Sunday, April 03, 2005

Deus Ex Machina

YTD: +$42805.97

Sometimes I see ghosts. Sometimes I go looking for them; sometimes they go looking for me. When you have haunted the net for as long as I have, the damned place seems littered with the corpses of fallen friends and foes, games and sites.

I like to go to the Neverwinpoker forum for two reasons. I like to see old Linden_Arden, who I used to play with on Stars back in the day; and I am afraid to look at the onlinechamp forum, if it even still exists.

The ghost of Onlinechamp is an instructional one. A couple of years ago, the biggest ring game online was the 15-30 Limit Hilo, then quickly after the 30-60 Hilo. For arrivistes to the poker scene this probably seems incredible. After all there are games many times that size now, some even 10x. But back then, unless you wanted to play King of Ding headsup on UB, this game was it. And because it was the biggest, it also attracted the maddest. And the best. And the worst. I played in the game for quite some time, mostly out of ego as I doubt I made money in it. Not all of the casualties got broke – after all, Big Dave D is never seen on any sites now either – but a fair few got turned into ghosts along the way.

El Ganador evolved into a PLO expert. The clinically insane DARTHVADER seemed to spin off into the stars and out of the Stars, although as a lottery winner in the US he had money to burn. My dear friend LEECHKA seemed to drop off the end of the world. ORION1 seemed to turn himself into a parody of every Cold Country maniac stereotype I ever piss-taked about, either riding the crest of a massive rush or crashing down to near brokedom. Alex1, the tournament wizard and seemingly the worst cash game player I have ever played. And of course the infamous Mr Robert, who is now beating the 75-150, probably chatting no more than 5 words a year and still confounding the critics as to how he did it.

But in my mind the ghost of Onlinechamp overshadows them all. The first time I met OLC, as he was affectionately known, he was being praised by some anonymous railbird. Whereas today you can see this quite often, especially if it’s a well known player, back then it really stood out. As did his catchphrase, “Ship the Sherbert to Herbert” whenever he won a pot. Yes, he really did have a catchphrase.

This probably makes him sound quite annoying. Which he was. But he was also good fun, and as his rush continued, he built his own site, which for a time attracted seem serious names from Stars, including Josh Arieh.

Then the rush ended, and boy did it end. The rumour mill was he lost 60k in a couple of weeks, which effectively wiped him out. He sat in, and then sat out the entire time in the fledgling 100-200 holdem game, clearly just for showboating purposes. The web site was the scene of a very public disintegration. Like one of those scenes in a disaster movie, where the support cables start to “POP” out of the ground, snaking cables whipping around, building swaying, but still standing while you watch and wait for the next snap. At times he seemed barely rational. I guess the end was a very public, lawyer threatening bust up with Josh Arieh.

Of course the tragic thing about this ghost is that if he had held on just a while longer, who knows what might have happened in the super boom of the last year. I mean people go to the Neverwin site even though NEVERWIN ALMOST NEVER POSTS THERE. I guess what haunts poor OLC most is that he would of almost certainly have had a piece of Josh Arieh if they had still been friends, and that alone may have cost him up to $250 000.

I said that sometimes the ghosts come to me. Whilst looking at the Neverwin site, I noticed a very strange post by DanDruff, the 100-200 player. It seems that IMDB.com has an entry for Andy Glazer. For those who don’t know, this is a very comprehensive info site on cinema, maintained by user submissions. Why on earth would the Poker Pundit have an entry there, as he had almost no involvement with the film industry except a cameo in the Stuey movie? This becomes even more curious, if you check out the entry, in that there is a very comprehensive bio, as well as the mention of the date he died and the fact he committed suicide, which in itself is not well know. And who submitted this entry? Andy Glazer. A strange and chilling testimony.

Vincent Gray: Do you know why you're afraid when you're alone? I do

19 comments:

chaos said...

Excellent article Dave. Very interesting. On Andy Glazer, it always seems strange to see someone write about themselves in the third party. In particular, 'his heart appears to be somewhere in outer space', though of course he may not have known where is heart lay. The reference to his dream job perhaps testified to his state of mind - escape to the future, different worlds.

Re neverwin - I had a look at his site a couple of times to see if it delivered anything, but never seemed to find any articles, as he promised. Of what I read I was unimpressed: it struck me as vulgar and childish. It referred to owning your opponents and in particular when neverwin won a big vhunk against a guy HU in Vegas. His sidekick, the guy who runs the site, referred to his the win in a particularly vile way, but I can't recall exactly. It was something like 'putting an animal down' (but certanly not that). Anyway, it aappeared pathetic to me. It seemed they were trying, and succeeding in developing a cult figure, by appealing to people's greed by promising something that they wouldn't or more likely couldn't deliver. All in a bit no doubt, to like kinda get on MTV. (Don't start me on the 'likes'). Things may have changed, I've noticed that some of the big limit players refer to posting on the site, but I suspect more to chat than for anything useful.

BTW, wre you AKsu's hunch?:)

Aksu said...

Those were the days =)

Nothing new from OC front. He is planning to play "all the events EXCEPT for the POT LIMIT OMAHA EVENTS!!!" Only problem is that he "will need A LOT of sponsorship" to that.

Funny thing is that some other guy has onlinechamp.com site running now. A bit of a badbeat there when naming the site.

Chaos, only enviromental evidence from forums. You were interested in improving betfair software and you play limit.

Neverwinforum is mainly for entertainment, poker soapopera, altohough DanDruff and LindenArden put some poker content from time to time.

gl
Aksu

chaos said...

AKsu,

I've not played as much there this year, but I do play there. I'm sure we've played though, maybe, you're BK - I think it was him or struck me as being a particularly dedent chap - said 'wp' in a hand he lost, does that sound like you.

I get frustrated with the site, it is often a hassle to get a game. Also the poker had been paying for my sports betting as I took some big hits, so I had to put a perspective on the value betfair poker was offering me. Before Christmas, 90% of poker time was spent there, now maybe 20%. Another downside, is PT at crypto, it is supposedly solved, but I've still had problems.

Anonymous said...

From Peter B

An interesting article, Dave. The poker world is littered with corpses (as are most entrepreneurial sectors, such as investment broking, fx trading, small businesses), but one never gets to hear about them or, more importantly, see the effects. In 1980 I was working in the Mecca Bookmakers in Greek Street and one of the biggest punters was a black guy called Peace. He ran an illegal card game/nightclub further up the road, host for pimps, dealers and other generally Caribbean detritus (I saw one of these players in the cinema when watching Raging Bull one wet afternoon -- one of the ways they picked up girls was to attend cinemas on wet afternoons, a common retreat for the homeless youngsters who had "run away" to the bright lights of London).

Anyway, back to Peace. He drifted out of my life as I drifted out of Soho, only to reappear in 1991 or thereabouts in a betting shop in East Dulwich, betting in 10 pence units and working as a postie in a sorting office somewhere near the Walworth Road.

Such a fate probably befalls a lot of "big-time" gamblers who are not really winners. For Americans, champions of the rubdown, it must be even harder for them to drop off the face of the poker-playing/gambling world.

Of the players at the Dungeon five years ago I doubt that more than a half-dozen are still seen regularly at the Gutshot. Some people don't go broke; they just drift onto other things (Iceman Bowles is now keen on Go; Iain Adams decided that work was an easier way to make money). But many of them do lose all their dosh. The sensible ones realize this and leave the game. The really sad cases return as railbird nippers; unable to win, but unable to leave it alone.

I am proud that I have never borrowed money to gamble and, please god, I never will. It's one of the plusses of being very conservative when it comes to stakes and bankrolls.

Pete

Anonymous said...

Good article, interesting replies.

However, one thing that Peter said struck me as being inaccurate. You underestimate the number of people still solvent and still playing.

You mention half a dozen from the Dungeon days who attend Gutshot. Well, I've just done a quick list in my head and I could name about 40 players who I've seen down there who used to play at RS.

Bearing in mind that I play mostly online these days and have only visited Gutshot on about half a dozen occcasions, I think this suggests that the drop-off figure is not quite as high as you suspect.

While there are obviously a number of people who burn brightly but briefly, there are plenty of others keeping their heads above water.

Best

Jamie

chaos said...

Oops can you delete that please, I knew that was going to happen soon.
but still leave you email address pls

Big Dave D said...

chaos,

I've emailed u at your old freeserve address.

cheers

Dave

Big Dave D said...

Thanks for the kind words folks. FWIW I'm more inclined to agree with Pete B about the proportion of casulties of war. I thought the gutshot article was highly amusing, where basically this guy defined not getting broke as being a winning player. I still like the old David Hayano idea of 10% being winners, the rest losers, break even, and subsistence players.

gl

dd

Big Dave D said...

No I dont know why I reading gutshot articles either :)

dd

Anonymous said...

The safe option;) - that'll teach to play til 7am and get awoken by 11am.

I presume it is the Kirkham article that you are referring to.
I wrote something on their forum about it if you're bored. I think I objedcted to his assumption that there must be more winners than losers because poker is a zero-sum game. It was perhaps, needlessly picky of me.

chaos

Anonymous said...

or even losers than winners!

chaos

Big Dave D said...

I did see your comment on the Kirkham article...I must admit I did think it was pearls b4 swine/silk out of a sow's ear/technical article for Poker in Europe territory again!

gl

dd

chaos said...

I'm going to feel like the Littlest Hobo soon.

My 1 in 6 guess was probably way off: I think the interent poker experience rather deceives us because we play with a disproportionately large nuber of winners, compared t owhat we'd expect if a random sample of the poker population sat down. I suppose it could easily be less than 1 in 10.

OnTilt said...

Chaos I think you were quite right to pick up on that original statement as its terribly fallacious logic. However as you've pointed out before poker isn't even a zero sum game because overtime the rake has a particuarly significant effect on the break even players. Even more so the 'hidden' rake of people spending time in offline casinos.

chaos said...

If you're interested guys, I've added something to a debate on Andy's forum that I've only just spotted from a week ago. It's entitled 'Here's What you do' and is essentially an interesting discussion between Keith and Andy over the supposed 'edge' player's with deep pockets have in rebuy tournaments.

As usual, I've rambled abit, also, as is often the case, I've ended up somewhere I didn't expect to be when I set out.


http://www.pokersoft.blogspot.com/

chaos said...

OT, ok you've convinced me into feeling a little less guilty. I'd certainly rather be effective than efficient.

chaos

Anonymous said...

Dave, I hear Leechka is hosting small o8b on UB. I've heard that she has gotten very good, and plays as high as 80/160 short-handed. Usually, though 2/4, 3/6, 4/8...Good Luck.

Big Dave D said...

Is that u Leechka? If not, what is her screen name now?

Dave

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