Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Poker is Now More Popular than Paris Hilton

It's official. Poker is now more popular than Pam Anderson, Paris Hilton, and Britney Spears.

I read somewhere that you can tell a poker player because when he has a wet dream it's about four aces instead of about Pam Anderson, Paris Hilton, and Britney Spears. Maybe I'm paraphrasing a bit.

Makes me wonder though. Looking over the Lycos Top 50, I see "poker", which is presumably searched for largely by males, since most poker tables I play at are predominantly full of men. And I would guess that men are the ones doing the searches for the hotties like Paris Hilton. Dragonball is #5, and I doubt a lot of women are searching for that term.

#6 is "diets". So maybe there are some women searching on Lycos after all.


Jennifer Tilly - 2005 WSOP Ladies Bracelet Winner

The lovely and talented Jennifer Tilly is the winner of the 2005 WSOP ladies no limit holdem event, which makes this her first WSOP bracelet. Tilly is well-known among most guys I know for starring in the erotic thriller Bound, which features some dazzling nudity and lesbian sex scenes between her and another actress (whose name I can't currently recall.) Jennifer Tilly also received an Oscar nomination for her role in the Woody Allen movie Bullets Over Broadway, which is highly recommended, although for almost completely different reasons than Bound.

I read on a message board the other day that Jennifer Tilly was talking about how her boyfriend "Phil" would wake up screaming about poker when she was used to her boyfriends waking up and screaming out the names of other women. The person who made the post was worried that Phil Hellmuth was the Phil she'd referred to, but several others pointed out that she's actually dating Phil "The Unabomber" Laak. Good for Laak.

I was reading that there are several celebrities playing in the main event of the WSOP this year, including Matt Damon, Ed Norton, Ben Affleck, James Woods, Gabe Kaplan, and Shannon Elizabeth (!) Not sure if Jennifer Tilly is playing in the main event this year or not, but if she is, I wish her luck.

Recommended reading: Ladies No Limit - Jennifer Tilly, by Shirley Rosario. I LOVE the photo of Jennifer Tilly in her "I don't like you" t-shirt.


Pokerstars SnG's Project

So far I've played in 6 SnG's at Poker stars, and I've placed in the money in 4 of them, and finished 4th in the other two. Overall I'm pleased with my play in these tourneys. In the 4 that I won, I hit 2nd or 3rd place. My Pokerstars bankroll is now up to $208, so I still need $192 before I move up to the $20 level. My AOL connection has been sucking lately, so I keep losing my connection to the site, which is really getting on my nerves, and I'm sure it's getting on the nerves of all the other players too.

At one time I'd progressed all the way to the $30 + $3's at Party Poker, but I got cocky, loosened up, and pissed it all away. Lesson learned. My friend Mongoose and I are possibly going to play in the main even of the WSOP next year, so I need to figure out how to get $10k together between now and then. I won't make that playing in the $10 + $1 SnG's though, not unless I play around the clock.


Now that I think about it. My hourly wage two-tabling at these SnG's right now is about $14/hour. If you assume that I can continue at that hourly rate, it will take 714 hours to win $10,000. Which means that if I play for 2 hours a day, every day, I will have made $10,000 in just a year. Which would pay for my seat into the WSOP! And if I move up limits, that could happen even faster.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Johnny Chan - 10th WSOP Bracelet

Johnny Chan became the first, and so far the only, poker player to have won 10 WSOP bracelets on Sunday. Doyle Brunson and Phil Hellmuth both have 9 WSOP bracelets, so Johnny Chan is now ahead of both of them. Chan won the $2500 Pot Limit Event, and his last hand was against Phil Laak, who had KJ. Chan's pocket queens held up, and he won the event. Congratulations to Mr. Chan.

I read somewhere that before the big poker craze really got started that most people only knew Johnny Chan because of his appearance in the movie Rounders. I think that might possibly be true, but I also think that the movie Rounders is one of the reasons for the current poker craze. It certainly added to it.

Monday, June 27, 2005


The Stop and Go Move in Multi Table Tourneys

This is an interesting move that I read about on a forum today, and I wasn't aware of it before now. I think, if the opportunity presents itself, that I might be able to use it in my next multi-table tournament. (And after my frustrating showing at Party Friday night, I'm looking for advice.)

Here's how the stop and go move works. You get a low pocket pair in the big blind. The blinds are big, and you're a little bit short-stacked, maybe 6 or 7 BB's left. An aggressive player opens up preflop with a raise of twice the BB. Some people would go all-in here. This gives your opponent good pot odds, and he'll likely call your all-in.

So the suggested move is to call this bet, then move all-in on the flop no matter what it is. Other pairs are liable to fold here, especially if they're smaller pairs, and your flop has a face card or two. According to the forum post I read about it, this move belongs to Greg Raymer from the 2+2 forums.

Also, you can read the original post here.


Seven Stages of Ace King Suited

Another one that I'm assuming is public domain. Again, contact me if there is a problem.

Psychologists often refer to the 7 stages of grief that accompany any significant loss in an individual's life. We certainly think AK qualifies, and know the stages all too well:

1) Denial: "There's no way I could've missed the flop. They were suited. I can call here, I probably still have the best hand. Shoot, I should raise to narrow the field"

2) Anger: "I raised preflop. The board is 239. What the fuck are they calling on? Oh, now they're re-raising me? Well, we'll fucking see about that. Fine, your 23o hit? Congrat-u-fucking-lations. Cap!"

3) Guilt: "Man, I missed the turn and they're still betting into me. I am such a terrible player. I should really let go of this hand. Let go if it, dumbass. Let go. See, this is why you never make money at poker because you can't lay a hand down you stupid fuck JUST FOLD."

4) Depression: "Call"

5) Forgiveness: "It's ok, you have to look that guy up every once in a while with A high. He might've been on AQ or AJ, and you would've had the best hand then. It's good for your table image anyhow. People won't mess with you now.

6) Acceptance: "Ok, next time I'll just limp and see a flop."

7) Recovery: "Hey, AKs, alright - RAISE!"


Top 5 Ways to Impress People With Poker Chat

I saw this on a forum and thought it was hysterical. I'm assuming that it's public domain; if it's not, and someone wants credit or needs me to take it down, then just post a comment here to that effect and I will.

Now you know how to impress players in live play. But people can't see your sunglasses and hat when you play online, so what can you do? one word: chat!

1) Type in all capitals. This conveys an unmistakable air of authority.

2) Take any opportunity you can get to show off your knowledge of poker. Remember, knowledge is power, and you want to appear powerful.

3) Speed is more important than accuracy. Type as fast as you can and don't worry about stupid shit like spelling or grammar.

4) Everyone is impressed by profanity, but most sites have installed measures to block profanity in chat. You can doubly impress fellow players with clever workarounds like inserting spaces, underscores and non-english profanity.

5) ASCII art is the coolest thing EVER, especially when in the form of genitalia.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Pokerstars WSOP Millionaire Quest 2005 -

Pokerstars is giving away $1 million in free WSOP prize packages this year. Chris Moneymaker got his start with Pokerstars in 2003, and Greg Raymer came from there in 2004, so apparently wants to make it 3 years in a row for the World Series of Poker. It's definitely not too late to get in on the action, although the main event at the WSOP is coming up fast and furious.

The prize package that Pokerstars is giving away includes the $10,000 WSOP entry fee, $1000 in cash, and 9 nights free in a hotel. The 9 nights free in the hotel is contingent upon wearing the Pokerstars branded logowear. If they want to pay me to wear their logo, I don't have a problem with it honestly. To win, you can play cash satellites as cheap as $2 to enter, or you can play in the free tournaments by using Frequent Player Points.

Pokerstars is awarding 100 of these packages this year. They're an official World Poker Tour member and a sponsor of the European poker tour too. If you want to sign up for and take a shot at the World Series of Poker, then please use my signup link: WSOP Qualifiers Here!


The Online Series of Poker

I've been seeing some buzz about the Online Series of Poker, which is being sponsored by Citadel Commerce. It's a series of online tournaments which eventually culminate in a $100,000 freeroll at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. The buy-ins for the tournaments online are either $100 or $250 depending on whether or not you play on Saturday or Sunday, and there's a leader board and forum on the Online Series of Poker site.

The winner of the event in Atlantic City will receive $30,000, and even tenth place is worth $5000. The trip to Atlantic City is all expenses paid based on winning one of the qualifying tournaments. The first qualifier has already been held at Party Poker, and the winners were "ACETT" and "AllDayTJ". Congratulations to both winners of the Online Series of Poker qualifier at Party Poker.

The following qualifiers are still coming up:

The Online Series of Poker will be held on Saturday October 8 at the Trump Taj Mahal. Winning one of the qualifiers also qualifies you for the all expense paid trip to Atlantic City, so this could be a very profitable venture if you do well.

They're also sponsoring a leader board, where the leaders receive cash prizes in addition to the prize money from the main event at the Trump Taj Mahal. You can win from $500 to $3000 for being on the leaderboard for this event.

Anyway, looks like a cool opportunity, so I thought I'd help spread the word about it. If you decide to play at a new poker room for one of the qualifiers, please be sure to use one of my links to sign up for it.


Texas Holdem on the Casino Princesa in Miami

I played $5/$10 Texas holdem on the Casino Princesa in Miami last week. I was in Miami for the Casino Affiliate Programs spring break event, and the casino cruise was one of the events. I've never been that far out on the ocean before. In fact, the furthest out I've even been on the ocean was in San Francisco when I took the tour around Alcatraz. But that's another post, and probably for another blog.

The blinds were $2/$5, and the table was very loose. I don't remember a single hand in 4 hours not going to a showdown. I did not play well. I made the mistake of playing looser than usual simply because everyone else was playing loose too. Bad mistake, and it cost me $200 of my $500 buy-in, and would have cost me more if I hadn't flopped a boat toward the end of the evening. (I also played badly because the beer and the rocking of the boat gave me a wicked buzz.)

But it was a good time, and I recommend the Casino Princesa to anyone wanting to go out on a casino cruise. The food was pretty good, the dealers were all very nice, and the casino was hopping. The Texas holdem table was pretty full almost the entire night, although I don't know if that's the usual situation or just because there were a lot of casino affiliates onboard and they tend to like playing poker, if you know what I mean.

Also, here's some info on the Casino Princesa:

The above information comes from the Casino City profile of the Princesa.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Nanolimit vs Microlimit Poker Online

The distinction between nanolimit and microlimit poker was one that I'd never made before today. I've been cruising through the beginners' forum over at Two Plus Two (mostly because my game has sucked so bad lately), and I found a post about building a bankroll if you're new to online poker and don't have much money. If I recall correctly, he started with a bankroll of only $50. I'm a big fan of making distinctions, because I feel like with more distinctions at my disposal, the better off I am.

Here's the distinction between nanolimits and microlimits in online poker. Nanolimit poker is poker played at such low limits that there is no rake. Microlimit poker is poker played at very low stakes, but the stakes are high enough that there is a rake. Nanolimit poker would include $0.01/$0.02 tables, $0.02/$0.04 tables, and $0.05/$0.10 tables. Microlimits generally start at the $0.25/$0.50 games. The gap between the top of the nanolimit games and the bottom of the microlimits is proportionally the largest gap between levels.

The recommended bankroll for these games is 200BB at the nanolimit level, because the games are very soft and there's no rake, so you shouldn't see particularly large downswings. A lot of people recommend a bigger bankroll for a higher limit game, like 300BB, but the author of the post at Two plus Two suggested that it's okay to take a shot at a higher level game with 150BB if you're willing to move down if you have some bad luck. (BB stands for "big bets", by the way.) The author also recommends playing at Pokerstars if you're on a nanolimit budget. ($50 up to about $200--if you have $200, then you're in a different class.)

Once you're up to $200, you're supposed to take advantage of a good bonus offer. The author suggests a 50% deposit option, but I would say that someplace like Full Tilt Poker or Noble Poker might be a good place to consider because they now offer 100% deposit bonuses. At this point the author also recommends investing in Poker Tracker software and the book Small Stakes Holdem. (Both of which are good investments at any level, in my opinion.)

The post goes on some more, but I don't want to steal his thunder. Just wanted to post some of my observations and insights from this post. I don't currently use Poker Tracker, and I need to start, and I need to re-read Small Stakes Holdem again, because it's fantastic, and the last time I read it my play improved enormously.

One more thing: those guys over at Two plus Two sure are smart.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Pokerstars "Jennicide" Jennifer Leigh Launches Website

I came across this while surfing Yahoo today:

I'd written a post about what a phenomenon Ms. Leigh has been in the world of online poker, with her 100's of rabid online poker fans, so it's exciting to me to see that she's launched her own site. I hope she'll update it often and be very successful.


Folding Hands in Poker & Last Night's Tournament

I played a multi-table tournament at Full Tilt Poker last night. ($20 buy-in). Finally managed to place in the money at one of these damn tournaments. I think I might have figured out what I'm doing wrong, with a little help from Larry Phillips's book, Zen and the Art of Poker. In the first chapter of that book, he explains that poker is, in a sense, a game of inaction, and the hands you fold are often as important or more important than the hands you play.

So I've tried to keep folding hands, and folding more hands. I've been folding before the flop, and I've been folding hands after the flop. I think I've gotten to a point where I could fold fifty hands in a row preflop, then fold fifty more hands after that if the cards weren't good enough to play. That kind of patience and detachment are what Larry preaches over and over again in both of his books, Zen and the Art of Poker and The Tao of Poker.




These are the three main themes in Larry Phillips's book, and I should probably print them out on a poster and hang them over my computer.

Monday, June 13, 2005


Placed 4th in a Private Freeroll Last Night

Some folks know that I'm involved in a site regarding poker affiliate programs, and last night the members of the message board there participated in a freeroll at Paradise Poker. It was my first time to play at Paradise Poker, and I must say that I enjoyed the software. The special effects on the cards when you win with a really good hand are pretty neat, and they have a good selection of games there.

I also won a bounty by knocking out a player, and I placed 4th out of 44 there. It was one of those beautiful tournaments when all the cards fall your way, at least for a while. I hit evey draw I drew to for a long time, and my chip stack got so large that I was able to play really aggressively for quite a while. It was interesting to me too that there are so many freeroll whores out there just begging for a password so they can play in a freeroll with a $40 prize for first place.

I'll be in Miami for the Casino Affiliate Programs spring break this weekend, so after Wednesday or so, I probably won't be posting very much. With any luck there will be some holdem games going on out there though.

And my losing streak at Full Tilt Poker seems to almost over. I think I finally figured out that I needed to fold bad starting hands, and I needed to start paying attention to my position. Big leak there.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Differences Between Limit and No Limit Holdem

Okay, so I've been playing limit holdem at Full Tilt Poker now for quite a while, and I think I'm starting to get a grip on the differences between limit and no limit, or at least how to play profitably in limit versus no limit. I think it's pretty common for no limit players to have a hard time gearing down for limit holdem. I know that I've had a tough time playing in low stakes limit games because I try to buy pots all the time just like I would in no limit, but I always get called down because I can't make a big enough bet to run anyone off.

So I've been losing big time over at Full Tilt Poker at the limit tables, my comments regarding the poor play there notwithstanding. I'm one of the poor players. One thing I noticed is that I'm probably playing way too many hands preflop, so I've got to plug that leak. Another problem I have is that I'm not paying enough attention to my game while I'm playing. I'm spending too much time looking at other websites and checking my email while I play.

Party Riches is holding a freeroll for members only tonight. I'll be playing in that event, and we'll see how I do. I have to download Paradise Poker, which is a poker site I haven't tried yet, but that's a good thing, because I need to review that site for my online poker rooms review site anyway.

Friday, June 10, 2005


Poker - Keeping Records, Tracking My Play

So I've decided that I'm going to start tracking my play, officially, here in my blog, something I haven't really done before. John Vorhaus always says that the difference between a serious player and one who's not serious is that the serious player keeps records. But I'm going to only keep records at Full Tilt Poker. I deposited $400 there, and I'm only going to play one game there from now on--limit holdem. I'm going to figure out what my hourly wage is if it kills me.

I think it's been said that your hourly wage should be between 1 and 2 big bets per hour at that level. We'll see where I'm at after about 100 hours of play.

I deposited $400 today.

Monday, June 06, 2005


Courtney Friel - Photos and Pics

Courtney Friel is the new spokesmodel for the World Poker Tour, and she is indeed lovely. (Even my wife said so.) She's certainly a worthy woman to step into Shana Hiatt's shoes, although no one is more smitten with Ms. Hiatt than I.

Courtney Friel lives in Los Angeles,and has worked for America's Most Wanted, E! News Live, and the Oxygen Channel. She's also been on Nickelodeon, Channel One News and the movie preview show in Loews Theaters all across the country.

You can find phots and pics of Courtney Friel on the following sites:


Party Poker Super Monday NL Holdem $150 + $12

Inspired by Susan's success, I decided to play tonight in the Super Monday No Limit game at Party Poker. I placed 372 out of 793 participants. The first table I played at was EXTREMELY tight, and I picked up quite a few blinds and fairly quickly brought my 1000 stack up to about 1400. Then I got moved to another table, where the players were quite a bit tougher.

This was the table where I busted out. I had AK offsuit and a short stacked guy bet 100 when the blinds were 25/50. I raised him to 300 which was close to half his stack, and he went all in. At that point I decided to call. He had 10's. Flopped a 10 and a K, and he doubled up, leaving me with 962 chips. (Pretty short-stacked at this point.)

So I'm in late position on a hand, one guy upfront calls the $100 blind and everyone else folds to me. I go all in, and the big and small blind fold, but the $100 caller, who has a big stack, calls my all-in. Of course, I have A3 and he has AK, so he has a big advantage, and wins all my chips. Boom boom boom, and the Super Monday NL Holdem Tournament at Party Poker is all over for me.

It's clear to me after tonight's tournament that I still have some serious improvement needed in my game. I tend to pay attention to other things when I should be paying attention to the poker game. (Reading websites during the hands I don't play, and chatting with buddies.) That's probably my biggest leak right now: automatic play and not paying attention to what's going on. That kind of play can win consistently at the $10 + $1 SnG's, and even at the $20 + $2 SnG's, but it's not the level of play that I aspire to.


Who Said I Was Dead Money?

A friend of mine, Susan T. Austin, was having trouble with her holdem game a few months ago, and I spent a little time with her on the phone, gave her some tips. played with her online a couple of times, and gave her some more tips. Since then she's won a qualifier to the World Series of Poker main event, and she decided to go play in one of the preliminary events a couple of days ago. With her permission, I'm posting the text of her email to me here. (The title of this post was also the title of her email.)

i flew to vegas over the weekend to play in the World Series of Poker $1500 buy-in no-limit tournament.

a girlfriend wanted to play in a few of the satellite tournaments to try and win a seat in the main event, and i said, why not?

figured it would be great practice for the main event in july.

and was it ever....

i think i saw every major name poker at this tournament.

phil ivey
phil helmuth
scott fischman
howard lederer
chris ferguson
brunson's son was there, but didn't see doyle
annie duke (i outlasted her)

i could go on and on....

here's a quick update of how the event went....

there were 2305 players.

we played 11 handed on the tables and only had 1500 in chips to start. (v. 10,000 for the main event)

i played the most intense poker of my life and finished 131 out of the field.
every time i went all-in i was literally shaking all over. even when i knew in my bones i had the best hand...i couldn't help it. it was nerve wracking.

i ended up grinding it out at the end and ended up in the money! (they paid the top 200 spots)

i was paid $2865 (which i think boiled down to minimum wage. or at least it felt like it)actually i was over the moon finishing in the money. (i can now officially say i played in a tournament with phil ivey and beat him. lol)

you can see my name on the results page at card player:

the event itself is grueling.
played till 2 oclock in the morning....

i ended up getting knocked out with pocket 10's against some jerk who called me with K7 off suit. he had no business calling me, cept he had chips to lose.

he of course caught a K on the flop and my tournament was over.

i learned loads re: strategy for the main event.

i know a lot of folks say they never got good cards...but i really had the most amazing dry spell of cards.

played for 13 hours and never once saw pocket aces or queens. only got AK twice and KK twice, JJ once and the 10's i went out on.

it was really strange how few good starting cards i got.

which in a way helped me, as i never went all in and lost with my pocket queens as i saw a bunch of people bust out on.

i ended up moving tables 8 times in the 13 hours, which i found extremely rustrating.
as soon as i would start to get to know a table, etc. it was moving time again.

my friend played for 12 hours and never changed tables once.
(i think that's why i never got the great cards, as soon as i started warming up on a table it was time to move again)

i know the main event with 6600 folks is different than 2300, but i'm encouraged nevertheless.

As much as I would love to take a little bit of credit for Susan's success, she did all the hard work herself. I'm looking forward to seeing her at the final table of the main event in July.


Getting It Back

Okay, I've been doing a lot better since I've been playing regularly again. It's amazing how NOT playing destroys my game, but actually playing poker improves my game. What's that old saying. "Practice makes perfect?"

Thank goodness I've needed to write all those poker review for my new website. It could have been months before I started playing regularly again. I feel like I'm on the verge of being really good.

On a side note, I recently updated my directory of poker forums & blogs with some new forums. Check it out if you're interested and/or have time.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


Poker Bankroll Update - A Sad, but True Story

I haven't been playing well at all lately, and I'm not 100% sure why. I'm probably trying to do too many other things while I play. Here are my latest bankrolls online:

Party Poker $0
Ultimate Bet $0
Poker Stars $4.20
Interpoker $352.96 (I made a $150 deposit there, got a $90 bonus, and won the rest.)
Absolute Poker $254.32
Full Tilt Poker $68.85
Noble Poker $173.95

Total Online Poker Bankroll $854.28

I have significant bonuses waiting for me at both Noble Poker and at Full Tilt Poker, so my playing priority for the next few days has got to be to clear the bonuses at those two rooms.

I'm also going to set myself a goal of building my poker bankroll up to $1700 by 6/30/2005.

I need to play at a couple of online poker rooms I haven't played at yet so that I can write reviews of them too. Poker Room is one of them, and I want to find another Prima Poker to play at too. (I've played at a couple of them, but I'm not sure which one I want to play at next.) Paradise Poker is the other one I need to review.

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