Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Posted by Johnnymac 9:44 PM
I shouted out loud when I saw this happen this afternoon.

Much better than this crap.

(I kid, I kid, I respect the guy like I respect Derek Jeter, no?)

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Posted by Johnnymac 8:04 AM
I wanted to let all of our readers know that this blog will be moving in the next few weeks to a new self-hosted server. The URL will not change at all, but the site will be redesigned and cleaned up a bit, among other things. This will likely mean no changes at all for our regular readers to continue coming to visit, but you will be seeing some changes soon, hopefully by the end of May.

Cheers and keep on making money.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 3:55 PM
Here's another one I messed up. You ever do this?

I made a big re-raise on the turn. He calls, which leaves him with a token amount of chips, like $40. The river comes and I flip over my cards. Snap! I just totally forgot that he wasn't entirely all-in. I cost myself $40.

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Posted by Dr Fro 3:47 PM
OK, so I flopped quads. I have 67s, and my opponent, Frenchie, looks to have a pocket pair like Jacks. He raised preflop and he bets the flop, too. I call. He bets the turn and I call. The river - I don't recall if he bet and I raised or if I led the betting. Either way, he thought for a while then folded.

Did I play this correctly? I don't think so.

First of all, not all quads are created equally. Quad 7s is a lot more deceptive than quad As, and three on the board vs two on the board are two different things. In this situation, a bettor looks more like a full house than quads because most people don't play a lot of hands that include a 7.

People take one of two approaches to this situation. On one end of the spectrum is the guy that puts his pecker out on the table on the flop. The other end of the spectrum is what I did - wait until the river. I now vote for moving on the turn.

If he had jacks, then this would have been a better play for me for two reasons:

1) The turn was below a Jack, and the river was a Queen. Once that Queen comes out, he is scared of a wide range of hands, even if quads never enters his mind.

2) It hides the quads better. 99% of everyone will wait until the river with that hand. So, when you bet the turn, it looks like you boated up on the turn.

So, methinks I misplayed my hand. I won money, sure, but I might have felted the guy by moving earlier.

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Posted by Dr Fro 2:10 PM
Jennicide gives new meaning to show one, show all.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Posted by Junelli 6:11 PM
Now this is funny...

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Posted by Johnnymac 11:52 AM

Hat tip:

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Posted by Johnnymac 11:27 AM
Three women: one engaged, one married, and one a mistress, are chatting
about their relationships and decide to amaze their men....that night all
three will wear a black leather bra, stiletto's and a mask over their eyes..

After a few days they meet again..... The engaged girlfriend: 'The other
night, when my boyfriend came back home, he found me with the leather
bodice, towering stilettos and mask. He saw me and said: 'you are the woman
of my life, I love you'...then we made love all night long.

The mistress: Ah! Me, too. The other night I met my lover in the office and
I was wearing the leather bodice, mega stilettos, mask over my eyes and a
raincoat, when I opened the raincoat... he did not say anything.....but we
had wild sex all night.

The married one: 'the other night I sent the kids to stay at my mothers for
the night. I got myself ready-- leather bodice, super stilettos and mask
over my eyes. My husband comes back from work, opens the door and says:
'Hi, Batman! What's for dinner?'

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 4:01 PM
I have tried to focus my trip report on things that you, Humble Reader, would find interesting. I hope I was successful.

Arrival and Harrah's
We got to Vegas at 4:30 Thursday afternoon and were sitting at a poker table at Harrah's within about an hour. We sat down at $1-$2. I typically mix it up 50/50 between that and the $2-$5 tables, but my recent experience has suggested that I do much better at $1-$2, so I decided to concentrate on that.

The poker room at Harrah's is ok - nothing special. But it was in our hotel and we were hungry to play quick. Adam was moved to my table shortly after we started, and we played until 1:30am. I made $262 without having any particularly interesting hands. I once got lost in the casino when I took a 1-orbit breather from poker. I played 1 hand of blackjack, on which I doubled down and won $200. It was a good night. We tucked in early (well, 1:30 is early for Vegas).

TI - tournament and cash game
The next day we went to TI for the 11:00 am tournament. It was $65 no-rebuy. I got eliminated early and bought back in (technically, I was an "alternate", not a re-buyer, the difference being had there been a line of alternates, I would have left the table and gone in the back of the line). Adam and I made the final table. I got 9th place when my JJ hit a set on the flop against J9s. He shoved, I called. He got running diamonds to make a flush. Brutal beat. Adam got 8th, and we soon got a $1-$3 table going.

I liked $1-$3 a lot more than $1-$2. Similar to $2-$5, it was easier to fold the SB when it was < 1/2 of the BB. Also, having the BB an odd number meant a lot of rounding up of flop beats. This exponentially increased the size of the pots. So, we could win a pot that was similar in size to a pot in $2-$5, but it only costs you $4 per orbit rather than $7.

The table had all sorts of donkeys, including a guy from Portugal who dumped the GNP of Portugal on our table and lost some big hands to Adam and me. He once bet all-in into Adam's obvious nut straight on the river with a lowly two pair.

One donkey, who had about $150 in front of him turned to me and Adam (who had a combined $2400 in front of us) and said (pointing at all three stacks), "this is like Murderer's Row here." He also told us that, "I am no Daniel Negreanu, but if I stare at your face, I can figure out what you have". I'm no Sigmund Freud, but I can look at your face and figure out that you are an idiot.

A buddy of mine from Aberdeen, Scotland played at our table (what are the chances?). He took some money from me, but it was good seeing / catching up with him.

I hit a nice streak of three winning hands: AA beat KK, A5s flopped a straight and rivered a flush and then my JJ busted a QQ. These three hands netted me $500. I sat on my big stack without much ado before we went back to the hotel to shower. An 8-hour session netted me $400.

Venetian and back
We went to Tao at the Venetian for dinner. We had 15 minutes to kill, so I played BJ and made $250 while we waited. Tao was nice. I was a bit peaved that our 9:15 reservation didn't get us a table until 10:00, but oh well. The food was good (I had Pad Thai, he had wasabi-crusted salmon).

We headed home and I made a late stop at the craps table to get a free cognac. That cognac ended up costing me $400 as we seemed to crap out just one roll after making the point about 8 straight times. Then I went to bed.

Wynn and the long home stretch
We woke up on Saturday morning knowing we need our rest (we had a Sunday flight but no room for Saturday night). Neither one of us could sleep, so we went for breakfast and ran some errands and got to the Wynn. After a 15 minute wait, they started a $1-$3 game. Once again, Adam and I not only sat at the same table, we sat right next to each other. Poker can bore you out of your mind at times, so having someone to shoot the breeze with is good.

I bought in for $600 (there is no limit on the buy in). I ran it up to $1,500 at one point by hitting quads and a straight flush. I cashed out with $1,000.

The French dude next to us was friends with Eva Longoria and Tony Parker, which made watching the Spurs game interesting. Damn Frenchie wouldn't pay me off on the river on my quads or my straight flush. (I have a separate post in the making on how to play quads. The Cliff's Notes version is to not play them like I did.)

If you play poker with me (particularly if you have played with me in a casino), then you know that I kinda go out of my way to act fishy. The act usually works, but here is the irony: when somebody makes a comment to suggest that I am a fish, I get really pissed off. This happened at the Wynn with one dude who kept criticizing my play. So, when he bet into my winning hand and got felted, I said "nice bet". Kinda dickish of me, but it was just tit for tat.

While he was away, I made my best move of the trip. I re-raised a chick pre-flop with KK and she came back over the top. I called and the flop came up ragged. She moved all-in. I don't recall the amounts but we both had deep stacks. I folded the KK face up and got some serious reaction from the table. I know she had AA. All of the sudden, it seemed the fish act was up. My nemesis stopped critizing me after returning and hearing the story.

At some point late in the 17-hour session, I took a 1-orbit breather at the craps table and lost $199. Craps indeed.

One very unfortunate hand involved me against an Asian version of Robert Smith. Robert and I made it to the river, and I moved all-in (my only true balls-to-the-wall play) with something like middle pair. I was representing the flush that came on the river. He thought forever before he flipped up his cards (in front of him, not "over the line") and stared at my face. My face looked at his card,s and my expression seemed to say "oh crap he not only has me beat, he is quite likely to call". He called (according to him - and I believe him - solely on the grounds of my facial expression) and I lost a big one. Do all casinos allow you to show your cards? I know some do, but I thought that some don't. I know that you can't in tournaments, but have you ever seen a hand called dead in this situation?

The other bush league thing he did was having his $100 notes buried under his chips. Had I known he had that cash, I might not have made a move on him.

After a 17-hour session, we cashed out and headed to the airport. I made $400.

In summary, I made:

$1,062 poker
-$ 130 poker tournaments
-$ 190 craps, BJ and sports
$742 net winner (this is truly net, as all waitress and dealer tips are already taken out above).

So, my 31 hours of poker got me north of $900, and table games still favor the house. My Vegas winning streak is getting silly (but not as silly as my Oklahoma losing streak).

(2) comments

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 8:46 AM

Burton Holloway Parks

BURTON HOLLOWAY PARKS of Houston, 79, passed into heaven on April 13, 2008. Born in Denver to Mr. George Milton and Mrs. Caledonia Elizabeth Burton Parks, he was a lifelong learner and teacher. A devout Christian, Burton was a member of Houston's South Main Baptist Church for over 66 years and the third generation in his family to join the congregation. He taught Sunday School and was proud to serve as a member of the Yoke Men as well as having been commended by a resolution of the Board of Deacons for his service to youth through scouting. One of his greatest loves was travel as evidenced by the fact that he visited over four dozen countries and all fifty states. He graduated from Houston's San Jacinto High School (1945); from Baylor University (1949) with a degree in finance; and from the University of Houston with degrees in law (top in his class) and history. He volunteered for the United States Air Force during the Korean War eventually retiring from the Reserves as a lieutenant colonel. He taught history for over forty years in Houston Public Schools at Hogg, Johnston and T.H. Rogers junior high schools as well as at Robert E. Lee Senior High School after working for Prudential Insurance. He shared his love for teaching with his sisters, Georgena and Rosalee, both longtime teachers as well. Burton brought great joy to himself and others by leading South Main Baptist's Explorer Post 29 for almost 40 years, helping dozens of young men become Eagle scouts. He received numerous high honors from the Sam Houston Area Council of Boy Scouts of America, including the Silver Beaver Award and Vigil Honor from the Order of the Arrow. He took the explorers on numerous lengthy summer trips to high adventure bases in Canada, Maine and Florida, often with the able leadership of longtime friend Mr. Cannon Pritchard and brother-in-law, Mr. Ted E. Bailey, Jr. Burton was especially proud that his father was an ordained American Baptist minister who later had a successful career as a Texas insurance executive. He briefly joined his father in the insurance business before entering the Air Force. His father's direct ancestors journeyed to America on the Mayflower seeking religious freedom and include a signer of the Magna Carta. Over a dozen of his ancestors fought in the American Revolutionary War as well as in the Colonial Wars and the War Between the States. He was a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and many other groups. His mother's family moved to Texas shortly after statehood was approved. His parents as well as his sister, Mrs. Caledonia Rosalee Parks Bagby, and brother, Mr. Richard George Parks, predeceased him. He is survived by sister, Mrs. Georgena Joy Parks Bailey and her husband, Mr. Ted E. Bailey, Jr.; brother, Mr. Elwyn Eugene Parks and brother, Mr. Robert Howard Parks, Sr. and wife, Mrs. Donna Kellogg Parks. Also by numerous beloved nieces and nephews, including, niece, Mrs. Elizabeth Caledonia Bagby Schooler and husband Mr. Joel Kelly Schooler, and nephews, Mr. Milton Parks Bagby and wife, Mrs. Wanda Kay Jordan, and Mr. C. Burton Bagby and life partner, Mr. Ronald Lynn Grose; and nephew Mr. Ted E. Bailey III, all of Houston, as well as several other nieces and nephews. Also by numerous beloved grandnieces and grandnephews, including Mr. James William Qualman and wife Mrs. Rebecca Elam Qualman, and Mr. Robert Burton and Miss Caledonia Lorraine Qualman; Miss Jennifer Lee, Miss Joy Kay and Mr. Joel Kelley Schooler; Mr. Eric Travis White; Miss Jordan Elizabeth Bagby and numerous others. He traveled extensively with his sister, Rosalee (Paris and London), sister and brother-in-law, Georgena and Ted (Egypt and many other places); nephew, Milton (many trips as a child and teenager) and niece, Elizabeth (the American west and other areas) as well as nephews, C. Burton and Ron (Colorado, Canada, New England, London, Edinburgh and others). He also traveled extensively with friends Cannon and Mr. Charles White. Burton loved card games, as many former explorers will recall, and taught a family friend to play Hearts as recently as last week. He especially loved cats, but had a special love for Ron and C. Burton's Scottish Terrier, Roosevelt. The family is especially grateful for the love and care shown by his beloved nephew Ron and niece Elizabeth as well as many other family members during the last months of his life. Visitation will be 5:30 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 17 and Earthman Bellaire Funeral Home, 6700 Ferris St. A Memorial service will be held 11 a.m., Friday, April 18, Westmoreland Chapel, South Main Baptist Church, 4100 Main St., Houston. At his request, nephew Mr. C. Burton Bagby, a licensed American Baptist minister and student at his father's alma mater, Andover Newton Theological School, will officiate, along with the Rev. Mr. Erin Blake Conaway. There will be a private interment at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Pallbearers are nephews: Mr. Milton Parks Bagby, Mr. Ted E. Bailey III, Mr. Ronald Lynn Grose, Mr. Joel Kelly Schooler, Mr. James William Qualman, Mr. Robert Burton Qualman; Mr. Eric Travis White and Mr. Joel Kelley Schooler. Honorary pallbearers are the former members of Post 29 and the members of South Main's Men's Bible Class. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sam Houston Area Council at P.O. Box 924528, Houston, Texas 77292.

(2) comments

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Posted by Johnnymac 5:16 PM
Is it wrong to think this is funny?

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 2:24 PM
I have never been good about tracking my pokerstatistics. Pokerstars makes it pretty easy to do. I recently ran a report on my statistics (see below), and I am wondering if anybody has any sort of benchmarks to which I could compare this. For instance, I saw 24% of the flops, which sounds high. Of course, 7 of the 23 times I saw the flop were from the big blind (presumably for free). I am seeing the blind 19% of the time that I have to pay full price.

Anyway, if somebody knows of any benchmarks that I could compare to below, I would be interested to see how I fare.

Hold'em (Real Money):
94 hands played and saw flop:
- 3 times out of 12 while in small blind (25%)
- 7 times out of 12 while in big blind (58%)
- 13 times out of 70 in other positions (19%)
- a total of 23 times out of 94 (24%)

Pots won at showdown - 5 out of 10 (50%)
Pots won without showdown - 7

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 11:25 AM
This is good news: legislation was proposed that blocks enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. It seems the support is not from the gambling community but from the financial services companies that find it too difficult or expensive to enforce the UIGEA.
In unrelated news, while I made this post, I called an all-in bet holding the Broadway straight. My opponent got running 4s to make quad 4s. Now, THAT should be unlawful internet gambling!

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Posted by Dr Fro 10:57 AM
Junell posted here about Gnarls Barkley. They were on SNL last night. I don't know why bands go on SNL - they always sound like crap. Gnot Gnarls...they brought down the house. I suggest you watch it.

Anyway, you supposedly can download their new album (interestingly, backwards and as a single track) here, but me is having technical issues.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 12:40 PM
March Madness has now come and gone, and I can get back to the business of this blog. Just a very quick note on the tournament: I am the first to criticize single-elimination tournaments for not producing the most deserving champion (Exhibit A: the New York Football Giants), but this tournament did 3 amazing things: the Final Four teams were clearly the four best teams in the tournament, the final game had clearly the two best teams and the championship game seemed to, in the end, reward the team that most deserve it (or punish the team that most pissed it away.) Good job, basketball gods.

I am almost finished with Last Dance, which a great book to read during the tournament.

On to poker…

We finished the regular play of the league with me as the regular season champion (ala UT in the Big XII.) That got me $40 cash and also more chips in the season-ending tournament, in which I did well but flamed in the end (ala UT in the Big XII tournament). I got third, we earned me $30 of the ~$400 pool. I had my sights set higher, but tournaments are a crap shoot. Always. No matter what the structure, in the end, the blinds will force some action and you will be left to the whims of the poker gods. Knowing this, I decided a few things a while ago:
  • never expect to win money in a tournament no matter what advantage you may have in chips, skill, etc.
  • it's ok to lose the tournament to another person, but never lose to the blinds.

What do I mean by that? Early in my poker life, I would play so patiently in tournaments, that the blinds would eat up all my stack. When I finally got a hand and doubled through, well, double of jack-squat is still jack-squat. So, knowing that I needed to get in the action, particularly late in the tournament, I decided that:

  • If I busted out, it would be because I led into the pot and got called be a better hand. In a cash game, you might fold, recognizing the disadvantage of position. In the late stage of a tournament, you don't have time to miss an opportunity to shove, so you have to move big in early position, hoping to get a fold, a caller that is dominated or, at a minimum, a race.
  • If I busted out, it would be because I called a big bet, was ahead, and got sucked out on. I can handle that. Suck outs happen
  • What I can't tolerate is getting bet into, and making a bad call when I am behind. That is entirely within my control. I should have a good enough feel for my opponents to "know when to hold em, know when to fold em" in this situation.

So, I was first to act with KQs and an M of 4 with three players left. I shoved and got called by AK. Hey, shit happens. But he was much more likely to not have AK and I would probably pick up the blinds. Oh well, I least I didn't make a crying call.

So we are headed to Vegas one week from today. Thus far, the advice has been sparce, but Junell advised (and I concurred) that I avoid the Bellagio. For every maniac, there is a pro there. My experience is that the less glamorous cardrooms are the easiest to beat. One guy told me that Balley's is the fishiest. In my experience, that is moderately true. I was told that the action at Venetian was light. Other than that, not much.

I always go to Vegas wanting to play $2-$5, but I have been massively more successful at $1-$2. My theory is that the $2-$5 table has $2-$5 players, but the $1-$2 game is full of guys that are used to playing with quarters. Ergo, they are out of their league. I do well against scared money, because, for all of my faults, I am definitely not scared money (in fact, this is unfortunately to TO A FAULT).

So, I am still looking for Vegas advice, including a good, $50ish 50ish player tournament on a Friday morn or day. I am seen plenty of websites that give info on structure, but I am looking for a fishing report, if you know what I mean.

- Dr Fishy Fro

(1) comments

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 5:49 PM
It isn't always easy to see what a bad deal futures are. But the current futures and lines in college basketball are illustrative.

Right now, if you bet $5 on Memphis, you would cash out $17 (that is, win $12.)

Take that same money and bet on their next game (which is at pickem). Plan on putting all proceeds from that winning ticket on the championship (assume it is at pickem), and you turn that $5 into $18.22 (that is, you win $13.22). The reason for the funny numbers is the 10% juice.

So using the assumption of pickem in the championship game, you are better off by $1.22 (24% of the original bet!). But we know that Memphis would not be pickem against UNC. Thus, by either getting odds or by getting points, the value of betting on the consecutive games rather than the future is even higher. And if they play Kansas, it should be equal to or nearly equal to pickem (note both teams have the same futures odds).

Anyway, futures are sucker bets. I do them all the time, but rarely for much more than $10 or $20. The biggest one I did was on UT in 2005, which was clearly not an objective, calculated move.

(0) comments

Posted by Dr Fro 5:35 PM

Count me in to watch "The Grand". The reviews are mixed, but I'll watch anything poker-related. Heck, I even watched Tilt, and it was barely watchable.
I love mockumentaries anyway, so given the subject matter and the style, I know I will like it.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Posted by Johnnymac 9:26 PM
Anybody know anything about this? "Gameroom" is a rather vague term, it could mean a poker room or it could mean an eightliner parlor.

(1) comments

Posted by Johnnymac 1:04 PM
Apparently, I have lots of lost cats in my backyard.

(the email that contained this had the subject line, "Only in California!")

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Posted by Dr Fro 6:18 PM
Apologies for my absence, I have been busy running the greatest NCAA Basketball Tournament Pool.

I found this nugget in the news.

Also, contrary to my online experiences, evidently skill does beat luck in poker.

One final bit in news, I turned off my Tivo season pass for High Stakes Poker a while back (bc of that stupid thing where it can't discern reruns from new shows.) Evidently, I have missed the start of the new season.

Also, my Vegas trip is coming up in two weeks - please send me your thoughts on where to play.

(1) 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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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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