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I live in the space of gratitude

Archive for May 2008

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Few things are harder to put up with than a good example--that's what makes Mike Matusow so charming. Ask Kathy Griffin. “I guess Mike and I aren’t going all in on love.” No, not quite -- let’s try another one: “Mike made me fold the pocket aces in my heart.”

Over his career, Matusow cashed in 15 World Series of Poker events and earned two WSOP bracelets.

The thing we love about Mike is his insanity---Mike spits in the wind of Gambler's Anonymous---doing the same things over and over again and getting different results!


Prior to the 2005 World Series of Poker, Mike was released from prison and, incredibly, nearly won the Main Event along with its first prize of $7.5m!


The trash talk, the blowups, the meltdowns, the million dollar online binges. Have you seen it on GSN:It's Mike, The Mouth in Stereo---a "Get To Know Me" pilot--Ace In The House, in which Mike Matusow shows up at a home poker game! It's better than punked.

Who wouldn't want to the pleasure (or Pain) of sitting next to him for a friendly game of Poker---at worst you're even money. At the end of the day, however, Mike has a fearlessness of going broke and an ability to push people in and out of pots. Props "proper respect" For Mike's Poker Courage.

Mike is America's first self confessed bipolar poker champ – a former speed addict, currently diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, Mike The Corporation is a black market wheeler-dealer, living in the underground economy of CASH. His street cred is good in Vegas--the money faucet runs on tap. He's bankable.

Only Mike could lose with his QUADS getting cracked by Eric Lindgren's Straight Flush. A one outter--- 70K pot.
That rule that everything worthwhile is a result of struggle is not only false. Mike puts a spin of larceny in getting more for less, a bit of cheating the system.

Yet it is his---going broke, hemoraging in spectacular ways – at one point hocking his house for $100K to get into a game, that makes Mike so well, Mike.
Just when Poker was getting a makeover thanks to double chinned Fred Flinstone look alike Greg Raymer, and the usual suspects--Chris Moneymaker and Joe Hachem--Mike gets to de-generate things.

The game still gets promoted as "It's Just Poker"---cleaner than golf--but Mike keeps the dirt and low rent casino spirit alive and kicking.
Laziness is the religion of the 21st century and in the United States of Unconscious gambling, Mike proves time and again its good citizen---Sometimes NOT knowing about a "problem" weakens (or eliminates) it.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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"In the poker game of life women are the rake." Misogyny On Tap

In the Hard to make this stuff up department ---The Speed of Trust

We don’t face a global warming crisis as much as an Oxy one. Oxytocin increases trust in humans. It is an opiate-like hormone, the elixir of contentment, the body's own love potion and cuddle chemical. What the world needs now is.... the chemical roots of trust, sweet love, connection and commitment....Oxy,the anti-inflammatory, anti-stress hormone that travels at at a rate of 250 MILES AN HOUR to your brain.

I wrote about DOPEamine and norepinephrine, the neurochemicals of romantic love: The sex of poker. Oxy on the other hand, is the chemical of committed love: The leaks in our poker game.

Oxy surges during breastfeeding, childbirth, sex, cuddling , mother-infant bonding and falling in love; whirlwind courtships which lasts about 14 month. Oxytocin is a molecule produced naturally in the hypothalamus area of the brain which regulates a variety of physiological processes, including emotion.

Be a Beotch To Be A Success At Poker?

The link between oxy and trust and generosity is so strong, that you would be advised to play cards with as many people who are "on" the stuff. "Calling Stations", "Fish" and "Flounders" might just be OXY Positive. The Devil didn't make them do it, their Brain (oxy) did! A true competitor not only wants to win, that's not enough, you have to lose. S/he has to have a mean streak in them. If you are "high" on Oxy , you are more likely to trust other people with your chips and play loose.

Oxytocin Lite On Tap? Hugs are drugs-Oxy

Women's blood levels for oxytocin after "warm contact" go up,. Even shaking hands can release oxy! starting things off right at the table with a rush of hormones. "How can I get more/less of it?" Accupuncture stimulates oxy, Viagra boosts oxytocin, and of course we can add smooching to the list of "natural" ways to spike Oxy.


"Oh yea Meg, according to The Rough Guide to the Brain, sleeping with someone early on can INCREASE your chances of a long-term relationship. That Oxy thing you know." Stewie Griffen



The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off-Enlighten Up!

One of the biggest trends we are seeing emerge from Internet Poker is the acceptance of messiness versus perfection. In the live cash games we collected experience . In the digital, we canvas. The live world is technique : the digital, "social". Today's poker is whatever you can get away with!

The mess is the message---and that's ok. We get to treat our game , as an unfinished prototype. It doesn’t know everything. Where we are at---Right Here. Right Now.---is the point of power, the starter kit for Generation CASH.
Today poker is the third most watched sport on cable television in the United States, after car racing and NFL football. Free will or free won't--It's the damn internet that got them started. had worldwide revenues of around $15 billion in 2006—a figure that may be closer to $20 billion in 07, according to The Economist.

A Credit to Her Gender -Annette_15, and never been kissed.

Annette 15_Obrestad's huge success. is a mashup of old school and Earth School. As we know the earth school kills all of its students--It will be interesting to see how long she maintains her level of play. Read my post:

First in” Vigorish is Annette_15’s Gibberish. The Fifth Beatle-- Norwegian Wood=Knowing She Would.

First in vigorish is Dan Harrington’s concept. Being the first player to bet, "creates" the edge of being the first to put your chips into the middle of a pot. OK.

Sklansky’s old school calls it The Gap Concept ---“you need a better hand to call a raise with than you would need to open the betting yourself”. Sure.

Obrestad's WMD’s--Weapons of Mass Distraction --- Thinking like a marine, it's asymmetrical crazy delicious Davey and Goliath warfare--get em scared and then keep the scare on em. Exponentially scared 10x- win without fighting. Is there a poker generational gap? Mos Def.


Annette_15 vs The Alphabet A to Z Poker Soup World

On September 17, 2007 many of us realized that the rules of September 16, 2007 were no longer valid. It is like 9/11 epiphany. The rules have changed. It's a version of not fighting fair, attacking "by the book"holdem concepts--- American Poker strengths--- and using them as a weakness. The threat level has been raised to Code Marshmallow!


Action Dan says "Let Position rather than bet size do the work for you". Sure, but last in money has tournament players thinking about opportunity cost of making it to the money instead of sunken cost of "Pot Committed" money already paid and that you can’t get back.


That is to say, the costs of doing anything is that you’re NOT doing something else instead---like calling last in money. It has exactly the same size effect on your chip stack as “real” costs, but it's much harder to see.

Ok Class, here is ABC By The Book Poker- A is for aces...

Playing by the strategy of the last war, The Powell Doctrine-- Go big or go home! The West vs. the Rest! will get you stuck in Vietnam. The T J Cloutier Doctrine-Aces are the only hand big enough to go broke with in the early stages of a tournament will send you home broke! The Power Of New Americon Poker knows-- No other card has this flexibility that the ace has... to go broke.

Top Three Old School Concepts To Re-Think

Basically, Opponents can be divided into two types ---those that play like Sklansky, Gordon, and Harrington, and those that don't. Guess who does the dividing?

M Factor---there is no survival stage.

Gap Concept---your cards are immaterial more often than not.
First In--- hands of value are based on 1-2-3- 1,your position, 2,your chip stack, and 3, the players you are confronting.

First in Redux---

First in the pot is the old school idea of taking pots down pre-flop or pre-turn using stack pressure. Especially when a tournament is in the money stage. Today, Playahs may go into the game with a larger bank and better cards, they will lose in the long run to the Ballas, who are last in.

This can happen heads up in cash games too. NLH is a game of position, and not only being last to act but also this immediately shows the importance of making a play that leaves you last in.

Phil Ivey did it back in 2005 in Monte Carlo. It can backfire too, if you are playing against Stu Unger, who called Mansour Matloubi's all -in bluff.




- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Suited Connectors and the tree of knowledge...



PART 2: The surest way to win a huge pot in NLH is to spot 'em the nuts and suck out! This is the "forbidden fruit" of the ABC by the book player. It's the in to your sane game.

Poker Heads Up, AA to suited connectors--It plays, not like a sport, but a concussion. In a New York minute, an ACME anvil pancakes you, and then a split second later, you’re expanded - accordion-style - back to normal, like some tempurpedic mattress. It’s a formula of ins and outs, need and speed, aggravation and acceleration.

When you think of it--Pocket Aces, winning---getting what you expect is boring.The TABLE is the green felt jungle-- and it loves home runs, slam dunks, touchdowns and holes-in-one and putting a bad beat on someone. opening up a can of whoop ass, raining down on Charlie. Preflop, a pocket pair only has 2 outs to improve, overcards have 6 to draw to the nuts.This is not even taking into account straight and flush draws! That means over cards are at least a 3:1 favorite to improve and win the hand.

In the end, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate---When I hit my perfect card on the river for the nut straight, Pocket Aces checked, I went all in. He payed me off.

Getting Others To Play With The Cards You Menally Deal Them. I like to call this style of play, "Boiling the frog" In this case, infinite patience brought immediate results.


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- - -- by Ed Reif»
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The surest way to win a huge pot in NLH is to spot 'em the nuts and suck out!
When this happens: Hate the win, not the winner. I call this, Making the right mistake.
Last night, I was deep, heads up. I have position, and a guy raises. I call with suited connectors. I put him on AK.
I hit two pair 5's and 6's, and there is a King on the board. The guy shoves all in on the flop! I insta call, and am dominated as he shows two pair too-K6 suited! The river is a 5, and I suck out with a full house...When that happens, it gets me nervously thinking
"It's better to be skillful than lucky" Note to self...
These are the nights that I stay too long, and go home broke. I did. Why? Because luck lends but never gives.
Playing 'in the dark': betting that your opponents DON'T have the cards rather than that they do is a strategy, not THE strategy. I couldn't switch gears.
I did a lot of bluffing, and I got called down with bottom pair, even with scare cards on the board.
An Aggressive game is a game of strategy and deception. A passive game is one where money flows from bad to good players. A loose game is a game of money and odds; a tight one is a battle for the antes
It was Ready, Fire, Aim---unloading three bullets--- flop, turn AND river, into a pot, holding Squadush-"nothing", “zilch” or “zero" and , when I first arrived, in the passive game, taking it down.
As the evening progressed, and the game loosened up, the passive players busted out, and the tight aggressive came in It became a game of money and odds. I didn't make the adjustment well, and re bought 3 times.
Tilt, was everywhere in my game--I got AA busted twice, and KK and QQ. That's right.
The AA was with a flop of 743 garbage, he bets big ,I re raise all in, he calls, with a set of 7's.
Granted, too much respect for money makes you a bad NLH player....so I must be a great player, because I didn't think he could have anything.
I walked away from that session with knowledge: First, that my brain is the "most powerful computer." Second, when on tilt, my brain is the most powerful "broken computer .
"Tilt makes us sub-optimal for evaluating rewards, sizing up risks and calculating probabilities. It's like selling the car for gas money.I walked away with a less broken computer, less sabotaging behavior, and more insight into the fact that self-delusion is more than possible in poker - it's highly likely!

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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