Wednesday, February 24, 2010


"I can't quit you." -the gay guy in that one cowboy movie.

No sooner than I had decided to take some time away from poker, I got sucked into watching the NAPT Venetian live online and my hiatus was over. The webcast was great. It was entertaining and educational to see an event in real time without knowing the players’ hands. Everybody is a freakin’ strategy genius when you can see the hole cards! The commentators were accurate and amusing, and they had a constant stream of guest poker pros to offer color commentary. Most of the pros were insightful and well spoken with the exception of Gavin Griffin, who was an arrogant, spoiled, know it all, whiny douche bag. Shaun Deeb was outspoken, but honest, and his Hellmuth bashing was hilariously over the top.
The shootout/bounty format of the high roller event is a lot of fun. I love bounty (or knock out as my friends and I call them) tourneys. Whenever I’ve hosted tournaments, I’ve always included knock out bonuses. I also love the 7 handed shootout aspect of this tourney. Quicker pace, plus you get great practice playing a shorter handed table all the way down to heads up. I’m definitely going to look for some shootout tourneys on Pokerstars.
Speaking of Pokerstars, whenever I watch poker, I get the overwhelming and uncontrollable urge to play. Yesterday was no exception, so I threw a couple bucks in my account and played some tourneys and cash games while I watched the NAPT. I even played in the freeroll that Pokerstars ran in conjunction with the live tourney broadcast. 21,000 other people had the same bright idea. What a joke. The levels were 5 minutes and everybody was playing with house money. Over 14,000 people busted out in the first 30 minutes! Unfortunately, that statistic included me, so it was back to ring games. Playing on Pokerstars while watching a Pokerstars sponsored event. Pretty good vertical integration boys. Not a bad business plan indeed. To paraphrase Michael Corrleone, just when I was getting out, they sucked me back in.

I played smart and restrained after my brief time off, and actually won a couple bucks. Will I quit while I’m ahead? My magic eight ball says All Signs Point Towards No.
The funniest moment of the NAPT webcast came when John Duthie stopped by the booth. He had been involved earlier in an epic heads up battle with Hoyt Corkins in which Duthie fought back from a 3-1 chip deficit only to take a bad beat in the deciding hand. I think Corkins is an underrated player who always works really hard and makes smart plays to put himself in position to get lucky, if you know what I mean. Anyway, the hosts were taking email questions from viewers, and one person asked who the best female poker player was. Without missing a beat Duthie said Daniel Negraneau. There was a long pause while everybody tried to stifle their laughter. After all, Negreanu is the face of Pokerstars and a constant shill for all their products. He had just busted out early after playing like a maniac. He did get his money in good for his 3 all-ins, so you can’t fault him for that. The constant Negreanu ball licking was the one downside to the coverage, so Duthie’s comment was particularly hilarious. I like Daniel Negreanu, and his uncanny ability to read other people’s hands is amazing, bordering on creepy, but his constant chirpy commentary can wear a little thin.
I lasted a little over 48 hours away from poker. Pretty impressive. But I guess poker, like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, will not be ignored.

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