Author page: Tommy Angelo

Sympathetic Vibrations

Sympathetic Vibrations

The opera singer slowly strokes the rim of her crystal glass. The glass rings a pure tone. The singer stops and fills her lungs. The glass waits. The singer softly sings a certain note. The glass sings along in unison. The singer’s voice crescendos. The glass wiggles. The singer reaches top volume. The glass, not

The Worst Beat Ever

The Worst Beat Ever

“He turns all of his injuries into strengths. That which does not kill him makes him stronger.” — Nietzsche Ben Dover sleeps on a bed that has only one side, the wrong one. He looks in the mirror each morning and sees the unluckiest person alive. Ben’s favorite joke: The pessimist says, “It can’t get

What Goes Up Might Come Down

What Goes Up Might Come Down

Meet Joe. Joe has been playing poker for two years. The only game he has ever played is $1-2 limit hold’em online. Joe has paid his dues. He has worked hard on his game. He reads books and articles and he is active at online forums. Joe lost steadily his first year, then he broke

A Rubber Band Story

A Rubber Band Story

I was at my usual casino, with the usual players, at the usual 5:30 in the morning, when an unusual man joined the game. We were playing $20-40 limit hold’em. The game had been four-handed ever since the bar closed. It wasn’t the best game – even Isaac wasn’t getting out of line much –

Buy the Button: A Perfect Rule

Buy the Button: A Perfect Rule

Dear reader: This article was first published in the early 2000s (in Poker Digest). After that I was involved in some forum discussions, and emails with some major-poker-room managers, including the Bicycle Club and Foxwoods. Those rooms adopted the rule, and over the next ten years it became ubiquitous. I’m happy to have played a

From Ray to Zee

From Ray to Zee

I’d feel the same way even if he wasn’t famous and even if he didn’t have that unfortunate hair. Ray Zee is (the) nuts. He is the nuts as a player and person. And he is nuts for letting me write about him. Ray and I met in 2001 when he came to the Bay

Kay Knows Poker

Kay Knows Poker

When Kay and I met, it was like one of those no-limit hands where both players get all in so fast you can hardly tell who bet and who called. One year later we had commingled everything except for books and tools, and then those got mixed together, and the next natural step was marriage.

Cinderella Syndrome

Cinderella Syndrome

  “Tommy!” I was carrying some racked chips to the cashier in the Pavilion room at the World Series of Poker. I stopped and turned to see the man coming toward me from three tables away. I knew the face. I knew the voice. But I had no idea who it was. This happens fairly

The Butoff

The Butoff

Words lag behind what they label. For example, the blogosphere was well past infancy before the word “blogosphere” existed. Bad beats were around long before the term “bad beat” was. And “the universe” was here for billions of years before it got its name. So it’s no surprise, given how fast poker is changing and

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