Can't Think Of A Title
Some light relief to start with, the hissy fits being thrown over a couple of slot machines did make me laugh. For a start, no slot machines = no Vegas = no poker tournaments = no Gutshot. Cause and effect. Karma ! And gambling with an edge is still gambling, boys and girls. You can call poker a sport if you like but you might as well call it beach volleyball. Saying it doesn't make it so. If you don't like gambling, go and play bridge. Or chess. You can bet on just one thing - there won't be many slot machines in a chess club.
Which brings us neatly on to Phil Hellmuth Jr (very junior). "Why don't you fuck off and play chess then" is what I often think on hearing another rant about how "I'd win every time if it wasn't for luck". Still, I had promised to lay off him, considering him more worthy of pity than anything else, until this hagiography appeared on my screen, written by a professional therapist no less. How a professional therapist can't see that a 40-year old man who wants to be known as "The Poker Brat", and has recently taken his endearing reaction to losing a pot as far as throwing chairs around, doesn't have an issue or two - it beggars belief. Physician, heal thyself. I'm still waiting for the author to respond to my post on the article. As for people who think the whole jopke thing is just a typo, two points you're missing. 1) This demonstrates incontrovertibly that it's not an act or a calculated image play for the cameras and 2) it shows incredible contempt (or at least complete lack of regard) for his sponsors to behave like that on their own site.
Being on a roll at pissing people off, I then chipped in to the rake debate. Let me make it clear that I don't think Gutshot are making a lot of money, and a lot of what they do is for the good of poker. They have a right to make a living out of it too though. But I really, really think they let themselves down the way they handle the rake issue. People are entitled to ask how much they're paying for something and the evasive and, by turns, aggressive attitude shown to these questions I think makes them look very dodgy. Which they aren't, IMO. Up to you guys, you might want to re-think that one.
Finally something positive ! Well done to Roland De Wolfe on his WPT win. I've never met the guy, and in fact always seem to disagree with him on the forum, but it would be boring if we all agreed all the time :-). It's interesting I think to compare the reaction to this with the reaction to Tiffany Williamson's WSOP finish. Maybe the latter is more of a "giantkilling" or an "it could be me" thing but while, let me stress, both qualify as one hell of a result and it's a million to one I'll ever do better than either, I personally think that winning the WPT event is more impressive than 15th in the Big One. To win an event you have to negotiate all the different phases of play, including the "real bubble" (10 players in the WSOP, 7 in the WPT), then you have to close the deal short-handed which requires very different skills to those needed to progress through the early and middle stages. Personally I think there was an over-reaction to Williamson's result and, at least so far, an under-reaction to De Wolfe's. And of course the bottom line is that De Wolfe won more money. Which is good enough for me.
Anyway I shall be taking my own shot at the stars over the next week or two. Starting today as it happens. I phoned the Vic last night to see if there was anything going on today that would be some worthwhile "match practice" for the two events I'm playing next week. The guy was perfectly helpful "Omaha satellite for the double chance freezeout ... £50 entry ... " but through no fault of his own it was all "blah blah blah" until he said the magic words "added money". Blue Square are adding three seats. Let's hear it for Blue Square. They're putting some money in for you and me. As they do online, on a regular basis. Whether that's right or wrong, good or bad, compared to sponsoring high-profile players, is a moot point - bottom line, it's better for me. So hats off and I'll see you there this afternoon !
30/7 pm I did play (after a fashion), no good. After doubling up with Aces against a set, all money in on the flop Ace on the turn, I somehow won a bit more and doubled up again to about 20K. 30K would have been par for a seat. But I wanked half of it off and then lost the old Omaha classic Kings v Aces with about 20 players left. It would have been funny to play the £1000 as a gamble but I'm not going to lose much sleep over missing out on that one.