Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Getting Over the Humps

Got back into the poker saddle yesterday, with nothing too exciting to report. It's a little odd, as I feel like I have less and less to blog about, poker-wise, as I move up in limits. I suppose that's somewhat natural, as most of the broad, practical epiphanies come relatively early on, until you reach a point where you're playing with the same muppets, employing the same concepts, just with bigger chips.

I think the muppet factor will always amaze me. (I actually mistyped "muppet factory" there first, which also applies.) I played a goodly amount of £10/£20 6 max on Crypto yesterday and couldn't help but shake my head the whole time. I ended up getting drubbed a bit, down 20 BB when I finally said the hell with it, but I honestly and truly can't understand how some people sit in games like that. I watched Muppetimus Prime blow through £1000, drop all the way to £50, then run it back up to nearly £2000. He/she was, quite literally, worse than most .50/1 players you see, playing anything, capping all the way to the river with A high on coordinated boards where the action screams that someone, at the very minimum, has a flush, simply calling on the river when he/she had the mortal nuts, etc. I suppose the real lesson is that some people just love to gamble, Jebus bless them. I lose sight of that a good bit, having scratched and clawed my way to the point I'm at, hedging every single dollar wagered, squeezing every single chip for all its worth.

'Tis interesting reading a few of the posts about bonus whoring and what-not floating around out there on blogs and forums, as far as the actions of sites like Empire that are cracking down on it. I'm obviously a fan of bonuses and I was one of those who had their long-standing Empire accounts shut down, but I don't think their actions are horribly out of line. Eliminating players that consistently produce a net loss is a good business decision.

That said, I do think it's a clumsy business decision, largely because there are much better ways to eliminate net losses without closing individual accounts. The easiest, customer-friendliest solution is to simply stop offering bonuses to players that produce a net loss. It really is just that easy. No muss, no fuss, no angry grousing, ill will, or bad press floating around. The problem with that, I imagine, is that they don't trust their own internal systems, as far as being able to train their CS reps to stick to their bonus policies and for the software itself to be able to handle a bonus system that only applies to certain players, with varying privilege levels, etc. I think the more amazing factoid about the profitability of various poker sites today isn't in the total dollar and cents of profits they produce, but that they can do so with such largely shoddy software and support. Hopefully this will improve in the future, as the boom starts to fizzle, and things consolidate and get much more cutthroat and mercenary.

Not much else shaking. I may take a few more shots at WSOP main event satellites but I'm largely just trying to grind out some extra Vegas funds at the moment.

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