Saturday, July 16, 2005

"OY! OY! OY!"

Melbourne poker player Joesph Hachem is the winner of the 2005 W.S.O.P. - 1st prize US $7.5 Million.

With the current exchange rate in Australia ($1.00 US = $1.33 Aus), his 7.5 million win turns into a hair over 10 million in his home country.

But more importantly, will the 37o become known as The Hachem?

Funny, but I've always considered myself the James Brown of poker blogging, the hardest working man in the biz, if nothing else.

But now I must turn that crown over to Pauly.
Just an incredible job, my man.

I must confess that I thought Phil Helmuth did a great freaking job as a commentator on the CardPlayer live audio feed. He was intelligent, articulate and had plenty of empathy for the players. He can also be funny, unintentional or not. He really was a natural.

Daniel Negreanu and Phil were pure comedy gold.

I wish Daniel would have let David Williams talk more during their time together.

Here's some of my favorite quotes from the broadcast.

This after Daniel challenged him to a heads up match, any game, mind you:

"If I beat you, Danny, I can't even buy a jet. I'm trying to make a hundred million in business, not two million in a card game."

Phil talking about the fact that the newest Harry Potter book was being released
tonight at midnight:

"Sirius Black is a seriously powerful wizard."

Someone suggested that Daniel try this on Phil:

Hey Daniel! After Phil toots his own horn for the 95th time, pull a "donkey
says what?" with Hellmuth... Come on, it would be classic.

And then Phil singing & mis-attributing this Billy Joel tune.

Phil: "how does that queen song go??? duh uh duh duh dun.... pressure!!!"

Chris Ferguson: do you ever look at your hand when you get a walk?

phil: no, why would i torture myself?

jesus: well maybe you had aces or kings.

phil: i dont wana know that!

jesus: why not? it doesn't matter.

phil: it might make me a little tilty tilty.

Damnit, I was too drunk to take proper notes so that shall have to suffice for now.

Here's an article reflecting the juggernaut that is poker. I'll be back soon, prolly with an uber post. To the boat for now.


Poker Boom Spawns New Magazines

By DANIEL YEE, Associated Press

ATLANTA - Bluff magazine routinely reveals a world at the top of the poker craze that few get to see, of millionaire card sharks who spend money with abandon, use $1,000 chips as coasters and fly like rock stars from one glitzy casino to another. But like its name, Bluff's glamorous gloss is all for show.

It spins its stories nearly a continent away from the poker mecca of Las Vegas at its headquarters in Atlanta, where the most exciting legal gambling experience is scratching off a lottery ticket.

"We're aimed at the new generation of poker players," said Eddy Kleid, Bluff's co-president. "We wanted to make it fun and sexy. We're kind of like a 'Maxim' for poker."

Poker's exploding popularity, with televised Texas hold'em tournaments and Internet games, has created an unprecedented opportunity for magazine publishers — even those far from casinos — looking to cash in on the craze. In the last year, as many as 10 poker magazines have popped up in card rooms, newsstands and stores.

"But publishers need to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em," warned Samir Husni, chairman of the journalism department at the University of Mississippi. "All of magazine publishing is gambling but when you are gambling on a fad, it's a bigger gamble."

The new poker magazines have caused industry veteran Card Player, based in Las Vegas, to take notice.

"Thanks to all these new poker magazines, it's forced me to come out with a better product," said Jeff Shulman, president and co-publisher of the 150,000-circulation magazine. "This is by far the best time for us."

The poker magazine industry is flush with new advertising dollars from other companies profiting from the poker craze, including poker Web sites that, although not legal in the United States, can advertise because they're based abroad; regular (and legal) casino card rooms and other companies that sell poker-related products from clothing to bobbleheads.

In total, poker magazines bring in between $5 million and $10 million in revenue a year, a figure comparable to the yields of specialty magazine markets for triathletes and other hobbyists, Husni said.

None of the most popular magazines, however, are listed with the independent Audit Bureau of Circulation, so there are no reliable readership figures for the segment.

Poker has become popular among American youth, thanks to TV shows such as Bravo's "Celebrity Poker Showdown," the Travel Channel's "World Poker Tour," and ESPN's coverage of the
World Series of Poker. Also helping fuel the boom were the rags-to-riches stories of nonprofessional players Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer, both of whom won the World Series of Poker's no-limit Texas hold'em World Championship in 2003 and 2004.

Bluff seeks to feed young players' dreams — wealth and fame beyond imagination — by focusing more on poker personalities and lifestyle and less on strategy. It's that creativity that publisher Eric Morris credits with the magazine's impressive growth in popularity in just 12 months, now with a self-reported circulation of 250,000.

"I didn't want to be a stats and strategy magazine," Morris said. "We recognize that poker has moved to the mainstream."

For example, in a Bluff article titled "The Magician, the Unabomber and the Guy Who Never Wins," writer Rob Fulop visits his poker pro friends Antonio "The Magician" Esfandiari and Phil "Unabomber" Laak in Las Vegas.

"I do a quick scan of Antonio's new house ... Bellagio chips, ranging from $10, to $1,000 lie scattered over the coffee table, serving as drink coasters. A rubber-banded two-inch thick wad of $100 bills sitting on one of the cushions of the sofa looks as if somebody just tossed it there a few days ago and forgot about it. I'm in poker dreamland," Fulop writes.

Chronicling the lives of poker pros regularly seen on TV is "an ideal fit," said David G. Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

"It's part of the whole evolution of poker, (from) guys who smoked cigars and had never seen the inside of a gym to a younger, hipper audience," Schwartz said. "By buying a poker magazine, you can kind of join in the community in that way. A magazine can play a pretty big role in that."

Card Player, published for 18 years and one of the oldest in the industry, takes a much different approach to its poker coverage. It's full of what Shulman, himself a player in the world's richest tournaments, says is "hardcore poker strategy." For example, recent articles discuss how to play a pair of Jacks in the first round of betting and major tournament winner profiles. Now the veteran magazine is working on a poker television show to complement its Web site.

One of the new magazines that has followed Card Player's focus on strategy is All In. Created in May 2004, the magazine recently featured world champion Johnny Chan, made famous by the poker movie "Rounders," discussing the value on betting. In another issue, world champion Chris "Jesus" Ferguson gives tips on how to compete against small numbers of opponents.

"We bring in pros to give you instruction after instruction to make you better," said Bhu Srinivasan, president and publisher of New York-based All In. "The central theme of our magazine is to ... help you win more money."

"We're out to be the Golf Digest of poker," he added.

I've lost my mind.

Listening to the live WSOP feed.

Phil Helmuth announcing.


Friday, July 15, 2005

"But like Boris Becker once said, when they asked him how it was, what it is that makes a champion different from the rest.

That’s easy, he said, it’s a very simple thing. It’s the ability to play like it’s nothing when it means everything in the world. Today is the most important day of the 2005 World Series of Poker."

Jesse May

A quick post.

WSOP Championship day. I was pulling for Raymer and Ivey and mostly Tiffany Williamson, but that's incidental.

A one Mike Matusow will provide for a fine TV final table. And that's the most important thing, isn't it?

Here's a brief look back at other final tables in the past few years, from a conversation about how 'well-known' this years table is:


Varkoni's final table: Gardner, Rob Perry, Scott Gray, Harley Hall, Russ
Rosenblum, John Shipley, Tony D, and Minh Ly. Think Julian, Harley, and
Russ were pretty decently known.

Moneymaker's final table: Amir Vahedi, Tomer Benvenitsi, Sammy Farha, Young
Pak, Jason Lester, Harrington, David Grey, and David Singer. I'd say that
Amir, Jason Lester, and David Grey were widely known, other than Dan and
Sammy. Plus between 10-20 included Ivey, Deeb, Luske, Scotty, and Lederer.

Raymer's final table: Mattias, Arieh, Krux, Matt Dean, Harrington, Glenn
Hughes, David Williams, and Mike McClain.
Raymer's year had the largest field, you're bound to have more unknowns at
the end. Arieh and Krux were known pros before this final table.

There's just so many more unknowns in this year's field, it's a lot of bombs
to dodge for the short numbered name guys.


Also, I liked this Mike Matasow story as told here:


Karmic Update on Mike Matusow's Dealer Bet
Log: Shortly before play started yesterday, Mike Matusow doubted the final table dealer when they said play would be starting soon. I was standing a few feet away as Matusow said something like, "They'll never start on time. There's a bazillion people here. If we start within five minutes, I'll pay you a thousand dollars." Play began four minutes later.

Making good on his word, I learned that Matusow paid the dealer later in the day. Unfortunately, Harrah's would not allow the dealer to keep the money, and it was returned to Matusow. Nevertheless, Matusow received the positive karma from making good on his boast. Could that be part of the reason why he's among the chip leaders?

Lesson learned: Always tip your dealer.


I'm proud that I've never blogged a bad beat here. So in that vein, allow me to briefly mention I set my new record for the most money lost in a single hand last night as well as the biggest pot. All to a sweet 81 year old man (who was the only reason I moved to this NL game) who hit his three outter on the river.

Must. Resist. Urge. To. Post. Hand.

I'm still all tingly.

I've got a game to catch so I've gotta make this brief. Here's a fine article about final table player, Steve Dannenmann.


Md. poker player puts money on fun
World Series of Poker is a lark

LAS VEGAS - Steve Dannenmann, an Anne Arundel accountant, has a strategy
for winning the World Series of Poker main event.

It involves riding only in cabs whose serial number ends in an even digit,
taking the same route from his hotel to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
where the tournament is being played, wearing the same tan shirt daily and
not ever allowing his wife to watch.

And, oh yeah, there's the same brand of socks that say, "Champion," but
those he changes.

And there's this crumpled-up paper with a list of poker do's and don'ts,
such as, "Avoid coin flips when you have the big stack." These are rules
the 38-year-old CPA from Severn freely shares with his competitors,
including some of the world's greatest players, in this no-limit Texas
Hold-'em tournament.

And although it's not part of the strategy, while his opponents are
sipping spring water and Coke, Dannenmann is standing at his table
yelling, "Cocktails!"

He likes Bloody Marys with a rim of Old Bay seasoning. Lot's of 'em. For a
time Tuesday night, he had one drink in his hand and two at his feet.

So, naturally, Dannenmann - whose poker experience comes mostly from home
games on Tuesday nights - ended Tuesday as the fourth-leading chip holder
among 58 survivors from a World Series championship field that started
last week with 5,619 players. The local poker wunderkind had more than 2.1
million chips, the overall leader more than 3 million.

So far, Dannenmann has played at the ESPN feature table with superstar
Howard Lederer, now long gone from the tournament. About midnight Tuesday,
Dannenmann knocked out Russ Hamilton, the 1994 world champ, and scooped up
500,000 chips in the process.

The other Marylander who made it into yesterday's round was John Howard,
32 and self-employed, from Lexington Park in St. Mary's County. Howard was
sitting with Dannenmann when the field narrowed to fewer than 35
yesterday, assuring each at least $274,000.

"I'm here just having fun," said Dannenmann, who bought his $10,000 seat
in the main event after a poker and golf buddy chipped in half. "Every day
that you wake up, everything after that is a bonus. I'm not especially
religious but I believe every day is a blessing."

Dannenmann, who grew up in Brooklyn Park, spent his improbable run Tuesday
ordering drinks, chatting with other players, kibitzing with fans and even
wandering from the table to call his mother, Mary, in Glen Burnie for 15
minutes at a time on a spectator's cell phone because his own had run out
of juice.

As he rallied from a low of 280,000 chips, Dannenmann was clearly
irritating others at the table - including one dealer who accused him of
"disrepecting the game." While Dannenmann was off on one of his cell phone
calls to his mother, or his wife, Anita, back at the Mirage resort, or his
friends in Baltimore, other players had to toss in Dannenmann's antes.

And although his opponents sometimes stewed, Dannenmann defused some of
the annoyance with an affable, aw-shucks demeanor, occasionally rooting
for players with whom he faced off in showdowns. Whenever a new player sat
down, Dannenmann was a one-man Welcome Wagon extending his hand, "Hiya,
I'm Steve. What's your name? Where ya from?"

While table tension mounted, Dannenmann would rummage through a plastic
shopping bag of odds and ends, once pulling out a book on Zen philosophy
to the delight of onlookers.

So far, the off-beat, sometimes loony approach has worked.

"Look, I'm a bad player; I know that," Dannenmann said on a break between
sessions during another 12-hour day of poker Tuesday. "The only way I have
any chance here is to get the table on-tilt." In poker parlance, on-tilt
means being so agitated that it adversely affects a player's decisions.

It also hasn't hurt that Dannenmann has caught a few cards. In one crucial
hand, he doubled up to more than 1.4 million when his pocket fives turned
into three-of-a-kind and then four-of-a-kind against another player's two

The World Series main event was expected to be pared to three tables - 27
players - by today, when the event moves to Binion's Casino in downtown
Vegas. The final table will be either tomorrow or Saturday, depending on
how quickly players are eliminated.

The winner gets $7.5 million; everyone who makes the final table will
become a millionaire.

Dannenmann's stay at the poker World Series main event, which began for
him Saturday when he played in his first round, has caught him by surprise
in more ways than one.

"This is my last pair of clean underwear, but I told my wife to hold off
buying new ones until I saw whether I made it this far," he said.

"You know," he added, "I'm missing my Tuesday night game back home because
of this."

Dannenmann's friend who split the buy-in, Jerry Ditzel of Severna Park, is
in that game.

"The way you see him out there, that's how he is back here," Ditzell said.
"I went in with him on this thing because he's my friend and that's what
friends do. This is something Steve wanted, we sat down and talked about
it, and so we did it."

In return, Dannenmann wears a visor with the name of Ditzel's company,
Environmental Technologies Inc., at the table.

After Tuesday's surge, Dannenmann and a handful of competitors and
spectators he had just met piled into a black stretch limo at the Rio and
headed to the Hard Rock Casino, where he met with his wife and bought the
bar a round.

"Yes, he's always like this," Anita Dannenmann said as she watched her
husband pose for photos with newfound friends at the Hard Rock bar. The
couple have been married just six months. "He's always outgoing; he's
always smiling."

As yesterday's poker play opened, Dannenmann was slightly subdued, the
effects of the 4:30 a.m. partying. But while his eyes were slightly puffy
and he moved a little slower, his mood remained constant.

As an early session ended and he rose from his pile of chips, he said,
"I'm still having fun."


Random Photos of the Day:

Now go read Pauly and Otis for the best in live WSOP coverage.

And check out my hero, Greg Raymer's, thank you/recap WSOP post at 2+2, just posted a bit ago. Must read as he even gives his thoughts on the final players. I won't spoil what he says about Mike the Mouth Matasow, go read it for yourself.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

"Statistics are like bikinis; they show a lot, but not everything."
Lou Piniella

Welcome to David Sklanksy Day here at Guinness and Poker.

But first, an important reminder about the Charlie Tuttle tournament this Sunday.
Rumours are swirling about poker celebs playing in it, too.

All proceeds go to charity, so please, sign up and play with us.

WPBT "Charlie" Tournament
When: THIS Sunday - July 17th - 6pm EST
Where: PokerStars - Listed under the Private tab
Cost: $20 - Every penny goes to charity

I'm giving away five 2004 ESPN WSOP DVD's to the final five players.
So support a good thing. Let's have one helluva turnout.

Here was a recent search result from Google showing my blog:

I saw my grandparents hungover and with a greasy glow after a night of sex with each other. My grandmother was still confused and unaware she was naked and ..

Oh the humanity.

Two wonderful bonus links for my faithful readers today.

Best Anti blog rant EVER.
Maddox on blogs.

Best. Chat. Ever.
Cyber Sex Gone Wrong

Let's get back to the theme of the day.
David Sklansky.

First off, I saw this slick post about David's penchant for philosophical debate these days in the forums.


I need my Sklansky mindbender fix.

not a question about faith/religion, but about character and psychology.

if a guy was drowning and your standing on the dock next to a life preserver.. do you throw it to him??

if the guy was drowning and you had to run up 5 flights of stairs to get to the life preserver..

if the guy was drowning and you had to run up 5 flights of stairs but there is only a 50/50 chance the preserver is there.

if the guy was drowning /5 flights of stairs/ 50/50 chance the preserver is there/ the guard at the bottom of the stairs says he will pay you $1000 NOT to go up the stairs..

if the guy was drowning /5 flights of stairs/ 50/50 chance the preserver is there/ the guard at the bottom of the stairs says it COST you $1000 to go up the stairs.

One of THOSE types of questions that you used to ask that reveals something of our nature or thinking.


And so here we go - bigass honking David Sklansky philosophy threads.

Why Do Jews Reject Jesus?

Religion Astrology and Me

My Attitude About Religious People

The Only Three Questions That Matter

Backgammon, Pascal, Sklanskyanity

Is It Disrepectful To Make Fun of Religions or Their Adherants?

Deism Plus an Afterlife.

"Belief " = What Probability?

Specific Question For Not Ready and Others

And then, of course, was this doozy of a post.

Sklansky - Fermat Conjectures


Conjecture One: A to the nth plus B to the nth (when n is an integer, five or greater) cannot equal equal C to the nth plus q, for some if not most q's.

Conjecture Two: If there are in fact q's for which the conjecture holds, some will be formally unprovable. In other words it might be true that (A to the n) + (B to the n) can never equal (C to the n) plus (lets just say) the number 846879032 (n greater than four), yet no proof of this fact is even theoretically findable.


That thread made my brain hurt. Thank God I'm slowly killing it with beer.

I'm going to swoop to the other side of the spectrum and share this wonderful post by David about his sex appeal:



Hit it and Forget it. That thread where I am a little nasty to Lee Jones. More than 10,000 people have now read it. So its hard not to believe that a little nastiness is the best way to get people to sit up and take notice; and is worth doing if the cause is as important as getting people to study math more (by pointing out that Lee's original book was flawed because of his probable lack of math studiousness.)

As I said, I will stop at almost nothing to get my point across. And that point is now read by more viewers than any other thread on this forum. Uh, I just double checked that. Not quite true yet. Which brings me to my other point. How many of you were aware that Marilyn Monroe sought out and had sex with Albert Einstein? And that it was not because of the way he dressed or or played the violin. Also how many of you were aware that there is a correlation between math and testosterone levels. Or that social evolutionary theory postualtes that most young women get PHYSICALLY aroused in the presence of intelligent men.

I'm not talking money hungry here. It is rather a physical manifestation due to the awareness that the fellow in question will be a good provider for children. Those women who did not have this physical reaction were likely to have died off as their dumb mates couldn't protect their offspring. Thus the majority of those left, inherited an almost insatiable desire to make love to men who demonstrated knowledge in fields like logic or probability.

Dear Lord, I'm not touching this one. But it begs the question, what kind of poker groupie action is David Sklansky tagging these days?

Damn, I'm reposting this as an apparent sex-crazed David Sklansky was still on the attack in both 2+2 and RGP. David exhibits wonderfully condescending writing at it's best. David is answering this question from someone asking about Steve Badger's strategy column. Mister Badger must be in the Amazon or something to have not responded _once_ in this very cantankerous thread entitled:

www.winningonlinepoker.com.....horrible advice - Read it for yourself. I'll give you a taste, first the original question and then David deep into the thread, bashing Gary Carson, Linda Sherman & Andru Prock:

i'm reading this guy's website...he says that in a 2/4 game with a full kill,if you have won the previous hand you should lean towards folding your next hand in order to avoid having to post $4 for a kill pot. He then gives an example where he said that he would fold AQo preflop to a raise to avoid the possibility of winning the pot.

how fucking stupid is that? does anyone agree with this?



I like this particuar debate because there is no escape for the dissenters.

Andrew Prock admits that having to put in $4 on the next hand only costs you about $2. In other words he agrees that Gary and Linda are wrong. He only quibbles with the off the subject point of exacly how often that should make you change your preflop strategy. Meanwhile he can not get around the fact that he once claimed that he thought he would break even in the blinds. In a normal 10-20 game no one can hope to do better than lose $5 in those two spots combined. We will return to that $5 figure later.

Linda Sherman is just totally confused. Her assertion that the kill will sometimes cost you more than $4 because you are now forced to sometimes put in more than that preflop, is the kind of mistake only beginners should make. (Perhaps Andrew will explain this to her) Her poker instincts are also sadly lacking. Otherwise how could she advocate a fold of something like 7763 three suited (8/B stud) when facing what looked like one high pair and a hand that was either a mediocre four card low or a three card low and a pair. I don't remember the details but I do remember that her hand analyzed to about equal on average to the other two, and thus folding it in a 10-20 game was at least a $15 mistake. (I will let Andrew explain this to her.)

Gary Carson brings up the point that the cost of the kill increases because you must kill yet again if you win yet again. He is right but he overestimates the effect. In other words if you should subtract $2 from the pot if you must kill it only once, you should subtract at most $2.40 if you must kill it perpetually. That's because your chances of winning the second hand is less than 20%. I'll let Andrew explain that to Gary.

Gary alluding to KTs vs JTs relates to the fact that I rated the second better. He claims that is wrong and in loose games he is correct. I had my reasons but for the sake of argument let us say I simply made a mistake and had no excuse. To equate a mistake like that with the ones committed by Gary, Linda, and Andrew is ridiculous. Why? First of all because in Andrew and Linda's case the cost of my mistake is negligible compared to their's. In real life it is basically nonexistent. But even if you were to measure it for a particular hand (meaning you tell your cheating dealler to switch your KTs to a JTs) that wrong instruction, in games where it is wrong, is at most a 50 cent mistake in a 10-20 game.

The more important reason why the mistakes are not comparable is because innaccurate guestimates, especially when they are only slightly innaccurate, are not a sign of a deeper problem. Logical errors are. (And I guess that at this point I will cut Andrew Prock some slack, agree that he doesn't make logical errors and that his outlandish guestimate about blinds might have been due to a bad day and lack of holdem experience. That's why I am assigning him the job of teaching Gary and Linda to think properly.)

The reason it is a critical error to simply say to yourself "I won the last pot and will now have to kill if I win again, so I will subtract $4 from this pot" is not because that particular error will cost you much money. The problem is that such thinking will spill over into other areas. In the most general sense it is likely that anyone who doesn't understand the illogic in that statement is apt to be illogical in many other decisions. And almost certainly someone who makes that mistake is going to make similar mistakes involving misevaluting fractional bet EVs.

Here are two examples:

When I was offerred the opportunity to write the forward for Poker For Dummies.
I originally accepted. But I changed my mind when I saw two bad errors in the first few pages. One of them said something like "When you are in the small blind in a 10-20 game don't automatically call if it's not raised. You still need a decent hand. If twice an hour you flip in that five dollar chip when you shouldn't, that's ten dollar an hour off your eventual profits." Though I could have easily gotten that line changed I was not willing to be associated with anyone who did not instantly see why he was making essentially the same mistake as Gary Carson. Again remember that this mistake is not an instinctive one but rather a thinking error.

A much subtler example of this mistake that is often made by good poker players and even fairly intelligent analysts goes something like this: "I didn't bet on fourth st. because the pot was small and even though I had outs if he check raised me I wouldn't have gotten the right price to call."

Here the logical flaw is the implication that had the pot been bigger the bet would have been okay because you were getting good enough odds to call a check raise. Those who think that are confused by the fact that you can have an overlay in a sense but still be better off without it. If you have a 10% chance of winning something you would gladly take $300 to $20 odds. But you would like it more still if you got $260 to $0 odds. I could spend more time explaining this concept in more detail and showing why it ties in to The Gary Carson Mistake, but I'd rather let Andrew do that.

I'll just let that stand for itself. No mirth needed.

Personally I liked it better when he wrote about math/logic as in this screed:

The Bottom Line For Me

Here is where I am coming from as precisely as I can put it.

I have for many years felt that I owe my father the responsibility of persuading as many people as possible that being good at and/or studying math and logic will help you in more fields and to a larger degree than what most think. It is the reason I started writing poker books in the first place. The fact that the more I succeed with this persuasion, the greater it will benefit me, is of secondary importance.

By math and logic (ML) I do not mean merely simplistic arithmetic or naming fallacies. What I do mean is not relevant to this post though. That can be discussed elsewhere.

Of course most people admit that ML is critical for a few endeavors and somewhat helpful in a few others.

Where they differ with me, my father, and others, is not realizing that ML can help alot in many fields and help a little in almost all fields. Being a baseball manager is one of thousands of examples. But again this post was not written to argue my agenda. Only to state it.

Someone posted that they ageed being or getting good at ML will help you become a success but the same can be said for other things such as athletics or music. The problem with that comment is that athletics or music talent is almost worthless to your success unless you are truly superb at it. That is not the case for ML. Going from poor to fair, from, fair to good, or from good to great, will help you regardless, in many endeavors. That is my stance anyway.

A good analogy to ML and myriad endeavors, is exercise and sporting endeavors. Both ML and exercise will help you somewhat, but both are no guarantees of success by itself. Many people become successful without them. In fact so many people are successful without them, and so many people are unsuccessful with them, it clouds the fact that doing ML or exercise nicely increases your chances for success. Trotting out counterexamples to refute this point are misleading and in fact a perfect example of arguments by people weak in ML. Its a Bayes' Theorem error that I won't go into here.

Poker is an example of a field where ML is of rather strong importance, especially limit poker. The average player thinks it is of mild importance. Thus it is one field where my agenda fits. Make people realize that it is more important than they think. If I can persuade them about poker perhaps they will more readily accept the same point about other things. (Put succinctly by my father "If you really know math well, you can be good at almost anything." Or more recently on a TV show for kids about math, one 25 year old girl says "That kid Johnny who usually had his head in a math book, what is he doing now? Other girl answers "Whatever he wants.")

Depending on the endeavor and the degree to which you understand ML the greater you increase your chances of success. In some fields you may go from 2% to 4% in others it may be from 0% to 10% (eg physics). In almost all fields I believe the increase is higher than most people think. But again it is no gurantee. To be a better major league baseball manager than one who you are much better than in ML, you must be only very slightly worse than him at recruiting, understanding pitching and handling people. Most ML experts don't meet that criteria. But some do, or could learn to. I believe that those few could win more games than any manager presently out there.

Nowadays, at least 40% of the best 200 poker players are proficient at ML. While only maybe 5% of those who try to make money at poker are. It is a sad commentary that so few see that as strong evidence of my position, at least as far as poker playing is concerned.

When it comes to poker writng the effect is even stronger. Now it is almost impossible to be good at the field without strength (natural or learned) in ML. I would think that would be obvious. But apparently it is not. Usually I give poker playing the most emphasis in pursuing the agenda that I owe my father. Because that's my specialty and that's where most pay me mind. Sometimes I use other examples. Such as Barry Switzer's criticized but correct decision to go for it fourth and two from his 27 with the scored tied and 1:45 to go on the clock. I wish obvious examples like this in sports and other fields were presented to me more often. They are not.

What is presented to me once in a while however is a chance to tout ML when it comes to the field of poker writing. To argue that lack of ML must almost certainly result in a flawed book. But to make that argument I must first assert that the author is in fact weak at ML. I cannot simply criticize the book. I must clearly identify the author as someone who has the temerity to believe that he is qualified to write poker books without good ML and to point out that THAT is most likely WHY the book is flawed. I owe my father and the world at large that. And IF (and only if) being a bit rude (up to a point) increases my chances of succeeding, I will do it (without guilt, but not gleefully either).

And finally, I love these jabs by Gary Carson about David Sklansky when alerted to this thread:

Everyone who might read a debate between me and David should know that I have a graduate degree in engineering from Northwestern University and David never finished his sophomore year in college.

Humorless pricks should post at 2+2.

Kinda sums it up nicely, don't it?

I'll be back with lotsa poker content, so stay tuned. I just need to cut this off so I can go hit the tables. Wish me luck, damnit. Plus, I need to go hit the insanity that is Pauly's blog as he does the WSOP updates. And don't forget Otis!

And finally, here's the latest news about Noble poker. Damnit, give it a whirl and get that juicy bonus.

Congratulations to Douglas Evenhus from Montana, USA for winning $18,500 in our Maui Sit n Go Jackpot. You know it?s possible so now try your poker skill in our $25,000 Rio Sit n Go Jackpot.

To make things more exciting we've introduced this original concept to a 6 player Sit n Go tournament. Any player who wins 6 consecutive Rio Sit n Go tournaments, will walk away with $25,000. Not bad for just a $20 buy-in!

In addition, Noble Poker will also award a $300 prize to a player who finished in either 1st or 2nd place in six consecutive Rio Jackpot Sit N Go tournaments.

All you have to do to be eligible for this incredible $25,000 Jackpot Bonus is sit down and play at the special Rio table, already in the Noble Poker software.

$800 Signup Bonus!

Link of the Day:
Tom Cruise is Losin' It
Female teens born in 1989 should be on the alert: Every time Tom Cruise takes a bride, she's 11 years younger than the last.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

"Proof that PokerStars isn't rigged

In case you believe that Lee Jones at Poker Stars has the power to "help" out players that he likes, tonights event #1 of the WCOOP (PLO8) has proven that idea wrong.

In case you didn't watch, a semi-literate caps-lock chatting grammar-challenged buffoon named "AustinKearns" played like a maniac, lucked into a huge stack, and bludgeoned the final table with it. He was the most unlikeable poker player I have ever seen. With all the crap he was spouting, surely anyone with the power to make him lose would have taken advantage of it."

The above is from my Fast Eddie post (see banner above) from almost exactly a year ago, when he scored at the WCOOP.

And guess what - the schedule for the 2005 PokerStars WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker) has been announced. I'll copy and paste it below, k?

But for now, you need to know about Sunday. The fine folks at Poker Stars have done some fancy configuring of their software to allow us to run a charity event in Charlie Tuttle's honour. All the proceeds go to charity, so please, sign up and play with us.

WPBT "Charlie" Tournament
When: THIS Sunday - July 17th - 6pm EST
Where: PokerStars - Listed under the Private tab
Cost: $20 - Every penny goes to charity

I really want to thank PokerStars for making this happen. Their support and helpfulness goes above and beyond. Again, it's THIS Sunday evening - sign up NOW!

Also, I'll toss in five 2004 ESPN WSOP DVD's to the final five finishers.

Damn, between reading all the Championship Event updates and watching the 2004 WSOP DVD, I've got the poker bug bad.

Here's that WCOOP schedule:


September 4 (Sun) No Limit Hold 'em $500 $30 $800,000
September 5 (Mon) Pot Limit Omaha (rebuys) $200 $15 $200,000
September 6 (Tue) No Limit Hold 'em Match Play $200 $15 $200,000
September 7 (Wed) Pot Limit Hold'em Short-Handed 6/Table $200 $15 $200,000
September 8 (Thu) No Limit Hold 'em (rebuys) $200 $15 $700,000
September 9 (Fri) Limit Hold 'em $200 $15 $150,000
September 10 (Sat) Pot Limit Hold 'em $500 $30 $350,000
September 11 (Sun) No Limit Hold 'em $1,000 $50 $1,000,000
September 12 (Mon) Seven Card Stud $300 $20 $150,000
September 13 (Tue) No Limit Hold 'em Triple Shootout $1,000 $50 $700,000
September 14 (Wed) Limit Omaha High/Low $500 $30 $250,000
September 15 (Thu) Seven Card Stud High/Low $500 $30 $150,000
September 16 (Fri) Pot Limit Omaha $500 $30 $250,000
September 17 (Sat) Limit Hold 'em $1,000 $50 $400,000
September 18 (Sun) No Limit Hold 'em $2,500 $100 $2,500,000

Let's see, let's see . . .what shall we copy and paste today?
How about from today's NY Times?


Poker's Popularity Doesn't Appear Ready to Fold

Poker's sudden ubiquity on television calls to mind the rush of figure skating programming that followed the hugely rated 1994 Winter Olympics and the tulip mania in Holland in the 17th century. Can the popularity of anything grow so quickly, as televised poker has in the past two or three years, without crashing?

Or has poker found the mother lode by appealing to youthful Texas Hold'em devotees who cannot get enough of stars like Doyle Brunson and Howard Lederer.

"I equate poker to Nascar," said Neal Pilson, a television consultant hired by Harrah's Entertainment to negotiate a new deal beyond 2007 for its World Series of Poker property, which has performed spectacularly well on ESPN. "Everyone drives, so they have an instant recognition for the skill and drama of Nascar. Well, there's a huge population that plays poker. It's reality programming, with drama, excitement and a tremendous amount of money."

If poker is headed for a collapse, then the market bubble appears to be in the distance. The World Series of Poker began play last month in Las Vegas, with taped coverage to start next Tuesday; CBS Sports joined many other networks by adding poker tournaments starting during Christmas; Brunson said he was part of a $700 million bid to buy the three-year-old World Poker Tour; and tomorrow night, Fox Sports Net will carry live the final table of a tournament in which the players will probably be wearing heart monitors to gauge whether their poker faces are hiding racing ventricles.

"We'll let you feel what they feel," said George Greenberg, FSN's vice president of programming and production, who cautioned that not all 27 players who will start at the final table of the FullTiltPoker.Net Championship at the Wynn Las Vegas have agreed to be wired. "If they're bluffing, we'll know."

There is, for now, little bluffing that poker is a strong television product. The Travel Channel's telecasts of the World Poker Tour are by far the network's most popular offerings, nearly doubling the ratings of its second-most popular show, "John Ratzenberger's Made in America."

But ESPN's 1.7 rating last year for the 22 episodes of the World Series of Poker was nearly twice that of the Travel Channel's, and up 42 percent from the year before, when it carried only seven installments.

"What started this poker phenomenon is the World Series on ESPN," said Mark Shapiro, an executive vice president of ESPN. "It has no peers. I'm not saying it for spin. It's the only true brand that carries a considerable audience week after week."

Shapiro's claim to peerlessness was challenged by Steve Lipscomb, the founder and chief executive of WPT Enterprises, the parent company of the World Poker Tour, which he views as poker's version of the National Basketball Association.

"Our show is still the best televised poker," said Lipscomb, who just launched an offshore Internet poker site that will not accept wagering from the United States. "We reinvented poker for television. ESPN is great at what they do; they use our format, put it on their air with the World Series and done extremely well."

ESPN would not disclose what it is paying to carry the World Series of Poker, but its fee is believed to be modest relative to the breakout television success. WPT, a public company, reported that it received $9.9 million from the Travel Channel for last year's second season of programming. Certainly, Harrah's will want more.

"The World Series of Poker was a dying brand before it came to ESPN," Shapiro said. "We've spent considerable effort and dollars to rebuild the brand."

WPT also disclosed last week that it had not received enough information about the Brunson bid to evaluate whether it would go forward. According to its current stock-market price, shares in WPT are worth nearly $500 million.

Poker's appeal to television networks is its hardiness. Live telecasts are rare; nearly all the shows are taped, which allows dull hands to be eliminated and drama to be accentuated. The tournaments often air months after they have been played - broadcasts of the main event of the World Series do not start until Oct. 11, with poker that was completed Thursday. But the ratings hold up, a situation similar to the early years of what is now the former figure skating glut.

"They may be taped, but for all intents and purposes, it's live," Shapiro said. "Aficionados aren't our core audience; it's the casual or amateur player."

The World Series is being covered by 18 cameras, with one person designated to spot a hot table.

FSN, which also carries the taped Poker Superstars series (on a three-month delay) did well enough last year with its live telecast of the American Poker Championship to consider going live again with the FullTilt event. Greenberg said he believed that a group of superstars might reduce the possibility of boring hands.

"We're rolling the dice that over four or six or eight hours, drama will unfold," he said, "with the stakes incredibly high and the players incredibly skilled."


Random photo of my pony:

Not sure why Doyle pulled off the whole pump and dump on WPT stocks....
Press release:

LOS ANGELES, Jul 11, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- As previously reported, on July 7,
2005, WPT Enterprises, Inc. (WPTE) received an offer for the acquisition of
WPTE. The offer failed to provide sufficient information for WPTE to determine
its credibility. Consequently, and as described below, WPTE still does not have
enough information to evaluate the credibility of the offer.

WPTE received the offer for the purchase of the company on July 7, 2005 from the
Las Vegas-based law firm of Goodman and Chesnoff, purporting to represent a
group of investors headed by Doyle Brunson. The term sheet proposed a purchase
price of $700,000,000 but otherwise failed to provide sufficient information for
WPTE's management and Board to determine its credibility. The term sheet
indicated that the offer would expire on Tuesday, July 12, 2005 at 5:30 p.m.
(with a provision for WPTE to request a one week extension). The offer was
publicized by issuance of a press release that was released without consulting
with WPTE.

WPTE contacted the Goodman and Chesnoff firm in an effort to substantiate the
credibility of the offer but was not provided with any additional information.
After market close on July 8, WPTE was ultimately informed that the Goodman and
Chesnoff firm was no longer involved in the matter. WPTE made further attempts
through the weekend to obtain more information but was unsuccessful.

Therefore, WPTE currently is unable to substantiate the credibility of the offer
it received last week. If the offer cannot be substantiated and accepted by
Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., the offer will lapse by its own terms.

"While WPTE is not actively pursuing offers, it will seriously consider the
merits of this or any other offer once it receives the requisite foundation
information," stated Steven Lipscomb, WPTE's President and CEO.

Well, hey now, here's the latest news about Noble poker.

Congratulations to Douglas Evenhus from Montana, USA for winning $18,500 in our Maui Sit n Go Jackpot. You know it?s possible so now try your poker skill in our $25,000 Rio Sit n Go Jackpot.

To make things more exciting we've introduced this original concept to a 6 player Sit n Go tournament. Any player who wins 6 consecutive Rio Sit n Go tournaments, will walk away with $25,000. Not bad for just a $20 buy-in!

In addition, Noble Poker will also award a $300 prize to a player who finished in either 1st or 2nd place in six consecutive Rio Jackpot Sit N Go tournaments.

All you have to do to be eligible for this incredible $25,000 Jackpot Bonus is sit down and play at the special Rio table, already in the Noble Poker software.

$800 Signup Bonus!

And the best pieces of news I've heard in a long time came in today. Dutch Boyd is out of the tourney and Jackpot Jay is writing his last column for ESPN next week.

Thank God.

Also, DoubleAs is the freaking chipleader in event 43 with 27 people left!!! Check out Pauly for live WSOP updates.

Also, I haven't seen this talked about much so I'm gonna link up this ESPN article about phony chips being found in the WSOP.
Phony Chips at the WSOP.

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 11, 2005

"Gambling is the future on the internet.
You can only look at so many dirty pictures."

Simon Noble

Why do I write this silly poker blog?
Bonus Code IGGY, damnit, on Party Poker.

How about another old-fashioned, rambling, Guinness-fueled UBER post tonight?

The one downside to the exponential popularity of poker blogs is that I drink far too much Guinness while digging through them, wondering what I'll write about. And damn, I'm already lit up wore out and I haven't even yet begun to pontificate. I may have a good post tonight, who knows. Maybe more tangential than good. Please humor me & thanks for reading.

I'm pretty pissed off that I just now got this excellent t-shirt for my vegan friend. I may have to schedule a lunch to get my money's worth.

Actually, it pains me to stay away from the tables tonight because I'm killing the 15.30 at Party Poker. If you are playing anywhere else, you are a stubborn fool. I'm still amazed at the terrible players - how long can this insanity continue? I know I'm running good when I haven't spent one second in Poker Tracker the last five days.

Sometimes I struggle with the grinding aspect of limit poker from a diminishing returns perspective. It takes so much damn time (Mike Caro: the more you play, the more you win!) that I often feel my time is better spent focusing on some big payout multi-table tournaments. My bankroll is more than sufficient to bang away at these and I've enjoyed success in the past - what's stopping me?

Perhaps it's a case of laziness. Beating the ring game at Party Poker is literally shooting fish in a barrel. My game has likely suffered these last ten months without the challenges you face in higher limit and tourney play. Stasis = death in poker.

But it's not easy. And what to do with your precious bankroll is likely the most important decision a poker player (even a poker-hobbyist) will ever make.

But hitting the big payoff is every poker players dream. The reality of grinding is quite a different scenario. Why not take a shot at a life-altering payday?

Here was a great quote from pro Dicky Horvath that I found appropriate.

"There's nothing suave to being a hustler. If you watch tape of the old World Series of Poker, you'll see magician shit. Doyle reading Johnny Chan's body language and folding a huge hand. Or Johnny sucking Eric Seidel into moving in when he had the nuts.

But that's not what I do. My gig is to be a drone. Some mindless ant worker. I have to play mechanically, not seductively. That's because I'm not there for a game. How I do on any one day doesn't mean shit. I'm playing in a year-long poker game. I can never get emotional. It's a total grind. There's no fun or variation in your play. You never act on a hunch. Everything is by the book. You're like a robot. Being smart or creative is actually a drawback. If you look at my poker log, you'll see that I have good days and bad days - good months and bad months. But in the end, as the number of hands increase, the variations really aren't that big.

But make no mistake, being a professional poker player is a job like any other. That's when you get in deep shit, when you start to look at it as work. After awhile you look at your poker log and start to see the hourly wage. It gets you thinking about how much time you're wasting doing other things. You start to think of life as a poker game. That movie costs me fifty bucks because I could have been playing instead.

That's when you're fucked."

It's sad that I identify with the above. But grinding is pretty close to how he describes it. Hell, when I play at the boat all I can think about is how much money it's costing me versus playing online. Bleh.

One last thought by Dicky:

"That's why guys like me who grind out winnings stick to limit poker. There's a huge difference. In limit there is very little flair or psychology. You play your cards by statistics and never do things on a hunch. No-Limit is all touch and guts. In limit if three people call your raise and you've got pocket aces, the flop comes king, 10, 4, you bet out and some guy raises and then he keeps betting, you just call him down to the river to see if he's got a set or maybe two pair, kings and tens. But in no-limit, you bet out with your aces and he raises your entire stack. What are you gonna do then? That's when business school looks really appealing. In limit hold em a mistake like calling that guy down is only gonna cost you 3 bets - mebbe $60, $100 in the worst scenario, but in no-limit, a fuckup like that could burn your entire buyin. You'll be in the poker hospital for months. Nope, to make a living like I do, you have to stick to good old boring limit hold'em. It's the only way to go."

Alas, nobody cares about The Grind. The WSOP coverage is killing me. I should be out there, damnit.

I've begun seriously studying Omaha8. If anyone wants to point me to any solid online info, please feel free. I'm re-reading Ray Zee and Ciaffone right now and gambling it up on the $100 PL tables for fun. I'll admit: I've always been a terrible, terrible Omaha player. I've never played the game for any meaningful stakes so I would typically play every hand. And lose. Hell, I'd have been better off gambling on the number of spots on a Dalmation.

If there is ONE video on the Internet you should watch this week, this is it.
Safe for work and pretty damn funny. Go watch.
Dog Safety

Damn, it's WSOP Championship week.
Allow me to post a few excellent resources for coverage.

The two obvious choices:
WSOP Blog by Pauly
WSOP Blog by Otis: WSOP Day 2 Wrap-Up!

And I was soooo damn happy to find Jesse May writing at CardPlayer.
Jesse rules.

Here's his excellent reports on the current WSOP.

Let Me In! (Last ditch efforts to qualify for the main event)

Give me Form: Gearing up for the 'Big One'

Staying Alive: luck versus skill in the first 3 heats of the WSOP

Can a Guy get a Drink?

And just for posterity, here's the link to the live log WSOP update page.

And here's the top level page for the articles being written by Jesse May, Nolan Dalla and BJ Nemeth.


But for the umpteenth time I’m frustrated as can be. I’m frustrated that I can’t be sitting at home, and watching every hand played in the World Series of Poker. I’m angry that every hand is not recorded for posterity, that every hand played between the 6000 players isn’t dumped into the computer and analyzed seven ways. We need the data, poker needs that data, or else we’re all left sitting with a mystery to solve. The technology is there, but it’s not being used. And so what we have are the dark ages of poker.


I've got to believe the WSOP will be broadcast live in the very near future.

Slight segue: I love this quote from yesterday.
Mike Matusow: "It makes it even more amazing that guys like Doyle can win tournaments. Fifteen hour days of poker. All I've got is about 6 hours of good poker in me. Then I start going downhill."

After being told that no additional days can be added to this event: "If two good players have $26 million in chips each, it's never going to end. If I make it that long, I might have to go back to drugs."

Just as long as you don't cry, Mike. There's bigger things in the world than a damn poker tournament, even the WSOP.

Cool. I just noticed that Wil posted his writeup of his WSOP experience. He was the number one guy I was rooting for, damnit.
careful with that stack, eugene

Check out the interview with Madeline and Stephanie Ungar;
Madeline and Stephanie Ungar - Part 1

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Johnny over at Poker Nation. He's blogging the event and has snagged some good interviews.

Dan over at Pokerati is tackling the Series, as well, and even stuck up some drunken mp3's. I found the Daniel Negreanu one to be purty funny.

Paul Phillips is writing about the WSOP for Slate. His article is called How I Got Banned for Life (for a Few Weeks). Paul's also commenting on players he recognizes from the top 150 chip stacks in his blog. Always a must read.

I ordered several gross of Adderall.
You should, too.

I've also enjoyed several of the articles written by amateurs over at Poker Trails.

Let's move along shall we?

For you, gentle reader, I dug up the original RGP post in which 2004 WSOP champ, Greg Raymer, asked for backers into the Big One. I actually talked to my wife afer he posted this. I seriously considered it. He always posted great Foxwood tourney reports/analysis on 2+2. I mean - he was one of my favorite freaking posters on there. I'm sure I'm not alone here.

From September 8, 2002:
Looking for Backers

Mr. Badger got into a pissing match at the end of the thread. Geezus, I miss the good old days.

BTW, I rewound the DVD when Raymer yelled "PRESTO!" after he won a big pot at the final table with them in 2004. Too damn funny and someday I want to shake his hand for doing so.

Hell, he reads this blog, too.
Good taste abounds.

You know what this post needs?

More cowbell.

Good question here. So what happens if a finalist has a heart attack at the WSOP before the final table starts?

Good answer - because it actually happened before.
WSOP event #4...heart attack

Yikes, I have so much stuff to post I don't even know where to start.

I saw this next post and it kind of explained why I'm beating the games so easily on Party Poker.


still annoyed at Party display (all caps)
Author: Gamblor444

I wrote to Party asking if they could change my location display from ALL CAPS
to Normal Like This. This is what they sent -

This option has been removed by popular demand. All players' city will now be
visible in the parenthesis along with the screen name. We no longer have the
option to hide / make changes to the the location since most of the players want
to see where the other players are playing from.

I really dont get it, Im not asking to hide/change my location, just the
format. My friend and I made our accounts on the same day and his looks normal,

This is why Party is such a gold mine.
Thank you.

I liked this pseudo poem comparing 2+2 to RGP.


for the most part

2+2 posters are arrogant

know it all assholes

and sklansky writes crap

like that tournament book

that is supposed to be advanced

and contains a system that the author admits

is worthless and will lose your shirt

20 bucks down the toilet


Not bad tempo and pastiche, eh Fred?

RGP signal to noise ratio is getting even worse, something I wouldn't have thought possible. I feel bad for Daniel Neagreanu, actually, because there are some serious insane haters posting about him. Hell, last I checked, this thread had nearly 300 comments. Daniel even referenced it in his blog.

I hate to jump on the bandwagon bashing Negreanu, but...

And here's a classic summary of the current ugliness at RGP:

Oh, questioning posters' sexuality and issuing personal challenges are just the beginning. There's so much more to this poker thing including attacking other posters' political views, advancing crackpot conspiracy theories, threatening to killfile moronic posters and pointing out even the pettiest of typos as if they were the most egregious insult one had ever read.

I hope Lee Jones will cover all this in WLLHE 4th Edition.

Level three thinking.

My thinking exactly.

Here's a short amusing story from Howard Beale :

In today's 10-20 game the subject of loans to poker players, both paid and (mostly) unpaid came up when one of the guys at our table told us that when he came to play (at Casino Arizona) last week a player that he'd loaned money to 8 years ago, hadn't seen in 7, hardly recognized and didn't even know was in Arizona jumped out of his chair at the game he was in, came running up to him and said:

"I need a couple more weeks".

It's funny - having to deal with the weird money issues that poker players have to deal with. It's not that big of a deal to get an IM from FastEddie needing a couple grand on PokerStars because of a fat 30.60 game. I don't even think about it. It's just a casual fact of life now.

I guess that's one reason I wish I could get paid for this stupid blog. It takes up sooo damn much time and it literally costs me money now. Hell, maybe I _will_ set up a tip jar. I'll grovel even worse than I do now. Maybe I'll start selling text links, I dunno. At some point, it's diminishing returns or just deeply retarded behavior.

Don't answer that question. I already know the answer.

With all of the WSOP hoopla (despite dozens of big-media outlets covering the Series, I couldn't find one worthy link, outside of Pauly writing for FoxSports) and the creation of poker player celebrities, here was the devils advocate viewpoint:

Subject: Pro players receive too much attention
Author: OhioState95

This post is partially in response to the Negreanu stufff earlier, but is more about the poker community's obsession with professional players.

I think it's amazing that anyone cares about Negreanu, Duke, Lederer, or any of the other players. If I tried really hard, I still couldn't care less about their personal squabbles. I've read some of Negreanu's blog entries and I read his column in Card Player, and from those I think it's obvious that he is an incredibly egotistical little boy. In short, Lederer's comments about DN's need to shape his public perception seem right on the money.

We, the poker playing community, should relegate issues regarding the lives of the "pros" to where they belong: out of our consciousness. I think it's silly to idolize professional gamblers. I respect those who have achieved success and will listen to their advice on strategy, but I don't care AT ALL about their completely abnormal personal lives in Las Vegas.

I also think it's weird that so much attention is paid to all of these "classic" pros, but there is rarely anything nice said about Moneymaker and Raymer in these pages. They are the two "name players" I most admire because they were just like most of us... regular joes who played well and caught their big break. People like Varkoni, Moneymaker, Raymer, and even GambleAB (Aaron Bartley?) are more compelling stories, and I'm much more interested to hear from them on how they developed their game and what it's like to make that first big score than I am to read Negreanu tell yet another story about how great he is, on or off the poker table. I'm even more interested to hear from an online player who won one of the big weekly tournaments.

In short, I suggest we look to our own in the poker world for interesting poker-related stories rather than to the rarified air of Las Vegas eccentrics.

One of the downsides of RGP today is the vociferous debate about politics on a daily basis. Hell, I don't even like politics on a poker blog, much less message boards. Talk about your lowest common denominator.

But I'm gonna let this one slide. It was a real bloodbath of a thread.

Subject: OT: Can a liberal play great poker?
Author: John A. Fish

Can a liberal play great poker?

The surprising answer is an emphatic YES!

I will be providing a rigorous proof using the scientific method. But
before I do, I would like to make a comment to those who may be
considering a response. A few days ago I started a thread "Can a
liberal be bluffed." Unfortunately the thread degraded into political
trash talk. When I said that liberals tend to be stupid and gullible,
the operative word was "tend" but perhaps this was not clear. I never
meant to suggest that all liberals are gullible or stupid. My hope is
that we can keep this discussion about poker and not politics.

Hypothesis: Liberals play great poker.

Proof: Sklansky's fundamental theorem of poker states in essence that a
player makes a mistake if he plays differently than he would have played
if he could see his opponent's cards. In short, poker is all about

Liberals tend to be easily fooled. Therefore it would be reasonable to
conclude that they would be poor players. But that would be wrong.
Liberals also tend to be great at fooling others. When you are
deceived in poker you may lose the money you invested in the pot, but if
you can deceive the other players, you may win the WHOLE POT. This
gives the liberal a huge edge, perhaps as much as 4:1.

Add to that the fact that liberals tend to fool themselves. This can be
a great attribute for a poker player. If you believe that your 72o is
AA and play it that way, you are not going to be giving off any tells
that could give your bluff away.

Conclusion: Liberal make great poker players.

If you are a liberal please tell me if you concur. And please let's try
to keep this thread OT. Thanks.

J.A. Fish

Tanya had this to say about women and respect at the WSOP:

Want to talk Respect???
Author: Tanya AKA misst74

From PokerTrails:

"An interesting note--the women's restroom has been converted into... a men's
room. Why? Well, with 1,800 people and about 90% of them being men, it's tough
to get all of them in and out in a timely manor. I also might note that the real
men's room is a piece of #$* as only maybe half of the stalls/urinals work. So,
unfortunately the women of the tournament are having to walk a long distance to
the next restroom."

I told this to my husband, and he sarcastically said, "Now that's respect".

As a woman, I actually have no problem with this, but truth be told, I'd also
have no problem sharing the bathroom with men. Unisex bathrooms are common
overseas from what I told, there are stalls, what's the big deal???

Just thought the feminists out there (if there are any) would love this piece.



Everyone is tired of this but I'm posting it anyway.

Big name poker star in debt?
Author: TheProof (43081265@recpoker.com)

In Jay Lovinger's "Jackpot Jay" column for ESPN.com Page 2, he writes this

"Another fascinating topic of these off-the-record talkfests is the star who the
public believes is a no-worries millionaire, who is actually so deeply in debt
he can't even see the desert sky anymore. (The big rumor floating around the
WSOP from Day One was about the World Poker Tour supernova who is said to be $4
million in the red, despite TV winnings of millions during the past two

Who is Lovinger referring to here? Gus Hansen would be an easy guess but does
anybody know for sure?


Bodog is in fact run by a stock fraudster?
Author: Jeff Chuley

Ive played at bodog myself and thought things seemed a little fishy, and not
just the players. someone here posted a few days ago that the guy running bodog
was involved in some stock fraud and then i found this link on google quite
interesting. I guess the CEO Calvin Ayre was involved in bilking investors with
insider trading in vancouver a few years ago, check out this link. What a prick.



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This next post gave me pause cause I've found it easier to tell people I work in advertising rather than play poker. Why? Strange looks....weird questions....raised eyebrows. Anyway, here's Ed's thoughts:

Subject: Do you admit to playing poker?
Author: Edward Hutchison

The question of poker's unsavory reputation has been the subject of
another thread which has meandered into a discussion of charitable
tournaments. To return to topic:

I just returned from a high school reunion in NY. It has been a long time
since I have seen most of my old chums, and in this time I have been a
factory worker, professor, legislator, psychotherapist, bank clerk,
author, and poker player. When people asked my wife, "What does Ed do?"
how often do you suppose she mentioned poker player?

When the other kids at school asked Jesse James' kids what their Daddy did
for a living they probably said he works in a bank. Yeah, that's true, he
robbed banks.

You can tell people you are a professional poker player and they look at
you as if you have said I am a professional degenerate. That's like the
smoker who says, "I am a considerate smoker," while everyone else wonders
just how one stinks in a considerate way.

We, who are in the know, understand that playing poker is not a sign
(necessarily, that is) of degeneracy. Poker, we say, is a game of skill
and strategy that people can win at. We are playing each other, not the
house, so we can win. "Sure," thinks the non-poker player, "a gambler who
wins. Ha!"

There was a time when I felt the need to set the world straight and
patiently explain such matters to whoever might listen. Funny, but as I
grow older, I have that urge much less often. So, if someone asks how I
spend my time, I've got to know them fairly well before I take the time to
explain I play poker. Unfortunately, it still seems to require an

Edward Hutchison


Subject: The Addicted Corporation's 12 Steps to Recovery (Texas Hold'em Style)
Author: Zidane Valor

I did this really quickly since I was bored and have time to kill. I hope you
enjoy it and I'm interested to hear any ideas or suggestions.

The Addicted Corporation's 12 Steps to Recovery (Texas Hold'em Style)

1. We admit that our corporation is powerless over its addiction to wealth &
power, and that our grand-children's quality of life and the planet's quality of
life are in danger.

Translation: "My entire bankroll is $300, and I'm playing in a game of $5/$10 No

2. We no longer think of our corporation as a separate entity from ourselves.

Translation: "I'm beginning to see my friends and family in the paint cards."

3. We believe that our higher powers can restore us to health and sanity.

Translation: "I believe that the poker gods will allow me to always draw to two

4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory our actions in the name of
our corporation.

Translation: "I am beginning to see why I shouldn't call a re-re-raise with 69
off-suit just because I like the hand."

5. We admit to ourselves, to our employees, and the general public, the exact
nature of our wrongs.

Translation: "I'm taking my $300 bankroll to a game of $2/$4 No Limit."

6. We are entirely ready to remove all these defects of character.

Translation: "No more drawing to a gut-shot straight draw with Jc Tc in my hand
and a board of As Ah Ks Kh."

7. We humbly ask a Higher Power to help us remove our shortcomings.

Translation: "I will now only draw to eight or nine outers."

8. We have made a list of all employees and other consumers we have harmed, and
are willing to make amends to them all.

Translation: "I know every person that I've played poorly against. Mostly
because when I start to play, they all keep looking for my table."

9. We have made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to
do so would injure them or others.

Translation: "Now that I'm no longer drawing to two outers, I'm actually having
winning sessions."

10. We are continuing to take a personal inventory, and when we are wrong we
promptly admit it.

Translation: "I now fold every hand that I wouldn't stand with in blackjack."

11. We seek through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with
our higher powers, praying for the power to carry out our recovery.

Translation: "AND THE RIVER CARD IS..."

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we carry this
message to other corporations and intend to practice these principles in all our

Translation: "Now it's time to play Omaha, Stud, and Razz."

I originally thought this post was troll bait, but it turns out he was 100% serious. There's just too many damn nuts on RGP now.

Wealthy cheat victims wanted
Author: igotskillz com

If you have been cheated or want to help stop some of the online cheating
please respond to this.

We know that online cheating exists and this is what we need.
1: someone on the inside the poker sites who knows where they login from.
2: surveillance on the cheats
3: someone to bludgeon a cheat { me }
4: financing

Once identified we get proof that they do in fact cheat.
These cheats make 200,000 a year so once caught we relieve them of every

With their funds we pay expenses and make a profit.

I've had some response on this and unfortunately it's going slower than i
had hoped.

These people steal your money and mine. I want it back, how about you ? I
am open to any logical suggestions that you may have as far as how to do

I know this
A: they have a lot of money
B: i can kill a man with one punch
C: if they initiate physical violence { a nudge, push or shove } i can
defend myself

We need cash and our first target

i have been offered the support of an OSU lineman so yes, we are getting
When a cheat is legally beaten to death his pals may wise up or even
confess and turn over what they stole.

Please email me in strictest confidence from igotskillz.com

At the present time i am only seeking interested parties. Someone who has
been hurt by cheats is reading this and hopefully you will take some
action. The world is full of scumbags and i want to do something about it.

thank you for your support

Of course, someone posted his personal info 10 minutes later from a whois with this comment:


theres been a lot of crazy people that have come thru rgp over the years but you take the cake. an organization for beating people to a pulp. too funny.


There have been a bajillion threads on 2+2 about people "disturbed" by online poker playing aids like pokertracker and gametime, like it's somehow cheating or unethical.


I loved this response in one thread:

"One last thought - Once the sea of fish realize the kind of help we have been using what's the response going to be?"

Same as always, "I thought you had AK".

MS Sunshine

Some of you may enjoy this long thread entitled:
The final truth about down swings.

Alrighty then, that's it for now. I was going to wrap things up by pimping all these new blogs I have waiting in the wings, but my machine is giving me trouble.

Again, please consider signing up with a new site thru this humble poker blog. It gives me a reason to come on here and copy and paste for you.

I'm going to leave you with the "stupidist poker sayings" thread from RGP.
Best of. Such as it is.

Here are the nominees:

"Big blind special"

As if that player had anything to do with flopping huge in a un-raised
pot and having no one wonder why he was giving/taking so much action
through-out the hand. It's almost always said by someone as the big blind
rakes in the chips and, if not said out loud, I can hear them thinking it.

Howard Beale


Actually said to me many years ago in a low-stakes home game by a guy,
dead seriously, who was staring me down: "Are you bringing heat, or
are you wacking meat?"

-Howard Treesong




"I was protecting my button"


looks like someone's got a case of the monday's...


"I think I'm beat" ...as they still call the all-in with A7o


I flopped the nut pair.


"I knew you had that."
"Really, why'd you call then?"
"For information."


"I had to protect my blind."


"Ship it!"


and last but sadly fitting:

"Check out my new poker blog."


And here's a fine trip report about playing at Doyle Brunson's table in the WSOP by venerable RGP poster, AlwaysAware.


Subject: Seat Open! My WSOP experience..............
Author: AlwaysAware@aol.com

Table 45 Seat 8

The rest of the players, starting in seat one:

Baard Dahl - in a monogrammed PokerStars shirt

PokerStars player that plays under Goldie18 (something)

Guy in a shirt that says Internet Texas Hold'em and a hat that says
Bluffing on the front and not bluffing on the back. After the first
break he is wearing one that says check on one side and raise on the

Young kid

Gentleman with a superman shirt one

Doyle Brunson

Jill B - played online and made enough to play the World Series due to
being in car accident and laid up for 8 months.


Jeff Calkins - Known to me through FARGO, Foxwoods, ATLARGE, etc

Josh Baurer

I like my table. Of all the pro's that could have been there, I think
Doyle is the best to be playing with. He isn't super aggressive and
will lay down hands, you just need to be mindful of when not to push
the envelope.

While waiting for the tournament to start there is a bit of bantering
and a lot of interest in Doyle. Writers, camera's, etc. I say to
Doyle, "So, on the first hand if 8 players are all in before you, do
you call?" He chuckles. The late Stuey Unger's daughter is introduced
to the audience and she announces shuffle up and deal at 11:30.

The blinds are 25/50

The first hand I play is on my BB. Doyle puts in small raise and I call
with KQ. The flop comes QJ8, I bet out and Doyle folds.

My second hand is my sb and it's limped to me so I complete with KT of
diamonds and we see a flop 6 handed. Flop comes K hight which I bet
out and take it.. Up 475.

I am quiet for an orbit and fold 22 utg. There is a 200 bet (and I
believe a reraise?) and 3 callers. The flop comes 2 QJ Bet raise and
third guy folds, first guy calls the raise. Turn is an 8 and there is a
bet, and then an all in and the hand is over. Pretty sure I am glad I
wasn't involved with 22. Smelled like a set of queens (as the flop had
two to the suit)

ATc limp. Flop is AQx and a bet gets me the money. Only the big blind
was in the hand.

I am in the sb and utg raises to 200. Jill calls. I raise to 600. utg
calls. The flop comes KKx and I bet 1200. utg raises it 1400 more.
Jill folds and I about to fold, but for some reason unknown to me I
call. I also make a comment that wouldn't be understood by the reader,
had to do with preflop chatter and it backfires on me, as a blank falls
on the turn and he bets out 3K. I am now done with the hand and he
says he was prepared to check the turn were it not for my comment. At
the time I really think he had AK. But after watching how aggressive
he was, I'm not so sure. If not AK I strongly believe he had a pair
and felt he could move me off of what he suspected to be Aces. I am
not prepare to go home yet. I really think I should have made a
smaller flop bet, as if there was a reraise I lose less chips. Talked
to a couple of tourney players who find the play fine, just unlucky. I
am now crippled, a third of my stack is gone - but plenty of time to

Very next hand I have 44 and limp. Baard Dahl raises to 400 and I
call. The flop isn't really that bad TT5 but I am not prepared to
battle and fold. Probably should have folded preflop if I'm not up to
trying to take the pot in a headsup situation with what isn't really a
dangerous flop.

A few hands later I have 66 and limp. The flop comes KT9 and it's
checked around. 6 on the turn and Baard bets 200. Folded to me and I
raise to 600. After a bit Baard calls and I don't like the
hollywooding, even though I have a set I am done with the hand unless
he makes a small bet on the river. The river is a blank and he checks
and I check behind him. I expect to QJ but don't and am surprised when
the pot is pushed to him. So, I stand up as I am also dealing with the
drink server and then I see he has 78 for small end of the str8. Right
read, though I put him on the high end not the low end of the straight.

I have 22 seat 4 raises to 175 and I fold.

A3 suited in late position comes with a small raise to 150 and I fold,
as does the rest of the table.

Not to proud of this play. AQc and I limp in late position. Why? Who
knows I am short and don't want to face a reraise. Seat Ten, my mimesis
Josh Baurer raises to 200 and I call. Yeah, I'm a stellar player.
Flop comes K high and he bets out and I fold.

Here is another awesome play on my part :-) 5s7s with 5 limpers
including me. Flop comes 2s3s6c Mid position bets 200 and 4 of us
call it. Turn is 8h and it's checked around. River is another 3 and
the action is 600 by the sb, seat four goes into the tank and finally
calls, the rest of us fold. SB shows JJ and takes it.

I have 99 and raise and take it.

End of level one, I have 5,550 in chips.

I head to the Ladies room only to find security there and a line of
men. Were I not wearing a PokerStars shirt I might have been taken out
in handcuffs :-) Since I was representing I didn't go over the line
but expressed my opinion clearly that it was unfair that the woman had
to hike a half mile because our bathroom was hijacked. I went to the
WSOP office, so they could correct the situation. On the next break we
were escorted to the employee's bathroom.

Level Two 50/100

It's blind against blind. Me and Jill. Again, I am a stellar player
:-) I have AcQs in the bb and don't raise her. But as you will see
that is not the worst part of this play. The flop is babies and
checked. The turn is K? She makes a small bet and I call. The river
is an ace and she checks and I check (because I don't think she will
pay me and she might have two pair or something) I turn my hand over
and Jeff asks inquisitively that I checked the nuts in last position?
I reply that I didn't, I only had a pair. Seems there were 4 clubs on
the board. hmmm.....

There will only be two blind vs blind confrontations with Jill, because
the table is keenly aware that the two woman are easy blinds marks and
if the 4 seat isn't raising the one seat is. Such easy marks that they
are raising early into other players, d'oh.

I am not getting hit with cards. I have an image of a tight can be
pushed around player. No one is fearing me. I have to adjust or die.
I have 68 and with multiple limpers I join the party. Seven of us see
a flop of T69, two spades. There is a bet from midposition of 350 and
three callers, since I am last to act I call. Turn is a 7 and it is
checked to me. I bet 1500 (there are still two spades out there) and
it is folded to "superman" who goes into the tank and agonizes.
Finally mucks and says it hurts to fold since he can't put me on an 8.
(of course he can't put me on an 8 :-) So, I say "Maybe I had two 8's"
He doesn't seem to buy it, but he can't seem to come up with a viable
hand either :-)

66 I limp and it's raised to 450. I call the 350 more, since there are
4 players in. K47. Seat 3 bets 1,200. Seat 4 makes it 3K and it
becomes a headsup battle. The turn is an Ace. Seat three checks and
Seat 4 beats 2K. Seat 3 now check raises to 4K and seat 4 goes all in.
Seat 3 calls and shows a set of 7's. Seat four shows KQ, yes, KQ and
the first player at our table busts at 2:40 PM

Very next hand our second player is busted. Again it's the three seat
that collects the spoils. It's KK vs AJ on a board of AKJ and all the
money goes in. Turn and river are no help to either and the set of K's
is now whistling Dixie.

Doyle limps on my blind on my blind. I raise to 400, because Doyle is
the only one I seem to get chips from. All I have to do is bet the
flop. The flop comes 345 with 2 hearts. I bet 250 and Doyle doesn't
buy into it and folds. I had A2.

AJ suited on the sb and Doyle raises to 400. I call. The flop is 475.
I check and Doyle bets 900, rainbow one spade. I am done. So much for
taking chips from Doyle :-)

Two new players are moved in one is wearing a True Poker shirt.

End of Level 2 I have 5150 in chips.

Blinds are now 100/200

KK I raise to 700. SB my mimesis calls. The flop comes A23, he checks
and I check. Check here is probably wrong. I should probably bet
something to see where I stand in the hand. Turn is a 6 (?) and he bets
1,000. On my forehead is written, I have a big hand, please try to
take it away from me. I am not convinced he called with Ax. I am
convinced that he called the raise, planning to take the hand away from
me. I choose to fold, not ready to die defending KK with an A on the
board. If I reraise, I am fairly sure he puts me in. So my only
option is to move in or fold. Could someone, please turn off the neon
light on my forehead????????????

I don't recall where this hand took place, because I didn't write it
down. But it is somewhat important to the next hand I am going to write
about, so I will put it here. It's the second of the two blind vs
blind hands with Jill. She completes I check with 89. The flop comes
892 and Jill bets 300. I raise to 800, she folds I show her the two
pair and she says she had a 9. Notice she is not defending top pair
once she gets played back at. She also hasn't taken many pots (maybe
two?) has paid off players twice when she "knew" better. She has been
short since the first round of the tournament.

It is limped around to me and I look down and see AA. Pot is 1000, so I
raise 1000. Everyone folds except the sb, Jill. She has a little over
5K in chips. I have 4,300 or there abouts. I think 1,000 is a
reasonable reraise with limper putting in 200. I thought about moving
in, but do I just want 800 (four other limpers and my 200) or do I want
to possible isolate and get a caller? I get a caller Jill. The flop
comes QJ4. She says "raise" (she means bet), and then can't decide
what to bet. She seems a bit flustered as she has a 5K chip and can't
easily throw chips in so she throws all of them in :-) She has never
committed all her chips before, she has only twice been the aggressor
in the hand. AQ is a possibility but since I have AA it's not as
likely as something like QJ or QQ or JJ, but then again she is getting
frustrated and top pair with top kicker is a possibility. I can't
really put her on QQ of JJ, because even though this is her first
tournament, she has played ring a lot on the 9 months she went through
3 surgeries. Why would she move all her chips in with a set of Q's or
J"s. Sure we are both short, and sure she is a bit wet behind the
ears, so I guess she could. But, how do I lay down AA when I only have
3K behind and this round will cost 1800 if I sit there and blind out?
I call. She shows me QJ and I don't improve or maybe I do, there might
have been another 4 on the turn, but it mattered not as the river was a
Q and she was full. It was captured on camera, who knows if he will get
through the cut.

The place is packed and it's hard to get from my former seat to the
outside. It's hard to believe how badly you just want to get the hell
out of there. After failing to get down the aisle I move the rope and
walk among the other tables and out the side door.

I sorta hope Jill makes it a long long way.


Link of the Day:
Stories to Make You Harding
Tonya Harding may be gone from the public eye, but the broad shouldered figure skating ruffian remains in our hearts. "There are 1461 fantasy stories and messages, and they're all about Tonya Harding."

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