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Poker Goals & Challenges Post your threads logging your travels up the poker ladder as you achieve your poker goals and dreams. "Challenges" does NOT mean prop bets, wagers, etc.

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Old 07-02-2017, 12:44 PM   #976
bob_124
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Re: The Poker Project (playing and writing about poker in the U.S.)

Interview with Matthew Janda, June Results


This month I interviewed Matthew Janda, author of the popular Applications of No-Limit Hold 'em and (just released) No Limit Hold ‘em for Advanced Players: Emphasis on Tough Games. We discussed his interest in poker theory, his new book, and life in medical school.

[7] play 50 hours
actually played a decent amount online, but not counting that towards my hours.
[10] study 20 hours
Spent some time with Janda's book. It is good.
[30] write 40 hours

spent some time in Oxford Missippi with some writers. The police booted us from Faulkner's Grave but otherwise the weekend was a success. Talked some poker and responded to the inevitable question--"But how much do you lose?"--many times

Chatnooga
Spoiler:

Unfriendly Horse
Spoiler:

Ginormous Copper Mine
Spoiler:

My New Ride
Spoiler:


As that last pic indicates, I'm in Vegas! #Bustosoon

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Originally Posted by Makonnen View Post
I think it is much more useful to see those writings as mirrors, not escapes.

Reminded me of this, which is dated, but perhaps relevant

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Originally Posted by umadbro? View Post
For all the spectacular, life-preserving and survival-enabling successes in medicine and infrastructure, for all the progress in the global quality of life that has been seen (and not for one instant losing sight of the distance yet to go), it is increasingly clear that turning to technology for our happiness leads us down a cul-de-sac of unmet expectations, lined with Likes and tweets, poorly lit photos and ubiquitous product placement. This realization has left us a bit bereft and can, I would claim, be seen as part of our current structuring of the notion of apocalypse as being an absence—explained or not—of the technological utopia that was assumed to be well on its way.

Culturally, we are obsessed with what comes after that event, from the long-running television series Lost and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road to S.M. Sterling’s “Emberverse” books and the legally-questionably similar television show Revolution to the massive phenomenon of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games and their film adaptations to the televised version of Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel, The Walking Dead. While simple climate change is a more likely cause than a sudden eruption of zombies or an inexplicable alteration in the laws of physics that prevents combustion from releasing sufficient energy to run an engine or fire a gun, each of these struggle with the question of how to reconcile the loss of the modern world with survival in dramatically changed circumstances.
That is, I read most of these things as reflections of our anxiety about technology, about how it is, at best, a double-edged sword and at worst, a failure compared to its promise.
Dude...do you really expect me to read TWO FULL PARAGRAPHS of text? I'm on the Tweetin and Play Money Grind!
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Old 07-07-2017, 01:01 PM   #977
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Re: The Poker Project (playing and writing about poker in the U.S.)

Going Deep in the Rio Daily Donkaments

I wrote an article about the Rio Daily Donkaments at the WSOP.

Cliffs:

Spoiler:
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Old 07-07-2017, 01:18 PM   #978
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Re: The Poker Project (playing and writing about poker in the U.S.)

welcome to LV!

swing by upswing party at encore tonight if you can
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:59 PM   #979
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Re: The Poker Project (playing and writing about poker in the U.S.)

July Goals (I am in you, Vegas! I am in you, Rio!)

Every year is the same. The first two weeks are filled with extreme confidence, excitement, optimism, even lots of bragging. A few weeks later, and you can feel the frustration of all the bad beats, the long runs followed by bustouts or annoying min-cashes. Bankrolls drying up. Lots of ‘FML’ and other colorful acronyms. And then of course, in the final month, you see the dark side of poker. Talk of suicide. Talk of drinking oneself into submission. Hatred for fellow players. Etc Etc Etc. Every year. Same ****.

--Will “Monkey” Souther

Been WSOPing for about a week. I think I'm close to achieving veteran or at least non-newbie status (this is my third in a row. How many do I need?)

A friend DMed me this rant that offers some nice talking points about the summer:

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Originally Posted by Grizzled Grinder View Post

So based on twitter this is what the wsop has ahead of me this year...

1. Marked/markable cards. Been marked since start of tournament and little to done to fix except in 10k events.

2. Hallway harrassment to buy chargers or whatever. Every day.

3. Floor people that dgaf and are ironfisting ****.

Conclusion: wsop officially and boldly and overtly doesnt care about their customers. Willling to submit them to awful treatment by staff and vendors (they profit on but players dont), give them an inferior and possibly unfair playing experience and basically goes mute on all these issues.

Not to mention, that hash house probably still closes at noon evem though caesers owns kt and the rio could profit huge most of the month with it open.

Oh yeah, legionaires disease and faulty toliets abound.

Meanwhile the fancy pants players only ***** about the POY system under the pretext they dont want Chris Ferguson to win because of the poker community, the same community taking it up the ass on all the issues they are silent about.

Meanwhile, i own a small niche poker site, and would be foolish to publically attack the monopoly. So instead, I vent to you Bob .
I share my friend's frustration and would add that the media do little to shed light on these issues (and others like the monotony and volatility of the grind). Sadly, much poker writing is merely veiled marketing for poker/wsop/caesars.

I however have no allegiance to the poker media or the WSOP, nor do I own a niche poker site. I'm what you might call a purist: I write for the writing, and will stop when I have nothing to say. This, I think, will eventually ensure my doom. Nevertheless, a guy’s gotta do what he thinks is worthwhile imo, and so i’m here working on a longish piece, aimed at general readers, that aims to present the wsop as it is--the ups and downs of tournaments, the cash grind, the dinginess of the Rio, the LOLegionnaire Maker, playing (or not playing) the Main. All of this will be told not as a polemic but as a story with characters (#realNolagrinders).

Which makes me wonder: what details MUST be included in a story about the 2017 WSOP? Please share!

Some of my own answers would be:

Hash House
Belligerent salespeople in the hallways
Crushed dreams
Scalding heat
Grinder gear
Kevmath
Massage girls
The roped-off orange Lamborghini L640 blocking your path into the Pavilion Room with an accompanying sign that says, Bad Beat? Now Try your Luck on the Streets. 4 Hours Starting at $399.

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welcome to LV!

swing by upswing party at encore tonight if you can
Not happening have fun, and lemme know if you're at the Rio!

Last edited by bob_124; 07-07-2017 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 07-09-2017, 11:24 PM   #980
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Re: The Poker Project (playing and writing about poker in the U.S.)

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Not happening have fun ...
Just saw Neeme's vLog of the party. Looked exactly like your kind of scene!

On the off chance you gave in and are playing tomorrow, good luck!
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:27 PM   #981
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Re: The Poker Project (playing and writing about poker in the U.S.)

Navigating Day 1: Playing the WSOP Main Event with Benton Blakeman

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Just saw Neeme's vLog of the party. Looked exactly like your kind of scene!
Really need to work on my tank-top game before I can make an appearance.
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On the off chance you gave in and are playing tomorrow, good luck!
TY! I passed along your GL to this guy. I'm nice like that.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:48 AM   #982
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Re: The Poker Project (playing and writing about poker in the U.S.)

Right on. Pay it forward, glad to help.
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:47 AM   #983
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Re: The Poker Project (playing and writing about poker in the U.S.)

WSOP Wrap-up, August Goals

My third WSOP is in the books. Each one has been fun in different ways. I lived in a poker house for my entire stay, which really helped with morale/support and cost. I also defended my media tourney championship,
Spoiler:
wrote a few Pokernews pieces, and worked on a story about Nola grinders in the Main. Didn't play much at all. A random highlight was chatting with Norman Chad for 5-10 minutes while he was out on the floor getting material for the ESPN broadcast. I've always enjoyed his commentary/shtick, and it was nice to see that he's just as friendly and self-effacing in person.

Grinder's Heaven/Hell
Spoiler:

World Series of Pool
Spoiler:

Zion
Spoiler:

fishing lake in Kansas
Spoiler:

Was planning to be in Chatnooga for July but my girlfriend got into NEH nerd camp in Boston, so I tagged along
Spoiler:


I read Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son and would highly recommend it. Back in Nola by mid-August

August Goals
[ ] visit Cambridge
[ ] end stint as homeless vagabond
[ ] play 40 hours

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Right on. Pay it forward, glad to help.
impressive avatar!
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:26 AM   #984
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Re: The Poker Project (playing and writing about poker in the U.S.)

What about Bob?
Big Easy Ballers
2016


thank you the cockeyed court
on which in a half-court 3 vs. 3 we oldheads
made of some runny-nosed kids
a shambles, and the 61-year-old
after flipping a reverse lay-up off a back door cut
from my no-look pass to seal the game
ripped off his shirt and threw punches at the gods
and hollered at the kids to admire the pacemaker’s scar
grinning across his chest

—Ross Gay, “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude”



Darrell Guillory dribbled hesitantly in the corner and fed me in the post. I spun left and heaved a jump hook at the rim.

BRICK

A piercing whistle saved me from another missed field goal. I had been hacked by my defender, a sweaty chubster whose workout regimen probably consisted of power-curling donuts from the box to his mouth. To his credit, the guy was a superb fouler.

I rarely played basketball these days, but I made an exception for Darrell. It was hard to turn down a man who loved the game as much as him. As our player-coach-manager, Darrell used an advanced recruiting strategy: he sought out the tallest players in Harrah’s poker room. There was nowhere for me to hide. Thanks to our excellent height and terrible opposition, we were leading the D-minus division of the Metairie Basketball League.

The Big Easy Ballers. Kings of a small world.

The ref tossed me the ball at the foul line, where I waited hands on knees, chest heaving. I was sore, exhausted, and ready to be done with this game—preferably for good. I took a deep breath and three dribbles, bent my knees, and flicked my left wrist. The ball floated towards the rim and fell pathetically short. There was confused silence, laughter, and then, from the bleachers:

“AIRBALLLLLL!”

“Get that ***** some oxygen!”

“Damn, I thought Dirk could shoot!”

“That ain’t Dirk, that Larry!”

“It don’t matter, he still can’t shoot!”

This was gonna be a long season.



**

“Ready, champ?” Darrell strolled up to me with a wide grin. It was a Wednesday, early evening, and we’d both wrapped up another Harrah’s day grind—Darrell, as dealer; me, as player.

“Ready when you are, champ,” I said. I had been wanting to interview Darrell for a while. A veteran dealer for almost twenty years, Darrell was jovial, efficient, and professional. He was also a familiar face inside the casino. He was chatted up half a dozen times on our short walk from the poker room to Starbucks.

We sat in the corner and Darrell discussed growing up in Lake Charles, meeting his wife, Phlicious, and being featured on ESPN’s coverage of the 2006 Circuit Event. And, of course, winning a title with the Big Easy Ballers. “I told everybody how bad I wanted this,” he said, eyes gleaming. “This team is, by far, the best team I’ve put together in the eight years I’ve been playing. The best team.”

“How sweet is this championship?” I asked.

“This championship is so sweet that it’s probably why I want to take a season off. We had to win this one.”

We talked for almost an hour. Then I thanked Darrell for doing an interview and asked him if there was anything else that he wanted to discuss.

“I got some questions for you, man,” he said with a grin.

“Ask away,” I said.

Darrell: We’ll go with basketball first. You’ve been playing all your life. You were the star player on your team in highschool. You had the height, so of course everybody was looking at you.

Bob: I always wanted to be a dribbler and a shooter, so I resisted playing down low. I was lucky because we had a 6’9’’ freshman and another 6’4’’ guy—we had some height—so I actually played a swingman in highschool even though I was 6’5.’’ That really helped me in college, where everybody’s taller and faster. I came from a farm town and we always lost to the inner city schools, year after year after year. But my senior year everything came together: we won the first section title in 40 or 50 years. It’s what I look back on most fondly in my sports career.

So you’re averaging 24 points a game in New York, you get recruited, you go to college, you played your freshman and sophomore year. Why’d you give it up?

There were a couple of reasons. It mainly had to do with losing passion for the game and seeing the shape that college basketball has taken. Some people in the program were thrown away like garbage if they weren’t playing well. I wasn’t treated unfairly, I don’t think, but others were. Also, I wasn’t on scholarship, which led me to ask: why am I doing this? Because I like it? Because it’s a challenge? I’m a big believer in balance, and I had no balance then. I would wake up and go to class, down to the gym for individual workouts, back to campus for another class, down to the gym for pickup and weights, to the library for mandatory freshman study hall—and this was in the offseason. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it. It was that I couldn’t answer the question: “why am I doing this?” So I made the decision, probably three-quarters through my sophomore year, that I was done.

How did the coaches take it?

They took it OK. My parents took it really hard. My dad took it really hard. As any dad would, I think. To this day, I don’t think he understands why I quit. After I left the team, he started calling up all these other college coaches. And they start calling me and offering me scholarships to play for their school. I told them, “I appreciate the offer, but I just want to stay here and not play basketball.” My dad couldn’t process that. He thought that my coached screwed me over, but that wasn’t it. I wanted to focus on academics. And, overall, things worked out. I played two years of basketball and I also had a normal college experience. I studied abroad in Australia, I went to grad school. So I was able to turn the corner and get into a career. If I had played basketball, I could have played in Europe or something for a few years.

So when’d you get your passion back for basketball?

It’s not back.

Still not back?


No, man.

But you’re having so much fun with us, dude! Two more basketball questions. How many times do you get the “Dirk?”

All the time. You know what it is? I gotta get a haircut. My hair’s curly like Dirk’s.

How many times have you taken advantage of it?


I dressed up as Dirk for Halloween one year. I might have signed an autograph once.

So how’s your poker game? How’d you get into poker?

I got into poker after college. I just started playing with friends. My background’s mainly online. While I was in grad school—I studied English, novels and short stories and stuff—poker worked out a different part of my brain. I’ve only been playing live for the last few years. I like and dislike aspects of it. Live poker is a very slow game. I work on my game, I try to improve, but the priority for me is my writing. I see poker as an interesting subject to explore through writing.

Any regular jobs?

Yeah. I do some teaching, some freelancing, and I work for a medical school back in Houston. Fortunately all of it’s very flexible, so I can come to the casino whenever.

How long you been in New Orleans?

About a year.

You making this the mainstay?

I kind of used my book idea as an excuse to move here, because I love the city. I’ve wanted to be here, I’m happy being here, and I’ll be here for at least a few years, if not longer. I’m not going anywhere.

Last edited by bob_124; 08-03-2017 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:14 AM   #985
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Re: The Poker Project (playing and writing about poker in the U.S.)

Poker Faces in the Crowd: Jerry and Prissy Giroir

I spoke with Jerry and Prissy Giroir, a retired couple from Lafayette, Louisiana. We discussed their highlights from the WSOP, the story of how they met, and Jerry’s deep run in the Main Event.
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