Poker Ramblings of cmitch

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Protect your Poker Passwords - Setting Change

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I just got an email today from a friend about changing an internet security setting so that websites can't copy things from your clipboard. This definitely applies to all of us that play poker. I use neteller and always copy and paste my account number. I don't ever copy and past passwords, but I'm sure a lot of people probably do.

Try this. Copy something to your clipboard (even this text) and then click this link -


You can change your settings so that your information on your clipboard can't be picked up by doing the following:
1. In Internet Explorer, go to Tools -> Internet Options -> Security
2. Click on Custom Level
3. In the security settings, click to Disable the “Allow Paste Operations via Script.”
That will keep your clipboard contents private.

Good luck at the tables,

I was reading through a newsletter from a professional organization that I belong to and came across some notable quotes by Christian Larsen. I noticed that a lot of the quotes apply to poker and keeping a positive healthy attitude about your game. I know that I play a lot better (as I am sure most of you do) when I have a positive attitude and am focusing on the game. So here are some of the quotes:

Be strong so that nothing can disturb your mind.

Look at the funny side of everything. Think only of the best...and expect only the best.

Be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

Forget mistakes of the past and press on to the greater acheivements.

Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others.

Be too big for worry and too noble for anger.

Just some food for thought to help avoid tilt and to help keep a positive attitude while playing. Bad Beats happen - don't let costly mistakes happen.

Good luck at the tables,

Poker and Bahamas Update

Monday, November 28, 2005

I think that I picked the worst possible time to try to win my way to the Bahamas. I have been extremely busy at work and have worked 4 out of the last 6 weekends. I have a ton of projects around the house and a 2 month old baby that still doesn't sleep through the night. All this adds up to having had very little time to try to acheive my goal.

My plan has been to try the Pokerstars $650 Super Satellite path. They are played at 5:00 on Saturdays. I have only been able to play two of these. I have, also, played one Party Poker $850 Super Sat to their Bahamas tourney. (No seat yet)

So, I have decided to make this my final week of trying to win a seat on Pokerstars. I will be trying to win my way into the $650 Super Satellite on Saturday. I will actually have to get a baby sitter for my 3 year old daughter, this Saturday, if I play in the tourney, because my wife has plans and is taking the baby. I am, also, going to play at least one Double Shootout and maybe more if I can satellite into the Double Shootout.

Hopefully, I will get lucky enough to win my seat this weekend.

Good luck at the tables,

I have been playing at Party Poker a little recently and noticed the new Blackjack button in the Lobby and the Blackjack and SideBet buttons when you open a table. They are very annoying not to mention -EV. I don't know why anyone would want to make such -EV bets when there are plenty of +EV poker games available.

I wanted to remove these items from the software, if possible. I searched the internet and found an easy way to remove the clutter of the these buttons. See the steps below.

1. Go to Program Files/PartyPoker/Images
2. Rename 3 files by adding an x in front of them or renaming them anything you want like "money_down_the_drain"
- SidebetBG.JPG
- table_bj_button.jpg
- lobby_bj_button.jpg
3. Next time you open the Party Poker software you will no longer see these annoying buttons.

Good luck at the tables (and don't be tempted by the Blackjack),


A few random thoughts

Monday, November 21, 2005

I noticed last week that UB has added PINEAPPLE to their list of cash games. There is a hi/lo version of it which got me thinking (a problem in itself)...Why is there no hi/lo version of HOLD 'EM? I know it would be a bit crazy and action packed, but I wonder why there is no such bird. Limit Hold 'Em 8/ob... sounds reasonable to me.

Watching Mike Matusow over the last 6 weeks or so during various Main Event episodes of the 2005 WSOP made me realize that you have to be absolutely fearless to WIN poker tournaments. Now that may seem obvious, but when Mike lost most of his chips early on at the final table when his KK ran into AA (if it were only that simple... he was down preflop / took the lead after a K came / and then lost to a river flush card) he could have easily sat back and waited on big pairs or AK to get back up and running. This was not the case as he was raising with absolute JUNK against the big stacks and taking down pots. It ultimately didn't work out for him as Danennnnmmmmannnn sucked out on him to knock him out 9th, but it really showed that being CARD DEAD is relative to who you're playing against. Now if I just had the bankroll to consistently play in the $100+ tourneys! I could make one "advanced" play after another that Bax and Sheets would have to lay down their huge hands :)

Another online youngster is a multi-millionaire:
Nick Schulman wins the 2005 WPT World Poker Finals at the Foxwoods Resort & Casino, winning $2,142,000, a Wampum belt (as a trophy), and a $25,500 seat into the WPT World Championship at Bellagio in the spring. Nick... aka TheTakeover on PokerStars is a 21 year old college student that has made a ton-o-money playing online.


No, I’m not talking about one of those “get rich quick” schemes where you send $5 to everyone on the list and add your name or however that goes. I am talking about doing it playing poker.

There is an interesting project in it’s infancy - The 100k Project. It all started on twoplustwo when someone stated (to para-phrase) that a good online player could turn $1,000 into $100,000 in a year’s time with minimal risk of going broke. There was much discussion on the issue. A man known as Fox decided that this was something that could be done and set out to prove it. (Fox has an online informational/poker teaching site that seems very useful. I have not subscribed to it, but can tell that he has a great grasp of what it takes to be a successful online poker player from reading his posts on pocketfives.)

Fox then picked a “LabRat” to try this experiment. The LabRat that he picked is able to play at least 30 hours a week and had the $1,000 bankroll to start the experiment. Under Fox’s guidance they are setting out to turn that $1k into $100k within one year.

The $100k Project began around the 1st of November.

Fox and LabRat are using bonuses and rakeback to give the bankroll an initial boost. They started with a strictly Limit cash game path and have adjusted to NL cash games. It seems like things are off to a shaky start – they are probably just working out the kinks. I think it will be very interesting to see where this project goes and if LabRat is able to achieve the goal of $100k.

If he reaches the goal (or even comes close), I think it will spawn several other attempts at similar goals. Who knows, two years from now we may hear people referencing LabRat and Fox when they are talking about the faceless poker players making a very good living predominately from online poker.

You can follow their progress at 100K Project.
(If it is your first time visiting their site, you may want to start from the bottom of the page.)

I wish them both the best,

Why do I think the 180 person $22 tourneys on Pokerstars are so juicy?

Several reasons – the main one being the commentary below (from $22 180 person tourney last week). That is how a lot of the players in these tourneys think. My Aces got taken down by this guy on a 77J flop. I thought the only possible hands that he could have to beat me were 77 or JJ. I didn’t think there was any way my huge preflop raised was being called by any hand that had a 7 in it other than 77.

Cut and pasted from Pokerstars Hand History
sportingimag said, "nh"
tludwig812 said, "sorry man"
tludwig812 said, "thats a good cracking hand" – he is talking about 67 soooted
sportingimag said, "u call 7xBB with it?” - I stop talking at this point
tludwig812 said, "i would ya" – He said would, he actually just did.
tludwig812 said, "suited connectors any day"
tludwig812 said, "yes"
tludwig812 said, "almost any good holdem player would" – He was out of position also
tludwig812 said, "its the same thing as queen jack suited"
tludwig812 said, "or 10 9 suited"
tludwig812 said, "im sorry for a bad beat though"

Got to love that kind of thinking – putting ¼ of your stack in with 67s. (Now that it worked for him, he will forever call ¼ to ½ his stack with any suited connectors.)

I played two $22 180 player tourneys last night. The first one I got knocked out during the 1st level when I got all my chips in against a LAG player with my QQ vs his AJ. Ace on turn. I was dominating the 2nd tourney until we got down to 12 players and I had some bad luck. I lost with A10 and all the money going in on a 10 high flop to AQ. AQ made runner runner straight. My AQ then lost to Q9 with all the money going in preflop. Q9 made a straight. I went from 2nd out of 12th to 12th out of 12. I did my best to chip up but wound up finishing 7th for $126.

When Loopy and I first started this blog, I promised myself that I would try to post as often as possible as long as I had some content to post. I have been spinning out of control lately, but am starting to slow down a little so I am making some time to post an update. Lots going on in my world - Newborn, Newborn shots, Jury Duty, Working 3 Weekends in a row, Golf Tourney, blah, blah, blah. So bare with me if this seems long.

$33 NL Tourney

I haven’t played a real tourney in a few days. I did play a couple of the 180 player $22 SNGs and didn’t make the money in either one. So last night, I decided that I was going to play the $33 NL tourney on PokerStars at 8:30 PM. I was in the middle of the pack until a guy with a few less chips than me and not in any danger decided that he should go all in to try and get the 100/200 blinds plus the 225 in antes. I guess he figured his all in bet of 4,000 with Q5s would get the 525 of blinds and antes. It was nice to be calling a preflop all in bet with KK. (and have it hold up)

From there I stayed above the average stack and was card dead when we got down to 2 tables. Card dead is not always a problem this late in a tourney, but I had the loosest tourney player that I have ever played against sitting two to my left. He was raising UTG to 5XBB with 10,5o and then calling all in raises for more than half his stack and hitting. He chipped way up when his 67 beat A9 with all the chips getting in preflop. If he loses the hand, he has barely enough chips to post for 1 round. A flop a K66 ensures that I have to get a halfway decent hand to raise with.

Anyway, I make it to the final table with 38k in chips (last) and blinds of 3k/6k plus antes. I don’t get called on 1 all in. I have $42k - Down to 8. I get dealt A10o in the BB with 4k/8k blinds plus antes. Mr. 67o raises to 40k and I go all in for the rest of my chips thinking that I am against one of his usual hands. He has AJ. I don’t improve and finish a disappointing 8th out of 580.

PokerStars Tournament #15015436, No Limit Hold'em
Buy-In: $30.00/$3.00
580 players
Total Prize Pool: $17400.00
Tournament started - 2005/11/16 - 20:30:00 (ET)

Dear sportingimag (my screen name on pokerstars)

You finished the tournament in 8th place.

A $452.40 award has been credited to your Real Money account.

Plasma TV

I played in a golf scramble on Tuesday. I am not a golfer. No one that was on my team is a golfer. We managed to finish last but probably had the most fun and possibly drank the most beer.

They had a raffle at the end for a Plasma TV (worth $2k), a $1k Bass Pro Shops Gift Cert., a $500 Visa Gift Card, and a $500 Best Buy Gift Cert. All the prizes were donated. The tickets were only $5 and there was a huge overlay. Only around 250 tickets sold – talk about +EV. I bought $40 worth of tickets. I really wanted that Plasma TV. When the final prize was set to be drawn and they pulled the ticket, I got excited and was crossing my fingers. They announced the name and it was none other than…….. one of my best friends, Rob. I didn’t win, but couldn’t have been happier that Rob won the TV.

Congrats, Rob!!!!!


Jury Duty – Drunk Driving Case

I had Jury Duty last week. Not like I wasn’t busy enough, but my civic duty called. I kept telling myself that but I couldn’t make myself believe it.

I actually got picked for a jury. What were they thinking? It was a drunk driving case. The state presented their case and the guy was clearly guilty. He admitted to the cop that he “had a few beers at Froggers, then a couple at his shop, then a few somewhere else later.” He also miserably failed every field sobriety test. We were asked to leave the room before the defense presented their case. 15 minutes later the judge came in and told us that he had thrown out the case. The cop that gave the field test had testified, but the cop that pulled the guy over didn’t show up and had no excuse. They never could establish that the guy was actually driving the car, so he threw it out.

Lessons learned - If you get pulled over for drunk driving.

  1. Don’t tell the cop that you had at least 8 beers.

  2. Don’t tell the cop that you think you can pass the tests but you are not sure.

  3. Next time you are drinking, practice up on those field sobriety tests. (j/k)

  4. If you go to court, pray the cop that pulled you over doesn’t show up.
Bahamas Update

I haven’t gotten a chance to play any Bahamas satellites since Saturday. I have plans this Saturday, so I won’t be able to play in either of the Super Sats this weekend. I need to think about the best way to try to win my seat. I may try and play a few double shootouts in the next week. We will see.

Good Luck at the Tables,

Wednesday night at UPC

Monday, November 14, 2005

After not playing there for nearly 3 months, Cmitch and I both took the plunge and decided to make an appearance at our old stomping ground... the Orlando UPC. Our man Matt hosts tourneys every Weds. and Sun. with buy-in's ranging from $80 - $250 with two full size tables.

Wednesday night was a $100 game with a full field of 22. The players ranged from mostly wide-open-donks to a few decent players that are capable of winning it. There were quite a few regulars besides us that had also not been there for a while and it was great to see Dave L. in the mix! He put a brutal beat on Howie catching one of 2 remaining KING's on the river cracking Howie's AA and staying alive.

Playing at UPC is always interesting because it usually takes a few fortunate hands to get to the "final table" and there is certainly no cruising into the money once you're there. The blinds increase so fast that you can get to the final ten with a huge stack and get blinded down to the felt in no time. The levels were 20 minutes, but you can't expect more than about 9 or 10 hands per round.

I chipped up in the fourth level when the flop came J/9/2 of diamonds to go with my ATd (in the BB). You can't ask for much more than that, but it got even better when an opponent bet into me each street as he had flopped a lower flush. I was also fortunate enough to get AK four or five times with the same player as before raising into me 3 times. I had him 3 to 1 in chips and was able to push him off the raises each time. The best part was that he showed his ace/rag hands every time... The guy was raising with ANY ACE and showing!

Once we got down to 6 I was in good shape when Lou (a wide open player that is liable to have anything at any time) went all in in front of me. I look down and squeeeeeeeezed two black QUEENS! Insta-call and he shows AK. KING comes on the turn and I'm knocked down to about 25k with the blinds at 3000/6000. I fumbled through the next 20 hands or so picking up the blinds a few times but gaining no ground. With the blinds up to 5000/10000, we're down to the final 5 when a big hand comes up: Elmer (came to the combined table with 7000 in chips and was down to 4000 at one point) had gone all in no less than 10 times and was the current chip leader. He immediately goes all in UTG and Lou CALLS in front of me. This is one of those times you're praying for a big hand and the poker God's came through for me when I looked down to AA! Elmer had 44, Lou had JJ and I tripled up when it counted.

Unfortunately I ran into Elmer's AA when I was holding QKs three handed... GAME OVER, gg me. Third place paid $260 so it wasn't a total loss. It was actually refreshing as I had been on the wrong side of the bubble over there about 6 times in a row previously.


CPC Super Sat - Wasted afternoon!!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

24th of 76.

I just finished the playing the CPC Bahamas Super Satellite. There were 76 entrants and it paid 7 seats plus cash for 8-10. I never could get anything going and then finally pushed at the wrong time. My 99 ran into the small blind chip leader's AA. I know I've been in his position before but it must be nice to get dealt AA in the blind as the Chip Leader and have someone put all their chips in before the betting even reaches you.

The tourney has just ended, so I am questioning myself a little. Would anyone reading this (Beuller?, Beuller?) have played this differently? Should I have played this differently?

I get dealt 99 in late position. I have about 1,200 in chips - blinds are 75/150 about to go up to 100/200 and the table is 8 handed. The chip leader is in the small blind and got most of his chips by thinking KQ was a great hand and getting all his chips in preflop with it and hitting a straight against a guy with a big pair. He has been re-raising with any ace. The Big Blind only has a few more chips than I do. I opened the betting in late position by going all-in with my last 1,200 in chips.

My thinking
1. I would like to get the chips right there.
2. The small blind chip leader would go over the top of any bet I made if he had any 2 face cards, any ace, or any pocket pair. I would probably have to call because of the amount of chips in the pot.
3. The chip leader would most likely call my all in bet with any pair or any ace. I wouldn't mind racing for some of his chips against a weak ace or better yet a lower pair.
4. The big blind is tight and is folding anything but JJ, QQ, KK, AA, AK and maybe AQ. He is in hang on mode.

So, does everyone lose all their chips here against the chip leader's AA?

As you can see...we are experitmenting with some new layouts and things are changing. Hopefully, we will get the new layout up and running soon. It says new logo soon above, but it may just be the old logo formatted to the new layout.

I thought all you had to do was type your blog posts into the "create blog" screen - who knew it was all this work to make your blog stand out a little.

I've been so busy at work and at home lately (not to mention jury duty) that I haven't posted in a couple of days. I promise to post again soon. I won my way in last week and I am planning on using my entry ticket to play the $850 Super Satellite to the CPC Bahamas Tourney on Party Poker on Saturday at 2 pm (unless something gets in the way). It pays one package for every 10 entries, so I might have a chance.

Good Luck at the Tables,

180 player $22 SNGs now 24/7 on Pokerstars

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

180-Player $22 Sit & Go Tournaments Always Available (24 hours a day)

“You spoke and we listened……..And since you liked them so much look for other tournaments with similar formats in coming weeks.” – Pokerstars

Pokerstars is definitely a site doing it right. They have been experimenting with adding new tourneys – deep stacks, heads up tourneys of all types, shootouts, etc. The new 180 player SNGs are great. It is nice to be able to play a tourney that you know won’t last more than 3 ½ hours. They tested them out by offering them from 9 PM EST – Midnight. Looks like the test was a success.

I am guessing they will be adding 180-player SNG tourneys of all buy-ins soon. Awesome!! Awesome!! Awesome!!

Some poker sites do what they think will make them the most money and then worry about how to get people to play the games. Pokerstars listens to players' input. Nice job Pokerstars.

More on Harrah's

Monday, November 07, 2005

More interesting info regarding Harrah's handling of the WSOP... this time regarding the 2006 version of the TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS. The following link was posted by Blair Rodman on

Here's an excerpt:

"When Harrah's took control of the WSOP they inherited an event with a long tradition of being at the pinnacle of the poker world, where the players were treated honestly and with respect. Harrah's is quickly establishing traditions of their own. Unfortunately, a lack of integrity, and a complete disregard for the everyday player, without whom there would be no WSOP, are not the kinds of traditions that will ensure that the name World Series of Poker will lead the great game of poker into the future."

…..On the Muppet Show Tonight.

I have been called all sorts of things at the online poker table over the years. I, usually, don’t think twice about it. I always just shrug it off. Most of the name calling is unoriginal and re-hashed. We all know and have heard all the usual comments daily – if not made to us made to others at our table. This weekend was a first. I was called a Muppet. I turned a flush in a NL cash game after calling a $4 bet into a $20 pot. The other guy went all in on the turn and I called with my King high flush hoping he didn’t have an Ace high flush. My flush held up against his two pair (8s and 4s – his whole cards were 84).

I wonder which Muppet he thought I was. Let’s take a look.

Beaker – The guy has some smarts, but is scared of his own shadow. Sounds like he might make for a good internet player. Definitely not good in a live situation – his hands, head, and everything else would shake. He might even soil himself if you put him all in. Online, he could use his math skills to calculate the correct odds while wearing depends.

Kermit – Might be a decent player. After all these years of dodging Miss Piggy, he should be able to “dodge bullets” ala Phil Hellmuth at WSOP this year.

Miss Piggy – Definitely not a good player. She wants what she wants and she wants it now. No Patience. She either chips up early on a suckout or is out before the first break.

Animal – Um, can you say maniac?

Fozzie – He likes the attention and likes to tell jokes. I think he might get a lot of camera time on ESPN if he enters the WSOP - but that’s about it. I would love to hear Norman Chad’s comments on him.

Gonzo – He’s a daredevil performing all kinds of crazy stunts that don’t always work out. Look out for this guy at the table, he could have any two.

Pepe – Loopy’s icon on pokerstars. I don’t know anything about this guy – maybe Loopy can fill in some blanks. I think he is a “Don Juan” type, so he would probably give away all his chips to any beautiful women at the table. No women at the table would probably equal no poker for him.

Statler & Waldorf (the old guys at the opening of the show) – They both are the typical grumpy rock 70+ year old players that you find in every poker room around the world. “Poker on the internet – I can’t even turn on the damn computer.” Gruff old men that piss off everyone at the table and they love it. Neither one of them can figure out where all these darn kids have come from. For some reason, when I think of these guys I think of John Bonetti.

I’m not sure if I fit into the mold of any of the above Muppets. I will have to find the guy that called me the Muppet and ask him.

Remember, if you are going to name call at the table, be original.

I stuck to my plan Friday night and it paid off. I needed to focus. I, too often, turn on the computer, check all the poker sites and sign up for the next tourney that looks good. I don’t start the night off with a plan. The main reason for writing about my quest for the Bahamas was so that I would stick to my guns and wouldn’t drift around and play whatever looked good at the moment. Yesterday, I mapped out my weekend poker aimed towards winning my way to the Bahamas and stuck to my plan.

Party Poker
I played one $11 CPC Sub-Qualifier SNG – finished 5th when my KK lost to A4 after raising with KK and getting re-raised all in by A4 soooooted. Ace on the river and I’m down to 200 in chips with 50/100 blinds. No cards and out.

After realizing how much of a crapshoot the $11 SNG satellites are, I decided to buy into the $99 Sub-Satellite that pays 1 seat per $850 in the prize pool to the $850 Super Satellite on Saturday. The Super pays 1 package for every 10 players.

Well there were 122 players in the $99 satellite. It paid 12 seats to the $850 Super Satellite and 13th, 14th, and 15th all get some money. I wound up plugging along and was barely staying above water until we got down to 35 players. Everyone was tightening up, so I changed gears. I started to get very aggressive – not pre-flop aggression, but post flop aggression when I figured that there wasn’t much of a chance the other guy hit the flop. When we got down 13 players, I folded JJ UTG because the massive chip leader was the big blind and two players didn’t have enough to cover both the SB and BB. One of the short stacks went out on that hand with his AQ vs. the chip leader’s AK on a high flop. I won my entry into the $850 super sat.

I was watching my 3 year old daughter Saturday morning/afternoon until 4 PM, so I unregistered from the $850 Super that started at 2 PM and will play next week.

I played a FPP SNG that pays $215 Tourney Dollars for 1st - I came in 2nd after about a 40 minute heads up battle. Kind of painful, but didn’t cost anything. We finally got all of the chips in with an Ace high flop. We both had Aces and I was outkicked. Next hand my K8 was no match for his J8 and I’m out.

$55+$5 Turbo SNG – 2nd Place for $148.50. Forgot how much of a crapshoot these turbo SNGs are at the end.

$73+$7 Satellite – 39 entries, paid 4 seats plus $175 for 5th and $72 for 6th. I had a great run in this satellite. I was chip leader or 2nd in chips for almost the whole tourney. It was very easy to use the big stack to my advantage because of the nature of a satellite. Everything was clicking and I felt like I was making great decisions.

I played the $650 Super satellite on Saturday and never could get much going. I was getting low on chips and my 10,10 ran into 9,9 (99 was hyper-aggressive) and we got all the chips in with a 9 high flop. I finished 92 out of 192 – very disappointing. Was going to write up a tourney report but didn't have the energy.


Bahamas - I've got to focus to get there

Friday, November 04, 2005

OK. Maybe, if I write it down, I will actually do it. I haven't been able to play much in the past couple of days. I have been watching the baby the last two nights to give my wife some much needed relief. I, also, have a lot of work and will have to work some this weekend. When I have played poker this week, I haven't focused and have felt rushed because of everything else going on. This doesn't make for good poker.

I decided to write down in this blog the poker that I will be playing this weekend, so that I will have something to follow. I too often say, "hey that $33 PL tourney starts in 5 minutes, I should play that or that $55 NL tourney, etc, etc." I want to go to the Bahamas, so I have to actually play some of the Bahamas sats.

I have made profits in other games during this quest for the Bahamas, so I will use those to play the sats to get to the Bahamas.

Weekend Poker Plans
Pokerstars PCA WPT Bahamas Event
- At least one $73+$7 satellite to the $650 Super Sat on pokerstars
- At least one $175 Double Shootout
- $650 Super Sat (if I win my way in) - I may play a few regular SNGs and use the profits from those to play the $80+$6 SNG to the Super Sat.

Party Poker CPC Bahamas
- Play up to three $11 satellite SNGs (if necessary) to try to win my way into the $99 CPC sub-qualifier MTT. This pays entry into the $850 Super Sat. on Saturday that pays 1 seat/10 players. Will buy into the $99 sat event if don't qualify through a SNG.
- Play the CPC $850 event on Saturday (if I win my way in)

If I don't cash in any of the tourneys/sngs above, I will be out $387. This will put a dent in my winnings, but I will still be up since the start of the Bahamas quest

Wish me luck. I hope to see everyone in the Bahamas.

I got home today and my wife told me that a FedEx letter had arrived for me. It was the check for the money that I had in my Pokershare account when they closed down. The strange thing was that it was my balance plus $7.28. Not sure, what the $7.28 was for. Maybe it was my share. It definitely wasn't payment for my bonus dollars since I still had over $50 pending in the account.

Oh well, it looks like the Pokershare fiasco is over for me. Not sure how long before I play at Ultimate Bet again. It was my original poker home and my favorite software, but they haven't grown or listened to the customers on ways to improve. Pokerstars is a perfect example of a site trying to new things for the customers (deep stack tourneys, short handed, shootouts, heads up tourneys, Frequent Player Points sngs that pay entry to big tourneys, the ability to unregister after you win a satellite and use those $$ for other tourneys or sngs, etc, etc) I know I will play at UB again, I'm just not sure when.

Good Luck,

"Poker is DYING"

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Yes... you read that correctly.

It is a quote from Daniel Negreanu's blog regarding the recent 2006 WSOP schedule released by Harrahs. Here is the rest from Full Contact Poker:

"Poker is dying. Not hold'em of course, but poker as we once knew it is becoming extinct because the people in control aren't interested in helping poker flourish, they have a bottom line to think about that takes precedence over all else. I have no idea who is at fault so I won’t place blame. I’d sure like to know, though, who- who exactly is making these decisions?"

His primary concern is that the powers that be at Harrah's / ESPN have once again decided to increase the number of Hold 'Em events while getting rid of more Omaha and Stud based games in next years WSOP... and for the second year in a row they've completely neglected all mixed games.

After watching this years broadcast of the 2005 WSOP this doesn't really surprise me. ESPN spends an inordinate amount of time showcasing the long-shot amateurs and loud mouth luckboxes in order to boost raitings. I would imagine the ratings for the televised events other than Hold 'Em are far below their goal as well which adds to the "bottom line" logic Daniel mentions. It is a shame that Harrah's / ESPN has turned an event with a celebrated grassroots tradition that catered to poker players into just another packaged branding machine... although I suppose it isn't very surprising either.


(Full schedule for the 2006 WSOP is listed below in Cmitch's blog titled WSOP 2006 Schedule)


Haven’t received my Pokershare funds via Fedex yet, but I’ve already spent way too much time on the Pokershare debacle (see previous two posts), so on to much happier and more positive things….

I need to spend some more time trying to qualify for the WPT Pokerstars Bahamas tourney.  I have been so busy at work and at home that I haven’t been able to spend the time trying to win my way to the Bahamas.  I will do everything I can for the month of November to focus on winning a seat.

With the Bahamas in mind, I have found my 2nd chance backup plan, if I don’t win a seat to the WPT Pokerstars Bahamas tourney.  Party Poker has also decided that Atlantis at Paradise Island in the Bahamas is a great place for a poker tourney in February.  For some reason they are having the Canadian Poker Championship (CPC) on a Caribbean Island.  Usually when you think of a country’s Poker Championship, you would think that it would be played in that country.  It would be kind of like playing the US Open (golf) in Mexico.  You can’t blame the Canadians for wanting to get out of Canada in Feb. though.  I’m Florida born and breed and if the CPC was in Canada, I wouldn’t even consider it.

So, I withdrew $200 from Pokerstars of the money that I have earmarked for trying to win a seat to WPT Pokerstars Bahamas event and deposited it at Party Poker to try to win my way into the CPC.  I am going to try to go the $850 satellite route (entry to this sat. can be won through a series of smaller sats.)  All the information about the events from Party Poker’s website is posted below.

Event Details:
Canadian Poker Championships (CPC)
Nassau, Bahamas
January, 29 - February, 04 2006

Our CPC Package includes:
$5,000 Buy-in to the Canadian Poker Championships
6 nights in the Atlantis Resort, Nassau
$1,100 spending money

CPC Satellite $200 + $15 (several smaller sats to this sat)
When: Wednesday @ 10 PM EST
Format: NL Hold'em
Buy-in: $200 + $15
One CPC Package will be awarded for every 40 players. Any extra money will be paid to the next three highest finishers on a 50%, 30%, 20% ratio.

CPC Special $800 + $50 (several smaller sats to this sat)
When: Saturdays @ 2 PM EST
Format: NL Hold'em
Buy-in: $800 + $50
One CPC Package will be awarded for every 10 players. Any extra money will be paid to the next three highest finishers on a 50%, 30%, 20% ratio.

All the details can be found at

Now that I have two options, hopefully I will wind up at Atlantis sooner or later.

Pokershare Theory and UB connection

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

If you couldn’t tell from my post yesterday, I was really pissed when I found out that Pokershare was closing to North American residents. It was not so much about the money (All the more reason to keep a lot of your bankroll on Neteller – I only had $300 on Pokershare), but the squashing of the whole Pokershare idea.

I was probably in the top 10% of most active members on Ultimate Bet up until about 1 ½ years ago. UB was the only site that I played on back then and I played a lot. It was definitely my poker home and I felt very comfortable there. I knew a lot of the players from having played against them and having met a lot of them at the UB Aruba WPT event in 2003. The whole site had a home game feel and I told everyone that asked me about online poker to go to UB – which was quite a few people – without having any sort of affiliate program with them.

I started playing more on other sites when they started to have some network problems and then drifted farther away when they began forgetting about the non-Aruba players. I had a baby due around the same time as the Aruba WPT event in 2004. During the few months leading up to the Aruba event, UB almost completely forgot about players that were not playing Aruba sats. Several of their regular tourneys that I played every week were being replaced by Aruba sats. I went to other sites so that I could play tourneys that were not sats. Ever since then, my playing time at UB has been minimal – but I have still loved the feel of UB. I started playing lately on the Pokershare skin – it sounded like a great idea. Now this, fiasco. It looks like UB is a big part of what happened. I did have some $$ at UB and have withdrawn those funds and will wait to see what happens with Pokershare before I even consider playing at UB for a while.

An interesting theory was posted by Dan Druff over at and I have posted a copy of it below:

“Like many of you, I was shocked and appalled by yesterday's abrupt account closures on UB. I had over 33k there, and I was immediately worried that I'd never see that money again. Fortunately, they paid me immediately on Neteller, and I got to take a step back, clear my head, and analyze the situation from an objective standpoint.

After taking a look at all of the available "evidence", I believe I have pieced together an explanation that is probably very close to what actually went down. Feel free to jump in if you feel I've missed anything.

First off, it's important to realize that many of us (myself included, until recently) have been making a faulty assumption about the relationship between UB and Pokershare. We all assumed that Pokershare was a skin for UB. Not true. Pokershare and UB are both skins on the Excapsa poker network. The Excapsa network began with UB in 2001, but expanded to include several other smaller skins, the latest being Pokershare.

A list of these skins and a short description of them can be found at here:

Prior to the existence of Pokershare, UB was not threatened by the other skins. These skins were either play-money only (i.e. Cardplayer) or were marketing to a different clientele (i.e. Aviation Club, marketed to French players). While UB does serve players from all over the world, their primary business (and "market share") is North America -- more specifically, the U.S. and Canada.

Therefore, without any serious competition for this important market, UB was relatively happy and didn't mind other skins on the network. In fact, UB was probably happy about those European skins, because it increased the overall network player base, and kept more active games on the site.

Enter Pokershare.

Pokershare offers something nearly too good to be true: A 40% share of their profits! "Even when you lose, you win!", said their website. In addition, they allowed rakeback affiliates, meaning that players could get a healthy rakeback (in many cases over 30%) ON TOP of the 40% profit distribution.

It doesn't take a PhD in economics to realize what started to occur. The word about Pokershare spread like wildfire, and people were jumping ship from UB to sign up to be part of this brave new world of poker profit sharing. This is hardly what UB had bargained for!

To put it in street terms, UB was a pimp with near-exclusive rights to his 'hood, and some balding English guy shows up and offers the same girls for a lesser price. The turf war was on!

UB complained to Excapsa. "We built this network," they insisted. "We've been here from the start. Without us, there would be no Pokershare, or any of these other skins, for that matter." UB insisted that, after being Excapsa's meal ticket for 4 years, they deserved better than to be bitten in the ass by a greedy Englishman on their own network.

Excapsa never had to mediate like this before. Prior to this feud, all of the skins had existed in peace. To appease UB, Excapsa gave Pokershare a deadline of October 31st to stop accepting new rakeback customers. While UB felt this wasn't enough, Excapsa assured them that this deadline would prevent most people from jumping ship, as rakeback was far more valuable than this "profit sharing".

UB still wasn't happy. "We'll lose most of our serious players by October 31st. This isn't fair. Any existing UB customer simply shouldn't be eligible for Pokershare!"

And that was the next compromise. Excapsa released a new version of the software, which didn't allow you to install Pokershare if any previous Excapsa skin existed on that computer -- even if said skin was uninstalled. Still, UB was unhappy, and felt that most of the damage had already been done.

Back at Pokershare headquarters, Max Wright scratched his balding head and wondered how much longer Excapsa would tolerate his company's antics. He already had to make excuses as to why people couldn't install the Pokershare software -- even if they already had a Pokershare account and simply wanted it on a second computer. "We're working on the issue," he would write them. Wright tried to appeal to the powers-that-be at Excapsa, arguing that it's his right to grab whatever share of the market he can get. Excapsa told him that they're still deciding how to come to terms with all of this.

Finally, UB pressed hard enough, and Excapsa backed down. "We want our market share back," said UB. "We have always marketed to North America, and that should be our territory. Pokershare is based in Europe. Let them have their European customers, but we want our Americans and Canadians back."

And so Excapsa finally realized that UB did indeed deserve their original market back. Indeed, Pokershare was based out of England, and none of the other network skins dared market outside of where they were based. Why should Pokershare be allowed to raid the crown jewel skin of the network?

On November 1st, 2005, Excapsa quietly closed all accounts on the network, and informed each member via e-mail. They staffed their office 24/7 to handle questions and cashout requests, and quickly shipped out all refunds. The biggest accounts were handled first (thus to prevent mass panic), followed by the smaller ones. Everyone on the network was to be paid -- after all, Excapsa also manages the cashier -- thus maintaining the integrity of the network that had existed reputably for more than 4 years.

This action was taken immediately, and without any prior discussion with Pokershare owner Max Wright. Once Wright found out about this, he was understandbly livid, but the damage had already been done. Observe his reaction to finding out what had happened:

So, in summary, here is the situation:
1) Your Pokershare account was closed by the parent network, not Pokershare, and not UB.

2) Your money is safe, and if you haven't received it yet, you'll be getting it shortly. The purpose here was not to cheat the players, it was to restore UB's market share.

3) Max Wright is currently lobbying Excapsa to get its players back, but it's doubtful he'll be successful, since UB has far more pull. Furthermore, it's unlikely anyone will trust Pokershare again, even though this shutdown wasn't directly their fault.

4) You will probably not be getting your "share" money. It's almost a certainty that they will claim that this abrupt shutdown has ruined them financially, and therefore there are no profits to distribute. 40% of 0 is still 0.

5) The rakeback situation is questionable. It will be up to Pokershare to distribute the rakeback to its affiliates. It's possible that they will either go under or claim financial hardship, meaning that your rakeback may never arrive. However, you should keep the pressure on your affiliate to make sure he's telling you the truth, and isn't using this situation to pocket the rakeback and blame Pokershare.

I believe that the above tells the whole story, perhaps with a few details missing and/or slightly incorrect.

I shall now twirl my seat cover for one last time this evening, and bid you all goodnight.

-Dan Druff””

POKERSHARE - Why oh Why?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

If you haven't heard yet (you probably have) Pokershare just started a new policy as of November 1, 2005. I had a balance of $300 on Pokershare, so I fell into the in between snail mail amount for a refund at first.

"We would like to thank you for being a member of PokerShare. We are writing to inform you that due to a policy change as of November 1, 2005 North American residents are no longer able to play in the PokerShare cardroom.

If you are owed money, you will be receiving a check in full for your entire account balance to your address on file. Balances in excess of $500 have been sent by FedEx. Smaller balances have been sent by regular mail."

This was followed by another email a couple of hours later because of the rage and uproar of the masses. I don't want to wait 3 weeks for a $300 check when I originally deposited funds through neteller.

"Several players who had balances of under $500 but more than $100 have requested that they receive their money sooner than what regular mail will allow. To accommodate this request, we will be sending all checks $50 and over via FedEx. As your withdrawal is $50 or more, you can now expect to see your funds arrive via FedEx to the address we have on file for you."

We will see how long it will take for them to get the Fedex checks out. I set the over/under on getting my check at next Monday.

I am extremely pissed and disappointed. I was starting to like Pokershare and anxious to see what my share of the profits would be. The site, basically, folded once they stopped accepting Ultimate Bet members. The no more North American players is just an excuse to close down. Their business model no longer worked once ANY and EVERY person that had ever had a UB account were locked out of their customer base.

Screw them!!! They got my hopes up for nothing.

Not sure if everyone knows, but they were offering WPT packages to the first players that reached 75,000 sharepoints. Several players were getting close, but surprise surprise no more WPT package for them - no more shelling out of $12k per player for 10 players or $120,000 worth of free stuff!! WTF?!? WTF?!? WTF?!?

I feel cheated and will stop rambling now!!

Good Luck all - go play at Pokerstars, they aren't going to leave you high and dry like a high school girl the morning after the prom.

UPDATE. The message below was posted by Max Right on , the poker room manager at pokershare

"This event has taken us by surprise and emails were sent from Excapsa Software and Game Theory Limited without our prior approval. This is a very serious matter and one which we are taking further with Excapsa Software and Game Theory Limited.

I would like to apologize for the manner in which this event has occurred once again and I would like to stress that it was beyond our control. We consider our players and affiliates our number one priority and we would like to assure you that we are doing everything in our power to remedy this action.

A full statement will be available shortly which I hope goes some way to explain the circumstances.

Kind regards

Max Wright

Poker Room Manager for"

Sounds like UB shut them down!!!

Well it didn’t take long for 100-2 Infinity to win the heads up matches 2-1.  I would say luck was definitely on his side as he won the first match when he made a straight on the turn with J8o against my set of 9s.  I won the 2nd match fairly quickly.   Luck was definitely on his side during the 3rd match again as he made a full house and a couple of straights.  The final hand of the 3rd match, we got all the chips in with the hand below.  When all the chips went in, 100-2 Infinity had only 3 cards left in the deck that would win it for him and everyone reading this knows all to well what happened – as evidence by the abundant blogs littered with 1,2,3,4 out bad beats.  I win the hand and we are even in chips again.  Good luck in the next round.

Hand #9370954-97 at TurboSnG-0011a (No Limit Hold'em Sit and Go)
Powered by UltimateBet
Started at 01/Nov/05 21:11:44
     flfaulk is at seat 0 with 2280.
     cmitch is at seat 1 with 720.
     The button is at seat 0.
     flfaulk posts the small blind of 20.
     cmitch posts the big blind of 40.
     flfaulk:  -- --
     cmitch:  Kc Qh
          flfaulk raises to 80.   cmitch calls.  
Flop (board: Ks Jd 3s):
          cmitch checks.   flfaulk bets 160.   cmitch goes all-in
          for 640.   flfaulk calls.  
          Tournament all-in showdown -- players show:
               flfaulk shows Kd 7d.
               cmitch shows Kc Qh.
Turn (board: Ks Jd 3s 4h):
        (no action in this round)
River (board: Ks Jd 3s 4h 7c):
        (no action in this round)


     flfaulk has Kd 7d Ks Jd 7c: two pair, kings and sevens.
     cmitch has Kc Qh Ks Jd 7c: a pair of kings.

Hand #9370954-97 Summary:

     No rake is taken for this hand.
     flfaulk wins 1440 with two pair, kings and sevens.

Heads Up Challenge 2
I will be playing my 2nd Heads Up Challenge 2 match tonight against 100-2 Infinity tonight at 8:30 PM EST. Hopefully, the luck that I had against Tripjax in the first round will continue tonight.

There are a lot of things that I want to write about on this blog, but I’ve been extremely busy at work and at home, so I’ll try to post some of the things that have been running through my mind when I get a chance to take some breaks.

Week 3 RECAP - PS Bahamas WPT Quest
I didn’t get a chance to play the $650 Pokerstars WPT Bahamas Super Satellite this weekend yet again. This time is was a combination of my niece’s 1st Birthday Party and the Florida-Georgia Game. (Woohoo – Go Gators!!!) Hopefully, nothing will get in the way next weekend and I can play one of those again.

I had an overall down week on Pokerstars, but I also played a little on Pokershare and made some money. I wound up down a little less than $50 (between Pokerstars and Pokershare) for the week mainly due to one bad session at the short handed NL tables.

Starting Pokerstars Bankroll (10/10/05) $667
Withdrawals from Pokerstars Account $300
Overall Profit/Loss +$831
Current Pokerstars Bankroll (10/31/05) $1,198