Wednesday, July 27, 2005


John Vorhaus and Game Theory

I'd read about game theory in a couple of Sklansky books, but I didn't really understand it until I read the section in John Vorhaus Killer Texas Holdem Workbook that explained it in terms I could understand. Vorhaus suggests that you imagine a game where you're playing poker one card per hand in a deck with only 2 cards, the ace and the 2. Then suppose you're playing with an opponent who raises only when he has an ace and folds when he has a 2. Consistently.

Doesn't take long for you to know when to hold em and know when to fold em here does it? By the same token, if you take a player who raises every hand he has, regardless of whether he has the ace or the 2, you also know exactly what action to take in order to compensate for his play.

But if he does something to randomize how often he raises with a 2...well, that's game theory in action. It makes him unpredictable to his opponents. And unless they can figure out the proper calling frequency, they'll lose money against him by making mistakes based on being unable to read him.

At a full ring game, you can play automatically and predictably and do allright. You might even be able to make a profit. But at a short handed table where there's a rake, and where the blind comes around more often than once every 5 hands, you need to be able to make yourself more profitably by using game theory to your advantage.

Thanks for explaining this to me, Mr. Vorhaus.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


World Championship of Online Poker at Pokerstars

I won a qualifier to the World Championship of Online Poker at Pokerstars. Chatted with Iggy about it a little bit tonight, and he said that the event I was playing in was particularly brutal, the pot limit short table event. But I played a lot of pot limit here in Dallas when my favorite club in Richardson was still open, so I'm fairly comfortable with my skill level. I think I can probably even place in the money, but you never know.

My wife's not really thrilled about it though, because the tournament is on my daughters' birthday. (I have twins.) Last year I was in the hospital for my birthday. Turns out I have panic attacks, and since I'm overweight, whenever there's a hint of chest pain, they want me in the emergency room.

The weather here in Texas is hot and humid, but I'm staying inside under the fan and air conditioner, and I'm playing a little bit of poker. Been working on some of my other websites for a bit, which is why I haven't done much blogging here. Going to try to make up for it some this week.


New Casino Games Guide

A friend of mine has recently launched a rather ambitious project at Mongoose, the site author, has decided to launch one last gambling site, and put all of his writing about casino games and casino game strategies in one place. There's not a ton of information there yet, but there will be eventually, and if I know Mongoose, and I do know Mongoose, the information presented there about how to play casinos games is going to be topnotch and well worth reading. I've bookmarked this page, and I recommend that you do the same, because this is, IMO, THE gambling site to watch over the next year.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


WSOP Updates - 2005 No Limit Holdem Status

I've done a lousy job of providing WSOP updates, but I never claimed to be officially covering the World Series of Poker anyway. I just post about it when I feel interested in posting about it, actually, and today I thought I'd try to put something up on the old poker blog that has more to do with poker and less to do with sex. Anyway, I'm getting my updates from Cardplayer anyway, which has got video updates and everything.

Looks like the main event is now down to the final 27 players. That's big money sitting there now, folks. Amazingly, from what I understand, Greg Raymer is doing very well again this year. I think that's terrific. I've always gotten the impression that Greg "Fossilman" Raymer is a cool guy, an ordinary guy, the kinda guy I could have a beer with. The only thing that would be more exciting for me from the perspective of seeing Raymer win the big one again this year would be seeing Gabe Kaplan come out and win it.

I'm a big fan of Gabe Kaplan. The guy's awesome. Funny and smart. A hero to me when I was a young man.

I'm rambling a bit today. I'm in a rambling mood though. Was reading a bunch of cool stuff about Andy Kaufman last night on the internet. There was an interesting guy. Definitely do a Google search for Andy Kaufman sometime and enjoy away. One urban legend I thought was funny was that Jim Carrey was theorized to actually be Kaufman under an asssumed identity.


Followup to Poker Hotties and Poker Babes Post - Nude Searches

Fascinating. I got picked up for an "Annie Duke nude" search a couple of days ago in a search engine. Does this mean I'll get traffic for people searching for Cyndy Violette nude pictures soon too? BTW, from what I can tell from this blog post, there are no nude pictures of Cyndy Violette on the internet--she was in Playboy, but she was in there fully clothed. According to that article, Jill Ann Spaulding is the only poker female who posed nude. (I'm assuming that they're not including Shana Hiatt as a poker female because she's more well-known as a spokesemodel than a player.)

Someone out there started a nude-poker dot address at some point in the past, but there's nothing at all there. I guess they were trying to pick up traffic for phrases like "Evelyn Ng naked" or "Clonie Gowen nude".

Here's my advice to folks searching for poker player nude pictures. Decide what you want to do. If you want to look at naked women, then maybe you oughta hit some adult sites, and then go play poker afterward. Or maybe you're more interested in playing some poker. If so, be sure to sign up with my bonus code at Party Poker. (CHIPSBLOG, or one of the other bonus codes in the sidebar here.)


Playing Flush Draws in No Limit Holdem

First of all, I'm no expert. So I probably play hands wrong all the time, and this was probably another time, but I'm going to talk about it here anyway. I was playing no limit holdem at Full Tilt Poker today. I'm in a $20 pot with a guy, and on the flop, he gets a pair of 10's with a King kicker. (He's holding K10. Flop is 10 -8 -5.) The 8 and the 5 are both spades, and I have the A3 of spades in my hand. So he bets $20 to me on the flop, and I go all-in for $160.

I generally play my flush draws very aggressively when I'm playing no limit holdem. That's just me though. I guess I figure that I've got a 1 in 3 chance of hitting my flush, but my chances of him folding are extremely good with a big bet like that, so if it's not a positive expectation bet, it's probably pretty close. Maybe I'm wrong--I haven't done the math on it. There are a lot of factors. I'll say this though--if I've got top pair, and a king kicker, and someone goes all-in on me, I'm folding. Heck--you might have an A10 or even 1010, for 3 of a kind.

So this guy gets mad at me because I make my flush on the river. Calls me a "f-ing idiot". Here's what I don't understand--if it's such a dumb play, why is he mad? I mean, don't you WANT your opponents making bad moves? Even if they accidentally suck out and win? I mean hell, if you really think that's such an awful play, why wouldn't you say "nh" and then immediately rebuy, and add me to your buddy list along with a big note saying "FISH"?

I'm not so interested in whether or not I played the hand correctly. I was just farting around more than anything today. But I AM fascinated by people who lose to what they consider a bad beat, but then refuse to play with you anymore. I think what's really going on in this situation is the guy was playing way above his bankroll, and he COULDN'T afford the swings that go along with playing no limit holdem.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Pink Panty Poker - Victoria's Secret -

I haven't actually played Pink Panty Poker yet, since I don't actually have any pink panties to wear to such a game, but I agree with all the pundits who are talking about what a brilliant advertising strategy this is for Victoria's Secret. For those of you who haven't heard about it yet, there's a new strip poker game at It's a viral marketing campaign from Victoria's secret, and according to the folks who planned the campaign, people want to watch strangers playing poker.

Now if they recuit Mimi Rogers to play some Pink Panty Poker, they'll not be able to tear me away from the site.


Poker Babes - Hotties Playing Poker

I guess poker has become a real sport now that there is so much interest in babes who play poker. I keep seeing more and more websites with sections devoted to poker hotties, or good looking women who play poker. I'm not exactly sure what the attraction is to good looking women at a poker table, but I'm sure it's something akin to the attraction toward women in other costumes like cheerleader outfits or maid's costumes. Or maybe it has something to do with dominance and control.

At any rate, I have a list of women who I think of as "poker babes". These are the best looking women I know of in the poker world, and I'm a fan of lists, so here's my list:

This is, without a doubt, a very incomplete list. And the one name I left off the list is my absolute favorite of all, the incomparable Mimi Rogers. Why Tom Cruise left her for all these skinny young women I'll never understand, because Mimi Rogers is nothing short of breathtaking. I didn't even realize she was a poker babe until last week.

Annie Duke didn't make my list, but I know at least one other poker blogger who's received traffic for the phrase "Annie Duke nude", so apparently someone out there thinks she's a babe.

Monday, July 11, 2005


The Difference Between 560th Place and 561st Place

The difference is $12,5000.

There's something profound and meaningful in that statement, so think about it. It's almost a World Series of Poker zen koan, in fact.

Friday, July 08, 2005


Doyle Brunson to buy World Poker Tour?

Saw an article on Reuters today that Doyle Brunson has bid $700 million to buy World Poker Tour (WPTE). This is just a few days after WPT launched their own online gaming site. The $700 million bid was a premium of 100% on the company's share price at the time, and the rumors of the bid have driven the stock price up considerably. According to the CFO at World Poker Tour, it was an unsolicited offer, and they're looking at it just like any other offer.

More power to Doyle Brunson! To be 71 years old and still interested in buying whole companies...why that's on a par with Warren Buffett.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


What I Learned from Iggy Today

I was fortunate enough to get to know fellow blogger Iggy from Party Poker blogs today. What a terrific guy; if you've read his blog, you have a pretty good idea of what this guy is like for real. Which I suppose is one of the goals of blogging. Anyway, the "blogfather" had a lot to teach me today. Here are some nuggets, and they're paraphrased, but generally only slightly:

Thanks for the coaching and the nuggets of wisdom today, Blogfather. You are definitely THE man in my book.


Activision Poker Game for World Series of Poker

I guess it's not enough that you can play poker online at reputable card sites. Now there are video game versions of poker where you can play "simulated poker" with "simulated poker players" on your X-box or your Sony Playstation 2 or you Nintendo Gamecube or whatever your console of choice is. I saw that Activision is releasing a World Series of Poker game and the sneak preview is available in Vegas right now. Now let me make sure I understand this: I'm going to Vegas now, when the WSOP is in full swing, and I'm going to watch a video game that I can play poker on, and one on which I can't even play for real money? As one of my former bosses used to tell me, "Not gonna happen."

Reading further into the article, I'm learning that I'll actually get to play with the likenesses of some poker celebrities. Wow. I'm not sure if anyone else has ever played a licensed video game that sucked (Try any movie-related game on the X-box if you haven't, with the exception of the wonderful Star Wars Lego game.), but it's a standard rule that any licensed game for the console video game world will not only suck, but it will suck in a big way. Bad. Awful. Terrible. Some of the worst games ever.

On the other hand, might be fun.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Some WSOP Information for the 36th Annual WSOP

Here's a list of some more or less but not really random WSOP information:

Just some fun, at a glance stuff about the WSOP that I thought folks might enjoy.


Golfer Rocco Mediate Tries Poker

Golfer Rocco Mediate is playing in the main event of the WSOP next week. Mediate's a five time winner on the PGA Tour. is sponsoring Rocco Mediate and paying his $10,000 entry fee. Apparently he plays online quite a bit, and he's not bad, but I've never met a poker player who knew that he sucked, so who knows? Interestingly enough, there are probably quite a few poker players who would lose a good bit of money to him if they played golf for money.

I seem to remember somewhere that Stu Ungar used to lose a lot of money betting on golf games, but don't quote me on that one.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Andy Nguyen - WSOP Winner, Employee Event

Out of curiosity, I did some searching for info on Andy Nguyen, who won the casino employee WSOP event this year. It's not a name that rang a bell, although that doesn't necessarily mean he isn't famous. It could just mean that this is another area where I'm clueless about things.

Andy Nguyen was born in Vietnam in 1962, and he's lived in the USA for the last 20 years. He's a poker dealer at Binion's Horseshoe in Downtown Las Vegas, where he's worked since 2001. He's been playing poker seriously for about 5 years now.

You can see a great photo of Andy Nguyen here. Sharla's posted a picture of Andy Nguyen here too.

Monday, July 04, 2005


WSOP Winners so far for 2005

I'm a big fan of lists. My wife says I'm a compulsive list-maker, and it drives her nuts. Anyway, I thought it would be cool to make a list of all the WSOP Winners so far in 2005, just in case anyone was interested.

That's it so far. One thing I've noticed looking through these results and making this list is that I don't know most of the poker players on it. Maybe I'll do some research on some of them and post what I find out about them here in this blog.


Shannon Sharpe Training with Mark Seif for WSOP

Shannon Sharpe is well-known to me as a promoter of Myoplex for Bill Phillips, back when Phillips was still running Muscle Media magazine. I'm not much of a football fan, so I didn't really know anything about Shannon Sharpe the football player, other than he was promoting for EAS. But now I read that he's going to be playing in the World Series of Poker, and that Mark Seif is going to be training him for it. It's amazing to me how much publicity and how many ideas for publicity are being generated in this new poker industry these days.

Absolute Poker is the poker room online that's bringing this celebrity to the poker table in Vegas this year, and more power to 'em. They're a great poker room, and if booking Shannon Sharpe to play in the WSOP for them is going to make stuff happen for them, then I'm all for it.

Sunday, July 03, 2005


Sklanskyanity? - A New Religion for Poker Players

I have a relative who explained to my son not long ago that no one plays poker but sluts and stupid people. We all think she was drunk when she said it, or at the very least hungover. I'm not 100% sure that there's a big solid connection with the topic of this post, but I suspect that she hasn't heard anything about Sklanskyanity.

David Sklansky is a different breed of cat, and I think anyone who's read any of his books or paid any attention to his posts over at Two plus Two knows that. But recently I've been hearing a little bit about Sklanskyanity, a new religion he's been talking about over there, and I'm intrigured. In Sklansky's Poker, Gaming and Life, he talks about how if you want to know what life is going to be like 200 years from now, just imagine what it was like 200 years ago. You weren't alive then either. I always got the impression from this comment that he didn't believe in an afterlife, and that he possibly was an atheist besides.

But maybe like a lot of people who start getting older, he's beginning to have different ideas about God and an afterlife. I think Sklansky's thought processes are interesting, and I love reading his books. So if you're interested in some of his ideas on this whole religion thing, here is a link to the philosophy section of Two plus Two.

Go over there and do some reading and come back and let me know whether or not you think that these guys are a weird bunch. But probably weird in a good way. I tend to agree with most of what David Sklansky writes, frankly.


Robert Guinther in Killeen Texas

Read an article about how Robert Guinther mistakenly won a seat in the WSOP. Interesting stuff--basically he bought into what he thought was a $10 SnG, but it turned out it was actually a WSOP qualifier. He lives in Killeen, Texas, which is where I used to work when I worked at Olan Mills (it was one of my stores, I was an area manager.)

Anyway, it's funny how these things work out sometimes. I won a freeroll into a Super Weeknight at Party Poker about a year ago, and accidentally won it, then wound up hitting 5th place in the actual tournament. Won $6k and paid off my pickup truck. Lost the rest of the prize money trying to duplicate the event.

Anyway, Mr. Guinther has my congratulations, and nothing would please me more to see him win the main event there at the WSOP next week. Well, except for seeing my friend Susan Austin win. She's the bomb. LOL


Mike Caro's Roulette System

Stumbled across Mike Caro's roulette system today, and it sure did make me laugh. Just to summarize the system briefly:

The article continues in this vein, and clearly explains why this system eliminates the house advantage. If you figure out why this system works at bringing the house edge down to "0", you get a gold star.


Women and Poker - Gender Issues in the Game of Poker

I sometimes play poker with a buddy of mine named Dan. He goes by a female handle at Party Poker, and I won't blow his cover by posting his handle here, but it's something similar to hotsinglemom. He does this to give himself a particular table image based on people thinking that he's a woman. What I'm curious about is whether or not people actually play differently against a woman just because she's a woman.

I know I play differently against women, but I'm a big dork and I act differently around women in all situation, not just playing poker. But I get the feeling that a lot of men think that women can't play poker well, or that they're easily pushed around, or they're just not as smart as men. And while it's true that no woman has ever won the main event at the World Series of Poker, this doesn't prove a thing about a woman's innate ability to play poker. The fact is that there just aren't as many women playing poker. (Although there certainly seem to be a lot of them out there now.)

Last time I played in a live poker game with a woman, she tore my nut flush all to hell with her full house. No fun that, I'll tell you. And while I'm sure I'd enjoy meeting Clonie Gowen, Annie Duke, Shirley Rosario, and/or Jennifer Tilly, I'm not sure I'd want to sit down at a very high stakes game with them. I'm pretty sure any one of them would clean me out.

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