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April 7, 2004
Instead of going to
work today, I went to a studio in Burbank to film Poker for Dummies featuring
Chris Moneymaker. This was my first opportunity to talk
with Chris and he was congenial and down to earth. After the shoot, I took Chris to the Bicycle Casino to play in the No Limit
tournament. We drew the same table and worse than that, we drew seats 5 and 6 (with him holding position). Robert Turner was also at
our table and he went to the tournament staff and asked them to announce Chris' presence. I was a little embarrassed that I brought Chris
and he ended up being "showboated". I apologized and he was very nice about the whole thing. The first big hand I decided to play
was pocket nines and I came in for a raise, Chris reraised and I told him, "I don't want to knock you out". He said, "I don't
want to knock you out either." I told him I thought he had two overcards and I didn't want to get in a race situation at that time.
I showed him my nines and he showed me AK. After that hand, I built my chips up a little and then moved all-in on the turn with king
high. The guy involved in the hand decided to call with ace high. Chris told me, "nice move" as I walking away from the table.
He finished a little while later and we both played live action. I was winning about $200 when Chris approached me and said we should
leave because we had to be at the studio at nine in the morning. I drove him back to where he was staying and I went home to try and
get some sleep. In no small part to an extremely high demand, poker information is more abundant than ever. Textbook strategies that
were effective just five years ago have become poker’s equivalent to an 8-Track cassette tape… outdated and a source of nostalgia.
Before the days of the modern poker boom, some strategists actually suggested folding pocket Queens to an Early Position pre-flop
raise in Limit Texas Holdem. While you may not find such “Tight” suggestions in today’s poker universe, there are still plenty of
guides that can point you in the right (or wrong) direction.
It was an early
morning for me today. Yesterday, I told Andrea, the director, that poker players do not wake up at eight in the morning. She laughed
and said we had a long day ahead of us. She was right. We were at the studio for ten hours. Seven of us were in the video: World
Series of Poker Champion Chris Moneymaker,
Barry and Jeff Shulman,
Adam Schoenfeld, Allyn Jaffrey, dealer Aaron Long, and
me. I forgot to mention in yesterday's entry that we played poker in the background while Chris was doing his dialogue. We decided it
would be more fun if we played in a tournament, so we each put up $20 bucks and I won. Today, Barry did his dialogue and we played No
Limit Holdem in the background and I took some money again. We were only playing with fifty-cent chips, but I left with a profit of
We had such a good time while we were playing. Adam is the most witty person I have ever met in my life and he had me in stitches.
I am sure the editor is going to have a field day cutting out scenes with me laughing in them. One time, I had to lay my head on the
table because I was laughing so hard. He did impersonations, including
Phil Hellmuth and Jeff Shulman, quoted movie scenes,
and he even rapped a Dr. Dre song. The song said something about nine-deuce and he kept referring to the hand as Deathrow Records.
Jeff was amusing too with his one-liners.
The experience was great and I look forward to seeing how it turns out. The staff was incredible and I am sure Andrea's magic will
shine through. Remember, the title of the video is Poker for Dummies, so it will mostly cover basic concepts, including betting
action, position, table etiquette, etc.