Friday, September 30, 2011

OT: Political Attacks

You may be a racist if support this man!
Couple of idiots in the news this past week, I hate it when people use bad logic, and dumb people just blindly follow it because they have similar political opinions and they look up to these people.  This week, to be fair and balanced, I'll go after a liberal and a conservative.  I'm sure liberals will come on here agreeing with the liberal and conservatives with the conservative and call me an enemy of both.

 Maybe I am an enemy of both parties in a two party system that promises everything to their voters and delivers nothing.  It's almost comical to me... people blindly put faith in their parties... when both parties fail, catastrophically over a period of decades, to do what they campaign for.  I've said it before on here, but if I were some nebulous group of rich and powerful, the easist way to control a populace and retain power would be to give them two options... those options split on idealogoy, and mask themselves as opposites, but both are really shades of the same thing.  Kerry and Bush almost the same guy when you really strip a lot of it away.

Then you always win, you shift the pendulum a little to the left or the right, and you never have a population wake up and realize you are just screwing them over because it's only half of you that's wrong.  Instead of a complete overhaul of the system the masses look toward phyric victories in elections as solutions.  I don't believe in an illumnati or some clandestine group running things in our country or in others, but I do believe that a side effect of our system of government has created this.  People who tell you government is broken are wrong.  It's a well oiled machine run by big banks and rich people with an army of lobbyists dictating policy.  What a suprise a system devised by rich people favors rich people. 

So before I get to dissing the morons, let me just say our system is truly broken as far as the ordinary American is concerned, just take a look at our last president.  Whether you agreed with Obama or not is irrelevant.  Guy came in on a platform of change had a Congress behind him and delivered little of what he said he'd do.   If you believe every new President genuinely wants to change, then their ineffectiveness even when having a mandate and a friendly legislative body, gives you this idea that once they are sworn in some guy welcomes them to the White House and says, "look bub this is the way it's going to be.  Last two guys that tried to go their own way were Ronald Reagan and JFK and both got shot." Or something to that effect. Suddenly, there is a disconnect from what their supporters thought they'd get and what they actually got. 

Now, everybody is promsing the world.  And everybody's calling the other side evil but it's like hating George Washington's head but liking the back of the quarter.  These are the same group of people.  Alright you lemmings, now let me offend all of you.

Idiot number 1:  Jeanne Garafalo who came out and said Tea Party members support Herman Caine because they are racist.  Her "logic" is they can mask their racism by supporting a black guy.  Very intelligent, shrewd, and sublte point there.  To elaborate, they differ with Obama because they are racist and they support Caine because they are racist.  With that stellar intellectual premise couldn't the Tea Party also say dems mask their racism by supporting Obama and are outward with it by hating on Caine.  Yeah.  It's flat out stupid.

Morgan Freeman recently came out and said the Tea Party was created out of racism because their only goal is to get Obama out of office.  Hmmm...  so Democrats were racist against whites when their only goal was to get Bush out of office.  It was quite a surprise to one of the founders of the Tea Party when he heard Freeman said what he said... because that founder is black.

Idiot number 2:  The guy affialiated with the NRA.  He came out and said that Obama's plan to outlaw guns, despite doing nothing in his first term that was even threatening to gun laws (WHEN HE HAD A SYMPATHETIC CONGRESS) was to do nothing his first term, thus to get reelected so he could do something his second term.  Genuis.  What a brilliant strategy.  Maybe in his second term he'll also unmask himself as the anti-christ.  Good thing he waited four years because...  instead of doing it when he had record support behind him...  he'll do it when his numbers are at their lowest? 

Both idiots:  This is exactly the type of lunacy that people who blind themselves idealogical to one party or the other create.  Rather than say, well it looks like Obama's not that big a threat to the NRA but still we may get even more freedoms with a Republican candidate they just manufacture a lunatic theory to get the masses frothing at the mouth.  Why tell it like it is when you create an illogical and ridiculous half truth--for the good of the party.  Isn't it great that outspoken folks like Jeanne Garafolo and NRA executives support the cause so much they'll see the greater good is to  lie to you so that their side can win.  And the irony is then what?  Their candidate wins and does nothing that different from the last guy in office.

It's crazy how the democrats blast Bush of his bailout packages and ignore Obamas and republicans do the same thing in the reverse.  So many people get their news from one outlet, the one they agree with (and they've done studies to prove this) that they buy into the distractions and the lunacy and the fallacies. 

I had a conversation with a person who hates Obama, he hates most politicians (like me), but is definitely a Fox news viewer.  He slammed Obama, told me everything Obama was trying to do, and told me how evil he was.  I had just heard how Obama's legislation cribbed a lot from Republicans and what he was trying to pass through Congress was kind of genuis because he was going to take those popular ideas and use them as his own (or perhaps he shared those ideas and they were truly common ground--doesn't matter).  I ask this man about what he thought about this possible political gambit and Obama's speech.  And he said, well hell if I know what Obama's doing I never listen that a-hole.


Have we really come to this, that we don't even listen to what the other side is saying, we just feed at the teat that filters the news for us and tells us what to think?  The answer is obvious, yes.  There is passionate and fervant discord and blindness to the fact little changes.  Go on defending your filters, go on lauding your stand-ins that tell you what to think, no matter how ludicrous the logic is used to get there, and enjoy never really having a say in the politcal process because true change will never come at the hands of the democrats or the republicans, true change will only come when we completely tear the system down and start over...  guess what billions of dollars will insure that will never happen, even if it's the billions of dollars of our money used to bail out the banks.  Or the billions of dollars of our money cycled through government projects and back into the politicians pockets via lobbyists and businesses.  Meanwhile, people will argue until they are blue (or red) in the face about the issues they are told are important.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Counterfeit Bill

I have one thing to discuss this week poker wise.  I've been counterfeited quite a bit recently and I think that should be my new nickname for the week Counterfeited Bill.  One of the hazards of being somewht good at poker is you figure out when you are beat, know you can't get a person off the hand with a bluff, know you don't have any implied odds to make the call, and make the correct fold... why? Because you'll rarely do the counterfeiting... so next week it's unlikely I'll call myself Counterfeiting Bill.  That means you'll give a disproportionate amount of body blows than you receive.  Course it also means you'll make more money than the suckers chasing hands when they shouldn't long run.

This brings me to my topic this week, and what I think this is the area of discipline that is hardest in poker.  You get counterfeited all day.  Doesn't matter if you price them off the draw or you price them in to risk getting a little more money before hammering 'em later.  Then finally you hit your breaking point and can't fold when you know you should.  How to do you find the strength to fold after being bad beated all day.  Or does just everybody eventually break and call knowing they are beat?

Let's say your opponents have been hitting you back all day, after you hit some big hands on the flop or the turn,  you know they've hit, and you fold on a later street.  You've been counterfeited which is fine, but then it keeps happening.  How do you find the discipline to keep folding, especially in a tournament.  You see your chips dwindle away despite you making the right decisions.  I struggle with this in poker in cash games and tournaments.

Last couple of weeks, this has been a theme for me.  Final tabled the Donkley last week with a big chip stack.  Limped with aces, took a few limpers with me, and as I expected the shortish big blind shove.  He woke up with a hand and picked up his chips ready to move in, as he had done previously.  When I saw bullets I set the trap.  I reshoved covering the other limpers, pushing them out with that extra money in the pot and watched his pocket 5s go four to a flush.  We discussed chopping and he refused despite the fact he had less than five big blinds.  Thereafter, I run AK into JJ and I'm out.  He departed shortly after me.  The bad beat wasn't losing the hand but losing it to the one guy that wouldn't chop despite it hitting the "craps" stage of the tournament.  Had the hand held, we chop right there or maybe a player later, because I have 33% of the chips in play.

This week, after making lay-down after lay-down, me and the same guy are in the blinds and both short.  I have a hand I want to see a flop with but maybe I should have just shoved with a little over 3k and blinds 100-200.  I flop open ended.  There are two hearts on the board and he checks his cards to confirm he's on that draw.  I make a bet and he quick calls (I know he has the hearts).  I hit the straight on the turn and bet bigger, pricing him out, so I think.  No.

River is the heart.  I check and he shoves.  Sweet.  Now most of my chips are in the pot.  But I know my straight is no good.  Why call when I know I'm no good.  Because I've been folding all day and just couldn't find the folded I needed in my frustration.  In my mind, I fold again and move on to another hand with some chips to play with.  In reality,  I throw my chips in hoping I'm wrong but knowing I'm right.  Sure enough flush and I'm left with 100 left.

Scan ahead if you don't like bad beats, for your convience I've italicized them, but for those interested in how I couldn't make the right fold...

Earlier, I flop bottom two pair on an Ace high board in the big blind.  Multi-way pot, let the ace bet for me.  Checked around.  Nice job Bill.  Turn is a ten.  I bet big.  The button calls me.  River is an Ace.  That can't be good.  I check.  She checks.  I show my countefeirted two pair.  She almost mucks her J10.  Then realizes she hit and says "That's why I always turn the over."

Grumble, grumble. 

I fold aces, on a queen high board, three to a flush for the rest of my chips.

Grumble, grumble.

I flop a pair of Kings with Queen kicker.  EP (preflop limper bets).  I call.  My friend who wouldn't chop last week calls.  Turn is a second six.  Bet, call, call.  River is a brick.  Flared nostrils from raiser... hmm not good.  Ready for a confrontation and a call.   Great bet size, have to call because I beat a lot of his hands that he think might be good, like KJ, K10, K9, even some other kings (though I think he checks most of those and doesn't three barrel).  Guy behind me calls (I fold if I'm third to act).  Bettor shows A6 for trips.  I had the other caller beat who showed K10. 

Grumble, Grumble.  

I run AA, bet huge pre, bigger on the flop, into a turned queen high flush and fold the shove on the river.  Even better I was four to the flush with the Ace when I checked called a big turn bet.

Grumble, Grumble, Grumble.

So pray tell fellow players who do you convince yourself in the moment to fold when you know you are beat?  In a cash game recently I have KQ suited hit the flush and know I'm beat and want to fold but I didn't.  Evey time I have second nuts in that spot and feel bettered I always am.  So why can't I fold? 

Is it because the entire night I saw two pair become crushed by rivered straights.  Guys chase their flushes and check in the dark against my kings going to the river, hitting it, and then me checking behind.  So aggravating when people check and don't make the bet they have to, to justify calling a protection bet, on the turn.  If you going to chase your draws people, at least bet to make it worth it.

Another issue I have with draws, is I know which players will make it worth it, if I hit and which won't.  Against me, you may chase but short of nuts vs. second nuts you'll rarely get the pot necessary to justfiy the call.  Still bumbleheads do it all the time.  Checking in the dark when you are chasing the nuts... and hit it.

Please at least value bet in the dark or some sort of other strategy that might help you win the hand in more than one way.

That ended up being a lot of complaining, I apologize, but would greatly appreciate any insight on finding folds, after making frustrating folds, or getting coolered all day...  If you know any tricks please reply...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dead Money NOLA table 2011

Recently wrapped up the Dead Money Poker Tournament satellite table #1 in NOLA.  Our table only had seven players after a couple of late drop-outs but we played it out with a little higher buy-in for the seat at the final table.  The aggressiveness of my wife's cousin, gave him a lot of chips early on, and I thought maybe an inside track to win the seat.  I also hit a few hands and connected on flops, that I've recently been missing, to chip up. 

He's a player I don't like to mix it up with in some respects because, I can't ever seem to know where's he at, which is a credit to him.  We dueled in one big hand where I probably should have extracted more money if not for a fear of where he was.  Usually, he does the betting for you so I was going to let him inflate the pot.  I raised with J10 suited, from the button he said "I'll play with you, Bill."  Forwhatever reason, I thought that meant he had a big hand.  Trapping with AA or KK was possible but in retrospect less likely.  As I held a J and a 10 in my hand maybe I should narrowed it to queens.

The flop hit J109.  I started to bet but I had a feeling he'd do it so tapped the table.  He put money in and I check-raised him.  When he smooth called, I didn't like it.  Again, knowing him, I should have probably known I was okay.  I imagine he'd push back with KQ, KK, or AA.  When he just called it shouldn't have scared me as much as it did.

I checked the turn, he followed suit.  The river, another brick, and I mulled over my options, I didn't really want to stack off with two pair, this early and a ton of play, so I didn't really want to open the bettting and fold to a bluff if he pushed back.  I checked with the intention of calling a river bet.  He checked behind with QQ.

Shortly thereafer, and for whatever reason, probably socializing after exiting the hands, I was surprised to see Parfait and T.O. slim on chips when they went out early.  Missed the pots they lost.  Five handed saw Lee get short and saw the short stack Dave A rise from the ashes.  Lee got knocked out and it was four of us with me a shortish stack.

Blinds were getting a bit heavy so I shoved AQ, K2 (from the small), and then KJ suited from the button in three out of four hands I think.  Probably a mistake.  Dave woke up with AJ on the last one and after some deliberation called for almost his entire stack.  In retrospect I had enough to just bet and not shove.  I should have known with recent history he was going to call me lighter than normal and KJ is in trouble against a variety of hands.  Flop was dry and c-bet might have taken it down.  Oh well.

Later my wife's cousin made two pair vs. Dave and Dave made a straight to end his night a little too early.  Joe C was heads up with Dave, and had very quietly accumulated a lot of chips.  I was talking too much to follow the action but ironically saw a final hand of 1010 vs. Ak for all the marbles.  Ironic because we had been discussing a hypothetical situation of when you'd call off your stack as a small favorite in a coin flip and when you wouldn't the example we were using was saying you had pocket 10s and somehow knew for sure your opponent had AK.  Pretty lively debate in all the situations you would and would not do it including deep in cash games, in tournaments, etc.  Lots of opinions on that.

Obviously, heads up without knowing both those hands will get it in pre.  AK flopped two kings and turned an Ace for Joe to win it comfortably with a full house.  Congrats to Joe.  Will have to get an update from him about the hands he was involved in.  Very happy Joe qualified as he's played a lot of these satellites over the years.

Congrats also to local pro David Nicholson who also won a tournament with AK on the final hand.  Course Nicholson won a WSOP Circuit Main Event for 150k against almost 500 players so his was probably a little sweeter victory.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Future is Now...

Computers talking to each other.  Fun, stimulating conversation there.  The beginning of the end?

Here's some links that interest me:
  • Minority Report is here.  Predictive software on supercomputers are capable enough to predict riots, revolutions and civil upheavel.  How long til people have to spam the internet to run interference on the next spot of revolt?
  • That's Levitation Holmes.  From the folks that brought you invisibility cloaks now comes flying carpets.  There is something called Casimir force and the science behind it is quite interesting if you like quantum physics and metamaterials that theorhetically could make levitation happen at a reasonable expense of energy.
  • David Einhorn gives up the Mets.  You remember the poker playing donating to charity main event winnings hedge fund manager who was going to save the Mets, seems he's given up that pursuit.  Also, seems like the gild is off the lily in his day job too.
  • This one goes to 11.  Harry Shearer is a funny man (I liked him best stuck in a pod in Spinal Tap). He's also a smart man, that cares about New Orleans, his article on why you shouldn't be too happy with the Army Corps of Engineers yet. It is illuminating like a T-shirt of green bones.
  • To be the best you have to have you spouse beat you.  Even if you don't like wrestling you have to read this engrossing article about the styling, profiling degenerate wrestler.

Had a few good cash sessions in a row.  Still feel like I run terrible in cash despite being able to wait for godot.  Somehow turned a profit after watching two and three outers nibble at my stack again and again.

I folded this hand on the flop and regretted it. I had 109 of hearts. Flop was Kx9x8h. Bet, call, and I folded, but I was priced in. Literally, as the cards were leaving my hand I was thinking why fold I might be able to take a big pot. Bettor and caller are pretty tight but overplay top pair and nothing.  I knew if I hit a card that gave me a ton more outs, I might be paying off a big turn bet to see the river. Turn was literally the card I visualized hitting to tie me to the hand. Obviously... 7h. Bet, call. River 6h. They both got it all in on the river, each with over 400 in front of them and me with more than that. Umm... farts.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Weird Day at the Beau Part Two

Then he bets a brick river card for less than half of my remaining stack and left me 1600 behind. Nice value bet, jive Turkey. The Internet kid and the donkey sneer at his play and whisper "Yeah, he's got the goods but you have to call at this point." Suddenly, as I relieve myself of additional chips, the fat Brit chick Adele starts singing in my head, "You could have had it all." I call. He shows 6-6-6.

I dispiritedly throw away my hand. I grind a short stack until almost the dinner break. The guy next to me had been in my ear for three levels about my resilience in folding, basically teasing my patience as my ammunition marched away in blinds and antes... yeah I know I'm under 10 blinds again. The pimply faced Internet kid in my brain is throwing a fit.  He and a disapproving Dan Harrington are telling me just to throw the chips in. 

Then the guy next to me seems to make it a chorus.  I'm thinking... Yeah, I know it's sucks for you that you don't want to put in a raise and have to either fold or play for my stack I get it but could you just shut-up...

I've survived this long I'm not just going to throw them in there either. He bore a striking resemblance both vocally and follicle-ly to the bald short dude in the Princess Bride. I found it challenging to make sure he didn't drop poison in my coke. He was somewhat funny, so he wasn't intolerable. If I had a bigger stack I'm sure I would have found him more agreeable.

Finally, I have some good fortune. I win a few flips, he runs into my Aces (and folds) and I got a stack of about 30 BBs. I can play again!

I lose some chips playing hands that I just wanted to play. Needed my participation merit badge or something after watching the game all day. Felt like I was a stop motion camera as they'd play hands and I did nothing but observe and take mental pictures.  Then suddenly to have chips all I wanted to do was to splash.

So, I look down at pocket Jacks and bet. This player goes all in over the top. I miscount his chips and quickly call. I think even if I did count correctly I would have called but it was marginal enough and he had shown down only premium hands when shoving that maybe I find a fold there. He had AK and I finally lost a coin flip after winning them all day to stay in. Then I get pocket Jacks again. My stack now below 15 BBs,

I hear the Internet geek inside say throw them in, of course the Donkey tells me to just throw them in every hand, so I finally do.

A capable player who I think ended up making the final table. Looked me over and asked if I had a big hand. I could see him studying me like I study others. Not sure what to do. Do we go false tells or not. I shrug. 10s, Ak or AQ. I'm ahead of all them I think, I'll take a call. But do I want another coin flip I'm due to lose a few more. He calls with AK. Splop, I'm walking away by the turn.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Weird Day at the Beau Part One

So I've played at the Beau and at Harrahs in the last week or so. Heard the action at the Beau has been fast and furious in the cash games. Wish I had time to sit down for a spell. Considering how I run there maybe not. While at the Beau, I had a long conversation with Reid G. He alerted me to a thread on 2+2 peppered with a lot of Gulf Coasters. Think we need to try and recruit Gabe Costner to be a blogger. He gets people reading and talking that's for sure. I spent several hours reading every post in that thing, compelling stuff.

Back to the Beau, I thought their Sunday tournament would have a huge turnout and actually got there an hour early so I wouldn't have to wait in line. Mistake. I didn't take into account just how many people would be sitting it out to play the heads up tournament later in the day. The tournament on the whole was very strange, I picked up some decent hands in late position frequently in level one and basically bricked every time. But it would always check to me allowing me to steal pot after pot. I must have gotten some showdowns because at one point I started counting chips, and I realized my aggression had almost already doubled my stack. Very strange.

Then, I started hitting hands. Problem was so was everybody else. I kept finding folds and they kept showing me I was making the correct laydowns. I noticed keeping hold of my chips was like trying to catch water with a net. They just flowed to all corners of the table. **Sidebar, can't tell you how many gear shifts I saw in one table. Myself included, but if felt like people were playing drastically different a few levels in. The tight old guys became three betting maniacs. This one dude who almost passively call-call-folded his way to no chips suddenly started firing three bets with reckless abandon. The idiots because tight.

This made the game exhausting, especially when I tried to short stack my way out of trouble, My death blow almost came after I suffered an impact with a cranial impaired player that would have knocked me out if not due to his stupid play allowing me to stay. Here's the hand. In a multi-way pot I flop top two in late position K10 (other card was an 8). There is a flush draw and couple of guys gave me pause like they had hit something. I put out a pot sized go away bet and hoped the scrub at the end that was fiddling with his chips, and had checked from the blinds, but raised preflop would call me with AK.

He called. The others scattered despite probably some of their draws being price in. A brick 6 on the turn got another stiff bet from me. He promptly min-raised me. Really... Set of 8s? Set of 6s did you just call my flop bet with fourth pair and draw to your two outer. I went over my image, and yes possibly, I was in too many pots and he merely thought I was f.o.s. inducing a weird call with sixs. 8s might just pop me back on the flop. So it's really 6s. Or is it Ak putting me to a test?

Here's my belief when a guy like him, white guy who has the dour complexion of a man that has spent too much time in the once smokey poker rooms the aversion to exersize that I'm starting to adopt (ugh oh please don't be my future), who's not too creative and old enough in his 50s to never become creative check raises you or min raises or worse min-check raises you, you better start thinking about the best possible hands and if you aren't holding one of them get out.

Set of Kings didn't make too much sense, but possible, course I hold a K and a 10 so both sets are somewhat less likely. Set of 8s as mentioned above and sets of 10s and Ks probably bets the flop harder with people to act after him and some draws. So now, I'm putting this guy on one hand. I'm getting signals of immense strength from him. I need to find a fold here.

Then I got that nagging voice in the back of my head... It's like a pimply faced internet player inside me that's saying, "Only donkeys try to put people on one hand. Gotta be hand ranges."

"Alright, magic the gathering champion what else can be in his hand... air."


"... he's polarized?"

The pimply faced internet player in my head picks his nose, rolls it and sticks it in my eye, "Don't say that. "Polarized" coming from you sounds like a Grandfather trying to say awesome, wicked, cool to relate to his 13 year old grandson as he's dragging him to an Elks lodge meeting in his 1989 Buick. Live players should just stick to body language not geek language." He went back to his nose, and said, "There's more where that come from especially if you try to say something like range merging."

So, the internal dialouge and the lure of the swelling pot gave me fodder to find reasons to call. The donkey inside of me suddenly weighs in with Eddie Muprhy's voice "Course, if you are wrong you got four outs and he probably checks the river anyway. Call him, Shrek!"

"Shut-up Donkey... wait a second Shrek?"

So, I call the min-check raise for over half of my remaining stack.