Friday, February 29, 2008

Posted by Johnnymac 8:39 AM
It's been 48 hours since I had my surgery and things are going quite well. I only have a little bit of pain (managed fine by the vicodin) and I'm already up to 100 degrees on the CPM machine. I am also walking already, too - I'm supposed to be using crutches, but I've never been good with those so I went out and bought a walker and am getting around just fine. In fact, I can walk unassisted but am being prudent and am taking it slow.

In a sense, it's kind of good that it took me 18 years to get this fixed - back then my knee would have been sliced open like a banana and I would have spent 3-4 nights in the hospital and immobilized for at least a week or so after that. So far, this has been a piece of cake.

So, the gist here is that I have a lot of free time on my hands and have done the following:

1.) Piloted my magpies to a 2-0 defeat of Manchester United at Old Trafford on Fifa 08.
2.) Finished out all of my saved episodes of Heroes from the Fall and am starting in on the Sarah Connor episodes now. Once I'm done with those I'll start in on my Lost season 3 DVD's that Baby Johnnymac got me for Christmas.
3.) Am almost done (finally) with all of my Christmas thank you notes.
4.) Learned just how much I appreciate Mrs Johnnymac, who has been totally awesome in taking care of me.
5.) Surfed the web like a fiend and found a lot of cool stuff like this.

Things are going well.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 10:51 PM
Then there is this:

PokerStars Game #15625393318: Tournament #79081948, $10+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level VII (100/200) - 2008/02/28 - 23:50:10 (ET)
Table '79081948 1' 9-max Seat #5 is the button
Seat 5: cardassult (6653 in chips)
Seat 6: Tallftwtexan (2112 in chips)
Seat 9: phreaux (4735 in chips)
cardassult: posts the ante 25
Tallftwtexan: posts the ante 25
phreaux: posts the ante 25
Tallftwtexan: posts small blind 100
phreaux: posts big blind 200
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to phreaux [Ac Ah]
cardassult: folds
Tallftwtexan: folds
phreaux collected 275 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 275 | Rake 0
Seat 5: cardassult (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: Tallftwtexan (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 9: phreaux (big blind) collected (275)

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Posted by Dr Fro 10:00 PM
PokerStars Game #15624425276: Tournament #79081948, $10+$1 Hold'em No Limit - Level II (15/30) - 2008/02/28 - 22:58:25 (ET)
Table '79081948 1' 9-max Seat #3 is the button
Seat 1: santijoaquin (1710 in chips)
Seat 2: mjwj (1450 in chips)
Seat 3: collon51 (1805 in chips)
Seat 4: JARba (1170 in chips)
Seat 5: cardassult (1115 in chips)
Seat 6: Tallftwtexan (2030 in chips)
Seat 7: luckud (1360 in chips)
Seat 8: WarioQc (1410 in chips)
Seat 9: phreaux (1450 in chips)
JARba: posts small blind 15
cardassult: posts big blind 30
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to phreaux [As Ad]
Tallftwtexan: folds
luckud: calls 30
WarioQc: folds
phreaux: raises 110 to 140
santijoaquin: folds
mjwj: raises 360 to 500
collon51: folds
JARba: calls 485
cardassult: folds
luckud: folds
phreaux: raises 950 to 1450 and is all-in
mjwj: calls 950 and is all-in
JARba: calls 670 and is all-in
*** FLOP *** [Tc 5s Jc]
*** TURN *** [Tc 5s Jc] [4d]
*** RIVER *** [Tc 5s Jc 4d] [5d]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
phreaux: shows [As Ad] (two pair, Aces and Fives)
mjwj: shows [Ac Kh] (a pair of Fives)
phreaux collected 560 from side pot
JARba: shows [Qh Qs] (two pair, Queens and Fives)
phreaux collected 3570 from main pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 4130 Main pot 3570. Side pot 560. Rake 0
Board [Tc 5s Jc 4d 5d]
Seat 1: santijoaquin folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: mjwj showed [Ac Kh] and lost with a pair of Fives
Seat 3: collon51 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: JARba (small blind) showed [Qh Qs] and lost with two pair, Queens and Fives
Seat 5: cardassult (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 6: Tallftwtexan folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: luckud folded before Flop
Seat 8: WarioQc folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 9: phreaux showed [As Ad] and won (4130) with two pair, Aces and Fives

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 9:54 PM
I doubt any of the DFW crowd will appreciate this. Junell, I know you remember this:

(1) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 9:39 PM
I am headed to Winstar all day Sunday. Let me know if you want to go.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 9:21 PM
From the mailbag:

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

We had the poker tournament this past Saturday, and it was another success. We did 24 people again, and the weather in Houston was perfect (70 degrees in the sun). We’ve tweaked the rules over the past 2 years, and have a pretty slow blind structure for 2 hours (with a rebuy period of 1 hour)…after which, things progressed very rapidly with blinds doubling every 30 minutes. All in all, the tournament lasted 5 hours, including 3 breaks, and we had 8 rebuys.

As for me, I finished 10th, missing the final table by 1 spot (top 5 pays). My tournament was up and down all day, and I made some great moves on some pots, and some really stupid ones on others. One hand in particular really busted me up early. I was the dealer, and the big blind, short stacked, went all in with only $250. The next to act called him, and I had QQ and called. Flop came out with J-x-x rainbow. The other all-in caller took his time, and put in $500 more. At this point, if I call I’d have 70-80% of my stack in the pot. I considered this for a while, and ultimately decided he caught a set and folded. I folded my Q’s face up, to which the guy let out a massive sigh. He had junk, and lost to the short-stack who had a pair of 7s or something. The hand really irritated me for the rest of the day, because I knew the right call was to go back at him with a re-raise, and I wussed out…I even had the rebuy period still in effect if I got punked. Anyway – I ended up limping along for an hour or so, and started buying pots left and right, then got sloppy.

The guy who was short-stacked and all-in above got 2nd place.

Winner had a massive run in the first 20 minutes, and never looked back. At the end of the rebuy period, he easily had 3x the chips of the next best stack.

In three tournaments, we’ve had very little repeat final table people, with the exception of one guy who has won it and gotten 4th twice. He’s a very aggressive player, who is very unpredictable. He started very aggressive, lost a bunch of money, played tight for 3 hours, then started hammering people again for the final hour. Fun guy to watch.

You need to join next time. Sunday October 26th is the next tournament, we think.

+ + + + + + + + + + + +

We've discussed the folly of bluffing into a dry side pot before here. There is no upside if you get the fold and plenty of downside if you get the call.

This story got me thinking about corollaries to the Golden Rule of not bluffing into a dry side pot:

  1. If your opponent is any good, then he understands the Golden Rule. Thus, if he bets in this situation, you have to put him on a decent hand and therefore significantly raise the bar on what sort of hand you might call with.
  2. Similarly, if you are thinking of opening the betting, then knowing that your opponent will only call with a very good hand should massively raise the bar on what sort of hand you will bet with.

Putting 1 and 2 together, you realize why it happens quite often that two players just check it down in this situation. I have seen many times two players check it down on the flop, turn and river in this situation.

The final thought on this matter has to do with getting into the situation in the first place. Let's say A goes all in and B calls. You (let's call you C) can either fold, call or raise. If you call, you will find yourself in the dry side pot situation discussed above. If B is a good player, then you need to understand what sort of hands you want to play in this situation. For instance, let's say you have a monster draw, getting just short of pot odds. Your implied odds aren't very good because it will be hard to get action from B. That is why in this situation, I think you should fold (which I don't do) make a big raise to create a side pot worth fighting for. Sure, you are betting on the come, but you just created a situation that will increase the chances of getting paid off if you get called and hit it. Plus, if B folds, you get a freeroll (two draws for the price of one) to your draw. In summary (and it depends on the hand), I try to avoid calling into a situation that creates a dry pot.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Posted by Johnnymac 11:27 AM
My knee surgery is tomorrow. I'm getting one of these, which basically means that somewhere there is a tendon or a ligament from a dead body somewhere that's just sitting in a freezer waiting to be inserted into my knee in the morning. My doctor says that the benefit of doing it this way is that "there is no morbidity from an autograph harvest site which in turn will hasten the recovery process." In other words, I'll only have one owie and not two so I can start rehab sooner. We'll see.

I will be laid up on the couch for a few days watching movies and playing Fifa08 on the Wii and hopefully by the end of next week I'll be able to walk a bit and drive and get back to work. Again, we'll see.

But, I'm looking forward to the rehab and I'm looking forward to being able to play soccer and softball and flag football and golf and basketball and every other sport without needing crutches for two days afterwards, too.

I also see this as a great opportunity for a fresh start. After I got married three and a half years ago I gained about 25 pounds and since Baby Johnnymac was born last year my new (old) friend the gut has only gotten larger by about another 10 pounds, so there is plenty of room for improvement. I am going to be rehabbing hard and dieting like you wouldn't believe (especially if you know how much I like to eat and drink, eh?) and hopefully - HOPEFULLY - I will be recovered enough and lean and mean enough to start training earnestly in August to run the Houston Marathon for a 3rd time next January.

Once again, we'll see.

(1) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 10:56 AM
Cash Is King

Last weekend, Mrs Johnnymac's law firm had an annual meeting in Vegas. Spouses were invited, but we had previously used her parents' hospitality to take care of Baby Johnnymac the week before to attend a church retreat so we didn't think it quite right to ask them to take him two weeks in a row. Ergo, Mrs Johnnymac went to Vegas by herself and I stayed home to do my best at watching the child and trying not to burn down the house.

Thursday night, as she was preparing to leave, I asked Mrs Johnnymac what her schedule was going to be all weekend.

"Well, I'm giving a presentation at the opening session on tomorrow afternoon, then we're free for the evening before meetings all day on Saturday. Where was that mall we shopped at the last time we were there with your family?"

"Caesars," I replied.

"Great. We have dinner at some nice restaurant there on Saturday, so maybe I'll do some shopping after dinner when we have some free time."

"You're not going to go gamble and have fun with your coworkers from around the country?"

"Well, I could, but I don't have any money. Can I have some money from your poker jar?"

(She doesn't carry an ATM card and refuses to get one. She's strange that way and I can't convince her otherwise. Besides, she has me.)

"OK. Here's $300. Go have fun. I might call you to make a soccer bet for me on Saturday morning."

"OK, great. Thanks! Maybe I will play backjack now with the people from the New York office. They're fun."

"Sounds good."

So off she went and I took care of the kid. Luckily, the house indeed did not burn down, and aside from some baby-refusing-to-sleep drama on Saturday night, my Mr Mom weekend went pretty smoothly. Mrs Johnnymac showed up early Sunday afternoon and later that night was unpacking her suitcase when the following exchange occurred.

"Wow, you sure did buy a lot of gifts. You bought toys for the baby, t-shirts for your nieces, and a neat puzzle for me. Thank you very much."

"Yeah, I had fun shopping."

"Did you do any gambling?"

"No, I didn't. We had drinks after dinner last night and then I was beat."

"OK. Great. Where's my poker money?"

"What do you mean?"

"Where's my poker money I gave you. You didn't gamble, did you? So where's my money?"

"How do you think I paid for all the gifts?"

"Why didn't you use your credit card?!?!?!?!!!? You don't SPEND gambling cash! You gamble with it! How many times have I told you that poker cash isn't really money? It's gambling equipment!"

"Because I was in Vegas! I'm not paying for anything with a credit card in Vegas! You don't!"

"Uh, yeah. Right. Nevermind. Thanks for the puzzle!"

She has learned well.

(0) comments

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 2:05 PM
Last Sunday, we had a League Night. Except for two hands (won one, lost the other), pretty much just folded all night. I ended up net down about $14. It was a fairly boring night for me, but I'll take that over the excitement from our previous game when I had the second best hand what seemed like every 5 minutes. Most importantly, my lead in league points is insurmountable, so I have locked up the regular season crown. This translates into a larger chip stack in the Season Finale Tournament. It is nice having a commanding chip lead in the tournament before I even sit down.

With work winding down, I started looking at that sweet spot of time (about 2 weeks in total) in between surgery recovery and birth of baby boy. ARH and I decided to go to Vegas. We both got Rapid Rewards flights (total cost = $10) and I used some of my Harrah's Total Rewards to get us two nights hotel for <$50 per man per night. Saturday night is free, as we will pull an all-nighter before catching an early Sunday flight. If anybody else is free April 17-20, feel free to tag along.

If anybody has any poker suggestions, let me know. I have been surfing the net, and it seems that some of the daily/weekly tournaments have moved around. Any advice on where to play is appreciated. In my short life, I have played at: Bellagio (pre-remodel), Aladdin, MGM, Wynn, Mandalay Bay, Golden Nugget, Harrah's, Bally's and Rio. Does Hooters have poker?

I think I am going to be in Houston for an engagement party the weekend that the NCAA Regionals is in town. I may have to check that out. UT has a good shot at playing in that Regional. Maybe they will play the winner of tonight's Tennesse-Memphis game in the Regional Final. That would seem likely if we get a 2 seed, which is what we would get if we only drop one game between now and the end of the Big XII tournament. Btw, bet on Tennessee tonight. That is my very non-expert opinion.

In case anybody was wondering, the eight digits of pi beginning from 242,422 places after the decimal point are 42424242.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Posted by Johnnymac 11:32 AM
Friday Humor

An elderly Italian man who lived in the outskirts of Monte Casino went to the local church for confession. He said: "Father, during World War II, a beautiful Jewish woman knocked on my door and asked me to hide her from the Nazis. So I hid her in my attic."

The priest replied: "That was a wonderful thing you did, my son and you have no need to confess that."

"It's worse than that, Father. She started to repay me with sexual favors."

The priest said: "By doing that, you were both in great danger; however, two people together under those circumstances may be greatly tempted to act that way. If you are truly sorry for your actions, you are forgiven."

"Thank you Father. That's a great load off my mind. But I have one more question."

"And what is that?" said the priest.

"Should I tell her the war is over?"

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Posted by Johnnymac 2:06 PM
Just keep clicking until you find one you like. Apparently that's how a lot of people are voting these days!

(1) comments

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 3:22 PM
I love the internet. This is very funny. If you enjoyed that, you might enjoy this one too.

(0) comments

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 9:05 PM
In the news:

It's PricewaterhouseCoopers, not Price Waterhouse Cooper. Either way, I am glad to see the results of their study. Of course, facts and good rationale have little to do with public policy, so I don't expect any thing to change.

I have been enjoying Pokerstars, but maybe I should give Absolute Poker a stab...

You can catch more of her on the newest poker show.

(3) comments

Monday, February 11, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 8:05 AM
Ladies and Gentleman, the President of the United States...

(1) comments

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 10:40 PM
I'd comment, but by the time I'd read this, I was out of energy.

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Posted by Dr Fro 5:12 PM
Yesterday I played a little bit of poker while Elise took her nap.

In an SNG, I went all in with KK against QQ and JJ. He rivered a Jack.

I bought $25 in a cash game and got all in with KK. This time the opponent had AA and beat me.

I bought another $25 and was soon dealt AK. I had two pair by the turn but lost to a backdoor flush.

$55.50 down the drain.

It made me wonder when the proverbial 'long run' would start to swing luck in my favor. Evidently, the answer was 24 hours.

I just played a cash session - 46 hands. In summary:
"During current Hold'em session you were dealt 46 hands and saw flop: - 3 out of 7 times while in big blind (42%) - 1 out of 8 times while in small blind (12%) - 2 out of 31 times in other positions (6%)"

Of those six hands, I (roughly) doubled through on three of them:
- Called a bluff
- Got AK against QQ and turned an Ace
- Got 99 against AK and flopped a 9.

That turned $25 into $146.55. Me like. I think I am gonna go buy a Lotto ticket.

(0) comments

Friday, February 08, 2008

Posted by Johnnymac 8:35 PM
A warning to you readers in Dallas: Protect your poker winnings!

(0) comments

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Posted by Johnnymac 1:30 PM
Police: Crack Found in Man's Buttocks

(0) comments

Monday, February 04, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 9:31 PM
This is fantastic.

I wish I was in on that action.

(1) comments

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 2:49 PM
Some time around the summer of 1999, my old fraternity had an alumni golf tournament. I was asked by the organizer to take care of the black jack on Saturday night.

First, a bit of perspective:

The black jack scene among fraternities at UT while I was a student in the early 90s was huge. Although the schedule changed from time to time, there was a game at (at least) one fraternity house every night of the week. I typically played in the Kappa Sig house on Monday nights and dealt at the KA house on Wednesday nights.

Getting the gig to deal was a really big deal. You could make a fortune. Usually the upperclassmen had a monopoly on the whole racket, but some of my pledge brothers and I started dealing regularly as freshman and continued until we graduated. The house edge alone meant that it was pretty profitable, but there were a few other factors that made it particularly juicy:
- there was a bizarre rule that pushing on 17 meant that the dealer won
- a lot of players did not know or did not care about basic strategy and would basically give away their money
- most players would stay however long it took to run out of money. There weren't many players that would cash out as a winner

This was all before I kept detailed records of gambling wins/losses, but I would guesstimate that I made around $10k over this time. I probably gave a good $2k back at the Kappa Sig house.

We started out small timers but as our bankrolls and greed grew, we let the games get bigger, measured in terms of number of tables and maximum stakes. We knew what we were doing, so we figured we could handle the risk. There were certain protocols we always followed.

Then there was that alumni golf tournament. It was 4 years after we had dealt regularly at the fraternity house, but it was like riding a bike. I bought a bunch of cards at the local drug store, Guido put up the rule sheet and got a bunch of low denomination bills from the bank. I brought the chips. We got Clay to agree to deal the cards (but not back - we wanted all the profit). Clay was the fastest dealer we knew.

Over the course of the tournament we either started losing our appetite for risk or we were too easily persuaded by others. Either way, we caved and let 3 other guys in on the action. Now the profits would be split 5-way.

That night we started setting up the room. One of the new backers, Chris, started opening the decks and making shoes. I always did that. Always. And when I used to do it, I would first count the cards, looking at them face-up. He wasn't following the protocol. I stayed silent.

We ended up with two tables. We set the max bet at $25. A trend emerged pretty early that would hold up for the next 9 hours: the table to our left was losing small and the table to our right was winning big. After several hours of this, we did a quick accounting and realized that we were down about $2k. Not good. The other 3 guys wanted to raise the stakes. We never did that. It was against the protocol. Guess what? We were once again persuaded to stray from our own protocols.

I tried everything to reverse the trend. I switched dealers, dealt myself, etc. No change - the table on the right was winning big. Betting over $100 at a time, each player was just minting money. One guy said, "I swear it seems like every other card is a face or an ace." That caught my attention. However, I noted that it was this table that was playing with the cards that I bought. The other table - the one with the losing players - was playing with some spare cards we borrowed when we realized we were going to have 2 tables.

We shut the thing down at 5a.m., paid as many players as we could and wrote down addresses for the rest so we could mail them checks. I sent Clay and Guido to try to see if anybody would settle for "cash now, but at 90% (or so) of what you won" This saved us some of what we would have lost.

When I did the final tally, we had lost $12,900.

Although not happy about losing 1/5 of that personally, I chalked it up to "you can't win them all", "you win some you lose some", and "the dealer still wins in the long run."

Guido and I spent the night at Lucas' house. THe next morning, Lucas said to Guido, "Seriously, it was like you were playing /PEA-NUCKLE/. "

Guido asked him to explain, and Lucas said, "You know, because any time they wanted a face or an ace, they got it. You know, a /PEA-NUCKLE/ deck has only 9, 10, J, Q, K and A."

I flew off of the sofa. "How do you spell /PEA-NUCKLE/?"

"It's spelled all fucked up, like P-I-N-O-C-H-L-E or something like that."

Then it hit me.

I thought that maybe I saw that word on three of the six decks I purchased at the drug store. I made Guido drive me to the house and we dug through the trash can to find the cardboard boxes the cards came in (the cards themselves were either pissed on or incinerated at the end of the night). There it was on the boxes.

I just sat there with that stupid look on my face.


(4) comments

Random thoughts from a lawyer, an accountant, a commodities trader, an ex-Marine and a WSOP Main Event money finisher that don't know as much as they wish they did...



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The Doctor is IN

Dr Fro
aka "slow roller"

Which one is the fish?

aka "Sunday Stroller"

You go now!

Johnny Mac
aka "Chop Suey"

You got to know when to hold em;  Know when to Mo' em ...

aka "Mo roller"

Old School

"Baby's Daddy"

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