Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Fridge is Still Cool

I bet Green Bay Packers (13-0) to win last Sunday at Kansas City. 

I really did. 

The money line was Packers -800. 

Normally risking 800 to win 100 is a horrible proposition.

But not here.  


Cause there was no way the Pack could lose this game.  


To be honest I didn't expect to actually see a money line offered with the 14 point spread. 

And when I did -800 appeared to be reasonable.

Cause the real question is would Green Bay go 19-0.  Not can they beat KC on the road in week 15.  Have you seen KC?

The only thing to decide was an acceptable dollar amount to wager. 

Initially I was going to use my entire sports betting bankroll. 

A bankroll I built up through small wagers using consistent units. 

A typical unit was 3% of my roll. 

Not 100%. 

Luckily that little voice went off inside my head and said "Robert, if you lose this you will be OUT of action.  No NFL playoffs.  No Super Bowl.  No NBA.  No March Madness.  DONE."   

I listened to the voice and decided to wager only 75% of my bankroll. 

Enough to make it hurt a little but at least I would still have action if disaster struck. 

Around an hour before the game started I went online and noticed the odds quickly dropping. 

Green Bay down to -650.  KC only +450.  Terrible sign. 

The fix was in. 

Lots of money going Chiefs way. 

This couldn't have been inspired by Kyle Orton right? 

I mean if I liked it at -800, I am loving it at -650.


The game starts. 

Uh oh.

Kyle Orton has shaved his moustache. 

That is not supposed to happen. 

Kyle Orton needs a moustache. 

It's part of who Kyle Orton is.  

If Kyle Orton is sans moustache then this needs to appear in the NFL injury report. 

There should be fines involved here. 

Shame on the NFL for not sharing this information. 

I did brag to a few friends during the game that I had bet Green Bay.  Told them to look out for KC and my cooling powers. 

This wager was clearly win/win.  

Either I'd collect a few dollars on the sure thing that couldn't miss. 

Or I'd spend 75% of my roll to buy a good story. 

The fridge is still cool. 

This blog entry has been sponsored by the Green Bay Packers money line.

Monday, August 08, 2011

The Pain One Endures as a Math Person.

I saw the poster below while checking into the Rio for the World Series of Poker. 

You do the math.  

So much for buying in bulk.


Thursday, August 04, 2011

Live Poker?

I was in the Midwest over the weekend and excited to learn I was minutes away from a casino that had poker.

Well sort of.

Upon arrival I noticed there were no chips.  No cards.  There wasn't even a dealer.

10 players were seated around a table.  This I can confirm.

However the problem was the table looked exactly like this.

I guess this is the future.

Anyhow what inspired me to write about this experience was a particular hand where I floated a young aggressive player on the flop in hopes of bluffing him on the river.

We both checked the turn and my moment came on 5th street when I fired out a 66% of the pot bet to try and get him to fold.

The young aggressive kid asks me if the ace on the turn helped me.

I sat there in silence.

So what does he do to get a read?

He bets all in.

The way the game works each player must click a second time to "confirm" the action they have selected.

So "all in" doesn't really mean "all in" until you confirm.

This means you can pull back bets after seeing a reaction.  You can change your fold to call.  You can string bet all night long.

I quickly accepted that this maneuver was part of the strategy.  The game allows players to do this. The young kid was just using whatever resources were available to him to try and take me down.

He eventually cancelled his all in to fold.

Then confirmed.  

And if I was savvy enough to show my bluff I may have.

I just don't think this is what our founding fathers intended when they legalized poker in the declaration of independence.

So it turns out that electronic computerized poker against other human beings does exist in the USA.

You just have to go live to play it.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

My Hobby

This having too much free time without internet poker in my life is getting way out of hand and complicating matters.  

I'm doing too much of the stuff I've always wanted to do. Things I had been putting off for years.

It used to be that whatever I didn't get done on my list each week would just get dragged to the next week.

Now I am suddenly forced into the awkward situation of actually crossing things off the list.

Tasks never intended to be finished are suddenly complete.

My updated bucket list pales in comparison to the original. 

What ever happened to sitting around and wasting time?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Notes From The Outside

Your reluctant hero got himself to one of Southern California's card club establishments for the first time since leaving Vegas almost three years ago.

Live poker is much slower than I had remembered.

The first level took decades.

I graduated from college and attended my 25 year reunion before we hit 50/100.

I put on some weight.   

I changed jobs four times.

I lost the weight and then put it back on as muscle.

Then I lost it again.

I had a midlife crisis.  

All the while I kept double checking the time on my phone.

At one point I was sitting at the table, bored out of my mind, chastising myself for such tight play.

I then counted my chips and realized we hadn't orbited yet in the tournament.

How was the play?

Surprisingly good.  Maybe it should be.  It has been eight years since Moneymaker came along.

By this point in time everyone definitely has a strategy.  Everyone showed up with a plan.

Something however was missing from tables I remember in Vegas.

Folks on vacation.

Humans taking a break from the pit games.

Gentlemen looking for action and willing to drop some dollars to get it.

This type of player was just not there.

No, to travel to Bell Gardens, California at 4pm to play in a rebuy requires the belief that one knows what they are doing.  The belief that one actually has a shot at winning $30,000. 

And while it's true that I've been away from the game for awhile, apparently all of the characters are still the same. 

When those writers I've hired to edit this blog entry for me get to work, we can have them include descriptions for each type of player I saw at the table.  You know. So that you can fully enjoy my experience of having been there.

I do want to comment on how cruel some of the players were to the dealers.

I can't recall ever seeing it go this far at a poker table in Vegas.

Apparently the California card dealers are not as well protected as their Vegas cousins.

There were a few older ones who were decent but the younger dealers were constantly receiving player abuse, which only made them more nervous and make more mistakes.

I really wish I had filmed some of the interactions I witnessed with my camera as these guys displayed perhaps the best argument I've seen to date for legalizing and regulating internet poker.

(Well other than letting adults do adult things in the privacy of their own home).

These guys let everyone know that there are sick cruel demented people who do not know how to treat others in a public setting.

Which is exactly why God invented internet poker.

So I don't have to sit next to these folks in person.

If only the U.S. Congress could see what I saw.

The horror!  The horror!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

I Can't Help It If I'm Lucky

Following up on the last post, here was my play:

I took half of my bankroll and put it on Miami for game 3 at+120.

I took the other half and put it on Dallas at +130 for the series.

The fact that Miami won game 3 let me breathe.  I showed a profit regardless of what would happen the rest of the way.  If somehow Dallas defied history and won the series, I would look like a genius.

Or at least very lucky.

As we know from poker, it can be very easy to confuse the two.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

What do the NBA Finals and the 2-3-2 Format Have to do with Your Retirement Plan?

We are all going to be old soon so let me be brief. 

I am not a big fan of the 2-3-2 format used in the NBA Finals.  Why switch over from the 2-2-1-1-1 to the 2-3-2 for the final round?  The 2-2-1-1-1 is far more intelligent, incredibly more fair, much more reasonable, clearly more likeable, and has better hygiene?*  But rather than sit here and talk about how David Stern could make the NBA a better place, lets actually do something for the world by focusing on how to make you money based on the outcome of his NBA finals.

The first step is to get in your car and drive to Vegas if you can make it there before game 3 starts Sunday night.  Immediately.  Go.  You can read the rest of this on the way during rest stops.  In fact if you can't get to Vegas in time to bet on the game then there is no point reading the rest of this article.  So technically speaking, no one should still be reading.  Those who can make it to Vegas should already be in their cars.**  And those who cannot should stop reading as well as reading further will only frustrate you when you see how much money you would have won by taking advantage of the incredible value being offered.

Here's the scoop:  Since the NBA gas gone to this painful 2-3-2 format, when the series is tied 1-1 the team that has won game 3 has gone on to win the series all 11 times.   For those of you playing along at home that's an 11-0 record for the game 3 winner

The leap of faith your financial adviser is asking you to take is to understand that the winner of Maimi at Dallas game 3 Sunday night will go on to win the series.  Sure seems possible, plausible, and dare I say believable.

I will not tell you who to pick.  We do not want to make lines move.

What I do, want to do, is help you maximize your profit.

If you like Dallas do not take them at -140 in game 3.  Grab them at +130 to win the series.  This fits nicely in your portfolio along with the +160 to win the series you have from before it started, along with the ridiculous +250 Mavs series line you grabbed after they lost game 1.

If you are a Miami guy bang the Heat at +120 for game 3. I know.  Nervous Heat fans are sitting there thinking they don't need to win game 3 to win the series.  And I am here to say 11-0.  The Heat better win game 3 if they are going to win this series.  What a gift to get them at +120 for a game they are going to win if they are going to win the NBA Finals. 

To review:

At this moment in time we can get Dallas +130 to win the series.  Heat +120 to win game 3.    In essence there is no favorite.  Only value.  

A week from now one of these is going to seem like it was too good to have been true.

But it was.

At this moment in time.***

You're welcome.

*The 2-3-2 format requires players to stay at least 3 nights in the same hotel room. 

**I do not endorse the reading of this while driving on the I-15 or any other road that leads to Vegas. 

*** As long as the team that wins game 3 continues to go on to win the series.

Friday, June 03, 2011

3.5 Weeks Later

Hmmmm.  I sure wouldn't mind playing me some internet poker this weekend. 

What a great way to relax, have some fun and enjoy myself. 

Maybe go deep in a tourney and win some money. 

Oh sure I could play live and visit one of LA's card clubs. 

Or drive a bit further and do some damage in Vegas. 

But I gotta admit it sure sounds nice to just stay at home and play.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act

What strikes me as unlawful is pushing through an agenda without proper debate. 

Sneaking something into a 2006 port security bill that no one would dare vote against.

Not having a real discussion about the matter.

Where are all the adults at? 

On the bright side, it sure is nice to have time back on the weekends.  

Friday, February 04, 2011

7 Years of Poker

So here I am sitting on a decent story of going to Vegas last Summer to play in a bracelet event.  I finished day 1 sitting next to Matt Matros which worked out well for me having him to my right.  I then had an unexpected day off before returning for day 2.  This was due to the 4000+ player field having two "day 1" starting days.   

This bonus day off just happened to be my birthday. My friend, the good doctor Blerge magically appeared.  If one is forced to face the indignity of spending a birthday in Vegas, Blerge sure ain't a bad person to do it with.

Various debauchery ensued all over that small town in Nevada.  Good memories were instantly created.   My birthday would eventually end early that next morning with me finishing up what began as a late night Main Event satellite.

It's not too often I get to play in a second live tournament while still being alive in the first. This also seems like a good time to mention that I am one of those people who believes that if you step on a butterfly in Brooklyn, someone coughs in Forrest Lake.

Well it could actually be a sneeze.  Lets just say that it's one of those noises from a human being where the other person in the room doesn't know whether to say "God bless you" or not.  You know. Cause sneezes are worthy of blessing and coughs are not.

This is all my roundabout way of sharing that the events of my birthday completely changed the luck I would experience the next morning on day 2 of the bracelet tourney.  That's right.  The power of someone calling an all in raise with their king queen close to the bubble for a $10,000 seat has that kind of residual effect.  

I'm still not sure why he makes that call.  We were pretty equal in chips so basically he was risking 10K on king queen. Friends tell me that some call all in with king queen there hoping the other plays has jacks or smaller.  Still that's taking the worst of it.  And the fact that I could easily have ace king makes the king queen call not so likable to my stomach.   Like I may not make that call with ace queen.  And he's calling with king queen.  Because how can you ever fold king queen?

Despite this late night setback I still had to wake up and play Day 2.  Yet clearly I was no longer on the same rush.  Suddenly my ace king was losing to ace rag.  Suddenly my pairs were watching smaller pairs flop sets.  Poker stopped being easy.  And my stack fluctuated....like a stack that fluctuates.   How's that for a metaphor?
The highlight of day 2 was my knocking out David Sklansky.  I raised preflop with ace king and Sklansky pushed all in from the blinds.  Such a fun moment in that there is no way I can be ahead here.  He sure ain't making that move with ace jack.  On the other hand there is no way I can fold.  It was for a small percentage of my chips and more importantly we've got a story at stake.   Sklansky had queens.  I flopped an ace.  Which only means that at that moment he was running worse than I was. 

After dinner I sat with Alex Jacobs at two tables.  The first table was tough with him to my left.  The second table was easier with him to my right.  When they broke our table with around 250 players left I still had hope.  At my new table I picked up pocket 7's on the first hand but doubled up a guy who pushed behind me with ace nine.  Soon after I picked up ace 10 suited, got the rest of my chips in but could not overcome pocket 6's.  And just like that my month long ride of running well was officially over.  

I had really wanted to go into detail about many of the hands that took place.  Just like the good old days.  But right now that's not possible.  So I am going the other way with it. 

This entry is me ending the story and reclaiming my blog so that I can post again.  There have been moments over the past few months where I had something to say but felt I couldn't because I hadn't finished this other story.  Well now I have.

In 2010 I did not have enough time to write about poker.

However that's not the real shame.

No, the real shame was I didn't have enough time to play.