Poker Blog Round-Up 15th August

Hugo Martin of with a round-up of what’s going on in the poker Blogosphere…

When not checking out the blogs for all of you lot out there, I often have a look at the 2 Plus 2 forums. Topics often descend into sophomoric humour and put downs for the sake of it, but what else is a poker forum for? Recently there was a pretty funny thread on Vanessa Rousso aka Lady Maverick (wtf thought that nickname up?) which Wicked Chops Poker have picked up on. They have put up a quote of hers in which she repeatedly mentions her alma mater, Duke, a somewhat venerable university in the United States.

"As you know I came to poker from Duke, with a game theory background from Duke, in Durham we always used to study poker from a math perspective at Duke, and I will be teaching at the WPT bootcamp the skills I learned at Duke."

Naturally Wicked Chops could not resist asking,

"Wait, we forgot. Where did she go again? We missed it the fourth freakin’ time she said it."

Quite similar to actor and poker enthusiast James Woods who always seems to get his IQ number into conversation. Anyway, just to add more fuel to the fire Wicked Chops have stuck up a video form the Cash Poker TV show of Vanessa attempting a rather poor bluff – I guess you must have missed a few classes at some point eh Vanessa?

Of course, Vanessa is an easy target and one suspects that the bitterness is born out of conflict. On the one hand the nerds that are mercilessly taking the piss feel excited that a hot chick would know about something like “game theory”, but on the other hand they feel let down that they would never get a look in. Plus of course Vanessa’s looks have taken her a long way in the poker scene while your average player usually has to pay his dues and win a load of tournaments or a significant amount of money in cash games before they get a taste of the spotlight.

Talking of looks you may have noticed that the photo in the Wicked Chops article is an easy-on-the-eye pic of Vanessa with Tiffany Michelle and Jennifer Leigh aka Jennicide. According to the Jennicide is parlaying her online success into a photo spread in Playboy magazine. This coincides with poker pro Jean-Robert Bellande appearing on Survivor: China on CBS.

All this “news” of poker players indulging in off topic activities casts my mind back to when Phil Gordon appeared on the US version of Blind Date (apparently he came across as arrogant) or, nearer to home, Andy Norman aka Bibi appearing on English tea time favourite 15 to 1. This prompted Bibi to say that he had a new catchphrase: “I’m sorry, I haven’t a clue.” Another UK legend that has been on 15 to 1 is top blogger David Young who made the final, but went out 3rd on an absurdly easy question (I can’t remember it, so go to his blog and ask him yourself).

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I was worried about electronic poker tables becoming popular and noticed that Matt Maroon had reassured me by writing a damning review of these dodgy gizmos. Just to further back myself up I see that is asking the question,

"…why? What is the point of this product? If I want to play with computerized dealers, I’ll 4-table at home on Pokerstars. I venture outside and play live in order to play with real cards. I want to observe people as they look at their cards, stack their chips and place their bets. You can get quite a bit of information from that. Plus I love the feeling of playing with real cards and real chips. Who doesn’t? There is nothing quite like raking a huge pot and staking up all of your freshly won chips."

Well said, Poker King. Unfortunately he also manages to give all the casino bean counters a strong counter argument:

"…casinos can increase the amount of rake that they take in per hour by 50-60%, and eliminate the need for live human dealers. There will be no more dealing mistakes, no more long pauses to figure out sidepots; the computer will do it all automatically"

Shit. Please tell me that chips and cards won’t go the same way as video tape and cassettes…

For some actual poker content you could check out Pot Committed who seems to understand the important moments in a poker tournament:

"7:26 PM First "go fuck yourself" of the night uttered in chat when the guy on my left gets bad beat

7:28 PM Chinese food arrives! Jamie Gold has his blueberries… I have braised string beans in garlic sauce.

8:06 PM Chip Jett is the current chip leader with 27,166. You know, he has a lot less hair than you might think.

8:15 PM. Cards back in the air. Ante in effect. Third can of Diet Coke cracked."

Don’t worry, there are actual descriptions of hands and so on, but I feel Change100 has captured the mundane reality of playing an online poker tournament rather well.

For some live tournament madness have a gander at Snoopy’s latest blog with an account of a £300 double chance freezeout in glamorous Walsall. In a long post Snoopy observes veteran player Lucy Rokach (the “original” Vanessa Rousso if you like) play a hand.

"She’s limped in late position only to re-raise the button bet on an A-9-8-J board after everyone checked the Turn. The button and I both folded, only for Doc, a tight, but calculated player to push all-in under the gun. Lucy quickly said something like “Let’s gamble” and shoved in the rest of her chips with K-J, but Doc’s A-Q stood up."

Snoopy’s view?

"From my perspective, Lucy’s play didn’t make any sense. I very much doubt she’d check two pair twice, and would imagine she’d raise pre-flop with any hand that would have made a set. In this sense, I deemed it a squeeze play after Doc and I had flat called. Doc said he would have folded his A-Q if I’d have moved over the top, so a missed opportunity I guess."

Nice analysis Snoopy although he really hits the nail on the head when he writes,

"The second thing that raised a Beagle eyebrow was Lucy’s willingness to gamble after she’d been caught with her pants down"

All the top tournament players just go for it and while they are collecting the readies the rest of us stand around scratching our heads talking about who was favourite pre-flop.

Hugo Martin aka ‘Chimney Sweep’ is a blogger and writer for, a site for the European online poker community. The site features an online tournament search engine, player blogs and online poker news.