What do you want from Poker?

January 21, 2009

Ask yourself this question, and spend some time thinking about it. In my opinion it is important to understand why you play – people play this game for different reasons, some include:

– Money – obv – but is your goal to have this be your sole source of income, or just make a few bucks on the side…

– Escape – you might have a crappy day job, a difficult home situation (parents, spouse, whatev), or some other life ‘inbalance’ that you use your online poker account to avoid thinking about

– Friends – maybe a bunch of your closest friends play, and you want to share that common thread

– Freedom – or the allure of freedom – this is a bit tied to escape, but you might play regularly hoping to get that illusive ‘f.ck you pass’ to do whatever you want, whenever you want. this is often like chasing a pot at the end of rainbow…but nonetheless we chase anyway

– Travel – if you can scratch together a decent enough roll to travel, or have a backer, you have the potential to stay in nice hotels in vegas, la, london, australia, bahamas, etc….that can be fun – but away from poker tournaments you have the schedule flexibility to go wherever you want.

– Fun – perhaps an underlooked reason for playing – making money is fun, but beating people and ‘winning’ at whatever you are doing can be equally rewarding. You’ll find more than a few regular micro-stakes grinders who play for more or less fun – making a few hundred or thousand playing online is fine with them – and they can keep it balanced.

Balance. It’s important. Life, Family, Friends, Relationships, Fitness (physical and mental), Eating Right, Sleeping Right…some of us degens neglect many (or all) of these categories…pick up a non-poker related book, go snowboarding, gamble for dollars at the baseball game with some friends…log off for a sec. Or don’t. It’s your world, we’re just living in it.


Durrrr’s Million Dollar Challenge Thoughts

January 16, 2009

Recently (old news as of 1/6ish/09) Tom Dwan was the next high stakes gambler to put down a gaunlet of a challenge.  Plenty of poker news type outlets have issued stories on the piece, google Durrr’s Million Dollar Challenge for more info, 2+2, pokerlistings.com, pokernews, pokerroad, etc…

His proposition in a nut:

He puts up $1.5M to anyone else’s (except Phil Galfond) $500k.

Both players play 50,000 hands, while four tabling, 200/400 NL and PLO and whomever is up at the end of the 50k hands (regardless of the $$ amount, wins the proposition).

He’s laying 3 to 1 to the poker world, that he is the best high stakes heads up 4-tabler in the world.  Is he? maybe.  Ivey says he generally only plays 2 tables…who wants some action?  Rumor has it – Benyamine, Patrik, Ivey – standing in line, in that order:

Awhile back I posted an analysis of High Stakes Poker Results which commented on the 50,000k mark.  In the highest stakes world that seems to be the threshold not many players bust through, and the ones that do are proven longer term winners.  The reason for this in this case is because of the data available for analysis (top 50, bottom 50 winners/losers online over X period), all the losers go busto before reaching that barrier.  

Now, as for Durrrr  – he is well aware of this benchmark – and he obviously feels that 50k hands is sufficient to minimize variance and allow skill to usurp short term luck.  He also thinks he has a significant edge while playing 4 tables at once.  So far so good.  I think what he may be underestimating is bankroll requirements for this game.  If he is basically putting his entire roll ($10M??) on the line vs. Ivey (making $1M/month through Tilt plus up $7M this year online…seems a little crazy.  There are definitely tax considerations in play – as he may have a tax bill in the $2-4M range, if he goes busto or loses his $1.5M + the games losses, then it is offset by what he can save in paying uncle sam…blah blah whatever.

The point here is what is a reasonable swing?  Four tables, 200/400 plo.  100bb = $40,000.  I’ve seen some analysis of PLO estimating normal variance of 60 buyins ish – which would be 2.4M x 4 = $9.6M assuming you go on a 60bb downtick on all four tables.  Since you don’t look at each table in a vacuum, it would be more like a 240bb downtick, which is unlikely – and could more largely be attributed to a skill advantage to the winner – but really – the stakes are HIGH – and someone’s gonna be put in a hurt locker by a guy named vinny.

Barry Greenstein and Ivey himself have both commented on PR that it seems likely that someone’s going broke should these games actually play out completely – otherwise someone’s taking a buyout, and losing $2-3M.

Selling pieces, and making this a bankroll war is bound to happen.  Maybe that’s why OMGclayaiken is excluded (possibly in on the action with Durrrr in the event he needs a few M’s as a loan)??.

Fun stuff – should make Tilt a lot of money with all the railbird/extra users (assuming they play while watching) – this leads to the thought of PayPerView poker. Hype and competitions create excitement – just look at 50cent and Kanye, Tupac and Biggie – people like to pick sides and watch their ‘heroes’ battle it out.

10Deep gets cozy

January 16, 2009

It’s cold anywhere from Iowa to Maine.  B-lo included.  I need one of these vests from 10Deep, after I find $140.

These new down vests make me all warm and fuzzy inside:

From 10Deep
As seen on Digital Gravel

New Years Eve Record Motocross Step Up/Down

January 14, 2009

For anyone that might have missed it – NYE Robbie Maddison went nutzo at paris in las vegas. 96′ up, and 96′ down.  Yikes.

Art Wanted

January 14, 2009

Hey all you freelancers….

PROP is cooking up a new line for spring 2009 and if anyone is interested in submitting concepts we will pay $100-$500 for appropriate tee art.

What we want:

Original concepts

Cleverly related to poker


Dope Line Art – good for printing

Not: Gimmicky, slogany, catchphrase

Think: Emptees, Huf, JCupcakes, Hundreds, Supreme, Upper Playground, Obey

Email: matt (at) propclothing.com if interested or for more information.