Monday, February 26, 2007

Buy candy, make a bet

In a Navy base in Japan during VN, sailors pretty much had free access on and off the ships berthed there, we just couldn't leave the ship in blues until 4 pm. In dungarees we had free run of the base but couldn't leave to go to town. There was an EM snack bar that would served beer with lunch, even if you were in dungarees.

A pimento cheese sandwich was 25c, a bottle of beer was 10c. Whenever a group from my ship stopped by the snack bar after lunch, we left with a table piled high with pimento cheese sandwiches still wrapped in cellophane. Maybe they'd resell them the next day, I don't know.

I was reminded of that kind of pretense today at lunch. I had lunch at a Mexican restuarant in downtown Cushing. On the checkout counter they had a bowl of complimentary hard candies. Right next to the counter was a quarter slide machine where you could "buy" a hard candy for a quarter to get a slide.

I didn't realize it, but after checking the web I guess they're for sale all over the place. I'd never seen one outside Las Vegas.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Danny Boy and Race

There are a couple of poker players who tend to say such stupid things so often that I just can't help but make fun of them every once in a while. The top two have to be Danny Boy and Sklansky.

Danny Boy frequently comments in his blog about how much he likes black people and how little he likes white people. Then he'll point out that he's not being racist. Sure, Danny.

Recently he made a blog entry that touched on American Idol (it's not surprising that he gets confused about the difference between reality TV and reality) where he commented that the black girls are all better singers than the white girls. He brought up the question of race, and that's what it seemed to me his observations focused on rather than talent. But, fine. I can't imagine anyone actually cares about the race of American Idol finalists, that's about how the producers are framing the ending, not about actual reality.

But the comments on his blog entry did continue the race meme.

One could even argue that there should have been more than 7 black contestants in the final 24 and the judges as well as the producers have deliberately kept the number of black contestants to about 25-30% of the field for ratings purposes.

Just go to any black church and you'll find at least one, if not more singers who can blow a lot of the white kids in that Final 24 out of the competition.

Of course some people now will say what I just wrote is racist. LOL!

The funny part of it all to me is that I think it's very racist. Not the observation about finding very good singers at a black church. But, him thinking it's about race rather than culture. That part is racist.

The makeup of black churches are certainly racial. But the singing talent you're likely to find in a black church is cultural, not racial.

Both Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis learned rockabilly and/or rock-n-roll from combining gospel singing in Southern black churches with Blues and country in the honky tonks.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

PPA's tax filings

A commenter on the blog Running Good sent me a link to an old tax filing of PPA.

Any thoughts?javascript:void(0)


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bill and PPA

Bills Poker Blog has some comments on the PPA/Full Tilt postition on the legality of poker. For some reason he seems to support it.

I don't.

Here's the comment I left on his blog.

Yep, now they want to take the position that online poker is illegal.

Why in the world are they interested in taking that position?

PPA is a very suspect organization, which I've talked about in this series of posts.

I don't think online poker is illegal and I don't think players should support any organization like PPA which takes the position that it is.

Actually, I'm not sure the comment took.


The Poker Carveout

In my last post about the futility of the PPA proposed carveout one of the comments was

Drizztdj said...
Why wouldn't poker move over to the same payment processor as online horseracing does with an exemption?

I think at one time the online poker industry could have done that without a carveout.

But I think that most of the online poker industry really wanted poker to be considered illegal online to at least create the appearance of a barrier to entry. I'm not sure about that but I think that's at least partially true.

Today, I don't think so.

And, even if it did get a carveout and then convince banks it was okay to fund the poker sites (at this point I'm not so sure banks won't block them even if there is a carveout), it would create an implication in a statute that poker online was an illegal activity covered by the wire act. That would not be good in the long run.

One thing you might not be aware of is that banks have recently gotten multimillion dollar finds for money laundering for things clients do, not things they do. So they won't really want to climb on board real fast with a carveout because even without that new anti-gambling law they are at risk.

Right now the 5th circuit has ruled that it money is deposited out side the US and in a completely separate transaction that money is used to make a bet out side the US then the wire act doesn't apply.

A statute that says online poker is illegal but it's not illegal to fund accounts at online sites doesn't really help if you want to argue the position of the 5th circuit.

Right now the US doesn't want to push that issue with poker or other forms of online gambling other than sports betting.

If they can get it to the SC and get the ruling they expect from the authoritarian SC then they might move on to poker. The carve out suggesting by PPA helps them in that future move against online poker.\

I'm not sure why PPA wants to support the Justice Department attitude against online gambling and oppose the rulings of US appeals courts (none has ruled the wire act does apply to the internet, not one) and rulings of international courts.

But I do know that's the position PPA takes.

They don't deserve your trust. They have someones best interests in mind, but not yours.

Lou Krieger told me he doesn't understand why PPA won't respond to my emails. He says he doesn't understand, but of course he does. They don't want to answer any actual questions. They only want to talk to people who won't actually ask questions, but will give them publicity with softball interviews.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Comment on Poker Prof post on PPA

They may not have approved it yet (I'm sure they will) but here's a comment I just made on a Poker Prof blog post on PPA.
Man for what job?

A pointless exemption?

Exemption or not, you still won't be able to fund your account, but getting an exemption cuts poker off from those who might argue

1. Internet gambling isn't illegal.


2. The US has no standing to regulate internet information exchanges.

The PPA sure looks like someone with a hidden agenda to me, I don't see anything good about any of this.

I've been commenting on the topic here

I don't see how anybody who actually is paying attention could approve of these people.


Rewarding bad play

Another idiot started a thread on rgp about how he can't win because poker rewards bad play and he plays good so he doesn't get rewarded.

What a total idiot.

If bad players didn't sometimes win then eventually they'd just never play. Prettys soon there would just not be any more games.

If you're a winning player the reason you're a winning player is that sometimes bad play seems to be rewarded.

If you don't understand that then you're just too stupid to for me to beleive that God would allow you to be a winning player.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Lou on PPA

Lou has some comments about the Poker Players Alliance. He at least doesn't claim they're helping poker players.

I'm not impressed by PPA at all. I don't trust them. Here's the comment I put on Lou's Blog

PPA takes the position that online poker is illegal.

No court has ever made that finding.

Why do they take that position? They won't respond to my emails.

If they got what they wanted with the carveout you still would not be able to fund an online poker account.

They won't tell us where they get their money and they gave their money to Republican causes prior to the passing of that law recently passed.

What have they done that makes you want to trust them?

Here's some previous comments I've made about PPA and their shady facade.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Cold deck story

The traditional meaning of cold deck is a pre-set deck slipped into the game set up in such a way that you will always get all your money in, then lose.

A classic is you getting AA, the other guy getting QQ, you don't play your hand aggressively until the flop of QQ7. Then all the money goes in, Turn A, River A.

The QQ will never be able to get away from his hand, he can't help but go busted.

Traditionally it meant you were cheated. Now days people use the term to mean that's just the way it happened, not that the deck was slipped by the dealer.

But one guy told me a story once that shows it is possible to get away from a cold deck.

It was a private game in Lake Charles, LA. No limit hold'em. Deep money. Big Rick hosted the game. The lineup was Big Rick, a bunch of Big Ricks cronies from the topless club he was a bouncer at, and the Kid that told me the story. The Kid was naive, but had money, his daddy owned a local retail business and the Kid ran it for him.

They were playing in the dining room of Big Rick's house, and in between hands the Kid went to the bathroom. The mirrored cabinet was open and the mirror was showing a cabinet in the dining room, down the hall. The kid could see a crony get a deck of cards out of the cabinet. Then Big Rick yells at him, "we're dealing you in, come on back, we'll wait, you're the big blind".

He comes back to pick up QQ. Big Rick limps, everybody else folds. The Kid checks. The flop is QQ7. The Kid checks. Big Rick goes all in for a few thousand dollars. The Kid folds.

Big Rick jumps up and yells, "You can't fold, what the hell are you doing?"

I don't know that the story is true. But I know Big Rick. I beleive the story.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Doyle Brunson and the SEC

I got an email from Doyle about my recent post about my expectation of an eventual arrest related to the bogus WPT stock offer last summer.

He didn't really say anything that gave any specifics or detail, so I didn't even ask him about reprinting the email.

But he did seem to think I was wrong about the possibility of him being arrested related to an securities violation.

I'm not sure why he's so sure of that, but he I think his doubt is sincere. Maybe he himself was a victim and he's cooperating, I don't know, he didn't really say enough to draw any conclusions about that.

But he's certianly closer to the SEC investigations about WPT than I am and I've changed my attitude. I'll go with, I don't really expect him to be arrested.

I've never expected him to be arrested for anything related to online poker, I don't think online poker is illegal and, although the DOJ says they think it is, I don't think they're going to be in a position to pursue that anytime soon. They havn't yet even established that online sports betting is illegal. And they'll tackle that obstacle first.

He's an iconic person in our world and I do wish him luck.

Misquoting my book (again)

There's another thread on 2+2 that starts with somebody asking about my hold'em book and ending up somebody being critical of the book by misquoting me.

Here's the thread.

The misquote is
I remember thinking it was quite an advanced book at the time but I just recently decided to re read it and some of the things he says seem way off the mark. Folding AK in early in a loose aggressive game?

I don't suggest that at all. I suggest that in some loose or very loose games that are very aggresive you might want to fold AKo in early position.

The reason is the importance of position when loose games get very aggresive.

And I make it a point to distiguish between aggresive and very aggresive and even give operational definitions for the two different conditions.

You aren't going to see those games very often. When you do see those games you can make a lot of money if you forget about trying to be tough in early position and get busy from late position.

Sometimes people also complain about me repeating myself a lot in that book. But it seems if I don't repeat myself a lot then the dimwits don't seem to understand the concepts very well.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Types of calls

An overcall is the second or subsequent call of a bet.

A bet
B call
C call

Then C has overcalled. The overcall of C might indicate more strength than the call
by B.

Cold call.

Cold call means calling a raise when you hadn't called the initial bet earlier in the betting round.

If the betting goes
A bet
B call
C raise
D call
A call
B call

Then D has made a cold call, A and B did not cold call.

In most cases you should worry about D's hand more than A's or B's and
maybe even more than C's hand.

Smooth call and Flat call

They pretty much mean the same thing.

Flat call is probably used more often used when you're just
trying to describe what happened.

Smooth call is probably used more often when you're trying to describe
how smart and tricky you are. When you hear somebody use the term smooth call you might want to start looking for signs of FPS (Fancy Play Syndrome)

Crying Call

Calling when you're convinced you're beat but the pot's big enough to compensate for the small chance you're wrong.

Anybody have any other's to add?

Doyle and the Law

I guess there's some rumors that Doyle has been arrested. You can find a bunch of links to various blogs here.

I don't know if he has been or not. He certainly should be.

If he has been arrested it has nothing to do with online gambling. He should be arrested for securities fraud and I wouldn't at all be surprised if he has been. I certainly expect him to be arrested for securities fraud eventually, for that fraudulent offer he made last summer for WPT.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I've been getting some spam in the comments. Not much, but enough so that I changed the moderation to only allow comments from registered users. I hate those "read the letters" things so I havn't done that.

I don't know how many of y'all have read my books, but as an incentive to register, I'l l see if I can track down your address for the next 10 or so comments (of some kind of substance) and send you an autographed copy of one of my books (of your choice).

Monday, February 05, 2007

Book of Bluffs

A long time ago I could pretty much say I'd read ever book on poker that was worth reading. That's no longer true, the market has exploded. But I try to keep up with the good ones, even if I don't get to them right away.

Last year about this time I was at a book signing/sales thing in Atlantic City with a dozen or so other poker book authors. The one that seemed to be selling real well at that event was Matt Lessinger's The Book of Bluffs. So I vowed to get around to reading it eventually.

I still havn't read it, but have read the first chapter and I've changed my mind.

The chapter starts out with "12 Bluffing Proverbs".
There are only two ways to win a pot: You can show down the best hand, or bluff the worst one.

But, no. You win whenever your opponent folds, whether you're bluffing or not. That's a reason to be aggresive, but not neccasarily a reason to bluff.

And even if he's right that you have to either bluff or show down the best hand, it's next sentence is laughable.

If you don't bluff you are throwing away half of your pot-winning potential

That's wrong on two levels.

1. Even if there are only two options doesn't mean they are equally likely to arise.

2. Money winning potential is the goal, not pot winning potential.

If he can't do better than that on his lede, then I'm not sure I have time to read any more of it.

I seem to have a minority opinion though. Maybe I'll read some more of it later.

Click on the cover art to see Amazon reviews. Those readers give it 4 stars. So it's popular, even though it looks really sloppily written to me.

Labels: ,

Book Review

I'm always happy to run across a good review of my hold'em book.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Another comment on PPA

From rgp --

On Feb 1 2007 9:44 PM, pokerchimp wrote:

> I don't understand why no one is doing anything. I mean, our point of
> view has not been expressed in the main stream press at all, has it? Why
> is 20-20 not doing a story, or 60 minutes or Dateline or CNN, MNBC,
> Newsweek, Time, etc. etc. I mean this is an infringement of our rights,
> and it's having a financial impact on many US citizens. Why is no one
> covering this story?

Because the government provides them lots and lots of production assistance to do stories presenting government propaganda.

> I f someone were to write a good, well thought out piece about what has
> happened in America, I would try and get all the correct email addresses.
> Is this PPA even doing ths?

Of course they aren't. Even if the PPA accomplished exactly what they say they want to accomplish the current problem would still be right in your lap.

The PPA's goals are self-destructive. They want a carve out for poker. They want to seperate poker's interest from other online gambling interests.

But all of the current problems impacting poker players are becuase of the government war against online sports books. All of the current problems.

And the PPA wants to support the governments efforts to screw them. The result is of course that poker players will just get screwed as collateral damage.

The PPA is not your friend.