Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Instant Relief!

I am already getting some fabulous feedback regarding password protection. Thanks, everyone!

I guess I will move to Live Journal. Here is my page:

From now on, this site will only provide the barest details about my tournaments, where I am playing, and my results.

Nothing non-PC will be posted here, so that the sheep will be happy (naw, they'll still have something to gripe about and send me hate mail!).

My personal poker diary is at LJ, and will be "friends" protected so only those who truly want the truth about the real poker world will have access. I also turned comments on over there!!!

Thanks, so much, everyone who came immediately to my rescue!

Password Protected Websites?

Someone suggested that instead of deleting my website altogether, there might be a way to password protect my site, so that only people who can "stomach" my opinion will be able to read my journal daily.

Sean suggested something like Live Journal. I have not heard of any other service which will allow me to keep my readership limited. Is there one? I can't really find anything on Blogger.

It seems that even by turning off comments, I'm still getting a ton of flaming and anonymous hate mail. I even kept my e-mail address from being published here, but people still find it easily, anyway.

I began this journal in order to post my trip/tournament reports. Then I started actually using it as a real "poker diary" which included my innermost thoughts and feelings about poker related issues. This seems to bother some people, for whatever reason, and they cannot help writing up something off-color and disgusting to send to me.

So the days of the journal are coming to a close, I suspect. I will either relocate to a site which allows password protected readership, or I will keep my journal on my own hard drive, with no access to anyone save my own brain.


2004 Best of...worst of (Laughlin, Nevada B&M Poker Rooms)

The following are my reviews of the best and worst in Laughlin poker rooms.

The Best:

River Palms

Okay, so this one is totally subjective, because others might have something on their necessity list which has to do with number of people actually IN the poker room.

The pluses are, the poker room manager, Dan, has the absolute correct strategy to run a successful poker room. He doesn't tolerate abuse, he doesn't tolerate drunks, he will not allow the IWTSTH rule bastardized, he is liberal about comps and getting rakes reduced for SH games, he is open to setting up private tournaments and lessons and he requires his dealers to be polite and well trained.

The minuses are, there are few players playing. For whatever reason, the Palms has some kind of curse on it, no one will go there. I've yet to hear a valid reason why, so it is a total mystery to me, but whatever.

Dan is also very open to new games and ideas. He is pretty easygoing and laid back, except when it comes to abuses in his room.

The Worst:

Laughlin has never been known for it's poker rooms, so I have to pretty much put them all in the worst category. Sad, but true.

Colorado Belle

I used to be a regular at the Colorado Belle. I thought it was a good room, at first, because the dealers weren't abused. They also ran frequent tournaments, with seated players getting priority seating.

Then I noticed that the floorman, Glen, was constantly taking red birds to give call in's priority seating (this not only breaks the rules of floormen accepting tips, but also call in's aren't allowed by the Belle). Then I noticed that Glen seemed to touch the women too often.

Next I noticed that the dealers were always griping about the customers, the players, and sometimes yelling at them, cheating them out of pots, out of money.

The worst was that James, the poker room manager, constantly allowed this type of behavior. He never enforced anything, and when employees of the Belle spoke of James, it was always with a smirk and laugh, "yeah, HE'S the poker room manager, hardy har!" James was a pushover, and pretty much allowed his employees to rule the poker room the way they saw fit.

This all came to a head in late March of 2004. A dealer and I saw Glen fondling a new, young dealer turned tournament director. The dealer told me it was my obligation to report sexual harrassment. I did, and found myself banned from the poker room the next day.

Since this incident, I have been "invited back" by several employees of this poker room. They have tried to push this incident under the rug or whatever. But do I really want to play in a room like the Colorado Belle? No way, ugh.


I only have one real problem with Harrah's; the rake is much higher than any other Laughlin room. Instead of $3+1 they are taking $4+2.

Harrah's has never liked poker rooms nor poker players, they usually go around closing any casino poker room that they purchase. With the poker boom, however, they are opening rooms, yet scalping the newbie player who has no idea he is being robbed. Harrah's Laughlin is no exception.


The Riverside has a very interesting background. I won't even go into it, but it is both sick and entertaining.

I still play there occasionally, mostly just for a laugh or two. The characters truly amaze me. Binion's has nothing on these dudes, organized crime goes much more unchecked in Laughlin than Vegas these days.


Ramada just kind of opened a table or two in the gaming pit. Can it really be called a poker room? Ditto with the Edgewater, but they keep opening and closing their "room" too often for me to even rate them.

Overall, games are very soft in Laughlin, with tons of senior citizens who are mostly loose and passive. Money can be made, comps are easy, food is cheap and decent, the people are much more pleasant than Vegas and the cost of living is next to nothing.

It's a fun place to play for a day or two, but I wouldn't want to be a grinder in Laughlin.

Someone is Thinking Outside the Box

Plaza plans World Series-like tourney
12/21/2004 - by Ron Fortune

"...For the new Plaza World Poker Classic, single table and super
satellites begin April 18 with multiple buy-in amounts. No-Limit
Hold’em tournaments dominate the schedule, but an array of other
tournaments such as Seven Card Stud, H.O.R.S.E., Ace to 5 Lowball and
Omaha 8 or Better are also planned."


Monday, December 20, 2004

2004 Best of...Worst of (Poker Forums)

I thought about doing some best of, worst of posts for the year of 2004. I don't have much else to do, save a hopeful trip to Phoenix later this week, having found out that there is a 15/30 mixed game at Fort McDowell which sounds promising.

Anyway, I guess I'll ease into this thing. If I just jump into the "worst of..." regarding bloggers, I'm sure to get a ton of hate mail. So I'll pick on the poker forums first, then maybe follow it up with poker rooms.

Best Online Poker Forums:

Two Plus Two (2+2)

David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth started 2+2. They began an online poker discussion group back in 1996 and it is over 25,000 strong today (not including lurkers). Some highly skilled professionals post on 2+2, some from the early days (like Greg Raymer). 2+2 does not tolerate a lot of abuse, spamming or inappropriate posts. They are not "censored to prevent posters from disagreeing with the authors," as some have suggested. I have seen Sklansky, Malmuth, Zee, Miller and Schoonmaker all raked over the coals in my time.

This is the very best place for high limit and highly skilled poker discussion, bar none.
The Hendon Mob

Although there are a lot of off-topic posts, and the set-up is not up to snuff, there are some fabulous posts on THM. Top European players regularly post there, as well as some of the brightest and best unknowns in the poker world.

Brits aren't afraid to tackle even the toughest issues surrounding poker. THM is where you will find discussions including rake, juice, cheating and other of today's most pressing poker topics.
Worst Online Poker Forums:

United Poker Forum

Once UPF was one of my favorite haunts. Then somehow Cooke and Caro stepped back, allowing a self admitted lunatic to take over their forum (Adam the Expert). When legitimate posters realized that nothing would be done about the quality of the posts on UPF, they, too spiraled into a free-for-all of flaming. All day, every day, constant, unchecked flaming ensues at UPF. The best posters have been silenced, and have either left the forum or rarely post anymore. Such a waste.
Victory Poker

VP was always about friendship and camaraderie in poker. In-depth discussions were rare and often ignored. Posters would rather gossip about players and other posters. There was a nice bond of players for a while, but then they allowed a man named Edward to take over their forum, a la UPF. Another man who talked about being institutionalized in order to excuse his behavior, Edward posts were racist, sexist and completely off color. Not many could escape the wrath of Edward, so the owners and/or moderators finally just gave up and allowed him the forum altogether.

I have since heard that Edward was finally given the boot by VP, but I heard that at least two dozen times in two years, so I just chuckled and said, "um hmm."
Wednesday Poker Discussion Group

Never have I seen an online group that contrasted so badly with it's live counterpart.

Several years ago, Dr. Schoonmaker and Dave Adams were living in Atlantic City and formed the WPDG. The group was relocated to Las Vegas and has remained there since. It is a strong live group, with great discussions, but the online group turns into a flaming frenzy due to one poster, Timmer, who is allowed to remain on the group despite repeated threats of physical violence and an overall personality which reeks of criminal insanity. This provokes ongoing flame wars, which leaves the group disjointed and broken.

Although there are some excellent discussions in the online group, the overall feeling is one of, "Who will Timmer attack next? Will it be me, and if so, will the group just hang me out to dry like they have everyone else he has attacked?"

Why they allow this behavior is beyond me, but then I see the above groups, both which prominently feature an insane poster, and I guess that is something common in most online discussion forums which aren't heavily moderated.

RGP deserves a best AND a worst award. Most of it is pure junk, because it is not moderated and so huge. But the best posts in poker will also be found at RPG, if one looks hard enough. Buried deep within mountains of trash, a bit of gold will be discovered here and there. It is also the fastest group to announce winners of big tournaments, other poker news and gossip. RGP posters usually post these things days before they will be seen on 2+2 or other groups.
So there you have it. Not my best writing, nor did I do a ton of research (haha), but I have kept up on the forums, and investigated many others that do a good job, but simply aren't big enough to compete. Poker Clan is a good forum, as is Andy Bloch's WPT fan site. Internet Texas HE is a good forum, whereas Gutshot has taken a dive in the past year. I could literally review 100 or more forums, but you have the best of the best, in my opinion, and also the worst.

The main theme in the worst is the presence of one or two "bad apples" who are allowed to take over the forum and completely ruin the tone of the group. Perhaps those forums could recover, given the right circumstances.

The best are forums which are moderated heavily, not allowing spam, out of control flaming and constant off-topic posts.

There you go. Enjoy!