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Best of Dan Podheiser

Gaming Guru

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Poker Player Tweets of the Week: Brunson, Seidel appear to be bored

16 August 2013

Poker players are a strange breed.

It's not because they're rich, either. There are plenty of "grinders" who play poker professionally, but do so by collecting slim margins at mid-limit tables, week after week, day after day, hour by hour. Not every professional sits in Bobby's Room at the Bellagio every day. But still, anyone who plays poker for a living handles an obscene amount of cash.

And it's that disconnect from the value of money in the real world that makes poker players, well, weird. At a 5-10 no-limit Hold'em table, for instance, a normal player will call a 4x preflop raise to $40 with a fairly wide range of hands, depending on position. That's one bet, for one hand. Most people try to avoid spending $40 when they go out to dinner.

Understandably, that attitude towards money trickles down to all aspects of a poker player’s life. Overall, the degenerate nature of poker players makes for quality entertainment for the rest of us. Some are certainly more kooky than others, while some players really are "normal" people, at least when they're away from the table.

Thanks to Twitter, poker players now have a constant outlet to let the world know about their shenanigans. Each week, I'll compile five of the best tweets from the poker world, and will put them in context or provide some analysis. Not all of the tweets will be poker related, but hopefully, they will give you a glimpse into the often absurd lifestyle of professional poker players.

Thursday, Aug. 15: Doyle "@TexDolly" Brunson

Doyle Brunson recently turned 80 years old. He's been playing poker professionally for more than 50 years and is arguably the world's most legendary player. The man is everything poker has ever stood for.

So it's no surprise that, while at his family's ranch up in middle-of-nowhere Montana, Brunson tweets that he's getting bored. Like all poker players, Brunson is an action junkie. Montana doesn't exactly scream action. Brunson may not set the same standard for degeneracy as some of his peers, but the guy has been around forever and has likely bet on anything you can possibly imagine at some point or another.

Todd is Brunson's son. He's also a professional poker player. The two have clearly played hundreds of hours of heads-up together, but I wonder if they've ever played for serious stakes. It's certainly conceivable that Doyle is waiting for his son to arrive so they can play Open Face Chinese for $1,000 a point. That would be fun to watch.

Thursday, Aug. 15: James "@JCamby33" Campbell

I'm a big fan of this tweet for two reasons. First, James Campbell is a Boston guy, and though I'm not originally from the Hub, I have lived there for most of the past six years and have fallen in love with the city.

Second, I recently attended my own bachelor party, and can confirm that Campbell's photo is an accurate depiction of the amount of booze typically consumed.

Poker players love their vices, and drinking to the point of alcohol poisoning tends to be high up on the list. It looks like Campbell and his boys are on the right path to success in that department.

Wednesday, Aug. 14: Jonathan "@JonathanLittle" Little

Finally, a tweet that is actually poker related. Jonathan Little burst onto the scene in the early stages of the online poker boom, known at the time by his screen name "FieryJustice." But Little is perhaps best known for his success on the live felt, and has more than $5.2 million in tournament winnings, including two World Poker Tour titles.

There's no doubt that Little is one of the best players on the circuit. That said, I always find it amusing when poker players try to sell themselves as coaches for other players.

If you click on the link in Little's tweet, you'll see that he's selling a package of eight instructional videos -- which he values at a whopping $1,200 (how does he come up with that figure?) -- for a relatively paltry $97.

Now, I'm not about to say that an amateur player would stand to gain nothing by watching Little's videos. But what I will say is that the same player would learn a lot more about poker by taking that $97 and playing thousands of hands of micro-stakes cash games.

Poker cannot be taught; it can only be learned through endless hours of experience. There are tools that can help a player throughout the learning process, and Little's videos are perfect examples. Ninety-seven dollars, though? Give me a break.

Tuesday, Aug. 13: Erik "@Erik_Seidel" Seidel

I believe what Erik Seidel is referring to in this tweet is the adage (made popular by Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers: The Story of Success) that, in order to become an expert at something, it takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice to do so.

Erik, I'm right there with you, buddy. Ice cream is the absolute nuts, and ice cream sandwiches are the perfect way to eat it on the go. You can buy a whole box of them and eat them one or 12 at a time. They're the most versatile dessert out there, satisfying both the ice cream and cake (or cookie -- see, they're versatile) craving for the consumer.

It wouldn't take that long to become an expert, either. The necessary 10,000 hours is really just eating ice cream sandwiches three hours a day for 10 years.

Considering Seidel is 53 years old, he's probably already a good portion of the way there. He just needs to focus over the next five or six years to achieve the elite "expert" status.

With eight World Series of Poker bracelets, Seidel is one of the most successful tournament poker players ever and is still feared by his counterparts. I wouldn’t bet against him in anything, especially when ice cream sandwiches are on the line.

Saturday, Aug. 10: Matt "@MattGlantz" Glantz

Before I get into Matt Glantz's tweet, let me just say that, having played poker fairly regularly for the past nine years, I am ashamed to say that it wasn't until Monday that I learned how to play Open Face Chinese. In four days I have probably already put in 12 hours playing live and on the app on my iPhone. It's the best game in the world.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who shares this sentiment. Open Face Chinese has taken the poker world by storm over the past couple of years. Pros and amateurs everywhere play it on airplanes, in hotel rooms, waiting in line at the DMV, you name it. The game is fun, it's easy, it's fast-paced, and most importantly, it involves heavy amounts of gambling.

So, I suppose I believe Glantz to an extent when he essentially says his main objective when playing Open Face Chinese against friends is to destroy their egos, not their bankrolls. Obviously, Glantz and his buddies are not playing for nickels and dimes. But at the same time, nobody wants to see their friends go broke. And if your friends do go broke, you'll have no one to play Open Face Chinese with (just kidding, there's always someone available to play with).

It makes sense that Glantz would be in it mostly for the pride aspect. To be known as a feared Open Face Chinese player might even be worth more in some circles these days than to be known as a feared no-limit Hold'em player.

As Casino City's Aaron Todd learned when he met up with Glantz for a story in June, the Philadelphia native is one hell of a nice guy. But that doesn't mean Glantz won't be willing to crush all oncoming souls when it comes to Open Face Chinese.
Dan Podheiser

Dan Podheiser has covered the gambling industry since 2013, but he has been an avid poker player for more than a decade, starting when he was just 14 years old. When he turned 18, he played online poker regularly on U.S.-friendly sites until Black Friday in April 2011.

Since graduating from Emerson College with a degree in journalism in 2010, Dan has worked as the sports editor for a chain of newspapers in Northwest Connecticut and served a year as an Americorps*VISTA, writing and researching grant proposals for a Boston-based charity.

Originally from South Jersey, where he still visits occasionally to see his family (and play on the state's regulated online poker sites), Dan lives in Brighton, Mass. with his wife and dog.
Dan Podheiser
Dan Podheiser has covered the gambling industry since 2013, but he has been an avid poker player for more than a decade, starting when he was just 14 years old. When he turned 18, he played online poker regularly on U.S.-friendly sites until Black Friday in April 2011.

Since graduating from Emerson College with a degree in journalism in 2010, Dan has worked as the sports editor for a chain of newspapers in Northwest Connecticut and served a year as an Americorps*VISTA, writing and researching grant proposals for a Boston-based charity.

Originally from South Jersey, where he still visits occasionally to see his family (and play on the state's regulated online poker sites), Dan lives in Brighton, Mass. with his wife and dog.