Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

More Cash Game Musings

In the last three months, my NL cash game has made some measurable improvements.  I’m playing live tonight, and I’m sure I’ll regret posting some of the new tactics that have helped me out.  Not because anybody reading this will care or use it against me, but because I’m bound to have bad results.  You know how it goes, get all high and mighty about improving your game and have a bad session to bring you back down.  But screw it; I’m posting anyway.


As we all know, poker is a game of incomplete information.  Gathering information about your opponents holding is the goal of the game.  This data helps you make the proper decisions and yada, yada, yada.  But how much value is there to providing your opponent with mis-information?  Tons.

Thanks to implied odds and being relatively deep stacked, if you’re holding any two playable cards, you might as well come in for a raise if you have position and are first into the pot.  By playable, I mean two cards working together.  This even applies to suited gappers.  The beauty is that if you miss your flop, it’s very easy to lay these hands down.  I’d rather play 23s from the button than A7o.  And by play, I mean raise.

Case in point.  I’m on the button with 74s.  It’s folded to me, so I raise.  Both blinds call.  The flop is 942 rainbow and it gets checked to me.  Often times, it’s correct to make a continuation bet in a cash game.  I chose to take a free card this time, mainly because I can’t call a check-raise and also because while that flop looks innocuous, it could have easily hit either of my two opponents.

The turn is an 8 and the SB bets out.  The BB folds and I call.  I call because the player in the SB is aggressive and I’m guessing he’s putting me on missing the flop, at least at this juncture.  I said in the last paragraph that the flop could have hit my opponents.  But with one folding and the fact that the one leading out has been very aggressive, I can open up the possibility that he’s just floating with two over cards.

The river is a 7 giving me two-pair.  At this point, the SB pushes and I call, cracking his pocket Kings.  He had no idea what I was holding, I’ll grant you that.  I’ll also grant that I got lucky and hit my river card.  But the crux of the matter is him pushing all-in with no real clue as to my holding.


When your opponent is aggressive, many players will lapse into passive play hoping to lure in the maniac by slow-playing strong hands.  But good aggressive players understand that and know how to fold when played back at.  Bad aggressive players, however, have trouble with opponents who play back at them by showing even more aggression.  They’re used to dictating action and when they can’t, their game crumbles.

I was pretty sure I put my opponent on tilt when I cracked his Kings.  He even typed “I bet $20 on the turn, tard” into the chat box.  I cheered for him simply by replying “Yay,” because nobody ever bluffs in hold ‘em.  So when I was dealt pocket Jacks, I let him dig his own grave.  On a ten-high flop, aggro-man bets half his stack and I raise him all in.  His KTo doesn’t hold up and he bolts from the table.

There are live players we play with who are the same way.  Top pair is gold and they’re willing to go to the well with it.  But as soon as you play back with a raise, they get confused and wonder where they went wrong.  Their smashmouth game of poker locks them into one gear and they just don’t know how to slow down.


I think every poker player needs to know how powerful position is.  It may be the most powerful of game conditions – more powerful than starting cards, more powerful than bet size.  The accumulation of information that position provides you is invaluable.

Early position renders strong hands like AK and AQ nearly unplayable.  That’s a bit strong to say, but if you raise in the SB with AKo, get 3 callers and miss the flop (as you will more often than not), where do you go?  Again, it’s a tough hand to play.  But on the button, things change drastically.

Two nights ago, I was dealt pocket Kings on the button.  The cutoff raised 4x the BB and I just called.  Smooth called.  Why?  Because I had position.  I don’t need to give my opponent a feel for the strength of my hand at this point.  My hand strength is huge and my position is unbeatable, why squander the opportunity to feed my opponent mis-information or at least hold some back?

We’re two to the flop and it’s King-high with two clubs.  For whatever reason, I’m putting my opponent on a big pocket pair, which means I don’t have to worry about the flush draw yet.   I call the continuation bet, again yielding no information whatsoever about my hand.  The turn is the Jack of clubs.  I don’t have the King of clubs so I’m cautious now.  However, I again just decide to call my opponents turn bet.  I am seriously thinking of laying the hand down if the board 4-flushes, but at this point, I’m gambling a bit by just calling.

The river is a non-club and my opponent leads out for 2/3rds his stack.  I raise him all in and he calls with pocket Jacks.  I’m not sure I win as big of a pot if I re-raise pre-flop which I normally would if I were out of position.  It might turn out that way though because he turned his set.  But the point I’m trying to make is that my hand was so huge because of position that I didn’t need to augment its strength by re-raising pre-flop.  I felt that I was giving too much away by doing so.


Of course, these hands all had good results and I’m trying not to let that sway my view.  But to be fair, I’ve used these concepts on a consistent basis the last three months and the overall results show that my game has either made measurable improvements or I’m just running uber-lucky (last Tuesday not withstanding).  

Bottom line is that I’ll take either.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Saturday Afternoon In the Drunk Tank

It was an odd gathering of circumstances that led me to play in Saturday’s freeroll.  In the morning, I logged onto Stars and played a few hands of $200NL while I drank my coffee.  My daughter had a soccer game at 1:15 and I was just killing time before I had to go shower.  Out of nowhere, I wondered when the monthly freeroll for VIP members was scheduled.  A few clicks and then, “Hey, it’s today!”

The registration didn’t open up until an hour prior to starting, and at first glance, I thought the maximum number of registrants was only 1000.  I figured if I hurried back from the soccer game, I could register in time.  I had nothing planned for the evening since most of my friends were up camping in the mountains of North Carolina.  Note to readers:  I am not a camper.  Blood need couch, TV, shower and access to pr0n.  Ugh.

After a successful viewing of my daughter’s soccer game where I had to sit in a beach chair on the sidelines and strenuously cheer for her success, I got back home in time to register.  Not soon after, I realized that the max entrees was 10,000 not 1000.  Then I realized that the pay level started at 243 with a whopping $3.  Anything short of the final table was going to be a monumental waste of time.  But rather than be pessimistic, I took the opportunity to work on my struggling tournament game.

My first hand of the tournament, I was dealt pocket Kings.  Nice start.  Well, maybe.  The classic pocket magnets attracted the Ace high flop.  But I managed to win a medium-sized pot when my opponent bluffed the river.  His check on the turn told me he didn’t have an Ace.  I was right and we were off.

Now, the important stuff.  In hour number one, my alcoholic beverage of choice was a Bloody Mary, recipe courtesy of Shep Tiltstein.  It uses a clamato juice base rather than straight tomato juice.  Go ahead, say clamato out loud.  My wife hates the sound of it.  It seems almost menstrual.  But it tastes damn good.  Add in some Lawry’s seasoning, Chalula sauce, Worcester, garlic salt and pepper and I’m in spicy heaven.  It’s no wonder I finished hour number one as the chip leader.

I took the lead thanks to the freeroll moron.  You know the type.  Push nearly every hand and obtain a massive chip lead.  He doubled me up when my pocket 9’s overcame his 74s.  Then, he tripled me up when his A2 failed to suck out on my AK.  A poor bastard with pocket Jacks called two all-ins, but didn’t hold.

Hour number two beverage of choice?  A glass of Shiraz.  I like wine.  Sue me.  I especially like how you can mispronounce Shiraz.  “I like the way Shiraz tastes on my tongue.”  See, that’s funny shit to me.  But the alcoholic content was somewhat diluted because after hour number two, I was in 15th position.

Hour number three saw me open a bottle of Diet Heineken.  It tastes decently enough like regular Heineken, but the reduced caloric content allows me to maintain my current notch on my belt.  Sometimes though, I feel bloated after drinking it.

During the third break, I really, really, really had to go to the bathroom.  So much so, that I didn’t have time to make my signature Grey Goose dirty martini.  I was going to finish off this sucker with my pinky extended, sipping out of my thin-stemmed beverage wear.  Sadly, I had to redo hour number three’s beverage and go with Diet beer from Holland.

I survived the fourth hour and we were at the final table, only five handed.  I had come into the final table as chip leader, but the average stack size was dwindling to M-values of ten or less.  But luckily, during the break, I was able to shake up my Grey Goose concoction and sip that thing to victory.  There’s not much more manly about poker than sipping a drink and pushing virtual chips into the pot.  Nothing.

And so hours later, I took home a very legally obtained $468 because I had not wagered a cent.  Suck it Frist!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Lol, donkaments

I am your October Silverstar VIP monthly freeroll CHAMPION!!!

That's right up there with me being the 3rd weekly August of 2002 Mr. Solaris down in Cancun. Except I had to beat more donkeys in the tournament.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Failure Response

There’s something inside me that cannot stomach failure whether it’s through being unprepared or through being simply outmatched.  I can’t explain it very well, but I have such extremely high expectations of myself in any endeavor that I take seriously, that failure motivates me to find a way to succeed.  Somehow.

Some people are hyper-competitive with others.  I’m hyper-competitive with myself.  Poker and weightlifting are the only activities that have survived my ever-decreasing free time lifestyle consolidation.  Each is a solo activity wherein you measure success against your own personal goals and aspirations.  A perfect fit.


Each new instance of poker tilt to me represents failure.  Tuesday night was one of my worst, if not THE worst, failures I’ve had.

My reaction?  I want to get right back on the horse and succeed.  Once I’m able to regroup, I hope once again to overcome the hurdle I’ve placed in front of myself.

And succeed.  Until of course, the next time I fail.


I wrote the above on Wednesday after my horrible session on Tuesday.  We played $200NL at Gucci Rick’s last night and I recouped ¾ of my losses.  I feel much better about my play, only making what I’d call two marginal mistakes – loose calls on the river.

It’s nice to be able to recover so soon after that debacle.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Resonant Frequency

When random events occur in certain sequences, I find myself unable to make proper mental adjustments.  Let me give you an example.  Take your average, run-of-the-mill, pair vs. pair confrontation where the odds of you winning pre-flop are 4:1.

If my results occur in this type of manner, WWLWWLWWWWWLWWW, I can handle it.  If my results occur this way instead, WWWWWWWWLLLWWWW, the string of 3 consecutive losses is amplified.  It makes me ignore the 8 previous wins and dulls the redemption of the 4 subsequent ones.  I hate streaks.


From late July through the first week of October, I had my yearly rush.  I managed to eclipse my year-end goal by October.  Some G-Vegas-ites would say G-Rob handed it off to me as he came off of his.  Maybe that’s true.  Otis wrote about wanting it back for he’s gone the longest without it.  Well, I hope he has enough quickness to dive on the ball, because in the last week, I’ve fumbled.


Last night, at the Gaelic Game (Underground Game 2), it was a series of events that transpired that left me unable to play poker any longer.  I actually left the game before 10pm, down four buy-ins in an embarrassing display of shit-tastic poker.

1.  There’s a certain player in G-Vegas, not a blogger in case you were wondering, who plays tournament poker during a cash game.  He short buys, and then limps, and if it’s raised, he decides he has to push.  Heaven forbid he play post-flop poker.  He’s done this time and time again, and last night his zero-implied-odds strategy forced me to fold what would have been a winning hand.  Sure I need to adjust to that level of donkey-ism, but for whatever reason, his play irked me.

2.  There’s another player, who everyone will let sit down at the table when he arrives, even if it means playing 11-handed.  He’s a player who will just plop his $200 buy-in pre-deal.  Yes, that’s right pre-deal.  He wants to give his money away.  I’ve managed to win a healthy dose of it before.  I’ve seen him drop 7 buy-ins within an hour before.  Last night, I wasn’t even in the hand, but he tripled up by flopping a flush with Q5d.  Let me repeat, I wasn’t even in the hand and that put me on tilt.

3.  Then I decide to pay off that same player with an unimproved AK.  His KJo was good.  Hello darkness my good friend.

4.  I go broke the second time to him when my nut straight with no flush draws on the turn gets rivered when the board paired.  I figured him for just trips and put all my money in drawing dead.

5.  Then I pay off TheMark who decides to call my pre-flop bet out of position with Q2h.  He flopped two-pair, I flopped middle pair and a flush draw and missed.  He was up, winning and enjoying himself.  I was wondering which wall I would end up putting my fist through.

6.  Later on, I flop a set of 8’s on an 89T board.  Someone bets, G-Rob raises 4x and I smooth call figuring I’m good.  Unfortunately someone else who happens to be wearing a fucking corduroy jacket calls off a sizeable raise with a gutshot draw.  When the J hits the turn, he pushes.  I just don’t think someone in a corduroy jacket would be chasing a gutshot.  I figure him for two-pair, and even if I’m wrong, I have 10 outs.  He does indeed have KQ for the nuts and the river misses me.

7.  I find myself pushing with top pair, 8 kicker into someone’s flopped two pair and then get up to leave.


I manage my bankroll pretty well.  I feel it is a skill that can go underappreciated.  I’ve been called a pussy for not putting more of it at risk during the past year, but I have decided to invest a good chunk of my winnings rather than have a large bankroll sitting in my dresser drawer.

My bankroll management is the only thing that keeps nights like last night from breaking me.  It also dampens my growth rate and I’m fine with that.  Had I not made any investments, I’d be rolled for $3/$6.  But I don’t need to be playing $3/$6 right now.

I’ve told friends that my biggest fear is getting left behind.  There are $2/$5 games and $5/$10 games going on that are starting to pique the interest of some G-Vegas veterans.  I’m not there yet.  I may get there, but it will be more slowly than everyone else due to the choices I’ve made.

And if I get left behind, well, I get left behind.

Monday, October 16, 2006


I almost lost my poker machine this weekend.  After an apparently unsuccessful update, my PC went into an endless cycle of rebooting.  At first, I thought it was the hard drive, but I did manage to get it to boot by doing an OS repair.  Unfortunately, after the repair, the registry was so hacked, I couldn’t update to service pack 2.

So, it came down to a reformat/reinstall.  Luckily, I’ve been in the practice of partitioning my OS separately from my programs and data.  One reinstall and 39 updates later, I was back in business.  But I lost about 3 hours of my life that I’ll never get back.


I believe the influx of Party players to Stars is in full swing.  Here’s a hand where I’m not even going to tell you what I had because frankly, it doesn’t matter.

I’m in late position and open raise to 3.5x the big blind.  An early position player calls from the blinds with AJo, you know, a monster.  The flop is 336.  He checks, I bet 3/4ths the pot.  He calls.  Hmm…OK.  The turn is an 8, and he checks again.  I bet pot.

He calls.  And that confused the shit out of me sufficiently for me to bluff the river when an Ace came.  You can spout off all you want about reads and bluffing, but AJo out of position could not be more poorly played.  In my opinion.  But the guy won a nice pot.  One of us was a huge donkey on that hand.  And I’m not yet ready to say it was me.


I would normally handle this internally, but I’ve decided to post this for the WORLD to see.

If you’ve read the blog recently, you’re probably more than aware of my fondness for rounding up the guys and heading out for some drinking and pokering.  I’ve been doing that for a few months now.  I figured the people attending were having just as good a time as I on these jaunts.  As such, I don’t ever go to a poker game without inviting my peeps.

Then yesterday, I get this email:

Last night there were two waitresses at Undergound Game 2.

Both were employees at Platinum Plus.

They served drinks topless.

It was somewhat distracting...but quite entertaining.

Thought you'd like to know.

I was not invited nor notified.

Monday, October 09, 2006

WSOP Bloggers

Finally did some video conversions from my TiVo, De-muxed the "encryption," cut the file size, and then converted to iPod format. Luckily youtube accepts that format.

Ryan Busts Jesus

And One LuckBox Deserves Another

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Stupid is as Stupid Does

I apologize for the hand history, but this was possibly the dumbest thing I've seen online in a while.

PokerStars Game #6561402717: Hold'em No Limit ($1/$2) - 2006/10/08 - 11:17:11 (ET)
Table 'Ra-Shalom' 6-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: Ghisi ($311.65 in chips)
Seat 2: betedeouf ($191.50 in chips)
Seat 3: JackBrooks ($84.20 in chips)
Seat 4: sk8wodie ($127.35 in chips)
Seat 5: badblood44 ($194.50 in chips)
Seat 6: Gnallingen ($86.10 in chips)
JackBrooks: posts small blind $1
sk8wodie: posts big blind $2
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to badblood44 [Ac Tc]
badblood44: raises $5 to $7
Gnallingen: folds
Ghisi: calls $7
betedeouf: calls $7
JackBrooks: folds
sk8wodie: calls $5
*** FLOP *** [Jc Js Jh]
sk8wodie: checks
badblood44: bets $10
Ghisi: folds
betedeouf: calls $10
sk8wodie: folds
*** TURN *** [Jc Js Jh] [3s]
badblood44: checks
betedeouf: checks
*** RIVER *** [Jc Js Jh 3s] [Jd]
badblood44: bets $20
betedeouf: raises $154.50 to $174.50 and is all-in
badblood44: calls $154.50
*** SHOW DOWN ***
betedeouf: shows [9h 9s] (four of a kind, Jacks)
badblood44: shows [Ac Tc] (four of a kind, Jacks - Ace kicker)
badblood44 collected $395 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $398 | Rake $3
Board [Jc Js Jh 3s Jd]
Seat 1: Ghisi folded on the Flop
Seat 2: betedeouf (button) showed [9h 9s] and lost with four of a kind, Jacks
Seat 3: JackBrooks (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 4: sk8wodie (big blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 5: badblood44 showed [Ac Tc] and won ($395) with four of a kind, Jacks
Seat 6: Gnallingen folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Art of Suck

How do you feel after you’ve been rivered by a two-outer?  I’ve tried to numb the negative feelings when it happens to me and have had varied levels of success.  But now the real question, how do you feel when you’re the one doing the rivering?


It was another fun night out with the G-Vegas crew.  Otis, G-Rob, TheMark and I met at our local over-priced watering hole and shot the shit for 90 minutes talking about all things poker and non-poker related.  We weren’t sure, but it may have been Otis’ first venture outside the house in two weeks judging from his Grizzly Adams look.

We discussed the possibility of this being the last time the four of us all go play on the same night.  Granted, we were only half-joking, but for a few of us, it’s reached a point where trading chips with each other isn’t the most financially sound decision.  Like I’ve mentioned before, it’s a trade-off between EV and good company.

When the cards finally hit the table at the Spring Hotel, there were the four of us, two house players, and two other regulars, one of whom only plays Aces or Kings.  Still, none of us had the ability to stay out of the other’s pots.  Chips went flying.


Last Friday, I saw perhaps the most brutal of suck outs occur.  I think the worst, mathematically, is when you need to consecutively catch your remaining two outs in a runner-runner fashion, a 989:1 shot.  But in the category of suck, re-suck, re-suck, last Friday’s hand takes the cake.

One player flopped a set of fours.  The other player turned his set of tens and all the money went in.  The case four on the river titled the guy with tens.  The dealer, respecting the recent turn of events, said nothing and readied himself for the next hand.

Last night though, he did confide in me that he does find a certain level of enjoyment dealing hands like that.  Were I in his shoes, I might feel the same way, in a morbid kind of way.


We were winding down, twenty minutes past the time I told everyone I’d be leaving.  In a straddled pot I limped with J8c and five players saw the flop.  It was JT2.  Checked to me, I led out with top pair to see where I was.  TheMark called in late position as did Earl, one of the local regulars from the blind.  The turn was an 8, giving me two pair.  I thought I was good.  For about a second.

Again, it’s checked to me, and I bet $25.  TheMark made it $50 and then Earl re-raised to $125.  Two colossal mis-reads later, and I decide I’m going to push.  Interestingly, I put TheMark on T8 for two-pair, and based on his reaction after my push, really thought I was correct.  Still, he called.  I had a fleeting hope that Earl was over-valuing something like AJ.

However, when Earl pushed all-in on top of TheMark it was quite obvious to me that he had a straight.  Oh well, I thought, TheMark should realize this too and fold, giving me four outs to hit my boat.  But TheMark didn’t fold.  He called.


Poor Earl.  He tabled 97 for the turned gutshot.  TheMark began questioning me about my hand as I kept it face down.  Flush draw?  No.  Set?  No.  I flashed him two-fingers to indicate two pair and he gave me a nod and said, “You’re behind.”

“Great,” I said, “Do I need a Jack then?”

“A Jack gives me a boat””Ooof, so you’ve got top two?  Jack-Ten?”


“I guess I need an eight.”


I tipped our dealer, a die-hard Iron Maiden fan, $10 when he shipped me the $776 pot.   Perhaps, just as on Friday, he had some small morbid amount of pleasure spiking that two-outer for me.

Did I feel the same?  No, not really.  I played the hand about as horribly as possible as the ghost of Dmitri Nobles looked on.  In isolation, I don’t like winning that way.  Justifying it as payback for a host of similar beats put on me over the years diminishes that feeling, but I’m rarely happy to win via poor play.

Without a doubt, I’ll take the pot.  But the way I played it is a wakeup call of some sorts, effectively telling me not to get too cocky.  Sometimes going on a rush obscures your true playing level.

But sometimes, the penalty for playing horribly is a monster pot.  Morbid indeed.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hit The Showers Kid

To put into perspective how I currently feel about the potential elimination of online poker, consider this scenario.

You’re 14 years old and just made the varsity football team in high school. You’ve been playing since you were 8 in youth leagues and seemed to always find a way to perform well enough to start and be a solid contributor to your team. You have no idea what the future holds, but you hold close to yourself thoughts that if you continue to do well, you just might get a football scholarship to a Division 1A college. And then, who knows? Perhaps you continue to do well and just maybe, you get drafted by an NFL team. You know that it’s silly to think that far ahead, but at this point you can only hope. Those plans don’t occupy a large part of your thoughts, but from time to time, you like to dream a little. After all, you’ve managed to do well enough thus far and there’s no real indication that you won’t continue to do so. The opportunity is limitless.

Then one day your high school football coach calls a team meeting after practice. He regrets to inform you that due to unforeseen circumstances, the football program has been cancelled indefinitely. Go shower up.


With that said, I don’t want to come across as someone with professional aspirations. What I do want to say is that at least the opportunity was there. I have been making steady progress over the last three years. Progress has been slow, but I figured I had all the time in the world. There was no need for me to try to accelerate it; I’m a husband, a father of two, and have a more traditional career to worry about. But progress was undeniably steady.

Now I feel that there’s a chance I may never grow to my full potential whatever that might have been. I could be stuck a $200NL player for the next 10 years or I could be on a growth path leading to the $2000NL games 5 years from now.

I may never know. And that is most disappointing.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Sometime in the future….

“Hello sir, welcome to the Bellagio.  Can I help you?”

“Yes, I have reservations and I’d like to check in.”

“Last name please?”

“Blood, that’s Bee, El, Oh, Oh, Dee.”

“I see we have you down for 4 nights Mr. Blood.  How would you like to pay for your stay?”

“I’ll be using my Bellagio FPP’s.”  Hero hands cashier his Bellagio FPP card.  Cashier swipes it through card reader.  Beep, beep, boop, beep.

“Excellent sir.  Here’s your key.  Enjoy your stay and good luck at the tables.”


Our hero walks up to the poker room…

“Hello, do you have any open seating at $2/$5?”

“Yes sir, right this way.”

Hero sits down and the poker room manager asks, “Can I get you a rack?”

“Yes please.  But use my online balance.””No problem sir, please just enter your account name and password here,” as he hands me his wireless tablet.  Beep, beep, boop, beep.

“I’ll be right back with your chips.”


“Hi, I’d like to register for your daily tournament.””Excellent.  Our buy-in is $1000.”I hand the tournament director my card.  “I’d like to use one of my tokens please.  I won a $50+5 satellite back home a few weeks ago.”

“Not a problem.”  Beep, beep, boop, beep.  “You’re all registered sir.  We begin at noon.”


Some day, I believe that’s where this is all going.  How we get there?  I don’t know.  But right now, the big B&M casinos have the money and the incentive to become a powerful lobbying force in Washington.  Getting a “poker exemption” to the bill that just passed will hopefully be step number one.  How can anyone in say Harrah’s or MGM’s position turn away from the type of money that’s available?

Who wouldn’t love to pay for their room with FPP’s, or buy into a tourney with a token?  There’s just too much, and I shudder to use this word, synergy.

The online poker situation just got real cloudy.  But it’s not over.  While it may take a while, even years, to settle back into stability, if you can weather the storm, you’ll come out the other side a better player ready to reap the rewards of Poker Boom v2.0


Back in the hotel room after taking down the Bellagio $1000 event, our hero logs onto the FPP store.

Merchandise…no.  Clothing…no.  Ah, here we go.  “Other.”

Nice, that one looks like Jenna Jameson.  Click.  Beep, beep, boop, beep.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

First, the good.  I did play on Friday night, and even after losing a $400 pot with AK vs QJ vs JT I finished in the good for almost a buy-in.  Amusingly, everyone was asking me where G-Rob was.  I told them it was his wife’s birthday and they spent the evening together.  Nobody believed me.  Multiple people said, “I bet he’s just tired of losing all his winnings to you.”  Interesting table image I have there.

Speaking of which, a few new faces were there Friday, including a young 20-something Furman University student who had recently taken down a Party Poker $162 MTT for over $20k.  I managed to bluff him off of pocket K’s on a board of Q742.  Yes, at the Spring Hotel someone laid down an overpair to me, claiming I flopped a set of 4’s.  I mucked and told him he made a very impressive laydown, one that I couldn’t make.  Table image rules.


Second, the bad.

Anything happen this weekend with respect to online poker?  All I have to say to one Mr. Frist is “-radio edit-.“  Kid Rock fans know what I mean.

The implications are huge.  From my perspective, there are four financial transactions that impact US-based players.  Bank to middle man, middle man to Poker Site, and the reverse.

For winning players, the cash-out path is the most concerning.  Just this morning, logging onto Neteller provoked a new “terms of use” agreement pop-up.  It says I cannot use the service for any illegal activities, blah, blah, blah.  So it would appear that my ability to make timely cashouts might be adversely affected.  I’m not sure which part of the transaction will be monitored, poker site to Neteller or Neteller to my bank.  I would imagine Neteller would find it easy to block a transaction from Pokerstars to my account simply by knowing I’m a US-based player.  It appears however, that the physical check option is still viable based on statements by Lee Jones on 2+2.  I would hope my bank would still honor a check from a foreign bank.

For losing players, the process of depositing may have just become enough of a hassle such that they simply don’t do it.  And that’s not good for the winning players.


The ugly.

I am certainly pretty bummed.  I’ve got live poker to fall back on, but the convenience of its online counterpart was impossible to ignore.  Over the past couple of years, I’ve made some progress as a player and was really looking forward to continuing to do so.  Granted, the progress was slow, but it was steady.  I’ve become a steady winning player at the $200NL games and online, the growth path is nearly limitless.  Offline?  Not so much, even in the hotbed of G-Vegas.

Right now, nobody can say what will happen.  In fact, it’s not so much what the law says, but how the companies we deal with react to the law.  I’ve seen reports that Party Poker will no longer let US-based players play at its real money site once the bill is signed into law.  If other major sites follow suit, it makes the language of the law irrelevant.  We are at their mercy.


Long live the Spring Hotel.