|I was contacted by QuadJacks recently as they wanted me to be the feature guest on one of their shows, The PKRGSSP Show. Of course I was thrilled to accept their invite. |
It was the first time I did an interview that was being broadcast live, and it was about 8 hours past my bedtime, so I was a little nervous about it but it went really well and I had a lot of fun chatting the host, PKRGSSP, who has an enthusiasm for poker unlike any other.
Have a listen to the show here --------->
WBCOOP (World Blogger Championship) is well under way. To promote the series and have a bit of fun EVhero and I decided we'd create a phony rivalry over which of us is the best blogger, related to the Best Blogger award which is a big part of WBCOOP.
We made videos that were supposed to be a bit of light hearted fun, taking the piss out of each other. But rather than people having a laugh with it and getting into the spirit of it there was just a ton of hateful and negative comments. Most of it aimed at me, with a bunch of personal insults and death threats from EVhero's fanboys who were outraged that I would make fun at him for misclick deleting his entire history of videos on Youtube.
So that was a big fail. We had planned to make a bunch more videos and have some good fun with it but given then feedback we had to cancel out plans and ended up making a video to clear things up. Sorry for the shitty audio.
As it happens, I am not even eligible to win the Best Blogger, Best Tweeter of Leaderboard prizes during WBCOOP since I am sponsored by PokerStars and they want to make sure it is seen as being fairly judged. I have, however, been participating in the events. I've played 4 events with 3 cashes including a 6th place in the 1st event that had over 500 players. When I ran terrible in SCOOP, WCOOP and TCOOP it was obviously because I was saving my rungood for the series that really matters ;-)
In the first WBCOOP event I caught 2 Ukrainian players pull of an obvious chip-dump when we were deep in the money. One was in the BB with only 11BBs, another was on the CO with a deep stack. The CO made an abnormally large open raise to 4bbs, the BB shoved and CO folded. I'm not sure what their biggest mistake was here, making their team play so obvious, or doing it in-front of me.
I immediately contacted security who launched an investigation into these two players' relationship and playing history. The result:
"We have concluded that the play of 'Basshanter0' and 'zems827' violated the integrity of our games.
They have been informed that they are no longer welcome to play on our site. In addition they were disqualified from events in which their unfair play affected the outcome.
Players who advanced as a result have been compensated appropriately."
Whenever I hear anyone talk negatively about online poker, whether it is in the mainstream media or just some self opinionated yet highly ignorant person, one of the common things I hear them say is that it is impossible to trust poker on the internet because it is so easy for people to collude with their friends. They say stuff like "How do I know that two players aren't on the phone telling each other what their cards are and working together?".
Well yes, when there is money involved there will be people who try to cheat or get an unfair edge, whether it is live poker or online poker. As far as collusion goes however, there is much less chance of them getting away with it on a highly reputable online site like PokerStars compared to playing live. Online, every hand these players have ever played is recorded. Live, there are no records whatsoever.
In the hand that I reported above, the BB shoved his short stack all in over a 4x raise. It is a spot where most players would assume they have almost no fold equity. Now let's assume that he shoved with a total junk hand, that would be a huge indicator that something shady was going on. If this was a live game in a bricks and mortar casino the evidence would be lost as soon as the cards hit the muck. Online, this data is recorded forever. Not only that but the whole entire playing history of the two players is recorded and a security specialist can analyse this, not only manually using their specialist knowledge and experience but by using technology to analyse massive amounts of data.
In my last written blog I talked about how I had to go to Cambodia for a 2 night stay to get a new 3-month visa. Well, right before I was due to go the agent got word from the Thai embassy that the ambassador had taken leave and that no visas would be issued that week. Thanks ambassador, here's hoping you don't choke a Ferrero Rocher!
The deal with the Thai visas is basically this: Fly into Thailand, get 30 days. Drive into Thailand, get 15 days. Go to Thai embassy overseas (whole process involves staying over 2 nights) and get a 60 day visa extendable to 90 days.
So with my plans ruined at the last minute I had to make other arrangements. I didn't want to overstay my visa because they know where I live and can easily put me in jail then deport me, and even if they don't they can refuse to issue a visa in the future if you have an overstay stamp in your passport.
At the last minute I had to find the cheapest flight out of and back into Thailand the same day. I ended up flying to Kuala Lumpur, clearing immigration, staying in their airport for 4 hours, before flying back to Bangkok in the same exact seat in the same exact aeroplane that night. Nice waste of $200 and a day of my precious time.
The airline I took was Egypt Air and I have to point out how awesome their economy service is. Lots of legroom, nice meals with metal cutlery and a brand new entertainment system that you can hook up your devices to via USB, make phone calls or instant message any other seats on the plane and a bunch of other stuff.
So I am half way through my 30 days and will now be making my proper visa trip to Cambodia in the middle of march. I think this will probably be my last 2-3 months in Thailand.
As I have talked about before the time-zone is a big issue when it comes to playing online poker. Games are bad and in low volume during the daytime here and sleeping all day and staying awake all night gets depressing after a few days.
XMAS COMES LATE
I mentioned in a previous blog how my mother sent me an Xmas parcel in late November and it didn't arrive. I think I may have even accused the corrupt Thai postal service of stealing it.
Well, February 21st it arrived, huge surprise. I think I had to be the only person out of 7,000,000,000 that was opening their xmas pressies on February 21st.
Sorry Thai postmen, I'm sure you are not corrupt in the least. :)
SLEEP IS FOR SUCKERS
As far as my online poker grind goes I am just getting farther behind rather than catching up. It's going to take a big effort in March. Other than the couple of days in Cambodia I will be staying at home and spending the vast majority of playing poker online.
If anyone needs some motivational help they could do worse than check out ET the HipHop Preacher's videos. I checked out his Sleep is for Sucker video after KevinPhwap linked to it.
Right after watching the video I fell asleep and didn't wake up for exactly 12 hours. Yeah, I am a confirmed sucker!