Monday, October 30, 2006


Posted by Johnnymac 11:50 AM
A guy goes to the supermarket and notices a beautiful blond woman wave at him and say hello. He's rather taken aback, because he can't place where he knows her from. So he says, "Do you Know me?" To which she replies, "I think you're the father of one of my kids."

Now his mind travels back to the only time he has ever been unfaithful to his wife and says, "My God, are you the stripper from my bachelor party that I had sex with on the pool table with all my buddies watching, while your partner whipped my butt with wet celery and then stuck a carrot up my butt???"


She looks into his eyes and calmly says, "No, I'm your son's math teacher."


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Sunday, October 29, 2006


Posted by Dr Fro 4:59 PM

This could be interesting.

Rarely do my two fields of accounting and poker converge in an article like this. I was unaware of this until now...it sure will come in handy for me come tax season, seeing as how I am a donkey fish professional poker player and all.

Now I know what I want for Christmas.

Now they are going to make televised poker illegal.

I am going to play poker at the Edgewater Casino in Vancouver a week from today. If anybody knows anything about poker in Canada or the Edgewater, let me know.




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Posted by Dr Fro 12:47 AM

Oh sheet.


What a crazy end to the day. The Horns won, but they caused Baby and Daddy to poop in their pants. I ended up 14-4 against the spread, which should win the office pool. If the over/under on beers consumed by me was set at 10, then I took the over and won that (going away).

Literally as I type this, I lost the nut Ace-high flush to a straight-flush. Sheet. That hurts. Sheet.

I was given a free roll entry into a $5,000 tournament. It started at 6pm. So I went all-in on the first hand. I lost. Sheet.

The Brazos River Rivalry lived up to expectations as far as excitement. The farmers are 8-1. I told you so.

We need to get a poker game together in H-town of Thanksgiving. Mark, will your Mrs let us over? Johnny? As hot as I have been this weekend, I am sure to be cold by then...you can't afford to not take a piece of me.

I love it when people talk about USC being a "dynasty". Here is their resume over their 3 years of "domination" from 03-05:

37-2
1 National Championship (yes, 1)

How did Texas do from 04-06 (to date)?

32-2 (so far)
1 National Championship

Did we have a dynasty?

No, we didn't. And neither did USC. You want dynasty? I offer Nebraska in the mid-90's. get over it, USC is just another team (like UT) with a great team 1 year and a hell of a run over a few years. But a dynasty? Bullsheet.

So sad to see them fall from grace. Couldn't happen to a better team. No sheet.

Iggy reminds us that the online poker ban gives rise to WTO difficulties. Tough sheet for the U.S.

Craig James just said something very stupid. He was complaining about the possibility of the Big East having an undefeated team not play in the BCS Championship game, particularly if a 1-loss team goes in front of them. While this is possibly crappy, he was very wrong when he said, "If they are in a BCS conference, they shouldn't be treated differently from other teams in BCS conferences."

Oh, Pony, surely you aren't that dumb!!! Being in a "BCS Conference" means that winning your conference gives you an automatic berth into one of the big money non-championship BCS games. The BCS Championship game goes to #1 and #2 and doesn't care if you play football on a blue field, in the Big East or on the moon. The BCS, while terribly unfair in cutting gay teams out of big money games, is 100% open to gay teams when it comes to the championship game. West Virginia is treated no differently than Auburn. And they won't be. No sheet.

Oh my, I am 3 sheets to the wind.




(1) comments

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Posted by Dr Fro 6:00 PM
Daddy has his beer.

I watched OSU win, OSU win and OSU win this afternoon. While I rooted for the Buckeyes and the Beavers (hee hee), I wasn't happy to see the Cowboys win. That ruined my streak to start the day. With the FLA-UGA game in progress, I am 10-1. Woo hoo! Fla likely won't cover, but 10-2 going into the evening is pretty sweet.


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Posted by Dr Fro 5:04 PM
Seriously, you need to sign up at Poker.com....Daddy has beens slaying the competition today.

That is, I was slaying the competition in the cash games. I played in a tournament and was doing well until my opponent flopped the nut flush, checked on the flop, turn and river before I bet his hand for him. Ug.

I started out today 6-0 (ats) in Heath's college football pool. Last night I won my Cards to win the World Series bet. Woooo-hoooo! All this winning is making me nervous; I'd hate to go cold right when the Horns kick off in Lubbock.

All this winning AND USC IS LOSING 33-10! What do you think, UT-OSU rematch in January? That following a UT-NU rematch in December. Could happen.

Damn it's a good day. The weather in Dallas is perfect. I went for a walk with my two favorite girls. One had fun. The other spit up all over herself! She's nervous about tonight I guess.

I'm gonna go buy some beer...




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Posted by Johnnymac 10:50 AM
Wow, with the moving and financial planning and home improvement loans and contract signings and job interviews this week, I almost forgot to make my picks. Here we go with 15 minutes to spare. This is going to be really short.

NC State +2 at VIRGINIA
NAVY +13.5 vs Notre Dame
MISSOURI -1 vs Oklahoma
GEORGIA TECH -4.5 vs Miami
BAYLOR +4.5 vs Texas A&M

NEW ORLEANS -1.5 vs Baltimore
Indiapolis +3 at DENVER
GREEN BAY -4 vs Arizona
KANSAS CITY -4 vs Seattle
Dallas +6 at CAROLINA

This is my first chance to look at the numbers this week and I am surprised how many easy lines there are. If I were in Vegas this weekend I would be large on every single one of these except Green Bay and I would try for some cheap parlays on the three game variations of these college games.

UPDATE (Saturday): Good thing I wasn't in Vegas today - I would have "gone large" and then gone broke.

UPDATE (Sunday Night): If I had "gone large" today, I would have had my theoretical money back... and yet whenever I go to Vegas for football if Saturday's bets are bad, there are no Sunday bets!


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Friday, October 27, 2006


Posted by Dr Fro 10:33 AM
Poker.com is running a deal where you can get a 100% bonus plus entry to a freeroll.

If you are a deposited player from the US and wish to gain entry into the $5000 Freedom Freeroll simply enter the code RELOADFREEDOM on your *next deposit*. The RELOADFREEOM bonus is a 100% bonus up to $500. The bonus pays out in $10 increments at 250 comp points per $1, which means you need to earn 2500 comp points per $10 increment to be paid. With the reload bonus you also receive a FREEDOMENTRY coupon which makes registration in the Freedom Freeroll on the 28th of October available to you. The offer is valid for 30 days and expires on withdrawal.

I just deposited $100. If that code doesn't work for you, let me know. I have other codes. I think the bonus offers will be generous as PartyPoker players look for new homes.


KTL writes that Coach Leach said of Texas:

"Some people, when a certain team has a big year, they'll buy a jersey," he said. "OK, did you go there? No. Are you from Austin? No. Did you work there? No. Do you know anybody who worked there? No. Well, nice shirt, you know?"


Arrrgggghhhh!!!!!!

I replied that I know that when A&M won the Holiday Bowl over BYU in the 80's, I went out and bought a tractor and a straw hat.



ESPN tells us that Baylor is back. I like this gem:

Baylor and A&M have turned into bitter rivals over the past few years

Is that unanimous?



It should be a good weekend of World Series, college football, online poker and beer. Expect many blog posts, some of which will be coherent.




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Posted by Junelli 8:16 AM
Most of you will have no idea what this is. A few however, may understand the significant of 60.




(4) comments

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Posted by Dr Fro 10:38 PM



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Posted by Johnnymac 11:00 AM
The thread title on Hornfans says, The Best Damn ESPN Article Ever. I happen to agree 100%. Ask Mrs Johnnymac, I screamed in rage when saw the ending of that game on Saturday.


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Posted by Junelli 10:07 AM
I've had a couple of emails asking for a report on my PokerStars experiment.

Not much has changed since last week because I have only played a few times.

My account is currently at $47.02, which is down a few dollars from last Friday, and over $10 from my all-time high of $57.37.

Here's my log from this week:

Limit Cash Games:
$.05-$.10 Limit = +$1.60
$.05-$.10 Limit = -$1.69
$.05-$.10 Limit = +$1.34

Sit and Go's ($3 + $.40)
2nd place = $9 (net $5.60)3rd = $6 (net +$2.60)
5th
6th
3rd place = $6 (net +$2.60)
3rd place = $6 (net +$2.60)
8th
7th (PL Omaha Hi/Lo)
8th
3rd = $6 (net +$2.60)
6th

Time Warner had an outage in my neighborhood for a few days this week. It's now fixed and hopefully I'll grind out some profits this weekend.


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Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Posted by Johnnymac 11:47 AM
I guess I need to mention at this point that the garage game will be starting up again next week. If you are on the regular distribution, you'll get an email. If you're not on the distribution send me an email to my address (surely you know it by now because I am not posting it on the web) and I'll add you to the alternates list.

My father-in-law has also offered to let me host games at their house while we're living there temporarily. They have a GREAT space for it - a nice game room with a built in bar, but unfortunately they also live almost in Katy, so I'm not sure how many times I'm going to host a game and ask the guys to drive all the way out there. And besides, the garage isn't getting remodeled, so the poker game is safe.


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Posted by Johnnymac 11:29 AM
This has absolutely nothing to do with poker or football or gambling, but Mrs Johnnymac and I are moving out of our house temporarily (and in with her parents) because we are going to have some major remodeling work done on the house before the baby gets here. We close on the mortgage refinance next week and then the contractor starts demolition the week after and we are hopeful that everything will be done by the end of February. When we're done it's going to be really nice and much more appropriate for a baby, especially with new, quieter windows and wood floors that are going to be much more appropriate for a baby to be crawling around on than the dirty old (and in some places) broken terrazzo tile that is there now. We're also upgrading the electrical system (especially the garage) and updating the kitchen and the master bath, too.

Anyway, in preparation for this, I have been burning some excess vacation time this week packing most of our stuff into a storage container and emptying out most of the rooms in the house in preparation for the contractor to get started. I haven't had a moment's rest until just now and this is why I haven't been able to go over last week's football. Nevermind, I'll just write a long post tomorrow or Friday when I make my picks.

They came to pick up the container this week and I have to say it was one most convenient things I have done in a very long time - I literally packed a box and walked out the front door and placed it in the container - and furniture was just as easy since the thething was a ground level and we didn't have to muscle it up a ramp or otherwise have to get it off the ground. This was much easier than renting a truck and making multiple runs to a silly storage container on the other side of town.

I thought the contraption that they use to pick up the container was pretty cool, so I took some pics:











Pretty cool.


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Monday, October 23, 2006


Posted by Johnnymac 9:47 PM
Mark, I would say that the reason why there are nothing but Big Bet games offered in the rooms here in town is because it's more lucrative to the owners of the room and not necessarily because there isn't demand for low-limit games. One of the reasons why I quit playing around town, in addition to getting married and trying to straighten up some of my bachelor ways, was that I finally started paying attention to the size of the rake in those games. They may say that it's 5% or $6 straight or something like that, but in reality it's pushing 15% or 20%. The kicker for me was when I saw a dealer take almost $20 out of a $50 pot at the Friendship Social Club and no one else there even noticed - after that I decided that I wasn't a sucker and that the game wasn't beatable. And hell, it's not explicitly explained to the players and even if it was, who's going to enforce the rules anyway?

Of course, this isn't meant to be a statement on the fairness or beatability of a given game rather, it's this: if those f*ckers were willing to try and rake 40% out of a $50 pot, there is no telling how much they are skimming off the top of some of the $500 or more sized pots that I hear about through you and through some other people I hear about. So hell yeah, why would they waste time with smaller games when there are suckers around town who are willing to give even more money away playing large games?

I'm not sure if this is a reason why No Limit will stay on in Vegas, but I'm sure the casinos still make more money off of those games than they do the $4-8, so it's a factor.


(2) comments

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Posted by Dr Fro 3:37 PM
Pauly tells us that

Those happy sunny summer days of poker are over for now as the winter of discontent approaches. And eventually the bitter winter freeze ends in a thaw and those warm halcyon days quickly return. But not for a while.

As always, he has a good write up on the state of affairs in poker and his life.

Iggy takes the political angle.

And our own John Greene tells us his prediction that NL holdem will slowly die down. I disagree with Mr. Greene. I agree that we may have seen a peak, an inflection point in the exponential rise of poker (including NL) popularity, but I believe it will continue to be quite popular. For starters, the gay law that was just passed will increase the amount of B&M play. People in Dallas are a little more likely to drive 1 hour to Winstar than they were a few weeks ago. I personally think that the law will hurt Vegas a bit in the very long run as the online gambling is a great recruiting ground to turn normal people into degenerate gamblers, that is, degenerate gamblers that like to go on vacations to places like Las Vegas. I also agree with the point that there will be a shift to limit games over the next decade for the same reason that there was a shift (in this country only) many moons ago. But there was a paradigm shift in the way casinos viewed poker, and that won't change. There used to be no catering to the (oxymoron alert) low-roller-no-limit player. Casinos figured out that this was a very important demographic. Unlike the professionals who hardly tipped, never rented a room and begged for comps, the guys showing up now would pay for rooms, buy dinner at the steak house, but jewelry for their girlfriend at the gift shop, get wasted and blow a few hundred at the BJ table on his way out the door. Basically, NL Holdem Guy was the casinos ultimate customer. I think that as long as casinos like having customers that willingly hand over money, they will continue to spread NL Holdem. And, to misquote Field of Dreams, if you spread it, they will come.

And if anybody is wondering why I am so giddy today, it might have something to do with winning the office pool this week (the Washington State pick was golden), winning on the Cardinals last night, and holding a Cardinals to win it all ticket from Caesar's.




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Posted by Dr Fro 2:16 PM

Time to re-visit my preseason predictions:


OU Sucks
1. The University of Texas will win the Big XII. Being the only undefeated team in the league and having our two toughest opponents behind us, it is terribly hard to imagine not winning the South. Having just beat our likely opponent in the championship game on the road, I fancy our chances to beat them on nuetral ground.

2. UT will go into Lincoln, Nebraksa expecting an easy victory only to find themselves in a tough game that goes down to the wire. How right could I have been?

3. A&M could be 8-1 after 9 games. They are 7-1 right now.

4. There will not be 2 undefeated teams at year-end to compete in the national championship game. OSU plays UM and Louisville plays WVA. USC will eventually be exposed. I still think this is likely.

5. Jamaal Charles will not win the Heisman Trophy...looking pretty smart ...but he will go to New York in a fancy suit. OK, maybe not

6. Notre Dame will not live up to expectations. Obviously they were humiliated by UM. MSU and UCLA made ND look silly even in victory.

So 4 or 5 of 6 predictions look great. If Jamaal Charles rushes for 300 yards per week for the next 4 weeks, I could get 6 of 6 right.




(1) comments

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Posted by Dr Fro 10:45 PM
Bwwwwwaaaaahhhhhh!! Haaaaaaa!!!!
Harvard sucks!!!!!! It happened again!!!. All those crimson fags talking about how they are this and that...ha aha ha ha... Tim Murphy is COACH FEBRUARY!!!! He gets all the smart kids, but he can't win when it counts. He is so freaking owned by Princeton. "Coach" Murpy has been there 13 years and has won ZERO national championships. Plus, HE HAS NEVER BEATEN BOB STOOPS. WHOOP! Harvard can take their holier than thou attitude and go play in the Holiday Bowl again!!!! He can recruit, but he doesn't know his XX's and O's. He will NEVER win a national championship EVER!!!!! Murphy can't win THE BIG ONE! ROTFLMAO!!!!!! Princeton scores a few points and Murph's tail goes between his legs. Clearly, losing a game by 3 points means that he will never do anyting good EVER!!! Upside down Pi Signs for ALL!!!!! Death to sweaters, and ex-presidents and long live THE TIGERS!!! We own the freakin losers from CAMBRIDGE MASS!!!! BWAAAAAA coach february from h.u. sucks AGAIN.



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Friday, October 20, 2006


Posted by Johnnymac 8:50 PM
Week 8 Football Picks



I've been crazy busy all week and just managed to get a look at the football lines this afternoon (Friday).

College:

Harvard -1 at PRINCETON
Hey, it's my alma mater, live on national TV tomorrow on the YES Network at 11am! Right when I'll be watching the Longhorns... crap.

Wisconsin -6.5 at PURDUE
The Badgers have been rolling, I'm going with them until they let me down.

CALIFORNIA -23.5 vs Washington State
A lot of noise has been made this week about the Oddsmakers Top 25 and how Cal is ranked #4. How can they be ranked so highly? Because the oddsmakers care about one thing: covering the number, and except for the first game of the year when they got slaughtered at Tennessee the Bears are 5-1 against the spread. They've covered some big numbers, some on the road no less, so I'm sticking with them, especially since they clinched a three-way ticket for me last week in Vegas.

LSU -32.5 vs Fresno St
The LSU train keeps rolling; Fresno has given up and is ready for basketball season.

DUKE +17.5 vs Miami
Why the hell not? The Canes have been distracted all week from the brawl fallout, not to mention that they lost 9 starters to the suspensions. Let's see if something falls out. (and for the record, Miami scored all of its points last week when most of the FIU defense had been ejected)


Pros:

Detroit +3.5 at JETS
I like getting more than a field goal here, although I think if Roy Williams and Kevin Jones both have games like last week the Lions will win the game outright.

Green Bay +5.5 at MIAMI
Not sure why, but I just have a feeling about this one. Maybe it's that Miami can't seem to score points, but we'll see if my feeling pans out.

ATLANTA -3 vs Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh has been great at home against bad teams. I like the Falcons to bounce back this week.

Arizona -3 at OAKLAND
As if Art Shell can cover two weeks in a row.

INDIANAPOLIS -9 vs Washington
Love the Colts coming off the bye week and giving less than 10 points.


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Posted by Junelli 2:44 PM
"$1 into $20,000"

A little while back Jesus Ferguson challenged himself to see what he could do with $1 while playing online poker. It was part publicity promo for FullTilt, and part personal challenge to see if he was disciplined enough to stick to a VERY stringent bankroll management plan.

The plan was quite simple: Only sit down with 5% of your total bankroll, and always get up once you've reached 10%. No exceptions. Well, there was one exception at the beginning. When Jesus first started playing, he played the micro limit $.01/$.02 NL tables that required a minimum buy-in of $.10 (a whole dime). Therefore, when he first started he actually played with 10% of his bankroll. However, once he had earned a few dimes, he returned to the 5% rule.

If, in a given session, he ever reached 10% of his bankroll, he would wait until the blinds came around and then cash out.

It took a long time, but he successfully started climbing up in levels. Eventually he reached the $25-$50 NL tables where he was accustomed to playing. Of course, there were setbacks along the way. Each time he lost some significant portion of his bankroll, he would simply move down to the "new" appropriate level and resume his grind. Once his bankroll had recovered, he would move up again.

Jesus turned $1 into $20,000.

Hearing him tell that story inspired me to try something similar. For the past several years, I've had a dead-end strategy of depositing $100-$200, and playing way above my bankroll (i.e. $3-6 limit, $1-$2 NL, $30 SNGs, etc.). There's almost no way to win when you play those stakes with that bankroll. I can't afford the swings, and no matter how I played, I was destined to bust (of course, playing drunk sometimes didn't help).

So this week I opened a Poker Stars account. **As you know, PokerStars is still legal, because the law doesnt apply to them because "poker is a game of skill"**

I deposited a measely $25 and vowed to play the micro limits to see if I can grind my way up to higher levels. I'm going to try and employ Jesus' bankroll management strategy of only playing with 5% of my bankroll at any given time, and setting limits at which I get up and leave the table.

So far I have played 2 different types of games: Limit poker ($.05-$.10 and $.10-$.20) and SNGs ($3 + $.40).

I'm going to keep track of my sessions and tournament results so that I can track my progress along the way. I'll be blogging these results with some frequency.

I'm going to stay away from the NL and PL ring games for now, because in the past, I've been unable to beat them. I may dabble a little once I get my bankroll up to a safe amount. Until then however, I plan to play only micro limit poker and micro SNGs ($3 and $5).

So far I've done very well. In just 3 days my account is now at $52.96 (an increase of just over 100%). I have earned a few dollars at the limit games, but most of the winnings have come from the $3 + $.40 NL SNGs.

Here are my SNG results thus far:

10/20/2006
1st place = $15 (net $11.60)
7th place
5th place
1st place = $15 (net $11.60)
1st place = $15 (net $11.60)

10/19/2006
6th place
2nd place = $9 (net $5.60)
3rd place = $6 (net $2.60)

10/18/2006
7th place
6th place (-$5.50)
6th place
9th place

10/17/2006
2nd place = $9 (net $5.60)

That represents gross winnings of $69 on buy-ins of $49.70, for a net profit of $19.3. Total cashes = 6 out of 13.

Because my account is currently at $53 I have a tournament M of 15.5 (meaning I can play and lose 15.5 tournaments in a row before I'm broke. My goal is to get my bankroll to 20 buy-ins for each tournament level I decide to move in to. For example, if I want to move up to the $5.50 tournaments, I need to have a bankroll of $110. The $10+$1 tournaments will require a $220 bankroll, etc.

I feel that this is a sufficient amount to allow me a good buffer zone for some cold streaks, and should I be able to cash in about 35-50% of the tournaments, I should be able to show a profit.

For the cash ring games, I'm going to be playing strictly limit poker. Since my bankroll is about $50, I'm allowed to sit down at a table with $2.50 (5% of my total bankroll). When I play a limit table I'm going to try to sit down with about 50 Big Blinds. In the $.05-$.10 game that works out perfectly to $2.50. Therefore, I'll be playing $.05-$.10 until my bankroll increases.

Here are the bankroll requirements for the limit cash games:

$.05-$.10 = $2.50 buy-in = $50 bankroll
$.10-$.20 = $5 buy-in = $100 bankroll
$.25-$.50 = $12.50 buy-in = $250 bankroll
$.50-$1 = $25 buy-in = $500 bankroll
$1-$2 = $50 buy-in = $1,000 bankroll
$2-$4 = $100 buy-in = $2,000 bankroll
$3-$6 = $150 buy-in = $3,000 bankroll
$5-$10 = $250 buy-in = $5,000 bankroll
$10-$20 = $500 buy-in = $10,000 bankroll

As you can see, the bankroll requirements are steep. I can't play in a little $1-$2 game until I have a bankroll of $1,000. That's a stark contract to the way I used to play it with only $100 or $200.

But I believe this is the best way to play. I have approximately 20 buy-ins, and can survive through the inevitable cold streaks, bad beats, etc.

AND, if I'm truly a winning poker player, I should be able to turn a profit. If I can't turn a profit playing this way, then I have no business depositing more money and playing at higher stakes. This is the true test to see if I have the skills, discipline, and patience to play properly and win money.

I'll keep you updated on my progress.

Junell

ps - If you have any comments or suggestions on my bankroll management strategy, I'd appreciate hearing them. This is my first crack at this sort of thing.


(0) comments

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Posted by Junelli 3:56 PM
Three tortoises, Mick, Alan and Les, decide to go on a picnic. So Mick packs the picnic basket with beer and sandwiches. The trouble is the picnic site is ten miles away so it takes them ten days to get there.

When they get there Mick unpacks the food and beer. "OK Les Give me the bottle opener."

"I didn't bring it," says Les. "I thought you packed it."

Mick gets worried, He turns to Alan, "Did you bring the bottle opener??"

Naturally Alan didn't bring it. So they're stuck ten miles from Home without a bottle opener. Mick and Alan beg Les to go back for It, but he refuses as he says they will eat all the sandwiches.

After two hours, and after they have sworn on their tortoise Lives that they will not eat the sandwiches, he finally agrees. So Les sets off down the road at a steady pace.

Twenty days pass and he still isn't back and Mick and Alan are starving, but a promise is a promise.

Another five days and he still isn't back, but a promise is a promise. Finally they can't take it any longer so they take out a Sandwich each, and just as they are about to eat it, Les pops up from behind a rock and shouts........

"I KNEW IT!......I'M NOT FUCKING GOING!"


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Posted by Johnnymac 12:23 PM
Week 7 Football Wrapup

First, Vegas. Click on the image below to see the full size screen cap of my football spreadsheet from this week. These are all of the actual wagers I made while in Vegas this weekend.



I have to say that two of my picks were piggybacks off of the picks that my brother sent me on Friday night to wager for him on Saturday. He sent me 7 picks and then wanted all 7 on one parlay card and then a subset of 4 on another card. Unfortunately, the Miami/FIU brawl- errr, game, wasn't on the parlay card at the Venetian, so we removed Miami and just made it a 6 team card. In all, he wanted 9 total bets made at $10 each. So what did he do? He hit all 9 and turned his $90 into $583.50 by the end of the day. My brother is the man - that's not bad for an honest days work.

For the record, I also liked Cal, Florida St, and Wake myself, before I even went to Vegas, I poached Rutgers and Hawaii from my brother, and I also picked Wisconsin, Missouri, Auburn, and both bets on Texas. Bert's other winning picks were Miami and South Florida. I got 5/6 on my own 6 teamer and should have included Hawaii or Texas instead of Army and I would have had a better day than he did, save the Aggies being a really strong home dog.

Perhaps the best gambling moment on Saturday came when Texas went for the fake field goal late in the first half and only up by 11 points. The second best was Robert Killebrew running the fumble for a TD with 5 minutes left in the game and only up by 25. If Baylor doesn't turn the ball over, they probably would have scored with 2 minutes left and then Mack sits on the ball and runs out the clock.

Also, watching Auburn beat Florida inside the Sportsbook was great. It was probably 60/40 really loud Florida fans all day long and they sure were quiet when the game was over.

As far as the pros go, it figures that Oakland chooses to cover for the first time all year on the weekend I'm in Vegas. It also figures that the Jets score in the first quarter for the first time this year and manage to take a 3-0 lead into halftime when I actually have an "educated" bet on the halftime score. Damn.

Season Wagering Results:

College: 17-7-1 68% +$269
Pro: 11-11-0 50% +$81


On to the picks:

College Pickem Pool: 9/19

Snyder Pool: 7-7; 4-1 money picks (CHICAGO! DAMN!)

College Blog Picks: (1-4 this week, 12-11-2 overall)

Missouri -1.5 at TEXAS A&M INCORRECT
Bert warned me off of this one as Aggy seems to be a strong home dog. I listened partially and kept it off of my parlay cards, but I was wrong outright in my feelings about this game.

WISCONSIN -9.5 vs Minnesota CORRECT
Easy pick.

Army +5.5 at CONNECTICUT INCORRECT
(yeah I got nothing to say here)

Iowa State +19.5 at OKLAHOMA INCORRECT
I stayed off of this one by accident - on the Venetian sheet the 12:30 start was grouped with the 4:00 starts and I missed it when I put in my bets early. This was OK because ISU never got rolling and OU won easily.

PENN STATE +7 vs Michigan INCORRECT
I thought missing Manningham would have a bigger effect on the Wolverines.



Pro Blog Picks: (4-1 this week; 11-13-1 overall)

Tennnessee +9.5 at WASHINGTON CORRECT
And I quote:
Vince Young is getting better every week and the Titans are due for a win. I think they win this one outright, too.


ST LOUIS +3.5 vs Seattle CORRECT
Still a correct pick since it took Seattle's last second figgie to win by 1 point, but the Rams got jobbed by the referees here on the false start at the end. They should have won the game outright.

ATLANTA -3 vs NEW YORK GIANTS INCORRECT
Michael Vick is a good (not great) fantasy quarterback. Michael Vick is barely an average reality quarterback.

DETROIT +1 vs Buffalo CORRECT
And I quote again:
I think Detroit gets win #1 this weekend, Roy Williams status notwithstanding. Why? Because Kevin Jones will be the difference here, just like the Bears running game last week.


DALLAS -13.5 vs Houston CORRECT
One more quote:
Carr will get his yards and TD's in the 4th quarter when the Cowboys are up by 28.

OK I was half right.


(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 12:09 PM
Here is my attempt to write a typical internet trip report as would be found on allvegaspoker.com or similar sites:

"Flew in2 VEGAS for 4 days of nonstop POKEr. It was great. Played a lot in the Venetain. Plenty of little fishies there and lotz of free money. Go get you some. I played a little NL and was up HUGE when this fish came into the game and cracked my Aces wiuth his freakin crappy flush. I didn't win but I got it back playing blackjack. Recommend the venetian cuz that place is TIGHT and ROCKIN, especially the chairs, they are nice. Lots of fishes and the drinks flow OK, couldn't find the cocktail waitress sometimes, she took too long sometimes, not sure where they go. My brother and I love to play TEXAS HOLDEM, you should check it out bro, there is money to be made there, just be careful of the fishes, OK? All in all recommended, I would say 4/5 on the room, the plasma TV's are nice. Maybe 2/5 on the cocktails, the competition wuld be 1/5 there are plenty of fishies but the local rockz are all over the place and they will take your money if your'e not caeful. I like to play very tight and aggressive, so I didn't lose a lot, i might recoomend playing somewhere else cuz the competition is pretty good. Good Luck"


(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 10:36 AM
Quick Vegas Report

I'm not going to write a typically long trip report post because I personally hate reading them myself and they all seem to sound the same: "I was up big playing $2-5 NL at Bellagio then this fish walked in and took all my money on the worst beat ever but the drinks were flowing and I'll go back because that place is full of awful players who will never be as good a poker player as me." Or something like that.

We were out there from Thursday night until Monday morning, which, in my opinion, is a great way to do Vegas because there is time on both Friday morning and Sunday night to play the poker tournaments that usually aren't offered on weekends and still time for the jusual Vegas hijinks and sports betting in between. Sunday night rooms are usually VERY cheap, as well, if you wait until Sunday morning to make a reservation like we did.

Anyway, to get to the main points:

Hotel: We stayed at The Venetian. This was my first time there and it was very nice. Canonico scored a pretty good rate for Thursday and Friday nights ($179 both nights) and a very expensive rate on Saturday ($440) for the same room. Thing is, the room just has to accumulate 6 hours of aggregate poker time between all of the guests in a particular room and you can ask for and receive the discounted poker room rate, which we ended up paying $250 for Saturday night. That was a bargain. Like I said, we didn't originally have a reservation on Sunday night and when we inquired on Saturday about staying an extra day, they said they hotel was booked solid but that we could squeeze in for $540 on Sunday morning. When we asked the same thing on Sunday morning that quoted us $169 for one more night. This isn't inconsistent - it's just good ecominics, because the expected value of the room declines rapidly the close time gets to it being unbooked and empty.

As far the hotel itself, the Sports Book and the Poker Room are very close and very convenient and the Coffee Shop is a Grand Lux cafe (just like the one in Houston) which was very good and very affordable. We ate there 3 times on the trip, including a free meal on Sunday night thanks to the poker comps that we accumulated in the two days we had played. My only complaint about the place is the number of tourists who walk around taking pictures and getting in the way, especially at the entrance that is right next to the poker room. Otherwise, the whole place is great, even if it's a little bit large.

Poker: During my last two trips to Vegas I was seduced by the $1-2 NL games that are available just about everywhere on the trip. And on both of those trips, I ran into some huge beats (some bad, some just unlucky) that took bites out of my bankroll $200 at a time. I thought about both of those experiences for a very long time before I went on this latest trip, and I realized that while I enjoy playing No Limit and I think I could ultimately be successful at those games, I'm not made of money and my bankroll simply isn't large enough for me to withstand many of those losses, especially with a pregnant Mrs Johnnymac sitting at home and already not a big fan of my gambling. This means that I would just be scared money at the table and that's not winning place to be.

So, upon consideration, I resolved before this trip to stay away from the No Limit and to only play in a couple of tournaments and the small limit games, that, as I learned, are beginning to make a comeback on the strip with people getting tired of No Limit for reasons similar to mine. This was a good decision - my results were spectacular: I played 25 total hours of $4-8 limit spread over three days and two casinos and I pocketed $724 in winnings. That is more than 3.5 big bets an hours, which is a-ok with me.

This is not to say that the entire run of LL holdem was fun or pleasurable, because sometimes it was not. Watching guys take down huge pots with runner runner baby flushes against bottom two pair after I had thrown away the suited Ace against action on the flop was VERY frustrating. But a funny thing happened early Sunday afternoon - I caught myself beginning to steam and count my dwindling stack of chips when I realized to myself that after 4 hours of boring non-winning play, I was only down $67. Couple that with my winnings at football, and I wasn't that bothered anymore. And besides, just like losing slowly for a while was pretty backbreaking, when the cards came I generally got paid off huge by the same guys who would bet any made hand to the end. It was a wash and it was definitely more fun than sweating a NL game with scared money.

This got me thinking.

Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP, and the poker boom began, just over three years ago. Since that time internet cardrooms have flourished and all of the casinos in Vegas have opened new flashy poker rooms where previously there were only a handful in a couple of places (Mirage, Bellagio, Binions). Similarly, right now there is a huge demand for NL games because that's the kind of game that many of the newer players are familiar with from television and the internet. Now, here's the deal - the internet isn't there anymore. And furthermore, like me, there are a lot of players who simply cannot afford to continually throw money into these No Limit games much longer, especially when there are games and tournaments available with smaller financial requirements that offer the same tangible casino experience save for a smaller total amount of money in the game. This weekend at Venetian, while there was indeed a $1-2 NL game that didn't seem to break for the entire time I was in the casino, during peak times there were just as many, if not more, $4-8 and $8-16 games going as there was total No Limit games going on, and I think this is because some people are starting to get tired of losing money as rapidly as No Limit allows it to be lost. This is why up until 2 years or so ago, casinos didn't offer NL at all because it drove off the bad players way too quickly. Now there is demand and plenty of new players willing to try their hands (no pun intended), but from my observations this weekend it seems that demand is starting to level out.

Here is my prediction: I predict that within 5 years, at least one, and possibly two, of the big flashy rooms at MGM, Caesars, and Venetian will close, and furthermore, I predict that No Limit poker will begin to die out again and be replaced with more Low Limit games instead. And I am also pretty sure that almost all of the more ancillary rooms, like those at TI, Harrah's, and Bally's will also close up shop within this period, too.

I am not predicting that poker will dwindle back to where it was five years ago, where there were ZERO no limit cash games available, but I believe we are beginning to see the end of the poker boom. There might be a NL game or two in a room, and it might be full on the weekends, but I think we will soon see a return to our vocabulary of terms like, "10-20" and "20-40" and the disappearance of "2-5 No Limit" and others.

Just a prediction.

Also, with regards to poker, Canonico and I both played in the $65 MGM tourney on Friday morning and the $180 Venetian tournament on Sunday night. On Monday I lasted until just after the break, basically getting blinded out because of cold cards and the presence of plenty of tourist types who made the concept of bluffing worthless during the early part of the tournament. I fared better in the Venetian tournament, there out of 50 players I won a few large pots early and lasted until the final 18 when I made a move against the most aggressive guy at the table who usually folded to any sort of action back at him but who happened to hit a set of kings in the one hand that I chose to try and steal from him holding JT. I had a monster draw to both a flush and an open-ended nut straight and missed both when I was pot-committed* on the turn.

Sports: I bet on a lot of football this weekend and making no single wager greater than $20, including a couple of three-teamers that hit, I won ~ $375 on both pro and college football. I'll write more about this in my football post that I need to get written ASAP.

Other: Since we were there ostensibly for Darryl's bachelor party, we did indeed have a night on the town on Saturday. We had dinner at StripSteak (brand new restaurant and excellent) at Mandalay and then walked over to Luxor and saw "Fantasy" (None of the guys there were big fans of wasting money at some of Vegas's other "attractions", or if anyone did want to go, they didn't speak up). Dinner was excellent and the show was at least better than Crazy Girls. I would, however, like to suggest to the management fo the Luxor that even though he is a talented performer who added to the segues in between dancing sets, the Black Guy comedian does not need to come out unexpectedly and start breakdancing during the middle of the opening number when all of the girls have just removed their tops and the audience members are just starting to enjoy the show. I'm not trying to be racist, but that simply isn't one of my fantasies, no matter how much I've had to drink.

After the show we walked over to MGM and burned money playing Blackjack for an hour or so. Here, I need to point out that Darryl, the bachelor boy, double his money every single time he sat down to play blackjack this weekend. He was slightly down at poker and slightly down at football, but was still a winner for the weekend. Now keep in mind that he didn't pay for anything except for his plane ticket and you can see why I hate Darryl. HA.

Summary:
Add it all up and it was probably my best Vegas trip ever in terms of winning wagers, if not money won. I won enough to pay for my whole trip with $100 left over as profit. Thing is, I'm still going to owe Canonico money when he gets his credit card statement later this month, because the big winner was Mrs Johnnymac. See, she always wants a present when I go to Vegas and this time she got an Hermès scarf. I can't win.

But we still had fun. Football post coming.


* Footnote: I normally don't believe that there is such a thing as being obligated to call a bet simply because the pot is of a large enough size, especially in a cash game where one can go back into his pocket and reload and wait for a better situation, but the rules are different in a tournament, especially in later stages when the choice is between being crippled or greatly strengthened. Thus when I say I was pot-committed in my story about the Venetian tournament, I use the phrase as a matter of convention when in reality the question is really one if stupendously magnified implied odds relative to the size of the bet and the alternative of being knocked out of the tournament. See Malmuth, Sklansky, and Harrington's books for more on this subject.


(1) comments

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Posted by Junelli 5:37 PM
I'm doing my part for the war on terror. What about you?


(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 11:19 AM
Phil Ivey's Poker Face



(0) comments

Monday, October 16, 2006


Posted by Dr Fro 11:00 PM




(4) comments

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Posted by Dr Fro 2:45 PM
It looks like the 2007 WSOP will be quite a bit smaller than 2006.


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Saturday, October 14, 2006


Posted by Dr Fro 9:38 AM
Yesterday, our fearless leader (a.k.a. "The Decider") decided to sign the port security bill which did not make playing online poker illegal. It did, however, make it more difficult.

Party Poker is out of the U.S. Their site says this:

The President of the United States has signed legislation that now causes PartyGaming to have to cease taking wagers from U.S. customers. We will also suspend accepting deposits from U.S. customers and examine potential offerings to U.S. customers that would be within the new law. This will not affect the Play For Free games and your Account will remain accessible.

Non-US players and all Play for Free games will not be affected.

If, like us, you think this new law is unfair and unjust, have your say now at the Poker Players Alliance.

Visit our FAQ for more Information



If you try to sit down at a real money table, PP will not let you. I also noticed they took off the counter at the bottom of the screen that brags about how many players are playing at the time. I wonder why.

Pokerstars says this law does not apply to them.



(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 12:11 AM
Here are this week's football picks. I am sorry they are late and I'm about to go to bed so I can get up early and go catch the drunks downstairs, so the writeup will be a little bit brief. All of the lines below are the Venetian lines (where we're staying) as of tonight.

College:

Missouri -1.5 at TEXAS A&M
I am all over the tigers here.

WISCONSIN -9.5 vs Minnesota
Wisconsin is playing great right now and rolling along.

Army +5.5 at CONNECTICUT
I just have a feeling that UConn is being given too much credit here.

Iowa State +19.5 at OKLAHOMA
I think ISU will score 17 points here, I don't see the Sooners scoring more than 35 to cover. In fact, I think Iowa State can win this game, so it's consistent with my #1 betting rule of college football wagering.

PENN STATE +7 vs Michigan
I think Penn State wins this game outright.

Pro:
Tennnessee +9.5 at WASHINGTON
Vince Young is getting better every week and the Titans are due for a win. I think they win this one outright, too.

ST LOUIS +3.5 vs Seattle
I am starting to be a believer in the Rams. Are you?

ATLANTA -3 vs NEW YORK GIANTS
I like Atlanta after the bye week. The Giants have not been good away from home.

DETROIT +1 vs Buffalo
I think Detroit gets win #1 this weekend, Roy Williams status notwithstanding. Why? Because Kevin Jones will be the difference here, just like the Bears running game last week.

DALLAS -13.5 vs Houston
Carr will get his yards and TD's in the 4th quarter when the Cowboys are up by 28.

(One aside: since I am in Vegas this weekend and can make more bets than the usual point spread on the whole game, I really like betting against the JETS (vs the Dolphins) in the first half. The Jets have not scored AT ALL in the first quarter all year. )


(3) comments

Friday, October 13, 2006


Posted by Dr Fro 12:46 PM
Today is the last day to gloat over the OU victory, as we will need to regain focus to beat the mighty Bears from Baylor. All this is courtesy of Cameron:

Here is a pic during the game:



Here is one after the game:




Here is that crying kid:




(0) comments

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Posted by Dr Fro 3:25 PM
This time of year, there is always plenty of discussion on the topic of how college football crowns its national champion. I don't mind people having an opinion one way or the other, as long as their opinion is based on actual fact. Where I get annoyed in these conversations is when people draw conclusions based untruths. In my opinion, the biggest untruths told by people that clamor for a playoff in college football are as follows.

1. "There is no playoff in college football"

Actually, there is. This may seem like a matter of semantics, but the current system is a playoff that consists of 2 teams and 1 game. Why bother making this distinction? Because the "injustices" that happen to the #3 team under the current 2-team playoff will only be replaced by injustices to the #5 team in a 4-team playoff and the #9 team in an 8-team playoff. True that an injustice to #9 is easier to stomach than an injustice to #3, but do not ever be so naïve to think that while the BCS has struggled to develop an optimal system for identifying #1 and #2 that they would somehow magically be able to identify #1-#8 without any problem.

2. "Under the current system, there is controversy every year over the national champion"

This is a common but wholly untrue statement. The current system really began once the Pac-10 and Big-10 gave up their tie-ins to the Rose Bowl and joined the BCS party in 1998. There have been 8 seasons under the current system. Let's look at how each has panned out:

1998: Tennessee came out of the Fiesta Bowl as the only undefeated team in the country and the undisputed national champion.

1999: Florida State came out of the Sugar Bowl as the only undefeated team in the country and the undisputed national champion.

2000: OU came out of the Orange Bowl as the only undefeated team in the country after holding defending national champion Florida State to 2 points. OU was the undisputed national champion.

2001: Miami came out of the Rose Bowl as the only undefeated team in the country and the undisputed national champion.

2002: Ohio State came out of the Fiesta Bowl as the only undefeated team in the nation after beating #1 and defending national champion, Miami. Nobody in this universe disagreed that OSU was the national champion.

2003: LSU won the Sugar Bowl, USC won the Rose Bowl. Both teams had 1 loss. Controversy!

2004: USC came out of the Orange Bowl undefeated. Auburn did, too, and a lot of people thought that they should be the national champion. Utah was also undefeated, although nobody seemed to care. Controversy!

2005: UT came out of the Rose Bowl as the only undefeated team in the nation after beating #1 and defending national champion, USC. Nobody in this universe disagreed that UT was the national champion.

There you have it. Most would say that it worked perfectly 6 times out of 8. While others may argue that it even worked 8 out of 8 (I will get to this later), it can not be denied that it worked at least 6 out of 8. So it can not be said that there is controversy every year. Of course, there is lots of controversy every October when people argue over hypothetical situations, but there is rarely controversy at the end of the post-season.

3. "Every other sport has a playoff."

Not true. Let's start with golf. No playoff. At the end of the season, you could have 4 different majors' champions and a fifth person as the money leader. Nobody seems to care. How about boxing? There isn't even a season; there is a king of the hill situation with a "championship game" multiple times a year. And NASCAR? The most popular sport in the U.S. (embarrassing, but true) surely has a playoff? Nope. No playoff.

And that is just some popular American sports. How about that little sport that happens to be the most popular on the planet? Well the Premier League (England) has a regular season and the team with the most wins at the end of the season is the champion. Well actually, ties count, too, kinda like hockey, but you get the point. There is no post-season in the Premier League.

A team in the Premier League may be involved in up to 3 "cups" during the regular season - 2 open only to English teams and 1 to only very good Euro-wide teams. This is, in fact, a modified bracket playoff. It should be pointed out that these cups occur separately from and simultaneously with the regular season. They are not part of a post-season intended to crown a champion for the season. So at the end of the season, Man U may win the league, Arsenal may win the FA Cup, Chelsea may win the other gay cup that nobody cares about and can't recall what it is called and Liverpool may win the Champions League. Controversy? No way. The fans consider each of these feats as completely separate, unrelated and of differing prestige.

By the way, all the prestigious soccer leagues follow the format I described for the Premier League. So why are all those cheese-eating, white flag waving, communist loving (!pandering alert!) Europeans so opposed to a playoff at the end of the season to decide their champion? Read #4

4. "A playoff is the most effective means of determining a champion."

No it isn't. You will never convince me that when the Yankees completely outperform the Marlins in the regular season but drop a 7-game series that the Marlins are actually better than the Yankees. Didn't the Mariners set the regular season record for wins but lose a 5-game divisional series?

The only way to appear to win this argument is to use the circular logic that the definition of a champion is a team that can perform the best in a playoff type situation. With that definition, one could only conclude that a playoff is in fact the best means of determining a champion. But that is circular logic.

Playoffs are a lot of things. Exciting is one. But, effective at crowning a champion? I'd prefer to look at a body of work over one season rather than a single game (or short series) at the end of the season.


5. "The champion is not determined on the field."

Well first of all it is. The 2-team, 1-game playoff is played on a field. This is not 1994 and we no longer have the bowl tie-ins that kept #1 from playing #2. So stop saying that it isn't determined on the field. It is.

But if what you meant is that the participants in the game are not determined by on the field play, well, I still disagree with you. The BCS formula does not include any inputs that consider something other than what happens on the field. Players' heights and weights are not an input. Neither are TV ratings. Nor are pre-season rankings. And for those of you that think that these facts do weigh in unconsciously via the "human polls", please read # 8.

The participants in the NC game are chose based on what they do on the field.

6. "It is not fair that schools from certain conferences are given preferential treatment."

Not true at all. Number 1 plays number 2 period. It is true that the BCS games other than the championship game is a good ol' boys network, but the championship game has no bias against "non-BCS" teams

7. "There is overwhelming support for a college football playoff."

This is the only untruth that I can't support with anything more than my personal experience. While I do agree that college football, like any commercial enterprise (oh, don't be naïve!), should give the market what it wants, I am not convinced that this is what the market wants. I think if you interview a pool of ESPN-watching, NFL-loving, Fantasy Football playing, Dallas Cowboy season ticket holding sports fans, you will see a huge support for a college playoff. If, on the other hand, you interviewed a bunch of people that have season tickets to a Div. I-A program, graduated from a Div. I-A school and do not care much about sports other than college football (a.k.a. college football's most die-hard fans), I think you would be surprised to learn how few of them want a playoff.

People that are smart in marketing give their biggest customers what they want, even if it offends the outspoken marginal customer.

8. "The system of picking the 2 participants doesn't work."

If this true, then a solution is to fix how the participants are chosen. But of course, those who levy this criticism are not interested in that. They want a playoff, dammit! Refer to #1. No system is perfect. In college basketball, the Stonecutters meet in secret and choose 64 teams based on, based on…. Um, well, actually they don't ever tell us exactly what it is based on.

People love to point to 2003 when USC was shut out of the BCS game despite being #1 in the AP and Coaches' Poll. People say this is proof that the system is broken. That could only be true if we accept that the the human polls are the best indicator of who the best teams are. And if this is the case, then the solution to this perceived problem would be to change the BCS formula to only consider human polls. But why don't we do that? Because of a simple truth on which everyone agrees:

There is inherent bias in the human polls.

So, the BCS tempers this by mixing in some computer polls. Of course, the weaknesses of the computer polls are tempered by the human polls. Checks and balances. How American.

9. "Fro, that is neat I will agree with you on all points except possibly #7 But at the end of the day, can't we agree that there is no downside to a playoff, and it would be a lot of fun and would make a lot of money?"

Yes, we can agree that it would be fun and that it would make a lot of money. But it is not true to say there is no downside. There is downside. College football is the only sport where winning your conference still matters. It is the only sport where half the teams in the top 25 end the season with a win (in a bowl game), as opposed to basketball where 63 of the top 64 teams end the season in a loss. The benefit here isn't that losses hurt the players and fans feelings. The point is that once your out of championship contention (e.g. A&M right now), you still have a lot to play for. They can still win out (they won't), win the conference (they won't) and win the Fiesta Bowl (they definitely won't). But they can. So there is still a compelling reason to tune in other hoping they get into a playoff. They have absolutely no business in a playoff, and they are appropriately out of contention. But they still have plenty of other things to play for. And they should.

I love the fact that regular season games matter. The TX-OU game was great this year for bragging rights, but the fact that only the winner maintained a (slight) possibility for a national championship upped the stakes. When TX plays OU in basketball, the game is largely meaningless, except for bragging rights.

In summary, you can not say there is no downside. You can argue what the cost of the downside is, but do not state that there is no cost.

Those are 9 untruths that muck up what could be an otherwise productive argument on the subject. If you want to argue with me, fine. There are plenty of good arguments for a playoff. See if you can find one. But please do not repeat any of the 9 untruths above. (OK, you can use #7 if you wish).

One final thought of mine on college football that is not a popular opinion by any means. In fact, just about nobody agrees with me on this subject. But that rarely changes my mind. Here it goes: I like the fact that there is a little bit of controversy. A little bit. Put another way, I would prefer controversy 6 out of 8 years over a system that crowns a single, undisputed champion every year. Why? The answer is two-fold.

First of all, I have never liked the fact that in every sport there is a single champion every year that seems to largely get equal recognition as all other champions. Sure, if a team repeats or if they go undefeated or if they do something really spectacular, they may be held out as a really special champion. But rarely does a champion get an asterisk by their name. Some may put one by the Rockets during Jordan's absence from the NBA. Not many did that, but some did. Other than that, in the minds of most sports fans, a champion is a champion is a champion. I have never liked that. If in 2006, we had the 32 worst NFL teams of all time compete against each other, somebody would emerge as the undisputed champion. (By default) But that doesn't seem right if all 32 teams kinda suck. Now consider the NCAA in 2003. Three teams - OU, LSU and USC - all had 1-loss. So screw them. They don't get the same level of respect as, say, Tennessee in 1998. And they shouldn't! If they don't like it, they shouldn't have lost that game! Don't come to me with sob stories. Win your games (hey, doesn't that mean we decide things on the field!)

The second reason is a bit more practical, but few will forget the "Auburn lesson." Schedule pansies, and you may not get a shot at the NC. The system rewards teams for scheduling heavyweights. But Fro, UT is on the outside of the championship race looking in now because they scheduled OSU! No, Stupid, they are on the outside looking in because the LOST to OSU, not because they scheduled them. Win that game, and, as OSU knows, it is unfathomable that you will be left out of the NC game no matter how many undefeated teams there are this season.

Flame away.



(1) comments

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Posted by Dr Fro 10:07 PM
Someday we need to have a reader's voting for best posts ever. On the top ten list will be this from Junell.


(1) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 9:51 PM
What a way to go out...

Hard to complain about this one...

***** Hand History for Game 5358518667 *****
$50 NL Texas Hold'em - Wednesday, October 11, 22:42:33 ET 2006
Table Table 97094 (Real Money)
Seat 3 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: ctrimmer13 ( $52.07 )
Seat 2: Jungleland ( $116.42 )
Seat 3: winrl ( $22.99 )
Seat 4: chickenfukkr ( $20.95 )
Seat 5: mcocan ( $57.19 )
Seat 6: RoscoB ( $62.19 )
Seat 7: erinbrennan ( $45.60 )
Seat 9: Irisska ( $148.93 )
Seat 8: phreaux ( $43 )
Seat 10: ntf75 ( $49 )
chickenfukkr posts small blind [$0.25].
mcocan posts big blind [$0.50].
Jungleland is sitting out.
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to phreaux [ As Ah ]
RoscoB folds.
erinbrennan folds.
phreaux raises [$1.75].
Irisska folds.
ntf75 raises [$5].
ctrimmer13 folds.
winrl folds.
chickenfukkr folds.
mcocan folds.
phreaux raises [$10.25].
ntf75 calls [$7].
** Dealing Flop ** [ 8s, Js, Qh ]
phreaux is all-In [$31]
ntf75 calls [$31].
** Dealing Turn ** [ 7d ]
** Dealing River ** [ Ac ]
phreaux shows [ As, Ah ] three of a kind, aces.
ntf75 shows [ Qs, Qd ] three of a kind, queens.
phreaux wins $83.75 from the main pot with three of a kind, aces.


(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 9:45 PM
Worst...beat...ever

If you have logged onto Party lately, you have seen that in all likelihood, the party will be over on Friday, October 13th.

Why don't they leave online poker legal and make bad beat stories illegal? Now that would be a real service to society.




(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 3:26 PM
I haven't written a poker story in a long time. Partly because I was burned out on telling bad beats, and partly because nothing interesting has happened.

I have been playing on a semi-regular basis (though certainly not as much as before I got married in May 2005). In Houston I play at several different places (there are at least 6 card rooms within 5 miles of my house).

Most games have evolved in the 4+ years I've been playing. When I first started playing, the Top Hat offered 2-3 games: $3-$6-$12, $10-$20 and $1-$2 NL/PL. Today almost every place in town plays $5-$5 NL/PL. You can occasionally find a $2-$5PL or even a small $1-$2 NL game, but not often. Of course, a few places offer the huge $5-$10 PL Omaha Hi/Lo, but I don't go near those waters.

You need a bankroll to play in these games. In a $5-$5 NL game, $300 can disappear faster than you can blink an eye. Hell, you can miss a few flops, fold, and still find yourself down over $100 before the first few rounds.

The lack of a bankroll has been my main problem over the past 10 months. Even though I still play the games, I really can't afford them and a bad night will put me in the hole for a few weeks. When I'm winning I tend to play more often. Funny how that works.

So last night I go to the Top Hat where they're playing $5-$5 PL. I buy in for $300 and miss every hand for about an hour. I find myself down to about $110 left in chips, when I flopped a set of 8's against JJ and two pair against Aces. Back up to even.

On the button I was dealt a 9d7d and an early position player raised to $20. Several people called and I called (pair, gutshot, and a backdoor flush draw). The pot was about $80. The flop was T76 and the initial raiser led out for $75. I had seen him make continuation bets in the past and then give up and check/fold on the turn. I wasn't sure whether he had a big pair, or 2 overs.

I called the $75, and the pot was $230. The turn brought the 8 giving me 2nd nut straight (which I knew was good). He reached for his chips, but then stopped and checked to me. I figured he was weak at this point, but knew I had to bet something to massage the pot (very important concept in PL).

I bet $75 (about 1/3 the pot) hoping that he would see this bet as a "weak lead" or a cheap attempt to steal. If he had a decent hand (overpair) he'll pay me off by calling or raising here.

He raised to put me all in (another $140). The pot is $660. He turns over KK and I scoop the large pot.

He's so disgusted at me that he cashes out and leaves. Which was very good for me because the table broke and most of the players moved over to the main game.

I decided to book my profit, cash out and head over to the Zebra to play $2-$5 PL.

I arrive at the Zebra and sit into a 9 handed game that is very wild. The chips are flying and there are several drunk new guys, who I've never seen before.

I start winning almost immediately and grow my stack from $400 to $1,300 in just over 3 hours. Things were really going my way. I was picking up pots without having to show my cards, steamrolling the right people, catching a few sneaky hands, etc.

Then I derailed a bit.

A fairly weak player (with about $600) raised UTG to $25. Several people call, including me on the button with QTo. The flop comes 977 with 2 clubs.

The initial raiser leads out for $55 into a $150 pot. One other person called. I sensed weakness from both players and decided to call (with the hope of taking it away on 4th street or the river). I also called quickly so as to represent a flush draw.

The turn brought the 5 of clubs (putting 3 clubs on the board). The initial bettor again bet $55 (this time into a pot over $300). The middle player folded and I decided to make my move.

I raised to $185 ($130 more). He hemmed and hawed for about 20 seconds, and clearly didn't like my raise. He called.

The river puts a Ten on the board giving me top pair but missing my Q high flush draw. He checks to me.

I hesitate a few moments and then bet $150 (bluff). He thinks for longer than I've ever had anyone take. At least 6 minutes passed. Finally the dealer called the clock on him, and they actually counted the last 10 seconds down out loud.

At the last possible second he pushes his chips in for a call.

I announce "Good Call" and he turns over AA with the Ace of clubs. He also missed his flush, but had an overpair to the board.

Cody immediately told me that I bet the river like a little sissy, and that I would've easily won that pot if I had pushed $300-$350 in there. I later found out this is true, because that guy told me he would've folded to a larger bet on the river.

The pot was $670 and I only bet $150 on a bluff????? I need to go back to poker school.

To be honest, I didn't even think about the amount. I just shoved in $150 thinking that would be enough to scare him out without being so much that it would devastate me if he called and I lost.

I played like a wuss and I deserved to lose a pot that I could've easily taken away.

Well I decided that was a good time to get up and leave (and still lock up an albeit small profit at the Zebra). I just did not want to give back all my winnings, go into the hole, and get stuck playing for another 3 hours trying to get back to even.

I was happy to go home a small winner. If I had bet properly on the river, I would've had a very very good night.


(2) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 1:40 PM
Anybody who writes a description of himself like this:



This picture was taken in 1995. I'm now much younger in psyche and mature in physique. (Look at me... trying smile and vacant gaze. Vampire hair and imaginary foolscap. Anyway, i'm looking for a soulmate. Female, preferably blonde and blue eyes. I'm comfortable with polygamy. I'm a bit short on humor but am strong at siring. I enjoy shopping 'n' friends. You need not be rich but nubile. Interested? You be my chick, i be your cock, if you desire, get in touch. For those Cosmopolitan girls and Señorita out there: I'm technically American. Love me and I can make you American.)


Is certainly going to have very interesting things to say about Vegas:

Due to circumstances, i'm visiting and staying at Las Vegas for about 10 days. It is a city of capitalistic entertainment, with of course sordid tales by the standards of righteous men. This report contains over 220 quality photos plus a focus on ethology, Greek mythology, and how to win big in roulette and craps, and a encounter with a prostitute...

Before coming to Vegas, my imagery of Vegas is depicted from these wondrous movies: Leaving Las Vegas (1995)↗, Rain man (1988)↗, Showgirls (1995)↗. (I find the entertainment value of Showgirls quite good, contrary to popular belief. For one, it shows lots of rumps and teats of human female without social ado, and probably gives a good portrait of the staged girly shows one'd see in Las Vegas.)


A Encompassing Report on the City of Sin

(and I don't even want to guess what "strong at siring" means...)


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Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Posted by Dr Fro 10:03 PM
Reproduced here without any permission from Daniel is Daniel Negreanu's take on the recent events in poker:

***************************


Ok, so unless you've been living under a rock you already know that Senator Bill Frist, from here on in known as slimy weasel, was able to pass a Port Security Bill this weekend that also makes it more difficult for banks to fund online accounts.

Before I mentioned it in my blog I wanted to make sure that I educated myself a little bit more on the state of online poker and what this bill means to all of us.

For the most part, I think they can take their bill and shove it where the sun don't shine. An attempt several years ago to discourage credit card companies from funding online gaming accounts may have caused a slight panic, but in the end, companies like Neteller and other third party operators made it easy for customers to fund their online accounts.

What's still a really grey area is what exactly will happen to a company like Neteller. Neteller isn't a U.S. bank so the U.S. government should have no jurisdiction over Neteller accounts. If that's true, then things will continue to be business as usual.

The way I understand it, you will still be able to fund your Neteller account from your bank account. Neteller is NOT an online gaming company. Your bank would have virtually no way of tracing what you do with your funds after you send them to Neteller, which appears to be totally legal as I understand it.

A couple of publicly owned companies have went on record saying that once the bill is signed by president Bush, they will no longer accept U.S. accounts until they have time to fully understand their options.

As for the majority of privately owned sites, it will be business as usual. Frankly, as moronic and intrusive as this bill is, there is really no need to panic. The bill states that banks have 270 days to comply with the law. Most banks, especially smaller ones, won't even have the resources to do that as I understand it.

In a time where Italy recently announced that they will legalize online gambling and most European countries following suit, it just boggles my mind that the U.S. government fails to realize that A) they do not govern the world, B) they cannot put a stop to online gaming, and C) they are costing the American people billions and billions of dollars in tax dollars that they could use to spend on education, welfare... or just building more "pretty" bombs.

The weasel (remember, that's Bill Frist), claims that online gambling is a way in which terrorists go about laundering money. Come off it? How do you say that with a straight face? Weasel, do you have any proof whatsoever that any terrorist group has used online poker accounts to launder money? Any at all?

The weasel is a self-righteous douche bag who has decided to push upon us his moral agenda by claiming that online poker is "bad." Has he ever played poker? Probably not. Does he even understand that it's different from slot machines? Probably not. Does he even realize that many Americans put food on the table by playing online poker? Probably not, and I doubt he cares. He thinks "gambling is wrong" so we all have to have the same view of it as he does.

Now to the important stuff. There is an organization that we all have to support. I don't mean next week, I don't mean when you have some time, I mean right now. Take a few minutes to check out www.pokerplayersalliance.org/

Currently, over 125,000 poker players have signed on to become a member of this important organization. That number needs to get to a million. I know a lot of you guys read this blog, so please, if you haven't signed up yet do it now. This is no Sally Struthers plea, this is serious. The more people we have behind the PPA the more leverage we could have in Washington.

You can become a full member for as little $20. That money will be used to help fight for a very worthy cause. I'm signing up right now, and you should too. Ok, stop reading now... and go sign up.



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Monday, October 09, 2006


Posted by Johnnymac 7:03 PM
Week 6/Round three football wrapup.



This week was pretty much a carbon copy of last week - right around 40% and slowly falling out of contention in the college pickem pool. Next weekend all of my football bets will be legal because I'll be in Vegas, baby. I'm telling you, I picked a good week to come out of my slump, because there will be some serious action in the Venetian Sportsbook. Darryl just things we're going for his bachelor party... HA!

Speaking of slumps, I meant to post on this earlier, but one night last week Mrs Johnnymac and I watched "Two For the Money" on HBO and I have to say that the first 90% of it was a much better movie than I expected. It's a movie about football betting and it does a good job of capturing the excitement of winning and the utter despair of losing, especially if you've lost more than you can stand to bet and can't seem to turn the slump around. We've all had that experience, to varying degrees, at least once in our lives and man, losing hurts. Anyway, great movie all the way until the last few minutes when they had to wrap it up and throw in a Hollywood ending. Matthew Mcconaughey is very good, Al Pacino plays Al Pacino well in a movie that needs the Al Pacino chracter, and Rene Russo is pretty hot for a 50 yr old.

On to the wrapup.

This weeks actual wagers:

Season results for actual wagering
College: 7-5-1 +$25
Pro: 6-7-0 -$50

Texas (-22) at OKLAHOMA LOSE -$5
(I was drunk one night in January and he wrote it down, what can I say? But I almost got there anyway!)
Texas (-4.5) at OKLAHOMA WIN $10
LSU (-1) at FLORIDA LOSE -$20

Washingston +4.5 at NEW YORK GIANTS LOSE -$20
SAN DIEGO -3.5 vs Pittsburgh WIN $10
Dallas +2 at PHILADELPHIA LOSE -$10
(That is the last time I EVER, EVER, EVER bet on Drew Bledsoe on the road... jiminy he was bad)

Pickem pool results:

Yahoo College Pickem: 6-11
(Stick a fork in me)

Snyder Pool: 6-8; money picks 2-3


Blog Picks:

College: (1-4 this week, 11-7-2 overall)

WAKE +15.5 vs Clemson CORRECT
My only correct college pick of the week looked like genius for the first three quarters as Wake dominated, then Clemson came roaring back and won the game. If I were a Deacon fan I would have been despondent, but I'm not and they covered, so on to the next game.

Rice -2.5 at TULANE INCORRECT
I have no idea what happened here. I thought Tulane was supposed to be terrible and Rice was a better team with its quarterback back. I picked a hell of a time to give up sniffing glue!

GEORGIA TECH -13.5 vs Marlyland INCORRECT
Maryland's run defense played much better than I expected them to. Like Clemson, Tech waited until the 4th quarter to win this game. Unlike the Clemson game, I wasn't wagering on the dog in this one.

LSU +2 at FLORIDA INCORRECT
Maybe it wasn't Auburn's defense that put the clamps on LSU, perhaps it was simply getting on a bus and crossing the state line.

Virginia +6.5 at EAST CAROLINA INCORRECT
The Hoos didn't play worth a shit.

This week's aside: Missouri is a very impressive team. To my disappointment, they went to Lubbock and bitch-slapped Texas Tech and, not to my disappointment, I get the feeling that the Aggies will be on the losing side this week no matter how hard they squeeze. I am particularly looking forward to the Mizzou-Nebraska game on Nov 4 as the winner is likely going to be the winner of the Big 12 North, with the demise of Iowa State. This will be an especially compelling game if Texas can win in Nebraska next week and but the Huskers in a hole.

Pro: (2-2-1 this week, 7-12-1 overall)

St Louis -3 at GREEN BAY PUSH
UPDATE: I was confused here. The Snyder Pool line was 2.5, so it was a win there, but it was not a win for the blog picks since the score was 23-30.

Washington +5 at NEW YORK GIANTS INCORRECT
After two weeks of seemingly getting their offense rolling, the Redskins decided to take a break. The Giants defense was very good and harassed Mark Brunell all day long.

SAN FRANCISCO -3.5 vs Oakland CORRECT
Oh, I was worried about the 49ers for a while, but Art Shell eventually played to form. (that comment was cut and paste from last week and I'll just keep doing that)

Dallas +2 at PHILADELPHIA INCORRECT
Where do I even start with this shit? The Cowboys kept letting Philly back into the game and then gave up two big plays in the second half and Bledsoe obviously couldn't respond. Bledsoe was terrible, every single one of his picks were ugly and entirely his own fault. When I lived in Boston I was a bandwagoner homer for the Patriots and cheered for them, especially since they were just beginning to show flashes of becoming a good team, but the one unifying theme of WEEI sports radio in Boston, Massachusetts was that Bledsoe was terrible. I always thought the fans were a little unfair but I now agree wholeheartedly. Let's see Tony Romo, please. And remember, the Patriots didn't win the Super Bowl until after Tom Brady took over.

Baltimore -4 at DENVER INCORRECT
With a pregnant wife these days, I am going to bed really early each night and was in bed my the middle of the second quarter last night. When I turned off the TV, Baltimore was already up 3-0 and was driving deep in Denver territory again. Then I wake up this morning and see that the same three points was all they scored in the game. What a country!

That's it. This week's picks will likely be posed on Friday morning from Vegas, before Canonico and I head to the MGM for the noon tournament. Like I said, it will be a football gambling extavaganza and Thursday can't get here soon enough. If you have never been to Las Vegas during football season, you should try it some time. See you Friday.


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Sunday, October 08, 2006


Posted by Dr Fro 6:01 PM
Written in a hurry, please forgive the grammar, spelling and punctuation. The opinions are solid.

So much going on, and the little baby is keeping me from blogging. Well, baby is asleep, so it is time to catch up.

The Safe Port Act passed. I am not a Republican, but most of you readers are. Could you dear readers do me a favor? Could you please take your party back from the small minority of members who enjoy legislating morality? I mean, bans on gay sex are stupid, but they don't affect me ...much. But banning poker? Go ahead and ban beer and football and kill me. All of you people that vote Republican for things like low taxes and big cars need to get after the kooks in your party.

Of course I am being a bit silly, because this was passed due to heavy lobbying from Harrah's. I just don't get that. I think it is terribly short sighted. I don't think that anybody every says, "yeah, I'll skip that weekend in Vegas and just stay at home in my underwear and play online." Online poker does not take away revenue from Vegas! Rather, it creates an entire generation of poker nuts that, guess what? take trips to Vegas to try out their new-found poker skills in person. Online poker helps Vegas. Period.

Party Poker is going to ban US players from their site. That sucks. I only have $107 there right now (which, btw, means I have $7 profit to show for 9 months and hundreds of hours of 'work'. Plenty of reputable sites will fill the void. One is poker.com, a site near and dear to my heart. They announced that the Safe Port Act can suck their cyber coque. Those weren't there exact words, but they are welcoming ex-PartyPoker players with open arms. Of course, depositing money there just got a whole lot more challenging.

Personally, I think that in the long run, poker will be fully legal on the internet. In fact, I think it will be fully legal in B&M in Texas. But that is a 5-6 year prediction which does little to satisfy me right now.

How about that college football weekend? A&M won to keep my prediction alive that they would start out 8-1. Jamaal isn't getting enough carries to fulfill my prediction that he would get some serious Heisman votes, but his ypc is impressive. Texas "Bomar"ed OU pretty well this weekend. A lot of calls and flukey plays went their way, but two things really stuck out to me: 1) our guys were hitting the living shittake out of their guys, just lighting them up and 2) our guys were much more disciplined/better coached, evidenced by the penalties, turnovers and hustle. Well done, Horns. Tennessee looked very good and Georgia looked very bad. Auburn was exposed (finally). I haven't gone on a long overdue TCU rant, but here it goes: Gary Patterson is a total dufus. When he beat Tech in an ugly game, he acted as if he had won the intergalactic championship. And, as expected, he followed that game up with two terrible performances against mediocre teams. Goodbye, BCS; hello, galleryfurniture.com bowl! What a fag. Missouri is starting to look like they are not-you-father's-Missouri-team. Good for them. Maybe the Big Twelve North can offer a better performance in the conference championship game than they did last year. Gosh the Big XII is bad, but at least Missouri is a nice surprise.

Our baby can roll over on her own. That is amazing at 1 month. Evidently, Vince Young couldn't do it until two months. You go, girl.

The WSOP came and went on ESPN without a peep from this blog. Let me be the first to complain that poker has been handed over to a new generation of blowhard idiots. That Molina kid was the worst guy in the world. And Jamie Gold? Complete a-hole. We've all read the stories about him, but two exchanges on TV really irked me. First, there was the whole 'you sure have been lucky comment' to which he gave the very insecure response of 'but I played well. I mean, I've gotten cards, but I've played them well.' It wasn't the words so much as the tone. Second, there was his defense at one point of 'my money is going to charity, too....it is going to my dad.' Hey, dillweed, your parents aren't charity. And btw, we also know that not only are you keeping your half to yourself, we also know that you are refusing to give your friend the half that he earned. You are a freaking tool.

Now don't get me wrong. Although I hate the dudes, I tune in more than ever. I love watching if, for no other reason, I can just get pissed off at these people. It's the basic business model of reality TV: the viewers will tune in to watch bad furtune come upon people they hate.

Harvard is an impressive 4-0. We are all proud. Princeton, Yale and Penn are all looking good, too, so don't get cocky. This conference is wide open.




(1) comments

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Posted by Johnnymac 7:47 PM
Week 6/Round 4 football picks. Got back on the good side of things last week, but not by much. As far as tonight's games, I liked Florida State before kickoff (whew) and for some strange reason I think Utah will blow out TCU, so naturally I like the -2. As always, the Thursday night games as for humorous purposes only.

Actual betting results so far this year:

College betting: 10-3-2
College pickem pool: 42-32-3
Pro betting: 5-5
Pro pickem ("Snyder") pool: 30-30; money picks: 8-12



This week's picks:


College:
(no Big Ten this week, ACC instead)

WAKE +15.5 vs Clemson
Undefeated team playing at home with an underrated defense against an overrated offense. Clemson is a tough team this year, but not by more than two touchdowns in this game.

Rice -2.5 at TULANE
Chase Clement is back and the oddsmakers don't seem to realize that. Plus, they're coached by some guy named 'Applewhite' and he's a gamer.

GEORGIA TECH -13.5 vs Marlyland
Some people see a hangover. I see a blowout. Reggie Ball is running like a poor man's Vince Young (right down to some grimace-inducing passes) and Maryland's run defense is one of the worst in the country.

LSU +2 at FLORIDA
LSU should have beaten Auburn on the road except for Auburn's defense. Florida's defense is not Auburn's defense.

Virginia +6.5 at EAST CAROLINA
Mrs Johnnymac's alma mater was good to me last week, so I'll roll with the Wahoos one more time. I especially like what they've done with their freshman quarterback.


Other teams I like this week (but didn't pick for this post): GEORGIA (getting points at home and contrary to seemingly everyon else on the internet), Purdue, Baylor, Oklahoma St, Oregon

Pro:
(Lots of large home favorites this week)

St Louis -3 at GREEN BAY
Marc Bulger is beginning to get comfortable and the Packers are terrible. I like this one for value.

Washington +5 at NEW YORK GIANTS
Portis is healthy, Moss is definitely healthy, and I just don't feel good about the Giants defense this year. They will give up points.

SAN FRANCISCO -3.5 vs Oakland
Oakland is 0-3 vs the spread this year and won't get better. (As is Miami, but I don't like this week's matchup)

Dallas +2 at PHILADELPHIA
I think T.O. will outscore the Eagles by himself. Yes, this game is meaningful to the Eagles, too, but I will go with T.O. before I'll roll with Donovan McNabb in a meaningful game.

Baltimore -4 at DENVER
I like this one a lot. The Baltimore defense will shut down the Broncos. I was iffy on the ravens last week versus San Diego, but they showed me something then and I'm gonna stay with them until they let me down.

ESPN Suicide Pick: INDIANAPOLIS
Other teams I like this week (but didn't pick for this post): Detroit, NEW ORLEANS


(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 5:56 PM



(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 4:48 PM
A joke received in my inbox this afternoon:

Just hitting the wires: Michael Jackson is now considering a run for Congress. He wants to start on a new page in his career.


(0) comments

Posted by Junelli 11:03 AM
This new law is really sick, and it will hurt poker in a lot more ways that just preventing people from playing party poker. I still can't believe it passed.

Nolan Dalla (Media Director for WSOP and Communications Director for Poker Stars) has weighed in with his thoughts on the devastating effect this new law will have. Very gloomy outlook for poker in general.

======================

Nolan Dalla on the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act
by Nolan Dalla filed under Poker News

[Originally posted to the BARGE Mailing list]

I have read many public forums over the past few days. Until now, I have not spoken out publicly on the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, and the new version of this law which was attached to the Ports Security Bill on Friday night, although my views are probably foreseeable.

I do not believe most of the members here quite understand the degree of damage this new legislation will have upon the online gambling industry — including sports wagering, poker, and affiliated businesses such as MadJacks, et. al.

Before I comment upon this legislation and its detrimental impacts, first I should disclose that I have been involved in the poker business for more than a decade. I was and am the Media Director for the World Series of Poker. I was, until yesterday, the Director of Communications for PokerStars.com — the second-largest online poker site in the world. I resigned my position based on legal advice. In 2004, I was the Editor of a sports betting magazine published by SportingBet USA. I also served as a guest handicapper at MadJacks for four years. Please note that the opinions expressed here are not those of the World Series of Poker, PokerStars.com, or anyone else I have been affiliated with. They are my own.

Once this bill is signed into law (possibly as early as Wednesday, Oct. 4), it becomes effective immediately. This is why 888, PartyGaming, and others are suspending US operations, effective immediately. News has already been released that .COM (money) poker games will not be available to US residents. However, .NET (free) games will continue uninterrupted according to reports.

I expect this to have a ripple affect across the entire industry. Most of the larger poker sites, and likely offshore sportsbooks as well, will be forced to block wagers from US residents. Otherwise, all operators/employees are subject to arrest and prosecution if they enter US territory. Those here and elsewhere who have stated this new law “only applies to financial transactions” have a narrow and tragically misguided view of the legislation. It essentially makes any employee or agent of the offshore site a criminal under US law — UNLESS they block transactions from US residents. In short, an executive from an offshore sportsbook could enter the US and not fear arrest, provided that company is not doing business inside the United States.

Hence, the impetus is on the sites themselves to shut down US operations and links to US clients. I expect that most of the larger sportsbooks and poker sites will follow this trend for a few reasons which follow:

1. First, many of the larger, more established companies will take a long-term strategic view. They will decide it is better to operate within the law, rather than break it. This is especially true for public companies subject to gaming law and regulations, such as Party, 888, etc.

2. Companies which comply with US law now will be in a better position to re-enter the US market, provided online gambling is eventually legalized.

3. While profits will decline in the short-term, these companies will be forced to expand into new markets (Asia, Latin America, and so forth) or perish. Those companies with diversified products (non-US sports on the betting menu, for example) will be in better position to make the adjustment.

4. I expect a number of rogue sites to pop up and circumvent the law. Clearly, some sites will emerge and take the risk of accepting US wagers because of great potential profit. Sadly, I expect some of these rogue sites will be poorly run and mismanaged and scandal will result, which impacts the entire industry, and this makes legalization in the US even more difficult.

5. I expect that most of the majors in the sports betting market will continue to operate through the end of football season (the most profitable time of the year) and use the 270-day enforcement discussion period as a gray area which can be exploited to their advantage. However, as arrests and prosecutions continue to make news (Caruthers, Dicks, etc.) some of the majors will be forced to confront the prospect of blocking US traffic. I also expect US officials to put pressure on some governments such as Costa Rica, Antigua, and others to regulate their own sportsbooks, in the manner that the US government is involved in drug policy in counties like Mexico, Columbia, and so forth.

6. I predict that most of the majors will conduct themselves in a professional manner, by refunding deposits and paying (winning) players upon request. More to the point, I am not withdrawing my money from any poker or sports betting account at this time. However, those sites which openly violate US law will risk eventually being targeted in international court. I admit to having less knowledge on this issue than any other. But I do not fear that well-established sportsbooks will run away with money. I can say with absolute certainty that the big poker sites will act in good faith. I think I know this industry well enough to express this confidence.

As to the impacts on poker and sportsbetting, this new law is going to be DEVASTATING. Especially for poker.

Consider that:

A. If poker sites cannot accept deposits from US players, that will kill 70-80 percent of the overall market. The question becomes — is there enough of a remaining market and enough contributing players in smaller markets to sustain operations and expansion? Perhaps. But it will take years, if not a decade to return to what has been the golden age of poker.

B. Online poker sites and sportsbooks will no longer be able to advertise (.COM-related services) inside the US. Media outlets will simply refuse to accept the ads. This includes print, television, and radio. Consider the implications. Thousands of new players were signing up daily at various sites. All of that vanishes. Sports gambling is less-reliant on advertising. However, the loss of the US market will force unforeseen changes in how these businesses are run, especially those companies that have multiple-gambling related products, such as BoDog, Paradise, etc.

C. Online betting sites will likely not be able to post banner ads and links to gaming sites, especially those based inside the US. “Aiding and abetting” laws could result in arrest and prosecution for those who provide links to US residents. Poker magazines, online betting forums, and even MadJacks could suffer. I remain uncertain as to how severe this impact will be, especially at MadJacks. But for the hundreds of poker sites/sports sties and blogs out there that are dependent upon online poker and sportsbook advertising, many will go out of business. Once again, this might not seem a big issue to everyone, but these are the pioneers who are bringing in new poker players and sports bettors and when they dry up, the market shrinks and everyone is adversely affected.

D. Many sites use what are called affiliates. Persons who are affiliates and live inside the US will now be subject to arrest and prosecution, particularly those who do not block financial transactions from the US.

E. The celebrity poker culture around star poker players will diminish. One poker site is heavily branded to many big names. Now, these players will no longer be able to promote their sites inside the US. Hence, their value and stature diminishes.

F. Big events like the World Series of Poker, which attract meany players and great interest from online poker sites, could decline in size for the first time in history. I am most sensitive to commenting upon this event because I still have a longstanding association with the WSOP. However, anyone who looks at the situation must conclude that the WSOP and major poker tournaments will be hurt by this new law.

G. Online gaming sponsorships of various products and services will decline. For instance, Golden Palace ads in boxing arenas, NBA stadiums, and on halftime shows will diminish, if not end completely. PartyPoker ads that are seen regularly on TV, on all stations, will fade away. Millions in advertising revenue will be lost by media companies (which begs the question (why were they not fighting this legislation?)

Keep in mind that these points are off the top of my head. I do not pretend to have a legal background. They are simply personal points of view and speculation as to the impacts of this new law.

Finally, there were some here and elsewhere who said not to worry, that the law would never pass, and so forth. Now, we see what happens when we remain complacent and passive. Aside from this being an outrageous violation of personal freedoms and privacy in this country, I view this issue as largely symbolic of the decline of civil liberties in recent years, and an eerie warning of what is to come. It brings to mind a bumper sticker I saw recently, “If you aren’t outraged, you aren’t paying attention.”

-Nolan Dalla


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Random thoughts from a lawyer, an accountant, a commodities trader, an ex-Marine and a WSOP Main Event money finisher that don't know as much as they wish they did...

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