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Views: 447
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:

love weasle

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: 440
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: 450
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: 439
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: 375
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: 377
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: 942
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

Views: 918
Date Posted: Oct. 29, 5:27pm, 2 Comments

For the third and final of my retrospective list blogs this week I had planned to do a country based culinary favorites list, but when I compiled it, it wasn't that interesting to me, so I figured it wouldn't be to you either.  Instead, I think I'll do a 'Beers of the World' list of some that I've enjoyed in my travels. I'm not saying they are always the absolute best beer in each country, only ones that I have consumed and enjoyed.

I'm breaking it up by continental groups with a few pictures thrown in.

world beers


Morocco - Casablanca
Zaire/DRC - Primus
Kenya - Tusker
Tanzania - Kilimanjaro
Zimbabwe - Zambezi
Uganda - Nile Special
Ghana - Star
Cameroon - 33 export
Botswana - Carling
Zambia - Mosi Lager
South Africa - Castle

USA - Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Fat Tire, Norwester Hefeweizen
Canada - Moosehead
Mexico - Tecate, Corona Extra
Bahamas - Kalik
Haiti - Prestige
Jamaica - Red Stripe


China - Tsingtao
Niger - Biere Niger
Haiti - Prestige
India - Kingfisher
Japan - Asahi
Thailand - Singha


Belgium - Chimay
Czech Republic - Pilsner Urquell
Netherlands - Amstel, Grolsch, Heineken
Ireland - Harp, Killian's Red
Italy - Peroni
Germany - Paulaner

And last but not least, the most famous beer girl in the world, and Ryan Daut's personal favorite...

Views: 933
Date Posted: Oct. 27, 8:45pm, 3 Comments

Continuing the life experiences retrospective, here is a list of the countries I have visited and lived in so far.  I have tried to list them chronologically by the order I first visited them and not list them multiple times if I revisited them at various points of my life.  I included a brief impression of each.

USA - Born in Pittsburgh, left 6 weeks later to Africa.  While I have lived the bulk of my life here, never felt truly home either.
Senegal - Western most located African country - too young to recall much while we lived there
Morocco - Our home had a two story central courtyard - hot and dry
Zaire - Now the Democratic Republic of Congo - barefoot, African friends, pool, Fanta, avocados, servants, Mobutu Seso Seko
South Africa - Took a ship back to the US after safaris in East Africa
United Kingdom - Family trip in high school - So much history
France - Family trip in high school - Impressive chateaus and Royal history
Bahamas - Very laid back and flat
Haiti - Teeming with people and poverty
Kenya - So diverse in people and geography
Tanzania - Laid back country in decay
Belgium - Trappist beer, peach pit beer, wine and peach champagne at various stops
Netherlands - Tulips, Amsterdam red light district, art
Germany - Guns on guards in airport and formal cold atmosphere from people
Uganda - So green and verdant
Rwanda - So densely crowded
Burundi - Similar to Rwanda
Zambia - Cholera, trains, decay
Zimbabwe - Loved the people, culture, art and landscape
Botswana - Visits of peace corps friends, small population, good roads
Malawi - The lake, poor country
Cameroon - Peace corps visits in french influenced country
Nigeria - Mass of humanity that is very aggressive
Benin - Tiny sliver of a country
Togo - Revolution and chaos
Ghana - Masks, and vibrant cloth
Ivory Coast - French luxury in the midst of Africa
Niger - So hot and dry visiting sister's Peace Corps world
Canada - Vancouver is a lovely city
Spain - Barcelona was fascinating
Monte Carlo - Densely packed, rich excesses
Italy - Food, history and architecture were great

As my father's life and career has taken him to nearly 100 countries, my list doesn't seem that large, but maybe I'll resume traveling in future years.

Views: 396
Date Posted: Oct. 26, 1:16am, 2 Comments

Credit goes to ScreenW for the title of this blog and being the catalyst for its subject matter.  Being an oldster, I'm not sure what "Zimba is the live" means, but I'm interpreting it like he said I'm da bomb...LOL...thanks ScreenW.  He jokingly referred to my various shared stories as having lived many lives.  While I don't consider my life particularly remarkable, I have lived 42 years and I have had some interesting experiences.  I thought I would organize some of them in an interesting fashion over a few blog entries.  For today's entry, I will list each paying job I can recall (leaving off a number of internships and really short term type jobs) and attribute one important lesson gained from that experience.

Label applicator and collator at local newspaper - Most routine tasks ever, but probably a good thing not to think too much at your first job.
Babysitter - It seemed like easy money at the time.
Raking leaves and shoveling snow - I lacked the initiative, people skills and drive to make the most of these opportunities
Grocery Market bagger - A good introduction to serving others and working with all kinds of customers.
Rental Car Agency 'gopher' - I learned to juggle many tasks while learning a hard lesson on the value of money and trust.
Teaching Assistant - My first taste of authority and responsibility in teaching rather than learning as a student.
Bill Cosby pilot show 'gopher' - I learned there was a lot involved in creating a TV show and dealing with a big celebrity.
Teacher - I was both inspired and incredibly challenged by working with middle and high school kids.
Handyman - Helped my best friend from high school's father gut one business and build a new one from scratch.
Ice cream,Gelato and Sorbet maker - I learned to think creatively making over 225 different flavors while also meeting my wife.
Art Gallery owner - Having passion for what you represent is vital.
Web site manager - Becoming a workaholic managing a successful online business has benefits and detriments.
Web site owner/creator/manager - Controlling all aspects of a start up business is rewarding and very challenging.

Who knows what the future will bring.  In my father's era, you would likely work for one big company your whole career.  These days, you switch jobs and career paths multiple times.  Looking at those jobs listed, they seem very random.  But each served their purpose at the time.  I learned something from each experience.

For my next installment in this series, I think I might list each country I've visited with some brief impression from my experiences there.

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