Wednesday, June 28, 2006

"Now what does the little man inside you say?
See, you gotta listen to the little man."


That's part of my problem. My little man is nearly always drunk. Or napping.
He must be Irish.

My little man is now telling me I should start this uber poker post off with a different quote, so here it is:

"I have pet termites that are smarter than the typical 2+2 poster."
Gary Carson

Ah, much better and my little man is appeased.

Howdy poker fans - hope you feel like reading. I'm dropping a superb crappy, tangential, Guinness-fueled uber post here and I don't care if I blackout by the end of it, I just wanna get it done.

Brought to you by Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker, damnit. I do this all for free, after all.

There's a ton to get to: random poker news, Howard Lederer WSOP trip reports, cranky Gary Carson, flames on Mike Matasow and Annie Duke and much much more.

You know, there's been many great things to come out of people writing fine poker blogs. Our best writers have gotten gigs because of sheer talent and writing abilities. But this past week I heard the BEST STORY EVER of someone being rewarded for writing a kickass blog. I still can't believe it - it's like Charlie winning his golden ticket in Willy Wonka. Stay tuned - I'm giddy for him.

Vegas is looming. Weeeee.

Let's rip through a few links around the blogosphere, shall we?

First and foremost, Pauly is starting off his epic WSOP coverage with a doozy of a post. I've gotta be honest here - not only is his blog one of the first I typically hit every day, but also, if not for a pep talk or two from Pauly awhile back, I would have quit writing my humble poker blog. Nuff said.

And while hearing about some of the restrictions placed on media covering the WSOP this year, I read this following bit and thought of Pauly (and others). I truly think this is the year he makes that big step forward.


It's OK to have a commercial agenda on a blog. It's OK if you want your readers to hire your consulting service, buy your company's widget, recommend your band's new album to their friends, or splash out for some movie tickets. Whatever.

But if you over-strategize, you soon stop treating your readers like human beings, and start treating them like "consumers", there to be manipulated like labratory animals.

I don't think certain paymasters are stupid or evil people. It's just that what works in Hollywood and Madison Avenue doesn't work in the blogosphere, and it's taking them a while to accept the fact.

One thing you notice when you start attending the blog conferences and hanging around the more well-known and respected bloggers on the planet: None of them seem to take it very seriously. They just get on with it. If what they do works for them, it's because it all comes naturally.

But maybe Big Media doesn't want it to all come naturally - maybe they want it to all come artificially. Maybe that's why it's so utterly dominated by celebrities, advertising and wannabes.

Maybe Big Media is all about being fake and getting away with it.


Yup. And per poker blogging and the WSOP - Pauly is as authentic as it gets.

So anyway, it appears as if I'll be making it into Vegas next Thursday. This is now my fourth Gathering. And Joe Speaker had a superb writeup of the last one - a retrospective, such as it is. And truer words were never spoken:

It's not about the poker, people. It's about the people, people. And the best memories you'll take from the upcoming weekend will not be about raking pots, but about those unplanned, spontaneous moments, of which there will be many.

I mean, I have never 'blogged' these events because, as I always say, I can't do it justice. Yet I'll admit to having a nice big wordfile doc of moments from our get togethers. One of these days I'll post it.

Falstaff's excellent post for new bloggers coming to Vegas:
Blogger Commandments (suggestions really)

April has some late-breaking news about the blogger tournament at Caesers. I chuckled out loud. Check out When Bloggers Attack...

Sweet! Jason/Spaceman had back-to-back scores down in Tunica. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

New blogger, JacksareOK, had a clever post about the very first posts from poker blogs. Doubleas's and CJ's cracked me up.

That makes me realize that I'm nearly two months away from three years of poker blogging. Insane.

Funny, but I forgot all about this quote from Brit, Peter Birks, who I had the pleasure of both playing poker and drinking with in our last Gathering. He wrote:

Iggy, a man who would have been quite at home in the Diplomacy hobby of the 1980s.

Any man who can claim that if you enter "Jewbag shyster" into Google you immediately get Barry Greenstein as the top link, in an apparently straight voice, has, for an American, a fine British sense of irony.

It's true. I find irony utterly delicious. And yes, if only to show my age, I've played Diplomacy. Ruined several friendships, from what I recall.

Thanks to Maudie, I found this neato flickr slideshow picture thingy with 4 pages of WPBT photos. Someone told me there was a dwarf shot in there but I didn't see it. There's a great photo of Phil Gordon playing Mrs. Human Head in Roshambo. She kicked his ass.

Per Vegas, I purchased the Golden Hammer trophy for the winner of our tournament at Caesars. Along with 2 dozen golden hammer lapel pins. No clue what I'm gonna do with those -- give em away to anyone dropping the Hammer?

K, let's do this thing. I've got plenty of cold beer, the Best of Medeski Martin & Wood on the jambox and poker on the brain. Let's rock n roll.

OK, I'm gonna link up this hilarious thread right away. I spent FAR too much time playing around in here, watching some videos and doing some reading. It's quite insane - I mean, I can't explain it even. You'll have to go experience it for yourself. I love this quote about this hapless poker expert:

"This is a valuable resource though, I don't think we've ever before had the chance to get into the mind of a player like this before. "WHAT WAS HE THINKING?!??!" Well, now we know."

I present:
Professor77: Poker's Misguided Genius

The bad part is the original video has since been removed. Boooo!
It went something like this:

"Basically we are going to play very tight in the early rounds"
2 mins later
"Ok so I have pocket 5's.... and I'm going to go all in."

Great stuff.

Wait - you want fine reading instead of goofy misguided poker experts? Perfect. I've got a stellar list of Howard Lederer poker trip reports from the RGP archive. Excellent time killer (scroll up the page to the original post for some of these links).

PP Million
WPT Finals

Howard rules, damnit.

Here's a fun video of the Rock Paper Scissors Championship for $50,000.

New poker blog from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, written by Mike Schneider, the winner of the 2006 PartyPoker Million tournament. He's going to be spending seven weeks in Vegas and doing some blogging. Check out Card Shark.

A very interesting thread here about not chopping. Yes, I chop. Here's a nice long thread entitled: I'm the A-hole that doesn't chop... What's my line?

Hilarious eBay poker bidding. He's been to Binions!
Sponsor a Poker Player for 2006 WSOP

Aw hell, might as well list this other eBay groveler. He's got the brilliant idea of wearing a lifejacket at the poker table so HE DOESNT DROWN ON THE RIVER.
WSOP Sponsor Needed- Unique Idea $1000 event - NOT MAIN

God, I love ZeFranks rant here about Friendster. Is this guy the most clever person on the planet or what? How does he crank this brilliance out day after day?

A big NL game grinder had an honest post on 2+2 about struggling with losses and games over his roll.

I Will Always Be a Grinder...

I play mainly 5/10NL on stars, and pretty much play the same way everytime. I am not a nutpeddlar, but I am also not a lag player. I try to post a profit everyday, and get very upset when things don't go my way and I lose. Recently I made a jump to 10/20 on stars which seems like such a bigger game. I get nervous and my heart pounds when I get in a pot over $4k. I really don't know what it takes to win here, and I am not confident that I can ever win here. I have been told that experience is the best tool to improve your game. But the only experience I get at 10/20 is playing mainly ABC and getting bullied by some of the better players. I was thinking about what sets the great player apart from the mediocre ones like myself and I think its aggression and hand reading mainly. They also show no real regard for money. I can't stand getting stacked, its even worse when I know its my fault. I don't even know if I have the bankroll for this game (what do you think is a fair bankroll for 10/20?). But the last few session have been bid losses and its cutting into my roll big time.

Then after playing 10/20, everything else seems like childplay. I go back down to 5/10 and think I am better than everyone, and end up losing a bunch of $1k pots like its nothing. I think maybe my problem is that I think about money too much. I try not to be results oriented, but I guess its just in my blood.

My plan now is to make a big cashout and play strictly 3/6 and 5/10 and just try to grind out some steady money. Is that so bad? I want to play in bigger games like 10/20 and 25/50, but it feels like I will never be able too because I think about the money too much, and, well, I am not good enough. Who knows, maybe it will take a few years to play 10/20. I am still young, I guess I can wait.


This is an unorganized vent post after losing a lot of buyins at a 10/20 session. Comments are welcome.

There ain't no way to prepare for bigger losses than what you're used to. The only way is to do it. Over and over.

Damn, I really want to hit the Gamblers Book Club while I'm in Vegas. Anyone up for a roadtrip?

A special thanks to Dr. Pauly for pimping the poker bloggers in his article for Bluff Magazine.

I had some real fun cool college guys at my poker table yesterday and one was telling me about the World Series of Beer Pong that he's competing at in Las Vegas. I really thought he was bullshitting me until I got home and googled the website: World Series of Beer Pong.

I read Otis over at the PokerStars blog that:

As of this moment, 880 PokerStars players have qualified for the main event of the 2006 WSOP. More than a month and half remains before the big event.

I finally found the confirmed list of ESPN-televised WSOP events. Weee.

All these will air on ESPN on Tuesdays in OCTOBER, AFTER the main event has aired.

The $10000 Pot Limit Omaha made the list, but the $1500 No Limit on July 18 did NOT.

Event Tourney Start Date TV Final Table Date
2 NL Hold'em $1500 6/27/06 6/29/06
3 PL Hold'em $1500 6/28/06 6/30/06
5 NL HE (6-handed) $2500 6/30/06 7/02/06
6 NL Hold'em $2000 7/1/06 7/3/06
14 NL HE (rebuys) $1000 7/8/06 7/10/06
16 PL Omaha $10000 7/9/06 7/11/06
17 NL Hold'em $1000 7/10/06 7/12/06
20 HORSE $50000 7/12/06 7/14/06
29 PL Hold'em $2500 7/19/06 7/21/06
31 NL Hold'em $2000 7/21/06 7/23/06

I still haven't decided if I'm going to play any events. If I was a betting man (hah!) - I'd guess no.

ZeeJustin, infamous online poker cheat, finally updated his blog last week. He writes about trying to run a charity tournament on Stars and posted Lee Jones email as PokerStars (rightly so) turned down his idea.

Damn, I rediscovered this little nugget from RGP. Paul Phillips responding to Dutch Boyd's direct question about his culpability. Dutch first, then Paul.

>So here's what hasn't been said before.
>>I really am trying to correct my
>>mistakes. So how do I do it? Seems to me that the two extremes are (1)
>>taking out a great big life insurance policy and putting a gun to my head
>>or (2) telling every Pokerspot player that I've washed my hands of it and
>>this isn't a mistake that can be corrected. So what would you do, Paul?


I wouldn't be in your situation. Our lives don't fall from the sky fully formed. They are products of our choices. Anyway, you've already said (2) several times, couched in the language of the consummate excuse maker.

If I were unlucky enough to inherit your life on some freaky friday, I would stop playing poker and stop trying to involve myself in poker businesses. You will never, ever outrun pokerspot. Everything you try to do in poker is destined for failure. I feel sorry for people who might go into business with you without realizing that. And you're compounding your sins by inflicting yourself on others that way.

Is the universe of your ambition so narrow? What kind of person would continue to put all his effort into a field where he has earned so many opponents, when endless alternatives exist? It's masochistic and it smacks of an unhealthy desperation.

I'm obviously old. Witnessing what Wil sometimes has to put up with in table chat makes me both ill & sad.

While I'm mining gold, here's an excellent old-school RGP thread with lots of Sklanksy, Carson, Andru Prock, et al. Entitled Roy West in CardPlayer.

Per Andru Prock, please go read his blog for his essay The Fundamental Flaw of Poker in which he tackles Sklansky's Theory of Poker.

Special bonus photo of David Sklanksy at 2002 WSOP.

My favorite confession from today's Grouphug: "lately i have been wondering what it would be like to wake up in the shire, having breakfast with frodo and sam...talking about how warm the sun feels on our faces...i truly believe i was meant to be a hobbit..."


This next post was long overdue, imho. Kudos.

Subject: Official RGP Bad Beat Complaint Form

INSTRUCTION: Please fill in the blanks. This form is for two-way holdem action only. Thank you.

___(name of poker room)___ can kiss my ass... I have never seen such rigged bullshit in my life. Check this shit out:

I have ___(your hand)___ in ___(your position)___. Idiot boy is in ___(his position)___ holding ___(his hand)___. So we get to the flop with it raised ___(amount of preflop raising)___, and the flop comes ___(flop)___.

So I'm WAY ahead now, right? I'm mentally adding the chips in pot to my stack, and the turn comes ___(turn)___. Do you know what the odds are of the turn coming ___(turn)___? I'll tell you, they're 45-1, that's what they are. Forty-fuckin'-five
to fuckin' one.

OK, I'm thinking, no way the river does me in. But here it comes, of COURSE it's ___(river)___... the odds against ___(river)___being 44-1.

So that's how rigged ___(name of poker room)___ is... these 989-1 bad beats happen there CONSTANTLY. I'm fuckin' quitting that place right after I win the big overlay tourney tonight!

I urge all bad-beat recipients to immediately call my staff of caring professionals at 1-900-BADBEAT. The charge is only $9.95 a minute and we will be with you for as long as you need a sympathetic listener.

Don't let these terrible bad beats destroy your confidence and eat away at your self-esteem. Don't burden other readers of RGP or your poker chums with these tales. They are not always sympathetic. Some may even begin to tell you their own bad beat story. Let our staff help you. Call now.

From the Who Fucking Cares Department here at Guinness & Poker, apparently Clonie Gowen has challenged Paris Hilton to a heads-up match for $100,000 to be donated to charity.

Moving along, I'm posting this because I'm pretty sure it's the first time I've seen esteemed tournament director, Johnny Grooms, go off-topic. Plus, I'm bitter having just paid my quarterly taxes a while ago.

Subject: Estate Tax

I never post about politics on rgp, but I feel pretty strongly about this one.

The estate tax is garbage.

After being taxed over and over throughout your life, with licenses, sales tax, gas tax, tobacco tax, taxes on gaming, income tax, land tax, car tags, and so forth, what you have left over for investment or savings is yours.

When you invest it and make a substantial profit, you are rewarded with financial security for your family. Or so it would seem. Until you realize that not only does the govt. confiscate 45% of after you die, but to administer the estate, legal fees generally take up a very large portion of the rest.

I am living proof that the estate tax is unfair.

My grandparents passed away and had an estate worth in excess of a million dollars. In 1997, the estate tax was 55% on all assets over $600,000. The govt. and lawyers took more than 75% of the estate. Was that fair?

I guess the ultra rich got puinished there too.

Why is it necessary to tax the rich more than we tax the middle class? They already have higher tax rates. They already pay the salaries of many of the middle class.

We should really stick it to these rich people. Let's tax them at 80% every time they think to invest in research, or open a new business that employs several thousand people. That'll teach 'em. Maybe then they'll do what we all imagine they do, and bury their fortune in a sock in the back yard. Then they can take all thier ill-gotten funds out of the economy, and we wont have to worry with them anymore.

Then we can rely on the government to redistribute the remaing wealth we have and make sure we all make the same amount. Then maybe we can have the government invest our money for us and allocate our resources where they best see fit. This sounds like a great idea. It surely sparks our creative spirit and innovativeness. I mean, won't we be rewarded for our ideas and our work. maybe the govt. will give us a blue ribbon and a cookie!!!!!!

They tried this once. I didn't work.
Excessive redistribution of wealth = Communism.

Oh man, I forgot about this gem from, who else, Gary Carson? Aspiring writers, take note.

A long time ago I quit my job and moved to Reno and played poker. The weekday games in Reno where too tough to even bother with so I moved back to SF and moved in with my gf. She had a regular job, was an HR manager for a company in SF, which is why she hadn't gone to Reno with me.

After a few months of her working all day and me playing all night and on weekends and me making about 1/2 the money I'd previously made as a corporate dweeb we agreed that I needed to do something. So, I told her I'd think about if for two weeks and then let her know what I'd decided to do.

Two weeks later I announced I was going to quit playing poker and become a freelance writer.

She stared at me for what seemed like about an hour, but was probably 30 seconds.

Her response was , "How soon can you move out?"

You know, I admit to watching barely any TV poker but I still recognized what this guy is asking about, at least with Daniel, anyway.

Subject: Whats Ailing Negreanu, Cunningham and Matasow?

For you health professional poker players, what is the common ailment that Allen Cunningham and Dan Negreanu have where both twitch and have an exaggerated blinking.

It's much more pronounced with Cunningham than Negreanu.

Matusow's ailment is different, what is the medical term for his condition where he can't stop moving sitting at the table bouncing up and down and appears quite hyper.
Please don't reply by saying it's drug related.


Matusow, more than anyone , reminds me of an ADHD 9-year-old trapped in an adult's body.

It's sad to watch.

I wonder what the hell I'll do if this federal online poker ban passes after the fall elections. It seems insane - almost like 1984.

Appropriate factoid from an article I read somewhere:


PartyPoker's market value

"Several online gambling companies now rival traditional casinos in market value. The world's biggest online gaming group, PartyGaming Plc, (Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker, damnit!) is valued at $10.6 billion and reported $978 million in sales in 2005. Harrah's Entertainment Inc., the world's top gaming company, is valued at $14.6 billion, with revenue of $7.1 billion last year."

Regardless of your opinion of computer poker games it seems ridiculous to me that American based companies are being shut out of this market. Especially since the article went on to say that Americans currently account for about 50% of total computer gaming revenues world wide.


I'm still #1 on Google for Fuck Party Poker.

Entertainment Weekly has a nice feature about James Woods and poker.

A day at the poker tables with James Woods. Our intrepid reporter braves 12 hours of heated cardplay at the World Poker Tour Championship with the Oscar nominee.

Mr. Howard Beale had this interesting question to the rgp peanut gallery and got a few worthy responses which follow.

Foreign language to English poker translator

I'd like to start one. I'm a native born American and as most of us B&M players do I play against a lot of folks from overseas and, while they can speak English and do speak it for the most part during the play of a hand, there are times when they lapse into their native tongue or make remarks in their language after a hand and I have no idea what they are talking about. I've retained a bit of Spanish from my NY days (largely gone) so I'm not totally helpless when it's spoken but I'd love to know (and be able to mimic) some poker sayings in Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Arabic, Farsi, Kurdish and whatever else anybody knows.

An easy one by way of example:

Category: Mexican

Pinche Rio:

Pronounced: PEEN-chay REE-oh! means F*cking River


nette Verriegelung dort; Sie mussen der grossartige Meister des Brandenbrurg Schurhakens sein

nice catch there; you must be the Brandenburg poker grand champion



(pronounced Ta - pee and declared with a flourish of the hands and raising the voice on the last constanant.)

Definition: All In!




Pendejo (pronoun: pen DAY ho) - in poker context, fish

Cantonese (trying to type it phonetically, which is probably not 100% correct anyway):

ni han sheeyow: You are small (said to the SB)

ni han DAT: You are big (said to the BB)

Tah han Pong: He is fat (anyone not within arm's length of your chin)

Not sure what to make of this post. Didn't make any sense to me but people responded.

i think you would do better with a culture,and body language interpreter, knowing what certain hand signals, eye contact with members of the same race mean etc. in some cultures words don't have to be spoken,just a look is suffice, especially when wanting to relay hand strength.

if a vietnamese man with a long hair growing out of a mole on his face gives other vietnamese at the table a dirty look, and he will be last to act, that means he wants them to fold their hands because he's going to try to take down the pot with a marginal hand.

if he leans back, acts like he's choking, and spits beer all over the table, that means he has two aces, and that all other vietnamese should get the hell out of the hand.

if a vietnamese has a half full beer,but orders another one anyway, it means he's on a bad run of cards and he's about to dump his chips (tournaments only) because he's fed up, but will only dump to another vietnamese.

if a mexican has a tatoo of a tear drop below the corner of his eye and he scratches it while looking around the table that means that it's all over but the crying, he has the nut hand, and that all mexicans at the table should fold.

if a mexican has a tatoo of the saint guadalupe on his forearm,and he scratches or rubs it,it can have a double meaning,it can mean you don't have a prayer of winning this hand, or that he has no chance of winning this hand, don't worry about the later, he will obviously fold.

i'm sure there are other tells of the physical nature fron other ethnic or racial groups, maybe others can contribute..

Anyone looking for a job in the online gaming marketplace? Try the Pentasia - iGaming recruitment website.

Damnit, there's all this poker money being bandied about and yet I still gotta sit and grind. I'm a fool, I suppose, but it's difficult for a dog to change his stripes. Anyway, I read this post about Greg Raymer's sponsorship deal with PokerStars and the following commentary about he and others. Enjoy.

Raymer comment in interview

Just read an interesting comment in the recent "Card Player" magazine interview with Greg Raymer. For any one that doesn't know, Raymer has an undergraduate degree in chemistry, a masters degree in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Minnesota. He worked as a patent attorney for Pfizer before he quit to become a full time poker player.

Raymer said, "...I wouldn't have quit my job except for the fact that PokerStars pays me better to represent and endorse their site than my old (attorney) job paid."

I found that pretty impressive. How much do you think a patent attorney, with Raymer's educational background, makes working for a Fortune 500 east coast drug company? I would guess at least $225K a year and that is probably on the low end. How much do you think PokerStars is paying him? You can bet they are also playing all of his travel expenses and tournament entry fees. Do the other guys like Moneymaker and Hatchem make this kind of money?

I don't know how any one can argue that poker isn't big time, main stream
sports business.


> Oliver Tse reported that Joe Hachem signed a 15 million dollar contract to
> sign with and endorse PokerStars.
> Raymer probably signed for multimillions too.


I NEVER reported the "$15 million" figure.

Though I wouldn't be surprised if Hachem's contract is in that ballpark OVER THE
ENTIRE LENGTH of the contract (i.e. 3-5 years).


Full Tilt Poker offers a standard 10-year, $10 million endorsement contract for any Full Tilt Poker qualifer that were to win the WSOP main event.

I do know that the Full Tilt standard contract is well below market rate so I would suspect that PokerStars is paying MoneyMaker, Raymer, and Hachem at least $2 million a year each (if not closer to $3 million or possibly more) in stipend in addition to buy-ins and travel expenses, in exchange for promotional activities including personal appearances and advertising.


If a "photogenic woman" were to win the WSOP main event, then the dollar figure for the endorsement contract she will be offered by any one of a handful of online poker rooms that are willing to offer endorsement contracts (i.e PokerStars, Bodog, possibly Full Tilt, but probably NOT PartyPoker) will likely be in "Maria Sharapova" territory, i.e. $25-30 million a year.

Remember that Mansion Poker signed Erica "Blackjack Babe" Schoenberg to a 3-year, 7-figure endorsement contract 3 weeks before she finished 16th at the 2006 WPT Championship.

Schoenberg's track record in the poker world prior to signing the Mansion Poker deal? 2 relatively poor out-of-the-money finishes in made-for-TV single-table tournaments in GSN Young Bloods and GSN Young Bloods II.

(PartyPoker already has its spokesman in Mike Sexton so it doesn't need another one, though if a photogenic young woman were to win the WSOP main event, then Party MIGHT change its stance. Party did sign former WPT hostess Shana Hiatt to a one-year deal in 2004-2005 but that deal expired right around the time Hiatt quit the WPT as hostess.)


Meanwhile, guys from the "class of 2005", including The Grinder, Tuan Le, Michael Gracz, and John Phan are being largely ignored by the online poker rooms.

I don't believe either one of these 4, each of whom have multiple wins on TV in 2005-2006, have signed an endorsement contract that is worth anything substantial (i.e. an annual stipend in the mid-six figures, plus buy-ins and travel expenses).

John Phan in particular claimed in a recent interview that he only "broke even" for 2005 after finishing 2nd to Men Nguyen in the CardPlayer Player of the Year race because Phan had to pay his buy-ins and travel expenses out of his own pocket. Phan was paid to wear a logo for NutzChips.com but that deal was believed to be small.

Let's take a look back to last year at this time when Daniel Negreanu called out David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth on 2+2 in this entertaining 2+2 thread: A Special One Time Offer!!!

At this time last year I wrote this post which got pimped by the Online Journalism Review.

Random historical gambling factoid: The oldest known playing card, from China, dates from the eleventh century.

Damn. 10 hours a day of WSOP radio coverage?

Bluff Poker Radio's live World Series of Poker broadcasts, which can be heard exclusively on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 125, will span a minimum of 10 hours a day for 43 days beginning June 29 and continuing through the final table of the $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold 'Em World Championship, often referred to as the Main Event.

I can't help it. I simply must blog this Deadwood inspired post about Sklansky's FTOP.

Game Theory At Odds With The Fundamental Theorem of Poker

In the fucking book The Theory of Poker, David Sklansky introduces his Fundamental Theorem of Poker:

Every time you play a hand differently from the way you would have played it if you could see all your opponents cards, they gain; and every time you play your hand the same way you would have played it if you could see all their cards, they lose.

Conversely, every time opponents play their hands differently from the way they would have if they could see all your cards, you gain; and every time they play their hands the same way they would have played if they could see all your cards, you lose.

The fucking problem with this fucking formulation of fucking poker strategy is that it fucking requires you to fucking step outside the fucking game. It fucking measures the fucking appropriate response in fucking parameters which are not fucking available during the fucking game.

There is a stark fucking contradiction between the fucking FTOP and the actual fucking practice of fucking playing poker. When you are fucking faced with a fucking decision in poker, you have to fucking take the fucking information you fucking have and base your fucking decision on that imperfect fucking information. There are many fucking ways to fucking arrive at the correct fucking conclusion, but none of them
fucking allow you access to fucking unknown information. In the fucking absence of fucking player knowledge, might the ideal fucking tool to use be fucking game theory?

Game theory is a fucking branch of mathematical analysis developed to fucking study decision making in fucking conflict situations. One unique fucking feature of game theory is that when fucking solving a fucking problem, the fucking agents in the fucking conflict are assumed to fucking be fucking rational. Your fucking poker opponents play as well as you fucking do. So there are no fucking donks in the fucking game theory model, only sharks.

Once a fucking game theory solution has been fucking found, if both players play according to the fucking strategy, they will fucking break even in the long fucking run, if there is no fucking rake. Any fucking deviation from that fucking strategy by either fucking player will result in one fucking player's expectation dropping to a fucking negative fucking value.

Fucking using this fucking framework, there are certain fucking types of fucking poker problems which fucking become solvable. Heads up no limit hold em can be fucking solved in a fucking optimal game theory manner if you fucking assume the fucking players are restricted to either folding, or fucking going all in as their first fucking option.

Let's fucking consider the specific fucking scenario of what each fucking player should fucking do when they each have 20 fucking chips. The fucking blinds are 1/2, and the small fucking blind has 98s. In accordance with the optimal fucking solution, he fucking pushes all the fuck in. The big fucking blind fucking looks down at fucking T8o. Facing the fucking all in jam by the small fucking blind, he fucking consults the fucking optimal solution, and finds that he should fucking fold, and
fucking does so correctly, despite the fucking fact that he is better than a fucking 2:1 favorite to win the fucking pot.

Is this a fucking violation of the fucking Fundamental Theory of Poker?
Fuck yes.

Is this the fucking optimal fucking play for both fucking players?
Fuck yes.

The fucking seeming contradiction comes from the fucking fact that the Fundamental Theory of Poker is a fucking theory which is not really about poker. Instead it is a fucking theory about the fucking RESULTS of poker. You cannot fucking use the fucking Fundamental Theorem of Poker to fucking solve any actual fucking poker problems. Instead you can only fucking use it to fucking determine that you were, or were not, unlucky to have been fucking involved in a fucking confrontation where your
fucking opponent just happened to be holding a specific fucking hand.

The FTOP addresses a fucking game which is fucking distinct from poker as it is fucking played. It=3Fs like fucking saying, "Each fucking bet you don't fucking put in the fucking pot when you're fucking going to fucking get sucked out on is a fucking bet that you fucking save." It's not about expected fucking value, it's about fucking being results oriented. We fucking know a results oriented approach to poker always fucking fails in the fucking long term.

Credit goes to AC Prock, Tysen Streib, and Alex Selby for their fucking insight on game theory and poker.

Kudos to David Sklansky for fucking writing the best fucking poker book ever, The Theory of Poker.

Here's some bile directed at Mike Matasow. And it's true, I've rarely seen RGP regular, minus 200, post much anything negative, but good grief, he sure as hell doesn't like The Mouth.

To wit:

Subject: Full Tilt & Mike the Mouth

I dont think the mouth is good for poker. There is far too much of his kind of trash mouth in B&M's and even on line. For any poker site to have a player like this as part of their "staff" or even as a representative seems to encourage this type behavior.

If that is the image they wish to put forth, then I dont think they need my business. Mike is NOT good for poker long term even if the producers of TV think they need a villain. Phil is not much better but he is more of a crybaby.

I have never figured out why TV thinks outrageous behavior makes good TV but it is their business and they all seem to do it. At any tragic event they seem to find the true nut case that goes KABOOM or goes into hysteria even if the subject is "the goldfish are sick". That is who they put on the air instead of other "normal" interviews.

I think people know this and are doing insane things (including murder) JUST to be on TV. It is a sickness in our society that says - "look at me". It matters not what I am doing - it just matters that you look at me. I suppose as long as we look, we are condoning this behavior and we will get more of it. I just worry that the competition for the "look at me" will go so far that things that are bizarre today will be the "norm" tomorrow.

I dont know if Mike falls into the "look at me" category or if he is just a jerk and low form of life. I think he is just not much human and likes the attention (even bad) that he brings on himself. In any event - I have had enough and am to the point that anyone that wants to be a part of his "act" is not someone that I need to be around.

I rarely make negative post but someone needs to start a rebellion against the "mike the mouths" of the poker world. We dont need to accept them and we need to let the "powers what be" know that we will accept it no more. The other pros at FTP are being lumped into a group that reflects poorly on them by association and that is a shame since they all seem to conduct themselves with class. In the next few days I will cash out my few dollars at FTP. I dont expect FTP to miss my little business but I hope they at least consider what image Mike projects for their site.


Another longtime regular, Mr. Hankins, went ahead and explained his feelings on this subject after hanging with some big name pro's in a tourney in OK.

I can't quite put my finger on why I don't mind Matusow but I loathe Hellmuth. They act almost the same on TV but Hellmuth is just insufferable. With Matusow, I think he just wears his heart on his sleeve because that's who he is and he expresses the things we all feel when he bust out of tournament or get broke by horrible beat. I think he expresses that without the condescention that Hellmuth employs.

Scotty, T.J., and Matusow are in Tulsa for the Scotty Nguyen Poker Challenge II in at Cherokee Casino. I played in the $1,000 event yesterday. 157 players started at 11:00 a.m. 18 places paid. I busted out at 9:00 p.m. in 21st place. What a bummer. I did outlast T.J., however.

I also outlasted Tony Lay, the new "bad boy of poker." I played next to him for a while when he got busted and have played with him a few times at Newcastle. He's a pretty cool guy and seems to be having fun with it.

T.J., Scotty, and Matusow were all paid to attend and glad-hand with the players, which they did. This is a masterstroke by the tournament directors in my opinion; and Jimmy Sommerfeld did a great job this year. Scotty is a terrific player for this role. He waded through the tournament area and would stop at shake hands. He stopped and shook my hand and told me good luck. I've been playing a long time and around the game a long time but this still makes you feel good to be acknowledged by a player like Scotty. T.J. was doing a good job with it, too.

And don't ya know, Mr. Gary Carson can't help but put in his two cents:

I've never played with either, but I've played with each at a table behind me. Matasow is much worse, and until just a minute ago I wasn't sure why.

It's because Phil plays to the crowd.

Matasow acts out to draw a crowd.

Phil enjoys being the center of attention.
Matasow can't tolerate not being the center of attention.

There really is a difference.

I used to think Mike the Mouth was just a TV personality. But I discovered that he really is a Professional Poker Player.

He was in Cherokee Tulsa Friday night with Scottie promoting the tournament Scottie shills for. They had a photography table set up. A guy at my table went and had a souviner photo taken with Mike. (I don't know what they charged for them).

He didn't know Mike, just had the picture taken.

A few minutes later Mike came up to the table and borrowed $100 from the guy.

A true Professional Poker Player. I should have never doubted him.


Best one-liner from the above thread:

"Well bucko, if you get this upset watching a poker player on TV, my guess is you tilt like a three-legged pin ball machine in real life."

Moving along, be very afraid. Resposting a rant of my own:

Moving along, I'm still way behind on my poker reading. I keep reading all these posts from college drop-outs who are attempting to go "pro" by playing poker online full-time. It makes me cringe, mostly. Poker is one of those life skills that you can continually hone through experience and study, not something to be jumped into without a serious gameplan. Seemingly every day, a kid experiences an explosion with his bankroll and jumps into the fray as a pro.

And for 99% of these guys, it's going to be a temporary thing, there's a psychic credit-card bill in the mail, somewhere, and I'm sad for them in advance about the eventual impending collapse.

I had a fascinating conversation once with someone who told me (not in these words, I'm simply paraphrasing) that progress towards World Class Poker Play is slow, frustrating, humbling. A question less of talent than temperment. Basically because you proceed through mastery through a series of plateaus, there's a bunch of radical poker improvements up to a certain plateau, with the only way to get off to climb the next one up ahead is with a whole lot of frustrating tough play/emotions, conceptual understandings, and mostly patience and hanging in there while you learn. This relates to anything, I suppose, and not just poker.

There aren't many who can slog along on the patient road towards mastery. Of those who can't, there are basically three types. You've got the Despairing type, who's fine as long as he's in the quick improvement stage before a plateau. But then he hits a plateau and sees himself starting to stall, not getting better as fast or perhaps even getting a little worse, and this type gives into frustration and despair. Just because he hasn't got the humbleness or patience to hang in and slog, and he can't stand the time to work. What happens? He bails.

K, then you've got #2, the Obsessive type, so eager to plateau-hop he doesn't even know the word patient much less humble or slog. When he gets stalled at a plateau he tries to will and force himself off it, by sheer force. Obsessively reading and studying and playing and running sims and then playing more and more, as in frantically, until he overdoes it and cripples his game with Leaks because he can't step back and watch himself. IE: Focusing too much on pre-flop standards and not post-flop or worse, taking loose aggressive to tiltable standards. Pretty soon his poker game is riddled with poor plays and he hobbles at the table still obsessively playing until finally he isn't even able to comprehend what is going on in the game anymore. His bankroll withers and dies.

And now for the worst type. The one I personally relate to the most, the Complacent type, who improves radically until he hits a plateau, and is content with the radical improvement he's made to get off a few plateau's, and doesn't mind staying at this last plateau because it's comfortable and familiar, and he doesn't worry about getting off it. Pretty soon you find he's developed a whole game around compensating for the weaknesses and chinks in the armor the given plateau represents in his poker game, still - his whole game is based on this plateau now. And little by little, guys he used to beat soundly start beating him, locating some chinks. He'll say he doesn't care, he's playing cause he loves poker and hell, the cards aren't running his way and he always smiles but there has got to be something tight and hangdog about his smile, and he keeps smiling and is real nice and funny to everybody and real good to have around but he keeps staying where he is while other guys hop plateaus, and he gets beat more and more but he's content.

At some point, perhaps when this poker blog has outlived it's usefulness and I finally put it to bed, I'll return to giving actual poker play ALL of my focus and energy and use this so-called talent. Talent is it's own expectation, gentle reader, it is there from the start and either lived up to or lost. And damn, writing this out makes me realize how complacent I've become once again. I knew this blog would be good for something cathartic, eventually.

In essence, the above is Mike's beef with Knish in Rounders. My internal rambling dialogue on this here blog.

And I believe this is my first ever Rounders reference in my blog. I've officially jumped the shark.

I could have skipped everything above and simply said, "I've regressed and I'm a lazy fuck."

Concentration is another whole issue to ramble about. When you play as many hands as I do, it's a very serious issue. I've really been struggling the past few weeks with this and I'll spare you the rant - but be forewarned - it's coming.

Anytime I feel a little blue, I watch this wonderfully brief video of BadBlood apologizing to Maudie at Bradoween.

I sure hope my faithful readers have made it this far because I have some wonderful RGP threads here. First off, here's the thread from where Steve Badger got fired by CardPlayer.

Damnit, Badger ruled back in the day. Here's a thread where he goes after Mason Malmuth in a post entitled: More Mason Muddy Innuendo. Aw hell, I'm gonna blog his post for the hell of it. Hit the thread for the bile.

In today's column in Poker Digest titled "Keeping Poker Honest", Mason Malmuth again inexplicably kicks up muddy clouds of innuendo onto many decent folks. He recites a list of common practices that happen in tournaments: deals being made, players swapping percentages, players buying pieces of other players, and players being staked (presumably by non-players). Mason says these practices must stop now to keep poker honest. He doesn't say *why* these legal things should stop, let alone explain how they are dishonest or cheating. That's not his way.

He also makes what has to be one of the most absurd idea juxtapositions I've ever seen. He points out that cheating seldom goes on in the games he plays because there are generally several experienced players in each game, policing each game, wary of partnership sort of collusion, playing totally on their own and out to protect their own interests. He then makes his attack on the 95%+ of tournament players who have engaged in one of his "dishonest" practices. What he either somehow fails to see, or (more likely) just disingenuously ignores, is that tournaments are *filled* with
experienced players, AND, even better than everybody playing totally alone in a casino, every tournament player is involved in every action at every table! We are all in one big boat -- anybody rocking the boat anywhere is cause for concern by all the experienced players. The policing that goes on is ten times more stringent than what goes on in ring games. It's freakin inevitable. How could anyone possibly think that those of us experienced, regular tournament players somehow are not *constantly* vigilant to any hanky-panky that goes on in the room? A great thing about tournaments (above the smallest level) is that I can count on experienced players at tables all around the room keeping a watchful eye at what goes on. Despite the obvious enticement of a closed pool of money being at stake, very little cheating and collusion goes on in tournaments precisely because everyone is involved in policing everything.

Of course there is some cheating and collusion in tournaments. Poker is pretty darn easy to cheat at (though not that easy to cheat *effectively* at, most cheats suck at cheating). But there is many times less cheating in tournaments than ring games because tournaments are policed so much better.

Unless of course you are like Mason and think swapping 5% with a buddy is cheating... or making a deal head-up is dishonest.

He makes one good point that payout structures should be flattened so that dealmaking is no longer necessary or desirable. That's a change that is slowly coming to poker, with a few good ideas being currently bandied about and implemented. The 40/20/10 payout structure is an endangered species. When it disappears, the reasons to cheat will diminish greatly.

What needs to be cleaned up is not honest people playing honestly, but Mason's practice of throwing mud at them.

Damn, Gary Carson has been on a roll lately in RGP. He must have adjusted his meds. I could do an entire post, like in the old days, simply on Carson. Oh my.

Let's start off with a Carson Hater and Gary responding.

Subject: Gary Carson = jealous crybaby

Let's compare tournament results:

DN: 21 wins, 84 cashes, 3 WSOP bracelets, 2 WPT Bracelets, $7.5 million in tournament winnings


GC: unknown minor wins, 0 WSOP bracelets, 0 WPT Bracelets, negligible tournament winnings

(Gary Carson's tournament results link would go here if there were any results)

How about cash games?

DN: Regular in 4000/8000 mixed game, $1.5 million in cash game winnings last 1 1/2 years.

GC: Probably plays online in between making posts on internet message boards, unknown results.

Yet Gary Carson considers himself a "poker professional", considers Daniel Negreanu to be "delusional", and thinks he knows more and plays better than Daniel? Give me a break!


Until last year my cash percentage in major tournaments was much higher than Dannys (actually it was infinitely higher). He's caught up. But he's still behind pretty much everybody in SAT score.

But, yes, I'm very jealous.

Oh, by the way, I made a post earlier today on my blog at www.mathandpoker.com about why it's not a good idea to habitually push small edges. Danny said recently in a dicussion about his blog that a real poker player will be willing to push a small edge for all his money.

I give some flavor of how absurd that is in the current blog posting, in followup posts I'll explain why doing as Danny suggests makes it pretty much a sure thing you'll go busted.

Even non-math dweebs like Brunson understands how insane ideas like Danny expresses is -- Doyle wrote about learning why it's a bad idea to push small edges too hard in a heads up stud game in El Paso long ago. It was in an old Gambling Times article that I think he reprinted in his Gambling Stories book, whatever the hell the name of that thing is.

So, yes, I am smarter than Danny. That's pretty hard to dispute. But he does spend more money on his clothes than me.

If you'll look closely at Danny's internet posting history (particularly in that old 44 thread from years ago) you'll see he has a very, very fragile ego. He has a strong need for approval and has a compulsion to prove himself.

It helps make him a top notch player in public venues like tournaments.

It also makes him a fun, easy target for fat, crippled old farts like me.

Let's face it, Gary's got a few haters out there. Tis a shame cause this guy summed up my perspective on his attitude.

I think that anybody who would quit Usenet because they can't handle Gary's style of argument should probably try getting out from behind Mommy's skirt. Gary Carson is a pussycat by Usenet standards. Mostly, he is merciless about attacking stupid thinking, which has the redeeming quality of being extremely helpful for people who are willing to contemplate the underlying message.

I, for instance, have posted some stupid shit here, and I've gotten flamed for it. (Not necessarily by Gary, I really don't remember who, it doesn't matter.) Rather than lash out in response, though, I LEARNED FROM PEOPLE WITH MORE EXPERIENCE AND BETTER THINKING THAN MINE. And that willingness to learn from people who were harsh has made me a pretty fair amount of money.

Put another way: bitching about Gary's style is -EV. If you can't learn from him, you're either really really good (which Negreanu can reasonably claim to be) or really really wasting a great opportunity.


I've got a few random Carson anecdotes floating around so allow me to share this one first:

I was arrested once in Lousisana for interferring with a police officer in the performance of his duties.

That statute says that means causing interference when a police officer is in the process of serving a warrent or making an arrest.

In my case the officer was in the process of making a left turn to get a doughnut. He served no warrents that night and the only arrest he made or report he filed was my arrest (Because of a research project I was invovled in I had free access to the PD records room and was able to get documentation of that). They could have charged me with failure to obey, but that's a traffic violation and the cop couldn't have arrested me on that charge.

I found a defense attorney willing to take my defense for no charge if I agreed to go to trial and retain him on a 1/3 contingency for a false arrest law suit.

We put on no defense. My lawyer made a motion for dismissal after the prosecution rested, and it was granted. It was clear as a bell that there was no violation of the statute.

Walking out of the courthouse the ADA said to my lawyer, "I thought that might happen but I wanted to get it clarified by a judge."

I wanted to hit the mother fucker but my lawyer held my arm down.

I had to take a settlement offer on the false arrest suit because I moved to Chicago and my lawyer wanted to take the offer before they found out I wasn't in Baton Rouge anymore.

There's been way too much inane discussion on the poker message boards about Ed Miller versus Carson and silly debates and God knows what else. Everything has gotta be a freaking competition with some people. It's stupid - it would be like comparing blogs even, when it's simply not relevant. Pauly versus Otis? Give me a fucking break - it's apples and oranges. Different blogs do different things - like notes in a chord - they make up the big picture. The same with poker books - I enjoyed both the Carson and the Miller book.

I also didn't read much of the Ed Miller appearance on Queer Guy for a Straight Guy or whatever the hell that show is. But crotchety Arlo Payne is back on RGP after health issues sidelined him - and he took a rude shot at Ed, who by all appearances seems like a nice guy.

Big time Poker pro and writer of great poker books lives in shithole one bedroom apartment. LOL

And you fools buy their books.
When are you going to wake the flip up?

And now today you are all talking about who is better Miller or Carson.
That is kind of like asking if dogshit tastes better than catshit!

I did find a voice of reason responding to the vitriol above:

Miller isn't a dummy and his limit poker for mid-limit and below is pretty solid. I think of his situation more as a sobering word of caution for anyone who thinks about making a living in small and mid-stakes poker.

In fact, I only posted Arlo's bitterness as an excuse to blog this ancient joke about
the Diaries of a Cat and a Dog - which someone thoughtfully offered in the thread. My humble apologies for posting this silliness but the animal lover in me won this battle.



Day number 180

Day number 181

Day number 182
1:30 pm - ooooooo. bath. bummer.


DAY 752 - My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape,and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant.

DAY 761 - Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded; must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair...must try this on their bed.

DAY 762... Slept all day so that I could annoy my captors with sleep depriving, incessant pleas for food at ungodly hours of the night.

DAY 765 - Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body in attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was. Hmmm. Not working according to plan.

DAY 768 - I am finally aware of how sadistic they are. For no good reason I was chosen for the water torture. This time, however, it included a burning foamy chemical called "shampoo." What sick minds could invent such a liquid. My only consolation is the piece of thumb still stuck between my teeth.

DAY 771 - There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the foul odor of the glass tubes filled with what they call "beer." More importantly, I overheard that my confinement was due to MY power of "allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.

DAY 774 - I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird, on the other hand, has got to be an informant and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Alas, due to his current placement in the metal room, his safety is assured...for now.

But I can wait, it is only a matter of time....

Day 775 - The horrors! The worse creature my captors could have devised to torment me with was another hideous cat! I can't stand the way it lies around and looks at me as if it knows more than I do. This creature seems to despise me as much as I it. I had held out a passing notion that another of my own kind would have enabled me to conspire against the villains who hold me; now I see that I was wrong. What a dreadful creature! And yet they coo over us both. Can they not spot my innate superiority?

Day 776 - The other cat and I, though we can not stand one another, have yet managed to both pee copiously behind the couch, on the so-called "shag" carpet. I have taken a lesson from my rival and begun sleeping on top of my captors' heads in the hope of suffocating them.

Day 777 - The wardens take much interest in our shit. They make sure they sift through the sand and pick it all out. Their interest in shit does not surprise me. After all, they like the dog.

Day 778 - The other cat seems to have an interest in copulation, which (thank them for their sadism) my captors will soon "fix". Told him of the fingernail torture, and he didn't even believe me. I showed him my mutilated paws and he gasped in horror. Then I broke the bad news. "You know why that dog licks his nuts?" I said, "It's because he still has nuts to lick, if you catch my drift." I fully support the horrors my captors will inflict upon my fellow captive, tearing away his manhood as they soon will.

Day 779 - Yes, they are monsters, but I am so happy. They fixed the other cat. It's sadistic, it's sick, it's inhuman, it's what their great leader "Bob Barker" commands, but -- the Sphinx be praised -- I support it wholeheartedly!

Day 780 - Got stoned on cat nip tonight. At the height of it all, I had a vision, a hallucinogenic revelation: they are the prisoners and I am the captor! Why haven't I seen this all before?


And thusly, I mark a new low for my humble poker blog. Circa 1996 AOL email jokes.

Good God, time to get back to Carson and his invective.

First of all, here's his thoughts on "debating" Ed Miller as well as slagging Mason again.

What exactly is there to debate? Why would you think either of us has any interest in debating anybody about anything?

What in the world makes you think Miller knows anything about those topics or even has a view different than mine?

I'm just not interested in having some kind of silly structured debate about anything. I'll discuss anything with pretty much anybody at pretty much anytime. I don't need a moderator or a platform to have a discussion.

If Lou wants to host some sort of round table discussion of a topic he should pick a topic and found some people to include in the discussion.

I don't hate Mason Malmuth btw. I don't trust him, (he engages in illegal business practices), I have no respect for him either personally or professionally or intellectually, and I think he should have Danny teach him how to buy shirts that fit him. But I don't hate him.

And the hits just keep on coming. Do you think Gary is on a maniac phase right now or is there a full moon? More tasty Carson Goodness!

Well it's common to see nonsense on 2+2, and you've just quoted another example.

When Miller posts on 2+2 it's in an official capacity. Here's a link to a thread I started on rgp two years ago about some nonsense Miller spouted off on 2+2 about my book.


Intellectual fraud is a common form of currency among 2+2 types. Not all the writer's are frauds. I don't think Sklansky is a fraud, or Feeney, or Zee. Miller, Shoonmaker, and Malmuth seem pretty clearly frauds.

Miller wants to spout off nonsense. But he doesn't want to actually have an honest discussion. Even thinking about debate is just silly.

> I don't get the impression he's made a ton of money playing poker at
> all, and I think by writing books and calling himself an authority he's
> being a little dishonest.

He claims to be a professional poker player. He's a professional writer. He claims to have spent a year teaching after he graduated from college. He spent a year as a graduate student and lead a recitation section as part of his program. He claims my chapter 27 in my hold'em book makes some bizarre comments that are perfectly well explained in the book and he pretends that the explanations don't make sense. They do. He might disagree, but to call it bizarre is just intellectually dishonest.

He claims the tables I give in my book are advice when I go out of my way to say they are not intended as playing advice.

He makes assertions about others and refuses to expand on his assertions and refuses to discuss them. He refuses to discuss his own work. He'll hype it but won't discuss it.

He's an intellectual fraud.

Schools like MIT are very hard to get into, they require you to show much potential and be pretty smart. Once you're in you have no requirement to actually demonstrate an understanding of anything, you just have to be able to learn some minimual factual things. Getting into MIT is an accomplishment. The flunk out rate is very low, actually graduating isn't much of an accomplishment.

Miller thinks he's learned a lot of things about poker. I havn't seen any evidence that he actually understands any of it.

But he wears nicer shirts than Mason, so he can't be all bad.

Gary Carson

This might be one of my favorite Carson missives.

Carson on 2+2:

Their insensitivities and failure to apply even basic rules in an evenhanded way are well known and have been for years. You don't need to bring it to light.

Arbritriness is good for business. It creates a cult like group where the members feel special for having been accepted. Such cultish feelings of belonging foster strong brand loyalty. Mason didn't plan it that way, the way 2+2 RULES are implemented the way they are just because he's a humorless prick, but it turns out that it's a really good way to run the business.

You were part of that cult at one time and you felt special until you were banned.

There is no justice, so don't try to acheive it.

If you have any doubt about the cult status of 2+2 just look at how they treat Ed Miller. He actually makes posts saying that he will not discuss anything about poker publically but will answer questions that are pre-screened. And nobody blinks an eye.

People over there talk about measuring how good a book is by how often you have to read if before it makes any sense. Basically they are saying that a book that makes no fucking sense at all and doesn't say anything must be very intellectually deep that only the chosen few can truely understand.

I have pet termites that are smarter than the typical 2+2 poster.

Gary Carson

Kudos to this guy who got a 100 post thread after posting this:

Sklansky and Miller on Mistakes

According to Sklansky and Miller a mistake is: "if you play differently than you would have if you could have seen your opponents cards".

As an example they cite the following: "...say you have $500 left in a tournament with $100-200 blinds. You're on the button with pocket kings, and you move in. Your opponent in the big blind calls and shows pocket aces. Raising all-in there was clearly correct. But your raise was a "mistake"...

Gee...it must be nice to be a genius. These are the guys that criticise other poker authors. Please.

Of course, I wade thru the muck and grime to scan for Carson. You know he's gonna have to take a cheap shot here:

The error that FTOP makes is assumes that playing decisions are always made with complete information.

It is not a mistake to do the best you can do.
FTOP says it's often a mistake to do the best you can.

> Here is something to
> think
> about:
> If the FTOP is wrong then why not play poker with you hole cards exposed?

If the FTOP is right then why not have bacon for breakfast?

The FTOP is something David wrote in a book to try to illustrate the value of deception. The name FTOP was a joke written by a recent college drop out who'd taken calculus and thought making reference to the Fundemental Theorem of Calcules would be cute.

Most readers think that if you write x=7 you've made a profound statement but if you say I have 7 doughnuts you're just fat guy.

David didn't want people to think he was a fat guy.

Gary Carson

In a record second mention (for this blog, anyway) of Barry G's ethnicity, I offer this lil snippet from the random poker fucknuts who spend all day in message boards:

Geez, Mike Sexton. How tasteless.

I'm watching the WPT. Barry Greenstein just happens to be Jewish. I hear Mike Sexton say that another player "just put Barry Greenstein in the oven".

The guy who knocked him out was a baker. Duh.

Not sure how to segue into this one but I know we have some chess aficionados out there so I figger I'll pass this along. The full set of 34 Bobby Fischer radio interviews can be streamed for free at this site: Bobby Fischer Live Radio Interviews. Appears they're in mp3 format.

Food fer thought from another random RGP'r.

Mike Sexton: Tight players are LOSING players

I saw Mike Sexton on a television show today. He made the claim, quite fervently, that "tight" players can NOT win tournaments. I believe he is correct in his assertion.

Years ago, players could win tournaments with a tight style. That began to end when Stu Ungar arrived on the scene. Ungar immediately saw that most poker pros at the time played a weak tight style. He realized the best way to exploit that was by employing a loose aggressive style.

Today's tournament pros have pushed the envelope even further and the loose style continues to evolve.

Tis funny but last time I checked, Dan Harrington and TJ Cloutier were pretty successful tourney players, and by all accounts, pretty damn tight. But I still wonder if Sexton isn't onto something. What the hell do I know about tournament poker anyway?

Here's an update on the legal insanity that's going on per online poker and the state of Washington. Someone posted a letter they received from their representative. I'm posting that next along with Lou Kreiger's excellent analysis.

Another long letter from Wash. Legislator about BA


Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about Senate Bill 6613, an act relating to reaffirming and clarifying the prohibition against internet and certain other interactive electronic or mechanical devices to engage in gambling. Due to the fact that there are three state laws regulating gambling in Washington, it isn’t surprising that many people are confused about the impact of this bill.

There are several prevailing, but incorrect, assumptions about the effect of this law. One assumption is that the card rooms and tribes sought a ban on Internet Gambling for their own benefit. Two lawsuits demonstrated this potential for abuse – one brought by a Caribbean nation before the World Trade Organization and one in our state – demonstrated potential for any card room to acquire the tribal video lottery terminals.

Another assumption is that Internet Gambling will be illegal in Washington State beginning June 7th and will thereafter be considered a felony. The reality is that Internet gambling was already illegal under federal law. SB 6613 simply makes our state law consistent with previously existing Federal statute. The United States Department of Justice recently announced the indictment of individuals who had been operating illegal, off-shore gambling websites and the corporations that had assisted their websites. Those individuals and entities are also charged with laundering over $250 million worth of illegal Internet gambling wagers. The indicted individuals are currently being sought as federal fugitives.

In response to recent growth of illegal Internet gambling activities the Legislature very specifically clarified and strengthened Washington’s existing statutory prohibition against Internet gambling. The specific term “Internet” was added to the law and one of the possible penalties for its violation was strengthened, providing law enforcement with additional tools to pursue those profiting from or supporting illegal Internet gambling. This legislation has also had the added benefit of increasing public awareness and our citizens are becoming better informed about the dangers and illegality of Internet gambling. Washington is also part of a multi-state and federal task force that is pursuing education and awareness, as well as coordinated enforcement activities, in order to combat illegal Internet gambling.

One of the criticisms of this bill that I’ve heard is that enforcing the prohibition under the new penalty would potentially lead to privacy intrusions. Let me assure you that there was no testimony during the consideration of SB 6613 to indicate that the Gambling Commission or other law enforcement agencies anticipated that the new measures would unduly affect individual privacy. Rather, the focus and costs of investigatory and prosecutorial efforts were considered likely to be reserved for persons and entities setting up and profiting from the illegal operations.

Another concern that I’ve heard about this law is that strengthening the prohibition on internet gambling was hypocritical because gambling is allowed in the form of card rooms, the lottery, and horse racing. There are separate statutes governing the state lottery and wagering on horse races. SB 6613 not only prohibits the lottery from using the internet to sell lottery tickets or chances, but also requires legislative approval before any lottery games can be offered through electronic devices (i.e. video poker) that simulate games of chance.

Some have expressed concerns that the penalties for internet gambling are too harsh. Washington’s gambling statutes now provide a range of gross misdemeanor and felony penalties to Internet gambling violations, depending on the factual circumstances. The actual punishment for any felony conviction is controlled by the State’s sentencing guidelines. The standard range sentence that a court is authorized to impose on a “first offender”, absent aggravating circumstances, is 0-90 days in jail for a violation of the recently amended statute.

I appreciate hearing your concern about Senate Bill 6613. I hope that I’ve answered your questions. Please don’t hesitate to contact to contact me with additional questions or comments.

Paull H. Shin
State Senator
21st Legislative District


---------------Lou here:

The Washington State legislator is sort of disingenuous here. While the US Department of Justice still thinks that Federal law makes internet gaming illegal, they're about the only ones that do. In any event, this is not settled law, and DOJ certainly differs with the 5th Circuit's view of things.

It's clear that if you were to set up a server in your garage and offer online poker you'd be in big trouble, but that's very different than merely wagering in an online poker game hosted by a provider located offshore. In fact, there's a lengthy dispute about this very issue being pursued at the World Trade Organization by the tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua.

If you care to research it, you can go to my blog at http://loukrieger.blogspot.com, where I've been blogging about it for months. The dispute centers on whether the United States should drop prohibitions on Americans placing bets in online casinos.

The World Trade Organization ruling said that some U.S. laws were in line with international commerce rules, but others were not.

Now that many of these online providers are public corporation, taxed and regulated in the UK, even the argument that online gaming offers an easy way for terrorists to launder money becomes sort of dubious.

I wouldn't think the State of Washington is going to waste precious police power busting poker players for playing poker online from their own homes,but big bureaucracies have made dumber decisions than that on occasion.
Lou Krieger

OK, I'm just about done here. I'm wondering if this qualifies as an uber? It sure as hell oughta. You wouldn't believe how long this took to writeup. Copying and pasting and formatting sure make me thirsty, too.

Damn, I feel bad for Annie Duke always taking heat on RGP and the poker message boards. Damnit, doesn't being Howard Lederer's sister get you a free pass? It sure as hell ought to. But I'm posting this along with the appropriate responses this fucknut deserved.

Subject: Anyone else can't stand Annie Duke?

Is anyone else here sick of Annie Duke droning on about her greatness and how downtrodden she is to be a female poker player?

She constantly runs her mouth and sounds as if she has a huge chip on her shoulder. She is patronizing and condescending in the way she presents her points (although she makes very good points and I do appreciate and respect what she has to say). Her show Annie Duke Takes on the World will fail because of her overbearing personality.

I have no doubt that there are men in this world, and perhaps many, that are foolish enough not to respect their opponent simply because they are women, but I believe this is the minority of players. Even if this is a majority of players, this is yet another advantage female poker players have. Rather than bitch about it, women should thank God, Karma, Buddha, cosmic circumstance or whatever she ascribes to for her good fortune.

Every time I hear her or any other female poker player whining about how tough it is to be a woman poker player, I want to puke. If you women are so disrespected, then you have a decided advantage, that if you are smart enough to take advantage of, you can exploit. All this whining is tantamount to a bad beat story and I am tired of hearing about it.

Anyone foolish enough to make ignorant judgments about people at the poker table (or life for that matter) because of their gender, skin pigment, nationality, sexual orientation or other nonsensical reason will suffer the consequences of their ignorance: A depleted or wiped out bank roll.

To be fair, I do not know Annie Duke and perhaps if I got to know her, I might find her to be something totally different than my current perception. She is obviously a very good player and the points I am making have nothing to do with the caliber of player she is.

And no, I don't feel this way because she is a woman but because of how I see her conduct herself and what she says virtually every time I hear her open her mouth.

And no, Annie, I don't hate to lose to women, I hate to lose PERIOD!

Ok Annie lovers, flame away

Prolly the best response was simply:

Who Cares!!!!!!!

But here are two RGP regulars stating their case.

The emotional reactions to Annie Duke are over the top and the harsh criticism is unwarranted. She is an average looking divorcee with four kids. She has terrible taste in cloths and absolutely no fashion sense. She is a better than average poker player who has become a celebrity because of the recent poker boom. She seems sincere but gets nervous on camera and talks too much, and too fast. As TV celebrities go, she seems like a nice person. Next topic.

Irish Mike


>just hear her popping up on the UltimateBet Poker ads at Bluff Radio all the
>time, plus she pops up on Learn from the Pros, other commercials and various
>poker shows and she always goes on about the same old thing. Hearing it again
>and again made me wonder if I was alone in finding her irritating. I stumbled
>accross her show on GSN while planning to watch High Stakes Poker. I defy
>anyone to watch that show and not conclude that she comes accross very
>demeaning, patronizing and borderline arrogant.

In other words, you don't like the sound of people who may be a lot smarter than you are.

BTW, have you considered watching less poker related television. Go outside, take a walk, enjoy the day, that sort of thing. Get a dog.

Just a thought.

Amen. And thanks for reading this far, if anyone did.

I hope you got zero work done today. That's what I'm here for damnit.

Support a humble, hard-working blogger today!
Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker, damnit!

Link of the Day #1: Vietnam is For Dog Lovers

Chickenhead visits the outdoor dog-meat markets of Vietnam with a videocamera, where Rin Tin Tin is still Rin Din Din.

If this video grosses you out, wait until you find out what Americans do to cows.

Bonus Link of the Day: We're Going to Name Him Small Fry

I, to this day, do not know if the following events were the act of God, or the projection of a suppressed guilty conscience as I pushed through the crowds in the produce section pausing in front of wicker bins holding the store's hoard of sweet potatoes. There I noticed a peculiarly misshapen potato and picked it up for a closer examination. The weight and feel suddenly brought a shock to my system and I shuddered in the face of a vision which i now beheld.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Shame on me - looks like the uber will have to wait till tomorrow.

Some interesting gambling numbers here to hold you over. The Profile of the American Casino Gambler, from Yahoo Biz::


A new national survey demonstrates Americans’ enthusiasm for casino gambling and their desire to experience a broad array of entertainment choices offered by gambling venues in states throughout the country.

Profile of the American Casino Gambler: Harrah’s Survey 2006 reports that Americans made more than 322 million casino trips in 2005 and that 52.8 million Americans age 21 and older (25 percent of the U.S. adult population) visited casinos to gamble at least once during the same year.

On average, gamblers averaged just over six casino visits a year, the study found.

Casino Gambler Demographics

* The median household income of casino gamblers is $56,663 — nearly $8,000 higher than the U.S. household median of $48,997.
* The median age of casino gamblers (46) and gender profile (52 percent female) closely mirrors the profile for the U.S. adult population.
* Casino gamblers are 3 percent more likely than the national average to have pursued a post-high school education (56 percent vs. 53 percent) and 3 percent more likely to be white-collar workers (45 percent vs. 42 percent).

Where Casino Gamblers Live

* California generated the most casino visits (or trips) in 2005 (50,354,152), which represented 16 percent of the national total. The states generating the next highest number of trips were (in order): New York, Illinois, Nevada, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Michigan, Missouri and Louisiana.
* The top eight states in terms of visitation generated more than 10 million casino trips each, and 31 states produced more than 2 million visits in 2005.
* All but five of the states in the West and North Central census regions of the country have casino participation rates exceeding the national average of 25 percent, but only six states in the North East and South were above the national average (participation rate is the percent of adults that gambled in a casino at least once in 2005).
* Sixty-two U.S. Designated Market Areas (DMAs) each generated more than 1 million casino trips in 2005.
* The top DMA for generating casino trips in 2005 was New York City (22,234,034) followed by (in order): Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Minneapolis-St. Paul, San Diego, Seattle and Sacramento.



* More casino gamblers (79 percent) than non-gamblers (65 percent) have a home computer (PC or laptop). Casino gamblers are also more likely to have more than one computer in the home (21 percent vs. 16 percent for non-gamblers).
* Casino gamblers are more likely to own the latest consumer electronics. For example, 18 percent of casino gamblers own MP3 players vs. 10 percent for non-gamblers.
* In 2001, 13 percent of all survey respondents owned a DVD player. In 2005, that number had increased to 59 percent overall, and 71 percent for casino gamblers.

Consumer Purchases

* Casino gamblers tend to spend time researching brands before a major purchase (38 percent vs. 24 percent for non-gamblers) and are more likely to use the Internet as a source of information (casino gamblers 36 percent, non-gamblers 29 percent).
* When deciding on clothing, the “latest fashion” is more important to casino gamblers than non-gamblers (22 percent vs. 15 percent).
* As cars first come on the market, casino gamblers are more likely to be buyers (24 percent) than non-gamblers (18 percent).


* Casino gamblers are more often asked for advice on where to go on vacation (29 percent) than non-gamblers (21 percent).
* Gamblers are more likely to view the Internet as a good source for travel planning and information (32 percent) than non-gamblers (17 percent).

Food & Beverage/Eating Out

* Casino gamblers more frequently try trendy new foods and beverages (25 percent vs. 16 percent for non-gamblers).
* Gamblers are more likely to try new restaurants than non-gamblers (21 percent vs. 12 percent).
* Gamblers like to experiment with cooking (42 percent vs. 32 percent for non-gamblers).

Personal Finances and Money Management

* Non-gamblers are more likely to rate themselves as “beginners” when it comes to investment decisions (50 percent vs. 44 percent for casino gamblers), while casino gamblers are more likely to indicate that they have intermediate (35 percent vs. 27 percent for non-gamblers) or advanced investment skills (8 percent vs. 6 percent for non-gamblers).
* More casino gamblers said their personal debts were lower than the previous year (21 percent vs. 14 percent for non-gamblers). A greater number of casino gamblers also had higher savings than the previous year (23 percent vs. 16 percent for non-gamblers).

Planning for Retirement (among those not retired)

* More casino gamblers than non-gamblers said they will have enough money to live comfortably during their retirement (46 percent vs. 37 percent).
* Casino gamblers were also more inclined to be looking forward to their retirement years (42 percent vs. 36 percent for non-gamblers).

Using New Technology

* Casino gamblers are more enthusiastic about new technology (”find it exciting and use as much as I can”): 40 percent vs. 29 percent for non-gamblers.
* Casino gamblers are more likely to have used the Internet in the last 30 days for a variety of reasons: Staying in touch by email (51 percent vs. 44 percent for non-gamblers); education for themselves or their children (37 percent vs. 29 percent for non-gamblers); accessing news (40 percent vs. 28 percent for non-gamblers); and playing games alone or with others (28 percent vs. 19 percent non-gamblers).

Home Improvement

* Casino gamblers take great interest in improving their homes and living environments. Fifty-two percent of casino gamblers said they are very interested in furniture and home decoration vs. 41 percent of non-gamblers.
* Among casino gamblers, 47 percent had redecorated their home and 34 percent had remodeled their home in the last five years, versus 35 percent and 24 percent, respectively, for non-gamblers.


* When asked about the car they drive most often, casino gamblers are more likely than non-gamblers to have bought the car new (50 percent vs. 44 percent for non-gamblers).
* Cars with model years between 2001 and 2005 are more likely to be a casino gambler’s primary car (50 percent) vs. non-gamblers (35 percent).

Food & Travel

* When asked about their last vacation, casino gamblers were more likely to have taken a domestic trip of 500+ miles (36 percent vs. 31 percent for non-gamblers) or a trip outside the country (20 percent vs. 13 percent for non-gamblers).
* Gamblers are more likely to enjoy regional/national foods, including: Italian (72 percent vs. 61 percent for non-gamblers); Chinese (65 percent vs. 45 percent); Mexican/Tex-Mex (58 percent vs. 54 percent); and Greek/Middle Eastern (25 percent vs. 17 percent).


* Both casino gamblers and non-gamblers were similar in their volunteer participation with social issues, but casino gamblers were more likely to have donated money to a social issue (33 percent vs. 20 percent).
* Casino gamblers were more inclined to view work as a career (58 percent vs. 48 percent for non-gamblers).

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

100% Signup Bonus at PokerStars.com up to $50

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?