Wednesday, January 11, 2006


8 Reasons I Want to go to Camp Hellmuth

I've been over at the Camp Hellmuth website, and I'm reading more and more about the upcoming poker fantasy camp, so I thought that today, for my Phil Hellmuth post, I'd post a list of reasons I want to go to camp with Phil.

1- Phil Hellmuth- I was reading some reviews and news articles about last year's Camp Hellmuth, and someone called Phil the "Tony Robbins" of poker. I enjoyed the hell out of the last Tony Robbins seminar I went to. That, and I really like Phil Hellmuth.

2- Tournaments - The event includes several actual live poker tournaments, including a tournament where you can win your way into the World Poker Tour event in Aruba.

3- The Ultimate Bet Heads Up Challenge - Phil Hellmuth and Thomas "Thunder" Keller will play a heads up poker match from different rooms at Ultimate Bet, and explain why they're doing what they're doing as they play to the audience. Very cool.

4- TJ Cloutier - He'll be giving a talk about tournament poker and how to get to the final table. A gentleman I'd love to meet, and I'd enjoy getting some direct poker advice from him.

5- Antonio Esfandiari - "The Magician" will be talking about how to become a more aggressive player. Some of my buddies think I should probably avoid this seminar because I'm already too aggressive.

6- Joe Navarro - He's from the FBI, and he's giving a talk about body language and tells. According to the official site, Phil Hellmuth was taking notes during his talk last year. Reading tells is one of my weakest skills, although I've improved since I started paying attention to it.

7- Banquets and Cocktail Parties - They're having banquest and cocktail parties along with the seminar events, so you actually get to network with Phil Hellmuth and other poker players.

8- Cyndy Violette - She's a cute one. Really cute.

I probably won't make it this year, but you never know. There's still time to change my mind.


2 Poker Hands

I'm going to tell a story about 2 poker hands I played tonight. One made me very happy. One broke my heart. Both were pocket kings.

I was playing in a Pacific Poker freeroll that was being sponsored by my favorite poker strategy forum. I was playing very patiently and waiting for cards.

I get pocket kings. A raise from one person, a re-raise from another. I go all-in. One person calls me with KQ, and the other person folds, and I double up.

The VERY NEXT HAND I get dealt pocket kings again. A bet in front of me, followed by a raise. I go all-in. This time the guy next to me has pocket aces, and hits an ace on the flop knocking me out of the tournament.

Not really a bad beat story. Just a story about 2 poker hands, one of which made me very happy, and the 2nd of which broke my heart.


2 Cool New Gambling Poker Blogs

I got a really nice comment yesterday from Freddy Vegas, who said some nice things about my blogging. This thrilled me more than you might think, since I've never considered myself to be the greatest poker blogger in the world. (Except in my most secret of dreams, where I am surrounded by fabulous buxom women who all want to be my lovers because of my outstanding poker blogging skills.)

Anyway, ran over to his profile to check it out, and he's got a couple of cool new blogs going on. Worth checking out:

Anyway, good luck to both Freddy Vegas and "jungle jim" with their blogs. (Maybe I should add those to my article about 558 cool poker nicknames?)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


3 Recent Phil Hellmuth News Articles

As part of my ongoing Phil Hellmuth features, I'm posting links to 3 recent news articles about Phil Hellmuth:

1- MSNBC - Phil Hellmuth has Become a Hot Commodity - All about how busy Phil Hellmuth Jr. has been since he won the National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Looks like, among other things, the Poker Brat might be promoting his own clothing line at Wal-mart. THAT's success, ladies and gentlemen.

2- Luxist - Camp Hellmuth - Luxist is all about the luxury lifestyle, and I guess there's some overlap with Cardsquad when it comes to Hellmuth's poker camp. All about how you can spend $1999 and spend a few days with the greatest no limit holdem player of all-time.

3- LA Weekly - All In With the Bad Boy of Poker - I might have posted a link to this one already, but I'm posting another one because it's such a damn fine article.

Also, not really an article about Phil Hellmuth Jr., but a personal note: I received my copy of Kill Phil the new poker tournament strategy book that elaborates on David Sklansky's all-in or fold tournament strategy chapter in Tournament Poker for Advanced Players. The book indicates that it's about how to beat any of the various "Phil's" in poker today, but naturally, Phil Hellmuth is the only "Phil" to get his photo on the cover of the book.


2 Coolest Online Poker Tournaments

People love to play in online poker tournaments. And since people can play from the comfort of their own home, some of the online tourneys are getting more participants on a weekly basis than some of the big televised events like the World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker. What follows are my picks from the 2 coolest online poker tournaments:

1- The World Championship of Online Poker - This is the biggest multi-tournament event being held online, and it's a Pokerstars event. There have been 4 World Championships of Online Poker, beginning in 2002 and the most recent one having been in 2005.

In 2004, Pokerstars had 15 events with over $12 million in prize money. This makes it the biggest poker event online, and one of the 3rd biggest poker events anywhere.

2- The Sunday Night $215 Buy-in No Limit Holdem Tournament at Pokerstars - This is the largest weekly poker event on the planet, which has over 3500 entries each week, and over $700,000 in weekly prizes.


5 Poker Mistakes

I don't remember which book it's in, but I'm pretty sure it was a David Sklansky book, where the observation is made that there are only a handful of mistakes you can make playing poker. I can't find the article, but I can figure out what the mistakes are. The first thing to do in terms of figuring out what the mistakes are is to list all the possible actions you can take in a poker game:

1- You can check.
2- You can bet.
3- You can fold.
4- You can raise.

Those are really the only actions you can take in poker, so these are the only mistakes you can make:

1- Checking when you should be betting.
2- Betting when you should be checking.
3- Folding when you should be betting.
4- Folding when you should be raising.
5- Raising when you should be folding.

I think you can come up with other mistakes combining the above 4 possible actions, but not all of them apply, IMO, but the above 5 are the ones that apply. Thinking about the possible mistakes you can make playing poker makes the game seem a little simpler, to me.

Monday, January 09, 2006


4 Easy Ways to Increase Your Poker Win Rate

People want to improve their poker play. But really, there are a pretty limited number of things that you can actually DO to increase your win rate. I've listed 4 easy ways to increase your poker win rate here:

1- Track your results. If you're an online player and you're not using Poker Tracker, then you're losing (wasting) money. If you're not keeping records, you're just not serious about improving your win rate, because you don't even know what your win rate is.

In management they say that you can't manage what you don't measure. So it would be appropriate to start measuring your results.

2- Play poker. One of the surest ways to improve your game is to practice. This seems like it would go without saying, but it needs to be said, because there are plenty of studious players who spend more time reading and talking about playing poker than they actually spend playing.

3- Read about playing poker. If you're reading books, blogs, websites, magazines, and message boards about playing poker, then you're encountering new ideas. If you think about those ideas, and compare them with your experiences while you're playing, then you'll improve your game and your win rate. Reading isn't enough though; you still have to do the critical thinking part and get in your hours at the table.

4- Write and think about playing poker. Iggy pointed out to me once that the most important think about writing about poker was that it forced you to THINK about poker. If you're not thinking critically about the game and how you play, then you're not improving, you're just playing automatically, on auto-pilot.

Writing about something is one of the best things you can do to force yourself to think about it. So comment on poker blogs, blog, and participate on message boards.


558 Ideas for Cool Poker Nicknames

Do you want to be a cool poker player? Then you need a cool poker nickname. I've made a list of 558 cool poker names for your review here, and I hope you'll find this helpful in your quest to become an awe-inspiring and semi-famous poker player.

Poker Nicknames Starting With Adjectives

Here's a great formula for your new nickname: adjective + your first name.

Here's a list of 8 adjectives that might work for you:

1- Big
2- Fat
3- Little
4- Skinny
5- Slim
6- Mighty
7- Slick
8- Sleepy

Feel free to use an adjective not on this list if you like, but here are some examples using the above adjectives plus some common names:

1- "Big Jake"
2- "Fat Mike"
3- "Little John"
4- "Skinny Chris"
5- "Slim Dan"
6- "Mighty Mo"
7- "Slick Willie"
8- "Sleepy Ben"

Names of States as Nicknames

Okay, here are 50 more ideas. Every state name plus your first name. Some states are already taken, but not all of them, and sometimes if you have a different first name than the person who already uses that state as part of his moniker you can still get away with it.


1- "Texas Dolly"
2- "Florida Phil"
3- "Nevada Nick"
4- "Alabama Al"
5- "Oklahoma Bob"
6- "Minnesota Mike"

You get the idea here.

City Names + Your Name

As if 58 ideas for poker nicknames weren't enough, here are about 500 more. Take the name of a city and add your first name. That's it. Nothing could be easier. (500 assumes that there are about 10 names of cities per state.)

AND you can find a list of major city names in the USA here. You don't have to live there to use a city name as part of your nickname.

Here are some examples:

1- "Amarillo Slim"
2- "Minnesota Jim Meehan"
3- "Miami John"
4- "Tucson Tommy"
5- "Bakersfield Bill"
6- "New Orleans Mike"

Other Ideas for Poker Names

Don't feel limited to the 558 ideas I've presented you with. You can come up with cool nouns to add in between your first and last name too, like Antonio "The Magician" Esfandiari, or Men "The Master" Nguyen.

Another thing you can do is just wait til someone gives you a nickname. I used to play with a guy everyone called Lobster. No one was ever able to tell me why. I also played with a chiropractor named Dr. Tilt, but we all knew why he was nicknamed that.


9 Players at My Dream Final WSOP Table

These are the people I would like to see at the final table of the World Series of Poker championship event in 2006:

1- ME!

2- Iggy

3- "Minneapolis" Jim Meehan

4- Steve Badger (of Play Winning Poker)

5- Phil Hellmuth (of course)

6- Wes Young - I love playing with Wes because he's such a great audience. He laughs at me constantly, in fact.

7- Gabe Kaplan

8- David Sklansky ( I swear I could be the one to put him on tilt. The first and only one. If I couldn't do it, I bet Badger or Meehan could.)

9- Either William Shatner, Chuck Norris, or David Hasselhoff. Those guys are just plain cool.

10- Jennifer Tilly or Jennifer Leigh or Shirley Rosario (from Poker Babes)

Would make for great television.

Hey, come on. I can dream, can't I? I just can't count.


7 Ways to Confuse and Tilt Online Poker Players

One quick way to gain a subtle advantage at an online poker table is to distract and tilt the other players at the table. You can do this without being a jerk and berating other players too. In fact, some of them will think it's funny, and will enjoy playing with you.

But most importantly, if they're paying attention to your table talk, they're not paying enough attention to their game, and they lose EV while you gain it. (Even if they know what you're doing, they'll still be thinking about you and what you're doing instead of their cards and your cards.)

1- Sit down at a ring game with WAY more chips than anyone else at the table. I mean lots of chips, too, like at least 10 times what the biggest stack at the table has. Then raise every single hand you get both preflop and post-flop for the first five or ten hands you play. After that you can tighten up and play well and get action from everyone at the table.

2- Bluff like a madman and show your cards, especially if you've got really crappy cards like 27 offsuit and everyone folds.

3- Type into the chatbox that you just watched the movie Rounders and every episode of the World Poker Tour Season 2 and you're ready to take on all comers with your "tight but aggressive playing style".

4- Every time you win a hand or someone else folds to a bet you make, type, "That's right. Fear me." into the chat box. This works especially well if you refer to yourself in the 3rd person, as if you were a super villain.

5- Tell other players at the table, "Be careful. I'm sooted." Be sure to spell it "sooted".

6- Rant on and on about how great a player Phil Hellmuth is in the chat box. Express amazement and disbelief at anyone who disagrees with you.

7- Find another player at the table who's mad at you, or who seems to dislike you. Then start saying things to him like, "I like you, insert-player-name-here. Can I add you to my buddy list?" and "Will you be my friend?" and "PLEASE be my friend?"

This works especially well with players who have typed "FU" into the chatbox after you nailed them with a bad beat.


5 Facts You Didn't Know About Phil Hellmuth

1- If Phil Hellmuth were a captain on Star Trek, he'd be Captain Kirk, the biggest, baddest starship captain of them all. He'd be kicking Klingons' asses, raising hell, and getting it on with fine alien babes.

2- Phil Hellmuth can and has counted to infinity. More than once, in fact.

3- Phil Hellmuth has 12 sons named "The Sons of Hellmuth". (This is a pretty well-kept secret that is being revealed here for probably the first time.)

Together, they will each have 12 sons, who will begin the "12 Tribes of Hellmuth" which are often spoken of in the prophecy. (The prophecy about the greatest poker player who ever lived and who spawned descendants who took over the entire poker world.)

4- If Phil Hellmuth were on The A-Team, he'd be a combination of BA Baraccus and Hannibal. BA because he's BAD, and Hannibal because he's smart. (Come to think of it, he'd also be Faceman, because he's handsome too.)

5- Phil Hellmuth can run a mile in under 3 minutes, but when you're as good a poker player as Phil Hellmuth, you don't have to "run" anywhere. You can drive a fancy car, or have someone else drive you.

Bonus Fact # 6 - If Phil Hellmuth were a woman, he'd be a Slayer, like Buffy, only badder. He would probably be the reason for the extinction of all the vampires in the world by the end of the first season.

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