Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Not Here

I raise in late position at the Venetian. The small blind was about to complete the blind but my raise apparently changes things for him. He stares at my bet, considers the additional cost(s) involved to remain in this hand, and chooses to fold. As he's throwing his cards into the muck he looks at me and says "Thank you. You saved me a dollar."

"You're welcome" I reply.

"Now I can go and buy a hot dog" he says.

"Not here" says the dealer.

I'm looking forward to telling this story over and over again by the pool when my wife and I complete our destiny and make our way to Florida for "The Boca Raton Year" TM.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What Happens In Vegas Stays In Vegas (Part III)

Who can forget the time the Venetian poker room forced me to show my hole cards to take down a pot even though everyone else at the table had folded? My left brain still regrets (and my right brain still resents) that I followed their ruling. I was the last man standing. Who were they going to award the pot to if I had refused to turn over my hand? The guy who folded and didn't show before me?

Well the comedy writers who script my poker sessions at the Venetian must be running out of ideas. Because I was back in their poker room this week and had another glorious experience where my cards were shown to the table in a spot where I thought I had the right to muck.

My opponent and I were all in on the flop but neither of us revealed our hands. My opponent then hits the runner runner boat on the turn and river and shows down his cards joyfully. I can't beat him, so I throw my cards into the muck. Sounds normal right? The hand is over and the dealer pushes him the pot. This sequence happens all the time in poker.

However at this point something strange happens. My opponent asks the dealer what I had and without any hesitation whatsoever, the dealer reaches into the muck turns over my cards and shows them to the table.

This really happened.

What right does this guy have to see my hand? What right does the dealer have to show it? This isn't a tournament. This isn't a hand history on the internet. This is a live cash poker game. Since when can a dealer go reaching into the muck and turn over dead hands?

If the Venetian is going to make us show our cards at showdown, then why not do it on the flop when we initially got all in? (Like in a tournament.) It's silly to make me show at the end after I've given up on the hand. By mucking I'm giving up my right to win the pot but in exchange I'm gaining the right to privacy. That's how it works in poker. That's how it had worked in every single live cash hand I've played over the past 18 months. Except at the Venetian.

Lets even pretend for a moment that at showdown he's gonna slow roll me. So lets say he's still hits the full house but asks me to show my cards first. Now imagine if I do the thing where I just muck and concede the pot. In this circumstance no one would dare turn over my mucked cards. It would be accepted that I had given up on the pot. He'd be the winner. I'd be the loser.
Just because he showed his cards first, doesn't mean he's suddenly earned the right to see my cards.

In fact the only concern (specific to the Venetian) is over whether the winner has to show. I believe the answer should still be a resounding "no" but as per my previous Venetian post, this is exactly the kind of situation where the Venetian made me show. The only reason I could see for demanding to see cards here would be if I was concerned regarding collusion. But since the guy asking to see my cards is the same guy I lost the pot to, I don't think collusion applies here.)

Now I can admit that my anger here was mostly tilt from having just lost the big pot but I definitely felt violated. The winning player asking to see my cards disturbed me, but the dealer immediately turning them over disturbed me even more.

Can this really be the way poker is played at the Venetian?

It makes me wanna go sign up for some 2/5 with Andy Kaufman this weekend and ask to see my opponent's mucked cards every single time someone folds at showdown. It's gonna be awesome. Hope you get stuck at my table.

Meanwhile the way life works, as I was walking out of the casino I noticed the woman pictured below. She must have been really sickened by what had happened to me.

Why else would she be puking into this garbage by the escalators?

She must be a poker purist! She knows they'd never pull my cards out of the muck after I've lost a hand at the Bellagio so that a guy who has won the same pot could see them.

In fact this woman's dedication to the way the game should be played makes me think she'd make a good poker wife for some of you single poker guys out there who are reading this.

If only there was a way to get in touch with her.

Maybe a Craigslist personal ad?

YOU: puking into the garbage the other night at the Venetian.

ME: Watching you puke and in awe of how much you respect the game.

Savvy readers might also notice that I stood far enough back to give her some space. That's because I have manners.

- I don't ask to see other players cards in the muck.

- And I stand at least 15 feet back when people are puking into garbage cans.

I think we call these qualities being raised right.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Vegas Fact #14

I saw Eric Seidel and John Juanda walking out of the George Michael concert Saturday night at the MGM Grand.


Those guys must really love their wives.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Two Hours of Poker From June 2008.

1:12 AM. I pick up pocket 10's and raise preflop. My opponent calls in position. Flop comes ace king queen. According to sources who were there, I didn't even bother making the continuation bet. Instead I apparently used double reverse psychology and held my cards out over the muck. My opponent bet and I let them go. I wasn't bluffing. No string fold from me. That's because when I hold my cards out over the muck, I'm usually gonna drop them.

Oh sure every once in awhile I make this same move when I flop a set. You know. Just so it doesn't become a tell. The last thing I need is for word to get out all over the poker community that whenever Robert holds his cards out over the muck it means he's going to fold. That would make playing against me too easy.

For those of you keeping score at home my opponent showed king queen.

1:18 AM. I call preflop with 5's but fold to a bet and a call on an ace high flop. The third 5 comes on the turn. How come anytime my cards are mucked, and then I see I would have hit a bigger hand, all sorts of betting fireworks ensue? How does this happen every time?

To quote Mr. Seinfeld, "Why is that?"

Like if I fold 4,7 and the flop comes out 7,7,7 there will be a raise and reraise before I can even open up Outlook to find the time to feel bad for myself.

Oh I still will. I'll schedule a meeting to punish myself for folding there. And then as soon as I get the reminder for my meeting, the turn and river will go runner runner 8's and some guy shows down pocket 8's at the end for bigger quads.

And then my superego will go out and rent a megaphone, just so he can walk around the house for the next 4 weeks screaming:

"See? That's why you fold 4,7 preflop!"

Truth be told my superego is wasting his time. My Id has already forgotten about this quads hand 30 seconds later when I pick up suited connectors. For him life is good again. My Id doesn't need chips to have a party. Oh sure he might need some dip, but he certainly doesn't need chips.

1:39 AM. I bump it up with pocket queens and get two callers. No one cares that I haven't raised a hand in 27 minutes. I ask for the floor to see if I can get insurance on one or more aces flopping but they don't want to take my action.

So what happens? Flop comes ace, ace, 6. Too bad for me. You know back when I was playing at Binions in the 1950's, Benny absolutely would have taken my bet on whether or not an ace flopped. And if Benny wasn't around I'm sure Johnny Moss or Nick The Greek would have laid me odds. But not these days. Not with these corporations posing as casinos.

Meanwhile I hope this whole "anytime I have queens there will be an ace on the flop" thing doesn't come off as me whining. If anything I'm bragging. I'm just like the kid in the Sixth Sense except instead of seeing dead people, I make aces flop when I hold queens in cash games. It's my magic trick. I might even go on tour with it if my Red Ant speaking gigs start to dry up.

So me and my queens check the flop. We're out of position. It's also what I'd do if I had ace king here. And both players are hip to my thinking because they check behind me. They've missed as well. After the dealer delivers the turn I bet $25 and they both fold. But this isn't me making any kind of move on them. I have the best hand. These guys aren't folding an ace here.

1:51 AM. Folded around to me on the button. I look down at ace rag. I don't love this spot. I'd prefer something like jack,9 here. That's how I roll. But what are my options? No one has entered the hand so I can't fold my button with an ace. I can't limp either. It's an obvious raise. And even though it'll look like a position raise, I think I probably have the best hand. I raise 5x the blind and they both call.

Flop comes out ace high. Small blind bets, big blind raises. I fold. They get all in. One guy has ace jack. The other a set. They both had me beat. Preflop too.

My inner child wants to throw a tantrum and say something like if I can't win when I raise and flop top pair then what hands am I supposed to win with?

As if I'm supposed to win! That's a good one.

1:58 AM. Three inexperienced players sit down. I'm in a pot with two of them and flop top pair top kicker. Before I can bet, one of these guys has the nerve to lead out from the blinds for 25. Other guy calls. I have position and want to raise but I decide to proceed with caution and just call. I want to see what happens on the turn. The board pairs the middle card and the blind fires another 25. His friend raises it to 50. I was scared before but now I'm terrified. So I lay down my top pair top kicker because one of them has to have trips.


The guy in the blinds goes all in. Other guy folds and shows top pair! Heck of a play by him raising to 50. Got me to fold. The guy in the blinds helps to maintain my sanity by showing me his trips. Thank you sir. I knew there was a reason for me to fold here.

Reviewing the hand- if I could have gotten him to fold on the flop when I had the best hand then I could have won the pot. But if he calls my flop raise then I'd just have lost more money.

If I raised to $75 or $100 would they both have folded? Or would they both have called? I'm not so sure I can trust these guys to fold. Which is why I'm playing with them in the first place.

2:01 AM. I limp with ace suited under the gun. Flop is beautiful. Ace high with two of my suit. Nice. I got the whole top pair thing going so I'm present, legitimate and in the moment. But people are also saying I've got the nut flush draw so clearly I've got a future and a 401K plan. I think we call this the best of both worlds. It almost feels like Omaha.

The adrenaline kicks in. The high that comes from knowing your chips are about to go into the middle. Going all in on the river and winning this hand would get me even. I took a break and stretched my legs. The past 4 hours of frustration were suddenly erased.

2:13 AM. Back at the table I go on a rush. Win with queen jack and king rag on consecutive hands from the blinds. Yes. On some nights, my winning two pots in a row can be considered a rush.

2:15 AM. Our table breaks. Unfortunately.

2:49 AM. 30 minutes at a new table and I've played pretty tight thus far. What can I say? I'm appreciating having chips again. On this hand I flop a clubs draw on an ace, king, jack board. My opponent bets small. The kind of bet that looks scared. I call. Turn is a second ace. He bets again. Still small.

Now despite my chasing a flush, I'm not terrified of the board having paired because I don't think he has ace king or ace jack. If he has an ace then it looks like he's scared of his kicker. I call again.

The river is the lovely and talented 3 of clubs. I hit my flush. He acts first and pauses before he bets. I watch him think. He eventually puts 5 chips out there. Only 25 bucks. Huh. This is somehow completely different than his two previous bets. Those felt weak. This feels like a value bet.

I could swear he's acting like he has the best hand. I'm suddenly nervous. Could he really have hit a bigger flush? Maybe my read was way off thinking he had an ace. Maybe his small bets on the flop and turn were semi-bluffs? He sure looks like he wants the call. My raising him is now out of the question, but of course so is folding. So I do what I have to do and call his value bet. And he turns over...

Ace 3 for the boat.

3:01 AM. Guy raises preflop in early position and announces he's has pocket kings. I call from the button with ace king and no longer trust his words after he checks a rag flop. He bets the turn and I call. Then comes his Oscar moment. After an ace comes out on the river, he grimaces and then bets. I call. We chop. Yes he had ace king too.

Damn it Robert. I told you to bet the flop!

But you don't listen.

3:04 AM. Highly entertaining hand. A good example of the kind of play you see in Vegas during the WSOP. Solid player raises from the button and gets 2 callers. Solid player bets 20 on ace high flop and both players call.

This causes the solid player to make faces. If this guy's face could talk it might say something like "I don't understand what the two of you could possibly be calling me with here because I have ace king!"

The two callers check the turn and the solid player makes another confused face and then checks behind them. I guess he assumes that someone must have two pair. The river comes and puts 3 spades out there.

One of the callers bets out 100 from the blinds. The second caller calls! Solid player freaks out. Can't figure out what to do here with his ace king. He's still got top pair top kicker but like I said, there are 3 spades out there.

Solid player asks out loud "You both got spades?"

After a few moments of silence the solid player folds.

But shows us all his ace king because he's a solid player.

Player who bet the $100 on the river shows ace 3. He has a pair of aces, 3 kicker.

Second player who called the $100 shows ace king and takes down the pot.

It's not always like this in the Vegas poker rooms.

But sometimes during the month of June it is.

3:14 AM. Under the gun I look down at the ace of spades. I decide that I don't need to see the second card. It'll only discourage me. I limp in. If it gets raised I can look and see what I've got.

It doesn't get raised behind me and the flop is king, 9, 2 with two of a suit. I check and an active player bets 10. Second guy who may be on tilt calls. I look down at my other card and see it's a king. I call too. I'd raise against some players but against these guys I don't wanna lose my customers. I want them to fire again on the turn. Then I can raise.

Turn comes. It's a harmless rag in that it doesn't pair the board but it does set up double flush draws. So the future might be dangerous but for the moment I'm still alright. The same active player bets, this time $20. Second player pushes all in for less than $100. I think I'm ahead of him so I reraise all in behind him. It's the first player in the hand who I'm slightly concerned about. Since we all limped in preflop he could have king,9.

He doesn't insta-call. That's good news.

He asks for a count of my chips. That's bad news.

He makes the call. Uh oh. I could be in some trouble.

Dealer turns over an unmemorable river and no one wants to show their cards. So I do. Lets win or go home. Here's my ace king.

Active guy to my left looks disgusted and shakes his head. Then shows us his king jack.

Second player shows king jack as well. Wow. I somehow win the pot.

I didn't outplay anyone. All I did was sit at a table and play with people who have even lower standards than I do for putting in their chips. That's what it often comes down to. Playing with people who make poorer decisions than you do.

My play was real borderline here, shoving with top pair top kicker against two opponents. That's how people lose their stacks each and every day. On this hand, against these players, it worked. I guess times are hard you get people calling all ins with top pair, jack kicker.

If that's not proof of a recession I don't know what is.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

If It Ain't Good Enough To Raise With....

I played an entire session yesterday without calling a single bet. I forced myself to either raise or fold every time it was my turn to act.

Wow that was difficult.

An additional problem arose when one of my opponents figured out what I was doing, adjusted his game and started raising me back. This turned into a whole 'nother game within a game for the two of us.

But for most everyone else at the table my raise or fold persona worked. I was often playing their cards much more than my own. Especially since I couldn't do any of my "Hey I got a piece of the flop let me call a couple of small bets routine." I had to make a decision one way or the other.

I played fewer hands than I normally would from the blinds. I just didn't feel as comfortable raising from there.

Damn it was powerful to raise with medium or bottom pair and watch opponents fold top pair lousy kicker.

It also seemed worthy to raise, get reraised, and throw my hand into the muck. Rather than call and find out the same truth a street or two later.

In the long run I obviously need to call sometimes when playing poker. When I picked up queen 10 suited on the button yesterday I really just wanted to see the flop. However I raised and my opponent quickly moved all in and I had to muck. This would have been a great time for me to disregard this strategy and see the flop. But I was committed to raising or folding, so I raised.

The way I also dealt with not being able to call was for me to vary my raise sizes. Sometimes the small raise was me buying another card in a spot where I'd normally call. Other times I was hiding a big hand and mixing it up.

Overall, quite the fun experience.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Just Like It's Not Supposed To Happen.

I played a little too much poker this past week and at some point I finally cracked. I went over to the neighborhood where tilt resides. You don't want to park there. People will steal your car. Your esteem. Your soul.

What got me so upset and messed up my psyche?


I was silly enough to expect my big hands to win. I thought that perhaps the long term math might want to hook me up in the short term. Didn't happen.

The most startling observation was my picking up pocket queens 6 times and incredibly, almost unbelievably, all 6 times an ace flopped. I want to go to the Hilton sports book and place a prop bet on what the flop will look like the next time I pick up queens.

To add to my paranoia I could not connect anytime I had ace king.

Poker gets real hard when I can't win either side of the race.

The most insulting moment?

That would be watching pocket kings go down to a miserable older gentleman who was abusive towards the dealers and waitresses. Boy did I want to take his chips. The money would have been nice but it would have been even more satisfying to get him to leave the table.

At least there was some irony in that he called my push on the flop with ace jack off and he himself was a jack off. I appreciated the symmetry of this coincidence despite having to sit there and watch an ace come out on the turn.

Using "The Power of Negative Thinking" TM I was able to crack my own pocket aces twice. The first time my opponent flopped a set. This happens. The second occurrence however was much more impressive as a small stack called and beat me with king 8 off. I wish he hadn't turned over his cards preflop because as soon as I saw the king 8, I knew I was in trouble.

Oh sure I won some pots. That's because sometimes I too had the worse starting hand. This type of hand I can win. Twice this week I won big pots with my ace queen versus some suckers ace king. Finally got my money in good. And by good I mean bad. The new good.

It's such a cruel game.

We live in a cruel world.

Maybe that's why poker is so popular on this planet.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Midway through a tournament.

I fold in middle position and the guy to my left raises the big blind. The big blind also happens to be a big stack and raises him back. My neighbor folds and the big stack warns him not to try and steal his blinds again.

Well there goes the neighborhood.

My neighbor looks insulted and says he had a real hand. A pocket pair. He then explains to the big stack, and anyone else who will listen, that he didn't want to commit half of his chips to a race. I believe him. Now if only I could get him to cut his lawn once in awhile.

But why does he need to convince us all that he had a real hand?

I think my neighbor is protecting his ego. He doesn't want to be perceived as the kind of person who steals blinds, even though this image might actually get him paid off on big hands. For some reason this guy wants us to know that he only commits his chips when he really has it.

From then on out, anytime it was folded around to us in the blinds, I would raise. My cards did not matter. All that mattered was that he didn't wake up with a monster.

One time he folded and showed me ace 9.

Another time he folded and showed pocket 3's.

His image was gold. He raised my big blind from under the gun and I folded ace queen. Instantly. I'm not kidding when I say pocket kings would be a tough call against this guy.

If Mr. Rogers was alive and playing poker, he and I would be fighting over who gets to be this guy's neighbor.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Limit Poker Confession

When they reraise me on the flop with bottom pair.

And then hit trips on the turn.

Sometimes it feels personal.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's Good To Be The Razor

Two solid nights for me on that series of tubes we call the internet.

Monday night I won a Pot Limit Omaha 8/B rebuy tournament. My opponents did not understand tournament strategy and allowed me to steal way too often. They were the kinds of players who'd only call a big bet if they held the nuts. I picked up so many pots that when they'd eventually take a stand, it was kind of like they were gambling against me with their own chips.

Tuesday night I entered the same Omaha tournament to see if I could win back to back. And as if Omaha wasn't going to be enough action, I also entered a hold em tourney taking place at the same time.

In Monday night's Omaha event I never rebought but Tuesday night I bought in for a Negreanu-like 10 times! This includes my first buy in and a double add on at the first break. That's 7 rebuys if you're counting at home. I had to come in 4th place just to make back my initial investment.

I was the chip leader going into the final table and playing like a complete and utter maniac. The kind of style that can win tournaments but also might make you go broke real fast at a cash game.

As fate would have it, I got into trouble with 4 players remaining and went out when a player shooting for the low, backed into a runner runner high. This finish got me my money back. And not much more.

I was so focused on winning the Omaha tournament that I hardly noticed the no limit window up near the top right corner of my monitor. And truth be told, once I was eliminated from Omaha I just wanted to go to bed. So I pretended I was Phil Ivey and raised 3 to 4 hands every orbit. I'd continue bet every flop, not minding at all if someone played back at me. Usually I'd reraise them. With sleep so close I was more than happy to race.

So of course what happens? The players kept folding to my raises. And the couple of times I hit something big, they chose to play back at me. Ahhh fate. You can sure be funny sometimes.

I was also playing some ridiculous starting hands which I think scared them more. After one particularly embarrassing (losing) hand I almost typed in the chat box "I am trying to lose my chips" but this seemed like too good of an experiment for me to "out" myself. For I knew it was good practice for me to keep playing like this.

The universe seems to reward players who play this style. Loose aggressive gets you paid off on your good hands. You just need to get lucky every once in awhile when you're behind. Which is most of the time. But it's also not that hard to play against players who fold 90% of the time. I can respect a raise from that kind of player. I know how much nerve it's taking him to finally take some action and make a stand.

And of course the key to my success was my not fearing getting knocked out. It would be hard to play this crazy if the money mattered. But down here I'm real comfortable being the table bully. Anytime I thought I could get another player to fold if I bet, I would bet. And when it didn't work, the free advertising that came with showing my cards was worth every chip.

My opponents knew I was giving them chances to double up. But I can be scary to play against if your goal is to make the money. Which is how most of them played. If you are trying to win the tournament, like I am, then you want me at your table. If you are trying to cash, I'm a nightmare.

Once this snowball got rolling down hill, my stack got out of control and no one wanted a piece of me. When I had 70k and the next closest player had only 20k. Three years ago I'd have played too loose weak and lost the stack. Two years ago I'd have played too tight aggressive and let the field catch up. Last night I was able to remain a chip leader for the entire tournament. (I can't say for sure I was always in the lead but I was certainly never in any trouble. As Hellmuth likes to say "I was never all-in.")

It was one of my better tournament experiences. I've won more money but to have a wire to wire experience like this was incredibly empowering.

Playing lots of Omaha was also helpful for my hold em game. There's such faith in Omaha. I love that in Omaha you can be behind (as in not have a made hand) yet often be the favorite to win a particular hand due to having so many draws with outs. I was able to take some of that gamble over to hold em and play my hands strongly even when they weren't made yet.

For me, this kind of confidence at poker comes and goes.

This week it's here.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Pot Odds Getting Better

I saw super unleaded this week for $4.31 a gallon. Regular unleaded was $4.11.

Gas prices keep rising but the 20 cent vig remains the same.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Three Card Suckout King

I played poker this weekend with a guy who wouldn't bet enough to protect his hand when he was ahead, and wasn't afraid to call off his entire stack when he was behind. It was the best of both worlds.

He talked to the table like he was teaching us all how to play the game for the first time. He understood ABC poker but not too much strategy or thinking beyond that. He was an ideal opponent.

People often ask me about poker tells. Well this guy was a living and breathing poker tell. The more he told me about poker, the more he was telling me what I needed to know, if you can TELL what I'm saying.

His ego needed him to be the table expert. The grand master. He lives in a world where ace king always beats queen jack no matter what comes on the flop. I sat and listened to his teachings and waited patiently to out flop him. Eventually. Letting one long game be one long game.

That's when we'd get our chips in. I just had to be able to beat top pair. Then I'd bet. He'd raise. I'd push and he'd call because he has top pair.

This is a benefit to raising and playing too many hands. I can get a guy like this to call me down with top pair because he's seen me showdown some pretty bad hands.

Destiny finally occurred on an ace,2,5 flop. I had top two with my ace 5 suited. The money went into the middle and when we turned over our cards I expected him to have ace queen. Maybe Ace Ten. But ace jack? I did not expect that. Shows you what I know.

He sees my ace 5 and utters "nice call preflop" in that sarcastic tone that makes The Vegas Year all worth it. If I wanted to reciprocate I'd mention how his mini raises were backfiring on him. But why would I do that?

The dealer is taking his time and not revealing the turn and river. This gives this guy a little more time to berate me. Two things are possible:

1-He's really embarrassed by his call and taking it out on me

or (and even better)

2- He actually thinks I made an error seeing the cheap flop here.

This seems to be tale he's desperately trying to sell the universe. To whatever cosmic jury it is that decides our fate. His whining is a last ditch effort to convince the random number generator we call reality, that he deserves to win this hand, since he was ahead, preflop.

At least that's what I'm hearing.

The dealer turns over the turn and he misses. I'm still ahead and not buying his argument at all. From where I sit I'm the huge favorite. I was a huge favorite when we got the chips in. But my opponent thinks otherwise. He turns me into Marcia Clark. He's Johnny Cochran. And the glove doesn't fit.

The jury foreman, or "dealer" as I like to call him, delivers a jack on the river. I lose to a bigger two pair. Some might say ouch but I can't properly wallow in self pity because he's still yapping.

This is a pet peeve of mine. You can't win the pot AND complain afterwards. If you lose the pot I'll listen to you all night long. It's the cost of doing business. But people who win pots and still need to complain? I've got some issues with these folks.

But of course I don't argue with the guy. I don't mention percentages or how either of us played the hand. In fact I only spoke to him once. At some point during his monologue I looked over at him and asked "Are you trying to get me to play tighter?"

To which he responds "You couldn't play tighter if you tried."

The irony is not lost on me here. I'm actually playing very tight. Post flop. But he can't see that part. All he remembers is my starting hands. Not what the board looks like at the point when the bets occur.

So I sit back, relax and wait for the next opportunity to do it again. Find myself another 4 to 1 spot to get my chips in good and see what happens.

It came around 30 minutes later. I raised preflop with ace 10 suited and the same guy calls me with ace jack. Flop is ace 10 rag. Of course it is.

I bet my two pair. He raises. I push. He calls. With his ace jack again.

History repeats itself.

We turn over our cards. He sees my hand and that's when he says it to me.

"You are the Three Card Suckout King."

As if we put all the money in the middle and THEN I hit my card.

Hey I don't want to brag but look at me piling up the nicknames. Most parts of the World already know me as the Red Ants in Nevada House guy. My expertise in that field has been well documented. In fact I've had much less time to write this blog with my busy schedule touring around the country giving lectures on that topic.

Now that this whole "Three Card Suckout King" image is taking off maybe I can get back to focusing on poker. Order some business cards. Maybe get my people to look into buying WWW.THREECARDSUCKOUTKING.COM.

So I'm 84% to win this hand when the money goes in on the flop. A queen comes off on the turn. Not the best card pour moi but I'm still 77% to win. And then a king comes on the river. I think we call that the Lizard King. The Three Card Suckout King has been out-sucked. Or re-sucked.

All I know is it definitely involves the word suck.

So this guy overplayed his ace jack twice. Which was exactly what I wanted. He called off his entire stack with ace jack and won as a huge underdog.


I picture this gentleman going upstairs to his hotel room and thinking how he outplayed me. Thinking that I got what I deserved for playing such bad starting hands. Then I picture him watching Dane Cook and laughing hysterically for hours.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Super Unleaded For All My Friends!

I don't know too much about cars. Oh sure I like to use the word viscosity as much as the next guy. I know there are rumors I spend all day coming up with new rhymes for the word. And while this may or may not be true, this sure seems like a good time to come clean and admit that I have no idea what viscosity actually means. Yet my auto-ignorance hasn't stopped me me from auto-experimentation.

There was a point in time when I tried putting super unleaded gasoline into my car. I will absolutely testify under oath, with the same viscosity (and trustworthiness) of a Vegas Fact, that my car positively went further with a tank full of super unleaded. I did get more miles per gallon. More miles per tank. This was back in the day when gas cost $1.20 a gallon. Yes super unleaded was more expensive. But it definitely did something super.

Back then if super unleaded cost $1.20, regular unleaded cost around $1 per gallon. So it was rather easy to compute that super unleaded cost 20% more per gallon. One could then run the numbers to see if using super unleaded actually delivered 20% more miles per tank. You know. Check the EV to see if this extra mileage was worth the extra cost.

Cut to yesterday: I'm standing at a gas pump coming back from a road trip. Staring up at the numbers I had a mild epiphany.

The difference between paying $4 or $4.20 per gallon is not nearly the same as the difference between paying $1 or $1.20 a gallon. On 4 bucks, paying an extra 20 cents per gallon is only a 5% increase. Not 20%. Thus at these prices, it's not that much more expensive to use super unleaded. Math isn't telling me to put regular unleaded into my car. Habit is.

It might be time to switch to super unleaded. Something inside my brain thinks gas prices should rise proportionally. If super cost 20% more back in the day, then it should cost 20% more now.

Shouldn't it?

This lack of proportional pricing makes me wonder what the true price of gas really is. It looks like they're raising the price too much at the bottom end. And not enough at the top end. This doesn't make any sense to me. Seems like you'd want to raise the percent just as much on the top end buyers.

And then I'm reminded that I live in a country where citizens were rewarded with a $25,000 tax break for buying a Hummer.

And no tax break for buying a Hybrid.


Well using this logic, maybe the whole thing does make perfect cents.