Thursday, December 30, 2004

Longest Day Ever

Wow. There are literally five other people at work today. I honestly should just go home but I'm the token boss for my workgroup. Of which exactly one person is here. That being me.

For any fellow casino junkies out there, as of yesterday CasinoCounty no longer exists, having just been absorbed by StarLuck. GoldenStars is gone, too, having been absorbed by AceClub. If you had a CasinoCounty or GoldenStars account, they moved them over to the new respective owners and gave you a free $5 for the hassle, so you might want to check those accounts and see if you have token free cash there.

Speaking of casino bonuses, I just revamped the beginner's guide to casino bonuses, reflecting the above changes and adding some new casino bonus opportunities. Most of the new additions involve some decent Crpyo monthly bonuses at InterCasino, TotalBet, UKBetting, and William Hill (and the procedure to get them, as it's a little convoluted for a few of them), as well as adding Lasseters to the hitlist. There's also new info towards the bottom about the iGM Pay bonuses at StarLuck, PlanetLuck, and AceClub, which are good bonuses if you haven't done them yet.

Hopefully today I'll get up a strategy guide for monthly casino bonuses in general, as well as a more detailed strategy guide for maximizing the value of poker bonuses. I guess that's the bright sid eof work being a ghost town, as far as mucho free time to crank out assorted degenerate gambling drivel.

Not much to report on the poker front. I've largely been taking it easy the last week, spending time with the wife, catching up on other stuff. I need to buckle down and finally clear off the BoDog signup bonus as I've got a decent chunk of money just sitting there. I don't care much for the bonuses that require you to contribute to a pot to get credit towards them, especially when there are never stud games going (which are nice for clearing bonuses such as that). I have a hard time being disciplined playing under those conditions and end up playing too many gapped suited connectors, K10o, Kx suited, and other largely craptacular hands I should just muck.

There's an interesting thread on 2+2 from a guy who claims to have designed a working pre-flop bot that will auto-fold certain hands for you, based on starting hands requirement that you input into its settings. He's mainly pitching it as an aid for savvy multi-tablers, but there was the expected alarmist bitching that such a tool was unethical, that it'd dry up the pool of fishy money by tightening loose players, etc. Which cracks me up, on all sorts of levels. Do people really think that gamboolers who like to raise with 28s will suddenly stop, if only they had a tool that would fold bad hands like that for them? Or that someone prone to gambooling and playing too many starting hands would take the time to research, buy, and properly setup a tool like that? I can't say I'm in favor of widespread access to such a tool, as I can't see any way I'd personally profit from that, but I really doubt that the handful of people it actually helped (who would otherwise have never tightened up and gotten a clue on their own) would have much of an effect in the grander scheme of things.

On a completely different tangent, I think it'll be interesting to see how the whole online poker scene plays out in upcoming years, as far as the juiciness/fishiness/average profit for good players. Especially in relation to the demographics that the current poker boom seems to be reaching the most. Most of the anecdotal evidence points to young, white middle-class males being the fastest growing demographic that is suddenly flocking to and obsessed by online poker. Which makes sense, as they're largely computer-savvy, equipped with good rigs and broadband connections, and likely have some disposable income (or parents willing to substitute as such). And yeah, many of them will get bored of poker and move right along. And money of them just want to be a badass like the sunglass-wearing badasses on the WPT, quickly losing interest and never trying to improve their game.

But I do wonder, though, if there's not a danger looming when that generation of poker players are done cutting their teeth. We're seeing a huge influx of them right now, which provides a nice pool of fishy money in the short term, but I don't know about the long term. If I had to create a profile of an Internet player that I feared most (as far as sucking up fishy money that otherwise might be mine), it would be someone who had the hand-eye coordination and inclination to multi-table, lots of free time with no other work or family obligations, and fearlessness borne from no larger financial concerns such as debt, rent, mortgage payments, etc. In a nutshell, a sixteen year old kid who lives at home and gets enough of an allowance to build a bankroll but doesn't have a job.

I know I would have killed for an opportunity such as exists now when I was 16. Hours and hours and hours to play, a financial incentive and the ability to make money from your bedroom, and a game in which accumulated superior skill wins out over time. Would. Have. Killed. For. That.

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