Poker is a Life Long Addiction

pokerI have come to the conclusion that poker will be my life long addiction. Oh, and pussy. When I started this blog in 2006, I was already playing poker online with the lamentable Party Poker. It was, I can tell you now, the real dark ages of online play. Plenty of sneaky shit going on, cheating, collusion, and more. Online poker was riding a wave created in some ways by the fact that the World Series of Poker had made it onto ESPN as a “sport”, and guys like Scotty Nguyen had been turned into national and international heros. Poker was on a major upswing, and the ability to play this “Vegas” game on your computer at home was a real kick for many.

Online poker has continued to grow through the years, but at the same time it has faced some serious issues. One of the biggest is that players in the US really cannot play online much at this point, as it’s illegal for payment companies or banks to facilitate the transfer of money to “gaming” or gambling accounts. This dovetails with the incredible and stunning story of Full Tilt Poker, which was labeled by the US government as a Ponzi scheme that basically stole customers money for the benefit of a few top name poker pros. The changes in the US regulatory situation also basically drove poker off of US TV. That was particularly tragic for a program called Poker After Dark on NBC, which gave amazing levels of personal level exposure to the top pros of the time – and stopped very suddenly in 2012. It has resurfaced on a site called Poker Go as a streaming show, very low profile compared to being on NBC (even late at night)

From there, online poker has sort of crashed. As a Canadian, I could still play online and I could still get my money in, but much of the zing was gone. I was still playing online from time to time, playing in person on trips to Vegas or occasional trips to a more local casino, but generally, for whatever reason, it wasn’t as engaging for me.

Poker has picked up in other places. Australia, the Philippines, Canada, and Europe are all fairly active. There are a lot of European players online these days, and most of the big money tournaments are being pulled down by players from these places. What is really interesting is that the big name players have pretty much all faded into the wood work. From what I call “peak poker” only Daniel Negraneau really stands out in my mind as a top player who is still very actively playing in the public eye. That doesn’t mean the others aren’t playing and making money, but they aren’t in the public eye. The Full Tilt thing took down a lot of players as well, Chris “Jesus” Fergusson, Howard Lederer, and others will involved and not only got into the legal problems, but also lost face in the community.

I have traveled a fair bit and my life has taken me to interesting places. I had the chance, as a result, to play live poker in Macau. Macau was, quite rightly, known as perhaps the best place in the world for insanely high stakes cash game poker. I clearly don’t have the money for that, but it’s place where seeing millions out on a table isn’t all the unusual. Tom Hall told a bunch of stories, including this one “One of the funniest I remember was when one player was all in, and the other tanks for ages, then gets up and goes to the toilet and is gone a good five minutes and then comes back to call with the stone cold nuts. This was all taken in good humor.”. Macau was insane, magical, and actually deathly boring compared to Vegas. However, the Chinese government took a disliking to poker, and as a result, most of the poker rooms and poker action in Macau (including the Pokerstars branded one) are gone – and so is the money. Rumor has it that it’s gone to Jeju, South Korea. More news if I ever get there.

So I was back playing online for maybe a year or so. Then the bottom fell out.

Normally, this is where you would post up a big bad beat story, a massive cash over bet, or something like that. Nothing is further from the truth. The reality is much more mundane and silly. Many countries have moved to regulate online gaming through local laws, often requiring companies to operate locally and fit within existing gambling regulations (even if poker really isn’t gambling, a long story I won’t touch right now). It has made it very hard to get things done. In many other countries, anti-money laundering and Know Your Customer laws have made it impossible to use common online payment methods to pay for poker (even if those banks and financial institutions are not operating the gaming sites). As a result, like many people, my options to deposit were limited. I thankfully didn’t have to deposit often (I generally win enough to stay even or a little better), but when I did it was real work and quite expensive (losing 10% of the money on the way… sigh). Anyway, most of the companies doing this have stopped processing, one of the best was Entropay and their virtual credit cards, but they have pretty much tossed out everyone except their local market, so they can no longer be used. Other methods are pretty shady (like sending money to a hard to trace Russian company!), and not particularly useful. That was mooted out when Pokerstars (the last company offering online poker in my area) pulled the plug. You can see the sort of notice that came out here. Safe to say that there is no longer any real online choices, and in person choices are few and far between.

The online world is maturing in some ways, but regressing hardcore in others. Local regulation of online resources is perhaps the biggest failing in the last few years. The EU in particular has their meddlesome thumbs in everything, unable to allow nature to take it’s course they are intent on managing every detail of your online experience and making sure you are “protected”, wrapping you up in a virtual bubble wrap that makes it impossible to do anything. You are safe, but it takes away the point.

Crashing Bitcoins and Sexy Live Cams

live camsThe day after the Superbowl is often a bit of a weird time online. The hangover, at least for American users, is heavier than New Years. But I have a cure for your hangover, which is sexy live cams with hot girls, couples, guys, shemales… pretty much whatever you like, and they are free to join and go live. You can check out Live Cams Live Girls and either celebrate your team winning, console yourself if they lost, and get yourself off if you don’t give a fuck about American football. It’s all good, and your membership is free.

In other news, Bitcoin values are crashing. If you are online much, it’s probably not news because it’s all over the place. Bitcoin came in just shy of $20,000 to start the year, and it’s been pretty much straight downhill ever since. According to Google as I write this, 1 Bitcoin equals 6089.98 US Dollar. That means that about 70% of the value has evaporated faster than water off a sexy girl’s ass at the beach. It’s pretty scary to see. I do some cloud mining, and that is almost underwater as we speak, even with a low buy in price. It’s pretty funny! You can check out my Bitcoin Mining blog for some more info and whatnot.

Another thing on my list is poker. Yup, as I mentioned before, I am back at it, shitty as ever I guess. I have had a few good finishes and won some stuff, better than nothing I guess. I have come to the conclusion that this may be my life long addiction game of choice, it’s been 20 plus years and I still enjoy it, even if I may never be all that good at it. I wrote a whole blog post about it that I haven’t published yet, I was actually considering making a poker related blog or something, but maybe not.

Finally, don’t forget that Findpics Free Porn updates every couple of hours with another new gallery, more than 8000 galleries already there and it’s fast and easy to deal with – also check out Porn Star Videos for some hot free tube style porn videos too!

Japanese Schoolgirls and Fast Cars

busty japanese schoolgirlsThere are a few things in life I really enjoy, Japanese schoolgirls and fast cars are among them! I recently added an update to my hot Schoolgirl Uniform blog with Japanese babe Ria Sakuragi in her real schoolgirl uniform, it’s amazing to see how much can big hidden under there! I love upskirts too, so this shot sort of makes me tingle.

When it comes to fast cars, there is no doubt that I am a far of the old BBC Top Gear and the newer The Grand Tour. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May are perhaps the most unlikely trio to work together (it’s said they don’t actually like each other much) but they turn out some of the most entertaining car related shows you will see. While the second season of The Grand Tour isn’t quite as entertaining as season one, it’s still completely top notch, and a reason to give Amazon your money to stream it!

I have also been doing some stuff with Bitcoin mining and Bitcoin Cloud mining. Let’s just say I have a weird feeling I walked into a bubble and it sort of burst behind me. I will make my money back I guess but it’s not going to be anywhere near as profitable as it looked! Oh Well!

I have also been back playing poker on Pokerstars. I really love to play poker, I have played it live in both the US and Asia, and I am middling okay but not good enough to make a living. I really enjoy the challenge, and I am comfortable to know that I basically put some money into the system a couple of months ago and I still have most of it. I recently had my first “win”, finishing with the most chips at the cut off point of a satellite tournament with about 600 entries. I seem to be able to play may way through at least lower level satellite tournaments now, which is a big improvement. I have been following Kevin Martin (KevinM987) on twitch, and really learning a bunch. True No Limit hold’em is a game of super small percentages, and played right you can win. It’s not simple, but I am learning more now than I have earned in nearly 20 years of playing poker in person and online.

For lovers of find porn, my TGP sites like Findpics Free Porn continues to rock with galleries added all the time. With over 8000 galleries and over 100,000 free pics, you are sure to find something to enjoy over here! Don’t forget All Free Erotic Stories as well for some sexy tales!

Tanning Mom Sex Tape and Pokerstars Macau

tanning mom toplessI can’t make this shit up! Tanning Mom, famous for shoe leather skin, recently shot topless pics on a beach and tried to use them as an audition to get Vivid to let her make a sex tape, saying “”I am far MORE popular and WAY HOTTER than Farrah!” and “Men want a cougar and a real woman, not a teenybopper!”. Fuck me! Vivid’s answer was pretty simple, stating that she pretty much has a face for radio. Zing!

Meanwhile, I was in Macau yesterday (long story) and got to play in one of the first tournaments at the new Pokerstars Live at the City Of Dreams. While I am sure they aren’t checking out adult blogs, I have to say congrats to them for a nicely run event (record single day tournament record for them), and the facility is pretty darn nice. I didn’t make the money, but I did place in the top third, not bad considering it’s my first real tournament in years. If you get the chance to visit Macau, it’s worth the effort… especially if you are a single guy and love sexy Asian girls!

Meanwhile, in the adult world… Hot Sexy Thing blog is turning out to be one of my most popular sites, plenty of new bookmarks there recently and hot girls every day. Also, I have added a number of pornstars to Porniki, with galleries and stuff for Cindy Starfall, Sasha Grey, Stacie Jaxxx, and Christy Mack. I always try to add some new stuff over there, bookmark the site and tell your friends (or use the facebook / G+ / Twitter buttons to like us and spread the word!).

Why I stopped playing at Party Poker

I closed my Party Poker account yesterday.  Got them to confirm it, close it out, pay it out, and that is it.  That’s right folks, Rawalex has left the room, and isn’t coming back.   I will never in my life play another game of Poker at Party Poker again.

Here’s the story.  I have played quite a bit over the last year or so, and I am not a horrible player, not a great player… middle of the road and in with the right groups I can make some money at it and have a good time.  I don’t make the money fast enough to make it a living or anything, but it wouldn’t be unusual to make $100 or so a night net for a few tables.  Not a great amount of money, but I am not a big money player so no big deal, right?

Anyway, about a month ago, I realized that I still had 10,000 or so Party Points in my account.  I had recently cashed in almost all the cash in my account, so I figured I would play some points tournaments for a while to keep in practice, while not really putting any more money on the table for a while.  No reason to throw money at it when I can get into some pretty interesting tournaments with points, right?

Now, I don’t typically do so well at big tournaments.  I have some issues with attention span I guess, and I get pretty antsy after sitting for a couple of hours and want to get on with it.   With some concentration I can pretty much make it to the money, but not much further.  So I play my points with the idea to try some different strategies for getting to the end of the tournament.  Some worked better than others, as you can imagine.

Anyway, I log in yesterday, and suddenly my account has no more Party Points in it.   Guess which poker company added in a new rule that says “if you don’t earn any new points in 30 days, we take all your existing points away”?  It is change from their “account not active” rule they use to have, so now you literally have to put money on the table every 30 days or your points are withdrawn.

This rather major change wasn’t exactly made public.   I had played down just over 5000 party points in a month, and they wandered away with the other half of my points.

So, pick up the phone and call their support center, and well, that is when the fun starts.  (I am not going to be racist here… but) It doesn’t take too much intelligence to realize that the call center is located in India.  Professional script reads and totally helpless otherwise.  I described my problem, and the person on the phone proceeded to lecture me about not playing enough, and how I should read the rules because I obviously don’t understand how the party points system works, and that it is my fault that I didn’t read the rule carefully.  I don’t disagree that I should stay up to date, but I missed this last change, and they didn’t go out of their way to update their members about this points grab.

I tried to explain how this was different from the terms when I signed up, and the guy had the balls to say “It is your job to re-read the rules regularly.  Things change, and that is your responsiblity to re-read those rules on a regular basis.”

I asked them to close my account.  I didn’t call for a lecture.  This guy won’t close the account, but keeps trying to restart his lecture about my responsiblities to check the terms regularly.

STFU already.  CLOSE MY ACCOUNT.

He won’t do it.  I am steaming by this point.  How hard is it to close an account?  He is waffling, trying to once again launch into his prepared speech about my responsilbities… and I had to bite my tongue to keep from going off on this breathing automon of a “service” agent.  Finally he gets a clue, and still won’t cancel my account, but says he will transfer me to his supervisor.

Supervisor comes on, and the first thing he does is start to lecture me about my responsiblities to read the terms and conditions on a regular basis.

Do these people not have a fucking clue that by this time I am about ready to ream them hard for all this fucking “it’s your fault stupid customer” talk?

Anyway, after 10 minutes of explaining carefully how much this level of customer service isn’t serving me, the supervisor has the balls to say “I cannot close your account”.  Some dumbfuck arrogant rule that requires that the account closing request come by email from the email in the account – this even after they have identified me on the phone, used my pin number, and made other checks to assure who I am.  They are able to talk about my account with me, but not actually help me.

FUCK THEM ALL, I AM GONE!

If you have a party poker account, close it.  There are much better places to play, and they won’t fuck you over like these guys did to me.  FUCK THEM!

More for Party Poker Land

I have been playing a bit on and off, not really making a dedicated stab at it, but certainly paying attention and not getting myself into any trouble.  I have played a few free rolls (7000 people, 6000 of them total idiots playing anything and everything) and a few qualifier types to see what is what.

The first thing I notice is that since the increase in starting chips, the actual number of people left after an hour seems to have dropped.  I use to see about 50% of the people left after an hour, and now I am seeing more like 40% or even less.  It means that you have to pile chips a little faster because people are playing hard and screwing up massively.

It is interesting, if nothing else.

Want to play poker?  Click here for no limit holdem

Meanwhile, back at Party Poker

First off, for whatever reason, Party Poker has had a fair bit of network issues recently.  I think it might have to do with upgrading their infrastructure to support their newer version game software, which I have a feeling is a little more demanding on their network.   Yesterday they were down for about 2 hours in early PM EDT, which would normally be prime time for plucking the pigeons.  I am sure some people were less than pleased.

I will say that over the last couple of weeks they seem to have finally sorted out the issues with their software.  The game play is a little better than it was, a little more smooth and all.  Plus I personally feel that there are a ton less bad beats out there and less rewarding of the people playing shit hands all over.  There is still some amazingly bad stuff out there, but bad players seem to get tripped up after a while, which is a good thing.

I have been playing a bunch of 6 player sit and go NLH.  They don’t pay as much to win (a $10+1 table pays 36 and 24, no third place) so the numbers are all a little different.   However, I think that they payback on these on average is a little bit better net, plus I find that the players are a little better, less people playing “go fish” with shit hands.

So I am on a money percentage of about 40%, which is what it needs to be.  So things are back on track that way.

Party Poker, two versions later

Well, I went to check out Party Poker again to see what was going on.  First off I got ANOTHER new version of the software, which is always a good thing.  However, there are still some pretty major fuckups (I will get to that in a sec) and there is still some issues with the placement of things on the screen that bother me.

Then their network crached like a fucking rock for most of the overnight period.  Once that sucker crashes, it is almost impossible to get things back going right.

Anyway, the next night I wandered back to play a game or two.   I am getting use to this higher chip count thing, although I could see a ton of players who don’t have a clue throwing way too many chips at really poor hands, thinking that 2000 chips somehow makes them richer than 800 chip for the same price did before.  Little do they realize that the ratios of chips to blinds is different at the earlier levels, so in fact you are somewhat poorer in the end to start with.  Anyway, these clowns are either rich with chips or flat as broke after a few hands.

While everyone I know says that the card selector / shuffling thing has not changed I will say that I have seen less and less major dog hands winning, and things  seem to be back to a more normal level.  It may be that the morons are still morons and the smarter players are not getting conned into staying in bad hands, but things just seem to be better.    Yes, I have won some tables and taken some tournament money in the last few days.

Anyway, I am keeping my eye on it all… we will see 🙂

Poking around

Well, I am continuing my quest for the best poker online. Basically, I have spent the last year or so playing Party Poker and Empire Poker. Party Poker I think is about the most popular of the bunch, attracting upwards to 75,000 players online at peak times. Empire Poker is at the other end of the scale, only attracting maybe 7,000 people at peak.

I have been through a number of the bigger name places, and for various reasons, I have just not been very satisfied with them. In some cases, they will not accept the payment methods I normally use (and attempt to get me to signup for some off brand “payment system”). In other cases, I signup, play a couple of tables, and realize that the quality of the players is very, very low.

What do I mean by low quality players?

I mean the type of players who will stay in with a 64 suited, flop a single card from the same suit, and go all in. Heck, they have a hot hand, so why not, right? Well, at least one poker system I have seen appears to really reward massive dog hands, and these players flop the flush often enough to make it hard to play against. Basically, I lost any number of good hands to people who played total shit out of position and ended up pulling it out on the river.

Everyone can play a shit hand now and again, and every so often these hands do pan out. All of us (without exception) bluff our asses off at times, using the 72os as a hammer to steal the chips. But some of these players come in with consistantly horrible hands, raising small pairs, low suited connectors, and ANY face card. In a way you could call it agressive, but in the end it is stupid play that wouldn’t stand up in the real world. As I said, I get the feeling that some of these poker systems have their thumb on the scale a little bit, and fudge it to make those dog hands win to keep those players interested and excited.

This all became clear to me last weekend when I played poker with real people (during the superbowl party weekend thingie). These were not pros, not the best players in the world, but a nice mix of everyone from clueless amateurs to aggressive semi-pro type players. We played some two table, 15-20 player games, and in those the players who were too aggressive or called bad hands were blown out (and I was a couple of times). For the most part poorer players didn’t make it to the end, and the better players did well. I rarely saw a massive dog pull it out, and it was the exception rather than the rule.

That got me thinking about how the online games play out.

I have read up on how the random shuffle thing works (they use things like mouse movements and other weird random events to set random number generators in action). I have read classic poker books (like David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth’s seminal work on Texas Hold’em “Hold’em Poker for advanced players”) and I am pretty good at “in my head” math. Each and every card has a 1.9% chance of coming up in any position. After the flop, there is about a 5% chance than any single card will come up on the turn or river (2.5-2.6% , basically 1 in 45, because the only think you know for sure is that you have 2 cards, the other player has 2 card, and there are 3 cards up… so there is a 1 in 45 chance that any single card comes up). When you start doing the math on the chance that a dog hand turns into a winner (say like pulling runner runner to make a straight or coming up with one of the other 2 that will turn your ducks into a set) the numbers are fairly low, and the chance that those hands progress into something better is quite small. That multiple dog hands would progress to winners is even more unlikely. That a majority of dog hands would turn into winners is laughable.

When I see that, I am out of there.

Why does it happen? My theory on this is pretty simple. Poker rooms would lose players if the bad players kept losing all the time. The thrill of winning a big hand, going all in and winning, well, that is powerful incentive to keep playing. If you feel you are winning hands but losing tables, as a player you might think you are getting closer and that would be enough to encourage players to reload their accounts and keep playing.

I have noticed this more on smaller poker sites rather than the largest, which makes me think of the situation as marketting rather than absolutely random shuffles and deals. Try to keep the fish putting the money in the top, and the good players should be able to profit from it (but not all the time, because they keep getting bad beat by lucky beginners playing crap hands).

Anyway, I continue on my trek, there are a few more major sites to check out and then, well, I guess I will have to figure out where it is I really want to play.

You could play with me at Empire Poker – click here to download the software for free

So I tried another poker place yesterday…

I won’t say the name, I don’t want to make them (or the players on that place) feel bad.

It is one of the smaller places. Primetime there was about 5000 players (party poker typically runs up to 70k players in prime time), and they had a number of “guaranteed minimum” tourneys that I could try.

So I tossed a buck in the account and went prowling to see how this place goes. First off, the tables filled up much slower. Not enough critical mass, you could wait 20 minutes to fill a single $50 sit and go. There are only about 500 tables total running, so you can see it isn’t all that busy. In playing 3 S&G tables, I saw people twice that I played against on the first table. Small, small world, I guess.

Anyway, I have never played with such a bunch of idiots in all my life. I lost my ass all over the place. These people were staying in and going all in with things like Q5os, and then making their two pair or set on the river and knocking out good hands. It was entirely, without a doubt, all about luck. In all the time I was there, I didn’t lose a single hand against a better hand, I always lost them against worst hands and players staying in for luck (best example, guy has 2 clubs in his hands, 47 or something… flop has a single club and two faces in it (I got the high pair out of the deal, with a decent kicker). This dumbass goes all in. I call him, and the turn and river are clubs… I am whacked by a guy who all in-ed a hand that needed runner runner and he got it (and someone had the nuts to type “NH”… dumbass!).

My only thought is that this system has the river screw you factor turned up to 11 to make sure that the morons keep winning.

Anyway, I won’t be going back there!

Want to play poker online? Click here for Empire Poker