Thursday, May 18, 2006

Navigation, Cheerleaders, and Pandora's Box

I'm still obsessing somewhat with my blog stats. This week's obsession is keyword searches. For those that searched rather than linked, most found the blog with "Sabina Gadecki." And less found it with variations of "Aimlessly Chasing Amy." One enterprising searcher found it with "Amy's Cleavage." And the one that still confounds me is the person who came here looking for "fondling breasts with implants." Hey buddy, I'm working with original factory equipment here! Maybe a repost from my old blog about the 50 things about me is in order. (no cross-link provided to the mothership out of principle. I promise a repost over the weekend)

And while we're still on navigation, both Mexico and Poland have now made their appearance on the international stats front.

Some great comments on the game show rant. I was especially glad to see BJ Nemeth weigh in. BJ practically invented online poker tournament reporting and set a benchmark that few can match, but all should aspire. You should read his entire comment but I'll pick out a few gems:

"I think the WPT hostess serves an important role, that of the cheerleader. Perhaps this is why Shana was more successful; she came across as someone who was rooting for the players, while Courtney wanted to be a pretty journalist.

I disagree that the idea of a hostess is holding poker back from other mainstream sports. If poker has any problem in this area, it's the "poker media," which has yet to fully mature. (It's not even close.) As big as poker is right now, the poker media is lagging far behind. And you can't blame Shana/Courtney/Sabina for that. "

(Btw - BJ scored a great interview and pics of Sabina)

and cj noted:

"Interesting that you compare the WPT "sideline" reporter with other sports. Two years ago, Playboy model Lisa Guerrero was the MNF sideline reporter."

OK. I confess that my gender and sexual preference put me at somewhat of a disadvantage. I acknowledge that the cheerleader/hostess plays a marketing role for the important sports demographic that I am not. To me they are peripheral diversions from the event I want to watch. Perhaps there are those out there that live for the occasional cheerleader crotch shot. I tend to focus on play.

I don't "blame" the hostesses. I welcome anyone's dedication to our game. But I do find fault with media outlets that focus more on marketing than content. And this isn't a WPT bash by any means. I wish that everyone that covers poker (industry print media, televised media, online sites, and the conventional mainstream press) would give some thought on raising the bar for content and coverage. And so this isn't all bash and no praise, I do think there has been some quality programming of our game. I, like BJ, particularly like the job being done on "High Stakes Poker." And I also really enjoy "Learn From the Pros."

I see that has challenged me to "New Rules" for poker media. I love that idea and hope that BJ will agree to partner up on that effort. He and I have had a running discussion about this for the better part of the last year. We could have a blast - and maybe make a point or two along the way.

I've been playing around with the software on Pandora (see also the Music Genome Project) lately. I like playing poker with music in the background, but I like to pick my music based on the table dynamics and my mood. So I'm trying to set up music stations that have particular table dynamics as their theme. This may suck up more time than it's worth (hence the image of Pandora and her box), but I will share my experimental findings as I progress.


Blogger Sloejack said...

For what it's worth, I'm a big fan of Pandora while I play. Though my goal is to create the perfect station that will keep my mood at an even keel regardless of the table dynamics. Agressive hair music costs money by generating similar tendancies. Laid back world music costs me money because it generates a laid back, limp along, attitude. There's a happy medium in there and oddly enough it's more Country based for me. Songs that are generally up beat with a steady tempo, simple melodys and words seem to do the trick.

I've noticed two things about listening to music while I play. The first is that I'm glad that it isn't live poker because I tend to start singing along when I've got great starters or draw the nuts. The second is that my worst sessions by far occur when I don't listen to anything at all. Probably because it allows my mind to wander and dwell in bad places.

5:34 PM  
Blogger amy said...

Hey sloejack,
I really like Pandoro so far and think it will do the poker/music trick for me.

In general, I'm like you. If the music is too laid back, I get far too passive. I need a fairly upbeat tempo to keep the mental juices flowing. Country works for me, but only old school - none of this new pop country stuff. Latin, r&b, and old Southern rock also all seem to work well. Jazz can be tricky. If it's too complex, it's a distraction. If it's too mellow, I drift. Brubeck and Big Band both seem to work.

But if I feel I'm in too passive a mood or I feel like I'm letting an aggressive table push me around, I need some aggressive and preferably dark music. There is a subset of heavy metal that works. The theme song to the Sopranos seems to get my maniacal and sinister juices flowing. Bands like Morphine aren't bad, but I need therapy afterward, especially if it was a long MTT.

I suspect I'll probably set up three of four different stations for my different poker needs and see how it goes from there. But I am already a Pandora fan.


PS We love the same movies

6:57 AM  
Blogger CarmenSinCity said...

Sometimes I get obsessed with my stats too. I don't even know why cause I didn't know anything about stats when I started the damn blog. I just thought it would be fun to have one.

The recent keyword activity is so funny!! It's amazing to see what people are doing searches on.

Do you ever play live at the MGM?? It's my poker room of choice. Maybe I'll see you around sometime :)

6:38 PM  
Blogger BJ Nemeth said...

Amy -- I don't know how to access or analyze my stats the way you do (I think I might be restricted because I'm using Apple's dotMac service), but I have been refreshing my account page far too often. (That's the page that tells me how many hits I have on the most-read pages of my site.)

And I've been cursing for the past day and a half as Google refused to list my article when you searched for "Sabina Gadecki," even though I was the only one with much information on her (and photos).

But I can't describe the delight and joy when I searched Google this evening, and found my article to debut at Google in the #2 spot (out of 238 results).

As for the "new rules" of poker idea, I'm definitely game for it! Sounds like fun! (And we can dream about improving the poker media as a result.)

11:53 PM  
Blogger Steve Brecher said...

I, too, think Gabe Kaplan on "High Stakes Poker" is pretty good. Now, if only they would show folded cards, as the WPT does, and if only they didn't include the amount of uncalled bets in reporting the size of pots won...

6:33 AM  
Blogger BJ Nemeth said...

There are books out called "Robert's Rules of Order," and even "Robert's Rules of Poker." Someday I'll write "BJ's Rules of Poker Reporting."

The #1 rule on the list is, and always has been, "Don't influence the players or the action." Don't bother the players, either directly or indirectly. Be as invisible as possible. (Sometimes it's easier than others, and sometimes it's impossible.)

But somewhere in that book, it will describe the size of a pot exactly as Steve Brecher does in his comment.

Uncalled raises don't count.

If the button moves all in, and the two blinds fold, it's a minimum pot — just the blinds and antes. Nobody called the raise.

If there is $1 million already in the pot, Player A bets $1 million on the river, Player B raises to $10 million, and Player A folds, how big is the pot?

Only $3 million. The $9 million (representing the uncalled raise over the original $1 million bet) doesn't count.

If instead, Player A called all in for less than the full $10 million, only the size of his call would count, even though Player B said "All in." (The technical size of his bet can't be larger than the remaining stack of the other player in a heads-up hand.)

I would be thrilled to write a book on tournament reporting (I've mentioned it before), but nobody would ever read it. :)

6:58 AM  
Blogger BJ Nemeth said...

My example focused on uncalled raises, but the same rule applies for uncalled bets. But for some reason, people are more likely to add uncalled raises than uncalled bets to the reported size of a pot.

7:00 AM  
Blogger amy said...

Hey carmensinsity,
I have scoped out the MGM room a number of times, but have never played there. But it seems like a great room - and very blogger friendly as I know they have catered to some mixed blogger games. My brother and I will be out in Vegas later this week. We'll keep an eye open for you.

And BJ and Steve,
You have picked up on one of my pet peeves.

And BJ picked up on another; what I call the "don't speak unless you're spoken to" rule in the field. Obviously it extends past the verbal. For instance, Archie Karas gets very flustered if someone stands behind him. A good tournament reporter should learn and remember that - taking Archie's chip counts only from the side. If a reporter is invisible to the players, the reporter is doing it right. It's like the physicians rule, "First, do no harm." The tournament reporter's rule should be: First, DO NOT impact the play or the players in any way.

7:36 AM  

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