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Friday, June 24, 2011

More LOL Rise-aments.

So I wasn't going to bother with all the freeroll qualifiers for Thursday's WSOP ME satellite on Rise, mainly because I didn't feel like wading through hundreds of chipstacks for one seat like this guy. But, I kept seeing posts on how, if you decided to sign up for a VIP membership, you'd have an automatic entry to the satty. So WTF. It's a two-week trial before you get charged, let's give RISE another shot and see what happens, and after noticing only 2200 players registered Thursday night, I decided to give it a go.

So I signed up for VIP, tried to register for the tourney, and no dice. Didn't work.
A review of Rise's twitter feed and mentions (search rise_poker) is in order:


Today's the day! Our $12,500 World Series Main Event Championship starts at 9pm ET / 6pm PT. All VIP members can play!

@JamesDaBear We always intended that VIP players should be able to play w/o qualifying. We screwed up when the qualifiers were implemented.

@JamesDaBear Again, we screwed up and only realized the error this week. We apologize for our growing pains. This error won't happen again.

@lasvegaspokers You *will* be able to play. Our tech dept will manually add you to the reg list before the tourney starts.

@nowitrocks We are manually adding all VIPs to the tourney. If you're not already on the registration list (pls check) you will be shortly.

@lasvegaspokers @JenShahade All you have to do is sign up for VIP but there was a technical screw-up on our end.

@lasvegaspokers @JenShahade We are manually adding VIPs as a result. We are on the phone with tech right now to make sure it happens.

@JenShahade @lasvegaspokers Tech assured me 2 minutes ago that every VIP *will* be added to the reg list manually. Good luck in the tourney!

If you signed up for VIP but got shut out of the WSOP tourney pls email with your RISE name and email.

Correction on email address--contact


Basically, you finally pitch a tournament that was advertised as qualifiers only for weeks, as something now open to all VIPs.

You do this for two days or so, finally figure out that VIPs aren't being auto-entered, but can't technically puzzle out how to fix it with an hour's worth of notice.

When you are alerted that people didn't make the tournament - you say you will email people (which hasn't happened), then instead put out an email address seeking contact (passive response) - which is wrong and has to be corrected.

This makes FTP support look supergenius.

I could give Rise credit for having a Twitter presence that looks like it really tried to be proactive and customer-friendly - or rip all of this as a ploy to gather more VIP signups and credit card information w/o actually delivering anything.

The truth, as always, is somewhere in between.

But actually backing this kind of innocent yet bumbling incompetence for $20/month? No thank you.

I just went ahead and cancelled that membership around 9:10.


Of course, the Merge experiment finally fell off a cliff where I dropped like all the profit (six BI) in the span of 500 cash hands by playing bad and running worse. If I didn't run into the top of someone's range, I got it in good and got three outed. I should have stopped the bleeding halfway through, but since it's play money anyway, I figured I was either going to double back up to where I was or flatline - and thus I'm back where I started...

There are other crazy life things happening as the month closes. Maybe I'll know more next week.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

this is my life...

I get to read about all sorts of people heading to Vegas and tossing cards around, and yet I am spending my Saturday getting up at 6:45am to work swim meets and mulch the yard.

But at least I get a neat picture out of it.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

catching up, profit time....

*So it was nice - I finally made a short-term investment backing a blogger in a live tourney that paid off as NumbBono cashed in the $1500 HORSE tourney at the Rio over the weekend. Man can nurse a stack far deeper than anyone should be able to - well done on his part.

*More and more I'm wondering if the increased WSOP entry numbers are the classic dead cat bounce as everyone scrapes up the last of their bankrolls for one final push.

*I did run the BBT in Exile #3 tourney last weekend - and it was pretty obvious that I wasn't paying attention at all b/c I donked off 60BB preflop in an obvious 80/20 spot by four-bet jamming fives or something stupid like that right into Kings to Gigli out.

1) NumbBono
2) wolfshead
3) CEMfromMD
4) PinkyStin771
5) xkm1245
6) FullHouse538
7) SmBoatDrinks
8) KingDonk himself.

Thanks to all that came out - accelerated structure got it done in just over 40 minutes, which is a little too fast but closer to right - I think I'm going to just keep this a once a month deal on the first Sunday night - and make it a mix game, simply because 1) that's probably the right amount of interest we can sustain over time and 2) everyone can play NLHE whenever they want, you can't always generate mix games, and that should make the tourneys a little more notable and unique.

After that spewage, I ended up focusing a lot more on the Merge experiment - where I'm still managing to spin that imaginary bankroll up pretty consistently - I really thought I'd run into... I don't know, better/more solid/not so predictable play, but the games are nothing like they were pre-Black Friday at the levels I'm running - $20-30 SnGs, $10-20 MTTs, $50 cash tables. It probably makes me think I'm better than I actually am.

*Both the NBA and NHL Finals have been nothing short of awesome, especially since I have nothing invested in any of the teams and can just appreciate the games w/o the horror of watching my team go busto.

*For anyone who actually remembers - Supposedly my return to the job runs out at the end of the month. I have no idea if that will actually happen. Maybe I go permanent, maybe I just hang out another few months, maybe I get to take my original severance and have three months to find another gig. The fact I'm completely ambivalent to any or all of these scenarios isn't a great sign.

What I do know is that my wedding anniversary is this week - and by the end of the week the house will be filled with the mother-in-law and niece/nephew on a summer visit, one wife, three kids, one nanny, three cats - and one dude just trying to survive and puzzle it all out... :-)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Rise against wha? More BBT in Exile too...

In the pokah for free realm this week..

-Yes, I have taken the RISE Poker plunge... Ran a freeroll last night for 15 minutes and played so lol awesome NOT. Played a couple of quick SnGs... And um, look, I know they're trying to push a subscription online poker site, there's quite a few bloggers doing some work for them at the WSOP, I really hope they succeed...

But the software is just dreadful. I mean, it's borderline unplayable. Maybe if I was a VIP member and didn't have the ads flying around, that would help - but even then...

Look, as much as everyone wants to crush Full Tilt now, the one thing they always had going for them was a friendly, fun, inviting user interface. It sounded fun, looked good, was customizable - and even though many people complained about lag, I never experienced it. The software worked - it was pleasant to use.

I've had moments where I couldn't type a numerical bet into RISE - the dialog box wouldn't work. Nothing feels like it's where it should be, from the labels and menus to the controls at the tables. I can't find a MTT structure anywhere. Dragging a window around the screen makes it vibrate like an earthquake's hit. The lobby's horrible - and don't try to flip through any list that's more than 20 deep...

Basically, the RISE software does everything to make me want to uninstall it at the slightest drop of a hat. It makes Bodog look good. Merge is so mediocre, and it's ridiculously better than this. I hopehopehope it gets better. It has to.

Put it this way, I'm going to wait and see before dropping $20/month on RISE, and this is from a donk that tossed moneys onto Merge... And none of this even addresses the kind of players you run into on a freeroll site - subscription sites should be able to work long-term, but not like this.

-Played a pseudo-Dank/Mookie Wednesday with 9-10 runners and won that. Ended up with a very loud and cranky daughter that wouldn't sleep throughout the night, so didn't really chat or listen in to anything during the tourney. Still was nice to drop in and play a Stars Home Game...

-Which is a segue to this: yes, this Sunday is another BBT in Exile event.

I haven't pimped it that much at all, so I don't expect numbers to be too big. Bigger stacks with quicker levels, so hopefully the end game moves faster than the last NLHE tourney we ran. I will try and publicize effectively over the next few days.

Now in real poker news....

-Merge experiment is going well. Running smooth, sir.... Hope to get out live again soon, whether it be to AC for an Ante Up meet up or out to Charles Town sometime in June.

-I know I will buy a piece of a blogger for a live tournament and be rewarded soon. I can sense it... ;-)

-The whole Ivey/FTP debacle... sigh. The lawsuit is something he has to do for a number of reasons - and player cashouts is like #206 on the list - but it will make those cashouts harder if they ever come. Brilliant PR move, though, even if it doesn't accomplish anything of merit...

FTP's pissant response, though, makes me wonder if their PR department consists of one angry twentysomething chick who just got dumped by her man and SHE BE ONE BITTER BITCH BABY! I mean, you are (or were) a multi-milliondollar company. This is your professional, measured response? Really?

Anyhow - it all makes for some random times.

In someways, poker, especially at the WSOP (nicely large fields for the early events, almost live-streaming on ESPN3, the improved production/FT setup) seems like it's never been better, but there's always that sketch underneath the surface to remind you this isn't all for fun - that's there's big $$$, and the greed to snag/milk/steal as much of it as you can, driving it all.