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Best of Dan Podheiser

Gaming Guru

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Poker Player Tweets of the Week: Mo' Money Mo' Problems

15 November 2013

Hello again, poker fans. After taking a week off to do the whole "getting married" thing, I'm back in the saddle to bring you the best tweets from poker players from the past week.

A lot has happened since my last column, but nothing more important than Ryan Riess taking down the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event for a cool $8.36 million. The poker world buzzed for days over Riess' compelling story, runner-up Jay Farber's fearless attitude as the only amateur at the final table and the overall fantastic level of play by the entire November Nine.

But now it's time to get back to the grind, and that means back to the world of normal Twitter. Which, for poker players, is never all that normal.

Thursday, Nov. 14: Jay "@Jay_Farber_LV" Farber

I'm trying to decide if I actually feel bad for Farber here. It's kind of hard to sympathize with a guy who just won $5.1 million.

But I understand where he's coming from. Lottery winners have often talked about how their lives have been ruined after winning boatloads of cash, because they were unable to tell who their real friends were and who was simply looking for a hand-out. While it seems like this should be a small burden to someone who has just absorbed a life-changing amount of money, it can in fact destroy areas of a person's life they never thought were in danger.

At the same time, I think Farber should embrace the fact that people straight up ask for money without beating around the bush first. That makes it easier for him to say no immediately and get on with his life.

Wednesday, Nov. 13: Russell "@RunGoodRussell" Thomas

Russell Thomas, a Temple University alum, is a Philadelphia sports fan just like me. And just like me, Thomas took the "under" on the 76ers' win total this year.

Of course, I picked the Sixers to win less than 16.5 games before the season started (and I got the line at +105, too). But now Philly is 5-4, in first place in the Atlantic Division and looking like a legitimate playoff contender in the Eastern Conference.

I, too, am conflicted. On the one hand, I love the Sixers and would like to see them build on this early start. I like the young nucleus they have with Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young, Michael Carter-Williams and Spencer Hawes. This is a team that, in a few years and with an added superstar, could be a real NBA championship contender.

Unfortunately, the most likely way for the Sixers to reach that potential is by snagging one of the top three picks in June's NBA draft, which promises to be loaded with more talent than any draft before it. This is the result that Sixers fans like Thomas and me were happily resigned to at the beginning of the season. But now -- like Thomas said -- we're conflicted.

Wednesday, Nov. 13: Dan "@DanFleyshman" Fleyshman

I have SnapChat on my iPhone. I have never used it. Sometimes, my friends send me pictures that I see for a few seconds and then they disappear. Sometimes I chuckle. This is SnapChat, and this is supposedly worth $3 billion to Facebook.

AND SNAPCHAT TURNED IT DOWN! Apparently the owners of SnapChat think the $3 billion offered for the rights to their product is not up to snuff. News flash: your product sucks and nobody will care about it in a year.

But Fleyshman is right. Only an irrational human being could have created SnapChat in the first place, and that makes the fact that the founders of the app turned down $3 billion dollars understandable.

Wednesday, Nov. 13: Adam "@PokercastAdam" Schwartz

I love this guy. Kevin Kelly, head coach of Little Rock Arkansas' Pulaski Academy football team, never punts. He also instructs his team to never field punts and to only do onsides kicks. He claims that the math backs him up, and I believe him.

I strongly believe that Kelly's strategy is optimal in high school, where play is sloppier and special teams plays are moderately effective at best. But I have actually long been an advocate for some of Kelly's strategies at the college and even pro levels. Basically, I think punting is very often a huge waste of a possession, and given the skill of most NFL quarterbacks, teams should be going for it on fourth down much more often than they currently do.

I also think teams should go for the two-point conversion more often, even though the success rate is somewhere in the 47% range (making the equity on the play slightly less than one point). There are just too many instances where coaches could ice the game with a two-pointer, but instead take the extra point and allow the opponent a chance to tie the score.

If anything, Kelly should be an inspiration to coaches to take a more analytical and numbers-based approach to play-calling and game theory.

Wednesday, Nov. 13: Shane "@ShaneSchleger" Schleger

I disagree, Shane. You are right when you say that having your lost phone returned to you feels like a win, because it is!

Think about it: everyone loses their phone, wallet or keys at one point or another, and most likely a handful of times over the course of their lives. It's just variance. But not everyone has their belongings returned to them. To lose something in New York City makes it even more unlikely that you will ever see it again.

So yes, Shane, you didn't gain any real value from this. But if we are to assume that every single person will experience what you just experience what you just experienced -- and they will -- then your outcome is actually very +EV compared to the baseline expectation.
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.