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One of the things that continues to put me horrifically on tilt is when people make ridiculous move and get lucky and then try to justify it. When I made the 5th place today, I had a decent stack. I pushed allin on the flop with top pair, my stack was roughly pot size. The big stack called with middle pair and hit a runner-runner flush to knock me out. Afterward he said "had to call, I had pot odds". Arrrg ! Charles smash !!
I've noted this before I think, but I think one of my problems with my bankroll is that when I'm winning, I tend to stop playing, because I get a high from a win and want to go run around and do stuff. When I'm losing, I keep playing because I want to get a win so I can quit on an up-note. That means I actually play a lot more on the days that I'm losing, which is the opposite of the ideal. Now obviously I don't believe in luck being sticky or anything, I don't believe you can have an "unlucky day", but it is true that when you're running bad and getting unlucky, you play worse, because you remember how you got sucked out on, you don't want to gamble, or you push too much, etc. plus it's true that if other people see you losing a lot, they'll attack you more and be more willing to play pots with you. All these factors do make it so that winning & losing really does come in streaks, and when you're losing sometimes you just need to quit for a while and try to come back later.
I think I've certainly had some bad luck, but I've also made some big mistakes. In a few of these, if I didn't make the one big mistake at the end I would have cashed, which on the whole would've made me +EV for the past few days instead of a big negative. I just keep acting without thinking the situation through carefully, and I can't seem to stop it.
I've been trying to channel the spirit of Chris Ferguson - for every decision, stop and rethink it through, take your time. It may seem like an obvious move, but just slow down, run through the whole thing again, think about the hand, the stacks, the timing, okay, now make your move. If I could just make myself do this, my game would improve dramatically.
I am still mostly playing really great. The problem is you can play great for hours and build a nice stack, then one horrible play and you blow the whole thing. I've played with Drew a few times lately, and no offense intended to Drew, but it's really shown me how my game has progressed. A year ago when Drew left, he and I were roughly on the same level in poker. He was more aggressive and clever with the bluffs, I had the edge in maths, but overall comparable. Now I can see just another level of play; Drew's still a really good player, but he's not thinking about all these other things - stack management, how much to gamble when, the blinds pressure, how to adjust for what type of opponent, etc. etc. Of course Drew's still much better than me at the cash NL game because of his intuitive knack for bluffing.
I know they want to set the schedule in advance and all, but too often the Monday night game is a piece of shit. They should set the schedule, but put all the games on Sunday. Then, each week, the game where the two teams with the best record meet Monday night, which an exception where one team can't appear within 4 weeks, or something like that. Too often the best game winds up being some random game on Sunday that isn't shown nationally.
The winner is Colm Mac Donnchadha, but he cheated by knowing of the band in advance.
A good thing about tournaments is that they're very technical and require awareness of M-theory, stack sizes, payouts, etc. which many people will get wrong. That's +EV for those who consider those things. The bad thing about tournaments is that you can't just play against fish. That is, the fish are usually weeded out early and give their stacks to the better players, so when you get down to the final few, it's usually the better players. Ideally for max profit in poker you always want to be playing against the absolute fishes.
Seat 2 is the button Blinds (100/200) Total number of players : 10 Seat 1: chukb ( $1443 ) Seat 2: FlipJames ( $2487 ) Seat 3: rustyhanson ( $6236 ) Seat 8: E_Normus ( $4879 ) Seat 4: havic333 ( $1400 ) Seat 5: CountyLiner ( $725 ) Seat 6: Lack2311 ( $1375 ) Seat 7: Desertbugsy ( $1280 ) Seat 9: Karuna ( $2980 ) Seat 10: Sweetness224 ( $7195 ) ** Dealing down cards ** CountyLiner is all-In  Lack2311 folds. Desertbugsy folds. E_Normus folds. Karuna is all-In  Sweetness224 folds. Dealt to chukb [ Td Ts ] ?
I'll give you a hint - your real money EV before this hand started was $55.
It's just a critical error to make a mistake late. Say you buy in for $30 and make a huge mistake early - you lose $30. If you get to the final few and make a big mistake there, you're losing $100 or more in value. That's disastrous. It's wrong to think that it doesn't hurt because you already made some value, you need every bit of EV you can get to balance the variance over time.
Another funny thing happened today. There was a bot in one of the tournaments. His name is "JIMBO860". Oddly, he was in one of my $30 no limit tournaments, and he was obviously a *LIMIT* bot. He would always bet & raise the minimum, and made a lot of plays that were obvious limit plays. It looked like he might be playing by the Wilson TTH rules or something like that. Needless to say, he eventually got crushed, because he had no concept of call size and called off his whole stack with a pair of aces. I don't understand why the bot developer would play his limit bot in a no limit tournament. Perhaps it was a mistake in his automatic table seating algorithm.
I got called by some nutty shit today. One BB called my allin with 23o !? One called with 78. I guess I just have to play super tight at the end. This is quite the opposite of Harrington/etc. style play, and it goes against my instincts.
Take the Christ out of Christmas. Just celebrate "mas" (pronounced "muss"). No fuss, no "mas".
Seat 2: JPN42 ( $4988 ) Seat 4: chukb ( $4248 ) Seat 5: lalalaloser ( $20764 ) Blinds (750/1500) end of the game, JPN and I are both fucked, M around 2 ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ Jh Qs ] lalalaloser folds. JPN42 is all-In  chukb is all-In  I figure QJ is a pretty good hand, I may be ahead and if not, I'm not far behind. Almost half my stack is in the BB already, so I fold.
Before the hand started, my equity was $208, but now I post the BB. If I fold, my equity goes down to $198. If I call and lose, I get $180 (3rd place). If I call and win, my equity goes up to $234.46.
So, what chance of winning do I need for calling to be break even ?
198 = P * 234.5 + (1-P) * 180 = 180 + 54.5 * P P = 33%So, clearly I have to call, but also, I hate this situation - just by being in the big blind here I lost several dollars of value.
Unfortunately, this only came up because I made a disastrous error on an earlier hand. I pushed with KJ when I had the big stack, which was an unnecessary risk, since any ace-high is beating me.
Anyhoo, I wound up making 3rd place, which made up for all the bad beats today. I was only able to make it there with a few key suckouts. It just reminds me of the variance and randomness in poker. It's incredibly unlikely that you can make it through a tournament without any suckouts. You're either going to suck out on them (and hopefully) or get sucked out on (and probably lose). As I've pointed out many times before, if you only get into 80/20 confrontations, it's only 50/50 that the favorite hand wins 3 out of 3 races. I played three tournaments today, the first two I took rotten beats and didn't cash, in the 3rd I gave some rotten beats and cashed.
Seat 1: agreen2194 ( $2305 ) Seat 2: perry998 ( $1355 ) Seat 3: jshooter05 ( $5965 ) Seat 4: ankleband ( $2215 ) Seat 5: chukb ( $1780 ) Seat 6: jpk1928 ( $3460 ) Seat 7: Mikarriva ( $6450 ) Seat 8: ChrisAllen1 ( $1630 ) Seat 9: kustak ( $2880 ) Seat 10: platte77 ( $1960 ) Blinds (75/150) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ Jh As ] perry998 folds. jshooter05 raises . jshooter05 has been open raising a very wide range of hands, like TJ or Q9 ankleband folds. chukb is all-In  I've been waiting for a decent hand, here AJ, to catch jshooter05, this is my first chance. I push. jpk1928 is all-In  Fuck! Someone behind has a hand! Mikarriva folds. ChrisAllen1 folds. kustak folds. platte77 folds. agreen2194 folds. jshooter05 folds.
jpk had KK and I lost, out 10th. If I were just against jshooter, I'm sure this is +EV, the question is, how does the presence of the live people behind change it? Was this just bad luck, or should I be more aware of the danger of live people behind picking up a hand?
People behind will roughly play the top 5% of hands, that's 99 or AQ or better. Against those hands I'm roughly 25% to win. There are 6 others behind, so the chance all fold is 0.95^6 = 74% . I'll assume only one plays, and if they do, jshooter05 will fold.
If they do all fold, I'll assume jshooter05 folds 50% of the time. The 50% of the time he calls, he's a slight favorite on average (I know he calls here with hands like AT and KQ, which I'm beating, as well as hands like 88 which are 50/50), we'll say he's 55% to win over all.
So, let's compute EV. If I just fold I have 1780 chips, and my real money expectation is $62. Just in terms of chips first :
0.26 * ( 0.25 * (1780*2 + 825) ) + 0.74 * ( 0.50 * (1780 + 825) + 0.50 * 0.45 * (1780*2 + 825) ) = 1979
That's a nice +EV in chips even counting the live people behind. How about in real money ?
0.065 of the time I have 4385 chips (from jpk), for $126 0.37 of the time they all fold, and I have 2605 chips, for $85 0.165 of the time I have 4385 chips (from jshooter), for $123 0.40 of the time I get zero
The result is $60 real money expectation. Definitely negative! If there were no one behind, this would still be positive, but the combined factors of the risk of people behind, plus the risk of going out and losing the tournament equity of survival makes this a bad gamble.
This is also interesting because you can see how better players make their value in tournaments. It's little by little, hand by hand. At the start of each tournament everyone's real money expectation is the same - $30 in this case. Each hand you're faced with decisions that might take your value to $29 or $31.
Played two games in the heads up challenge against Dustin, and he won them both. Now I'm down 0-2 and need to win 4 out of the next 5. That's almost impossible even if I severely outplay him, which I haven't been. In the first two games he had the cards on me and played better. Every time I'd try a big bluff, he had something really good. In the second match I hit some big hands and got way the big stack, and he proceeded to double up twice and take the chip lead back, after which I got bled down and lost it. I think there were some hands I could have pushed harder and taken down with bluffs. It seems I won't catch the cards I need so I'm gonna have to win by out-bluffing him.
For some reason, the losses feel a lot worse in the live game than they do online. Online I can shrug it off pretty well, it's just bad luck, try again. In the live game I feel like I got robbed or raped.
Well, I made up for it by taking 2nd place in the next one. I got to the heads up outchipped roughly 2:1 and proceeded to get schooled by Duffy38. I do need to practice my heads up, fortuitously I have a heads up matched scheduled with Dustin.
Often in poker you run into the same type of problem you have in Risk and Diplomacy and other games - there are a bunch of players, and some move needs to be done, but you can't do it yourself, you need someone else to do it. Now, that move may be in their best interest, but for whatever reason they don't do it. The result is that someone else prospers. In Risk you have this where some bully is trying to take something, and someone else just lets him; you're not in that part of the world, so the bully gets a continent, and now you're fucked even though you weren't involved.
In the game today, Duffy38 was running over the table near the end. The two of us had the big stacks, and Duffy38 was open raising just about every single pot. I would re-pop once in a while, but since I was on the #2 stack, I can't afford to tangle with him, I need to pick on the other short stacks. The short stacks, however, should be taking advantage - they should push allin against his raise with any ace, or even KJ. His over-aggression is a really bad play if the short stacks would just do the right thing. Unfortunately, they did not, they laid down and let him run over the table, so he was able to gather that massive 2:1 chip lead on me. I could have tried to also run over the table and take my share, but that would have led to confrontations with Duffy38 which I was trying to avoid. Of course, just sitting back and letting Duffy crush them is great +EV for me in terms of real money value, so I can't complain.
Dealt to chukb [ Ks 8s ] spider2084 folds. grrry folds. Uldini raises . Alien114 calls . Lokijohn folds. eddievr folds. chukb calls . I'll call a min raise K8s , the implied odds are very good couchguard calls . whale1917 folds. mousy2 calls . ** Dealing Flop ** [ 8c, 8d, 9d ] mousy2 checks. Uldini bets . Alien114 folds. chukb raises . I flopped trips. Uldini is a moron who min raises and min bets even his monsters, he could have any two. couchguard calls . He must be on the flush draw or str8draw, TJ, QJ, diamonds. mousy2 folds. Uldini folds. ** Dealing Turn ** [ 9h ] chukb bets . I have the house now. Either he has me tied or beat (with a 9), or he's drawing almost dead. couchguard folds. chukb does not show cards. chukb wins 625 chips
Clearly a dumb bet on the turn. No worse hand calls me there, and I don't want to force out draws. Perhaps I can make more money if he decides to bluff, or even better if he hits his flush and thinks it's a good hand even though there's two-pair on the board. Very dumb.
This reminds me of something I've thought about a lot recently. Classic poker doctrine says that hands like K8s or 22 or 67s really want to see a flop cheap, and multi-way for maximum implied odds. That's okay if you can get that situation, which you often can in limit, but in no-limit I find there's a nice value of calling raises in position with these hands. Say someone open raises 2x or 3x. It folds to you on the button, you call with hands like this. Now, in standard analysis you don't have very good odds here, but your implied odds can be very good if the stacks are deep. If he was on AK or AQ or something and you have 22 and the flop comes A72, you'll probably get his whole stack. In fact, I really *want* to be dominated in this case. I love it if he has KK and the flop is 972, then I'm sure to take his stack with 22. Many people play cute when they flop monsters, so if your 67 flops a draw, he'll often check to you, and you can just check behind if you have a draw. These kind of miracle flops only happen about 1/20 times, but if your stacks are around M=30, that means you're getting good implied odds to see a flop here. Also, in position you'll have good opportunities to steal the pot, if he open raised AQ and the flop is low, or if he opened raised 99 and the flop is high, in either case you can take the pot. When you play this, you need to remember that the vast majority of the time you are losing money on these hands, you shouldn't get too attached to them, you want to either hit a big flop or get out (and of course bluff if he tells you he doesn't want the pot). One of the stupid traps I sometimes fall into is calling with something like A7s, looking for the flush, then the flop comes 872, and I start thinking my 7 might be good. That's danger.
Before the hand starts, the stacks and expectations are :
stacks : Seat 1: pokrprofesr ( $3460 ) - Seat 2: HARLEYGUY814 ( $5535 ) Seat 3: Gatormancc ( $3090 ) Seat 4: baystar ( $2525 ) Seat 6: chukb ( $2250 ) Seat 7: euming ( $6400 ) Seat 9: bobsway ( $6740 ) dollar expectations : pokrprofesr : 117.846351 HARLEYGUY814 : 155.915487 Gatormancc : 108.856359 baystar : 93.473993 chukb : 85.243610 euming : 167.340767 bobsway : 171.323433
First, I'm surprised how high my dollar expectation here was. It's only slightly under the $90 for last place, so certainly I should not give up easily just because I'm short stack.
Now, here's the action :
Blinds (100/200) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ 5h Ad ] bobsway calls . pokrprofesr folds. HARLEYGUY814 calls . Gatormancc folds. baystar folds. chukb is all-In  I'm in the small blind, there are two limpers before me, and the big blind behind. I figure I need to take a shot and they probably have weak hands, so I'll push my A5. euming folds. bobsway calls . HARLEYGUY814 folds. bobsway shows [ Jc, Js ] a pair of jacks.As it turned out, bobsway limped jacks, and busts me. But what was my actual EV ? First of all, let me say I think this was a marginal move by me, just because my stack was actually big enough I could have just limped or folded here. My M was 7, which is not terrible. If my M was 4, I should have definitely pushed here, with M = 3 or 5, it's borderline. M = 2 is actually too low, you can't make anyone fold. M of 6 or 7 is high enough that this is not necessary.
So, let's look at the EV. First of all, I'm going to assume that the 3 guys in the hand will call with AT or better and 66 or better. We'll ignore AA and say that in all those cases I'm 30% to win. That's roughly the top 10% of hands they're calling with, and they limped maybe the top 50%, so they're calling with 20%. The chance that noone calls is 0.9*0.8*0.8 = about 60%. We'll ignore multiple calls. (actually I'm assuming here that they always limped their good hands, which is not true at all, so really the chance of them calling should be even lower).
So, in terms of EV, if I fold, I have 2150. When I push, 60% of the time, noone calls and I get 2150+700. 40% of the time when someone calls, I will win 30%, and wind up with 2250*2 + 400 = 4900, and lose 70% and wind up with 0. The overall EV in terms of chips for pushing in is : 0.6 * 2850 + 0.4 * 0.3 * 4900 = 2298. Slightly +EV.
What about in terms of actual money EV ? I'll assume that the caller is bobsway. If I just fold and bobsway wins what's in the pot, my EV goes to $82.33 . If I push and noone calls, I'd be up to $101. If I push and win, I'd be up to $142.83 . If I push and lose, obviously I'm down to $0. So my money EV overall is : 0.6 * 101 + 0.4 * 0.3 * 142.83 = 77.739 . Clearly minus EV !!
So, that's very interesting. This is one of those clear cases where tournament EV is different from just chip EV. In this case, if I fold the negative EV is not very bad, I still have a good shot at last place money. Also, the positive EV of the double up is not worth that much. You see when I more than double up in chips - from 2250 to 4900 - my money EV only goes from $85 to $143 , not nearly a double up.
So, clearly I should have folded and made a big mistake here. In bubble situations, it's not worth taking gambles, because the value of having any chips at all is so great, and the value of doubling up is not that great.
(btw the money EV's here were computed with GoldBullion using the correct tournament equity algorithm I described earlier).
Also note that this tournament payout structure is really exceptional for this type of hand. There's a big jump from $0 to $90 on the bubble, and then the payouts above that just increase linearly, not exponentially like they usually do. In more typical multi-table tournament payouts, you don't see nearly such a big affect, because the large prize for first place makes money EV much closer to chip EV. Also, the jump from bubble to cash is not usually so big, here it's 3x the buy in, more typically it's just 1x the buy in. If you ever need to play cautious on the bubble, it's in this type of payout structure which doesn't reward gambling late.
The basic key principle here is that larger stacks are worth less in terms of dollar EV. When you double your stack in chips, you much less than double your dollar EV. If everyone else's stack is the same, when my chips go from 2000 to 4000 to 8000, my dollar EV only goes from $83 to $128.50 to $176. You can see that getting allin, even as a 60/40 favorite, is a major disaster, and the bigger your stack the worse it is.
Seat 3: chukb ( $2650 ) Seat 5: Maug13 ( $2130 ) Blinds (25/50) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ Ad 8d ] MrTonyB40 folds. HARLEYGUY814 folds. chukb raises . Standard 3x raise with A8s in middle pos. I'd like to just win the blinds pegdlg31 folds. Maug13 calls . Hmm.. I haven't seen this guy much, but he's a bit on the loose side. HawkMan555 folds. alka5 folds. Gatormancc folds. ** Dealing Flop ** [ 4h, 4d, 8s ] chukb bets . Top pair, top kicker, very nice. I'm surely good here, maybe he has two overs. Maug13 calls . Yup, must be two overs. ** Dealing Turn ** [ Jc ] chukb bets . I'm a little worried by that jack, but he can still have a lot of losing hands. Maug13 calls . ** Dealing River ** [ Ks ] chukb checks. Hmm.. He called the turn, a pretty solid bet. Could he have like 99 or TT ? Maybe 9T !? Or AK Maug13 bets . That's a pretty big bet, about half pot. If he just had a mediocre hand like KQ or TJ or something wouldn't he just check it down? He must have a real big hand or nothing. I think AQ is possible, so is 55-77. chukb calls . Maug13 shows [ As, 4s ] three of a kind, fours.
Ugh, I guess it was just a bad call. There's no way I can put him on A4, but I was worried about AK, AJ, KQ, QJ, etc. there are enough of those hands, it should be a pretty easy fold. Checking the river like I do sets him up to bluff at me, though, which means I have to call more often there to catch the bluffs. I could have bet more on the flop to drive out overcards, and then I could have bet a little less on the turn, I don't need to bet half pot, and then I could have just check-folded the river.
I had another rotten hand this game where I had 99 and was thinking about calling, and suddenly I was folded !? I guess my timer ran out and I had no time bank because it was used up while I was AFK pissing. That cost me a double up.
Today I played a 3-tabler and wound up making 2nd place. At the end there was a tough player named FLMAN1945 who was playing basically my style of poker, and it showed me how tough it is to play against. He had the big stack and was just dominating the table. He was stealing lots of blinds, and when other people tried steals he was frequently reraising them allin, stealing their steals. He had the ideal scenario, I was on the 2nd or 3rd stack, and there were some small stacks, so we medium stacks had to play it safe to make sure the small stacks got knocked out. By the time it got heads up he had me chipped 3:1 and I had little hope.
The power of the open-raise is at its best when the stacks are around M = 10. You can open raise a standard 3xBB. Now, the problem is anyone who calls know they're risking their whole stack. If they reraise, they're basically pot committed at that point. Just calling sucks because you don't hit your flop often enough for it to be worth fishing around. The great thing for the open-raiser is they're applying pressure without committing very many chips. If you reraise allin (any reraise is essentially allin), the opener can now decide whether to call or not. This is crucial - they get to decide when a hand is actually a big allin or not. That lets them call with their big hands and fold their weak ones. If they fold they don't lose too many chips, and they make up for it with the blind steals, and of course when they actually get a good hand and bust you.
chukb hands:9023 plays: 32%(K8o) raises: 45%(A8s) steal:447/599 bbf:136/224 cont:308/433 big:803= 8%
There are various little todos in Goldbullion to improve the stat tracking, but the big thing is to try to use the AI to watch the way people have played hands to build a better Bayes-based read on them. That is, given how they've played various situations in the past, what do we think they have based on their play so far in the current hand.
The basic way of doing this, as I've outlined in the GoldBullion AI notes, is to have a parameterized AI model for opponents. eg. the model has various parameters a,b,c,d, etc. which influence play. They start at some basic setting which will give "standard" play. Based on what you see of a person's play, you adjust the parameters so that the AI model will make actions that match their play in those situations. There are two primary ways to adjust the model. One is statistically - that is, if you see the % of hands someone calls, folds, raises, etc. you can tweak the model so that it will generate those same statistics over all. The other way is with specific hands. When you see someone's hole cards, you see how they played a specific hand, and then you can tweak the model so that it plays that hand in a similar way.
This is all very complicated by the fact thats that - 1) poker is a game of very sparse statistics, so you will only get very scattered data on their play, not enough to build your model without a lot of assumptions, and 2) there are lots of extra circumstances that affect people's play, eg. are they on tilt, what are the stacks and payouts, etc., and 3) people will occasionally make very strange plays that can throw off the model if you weight them too strongly.
Of course none of this is very exotic, this is just what I'm doing myself when I play.
Seat 1: bahbo112 ( $2647 ) Seat 2: TxHoosier ( $2649 ) Seat 3: hardg ( $1955 ) Seat 6: chukb ( $1232 ) Seat 7: natural0153 ( $570 ) Seat 8: perry998 ( $1300 ) Seat 9: Lacrs11 ( $790 ) Seat 10: joejamesjr ( $1067 ) Trny:17830262 Level:5 Blinds (50/100) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ Jc 2h ] natural0153 calls . natural0153 is on the short stack, with an M less than 4, and he limps utg !!?? From a good player this can only mean one thing - a monster, like AA or KK. Now, I know he's not that good, but I can't believe he's limp on such a short stack with a really bad hand, it must be a pair or ace high or something. perry998 folds. Lacrs11 folds. joejamesjr folds. bahbo112 folds. TxHoosier folds. hardg calls . chukb checks. I check in the BB. ** Dealing Flop ** [ Ac, 6s, Jd ] hardg checks. chukb bets . I flopped middle pair jacks, I want to see if I'm good. natural0153 calls . natural0153 just calls !? Half his stack is now in the pot. He must have a weak ace, maybe something like QJ or KJ. Pairs lower than J are possible too. hardg folds. ** Dealing Turn ** [ 3d ] chukb checks. natural0153 is all-In  chukb folds. It's only a halfpot bet, but I don't think I can possibly be good. If he doesn't have an ace, my jack must be out-kicked. natural0153 shows [ Tc, Qc ] high card ace.
His plays were pretty reasonable if you ignore the fact that he was on a super short stack. I suppose on the turn I can still put him on pairs below Jack and maybe call for that, but there's no way I can put him on QT (I did think KQ was a possibility). This type of hand could be easily dismissed, saying he's a donkey, he's a bad player, but of course that's the point - I shouldn't be losing money to these guys. I've been losing a lot of important pots like this recently, where I have what's really a very weak hand, and someone playing very strangely pushes me off the best hand because I haven't got the right read on them. Simple bluffs are not that hard to pick off, the things that really trip me up are when people call in crazy situations.
sees flop 40% raises 60% steals 11/12 continuation 5/7
That 40% see flop is pretty loose. That's because I'm open raising a lot with hands like J9s, etc. You can see I'm almost always taking a steal chance, and almost always betting continuation. Obviously that only works when the table lets me, but they often do. (that raises percentage is how often the open preflop is a raise vs. a limp). When I see these stats it's obvious that anyone watching me must know I'm stealing and betting continuation.
Blinds (50/100) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ 4d 5c ] IAM4USC folds. Cougat33 folds. Big__Nuts folds. TxHoosier folds. z_balata raises . z_balata makes a 3x raise on the button. We both have decent stacks. He's been raising almost any two cards, especially in steal positions. We can rule out 72, but J5 is possible. Mattotto3 folds. chukb raises . I have junk, but I figure he'll fold maybe 90% of the hands he open raised, so I'm gonna try a re-pop to take the pot. That 700 is on top of the 100 I have in, so it's 500 more to him. Maybe I should have raised a tiny bit more. z_balata calls . ** Dealing Flop ** [ Jc, 8c, 2s ] chukb bets . Of course I missed the flop, I have junk. I want to try a stab here in case he doesn't have anything. If I check he's sure to bet, and there's still a good chance he has nothing. z_balata is all-In  chukb folds. I figure he must have hit the jack. It's possible he has the str8draw or flush draw, but I can't call in any case.
I think that overall, this move is +EV, but there are two big problems with it (aside from maybe not raising quite enough preflop). 1) I'd never seen anyone reraise this guy, so even though I knew he was open raising any two cards, I didn't know if he was capable of folding them to a raise. 2) The game was very soft and nutty, so I certainly could have gotten my chips in as a big favorite in some other scenario. If the game was very tough, this move coud be more called for, but not in a soft crazy game.
Which reminds me of all this talk that you have to push edges and gamble to win tournaments. That's a lot of horse shit, especially against bad players, and if you do it you're a moron.
I got Dan's computer (my old Oddworld computer) set up with WiFi. I got a DLink DWL-G510. Her computer is about 100 feet away from the router, through one wall, and the signal strength is around 30%. She gets about 20 MBps. Not bad at all, WiFi is the shit. I wish we could have everything wireless, but as we talked to about at Oddworld a few times there are some problems. Clearly keyboards and mice and such can easily be wireless, and that's possible with Bluetooth stuff now. Video is a big problem, the bandwidth is astronomical. To do even 1600x1200 at say 100 fps is 6 billion bits per second uncompressed. Fast wireless is now 100 Mbps, so we're still off by an order of magnitude or two. Power is another issue. Of course Tesla used to demonstrate wireless power and dreamed of a world-wide wireless power system , but there are a few major problems with it.
It's got a $10 mail-in rebate. I hate fucking mail in rebates so much, but it isn't much work for $10, so I have to do it. I missed the $30 mail-in rebate on my damn cellphone because I forgot about it and the time expired.
Seat 3 is the button Total number of players : 3 Seat 3: chukb ( $14756 ) Seat 4: hopper888 ( $8736 ) Seat 8: TRIPSET ( $6508 ) Trny:17800797 Level:11 Blinds (400/800) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ Ac 4d ] chukb raises . Standard 2.5x button raise with an ace high. I'd be happy to get all in with the short stack in the big blind. hopper888 calls . TRIPSET folds. SB calls, BB folds. hopper888 must have some kind of decent hand, like KJ minimum. ** Dealing Flop ** [ 4c, 2h, Kc ] hopper888 bets . chukb raises . He min bets, I have a pair of 4s. If he had a king, he would have check-raised me here. This min bet might be the club draw, or just AJ or AQ or something like that. I raise to charge the club draw. hopper888 calls . ** Dealing Turn ** [ 8d ] hopper888 checks. chukb checks. I check here because I'm almost certainly good, but I don't really want to bet. He won't fold a better hand. Maybe I should charge the club draw, but I figure let's see the river. ** Dealing River ** [ 7d ] hopper888 is all-In  chukb calls . He leads allin. That sure looks like a bluff. I'm not scared of a big hand, the main thing I'm scared of is something like 55 which is basically a bluff but would still beat me. hopper888 shows [ As, Qh ] high card ace. chukb shows [ Ac, 4d ] a pair of fours.
Hooray for me! Checking the turn let him bluff at me on the river.
On the plus side, the field was incredibly weak, as expected. If I didn't play like a fucking donkey it would have been easy to go very deep, probably to cash without trouble. With the player count, it means if everyone is equal an entry is worth about $50, but with the weak field I'd say an entry should be worth about $150 or $200 on average, a pretty darn good value for a freeroll.
Seat 1: shescot43 (3380) Seat 2: Jodantc (2420) Seat 3: chukb (10930) Seat 4: Piscato (5875) Seat 5: cardiackid1 (3165) Seat 6: semaj78 (2525) Seat 10: terrpetz (1705) Piscato posts small blind (150) cardiackid1 posts big blind (300) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ 8h, 8d ] semaj78 folds. terrpetz folds. shescot43 folds. Jodantc folds. chukb raises (900) to 900 Standard 3x button raise with the 88 Piscato calls (750) The #2 stack calls me. He's been reraising with very good hands, so I mostly rule those out. This is probably like KQ or Ax or a low pair or something like that. cardiackid1 folds. ** Dealing Flop ** : [ 5c, 9h, 2s ] Piscato bets (1200) chukb calls (1200) He leads out half pot. I think there's a very good chance I'm good. A set would probably check. I'm basically ruling out overpairs because he's been reraising them. ** Dealing Turn ** : [ 6d ] Piscato bets (3775) Piscato is all-In. I'm almost certainly ahead. His bet is less than pot size. I think AK is possible. A9 is the only hand I'm really worried about beating me. I think hands like 77 are possible, as is A5.
If he was a good player, he'd know not to tangle with me unless he had a monster. He wouldn't want to go out on the bubble because he fucked around with the big stack. Of course if he was a really tricky pro, he might attack me just because I know that he shouldn't play with me without a monster, but we can safely rule that out. I think he was actually a moron not considering the bubble and the stacks, so all those considerations just don't apply to reading him.
In any case, I folded to get in a better situation later, which I got. I put him allin when I had two pair and he had one pair, of course the board later paired and he won with the higher kicker.
Brad Kondracki open raises around 500k with a stack of only about 1M. Dannenman moves allin with AQ, he has about 4M. There are about 6 live players between them, some who have Dannenman covered.
What in the fuck is Dannenman hoping for here? Kondracki is pot committed and has to call. He must have AK or a pair, so in any case Dannenman is behind, and he's risking a ton of chips with live players behind who could bust him if they pick up a big hand. This is a major fish move. It seems like Dannenman was just just pushing any decent hole cards, not taking into account the situation and the chip stacks, etc. I think folding AQ here would be okay, also just calling would be okay.
There are several other hands where he pushes in with ace high after the flop, big overbets when it's very likely he'll get a call from a pocket pair.
Seat 1: DirtyBirds4 (1285) Seat 2: Soliton (3230) Seat 7: chukb (5245) Seat 8: Roscoe451 (5705) Seat 10: SNK21 (4535) Roscoe451 posts small blind (150) SNK21 posts big blind (300) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ Ts, 4s ] DirtyBirds4 folds. Soliton folds. chukb raises (750) to 750 I'm on the button and both of these guys have been folding their blind much more than normal, so I'm going to raise with almost any two cards. Roscoe451 folds. SNK21 calls (450) He's been folding his BB a lot, so calling does mean he has a little something. It could be ace-low, or something like 67, but he's not calling with just any two. ** Dealing Flop ** : [ Ah, As, 6d ] SNK21 checks. chukb checks. I don't like to bet continuation on a flop like this because it's not believable. I felt like I might get reraised, so I just check and see what happens. ** Dealing Turn ** : [ 2s ] SNK21 bets (400) chukb calls (400) I have the flush draw now. He just min bet. It's possible he has the ace and is slowplaying it, but that's pretty unlikely. He would also have something like 67 that hit the 6 on the flop. I decide to just call and see if I can hit my flush or my ten, or see if he'll just check the river. ** Dealing River ** : [ Kd ] SNK21 bets (800) chukb folds. The hand is basically over for me, when I didn't raise the turn I had to catch.
The question is whether this is a good semibluff situation on the turn. Of course if he has the ace, then I really want to just call, it would be lovely to hit the flush and win a big pot. Probably he doesn't have the ace, but would he believe that I do? And will he fold whatever weak hand he does have? It's possible he just have something like KJ on the turn and might even call a raise with the king kicker. I don't think my check on the flop takes away from the believability of the semibluff. If I actually did have the ace, I might check the flop to try to get action.
Soliton posts small blind (200) chukb posts big blind (400) ** Dealing down cards ** Roscoe451 raises (900) to 900 SNK21 calls (900) Soliton folds. chukb calls (500) ** Dealing Flop ** : [ 2d, 6s, 6c ] chukb checks. Roscoe451 checks. SNK21 bets (1400) chukb folds. Roscoe451 folds.
He min raises, so I call with almost any two cards in the BB. (I had KT, but that's irrelevant). On the flop, SNK bets and I'm almost certain he has nothing, probably two overs. I thought about pushing, and wound up deciding to fold. Certainly it's possible he has a low pair, but it's more likely he has something like A7 or TJ. One of the things that worried me most was not that he had a pair, but that he might call a push with something like ace high, which would be beating me. Of course an argument could be made that they were playing so badly there's no need for me to risk my chips here, that if I fold I'll be able to get them in later in a much safer scenario (which I did).
I despise people who talk about bad beats when they slow-play their aces or something like that. That's not a bad beat, that's a donkey play, you moron. Today I took a "bad beat" that most people wouldn't recognize. UTG min raised KK like a moron. 3rd position just called with AA !! I limped with 77. The SB then went allin with KJ, a very tiny reraise that couldn't possibly force anyone out. Of course UTG reraised allin, and I had to fold. Flop had a 7. Thanks to the donkey play of the SB, I missed a chance to triple up my stack. That's a rotten beat! I was in a perfect spot to punish the horrible play of those guys playing their big hands so badly, and I got robbed.
Oh well. The $100k freeroll is tomorrow on Party and I'll be in it, I won a qualifier. Hopefully I can keep up the solid play like I did today and just get lucky when I need it, or at least not get ridiculously unlucky, pretty please.
Seat 8: ait66 (14138) Seat 10: chukb (9865) ucijavelin posts small blind (300) dantmann posts big blind (600) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ Ad, Qh ] WordPlay folds. ait66 calls (600) cuzknd folds. chukb raises (1800) to 1800 AQo in middle position. I have to play this hand and I might get all-in. I figure I'll make a standard 3x raise and see what happens. Perhaps a slightly bigger raise would've been better to force out more worse hands. azzkckr999 folds. xsocceroosx folds. gusar99 folds. danandchar folds. ucijavelin folds. dantmann folds. ait66 calls (1200) The one limper calls. I'm guessing he has a weak ace, low pair, or some kind of connector. ** Dealing Flop ** : [ Js, 7d, Tc ] ait66 bets (600) chukb calls (600) He leads out with a min bet. What the fuck? I can't possibly fold. Some people will min bet with monsters, like JT. Some people will min bet with draws, like KQ maybe. Some people min bet very weak hands, like T9 maybe. If I had a junk hand, I'd raise here, but I have a lot of outs - an Ace, King, or Queen, so I just call. ** Dealing Turn ** : [ 3c ] ait66 bets (2600) chukb calls (2600) That card looks like a blank. This is the turning point of the hand. He min bet the flop now he bets big. I've seen this guy in the past make big bets as a bluff, so this looks like it could be a bluff. It could also be a bet with TJ or something like that. ** Dealing River ** : [ Jd ] ait66 bets (2400) chukb folds. He bets about the same size again. At this point I have no idea if he's continuing the bluff or value betting a jack. ** Summary ** Main Pot: 13300 Board: [ Js 7d Tc 3c Jd ]
Sick hand, worst of all I'm not even sure if I made a mistake. Certainly I played it weakly, which I hate, but I can't say that's wrong. The worst part of the hand for me is the call on the turn. I think I need to fold or move in there. Either I'm beat and don't have odds to draw, or he has nothing and I need to move in to stop him from drawing or bluffing me on the river.
Unbelievable rotten day of poker today. I made some mistakes, and when I had good hands I took unbelievable suckouts from unreal calls. One of my raises today was called by J2, and the guy made two pair with it. The hard thing is they're not consistent. If they would just always play with junk, it would be easy, but they don't. One hand I get AA and raise and they all fold. Another hand I get KQs and make the same raise and get five callers, with hands like A2, etc.
chukb posts small blind (10) squashball posts big blind (15) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ Ac, Ts ] frostyjfk folds. samba31 folds. Snelliest folds. yockey21 calls (15) thejanitor7 calls (15) BigandHairy1 calls (15) marathon222 calls (15) up_and_down1 calls (15) chukb raises (90) to 100 (these guys are real loose limpers and very aggressive raisers with any decent hand; the AT is almost certainly best here and I'd like to just raise and take the hand down from the SB; the cautious play would have been to just call and wait to make my hand, if I hit an ace I'm most likely good and can try to just win a small pot). squashball calls (85) yockey21 folds. thejanitor7 calls (85) BigandHairy1 calls (85) marathon222 folds. up_and_down1 folds. ** Dealing Flop ** : [ 7c, 5c, Jc ] chukb bets (200) (I flop the nut flush draw. The jack scares me because the hands they call with likely include a jack - QJ, KJ, TJ, things like that. I was thinking I'll go ahead and bet and define my hand, if they don't have a jack, I might just take it, if they do have a jack, I'm still on the nut flush draw.) squashball folds. thejanitor7 raises (400) to 400 (min raise, I'm thinking he has the jack. In retrospect I suppose the jack might have moved in to defend against the draw. The min raise could also be the Kc or possibly a set like 55 or 77.) BigandHairy1 folds. chukb raises (985) to 1185 chukb is all-In. (I can't fold here, I'm thinking I have at least 9 outs and probably 12 outs, so I'd have to call 200 to win a pot that would be 1230, which means I only need to be 16% for a call to be right. If I just call I'd have 785 left. I decide to go ahead and push into a guy who can't fold a better hand.). thejanitor7 calls (510) thejanitor7 is all-In. ** Dealing Turn ** : [ 9h ] ** Dealing River ** : [ Th ] thejanitor7 show [ Tc Qc ] [ a flush, queen high -- Qc,Jc,Tc,7c,5c ]
So, he flopped the flush and I was drawing to 7 outs. Now, there's no way I could know he flopped the flush, and of course he made an absolute rotten call preflop with QTs. Still, I made some pretty huge mistakes in this hand. On the flop, there's no need for me to lead out. I should just check and see what happens. Then if there's action, there's no need to semibluff. Anyone betting has at least a jack and will probably not fold to an allin (these guys are loose, there's no way they fold like a QJ here). So, I have to just hope the bet is small and I should just call and take another card off if the odds are right. I was frustrated that I got called by a bunch of worse hands preflop and that made me get overly attached to the nut flush draw.
I played well in the live game wednesday night, so I'm happy to sort of be back on track. I never got great hands and even made a small suckout in a 60/40 where I had the 40. Best of all, I took the green light when people told me the pot was free for me to take. I'm trying to get back to elementary bluffing 101 - that is, don't go after pots that someone is telling you they really want, just look for pots where they're begging you to bet so they can fold, and just give them what they want. I got very unlucky to run into AA in the hand of a very loose allin raiser when I had QQ. He was literally going allin with any pair, so 2 hands dominate me, and I dominate 10 hands. I had a perfect read on the guy and got the situation I wanted and laid the trap and - he had aces. I made a bad play with 55 in the second game - hey doofus (me), low pairs suck, fold!!
There's no need to stock things like "light brown sugar" and "dark brown sugar", or "light corn syrup" and "dark corn syrup". Just buy some molasses, and you can make any shade of sugar.
Cooking For Engineers has a good review of chef's knives .
Cafe Ladro and Vita were much better of course. Cafe Vita is one of the best-tasting brews I've ever had. I used to live on the top of Queen Anne hill, and we'd walk over to Ladro in the cold, bundled up in scarves and hats, with a fine mist of rain often falling. We'd sit in Ladro and read in The Stranger about all the great music happening in town, and I'd look at the hipsters and wonder what exciting cool things they do. We'd walk over to the little bench at 5th and Lynn that overlooked Gas Works and Lake Union and sit a while before the cold and rain drove us home. Writing this I realize how much I miss Seattle and how badly I need to get out of this shit-hole of a little town.
The 1 PM 30+3 rebuy tournament on Party Poker is the craziest weakest tournament I've ever seen. You just have to try to play super tight and double up with the nuts. It's pretty high variance, because you're gonna have to show down hands. Certainly guys with flush draws & things like that will call allins on the flop. In most tournaments I'd guess my buyin has an EV of about 1.5 buyins, but in this event I think I'm more like 3 buyins.
Unfortunately, in my weak moments I struggle with the tight game. I think to myself, clearly this guy has a weak hand that he'll release if I just put one more bet in. No, he won't, and that was my bad play, I'm a donkey.
Seat 2: TARPONHUNTER (5955) Seat 7: jverson1984 (8965) Seat 8: chukb (5080) chukb posts small blind (150) TARPONHUNTER posts big blind (300) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ Ac, Qh ] jverson1984 calls (300) chukb raises (750) to 900 TARPONHUNTER folds. jverson1984 calls (600) (pretty standard 3x raise with AQ, maybe I should have raised more because I'm out of position and there's a limper before me) ** Dealing Flop ** : [ 8h, 4c, Jh ] chukb bets (1100) jverson1984 raises (2200) to 2200 (normally I'd be thinking semi-bluff; he could have the hearts or the str8 draw, but I've never seen this guy semibluff before. Normally he's just calling his draws. Of course he still might be semibluffing). chukb calls (1100) (ugh. I hate my hand now, but it's beating a lot of things he might have here. Of course he may have the jack.) ** Dealing Turn ** : [ 5c ] chukb checks. jverson1984 bets (2200) chukb folds. (he bets enough to put me allin. 3/5 of my stack is now in the pot, so I can't fold, can I? I'm worried he has the jack, and if so I'm maybe on a 6 outer, and definitely not getting the odds for it). ** Summary ** Main Pot: 8700 Board: [ 8h 4c Jh 5c ] TARPONHUNTER balance 5655, lost 300 (folded) jverson1984 balance 12365, bet 5300, collected 8700, net +3400 chukb balance 1980, lost 3100 (folded)
I think the key moment was on the flop. I probably should have gone allin or folded right there. If he calls I might have some outs, and he may be on the draw. I suppose it's also possible he has a hand like 77, any pair below jacks, which is actually beating me but might fold to an allin on the flop.
I guess I also could have just checked into the flop, I didn't need to lead at him. Then I could have seen what he would do, maybe check-raised him or check-called or just folded and got out with a good stack still intact.
Suppose you see a flop 3-handed. You have a strong hand, like top pair, but there are many draws possible. For concreteness, let's say you have KJ on the button, the flop is 89J with two spades. The player in the blinds checks, and then the other guy bets, but it's only 1/4 of the pot. Now you have to act with a guy behind you. Certainly you're not going to fold, but if you just call, the guy in the blinds has great odds to call with any kind of draw. Furthermore the original better may just be betting his draw to get a cheap card. The trouble is if you raise, you've made the initial better live again to reraise, and your hand can't really stand a raise, you'd much rather just call.
This compendium of predicted lines is a pretty nice betting tool.
Fedor Emelianenko is by far the best all around fighter I've ever seen. He's trained in Sambo , which is the Russian offshoot of Japanese Judo and Jiu-jitsu. Sambo was developed for the Russian military and KGB, and is extremely practical and effective. Fedor is the most relaxed fighter I've ever seen. He doesn't fake laugh or put on a poker face like some, he's just really calm and in the moment, loose and able to respond and think clearly in the heat of the moment.
I'm in the BB with KJs. SB in the 2nd chip leader with nearly as many chips as me. I really don't want to get in confrontations with him, but KJs is an ok hand. Folds to the SB and he raises to 3x. I call. Flop is KT7. First thought is I'm in pretty good shape. He bets out about half pot. That could be a lot of hands, so I raise a solid big raise, about 3x more. He reraises, about 2x my raise. Now I'm thinking whoah, what's going on here. He opened raised and now reraises. He must have a king, or he could even have TT or 77, maybe he has KT or KQ or AK. I don't see a lot of hands that he can do this with that I can beat. I fold. (the main hand I can think of that would do this that I can beat is QJ, the straight draw, but I figure there are a lot more hands that beat me).
Later he admitted he had K8. I really don't have a good read on what he was doing; I guess he thought he was value-raising with K8, that it was actually a good hand. I have a lot of trouble against players who think that any top pair is a very good hand. They put a lot of pressure on you because they won't fold even to reraises when they have what are actually mediocre hands, so it's very hard to tell when you're ahead or not. After this hand I was just hoping to hit a good hand like top pair 2nd kicker so I could bust him, but I never got a hand that good. The best I got was Q8 with top pair Q, and that's a trouble hand. Again he reraised me, and I can easily be beat. I'm one of those players who likes to keep the pot small when I have a decent top pair, and I'm succesptible to being moved off the hand.
I think an allin rereraise by me would have been a good move on this KJ hand. Against a solid tough player, I'm surely beat. But, consider that there could be three types of guys I'm up against - a loose fish will have a worse hand and either fold or call with a worse hand, a super tight rock will fold even better hands, only a tough, tight, smart (or lucky) player will call here and beat me. On the odds, pushing is +EV.
Anyhoo, the whole thing made me feel sick. I played okay most hands, but in some key situations I played badly. Clearly in my climb up the poker ladder I've slipped a bit.
tennisprobry posts small blind (10) brasattack posts big blind (20) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ 9h, Jh ] pjschav folds. Roscoe451 raises (40) to 40 eceed folds. Fold_Deuces calls (40) showell calls (40) TL1981 folds. chukb calls (40) (I call on the button with a nice flop-seeing hand. I actually like the fact that one guy min-raised, because it means he might have something good enough to pay me off if I hit my hand) tennisprobry folds. brasattack calls (20) ** Dealing Flop ** : [ Ah, 3h, 9d ] brasattack checks. Roscoe451 checks. Fold_Deuces folds. showell checks. chukb checks. (I've got a huge draw - the flush draw + a pair drawing to trips or two pair, I certainly want to play. I'm worried that if I bet here it will kill action. Furthermore, this table has been nutty with people reraising allin, so I'd like to go ahead and hit my hand before I have to get allin). ** Dealing Turn ** : [ 7h ] brasattack checks. Roscoe451 checks. showell bets (60) chukb raises (180) to 180 (I've hit the flush. Annoyingly showell has bet very very small, well less than even half pot size. I'm worried someone has a higher heart and will certainly call that tiny bet. I want to charge higher hearts, and hopefully someone has an ace and will fight for it). brasattack folds. Roscoe451 folds. showell folds.
Not very successful. Maybe I should have bet a little on the flop to start sweetening the pot. Also on the turn I could have just called, and maybe the others would have called behind. Then, most of the time I'm still winning on the river and can try to milk it more at that point. If showell would have bet bigger on the turn I would have just called and hoped he would bet again on the river.
The heads up with walla5 was a great challenge. At first I was playing more aggressive, stealing more pots, and I ran up to a 2:1 chip lead, which is a nice spot to be in because I can put him allin to try to knock him out and still be in a decent spot if I lose. He suddenly turned on the gas and started stealing and restealing a lot more and we got back to almost exactly even stacks. The blinds were very low - 200/400 with our stacks around 15,000 - that's an M of 25, which is unusually high and meant we had a lot of play. When I was raising preflop I'd usually make it 1400 to go, a pretty standard 3.5x raise. walla5 was usually making it 3000 to go. This is a major overbet, and a mistake I was hoping to capitalize on, but I could never get good cards any of the many times he made this raise. The interesting thing about this raise is that it's a powerful inflection point that puts the pressure on me. When I would raise to 1400, he could come over the top to resteal for about 3500. I would usually fold then unless I had a good hand, and if I reraised there, he could just fold, because 3500 is not too much of his 15,000. On the other hand, when he would come in for 3000, in order for me to put a decent raise on that, I have to make it 9000 to go, which is over half my stack, and now I'm pot committed. So by making that size raise, he's forcing me to fold or go allin. Then if I go allin, he can choose to call or fold, calling with his monsters to bust me and folding and just losing 3000 with his steals. This is a powerful play in general - forcing your opponent to make the decision about whether they go allin or not, without actually putting too many of your chips in. This is DoubleA's theory of "pressure points". Of course he was overbetting, so the correct response is just for me to fold and wait for good hands and try to bust him. Finally I did get a hand that I thought was good enough to play back - AQ. I moved in and he turned over AK and he won (he had the chip lead at that point, 15100 to 14900 !).
My two and three table play continues to be very strong. I tabulated my results for the last two months. I've cashed in two & three tables 140% more than random. That is, in two tables 4 out of 20 play, you would cash 20% of the time randomly, I'm cashing 20%*1.4 = 28% of the time. In two tables I also have a very strong record for first places when I cash. 70% of my cashes are for 1st place, as opposed to 25% if it was random. In the three tables, my first places are much closer to random, 33% instead of the 20% it would be if random (5 cash in the three tables). It's possible to make decent money at these sit & gos but you can't make great money because the highest buyin you get regularly is $30. At a 140% return my EV for a $33 buyin is $42, or +$9 per go, which is not much. You have to play at 110% just to match the rake. This stretch has included some streaks of bad play by me, so I think 150% is certainly possible, and maybe with perfect play something like 200% might be possible.
my03harley posts small blind (50) chukb posts big blind (100) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ 7s, 3s ] zico10pele folds. winoid folds. cardrack007 folds. murfie82 calls (100) joedee39 folds. ashbauc folds. sponge3000 folds. KarmoE folds. my03harley calls (50) chukb checks. ** Dealing Flop ** : [ 5d, 3h, 9h ] my03harley checks. chukb bets (200) murfie82 calls (200) my03harley folds. ** Dealing Turn ** : [ Jd ] chukb checks. murfie82 bets (1103) chukb folds. ** Summary **
I have junk in the BB and flop bottom pair. I like to lead with these kinds of hands on the flop to see if I can just get a fold. When he just calls, that tell me I'm probably winning, he most likely has overs. The jack on the turn sucks for me, but I can't really be scared of that. Probably I should have gone ahead and led out o nthe turn as well. Checking the turn let him bluff at me. He bets enough to put me allin on the turn. I really think I'm ahead. He's been pretty loose, his preflop limp doesn't imply good cards. I eventually decided to save my chips for a better spot.
Over the past week I've lost a ton, and it could have been avoided with one simple control - when I'm losing and not playing well, I have to stop playing. Just walk away, take a small loss on the day, play again the next day. When I'm playing well, there's no need to put a limit on the play, I can keep going, but when I'm losing (because of bad play), I have to get out.
The correct way to do it is to first assume that each person's chance of winning 1st place is equal to their chip count divided by the total chip count. Then you look at the remainder assuming each of those did happen. eg. assume player 3 won first place, now assume that the chance of winning 2nd place if that happens is equal to each person's stack divided by the total remaining chips (with player 3 gone), and recurse.
So, I just coded this up and put in the GoldBullion poker suite. (but I haven't uploaded the new code yet).
For example, the correct payouts in the example they provide are :
Teddybear : 1556.918743 JellyFish : 1141.400077 Ace : 1041.893275 Commandor : 572.407355 Fantastic4: 517.167609 MrRomeo : 458.542746 TangoKing : 347.258367 Gladiator : 345.989316 Franklyn : 340.909027 Bluesky : 227.513486
The big difference there is a lot less for the chip leader and a lot more for the smaller but not smallest stacks.
Nacimiento-Ferguson Road. What an amazing road !? Who knew it was so beautiful ! Sycamores changing color with the fall. The road itself is wonderfully windy, great fun in a decent car. My Prelude SH is not fast, but it's a monster in the curves, and we whipped up and down the mountain road. Crossing back through the army base, there was a huge herd of these deer-like things right near the road. They look like Caribou, but that's not possible is it? Caribou are only up in the cold.
Big Sur Bakery , just north of Nepenthe, is fantastic. They have gas pumps outside, and some of the best scones I've had inside. Get there before noon while they're still bringing out all sorts of fresh-baked goodies.
One thing was drilled into my head again - solid straightforward play is rewarded, and trying to be clever almost always works out as being stupid. All of the really bad donkey plays at the final table occur when people play unorthodox and try to make weird moves. The guys who just wait for good hands and push them get paid off and do well. Dannenman is the perfect example of this. I think the guy's understanding of poker is very poor, but he plays solid straightforward value poker, doesn't make any stupid flame-out donkey moves, and does extremely well.
Note to self : stop pushing in with low pairs late in tourneys.
There's a key hand at the end of the 2nd show with Phil Ivey and Tony G. Our commentator has already commented on how Ivey played his 93o like such a genius. Umm, no, not really, he just bet it. It's pretty easy to just bet all the time, which Ivey does. The hard thing for a player like Ivey is to avoid getting trapped and to know when your mediocre hands are actually good. Anyway, the hand goes roughly like this :
UTG limps, and many limpers follow. Ivey limps 44. Tony G in the BB finds AKo. I don't know exactly what the stacks are, but it looks like the BB is about 300, and the stacks are around 30,000 , so the stacks are very deep. Tony G wisely raises from the BB, he raises to 2700, 9x the BB. All fold except Ivey who calls. I think this is a pretty questionable call. Tony G most likely has a higher pair, he could also have AK or maybe AQ, but most of the time Ivey is dominated, and he's calling 1/10 of his stack to try to hit a set.
The flop is a miracle flop with Ivey - A45. Tony has top pair top kicker and Ivey has a set of fours. The commentator is talking about what a genius Ivey is. No, he just got really lucky. Tony checks. I assume he was planning on check-raising all along. Ivey bets out 5000, about half the pot. I like Ivey's bet here, since he bluffs so often it's clearly correct to bet his good hands - in fact if he checked here that would be a real warning sign. Tony G raises to 15k. I love the check-raise here. Most of the time Ivey is beat, and will bet it, and you just got his coin. The commentator is saying how check-raises are wrong in No Limit because they don't provide information. People who play for information are morons. You play for chips, and check-raising against a hyper-aggressive player is exactly the right move. In fact, if you wanted to be really cute you could just smooth call and check-raise the turn, which Ivey would surely bet again.
Ivey calls on the flop. Now, that's a bit of a warning sign, he would usually give it up there if he had a weak hand, but even a hand like 67 is possible. I'm not sure why Ivey doesn't just reraise here. Maybe he puts Tony on a hand like TT, which would fold to a reraise fearing the ace, so he's hoping Tony will lead at the turn so Phil can call. At this point Tony G is basically pot committed. The pot is around 40k and Tony only has 15k left. The hard thing against Ivey is if you're beat in this spot you almost have to pay him off, because he messes around so much.
I can't believe how badly the "pros" play against Ivey. Hey douche-bags, read this : when you're playing with a super loose-aggressive player, this is what you do : tighten up, play premium hands, and come in for strong raises. If you hit much, bet it hard, try to get allin. Check-raises are good, and usually check-raise allin so that he can't rebluff. Yes, this increases your variance and you'll pay off his great hands, but that's gonna happen anyway.
Today I got back on track and played pretty darn well, but still lost a lot of money due to just unending horrific beats. I got a 2nd and 3rd place in small tournaments, but that doesn't pay much, you really need 1st places. Oh well, I still feel good that at least I got my game back on the rails, hopefully we'll see some profit tomorrow.
I get A3s and try to limp. I always want to limp suited aces in the early low-blind play. When Jak raises, often I'd fold here because I don't like playing low aces, but Jak has been raising so liberally I have to call, and if I hit my ace I may be stuck depending on the action. Again, when he leads at the flop, that might be a hand, but it could easily just be continuation. I now have the nut flush draw + probably an overcard, and I want to see where I'm at. When he reraises allin, I know he has something, but I have 12 outs and now I'm pot-stuck.
Blinds (10/15) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ 3c Ac ] karodd3 folds. lanwin calls . Decee3 folds. salsa95 folds. Scarrineau folds. chukb calls . x_neow_x folds. nfin1 folds. tencars calls . JakTheKipper raises . lanwin calls . chukb calls . tencars folds. ** Dealing Flop ** [ Kc, 8h, 2c ] JakTheKipper bets . lanwin folds. chukb raises . JakTheKipper is all-In  chukb: ugh chukb: I cant fold chukb is all-In  ** Dealing Turn ** [ 8s ] ** Dealing River ** [ 4s ] chukb shows [ 3c, Ac ] a pair of eights. JakTheKipper shows [ Ks, Qc ] two pairs, kings and eights.
The call at the end is certainly right, I'm 44% to win and getting 2:1 odds. Perhaps the most questionable play is the raise to 300. The funny thing about it is I'm pot-committing myself so that I have to call, even when he reraises and tells me he has it. Any smaller bet though and he won't fold junk. Of course bluffing here is rather suspect since he wont fold many better hands than mine, maybe he'd fold better ace-highs.
How would you play? Well, basically if someone open raises, you fold, except if they seem like they're stealing a lot and raising in a steal position, then every once in a while you come in for a nice reraise. You limp or call small in your blinds, and if the flop looks junky, you lead out. Once in a while if the flop is like Q42, you check, if they bet what looks like a bluff/continuation, you put in a nice raise. When it folds to you, you make steal raises in the late positions a reasonable amount. Every once in a while you make a nice raise early and get ready to play a big pot.
"Intermission" was surprisingly not bad. Usually I hate big ensemble movies; they suffer from too many characters, none of them really developed, lots of thin stories standing in for the lack of one good one. This movie does not disappoint in that way. Colin Farrel turns in his best performance that I've ever seen, playing an Irish misfit/lowlife hoodlum (very good casting to type, I'd say). Colm Meaney also does a nice job; you can sense him having a laugh, really relishing making fun of the type he portrays.
Seat 1: hero_2_zero (1755) Seat 2: chukb (1795) Seat 4: jalanh4680 (1065) Seat 5: StubomAnn (1815) Seat 6: dsmith3622 (2475) Seat 7: annieduke99 (2895) Seat 8: Danielcerda (2825) Seat 9: srains (1005) Seat 10: uncletaka (2060) StubomAnn posts small blind (25) dsmith3622 posts big blind (50) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ Qs, Kh ] annieduke99 folds. Danielcerda folds. srains folds. uncletaka folds. hero_2_zero folds. chukb raises (150) to 150 jalanh4680 calls (150) StubomAnn calls (125) dsmith3622 folds. ** Dealing Flop ** : [ Qh, 7s, 2d ] StubomAnn bets (1665) StubomAnn is all-In. chukb calls (1645) chukb is all-In. jalanh4680 folds. ** Dealing Turn ** : [ 3c ] ** Dealing River ** : [ 3h ] Creating Main Pot with $3790 with chukb Creating Side Pot 1 with $20 with StubomAnn ** Summary ** Main Pot: 3790 | Side Pot 1: 20 Board: [ Qh 7s 2d 3c 3h ] StubomAnn shows [ Qd Ah ]
It's such a weird play, it's so hard to say what to do here. I'm not sure if I made a good call or an absolute donkey play that only pays off better hands (two pairs and such). There's absolutely no draws for her to defend against, but I guess it worked. This seems to be a major leak in my game, I'm paying off better hands when they ridiculously overbet.
I'm on a terrible losing streak in the last few days. I've lost about half the big winnings I made in the last week. It's hard for me to tell how much of it is bad play and how much is just variance and bad cards. Certainly any time I lose a big pot or go out of a tournament, it's usually a "bad beat" because I'm usually in with the best of it, but that's just because I play tighter than the average on party poker (the above hand is an exception, of course).
Some simple things you can do online : 1) Bet weird amounts. If you were going to bet 100, instead bet 107. This is really dumb, but it makes your opponent think about something other than the hand. 2) Chat weird nonsense during the hand. You need to do this consistently and randomly in order for it to not give away information. 3) Have a distracting name, like "loosecaller". Whether or not you are a loose caller, it will distract your opponents.
This hand is in a $20 tourney and there's a very dangerous mix of good players and complete donkeys. Everyone limps so people can be on almost any two cards (limpers in this game are very loose). I'm in the BB with A4s. I flop top pair with a good draw (11 outs against an overpair).
Seat 8 is the button Total number of players : 10 Seat 2: steerpike_x ( $585 ) Seat 3: alcher74 ( $530 ) Seat 4: Tempest61614 ( $2605 ) Seat 6: sdtaft348 ( $180 ) Seat 8: ruffster111 ( $1520 ) Seat 9: Silverdog ( $590 ) Seat 10: chukb ( $720 ) Seat 1: TIMETRAIN ( $1605 ) Seat 7: outformoney ( $2440 ) Seat 5: zurk11 ( $1715 ) Trny:17350698 Level:3 Blinds (15/30) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ As 4s ] TIMETRAIN folds. steerpike_x folds. alcher74 calls . Tempest61614 folds. zurk11 folds. sdtaft348 folds. outformoney calls . ruffster111 calls . Silverdog calls . chukb checks. ** Dealing Flop ** [ 2d, 4c, 3s ] Silverdog checks. chukb checks. alcher74 checks. outformoney bets . ruffster111 folds. Silverdog folds. chukb is all-In  alcher74 folds. outformoney calls . ** Dealing Turn ** [ Ts ] ** Dealing River ** [ Qh ] outformoney shows [ Kc, Ks ] a pair of kings. chukb shows [ As, 4s ] a pair of fours.
There are several problems with this semi-bluff. One, I don't have enough chips to make them fold a better hand, so any kind of bluff is inappropriate. Two, the pot before the action is not that big, so it's not worth fighting over. Three, by the betting I can be pretty sure "outformoney" is on an overpair. I can't imagine that a moron would limp KK like that, that's a terrible play, but I could certainly imagine a medium/low pair. There's no way an overpair will fold here, so basically I'm running all my chips at 35% odds on a pot that's not offering that.
Perhaps the best play would have been to lead out with a probe bet on this flop, then when "outformoney" come over the top, I can either fold or call if the pot is then giving me enough odds. The pot after the flop was 150, so if I bet 90, it would be 330 and 600 more to call, so again clearly not the right odds and an easy fold.
Now, outformoney was a bit of a bluffer, so there was some chance that she just had two overs, but I don't think it was enough.
This hand is early in a two-table tourney and my lower house pays off the higher house.
Blinds (10/15) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ 6c 8c ] ejf1969 folds. pktrkts75 folds. SportsHec8 folds. jecttu calls . alban71 calls . BriLariche folds. krhegg calls . J_P_King folds. chukb calls . tonygaw checks. ** Dealing Flop ** [ 9s, 9h, 8d ] chukb bets . tonygaw calls . jecttu folds. alban71 calls . krhegg folds. ** Dealing Turn ** [ 8h ] chukb checks. tonygaw checks. alban71 bets . chukb calls . tonygaw calls . ** Dealing River ** [ Jc ] chukb checks. tonygaw is all-In  alban71 folds. chukb: wow chukb: you do know houses beat straights right? Your time bank will be activated in 5 secs. If you do not want it to be used, please act now. chukb will be using his time bank for this hand. chukb is all-In  chukb shows [ 6c, 8c ] a full house, Eights full of nines. tonygaw shows [ Kc, 9d ] a full house, Nines full of eights.
The thing that fucks me up is the way he moves allin on the river. He's played it slow the whole way, as he should, but that could also have been TJ or some nonsense like that. Then he's allin on the river, a massive overbet. He doesn't try to milk it at all, so I think there's a reasonable chance he's bluffing. There are only 2 nines in the deck, so it's much more likely he has any other hand. On the other hand, he can't really have any other hand - I have to fold here. It's just too much to risk for not a very big pot.
When people overbet a pot, it may be a mistake, it may look fishy, but the only proper response is to fold unless you have a really big hand. You may lose some pots that you could have won, but you stay alive and get a chance to double up later when you actually do have it.
I've been playing so well the last 10 days or so, today I've taken a big step back. I'm back to making mistakes where I'm thinking in my head "don't make this donkey mistake", and then I do that exact thing.
***** Hand History for Game 3002739247 ***** 30/60 Tourney Texas Hold'em Game Table (NL) (Tournament 17240452) - Tue Nov 08 13:28:19 EST 2005 Table 2 - Table(509831) Table 2 (Real Money) -- Seat 6 is the button Total number of players : 6 Seat 1: timm_ (1800) Seat 2: nolgrtrkr (635) Seat 3: so_standard (855) Seat 6: chukb (1235) Seat 8: SADHP (2145) Seat 9: r821546 (3330) SADHP posts small blind (15) r821546 posts big blind (30) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ Ac, Kc ] timm_ folds. nolgrtrkr raises (125) to 125 so_standard calls (125) chukb raises (1000) to 1000 SADHP folds. r821546 folds. nolgrtrkr calls (510) nolgrtrkr is all-In. so_standard folds. Creating Main Pot with $1440 with nolgrtrkr ** Dealing Flop ** : [ 5h, 3s, 3c ] ** Dealing Turn ** : [ 3d ] ** Dealing River ** : [ 8d ] ** Summary ** Main Pot: 1440 | Side Pot 1: 365 Board: [ 5h 3s 3c 3d 8d ] nolgrtrkr balance 1440, bet 635, collected 1440, net +805 [ Qh Qc ] [ a full house, Threes full of queens -- Qh,Qc,3s,3c,3d ] chukb balance 600, bet 1000, collected 365, lost -635 [ Ac Kc ] [ three of a kind, threes -- Ac,Kc,3s,3c,3d ]
We have a guy early who comes in for a 4x raise. That's surely a pair or a good ace. The next guy just calls. Again surely a pair or good ace, possibly KQ or QJ. I look down and find AKs. In the game, I push in here, because this was just a day after I folded AKs like a moron so I'm damn well not folding AKs. However, I think I made a big mistake here. I think probably the best play here is just calling. Usually I hate just calling with AK, but here I think it's right. If they both have pairs - that's good for me. If one has a pair and one has an ace, the pair is a big favorite, especially if the guy with the ace folds. Instead of having a 45% shot to win, I only have a 33% shot. If I just call, I can see the flop and if there's an Ace or King, I'm in good shape, if not I can get out.
20/40 Tourney Texas Hold'em Game Table (NL) (Tournament 17294387) - Thu Nov 10 12:45:54 EST 2005 Table Multi-Table(509675) Table 38 (Real Money) -- Seat 1 is the button Total number of players : 9 Seat 1: steeler535 (900) Seat 2: schwatzz7 (2050) Seat 3: cliffnotes14 (990) Seat 4: decatur247 (420) Seat 5: chukb (785) Seat 6: RMangham (2685) Seat 7: ukfan20 (1315) Seat 9: Bgworm68222 (345) Seat 10: Benini747 (1975) schwatzz7 posts small blind (10) cliffnotes14 posts big blind (20) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ Jd, Ac ] decatur247 folds. chukb raises (50) to 50 RMangham calls (50) ukfan20 folds. Bgworm68222 raises (345) to 345 Bgworm68222 is all-In. Benini747 folds. steeler535 calls (345) schwatzz7 folds. cliffnotes14 folds. chukb folds. RMangham folds. Creating Main Pot with $820 with Bgworm68222 Board: [ 9h 4s 9c 3s 5h ] steeler535 balance 555, lost 345 [ Ks Qs ] [ a pair of nines -- Ks,Qs,9h,9c,5h ] Bgworm68222 balance 820, bet 345, collected 820, net +475 [ Ah 7h ] [ a pair of nines with ace kicker -- Ah,9h,9c,7h,5hAh(kicker card) ]
This is very early in a multi-table tourney, the blinds are still tiny. "steeler525" has just been moved to the table so I don't have a good read on him. "Bgworm68222" is a fish - if it was just him, I'd have called. I make a standard open raise with AJ, one short stack comes ott allin, and a moderate stack cold calls him. That sets off alarms in my head, he must have a big hand, so I fold. Turns out I had the best hand and would have taken a nice pot. At the time I started going "gosh, should I have called?". No, of course not, just because calling was the right move here doesn't mean calling here is good in general. In this situation I have to assume "steeler525" at least has a higher ace or a pocket pair like TT or better, so I'd be racing with bad odds.
The fact that people are playing this way, especially near the end when the blinds are big, seems to put the lie to the gap concept and Harrington's end-game strategy. That all works when everyone is playing sensible and tight, but not when they're calling with these types of hands. The result is I have to tighten up and play more of a double-up game rather than blind-stealing. Which sucks for me too.
This is the only hand in the tournament I think I made a mistake on. This is just after I've been crippled down to an average stack, the blinds are very big. The big stack "goblue2524" has just been moved to this table so I don't know much about him, but I think he's open raising with a wide range of hands. I make the call in the BB here reluctantly - I have a nice hand to see a flop, and it's good odds to call, but it's a tenth of my stack to call.
***** Hand History for Game 3020638716 ***** 1000/2000 Tourney Texas Hold'em Game Table (NL) (Tournament 17325343) - Fri Nov 11 18:08:10 EST 2005 Table Multi-Table(509870) Table 2 (Real Money) -- Seat 7 is the button Total number of players : 9 Seat 1: goblue2524 (26072) Seat 2: burlysmurf (4094) Seat 4: NOLUK222 (6850) Seat 5: C_Land (8876) Seat 6: aaaabbbb573 (7955) Seat 7: counterspy5 (4225) Seat 8: zzramsay (6539) Seat 9: chukb (10871) Seat 10: Lucky1314 (13173) zzramsay posts small blind (500) chukb posts big blind (1000) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ 5d, 4d ] Lucky1314 folds. goblue2524 raises (2000) to 2000 burlysmurf folds. NOLUK222 folds. C_Land folds. aaaabbbb573 folds. counterspy5 folds. zzramsay folds. chukb calls (1000) ** Dealing Flop ** : [ 9s, 8h, 9d ] chukb checks. goblue2524 bets (2000) chukb folds.
The mistake I think is that I should have led out all-in on the flop. Another option would be to just fold it preflop, which is the safe simple option. He almost surely has two overs and probably won't call. In any case, I think this is a relatively small mistake. Calling preflop and folding (as I did) is one of the only options that should be ruled out.
"Steps" tournaments are even worse than satellites, because each step of the way they take juice. This waters down the prize money dramatically. For example, Step 1 might be a 20 player event at $11+1, and the top 4 places provide entry to step two, which is $50+5, so $240 has become $200 in prizes, and what's worse that's watered down again and again at each level. In a 5-step event, that original $240 becomes just $150 in prize money - near 50% juice which is pretty horrific.
This is actually one of the advantages of playing big multi-tables over a series of smaller tournaments. For example, if you play a "shootout" tournament, you put in $10+1 to play a series of single-table eliminations. At each step, there's no more vig taken, it was all in that $1. Compare to if you just play a normal $10+1, then if you place you take part of the prize and play another $10+1, etc. - at each step more juice is taken. You can think of a regular large multi-table the same way. As you advance it's sort of like getting into a higher-buyin event, but you aren't paying more juice, which you would if you just played a series of smaller events.
I love these eye trick things
Chance of placing if I fold with an M of 6
0.7 * Chance of placing if I win and now have an M of 13
But that's very hard to estimate. I don't have a good feel for my chances of folding to the money in this situation - if my chance of folding into the money was 100%, then taking that 70% shot was a mistake. In fact, my chance of placing with an M of 6 has to be 70% or less for it to be an ok move. I have a feeling that in online play, the chance of folding into the money is pretty high, since even the big stacks seem to blow themselves out on marginal hands.
I was trying to just play very tight at that point. I have no experience in just trying to place - I'm always playing for 1st, and I don't have a good feel for how to creep into placing. Obviously folding is good, but you may have to play some hands, and what exactly are they is hard to say.
move in now with M at 40% - in pot is 2M+1 - assume blind isn't caller, your EV is .4*(2M+1) = .8M + .4 move in after with (M-1) at 60% - most likely caller is big-blind in pot is 2*(M-1) + 0.5 = 2M - 1.5, your EV is .6*(2M - 1.5) = 1.2M - .9 when are these equal? .8M + .4 = 1.2M - .9 1.3 = 0.4M M = 3.25
So if your M is better than 3.25 you're better off waiting for something better. If it's 3.25 or less you need to move utg with almost any two cards. This is very rough, there are a lot of other possibilities, eg. everyone might fold, you might get called multiple times, etc. but it's a pretty good rough answer. Of course with an M of 3.25 you should have already moved in earlier in the round if possible.
Back in May when I was in New York, it started with a sort of unrelated experience. I was staying with my sister in the Bowery, the little slum between Nolita and the East Village, right next to vagrant hostels and housing projects. I would walk around alone late at night because I'd have to move my fucking car in New York's ridiculous parking scheme. One time I walked past what I think was a drug deal. As I walked up on the sidewalk, there were two black guys talking, and two other guys standing to either side of them on the sidewalk. The closest one to me said "Just keep walking, keep walking", so I did; the two in the middle stopped talking and watched me pass, and as I passed the other guard he said "keep walking" too.
Recently, the weekend before Halloween when we went to Santa Barbara, we walked past some sort of gang violence. Walking out of downtown to our car, through a very nice neighborhood, around 2 AM with lots of other revelers stumbling out of the bars, we walked along a sidewalk through a group of perhaps ten Mexican boys. They looked about 16-20 years old, some on bicycles, again with lookouts or guards posted further away from the group. As we walked up they all became silent and we walked through the group. I would have avoided them but we were kind of drunk and it was very dark so I didn't really see them until we were suddenly in the group. It was then I noticed one of them was lying on the ground near the gutter with blood on his face, with another big guy who looked like the leader standing over him. We sort of noticed what was happening and just kept walking on through.
Now, jumping in here would have been incredibly foolish, there were 10 of them, I was with a girl, and I was drunk, so I would have been hurt badly. What I should have done was note the location and immediately call the cops, not that they would actually arrive soon enough to do anything, but at least it's an attempt.
Thwart Poker is fun for about two seconds. (it's a computer game only vaguely related to poker; strategically it's a broken game, and it suffers from that classic Risk-style problem that someone's gotta block, but everyone wants it to be someone else).
BTW anyone who says they'll fold AA is a moron. Even folding KK online is pretty insane. The guy who called with QQ here, however, was clearly wrong. The other two of us provided ample evidence that we had monster hands with a series of raises, and he was the last to call allin.
Well I finally got a run of cards and took a 1st place at a two-table. It's funny, I can play the exact same way in two tourneys; one I don't get cards and I feel like a moron and start questioning myself, the other I get cards and feel like a genius. It's sort of like biking with the wind - you bike with the wind at your back and you feel like a speedy fit god, you bike with the wind at your face and you feel so slow and out of shape.
Ugh. I just made it really deep (140th) into a 1000 player tournament. I had a nice big stack, and this horrible donkey moved in on the flop against me. The flop was all low cards (ten high). I called with QQ, he shows KJ ! No pair, no draw! Of course you know the answer. Hours of work and a solid chance to make a good place and instead I'm out on my ass. Oh well, try again tomorrow. Do these guys even know how to spell poker? Moving in with KJ preflop is pretty bad, but moving on the flop with no pair, no draw, etc. is just unbelievable. This was also a guy that I had pegged for moving lots of chips with bad hands, so I knew I was ahead. On the plus side, I felt like I was playing really well, and had corrected some recent mistakes. I was playing well against the wild/loose players and the big bluffers, so much so that they were getting angry at me for stymying them.
Watching Johny Chan play heads up was the highlight of the show. Johny plays a very straightforward game, just like me. I think he makes a few mistakes, but they're small mistakes, just when he decides to get a little tricky and limps some big hands. Other than that he just plays very straight up and makes good decisions. Actually I think Johny's last decision calling all-in with the QT was a mistake. He correctly knows Scotty isn't on a very good hand, but that doesn't make QT good enough to call with. Based on the chip stacks, I think you need like A8 or KJ or better to call there. Even more importantly, he was dominating Scotty in play, so there's no need to take a big gamble there (note that it would be different if he was the aggressor - I have no problem being the aggressor with QT).
People wax poetic about the long rounds at the World Series, but the truth is that you probably play almost as many hands in 15 minutes online as you play in 2 hours at the world series. The big difference is in the stamina and patience needed to sit and fold so much in a slow live event like that. (also the starting blinds to chip stacks are very different)
I think they can stop explaining the rules of poker in every poker broadcast now. They don't explain basketball at every NBA broadcast. And did those little crap explanations ever help anyone anyway?
The "royalvegas.tv" championship looks promising. TiVo it. I can't believe some of the ridicously bad plays some of the pros make. When you have two pair on the turn and the board is double suited, you RAISE!!
Maybe I should do my own commentary for poker broadcasts and put the modified video online.
Another big tournament, I took 35th. Worse place than yesterday, but I feel happier, because I just played well and got a bad run of cards at the end, got short-stacked and lost my race. After the game yesterday I felt like my brain had been scrambled; thinking so hard for so long and then melting down at the end; I got a headache and felt dazed and depressed.
The first rotten play I made was calling with A7s. It folded to me in the BB and the SB moved all in. The blinds are big, so I need to call here pretty liberally, roughly the BB was 40k and I had about 400k in chips, the other guy had about the same stack as me. Calling with A7 is a major donkey move here. AT is probably the lowest thing to call with, but really given that there were other short stacks and bad players I should have only called with AJ.
After that I was short stacked and struggling the whole time. The next donkey play I made was folding AKs. In this case I was the 2nd short stack, blinds of 80k and my stack only 200k. The other shorter stack was about to be in the blind, so I was hoping he'd get knocked out. Someone before me moved allin, and I fold the AKs. Again, that's such a ridiculous donkey play. The chance that the other short stack will go out on the next hand is not good enough reason to give up so much value. I might have been racing for my tournament life, or I might have been a huge favorite to double up and get back in it. Unbelievable!
The final donkey move I made was moving in with 33. I was on a really short stack now and in the SB. One limper and it's my turn, I move in with the 33, limper calls with AK and knocks me out. With 33 I'm at best racing. Better to fold the SB and hope someone goes out before I pay my BB.
On the plus side, other people at the final table made much much worse plays, and I played much better the whole day before that point. God damn; last time I made a big final table I did the same thing, pushing the wrong hands and folding the wrong hands. I just get fatigued and my brain starts fucking up.
I sort of think of making the final table as getting a free-roll into a $1000 single table. Suddenly the game starts over in this high-blinds single table match. The vast majority of the money in the tournament goes to the final table. Just making it there is not really great, you want to place high in that last single table.
Currently in PartyPoker there's a bug in the rebuy tournaments, where anytime you're allin in a pot you can rebuy because your stack shows zero, even though the chips are just in the middle. This lets you pump up your stack with more buys. These buys are absolutely +EV as noted above, though of course you shouldn't go allin just to do them, you should only do them when going allin would be a good move.
PartyPoker has another rotten bug in their tournaments. When players go out in the blinds, they use the wrong system - they keep the button moving as usual and set the small and big blind off the button. The correct system is to always move the big blind one step, and perhaps have no small blind or a dead button. The result is that lucky players get to skip their big blind if someone goes out just before them, which can be pretty crucial near the end of tournaments when the blinds are big.
Seriously though, Kameo looks pretty cool, but it looks too kiddy-kiddy to sell in the modern era. Perfect Dark will probably sell a lot better, but can't you get a game exactly like that on the PS2 already?
First of all, we have to agree that there are three seperate questions to address - 1) Have the results of the war in Iraq been beneficial to the world (or, 1B to the US). 2) Was the war justified at the time we chose to go to war. 3) Did the Bush administration make a valid, legal, case for war, and would the US have gone to war if only the truth were presented. Let's tackle them in reverse order.
#3 is the easiest to answer, and we can clearly say no. The case for war intentionally used false intelligence and conflated Saddam with Osama and Iraq with 9/11. Now, for some reason a lot of revisionist historians, even on the left are trying to cover this up. This is not a point over which there is any uncertainty. Bush and Cheney themselves said things like "in the war on terror, you can't distinguish between Saddam and Osama", etc. and repeatedly suggested Saddam was helping Al Qaeda, which of course is nonsense. In terms of the WMD's, again many revisionists suggest there was no way to know whether or not Saddam had WMD's until we invaded. Again that's clearly nonsense. The inspectors had thoroughly checked the country. Yes, it was possible that Saddam had WMD's, but in fact we had no evidence of it whatsoever, and of course many countries around the world DO have nuclear or other weapons which are probably more likely to be in the hands of terrorists (AQ Khan, anyone?). It seems extremely unlikely to me that there would have been support for the war without the dishonest conflation with 9/11 and the lies about WMD's.
#2 we can debate a bit. Let's pretend that the Bushies didn't say any of the nonsense about Al Qaeda or WMD's. Instead, the case for war was presented as - Saddam is a bad guy who rules his country with an iron fist, he *might* in the future try to make WMD's which might be used against the US (but much more likely they'd be used against Israel), he's done bad things to his people, and he's in a region which is unstable, where terrorism foments, and where our important oil comes from. The silly James Traub compares this to Hitler in 1938 - he hadn't yet done anything terrible, but a preemtive war was justified. First of all, let us eliminate all ridiculous analogies with Hitler, Stalin, Darth Vader and the Easter Bunny. So, was it reasonable to intervene? I think the answer is clearly no. The problem is that there was no specific bad act going on that called for intervention or invasion. Saddam was not wiping out his citizens (which he did several times before, and which we ignored because he was our friend at the time), he had not shut off the oil spigots, he was not agitating his neighbors. I think intervention in Serbia was called for. I think we should be in Sudan, we should have been in Rwanda, etc. but that's during horrific acts, not because of the potential for horrific acts. It's incredibly strange to me that so many people who were opposed to intervention in Serbia, where genocide was in progress, are now in favor of a "humanitarian" invasion of Iraq just because Saddam was a "bad guy". That can't possibly be honest, it must just be revisionist history given that their claimed case for war was nonsense. Now let's go back to this ridiculous analogy to Hitler. James Traub accuses the pacificist countries in Europe of basically standing by the way the world did when Hitler started his war. That's a broken analogy. Hitler did not start the Holocaust or his major war until well after he showed his hand by taking the Sudetenland. Furthermore, before war he was obviously amassing a major army - he was not merely suspected of perhaps having an army hidden somewhere. The case for war when Hitler started his activies was very clear, this is not a comparable situation at all.
#1 is the most difficult - now that we agree that case for war was illegal lies, and there was no valid justification in going to war, what can we say about the results of the actual war? Was the war beneficial anyway? This is harder to answer, and we may not know for some years to come. At the present, I would suggest that Iraq is not much better off than it was. Yes, Saddam was bad and he's gone, but no Iraqi citizens are terrorized by insurgents, they have to fear civil war, and basic human services have been worse than before. Roughly 100,000 Iraqis are dead, and they continue to die at a high rate because of insurgent attacks and also because of the woeful state of hospitals, etc. The war has created a terrorist breeding ground, a training round, and an unstable spot in an unstable region. It has solidified the opposition in Iran and Pakistan and has perhaps helped Al Qaeda's recruitment. Terrorist attacks are way up after the war. Despite all that, perhaps if Iraq does indeed become a stable democracy, the net result of the war will be positive.
However, the value of the war becomes clearly negative when you consider the opportunity cost. We've spent nearly our entire armed forces and a massive amount of money on this war, and the benefit is certainly small if not zero. In the same amount of time we could have used our military, money, and power to do something else which would have been clearly beneficial. For example, what if we put a ton of troops on the ground in Afghanistan and made a sweep through the lawless region of Waziristan in Pakistan to really round up the last of Al Qaeda's bases. What if we focused on peace in Kashmir and Israel? What if we put troops in Sudan to stop the genocide there? What if we put troops on all the ex-Soviet nuclear and biological weapons faccilities? Or the nuclear labs in Pakistan? Even if we didn't do anything military, and just used all the massive cost of the war for humanitarian programs around the world, we could have saved lives in Africa, what about spending on non-religious education centers in the Middle East? etc. etc.
There are other interesting questions that are even harder to answer. Why exactly did Rove and the Neocons want this war? Presumably they knew the truth and had their own reasons. Frank Rich suggests it was all just a Wag-the-Dog farce to keep the president popular. While I agree much of this administrations actions are designed for PR, I can't believe an entire war was waged on that basis, and certainly the Neocons have different motivations. Why do so many liberals continue to support the war? Were they really fooled by the ridiculous evidence at the time, or were they just scared of going against a steamroller of popular support? Why do people like Hitchens continue to suggest that it was a good war just based on the idea of removing a bad dictator, when such an argument is so unsupportable?
What's the relationship between Robert Redford, the town of Sundance Utah, the Sundance Film Festival, and the Sundance Kid ?
I want a 1st place in a big tournament. It's not at all about the money, I just want that moment, that feeling. It's as close as I'll ever come to the ecstasy of winning the super bowl or something like that. Today I played very well and lost five tournaments in a row. I've had a streak of taking a 1st place every day for the last 5 days, looks like that streak is over.
The recent news on our WMD dumping is nothing new - the greatest danger to US citizens from WMD's has always been our own military. The only competition for poisoners of Americans are US corporations.
I'd love to play a heads-up tournament. I've never heard of such a thing online. They exist in the real world but they're pretty rare in the US, much more common in Europe. I think I'd be pretty good; you get to play every hand so it eliminates the flame-out boredom factor which kills me in typical big tourneys. Ooo, actually I just saw PokerStars does have heads up tournaments, I'll have to try one soon...
Part of why this isn't happening is because of the service station franchise model. The stations are separate companies which receive franchises from the parent oil company. As part of the franchise deal they are not allowed to set their own prices. Part of the reason is that the parent company doesn't want competition between service stations in the same town - eg. the Shell in one part of town trying to undercut another Shell, which could lead to a price war which would cut gas prices down to the minimal profitable level. They also don't want price wars going on across intersections, say if the Chevron across the street sells gas at 2.99 , I could just set my Shell to 2.98 and get more customers, but then the Chevron would go to 2.97 and we'd get in a war and wind up at the lowest profitable price again. In fact, some stations might sell gas at no profit, or even at a loss, in order to make their profit in the convenience quicky marts.
This doesn't happen also because the franchises are required to buy their gas only from the one supplier. They can't look at different suppliers and choose the one with the cheapest gas, so there's no price competition. There's no motivation really for the major oil companies to compete on price, because the service stations won't switch to their gas if it's lower price - they're locked in to a certain supplier.
http://www.thememoryhole.org/corp/gas-prices.htm http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=28449 http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/energy/pr/?postId=5110
I keep doing well in the small tourneys, but pretty consistently wash out in the big ones. I just can't play well for 2+ hours, I get worn out and start making mistakes, getting impatient. I need something to help me - maybe just stop playing and rest for 5 minutes and let my chips get blinded away? If I could recover and really play well again, it would be worth it. Maybe go take a quick shower?
OutFoxed seems to not actually provide anything useful.
Two more 1st places in two-table tourneys.
I also noticed epinions has this web of trust thing which is very similar to the NoT. The big problem there is just that it's limited to stuff on epinions, and you have to manually decide who you trust and make a simple binary yes/no decision on trusting them. (a better system is for you to mark which reviews you trust and have that correlate to trusting the people who wrote those reviews, that way you can have partial trust and also context-sensitive trust; eg. trust person X only on subject Y, etc.)
Anyhoo, I've been trying out FireFox to try the OutFoxed plugin, and it seems all okay, but it's noticably slower than IE. Even clicking links within the same page is slow. Now maybe this is OutFoxed doing something stupid, but it seems pretty unacceptable/ridiculous.
Now, I certainly don't believe that this alternative reality is the same as the real world, but I can see how it would be possible to believe it, and if you really did believe it, it could be possible to support that cause.
Have you noticed that all the semi-unknown stars of Lord of the Rings now have major movies? Hollywood is certainly a bunch of bandwagon-jumping morons. Fortunately these guys all seem to be legitimately pretty good. Even Gimli has an awesome movie , and he's going to be in the Dungeon Siege movie!
The real difference seems to me to be that Roberts is a good politician and Miers is not. That is, Roberts is handsome, well spoken, a family man with cute kids, he smiles, dresses well, looks good on camera. Miers on the other hand is a hideous old spinster who looks creepy when she smiles and professes an inexplicable strange love for the president. As usual, America is judging people on the most valid of criteria.
Now, don't get me wrong, I think Miers is a joke of a nominee, I just don't see how Roberts was any more deserving of his quick unchallenged pass into one of the most powerful positions in the country.
"Domino" (Tony Scott) was by the far the worse of the two. It's done in this trying-to-be-modern-edgy-MTV style which is pure bollocks. It's all fluff and no content, with these stupid gimicks like replaying fragments of dialog which is just annoying and gives it all a plastic music video feel. The story is so ridiculous and Domino's character is so over the top, I was just grimacing in pain the whole time. They keep trying to force it to be exciting with shots of helicopters and quick cuts and jumpy cameras. The sad thing is that a good version of the real life of Domino Harvey could be really interesting. You could make this movie about a spoiled rich girl who gets into drugs and partying, doesn't get enough thrills there so gets into lots of odd jobs, she hates the proper world of her parents, and she's quite androgenous, not a really pretty sexpot, more a tomboy, as a bounty hunter, her boys have to bail her out of trouble often, and of course bounty hunting is not really glamorous, but she gets to steal drugs from the perps; in the end she can never get the thrills she needs and she commits suicide overdosing on drugs. The only saving grace of the whole movie are two really hillarious moments - the Jerry Springer bit and the nymphomaniac lecture. Both of those are just grafted-on comedy bits, but they add much needed value.
"Elizabethtown" (Cameron Crowe) is not so revoltingly bad, it's just sort of a mildly stinky turd, which has a few moments of light. Orlando Bloom actually does a pretty decent job, but his character is such an inactive pussy it's impossible to like him. There are lots of moments that are just ridiculous and unbelievable; Susan Sarandon is just horrendous, so over the top playing herself, her huge speech scene made me wretch. Kirsten Dunst was also okay, but her character is just so inconsistent and unreal she seems like a ghost, and the things she does are impossible. The road trip sequence is very short and insignficant in the movie; I love road trips, but this was just too stupid, that she's mapped it out so exactly and he can see all these things in such a short time.
Capitalism doesnt work when the product choices are so limited. Movies are so expensive to make and so few are made, that the desired movie is not usually available. It leads movie producers to make the wrong decisions too, because they'll see that A did well and B did not, so they'll make more movies like A. But what about all the movies that didn't get made - C,D,E, F,G,... maybe those would have done better. In particular, we're almost always restricted to choose between cheezy, predictable, stupid, over the top big Hollywood movies, or low-budget indie movies without stars or excitement. What about the smart, action-packed, realistic, uncondescending big-budget movies? We almost never get that choice, so any capitalist selection of movies made can't function.
Many of you know Rockstar is making the video game remake of the old movie "The Warriors" , but did you also know that Tony Scott is making a remake of the movie? That sounds like some very well timed synergy if they actually pull it off.
Anyhoo, the real key factor to poker being so popular is that anyone can play poker and feel like they're close to the level of the pros. Of course they're not anywhere near that, and they probably never will be (just like they will never golf against Tiger Woods), but unlike any other major game, they can really believe it, even if it's just for a minute. It's a unique aspect of poker that in any given hand, an amateur can make a pro look really really bad, and that makes them feel great. Because of this, amateurs can win major tournaments, as they have in the last few years, and win big money, which makes everyone at home feel like they could do it, which is very exciting. There are plenty of other factors, probably the biggest being that it's a game where people just sit and chat, so there's lots of great made for TV dialog.
Now, I actually quite enjoy watching darts, because it has plenty of entertainment, but it's lacking several key aspects of poker. For one thing, the guys don't chit-chat very much. For another, not many people play darts recreationally. But crucially - an amateur can never ever beat a pro. Darts is much more a traditional game of skill, and guys like "The Power" are just unbelievable skilled "athletes". The great things about darts are the crazy Brittish announcers (Brit announcers are the best!!) and the drunk audience.
The most basic ideas are these : 1) you want to use your 10 cards in a 3-3-4 split if possible, because this is far more likely than any other way of using them up. 2) you want to at all times maximize your outs of improving. 3) for a set of 3 to become a set of 4, it's far better to have runs in sequence (2 outs) than sets of the same value (1 out).
The more general strategy is to maximize your outs (the number of cards that help you), and to try to maximize the benefit of each action. Picking up a random card has some average benefit to your hand (which partly depends on what you have in your hand and what's been discarded). Think of it this way - every 10-card hand we give some value based on how good it is (fully matched up is maximum value). Your goal is to take the biggest value step with each move. The value of picking from the deck is simply the average of the value delta over all the unknown cards. What you do is compare this to the value of picking up the face up card in the discard pile.
The cases where this become difficult are in marginal cases. For example, I'll never pick up from the face up pile just to make a 2-set. That is, if you have 7c and the discard pile shows 7s, there's no need to pick that, picking from the deck will have a better average value. But, what if the discard pile shows 7s and you have the 7c and also 8s. Now picking that card would give you a 778, which is one of those nice things to have because it has 4 outs to become a triple. That's a tough decision that I'm not sure about and is partly dependent on the situation.
Obviously you must be aware of trivial things like avoiding straights with the ace because you lose an out that way, you have to watch what your opponent is collecting and try to guess what cards they have. You need to avoid having cards that take each others outs. For example if you have a TTT and a JQK , you only have 2 outs to quad those trips, rather than the 3 outs you would have with 777JQK or something like that where they don't run into each other.
Another thing people often get wrong is to think about their trips and quads as being "locked up", and also to think that all "junk" cards are equal. Any set can be broken up if it makes sense. For example, I'll usually have things like the 778. Now when you get a 7, you have a 7778, and you think "that 8 is junk" and you should drop it. Not so. If you have some other card which is even less useful, you should drop it instead. The 8 is not very useful, but what if you get the 9? Now you have a 77789 and you might discard a 7, because the 789 is better than the 777 (more outs to quad up). Even then if you have some other card which is even more useless, you might just keep that 77789 going, because it gives you 2 outs to make two trips (the last 7 or a T). Another interesting situation occurs if you get something like the 8c when you have the 7s7c7d8d9d. If you could keep that 8 you would have 6 outs to make two trips, which is mighty nice.
On some poker show once I heard that Stu Ungar was considered by many the best gin player alive (in his day, when not too high or hung over). At the time I wasn't thinking about gin, so I thought "what the fuck, gin is just luck, how can you be the best? it's like being the best War player". Now I know different; in addition to strategy, you have the aspect of trying to disguise your hand with your discards, reading your opponent's hand, and also remembering every card in the discard pile so you know the dead outs.
Specifically, imagine you get a $100,000 interest only loan at 7% interest. Your monthly payment is $525. Now say the real estate market is going up by 10% each year. In 5 years you sell and pay off the load and get $61,051 . You invested $525*60 = $31,500, so your profit was $29,551 . Assuming you had to put up maybe $10,000 to get in, that's a very big profit - 300% - even though the market was doing 10%, because you were so heavily leveraged.
What if you just put your $525 monthly investment into stocks that return 10%? After 5 years you would have $40,354.91 , for a profit of $8,854.91 - much less. If you invest that $10,000 capital you had to start too it would return $6,105.1 profit, for a total of $14960, about 150%, half as much as the house.
In the real world, a lot of the reason why real estate investing is so good is because it forces people to save a much bigger percent of their savings than they otherwise would. If you have a big mortgage, you pay it and live frugally. If you don't, you could put the same amount in stocks, but instead you buy fancy things.
In fact, Jiu Jitsu was developed by and for Samurai in Japan during the feudal wars there. It was primarily intended as a technique for subduing enemies that the Samurai didn't wish to kill or severly injure, such as an unarmed enemy (it would be dishonorable to use your sword against an unarmed enemy).
Muay Thai ("Thai Boxing") bouts are kind of weird. They wear full size boxing gloves, so the ordinary punches are not very nasty, but they can elbow and knee and kick with bare shins, all of which are much more vicious than punches even without gloves. (of course the big gloves are useful for blocking, which is what they do with them primarily, but it's still weird).
Who in the world thinks the Prescription Drug benefit was a good thing to do? Drugs are already plenty cheap under medicare and any decent insurance. If you truly can't afford to pay the already lost cost, there could be coverage for that under Medicaid, but the real problem with prescription drugs is the cost being charged to the insurance, the lack of incentive for doctors to use less and cheaper alternatives, and the lack of proportional cost to the user.
The most striking thing in the end about the Big Island is the incredible variety of landscapes. The rainfall goes from 140 inches a year around Hilo (the lush rainforest) to 10 inches a year around Kohala (a barren landscape of lava where the best sandy beaches are hidden). Literally if you're bored of where you are or don't like the weather, you can drive half an hour and been in a radically different climate.
We spent our first four days in Hilo, the very wet rainforest side of the Island, where we hiked and swam in waterfalls, explored, etc., then drove over to the Kona side for four days where we lay on the beach and snorkelled and did all that.
I've heard that the Big Island is much friendlier than other Hawaiian islands, that it still has the "Aloha" spirit. In fact there were a lot of friendly people (more so in Hilo than the Kona side, which is more touristy), but there were also a lot of pissy rude people in the service industry. That's fucking lame. If you're in the service industry, you should be thankful that the tourists are providing you sustenance. If you don't like it, quit your job and live in poverty. There are plenty of times when it's perfectly reasonable for the locals to hate tourists. When you're trying to swim at your favorite beach and a bus full of tourists pulls up and they all pile out and start trashing the place - now you can be pissy and hate the tourists. When you are serving them a Mai Tai and they're being perfectly friendly, you have no right or reason to be pissy, so fuck you and you just cost yourself a generous tip.
A story from the past : In 1999 GM spun off Delphi, its auto parts manufacturing division, as you are surely aware. At that time, the GM executives must surely have known that Delphi was bound for bankruptcy. In the spin-off they put most of the health care and pension and wage liability of its large work force. As usual, the SEC and the government and large financial institutions were silent in this questionable shunting of responsibility. Basically GM was allowed to drop a multi- billion dollar poison pill off their balance sheet. (Imagine if I could take out a billion dollar loan from the bank, keep the billion dollars for myself and spin off a seperate company which owned the loan obligation). Now that Delphi has gone bankrupt as it inevitably had to, GM is only responsible for a part of their large liabilities, and the government pension insurance will pick up most, as well as federal unemployment and health care, etc. which GM would have been required to cover. The billions of dollars the Delphi owes will be written off to the taxpayers in the bankruptcy. Now, off course Delphi and ridiculous Republicans will scream that it's the union's fault. That's of course nonsense. High union pay and benefits may have in fact hastened the fall of Delphi, but they did not cause it - doing manufacturing like that in the U.S. is simply not a profitable business, and unprofitable business will fail. You can't compete with 3rd world wages; in order to come even close you'd have to pay your workers well below poverty levels, and skilled labor will simply not accept that wage, they'll find other jobs. ( more )
A story for the future : Countrywide is the nation's most profitable mortgage company, and they've done fantastically well with the recent housing boom. Their outsize success, at its core, is through giving very large mortgages on expensive houses to people who can barely afford them, largely at very low interest rates, often with interest-only and other dangerous loans (if you only made safe loans to good risks, you wouldn't have nearly so much growth). These loans are very profitable, but are risky and could lead to major losses if the market goes down in the next few years. Fortunately for Countrywide, they don't carry that risk. Instead, they sell their mortgages to Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac. The two FMs now carry the risk of these mortgages, and the FMs are semi-government organizations which would surely be bailed out by the taxpayers if anything bad happens. Basically Countrywide is able to make very risky financial investments with the government (taxpayers) covering the loss if/when it goes bad (very similar to the S&L scandal in the 80's). (Note that I'm not even counting the direct subsidy of taxpayers to the FMs, which is indirectly then transferred to people like Countrywide, more )
I want to see "Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul" , but it's not on Netflix, curse their tiny selection!
Say for example you see 8 cards red and 4 cards black. There are 18 red left and 22 black. That means the chance of one black is 55% instead of 50%. The chance of all black is (22/40)*(21/39)*(20/38) = 15.587% , and they're paying at 12.5% , so you get a 3% edge on every bet. The number of ways to deal red/black for 12 cards is 2^12. The number of 8/4 splits is 2* (12!)/(8!*4!) (the 2* is because I don't care if it's red/black or black/red), so the chance of an 8/4 split is 24.16 % The chance of any split 8/4 or better (9/3, etc.) is 38.7 % (if you want less variance 9/3 or better happens 14% of the time). So, you certainly get enough hands to bet on. You can bet on about 25% of hands and get a 4% edge when you do, so each hand you get a 1% return. If you're all at a 6-way table and you all just limp the SB and fold the flop every hand, you'll break even on the poker (they don't rake the pot when the blinds just chop). You could play a hand every 15 seconds or so, 4 a minute, or about 200 an hour. So you get a 200% return per hour. If the bet size is capped at $4 that means you make $8/hour. Not very good. If the bet size could go bigger, you could make money.
Note that if you're just playing regular poker and see two red, the chance of all black is (26/50)*(25/49)*(24/48) = 13.265 % , so you get a tiny return by betting there at 8:1 (tiny = 0.7 %).
Stu fills me in : Side Bets are only available on 10-way tables. That means you'd have to actually play poker profitably because you couldn't easily fill up the table and just fold the flops (also, the flops would come a lot less often). The Side Bet amount scales with the table. On a 10/20 table you can bet a max of $10. That's not really a high enough max to make any money.
Also, the ecstasy exhibit at MOCA in LA looks worth checking out.
While you're in LA on your art tour, better go by the Getty before they're forced to give back the stolen artwork that they've illegally purchased through middle men.
I'm trying to decide whether to buy a nice "dry bag" (a waterproof backpack) ($100), or just take a garbage bag ($0.1).
SLO was on fire yesterday ( Tribune ). The little fire was on the hill in the middle of town, behind the Crossroads strip mall. I saw it burn, the fire helicopters swooping in and dropping water. Dry brush fires burn in this really cool way; the center is just flat black earth, and the fire burns all around the edges in a ring, only a few feet high, moving slowly into the dry grass around. It makes this perfect black circle in the middle with a flaming ring all around, the fire ring just one foot wide.
I weigh about 80 kg, and with gear it would be more like 100 kg. To get 100 cubic meters of volume, you need a sphere with a radius of about 2.88 meters, which doesn't sound huge, but it's a diameter of 18.9 feet. Grantend, that's a lot smaller than a typical hot air balloon, but still mighty large. The whole project seems feasible, but it's not a cheap little lark, it's more like $5000 for serious weather balloons and industrial size Helium tanks.
So, that's a no-go for the moment. Maybe I'll just jump off a cliff with something like a Kitewing .
Hmmm... maybe some kind of rocket jetpack is more feasible... A quick estimate - Gravity actin on me is about 800 Newtons of down-force. A big F model rocket produces maybe 40 Newtons, so I would need about 20 rocket engines to lift me. There are really big rockets available which would easily do the trick with one rocket - Aerotech PDF - but you need an explosives license from the ATF.
Table Multi-Table(486234) Table 10 (Real Money) -- Seat 1 is the button Total number of players : 9 Seat 1: regan8 (7045) Seat 2: TomSki (1370) Seat 3: garlicring (5346) Seat 4: Lordfarkwod (6731) Seat 5: garcia922 (4945) Seat 6: merlin185 (3989) Seat 7: AIRD7 (5295) Seat 8: Pedigree5 (8392) Seat 9: chukb (9548) TomSki posts small blind (150) garlicring posts big blind (300) ** Dealing down cards ** Dealt to chukb [ 9d, 9c ] Lordfarkwod folds. garcia922 folds. merlin185 folds. AIRD7 raises (900) to 900 Pedigree5 folds. chukb calls (900) regan8 folds. TomSki calls (750) garlicring folds. ** Dealing Flop ** : [ 4h, 6d, 2d ] TomSki bets (470) TomSki is all-In. AIRD7 raises (4395) to 4395 AIRD7 is all-In. chukb folds.
So, what did AIRD7 have? And should I have folded? I'll tell you what I was thinking, why I folded. When AIRD7 raises 3x preflop in early position, he either has a pocket pair or two good high cards. The 900 is a lot of his stack, he's probably not messing around. On the flop when he goes allin, he's saying he has a pair, he knows the short stack can't fold, so he's not bluffing, so we can rule out the two high cards, he must have a pocket pair. Now, if you look at all the pocket pairs from 22 to AA, there are very few I can beat - only 33,55,77, and 88 - all the other ones beat me, so I fold. (btw it's also possible he has a hand like AKd, but that's only one hand so the chance of it is very slim; there are six hands that make AA, so it's 6:1 more likely he has AA than AKd and we can just ignore it). I'm also thinking if I just fold here I still have the big stack at the table, while if I call and I'm wrong my stack is around average.
By raising allin on the flop over the short stack, he's trying to isolate, he wants me out of the hand. This
tells me he doesn't have a real monster, which might just smooth call and try to entice me into the hand. So, he
thinks he can beat the short stack, but is scared of me. Maybe he thinks I'm on high cards and he doesn't want me
to draw and hit one. We can rule out all the sets - 22,44,66, and also the very high pairs, AA, KK, QQ. Now the
most likely hands for him are 33,55,77,88,TT,JJ. In fact, with this consideration it's possible he does just have
high cards, like AK,AQ,AJ, and he thinks they're good against the desperate short stack and wants to get heads-up
with him. Just looking at the pairs he could hold, I beat four of them and am beat by two - I should call!
He actually had 88, and I would have won to get a huge stack and be in a powerful position in the tournament. (TomSki had KQ - he was making a desperate move on a short stack; this was actually a poor move, he should have just folded preflop since there was a raiser and a caller - against just one raiser he should have moved allin preflop).
(we run a fancy web page around here at BloomCo)
Financial institutions on average skim 20% of the profits that their customers make. That's huge, and basically risk free!!! Clearly being an investor is for suckers - it's just like gambling, being a player is small potatoes and very risky - all the big money is in the House, and it's much safer. With the real estate boom, the most recent big players in this field are the mortgage industry. They've done fantastically well on the housing craze, and their exposure to housing price fluctuations is minimal (especially with the new bankruptcy laws, which means that even when they fuck up and make reckless bad loans, they still make money).
Why is Joe Pesci considered a good actor? I think the Academy voters got confused between "most annoying" and "best actor" , they must have just checked the wrong box.
Bike shorts designers must all be women (eg. not have cocks). There's a big seam on the inside right down the middle of the front which rubs right on my pee hole when I ride.
1. What are the pot odds?
2. What are the possible hands he can be playing; this requires going over the previous action and thinking about how he considers the situation - what's your stack, what's his stack, what are the blinds, are there other really short stacks - these things affect what hands he might have.
3. What are my odds of winning against the hands he could have? (weighted sum by probability) How does that compare to the pot odds?
4. If I fold, what will my chip stack be? If I call and lose, what will my stack be? How will my stack compare to others and the blinds if I fold? How well do I play a big stack or short stack? Are the other players better or worse than me?
5. What are the other stacks? Is anyone close to going out?
6. Are we in the money yet? How does the payout change for the next few places?
7. How will folding or calling affect others' view of me? (eg. if I call with a weak hand, will they lose respect? if I fold will they start attacking me every hand?).
8. What are the blinds? How do they compare to my stack if I fold or call and lose? Are the blinds going up soon? How close am I to having to pay the next big blind?
This is just the quick sampler, and that's assuming there's no one else in the hand.
Just heard the "democracy now" thing about Columbus Day - various indigenous people who think Columbus was a slave trader and genocidaire who want the holiday changed to "Indigenous People's Day" or some such nonsense. This is a horrible piece of PC revisionist history. Yes, by today's standards Columbus is an absolute bastard, but his behavior was completely within the moral norms of his time period, and to hold him to today's code is preposterous. Columbus was a brave explorer; I'm not sure he deserves to be honored with a national holiday (where's the Leif Erikson Day?), but neither does he deserve to be dragged through the mud. Don't you native peoples have more important things to do? Like running casinos, selling cigarettes, and getting drunk? (don't worry, they won't be offended by this, most of them are illiterate and certainly don't have computers).
Poker update : Took a 1st place, then a quick out, then another bubble, then a bubble+1 (just in the money), playing two & three table sit & go multis. After losing $200 yesterday I've almost made it back today. The bubble+1 really sucked - I was the big stack at bubble+1 and then ran into AK and QQ in consecutive hands, with huge blinds.
Taken a bit further, democracy is a powerful system for the strong to extort from the weak. In practice you don't need to actually be a majority of the population to get a majority of the vote. Tools like propaganda are ways for smaller groups with more power to increase their share of the vote, and thereby pass laws which are bad for many and good for the few.
Now, you may say that the solution is a strong constitution with a strong guarantee of basic rights. That's worked pretty well in practice here in the U.S. - but isn't that really saying that democracy doesn't work? Basically we have this constitution which is handed to us by demigods - a select group of people smarter than the populace at large - and it binds the democracy so that it can't fuck up too bad. Left to its own, the democracy would pass laws which violate these basic rights, and the constitution is a constraint on that. Certainly a good constitution is a good way to start your government off, but isn't that just saying that un-elected conventions of smart men are better at governing than a democracy is?
Another interesting ideal is the fiction that larger groups make better decisions. This is sort of like a fluid mixing hypothesis. Let's pretend it's true and see what it says. Imagine all the different ethnic groups of the world all just have their own best interest in mind. If you draw up states or countries where one is a majority, they'll make laws which favor them and persecute others. But, the world populace as a whole could agree on basic rights which would make those things illegal. Now you don't actually want a whole-world democracy, because it would be impractical to acheive consensus on all the little things important to local government, but a heirarchical system would be ideal. You have a world body which makes the overall laws which everyone can agree on, protecting basic rights and such - setting rules for the lower levels of government. Then you have a heirarchy of smaller and smaller regions (what we call Nations, Provinces, Cities, etc.), each level setting rules for the lower levels. This is very similar to what we have in the US, with the Constitution taking the role of the world-wide body.
Why does this fail in practice? Basically because large groups are still jerks. Hmm.. I've lost my energy and train of thought for this rant.
I guess my points are these - 1) the demonstrated fact that a good constitution is crucial for democracy is in fact proof that democracy does not work well. If democracy worked, the laws enacted and the behavior of the government would not need to be constrained by a carefully architected constitution. 2) even with a strong constitution, democracies will fuck up anything they can. 3) the idea that majority votes lead to the overall best course for the population is preposterous (just like the contention that capitalism optimizes the market, which is ridiculous in the real world).
One thing that blows my mind a little bit is how I struggle to be just slightly proftable at poker. I'm a decent player and I work hard at it, and moreover 90% of the people I face online are just really really bad, and yet I only barely manage to eke out a long term profit, though there are big short term up & down swings.
Another $30 three-table , I make it right near the money and go out. Fuck, these things are killing me. I was the big stack with 10 to go, and then just got raped by a series of hands where I was outplayed, wound up short stacked and got pot committed when I was beat. I just want to smash my head in with a hammer!
When we went camping I was splitting wood with a hammer and a wood splitting wedge. Portola doesn't let you collect twigs for kindling, which I'm used to doing, so splitting wood is a pretty rare activity for me, and I suck at it. Anyhoo, aside from smacking the hell out of my hands with the hammer, I BROKE the hammer. Granted it was a regular claw-hammer type of thing not a nice mallet like I should have used, but I was still quite shocked when the solid hammer head cracked and the big hunk of metal split in two. Must have been some of that super low grade Chinese steel that I always hear about. Don't build bridges out of that shit!
Prisons - after the French Revolution, one of the reforms that was instituted was that the prison guards were not allowed to torture prisoners quite as much (beatings and long solitary confinement were still fine, though). The guards quickly got around this. They'd find the dumbest, toughest prisoners, and give them various perks (more time outside, cigarettes, etc.) in exchange for doing the things they couldn't do to other prisoners. Then this was just prisoners fighting each other (as they are wont to do) and no one got in trouble, and the horrible mistreatment of inmates could continue. In the United States, something similar to this practice continues to this day. Most of our prisoners are very dangerous places to go, mainly because of violence among inmates. This is not simply a fact of prison life, rather it is intentionally allowed by prison guards who create an atmosphere of danger and rape and beatings in order to make prison a more unpleasant place, which they believe the inmates deserve. The horrible prison conditions which they aren't allowed to create themselves, they allow the inmates to create for each other. This should be stopped now. There are a few reasons why there's no action on this. 1) We keep convicts from voting (a huge violation of their constitutional rights), 2) most Americans really want to stick it to convicts, we figure they must be rotten and deserve to be stabbed and raped, it sort of makes us feel good to imagine it. (I'm not even going to talk about the way the Bush administration endorses torture, that's just preposterous, not even worth discussing, it's like "Intelligent Design" - you can't have a debate about it, it's too ludicrous) Though I will say something - you remember the Newsweek scandal about flushing the Koran down the toilet? then there were riots and the Bushies said "oh that's nonsense, shame on you, it's all the media's fault for stirring up this trouble" and Newsweek apologized? Well, of course the report was basically true. The exact details may not have been right, but interrogators at Guantanamo have infact used the Koran often as a tool to break the captives, desecrating it in various ways. This is not only a clear violation of the Geneva convention, it's just really fucking stupid - the way to soothe religious terrorism is not to embody the worst of what they say you do.
Pensions - the impending bankruptcy of Delphi reminds me of the nationwide pension scam that corporations have been exploiting for the past twenty years. Basically, most major US corporations have promised these great pensions and have underfunded their pension funds, which means they are all headed for short-falls. The federal government backs those pension funds, so that all of us taxpayers are picking up the difference. This is a way to artificially inflate corporate profit and to pump money from taxpayers to corporate directors. It's a completely corrupt practice. Also related in this case is the clever way big companies like GM can spin off subsidiaries that are in trouble and let them go bankrupt, so again the fed will pick up the tab of supporting the bankrupt mess. This leads me to the next one...
Pockets - in that corporate directors should have to pay their companies bills out of their own pockets. Imagine the most ridiculous example : I make a company and take out a loan for a billion dollars; I pay myself a salary of a billion dollars; my company declares bankruptcy. That debt should be paid by me, not taxpayers. Now, I know there already are laws on this which apply when directors tie their own funds to their companies, but they don't apply if you're just taking salary and dividends and stock profits and such from your company. Also, exactly codifying this principle into a good law is tricky, but that shouldn't stop us. It's absurd that with crooked companies like the old S&L scams, or Enron & WorldCom & etc. most of the people at the top get to keep their fortunes (unless they are sued and successfully made to pay something reasonable in damages). Instead they should be directly tied by law to the bankruptcy settlement of their company - eg. all salary over $500k/year counts as "corporate money" which must be repaid if the corporation goes bankrupt, or something. Also note that of course it's the job of the Board of Directors to make sure that this kind of nonsense doesn't happen. The board is supposed to act in the best interest of the stock-holders and keep the management from profiteering and raping the company, but of course that's a naive fantasy. In practice the directors are buddies of the management and they're all profiteering together.
The drive on Skyline (35) and Highway 9 is so fun and beautiful. It's a regular haunt for motorcycle enthusiasts, especially on the weekend when all the portly software developers put on their leather and play dress up, pretending to be real men on their Harleys. I almost went off the road on Alpine Drive. The road is too messed up to really be a fun speeding road, but I was just sort of cruising on it, having a little fun in the corners. In one of the really tight left-hand turns, I went into a slide and my rear wheels skidded out behind me. If I was a bad-ass I would have accelerated and it would have been no problem. Instead, like the pussy I am I braked and came to a stop with my right wheel off the road starting to go down the steep cliff. Luckily it was one of the spots with a bit of a dirt shoulder before the cliff plummeted down hundreds of feet to the valley below.
1. Health care must be universal. Not providing health care to all is a very foolish way of "punishing" the poor. It only increases the total cost in the long run. If you don't provide preventive care to people who need it, you wind up paying much more for catastrophic care when their problems require treatment. Clearly we don't want to just let people die horrible deaths by not providing care - we're going to keep them alive, so it just makes sense to provide good care their whole life. Now, that doesn't mean they need optional care or unnecessarilly expensive care, but neither does anyone (unless they pay it 100% out of their pocket), which leads us to -
2. Health care purchasers and providers must be motivated to be efficient (aka effective and cheap). Currently this motivation doesn't exist at all, in fact the opposite motivation usually exists - doctors and hospitals make more money when they provide more expensive care, and patients usually pay a fixed cost which is not proportional to their care. We get situations where doctors prescribe very expensive drugs which are no more effective than the cheap generics that have long been available. We also get a lot of very expensive unnecessary surgery, partly because of a lack of preventive and lifestyle care, but also because of these improper motivations. You also have the problem that doctors are anti-motivated to transfer patients. If you wind up in the care of surgeon, you're likely to get surgery whether or not you should - he's antimotivated to transfer you to a physical therapist, or anyone else, he's motivated to keep you so he can do the work.
Making the patients pay proportional to cost is very simple. The percentage could also be scaled according to the patients wealth. A simple linear percent could work : you pay (your wealth/ $1 million) * 100% of the cost. Note that this is real wealth, not income. To go along with that, the health care providers would have to declare all costs up front. Furthermore, mistakes by the health care providers would have to be fixed at their expense, just as it is at any normal business. Making the providers incentivized to keep costs low is trickier. The first step is to make their base pay not proportional to costs. Then they need to be paid bonuses from the insurance company based on some estimate of the real benefit done, reduced by cost. eg. the more benefit they do for lower cost, the bigger bonus they get.
3. Doctors and hospitals (and all health care companies) should be held publicly accountable. Part of making this all work better must be information and accountability. Currently this hardly exists, partly because of doctor's fear of malpractice suits. Some sort of public database of doctors and hospitals records and patient reviews must exist for patients to be able to make decent free market health care decisions - without it the capitalist system is broken. Sort record of their costs and price scale must exist as well.
Capitalism is a very nice system, but one of the big classic problems with it is that it's very easy to push the real costs of your actions onto other people. In our system, that usually winds up being taxpayers somewhere down the road. If you make a car that's dangerous to others, you may save some money and make a bigger profit, but when it hurts others, a huge cost errupts for their health care and damages which is covered by others. When you make unsafe products, like asbestos, or vaccines laced with mercury, or foods full of all kinds of poisons, that can turn your company a nice profit; it may lead to massive health care costs down the road which are mostly covered by tax payers. (the only way to correct this incorrect charge is through our heros, the class-action lawyers, though even their huge suits rarely come close to matching the damages).
I just found "Amalgamated Sons of Rest" , which is a collaboration between Jason Molina and Will Oldham, aka my two favorite artists in the whole world - Songs Ohia and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy.
I won another 1st place in a two table tourney, then played another and was on good track to win it. I was playing my usual style - aggressive, stealing, but then tight if the pot gets big. I had one of the guys with a big stack set up perfectly. He had seen me play T6 and J6 in big pots - what he hadn't seen was the situation, and he thought I was always playing junk. Getting someone set up like this is one of my big goals in poker - it gives me the best possible chance to double up through this guy. So, I changed gears and started playing tight when he was in the blinds. Then I made my move - I got AK in the cutoff and made my usual steal raise. He went all-in from the SB, just like I wanted. Most likely he has a weak ace here, and I'm golden. Then - fuck fuck fuck - the BB goes all in. Now, I know the BB has a hand here, but it's probably a pair below K's. I hate my hand now, I know the first douche probably has an ace, and this guy has something like JJ. Against those hands I'm about 33% to win, and I'm getting about 4:1 to call, so I have to call. Unfortunately the BB had KK and I lost almost all my stack and went out soon after. Very unlucky, I knew I was in prefect position to take 1st place again because everyone was playing so badly short handed.
The cinematographer is Christopher Doyle, who does a ton of asian movies in between his black-out benders and his affairs with 15-year-old asian girls. Apparently the constant drinking and sex does not detract from his talents.
"PRIDE" fighting is so much better than the UFC. The fighters are better (the Russian & Ukranian guys just kick unbelievable ass), the rules are better, and the ring is better. They use a regular boxing ring instead of the stupid fucking cage, so you don't get the stupid UFC-style fights with people just pinned up against the cage the whole time. The skills of the PRIDE guys are unbelievable - striking, kicking, knees, grappling. I don't just want to see people wailing on each other, that's boring and revolting, I like to see artists and masters at work.
Read a funny little stat today - 30% of paternity DNA tests find that the purported father is not the genetic father. Now, presumably people getting paternity tests are in a sub-group of the population which is more likely to have cheated, so this 30% would not apply to the general public, but of course paternity tests also exclude the poor and mothers who can't find the fathers at all. We could say something like - among upper/middle class people who are suspicious of child-origin impropriety, 30% of the time they're right! In other words, you girls are a bunch of hos and I'm not paying any damn child support.
Good ways to waste your time : kontraband , thatsfucked , mensix & skoopy
San Diego has a surprisingly cool and active nightlife downtown in the "gaslamp" district. There are lots of really posh clubs and bars (alongside the horrible chains like Moose McGillicuty's and all the requisite fake "Irish" pubs). Blue Ginger (I think that's it) has this amazing wall of water. Some Italian place has barbacks than rappel up and down the multi-story wall of liquor. There were lots of places with velvet ropes and ten bouncers standing outside that we walked past; I used to want to get in those places ("I'm good enough, they can't keep me out") but now I just hate the fucking game, and I hate the snobby people that tend to be inside. I'd rather hit the open-access bar next door where the pregnant drunk young woman is being hit on by the fifty-year-old nerdy guy who just got divorced.
LA's Union Station is beautiful at night.
Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena's crappy touristy "old town" is a legitimate British pub, complete with warm beer (cellar temperature, when appropriate) and the stick of piss, puke and beer which all Brits love. Why is it that an "Irish" pub is usually fake (decorated from the Irish Pub aisle at Wal Mart), which British pubs are usually full of real gap-toothed rugby-playing Queen-loving hyphenated-word-typing ex-pats ? Seems like a great place to watch soccer.
A little offensive joke for ya : when someone is acting really Jewy (ala Larry David or Richard Lewis or Mel Brooks with the "Hoyven Mayven, Oy" shtick), you say - "Hey buddy, this is the U.S.A. not the Jew-S.A. !" ; then when they get indignant in response you say "What are you gonna do, Jew-do?"
The political talk show "Left/Right/Center" on KCRW is decent. Even the representative of the "right" is semi-articulate (because he's British).
Another rough loss in the local game here. (actually I got 3rd, but I should have won so it feels like a loss). I never got any cards, but I still managed to have the big stack with 3 players left. Then I proceeded to lose 5 races in a row, where I was either a 60/40 favorite or a 60/40 dog, and I was out in 3rd place. Racing in that scenario is exactly what I want to do - I'm raising more than my share, and sometimes people will come allin over the top, and I want to call them in hopefully a 50/50 situation. Then I just have to win a few.
I'm on a long losing streak, and it's hard to tell if it's my bad play or bad luck. I really think I'm playing well and just having a bad down spell, but of course that's what bad players think.
Last night I found a scorpion in my house. I was sitting on the floor watching TV (as I am wont to do), when I looked over and saw this thing walking towards me; I did a total double take - what the fuck is that? Now I new that I had to worry about spiders, mosquitos, bees, wasps, snakes, etc. but I had no idea that scorpions were out to get me. That wasn't even on my fucking radar!
On a related note, we should rape and murder rich people every so often. Sure, they probably don't deserve it individually, but it balances out a huge sheet of small evils they commit every day.
This generation of consoles might be the first ever to actually be faster than high end PC's when it comes out. The Xbox was pretty close in terms of the GPU, but the CPU was way behind high end PC's when it came out. Of course, because of the dev difficulty, high end PC's will be in fact more capable even though they are theoretically less powerful. By the time developers master the quirky consoles, PC's will have moved ahead and taken the lead again. Of course it's not fair to compare a $200 console and a $4000 PC, which is why it's quite impressive how capable these consoles are when they come out.
Now consider the case with a 4-flush on the board. You have the king of that suit. Again in common parlance you have the 2nd nuts, the ace-high flush being the nuts. But now, in the full hand counting there are many possible ace-high flush hands he could have. There are 44 unknown cards that could go with his ace, so you actually have the 45th best hand. You see that in both cases you have the "2nd nuts" but in the second case, you're far more likely to be beat.
I've said before that "Poker Superstars" just has a horrible structure; the blinds are too big too fast and it just becomes an all-in battle. (beside that, the coverage is terrible, we hardly see any hands). Anyhoo, it's interesting to see the top pros in it, and so many of them adjust really badly. Many of them are just playing way too tight (Giang, all the old guys). The people that are doing well are the ones who are hyper aggressive, like Seed, Mortensen, Forrest. It's also interesting to see Sklansky doing so well. He's generally a poor No Limit player, but Superstars is just a mathematical all-in battle, which he's good at. I expect him to fall apart in the heads up matches though, unless the blinds are so big that all play is removed. And what's up with the horrendous play of some of them (like Mimi Tran)?
It must be some sort of common delusion for me to think I'm better than some of the world's top pros, and yet I have trouble beating low limit games.
In the ideal NoT world I could just search something like "realtime 3d shadows" and I would find the pages that are actually most relevant to that topic and well rated by people that I trust in that field. (and see their comments scribbled on the page). Also, much of this can be automatic. People wouldn't have to manually mark pages as good, there are two primary automatic ways of approving of pages : 1) Links from pages I trust, (in this case a link from "realtimerendering" would pump up the rank, or 2) Visits from people I trust; the visit and usage amount by people that I trust indicate that the page is good; if some clicks through to a page and immediately leaves, it means it's not interesting.
Currently it requires a unanimous vote on the security council to do anything meaningful to stop arms sales. In practice that makes it impossible, since someone on the council is always profiting and won't vote to stop the sales. That should be reversed. All arms sales should be illegal by default, and it should require a unanimous vote to let them through. Of course the U.S. would never agree to that (or ignore it if we did) since we spit in the face of international law. It might have effects that we would consider untenable, like the sale of arms to Israel might get banned, or limited.
Ignacio sent me this link to - last.fm ; it's sort of like the beginnings of what I dream about with the NoT driving everything I do with data. Check it out for sure, it's cool.
Drew provided a nice quick phrase about how NoT affects typical browsing - There needs to be a way for my to tap into the same network of trust when I'm shopping on amazon.com, iTunes, movietickets.com, google, etc. What I mean is that it needs to be implemented without being tied to a particular service. I have no idea how, but I know I would use the fuck out of it. So basically we are talking about a giant database where users say what they like and don't like, and then you create associations within that database.
Today I lost a bunch of money because I successfully caught a few bluffers and made a good profit, and then proceeded to keep trying to catch bluffers, and blew off my stack.
"Action" Dan Harrington named himself "Action" because he knows it fucks with people's heads. First they go "he must be wild", then they see his play and think "wait, he's not action, he's a rock", the adjective sticks in your head and you have to fight it to try to just play him straight up.
Today I took some horrendous beats as usual and played one hand collosally wrong. I limped QTs and wound up in the hand against this crazy loose fish guy. The flop was 68J, so I have a gutshot. He checked and I bet. Already this is a gross mistake. Against a tight player maybe it's an okay stab, but against a loose player it's ridiculous. Turn was a blank. He leads out with a tiny bet. Now I'm certain the guy is on a draw, because I've seen him do this before, he's trying to buy a cheap card by betting a tiny amount and hopes I just call. I raise, almost enough to put him all-in. This is a really questionable play. I know the guy is crazy loose so even though I know he's on a draw, he'll probably call anyway. Even if the bet is good, it should have just been an all-in all the way. River is an Ace. I check and he bets the rest of his chips. I have just a queen high, so I fold. That's another mistake. His bet was tiny and he would do that if he missed his draw and my queen high could well be good, and certainly I have the pot odds to call it. He turns over - QT. He was in fact on a draw, calling huge bets with a gut shot. His play was exactly what I pegged him for - a ridiculous loose fish that calls way too much with draws, and I played right into it, betting at him with nothing, and then giving up a big pot that should have been split. This was an insane donkey hand.
Maybe I should take some of the good stuff Paul Phillips takes (Modafinil). (Provigil is so similar to the Simpson's mock Focusin).
One thing that I do think he just gets wrong is that he really discounts position in his short stack moves. He acknowledges that late position gives you better fold equity, but he says that's offset by the blinds moving towards you in early position, making you want to make a move. That's just not right, as demostrated pretty thoroughly by Sklansky in "Tournament Poker". The blind is a pressure, but it really only applies when you're under the gun or perhaps a bit when you're one seat in front of the gun. Before that, you just look at the value of your hand and your position and not worry about the blind advancing. Of course with antes you have to worry about every hand you play, the antes chip away at your stack so you're under pressure to move quickly. In particular, with the players I'm used to, being "loosest" or even looser, if you make a move from early position with a short stack, the chance of folds all the way around is very low. Your all-fold equity is much much better from late position. Just as a quick example, let's say everyone will play 15% of hands (the blinds will play 20% of hands). From the button (two players in blinds) your chance of all fold is about 64%. From under the gun, the chance of all fold is 20%.
Another thing that's tripped me up is that I think Dan is still worrying about things like domination even though he doesn't mention it much. When he suggests moving all-in with KQ under the gun, part of the reason must be that when you do get called, you're usually racing. Only a few hands that would call dominate you, most of the time you're just a 60-40 dog or better, so with the extra quity from the blind and antes, you don't even mind racing that much. The chance of being called by a dominating hand is offset by the all-fold vigorish.
Volume 2 of Harrington's Opus contains some pretty wacky stuff about short-stack and short-handed play. Some of his reasoning seems really off to me and it's messed up my game. It got in my head, but I don't really understand it or like it, and it messed up my play in the tournament today. I need to just get back on my game until I can grok his seemingly wild & reckless advice.
I've written this before, but I think it should be required of all people seeking high public office that they answer all questions, and reveal everything about their past. Politicians plead for respect for their private lives (not when positive things are being said, only when embarassing things are found) - they should have none, if you seek a high office you surrender the privacy of your past. Everything about your views and your past should be revealed. This should go for justices, the president, senators, etc.. The idea that it would keep good people out of office is nonsense. It would keep liars and thiefs out of office, and people who aren't willing to sacrifice to serve their country. The idea that politicians are mostly elected based on their good looks and their charm and their "good resume" is ridiculous - they should be elected based on their views and their answers to questions.
I don't want a justice with good family life and good values and all that. I want a justice who can do their job and separate their personal life from their work. Someone whose work is NOT influenced by their upbringing, their paper route, their wife.
The futility of going after Al Qaeda and its leaders. It looks good on CNN when you capture or kill some honcho, but it does very little to reduce terrorism. The actual terrorists come from the grass roots; maybe you can take out a bit of organization and expertise, but those people will be replaced anyway.
The way Bush et.al. have cast this as a moral war, that the terrorists are irrational, evil, that they hate us and our lifestyle. This dehumanizes them, makes it apolitical. It rules out compromise or political solutions - it turns the equation into simply a war of us against them. This is far from the truth and a huge mistake. To fight well you must be able to put yourself in your enemy's shoes and think what they might do in various situations. If we think of terrorists as these ridiculous charicatures ("freedom haters"), we think of them incorrectly. The truth is that this lie from Bush et.al. serves two purposes. One is to drum up support at home for war. The other is to take away any discussion of the United States' political activities which are creating terrorists all over the world. It pushes the lie that the terrorists will hate us no matter what we do. That may be true for a few of the die-hards who are already filled with hatred for us, but the far more important question is - what is helping them recruit new terrorists all the time? For that, we must look at our own actions - putting armies in the middle east, supporting Israel, Egypt, the Saudi royals, supporting Saddam, etc. etc. These crucial issues have been completely cut out of our political discourse.
The expulsion before the game was really fucked up. Aside from being an unforseeable random act, it's a bad policy. It means that a team can take out players from their opponent. Just send one of your crappy backup guys to get in a fight with one of their stars. Officials always penalize both guys in a fight because they don't want to get into the situation of judging fault, so you both get expelled.
Let me be clear that I think the Eagles are severely over-rated as well, and they're a key target to bet against in the future. Atlanta against a team with good run defense is a good bet. The Eagles have some of the worst offensive play calling I've ever seen, and they lost key players in the off season; some of their losses that noone talks about are the 2nd and 3rd wide receivers. With Owens as a very over-rated star wideout, they need those good 2nd and 3rd wideouts. The Eagles defense can look good when the blitz is working, but it's very risky and against someone who handles the blitz well, they are very porous.
So, I won one and lost one for the weekend, and I'm down 7% because of the house vig.
The Steelers proved once again that running yardage comes from your offensive line, not your back. Take a good running team and swap out the back and you'll still have a good running team. The Broncos have been showing this for years (thanks to their unethical chop-blocking schemes).
I think almost the opposite is the right play in the NL game I've been playing. Position is so important that I want to play big pots when I'm in position and small pots when I'm not (unless I flop a monster). For example, with a hand like AK, that's a powerful hand, but if I raise preflop from out of position and get callers, I hate it. Sure if I flop a nice hand that's great, but most of the time I won't flop anything, and I'll still have the best hand and not be able to do anything because of my position. Conversely, AK in position is great
Experience in poker doesn't really help you play better (if you're a smart player who can figure out the play from reading books). What it does do are two valuable things. 1) it removes some of the emotional reaction, which is good, it keeps you off tilt; once you've received bad beats from bad players for huge money, it doesn't make you feel so bad each time it happens. 2) it helps you act without thinking too much, which is good because in the pressure of the moment with the timer ticking down, your brain can get all loopy and it's hard to think through the hand right.
The two bets I like this are actually bets on favorites against the spread (or you could bet them to Win at slightly worse odds). I don't usually like to bet favorites, but I think the spread on both of these is way off. I still would never bet a favorite for a spread over 3 (because even when the better team is dominating, sometimes they'll take a rest in the second half and wind up just barely winning), but these spreads are low enough you could just bet the spread.
1. Indianapolis at Baltimore, spread -3 ; I take Indy on this spread any day; I expect the margin to be more like 14. Indy's only weakness is their defense, and Baltimore is not going to exploit that. Baltimore's offense might even put up negative points (turnovers for Indy scores), they have to hope their defense will score a few.
2. Philadelphia at Atlanta, spread -1.5 ; this one is an absolute lock. Atlanta is one of the most over-rated teams in the NFL, I'd bet against them almost every week. Michael Vick absolutely sucks donkey balls, but gay football idiots get all moist in their panties when they see him scramble around and throw an interception. Yeah, there's lots of bad blood in Philly right now which I don't like, but against Atlanta I expect this margin to be more like 14.
One very interesting situation came up - the kind of drama over many hands that you never see on TV. This guy, doss19, was on my immediate left, so we had a lot of confrontations since he's one of the blinds I'm attacking. I made several blind steals, mostly with good hands, but never got called, and I know he was getting pissed. Then I made a raise with like K9 and he comes over the top all-in. I fold it, even though I'm thinking I might be good, I know he's attacking me. I also have been watching doss19 show his cards a lot with good hands. He shows JJ, AQ, AQ, QQ. Now, doss19 is an okay player, so he must be showing for a reason. He's showing to make people think he raises with good cards, so that he can steal with junk raises. So I know he's trying to set himself up for steals and he wants to play back at me - he's seen that I can raise and then fold to a reraise. Now the trap is set and I'm waiting for the situation to spring it. I want it to fold around to me when I have good cards, and I'll give him a little raise that looks afraid, and he'll go all-in and I'll call it. So, I start waiting. The next few rounds I get junky cards which I would often steal with, like T8s, and I just fold them because I know doss19 is likely to come if I raise. Then the situation comes. I get AKs and it folds to me in the small blind. The blinds now are 1000/2000 , so I raise to 5000 - a raise that looks like a steal and small enough for me to fold if he comes ott. Indeed, he goes all-in and I know I've got him. I call and he shows A3 - the trap worked perfectly, I'm a 70% favorite to double up. And then the board comes JJ355. The 3 is irrelevant - we split the pot with JJ55A for both of us. Damn, it burns, because my trap is now sprung and I missed the mouse.
The other big hand that didn't go well for me was near the end. I had 33,000 chips and the blinds were 2000/4000. I'm in the cutoff with T7. In this phase lots of people with big stacks have been going allin to steal the blinds. I haven't had good cards in a long time, so I figure I need to steal some blinds from position with mediocre hands. I raise to 10,000. The player on the button, BreeP, sits and thinks for a long time, running the timer and the time bank all the way down. Then she goes all-in. Both blinds fold and it's back to me. Now, I'm pretty sure BreeP is on a weak hand here, maybe ace-junk. For one thing, the long thinking means a weak hand - the timer was so low she was close to being auto-folded, which noone with a monster hand would risk. For another thing, I've seen her go all in with 78 and T3 and hands like that. So, it's possible my T7 is even good, and if not, probably just a 60/40 dog. It's 23,000 more to me, and if I call the pot would be 72,000 , so I only need a 32% chance of winning to call. I certainly have that, so mathematically it's a clear call. My problem is that if I can fold and just make it up one more spot, it's worth $400 in real money, which seems pretty likely to me with how wild everyone is playing. In the game I decided to fold, but I'm pretty sure now that was a mistake. Certainly if I was going to fold there I should have not raised in the first place, I should have just kept folding to creep up a few spots and only played big hands.
Note that this hand presents an interesting lesson - you get much better EV from making a moderate raise and calling an all-in than if you just go all-in. This is because when you raise and call, you're facing much weaker hands on average than when you just go all-in. If I just went all-in there, then my opponents are never bluffing when they call - they always have something good. By making a moderate raise, when they go all-in sometimes they're bluffing, so when I call I have a much better chance of winning the showdown. However, going all-in is much lower variance, since the bluff hands will just fold and you won't have to race against them.
So, should I have called? If I fold there, my EV is about +$200 , because I survive with 23,000 chips which I guess is enough to make it up one spot in the money about 50% of the time. If I call, I have a 60% chance of getting knocked out, but 40% of the time I wind up with 72,000 chips. That gives me a roughly 100% chance of moving up one spot, for +$400 , plus some equity for the higher places. I would have 17% of the chips at that point, but I suck so I'll just say a 10% shot of winning the remaining $15,000 in prizes, for +$1500. So I can either get +$200 by folding, or .4*(1900) = $760 from calling. This is very approximate but clearly the call is right.
In the end, perhaps I played a bit too tight. The blinds were huge, so the only move was all-in, and I just hate making an all-in bluff, or going all-in with a marginal hand not knowing if you're good. It's ironic because I used to be a specialist at those moves (I'm famous for going all-in with K7 several times in our home game). I found myself unable to go back to that crazy mode. I folded A5 in the small blind against an all-in from the button. Probably I should have called that; an all-in from the button almost means random cards at that point, so my ace high is almost certainly good even though I hate my kicker, but I just can't stand to make that call and see him turn over good cards - it's a weakness in my endgame for sure.
I was chatting with Drew throughout the tourney which helped me a lot. It just keeps me focused and keeps from making any donkey moves. Sometimes I'll get "creative" when I play on my own (creative is a synonym for stupid), but by knowing that someone is watching it makes you stay on track. It also keeps my mind from wandering too much; when I play on my own I get too bored and start doing other things, which is bad.
1. Basic solid play. Like Harrington or Sklansky, etc. but without bothering to hide information. eg. raise with high pairs, limp with suited connectors or low pairs, etc. This is how I usually play when I first sit down before I get a read on the table.
2. Always raising. If the table is very tight/weak I'll play an always-raising strategy. In this strategy I never limp, even with the speculative hands like suited connectors. I play this only when people are folding so much preflop or postflop that I always want to be in the lead. Usually I'll only play this for a little while, because people will start playing back, and then I have to go into a trapping mode.
3. Trapping. Against people who are frequently raising my limps, aggressive players, etc. I go into a trapping strategy. In this mode I'll limp with a lot of good hands hoping for a raise so I can come over the top. I'll stop playing speculative hands and go into a high-card mode. I'm expecting I could play a big pot any time I come into the pot. This mode is very tight except when there are good opportunites to steal or limp cheaply.
Playing No Limit is really different than Limit. I've mainly played low limit online and it's given me some bad habits. In low limit, you draw at a lot more hands, because the implied odds are generally very good (everyone is very loose), and you don't have to worry too much about drawing to second best hands. For example, you can draw to low flushes (eg. if you have the 76s, you can draw to the flush). You can draw to flushes when the board is paired (eg. a house is possible), you can draw to straights when a flush is possible. In limit hold'em, in the rare cases where you make your draw and it's second best (eg. someone has the higher flush, someone has the house when you make your straight), you just pay them off, it's no big deal, it's just a few bets, you make up for it in all the cases where they don't have a better hand. In No Limit, it's different. When you get to the river, you might have to play for your whole stack. Suddenly the flush you made with the 76 doesn't look so good. The straight you made with the board paired doesn't look so good. The implied odds aren't so good because you have to be afraid to bet or raise here since you might get reraised for your whole stack.
Basically in No Limit you want to be drawing at the nuts, or very nearly the nuts. Really you almost never want to be drawing. You want to have the best hand and play it aggressively. Reading Harrington is very interesting.
Some days in life when I'm feeling good I'll try to connect to the rest of humanity. Strike up a conversation with a stranger. Ask for help when I need help, offer help to others. It pretty much always results in despair - disgust at their rudeness and uncharitability and foolishness. For example, when you are visiting someplace you've never been, it's just about pointless to ask a local for advice about where to eat or stay or have fun - they either don't want to tell you or are too stupid to have useful advice. Anyhoo, one of the great things about Burning Man is you feel like you're in this big community of people who are happy to help each other and be nice to each other. You can reach out to people and be rewarded. (there are exceptions of course, mainly in the single male-female interactions which are pretty much as horrible as anywhere else). Anyway, it occurred to me last night that this is just like the hippy days of yore - little communities of people in semi-utopian interaction. The foolish ones get these ideas like "why can't the whole world be like this all the time?". Well, the truth is that these semi-utopian communities only exist when A) the people aren't really doing anything productive, they're subsidized by their parents or their outside lives, and B) everyone's on a bunch of drugs to make them all euphoric and nice to each other. Oh well, it's still nice as a vacation from the real world.
I get AA preflop and raise to 3.5X the BB ($7 with 1/2 blinds). The small blind calls and the big blind folds. The flop comes Jack-high with 3 clubs. The guy checks, I bet 15 (pot size). The guy raises to 30. I figure he could be raising a flush draw or a jack here, so I reraise to 70. He goes all-in, for 221 chips, so it's 151 more to me to call. I think a while and fold.
I think it's a mistake to fold here. Yes, he could have a set, or he could have flopped the flush. In a higher limit game, maybe the fold here is okay, but at this limit, he'll push like that with the top pair jacks. His most likely holding is probably the flush draw. He could also have top pair - he could also have a lower pocket pair, KK, QQ. If he has the flush or the set, it's just bad luck, it happens. I think if you consider the good odds the pot is giving me it's a definite call.
The weakness I have here is that I just can't stand to put big chips in the pot when I might be behind, especially when I'm calling. Sometimes you have to gamble, not in the sense of the draw of cards, but gamble on the range of hands your opponent might have. I also have trouble making good decisions with the damn Party Poker timer beeping away. It gets me all panicked about the time limit and my brain freezes up. Part of the cure for that is experience, so you can make decisions based on memory instead of having to think it through carefully.
Another problem I had with this hand is that the guy just sat down at the table, so I had no read on him. If I knew he was a super-aggressive player, I would have instantly called. I really hate playing hands against people that I haven't built my read on yet.
After more thought, this is an absolute mistake. If I just had the top pair Jacks, I think it's a good solid fold. With AA, it's a clear call, since some of his likely holdings are KK, QQ, and the top pair. I probably lost $300 on this hand, since it's a $400 pot and I win 3/4 of the time or so.
If you're an arrogant fuck of a poker player like I am, you assume you're playing better than your opponents. Because of that, there are only hands that you "should have won" and "bad beats". When I play worse cards than my opponents and beat them, it's because of my skill. When they do it, it's because they're lucky piece of shits.
First, fighting abroad to stop terrorists is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Our fight in Afghanistan was called for, though we are failing horribly at the followup. Taliban-sponsored guerillas still control large portions of the countries, and the warlords have taken up their old roles running the Opium poppy trade which has resurged.
Second, regime change to depose evil states is perfectly reasonable. We should have been in Rwanda for the genocide, we should now be in Sudan, and I'm sure there's a lot of other African crap we should get into. North Korea is a horrible nation that starves millions of its people every year and should be dealt with. Regime change in Iraq is debatable but perhaps was warranted.
What was absolutely rotten and what the President should be impeached for is lying about the case for war, lying to Congress, the UN, and the American people. Suggesting that Iraq had WMD's (and was trying to buy uranium), suggesting any connection to 9/11, suggesting that attacking Iraq would make us safer from terrorism - those are crimes.
Furthermore, the conduct of the war has been reprehensible. Ignoring the army commanders requests for more troups and a better plan to secure the peace, and then firing or silencing any who speak out. Rumsfeld encouraging torture, the policy of extradition of captives to questionable states, the memos about the Geneva convention not applying, etc. And allowing the nation to be divided into the three ethnic factions. Even if you support the war you must be ashamed of these things.
And, the truth is that the Iraq war has created many more terrorists. Yes, it is islamic extremism and poverty and powerlessness which create the brew for terrorism, and those ingredients were already there. But it is violence and occupation which stirs the stew and motivates people en masse to give their lives for terrorism. We have supplied that catalyst in Iraq, as well as creating a massive lawless zone where fighters and materiel from many terrorist states can come together.
As much as Saddam was a bad guy, he controlled his country with an iron fist. Now, stability in Iraq seems far away, and when the Shiites and Sunnis are killing each other over control of the oil in Iraq, the families of the dead will blame the U.S. This is the very reason why the U.S. installed Saddam and dictators like him across the globe - for stability. That was Kissinger's realpolitik - would you rather have a democratic nation that might vote communist, or a ruthless dictator that keeps the restless populace under heel - he'd choose the latter. Of course the new news on this topic is that the Shiites & Kurds might pass a cons
In the mean time of course, we are largely ignoring Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan which are the greatest terrorism fomenters in the world.
Agressive guy limps from the cutoff, I limp on the button with A8, small blind folds, BB checks. Flop comes AK9. BB checks, aggro checks, I bet close to pot size, aggressive guy calls, BB folds. Aggro could have an A or a K, maybe a 9? Probably not a very good Ace or he would have raised. Turn bring another K. Aggro guy bets the min into a large pot. This is weird. I think a while and just call. River is a blank (6). Aggro guy goes all-in. His all-in here is roughly pot size. I think a while and fold, figuring him for the K.
I'm not sure what he would just call with, but the betting action suggests to me that he made a feeler bet on the turn, and then sensing weakness, he made a bluff at the river. I think I probably should have called. If he actually had the K, he probably wouldn't have made that min bet on the turn, he would have just checked it into me since I had bet the flop. In any case I probably should have raised the turn to see what that min bet was. Sometimes people will put out a min bet just to get you to raise them so they can go over the top.
Just made a 4th place in one of those tourneys. I got down to the last 4 with the 2nd biggest stack and then just had a long series of bad luck. I was in almost every time with the worst hand, but it's still very bad luck, though donkeys don't see it. I was stealing more than my share of blinds as usual. The blinds were at 150/300 and I was coming in for 700 to steal. The two short stacks had between 1500 and 3000 in chips the whole time. I was getting lots of good steal, but every so often a short stack would come ott allin. Now, in that case it's something like 800 more to me to call and there's already 1550 in the pot, so I have to call with almost any two cards. I made a bunch of those calls and was a 55/45 underdog each time and lost them all (races like A5 against KT, KT against Q8, etc.). I try to avoid domination when I make those plays, I'm more likely to call with Q8 than with K2, but with those odds I have to call almost any time. I lost about 4 of these in a row and suddenly found myself a short stack. The last 4 places in these things is very random, the blinds are so big you have to play fast and hit some cards.
Blinds were 75/150 , rather big. I had about 2500 in chips. It folds around to a guy with about 1200 in chips in the cutoff (one off the button), who limps. Button folds and I just call from the small blind with A9. Big blind checks. Now, maybe this is a mistake, I should have just raised right away preflop with the A9. The flop comes T93, I have a pretty solid middle pair. The pot is now 450 chips. I think it's quite possible this guy has QJ so I want to charge the draw and find out where I'm at. I lead out 350 chips. Big blind folds and the limper just calls. Turn brings a blank. Now the pot is 1150 and this guy only has 700 chips left, I have 2000. I figure he could have two over cards, a lower pocket pair, a lot of hands he might call with. He also could have a worse nine. I put him all-in for 700, he quickly calls with KT and I'm beat. I wind up with 1300 chips and suddenly I'm on a low stack.
I really hate this hand. I've always thought people who blow off their chips with middle pair are donkeys, but it's hard to think of playing it any other way. Maybe on the flop I should have thought he's calling an awful lot, he probably has top pair, and just given up on the hand right then. I just hate leading out on the flop and then checking the turn, because it just begs your opponent to take the pot from you with a worse hand. Actually a check-call on the turn might have been a better play, because it's likely to get worse hands to bluff. Even a check-call on the flop might have been in order. Certainly I failed at one of the principles of poker here, which is to show down marginal hands cheaply.
I think the flop play is correct, most of the time he's limped and missed the flop, I want him to fold the flop. He's not a super aggressive player where a check-raise would be appropriate. The turn bet is just wrong. He's not going to fold a hand that beats me, and he wouldn't call with much that I can beat. I have to check the turn, and if he bets I probably have to fold.
My bites are almost done healing, but I have to stay on the antibiotics a while and hence avoid alcohol and sunshine. (in Homer voice) : "but I love alcohol and sunlight! oawww!"
Last week before I went camping I played some basketball with some local guys. I made the mistake of wearing sunglasses at first in the game, and quickly found out why that's a very bad idea. Some guy smashed his hand into my face accidentally which jammed the glasses into my nose flesh; I was instantly bleeding out of the side of my nose down my shirt. It wasn't like a gusher, just a nice stream of blood. A bunch of the guys were nurses so they quickly had a look and prounced it no big deal. After swearing I had never had sex with Pam Anderson, the game resumed. Now I take off my sunglasses to play. After the game I realized I'm much too soft to play basketball (and was too soft for rugby). I'm just really not trying to hurt anyone, and I don't seek contact. I know that some of the people I've played sports with may disagree because I do play hard, but by the standards of your typical street game of basketball, I'm a softy. When you go to the hoop, you have to go hard, and if someone puts their face in the way of your elbow, that's their fault. Especially on defense, there's almost no penalty for fouling in street ball, but I just can't do it. The result is I'm easy to score on (like your sister). My shot continues to just suck ass in games. I've gotten decent in practice, I can hit long series of swish after swish sometimes in practice (and then go cold), but in games I choke from the pressure and toss up lame shots every time.
Well, thanks Thatch. Guess what, this thing can be disabled! Control Panel->Mouse , there should be a tab on there for the touchpad. Usually you can disable "tapping" , and I also discovered a bazillion other fancy features that my touchpad has, like virtual scrolling and tap zones and button remapping, etc. all disabled now!
There are two maintenance guys who the landlord sends to work on my house, usually against my wishes. One is a pot smoking ex-hippy landscaper who hot-boxes in his 82 Datsun pickup between each stroke of his rusted rake. The other is an ex-alcoholic, ex-race-car-driver, ex-child-molester, soon to be inheritor fix-it guy who tightens one screw and beams about his good work.
The great thing about sports betting is that you're not just betting against pros, or the oddsmakers. Rather, you're betting against Vinny in Jersey who thinks the Giants are gonna win it all this year. I wrote about this in great detail long ago, so if you want to learn more you can look there. My strategy for this season : 1) Only bet on win/loss , not on spreads. I hate betting spreads because teams when they're ahead will often slack and let the loser get close, even when the winning team is far better. (betting a spread for an underdog is okay if the win/loss odds are not very favorable). 2) Only bet underdogs or even odds. It's just foolish to risk your money if you're not getting at least 100% pay when you're right, there's too much randomness to bet favorites. The ideal bet is a bet to win on a big underdog. 3) Bet at the last minute possible so you have the latest injury reports, etc. Any advantage to locking in a spread or odds earlier is not nearly as great as the danger of some late news totally ruining your theorizing. 4) Try to only bet teams that I have personally watched play. This is going to be hard because the damned TV coverage is so bad here, I mostly get 9ers games which fucking sucks, but I really don't trust anyone else's measure of a team outside of my own eyes.
Which reminds me - it's such a fucking travesty that I'm getting 100 channels of SHITE pumped into my home every day, when there are thousands of things I'd love to watch that I don't get to see. If this is really what all you dumbed damn Americans want to watch, then fuck you, but if not, then the TV companies are really fucking up by showing things that aren't optimimum for attracting viewers.
Ok, I know this is a little late, like 15 years too late or so, but there should totally be a spoof video for "Baby Got Back" that actually is about girls backs. Like arching their backs, closeups on bony girls with their spines and vertebrae all wiggling, doing the yoga cat-back moves. Oh yeah, I love me some back.
It should come as no surprise that management is not into the product. Generally the executives are people who are good at starting & running a company. They're good at talking to VC's , or the press, or the lawyers. That's what you want. In fact, if the executives are people who know a lot about the product, that's generally very bad unless it's a very small or young company. Now, delegation is crucial, obviously you want people who are good at each thing in charge of that thing - you don't want your executives who are good with the money doing the redesign of your product line, but at the same time it's only natural that the people at the top will have input, since in the end it's their show to run.
I've been thinking more generally about why corporate culture sucks. By "sucking" I'm talking about the manipulation, the back-stabbing, the lying, the awkwardness, etc. In the end it just comes down to the fact that people suck. Try getting a group of people together and get them to work together cooperatively on anything. For god's sakes, the Oddworld group could never even get from the office to lunch together in any semi-functional way. The bigger the group and the harder the task, the more disfunctional it gets. Why are managers generally cocks? Well, partly it's because of their own social problems, they want more credit than they deserve for the successes and less for the failures, they want to do less work than they should, and also they see those same problems in their subordinates. What if managers were generally nice guys who trusted the employees to tell the truth - to ask for help when it was needed, to give accurate time estimates, to work as hard as possible, etc. - the employees would exploit it and rip the managers off. The average human acts like a cock, so they get treated like a cock. Part of the difficulty for a manager who's trying to be a nice guy is that some people really are great and could be treated well, while others will exploit every bit of slack you give them, but you can't really treat people too differently because it looks like you're playing favorites, etc.
When a corproate group works well, it's generally not because the structure is so good, because they're using "scrums" or "extreme keywords" or whatever, it's because the human interaction is working for whatever reason - the people are just good trustworthy people, or they are friends, or they just get along well, or they're just good workers. It's much easier for a small group to work well, but once you get into a large group it becomes extremely unlikely that the whole group is functioning well. In that case the best you can do is isolate the good portion together and minimize the negative impact of the remainder, but that doesn't work very well because it means some part of the your operation is smooth, and some other key part suffers, and as I've often pointed out, the quality of your product is usually set by your weakest link.
I just took a 1st place then a 2nd place in $20 two-table tournaments. I feel like I played super-fantastic in both, though the key remaining weakness in my game was brought painfully to my attention. I've become afraid of getting all-in with anything but very big hands. I just can't stand the idea of getting knocked out when I'm all-in on a bluff, or trying to catch a bluff with a weak pair or something like that. This makes me soft, it means I can be exploited by smart players, and I'm missing value in taking pots with the big bluff. Early in my career I used to get allin on bluffs and calls a lot, partly because we played a rebuy structure so if I blew out early (as I often did) I could get back in and often enough win it on the rebuy. I play much better now, but I need to lose that fear, without getting reckless - it should be a smart, calculated allin.
The thing is, getting allin on a bluff is just like getting allin on a good hand. I would certainly get allin with AA , in which case I'm probably 80% to win. So why not get allin on a bluff when you estimate you win 80% of the time? The percentage plays out differently - with AA the randomness comes in the draw of cards, on the bluff it comes in the hole cards your opponent already has, eg. you've estimated he has cards that he will fold 80% of the time. Of course there are differences and actually you want to be more sure than that with the bluff.
"Step into Liquid" was really disappointing. I just love watching surfers and waves, and the variety of surfing that's shown in the movie is so cool, I love that it's not just the same old pro-style carving the waves in Hawaii or whatever. Unfortunately, the actual surfing is only like 10% of the movie, and even when they're showing surfing, there's this constant insipid voice over about how all that matters is having fun, and how the surfers all have so much in common, and the respect for the ocean, and the surf lifestyle, and how surfing is pure entertainment and its the pinnacle of civilization, oh my god you fucking new age cunt, I'd rather have some ridiculous kid narrating who's all like "yo" and "totally" and "radical" and such.
First of all, oil. There're lots of funny short term things going on with oil supplies - Ecuador's riots, Iraq's instability, refinery outages, etc. Those will go away and take off some of the pressure. Certainly there's no doubt that long term the supply/demand equation for oil will continue to drive prices up, so oil stocks will probably outperform the market overall for quite a while. I've ready many analysts that speak of a potential worldwide depression if oil prices get much higher (say, $80) similar to the recession of the 70's, and that depression would lead to a crash in oil prices. That sounds like nonsense to me. More likely, high prices in oil would lead to a wide-scale slowing in growth as the world adjusts to a less oil-dependent economy. Prices for oil wouldn't crash, demand would level out and go down gradually. Basically if we could come up with an alternative power source that cost X dollars for an equivalent amount of energy to a barrel of oil, that would set the price of oil to be X with only slight variation. Unfortunately, that's all still rather long term, and in the short term there could be a little dip. One possible investment here is in the new energy technology sector. Fuel cell companies' stocks have already skyrocketed, and will probably keep going up (certainly if anything actually ever goes into production they'll go up, but I'm pesimistic). I have more faith in new technologies like better refineries, tar oil extraction, propane/methane conversion, etc.
Second, real estate. In general, real estate is a good investment, not because it outperforms stocks in general (it doesn't) but because the tax breaks in US Law make it ridiculously favorable as an equity investment. We are currently in a big spike. Whether it's a bubble or not, or when exactly it will pop, is unclear. It will correct at some point, markets always do, and home values will come down. The particularly scary thing about this is how much of the US economy is in real estate, and how much of consumer spending is coming from home refinances, etc. A banker friend of mine recently told me about the rise of "NegAm" loans; I was like wtf is negam? "neg am" is short for "negative amortization" which means you have a mortgage where each month you pay off less than the interest, so that some amount of the interest accrues onto the principle each month. That's okay as long as the value of the property is going up faster than the principle accrues, but if the market crashes, it's an absolute disaster. It allows people to buy very expensive property and pay low monthly rates, but if you have to sell, you can take a huge loss. I can't really think of a good way to make money on the market crash, the best I've come up with is just to wait with cash and buy when it's cheap.
Together the oil & real estate markets make me very afraid of the US economy, not in a gloom and doom sense, but just in a maximize my returns over the next 5 years sense. I think offshore investments look good, though places like China will also be very badly hurt if oil gets expensive and the US consumers stop buying.
One thing I'm trying to do now is avoid playing hands early in the tournament. I just can't play well until I get a read on the opposition. Frequently I'll lose big pots early where I'm doing something like betting top pair, then the guy moves in on me. I don't have a read, so I have to fold. Playing the same pot later I should have a read if the guy's tight, bluffing, etc. and have a better idea of whether a fold is warranted or not. I like to just watch for a while. This sets you up with a very tight image initially, so once you start playing more it's good to kick into high agressive gear and steal a bunch of pots. Unfortunately, I'm giving up a lot of value doing this. The first few hands of tournaments online are usually where the absolute donkey gives away his whole stack with some nonsense hand, and it's great if you can be the one who takes those chips, but it might involve calling with AT when he was A5 or something, which is hard for me to risk that early without a solid read. Most often it seems the early part of the tournament is when the really bad donkeys give away their stacks to the moderate donkeys. Then comes the slow grind phase where the better players take the chips off the big stack moderate donkeys (who are usually loose/aggresive).
In other news, my cell phone is out of commission, so if you're trying to reach me, you have to use my home line. In any case I probably won't get up to answer it since walking is very painful and contra-indicated for treatment.
We camped at Botcher's Gap which is up the lovely Palo Colorado road, right in a saddle between two peaks, on the edge of a steep cliff. We hiked down to Pico Blanco trail camp, and you pass through the Pico Blanco boy scout camp, which is just amazing, right on the Little Sur River and with incredible faccilities, lots of nice wood bridges over the river, etc.
A little while ago a baby black bear came to my house. I live on the side of a hill next to wild land, but I had no idea there were black bears on this hill. This area used to be plein d'ours back before white men settled it, but now the habit is mostly gone (hence the town of Los Osos, btw). The little bear wandered over while I was potting some basil plants. He came right up to me. I tried to scare him to get him to go back up the hill, but he was very relazed. He sniffed around the house and pawed at the windows a bit. He then wandered down my driveway and I was worried he was going to wander into town, so I called animal control. They came out but couldn't find him. They said if they found him they'd tranquilize him and take him somewhere more wild to roam. He was filthy dirty and very cute, kind of like a cat. I could have easily touched him, but I was worried about messing him up, I don't know if his mother wouldn't take him back if he smell of human on him or anything like that.
Played some poker with Drew on Party using the great Yahoo Messenger - a free voice chat service on the net that's super easy to install and use, especially if you're already registered on Yahoo.
The hold-outs in football have become ridiculous. It would be very easy to fix. First of all, when someone enters the draft, they agree to play for whatever team drafts them (none of this Eli Manning nonsense). Also, players who enter the draft must report to camp & play. If the player cannot reach an agreement with the team, they must play for a preset pay scale on a year one contract. That pay scale would be set based on average NFL pay and would be scaled by the position in the draft, so eg. 1st pick might be 1 million a year, 2nd pick $900k, etc. Veterans that are signed normally must honor their contracts, eg. they must play and report to camp if they are able. If a player refuses to honor their contract, they receive no pay for that year AND cannot sign with another team unless the team they are signed with releases them or trades them. This is not "slavery" or any such nonsense that the players union would claim, it's simple reasonable business - when you sign an employment contract to deliver a service, you have to honor it, it should be the rule of the league.
From the Board of Time Warner to all investors who lost money in the AOL takeover,
Yes, we're so sorry this happened. We're sorry that you investors grossly over-valued AOL, pushing up their stock and giving them a large enough market cap to buy us out. We're sorry that you thought all those internet companies were going to be grossly profitable, when in fact you were horribly wrong. We're sorry you got on the internet stock band-wagon without having any clue what the "internet" even was. We're sorry you made a fortune on the stock bubble and now you're crying because you want stocks to just always go up. We're sorry you institutional investors spread lies and propaganda to falsely inflate the internet stocks so you could make more profit on IPO's and trades. Yes, we're so sorry this happened.
So, here's the toy situation I'll analyze : you are in the big blind for 1 chip every hand. You both have stacks S (really what matters here is the stack to big blind ratio; I make the BB just be 1 chip here so that the stack to big blind ratio is S). He's going all-in with the best F fraction of hands and folding the rest. You can either call or fold. How much should you call to maximize your EV ?
If you fold, your ev is -1. If you call, your chance of winning is P(C) where C is the fraction of hands you're calling with. In that case your ev is 2*S*P(C) - S . Overall, your EV is :
EV = C * [ 2*S*P(C) - S ] + (1-C) * (-1) EV = C*2*S*P(C) - S*C - 1 + CThe problem is to choose C to maximize this. The tricky thing is that P(C) is complex and nonlinear. We do know C is less than F, you'll be calling with better hands than him.
If we were on the river, it would be easy because the better hand just wins. In that case, P(C) is just
P(C) = (C/F) * .5 + ((F-C)/F) * 1 = (F - .5C) / F = 1 - C/2F EV = C*2*S*(1 - C/2F) - CS - 1 + C EV = 2CS - C^2*S/F - CS - 1 + C = C*(S+1) - C^2*S/F - 1 maximize : S+1 - 2CS/F = 0 C = F*(S+1)/2SSo, you're calling with a fraction proportional to his, but reduced by (S+1)/2S. If S is large (eg. the stacks are much bigger than the blinds), you're calling with 50% of the hands he calls with. If the stacks are very small, eg. as S goes close to 1, you should call with roughly the same hands he's going all-in with.
But that's wrong because it's preflop and the winning hands aren't that simple. However, it is almost that simple. All we have to look at is the region where you have a hand in the best fraction C and he has a hand in the next best fraction (F-C). In this case, you're almost certainly around 65% to win on average; we'll just call it 2/3 and see what we get. For the cases where you're playing hands in the same region, you might be an 80% favorite or a 30% dog, but it all averages out to 50/50 since you're playing the same range of hands.
P(C) = (C/F) * .5 + ((F-C)/F) * (2/3) = (3C + 4F - 4C)/6F = (4F - C)/6F = 2/3 - C/6F EV = 2CS*(2/3 - C/6F) - CS - 1 + C EV = 4/3*CS - C^2*S/3F - CS - 1 + C = CS/3 + C - C^2*S/3F - 1 = C*(S/3+1) - C^2*S/3F - 1 maximize : (S/3+1) - 2C*S/3F = 0 (S/3+1) = 2C*S/3F 3F*(S/3+1)/2S = C F*(S+3)/2S = CVery similar to before, but you have to call with more hands. Note that this is wrong when S is very small because we assumed C <= F, which would break down as S gets close to 1.
Now, what are the hands like in practice here? Let's consider a typical scenario. Say S is 10, and F is 1/4 , he's going all-in with the best 1/4 of hands. What should you call with? C = F*13/20 = 16.25% of hands. What are these hands exactly? Well, the best 1/4 of hands is all the hands like K9s or KTo or QJ or better (all pairs, of course, and any ace). The best 16.25% of hands is A5s and A8o or better, and KJ or better.
Let's check our approximation; if you're playing a hand in the good region C and he's playing a hand in the region F-C , you're on something like A5s or better and he's on something like K9 or KT. If you actually had A5, you'd be a 60/40 favorite; if you have a low pair, it's almost 50/50 , but you could also be on KJ,KQ,AK, etc. that dominate him 80/20. So, the 2/3 guess looks good.
In a tournament you have to worry about your stack bleeding down each time you fold. In that case you can't just look at the EV of each hand, because if you wait too long your stack is smaller to double up with. However, Sklansky has shown that this is a very small factor unless you are just about to pay your blind and the blinds are very large compared to your stack. In that case we can look at - what if he's going all-in with 50% of hands, and S is a mere 4 big blinds. In that case C = 7/8 * .5 = 43.7 % of hands. What are these hands? The top 50% of hands starts around J5s, Qxs or Q4o or J8o. The top 43.7% is only a little better, J7s, Q4s, Q7o, J8o and better. Note that this is different than the famous "computer hand" Q7, which is 50/50 against a random hand. We're not talking about win percentage, we're talking about the fraction of hands when ranked in order of best to worst.
Let's consider a very specific situation for concreteness. Suppose it's heads up. You have two low cards, and just imagine you know he has two high cards, so you win about 32% of the time (we'll just say 33.33% , 1/3 of the time). Before the hand started you had A chips and he had B chips. Let's say you had the big stack. Your chance of winning the tournament is roughly A/(A+B). Your goal is to win. Let's say you raised some amount R (R < A and B) and he went over the top. If you call and lose, you'll have (A-B) chips and your chance of winning is now (A-B)/(A+B). So, overall if you call, your chance of winning is :
(1/3) * 1 + (2/3) * (A-B)/(A+B) = ((1/3) * (A+B) + (2/3) * (A-B))/(A+B) = (A - B/3)/(A+B)If you fold your chance of winning is (A-R)/(A+B)
So, we can easily see the correct thing to compare here is B/3 vs. R ; if B/3 is less than R , you have to call because it's worth the price to try to knock him out immediately. Note that this is rather different than a normal pot odds computation. Many people incorrectly think in terms of pot odds in tournaments, but it generally works out exactly the same way, since chance of winning is mostly related to your chip percentage, so winning chips (ala pot odds) give you chance of winning, which is what you really want.
Let's do an example for concreteness. Say the blind is 1000 so you raise to R = 3000 , 3X the BB as usual. He has 10,000 chips and goes all-in. You have 20,000 chips. Should you call? Well, it's actually very close. B/3 is 3,333 , so it's a bit too much, and you should fold.
More generally if you estimate a chance of winning the hand P, you should call if B*(1-2*P) < R . So, for example if you had a hand that was 60/40 (like a middle straddle hand, like JT when he has A3) , you'd compute B*(1-2*P) = B*(.2) = 2,000 and you should call.
How much do you have to cycle to be a pro? Maybe 400 miles a week, 50 weeks a year = 20,000 miles a year , over 5 years = 100,000 miles. Putting miles into your legs is like ticking up a biological odometer towards being able to take the pain of being a pro.
The first hand I get in cheap from a blind with 78s. I hit bottom pair and the flush draw. This is a big hand, but somehow I have a feeling he hit one of the higher cards and I'm currently behind. It's possible I could just move in on the flop here and win the pot, and if not have a good draw. That's an okay move, but I still have a good amount of chips compared to the pot size, about 10X the pot size at this point, so moving in would be a major overbet. BTW against a higher pair I'm about 57% to win here. I check the flop and he bets the minimum. I'm pretty sure if I raise here he'll call, and I'm behind at the moment, so I just call. The turn misses me, I check and call again, a minimum bet. The river misses me. I check and he minimum bets again. Now, I'm pretty sure I'm beat, but the pot is so big compared to the bet size, I have to call in case he just had overcards the whole way. I call and my read was right, he had a top pair with bad kicker.
The next hand I again get in cheap with K6s against the big stack. I flop a flush draw. I check. If he checks, great, free card, if he bets I plan to move in. Indeed he does bet the minimum and I move in. He thinks a minute and calls with middle pair. I have a flush draw + overcard, I'm about 45% to win, I miss and I'm out of the tournament. The difference here was that because I'd lost the last pot, my stack was small compared to the pot; at the point where I moved in my remaining stack was only about equal to the pot size, so I'm getting good odds from the pot, and if I just call his bet and miss the flush, my stack is too short to have much chance of winning the tourney. It's possible I made a mistake here in that I should have just moved in right away on the flop, it may have made it easier for him to fold.
For that matter, I don't understand our own Civil War at all. Why does the North care so much about the South breaking off? And how can you force someone to stay? I mean, after the Civil War was supposedly over, the Southern states could just still do whatever they wanted and not pay federal taxes; what are you going to do, occupy them like a conqueror? Lock up every civilian? And how is killing 300,000 people and burning down their cities a way of showing you want them in your country?
"Northwest" beers at TJ's are actually made by "Hale's Ales" in Seattle, a very good brewery. The Amber is lovely. Our local brewery SLO Brew also makes something for TJ on another label, but I haven't found it yet. SLO Brew recently sold out to some corporate brewery that's going to take the brewing operation national (don't get excited, it's nothing special).
Perugina dark chocolate with almonds has the perfect proportion of chocolate and nuts. Many brands have better chocolate, and Villar's (for example) has better chocolate & nuts, but the ratio is crucial. In the Perugina, the chocolate is the star, and the nuts are a nice highlight to keep you from getting bored.
St. Peter's beers are fantastic, rich, smooth, balanced. They are, however, too expensive, much of which I blame on the bottles, which while being very attractive and pleasantly heavy, are an awful waste of money.
An energy bill that does almost nothing to help our oil problems. One thing it does is open up valuable wilderness to exploitation for trivial amounts of oil & coal. Mainly it's full of subsidies for private business. Provides no significant money to realistic ways of reducing energy use (like getting rid of the exemptions for large trucks), but lots of money for pointless endeavors like the ridiculous fuel cells.
A highway bill that's just business as usual - lots of harmful pork projects. Highway money in general is part of a massive government project to destroy public transportation and cities in general.
An extension of the Patriot Act , passed in haste, eroding civil liberties and procedures that we've established over centuries to protect our citizens from the intrusions of government. Note that Patriot does little to address the actual problems that led to the failure to prevent 9/11 or likely terrorism in the future , it mainly establishes rules for harassing citizens and immigrants.
Passed CAFTA, which is a rotten disingenuous followup to NAFTA. Anyone who talks about "free trade" and opening markets is flat out lying. All of the nations in CAFTA were already in the free trade area of the Americas. CAFTA does nothing towards real free trade, such as balancing working conditions and environmental laws between the trading partners, or eliminating the immoral export subsidies for American agribusiness. What CAFTA really does is take down important industry protections in many other countries, and set up the rules, as in NAFTA, which favor business interests over the rights of human beings. CAFTA and NAFTA both establish a higher body wherein democratically enacted laws are trumped by the profits of private business.
Good job, boys.
The new "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is very disappointing. I miss Gene Wilder and his loony mix of straight, creepy, and comical. Depp is far more of a one-tone performance, though he's one of the high points of the movie. The Buckets are wonderful; I love the Bucket's part of the movie : the set (physical objects!), the costumes, the actors. The Chocolate Factory is revolting. It's entirely composed of really rotten CG. Not only is it obvious fake CG, the shaders look like grade-school Renderman, the designs are uninspired, the animation is jerky and unphysical (the worst moment is Violet's tumbling routine; it's on the rotten par of the Incredible Hulk and Spider Man), and the machines are just ludicrous in a non-interesting way. Elfman generally writes great scores, but his Oompa-Loompa songs are way out of his area of expertise, very disappointing popcorn (I know the lyrics are Dahl's ; I'm talking about the music ; btw the lyrics stink too).
BTW it's a ridiculous failure of marketting/productizing that I can't buy a Wonka Bar right now. It's such an obvious tie-in, and it has lasting value as a brand. Hershey's or someone could sell a Wonka Bar for a premium price and get a lot of nostalgia/pop customers. Actually it seems Nestle is selling a "Wonka Bar" , introduced in 1998. There's a full Wonka Candy web site, complete with a bunch of god-awful branded web games like my compatriots produce.
[addendum : Shawn of course correctly points out that the British actually did do many similar things in Ireland, things that should have been reported as attrocities but were glossed over because they're our allies. Don't you wish I had proper comment posting here? nya nya]
Went to LA and hiked to the Bridge to Nowhere (also at localhikes.com ). It's blazing hot up in the mountains, but the stream here is lovely, great swimming holes. A bit too much foot traffic to get naked, but nice boulders to jump into the water from. There's a company that does Bungee jumping from the bridge.
Zephyr in Pasadena is a lovely cafe in an old bungalo-style house (as is common in Pas).
Fuller's London's Pride Pale Ale has a lot of flavor without beeing sickening like many upscale brews; it's similar to Bass or Full Sail, smooth, malty, a bit creamy.
Now, this has revealed all sorts of insanity in our world. First of all, we are confronted yet at again with the mainstream public's complete lack of knowledge of even the most basic concepts of computers. Many pundits speak of their kids seeing the nudity on the PS2. Yeah, good luck with that. There seems to be a complete lack of understanding of even "programs" and "files". Hell, if you have to download and install Hot Coffee to see the nudity, you could just download porn. Computers + Internet = Porn ; let me tell you something Hillary, if your kids are able to run Hot Coffee, they've probably seen much worse, like videos of ass milk, tub girl, hot carls and so on.
The other insane thing is - this is fucking Grand Theft Auto. This is the game where you are encouraged to have sex with hookers then kill them and take your money back. You're worried about someone being exposed to sexual scenes in Grand Theft Auto? And the ratings board - GTA gets an M ? But add some sex and it's Adult only? Okay, beating up people and running them over and shooting them, that's fine for kids, but a little nudity, that might corrupt them. Silly puritan Americans, making the children all messed up sexually. This sort of parenting leads directly to things like Girls Gone Wild - it makes boys that want to watch GGW because the sight of boobies is so taboo, and girls that want to be in GGW.
Two sports tips. For those who are totally incompetent at sports, like I am.
1) On bicycle sprinting : when sprinting on a road bicycle, you want to be down in the drops, but remember that you are actually pulling yourself down into your bicycle, not holding yourself up; you should be almost lifting the front wheel off the ground. The key to fast bicycle sprinting is the up-turn portion of the pedal cycle; beginners try to just push down fast as each foot comes through the falling portion of the cycle. The key is to pull fast through the whole cycle, and the hardest part of that is the up-turns; each leg should be pulling as fast as possible up through that part of the cycle and down the front.
2) on basketball shooting : remember that accuracy is in the fingers. Of course most of the propulsion of the projectile (the ball) comes from your legs, shoulder and elbow, big muscled flexing. The problem is those muscles will never be very accurate, and they don't need to be. The fingers provide last second corrections that make up for errors in the big muscles. You can't do this consciously, it has to be learned as a muscle reflex, but you can make sure you set yourself up to learn it by making sure that you do use some finger push in the shot; that way the fingers have a chance to apply more or less power to correct the arm.
Anyhoo, the word is that a "dryer sheet" (like Bounce) is a great anti-funny-sheet smell agent. Just put it in the drawer with the sheets. Personally I hate all household perfumes and scents, so if I can use an unscented hypoallergenic dryer sheet for this, that would be dandy. Testimonials, for example, at snopes .
While browsing I found this awesome site on how to maintain your home to keep away old-person smell . Lots of funny bits here such as - "Remember, just because you're not active every day doesn't mean you don't need to shower".
One week of tournaments, playing a few hours a day, and I've made a lot of places in the money, but no 1st places, with lots of bad beats knocking me out on the bubble. Up $150 for the week. I'd be making a lot more playing cash games, limit games in particular, but I'm enjoying the tourneys because I feel like I've really had an epiphany and my tournament play has improved greatly.
Last tourney I had a sweet read on this guy "stanaseck" and never got to use it. Any time he was in the blinds and the board came low, he would bet pot-size if he had nothing, and check if he had something. Basically he was representing hitting some low junk from the blinds when other people who limped presumably had nothing. I watched him take down pots like this many times, and never got the chance to use it against him.
Almost everyone in these games has the wrong idea of what hands are good all-in hands, what hands are good raising hands, and what hands are good calling hands. Unfortunately, I almost never get to take advantage of it.
One thing I've been mulling in the back of my head is this : when I'm making late position raises, I'm raising with both good hands and mediocre hands. With mediocre hands, I really want folds. With very good hands, I'd really like them to play back at me. At the moment I'm basically making the same raise with all hands. Ideally, if I could, I'd like to bet in a way that encourages them to fold when I have weak hands, and play back when I have my best hands. The question is how exactly. One option might be to over-raise with the better hands that I want to get all-in with. Some bad players see an over-raise and think it's suspicious and decide to play back at it. Good players will see the over-raise as just over-committing and rightly fold all but their best hands. Sometimes under-raising with the best hands will make people think you're weak and they'll come over the top, but that also might temp them to just call, which is okay but it's a loss of value. Think for a second about what tempts you to come over the top and let me know.
Sometimes I start to think I have a weakness, which would be that I can be moved off a pot if someone puts me all-in, or bets most of my chips at me. Then I remember the principles of poker. Yes, I can be moved off those pots, but the guy is risking a lot of value to get that pot, and if I just have the hand to call once out of every few times, I get the most value in the end. The problem with this is that in tourneys with fast structures, you don't always get the time to pay back that balance. Especially in tourneys where people get moved around, you may not spend a lot of time together to learn that someone likes to move in without much. What that means is that a move in can be very effective early before people pick it up. By the time they recognize the pattern, it may be too late.
For example, consider a tournament with 100/200 blinds. You're on a good stack of around 6000. You open late for a raise of 500. The BB calls. The pot is now 1100 and your stack is 5500. The flop comes with you having top pair and draws possible. The BB checks. You need to bet to make draws wrong, but if you bet pot size, it's a huge piece of your stack. If he comes over the top, you're almost pot-stuck since he could make that move with just a draw. Because of this, late in tourneys, you have to bet less than you'd like, which makes draws a bit cheaper, which makes the outcome more random.
I spent most of the end of the tourney playing really weak, which I hate. The problem was the top 5 places paid, and I had around the 5th biggest stack. There were 3-4 other stacks, all very short. So, I couldn't really take any risks, if I just fold the short stacks go out, and I get into the money, then I can play. The problem was the short stacks kept not going out. For several rounds there were 3 short stacks with less than the big blind, but they kept doubling up and then bleeding down again, while in the mean time my chips were bleeding because the big stacks would attack my blinds, and I couldn't tangle with them because I needed to wait for the short stacks to go out. I never got a good hand in that time either that I would be willing to risk against a big stack or call a short stack to take them out. Eventually my strategy paid off and the short stacks were knocked out, but by that time I was down to a pretty short stack myself, just 2X the BB, and I had to risk my life with the 22.
There was one deciding hand for me that I don't like my play in. I was the big stack and tangled with the 2nd biggest stack. The BB was 400 ; he made the minimum raise from UTG to 800 on a pretty full table. Folds around to me in the BB. I had Q7s. I call the minimum raise, so the pot is now 1800. The board comes JT9 , so I have a straight draw. Now, what is he minimum raising with? I figure it's quite likely he hit a jack or ten, so I don't want to semi-bluff here. He might have two overs, or he might have a PP under the board, in which case he would fold. I check. He bets 700, which is less than half the pot. The small bet is a little suspicious. I decide to call. The turn is a 7. Now I have 7's with the straight draw. Assuming I'm against AJ or something like that, I'm about 30% to win. I check, he goes all-in. I fold. I'm not quite sure what I might have done differently here, maybe I should have raised him all-in on the flop after he bet, but maybe not. Anyway, it was a lot of my stack, 1500 chips from a 6000 chip stack, and put me on the defensive for the rest of the game.
If you stop and think for a second that the supreme court is one of the highest positions in the land, it should have the best & brightest people in the US, and then look at the justices we have - Souter? Thomas? Scalia? are these really the best constitutional legal minds out there? The most admirable people?
The promised followup on Negreanu's style - Daniel likes to limp with lots of hands, good and bad, to see cheap flops. I love this style, because it means you don't commit a lot of your stack until you see a flop and can really know where you're at (Hold'em is all about the flop). The reason I don't play this style in PartyPoker tournaments is that 1) people don't defend the blinds enough, so you just get so much value from steals you have to be raising, and 2) people play so badly preflop that you need to get chips in to take advantage. For example, people will call raises with hands like A5 and JT. Even though I'm raising with a lot of hands, calling with weak aces in full tables is just a ridiculous mistake - you can only win a small pot or lose a big pot. A suprising lot of people will call with hands like J5s.
I'm out of another tourney, with my AQ beat by A7. I was down to a pretty low stack at that point. In these party poker tourneys, the blinds rise so fast that even if your stack is around average, it becomes very small compared to the blinds very fast. I had the big stack briefly in the tournament, but then lost a bunch of races against short stacks. A typical example goes like this :
Raise from the cut-off with 22 to 3x the BB. I hate 22, but basically this is a pure steal, everyone behind me is a pretty short stack. The BB is 100, I made it 300. On the button, a short-stack goes all-in, he has 850 chips. The blinds fold and it's back to me. It's 550 to call, there's 1300 in the pot already, I'm getting more than 2:1. Again, I hate 22, and if it was a bigger raise I'd fold, but here I have to call, most likely I'm in a race getting great odds. He shows AK, a race as expected, and he wins the race. This is exactly the kind of way I want to play a big stack against short stacks - putting pressure on them to fold, and then if I get caught stealing, I don't have to always just fold, I can call when I have a decent hand getting a good price because their stacks are so short.
I find the recent London & Egyptian bombings terrifying. Much more so than 9/11. To me, 9/11 was sort of surreal, too extreme - unlikely to happen again. I've always thought all the increases in air security were foolish, obviously just for show to make people feel better, not any real help to our overall security. It's unlikely that attackers would use that same approach again. Furthermore, attacks like 9/11 are inherently easy to detect and thwart, because they require lots of preparation and communication which we can easily catch (as we had caught warning before 9/11). On the other hand, small-scale bombings like those in Iraq, London, Egypt - those are very hard to detect because they're localized operations, and they can be done anywhere anytime.
Now, there are three interesting ways to compute ARP. The first is the "experimental" way (I need a better word here). It's just (Runs + RBIs)/(Plate Appearances) . This is a useful number, but it's highly affected by the batters ahead of you and behind you; eg. if the guy ahead of you is great at getting on base and the guy behind you is great at knocking in runs, that can give you a very high ARP even though you're not a great player. The second is the purely statistical way. This model is less dependent on the exact team & batting order. The inputs to the equation are the home run percent, triple percent, walks, etc. and the rest of the figures (like chance of scoring a run if you're on second base) come from the league-wide averages. This gives you a more absolute ARP that doesn't change much if a player changes teams, etc. (it doesn't change any more than batting average does). The final way to compute ARP is situational. For example, to see how a player will do on your team, you use the figures for your team. To see how a player might work in each spot in the order, you use the figures for that spot in the order.
In fact, this is a nice way to optimize your batting order. Simply try all permutations of players and chose the one that maximizes the team's total ARP.
The following hand came up : I had 88 , and another big stack was in the big blind. It folds to me, and I made it 500 to go (the big blind is 200). Folds to the big blind, who calls. Our stacks are both around 6000, so the blinds are big enough that 88 is a pretty good hand. Early in the tourney I would look at 88 as a hand drawing to a set, but here I have to play 88 pretty strong or I'm giving up too much value. The flop come 55J. That's a pretty good flop for me, since the most likely hand for him to call with is some kind of high cards, though in the Bayesian sense he has only a small skew towards better hands, since he'll call preflop with lots of hands, only folding the very worst hands like 72, etc. He bets out 500. That's a bit less than half the pot. If he has a 5 or J, I'm beat, if he has a higher PP, I'm beat. But, he could also have a lower PP, or just high cards, or almost any two cards, since he'll suspect me for a steal and not believe I have anything. Now, I could just call here, but I decide to see where I'm at, since I think it's likely I have the best hand. I raise to 1500. He quickly moves all-in. The all-in is a bit suspicious, since if he had a monster hand here, like a 5, I'd think he'd milk it a bit more. It's quite possible he has nothing or something like AK or AQ. I decide I can't call off all my chips here, so I fold, and my stack is down to 4000.
I just haven't quite found the balance of playing strong against the other big stacks, but not risking too much. If I was a pro, I'd be able to use their fear of tangling with me, instead I'm being exploited for my fear of tangling with them.
Another odd hand came up in a different tourney. Assume the same chip stacks as the previous story. I had some junk like T7o , but I was in the cutoff, so I made it 500 to go, as I often will to make a steal. The big blind calls. The flop came with some junk like 954, totally missing me. He bet out the minimum bet, 200. Now, that's an oddly small bet into an 1100 pot. This guy has been making the minimum bet often, and I have yet to see what he's doing it with, because people keep folding when he does it. On Party Poker, people who bet the minimum are usually either fish, people who don't know how to play No Limit, or pros who are exploiting the fact that morons will fold to the minimum bet. Now, I have nothing, but the minimum bet is fishy, I decide to try a bluff right here. I raise to 1200, making it 1000 more. He quickly calls. The turn comes some more junk, like a 2. He bets out the minimum again. Very fishy. Now, at this point I make a mistake; I should just call here, since I have a gut shot and he's giving me a good price to chase it. He must have some kind of hand that beats me. Still, I think he must have something weak that he can lay down, so I raised it to 1200 again. This time he moves all-in and I have to fold. I lost nearly half my stack on this hand. My play on the turn was surely a mistake, but the flop is trickier. If the blinds weren't so big and he wasn't a big stack, it would be much easier to make that bluff, but in this situation, it's so much of my stack to bluff that it makes me not want to risk it, which of course makes me weak.
Playing at the higher limits in poker is a whole different ball game. Suddenly you're playing against people who will pick up your patterns and moves and play back at you. They're also willing to take risks that pay off in the long run, because they have big bank-rolls and they're used to the ups & downs of poker and they can make the risky move (like moving all-in with nothing when they detect weakness) that's +EV but could knock them out. You really do feel like a fish with sharks swimming all around, and they make you want to just hide and play very tight/weak and try to catch big hands, which of course means they'll just steal all your chips.
Foreign Born's EP is totally radio-ready; it's like a mix of Interpol and U2. It's good head-bobbing driving music.
Innaway is eclectic and well executed, but lacking in impact or heart, I just find myself not drawn into it or wanting to listen to it.
"Superwolf" is still at the top of my rotation.
Fast playing is great (in tournaments; in cash games you're playing more straightforwardly for EV). In doubt, always play fast. That doesn't mean overbetting, it means not slowplaying. If you read my book I outline the cases where slowplaying is actually called for (when it's likely he won't call a bet now, but he's drawing to a hand that will call a bet and still be worse than your hand) and it's actually very rare. Fast playing increases your chance of winning the pot, though it may decrease your EV. The other great thing about fast playing is many opponents think you're pulling a move and they make bad counter-plays and wind up giving you a big pot.
Addendum : Kim points out an old bike messenger's trick : when the RD breaks like this, you can get home more easily by turning the limit screw (assuming you have a screwdriver or coin or something that can turn a flat-head screw) to put the chain in an easier gear, closer to the middle of the cassette.
1. Save your chips. Really. Especially in a big tournament with a lot of donkeys, you will have opportunities to get your chips in as a huge favorite, so don't push them in as a small favorite. For example, say you have AQ, you raise, someone comes over the top of you. You guess that averaged over all his hands he'll do this with (ala Bayesian poker), you're a 60-40 favorite. You're clearly getting odds to call. FOLD. Similarly, you flop a straight flush draw. A guy pushes all in, and you're pretty sure he's on top pair. You're actually a small favorite here. If he out-stacks you, FOLD. You'll have better chances to use your chips. Normal hand EV calculations hardly come into play in tournaments; the correct thing is to consider your EV in terms of real money places in the tournament, which is much more complex.
2. Be patient; fold crap hands. This is very similar to #1. "Crap hands" are, for example - medium pairs preflop (you should limp with them and try to make a set, but you don't want to get all-in with hands like TT), flush draws on the flop (again, you'll gladly take a free or cheap card to make a flush, but getting all-in with a flush draw is a major donkey move). You never EVER want to get all-in with only a 40% chance (or less) of staying in the tournament. You really only want to get all-in with an 80% of chance of staying in. To make it concrete - if you get all-in FOUR TIMES with an 80% shot of winning, you'll win all four 40% of the time, so you can get all-in four times in a row and have the same shot of staying in as if you get in just once with a crap hand like a flush draw with an overcard.
3. The stacks you play against are crucial. Even if the big stack is a fish and you'd love to get his chips, be scared of him. You only want to play pots with people who have smaller stacks, so you can get all-in if necessary. It gives you the possibility of bluffing if you feel you can take the pot from them, and you're not risking too much. Against bigger stacks, you're going to have to have a winning hand, so you only want to play hands you're very sure of winning (80% or better). Against comparable stacks, you can play pots, but you have to be very careful; you prefer to play a small pot against them without showing down.
4. Use your chips for raising, not calling. This is standard advice, but think about it in terms of #1 - you're conserving your chips like a resource in an RTS for when you can use them best. Let's say you have a hand like 89s. If someone raises before you, you fold. It's not good value to use your chips raising here. Let's say you can open from late position with 89s - good, come in for a raise. This sets you up in the position of aggressor and gives you much more value for your chips.
5. You really want to win small pots without show-downs. That gives you a 100% chance of winning. Any time you have to get in a race and show down hands, there's a chance of them drawing out on you and ruining your tournament. Be patient, build your stack slowly with steals. With hands like AA, you can get greedy and think you should double up. Yeah, that would be nice, but if you get all-in there's a 20% chance of getting knocked out (against a bigger stack; you'd love to get all-in against a smaller stack).
The principles of traffic keep like people apart. In theory, two vehicles going the same speed will never meet. In theoretical traffic analysis, we assume some density of vehicles, much like fluid or gas particles - a constant density over large scales, but randomly distributed on small scales, and we ignore the rare cases of two vehicles that start together. Two vehicles going 1 mph different (eg. one going 26 and one going 27) are 5 times less likely to meet than two vehicles going 5 mph different, (eg. 25 and 30 mph), becuse the relative flux is 5x less. What this means in practice is that you rarely see kindred spirits on the road - when biking I mainly pass old farts going real slow (the slower they go, the higher relative flux for me), and once in a rare while I'm passed by someone going blazing fast, but almost never do I pass or get passed by someone of comparable speed that I might tag along with.
As I bike down the road, I think of how all energy comes from the sun (except : the core, nuclear). My legs push my bike, burning energy from food, which came from animals which ate plants which used photosynthesis to get energy from the sun. The cars that pass me burn hydrocarbons that are the mass of old plants that got their energy from the sun. These are elaborate solar cells. Hydroelectric gets its energy from the sun when it evaporates water and lifts it up against gravity, which can then be tapped. The Earth's core is an exception; it can provide energy left over from the kinetic energy of the impacts and masses that formed the solar system. Nuclear energy (fission) is another exception; it's a way of tapping energy left over from the big bang, which formed those unstable high energy nuclear isotopes.
Let's consider going around 150 miles at 25 mph. You could do this with an efficient one or two cyclinder diesel on about 1 gallon of gas (it has to carry a human). That's 1.3*10^8 Joules, or 31071 kCals. To do the same on a bicycle, a human would have to consume around 3000 kCals of food energy (above normal resting food consumption) (a food "Calorie" is actually a kCal). So the human+bicycle is about 10X more efficient in terms of turning chemical energy into motion. Note that the gas is far more efficient in terms of volume of fuel and cost of fuel, but that's not the question. Also, I'm talking about semi-realistic vehicles and bikes here over slightly undulating terrain; ideal aero vehicles on flat ground could be more efficient in both cases, but the ratio would be same.
I heard that pro bicyclists riding hard produce a power of around 500 Watts, which is about 0.7 horsepower. That's around 500 kCals (food calories) an hour of output energy, so presumably you have to eat even more. good page on bike efficiency
"All or Nothing" is another sad, difficult Mike Leigh movie, with great performances, realistic dialog and writing, and really no reason to watch it.
Children who lie are rewarded for it. Parents don't want to punish if there's doubt about who did it, so if you ever do anything bad, just lie; you can stab your brother, then just lie and say he was coming at you and stabbed himself. Children learn early that if they ever tell the truth and admit doing something wrong or bad they get much more punishment.
I'm just going to talk about the river bet here. The river involves Ted Forrest and Daniel Negreanu. The board is ((664)A)6. Ted has AA for the AAA66 house, Daniel has AQ for the 666AA. The nuts is 6x for four of a kind. We're going to look at what Ted should do, so obviously Ted doesn't know Daniel's hand, but Daniel has shown a lot of strength both preflop and on the turn. Daniel checks the river and the action is on Ted. In real life, Ted checked to show it down and take the pot.
The first interesting thing to me here is that I believe Howard made the wrong analysis in this case. I love Howard and he's very smart, but he says that Ted makes a good check here, roughly because in Ted's view there's one 6 out there, which Daniel might have and would beat him, and there's just one Ace out there, which Daniel might have to give Ted a call. Howard says since there's one of each, they're equally likely, so the check is a good move.
The reason that's entirely wrong is because Daniel's not on random cards. Daniel called a raise preflop, so he's skewed the likelihood of what cards are in his hands. According to the principles of Bayesian Poker we need to look at the chance of Daniel calling preflop with the hands he might have. Now, his bet on the turn has already narrowed him down to very few hands : Ax, 6x, A6, or 44. What's the chance he'd call with each of these preflop? Well, with Ax, it's almost 100% chance he'd call (maybe he'd fold some lower aces, but we'll ignore that). With 44, we'll also assume he'll call preflop. With 6x, he'll fold many, if not all of them. Perhaps he'd call with Q6, K6 and A6. So, on the river, how many are there of each of these?
6x (including A6) = 9 hands
Ax (not including A6) = 43 hands
44 = 3 hands
total = 55 hands
So, Daniel only has 6x on the river 16.3% of the time. He has Ax 78.2% of the time. He has 44 just 5.5% of the time. Now, to do a proper analysis of what Ted should do here, we need to know the pot size and the chip stacks, which I don't recall exactly. Also, Ted has various bet size options and we'd have to make estimates of Daniel's behavior in each case. I'm just going to simplify and consider a simple case. Let's say Ted can either check or go all-in. If Ted goes all-in, Daniel will call with the 6x and the Ax and fold the 44. It's possible someone could fold with Ax here, but based on Ted's aggression and Daniel's looseness it seems likely Daniel will call with Ax. If Ted just checks, he wins the pot P 83.7% of the time and loses 16.3% of the time, so his EV is 0.837 * P . If he goes all-in for the amount A, the cases are : 0.163 * ( - A) + 0.782 * ( A + P ) + 0.055 * P = 0.619 * A + 0.837 * P . This is strictly greater than checking, and in fact it's quite a bit greater. Clearly the EV is much better to bet here. Now, it's possible you could say that Ted was being cautious and trying not to risk going out, which he would do 16.3% of the time. That, however, is an entirely ridiculous position to take, because it's equivalent to saying that you'd fold AA over 22 because you don't want that 20% chance of losing.
Now that I've made that strong conclusion, let me illustrate the complexity of poker and how you could down that result. In reality perhaps it's less clear cut, because Daniel is a little wild/loose , and maybe you can put him on more of the 6x hands preflop, but I don't think it changes the result very much. The only reason I can see Ted making this play is based on his history in Stud and other such games, where you have to put people on a slightly more random spread of starting hands. Personally, I would understand the check more if the opponent were someone like Gus with a Backgammon/probability background. We're getting into the fine details of the preflop play so I have to mention that John D'Agostino was all-in here. Now, someone who knows preflop odds well and thinks there's a good chance that he and Ted will check it down might actually call with hands like 56, 67, etc. and might also fold hands like Ace-low which are more likely to be dominated. That changes the whole spectrum of probabilities and makes Ted's check more reasonable. However, then you also need to get into the river check - how often is someone with 6x going to check that river after betting the turn?
So, John Juanda blew himself out, but Phil Ivey is now the chip leader, so he's in an awesome spot unless he blows it. The bet on a "Nguyen" to finish well has lost, but the bet on a "Phil" is in good shape.
Another little find on the net that shows just how pros can do so much better in tournaments than we shmucks :
Card Player has noticed that no one wants to play a pot with Phil Ivey. If you take a look at Phil's chip stack, he's got more small denomination chips than any player in the field. This might possibly come as a result of him picking up a large number of blinds and antes, due to Phil's consistent raising from late position, and not getting any callers. He's got nearly $700,000 in $1,000 chips.
The countdown is on for Matusow to blow his chip lead. I'll put money on him not even making the final table and making a big speech about how he's such a great player its ridiculous he didnt make it.
float alpha = log( 1.f + apy );
float cash = (burn / alpha) * (1.f - exp( - alpha * years ) );
where "burn" is burn rate per year and "apy" is the annual return percent after inflation and taxes.
Generally the thing about these figures is that going to more years doesn't require much more cash. 30 years needs 780k , 40 years needs 880k, 50 years needs 930k.
A funny thing is that a huge amount of America has enough money to retire in most of the world (eg. Mexico, but plenty of other places). If you have any real estate in America, you can probably get out for 100k or more, and go retire in a village somewhere. I guess the quality of life there isn't that great, but you don't have to work at all.
You can see Moneymaker and Varkonyi's preponderance of appearances in the poker top 10 bad beats , though you can't really trust a top 10 that's so wrong it doesn't even have 10 entries !! That's one of the basic things about a top ten, it's in the freaking name, there are only two aspects you have to have - they should be the top things and there should be ten of them!
I went out and tried to ride Old Creek today. It was hot, and I was on the rail, struggling just to make the minimum time; in the end I had to drop out of the Tour de Old Creek in order to live to fight another day.
I wish I had someone to tag-team with to play poker online. I can't play the big tournaments long enough to make the money; I can play well for 3-4 hours, and then I always get impatient and start to play badly, or get mildly unlucky. Today I played a tourney of 1200 players; I made it down to around #250 after hours of play. The blinds are getting big now, I have AJs and make a standard raise to 650 (BB is 200), a solid player comes over the top of me, enough to put me all in. The blinds fold, back to me, I called about 1500 more and he showed AQ, and it held up - I'm out. Probably I should have raised a bit less initially so I dont pot-committ myself, probably I should have folded to the reraise, because he's solid, the best I'll be is 50/50.
This article is a pretty good description of how a pro like Phil Ivey plays so well in tournaments.
"Thor Bless America" ; shows Thor with big hammer draped in American flag.
"Dont Tread on Shit" , shows 50's business guy in wing-tip shoe about to step in dog turd.
"Capitalist Pork" - pink piggy bank on green shirt.
Right now, the U.S. is the thousand pound gorilla - we set the terms of all the world trade agreements to our liking. Almost no one has any real power to fight us. In fact, whenever anyone does fight us even in tiny ways, it's big news because it's so rare (for example, recently at the meeting of the Association of American States, a coalition of South American states rejected some of the free trade rules we were pushing, and it made big news). If power equalizes - not even close to completely, but even just somewhat, so that a coalition of other states comes close to US power - we will be forced to play by the rules of the rest of the world. How would we like it if the world free trade agreements made us drop our agriculture subsidies? or our import tarrifs? or made us balance our budget? or revalue our dollar? or raise federal interest rates? Most Republicans and neocons would consider those sort of requirements from foreign nations to be ridiculous and insulting, and yet those are the kinds of things we impose on other countries all the time.
Many people have latched onto China as something to be afraid of. China is not the problem - India, Russia, Brazil, etc. will follow. The future is about the large multinational corporations. Already they are leaving the US for tax purposes and to avoid annoying laws about corruption and usury and such. Imagine when they are based overseas, most employees are overseas, and most of their sales are overseas. The world power centers will be Walmart, Citigroup, Exxon/Mobil, etc. not governments; government-based power will be diffused among the many nations of the world, while corporate power will be concentrated. The G8 will be the group of 8 multinational corporations, while the U.N. will become an even more ineffectual body of 200+ nations that are closer in power and unable to agree on anything.
The neocons recognized all this long ago; their policies are based on the idea of using current US dominance to secure long term prosperity. That in itself is not a horrible idea, but I don't agree with the idea that prosperity for the US is worth any cost - such as the lives of human beings - and I also don't agree with their methods, or their unspoken true agenda, which is prosperity for the rich & powerful, not for the average American.
I finally discovered "Curb Your Enthusiasm" for myself. It's a fantastic smart show; it's helping me get through life these days - it reminds of how humorous all the horrible stupidities of the world can be. After watching it, I find it very easy to walk around doing a Larry David impersonation all the time, which makes this ridiculous life easier.
One can also only hope that our ridiculous government won't find this to be new fuel for pushing all sorts of unrelated anti-libertarian agendas. This could make a nice smoke screen for them to install a super-conservative judge on the supreme court.
I had a silly thought the other day about why there seems to be a propensity for terrorism in Islamic cultures (the real answer is complex; for one thing, terrorism is common in other cultures, it's more associated with a poor populace that's oppressed and feels they have no alternative). Anyway - it's because they forbid alcohol. The disillusioned islamic youth who's angry about his brother's murder and dreams of the fifty virgins - if he could just get drunk every night, he wouldn't be motivated to blow things up. I've spoken with many half-crazy guys here in America that are furious about our government and talk of revolt, but then they drink some beers and get lazy and settle down again.
democratic/capitalist slavery - 1. the condition is which people are supposedly presented with a "choice", but are not offered viable alternatives, or are given alternatives so ghastly that they are forced into the decision which those in power want; 2. when people are given jobs, but at wages so low they can only afford the essentials of life and must continue to work constantly just to survive.
Many have pointed out that America has responded to competition before and come out on top. We simply have moved out of those industries and into more profitable ones. (aside : that's not really true, because we stay in totally unprofitable industries like agriculture, steel, sugar, etc. thanks to government subsidies). When we lost raw material jobs we moved into manufacturing. When we lost manufacturing we moved into IT. Now we're losing low-level IT and moving into management. That's all true, but you fail to recognize that this is a drastically different time. In those cases we were able to move up for a few reasons - 1) there was room at the top, 2) we had more expertise and education, 3) we had research pushing new industries, 4) we moved into fields that no one else could really compete in. All of those things are gone - American education is in the shitter, we're neglecting research while other countries have booming long term research, and most of all we have no more exclusive skills or monopolies on important businesses. In the short term we will be able to move into management and entertainment, but that's only the short term. There's nothing keeping those industries here, we have no special strength in them, and they will eventually move overseas. (probably Entertainment will stay an industry that we are strong in for longer than almost any other).
What should we do about it? One crucial thing is to invest in the long-term intellectual power of Americans. The good jobs of the future are all mental jobs; we need education, research, infrastructure - all of which should be the best in the world; we are still the richest country by far, and we should be using that current wealth to develop long term brains. A crucial thing here is that we have to do it for all Americans, not just the very rich. We need to reverse our shift to tax policy which is cutting services to the poor which putting money in the pockets of those that don't need it. Finally, we need to be smartly protectionist. We want a country where our workers live better than those in the 3rd world; to compensate that there should be import tarrifs and export subsidies that match. (before you cry democrat scum, the current Republican administration is part of a long line of governments that have applied massive tarrifs and subsidies; I would like to cut most of those which are politically driven, and try to see some sort of formula-based system based on the difference in cost of labor).
[...] In these days when the age of pulse was giving way to the age of tone. When the epoch of analog (which was to say also of the richness of language, of analogy) was giving way to the digital era, the final victory of the numerate over the literate. [...]
This little passage tweaked a nerve in my compound brain. I've been thinking for a while about the way people who know a little can write things that are beautiful, despite their horrible wrongness. Salman's analogy of the analog/digital change to the literate/numerate change is nice, but silly. A better analogy would be that analog is gradual, personal, soft, nuanced; digital is extreme - off or on, black and white like partisan politics, precise. Analog is full of lovely natural errors - just like humans, all different, all slightly flawed - digital has an unnatural perfection, every digital copy exactly the same. Now, Salman might know all this and not care; I find that knowing a lot, and never wanting to say anything that's just wrong, it makes it harder to write beautiful poetic things. There are a lot of lovely things you can say or write if you don't care about being right; most people who right about science + life are in this category. The thing that frustrates me most is that the person who's wrong is generally more interesting and more understandable by the general public, because of course his thought patterns are closer to their own.
(music) Did I mention "Superwolf" is the fucking bomb? It's a collaboration by the brilliant Bonnie Prince Billy (aka Will Oldham) and some other douche. Band names for individuals is the new hip thing (eg. Songs Ohia, Smog, etc.)
Anyway, what got me going on this very un-PC rant was Drew sending me this link - Tilly wins WSOP event . First of all, it's fucked up that they even have a women's event. It's comparable to having a "minorities only" event - this is an intellectual competition and excluding any people from any event is ridiculous. The thing that's even more ridiculous is how bad the women obviously suck. Anyone who knows poker knows that even the top female pros are not very good. There are a few that are decent, like Jennifer Harmon, but I suspect that a lot of their success comes because they are women, and the men who play with them are jackasses that either under-estimate them, or try to be sweet to them, etc. (don't get me wrong, I don't blame the women for that, it's the fault of the stupid men who play with them and don't treat them like an abstract opponent). Also for the record, it seems some of the top females didn't play in this event, partly because they agree with me and would rather play in the main field, and because it's a rather low buy-in event. In a way, even though I respect that, it's stupid, because this is a very soft tournament and it's easy money. Drew suggests we should do a modern version of "Soul Man" and dress up like girls and register for the tournament.
On a more general note, I've been thinking about this lately in the context of steroids and Lance Armstrong and sports. So, people say it's not fair to use additives to enhance your performance, blah blah blah. But is it fair for Lance to have way over average heart size, higher red blood cell counts? If he's born with those advantages, how am I supposed to compete? Isn't it more fair if I can take some additives to acheive the same blood-ox level as him? With things like testosterone and growth hormone, some people have naturally high levels, and that gives them a huge advantage - why can't I take suplements to match them? Why is it morally better for them to have these chemicals produced by their body, rather than injected? What if I can east foods or something which triggers my body to produce more testosterone, is that cheating? I think it's a mushy topic, and I suppose you have to draw the line somewhere, but I think it's sort of a strange line. For one thing, if we ban unnatural supplements, what exactly are we celebrating in our athletes? Why is a great athlete a hero? Sure, they worked hard, but many lesser athletes worked harder and couldn't reach that pinnacle. Basically they were born with lucky genes, they're a physical freak with a great functioning body.
I've been thinking how easy it would be to be Lance. Yeah, yeah, he trains hard, but that's so easy. When you know you can win - when all you have to do is put in the work and you know you'll be successful, that's cake! The hard thing is what all of us suckers have to suffer through every day - putting in work, for what? Probably it will lead to no success of any kind. If someone told me - if you practice basketball 8 hours a day every day, you can be in the NBA next year, I'd say "awesome!" and get right to it.
There are some fictions we know to be untrue, which however we live by anyway, because we are better for it. One of them is the idea that all humans are "equal" - by any definition of equal, this is clearly not true, and yet going down the path of defining some people as less valuable is so unacceptable that it is wise to live by this fiction.
I once heard a stem cell scientist give an example of a nice thought experiment. The hard-core political Christian right says that an embryo is a life just like a human being. The scientist said that he disproved this to himself very simply - imagine his research lab is on fire, you only have a few seconds before the building collapses. There's a woman inside trapped under a beam. There's also a freezer with 100 embryos in it. Do you save the woman, or the freezer? There's only time to save one or the other, and the other one will burn or whatever. If your answer is the woman, clearly you've decided a living human is different, more valuable, than an embryo. In fact, it's 100 times more valuable than an embryo.
How many embryos would have to be in the freezer before you save the freezer instead? 1000? A million? For me personally it doesn't matter how many embryos - I always would save the living woman instead. That means that I rate a living human an infinite ratio over embryos. In fact, it's a whole different scale. Human lives I rate at a value of near infinite dollar value. Embryos I put more on an earthly value. For example, if there was a billion dollars in cash in the same room, no woman, just the embryos and the cash, I would probably take the billion dollars cash. On the other hand, if it's cash & woman, I save the woman - near infinite value. Another funny thing comes out of this thought experiment. We average humans are incredibly judgemental of people that we know. If the woman is a total stranger, we know nothing about her - she has near infinite value. What if we know her? Maybe she cheated on her husband, neglected her children, stole from us. Okay, now we're considering maybe saving the billion dollars instead of her. Suddenly she's gone from infinite value to finite value - that's a huge change. What if she's a convicted child molestor; it's a man who's a rapist - now many people would let him die, certainly would save the embryos or cash instead.
It's also interesting that in this thought experiment, if you try to think of the cash value you would save instead of a life, it's a very very high value. On the other hand, faced every day with the choice of spending $1 to save a human life, just about everyone prefers to keep their one dollar. We're all sort of disgusting weak immoral criminal cowards. We say we value human life, but our every day actions kill for no good reason. For the pleasure of driving our car, we'll melt the glaciers on Kilimanjaro, which ruins the farm land on the mountain side, which leads to the deaths of thousands. We want to eat beef, but we don't want to face slaughtering the cow. I think I've gone on "tilt" now, I'm off my thread and my rocker.
It's these occasional ridiculously bad plays that provide the overlay. Anyone who's played poker knows that you don't make money by playing against people who are almost as good as you. If nothing else, the rake would kill your profit margin. You make your big profit from the really really bad players, the drunks, the tilters.
The depressing thing to me is that $100/day isn't even enough to live on.
Kim rightly points out that it's perhaps not so bad as I imply. As the whole world moves into the information age, the total product of the world economy will greatly increase, which will raise the the average standard of living far above the current level. The point remains that it will equalize. Also point (B) relies on the fact that the super-rich in America will retain an advantage over the rest of the world. Basically economic advantage is obtained by controlling things which the world needs which are not available to all. Historically everyone in America has benefitted from this - simply living in America, with good education, infrastructure, etc. gave everyone an advantage which gave us good quality of life. In the future only the super-rich will have this control - control of natural resources, markets, networks, cash, entertainment.
These have been circulating for a while - Lucas Brunelle's videos - bike messengers doing crazy shit racing through cities. Some pretty cool bike videos here too, mainly from Austin.
Where is the Wikitorial?
Unfortunately, we have had to remove this feature, at least temporarily, because a few readers were flooding the site with inappropriate material.
Thanks and apologies to the thousands of people who logged on in the right spirit.
Unfortunately, we have had to remove this feature, at least temporarily, because a few readers were flooding the site with inappropriate material.
Thanks and apologies to the thousands of people who logged on in the right spirit.
To quote Nelson - "Ha ha!"
That's just background. The ridiculous bit is this - meat packing companies and meat processors and ranchers are forbidden by law from improving the situation. It is illegal to do more testing of your beef than the USDA standard, even if you want your beef to be safer, it's illegal. It's certainly illegal to label your beef as being at any kind of higher safety standard. It is illegal to mark packages of beef with their places of origin and processing. You can mark it with a brand name which might imply a location, but in fact that "Harris Ranch" beef you buy could be grown in Mexico and processed at a major ConAgra plant. The point of all this is to prevent consumers from being able to make their own choice for safer beef. The reason that the government gives is that these labels could create a false fear that lower grade beef is not safe. Of course the real reason for these laws is to protect the profits of major agribusiness. The losers are the smaller agribusinesses and of course the American people. Many small ranches have gone out of business or totally changed their business, because they made super-premium beef primarily for export to other countries, and now they are not allowed to do the extra testing those countries demand, and are not allowed to label their product as having been tested to those higher standards.
E Coli in the US
Inspectors do nothing about unsanitary processing
USDA lets E Coli into the market
Brittish report on E Coli
BTW Tom rightly points out there are all sorts of other horrible things we do with beef - rbST (growth hormone), antibiotics, use of downers, feeding animals to animals, etc. etc. but that's not even so much the point. Personally I'd like to see most of that stuff banned, but if you want to be a Laissez Faire free market guy, you could say that it's okay if some producers use that stuff, but at least let me choose to buy beef that doesn't use that shit.
Frittata : I make a lot of frittatas these days because they're one of those great flexible things that you can do with whatever you have on hand, and they're quick and you only need one pan. Heat an oven-safe skillet with a little oil. Add chopped onion and raw chicken sausage; brown, scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the tasty brown bits up; add some very finely chopped potatos and cook until soft; add some chopped tomato and cook until softened; add some microwaved frozen spinach (microwave in a covered bowl until thawed and warm). Prepare eggs : roughly 6 eggs in a bowl, whisked well. Make sure you salt & pepper; I added fresh oregano from my yard. Sprinkle the mix with goat cheese (which will become soft gooey nuggets in the frittata), and pour the eggs over it all. Keep cooking on medium/low until it starts to set up (don't stir after you add the eggs). Place under the broiler a few inches down and cook until nicely brown on top, usually a few minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit. Slip a spatchula under it to loosen. Put a plate upside down on top of the pan and flip the pan over to get the whole frittata out. Cut in wedges like a pie. Sprinkle the top with fresh herbs (parsely and green onions are nice) and grated parmesan.
French Toast : The key to great french toast is to start with great bread. Many books tell you to use stale bread, though that's not really necessary. Do not use those horrible grocery store sliced breads, get a real loaf of bread. The best breads I've used are brioche and challah, though today I used a ciabatta and it was great. Cut some nice thick slices, about an inch thick. Prepare the custard : eggs & milk, with not too much milk, and more egg yolks than whole eggs; if you want to make it really rich, use half and half instead of milk. Add a teaspoon of vanilla and whisk. Soak the bread, spooning the custard over as appropriate. Use a small pan to soak them so the custard is deep. Soak at least 5 minutes on each side. Heat a pan with a little vegetable oil. Now here's the trick bit : take the slices out of the custard and sprinkle the side you're going to put down in the oil with granulated sugar. Fry at a low temperature so the middle will cook by the time it gets golden grown. Sprinkle the top with sugar before flipping. The sugar sprinkles will add a slight caramelized crust to the french toast. Remove to paper towels and pat dry to remove excess oil. Top with powdered sugar and caramelized apples (saute thinly sliced apples in hot butter and sugar until the butter and sugar start to brown). Tastes like a french apple tart or a Pain au Raisins with the sweet eggy custard gathered in the folds of the escargot of pastry. Chez Zee in Austin, TX has the best French Toast I've had at a restuarant. Brian says Greens in SF is good too.
Let's consider one other case - say you're in the big blind, very nearly all in (perhaps you have two big blinds left to call with; if you only had 1 big blind left, you have to call with any two cards), at a full table. Someone in early position makes a solid raise, and all else fold. It was a full table, so he probably has a pretty good hand, even though you are nearly all-in. What should you call with? Well, we see the answer above. Hands like K2 are bad calls, because it's likely you're dominated. Obviously you can call with any pair or very high cards; depending on his exact tightness, very high cards might by A9,KT,QJ or better - eg. hands that have a good chance of dominating, not too much fear of domination. The other hands you can call with are hands that are likely to have two live cards - especially low suited connectors, like 56s,67s,etc. (though suited is not a big factor, it's just a nice little bonus). Oddly this is a situation where you might lay down K9, but call with 89 or 79.
One more case - let's say you're playing No Limit against someone who's just way too tight preflop. If they come into a hand, you fold, because they're only playing super-premium hands. Now, they're making a mistake, so you can make money on that; their mistake is they fold their blind too often, so you need to be stealing it. So, in any good steal position, you want to bet at them. They will only call with very premium hands (pairs, A9 or better, etc), and raise with super-premium hands (JJ or AK or better). So, what hands should you raise with? Well, you can almost raise with any two cards, they're just folding way too much. You should fold some hands, and this is a very extreme case where *if they call* they're likely to have dominating hands, so you should fold hands like A2, K2. Hands like 56s are better. If they raise, you throw almost any hand away, so the only question is what do you want to have on the flop if they call. With weak high card hands you're too likely to be dominated, your best cards to steal with are low suited connectors. Note that this is a bit different because we're not talking about all-ins, but actually seeing the flop with chips to spare.
p.s. I think this Finals is the best in many years, perhaps the best since Jordan was in a finals. The Pistons and Spurs are my two favorite teams in the NBA, because they're balanced, they play team ball, not super star one on one, they play tough, they play defense, etc. it makes it fun to watch.
Another factor at play there was finding subordinated willing to screw themselves. This is common practice in management, and I was often subject to it in the video game industry. Basically, the manager has an answer they want to hear, but they want to make the subordinate suggest it so that they can then blame you and say you asked for it to be that way. In games this happens with schedules. There are many ways to do this, but in large teams, such as the Pentagon, one of the tricks is to find someone willing to accept your number and promote them, which also demotes the person who refused it. For example, a manager wants the primary team to add some feature; the lead says it'll take 10 days; the manager says, oh, I was thinking more like 5 days. If the lead stands firm at 10, the manager puts his feelers out under the table and finds a guy on the team who says he can do it in 5. If the lead still objects, the manager goes around him and gives the task straight to the guy who said 5. Very quickly, the lead learns that if he wants to keep power, he needs to agree with the manager or he'll be short-circuited. The same thing happens all the time in government - when an adviser is giving answers that the boss doesn't like, they're simply cut out of the picture, and someone saying the right thing is brought in. Then the boss can say "it's not my fault, it's what the advisers told me", though of course the boss created that truth.
This is sort of a sad reality about sex. I love all the rich sensations and pleasure of sex, but sadly, as soon as it's over, you can't really remember how it felt. You can remember what you did, you can remember if it was especially good or not, but you can't actually remember how it felt. Looking back on my sexual past, I can't really say when I had the best sex - I don't remember that at all. I remember exceptional events, physiological exceptional cases, unusual locations, things like that, but those were generally not the actual best times, and I can't remember at all how it felt.
More and more I'm learning to live my life for the memories. Filling your life in the present tense is a constant struggle - the "now" is constantly changing into the past, and you have to do yet another thing to fill the new "now". Soon you get tired and can't keep up the struggle of constantly finding something exciting and pleasant and new to fill each moment. On the other hand, if you do something that leaves you with a rich memory, it can fill many moments of your life for years to come.
The older rants are semi-regularly moved off this page. You can always read the old rants here if you're a masochist.
Charles Blooom [cb][at][cbloom][dot][com] Send Me Email
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