24 April 2006

Children and Poker: Joe Sebok

Joe Sebok

A busy weekend of work with a little bit of poker. I had to work all day Saturday and most of Sunday on stuff for my meeting Tuesday, ending up leaving the office last night around 10:30. Went to church and lunch yesterday at Zaxby's, and had a great date with Sweetie Saturday, our standard of Qdoba and a movie. I'm not sure why Lucky Number Sleven hasn't gotten more positive vibes as it was really good, in the vein of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

I've only played around 1,500 hands in April with probably 450 of that being low limit, and I'm up $1397.68 for the month. I started a $10/20 table at Party last night while printing the stuff for Tuesday (starting a table means that you go to a table with no one and have the patience for others to join). There was a 20 person waiting list for tables, which I think is a flaw in the system (they should force a table open with that many players as most people have Waiting List/9 or 8 players indicated). 190 hands, down around $250 at one point after set under set, several bad things, then topped off with me capping with 44 and three others, betting into a board of AQ8 and two spades with everyone calling, then checking down KhTd only to find everyone with these hands: Th9s (takes the pot), 8c7c, and 66. I assumed I was destined for the scrap heap, but I fought back to even. The big winner at the table was two to my left with 48.95/8.45 stats (ending up $761), but the following hand had to be one of the more bizarre hands I've played. I'm on the button with KK, UTG+1 raises, wacko calls, I 3-bet, call, wacko caps, and we call. Flop comes 464 rainbow, check/wacko bets/I raise/fold/wacko raises/I cap/call. Kh makes the complete rainbow, wacko checks/I bet/wacko raises/I raise/wacko calls. 5d on the river: wacko bets/I raise/wacko raises/I cap/wacko calls with 8c7c for the made gutshot straight. Well, that's some faith for sure, and believe me I was cringing thinking I was about to see 44 and hoping for 66, but c'mon.

You may or may not know Joe Sebok, but you know his dad (Barry Greenstein). Joe and I started corresponding probably a year ago (OK, what that really means is that he replies to my emails). Joe had a great WSOP, cashing three times last year, but has struggled in tourneys this year. I posed a few questions to him regarding children and poker, and his thoughts are interesting.

cc: Tell us about poker growing up for you.
Joe: Poker for me was nonexistent when I was a child. It was what my father did for a living, but of course it wasn't as accepted as it is now, so I felt very strange telling anyone about it. He really kept me completely out of it, though. We never even had a conversation about the game until I was 27 and decided to go into it myself. He couldn't have made a better decision regarding this as I was able to go out and have so many amazing life experiences that I wouldn't have had I been pursuing poker that early. There is a certain kind of obsession that accomanies one's delving into the game. I understand that now and am glad that I didn't have to contend with it when I was young.

cc: I know you don't have kids, but what are your thoughts about young people playing poker?
Joe: I certainly tell all young people that email me for advice to make sure that they are pursuing other interests as well as poker, and that it is very likely that they will never play poker professionally, and that it can really damage their lives. I often use the analogy of professional sports. For every athlete theys ee on TV, there are usually more than a thousand that failed on that path.

cc: You're exposed to the latest hot shot kids coming up. What do you see regarding young poker players?
Joe: Younger players are just more aggressive than their predecessors. They often rely more on being able to pressure their opponents rather than actually playing the mathematical component of the game. As well, they often don't understand the etiquette of the game and have learned their own from watching tournaments on TV. This is usually not a good thing.

Tomorrow, we'll hear from a current high school player, Wolverine. You may have read of his exploits from Otis or BadBlood in G-Vegas. Some interesting perspectives from a teen who turns out right. I'll have some final comments later in the week.

And with that, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
  • Whitney: Whitney likes his poker and the ladies for sure. This younger whipper-snapper has some stuff on the David Williams porn foot fetish escapade. I found the same link from someone's blog early last week but didn't feel too comfortable pimping it in the middle of the Children and Poker series. Pauly had stuff on it this weekend, and it was supposedly the talk of the WPT Championship at the Bellagio. You might have to dig a bit for poker on Whitney's site, though.
  • A Letter Never Sent: This collaborative blog includes some very interesting cats: a sportswriter/poker player covering the dreadful Orioles (FJ Delgado). OK, I was going to list stuff about the different folks (ten in all), but I can't really figure out who they are. A variety of different topics, including music, sports, and some poker. Worth a look.
  • Anna Benson: I realize I'll have to backtrack a bit to find another link. This is former Mets pitcher Kris Benson's wife's poker site. I think they may be back together. I think she lives in the ATL. I don't have the energy to figure it all out, but there you go.
  • Mars Needs Guitars: I'm only venturing into this link under Music Blogs that Rock Hard for the benefit of BadBlood. Groups they talk about that I've never heard (all actually): The Sky Drops, Alcian Blue, Languis. I'm not into most of it, but what an exciting time in music, where virtually anyone can create an audience.
  • An Aquarium Drunkard: Alot of album covers, highlighted songs downloadable stuff.
  • Come Pick Me Up: Four somehow related people (lady from Minnesota, guys from Brooklyn, San Fran, and Edinburgh). Lizzy from the land of the Twins seems to bear the burden of posting. Music and other stuff.
  • Cable and Tweed: A blogger from the ATL, some good photos from his weekend trip to Chicago, more music. Highlights include U2 demo's while they were trolling for a record contract.
You never know where you'll end up from here. Thanks for stopping by. Big post from IGGY as well, so hop there.

ADDENDUM: I'm sure everyone's experienced this, but it looks like we've had a major Blogger meltdown today. Kept trying to post this throughout the morning to no avail, so sorry for any inconvenience (including the double post currently up).


Blogger The Poker Enthusiast said...

Good stuff on Children and Poker. I have three kids and they are all interested in my results. I try to instill in them a moral fiber but wonder if I'm giving them conflicting information with playing the game.

4:34 PM  
Blogger WK said...

thanks for the mention....I had no idea ppl were reading my stuff. I was really just keeping it closed for my close friends and myself. I better watch what I'm writing sometimes, you don't know who will read it!

In response to your Joe Sebok correspondence, I have written to him as well. He really does a good job in attending his emails. I'm sure you've heard him on The Circuit, and he does a good job. He seems to have accelerated really fast into the poker world, playing for like 3 years.

Anyways, thanks for the mention. There is tons of mindless junk out in cyberspace (like mine!) and it's good to read someone's writings who's taken great care to do the research on poker issues. props!

11:11 PM  
Blogger F.J. Delgado said...

Sup CC,

Like Whit, I would like to thank you for the brief mention.

I consider myself a poker pro first, and a sports writer second. My main source of income has always been poker, but getting certain people (like parents and significant others) to accept what I do for a living has been difficult.

I feel that much of what you write about applies directly to me; in other words, I have experienced first-hand many of the dilemmas, and conflicts of interest which you reflect upon in many of your posts.

Playing poker seriously can be entertaining, problematic, and thought-provoking, and your material delves into those aspects intelligently and thoughtfully. Keep up the good work!

As for the other contributors on A Letter Never Sent (of which Whitney is one), they are a diverse group of my friends and blogging buddies, many of which I met, in some capacity, in my home state of Maryland.

I will look forward to e-mailing Joe Sebok, he seems like a good guy and a smart player.

Hopefully we can chat a little more regarding poker, I will make sure to pass along your blog to my friends and readers.


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