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

June 30, 2008

Las Vegas

by G-Rob

Las Vegas may be the most fictional of any real place on the map. It's either a glamourous city of glitz or a romanticized mecca of depravity.

Even calling Las Vegas a black hole gives it too much credit. A black hole has, at its center, a singularity of such incredible mass and gravity that nothing can escape. At the heart of the dark Las Vegas hole, there is only another hole.

Las Vegas is not exotic. It is not mysterious. Las Vegas is a busy airport and a place our unconscious mind already knows.

I spent just 3 days there and knew it all well.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | G-Rob's Thoughts , | Las Vegas

June 26, 2008

2008 WSOP: First impressions, late game

by Otis

I've gone to the bathroom in one particular room in the Rio more times than I can count. It's one of those constants in Las Vegas. Things rarely change. There will be the guy smoking and pretending he doesn't know or care that it's against the rules. There will be the guy in a stall doing things that he probably would be embarassed to do in the privacy of his own home. There is the drunk guy who thinks it's perfectly reasonable to be intoxicated at breakfast. The urinals are usually bordering on clean, which is good enough for me.

Moments ago, I went in for my hourly leak and noticed something had changed. Gammo Testosterone booster is now advertising on the urinal pads. They blink flashing red lights. I pissed on one and the lights went out.

I don't know what that means.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | 2008 World Series of Poker

June 25, 2008

Wanting to Think About Vegas...

by Luckbox

I will be wheels up for Vegas in about 24 hours, but I can't really think about it.

You see, I'm currently at the end of an 18 hour work day that started after just about 2 hours of sleep. It's all because some crazy guy decided to shoot up his workplace after getting into an argument with his boss. He even called his girlfriend two hours earlier saying, "I'm going to shoot my boss." She apparently didn't believe him. Six people are dead, including the gunman.

In our business, we don't allow tragedy to weigh on us. We can't. We see too much of it. We often cope by telling really bad jokes at the expense of victims. It's really kinda sick, but it's what we do. It keeps us sane. I was doing fine until the plant manager got up to the mic at a press conference and said, between tears, "I hope none of you ever have to go through something like this. This is the worst day of my life."

Can you see why my mind isn't yet in the desert?

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

June 24, 2008

Bad-Blood-Bath

by G-Rob

I started really looking foreward to last Friday's game a full week in advance. Of course, that guarantees a bad night. As a rule, the more excited I am about sitting at a game the worse I'm likely to play.

Add to that the following problems and I've got almost no chance:

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | G-Rob's Thoughts , | Home Games

June 20, 2008

Charles Barkley: Ready to gamble again

by Otis

It's been less than one month since G-Rob noted Charles Barkley's vow to quit gambling...for now. Now, Barkley says he's going to gamble for the greater good.

Barkley is among a number of celebs planning to play in the Ante Up For Africa event in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks. The entry fee is $5,000 and Barkely says he will donate all winnings to charity. [MORE]

But, really, it's not about the winnings is it? It's the losings.

Listen, we're sitting in a pretty fragile glass house here, so we're not going to be throwing anything too hard. However, I think it's pretty interesting for Gary Loveman and Harrah's to spend a lot of time on TV talking about controlling gambling addiciton and then roll out the red carpet for Barkley's money. A charitable donation from Barkely might be a better idea.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try to organize a "Little Bit o' Smack-A-Thon" at our local methadone clinic.

It's for charity, y'all.

Update:My friend Skip Foreplay sent this to me later in the day and it seemed to fit the theme.

Permalink | Poker in the News

June 19, 2008

Vegas: Ramping up slowly

by Otis

"I equate gambling with being an asshole. If you don't have a life, go to Las Vegas, you dick."
--Henry Rollins

I should take offense to that. Instead, I laugh every time I hear it.

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

June 18, 2008

Before They Were Stars: Poker Blogs

by Luckbox

The past can be a funny thing. Remember your hair style circa 1987? For most of us, it's changed drastically. For the rest of us, we're GRob, and were born with the same hair we have today. What about what we were wearing? I don't even want to imagine what would happen if our high school year books were suddenly splashed on our blogs.

But it's not just how we look... it's what we write. These crazy poker blogs of ours have become written records. They show our growth, our pain, our naive nature. And much of it is good for a laugh...

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

June 17, 2008

Remembering The WPBT Holiday Classic

by Luckbox

It was December 11th, 2004 when about 30 bloggers gathered in Vegas for a seminal moment in the explosion of poker blogging. None of us really knew what to expect and none of us were disappointed by what we found.

Many of the experiences were hard to describe, yet we spent thousands and thousands of words on dozens of blogs telling our handful of readers what they missed. By the time the next poker blogger event rolled around, our numbers had surged past 70. It wasn't long before we'd reach a peak above 100.

So why am I thinking about that weekend now?

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Luckbox's Thoughts , | Poker Blogger Tournaments , | Poker Blogs , | WPBT Holiday Classic Trip

June 16, 2008

Pros In The WSOP Main Event

by G-Rob

A quick note of congratulations to a couple of friends who qualified for the Main Event of the WSOP this weekend.

PokerStars ran a 200 seat guarantee for the ME this weekend with satellites all week long.

Congratulations to IGGY and Brian the Pro who both won a seat.

We'll be sweating both and hoping Brian will be bringing some of that WSOP cash to a homegame near us.

I got the note from Brian early this morning:

Ship it... Won my WSOP 2008 Main event seat last night on that minefield called the 200 Main Event Seat Guarantee...

See some of you in Vegas sirs...

And here's Iggy's last post, short, sweet, and uber- in its own way:

Monday, June 16, 2008 Stars 8000 runners.

226 win a ME seat.

I played the best weak-tight poker of my life.

Nine drunken hours later.

On a whim, I'm in the WSOP Main Event.

# posted by Ignatious: 1:41 AM

I'm playing in a Stars freeroll for a seat next week. Wish me luck. I'd love to stack these fools in Vegas!

Permalink | Online Poker

June 15, 2008

Gambling On The Internet

by G-Rob

Good god! Gambling leads to depression! It's true! There was a scientific study.

In the world of obvious investigation, this study "Gambling Linked To Depression" stands out.

Right now, I'm depressed about the fact that I got down to four handed in a sit-n-go and then went broke with a flopped set of Queens. He turned a set of Kings. Such is a depressing life.

That said, look at this awesome information:

GAMBLING is often a symptom of mental health problems, according to Melbourne research that could change the way problem gambling is treated.

The study of more than 2000 Victorians, conducted for the national depression initiative beyondblue, found that problem gamblers were more than 18 times more likely to experience severe psychological distress, more than four times more likely to abuse alcohol, and more than twice as likely to be depressed as people without a gambling problem.

The report, prepared by the Problem Gambling Research and Treatment Centre -- a joint venture between Melbourne and Monash universities and the Victorian Government -- found that more than 70% of problem gamblers were at risk of depression, half used alcohol at hazardous levels and more than a third had a "severe mental disorder."

DUH! I SAY DUH! Have you met the FWALGMAN?

Now, dear reader, a sampling of the OTHER gambling news on the web:

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | G-Rob's Thoughts

June 13, 2008

The Triple Crown: My Final Words

by Luckbox

I'm not sure I can write it any better than my good friend G-Rob. I suck at handicapping horses. And that pretty much puts me in the category as 95% of all handicappers out there.

Playing the ponies is hard. We're gambling on the whims of some big, dumb animals ridden by tiny men.

So what went wrong for me?

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | 2008 Belmont Stakes , | 2008 Kentucky Derby , | Betting the Ponies , | Horse Racing

June 12, 2008

Giving due the Godfather of Short-Stack Poker

by Otis

Was it really only two and half years ago? It seems like an eternity since I splashed around in a pool of my own hubris. It was as comfortable as the good Vegas beds and as dangerous as putting your money on Big Brown. Poker felt like such a sure thing. Everything made sense. The hours spent were profitable. The handle on the game was like the baseball bat owned since childhood. I remember thinking, "Damn, I could do nothing but this if I really wanted to." Blind arrogance is such a fun place to live. Every decision seems perfect, whether inside the game or out.

I don't live there anymore, for better or worse. Over the past 30 months, I've been forced to confront that I was never as good as I thought. And, even if I was, it doesn't matter. It took me too long to realize that the game changed and I didn't change with it. Like the guy who is still trying to figure out why he can't sell his warehouse full of cassette tapes, I'm forced to sit here and figure out if I can re-tool myself to catch up with two years of online poker's evolution.

Why do I think of it today? Well, a lot of reasons, I guess. But what really forced me to admit it out loud was a guy I made fun of in 2006. His screen name was one of my favorites ever: w00t4d0nks.

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

June 11, 2008

Moonshine Your Light On Me... Break The Law Like An Honest Man

by G-Rob

I once wrote a couple of posts here about a famous mountain moonshiner named Popcorn Sutton. Popcorn's had some legal trouble lately, in part because he didn't seem to object to allowing TV folks a look into the way he makes illegal likker.

So I took particular interest a story we aired a few days ago about a moonshiner in Spartanburg County who was arrested for the second time. He's an old retiree who sells decent booze to pay for his wife's cancer treatment. When we asked his lifelong friend about the poor bastard he said something that seemed funny at first, "He's just like... a human being -- an honest human being. Well, he's not honest in the eyes of the law, but as far as we know it, Charlie Martin's No. 1."

If you play poker a stilly statement like that actually makes a lot of sense.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | G-Rob's Thoughts

June 10, 2008

Playboy Otis

by Otis

I wish Easycure hadn't posted this today and spilled the beans so soon. I didn't even have the chance to tell my wife about the opportunity first. Since the investigative reporter dug up the story, I guess I can cop to it now.

Really, who among us doesn't want to watch me with a playmate. I mean, I do, so why wouldn't you?

You can get more of the story over at A Moment With...

Permalink | The Playboy Mansion

June 8, 2008

How To Win At The Track

by G-Rob

Some people are just unlucky. Some folks don't have the skills.

Some people handicap races like our friend Luckbox.

At first blush it may seem like the 'Box is lousy at this kind of thing. If that's your feeling now, you've not thought about it from a distance.

Step back from those busted picks and wasted dollars. Look at the immense beauty of the whole body of Luckbox disaster.

Check this out:

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | G-Rob's Thoughts , | Horse Racing

June 7, 2008

Casino Drive (Scratched)

by Luckbox

I'm crushed.

This was the horse. The horse to beat the unbeatable Big Brown. The horse to make history by being the third straight horse from the same mare to win the Belmont Stakes. The horse to make me a little cash.

And now, he's scratched. A bad left hind hoof didn't heal fast enough. After this morning's workout, Casino Drive was clearly favoring that leg. Forcing him to run would have risked serious injury. It's the right and responsible decision. If it were Rick Dutrow, he'd probably pump the horse full of some kind of illegal pain killer just to get him on the track. Hell, it wouldn't shock me if Dutrow put a Jeff Gillooly-Tonya Harding style hit on Casino Drive.

So throw out all my bets (I'll get a refund on each of them). If you're betting this race, Big Brown is going to win it. He'll go off at somewhere around 1-9, if you're lucky. He may end up being Belmont's biggest favorite ever. He'll win this race handily. It's just not worth putting a win bet on anyone else.

If you do want to bet stupid and hope to hit the lottery, try Denis of Cork or Tale of Ekati. I just don't think Anak Nakal or Macho Again can do it. I'll probably try a few trifectas and superfectas. That's the only place to make any money today.

Permalink | 2008 Belmont Stakes , | Betting the Ponies , | Horse Racing

June 6, 2008

How to Bet the Belmont Stakes

by Luckbox

Ten horses are about to run a race unlike any race they've ever run and likely unlike any race they will ever run again. Horses simply do not race 1 1/2 miles on dirt. It's just that simple. No major race in the United States goes that distance unless it's on turf, and even that is rare. Up until now, these 3-year old horses have rarely had an oppurtunity to go more than 1 1/4 mile, and that was only in the Preakness which ran 1 3/16 mile.

And that is one of the major reasons why we haven't seen a Triple Crown horse since Affirmed 30 years ago. In those three decades, 11 different horses arrived at the Belmont Stakes with a chance to make history. And all 11 lost. In 1988, Real Quiet lost by just a nose. In 1999, Charismatic lead in the final furlong but broke his leg and finished third. From 2002-2004, we had War Emblem, Funny Cide and Smarty Jones. All great horses, and none closed the deal.

So how does this help you bet the Belmont?

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | 2008 Belmont Stakes , | Betting the Ponies , | Horse Racing

June 5, 2008

Misreads And The Profits They Entail

by G-Rob

I should feel more guilty about those times I play badly and win. I should. I don't. I've played well and lost too. These things happen.

The key is not letting those mixed results distort our perceptions.

Here's an example from GucciRick's on Monday night:

I'm on the button with Kh9h and Otis is the small blind. I've button straddled and Otis limps in from my left. DammitBobby and Frank the Tank both muck before Dr. John raises from $5 to $20.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | G-Rob's Thoughts , | Home Games

June 4, 2008

Rizen goes to Ultimate Bet

by Otis

I've been on record for the past couple of years.

I think Eric "Rizen" Lynch is one of the best people in poker. He knows the game, he's a great person, and he has a respect for his role in the poker community.

I subscribe to Eric's RSS feed, despite my disdain for truncated traffic generation summaries. Today, I read the headline "My personal comments about the UB signing" and I was sure Eric would be weighing in on Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy's signing with the oft-maligned online poker site.

Imagine my surprise when I learned one of my favorite poker players is signing with the site everybody loves to hate.

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Online Poker , | Poker Players

June 3, 2008

Lady Luck Answers

by Luckbox

So I spent a good deal of time trying to decide just how I would approach my wife with the idea of a guy's only trip to Vegas. In just four months of marriage, I haven't had a lot of time to build up trade-worthy capital.

So it went a little like this...

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | Las Vegas , | Luckbox's Thoughts

June 2, 2008

Gambling holes

by Otis

G-Rob and I missed the driveway into the pub and busted a U-turn in the middle of a busy highway. Our tires crunched on rock as we slid into the small gravel parking lot. The entire bar could've fit in the downstairs floor of my house. It was barely big enough to hold G-Rob's hair, let alone his ego and my enormous sense of self-loathing.

It was a Friday night around 7pm. Nobody reasonable goes to places like this, least of all suburban fathers with mortgages and firm grasps on their drinking problem. No, these places are for professional drunks who don't quaff martinis before sundown and certainly don't have many people who give a damn or dram where they are.

We two suburban fathers, however, find ourselves in these dives more often than we do the trendy or chain bars in town. We look for out of-the-way Quonset huts and cinder block buildings where the floor really does smell like beer and the people only look up from their drinks to make sure you aren't the police.

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

June 1, 2008

Still The Worst, Still, Ultimate Bet

by G-Rob

I've written about it twice before and, frankly, if you were still playing at Ultimate Bet, you are a damned fool. The site is lousy and the software sucks. There is poor, or non-existent, customer service.

Oh, and it IS actaully rigged.

Before I get all cranked up, check out the posts I wrote 3 full years ago!

Ultimate Bet Cheats On A Tournament
Ultimate Bet Has Bad Tournament Software

More in this Poker Blog! -->
Permalink | G-Rob's Thoughts , | Online Poker