Twenty grand is nothing at the World Series of Poker. Really. If you said you had $20,000 in your pocket, a great many people would look at you and say, "So? I had a poached egg for breakfast. I win." Unless, they are an internet kid, and then they say, "Poached egg, FTW." And they really use the letters.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Wonder how the Absolute Poker cheating scandal broke wide open?
Got a question about who was cheating players on Ultimate Bet?
Wonder why your page rank suddenly dropped from 3 to 0?
Curious as to who launched the poker database that tracks online tourneys and players?
If you do have these questions, that means you haven't been reading one of the most imformative poker blogs on the web. Nat Arem has been a poster on the 2+2 forums for a few years and was central to uncovering the Absolute Poker scandal. He has also played a role in investigating who may have been one of the cheating superusers at Ultimate Bet.
Nat Arem's blog is the latest edition of the The Nuts on Up For Poker. This is real journalism we're talking about. And since the G-Vegas crew has a bit of a journalistic background, we certainly appreciate poker bloggers who are willing to do the hard work for the rest of us.
So head on over and give him a read (if you're not already). And if any of you designers want to give him a hand, he's looking for someone to help him redesign his page. I think he's done enough for the online poker community that perhaps one of you talented people out there may want to help him out!
The woman was blonde and a little overweight. She was a tourist. She screamed, "Oh my God!" and broke down in sobbing fits. Her chair shook as she swayed with the spirit of Las Vegas.
In front of her, a three-line video poker machine showed a Royal Flush in hearts on the first line. The winnings box spun, jangled, and whirled up and up and up. With each 1,000 mark it crossed, the woman shuddered, dropped more tears onto her red cheeks, and said, "Oh, God!"More in this Poker Blog! -->
Several years ago, G-Rob began taking every three syllable phrase he could and using it as the opening chorus to Seals and Croft's "Summer Breeze." It is, in his estimation, an ear worm that cannot be killed.
Early in the 2008 WSOP Main Event, I began using this old trick to at perfectly random times around the Rio (parking garages, quiet moments in the press box, in the men's room) to belt out, "Jerry Yang, makes me feel fine...!"
As mentioned in Questions in Las Vegas, my team of poker writers at the World Series of Poker passed the idle time making some lists. Among the most fun was creating signature tunes for 27 players who started Day 7.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Four of us sat in camping chairs around a cooler serving as a table and with nothing to help us see the cards except the glow of a fire and a few dim lanterns.
"It's gray," G-Rob said.
"How gray?" Otis replied.
Yet again, Uncle Ted and I were running over the table. We, frankly, couldn't be stopped. Call it collusion if you want, but in this game, we didn't mind. In fact, in this game, you can't win without it.More in this Poker Blog! -->
I am not Pauly. When setting out for a long-haul trip, I always promise myself I will write more. Then, by the end of the 15-hour day, I don't want to look at a computer. Thus, most of my Vegas tales get relegated to an internal file from which I later pick a couple of dusty gems and pass them along.
That file is, at the moment, still closed. I'm just about decompressed, but not entirely.
That said, while in Vegas this year I worked alongside a couple of top poker writers who are exceptionally good at self-editing. During this trip, these guys started compiling lists that we contributed to over our three weeks on the ground.
While I still sort out what I could and should write about this year's World Series, I've gone back over the lists and thought I would share a few over the next few days.More in this Poker Blog! -->
This video needs no introduction, other than I'm proud to know the guy who produced it. Oh, and it's probably NSFW.
And yeah, it's a commercial, but damn it if it's not one of the best ones I've seen
Pardon me for flying so low beneath the virtual radar. Only my fabulous flying disks have left a G-Vegas signature this week. I played frolf for the first time in 5 years this weekend. I shot fairly well and my daughter had fun.
Then, on Monday, Otis and I "Frolfed" together in searing 9000 degree heat. We played again Tuesday. Then, again, on Wednesday. Those were Otis' first three rounds of the game since the Luckbox left town. Suddenly a game we were totaly sick of became a great diversion again.
I do hate when the premise of my post is more transparent than my "Cobra" driver.More in this Poker Blog! -->
It was late, but not so much so that I was ready for bed. The Palms poker room was knee deep in players, smelling of smoke and red meat, and a generally sweaty mess for a Monday night. A tourist wearing souvenir clothes and carrying a camera paced the rail like a kid waiting to see Bozo. Or a kid waiting to pee. I couldn't tell and I doubt he would know the difference. The sensations are pretty much the same.
.More in this Poker Blog! -->
The Indiana Gaming Control Division busted a place in Tipton, IN last night. Tipton is about 30 miles north of Indianapolis. Investigators say the place ran illegal poker games where patrons were playing for money. Although several card players were there during the raid, none were arrested. Their names have been passed on to the DA for possible charges.
State law permits only non-for-profit groups to host poker tournaments for charity. The man who runs the business says there's nothing wrong with the card tournaments he's hosted over the last four years.
Oh... the name of the business? Holdem House. I wonder what tipped off the cops?
Here's the website which informs us that the place is "temporarily closed."
I guess the only question is why it took the cops four years to shut down a place that has been advertising poker tournaments so brazenly? After all, it's been more than a year since the Indiana Gaming Commission took over regulation of back room poker. Maybe they had better things to do...
As I mentioned in my last post, there was a lot of resistance to Harrah's decision to delay the final table of the WSOP. A quick glance at the nine players left seems to validate this radical idea.
Here are the names: Ivan Demidov, Peter Eastgate, Kelly Kim, Craig Marquis, Scott Montgomery, Dennis Phillips, David "Chino" Rheem, Ylon Schwartz and Darus Suharto.
This has to be the most anonymous final table in the history of the World Series of Poker. These massive fields actually make it more likely that the last table standing will be full of a couple foreign players, a couple minor online or casino pros and a couple players from the Friday night home game.
And if the final table started right now, I'd have absolutely no rooting interest.More in this Poker Blog! -->
No, we're not talking about the check these players are going to get from Harrah's. We're talking about the fight in the shadows, the one we usually don't hear about. The game behind the game, where it's all about what (or who) you wear.
Dr. Pauly, professor of poker blogging and medicinal herbs, gives us a fascinating post titled The Battle for Tiffany Michelle's Breasts that shows us just how difficult it is to play this game.
But this all brings me back to a discussion on this very blog just two months ago...More in this Poker Blog! -->
A big hearty shout out to all the returning members of "The Society."
Don't know if you're a member? Take a look at the charter post from back in April:
This month a big welcome to the following:
To Otis: He's had just about enough of Fabulous Las Vegas.
To anyone who's been anywhere near Phil Hellmuth in the last week: Phil is a douche.
To You, Dear Reader: We all need some Fish.
Again, welcome new members. And for the already inducted, enjoy!
There are few things in this world that will turn a person into an absolute idiot with no regard for their own dignity. For a starving man, it may be a Big Mac. For a lonely man, it may be a naked woman who wants to sleep with him. For an addict, it's that cigarette or shot of whiskey. For G-Rob, it's any of those things.
For a lot of people on TV these days, it's money.
Exhibit A: The appropriately named "I Love Money" on VHI.More in this Poker Blog! -->
I know right now one of my closest friends is down in the dumps, nearly buried by bad beat stories and the human waste of wealthy diseased minds. I actually didn't feel much sympathy for this friend's situation until very recently. Now I think I understand just how much his situation sucks.
I shared one type of perspective with him last night and wanted to share it here as well. We all have our poker and life tilt to handle.More in this Poker Blog! -->
You can start by re-reading this post in which G-Rob explains just how bad I am at picking the ponies. When you're done there, come back here.
Okay, so it's well established that in G-Rob's mind, you're better off betting against me. In fact, while in Vegas, he and I decided to do some pony prop bets. It didn't go well for me...More in this Poker Blog! -->
A new article in TIME magazine is a really great read. It's called "Candidates' Vices : Craps and Poker".
In short, the writer wonders what it means that John McCain loves a loud and social game of craps and Barack Obama prefers a backroom game of cards.
Among other things, I think it indicates that on top of being a secret muslim antichrist, Barack Obama makes more rational decisions. That's a full plate.
As for the title of this post, Luckbox prefers craps. I prefer a quiet game of poker. Luckboz supports McCain, I think McCain is one nuke short of winter.
This november, dear reader, don't vote your party. Vote your game!
This post brought to you by...UP FOR POKER!More in this Poker Blog! -->
It's a challenge to write in Las Vegas. A friend once equated the bunker mentality with a bunch of old school war reporters. The challenge of ducking bullets and telling good stories is harder than it probably appears. Of course, there is rarely real ammo here. The dangers are hedonism and fatigue. I'm doing well on this trip, though (as mentioned in the posts below this one) not entirely innocent of running rampant in the pit. I've run well, though, and for that I feel pretty fortunate.
I'm here to work, not play. Tomorrow marks the first real test of my abilities, such as they are. I'm not ready or able to tell the full story of the G-Vegas boys' visit (plus, G-Rob's account of BadBlood's $4,000 run at Texas Hold'em Bonus cannot be topped). Regardless, here's some fun remainders from G-Rob's remainders.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Two years is a long time.
Two years ago, no one knew who Jamie Gold was. The Detroit Tigers were 28 games over .500 while Tampa Bay was 12 games under. Oh, and they were still the Devil Rays. Andrea Bargnani was the #1 pick in the NBA draft. Yeah, I still haven't heard of him. The nation was preparing for a Hillary vs. Rudy presidential election.
And that's the last time I was in Vegas.
The good news is that until the terrorists win, or some Socialist takes over the White House, Vegas will be exactly the same every time I go. You can change the curtains all you want, but the grime is there forever.More in this Poker Blog! -->
When playing Pai Gow, there's an extra bet on each hand for the "bonus." Play that bonus for at least $5 and you're playing the special "envy" bonus, which means you get paid on everyone else's bonus hand too.
I didn't hit many bonuses at Pai Gow. I didn't hit much of anything at the table games. I did feel a great deal of envy.
Here's what else happened during my 3.5 days in Las Vegas, Nevada.More in this Poker Blog! -->