Digital Cowboy

Digital Cowboy
Poker is life. Life is poker.

Archive for the 'Poker' Category


The folly of Sharkscope.com

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

A few weeks ago, I sat at a (virtual) table with Keith Sexton in a HORSE tournament.

I won.

I didn’t just beat him. I took control of the table and bluffed him out of at least three pots. I also beat everyone else at that table. I wasn’t prepared for the fame/notoriety I got.

From that point on, I’ve had stalkers in the online poker world. People I don’t know telling me that they “know me.” But not just that, they also know that I’m a donkey (a poker term for a fool – you just keep carrying money to the table) and an “idiot.” It took me a while to figure it out, but there is a new generation of poker player that thinks they can use SharkScope to measure a person.

That “idiot” comment came from someone just before I busted him in heads up play. He said he “knew” I was an idiot because of my “ROI.” (That’s from sharkscope.) Those were the last words he typed as all his chips were shipped to me.

That’s a fool’s errand and I welcome it. If you think you can size up a player by reading dubiously collected stats of their performance over the last two or three years, PLEASE sit at my table. Did it ever occur to any of you math geniuses that I’m working on a table image and you’re gullible? When I want to win, I usually do.

I just beat Keith Sexton again as well as everyone else at the sit-n-go table where I played him. This time I chatted with him a bit. He’s a very nice guy.

I’m not overly impressed anymore with beating Keith. He plays every day for a lot more than the $55 buy-in at that (online) table. He’s also there to build interest and dump money so that others will. No matter what it looks like, I’m not stupid.

But there were 7 other people there that also lost all their chips to me. Again.

I came away thinking that, though this is another win for me, it also puts the target on me again.

I may have to lay low and play low for a while because every stupid teenager with access to his mother’s computer and credit card will be gunning for me – checking sharkscope and concluding I’m an “idiot” or “donkey” or “river-chaser.”

In that respect, I’ve learned what it’s like to be a “pro.”

Poker 101

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

When I started this blog, the motto here was “Poker is life. Life is poker.” There’s great wisdom in that so I’m changing it back. I’m pretty sure I said here in the past that if you don’t know poker, you’re probably not very good at life. Or something like that.

Among the many life lessons that poker teaches is this: “No single hand defines the game. It’s not over until every other player is busted. All it takes is a chip and a chair.”

Full Tilt commercials have made it a bit cliche, but like nearly every other cliche, this one is true: “It’s about patience and well-timed aggression.”

They’re talking about poker but it applies to life as well.

I just won another poker tournament. When it came down to heads up play, the other guy started whining about how lucky I am. Shortly after, I made a tough lay down where I’m pretty sure I had the best hand but it wasn’t worth the gamble. He responded with, “awwwww! Your luck run out?”

That’s when I knew I had him. I made a few more tough lay downs. Then, playing 7 Stud Hi (it was a HORSE tournament), I called him on the end with nothing but a pair of treys. He was showing a pair of deuces with a King and had bet into me on every street. I won the hand.

Then I said, “Was that luck, too or did you just get out-played?”

He never said another word and shortly after that, I busted him to win the tournament.

Life works exactly like that. Trust your read. Make the hard lay downs and the hard calls and you’ll win every time. Most important: Don’t let the obnoxious clowns and their stupid play move you off your game.

Chris Moneyloser

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

Chris Moneymaker won the main event at the World Series of Poker in 2003. I’ve posted about him before and I’d like to follow up.

It was a fluke. He doesn’t even understand the game. He’s a home game player that got lucky.

I made the same initial assessment of Greg Raymer, the 2004 winner, and he has proved me wrong. But that hasn’t changed my opinion of Chris. I’m sure he’s a nice guy. I have nothing personal against him. But he sucks at poker. I would love to sit at a table with him.

There’s a commercial running for a poker web site where Chris Moneymaker says, “I didn’t learn poker from readin’ books or anything. I learned by playing.”

Yeah. It shows, Chris. You’ll be back to your accounting job in less than two years. I hope you didn’t extend your credit too far.

(He finished dead last in the “Poker Superstars Invitational” last time. I’m not sure why they invited him again, but he’s not doing any better. Maybe he should read a book.)

Winning the main event at the WSOP is almost meaningless these days. For that you can thank Chris.

But I’m not vilifying him. He is also the reason that poker has exploded and become profitable for everyone. Prior to Moneymaker’s win you had to be an actual “pro” to make money at the game. Now anyone can.

Here’s how ya know

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

… that you’re nuts.

I just watched the final table of the 1998 World Series of Poker for about the sixth time. At about 5:00 in the morning. What a show. Eights full of nines on the board on the final hand… and that wasn’t good enough. Scotty’s still the man after all these years. (And damn you for continuing to replay it, ESPN!)

I’m rambling again.

But I realized just now while watching it that this might be an illness. It’s one thing to watch the modern WSOP tournaments or the WPT. It’s a whole ‘nother thing to sit through a tourney before they had “hole cams.” Back then, you didn’t know what anybody held unless there was an all-in bet. For a freak like me that’s almost more fun; I can test my reading skills.

But then I wonder about my sanity when I’m watching the same show for the sixth time. I could lay out every hand for you card by card, but it still draws me like moth to flame. I didn’t know what they had the first time I watched it… but maybe I have a problem now.

If you’d like to help, I’m looking for someone to stake me for this year’s WSOP. The main event will probably pay over $10 million and I’ll cash a couple of times before that. I only need about $50,000 to get me through the whole six weeks. They’ll probably have over fifty events and I’m a well rounded player. I can handle myself just as well at Seven Stud or Omaha as I do at no-limit Hold ‘Em. I can even do Razz if I’m forced to.

So, how ’bout it? Who’s got $50k they wanna turn into millions with no effort? C’mon! You’ll get to see your money on TV.

Clonie, you’ve been paged!

Sunday, February 12th, 2006

Clonie Gowen is a rising star in the poker world and one of the top female players. She’s also, coincidentally, pretty hot. In a pre-poker life she was Miss Oklahoma. She’s been on TV quite a bit lately. She got started playing poker in the casinos in Shreveport, LA while living in Dallas. She now lives about a half hour from me, in Sachse, TX.

I get emails from various Dallas card rooms to let me know what’s going on in the local poker world. I got one Thursday from “Aces” to inform me that Clonie would be playing there Thursday night. It included a link to Clonie’s website. I clicked the link to see what she’s up to.

While I was at her site, my kids came in.

“Daddy, who’s that?”

“Clonie Gowen. She’s a professional poker player.”

“She’s pretty.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Do you know her?” (What I didn’t say: “In the biblical sense, sweetheart?”)

“No, dear. I don’t. But she lives pretty close to us. I just got an email from a card room in Dallas telling me that she’s going to be there tonight. If I had some money and a babysitter, I could go play poker with her tonight.”

“You should go play with her, Daddy!” (Not said: “Oh, how I would love to go play with her.”)

“I just told you I don’t have money or a babysitter.” (Oldest runs off.)

“We could stay with Alton and … and …” (oldest returns at a full gallop with her purse)

“Here’s some money, Daddy. You can have my money to play with her.” (handing me a fist full of change totaling about seventy cents.)

“Thank you, sweetheart. That’s very nice of you, but it would take a lot more money than that and we still don’t have a babysitter.”

“Call Miss Miriam!” (That’s our old daycare provider who doesn’t do any “after hours” babysitting.)

“Honey, she doesn’t take care of kids at night. Why are you so determined to get me to go?”

(The kids tag-teaming.) “Because she’s really pretty.” “Yeah. I bet she’d be a really good mommy.” “Yeah! I’d really like to have a poker mommy.”

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

So. Clonie, you’ve been paged. We need a “poker mommy” in Celina. Email me for phone numbers and directions.