Monday, May 23, 2005


Watching Phil Hellmuth with My Dad

My dad spent the weekend with us, and when we got back from the new Star Wars movie, my dad and I watched the heads-up championship with Phill Hellmuth and Chris Ferguson on NBC today. Funny stuff. I don't know if my dad fully understands holdem or not, but he certainly got into the spirit of things. And I'm a bit of a contrarian because I enjoy Phill Hellmuth's antics, even though I know a lot of people in the poker community can't stand that sort of thing.

Phil was playing heads up against Chris "Jesus" Ferguson during the portion of the show that my dad and I watched. There was some commentary from Howard Lederer too, mostly clips of him talking about how he wished that Phil wouldn't act so immature when he suffers a bad beat. I thought it was funny when Phil fell to the ground in surprise when Chris got his 9 on the river.

I think Phil Hellmuth understands that there's a certain amount of showmanship that needs to be involved in poker to keep it interesting as a spectator sport. To me he's kind of like the Happy Gilmour of poker.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


A Player I Coached

A player I coached is going to the World Series of Poker. She won her first holdem tournament a couple of nights ago, and first place won a seat in the WSOP. I'm pretty excited for her, and I'm proud too. I'm not by any means an advanced player, but I've gotten to where I know my way around a hand or two, and she was a beginner a couple of months ago. So I offered to spend a little time with her on the phone, give her a couple of tips, and play with her online a little bit and provide some commentary.

I'm not claiming credit for her win. I'm just excited to have been a small part of her success. I hope she makes it to the final table and wins a fortune. I'm hoping to do a full interview with her soon, and get some ideas from her about what she's learned, and what distinctions she's made that have made her a good poker player. When I do finish that interview, I'll post it here.

I have not won my seat in the World Series of Poker yet however. And I'm not even sure that I'm going to make another attempt. I get frustrated in multitable tournaments when I get to a certain point and lose with nothing to show for it. Being a moderately winning player, I know I could have generated an hourly wage at a ring game. But I don't have the time or the focus needed to work on a poker career right now. I'm a webmaster, and I'm trying to put a lot more effort into generating traffic and interest in my websites right now.

I'm thinking, in fact, that I should cash out some of the funds I have in some of the online poker rooms in order to build up my cash reserves. I might go do that very soon in fact.

Friday, May 13, 2005


How to Tell if an Online Poker Room or Casino is a Spammer

Here's an easy way to tell if an online poker room or online casino is a spammer: when you sign up for a new account with a poker room or a casino, use a unique email address for that purpose. You'll have a separate email address for each poker room and each casino this way, and if you receive anything from anyone besides that group, you'll know they've sold your email address to someone. (Which, by the way, is a very bad thing and shouldn't be done.)

My suggestion is that if a poker room or a casino gets caught spamming or selling your email address to spammers, you should stop doing business with them, and you should let other people know. You might not have a strong opinion on spam or on selling player information, but if you do, then now you have a solution.

In terms of creating a unique email address for each new account, keep it simple. Use your normal email handle and attach the name of the poker room to it, or add a 3 digit code after that too. Thanks to Michael Shackelford for the inspiration for this article; he caught a casino selling his email address using this technique. (Scroll down the page to the part about Giant Vegas.)

Monday, May 09, 2005


Differences Between the Party Poker $50 and $30 SnG

I've done a little looking on the internet about this, and I've found one article about the difference between $50 buy-in SnG's on Party Poker and $30 buy-in SnG's. One major difference that is immediately apparent: the $50 buy-in game starts you off with 1000 chips instead of only 800. The other difference that is apparent, but not immediately: the players at the $50 tables are generally pretty good. They play tighter and trickier than the players at the $30 level.

Which level is more profitable? A lot of that probably has to do with how good you are. I do well at the $30 level but I suck at the $50 level. I lose money and lose it fast at the $50 buy in tables. At the $30 tables I can out-play almost anyone at Party Poker who's playing at that level. And the $10 and $20 tables? Forget about it; they're a cinch.

Saturday, May 07, 2005


Losing Streaks Suck

Played in two SnG's tonight, one at Party Poker for $30 + $3 and one at Full Tilt for $20+$2. Placed 6th place in both. Damn it.

I also realized tonight that I have over 4000 frequent player points at Party. I can get quite a few ballcaps for that. I might even get one for my dad.

What else? I watched the new Stu Ungar movie on dvd a few days ago. I thought it was a very good movie indeed, although the framing device didn't make any sense to me at all. I think it would have been a much better and more watch-able movie had they left the frame story in the motel room out of it.

No more poker for me tonight. Going to go to bed in a few minutes and get some sleep.

Friday, May 06, 2005


Multi Table Tourneys at Full Tilt Poker Tonight

So I played in two multi table tourneys at Full Tilt Poker Tonight. The first one was a $100 + $9 buy-in, and had about 80 participants. I played at the same table as Andy Bloch, who was a real gentleman, and who chatted happily with the other players at the table. My chip count and his were much the same for most of the tournament. At least for most of the tournament that I was in; I busted out fairly early unfortunately. I think placed 60-something. My main problem was that I didn't play a tight enough game. I fell in love with my pocket kings that I had before the flop, even after the ace hit on the river.

The 2nd tourney was a $20 buy-in, and had quite a few more players. Almost 200 in fact. I fared a little better in this one, placing 39th, but I lost this one for the same reason--I overplayed my hand. AJ preflop, hit a single J on the flop, and went all in against someone who bet into me and had me outstacked. Of course, she had a pair of kings. I had outs, but it was still a bad move on my part.

Both tournaments reminded me of a couple of things. The first is that if I don't play regularly, I lose focus and discipline, especially if I'm tired. The second is that multi-table tournaments can be a real let-down if you don't place in the money, because you can invest two or three hours and have nothing to show for it other than a poker blog post at the end of it.

I am really enjoying Full Tilt Poker though. It's quickly becoming one of my favorite cardrooms online. Their play-through requirements are a brilliant marketing strategy too, because I play there almost exclusively in an effort to work off the massive amount of bonus money I have that's waiting to be released. And I do fairly well at the lower-limit no limit games there too, and I love the software.

Sorry I haven't written much lately. Haven't been sleeping well, and haven't been thinking about poker so much lately.

Sunday, May 01, 2005


Shana Hiatt Leaving Party Poker & WPT?

I heard a rumor that Shana Hiatt is leaving the WPT and Party Poker to move on to new television endeavors. Sad news for the poker world. I'm a huge fan of Shana Hiatt, and I have been since the Girls of the Hawaiian Tropic issue of Playboy that she was featured in. (Yes, I really do remember it--ah, college life! My first subscription to Playboy, and my first exposure to so many wonderful things in life.)

Here are some links to some good Shana Hiatt pages on the internet:

Shana Hiatt Fan Site - This is probably the most complete source of information on Shana Hiatt that I've seen on the internet, and the photo gallery is fantastic.

Shana Hiatt on - I've been a big fan of AskMen for a long time, and the feature on Shana Hiatt certainly lives up to the high levels of journalistic integrity that they've always aspired to and achieved.

Shana Hiatt in FHM - I can't remember the last time I went to a live cardroom and didn't see a copy of this issue of FHM. Shana is particularly stunning in this issue.

Shana Hiatt - Women We Love - Esquire - There's only one picture on this page, but it's a great one.

Shana Hiatt in Cardplayer Magazine

Shana Hiatt in the Open Directory - A couple of the links in the Open Directory's page about Shana Hiatt are listed here too, but it's always interesting to see what's listed in the directory for any particular topic.

Here's some more tidbits about Shana: She's 30 years old, and she's from the east coast. She's been quoted as saying she likes real men, not men who spend more time looking in the mirror than she does and spend a lot of time shaving their body.

Finally, there was some speculation last month at the Two plus Two forums that Shana Hiatt might be pregnant. (I don't think this one's true, but I always get a giggle out of those wacky Two plus Two posters and their unnatural levels of testosterone.)

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