11-30-05 [poker] - 5

11-30-05 [poker]

This is the hand I went out on, and I'm going to analyze it in a fancy way. I'm going to look at chip EV vs. actual tournament money EV, because I think this is one of those cases where it may matter. This is a 3-table $30 entry tournament, the top 5 places pay $270,225,180,135,90. There are 7 players at this point and I'm the short stack.

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 [200].
pokrprofesr folds.
HARLEYGUY814 calls [200].
Gatormancc folds.
baystar folds.
chukb is all-In  [2150]

	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 [2050].
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.

11-30-05 [poker] - 4

11-30-05 [poker]

Just bubbled in a three-tabler. This is the hand that burned me from a decent stack to a short stack. It's a tricky one to play right.

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 [150].

	Standard 3x raise with A8s in middle pos.  I'd like to just win the blinds

pegdlg31 folds.
Maug13 calls [150].

	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 [150].

	Top pair, top kicker, very nice.  I'm surely good here, maybe he has two overs.

Maug13 calls [150].

	Yup, must be two overs.

** Dealing Turn ** [ Jc ]
chukb bets [250].

	I'm a little worried by that jack, but he can still have a lot of losing hands.

Maug13 calls [250].
** 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 [500].

	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 [500].
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.

11-30-05 [poker] - 3

11-30-05 [poker]

For some reason I'm really dominating the 3-table tourneys, but I can't do very well in the big multis or in the NL cash games. I think I know my main problem in the big multis - I have trouble playing patient & focused for long enough, those things take hours. I'm not sure what my problem is at the NL cash tables. They're a much deeper stack situation than I'm used to in tournaments. On party you typically have around 100 big blinds at the NL cash tables, an M of 67. I find myself getting my top pairs busted and getting bluffed off winning hands.

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.

11-30-05 [poker] - 2

11-30-05 [poker]

These are my lifetime stats that GoldBullion has seen :
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.

11-30-05 [poker] - 1

11-30-05 [poker]

It's really hard to play against bad players until you have a read on specifically how they are bad. Poker is all about estimating what your opponent has, which you can only do from their betting pattern if you know how they bet which hands. Given no more information, I have to assume they're a basic reasonable player, but that often burns me and makes me lay down winners.

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 [100].

	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 [50].
chukb checks.

	I check in the BB.

** Dealing Flop ** [ Ac, 6s, Jd ]
hardg checks.
chukb bets [150].

	I flopped middle pair jacks, I want to see if I'm good.

natural0153 calls [150].

	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  [320]
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.

11-30-05 - 2


I was sickened by how the Steelers played on Monday night against the Colts. I thought they had a real chance. The Steelers type of team is one of the few that has a chance against the Colts. The Colts are small and fast, and their defense can get busted up by a power runing team, maybe not in the first half, but in the second half when they get worn down. In order to win, you have to keep it a low scoring game (play good defense), and play a tough running game. The Steelers gave up on the run way too fast, started running risky pass plays.

11-30-05 - 1


Beers that start with "Mac" are delicious. Of course "Mac & Jack's" in Seattle is a lovely, drinkable, fruity, hoppy, draught. Mackeson's Stout (now at TJ's) is a very rich, sweet chocolate stout, almost like one of those lovely Belgian dark beers, and Mactarnahan's amber (also at TJ's) is a good balanced amber, sort of similar to like the Red Hook ESB or Bass.


11-29-05 [poker] - 2

11-29-05 [poker]

I've got my "GoldBullion" poker watcher working pretty well now. I still can't get it to click the damn PartyPoker buttons reliably, but the watcher is good anyway. I've got some code in there to look for specific common situations and actions and track how often people do certain things. The most basic are the most useful - how often someone sees the flop, how often they raise, how often they take a steal chance preflop (eg. raise from the button or cutoff when it's folded to them), and how often they bet continuation on the flop. One of the interesting things about this has been watching my own stats. My stats vary depending on the texture of the game, but when I'm really playing my ideal game and dominating the table, they look something like this :

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.

11-29-05 [poker] - 1

11-29-05 [poker]

This was a mistake. It's pretty subtle though, it hinges on the texture of the game and the history of this guy.

Blinds (50/100)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to chukb [  4d 5c ]
IAM4USC folds.
Cougat33 folds.
Big__Nuts folds.
TxHoosier folds.
z_balata raises [300].

	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 [700].

	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 [500].
** Dealing Flop ** [ Jc, 8c, 2s ]
chukb bets [700].

	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  [1890]
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.

11-29-05 - 3


I noticed at the time that Bonnie "Prince" Billy did a cameo in "Junebug". How odd.

11-29-05 - 2


We got our christmas tree; it's a nice noble. Oddly, my cats don't seem to care. Last time I got a tree, a few years ago, the cats went absolutely nuts, attacking it and playing in it. I think the peed around the base once too. This time they sniffed it a bit and went back to their business of eating and sleeping.

11-29-05 - 1


I've been trying to hook up my damn TiVo to the ethernet. I finally found the problem. I've been trying to use a LinkSys USB200M , which should work, except that I have a Version 2 and only Version 1 works. Of course the package isn't labeled with the version at all and no online retailer distinguishes between the two. Wonderful!

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.


11-28-05 [poker] - 2

11-28-05 [poker]

There are a lot of moves in limit hold'em that work because it's limit. One example is the raise to isolate. A LAG (loose aggressive guy) open raises, you reraise with mediocre hands to isolate on him. In No Limit this is risky because it makes him live again to reraise you big, in limit if he reraises you it's an easy call. Similarly, semi-bluffing draws is very different. If someone bets in limit and you raise on a semi-bluff, if they have a really good hand and reraise, it's still an easy call for you to take a card off. In no limit, if someone bets and you raise on a semi-bluff, they can reraise big and take you off your draw. This is why sometimes you have to just call behind in no limit, because letting someone get live can be a disaster.

11-28-05 [poker] - 1

11-28-05 [poker]

Yes, I'm proud of this play. Three-table, I'm the big stack, 3 players left. I've watched hopper888 carefully. I know he only calls raises with good hands, and he'll bluff if they don't hit. He's also been fighting back well against my steal raises.

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 [1800].

	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 [1400].
TRIPSET folds.

	SB calls, BB folds.  hopper888 must have some kind of decent hand, like KJ minimum.

** Dealing Flop ** [ 4c, 2h, Kc ]
hopper888 bets [800].
chukb raises [2400].

	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 [1600].
** 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  [4536]
chukb calls [4536].

	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.


11-27-05 [poker] - 3

11-27-05 [poker]

Fuck. I played really badly in the 100k freeroll and I'm out 1000th out of 2000 players. I'm such a fucking moron donkey, how could I make such a stupid fucking amateur mistake?

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.

11-27-05 [poker] - 2

11-27-05 [poker]

I hate how weakly I played this hand, but it's one of those special situations. This is a $30 three-table and we're near the bubble. I'm big stack by far, and I'm trying to avoid tangoing with the #2 stack who could hurt me. I want to get in battles with everyone else, who are all short stacks. In this hand I get in with the #2 stack and I play it like a pussy.

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.

11-27-05 [poker] - 1

11-27-05 [poker]

Any talk of playing tournaments for "survival" or to "gather chips" is all foolishness. Except in rare special cases near the bubble or when stacks are low and the money jumps are big, the only thing you should do is play for maximum chip EV. That is, you basically play like it's a cash game and try to maximize your chip return with each decision.

11-27-05 - 1


"The Squid and the Whale" is a brilliant movie - funny, touching, sweet, realistic but absurd (reality is absurd). I think if you've never been around that intellectual, superior, literary crowd then maybe it wouldn't be so funny to you, but it captures those people perfectly.


11-26-05 [poker] - 3

11-26-05 [poker]

This hand is kind of tricky, it's one of those situations where you have to decide whether to semibluff or not.

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.

11-26-05 [poker] - 2

11-26-05 [poker]

This is the closest thing to a mistake I made today :

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).

11-26-05 [poker] - 1

11-26-05 [poker]

Today I played a tournament almost perfectly for the first time in a long while. I don't think I made any big mistakes, and I made a few very good plays. Of course I lost when I took a massive suckout when a guy made a ridiculous bad call. Oh my god, I just played another and played so fucking great and took another rotten beat. What the fuck is wrong with the fucking world these days? I'm not talking about stupid "bad beats" like a guy hitting a flush draw, or a lower pair drawing out, those are part of poker. I'm talking about getting in on the flop when I have a flush and the guy has top pair, and he hits a runner-runner house. Or the last one where I make a strong play, I have J8 with top pair 8s and I know I'm good. The guy raises me allin and I call, he shows 55 and hits his two-outer. My bankroll is now in bad shape and I'm stressed and angry and feel sick. My head is spinning, I feel feint, it's hard to breathe or focus my eyes. It's especially frustrating because I made some bad plays yesterday, and I felt like this was my chance for redemption, I was playing so well and got deep in both tournaments with big stacks only to be robbed of my reward. I was playing so well and so carefully, in both tournaments I never got in a single race, and the only hands where I got allin I was a huge favorite and they were the hands I got knocked out on.

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.

11-26-05 - 3


I've heard a lot of people defend Dannenman's play at the WSOP. He wasn't horrible, but he also wasn't good. Consider this hand -

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.

11-26-05 - 2


I'm still trying to make a deposit in PokerStars. It's been a nightmare trying to go through "Neteller". Party Poker's "IGMPay" is far far superior, you can immediately get money in and out directly from your bank account. Neteller has taken forever and required several contacts with customer service. Some day we need a decent internet cash scheme.

11-26-05 - 1


Why do they never run the option in pro football? Clearly it's not a good thing to do often, your QB's aren't usually great runners and you don't want to risk injury to them. Also defenses are a lot smarter and can cover it better. Nonetheless, if you had a great running QB like a Mike Vick, it seems like the option could be a nice option, as it were, especially for short yardage and goal line situations.


11-25-05 [poker] - 4

11-25-05 [poker]

This is one of those rotten situations that's so hard to play. This hand is pretty deep in a tournament, but the blinds have gotten huge and my M is down to 10, so any pot I play for significant chips will be my whole stack.

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.

11-25-05 [poker] - 3

11-25-05 [poker]

Making somewhat odd plays that aren't horrible in terms of solid value can be occasionally very profitable.

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.

11-25-05 [poker] - 2

11-25-05 [poker]

The FullTiltPoker Invitational yesterday was disappointing. It was a 7-handed full tournament, they showed every hand, and Howard did his usual great job commentating. The play just wasn't very interesting. The blinds got big fast and there wasn't much play. Everyone was way too tentative early, which DevilFish quickly identified and started running over the table. The others then had great chances to repop him, and they didn't take them, like a bunch of pussies. It has nothing to do with cards, when someone is raising every hand, you pick a good situation and repop with any two. Helmuth made the only donkey play with the TT, what a moron. I thought Ferguson was perhaps playing best, just playing his solid game like he always does. I'm not sure about the A2 call that crippled him, I really hate calling allins with Ace-low even when the blinds are huge. If you put your opponent even on any king, any ace, any pair, you're dominated most of the time. In order for it to be a good call, you have to think he's moving with any queen as well, or perhaps any suited connector.

11-25-05 [poker] - 1

11-25-05 [poker]

Ugh. I made one of my own least favorite mistakes - semibluffing when you know the guy won't fold.
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.


11-24-05 [poker] - 1

11-24-05 [poker]

Two big overall mistakes in my earlier play : 1. The belief that you have to make "moves" to play good poker and win. That's completely false; usually superior technical play is the best way to win. 2. The belief that the increasing blinds force "action". In reality the blinds simply provide a much larger starting pot, hence you want to play more hands, and they increase the EV of playing now vs. later, but that's a very small effect except when your stack is very tiny (M<=3).

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!!

11-24-05 - 7


"Network of Trust" would also be a superb way to do online personals. Instead of just searching for people you know nothing about who lie about themselves, you could find people who were rated highly by friends of friends, you could perhaps see comments on them from other people with trust/no-trust ratings, etc..

11-24-05 - 6


Why in the world would you use a double boiler to melt chocolate these days? It's such a pain in the ass! Microwaves work perfectly well, just don't overheat it (which would ruin the chocolate). Heat little by little and stir, until just melted.

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 .

11-24-05 - 5


My persimmon tree has lost its leaves, and the bright orange fruits are ripe. Blue jays feast on them outside my window, flying from branch to branch in order to land just above a fruit. They bend down and peck at it, jabbing their beaks in and pulling out morsels of the sweet flesh. The jays are always in mating pairs. One will eat while the other keeps watch and chases away other birds, dominating the smaller sparrows. ( funny result for searching "sparrow" on google )

11-24-05 - 4


Wow, what a trip. I somehow didn't realize this, but I used to go to the original Uptown Espresso in Lower Queen Anne . It's got pretty crappy coffee, but it has cool antique furniture and it's open onto the street which is cool. Tiffiny and I used to occasionally walk down to LQA from the top of the hill, grab a bite or something and walk around, and a few times we stopped at the Uptown there. I didn't remember the name at all. Of course, now in San Luis Obispo there's an Uptown Espresso franchise (one of the very few outside of Seattle; perhaps the only one?) which I often frequented, and where I met my current girlfriend.

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.

11-24-05 - 3


Thanksgiving is really great in my imagination, and I suppose we had some great Thanksgivings when I was young, but in reality these days it usually sucks. Everyone is sort of a pain in the ass at Thanksgiving. They all want their horrible dish that they're used to and they're so inflexible. Steve insists that he has to have Stove-Top Stuffing, not the homemade stuff, since that's what his mom did. Alan wants the yams with marshmellows, and Gloria brings cranberry sauce from a can (while Susan pouts because noone is eating the fresh-made cranberry sauce she brought). Passive-aggressive wasps snipe at each other over the crappy things they brought, or someone who hasn't contributed fairly, or someone who's getting more credit than they deserve. I remember times when I would do something like heat up the bread someone else brought, and someone says "oh, the bread's great Charles", and the person who brought it has to chime in and point out who deserves credit. The time up until the eating is all stress, and then you eat as fast as possible with the hostess harassing everyone and people getting up and down all the time. Yes! I have everything I need, leave me alone, if I need something I'll ask or get it myself! The bits of food that were actually good are ruined by sitting out too long, getting cold. Someone's hurt because noone is eating their horrible jello dish. There's an interesting conversation over at the other end of the table, but I can't really hear it or chime in, and the ladies around me are talking about the weather.

11-24-05 - 2


Ooo - I just had a good idea, maybe. Fantasy Poker. You buy players, maybe in some kind of auction or some pricing scheme based on their previous results. Then their cash winnings are your score. You build a good stable of pros and we track their tournament results and see how your crew does. The scoring is a lot less screwy than Fantasy Football, and the stable actually makes sense with the variance of poker. Actually, pricing the guys differently maybe isn't necessary at all. Just let you pick ten-man teams or something like that.

11-24-05 - 1


There are some real gems of art deco architecture in LA. The Argyle is one.


11-23-05 [poker] - 1

11-23-05 [poker]

It's strange, the $20 and $30 sit-and-go multis seem to have gotten much wilder & weaker in the last week. There are a lot more guys reraising preflop with K9 , things like that. The only way I can respond to this play is to tighten way up, but that's a game I struggle with.

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.

11-23-05 - 1


I'm disgusted by video game ads that use pre-rendered CG to simulate gameplay. That was kind of okay 10 years ago when the game play looked like X's and O's in black and white, but it's so not okay now. For one thing, the CG they do is usually extra low-quality, and the real-time graphics should be able to look that good. Of course for these games, the real-time graphics are usually even worse. I've seen it recently with some WWF game, with Call of Duty 2, etc. etc.


11-22-05 [poker] - 3

11-22-05 [poker]

I can't stop thinking about the big home game last weekend. I just wish I could go back and do it over again. Khan !!??

11-22-05 [poker] - 2

11-22-05 [poker]

I guess I screwed up on this hand.

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
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.

11-22-05 [poker] - 1

11-22-05 [poker]

One of the nasty little poker situations I've run into today is when you're 3-handed (or more) on the flop and someone bets too small to defend your hand. It goes like this :

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.


11-21-05 - 4


The NFL this week had some of the most lopsided scores I've seen in recent history. They looked more like college scores - KC 45 Hou 17, SD 48 Buf 10, and of course the two big shutouts - Cleveland over Miami 22 to 0 and Denver over the Jets 27 to 0 ! The Dolphins and the Jets are both suffering from injuries to their 1st and 2nd string QB's, which is mighty unfortunate, but it seems that across the league the "parity" of recent years has slipped away, and there are a lot more rotten teams, and teams with no decent backups.

This compendium of predicted lines is a pretty nice betting tool.

11-21-05 - 3


This recipe for braised lamb shanks is good. The fancy stocks aren't really necessary, and the cook time doesn't need to be that long. Just cook at 350 for two hours and it will be tender and falling off the bone.

11-21-05 - 2


One of the silliest things in language is all the words for groups of animals. A pod of killer whales. A pride of lions. A flock of seagulls. A pack of wolves. A herd of cows. A gaggle of geese. Can't we just say "group" for all of them?

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.

11-21-05 - 1


I can't believe they didn't show the Colts/Bengals game here. One of the best games of the year and we have to watch the rotten local teams. The stupidest thing is that it's just a lose-lose situation here. Fox and CBS have the rights to the NFL broadcasts, and they both own plenty of extra cable channels where they could show more games. All the many Fox Sports outlets could be showing other games. That would bring in more advertising money for everyone involved. It's just moronic that they're not doing it. There's no way that the bowling and shit they're showing is bringing in more revenue. They already have the video stream for those other games, because those are the main game in other markets, they just have to route it to that channel!!


11-20-05 [poker] - 3

11-20-05 [poker]

The big local live game was today; I made 3rd place for a small profit, but I had the chip lead with four players in, so it was a very disappointing finish. With 4 to go, I had about 150k out of 350k total chips. After that I got completely cold-decked. I rarely got a decent hand, and whenever I did, it didn't work out (like I got TT once, and Dustin hit his ace on the flop). Worst of all, I made a few major errors. There were a few big pots I could've taken down with bluffs, where I had a really strong read that all I had to do was raise and I'd take the pot, and I just didn't pull the trigger. That's a major error, when you see a pot that's free for you to take, you have to take it. Worst of all was this big hand :

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.

11-20-05 [poker] - 2

11-20-05 [poker]

I think I'm not getting maximum value on my best hands. If there are draws to better hands I hate to give free cards, which is sometimes a mistake. Letting someone perhaps catch up is a risk you have to take, just like getting in with AA over KK is a risk - you lose 20% of the time - letting someone draw when they have maybe a 10% chance of beating you is sometimes the right move. Here's a hand where I perhaps make this mistake :

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.

11-20-05 [poker] - 1

11-20-05 [poker]

Ugh. One of the worst feelings in poker is playing with super-loose donkeys and not getting hands. You have to show down good hands to these people, it removes all your play. It should be a very +EV game, but it takes your fate out of your hands and puts it in the luck of the deck, and when your cards go cold it's just so frustrating.

11-20-05 - 1


Wide receiver may be the most over-rated position in the NFL. The difference between top-level receivers (Owens, Moss, what have you), and 3rd string guys (like a Brandon Stokley or Chris Henry) is pretty insignificant. Receiving performance has far more to do with the QB, the offensive line, the running game, and the play calling. A 3rd stringer can have a huge game if those other components are good. Analysts who say "Moss needs to have a big game" are morons; Moss has very little influence on whether his game is big or not, it's all those other factors.


11-19-05 - 1


This nonsense about putting rosemary in your oven or grill so that it gives off savory smoke and flavors your food is useless hype. The affect if any is negligible. You'd be far better off just putting some rosemary directly on your food. Even worse was the suggestion to use rosemary twigs as skewers for shishkebobs. Not only do you not get any rosemary flavor (which is in the oil in the leaves), but rosemary twigs will burn and give the food a foul flavor.


11-18-05 [poker] - 3

11-18-05 [poker]

Played a very fun $33 three-table this morning, and wound up with second place. I got short stacked early, but fought back and soon got a massive cheap lead and started to absolutely dominate, running up a massive chip lead by the time we got to the final four. Then I lost a few chips, and the 2nd place guy knocked out the 3rd and 4th place guys, which gave him a stack suddenly very close to min. This was "walla5", a very good player who I'd guessed would be my competition.

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.

11-18-05 [poker] - 2

11-18-05 [poker]

Scott Fischman recommends that when you play a multi-table, just focus on the table you're at. Don't worry about the average stack size, the chip leader, how many people are in, etc. (not until very close to the bubble anyway). Just beat the guys at your table, and grow your stack. Play good poker for chip value. While I think Scott is a douchebag, he's also a great player, and this is very good advice. I find myself getting caught up in keeping track of where I'm at in the tournament, and it's really just a distraction.

11-18-05 [poker] - 1

11-18-05 [poker]

This is one of those hands where I'm pretty sure calling was +EV, but I thought it wiser to save my chips for a better chance. It paid off, the tournament was full of donkeys and they doubled me up on my good hands.

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.

11-18-05 - 1


I've been trying to get a basic folder bot going again, but I just can't get the automated button-pushing to work reliably in Party Poker. I'm pretty sure the button in question is push button window created by MFC. Its window class is "afxwnd42s". Drew's old code to use SendInput() works sometimes, but it relies on the window being on top & other things like that which are hard to gaurantee. I've been trying to send button messages directly to the windows in question.


11-17-05 [poker] - 2

11-17-05 [poker]

Good day at the poker tables. I made one mistake - I once again called a big overbet on the river, thinking I was catching a bluff, and the guy turned over a monster.

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.

11-17-05 [poker] - 1

11-17-05 [poker]

As usual, Party Poker has thoroughly fucked up on its deal making algorithm. They use a totally incorrect formula which doesn't take the prize structure into account correctly at all.

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.

11-17-05 [entertainment] - 2

11-17-05 [entertainment]

What the fuck happened to nice night spots? From 1900-1970 the mainstay of nice nightlife were variety clubs, where you'd go, sit in a nice place, maybe have dinner, drinks, and watch a variety of entertainment - comedians, dancers, great musicians. These places are almost completely gone, replaced by seedy bars, dance clubs, pick up joints. Where do adults go out at night? Nowhere at all!? I see old movies where these clubs are just part of the background, a setting, the scene, and they're so lovely and fantastic!

11-17-05 [entertainment] - 1

11-17-05 [entertainment]

The shysters and profiteers (aka capitalists) of America are converging on New Orleans (those that aren't already busy in oil or military contracts). Seems to me that New Orleans real estate is a super-prime investment opportunity right now.

11-17-05 - 1


"Gozu" is kind of a cool weird interesting movie up until the part where the girl is introduced. Then it just sort of becomes pointlessly bizarre. It's still sort of interesting after that, but it ruins the subtle, creepy, surreal feel of it. Aside from that problem, it also suffers from going nowhere and not really having any characters or plot.


11-16-05 [poker] - 1

11-16-05 [poker]

I've been doing fantastically well in the local live game, and very poorly online recently. I could read a lot of nonsense into this - maybe I'm too distracted when I play online? maybe I can read people in the live game? maybe I'm more patient and don't want to show embarassing bad moves in the live game? - but I think the real answer is that I've been catching cards in the live game and have been ridiculously cold-decked online recently.

11-16-05 - 3


Rimjobs (aka eating ass) should henceforth be known as "Hersheys Kisses", as in "Hey baby, give me a hershey's kiss, will ya?".

11-16-05 - 2


Hiked from Partington's Cove in Big Sur up Tanbark Trail to the Tin House.

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.

11-16-05 - 1


Hiked the "Hi Mountain Trail" , which is short but very nice in a secluded ranch neighborhood. Did I ever mention the Los Osos Oaks preserve is also quite idyllic, small but feels wilder than many of the hikes around here. It's funny how after all this time and exploring there are still so many little spots I haven't been.


11-15-05 [poker] - 2

11-15-05 [poker]

We finally get to see the end of the 2005 WSOP Main Event on TV. What the hell is Andrew Black doing to himself at the final table of the WSOP? Any time he has a solid hand, he advertises it obviously. He takes his glasses off, smiles, chats, smiles and is very comfortable. Similarly Aaron Kanter obviously advertises his bluffs and weak hands; he looks like he's about to break down, he swallows hard, his mouth is clearly dry as a desert.

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.

11-15-05 [poker] - 1

11-15-05 [poker]

Racing against "good" hands (the top 10%), 99 and AJs are roughly equivalent, at 55% to win. AKo is about the same as TT. The low pairs are really bad. 22 is only 40% to win, which is worse than A2s !!

Note to self : stop pushing in with low pairs late in tourneys.


11-14-05 [poker] - 6

11-14-05 [poker]

The Poker Superstars II final is some of the better televised poker ever. Neither of those guys are really fun to watch, but they both play well. I actually think Todd plays better, but Johny just gets some ridiculous cards, AA, KK, QQ twice.

11-14-05 [poker] - 5

11-14-05 [poker]

The commentator on RoyalVegas is such a fucking moron. He's supposed to be a pro, but my god! The coverage is just as rotten as the ESPN WSOP coverage. 90% of the air time is player profiles and allins. I think we get to see like two hands actually played. It's a damn shame because the tournament structure is really great. Low blinds, deep stacks, and almost all pros in a small field.

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.

11-14-05 [poker] - 4

11-14-05 [poker]

Leaks in my game I need to fix :

  • Playing on tilt, trying to make up for losses. Just stop for the day!
  • Underestimating my opponents. Sometimes I think they're donkeys and make up some fiction in which I'm ahead. Assume they're good players until you know otherwise!!
  • Getting bored and not keeping full focus. Every pot counts, even small ones. Don't give up on pots!
  • Acting too fast, especially when I get on a roll. Slow down and think every decision through, especially big ones.
  • Making bad calls when someone overbets the pot. If you're risking a lot of chips you better be right! Let them bluff some times, make sure you win when you try to catch a bluff!
  • Calling too much when I think I have pot odds after stealing. Make the steal/bluff attempt, but then just fold to the reraise!!.
  • Paying off very big hands with not so big hands. This only happens when I'm running bad and get impatient.

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.

11-14-05 [poker] - 3

11-14-05 [poker]

Just went out super early in a tournament on this hand. I don't think I could have avoided this. For reference, JakTheKipper has been super loose aggressive in the few hands I've seen.

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 [15].
Decee3 folds.
salsa95 folds.
Scarrineau folds.
chukb calls [15].
x_neow_x folds.
nfin1 folds.
tencars calls [5].
JakTheKipper raises [45].
lanwin calls [45].
chukb calls [45].
tencars folds.
** Dealing Flop ** [ Kc, 8h, 2c ]
JakTheKipper bets [100].
lanwin folds.
chukb raises [300].
JakTheKipper is all-In  [1100]
chukb: ugh
chukb: I cant fold
chukb is all-In  [610]
** 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.

11-14-05 [poker] - 2

11-14-05 [poker]

This 2+2 anthology of forum posts is very nice.

11-14-05 [poker] - 1

11-14-05 [poker]

Could you play winning poker without looking at your cards? Consider that in NLHE pots almost never actually get to a showdown. Assume that you're not up against super-loose players where you'd have to show down a lot, and assume that others don't know you're not looking. Basically you're playing "Indian Poker", you just judge if you're ahead or not by the way the other guy bets.

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.


11-13-05 [poker] - 1

11-13-05 [poker]

This guy has a pretty good poker blog which gives you a good feel for the NL cash game and the variance involved. One thing he's right about for sure - sets are Gold Bullion in the NL cash game.

11-13-05 - 4


"Kontroll" is a beautiful movie; surreal, full of wonder & strange beauty, grimy, soft-hearted, whimsical, full of energy. The story in the end is rather thin, but everything else makes up for it.

"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.

11-13-05 - 3


This hand is sick. For background, StubomAnn is a real weird fishy player who will do odd things like auto-bet pot size with 55 when it's KT3 on the board. StubomAnn also seems to have no concept of bet sizes and pot odds, will fold to really tiny bets, things like that.

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).

11-13-05 - 2


Loose limps sink chips.

11-13-05 - 1


How in the world do ziplocs keep food fresh? There's tons of air inside your typical ziploc, so it's not just contact to air, it would seem, and yet they do indeed work. Maybe they keep out the unfreshness fairies that visit in the night.


11-12-05 [poker] - 8

11-12-05 [poker]

Oh my god, the fucking donkeys are killing me. I put a short-stack guy allin with 87s and he called with A2 and starts talking about how dumb I am (this is when the blinds were huge, but he was nowhere near pot committed). People who don't understand tournament equity, gap theory, risking your tournament life, etc. It's such a fucking minefield, you have to dodge smart crafty players, and then people who just have no idea. This is even in the $30 tournaments, which I thought would be better but don't seem to be much different.

11-12-05 [poker] - 7

11-12-05 [poker]

There's a lot of stupid poker tricks that are actually very effective. Anything that distracts your opponent from the play is good for you. In live games that can just mean dressing funny, talking strangely, being annoying. Personally I don't like needling very much, because it tends to make your opponents come after you, play more wild hands with you, which is ok, but it's not really what I want, I'd rather have them be afraid of me and fold too much.

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.

11-12-05 [poker] - 6

11-12-05 [poker]

Arg. I just made another one of the donkey mistakes that I thought I'd cleansed from my game. The mistake in this case is semi-bluffing on a good draw when there's little chance of the opponent folding. A lot of people flop a nut flush draw and immediately think "semi-bluff". That of course, is wrong. Semi-bluffing is only a good move if there's enough chance your opponent will fold. The first thing you should be thinking about is how to see cards cheaply, and also hopefully get paid if you do hit.

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 ]
steerpike_x folds.
alcher74 calls [30].
Tempest61614 folds.
zurk11 folds.
sdtaft348 folds.
outformoney calls [30].
ruffster111 calls [30].
Silverdog calls [15].
chukb checks.
** Dealing Flop ** [ 2d, 4c, 3s ]
Silverdog checks.
chukb checks.
alcher74 checks.
outformoney bets [300].
ruffster111 folds.
Silverdog folds.
chukb is all-In  [690]
alcher74 folds.
outformoney calls [390].
** 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.

11-12-05 [poker] - 5

11-12-05 [poker]

This article at 2+2 by Nate "donkey" Meyvis is a great example of justifying horrific plays with after-the-fact rationalization. In reality what happens here is the UTG guy makes a really really bad donkey play, which pays off Nate for making his slightly less bad donkey play.

11-12-05 [poker] - 4

11-12-05 [poker]

Today I'm playing like a fish, paying off all the big hands I keep running into. You know when the board comes with that 3rd suit card on the river and you think to yourself "oh well, if you hit your fucking flush, you win", well, he did hit his fucking flush, and yes, he does win.

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 [15].
alban71 calls [15].
BriLariche folds.
krhegg calls [15].
J_P_King folds.
chukb calls [5].
tonygaw checks.
** Dealing Flop ** [ 9s, 9h, 8d ]
chukb bets [55].
tonygaw calls [55].
jecttu folds.
alban71 calls [55].
krhegg folds.
** Dealing Turn ** [ 8h ]
chukb checks.
tonygaw checks.
alban71 bets [95].
chukb calls [95].
tonygaw calls [95].
** Dealing River ** [ Jc ]
chukb checks.
tonygaw is all-In  [990]
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  [895]
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.

11-12-05 [poker] - 3

11-12-05 [poker]

Here's another old hand. This is sort of interesting, because it's about how the odds are affected by hands people might have.

***** 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.

11-12-05 [poker] - 2

11-12-05 [poker]

Most of the hands that I save as "troubling" are in fact pretty obvious when I go back and look at them again. Here's a typical example -

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.

11-12-05 [poker] - 1

11-12-05 [poker]

Recently I've run into a lot of people late in tournaments who call my all-ins with too many hands. I've had QQ called by A8, 77 called by A4, A2 called by K9, and AT called by 97 (all losing of course - by definition, since they're the hands I go out on!). Now, the hands they call with might be okay move-in hands, but are not ok call hands because they're risking a lot of their tournament life (I'm actually short stack in these cases, but never was my stack so trivial that they could call without risking half or more than half of their stack). There's a nice article by Tysen Streib in the latest Two + Two online magazine about this. Basically what happens when they call too much is that BOTH of us badly lose EV, and the people who gain EV are everyone else who's not in the hand, since it greatly increases the chance of one of us going out, hence everyone else placing higher in the money. By calling here, they certainly hurt my EV, but they also hurt their own EV.

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.


11-11-05 [poker] - 1

11-11-05 [poker]

Just got out of another tournament. 540 players, I made 42nd for a tiny bit of cash. All the cash is in the top ten, so I barely tripled my buyin for three hours of work. I was near the big stack with 60 to go, and then took a series of bad beats. I was getting exactly the situations I wanted - allins against the very short stacks where I was a good favorite, usually around 60/40. I took a beat with AT against 97, and suddenly I was an average stack and had to scrap, and blew out with another rough beat (A3 beat by K9). God damn, I'm doing so well in these things and can get deep almost every time, but then I can't make a high place, I keep getting the wrong luck at the very end.

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.

11-11-05 - 1


So, we were talking about ridiculous boob jobs and one thing led to another and I found this hillarious page - Super Pam . It's very bizzare to me that anyone even considers Pam Andersen in the least bit attractive. Before her boob jobs she was somewhat attractive, but not very, her face was very plain and a bit on the dog side, her body was good but not better than thousands of other models that are much hotter. Since then she's just been revolting, and her face has only gotten worse.

old rants