Saturday, November 13, 2004

Interlude...Sound and Fury

YTD: +$slightly up, but can't be bothered to update :-(

I am trying to play a little less poker and be a bit more balanced, but in doing so I seem to be unbalancing things on the poker writing front :-) Of course I am referring to the THM thing. Although I was pissed initially, mostly through my own confusion, I wasn't surprised by their reaction to my post in the end. In some ways it's even flattering. However I think I am done there now. As Chaos puts it, its become a place to hang out for no real reason. If I post there, its just for vanity, and I've got enough vanity and ego wrapped up in this place thank you very much :-) Its also good to see a little storm of discontent kick up amongst the Doyle Disease types. That Ambassadors of Poker crap always stuck in my craw and smacked of hypocrisy. But I'll leave it to other to elaborate.


Andy_Ward said...

I thought it had just been a bad couple of weeks on there, but now you guys mention it, the deterioration is marked. As you say, it's true that these forums have a certain "half-life".

I think the difference between a blog and a forum is like the difference betweeen talking to an individual and a group. If you express a minority or controversial opinion, an individual is much more likely to consider it with an open mind. A group is more likely to "gang up" on the minority due to self-esteem and "belonging" issues. People in a group tend to say what they think the others believe rather than what they believe individually.

In conclusion, vive les blogs !


chaos said...

Forums need not have half-lives if they are policed. It very much appears that the forum has done it's job for the mob, but such thinking may turn out to be naive. Personally, I'm tempted by a blog as it is an easy thing set up (but high maintenance), but I'd prefer a website solution with several authors with different styles. Blogs still have limitations: many readers would find it rude to hijack a thread as I'm sometimes prone to do! Tough to make money from them too.

Forums can work but they require membership and policing.

Andy I think Simon's comment may have been best placed in thr blogs too, but I suspect it may have done more 'to spread the word' posted in a blog than on the Mob. That said I have a similar view to Simon and those who post here when it comes to knowledge sharing. Quite often you start off with a concept, post it and discuss it, usually to find it gets refined along the way. The long discussion on STT's we had on here is an example of this. Simon's rather stolen my thunder at that one now, but I'd have stolen his if I'd posted it!
In terms of getting reward for your efforts (w.r.t. knowledge) posting on the mob isn't the best strategy, a blog is better.


btw BDD re poker ambassadors. It was dillusional for folk to think that the sponsorship deal they struck was great for poker, it wasn't. These things actually inhibit progress on rake, which is what really matters imo. I asked if the mob would make a difference a few years ago w.r.t. to card rooms, I was deafened by their silence. I can't say I blame them, though, not at all.

Big Dave D said...

Forums tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies. With THM we have got what the people wanted. I remember there was some vigorous debate as to how we wanted things to shape out a few years ago. DY was very clear that he thought poker discussion was bad for business. And by his actions we got where we are today. This may seem a little harsh, but any community has an element of self-policing to it, especially in terms of subject matter. Once politics and bullshit became a persistent topic, it attracted more and more of the like. Chaos Theory and Strange Attractors all in one :-) RGP went the same, and its clear that Maverick was the start of the fall. Although he himself was mostly amusing, it changed the whole tone of the group and brought more trash talkers and flamers. Until we are left as we are with rgp really just rg. Strangely this hasnt been the downfall of 2+2, rather an overwhelming influx of newbies asking dumb questions on what was previously expert forums. As Andy said, the blog is king!

As the the hypocricy thing, it wasnt just the sponsorship, although my being flamed when it was announced cause I said so fucking what was rather amusing. Hopefully the pokerbastard will reveal more.


Anonymous said...

As I've got most of the sensible contributors on one thread here, let me start by getting a naive question out of the way.. Do blogs generate any revenue? I don't see any advertising or anything yet, but is increasing site traffic to the point of attracting sponsors (or rakeback agreements!) a primary driver in any of this?

Personally I stick to a previous comment that I don't play enough or mix enough with other players to have enough ammo to keep a blog going with fresh material, nor can I be arsed to set one up (however simple it is) - but I enjoy reading the various poker blogs that are springing up.

I generally am not very creative and lack imagination. (or so 15 school reports led my parents to believe...) but will often take an idea (from a trip report/throwaway comment/tip column/forum/blog) and try and take it up a level or 2 and see what happens. Mostly, nothing does, but occasionaly I end up with something I can use at the tables.

So keep the material coming you guys!!

Simon G.

Big Dave D said...


The short answer to your question is no, I dont think u can make serious money out of a blog. Also, rakeback schemes are not "offered" to players, they are available to anyone. The main reason I took one up was for my own play as I didnt see why Jim B should get rich on my efforts on Corals, especially as he isnt adding any value. Interestingly, this was one of the things that amused me about the "forbidden" Coral threads on THM. DY, in a burst of altruistic publicity, was always stating what a great deal Jim had put together for the benefit of us players. Of course it was nothing of the kind, all the Party skins have this facility, its just that for some reason, which only a madman could explain, Corals have chosen Jim B as their exclusive spokesman.

Anonymous said...


may I defend myself?

I certainly don't like the idea of poker forums educating players. I know I'm not alone in this. However, that doesn't mean that we can't benefit one another. I have tried on many occasions to get discussions moving on things that affect us all. In particular, I have banged on about late start times for competitions and the lack of direct revenue from cash games in many provincial clubs, which causes card room profitability to be judged on accountant's estimates of players' worth to the pit games - with the inevitable card room closures when new accountants take a more pessimistic view of poker's worth.

I have tried to encourage people to play 7-card stud tournaments and once tried to get a debate going about the idea, once suggested to me by Tony Bolton, that the opening card in them should only be allowed to bet a maximum of twice the ante, in order to introduce more play into the game.

On the inception of a previously popular poker forum (UKPOKER), I said that someone should come up with a directory of good value places to stay, to assist people who wanted to travel to play. I said it then and I'll say it now. I would far rather be tole somewhere nice that I can rent a single room for £25 near a casino, than hear someone waffle about how to play A-J in a £10 tournament.

My attempts to stimulate debate on these matters have usually drawn blanks. Yet people can be stirred to write about Jac Arama's glasses for days. Is it any wonder that I've largely given up hope?

As far as politics is concerned, it's true that I've been drawn into many threads about it, but in my defence I'll point out that I didn't initiate most of them. A guy called Ronald Jay did most of the initial provocation. In any case, we live in interesting times and I can't help being interested in what people of above intelligence think. Prior to 9-11-2001, I wouldn't have been drawn into a thread about politics. The issues then seem so utterly trivial now. Monica, the euro etc.... who cares? I can't say that they get me heated, but the willingness or otherwise to take proactive action against threats to our way of life. Yes, it does interest me.


Anonymous said...

Meanwhile over at Bigdaved's blog.......
9/11 changed my life......
Arabs are evil......

David these are the topics you give us, please tell us where th stay for 25 quid it will double your traffic.

Ronald Jay (now retired)

Big Dave D said...

Of course you can defend yourself. I wasnt really accusing you of anything but being yourself. I thing the "dont tap on the fishtank" thing has always been wrong and the continuing madness on Party shows just how wrong. But that's just my view. The problem with your view of a poker forum is that (a) the mechanics that you want covered off don't take long enough. (b)you are too keen for it to be something other than a forum about poker. If I want intelligent political debate, the last place I look is a poker forum.

Although you are sincere and genuine in what you believe in, or at least you come across that way, the continuing discussion of non-Poker content encourages others who are less sincere and genuine, to put it mildly. Stir gently for a year or so under a gentle heat and you have THM. Or stir for a couple of years and you have RGP.

Anonymous said...

There is another angle here: money. One of the reasons I don't write about poker on my blog as much as I used to, is that I can't see the point in doing so for free when others are paid for it. For the record, I've been paid by Gutshot to write a trip report from Vegas and Pokerpages paid me money for some articles about three years ago. But that is chickenfeed compared to what some people are getting.

Now Stan James have said that they'll give me a modest sum for anything I write about the game for them. Why should I write for nothing? I can't see why I should, not when people like the Camel are getting paid by the Mob and Card Player and others are getting paid by Inside Edge and Poker Europa, the Good Gambling Guide and so on.


Andy_Ward said...

Why write for nothing ?

For my own personal enjoyment and satisfaction. Could be just me there though !


chaos said...

'Why should I write about poker?'

Lots of reasons:

1/ You might learn something: This may be through the process of discussion that ensues as a result of your original proposition. Alternatively, because you write, you think. How often have you finished writing an article with a different understanding of a problem than when you started. Through writing down your ideas you challenge your own logic and reasoning. I've done it several times: in poker, for example,when I've started the article, play A is the the move I wish to advocate, by the time I've finished it's move B.

2. Advertising: Is anyone convinced you can write about poker? How can they be? You might get some good offers if you write some decent marerial.

3. Self esteem: we all need a dose of it.

The benefits lie in process. It isn't just about one person imparting information to another: Ok sometimes it is. Often, though, you are either challenged by another or by yourself. All the time you are building a set of analytical tools that you simply cannot obtain through watching a discussion unfold.

I was asked to write for a site, for probably not much money (I didn't ask), but I don't see it happening in the short term. There could be plenty of benefit in doing it though (see all of the above). Also it might motivate me further to improve my game and think about it more.

There are many people who should know better who are culpable when it comes to the demise of the mob forum: I'd put you at the top of the tree, even if much of your guilt is by accident and not design (like bees around honey, to be polite)

All in all though it is what is and doesn't nor should it fit my or anyone else's ideal of a poker forum. The mob have done very well for themselves and it's hard to fault their plan. But I think they underestimated the importance of the forum and the viewers who patronised their site. This was evident in the attitude to non-proliferation of tax knowledge they gained. This was the signal for me to stop adding value w.r.t poker, even though I have renaged on this from from time to time.

I could go a little further on this, but well, it's rather dull! I can't see myself wishing I'd spent more time talking about the mob on my death bed.

Anonymous said...

I do not understand what you mean, chaos, about non proliferation of tax knowledge. There is a long section about 'Poker and the taxman' on the site, written by Joe Beevers.


chaos said...

That was very old; the issue I referred to concerned tax & sponsorship. They received advice on the subject and wouldn't disclose it. Joe justified not commenting because they weren't tax advisors. This is a sound defence if you ignore the fact that he had already given poker players tax advice.

It was very much a sign of things to come, I certainly lost interest in contributing in constructive way unless it suited me to do so. There was also another issue that annoyed me, but I'm not going down that road.