Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hard-Boiled Poker 2013 Year in Review (Top 50 Most Viewed Posts)

Was writing yesterday about moving and the way it kind of forces a person to undergo a kind of involuntary self-assessment shaped by one’s material possessions.

Look at all of these things you have. What do these things say about the kind of person you are? How do they reveal your personality and character? Your likes and dislikes? Your thousands of idiosyncrasies, some shared with others, some entirely unique? Even the way you pack, unpack, and subsequently arrange (or rearrange) your stuff reveals what is important to you and what is not.

I mentioned also yesterday how the year coming to a close perhaps intensified some of the usual ideas and emotions moving inspires. In other words, as I spend this morning continuing to reorganize everything on this last day of 2013, I’m consumed by thoughts of how I’ve spent the last 12 months (and beyond), what modest successes I’ve managed to achieve, and the many other goals that remain unrealized.

I’ve concluded the last several years with a few posts presented under the heading of “Year in Review” in which I’ve gone through the blog month-by-month and linked back to posts as a kind of “best of” compilation. The task of pulling together those posts has always begun with me initially fighting through a thick fog of self-loathing, battling through the mechanical work of cutting-and-pasting links and writing up summaries, then feeling a temporary moment of satisfaction at having given myself a job and completed it.

I began Hard-Boiled Poker in April 2006, and starting in 2008 I imposed upon myself a schedule to post every weekday, something I’ve managed to continue for six full years now. I also have routinely done daily “travel report” posts whenever taking a tourney trip, which means I’ve been posting on the weekends occasionally, too. Once again, then, there’s a lot of friggin’ posts to get through when it comes to this business of reviewing it all. For the year I’ve written 284 posts total, including this one.

I’ve decided this year to test a different method for the “Year in Review.” Instead of spreading the summaries over several posts, I’m just going to go with this single end-of-year entry so as to get the old out of the way and start the new year with the new. I also thought it might be more interesting this time to look into which of those 280-plus posts in 2013 proved the most popular in terms of page views.

Here’s a list, then, of the 50 most viewed posts I scribbled for Hard-Boiled Poker in 2013:

1. 2013 WSOP Main Event Final Table Hole Cards (Complete) (11/6/13)
2. Exploring Obsessions in Alan Zweig’s Vinyl (1/16/13)
3. Strip Poker: An Exposé (5/3/13)
4. Men, Women, and Poker in A Streetcar Named Desire (3/1/13)
5. On Backing, Tracking, and Whether Tourney Reports Are Lacking (4/2/13)
6. Nothing Funner: New Trailer for Poker-Themed Runner, Runner (6/6/13)
7. Bret Harte’s “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” (3/29/13)
8. Put Your Funds on Lock Poker (And Throw Away the Key) (4/29/13)
9. Wanna Buy Some Play Chips? (10/15/13)
10. 2013 World Series of Poker Schedule (Day-by-Day) (5/29/13)

11. Raymer (and Media) Caught in a Sting (3/18/13)
12. PokerNews Introduces My Stack, New Chip-Reporting App (5/6/13)
13. What If Farha Calls? (1/24/13)
14. Lock’s Stock in Peril (5/9/13)
15. Duke on Decisions (4/23/13)
16. Entrants Lists and the WSOP (6/12/13)
17. Travel Report: 2012-13 WSOP-C Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event, Day 2 -- Giving Away Chips, Rocks (4/15/13)
18. An Academic Study of Online Poker Forums (2/26/13)
19. On Lindgren and “Rehab” (1/7/13)
20. Bags of Dreams (8/14/13)

21. Paul Newman and Poker (4/12/13)
22. 2013 WSOP, Day 25: Is That Who I Think It Is? (6/23/13)
23. Our Turn to Make Full Tilt Claims (3/14/13)
24. Ungrateful Gus; or, Hansen on High (1/3/13)
25. Stirring the High-Stakes MTT Pot (3/7/13)
26. U.S. Online Poker 2.0: Ultimate Poker Deals First Hand (4/30/13)
27. Hellmuth Wants to Draw Line in Sand (10/22/13)
28. More on Mario Puzo (4/24/13)
29. Poker and the Boy Scouts (4/26/13)
30. Chop Talk (10/7/13)

31. Correcting the Zoom (1/25/13)
32. What the Winner Said (11/7/13)
33. Epic Anniversary (3/1/13)
34. Linking Out (6/3/13)
35. Lou Reed’s Poker Face (10/28/13)
36. Seven Years of Good Luck (4/28/13)
37. Two-and-a-Half Years Later (Withdrawing from Full Tilt Poker) (10/3/13)
38. An American in Cuba: The Place of Poker in Havana (3/15/13)
39. Public Concerns (5/7/13)
40. 2013 WSOP, Day 21: Min Cash, Max Fun (6/19/13)

41. Two Thousand Posts Later (8/7/13)
42. A 100-Year-Old Poker Movie: A Cure for Pokeritis (3/22/13)
43. Poker Among the Ruins (9/24/13)
44. The Absent-Minded Poker Player (12/27/13)
45. Poker in The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (4/19/13)
46. The Congressman Who Wrote a Poker Book (3/8/13)
47. Poker Geography (4/18/13)
48. 2013 WSOP, Day 43: Folding Kings (7/11/13)
49. Falling Out of Sync (8/9/13)
50. On Philip K. Dick's Time Out of Joint (2/12/13)

I wasn’t too surprised to see “2013 WSOP Main Event Final Table Hole Cards (Complete)” top the list, although I didn’t expect to see that one about Alan Zweig’s documentary Vinyl be the second-most viewed post written during the year. You could say both of those posts highlight similar themes, including collecting, organizing, and the quality of being obsessive. I guess I like them being the most popular 2013 posts, as they are both representative of the blog as a whole.

I like seeing certain other posts on this list, too, including the ones about films and literature, ones addressing various controversies and other interesting items from the world of poker, and a few sharing some diverting anecdotes from the tourney trail. I probably would’ve included most of them had I written the same sort of posts as before and done my own selecting of faves to highlight.

As I say I’m in a mood to change things around here in the new year, and so can’t promise I’ll stick to the same stubborn schedule of posting going forward. Incidentally, Vera has named our new farm “Flying Change Farm.” A flying change is a lead change in dressage in which the horse makes the switch in between strides. It also has some obvious connotations relating to the change we’re making with the move. It is possible I might be making some changes mid-stride around here, too, so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, many thanks again for stopping by here at Hard-Boiled Poker during 2013. And a Happy New Year to all!

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