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Wednesday, April 26, 2006


No poker content. No poker has been played. And since it's now been a year sans cable, none has been watched, either. That won't stop me from posting like a donkey anyway, so let's get on with it:

I noticed on my calendar that yesterday was 'Holocaust Rememberance Day'. I'm not 100% sure, but I'm pretty confident that HRD is not a Hallmark Holiday.

Today, of course, was 'Administrative Professionals Day', i.e. Secretary's Day. I think they changed the name just so nobody had to worry about where to put the apostraphe. Or spell apostraphe. I'm too tired to care if I'm right.

Is there ANY commercial tagline that isn't improved with the addition of 'bitches!' at the end? I think the addition might even save McDonald's and their "I'm Lovin' It" campaign from the wrath of Bobby Geezer.

I really should change careers and get into advertising. I mean, someone out there decided that a Bill Clinton impersonator up against a GW Bush impersonator answering 'Jeopardy'-style questions about buying a Kia would be a good idea. Let's ask -- where can you get a deal? 'Clinton' answers "Who is Manuel Noriega"? Dope joke follows. GOLD!

I'm constantly amazed that people get paid for this kind of crap. I'm clearly doing something wrong.

But that's okay.

I have quite a few other thoughts rattling around upstairs, but I don't want to be held responsible for anyone's bleeding eyeballs. Laters.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Corporation, Junior

Every once in a while, completely unrelated ideas collide and produce interesting offspring. I promise this has nothing to do with peppermint lotion.


It's a reach back to college economics, but I think it's safe to say that you can divide income, and by extension the people receiving that income, into two classes: Capital and Labor. Labor, naturally, is out there working for a dollar, while Capital is invested -- for purposes of this post, passively -- and receives a return on investment for use of money.


I noted in Iggy's post last night a mention of the latest go 'round of Andy Beal vs. "The Corporation", a confederacy of a number of the wealthiest and best poker professionals. If you're a hopeless degenerate like me, you've read Michael Craig's excellent book. If not, go get it.

Elsewhere, I found myself reading (probably on 2+2) speculation, mixed with some truth, about the staking that goes on amongst poker pros. This seems to be largely tied to the tournament scene, but I wonder if it plays into the cash games as well?

I have also found myself considering the question of whether I should continue trying to chase online poker bonuses with my much depleted "bankroll".

Mix these thoughts together, stir well and let them simmer overnight. The result, for me anyway, was this question:

If you were an investor (i.e. Capital), would it make sense (alternatively, how common do you suppose it is) to set up a 'corporation' of sorts for the purpose of chasing online poker bonuses?

The way I see it is as follows:

(a) If you, as an individual Laboring donkey, are always playing for a bonus -- initial deposit, reload or both -- your rate of return is artificially boosted by the site giving you the bonus. Even if you're a break-even player, it is possible to "win". Playing on your own account, you're limited, in effect, to taking advantage of a bonus a single time (unless you're ZeeJustining). If a bonus is good -- meaning the boost to earnings is sufficient to make it worth doing -- you might like to do it multiple times.

(b) It's entirely possible, nay probable, that as a Laborer you're passing up good bonuses. A common cause is lack of bankroll, either to get a bonus in the first place or to clear it in an effective manner. Using myself as an example, I'll probably be passing on almost all of the Crypto bonuses this month, as well as the Full Tilt reload.

(c) Members of the Capital class are always looking for a better return on investment (ROI). If I have $10,000 in idle funds, I can put them in savings at 1%, money market at 3%, online savings accounts at 5%, into stocks, bonds or whatever. The appetite for a higher ROI is (usually) balanced with a tolerance for risk -- usually, but not always higher risk accompanies a higher rate of return.

(d) If you put Capital together with Laborers to take multiple advantage of bonuses, to 'whore' them most effectively, and IF the rate of return offered were higher and the risk involved lower than other investment options, why wouldn't Capital do it?

This is the roughest of the rough (it is, after all, a workday), but let's use this as an example:

I'm a Laboring donkey. I reach a staking agreement with Capital for $1,200. I am to play $2/$4 limit with this 300 BB bankroll. If I just play five Crypto sites (I'm going from memory as to the bonus amounts and clearance rates here, so DON'T take this as gospel), I would play as follows:

Interpoker, $100, 500 raked hands (might be 700, I forget).
Will Hill, $45 for 5 table hours
Pokerplex, $50 for 250 raked hands
Sun Poker, $40 for 250 raked hands
UK Betting, $45 for 250 raked hands
TOTALS: $280 for 1250 raked hands plus 5 table hours.

{side note: I'm using the Cryptos as an example because they have monthly bonuses and because I've done them -- there are certainly easier and harder bonii out there}

Not every hand is raked, and some hands only count for 1/4 (if the rake isn't big enough). I could go into Pokertracker later and get a better estimate, but for now let's assume that it'll take 2000 hands of $2/$4 to get 1250 raked. Reality may be a bit higher, but this is a workable number. If we average roughly 70 hands per hour, that's 30 table hours. Four tabling, that's 7.5 hours plus the table hours at Will Hill. We'll call it 10 hours of actual play (again, reality may be a bit different, but this is a rough idea).

For that 10 hours of play, if I play exactly break even, I'll make $0 plus $280 in bonus - about a 23% return on the starting stake. If the profits are divided 50/50 -- and a fair division could be the subject of another whole post -- that's $140 to me and $140 to Capital. I've earned $14 per hour for my trouble, and Capital has earned 11.67% on his/her money in a very short period of time. And this process could be repeated multiple times, as there appears to be a virtually unlimited sea of poker bonuses.

There is upside to this sample return, of course -- if I'm a barely decent player and can win 1BB/100, that juices Capital's return into the 15% range. 2BB/100 and we're pushing 20%. At the same time my earnings (for being Labor) rise to $20 to $25 per hour.

There's also downside. I could go completely BUSTO, but that's not especially likely. If I lose 1BB/100, the returns drop to more like 8% for the investor and $10/hour for me, but it's still +EV.

The kicker, of course, is variance. The number of hands given above is a negligble sample size. I could run from negative infinity to positive infinity in BB/100, especially if no limit is an option (I'm assuming limit here for reduced risk, but it's an option). For that reason, I would think Capital would want to spread its risk over multiple donkeys, and Labor would sell pieces to multiple investors.

You'd also want to tailor your setup in a number of ways. The limits Labor would play would be a function of Capital's appetite for risk vs. return. It's possible that casino whoring might be a +EV extension of this concept. There's always tourney bankrolling, but that's sufficiently high variance to be an entirely different analysis. You'd have a number of considerations in who you chose to invest in and how you monitored their performance. You'd want to spell out how much play is expected and may want an agreed list of bonuses to tackle.

In any event, I think this is an interesting idea, and I wonder if it's already taking place. Not that it really matters. I'll be hanging around the Party Poker microlimit tables this weekend trying to play the last couple hands I need to 'earn' the $75 free they gave me last week.

Enjoy your Friday.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Stop The Insanity Already.

From the Philadephia Daily News:

The birth of Suri [child of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes], meanwhile, has put on hold the publicity blitz for "Mission: Impossible 3," which seems to be getting plenty of pub without the blitz.

Paramount said that Cruise has canceled all press appearances.

And all we can say to that is, "Thank you, Lord, thank you."

Right on. Less Cruise is always better.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Is this still a poker blog? This question, and the true sound of one hand clapping, will be addressed on a very special episode of "0.6 Minutes", next week on CBS.


I was sad to read that Mark "Stinky" Sinclair of CheapoVegas fame died recently at age 34. If you've never read the trip reports on Cheapo Vegas, you're missing out. Trust me.


Allegiant Airlines is giving away a trip to Las Vegas plus $2000 in shopping. Visit Allegiant to enter.


I have a few hundred hands to go to finish clearing the free $75 Party gave me. So far, I'm down $8 -- up and then down playing donkish PLO8, trying to grind it back up on the $25NL tables. The play there never ceases to amaze.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

OK Peeps

The St. Paul Pioneer Press has announced the winner(s) of their annual Peep diorama contest . There's a pretty good slideshow of winning entries.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Challenge time. Party gave me $75 to play with, so I'm embarking on the "OMG I Hope I Don't Go Busto While Trying To Play 750 Raked Hands on $75 While Trying To Hit A Big Score" Challenge.

Join me. Feel free to use Bonus Code IGGY. Show the man a little love.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Fine Line Between Confession And Whine

It was only with great trepidation that I approached the man. He was a middle-aged, balding loner, yet he possessed an aura unlike any other. He radiated peace and wisdom, tinged with a hint of disdain for all humanity, that made it clear he had the answers.

I crept closer and resolved to make myself speak.

"Forgive me father, I must have sinned. It's been forty days since I last hit a flop".

He half-turned to look in my direction, and spoke mildly with the faintest hint of reproach: "Come closer, my son, and unburden yourself of your earthly worries." Or maybe that's just what I heard.

I stammered and stuttered and hardly managed to let loose a word. When the words did finally come, they came as in a flood:

"My pocket pairs, father, they go unsetted. My straight draws fail to come well nigh all of the time. I fear that I have forever lost the ability to flush or boat. Yea, though I once turned quads, I was paid off in nickels rather than in the rivers of gold my heart so desired. I once had a luckbox but it was stolen from me; though I've spent the days and nights searching the wilds of yon internet, I find naught but emptiness and despair. Strangers attack my woeful purse without mercy, be they ahead or drawing very slim, they find a way to empty it inside and out. When I yearn to to turn the tables instead of the other cheek, I find myself left without outs, stacked and destitute once again. Even my trusty companion omaha has forsaken me, I am left alone, adrift on sea without port, friend or companion."

He was silent.

I had hopes, hopes that I would be led out of the wilderness.

He turned and walked away, with only a parting word or two from over his shoulder:

"Forget it, kid. My name is Sklansky, not fucking Jesus."


Tough night last night. By the time the Poker Savvy freeroll and the WWdN event rolled around, i had lost my earlier enthusiasm to play. Some of that was probably fatigue, some of it was the buyin I dropped at the PLO table when my passel full of outs hit in entirely the wrong fashion -- I played a hand hard and had my non-nut flush called by a bigger non-nut flush.

Long story short, I was vice-Gigli in the WWdN, out in the 30s or 40s of 47 in the PokerSavvy freeroll.

I guess that new hyper-aggressive post-flop strategy I was trying will be making a trip to the scrap heap. I did manage a 2nd in a two table $1.50 SnG, so it wasn't a total loss, but still. Ugly.

Tonight, I must sleep. I also apologize in advance to anyone who may be offended by the above.

Monday, April 10, 2006


With a little luck, I think I'll be signed up for the PokerSavvy blog tour freeroll tomorrow night at Titan. Hopefully, I'll see a few of y'all there.


I should also mention that I'm impressed by the site redesign of pokersourceonline. The new PSO site is very stylish, very clean.

I should really get around to registering for their (up to) $25,000 blogger freeroll.


Gee, I wonder if Will Hill has fixed the problems they were having over the weekend. I never could get signed in, and it appears I wasn't alone.

Only one way to find out...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Religion + Poker ?

One of the local churches had an advertisement in today's paper. Tomorrow's sermon topic: Lessons From A Donkey. The ad was in the sports section.

Think the Christian Reformed Church is in on the poker craze?

Yeah, probably not. But I suppose it could happen.

Winning and Losing

Success is a funny thing. I suppose we all score our poker victories differently.


Since I'm a pretty random person, I randomly found myself reading this morning about the exploits of what is almost certainly West Michigan's most successful poker "blogger", CaptZEEbo. He's not a WPBT-type blogger, but he does have a blog. He's also a well-known 2+2er.

Who just happens to have pulled more than $500,000 out of NL ring games in 2005 and won $233,000 in March.


Suddenly that net $10.00 I picked up in the People Who Know BG home game last night looks REALLY insignificant.

But when you're me, a win is a win is a win.


This weekend marks the end of quite probably the worst vacation ever. As I complained to the ever-tolerant Princess yesterday, I managed to have some kind of idiotic crisis to deal with every. single. day. It's not really a vacation if you find yourself constantly on the phone, going into the office, etc. If vacations are supposed to be about shedding stress, all I can say is mission NOT accomplished.

Next time, I'm not only leaving town, I'm not bringing the cell phone.


I cycled through all of my online accounts the other day and discovered a few bucks here, a few bucks there. One account had about $75 that I'd forgotten about, another had $30 or so in rakeback. Found money is almost as good as money won.

I tried grinding out the monthly paid-by-the-hour bonus on Will Hill using some of that found money. You have to play $1/2 limit or higher or $0.50/$1.00 ($100) pot limit/no limit. After about an hour of lowest-level limit play (and one standard defeat, a set of tens losing to sooted connectors who flopped a straight), I came to an important realization: I'm mostly bored with hold'em.

The problem is that I'm desparately underbankrolled to play Pot Limit Omaha, which is by FAR my game of choice these days. I can get away with it at the Crypto sites that have raked hand requirements to clear their bonuses -- it just takes forever. At Will Hill, though, I have to play WAY above my head.

Fortunately, I have less than 2 hours to go. If I can buy in very short on a passive table -- there's only one $100 PLO table going at most, so it's not like it's hard to investigate --- maybe I can finish it up and move on to something better. So far so good, anyway, although I'd be lying if I said that the prospect of losing half the roll on one suckout hand isn't a bit scary.


Did I mention that I'm bored with hold'em?

There are exceptions, of course. Home games remain fun. Tournaments remain fun, probably because I almost never play them these days. But plain old ring games have, for now, lost their allure.

Which is too bad. I think I was finally starting to improve as a result of bonus grinding at 2/4 during January and February.

I guess that means I'm pretty much a full-time Omatard for the time being. Look for me on the $25PLO tables on Crypto -- I'll be the one folding, folding and folding some more.

Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Going, Going

Wow, 93 runners in Iggy's blogger WSOP satellite. That's great. And if you didn't need additional proof that Iggy is the man, he kicked in some extra money to award two seats. Amazing. Dare I say go use Bonus Code: IGGY on Party Poker?

I had a semi-vacation day yesterday, so I spent a couple hours in the afternoon trying to run up the couple bucks I had on Stars to enough for a buyin. I tried a FellKnight style rampage, but the cards just did not cooperate. In three plus table hours, I saw one pocket pair higher than fives and AQo once. Hard to push when you're getting junk. Tried a little microlimit PLO as well, and again had no success. Maybe I should have tried a turbo SnG. Oh, well.

Gave it up and watched the first hour or so. T5000 starting stacks? Wow. No wonder it took almost all night.

Congratulations to Lucko21 and Wes from Huntsvegas Poker.

Oh, and Gary C? I feel for you. Been there. Nice going, even if you didn't get paid.

Nice jobs as well by Maigrey, TripJax, SoxLover and ... the Poker Champ. I would have liked to stay up to watch longer, but ... nah. Sleep was a much better idea.

Last, but not least, kudos to the mad genius behind the Poker Champ. Well done.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

'How I Spent My Sunday'

This tale of a socially awkward family moment is brought to you by the fine folks at Noble Poker.


I think I mentioned yesterday that Noble Poker mailed me an invite to a $10k freeroll today. Actually, they ran two of them. 1050 people in each. Biggestron was in, as was I. Thanks to a timely batch of light rain, I got back from the golf course with ten minutes to spare.

About half the runners didn't bother to show up, so I was able to help myself to a fair number of free chips in the first hour. I started at a table with four live people. That number was whittled down to three, then to two. The other live person was pretty passive but had busted the other two players and had taken a nice pot off of me, so he had a nice stack. I did manage to double through him when I had K5o in the BB, he limped with KTo and raise-pushed on the K-high flop. That's a K-5-3 rainbow flop, thank you very much. Donktard. I then got moved.

Early in the second hour, I got exceptionally lucky. I had avoided getting my entire stack in (other than with K5), in large part because I had no cards. Finally, I get KK. The BB makes a teaser re-raise. I push. He has -- DUH! -- AA. Flop A-J-T rainbow. Is that a Q on the turn? Yes it is. Let me write it down, I actually sucked out on someone as a 6 to 1 underdog. A red letter day.

Anyway, I proceed to fritter away a chunk of my stack with JJ against a reraiser. Flop is K-Q-T. I basically have to push if I'm going to continue with the hand. I have a very hard time believing that I beat *anything* at this point and may not have any clean outs at all. I check and fold to villain's push.

It quickly becomes desparation time. Fold, fold, fold. I never get anything worth pushing. We're nearing the money (100 places pay), and I'm laughably short. My M is less than 1. Finally, the bubble breaks. I have T590, with 500/1000 blinds. Hooray!

It's now about 5:45 p.m.


I can't really say how I got involved with this silly game. I don't come from a poker playing family. We never played when I was growing up. There were occasional games with friends or at a church youth overnighter, but that was about it. I don't think anyone else in my family even knows how to play.


The family usually gathers for dinner on Sunday evenings. Since nobody else really has much interest in doing it, I usually end up doing the cooking. Tonight's menu was homemade hamburgers. Nothing fancy, but... I'm supposed to be there by 6:00 to start making them. You can see why the big Sunday afternoon tourneys are out for me.


Now that the bubble had burst (and with my T590, I had less than 1 BB left) and my $12.50 bottom tier prize money secure, it was time to get the tournament over with and get a move on.

I push with A8o. I get a caller, who pushes the blinds out with a big raise. He has AKo. I flop an 8 and win. I push with KQo. A4o calls. I flop a Q and double up again. Are they suckouts when you really don't care much if you win? I push with JJ and get called by 99. I steal a couple blinds by pushing with 55 and such, and suddenly I have T 14,000.


I fold a few hands and it's now 6:00. I'm late. What am I going to do?


I'm almost positive that the only poker I've ever "played" in the presence of my family consists of a home game of extremely short duration played with my dad BG, Bobby B and their dad. Oh, they all know I play a little live poker (thanks to the WPBT outings), but I sure as heck have never played internet poker in their presence.


Now that I have some chips, I want to see if I can move up a notch or two in the payout. I'm not really a threat to win, although I've moved up into the top 20. With Noble's rapidly escalating blind structure, it's much more about luck than skill.

I get changed and throw stuff I need to bring into a bag between hands. I find that I can run across the room and fold in no time flat. Finally, once the blinds pass I send the laptop into hibernation mode, grab it and fly out the door.


Fortunately, my dad only lives a mile or so away. Nice thing about living in a small town. I'm a few minutes late, and everybody is already there. I dump my stuff, plop the laptop on the kitchen counter and spin it up. I find that I've missed some blinds. I have T9000 left (this at the 1000/2000 level).

I also have three pounds of ground beef, which I've dumped in a bowl, along with a couple eggs, some spices and other stuff. I'm mixing it as fast as I can, but not fast enough. I do not have one of those voice-controlled computers.


If I were one of your more interesting bloggers, I would have a report of some kind of humorous adventure when my family was exposed to internet poker for the first time. Instead I got a "what's that?", from my dad, who was otherwise busy making the salad.

Socially awkward moment.

I explained that yes, I am playing internet poker. He seemed to be okay with the idea, at least he didn't voice any kind of objection -- I explained that it was a freeroll and I had a shot at up to $2,500 in FREE money -- but he had a very valid point when he asked how I was going to play with meat mixture all over my hands. Umm, yeah. Small problem there.

Physically awkward moment. Uhh... little help?

I ended up recruiting my sister to click buttons for me -- she knows nothing about poker either -- and the story limps to a close about here. Crap hands come, crap hands get folded. I finally pushed with T3000 or so, folded to me on the button, with 22. The SB came over the top with a weak ace, and one way or another I lost.
Final tally, 47th place, $25 of free Noble Poker money.


So this evening, my collected family learned that I dabble in Internet poker. We'll see if there are reprecussions later. I'm not too concerned, since I can show that I'm up (and not insignificantly) lifetime, and especially since I have virtually no money at risk -- no bankroll -- at the moment. And I gained $12.50 in the process.

The hamburgers got made, dinner was consumed, life went on.

I also learned that I suck at Uno.

The end.


It occurred to me today that I should actually read the internet gambling bills pending in Congress, because I have a question: If they pass, will it still be legal to play online if your bankroll is accumulated via freerolls, affiliate promos and such?

As I understand it, Goodlatte and his merry band of killjoys are looking to shut down online gaming by banning the transfer of funds to online gambling sites -- if that's the case and you don't ever transfer *to* a site (goodbye, bonus chasing), will the act of playing itself be illegal? Will the sites find a way around the legislation by offering their own "instant bankroll" promotions (non-withdrawable, of course) to keep Americans playing?

Huh. Guess I have to do a little reading.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

I'm A Fool

Happy April 1 to all. I had good intentions of joining in on Drizz's idea to parody your favorite blogger, but I'm way, way short of the necessary ambition to do so. Besides, my whole blog is kind of a self-parody - a sad, pathetic joke.

I haven't posted often lately, in large part because I haven't been playing much. I withdrew virtually all of the bankroll -- thanks to a pretty solid stretch of bonus chasing from December through February it was a decent sum, if not exactly huge -- and took care of some of life's not-so-little expenses. I no longer have enough in play to dabble in tournaments or to tackle the non-microlimit games.

It may not matter all that much, really.

My "home" of late has been the microlimit Pot Limit Omaha tables, and they've been pretty kind. I think I mentioned that I got killed a week ago Friday, in a short session that wiped out at least a week's worth of grinding. Happily, I had a *very* good night last night and recovered all those losses and then some. The downside is it takes *forever* to clear a bonus at these stakes. I've played a couple thousand hands and still have only cleared 60% of my March Interpoker bonus.

But at least PLO remains fun, so I'll continue playing, even if I'm winning or losing a dollar or two at a time.

I really shouldn't bother with the two card games. I had a token that I'd been hoarding on Full Tilt and decided to use it on the 17k guaranteed. What a waste. I went out at the end of the first hour on the FIRST hand I'd played outside the blinds. AJo in EP proved to be non-golden, running into a softly played AKo. Otherwise, and this is no joke, I folded every single hand. Nothing even close to playable, even in position. I also had a very good time playing $0.05/$0.10 NL with a host of bloggers, including Pauly, Derek, CJ, Wwonka, DeadMeek, Jaxia, Drizz and I'm probably forgetting others. Aside from running KK into Derek's AA and dropping an entire buyin it was a success -- I was able to steal quite a few pots with absolutely nothing. Ended up down.

So that's the state of the poker union.


I meant to post this earlier, but ... Want to make like Pauly and Spaceman and your other blogging heros & cover the WSOP? Poker Listings is hiring!

Link to posting is here


Lots of tournaments worth checking out. Iggy is having another blogger WSOP satellite this week. Easycure has set up a charity tournament called "Hammer Out Cancer". Jordan from HighOnPoker and TripJax have joined forces with Wil Wheaton to offer a WSOP satellite on PokerStars. Biggestron has a WPBT Stud tournament coming up. Go check 'em out. Playing with bloggers = fun. Do it if you can.


As you'll note from the sidebar, this here blog has a new sponsor. I'm happy to promote Pokersourceonline -- I've done a few of their promotions and been very satisfied with their service. I got a couple of sets of poker chips and a bunch of Amazon gift certificates out of the deal. Yeah, PSO basically paid for Christmas. So if you want to get stuff for doing what you do anyway (play online poker), check them out. If you don't, you don't. No big deal.


I got a snail mail invitation from Noble Poker yesterday to play in a $10,000 freeroll this weekend. Since I'm not one to look a gift freeroll in the eye -- how's that for a warped cliche? -- I'm signed up. I may not get to play, since it is (of course) on Sunday afternoon when I usually have other commitments.

The real topper this week was a reminder email I got from a site I no longer bother to play at -- 7 Sultans. That's the site I used to give 90% or more of my play and where I won my first tournament. The email they sent was to say 'hey! You have $4 on our site! Don't let it go to waste! We have SnGs starting at $0.75 + $0.25!'.

Four bucks. Thanks for the reminder.

If I were Scott Mc, I could turn that into thousands in no time flat. Since I'm not, it's probably just going to sit there until I get really, really bored and decide to play some uberdonkey microlimit holdem.


Okay, I've e-babbled on long enough, I've had lunch, and it's time to get back to trying to get the house in order. Have a good weekend, and none of the above is in any way an April Fools Joke.