Tuesday, August 12, 2008

3 dumbasses

But who is the least dumbass.
See the flop...

Picture too good not to post for a baby blog

See the flop...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

C-List delists

This blog has assumed the same state as the Cowboys' season.

Feel free to delist.
See the flop...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Rock'em Sock'em

BabySox, born May 22, 2007, a day the Red Sox beat Yankees, and the year the Sox put to rest the sad Yankee fan taunt "it'll be another 86 years." Coincidence? I think not.

Oh, someone remember to send Mangina a thank you note for videogate--just the inspiration the Pats needed to get angry. Looking forward to Evil smashing up Mr. Class next week.

Please note small tweak to blogger template on right to accomodate the additional trophy.

And to save you time, yes I've seen this list (thanks Al). Eat your hearts out!
See the flop...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Stars tourney

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 9338874

See the flop...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

London Calling (a/k/a Fish Soup calls from the dead)

Am I still a blogger? Eh. Well here's a post, call me what you will--and I know what that means for quite a few of you!

I know Pauly used this post title first, but I'll take it from the public domain as I had already used it in a private e-mail to a blogger whose posts I've found unusually interesting as he maps to my poker-finance intersection of the universe an IMHO expresses considerable insight into both, Mr. Peter Birks. That and The Clash are universal.

By the way, if you have no interest at all in SoxLife but seek only poker content, skip the next bit.

I had meant to try and meet Peter at the end of this June when I had ran into London on a business trip but alas that involved flying the red-eye from JFK, going straight to the office the next morning from Heathrow, showering in the office gym facility, working to midnight (GMT), crashing at a crappy hotel (town was booked up due to Wimbledon and other frantic industry), rinse repeat on Tuesday, straight to the airport working on the phone until takeoff, an hour late, 8 pm GMT, flight temporarily diverted to Boston for inclement weather, finally reaching home in Jersey City 3 am EST, had to back in the office 7:30 am EST Thursday to close. I had not worked that hard since leaving BigFirm. At any rate, I missed Peter. But we did close the deal--and that just before the credit markets began tanking a few days later.

But I did know I would be back in London--Mrs. Sox had deferred her field research in Romania for her dissertation after we were blessed with BabySox on the way. But the love of my life is nothing if not dedicated, so it was a deferral, not a cancellation, and we've been planning around getting her and BabySox set up for a few months in Timişoara for nearly a year.

My employer has been quite accommodating, allowing me to work some stretches this fall out of the London office to be closer to my family. After depositing SoxWife and BabySox safely in Romania (13 hours on planes with baby that doesn’t seem to like sleeping on a plane: no fun) and a brief 2 day respite sailing on Lake Balaton in Hungary, my first two week stint in London began after Labor day.

So, background out of the way (boring but hell, I’m making up for the absence of column inches for the past few months), I planned to go yesterday for dinner and a tourney at the Gutshot with Mr. Birks.

Peter was kind enough to come pick me at my temporary digs at Canary Wharf, a corporate apartment furnished soup to nuts at something suspiciously like Ikea

***Start poker content***

While navigating the tube to London proper, I regaled Peter with a tale of poker woe from a hand I played on FullTilt that morning. Peter helped me parse it through, though after reading his description of the hand and going back and actually checking the hand history, I realized I had gotten it a bit wrong in my description to him (which he threw up as a teaser on his journal).

Here’s how the hand went down:

Sox’s big stacking of the day.

Detail I missed with Peter was the BB actually check raised, he didn’t flat call. After reviewing the history, I am still not sure I could have gotten away at all, but want to break it down.

My only real question to myself was could have I folded to MP’s push on the flop. To answer this, I need to come up with respectable ranges and then just run them through PokerStove. With about 100 hands on each (not so much but given Baynesian analysis and a nod to the Mathematics of Poker, this is enough to draw a meaningful inference as to their playing styles, though certainly not enough to fail to allow for changing gears and an unusual variation of hand strengths over that period), BB is VPP 12%, 4.5% Pre-flop raise and post flop aggression 0.8 and MP is 28%, 2.63% and 0.83.

From this, we can see MP really likes to limp a wide range of hands and perhaps raise only a few—hard to say if that means he only raise the top of his range, it could be he only raises, for example, when first in and EP, just don’t know enough to deduce you can chop the of his range. Accordingly, I would assign him pre-flop 22+, A2s+, K9s+, Q8s+, J7s+, T6s+, 95s+, 85s+, 75s+, 64s+, 53s+, 43s, 32s, A9o+, KTo+, QTo+, J9o+, T8o+, 98o, 87o and 76o (this is 34.2% of all hands, which takes into account he is in late middle position and facing one limper, which I think would widen his range). Based on flop action, I think we can narrow this down to 66, 99-AA, 87s or o, Axd, KQd, KJd, QJd, J7d, T9o or s. With the re-re-check raise, I don’t think I can include ATs or ATo, even with Ad.

BB would normally be much tighter starting out, but as BB he has the full range pre-flop. Post flop however, you know he has something. 66, 99-TT (I am dropping over-pairs here based on his pre-flop pass of the option, his numbers and his check raise action, they wouldn’t change the equity analysis much anyway, except for a slight improvement for me), 87s or, Axd (but not AKd, which I would have expected to raise pre-flop), KQd, KJd, QJd, J7d, 75d, T9s or s.

My equity per PokerStove against these two hands is just shy of 31%. I am effectively being asked to call $112 to win $436. The numbers are actually a bit more complex with the side pot, but I don’t think this changes things much—the call was correct. Of course against the hands I did face, I was up shit’s creek without a paddle with 11% equity.
Still, I feel better though not of course about the outcome.

Now Peter says I made two moves that he would not have played the same way.

First, he would have raised to 10 or 12 or so preflop to try and take it down there, with the 89d as a sneaky hand to have if I get called. I will agree that had this resulted in a fold, I could have been quite happy with that result. I am not at all sure however that the BB would have folded preflop, and given what came down, the outcome would have been the same. But for the possibility of getting off the bus with a cheap victory, I will nevertheless grant Peter that this very well might have been an optimization.

Second, he would have flat called the flop bet by MP as my raise essentially committed me to the pot. In the instant case, this too would have made no difference though perhaps if BB hadn’t a hand and had folded, I should be able to get a way on the turn from MP. But against my reasonable range for the MP at this stage of the betting (99+, 66, AdKd, AdQd, AdJd, ATs, KdQd, KdJd, JTs, Jd7d, T9s, T6s, 87s, 7d5d, ATo, KTo, QTo+, JTo, T9o, 87o), I had 54.6% equity with two cards to come (but not with only 1), I am not completely convinced. I think the flop more or less committed me to the pot, though had the BB folded and MP pushed, I would have had a more interesting decision (likely still resulting in a call).

Anyway, the dinner with Peter was a pleasant combination of poker and shop talk—I am used to getting one or the other in isolation but not both together.

Oh, tourney at the Gutshot demonstrated to me that junk kicking beats are not limited to the colonies. No more to be said at the risk of costing £1 to you all.
See the flop...

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Been a long time since I rock and rolled

I arrived at the final table in the ICU, with an M of 3. In fact, I had been in last or the last 3 or 4 places from when we were at about 35 players. I stayed in last until we were down to 6. And then, a funny thing happened.

I got lucky when I had to of course. But mainly, I folded. A lot. And then I doubled up. A lot. And then I won. A lot.

I am still in shock.

And lest this be only about poker:

See the flop...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Poker Blog or Baby Blog?

Yeah, it's a baby blog.
See the flop...

Friday, June 08, 2007


This blog is sorta on the ropes.

Not playing very much poker as the most beautiful girl in the world is better than hitting a one out royal draw on the river against quad aces.

That being said, I have played in Kat's donkament rebuy the last 3 weeks, winning the May 25th (first poker game after Sarah was born), coming in 5th last week (and cursing TripJax into bubbling), and chopping 1st/2nd with Kat tonight. Ok, it's a $1 rebuy, so it's only worth a few more pairs of baby shoes, but it's good fun, and for the 3 weeks, I'm in for a total of $8 versus 152 out. Somewhat insane ROI.

One thing when I do play, I am for the time being really hard to tilt. Seriously, Kat cracked my JJ with J3 tonight and I just laughed.

Reason why, look at this beauty:

Some Thanksgiving turkey, aye Mary?
See the flop...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Meet Sarah Ana, 9 lbs 9 1/2 oz, born today at 11:14 A.M. EST.

All is fine in the world.
See the flop...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Doing Business

Last night I got in a quick one hour session at some place in New York that is not Salami or EBB. I was very tired and stressed after an action packed week at work with little let up on Friday, but had a little time to kill before the KATM got someone to open up his leg shackles at Big Firm to come out and have a drink.

So I figured I'd get a few hands with a view to playing extra cautious given that my mind remained a bit addled. I got the last seat at the 2-5 and sat with 500 (had forgotten max was 600, but only two stacks at the table had more than 500 anyway).

No super obvious fish after two orbits, and there was one solid aggressive player I've known way back from Playstation and Aquarium, a nice guy with a thick New York accent in his late twenties who appears to be making a living at the game or at least supplementing one. I was a little apprehensive at being on his right, but with two players in between I wasn't overly concerned, that plus the facts that rightly or wrongly (shut up Kid Dynamite), he seems to respect my game so might not see me as an mark to be tested and moreover he had only 300 in front of him as he seemed to be having a bad session. Some of the other table talk, however, led me to believe I wasn't necessarily dealing with a shark tank.

Played extremely tight, four hands in first dealer push, three limps for the minimum and one late position open raise with premium suited connectors which got me heads up against the small blind.

An ace flopped and I took it down on the flop with a continuation bet. That sequence confirmed my suspicion that notwithstanding my very tight play, at least one guy was not paying attention as he we willing to call me preflop completely out of position for 28 more, very likely to be heads up (I'll call him Mark).

I continued to fold a lot, and actually considered getting up with $5 profit as I was really not focused. Then, mid conversation under the gun I looked down to see those pretty pretty little As. Somehow, I managed to finish my sentence without skipping a syllable (danger of talking while looking at your cards) and, without pausing in my conversation, bet out 25. I was very happy that an aggressive player two to my left raised it up to 75 with about 325 behind, and even happier when two players after him, Mark, with 400 behind, made it 175 to go. It folded around to me and with a hand that was playing itself, I had the joy of pushing my one full stack of green beauties out in front, facing the other two shorter stacks with a decision to call for all their chips.

The first guy hemmed and hawed for while, (correctly) stating that boy didn't it suck but he probably had the third best hand (turned out he had tens). For some reason, this was a difficult fold for him but he did manage it. Then Mark goes into the tank, deciding to whether to call a 225 raise into a pot of 657. He ended up calling with queens.

I actually think this is a fairly easy fold given the action before hand. Sure he is getting great pots odds, better than 3:1 (need 25.5% to win), but unless he can put me on a hand other than AA or KK, he can fold—against those hands he's more than a 4:1 dog (18%). Even if you somehow throw in AKs into my range (maybe he read my last post!), his chance of winning only goes up to 27%. Only when you add in AKs, QQ and JJ does the call become clearly correct, and I just can't see how he can put me on that wide a range there. It's actually ironic given the numbers—he raised pretty close to the exact amount that did not pot commit him against my likely range (if I rereraise) and yet he called anyway. I'm sure this mirrors his thought process exactly—not so much.

Given my tired state, I did not really want to get my aces cracked before meeting KATM—not really fair to him to have his Friday night ruined by my moaning. Before the hands were flipped I offered business, that is we could run it with three full boards splitting the pot into thirds for each board won. He asked what I had and I told him, and the some on table were stunned I offered business this far ahead in a hand. How could I give up such a solid chance at a huge pot?

This line of questioning highlighted just how brilliant was the table—yes I was giving up an 82% of winning a $900 pot, but I was avoiding an 18% of losing that whole pot (netting -400 or so) in exchange for a ~55% of still winning the whole pot, something like a ~5% chance of “winning” $300 (it's significantly less than just calculating the chances of hitting 18% of the time in of 3 tries (about 7%) since that does not factor in the dependence between the three boards—i.e., his by far most likely win is hitting a Q and if he hits one on one board it's significantly less likely he'll win one of the other two boards), a something like a ~40% chance of winning $600 and an all but 0% chance of losing on all three boards.

As it happened, I cleanly won the first two boards, but he spiked a Q on the turn on the third board, but I spiked an ace on the river for set over set and a clean sweep.

I have had this discussion of whether or not it is a good idea to "do business". I think, and please anyone that has really thought about this and has a different thought, chime in, that from a flat EV point of view, it makes no difference. I have heard only one substantive argument that doing business might affect EV—that is that if people know you'll give it, you'll invite more marginal calls. That may be so, but I'm not sure in NYC games that makes much of a difference. In very deep stack games with better players, some of whom may be at the limits of their bankroll, I might concede the point that you may be giving something up here.

But thinking about my situation last night, I came up with one thought how doing business is actually plus EV for both players—if you accept the math that on a per hand basis, doing business has the same EV result as not doing business, all that doing business does is reduce risk for the same EV. In the world of financial products that I work in (and in others), anything that reduces risk without changing expected return is an asset—in fact, people will definitely give up some expected return in exchange for reducing that risk (that's why people pay money for hedges and insurance). The amount someone is willing to pay to reduce risk is in insurance terms a premium. Since it is clearly established that entirely rational people are definitely willing to pay premiums to mitigate risks—particularly large risks—we can deduce that in reducing risk for free as one does when one agrees to do business, one is capturing the value of the implied premium. It's free as in free beer free money.

Anyway, on a side complete note, one of my professional pet peeves has come to life. Ever notice in some contracts when they write out a number, they put it in Arabic numerals right beside it or vice versa, like fifty(50)? As a drafting technique, this is intended to increase clarity and certainty. But it's just plain stupid as it risks just the opposite: what happens if for some reason the English word doesn't match the Arabic numerals?

Well, I just received this important message from Ms. Gloria Edwards, (Lottery Coordinator/Director) for LOTTO Rheinland-Pfalz. and I'm afraid just such an error may come back to haunt her. You see, she wrote me:

"You have been approved for a payment of ₤100,000,000 (ONE MILLION EURO) which is deposited with a Finance and Security Company."

I fully intend on pursuing my full 5F5E100 (0101111101011110000100000000) claim to the last 10-2 Euro.

After some consideration, I did think matching the currency sign in the first term with the spelled out Euro number in the parenthesis and thus demanding the amount in pounds sterling may be a bit overreaching.

Wow, maxed out the geek factor!
See the flop...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Back to Bricks and Mortar

I was just posting how little live play I'd had recently. That changed in a big way starting last Saturday with my home game. On top of that, since then, I hit a new club on Sunday and played in the Crackhouse game last night. I am supposed to take a business acquaintance of mine to that club tonight [UPDATE: based on apparently false rumor of this club's demise, our plans got cancelled], and will be hitting Kid Dynamite's home game this Saturday. So from playing live exactly once in 2007 until last Saturday, I will have played 5 times in 8 days, 3 times for significant stakes.

For the first 3 of these sessions played so far--knock on wood--I am up all 3, with the "real" stakes club session being by far the biggest win. At my home game, I won 2.5 or so buyins, at the club, 1.5, and at the Crackouse, 1 buyin. Let's hope this is not a trend line.

I wanted to get this post in quickly so that I could write up a few of the interesting hands, particularly from the club session, before the new sessions start to fog the details.

My home game was in honor of Weak Player and his wife's visit for the weekend. It was a nice turnout: on top of me, SoxWife, Weak and WeakWife, we had Red-headed step child (30-60 Triple Draw player Alceste from the WWDN and the Crackhouse game), enjoying the luxury of a cross-town game rather than the usual slog to Brooklyn, SoxWife's friend Christine a/k/a "Irish" for reasons obvious enough when you hear her speak, who occasionally plays the WWDN as Cailin Deas, Scott (a/k/a "F-Nemesis"), Jordan and Jordan's friend Matt. This was sort of a "lawyer's game" with six players that are lawyers, law students or law academics.

We started off playing NL with Crackhouse blinds (0.25-0.25) but relatively deeper stacks with $50 buyins. Jordan jumped way out of character and started talking smack within the first five minutes:

Irish "I don't know why everyone thinks we’re bad at math because we’re lawyers."

Jordan, sitting on Irish's right, "I don't think you’re bad at math because you're a lawyer, I think you're bad at math because you're a woman."


Fast forward, Irish returns to the table to find Jordan rebuying: "You lost all your chips while I was out of the room? I'm sorry I missed it!"


Not so many very interesting hands for me on Saturday. One hand I somehow managed to take down a $30 pot with third pair sniffing out a $15 river bluff from Matt. I actually stopped, thought it through, and managed to narrow down his holdings to a massively ahead overbet for value and vapor. Having seen him pull just few too many moves (with mostly success), I bit my lip and called his ten high.

As he wrote about already, in a hand of double-board, pot limit holdem, Jordan was also kind enough to chase three pots sized with the hammer with bottom pair on one board and nothing on the other against my cowboys.

A few other pots here and there, and all in all I had a "big" night. Everyone else seemed to have had a good time too.

On Sunday, I asked Weak if he wanted to play poker in the city. Answer, "duh".

So after taking the ladies to a restaurant on Weak's Must Do in New York Sometime This Life (which was pretty damn good btw), Weak and I hoofed it through the freezing cold to a new club I'd been getting e-mail on. Very nice new place (people I don't know, please don't bother e-mailing me asking for info on it), with very good security and a nice range of limits.

Weak and I hit the 2-5 tables, which had a max buyin of 600. As is sometimes my practice when sitting at a new table with all unknowns, I initially bought in a little short for 400. I started out pretty tight until after about two orbits, I decided to test my image and mix it up when it got to me in late middle position with one limper to my immediate right and I had Q9d. I popped it up to 25. I got the button calling behind as well as one of the blinds but lost the limper.

Flop came a useless Jack high with only one diamond. It was checked to me and I checked behind. Button at this point bet out 50 and we lost the blind. With a quick bout of FPS, I decided I wasn't done with hand so I floated with the intent of looking for an opportunity to take it down on a later street, representing two overs or a slowplayed overpair. The turn was a lovely ace, and I figured a nice 75 bet had a very good chance of getting a Jack to fold.

Instead, he pushed. Doh.

I didn't really waste time Hollywooding and folded. Button turned over AJ. Nice timing Sox!

This was not a table for FPS.

20 minutes in and down to 250, I decided I needed more chips. Despite my "unfortunate" (read: boneheaded) play, I was getting at least some read on the table, and that read told me this was a table you wanted to have as much in front of you as possible because getting paid off would probably not be your biggest problem. So I chipped up 3 Benjamins and also took advantage of an open seat to improve my relative position vis-à-vis the biggest stack (the same guy that I had bluffed into).

I then battened down the hatches and waited. Opportunity came when I was third limper with pocket 4s, with one more caller to the big blind, who made it 25 to go with 650 or so behind. He lost exactly nobody, and the flop came out a beautiful A94 rainbow. The big blind bet out 75 and it folded to me. I considered slow playing for a moment but decided that wouldn't be the best way of getting as many chips as possible into the middle. I then considered a large bet versus a small bet. Either way I thought I was very likely to get heads up unless another limper had caught a cooler over me, so the blind was 95% of my focus.

I didn't have much of a read on him but hoped he had flopped TPTK or the like and would have trouble getting off it. I figured under these circumstances, a min raise might best wed him to the pot or induce a reraise. So I made 150 to go, it folded around to him and he smooth called. With that move, I certainly had to ask myself if I was facing aces, but after a few moments of reflection I answered that if that were the case, I was just going to have to get felted. At any rate, assuming he had the hand I hoped he had, with 425 in the pot, I was almost there in terms of tying the anchor to his foot. Turn was a harmless brick seven, and he checked to me. I made it another 150 to go, figuring he'd have trouble laying down for that amount, and knowing if he called it, he'd be massively pot committed to call my last 225 on the river with 950 in the pot.

No fears on that accord as he pushed all in over the top. Well, at this point I was the one who was pot committed. Although I knew there was a significant chance I was beat, I didn't waste any time in deciding to call. I was thus quite relieved when, upon my call, he asked if I had A9. If he's worried about top two, I'm in pretty good shape. I had a brief scare when an ace hit the river which it suddenly occurred to me could have been a miracle card for a really sick hand like A4 or A7 (you never know), but his muck coupled with his question largely confirmed my AK read.

With 1150 in front of me, I suddenly felt a whole lot better about that first stupid bluff.

Shortly after this the BB busted out and the table, a must move feeder, ran short for awhile with 7 players until a new guy sat down in his seat. This guy bought in for 400 and looked, well, let's just say he had the generic NYC white guy thug thing going on reasonably well.

I think maybe his first or second hand at the table, we go in a confrontation that cost me an nice chunk of Sklansky dollars (but won me a bigger chunk of real dollars). It also presented a marginal decision situation where I think on the balance I liked my thought processes (insofar as I thought about the right things, query whether my conclusion was wrong) regardless of either how badly I got my money in or how much I liked the ultimate result. At any rate, I wouldn't mind some views from armchair quarterbacks.

Second under the gun folded to me, I looked down to AKs. I made it 25 to go (standard table opener was 20-30, I had tended toward 20). It folded around to the new dude, who was in the SB. He made it 75 to go and it quickly folded around to me leaving me with a dilemma. As I saw it, I had 3 options, raise, call or fold (duh!). I didn't want to be too hasty about any of them.

Folding is something I was just having trouble with given the fact I had so little information about the new player and at these clubs, the average schmoe is making this move with AQ+ and JJ or even TT+, though in retrospect I think there is a good argument that this may be have been the best of the 3 options.

I considered calling given that I had position. Still, that means I'm probably going to be losing 50 more 1/3 of the time that I miss the flop, and possibly much more if I hit it and am still behind.

So I considered raising, and, if so, how much. Main problem here is if I make any significant raise beyond a min raise, I am probably pot committed. So if I raise, does that mean I should push for maximum fold equity? I thought about that too and decided that was a bad move since a push might be interpreted as weak than a bet in the middle, even if the latter was probably pot committing me anyway. So I determined to bet like I had AA, which I figured was a 3rd raise 125 more. I knew if he pushed there I would probably be compelled to call getting 3:1 since I would have odds against every possible hand except aces, but was willing to take that downside against my belief that it maximized my chances of getting AK, TT-QQ to fold. So that's what I did.

He pushed. I called.

Flop was K high with one diamond (making it very likely that a call would have ended up with the same result). Turn came another diamond. River was another king.

He had aces of course.

Better to be lucky than good.

There was one other interesting hand afterward in which I made an unusual fold that I was going to write up and ask for thoughts, but upon further reflection, it really gives up more information to the players in KD’s home than I’d like to at this point should they happen to meander by. It was either an awful move or a breakthrough in my game. I’m hoping the latter.
See the flop...

Monday, February 19, 2007

(My) State of Internet Poker

Not claiming original thought here, but I'm joining the chorus of people beginning to think the online game is dying, or at least in middle stages of a debilitating degenerative disease. It's a slow asphyxiation kind of thing.

I had already taken several grand out of my online at the end of last year, leaving me with perhaps 3.5k online (spread around on Stars, Full Tilt, UTB and Neteller). Enough to be comfortable playing whatever tourney or cash game tickled my fancy (as long as I considered it part of the overall bankroll, including my live roll), but limited to an amount I felt I could afford to lose without breaking something valuable if anything dramatic happened.

When the Neteller news broke, I only had about a grand on there that I kept free for bonus opportunities. I figured it would be pretty tricky in the near future to get money onto the sites, so I rapidly transferred that onto Stars and Tilt, pretty much the only two sites I play at (I have since cashed the few hundred out of UTB). As most know, that seemed to be a at least for the short term a luckier move than trying transferring it back into cash--had I done so I suspect I'd be among the others waiting for it still. Thus I for one seem to have avoided direct damage from the fiasco--furthermore, I have never had near 10k in Neteller or online and have kept my own records and declared and paid taxes since I've started playing at all seriously because I've never felt it worth taking any risks in this department given my career choice.

On the other hand, this whole thing has put a severe crimp in my medium term poker plans. I have in the last six months played a LOT of non-hold 'em games, particularly triple draw, razz and stud 8. I have been running moderately well in these, with razz my best game (though with only 4,500 hands or so, it's far to soon to really know what I can sustain). That being said, I had seriously considered siphoning a respectable chunk of change into my online bankroll after my annual bonus hit my account to try and see if I could play regularly the 8-16 and 15-30 games of Razz that usually stay up on Tilt, and maybe even take a shot at the 30-60 TD on Stars.

At the same time, because of developments on the home front and the work front, I have been spending a lot less time in live games--last visit to a live club before last night (post later, preview: KA-CHING!) was November and last visit to a casino card room was Christmas Eve. I had played the Crackhouse game in odd circumstances ('nuff said) twice, and of course had my birthday game, and a home game this Saturday with WeakPlayer and WeakWife up for the WeakEnd (also to be posted about, hopefully first by Weak and Jordan). Thus, poker for me as of late has become mostly an online pursuit.

And yet current trends are such that I think I'll be as shortly as this year faced with a choice between recommitting to serious live play (which may be trickier and trickier given my other commitments) or no longer being a serious player.

The first signs of online asphyxiation I've seen personally has bee in in Stars TD. When they started spreading significant stakes tables, the games were insanely juicy. All sorts of yo yos were giving it a shot, many of them starting out at 5-10 and 10-20. After two months of a virtual feeding frenzy, the biggest TD fish are pretty much gone, not reloaded, finie. There is rarely a game spread between the stakes of 5-10 and 30-60. I don't think this is just because TD is a new game, I think it is because it is a game that separates big fishies from their money faster than most, where medium term results can actually convince someone they really do suck in a way that that doesn't happen quite so quickly in hold 'em. I do think it a canary in this coal mine.

So between signs that the very games I have been attacking are getting worse and a lingering concern that notwithstanding everyone's exhortations that money on the big sites is always safe because it's in segregated accounts (it was at Neteller too), any money there is subject to, let's just say, risk, I've decided not to go through the trouble of trying to put back in the money I had taken out last year plus some. I'm just going to stick with what I've got and enjoy the playing for it's own sake.

I will reevaluate as circumstances change.
See the flop...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Day Job

Has been very busy.

Playing a bit online, but late hours and a decimated team has required me to invest 100% of mental energy to work.

So my mind is more than usually attuned to reading things from a professional state of mind rather than a poker state of mind. So....I was reading an article in the Times about Eliot Spitzer, former attorney general and brand new Governor of New York, about some political controversy in appointing the new comptroller entrusted with investing the state's funds. It appears the legislature backed out of a deal to appoint someone selected by an expert panel and instead picked one of their own, pissing off the new Guv. Interesting part for me was this blurb:

Mr. Spitzer said that in recent days he had been asking lawmakers this question: “If Candidate X — take Tom — were approaching you and saying, ‘You know what? I’ve never done this before. Never invested a penny. Never made an asset allocation decision. Don’t know a swap from a derivative. But I’m setting up a money management firm tomorrow. I want your pension money to be my first investment. Will you give me your pension to start with?’ [Emphasis supplied]
Don't get me wrong, I like Spitzer, but this is retarded.

A swap is a derivative. It's like saying "don't know a square from a rectangle" or "don't know a royal flush from a straight flush".

I mean, I probably would want my comptroller to understand a swap from other kinds of derivatives, but a more natural statement would be "don't know a swap from a ipod". Or how about a funny, like "thinks a swap involves car keys and a 70's attitude?"

Sheesh, if you are going to give a statement showing an example of someone's ignorance of a topic, you'd think not highlighting your own ignorance would be a pretty high priority.

Of course, my guess is Spitzer didn't even say this, sounds like a bad quote from an ignorant reporter (fig leaf to avoid investigation).
See the flop...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Densest Element

Don't really have much urge to post about poker (and certainly have had no urge to post about sports). In the meantime I've been doing a lot playing of and thinking about triple draw lately so perhaps I will write up something at some point. In the meantime, this hit my e-mail box and I found it funny:

A major research institution has just announced the discovery of the densest element yet known to science. The new element has been named "Bushcronium."

Bushcronium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224
assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 311.These particles are held together by dark forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. The symbol for Bushcronium is "W."Bushcronium's mass actually increases over time, as morons randomly interact with various
elements in the atmosphere and become assistant deputy neutrons in a Bushcronium molecule, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to believe that Bushcronium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass."

When catalyzed with money, Bushcronium activates Foxnewsium, an element that radiates orders of magnitude more energy, albeit as incoherent noise, since it has 1/2 as many peons, but twice as many morons.
See the flop...