Monday, November 23, 2009

Something Worth Sharing

So I saw this post from Poker Grump today and ever since I started following @phPokerMgr a couple weeks ago, I have been really impressed with how he is using Twitter to tune in to his player/customer base, not to mention build a reputation for himself and Planet Hollywood. To summarize, since there's a lot to catch up on if you didn't read the original post, Grump and others saw some inconsistency in the logic around table changes and what chips you take with you according to the PH poker room rules, and Mr. Viator, instead of chalking it up to players bitching about rules and @ mentioning him to rub it in, took the time to dive into the issue, and actually discovered that the rule was, in fact, errant according to his own philosophy/stance/perception as well.

To me, this is a great example of using Twitter to your advantage and the advantage of your followers and patrons. Customers had feedback, Mr. Viator was in tune with the feedback, and in the end a wrong was righted by someone in agreement and with the power to do so, everyone involved was happier, and Planet Hollywood & phPokerMgr gained some pretty solid credibility. Note the players promising to play there in light of the conversation and the positive PR that will come of being exposed on a very popular poker blog. Using a Twitter account as a mix of business and personal is quite a tightrope, but so far Mr. Viator seems to be doing a *great* job, and it stands to revolutionize the image of the PH poker room if he can continue to expand his footprint.

Personally, I know that the PH Poker Room has always pretty much been an afterthought as far as desireable rooms to play in go, but as I prepare to celebrate my 30th in Vegas in June and am likely looking to actually stay *at* PH, I'm now quite a bit less likely to take my poker business to MGM, Venetian, or Caesars, knowing that the PH poker room is being managed by a caring, engaging personality concerned with its patrons' experience. Not to mention the name-dropping he does of the people who show up to play! ;-) Of course, I'll have to go where the action is, surely Mr. Viator understands that. ;-)

Incidentally, I have one poker playing experience @ PH (Aladdin at the time, to be fair) on my second trip to Vegas in '05. I played a SNG there, possibly my first live casino poker experience, definitely my first live casino poker experience in Vegas. So just nervous as hell and already on edge, action moved 2-3 players past me as I had yet to act, and as this creepy/crazy guy (thick, old style glasses, headphones, stocking cap, and disheveled demeanor) at the end of the table was cautioned about playing out of turn, he proceeded to go off on me about hiding my cards, to the extent of calling over the floor and having me reprimanded. Of course I wasn't angle shooting, I'm just 6'5" and my hands are a wee bit bigger than the size of a playing card, and while I'll admit to having my cards hidden, having just started playing I figured I could treat my cards like I wanted, it was up to the other players at the table to track the action appropriately, and I couldn't even begin to consider the angle shooting ramifications at the time of having them covered. It was at that point that I became very vigilant of following proper rules and ettiquite...not that I was being previously ignorant, I just didn't really wanna get reamed again by the table whackjob. Anyway, the story and the building will always hold a special place in my heart, and the joke to not cover my cards gets busted out on a regular basis at our monthly game.

So there's your personal poker content from me for this post.

BTW, I just have to say again that Poker Grump is just one of the best reads on the web. Its a perfect mix of strategy, hand analysis, poker industry insight, and the intriguing idiosyncrasies of being a Vegas grinder, all polished off with Poker Grump's own brand of charm. He gets a little grumpy, stodgy, & crotchedy from time to time, but he wouldn't be The Grump if he didn't!

As for me, I come to my blog and see its been 3 months again since I last posted. Pretty disgusting. But again I have to state that the lack of posting is in direct correlation with the lack of playing and the arrival of my first born. I have actually managed some decent duration cash sessions and a handfull of SNGs, but not enough worth blogging about. I have a couple of screen shots I need to share, but alas, I never even have time/never think about doing that.

As each day passess my little one gets a little more self-sustaining for longer periods of time, of which I'd love to fill with poker, but until that opportunity arrives this spot will remain neglected. For certain, though, I can tell you that I'll be taking my annual "poker pro for a week" week off between Christmas & New Year's, which I dedicate to as much poker as I can possibly stomach between the laptop and the local casino. Its tended to be a losing endeavour, but admittedly its because I'm like a junkie on a binge, playing as many hands as I can and chasing after big scores, than playing good, smart, focused poker. Naturally I always hope for the opposite, and this year I really feel like I'm understanding the game and how to win a lot more, so as long as I play with some discipline, I could make a nice little profit to bask in going into 2010. I'll need all the bankroll I can get looking forward to my Vegas trip in June.

That's it for now. Thanks for stopping.