It really, really pains me to say this, but Matusow is sort of slowly growing on me during the WSOP broadcasts this year, despite my attempts to resist it. Yeah, he's an angle shooter, yeah, he's an asshole, but he is who he is, without a lot of shellacing or varnishing. His boundaries may be very, very different than the boundaries I personally respect, but he does seem to adhere to them, and does seem to have a larger awareness and respect for what other people are going through. It's an interesting breed of asshole that'll mock the size of all-around-genial-nice-guy Raymer's testicles but also go out of his way to support and congratulate other players staring a painful beat and subsequent exit in the face.
The assorted ongoing chatter online about Tiffany Williamson has been pretty interesting. I'm really not trying to stir the pot here, but the implied racial undertones surprise me a bit, as far as the intensity. I'm mainly talking about 2+2 here, and yes, indeed, I realize that posts there are in no way indicative of the larger human population, but the unending lament can pretty much be boiled down to the statement of "That big dumb black bitch got lucky and won $400,000. Why the hell can't I ever get that lucky, waaaaahhhhhhhhhh..."
Yeah, she got lucky. Yeah, she's not a very good player. At all. But has everyone already forgotten Robert Varkonyi? 2002 WSOP champion? Horrible player who got incredibly lucky, making multiple calls that make Tiffany Williamson look like a poker genius?
Oh, but see, he's a dude, so yeah, I wish I could get that lucky, but it doesn't make me mad to see him win, 'cause, you know, a dude doing well isn't threatening or scary. He's also not big and dumb, because, you know, fat, lazy lucky people really piss me off. Plus he was white, like me, and pretty nerdy looking, like me, and I can't really be hating on myself.
People get really lucky in poker tournaments. Even the WSOP. Anyone who does well in a big tournament gets lucky multiple times. If you can't deal with that, don't play poker. If seeing a normal, average black woman who isn't good at poker do well at the WSOP bothers you more than seeing normal, average white man (or woman) who isn't good at poker do well at the WSOP, then you need to rearrange some of the thinking that goes on in your head.
I should have a couple of actual honest-to-Jebus poker posts up soon, likely one on protecting hands/not protecting hands, and a related post to inducing river bets.
In lieu of anything useful, I thought I'd pimp a few blogs I've been reading lately, mainly ones that are slightly off the beaten path. So if you've been around the blog block and everyone already knows who the hell you are, you won't see yourslef linked below, no matter how cool you are. These are simply interesting poker blogs that you don't always see linked in ten billion different, largely identical blogrolls. These are listed (in alphabetical order from my Bloglines blogroll) because they either post regularly, post good, useful poker content, make me laugh, and likely aren't getting the traffic they should be:
5,589 MILES FROM VEGAS (which just moved to A Surly Poker Gnome)
Low Limit Grinder
Poker with WillWonka
Quest of a Closet Poker Player
SIM Grinder - Living Life On the Edge...of Tedium
Bad Beats Happen
in other completely unrelated news, Civ4 is bad, bad crack. Stay away from it, kiddos. It'll rot your brain. Seriously.