Saturday, April 29, 2006

Rebirth, Iggy, and ZeeJustin

I realize that this blog is still basically in the birth canal. Hopefully readers will forgive the mess and appreciate that it is, at least, coming out tits first. This is not so much a birth of my blog as it is a rebirth.

I was a blogger for a large poker website for quite awhile. I always appreciated the fact that they took a chance on me when they had little experience with bloggers. But the website mothership was a double-edged sword. While they really let me have full reign on content,to the extent that I often put them in politically dangerous waters, there was one policy that always created issues. Not coming from a blogging culture, they always viewed cross-linking as a loss of traffic, not as a way to build traffic. I always hoped that I would be able to change that view, but cultural differences are often hard to breach. For the bloggers out there that faithfully linked to me, knowing reciprocation wasn't coming, you get a big juicy wet one. That you continued to include me in this degenerate pack that I've come to love and know, in spite of my cross-linking shortcomings, always meant a great deal to me.

To celebrate my new bonds of freedom, I throw my inaugural (and what I suspect to be the first of many) cross-link to Iggy, the Blog Father of poker blogs. It's been a long time coming, baby.

You always remember your first. Iggy was my first. And as a tribute to his great staying power, he still does it for me. When I first started down this, now long, poker path, I hungered for anything poker. I read the dozen or so books I had to order through Conjelco, because no other book store carried them. I found Andy Glazer's articles at the Detroit Free Press, a rare and treasured find. I faithfully read Nolan Dalla's tournament reports and articles. But I wanted more. I needed more. I wasn't satisfied with the stories and books of the poker I would probably never know from the felt; the big tournament scene. I wanted someone to write about "our" poker.

I can't remember the exact search word that finally lead me to Guinness and Poker, but I remember the hours of searching foreplay it took to score. When at last I found it, I had landed on an Iggy trademark ubber post. I probably spent days and weeks pouring through the archives. And of course through Iggy, I discovered the other talented bloggers that are part of my daily read and feed. That Iggy was the first blogger to link to my new blog only increases the juice on my debt. And as far as total blogger debt goes, I've racked up more juice than Worm.

Being cut off from the mothership and blogless thankfully didn't mean I was without poker. I've been on sort of a Magical Mystery Tour of poker over the last few months. I'm not sure that Michael Craig knew that when he took me on to help him with his latest project, editing a tournament strategy book written by many of the pros over at Full Tilt Poker, that he was signing on to become blog fodder. But these are the risks one has to accept when working with a blogger. I promise that future blogs will retell the tales of my adventures with Mike; adventures that always start with one-way travel plans (as mundane information like return cities and dates are never known), have me peering into Mike Matusow's refrigerator, eating lunch with Andy Beal, and landing me, more times than I can remember, at The New Frontier on Bikini Bull Riding Night.

Another facet of my new poker life is co-hosting an internet radio show with Lou Krieger. We are both basically coming up the curve on the radio gig and hopefully people will cut us some slack as we publicly expose ourselves on this new project. My friendship with Lou now goes back a long way and I really enjoy that we have found a project to work on together again. Our first show had the ever-charming Dave Scharf as our guest. I wish all guests had Dave's radio background. I think he basically interviewed himself and totally rocked.

Our guest the other night was Justin Bonomo (aka ZeeJustin). For all of those who trek in the world of online poker, you know that Justin was recently caught with his hand in the multiple account cookie jar. Both PokerStars and Party Poker took some or all (respectively) of his bankroll. In the case of Party, it was in the six figure range. He's been pretty widely trashed on the forums and for good reason. But I had to give the kid a little credit. He has willingly put himself out there to be tortured as the poster boy for multi-account abuse. On the show he acknowledged his wrongdoing and feels accountable for his lack of judgment and the ethical issues that it represented. I tend to believe his claims that he did not collude with these accounts, in the classical sense. But according to his own account, he did use them to gain an unfair advantage by increasing his chances through additional entries in large multi-table tournaments. While I think of that as a lesser charge, so to speak, I still think he should have had his last dime stripped from every online account he has. Justin is an easy and righteous target, but he is not the issue. Online sites can not be allowed to believe that punishment after the fact is a panacea for their credibility and integrity or an effective deterrent. I'm sure they are doing something on the prevention side, but it obviously is falling short of the mark. We're not talking about fly-by-night players. These are the industry leaders with a plethora of resources. I have to believe that for every multiple account user they finally uncover and expose, there is a cheating ant hill of multiple accounts under the surface. Are we supposed to be satisfied when they toss us a 20 year old kid once in awhile to bat around with our blogging paws? Pleased yes. Satisfied...not really.

The media whore that I am had me lurking on the forums for references to the other night's show. One poster totally trashed the show. Actually he had some valid points and ones that will be taken to heart. But the thing that will make me remember his post most was his closing lines "I still like your books though Lou, and still think Amy is a quite hot in a MILF kinda way." I'm never sure what inspires these Mrs Robinsonesque fantasies, but I'm sure once I have false teeth and a walker, these too shall pass.

I've cross-linked. I've had a semi-rant. And I made a MILF reference. My work is almost done. Pictures. I hate to bump down cleavage, but you guys know your way around a scroll bar. So I'll toss in a couple of Shannon Elizabeth for good measure, also taken at the Venetian poker room.


Blogger Barracuda said...

Usual Amy lilting quality

1:37 PM  
Blogger Haley said...

It was a decent show, Amy. Sure, there were uneven moments, but that's to be expected so early out of the gate. When I compare what you guys have done with your first two shows to what some of the more established poker webcasts offer, I don't think you've got too much to worry about.

-- Haley

10:55 AM  
Blogger Akashra said...

Hey Amy,

Was just enjoying your blog and thought you might like to cross-reference. Mines relatively new, just as yours, and of course on Poker : ) .. Drop me a note: or a comment on the blog if ya like. So far comments have unfortunately been just random trash ~ Don't play 27o, etc.. Hrmm, perhaps a filter? : )

~Rich (Akashra/777)

2:11 PM  
Blogger Shelly said...

Maudie was my first :) I look forward to reading ya!

9:04 PM  

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