Mean Gene
Mean Gene
Pittsburgh's most decorated poker blogger, which I admit is like being the best shortstop in Greenland

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My Articles

Presto, the Arlo, & the Hammer
An Online Code of Conduct
The Ethics of Ratholing
"The Professor, the Banker..."
"Ace on the River"

My Columns

Lose the Shades
If You Can't Say Something Nice
Whither the Kicker
The Lady is a Champ?
Covering the WSOP (or not)
Statistics, Luck, and Poker
Poker and New Orleans
Managing a Bankroll
How To Tell A Bad Beat Story
Telling Lies
The Power of Poker Tracker
Advanced Card-Handling

My Greatest Hits

5 Things To Do Before I Die
Cafeteria Nostalgia
Mean Gene's Dubious Dating Tips
Poker and Business?
There's No Such Thing As Luck?
Isabelle, Je t'adore
No Shirt No Shoes No Service
Well, The Food Was Good
Good Morning, Mr. Matusow!
The Weekend of our Discontent, I
The Weekend of our Discontent, II
Books That Left Their Mark
Ode to a Fish Sandwich
Bill Simmons Ain't the Poker Guy
The Sports Guy Still Ain't the Poker Guy
Again, The Media Tackles Poker
Five Years After 9/11
Hitting Pretty Girls in the Face
Sixth-Graders Suck

Fellow Poker Bloggers

Guinness and Poker
Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Up for Poker
Boy Genius
Chris Halverson
Poker Grub
The Fat Guy
Todd Commish
Poker Works
Bill Rini
Bad Blood
Love and Casino War
Double As
Lion Tales
Paul Phillips
Daniel Negreanu
Poker Nerd
Poker Nation
Poker in Arrears
Human Head
Sound of a Suckout
Chicks With Chips
TP's Table Talk
Royal Poker
This is Not A Poker Blog
Chick and a Chair
Go Be Rude
Poker Cheapskate
Poker & Other Stuff
Seven Two
Musical Poker
WPBT Online
Isabelle Mercier
Cardschat Blog
Amy Calistri
BJ Nemeth
Annie's Blog

Poker Sites

Cardschat Poker Forum
Barstool Sports
Card Player
Internet Texas Hold-Em
Poker Pages


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    Monday, February 28, 2005

    Buy This Book--But Don't Read It

    In Dark Sun, his book about the development of the hydrogen bomb, Richard Rhodes writes about a problem that confronted the physicists who were nearly ready for the first live test of this ultimate weapon. The problem was this--they were pretty sure they'd figured out how to start the reaction that would get the deuterium and tritium fusing into helium, but they weren't quite sure if the reaction would stop there. The concern was that the helium would fuse into lithium, and then the lithium would fuse, and the reaction would continue until the oxygen in the atmosphere fused, and then the nitrogen, with the end result that the entire Earth would be consumed in one gigantic thermonuclear explosion. And this raised some concerns.

    The only solution was to run the calculations and determine if this in fact was a possibility. The task was handed to physicist Hans Bethe, and in the book Rhodes gives Bethe about the greatest compliment one human can give another. I'm paraphrasing here, but Rhodes said that, if you had to trust one person to do the math to figure out if the planet was about to be destroyed and every living thing annihilated, then that person was Hans Bethe. And once Bethe ran the numbers and determined that, no, their "Super" bomb would not start a runaway chain reaction, that was the end of that. We now know that thermonuclear bombs can safely be exploded with no deleterious effects. Unless you happen to be standing within 100 or so miles of one.

    I say all this because, well, there are some people you trust to know what they're doing, and some you don't. And two people we've all learned to listen to carefully are Iggy and Hank, and they have come up with a guide for using Poker Tracker, which is an incredibly useful tool for the online player. And a lot of fun, too.

    They've put a lot of hard work into the book, which costs $20 and can be purchased through Neteller (as well as other methods), which is very convienient. Poker Tracker itself goes for $55, which may seem like a lot until you realize how much you can make (and save) by using it and analyzing your game. And the game of your opponents, which can give you a HUGE advantage. Think of it as an investment, and a very shrewd one at that.

    I can personally attest to Poker Tracker's benefits. I used it religiously when I first started playing online, and it plugged up some of the "abandon ship!" sized leaks in my game. But I haven't been using it much since I started playing again, which may help explain why I'm running so bad. I haven't used it in large part because my computer is seriously fritzing and half the time I try using PT my system locks up, but it locks up when I hit a mouse key too hard. I think it's about time I got a new laptop.

    So check out both above-mentioned blogs, check out their site, and seriously consider investing in both the book and PT. Actually...what am I saying? Why am I telling you where to go for help to dramatically improve your game? How about this--buy PT, and the guide, but DON'T USE THEM. Just keep the icon unclicked on your desktop, let the file holding the guide sit in virtual limbo. Just keep playing your usual, fishy game. These days, It's about the only chance I have. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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