Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Monday, February 26, 2007

Ship It

Mortgage paid off today ! I thought that would take 18 months to 2 years. 8 months is well ahead of schedule.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Serious Post

When I opened up my browser this morning I saw a big headline about a train accident, one dead, five "severe casualties" and several injured. Someone on the mob forum also posted a link to the story. I'm not making fun of anything here and my sympathies to anyone involved. All I want to say is that fifteen people die on UK roads and lord knows how many are injured EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Rail travel is far, far safer than road and even air travel is the safest of all, mile for mile. Where are the headlines about the DAILY carnage on the roads and why aren't there big enquiries about that. Why isn't more money spent on educating people as to the danger of reckless driving and on sorting out the worst road accident blackspots. Accidents on public transport are blown up way out of proportion compared to what's happening on the roads.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Guilty By Association

If you play on Full Tilt, you will probably have received an email encouraging you to join the Poker Players Alliance (PPA). By encouraging I should really say bribing - basically you'll get a bonus according to what level you sign up at, for example in effect you sign up to the PPA, Full Tilt gives the PPA $40 and you $60 (after playing out the bonus).

This sounds great, but there are a few things I'd like to draw your attention to before you take this up. Think about this for a second. Is it really onside to give people money to join and then trumpet how many members you have ? Gary Carson is extremely sceptical about the organisation, and whatever you think about Gary (I think he rules myself, but you know how cynical I am) he's done his homework. Carson's position is that playing online poker in your home isn't illegal in the US (or at least this isn't clear yet), and nor is placing a sports bet (it's the banks and operators who are being chased down). The PPA are basically saying "yes, we admit it's illegal, but give us an exemption". Or, to take it further, "fuck sports bettors, just let us off". This seems to miss the point that a lot of poker players also bet sports. I also have to laugh when an article says that the PPA's argument is "The Gutshot defence" of skill vs. luck, while failing to point out that Gutshot lost, fairly comfortably.

Carson also links to a post on 2+2 where Mason Malmuth had the PPA independently reviewed, in order to determine whether 2+2 should openly support the organisation. The short version is, following the review, they don't.

Please do at least read Carson and Malmuth before joining. If you still want to join, then fine. I'm going to pass. I'm fairly suspicious of "players' organisations" to start with. Remember the WPPA ? Ask Felicia about it if you don't.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I'm Running So Badly That ...

I'm running so badly that I just lost a coin flip to Mike Matusow. Really, I did. $220 turbo on Full Tilt, he had AK, I had 99.

Does that mean I take his crown as the unluckiest man in poker ? Well no. I can't complain. Except that I just did, ignore that. I am on a sick run in the SNGs but nothing that you shouldn't expect every couple of months. That has to be running bad though. Mike never wins those, he said so on TV.

In other news, Maxjet are having a sale and they have direct business class flights to Vegas for about £600 return around the time of the WSOP. Just bear in mind that if you do need to change your dates for any reason you might have to pay a hefty increase. I still don't know if I'm going to go or not so I'll probably miss out on this particular offer, but if you're sure, do it because at roughly the same price as standard Virgin flights it's well worth it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Black Day For Comedy

Jesus, Daniel Negreanu is really losing it. Now, the race issue is not what I really want to focus on here. I actually believe him when he says it isn't racially motivated, etc. etc. The real issue is that suddenly he seems to think he is a comedian. Not just a funny guy at the table but an actual stand-up, plan it all out, full make-up, on stage to an audience comedian. And OK I haven't seen any of these routines but he just doesn't strike me as being very funny. He comes across on TV as someone who thinks he's a great deal funnier than he actually is.

Now I'm the first to admit that I think I'm a great deal funnier than I actually am. But I don't feel the need to go as far as Daniel does. The guy needs some time off, very badly, and for his sake I hope that his wife or friends can convince him to take a break.

Update : I've just noticed that Warren at Pokerverdict is commenting on much the same thing. Obviously Warren thinks DN is funnier than I do, maybe that's just according to taste, but it's interesting that someone else has picked up on how hard he is trying.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

What's In A Name ?

Now, I could pretend that I read this in the Guardian. Truth be told though, I was lurking around the Hendon Mob website when I came across Vicky C's search for a nickname. As soon as I saw that I thought "no way is that going to work". And a quick skim of the relevant forum thread backs me up here. You definitely cannot choose your own nickname, as Vicky acknowledges straight off, but going about soliciting one is only one step above.

Basically, a real nickname is a name that you would use when talking to the person himself. I say himself because, as a rare sensible poster pointed out, girls really don't have poker nicknames (although see later). There are very few of those in poker. Devilfish is an example of one, I'm really struggling to think of any others. The second class of nickname would be one that you use when talking about the person. There are a few more of these. You might say "Bad Beat got the lot in the cash game with J5 suited" or "The Camel blew off a massive chip lead".

The third class of nickname is the most common one, used only by Vince, Jesse and others of that ilk. It's a fairly desperate attempt (on the part of all concerned) to turn a bunch of one-dimensional degenerate gamblers into "personalities" or (even worse) "characters". Incredibly though, it is possible to stoop even lower. Sometimes the player concerned is solely to blame for playing along with some horribly contrived nickname that no one would ever say without causing any nearby sarcasm detector to explode in a puff of smoke. "The Wise Owl" for example, or "The Ambassador", which has, incredibly, been laid claim to by at least three players to my knowledge.

On occasion though the player in question cannot be held to account because, quite frankly, who would. And so I give you the very worst nickname in poker, used only by Harry D and the like, it's "Golden Ovaries". What the has Lucy Rokach ever done to deserve that ? Look how far away from the first type of nickname that is. Could you ever imagine going up to Lucy and saying "Hi Golden Ovaries, how's it going ?". Or shouting across the room "Golden Ovaries ! You getting the lot again ?". You can try this if you like but make sure I'm at least 50 miles away, well out of the blast radius.

Finally though, there are encouraging signs that all this bollocks might soon come to an end, in the US at least. This is weird though, I can't find the link. There was a story on this morning saying that Binions were canning their televised "Ultimate Poker Challenge" series. Further to that, upcoming filming sessions for both Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker had been "rescheduled". The suggestion was that in the wake of UIGEA, advertisers were pulling out L R & C. However, as I say, the story now seems to have disappeared. None of this would hurt anyone who makes their money at the table in my opinion ; however, those who "maximise return from promoting a brand or image" (that is flog lots of tat with their name on it) might have that particular revenue stream cut off. Then we might see who can actually play.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Celebrate Good Times Come On

We had a minor large-up in the Bok Bar near the Vic last night, Pete B has a report and some pics here. Not being used to this, I committed a couple of breaches of protocol in turning up half an hour late and not bringing the bling with me, although I still think the latter was wise in view of some previous form at losing trinkets on drunken nights out. Frankly I've done well to still have my phone this morning.

With age does come a certain amount of wisdom, and thanks to my judicious avoidance of the double scotches and tequila, I feel surprisingly OK this morning. One or two might not be so chipper right now :-). Many thanks to all who came along, I had a great time and I hope everyone else did too. I did say (almost emotionally) that it was a shame it took something as unlikely as me getting a lump to bring us all under one roof, so I hope we'll have a good reason to do it again soon.