Thursday, December 28, 2006


The people in this thread are very juvenile and dimwitted, but also very sad.

Sklansky is proposing one his propositions from a 13 year old boy. Should society provide services to a baby with no arms or legs who has been abandoned? That's his question. And idiots acually debate that.

Guess what. We do. If he doesn't think we should then he can propose an alternative. I can't think of an alternative other than just killing them. He certialy doesn't the guts to actually do that himself. He doesn't have the guts because there are consequences he isn't willing to face.

This doesn't really have anything to do with poker directly. But it's a window into the kind of people you deal with in poker.

I've been homeless and poor blah blah blah. Twice I had medical needs I couldn't pay for. Once was a potentially disabiling condition, the other was life or death treatment. Both times I got treatment. We actually have laws that mandate emergency treatment by government supported hospitals.

David is the kind of short sighted idiot who seems to want to argue that since at the time of the problems I was making any direct contribution to society I should have been left to die.

Great thinking, David, great thinking.

Monday, December 25, 2006

I guess he's just delusional

I think David has just finially snapped.

First he started two threads over at twoplustwo about him going on the internet and soliciting a 16 year old runaway to move into his place. Then he had the good sense to delete those threads, his actions sure sound like they might violate federal law and that being a pretty good reason to delete them.

Now he wants to bet some cash money that he can beat anyone who beleives in God in a standardized test for 17 year olds.

What's the matter with this guy?

Ken Jennings seems to want to take him up on it.

As David appears to a lot whenever he posts something really, really stupid, he again appears to have deleted the thread on twoplustwo where he professed the details of his proposition bet. Maybe he's backing out. Hard to tell.

But others don't seem to think he's backing out.

The Poker Chronicles seems to take David's buffonery seriously and has some comments on it

Ed Miller's wife, Elaine Vigneault, seems to take it seriously.

Personally I think David has already weaseled out. But, I hope I'm wrong. I think the whole thing is really funny.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

David and fuzzy thinking

I talked to a friend the other night who had just discovered David Sklansky's forum at 2+2. She had looked at some of the posts he'd made where he was asking questions of his readers and his questions made no sense to her at all. It confused her.

The reason it was confusing is that she thought that when David was asking a question he was actually asking a question. But that's not what the way it works. David might have a lot of different motives when he asks a question, but asking a question isn't actually one of those motives.

Here's an example of a recent question he asked on his forum.

You raise preflop and only the big blind calls. You know that he will always check the flop and if you check behind him he will always bet his decent hands on the turn and check otherwise. About how often should you check behind him on the flop? Why?

It's a seemingly simple question, but it's not really a question.

What he tends to do is have some revelation of some point he thinks he's discovered, and rather than just tell us the point, he trys to invent some question that will lead to the point he wants to make but well lead to that point in such a way that it also shows he's smart and you aren't.

It's just amazing.

Here part of the answer is going to center around what a decent hand is to the other guy. But he doesn't even tell us what the position was when we raised preflop. What the other guy will consider a decent hand certainly will depend on whether or raise had come from UTG or from the button.

Also is he including very strong hands in the set of decent hands. i.e. will the other guy check intending to raise with a very strong hand, i.e. will he only bet decent hands on the flop or will he bet any decent hand or better?

Maybe he's trying to make some point where it doesn't matter what "decent hand" means. But we can't know that. So it's pointless to even wonder what his question means. Because the point of the question has nothing to do with the question -- it simply has to do with David's personal ego needs.

Mason's book reviews

I ran across a collection of some of Mason's book reviews on

Here's what he said about my hold'em book.

The Complete Book of Hold ’em Poker (5) by Gary Carson. As hold ’em books go this is more interesting than most. Unfortunately, interesting and accurate are not always the same thing. While the book does contain some worthwhile and thought provoking ideas, it is flawed in other spots.

To be specific, it has excellent discussions on different types of games, how hand values change, and how different concepts come into play in different games. For example, Carson correctly points out that tight games are basically a “struggle for the antes” while aggressive games “add value to very strong draws.” He’s aware that when a multiway pot develops in a tight game it is different from a multiway pot in a loose game and that this can dramatically affect the value of your starting hands. He’s also aware that good draws gain value in loose games and should be played strongly at times, that not all flush draws should be played the same, and that backdoor draws add value to your hands. There are also discussions on other topics such as game dynamics and cheating that some of you may find interesting.

But the book does have its problems. Carson mainly ignores games where people are trying to play half way decently. Once that’s true, many of the hands that he recommends playing are unplayable. Many of the hands he would raise for value are no longer worth raising with, and most importantly he omits opportunities to raise to knock people out since presumably he would claim they won’t fold anyway. There is also virtually no discussion on how to play fourth street or the river.

In conclusion, this should be a very dangerous book if you are fairly new to hold ’em. That’s because Carson puts so much emphasis on ideas that can be very expensive once you are up against players who have any idea what they are doing.

On the other hand, if you are an experienced player who is having success, and you like to read poker books, you may want to view this book as supplemental reading. Just make sure that if you incorporate any of the unusual advice, that you have thought it through very carefully.

His conclusion about my book isn't very interesting, he actually said that about my book before I even finished writing, before he'd seen any part of it.

But I think his review says a lot about what Mason thinks about readers of poker books. He thinks they are idiots.

The condensed version of the review is that 1) Carson does a pretty good job of covering topics that aren't generally covered or aren't generally covered well.

2) Carson doesn't spend a lot of time on topics that you can find adequate coverage on from pretty much any other book.

3) Things that Carson recomends you do when you're on Mars might not work well when you're on Venus.

Therefore it's a dangerous book.

I guess he thinks I'm a commie or something.

I do agree with him that my coverage of turn and river is somewhat light.

But the book was getting too long -- I'd contracted for 80,000 words and turned in 100,000 words that I think was pretty tight. And so I convinced myself that if you play well preflop and on the flop you won't have a lot of really tough problems on the turn or river.

A future edition will have more coverage of turn and river play, much more coverage of no limit, and much more tournament coverage.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Spectator Sports

David Sklansky has his own forum on twoplustwo and he started a thread about golf recently.

You might find it interesting, I don't know, I didn't find it interesting. But that's just me.

What struck me about is something more about society than about golf or Sklansky.

He starts out by saying
In order to answer it accurately, one would have to have a pretty good idea about both the subject of golf and the subject of probability and statistics

Well, I know something about subject of probability and statistics, and I at least know how to play golf. I havn't played it in a while, and aren't really interested in it much, but I know something about it.

He then presents on his typical obtuse riddles and it made not sense to me at all. Then I realized why. It's because I know something about playing golf, but I"ve never watched a PGA competition and have idea how they go about qualifiying players.

His riddle isn't about golf. It's about the PGA.

And that's what's happening in poker. Poker isn't about playing poker anymore. It's about watching TV.

Last year, at the WSOP, I was in line at the Starbucks in the RIO and this real cute young woman in line in front of me saw my press pass and started asking me about Phil Hellmuth. It turns out she's the female lead in that TV show Prison Break. But I've never watched the show and had no idea who she was. She said she'd heard he'd been winning a lot of money in side games or something and asked what I knew about it.

I just told her I didn't know anything about it but doubted he's won any significant money unless it was some tournament prize money or something.

I thought I was just responding to her in a fairly matter of fact way but she seemed taken aback.

The next day I played in the journalist/celibrity event and she was pointed out to me at the table next to me. Then I understood why she'd been taken aback. I hadn't recognized her and that startled her.

After all, she's on TV every week. How could I not recognize her.

It's almost like things that aren't on TV aren't real. Golf doesn't mean golf anymore. It means PGA. Poker isn't poker anymore. It's WSOP.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Pro Gambler

They claim this is a profile of a professional sports bettor. Sounds more like the profile of a loser to me.

He says he has a system.
His system is to bet his instincts.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

How about just getting a competent government

Various Americans keep clamoring for all of us to get together and provide our troops with needed equipment and supplies. The most recent is a plea for Silly String

What the hell is this all about?

We have a totally incompetent government who sends men into harms way and can't figure out a way to provide them with needed equipment and supplies.

And our solution is to have the PTA hold a bake sale?

This kind of crap is just disgusting.

If the Army can't provide a way to get soldiers what they need then maybe we need some new management. We need some compentcy now. Not 2008.

Rumsfeld shouldn't have been fired for this kind of imcompetence. He should be interrogated at Gitmo.

I hurt somebodies feelings

I guess I hurt Linda's feelings.

She had made one of her whines on her blog blaming somebody else for her screwup.

I commented on it. My comments where mostly about how much she complained about lack of professionalism from others while displaying an ever larger lack of professionism on her own part. I left out of my comment about how absurd it is of her to have put a Razzo style namedropping in her post when she's been counseled at work before about how inappropriate it is of her to mention who's gambling at the Belligio. She's an employee of the Belligio. She's not really a professional, so the issue is not one of professionalism, but of appropriateness. It's not appropriate for her to publically gossip about who'd gambling there. Discretion is part of what gambling joints sell.

But, anywhy I'm guessing she didn't like my post. I'm not sure, she didn't really say anthing. All she did was republish selected parts of my comments. She omitted all the parts that are relevant to what I was saying, but I guess Linda doesn't really like to dwell on her own shortcomings.

She just republished the part where I was giving some background of who she is and what her blogging background is. She choose the title "At least he spelled my name right" so I'm guessing she thinks I flamed her in some way. I did do that. But not in the part she republished (without permission).

The fair use section of copyright law does permit some reprinting in some circumstances. These circumstances don't permit such blantent, unprofessional use of someone elses work.

She might want to check on copyright law. She copied a portion of a post of mine and made no comments at all. Just copied and republished. And she misrepresented the work she was copying from. I'm pretty sure that's not fair use.

I'm wondering why she didn't copy any part of the post that related to the main point of the post -- which is that for years she just whined about how everybody but her screwed up and ruined her life.

Like the post my post referred to -- she didn't do your job, and then whined that a coworker didn't do his job ---- but he actually did do his job.

Linda, are you really that vain and indifferent to others?

Don't get me wrong. I read her blog. I think her self-centered idea of what everybody else should do is pretty funny. One of my favorites is the one where she whined about Wal-Mart's return policy (one of the best return policies in the retail trade) wasn't designed to specifically cater to her lifestyle, so was a real bad policy.

Her blog is worth reading. Even if she isn't a very good person.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Comparing my two books

I recently got an email from someone asking me the difference between my two poker books.

I didn't really put a hell of a lot of marketing type effort into the response, but here's what I said.

The casino poker book is shorter, a survey of holdem omaha O/8 stud
stud/8 mostly. Some general comments on general topics. More of an introductory
survey than the holdem book.

The holdem book covers both holdem and poker in general in a much deeper manner than the casino poker book. The casino book doesn't cover poker as broadly but does cover some specifics in a broader range of poker variations.

The holdem book speaks from more of a theoretical base.

I think the hold'em book is the better book of the two.

Casino Poker

If you download within the next couple of hours you can have a copy of the Casino Poker book.

complete book of holdem poker

Temporarily you can have a free download. Get it now. No catches. Just download it within a couple of hours and it's yours.

Gotta ban poker

In 1917, when we entered WWI, Syracuse outlawed pinocle because the game originated in Germany.

Poker originated (in a slightly different form) in Persia, which is now called Iran.

Unless they stop development of nuclear power I don't see how anyone who loves America can continue to play poker.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Linda Geenen has been blogging about poker for a long time, for longer than I even knew what a blog was.

She's a dealer at the Bellagio. I remember some long ago threads on about her making posts full of gossip about the players in the big game (that she sometimes dealt) and getting in trouble with management about.

Well, duh. If you work in the hospitality industry, even in a non-professional job like dealing, you are expected to perserve the privacy of the guests. That's pretty much the way things work. Poker dealers with blogs aren't exempt.

But she's still there, at least she didn't lose her job over such extreme non-professional behavior.

Now she's at it again, blaming someone else for her lack of professional behavior.

Here's what she's whining about now.

A particular incident happened a few weeks ago when I was dealing a $2-5 NLH game. As I stood waiting to push into the box, one seat was open in the game, and I yelled, “DAVE!” I yelled to get his attention over the noise. When he looked at me, I pointed to the empty seat and said, “One seat open.”

He drew the hand across the neck thingey, (symbolizing death or something like that), and loudly said, “No list!”

Okay, fine. She get's in the box and makes sure the brush knows she has an empty seat. Good job, no problems.

Then she screws up.

A few minutes later a young man came up to talk to the 10s and noticed the seat was open. He queried if the seat was open and I said it was his. He said he’d get chips and be back. He returned within a few minutes with a rack of red and Dave walked up with a new guy and put that new guy in the empty seat.

Where did she screw up? She filled the empty seat knowing the brush would think she still had an empty seat. She didn't notifiy the brush that the seat was being filled. What she should have done was told the new player to tell the brush he was taking the seat.

But she didn't.

Such minor screw ups happen all the time in cardrooms everywhere. It's never a big deal, except when Linda is involved.

I was totally startled. “Dave, I already gave that seat away. He’s right there with his chips,” as I motioned towards the guy I gave the seat to.

Dave, “I have a list.”

The whole table groaned. They had heard Dave tell me there was no list. Dave stood behind the 5 and 6s, looking at me as if my third eye was showing.

So she thinks he screwed up? When he didn't have a list he told her he didn't. Then about the same time she gave the seat away two guys walk up to play. She might not realize it (she's only been working in cardrooms for about 78 years) but it often happens that two guys walk up to the brush at the same time. He's got one seat, he gives one of them the seat and starts a list with the other.

So now he's got the seat filled and also has a list.

Why is this hard for her to understand?

Because she doesn't know that her job is to deal the cards and point people who want a seat to the brush.

But she thinks she's the professional one.


Monday, December 04, 2006


Somebody on rgp recently mentioned a thread from a few months ago.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A law review article

I ran across interesting article in a Fordham University electronic law review.

The author appears to have good credentials in government regulation of gambling in the State of New York but I disagree with almost everything the guy says. I also disagree with a quote from Sklansky that he uses that claims that skill and luck are some kind of opposing forces -- like good and evil or something.

One of these days I might get around to debunking the claims in this article one at a time, but not today.

Even though I don't agree with the guy I still think it makes for an interesting read. Stephen King can be an interesting read also, but that doesn't mean it's not fiction.