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Views: 432
Date Posted: Nov. 20, 2:14am, 1 Comment

While eating lunch one day this week, I was flicking channels and came across this movie, Camp.  I only caught the last half, but it was about these misfit kids that get sent off to music camp.  Their parents don't know what to do with their gay, creative or awkward kids so they ship them off for the summer.  The part I could relate to was watching young people find themselves and reach their potential.  That is my ultimate wish as a parent.  I don't have a particular agenda for them, only that they find something they love and work to achieve whatever potential they might have.

I found the clip from the last scene, which I found moving and thought I would share it.  The back story is this girl had her mouth wired shut from some dental procedure.  Her parents show up at the end of the summer and the first thing the father does is tease her that it didn't prevent her from eating too much.  The song and lyrics speak for themselves.

 



Views: 460
Date Posted: Nov. 18, 2:15am, 0 Comments

Let me preface my comments by admitting that INTERNETPOKERS (Haseeb, aka Dogishead) is a much better poker player than I will ever be.  He is likely a better writer, more intelligent, and also more prone to hyperbole than I am.  But given all that, when I look over the recent history of Isildur1 playing durrrr, Patrik Antonius and numerous other high stakes players, I don't see the decline of western civilization.  In fact, what I see from my lowly perspective is more a tale of ego, riding the rush, adjustments to new styles of play, and issues of bankroll management and stop loss.  I don't see a transatlantic rivalry.  I don't see usurping some longstanding hierarchical hegemony.  I don't see the loss of heroes.  The battles will continue...

I come from a fundamental training site perspective.  What I mean by that is certain fundamentals are taught, that if you follow you can prevent complete failure.  If you follow the guidelines you are taught you can manage your playing effectively.  Any serious deviation can cause significant peril.

1. Establish a stop loss.  It can vary depending on how many tables you play and how large your bankroll is (e.g. 3, 5 or 7 buy-ins in a particular session or day).
2. Only play a level if you have X amount of buy-ins.  (Loose to conservative guidelines in cash games vary from 20 to 100 buy ins).  If you drop below that level you should move down to a level you do have the appropriate buy-ins for.
3. Remove your ego from the equation.  Put your money in plus EV spots and play through the inevitable variance.  Any player can beat you on any given day.  Accept some days aren't yours, regardless of how you play.

It sounds very basic and pedantic, but it applies to all players at all levels.  If all three principals are taken to heart by each player, the Isildur1 vs. durrrr and other high stakes player's matches don't become the stuff of major forum gossip.

Certainly dropping 30 plus buyins at the highest levels available online doesn't comport to those guidelines.  And yet, if you look back only a few months ago, durrrr took the same roughly $3 million from another Scandinavian player (Martonas).  Patrik lost a couple million initially, only to win it back and more last night, including the largest ever pot online of over $878k.

In fact, as we speak, Isildur1 is playing 7 $500/1000 NLHE heads up tables against durrrr, Phil Ivey, and Patrik Antonius, while durrrr is also playing Brian Townsend in $300/600 PLO.

I have to give credit to Isildur1 for reinvigorating the high stakes games that have suffered for large portions of 2009.  He is a brash young talent.  As I watched last night, his game was very much one of patterns.  He hasn't reinvented the wheel, only introduced some new twists and angles to an aggressive game.  For instance, while I watched last night, he liked to take away positional advantage by 3 betting from the big blind.  He liked to continuation bet roughly 65% of the pot out of position.  If he's in position and has the betting lead, he liked to continuation bet 85% of the pot on the flop and turn and if unraised, he usually bet pot on the river.  From my amateur perspective, I guess that polarizes your calling range, as people are less willing to call down with marginal holdings.  He will do it with a wide range of holdings and last night it was costly as he donated heavily to Patrik Antonius.  In the end, it is just about adjustments.  The best players will eventually make adjustments and if he doesn't counter adjust he will lose the edge he's had in the last few weeks.

INTERNETPOKERS' blog makes for better reading, but I think the lessons to be learned from these ongoing high stakes battles are more fundamental and less sensational than his observations.
  My heroes aren't ones of a geographic or generational basis.  They are ones who impress me by their creative play, hard work and doggedly responsible management of the resources they are fortunate enough to accumulate.

Views: 460
Date Posted: Nov. 16, 12:09pm, 1 Comment

During the 12 years I owned my art gallery, we donated quite a bit to various causes.  Once you get a reputation for giving, the word spreads and more people hit you up each year.  I tried to concentrate most of my giving to causes that had an Africa link because we featured African art.  We also gave to some local Portland causes because they were associated with some of my loyal customers.

One of the many charities we donated to was IDA-Africa (In Defense of Animals).  It was a Cameroon based charity run by an American woman named Dr. Sheri Speede.  They have run the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center for the last 10 years, rescuing and rehabilitating many chimpanzees.  Years ago, they held a large auction in Portland and flew in some Hollywood celebrity to emcee.  We donated a nice Shona stone sculpture from Zimbabwe, as I recall, for their oral auction.  Fast forward a number of years to a couple weeks ago when I stumbled across this photo from their Cameroonian refuge that has been making an impact across the internet.  It is a very powerful and touching picture witnessing the collective respect and empathy from all the chimpanzees for one of their comrades who had recently died of congestive heart failure.



Then a couple days ago, their yearly newsletter arrived with more details about Dorothy, the deceased chimpanzee pictured.  Dorothy had spent 25 years of her life with a chain around her neck - a forlorn "attraction" at an amusement park.  In May 2000, Dorothy became one of the first three orphans rescued by IDA-Africa.  She shared eight years and four months with them.

"Cherished perhaps most of all by Nama, her loyal friend who suffered with her through some of those horrible years at the amusement park and who was rescued with her.  Nama sat beside Dorothy in death, touching her gently and not wanting to leave her body.

While Dorothy never gave birth to a child, her motherly instincts were not lost.  Compassionately, she adopted baby orphan Bouboule in 2002.  Her love transformed him from a sad, insecure little boy looking for his place, to a happy, self-confident rascal.  With Dorothy's love and protection Bouboule grew physically strong and emotionally confident.  He is positioning himself within his family group to become the next alpha male, a position currently held by beloved Jacky."

Also within the newsletter are beautiful photos with bios for 16 of the chimpanzees.  They are treated with tremendous respect, as they should be.  We humans consider ourselves as the top of the food chain, claiming intellectual and emotional superiority as well, but I think there is a lot we can learn from some of the other creatures with whom we share this earth.

Views: 510
Date Posted: Nov. 14, 1:37am, 1 Comment

November is always my least favorite month, financially.  That's when the yearly property tax bill comes in.  I suppose if I made and owed a ton of money, that April would be my least favorite month, but I've gotten refunds 3 out of the last 4 years.


The property tax bill breaks down your billing in great detail.  This year, $86.40 of my thousands due went to the local community college.  My wife happens to work part time there and I support higher education, so I don't mind seeing money flow there. One of the things that public tax money supports are various student activities, including a school newspaper. Today, my wife brought home the student newspaper.  In addition to the school news, sports, arts and culture features, horoscopes, and sodoku, there is a word find.

This week's word find title: it's mr. happy, the redhead warrior of love

Words to search for:

badboy
chorizo
cod
dingle
earlyriser
eel
gadget
hismanhood
johnson
joint
joystick
knob
link
lizard
love weasle
meatflute
nimrod
oldoneeye
pod
putz
rumpleforskin
schlong
stiffy
trousersnake
porksword
wang
weddingtackle
weiner
winkle
zorker

Now is that the best use of my hard earned tax dollars at work???  Are you telling me that they couldn't come up with a less salacious focus?  The amusing part is that it was put together by a woman who proudly listed that she is a GED Proctor on campus.  When I glanced further, I noticed all of the other articles and features were written by women.  Apparently, these days, women make up well over 60% of the student population at colleges, and they seem to have one thing on the brain.

Views: 474
Date Posted: Nov. 11, 1:31am, 3 Comments

The last couple days I've been railing some of the epic durrrr vs. Isildur1 HU matches that Isildur1 has been winning so far.  While it's pretty amazing that an 18 year old from Sweden can come out of nowhere on Full Tilt just 6 weeks ago and move from 25/50 to take on the best online at 500/1000, a comment Isildur1 made last night got me thinking.  He asked repeatedly for durrrr to play 6 tables because he couldn't focus with just 3 or 4 tables going.

Initially that comment seemed counter intuitive to me.  Generally, we think of focus being paying attention to fewer things, not more.  A situation where you bring added concentration and attention to a subject. But when you look up focus, one of the definitions is the point when reflected rays of light meet or converge. Different eyes or lenses can focus optimally at different distances depending on their own unique qualities.

In the age of online poker, many young talented players actually prefer playing more tables insisting they play better.  Personally, my older, slower mind seems more focused when taking a more deliberate decisions on just a couple tables.  It seems that there is a greater comfort zone for these younger minds if the decisions coming at them are quicker.  I don't know if it's an age issue, a brain issue, some form of ADD, or simply a matter of training and comfort, but when there aren't breaks in the action, their minds don't have time to wander.  Their minds seem to function more optimally if they aren't given much time.  It is almost as if more time to consider their actions is detrimental.  Only when constantly engaged is their decision making process sharpest and best focused.

Conventional wisdom typically says that you should go with your initial gut instinct in poker and it seems these players are taking that maxim to lightning fast speeds.

Views: 474
Date Posted: Nov. 9, 11:29am, 1 Comment

I have always wanted to figure out how to quantify the luck component in tournaments.  We all know that skill alone doesn't win tournaments.  There is a significant amount of luck required for anyone to win.  While I have never played tournaments regularly, I have railed my fair share over the years and nowadays I host a few each weekend on Poker Curious.  After listening to a few hours of the WSOP main event final table coverage and winning a tournament I hosted today, it resurrected my earlier questions.  Where to start.

1. The best player doesn't always win a tournament.
2. You can regularly put your chips in with an equity advantage, but that is all it is, an statistical advantage.
3. Winning more than your fair share of 'flips' is essential.
4. If you have a bigger stack you can fade more bad luck.

Looking at a few selected key hands from the WSOP Main Event final table, we see that the luck component can take many forms. 

1. Akenhead's K-K loses to  Schaffel's A-A. 

2. Schaffel's A-A loses to Buchman's quad K's

3. Ivey's A-K loses to Moon's A-Q (I call this the LL2 hand - his bustout scenario deep in the Main Event)

4. Beglieter's Q-Q loses to Moon's A-Q with an ace on the river

5. Schulman's J-J loses to Cada's trip 3's

6. Buchman's A-Q loses to Saout's A-K

7  Saout's Q-Q loses to Cada's trip 2's

Luck can be a suckout, a setup, or just good timing. It would be impossible for anyone to say that luck didn't play a big part in Darvin Moon and Joe Cada reaching the final two.  They often got their money in bad.

Using my own recent experience as an example, I played in a Poker Curious tournament Sunday that had 275 players.  I never had a big stack until deep at the final table.  I just kept hanging around average for most of the tournament.  I am not a great player.  I play solidly. I don't make too many moves or bluff, but I also don't make big mistakes.  I know I'm not aggressive enough, and yet I won it.  I obviously won some flips and had a few suckouts.  I also took some beats.  A few examples of hands that went my way at the final table. 

1. I had A,K vs. A,10 that flopped a 10 and shoved, which I called and runner runnered a straight.
2. I had J's and got it all in against K's and hit my J.
3. I had A,10 against 8's all in and hit my 10.

All this is to say that without the breaks going your way in some form or another, you can't win a tournament.  I didn't feel I was a better player than most of the others at the final table, but I was as deserving as anyone from my level of play.  But is it possible to quantify my amount of luck?

I would like to hear if others have done this. I'm not a math specialist, but could you analyze the equities from the entire hand history record from a tournament, with all cards known, to calculate some combined statistic?  Or could you isolate just the all in hands you play to calculate your collective equity or luck similar to the 'all in EV' graphs you see for cash games?

If you can analyze the equity and results of one hand, can you combine multiple hands for a collective luck quotient?  For instance, if you know that you played 10 hands where you were flipping a low pair vs. two overs and 10 hands were you were a 60-40 dog and yet won 70% of those hands, could you come out with a combined mathematical equation that would relate your luck?  Or are there just too many factors to consider to do that in a tournament?  I'm just curious...

Views: 455
Date Posted: Nov. 7, 1:51am, 0 Comments

In the third and final part of this extended high stakes HU PLO all in hand review, we have four hands between Ziigmund and Ivey that occurred concurrently to the 12 hands I shared in the previous two blogs.  Then I finish with the four all in hands between durrrr and Ivey after the earlier matches concluded.

1. The money goes all in on the flop with Ziigmund holding 55% equity.
Ivey - Ah Kh Qc 4d
Ziigmund - Ks Qs 9h 8d
ivey bets 3k, ziig raises to 9k, call
Flop - As 7s 10d
ziig leads 12k, ivey raises to 54k, ziig goes all in for 92k, called
Turn - 7h
River - 2d
Ivey wins 200k with two pair

2.With so much in the pot on the river, Ziigmund bluffs off his stack in a failed attempt to steal it.
Ivey - As 9s 9h 6d
Ziigmund - 9c 8s 7d 7c
ivey bets 3k, call
Flop - 9d 4d 4h
ziig checks, ivey bets 5k, ziig check raises to 21k, ivey raises to 53k
Turn - Qh
check, check
River- Ac
ziig pushes 108k into 112k, ivey calls
Ivey wins $330k with full house

3. Ivey fires three barrels with position to no avail.
Ivey - Qc 10s Js 4d
Ziigmund - Kd Qd 10d 3c
ivey bets 3k, call
Flop - 2s 9d 7d
ivey bets 5k, call
Turn - Kc
ziig checks, ivey bets 14k, called
River - 3h
ziig checks, ivey bets 40k, called
Ziigmund wins $124k with two pair

4. Ziigmund holds 80% equity on this flop when the money goes in but loses.
Ivey - Ks Jh 10h 9h
Ziigmund - Ah Kc Jd 5c
ivey bets 3k, ziig raises to 9k, call
Flop - Qd Jc 10d
ziig leads 18k pot, ivey reraises 72k, ziig pushes for 99k, call
Turn - 2h
River - Js
Ivey wins $216k with a full house

After Ziigmund left the table, and after the durrrr vs. Ziigmund match had concluded, a steamed durrrr sat with Ivey.

1. Ivey has durrrr crushed with 89% equity on the flop and drawing dead on the turn
Ivey - Kd Ks 4c 2d
durrrr - Ad 5d 9h 7h
durrrr bets 3k, ivey raises to 9k, call
Flop - Kh 3s 7d
ivey bets 14k, call
Turn - 9c
ivey bets pot 47k, durrrr calls all in
River - kc
Ivey wins $140k with four kings

2. Ivey has 70% equity when durrrr calls off his stack on the flop.
Ivey - As Js Qh Kc
durrrr - Kd Jc 9c 7c
ivey bets 3k, durrrr 9k, ivey 27k, call
Flop - Kh Ac 4c
durrrr checks, ivey pots 54k, durrrr calls all in
Turn - 4d
River - 5d
Ivey wins $153k with two pair

3.  Ivey has 67% equity on the flop when they get it all in, but whiffs.
Ivey - Ks 9c 7c 5d
durrrr - Jh 6s 8s 5h
ivey bets 3k, durrrr bets 9k, call
Flop - 6d Ac 8c
durrr leads pot 18k, ivey reraises to 72k, durrrr calls off the rest of his stack
Turn - 3d
River - Kd
durrrr wins $108k with two pair

4. Ivey value bets his set, then check/calls durrrr's river bluff attempting to rep the flush scare card.
Ivey - 8s 8h 7c 5s
durrrr - 9s 7d 6s 2s
durrrr bets 3k, call
Flop - 8d 10hKd
ivey leads 5k into 6k, call
Turn - 4h
ivey leads 14k into 16k, call
River - 3d
ivey checks, durrrr bets 35,800 into 44k, called
Ivey wins $115k with set of 8's

Overall, it was a very frustrating session for durrrr against Ziigmund and then steaming a bit against Ivey.  Ivey seemed to run hot against both Ziigmund and durrrr.  Such is the life of Ivey.
  It will be interesting how he fares Saturday at the final table of the WSOP Main Event?

Views: 383
Date Posted: Nov. 5, 11:40am, 1 Comment

One of the interesting aspects of railing these high stakes games, besides the massive amounts of money being won and lost, is picking up patterns from these top player's games.  For instance, aggression is such a key component to this level of play.  Every button is raised 3x, so to combat that initiative the Big Blind ends up raising their top 40-50% of hands out of position.   Any of these three bet flops where the players somewhat connect and have 40-60% equity, they are going to get it in.  One session isn't enough data to micro-analyze their games, but there is always interesting information to gain from watching them play.  I always find it fascinating to watch the game flow, especially when one players seems to be catching the greater share of luck in a particular match.  How the other player reacts often dictates if it is going to be a small or a big loss.

To continue the hands, we are moving to the second table that was running between Ziigmund and durrrr.  I collected four more all in hands.  As you can see, it was a one sided affair.

1.  Ziigmund has 78% equity when he rereraises durrrr all in on the flop.
Ziigmund - Ah 7h 2d 5c
durrrr - Qc Qh 3h 3s
ziig bets 3k, durrr bets 9k, call
Flop - 2h 10s 5h
durrrr checks, ziig bets 12k into 18k, durrrr reraises to 54k, ziig pushes, durrrr calls another 54k
Turn - Jd
River - 2c
Ziigmund wins $240k with a full house

2. Ziimund had 90% equity when the money gets in on the turn.
Ziigmund - 4d 2d 4s 2s
durrrr - Ad Jd 7c 4h
durrrr bets 3k, ziig raises to 9k, call
Flop - Ks 2h 7s
check, check
Turn - Ac
ziig leads 15k into 18k, durrrr reraises to 63k, ziig reraises to 111k, durrrrr calls
River - 3d
Ziigmund wins $166k with a set of 2's

3. durrrr's frustration with the way the session is going begins to show when they get it all in before the flop with Ziigmund holding 73% equity.
Ziigmund - Ad Ac Jd 10h
durrrr - As Ks Qs 5c
ziig bets 3k, durrrr 9k, ziig 27k, durrrr reraises 81k, ziiig goes all in for 243k, durrrr calls
Flop - 5h 7c 2d
Turn - 3c
River - 2h
Ziigmund wins $292k with two pair

4. durrrr's hand holding corrupted in this hand history, but it was the last big pot in this match before durrrr quit.  It just wasn't his night.
Ziigmund - Jc Jh 5c 4c
durrr- X X X X
ziig bets 3k, durrrr reraises to 9k, call
Flop - 6h 2s 3c
check, check
Turn - 2c
durrrr leads 12k, called
River - Kd
durrr leads 23k into 40k, ziig reraises to 111k, durrrr tanks and calls
Ziigmund wins $254k with straight

In part 3, I'll show the eight hands that were played with Phil Ivey during and right after this two table HU PLO match.  Four of the hands are with Ziigmund and the other four are with durrrr.

Views: 395
Date Posted: Nov. 3, 5:03pm, 0 Comments

There has been a dearth of action at the high stakes tables the last couple months.  Finally, yesterday I was able to rail some good action at 500/1000 HU PLO.  Most of the hands are from the Ziigmund vs. Durrrr match with a few hands from Ivey vs. Ziigmund and then Ivey vs. Durrrr.  As there were over 20 hands where the players were all in and the pot was over $100k, I will break it up into two or three entries.  These first 8 hands happened in order at one table.

1. The money goes all in on the flop with Ziigmund holding 57% equity.
Ziigmund - 9s 8s 7h 6h
durrrr - 7c 5d 2d 3s
durrrr bets 3k, Ziig raises to 9k, called
Flop - 7d 9d 6c
Ziig leads pot, durrrr reraises pot, Ziig get is all in, call
Turn - 2c
River - 3d
durrrr wins $167k pot with a flush

2.  The money gets all in on the flop with Ziigmund holding 54.5% equity.
Ziigmund - Jh 9h 7d 5s
durrrr - Ah Qh 9c 7c
ziig bet 3k, durrr raised to 9k, call
Flop - Qc 10d 8c
durrr checks, ziig bet 15k, durrr raises to 63k, ziig pushed for 181k, call
Turn - 7h
River - 5h
Ziigmund wins $354k with a straight

3. The money gets in on the turn with durrrr holding 82.5% equity
Ziigmund - 10c 10d 3h 6d
durrrr - Js 9s 7c 6s
durrrr bet 3k, call
Flop - 10s 8s 6h
ziig leads pot, call
Turn - Qh
check, durrrr pots 18k, ziig min check raises to 36k, durrrr shoves for 54k total, call
River - 10h
Ziigmund wins $124k with four 10's

4. The money goes all in on the flop with Ziigmund holding a slight 51% edge.
Ziigmund - As Ac Qs 6s
durrrr - Kh Qd 10s 2s
ziig bet 3k, durrrr reraised to 9k, ziig rereraised to 27k, call
Flop - Jc 8d 2h
durrrr pushes 45k into 54k pot, called
Turn - Qc
River - Jd
Ziigmund wins $144k pot with two pair

5. The money goes in on the flop with durrrr holding 57% equity.
Ziigmund - Ah Kc Ks Jd
durrrr - 9d 6s 4c 2c
durrrr bet 3k, ziig reraises 9k, call
Flop - 3s 5c 3h
ziig leads pot 18k, durrrr shoves for 50k
Turn - 7h
River - 4d
durrrr win $118k with a straight

6. durrrr fires 3 barrels on his missed flush draw and is picked off.
Ziigmund - Kc Qc 9c 5h
durrrr - 6d 7h 9h 4d
Ziig bets 3k, durrrr reraises to 9k, call
Flop - Ad Jc 4c
durrrr leads 11,200, call
Turn - 8c
durrrr leads 23,800, call
River - 2c
durrr leads 74k into 88k
Ziigmund tanks and calls to win $235k pot with K high flush

7. The money goes in on the flop with Ziigmund holding 81% equity.
Ziigmund - 10c 6c 2h 6h
durrrr - Qh 9h 8h 5c
ziig bet 3k, durrrr raised to 9k, call
Flop - 6s 4h 8c
durrr ck, ziig bets 12k, durrr check raises to 54k, ziig shoves and called off last 28k
Turn - 3s
River - 9s
Ziigmund wins $182k with a set of sixes

8. The money goes in on the turn with durrrr holding 72.5% equity.
Ziigmund -  9d 7d 6c 4s
durrrr - Ah Jc 7h 3h
durrr bets 3k, ziig raises to 9k, called
Flop - Jd 4d 2s
check, check
Turn - 7c
ziig leads pot 18k, durrr reraises pot 72k, ziig pots, durrrr calls off last 74k
Rver - Kc
durrrr wins $306k with two pair

Views: 1021
Date Posted: Oct. 31, 12:31pm, 3 Comments

It's a busy weekend here with soccer games, ballet, company over, Halloween and a party tomorrow night, but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Halloween.

 

Poker Curious Pumpkin

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