Sunday, April 17, 2011


After everything that's transpired the last couple of days, I've had some time to take it in and form some thoughts. Even though I have a family, own 2 Las Vegas properties (not necessarily a brag because mortgages are sky high from buying at the worst time possible) and owe some taxes (shipping it Monday) I'm pretty upbeat about everything. Maybe because I've always seen the glass half full. Also has to do w/ my strong religious faith.

I read this piece today and I agree w/ most of everything the writer says...

Although Black Friday is bad for the short term I think it's good for the long term. Sure some will disagree but I see a push for the legalization of online poker. If and when that happens everybody will rejoice and it will be PartyPoker all over again (not really but things will be much better than the status quo we were in).

In the meantime what are professional poker players to do? Well since I consider myself a well rounded poker player (I've stressed before it's beneficial to be good at many forms of poker including live poker) I can go play live for awhile until we have a clearer picture of what's in store for us. Also I've strategically placed my family in Las Vegas for times like these (well, that and home prices were much cheaper than in California at the time) so I can play poker in the casinos. I blogged about my live experiences and how "soft" I consider the games so I expect to do ok although I think I will have to double, maybe triple my hrs to match my income from online poker (even then I may not be able to match my online earning power..we shall see).

I also have experience grinding live poker 40hrs/week. This was over a decade ago and games were much different then (just limit games and very soft) but I've become a much experienced and a better player so I expect to do ok until online poker comes back.

As for others, I'm not them so I can't answer for them. I notice some fellow Cardrunners' guys increasing their coaching profiles so good luck to them. I'm not sure what's going to happen to the online mtt'ers that depended on mass volume to eek out a profit (I guess it's going to cost Sheets and Bax a lot of money too), the hu specialists (see what bumhunting gets you, not skillz that's for damn sure), sit n go specialists (gl trying to find sit n go's in live poker rooms or trying to make a living playing $110 sit n go's when they at a time), the rakeback pros (Venetian and Wynn in Las Vegas pay back around $1/hr to play in their poker rooms...just think of it as a demotion guys), plo players (some rooms spread a $1/$2 plo game...or a $25/$50+ plo playing your A game in the small game waiting for the big game), and sponsored site pros (lol).

Most of the guys I've met that I played vs. online or heard about are really smart guys that probably won't have much of a problem getting a job. Others will probably move to another country and keep grinding online (probably applies more to mtt'ers than cash game players since the latter can just go live). A few will probably try to circumvent the US laws and install vpns and play on Euro sites from home. Some will move closer to live poker rooms and grind live.

I do think for poker players that choose to keep playing poker, this is a good time to broaden your game and knowledge and start learning other games and formats. After all, nobody has a clue if and when online poker will come back to the U.S. Even when it does it will help tremendously if you are experienced at many forms of poker. Trust me.

Which leads me to my last point...I'm probably going to start coaching live poker (all forms including cash games, tournaments, and mix games) and if anybody is interested, feel free to send me an email ( or shoot me a pm at Cardrunners. Next time I will discuss this in more detail.

Check my live graph...


  1. John, I would die a happy man if I could get even an hour of coaching from you. This is pie in the sky stuff for right now though, as I don't live in Vegas anymore (I commented in here a little while back about how I've been grinding live low stakes NLHE in Wisconsin).

    Anyway, love your optimism and how you can see the bright side in all of this. As probably one of the only people in the US who actually benefited from this legislation, I still thought it was terrible for poker as a whole, but I think you raise good points about the potential long term fix that it could present.

    Best of luck returning to the live poker grind; maybe it'll serve as a little fine tuning before an epic breakout WSOP? I'll keep my fingers crossed for you man.

  2. "The hu specialists (see what bumhunting gets you, not skillz that's for damn sure)"

    Tableselection is 101 in poker, and bumhunting is a part of that. 100% bumhunting is nice for the BR, but -ev in the longrun since there will be a time where 100% bumhunter need to move down due to the rising skill level of poker.

    Now on black friday. I think this was coming for a long time. This is a hump we need to get over before you can have fully regulated poker. I think it's our job as (pro or winning) pokerplayers to keep this hype/hobby interesting for recreational players in the US.

    Especially now the economy is getting stronger.

    I think the worst beat on poker, isn't the ps/ftp blackout you are experiancing (since its a neccesary evil) but more the combination with ESPN and sponsors backing out and the negative media around the allegations. If the UB story gets some serious coverage, this will be a dark day for poker.

    I wish you the best of luck during the ftp/ps blackout, and hope you'll get by in the live games.

  3. Tx Stoops and HU specialist.

    Just for clarification, I have no problem w/ people that bumhunt (however one wants to make money within the rules is fine by me) but I think it will come back to hurt the player if that's all he does.

    I'm not sure how the media is going to handle all this but hopefully they won't portray us too badly (we are good guys!). Also hope they correct some of the misconceptions regarding online poker.

  4. Not sure if they ever ended up airing the segment, but I'm assuming that you guys watch Sportscenter and know about the left pane sidebar they have that outlines the upcoming stories on the show. The day that the online poker sites got shut down there was a segment to be aired leading after one of the commercial breaks, but when the show came back the poker story was skipped. It might have just been a matter of cutting the show for time, but that's pretty doubtful considering they usually put the more compelling stories after commercial breaks to re-hook the audience. In fact, I watch Sportscenter every morning over coffee to wake myself up, and I have never seen an error in the outline of the show, or seen the segment aired since. It feels like there's some politicking going on over at ESPN; hopefully it's not detrimental to the poker community at large or maybe I'm just reading too much into a nonsignificant thing.

  5. Nice Graph. To think graphs used to be done by hands ;P