Random Blog Notes

[Content Disclosure: 12% poker, 19% life, 67% more promises]

I know this blog is read by an unusually mixed demographic. While my poker friends still make up the majority readership, they know my primary writing on poker has shifted to PokerBlog, OnlinePoker and ChiliPoker. The change in title of this blog this week signals a more integrated direction to my writing here. Yes, there will be some poker but the other aspects of a fuller life I have been hinting at here for several months are about to (re)emerge.

For my new and amateur blog readers--some cyber stats. that should enlighten most readers.
  • there are over 70 million weblogs
  • About 120,000 new blogs are created each day
  • 1.5 million blog posts per day
  • Japanese the #1 blogging language at 37%
  • English second at 33%
  • Chinese third at 8%
  • Italian fourth at 3%
  • Farsi a newcomer in the top 10 at 1%
  • English the most even in postings around-the-clock; Spanish is second
  • Japanese and Chinese have big spikes during normal work hours geographically

Poker In & Poker Out

[Content Disclosure: Poker 100%; online poker 50%; live poker 25%; dead poker 25%]

Doyle's Room has reopened its doors to the US poker playing public. At the same time, the Las Vegas Hilton has closed its poker room. Are either of these really signs of anything like a tread in poker?

As for Doyles's Room, it's very interesting that an online provider who had left the US market is coming back. If you remember when Doyle closed his room there was speculation about pressure from the US Justice Department and threats of arrest and jail time. But too many online rooms continue to make money from the US market and Texas Dolly and his management team just decided that the profits far outweighed any potential legal issues with the United States of Prohibition.

On the other hand, the closing of the Hilton poker room in Las Vegas sends a couple of messages:
-there are just too many rooms in Las Vegas for the player demand;
-off-the-strip rooms have too big a hurdle to lure players in;
-even in the poker boom, marketing efforts for poker are necessary;
-it ain't the whales or the poker rooms that make casinos profitable, it's the slot machines.

Will there be more poker rooms closing in Las Vegas--yes. We hear rumors every week about which one is going dark next. Particularly as properties go through major remodels (Tropicana, Luxor, Plaza...) sometimes it's easy to just disappear a room during a major renovation. Also there is just the matter of very unprofitable space (Tropicana, Plaza, Hooter's, Fitzgerald's, Silverton, Circus Circus); casinos do not like dead space anywhere and a poker room requires a fair amount of staffing.

On the other issue, will more online poker sites reenter the US market? Well the only one actually prevented from doing so would be Party Poker. Party is a public company and that makes its liability so high that they could not even consider thumbing their corporate nose at the US law. Now whether other sites will watch Doyle's Room or not..... that is an interesting question. But one thing is for sure, if you are out of the US market in 2007, you are giving up the biggest online poker profit market in the world.

Asian Poker Tour Hits Macau

[Content Disclosure: 100% Poker]

My sources tell me that the Asian Poker tour and PokerStars will shortly announce the first No Limit Hold'em tournament in China.

The last week of November will be the dates for the APT tournament in Macau.

One wonders how this will sit with the World Poker Tour who paid for five years of some kind of exclusive poker coverage in China.

Back in Vegas

[Content Disclosure: 62% Poker, 32% Life, 49% Las Vegas]

Yes, I am so happy to be back in Vegas that I am even willing to use the tacky "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign. After a week in the San Francisco Bay area (my true home) I am back to the desert and ready for a frantic week of work finishing the Matusow book proposal. All necessary humanoids will be in town this week and we should have a wrap by this time a week hence.

I am also looking perhaps a bit later to checking out some of the more bizarre incentives that Vegas poker rooms are using to bring in players. There is a real war developing here.

The facts of poker life are that Las Vegas has too many poker rooms and too many poker tables for the number of players. Already one room, the Hilton, is closing its doors and everyone else is scrambling to fill their seats. So more and more interesting and borderline bizarre incentives are being announced. I think I am going to take a shot at the new cash game/tournament gimmick at Luxor. I will report as soon as I give it a fair trail.

More Poker!!

[Content Disclosure: poker 99%, life 16%]

Yes indeed there is just no getting around the fact that my life continues to be saturated in all things poker.

Amy Calistri and I are just a few days away from sending our complete book proposal off to the Big Apple for some publisher perusal. For those who don't know, we are working with Mike Matusow on a biography of his life in poker. Amy & I have been heads down on this project since the World Series and now have the entire professional publisher boiler-plating and two sample chapters ready to impress the publishing world. In the best scenario, you will have a copy of Mike's story in your hands by next summer. In the worst case, George Bush is declared king for life and Phil Hellmuth is discovered to be an android.

While the work on the book was going on I was, of course, keeping PokerBlog up and running. PokerBlog is a great outlet for the wide variety of interesting and frustrating aspects of the relatively new world of poker as a mainstream endeavour. Two additional opportunities have also come my way. I am now writing for OnlinePoker both as a poker instructor and a forum moderator. Come check out the new forums over there (just as soon as we launch them). If you have a friend or relative who is just beginning their poker journey, invite them to check out the "How I Learnt to Play" section on OnlinePoker.

Also I am writing a Las Vegas Poker News section for ChiliPoker; this is a fun job which allows me to chronicle the current Poker Wars in Las Vegas. There are a lot of poker tables in Las Vegas and a finite number of poker players to sit in them, so the gimmicks and incentives are expanding daily. The Chilipoker site gives me a forum to explore all of that information. Before your next trip to the desert be sure to take a look at the Spicy News section of ChiliPoker.

Finally Some Time to Play Poker

Poker Tournament
I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!
This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.
Registration code: 5335210