Tuesday, May 31, 2005

My Vegas Advice

Looks just like an angel, but angel's talking trash. You make conversation, but she's listenin' to your cash. The Full Bug - Van Halen

I haven't been to Vegas enough to offer much advice that hasn't already been given, especially by the Good Dr. Pauly. I can only offer some recommendations should you find yourself outside of the casinos and inside places where scantily clad damsels in distress are looking to be rescued by your cash.


When you first walk into such a place, you need to quickly find out what the appropriate behavior is, for both you and the entertainers. Obviously you're expected to find a seat - but what comes next varies from place to place. Some places will have a single stage - others may have several - and often times it's appropriate to visit the stage with small denomination bills. Usually, you'll be treated to 20-30 seconds of attention, at the end of which you'll make your donation. The entertainer will let you know where your donation is to go taking that decision away from you. Here's a warning: do not give money to dancers who you wouldn't want to receive a lap dance from later on in the visit. More often than not, your small token of appreciation is taken as an invitation for more attention. Some people are uncomfortable saying no, and if you're one of those people, sit tight until the right circumstance avails itself.


What separates the good from the bad is the talent. Wouldn't it be nice to enjoy what you're watching? Sadly, this is not always the case. Here in G-Vegas, it's not uncommon to see performers who are sadly out of shape, past their prime or both. I am not a believer in giving unwarranted positive feedback. I do not give sympathy dollars to anyone. At these clubs, it's survival of the hottest, and I don't want anyone there who can't cut it. Do you? I didn't think so. One caveat: Not everyone can be a 10. Often times the hottest ones give the crapiest dances, just because they can. When you scale down to the 8.5's and 8's, often times you can get more mileage out of your dollars. From my perspective, these are the best encounters - the talent who's willing to give that extra effort to make your experience enjoyable. Sometimes it's a crap shoot and you get substandard looks with substandard dances. That sucks. That's why I advocate a visit to the stage with a few bucks. You can sometimes extrapolate their efforts on stage to those off the stage. It's not an exact science, as such, repeat visits are often necessary.


How the talent first approaches you is also a very important consideration. Beware the come-from-behind technique. Why? The answer is simple. Often times, those who approach you in this manner have something to hide. They'll peak their potentially decent looking faces over your shoulder and immediately ask for a dance. Do not answer yet. You have two choices. First, turn around and survey the landscape. If it's rife with rolling hills, you can now avoid a potentially bad experience. The other choice requires a buddy. Beforehand, you'll need to have a signal that he can relay to you inconspicuously such that you know whether to accept the offer or not. There are those rare beauties who use this approach, and you'll be kicking yourself for turning down the opportunity. It's rare, but it does happen. A hand signal, even a rolling of the eyes is often times enough of a signal for how you should proceed.


If you end up agreeing to some further attention, you'll more than likely have several options available to you. Don't go crazy here. A standard dance is more than likely just as good as any so-called extra attention the higher priced options will yield. I've been to places where the $10 version was not noticeably different than it's $25 counterpart. Start off low and your wallet will thank you.


Few people do this, but it is fine for you to attempt to negotiate a better rate. My first salvo is to tell them it will only cost them $10 to dance for me because I like them so much. Sometimes I'll cut them a break and allow them to entertain me for free. Generally speaking, you can sometimes get an unadvertised two-for-one special simply by asking. More time for less money is win-win in my book.


This could be my biggest complaint about such clubs. If you're there dancing, and I'm there willing to pay, you better be in a good mood and enjoy your job while you're there. I can't tell you how many times I've been approached and an entertainer will begrudgingly ask me if I want a dance. With such piss poor enthusiasm evident, I'll say no every time. It's just not worth the money. I'm there for a suspension of my everyday realities, so don't bring your shitty attitude into my fun. No matter how hot you are, I don't want to hear about your boyfriend troubles, your money troubles, your legal issues or the fact that your kid is failing out of high school.


Drinks are obviously expensive on the inside. The smart partakers will imbibe elsewhere first, getting properly lubed up on the cheap. I've had warmup sessions at Hooters where a pitcher or two of beer is a good way to get things started.

Spending $$

This is a finer point of contention with many attendees. How much money should I spend? If you go with a group of people, sometimes one member of the group is going to have to take one for the team. If everyone at your table constantly refuses any dances, then eventually word will spread about how cheap you are and you'll get no further offers. You can't afford for this to happen. There's nothing worse seeing the hotties walk right by you. Don't even get me started on how embarrassing it is to get up from your chair and run down a target for a dance only to have her never show up to your table. It happens. You have to be prepared to spend at least a little, otherwise you really shouldn't go.

That's basically it in a nutshell. Have fun if you go.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Medusa and the Money

Here's a running spewage about my Memorial Day $30+3 MTT on Party. 960 entered which surprised me. Apparently I'm not the only one with a day off today.

40 minutes in, I've played about 0 hands. Finally, I get AK on the button. Amidst 3
limpers (T30), I make it T150 ala Dan Harrington's recommendations. I get called by the BB and 1 limper. The flop is AJ7, BB checks, limper min-bets (sheesh) and I push. BB calls, limper folds. BB shows AJ and I'm cursing. River is a K!!! That never happens.

I'm shot to above average and can play some poker. 960 started and already 300 are gone.

Got rivered when I played AKs vs J7s when a club hit the river. J7s calls a 6x BB raise and then calls off all his chips on a draw. What can ya do? It's the break, half the players are out and I've played only about 6 hands, AK, AK, AK, AA, QQ, and 9Ts. The high pocket pairs only bought me the blinds and I won the biggest pot with 9Ts when I caught my nut straight. A flush draw squelched the betting, but winning the amount I won was fine.

13xBB now with 292 left. Avg. is 3300 and I'm at T1900. Need some cards soon, but no need to go crazy.

9.5XBB, 249 left. Avg. is 3850, still at T1900, I need to double up to get back to average.

6X BB, 210 left. Avg. is 4600, at T1200 - on comes Medusa, and I pick a hand to go with.

Survive the BB with J5o as it's folded to me. Medusa in action? 200 left, 100 pay.

2.5BB, 174 left, have never seen such a dry run of cards. Ever. I will probably have to pick my 1st Ace and go. Haven't seen an Ace in an hour.

I pick K7d. 2 callers, flop is 35T, no diamonds. 1 caller bets out the other with pocket 2's. River is a 7!!!! T2550. Unreal.

6.5XBB, on break 159 left. Avg. is 6000, I have T2550. Medusa!!!!

Made a tough laydown. A5o in the BB and 5 people see a flop of 235clubs. SB min bets and there's just too many people left to act behind me so I fold. The min bet takes it down.

A3o in LP, all-in for a steal. I fold pocket 2's next hand because two consecutive all-in's increase the odds of getting called. I really don't want to be called with that hand so I fold. 148 left.

Pocket T's after 1 limper in MP. Medusa!!!!! Big stack is thinking, calls w/76. I flop a set and win. She's starin' at you....with her eyes!!!!

Folded KQ UTG, after reading Harrington, I really don't like that hand in that position.

12.75XBB, 137 left. AVg. is 7000, I have T5100. Room to play again. Even at this stage of the game, I'm seeing really bad play. Someone called off 3/4 of their chips and folded post-turn. He was the J7s guy from above. He finished 130th.

Hurt in a battle of the blinds. 78 vs 62. I turned an 8, he rivered a 3rd 2. Ugh. T2700.

A7. all in. Blind steal. 6XBB, 121 left. 116 left. Still seeing unimaginable bad play. I can only say "Wow." to some of this. 66 putting someone else all-in on a board w/2 Aces after getting raised on the turn.

This is harvest time for sure, but you need the tools to do it (cards) and I haven't seen much still. Medusa still blares....

4XBB, 111 left. Avg. is 8600, I have T2400. Great, 110 left and it's hand-to-hand.

3XBB, 110 left. Avg. is 8700, I have T2400. Still hand to hand. On my table an AK beats an 88 with an A on the river. 108 left. 107 left. 105 left. 104 left.

1.5XBB 103 left. Laughable....

102 left. I just got the button, so I have a snowball's chance here. Fold A3 in LP.

101 left.

IN DA $$$. Thanks to Anthrax.

96th place after I push w/KQs lose to pocket 4's. Massive $10 profit. Massive I tell ya.

Vegas Prep

Friday, May 27, 2005


I shouldn't post while I'm over-tired and coming off a few day long losing streak. But I will.

I'm just gonna ramble a bit about some thoughts I've had recently. They mainly focus on my bankroll and YTD profits. Perhaps some of you also think the same way, perhaps some of you don't.

They say that losing players don't keep track of their results for a variety of reasons. I may have mentioned it before, but I've been keeping track of mine ever since I began playing for nickels and dimes back in 1992. The stakes have grown and the games have changed, but I've been pretty diligent about keeping an accurate tally.

Throughout the years, especially in the last two, I've reached all-time highs - a new peak in the ever-changing profit and bankroll numbers. Once I reach a new peak, feelings towards the game change. I feel like I'm entitled to remain at this new peak and keep moving upwards. Any temporary dip gets me overly disappointed in myself for not being able to maintain my new high.

And that's just odd.

We all know how bankrolls fluctuate. I shouldn't be surprised when mine dips. I need to control my borderline obsession with these numbers. It's distracting me from playing proper poker and changing my focus towards results-oriented play. What follows is BadBlood playing bad poker.

Very bad poker.

To wit:

Last night at casa de G-Rob things started off with a bang. I'm dealt AJ and I'm in a pot against KK and QQ. The flop is JJx and I more than double up on the very first hand. Things went downhill from there.


Because on the first hand I set a level for myself such that when I lost the next pot, I thought too much of where I had been and not where I currently was. Does that make sense?

I hate to post up such a whiny post so close to Vegas when everyone is getting so geared up. Me? I have to say that right now, I'm glad I'm not playing in Event #2. I'd focus too much on a $1500 loss and not playing good poker.

I have exaclty 6 days to change.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Lottery Results

I bought 5 tickets. I matched 0 numbers. The good news is that nobody else won and the jackpot will be an "estimated" $218 million. That's good, because $180 was simply not going to cut it.


Lately I've been prepping Mrs_Blood for some live casino Hold 'em action and she's been a pretty decent student. She tested her mettle last night in a friendly $20 buy-in .10/.25 blind NL ring game. She nearly tripled up. I lost two buy-ins in what was clearly a case of do as I say, not as I do.

An interesting hand came up that prompted G-Rob's ire directed at me. G-Rob and Mrs_Blood had played a hand to the river and had checked it down in the last betting round. G-Rob, first to act, paused after the river card came up and Mrs_Blood erroneously acted out of turn and checked. I mentioned that fact, and G-Rob immediately bet out $5 into a $2 pot. Knowing exactly what he was doing, but not knowing anything about Mrs_Blood's cards, I implored her to call.

I told her G-Rob only bet out (classic overbet!) because he heard you check out of turn. So she did call and ended up beating G-Rob's 10-high. The "only one player to a hand" issue came up wherein I responded thusly:

In any other serious game with any other player involved, I'm not saying a word. But if you try to take advantage of the Mrs with me at the same table, I'm speaking up.

Sue me.



More live action with a little more at stake tonight at casa de G-Rob. Perhaps he'll let Mrs. G-Rob play and get some revenge on me, but I'm not sure she's too much into poker.

I got a bit tired of organizing and hosting games. I have about 25 people on my mailing list and the affirmative responses kept getting smaller and smaller. It will be refreshing and fun to simply play a game rather than worry if the game I'm hosting will be sustainable for the duration of the evening.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

My Luck is Your Luck

Kindly wish me good luck as I play South Carolina's Powerball Lottery tonight. The prize is 180 million which translates into a 60 million post-tax lump sum. Here are some of the things I will do if I win:

I'll gladly pickup the bill at the blogger after party.

I'll also ante up some free buy-ins to Event #2 for anyone who feels like playing.

CJ, Pauly, Grubby......FREE WHORES! Ok, Chad too.

G-Rob can have that sex change operation he's been mentioning.

To Al, an entire gross of SoCo bottles. Drink that deck, baby! Leftovers go back to Philly for Big Mike.

Iggy can have bone extensions put in his shins for an extra few inches of height. And the Road House Special Edition DVD.

Felicia can get an upgrade to her PC with those new 286's that are out.

Professional Poker Player(tm) Chris Halverson gets an HDTV, HD satellite stuff, and an HD TiVo. He must however burn all poker related shows to DVD and disperse them at his own expense to whomever wants them.

FilmGeek gets cash to buy a new lightsaber and all the SpaceBalls merchandise he wants. Not sure why he likes Dark Helmet so much...

Otis can have some crutches for his inevitable fall. Gold-plated ones.

Daddy gets free passes to every zoo in North America.

Bob gets a personal assistant who confirms his junk status at regular pre-defined intervals.

That should cover some of it. Anyone else want anything, let me know.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Have Game Will Travel

It was just under a year ago that I took a risk that has turned out to be very +EV on the social scale. I'd only been blogging for a few months and played in only 1 blogger tourney, so I was quite new to the scene and had certainly never met anyone in person whose blog I had read.

After a few misfires (I emailed CJ thinking he was Otis), I finally realized Otis lived very nearby. I weasled my way into a Brad-o-Ween tourney invite and met a great bunch of guys, many of whom have become friends.

When I realized there were a couple more bloggers from our Palmetto state, I figured it was my duty to extend some invites to my home game, just as Otis had extended an invite to me. One week, the Big Pirate showed up; the next week it was Gamecock. Each took a risk driving more than an hour to play in my home game and meet someone who could have easily been a dick. (Aside: Maybe I am, and nobody will tell me.) (Aside #2: I predict G-Rob will call me a dick in the comments.)

Returning the invite, Big Pirate invited me to his home tourney this past Sunday.

It was great. I met a great bunch of guys with similar interests (duh, poker) and managed to confirm that my live tourney play is still much less than stellar. Finishing 9th was simply a formality, I did last longer than the host so I've got that going for me. *cough* re-raise with 9's *cough* I managed to win the tourney buy-in back in a ring game, which appears to be a strength of mine. I can't count the number of times I've lost in a tourney and won back the buy-in plus some extra afterwards. I shouldn't bother trying to win a satellite to Event #2, I should just play some Rio side games. Stop laughing.

The point of this post is that even if I didn't win a dime back in the live game, the trip would have been worth it. I'm sure I'll be playing more poker with Pirate and Gamecock in the future, they've tentatively reserved a spot in the BadBlood Poker Superstars Invitational on July 2nd and 3rd. Blogging this stuff has brought me friendships I'd have never made before and for that I'm glad. Time for a group hug.

Sheesh, who said that? That was quite......well, you know.


In other blogger news, there have been quizzes floating around, asking who among you scraggly-ass wannabe's can beat me in arm wrestling. One must only look to "This Is Spinal Tap" for the answer. During a pre-concert buffet, Nigel picks up one green olive and notices the pimento inside of it. He laments that another similar green olive is in fact pimento-less. "Look, this one has a little guy in it. But this one, who's in here?"

Exactly. NO ONE! \m/

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Money Spent and Money Lost

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...


The maniac sat down at my table and I knew right away he was a classic overbetter. The preflop raises I had been seeing were of the 3-4xBB nature and this guy sat down right away making them 7 or 8x. On trash hands. I'd seen him suck out on a few players with garbage hands catching garbage flops. I simply tightened up, waiting in Hellmuthian fashion for the time to strike.


Rewind 4 years ago to Mrs. Blood's birthday. She's not to hard to read in the realm of birthday gifts, she just comes right out and announces what she wants. It's almost like playing cards against someone who shows you their hole cards everytime. How can you lose?

Those who know me know of my geekiness. Sure I shroud it in weightlifting and heavy metal, but deep down I ponder if my next CPU purchase will be hyperthreaded or able to handle 64-bit instruction sets.

So nobody should really be surprised that when I bought a 8x (yes, 8x!!!!) CD-burner for the Mrs. for her birthday, it wasn't quite the gift she was expecting. She lets me know every year how badly I screwed that one up.


Maniac looks like he can be bought off a hand by a better one, so I still proceed with caution. I work my starting $100 stack to about $165 when I'm dealt pocket J's. Maniac, in early position, pre-flop raises to $12 in a sea of limpers. I call to see a flop of all under cards. Maniac who has me outchipped puts me all in. Based on what he's been playing, it is an easy call. He shows AK and has 6 outs with 2 cards to come.


Fast forward back to this year and I've arranged a different birthday present for Mrs. Blood. We live only minutes from downtown G-Vegas and her parents live only minutes away from us. Still, over the years, we've found it quite difficult to find nights alone where we don't have to wake up to the sound of the mini's chomping at the bit for breakfast. We get babysitters now and then, but the late night fun is always doused with an early morning reality of parenting a 5 and 7 year old.


The turn was another harmless undercard and my hopes rise. I'm pretty silly like that. You'd think that after the 2 and 3 outers at Mandalay Bay back in December, I'd never take another pot for granted. I didn't this time, either, but I will admit to a glimmer of a winning feeling prior to the river.

'twas a K. Capital K - for KRAP. I see a $330 pot slide in the other direction and I have to quit. My mind is soiled for any further play that evening. I pick up the guitar and turn the amp to 11.


Booking a room at the Westinn Poinsett hotel was easy. Drinks before hand went down easy. Aside: If you ever order the "large" margarita at Cantinflas in downtown G-Vegas, bring a friend. It's really a two person drink. End aside. Dinner was excellent. There were a dozen roses at our table, none of them red. Mrs. Blood dislikes red roses and instead favors the pink and the orange. On our very first date, I gave her a pink one - no need to be presumptuous, but I wanted to spark some interest. It seemed to work as she's kept that thing ever since. The walk downtown past the new bridge overlooking the falls was easy too. Waking up in the morning was easy, breakfast even easier. A waffle, an omlette, and I'm good to go.

Time to check out.

Time to pay the bill.


That number looks familiar.


During the next session that I played, the maniac found me again. I failed to take any notes on the guy, but I didn't forget this time. "Maniac" I typed into the notes field. Surely he was drunk the last time and didn't play poker like this all the time. His first pre-flop raise told me otherwise. Same guy, same betting patterns. I vowed vengeance. I thought it would come in the form of AK on an A-high flop. Maniac bet out $20 into a $25 pot and I pushed. He called with 97 hearts. The flop did have a 7 and two hearts on it, which I eventually realized when the heart on the river came. Not again.


Even though I spent such an inordinate amount of money on the Mrs., it was worth every penny. She loved every calm, relaxing minute of our day away. It was fun for me too, but I'll never admit it. :)

I'd do it again too, it was money well spent.


The calls I made against maniac were calls I'd make again, any day. In fact, our story has a happy ending. I reloaded for another $100. On three consecutive hands holding the Hiltons twice and ATs once, I turned it into over $400 and broke the maniac. That's karma because all the while, the Mrs. was watching the hands unfold. She is my better half, without a doubt.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Birthday Wishes

Giving a shout out to Mrs_Blood on her birthday. She doesn't read this drivel, but what the hell. Her email is in the comments if any of you want to say "Hello" or "Sorry you married such a lunkhead."

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

You're What?

I have a post with some pictures coming, but first, this Blood Family Interlude:

The scene is a nightly Chip Challenge(tm) at the Table of Blood. We start off 4-handed and with 8 chips apiece. After the first hand where I DOMINATE miniBlood with trip 5's against his middle pair, he gives me that sly look that only a 5 year old can, and says "Daddy, you're BadBlood."

Now, I'm not sure if I've ever referred to myself by that moniker in his presence. Rather than hide his heritage from him, Mrs_Blood and I tell him that he has been and forever will be, miniBlood.

The game is resumed, but not without some verbal wrangling with our daugher who feels somewhat left out of the Blood name game. After appeasing her with miniMrs_Blood, we resume the Chip Challenge(tm).

miniBlood's chips are getting low and he seems to feel he is playing poorly.

"Daddy, I'm not miniBlood," he says.

"I'm shitty Blood."

Jaws drop, play stops, and lest I think I'm hearing things, I ask him to repeat himself.

"I'm shitty Blood, Daddy. I'm not playing good."

Well, that put an end to that night's Chip Challenge(tm) rather quickly. After an explanation about proper table etiquette and language, miniBlood learns that shitty and blood aren't quite meant to go together no matter what the circumstances.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

All Quiet

Work == super busy and I haven't updated in a while. No excuse, but true. Hopefully I'll have some time soon.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

WPBT Satellite Thoughts

Last night's tournament was quite a roller coaster for me. I was down to the felt on two separate occasions. The first comeback was fueled by three consecutive winning hands: KK, AJs, and QQ. Nothing like a good run of cards to get you back to a playable stack.

Then things went a bit awry. Holding AQ, I ended up all-in at the river against Obie315 who had A7. Obie check-raised me on the A-high flop and I smooth called his raise and his turn bet. The 7 on the river left me with only T400 or so. That hurt.

I figured the end was near after the blinds ravaged through my measly stack, nary a hand to defend with. All of a sudden, on the button, I'm dealt the hammer. What better way to go out, I thought. So when it was folded around to me, I pushed. A big stack in the big blind said he just couldn't call with 9,3off. I showed the hammer and said, "Yes, yes you could have :)"

I doubled up once with KQ and managed to get back to T900 by the second break, far below the average chip count. (File the lack of average chip information in the Noble Poker complaint section) After the break, the blinds were T50/100 and again they passed me by with out any cards coming my way.

Then I nearly tripled up when I was on the button and found pocket T's. There were about 5 limpers when it got to me, which was rather silly if you ask me. A short stack on the button confronted with 5 limpers will most likely push regardless of their cards. Only one limper called me, showing AT. I avoided the A and got back to over T2000 with room to maneuver.

Even with a playable stack, most of the pots I played thereafter were big ones that usually saw me all-in. I busted the Venetian when I called what seemed to be an odd raise holding pocket 6's. The raise was an odd number, definitely not standard. It piqued my curiousity enough to call and see a 642 flop. When he pushed, I insta-called and busted his pocket A's.

At the final table, I was chip leader for a while. I busted another player to gain a huge stack when my AK held up agains A8 on an A-high flop.

Chatter about a deal ensued, and I agreed. I'm not much of a deal maker, and honestly consider the other bloggers friends. I may have given up some equity, but who cares? We were all playing for the seat and why not just divide up the rest evenly? I didn't want to argue about getting more of the leftover cash based on my stack size, I just didn't think it was worth debating.

As shown on Pauly's site, the hand of the final table for me was when I held A9s and saw a flop with The Fat Guy of 277 - two spades. The Fat Guy bet out T10000, which to his credit was a fantastic bet. Why? Well, here's my analysis. He called my pre-flop raise and I put him on a pocket pair. In order to find out, I'd have to raise, but the min raise of T20000 would cost me 2/3's my stack. Of course, what I failed to think about was that if I was correct, I'd have a bunch of outs. More than enough to call, and I blew it. I folded, opting to hold on to my above average stack and find another opportunity. It never came.

I doubled Wes up holding A4 on the button. Wes re-raised my pre-flop raise all-in and I called. His AK held up while my spirits didn't. My demise took place in the form of A5s. I pre-flop raised and The Fat Guy re-raised. I came over the top all-in and he paused. I was putting him on a re-steal. I was right, but he still called anyway with 89o. The fickle fate of the flop sent me packing in 3rd when a 67T hit the board. Ugh.

So close and yet so far. I felt good about my play, especially mounting the comeback I did, but in the end, it wasn't meant to happen. I made that one key mistake against Scott, but other than that my cards held up when they needed to. I'll take the chop money and perhaps parlay that into a satellite entry somewhere along the line for Event #2.

Thanks again to the Iggster for setting the whole thing up. Even though I didn't win the seat, it was yet ANOTHER fun filled evening playing with the blogger/reader collective.


Things you find in a library


Past-tense (v.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Building Empires

Queensryche, another lost band from the '80's....

Where was I? Oh yeah. I received an email this morning from IGM-PayPro telling my that my request for a cashout at Empire Poker was in the processing stage. What was really interesting to me was that I had made no such request. The time stamp said it happened at 10:30am this morning, but I was here at work doing my damndest to look busy. What also intrigued me was the amount. $5. Wasn't that below the $50 minimum? Was my account hacked? Questions, questions, questions.

I'm a guy that likes to kill two birds with one stone. At lunch, I had to buy a new power supply for my main PC which had been shutting off at random, yet ever-decreasing intervals. Rather than take it back to work, I detoured back to casa de Blood. I logged onto Empire Poker from the PC brought back to life by an Antec 330W unit and found that my Empire account was dead.

Closed. Shutdown.

I tried to log on from a browser and got another error. Obviously I have been deleted from their systems. Why? I'm sure I'll never get a direct answer, but judging from the hoopla making the rounds on teh intarweb, I've been flagged as a bonus-whoring-no-good-son-of-a-bitch.

How short sighted on their part. Upon further research, I'm not the only person whose account has been frozen. I fully concede that my play on Empire has been during bonus reload periods and that I've cashed out after said period has expired. What's the big deal? Why make those kinds of offers in the first place.

From my perspective, I have not abused the system. I HAVE taken advantage of the system as I'm sure many others have. Is the solution to simply freeze all accounts deemed by Empire as offending? Not if you have any business sense. I will no longer be able to generate rake for Empire. I'm not 100% sure where I heard this suggestion, it may have been from Professional Poker Player(tm) Chris Halverson, but why didn't they just make bonuses ineligible for my account and let me still play?

What's even more absurd is that I'm an Empire affiliate. People have actually subscribed to Empire Poker through what used to be a banner located over there on the right. I know I've generated income to Empire through this program, yet they shut me down.

Obviously the online poker industry is becoming saturated. The barriers to entry, while not necessarily minor, are relatively easy to overcome if you've got the software, hardware and bandwidth. With so many new sites to choose from, it's not hard to imagine some parasitic behavior among sites trying to gain players at the expense of another.

I'm not sure what the required player base is for these companies to turn a profit. But I would imagine that some prudence in choosing a site should be exercised. With such a rapid growth in the online business, I am willing to bet that we will be seeing some of these companies go under in the not too distant future. Let's just hope not too much of our money goes under with them.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Weekend Update

I don't have a coherent post, just a few thoughts to spew forth...


Watched some of the NBC Heads Up championships. There looks to be a ton of variance in heads up play as evidenced by Antonio Esfandiari's comeback against Howard Lederer. The main question that I have regarding that matchup however is this: Shannon Elizabeth? What the hell? How incredibly disappointing.


Hellmuth is pissed off. To quote Ronnie James Dio: "Look out!" Seriously, could his ego be any bigger? As good as he is, nobody is as good as he thinks he is. I enjoyed Paul Phillip's good natured ribbing of Phil, it's good to see a pro genuinely having fun while playing. The Grizzly Adams look combined with the insane cackling did draw some funny comments from Gabe Kaplan.


As per G-Rob's post, I did cash out of Checknraise poker. I turned the $25 they gave me into over $300 by playing with the worst limit poker players in the online world. Granted, there's only about 7 of them there, but even miniBlood would dominate the field. I was going to leave some money there to chase some Mother's Day bonus, but they never loaded the money into the account as promised. That didn't instill any confidence in me to continue playing there. The content thievery was inexcusable as well. Not to make any excuses, but it looks like they just aggregate some feeds from a site called pokergazzette.com who may be the party at blame in this case.


For anyone else who wants to steal my content, have at it! All I ask for is acknowledgement as the original writer. Reposting with credit is fine. With that said, I completely support those who do not want their content aggregated or reposted without permission. It is pretty lame to "build" a site based soley on content written by others. In fact, it's about the laziest instance of theft I've seen in a while. If I were nearly as talented a writer as some of the other bloggers, I'd be pretty peeved too. Their hard work deserves better.


As per Bill Rini's bonus whoring post, there are some very interesting points being made. From my perspective, I find it tough to ignore the opportunity to grab an extra couple of hundered dollars here and there. Bonus whoring does give me more discipline to fold hands I shouldn't be playing. On Party/Empire, each folded hand that is raked is worth about .14c. Granted, I should have the discipline to fold those hands anyway, but the bonus chase gives me that added push over the cliff. You know, like going to 11.


I will be there at Noble poker on Tuesday and Wednesday night. I am enjoying the Noble interface. A couple of gripes though that have been brought up elsewhere. First, there's no place to easily check the status of my bonus. Second, whenever I have the Noble home page loaded in my browser, the game window lags like crazy. The second I click it closed, the game catches up immediately. I'm not sure if that's a CPU utilization issue or what. It could also just be limited to me and my machine.


I've thought about an eBay auction that could get me into WSOP event #2. I was figuring I'd provide advertising space on the guns in the form of temporary tattoos. It's been done before. I figure if a grilled cheese sandwich can generate nearly $30,000 then me going sleeveless at the WSOP is worth $1500. Minimum.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Wish I Was There

From our Minister of Debauchery:

Quickly remembering that I had neglected to call BadBlood for a dial-a-shot. I grabbed the two girls nearest the table and hussled them out to the balcony. Why should I do a dial-a-shot when I can have two strippers do it? Naturally there was no answer because I didn't realize that it was very late on a Sunday night. I can't tell you what message they left. Not because I don't want to, but because I really don't remember. BadBlood promises that the call was worthy. We'll just have to wait for him to get the message down onto mp3 format.

Hear it.

Excuse the windows media format.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

What Game Are You Playing

When most of us sit down and log onto our favorite online poker sites and join a Texas Hold 'em game, we pretty much know what kind of game we're about to play. The structure of the game, the rules; they're basically the same across the board.

But not everyone at the table is playing the same game.

Let's take a step back for a moment. I'm sure most of us watched with great interest ESPN's 2004 WSOP coverage of the main event. We saw some very notable, very successful players struggle with the influx of new and inexperienced players.

The coverage of Daniel Negreanu at his table showed him attempting to make plays and moves that were simply not working. Annie Duke lamented the fact that some new player called her bluff with only Ace-high on a very coordinated board showing a 4-card straight.

While each player's reaction to their bustouts was different; my question is who's really at fault? Is it the fault of the new players, oblivious to the moves the pros are making? Or is it the pro's fault for attempting these moves on players who couldn't or wouldn't recognize them?

My feelings are that it's the latter.

Because that's exactly what I seem to be doing lately online. I've been trying to make moves on boards by representing some made hands. The problem is that I'm getting called down by people holding middle pair. Who's fault is that? No question, it's mine.

And here's the problem for me. Playing straightforward poker is a bit boring. I think if we've all played enough poker, we can get a feel for what it takes to consistently win either at limit or no-limit. Sure we'll get the bad beats, catch a bad run of cards, but the basic winning strategy is within our grasps. It's very realistic for us to think we can beat some of the low limit poker games out there by simply playing ABC poker.

That brings us to the next question. Are you playing to become a better player or to make money. It sounds like these goals should fall in line with each other, but I don't think they necessarily do. If they did, then why couldn't a successful $1/$2 limit player simply play the same game at $20/$40 given a sufficient bankroll? The answer is because it's a different game populated by different players with different play styles.

Moving up in limits has been difficult for me, partly because I made an assumption that at the higher limits there would be better players. I figured I could make some moves and they'd get recognized for the hands I was representing.

Well, that didn't work. I was playing a different game. I was like the tailback who juked left, then juked right, anticipating the defender to move one way and run the other. My defender just happened to be a brick wall, unable to adjust to my feints, simply letting me run right into its unyielding stance.

I'm sure there will come a day when the limits to which I move up will be populated with players of a different caliber. I just haven't got there yet. Where do I go now? Time to regroup. Back to the friendly confines of my previous limit for a bit of bankroll building. Hopefully with time, I'll reacquire the funds to take another shot at the higher limits and make that step successfully.

But right now, it's back to playing straightforward poker. That's the game I'll be playing.