July 2007
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Now you can watch me go broke as it happens

I’ve said it before so I’ll say it again: everyone loves a graph.

Just you try to deny it.

So I’ve been fiddling around with an idea I had for posting real time poker tournament updates to my blog, and it’s evolved into something rather more fancy than I first anticipated.  The updates will look something like this.

This is not my result.  It comes courtesy of mrmacacan on the UK Poker Life forum, where I’ve been making a nuisence of myself looking for testers for the new system.  This tournament is all over now and mrmacacan won, which is why he gets the dubious honour of being immortalised right here.  You never know, someday someone might even notice.

When I’m in Vegas (T-8, it’s so close now!) the graphs I post here will be live updates with my chip stack progress in real time.  For anyone with a passing interest in how I’m doing – and particularly those who have a piece of my action – you can now get that information at-a-glance from a chart, saving you valuable seconds.  Stakes in me for the Orleans Open are now sold out, thanks to eBay.  Two of the three winning bidders have even paid me already, and I’m delighted that I actually managed to meet my bankroll fundraising goal on the very first try!

It’s a fiendishly simple system, but really quite funky – even if I do say so myself.  At any time while you’re playing, you can send your chip counts in a text message and the graph will update itself automatically.  So far it only have one UK-based incoming number, but there’s no reason that numbers in other countries can’t be added, so that world domination can ensue.

If only I’d come up with the idea a few weeks ago, gazillions of players at the WSOP could have been whipping out their cellphones to create their very own graph for the benefit of friends back at home.  While there’s plenty of live reporting going on at the Rio, your chances of being covered are very slim indeed: first you have to be drawn to sit at a table with a known professional, and then you have to get involved in an interesting hand with them.  Self-inflicted live updates are the wave of the future.

I’m still adding features to the software and I’m not prepared yet to say that it’s completely stable, but if you want to have a peek and get your own graph, mosey on down to

Of course, it’s extremely important that you understand the house rules regarding cellphones at the poker table, in case you happen to come up against an angle-shooting prick like David Singer.  Singer was eliminated from this year’s Main Event on Day 1 after moving all-in with the worst hand, but is still adamant that his opponent’s hand should have been killed when his phone rang.  The WSOP rules (rule 82) prohibit players from talking or texting when a hand is in progress, so Singer immediately jumped at the opportunity to try to get something for nothing.

Did his opponent answer the call?  No.  However, rather than subjecting the table to thirty seconds of whatever dreadful polyphonic soundalike ringtone identified that phone as his own while two players contested a significant pot, he pressed a button to reject the call.    I guess if you know you’re about to lose ten grand, courtesy means nothing.

Fortunately, depsite Singer playing the quintessential sore loser and threatening to take the matter to the Gaming Commission, common sense has prevailed.