Inspired by others to resume writing my poker blog posts

I was recently inspired to resume writing my poker blog.

This was the result of reading the postings of both Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, Co-Authors of the New York Times Best Seller, “Trust Agents”.

I was also inspired recently by reading the blogs of Scotty Nguyen and the PokerLawyer.

You can follow all of them on
Chris Brogan
Julien Smith
Scotty Nguyen
Poker Lawyer

Each of these individuals have posted ideas that resonated with my own thinking. Each of them sent out such positive information, that I felt compelled to resume my blogging journey.

Even though each of their messages are different, it was their sharing and their enthusiasm for blogging and/or poker that made me realize that I should continue to share my journey and my story.

My ultimate goal is to improve and to grow, both in the poker world and in the social media world.

A blending of both worlds will enable me to learn from both groups of people. My Social Media skills should grow as the result of  being an active part of the BTeam and my poker skills should grow as the result of being an active part of the online poker community.

Already I have received very good information and advice from both professional and amateur poker players. Some of this advice was the result of reading books and blogs. Some of this advice was received as the result of “tweeting” and/or emailing with people. I even have had some personal training in the form of a WPT Boot Camp for cash games players.

Some of the comments people have made to me on my blog, email or “tweets”, have lead me to believe that I am on the right track.

The journey that I am on, is already getting more interesting day by day.

What inspires or motivates you to continue learning and growing?  What tools to you need to help you to grow?

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Please donate to Haiti relief – because we can!

Red Cross Disaster Relief
Image by Vidiot via Flickr

By now, I think that most poker players realize the seriousness of the disaster facing the people of Haiti.

As a group and as individuals, we can help. The easiest and best way to help is by giving a donation to any of the organizations that are set up to provide assistance in times of crisis.  Just using your cell phone and texting, you can contribute cash – your service provider will bill you.

The following is just a few of the avaialbe texting options:

Text the word “Haiti” to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross.

Text the word “Haiti” to 25383 to donate $5 to the International Rescue Committee

Text the word “Yele” to 501501 to donate $5 to the Yele Foundation, the leading contributor to rebuilding Haiti founded by Wyclef Jean.

Text the word “Haiti” to 45678 (In Canada Only) to assist the Salvation Army in Canada.

There are other ways you can help as well. There are even poker events being sponsored to benefit the efforts of providing relief.

One group, the Twitter Poker Tour, is sponsoring a tournament with proceeds going to the American Read Cross. Click here for details. Over the weeks and months to come, I am sure that more ways and events will be available to aid the people of Haiti.

Please do what you can. No effort or donation is too small. Together we can make a difference.

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Being on personal tilt – how that affects you!

Leaning Tower of Pizza
Image via Wikipedia

Wednesday, an indirect personal interaction took place that left me on emotional tilt for the last few days. Initially after it happened, I tried to play in a cash game but did not have the ability to focus on the game. I was unable to play my game in the tempo and manner in which I normally play. After being dealt about 27 games, I clicked first on the “sit out” button and then clicked on the “leave table” button.

Thursday, I was still on tilt when it was time to write my blog so I did not even bother. Personal tilt ended up affecting both my poker game and my blogging.

By Thursday night, I had calmed down enough to try playing in the cash game. I wanted to try working through the personal tilt, recognizing that some day I might be at an event or tourney and I would be required to play regardless of what my emotional state might be.

Overall, I played about 280 hands of poker and lost over $45 in the process of trying to work out playing on personal tilt. I know that some hands were played poorly but overall I had accomplished what I set out to do in spite of the bad results.

Have you ever been on personal tilt? Did you try to continue as though nothing had happened? How did that affect your game, let alone your life at that moment?

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Twitter and poker – they do mix

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Yesterday I shared some of the blogs that I read. After doing so, I got some responses and tweets about it. It made me realize that I have quite a few poker friends and poker pros that I follow on Twitter. I follow about 380 twitterers and I am followed by as least as much.

Recently, when I mentioned that I wanted to find a way to cover up my cards when I play online poker, I got back at least 8 responses. Some were suggestions of how I could accomplish that. Thank you.  Two were supportive of the concept and one even supplied me with a poker article about a poker player who played against 180 and won the tournament without once ever looking at her cards. One of the respondents was genuinely concerned that I might be giving up an edge to my opponent if I tried that out.

For those of you who don’t know about twitter, let’s just say that it is a method of communications on the Internet. Twitter  allows you to express yourself in a message of 140 characters or less.  The messages are called “tweets”.  The persons sending messages are called “twitterers”. Go to Mashable.Com to see a whole list of twitter terms.

If you don’t have an account, that’s ok. Go to Just use their search box and type in #poker or #tpt or even stevebrogan.  There you will see the information that people are typing; their conversations.  Caution: People are allowed to say anything they want, so cover your ears if bad words might offend you.

If you don’t use twitter, you might be missing out on a new experience. Start slowing. Follow people and organizations that interest you. Participate and enjoy.

Do you use twitter to enhance your poker experience? Do you follow the pros as well as the amateurs?

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Switching Gears!

Image representing Google Reader as depicted i...
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Today’s post is a bit off topic as I share with you some of the blogs that I like to read and that I think have value. I use Google Reader and subscribe to about 50 poker related blogs. Using Google Reader allows me to preview the current postings and then choose the ones I want to read in detail.

One of the blogs I read is the “Poker Bankroll Blog”, which uses guest writers. There is usually something there that I find educational or at least very entertaining.

This week I read Swyyft’s posterous blog and was entertained by the story he shared concerning the chat during a session with a high stakes online poker player.

The Mystical Jett is another blog site that contains very interesting and thoughtful posts and reviews.  Jett’s twitter account is @mysticaljett. I play poker online from time to time with him.

Paul Ellis writes on Pablos Place where he brings a lot of passion about poker, putting a “Bad Beat on Cancer”.  On twitter he is known as @coolwhipflea. We also run into each other on the online felt.

Bill Rini, a professional poker player is currently living in Thailand and always has something interesting, and very often, important to say about the state of online poker around the world at Bill’s Poker Blog.   Just visiting to see what pictures he has posted there is an adventure.  Follow Bill on twitter, @billrini.

Goeff Manning, aka @cprpoker on Twitter, has at least three great blogs. Complete Poker Rules contains recent stories regarding poker as well as sections about the rules of various poker games.  The Twitter Poker Tour site is both a forum and a resource for those of us who play on the #TPT tourneys. You will find the leader board, schedules and lots lots more. His latest site, Worth Cause Poker is dedicated to getting out information about fund raising poker events for charity. If you know of any local or national events, please let him know so that he can include it in his blog.

These are just a few of the many blogs that I check daily. Do you have any favorite blogs that you go for poker news or entertainment? Do you have some that you would recommend to me or others?

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Miscellany: Poker, Life, Chores and Thoughts+

Gambling man
Image by waffler via Flickr

I am still trying to sort out my poker goals and integrate them into my daily life. I have yet to make regular visits to the local poker rooms but I know that I need to in order to improve my game, both at the cash tables and at the tournaments. It is just a matter of scheduling and planning.

While I am stuck at Step 4 at on my quest to winning an entry into the “Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic” being held December 14th – 19th at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, I am pleased the results at the .25/.50 No Limit cash games at DoylesRoom. I am almost back to the beginning my initial starting balance. I have been averaging a gain of about 25% to 75% of my buy-in at each session. I do have an occasional losing session but am able to continue increasing my overall deposit. I currently have about eight buy-ins at the .25/.50 level and as soon as I have twelve buy-ins, I intend to move to the .50/1.00 tables. My overall goal is to grind my way up to the $5/$10 tables  within the next 12 months.

On the home front, this is our busy season at when special orders come in for  the Holiday season. I am gearing up for the special picture orders that we transpose into keepsake treasures.

While this might not seem exciting to some, I am thrilled about the fact that we will be able to have one of our cars in the garage this fall and winter. We can now move some of our garden tools and snow blower into the new storage shed.

Getting it all together can be tricky sometimes. Do you have poker goals and aspirations? How do you integrate poker with life and family?

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Balance – life is not always simple

An old two pan balance.
Image via Wikipedia

Off topic today. Life is a balancing act. There is family and friends, chores and poker. There are a lot of things that I need to integrate in my life of becoming a poker professional.

I need to tend to my family; my wife Diane, my sons, Chris and Thom and their families. I need to tend to chores around the house. Painting the shed before the deep freeze settles in. Raking the leaves before they freeze to the ground. Grouting the stones on our walk before the snow hits and it becomes impossible to shovel.

I need to exercise on a regular basis. I need to plan my poker playing so that I get a good mix of cash games and tourney like games. I need to continue to take the opportunity to play satellites in the hopes of advancing to a major poker event.

Right now our new kittens, five months old, require more attention as they have just returned back from surgery. They are in-door cats and were de-clawed in order to protect us and allow them more freedom around us. They need to be cuddled and held. They both try to sleep on my lap at the same time. They each weigh over 7 pounds and are growing each day.

How do you coordinate your life style? How does poker fit into your life? Is it a pastime? A hobby? An avocation?

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Thoughts about blogging and poker in general.

Blog Stats
Image by Arwens Abendstern via Flickr

When I started my blog on January 2nd of this year, little did I know that it was not  always easy to write something, let alone something interesting or informative every day. Also, at the time I started, I was unaware of just how many “poker blogs” were out in the world wide web! It turns out that there are hundreds of blogs, forums and poker sites.

Many of the sites are run by professional poker companies, professional poker players or professional poker instructional sites. The rest of the blogs are written by people like myself, who have a passion for all things poker and like to share their thoughts and ideas.

I am not really sure what is interesting to everyone who reads my blog. Judging by the comments that I get, how I play a hand might draw a comment. What I see at an online or live table might be interesting. I even try to share what books I have read that have been helpful. All in all, getting ideas for blogging daily is both challenging and fun.

When I first started out, I tried to blog 7 days a week but after a couple of months found that did not fit my life style. So now I blog usually five days a week. I have a routine that I use before writing my blogs. I usually read my email to see if there are any questions or issues I might use. I also check my tweets from overnight. Finally, I check out Usually he posts at least once a day and sometimes more. I have found inspiration for some of my posts by reading his blog. I also take time to read the blog of my online poker friends and acquaintances, commenting when I find something that strikes a chord with me.

I have noticed that some of the poker professionals only post when they have something they want to share. The online sites usually post every day, sometimes more if there are events they want to keep you updated about. Some of the poker pros talk about non-poker related topics. You get a glimpse into their lives as they share their thoughts and ideas.

Some of what I read, some of what I do and some of what I think about, I use for my blog.

What interests you? What would you like to see? What do want to hear about? What do you want to talk about?

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Can Social Media help a new Poker site grow?

Social Media Landscape
Image by fredcavazza via Flickr

While this topic is almost completely out of my area of expertise, I am fortunate to have a terrific resource – my son, Chris of He has given a lot of help to a lot of people over the years on how to expand one’s presence over the web-o-sphere. In just one post, he gives links to 10 articles he wrote on the subject, entitled “My Best Advice About Social Networking”. I think this would be a valuable starting point for any company looking to grow their customer base.

My question is how would that relate to a fledgling poker site? What could they do to attract more players? The site I am thinking about has a well designed and very friendly-to-use poker interface. They accept US players. Who could ask for anything more? It seems that they need more players so that more games are available to be played in.

I think that they should be announcing the fact that they have many freerolls each day; that they have many guaranteed tournaments each day;  and that they have a variety of games to offer!

How can they go about getting more players and getting the word out?

1. Twitter – they already have a twitter account, but they could use it to announce that a “freeroll” is starting in an hour or that a “guaranteed” tourney is starting in an hour. They could use a twitter hash tag of #poker as many poker players on twitter search for tweets with that tag. They could even create a unique hash tag of their own. (They did start doing that on August 31st, but since then they have only had 23 tweets overall. Even I tweet a little bit more than that.)

2. Blog – they could have a blog where they talk about what up coming games are available and also what promotions are coming up. They could keep it simple and informative.

3. Facebook – they could have a face book presence and seek friends that are interested in poker. (Not really sure how that works? This is where I am getting a little out of my area. I don’t use Facebook enough to know what I am doing with it.)

Again, these are just some random thoughts about how a new poker site could start to build up a presence in an already crowed arena. Sometimes being smaller is better. Hopefully they will continue to grow.

Do you think that social media can help an online poker site expand their presence in an already crowed arena? Is it in the best interest of poker players to have yet another site out there? Should we as players help a site grow?

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