>>>> hell is going on?

I've been drinking more.

I probably often come across as an asshole on this forum. And, I
probably am an asshole. But, when I'm in a cardroom I'm a really nice

You're right. You should be dubious. I shouldn't have shot from the
hip so quickly. It's a personal issue with me though -- one I
struggle with every day.

If there's one thing I learned from my Daddy it's that if you never
pawn your gun you'll never go broke.

>>>> When I find my book, can I mail it to you and get your autograph?

It's okay with me, but you need to realize that I'm not very
dependable. I don't recommend it.
My address is 500 Broad, Box 11, Gulfport, MS, 39501

I had some family connection with the Czech mafia in Temple, but I'm
not sure that they have wide influence in the area.

I slept good that night, knowing that wherever I was in the house
there would be a weapon handy.

I'm a compulsive gambler. I'm fat. I'm poor. But, I'm well educated
And, I don't work. I'm not bald though. You got a problem with that?

Uh. When you started posting here you were self-promoting in the
hopes of getting hired by a cardroom as a consultant on cheating (and
in the hopes of collecting on some attempts at extortion). More
recently you started selling a book. You havn't written it yet, and
nobody has bought a copy yet, but you're selling it.
Have I ever mentioned that I wrote a book that some of y'all mjight
find interesting?

It's always worked when I did it. But, also all those times I was in
a really bad mood and would have really enjoyed bashing somebodies
fucking head in with a brick.

I know how to spell well. There are other words I have trouble
spelling, but I got that one nailed.

I'm pretty sure they have sentences and paragraphs in the german
written word. I never learned the language, but my mother's german
so I'll check with her about that.

Some woman poker player was saying something about me to her
girlfreind last night. She ponted me out at the table and described
me as that old poker player with the big belly.

Being an asshole is what makes my life worth living.


you might want to try www.twoplustwo.com. I don't post there.

I couldn't bet it, so I gave my Aunt $2 to make a bet for me. She
didn't want me to be disappointed by losing my first bet, so she
bought a show ticket. The horse won. It's been 40 years, I still
havn't spoken to her again.

Never lived in a doublewide. Got a great-aunt in Bakersfield got a
doublewide. But, she married outside the family.

--- Carson misc.---

I appreaciate what Gutshot has provided all week too. But, a dead
horse is a dead horse. How can you not kick it?

Huh? Are you nuts? These are poker players. They've played with
killers, hookers, drug dealers, bank robbers, wife beaters, lawyers,
off duty floormen, writers, all kinds of lowlifes. Why would anybody
give a shit?

Don't forget sunspots and tides. A good conspiracy theory cannot be

Uh. He won all the chips. He won a bunch of them while you weren't
watching. But, he won all the chips. In poker that's kind of how we
define best.

I don't think that a hat with a piece of tape across the front is very stylish.

Who the hell are you? These people are from Hollywood. They know
what style is. Brain dead bimbos. Men who wear hats indoors. Hype.
Phony proposition bets. Loud colors. Style.

>>>> Bottom line, if you can't see that George Bush is a decent and
>>>> honorable man with malice toward none

He bears no malice towards Bin Laden or Saddam. It's not like he
wants to kill them or anything.

Jack in the Box puts herion in their meat.

Cats aren't people, however.

That's kind of like saying the difference between a red apple and a
green apple is smaller than the difference between a green banana and
a square banana.

You're probably in violation of the Patriot Act if you call your
mother on Sunday afternoon.

If you play it backwords you can see John Lennon slipping in a cold

The Dixie Chicks had death threats. Hell, some of their death threats
were on radio call in shows. Of course most of those threats came
from ignorant rednecks who stayed home that day because their truck
wouldn't start.

I like commenting on bald headed guys lack of hair, then asking them
if viagra helps any.

I suscribe to the Card Player online newsletter and didn't get a
bonus. Do I actually have to read it or something?

The Biloxi cardroom gets quads, Gulfport gets gay waiters with
attitude. No wonder they have more games in Biloxi.

>>>> What does expertise in such things as variance, standard
>>>> deviation, means etc add to ones hourly or annual poker income?

Nothing, but it impresses the girls.

Well, actually rushes can be predicted. Here's my prediction. ----
You will have a rush. The longer you play, the more likely it is that
prediction will be accurate.

>>>> My grammatical mistakes
>>>> were not intentional but only made out of carelessness in not
>>>> proofreading what I had wrote.

Had wrote? Did you go to Ole Miss?

They don't have any hookers. Sailors are actually reenlisting to get
sent to an island with no hookers. What the hell does that tell you
about the readiness of our military? There is something wrong with
these guys.

>>>> Reminds me of my roommate and how he picks up girls.
>>>> Wow. I guess $10 goes a long way in today's economy.

Canadian money goes a lot further because of all those bright colors.

Maybe that's why he's a pro with a side job.

Being in Canada, sure. Canadians don't even know what language they
speak, much less where they are.

>>>>> Russ you can post lists of anything you want, but if it's not in the
>>>>> form of a bona fide document from a poker site, it's horseshit.

Huh? Bona fide document? What the hell is that? This is the
internet for christ sake, not the driver's license office.

If you maintain a close and personal relationship with god then luck
will be permanent.

If this was the two plus two forum readers would think "almost
irrefutabley" meant something.

If you had a blue car would you call it almost green?

Most lawyers not living in abandoned ranch houses in Idaho and Montana
consider the second amendment pretty much settled law.

Whenever I want an interpertation of what the constitution means
there's this guy in Montana I consult.

I was gonna get a volkswagon van and use it to pick up 19 yo hippie
chicks but somebody told me that all the 19 yo hippie chicks are 56.

all you have to do to get affordable medical care for life is get
exposed to agent orange

There are many things in common between the human brain and an acorn

>>>>> Given that he's put a poker room in every hotel he's built....

I guess so. He put one in Beau Rivage but everytime I go look for it
they seem to have misplaced it.

They have a new requirement. They require all new customers to
demonstrae knowledge of sentences and paragraphs.

Have you read the loose games section in HFAP? If so, that's your

>>>>> Reminds me of my roommate and how he picks up girls.

He gives them $10? I think that only works in Quebec.

Lucky speaking to a woman con-artist).
"I can't believe you'd just stand there and lie to me. You're like
Nixon, with tits."

Are people this stupid actually allowed to walk down the sidewalk
unescorted in California?

Uh. that would be the owners of Enron who got punished. You know,
the widows and orphans and retired plumbers.

Eudemonic Pie always sounded like a cookbook for vegatable based
desserts to me

> where I'm getting stuck. Everyone's just providing opinions, not
> coming out with numbers.


Yes. Nobody answered your original question because nobody rational
has one.

You're right. It's all as absurd as the idea that a sitting President
would risk his career by an invovlement in an office burglary. Never

Downtown Houston just isn't a viable panhandling location. You'll see
more panhandlers in the parking lot of the Randell's grocery store
near River Oaks then you will downtown. It's a better location.

He's Canadian. As someone else recently pointed out, those are the
guys with the American culture, British cuisine, and French know-how.
Of course he comes across as strange.

When you bury people in the desert and they get dug up and drug off by
mountain cats then some things just won't seem important.

The newest profile for suspected terrorists is "has a cell phone".

Thinking they aren't morons doesn't make them not morons.

Do you think being femaile is a disability under the ADA?

People who rely on Letterman to get news details often scratch their

without morons playing poker there would be no poker

The internet has great porn. Find some and jerk off. It'll be more
fun than playing in this game, and probably at least just as

When Keynes was out selling his ideas to FDR, economists considered
him a liberal nutcase, not serious at all. He was English but nobody
paid attention to him in London, so he went to Washington where FDR
was stuck in a wheelchair and couldn't get away, he had to listen.

The fact that I don't like the president of the US wearing a military
uniform in the course of his duties as president doesn't make me a
liberal ninny. It doesn't even make me a democrat.


Cameron Diaz:

And because Gary was so bitter in the posts above, I offer this photo as my own personal HairShirt.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Well hell, here's a quick blip of a post. I was waxing philosophical about old work world and new poker life world with an old buddy and co-worker of mine when he sent me this interesting editorial about the new Jim McManus poker column gig at the NY Times.

By the way, my buddy is one of the finest Public Relations practitioners in the country and writes a fine PR blog at Strategic PR. I'm making him buy me an expensive dinner in exchange for finally linking him up.

But this essay is well worth the read:


The N.Y. Times discovers poker
Commentary: The game has now achieved a 'market top'
By Jon Friedman

The New York Times introduced a weekly poker column, written by James McManus, on Saturday.

This is a sure-fire sign that the card game has at last achieved a "market top."

It isn't that McManus is unworthy. After all, the man wrote a book describing how he once won $250,000 at the 2000 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. So, you know that the dude has ample street cred.

Giving McManus the benefit of the doubt, maybe he will go down in history for writing the greatest, most timely column in the history of journalism. Even so, there is no stronger certifiable signal that a fad has reached its zenith than when a national media organization -- and there is no more prominent brand name in journalism than the Times -- tries to exploit it.

As if the newspaper gives a hoot about my carping, though. Give the Times its due this time. The idea is nothing short of brilliant from a financial perspective.

The poker column gives the paper (NYT: news, chart, profile) a terrific business opportunity, following its successes in establishing a brand from its niche-oriented features about bridge and chess. The Times has also claimed a virtual patent, or at least the industry's most authoritative platform, when it comes to such newspaper staples as book reviews and crossword puzzles.

Now, the poker column can help the Times expand its franchise once again and tap a big audience during a wretched period for the newspaper industry -- and quiet the din of the naysayers.

The Times seems to have Saturday on its mind.

Perhaps that's because The Wall Street Journal is preparing to unveil a much-publicized Saturday edition and the Times is determined to fortify its own Saturday paper. (The Journal and MarketWatch, the publisher of this report, are owned by Dow Jones & Co.)

For instance, the Times recently shifted Maureen Dowd's widely read column to appear on Saturdays as well. The editors insisted that the move was a part of a typical rotation of columnists. But conspiracy theorist that I am, I presumed at the time that the Times had wanted to build interest for what is usually considered the quietest publishing day in the newspaper industry.

I'd be amazed if the new poker feature fails to find an audience. If nothing else, it was ingenious of the Times to place the poker column in its sports section. This gives it a tool to woo gamblers from the city's rival tabloids, the New York Post and the Daily News. These have long been more aggressive than the Times to printing waging information and commentary.

So, the latest innovation makes abundant sense. And in his first try at writing the "Poker" column, McManus presented a scholarly, historically-rich, well written article.

And one more thing about the piece: I hated it.

No action

McManus declaimed about poker's "risk-loving bravado" and how its "frontier spirit ... has echoed the way we'd done battle and business." (Huh?)

McManus then suggested America's "Puritan strain" accounts for our unease with the game's popularity. I beg to differ. We're nervous about poker's runaway appeal because the game has been glamorized by ESPN (DIS: news, chart, profile) , Bravo (GE: news, chart, profile) and other cable TV outlets to the point where teenagers are avidly gambling with their friends. Of greatest concern, poker has become a staple of the booming online gambling industry.

McManus's column was reported from the Rio Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, where thousands gathered to square off in 44 preliminary events at the World Series of Poker.

I kept waiting for McManus to lighten up and for the column to explode into drama, too. Uh-uh.

The column was so simplistic that I half-expected the author to explain how players could deal the cards without bending them at the corners; how to cheat without getting caught; how to detect if your opponent is cheating; what finger food should be served so you don't get the cards all sticky and how to stare like Mike Tyson and intimidate your foes.

My biggest gripe is that McManus didn't offer any of his own special experiences. He wrote a primer about poker, which I could have obtained anywhere else. I'd like him to write for people who understand poker and love to play it. He settled for reaching novices, which was too bad.

Hopefully, he simply had a case of opening-night jitters.

Let's hope he loosens up in future columns. I'm guessing he will.

Want to bet?


Also, here's my latest favorite Tom Cruise site, showing Tom attacking Oprah with his superpowers.

Who the hell knows if this is real or not. Looks fake to me.

I present Jennifer Tilly.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

"If you're going to fold every time you actually hit the flop, then hope isn't going to help you much."
Gary Carson

The Variance of Life.
You can't escape it.

Take a seat at the table - Bonus Code IGGY on PartyPoker!

Raise your hand if you want an uber post!

Short posts be damned. I'm gonna let rip an old-school, Guinness-fueled tangential uber post. And I do it all for you, gentle reader.
Because I am a tad unhinged.

Commence ramblings.

My poker play has slowly been coming back around. And that's providing a real nice bright spot - I've been booking some solid wins. Hell, it's a pleasant distraction from real life and that's what it's all about, isn't it? Except for us Peter Pan types who play this game for a living.

So hell, in the interest of Destroying Workplace Production let's get to it, shall we? Stop working and start surfing! That's really why I do this, after all.

Here's yet another damn blogging gig I'll never get.
I swear I'm not bitter.......

Microsoft is opening up its stacked checkbook to pay bloggers to edit sites related to fashion and style, music, sports and technology. You can find the job listings on Mediabistro and JournalismJobs.com, where the new hires will be asked to write up five to 10 posts a day. Easy!
Blogging for Microsoft

Thanks to Chilly for these great Meat links. Apparently my new vegan friend (see prior post) packs his lunch every day, so I'm forced to buy this lunchbox.

Oh the humanity.

Here's a great bit of snarkiness from Daniel Negreanu on Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, of all freaking people. Craziness.



Negreanu unloads on Chris "Jesus" Ferguson.

From Danny's Forum - Danny's post:


That list is defintely not accurate. As for Barry, he is a devoted atheist as is Chris Ferguson. Although Chris is an atheist he signs autographs by adding in quotes "Jesus."

I let him know one night that some people may find that offensive and he said he didn't promote the nickname. He then said that he wouldn't sign autographs like that anymore, but of course that was a lie. I've signed tons of hats and t-shirts since and have seen Chris "Jesus" Feguson on many of those hats. I can't say that I was surprised to see that's he'd lied, but it was a little disappointing. Why say you are going to stop when you had no intention to? Did he think I wouldn't find out? His word holds little weight with me.

The fact that he is a atheist just makes it even uglier. He tried to justify the nickname by saying that many Mexican families name their children Jesus. However, with Chris, his use of the nickname simply mocks the majority of this country who believe that Jesus was our saviour and died a brutal death for our sins.

I'm not as offended by that nickname however as I am of Phil Laak's use of the "Unabomber." What next? We have people parading around with nicknames like "Hitler" and "Bin Laden?"

What the Unabomber Ted Kisinski did wasn't funny. If I lost a loved one at the hands of the Unabomber I would be repulsed by the idea that people may be cheering "Go Unabomber." Imagine for a second a mother watching that on TV? How would she feel about it? Exactly.

His comments are located in the following thread on his site:
Full Contact Poker

Here's a rare gem. A solid trip report on RGP.
Read as Howard plays to the final table in the WSOP:

Subject: Treesong At The WSOP: $2000 Limit TR - Long
Author: Howard Treesong

LHE isn't my best game. I don't log many hours at it, and even a
great decision usually only results in a one- or two-bet delta. And
I'm not usually aggressive enough to push the small edges hard, which
I believe is a requirement of that game. But I catch a break in two
respects: first, my table is right in front of the stage, which means
we're not breaking until deep in the tournament. That means that
other players suffer from an information deficit at critical times; not
me. And second, two-time world champion Johnny Chan sits down two
seats to my right. This may not seem like a break at all, but I've
had a multi-year prop with a buddy of mine in which we each pay $20
into every tournament in which a former WSOP champ also enters. The
money goes to the guy that first busts a champ, so I'm in perfect
position to do so here.

In addition to Chan, there are several twenty-something online
players, all of whom seem to know their stuff. They're very
aggressive and clearly understand the math. That said, they
occasionally play too fast. Noah ("Exclusive") Boeken is a good
example. He moves into the one seat and raises from MP; with one
caller, I defend in the BB with Ac6c. The 110:1 flop hits me
perfectly, however, with Qc Tc 4c. I check and Boeken bets. Caller
mucks and I smooth call. I let Boeken bet it all the way on the 7d and
5s, then river-raise, which he instacalls. He shows JJ. I understand
the value of aggression, but that's taking it a couple of steps too

I make one significant mistake by button-raising with 4c2c. Chuck
Schultz, the eventual eighth-place finisher, has moved into the nine
seat. He's a big guy who doesn't move his chips like he plays
often in live games, so I decide to see if I can push him out of a pot.

Answer: no. I bluff off three bets and get called on the river.
Okay, I'm showing and then tightening up a gear. That strategy works
well, as a nice fat Kxx hits my AK and I get called all the way down by
KQ. Chan gets in trouble by losing a big pot, then raises my blind for
his last full bet. It's an easy call on my part; I have a decent
stack and Qc3c. He shows JcTc and my hand stands up. Bounty
collected! Sweet!

The middle hours of the tournament are a blur. I never get into
serious trouble. I manage to chip up a little bit, but then go card
dead and watch the young Internet guy in the four seat hit a huge rush
and win seven full pots. The flop hits a seven; he has eights. An
opponent flops two pair to his AK, but the lucksack has hit his set.
Bang, bang, and the guy has almost $15K in chips playing $100-200. I
remain card dead and don't play a hand for an hour. I then steal one
and make a small one, and I stay in reasonable shape.

David Chiu moves in one seat to my left. He and I instantly start
ragging on one another, then he pulls a funny one by unplugging my
headphones from my IPOD, cranking up the volume, then plugging it back
in. Ouch. I get my revenge when I stack up a pot from him, then he
goes bust. My old nemesis from the 2/04 Commerce final, Tony Ma, steps
into the one seat with a short stack. He raises for his case chips and
I find AcJc and call. He has KQ and HGHN.

Back to the blur zone: we're near the bubble, and I'm a little
short after finding AK three times and missing all three -- two in
multiway pots. There's zero shot I have the best hand either time
and have to muck to the flop bets; this is a great way to zing your
stack. I get down to about $7K, but hit AK twice more, flop to it and
collect two full pots each time. After the second one, it's clear
I'm going to make the money, so I gear up and steal three or four
pots near the bubble, when everyone is playing tight. That works well,
and I get up as high as about $30K.

No Treesong trip report would be complete without the requisite
conversation with Daniel. When we're just over the bubble, play gets
pretty active. Another table gets shorthanded and I'm in the BB, so
I get moved. I'm pulling in a pot as the floorman comes over, and it
takes me a minute or so to stack the chips and rack 'em. By the time
I get to the new table (one seat), the dealer has already dealt a hand,
so I come into the small blind position. The dealer deals around me.
I suggest that I should get a hand, but Negreanu, in the two seat, says
no. I shut the hell up. Danny, who perhaps knows me just well enough
to know that I'll argue about just about anything, then says, as he
raises, "Well, I guess I know why you're not arguing about THAT
one." Danny busts on the hand (Daniel's K5 raise from the SB runs
into KQ and a K on the flop), and I quip: "Always nice to see you,
Danny," and get a chuckle from the table -- and from him.

Daniel heads off to play Barry G. Me, I button-raise with KJ and get
reraised from the SB by a pleasant young man wearing a Google hat. The
BB mucks. The flop comes KTx rainbow and I check to a very possible
AK. He checks behind. The turn comes with a big fat J that could cut
either way, but I'm on a short stack and I either want to double or
bust, so I decide to get aggressive and bet out. He raises and I
three-bet. When he lets out a quiet "oh, no," and reluctantly
calls, I know he's not holding the AQ. I bet the river blank and he
again slowly calls, but his AK can't beat me and I stack up a nice
pot. For the first time in a while, I don't feel like I'm
chip-critical. Google compliments my JOPKE hat, which sparks a
conversation about whining players and bad beats. Bad omen!

Next orbit, Google raises my BB. UTG +2 calls, and a younger, thinner
version of the Unabomber three-bets from sixth position. The SB mucks
and I find AA. Rerai! Fold, fold, call. $19K in the pot and the flop
comes 8c 9s 2d. I bet, Unabomber calls. $22K in. Turn comes 6h, and
if this young man is playing T7 off for three bets preflop and a cap
behind, then he's a better man than I am. I bet out. He raises. I
three-bet and he calls. $40K. T on the river, and I bet again. I'm
thinking Final Table, Baby, but Unabomber raises his two case $500
chips after my river bet. "Final Table" turns into "You must be
shitting me," as I call the two. It's a huge pot: $48K. He shows
TT. Yikes. The straight outs help his hand on the turn but good lord,
what did he think I was going to fold to the turn raise? Thankfully, a
break comes, and I go off to share my misery with a co-worker who was
playing a satellite. Who do I find next to him, but Tanya (MissT)
Peck, who overhears my bad beat story and, somewhat condescendingly,
says, "OK, Howard, so the fuck what? Stop your whining, put it back
in the deck and keep playing." It's a much-needed reality check,
and I resolve to take the advice. Thankfully, Wilhelm Kuhlmann's evil
twin is nowhere within earshot.

Tanya's words aside, a tough beat towards the end of a long session
of a tournament is a serious test of steam control. I took a short
walk back to my table, gave my stack a riff, and counted down: $21K.
Not long, by any means, but at 7BB, enough to play a full pot. I order
a beer and told myself to get back to work. The cards were back in the
air forthwith. I muck for an orbit, then find AK and raise: no
customers. Breathing room! The very next hand, I find JJ in EP and
raise. Everyone mucks to John Myung, in the BB, who calls. Flop is 9
6 4 rainbow, and Myung check-calls. Same action to the turn 8. A duck
hits the river and Myung bets. WTF? I call and he shows pocket
deuces. Wow. Myung told me later that he thought I was steaming off
from the AA beat and made a terrible read. At this point, I'm down
to $9K and am at risk of being dismissed before my beer arrives. That
would suck.

The fates will otherwise, however, as I find QQ in the BB. Mimi Tran,
who has moved in one seat to my right, raises from the SB and and I
three bet it. My case money goes in on the turn to a low board, and
she shows KJ. The Unabomberish young man who spiked a T on me a little
while before, Daniel Clegg, says "good luck, sir. You deserve it."
That gets a laugh, but I manage to double through, and survive to day
two with $21K, playing $3-6K. The beer was delicious.

I'm running on fumes when we break. I There are two stacks lower
than mine, with 21 remaining, and I'm despondent over the JJ and AA
beats. But Mrs. Treesong consoles me on the long, slow walk back to my
room at the Rio, and she rightly points out that tomorrow is another
day, and that I'll no doubt feel better in the morning. The Rio
pavilion seems at least a mile from the hotel itself, and the casino
is smoky, noisy and hopping. I walk though it, feeling detached from
the revelry, almost separate from the universe itself, and find blessed

[I don't know if I'll do a TR from the final table. I'm still
tired: these things are intense, and I'm behind at work. One note:
after I busted out ninth, I did stop by the Wynn to see the poker room.
Danny and Barry were playing their $500,000 freezeout, and I decided
to sweat it for a few minutes. I stood there, silent. After a few
moments, Danny said: "I take it you're out of it, then." I
indicated that I was. Barry asked me a question about something, and
the three of us got involved in a short, casual conversation. All the
while, Barry and Danny are playing $4000-$8000 stud. What was stunning
was the totally relaxed nature of the game. Neither man seemed
particularly focused, or intense. Both were in a somewhat detailed
conversation with someone they hardly know, and Barry was playing in
such a way that I could easily sweat his hole cards during the hand.
In that three minutes, there was at least one pot that was raised fifth
street and called to the river; that's about a $50,000 pot. The
whole thing seemed entirely surreal to me.]

-Howard Treesong

Anybody care to venture a guess who this might be about?

I found this story on the vegas confidental guys page in the Las Vegas Review Journal, I have an idea but can't be for sure.

"A local female poker whiz is fast gaining a reputation for her
diva-esque demands at Las Vegas nightclubs. Her manager has been
sending advance word to nightclubs listing her needs: a reserved table,
a bottle of champagne and an escort back and forth to the limo. "The
only time we had that many demands it was the Secret Service," said a
club executive."

Pauly is kicking ass and taking names in his prolific and wildly entertaining World Series of Poker Live Blog. A must read. I wish I was out there with the Doctor and Otis, damnit. Sorely tempted.

Chilly over at IDSN wrote up a Poker bloggers dictionary for us to reference.
Good stuff.

Here's an insightful article from an Atlanta magazine about Josh Arieh.
One of a Kind
Josh Arieh can beat you in poker. Wanna bet?

Shirley Rosario has her latest WSOP Trip Report up.

Now what the hell? I'm a huge fan of female poker players but couldn't they have tried for something a tad more edgy than this brand statement? "Woman Poker Player is a one-of-a-kind lifestyle publication for women who enjoy the sport of poker."
YAWN. Plus, there's zero content available for free, except, GASP, for their precious forums.

I especially like the way Subscribe is misspelled in the top nav. (EDIT - they emailed me and fixed it this morning)
Woman Poker Player Magazine.

I need this computer monitor rig for my poker play.
Some goof told me to set up a tip jar.
Bonus Code IGGY, damnit, on Party Poker is my freakin tip jar.
Poker Monitor

Hell, maybe I need a CafePress store as a thoughtful blogger once suggested to me.
I'd like to market orange Bonus Code IGGY condoms.

It's rare to see a cogent poker strategy post on RGP these days. So when GambleAB stuck up a tourney strat post, it received a lot of feedback. And so here it is:

Tournament strat: The EV of not busting out
Author: GambleAB

I was speaking to a friend after he busted out of the 120k on UB last
night, and he told me about the hand that he went bust on, when he put his
chips in as a sure coinflip. He said to me "wouldn't you play this hand
the same way?" and I thought about it and said that it would really depend
on my table image and the table image of the person he was heads up with,
and the potential fold equity I felt there was. He then said "Yeah, but
you yourself advocate taking risks to get a big stack" which is a good
point, BUT needs to be put in context a little more, I feel, because he
used that reasoning to justify a bad play.

Remember this: It is always better to be in the tournament with a
below-average stack than to risk your tournament life to only get an
above-average stack. Now, below-average doesn't mean short stacked, and
above-average doesn't mean having a huge stack, which is important to
remember. We'll put it in the context of two situations, each of which
exactly the same except for the stacks involved:

In both situations, the Hero has 7d 5d and the Villain has 9s 9c. The
board is 4d 6s 7c, giving the Hero top pair + open ended straight draw +
gutshot flush draw and giving the Villain an overpair to the board. If
all the money went in at this point, the Hero will win 46% of the time and
tie 1% of the time. In both situations it is heads up on the flop.
Consider both situations to be taking place in the UB 120k Sunday night
tournament as far as starting chips and blind levels go. Consider both
situations to be taking place at Level 7, 75/150 blinds, with just over
half the field gone already, and 2 hours until the bottom rung of money
comes in. The average stack is 5000 chips, and the largest stack in the
tournament is 25000 in chips. In both situations, the Hero is first to
act after the flop.

Situation 1: Hero has 3500 in chips, Villain has 7000 in chips. The
average stack of the table is 6500, the largest is 12000. Hero checks,
Villain bets 900 into the pot of 900. If the Hero check-raises allin here
he is risking his tournament life on a 46% winner. Even if you put the
folding equity at 10%, thats only a 56% winner, a small edge to say the
least. If he wins, he will have an above average stack for both the
tournament and for his table, but he will be nowhere near the top stack
for either. If he loses, he is out of the tournament and has no chance of
making any money. In this situation, I would fold the hand here. Winning
would accomplish less than losing would cost. If you win, you are at an
average stack, and can be slightly more aggressive, but cannot really
bully anyone around. One misstep and you are back to a below-average
stack, or busted out. You won't have a stack that can easily make the
money and although you are much healthier than when you were a hand ago,
you still have a ton of work to do to even make the money, much less the
final table, which is where you want to be. It isn't worth risking your
tournament life to only get a decent stack. You can easily fold here and
pick much better spots in the next half hour to get your stack to the same

Situation 2: Hero has 10000 in chips, Villain has 25000 (the chip
leader). The largest stack at the table, other than the Villain is at
12000. Hero bets 1000 after the flop into the pot of 1000, trying to take
it down. Villain reraises to 3000. Let's assume that we know that the
Villain will not lay this hand down, so we have zero fold equity. If the
Hero re-reraises allin here, he will be a 46% underdog to win 21000 in
chips. If he loses, he is out of the tournament and has no chance to make
the money. If he wins, he is the chip leader at the table by almost 10000
chips, and is in the top 3 overall for the tournament. I would make the
move here and push allin to take the coinflip. If I win, I will be in a
position of power where I can bully the stacks at my table for the next
hour at least and continue to build a stack without having to put myself
at much risk. I can steal blinds left and right and force people out
after the flop. I can generally be a big bully and continue to amass
chips in order to basically march straight to the final table. By the
time the blinds get to an unreasonably large amount where post-flop play
is very rare, I will more than likely have such a large stack that I can
sit back and wait for premium hands, while flipping coins with the
smallest of stacks (this is usually once we are in the money, around 27
people). In this situation, the risk of busting is justified by the power
that the chips would give me. Sure I can fold here and have an
above-average stack for both the tournament and the table, but by doing so
I would make my journey to the final table much more difficult than if I
had a huge stack at that point.

Remember, I'm not saying that getting to the final table with a 7k or 9k
stack in the 7th level cannot be done, of course it can. I'm saying that
there are situations where you have to evaluate the risk of gambling with
your chips. In some situations, the power that the chips will give you
will be more than worth the risk of busting (or being crippled), and in
some the risk far outweighs the reward.


We've got a new chapter of Bill Fillmaff.
Chapter 5: The Big Game
Watch in disbelief and utter amazement as "Beautiful" Bill Fillmaff takes on the biggest, most high-stakes cash poker game in the world: the legendary Big Game.

Finally, some the-sky-isnt-falling poker news.
Don't bet on Web gambling crackdown.
U.S. enforcement unlikely, analysts say.

After all, the War on Drugs has gone so well....

Someone out there asked about poker books on a message board. Not strategy books, mind you, but books with poker as a backdrop or theme. Just in case someone out there likes that kind of thing I'm posting the suggestions here for posteriety.

Alvarez' _The Biggest Game in Town_ is a book that centers on the WSOP. The author is a well-regarded novelist and this is some of his best
writing, although it isn't fiction.

Yardley's _The Education of a Poker Player_ is a great read. It is
about poker in a long-gone era but it is very interesting.

Jessie May's _Shut up and Deal_ is a very good poker-centered novel.

McManus' _Positively Fifth Street_ is another excellent writer covering
a WSOP, but he plays in it, and some other poker and non-poker matters.
It is certainly descended from the Alvarez book.

Sean Stewart wrote a very good novel, called _Galveston_ which has
poker as a theme and some good poker content. However, the first poker
hand in the book, which is in the first scene, is awful and unreal and
would have stopped me reading the book if I hadn't read some of
Stewart's other work.

_Poker Nation_ is on the border of instructional and I wish I could
remember the author's name as it is quite a good read. Andy Bellin?

I just finished Doyle Brunson's "Poker Wisdom Of A Champion" and enjoyed it.
Oklahoma Johnny Hale's "Gentleman Gambler" also has some interesting

The Man with the $100,000 Breasts- Michael Konik (Sp?)
Bobby Baldwin's Winning Poker Secrets - Mike Caro (outstanding book, and no
it's not really a strategy book, even though the title implies it.)

Big Deal by Anthony Holden is also, which just recently came back into print I think.
My favorite book about gambling (not just poker) is Bringing Down the
House by Ben Mezrich
King of a Small World (Rick Bennett): This is a really great novel about a professional poker player. One of very few realistic and well written accounts.

Fast Company (Jon Bradshaw)
A great anthology of stories about gamblers -- including some poker players.

A Friendly Game of Poker (anthology)
An anthology of stories about home poker games. I wrote the second story "A
Wasted Evening"

Dealers Choice (anthology)
Terrific short stories, all about poker. Not in print but frequently in
used book stores.

Last Call (Tim Powers)
A weird sci-fi fantasy ride set in a bizarre world where everything has to
do with poker and cards. Hard to fully grasp at first but harder to put down
once you "get it".

Preacher (Ted Thackerey, Jr.)
King of Diamonds (Ted Thackerey, Jr.)
The main character in these novels by the late legendary LA journalist is a
hard bitten, almost eerie itinerant poker player. Hard boiled poker ation

Drawing Dead (Pete Hautman)
Ring Game (Pete Hautman)
Short Money (Pete Hautman)
Mortal Nuts (Pete Hautman)
There are some poker scenes in these books -- the lead character plays
poker. Excellent writing and interesting plotting are what these books chiefly

Enjoy the read. Almost wish I'd never read these books so I could read them
again for the first time.
Poker is a minor feature in one of the best books I have read recently,
_The Last Hot Time_ by John M. Ford.

And finally, one smartass had to add:

Doyle Brunson's Super System. It's a great work of fiction.

I personally liked the fact that Josh Arieh posted some of his hate mail on his blog. He's coming across better in his blog than he did on TV. Course, that's pretty easy to do.

Here was a sharp catch on Josh doing some fancy post-editing in his blog.


Dear Internal Revenue Service...
Author: Quad 7's

I recently won 100K from the video poker machines at Bellagio. I posted it on my
blog then deleted it so I wouldn't have to pay taxes. Hope you didn't notice.

Josh Arieh


In the vein of ranking all-time movies on RGP, someone ranked all-time boxers.
Not even I have the chutzpah to do that, even as a lifetime fan.
This guy was a crossposting troll.

Finally: The Real Top Ten All Time Pound For Pound Boxers

1. James Toney
2. Sugar Ray Robinson
2. Thomas Hearns
3. Muhammad Ali
4. Roberto Duran
5. Carlos Monzon
6. Marvin Hagler
7. Lennox Lewis
8. Jack Dempsey
9. Julio Cesar Chavez
10. Aaron Pryor

Listing Toney first shows he must be about 12.
I think it was a fine troll move on his part.

But he shows some insight by listing Cincinnati legend, Aaron Pryor, 10th. Marciano not being listed is insane. Ali goes ahead of hearns. Where the hell is Tyson, Archie Moore or Roy Jones Jr? Michael Spinks? And where the fuck is Joe Louis?

My humble apologies for the digression.

One of my new co-workers told me today about a new poker room, the Belterra, only an hour from here. The 10.20 with a full kill is apparently soft as hell. GMoney has already been and told me I need to make it my new office. We'll see. I'll likely put some long sessions there this coming weekend.

So here's a review of this new room for any locals:

Subject: Belterra (S. Indiana) poker room trip report

The Belterra casino, on the Ohio River between IN and KY, opened their poker
room this month. I have visited the casino several times before, despite
the lack of a poker room. My lovely wife suggested that I go this
weekend. She didn't have to offer twice. My buddy Tom, who I've played
in home games with for 15 years, who's played online but never in a
casino, joins me.

After an uneventful 3 hour drive from Columbus, OH, we arrive and go
straight to the poker room. At noon on Saturday, only 5 or 6 of the 12
tables are playing, although the NL game I came for ($2/$5 blinds, min
$100 max $400 buy-in) is playing and has 4 waiting. I look in at the NL
game, and see several stacks over $1000. I proceed to watch someone call
an all-in from one of the big stacks (who had QQ) after a 9-high flop only
to show: AK. I can't wait to sit. I get on the list and go play
blackjack in the hope that my casino host won't disown me now that there's
a poker room. Tom sits at a 2/4 limit game.

About the room: my previous B&M experience is limited, but the room is
spacious. I'm pretty sure that the Detroit casinos I've been in would
have had 18 tables crammed in to the same floor space. The dealers were
largely friendly and helpful, the only knock being that some needed a
refresher on "When a player misses a blind/comes back in a blind/etc."
The room was chilly, but only an idiot (me) would show up in shorts
despite having read in several places to bring a jacket/layer clothing.
The only other negative was that from some seats, players said that they
were catching a glare from the lighting which made the board hard to read.
On the plus side, the room is non-smoking. Sorry, smokers, but I quit 11
years ago, and I'm done being considerate. Kill yourselves away from me.

After making a contribution to the bottom line of the casino via blackjack
(do they have bad beat posts on rgb?), I get called to the game. The good
news - one of the huge stacks I observed when I signed up, approximately
$2K, is gone. The bad news - my $400 max buy-in makes me about the 7th
biggest stack at the table. I know no one, so I go into
conservative/observation mode.

The game seems very beatable. Players are overplaying hands, hand
selection is wide and loose, and the concept of "outkicked" seems not to
be a consideration. I'm in the 4 seat, and the best player, in my
estimation, is in the 3 seat. Tom takes the 10 seat about an hour later,
I'm at about $500.

My first big break comes when I flop top two with my AJ on the button, a
big stack with a tendency to play middle cards bets $50 at me, which I
smooth call. Another rag sees him bet $100 on the turn, and I start to
worry about a set. I decide that I can't credit him with it, so I
re-raise $200, which he calls. The river is another rag, he checks, I
fire another $100 (leaving me about $100) and he calls. I show, he says
it's good, stating afterward that he had a smaller aces-up. Maybe. I
believe two pair, anyway.

Suddenly, I'm one of the big stacks. With AQs and position, I raise to
$25 preflop, and am called by the BB, who recently sat for $400. Flop is
Q-x-x rainbow, he checks, I bet $50, he calls. Turn is a little spade, he
checks, I bet $100, he pauses and calls. River is a third spade, he bets
$55, I make the crying call, and he shows Q5 spades. I look at the board
for a minute, expecting one of the rags to have been a 5, but it wasn't...

By now, It's 8 p.m., the solid player on my right has gone, the guy on my
left has built up a big stack, approx. $1500, and a 2nd NL table (a
must-move feeder to mine) has started. A string of young guns buying in
for $100 have gotten chewed up and spit out, some reloading, most
wandering away muttering. The table is lively, with lots of chatter
(mostly from the kid on my left) most of which is friendly. Someone wins
a pot with 72o and gets a cushion/pillow thing, which he then sells for
$5. It occurs to me that playing 72o in this game has got to be a -$25 EV
move, but the game is good!

I eventually get up after a 10 hour session up $760. Tom finishes -$150.
All in all, a very enjoyable time.

Here's a gambling product I saw on eBay for all you poker players with "leaks."
Casino Winners Bank Never Lose Money Again! Brand New!
A must have for people who like to gamble & hate losing

On second thought, maybe you pai-gow players should buy one.

Moving quickly along, I'm still really enjoying Phil Gordon's WSOP Podcasts.
If you haven't listened yet, do so now.

From the mailbag I got this. Pretty interesting, check it out.

WSOP buy-in versus inflation

Hey Iggy,

I've been reading the poker blogs for almost 2 years now, but never given anything back. Today is that day.

I made a spreadsheet of how the WSOP main event buy-in has compared to inflation over the years. Check it out and feel free to pass along:

WSOP versus Inflation

Thanks for the uberposts.

Thanks for the payback.

The David Williams Poker Blog is a good read, but points off for using the phrase "inner donkey".

Another Trip Report post:


If anyone likes to read trip reports when they're bored at work (I know I do) I
have posted my WSOP 2005 trip reports. I played events 2, 3, and 4, and final
tabled event #4. I ALMOST busted Hellmuth. Next time. ;-)

The reports can be found here:
All Aces

They are titled 'WSOP 2005 day 1', etc. Days 4 and 5 are event #4.


Las Vegas casino news for those of you inclined:

Say Goodbye to Bally's

The year-long buy-out of Caesars Entertainment by Harrah's was completed today. Already, there is speculation about how Harrah's (now the world's largest gaming company) is going to reshape the Vegas Strip.

It seems certain that Bally's, with a dead-center location on the Strip, is going to be at least renamed and possibly torn down to make room for a new Horseshoe casino.

Here's a local Vegas TV report about the merger and possible impact.

I also found Las Vegas Casino Death Watch which watches what casinos are targeted for the wrecking ball.

TV report

Las Vegas Casino Death Watch

I'm posting the Jesse May poker show more for me, than you. I keep forgetting to watch it but then when I do, I wonder why. But I'm a big fan of Jesse's writing (which reminds me to re-post his screed from 2003 again) so I'll keep my fat mouth shut about the show.

Good God, this is getting long. Running. Out. Of. Steam. Sobriety.

Live poker is rigged. Here's all the evidence you need:

It's all freakin' rigged

AK vs A8 offsuit, spikes an 8 on the river

KQ vs QQ, King in the flop, Case queen on the turn

pair vs overcards, overcard flop nut str8, Pair hits runner runner
straight flush....

three consecutive hands in a single table tournament.

For you online conspiracy theorists, these were all in a one table, 325
satellite at the WSOP. Live.

John Harkness

Damn, time to wrap this up.
Much more to come so please stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by this humble poker blog.

Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker, Damnit!

It's been over a year since I posted this incredible Jesse May rant.

Backstory: after a rather ugly public disagreement on RGP between Eric Seidel and Daniel Negreanu, the Late Night Poker commentator wrote this soliloquy.

Hit the archives for the full story. My apologies to regular readers but I think it deserves a re-read:


From: Jesse May
Subject: Re: Erik Seidel

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

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

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

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

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

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


Geepers, time for another beer.
Thanks again for stopping by.

Link of the Day:
By Hooker, By Crook
ChicagoCrime.Org merges crime reports with Google Maps, providing a terrific ecommerce tool for people shopping for a front-seat blowjob from a syphilitic street whore.

Monday, June 27, 2005

What the hell is going on here?

It's been a tough two weeks. Still is. I don't have anything else to offer on this outside of saying, "Don't take people in your life for granted."

But you knew that already, didn't you?

Then on Friday, while grocery shopping, some fucktard smashed into my car in the parking lot and tried to flee. Witnesses captured the license plate, however, and they were busted. But still....

And then Saturday afternoon, a massive lightning strike fried my computer.

I just got it back up and running an hour ago.

I appear to need some kind of karmic readjustment.

Yes, I went to work today. I flipped a coin after taking a shower.
Heads, I lose. Go to new job.

Despite my newbie status, I am awarded an office with a shiny new computer. The only downside is I'm sharing this office with one of the company superstars. Very talented but eccentric guy.

He's an ultra-vegan. Imagine that.
He won't eat anything that casts a shadow.

I am currently buying every single anti-vegan tshirt I can find on the web.
Feel free to email me any you may know of. Don't worry, I also ordered a dozen bacon-scented candles.

My officemate also has some truly disconcerting habits. Like always using a hankerchief or tissues to open doors. Real Howard Hughes-like.

He's probably jarring his own urine, for all I know.

Anyway, enough on that insanity. I'm gonna go to work on an uber-post, damnit.

For now, here's a NY Times feature article from Sunday on Stuey Ungar.


June 26, 2005
The Boy King Has Left the Table

IN Las Vegas terms, it's almost a rite of spring: a talented newcomer
plants his elbows on the cash-green felt of a big-money table at the World
Series of Poker. He gets on a roll, starts talking some trash, and
inevitably, the murmurs start. "He's the next Stuey," somebody will say.
"He's another Kid."

But anyone who has actually played against Stu Ungar will disagree.

"He'd kill these guys," said Bobby Baldwin, a champion of the late 70's,
referring to the new generation of players who are expected to swell this
year's World Series of Poker to more than 6,000 contestants for its main
events, more than twice the number of contestants as last year's series,
which drew about three times the number of the year before. "It wouldn't
even be close."

Stu, or Stuey the Kid, Ungar was the swashbuckling enfant terrible of
poker before it blew up into a mainstream obsession in the 1990's. The
diminutive son of a Lower East Side bookmaker, he won his back-to-back
World Series of Poker titles by the unheard of age of 27 and went on to
win, and lose, $30 million by one estimate before his epic taste for
excess left him dead, in a cheap Las Vegas motel on Nov. 22, 1998, at 45.

A legend even when he was alive, Ungar left a legacy that has always
loomed large at the World Series of Poker. It looms even larger for the
hundreds of players roaming the hangarlike convention hall at Harrah's Rio
All-Suite Hotel and Casino, where the tournament is being held this year.
(It began on June 2 and runs through July 15.) His biography, "One of a
Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stuey 'the Kid' Ungar, the World's Greatest
Poker Player," by Nolan Dalla and Peter Alson, hits stores this week.

To his contemporaries, Ungar remains the ultimate gambler's cautionary
tale, the embodiment of hazardous risk. But to a wonky new generation of
players, decked out in Oakley snowboarder sunglasses and iPods, schooled
on Internet poker and striving for corporate sponsorship, Ungar is a
renegade genius, the last and wildest of a breed of players who learned
the game in illegal backroom card clubs and played the game for thrills,
with rock 'n' roll abandon.

"He was pure id," said Adam Schoenfeld, a youthful 41-year-old player from
Brooklyn in Pumas and a trucker hat, who counts himself a member of the
"cult of Stuey" and has a framed photograph of the young Ungar hanging in
his apartment. "I could stare at him all day," he said. "He's there
leaning back. He's got his mop top. You can just see the disregard on his
face for everything around him."

As Mr. Alson, the co-author of Ungar's biography, said, "He was the Jim
Morrison of poker."

With his hollowed cheeks and surly pout, Ungar looked the part of the
romantic rebel. And having become a pet of the extended Genovese crime
family after honing his skills in the shadowy card parlors of New York of
the 1960's, as his biography recounts, he embraced the wiseguy swagger.

In Las Vegas, where he moved in the late 70's, he took up with a different
breed of outlaw. The reigning card sharks of the time were mostly
middle-aged "rounders" from the rural South who had honed their games over
decades, favored pale Stetsons and went by names like Amarillo Slim
Preston and Doyle Texas Dolly Brunson.

"Back then, it was Texas oil men, gangsters, drug dealers," Mr. Dalla
recalled. "It was the Wild West. Now it's a technical game. The math guys
are taking over."

The older players chafed at Ungar's arrogant, abrasive style, but they
could not deny his talent.

"His mind just worked 99.9999 percent faster than everybody else's,"
recalled Mike Sexton, a prominent player who often played Ungar, starting
in the late 70's.

While today's top young players tend to be studied in their boldness,
Ungar, by contrast, was known for his kamikaze fearlessness combined with
a predator's nose for weakness. "I remember him telling me, 'I just have
to make myself hate my opponents,' " Mr. Sexton said, speaking over the
cricketlike din of thousands of clinking chips. "'I just want to rip their
throats out.' "

Putting Ungar's prowess in perspective, Mr. Dalla, who serves as the media
director for the World Series, pointed out that Ungar won 10 out of the 30
major events he entered, despite losing many of his prime years to drug
use. This is a "staggering" record, he said. "There have been people who
won more than 10 $10,000 majors, but that's spread over 20 years, over
literally hundreds of tournaments."

But for those playing in Ungar's wake, his self-destruction remains an
indelible part of his allure. "He's a legend," said Shane Schleger, a
28-year-old player from New York City, taking a cigarette break between
games. "The type of personality that's drawn to the lifestyle is bound to
have a lot of vice in his life. I'm no stranger to that."

"Let's just say," he added, "Stuey died for all of our sins."

STUART ERROL UNGAR was born on Sept. 8, 1953, in Lower Manhattan. His
father, Isidore Ungar, ran a bar but made his real money booking bets on

When Stuey was still in elementary school, he was recruited to keep the
tally sheets. He learned cards - mostly what not to do - staring over his
mother's shoulder at Sunday night poker games at summer resorts in the
Catskills. By the time he was 10, he was telling her how to play.

It turned out the young Ungar had a knack for almost every card game he
tried, and at the age of 15 he dropped out of high school to play gin,
often earning up to $500 in a game at various card clubs. It was at one
such club that he met a sultry blond cocktail waitress named Madeline
Wheeler. Standing 5-foot-5 and dressed in the garish polyester of a
50-year-old Brooklyn underboss, Ungar was hardly an ideal suitor, but his
doggedness and charisma eventually won him a date - after a year. They
married in 1982.

"I knew what I was getting into," Ms. Ungar, now 52, recalled in early
June over lunch at Caesars Palace, where she works at a fashion boutique.
"I knew it was always going to be the cards."

At that point in Ungar's gambling career poker was still a side interest.
Gin was his game, and his skills seemed to border on magic, friends
recall. But he was a flop as a hustler, humiliating one player after
another. "They'd crumble right in front of my eyes," he said to Mr. Dalla.
"They'd have this look in their eyes like they realized they couldn't win.
It was - beautiful."

Before long he found it impossible to get a game. So on a spring day in
1978, he turned up at the highest stakes poker game in Las Vegas at the
time, the no-limit Texas hold 'em game at the Dunes casino, tossing a
bundle of bills worth $20,000 on the table. It was gone in less than 15
minutes, his biography recounts. But at the end of 36 hours Ungar had won
back that sum, plus another $27,000.

By 1980, when Ungar won his first World Series, taking home $365,000, he
was living in Las Vegas with Madeline and her son, Richard Wheeler, from a
brief marriage when she was 18. As a husband he had serious shortcomings,
Madeline Ungar said. He would disappear for days at a time, playing cards
and chasing women.

Meanwhile the basic rituals of daily life remained a mystery. He never
opened a bank account, Ms. Ungar said, and shopped for his groceries at

"Back when he had two or three million dollars in his pocket, they turned
his lights off because he wouldn't pay the bills," Mr. Sexton said.

High stakes gamblers as a breed have a curious relationship with money.
(How else could you push in $20,000 on a bluff?) But to Ungar, those who
knew him say, money meant nothing, except as a means to keep score.

Mickey Appleman, another player from New York who knew Ungar well, said he
always kept a short mental list of the "the real 'action' people in
Vegas." These were the thrill-seeking gamblers who "didn't think about
I.R.A.'s or that nonsense other people think about." Mr. Appleman included
himself on the list, but Ungar, he said, "was off the charts."

At a Starbucks off Sahara Avenue, Ungar's daughter Stefanie, who is 22 and
describes herself as a Christian, is studying to be a psychologist. She
recently recalled that he would tip a waiter $100 on a $50 tab. "He would
tip a busboy just coming to clean his plate $20," she said. He bought, and
lost, Tudor-style houses and Jaguars.

"He just had too much gamble in him," said Mr. Sexton, who said that Ungar
would win tens of thousands of dollars at poker, a game where he was a
world-class player, then blow it all on dog racing, a sport about which he
knew nothing.

"He was the best winning poker player I ever saw, and he was one of the
worst losing poker players I ever saw," said a drawling Doyle Brunson, 71,
a poker legend.

Ungar was volatile to begin with, but his flirtation with cocaine, which
steadily grew into a profound addiction over the course of the 1980's,
proved ruinous, friends say. He and Madeline divorced in 1986; Ungar
continued to slide.

IN 1990, according to his biography, Ungar's friend Billy Baxter, also a
top player, put up $10,000 to get Ungar into World Series. After going up
$70,000, Ungar failed to show on the third day and was found unconscious,
in his underwear, on the floor of his room. He never returned to the table
during the tournament, but his early success earned him a ninth-place
finish and a prize of $20,050.

As the gambling industry turned increasingly corporate, other top players
found ways to leverage their skills. Bobby Baldwin worked for Steve Wynn,
the casino operator, as a top executive. Mr. Sexton became a commentator
for the World Poker Tour. Mr. Brunson and others launched online poker
rooms. Ungar, meanwhile, continued to drift.

Then in 1997, wearing a pair of round, blue-tinted sunglasses ("to hide
the fact that his nostrils had collapsed from cocaine," Mr. Alson
explained) and looking like "a homeless man," according to Mr. Dalla, who
was there, Ungar sat down to play at the World Series and went home with
the $1 million first prize. Mr. Dalla said that the winnings, which were
split with Ungar's backer Mr. Baxter, were gone within four months.

At that point Ungar's daughter, who often spoke to him five times a day,
said she told him "I'm not even going to pick up my phone until I see
Mountain Vista - that's a rehab center out here - on my caller ID."

A few days after that conversation, Stu Ungar was found dead from a heart
attack, alone, in bed in a motel at the far end of the Strip. He had $800
in cash. And though he was known for ingesting huge quantities of drugs,
the coroner found only trace amounts in his system. A housekeeper had seen
him in bed, shivering, the day before.

Ungar's short, fast life already inspired one film, the little-seen
"Stuey," starring Michael Imperioli, in 2003. Last week Graham King, a
British film producer who backed "The Aviator" and "Traffic," bought the
rights to "One of a Kind." If Ungar were still alive, friends say, he
would hardly be surprised to see his life turning into Hollywood myth. In
fact he expected it.

He had only one problem, Mike Sexton recalled: "Stuey always said, 'Yeah,
but who is good-looking enough to play me?'"

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