Happy Birthday to Blog, Happy Birthday to Blog…

Wednesday, December 8th, 2004, 10:49 pm

Yes, one year ago today I started this here poker blog. I abandoned my quixotic run for President (though, let’s be honest, I could’ve beaten Bush) and instead started scribbling about poker. One year, 140 posts, 30,000 visitors and 150,000 words later, I have a bunch of meaningless statistics to list. Well, they aren’t meaningless to me–I think it’s pretty cool that 100 people a day come to this humble site to read my nonsense. And I was surprised at how much I wrote. Put it on paper and my output would be like a 500-page book. Thank God for the Internet and Blogger, that no trees had to be sacrificed.

I read back through my archives, and I had a pretty good time this past year. Won some money, met some outstanding people, wrote some good stuff. Wrote some crap, too, but again, that’s the Internet for you.

The highlights of my year blogging and playing? First and foremost was discovering Iggy’s blog, which convinced me that, yes, there WAS a market for a blogger writing about extremely low-limit poker. It was also Iggy who convinced me to abandon PokerStars and dive into the aquarium at Party/Empire. This is going to sound ridiculous to those of you with actual bankrolls, but I started out with only $50 and, after a few tough nights at Stars, was down to like $45 in my account. The minimum transfer amount is $50, so I had to get my account above that mark before I could make my move. I still remember how intently I played, worrying over every quarter, until I won a big hand witha full house and made my nut. Of such tiny acorns, mighty oaks spring.

I remember playing my first no-limit ring game with my brother and screaming, “Asshole, what are you DOING?!” every time he went all-in. I remember learning to check-raise on the turn to scoop up pots from fish too timid to call down a bluff. I remember winning my first sit-and-go and thinking I was just about ready to make a run at the World Series. I remember losing $100 (about 1/2 of my account) in one session, making me think it was time to take up macrame.

The absolute high point of my poker year was winning the first Grublog Poker Classic back in February. Playing in the blogger tournaments is always a blast, but this was the first one and I was curious to see how I might do against much-tougher competition. Winning it seemed out of the question, but, oh, how I craved the poker chips that went to the victor. I’m riffling them right now, and what a delightful, musical sound they make. A most treasured possession, and they make our games at the lake especially fun.

Speaking of the lake, that’s where my friend Scott gave me a copy of All-In magazine, wherein this blog was featured in a story written by Hank, another uberblogger who has both entertained and informed myself this past year. It was pretty cool opening up the mag and showing Scott the article and him saying, “Wait, you’re IN the thing?”.

Oh, let’s see, what else to write about this past year…playing in my first (and only) live tournament was fun for the 40 minutes of so it lasted. The next time I play in front of live targets I’m determined to do better. With the exception of one day when I was marooned by Hurricane Ivan, I haven’t played ANY poker since August or so. After I got laid off I cashed out my whole bankroll, most of which went toward the purchase of wines during a brief vacation in the Finger Lakes region of New York. I must say, wine tastes better when it’s bought with money won at cards instead of honest labor.

Speaking of honest labor, last month I was going to try to write an entire book during the National Novel Writing Month contest, but I decided I looking for a full-time job had to take priority. But I am still writing, and the book does feature poker prominently, so I’ll keep you posted here about its progress. I may forward some excerpts for Pauly to publish in his literary magazine, when I get far enough along.

MAN, I’d love to play some poker right now. Instead I’ll probably ride the exercise bike a bit and go to bed. Ooh, poker on TV tonight, think I might watch that. Actually, I might work on expanding my blogroll, I’ve been sorely remiss in keeping up with the exploding population of pokerbloggers. And, good God, how it’s exploded. When I started a year ago there were maybe 10-15 of us scribbling away, and now there’s, what? A couple hundred? Oh the humanity.

But let me take this opportunity to pimp myself a bit here. If you’re new to this blog, and want to know what I’ve been up to the past year, here’s a quick list of Mean Gene’s Greatest Hits. Be forewarned–not all of these are about poker, though I assure you that those that are don’t feature me bitching about bad-beat or laboriously recapping my piddling play. I hope you find them worth your time.

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service What does one wear while playing in a casino?

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Phil Hellmuth My uberpost about the Poker Brat

Confessions of a Dangerous Fish My brother proves that erratic play runs in the family

What Business Lessons Can Poker Teach? I rip apart a sycophantic Fast Company article

Well, The Food Was Good Anyway My pathetic foray into tournament poker

There’s No Such Thing As Luck? Where I debunk the pseudo-science called “statistics”

The Weekend Of Our Discontent, Part One Me and Dr. Mark head to NYC for the NFL Draft

The Weekend Of Our Discontent, Part Two

Dubious Dating Tips From Mean Gene This one is NOT about poker

OK, I think that’s enough. Now I gotta figure out how to fill another year with absurd ramblings. Well, stay tuned.

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8 Responses to “Happy Birthday to Blog, Happy Birthday to Blog…”

  1. Chris Halverson Says:

    Congrats!! I always love your posts. Here’s looking forward to another year.

  2. hdouble Says:

    A big thanks for grinding out the posts for a year. Your love for writing always comes through, and I can’t remember a post that didn’t make me smile.

  3. Ignatious Says:

    kudos! this is one of my fave blogs, poker or not.

    long live gene!

  4. 4Flush Says:

    Congrats on a year! I am one of the new bloggers who also started with reading Iggy first. I know read many daily including this one and the guys posted above. Look forward to another year!

  5. Dr. Pauly Says:

    Congrats, MG on a year well spent blogging. My only complaint is that I wish you blogged more often!

  6. Human Head Says:

    Many Congrats Gene! Your’s was the first blog that I ever happened across and what a treat! Being that I am oftentimes a complete moron, I lost track, but thanks to Iggy’s mention you are again first on my list. I pray that I possess the stamina to reach such a milestone in blogging one day. Again, congrats!

  7. pokercode Says:

    I’m one of those 30k readers! Congratulations.

  8. StudioGlyphic Says:

    Congrats on the year. I like all your posts, but that haircut one definitely sticks in my mind. Keeps the posts coming, poker-related or not, and good luck with the job hunt.

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