Monday, January 29, 2007



Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mansion tournaments

These days, basically I'm just playing the daily 100K Guaranteed tournament at Mansion, it has a big overlay, "only" a little more than 500 players play every day; since the buy in is $100, that basically means if you're an average player, the casino is giving you around $85 just for playing there. I think Mansion is a great site with pretty good promotions, remember the nice $1000 Pittsburgh promotion?.
The only problem is, that Mansion just closed to Americans as many sites have done after the Anti-Gambling law, so if you are US, you can't deposit money there anymore, those of us who already have some money there are allowed to keep playing.

I've played around 15 tournaments so far, with 2 cashes, a 15th place for $1000 and today a 7th place for $3400. I plan on playing this tourney all February, if you don't live in the US and like free money, you should do it too. If you don't have an account in Mansion, please follow this Mansion link.

I'm not playing more tournaments, because I don't have enough money in the sites (FT and PS), and I'm waiting to see what's going to happen in the post-Neteller era. I'm waiting for the new deposits and cashouts methods to arrive. Hopefully they will, this situation sucks, but we have no choice but to wait. In the mid-time, hopefully I'll win some tournaments at Mansion, and win some money playing cash games at FullTilt and Stars.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Western Union Trip Report

Last week, a little before the Neteller announcement, and thanks to some 2+2 Zoo posts, I decided to withdraw all my money from Neteller, not that I had a lot, but I thought it would be better to have it in some poker sites, after Neteller went out of US business, I was left with little money almost in all the poker sites I play, with one exception, Bodog, I had a lot there (with respect to the other sites), because I haven't met the rollover requirements for a big bonus I had, the day of the Neteller debacle, I tried to complete the bonus requirement, I bet a lot of NBA games, but unluckily for me, by the time the NBA games had finished, Neteller was not an option anymore, not to mention the fact that I went 1 for 7 :( damn; so I wanted to make a withdrawal from Bodog, I reviewed the options they had and decided to try the echeck, I submitted my bank info and waited for the payout, next day I discovered the echeck was not an option anymore, so I cancelled my request and tried to do something else; not many options left, one of them was a Western Union request, so I did it, it was last Thursday January 18, that same day I received an email about the Payout request, stating it will be reviewed in the next 24 hours.
By Friday I received a second email, stating my payout had been issued; great I thought, but wait, what does this mean? what do I need to do now? I sent them a reply asking them, and they replied the same day telling me they would give me more instructions in the next 24-48 hours.
By Sunday, they sent me an email with information about my payout, two different people from Quezon City in the Philippines sent me $3000 each and I just needed to go to a Western Union location to pick up the money.

I went this Tuesday to a WU location inside the nearest Walmart to my home, like a 3 minutes drive; I was wondering if they would be able to give me all the $6000, so, that was the first thing I asked, if they had a limit for a payout, the WU guy told me they don't, wait, I told him, what about if I want to withdraw $100,000; he then told me he believed the limit was $5000 per day, probably his first answer was thinking I was going to withdraw less than that, or probably he just didn't think at all; I told him then, I had 2 requests of $3000 each, he told me he needed to ask somebody if they can do it, he came back and told me it was ok; so I proceeded to fill out the forms with my info and the Philippines guys info, they asked me for some ID, I used my drivers license, they wanted one more and told me my SS# was enough, so I gave them my SS, and after some 10 minutes, they came back with 6 $1000 checks, WU guy told me to sign the checks, I gave him a confused look and ask him if I could just take the checks, he answered of course, he thought I wanted the money instead of the checks, because nobody wants the checks, they always want the cash. I told him the checks were all that I needed. I walked out with my checks, and in the same mall there was a Bank of America location, so I just walked 3 minutes to the BoA and deposited the checks into my account; I had to wait in line, like 15 minutes, but after that, the money was in my account ready to pay my credit cards next month.

In retrospect, even without Neteller, the process had about the same length (less than a week) than with Neteller, Bodog was pretty efficient with the WU option, the difference was, with Neteller, it was just some clicks in my computer and wait for the money to arrive to my bank, and in this case, I needed to do some "physical" activities like drive and walk, and of course waste some time in line.

When I was walking between the WU location and the BoA, I couldn't help but to feel a nice sensation, I remembered the times in the late 90's when I used to do that, after some big 15-30 limit holdem session in my local casino, after playing all night, driving in the morning to the bank and make a deposit to my account of the money I had just won; it was a nice feeling, and for some reason, the money was real then, and that feeling of "reality" was lost in the internet era. So, after all, I enjoyed the WU trip.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

En el limbo

La situacion en el mundo del online poker esta en una fase bastante problematica en estos dias. Desde que paso la ley antigambling en los Estados Unidos en pasado Octubre, muchos lugares de poker en Internet han cerrado, el mas notable Party Poker, los que cerraron principalmente lo hicieron por ser compañias publicas que cotizan en la bolsa en Londres, algunos lugares importantes siguieron abiertos, como Poker Stars y Full Tilt, pero a ultimas fechas se han desatado nuevos problemas, con el cierre de Neteller para los Estados Unidos. Neteller era clave para poder depositar y sacar dinero de los casinos de Internet, puesto que se podia hacer un link entre Neteller y tu banco aqui en los Estados Unidos, y despues mover el dinero entre los sitios de Internet y Neteller; desafortunadamente, ahora sin Neteller, empieza a ser cada vez mas dificil depositar dinero a los casinos en Internet y consecuentemente sera mas dificil que entren a jugar, jugadores recreativos, hasta que surjan nuevos metodos de depositar dinero que sean faciles de usar. Por mi parte ya acabo de hacer un retiro de uno de los sitios usando Western Union y planeo pasar a recoger el dinero este dia, es la primera vez que lo hago asi, pues estaba acostumbrado a usar Neteller. Esperemos que la situacion mejore, pero en estos dias no es muy bueno ser un profesional de poker en Internet en los Estados Unidos. Yo tengo la facilidad de que vivo en la frontera, asi que si las cosas se ponen todavia mas dificiles, pues tendre que irme a jugar poker a Ciudad Juarez en Mexico. Es completamente frustrante que en un pais como Estados Unidos "the land of the free", tengamos que estar aguantando al gobierno, diciendonos que debemos hacer con NUESTRO dinero; yo tengo la esperanza de que las condiciones politicas cambien en un futuro y el sentido comun se imponga y la decision de jugar poker en internet sea una decision que tome cada quien y no tengamos necesidad de que el gobierno nos diga que hacer con nuestro dinero y nuestro tiempo libre.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Babel !!!

I did pretty well in the globes, basically I just missed Pan's Labyrinth in the foreign language category (The favorite Letters from Iwo Jima won), of all the bets I made. I'm excited for the Oscar season, I've always loved movies and I've been always a pretty good prognosticator in award season, but actually this is the first time I bet on it and I did pretty well, I won around $3500, thanks mainly to my Babel bets, I'm happy with the Babel winning, because of my bets of course, but also because this is a very good year for the Mexican film industry, with 3 very good movies by the three amigos, Babel by Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarrirtu, who won best director at Cannes Festival and best movie drama at the globes; Pan's Labyrinth by Guillermo Del Toro, Pan's won best picture by the National Society of Film Critics and has won many best foreign film awards; and Children of Man by Alfonso Cuaron, which just won best film in Vancouver.
I think there is a chance to win more good money in the Oscars, let's hope things go well.

Golden Globes results (Film)

Best Drama: Babel

Best Comedy/Musical: Dreamgirls

Best Actor Drama: Forest Whitaker - The Last King of Scotland

Best Actress Drama: Helen Mirren - The Queen

Best Actor Comedy/Musical: Sacha Baron Cohen - Borat

Best Actress Comedy/Musical: Meryl Streep - The Devil Wears Prada

Best Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy - Dreamgirls

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson - Dreamgirls

Best Director: Martin Scorsese - The Departed

Best Screenplay: The Queen

Best Original Song: The Song of the Heart - Happy Feet

Best Original Score: The Painted Veil

Best Animated Feature: Cars

Best Foreign Language Film: Letters from Iwo Jima

Friday, January 12, 2007

My Golden Globe bets

Well, I have been traveling a lot, I think I will be back home by Monday. I have been playing more cash games and the year 2007 looks promising.
Today I want to share with you my Golden Globes picks, I bet some money to the following awards:






I have some bets also for DREAMGIRLS to best picture musical/comedy; right now Bodog has a great line 7/8, probably a mistake, since the lines at other sites have it at arount -600, but for some reason Bodog loves Borat, I think you should bet and enjoy the free $50.

I made almost all my bets last month and I think I got great lines, with the exception of Pan's Labyrinth, the rest of my bets are almost a lock (or so I think). For example, I got Helen Mirren at -585 and right now is at -1900, Forrest at -235, now at -335, Hudson at -300, now at -600, Sasha at -415, now at -510; all these bets are a lock, barring some terrible surprise. The only underdog I took was Pan's Labyrinth, but at +1400 it's a steal, the favorite in that category is Letters from Iwo Jima (-300) and while agree Letters is the front runner, no way Pan's is at +1400; Pan's is a wonderful movie, one of the best in this decade, if you haven't seen it, you're missing a masterpiece, go now !!; but of course I'm not betting because I like it, It has won the most Foreign Language awards to date, and Letters is losing steam, while Pan's is getting excellent reviews everywhere; the only problem it could be maybe they released Pan's a little too late to gain enough steam for the globes (next Monday January 15), but I hope it will.

Probably I'll make some more Golden Globes bets between today and Monday, but I need to do some analysis of the lines and some analysis of Globes history versus critics awards to find the best value.

I'm planning to do a megapost about my poker experience in 2006 before my birthday (January 29), 2006 was my first losing year in my poker career (since 1997) and there are a lot of lessons to be learned.