Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Creeping Matusow Mold

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)
Donkey Hunter
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.


cc said...

Thanks for the shoutout, scurvy.

Regarding Matusow and his win yesterday, there has to be something to the pure aggression play. The verbal tirades have to put people off their game, as even consecutive runner-runner/suckout/calling-me-down-with bottom-pair will get me on tilt and focused on "getting back" at someone. Imagine being on the Hellmuth or Raymer side of the Mike the Mouth equation.

On his aggression side, it may simply boil down to the following:

>> Everyone plays generally solid
>> Raise 3-5x bb and collect the blinds (what, 40-70% of the time?)
>> Raise the flop if the texture is good (take down 40-70% of the time?)
>> Fold if called or raised
>> Go over-the-top some, putting your life at risk if the board or player tells you to
>> Suck out
>> Be unafraid of getting knocked out

I don't think I'm ready for it yet, but it would be an interesting exercise to see if you can get over the fear that being ultra-aggressive brings. Once that happens, then it is a powerful weapon, one that Matusow now commands.

d said...

Hey Scurvy, thanks for the pimpage. It is a bummer that you can't make it to Vegas next month. I was hoping to meet you. Next time, next time...

GaryC said...


Ditto, buddy, thanks alot for the pimpin'. It is much appreciated.


Mourn said...

Nice post and I couldn't agree with you more on Williamson. Everyone jumps on the lucky ones to a certain extent, but the bile in the Williamson bashing is pretty hard to ignore.

And Kanter makes her luck look pedestrian.

I'm also with you on Matusow as I've noted a couple of times on my blog recently. He would never be my favorite guy, but he's real and that counts for a lot in these days of so many Ariehs, Esfandiaris, Hellmuths and Sheikhans. What the hell is with that guy?

WillWonka said...

Yes.. thanks for the shoutout...

Also.. I'm glad to see that we don't have to worry about V Tech anymore.. Never thought I would thankful for a win from "The U".

Now, as long as everybody takes care of business... it should be a great Rose Bowl.

TenMile said...

Thanks Scurvy.

Mark said...

Thanks for the linkage! But I've changed my blog location and name from 5,589 Miles From Vegas to The Surly Poker Gnome ( Thanks again.

Drizztdj said...

Sheiky is the 2005 Arieh. He was so aloof in his own little world it became comical.

HighOnPoker said...

As the self-proclaimed Devil's Advocate of Poker Bloggers, I'd like to throw in my .02 on Tiffany Williamsen. I just started watching the WSOP this year, and in the little I've seen, she's been a real standout. That KhJh 10 minute decision was ridiculous. That A7 push against QQ was questionable. But overall, she comes off looking like a moron. An obnoxious morom, to boot. Now, I'm not saying that there aren't other crappy, get-lucky players. But they get there's too. Everyone still considers Moneymaker a lucky fluke, and he's not black. Some people might call her a black bitch, but it's not like everyone is calling her the N-word of Poker or something. She sucks and she got a lot of TV time sucking, so she gets attention. And, yes, there is racism out there. But there are also just angry aggression that can get mixed up with racism or misogyny when you mention in a rant that Williamsen was black (she is) or a bitch (she was, in a sense).