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 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.
I've never told this story in its entirety. I never will. Even if I someday abandon my 80% rule, some things about my entry into the world of the poker media will never see print. Discretion may or may not have anything to do with valor, but it certainly plays a role in the friends you make and the friends you keep.
Nonetheless, there is somebody who played a huge role in my new life who needs mentioned today. He played one of the major roles in getting me where I am--wherever that is. Sometimes I don't know whether to thank him or curse him for that, but I know I can always count on his as a friend.
In December 2004, I was getting ready to go to Vegas for the first WPBT Holiday Gathering when a comment appeared on a post in this blog. It came from someone purporting to be Lee Jones, noted author and poker room manager for the then second biggest online poker site in the world. He had a proposal for me.
I went to Vegas with this in mind and was nervous as hell. I stood with my cell phone in the lobby of the Excalibur hotel--of all places--and talked to Lee for the first time. His offer: blog the 2005 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and get paid for it. I didn't tell him I would've done it for free. Lee was candid enough to tell me I was their second choice after Wil Wheaton, who had quite unexpectedly recommended me for the job (something I've come to think of as akin to Kato Kaelin getting a job because Robert Redford wasn't available, but still). Lee was kind enough to not assume he could get me for pennies (in retrospect, he did--I wouldn't work for that kind of money again unless it was backstage as Norah Jones' finger masseur). Lee asked for an e-mail and a few other particulars.
I didn't have a laptop with me, so I sent everything from the Excalibur's television internet service. Somehow I ended up with the job. While on the week-long freelance gig, Lee established himself as a guy I could trust. Toward the end of the week, I saw him in frequent conversation with people I'd come to know as important within the company. At the end of the week, Lee pulled me aside and asked, in essence, "How'd you like to do this all the time?" After a few more words of advice, Lee sent me on my way. Two weeks later I'd quit my job in television and was looking for my lost luggage in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Over the past three and half years, I've seen Lee in more places than I can count. Several conversations stand out--one overlooking a nightclub floor in Monte Carlo in which he summed up the poker boom and our place in it, and one just a few nights ago in Monte Carlo are a couple that stand out.
Lee told me a while back that his time with PokerStars and time with the European Poker Tour were about to come to an end. It was not completely unexpected, but it still made me sad to see him go. Lee is always good for a calming word, solicited advice, and the occasional unsolicited entertaining opinion. He's a helluva teacher, too. It's amazing to watch players seek him out at live events. He's become an icon without trying to be.
That's what makes the next step in his life so cool. Lee is headed off to be the COO of CardRunners.com and will be responsible for the daily operation of the company. I'm impressed as hell with the young men who hired Lee. At a time in my life when I was spending three or four nights a week in a bar, these guys have put together an exceptionally cool company.
So, it's not a goodbye to Lee, but a good luck. There was a time in my life where I would've written nice things about the guy because he was an important person in poker. Now I can write this stuff because he's a friend. He's moving just 45 minutes north of my house and I hope to get a chance to sit out on his porch and pick a little before my life takes me elsewhere (if you didn't know, Lee plays some mean bluegrass and puts my abilities to shame).
So, thanks, Lee. You're good people and deserve every bit of success that comes your way.<-- Hide More
Whatever happened to the wide world of poker blogs? There was a time, not too long ago, when I could kill an entire workday reading your fantastical tales. Sadly, that time has passed. There are, of course, some of you who never miss a beat. You're still on my daily reading list. Some of you, however, have dropped right of the face of the Earth and are simply munching away space on our poker blogroll.
I suggest, and of course CJ actually MAKES decisions like this, that it's almost time to pare it all down.
Get writing or get out.More in this Poker Blog! -->
HERE'S WHAT I ASK
This isn't a blogroll question, but just for my use.
What poker blog should I check and read at least once a week?
Please don't nominate your own. And, for the record, there are some you don't need to suggest...
I already catch every update of Iggy, Maudie, Pauly, BadBlood, BG, Derek, and Al.
(CJ's note: The blogroll is just about due for some weed-pulling so the flowers are a little easier to see. Don't let yours die on the vine. The grass is always greener on the other side. And a rolling stone gathers no moss.)<-- Hide More
I've been fortunate enough to meet some fine people on the poker road in the past year or two. Most of them have been mentioned ad nauseum here. Two of them, however, have remained unmentioned and unlinked for far too long. Now, they both have new projects that are more than worthy of mention.More in this Poker Blog! -->
It's morning, and that's about all I know. Twelve hours earlier, I knew what my job was and how I would do it. Twelve hours later, I'd wake up to a blur of chips, craps, video poker, and pre-taped dog race betting with Pauly. But at this moment, the sun is coming up and I'm standing in Binion's valet area. There's a limo there, but I know it's not for me. The stretch is for Tex Barch, his dripping hot lady, and--piquing my curiousity--Layne Flack. My synapses are misfiring and I'm trying to figure out how Flack fits into the limo. Is he part of some odd Montana-Texas menage a trois that I just don't understand? Did he actually win the WSOP an hour ago? Because, I didn't see him at the table. Is he drinking again? Or, more likely, is he following Barch to the cage to pick up his millions? I don't know. Even now, I'm wondering if I imagined it all, or if Flack wasn't with Barch at all.
The only other thing I know is that Jay Greenspan is standing beside me. It's Vegas Summer Hot and we're both hallucinations. There are no cabs, despite the protestations of the valet men that a taxi will be by at any time. I need to get to the Mirage. Jay needs to get to the Rio. We both need to sleep and do anything but play or watch poker. I think Jay is saying he is leaving the country, but that could just be a hallucination, too. We're in downtown Las Vegas and we're one of maybe 12 people who couldn't give a damn that we were in one of America's most decadent and intoxicating cities.
As Barch and Flack ride off on leather-appointed comfort, a taxi arrives. Jay and I look at each other, desperately wanting to be courteous to our fellow poker writer, but desperate to find a lumpy motel bed and greasy breakfast to make us feel one percent human until we can find an airplane to take us somewhere else.
Very few words are spoken as we climb into the cab together, somehow agreeing that one cab to two destinations is better than waiting five minutes for another cab to arrive.
We ride through an early morning hot haze and chat. Our words only serve to keep us awake and sane for the twenty minutes it will take to find a shower. When we reach the Rio, Jay again mentions that he's leaving the country. The hope brimming in his eyes makes me believe him.
That was the last time I saw or spoke to Jay. Like any road warrior, we said, "See you next time," secretly wondering if either of us had the strength to ever do this again.
I learned yesterday that Jay is alive and well and has started a new project to give us all a little more inspiration to make our writing good and our pursuit of poker more genuine. I'd encourage you all to visit Poker Scribes and check out what Jay has in the works.
Amy. That's a name that has popped up in my life a lot. It started with the first girl to steal my virtue. More recently, it's been that girl that most people know as, "The chick in the hat."
Amy Calistri has this thing about her. As ubiquitous as her black hat (and often, Johnny Cash-esque black everything) is the look in her eye that says, "I know something that you don't and holy crab cakes is it juicy." Even more hypnotic is the simple fact that, usually, Amy does know something you don't and it is usually more juicy than you could imagine.
Amy was a frequent guest of the Pauly and Otis Liquid Dinner Hour at the WSOP. She drinks red wine and smiles more after two glasses than she does after one. She's written for a well-known industry site that has morre turnover than a bakery and the Mizzou Tigers combined. And, be sure, she knows something that we don't. Always.
Now she is writing unfettered at her new blog, Aimlessly Chasing Amy. Give her a read.
And, here's to hoping I have a chance to see both of these fine writers again one day soon.<-- Hide More
You know how every superhero has an arch-villan, right? For Batman, it's the Joker. For Superman, it's Lex Luthor. For the X-Men, it's Magneto. Of course, that leaves dozens of bad guys out there who like to fancy themselves the arch-enemy, but they're simply delusional. The Penguin? I don't think so.
This all brings us to G-Rob, a local superhero of questionable morals. I think we can all agree that G-Rob is to Superman as Otis is to Lex Luthor (work with me here). Spend a little time at the tables with them, and that becomes rather clear. I suppose a case could be made for Bad Blood, but he's really more like General Zod, if you ask me.
So what about Chilly? It's kind of pathetic, actually. Have you ever heard of The Prankster? Yeah, me neither. But I bet he fancied himself as Superman's most villainous foe. Chilly is our own Prankster.
Despite the delusional tendencies, Chilly has made enough of an impression to land himself a coveted honor, "The Nuts." If you need to know the reason, take a look at the application...More in this Poker Blog! -->
Dear Sir or Madame:
Thank you for your consideration of me to be "The Nuts". Please note that unlike many of your other candidates I am both already linked and quite confident that I can be "The Nuts". If selected I will represent "The Nuts" with my arsenal of talent. Enclosed please find my current resume. If you have any questions please contact me at idsn72-vegas at yahoo.com.
Infant Days Sleepless Nights
Career Goal: To be the Nuts on Up4Poker.com
Blogger covering poker and parenthood with occasional wanderings into topics such as death, taxes and business
*Busted Up4Poker's own G-Rob in a $25 NL game on Party 10/19/2005
*Linked to by linksters such as Up4Poker, the Blogfather, AlCan'tHang, Dr. Pauly and TooloftheMan
*Once ate breakfast with Otis and his brother Little Willy
*Thinks CJ is a nice guy and can sympathize with nobody disliking him
*Never finished ITM in a MTT
*Likes to OR UTG or in EP with hands such as 98s
*Lifetime VP$IP of 18.73 on Party Poker
*Extensive knowlegde of poker abbreviations
*Voted "Best Poker Player I'm Married To" by Mrs. Chilly
*Recently began to shill
*Liftime LO8 winnings of $1.74
References available upon request.
If that doesn't get you a little recognition, nothing will. Now if he could just work on his arch-enemy status, maybe someday he'll be at least Mr. Mxyztplk.
(FYI: Blogroll has also been updated.)<-- Hide More
Um...I can't be the first poker blogger to notice this.
I think the WPBT needs to form a concensus on whether we approve and then act accordingly.
Comments are open for discussion on the topic.
With the addition of a member of Otis' Mizzou Crew to the Up For Poker contributor list (I figure he'll write something eventually), I would be remiss if I didn't mention the addition of two other members of the crew to the blogroll.
Some of you met Marty while we were in Vegas. In fact, he made the final table in the WPBT Las Vegas Holiday Classic. You can follow his thoughts over at JMC Automatic.
Brian didn't fare as well and, in fact, he went out on the exact same hand I went out on (FYI: I got sucked out on, Brian just got beat! ;-). You can find more from Brian over at This Perfect World.
More additions to come, thanks to the response to my post on "The Nuts." And if you haven't noticed, "The Nuts" now features Poker Chip Tricks (courtesy of MtDewVirus over at 2 Hole Cards). The chip trick site has some remarkable tutorials with some great video!
If you're not reading Otis' tales of poker and more from the white beaches and blue waters of the Caribbean, then you're missing out.
Go visit... now! And leave Otis some words of encouragement. What he's doing there can only help all of us bloggers down the road!
Thanks to the rising celebrity of everyone's favorite poker blogger, our own Otis, this humble little poker blog is about to move up limits.
When this blog launched in September 2003, it was just a way to get the poker content off my regular blog so I would stop annoying my readers. That's why the address for Up for Poker is the hard-to-remember www.upforanything.net/poker. That's a mouthful.
Late last week, I finally secured the domain names upforpoker.com and upforpoker.net. Now, all I have to do is figure out how to move this blog to the new domain and then redirect all traffic from this site to that site. If any of you can provide any guidance, I'd appreciate it.
A side effect of the increasing popularity Otis is bringing to Up For Poker is a bandwith my original hosting plan couldn't handle. With that in mind, you might have noticed a little something over to the side called "The Rake." If you like what you read and wouldn't mind helping out a little with the cost of maintaining this site, I'd appreciate it.
However, don't worry about us. This blog isn't going anywhere. It's something that's become such a part of Otis and I that we couldn't imagine not having it. It really has a lot to do with the amazing poker blogger community we've become a part of.
And don't forget... Otis is in the Bahamas now! Stop on over and say hi!
I walked into work this morning and my boss gave me an odd look.
"You're here," he said.
I looked at the assignment board for the day and noticed that I was on the Away List. Somebody had screwed up and this time it wasn't me. The bosses thought I'd already be in the islands.
I'm not, but I will be in less than 24 hours.
So, if you'd like to keep up with the tournament or whatever else I can dredge up while I'm there, you'll find me at Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure.
Hopefully, I'll have time for a little Up For Poker blogging while I'm there, as well.
In the meantime, I'm trying to generate as much traffic for the Bahamas blog as possible, so any temporary link other bloggers can provide would be appreciated
I'll be back with the rest of my Vegas trip reports in about eight to ten days.
The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure blog has gone live and now has a brief introductory post up.
One blogger has already sent me a note lamenting the lack of comments on the site. That was originally done by design. Now, I'm having second thoughts.
I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on the site and suggestions on how I could make a short-term blog more useful for readers.
Another trip report coming soon.
Let's talk a little bit about karma for a second.
I've always been a big believer in what comes around goes around. That goes for good and bad. If some malevolent creature conspires to hurt me or a friend, I feel like, regardless of the outcome, that creature will someday get her's.
It goes for good, too. And that's the good thing about karma. Pauly half-joked last week that he made it a point to give handouts to as many homeless people as he could find in hopes the poker gods would shine down on him in Vegas.
Karma can be a fun thing to consider as you live your humdrum lives. Perhaps more than that, it can be a good way to live your life. It's sort of an off-shoot of the golden rule. Do unto others, yada, yada, yada.
Now, I need to talk to you about Wil Wheaton a little bit.More in this Poker Blog! -->
As any poker blog reader knows, Wil is a poker playing uber blogger with the grandest of hearts. If you've read his latest book as I have, you'll find that despite his cheery insistances on his blog, he suffers many of the same slings and arrows as us regular shlubs. He gets interviews, auditions, nibbles from possible employers. And he gets turned down. Just like a regular human being.
Though I don't think he's ever stated it outright, Wil seems to live his life with karma in mind. He's lived a life of success and failure in a short thirty-something years and knows the outright orgasmic feeling of success as well as the chug some gin with some sleeping pills type of failure. Maybe that's what makes him human. More than that, that's what makes him the approachable and fantasically good person he is.
So, why, when I have to write about ten more installments of the trip report have I chosen this moment to kiss Wil's ass? Well, it goes a little something like this:
In the hours before I left for Vegas last Thursday night, I got a strange comment here on Up For Poker. It came from a familiar name. It asked that I send him an e-mail so we could discuss something.
At the time, I thought it was a joke. Bloggers and blog readers tend to be the lead dogs in the practical joke pack. But just in case it wasn't a joke, I shot off an e-mail to the commenter and tried to catch a few winks before I had to leave for the airport.
After three hours of restless sleep, I got up, showered, checked the clock, and realized I had time to check my e-mail before I hit the road.
At 4am Friday morning, I sat in my home office and had to fight the dog from gnawing on something that had fallen on the floor. That something was my jaw. It somehow fell off my face as I stared in amazement at the screen.
I'd now been instructed to call the commenter on his private cell phone line. Four in the morning seemed like an inappropriate time to make such a call, so I headed for the airport and tried to put the possibility out of my head.
Several hours later, just minutes after finding the bloggers in the Excalbur poker room, I slipped out into the lobby and made the call. It seemed to confirm that this wasn't a joke. This was for real and it was, in short, way cool.
It appeared I was up for a freelance writing/blogging gig. The commenter asked me to send him a short proposal by Monday. So, Sunday morning before heading to Mandalay for football and poker, I pulled up the high speed access in my room and sent of the proposal.
Last night, I got another e-mail telling me I got the job.
On January 4th, I'll be flying to the Bahamas to blog the Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure poker tournament. This will be a World Poker Tour event that eventually will be televised as part of the WPT series.
Jon Vorhaus did much the same thing for Ultimate Bet's Aruba Classic earlier this year.
After a lot of consideration about the possibilities of this blog and blogging in general, it's made me think about the future of the blogging medium and how important it can eventually be. I know that I've had discussions with a number of the blogging elite about the future of our poker blogging community. I can only hope this latest project can add to where we're going.
Oh, I never got around to why I'm kissing Wheaton's ass.
As it turned out, I wasn't Poker Stars first choice. They wanted Wil, but he had a conflict. Instead of sending Poker Stars the way of some famous guy's cousin, he pointed the site to me. And as a result, I get to add one more thing to my growing freelance resume. And it appears I'm going to have a damned ball in the process.
Wheaton, friends, is good people.
So, that's that. I'll have more details about the PCA blog in the coming days, where you'll find it, etc.
In the meantime, we'll return you the Vegas Trip Report series and your regularly scheduled programming.<-- Hide More
Thanks to one of our favorite poker bloggers, Auntie Maudie from Poker Perspectives, we have a great new poker bloggers logo. You can see it over there to the left. If you'd like the logo for your own blog, simply go to Auntie Maudie's page and copy it (it's cleaner there than my slightly adjusted version). And then give her credit for doing all the hard work!
Now, we just have to find someone who can start getting these poker chips manufactured so we can use them in our home games...
Many of you bloggers remember the first Grublog Classic poker tourney. The Poker Grub took it upon himself to find a site willing to give us a private tourney. He worked hard and got screwed.
Choice Poker basically stole all of our money. Once it was put in, no one was able to cash out. We were robbed.
It seems as though Choice Poker wants us all to make another bad choice. I received an email today, an email I'm sure many of you also received.More in this Poker Blog! -->
I won't post the whole thing, but I'll give you some details with my reaction:
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience and understanding while we searched for a solution to get Choice Poker back into action.
No patience, no understanding. I wrote you off. You stole money.
Although we apologize for the length of time it has taken to organize a final compensation package, please understand that the extra time was necessary to ensure that your interests and your current balance are fully protected.
Compensation package? This ought to be good. And isn't it a relief to know are balances are fully protected? Bastards.
As part of the rescue package we have agreed that as soon as Choice Poker is re-opened on the ACR network, Choice Poker players with a current credit balance will have their credit balance restored in full and available for play as soon as we re-open.
Great, now I'll finally be able to get my money back. It's about damn time.
During this transition period Choice Poker players will be required to play "x" number of hands (on 1-2 games or higher) equivalent to their current credit balance before cashing out their credit balance. For example, if a Choice Poker player's current credit balance is $100, then that player will be required to play 100 hands on 1-2 games or higher before qualifying to cash-out of 100% of their credit balance.
Huh? What? You mean my hard earned money that you stole from me isn't even my money yet?!?!? My money that I deposited in your crooked poker site doesn't belong to me??? I've got to play at $1/$2 or higher to earn my money back?!?!? Is this some kind of sick joke?!?!?
In addition, Choice Poker wishes to compensate their valued players for being patient and understanding. Accordingly, all Choice Poker players that have had account balances since April 1st. will receive a "We're Sorry" promo bucks bonus equivalent to 25% of their credit balance on April 1st. 2004.
Wow... you're sooooo generous. Throwing us a few meaningless bucks while we toil at your lame poker site just to earn back the money we should rightfully have in our bank account. Bastards.
And finally, to "Cap it" all off, all players that remain loyal to Choice and continue playing until December 31st. 2004, will further receive a 50% "rake rebate" for the previous 3 month period of play. This is in addition to any bonuses, comps or promotional money that you may receive or subscribe to during this period.
Oooooh... you really "capped it off" for me. Now I have to keep playing at the worst poker site in the world to get another few bucks from you. Of course, what's to say you won't just steal my money again in three months. Why should you be trusted?
In closing we would like to thank Americas Cardroom and BetCRIS management for this generous offer and we hope that all of you will remain loyal to Choice Poker.
Have a Lucky Day!
Thanks, but no thanks. Luckily, I only had about $50 in there when they decided to steal it. I don't plan on wasting my time there. For some of you with larger bankrolls, it might be worth it.
If these guys really had their act together and really wanted to earn the trust of players back, they'd double all of our bankrolls and allow us to immediately withdraw what is rightfully ours. The rest could be a bonus that players could work off if they wished to.
Instead, they will continue to hold our money hostage. I plan on e-mailing this to the folks at Choice Poker hoping they'll come to their senses. I'll also inform them that hundreds of poker players every day will read this and inform them that I'll encourage every other major poker blogger to link to this. I'll let you know what I hear.<-- Hide More
It would take precious little effort to stumble--in an inebriated poker player's shuffle--out of the Mt. Otis garage game, through a few mountain pathways, and onto the decades-old Appalachian Trail. It would take little more than a gauzy, willful mind and a good pair of walking shoes. Sure, it aint close, but it ain't far. And a good drunk's tunnel vision loves things at that distance.More in this Poker Blog! -->
With that in mind, I've been reading Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods. I figure if I can't literally connect with a trail so close, the least I can do is connect with it literarily. Or something.
Bryson tells us there are two kinds of trail hikers on the AT, the NoBo and the SoBo. The NoBo ilk (North Bound) hike from Georgia to Maine. The Sobo kind do the opposite.
While the analogy is a bit weak, I find many of the poker bloggers out there can be divided into three geographic areas. There are the Northern Bloggers (No-Blos), the Southern Bloggers (So-Blos), and the Western Bloggers (The We-Blos). You can decide who falls into what region.
I simply know that I'm a So-Blo and my geographic ties are killing me this weekend. Many of the No-Blos are meeting in Philly for Al Can't Hang's Bash at the Boat. They'll being hitting AC's Borgata, then playing a homegame, then drinking until they can't see.
I wan't to do that.
Instead, we non-No-Blos will have to live vicariously through the writings of Pauly, Al, Boy Genuis and the like.
To ease the pain, I'm going to host a homegame Saturday night. BadBlood will be there, as will Up For Poker founder, CJ (on a So-Blo trek from LA to VA to SC).
So, if you find yourself on a southbound train, hit us up. We're thinking of working Dial-A-Shot into the night so we can party via cell phone with the No-Blos.<-- Hide More
For want of a poker game, for want of a casino, for want of a computer not protected by workplace firewalls with download protection, I sit at the office, stuck with nothing to do. My profession occasionally requires that I sit and wait. Tonight, as now-Tropical Storm Ivan pushes its way across the southeast, I'm stuck in a place between sit and wait.
I find myself with no real poker playing content (unless you really want to hear my buddy GRob's bad beat tale of woe--kings full of sevens beat by quad sevens).
And since I'm lacking in a real poker story, I thought this might be a good time to catch up on some miscellany. I call it...DIDJA KNOW?More in this Poker Blog! -->
Didja know...I played at a table with BadBlood last night and pushed him off a hand. In my hand? You guessed it. The hammer.
Didja know...about a year ago, Up For Poker founder CJ and I were sweating a guy playing an Ultimate Bet SNG. We cheered in the chatbar as he took down hand after hand. He never responded. We thought he was being a little standoffish, what with being one of our best friends and all. See, we believed it to be our friend, Todd, who had recently taken over duties as our fantasy football commissioner. Why did we believe that? Because his screen name was TODDCOMMISH. It made sense. When he finally won, he escaped into the ether without a word. I asked him the next day why he never responded and he informed us that it wasn't him. Odd, I thought. Probably even odder for the guy we were sweating. Then in recent months comes the poker blogger named ToddCommish. Coincidence? I think not.
Didja know... CJ is driving halfway across the country next week and I'm thinking about putting together an old-school home game in his honor?
That should do it for now.
You know anything?<-- Hide More
As I watched the WSOP on ESPN, I caught a commercial for the Mighty River Poker League. It's a Louisiana based poker club that promises to send someone to the 2005 WSOP.
Of course, I had to check it out. It turns out there's a Baton Rouge league and a Lafayette league. You pay a membership fee ($50) and monthly dues ($15) to enter and receive 5000 points. You use those points to enter tournaments and the top 200 points winners at the end of the season get to play in a tournament for one seat in the 2005 WSOP.
I think it's a brilliant idea. Each tournament also has a separate prize pool for those who want to play for money as well (extra $25 entry fee, and 100% of entry fees are paid back out).
That's all the good news. The bad news is that the Lafayette tourneys are played on Thursday nights at 6:00pm, and I'm lucky if I'm out of work by 6:45pm. Still, I think I'll look into it. The first points tourney is on August 19th. Maybe by then, they'll push back their start times!
I've always thought of a "mea culpa" as something you might run into in a back waterway in Venice. It sounds slimy and, perhaps, a little on the dangerous side.
In reality, it's something people don't say enough.
Which is why I need to take a brief diversion from our regular poker passion to consider the value of our community of poker players and writers.More in this Poker Blog! -->
I've long believed green felt could've torn down the Berlin Wall. Few substances and even fewer fabrics have the ability to bring together such a wide variety of people, backgrounds, and mindsets. Maybe booze, but green felt is better to set your chips on.
If not for the inherent competition in the game, it could likely serve as the world's greatest relationship therapist.
I believed that even before CJ invited me to begin blogging here on Up For Poker. But once we started here I discovered something even greater. You don't even have to have the felt. You don't need chips. You just need a love of the game.
In the past year I've come to ethereally know some of the best players, writers, and thinkers out there in the poker world. In a few short months I felt myself actually thinking about these folks and talking about them to my wife. How one guy lost his job. How one guy was nursing his pet back to health. How one guy is on the road living a bohemian life.
That was pretty odd for me, to be honest. I typically care about a small circle of people and the rest be damned.
Then I figured it out. Most of the poker bloggers out there are the Northern Otis, The City Otis, The Backwoods Otis, The Left Coast Otis, etc. Or I am the Midwest/Southern version of them. That is, while all living different lives, we all spend, perhaps, an inordinate amount of time focusing on a game we love.
More than that, perhaps, most of us have an understanding that we're not only focusing on a card game. As we grow our game and our understanding of it, we grow our minds. We have a better understanding of how people work, how relationships exist, and how to make decisions based on experience. We are people who realize that poker is not just a means to play, or not just a means to a profitable end, but a means to some sort of greater understanding of our own minds. If we can understand why we make decisions in a game, me might better understand how or why we make certain decisions in our life.
Now, maybe that sounds a bit heady. Maybe I'm over-glamorizing the game. Maybe I've developed some romantic notion of poker that more experienced or more jaded people might view as an idealistic perception of an otherwise brutal pasttime.
Maybe. I dunno. But I know this: Since I started playing every day, I've started understanding a lot of things a lot better. Poker can be a stabilizing factor.
But even better, writing about poker is therapeutic. It helps me write about life, people, and stories through a lens that we all can understand. If I just wanted to write about anything, I'd stick to the blog I've been operating for the past three years. But here, CJ gives me an opportunity to filter many of my thoughts through a green-felt-lens.
It was in the writing and reading of other poker blogs that I came to know all these other folks out in the ether, the folks I appreicate, admire, and respect.
All that said, I think I went and offended one of them.
Sometimes in my overtaxed head I find a way to make real certain passing notions. I've done that recently.
So, this is a very public way to offer a private mea culpa to one of my fellow champions of the game.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled poker insanity.<-- Hide More
Head on over to wil wheaton's blog for fish on -- part one. His poker reads are not to be missed!
You're invited to join the Up For Poker blogger community. Just send your submission here:
firstname.lastname@example.org We'll pick the best of the bunch to become regular contributors.
If you already have a blog of your own, you can still enter to become a UFP blogger. In fact, if you have a new poker blog, UFP is the best place to find new regular readers. We've got hundreds of readers every day, and if they see your writing here, they'll be sure to follow you back to your blog.
Time is running out! Get you submission in as soon as possible!
The poker blogger community is exploding, there's no doubt about it. When this humble poker blog started last September, I was excited when we reached 25 visitors a day. In our first month, we reached about 750 visitors according to Site Meter.
In May, 22000 people stopped by Up For Poker or read an entry in syndication. That's about 715 every day!!! And we just keep growing!
Now it's your turn to get your poker ruminations published on Up For Poker. Since early March, the stable of semi-regular contributors has dwindled to just two, and Otis is about to go on a well deserved hiatus. That means I need writers!
If you're interested... read on...More in this Poker Blog! -->
Here's how it's going to work (Otis' idea, really). I'm going to run a contest. Submit your own blog entry to this e-mail address:
Here's who's eligible: Everyone.
It doesn't matter if you already have a blog of your own. Most of the current contributors already have their own blog, but that's not a requirement.
Starting next Monday, I'm going to post some of the best entries, and by next Friday, I'll announce the winner(s). Otis and I will be the judges (and we can be bribed rather easily).
This is your chance to get your poker thoughts read by hundreds of readers EVERY DAY!
So make a name for yourself. There's a seat open, and it's just waiting for you.<-- Hide More
I can't be there... but other poker bloggers are, and you can't find a better write-up on the WSOP than you'll find at LasVegasVegas.
The pokerprof and his fellow poker "journalists" bring you the story of every event played in the WSOP thus far, and a day-by-day write-up of the big $10,000 NLHE event, complete with chip totals. It's great! Don't miss it!
I've decided we need a better way for all of the poker bloggers to keep in touch. With that in mind, I've set up a simple Poker Bloggers mailing list that poker bloggers can use for announcements or communication.
For instance, if it's time for a poker bloggers tourney, we'll send an announcement to all subscribers on the mailing list. If a blogger is changing domain names or website locatios, you can tell everyone to update their links via the mailing list.
This will be a list for poker bloggers only. It's not for readers, so the list won't be clogged with random messages.
So, if you'd like to get on board, just send an email to me (pagemaster @ upforanything.net) and tell me which blog you run. The list is very simple to use, and I think it will help us keep all our find fellow poker bloggers up to date. Let me know if you have any questions!
The PokerProf has had a new blog going for the past two weeks, and he's currently providing some coverage of the World Series of Poker events. As he said in an email to me:
Well, since I discovered blogging I also discovered that WSOP considres bloggers to be offical media (with a business card). As such I feel the need to live up that litttle press badge and after a very exhusting day just finished posting up the first days news and events.
Chris over at his poker blog has instructions for how to get the playing card symbols on your blog (Movable Type primarily). Right now, my diamonds don't quite look right, but I'm just practicing. I'm going to try this, but I'm doomed to fail since I don't know scripts that well. Hopefully I don't destroy the blog!
Is there a faster growing segment of the blogosphere than poker? Okay, perhaps I'm exaggerating. There are probably 1000 political blogs that launch each day compared to just one poker blog. But really, which would you rather read?
If you haven't been keeping up, we're up to 14 dedicated blogs over there in the "Better Hole Cards" column, and I'm always looking for more (I know there are more than 14 sites over there, but some aren't blogs). Please visit them and leave comments, they're all enjoyable reads. Besides, some of their bad runs will make you feel better!
Also, if you know of another blog out there, please leave it in the comments, and if you'd like to be a contributor here at Up For Poker, leave a comment or e-mail me (it's over there under "Get in the Game"). And as always, thanks for visiting!
Ever wonder if your AK unsuited should have lost to that pair of 7's?
Everyone has a million bad beat stories, but how bad are those bad beats really?
You can plug in your hand, their hand, and even cards on the board. It's a fascinating way to find out whether you should have really played that hand.
And if you're wondering, the 7's beat that AK unsuited about 54% of the time.