Bets Earned, Bets Paid, cryptocurrency, Rule Nits Wrong, and a Multiverse...

Last time I left you with some threads dangling...

So...  I had to get to 202 lbs.  I barely made it.  Two days before weigh-in I was under.  A day before I was over.  Morning of...  did it.  32 lbs down and bets won.

Also, the man, the myth, the mega-master Kenny Milam went without his mustachio nor the remainder of his hair and honored his bet.  Here's the new Chrome Dome himself.

Crypto...  it's crashing (as I type this).  I think it'll be a great time to buy, soon (or already is). Not sure if bitcoin will fall to 5k but it might--if it does jump in with both feet. 

Why?  The app Robinhood going to offer the two big crypto coins  "fee-less" which will result in a nice short term uptick in both bitcoin and ethereum.  Robinhood will not be alone in expanding the potential market for investors.  I also think the money moving out and continuing to move out will force the popular Coinbase to add new alt coins sooner rather than later.  I like Ripple and a few of the other big ones to get a slot.  That should also result in an uptick in those if you pick right.  The big problem is if the panic is real and people just desert the concept of alt coins entirely after losing a bit.  I don't know how to predict that, this is starting to feel a bit like a bank run, but I still like the coins long term and will hang on to some even if the crash keeps going.

Okay... on to some new stuff.

*Keep seeing people posting and complaining about amateurs getting penalties.  Allen Kessler recently tweeted just that.  There is this groupthink that enforcing penalties on amateurs somehow damages the game.  Those that think it are well intentioned but wrong.  Two penalties I frequently see mentioned are acting out of turn (or exposing their cards before action is complete) and not betting the nuts on the river.

You can argue what the severity of the penalty is but the argument that amateurs should be protected from being penalized for making neophyte mistakes is just wrong.  One of the planks of this argument is you don't want to embarrass the new guy or chase him away.  In fact, that seems to be the overriding rationale for this reasoning.  There are better, more self-serving rationales for this argument which I'll get to, but nobody seems to be citing them.

First, if you want to really protect the amateur you give him the penalty.  You press it into his head the importance of his relative hand strength and being able to read the board correctly.  This will be the best thing for him as he'll learn from it and maybe not repeat the mistake.

Second, let's just dismiss the idea completely of scaring the amateur away. It's so patently false, that a guy who makes the commitment to play even his first tournament is simply going to give up, because of the embarrassment of getting a penalty.  You chase away exactly zero people.  And if I'm wrong and you chase away even 1 person they are so fragile any way something else in that same tournament might have set them off.

Or worse, in my opinion most times the embarrassment that inevitably would follow when after checking the nuts and NOT getting penalized will be worse for them.  There is a minimum 1 in 8 shot there is a smart mouth at the table who will something like "you can never be too careful," and cause everybody else to laugh at him.  Eventually he'd figure out why.  Fragile ego still quits poker then... and that's far more likely to happen then a guy giving up because he got a penalty.

Thirdly, I've seen amateurs check the nuts to pretty girls, a guy they've had good conservation with, or a person across the table who has attacked the dude in the Trump Sucks Hat.  Then they are surprised they have violated poker rules by colluding or soft-playing.  They are unaware that's a thing.  Enforcing that rule quickly establishes that is indeed a thing and bad for the rest of the table.

Now... if all these pros worried about this fragile little amateurs were actually saying the shouldn't be penalized for selfish reasons...  i.e.  I hope that guy makes that same mistake again...  later to me.  Fine.  If you don't want to educate the amateurs and you get lucky enough that there isn't a smart mouth at the table to embarrass him and the dude wasn't naively trying to collude... okay, I at least understand the logic behind that argument.  But don't sell it as looking out for the amateur's interests when it's not.

I think I've written about this before but another factor for enforcing it is to protect the game is a little more complex, but tie into an issue that I got into it with a high stakes pro at the main event one year.  This was about having to show your cards at showdown to win the pot if your opponent mucked.  He sanctimoniously lectured me about how information was more valuable then preventing the cheating that doesn't happen.  Wow, you don't say Dan... in a game of partial information... information is valuable?  Well, to be even more condescending he clarified it was valuable to him and players at his level.  The rest of us idiots I guess were just mashing buttons and looking at our hole cards.  He's mistaken though.

Currently, a bunch of Germans at one point almost all backed by the same guy, possibly even on the same bankroll, are dominating the high rollers.  Nobody has said they are cheating (and I'm certainly not making that claim), but should they play these small field high stakes events without hole cams and can muck rivers with a hand being shown...  how will you protect yourself if they are cheating?  You'll never know. Chip dumping is now easy all to protect the partial information exposed of showing your hand.

Much the same, low stakes games could also attract teams or soft playing friends that now have a loophole to chip dump.  Maybe in 7k Main Event fields, okay, this guy has a point, the chance is tiny anybody would exploit the new rule.  That said Tim Burt and I have shared Main Event tables two or three times.  I like Tim, if we were cheaters or opportunists, and wanted to chip dump or soft play we could have even in one of the most massive fields of the year the opportunity was there... multiple times.

Rules to protect the game are in place for very good reasons and should be upheld and enforced.  You want a guy to have the opportunity to check the nuts or call to the river and muck with no penalty you are only setting yourself up to be cheated.  Google poker cheats, or tournament poker cheats, chip dumping, colluding or what have you and there is ample enough reason that amateurs should be penalized and rules strictly enforced even if it means chasing away one or two fragile egos.

*MULTIVERSE:  There is growing evidence our universe is not alone.  There is also growing shared opinion that there may not be a finite amount of universes but an infinite number of universes.  See if this blows your mind a bit.  If there are an infinite amount of universes... everything has or will happen. That means there is some guy who has gotten Aces as his starting hand in hold'em every single hand he's played and he's won with them every single time.  What a weird universe that would be.  Think Phil Helmuth is annoying imagine Mr. Aces. 

There is also a guy that's won every sportsbet he's made, every trifecta he's picked, and every game of rock paper scissors he's ever shot.  There's also a guy who's won every one but one.  That had to be an odd feeling right, win 'em all but one?

Now, to really mess with you.  Not only is there "a guy" to do that, that guy is you! Some perfect match of your dna, with your same parents, family, house, who literally can't lose a hand of poker.  A version of you who can't lose.

Even worse not only is there one of you, there are an infinite amount of versions of you who can't lose, because there an infinite amount of universes and an infinite amount of yous.

Meanwhile, you live in this universe where it seems like the impossible rarely happens (reality stars becoming President aside).  Is this a boring place or a great place?  What's the record for lightening striking a guy 7?  10?  Man, imagine if you were the you that's been hit by lightening and somehow still survived 200 times.  1000 times?  That would suck.

Also, there is a version of you who despite may be being the least athletic guy on the planet has never missed a basketball shot.  He's revered as the greatest athlete to ever breathe on that planet yet... only has gotten incredibly lucky every single time he's gotten the ball.

Conversely, as bad as you run in this universe there is some guy (you) who has only known the pain of getting one outed every single hand of poker he's played.  But wait it get's worse... there's another version of you who has never won a bad beat jackpot despite being eligible for it, every single hand you've played.  Only to have it overruled by dealer error or some technicality every single time.  Oh, yeah not just one of you, an infinite number of you experience this pain.

In the context of our universe these permutations seem so unrealistic it's hard not to doubt the possibility of an infinite multiverse.  But sometimes I guess you just have to accept science with blind faith.


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