The Poker Bat Will Attack And You Don’t Want That!

The Poker Bat, your ambassador to poker knowledge and Badassador to the rest of the world, has some thoughts on his favorite Brat. The Bat imagines one day he’ll get the chance to sing “Philly” as the grizzled veteran Sam Grizzle once called him, off the table after dismissing that nit with deuce seven special that hit real snug against his over-valued overpairs. Until that day, the Bat must admit he’s enjoying every mis-step by Hellmuth as it comes to online poker games.

Good ol’ Philly (and by the way, it should be “ol’ ” why does Ole Miss use ole that’s something Mexicans say, not Mississippians) stubbed his toe on his way out the door at UB. He and Annie Duke picked up and left the embattled poker site, and now UB is headed by noted poker pro Joe Seebok (?). What is Cereusly going on over there. While Philly will probably land on his feet as the face of some poker entity’s online poker tournaments what will happen to Duke?

The Bat knows rats are first off a sinking ship and the Bat doesn’t want to call good ol’ Annie Duke and good ol’ Philly Hellmuth rats but they are jumping ship. The Bat’s wondered why big brother Howard hasn’t been signing Annie’s pay-checks for some time, so it’s probably only a matter of time before Duke is cuddling up to Jennifer Harmon in Full Tilt gear. Though you got to wonder if the self-declared best woman in poker is going to enjoy another woman at her side in photos. Her friendship with Erik Seidel could help get the deal done, though likely it’d just take Howard’s consent–at least it appeared that way in the Jimmy Fricke email fiasco.

The real question is does Full Tilt need her? What kind of market does Duke provide? What new players are going to sign on because Duke is there? Truth is parting ways with UB might be welcomed both by the company and by Duke. UB is still a yellow and black mare on the reputations of many associated with it and now Duke doesn’t have to answer questions on their behalf anymore. For UB, the volatile Duke while at one point a strong advocate also brought some “haters” to the brand.

Phil Hellmuth is as divisive as he is popular. Nobody is a better self-promoter in the game, including Daniel Negreanu, and lately Tony Dunst. While Hellmuth is a brand, you need only look at his Tiger Woods wannabe hat to see that, he’s not opening any new doors for many sites either. Truth is there are sexier possibilities for new sites, and Hellmuth doesn’t really fit the Full Tilt mold.

PokerStars seems a better fit despite their movements to go young and international, Phil seems to be the type of star that could cozy up to Daniel Negreanu in one of the Pokerstars specials, and offers a good counter point to the potential of Jason Mercier. They have a great stable and he wouldn’t be out of place there because unlike Duke he kind of transcends a brand.

Philly kind of likes to be the Main Guy so perhaps a stake in a new site or a European one looking to make inroads in the United States. The merger of bwin-party poker is interesting as they might have the kind of clout to afford poker’s biggest free agent and he’d be a great marketer of them when they return to the United States after U.I.E.G.A. is overturned. They are a very savvy consolidation and the Bat wouldn’t be surprised if Hellmuth is squarely on their radar. Course, the only problem with singing Philly Hellmuth is you get Philly Hellmuth.

Meep, Meep, Learn how to be the Poker Bat,

Bat’s random Holdem poker thoughts…

The Bat loves it when a guy is bluffing with the best hand then turns that sumbitch over like he just stole the crown jewels of Denmark.  Nice try alligator face but you can’t show up someone when every draw misses and even if you checked it down you still would have won.  Even worse if there is some value for the idiot to check for showdown.  The Bat’s not writing this blog to educate you unwashed masses on the importance of show-down values there are plenty of other places to read about poker strategy like Brandon Jarret’s blog, but since some of you come here to get a kernel of knowledge from the Colonel of poker here are some freebies…   

Use these with descretion, but you folks clean your laundry downstream of a Union Carbide plant so the Bat realizes that’s going to be difficult for you, but try.  And most of these don’t deal with online poker tournaments but maybe you’ll have better luck with them than The Bat has. The Bat thinks the worst spot to be on the poker table is in the big blind.  The Bat knows many of you get taken by the fact you should defend your big blind at all costs.  Why play a big pot from there out of position?  Yes, that’s the conventional question and it’s answer is conventional wisdom.  But you start listening to conventional wisdom and you’ll never play a big pot.

If the pipsqueak to your right tries to get frisky a couple of times in a row, by the way what table are you playing on these days where pots are unopened to the blinds mulitple times, just fire back at him with a five x raise of his raise and immediatly start whispering “Do it… Do it…  Do it…” while caressing the rest of your chips.  Make sure the caressing is perverted… not menacing.  That’s very important.   Then ship it regardless of what the board comes if he checks… and he will check every single time.  Five times out of six you are welcome.  The other time you try it and it fail don’t come complaining back to the Bat.  You lost the hand because the guy could smell Coyote on you from a mile away and he went Meep Meep.

When you succeed quote the Devo song “Whip it” preferably these lyrics “Whip it, Whip it good” in as soft a voice that he can still hear, as you pick up your new chips.  Then wink at the guy and hold the eye shut for an awkwardly long time, almost like you’ve forgotten how to open it again.  Then the rest of the session look at him and make a slow, painful looking wince as you shut the eye, as if simply looking at him causes half-blindness.

Playing from the button is one of the most powerful spots on the table.  Problem is everyone knows that so it’s harder to steal from, but everybody knows that now, so you can steal again, as most people rate you as having hand.  Yet, in poker when you zig like Zig Ziglar you want them to think you are zagging likw Adam Morrison, so the Bat advocates stealing from the button at your lesiure.  Three bet, open raise, and if the feeling gets you call, and bet any unopened pot postflop.  Once you’ve done this a few times somebody is ready to look you up.

Now, you gotta channel the spirit of somebody a lot braver than you are, and since you have the courage of a stuffed animal and the imagination of a math teacher, the Bat gives you permission to imagine you are the Bat.  Your skin is invulnerable, you have a titanium hide, and you crush all players.  It’s fun to be the Bat.  Anyway, once they are ready to look you up, even more reason to bet.  Find those two pound weights that now chafe your upper legs, Pokerbat, and bet Ming the Merciless-ly.  They want to play back but they wonder if this time you got the hand.

Then stomp on their soul, by humming Lady Gaga’s pokerface and indicating you are going to muck as soon as the flop is dealt.  If they bet, pull back your cards and raise them, hum louder.  If they don’t bet, simply bet.  When they fold, then wink… and, again hold that eye shut so long, somebody thinks you are about to have a seizure, and then huskily whisper “I’m the Poker Bat…”