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

Subscribe with Bloglines

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


  • 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004
  • 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004
  • 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004
  • 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004
  • 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004
  • 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004
  • 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
  • 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004
  • 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004
  • 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004
  • 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004
  • 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004
  • 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005
  • 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005
  • 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005
  • 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005
  • 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
  • 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
  • 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005
  • 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005
  • 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005
  • 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
  • 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
  • 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
  • 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
  • 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
  • 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
  • 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
  • 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006
  • 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
  • 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006
  • 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
  • 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
  • 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006
  • 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
  • 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006
  • 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
  • 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007
  • 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
  • 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007
  • 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007
  • 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007
  • 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007
  • 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007

  • Powered by Blogger

    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    Long Time Comin'

    Tonight ESPN will finally show the last two episodes of the 2005 World Series, meaning I can actually mention the name of the person who won the damn thing. I've been threatened with creative and extensive bodily harm if I let the rabbit out of the hat, so I won't give it up this late in the game. I didn't get a chance to re-watch the previous episodes, most notably the Matusow-Sheikhan tiff. Perhaps I will when they repeat those episodes tonight.

    I watched the conclusion of another big poker tournament a few nights ago, as Johnny Chan defeated Todd Brunson to win the Poker Superstars II. Reading Daniel Negreanu's blog I was disturbed to see that there the Poker Superstars III is already in production. I say disturbed because the second installment was, well, a bit of a mess.

    First of all, the Poker Superstars II took nearly as long to complete as World War II. The first episode I think aired around the last of the Bush-Kerry debates. The players accumulate points based on their finish at a six-player table, and as the series progressed there were players who obviously would survive to the round of 16 and those who were already hosed. Watching Chris Moneymaker and Antonio Esfandiari try and fail to raise their point totals high enough to salvage some pride did not make for scintillating television.

    Nor did the structure make for inspired poker. In his post Negreanu says that the third series forces players to make decisions pre-flop, and this is what made PSII pretty freaking dull. The blinds were so high, and the chip stacks so low, that if you raise and then faced a re-raise, you pretty much either had to go all-in or fold. There was no room for maneuver. And that's at the very start of the show--by the time the blinds went up once or twice every hand was played for one player's chips.

    The most bizarre example of this came in the quarterfinals. Kathy Liebert had been at or near the leaderboard during the qualifying rounds. I think she won four of her matches, and built up so many points that the normally reticent Liebert turned into Chatty Kathy during a later show, when she really had nothing to play for except first place and the $10K that went with it. She kept talking a mile-a-minute, until an irritated David Sklansky was looking at her as though she was speaking in tongues. So after running well for 6 preliminary rounds you'd think Liebert would come to the quarterfinals in good shape to make a big run, right?

    Well, no. She did start with more chips than Scotty Nguyen and Todd Brunson, and I think the same amount as Ted Forrest (I think the top 2 had $1 million and the bottom two $700K). The very first hand Todd Brunson looks down at pocket jacks and raises (I don't have the exact amounts, alas). Forrest folds. Liebert looks down at pocket tens. She thinks a bit, and raises Brunson. And then Scotty Nguyen wakes up with pocket aces. He stacks and restacks his chips...and goes all-in.

    Brunson never gets too worked up at the table, but he let out a snort and shook his head. He couldn't believe he might have to lay this hand down. He looks at Scotty and says the best line I heard during the run of the show. He says, "You been drinkin'?". Scotty just laughs and takes a sip out of a styrofoam cup. Brunson throws his jacks away.

    And now Liebert, who has raised a raiser and then been raised herself, has to make a decision. "OK, Scotty, I'll gamble with you." And she puts in most of her stack with pocket tens. And, though I don't have the exact amount of the earlier bets, I think she was just about pot-committed. So, after all those shows, spread out over the better part of a year, one of the point leaders had no choice but to risk 3/4 of her stack with pocket tens. On the first hand. The aces held up, and Scotty knocked Liebert out the very next hand. See ya.

    The overall prelim leader was Carlos Mortensen. His heads-up match against Todd Brunson (the semifinals were best-of-three heads-up, why they didn't stay 4-handed is beyond me) lasted, oh, six hands. Mortensen raises with A-8, Brunson re-raises with AK, Mortensen pushes, call, Game 1 over in one hand. They actually play a few hands before Brunson is dealt aces. He raises, Mortensen pushes with pocket sevens, call, and Carlos is done. Their heads-up match was so short they tacked it on to the episode where Johnny Chan beat Scotty Nguyen. Usually you can tell that the decisive hand is coming when the clock reads 9:55. When the Mortensen-Brunson match started at 9:45 I knew something bad was about to happen.

    I didn't much enjoy the Head-Up Championship NBC broadcast earlier this year, nor did I like the heads-up matches. Brunson won the first one after getting some nice cards, Chan won the second when he started getting good hands, and in the third Chan took control and won. Exactly how I forget. Mostly because I was still gawking at Johnny's 165-decible Versace shirt. Wow. WOW. I liked it. Really. Very flash. I couldn't carry it off, goodness knows, but Johnny can. They showed him doing some shopping at Versace, and one of those peacock chemises goes for twelve hundred bucks. He also values suede loafers when playing, because they're comfortable.

    It looks like some of the heavy, heavy hitters are playing in the third series (Negreanu, Hansen, Ivey, Lindgren). And maybe it won't be quite as much a stack-shoving snoozer as this series was too often. Eh, it's poker. I'll watch.

    Good to get a post out, even a jumble like this. I don't believe in writer's block, if you sit down and work and let the blood drip from your eyes the words will come, but I've been having a hell of a time finishing some stuff I've been working on. Working on for weeks, when it should only take me an afternoon. At times the brain gets clogged like, uh, other parts of the body. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

    Play Poker Online
    Play Poker Online at Full Tilt Poker
    Learn, Chat, and Play with the Pros at the fastest growing Online Poker Room.


    Play Poker Online at Blind Bet Poker. Bonuses and promotions by online poker rooms like Doyles Room, Titan Poker, Full Tilt Poker and Noble Poker. Poker strategy for beginners, advanced, and professional poker players. A poker terminology section, news & online poker tournaments.

    Poker Forums
    Definitive online poker portal, featuring a poker odds calculator, poker forums, an excellent poker bonus code section with deposit bonuses.

    Full Tilt Poker Freerolls
    Party Poker Strategy Guide

    The 2006 WSOP
    Total Coverage
    From the Urinals to the Hooker Bar



    Poker Savvy