Sunday, March 30, 2008

Posted by Johnnymac 5:54 PM
So the Horns lost and, combined with Louisville (and possibly, as of this writing, Kansas), my Final Four brackets are in shambles. Going into the weekend, I could have picked all 4 and now it looks like UCLA might be the only one I got right.

What a great day!

UPDATE: Of course Davidson didn't blow up my bracket, because they executed what was probably one of the biggest fuck-yourself and choke jobs I have ever seen from a basketball team down by only two with the ball and 17 seconds left on the clock. Are you kidding me? What the fuck was that?

* Sorry for the language, I am being candid. It was that bad.

UPDATE2: How did they screw it up? Well, for one, Stephen Curry might be the best player on the team, but sometimes the best player needs not to be selfish. 17 seconds is an ETERNITY. Shit, Tyus Edney only needed 4.8 seconds! And Edney did it right - take the ball down the floor and right into the middle. 4 things could happen, and 3 of them are good: 1.) The inside shot could be made to tie the game and send it into ovetime, 2.) He could miss but get fouled and get to shoot two free throws to tie the game, 3.) He could make the shot AND get fouled and have a chance to win it by one point, or 4.) He could miss and not get fouled and lose the game.

But if you take it inside, at least you have a 75% chance of something good happening. Dribbling around outside of the NBA three point line and then throwing up a prayer after wasting 16 of 17 seconds on the clock has a very low chance of success.

(0) comments

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Posted by Johnnymac 12:27 PM
Talk about stupid toy company executives and even stupider parents who buy their wares. I am very glad I don't have a little girl.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 11:32 AM
PokerStars Game #16336526460: Tournament #82723027- Level IV (50/100) - 2008/03/29 - 12:31:03 (ET)
Table '82723027 1' 9-max Seat #9 is the button
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to IAGJohnnyMac [6h 6s]

Hmmm, I think I'll just throw this away and let these two idiots keep beating on each other. I'm a bit shortstacked and I don't want to throw away chips in the off chance of flopping a set...

rodafafale: folds
lowriderhd23: folds
IAGJohnnyMac: folds
ksquared1524: folds
Mr_Gustav: raises 200 to 300
edly68: calls 200
*** FLOP *** [6d 6c 8s]


(0) comments

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Posted by Johnnymac 12:31 PM

I thought it was at least somewhat amusing.

(0) comments

Monday, March 17, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 8:53 AM
A Mother's View of a Word That Wounds: Retard
By Theresa Howard, advertising reporter for USA TODAY

You are such a retard.

You've heard the expression. Sometimes it's preceded by an expletive, as in "you're such a f--ing retard." Either way, with or without the curse word, it's a harsh statement. But one, it seems, that's become increasingly acceptable. So much so that in one recent week I kept track of how many times I heard it and who said it. I heard it daily - whether it was a colleague, a neighbor talking to his dog, an actor from a hit TV show during an interview with me, a top level advertising executive, young men playfully swapping insults or Tony Soprano to his son after a botched suicide attempt.

Last year, the r-word was in the title of a Two and a Half Men episode It's a word that, unlike "pimp" or the n-word, is always derogatory. For reasons that I can't understand, pimp has become synonymous with style. The n-word, for a handful of African-Americans, is a term of endearment - until someone outside the circle uses it. Then it becomes derogatory.

But no matter how or by whom the r-word is used, it's always in a negative context. You don't hear, "What a great idea, that's so retarded." You don't hear, "Awesome catch - what a retard move."

While some are advocating that the n-word be banished from America's lexicon, who is the voice for the 7.5 million Americans with intellectual disabilities who truly are mentally retarded? Who is defending their dignity while everyday folks - educated adults at that - take a term that clinically applies to the disabled and use it as an insult?

What's my fascination with the r-word? I take it very personally. And I'm not a person who is easily offended. I am, however, the mother of a 6-month-old daughter who was born with Down Syndrome. Lydia Catherine is sweet. She's got a warm smile and very knowing blue eyes. She's got a subtle little dimple and a tiny tuft of strawberry blonde hair that swirls into one single swoop into the air.

When she looks at me, I feel like she can see all the fears, concerns, doubts and questions that swim around in my heart and my mind every day. Will she be smart enough to know when she hears people say the word "retard" that they are talking about her?

This is not new territory for me. I grew up the sibling of a Down syndrome sister. Catherine Anne was 41 when she passed away four years ago. She was born at a time when "mongolian idiot" was the operative term, and doctors suggested to my parents to leave her behind and she'd be taken care of. It really meant she would have been institutionalized. They didn't listen. Catherine lived with my parents until the day she died.

For as long as I can remember, I corrected people when they said the r-word. I flashed dirty looks to people who stared. I told parents to tell their child that it's not polite. Ever gregarious, Catherine would smile at strangers, many of whom would be so uncomfortable that they didn't know what to do. Even after Catherine passed away, I continued to correct people for a few years. Then I got tired. I no longer felt it was my battle.

Until Dec. 10, when Lydia was born. My journey has begun all over again, this time with me as the mother and my older daughter, Sofia, as the sibling. If I was protective of my sister, I am almost scared of how protective I will be for Lydia and her own sister. But as she grows up in a time when "retard" is a socially acceptable slur, professional organizations are trying to change the clinical term. Last November, the American Association on Mental Retardation changed its name to the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The Special Olympics is advocating that "retarded" be dropped from the vernacular.

Fixing the terminology is only a start. The bigger issue is acceptance of people with disabilities.

Do your part. Don't stare. Say hello. Be inclusive. And when you want to insult someone's intelligence, remember to use a different word.

(0) comments

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 2:32 PM
I've had two realizations in Omaha 8 lately. Like most Omaha 8 advice, it comes from a perspective of comparison to Holdem strategy.

First of all, when you get in a raising war in Holdem, you ask yourself, "does he have the nuts?" When you get in a raising war in Omaha 8, you should assume he has the nuts. What you should ask is "even though we both have the nuts, which one of us has the better re-draw?" When two people flop the same nut straight, but only guy has a draw to the low or to the flush, that guy is in an incredible situation - one better than having a dominating hand in Holdem. Even the dominating hand can get sucked out on, but in the situation we are talking about here, one player has a worst case scenario on the flop of splitting the pot. He could win 3/4 of the pot. Best case scenario is felting your opponent. And, unlike in Holdem, it is easier to get your unwitting opponent to hand you all of his chips. Advice: nuts is schutz unless you have draws to boot.

Here is the second realization. I have been asked how to play flopped top two pair in Omaha 8 compared to Holdem, particularly when your opponent represents strength. In Holdem, you play them pretty strong, particularly against a weak field that overplays top pair top kicker. In Omaha 8, you need to ask the following:

1- Do you have a re-draw to a higher high hand?

2- Do you have draw to the low?
3- Based on the board, do you put your opponent on a set?

I first answer question #3. If the board is 25J, you have to put your heavy betting opponent on a set. Against a set (let's assume a best case scenario of 222), you basically have 2 outs twice. You are in bad shape. Thus, I do not believe you can call. The best hand you might have is J5A3 with a flush draw which gives you 16 outs twice to the low and 9 outs twice to the high. It is tough math to figure out the odds of scooping vs splitting vs losing, but my amateur math puts this at roughly 23% chance to scoop, 48% chance to split and a 29% chance to lose the whole pot. That is negative EV and it is the best case scenario! If you put him on something less than a set, you may be in good shape, but honestly, what Omaha player is going to be betting it up with top pair? Really!

That's my 2 cents anyway.

(2) comments

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 7:09 PM
Um, Adam....I think your Vegas is showing...

(0) comments

Monday, March 10, 2008

Posted by Johnnymac 9:16 AM
A terrible story, but they should have an easy time finding the getaway car:

The tenant shot both Jevara and Alvarado before fleeing the scene in a black Chevy S-10 pickup truck with "Grim Reaper" written on the back window and "Chevy" written in gold letters across the tailgate, authorities said.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 8:51 PM
What do these schools have in common:

- Harvard;
- Texas A&M;
- Oklahoma; and
- Miami?

I'll give you a hint.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 10:17 AM
Not really sure how I feel about this one. One the one hand, it certainly was cruel and unnecessary, but on the other hand, it sounds like it was quite an impressive feat.

(0) comments

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 8:23 PM
I went in for the surgery yesterday. After they had already put me out, they determined that they could not proceed with the surgery as planned. Evidently, in addition to having the Bankart lesion, I also have a frozen shoulder. This is an incredible Catch-22 because they can't operate on the lesion (torn ligament) due to the frozen shoulder and it is hard to rehab the frozen shoulder due to the risk of dislocation due to the lesion.

Nevertheless, they took the opportunity while I was out to push and pull and yank my arm as much as possible. This supposedly helped the frozen shoulder, but it did nothing to help the main problem.

So, I have been beat due to the drugs and a bit sore, too, but I am feeling better now. Since there was no incision and no surgery, the recovery is quick.

(0) comments

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Posted by Johnnymac 9:48 PM
After 4 days of sitting on the couch watching TV, all I can say is:

"You just cockblocked McLovin!"

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 12:07 PM
So I voted today... in the DEMOCRAT primary.


(0) comments

Monday, March 03, 2008

Posted by Johnnymac 12:53 PM
I figured in honor of Craig's surgery today, I might post pictures of all the pretty colors that are appearing on my shin, just below the oh so awesome shave line. Looks good, eh?

Maybe we should open a room somewhere that has extra wide spaces for wheelchairs and crutches? Poker for the lame!

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 8:05 AM
Regarding my Winstar post, two more thoughts:

First, from the mailbag, a reader writes:

Was the K2 at least suited….. That sounded rough.

My response:

The K2 was not suited. One thing I can say in his defense is that he was last to act, so he called $30 into a $150 pot. Five to one can justify a lot, but it still begs the questions of 1) why call the $5 bet initially and 2) doesn't it bother him that the raiser is sitting to his left? I am highly likely to have AA, KK or AK, all three of which are way ahead of his K2.

Second, I forgot to tell the most interesting Winstar story: A fight broke out. A punk kid got up from a short-handed table to move to another (but less so) short-handed table. This is against the rules and his orginal dealer told the floorman. When the kid comes back, he asks, "Who told on me?". A Regular stepped in for the (female) dealer and said that he did so. The kid spits in his face and Regular grabs him by the throat and throws him to the ground. Punk got ejected, Regular got moved to my table. Evidently, spitting is considered "assault" so the kid went to jail. I am surprised that the retaliation (while understandable) wasn't also penalized. I am no criminal lawyer, but I would think that if you attack someone and walking away is a viable option, you are also committing assault. At Paul Rever Middle School, they never differentiated between the starter of the fight and the other participant!

Regular moved to my table and told the story about 200 times over the next couple hours. This was hard to do since he kept getting up from his seat to tell the story to other tables. So, the 9-man table (standard at Winstar) was really an 8-handed table. Just one guy goes on a smoke break and it is 7-handed. This freaking sucks. And while it did not piss me off enough to illegally switch tables or to spit in a man's face, it did bother me.

(1) comments

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 8:26 PM
I went to Winstar today. I played $1-2 NL HE for 45 minutes until a spot freed up on the $2-5 table. I ran $400 up to $550 when I got AA on the button. I made just over a pot-sized bet when I raised it to $35. I got 4 callers, including Sooner to my right. The flop came K52. Check, check, check, then Sooner bet $150 into the $180 pot. I raised all in (a bit more than $300) and only Sooner called.
He had K2.
Stuck $400, I bought in again, had some moderate success, and cashed out at 12:45.
I drove to Dallas and played $0.50-$1.00 poker and was up pretty much the whole time (4 hours). Then, as I seem to do too often, I dumped about half my chips on the last hand of the day (my opponent had 46 to make bottom two pair.
I hope I got all the bad luck out of my system in time for the Vegas trip.

(0) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 7:00 AM
Bad news yesterday for us Newcastle United fans. We dearly deserved a draw versus Blackburn, could have easily had a win, and instead lost at the last minute on a sucker punch that leaves us precariously close to the relegation zone.

What the hell am I talking about?

Most of the readers here know by this point that I am a soccer fan. Now, I'm not going to tell you that I think soccer is better than American football. No, I still love American football and I'm sure I always will. I'm just going to tell you right now why soccer could be better than American football. And I'm not just talking about national sides (ie the World Cup), which is mostly what Americans are familiar with. I'm also talking about clubs and leagues, which, most Americans simply are not familiar with, but, if they were, would probably like soccer a whole lot more in general.

1.) It's worldwide.

People play soccer all over the world. Every year, concurrent with their domestic leagues, the top teams the previous year in the domestic leagues in Europe get to play in extracurricular competitions against teams from domestic leagues in other countries. The top level competition is known as the Champions League, the second-tier competition is known as the UEFA Cup. When the season starts, everybody has the goal of "playing in Europe next year," and the really good teams, who are already playing in Europe, have the goal of winning the whole thing. (That would be AC Milan, an Italian team, with a lot of players who were so luck as to win both the World Cup and the Champions League in the span of 12 months...)

Other federations have their own "leagues of leagues" championships - for instance, South American (CONMEBOL) has the Copa Libertadores and starting next year, North America (CONCACAF) will be revamping and starting its very own "Champions League", featuring our Houston Dynamo, starting later this year. And now that FIFA has gotten its act together, we also have Club World Cup which takes the champions of the champions and pits them against one another (Milan won that one last year, too).

Not only does being worldwide mean it's a sport where there truly is a "world champion" (as opposed to the NFL, and to a lesser extent, the NBA and MLB, ludicrously calling themselves, "World Champions" on the notion that since no one else plays these sports, then the US domestic champion must be the best in the world...) but it also means than a good player (or coach) can literally go play (or coach) for money anywhere in the world and not be looked at as an anomaly like this guy.

2.) Every game counts.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are terrible and always seem to be. As are the Memphis Grizzlies and the Detroit Lions. And what incentive to any of these teams have to improve? They don't have to win a single game and they still get a share of their respective league's lucrative TV contracts and merchandising agreements. The fat cat American professional sports team owner doesn't have to spend any money on player salaries or fan accommodations if he doesn't want to and he still gets paid. But in soccer (the MLS notwithstanding), it doesn't work that way.

In every major soccer league in the world, the worst teams at the end of each season get sent down to the next lowest level and in turn get replaced by the best teams at that level who have earned a chance to move up. Generally speaking, if you're in the top level, you don't want to move down: 1.) the lower level leagues have no places in the international competitions, 2.) the money and television exposure is obviously not nearly as good (although in England it's still not bad), and 3.) perhaps worst of all, most of the really big name players almost always have out-clauses in their contracts that free them to go play elsewhere if the team is relegated and there clearly aren't going to be any other big-name stars wanting to come replace them. Relegation is a bad thing, but every season, someone MUST go down. Accordingly, the bottom of the standings (the "table" in football parlance), where teams are fighting to stay in the league for the next season, is often just as exciting as at the top, where teams are fighting to get one of the international spots. Newcastle United, my team, is struggling heartily right now to stay above the drop zone (the bottom three) and keeps inching closer each week. Yesterday's result was not a good development.

3.) Soccer season lasts 10 months!

Around the world, soccer season starts in August and ends in May or June, depending on whatever international competitions may be going on in any particular year. Compare that to college football, which MIGHT last 4 months if you're lucky, or the NFL which might last 5 months if you make the Super Bowl. Even the NBA and MLB only go 6 months. Soccer, on the other hand, is ALWAYS going on somewhere, and in fact, there is even a play-in tournament for the UEFA cup that starts in July, the Intertoto Cup, that exists solely to give people something to gamble on in July when there aren't any other games going on!

4.) Gambling is Encouraged!

Speaking of gambling, we all know here at IAG that the US is somewhat repressive when it comes to gambling laws, which is not at all the case in the rest of the world. Dr Fro has been to games in Europe and he has seen with his own eyes that bookmakers have booths IN THE STADIUM ITSELF and take action on all kinds of prop bets and wagers DURING THE GAME!!!. TV announcers in a soccer match will regularly refer to the posted odds on a game, and because the competition among bookmakers is so intense, you can do a lot better in soccer than just lines and totals. There are odds offered for individual scoring results, odds on who will score first, odds on penalties, and countless other things surrounding the games themselves and the season and activity beyond the games. You simply don't have this with American sports!

So there's 4 reasons right there.

Let's avoid the drop!

(3) comments

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 1:30 PM
Yesterday, on the subject of the Turkish invasion of Iraq, President Bush said:

I strongly agree with the sentiments of Secretary Gates, who said that the incursion must be limited, and must be temporary in nature. In other words, it shouldn’t be long-lasting. But the Turks need to move quickly, achieve their objective, and get out.

Now, that's funny.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 9:44 AM
I still think this was the single greatest moment in TV history. Half the audience "gets it" when they see the room, and the other half gets it when she wakes up.

(0) 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!

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aka "Chop Suey"

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

aka "Mo roller"

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