Monday, August 30, 2004

Anonymous said...

Replying to DY's comment that my article "The things some people will do to save $11" was a copy of his despatch from Las Vegas when he told the exact same tale on the Gutshot website, I tried to hide my embarrassment by asking flippantly "Does anyone actually read the Gutshot website any more?". I hadn't read David's article and I apologise for "stealing" his story.

However, I doubt there is much of a crossover between readers of this blog and users of the Gutshote site and I will leave the tale up as I think it's very amusing and if you've read it before I think it bears repeating.

Anyway, the third comment to that article was very interesting. Here it is:

"Anonymous said...

Whenever Gutshot is mentioned and when you post on the gutshot or mob forum you are always very disparaging about them. Can't you see they are the best thing that has happened to poker for ages and by knocking them at every opportunity is only bad for poker and looks worse on you personally.

I suppose you don't care and have no time for anyone involved in the site but please don't treat the rest of us with the contempt you are showing."

Firstly a minor point. I welcome criticism and debate, but I think it's important if you want to put something like this comment up you should put your name to it. If you can't be bothered to register on this site (It's pretty easy, even Fred Titmus managed it!) at least put your name at the end of the anonymous post.

Now, looking at the comment in question I feel I really must reply. First it is a total innaccuracy to say I am always disparaging. I supported their Charity event (which seems to have disappeared nowadays) and I acknowledge the place for a cardroom which encourages and offers the chance for novice players to learn the game.

But, there is so much to criticise when it comes to the Gutshot organisation that when the opportunity arises I find it hard to keep my big mouth shut.

Firstly, it is impossible to deny the original ethos of Gutshot Collective has been hijacked by a few of the members in order to make money. My online dictionary defines the word collectivism thus: "The principles or system of ownership and control of the means of production and distribution by the people collectively". Now the original collective did just that. There was almost a team spirit between members, when a member did well, other members were there funking and cheering for them. A particularly good run of Yannis at the Vic springs to mind immediately. However, it seems a few members saw a money making opportunity in the Collective and pounced by setting up the online and live cardrooms and using the Gutshot name to legitimise it.

The Gutshot forum is another example where the whole organisation has changed. In the early days, it was a lively and enjoyable place to read and contribute. With piss taking abounding. There were excellent contributors such as the Bald Beast, Fred Titmus, Miros and Lee Leung. With the honourable exception of Dom Sutton (who I have never met, but I find his posts endlessly entertaining) the forum is now pretty much dead. Many of the occasinally entertaining posts are deleted and we are left with arrangements for heads up matches, leaderboard updates and hand discussions. Useful maybe, but definitely not entertaining.

Now, apologists for Gutshot will say because I have never been there and sampled the "unique atmosphere" I can never know what the cardroom is really like. Well, I do know that several players who are banned from all the local casinos are allowed in the cardroom. If the playing conditions that are important to the management of Gutshot, why are players such as Malcolm Robinson and Paul Treadwell allowed to play there? The fact they do participate despite the fact they are disliked by many players (and staff too I would imagine) suggests the fact that both are "stayers", who play for many hours on end and hence swell the coffers is more important than any congeniality concerns.

Other factors which concern me about Gutshot include: allegations of collusion at the Gutshot online cardroom, facilitated by an internet cafe at the Gutshot cardroom which offers free internet access to play at the online cardroom. The proliferation of posts at various online poker forums asking questions about Gutshot which are invariably answered within 5 minutes by a member of the Gutshot management, suggesting the posts were planted in the first place.

I won't touch on my rake concerns, which were fully debated on both Hendon Mob and Gutshot forums about a month ago, except to say, I do think their rake is too high, but if people are prepared to pay it, then that is their lookout as long as rake information is available to all.

But, as for Anon's claim "..Can't you see they are the best thing that has happened to poker for ages..". This is clearly nonsense. The only people the Gutshot cardroom is a boon for, is those banned from casinos. It is like a second chance for them, as they can't play anywhere else. The Grosevenor Luton and the Vic both run beginners tournaments nowadays. The Gutshot players can/would/will play at other venues. I have managed to survive without playing there and I'm sure if it didn't exsist all the other players would find another home.

Several of my friends regularly go to the Gutshot Cardroom and have nothing but praise for it. So, they must be good at what they do. I have no qualms with anyone making a few quid out of poker. I just feel the owners of the Gutshot cardroom are doing it under false pretences. I would be very interested as to the reason the Bald Beast, who to my mind embodied the Gutshot spirit, left the Collective. If Steve Bennett (one of the people who set up the Collective originally) comes out and says he is happy with the direction it has taken, well, you will never hear another word of criticism from me, otherwise, I will continue to provide the alternative view when and where I feel neccessary.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

""..Can't you see they are the best thing that has happened to poker for ages..". This is clearly nonsense. The only people the Gutshot cardroom is a boon for, is those banned from casinos. "

This is silly. I agree that Anon was exaggerating, but Gutshot is a big boon for people who want to play in small cash games and tournies. The smallest cash game in the Vic, London's only other card room, has a £2 blind and a minimum reasonable (50xBB) buy-in of £100. Gutshot has a cash game with a 50p blind for a £25 buy-in. That may seem too small to be worth bothering with fo r you but to many people who want to play for fun, £100 is far too much to be risking on what could be a single hand. The same goes for the tournaments; the £5 has been extremely popular and introduced a lot of people to live poker. I'm not banned from the Vic and I see Gutshot as quite a boon (especially as you can booze at the tables). Your other points are mostly fair but you should realise that Gtshot is a big boon to the London players who can't afford to get involved with the grumpies at the Vic.

5:46 AM  
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