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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    Friday, September 22, 2006

    Getting in Touch with My Inner Degenerate; or, I Need Your Help More Than Ever

    The blog for the Aruba tournament will be at Though I got scooped by doubleas. I was coming through the casino at the Wyndham and thought I recognized the aformentioned maestro from the pic in his book (which I brought with me and will ask to be autographed just as he's about to play his first hand at the tournament. Table image out the ass!!). I almost doubled back to say, "Hey, are you Scott?" when I decided to pass. First of all, I wanted to meet the person I'll be working for on time. Secondly, while my pickup lines are, to be honest, laughable, I don't know how effective my homoerotic pickup lines might be. And since I was wrong about that person's ID, well, I'm glad I didn't want to risk embarasment.

    Though I'm going to embarass myself right now. I went back to my room, put my press pass and other goodies in a safe place, and went out looking for drink. I went to the bar in the casino and ordered a Heineken. There was a video poker machine, and what says "I'm a degenerate poker blogger" more than playing video poker and drinking? Nothing, that's what.

    Thing is, my Heinie came in a skinny can more suited for Red Bull than beer. I quaffed it (I say "quaffed" for 'tis the mot juste) in three picoseconds and ordered another. And another. Thing is, it's like six bucks for half a beer! I switched to the local brew, whose name escapes me but is quite potable despite a strong grassy backnote. Still pricy, tho.

    Here's where my idiocy comes to the fore--after busting for my first double sawbuck I reloaded and went on a video poker tear. I hit five four-flushes in a row and won back that which I'd lost before. Here's where I need your help, as I see myself sitting on that same stool a few more times in the next nine days--what is optimal video poker strategy? Is there a website I can scan, did Sklansky write a book? Here's my dilemma, even if I think I already know the answer--let's say the board comes out and you have king-high and a pair of fours. Do you keep the king along with the fours, or do you just keep the fours and go for the quads/trips/luckyboat? I need to optimize my play, dammit!

    Anyway, after paying my bill (with a handsome tip, because it's not only a moral obligation but, hey, I like tipping nice people big) I took my video poker winnings to the slots. And here's where...well, I'm a bit ashamed of myself. I played the slots, and a waiter asked if I wanted a beer, and I said yes, a Bashhshshsiie (I will know the name by tomorrow, on my mother). He brings it...and it's FREE! Dammit, I SHOULD KNOW THAT! I'm not some greenhorn, I know that you can drink for free when you're gambling! Of course I tipped him, drank my beer...and hit for fifty bucks. Grubby would be so proud, once he got over the shame.

    I cashed out and headed for the poker room. The only game they had even in the theoretical stage was $10-$20 NL. Um, that's not my game. Let's divide by 100 and we're in the ballpark. They did have a $100 buy-in $2-2 game, which I'd feel comfortable playing. Except...I'm half in the bag. I haven't eaten since my mid-flight turkey sandwich down here (excellent, by the way) and I got up at 4:45. I need to eat. I need rest. Plus three of the $10-20 NL guys said they'd play $2-2 with us, and the one guy actually started sharpening his canines with a file. OK, I made that up. But it was in his eyes.

    One of the guys I talked to is playing in the main event here, and two fiftyish gentlemen from some Latin American country started talking to us about the tournament, and when they heard that the buy-in was $5K said, "Huh, maybe I'll play, when is it again?" These are NOT the sort of people I should be sitting down at a poker table with. Not when I have six beers in me, half of them Bashshiieess.

    So I'm gonna order a burger for my supper, relax, get some sleep. Oh, one more embarassement to relate. Last Monday we had a volleyball game and during one point a guy blasted one right at me as I patrolled the back line. The ball was heading way out, but he aimed it at my chest, and so I had to contort my body to miss the ball. To put it bluntly, to avoid the ball I had to do an impromptu hula, hips-twist-shoulders-OUT!, and I immediately knew I'd pulled something in my abdominal region. Felt the twinge, but no real pain.

    Anyway, as we're landing today people are looking out the window and oohing and ahhing. I was sitting on the aisle and couldn't see. So I leaned over, twisted my torso to get an angle...and TWINNNNGGG! I cramped from my nipple to just above my...thing. A big stripe of muscle decided NOW was the time to say, "How about a situp once in awhile, asshole!" I had a hell of a time stretching it out in my seat without looking insane. I still feel it hurting now, but to be honest, it's a good hurt. I'll be fine.

    So, anyway, I'm gonna eat and get some rest. Maybe play a SNG online. While sitting on my balcony, listening to soft waves lap the beach. Wow, it gets dark outside here when the sun goes down. Anyway, check out If you like, let me know. If you don't, let me know. Let me know what you want/don't want. I trust your judgement far more than my own. Well, almost as much as my own.

    UPDATE: The local beer is "Balashi". Learn the lingo, jackass. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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