Saturday, June 09, 2012

Steve Zolotow is a fool!

Steve Zolotow's column in the May 30 issue of Card Player magazine is about becoming a tricky player, one who is difficult to read. His point is that you have to play different starting hands the same way as each other, and also play the same starting hand different ways at different times.

For his first example, he takes A-A and discusses the default play (reraise) plus some alternatives. He then does the same for suited K-J, medium suited connectors, and a small pair--in each case mentioning the default play plus how they should sometimes be played as if the cards are something else, like A-A.

Fine so far.

But then he screws up. For his last example, he uses 4s-2h. Yes, the Mighty Deuce-Four. Of this he says, "With 4-2 offsuit, your default play is to fold. But occasionally you can raise as a pure squeeze play, hoping everyone folds. If you get re-raised, it is an easy fold."

The man does not know whereof he speaks. He is clearly unqualified to be writing a poker column. I demand that he be fired at once!

However, he does mention something I had not heard before, which he says is "an old pun": When one wins with the 4-2, one can say, "It was a fortuitous hand."

Get it?


That's one way to play it

Here's a strange hand from the Merge Network daily HORSE tournament that I just played. This is 7-card stud. Imagine the lower window directly to the right of the upper one, to read the hand history:

On 3rd street, my opponent calls the 15 bring-in, then calls my completion to 60. He's in for 65 (including his ante), and the pot is 170. On 4th street I pair my queen, so I make the optional double bet of 120. He calls. He's in for 185, and the pot is 410. 5th street looks safe, so I bet again, he calls again. He's in for 305, and the pot is 650. I don't like him pairing on 6th street, because he may well now have two pair, but in for a penny, etc. I bet again, he calls again. He is now in for 425, and the pot is 890. On 7th street, I bet once more, and he folds.

Now, this might not seem too unremarkable, except for one crucial fact that the hand history does not contain: He started this hand with 440 chips. He spent 425 of them--97% of his stack--then folded, getting a rather incredible 60:1 pot odds for calling with his last 15 chips on 7th street.

Of course, one of the good things about 7-card stud is that in some instances you can be absolutely certain that such a fold is correct, because if you can't even beat what your opponent has showing, it's impossible to win the hand, and it doesn't matter what his three down cards are. But if that's the situation you're going to be faced with, it's far, far better to put in your last chips on 5th or 6th street when you still have a shot at winning than it is to leave yourself with one quarter of one small bet when you know you've lost. He should have either folded earlier, or tried to put all his chips in earlier.

Last year I wrote about seeing a guy fold the river when getting 20:1 on a call. But I'm not sure I've ever seen a 60:1 fold before.

Solution to the Merge hand-history problem

Today I hit upon what perhaps should have been an obvious solution to the problem of Merge Network software update making it harder to get to the hand histories: You can just open the history window after the first hand, then click "next" to move forward in time. You could do that after each hand, or just when you're interested in what happened on the previous hand. I forward it up to the last hand when I'm not doing anything else and happen to think about it so there's less clicking to do when the time comes that I want to check the previous hand.

I suppose that overall it might make for more clicks, but they're all in the same spot, and not in a window that pops up behind the game window, as happens when you click on the hand number on the active table.

That's the hand-history window peeking out from behind the game table on the lower right:

Bovada sucks

I just tried using Bovada (aka Bodog) for the first time since the name change. They had given me a free ticket to a $75 WSOP Main Event satellite (actually a satellite to a satellite, but whatever). OK, it wasn't just a name change; Bodog per se still exists, but no longer operates in the U.S., instead leasing its software to another company that offers games here. The software underwent a major overhaul at about the same time as the market/company change.

How do I hate it? Let me count the ways.

First, I tried changing the background color to red, then to green. It wouldn't do it. Those options were clearly shown, and I clicked on them, but the background stubbornly stayed blue. If you can't actually change it, why do they show it as an option that you can?

Second, at seemingly random intervals, the software would not obey my pre-selected action. Below, for example, you can see that I have elected to fold my 7-2 while the action is still three players to my right.

But when it's actually my turn, the software acts as if I had not made any selection, and waits for me to tell it what to do:

Mind you, this doesn't happen every time--just once in a while, for no obvious reason. After I recognized it as happening enough not to be just a one-time fluke, I started doing a screen capture every hand just to catch it with these before-and-after shots, and it behaved correctly four times before giving me the opportunity you see above. Why? I have no idea.

Third, the anonymity is terribly annoying--much harder to keep track of players mentally as they move in and out of the table.

Fourth, you are no longer given the option of a preferred position at the table. (For those of you who don't play online, this doesn't mean that you can actually choose which opponents are on your right or left; it's just a virtual rotation of the table so that you see yourself in the same screen location every game.) I like being at the bottom of the screen, and it won't let me choose that, at least not with anything I could find.

Fifth, you can't selectively turn the sounds on or off--you either get all of them or none of them. If you want a little "ping" when it's your turn and a more insistent warning when you're running out of time, fine, you can have them--but you also have to accept the cacophony of other sounds: cards being dealt, chips sliding across the table, etc.

Sixth, when it was my turn, the amount of the current bet was highlighted, as you can see toward the bottom right of the second screen capture above. I should be able to either just type a different amount to bet/raise, or first erase the amount shown with the backspace key, then type in an amount. Sometimes I could do this, sometimes not. On the "not" occasions, it just ignored my keystrokes--and that was the same whether I was using the laptop's built-in keyboard or the full-sized external keyboard (connected via USB) that I use when I have serious typing to do. As with ignoring pre-selected actions, this appeared to be completely random.

On those occasions when I couldn't use the numeric keyboard to enter a bet amount, I had to use the slider. I HATE using bet sliders generally, and this particular one is especially awful. It's way too sensitive (i.e., small movements change the bet by a large amount), and it doesn't stop at pre-specified intervals. If I wanted to raise to, say, 100, I'd have to settle for 108 or 93 or whatever other odd amount in that general vicinity the slider offered me. Trying to nudge it just a wee bit more one direction or the other would result in it being much higher or lower than I wanted, or my turn timing out. The only fixed options available with dedicated buttons are 1/2 pot and pot. I most commonly want to bet somewhere between those two choices, something like 2/3 to 3/4 pot. Good luck with that on this platform.

Seventh, the "spotlight" feature is not nearly as prominent as it used to be. This had previously been one of Bodog's better touches: The player with current action had a virtual spotlight shone on him to indicate whose turn it was. Of all of the online poker platforms I have used, I found this one by far the easiest to follow, in terms of being able to tell at a glance where the action was. Now that light has been turned down so much that you have to go searching for it. You can see what I mean in the second photo above. You just see sort of a half-assed half-circle of slightly lighter blue below my spot. (By the way, I'm player #1 solely by virtue of having been the first to register for this event.)

Those of us who have been using computers for a couple of decades know that there is a long history of software companies rolling out a grand "upgrade," only to be met with howls of protest from users about how they screwed up everything that had been good about it. Twitter recently did that with TweetDeck when they bought it and issued a new version. (I found a way to install the last good version--v0.38.2--with all of the flexibility it had due to using Adobe AIR, on my new computer, and have embedded deeply in my brain a stern reminder to always decline offers to install any newer version, at least until I'm sure they have restored all of the options they killed off in the "improvement.") seems to be the latest victim of this. I used to use it as my URL-shortening utility, but it no longer works as easily as it did before, instead requiring me to make a bunch of choices I'm not interested it. As a result, it is now dead to me; I removed it from my old computer the day they screwed it up, and I'm certainly not adding it to the new machine. From what I've read of Windows 8, Microsoft may be on the verge of surpassing all of these, and making the most monumental "New Coke" blunder in the history of software.

To this list must surely be added the "new and improved" Bodog/Bovada. You can read the press release, bubbling over with giddy anticipation, here. A "huge leap forward" they said. Yeah, sure it was--a leap right off of a cliff, if you ask me.

After we lost PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, Bodog was far and away my favorite of the platforms that remained usable in the states, both in terms of ease of making money and in terms of how the software functioned (with the exception of hand histories). But the "upgrade"? It's hard to be more succinct, accurate, or forceful than I was in my title above: Bovada sucks.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Ask and ye shall receive

Two readers kindly offered to send me the non-US PokerStars setup file. I just received and ran it, worked like a charm. I jumped into a play-money SNG, and it had my avatar loaded up, remembered my seating preference, and allowed me to run the animated hand history viewer, just like old times. The main lobby even shows me the real-money games, though obviously I have no money on account, and can't load any, so it's like showing a chocolate layer cake to a starving man.

So that's the solution--get a foreign friend to share the setup file with you. It won't get you back into the real games, but at least it restores full functionality to the software for your free games.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Maybe too many people know about the Deuce-Four

I'm supposed to win hands like this, not chop the pot, dammit!

How can double deuce-four not be the winner?

See the story and photo from the Pokerati blog:

I have seen a fouled deck exactly one time, and it wasn't nearly that dramatic. I was playing a tournament at Caesars. They were using WSOP-backed cards. They alternated between two decks with the dealer changes. The decks' backs were identical except that one had a very thin black line around the border, the other an equally thin red line.

We had been playing for a couple of hours at the table when I noticed that my two down cards were one with a red border and one with a black border. I pointed it out to the dealer, who called the floor. It was a fouled deck. But nobody had taken any action, so it was trivially easy to fix. They took the decks away for inspection. I don't know what they found. Maybe there was an extra card. Maybe one card from each deck got into the other. But we had played with those cards for two hours or so without anybody noticing anything amiss.

Lesson: If you're going to have two decks in action at a table, they should be extremely easy to distinguish at a glance.


Of course U.S. residents have not been able to play real-money games on PokerStars since Black Friday. But those of us who had had Stars accounts could at least keep playing the free games with the full software, whereas if you download the client software from, you get a watered down version. The two features most sorely lacking are the ability to select your own seat and the ability to immediately check the previous hand history. There was some sort of grandfather provision, that if you had had a real-money account prior to Black Friday, you got software updates that prevented you from playing real-money games, but at least kept the full functionality intact.

I've moved everything to my new computer over the last eight days. But the Stars problem is still frustrating me. I have downloaded the .net app, and it recognizes me from my old Stars account, but I'd really rather keep using the .com (or .eu) version, as I had been able to do on the old computer.

I cleverly thought that I could move the setup (.exe) file from the old computer to the new via thumb drive, then run that on the new computer, and it would install the .com software, which would then automatically update next time I logged on. Nope. New computer wouldn't run the setup file--something about the certificate being out of date.

Tech-heads: Is there some way to get my new computer to be able to run the old software the same way that I could with the old computer?

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Merge Network is having, um, issues

As I noted yesterday, Merge did a full revamp of their software Monday night. It took many more hours than they had promised, and even when they were up again, they immediately had problems. I, for one, couldn't display the main lobby correctly. My friend Stacey couldn't even log in.

This morning my buddy Shamus ran into problems using Hero Poker, one of the Merge skins. He tweeted:
Merge is so very screwed up right now. Here's how my SNG is going... we're in Level 6 @heropoker @carbonpoker

The good news is after a half-hour I am leading the SNG currently, with none of us having played a hand. @heropoker @carbonpoker

Erm, I just went from 1st to last. Somebody is playing my stack. What applesauce. @heropoker @carbonpoker

SNG finally shut down... says $ refunded. All at cash tables complaining about various applesauce. Whatta mess. @heropoker @carbonpoker
In spite of that, Josie and I decided, perhaps foolishly, to try to play Merge's daily $11 HORSE tournament. She will be in town in a couple of weeks, and there will likely be some mixed-game shenanigans at some point, so she needs more practice with games other than hold'em.

My table was going fine, in technical terms. Josie's wasn't. It was slow as molasses, and it looked to be more of a software or server problem than anything that could be blamed on the players. E.g., hands would take forever to clear off the table after the pot was awarded.

She started out strong, while I started out with everything going wrong. So of course she offered a last-longer bet when she was already up 1875 to my 1341. I accepted it, because, apparently, I'm a sick, degenerate gambler.

Then she watched in horror as I mounted a comeback. I rivered a ace-high flush (crubs, obv) in a five-way pot in stud/8 when nobody had a low, and scooped a monster. This was followed immediately by making a wheel on 5th and scoring a double elimination super-scooper-dooper. Those two hands propelled me well above Josie's stack, and she was trembling in fear:

But then--disaster:


A few minutes later, this email showed up in my inbox:

As Shamus says, applesauce.

We thought about trying another SNG, but while browsing for one, it looked like they were in the process of shutting everything down. There were very few games with "registering" status. My guess is that right about now they're offline completely, or about to be.

While I'm complaining about their software bugs, I might as well also complain about some features of the new redesign. They have a few nice improvements, such as a double slider for setting the upper and lower limits of buy-ins for tournaments that you're interested in playing. But they also made it harder to find some customization features. And what used to be a one-button click to see the previous hand is now completely hidden. Josie pointed it out to me. You click on the tournament number in the upper left-hand corner of the game--which is not marked in any way as having this function until you mouse over it--and it brings up a cascade of folders from your hard drive where the hand histories are stored:

(Note that they even got the date wrong. Josie checked, and hers correctly showed 6/6/12. No, there is nothing wrong with the date and time settings on my computer. No, I have no idea why it would be right for one player and wrong for another.)

If you click on any hand number, up pops that hand history, in the same format as they have always used. But it takes a lot more work, time, and thought to get at it than it used to. This is an improvement?

They really screwed the pooch on this software "upgrade."

Lock in the news

That thing I was saying yesterday about Lock Poker having a string of suspicious-looking conduct? Well, check out this story from today's poker news:

Be careful. It's a jungle out there.

Let them eat Cake

Last October I reviewed the status of the U.S.-facing online poker networks. Quite a bit has changed since then.

Bodog is now Bovada. I have installed the new software, and confirmed that they carried my balance over, but have not yet played there. I'm not thrilled about the anonymous table innovation. But I'm sure one of these days I'll see what it's like.

The Merge network is still going strong. After running through the initial $100 deposit I had made on the Black Chip Poker skin, I didn't do any more with it for a few months. Then Josie announced that she was going to restart her Very Josie poker series there (which didn't last long, because the site had stupid restrictions that severely cut into the fun factor), and Tony was frequently tweeting and blogging about winning money there. So I decided to give it another chance.

Unfortunately, I couldn't make a deposit. I tried all of my credit and debit cards (including a Visa gift card I purchased just for that purpose), and all were rejected, even though I had used one of them to make my first deposit without any problem. My guess is that this was a policy change with the credit card issuers, not with the site, because the site continues to list Visa cards as a method of deposit, even for U.S. players. But Tony's credit card still works to deposit there, and he was kind enough to let me give him cash to make a deposit and then transfer the credit to me, which worked just fine. I've been playing there more lately, and making a little profit at it. I started with $200, and I'm playing in sufficient small amounts that it would take a pretty severe downswing for me to need to deposit again.

The Everleaf network withdrew from the U.S. market in February this year. I still had about $79 sitting on the Luvin Poker site. They had given me fits trying to withdraw it, and I had basically given up, when that announcement came. They promised that deposited funds were safe, and they were going to get us our money back real soon. But it's been four months, and there has been no further word. I wrote to Luvin's customer support a few days ago, and got what basically amounts to a bedbug letter:
I see you have around 56 Euros on LP (they converted the US dollars). The money is still in your account and funds have not ben seized. ELG is working with the Maltese Gaming Commission trying to find a way to release funds. Due to the law in the US, every method they have inquired about has been shot down, including player to player transfer to our friends who can cash out. The Gaming authorities feel it would essentially be money laundering if we were to process these funds. We are even looking at hiring a mediator to retrieve funds. Again, this does you no good, but if you log into your account you will see funds there. They assure me monies are safe and I do believe that, but unfortunately no further news on how to retrieve them. Currently players who have bank accounts off shore are allowed to cash out and they are looking for alternatives. I am saving your Email, so I will be sure to update you if anything changes.

LP truly hopes to have a place in the future once legislation comes through. Although this does not solve the problem, please know our brand reputation is very important to me and if at all possible, those funds will be returned.

My sincere apologies.
As the saying goes, I'm not holding my breath.

The Yatahay network has some of my money, as mentioned in the October post, due to the skin called "America's Cardroom" taking over what had been the "Doyle's Room" accounts, when Doyle decided that he didn't want anything to do with online poker anymore. I played one $5 SNG the other day on my new computer just to make sure that the software was working, balance still there, etc. I don't know what, if anything, I'll do with the $200+ that I have sitting there.

The network, incidentally, has taken on a new name. It's now the "Winning Poker Network." Admittedly, "Yatahay" was a terrible name, but the new one is just as bad, although for different reasons.

Finally, there is the Cake network. Recently, Lock Poker, which was one of the biggest skins on the Merge network, left Merge and joined Cake. Or perhaps it's more accurate to say that they took over Cake, and in the process have changed the name to the Revolution Gaming Network. (Read more about the whole deal here.)

I got a Cake account when it first came on the market, but I think I just played a few free games to test it out and never put any money there. Essentially all of my play on the Cake network was when Doyle's Room was one of their skins, before DR moved to Yatahay. (Yes, it's all very confusing--like a corporate soap opera.) I haven't wanted to do more with it because of recurring stories of what sound to me like shady goings-on at Lock, and persistent problems reported for U.S. players getting timely cashouts from Cake.

But yesterday my friend Stacey, who has been a much more serious online player than I, tweeted that she had played a few low-stakes tournaments on the new Lock site: "Verdict thus far: @lockpoker software is meh but players are terrible, decent schedule, a lot of it copies the Merge schedule so, not bad!" Then, a little later, "Ok the new @lockpoker is earning MAJOR points w/ me. Sent account verification docs to them less than 3 hrs ago. Already approved by support."

This made me think that maybe I should give the network another try. I knew I already had an account on the Cake skin (i.e., what had previously been the flagship skin), so rather than go through creating a new account with Lock, I just downloaded the new Cake software and reactivated that account. The cashier page said that they accepted Visa for deposits, and that debit cards tended to have better success rates than credit cards, so I used my U.S. Bank Visa check card, crossed my fingers, and *ding* about 60 seconds later I had $100 of credit on the site, with no fees deducted. So far so good.

I signed up for a $7 SNG just to try it out. Here's what it looks like:

It has annoying sound effects, but you can turn them off. They don't make it easy to find options and settings, but I eventually discovered how to shift the seats around to my preferred orientation, turn on the four-color deck feature, and other tweaks.

Good Lord, were these players ever terribad! In one fairly early hand, I had Q-3 offsuit in the small blind. Nobody raised, so I limped in with the rest. Flop was Q-4-3. I meant to lead out with a bet of about 3/4 of the pot, but accidentally clicked the wrong button and went all in. That shove was for about ten times the pot. Oops! Oh well, I thought--I'll pick up the limpers' chips and that will be the end of it. But no--I got a caller, "NanasVice," who had me covered. She had Q-J, for top pair with mediocre kicker, and I doubled up. I saw players with 7 BB stacks limp in, then fold to a raise. I saw one spew off a stack of 30 big blinds calling a flop shove in a limped pot with just a gutshot and backdoor flush draw. Horrible, horrible, horrible.

I was doing some other work while I played, so only giving it half attention, and still cruised into second place money.

And you'll be glad to know that the Mighty Deuce-Four works just as well on Cake as it does everywhere else:

I am still cautious and skeptical about the reliability of this new entity, as it combines a network chronically problematic in terms of cashing out (Cake) with a site that has a history of shady-looking conduct (Lock). So my tentative plan is to try to work this $100 up to $200, then cash out $100, and see how well they handle it, before I increase my level of comfort and confidence in them. But the softness of the games--assuming my one sample is representative--makes it hard to just turn my back on them completely.

Of course, we could at any time get a repeat of Black Friday, with assets frozen indefinitely across all of these sites. Or any of them could suddenly abscond with the players' funds, or declare bankruptcy, or whatever. Thanks to our endlessly effed-up laws and government in what used to be the "land of the free," this is all quasi-black-market stuff, with every site using unknown and probably legally dubious means of moving money between them and us. It's all still kind of a house of, um, cards.

But with increasing frequency lately there are evenings when I don't feel much like going out to casinos to play, and having online options is a nice alternative. I'd happily trade all four of the small, rickety choices I have now for one usable cash account at PokerStars, but the gummint says I can't have that, so I'll take what I can get.

Stay classy, PokerNews

James Guill, aka @compncards, posted a note on Twitter about an ad he saw on the PokerNews web site. Specifically, it's one for "Arrangement Finders":

If you click on that banner, this is what you see:

Nice job, PokerNews. Good to know that we can always count on you to represent the industry at its finest.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Worst bad-beat stories

My friend Memphis MOJO writes about having recently been told of one of those incredibly rare bad beats that was not just runner-runner, but "perfect-perfect"; i.e., the player behind on the flop had to catch two exact cards on the turn and river in order to win. Mojo ends his post asking whether there are worse bad-beat stories than that.

Well, it kind of depends on how you classify degrees of badness. But for my money, I would nominate two.

First is the one that I related having heard about here (under the second bold sub-heading). See also the comments for a bit of possible further confirmation that the story is a true one.

Second is a story told many times by T.J. Cloutier. The only place I've seen it in print is in a really interesting but relatively little-known book, The Best Hand I Ever Played: 52 Winning Poker Lessons from the World's Greatest Players, by Steve Rosenbloom, published in 2005. Here's the story, from page 30:
It was against Al Krux, a cash game at the Bicycle Club about ten years ago. No Limit Hold'em. He hadn't won a pot all day. He had, like, $445 left or something and he moved all in. The guy two to his left was getting a massage. He lifted his head up and looked at it and decided not to call and threw it away. The massage girl saw the hand too.

It got around to me on the button. I had two 10's and I said, hell, I'll call him because this is his last money and he might not have too much. So I call. Now, the dealer didn't see that I made the call and she dropped the deck on the muck. That means she had to reshuffle all the cards.

The flop came K-10-4. I had two 10's. I flopped three 10's. He had two kings, so he had flopped three kings. The fourth card was a 10, so I had four 10's and I beat him in this pot.

But that's not the kicker. The kicker is, you remember the guy who was looking at his hand and getting a massage? He had the other two 10's and had thrown them away. He told us he had thrown two 10's away, and the massage girl said, "This guy threw away two 10's." So that meant the dealer had to make a mistake and drop the deck and reshuffle those 10's back in for Al to lose this hand to me. It's the worst beat in the history of poker.

Needless to say, I never won another hand that night, but I beat him out of his last $445. Story of a lifetime.
This one isn't technically a bad beat, I suppose, because both hands had pretty good equity when all the chips went in pre-flop. But Daniel Negreanu after the flop calling for two running perfect cards to make a straight flush, and getting both of them, is pretty damn unbelievable. This was in the first year of the NBC Heads-Up Championship:

As for my personal experience, I think that this hand was, in mathematical terms, the worst beat I've ever taken. The worst I can remember ever inflicting on an opponent was this hand, in which I put all my chips in on the flop as a 62:1 underdog, and caught a miraculous runner-runner combination to win. Almost as bad was when I went runner-runner full house to beat two opponents, both of whom had flopped flushes.

I have hit a one-outer on the river exactly one time, and sort of expect that it will never happen again. See story here.

I have been on the bad side of quads over quads one time, as told here.

In one remarkable session at the Sahara I folded what would have been quads for one high-hand jackpot, and would have made a straight flush for a second jackpot if my opponent had not folded. See story here.

Those are the best I can come up with, Mojo. What do you think?

You can vote for me

Ante Up magazine has an online reader survey. One of the questions asks, "What is the best poker blog?" The options are Shane Schleger (Shaniac), Hard Boiled Poker, Full Contact Poker, Phil Galfond, and Poker Grump.

You can go here to start the survey. There are small prizes to be awarded to survey participants. The caveat is that you have to give them your email address in order to answer the questions, and I have no idea how much they'll pester you thereafter with annoying emails. Furthermore, there's nothing in it for me even if I should happen to get the most votes. All of which means that this is of virtually no importance to me, and you shouldn't feel any sense of duty or obligation to participate. Furthermore, if you do decide to participate, honesty requires me to point out that there's a strong argument to be made that Shamus deserves your vote more than I do.

But it's there if you feel like it. Do as seems best to you.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Table captain

In response to the video clip I posted earlier, Josie asked how I got Seat 1. I replied in the comments that we were allowed to pick non-randomly, so I just grabbed it. Long-time readers may know that it's my favorite, for a whole bunch of reasons.

I was about to add in the comments that I took it so that I would automatically be Table Captain. But then I realized that that's more of a private joke than something readers would recognize. I think it's time to change that.

First, you must, must read the following blog post, which is one of my favorite poker stories ever, only in part because it's written by my dear friend Poker Lawyer. The story involves her October weekend in Vegas. I saw her quite a bit that weekend, but I was not present when this story occurred, and didn't know about it until she told it on her blog:

When I read this account, I said this on Twitter:
@PokerLawyer DAYUM! Now I learn that I completely missed the best moment of the whole weekend!

@PokerLawyer You shoulda told him that Seat 1 is always table captain, and anybody who knew anything about poker would know that.
So that's where the Seat One = Table Captain idea came from: Poker Lawyer was in Seat One and declared herself to be Table Captain. Anyway, it has become something of a running joke since then. But I think it deserves to be better known, and even put into the poker rulebooks.

Seat One is the table captain. Period. That's all there is to it.

Playing on TV--well, sort of (followup)

Final Table Experience has now posted a short promotional YouTube video based in part on the game we shot the other day. Don't blink or you'll miss my appearance, including the inglorious bust-out hand.