Thursday, 27 January 2011

Beginning of the end...

... of shortstackers playing No Limit Hold Them. CAP Tables have arrived! I had just posted my speculation that 20-50 is on the way out due to seeing CAP in the lobby when I hop on over to the zoo and find that it is in fact  completely true and confirmed by Steve! I am ecstatic.

20-50 games will no longer be offered and are going to be phased out between February 10th and the next server restart. NLHE tables (including Euro tables) will be 40-100 bb and label free along with 100-250 labeled as deep. They also blatantly said that CAP may be moving to it's own tab. Also great news considering it's as different to NLHE as Limit is. Also really great news is that there is no CAP at 25NL and below and everything is 40+ bb down there which should help make games juicier, cost less in rake, and help money move up.

Interesting addition: NLO Hi/Low 6max.

Thank you PokerStars. I am going to finish out the month at Full Tilt and will be back on Stars in February to see the last 20-50 tables die off before the server restart.

LOL Scamaments

Well I've had a wonderful month getting scammed so far. 3 times in fact.

1. I'm channel surfing this evening during a commercial while watching Storage Wars and the headline on CNN AC360 shows 9/11 Coin Scam. This is of course the last scam of the month (so far) and I'm thinking here we go again. A few years back my mother in-law bought each of us one of those  9/11 commemorative coins that apparently had real gold and silver from ground zero.

Sure enough, Anderson has the NYPD officer in charge of recovering the silver and gold in the basement and he says there is absolutely no way that these specific coins are in any way real. Lawmakers are currently trying to get the FTC to shut down this company. I don't feel so bad now about being such a klutz and insta-dropping mine on the floor when it was handed to me which in turn caused the case to crack open and the contents to spill everywhere which caused the hinge on the piece that stands up off the coin to break. It all makes sense now.

2. I bring my car in to repair a coolant leak and get my sparkplugs and wires replaced. Yes how could you guess that a car repair scam would be in this list? I was not entirely shocked when the first option on the Better Business Bureau website complaint form was Car Repair. I'm quoted $350. I drive my car to the shop at 11am and I'm told it should be ready in a couple hours. 5pm I give them a see what's up since they close at 5:30pm. They had some unexpected issues (thanks for calling to let me know), and I can stop by at 6pm to pick it up. So I show up and oh guess what, they tell me there was a gaping hole in the coolant manifold and that the attached pulley system was broken. +$550 and an extra $100 tax for an easy $1k total. I sense bullshit and want to check this out and say "No problem, I'll pay it with my online bills at the end of the month." I'm told they don't do online bill payments and I need to pay now before my car leaves. Now alarm bells are going off because I distinctly remember paying the last 4 oil changes and a wheel alignment online. My car has become a hostage for ransom.

$1k debited from my account and I immediately check this out with someone that knows better than me what's going on. Turns out my car is incapable of physically driving if the pulley system was in fact broken. Don't know how I got it there in the first place. I also get to hear a story about how this person's friend had his interior door panel broken, crazy glued back together, and then told it was like that when it was brought in. $650 lesson going to the scam artists that are officially licensed dealers that are charging 2x for parts and labour and then scamming you on top of that. Should have waited for my regular small shop guy to have the time to look at it.

3. I get home from work just before Christmas and my wife says there was a guy there canvasing the area for donations. He's from a local church and his kid is going on a trip to the Caribbean to help build a school or something. I don't know why the kid isn't doing the canvassing himself (or why he's canvassing at all as I later found out they live in a house 3x as big as mine and drive several vehicles per person). I instantly say "lol you got scammed," she says "lol that's what I joked with him about."

It wasn't a scam at all. The deal was he sells us gift certificates for the local grocery store and the grocery store gives them 10% of the sales. We shop there anyways so whatever, here's your $60 for my groceries this week. Yes after thinking about it we realized that was a measly $6 and why he was saying people down the street donated $500. So he takes down name and address for cash. My wife is standing there waiting for a receipt and he says "Sorry, no receipts." He says he'll be back by the end of the week once the store prints out the certificates and insta-leaves.

Two weeks later, nothing. We phone the church to see if this guy was for real. Indeed he is and the certificate is on the way. Two weeks later, nothing. Another call to the church and the guy shows up instantly at my door. Not with my certificate, but with his address chart and a check mark beside our address indicating that in fact, we do have our certificate. Gee I must have just totally forgotten about receiving it, that kind of thing happens every day. You'd think they'd at least get people to initial it, but no. They distinctly remember dropping it off at my house and handing it to a 40-50-ish year old woman. lolwut we're late 20s? "Well it must have been your babysitter." Babysitter lolwut? (we're looking for a 40-ish year old babysitter but they do not exist btw) And he takes off after a thinly veiled comment indicating that he thinks we're lying.

Another call to the church asking wtf is going on and they say "Oh that sucks, we'll fix it up and buy you some gift certificates as our blessing." Our response was "Seriously? You think we're scamming you and that we already have them and need another $60?" The guy is back at my door in a half hour with $60 in certificates which he or the church obviously bought just now. We basically tell him to gtfo with his blessing at which point he says "Well can I at least give you half?" He honestly thinks we're scamming him and he's doing us a favour. Sigh, gtfo. I'm just thankful we didn't give him $500 cash.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Oh, the suspense...

I'm anxiously waiting for buyin changes at Stars just like everyone else I'm sure. It's now the 23rd and I have yet to hear anything 100% concrete. There's a lot of extremely solid favourable rumours going around but at this date it's starting to feel like the Reid bill... it's absolutely going to happen... wait... wait... maybe won't happen... time drags on with deadline approaching...

From what I understand, Stars does their server restarts on Wednesdays which I would think means that the changes will be implemented then and the last Wednesday is this coming 26th. That is unless they allow people to finish out the month and roll out new tables on the 31st with the old "20-50 tables will remain until they close or until the next server restart."

The pending anxiety over all this is actually fairly encouraging. I mean, they wouldn't really plan on having no changes and be slow rolling us this whole time would they? Anyone with half a brain would just come out and say "no changes" immediately if their was a done deal decision about no changes.

I was reading through the post I made shortly after the original changes. Mine and others' suggestions to make the current arrangement tenable were seemingly ignored. 40-50 bb overlap was never removed. Appropriate labelling or color coding was never implemented. The lobby is still the complete mess that it was on day 1 although they did add filters but this does't really help when new players are looking at a wall of 1 mirrion tables.

Fingers crossed for Wednesday. After that I'm going to start becoming desperate.

Home Game

Finally made it out to my regular home game for the first time in ages. There's a new guy there which is always fun trying to figure someone out. He comes luckboxing out of the gate and wins 4 stacks within the first hour -- we manage to get in maybe 20 hands an hour given the conversation and people not realizing action is on them. 3 flushes and a fullhouse later he's sitting 250bb deep (yes we start at 50bb stacks, lame). So I obviously rebuy because my 2 pair get it in on the flop is no good vs this guy. He's also fairly obnoxious and getting under everyone elses' skin. I like him already.

People show up and we get 8 handed. I nearly lose another stack when Q8o is no good vs A4o on Q84r. We also have a minimum rebuy rule where you can't rebuy until you're down to 20bb -- also lame. 22bb left sees me over limp J9o on the BTN with 5 limpers plus the blinds who obviously complete/check. Flop KJ9ss. Jackpot. 16bb in the pot and UTG bets 2bb, 4 players call and now the pot is 26bb. I ship for giggles and get called in 3 spots. Turn 9 omg. River 9 zomg for the super fullhouse and I hold against AK, K3 and TT and I'm finally deepstacked. I'm dealing and everyone says lol-rigged.

Deepstacked play means I can now limp literally every hand and virtually run 100/0 for the rest of the night. There is no such thing as an isolation raise in this game because you don't want to be that guy that doesn't let people hit hands and have fun and see flops and showdowns plus everyone's calling anyways. Obnoxious new guy is probably not getting invited back because he's firing out 8 bb into 12 bb pots with bottom pair in position "because everyone checked that's why." He eventually gets his ATo in vs KTss on AQJss, I say weeeeee royal draws, turn is a blank, river the guy hits the As and the room erupts.

Fun night and I end up +650 bb after 6 hours.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Don't be a fool, stay in school!

This is apparently the logical advice spouted from the masses every time a college athlete decides to pursue a professional career before finishing their senior year. "Get your degree so you have something to fall back on in case it doesn't work out." Seems like common logical sense. I never really paid attention to this thought until I was reading about Heisman winner Cam Newton planning to skip his last year and reading the mass response of how stupid he is for doing it. The stay in school crowd is wrong and here's why:

To get the most obvious part of the fallacy out of the way, and this is true no matter who you are, school will always be there to go back to. You can pick up in the same spot you are now (maybe a few refresher courses in the mix). College doesn't disappear forever the day you enter the draft.

So what kind of a measurement do you need to gauge whether to temporarily drop out of school or not? Opportunity cost. For 99.999% of people, the lost opportunity cost of leaving school without their degree makes staying in school a good decision. The number of years you decide to take off is exactly how many years you are going to be behind on the career seniority and pay scale ladder along with potential missed opportunities down the road due to being lower on the ladder (although the degree related job itself will generally be there for the foreseeable future). Essentially, you're passing up your long term implied odds.

College athletes, however, are facing a reverse implied odds situation because their job may not be there in the future due to the possibility of running into a career ending injury before they even get there. If you would be offered the choice of staying in school vs a million dollar professional contract, how low would the chance of injury in your senior year have to be to turn down the million dollars now? Even a 3 to 5% chance -- which I think is accurate considering how many 20 year careers are out there -- resulting in an EV of degree + $950k 1 year later vs EV of $1MM now is too high. The degree is certainly not worth $50k especially when you consider the utility of $1MM nevermind the potential implications of tens of millions of dollars in the future and the opportunity itself being extremely rare. The degree in comparison is relatively worthless considering the assumption that you can always go back if things don't work out while having a mountain of money to fall back on. This is essentially a reverse opportunity cost situation.

I'm in my dorm spinning in a chair taking props on how long until I pass out. The prop on how many Big Macs I can eat while doing this is already over. In walks Bill Gates looking for smart people. I don't know what he's doing here. He says "Hey, you would be an interesting sideshow for my employees. How about I pay you $100k to knock yourself out for the next year?"

My degree is going to get me an entry level job at $80k with a pay scale range upwards of $250k within 8 years. So I tell him to gtfo since I can't pass up my career opportunity cost. If instead, Bill Gates walks in and offers me 1 billion dollars with additional info that he will find someone more ridiculous than me in the next year 10% of the time, I say I will spin 24 / 7 / 365 starting now while passed out even if there's a 40% chance I die in the process, no problem. This indicates that at some point in between those offers, this becomes an easy decision because of the fact that I'm being offered the utility of life changing money that may not be there in the future.

Moral of the Story:
If you're ever faced with a situation where you're being offered guaranteed life changing money now with any chance of reduced future prospects if you defer, don't be an idiot. Take it now. If you're on Deal or No Deal with $800k, $400k and $1 cases left being offered $350k by the banker, don't be an idiot and say "Well my EV is $400k No Deal!" Take the money. You're not running this twice and you only get to play this hand once in your lifetime. If you're a college athlete being offered a pro contract before graduation, take the money.

Finishing your accounting degree so you have an $80k 9-5 to fall back on while adding 5% risk to your million dollar contract plus future earnings is just plain stupid. On the flip side, taking the million dollars now so you have a million dollars to fall back on in case you have to go back to that $80k 9-5 is perfectly logical. Common logic applies to common situations. Uncommon situations require you to actually think.

This is somewhat ironic because common situations are actually relatively close decisions while uncommon situations are very easy but apparently counter-intuitive to a lot of people.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Taking a Break - Adventures in e-Commerce

I hadn't even realized this but I've been taking a break from playing. There isn't much poker content here but if you want to read about a day in the life of a website installation noob this is for you. I didn't really intend to not play, but I've been working on getting my wife's online store up and running for the past few days and really haven't put any hands in. I do have a bit of Photoshop and HTML / CSS coding experience but I just don't see how anyone that's not charging an outrageous fee -- and by outrageous I mean completely reasonable considering the amount of work -- could be bothered to make a site from scratch with all the cheap templates out there and the infinite possibilities of php includes.
So they obviously pick a nice template that runs on the open source Prestashop engine. By the way, I have  zero experience when it comes to setting up e-commerce. The engine is still fairly buggy in my opinion and working in the back office is not at all intuitive nevermind the structure making me say "huh?" more than enough times and the fact that my template of course uses undocumented workarounds for things as simple as changing the logo. Thankfully it's as simple as jumping over to the template site's live chat and having them think I'm a moron to get this figured out. By the time I'm done, I'm fairly sure they are going to be running close to 0EV on selling me this.

My current project is shipping. Their "stable" version does not have product specific shipping. lolwut? Yeah the engine will pick shipping rates for you based on weight or price ranges. Oh but product specific pricing is in version 1.4 beta! Download beta --> update --> template implosion --> delete --> re-install --> try again --> implosion. Note that each step here takes a good 30 minutes due to FTP moving like 5k files. So what to do? Workaround! I figure I can set a "weight" as shipping price indicator rather than actual weight. 1 kg = $1, 2kg = $2, 3kg =$3. Easy game.

FTP... ranges... things that make you shake your head in disbelief... maybe there is some poker content in there. That said, I am thoroughly enjoying it and having an "a ha!" moment for every few hours of hair pulling frustration makes me happy.


I've been messing around with some shortstacker maths trying to get inside their heads. I know I know. Why would I ever want to get inside their heads. Well in case Stars does something crazy like not change the structure and I in turn do something crazy like stay there, I want to know what makes these guys tick.

It's become abundantly apparent to me that good shortstackers' shove ranges are extremely tight some of the time while having ATC some of the time. My goal is to figure out when is when based on opener's range, calling range, dead money and shorty's stack size. It's starting to make a lot of sense to me and while they all vehemently deny playing off a hand chart, I think for the most part you could easily play off of a situation chart. Granted there are more situations than most people would realize and something as simple as having 5bb more in your stack can cut your shove range in half or more for some of them.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Quotes of the Day

I was listening to the 2p2 Podcast from a few weeks back and they had Alan Boston on with a quick lesson on leveling. Quite an entertaining interview if you want to go check it out (#150). A day in the sports-betting life followed by a few interesting Stud hands followed by a few comments on Stu Unger.
"The kids, when you'd see 'em have it all-in and neither one of them would have anything playing heads up and you understand that they know well he didn't have to have anything for his 3bet so I don't have to have anything for my 4bet. Well I know he 4bets light so let me shove on 'em with nothing and I know he shoves light because he knows I 4bet light so I'm calling. I used to laugh at it but now I understand it. That's how all that money would end up in there and neither one of them would have anything. It's all perfectly logical."
In forum entertainment, there was some discussion between Fullstacks and Shortstacks on what a good winrate is when along came this little gem:

"Also, you claim 3bb winrate is not good. You realize that that's 15% of the effective stacks, right? If a 100bb player was winning 15bb/100, would you tell them their winrate was crap?... I'm pointing out that if you have only 20bb to work with, then 3bb/100 is good. You're generating 1.5 buyins per 1000 hands. If a fullstacker was generating 1.5 buyins per 1000 hands, you'd wet your pants in praise.

... It should be blindingly obvious that part of what impacts your winrate is the game you're playing. "Good" or "bad" winrate doesn't just apply across all games and stakes. What could be a"good" winrate for a high stakes badugi player is very different than what a "good" winrate for a micro NLHE player would look like."

I was wtfbbq'd into submission and have been summarily informed that SSers use effective winrates where the formula for quality of winrates is WR(fs) = WR(ss)*5. Yes that's right. A SSer winning 3 bb/100 is the same thing as a fullstacker winning 15 bb/100, bb = bb and $ = $ be damned. This is validated by the fact that SSers are playing CAP Holdem, a very different game than No Limit Holdem just as high stakes Badugi is very different from micro NLHE. 3 bb/100 is a good winrate if you're playing CAP.

In other news, Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense! Why would a Wookiee, an eight-foot tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of two-foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you're in that jury room deliberatin' and conjugatin' the Emancipation Proclamation, does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit!

* I apologize to any SSers reading this blog. Nothing personal. I am frustrated with structures and don't have any other outlet besides this blog so I have to vent now and then.

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Sunday, 9 January 2011

"Update: Changes to ring game min/max buy-ins, if any, will be announced and implemented by the end of January."

That's the word from Pokerstars Steve. Here's how I see this situation:

If they are not making changes, I would think the logical thing to do would be to announce that there's no changes rather than leading us on and on. We've gone from (paraphrase) "We're taking our time making important decisions,"  to "Changes (if any) by the end of January." That sounds like a decision. Cycle back to the first sentence of this paragraph.

So now that the speculation train is full speed ahead there's a few possible outcomes based on the most important issues people brought up. I'm leaving out deep games since they hardly run anyways:

1. 40-100 games are dead
2. 20-50 is a rake machine
3. 40-50 overlap is bad
4. SSers playing CAP in an NL game

Scenario 1: 20-100 only
Fixes problems 1, 2 and 3... sort of
Now we're all the way back in 2000-something before the introduction of 50bb min games. Let the rathole complaints resume. Note that games do improve from their current state -- until the army of SSers that have been banished from applying  their edge against 100bb-wider ranges everywhere else around the world descends on Stars like a flock of red-winged blackbirds.

Scenario 2: 40-100 and 20-50 with lower 20-50 rake
Fixes problem 2
This would most likely be feasible and the same complaints would continue but I think a lot of smart full stack regs would adapt to the much more beatable 20-50 depending on exactly how much they lower rake. Expect 40-100 regs to start new complaint that their rake should be lowered as well, which only makes sense given that in both cases it's skill edge that's declining but for different reasons.

Scenario 3: 35-100 and CAP
Fixes problems 1, 2, 3, and 4
This would be ideal -- or some variant of 30+ min to 70+ max. CAP players playing CAP. NL players playing NL. And like I said in the 2011 VIP Changes thread, after the fish fall where they may and if CAP becomes popular when it's labeled as CAP then I will say goodbye Stars, gg SSers, NL is no longer the game of choice. But at least I will know that CAP is what the fish actually wanted to play and that they weren't being tricked into playing CAP when they thought they were playing NL and I was wrong all along.

Scenario 4: 20-50 and 40-100 No Change
Cycle back to my migraine.

Scenario 4: 20-50 and 40-100 and CAP
Further segmentation.

Fingers crossed.

Friday, 7 January 2011

2011 Software Reviews

Lately I've been looking around at a bunch of software out there designed to automate many of the chores involved with playing online poker. What I've found so far has been absolutely great. There are a lot of very talented poker players / programmers out there that understand the grinder's issues and headaches and have come up with a bunch of ways to reduce mouse clicks and stress to let you have more time for decisions and save energy.

You'll notice I've rearranged the blog a bit and it's slightly wider to make room for the improved sidebar. I've added a Software I Use section and I'll start adding the software I have continued to use on a day to day basis to that list as my reviews roll in.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Decisions give me headaches

2011 has started off as a literal migraine. I'm not really sure what to do. I have so many options, but they all seem to suck:

  • Stars 20-50 small stakes FPP pro with very marginal winrates
  • Stars 40-100 small stakes FPP pro with reg infested tables
  • Stars 40-100 micro stakes UGL at 25NL
  • Euro sites with good winrates but beyond horrible software
  • FTP with a scummy changed rakeback deal

Stars 20-50 small stakes
Games are decent but winrates are low with reduced skill edge to add to the CAP shove/fold game that the 20bb stacks insist on mixing into an NL game.

Stars 40-100 small stakes
I have never seen more reg infested tables in my life. This is unsustainable and regs are going to eat each other alive until there's nothing left. Additionally I have never seen this many regs moving down which I think is clear evidence of what's going on.

Stars 40-100 micro stakes
Maybe I need to just move down and make some money as well. I seem to have a small edge at 50NL. I have a large edge at 25NL. I can probably beat this game for a decent clip.

Euro Sites
Tried out a short stint on RPM on the Merge network. The software makes me think that pulling out my teeth with pliers for donations on Youtube would be a more viable option. Granted Merge isn't really a Euro site since it accepts Americans, but it has Euro site software and I was quickly reminded of why no one plays there even with great rakeback. I found it difficult to follow action on 6 tables and the betting section of the GUI is pretty much the opposite of how it should be designed -- it has way too many buttons that are spread out over a large area requiring a ton of mouse movement and avoiding misclicks shouldn't be a chore. I also found it extremely annoying just trying to get tables going even against the same 5 bad regs on every one.

Games are decent from what I can tell but the rakeback hit is enormous if you consider me coming from my 42% 2x Supernova down to an estimated 22-25% + Iron Man. I also don't like the idea of being chained to my computer 25 days a month. Yes I play that many days a month, but eff them if they think they get to make that decision. I'm starting to realize why even the good LAGs haven't seen a benefit from the weighted contributed shenanigans since they end pots early and play a ton of small ball. It's only the calling stations that are seeing any "benefit" from this but unfortunately they don't have rakeback and I have to assume Howard's stacking bills in his basement laughing hysterically at everyone.

What to do?
It looks like my best options are to either beat 25NL 40-100 or to FPP pro 100NL 20-50. In terms of my mental state, 25NL might be the better option. In terms of winnings + bonus, the 20-50 games are going to provide more but with a much bigger headache than the relative ease of micros. I'm so undecided. I just know that I'm addicted to Stars software to the large detriment of the other options. Plus they suck you right into that annual program so that once you have made it, you can't give it up because it was a damn lot of work getting there.

If I started a new site...
I think the following system, while not optimal in short term profits, would still be profitable and keep the majority of people happy. It's my opinion that all of the overhead with servers and security and support staff pales in comparison -- by far -- to the net profits of any large site out there. My wish list for JH1 Poker in case anyone wants to donate 6 figures to help me start it up (btw on a serious note, here's to hoping the community run open source project actually takes off if for no other reason than to force this price fixing stalement back into competition):

Rake: 4bb cap at 50NL and lower. $3 cap at 100NL and higher. Keep it stake relevant. Money needs to flow up the ladder. The current state of things really dilutes the poker economy and people are forced into playing the same stakes way too long to build their BR because the rake is tough to overcome when the games get tougher. You can't call 10bb rake in a 200bb pot at 25NL and lower anything but highway robbery. No one noticed when you had droolers calling down with J high. Lower rake would be a shot in the arm to boost the economy and would at least be a bandaid until sites were able to effectively recruit brand new players again. Static rake with declining skill edge is a recipe for disaster. At some point the game will become unbeatable and I think people are starting to realize it will be long before the game is  solved and everyone plays game theory optimal solely because the rake is too damn high.

Structure: I do think that the argument that 100bb poker has too much of an edge over fish has some validity. They want to see flops and all the regs out there complaining about shortstackers are doing exactly the same thing and making shortstacked postflop scenarios with their rampant 3-betting in 100bb games. Everyone knows that preflop sizing dictates how big the game plays. Lowering the max buyin lowers effective SPR. Lower SPR makes it less correct to fold thus regs will have to scale back wide 3-betting as they have less room to maneuver. That said, I also strongly believe that the argument that fish bleed slowly at 100bb poker is true in that they can win a large pot to keep themselves going for hours compared to winning a small pot at 20-50 that gives them a few more orbits. 20bb needs to be stuffed into its CAP game place. From a skill/luck ratio, I don't know if the remaining NL game should be 30-100 or 40-100 or 30-70. I would be fine with any of these and I would hire someone smart to figure out the correct ratio. All I know is 20bb min is too low and 50bb max is too low while 100bb max may be too high.

Max Tables: I would actually consider lowering this quite a bit. I would want to see actual reg:fish ratios in the site's database to make a decision but it should generally result in at least 6.5:2.5 FR and 4.5:1.5 6max. I'm going to take a wild guess that 12 tables would be way better than 24.

Rakeback: I'm kind of torn on whether the VIP system to make people work for their bonus is better than straight up rakeback. The former is better to keep fish playing longer. I will forever remember the guy on my right at a 50NL table that burned through $250 to clear the last $40 of his bonus and had a VPP countdown going in chat. The latter is perceived to be better from a grinder's point of view although I think in reality they benefit equally either way and just have to wait a bit -- I mean, they're playing anyways. Stars VIP program is fairly linear although I might flip it around and offer more rewards to the bottom to keep them feeding the pool like reload bonuses and faster/better bonuses.

State of the community
I've never seen the informed poker community in this much disarray. Everyone seems pissed off at someone. Shortstackers and fullstackers sniping at each other like never before. Fullstackers vs Stars. Everyone vs FTP. It kind of feels like the sites have gone all out for bottomline and to hell with their loyal customers who complain but are met with a wall of silence or stonewalling. You all need to get back to keeping people happy.


Poltical Sidenote: I had to restart my PC after posting the above (SplitSuit's comment below is on the state of the community) so I sat down and watched some Parker/Spitzer on CNN. I happened to jump into the middle of Spitzer's interview with Alec Baldwin and I was kind of blown away by how well-informed and in tune he seemed to be with regular people and the state of the middle class, especially considering the fact that he accurately described how 22 years of the US being run by out of touch Yale and Harvard grads has had a significant effect on the middle class. When asked, "How do we know you're not just acting?" he responded with a fairly profound statement implying that the American public is not given enough credit for being able to read people. I have no idea what his ideology is but he sure sounded like he knew what he was talking about so I just subscribed to his blog and am eager to read through it.