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December 13, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-12-13

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, December 13, 2004

OPINION

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
Stothedaily@michigandaily.com

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

JORDAN SCHRADER
Editor in Chief
JASON Z. PESICK
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority
of the Daily's editorial board. All other pieces do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
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believe they
would dare, but
they did."
- Oleh Rybachuk, chief of staff to Ukranian
presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko, ref-
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as reported yesterday by abcNews.com

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That's no limit hold'em, baby ... part II
D.C. LEE BLACK DIAMONDS AND PEARLS

ay Lovinger, ESPN's
resident poker profes-
sional, calls online
poker the Wild West of
Poker. With "homicidal
maniacs behind every cur-
sor ... every hand has the
potential to be a Wild West
shootout. Every single
hand."
There's no question that poker has grown
immeasurably in popularity over the past three
years. ESPN, the first network to broadcast the
World Series of Poker, is partially responsible.
But online poker rooms, like partypoker.com
and ultimatebet.com, have probably had the
most to do with the game's increased popular-
ity. Now, anyone with 50 bucks can validate
a PayPal account, deposit that money into the
poker room of his choice, and turn rags into
riches. Just like the Wild West, right?
It's easy to log in to ultimatebet.com and
watch Spirit Rock take down $1000 pot after
$1000 dollar pot. And it's fun to log in to
fulltiltpoker.com and actually play real-time
hands at reasonable limits with poker legends
like Phil Ivey, Erik Seidel and John Juanda.
Just last week, I played $2/$4 limit hold'em
with Seidel, who was sitting directly to my
right. At one point, the table folded to Seidel
who raised my big blind. I re-raised back with
rags and bet out on the flop to take down the
pot. Rags to riches. Just like the Wild West,
right? Wrong.
Winning one hand against a world cham-
pion doesn't make me a poker superstar. Phil
Hellmuth, arguably the best poker player in

the world, says if you can consistently beat the
$20/$40 limit hold'em game at your local casi-
no, you can consider yourself a bona fide pro-
fessional. I asked Erik Seidel what he thought
about that when we were sitting together and he
said "that sounds about right."
There's a big difference between $2/$4 and
$20/$40. In fact, they're essentially two dif-
ferent games. At a $2/$4 table, whether it's
online or in a brick-and-mortar casino, you'll
find a lot of twenty-somethings playing more
hands than they should. Some are even brash
enough to think they can bluff you by raising
$4 into a pot that's already sitting at over $40.
Pot odds, implied odds and basic strategy are
lost on most of these players. Playing in these
games, for the most part, is a complete wash.
Not only do you have to beat the other play-
ers - not easy to do when there are seven to
eight people in a pot - you also have to beat
the rake, which at the lower limits is a larger
percentage of the pot.
In a $20/$40 game, however, it would be
unusual to find more than five players in a pot.
There's almost always a raise - or two, or
three, or four - preflop, and the rake is sig-
nificantly lower as a percentage of the pot. The
game is both easier, and harder, to beat.
Online, the differences between the two
games are magnified. The $20/$40 game
remains relatively stable, but the $2/$4 and
other lower limit hold'em games degenerate
into a lottery-style free for all. It's like play-
ing bingo, where your two hole cards are your
bingo board and the flop, turn and river are the
balls being drawn out of the cage I'm not say-
ing it can't be done, but it takes a special kind

of player to consistently beat the lower limit
online poker games.
In real estate, the key to success is location;
location, location. In low limit online poker,
the key to success is discipline, discipline,
discipline. Four years ago, I played my first
online poker game at paradisepoker.com. I lost
$200 in 30 minutes at the $5/$10 limit hold'em
table. What I had in ego, I lacked in discipline.
Since then, as the game has grown, so have I.
Four days ago, I won a $580 pot at the $5/$10
no-limit hold'em table at fulltiltpoker.com. It
wasn't against a poker legend like Erik Seidel,
Phil Ivey or John Juanda, and it didn't matter
to me in the least. I had the discipline to wait
on a hand and catch someone with his hand in
the cookie jar. Bingo.
Online poker, like all things, is not for
everyone. But if you enjoy playing and want
to meet some interesting people, there's a
Yahoo group for Ann Arbor players. Just go
to Yahoo! Groups and search for "a2poker."
Sign up, and there are live games played every
week in various locations around campus.
One member has suggested running a World
Series of Poker type event at his house, with
all different variations of poker being played
and with no single buy-in greater than $25.
Last year, you might remember, I co-hosted
the World Series of Michigan tournament,
with a $100 buy-in. The winner took home
a cool $1,200.
Sound interesting? Sign up. I'll see you at
the tables.
Lee can be reached at
leedc@umich.edu

1

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Truth about smoking may be
harsh, but important
To THE DAILY:
While I would normally be disheartened
by columns similar to Joel Hoard's recent
diatribe on the truth (I can't handle 'the truth,'
12/09/2004), I think it is important to consid-
er where he's coming from. Successfully quit-
ting smoking is an admirable feat, one which
no one should feel ashamed they were unable
to accomplish, as in Hoard's case. If you read
his column a couple times it becomes clear
that his hatred for the truth almost certainly
stems from his frustration at his unsuccessful
attempts to stop smoking.
After all, I can't imagine that Hoard
really intended to insinuate that he valued
his own self-proclaimed coolness over his
health. I also imagine that, had Hoard real-
ly opposed the truth, he would have done
some research to at least statistically back
up his claims. Had he done so, he would
have discovered that the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention attribute 440,000
deaths annually to smoking as compared
to 30,000 annual gun-related deaths. While
both are alarming statistics, rationalizing
that tobacco companies somehow deserve
a break because there are "bigger fish to
fry" is not only silly, but statistically incor-
rect. More so, the examples Hoard attempts
to shift the focus to are nonaddictive -
McDonald's isn't lacing its product with
nicotine to hook you.
There are many ways that smoking harms
more than the individual who is doing it,
and states are finally beginning to recog-
nize these dangers by phasing out smoking
sections in restaurants and banning smok-
ing in bars and nightclubs. Those who argue
for their divine right to light up either don't
know or don't care how that "right" affects
those around them.
The fact that Hoard is so irritated by the
truth proves that the campaign is effective;
he just needs to realize that the anger and
annoyance he's experiencing is not the fault
of the truth. Those commercials are aggra-
vating because they remind Hoard he has
a bad habit. I hope Hoard can figure this
out and give quitting another try; besides
the benefit of a longer lifespan, it will make
those commercials less annoying.
Chris Clayson

like make a correction: The presidential
inauguration is to take place on Jan. 20, not
Jan. 19 as stated in the article.
On Jan. 20, thousands of people will con-
vene in Washington to voice their concerns
regarding the state of society. Those voic-
ing dissent will be met with military force.
Rather than clash with the National
Guard in an attempt to disrupt the inau-
guration, we will celebrate the power of
people united. Students for Progress wishes
to empower people by creating a stronger
network among progressives through posi-
tive visual and social actions.
The counter-inaugural is an opportuni-
ty to network on a national level; it is an
opportunity to unite those fighting for com-
mon causes, to create motion in our minds
and bodies. Let the day of the inaugurations
avoid further fighting and become a day of
awakening, to continue the fight for human-
ity and global progress, with passion, coor-
dination and solidarity.
Those who would like to learn more about
Jan. 20 and Students for Progress should go
to www.umjan20.org.
Adam White
LSA junior
Students for Progress
Taking sides in Middle East
conflict is a bad move for
student government
To THE DAILY:
I would caution the leadership of the
Michigan Student Assembly against taking
such general unwavering positions of sup-
port for the state of Israel. Many respect-
ed academics and political analysts have
blamed our brand of unwavering support for
Israel for being detrimental to our relation-
ship with the Middle East and the rest of the
world and for being an unnecessary inspira-
tion for twisted fanatics such as al-Qaida.
Please refrain from providing unwaver-
ing support for a racist state whose ille-
gal occupation and defiance of more than
60 U.N. resolutions does not bode well for
America's position in the world. In order
for the United States to gain the interna-
tional respect and cooperation it needs to
prosper, we must bravely reject the fascist

to sovereignty and human dignity, in the
face of atrocious Israeli oppression and
humiliation, are not to be ignored. They are
to be embraced. These aspirations embody
the crossroads of all struggles against
injustice in the world and have drawn soli-
darity from those who struggle against
injustice. Do not reject the calls for divest-
ment from the apartheid state - doing so
will tragically place you on the wrong side
of history.
Encouraging diversity does not entail the
suppression of a movement of justice and
conscience. If you choose not to embrace
it then certainly don't be part of the move-
ment to cover it up and suppress it.
Tarek Baydoun
University of Michigan Dearborn junior
The letter writer is the president of the Arab
Student Union on the Dearborn campus
LETTERS POLICY
The Michigan Daily welcomes letters from
all of its readers. Letters from University
students, faculty, staff and administrators
will be given priority over others. Letters
should include the writer's name, college
and school year or other University affilia-
tion. The Daily will not print any letter con-
taining statements that cannot be verified.
Letters should be kept to approximately
300 words. The Michigan Daily reserves the
right to edit for length, clarity and accu-
racy. Longer "viewpoints" may be arranged
with an editor. Letters will be run according
to order received and the amount of space
available.
Letters should be sent over e-mail to
tothedaily@michigandaily.com or mailed to the
Daily at 420 Maynard St. Editors can be reached
via e-mail at editpage.editors @umich.edu. Letters
e-mailed to the Daily will be given priority over
those dropped off in person or sent via the U.S.
Postal Service.

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