The Blogfiles

The Blogfiles are Back: Guinness & Poker


Intro: With all the shit that's shaking down in the poker world, a little perspective is needed. A voice of reason, if you will. Someone who has been in the game when most of you were still wearing diapers (we have a heavy 3 year-old reader-base) and is still going strong. Yep, time to bring back the Blogfiles again. And what better way to bring it back than with with poker's Blogfather...Iggy. For many, Iggy and Guinness & Poker is to poker blogs what Dr. Dre's the Chronic is to gangsta rap: the blueprint. We were fortunate enough to catch Iggy in between one of his famous uber-posts and a brief spell of semi-sobriety for a perfect pour of answers.

WCP: When did Guinness & Poker come to be...and why.

Iggy: I started it in Sept. of '03. And it was on a lark - a whim. I had been reading assorted poker blogs and whatnot for quite awhile and usually came away with a, "Hell, I should/could do that." And I'm not sure how but I do remember the actual moment I started G&P. It was late at work and I had just read a post by Mr. Decker and just impulsively went to and created mine.

At the time, I thought that the blog would help document my little poker hobby and perhaps clarify some thinking about concepts I was wrestling with at the time. Plus, it would give me an excuse to write a little even though I never really thought that anyone would actually read it, much less to help create the scene we have today.

WCP: When was your first "holy shit, people are reading this?" moment?

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Shannon Shorr: Guy With Girl's Name is a Millionaire


Editor’s Note: The following Blogfiles + Heads-Up article was contributed by FOWCP, Jeff Sealey

So you’re sitting in your cube on a Tuesday morning surfing some poker sites. You just turned in your “TPS Report” and wrapped up your first useless conference call of the day. You check out and the Player of the Year standings. It’s filled with poker’s biggest names…Michael "the Grinder" Mizrachi…Phil Hellmuth…Nam Le...Shannon Shorr

Wait, who?

Shannon Shorr?

A woman is ranked in the top 5?! This can't be!

No my friends, Shannon Shorr is a dude, a poker blogger, and one of the best tournament players in the world today. He just won the Bellagio Cup II, a $10,000 buy-in event where he took home over $960k.

And believe it or not, his name has actually helped him score chicks. “They think the name is cute,” Shorr says. Hey, whatever it takes. But it probably doesn’t hurt that he has a million in the bank now too.

I consider Shannon Shorr a friend of mine, and did before he climbed to #3 (now #4) on Cardplayer’s rankings. Shannon is just a regular guy who loves poker, tells it like it is, and doesn’t take himself too seriously.

So then, who is Shannon Shorr?

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The Blogfiles: PocketFives


Intro: Ok, "technically" PocketFives is not a blog. But as we've state numerous times, facts get in the way of things. PocketFives is a site many of you are a registered user of, as they can boast over 15,000 members. Equally impressive is that PocketFives' registered users are approaching $1.5 million earned so far at the 2006 WSOP. The site is a true online poker success story, containing forums, advice, reviews, and online player rankings. We caught up with Cal Spears, PocketFives President, to get his take on what established the site as the primary authority for online poker players.

WCP: What gave you the idea to start PocketFives?

CS: I was playing online poker very heavily in 2004. After a while I began noticing the same names doing well over and over again. I also noticed these same screen names were winning tournaments on different sites. Certain players were clearly dominating the online game, and some online names were developing a fan base as well. There was a lot going on in online poker, but no site that really tied it all together into a community devoted to online poker. The idea behind PocketFives was to recognize these great players for their online accomplishments and to build a community around the idea that online players are legit. I discussed the idea with Riley Bryant, a friend, fellow poker player, and savvy programmer who loved it and was excited to build it. We also brought in another friend and poker player, Adam Small, for content once the site started to take shape and we realized he'd fit in perfectly with what we're doing. We all loved poker, believed strongly in the idea, and worked hard at it, and all the pieces fell into place.

WCP: Did you ever think you'd get 15,000 members so quickly?

We always thought that it was an idea that could really take off.

Otherwise it would have been hard to put all the time into it that we did. That said, it's still pretty amazing to sit back and consider how much the site has grown in a year and a half. The buzz we got even before launching was amazing, and the growth has been steady since then.

We're getting about 50 new members every single day. We've got a lot of plans for continuing to grow - such as PocketFivesLive, where we'll cover online players who qualified into the major live events, as well as a very cool new rankings system with an automated element and more content and images from the top players online.

WCP: Give us some of your background pre-Pocket 5's...

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The Blogfiles: Jen Leo Live!


Intro: Jen Leo is, without a doubt, our favorite female poker blogger.  Granted, it's not like there's a ton of competition in that market, but even if there was, she'd still be our favorite.  Cause she can fucking write. She's like the Mia Hamm of writing. In that Mia Hamm is like the best female soccer player of our generation, and Jen is a damn witty, funny, intelligent writer...and a girl. We like her so much we've even put her pink header graphic at the top of this post. Yes, a big bright pink header, on WCP. But this isn't about us. It's about Jen.  Maybe you've seen her stuff in BLUFF, Woman Poker Player (it's a magazine for women...who play poker), TIME, and Playboy. She's also got a book in the works. The girl has got talent. Which is great. Cause we respect women. We respect their minds. We respect what they have to say. Lots. For real.

WCP: So...what are you wearing?

JL: I am wearing a short, lavender bathrobe, nothing underneath.

WCP: Hot. Alright. You're a quote unquote writer. So what the hell got you into poker? Shouldn't you be at a coffee shop typing away on your Mac wearing Moby-esque eye-glasses?

Jen_leo_pauly JL: I've been in the travel book publishing biz for ten years. But the Chinese side of my family has insured that I've had gambling in my blood for longer than that. My grandfather taught me how to play craps, and then proceeded to take me to Vegas several times a year after I was 21. After a while, I wanted to write about my gambling experiences but didn't quite know how to go about it. So, on one trip to the desert I went to the Gamblers Bookstore and got the grand tour from Howard Schwartz. I asked him to set me up with books that I could learn from. One of the ones he suggested was Anthony Holden's Big Deal. After I read and raved about that one, a friend recommended Positively Fifth Streetby James McManus.

That's all it took. Two books. I was hooked and just had to see the World Series of Poker. So, knowing very little about the game, but knowing how to get a few writing gigs, I packed my things in San Francisco and moved to Vegas for the summer. That was just last year. Now, I'm hooked the whole way around. On tournaments, and playing in our home game, and online.

But yes, if I were a kept woman and could say no to the ever present marketing ideas that take over my brain and lead me to busyness, I'd love to sit and write romantic comedy scripts at a coffee shop. It's the adult version of a teenager's bad love poetry.

WCP: How much leverage do you get out of telling people, "Yeah, I've been in Playboy..."

JL: That's funny. But still a lame question.

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The State of Online Poker in Washington State

Last week, a watershed event with cataclysmic consequences potentially on par with, say, the eruption of Mt. Rainer, minus the deaths and utter annihilation of a major metropolitan city, happened.

Ppa_120x240_2_1The state of Washington, who hasn't given us much since Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and the early 90's version of Nickelback--Candlebox--is once again at the forefront of a movement.  On June 7th, it became a Class C felony to play online poker in Washington (click here to view full bill). 

But like most recent efforts to ban online poker, can the proposed laws really be enforced?  And will the law actually keep anyone from playing?

Wicked Chops Poker spoke with prominent Emerald City player, Seattle John, to get his take on the state of online poker in Washington.

WCP: So, you still gonna play online poker?

SJ: Yes, I am still going to play. I am going to not play for a few days and see if anyone makes any news and how they may catch anyone so I can seek to avoid how they may get caught. I have no idea how it is going to be practical to catch anyone playing. In order to make it stick I would imagine they are going to have to catch you actually playing. They have openly said they are not really going after the individual player but more the sites. But since all sites are offshore they really don't have a chance at stopping them either. I think they law is more for show than anything.

WCP: Then you don't think there's really any way to, say, have ISPs block gaming sites?

SJ: No I don't think there is a practical way to block the sites in our state.

WCP: Has the local media covered this story in detail?

SJ: Yes, it has made the papers, the TV news, and the rumor mill at the cardrooms. It has been all over the press for about two weeks. I watched a small story on the news last night. If you are a poker player and don't know about it you have been under a rock.

WCP: Finally, what's your take on this whole mess?

SJ: I think it is a waste of time and energy. There is no practical way of enforcing the law, and I don't really think it will deter many people from playing online. I think the state should be looking at things that are much more important than trying to stop people from playing poker online. We have legalized cardrooms in this state, a ton of them. So poker is really not the problem. I think they are trying to deter underage gambling with this law the most. If you scare the parents, you get the kids I think.

I think it would have made a lot more sense to figure out a way to legalize it and tax it in this state. That would have been a much more forward looking law. But alas that is not going to happen. I think it is a really bad piece of legislation, and I hope nothing really comes of it because I want to keep playing online.

WCP: Thanks Seattle John.  And readers, as always, lend your support to the PPA to help fight anti-poker legislation.

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The Blogfiles: BJ Nemeth


Intro: BJ Nemeth is working backwards.  Many serious bloggers launch their site, then get their dream gig writing for one of the pubs out there.  BJ already worked that "dream" gig, for Card Player magazine, no less, when he launched their live tournament blogging initiative. Now, free from the constraints of publication affiliation, BJ's got his own blog up, providing his unedited insight and opinions to the poker community for the first time.

WCP: When did you get your poker blog up and running?

Bj_nemeth_2BJ: Using Apple's iWeb software and my existing .Mac account, I put up the beginnings of my website in late April. I started by posting my online portfolio, compiling some of my work (articles and photos) from my time reporting for Card Player magazine. That let me get comfortable with the software for about a week, and start my site with more content than just a few blog posts. (I'm a big believer in the Ted Turner theory that "Content is king.")

The website was ready for primetime when I posted my first blog entry on Sunday, April 30, 2006. I wrote an introduction to my blog, which was basically my mission statement.

WCP: You were with Card Player for awhile right when the poker boom was taking off. How'd you get hooked up with them and what were your responsibilities?

BJ: When the 2004 World Series began, I was unemployed...

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The Blogfiles + Heads-Up with Jeff Sealey

Jeff Sealey is just like a lot of people reading this site.  He's got a good day job, he's kind of a smart-ass, and he plays a lot of poker.  The big difference is that Jeff Sealey is a REALLY good poker player.

Jeff_sealey_aussie4 Before you start scratching your heads and thinking, “How does a blind dude play poker?”, don’t confuse Jeff Sealey (at right) with blind rock-balladeer Jeff “Angel Eyes” Healey. You know you did.

After qualifying for the 2006 Crown Australian Poker Championship (aka, the Aussie Millions) on Paradise Poker, Sealey finished fifth against a ridiculously strong field. Next week, Sealey is off to the Bahamas to play in the Conquest of Paradise at the Atlantis. Sealey, who is never afraid to speak his mind, keeps it humming. So we present to you our next Blogfile/Head-Up interview…Jeff Sealey.

Jose_canseco_1 WCP: What got you into playing poker?

JS: I grew up in a neighborhood of degenerate gamblers (who somehow managed to grow up into productive members of society). 

When I was a kid we played street baseball, whiffle ball,  RBI baseball...and a lot of poker.  Gambling debts were often collected in the form of a 1984 Topps Don Mattingly or a 1985 Mark McGwire USA Team baseball card.  Remember the 1986 Jose Canseco Donruss "Rated Rookie" card?  I used to think that was the coolest card ever. 

Oh how the mighty have fallen...

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The Blogfiles: Kid Dynamite's Friday In Vegas


"Famke 'Petra' Janssen lives in my 'hood, and I finally saw her at the dog run yesterday.  I tried to get Oscar to hump either, a) her dog, or b) her leg, but he wasn't cooperating.  She kept to herself, and never looked up from her blackberry.. I was just waiting to go up to her and say, 'Thanks for making this easy Mike.'" - Kid Dynamite

FamkeKid Dynamite's Friday In Vegas blog is funny.  Very funny.  Think TBS, but funnier.  It's one of our daily reads, and not just because we hope KD will somehow take and post a few good pics of his neighbor, Famke Janssen.  So in our continuing effort to showcase the best and brightest of the poker blogging community, we present to you on this fine Thursday afternoon Kid Dynamite's Friday In Vegas.

WCP: When and why did you launch Kid Dynamite's Friday in Vegas?

KD: I have a core group of poker friends who I'd always email my game recaps and trip reports to.  We'd talk theory, analyze hands, etc.  Eventually, it got to the point where I was sending so many emails I just decided to throw it online and see what came of it.  I think it was about a year ago - which turned out to be about 150 posts on  With a full time job, its hard to maintain a place in the "real world" and the "blog world."  I'm not really part of the blogger cool crew who play together on Party or Stars every night, and play in all their own blogger events and hang out in Vegas together (I did take 14th out of 2000+ in the Pokerstars Blogger Freeroll though - RESPECT).  I basically write for my own amusement, and the enjoyment of whomever wants to read my ramblings. And when I go to Vegas - I go with my own crew.  And it's ALWAYS blog-worthy.

I'm usually pretty amused by my own writing, and my handful of readers who have actually been on these Vegas trips with me know exactly where I'm coming from.

WCP: Don't you know that by sheer nature of the word, a "blogger" can never really be cool? 

KD: Yeah. that's true.  I was cool once, then I started blogging...

WCP: Please, explain the genesis of the name Kid Dynamite...

KD: The first time I played a live NL Hold'em tourney (I think this was back in 2002), at the legendary Playstation (now defunct) on 14th street in NYC, I ended up taking down $1900+ when we chopped the prize money at the final table.  My poker skill back then was a mere shadow of what it is today, but my table presence was explosive. I'd lie in wait, and occasionally spring to life with an aggressive play.  No one knew me there, it was "Who is this Kid?"  And in my trip recap, I became "Kid Dynamite."

WCP: If you had to apply the name Kid Dynamite to a field other than poker, do you think it best suits being: a) a super-hero, b) a professional wrestler, c) a roller derbyier, d) an actuary, or e) a TNT
blast specialist...

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The Blogfiles: Póquer-Red


For our next edition of the Blogfiles, Wicked Chops Poker profiles our favorite Spanish-language blog, Póquer-Red.  In fact, we'll go as far to say that Póquer-Red is the Wicked Chops Poker of Spanish poker blogs.  So in tribute to them, we present this Blogfile to you in all Spanish.  Enjoy.

WCP: Primeramente ponnos en situación con Póquer Red. ¿Cuándo empezaste y por qué?

PR: Inauguramos Póquer Red hace menos de un año. He estado envuelto en la web y sus tendencias por más de 6 años, y cuando descubrí la explosión del poker al otro lado del atlántico, vi una excelente oportunidad de introducirlo en el mercado español.

WCP: ¿Cuál es la sede de Póquer Red?

PR: El corazón de Póquer Red es un grupo de jugadores españoles de Valencia, una bella ciudad mediaterránea, pero en este momento tenemos a gente colaborando desde todas partes del país.

WCP: ¿Cuales piensas que son las mayores diferencias entre la forma en la que los americanos juegan a poker (No Limit en particular) y la gente de otros países?

PR: Realmente no puedo comentar mucho acerca de este tema, ya que soy principalmente un jugador de fixed limit. Desde ese punto de vista suelo preferir un oponente norteamericano antes que un europeo, ya que hay más posibilidades de que el americano juegue por diversión.

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The Blogfiles: The Obituarium


Chops here.

During Iggy's first WSOP qualifier two weeks ago, I was moved to a table where, among others, Joe Speaker sat.  I was short-stacked and ready to move in with any pair or face cards.  Immediately upon sitting my butt down in my new virtual seat, the following popped up in the Paradise Poker chat: Joe Speaker: "Chops, who do I have to blow to get on the blogfiles?"  Someone then typed: "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzip."  Then I got dealt K-T in the BB went all-in was called by A-Q didn't win the hand and someone else typed something to the effect of: "Damn Joe see what you just did to him" or something like that.

Anyway, we're glad to have the Obituarium on board for what turned out to be a very funny Blogfile.  Enjoy.

MansionWCP: So, the Playboy Mansion sucked, right?

JS: Absolutely. Free food, open bar, beautiful women, a bunch of my friends, poker, a spiraling-into-oblivion Tara Reid, beautiful women.  Nothing I'd be interested in. At times, it felt simply liike a party,  then it would hit me where I was. I'd step back, raise my arms wide to shoulder height, tilt back my head and bellow, "Ahhhhhhhhhhh." Then burly guys would tell me not to do that again.

It was something I'll never forget. And something I'll never let those that weren't there forget, either. I'm currently sending snail-mail letters written on the Playboy-embossed notepad I stole to
everyone I know.

WCP: Be honest though, the thought of taking advantage of a worn-out, VD-laden Tara Reid who was spiraling into oblivion possibly crossed your mind...

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The Blogfiles Returns With:: Bill Rini


“I'm not sure you can call ‘Rush Rush’ the best song about poker but it's certainly up there.  It's definitely the one people think about when they think Paula Abdul and poker.” – Bill Rini

After a brief hiatus, Wicked Chops Poker is, in PR parlance, “pleased and excited” to bring back our Blogfile feature.  To kick it off again, we’re, uh, pleased and excited to showcase the always entertaining and insightful Bill Rini.  Enjoy.

WCP:'re pretty new to the so-called "Internet" thing, aren't you?

BR: I guess you can say I've been around the block a few times.

WCP: had a few iterations before finding its groove as a poker blog…what’d you do with the site before focusing on poker? 

BR:  It was mostly just a place for me to experiment around with software until about 2001 when a friend and I decided to actually do something with it.  We were sitting around over a few beers laughing about some of the absurd boo-hoo stories the press was writing about the dotcom bubble bursting and we decided that there was a need to offer a more balanced view.  The result was ( and both go to the same site today) which stood for the Real Internet News Initiative.  Once the press figured out that the sky wasn't falling, I no longer had anything fun to write about so I was in search of a new theme.

WCP:  Once made the leap into pokerblogdom, you uncovered one of the greatest mysteries since Geraldo unlocked Al Capone's vault…and that was the secret poker-themed lyrics to Paula Abdul's opus "Rush Rush." Do you consider “Rush Rush” to be the greatest song ever about poker?  If not, what is? My vote goes to “A Boy Named Sue” (loose poker tie-in, sure, but Sue's daddy was playing a game of Stud in it).

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The Blogfiles: Double A's


Intro:  This dude can play. 

Of all the poker bloggers, few have a game more respected than Double A’s.  Hell, we even linked to one of his strategy articles, and as you’ve seen, strategy articles seldom give Wicked Chops Poker a chance to blatantly showcase hot girls.  So that says something.

In our continuing Blogfiles, Double A’s tells us about his book, common rookie mistakes to take advantage of, and what it feels like to be the Day 1 chip leader at a WSOP event…

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The Blogfiles: Las Vegas and Poker


Intro:  For well over a year, the Las Vegas and Poker blog has provided top-notch coverage of poker tournaments, personalities, and issues.  The Poker Prof and Flip Chip are synonymous with poker blogging.  On a side note, let’s come up with a better name for “blog.”  You just can’t type a sentence and make it sound cool by ending it with “blog.”  You just can’t. 

Anyway, the Las Vegas and Poker blog is one of our daily reads, and it’s the focus of our latest Blogfile.  So take in the Poker Prof as he waxes on his full-time gig: poker blogging.

See.  You just can’t.

WCP: How’d the Las Vegas and Poker blog originate?

PP: The blog started as a hobby that grew out of selling poker chips via eBay. I discovered that blogging and poker were far more enjoyable than sales. The blog really became a focal point when we obtained media access to the 2004 World Series of Poker, we have been covering major poker events in Vegas ever since.

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The Blogfiles: OddJack


Intro: For our latest Blogfile, we talk with two of the wagering wonks that make OddJack what it is, AJ and BG.  For shits and giggles, we'll intro this in movie-trailer format. Why not?  Here it goes: (While reading the following, think of seeing earth’s horizon followed by sweeping landscape shots that then quickly zooms into a computer monitor.) “In a world where many blogs look and sound the same, there is a blog that rises against mundane virtual conformity and uniformity. This blog dares to be heard, even if it pisses off Tomer Benvenisti and Josh Arieh. The producers of Gawker Media, who brought you, um,, now proudly present their latest project: OddJack.”

If that teaser doesn't get you to buy a ticket into the Q&A, nothing will.  So read, among other topics, their so-called "feud" with Josh Arieh, polling poker babes, and who will win the upcoming UGA-UT and ND-USC games.  Enjoy.

WCP: First, give us the background on how OddJack got started.

AJD: Well, I have no idea how it got started...

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The Blogfiles: Tao of Poker


Blogging has fueled the fulmination of poker, and Paul McGuire is living many a poker blogger’s dream.  His site—Tao of Poker—was a primary source of WSOP coverage for the poker blogging community.  He’s taken on poker coverage as a full time gig, writing for Poker Player Newspaper and Fox Sports.  In the first of an ongoing series, we spotlight “Dr. Pauly” and his site, Tao of Poker.

WCP:  Give us a little history on Tao of Poker...

Pauly: I authored a regular blog called the Tao of Pauly and some of my friends were getting pissed that it contained too much poker content. One of them politely requested that I start a new blog and move the poker content off my main blog. Since my blog was the Tao of Pauly, it seemed natural that I call my new blog the Tao of Poker...

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Girls on the Rail at 2008 WSOP


    Our photog at the 2008 WSOP is having a hard time focusing his lens on the pros at the table. We like him for that. Check out girls on the rail here.

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