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

March 3, 2009


by Otis

You wouldn't know it by reading here, but I am enjoying poker right now more than I have at any point in the past three years. I look forward to it. I play at every chance I give myself. I read poker blogs every day. I think about strategy and record every session in a nifty little iPhone app. My hourly rate is fantastic. In fact, I can look at my phone and see I have played 59 hours and 46 minutes since January 1.

Why so little?

I haven't played a hand of online poker since 2008.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

November 17, 2008

Will the Luckbox Run Good?

by Luckbox

So Up For Poker has languished a bit over the past two months. I wish I had a good excuse, but I don't. Otis, G-Rob and I have all been busy for various reasons, but it's not like we've been significantly more busy than in the past.

The good news is that I've got a great excuse to write again. Matthew from over at PokerListings has invited me to participate in the Run Good Challenge v.2. It's a series of four events with a total prize pool of $5500. If you don't remember, Change100 took down the top prize last time.

This time around, I'm going to be up against some formidable foes including the defending champ and her stoner boyfriend, Dr. Pauly, as well as Chops from WCP, and Michalski from Pokerati among others. I'm kinda hoping this turns into a televised event, because I'll also be competing against poker pro Liz Lieu and Bluff cover girl Christina Lindsey (I encourage you to click through the last two links).

I guess I should start practicing again... don't want to embarrass myself against this lineup! If any of the other participants have an idea for a prop bet... you know where to find me!


August 7, 2008

Was It Really a Suckout?

by Luckbox

I'm a big believer in the power of the mind. You get lucky because you believe, truly, deep down in your heart, that you're going to get lucky. It's not that you hope you'll get lucky. It's not that you declare you'll get lucky. It's that you have no doubt, no doubt at all, that the card you need is about to fall.

For a year or two, that was me. I knew I'd get lucky more often than not. I'd ask the dealer and the card would fall. It was simple. And it made the game easy. You don't get the nickname "Luckbox" because you get lucky just once or twice.

My confidence is shaken. For every yin there is a yang. Where there is light, there is shadow. Just as belief in luck will bring luck, believing in failure breeds failure. Just read Waffles for all the proof you'll need on that account.

The Tao of Poker 5-year anniversary tournament was the last bit of proof I needed.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

August 1, 2008

Online Poker Is Rigged

by G-Rob

How does a forever punchline become a pervasive fear? I'm sure the new punchline involved Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker.

Not long after the most recent online cheating scandal, I resolved to keep playing on the sites I still trust. Right now, there are only two: PokerStars and FullTilt.

For what it's worth, Tilt has softer cash games and Stars runs a better tournament.

I told Otis that just one scandal at either of those sites and I'm done with online poker forever. That just makes sense I think.

Still, despite my professed confidence at those last two sites, I haven't fired up the gamblin' machine in more than a month. I just don't feel confortable with the thing.

Right now, I only gamble in the flesh and I'm really jonesing for THAT.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

July 24, 2008

Fighting the scourge

by Otis

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


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!


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! -->

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! -->

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! -->

May 16, 2008

Online Poker Cheating

by Luckbox

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! -->

April 25, 2008

Pot Limit Omaha Advice

by Luckbox

I am not a Pot Limit Omaha player.

I am, however, someone who managed to finish 3rd in the last Saturdays with Dr. Pauly. I'd like to attribute it to my skill, but I think my reputation precedes me. Nonetheless, I was a massive chip leader with three players left, holding more than 50% of the chips in play. It didn't last... and I think that's because I don't know how to play PLO.

Perhaps you can help me. Here are three key hands that I may have played poorly.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

April 18, 2008

The Black Hole Of Discipline And The Dim Star Of Hope (or... why I am waffles)

by G-Rob

It's like that one link to softcore porn on an otherwise boring afternoon. It's a bowl of those tasty M&Ms at a boring party that are sitting on a perfect table in the corner of the room such that eating the candies is both a bad nervous tic and a good way to avoid people you don't want to see.

It's like a metaphor that sucks its writer past the point of good sense but the urge to pull it off takes said writer to, well, exatly this point... (here).

I like to play online poker. I'm pretty good at it in small bursts. There are some things I'm actually very good at (I think) but I do lose money.

Here's the reason why...

More in this Poker Blog! -->

February 6, 2007

The Syndicate

by Otis

Cigarette smoke hung like a see-through magic carpet over the room. The were no desks, no partitions, and no phones. In the 40 X 40 foot windowless space were eight bare banquet tables. Four people, bleary-eyed and smelling of two showerless days, sat at each table.

Half the room was on C&P duty. The other half, the more experienced and educated of the group, were on RP.

Mikail stood on an elevated platform at the end of the office with a filterless cigarette dangling from his lips.

Speaking in English, as all workers were required to do, Mikail shouted. "It's 3pm Eastern. Ten dollar time!"

More in this Poker Blog! -->

December 5, 2006


by Otis

Here's a little inspiration for those of you heading to Vegas in a few days.

More in this Poker Blog! -->

November 11, 2006

Yes, I found this semi-funny

by G-Rob

A promotional video from the people at Ultimate Bet.

[Ed. note: Link should work. For some reason, the direct link doesn't work. In fact, UB's website is a little funky there. When it's back, I'll relink it.]


October 22, 2006

NETeller scam warning

by Staff

Just a quick warning to everyone to watch out for an e-mail scam running right now. It will come from a spoof of a NETeller support address and tell you you have received a certain amount of money from Party Poker affiliates. It will tell you that you must claim the money by clicking a link. The link takes you to a copy of NETeller's sign-in page, however, you'll note the URL is decidedly not NETeller. Chances are, you're smart enough to not get burned by this one (NETeller simply just doesn't work that way), but it's worth knowing about.


July 11, 2006

It Passed

by G-Rob

The Associated Press is now reporting:

CAPITOL HILL (AP) - The House has passed legislation aimed at
making it harder for Americans to gamble on-line.

It would keep gamblers from using credit cards to fund their
on-line wagering, and it could block access to gambling Web sites.
And it would spell out that most gambling is illegal on-line. But
the measure is not considered a high priority in the Senate.

Update from CJ:

  • Find out how your politicians voted here.
  • Read the text of the legislation here.
  • See if your Representative is a sponsor of the bill here. (Screw you South Carolina and Michigan, with 3 sponsors each.)

    Update from CJ II: The bill makes an exception for online horse racing betting and most fantasy sports. Now why is that okay?

  • October 18, 2005

    Win Your Trip to the Caribbean!

    by Luckbox

    If you're a blogger and you haven't signed up for the Online Poker Blogger Championship, then you're just plain crazy. I don't really have to list the reasons, do I? Sure, there's a big cruise you could win (which I won't) and some fancy monitors (which I don't need), but I'm going for these:

    Did I mention it's free? And, really, most of those bloggers don't have a shot in hell, so use that to your advantage. Plus, the more successful we make this, the more likely PokerStars will be to repeat this and the more likely other sites might be to replicate it. It's a win-win for bloggers!

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    October 5, 2005

    Bloggers = Dead Money

    by Luckbox

    The Online Poker Blogger Championship is filling quickly. Hundreds and hundreds (er... thousands?) have signed up. And when you do, buy clicking the link above, remember we sent you. After all, there's $25,000 in prizes at stake and it's free to enter.

    But who are all these people? You might be surprised...

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    September 8, 2005


    by G-Rob

    CJ and I are playing the $700,000 guaranteed event today at 3PM.


    Chances = mega slim.

    Wish us luck.

    Follow the action

    WCOOP info


    August 30, 2005


    by G-Rob

    Not long ago, I wrote a post here about Ultimate Bet. They totally screwed me on a tourney buy-in and I withdrew my roll.


    After a good time away, I was lured back by the soft MTTs. Now they've done it again. If any of you, dear readers, put any real money into a Ultimate Bet account you are a fool. Just like me.

    Tonight Otis and I bought into a $30+3 tourney. Both of us wasted more than an hour, then we both got screwed.

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    July 24, 2005

    Wil Goes Heads Up

    by Luckbox

    With Tom McEvoy taking a Sunday off over at PokerStars, someone had to step in for the $1000 heads up match. Enter wil wheaton.

    The newest member of Team PokerStars battled against Hendon Mob member European Poker standout Noah Boeken. I'd have to say wil was a bit of an underdog.

    At one point, wil made a huge all-in call with 99 and an A-6-4 board. Some of the observers said it was a terrible call, but with just one overcard on the board, and wil short-stacked, it was the only play.

    You also all be proud to know that wil dropped the HAMMER at one point. He was even short-stacked at the time.

    The tourney came down to an all-in play, 78s for Noah and A2o for wil. The flop came T-6-6 with two diamonds that Noah needed. That actually made Noah a 58% favorite at that point. The turn was the Ace of spades and wil was suddenly 75% to take the match. The river was a blank.

    Congrats, wil! It certainly wasn't easy, and you played well.

    And although the chat was full of a few jackasses... some of it was a little amusing...

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    April 30, 2005

    Don't Tell Me You're Scared!!!!

    by Luckbox

    Get in the game!!!! We've got the 2nd WPBT WSOP Satellite on Sunday night, and we're at just 29 entries. That's not enough to pay out a single seat.

    Where is everyone?

    I know you're intimidated by my exceptional talent, but that's no reason to cower in your living room and watch timidly from the rail. Log in and sign up. You know the deal. So what are you waiting for?


    April 26, 2005

    Today's Tom Sawyer

    by G-Rob

    Funny thing about a rush, I thought it was just me. I've had seven sweet days, a honeymoon with absurdity, in that sweet feverish blaze. At one point, I sent Otis an IM just to tell him "I think a door has opened."

    Granted, this whole "IM" thing is a little immasculating. I can picture CJ buzzing me with an update on "Mrs. Johnson's math test was, like, totally hard", which we all know is true. I usually save the online chat for something more substantial, like, y'know.


    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    April 21, 2005

    Livin' on Ritz..Vitamin C..and Poker?

    by G-Rob

    All my friends can say is 'ain't it a shame.'

    Long, long poker day my friends. And for some damn reason I'm still up at 4:40 AM. I'm sleepy enough that it took 400 thumbjams on the "print screen" function to discover that it wouldn't work on my UB tourney. I'm wired enough that I've just shaken the wife awake to tell her about a poker tournament. I live a pathetic life.

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    February 16, 2005

    I'm Slipping

    by Luckbox

    Fresh off my double triumph last night, I decided to go after a couple cheap SNG's over at PokerStars again tonight. The results weren't as good...

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    February 15, 2005

    Okay, So It Isn't All Bad News

    by Luckbox

    First... read my diatribe in the post below... then click "There's More" on this post.

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    February 9, 2005

    When does it matter?

    by G-Rob

    In my line of work there is a very steep learning curve. Its true in any business, of course, but in my case the newbies get their on-the-job training in front of a six figure rail. They learn fast or get acquianted with MONSTER.COM.

    In many ways, the old pro will always have the edge. The old sea captain knows every roll of the waves and is unshaken by the gale. A verteran doctor is less shaken by a dangrous turn. My more grizzled collegues have a million secret souces to tap when a big story breaks.

    But what about poker? When does a fish cut bait?

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    February 1, 2005

    WPBT Event Reminder

    by Luckbox

    Click "There's More" for details.

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    January 27, 2005

    Bait and Switch

    by G-Rob

    I'm tired and cranky and I blame Ultimate Bet. I'm a regular in the scheduled tournaments there and they're usually good money, but last night they really pissed me off.

    In what was probably a mistake on their part, they set up an incredible bargain.
    At 8:00 they had 2 tournaments set to go at once. Both of them $30+3. One was an $8K guaranteed the other $2.5K. Because one of them had the much larger payout it was attracting all the buyers and the smaller one was PURE GOLD!

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    January 18, 2005

    More CNR

    by G-Rob

    CCR is better but they never gave me any money.

    Check out BadBloods post about last night. He finished second in a rapid-blind $20+2 with about 24 players for a very nice little pot.

    As for me...great night on the CNR cash games highlighted at the .25/.50 NL tables...

    Here's my favorite :

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    January 17, 2005

    Coupla things....

    by G-Rob

    First off...a quick note about the new games. BadBlood and I have been playing at Check and Raise. We spent about 6 quality hours there last night, and I'll agree with Maudie. The interface isn't bad and the rooms are very soft. The problem is there are hardly any games to find. The site is new and its hard to find much action.

    It did give us this 6-handed nugget though :

    SB posts .25
    G-Rob posts .50
    UTG calls
    BadBlood raises to $2.00
    5s folds, 6s folds, SB folds
    G-Rob calls
    UTG folds

    FLOP: 3, 5,7 rainbow
    G-Rob bets $3.00
    BadBlood calls

    Turn: 10
    G-rob bets $4.00
    BadBlood calls

    River: 6
    G-Rob bets $8.00
    Badblood calls

    G-Rob shows 4, 6 off
    Badblood calls G-Rob a damned fish!

    Hilarity ensues.

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    January 5, 2005

    The Quest for free money

    by G-Rob

    The bankroll is fluid and I'm moving it around. Lately I've been googling "Poker signup bonus" to find every free dollar a rake-taking internet whore will offer. Ole G-Rob is feelin' frisky. G-Rob's wife is glad he has another outlet.

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    July 8, 2004

    Avatars that growl

    by Otis

    Those of you who play on Empire Poker might have heard a growl from across the ethereal poker room last night. It wouldn't have been hard to spot the source of the noise. It sprung, nay, erupted from the avatar known as Otis.

    While I'm the first to defend online poker rooms for the massive task of managing tens of thousands of players at once, I'm also not going to be a mindless shill for them either.

    So, please step inside for a rant against my homesite and, well, one of its players.

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    July 6, 2004

    Danger, Otis Robinson!

    by Otis

    Boredom can be a sadist.

    It shoves a poorly-manicured thumbnail in your navel and twists. It drags you by your nose into dark corners where ne'er-do-wells skulk and rodents feed on trash. Perhaps more dangerous, it hangs you from a mountain summit and says, "So, you wanna play, huh? Well, then let's play."

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    May 30, 2004

    Bonus Whore Wars Results

    by Otis

    Well, we had a number of good entries. The decision-making process has been very tough. If I could afford it, I'd make everyone a winner. But since I can't, I've actually decided to pay three places.

    Did you make the cut?

    Read on.

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    May 27, 2004

    Bonus Whore Wars

    by Otis

    I've pillaged. I've plundered. I've raked the first prize in the last two World Poker Blogger Tourneys (in my defense, I didn't play in the first one).

    It's time I gave something back.

    Introducing, The Up For Poker Bonus Whore Wars.

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    May 6, 2004

    More Omaha Hold 'Em

    by Luckbox

    I really enjoy this game. It's become my game of choice on Planet Poker until I get regular internet at home and time to start grinding again.

    I've gotten to the point where I'm better than most of the regular Omaha players in the tournaments. I'm placing in the money much of the time (and usually only the top 3 to 5 pay), and getting a real feel for the game.

    I'm trying to limit my starting hands to strong flush draws (ideally, multiple flush draws) and hands with good low possibilities. Early on, I'll play many more hands because you can hit a lot of flops.

    My problem is late in the game. I'm not sure how to tighten up my starting hands. In fact, I worry whether I should tighten up, or start to play more. Soemtimes it feels like I keep folding waiting for good strarting hands and I get blinded away. Guess it'll take a little more practice there.

    I also have to learn when a "winner" might actually be a loser. The low is often split among two or sometimes three players. That means you could actually get a piece of the pot and lose money. Unfortunately, there's not much of a way to determine when that will happen to you, so it's hard to avoid.


    March 21, 2004

    True Dat Two Dat

    by Otis

    "You see that guy over there?"

    "Sure. Couldn't miss him. His face is all flushed and he keeps looking at his reflection in the bar mirror. He's been acting like somebody gave him a big check and offered him oral pleasure."

    "That's Otis, dude."

    "No way. The way I hear it, every time Otis starts to look like that, something bad happens."

    "They call it the Otis Choke."

    "Yeah, man. The Otis Choke. That's some scary stuff."

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    March 15, 2004

    True dat

    by Otis

    There's that little guilt pushing on the mebranes of my noodle. It slips in when I let my mind think about nothing, and then I think about something I don't really want to think about.

    I think about how I've been unfaithful.

    Lord, I never thought I would write such a thing.

    After so much time, building a relationship, nay, building true love, I've been unfaithful...

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    February 16, 2004

    Okay, I Give Up

    by Luckbox

    It's official. This blog now has its first ad. I've resisted until now, but Empire Poker was pretty persistent, and, really, what do I have to lose?

    As you've read on this blog and on others, Empire Poker is offering some pretty good deals right now. You might as well get in on the action if you haven't already. If you use the link to your left, you'll get a 20% bonus on your first deposit up to $100 (if you deposit $500).

    I'll admit, Empire isn't my first choice for playing. I primarily play Ultimate Bet, but they haven't asked to advertise, and Empire actually features many more fish. I know Iggy swears by the fish on Party/Empire (they use the same tables for everything but tournaments).

    I don't plan on making this pitch again. It's a one time deal. If you aren't playing Empire now, but plan to... might as well use the link here and get the bonus. If you don't want to play Empire, I won't waste this blog space trying to convince you!

    On a slightly related note, I may have a way for all of us poker bloggers to make a little money on the side from advertisers. If you're interested, drop me an e-mail.


    February 15, 2004

    Online Poker: Will I Be Arrested?

    by Luckbox

    We all know that thanks to The Travel Channel, ESPN, Fox Sports Net, and the legend of Chris Moneymaker... online poker is bigger than it's ever been.

    We're talking $16 billion last year alone. That's a lot of money, and when Americans are spending a lot of money on something, and the government isn't getting a cut, that usually means Big Brother will try to get his cut, or stop you from playing. And since he's not likely to get a cut... will the men in blue be knocking on your ISP?

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    January 29, 2004

    Online Cheating

    by Luckbox

    A loyal Up For Poker reader sent me an e-mail wondering how worried I am about online poker cheating. There's no question that it's a concern of most players. There are no real absolute guarantees these websites are entirely trustworthy. In fact, a search of RGP or 2+2 will find dozens of posts about being cheated.

    However, you also know by now that I'm a rabid online player, spending hours at a time on Ultimate Bet. So if I know that there are no guarantees and that cheating is possible, why do I risk my money?

    That's easy...

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    January 28, 2004

    Dutch Boyd, Pokerspot, and Rakefree

    by Staff

    When watching the WSOP on ESPN, I was intrigued by Dutch Boyd's golf visor that advertised "" I always meant to visit the site and learn what it was about, but never got the chance.

    Today, while browsing the TwoPlusTwo forums, I ran across an interesting argument over Dutch Boyd. Apparently, back in 2000, he started an online poker room called PokerSpot. It eventually went under. Players who had money on the site lost it all.

    The whole PokerSpot fiasco is quite a hot topic, and it's hard to know who to believe. Obviously, those who lost all their money are furious at Boyd. He blames it on a business partner, and relatively credibly so. He was young, and obviously in over his head -- even he admits as such. Boyd tells his side of the story here.

    In the same interview, Boyd also talks about his new project -- an online rake free poker site -- He hasn't discussed the business model yet. Will the site make money from advertisers or by monthly dues? It's unclear. Still, it sounds interesting, assuming Boyd has his act together better this time.

    Play Online Poker

    January 26, 2004

    Downed By A Pro

    by Luckbox

    I played in the big $200 + $15 tourney on Ultimate Bet last night. I won two satellites to pay my entry fee, so it cost me about $67.

    350 entrants, 1st prize paid more than $20,000, top 40 places paid ($288 for 25-40 I think). You started with 2000 chips (up from the usual 1000). I was feeling pretty good.

    It didn't end well.

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    January 24, 2004

    The Hammer!!!

    by Luckbox

    I've got a couple of things to hit in this post. It's Iggy-inspired, but not quite up to that standard.

    That's right, the title says "The Hammer!!!" but you'll have to wait for the end for that. If you don't know about the world-famous Hammer Challenge head over to Poker Grub and read all about it.

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    Empire Opportunities

    by Staff

    I wrote yesterday about my bad beat in an Empire Poker tournament. Well, the reason I was playing the tournament is because Empire is offering some incredibly good deals on tournaments right now.

    EmpirePoker is doing this because they want to expand their tournaments. Party and Empire share the same site (e.g., when you play on Empire or Party, you are playing against people from both Party and Empire), but they have different tournaments. Historically Empire has had smaller tournaments than Party, so they're giving away lots of extra money in order to promote their tournaments.

    Here are the opportunties:

    1. A free entry into a $5000 freeroll when you enter either the $100+10 Saturday Night Fever weekly tournament or the $150+12 Sunday Gameday weekly tournament.
    2. The $150+12 Sunday Night Gameday tournament is $25,000 guaranteed (for you non-tourney players, that means the prize pool will be at least $25,000). Last week I believe this tournament only had about 50 entrants. If even 100 enter this week, then EmpirePoker will have to add $10,000 to the prize pool to make the guaranteed $25,000. That's a deal.
    3. The Wednesday Night $50+5 weekly tournament is now $10,000 guaranteed. I think about 50 entered this tournament last week too. If, for example, 100 enter the tournament this week, EmpirePoker will have to put in $5,000 to add up to the guaranteed $10,000 prize pool.

    These are all great deals. If you're a tourney player, now is the time to take advantage of the promotions. These are all positive expected value opportunities. There's also a $200+15 tournament which sends 1 person for every 60 entries to the 2004 World Series of Poker.

    Also, if you play poker online at Party or Empire, you're foolish if you don't get some of your rake back. I get 20% of my rake back. I had never realized how much that was until I signed up. That's over $400 already this month. If you're interested in getting some of your rake back, then email me:


    January 23, 2004

    The Final Table

    by Luckbox

    It's been a long, long time since I've been able to blog with this as the title. Now I've reached the final table twice in two nights. Tonight, I played a $50 NL Hold 'Em tourney with 68 entrants. I finished in 9th, but should probably have finished higher.

    I got AK in the small blind. It's raised in front of me about 3xBB and I call. The flop is A-x-x. I check, he bets the pot and I raise all-in. He calls and shows AQ. Guess what the turn card is? Oh well, I'm out in 9th with $102.

    The tourney last night gave me my best finish ever...

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    January 22, 2004

    The New Strategy

    by Luckbox

    Writing this post will naturally cause me to lose my entire stack. It's like a no-hitter. You just don't talk about it. Oh well... I'm a gambling man, right?

    Since January began, I've turned $50 into $850 and an Ultimate Bet "Tournament Entry Chip" worth $100 toward a entry fee. That's about a $900 profit in 20 days. I'd say I've averaged about 3 hours of playing a day (on multiple tables at once mostly). That's 60 hours work for $900. That's $15/hour. Should I quite my job? (I'm not that stupid.)

    Here's what I'm doing...

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    January 12, 2004

    First Stop..... Virtual Vegas

    by Staff

    It has been sometime since you last heard from good ole' Huck Finn...

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    January 10, 2004

    Introducing People to the Game

    by Staff

    I posted some poker advice over at Southern Appeal.

    Most of it is aimed at beginning players, so many readers here probably won't get much out of it. In fact, please note in the comments section any advice you would have added or done differently.

    Introducing people to the game is important, of course, for the bottom line. But I don't introduce people to the game for money. After all, I attempted to convince people to learn the game before they start playing.

    So why do I post advice on poker? Why do I put effort into getting more people into poker? I guess I just want poker to become the next Big Thing.


    January 6, 2004

    When It's Good, It's Great!

    by Luckbox

    I probably had my finest online session ever last night. It was 3 1/2 hours on Ultimate Bet and I played 6 different Sit and Go's.

    The entry fees added up to $72 and 300 points (not play chips, but points that can redeemed as entry fees into tourneys).

    The pay off? How about $260 and 1100 points. That's more than $50 an hour, and 800 bonus points thrown in. Was it the cards or my playing? I'd like to think the latter, but it's probably the former. Here's a taste of one of those SNG's:

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    January 2, 2004

    Divine retribution??

    by Staff

    As we all know, getting sucked out on... well... sucks. We all read the bad beat stories and lament. We want to turn away, but like the horrible accident along the side of the road, we stand and gawk, in disbelief that such carnage is possible. Well, read on brave souls. I hope this warms your heart as much as it did mine.

    Playing on UB today just to kill some time before work, .25 - .50 NL when this happens...

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    December 30, 2003

    Palpitations, etc

    by Otis

    In the laid back, boxer shorts-wearing, beer-sipping, belly-button lint-picking world of online poker there's not a lot to get a low limit player's blood pumping anymore. After you play your first hundred no-limit tourneys, after you win a few and lose a few, after you jump up in limits before you should, you finally hit just about every situation worth breathing heavy over. It's about that time you start finding a little more interest in the boobies section of

    And then you finally hit a hand where it gets a little exciting.

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    December 18, 2003

    A Good Night

    by Luckbox

    It started out poorly. I played terribly in a $20+2 ten person SNG. I busted out in 9th place. And it was an ugly bust out. I played poorly. Next was a $10+1 ten person SNG and it was going poorly. Somehow I caught some cards and managed third place, $20. I also doubled up at the .10-.25 NLHE table, $12 profit.

    But the big one was the $30+3 six person SNG. Finished first, running roughshod over the other 5. (One guy accused me and 2nd place of colluding.) I took home $126 there. That's $66 spent, and $158 won for a profit of $92 in just an hour.

    Feeling so good, thought I'd stay up and post some interesting hands from recent play:

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    November 18, 2003

    Moving Down

    by Staff

    Recently, I made a change I hoped I would never have to make. One of the worst changes you can make in poker.

    I'm moving down in limits.

    More in this Poker Blog! -->

    October 10, 2003

    The World of Online Poker

    by Luckbox

    Poker is exploding in America, and online poker sites like Ultimate Bet and Party Poker are now thriving. Made for TV poker has helped generate even more interest in the game, and those who wish to play often have no choice but to search online.

    A graduate of Rice University recently got a chance to pick the brain of the CEO of another online poker site, TruePoker. Here's just a taste of the 20 questions, find the rest by going to Another Rice Grad.

    More in this Poker Blog! -->