This blog, http://robvegaspoker.blogspot.com/, is a pokosphere standard. This blogger has earned it, with hundreds of posts apparently approaching an astounding 875k total pageviews. This is the bottom stakes life of Vegas, and if you are a weekend warrior 1/2 player with a hankering for a trip or to retire in the gambling desert, you can save yourself a great deal of vacation money and trouble by following Robvegas. Amusingly, the second subtitle of his blog is nearly Atari pixelated, and combining that with the out of focus background, contrasted with the very readable black on white text boxes, we get to share the feeling of one of those old dudes who leans forward and squints to read the board… probably not a coincidence.
This blogger is engaged: he posts, tweets and promotes all kinds of poker things. He covers the daily Vegas tournament scene, like a drunk recounting midday happy hour specials, in one of those casino monthlies designed to soak up coffee spills. He has written so much he has four posts in the category of “Penis Mentionings.” This guy, in other words, is poker room furniture. The writing is simple, clear, and is spaced well, a nicety for internet reading. He even generously tries to rescue his own posts with threadsaver photos, dirty granddad style. He’s your card playin’ half-uncle who makes every game and seems to like your mom quite a bit. You have to root for him, because if you’ve read his hand histories, it’s the classic story: the nice guy with all the yarns who loves poker and gives his all for the game, but just isn’t very good at it. It’s touching and fun. Go Rob.
Posting Frequency: Superb
Writing quality: Buoyant
Overall rating: One of the Regs
This guy should write more, but as he admits in his latest one, just can’t do it. There’s no real clue why, however, as he seems fluid with the English, and, if anything, overheats rather than undercooks: he should try writing less, more often, as a remedy. His use of lists is unusually helpful and clarifying. His tone is easy and competent. He bravely (but uncontroversially) takes on marriage equality as a conservative, getting a small rise out of his readershp. I liked his Disney Douchebag story: real interactions with an outcome and a moral. Lots of photos (some even cleverly captioned) that narrate and aren’t selfies (o where art tho, f’ing “Atkinator?”).
Go tickle them ebonies, Mr. Keys!
Posting Frequency: We Have a Pulse
Design: Refreshingly Simple
Writing quality: Detailed
Overall rating: Solid
This is a special blog, because it seems to be comprised of the eponymous TBC himself, but also several other contributors and a family of commenters who know each other… maybe too well. TBC seems to have struggled in poker and in life and with money and with his faith in God and with a disability I have yet to fully precise, but the point seems to be that it’s all laid out on the table, true journal style, in a wet dirty mound of pages and posts. Poker hand histories are told modestly well (but are never, ever, that interesting from anyone without significant expertise, really), but the story behind the story is the real deal. Like many possible problem gamblers, he seems oblivious to the big picture, recounting pathetic details straightforwardly:
i still have $502 there. its gone up. 2nd reason the roll went up was this weeks $350 freeplay that i have to wait til tues each week to get instead of sunday. no big losses on VBJ lately, unless u count 2 $400+ losses. but also a couple of $300+ wins.
This is a case where an accounting is more painful than emotional description- and might be a clue as to why TBC has such a following.
While gregarious and sympathetic, he exhibits uneasy signs of disturbance when communicating directly in the heavily trafficked comment threads:
theyll not ch@rge me if i le@ve e@rly theyve told me.
Many people drawn to gambling have trouble with social interactions, essentially unable to know the boundaries between their feelings and reality, and end up in very painful, all too human mental states. Public journalling becomes a way out of the conundrum, as they describe and attempt to expiate their confusion:
i explained to cooldave how everything i said to lightning was unintentional as far as offending him, and how hurt i was seeing that lightning did know his comments were offending me. cooldave just said i shouldve let it go and just waited til the next day to talk to him.
I know that lightning gets offended quite easily (but not so much as i do) and im surprised seeing he works as a counselor and should know others emotionally as messed up as me and be quite tolerant of peoples faults by now. I remember how he lost interest in being a friend to Josie, and got out of her life, and never got over the bitter feelings. And how he blamed Josie for it, when truthfully i think Lightning owed her an apology. I think sometimes lightning can appear to be quite insensitive to the feelings of others who are upset.
but then again, im 100x worse than this. but what makes me “not a bad guy” is the fact im not doing it intentionally to be mean–as is often the case when others are doing it to me–at least i assume…
TBC creates conversation with his open-wound writing style. Heroic but troubled “Flushdraw,” another determined blogger/player, even makes an appearance, as do other known names from the poker community. In fact, the comment threads are a big part of this blog, creating a kind of water cooler conversation. At one point, occasional Red Chip blogger “Kat” Martin blithely offers TBC some preflop strategy advice in the middle of one of his convulsions, as if that’s what this fellow needs: very gallows humor or punch yourself in the face ironic. LOL.
There’s a lot going on here. This is the rabbit hole of a blog you were looking for in order to get into the brain and heart of a certain poker type we all know. It’s pure soap opera. TBC is that reptilian part of your poker psyche that wants to run off with half a plan and a half stack of low society to play cards. I will have to burrow deeper into it; meanwhile, enjoy, shudder, or more likely, both.
Posting Frequency: Legendary
Writing quality: Varied
Overall rating: The Nuts
Note: 3/15/16 I am going to come back to this one when I have read more. – p.