Okay, I need your help. We're going to have to keep this on the down-low. As you have all likely read, the G-Vegas crew is going to Vegas at the end of next month. Despite not having lived there in more than five years, I consider myself an honorary lifetime member of the G-Vegas crew, so it stands to reason that I should go as well.
There are two problems. 1) Finding a flight at a reasonable price. It will be tough, but doable. 2) Convicing Lady Luck that me going to Vegas is a good idea.
That's where you come in. I have a few thoughts on how to accomplish this mission, but you might have some better suggestions.More in this Poker Blog! -->
You smell that don't you? It's a combination of stale coffee, body odor, and residual cigarette smoke. It's anticipation, fear, and desperation. It's the 2008 WSOP.
Even though it's going to take us a few weeks to get on the ground there, we here at the Up For Poker Blog are excited about our friends and colleagues who are already wheels down.
The people behind these blogs are the hardest working people in poker. They give us what we can't have: an inside look at the World Series reality.
We took a little time to collect a list of the people we'll be reading over the next several weeks. You'll find the entire list on our WSOP Blogs page. We'll keep it linked in The Nuts section on the left just in case you want to use it as your portal to all the World Series news you can stomach.
If we missed your blog, shoot us a note and we'll see about linking you up.
You know, I haven't been to Las Vegas in two years. Seriously. How'd that happen?
I went from going 2 times a year to a 2 year break. I didn't see that coming.
Now, I'm booked and going back. Wanna roll with G-Rob? Here's your glorious opportunity. I'm in Vegas from Thursday June 26th until Sunday June 29th.
Before I go, some quick thoughts about the journey:More in this Poker Blog! -->
Generally, people end up in hell because the in-road has so many fun attractions along the way.
The hell-heat of the Nevada desert is the only thing that contradicts the axiom. There is nothing luring people to Las Vegas except the destination itself. I think people who routinely go to Vegas know in advance the part of their soul they will give up. It's a cross-sectioned portion, like something out of a Science and Industry museum. Everybody knows it's there, but until you see it sliced and exposed, the importance is only academic.
The last time I went to the World Series of Poker, I met the Devil. As I wrote after the fact, "The Devil knew my name. The Devil knew my patterns. The Devil knew where I was. The Devil knew Otis. And now Otis had seen the Devil."
Aside from true, irrational fear, cold is the only thing I remember feeling at the end of the 2008 World Series. I shivered and shook my way through the final day of the main event. I thought I was dying and, ever so briefly, just wished I would so the Devil could take me wherever he wanted.
I survived, but I don't know how.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Lucky in love, unlucky in cards.
I've heard it quite a few times since I've found Lady Luck. Many a blogger have mentioned that my luckboxing abilities have likely diminished or disappeared since I've found love. I don't believe it, but my experience Saturday night didn't exactly assuage my fears.More in this Poker Blog! -->
So what's the best part of the NBA Game 7 showdown between the Spurs and Hornets?
A) A close back and forth game in which the defending champs escape elimination against an exciting upstart opponent.
B) The pregame show in which Charles Barkley admits skipping out on $400K Vegas marker, admits having a gambling problem, claims he's quit gambling for good, but emphasizes that "for good" doesn't mean "for-ever"!
C) The fact that we laughed at Mr. Barkley while playing poker at GucciRick's.
D) The fact that I stayed up all night to play at GucciRick's and went to work the next day without sleep.
Pathetic, no?More in this Poker Blog! -->
Saturday afternoon, I'm heading to the "World-Class" Casino Aztar for my first foray into E-Vegas' only legal poker room. And I need your help to decide just who I'm going to be when I sit down.
Here are my options:More in this Poker Blog! -->
It was two years ago this month when I first introduced you to Jena. Here's a taste:
She pressed her knee into my leg. She was sending me a message, hidden under the table from the rest of the players. It was different from when she placed her hand on my arm or whispered in my ear. I knew exactly what she was trying to tell me here, and it excited me.
It was that day that Jena learned how to wield the Hammer. It didn't turn out well for her the first time, but, like sex, it's more satisfying after you become more skilled at it. A few months later, she emailed to let me know she'd gotten better.
And now? Well, she's the female champion at the World Series of Poker Circuit in New Orleans.More in this Poker Blog! -->
It's worth noting that I wasn't invited to BadBlood's house because the NBA game was especially signifigant. He's a Boston native and has a lazy bandwagon interest in the Celtics. I liked the Celtics too, back in the Larry Bird days.
In fact, I had a giant life-size cutout of Larry legend all the way through college. As a youngster I shopped for the same converse shoes Larry Bird wore. I only wached games in which he played. Larry Bird was the reason I cared, to the extent that I did actually care, about pro basketball at all.
So when I went to see Badblood's new 500-inch plasma TV, I spent the game rooting, not for the Celtics, but the Cavaliers. I was rooting for their big superstar LeBron James.
I'm that guy. I root for the big stars. If Tiger Woods isn't playing, I won't watch golf. I watch my favorite baseball team (Cincinnati) but I'll also watch Johan Santana or Albert Pujols.
I like to watch Payton Manning.
I'm that guy. I didn't mean to be. But I am.
Except with poker. I don't give a crap about professional poker players.More in this Poker Blog! -->
I know a guy with a job that requires he spend a lot of time at the movies. Knowing my connection to the poker world and loose connection to the movie Deal, this friend delights in pointing out that Deal, after several weeks in the theater, still has a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This makes Deal, if not the worst, at least tied for the worst reviewed movie of the year. Way to go Hollywood.
PokerNews.com editor John Caldwell asked a good question today. In his column, Caldwell points out that Hollywood blockbuster Iron Man, in most cases, did better on one screen on its opening weekend as Deal did across the country on 50 screens. So, Caldwell asks, "Why does Hollywood fail?"
I came up with a few reasons.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Why would you ever play at Ultimate Bet or Absolute Poker ever again?
It's a serious question. I'm curious if any of our readers out there are willingly risking their money on a site where perhaps millions of dollars were won by players using super-user accounts. Those would be players who were on the inside of the code (i.e. worked for the sites) and could see your hole cards.
Short-Stacked Shamus has, as usual, a good post up about the problems at UB.
Is this just a fact of online poker? Should we accept it and simply hope it never affects us?More in this Poker Blog! -->
Bobby Medford is a convicted criminal. He's guilty of extorting money from gambling operations. He's guilty of money laundering. He's guilty of conspiracy to run an illegal gambling operation.
When he was breaking those laws, Bobby Medford was the sheriff of Buncombe County, North Carolina. That's Asheville. The story of backroom kickback and illegal operations was just laid bare during a federal trial this week. The US Attorney prosecuting the case says Medford was, "Prostituting the office of sheriff."
Here's how it all went down.More in this Poker Blog! -->
You know Sammmy Farha. You've seen him on TV. You've probably seen him in Vegas. Hell, I'd say there's more than a couple of you who have played against him. He's poker's version of famous. So are Dan Harrington, Jason Lester, Amir Vahedi, David Grey, and David Singer.
Each one of them will celebrate an anniversary next week. It's one we should all celebrate, in fact.
Five years ago next week, Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 World Series of Poker.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Sometimes I look back and wonder how I became the gambler I am today. To be honest with you, I was right on that edge. I knew just enough about casino gambling to be a really good loser. I think it started when my father passed on his love of roulette. That's right... roulette!!
I loved it. There was a rush every time that wheel was spun. Then I learned craps. Talk about a rush...
Blackjack, Pai Gow, Let It Ride, Three Card Poker, Keno... I lost and lost and lost... and loved every minute of it.
And then poker came calling. It saved me.More in this Poker Blog! -->
You know, I wrote about this before. Something about a TV commercial for "Restless Leg Syndrome" caught my eye... or ear. I'm not sure which.
Anyway, the short story is that the popular drug for a new "disorder" is linked to an increased tendency to gamble. I mean REALLY GAMBLE. Like calling an all-in with a gutshot draw.
Now, the judicial system is taking up our cause...More in this Poker Blog! -->
The first year I played a World Series event, I found myself at Table 2, Seat 1. I was nervous beyond my normal "There's a good chance I'm dying" standard of anxiety. The buy-in money had come out of my own pocket, there were thousands of players in the room, and I had friends and family on the rail. Yet, despite it all, I found myself dedicating an inordinate amount of thought to one subject that had nothing to do with how to play ace-king under the gun.
Table 2 was in the farthest corner of the room. To exit the Amazon Room, a player had to wade through a deadfall of tables, chips, people, and ugly humanity. With a fresh bottle of Diet Mountain Dew in front of me and the cards going in the air, my mind wandered off to the same thought I have when I go just about anywhere.
How in the hell was I going to get to the bathroom?More in this Poker Blog! -->
I'll keep this short for those of you who don't care about horse racing (and therefore, don't care about making awesome amounts of money based on my handicapping insights!).
I'm eyeing a horse you probably haven't heard of. And his name is poker-blogger worthy, Casino Drive.More in this Poker Blog! -->
This isn't the post I was planning to write this morning but sometimes we play the hand we're dealt.
I have this neighbor, we've become friends, who joins me at the gym about 5 days a week. I've learned to enjoy a good workout and I've found having a friend there with me pushes both of us to do more.
Wednesday, I heard something at the bench press that made me excited about poker.
Later, I heard something in his pickup truck on the way home that made me remember what I don't like about a ring game with strangers.
Last night I remembered what I hate about playing online and in person.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Somewhere in the middle of the Nevada desert, the folks at Harrah's rang one hella-big bell, and no amount of bitching and moaning is going to un-ring it. No matter how many times I say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," it's still going to be fixed in one way or another.
The thing is, the WSOP Final Table was broken, at least in terms of how people watch it live.
So, since I have yet to put on the yoke of perpetual cynicism, I've chosen to think about the WSOP Final Table delay in terms of what Harrah's can do now to impress the hell out of everybody.More in this Poker Blog! -->
The goal of "The Nuts" here at Up For Poker is to point you in the direction of a poker blog that should be at, or near, the top of your daily reading list. (Unless it's alphabetical, in which case our latest pick will fall somewhere in the middle.)
Hard-Boiled Poker has quickly become a must-read for the Up For Poker crew. Short-Stacked Shamus consistently delivers thoughtful musings on everything poker. He's a self-described micro-limit online player, but if great writing was his bankroll, he'd be sitting at the Big Game at Bellagio.
Good times are called a "boom" for a reason. The sudden explosion (a similar metaphor) of a new business, a burst onto the scene, is a shot heard 'round the world. A bust, metaphor notwithstanding, is sometimes more subtle. Like a slow leak in an old tire.
Gambling... is not booming anymore. But is this a bust?
Who here can tell me when Texas Hold-em had its big bang?
Here are the numbers to back up your almost certainly correct guess:
2003 Chris Moneymaker wins the Main Event at the WSOP (entries: 839)
2004 Greg Raymer wins the Main Event at the WSOP (entries: 2576)
2005 Joe Hachem wins the Main Event at the WSOP (entries: 5619)
2006 Jamie Gold wins the Main Event at the WSOP (entries: 8773)
That, my friends, is a boom.More in this Poker Blog! -->
My return to the Up For Poker blog ring brought with it two claims that some people have doubted.
1) I nearly lost $500 after betting someone they couldn't blow up a soccer ball with only their mouth.
2) A defunct underground game run out of a fireworks warehouse now wears a sign titled "REWORK."
The full stories of both can be found in Naked Otis.
Well, to the doubters...here is proof.More in this Poker Blog! -->
The day Harrah's officially announced the much-anticipated final table delay, my IM machine and e-mail struggled under the pressure. Among those instant messages was from Up For Poker blog co-contributor Luckbox with a simple question: "Pro or con?"
I barely thought for a second before answering, "Con." CJ has since written down his thoughts about the WSOP final table delay. I guess it's up to me to take the opposing role. To be honest, it's hard to get up the energy to write with much fervor about the already-decided subject. What's more, I like to keep an open mind about things like this. Finally, I have a great deal of respect for many people in the opposing camp.
Regardless, I've been known to call myself a neotraditionalist. I'm a junkie for all things old school. I'm the old guy who just last Monday night rolled into a poker game with Pet Sounds blowing out of his speakers. More often than not, I like things the way they were more than the way they are. That in mind, you're probably not surprised to learn that I approach the WSOP final table delay--to keep it in the lexicon of you people who live in the now--with a healthy dose of "meh."More in this Poker Blog! -->
POST RACE UPDATE: Big Brown. Wow.
Here is your Kentucky Derby winner.
How did I arrive at this pick? It took three easy steps...More in this Poker Blog! -->
The folks running the World Series of Poker have decided to delay the final table of the Main Event for nearly four months, from July 16th to November 9th. The nine players will play down to two on the 9th and the heads-up play will be held on the 10th. ESPN will broadcast the event on Tuesday, November 11th.
And that's good for poker. It's good for the players. It's good for the fans. It's good for all of us.More in this Poker Blog! -->
"It seems rather elitist to me for people who maybe have degrees in this field to feel that, because they've studied it, somehow they know better than the parents what is best for [their children]."
Rep. John Duncan (R)
Not to totally steal someone else's blogging style (Sorry Iggy) but sometimes politics, silly quotes, and poker go together like peanut butter, chocolate and, um, ketchup.
Now let's all agree that our good friend John Duncan of Tennessee is an idiot. But even idiots can inspire a little reflective thought. Sure, Mr. Duncan would be furious to know he's inspired reflection, but this isn't his blog.
I wondered after hearing this silly quote, in this case questioning the nerve of Doctors weighing in on reproductive health, if I'd ever be enough of an expert at anything to make John Duncan angry.More in this Poker Blog! -->