Monday, April 16, 2007

Go Away

Well, I think this journal is finished. I can't even force myself to post updates anymore. Like I said above, the site will remain for it's archives, but it is dormant.

I am busy with Two Plus Two, which has always been home, whereas this has been my prison.

I am not a "blogger" and never have been. I don't like poker bloggers, never did. They are weak and want to be humored. They sing Kumbaya and expect me to hold their hand. I am not one of you. Please go away.

Take me off of your bookmarks. Take me out of your links. I am not coming back.

If you want to live in the real world, come to Two Plus Two. If not, just keep clicking on these so-called "poker" journals, lol.

Let this horrible site die in peace.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I've Overstayed My Welcome

Well, I couldn't really get help with the site. The only responses I got, were e-mail or IM requests for help or assistance with their issues, not mine.

Thanks to Pauly and Drizz for trying, though.

I think the end has pretty much come. I have wanted to forget about this journal so many times. I kept it going due to obligation I felt to Scott, the readers, myself, Glenn, etc.

I feel like one of those people that sit in your house long after the party has ended. One of those unwelcome visitors who are hard to get rid of. They don't even get it. They don't even understand that you'd like them to go, so that you can go to sleep. That uncomfortable feeling that you have just sitting there, making small talk, too shy to ask them to leave.

I'm not playing very much anymore, just a couple of times per week. I'm not really writing about poker. I'm sick of trolls who believe that a journal is something to attack, to criticize and flame. I'm sick of forcing myself to write. I'm sick of blogger.

My traffic has gone from the big days, years ago, of over 1000 unique visitors per day (not page views), down to about 100. I have continued to monitor it mostly because I love reading the search words people use to find it. That is my only laugh about the whole blogger nightmare anymore.

I was never one of you. You don't like me, don't understand me, don't get me, and I've never really fit in. I wrote here because I felt I owed Scott something. Because I hated e-mailing my stories out to dozens of people requesting them, once they fell off of the main page of 2+2. I never cared for typepad or blogger.

In the end, I feel like I've overstayed my welcome. Like I pushed myself to do something that I didn't really care for. I've long liked Live Journal, and felt a ton more freedom there, although the worst of the trolls have somehow gotten to that haven, as well :(

This is no swan song. Maybe I'll continue to write here and there. But in more ways than one, the Party is over. I just don't care enough to make it work anymore.

Sorry Scott (if you even read this anymore).


Felicia :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I Want to Change my Site

I am having a situation about poker journals. As many of you have noticed, I have deleted just about all of the journals that I don't read anymore. There are a few that I still read not listed, but are on my Bloglines feeds. Mostly, though, I stopped reading almost all journals, and didn't want to have them on my links because I didn't feel comfortable recommending what I wasn't reading.

Some of them were good, very good. Some were atrocious, but had a following anyway. Some were mostly OT. I didn't delete anyone because I didn't like him or her, or because they didn't have me linked, or for any other type of personal drama situation. It wasn't personal.

Anyway, now I am thinking that maybe some of these guys and gals deserve a link, just not necessarily a personal endorsement from me. Pauly suggested maybe I do something like "Journals Others Recommend" or something along those lines. Make it clear that I don't personally read them, but they are recommended by others. This sounded like a great idea to me (Thanks, Pauly)!

The problem, of course, is that having deleted tons of sites, I have nowhere to begin. What I would like, is a list of every poker, and quasi-poker journal out there. I'd rather it be in alphabetical order, so that it doesn't look like I'm choosing pet journals (I wouldn't do this anyway, but readers read what they want to read, not what I write).

Does anyone know of a site with a huge blogroll on it? One in alpha order, one which will let me have the HTML code?

As a reward, I'll send you an autographed picture of my mastectomies. Ha!

Seriously, though, if I can get some help, I'll look over your site, and tell you what I think, if you'd like. I'll also link it on my main page if it's a site I believe is worth linking. No, you don't have to link me in return (I have no idea why anyone would want to link this POS anyway).

I'd offer to help you with your poker game, but since mine sucks now, too, you might not want that kind of help ;)

If you know of a roll I can borrow, please give me a holler on Yahoo: fzdyer


Felicia :)

Monday, October 16, 2006

If I Only Had a Brain

Sometimes I wish I could write better. My grammar, punctuation and spelling have gone downhill quite a bit in the past year. I think if I read over my pre-chemo posts, then came back to this POS, I'd probably bawl. While I was never a great writer, I used to be able to police my own mistakes and correct them, sometimes even before I made them in the first place. These days, eh, not so hot.

Having a blog has somehow evolved over time. In the early days, before a blog was called a blog, it was an online diary, and there was rarely, if ever, a way to send the author feedback. Some authors made their e-mail addresses well known, because they liked feedback. Others posted anonymously.

A good online journal was respected, considered even somewhat sacred. How often does a normal Gomer get to read the innermost, private thoughts of another, without having stole the diary and forced open the lock?

These days, eh, so-called journals are a dime a dozen online, and trolls have made a career out of going from one to another, flaming each with comments that rarely even make sense. Throughout all of this, however, some of us have kept on. Kept to our original diary. Stayed candid. Remained a true diary. We don't write for money, we don't have ads or sponsors splashed all over, we aren't "told" how many links we need to provide in one entry.

Are we any better than the paid writers? No, I'm not trying to put myself up on a pedestal, nor am I putting anyone else down. I'm just contrasting the two, as I sit here rambling on in the morning hours.

I wish I could write better. The one thing I tend to have going for me is that I'm typically interesting. I have a crazy, morbid sense of humor. There is humor in almost every post I write, although some readers just don't get it, and would rather go somewhere and flame me in private or public. I also try to eventually, however long it takes me, get to a point. My writing could be condensed down about 90%, but then it wouldn't be a journal anymore, would it?

I think that probably the hardest thing for a true, true poker journalist would be having the attributes of being both a serious poker player, and a good writer. Most of us just don't have "it." It makes reading poker journals painful. CardPlayer coverage of the 2006 WSOP is a prime example of that. Oy, that was horrid.

I wish I could write like PC, or Boy, or Linda (pre-blog purchase), or Kent.

I wish I could play like Max, Shirley, Matt or Chris.

These things I will never be. For good or bad, I will be solely myself, of that I can promise you ;)

Yesterday's post met with some interesting compliments and criticism. Oddly enough, I just banged it out in the early morning coffee hour before Glenn even arose. I was rambling and going around in circles. I never once thought of the post, or even the subject matter. For whatever reason, most of the time the posts that I never think about get the most feedback (both good and bad). But once again, I fail to please many readers. Most IM's or e-mails fell along the lines of criticism that I wasn't hard enough on smokers, or that I was too hard on smokers. SMOKERS??? Are you kidding me? The post had nothing to do with smoking. I don't know bubkiss about smoking, having never even tried a cigarette in my life. Oh, well. There are days when trolls will be offended no matter what is written.

I am often "told" to write more about what I'm thinking and feeling given the current legislation. The fact that I am "told" to do this will only force me not to do it. I have always been the anti-peer pressure type. Everyone in my low-class, redneck town was having sex by 14, so I refused. Most of my so-called peers were smoking by 12, so I refused. Most drank their way through high school, sometimes even sneaking vodka into their lockers and adding it to OJ every morning. So I refused. Most had their first illegitimate pregnancy by 20, including all three of my ex-step sisters. So I refused.

You don't "tell me" to post something. You don't even ask politely. My journal, my subject matter. End of discussion.

And even if I felt like addressing this issue? Well, I have very little point of reference. Sure, I've been around for a long time. I'm the old schooler of the poker world in a sense. But I never cared for online poker, hence I never really followed the drama or legislation that has been slowly choking us off since the beginning. I wasn't even playing online when credit cards first were denied. Nor when PayPal took the nosedive. So solly chally, I have no educated opinion.

What you got yesterday will probably be the only post of any substance whatsoever that is floating around in my brain.

I am slowly coming to a change in my journal. Oh, so slowly. Things are happening to me, and for me, that will necessitate this journal turning into something completely different. I'm sure you've seen it coming, given my posts about quitting full-time poker. I'm simply not the same person anymore. I don't care enough to play full-time. I don't care enough to play online. I don't have enough interest in poker to write about it all of the time.

While the LJ has already been changed from a "poker" journal to a life journal, the Blogger one has remained pretty pokercentric, with the odd quip here and there for fun.

What I am becoming is still a mystery, even to me. But what I can promise you, as I have in the past, and earlier in this entry, is that I will be here, I will be candid and I will try to remain as interesting as possible.

Writing is in my blood. I wrote my first short story at around six, and have never stopped. I'm not that good, but I'm here, and here I will stay.

Felicia :)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Poker: The End of an Era

Yesterday I read a book about gardening and rural living written in 1933. Yes, 1933, not 1993 ;)

Oddly enough, it was extremely current and applicable. I expected to be totally out of touch with the USA of 1933 and the author. Instead, I had to check the publication date a couple of times, just sure I'd misread the date (it was obvious as I got deeper into the book that it really was written in 1933).

Yes, this post really has something to do with poker, albeit tenuously.

Although I got a lot out of the book as far as gardening and simple living is concerned, what I really learned from the book is that welfare doesn't work.

The author spent a couple of chapters discussing the "new" aid that was just getting ramped up at that time, during the depression. He predicted it would only make us a country of dependent, weak-willed citizens. And here we are, almost 80 years later. What have we learned? We have learned that our country "owes" us something. If we can't or won't work? It "owes" us a living. If we can't pick our eating habits for ourselves, it needs to pick and choose what we should eat, and make certain foods illegal, starting all the way from grade school and working it's way up to gourmet, NYC restaurants.

If we can't stop "gambling," it needs to protect us from our own vices, while not exactly blaming us for the problem we have to begin with. So there are supplemented clinics for addicted gamblers. The banks and gambling sites are given the onus of keeping us out, since we are obviously not to blame for being addicts, and we need their protection.

Although the author of said book is no longer alive (obviously), I'm sure he would have predicted this scenario with ease. He said it in not so many words many times during the last two chapters of the book.

Getting the unemployed off of the dole and back into self-sufficiency won't work if you just keep handing them money and aid, patting their backs and saying "poor you, poor you, it's not your fault." It will work if you give them a task, something to live for, and no free ride.

One thing I've always liked about the poker world, is that for the most part, their thinking aligns with mine. I fit in, in certain respects. Not many poker players, true poker players who are grinders and have been around for a while, sit in the poker room singing Kumbaya and praising theory of weakness. They are typically a more conservative bunch. Not politically conservative, necessarily, that is not what I'm getting at. But they aren't the type who whine all the time that they aren't getting enough government aid. They tend to be doers, not beggers.

During the past few depressing weeks on 2+2, I have noticed that an overall trend in the serious poker community has been, "What can I do?" rather than "Help me! How can I keep playing? Fix my problems for me!" The attitude is definitely not a poor-me attitude. And maybe that is why I've always fit in at 2+2, too. The go-getters outweigh the welfare seekers by far.

I know that an era has ended. I know that we are seeing the end of the poker boom. I'm not blind. I was there before the boom, and I'm here as it has reached it's peak. It did not end the way I predicted. I figured that it would simply reach a saturation point and peak, slowly creeping back down to something manageable, rather than out of control fadness. Instead, we kind of hit a wake-up call, a brick wall.

While I'm sure that poker won't slide back into the dark ages of pre-2000, forces who are seeking political acclaim and the need to "protect us from ourselves," have scared some businesses to the point of killing the boom.

It is sort of like smoking, IMO (and yes, I have discussed this with several smokers, all of whom have agreed, since I have no personal experience).

It's not that smoking IS illegal in the US, but they have slowly cut us off during the past 20 years, thus rendering smoking an almost illegal, and definitely socially frowned upon habit and/or addiction. Cigarettes in and of themselves are not illegal. However, you can buy them only at certain places. You can smoke only at certain places. You cannot smoke in public places. You cannot smoke on airplanes, trains, buses, most restaurants, some bars, most parks, etc.

Slowly, so slowly, they are deeming smoking illegal. But yet they haven't come right out and said, "That's it, smoke your last ciggy, cuz the end is now!" Oh, no, that would drive smokers out of their minds and create riots. But if we had a time machine and could go back 50 years and tell young people what the future held for smoking, they would be outraged and appalled. They would say that it couldn't possibly happen. No way the government was going to tell them when, where and how they could smoke! Yet we have accepted these things, mostly passively, because they happened so slowly, and over time.

This is what is happening to online poker. It's not that online poker in and of itself is illegal, but slowly, over time, we are being choked off from various sites and middlemen. We can always withdraw, certainly, but we can't deposit. There is the key, that is the krux of the matter. The fish and recreational players will swim away. So slowly, oh so slowly, we are being cut off from online poker.

And that is how the boom ends. It will have a trickle down effect into every facet of the poker world. Don't believe me? Oh, you are so wrong. First FTP says a satellite won by a US resident must be played OFF of USA soil. Then Harrah's steps in and says it won't accept WSOP buy-in's from online poker sites. If you think this won't trickle into the live poker world, you are wearing rose colored glasses. The poker world has become all about tourneys. They went mad for the instant riches that come with big buy-in events. They want it now, not over time. They don't want to work too hard for it. After all, since the depression, we have been supporting Americans. We have been babying them and giving them everything. So they see something like the lottery, like a bingo game, as the American way.

When I tell people about certain cash games or smaller events, I see the light go out of their eyes when they realize that the guy with all of the chips at the final table is NOT going to be winning millions upon millions of dollars. Somehow the fact that the chips are real cash, or that the tournament is a low buy-in one, is not as exciting to them as the prospect of this guy going home a millionaire.

When I was a child, the slogan I would hear often about America was that someone with nothing could come here, work very hard, and actually have something for their hard work. Perhaps in their birth country, they could have worked 12-16 hours per day their whole lives and just barely keep from starving. But not in America. They could live the American Dream and actually have something for themselves. Buy a house, have a small business. To them, this is more than they ever could have hoped for in their lifetimes. Something too be proud of, something to pass on to their children.

Now, more and more, I hear: "America owes me something!" America owes me a living. America owes me five million dollars because I spilled hot soup on my lap in a restaurant. America owes me because I was in a car accident and have whiplash. America owes me because I had four illegitimate kids and the fathers are deadbeats and I don't want to go to work and/or can't get a good enough job to support all four and myself on a minimum wage salary. America needs to protect me from myself. I can't tell if high sugar foods are good or bad for me, so you tell me. Either outlaw them, or I'll sue for five million in order to get an easy lottery score because I gained 100 lbs. eating five pounds of Oreos every day. It's not my fault, you didn't TELL me that sugar was bad for me, so you "owe" me five million to make it go away.

Poker is not a game for the weak willed. These people don't succeed, nor have any hope of it. Online poker somewhat evened the score, allowing weaker personalities to not only break even, but succeed due to the anonymity of the Internet. But even the more shy, weak personalities came out of their shells and learned that they needed to be more aggressive, more assertive, if they were going to make a big score.

Just Friday I was at the Riverside. One shy lady was told to post at the 4/8 kill game, even though we were playing shorthanded and trying to keep the game alive. Just a few minutes later a man sat down and was told by the same dealer than he didn't need to post. Now you know I was all over that one. The woman thanked me for speaking up. She said she'd been thinking the exact same thing, but was too embarrassed to say anything.

There is no "too embarrassed" in the poker room, people! While I'm glad to have shy, scared players there, there is really no place for such wall flowers in serious poker.

Not long afterwards, a man next to me complained that his beer was warm. He had just been served. I told him to tell the cocktail waitress. He wouldn't. I did. She apologized and said she would bring him another. He was so embarrassed about the whole ordeal that he tipped her AGAIN! And she gave him another warm beer. But did he tell HER? Oh, no, he told ME! I can't stand people like that, who want to whine and complain to everyone else, while doing nothing about their own, personal situation in life.

Poker is at the end of an era. Perhaps our country is at one, too.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Poker Blogs???

To Do List:

1) Delete any "poker" blog (harhar) with mention of Spice Girls

No offense.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Why Can't I Write? And Good-Bye Party Poker

I seem to wax and wane when it comes to writing about poker. I'll write a lot of inspired, theory-type posts, and then I suddenly find a brick wall in front of me and don't feel like writing at all.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, I must write. I'm here to stay. Writing has always been a huge part of my life, and I'll write regardless of whether anything gets posted.

A few things that I have never written about were trip reports from this years WSOP. Remember, Glenn won the ME seat on Party? We stayed at MGM for a week and had a great time. I never wrote about it, even though some funny things happened during that week. Another chalk mark for me getting kicked out of a poker room. This time it wasn't even really my fault, although I have such a big mouth, I can understand why CRM's and various casino employees would absolutely hate to have me in their establishment. Truthfully, if I owned a casino, I probably wouldn't spread poker. And if I were forced to spread it, I would hate people like me frequenting the poker room. I have never denied that the presence of someone like myself is more of a hindrance than a help to any cardroom.

The shock of the entire WSOP experience this year was how well we were treated by Party. I wanted to hate them. I've always hated them. Hate their software, hate the glitches, hate the way they treat players. Their apathy from almost the time they entered big-time Internet poker had left me gaping with horror. Although I don't play much on the Internet, I played on Party so rarely that I didn't even keep the software on my PC. Just the thought of giving them business made my blood curdle.

So I went to MGM with a 'tude. Big chip on my shoulder, looking for someone to hear my rants and take my abuse. I couldn't have been more shocked if I'd tried. Although on the Internet Party may treat people like numbers (dollars constantly adding up in their eyes), in person they couldn't be more polite, kind and cordial. They treated us like kings, instead of the greedy peons that we are ;)

With the closing of Party tomorrow (and yes, I do consider it over, a "closing," even if they decide to return to the US market eventually and/or keep other skill-based games running in the interim), I figured I'd probably be the one and only person who would actually write something or say something kind about them. Their live personnel was outstanding. They couldn't have been more professional and wonderful if they tried.

RIP Party Poker,

Felicia :)