Friday, April 28, 2006

Another weekend is upon us! Hallelujah, eh? I was up with the birds this morning for my bi-weekly Friday morning meetings at work, and while I'm no fan of the alarm clock going off in single-digit hours, it did ensure that I was conscious and upright in time to get to Empress for a few hours before they close for the weekend.

Yes, the poker room closes for the weekend. Crickets start chirping around 6pm Friday night, and the sharks do not awaken until early Sunday morning. Illinois' gaming laws are screwy, but hey. It's the midwest. I expect nothing less than ass-backwards.

I was seated at the 5/10 limit feeder table a little while after arriving at the boat. I think the guy running the room had a bit of a confidence problem, because there were 2 open seats in the main game when I arrived, and despite the dealer informing the floor man 3 times that he had open seats, I wasn't seated. The floor man just kept walking up to the feeder game, as if afraid to interrupt them to tell players to move. When he finally did approach the table, it took him 3 different halted half-sentences to get the guts to say, "Joe and Shmoe? Your seats are open in the main game."

It turns out that the wasted 15 minutes or so literally might have cost me money, because the table was just brimming with fishy goodness. Holy cow. Remember a few trips ago, when I spoke of the guy that donked off $500 in less than an hour, betting and raising all the way to showdown with bluffs? It was like that - except there were TWO of them! Even better - they were drunk out of their gourds, and very clearly members of the blue collar comedy fan club. The claimed to be Illinois residents from an hour or so south of here, but I'd put them in the back woods of the deep south any day.

I managed to pull a couple of lucky hands off of that table. Q9 offsuit from the big blind flopped me top two pair, and with Larry and his other brother Larry taking turns raising, the betting was capped all the way down on each street, and my hand held up. (I was against Q4 for one pair, and a guy who reluctantly folded on the river and mucked). I must have dragged $150 on that pot alone - with a measley two pair.

When I got moved to the main game, I was disappointed, but only for a few moments, because Larry and Larry busted out of the feeder table shortly after (but not before rebuying a few times). Unfortunately, I wasn't catching any playable hands at the main game, and my AA got cracked off by Play-Every-Hand-Marge, so I took my money and ran after 3 hours or so, up $109.

I came home to find an amusing reply to an email I sent out the other day. As most of my fellow bloggers are probably used to, I get lots of spam email for various tournaments and freerolls and the like. I rarely read them, much less respond - but one caught my eye.

Why? Well, I was put off by the fact that the invitation directly insulted my profession (while simultaneously casting condescention on new players). I replied, wishing the tournament sponsor good luck with his game while mentioning that he might not want to insult people in his tournament invitations. (I don't know - maybe more people would actually play in a game where the sponsors came across as decent human beings? Just a thought). Apparently he took offense, getting all caps-lock on me and saying I should "chill." I'm still giggling, because it amuses me how people project their own ignorance and insecurities on others. Someone who can't take a bit of constructive criticism gets all uptight upon confrontation, then says everyone else needs to "chill." Ahhhh baby, I am cool as a cucumber :)

No matter, though - further investigation led me to realize that the sponsors of this tournament are members of the scum-of-the-earth search engine whore community, using self-described "shady search engine optimization tactics," like keyword stuffing and comment spam. I then found "informational articles" on their web site, describing link dumping techniques and tips for abusing cross-site scripting bugs and other exploits in your web pages. They also have affiliate links to those wonderful RSS-to-Blog programs that scrape our content and display it on shill blogs.

Good people, these black hats are! Good people!

I hope all of my fellow bloggers are wearing White Hats, for the sake of the ethical reputation of poker-blogger-kind. If it isn't OBVIOUS, I'm not a big fan of black-hatted [errrr hearted] people.

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