Monday, February 27, 2006


I was going to write something meaningful and profound, but I couldn’t be bothered. I don’t seem to be the only one with a problem with posting. Most of my favourite blogs have gone very much into silent mode.

Never mind. Favourite was a hell of an exaggeration anyway.

You can tell the poker scene is really exploding in the UK. There are now two broadly available poker mags now on the High Street. Well I say two, but I can’t seem to find Poker Player for love nor money. The new kid on the block is WPT Magazine, or something like that. Now normally I treat the printed word like a Franciscan monk; but UK poker magazines invariable find their way into the bin within a couple of hours.

Now I understand that they are aimed at the lowest common denominator but often they contain advice that is simply, utterly wrong. In one issue of Poker Player, the amusingly nicknamed "The Boy" explained that having a staking plan was a key component in successful cash game plan. That is, sit down with a small amount of money and when you have made a fixed amount of profit, immediately leave. With some additional permutations I can't bring myself to repeat. Now even if this "expert" is just filling word count, this madness should not get past any sane editorial process. Oops.

WPT Magazine, or whatever the damn thing is called, is certainly glossier, and doesn’t have all the usual UK pseudo-player-parasites involved. But it is still outstandingly bad. How about this situation. Three handed in a 5-3-2 payout SNG everyone has roughly the same chips (it is a bit vague here). Either one or maybe both of your opponents go allin. The advice is to pass your AA. At least this will keep the tables healthy.

I couldn't leave you without a comment on 2+2. As pointed out by Beset, there has been some excellent Sklansky-kicking on the HSNL forum. Also fascinating was watching ZeeJustin trying to defend open softplaying as being ethically right as "PokerStars don’t really mind". He then further exemplifies his *ethics* by admitting to playing multiple seats in MTT, which has cost him his ability to play on Party and $100K.

An example worthy of Socrates himself.


Gergery said...


What are your favorite blogs? I need new ways of diverting myself from productive activity. Oh, and you need to post more often, too.

And wtf is up with Sklansky?? I can’t believe the guy posting in 2+2’s MHNL forum is the same one who wrote TOP and others. It is clearer to me now why he doesn’t play NL.

Big Dave D said...

The Sklansky thing is fun. He chopped and changed his mind on the betting out a set example so often it was just embarrasing.

Post more often...I almost closed it down! I don't have a heap big desire to talk to the world anymore.

As to what to read...let me tell you what I do...

I read my own archive!

Ego to one side, there is some *great* stuff there, especially in the comments.

But as I've said b4, I just dont like most of what people write :(

Gergery said...

alright then, I'll leave you a good blog. I just found this, but since he's a Brit (i think) and plays PLO you have probably seen it.


chaos said...

must admit, I'd second Gergery's ambition's to find good blogs. I'd been meaning to put a thread somewhere to ask for people's favourite blogs - especially LHE.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

That excerpt from the magazine is funny stuff. Although proper bankroll management is vital, that hit & run system is how so many bad weak-tights think. Of course the major problem is what to do when stuck? Are they going to lose the same amount only they wanted to win, or as likely, much more?

On another subject that I didn't really want to discuss on 2+2 with all the lurkers, and in line with my disinclination to discuss players by name from the games I play in, I thought I'd ask you about Parabola/Darwin. Do you know his real name? And when you say he rebuilt his roll off stars points, how do you know and what did he do? Did he enter a zillion freerolls to get some cash?

I suspect that he has multiple accounts on every site he plays on, and think I know about 4 from party and couple from stars (but without doing the ZJ cheat stuff w/multiple seats). He sometimes plays real tight if everyone else is, and other times is in full LAG mode. I also think it possible that more than one person plays those accounts. And although he might be up the last 6 months, I doubt he has been before that. Although he gets fish to give him too much action with mediocre hands, and sometimes has rushes where he hits every draw, a lot of his game plan is calling behind with weak draws and bluffing any turn/river scare card. You have to grit your teeth and call him down sometimes when a draw gets there or he'll run you over. But mainly as I said, I am curious if you have personal info on him.


Big Dave D said...


Nice to see the stance you've taken on thecheating thing on 2+2. Needless to say I completely agree. One thing that really horrified me was the Stars response to softplaying. Now most of the live games I played, softplaying was self-regulated as being "bad for business". Stars could very easily put measures into place to combat this properly, but just can't lift their hand to press the button....

I'm not tempted to play Stars again.

As to Darwin.

He's a young kid-ish.
He used to talk! We used to chat a fair bit, then he stopped altogether. I suspect he was having a bad run - the usual reason for sudden silence - and then just never picked it back up.
He was El Ganador on Stars orignally. Which means he was the insane Senor Scoop.
I don't know quite how he crash and burned and quite how he built it back up, but he did tell me this back when the 3-6 PLO was the big game on Stars.



Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the info you had on Darwin. Another reason players go silent though is chat bans if they like to cuss a lot.

On the cheating thing, I have taken a hard stance in all my many posts the past couple weeks about JJ/ZJ, and also about those who say they know of others but don't want to rat out a "friend". I guess you saw that thread I made in the zoo regarding stars. Yeah that softplay sh*t with twin/H@ll really burns my ass and that they don't see why it is bad when a hand doesn't start out just headsup between them. twin is a huge fish and the last thing needed is for him to be able to call knowing that he only has to worry about a 3rd player putting in big river bet and not H@ll, which lets him fish along more when you want him to fold.

On another note, party realy fckd us with their caps on 5/10 and higher tables in plo and no 6-max with those. At first because the waitlists were so long, which let the weak-tights squat on a table and make all the fish come to them. And now the games just mostly blow. Although stars had better games on occasion, party had better ones overall and more table selection. The stars games are hard to figure for times of day when likely to be good, flip flopping between evening american time and early euro time it seems. All I can say is I'm glad I like NL.


chaos said...

Not really been up to speed on recent events, however, just read JZ's post. I've no opinion prior of him but if it was as he recounted then I'd certainly not demonise him & have some sympathy if villified. It just appears to me he was naive and overeager and desired more tickets in the lottery, not a calculating cheat. But who knows? That said if I'd considered it ok to do such a thing then I'd certainly have planned for the embarassing scenario and to sit one of the players out or got a mate to play the other independently. Maybe his ethics would only stretch so far; surely it must have occured to him to sit out. However it is hardly fair on the field if they are now 6 times more likely to have this top (& others) pro on their left.

Party's response was typical party, and alarming rather than reassuring. Seizing the entire 100k was harsh and unjustified - yes he played STTs under multiple accounts but people do this all the time. And as he said you can play other people's accounts.

His actions were far less damaging than the soft players which are appear to be sanctioned by the cardrooms: but he is great publicity and seizing his funds banning him is a whole lot easier than outlawing soft-play and more cost effective (profitable no less)than employing additional staff to cope with the deluge of soft-play complaints. Nice move - more bang for buck that's for sure.

That they can seize these funds without due process, no ombudsman, no hearing is scary and flatout wrong. And not redistributed, apparently, unlike stars.

Just for comic value:

JZ: 'I have been at the same table as myself'.

for pure naivety:

JZ: 'They' (multi accounts) 'were originally created for SNG play. It got to the point where everyone knew that ZeeJustin would steal the blinds often, and everyone called him liberally.'

Well gee, welcome to poker, that's the price of success.

Anonymous said...

some intersting poker blogs:

Gergery said...

I have links to quite a few blogs that I recently added to my website, if you’re looking for some.

Bluff/Chaos, I completely agree with Bluff’s stance on cheating and completely disagree with chaos’s. I’ve posted a bunch but mainly I think the sites are shooting themselves in the foot if they take any road less than a very harsh one. The only real thing that can kill the goose is US gov’t regulation and they should do everything to avoid that.

The more I play with LAG’s, the more I think their source of income is from weaker players who can’t adapt, or players who tilt. Against good players, I just think that style can do very well in short run but ultimately is EV-. And LAG play that goes on bad run can really hurt, as top players GASS_U and Biznatchy have both reportedly experienced in the big PLO8 games.


chaos said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
chaos said...


Thanks I'll take search out the links at your blog, does biznatchy have a blog -I seem to recall playing him in LHE.

re cheating: I'm not advocating a soft line on cheating, but a proportionate one and one that is accountable.

It's probable that I've (like most cash game players) been a victim more than most in on-line poker & but only once compensated, at Stars – incidents that were so obvious that everyone on the table saw two players were manipulating the pot. This is the cheating that should be dealt with harshly, and said players should be named & have their funds confiscated. Typically it's not easy to spot. How many big bets, I’ve lost through not overcalling, or indeed pots to players that couldn’t routinely call without information on those behind them

Then there's is soft-play, which many people don't believe is cheating, but is of course damaging - but legal. Offenders should be warned and then have said accounts closed and presumably some penalty.

Just because I'm fairly soft on JZ, I'm not soft on cheating. I don't think he did anything terrible, and I don't think he intended to take advantage of the opportunities available from holding more than one seat at a table. After all, why choose tournaments with in excess of 1000 runners? Evidently he didn't do this in the STTs either. His actions smack of rule breaking, rather than cheating; in poker, as in life there’s a distinction between the two. Yes he gained an advantage he was not entitled to, but most pros have multiple accounts. Incidentally I have one on party, but I’d not think bad of myself having two. The sites know abut this and it accept it.

If I was to weight three aspects of cheating: active collusion; soft play; multi accounts into 1000+ runner tournies, it would probably be 100:10:1 - particularly if the player sat out such instances where to quote JZ, where they table as themselves. In fact I’d struggle to mark JZ’s crime at 1% of the active colluders.

My point is his crime was not so bad, and I wonder what in terms of EV, his gain had been - not $100k. What are party doing with the money?

Yes it sends out a hard-line message on cheating, but its a pretty inane example of it and is an unfair response. Should he be treated the same way as two colluders who look for 3-handed games? Should we hang all criminals?

This smacks of typical opportunism from Party: they pocket 100k and elicit positive publicity in the process. Do these sites care much whether cheating goes on? Well yes cause it breaks people faster, but they care more whether people believe there is cheating on their sites. And hey, what better way to stop soft-play cheating? Say it ain’t cheating. Legalising crime is fastest way to reduce it.


Anonymous said...

found his 100k :(


Anonymous said...

it reminds me one of those movie scenes where hero empties villain's loot onto the frenzied streets below from the 87th floor, with taxi drivers picking $100 bills from their windscreen wipers.

I feel for the kid if he reads that link, that's gotta hurt.

Call them crazy? F'kin merry men of Sherwood Forest more like.


Anonymous said...

I played around with a staking system a while ago when I was short on bankroll and found it just doesn't work. I was amused by a quote (from squelch on laddies I think)" eat like a mouse and shit like an elephant"...sums up the hit and run approach perfectly.

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Gergery said...

biznatchy doesn't have a blog as far as im aware.

I think if you were just to look at how much negative impact ZJ would have on other from 1 single tourney it would be small. two accounts would need to be at same table, need to be dealt cards that might interfere, etc.

if he really wanted to cheat, using the multiple accounts to juice ring games up would be far more profitable.

so no, i don't think the multi-accounting BY ITSELF is an enormous transgression AGAINST THE OTHER PLAYERS IN THE TOURNEY.

What i do think is huge tho, is the impact is has on the credibility of the games, which may also impact gov't legislation in the US.

And even if the impact ZJ has is small vs. other players, it is still >0, and it is clearly wrong. So i don't mind punitive damages. After all, any crime in society has a punitive measure to act as deterrent effect.

As for multiple accounts, if they are done to hide identity like Bluff says he does, i couldn't care less about that. and if someone is cheating the site by doing rakeback -- fine -- neither of those is cheating me in a game.

Anonymous said...


First off as gerg mentioned, I do have multiple accounts on the sites I play on in order to mask my play as much as possible from all the dataminers. Since I don't use PT I think that is more than fair. Granted it violates the T&C and if I got found out they could screw me, but most likely just make me close multiples. I only have one IP source and have never opened multiple instances of a site with different accounts, but only playing one account at a time per site.

Regarding ZJ, note as I said on 2+2 that I don't like and rarely play tourneys, and am only interested in the online cheating aspect of his and JJProd's situations. Although you might think multiple seats in tourneys is the softest and least reprehensible form of cheating, you are basing this on a known liar/cheater's word that he didn't do anything funny when on the same tourney table like chip dumping. As a poster pointed out in one of the cheat threads, how come only his main account won the big prizes and not the others? The answer is he chip dumped and wanted the publicity to his real name. You simply can't take the word of cheaters and liars about their not doing anything funny in these situations.

Also there is another important aspect of all this for all of us who either play fulltime or as a part time job. And that is that unless the average recreational joes think online poker is on the square the majority of the time, then we won't have nearly as many customers. So party's actions, while severe, are I think very appropriate and serve the goal of sending a message to potential cheats that they won't just lose their cheated winnings and have to open a new account. There needs to be strong deterrence, and party understands that while stars doesn't.

Also as PLO players we all should be more concerned about any cheating and whether a site is doing the max to deter it (party and stars both aren't because they aren't proactive enough in analyzing hh databases on their own). With more cards in games like PLO and Triple Draw, cheating is much easier, whether making squeeze moves or just sharing card knowledge to know how live your or another player's draw is. So we should all support the harshest line by online sites as long as they are not wrongly accusing someone.

Fvck all those cheats, and shoot the horses they rode in on too.


chaos said...

Party’s heroic efforts in searching out this scourge of internet poker and selfless confiscation of $100k sends out a resounding message to all wannabe cheats: don’t get caught with you pants down.

By gratifying their actions I’d feel akin to the ‘pillars of the community’ who sidle up to a sadistic judge promising to cut of the hands of the next thief to stand before him. After all, an example must be set. Let whoever’s deemed to gain from reassuring Joe Poker or some congressman foot the bill: this episode smacks of opportunism.

As I said I see little justification in the fine, I see no process, accountability: that is flat out wrong. If he is guilty of chip dumping then I’d have no sympathy for his financial loss, even if I still believe such a fine should be justified. Though we must doubt his word, one wouldn’t shouldn't conclude that multiple entries into a 1000+ event and chip dumping are ethically synonymous. The argument to support the chip-dumping claims that only the named account succeeded appears logically flawed. How often would he have had an opportunity to dump his anonymous big stack to his famed account in such large tournaments? Rarely I’d suggest, certainly not routinely .

Re multi-accounts: it is still unfair, and abstaining from Poker Tracker is hardly a defence against breaking your T&C’s. But as I said, unfortunately I’d not feel too bad about it either. This is what Party does, they’ve shown little ethics at the micro and macro level, and they challenge their players to show less or pay the price - think data mining is unfair: lose out; don’t want to change your name every 6 months: ok but it’ll cost ya. Want win a trip on Party poker VI? Shaft your family over Christmas.

I'll not lose any sleep - I just don't like witch hunts.


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