I’ve been getting lots of phone calls asking about my health. I haven’t been anywhere for a while and its true I haven’t been feeling very good after extensive traveling and other recent events. But, to my knowledge, there is nothing seriously wrong with me.

My bride of 48 years has been having some health problems and I’ve been sticking close to home worrying about her. The only negative thing about my health is I finally have asked myself, “am I really this old?” Of course I know how many years I’ve got behind me but I guess I still think young and about the future. I guess that’s a good thing, anyway, thanks to everyone who called.

It’s been a while since I played any live poker. I play 5-10 NLH at DoylesRoom.com several times a day, but I can’t seem to focus enough for any long sessions. The NBC Heads Up Championship starts this Friday and I’m still debating if I want to play. Granted, I won’t be at my best, but I can put my game on auto-pilot and be competitive in that format.

The antes and blinds have to go up very fast and that means whoever wins needs a lot of luck. If I decide not to play, there are lots of players waiting to take my place, but I’m pretty sure I will. It is a fun tournament with no long hours and it will be good to get out of the house. A friend in Texas asked me why he never sees my name on the leaderboard of any recent tournaments. I told him, “I don’t know, could it be because I haven’t played in any of them?”

I think the cash game players, including myself, owe the online pros an apology. I know there are lots of things about the mechanics of online play we don’t know and we shouldn’t criticize the pros that only play online. Maybe the hard truth is cash players are inferior to online players when at the computer and vice versa. I’ve decided there are 4 different kinds of poker players. (1) cash game (2) online (3) tournament (4) all around.

Different skills are required for each group. There would probably be a different #1 in each, but if you listed the top 10 in each category, there would be more of the #4 group than any other. So my vote for the best players goes to the all around players. Could it be because I would probably be in that group (LOL)? The bottom line is it’s all poker and poker is the greatest game in the world.

Another question I’ve been pondering during my brief (I hope) exile from the poker scene is how do the old time poker players stack up against today’s best players? As there was no internet or tournaments long ago, you to have to eliminate the specialists in those fields. There wasn’t nearly as many games to choose from so take away the all around players and it leaves the cash game guys.

The biggest difference is that the mentality of the two eras are so different. The oldtimers were playing for their living with little or no other income. Many, many times they had their entire net worth in front of them. That makes it a lot harder to make these big bets when you didn’t have much money and didn’t know where you could get any more.

These guys were true gamblers. Compare that to today’s great players who have lots of income from today’s poker world. Good luck to the guy that 4 or 5 bet any of the oldtimers trying to make a play on them.

So, for that reason it is almost impossible to make valid comparisons about today and yesteryear. Most of today’s players have good management skills but don’t have the pure gambling mindset of the old guys. There are exceptions. Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan and David Benyamine are some names I think are “throwbacks” to the old time pure gamblers. I think any one of the three would fit right in with the great players of the past.

It makes me think of a Stu Ungar story. Someone brought up the question, “What if there was only one bullet in a six shot revolver, would you spin it and put the gun to your and pull the trigger for 20 million dollars? Everybody agreed that nobody would do that. Stu said, “for 20 million, they could put 5 bullets in the gun and I would do it.” Everyone laughed but I’m not sure Stu was joking.

DoylesRoom has an unusual promotion with our bounty tournament every Wednesday. We have 3 or more bounties each one worth $1,000. Knock out 2, win $10,000, knock out 3, win $50,000. Last week, a player broke 2 bounties and won 10k! Not bad for a $25 buy-in tournament and if it is your 1st time on DoylesRoom.com, you get the $25 back, I don’t know who comes up with those things.

I hope everyone was as proud of our mayor, Oscar Goodman, as I was. President Obama made a second disparaging remark about Las Vegas in a speech and Oscar refused to meet him on a recent visit to Vegas, unless he apologized. The president didn’t apologize and Oscar was very visible by his absence during our president’s stay. Way to go Oscar!