Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Poker Players Against Kyl

I made a donation to Jim Pederson today, and I would encourage you to do the same. Pederson is running against Jon Kyl, who was a one of those pushing hard for the anti gambling ban. I didn't donate much and I don't think the small amount that I did give will make or break anyone's campaign, but that's not the point.

If there's two things that politicians understand, its money and votes. I'm hoping that those in power will see that voting to enforce their misguided morality on others and to take away our freedoms will inspire people not only to vote against them, but to actually give money to their opponents in a retaliatory attempt to oust them.

So donate through the Poker Players Against Kyl page, even if its only $10. Even if we don't manage to vote Kyl out, at least we can make him and others think twice before voting against the will of the people.

Originally posted at

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

When They Came for the Poker Players

Saw this Article through Bill Rini's Poker Filter. Seems like a workthwhile cause given the current situation.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"When they came for the online poker players I did nothing, because I wasn't an online poker player."

Some may take that attitude. We, at, do not.

Congress harmed American businesses that run online gaming sites by outlawing money transfers to those sites. We stand with those harmed and against Congress.

Congress harmed American taxpayers who used to enjoy playing Texas Holdem on PartyPoker, and using Fireplay to enter the game and collect their winnings, but who can no longer do so because of Congress. We stand with those Americans and against Congress.

Some may take the attitude that this new law will help those with gambling problems, but a junkie can always find his fix. Perhaps now he will simply do so with a non-American online gaming site. Besides, Texas Holdem is more a game of skill than luck.

Some may like the "values" this new law symbolizes. They can sit and wait for William Bennett's next "virtue" book (though given recent news about Mr. Bennett, we now suspect will probably include a chapter titled, "The Virtue of Gambling"). But we prefer to act for the virtues of small government, self-determination, and free enterprise.

Some may prefer to buy a government sponsored lottery ticket, go play bingo at a church charity, or go to one of the Indian casinos from which Ralph Reed (of Christian Coalition fame) has earned so much money (via Jack Abramoff). We prefer to make Congress pay for its sins.

We must be prepared to defend others if we expect them to help us when we need defending. We want to make common cause with the online Texas Holdem players . . .

* We will ask Congress to repeal the anti-gaming law they passed before they adjourned.
* We want to ask online poker players to help us pass the "Read the Bills Act."

Here's what online gamers need to know: If the "Read the Bills Act" was already law, then Senator Frist couldn't have hidden the anti-gaming law in a Port Security Bill at the last minute. Please do the following . . .

* Send Congress a message asking them to repeal the online gaming law. Do so here.
* Forward this message to friend, and ask them to do the same
* Send a second note to Congress, and to your friends, about the "Read the Bills Act." Start here.

But don't stop there:
* Help us grow by making a contribution here.
We only need another $1,996 to pay our October bills.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

Jim Babka
President of the Downsize DC Foundation and, Inc
Former President of, Inc.

Save our ports from online poker sites!

Congress passed a bill prohibiting money transfers to online betting sites. This law hurts American businesses and American poker players.

This is a dishonest law passed in a dishonest way.

The Internet betting prohibition was added to a Port Security bill at the last minute, just before Congress adjourned. Putting this bill into the Port Security legislation guaranteed it would pass without examination or debate. This couldn't have happened if's "Read the Bills Act" was the law of the land.

Senator Bill Frist is responsible for this travesty. He wants to be President. Passing this law helps him demonstrate to the GOP base that he's a "values candidate." Never mind that the benefit to him comes at the expense of others. So much for "values."

Congress must reconsider this bill, as a stand alone measure, and repeal it. If Congress wants to pass this law they should do so in the full light of day, without the cover of something like Port Security. was motivated to take up this cause for several reasons.

* We object to government sponsored restraint of trade.

* We think it highlights the need for the "Read the Bills Act."

* This law hurts honest Americans.

Please take action now by sending a message to your Representative and your Senators asking them to repeal this provision.


* Congress shouldn't pretend they are our parents.

* Congress shouldn't be able to combine unrelated bills at the last minute.

* There should be a waiting period before a bill can be passed.

* Congress should have to read every word of every bill.

* And no bill passed in violation of these requirements should have the force of law.

Originally posted at

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

FullTilt Staying

play online poker

To be honest, I was a little surprised when FullTilt didn’t join the ranks of poker rooms fleeing the US. Given the fact that executives from some online sportsbooks have been arrested recently and the fact that the Team FullTilt members are rather well known and frequently in the country, I expected them to be worried that they may find themselves behind bars. I’m sure there’s some legalese where Team FullTilt doesn’t officially own FullTiltPoker they are just paid representatives, but I don’t think the government would necessarily let that stop them from making some arrests.

But, maybe that’s what they want. The arrest of a high profile poker player for nothing more than owning a stake in an online poker room could be the best thing that happens to online poker. Imagine what would happen if someone like Phil Ivey or Howard Lederer got arrested. I think it would turn them into a martyr. No one gets too upset when some unknown executive from a sportsbook few people have heard of gets arrested, but when a popular figure such as any of the FullTilt pros gets arrested I think it may cause some public outrage at the ridiculousness of this whole thing.

Plus, if in fact they were to get arrested, poker rooms would then have the media attention needed to actually get their point across to the rest of the country that doesn’t normally pay attention to stories such as this. I think if you ask most people they would say online gambling should be legal, as long as it was regulated/audited. With enough publicity we could get this point across to politicians who might actually vote for the majority if they are vocal enough.

Finally, while I’m guessing any high ranking member of a successful gambling site is fairly well off, I also think the full tilt pros have plenty of money to spare. Should they get into legal trouble I envision them going through the lengthy and expensive process of challenging the law. There’s plenty of inconsistencies and hypocrisy that I hope they could find a way out of it. Of course I know very little about the legal system so I could just be pulling that part out of my ass.

So maybe that’s their secret strategy. Open challenge US law in order to bring attention to it and change/strengthen public opinion to their cause. Or maybe they think they’re still legal and there are billions of dollars on the table now that many of the big names have run and hid.

Originally posted at


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Back to Normal

If my recent play is any indication, maybe it’s a good thing that online poker sites are closing their doors to US players. I’m currently in the middle of one of my famous “drop $400 to get a $120 bonus stretches”, which for those of you not so mathematically inclined leaves me in worse shape than had I not played at all.

Its not that I’m necessarily playing poorly, it’s just that I’m not devoting my full attention to the game. (Ok fine, because I’m not giving it my full attention I guess I am in fact playing poorly, shut up). Here’s the problem. I’m no longer fascinated by poker. I still enjoy it, but sitting at one or two tables, playing a hand every few minutes is no longer enough to occupy my short attention span. I have to be doing other things at the same time, writing blog posts (yes I still do that), reading blogs, looking for stock ideas, checking on my fantasy football team, doing research to support my theory that Bill Frist is in fact the Son of Satan, and numerous other things that don’t let me play optimal poker.

So I end up playing entirely too predictable, ABC boring poker, and it isn’t working out so well. Since I don’t have good reads on the rest of the table I’m way too passive and let numerous pots get stolen from me. And then at some point I’ll realize what I’m doing and try to play a few hands overly aggressive to catch the table off guard. Only I usually end up running into the nuts when I do that. I’ve also been watching too much High Stakes Poker so I like to mix it up a bit too much and play any two suited cards, which is just like me throwing an extra blind in every few hands. Playing junk might work on TV, but not so much at low stakes limit poker. So Yay. Go me.

I suppose rather than bitching about it, I could stop doing other things while playing, or stop playing, but then you wouldn’t have gotten to read this exciting post. And really, its you who I do this for. So you owe me $280.


I really need to start playing tournaments again. I think I have most positive EV playing them, I’m just too busy to do it. There needs to be a multi day MTT where the break after each hour of play lasts 23 hours. So you play for an hour starting at 8:00PM on Monday, and if you have chips left, you come back at the same time on Tuesday to continue the tourney. I think I’m onto something here.


On the non-bitching side, my two favorite poker rooms, FullTilt and PokerStars have indicated that they will remain open no matter what some right wing whacko has to say about it. Maybe I paraphrased that a bit. And that doesn’t mean they won’t pull out later, but for now, the world seems to have not ended as we may have previously thought.

Originally posted at


Monday, October 02, 2006

More Reactions

Wow.  I don’t even know where to start.  It’s been interesting reading the various reactions to the new online gambling ban.  And by interesting I mean depressing.  There’s not a whole lot of optimism out there.  

I certainly don’t have any answers, but I figured I’d pull together a here’s what I do know type post so at least I have it one place.

First off, I’m fairly certain that if you have money in various online gambling sites, your money is safe.  If you have heavily deposited in some new smaller lesser known sites you might want to consider cashing out, but no one’s going to steal your money and in the very likely event that US players are banned from whatever site, I’m confident that they will allow you to withdraw whatever funds you have.   That being said, I wouldn’t recommend making any more deposits in the immediate future.

So here’s what else I know.

Bill Rini posted a letter from Nolan Dolla, former media director for the WSOP and until yesterday Director of Communications for Poker Stars.  If you read one of the following links, read this one.  He has some really well reasoned analysis of the current situation.

Party Poker plans to pull out of the US market if (when) this bill is signed.  See this press release for their full statement.  That certainly can’t be good.  The largest online poker site pulling out of the largest market does not bode well for the industry as a whole.

I think aka Pacific poker/poker-on-net is also pulling out as well as any other publicly traded company.

For now PokerStars and FullTiltPoker are taking a wait and see approach.  FullTilt has posted their comments here.

For those casino and poker affiliates out there, I received an email from the folks at talking about their new affiliate protection engine.  There’s not exactly an abundance of details on the site, but I think they win the first-site-to-try-to-set-up-a-sneaky-work-around award.  

Have you joined the Poker Player’s Alliance yet?  What are you waiting for?  The new laws banning the sale of playing cards, circular discs, and felt tables?

There is one piece of good news; according to banks will likely still allow Neteller transactions, since they aren’t necessarily gambling related.  Plus most banks don’t have the technology to track deposits like the new law requires.

Finally I would predict that while things don’t look so great now, there is waaaayyy to much money involved to keep the big players away for long.  I’m hoping they retreated momentarily so that they can regroup and start fighting back.  There’s no way they are going leave billions of available dollars sitting on the table without more of a fight.

Oh, and someone else mentioned this, I forget who, but now might be a good time to take a shot at the various daily/weekly/monthly guaranteed tournaments. Since people are panicking and cashing out there will be less competition, and since the prize pool is guaranteed that pushes the EV more in your direction.

Originally posted at


Sunday, October 01, 2006


ummmmmmm Rock much?

I was a little hesitant to get overly excited about the Bears season so far since they haven't exactly played anyone worth mentioning, but I'm pretty sure a 37-6 victory over the team most people pick to go back to the Super Bowl is worth getting excited about. I'm going to start looking for my Super Bowl tickets now. I'm thinking the Bears will still be undefeated at that point.

Originally posted at


Port Security Bill

So there I was early Saturday, enjoying my morning cup of coffee catching up my blog reading when I came across this post by Biggestron.   I was expecting something along the lines of details for the next WPBT circuit event, but instead I’m blindsided by news that they tacked the anti gambling bill onto the Port Security bill.  

I thought we had survived this congressional term unscathed as they had failed to pass the bill on its own, and similarly failed to attach it to the Defense Budget.  Instead Bill Frist (R. TN, and all around asshat) managed to sneak it into the Port Security bill. You know the bill they have been working on since 9/11 to help secure our country.   They couldn’t be bothered to include necessary items like securing our railroads, but securing us from the horrors that is online gaming, they had time for that.  Which is a good thing, because we all know how effective prohibition can be.  When’s the last time you heard of someone drinking in this country?  Oh wait, that’s right, it didn’t work out so well.  

WTF is Frist’s problem?  What an asshole.  I’m not apolitical or legal expert so I’m not going to comment any further just yet, but you should definitely check out the following posts for some interesting insight.

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