Tuesday, June 26, 2007

No Family rule?

What the hell is this?
FROM THE: Event 39 - World Championship H.O.R.S.E.
PUBLISHED: Sunday Jun 24, 2007 12:22 PM

I got off to a great start, I won about four hands in a row; the limits went up and I lost two back, so I am right about where we started at 100,000. Its still early. I've got by far the worst table here: TJ Cloutier, Phil Ivey, Mike Sexton, Dewey Tomko. I was at my dad's table but they wanted to enforce that no-family rule, I didn't mind that table but then I got moved here.

No family rule? Is that the same as the "no friends rule"? Or the "no business partner rule"?
What in the world is that rule supposed to accomplish?

I haven't played in the 2007 World Series of Poker but I did play some events a couple of years ago. You have to sign a release when you sign up as a player, but there was no required disclosure about family members. So if my son and I had been at the same table the WSOP had no way to enforce it. They would have had no way to enforce the no-family rule because they didn't want to enforce it, they didn't want to ask.

But if you're Todd Brunson they can enforce it, and they do. What does it accomplish? It increases the changes of a Brunson name being at the final televised table. That's all it accomplishes. It gives the the Brunson family, as a group, an edge over other players.

What bullshit.

If would benefit other players only if the Brunsons are cheats. If they aren't cheats then it benefits the Brunsons.

Update: Some rgp discussion about it.

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The 50k event

I really should be writing more about the 2007 WSOP that's going on.

The $50,000 buy-in HORSE event should be finishing up in a couple of days. Today is the third day of a five day marathon.

I don't know what to think about the event. Martin Derbyshire of PokerListings seems to think it's a big deal
...the $50k H.O.R.S.E. event seems to be the tournament most top pros feel is the one that will decide who the best poker player in the world is, making it the true main event of the 2007 WSOP.

I think it's more accurate to say that many top pros want it to be the one that will decide who is the best poker player in the world.

Not because of the HORSE aspect, although that's what they might tell you. But because of the $50,000 part -- that's the part that makes it self-selecting elite.

It's a 5 day event with only 148 entries.

I used to be that pros went for the money and let the amateurs have the bracelets. It was a pro that took the money in exchange for taking a dive to let Maria Stern win a bracelet a few years ago. I took such a deal a few years ago in a small tournament in Bay St. Louis when Casino Magic was giving out cheap trophies to winners of their daily tournaments. When we got heads up I took the money and let the other guy have the trophy. But because of the fame and endorsement opportunities, it's the pros who are willing to buy off competitors to increase their chances at a bracelet.

Of course an event with few entries will be attractive to most fame-seeking pros. But that has nothing to do with determining who's "best".

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Years ago, I was playing nolimit draw at Artichoke Joes. I had a few hundred dollars on the table. Maybe 7 or 8 hundred. That was all the money I had. That was it, my bankroll, whatever you want to call it.

I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich from the waitress. I think they were a $1.85 back then.

When the waitress came back with my sandwich, I was just standing up. She took a look at the green felt on the table in front of the seat I was leaving and said to me, "You can't pay for this damn sandwich, can you?".

Well, she was right, I couldn't. I was busted. I hadn't been playing with the rent money cause I owned an RV that was right there in the parking lot (my girlfriend had an apartment, whatever you do don't go busted if your girlfriend is pissed at you). But, I was busted.

She paid for the sandwich. The next day I borrowed 20 bucks to buy into the ten cent ante, no blind afternoon game and within a week had a few thousand and had given her $5 to pay for the sandwich and a little juice.

The point of the story is that if you've got any money left, then you aren't busted.

How stupid can you be?

Pretty stupid it seems.

I'm watching a show in CNBC about greed and frauds.

One of the events featured is a guy who scammed the regular's in a private home poker game with a Ponzi/check kiting scheme. Many thousands.

In the poker game his habit of shorting the pot is so well known that they make jokes about it.

And they gave this guy tens of thousands of cash at a time to "invest".

I'lll never understand people.

Update: The second scam recruits most of the "investors" in the Circus/Circus poker room in Reno.

Barry Hunt is the guy's name. In Reno he used the name Jonathan Firestone. Anybody know him?


Saturday, June 23, 2007

House of Games

I finally got around to watching House of Games. Netflix is great. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't rank it more than an okay (3 stars out of 5).

By David Mamet it was nominated for a best screen play Golden Globe, but I don't think it's among Mamet's best work. I'm a big Mamet fan, I have been since he was a small time playwrite doing stuff for neighborhood theatre in Chicago in the 1970's. I've never seen anything by him that I didn't enjoy, but this just isn't one of his best.

Sometimes Nothing is a Pretty Cool Hand

That's Luke's line that the title came from. It's not a poker movie, but the title line is part of a scene where Luke pulls a big bluff in a prison barracks poker game. It's a scene that serves to help define who Luke is. Cool Hand Luke has gotta be one of the all time great movies. Certainly one of the top 100, right?

Not according to the American Film Institute. They just left if right out of their recent API top 100 list. Can you get any more out of touch with American movies than that?

I think it's political prejudice. They didn't include any Cheech and Chong movies because of a political aversion to pot-smoking Mexicans. And, they didn't include any poker related movies because of a political aversion to poker.

I hope you Republican nutcases are happy.

They also left out The Hustler. And Cincinnati Kid didn't even make the top 400.

What's this country coming to?


Friday, June 15, 2007

Back from Vegas

I didn't blog from Las Vegas as much as I probably should have. I didn't even play as much as I intended. I didn't play at the Rio or in the 2007 WSOP at all. I didn't even spend enough time at the Rio to find someone giving out free t-shirts.

I did get some work done though, had a business meeting or two that turned out productive, etc. So, the trip was certainly worthwhile, even though it didn't turn out to be much of a poker trip.

I really need to spend the next year working on my health. I've had diabetes for a few years, and recently have started having some high blood pressure problems. The drop in stamina resulting from the blood pressure problems is stunning to me, I can't even cut the grass all at one time anymore, much less spend a couple of 12 hour days playing a poker tournament.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007


"You're just jealous".

An article in the Sacramento Bee triggered a blog post at Althouse on that phrase being used to put down women.

Put down women? Are they saying that poker fans are a bunch of women?


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

How can a writer compete with this?

From a WSOP 2007 press release
LAS VEGAS – June 05, 2007 – Harrah’s License Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:HET), has entered into an multi-year agreement with Kraft Foods Global Inc. (NYSE:KFT) to make Planters nuts an official sponsor of the World Series of Poker and the “official nut” of poker’s biggest event.

“The sponsorship is a great fit given that “the nuts” is a common poker phrase associated with having the best hand in any given situation,” said Stephen Chriss, director consumer promotions, Kraft Foods, Inc.

I just can't keep up with these corporate wordsmiths. These guys are just way too witty.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

You drew to a gutshot 5?

That was the capstone question of the night in my mind.

The flop was really ragged looking. A 4 8 T with two diamonds and a spade.

The protagonist of our story bet $10 into a field of 5 or so preflop limpers and got two callers.

The turn was the Ace of spades. He fired again, this time $25 and was called by our hero.

The 5c came on the river. Our protagonist fired another $25. This time our hero made it $125. Our protagist called, our hero showed a 7s6s.

That’s when I heard the moaning question, “You drew to a gutshot five?”.

But the guy who asked that question isn’t the idiot in our story. That role is filled by our hero, who proceeded to explain the double gutshot draw that pickup up a flush draw on the turn.


Friday, June 01, 2007

Dead Money

I've been reading Anthony Holden's new book, Bigger Deal: A Year Inside the Poker Boom. I'm going to do a review on it soon, and the publisher was kind enough to give me a couple of extra review copies that I'll be giving away. More on that shortly.

But he says something early in the book I wanted to comment on now. He refers to "dead money" as his favorite new poker phrase.

I thought I'd point out some of the history of the phrase. More than a specific poker phrase, it's history is that of a gambling term.

The term in poker has come to refer to the entry money of tournament players who have no chance of winning at all. They essentially have no equity in the pot. With 10 players playing winner-take-all, if one is dead money then your equity is 11+% rather than 10%.

But the term is older than poker tournaments, probably older than poker. In a parimutuel horse race pool, any bets on a horse that has not chance of winning, probably won't even finish, is dead money. It's money that's been bet which simply can't be won by the person making that bet -- the money on that bet is up for grabs among the rest of the field.