Archive for June, 2009

Jun 23 2009

Reading Souls

Published by under Poker

For those of you who don’t care, this post is gonna be pretty poker heavy. You’ve been warned. But really, who wouldn’t care?

I think I’ve been playing pretty well lately even though I haven’t been getting particularly lucky. For those of you who are going to criticize me for bet sizing, I’m going to defend it by saying I was trying to get thin value as I didn’t think he had much of a hand. How good of a hand could he have had if I had top set? Any way, he hit his 4 outer and I actually thought, could he have AT here? I quickly dismissed that as a small part of his holdings and figured if he had that, then his poor play will put me in a good position to get the money back. It didn’t happen, but this isn’t the hand I wanted to dwell on. Not that I want to dwell on any hand, but you know what I mean.

I had been playing about break even for an hour and there was this really loose players at one of my tables. He’s got a 400bb stack and talking smack with another player who really seems like he’s getting tilty. Any way, the loose player has position on me and in a previous hand got me to fold KK when he was betting strong on an Ace high flop. I called a flop bet and folded the turn to a big turn bet. Since he had been really aggressive and trying to control the table, I decided to give him some rope next time I had KK (yeah, I had a few hands).

There have been a few times where I filter my hands in HEM and see this option to filter limp/raised hands. As a rule, I don’t limp/raise just cause, well, I don’t open limp much at all. But it got me thinking if there were spots where this would be good. I can’t think of a spot better than this. I have a big hand that I would like to play a big pot with. I have a loose, aggressive player to my left who likes to see flops and past him are a bunch of players getting into verbal altercations with the loose player. This has some seriously nice potential if it works out. I decided to limp with intentions of raising if the loose player raised and we got another caller in between. Well, I got half of that plan. The loose player decides to raise to 11x. Unfortunately that healthy raise kinda cleared out the field. I decided to change my plan and since I only had 110bbs to start the hand, I called instead. I didn’t want to chase him off and my hand looks really weak. I think he will try and get me to fold in a lot of spots. So what happens? Fortune smiles down on me, but not one of those “give an old friend a hug” type smiles. No, it was more of a “Look at this fool that I’m going to plant my boot firmly into his balls” kinda smiles.

Yep, there I am staring at yet another Ace high flops. Well, at least I have a back door flush draw. I can have my time at PLO to thank for this small glimmer of hope since PLO is the type of game where you try and find any backdoor draw and jump into the pool of razor blades hoping to come out unscathed. Back to the hand though. I figured I would check and see what he does. He bet small so I figured maybe he was just taking a stab with any pair. I knew I couldn’t raise and not get called by a better hand, so I just called. Come one backdoor draw. Nope. An 8. Sigh. Well, I checked again. Now he fires 33 into like 40. I tanked pretty hard here. Can this dude really hit a hand each time? Yes we know they can. But then I thought a bit more logically. He definitely could have an Ace but I think he could also have garbage just trying to bully me out. The small flop bet was kinda weird, but again, I can’t raise and just get it in as he folds pretty much every non ace or flush draw.

I end up deciding I’m going down with the ship and call. He fires another 55 on the river which was about half pot and was most of my remaining stack. It was a shitty card to bring the flush too. That couldn’t have hit on the turn? FFS. Any way, the plan was to call down once I called the turn, so I pretty much wince and snap call. He showed down 9To. Whew. This was one of the toughest call downs I’ve had to make in a while, cause truth be told, people have been just handing me money at the table lately.

Games are dead? Far from it. They’ve just changed and you have to change to figure out how to get the value out of them in another way. Some may not care for my colorful recap of the hand, so if you want to see how it went, you can check it out.

A little while later at the same table, I played this hand. This was a completely different type of hand. Didn’t really have much of a read on the guy but I’ll go through what I was thinking a bit. Preflop, I make a raise, get called by the cutoff and see a flop that gives me top pair. I continuation bet as normal and get minraised. I’ve been seeing a lot of minraising lately, and it seems to mean different things for different people. I can’t give up on the odds I’m getting, so I call but mostly, I just want to see how he treats the turn. Turn is a king which isn’t a great card but I doubt it changes our hands much but he checks it back. The flop was pretty dry which makes it really hard to put him on many draws, but his play seems to be really odd. River is a 2 blank which, again, I don’t think changes the hand much at all, but he fires again. I tank forever but the hands I’m really worried about, I think either bet the turn or check behind the river which is QJ and AJ type hands. I end up calling since I can’t put him on a hand. Turns out I made a good call. At this point, he rants about how he can’t bluff. I almost told him I woulda folded to a turn bet, which I was totally going to, but decided not to try and improve him game any.

I think the same player made a river bluff on me a few hands later, but that was to be my last hand at the table so didn’t make another miracle call with 99 on a KQxxx board. I think that would have totally put that guy on tilt had I done it correctly, but I was leaving the table and wouldn’t get any tilt value from it.

So yeah, I still ended up having a good night at the table. My month isn’t looking too bad either. Any guesses how life’s going then? Well, I’m trying to concentrate on the good things right now, so I won’t get into that. I guess I just need to play tons more poker and let my worries wash away as I shower myself balla style in 100s. Ok, not really, but it’s a nice thought.

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Jun 18 2009

The Fundamental Theorem of Poker (and Life)

Published by under Personal,Poker

No, I’m not talking about that Fundamental Theorem of Poker. The one I’m referring to is the fundamental theorem of poker and life (FTPL) which dictates you can either run good in poker or in life and never both at the same time. You can, however, run terrible at both, but that isn’t what this post is about. To expand on this though, it’s when things are going well for you in life, your poker takes a big dump down the porcelain super highway, and when life throws you a big ol’ bag of fail is when you run more robusto than ever.

As some of you know, I recently got an opportunity to play at the 100s again by some one who was willing to stake me. Over the first 6 weeks or so, I was basically break even and up a bit counting rake back. This month, however, I have done pretty well considering I’m still not running terribly well (I still can’t seem to win my share of AA vs KK hands). Despite that, I think I’m playing well and getting a lot of value out of people.

What I didn’t count on is the impending life busto coming my way. No, Amy and I aren’t getting a divorce (in spite of all the wife chat posts). In fact family stuff is all pretty good (other than a bunch of crabby kids that are having trouble adjusting to less sleep during the summer). But every thing around us seems to be going to pot.

Take Monday, for instance. If you follow my twitter, you probably already heard this tale. I came home intending to play some poker as Amy had taken the kids to TKD so I could have some time. I walk into the kitchen only to find a box of ice cream melting on the table. Yes, the FTPL dictates that this had to be a box of ice cream to allow for maximum fail. So I spend a few minutes cleaning that up.

I go in to try and sit down and possibly get a few hands in. Since I’ve been playing well and doing well, I was pretty motivated to play. I pick up my new hoodie that the wife got me and see something white attached to the inside. Yep, you guessed it. Security tag. (still looking for a better solution than me cutting the thing off, if any one has one, BTW).

Sigh.

Well, nothing I can really do about that right now. I mean I really want to get some hands in right? But… um… what’s that under my laptop? Ugh, yep a crayon stuck under my extremely hot running laptop. So yeah, I spent another 10 minutes scraping wax off my laptop and the desk.

At this point, I can see the type of day that is coming. I decide not to tempt fate not thinking clearly about the FTPL and ignored my want to play. Terrible decision on my part since I missed tons of obvious value in hind site, but my judgement was clouded by the recent events.

As the evening moved on, a monsoon moved into the area. Now, let me share with you a few important details. We have a promonade roof over our kitchen. Over the last week, the surrounding trees had dropped what seemed to be a snow storm of seeds over the last week. So about half an hour into the downpour, we get some dripping coming in from the ceiling of our kitchen roof. I, knowing full well it was those seeds that created a damn under our railing on the roof, go up there with a shovel to remove the drifts of seeds. I was fortunate enough to find a soft spot in our roof signifying to me the need to replace said roof.

A look at the recent forecast of rain over the next 4 days was going to make this difficult.

Actually, this event is what is allowing me time to make this post. I took today and tomorrow off to repair the roof and am currently waiting for the latest shower to pass to start removing at least the railing.

But to get back to the monsoon. It lasted for like 2 days causing all kinds of havoc locally. The downpours forced manhole covers to be removed from the sewer drains. Flooding in local rivers and even the local bowling alley’s roof collapsed closing it for the summer for repairs.

Obviously a bad string of events. I did break down and resign to the fact that I could do little else and should get some hand in on poker Monday evening. How did I do? I ran pretty f’n good. In fact, this week since saturday, I haven’t had a losing day. Monday, I only played a few hundred hands but made $305/hr. Ok, small sample and I only played like 55 minutes. But still, since Saturday, I’ve played 6 hours, 3100 hands and have been going at a clip of $139/hr. Not too bad and would be awesome if I was putting in more time.

So yeah. That pretty much sums it up. Everything is falling apart around me, but as long as I get time to put in at the tables, I’ll die a rich man. Cause this shit is obviously going to kill me at present pace.

In case you want to see the first 20k hands of my stake, you can find a chart here. I think you can see at which point life went down the crapper. Oh, and if you see me at the tables, you best ask me how life is going before you post your blinds.

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Jun 04 2009

A Song for Dave Ulliot

Published by under Humor

This is a shokingly addictive video. Got a hankering to hear it again and thought I might as well post it for all to share. Perfect timing in celebration for the WSOP going on right now.

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Jun 02 2009

Getting Chromed

Published by under Tech

A few friends have been talking about moving to the google chrome web browser. For a long time, I’ve been a big proponent of Firefox. And truth be told, haven’t had much of a reason to even look for an alternative. The game changed with Firefox 3. While Firefox still remains the browser of choice for many in the tech savy community, I know others as well as I have suffered through increasing instability and what feels like a bloated application. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an awesome browser and I still whole heartedly recommend it to any poor user I come across still using IE without knowing that there are better alternatives out there.

Good thing technology is always sprouting new seeds, though. I decided to try and feed my new gadget need and trying out a some of the alternatives. I’ll give Google credit. It definitely is a nice browser and I ,surprisingly, haven’t come across many gotchas while perusing the interwebs in my new chromed out set of wheels (pun intended). But it is not without flaws.

2 jump out to me right away. First is it’s handling of xml formed documents is terrible. It seems to try and view them as if they were html documents. Also it needs to have some way to handle rss files as live bookmarks. I personally find live bookmarks as more of an annoyance, but it’s still a standard feature in todays browser and I see no reason effort shouldn’t be made to make it contain the features that have become standards. All in all, this is a pretty trivial feature missing. After all, a browser is for, well, browsing html pages. Can I seriously knock it for having non essential features? Of course I can! But it’s still not going to keep me from using a good product.

The second missing feature isn’t really something that is standard, but it is something that has become so ingrained in my web browsing usage, that I dare say I couldn’t be without it. Yes, it’s my delicious bookmarks. I’ve tried various solutions that have failed for one way or another. I have recently read that the ability to incorporate plugins is on the horizon, so I have faith that a solution will be in the works form some one, but if I’m going to use it now, I will need a solution now.

Ok, so </rant>.

Start howto:

I did, however, come up with a quasi-solution. This makes it serviceable until a more elegant solution comes along. There are tons of posts out there talking about how to get a bookmarklet to tag sites to delicious. That wasn’t really my dilemma. What I wanted was to be able to easily find any of my 1000 or so bookmarks that I have already tagged. Isn’t that the point of bookmarks? To be able to easily retrieve what you have already found?

Well, since I normally end up searching through them any ways, I figured perhaps I could harness the keyword search capability of chrome. To create a new one, follow the instructions:

  1. Right click the address bar and choose “Edit search engines”
  2. Click “add”
  3. Give it a name, something like… oh, I don’t know… “Delicious.com”
  4. Then give it a keyword like say “delicious.com”. I tried to create one without the .com, but it didn’t seem to like that.
  5. Enter the search URL. If you want to search just your own bookmarks (what I was looking for) enter this in: http://delicious.com/search?context=userposts&p=%s&lc=1&u=<your_delicious_username>

Now, when you type delicious.com <some search term> it will search through your bookmarks. Again, not nearly as elegant as the delicious plugin for firefox, but as I said, hopefully some gracious member of the community is feverishly working to right this injustice in the chrome world, but until then, I think this will get me by. Hopefully you too.

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