geek stuff

The magical Google power of the word “jerk”

Ever since my post entitled where I declared that Jamie Gold appeared to be a jerk, I’ve been innundated with Google hits.  The most common combo is “Jamie Gold jerk”, but I’ve also got “Leyser jerk”, “Molina jerk”, “Jamie Gold is a jerk”, “Jamie Gold poker jerk” and sadly “shark jerk”.  I don’t know if he was hoping to make some jerky or if he was making a comment about my lame posts.  At first I felt ashamed of my limited vocabulary, but now I’m thinking I should just say jerk all the time.  Who knew it was a popular Google-term?

poker Uncategorized

General poker malaise.

I seem to have relatively little interest in poker the past week or so.  I’ve played very little and not really been very into it when I did play.  This may be because I had one of those sessions where I lost set over set every time I turned around, or to some insane suckout.  More likely, I’m just in a phase of disinterest.  I’m thinking about playing some more MTTs for a while.  They seem to amuse me lately.


I’m apparently obsessed with Jamie Gold

I’ve gotten some static from a few people that I don’t really know what the situation is with Jamie Gold and Crispin Leyser is and that speculation is unfounded.  They often focus on the fact that Gold has never publicly stated an intention not to pay Leyser.  I have always thought that was silly, since it would be odd for Leyser to sue if he was being reassured by Gold that he would pay and certain public comments from Gold certainly suggested he might not pay.  We can add one more piece of evidence from a New York Times article a couple of days ago:

Mr. Gold, who has acknowledged that he and Mr. Leyser had been in â??discussionsâ? to resolve the dispute before the suit was filed, referred questions about it to his lawyer, Patrick Byrne. Mr. Byrne said he planned to file an answer denying â??a majority of the allegations.â?

â??We donâ??t believe Mr. Leyser is entitled to any money as a matter of law,â? he said.

This is not the language of someone who plans to make good on their deal.  I assume he is going to deny the deal existed, but none of his initial public statements suggested anything like that.  I have a hard time coming up with a scenario that doesn’t make Gold a jerk.


Last Night’s WSOP telecast on ESPN

I’m such a geek, that at one point when ESPN is showing their crane shot of the poker room I’m checking out the table numbers to see if they are showing one of teh tables I played at.  Like maybe they will have a plaque commemorating my presence of something.  I have no idea why I was interested in that.  I blame my brother, who used to boo loudly when we drove past the Hampton Colosseum because it wasn’t our hometown arena.  Apparently we have some shared miswired brain circuitry or something.

A number of us have wondered how ESPN will portray Jamie Gold.  It is hard to say after this episode because although they showed him trash talking and acting up a bit, the guy he was talking to was so unlikable that Gold actually was the good guy in that vignette.  The other kid is named Eric Molina and he came across as a poster child for the obnoxious 23 year old Internet poker-playing moron segment.  He was berating people for making loose calls against him (even though it was obvious that he was raising way light) and generally acting like a real “poker brat.”  It is a shame that some of the real class acts in Internet poker get almost no TV time.  A good example would be Eric Lynch (a/k/a Rizen) who I met briefly at the WSOP.  The guy demolishes the on-line poker scene and had a stellar WSOP.  The only time I’ve seen him on TV was when his Aces got cracked by 54o or some such crap.  He took the bad beat stoically, despite the other guy prancing about in celebration.  I’m never going to get the big coverage, because I’m much more of a Rizen than a Molina.

There was another flap with the Molina kid in a hand against another well-known internet guy whose handle is Shaniac.  Shaniac wound up pushing with Ax from the big blind against what was obviously the 8 zillionth raise from Molina.  Molina called with 77 and Shaniac didn’t improve.  Molina talked trash and Shaniac gave him some grief back.  I read Shaniac’s blog and it looks like they actually pasted together two different hands in the footage and Shane’s account makes the picture we got of Molina as a jerk seem pretty accurate.  By the way, 2+2 sometimes seems to bring out the worse in Shaniac, because he seems much more thoughtful and interesting on his blog than he does on 2+2.

The most contentious argument of the night was between Prahlad Friedman and Jeffery Lissandro.  There was some question as to whether or not Lissandro paid his ante on a hand.  Lissandro insisted that he did and Friedman wasn’t sure.  The argument got more and more heated, until Prahlad baldly stated that he didn’t trust Lissandro and used the word “cheat” to discuss what happened.  It apparently went on for orbits, because they kept showing different hands with the debate wtill raging.  Lissandro threatened to knock Prahlad’s teeth out at one point.  It was like high school.  The interesting thing to me was that Prahlad never really seemed on genuine tilt, despite an obvious propensity to do so.  Lissandro on the other hand, was clearly livid.  I have to think it affected his play.  As it turns out, ESPN showed a replay of the hand and Lissandro was right.  Prahlad could have been sincere too, because he has a couple of posts on 2+2 that suggest he sees himself as some kind of etiquette police.
I say that I want to be more like Rizen and that I wish ESPN didn’t feature the idiots so much, but I have to admit that last night’s episode was among the most compelling ones they have shown thus far.


Two weeks of checking out WPEX

I’ve spent some time playing at WPEX lately.  For those of you who don’t know, WPEX is a room that is running a 100% rake rebate deal.  Each week, they accumulate your rake and give it back to you.  I assume that one day they plan to stop (because otherwise they don’t make any money), but for right now it is a fantastic deal.  The best rake rebate offers are usually in the 20-50% range and the sites at the higher end are typically the lower traffic rooms.  I personally get annoyed at the degree to which the poker rooms make too much money from us on rake.  They provide generous kickbacks to the affilliates (which is a corrupt system, anyhow) and rake at rates nearing those charged in live casinos.  This is bogus, since the costs of an on-line room are clearly much lower than a B&M casino.  Rake is the enemy of the poker player.  At lower limits, the penalty imposed by rake is so high that it is difficult to overcome.  If it weren’t for the inexhaustable supply of bad players, it would be insanely difficult to make any cash at the lower limits.

WPEX seems to have good traffic at limits of 5/10 and below.  I almost never sign in without seeing several games going at each of the lower limits.  Given that these are the limits where the impact of the rake is the most punishing, I really think that everyone ought to be playing there.  There are relatively few bonuses that make the cost of playing poker better than rake-free.  It doesn’t appear to me that the games are full of rocky players.  In fact, my experience is more that there are some overly loose aggressive types who give too much action.  This is ideal for the low limit grinders out there.

The problem for me is a lack of action at my target limits.  They tend to have 10/20 running most all the time and 20/40 running intermittantly.  I’d prefer to play 30/60 right now.  They have some bigger games that usually run, but I’m not yet comfortable playing in those games.  I’ve actually lost about 40 BBs playing at WPEX, but I’ve got about 25% of that back in rake rebate.  I believe that the games are very beatable, even at 20/40.  There are a number of regulars, and I think that I tend to do the best when I play the same people over and over, because I think my superior preperation and note-taking tends to give me an advantage over most of them.  The 20/40 crowd is looser than most at Party/Stars, but actually reasonably clever post-flop.  I think I should still be a winner in this game, but I’ve not got enough hours in to be sure yet.

There are a few drawbacks.  The software is pretty crappy.  You have to request email hand histories and you are limited to 100 at a time.  The site responds to email requests for hand histories intermittantly.  Sometimes it works nicely, but other times it will refuse to send emails for hours at a time.  I also run into a situation where the poker client runs at 100% of CPU for several minutes and will either refuse to respond or responds very sluggishly.  It always eventually clears up, but it is quite annoying.  It is extremely intolerant of momentary dropped connections and has folded me out of hands that I would have won more than once.  They promise upgrades to their software that will provide local hand history files (a big upgrade) and presumably will fix some of the other reliability bugs.

I’m going to continue to look for games here for a while.  I haven’t decided if it will be my primary home or not.  If I was playing lower limits, I would certainly make this my primary site without a second thought.