06-27-06 [poker] - 1

06-27-06 [poker]

HoldemReview has some nice Party mods.

06-27-06 - 2


Anybody know a lightweight screen capture program that can grab overlay windows? I like "MadCap" but apparently it can't get overlays.

06-27-06 - 1


Swallow Formations


06-26-06 - 1


Dan and I went mountain biking up on top of the Cuesta Grade yesterday. We went East off the top of the 101 up the dirt road and along the top of the ridge. It's a pretty easy ride and it's just amazing up there, I had no idea!

Anyhoo, I took a bad crash, which is idiotic because it's just a dirt road, not tricky at all, I'm a moron. I cut my knee on my pedal, it sliced it down to the bone of the knee cap and I had to go to the ER. It was tough riding down after the injury because your body gets all stiff and shaky.

I found a cool medical web site that's intended for doctors and thus actually has real information. They describe Laceration treatment . I'm thinking I might remove my stitched myself. You just snip them and pull them out, right? I don't need to go wait in a doctor's office for that.


06-23-06 [poker] - 1

06-23-06 [poker]

I've been thinking about short stacking with the Sklansky-Chubukov concept. The idea is that you can push all in and turn your cards face up and your move can still be profitable. Your opponents call with any cards that are good for the pot odds against you, they fold hands that aren't. Obviously if you shove AA they fold everything. If you shove AQ, they fold AJ, but can call with 22. This allows them to play perfectly, and yet it's still profitable in many situations because of how often they have to fold (and even when they do call, you're usually not in bad shape).

Now, obviously you're not actually exposing your cards when you push. You get AA and obviously push - they're going to call sometimes. When they do, they are making a mistake (in the true Fundamental Theorem of Poker sense - they're making a different play than they would if they could see your cards), and you get extra value. So, if you push only when Sklansky-Chubukov says you should, any time they make the play they *should* make (if they could see your cards) - you're still profitable, and often they will make other plays, and those just give you extra value.

The nice thing about this push is that it cannot possibly be wrong. It's gauranteed +EV. However, it may not be even close to the most +EV thing you can do. With a given hand where pushing is +EV by this measure, all that tells you is that you shouldn't fold it. You could push, but limping or making a smaller raise might be much more +EV.

Furthermore, there may be hands you can push that are not +EV by Sklansky-Chubukov, but are +EV in practice. For example, with a 20 BB stack, pushing AQo in this way is -EV because you are called by AK and any pair. In reality, it's much better, because your opponents can't see your exact cards. They will fold the baby pairs, which is good for you (more folds), and they might call with AJ.

In reality if you have some push range {PR} and they have some call range {CR}, you can optimize against each other, eg. you pick your pushes to be the most +EV things to push against their call range, and they pick what to call with based on your push range. The only thing we can say for sure is your push range is >= the Sklansky-Chubukov pushes.


06-22-06 [poker] - 1

06-22-06 [poker]

Some interesting river betting :

Hero is SB with Th Tc

UTG folds, CO Calls, Button folds
Hero RAISES ($4.5), BB folds, CO Calls

(2 players) FLOP: 8s 7h 5s  ( Pot Size:  $11.00 )
Hero BETS ($8), CO Calls

(2 players) TURN: 7d ( Pot Size:  $27.00 )
Hero BETS ($18), CO Calls

(2 players) RIVER: Ts ( Pot Size:  $63.00 )
Hero BETS ($21), ...

(I intentionally bet abnormally small on the river here; something like $40 would be a normal value bet). Villain here has one of two things : something like 99 or A8 where he'll only call a small bet on the river. Or, he has a flush. Often when Villain has one of two hands you can't really maximize against both, you just have to pick the one that will pay you off better and try to maximize against that. But this river is perfect to maximize against both. If he had the flush draw, he just made it, and I made a house. I can make a small "fake blocking bet", and if he has the flush he'll think I'm scared of it and raise. (in fact, if he's aggressive he might even raise without it to represent the flush).

Here's another interesting one that's sort of backwards from the first :

Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is BB with 5c 4s
3 folds, Button limps, SB folds, Hero checks.

Flop: 3c Qc 6h ($2.50, 2 players)
Hero checks, Button bets $2, Hero raises to $7, Button calls ($5).

Turn: 2d ($16.50, 2 players)
Hero bets $14, Button calls.

River: Qd ($44.50, 2 players)
Hero checks ... 

Again Villain has one of two hands : either he has Qx , something like KQ, and just made trips, or he has a flush draw, two clubs, and he just missed his flush draw. I have a straight and can maximize against both by checking. If I just bet here, he probably calls with Qx, or maybe raises, and he just folds his missed flush draw. If I check, he might be his flush draw, he also certainly bets his Qx. I then check-raise all in. He of course folds his missed flush draws, but I already got a bet out of them, and he probably calls the check-raise with a good Qx like KQ or AQ, which gets more out of them since they might just call if I lead the river.

06-22-06 - 1


Wow, I didn't know you could POP gmail, that's awesome.


06-21-06 - 2


The stock market has an annual oscillation where it goes down in June-July and goes up in Nov-Dec. That means if possible you should try to buy in to the market in the summer and sell in the winter. Unfortunately I need to sell now when it's down :(

06-21-06 - 1


Soccer needs a rule that if you fall down and moan and flop about in pain, you have to leave the field for at least 5 minutes. That would cut down on all the fake flopping trying to get calls.


06-19-06 [poker] - 1

06-19-06 [poker]

Tony G's performance in the International Poker Challenge (IPC) was pretty awesome. The goal in poker is to play better than your opponents and there are two general schools on how to do this - first is you both just play your "A" game, and you try to play better than they can; you think your logic and reading, etc. can beat theirs and you'll win over time. The other school is to make them play worse than their A game. Maybe their A game would beat you, maybe not, but your goal is not to beat their best game, it's to bring down their play by getting in their head. There are two general ways of doing this - one is through table talk & persona, the other is through your own play. Guys like Tony G (and Scotty Nguyen and Phil Helmuth) talk a lot and have a persona that puts opponents on tilt, but they actually play really vanilla basic solid poker. Their goal is to make opponents think they're playing more crazy than they really are and to get opponents to take shots at them with lesser hands. The other way is to tilt them through strange play - by playing in a weird way, you can confuse and disorient people, especially the "table coaches" who get angry when you win a hand that you weren't "supposed to". The strange style on its own may be -EV, but people adjust to it so badly it becomes very +EV. People who do this are Gus Hansen, and Alan Goehring, for example.

06-19-06 - 3


The Connie Chung video is unbelievable. Around minute 1:40 make sure you watch the piano dismount.

The Castle Illusion

How to fold a shirt

06-19-06 - 2


I think I just saw an American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis). They're gorgeous and have a weird song; a breeding pair just flew into the yard, the cat started to stalk it, and they took off. Hmm, apparently they're very common and it's no big deal - well I've never seen one before! (that I noticed) I guess it's their brooding season now (one of the few birds to do it in June-July) and they're in their radiant summer feathers after spring molting.

06-19-06 - 1


One of the best ways to encourage employment in the U.S. would be to have the government cover medical & pension expenses. Currently, employers cover salary, as well as health care, retirement/pension, and pay the unemployment taxes, etc. For a worker of salary X, these other costs are often X again or more. If instead the government covered all of these, not only would employee change be easier (see my previous rant on this), but also the cost of employment would be greatly reduced, making it more appealing to have more employees. Currently you have almost ridiculous measures in automation to try to reduce the number of employees because the cost of having employees is so high. (one that comes to mind is garbage trucks with these fancy robotic arms so that they can have just 1 person driving - there's no way that saves money compared to a basic truck with 2 humans, unless the cost of that human is just ridiculous).

Where would this money come from? The general tax fund of course. Similarly, there's this talk of adding an extra tax on "windfall" profits from oil companies, and complaints about executive pay. That's sort of ridiculous and unnecessary. Instead you should just have a very steep progressive tax on corporate profits and salaries. If some executive wants to give himself a $100M salary, okay, that's fine, but the income above $10M should be taxed at 50% or something. Similarly, corporate profits over $1B or so could be taxed at a very high rate.

Now, the idea that this would be restrict the economy is ridiculous. In recent years the Bush tax cuts have gotten some credit for stimulating economic growth. That's absolutely preposterous. If the tax cuts did have any stimulating power at all (which is dubious), it's over a longer period as markets and companies adjust. 99% of the short term growth and liquidity has come from the Fed - the Fed interest rate is a much more powerful and immediate tool for economic stimulus. Low interest rates and a booming housing market and defecit spending have created a glut of capital.

If you really want to stimulate the economy you should eliminate all the little ridiculous taxes. Sales tax should go completely. All taxes on small transaction like that should go. Import & Export taxes should go, though that's more complicated and you may have to add "taxes" to compensate for certain costs (as I'm about to describe). Similarly, to make a capitalist system run properly, certain costs should be attached to the goods that create those costs. For example, a gasoline "fee" should be added which covers the estimated cost of removing the CO2 and pollution caused by that gallon of gas (as well as health care costs).


06-18-06 [poker] - 1

06-18-06 [poker]

It's a funny truth that one-card quads is more profitable than two-card quads. If you have TT and flop quads on a board like TTA, even someone with an ace will be scared you have the trips with Tx. On the other hand, on a board like TTTA anyone with an ace will go completely nuts because they think "there's only one T out there, how can he have it?" when in fact any Tx makes quads and there are tons of Tx hands (48 or so).

06-18-06 - 2


It's often said that Brazil plays a "beautiful" game. I think this is reffering to how well they flop and lie on the ground and moan and cry and pretend to be in pain when no one actually touched them. Beautiful cry baby brat fakers!

06-18-06 - 1


Fucking Neteller scum charge a 2% fee to transfer money between accounts. Basically they're charging you to run an "add" and a "sub" instruction on two numbers on a computer.

So, the trick to transfering money between neteller accounts is to use a poker site. Persons A & B both have poker accounts. Neteller <-> poker transactions are free, and poker <-> poker transactions are free. (actually neteller charges a fee for neteller <-> poker transactions, but the site covers it).


06-16-06 - 4


There is an ant colony living in my vegetable garden and I don't know how to get rid of them !!

06-16-06 - 3


I've talked to a few people and I should follow up on the thing I wrote about warming. Obviously I'm no expert on this so you should search around the net, but there's a key addendum I didn't know at the time.

Warming goes faster and faster as I described previously, but over a longer period (thousands of years) another factor kicks in : so much polar ice melts that a layer of fresh water forms on top of the northern oceans. This screws up all kinds of ocean current flow which is complicated and I won't fully go into. Among other things it actually causes the Gulf stream to reverse (!!). Warm water no longer flows north and the caps actually become cooler again. So, even though the Earth overall has warmed, the caps cool again and you have a very extreme state with heat trapped around the equator and cold caps. The ice caps reform and a cooling cycle begins. Now, cooling is also self-accelerating due to various factors, one of which is that ice is very reflective and reduces the amount of solar energy absorbed. A big factor here is that ocean mixing and ocean current changes is a very slow process (it takes thousands of years), while these other factors are much quicker (hundreds of years). The ocean response is a stabilizing counteracting force but it takes much longer to kick in, it's like a weight on a very loose spring - you shoot one way and it takes a long time to repond, then it way overshoots, then it swings way back the other way. Once the earth kicks into a cooling cycle, that's a much more stable state and the earth can stay in an ice age for a long time. The temperate/warming states are very unstable and the temperature can rapidly oscillate until it kicks back into an icy state.

Aside from our contribution to global warming, etc. at some point we'll have to think about the Earth's own natural temperature variations, and if we don't want to live in a drastically different environment, we'll have to do something very major to try to control the climate and keep the Earth in the unstable temperate state we like.

06-16-06 - 2


Argentina looks really good in the World Cup. All the other favorites look a little messy and out of sync to me (including Brazil). You never know how the teams will evolve as they play more, but at the moment I like Argentina to win it.

06-16-06 - 1


I need to get a big chunk of money out of stock and I'm wondering when to do it. I don't usually try to play short term variation, but it seems like it could make a big difference here. Even if I can just do it after some good news comes out and the market goes up 1% that would be big. One problem is it's all in mutual funds and there's a pretty big transaction delay (for me, but not for the hedge fund traders who "time" my funds, bastard corrupt system).


06-15-06 [poker] - 1

06-15-06 [poker]

Some gems :
1. Difficult decisions do not affect your EV
2. Min raises give you excellent pot odds for a bluff; if they work 50% of the time
3. Check-raising the river is good when he can either have a missed draw or a very good hand
4. There's a different type of "pot odds" involving stack sizes; eg. you must consider what they have behind, not just their bet.
When you consider calling on the flop, you almost care more about these "stack odds" than just "pot odds".
5. Trying to call down with hands with reverse implied odds is very very bad.  eg. hands like TPWK or middle pair.  You want to have
either dominating hands or hands that can improve.
6. If he's either on a good hand or a draw - you must fold.  SA/WB
7. The more stable player always wins.  A TAG against a LAG who are equal in skill, eg. 0 EV - the TAG will win if they have finite bankrolls,
because eventually the LAG will have a big swing and go bust.


06-14-06 - 1


Yikes, stocks have gone down the crapper. Almost all the gains of the last year have disappeared in one month. And it may yet get much worse. I've been predicting for a while that various factors are approaching to create a perfect storm for a nasty recession : pop in the housing bubble destroying consumer buying power and the real estate engine, rising oil prices undermining industry, raises in the Fed's interest rates constricting the economy, huge federal budget and trade defecits, consumer debt piling up constricting consumer buying power (undermining by no longer having home value to refinance), continuing growth of India & China in skill jobs, etc. etc.


06-09-06 - 6


WTF is up with Self Employment tax ? An extra 15% tax for being self employed!? That's just a BS tax on the middle class so far as I can tell. The rich who are self-employed create corporations and make themselves employees or shareholders & pay themselves dividends which are hardly taxed at all these days. B-Fucking-S.

06-09-06 - 5


It's a basic truth that insurance is -EV. That's almost in the definition of insurance : the insurer takes a profit to reduce your risk. What that means to you is any sort of reasonably cheap insurance you should pass up. Travel insurance, postal package insurance, dental insurance, etc. etc. all are -EV. The only things you should insure are when the unlikely bad event carries risk of ruin.

06-09-06 - 4


I'm thinking of selling the Prelude and getting a new (well not new, but new to me) car. I want something I can camp & offroad in - I've been taking the 'Lude but it's not good for it, and I've been in some difficult spots with it. The ideal car for me is the Audi Allroad. I hate driving something huge and sitting up high, I don't want an SUV. The Allroad can raise & lower for offroad or onroad driving, it's pretty fast, etc. Unfortunately it costs a fortune, around $100k new and $40k used. That's a little more than I'd like to spend.

The next step down in coolness would be a Subaru WRX Wagon with a rally offroad kit.

06-09-06 - 3


I planted some Basil & mint a while ago, and it just wont grow. The seedlings came up, but they're like 2 inches tall and have been that size for weeks now. Anyone have an idea what's going on, and how I can kick them in?

06-09-06 - 2


Hmm... I guess I need to pay quarterly taxes on my poker winnings and I haven't done so. Whoops!

06-09-06 - 1


I like watching Darts just because British sports announcers are so awesome. One huundred AND EEEEIIIGGHTTYYY !!! Then there's the one guy who just yells everything at a super-excited pitch even if it's totally mundane.


06-08-06 - 2


What's up with pointless live shows? Like NFL Live and World Cup Live ? They're just news/commentary that could easily be taped ahead and they could do a better job and edit out the nonsense.

06-08-06 - 1


The story of how Jerry Buss got his fortune is pretty amazing. He was a physical chemist on a small salary, and the family just saved and saved and bought real estate. He got lucky and was buying in a big slump in LA values, and was able to buy lots of apartments over the years which provided income and equity. With that money he bought up the seedy Sunset Strip, which then turned around and he made a mint. I can't find any more details online, if you can, drop me a link.


06-07-06 - 1


"Head over heels" is almost the opposite of what it means; it should be "heels over head" ! like the Brittish expression "arse over elbow".


06-05-06 - 3


I'd always heard there were a ton of rattlesnakes around here, but I'd never seen one (despite extensive hiking), until recently. I the last few weeks Dan and I have seen 4 or 5. Several times we've almost stepped right on them before noticing them; their camouflage is good and they just lie still in trails. I've seen a lot out on the road in the country just hanging out in the bike lane. I guess it's a good spot to sun themselves as long as they don't get run over. Scary!

06-05-06 - 2


My new thing in poker is trying to control my mind so I don't think about the hands as opportunities to get lucky. That thought process causes you to think your winning & losing is all in the cards & leads to bad things like overplaying big pairs, just giving up on pocket pairs if you miss your set, etc. Instead, I want to look at each holding as just a pair of cards to play. It's an opportunity to make the best decision possible at each juncture. I get AA? Okay, those are cards to play and make good decisions with. Those decisions might involve folding; that's okay, I had the opportunity to make the right decision and I did, yay me.

06-05-06 - 1


Diet Coke & Mentos


06-04-06 - 2


There are two things about Global Warming that you may not be aware of and are horrific.

1. Pollution from burning fossil fuels is not only adding CO2 and such to the atmosphere, which contributes to Global Warming via the greenhouse effect, they also add a huge amount of particulate pollution, which has greatly increased the cloud cover of the Earth in the last 50 years. The cloud cover has lowered the temperature. What that means is if not for the particles, the warming would be much greater. What's worse, we can remove and control the particles much more easily than the CO2; the particle-cloud-formation effect is relatively short term, but the CO2/green house effect sticks around. If we were to stop using fossil fuels right now, the earth would very quickly get *much warmer* as the particulate pollution settles out. (this is called "Global Dimming")

2. Warming is a self-accelerating effect (positive feedback). The more we warm the earth, the more it warms itself. There are a lot of factors that contribute to this. One is glacier sliding - as they melt, they develop a layer of water under the glacier which makes it slide faster into the sea. As it gets warmer still, arctic glaciers will start to break apart. Melting ice and permafrost releases large amounts of trapped carbon. Also supposedly once we get up another 5 degrees or so there's this catastrophic thing that happens where hydrocarbons at the bottom of the sea come out and we get a big acceleration of the process.

The self-accelerating nature of the warming seems to be a natural thing that has happened many times in the history of the Earth. Most of the time has been spent in an ice age. For some reason after 200,000 years or so of ice age, the Earth kicks itself into a warming phase, and it rapidly warms over a few thousand year period up to our current temperature, then rapidly gets warmer and warmer, and once it gets a bit warmer than where we are now, it kicks itself back to an ice age.

From some quick web browsing I can't actually find why the earth oscillates between these warming and cooling snaps. One thing is clear - once it's warming or cool it tends to self-perpetuate, and it's a very delicate system, it can easily be kicked into warming or colling from outside forces. It's suspected that in the past warming & cooling phases have been kicked off by variation in the sun's output, by major volcanic eruptions (from the particles blocking the sun), etc. Another factor seems to be small variations of the Earth's orbit caused by gravitational interactions with the other planets. The more I read about it the more complicated I see it is.

UCSD has an okay site and The Wikipedia article is good as ever. It's hip to trash wikipedia these days, but only morons do it; if the wiki's wrong, you can fix it!

06-04-06 - 1


I don't know much about Vonage's business, but the way their stock has plummeted recently, it must be a good investment, based on my guiding investment principle that "all of y'all are morans".

Similarly, I think there may be a good sports bet against Brazil in the World Cup. Brazil are rightly the favorite, but I suspect they may be over-favored. I watched the UEFA Champion's League final with Arsenal vs. Real Madrid, and in it Ronaldinho really stunk it up. It seemed like he was trying too hard to do something amazing - all his passes were one-time-touches, he was all flair and no control. He got several free kicks and blew them all, shooting crazy curving looping balls that were off target, rather than just straight well aimed controlled kicks. Now, obviously Brazil still has the most talent (there are players who are perhaps more significant than ROnaldinho, like the aging Roberto Carlos), but maybe they'll be over-favored.


06-01-06 - 5


My huge downswing continues and it's just getting ridiculous. There are many types of bad luck in poker and they feel very different.

06-01-06 - 4


I discovered a new tasty drink. Take a glass of wine and pour a shot of port in it. It makes the wine a little sweeter and adds a little alcohol note, it's quite nice for like an after dinner drink that's not as rich as pure port.

06-01-06 - 3


When your homie says "Yo, you wants to play some Scrable?" the only response is "Word."

06-01-06 - 2



06-01-06 - 1


This woman kicks some major ass http://thatvideosite.com/view/380.html There some awesome highlights, such as - "Please don't show me that at this point in time" (so eloquent!) and the cop car that just drives by http://thatvideosite.com/view/1670.html

old rants