Friday, December 29, 2006

10 Great Blog Posts From 2006

Alright, at long last I am back.

Let's get one thing out of the way right up front here: Year-In-Review posts as a general statement are ghey. So are new years resolution posts, Valentine's Day wife-adoring posts, and other similar faegery. At least, they are IMO. And yet nonetheless, we all do them. Most of us anyways, at some point on our respective corners of the blogmension (yes I'm into using stoopid made-up words today), have lowered ourselves to this level, for any number of reasons. Today, my reason is simply that I've been kicking around an idea like this for some time, and the end of my first full year of really blogging seems like a great chance to look back for a bit.

See, I read quite a few poker blogs. Quite frequently. A whole shitpile of poker bloggery, if you will. And so, when a guy like me faces the end of another calendar year since an approximation of the death of Jesus Christ, I can't help but look back. Looking back at the bloggers who influenced me and my game the most over the past year. At which blogs I've wasted away the most workplace productivity in the past 12 months. At the new crowd of bloggers who have come on the scene and really made an impact. At all the best, worst and funniest posts to be had during the year 2006.

And that's what brings me here today. I've spent a great deal of time reading and remembering and linking great poker blog posts during the past 12 months. After taking in all that combined data consumed this year from the thousands and thousands of blog posts from hundreds of different writers, each with their own unique style and outlook on poker, on blogging, on life, here I have boiled down to 10 Great Blog Posts From 2006.

To be clear, these are not your favorite posts. They're my favorite posts, and I'm not trying to say you should love them, or even like them, in any way. I'm just posting in my online journal 10 posts that I liked from the past year. That's it. Also for clarity's sake (I get the nasty comments and emails from trolls just as much as the next guy), these are not even necessarily my 10 "favorite" posts from the year, or what I deem to be the 10 "best" posts of the year. It's just the list of ten posts that have come back to me as I look back over my experiences in the world of poker blogging during 2006.

Also, I'm not going to sit here and say that I bet I am leaving someone out. I already know I'm leaving lots of awesome bloggers and lots of awesome blog posts out. I can think of them now. In true Me style, I'm not going to sit here for 20 hours obsessing over whether I'm missing someone, or have something ranked wrong. These ten are not ranked, and I'm not trying to rank anything. Again, it's just me listing ten blog posts I liked during 2006. That's it. And to the trolls: Try to sit back and fucking relax for once in your life, willya? Thanks.

OK so here they are, in no particular order, my list of Ten Great Blog Posts From 2006:

1. Looking back over the year chronologically, the first huge piece of news in my own poker experience had to be Ryan taking down Event #1 at the LA Poker Classic, for a payday way well into six figures. Holy fucking shit is all I was thinking that day, and frankly the mystique still hasn't worn off, even as I write this right now. Here is the first post from after Ryan's incredible victory -- and the first post on my list of blog posts I loved from the past 12 months. How can you not love a post like this? Ryan has a very enjoyable and analytical style to his writing that always makes his blog a great read, and to read this story, focusing on a particular kickass call that he made, in the context of what Ryan had just accomplished was, and still is, a real treat for me. If you haven't read this, go now and feel the rush.

2. Sometime around late winter or maybe springtime in New York City, a brash, irreverent mother effing filthy fucking Cowboys fan named JJ burst into my own poker blogging conscience (others may have known him earlier, I don't know, who cares), and to this day remains one of my own personal daily favorite reads. JJ has rocked his readers with almost innumerable hilarious posts at various points throughout the year, and a couple of his real gems have got to be on this list for me. I mean, this is shit I've laughed about for hours with my fucking friends, people who don't play poker and definitely couldn't even tell you what a blog is, but they've heard from me about the funny shit JJ has introduced into my life. This post remains without a doubt one of the funniest things I saw all year in the world of poker blogdom, and what's great about it is that, since over 85% of my regular audience are men, most of you out there can so totally relate to what picking out movies for both of you to watch together can be like. If you have not read this post yet, get ready to laugh out loud: JJ's "Movie Nights" post. Enjoy.

3. Here's a kinda sick one, something which I don't even recall ever commenting on or linking to in my blog (though I might have, who cares) despite having gotten a huge chuckle out of it the first several times I read it. It is a quick post from Bloody P -- still probably in the top three coolest animated avatars around (I do love the crazy drummer guy, Dave, don't want you to feel unnoticed or unappreciated) -- and it is about winning a couple of dollars are some microlimit ($.01 - $.02) holdem cash game online. For whatever reason, I can not get over what BP types into the chat at the end of his thorough nlh domination of his opponent in this post. It just kinda jumps out at you when you first read it, but the more times I think about it, the funnier this seems to get. Don't ask me why, but the reality of someone typing this in to me in the chat at a microlimit game like this seems really fucking funny. Maybe it's just me. I do love me some masturbation jokes. Anyways, here's the post, it's fairly quick and you get to read some naked hand histories too, always a thrill. If you haven't read this one yet, you might love it, or you might think it's sick, or you might think I'm sick for pointing you towards it. Who cares.

4. This is a fun one for me to do, because the writer has turned into one of my personal favorite guys among the poker blogging crew. When Iakaris burst onto the scene sometime around spring maybe (?), I had never heard of the guy, but he slow-played me and busted me out of one of the regular weekly blogger tournaments. At the time from reading his name on pokerstars, I thought he was "Lakaris", but it's funny how much a part of the regular poker blogging conscience Iak has become in a very short time. Iak has an honest and direct way of writing, and yet the guy is funny as hell. And he has perhaps the best (or worst, I wouldn't know) vocabularies of any of the bloggers I know of offhand. And, one of the best parts of all is that Iak has matured very obviously right before our eyes during 2006 into a very strong, strategic and smart nlh player, adding an extra dimension to his posts that you just can't get anywhere else. I thought long and hard about which Iak post to include on my list. There are so many funny ones to mention, and the insightful ones, the poker strategy kinda posts, and of course all the silliness with the erstwhile Melinda. There was of course the post after the man took 4th place in the FTOPS pot-limit holdem event for a cool 12k. But after reviewing them over and over, I've decided to go with this post right here. This is Iak's third ever post on his poker blog from back in April, and I like it for this list because Iak is probably the new-in-2006 blogger with whom I have identified the most during the year, and I like something from the beginning to show how it all began. This post in particular is a very insightful piece into Iaks own game, showing that combination of honesty and humor that only Iak can whip up. If you haven't read this post yet, go enjoy the humble beginnings of someone with a lot more poker action in him to come. And speaking of which, Where The Fuck Are You Iak?

5. Dr. Pauly's WSOP coverage is going to be the only item on my list where I cop out and don't really want to pick one single post. I'm going to link here to Pauly's final post live from the floor of the Rio as Jamie Gold took down the $12 million first prize in the largest poker tournament ever played, but really the story with Pauly at the WSOP cannot be captured in one post or one link. For each of the past couple of years, a working stiff like me, who doesn't have the time to watch the live WSOP feed from my office and can't always read the latest updates on Cardsquad, Pauly is an absolute fucking must-have. His hand-to-hand WSOP coverage is without a doubt second to none, year after year, and there is simply very little that compares to the ability to hear what's going on at the tournament I so desperately want to know about, and all from the friendly pen keyboard of one of my favorite poker writers. No year-end list would be complete without citing Pauly's top notch coverage of the grandpappy of all poker tournaments. You can spend an entire afternoon or more just perusing Pauly's 2006 WSOP coverage, photos, and behind-the-scenes stories you just won't read about anywhere else. If you haven't read Pauly's WSOP coverage, I really don't understand you at all.

6. Another new (to me, anyways) poker blogger during 2006 was CC, whom I first heard about again sometime during the early part of the year. CC really burst onto the scene, at least for me, with this post on Poker and Relationships, which really hit home with a great many of us poker bloggers and poker players out there, for obvious reasons. CC has a way with words and a way of writing about the issues that hit us all most deeply and most directly, and this post in particular really turned a lot of heads, my own included. Part I and Part II of CC's "Poker and Relationships" post really made myself and a lot of you and others just like us turn our heads inwards, and think about an issue that affects most of us to some degree, but which many of us don't typically like to deal with all that much. In fact, from my perspective this was one of the most influential and most read posts of the year among the bloggers, so go check it out if you haven't already. And if you haven't read this one yet, then you were clearly living under a rock during 2006.

7. Obviously, one of the biggest and baddest stories of 2006 in the world of online poker was the passing of the UIGEA in late summer. For a good few weeks there, there was total uncertainty among basically all of us. I withdrew most of my online poker site money and neteller funds, as did most of the people I know, for a few weeks in September as we all waited with baited breath for the next shoe to drop, for the next site to cowtail to the U.S. government and kick us all off of their servers, and the next electronic funding company to refuse to service U.S. customers interested in online gambling. For a while there you really never knew what was the exact state of affairs in the online poker world right after UIGEA went down. And then came along Up For Poker. The crew at UFP stepped in and became for me and many others the definitive source for opinions, analysis and updates on the UIGEA and its impact on our daily lives as online poker players. I can't say how many times I tuned in to Up For Poker's UIGEA coverage, and to this day it remains the place on the Internets to go for the latest on whether or not the clowns in DC today think we're allowed to invest our own money in this habit hobby anymore. If you did not read about the UIGEA at UFP during 2006, then you must not live in the U.S.

8. Thinking back on the funniest shit I saw this year on poker blogs, this Youtube video of Otis eating two Keno crayons for $400 after a losing session at the tables is definitely right up there with the best of it. I mean seriously, this is gold, Jerry, gold! As a picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is often worth a thousand pictures, I don't think see how this item could possibly be left off my list for 2006. If you haven't seen this one yet, you're in for a good gross-out.

9. Back to JJ for a minute here, this guy made it on to my list for a second time with this creative and really fun post, actually reviewing the very first blog posts a number of other bloggers uploaded to their own blogs. JJ picked some great guys to detail, and some really great content in those posts along the way, and the perspective you can get from it is really funny in a lot of cases. I mean we're talking about big-limit guys who were starting out at the low levels and seeing if they had any skillz at all, and just some really funny people posting about what they were intending their blog to be, without the foreknowledge that we now have about what these guys were to become. This post is a really great read, so if you haven't yet seen it, you've totally been missing out.

10. And no 2006-in-review post among poker blogs could possibly be complete without referring to this post, a "100 Things About Me" post from our resident crazyman Waffles. When this post hit the Internets in April of this year, it sent shockwaves all across the poker blogiverse. Many people had tried to do a list like this in the past, and it's always great to learn more about the person, the individual, behind our favorite blogs for sure, but no one even came close to the jarring impact felt by everyone who read almost any poker blog back in the spring of this year. Waffles' 100 Things list, aptly subtitled "Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid", simultaneously intrigued and sickened us all, and I am not ashamed to admit I probably took 7 or 8 spins through the entire list before I had to file it away, forever, my retinas forever scarred from some of the more descript imagery and thoughts conjured up by Waffles' little masterpiece. But I thank him for it, as this badboy probably took up the most of my energy out of any blog post during the year.

And there you have it. In all, it was a huge year for me, both poker-wise, and blog-wise. The list above just highlights some of the posts that immediately come to mind when I think about the stuff I spent the most time reading, analyzing and reviewing during the year. Flame away.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some good posts there Hoy! You're too humble though, I'm sure theres one or two of yours that could make that list.

3:49 AM  
Blogger jjok said...

fun times man, thanks for the shout out.......

I have to say that absinthe's post was unbelievable.......I had never read it before.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Iakaris aka I.A.K. said...

yo brotha - Happah New Year from your fellow New Yorkah (Buffalo counts right?)

posting resumed. seriously considering a Stars redeposit just to get to MATH, but haven't made it happen yet.

12:51 AM  

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