Monday, April 21, 2008

More Unrest in the Poker Blogger World

Well, it seems that life is never boring in the world of poker blogging -- at least in the area where I hang my hat. As always, I don't mind throwing my two cents in, for whatever that is really worth.

People blog for different reasons. Many of the poker bloggers are really into it for the creative, aesthetic aspect. They remind me of my fellow literary magazine junkies from my college days. They were really into writing and were determined to put out the best, creative magazine imaginable. It is interesting being in a group where writing prowess equals coolness.

Other bloggers are into it for the poker strategy aspect. They usually author the analytical posts, disecting a poker hand like medical examiners at an autopsy. They appear to have little use of the more social blogs.

Some of the bloggers are more like me -- accidental bloggers, if you will. I first started my blog to get into's blogger tournaments, with entry to the WSOP Main Event as the top prize. I met up with the current group of bloggers I play against when I found out about this tournament called "The Mookie."

As best I can understand -- and this is just my interpretation, to be clear -- the old-time bloggers (A-listers) see themselves as the pioneers who paved the way for the riches we fight for today. Their games were friendly, and the experience and the relationships were integral parts of the experience. This led to the annual blogger gatherings, where online relationships became real.

A new generation of bloggers appeared, and then another ... and like anything in life, change occurs. I've seen some of the olde tyme bloggers say things in tournament chat like "Things aren't the way they used to be" and "none of my old friends are here anymore." Well ... life moves on.

Several bloggers have written that some A-listers might be no-shows at the summer gathering due to some of the changes. Well, if so, I wish them well, because life goes on. They might be nostalgic for the past and what it meant, but it is 2008 ... and things change.

Another blogger issue deals with civility (or lack thereof) at the tables. Frankly, I must be sitting at the polite tables, because I haven't seen or heard anything that I thought was beyond usual blogger asshat behavior. Yes, people sometimes get pissed when they lose to a moronic play or feel the Full Tilt Poker revenge on the river, but I haven't seen anything terrible. But first, let's remember that bloggers are a reflection of society, and yes, some of the bloggers appear to be real buttmunches. No story there.

The latest issue, regarding the Tournament of Champions, is a bit more intriguing. Coming from a sports background and being a competitive person, I am bothered by the laying down of some players to give a person the TOC entry. To me, much more than a chop is going on here. Chops let everyone share in a good profit or allow a never-ending tournament to come to an end.

But voluntarily giving up first place to someone because you are not interested in the TOC final? Why even play in one of the tournaments then? I am one of the unfortunates who finished in second place in a tournament this season. When I was heads up against lucko, he did not offer a chop and I did not even consider asking for one since he already had secured his TOC seat. He beat me, and I accept that.

Suppose that lucko offered me a chop so that I could get the TOC seat, and I accepted. Would I really be a champion, or would I be someone who negotiated an excellent deal?

This is a Tournament of Champions - not one for "good finishers." To claim that going heads up at the final table is roughly equivalent to winning the tournament, as some bloggers have suggested, is ridiculous. Just ask Tuan Lam about that.

So the whole idea of having some real money involved with these blogger tournaments has maybe changed the essence of what the blogger tournaments had been? I don't know. But ... they are what they are.

Thoughts on Brandi Hawbaker

I am saddened to hear of Brandi Hawbaker's suicide. Having never met her, I can't say what she was really like. Was she just a pretty grifter, or was there more to her than that? It is not surprising that reports indicate that she suffered from a "very serious untreatable mental illness" (although being a mental health professional, I don't know what I would consider untreatable). She was appeared to be the poker equivalent of Marilyn Monroe -- beautiful, used by many men, and gone too soon in what appeared to be a fatalistic life.

Home Game Cash

My home game does live! We actually played the second home game this year last Friday evening. Thirteen runners came for what was a rare two-table tournament. Lady luck was not with me after the first half hour, but I somehow toughed it out and actually got second place again. I was almost sure that I would be the bubble boy, but patience and a wise decision on to not shove with a small pocket pair kept me in the game while other self-destructed against the chip leader, Josh, who had massive stacks of chips. I don't usually like to settle for second, but dang -- I felt like I robbed a bank, taking a nice second place place prize on an off night.

Deep Run in the MATH, but Not Good Enough

We were having internet problems at home, so after working all day and then playing softball, I headed back into the office to play the MATH tournament on my work computer. Actually, I have done quite well when I play at work late in the evenings. No distractions -- just me and the puter.

Went out in 8th place when I hit a gutshot straight draw on the river. Unfortunately, it also completed cmitch's boat ...


Blogger Schaubs said...

Bang on!

I think it is absurd that someone would sell a seat for a measly profit instead of keeping it (even if they can't make it).

Heck I don't know if I can play in the TOC yet, but this is not going to stop me from trying to win one or two of these.

If I can't make it, then I would figure it out on my own, or just not show up.

4:35 PM  
Blogger jjok said...

well said, boltguy.

dead on.....

9:12 PM  
Blogger Mondogarage said...

Here's to happy accidents, so to speak.

Who the hell gets to decide who's an A-lister anyway? To me, if I read your blog, you're an A-lister. If I don't, you're a no-lister. And I'm reasonably certain that most bloggers look at things in a similar way, at least on a subconscious level.

Anyhoo, I'm pretty sure manic depressiveness, BPD, etc., are treatable. I'm also pretty sure that while under treatment, being in the high stakes live poker world is one of those Bad Ideas. I feel bad for Brandi's family, but the poker world is full of enablers, and while folks may have wanted her to be well, as long as she was taking part, she wasn't going to get well, and that's sad.

Okay, 'nuff Brandi.

8:43 AM  
Blogger Mondogarage said...

Lightning, you're right, you wuz robbed! Robbed, I tells ya, robbed!

Actually, I think Fischman's bounty would be as big as Bellande's, if Fishchman were the player Bellande is.


I keeed, I keeed.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Mondogarage said...

Lightning, you're right, you wuz robbed! Robbed, I tells ya, robbed!

Actually, I think Fischman's bounty would be as big as Bellande's, if Fishchman were the player Bellande is.


I keeed, I keeed.

2:03 PM  

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