That State of Mind TM
+ Life. Poker. It's a State of Mind.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2005 

A New Hope

a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

well, not really a galaxy, and not THAT long of a time ago...

The Manila Poker scene was born. Right in front of our eyes we watched it, from conception to its birth, to the way it grew so fast. It was taking its first steps, one by one, a bit unsure but still knowing where it was headed. The baby steps turned into bigger, bolder steps, and slowly it seemed that very very soon, it could be left on its own and could rely on its own momentum to take it where it has never gone before. From home games, to SNG's, to ring games, to small MTT's, to BIG MTT's, to poker rooms, to casino poker tournaments, all in the blink of an eye!

then it tripped. an obstacle lay on its path.

now, do we make these obstacles stepping stones to our destination, or stumbling blocks?

Guys, what happened these past few days was an inevitability. It comes with the territory. Hey, it happens to this day in new york and other states where there are poker clubs. They even stopped one of Phil Hellmuth's charity poker tourneys, if i read it right on the web. As long as there's poker, there will be poker clubs and poker rooms.

It is just like falling off a bike on your first few tries. Yeah it'll hurt, but if you become to scared to ride the bike again, you'll never learn to ride it and with that you'll never see the places you could have gone to riding that bike.

Something like this CANNOT stop the momentum of what the poker community has started. I believe it'll be even bigger and better because of this. just the last tournament, The Tagaytay Casino PAGCOR game (a milestone in that very fact that PAGCOR sanctioned it) had a WSOP bracelet wearing player (Isaac Galazan "the general", winner of the $2500 WSOP NLHE short handed event, $315,000++ prize money) play in the tournament! And no he did not dominate but was bested by several local players too! more pros will come for sure. the tournaments are getting bigger and better, the games are spreading like wildfire, and people from all walks of life are learning how to play the game we all love.

Don't be discouraged people, we have a lot in store for us in the future. It will only get better, for sure. Get those bankrolls ready, the good times are right around the corner!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 

lost for words


Sunday, November 27, 2005 

Bad news, and good news.

Some people are just meant to screw things up.

We had something good going on for the poker scene in the metro, but sadly, it was inevitable that someone will show up and destroy what was so lovingly created with the best intentions, and turn it into an abomination driven by greed and selfishness.

The State of Mind is still alive and will adjust to these tough and challenging times. That place where it used to be is officially no longer associated in any way with it. Several people paid a dear price for that, and the person responsible should, in my opinion, be held liable for anything that may go wrong in the future. The man who destroyed everything and is still continuing to do so until now HAS to be accountable.

anyway, on a lighter note, congratulations to Barbiemanila, one of the best poker players in our shores today, for winning fourth place in the biggest poker tournament ever organized and recognized by PAGCOR, taking home a cool 120+ thousand pesos!

i hope we all continue to work together to make the poker scene grow.

in the meantime, we'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005 

Celebrity Poker

Yesterday, i watched another milestone in Philippine poker history unfold right before my eyes.

Nick G. invited us and a few others to watch the taping of the first ever Philippine Celebrity Poker Tournament at the Casino Filipino paranaque. Although it was quite uneventful, and i didnt even get to finish the taping (man it was dragging on and on and they didnt seem to know what they were doing hehe), i'm glad i was there to witness it. It was cool to mingle with the big guys from pagcor and even play a little ring game (play money lang) right there in the casino.

None other than Nick himself will be acting as host of the show and doing the poker commentary when it airs. Hey, i almost didnt recognize him from all the make-up he had on! haha! showbiz! It will be airing i think maybe next year and will be a series of 7 episodes or something.

I'm pretty sure this will boost the awareness of our local population about poker a hundredfold. More games for us, more new players, more chances to rol the 'roll!

Monday, November 21, 2005 


This is probably gonna be one of the last few posts on this blog.

Times are changing my friends.

The poker scene is growing, and growing fast. Just as we predicted(see: pokerfilipinas blog, "Nostradamus, or ignoramus?" sept 27). At the rate it's going, by this time next year, virtually everybody will know how to play Hold'em, and the game will be so widespread that there you will be able to play anytime, anyday, almost anywhere. Things are changing, and they are changing for the better.

One of my favorite quotes says "To change with change is a changeless state." And that's exactly what we're gonna do. We have to adapt to these fast times and stay one step ahead. The BBC will always be The BBC. It will always have a special place in our hearts. (awww..) But the changes will inevitably happen, and some people wont like it, some will, but it doesn't really matter.

Just like we say all the time, it's not a place, it's a state of mind. The name may change, the place may change, the people may change, but in the end, it's that State of Mind that we're after. And of course, we are always in the pursuit of the next, higher State of Mind, right?

If people say BBC is different from this or from that, then let the name "BBC" be wiped out, for that's what it is, just a name. (i stole that quote from JKD again, but it sure works well for my point. hehe.)

i don't know if that made sense, but if it did for you, then you know what i'm talking about.

Thursday, November 17, 2005 

Mixed Emotions

To most people, poker is just a game.

But to serious players, it can be quite the emotional rollercoaster. The swings of no-limit Hold'em can really test your "Zen-ness" and patience. If you are faint of heart, maybe you are better off sticking to scrabble or checkers. Poker is no place for people who take losing too seriously and feel personally attacked whenever another player makes a play on them. Maybe sportsmanship isn't that effective whenever money is concerned? i really dont know.

I've personally encountered some players who are really emotionally attached to the game. They hate losing, they hate it when people make intentional bad plays, they take it personally when they lose a big pot to a lucky draw or bad beat. I believe these people are just emotional by nature, and we can't really blame them for being that way at the table. They probably easily get impatient in other situations, or even have short tempers.

Personally, i think i'm the type of person who has an almost unlimited amount of patience and will never ever take anything too seriously. That's just me by nature, and i think this is an advantage for me in the poker table. I believe the best poker players in the world are the ones who have detached themselves from the game on an emotional level, and they take the bad beats and the downswings in the same way they would take the rushes and the big pot wins.
you wont see these players react violently to a bad beat, and you'll also never see them jump for joy when they make a good play and win a big pot. They play with other people, but they are not concerened about whether they are "out to get them" or whatnot. Their focus is on the game. All their energies are focused on one mission, and that is to win this particular hand, at this particular moment.

Every poker player should strive to achieve this level. Emotions have no place in the poker table The guy who took that big pot from you is not on a mission to personally disrespect and attack you. He is just playing poker, playing his game. If a player decides to go into pots with bad hands, then by all means let them! Yes, he or she might get lucky and win the pot, but in the end, it is still the long term aspect that will determine who emerges a winner or a loser.

In the meantime, let's all strive to achieve that state of mind where outward things do not affect us inside. Or at the least, if we really can't help it, then let's keep it to ourselves.

And always have a poker face.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 

The BBC 500

The BBC500 these past weeks have been packed to capacity. 40 seats filled each night, with maybe a dozen other players sitting around waiting for the ring game to start. Even the street outside was jammed with cars, taking up two lanes of that major thoroughfare.

And to think, the first major tournament i played in 5 months ago, a 50-seater, filled 41 seats, and it was the biggest ever back then. Those were the days...

Hard to believe we'd be doing it weekly after such a short period of time. But anyway, the BBC500 is arguably the best regular Multi-Table Tournament in our poker community today. Pretty soon we are going to have to move to a bigger, better venue for this tourney, since 40 seats seem to be not enough anymore. hmmm...

Congratulations to the recent winners of this awesome tournament. JJ the Duke, Skippy winning it TWICE in 3 weeks, and The Attorney winning his 2nd BBC500 just last friday.

Soon, we wont have enough space to host this tournament. Hey, i'm not even afraid to bet that soon, a DAILY 40 seater will be a reality.

This is just the tip of the iceberg my friends! There will come a time (very soon!) when we will be up to our noses in poker tourneys and games and we wont even know what to do!

Thursday, November 10, 2005 

There is no "Poker" in TEAM.

The phenomenon that is No Limit Texas Hold'em has really taken the RP by storm. It was inevitable that certain variations of the game would spawn out, as players got more creative and played around with the game.

From the "traditional" (meaning, what we watch on TV) No-Limit Sit N' Go & Multi-table tourneys, there was a transition into the ring games, and soon, players started to play Limit games, Multi-rebuy tourneys, heads-up freeze out games, even Bounty Hunter tournaments.
Eventually, people started to think about playing "team" games, where one group or club would play against another.

I just have to say that the concept of team-play Poker is very weird to me. I always thought that poker was an internal game, where your greatest opponent is usually yourself. The World Series of Poker does not have a "Team Event" as far as i know. I've never heard of Team tournaments played elsewhere too.(correct me if i'm wrong). Poker is game where winning means winning money, just like golf. I dont really see how "team spirit" or "sportmanship" can come into play. Team play means TEAMWORK, synergy, and a collaboration of skills and talents, all combined to create a winning team. And besides, most poker players i know dont even have teams or clubs! (Including me!) You can't really pass your hole cards to your teammates if you think you can't make the shot, or even have a "team strategy" that will help you win. Maybe you can play as teams in an SNG and collude with your teammates? Pass your chips, make signals, etc.? hehe.

I believe the concept is very much "Pinoy". It is a very Filipino mentality to have groups and factions. Just look at how fierce our school rivalries are, or how we group together based on our hometowns (ilokano, bikolano, cebuano, etc.), the Fraternities that are really taken seriously by a lot of kids, and a lot of other things. Another thing is how "Macho" our culture can be. We want bragging rights. We love to gloat our victories. We love waving our banners and declaring ourselves winners, and calling the rest losers. Just look at how divided this country is and you'll get an idea.

Although a novelty idea, i don't see the value of Team-Play Poker. I dont see how it will improve your game better than playing in a MTT or SNG. I mean, if you want to prove your skill, win a major tournament. Or be a force to be reckoned with in Ring games.

Poker is still an internal game. If you fumble in crunch time, you have no teammates to blame. If you make a bad decision, it is your fault and no one else's. Skill in Poker can only be measured over time, and through how you managed your bankroll. If your pockets are busted or not, that's where you'll see it.

But that's just my opinion.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005 

The JG Poker Tour Dead Money Bounty Tournament

The first-ever JG Poker Tour Dead Money Bounty

Date: November 19, 2005

Venue: Penthouse. Legrand Condominium. Valero St.,
Makati City.

Game: No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em - No Rebuys

Maximum Players: 70

Registration time: 230pm

First Deal: 330pm

Places Paid: no. of tables plus two

Payouts: Guaranteed 45% of the pot for the 1st, 20%
for the 2nd, all other places to be announced during
the tourney

Buy-in: 1,200 + 300 + 100 (If you're wondering what
the 50 is for, we'll explain later).

Finally, a tournament hosted by the members of the
sole poker group that is proud to admit that all its
members are dead money. In an embarrassing display of
pure bravado, JG poker tour is inviting the best
players in town to pit their skills against their own
somewhat mediocre poker-playing abilities.

In this amazingly lopsided tournament that can
possibly seat 70 contenders, manila’s greatest poker
players will play against themselves (and JG Poker
Tour’s somewhat confident beginners) where people will
eliminated one by one until only a sole survivor
remains to claim victory.

Bounty Hunter Twist

Two players will be chosen randomly and he/she will
have a bounty on his/her head.
The bounty hunters who take the two players out will
half the total bounty..
BUT... if the person with a bounty is able to make it
to the final 2 tables, he/she gets the winnings to

Pre-register today and avoid the pains of a waitlist.
Contact Jardine at 0918-9072729 or check out our
friendster site by searching user:

Monday, November 07, 2005 

No Limits

There is an old saying that the only thing constant in the world is, ironically, change.

Nothing is permanent, and that's the truth. A lot of people have a hard time accepting this. Old farts, the dinosaurs in our society, they abhor change, and will do anything in their power to stop it. These people still cling to the "old ways", the "right ways" of doing things. They hate freedom, and are only comfortable with "security". They would rather live lives of secure, quiet desperation, than one of risks and freedom. They influence a great deal of people too, even those full of untapped potential who sadly end up just like them. If they could have their way, we'd be back in the medieval times for sure, hunting witches and burning them at the stake.

The new era of unlimited information and technology has given us a new generation of movers and shakers, people who embrace change, who welcome it. They refused to follow the "herd", and, guided by reason and observational intelligence, developed new understandings and philosophies about how to live life to the fullest capacity. They take risks, explore all avenues of life, and adapt to whatever challenges that come.

The old dinosaurs are slowly fading into oblivion. They can do what they want while they have control, but they cant stop change. It will come, inevitably. Like a huge asteroid, it will one day come crashing down, rendering them exctinct.

Changes are inevitable, a neccessity if you don't want to stagnate. Nobody can stop it. It's coming, sooner than we expect.

It's how we adapt to change that defines us.

Saturday, November 05, 2005 

Poker Stuff Totally Unrelated to Poker.

We've got dozens of other great design and kath's working on printing them on T-shirts soon!

Poker Sites

Play Online Poker!

Poker Resources

Quote of the Day

  • The best poker I've ever played has always entailed peace. A relaxed comfort. Eyes open, ears open, radar up. Absorbing my opponent's every message. Taking them as they come. Not mixing what those messages are with what I want them to be. It's like an aerial view. A view from above the myriad luck-dependent reactions of those many people who never gain such a peace. And when you gain that view, that peace - when you'd rather have the truth, no matter how disappointing, over a false hope, no matter how desirable - then you're a player. The hand you're on slips into a stream of thousands of other hands, no one of which, because of your lofty view, seems unduly important, no false fearful emotions rise within you. When you gain the peace of lofty perspective, you're a player, and when you're a player, you're free.- from "King of a Small World" by Rick Benett
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