I was too drunk to remember my cards, but I remember for a fact (after a night at the Sherwood Forest bar in the Excalibur hotel) that I had laid a perfect trap with my flush (or maybe it was two-pair) and Bill Rini got lucky on the river to take my stack and send me home defeated … like literally with no more money.
That was at a cash game in 2005 (or maybe 2006?) during one of the earlier WPBT weekends.
The World Poker Blogger Tour held its 9th annual Winter Classic tournament this past weekend, at Aria. The $125 no-limit hold’em tournament (complete with lasts-longer bets, team competition, and inside-jokey booby prizes) is technically what brings everyone to town. But the WPBT is so much more — an event that spreads across the entire Las Vegas Valley for a long weekend. It’s the drinking, and golf, and this year hiking around Red Rock Canyon, and drinking, and fancy meals and dive bars, and mixed games, and more drinking, and gambling in the pits, and the occasional hookup of course, and more drinking … I think they’re mighta been a marriage or two linked to the WPBT, and even a couple divorces.
The second running of the Battle of the Bloggers on FaceUp Gaming is Saturday, June 30 at noon PT. To play, just click here and use the bonus code “Pokerati” when you sign up. True invitational freeroll — no charge to play, no credit card to enter, and the tournament is open only to followers of Alcanthang, Ante Up, Pocket Fives, Pokerati, Dr. Check Raise, and THPT … so you have to attach yourself to one of the above.
Tournament name: Bloggers Only
Top 20 finishers get prizes — ranging from an iPad for 1st to sundry clothing swag to points that leave you eligible for future tournaments … and oh yeah, don’t forget Blue Shark Optics. They also have some poker books by Tom McEvoy as prizes, which may or may not be a way for the perennial Hall of Fame bridesmaid to empty his garage.
We didn’t exactly do very well last time — I’m claiming technical difficulties and you can’t prove otherwise without a subpoena! — so I’m hoping for a better showing this go-round. Let’s collude on video with Team AlCantHang! show those nerds from Pocket 5s who’s boss! Arrrghh, yeah, poker poker poker POKER!! A game where bullies can still be winners, too.
Again, play here, play now. And it would be really cool if you told them Pokerati is your favoritest blog i the whole wide poker world — super duper cool if you doing so while giving a subscription membership a go. 14-day free trials still available.
So the biggest shiznit of the poker year is underway … please bear with us as some of us “old school” poker media try to find our place and purpose in covering an event that poker nuts can follow officially via WSOP.com, near-instantly on Twitter, and near-live (15 minutes, shmifteen minutes) on ESPNs 1, 2, and 3.
In the spirit of kicking things old-school, we’re going really new school … on the fly no less … and moving to SoundCloud, which we think will work in really neato ways.
November Nine – Evolution (ep. 1)
Dr. Pauly and Dan are back with a new episode of Tao of Pokerati live from the Rio in Las Vegas. Dan showed up late, but watched some of the live feed at home. The WSOP coverage is evolving and the two discuss the latest nuances in poker reporting.
Hacked: The Pokerati Morlock’s lung troubles really take the fun out of smoking for the rest of us.
Scott Chaffin is dying. Now now, before you say WTF? know that I am, too. And so are you, and you, and you. In fact, I challenge you to find one living person on the planet who isn’t “dying” … you can’t do it. Fact of life.
But some of us have to fight a little harder to stave off the grim reaper. And Scott, at age 54, got called into life-battle recently upon learning his nagging smoker’s cough was actually full-blown lung cancer.
Scott is one of the original poker bloggers (c. 2002) — and one of the original bloggers for that matter — who has been a big part of Pokerati since the near-beginning. Horrified by an all-flash direction I was headed with version 2, he took over the controls for all things techy in Pokeratiland more than five years ago. Since then, The Fat Guy has overseen three redesigns, bailed me out on multiple occasions after I broke something big, and has written tens of thousands of lines of code for 146 half-baked Pokerati projects since abandoned. All for no pay, mind you … and added bummer as I learn now that our small-business health plan here at Pokerati may not cover actual sickness.
So if you like Scott and like this site and/or just hate cancer … help keep The Fat Guy around a while longer — he’s still got work to do, dammit! — by donating to his cause via PayPal. (Link takes you to TFG.com, w donate button on top right.) And if you have any complaints about how things run on this site, well dude, c’mon … you know, [hush] cancer.
Here are a few links to get your mind kickin’ before we get into the throes of poker “news” … to sites that have been on my radar of late for varying reasons. These independently selected, never-for-sale (except at the very top and very bottom) click-worthy internet suggestions are brought to you by the fine folks at:
Tao of Fear — Pauly steps away from poker and Phish to take on the real world, a place that turns out to be filled with (very real) mayhem, foreigners, and death … and that’s just Wall Street pre-Libya! There’s a fine line between current events and conspiracy theory … a few pills and maybe a shot of whiskey, too.
Bill’s Blog and Hardboiled Poker — two of the more thoughtful poker blogs out there … well-informed, and always adding something new to the conversation. I never link to Bill Rini or Shamus enough … but hey, following either of these guys is kinda like a subscription to the New Yorker … so much good stuff, just near-impossible to keep up. I have about eight specific posts from each of them waiting to be written up, but usually about 2/3 through, one of them produces a missive that makes me realize the pedantic flaws in whatever I was originally thinking.
Poro Report 2011 — kinda like Drudge, or actually a lot like Drudge … a well-culled link-dump directing you to the most current and relevant bits of poker news and industry convo harvested from around the internet.
LV Fashion Report — Some new sassy blogger chick’s take on Vegas people and all their outerwear is trying to suggest. (With a few sneak peaks at new Vegas properties, too.) I’m pretty sure “Kate Couture” isn’t her real name, but I think I’ve seen her running around Panorama Towers … so obviously she’s got insight into the most pea-cocky of poker players.
J Gary Wise — my fellow 2x award-winning Poker Beat sparring partner seems to be swimming with craziness these days without TPB to give him a wild-rant fix — (I know the feeling) — and thus the ESPN columnist has been spewing out original, semi-intelligent content rather fierce. Sometimes pokery, sometimes not, but either way, Gary is still Gary, and therefore sure to at some point make you wanna punch him.
A Year of Culinary Curiousity — Former Pokerati contrib Jen Newell has a new non-poker blog … about food and cooking and edible bad beats. In a way, it is kinda like a poker blog, as Jen tries to move up in stakes and hone her kitchen game — skill and luck determining results. Glad she decided against calling the site All You Can Eat, Baby!
The Maven Training — If you’re not maximizing your return at the tables, you’re playing suboptimal poker, leaving profits behind. Whether you prefer cash games or tournaments, live or online, be the best at your table by training with accomplished pros. Next boot camp: March 4-6.10% Pokerati discount here.
Of course poker fiction hasn’t done all that well since Rounders really … we had Lucky You and what was that show on ESPN? Tilt? … not exactly memorable beyond making Norman Chad oddly more palatable. But at the same time, you can kinda see what the production team of Jenji Kohan and Matt Salsberg could be going for, taking on the two biggest issues in the original Barack Obama national suggestion box — poker and pot — but with Ws.
I’m sure this has absolutely nothing to do with anything, obv … but was going through some old pics and came across this screen-grab from July 2006 (some two months before the UIGEA)… when I hadn’t yet discovered the purpose of labeling images more descriptively than just wsop28.jpg, and the Feds apparently hadn’t yet figured out how to hide an IP address.
At the time, Phil Hellmuth had just won his 10th bracelet, no one thought twice about playing on Ultimate Bet, everyone in poker still had money, and Jamie Gold (of all people) seemed to represent the very worst poker had to offer. Ahh, the good ole days … even Russ Hamilton was presumed innocent then.
Though I hardly recall why specifically, something about this visitor seemed peculiar enough for me to wanna preserve the moment. ith the benefit of hindsight, I’m sure I was just kidding.
Special running of Pokerati action tonight, Tuesday, at the Hard Rock. That’s in addition to the usual Thursday fare. Should be a blogtastic 1/2 NL/PLO good time, with Joe Speaker, Bad Blood, and The Mark in town, specifically for PLO at the WSOP and beyond … hoping to draw a few Brits as well, you know, in case we end up playing through Honduras vs. Chile.
Though we haven’t run this game on a Tuesday in forever, the list usually starts taking shape at 7:30 … with cards in the air about 8.
Also don’t forget, for a different kinda wild, Wednesday night is the PokerNews Half-Kill game, bringing hardcore $4/$8 limit and higher to the Hard Rock.
You can find/follow many of the players in both these games on twitter (do a search for “hard rock”) and get updates from the poker room about what’s running @HardRockPoker.
Poker was exploding. On April 20, 2004 (420, dooood!) Pokerati.com went live. WTF was I thinking? Happy birthday to us. The concept was simple, and reflected in our subtitle: “Are you thinking about poker?” I was. A lot. And so were my friends.
We of course weren’t the only ones. Another new site also went live that same week … FullTiltPoker.com. Their launch was the subject of our first post. Huh … it’s been quite a ride to say the least — I’m not sure Durrrr was even born yet! What I do know is that I had a lot more hair back then.
Now, six years since, I actually think poker is about to implode.
I know I’m in the minority amongst the well-informed and so-called poker media on this … but gather round folks … we’ve seen implosions in Vegas before, and they always make for a good show. You’ll hear and feel the charges — boom-boom-boom-boom-boom-boom … and then there’s a pause before the support beams fall and moments later what once stood gloriously is collapsing on top of itself leaving behind jagged piles of rubble and a spectacular cloud of dust. It’s all part of clearing the way to build something even more fantastic than anyone previously conceived.
Tonight at 7pm ET is the first of six $2,000 freerolls featuring bloggers such as Change100, Short-Stacked Shamus, Smokkee and myself among dozens of other bloggers, poker celebrities and other dignitaries. The top two spots in each BBT5 Invitational will be entered into the BBT ToC.
There will also be ToC spots available to winners of two private tournaments over the next six weeks. Those events are the weekly $24+2 Poker From the Rail tournament Mondays at 10pm ET and the $10+1 Mookie at 10pm Wednesdays.
One final $2,000 Bracelet Race package and $2,000 freeroll will be available to participating bloggers in the Blogger Battle Royal on June 6th at 2pm ET. Further details on all of these events can be found at FTP’s Poker From the Rail blog.
Once upon a time, February 27, was perhaps more important to the poker blogosphere than 4/20. You’d see the pokergeeky intertubes go nuts over the date representing a dream flop for those of us who like to raise from early position with 2-7 offsuit. But after so many years — and perhaps just an economic necessity of grinding in the Obama era — has the Hammer lost its luster?
It’s still been fascinating to watch the mainstreaming of a hand over the years. I hope I don’t get crucified for disparaging the sacred 7-deuce (as no longer seen on High Stakes Poker) … but perhaps the jumping-the-shark moment for the Hammer came when UB took it on?
Pokerati, as you may or may not know, is up for a Bluff Magazine Readers Choice Award — “Top Poker Blog of 2009″. Yippee. And The Poker Beat is a nominee for “Best Poker Podcast”. It’s always nice to see hard work yield some semblance of results. Tao of Poker+Wicked Chops+Poker News Daily=whatever. Other people are up for other things, too. Hey, really, they all deserve it.
Players can register for the event at the Dream Team Poker Registration booth in the Rio Convention Center Rotunda across from the jersey wall
Hours: 10am â€“9pm (Friday & Saturday) 9am â€“ 12noon (Sunday)
A soon to be coveted Last Place media trophy, paying proper homage to The Hammer.
Pauly’s got a great write-up explaining YTF we all get so into this Dream Team Poker stuff … the accolades honestly aren’t just because we’re pimping partners. It’s more the other way around — we’re willing to do their bidding because they do such a fine job, which was evident in their dress-rehearsal for tomorrow’s event, which looks to be the biggest event ever (in terms of field size, at least) of its kind.
Mad from the Pokerstarsblog (aka the Pokerstarzistan state-run media), has taken part in some team poker events over in Europe but still saw this one as a bit of a gimmick — everyone’s skeptical at first — and yet by the time she was eliminated and her hopes left hanging on teammate Dennis Phillips, she described it as “the most fun I’ve ever had in the Rio — on this side of it at least.”
In footage that we like to think of as rawer than RawVegas, I took a bunch of pictures really really fast to give you a glimpse. Seriously, may well have been the first WSOP media event ever — at least in the 21st century — that had a sizable rail. And while the turbo format knocked people out quickly, it should come as little surprise that a bunch of media on their “day off” stuck around to behave like Japanese tourists: