Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Records are meant to be broken

According to Reuters, a player with English minor league club Chippenham Town has set a record for the fastest red card in senior soccer when he was sent off for a wild tackle three seconds after kickoff, British media reported on Monday.

Striker David Pratt, 21, was dismissed in a Southern Premier League game against Bashley on Saturday.

The previous fastest sending-off is generally accepted to be 10 seconds for Bologna’s Giuseppe Lorenzo after he struck an opponent in a 1990 Italian league game.

English soccer’s previous “best” was 13 seconds when Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Kevin Pressman handled outside his box in a game in 2000.

Also in 2000 an English amateur player, Lee Todd, was sent off after two seconds when he responded to the referee’s whistle to start the game by saying “fuck me, that was loud” and was dismissed for foul and abusive language.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Global warming?

It started snowing heavily in Las Vegas today. I had no idea until the top of my cardboard box collapsed under the weight of the slush.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Darn fever

The plan was to go to MGM Grand tonight, meet up with my fellow bloggers who are in town, and play some crazy mixed games. At about 10 this morning, my throat started to hurt. It got worse as the day progressed and now, 12 hours later, I also have a fever and runny, sore eyes. I know what's next...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Blogger Freeroll

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

The WBCOOP is an online Poker tournament open to all Bloggers.

Registration code: 451568

Monday, December 08, 2008

Internet Dating - Wrong Answer

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Food for thought

I often wonder why Paradise Poker, even in its heyday, never had a famous poker pro as a front man in its ads.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Honey, where's the remote?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

$259 (ouch!)

Hey Google, time to revamp your flawed business models and forget about world domination. If you hurt me, I won't have the money to support your online advertisers, which in turn leads to this :

Your employees, whose stock options are now underwater, must be wondering who screwed up more, Cutts or Yang.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ask Suze Orman

Q: How do I find a good small-cap fund manager?

A: Find a good large-cap fund manager, and wait.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

UIGEA : Standing on the shoulder of midgets

Why regulate Wall Street when it is much easier reining in the online poker industry. The legislation is less complicated and the opposition to it is much less powerful. Why bother straining your brain cells trying to see the ramifications of an unregulated derivatives market run amok, when it is easier imagining some hapless 21-year-old running up a $5,000 credit card bill due to online gambling, possibly dragging himself down in the process. If some of his neighbors were to join in, it could even, God forbid, turn global.

Thank goodness for Leach (a former chairman of the House Banking Committee), Goodlatte, Frist and Kyl, the visionaries who selflessly continue to look out for our interests, using their impressive financial acumen to ward off one of the most complex economic perils ever to threaten the global monetary system since the Great Depression of 1929 by taking the appropriate legislative countermeasures. Is there any doubt that the 2009 Nobel Prize for Economics has their names written on it?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The 2008 WSOP Final Table, finally

Sunday night and I'm following Bluff's coverage and Pauly's. 4 left out of the original November Nine. For some reason this year is different - I am only mildly interested. Also preparing myself for a busy week, with visits scheduled to the Salvation Army, Nevada Social Services and my neighborhood bookie.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Which one is rigged?

(i) My elimination from the Sunday Full Tilt $750K


(ii) The recent Bute vs. Andrade fight

Monday, October 27, 2008

Deja vu

Sunday night and another sea of red as Asian markets plunge, setting the tone for Europe to continue the freefall, leaving the American markets little choice. My disposable income was non-existent even before this crisis, but I imagine that many people will be starting to feel the effects of this global squeeze, meaning less visits to Vegas, Atlantic City and Monte Carlo.

So what does a poker player do? Organize home games of course! It is an economically attractive alternative to casino patronage, and all the requisites for setting yourself up can be found on one website, Nevada Jacks. Poker cards, table covers, poker tables, quality poker chips can all be ordered here at very cheap prices. And the chips are true clay poker chips, with the same quality and materials as used by many Las Vegas casinos. So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of the great customer service and top-class products found at Nevada Jacks and set yourself up for the ultimate home game experience. Your friends will thank you for it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Man of the Year 2008 - Senator Bill Frist

A little early, I know, but I can't see anyone surpassing the uncanny foresight of Bill Frist, who anticipated the immense global financial threat posed by the unregulated credit default swap market online poker industry, and helped prevent an international meltdown with the introduction of critical pre-emptive legislation.

We owe our collective jobs, homes, retirement benefits and general sense of economic well-being to this great fucktard visionary.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

LeTune follows LeCheese

15 minutes to the start of LeTune Challenge I, a freeroll for bloggers courtesy of Joe from RakeBrain. I was fortunate enough to be invited again, thank you Joe and RakeBrain.

(40 minutes later .... )

I was eliminated in 24th place. I have no business playing PLO. What was really frustrating was that Full Tilt does not allow chat if you have no real money balance, which I don't. So if I didn't say hi to you, or didn't respond to your greetings, this is why :

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bob Lassiter (tampa)

If anyone is to blame for this blog, it is Bob Lassiter. It was he who encouraged me to start this little venture. Exactly two years have flown by since his passing and I still miss the bastard.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The new glossary of Wall Street terminology

After a series of calamitous days on Wall Street, I sit here watching the Nikkei and other Asian markets continuing the freefall in order for Wall Street to get an inkling in which direction to trade tomorrow morning. In the meantime, I am brushing up on the latest vernacular:

BULL MARKET - A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.

BEAR MARKET - A 6 to 18 month period when the kids get no allowance, the wife gets no jewelry, and the husband gets no sex.

VALUE INVESTING - The art of buying low and selling lower.

P/E RATIO - The percentage of investors wetting their pants as the market keeps crashing.

BROKER - What my broker has made me.

STANDARD & POOR - Your life in a nutshell.

STOCK ANALYST - Idiot who just downgraded your stock.

STOCK SPLIT - When your ex-wife and her lawyer split your assets equally between themselves.

FINANCIAL PLANNER - A guy whose phone has been disconnected.

MARKET CORRECTION - The day after you buy stocks.

CASH FLOW - The movement your money makes as it disappears down the toilet.

YAHOO - What you yell after selling it to some poor sucker for $240 per share.

WINDOWS - What you jump out of when you're the sucker who bought Yahoo @$240 per share.

INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR - Past year investor who's now locked up in a nuthouse.

PROFIT - An archaic word no longer in use.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The blame game

In written testimony to a congressional panel submitted today, a former chief executive of AIG blamed its woes on shorts. Yeah, like it's the dealer's fault that I got rivered. That dick Fuld from Lehman also appeared arrogant and unrepentant at yesterday's hearing.

These guys should be taken 30,000 feet up in a plane, and then offered the choice between their golden parachute and a real one.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

"Poker Fiction"

Poker Grump, a Las Vegas-based prolific and high-quality blogger, has been obsessively picking apart erroneous ESPN "Poker Fact" segments. So it was somewhat surprising that we were not privy to one of his posts after yesterday's "Poker Fact" declaring that "72 offsuit was the worst starting hand in hold'em".

Absent any other assumptions (and there weren't any), 32 offsuit is the worst hand. I'm thinking hot and cold Sklansky-Chubukov, and not a limit hold'em simulation with betting on all streets.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Google tumbling

Google slashed my page ranking to 0 this weekend. This is the greedy and monopolistic behavior that has typified Google's urge to dominate the market by all means possible. What they fail to realize is that the markets are intertwined and that if you screw the little guy, you inevitably end up screwing yourself as well. Unfortunately, proof of this came no sooner than today when the stock market further slashed Google (and the rest of the intertwined, overvalued crap) to under $400. With the economy shrinking, does this overpriced has-been think that their brutally enforced ad revenues will keep on increasing? Or that people will buy their shitty phones?

I have reached 0, but they still have a ways to come down. Just a few weeks ago, I recommended selling GOOG at $500. If you happen to own this overinflated stock in your retirement fund, I suggest you offload now while you can still get $400 and buy back again under $300. And then hope that they learn from their mistakes.

Friday, September 26, 2008

If they could take it back

Hopefully the financial turmoil will have disappeared from the headlines by November 9, when the November Nine are scheduled to play out the Final Table of the 2008 World Series of Poker. In retrospect, picking a date 5 days after a presidential election was a gamble. Throw in the possibility of future financial and political upheaval, and you have a recipe for potentially very low ratings for ESPN.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mission aborted

Yesterday I turned up at the airport only to find that there were no tickets for our party of 12. Apparently the secretary of the Las Vegas chapter of Gamblers Without Borders, who had been assigned the task of arranging travel and accommodation, decided instead he would risk our $30,000 in online heads-up play against durrrr. The gamble didn't pay off, but kudos to him for trying.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I will be flying to Africa tomorrow for 2 weeks as head of a Gamblers Without Borders mission. We will be based primarily in northern Uganda and southern Sudan, where we will be giving free courses in Texas Hold'em, Razz and money management.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday nights on Wall Street

Regulators spent the weekend at the headquarters of the New York Federal Reserve in downtown Manhattan, huddled together with the top echelons of the banking and financial community, frantically trying to come up with solutions to the Lehman, Merrill, AIG, WAMU, .... messes.

I spent the weekend huddled together with some gamblers and drifters. Apart from the 3,000 miles that separated us, I felt we had a lot in common.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Moving in

Moved into my new quarters yesterday, just below the I15 overpass near Decatur. I am told there is a great WiFi spot 50 feet from here. But first things first - I'm more concerned with tonight's dinner at the moment. And why I stubbornly continue to play above my limits.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Moving on

The shelter officially closes tomorrow. I have several living options available, including Howard Lederer's backyard toolshed. The current evacuation of New Orleans as Gustav approaches helps me keep things in perspective.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Michael Phelps - The Beginning

Monday, August 18, 2008

Out of action

Even before Las Vegas poker rooms were going through the typical August doldrums, I was given the green light to multitable $2-$5 NLHE at a major Strip casino. On Wednesday night, while brooding over a bad beat I had taken on Table 7 and my poorly executed $100 bluff called by a jack-high on Table 12, I inadvertently bumped into a cocktail waitress while rushing to Table 15 to post a straddle, causing me to fall into the path of a motorized wheelchair. I escaped with a fractured distal tibia (lower leg) and will be in plaster for 6 weeks.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Abandoned pets

With the increase in foreclosures, people are abandoning their pets as well as their homes. There is absolutely no excuse for this type of behavior and to those guilty of leaving their animals behind, may this be just the beginning of your economic hardships which hopefully will continue on so that you get to see your children go to bed hungry every night.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Tao of Poker

I would be remiss if I didn't throw in a reminder about tomorrow's birthday bash, courtesy of Dr. Pauly and in celebration of his blog's 5th anniversary.

Unfortunately I have no funds online at the moment, but would very much like to play. If someone could transfer me the $5.50, I would be appreciative. Repayment options range from immediate cash if you're in Vegas, to immediate PayPal, to Full Tilt transfer on the 15th, to food stamps.

Please leave a comment or email me (shluha at hotmail dot com).

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bellagio recaps

The change reported in the previous post was short-lived and, as of today, Bellagio's $2-$5 and $5-$10 games have reverted to $500 and $1,500 caps (originally $500 and $1,000).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bellagio's NL games now uncapped

Effective from 11am today, Bellagio's $2-$5 and $5-$10 NLHE games have no maximum buy-in. Till now they were capped at $500 and $1,000 respectively. The timing of the move is interesting as it coincides with one of the quietest periods of the year. Only time will tell what effect this will have on the ichthyological ecology, but I predict changes in both feeding and migratory patterns.

Monday, July 28, 2008


It is an indisputable fact that short playing sessions are generally preferable to longer ones. I have accepted this and found it has paid dividends. Yet once in a while, I find myself inexplicably stuck to a chair because I'm stuck. The frequency of this has decreased over time, but when it does occur it is usually a painful experience.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ESPN WSOP coverage begins

ESPN weekly coverage of the 2008 WSOP events begins tonight, culminating in the live broadcast of the final table of the Main Event on November 9th. Airing tonight is the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold'em event, in which the still braceletless Andy Bloch managed yet another second place finish after holding a commanding chip lead with only 4 players remaining. Karma's a bitch.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Effective advertising

When driving from Melbourne to Sydney on the Hume Highway, as I have done on a couple of occasions in the past, one will pass through the New South Wales country town of Yass.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Bespoke Search Engine

Yahoo.com has always been my home page, yet when I wanted to do a search, I would navigate to Google. That is till now. Following Google's imposition of harsh and selfish monopolistic advertising guidelines on poker and other sites, and the subsequent doctored alteration in their search results, I have broken a long and instinctive search engine habit and now use Yahoo. I believe that Google's bespoke searching is not returning an optimal result and I have a distinct chance of missing out on something that could be valuable, unless I want to keep paging till Results 151-160. I am therefore better off with Yahoo or MSN.

For an update on the recent developments, read Bill Rini and Nat Arem's posts.

When this episode flared up in October 2007, with Google slashing the page rank of renowned blogger John Chow, GOOG was trading at over $700. Tonight in after hours trading, GOOG is at $492 after disappointing 2nd quarter 2008 earnings. Google, clearly the answer lies elsewhere - please come to your senses.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Venetian Slot Tourney

I was invited to a slot tourney at the Venetian, together with a comped suite for 3 nights. When your current digs are a homeless shelter in foreclosure, this is like winning the Powerball. The walk from St. Luke's shelter to the Strip should take about 25 minutes but there was an Excessive Heat Warning issued on Sunday, so it came as no surprise that I barely staggered into the Palazzo completely dehydrated, and before passing out I managed to run into, knock down and break their mini-David figurine situated 5 feet inside the fountain pool in the marbled lobby entrance, and reputedly valued at $2,500,000.

After filling in a few insurance forms and mumbling my apologies in broken Italian, I was carried to my suite in the adjoining Venetian on a stretcher. I would have preferred the gondola. Still, with the slot tourney scheduled to open in 12 hours time, I was thankful that my right index finger was uninjured.

The next day who should I run into but Grubby, who was also playing in the tourney. Luckily he was seated next to me, enabling him to apply an ice compress to my forehead with his right hand while hitting the slot button with his left. After the last session, we took a stroll to the Mirage where I partook in some $1-$2 NLHE, while he opted for the $70 SNG.

Sitting in the 6 seat at my table was 95-year-old Jack Ury, the oldest player in the 2008 WSOP Main Event. He proudly told us that he was still in after Day One. I had occasion to play one hand with him when his flopped baby flush took down my TPTK for a $50 pot. After I tabled my hand, it took him about 10 seconds to turn over his cards. This, however, was attributable to gerontological rather than slowrolling factors. God bless him.

Grubby took down the SNG and I lost $133. After an enjoyable afternoon, we headed back to the Venetian and parted ways. I didn't place in the tourney but at least Grubby won $100 free slot play.

Tonight I read that Jack Ury was eliminated (Day 2B). "I can't walk, can't see, can't hear, but I can still play poker!" said Ury to PokerNews reporter TassieDevil. "I'll be back again next year...if I'm still alive!"

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sweet dreams are made of this

Commiserations to the bloggers who didn't make it past Day One. And to those that did (Iggy, Loretta8 and any others that I don't know of), please continue to rip through the field.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Maybe next year

Negotiations for the sponsorship of my $10,000 2008 WSOP Main Event entry fee broke down at 3:30am this morning. I am bitterly disappointed considering how close we were to an actual agreement.
I prefer not to get into specifics, but the main stumbling block was my insistence that my kidney was not to be removed before November were I to make the final table.

Monday, June 30, 2008

You call, it's all over ... the front page of Yahoo!, baby

Scotty Nguyen's bracelet in the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event makes the front page of Yahoo!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

PEACE and good trading, Commisso

It was with great excitement that I followed Shamus's coverage of the epic 6-hour heads-up battle in the WSOP $5,000 NLHE Six-Handed event last night, which lead to the ultimate victory of Joe Commisso.

I "met" Joe many years ago on EliteTrader, an online trading community. He was young and bright back then and it appears nothing has changed.

Congratulations, Joe, on the bracelet and the accompanying $911,855!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Poker Hall of Shame IV

There's always a few rotten apples to spoil a good lineup, and apparently the MGM Grand is no exception. Yesterday, harper983 posted the following on 2+2 :

Playing 1/2 cash game at the MGM. Three players are involved in a pot with about $100 in it, and on the river the board reads 8A8x9 rainbow. UTG checks, mid pos. checks, and the button checks and turns over the 8d and puts it on top of his other card and says "I got the 8". Dealer looks down and repeats what he says, mid pos. mucks, and UTG flips over A9. Dealer grabs buttons cards, buries them in the muck, and pushes pot to UTG. Button tries to stop her, but isn't quick enough. Dealer calls the floor, tells them what happened, that she saw his 8 and others at the table confirm, and they rule that he has to flip over both cards and he's hands dead. UTG rakes the pot and tips dealer $15. Button gets pissed and cashes out.

Just wondering what others would do in this situation as the dealer, floor, and UTG.

BTW UTG is a dealer there and I saw him dealing the next day.

The general consensus seems to be that the dealer should have given the button a chance to show both cards by saying something like "I can't turn over your hand." Unfortunately the whole incident reeks of collusion and flies in the face of the maxim that justice must be seen to be done.

And a big kudos to the UTG douchebag dealer, a great ambassador for the interpretation of the spirit of poker rules in general, and playing at the MGM in particular.

Monday, June 23, 2008

WSOP Main Event

Desperately short of funds, my significant other has decided to sell 50% of herself in the upcoming WSOP Main Event. She can be found nightly at the Rio hooker bar and is very approachable.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Please stop calling!

By all rights, I should have a quiet Father's Day as I have no children. Yet with alarming regularity, this peaceful Sunday is always shattered by phone calls from all over the world.

It started at 6:35am with a "Hyvää Isänpäivää" (Happy Father's Day) from a young Finn claiming to be my long lost 15-year-old son. "Äitisi nai poroja" (your mother fucks reindeers) I mumbled and went back to sleep. At 7:23am I heard some Dutch kid yelling "Vrolijke vaderdag" and promptly dispatched him with a "Je moeder is een hoer" (your mother is a hooker).

This continued all morning with greetings in Thai (สุขสันต์วันพ่อ), Persian (روز پدر مبارک ), Turkish (Babalar günün kutlu olsun), Hungarian (Boldog apák napját), French (Bonne fête Papa) and many others. As is my custom, I "thanked" them all in their respective languages.

What are they trying to tell me? That their whorish mothers lied to me years ago when they promised they were practicing birth control? That I happenstanced upon the 1 packet of condoms that didn't fall within the 99.9999% quality control specifications? That I was the victim of a swallow and switch? I'm not buying any of it.

Nothing new under the sun

We have been blessed with multiple controversies currently raging in the blogger universe. This is not surprising and when they die down and are forgotten, they will be replaced by new ones as sure as your flopped set will be pipped on the river by a backdoor flush.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

2008 WSOP - II

"Maybe you too can find a single player to babysit the entire event and report their every move." - AlCantHang

With this in mind, I decided that I would cover the journey of my good Australian friend, Bruce Kelly, in his attempt at taking down the coveted 2008 WSOP Main Event bracelet.

Bruce is about 10 years my junior, the bastard son of an alcoholic sheep farmer and an out-of-work actress. He, like myself, is currently unemployed and shares my passion for poker, though he does rent an apartment of his own. The bugger has a real temper and my sole concern is chaperoning him through the entire tournament and preventing one of his classic blowups. And by blowup, I don't mean à la Hellmuth or Matusow. No, a Bruce Kelly blowup is something that the Rio Convention Center has never been privy to. And that's the way I'd like to keep it.

Last year, Bruce had occasion to communicate via telephone with VicRoads, the government body responsible for licensing and registration of motor vehicles. Unfortunately for all concerned, the call was recorded (warning - offensive language) :

So here we are, 6 days into the Main Event, with 643 players left. We are nearing the bubble and the tables are playing hand for hand. Bruce, sitting on a healthy 2.5 million chip stack, looks down at his cards. I have a mounted telescope set up in the back row of the spectators' gallery and can see by the throbbing carotid artery in his neck that he's picked up a big hand. I also have a dismantled elephant gun, together with tranquilizer darts, within reach.

Bruce, who is UTG, raises to 100,000. Everyone folds to the button, Allen Cunningham, who makes it 400,000. The small blind folds, but the big blind, Jamie Gold, pushes all-in. Jamie has Bruce covered. With everyone's attention diverted to the all-in, I slowly start assembling the elephant gun.

Bruce calls without hesitation and Cunningham folds his jacks. Jamie Gold sheepishly turns over pocket tens and Bruce gleefully tables 2 red aces. The rush of the media to the table gives me enough time to finish assembling the rifle. Better safe than sorry.

The flop comes

T 7 2 rainbow

Gold leaps triumphantly into the air. I load the dart, cock the rifle and locate Bruce's still throbbing carotid artery in the crosshairs of my sight.

The turn is a harmless 8.

I decide that waiting for a 2 outer on the river may be too risky as Bruce would probably be completely out of control, making an accurate shot almost impossible.

As Bruce slumps forward flat on his face, the river card, the black ace of spades, hits the green felt. I rush toward the table, fumbling for the bottle of concentrated Epsom salts in my shoulder bag.

2008 WSOP - I

You fine folks at Full Tilt, sitting in your comfy chairs somewhere in Louth, don't seriously expect me to grovel to your demands to "showcase my ability to provide journalistic coverage for the biggest poker event in the world".

Read this blog and you will readily find glowing examples of Pulitzer quality poker coverage. Ask around, make some phone calls. Everyone will corroborate my natural aptitude for covering major events like the WSOP - with a twist of course.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The best WSOP coverage

For those of you fortunate enough not to be physically present at the 2008 WSOP, read all about it here :


Tao of Poker


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

WSOP fever

Excitement abounds as everyone awaits this Friday's opening of the 2008 WSOP. I snapped the shot below of one of the painting crews at the Rio applying the final finishing touches to the pool:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Random musings

Random.org is a great site to read up on random numbers, with Bo Allen highlighting some differences.

Bitmap generated by a True Random Number Generator (TRNG) via atmospheric noise :

Bitmap generated by a Pseudo-Random Number Generator (PRNG) :

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Still waiting

Watching Chris Ferguson take down the National Heads-Up Poker Championship on NBC this afternoon brought back some memories.

A few months after moving to Vegas, I had occasion to email Andy Bloch with an important technical question. He never bothered to reply. I didn't have a blog back then, so I just kept my opinion about Bloch being a rude prick, and undoubtedly the worst FTP ambassador out of the 15 pros, to myself.

Now I have a blog.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The injustice of it all

I finally scrape together a few shekels so that I may grace the virtual felt once again, only to be kicked in the junk by some specious algorithm devised by extremely cruel people who are at this very moment probably rubbing their hands with glee.

My worthy opponent managed to catch his 1 outer on the flop, yet I couldn't reciprocate with a 2 outer on the turn and river. In the grand scheme of coolers this barely makes the scale, yet on a personal, psychological and financial level it has set me back months, if not years. I'll recover, I'm sure of it, but I write this post as a legacy to the pain and anguish I now feel having been brutally robbed of $33 by some evil collection of bits and bytes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

FullTilt.org - a site review

If you're interested in playing on Full Tilt Poker, then you must check out FullTilt.org, a well-designed and comprehensive poker portal. This informative online resource has the latest promotions and bonuses, tournament information and detailed profiles of the 15 Full Tilt pros.

There are podcasts and video casts to help you brush up on your game, and for entertainment you can watch a collection of the great FullTiltPoker.com commercials, some of which have never been aired on television.

If all of this has whetted your appetite for some online action, you may download the software in the Full Tilt Poker Download section of the site, and qualify for a 100% deposit bonus up to $600 by using the Full Tilt Poker Referral Code FT600NOW.

Good luck at the tables!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Update on live multi-tabling

It's no secret that Las Vegas is feeling the pinch of the economic slowdown. Hotels are laying off staff, and poker rooms are not overflowing with players as they were this time last year. In an effort to fill the empty seats, especially during the quieter periods, a major Strip casino has allowed me to multi-table their $2-$5 no limit games. Initially I was limited to 4 tables, but with a larger than expected drop in patronage, this was raised to 6 tables as of last Tuesday.

Management has been extremely pleased with the pilot phase and intends to grant multi-tabling privileges to additional qualified applicants. I have been assigned the task of recruiting suitable candidates, so if you're a Las Vegas local and feel up to the challenge, please leave a comment or drop me an email. Preference will be given to those with rollerblading skills.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Foucault's Poker Academy

Andrew Brokos (Foucault) is a poker player and writer with many fine articles to his credit. Topics range from book reviews to poker strategy. In his latest blog entry, he lists the "Top Ten Tools to Learn No Limit Hold 'Em Tournament Poker". He claims the list is for both live and online, though I think it is a little skewed towards the latter. So while it contains forums, books, training sites, software (tracking, HUD, equity calculators), I think an important omission is training software like Poker Academy Pro. As a live player, I have no use for most of his software categories, but certainly find a tool like Poker Academy Pro indispensable for brushing up on my no limit hold'em tournament play. It's the closest I can come without actually having to part with the requisite buy-in. And for an under-rolled railbird like myself, that means everything.

Still, a good list.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm with GCox25, Change100 et al.

Apparently I made the right decision when I limited myself to 4 events only in the BBT3. Tonight in the Riverchasers, I called VBPro7 a turd after a comment he made when he re-sucked out on me in an all-in hand. I don't regret the substance of my comment because he most definitely behaved like a slimy douchebag. What is disappointing, however, is that I was naive enough to think I could still play one of these things with chat turned on. But how else are you supposed to play a blogger event?

Sorry fellas, no fun anymore.

Monday, April 21, 2008


After extensive negotiations lasting several months, I am pleased to announce that the management of a major Strip poker room has given me permission to multi-table live $2-$5 NLHE, up to a maximum of 4 tables. This should lower my variance and keep me fit at the same time. I am the first player to be granted this privilege and if all goes well, the multi-tabling option will be extended to some of the regulars.

I will keep you posted.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

LeCheese II

I finished just 12 places out of the money in RakeBrain's LeCheese Challenge II freeroll, which is a nice way of saying 13th last. Thanks Joe for the invite.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Poker Hall of Shame III

TassieDevil from PokerNews describes a hand in the PokerStars.com EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo in which Antonio Esfandiari goes through his now-familiar shtick of questioning his opponent to try and get a read, followed by some drawn-out call/fold feigning.

"Do you have a set of threes? Or do you have shit? Do you want me to call sir?" probed Esfandiari, all of which was simply ignored by Rasmussen. "Dealer, is he allowed to not answer me like that?"

After much hesitation and some near-calls, Esfandiari finally folded and Rasmussen flipped pocket fours for a successful bluff.

Following the hand, Rasmussen called the floor person over to lodge a protest against Esfandiari's near-calls/folds, which could be described as gamesmanship to try and get a read from his opponent. Rasmussen complained that Esfandiari's cards crossed the black line painted on the table and they should've been scooped into the muck. However the TD informed Rasmussen that the line actually has no enforceable qualities about it and is simply a visual guide for players and dealers.

After some more heated words from both players, everyone settled down and got on with the next hand.

Antonio pulled a similar stunt on High Stakes Poker in a hand with Barry Greenstein. He pushed a bundle of cash forward and then folded. If he's prepared to pull these angles in high profile play, I can only imagine what he's gotten away with since the beginning of his career. Even more perturbing is the fact that he is an immensely talented player who has no need to resort to such dubious tactics in order to come out on top.

In a completely unrelated story, Antonio Esfandiari is the chip leader at the end of Day 3.

Monday, April 07, 2008

We'll be back after this break

The new WPT season is airing on GSN. Alas, it is impossible to watch, with the actual content to commercial ratio even worse than the fawking Travel Channel. Greedy bastards won't be getting my eyeballs.

Friday, April 04, 2008


Summer's coming so it's time to start dieting. That's me on the left, last year :

Holding my breath

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Gimme Shelter

Foreclosure papers were served on our shelter this morning. I have 30 days to find a new roof over my head.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Do not adjust your monitor

Earth Hour

Friday, March 28, 2008

Harrington to the Rescue

Barring the unforeseen and unforetold, this weekend I hunker down to read both volumes of Harrington on Cash Games. Hopefully there will be enough snippets of wisdom to be gleaned, so that upon their completion a renewed assault on the medium limit Vegas cash games will result in at least my recouping the bankroll-crippling $64 outlay for the books.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

This Post Intentionally Left Blank

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Seat open, 23!

I must apologize for the lull in posting, caused in part by playing too much live poker. My sessions were long and enjoyable, punctuated by the usual encounters with douchebags (Wynn), spiced up with the occasional lascivious ogling at waitresses (Wynn and Venetian), with some soul-crushing suckouts thrown into the mix (Bellagio).

Looking forward to starting my new job tomorrow as a sound effects technician with the Chippendales.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Good call, malaka!

It all started out perfectly. I was feeling fresh and rested as I lowered myself into the 9 seat, just in time for my first hand as the big blind. There was a waiting list for $5-$10 and seats open for $2-$5, so I thought I would play a little $2-$5 till my name was called for $5-$10. I bought in for $500 and looked down to see TT. There were 3 limpers, the small blind (SB) called and I decided to check. The flop came :

J T 9 rainbow

The SB checked, I bet $25, everyone folded to the SB who raised to $75. The SB, an elderly gentleman whom I had never seen before, had me covered. I decided to push rather than just call or reraise, and was instacalled. The thought of facing KQ, or another straight, crossed my mind.

Turn : 6

River : Q

I stared in disbelief as the SB turned over KJ for the rivered straight. He had instacalled a $420 all-in reraise with top pair and a gutshot. Even though I got my money in as the 84% favorite, it was the very first hand FFS, so I did feel some pain. Nevertheless, I was in control of my emotions and restricted myself to a sarcastic "Good call". I did, however, turn toward Dennis, the Greek dealer, and rhetorically ask, "How did that malaka call?"

I immediately left the poker room, muttering to myself. Ten minutes later I was still walking around the Bellagio muttering to myself, the only saving grace being that it was better babbling in front of strangers than steaming at the table.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Thanks to Joe from RakeBrain for inviting me and some other bloggers to participate in the LeCheese Challenge freeroll on Full Tilt. Congrats to BadBlood for taking it down.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Moving up?

I've spent the last few weeks playing NLHE cash games at the Bellagio ($2-$5, $5-$10, $10-$20), Wynn ($2-$5) and Venetian ($2-$5). There is a discernible difference between $2-$5 and $5-$10, as there is between $5-$10 and $10-$20. There are structural differences within $2-$5 as well - Bellagio has a capped $500 buy-in, Venetian is capped at $1,000 while Wynn is uncapped. My current preference is the Venetian $2-$5 where I can buy in for 200BB and enjoy some semblance of deep stack play. The Bellagio $5-$10, with a capped buy-in of $1,000, is quite good as well, though my recently acquired disdain for 100BB-capped games may lead to my migration to the other uncapped $5-$10 games in town.

I played 2 sessions of $10-$20 at the Bellagio and felt a little out of place. I won both times, played some huge pots with the likes of Bellagio Jay, David Levi, Kenny Einiger, Doug Lee and other regulars, but still felt like a stranger.

Tommy Angelo describes one of the challenges of moving up in his Elements of Poker :

"You might not survive forever at the higher level. You might need to employ one of the vital skills for moving up, which is moving down."

Monday, February 18, 2008

As seen on billboards

Monday, February 11, 2008


One has to laugh when Yahoo! chooses the video format to exacerbate the very problem they are reporting on.

Friday, February 08, 2008


There is no shortage of local douchebags polluting the tables of the Bellagio. When I encounter one, I keep my communication to a minimum and avoid any confrontation. I don't make any special effort to target them in the future. I do, however, enjoy watching them lose very big pots together with their accompanying reactions . This is not a good thing and I'm working on it, although it is not high priority.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series

Bodog is proud to host the Bodog Poker Blogger Tournament Series open to any Online Poker Blogger. Earn points and work your way up the Tournament Leader Board for a spot in the final tournament and a chance to win a $12,000 World Series of Poker prize package as part of Team Bodog 2008. Register here.

Starting tonight!!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

$50 but for sloth?

Bellagio $5-$10 NLHE. I am in the 10 seat and last to act among 5 players in an unraised pot in which there has been no betting, just checking, on the flop, turn and river. The board is 3-T-X-3-X and there is $50 in the middle.

Showdown time. Small blind, in the 1 seat, says "Queen" but still has not turned over his cards. The big blind mucks. Player 3, in the 5 seat, mucks as does Player 4 in the 8 seat. Their mucked cards are still in front of them, face down. The dealer, one of the older females on the staff, does not make an effort to kill the hands. I have king high and table my hand at about the same time the small blind turns over his queen high. At this stage, Player 4 says "I thought you said three" and reaches out and turns over an ace from his mucked hand. The dealer is flummoxed and I call for the floor.

The floor ruling is that the hand is still live as it hasn't hit the muck and the pot is awarded to Player 4. I agree that cards are live until they touch the muck, but believe that dealers should kill hands as soon as there is a motion towards the muck.

In the grand scheme of things, this is a small pot and I don't make a big deal out of it. On to the next hand. Nevertheless, if I am Player 4 I don't muck my hand till I actually see a 3 (Poker 101). I will await feedback from other players and dealers before I formally relegate the dealer to my Poker Hall of Shame.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Vignette from Venetian

The title is deliberately misleading but my fondness for both Middle French and alliteration leaves me no alternative. So kindly replace Venetian with Bellagio if you have reached this far.

I am in the 1 seat and am heads-up in a hand with the 8 seat, who bets $100 on the turn into a $150 pot. After some deliberation, I fold by flicking my cards towards the center of the table but they overshoot and land in front of the 5 seat. For some unexplained reason, the latter took this as an opportunity to openly and unabashedly peek at my cards. Some players half-jokingly berated him but he made nothing of it. I chose to ignore the whole incident.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Is that all there is?

Bellagio 2-5 NLHE, Thursday 8:30pm. The room is crowded as usual as I take my seat on Table 32. After about 3 orbits I lose my stack when my pocket queens are no match for a flopped set of jacks. I remain relatively calm and rebuy. I steadily rebuild my stack when I lose a huge pot on the river to a 2-outer. Again I am pleased with the ensuing lack of pain, self-pity and morbid thoughts. Numbness? Immunization?

Joe, the fastest dealer in town, provides for comic relief as I ready myself to quit for the night. I am down a buy-in but consider it a very good session.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Elements of Poker - Tommy Angelo

"My bankroll is the amount of money I would spend or lose before I got a job. It is calculated by adding my net worth to whatever I can borrow." - Tommy Angelo

I have just finished reading Tommy Angelo's Elements of Poker. I highly recommend this work, even though by doing so I reluctantly give up my advantage of book reciprocality.

This is a book I will re-read, and re-re-read, on a monthly basis. It contains everything I need.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The coldest seat in Vegas

Last week I had the misfortune of playing on Table 36, Seat 6 at the Bellagio. It is located directly under an air conditioning vent and is about 40 degrees cooler than any other spot in the room. After about an hour, I started shivering uncontrollably and had to be air evacuated to UMC suffering from severe exposure and frostbite, the 3 of diamonds still stuck frozen to my right index finger.