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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

October 30, 2004

Otis and the Bicycle Bears

by Otis

A city boy, accustomed the shine and noise of his urban landscape, would probably feel a little off-balance crossing the county line on Highway 124. It's a dark place, void of streetlamps, often void of cars all together. The road winds its way along the Saluda River, skirting a local NASCAR-lite speedway, all of it promising it will eventually dump you somewhere in the middle of civilization. But anyone who has seen "Deliverance" and knows it was filmed about an hour and half from here knows that civilization is never quite close enough for the city-minded.

Then again, as I took the S-curves as quickly as I could in a big SUV, massaging the radio buttons, listening for something hard-driving and full of menace, I knew this for a fact: I'm a country boy a heart.

And I'm on my way to a poker game, which makes this drive even better.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Tournament Action

October 29, 2004

My bodyguard

by Otis

I work in an industry that often receives promotional materials from companies across America. You'd be surprised what we get in our mailbox. Multi-colored duct tape, advance bottles of Vanilla Coke, and the ever-present and, frankly, spooky books from author, Nicholas Sparks. The latter wouldn't be nearly as spooky if it weren't for the fact that Sparks usually shows up in person with the books.


More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Tournament Action

WPBT Going "Big Time"

by Luckbox

Thanks to one of our favorite poker bloggers, Auntie Maudie from Poker Perspectives, we have a great new poker bloggers logo. You can see it over there to the left. If you'd like the logo for your own blog, simply go to Auntie Maudie's page and copy it (it's cleaner there than my slightly adjusted version). And then give her credit for doing all the hard work!

Now, we just have to find someone who can start getting these poker chips manufactured so we can use them in our home games...

Permalink | Poker Web Sites

October 26, 2004

A little housekeeping...

by Otis

It's been a busy week here at Up For Poker. The house is a damned mess. Chips are all over the house. Random wads of cash are sticking out of books and packages of macaroni. I'm pretty sure my kid's first words are going to be, "Okay, I fold."

Still, we need to take care of a few matters.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Reading Material


by Otis

My day job lends itself to confirming rumors. So, I did. For full details, you can click on over to Poker Papers.

...a beautiful rumor hit RGP today. If it is true, it will make me happier than just about any non-breathing thing can.

It relates to a so-called casino within a short drive of my house (and by short, I mean a couple of hours). To date the facility has been worthless. This, however, could change everything. Um, yeah. Everything.

As of today, Oct 24.

The tribe plans on opening the Poker room Jan 1,05 but due to Internal
controls for the Poker rules being delayed this might push the date back a
couple of weeks. The poker room will be housed in a tent like structure
located beside the pavilion, it will be smoke-free and consist of 24
table's with several of the most popular Poker games. On a funny side note
the tribe is actually going out of there way to find stand-up tables
straying from the traditional sit-down and deal tables,Of couse the
players will sit and the dealers will stand.

I can only say...ohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboy

Permalink | Poker in the News

October 25, 2004

Bloodbath at Badblood's redux

by Otis

I stood in Otis' Secret Cubby, thumbing through the stack of bills, trying to hide the look of eager anticipation that always runs through my nervous system before I hit a homegame. I peeled $100 off the stack and pushed it into my back pocket. I needed to leave soon and my poker feet were already tapping on the hardwood.

"A hundred is more than enough," I said to myself. The max buy-in was only going to be $30. If history proved a good barometer of my monetary necessities, I would need no more than $60 to ride my way to a modest profit for the night.

That's when I heard it. The other voice, benevolent in its tenor, said, "Peel off another hundred. You know, just in case there are some gamblers there that want to play for some real money."

Bravado has never been one of my strong suits. Every time I try to play the confident, devil-may care road gambler, it looks silly on me.

Still, I listened, peeled off another hundred, stuffed it in my pocket with its friend from the secret cubby hole, and departed for BadBlood's.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Playing For Money

October 24, 2004

Bloodbath at BadBlood's

by Otis

That will be the title for an upcoming Up For Poker post. I thought I'd be ready to write it today, but my head needs a little more time to digest the depths of my sheer lack of poker prowess.

Suffice it to say, my catch-phrase of the night became, "You know, there's no shame in re-buying."

Until I find the cojones to be completely honest about my play, or at the very least, find a good excuse why I suck so impossibly bad, I'll leave you with this paraphrase of one of the best "Kids in the Hall" skits ever:

"I'm a bad poker player."

Permalink | Playing For Money

October 22, 2004

I am still thirsty...

by Otis

The shiny, tinkling noisemakers dangled from my fingers. The pads of my fingers barely grasped the red plastic that served as the handle. I set my eyes on an invisible point in mid-air, took a single breath, held it, pitched and released.

In this game, friends, the tension is so great, you can only hope exhaling will bring oxygen back to your brain. And if it doesn't, the best you can hope for is a quiet, easy death void of shame.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Other Gambling

October 21, 2004

WPBT V Predictions

by Otis

When I logged on to Stars this morning before work, I discovered that 74 people had already signed up for the World Poker Blogger Tour V tournament. That's the healthiest field yet.

With that in mind, I offer these predictions:

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Tournament Action

October 18, 2004

Oh, my.

by Otis

I've made it back from the head-clearing trip to the mountains. Unfortunately, the trip also muddles my noodle for a few days, so I need some rest before I get back to regular writing. A non-poker trip report will eventually be up over at my primary blog.

Still, I would be remiss if I didn't point everyone to Guinness and Poker where the Blogfather has an announcement that will make every wannabe pro giddy. We're about to have us a hero.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who commented or sent e-mails about my last post. After a cold weekend in the mountains, the comments were more than heart-warming.

Permalink | Las Vegas

October 17, 2004

Learning from the Hammer

by Luckbox

According to Poker Tracker, in my limited 1000 hand sample, my most profitable hand is... (drum roll please)... the HAMMER.

Sounds improbable, right? Sure, Rockets, Big Slick, and the Hilton Sisters have made me some good money as well, but nothing, so far, tops 7-2 offsuit.

How could that be?

It's actually rather simple.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Poker Theory

October 14, 2004

Real life

by Otis

The chatter of a foreign language zipped around the table. Tall beers, mexican food, and a flurry of waiters busboys, and latin hostesses filled the room. L'il Otis slept through it all as I sat with Mrs. Otis and two smiling people.

Amazing, I thought.


About 18 years ago, my dad taught me to play poker with plastic chips and an old deck of cards. Over the years, he'd sit in on games with my high school friends, schooling us on when to draw and when not to draw.

Years later, he'd take me on my first trip to Vegas. I was too young to play at the time, occasionally slipping next to a slot machine for a few pulls or up to a roulette table for a few spins of the wheel. My dad would be sitting in a poker room, raking chips, hitting bad beat jackpots, and staying up much later than he ever did in life around the house.

At the time, I remember longing to be sitting there with him, slinging chips, playing the old father and son games that we did in the years before.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Otis' Thoughts

October 13, 2004

Book it

by Otis

I started off yesterday with a trite phrase. I wish I could do better today, but only one applies:

Ask and ye shall receive.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Las Vegas

October 12, 2004

Married White Otis, ISO...

by Otis

I've taken to using the trite old phrase, "It's not a sprint. It's a marathon." While I'm loathe to pick up hackneyed turns-of-phrase and use them into submission, I find myself using this one more and more when tutoring friends who are beginning to love the game.

Another phrase I like to use--after hearing someone say the same thing over and over again--is, "Who are you trying to convince?"

That is, if I hear someone protesting and protesting, and methinks they doth protest too much, perhaps they are trying to convince themselves and not me.

So, Otis, who are you trying to convince?

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Poker Theory

October 10, 2004

Otis, the marshmallow

by Otis

We stepped out of Emilo the SDV and into the autumn night. We were four in number Friday night, meeting the crew at The Mark for an evening of freedom and poker play.

"Something's burning," I said, grabbing the 12-pack of schwag beer from the floor board. I didn't stop to think about the days five years ago when I steadfastly refused to drink a beer at a poker game. Then, I kept my vices seperate. Now, though, as parenthood creeps into my poker and drinking time, I find myself mixing the two more and more.

"Smells like the deck is on fire," I said. I could see little flickers of orange between the wooden slats of the back porch decking.

Then came the soft voice out of the orange light.

"Do you know my daddy?"

The red-headed little girl poked her head out.

"Did you come to see my daddy?"

"We did," I said. 'What's on fire?"

She pointed. The chiminea on the corner of the deck burned bright.

'We're toasting marshamallows," she said.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Poker Theory

October 8, 2004

Good really, GOOD morning

by Otis

I don't get up early. I just don't. Mornings are for nuns and school children. Poker players play at night.

But here's something interesting:

If you go to bed and wake up in the morning, you catch the players who have been up all night, running bad, and trying to catch up before they hit the sack.

This morning was a good morning.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Playing For Money

October 5, 2004

Otis and the Luckbox in All In Magazine

by Luckbox

The editor of the last issue of All In Magazine was kind enough to invite Otis and I to contribute.

When the dust cleared, Otis had written a spectacular cover story on Ben Affleck and I threw in a little piece on the top poker rooms in Vegas.

Permalink | Reading Material

October 4, 2004

Otis and the Tricky Trail

by Otis


I was giggling a little. The word "tricky" seemed a silly little word, and its alliterative symbiosis with the word "trail" had worked its way into my internal dialog. And since I was unable to keep my noodle's monologue inside my head, I kept muttering the word "tricky" and trying not to fall.

"Tricky," I said one more time, hoping the person behind me might take heed, take warning of the absolute trickiness of it all.

"Stands to reason that it's tricky, Otis," came the voice from behind me (or perhaps it was ahead of me). "This is, in fact, the Tricky Trail."

Indeed, it was.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Poker Theory

Quick Update

by Luckbox

Okay... I've got a weekend under my belt and I'm up $100 overall (up about $200 on the ring games... damn those SNG's! I've sworn 'em off). I've also finally gotten myself PokerTracker. If I'm gonna play, I might as well be serious about it.

For my last two hands of the night, I dropped the HAMMER at two different tables. I shudder to think what PokerTracker thinks of that! Here they are...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Playing For Money

October 2, 2004

Back to the Grind

by Luckbox

A couple months ago, I emptied every online poker account I had going. I just wasn't playing often enough to make it worth while. I would log on every now and then and throw away 25 bucks without blinking. If I wasn't going to take this seriously, I shouldn't be wasting my time or money.

I'm back.

Tonight I reloaded in Empire. It's been awhile since I've played there, but Otis says there's no other place worth playing. I'm a little rusty, but I think I did okay for the first night back, and even pulled out the HAMMER!

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Playing For Money