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Views: 1036
Date Posted: Dec. 29, 3:47pm, 0 Comments

Recently we learned the encouraging news that Miramax is finally committing to produce a sequel to the 1998 classic poker movie Rounders in 2011, with plans for a 2012 release.  One of many classic lines to emerge from that movie was Worm exclaiming that "In the poker game of life, women are the rake."

Worm (Edward Norton) is decrying Mike McDermott's girlfriend walking out on Mike (Matt Damon) when he wants to get back into poker. His inference is that women drain your "life profit", limiting and restricting you from the freedom and joy that life provides, much as a casino saps your profit potential by taking their large rake percentages. The debate over whether women act as a pseudo rake on the massively male poker playing demographic can be argued another time.  I am interested in exploring the impact of the women who do play poker?

Interestingly enough the rake that most online poker rooms charge averages roughly 5%, which also happens to be the rough percentage of women who make up most live poker tournaments, according to Daniel Negreanu's latest blog.  If we assume that women and men poker players are equal in ability, we could expect that women would win one out of every 20 tournaments or typically win 5% of the prize pool. Unfortunately, I don't know of any comprehensive cross-tour compilation of results that could affirm or deny those results.  In the absence of those figures, I would argue that women poker players make a bigger impact than their 5% figures would indicate.

The top women poker players had a particularly strong 2010. The poker media was quick to label the phenomena "The Year of the Women" in poker. Some highlights:

 

  • Annie Duke won the NBC Heads-Up Championship
  • Vanessa Selbst won the NAPT Mohegan Sun Main Event, Partouche Poker Tour Main Event, and took fourth in the EPT London High Roller
  • Liv Boeree  won the EPT San Remo Main Event
  • Vanessa Rousso took 8th in the WSOP Heads-Up Championship and 3rd in the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic
  • Annette Obrestad won the EPT London Heads-Up, won $1k PLO Aussie Millions event, and 7th in the Aussie Main Event
  • Young-Shin Im won the APPT Cebu Main Event

In Negreanu's recent blog, he compiled stats from the 75 Team PokerStars pros that supported the strong results of the top women poker players with three of them placing in the top 10 of live results. Vanessa Selbst was first with $2,865,830 in live winnings, with Liv Boeree in 2nd and Vanessa Rousso in 9th. These three women find themselves quickly climbing the All Time Money List behind Kathy Liebert with $5.7 million and Annie Duke in 2nd with $4.2 million.

In spite of those great results in 2010, I would argue that the impact that women have on poker is far greater then their financial results.  In a game that is so heavily male dominated by sheer numbers, women are magnets of attention. Their media coverage is proportionally much greater.  A quick check of any poker forums will indicate that any post containing images of female poker players blow away those containing picture of male poker players.  Attractive women play the hostess or lead advertising role on many poker rooms, poker shows or poker news outlets. The poker audience is heavily male and they relish the opportunity to view and hear about women's involvement.

There have been several waves of women poker players that have had an impact in the poker world.  The first group were the pioneers, individuals who played despite little promotion or media.  They played before poker became mainstream, with a love for the game and driven by their competitive spirit. (*Note - Google is your friend if you are unfamiliar with any of the female poker player's appearances)

Barb Enright
Jan Fisher
Linda Johnson
Susie Isaacs
Wendeen Eolis
Maureen Feduniak
Lucy Rokach
Nani Dollison


In the last decade, the established top female players having the best results or receiving the most attention came from this group:

Jennifer Harman Traniello
Annie Duke
Kathy Liebert
Joanne "JJ" Liu
Mimi Tran
Cyndy Violette
Clonie Gowen
Liz Lieu
Karina Jett
Kristy Gazes
Lynette Chan
Evelyn Ng
Jennifer Tilly


In the last few years, new female stars have emerged in a more competitive live and online environment:

Annette Obrestad - Dominated online during teen years, youngest WSOPE champion with over $3 million in live winnings
Vanessa Rousso
Liv Boeree
Sandra Naujoks - German woman with $1.8 million in winnings
Victoria Coren - UK poker columnist with 1.1 million
Anna Wroblewski - $975k in live winnings
Katja Thater - German mixed games player with a WSOP bracelet
Isabelle Mercier

There are many women in poker who have received considerable attention, some may consider disproportionate to their results, over the last few years:

Erica Schoenberg - dating Erick Lindgren
Maria Ho -
was on The Amazing Race
Tiffany Michelle - was on The Amazing Race
Beth Shak  - divorced from high stakes player Dan Shak
Lisa Hamilton
Helen Chamberlain
Jennifer Leigh
Jean Gluck
Chantel McNulty
Shannon Elizabeth -
actress
Maya Antonius -
married to Patrik Antonius
Shirley Rosario
Dee Luong -
married to Prahlad Friedman
Veronika Larsen
Trishelle Cannatella -
Real World
Paola Martin
Carmel Petresco
Cecilia Nordenstam
Lily Elviro -
Married to Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi
Alexia Portal -
French actress
Marion Nedellec
Deanna Dozier -
Country singer
Leo Margets -
Last woman standing in 2009 WSOP ME
Cecilia Reyes Mortensen
Oanh Bui

Melissa Hayden - dates Allen Cunningham
Thuy Doan
Pam Brunson

There is also a special category for women having an impact in the poker world and bringing attention to a wider audience.  All the poker news and poker hostesses representing poker:

WPT Royal Flush Girls - with greatest focus on Melanie Iglesias who just won the Maxim Hometown Hottie
Kristy Arnett
Gloria Balding
Lacey Jones
Kimberly Lansing
Amanda Leatherman
Kara Scott
Victory Poker girls
- including Victoria Moore, Rosie Jones, and Sarah Underwood
Shana Hiatt
Tatjana Pasalic
Joanna Krupa
Tina Wallman
Leeann Tweeden
Jayde Nicole
Anette Melton
Szilvi Freire
Jackie Bray
Gaelle Garcia Diaz


The last category is a group of a dozen poker women from whom the next breakout star could come from in the next few years. They have each had some success and attention but have yet to fully break out or reach their potential:

Lauren Kling -
Graduated from Berkely College with degrees in engineering and business
Svetlana Gromenkova -
winner of the WSOP ladies event, former pro bridge player
Vanessa "PrincessDonk" Peng -
Strong online results, starting to focus on live play more
Young-Shin Im -
Korean who won APPT Cebu ME fourth final table in two years
Helen Prager -
married to poker pro Josh Prager
Fatima Moreira -
former Women's Hockey World and Olympic Champion who also has a Masters Degree in Law.
Charlotte Van Brabander -
former CounterStrike World Championship contender
Melanie Weisner -
tours EPT events
Laurence Grondin -
French Canadian cash game specialist with tourney scores
Sofia 'wellbet' Lovgren -
20 year old PKR pro
Christina Lindley
Amanda 'manderbutt' Musumeci

(Honorable mention to online players bdbeatslayer, peachymer, hotjenny314 and millie "pokersnoopy" shiu, and rumored female cash game player rikjamesb1atch)

With all the success of women poker players in 2010, it is important to note that no women won any of the 54 World Series Of Poker events, although Jennifer Harman made two final tables and Joanne "JJ" Liu made one and narrowly missed another. Continued results in the biggest live events will dispel the myth that women are not as strong players as men.  There are also no women listed on the top 100 online tournament players, according to Pocketfives. Poker is a numbers game and if women remain only 5% of the fields their results will seem few and far between, but their impact on the poker world and poker economy will continue to have significant impact.

I have to respectfully reject Annette Obrestad's infamous utterance that women are “Easy money…I’ve always said that girls suck at poker.” Her opinion is more a factor of the limited numbers and experience of women poker players. The more women that pick up the torch of poker coming from a love of the game, as opposed to a self-promotional angle, the more women poker players we will see battling for the biggest pots and crowns in poker.  If women are the rake in poker, I am gladly paying my dues to keep playing the game I love.

Views: 944
Date Posted: Dec. 22, 3:52am, 2 Comments

At the end of each year, we typically see a lot of personal and professional lists presented that either look backward in review or forward in hope and planning.  There are a lot of Top 10 lists along with some predictions and of course the usual New Year's resolutions. Today's blog will be none of those and all of those.  It is inspired by a Lee Pitts article that tried to capture his poignant and nostalgic wishes for his grandchildren having reflected on raising his own children.

These Things I Wish For You

1. A thrilling and enthralling poker journey - We set out on a journey with much hope and some planning, but our poker path is rarely of our making.  We can work hard, sweat hard, travel hard, but the twists and turns that our journey will take are not known to anyone. Embrace it and enjoy the ride.

2. The journey is more enjoyable with company - Whether it be supportive family and friends, a cohesive learning community, or a close knit group of poker buddies, poker is enriched when share the journey. There are too many highs and lows in poker to celebrate and commiserate alone. Make the effort to engage those around you who show an interest in your poker life. Seek out those that share your passions.

3. A significant downswing - Only in hardship can a player really test his or her mettle. While it would be nice if we could go on a lifetime heater of run good, it is not realistic or particularly satisfying to not earn our good fortune. When we hit the inevitable variance-laden downswing, only then do we have the clear choice to tilt, quit, or regroup, retrain and return to glory.  All the best poker players have battled through personal and professional hardship to become better players.

4. A 30" monitor - The exact dimensions may vary, as mine is only 27", but having a large monitor makes your poker playing, productivity and overall internet experience so much richer and "multi-taskable."   The prices have come down considerably the last several years to where it's a wise investment for even lower stakes players.

5. A teacher, guide, or learning community - As online poker exploded across the globe over the last five years, so have the options offering to assist poker players in improving their game. There are poker training sites, software teaching tools, and coaches for every kind of player and game. They run from all inclusive large training sites like CardRunners to those that focus on MTT's, SNG, 6max cash games or even just HUSNG's. Each site has a different price point, teaching styles or approach. Within and without those learning communities are hundreds of individual coaches willing to teach all possible levels for all possible prices. No one player has all the answers, no matter how brilliant. Even when you do find the answers, they are likely to change and develop in the near future, so look for reputable company to keep that will help you along your journey.  Accessing collective wisdom will always accelerate and stimulate your poker learning curve.

6. The Rush experience - No form of poker better embraces the potential time saving advantages of online poker than the Rush format played on Full Tilt (except Heads Up play which is constant action as well). The great advantage and benefit of online poker is the ability to play many hands in a shorter time period.  Playing many tables at once can accomplish that goal, but it takes considerable effort and concentration to manage. Time is money in our busy and complicated lives. Rush poker removes all the wasted time experienced in live and traditional online play.

7. Poker freerolls - Not only do poker professionals have to put up the costs of travel, meals and accommodations, but they put up the money for the entire prize pool of a tournament or the funds available to be won in a cash game. I hope that poker grows and evolves to a point where the revenues from marketing and advertising poker can flow into freerolls at all levels of play, allowing hard toiling poker players to compete and earn without constantly risking their own resources. A rare example would be the WSOP Tournament of Champions where there is no buy-in and the invited or qualifying players compete for the contributed guaranteed prize pool.

8.  Transparent and equitable poker payback/rakeback - Any serious player realizes that poker rakeback or a good rewards program is one of the keys to any player maintaining some advantage/discount on the considerable rake that poker rooms collect.  It would benefit the entire poker economy if the model were adjusted to be more transparent and equitable to all players.  The goal shouldn't be to take advantage of the uninformed, but rather to reward loyalty, volume or some combination of factors that reflect the customer's investment of time, play and money deposited at a particular poker room.

9. Risk It - It is better to have risked and failed, than to not have risked at all. While I don't advocate playing outside of reasonable bankroll management parameters, it is necessary to push yourself out of your comfort zone if you are ever to make your poker journey go far.  Whether it's making your first deposit, your first level jump, or your first multi-tabling, force yourself outside of your comfort zone little by little. Expand the boundaries and watch your game grow.  Evaluate any hardship or difficulty encountered to determine what are your most reasonable boundaries as a developing poker player.

10. Track it and remark it - Poker tracking software revolutionized online poker. The ability to track and analyze your and your opponents hands after you play has altered the online poker landscape immeasurably.  While some may argue the advantages or disadvantages of using HUD (heads up display) there is no debating the advantage of being able to access and interpret all those results and data.  Equally important, in my opinion, is some effort to mentally record and analyze your poker journey.  That can be done in poker forums, poker blogs, or some other format where you express your thoughts and feelings along your journey.  Capturing and processing your thoughts and perceptions along your poker journey will ultimately prove more valuable than any statistics and data ever could.

I wish you all Happy Holidays!  Thursday I am heading to Ohio, to visit Mrs. Zimba's family for a few days around Christmas.  My wife and kids left several days ago and have informed me my mother-in-law doesn't have internet, so it will be an interesting experience to be detached from the matrix.

Views: 944
Date Posted: Dec. 17, 11:31pm, 0 Comments

The last couple weeks, in addition to my other duties, I've been developing a library of prominent poker player profiles for one of the sites where I contribute content. As I researched each of the famous poker players, I started to notice some common keys to their success.

Aspiration
- Each player had a strong drive to become the best. The particular goal might have been different, but they didn't want to settle for being ordinary. They had strong competitive instincts in many areas of their lives, hating to ever lose.

Example -
Scotty Nguyen is the eldest of 13 children, who fled war torn Vietnam, had to stay in a refugee camp for three years, before becoming a dealer and aspiring to poker greatness. One night when he was only 23, he was guest dealing in Lake Tahoe and decided to take on the competition feeling he could beat them all. He ran up his very meager bankroll in 1985 up to $7,000 in that one night. Within months, he had made $1,000,000 and he was playing the biggest live games against Johnny Chan, Puggy Pearson and David Gray.

Perspiration
- They were willing to work very hard at learning and perfecting their craft.

Example - John
Juanda came from a gambling family in Indonesia, but he only learned poker on his flight over to the US to go to college. A few years later, he was invited to a poker room where he watched some poker and was hooked. He didn't play a single hand that night. Instead, he went home, bought a ton of poker books, devoured them, and returned to play weeks later only after he felt ready come out on top.

Cooperation
- Most successful players have had their learning curves greatly accelerated by working with other talented players. They act as a sounding board to determine the optimal ways to play, are there to commiserate when you have done poorly, or there to celebrate with you when your hard work pays off.

Example - An early example would be Doyle
Brunson who has discussed his life on the poker road in the 1960's with Amarillo Slim and Sailor Roberts. Daniel Negreanu, John Juanda, Phil Ivey and Allen Cunningham are one famous example too. They were a group of young, talented and hungry players that worked together on their way up. They traveled together, discussing the struggles and joys of everyday life. As Allen Cunningham put it "We were four guys in our early twenties, we all liked poker, girls and sports, so that's all the common ground you need to start a friendship. Plus, I think from the very first time any of us saw the other play, we all truly respected each other's games. And as long as you don't allow jealousy or envy to get in the way, then all you could do was feed off each other." I see this same dynamic repeated over and over today, especially in the shared poker houses during the WSOP each summer or those traveling the poker circuit.

Differentiation
- Just as a business needs to differentiate itself from the competition, so does a poker player. The poker players who have had the greatest success have developed their own styles that differed from the masses of players.

Examples - For Doyle
Brunson it was constant aggression scooping up small pots, thus giving him an edge when he played the bigger pots. For Gus Hansen, it was playing so loose and unpredictably that no one could put him on a hand. For Daniel Negreanu it was playing small ball poker, where he could maximize his advantage post flop. For Chris Ferguson, it was applying an advanced mathematical and game theory framework to his play. For the new age players like Isildur1, it is rampant aggression, massive multi-tabling, massive overbets and making your opponent always uncomfortable. All styles must eventually adapt and develop or they will eventually become part of that mainstream of mediocrity.

Application
- Intelligent players apply the skills and confidence from other areas of prior excellence when they transition to poker.

Examples - Erik
Seidel was an accomplished backgammon professional for eight years before transitioning to poker at the infamous Mayfair Club in New York City. He had played backgammon against Chip Reese, Stu Unger and Puggy Pearson, all of who had suggested he would do well if he played poker. He played poker at the Mayfair club with future bracelet winners Howard Lederer, Jay Heimowitz, Steve Zolotow and Dan Harrington. Another famous example is Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier who spent years in Korea in the top ranks of the StarCraft world before transitioning to a very successful poker career utilizing his talents and pressure packed composure from having played in front of thousands of people in worldwide competitions.

Determination
- Most successful players have a drive to succeed despite society frowning on their activity. They persist through hardship and frustrations, both personal and professional.

Example - Jennifer Harman-
Traniello snuck into card rooms at 16 and risked expulsion in order to play poker. Her decision to focus on poker estranged her from her father for many years. She battled through a divorce that effectively took her bankroll, and suffered serious family-related kidney issues that killed her mother and required her own two transplants. She never lost her drive or determination to be a top poker player, not as a token woman in a man's world, but as a great player regardless of her sex.

Success in poker is a guarantee for no one. Those that experience it, typically share many if not all of the above qualities I touched upon. I could have used many other worthy poker pros as examples and there are dozens of younger players who will likely join these players, but only after they pass the test of time. As was argued in the nominations for the poker hall of fame nominations this year, longevity should be factored in heavily to separate those that shone brightly for short stretches from those that had the necessary long term Aspiration, Perspiration, Cooperation, Differentiation, Application, and Determination to succeed.

Views: 494
Date Posted: Dec. 15, 7:02pm, 1 Comment

The latest casualty of the ongoing business and marketing battle between PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker appears to be the popular TV show High Stakes Poker. Season 7 of the show began taping this week at the Bellagio, a month later than originally planned and with many of the show's biggest stars missing.

PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, as the two largest poker sites, have carefully guarded their brands and tried to manage their sponsored players to best advantage. First, PokerStars withdrew all their players from Poker After Dark after Full Tilt Poker became their sponsor. Now that PokerStars is sponsoring High Stakes Poker and have purchased their past library of shows to air on pokerstars.tv, Full Tilt has pulled their formidable lineup from playing in this season of High Stakes Poker.

Barry Greenstein, a PokerStars sponsored player, shared some of the reasons that Full Tilt gave to show producer Mori Eskandani, the founder of POKER PROductions. "Full Tilt has two major concerns. First is they don't like their players playing when PokerStars is the sponsor of the show. Secondly, they were unhappy that PokerStars bought the HSP archives. In the early seasons of HSP, the players didn't wear logos, so FTP is concerned that viewers will be able to go to pokerstars.tv and see the FTP players without logos and be confused by their affiliation."

The end affect is that big poker stars that have brought great visibility and action to the show will not be playing in Season 7 or possibly ever again. This means no Tom Dwan, who has been the most dominant action player the last couple of season. There will be no Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius, Gus Hansen, or Mike Matusow either.

Since the news broke, even some players from the PokerStars stable have declined to play. Daniel Negreanu, a staple of every previous year and involved in some of the more memorable hands over the years indicated that he will be back in Las Vegas, but involved in a commercial shoot and won't participate. Lex Veldhuis, also a PokerStars player who played last season, indicated that he won't make it either.

Phil Hellmuth has said that he is "50/50" to play this year. Doyle Brunson hasn't mentioned anything about whether or not he is playing. David "Viffer" Peat is recovering from an illness and is hopeful that he can play.

The good news:


  • Gabe Kaplan is back flying solo in the commentary booth.
  • Kara Scott returns as hostess and to conduct interviews.
  • Scheduled to play - Barry Greenstein, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Laak, Jason Mercier, Phil Galfond and Scotty Nguyen who will be making his High Stakes Poker debut.
  • The buy-in will remain $200,000 with a continued exclusive focus on No Limit Texas Hold'em.

 

Further evidence of the potential turmoil, in previous years, the press was invited for interviews prior to filming, but claims from GSN production stated "We have all of these new players, a new venue, and new elements. It's a small space. It's super tight and we just want to focus on the game play.'

It is understandable that the two biggest poker room brands would want to develop projects that promote their brands, but the reality is they both advertise very heavily on popularly viewed poker shows like HSP. High Sakes Poker isn't the same show if the heavyweights of the high stakes poker world like Dwan, Ivey and Antonius don't participate. Figure out a compromise and allow the viewers to benefit from seeing the world's best battle it out while you both enjoy higher ratings as a result.

Views: 461
Date Posted: Dec. 13, 11:52pm, 1 Comment

Several years ago, I read a book whose author compared humans to bowls. His metaphor was that we were this empty vessel and our life was defined by how we went about filling our bowl. There was no escaping our innate hunger. We have to find something to fill our bowls, but we have many options about what could fill them. I’ll use three examples to elaborate about this “bowl filling” analogy.

Let’s take a school setting. Some seek to fill their bowl by excelling in the academics and they are rewarded by good marks. Some seek the best possible behavior, receiving accolades for their model behavior. Some seek attention by being the class clown and making others laugh. Others, generally those that haven’t achieved the other means, will find attention by misbehavior or rebellion. Once a certain path is established for “bowl filling” it is difficult to re-direct.

In a business setting, the bowl filling analogy applies to marketing and attention for a business. I recall a conversation with a prominent web CEO who insisted that any attention was good attention. I never fully accepted his reasoning, but his assertion is that a business needs to fill its bowl. Sure, it would be nice to be noticed for what good you did, but just being noticed, even for something salacious or potentially negative had value. You wanted to bring as many eyeballs to your product/site. My opinion was that was a double edged sword, in that the wrong kind of attention or audience could undermine your business.

In a relationship setting, society suggests we seek out that one partner. The common wisdom being that there is greater depth and satisfaction gained from one quality partner than from multiple casual or fleeting ones. In theory, I believe this is wise for most people, but it makes a big assumption, that that one partner will continue to fill the bowl of their partner. The need for “bowl filling” never dissipates. When the partner doesn’t fill their partner’s bowl, the other partner might seek other options to fill their bowl. The bowl filling can be emotional, mental, material or physical.

The “bowl filling” analogy can be applied to our motivations for playing poker, too. For some, poker is a challenging game to master. For some, poker is a means to enrich ourselves and serve our material needs. For others, poker serves as a means to seek attention and accolades for our achievements. There are even others that see poker as a rebellion and means of avoiding authority and pursuing their freedom. One means isn’t exclusive of another as we achieve to fill our bowl.

The author’s conclusion was that we benefit from paying close attention to how we go about filling our bowls. We can very easily fall into unproductive habits of filling our bowls; means that prove destructive toward our long term goals and needs. He recognized that when we are in deficit, we will go for the quick fix, regardless of its damaging long term affects. He felt some methods of “bowl filling” are more lasting and less ephemeral. But there is no escaping that longing to fill the bowl feeling. It only changes some with age, perspective and circumstance. While habits and patterns are easily established, they aren’t set in stone.

We are our own agents of action. The more we are aware of our needs and how we go about filling them, the more pro-active we can be in seeing how they are met. Identifying and recognizing the ephemeral methods of “bowl filling” is the first step to restructuring our patterns in a more healthy direction. Realizing and accepting how needy we all are, how our bowls need to be continually refilled, is the crucial step to beginning to understand our human condition. Our egos are often the enemy of this process of self realization.

Views: 428
Date Posted: Dec. 10, 6:55pm, 0 Comments

In the grand spectrum of life, a decade isn't that long. But a lot of things can happen in ten years.

Back in 1999, Senator Harry Reid told the Las Vegas Review-Journal "Anyone who gambles on the Internet should go see a psychiatrist. How in the world anyone could think they can guarantee a fair game on the Internet is beyond my ability to comprehend.

In late 2010, Majority Leader Harry Reid has become the latest champion of legalizing and legislating online poker. He is negotiating with all the various lobby groups to address the myriad of considerations.

The goals, whether it was Reid of 1999 or Reid of 2010, are timeless; ensuring a fair game, protecting the vulnerable minority, and having the local community and government profit from its players playing the game.

In 2000, WSOP Main Event final hand...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbV7Bgy0r7A&NR=1  (sorry, vid/link insertion isn't working)

In 2009, WSOP Main Event final heads up play...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clV9p_bRgxY  (sorry, vid/link insertion isn't working)


While production values have improved, the keys to effective presentation remain timeless. Share the pertinent the information, build up and express the emotion, and deliver some relevant insight regarding the game and its personalities through commentary and interviews.

A decade ago I was a 33 year old father of two kids under 3. Parenting, home ownership, business ownership and being a responsible adult were all relatively new.

Today I'm older, wiser, slower, and fatter. I have less hair and have accumulated my fair share of life's emotional and physical battle scars. I still pursue the entrepreneurial dream. I still seek happiness and stability. I still seek a positive future for my family.

While our outward appearances may change, our inner driving goals typically remain the same. Harry Reid allowed fear of the unknown to affect his view in 1999 and now he seeks to conquer his fear through a reasonable negotiated situation. Televised poker continues to improve its presentation with new bells and whistles, but at its heart poker has an inherent drama all its own. As much as things change, they stay the same. The difference of a decade? It's just a number. It's what's in the timeless heart that matters.

Views: 487
Date Posted: Dec. 8, 5:58pm, 1 Comment

While it probably wasn't a bad exercise to consider what the post-UIGEA U.S. poker environment will be like, it appears it won't be happening any time soon.

After all the concern, debate and worrying about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's attempting to latch on online poker legislation to a "must pass" bill, Reid indicated today to the Las Vegas Sun that it isn't going to happen. The window of opportunity will close and it will likely remain a status quo situation at the federal level for the next couple years. Individual states like New Jersey and California will press forward with state initiatives instead. If they are successful, it could spur more action from the federal level, but with Republicans holding greater numbers come January, I think it is unlikely to see positive major movement any time soon.

I find it amusing that each time we hear of some change within the poker world there is a high level of panic and concern from players that their lives will be thrown into disarray. The sky is falling mentality seems to invade the sensibilities of players very easily. The reality is changes in the US are much slower and more gradual typically. People find a way around, some new way to cope with the current situation.

I think it was a healthy exercise to consider what a possible future scenario might be like, what the different parties lobbying hard for their conflicting constituents want and what compromises will be necessary for future legislation to pass. It's definitely a complicated process.

With a worldwide online poker economy estimated at $25 billion and around 15 million Americans playing poker, it is inevitable that the US government will want their piece eventually, no matter how hard it is to negotiate.

Views: 451
Date Posted: Dec. 6, 6:45pm, 2 Comments

I stumbled across a female poker player's humorous blog entry on a poker site today. What struck me about it was the choice to look at everything from a certain perspective. Obviously, it was created to elicit humor about the challenges of being a woman versus being a man, but it is still a limiting perspective that often prevails in society. We bemoan our situation without looking at the benefits or opportunities afforded us from that very same situation.

Lately, I've been encountering some poker players on poker forums/sites that I manage with equally limiting beliefs about poker. It is difficult for me to reason with them with their established, in my opinion faulty, thinking about the world of poker. Their negative approach or misconceived notions keep them stuck, not allowing them to keep an open mind to develop as players.

Why Men Are Never Depressed:

> Your last name stays put.
> The garage is all yours
> Chocolate is just another snack.
> You can be President.
> You can never be pregnant.
> You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
> You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
> Car mechanics tell you the truth.
> The world is your urinal.
> You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
> You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
> Same work, more pay.
> Wrinkles add character.
> Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100.
> People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.
> New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
> One mood all the time.
> Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
> A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
> You can open all your own jars.
> You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
> If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.
> Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
> Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
> You almost never have strap problems in public
> You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
> Everything on your face stays it's original color.
> The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.
> You only have to shave your face and neck.
> You can play with toys all your life.
> One wallet and one pair of shoes -- one color for all seasons.
> You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.
> You can 'do' your nails with a pocket knife.
> You have freedom of choice concerning growing a moustache.
> You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.

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