Friday, January 30, 2009

Podcasts, Programs, & Presumptions from Pessimistic Poker Players

Let me start this Friday morning by passing along a few items for you poker fans out there.

The Poker Beat with Scott HuffFirst, Scott Huff (of CardPlayer’s The Circuit, PokerWire Radio, Big Poker Sundays) has started up a new poker podcast over on PokerRoad called The Poker Beat (replacing BPS). The focus of the weekly show will be to discuss current poker headlines, with Huff mostly having journalists, bloggers, and other insider-types on as guests.

For the first episode (1/29/09), Scott had lead WPT tourney reporter B.J. Nemeth, Pokerati poobah Dan Michalski, Bluff Magazine Editor-in-Chief Matthew Parvis, and ESPN poker reporter Gary Wise on to discuss the state of the WPT, UIGEA stuff, and Tom “durrrr” Dwan’s challenge. Huff’s Two Jacks in the Hole co-host Joe Stapleton also came on at the end for a humor segment.

By the way, speaking of podcasts, the plan is to have Episode 13 of the Hard-Boiled Poker Radio Show available for your listening pleasure tomorrow. Looking at a comedy show, this time. (EDIT [added 9 p.m., 1/31/09]: Looks like it might be a couple more days before the show is ready -- stay tuned!)

ESPNAlso, if you hadn’t heard, ESPN plans to televise the 2008 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event for us Americans starting on Sunday. We Yanks never got to see the 2007 WSOPE (won by Annette Obrestad), so this’ll be our first glimpse of how they do it over in the U.K.

The first four hours of coverage airs on ESPN on Sunday night (February 1) from 6-10 p.m. Eastern time. For those who might be watching a certain football game during those hours, those four hours will be repeated over on ESPN2 starting at 10 p.m. Eastern. From what I’m reading, they outfitted many of the tables with the hole card cameras -- i.e., not just the feature table -- which will apparently add a little something extra to the coverage.

Finally, a quick anecdote from the online tarbles...

Had a longer-than-usual session of limit hold’em yesterday ($0.50/$1.00, six-handed). Started well, but ended up a loser for the day (down 20 big bets, oof!). Has been a nice week, though, and the total for the month is shaping up decently, so I wasn’t too miffed about one poor outing.

I say the session started well. I won a few small pots early, then had a sweet hand in which I’d been dealt pocket fours in the big blind, called preflop after there had been a raise and two other callers, then the flop brought a four. Ended up taking two of my opponents to the river, both of whom held (unimproved) pocket pairs of their own.

After the hand, the guy who’d lost with J-J started griping in the chat box.

GaryGripe said, “***in stinking rigged fake site”
GaryGripe said, “no matter what you ***in do not matter what table you go if this stinking rigged site wants you to lose you lose”


Interestingly enough, shortly after his tirade he started catching cards like crazy, and ended up leaving the table some twenty bucks ahead of where he was when he so eloquently offered his well-considered conspiracy theory to us all.

Like I say, things went downhill for me after that early rush. Turned into one of those days where everyone else seemed to be getting the aces and kings, making their flushes, flopping two pair out of the blinds, etc., while I kept getting dealt J-4-offsuit. The guy sitting to my left (not GaryGripe) would flop sets three times within eight hands. He left the table, another player took his spot, and damned if he didn’t flop sets twice right away.

As the late Kurt Vonnegut would say, so it goes.

CAUTION! Tin Foil Hat AreaAfter the session, I was fooling around looking at site statistics for the blog and noticed someone had come to Hard-Boiled Poker after having done a search of the key words “titan poker micro limits rigged.” Took the seeker to a post of mine from a couple of years ago called “Online Poker Is Rigged, ver. 2.0” in which I told the story of a dude at a LHE table on Bodog who kept yammering on in the chat box as he lost hand after hand, cursing someone named “Bo.”

Finally I realized the dude was cursing the site itself, having personified it as an evil antagonist out to get him. (A funnier than average post, by the way, if yr looking for a good laugh.)

The tin-foil-hat guys are certainly entertaining. Actually, I don’t think it is entirely goofy to worry about sites’ integrity, but to entertain the possibility that a site actually has it in for you in particular -- esp. when yr sitting at a $0.50/$1.00 LHE table -- seems an especially remarkable display of self-centered thinking.

Earlier this week, Thomas Steuerman wrote a post over on the Bigger Deal site called “The ‘Poker God’ Delusion” which kind of touches on that impulse to assign the cause of one’s momentary misfortune to a higher power. I think the dudes whimpering about sites screwing them are basically doing the same thing, only they’re a bit more earth-bound in their thinking.

Probably more interesting -- and more useful -- for those of us who don’t believe in “poker gods” or the targeted rigging of sites is to think about how to play back against such fatalists when we encounter them. At my table, I sensed others start to give GaryGripe more action after his comment, which probably contributed a few big bets to his suddenly-growing stack. (Maybe I did, too, now that I think about it.) Perhaps his whimpering was all part of a larger strategic metagame...?

Nah. What am I thinkin’? Lol microlimit metagames.

Have a super Super Bowl weekend, all.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Kevin Mathers said...

For those that don't want to watch that football game, ESPN is doing the first 4 episodes of the WSOPE at 6pm on Sunday Feb. 1.

1/30/2009 3:34 PM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Thx, Kevmath. I went ahead and clarified that in the post.

1/31/2009 9:22 PM  

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