Remember that time you four-bet pre-flop with aces, flopped your set, and got your opponent to get it all in? Remember when he shoved his chips in and then asked, "Do you have the ace?"
You probably thought, "What is this guy doing playing poker?"
We sometimes think the same thing about the search referrals we get here on the Up For Poker Blog.
Here are just a few recent questions that Google has thrown our way.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Q. Who is the High Stakes Poker guy who looks like Jabba the Hutt?
A. We here at Up For Poker are huge fans of both the Star Wars series and High Stakes Poker. So, when we saw this question come in, we wondered if we had missed a few episodes of HSP. After looking at the cast list from the past several seasons, we narrowed it down to two possibilities. The first is David Benyamine, for obvious reasons. The second is Doyle Brunson. Either way, that's just mean, and we'd dare whoever asked the question to call either of the above players Jabba to his face. And either way, if you're hoping to play poker and you don't know Brunson or Benyamine, you'd best stick to watching Return of the Jedi and pleasuring yourself to your Princess Leia action figure.
Q. Is an UTG limp raise always the nuts?
Yes. We polled every poker player in three countries. The results were staggering. No player in our millions of respondents has ever limp re-raised under the gun with anything other than the nuts. Every player indicated it would be irresponsible to play a hand in such a way that it led others to believe he might have aces instead when he actually held kings, queens, or 9c-7c. We suggest that if you are ever limp re-raised by a player under the gun, fold your kings immediately. You are behind and will never catch up.
Q. (From Sweden) How does WSOP poker works?
A. This is a tricky question and one not taken lightly. It assumes that WSOP poker (translated World Series of Poker poker) actually works. We are not ready to make that assumption. If we did, we might answer that the World Series of Poker poker takes a decades old tradition of poker mastery and devalues it by creating dozens of events that award dozens of bracelets and charges millions of dollars in juice to play tournaments with dubious structures. Of course, we wouldn't ever actually say that. We're just saying, if we made an assumption, we might think about saying something like that. In the meantime, if you're reading from Sweden, we like your women. How much for them?
Q. Suppose that you have played F five times but you don't yet know your wins and losses. Would you play the gamble a sixth time?
A. You just blew our mind, sir. We love you as a reader. We'd love for you to stay. However, we think you'd be better suited reading the "Handbook of the economics of finance" by George M. Constantinides, Milton Harris, René M. Stulz.
But to answer your question, we've played F several times. We've got a lot of experience in the world of F. We may not yet know our wins and losses, but you give us a sixth shot at F and we'll take it every day of the week. Twice on Sunday, in fact.
Would we gamble a sixth time? Silly question.
Q. Are cops allowed to bust poker games?
A. That all depends on where you live. If you live where we do, cops are allowed to bust poker games, take all the money, take all the cards, take all the chips, rummage through your house, make eyes at your girlfriend, and use your bathroom without flushing. You probably won't ever be officially prosecuted, but you'll sort of wish you had been. A real prosecution makes it feel less like a shakedown.
Q. Why is poker bad?
A. Poker is not inherently bad. It's naughty sometimes. Sometimes it's downright dirty, nasty, naughty little poker. It's not bad, though. Look at it this way: if poker was good all the time, you'd sit around wondering if you should've taken your shot at the game with the tattoos, nipple rings, and questionable grasp on hygiene.
Trust us on this one.<-- Hide More
Nearly six years ago, we started blogging here as a way to write about our poker game. We played poker this past weekend, but the weekend was more about what you see in the video, as shot and edited by my brother, Dr. Jeff. In it, you will see rock and roll, mass debauchery, and gambling on rickshaw races. Not to mention degeneracy of the first, second, and third order. The video is posted here because everyone in the video and everybody else you don't see in the video met because of poker blogs.That is, in a word, sick. In another word...cool.
Luckbox has been doing most of the heavy lifting in this fifth birthday of Up For Poker. I'm wrapped up in other activities right now, but couldn't let the time pass without a brief submission. Some of these are repeats, some are original, but all of them will stick in my memory as long as I'm playing.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Five most memorable hands against a poker blogger
5. vs. The Rooster, December 2007
It might have been my emergence from focus that ended up losing me the tournament. Still, a sense of understanding about what was happening around me was welcome. What had once been half a dozen people standing around and watching poker was suddenly a crowd of familiar faces. For the past several hours, I'd rather forgotten everything except trying to win. Now, I took half a second to relish the moment. I knew it wouldn't last long. Though the heads-up battle has been described as epic, I don't remember it as such. It seemed to be over as soon as it started.
I made a quick decision that I wasn't going to give The Rooster the opportunity to dictate the terms of the heads-up match. With the blinds as high as they were, there was very little opportunity for post-flop poker. My decisions were made before the match even began. It would be up to The Rooster to decide when he was calling and when he was folding.
If there was a surreal moment for me, it was the split second between the time I looked at my final hand and the time The Rooser announced, "Call!"
I peaked at K9o and said nothing. I simply put my hands around my chips and started to move them. They had barely moved an inch when The Rooster nearly jumped from his seat and said, "Call!"
Without going into it what was actually happening in my head at that second, that fraction of time defined who I was, who I am, who I hope to be forever.
Oh, and I was surpised to see I was ahead, too. The Rooster's snap-call didn't mean I was beat. It meant he was tired of my aggression. In this case, it also meant I was better than 60/40 to win. By the river, we had seen no kings, nines, queens, or eights. I had to dodge six cards when that final piece of plastic hung in the air.
It was what it was.
4. vs. ScottMc , December 2007
"There are softer spots in this room," I mumbled.
Over the course of the next couple of hours, I sat at the toughest cash table I'd face all weekend. I don't recall everyone in the game, but over the course of my time there, I saw Zeem, Chad, ScottMc, WeakPlayer, Miami Don and Blinders.
I stacked off to Chad once in a kicker battle, re-bought and told myself that if I couldn't start playing better, I was on my way out the door for a few hours by myself. That's when it happened--the most embarassing move I would make all weekend.
I had AK and came in for a raise. ScottMc popped me back and I pulled my "Oh, realllllllly?" maneuver. I don't think I've ever played with Scott before, so I kept his range exceptionally wide. I made the call out of position.
Why exactly I decided to check dark, I don't know. I only know I did. And I know I saw the flop come down AQx. Scott made another bet, and because I had checked dark, I had no way of knowing what the bet meant. It could mean as much as AA, as middling as AQ, or as little as some underpair. Hell, it could even be AK.
Now, I made what was the only smart move in the entire hand. I figured out where I was with a check-raise. Thing is, my chips hadn't hit the table before Scott cupped his hands around his mouth and said, "Allllllllllll innnnnnnnnnnn" in a deep voice.
That's pretty much where I went over the edge. After 22 hours of the worst beats ever, I was stuck bad and wrapped up in a hand with a player who is now wearing a sign that says, "You are beat, Otis!" around his neck. There is now no hand he can hold that I can conceivably beat. At best, he's holding AK and I know that's not the case. I might be lucky enough that he has AQ, but it's far more likely he has a set.
So, of course, I call.
Scott is a nice damned guy, which goes beyond and sometimes against his great abilities at the poker table. He wasted no time showing me his QQ for the flopped middle set. Knowing I need runners to win, I start planning a graceful exit and wondering where the solo rage will take me. I was at once a nihilist.
I'm still not sure the next ten seconds happened.
The groan and cheer rose up from the table as the board came runners to give me aces full. Having not yet revealed my hand, I fanned my AK to the table and buried my face in my other hand. The chips landed in front of me. Now, I could no longer hate my luck.
I could only hate myself.
Scott took it much better than he should've. For my penance, he only required I post this list:
1) That was the worst suck-out ever
2) Scott is a better player than Otis
3) I am a donkey
Or something like that. My notes don't make a lot of sense.
The only thing I remember with any clarity is Miami Don looking up from his vodka and remarking wryly, "Otis, I think your luck just changed."
3. vs. Absinthe, December 2006
I was angry. So angry.
There is a particular table at the MGM where I cannot win. Don't call it superstition, because if you do, I will soak your toothbrush in a jar of hot peppers. I can't win there. Ever.
I'd just called off several hundred dollars when people at the other end of the Strip in Caesars knew I was beat. It was so obvious that it was actually embarrassing to continuing breathing. Making it worse, the off-duty dealer to whom I'd stacked off berated me for losing. I wanted to crawl in a hole, stuff the rest of my cash in an uncomfortable place, and light it on fire. Due penance, I thought.
I'd had pocket kings. Not that it matters, but it mattered.
Absinthe sat on my right, quiet as always, and ostensibly targeting everybody at the table but me. We're friends. We've shared time. We've eaten at fancy restaurants. He wouldn't fuck with me.
I found pocket kings on the button a few hands later. I figured I'd get no action, because, hell, everybody knew I wasn't rebuying. I had to set my ass on fire in a few minutes.
Absinthe came in for a raise to around $20. I don't recall the size of my re-raise, but I think it was around $100. Absinthe did this thing he does. I can't explain it, and if I could, I wouldn't write about it, because we're friends. We don't fuck with each other. But he did this thing.
He quietly slid out a raise. I don't recall the exact amount, and it doesn't matter, because it was a giant, flashing sign that said, "Hey, bitch, I have aces. Get the hell out and get on with the ass-fire."
I gritted my teeth, I wondered whether I was going to use a lighter or a match, and mucked my hand.
A few minutes later, he raised his eyebrows.
"Kings," I said.
He shook his head. "What a cooler," he said.
"Aces," I nodded.
"Same hand," he said.
For a moment, I felt okay. It wasn't a lot of money and, you know, no flop, no drop.
Half an hour later as we headed to a fancy dinner, I brought up the cooler.
"I had ace-ten," he said and kept walking.
2. vs. Bill Rini, and I honestly don't remember the date
Okay, we were drunk. Let's get that out of the way. I'm pretty sure it was summer, I'm vaguely certain Spaceman and Pokerati Dan were there, and I know we are at the Excalibur. The size of the pot makes me believe Bill and I both had around $800 in front of us. Everything else is pretty much a blur.
I know I had pocket aces. I'm pretty sure one was black. Let's call it the ace of spades. It doesn't matter.
I raised and Bill re-raised me. I complained in a way guys with pocket aces do. Folded back to me and I decide to give the guy a break.
"All-in," I said. Because, in poker, that's how you give a guy a break.
Bill looked peeved, but only for a second. "I call," he said. Because, with AK, he didn't want a break. He wanted my $800. When he saw my aces, he was visibly agitated. I said something to the effect of, "I was trying to give you a break."
He said something to the effect of, "Fuck your mother." That's not an exact quote, but it's close I think.
Bill didn't win. He left.
To this day, I actually feel bad about that hand.
1. vs. Iggy , December 2004
I was still steaming from having my Hiltons cracked, and raised pre-flop with pocket sixes. Of course, Iggy called. The flop came down 589. Again, Iggy and I went to war.
Now, I know I'm not necessarily favored to win this hand. In fact, I should assume that Iggy is ahead. Maybe a set. More likely, A9 or A8. If he is ahead, I know that I only have six outs to catch up. Still, having played low-limit with him before, I know Iggy can sometimes be aggressive when he's way behind. I could only hope he was on a draw.
I think I maintained my poker face when the turn brought a seven, giving me the straight. I check-raised Iggy, who cold called and gave me a look.
The turn was a blank, as I recall. This time I bet into him and the sonofabitch raised me. I re-raised, and he capped.
But as he put in his final bet, he turned to the dealer and said, "You know, in a lot of cardrooms, when play gets to be heads up there's no limit on the number of raises."
It was at this moment that my heart sank and I picked up on Iggy's biggest tell: When he has the nuts, he'll turn to the dealer and ask for the game to be no-limit.
The dealer said we could do whatever we wanted, but I already knew what was about to happen. I put in my final crying call and watched Iggy turn up Vince Van Patton's favorite hand, JTo.
Iggy began raking the pot and eyed me from behind his locks, "Drawing at the dummy end of the straight," he said with a playful scoff.
In one moment I felt both chastened and so happy to be alive that I didn't mind losing another big pot to Iggy.<-- Hide More
The world was on tilt.
We were in a field--a bivouac for souls simultaneously lost and found--under a Florida moon and looking at the world through glasses you can't buy on eBay. We were headed for shelter, a place where we would gamble but never once open a deck of cards. Gambling was as inevitable as morning, but the method was a matter of choice. It would become a test of endurance, of will, of sheer stupidity.More in this Poker Blog! -->
For the moment though, a beat had diverted our attention. At 40 yards, the tent shimmered and shocked and beckoned our crew like no light in Las Vegas could. It made no sense, and yet it was the only thing at the moment at that mattered. It was the last thing we expected to see, save perhaps Bill Frist.
Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot turned his head, like a dog that hears a bag of food being opened in the next room.
"Is that Michael Jackson?" he said, and started walking in the other direction.
I protested quietly. It wouldn't have mattered if I yelled, because Neil was already halfway to the big white tent. My wife was trailing him. Pauly, Uncle Ted and I plodded along and wondered what silliness we were about to get ourselves into. When we breached the flaps of the tent, we heard some Jackson 5 quickly morph into some late 70s female funk. How we'd stumbled into a 70s dance party, I don't know. All I know is that everyone in the tent was suddenly looking at us like their drugs had finally kicked in. They smiled, they screamed, the jumped with elation like we'd not seen in a long time. Why? Well, the men in our group were dressed like this.
We were the party.
"Thank you for coming to my wedding reception," Neil screamed, "I love you all!"
For the next half an hour, we danced like 70s white boys. Women came from across the tent to grind and slobber. It was everything we never knew we wanted coming down on us like a truckload of polyester. The moment reached its zenith when the only pair of fake breasts on the entire Indian Reservation climbed Uncle Ted and treated him like a stripper pole. The irony was enough reason to let it happen.
When we finally made it back outside, a blonde girl ran up to us.
"I want to be your manager," she gushed.
Dr. Pauly looked at her straight in the face and didn't crack a smile. "We don't need a manager," he said with a little more force than I expected. "We need a choreographer."
We walked away without another word.
Why do I bring it up today?
Well, Human Head and the LasVegasVegas boys posted a list of their top five poker blogs. This blog was on the list. Being among the others on this was humbling. And that's not just smoke for your ass. That's the truth.
Every one of the blogs and/or authors on the list have come a long way in just the last five years. It's sort of amazing to consider what has become of everybody. Some have gone on to become rather famous in the industry. Others have gone on to work for major companies in the business. Others have started up their own companies and have done pretty damned well for themselves. In large part, it all happened because they started a poker blog. It still doesn't make sense.
Still, that's not really the point. The point, at least as far as I'm concerned, is the friendships I've made as a result of this silly little effort. The story above was just half an hour of my life, but it was a half an hour that never would've happened but for meeting Pauly through the blogging community. I have countless more moments like it.
There was the time BG, Al, Eva, and G-Rob showed up in the Bahamas to party with me on my first live blogging gig, the time Pauly gave me a personal bar tour of his own city, the time I woke up in my own house and found Iggy and Daddy begging for bacon.
Of course there was also the Louisiana roadhouse experience with BG, G-Rob, and Badblood; the entire crew of people who came out of nowhere to show up for the last Bradoween; spending a week watching zombie movies with Absinthe; eating gelato with Wheaton and Absinthe and feeling vaguely effeminate for it; and, ah, hell, you get the point.
There are tons of Vegas experiences I could write about the dozens of people who have befriended me over the years. Each one of them is memorable and fantastic. Regardless, it's the real life I've had outside of poker and Vegas that make me feel great at the end of it all.
I don't make friends easily. I don't know how much longer this poker blog will be around. I don't know how much longer I'll be playing poker. Hell, I don't know much of anything about anything. I do know, however, that if the blog dies, if I go broke, and if I never go to Vegas again, I'll still have a lot of people I can call friends because of this thing. Even if there is no more success in poker, that's reason enough for me to believe this is one of the top five poker blogs. It's paid off dividends I'll never give up.<-- Hide More
I've received a lot of good feedback about an observation I made a couple of weeks ago regarding the change in WSOP coverage at ESPN. That observation became even more pronounced when we saw Scotty Nguyen's performace at this year's HORSE event.
As Amy pointed out today, people were actually surprised at Nguyen being the bad boy. The surprised people are the people who don't get out much and know poker only from TV.
Let's all agree on something. At least half of the poker community is made up of people you wouldn't want to share a beer with. At least 75% of the poker community is made up of people you wouldn't want to bring home to Mom. In the poker world, the really good folks are the minority. TV can make anybody look good. It made Mike Tyson look like a bootstrapping Horatio Alger story until the whole cannibalism thing. It made Michael Vick out to be one of the best quarterbacks of his time until the whole animal massacre thing. TV can make people what it wants. It made Scotty Nguyen into the Prince of Poker and now it's made him the town drunk.
Amy wrote a great piece a few years ago titled The Death Wish that gives you some decent insight into Nguyen before televised poker made him royalty. Everyone should read it. Especially those people who don't get to hang out in the Amazon Room and see poker people as they are for real.
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 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! -->
The point is: if your feeling desperate, or your changing your style after a bad beat, calm down, take a breath, and play the way you know you should.
Which brings me to my next point...er...pop culture phenomenon. I admit it. I not only watch "The O.C.", but I love it to the point of distraction. Yes, I'm 37 years old. I am only able to admit this publicly, if anonymously, after seeing the show revered by at least two other poker bloggers. God bless you guys.
Speaking of BG, I wasted an hour of work today going through his archives. There's some great stuff there. On October 31, 2003, he gave us his top 10 nicknames he wished he had:
1. "Detroit Slick" (this would, of course, be my poker nickname when I take the card rooms of Detroit by storm)
Okay, Detroit Slick it is!
Next up are the guys at Wicked Chops Poker. Back in the day, they hadn't yet realized the potential of half-naked women (thank goodness that inspiration hit them!). In this case, it was Chops talking about his first time at the table with poker bloggers back on April 25, 2005:
The poker bloggers were cool. I was very surprised at the funny comments, obscure references, etc. made during play. I even, amazingly, typed an LOL (those who know me will be very disappointed I did this) because someone made a comment that was legitimately funny. I immediately punched myself in the nose for typing LOL, but what can I say? I laughed out loud. Is laughing a crime?
It seems that for some, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Hoy is a good example of that. Back on January 6, 2004, he explained why he had lost 13 consecutive tournaments on PokerStars:
So anyways, ps is fixed. And now, after threating me Numerous times with suspending my playing privileges, stopping me from taking notes or chatting, now ps is targeting me individually, ensuring that I cannot make it far in ANY of their tournaments.
That's good stuff. At least these days, he just blames us donkeys when he loses.
I'm sure there's lots more good stuff out there, but I've likely bored all of you with this look into our past. I just shudder to think what some of you may find in my past!<-- Hide More
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! -->
In 10 days, I'll be back in Vegas for the first time since the 2006 WSOP. And of those few dozen poker bloggers whom I first met that December weekend, I'll again get to spend time at the tables with Iggy, Pauly, Bad Blood, FTrain, Poker Prof and maybe even AlCantHang. Add in Otis and GRob, and we'll have nearly a third of that first group of bloggers back in Vegas together.
It was a long strange road that got us all there in the first place. A quick check of the archives shows these poker blogs started popping up in late 2003.
Pauly launched in August 2003:
Texas Hold'em poker is probably the most difficult, yet the most exhilirating card game out there. I know there are fanatics who share my same disposition and now there's a site for them to visit. Combined with the knowlegde that there are not too many poker blogs out there... I decided to start my own. 100% Poker speak... 100% of the time!
We opened here in September 2003:
Welcome to Up For Poker! Hopefully soon, there will be more contributors than just myself. This will also help my Up For Anything readers avoid a majority of my gambling rambling.
Iggy popped up a few weeks later:
Well, well, well. Figured I might as well start trying to document some of my experiences with God's nectar, Guinness, and the online Phenomena of Poker. I've been playing poker online for about six years. Drinking seriously for about twenty.
HDouble came next in October 2003 (where have ye gone?):
That's it for my introduction. Hopefully this journal will help me improve my game, as well as give me a chance to develop some thoughts worth developing. And if it gives some readers a few laughs or nods of recognition along the way, that would be nice too...
Update: BG also chimed in with his first poker post in October 2003:
I've been playing Texas Hold 'Em (no limit, $10 buy-in, winner take all) with the same group for about three months now. Normally, we're getting together six to ten strong on a weekend night, and playing until 1 or 2 AM. So far, so good. There's only two of us that can claim three victories during these games. I'm one of them.
Maudie jumped into the game in November 2003:
I hadn't played much hold-em previously - let alone no-limit - and so I was at sea with the jargon and had no clue as to strategy. Being the curious cat I am, I googled for poker reading material and was lead to my first poker publication purchase (nice alliteration, wouldn't you say?) Super System by Doyle Brunson.
Hammer-inventor Grubby joined a few days later:
I love playing poker. I love eating.
Hey, why not combine the two?
Mean Gene emerged in December 2003:
I'm going to write more stuff than just hand histories here, honest. I'm thinking maybe some poker fiction. I mean, you just KNOW that a flood of poker movies and books are flooding to market right now. Maybe I should jump on the bandwagon.
AlCantHang finally took the plunge in February 2004:
I've been hitting alot of poker blogs recently and they've been well written and very enjoyable. Probably not so for this one. Those who know me will tell you, I drink too much and play poker poorly. I mean really bad.
BadBlood hopped on the train in March 2004:
Ah yes, a community that I could understand. Poker.
Well, at this point in time, I'd played for a few years off-line. And about 9 months on-line, many that I'd like to forget...
And finally, PokerProf and Flipchipro in April 2004:
I decided to undertake this blog effort after considerable encouragement and harassment from various family and staff members. I will make every effort to be timely with my entries, offer content that is interesting and related to the Las Vegas poker scene and supplement the journal entries with photos.
I'm sure there are some I forgot or lost (
can anyone figure out BG's wacky archiving?), but these are the ones who I remember built the foundation. The number of new poker blogs really started to take off in the middle of 2004. By the end of the year, a few dozen of us had this crazy idea that we could get our own private tournament run in a live Vegas poker room, that we could get top pros to play, that we could get online poker rooms to give us free stuff, and that we could get other top pros to meet and talk with us before the tourney.
To this day, I'm not sure how much Guinness and SoCo it took for us to think any of this was possible. And yet, there we were. In the middle of an experience we would likely never experience again. From the insane limo ride to Sam's Town to doubling up on Max Pescatori to the depravity that Vegas drops on us, I'll never forget the first time I met the poker blogger community.
And now I can't wait to get back to Vegas.<-- Hide More
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.
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.
Before entering Sunday night's Blogger Big Game, I decided whoever busted me would get to be the latest edition of Up For Poker's "The Nuts." I feel bad, because it was really Astin who crippled me. Short-stacked, I made my stand with A9o vs. his pocket 3s. Miami Don had also folded 3s on that hand. But, nonetheless, I lost the race (I forgot my running shoes and was 0-3 in races).
Down to just 78T, I was forced all-in out of the SB. My 89o never improved against Katitude's Q3o. And that was it. Out in 17th out of 46 runners. At least 17 is one of my lucky numbers.
But I digress... This is about "The Nuts." And "The Nuts" is Katitude does poker.
If you're not reading her, you should be. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't she invent the best of all the blogger tourneys, The Blogger Donkament? Is there a tourney better suited for poker bloggers than a $1 +$1, unlimited rebuys? It really harkens back to the days of micro-limit push-fests at the PokerStars tables.
For that alone, I'm proud to make Katitude does poker the latest entry in Up For Poker's "The Nuts."
As I've alluded to before, changes are a-comin' to Up For Poker. Since our launch waaaaay back in September 2003, very little has changed here. We settled into our all-star roster of Otis, G-Rob and The Luckbox, added a third column to make a few bucks and that's about it.
For a short time, we included something called "The Nuts." It was a chance for us to highlight some interesting, but not-yet-widely-read blogs that deserved some attention. It disappeared, but we're bringing it back.
It was in October 2005 when we spied a little blog out of that cozy hamlet of Los Angeles. She called herself Change100.More in this Poker Blog! -->
We were sold by this line in her nomination comment, "So while I'd rather be discovered as a pleasant little surprise while blog-surfing, I'll hike up my skirt and stick my leg out toward the road just this once and say that I should be the Nuts."
A few years later, she's a professional poker blogger and she's joined at the bong with the distinguished Dr. Pauly. Coincidence? Well... yeah, probably. But that doesn't mean similar fame and fortune can't be yours! We're looking for the next big thing.
To get things started, our selection for The Nuts is...
A professional comic takes his act to the Vegas poker tables. From his first post, "Why do people in Vegas like to have sex from behind? So they both can watch the slot machine!" Okay, I imagine his act is a little better than that, but the posts are pretty solid and we think it's a pretty enjoyable read.
So how do you get picked? Well, for the next round, we're running a little contest. The Up For Poker look needs a change. And that starts with a new banner. Send us your best idea here: ufp -@- upforpoker (dot) com. If your banner gets picked, you'll be "The Nuts." Lack any kind of artistic creativity? That's okay... just send us a written description of what our banner should look like or any another reason why you should be picked. Then keep your eyes out for the next edition of "The Nuts."<-- Hide More
Well, this evening I had one of those "Holy cow," moments. It came when I discovered a new poker collaborative poker blog, staffed by...get this...
Tony Holden, A. Alvarez, and Lee Jones, among others.
I've played and drank with Holden and am proud to call Lee a friend and colleague. Still haven't met Alvarez. Would probably make an ass of myself if I did.
Regardless, fire up your bloglines subscriptions and head to The Bigger Deal Blog.
Related: I received my copy of Holden's The Bigger Deal this week and plan to read it post haste. Of course, I had to thumb through the Monte Carlo section and see if my private game with Anonthy Holden made the cut. It did not, for which I am only moderately crushed. Okay, crushed.
Dr. Joseph Dolan: You know, it's a shame about Ed.
Fletch: Oh, it was. Yeah, it was really a shame. To go so suddenly like that.
Dr. Joseph Dolan: He was dying for years.
Fletch: Sure, but... the end was very... very sudden.
Dr. Joseph Dolan: He was in intensive care for eight weeks.
Fletch: Yeah, but I mean the very end, when he actually died. That was extremely sudden.
I was more than sincere in my writing yesterday, and I'll admit it was inspired by Iggy's decision to do whatever it is he's doing. That said, I think some folks are taking this a little far. If you haven't seen it, I'll let you decide. (Via You Tube, so RSS folks will have to click through. Sorry).
Fellow Syracuse University alum Paul Katcher has been blogging since 2002. He also writes occasionally for ESPN Page 2, so you know he's got skillzzz. In fact, he's one of my favorite reads, and I highly recommend him for your bloglines.
Well, it seems Paul is becoming a bit of a poker blogger, as evidenced by his latest post "My First Week Playing Online Poker (For Real Money)." Go give it a read, if you've got a chance, but please be gentle. He's even got a few bad beat stories (he's not aware that he owes us all a dollar).
He also asked in his comments for some advice on where a low roller can get the most for his buck at the poker table. If you got suggestions for low limit playing or cheap buy-in tourneys, let him know!
The guys at Up For Poker are pretty easy. I'm not going to lie. And when one self-nominee for "The Nuts" used this line:
I'll hike up my skirt and stick my leg out
We were sold. Please go say hello to change100 at Pot Committed. She's another one of those LA bloggers, but I won't hold that against her.
By the way, there were many fine nominees, and I will be trying to get as many of you in the spotlight as possible. And for those looking to get on the blogroll, consider it done (as soon as I have a minute).
Why aren't you on my blogroll? Okay, I'm sure it's my fault. You sent me an email awhile back and I meant to add you and forgot. Or you left a comment hoping I'd see it and put you on the list. Well, now's my chance to right that wrong.
Please leave me a comment with your poker blog and, if you'd like a special spotlight, tell me why you should be "The Nuts." By Wednesday, you'll be on the roll and I'll pick a new winner. And sorry, but you're not getting any cool PokerStars gear out of this. Up For Poker has no budget. Although I'm thinking of merchandising... but that would only confirm fears that my ego is too large (check the comments).
On a completely unrelated note, I've now managed to redirect UpForPoker.com and UpForPoker.net. Makes it a lot easier to tell people how to get here. Next step will be moving this over completely... but that's way down the road. I'm an idiot, it was hard enough to figure this out!
It's not everyday that a poker blogger makes the final table of one of the world's premier poker events, but that's exactly what Ben "Milky Bar Kid" Grundy did in Monte Carlo at the European Poker Tour Championship.
And that is more than enough to get you a spot in "The Nuts." Go check him and tell him congratulations!
Okay, so maybe the guy who finished 7th in last year's main event at the World Series of Poker didn't exactly need a traffic bump from this little 'ol web site, but they earned it. There's still some great stuff over at Ship It Poker.
But now it's about time for a change. And this time, I've got a blogger with current credentials. As far as I can tell, he's the only blogger in Card Player Magazines top 40 poker player of the year standings.
It's Chris from over at Twenty-One Outs Twice. He's currently 37th ahead of such notables as Freddy Deeb, Max Pescatori and Scott Fischman. Not bad, huh? You'll have to head over to his blog to find out how he got there. It's just another edition of "The Nuts!"
(And in case you're wondering, to get 21 outs twice, just have an open-ended straight flush draw with two overcards. Pretty simple, huh?)
It's like holding the nut flush when the board pairs on the river. Sometimes when you think you have the nuts, the cards slap you across the face.
The change in "The Nuts" here at Up For Poker is not nearly as dramatic. Now that Otis' adventures in France are over, I had to drop the European Poker Tour blog in favor of something new.
That something new is three friends blogging about poker and strategy. Sound familiar? Think of it as Up For Poker but at much, much higher levels. Where G-Rob and I grind at the $2/$4 tables, the boys over at Ship It Poker are beating the $25/$50 NL tables.
It starts with WSOP final table participant Matt Dean. But it also includes Gamecock Lloyd McGuire. Maybe he can take a roadtrip up I-26 to Greenville for a little homegame action with the boys in G-Vegas. And rounding out the trio is U of I No Limit specialist Taylor Caby.
You won't find a lot of home game write-ups over at Ship It Poker, but you'll find some great strategy advice. These guys obviously know what they're doing!
Maybe we should set up a little single table action... Up For Poker vs. Ship It Poker. What do you think?
I don't know if you noticed, but once I added Otis' Poker Stars blog to the highlighted section known as "The Nuts," his visits went through the roof. On Tuesday alone, he had nearly 35,000 hits. I never realized Up For Poker was so powerful!!!
Now it's your turn to land in "The Nuts." Although I can't promise similar success, I'd like to highlight a different blog there each week. Do you think you've got what it takes? Send me an email at pagemaster -at- upforanything.net and tell me why. Or just leave a comment.
If you're not already on the blogroll, you should definitely drop me a line. And even if you're on the blogroll but don't think you get the recognition you deserve, let me know!