Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The History of Gigabet

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Gigabet (AKA Darrell Dicken) posted this recently in the STT forum on 2+2. Its a history of his life with poker and an amazing read. The original post can be found here


I cannot remember a time where I didn't know how to play the game. I think I was taught by my stepdad, but I am not sure, I was very young. I remember when I was very young, my mother and my stepdad religously went to a restaurant for breakfast every single morning, almost without exception. I can remember sitting in the restaurant, probably 7 or 8 years old, playing 5 card draw with my brothers and my stepdad while my mother finished the paper, coffee, whatever it was grownups did when I was 8 years old.

We would play with pennies, I don't think I understood the concept of money yet, but I remember enjoying it when I got to keep the pennies. Most mornings I would go with them to breakfast, if I wasn't in school, that is. Every morning we would play 5 card draw, some weird variation of blackjack that i cannot remember how it went, and gin rummy. Or solitaire, if my stepdad wanted to read the paper and david or doug(my brothers) didn't come with. I went with them to breakfast every morning until I was high school age.

In high school, I remember getting kicked out of biology class at least once a week for playing poker during class. Me and a friend would play $1-$3 stud(alot of money for a kid just starting high school) and crazy games with wild cards. I never got in real trouble for getting kicked out, cause my brother was good friends with the vice principal, so I just went to his office everytime she sent me out, and took a nap on his couch in his office.

David and Mr. Blau was his name, both were incredibly idiotic baseball freaks. Apparently 30 years in age difference is small potatoes for a cubs fan. Being tortured for almost 100 years takes away all concept of age.

While in high school, I got a job at a hotel as a desk clerk, and one of my long time friends also worked there, and my uncle worked there(who is my age, and more like a very good friend than a relative.)

After working there for a few weeks, I discovered that the owners of the hotel didn't care what we did while we worked. Hell, no one ever came and checked in, so I guess, why would they care, as long as they could keep paying minimum wage. The hotel has like 100 rooms, and 95% of the year, it would be less than 10% occupied.

Anyway, once I discovered the owners didn't care what I did while I worked, I started inviting friends over while I was working. There is an apartment in the backroom, so it isn't like they were all hanging out in the lobby, but eventually we decided to play sick gambling games(in between the sheets, man or mouse....omg, I think I still owe a friend of mine 7 or 8 thousand from back then, when I never had more than 200 in possession in one time). Eventually we stopped those games, cause someone always went broke, no matter how much they brought, it is the nature of the game to bust someone, just sick.

So we all started playing poker, I played poker in that hotel, every single night, with the same 3 people, various others came and went every night, but David(my brother), Danny(my uncle), Jeremy(my friend) and myself(me)were seriously in that back apartment of that hotel every single night for 2 years straight. We played 7stud, 5card draw, some lowball games, and a couple goofy games for, what was to us, relatively high stakes. We could win or lose 2 or 3k in a single night.

I was 16 when I started working there, and I guess you could say that was my first real taste of a poker game. Everything else I had played was for pretty low stakes, and always on the fly, and short handed. I think I won my first session there, and I remember consistently going over a week without having a losing session. I almost never lost. None of the 4 regulars lost very often, but even when it was just us 4, and no one else, we always would play games with a ton of wild cards, or lowball, cause I never would lose to them.

After playing in the hotel for about a year, we started going to this casino that was about 45 minutes from us. I got myself a fake id, I was only 17, but i don't really look much different then than now. Anyway, this was before the poker boom, in fact, this was the poker depression, all the casinos were predicting that all the pokerrooms were going to be shut down because of lack of business.

Holdem wasn't very widespread at that point in time, in the midwest you couldn't even find a holdem game on the weekends. It was all 7stud, and omaha had just gotten started too. But at the casino I went to, no one ever played the omaha game, except on saturday where a $5 blind single blind plo game would go off. It played like a 10/25 game though. These people were insane, avg pot on the turn card was 500.

I was stuck with 7stud, which I played regurlarly until holdem started getting spread again. Which was like 5 years later. Fast forward to me being 24 years old.

When I was 17, I got very interested in pool, and began playing that everyday. By the time I was 24, I was able to compete with everyone in the midwest, except for the players that were known professionals. So I started to travel around to play pool. Eventually, it got to the point where I couldn't really make any money in it. The only people who would gamble with me, were people who could beat me. My name had become fairly well known in the pool world, so players who actually stood a fair chance to beat me, wouldn't play me, cause they knew that I was a name player. It was a very frustrating time for me. Fortunately, there was usually a poker game in whatever pool hall i happened to be in, although small stakes. Occasionally, I would get some rich farmer, or a local bookie to play hu with me at higher limit. I remember once, I was in Sterling, Ill. for a pool tournament, and there was a card game going on during the tournament. It was like a 2/4 omaha 8/b game. Anyway, one of the guys in the game asked if anyone wanted to raise the limit. I was the only one who said yes. So it didn't happen. But the guy offers me a HU game, I say sure, what stakes. He said 500/1000....I said ok(I had maybe 2500 with me, 500/1000 was wayyyyyyyy over my head at that point in time.) Fortunately, I had friends who saw me win every time I played, so i was able to get 50k from 3 different people. Lol, i have 50bb for this game, not Big Bets, big blinds.....how ridiculous is this bankroll for this game. Fortunately, the people putting the money up had no idea that 50k was not even in the realm of reality in the world of 500/1000 limit holdem.

We get to his room, and he offers the cut, and he deals out 4 cards....?

I look confused, he says, I thought we agreed we were going to play limit omaha all high. What?

I didn't want to lose the game, so I said whatever. But, I had never played all high omaha before, i had seen it played, but that was plo, not limit. I'll figure it out, I say to myself.

Immediately I see that I have no chance at not losing this 50k, unless I just call call call and get lucky. I have absolutely no clue as to what would constitute a good showdown hand in that game.

For the first 3 hours we played, I nevere bet, or raised, unless I had the pure nuts. I did get lucky, i had a string where I won 12 consecutive hands. (most hands went ck ck ck)

I eventually got to the point where I felt I had a handle on the relative showdown value of certain holdings based on the texture of the board. Long story short, I ended getting stuck 43k, then being up 400k, and then being stuck again. It was unreal. We quit after playing for 14 hours, and we dead even, down to the last 100 dollars, it was unreal.

Fast forward, online pokerrooms just became public knowledge, and I get an account at PartyPoker. here comes Gigabet.

Play low limit for awhile, never spend enough time at home to really play, always on the road, it seemed. Didn't really get into it, the site basically sucked, it kept freezing up, all the time, it would freeze up for no apparent reason, and then not come back online for a day or so. This was PartyPoker, i remember once looking at the application, and seeing that there were 1700 players online playing, and thinking to myself that the site would crash cause they usually are only getting 1200. And, they crashed.

Every night party crashed, for a long time. I still dealt with it, and played there a little. I didn't set anything structured to play, I would just hop into whatevere, usually limit holdem or a relatively low buy in mtt. Like 20, or 30. I think my peak online bankroll was around $150 at this time.


Anyway, they eventually, starting getting more and more players, and more and more servers. Finally, when their peak hour player number avged about 17,000 during the week, their servers caught up to the constant influx of new players. This was when I started playing alot online.

I lived with a very good friend of mine, and his wife, probably still my two best friends, if you can exclude my brothers(my brothers, are without a doubt, my two best friends). We shared a pretty decent sized house, and I basically moved out of my room into the office, lol, so i could play the second I woke up.

I obviously have a psychotic case of obsessive compulsive disorder. I started playing stts, the highest limit was 100 at that time, but i wasn't playing those often. I was playing the 33s and the 55s, but only the limit stts, not the NL, I had never played NL holdem up to that point, and i didn't feel comfortable playing them. At that time, the limit stts, filled only slightly slower than the nl stts, so it wasn't a that big of a deal.

I started as a winner on party, and I continued to win, but i didn't work, and pool wasn't making me money, so i always had to withdraw money to pay bills, eat, whatever. Eventually, I had built my account up to around 600 or 700, and I decided to try the 109 tourneys. Of course, the 109s back then only had NL, they didn't even offer 109 limit stts at that time.

I already decided to play a higher limit, so I wasn't going to back off now, just cause I had to play a game I was completely unfamiliar with. Poker is poker, right? Wrong, first time I can remember, in my entire life, that I was completely drawing dead in this game. I just didn't even know where to begin. Someone would come in for a raise, i would call with 99 or something. Board would come 7 high, they would bet the pot, I would call, thinking, it isn't that much, and I probably have the best hand anyway. Now the turn card brings a 2, or some disconnected offsuit card like that. I still like my hand, but I don't feel the need to be real aggressive with it. Of course, the guy bets a little over half the pot now. I incorrectly guessed that meant that he wanted me to fold(cause the bet was so high, in my limit world, in NL, I should have been able to see that it was a bet designed to get called.) I knew poker very well, and I knew that when I thought someone wants me to fold, I try to get as much money in as possible. So I minraise, which obviously commits me all the way to the hand. Of course, he is going to read that bet as a big hand, where I thought I was being cleverly deceptive in hiding the fact that I liked my hand(cause I thought he hated his). So he shoves the rest of his chips in, and I happily call. We all know what happened next.

After that, I studied NL holdem nonstop. I read everything that was written about the game, including everything on the internet. I started playing NL exclusively, and it took me all of 2 days to get to a point where it was obvious to me that the 109 players were basically the same as the 33 and 55 dollars players, just a little less lost.

Anyway, Doug hits a couple big mtt scores, and he offers to start a regular bankroll for me and like 5 other people who live in our town. With the idea that once we get to 40,000, we finish the stake and he gets 20,000. Party had started offering 215s by this time.

We all start playing off of dougs stake, and doug was very good stt player by this time, so every day and every night one of us, and usually 3 or 4 of us would be at his house so he could make certain that we were playing the best way to beat the party stts. Not really play poker, play party poker. Doug was probably the best stt player at party at that time, and no one knew it, including him. I know it now, because some of things I remember him saying to me, while I would be playing, still aren't posted on 2+2 or any other site for that matter.

It took me 2 weeks of pretty solid play to get to a point where I could keep my account over the break even point.

Once I stayed over the even mark for a week. Hovering just over even, I won 7600 in a span of one 24 hour period. That was amazing for me. Took me another couple days to get over 10k, and then I guess whatever clicked, stayed clicked, cause I was making money faster than I knew how to withdraw it from my account.

So I get it up to 40k, and everyone else in the original starting group is still hovering around even, and they are still playing everyday. I am getting ready to give doug the 20k and he only takes 10k(which, if i remember, i had to force him to take). He feels guilty that everyone else is working so hard and not getting rewarded, so he tells them that they don't have to pay him the 20k, hoping that will ease whatever mental block was keeping them from becoming as successful as I was.

It didn't though, they continued to play for months, and I continued to win at a similar pace that I was before. Now, our friends were coming to my house, when doug wasn't home, so i could help them. Everyday, someone would come over and play, and watch me play, and listen to me, and play more, but they still just couldn't get over the hump.

I still hadn't stopped studying NL, but it came to a point where new ideas, and new material ran out. So I was forced to really think about the game on my own. All day, everyday, I was playing, I was writing my thoughts about different situations, I was teaching my friends, and i was playing again. I was absolutely consumed by poker, I was making an amount of money that was absolutely ridiculous to my standards before this rush.

Finally, I got to the point where I realized that the reason alot of the concepts that I came up with weren't working in the stts, because there aren't enough chips in play. I'd have this revelation, about something relative to poker, and I would try it out, and it wouldn't work. I couldn't figure it out. The ideas made perfect sense in my head, I just didn't get it. Finally, I figured out that the edges I was thinking about required that there be more to "go after."

So I started playing multi table events. I was still playing the 215s, but I would take a few games off what I was usually playing at that time, and play a mtt instead. I started playing the party weeknight specials. I found out immediately, that the concepts I had come up with, worked, and they worked very well.

I was making a final table 2 or 3 times a day, that was when they ran 109 mtts every other hour starting at 7:00am est. 7am,9am,11am,1pm(limit),3pm,5pm,7:10pm,(no 9pm) 11pm, and 3am.

The name Gigabet became originally known from the stts, but the name became famous after the sickest weekend I have heard about or seen since.

The prelude to the "weekend" was actually the week before. The friday special had changed from limit to NL for that week. Well, I played it and won, I got HU with EL_Tahur, who now calls himself Tera_Bet.

A week later, the friday special is back to limit holdem(wed and fri used to always be limit holdem). I win the friday special again, albeit for about a 3rd of the prize money from the week before. The following day, Party was offering a tournament that was 345 buyin, rather than the normal 250k guaranteed(I think it was actually 150k guaranteed at that time though). They advertised it well, so it had a boat load of people. I can't remember how many, but I know first was 140k. At any rate, I am the chipleader with 13 players, with a 3 to 1 chip lead over the next person closest to my stack.....except for one guy. Who I had covered by only by around a few thousand, 3bbs I think. Anyway, of course we are on the same table, I am in the small blind and get dealt KK, he is utg, and he just pushes.....which was a huge overbet, but still an understandable bet, since everyone in the field was in push fold mode, except for the two of us, and a couple others on the other table(the other two who weren't in push fold mode, we had a 3 to 1 lead on, to give you an idea of how many chips we had). So of course, I call with KK, and he opens AQ, and the flop comes QQx, lol, he didn't even hit the ace. In retrospect, I prolly should have folded. Anyway, I play the 11:00pm 109mtt and win that, can't remember the number of players, but it was 13k, so you figure it out.

On Sunday am, I play the 6am limit 109, and win that. I got HU with Danny Alaei, if anyone knows him. Good friend of mine. Then I play the big sunday event, and get 4th in that, can't remember how many were in that field, but first was around 80k. I am including monday in my weekend also, so no one gets confused. Monday, I play the party special, and win that, but even more impressive I think is that I made the final table of every single 109 mtt that ran that day starting with the 11am and finishing with the 11pm one. And I won 3 of those. I was playing as SwiftSteal in the 109 mtts, and Gigabet in the special.

After that, I was sure online poker was rigged....but who cares, since it was obviously rigged for me.

Then the Steps come....Party just can't be satisfied until I have 849704509768905760295 billion dollars.

I absolutely crushed the step tournaments when they first came out as two table events , and I played every single one of them that ran in december. I was winning every other one of them, it seemed. Party was still rigged in my favor, yes! There was one night, I had 4 two table step 5s running, and a cash game at UB. Danny Alaei and I chatted everyday(he thinks about poker the same way that I do)and in this particular session, he was watching me play the step 5s, and asking for my hole cards through aim, cause he wanted to start playing them, but he didn't feel comfortable enough at the time. Danny is chipdaddy37 on party, if anyone remembers that name.

So we are talking about how the hands are being played out, and going over my thoughts as i play through a hand, when he tells me that prahlad(spiritrock) just lost a 70k pot on the prima network. Prahlad is in my game at ub, we are playing 25/50, and we both have around 40k behind us. I am in the big blind, and prahlad has the button, and just like clockwork he raises. I have JJ(perfect timing for a hand, though i would have played anything, thinking he may be on tilt.) Long story short, I stack him, he bluffs his entire stack with absolutely nothing, and I flop top set. Meanwhile, I win all four step 5 two tables I am in. This is when Danny and I decide to go to vegas, and just stay through the world series.

My next big win was win the 15k stt tourneys, most of that info has been posted, but I played as evenkeal, played two, and won them both. they paid 100k to win.


thats about it online, now i am playing live, and that has all been posted before as well.


Gigabet