Monday, May 22, 2006

"It's easier to learn to play poker than to learn a programming language.
But it's much tougher to learn to play poker well then to learn to program well."

Gary Carson

Howdy all - thanks for stopping by. I'm gonna make this a genuine uberpost since I'm leaving for a fishing trip in northern Minnesota in the morning. My inner luddite loves these complete disconnects from the computer. Keeps me sane and helps ease the carpal tunnel.

In almost three years of writing this silly poker blog I have never once had anyone tell me, "Damn Iggy, you couldn't be MORE freaking wrong. Those Party Poker players are tough and tricky."

Not once. Ever.

I have, however, gotten many emails thanking me for pointing them in the direction of the Biggest Aquarium on Earth. And that's pretty damn cool, whether you use my bonus code or not (IGGY, damnit, on Party Poker). You simply owe it to yourself to sample the games. You will not be disappointed.

./end shilling

Let's rock n roll, shall we? Time for a truly Guinness-fueled, rambling, disjointed, typo-ridden post. That's what I excel at, after all.
The drunken, made-up as I go along post.™

Funny, but I read a goofy thing a while back slamming my humble poker blog. My naysayer wondered why I get any traffic, why I'm the 'BlogFather' etc etc.

What's to wonder?

Posts like this, fuckface. That's why.

Whooops, sorry, that kinda slipped out.
Not to mention this post is gonna suck now for sure.

Let's move along, shall we?

Per bankroll - check out the wise DoubleAs and his thoughts on moving up in limits and your bankroll. It spoke directly to the old Me as I wasted probably three years playing lower limits than I ought to have been. I really owe both Hank and Fast Eddie for scolding me for playing so low. And guess what, when I moved up, I found out the players didn't get much better. Take shots.

There will be much more aggression and a few more tricky players to keep an eye on, but for the most part, if your bankroll can handle it, you should move up sooner rather than later. You're going to be playing more heads-up or three handed pots post-flop versus the four-seven callers you'll get in a typical loose lowlimit game. It's a (hopefully) superb way to focus on improving your post-flop play by leaps and bounds.

Funny, I often hear about winning "styles" of poker. Truth is, the best players often shift styles depending on the situation, or best of all, have no discernable 'style'. They adapt and adjust. In the end, poker is as much of a game of reading your opponents as it is of hand selection. Armed with only one of these weapons, any poker player is sure to meet with defeat.

I don't know what the hell to ramble about tonight. Maybe when I come back I'll live blog a day in the life of a poker pro. Yeah, that oughta be riveting. Pfffft.

Fishing trips, poker and golf. Oh yes, and drinking beer with impunity. Is this really what my life has come to? Yes, I'll admit to a certain amount of boredom once again with this alternate reality I've somehow created for myself. So again, I'm back to pondering a full-time job. My friends are typically aghast when I broach this topic with them, but how can they not be? To anyone grinding out a corporate existence, I must come across as a modern day Peter Pan and any whining is NOT allowed. I can see that.

But hey, I'm bored. Am I allowed to say that? Is that heresy? I guess taking a passion or hobby you love and turning it into your job is a surefire way to kill some of the pleasure you derive from said activity. But I knew that going in so I'm not bitching. I was, and am, far more concerned about keeping a steady earn rate than caring how much I enjoy doing it. It's a job.

Sad to say, I suppose, but I enjoy a challenging job. I don't mind working my ass off when needed. Truthfully, in the ad biz, it's a badge of honour. I'm not saying I miss a 60 hour work week, I'm not that drunk yet, but I do miss working with highly intelligent, creative people in a collaborative environment. I can't help it - it's just how I'm wired.

But freedom is a hard thing to quantify. How do you hang a dollar sign on something like that? Right now, I can make solid coin playing poker - and it doesn't matter if it's 3pm or 3am. I can do it whenever I want.

Thinking about driving home in rush-hour traffic from downtown makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I can't put a price on avoiding that, for damn sure.

But now I'm worried that I'm missing real-life opportunities. A chance to "stay in the game" as it were. I've been noodling over this, weighing the pro's and cons. I'm convinced I could still earn an excellent side income with poker, even with a job. If anything, I would probably be more productive.

Ah well, I'm rambling here as I'm wont to do. This break to venture into the wilderness couldn't come at a better time. A chance to reflect and ponder at a seeming crossroads. Plus I'm gonna attempt to stop smoking. Weeeeee!

Moving back to poker and such, I've been humping the tables hard this month (hence the lack of posts) and it's paying off. I also decided to make a major cashout to atone for the sins of this past winter slump. I love big fat juicy cashouts like a fat kid loves cake.

I just read a great quote from Otis where he said, "I've made some real friends through this blog, the kind of friends I'd trust to keep an eye on my wife."

Perfectly put, and I'd strongly encourage anyone not planning on coming to Vegas this July to hang with the bloggers to reconsider. I've said it a million times before but bloggers are smarter and funnier than your average bear. It's not an exaggeration, it's the freaking truth. I feel bad for the rare person out there who ridicules this community, who spits on the very real, tangible friendships that have been built. Hell, I've made friends with folks who I seriously hope to know the rest of my life. Talk about +EV.

People are smarter than you think. There's a reason scum comes to the surface when hot water is poured on it. But I'm all about the high-road these days.

Finally, as these poker blogger events grow in size, I'm gonna take prop bets on when one of us finally drops dead during one. How's that for morbid?

Time to stop my Guinness-fueled rambling and get cracking.
Commence copy and pasting ubering!

Saw this in some random forum:
Act Now on the Legislation
Voice your opinion on this important legislation.

Takes a whole 20 seconds, and it automatically sends it for you.

A belated RIP to Bob. One of my long-time favorite daily reads.
The sordid tale is here.

Are you like me - always wanting more HDouble poker content? Head on over to PokerScribes and check out Hank's excellent little tale called: Trust Your Parachute

Very interesting stuff here. Lotsa great reading - hell, I wasted 30 minutes reading thru some of his analysis.
Unintentional Humor From the Archives: The Newbie Chronicles
The 2+2 archives are loaded with extraordinary information. Posters long gone provide analysis that is just as good, and often better, than today's best posters.

There are also strange stories in the archives. One of the strangest is that of a poster named mdlm. I would eventually learn that mdlm was an old aquaintance of mine by the name of Michael de la Maza, a person who has made a small name for himself in the chess world for developing a system to help hobby players improve their play.

In the fall of 2002, Michael started posting on 2+2 with the intention of developing a poker system to become a semi-pro. He provided updates weekly on his progress. Here are the threads he started.

Huge and interesting thread here from 2+2.
Resolution of the Poker Stars investigation.

This one might be eye-opening or laughable, depending on your POV. Another massive thread.
Tell me I'm losing my mind: $22 Speed BOTS

Here's a few RGP oldies but goodies. Gold Jerry, gold. First off is Abdul's 1999 post entitled Hold'em Preflop Strategy According to Abdul. If you haven't ever read this, you're cheating yourself.

This thread is a superb example of the old days of RGP. 180 total posts, Gary Carson and Steve Badger throwing jabs back and forth. Fine reading.
Poker is Luck

Finally, here's this:

Subject: A Gem from the past including Carson, Badger and Abdul

Here's a post on a subject of making a good or a bad fold.
Read all twenty responses and then tell me what you think.

Historical factoid for all of you who care for such things:
Concise History of Playing-cards

You just know I have to include some Gary Carson here. Here's a question about a sample hand from the Ed Miller book that Carson responds to:

Subject: Strange hand from 'Small Stakes Hold'em

Hand from Sklanky and friends' "Small Stakes Hold'em" book.

You have KK in MP.

2 limpers and a raiser to you, you re-raise, button cold calls, limpers call and the original raiser caps, everyone calls.

Flop: Td 9h 5d, the 2 limpers check and the capper bets. At this point Sklansky et al argue that you should not raise. Why? Well, anyone with a weak draw like a gutshot would be correct to call you getting 12:1 so should call, they argue, and wait to raise the capper on the turn at which time a raised bet would only be offering 8:1 to potential callers, making calling a mistake with a weak draw.

This seems like a terrible play to me. Anyone care to defend Super Dave here?

BTW, overall I think the book is a pretty good treatment of small stakes games, although Sklansky has not gotten any less arrogant. In the intro he suggests that "no one (until now) has written an excellent book on small stakes hold'em." I wonder if Lee Jones would disagree?


There are arguements for not raising here. But, this isn't one of them. Didn't they give the suits of the kings? It matters.

> BTW, overall I think the book is a pretty good treatment of small
> stakes games, although Sklansky has not gotten any less arrogant. In
> the intro he suggests that "no one (until now) has written an excellent
> book on small stakes hold'em." I wonder if Lee Jones would disagree?

Lee wrote a good one. I wrote an excellent one. Sklansky didn't write this book (his name on the spine as a single author means he wrote it, otherwise he didn't have much to do with writing it). This book, written by the first author (I just got up and I forget his name, I'm getting old) is okay, but has a lot of flaws. One day I'll get around to finishing a review of it. It does supplement my book in that it
does a better job of covering later streets than mine does. Mine does a better job of covering postflop and different game types.

The idea of waiting until the turn to price out gutshots is a terribly silly idea of Sklansky's. He calls it pot size manipulation. I call it wait until you're beat, then raise. Or sometimes I just call it, make a big mistake now because it might induce a small mistake by an opponent later.

Miller (that's his name, I'm waking up) thinks that everybody knows that your mistakes don't matter because it's just all one long game, and your opponents mistakes win for you because the FTOP says so.

I don't recall David saying a lot about Lee's book. Mason bad mouths it. But, he's just engaging in self-recrimination because he had a chance to publish it and didn't. He misjudged the market in a big way. After Jones did well, and then I came along later and did well, he found himself somebody to rehash a bunch of stuff for that market. So, now Mason did well and he's happy. Except he still has a lot of resentment about Jones.

Gary Carson

Wanna know why most of my online poker action is at Party Poker?
It's the biggest poker site on the freaking web. More fishies = more cash.
Nuff said. Ignore this futile shilling and go check out this new site that tracks the popularity of all the major online poker rooms: PokerScout

Here's a fascinating snippet from "reads" or "tells" at the poker table from an FBI expert. Enjoy and don't share with your poker buddies, please. This is between me and my readers. All dozen of you.


It’s time for the weekend’s main event — ecently retired FBI counterespionage agent Joe Navarro is going to lecture to us about reading people — how to take one or two looks at them and figure out if they’re telling the truth. This had been his job for 25 years in postings around the world and now, for a mere $3,500, he’s about to share all that federal expertise with us.

You could hear a pin drop as the affable Navarro, with his Giuliani-like bearing and outfitted in his Central Casting gray spook suit, goes through his routine. What a knockdown performance. A full hour on why sunglasses are so cool (not so much because people can’t look into your eyes but more “because they don’t let the other person know what you’re looking at”). Navarro leads us through a tour of “nonverbal tells,” explorations of the neocortex to the limbic brain, to the all-important pacifying behavior versus high-confidence behavior.

If you’re pacifying yourself — biting your lip, covering your mouth, straining to keep your feet stable on the floor, rubbing your nose, wrinkling your nostrils, or leaning back in your chair — you’re probably showing weakness. In poker terms, you’re scared to death that someone’s going to call your measly Q-10, or your wired pair of 5s. Watch and see if the guy across from you who’s firing away with big raises is also turning his lips inward. He’s probably bluffing.

“Disappearance of the lips is a sure sign of high stress, a sign that someone’s lying,” Navarro tells us.

“Just watch Donald Rumsfeld every time the press comes after him.”

Hey, Navarro was sounding like my kind of fed.

Then there are the converse tells. If you’re leaning forward, if your feet are steady on the floor, if your arms are open wide instead of restricted inward, if your leg is jiggling, if you poke your nose high in the air, if you’re steepling your fingers, if you purse your lips or engage in any other “high-order cognitive displays,” you’re probably feeling pretty ballsy — confident that your pocket pair of Aces or your Big Slick (A-K) is going to successfully suck out all of your opponents’ chips.

“You see some guy sitting there with his hands flat on the table,” Navarro says, diverging from his PowerPoint script, “and then the flop comes out and all of a sudden he steeples his hands, look out! That’s a high-confidence display. Just get out of there! Fold, fold, fold. Fold right away.”

Most important, Navarro teaches us that you can pretty much ignore facial reactions. “Too easy to fake. The most accurate way to look at the body is from the feet up,” he says. “You can fake a smile, but you can’t fake your feet. What we know is that when we are threatened, our feet turn to run away. When we have a good hand, our feet begin to jiggle and then that works its way up our body.”


Oh dear, some sick fuck asked where he could buy an inflatable Annie Duke love doll on RGP. The things I go through for my readers.

RGP rumours:

Subject: Bellagio Friday Night

Was anyone there that knows what might have happened in the room where the biggger game is played ,I have a friend who was there and said some sort of fight brokeout in the room while he was leaving his game and didn't stick around to get details ,But some pretty big names were in the room.


This is a secondhand account, but I heard this is what took place in Bobby's room (where the big game is played). Apparently David Oppenheim punched someone in the face because he touched David's wife. I heard it was a tall guy, not an immediately recognizable pro, and he may have pushed by David's wife while walking by. The guy went down, and of course, security was there instantly and the entire poker room was on its feet instantly as well. I will post if I get more details.


and finally Gary Carson chips in with his two cents:

Years ago, Charlie was a regular at Artichoke Joe's. The staff gave him a little party for his 70th birthday, a little cake and stuff. He's the old white haired lowball player and loan shark who finananced that 10K buyin game built around the guy from SF, for those of you who are old-timers.

Anyway, it was on his birthday, and he was playing in a large buyin lowball game. A guy sitting next to him (who looked to be about 35 and fairly fit) was touching Charlies chips. Charlie backhanded him hard enough to knock the guy out of his chair and onto the floor. Before the guy could get up Charlie was on his feet and kicking
the guy in the upper torso and head. Kicking him hard. Blood, a lot of it. Security drug Charlie off the guy and then carried the guy outside and dumped him in the parking lot. Charlie went back to his game.

That's probably the bloodiest and longest duration fight I've ever seen in a poker room, and my guess is that Bellogio would handle a fight in Bobby's room pretty much the same way.

But, the point is that it's not smart to let us old guys fool you by our age.
Gary Carson


Here's Phil Gordon's last feature column at ESPN.
Context is king

Mr Beale always has the most wonderful anecdotes. I'm here to share them with you.

Subject: 100 year old man says:

Plenty, but I can only remember these three:

"Go ahead. Bet and raise, sonny. I'm going to call. I've got a lot of money and no future."

When, in response to that remark, I mention that he's in pretty good shape for his age:

"Bullshit! Don't grow old. Whoever said these are the golden years is full of crap."

To Mrs. 100 year old man, who came to get him:

"Why do you always make me leave when I don't want to? I'm doing good!
And there ISN'T always tommorow!"

It didn't work. He had to leave.

It's a cold day in hell when I post hand histories in this here humble poker blog but I figured some of my readers might wanna see what an 80k pot looks like in online poker.

I opened this table up on UB an hour ago, gandi had like 70 or so and Mahat had just over 10.

Reading the chat now from this period, gandi kept sucking out in big pots to take 200BB stacks off Mahat. They were talking trash like crazy, gandi telling Prahlad he would "brb", he was gonna go "jerk off on your cash".

Just looked again and Prahlad has 97k and gandi left. LOL.

Critical hand:

Hand #31223008-3606 at Holden (No Limit Hold'em)
Powered by UltimateBet
Started at 23/Apr/06 05:34:08

gandi9 is at seat 3 with $39234.50.
Mahatma is at seat 4 with $58236.50.
The button is at seat 3.

gandi9 posts the small blind of $50.
Mahatma posts the big blind of $100.

gandi9: -- --
Mahatma: -- --


gandi9 raises to $300. Mahatma calls.

Flop (board: Js 6d 5s):

Mahatma checks. gandi9 bets $600. Mahatma raises to
$2400. gandi9 re-raises to $7800. Mahatma re-raises
to $24000. gandi9 goes all-in for $38934.50.
Mahatma calls.

Turn (board: Js 6d 5s 8s):

(no action in this round)

River (board: Js 6d 5s 8s Qs):

(no action in this round)


gandi9 shows 5d Jh.
gandi9 has 5d Jh Js 5s Qs: two pair, jacks and fives.
Mahatma shows 6c 6h.
Mahatma has 6c 6h Js 6d Qs: three sixes.

Hand #31223008-3606 Summary:

$.50 is raked from a pot of $78469.
Mahatma wins $78468.50 with three sixes.

Wow, kudos to PokerStars and their excellent customer support for going above and beyond and busting these scumbags. Here's the thread: Poker Stars has just 0wned 8 colluders in their omaha game. It pays to pay attention. The following is the email from Stars support:

This was sent to me today, two weeks after I sent in my concerns that someone teamplayed me in the 30/60 O8 game on stars. This is pretty sick.

"Hello Jimmy,

I would like to thank you for your patience while we completed our review of the players 'Skaara' and 'Hator33' for possible collusion. We have now completed our review and would like to share our findings with you.

The first thing I will note is that the reason for the delay in completing this review is because during the course of our review we were able to identify six other accounts that were also working with these two players in order to defraud funds from our players. This became a very complex case, and we needed to review this carefully to ensure that we did not miss anything and that all players were treated fairly.

In the end, we were able to eliminate any doubts from our minds that these players were malicious cheats. As a result, these players have had their accounts closed, and they will be permanently barred from our site.

Any funds remaining in their accounts will be used to compensate those players that were harmed through their play. We have determined that you played 141 hands with these players and lost $212 to these players over that time period. We have now credited your account with an additional $212.

I would like to thank you once again for taking the time to report your concerns to us. Although we have a number of tools in place to help us find cheaters, we still value the extra eyes on the table provided to us by concerned players like yourself. Players like you make us better!

If you have any other questions, please let us know.


Dan C
PokerStars Support Team

Oliver Tse chimes in with perspective on the WPT stock:

Subject: WPTE stock hits ALL-TIME LOW on heavy volume

Most "investors" aren't fooled by WPT Enterprises (WPTE), the corporate parent of the World Poker Tour (WPT), posting a "net profit" during 2006 Q1.

The "net profit" was entirely the result of a one-time capital gain from the sale of a portion of WPTE's stake in electronic poker table manufacturer PokerTek (PTEK).

WPTE's ongoing operations actually lost $1.116 million in 2006 Q1.

WPTE's ongoing operations has now lost money for 5 straight quarters.

Furthermore, WPTE lost its US TV contract for the spinoff PPT TV product when Discovery Communications' Travel Channel chose not to exercise an option to pick up the 2nd season of the PPT. WPTE's merchandise licensing revenue (including books
and DVDs) continues to fall, down over 30% year-to-year in 2006 Q1, after a poor 2005 Christmas selling season (down 26% year-to-year in 2005 Q4.)

The scariest part for the "buy-and-hold" retail investor of WPTE:
WPTE's online poker business outside the US, WPTOnline.com, will have to scrap its current technology infrastructure and replace it with a new system.
The technology transition, according to WPTE CEO Steve Lipscomb, will take 9-12 months to complete. WPTE cannot ramp up its marketing efforts for WPTONline.com during the technology transition period.

The New York Times reported on April 16 that US TV ratings for WPTE's flagship WPT product during the 2006 season has slipped again, to about 600,000 households on average (0.73 cable rating x 82 million households passed), which would put WPTE's US TV households ratings average on par with what the ratings were when WPT made its
debut on The Travel Channel in 2003. Lipscomb blamed competition from "American Idol" on FOX again during the conference call last week.

(Not every TV poker show is losing viewers. NBC Sports National Heads-Up Poker Championship is averaging 1.5 million households on Sundays during its second season, putting its ratings performance during the second season on par with with the ratings performance during the first season.)

WPTE stock has been down every day since the Q1 earnings announcement. As I write this, WPTE has hit an ALL-TIME LOW of $5.35, on heavier than the average trading volume. The accepted definition of a "penny stock" that trade on a stock exchange in the US is a stock that trades below $5 a share.

I personally would not be surprised to see WPTE become a "penny stock" sometime during the month of May, as investors see the limited growth prospects of every one of WPTE's lines of business in the next 12 months.

With that said, WPTE is in no danger of going out of business in the next 9-12 months, as it still has nearly $40 million in cash and short-term investments, it still has a stake in PokerTek that can be monetized, it will realize a one-time cash windfall from the sale of the US TV rights to the 1st season of the PPT spinoff
product, and US TV rights to WPT's 5th season will be picked up by the Travel Channel for airing in March-June 2007.

I feel bad for degenerate gamblers, per se. I truly do. It's nothing like when I first quit my job to pursue this way of life and was shocked at how much money some folks lost, but still. My buddy in Chicago runs a nice game and just sent me this IM he just received.


outsmokin: yo im not playing poker anymore i guess i suk so if u want u can get your money tomarro but as far as playing im not please dont text me or ask cause it will make me want to play i lost 2600 this week and there were lots of other things i could hav used that for but keep in touch ok bro peace


It's been easier over time to see the rough side of poker. I don't struggle with it like I used to. Nuff said.

This guy got flamed but good. Sigh. I'm only showing you what's out there. Post and Reply follows from a massive thread:

Subject: Is this a legitimate deal?

Hmmm... Longtime lurker, first time poster here. I've been seeing these advertisements on bulletin boards about a weekly salary playing poker so I responded to one.

In his reply to me, the guy revealed that what you do is play sit and gos with him. He pays your entry fee and you give him your chips during the game and he gives you a percentage of his winnings.

He claims he is in the money over 80% of the time. He also says he has a lot of people working for him, doing the same thing.

Should I ask for references before I agree to do this? Talk to someone who works for him?

I don't see how I can lose, since he's not asking me to put up any money. I guess I'm wondering if he would really pay me my percentage.


OK< let's look at this, and assume that you are either a) IMMORAL, or b) AMORAL, and you decide to do this.

Let's assume that you will play in a $100+9 SNG, which is fairly typical. And, over the course of time, this douchebag you are cheating with actually DOES money 80% of the time (I will use 81% because the math is easier). So, the guy plays 100 games, has 27 1sts, 27 2nds, and 27 3rd place finishes. He spends $218 for the entry fees X 100 = $21,800. He gets $500 X 27 for the firsts ($13,600), he gets $300 X 27 for the seconds ($9,100), and he gets $200 for the 3rds ($5,400). This adds up to $28,100. Then you subtract out the cost of $21,800, leaving a profit of $63 per game on average. So, your cut would be about $12.60 per game.

I am no lawyer, but phrases like "wire fraud" and other such phrases make me nervous. If I were going to risk my money, my reputation, my freedom, and if you are a religious person (I am not), your eternal SOUL by being a scumbag cheater, are you REALLY going to do it for 12 bucks?

Not to mention that you will likely have to put up the original $109 to play, as this guy isn't going to just load an account for you. What he most likely is doing is getting gullible douchebags like yourself to donk off your chips to him in a $100 SNG, with the false hope that he will send you $109 + $12 for your part in his scam. I would say that the chances of this playing out well would put it in the "Minus EV" scope. You would be better off putting your $109 into lottery tickets; the payoff will probably be about the same = ZERO.

Get a conscience, get a moral compass, get a job, get a life, get the fuck out of here. Thanks for the retarded post and the waste of our time.

Oh yeah, to the OP: I almost forgot to mention this, but I am the former ruler of a country in Africa you never heard of. I have $50 million in an account, and I need someone to help me transfer it out of my country and into the US. Reply to me here, and I will fill you in on the details. Thanks.

Yet another heavy sigh for the above. And the below.

Checkraised.com's RackBack calculator is a Trojan. See the 'Poker Utility Steals Logins' article on Cardsquard for details. A utility called Rakeback Calculator, distributed by checkraised.com, contains a trojan that steals your logins and passwords, according to security firm F-Secure.

And here's an unbelievable post. I guess I'm naive for not realizing there's lotsa people out there willing to cheat and steal.

PartyPoker Bad Debts

Does anyone have any experience with what happens if you do not honor e-check deposits to Partypoker. For example, if you close your bank account before they present the e-checks. Can they do anything other than harrass you? Can they employ collection agencies or attack your credit rating. Are they likely to go through all that for $6000?

Any experience anyone has would be greatly appreciated. I have read several opinions on this but no one seems to have a personal experience. Let me know what you guys think.

The original poster took the abuse and such with aplomb, such as it is. He just wanted genuine feedback, if there was any to be had.

But this response pretty much sums it all up. Post of the Month for me, anyway.

Hey Redeemer,

I had the exact same thing happen to me in February, but for a lot more money. Think mid-6-figures and you'll be in the ballpark.

I ended up writing one e-check that was going to bounce, and the thought crossed my mind to just let it slide and live with the credit consequences of my delinquincy and so on as it sounds you are planning to do. But, I hatched a plan in the end that was ingenious--and you know what? It worked!

Here's what I did...

I called up my Grandma and asked her if she needed a hand with anything. Now, she's real old, 89 to be exact, and has what seems to be the beginnings of Parkinson's (tremors a lot, etc) and is losing her hearing pretty severly. So basically I'm over there all the time giving her a hand with things like washing windows, cleaning the gutter, stuff that she can't do because she can't climb a step ladder due to her artificial hip, you get the picture.

Anyway, she needed some help dusting the top of her bookcase and some hard-to-reach shelves. So I go over there and get to work. When she went into the other room, I snuck into her bedroom and pocketed a couple handfuls of jewelry and some bottles of prescription meds I saw on her nightstand. Also, I knew she had a roll of hundred dollar bills in the freezer (don't ask, old people have crazy ideas of where to hide money)... I didn't want to just steal it, that would be immoral, so I ask her if I can "borrow" a couple hundred dollars. She says sure, I have some cash in the freezer, get what you need and pay me back whenever.

OK, now here's the tricky part. In advance, I went to the bank and got about 50 ONE-DOLLAR bills out. I roll them up and stick them in my pocket. Then, when I go to my grandma's freezer, I just swapped the rolls, and call out "grandma, these are all $1 bills, I don't want to clean you out and you only have like fifty dollars". She comes waddling over saying stuff like "oh my are you sure" I'm like "yes I'm sure" trying to sound a little agitated that she made me walk to her freezer for a lousy $50, you get the idea. Then I hand her the roll of $1 bills. She immediately notices that these bills are sort of warm and sweaty since they've been in my pocket, so I realized she was wising up to the whole sherade and so I give her a quick forearm shiver to the temple. OK, I made that last part up, she didn't notice the $1 bills weren't cold and I got away scott-free just like I knew I would.

One quick stop at the pawn-shop later, and with the benjamin roll I boosted, I'm sitting pretty on just under one stack of high society.

Now, I could just deposit this into my overdrawn checking account, settle those debts with partypoker, and go to rehab with my tail between my legs.

But I have a better idea in mind.

I head over to my boy Tyrell's place and trade my grandma's percosets for a couple grams of skag. After shooting up, I hit up the Western Union and wire the money back into my partypoker account. Then head to a public library and download the client (Party blocked my IP but my account was still alive!). I quickly turned the $8500 I had into about $32000 by crossing cats at roulette and doing crazy [censored] like doubling down on 15 against dealer 4. You know what I'm talking about, a rush where you can do no wrong. Except it just wouldn't end. That $32000 turned into $64000. The $64000 became $150000. By now I realized that I had come back from the brink so I logged off and went to bail my brother out of jail.

Victory: me.

New episode: Bill Fillmaff's Secret System: Chapter 8 - The Final Showdown. In this episode, Bill Fillmaff is framed for an online poker crime he didn't commit and goes out to get revenge or something.

Sometime back Barry Mulholland wrote a Card Player article suggesting that TV poker broadcasts would be more interesting if viewers only knew the hand of one player:
Contrarian Thoughts on Televised Poker. From the article:

Putting it in flesh-and-blood terms, imagine that Daniel Negreanu and T.J. Cloutier have gotten heads up at the final table and are duking it out for a bracelet. Show me Daniel’s cards and not T.J.’s and I have the opportunity to play in Daniel’s shoes, for I’ve got the same information he has — no more, no less — and am faced with the same decisions. If when the next hand is dealt I’m shown T.J.’s cards and not Daniel’s, I now have the opportunity to experience what it’s like to play against Negreanu, and along with Cloutier. Show me all the cards, on the other hand, and I’m relieved of the burden of having to think at all — although I do have the opportunity to be a know-it-all, second-guessing, armchair quarterback, an always popular and gratifying experience, to be sure, albeit somewhat less stimulating and instructive.

I wonder if the TV shows would consider doing this if their ratings continue to slip.

Sounds compelling to me. I honestly don't watch any TV poker, despite finally getting cable. I would watch GSN if I could, though.

Here's a few intriguing threads from 2+2 for your perusal.
Is Attracting Winning Players a Good Thing For Poker Sites?

Preventing hackers from stealing your money

The college kids not working..it makes me sick.....

Here's a buncha news articles for your digestion at a leisurly pace.

Subject: Re: World Sports Exchange on 60 Minutes/ESPN Classic

http://pub.bna.com/eclr/001574.htm is the 2001 U.S. Court of Appeals majority opinion affirming Jay Cohen's conviction. It should be noted that his case involved both telephone calls as well as internet connections to place bets.

informative Boston Globe article dated 3/30/06
discussing Antigua's options after U.S. ignores WTO decision deadline.

May 2, 2006 article in The Kansas City Star about the WTO decision and lack of response to deadline by U.S.

excellent article
4/20/06 about U.S. ignoring WTO decision. Lots of popups
from this link.

Here's an article 4/28/06 about the World Trade Organization decision in favor of Antigua and discusses some
factors of no action being taken by the U.S.

News article about U.S. / Antigua

Everyone loves GSN. Joaquin promised me a DVD.
Razzo posted the next:

Subject: GSN High Stakes Poker fact

Everyone knows what the hands are in HSP. How could these pros agree to this. Is it staged?

GSN Video


Who’s Watching Us?

What do you think about this article?


I was on the technical crew of the most recent HSP taping at the Palms. I can assure you that the floor crew has no idea what the hole cards are. Gabe made a flippant comment to cover the fact that the camera operator and/or director missed the shot.

When I was technical director for Ultimate Poker Challenge the hotel would place a security guard in the locations where hole cards were visable to insure that no info left that area and no unauthorized personel were allowed in the area.

Here's a fun look back at a 2004 RGP thread commenting on Paul Phillips Top Ten poker players list.

Here's a snippet of the opening post:

Now first let me say in Paul's defense that he says to put absoloutely no stock in his rankings and he's pretty open to the fact that he could be wrong. But that all being said here is his list for tournament players:

"Top Ten: Daniel Negreanu, Scotty Nguyen, John Juanda, Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, Layne Flack, Gus Hansen, Can Kim Hua, Meng La, me.

Next Group: Erik Seidel, Barry Greenstein, Johnny Chan, Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer, Carlos Mortensen, Huck Seed, Alan Goehring, Allen Cunningham, Amir Vahedi, Ram Vaswani, David Chiu, Stan Goldstein, Russ Hamilton, Chip Jett, Chau Giang, Surinder Sunar, Marcel Luske, Tom Jacobs, Minh Nguyen, Thomas Keller, John Hennigan, Bill Gazes, Billy Duarte

Next Group: That's as far as I'm going, field broadens quite a bit now.

Group Of People I Should Note I Didn't Just Forget About Who Don't Make My Top Two Groups Because I Think They Each Have At Least One Material Weakness: TJ Cloutier, Men Nguyen, Hoyt Corkins, Eskimo Clark, Ted Forrest, Mel Judah, Mike Matusow, Mike Laing, and of course the always popular Phil Hellmuth."

Here's two fun quotes from the thread:

Well I can only speculate that some vodka and a dartboard were somehow involved in putting this list together. I hope that he is willing to defend some of these opinions with some of that dotcom cash. :P

-Erik Seidel


Daniel N,

Winning tournaments is all about beating up on bad players. Your record shows you are good at it. I would expect you to crossbook me even. (I would lay you odds in stud and lowball.) In a high-limit side game you could get odds because I don't think you are experienced enough yet. I know it is out of you range, so you may need some backers, but any time you want to crossbook with me in the big game (usually 4000 and 8000 with Chip Doyle, Phil Ivey, Chau, et. al.) you can get 6 to 5. Move down to the next level (2,000 - 4000 with the Bellagio crew) you only warrant 11 to 10.

I always get a kick out of tournament players mascarading as high-limit players.

Barry G

I saw that I wrote this a while back. Pure drivel.

I wrote this to a buddy today:

Be a Student of the Game. Like most cliches, this is profound. You can be shaped, or you can be broken. There is not much in between. Try to learn. Be coachable. Try to learn from everybody, especially those who fail. Poker is hard.

Others who fizzle or implode or fall down, run away, disappear from the tables. Opponents. It's all educational. How promising you are as a Student of the Game is a function of what you can pay attention to without running away. Chips and cards can be mirrors. And between the hands and bets, opponents are also mirrors. That's why the whole damn thing is so much fun and sometimes frightening. See yourself in your opponents. They will bring you to understand the Game.

He never wrote back. Can you blame him?

I also recommended two gems to keep in mind regarding pre-flop play from TwoPlusTwo:

"You should be cold calling so infrequently that you can't even remember the last time that you did so".

"Cold calling raises with medium and small suited connectors is the fast track to the poorhouse. Yes, even with 3 others in the pot."

And here's even another snippet from my drunken past ramblings.

Everyone should run ideas through the blender of the game they play in. There is no "typical" Holdem game, and any advice that says there is is lousy, laughable advice. In some games you should defend less; in some games you should defend more. In all games you should defend when profitable to do so.

Too many players have an absurd obsessiveness about quality of starting hands, instead of focusing on the $-values and the post flop play. If you lay down 98o headup in the big blind when an early position raiser has raised with AQo, you have made a major error -- if you play good poker, which means playing well after the flop in Holdem. If you play poorly, then perhaps your best choice is to lay down the 98o because it will mean you lose less money. But the focus of your continued study should be on learning to be a better player so that you can play these hands profitably.

To a large degree, a major difference between mediocre players and very good ones is how they deal with the blinds. Mediocre players lose more in the blinds (either by giving up too easily, or chasing too foolishly), and they do not steal equity from the blinds of weaker players (if when holding AKo you do not raise the blind of a weak player who will lay down 98o, you are playing poorly). Everybody loses in the blinds. Where mediocre players lose $40, very good ones lose $32, or $37, or even $39.


Suppose in Holdem an early position raiser who happens to hold AKo raises your big blind. Everyone folds to you. You hold 98o. What do you believe is *your* most profitable action here? Let's assume no one says reraise, so that leaves call or fold. You are getting 3.5-to-1 on your call. Depending on how the suits are lined up, if both hands always went to the showdown, you would be about a 64/36 underdog, or less than 2-to-1.

But of course there is betting. The AKo has position throughout the hand. But the AK is likely to payoff certain sorts of hands that the 98 won't (98 loses nothing on a KK2 flop but AK pays off on a 992 flop). For me, calling is an easy, clearly profitable situation. Apparently others do not believe this is the case. I'm curious, since the 3.5-1 and 64/36 numbers are clear, among those people who think a fold is appropriate, why do you think that action after the flop will cost your 98o more than the AKo to a degree that offsets the pre-flop odds?

I gotta pimp Fred/Ricco's monster post about coming in second in last weeks WWDN.

Congratulations to Chris Hanel the Poker Geek for getting married. I've been a long-time fan of the kid and lost money backing him. Pics and stories at April and Bill's respective blogs.

Here's a tale of playing with sports celebs at the poker table:

Words of wisdom from Paul Pierce

"Noone will believe in you if you don't believe in yourself. Just the facts of life." -Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics.

He said this right after talking about how everyone told him in high school that he'd never make the NBA and that they all said the same thing to him in college and how he only got picked 10th in the draft.

Oh btw, I played with Paul for about 7 hours in a 10/25NL game at Foxwoods. With us was his Celtic teammate, Ryan Gomes. Also playing with us was a friend of Ryan's. Paul dropped about 10k while Ryan and his friend dropped about 5k between them.

Some of the guys at the table were talking to Paul about his team/sports and Paul said the following: "Kobe's weak, Iverson's weak." He then turned to Ryan and said, "I'm just playin about Iverson, haha."

"Everyone's weak compared to me."

Early on, Paul played pretty much every hand and was just donating. Ryan wasn't playing as bad and was trying to play well but didn't understand the game at all. Ryan's friend was just pretty fishy and clearly cared about the money to a small extent. Ryan and his friend left after a few hours of dropping money while Paul stayed.

After Paul dropped about 9k he started playing really tight and wasn't saying much at all after being very talkative for hours. He became pretty much a regular fish all the sudden and wasn't donating. Out of nowhere he turned $500 into $5000 by winning a few pots, one in which he put a bad beat on TT with 94o. He then busted 30 minutes later by losing 5k with QQ vs turned trip 5s and left to go to a club where he said hes going to hook up with 4 hos.

Paul had a huge ego but was definitely funny and entertaining. Ryan Gomes was very friendly and entirely egoless. A very good guy. I kinda wish I took a picture with my camera phone now that I'm writing this thread. Paul had this INSANE neckless on. The most badass thing I've ever seen. The entire neckless was made of huge diamonds that extended all the way to his abdomen with P² as the pendant made entirely of small diamonds.

Let me know if anyone has any questions about Paul or whatever.

Yes, I'm pathetic but I love these anti online poker posts. Why don't they just save us the time and write the Alternative translation:

I am very bad at poker but posting this makes me feel better.

Subject: Give it up impossible and will drive you crazy

Its official. I am giving up online poker forever . Not only do I find the sites disgusting by allowing colusion and cheating to go on. Also at the levels that I can afford the players are so horrendously bad that its not even poker in any resemblance its more like playing guts .

Lets see whom will call all the way to the river and suck out on me like a cheap whore. I mean lets face it 90% of the people playing at these levels are comfortable at home calling down with no pair or draw and then hitting there miracle ace or king or queen on the river because they dont have to look you in the eye . Half the plays I see online would prolly get you mugged in the parking lot of any card room just cause if your that stupid hell You wont mind me putting a pipe to your head.

Now that being said I am not here to whine or cry about bad beats I have never posted a bad beat on this site nor will I ever do so . I will just simply enjoy some kind of other entertainment online maybe porn? or horse racing . who knows but I do know this I stated 12 months ago that I would never deposit another dollar into a online poker site and I have kept that promise . The last part of my bankroll was made from an affiliation and it has now been spread out to all the horrible players to keep playing at the site I was at . They can keep the rake going , and beat up on one another. Me Ive had enough seen enough and I guess the last straw was when I was in the late stages of a $20.00 multi tourney and raised 18k from under the gun with 2 black aces and get raised by the big blind to put me all in for 28k . He shows 5-6 and the flop comes 2-A-4 then the turn brings a 3 and the riv a 7 to kill me out of the tourney and really make me want to kick my dog or puke all over my cpu screen . Anyways Have fun playing online for anybody whom has success at it but like I have said before. All these sites have prop players and bots galore and people in sit and go's are colluding through instant messenger and guys have 4 cpu's in front of them and are playing 10 players in multi's and 4 players in sit and go's .

Back to the live room where if your going to bad beat me you will have to look at me after you do it .

Best response in the thread:

Where to go from here, where to go?

Weee - just got this IM from Fast Eddie.

eddie: what if i just played 23 $215ers cashed in 12 and made $4,000?

Not sure what to say here. Online bot report. Take from it what you will.

Subject: Bot Results - Interesting Site Comparison

Like it or not, Bots are used more often than you think online. Over the past 8 months I developed a bot more as a proof of concept than anything else - also to prove once and for all that solid play over hundreds of hours results in winning poker.

The bot really isn't all that smart, and any player paying attention should be able to destroy it in a limit game. It does some things very well though - including never going on tilt and always playing draws only when pot odds dictate it is correct. Remember, this is more of a research project than anything else - I already know how the world feels about bots in general, although I don't really understand why. A bot can never... ever be as good as a human player. If you had a table full of bots you'd make tons of money.

Back in August I turned the bot loose on several sites in the .25-.50 limit game. The results are fascinating. I won't mention which sites it has been playing, but I'll designate them as:

Site 1: Ten handed game, fairly busy site
Site 2: Nine handed game, moderately busy site
Site 3: Nine handed game, site barely has traffic but enough to play one or two

Summary statistics
Site 1: 923 Total Hours - 130,000 hands played - net profit $924.71 (exactly
Site 2: 366 Total Hours - 59,000 hands played - net loss $75.35 (losing a little
less than half BB/hour)
Site 3: 33 Total Hours - 5,000 hands played - net loss $141.75 (losing 8.5

Remember, this is a bot, playing EXACTLY the same at each site. I have logged all of the hands in Poker Tracker for analysis. This is where things really get interesting.

Avg Players Per Hand
Site 1: 8.31
Site 2: 8.18
Site 3: 8.24

Flop %
Site 1: 46.67%
Site 2: 37.99%
Site 3: 38.65%

Avg Rake
Site 1: 0.17
Site 2: 0.04
Site 3: 0.13

Play Stats
Site 1: VP$IP: 14.97% - PFR: 5.83% - WTSD: 28.95% - W$SD: 58.27%
Site 2: VP$IP: 14.67% - PFR: 5.84% - WTSD: 26.75% - W$SD: 58.63%
Site 3: VP$IP: 15.14% - PFR: 5.88% - WTSD: 28.04% - W$SD: 50.27%

The play stats are almost identical - the only statistically significant difference is Site 3 seems to win at showdown less than the other two. In reviewing hand histories, there are sessions where the bot has gone to the river as a big favorite 20 times and lost all 20 hands, resulting in a big losing session. It's bordering on hand manipulation, or a hacked site. Raising with AKs, getting J5o to call, flopping AK2, J5o calling all the way for runner 3, 4. This happens frequently at Site 3, and almost never at Site 1.

Even though Site 1 is ten handed, the number of players per hand is almost the same as the other two sites. The big difference is flop %. Site 1 shows 8% more than the other two. For a minute let's just throw out the results of site 3 since it hasn't played nearly as much as the first two.

Is it possible that having one less person seeing the flop (i.e., tighter game) can mean the difference between earning 2 BB/hour and being a losing player? Also note that Site 1 is charging, on average, more than FOUR TIMES the amount of rake as site 2. Logically you'd think this would negatively affect win rate at Site 1 - yet it's still performing at a much more profitable clip.

I can't really explain why Site 2 is showing a loss. Most of the statistics are identical to Site 1. One thing that stands out a little is that generally it wins small pots on Site 2 and loses the huge ones. Even after flopping a set of aces and building a gigantic pot it will lose to a crappy flush or whatever.

This is not a rant about losing money - the money is insignificant. Believe it or not I'm actually interested in proving/disproving the theories around online sites being rigged. Clearly a poker site has much to be gained by keeping the money even amongst the players, not allowing the more skilled players to take the money from the crappy players. This is especially true of the smaller sites trying to establish a consistent user base.

A human player could never create statistically meaningfull data - humans tilt, play differently, go on "feel", etc. This bot will play exactly the same over thousands of hours.

At some point I'll have a few hundred thousand hands logged for 6 different sites, and I plan to publish the results.

For those wondering, generally the bot plays strategy straight out of SSH for loose, passive games. Does anyone else consider this information valuable? Would it be more valuable at a higher limit, such as 1-2?

I have no fear about poker bots right now. But it's something we all should keep our eyes on for the future. Who knows where this rabbit hole will go?

OK, this might be the funniest post I've ever read in RGP about poker and taxes. How do these people even feed themselves, much less play poker?

You don't have to report the winnings in the U.S. Online gambling is illegal and to admit your winnings to the IRS would be self incrimination. The 5th Amendment protects you from this.

Alrighty then, I'm sufficiently tanked. Thanks to anyone who read this far per usual.
I'll be gone over a week - check back. I'm planning on blogging with gusto after this nice little break.

./cough - Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker, damnit. Damn, this took forever to format. Note to self: try doing this sober sometimes.

I liked this following post. Poker advice from a coach/friend.


Inspiring Commentary For Anyone Doubting Their Game or Losing Control

I recently wrote to a friend I confide in very much basically describing to him a general lack of control I have been experiencing in my poker game lately. For some reason, I had been coming across problems I had never really battled before: consistent tilting after bad beats, taking shots at 50/100 when I am only rolled to play 10/20, playing Layne Flack heads-up 10/20 NL at Full Tilt (this was very close to rock bottom).

I was really confused. For two years, I had always had fairly solid mental control over my game. I understood proper bankroll management and variance that was inherent in poker. Further, I understood that these "bad beats" that were now tilting me were the very reason I was able to profit over the past 2-3 years. Not only were they a natural part of the game, but they were in fact a requirement in order to have and maintain an edge.

I wrote an e-mail to this friend, describing my situation, asking him if he could potentially "coach" me and offer some advice to get my game back on track. Here is what he wrote in return:


Hey Rob,

(note: This is a very long reply, but it has good stuff in it)

I would be happy to be a coaching figure for you. I'm actually honored that you would ask me for help. More than anything, I would do this as a friend rather than as a poker player, if that makes sense. I think based on my past poker playing experience I can help you work through the management of certain issues, especially pertaining to steaming and playing too emotionally. I've been there with poker and horse racing and it's like a demon you can't control. It took all my will power to drop gambling because it was trying to overcome that demon that grabs hold and essentially erases your value of money.

Because I've been out of the game for so long, and to be honest, I haven't felt inclined to play again, I might not be able to add great technical poker insight. But that doesn't seem to be what you're asking. And since I probably won't play again for awhile, I doubt I'll be able to contribute much in that way down the road. But, I still remember the fundamentals of my game and how to win in poker, and in that way I can be helpful.

However, what I think I can help with is assisting you in the management of your poker game - steam control, playing tighter, money management, choosing the right limits, etc. In other words, your overall approach to poker. Rob, I think what I've seen recently is that you have overextended yourself due to your rapid ascent in limits and great success. However, it's easy at 50/100 limit to lose so much of that hard-earned money. The most difficult part as a poker player is recognizing that choosing the right limits is half the battle. I could never do that, and that's why I ultimately failed. I quickly beat the 5/10 kill game at Foxwoods even though I was playing 2/4 the day before; I became convinced of my success without understanding that poker is about swings. It was too hard to drop down in class; fortunately, you have accepted the importance of moving down in limits.

You have had outstanding success and it's been fabulous to watch, but you're at a point now where you have outpaced even yourself (if that makes sense). It's really dangerous and an incorrect strategy to move up in limits to win your money back [after a losing session]. That is something you really can't do any more. We are both very emotional gamblers and that really can be one's downfall. It's great you have recognized it, but now you must stay true to that.

There are a few things I think, as a coach, you should focus on:

1) Don't set a limit or target on how much money you want to make (saying you want to be up to 15k, for example). That only causes you, consciously or subconsciously, to make incorrect decisions. If you're it in for the long haul, you should be thinking years out from now, not weeks or months. The money will come to you, but you need to be patient. It's only dangerous to push the envelope.

2) You should focus on tightening up more for the sake of regrouping. I noticed last night that you check-raised a lot on a bluff hoping a guy would lay the hand down [while playing 50/100]. I often got sucked into bluffing in limit online - it rarely works - especially when it only takes 1 more bet to call. Those shorthanded games naturally draw looser players, so you need to tighten up to combat that. It's much tougher to outplay people online, and I get the impression that you have been relying too much on doing this. I think that it's an extension of trying to make a lot of money in a short period of time.

3) Don't feel forced to play at any time. Poker is supposed to be fun. It cannot be all about the money or then it becomes too tedious. If you're not in the right state of mind, just don't play that day.

4) Related to the last point, pick up other hobbies outside of poker. Get back into watching movies. Or find some great books to read. Once you have other options outside poker, you won't feel pressured to always play, especially when you're tired or frustrated after work. This will allow you not to feel obliged to play when you're not in the right mindset. It will also help you be refreshed when you return to the table. To get my mind off gambling, I started reading again, watching movies, investing in the stock market, reading the newspaper every day. Stuff like that. You are a bright, witty, well-rounded person with a great education, and it would be a shame if you allowed poker to consume your other hobbies, interests, and passions in life.

5) The steam control factor is huge. You start pressing the issue and have difficulty stopping. It's very tough to just quit after losing. But you have to set a limit and stick with it. I know you're strong enough to do that. The Professor says 60 BB. At this stage, it might be better if you set it at 45 BB. Some days you'll win and others you'll lose. If you're losing, I know it's tough, but force your hand to close the window and then walk over and pour yourself a Johnnie Walker and watch a movie. There's always tomorrow.

6) If you are getting too emotional or steaming when you are playing, you need a check on those emotions. So here's what you can do: Call me to remind you to quit. I don't care what time is it. I stay up late anyway. But I would sleep well, in fact, knowing that you shut it down for the night and remained composed. Just call me and say what's up, we'll chat for a bit, and then you'll have your mind off poker.

Well this is rather long, but I've been there, and as a friend I want to see you succeed in poker, but more than that, in all your life's ventures. We have become too caught up sometimes in certain things that obscure the larger view, to keep things in perspective, and to remember where we want to be and what we want to achieve throughout life. That's why I write in a journal. It keeps me sane and focused on my goals in life.

Outside poker, you seem to be dealing with some stress. It's certainly tough for you to be traveling so much and to be away from your girlfriend and your friends. Maybe your work isn't exactly everything you expected or are looking for at this stage in your life. But I can say rather confidently that poker, while I know you're very good at it, is not the answer. You will do well in poker because you have the talent and drive and that's something that you should capitalize on. But you may want to consider taking on other hobbies too, whether it be writing, getting back to film, taking up an instrument, exercising, playing sports again. It has to be tough with your long hours, I understand that, and the few off days you have you probably want to fit in as much as you can. But rather than play poker when you get off work, try working out to clear your mind. Or consider what other careers you might tackle down the road if you don't envision yourself remaining in your line of woek for many more years.

Take care man,


When I hit my bookstore today to stock up on books for my trip, I discovered a nifty little book called, "The Official Rock*Paper*Scissors Strategy Guide. $2.00, so it must be good. And not that I need a damn book (Daddy even capitulated and quit me in Roshambo at the homegame last weekend) but I'll report any good tips I may find.

And last, but certainly not least, I thought this post on RGP was worthy.

Response to the Nigerian Email Scam - from Cleveland

My Nigerian Brother:

Allow me to introduce myself. I am PRINCE LARRY, heir to the throne of Cleveland.

For many years we lived blissfully in our small kingdom, raising our families in peace. The children played among quaint deserted factories. Our women basked in the day's cooling embers, enjoying a bounty of boxed wine and Pall Malls.

It was kind of like that town on Gilmore Girls, only without all the irritating banter.

Anyways, alas, my beloved country has recently been besieged by ruthless invaders, known as the HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY. They have committed grave atrocities against my people, including large deductibles and 30 percent annual premium hikes.

Trusted foreigner, this is why I write.

My father, THE KING, recently died of a heart attack after seeing a bill for his colonoscopy procedure. My country weeps, for he was a benevolent monarch, and often bought us beer nuts.

According to the royal accountants, THE KING left behind a fortune worth Nineteen Gazillion Dollars, which, if you are not familiar with our monetary system, is considered a HANDSOME PILE OF JACK.

But his treasure is now in peril.

Though our armed services have fought bravely, they are no match for a superior foe. Military advisors believe the HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY will overrun Cleveland within a matter of seven business days. When this occurs, it is feared that their leaders, known as EXECUTIVES, will abscond with THE KING'S assets and use them to purchase German automobiles and golfing instruments.

It is so that I write to you, INSERT YOUR NAME HERE. I wish to propose a confidential transaction.

If THE KING'S fortune is not transferred abroad with haste, it will forever be lost to the merciless invaders. Hence, if it pleases you, I wish to transfer the sum of Nineteen Gazillion Dollars to your personal bank account.

Naturally, you must wonder why you have been chosen for this imperative covenant. After all, we have never been formally introduced. Nor have you likely visited my kingdom, where I am sure you would enjoy our many abodes of merriment that proffer ONE DOLLAR BUDWEISERS.

Allow me to say that you have been selected on the highest authority. We commanded our foreign-service corps to locate the most trusted man on Earth. You, quite naturally, emerged as the first choice. (As a personal aside, second place was a degenerate gambler from Finland deep into his bookies for betting hockey games. It wasn't even close.)

Our NIGERIAN AMBASSADOR attests that you are a most respected man in your village, one whose counsel is sought by others, and who is known for maintaining a confidence under the tryingest of circumstances, such as having to watch that movie White Chicks.

You are further said to be one who aids those in distress. I, MY NIGERIAN BROTHER, must humbly solicit your gallantry.

As I write, the HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY is nearing the outskirts of Cleveland. Their fearsome warriors, known as the CUBICLE FARMERS, fight not with swords and shields and Russian-manufactured small arms, as honorable men have fought through the ages. They employ an insidious form of paperwork, rejecting the reimbursement requests of my people, forcing them to endure ceaseless battles with AUTOMATED VOICE MAIL, their armament of mass destruction.

The peasantry is famished, and must do without pork chops, Dr. Pepper, and cigs. Our children pawn their toys to pay for Ritalin. Our women have no new recipes for braised lamb, for they can no longer afford THE FOOD CHANNEL.

Sadly, we may soon see greater forlornocity. Our intelligence services believe civil war is imminent. Surely our other enemies, EXXON MOBIL and the AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION, will not allow the HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY to seize the spoils as their own. They too will attack, and our streets will be afire with house-to-house combat, as their mercenaries employ mounds of litigation to blaze a path of terror.

Alas, INSERT YOUR NAME HERE, you must see the urgency of this matter. Tis why I wish to wire you THE KING'S fortune at once.

If you are prepared to shelter Nineteen Gazillion Dollars in a bank account of your choosing, I will grant you 20 percent as repayment for your kindness.

Do not be alarmed when you see our legal tender. Though my country is fond of picturing guys in wigs on its currency, we are not cross-dressers.
(It's a long story.)

Of course, if this proposal displeases you, I am willing to engage you with a 30-70 split. But this shall be my final offer, for THE KING left a rather monarch-sized bar tab upon his passing.

I believe the only detail remaining is your account number. The Royal Finance Department will need your digits so said funds can be wired with haste.

I must go now, MY NIGERIAN BROTHER, for I can hear the sounds of litigation pounding the outskirts of the city. But I anxiously await your response to this dire plea. The fate of my country rests in your able hands.

P.S. We should party sometime.

Your Pal,
Prince Larry of Cleveland

Damn, that's all I've got for tonight. I really wanted to put a decent post up because I'll be gone, but alas, I have failed. This is more lengthy than good, damnit. Sorry, I simply ran out of time here.

Anyway, thanks for reading and I'll be back soon.

Link of the Day:

Deejay: 'I'm Coming for Your Seed'

Now that Clear Channel radio stations are rapidly covering up the fact that the Star & Buc Wild Morning Show ever existed, we should pause for a moment to remember the career of the first wacky morning DJ to threaten on the air to find and molest a rival's four-year-old daughter. read the transcript.

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