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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween is -EV

Semi-live blogging Halloween...

5:54 pm -- I'm home and it's about time for the "festivities" to get under way. In our town, official trick-or-treating takes place from 6:00 until 8:00, so I need to get my act together.

5:59 pm -- I've consulted Danny Sheridan and the over/under on little goblins is set at 30. There aren't that many kids in my area, but since it's in town, the closeness of houses will make it attractive to those junior sharps who want to maximize their candy EV. The weather is good -- clear but a little chilly, so the early money is on the over.

6:05 pm -- Nobody yet. I have enough candy on hand for 40 or 50 kids. They're getting Kit Kats, Hersheys, Twix, Whoppers and I have some peanut butter cups in reserve.

6:15 pm -- So far the tally is at "Fun Size" Twix bars eaten: 2, Kids 0.

6:16 pm -- BOOM .... HEADRUSH! How *do* they manage to get a full half pound of sugar into each "Fun Size" candy bar?

6:26 pm -- First trick or treaters make an appearance. C- for costume effort, but they're smiling and polite, so they get extra candy. Gotta get rid of this stuff.

6:44 pm -- Things are picking up. We're up to 7 visitors. We have an early leader in the 'douchebag of the evening' category: Two kids came, were very well mannered. Middle aged guy with them was not. No costume. Didn't say a word, just held open a generic plastic bag. I'm in a good mood, so he got his candy, but yeesh.

6:59 pm -- Getting annoyed. 9 in the first hour. I've been standing around waiting for people to show up -- this is defnitely boring. Halloween is not one of my more favorite holidays.

7:02 pm -- Hour two will be different - I've gotten out a chair. My brain is currently trying to escape the boredom in my skull. I'm going to pay for this tomorrow. I went to a funeral earlier today, arriving fifteen minutes or so early to a crowd that was already standing room only. Must sit.

7:15 pm -- Several packs of non-surly teenagers have increased the count noticably. I'm up to 20. The under is in jeopardy.

7:26 pm -- Latest count: 26. The one-ish kid in the Tigger costume is leading the cuteness category. The two teenage girls dressed as Victoria's Secret Angels (I think) are leading in the "Good thing they're under 18 so I'm going to be extra sure not to look twice" category.

7:59 pm -- After a thirty minute lull, one last kid. Final count, 28. Total pieces of candy eaten: 2. The under wins on both accounts.


Changing the subject, I continue to have an active imaginary poker life. I was playing some PLO in my head last night, rolling along (Treat) having tripled my buyins.

And then, what do you know, Full Tilt pro John D'Agostino sits down at both of my $50 play money tables.

I had planned on quitting and going to sleep, but found myself havng fun. So I didn't. Bad move. Gave back pretty much all my winnings to another player who hit twice as a 35-40 to 60-65 dog. Sigh. Couldn't sleep, so I decided to try and rebuild. Didn't work. Ended up getting taken to 17% and 20% valuetown after hitting flops. Stupid suckouts. (Trick).

I really shouldn't play PLO. I mean, it's my favorite game and all, but I really don't know why. It's the highest variance game there is, and I'm not a big fan of variance. Especially since my imaginary bankroll isn't really enough to support playing above the nickel and dime (or maybe dime/quarter) level.

So anyway, that's that. Nothing of interest to say, really.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Friday, October 27, 2006

Off Topic, But On Target

If you're a fan of the Food Network and college football, this blogger's preview of the weekend's Big Ten games might make you smile.

If not, nothing to see here. More relevant and comprehensive post coming soon.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Moving Down To Play Up

After I managed to (in my imagination) flame out spectacularly** in the Wheatie last night, I was trying to find something worth doing while the World Series was going on in the background. I found myself uninterested in the selection of (Attention U.S. Government: PLAY CHIP) PLO games on FT, so I signed up for what would be, if I played for money, a dollar 45-player SnG.

** translation: I played like absolute %^&*!.

Oddly enough, the level of play was much better than in the $24+2 tournaments I used to frequent back in the PreFrist era. There was almost no pure donking (except by me, of course). It was like a visit to the Twilight Zone.

It took a long time before anyone busted and there were still 2+ tables at the first break. I had tripled up late by overbetting my 44 on a K42 two spade board. I got called by KTo and a guy who claimed he misclicked -- he didn't have the flush draw and whatever he had was worse than KTo, so I believe it. Or maybe they both misclicked, I forget. Got bored deep in the second hour and started pushing preflop on any halfway decent hand. Amazingly enough, I was never called by junk, although I wouldn't have made the call with KQo that knocked out my A6s.

If I played for money, I would have had a cash. Fifth place for $2.70. What a relief that I don't have to worry about such things.


Speaking of which...

Since I stopped engaging in internet gambling, I have earned eleven patents, diagnosed and developed a cure for a previously unknown disease, saved six acres of the rainforest, encouraged the adoption of a stray cat, reorganized my sock drawer, deleted 6,724 spam emails for Viagra, read the collected works of Shakespeare twice and helped save the earth by preventing the burning of several piles of leaves.

Thanks again Congress for saving me from myself!

Now that you've done that, it looks like I'll be spending the evening abusing teh Internet for purposes of booking a trip to Las Vegas. That's right ... a long weekend at the Imperial Palace if it comes together. Yay for government-approved gambling!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Well, Then Again

Sometimes positive things do happen on Mondays.

I'm sitting here killing time waiting for a phone call (and for the day to be over), so I surf on over to the Bankrupt Northwest Airlines website. I randomly check my frequent flier miles balance. I don't quite have enough for a free ticket, but ... they're running a cash + miles promotion which would slice about 50% off the cost of my ticket! Yes!

If you're a big picture thinker, this deal is decidedly -EV. It would cost *four times as much* to buy replacement miles.

If you're me, you're just happy because the odds of attending the WPBT: December Edition just improved significantly!

If you're you, and you're flying from a Northwest-dominated market, it's on their website.

Yay, Monday.

Monday Eight AM Blues

Somehow another work week has snuck up on me. I'd like to take a blunt instrument to whomever it was that decided that Mondays should even be on the calendar. There are definitely explitives in my immediate future.

The same pile of crap is stacked on my desk that was there on Friday. I should have spent all weekend here putting it away, but I didn't. So now I will pay the price.

Anyway ...

It was a quiet weekend on the poker front. Why is it, do you suppose, that your internet connection never flakes out on you when it would be helpful? I had serious connection problems (if you consider being unable to connect at all a problem) on Saturday. Why couldn't they have come on Friday night, when I was getting my ass handed to me by variance?

Friday night. It's a frustrating thing, not being able to take advantage of opportunity. I found an ideal seat, on the left of a certified maniac in one of Full Tilt's Cap PLAY MONEY PLO games. The guy was giving away cash -- he went through at least six caps before he left. The thing is, I didn't get any of it. Oh, I got one of them, but he got at least two or three back from me, including one where I was a 93/7 favorite going to the river. All in capped on the flop. Sigh. So standard.

Not busto, but frustrated.

Nothing played Saturday or Sunday. I did watch most of the final table of the Blogger Big Game after the Tigers beat the Cardinals, nice job Lucko21.

Speaking of watching sports on TV, there was a lot of that done this weekend, which means that I saw about a million commercials. Two comments:

(1) I enjoyed the Dodge Nitro commercial, where the Nitro driver offers a jump to someone who needs one, ends up shooting the other car into the air. Is it ironic if (as I think is the case) the other car, which ends up trashed, is an old Dodge Spirit/Plymouth Acclaim?

(2) Can the election be over already? ^&*(!ing political ads. I will say that Dick Devos' 21 year old daughter is not heinous. Not a reason to vote for pops, though.

And now, back into the maelstrom.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

It's A Hard Road

I just have a song with that line going through my head. Nothing to do with poker or life.

Suffering a bit from bruised junk this morning after another disappointing finish in a blogger tourney. After going out 11th (9 paid) with JJ vs. 44 in the WWdN on Tuesday, I returned for a shot at the Mookie last night. After a good run, my stack dwindled away with a whole series of awful cards. Made it to the final table and pushed in with KJo, losing to Astin's QJo. 9th place (7 paid). Sigh.

Decided to make an evening of it early on while waiting for the Mookie, and that nearly proved disasterous. Sat down at a PLO game and signed up for a turbo Peep token tourney. Got stacked on the VERY FIRST HAND in the PLO game -- I see a free flop with J9xx, flop comes JJ9, single suited. I go to war, and lose to a guy with J9Ax when an ace comes on the river. Sigh. Sometimes you want to back off despite flopping the nuts -- this was not one of those times. REBUY!

I got stacked a second time and flamed out of the token. Thought about giving it up, but didn't. Good thing. Won a token on try #2, nearly quadrupled up on one hand of PLO and got back in the game.

Anyway, long story short, I found myself liking the cap PLO game. It seemed to promote more gamble in my opponents, since they could only lose $X per hand.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying And Other Stuff

When you were a kid, were you ever tagged with an “indian name”?

I know such things are juvenile, politically incorrect to the max and I sincerely apologize to anyone who may be offended by the mere mention of such things, but…

If I were to be given an “indian name” today, it would undoubtedly be “He Who Cannot Dodge Two Outers”.

Stupid wheatie.


Speaking of all things politically incorrect (or is this fair game? I don’t really pay much attention), I really enjoyed this one:

A Wayne, Mich., marine operator is investigating a third Lake Michigan cross-lake ferry service from Frankfort to Algoma, Wis., according to published reports.

The Journal-Sentinel confirmed that McCaughrin has been in contact with public officials in both Frankfort and Algoma. As much as they would welcome a cross-lake ferry operator in their ports, officials from both communities expressed skepticism that McCaughrin could realistically launch a third cross-lake operations, the newspapers reported.

The Journal-Sentinel quoted McCaughrin as saying that he was pursuing ferry plans because "God woke me up in the middle of my sleep and told me to call the people in Algoma. ... This is something that God wants, and I'm just doing the paperwork."


I now know what I’ve been doing wrong. I need to sleep more.


Not much else to say. Play the Mookie tonight if you can.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Poll Time, Part Duh

Thanks to all who responded to the poll question.

It was indeed the usual group of local degenerates who gathered on Friday for a monopoly money tournament. M$20 buyin, total prize pool of M$140.

The payout structure: Two places paid. Second place got their money back, the winner got M$120.

Yes, I finished second, but that's not the point.

The point is this: Breaking even sucks. In a tournament, you either win or you lose. If you make the money, you should have something positive to show for it, even if it's not much. If you want to play winner-take-all, fine. Just don't give a token payout of M$1 to M$20 to anyone who "moneys". **

Just my opinion.***

** the only exception to this rule I can think of is when you're playing for non-cash prizes, like Full Tilt tokens. In that case, returning the odd dollars is only fair, although I'd add it to the top finisher's prize instead of paying out another place. I understand why FT doesn't do it, though.

*** speaking of my opinion, if it were up to me I would have gone with payouts of M$100 and M$40.

Other than the payout structure, it was a good time as usual. I chipped up on the first hand with TT vs AKs, but was hurt badly when I ran JJ into AA on an all-unders board. Fortunately AA boy had been crippled earlier when his limped AA ran into the formidable 65o. AA twice in level one, what a concept!

After some awful play, I got as low as T250 (from T2000), but held on long enough to get some cards, a couple big pairs and a flopped straight with 86s. We had a good battle 3-handed, before the host was finally knocked out. Heads up, I proposed a chop based on chip counts, which was declined. It didn't take long to finish. What can I say, I'm still a donkey and I was ready to go home.

Finishing second didn't bother me all that much. Having a deal declined was no problem. But getting my buyin back left me steaming on the ride home. It felt more like a loss.

Nothing a late night snack couldn't fix, though. And there's always next time.


Blog comment of the week, in case you missed it:

Senator Frist here. Just wanted to let you know Jebus just told me that Monopoly is the work of Clinton and can no longer be allowed.

Why, I heard just the other day a teenager landed on Park Place (with a hotel) and ended up yelling "criminy" at the top of his lungs. I've been e-mailed a video of the boy and I've been able to determine that, medically, he's only got months to live as a result.

Since you and your unChristian cohorts are going to burn in the hellfire of eternal damnation anyway, you might as well save your buy-ins for some wholesome lotto tickets or that freaky porn site the FBI tells me you posted about earlier.

Thanks, c.l. russo!

Blog post of the week is Felicia Lee:

Poker Blogs???

To Do List:

1) Delete any "poker" blog (harhar) with mention of Spice Girls

No offense.

Even though my blog consists mostly of everything Felicia hates -- except Spice Girl posts -- I sure enjoy her take on things.


I got myself a copy of Rolf Slotboom's Secrets of Professional Pot-Limit Omaha and licensed Poker Tracker Omaha as a belated birthday present.

Maybe that wasn't such a good idea.

I'm still working my way through the book, but when I finished the section on short stack play, I couldn't resist giving it a try.

I promptly got stacked seven times. PLOing ain't easy.


Looking back at the hands, I was a favorite for four of them and an underdog for three. One was a really dumb move on my part -- I made a play for a big pot with bottom set and a flush redraw. Middle set was way ahead. Otherwise, I just missed and missed and missed again. In one hand I had a the largest wrap possible and the only flush draw - turn brick, river brick, REBUY! So standard.

Good times. I doubt very much that I'll use this strategy, since it doesn't seem like a good fit for the games I've been playing lately, but it's been a really good read so far. Best PLO book I've seen.

I also had PTO load in some old hand histories, and it -- surprise! -- shows me as a losing player. Now, some of that is variance -- I got stacked twice on Crypto when I took full buyins at a level way above my head, each time on a horrendous beat. Overall Stars numbers are negative (despite a positive 7.24 BB/100) due to one bad higher limit session. I haven't loaded some of the other sites which I can no longer play at, but at least I know Titan was wildly profitable. RIP, Titan.

Anyway, one of my projects for the next week or so is to finish the book and to think about some of the leaks in my PLO game. Now that I'm playing for play chips I don't expect to get a lot better, but I can always dream of playing live PLO in Vegas some day.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Poll Time

A quick question for you:

You're running a small (monopoly money) home game. 7 players, tourney/SnG style, M$20 money buy in for a M$140 prize pool.

What would be your preference for payouts -- how many places and how much for each -- and why?

I'll be back later with my thoughts on the subject.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Luck Done Left

{Editor's note: This post is extremely crappy, even by my admittedly low standards. If you're some kind of blog purist or if you just have an adversion to eyeball bleeding, you might just as well skip it.}

Another day, another something. It's Friday and I am certainly paying the price for staying up way too late last night.

At least it was fun. I found myself in the $4k guaranteed HORSE tournament on Full Tilt with a whole passel of bloggers. Wes the Big Pirate and brdweb played well and didn't miss the money by much. Joe Speaker, Drizz and I all managed to cash. In standard donkey fashion I busted out during H -- after running Q9s into 86o who rivered trips after I turned a queen and a straight draw and got the money in. Stupid two card games. Truth be told I was extremely lucky to still be alive at that point. I must have survived a dozen all ins (in a limit tourney!), including ones with junk like 82s in H.

The payout table was pretty steep, so I didn't win much, but it was nice to cash. A top 3 finish would have paid for something nice, like {*cough* a plane ticket to Vegas *cough*} the gas bill this month. It's freaking cold.

Commence random stupid spew rant mode

Hear that Bill Frist, Jim Leach, John Kyl? Last night some internet gambling took place! I wagered ("wasted") $26 and got to spend a few hours being entertained with my invisible internet pals. Some evil company based in (gasp!) Ireland got $2 of my money in exchange for providing those hours of fun.

I'm sure that the entire fabric of American society is about to collapse as a result. Maybe we should invade all those countries that allow and promote internet gambling. That'll teach 'em. Maybe we should nuke 'em. REALLY teach 'em.

Gambling = imminent destruction of the American economy and our entire way of life. It's so obvious. I could have spent that $26 taking in a movie (keep that Coke to the $6 small size please I'm on a budget here). I didn't. I also did not spend it on 23 junior bacon cheeseburgers, hold the lettuce, and a Frosty. I didn't buy the collectors edition of Justin Timberlake Live in Uzbekistan. Retailers everywhere are weeping.

FYI, I also did not spend it drinking about six beers at some bar followed by a drive home through several parked cars. I did not use it to sign up for a one month membership to I didn't go to a strip club or have a 'casual encounter' with a illegal immigrant/hooker named Diamond. Didn't purchase any Cuban cigars or buy gas from Citgo.

I could have, but I didn't. Now that you're done "protecting" me from gambling my life away playing rigged Party Poker blackjack, maybe you can attend to the rest of it? I'm not safe from me, especially in my own house. K, thanks.

Blah, blah, blah. Okay, I'm bored with this rant. You congresscritters can still suck it, but I have to go back to work in order to be able to contribute my share of your salaries.


{The above was written and any acts depicted took place prior to 10:00 AM ET on Friday the 13th October 2006}


Internet gambling? Who does that? Nothing to see here. This is a blog about kitties:

Go Tigers.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

You Are Feeling Sleepy ... So Sleepy ... You Must Cut Prices

It’s the bottom of the 6th inning. Wilfredo Ledezema has just survived shaky command of his pitches to retire the side. The Tigers have the lead.


There goes the power.

[Censored] [censored] [censored]!

So much for the rest of the game and so much for playing in the Mookie, although it had probably started by that point.

It’s also really dark and the temperature is dropping like a rock.

Just another Wednesday night in Michigan.


Needless to say, nothing much else happened yesterday. I scratched around for a flashlight and a battery powered radio and was able to listen to the 9th inning.

I haven’t been to a game at Comerica Park, so I don’t know if Tigers closer Todd Jones has a musical intro, but if he doesn’t “Firestarter” by Prodigy would be an excellent choice.

White knuckle time is survived, Tigers win, take 2-0 series lead.

And the power came back on eventually, so being turned into an XXL popsicle right in my own living room didn’t come to pass.


On the poker front, it was reassuring to see an official statement from PokerStars that they’re sticking it out with U.S. players. I’d link to it, but you’ve probably already seen it and I’m lazy. Good for them.

I also received a marketing email today from Noble Poker – part of the iPoker network which has, um, banned U.S. players. Huh? Thanks anyway, guys.

Last but far from least is that this blog has a new sponsor – the professional folks over at They’re cranking out tons of good pokery content, so why not check them out if you haven't already?


April posted an announcement about a WPBT December gathering in Las Vegas. I’m hoping to go, but we’ll see. I do know that I’ll be scouting for cheap airfare. If you’re on the fence, just go. Seriously. It’s that much fun.

And now, it’s back to wishing it was Friday -- and using all of my latent ninth level psychic powers to influence Northwest Airlines or Allegiant Air to run a sale.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Scratching My Head

Slow weekend on the poker front. Played a bunch of $25 and $50 PLO on Stars. Up. Down. Up. Down. Ended up down when I missed a whole series of monster draws against junk like bottom set. They don't fold so you better hit if you're going to play aggressive.

Oh, well.

One hand from early in the weekend has been bugging me, and maybe someone can point out what I'm missing.

I have QhJhXX (junk hand) in the blinds. At the turn, the board is Ah Kx Jx Th, giving me broadway and the 2nd nut flush draw. I get raised all in and call figuring (given the circumstances - preflop action) there is a very good chance I'm freerolling on the flush draw.

I'm correct. Villain has KsKcQxX for broadway and the full house draw. No hearts. No other flush draw is out there.

The river bricks and we split the pot. Villain immediately starts moaning about having so many outs. I make a flip comment in reply, and another player says that villain had more than twice as many outs. I run the board through pokenum, which says that villain was a 60/40 favorite, with 16 outs to my 9 (the rest tie).

Either I must have input the hand incorrectly or I'm remembering it incorrectly, because I don't see what I'm missing here. If the river is one of 3 aces, the case king, one of two jacks or one of three tens, villain wins. If it's the 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 or 2 of hearts, I win. That's 9 outs to 8. Everything else is a chop.

I know that I checked the board to verify that there was only a heart draw, and villain had KKQx with no hearts. I'm stumped.


In case you've been living under a rock, Full Tilt Poker brushed off the whole owning of U.S. poker players by Bill Frist in the best way imaginable -- by offering a huge reload bonus and sending out an email making it very clear that they're not going anywhere.

It'll be interesting to see how much business from Party and Pacific finds its way to Full Tilt, especially if Stars (noncommittal to this point) waffles or bails on the U.S. market.


Saturday was the first day in a long time that I wished I had about six TVs. I was housesitting so I had cable and could flip between the Michigan-Michigan State game (ESPN), the Tigers-Yankees game (Fox), LSU-Florida (CBS) and every once in a while Texas-Oklahoma (ABC). I have no idea what NBC was showing (edit: Now that I think about it, it probably was the Notre Dame game), but if it had been worth watching (like, say the Minnesota-Penn State game) my head would have exploded.

Nice to see the Tigers lay the wood to the Yankees, and Michigan State had another strong effort in the campaign to get John L. Smith fired before the end of the season.

Detroit fans are giddy with the success of the Tigers, but fortunately there are always the Lions to bring things back to reality. The Lions are the worst team in football and not getting noticably better. Ugh.

Not much to say I know, but it happens. Time to go back to holding my breath over the Mario Manningham injury situation...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

So What Are You Going To Do ...

with all of the additional free time you'll have when it no longer makes sense (or is possible) to play internet poker?

I'll certainly be getting more done around the house, but have no idea what else. Time for a new hobby, I guess. It would be nice if it involved profit potential like this one has. Anyone gamble on Scrabble?

Last night's tournament efforts kind of petered out. I bombed out of the various Titan tourneys and cashed out what I had left -- good thing, because someone posted an email from them on 2+2 a few minutes ago saying they're cutting off U.S. players. Boo. Titan was like having a personal ATM. Worst PLO players ever.

After that, I checked out some of my other accounts and found I had some pocket change left -- $4.50 or so on Party, $3.44 on Paradise. Took it to (play money) blackjack and .... BUSTO!

Internet gambling is for suckas.

So is playing the Mookie. Donked it up and finished in the middle of the pack. Fun as always though.

Same deal for chatting. If I was a bit overly obnoxious, I apologize.

Anyway, not much left online at the moment. A few bucks at Full Tilt, a few at Stars. I'll probably play some for a while -- we'll see how long it takes the president to sign this thing -- and re-evaluate later. I'm not overly worried about immediate prosecutions -- if the government wants to make an example out of someone, I doubt that it's going to be Joe $1/$2 Poker Blogger.

This post needs more pictures.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Money or Bust

I was lucky. Received my cashouts from Interpoker and Poker Plex, so I'm not stuck waiting weeks for a paper check.

I was unlucky. Decided to dump some money into Stars last night to try and clear the stacked bonus money I have left and got FRISTED. At everything. PLO, Hold'em, HORSE, you name it. Also finished three from the money in the Wheatie. I suck.

I may or may not be lucky. It looks like iPoker (Titan, Noble, etc) is likely to ban U.S. players as well. I have about $50 left on Titan and plan to gambool it up playing tournaments tonight. Just a little change of pace.

We'll see how it goes.

First up, $2500 guarantee ($15+1): Ooh, not good. No aces or faces in the first orbit. The big blind gets around to me, I get KK. MP raises, I push over the top, he calls with AQs. Turn a set, he rivers a flush. A few hands later I get air with AJs and it's gg me. Win/loss: ($16).

Next up, $1250 guaranteed Pot Limit ($3+$0.30) with rebuys: Ought to be an uberdonkeyfest.

Also a useless Titan Points satellite to a $500k freeroll I'd probably be banned from anyway. I plan to maxdonk.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

It's 1984 In More Ways Than One!

Detroit Tigers. Playoff baseball. Not mentioned in the same paragraph since forever.

It took some looking, but I finally found someone who believes that the Tigers match up against the hated Yankees.

I'll even forgive the author for not knowing that ninety-seven year old "DH" Matt Stairs isn't eligible for the postseason and that the much dreaded Marcus Thames/Omar Infante bifecta (is that even a word?) will be doing the striking out from DH position.

Everyone else says "Yankees in 3". Screw that.

Go Tigers.


[cue music: Judas Priest's "Breaking The Law"]

Spent a little time 4-tabling on Crypto last night ... after they'd announced the banning of U.S. players.

Felt good. On a lot of different levels.


After I finished, I sent in cashout requests to Interpoker and Poker Plex, and I see today that the Crypto sites have locked player accounts as of, well, today. There's also something about cashouts by check ... which could take 4 weeks. Ugh. I hope my requests go through, because a couple days would be an awful lot better than 4 weeks.

No additional thoughts at the moment, although I'm looking forward to doing some analsyis of whether the act of playing online poker remains non-criminal in many U.S. jurisdictions. If so, then maybe it makes sense to look at alternative methods to cash in and out and I for one will worry a whole lot less.


T-shirt idea: Online Poker Players -- Commiting more felonies before breakfast than other criminals commit all day!

Monday, October 02, 2006

This Could Never Happen, Right?

Imagine this:

Executives from major online poker site (the "Company") cash in substantial portion of their holdings when the (publicly traded) stock is flying high. Some time later, the U.S. government approves a law cracking down on financial transactions with internet gaming outfits. Rather than waiting out the 270 day period provided to promulgate regulations, the Company immediately announces that it's cutting off business with U.S. citizens. U.S. Citizens make up more than 50% of the Company's customer base. Company stock plunges in value.

Executives team up with other investors, snap up Company stock at a steep discount and take the Company private. Shortly thereafter, the Company announces that it will do business with customers in the U.S. again.

This could never happen, right? I mean, it's all imaginary, isn't it?


On another note, the press releases and bulletin board postings are really making for fascinating reading this morning. It's about 99% 'the sky is falling, the sky is falling!' and about 1% 'wait and see what happens in the real world once the President signs the bill, regulations are made, the poker companies realize that they're leaving billions on the table and everyone decides it's unenforceable'.

Not that what I think amounts to much, but I think that the poker room operators are making a mistake by moving so quickly. Once customers have their accounts closed, they may not be so eager to reopen them if the company changes its mind. I hope that some of rooms -- PokerStars comes to mind, since it's not publicly traded -- at least wait until there's some additional regulatory guidance.

I do know this -- If I had money to invest, I would be watching the prices on gaming stocks very carefully. It would take some work to try and figure out where the bottom is, but this kind of crash is the perfect opportunity to find stocks which will suddenly be undervalued.


Sites that have announced that they will NOT be doing business with U.S. players:

* Party
* Pacific
* All Cryptologic skins (Interpoker, Will Hill, Poker Plex, Classic, UK Betting, etc)
* All B2B network skins

Sites that have announced that they WILL continue doing business with U.S. players, at least until further notice

* World Poker Exchange (WPEX)
* True Poker

I wonder if this'll do good things for WPEX's player base. 100% rakeback is nice, but it hasn't drawn the crowds. I may have to sign up.

edit: Here's a stickied thread from 2+2 which keeps track of the latest on this issue.


I recall reading somewhere months ago a post where someone had done lyrics to Don McLean's "American Pie", except it was the day that online poker died. If anyone has a link, I'd appreciate it.


The death of online poker (in the U.S.) will definitely have an impact on poker blogs. In the short run, we'll be able to forget the whole 'poker blogs are dying' thing as there'll be an outpouring of thoughts on the legislation and its impact.

Personally, I'll probably get around to a 'what I'll miss about online poker'. Here's a preview: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

It's All About Timing

BREAKING NEWS: Interpoker and Intercasino say NO MORE BONUSES for U.S. players -- this is according to their promotions pages.

This is unfortunate, since I cleared about 40% of the raked hand requirement this morning.


In the wake of the Congressional hanky-panky on Friday, I thought it was interesting timing that one of our local papers devoted most of the front page of the Sunday paper to the subject of poker ... namely how live poker at the Great Lakes Downs racetrack is raising big big bucks for charity.

No idea if these links will work, but the stories are here:
Texas Hold'em deals a winning hand for nonprofits
It's a full house at local poker events these days


There are published reports that Pacific Poker will be the biggest room yet to stop doing business with U.S. customers. The Financial Times expects gaming stocks to be hammered on Monday.

This Post Brought To You By The Letter 'F'

So internet gambling is now illegal. Huh. Anyone got an over/under for the number of prosecutions in the next year? I'd bet (play money) that it's pretty low.

Still, this isn't a good development. Kudos to whomever deemed the manuevers involved a 'Frist fcuking'.

The current issue of Time magazine mentions that Congress had a 25% approval rating in a recent poll (compared to which President Bush looks positively beloved). If they'd asked me, the number would be even lower.

I'd like to see some changes via the fall elections. Unfortunately, I'm not seeing too many candidates out there who will stand up in favor of internet gambling.


Since I didn't get any snarky comments to my last post, I'll have to do it myself: 'Best poker blog ever? HA! You can't even hold the jock of whomever it is that blogjacked the PokerNerd's old space'.


Party continues to try and get me to hang around, dishing out $15 (play money) to use in the Casino with only a 1x wagering requirement. Played a few hands of Blackjack, so rigged. But when you've got nothing at stake, does it really matter?

Now that's it's October, time to cash out and start moving around trying to use theoretical bonus money to pad the hypothetical bankroll.