Thursday, December 05, 2013

Roberts 4 Rules off the top of his head for what it takes to be good at poker.

To be good at poker you need to understand the way people think.  

To be good at poker you need to be able to control your emotions; be an expert at anger management.   Not to get thrown off by people that throw people off.

To be good at poker it sure helps feeling comfortable bout the math.  Math is my thing yet I struggled early on with what was a correct bet size.  The guy betting 50 into 1000 pot.   Feel works too.  Once you get the hang of how much gets a call and how much gets a fold.  However at some point you are sliding out chips and it's a certain percent of what's in the pot.  In fact when I was poker on the television this is the most interesting part for me.  Saying out loud what I would bet in the spot and then watching what they put out.  Not that either answer is right.   There's also what your stomach can handle.  Like if we're on the turn and you're chasing a flush draw do I want to bet an amount that makes it incorrect for you to call to get you to fold and end the hand or do I prefer betting an amount that might get you to call so that I can try to win more money since I will win most of the time?  What players can't handle here are the times they are getting rivered.  That hurts too much and messes up #2 above.      

To be good at poker you have to be good at money management.  People vastly underestimate this last one.   

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

John McCain? Too Liberal!

The United States Senate is discussing Syria and someone caught John Mccain playing internet poker on his phone.  The ensuing discussion thread- whether or not it's appropriate to play poker on your phone when lives are at stake.  Oh and of course there was criticism that McCain has already made up his mind without listening to any new information or arguments.  That's all unfortunately true. 

My problem here is no one's asking the question how is McCain's playing internet poker?  At what site?  In what State?  He even tweeted that he lost.  Maybe it's legal in Arizona but I thought you had to be in the State in which you were playing.  In this case McCain's in DC with the Senate. 

Look I'm too lazy to look up any of these facts so hopefully the way this resolves is I'll bump into someone from Arizona who will tell me what their local internet poker laws.   Or some harder working blogger will do a search of the web and write the answer.    That would be even better because then I wouldn't have to hang out with anyone from Arizona. 

Friday, August 09, 2013

The Racket

I was hoping to write about the 2013 WSOP but life keeps happening and the story moves further and farther away into the rear view mirror.

What's more fresh on my mind is the car accident I had two nights ago.  I got hit and had to be towed.   I called my name brand you've heard of insurance company who said a tow truck would come in 60 minutes or less and take me to one of their recommended official blah blah blah auto body shops. 

This was apparently a big benefit for me because the guy who assesses damages would be able to see it right away.  You know.  Cause it's their shop.   

I said I wanted to go to my car dealer.  Call me crazy.  I had this idea that the same place I bought the car from might be the optimal place to rebuild it. 

Not so fast Robert.  

The voice on the other end strongly discouraged me from using the dealership. 

"Everything will happen faster if you go to auto body shop of name brand insurance company."

"Well I think I want to go to my car dealer's body shop."

"Your car dealer doesn't have an auto body shop" she said. "Most don't.  Are you positive that your's does?  What if we tow it there for you and then it can't be fixed?"  
She then closed with "The repair work will ONLY BE GUARANTEED BY US IF YOU USE OUR auto body shop of name brand insurance company.."

Sounds like they want me to go somewhere specific.

I got off the phone with the insurance bully and called up my car dealer.  Turns out they do have a body shop.  However before I could call back my insurance company, the real fun began:

Five different tow trucks stopped to ask if they could tow me.

Each time I said "My car insurance covers it for free."

"But I'll take you for free too" they each said. 

What kind of kick back must tow trucks get for bringing a body shop a car?

It's like the stories you hear of taxi cab drivers in Vegas receiving nice bonuses for bringing guys to strip clubs.  The bonus must be nice because just like these tow truck guys, in Vegas they'll drive you there for free.  

Each tow truck guy asked who my insurance company was.  When I told them the name they all immediately correctly guessed which tow truck company I was waiting for. 

When you have an accident with my car insurance company the tow truck, body shop and car rental are all pre-set alliances.  

One tow truck didn't give up easily.  Guy said he'd not only tow me but also repair my car for less than my deductible.

I finally called back my insurance company to say I wanted the car delivered to my car dealer- not to their auto body lot.

90 minutes after I had first called, the endorsed tow truck came. 

What happened next is beyond my creative writing ability. 

My tow guy gets out of his truck, documents that he's been sent by the name brand insurance company and then tries to talk me into going to a third completely different auto body place! 

Not where I want to go. not where the name brand car insurance company is trying to send me....but some other auto body shop that he "recommends." 

And this guy is part of the alliance! 

I tell him I want to go to my car dealer he gives me the now hack "Your car dealer doesn't have a body shop." 

"Sir I don't want to argue with you.  I've been waiting over an hour and a half.  I just want to get my car towed." 

"But your car dealer doesn't have an autobody shop" he continues.

You can't say that he isn't trying. 

Yesterday morning I get a call from the gentlemen who is assigned to assess the damage done to my car. He's at my car dealership and wants to know when I am going to be bringing my car in.

I put my tilt on hold and call back my name brand insurance company.

They are trying to locate my car. 

In the meantime I go to rent a car from the place the car insurance company sends me to.   The car rental salesman tries to sell me additional car insurance for the rental, even though my car insurance is paying for this rental.  Clearly I have car insurance.  It's why I'm standing in this specific rental car place.  It's also why my car is missing at the moment. 

A few hours later my phone rings.    

The good news:  My car has been found. 

The bad news:  It's at the auto body place my car insurance wanted.

I can't contain myself anymore. 

I start yelling. 

"Move my car to the car dealership immediately!. 

The person on the other end says "Sir, most car dealerships don't have auto body shops."

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Night June 21

So here I am.  At Vegas.  In the Rio.  I arrived in time to play the 8pm mega satellite to gain entry into the Main Event.   Unfortunately when I got to the cage I found out tonight's event was pot limit Omaha. I almost jumped in but then thought that's the kind of move that might accidentally make money and become a great story so why not play it safe and join a single table $275 old school sit and go instead?  

Play was pretty mediocre.    I forgot how miserable people act at the poker table.  One guy gave me a dirty look when I checked out of order.  Let me add that it was only the two of us in the hand so in theory I was helping him, by letting him know what I was doing.  He turned red and gave me a stare.  As if I was angle playing.   For entertainment purposes I should have announced "raise" after he bet just to see what happened.  Next time.  When the cameras are there for our poker reality show. 

This guy along with the other table  a-hole were the first two out.  That was nice of the universe.  I was less lucky.  As blinds grew I played two hands all in.   My Ace King lost to Ace 4 in a scenario where I knew I had the best hand before we turned over.    Then at the end my pocket tens lost to ace 7 even after I flopped the third 10.  Back when I was a kid I think we used to call that a set.   I expected the ace to flop but instead the guy went runner ruuner to make a straight with his 7.  Some combination of jack, 8, 9.   I burst into laughter.  Some say no one has seen a genuine smile from someone under a difficult circumstance like that since Popovich congratulated Lebron after game 7.   

Lets hope I got "it" out of my system.  And by "it" I mean the inability to win when ahead.  I was saying earlier today that I need ace king to beat pocket pairs to get anywhere.   But the two hands above are why I don't attempt to do this every day anymore. 

Now I remember how this goes.  This is when I give a lecture on how I can only get my chips in good.  Forgot about the silliness that happens afterwards.  None of that matters.  Tonight was a success because I was ahead when the cards were shown.  I just don't have the money to show for it.


See you tomorrow over here.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Results Oriented

Was just thinking about the good old days of internet poker.  Sometimes when I'd get all in at cash game I'd cover the screen with my hand.  No need to see what came on the turn and river.  Just think about the hand.  Did I get my money in good?  I've either won a big pot or lost it all.  The actual result may or may not be the expected result.  The expected result is what matters for judging play.  Yet the actual result is what matters to most people in life.  Unfortunately.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Some Soul Searching

The auction isn't up yet.  Obviously.  Or else you would have already been bombarded with the associated advertising. I did create a seller account at EBAY.  I just need to take some photos of this "casino memorabilia" and we should be all good to go. 

An aside: I had a moment over the weekend where I thought maybe I should just donate whatever the highest bid is to charity.  And that got me thinking about how the amount of money received actually has an effect on what I'd like to do with it. 

Most dollar amounts feel right to donate.  Like if someone wants to pay $1,000 bucks for the underwear, I want to pass that on to folks who could use it more.   Same thing goes regardless of whether it's 50 bucks or Ten thousand. 

But for ethical, moral, and discussions sake, lets say someone was willing to spend alot more than this. 

Like what if someone spent $1,000,000?   Should this change anything? 

Before you immediately dismiss this possibility, I do want to remind you that they are lucky underwear.  So anything is possible.  

Here's where I found myself wavering. 

You see one million dollars would be life changing....for me. 

My donating this same one million dollars by itself probably doesn't stop world hunger or cure cancer.   

So to review I am okay with giving the underwear away and passing on whatever they are worth to charity. 

Unless you want to give me one million dollars. 

Then I want to keep it.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Do You Feel Lucky?

Happy 2013! 

With the start of a new year I found myself doing some cleaning and came across the underwear I wore when I made the final table of a WSOP event in 2006.   It was a 3 day event.  I wore them on the 1st day and after somehow making it to day 2 I decided to wear them again.  When I made the final table and came back for day 3 there was no question what I'd be wearing underneath my pants. 
This underwear was the real deal.  I didn't lose a race for 3 days.  My AK always beat the opponent's pair.  My pocket pair always held up against their AK.  Oh sure these underwear didn't eventually figure out a way for my Ten, Jack to beat the early position raiser's pocket queens but lets be reasonable with our expectations.  In what would be my tournament ending hand, I needed a fold from my opponent, not help from my underwear.   

After this tournament ended these became my lucky underwear and were brought out anytime in the years to follow when I needed a little extra oomph in my game. 

So now it's almost 7 years later and here I am looking at them and deciding that maybe it's time to finally move on.  Yet there's no way I can just throw them out.  Can't do that.  They have too much meaning.   

No.  This specific scenario appears to have only one possibility for resolution: 

For me to auction them off on Ebay.

I will most likely need a few days to figure out  how one does this.   But come next week I plan to have everything set up perfectly to present you good reader with what some are calling "the best opportunity of 2013." To be the brand new owner of my lucky underwear. 

My only regret is not having thought of this in time for the recent holiday season as I am sure they would have made the perfect Christmas gift for the gambler in your life.

More info to follow after I figure out Ebay.

Friday, July 20, 2012

2012 Main Event

July 7th, 2012.  I leave a little before noon to drive to Vegas to satellite into the Main Event.  It had already been a full day for me having woken up at 530 am that morning.  I got to the Rio right about 4pm just as a $550 satellite was starting.   Field was over 700 players.  Top 33 finishers would win a $10,000 seat.   34th place got over $7k cash which might be better than 33rd if you don't already have a seat.

Raise fold blah blah blah....sometime around level 5 I was getting low.   Guy sitting to my left shares his belief that with my stack size I should be pushing with king 10 or better.  A few hands later I look down at pocket 8's.  Based on his advice I push rather than just raise in an attempt to create a king 10 image.  It works when he pushes all in right behind me.  The two blinds have yet to act.  My friend attempts to discourage them by telling anyone who will listen that he has the best hand right now.  He's not trying to intimidate me.  My money's already in there.  He's obviously trying to us both a favor and get the blinds to fold.    The small blind folds and will later tell me he had 8's beat preflop.  Not inconceivable to fold a hand like pocket 9's in a satellite when two all ins occur in front of you. Big blind folds as well and shows an ace which is great news since villain has ace 4.  My eights hold up and if I were giving a speech I'd have thanked him.

7 hours go by and with plenty of caffeine I run well enough.  Pairs beating ace king when they need to.   I was up to 50,000 chips- plenty for a seat.  The average stack would be 80 something later that night when there would be 34 players were left.  I just had to stay alive.

A very loose player with 25k behind the line raises my big blind.  In hindsight a push may have been my best play if I'm not going to fold.  Why not put him and his smaller stack to a decision?   I choose to call because I didn't want to go crazy with the specific hand I seem to lose plenty of money with.  Flop comes ace high.  He bets.  I raise.  If he has Ace King he deserves the double up.   The chips get all in and he turns over ace 2.  Wow.   I am 93% to move up to 75k.   That's a seat.   The only question is whether I should play the Main Event tomorrow (Sunday) or wait till Monday and spend Sunday playing even more satellites.   Blank on turn.  You know.  Because once you have your seat you take all the remaining 10k seats in cash.

2 on river and ace 2 takes it down.   This guy now has 50k and can relax.  I am down to 25k and on high alert.  How did we switch places here?

A few hands later another loose aggressive player sitting to my left pushes all in with his king, 7 on the button, because how else can you possibly play it when you have 60,000 chips and have been controlling the table with your small raises?

He gets insta-called by the same guy who just rivered me with ace 2.  This time ace 2 has pocket kings and is about to double up to 100k.  Amazing.

And then it starts raining clubs.  The clubs won't stop coming till the guy with the king, 7 hits a four card flush with his 7 of clubs.  Poof.  Just like that the guy with kings is gone.  I watch the dealer push his (and my) chips come back across the table to the gentleman to my left.  The guy who pushes with king 7 now has over 100,000 and will easily win a seat.    Later this same night I will see a two-year-old out after Midnight with his parents in 7-Eleven.  Life isn't fair in so many ways.   

With 46 players remaining I look down at Ace Queen suited.  Again.  Cosmically speaking I could fold.  Mathematically speaking my stack is down to 23K and it costs 10.5K per orbit so I have to push soon and this is WAY better than I could have hoped for in this spot.  Plus the best part is I know I am ahead of the aggressive player who had bet 9K from early position. He was raising too often.  If he woke up with something, good for him.


I push my last 23k into the middle so he only needs to call 14k to win 36.5k with the antes.

He sat there for a few moments or so, perhaps I should have talked and said something like "For 14k you can fold for the next orbit.  Why take the worse of it when you don't need to win all the chips?"

He eventually calls and turns over 7,8 off.

An amazing moment for me.  I didn't expect that.   If my hand holds up I'll have over 50k and be back on track for grabbing the seat.  Plenty of 30k and 40k stacks around.  

If it doesn't hold up I get a story to tell.  

Ace, jack, rag flop. 

Better than expected. 

What could possibly go wrong?

I am 97% favorite. 

9 on the turn.


10 on the river.

So this is why I am not doing this every day with my life anymore.

I hadn't checked into the hotel yet. 

I was tempted to just get into the car and drive back home.

Then I remembered I had woken up at 5:30am and decided it was better to just fold and go to sleep.

See you next year WSOP. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Live Tweeting

So I came up with this great original idea that certainly hasn't ever been done before.  

What if I were to play a poker tournament and give live updates at the same time over the internet?

Doing this sure doesn't seem ideal for focusing on poker.

I'd be way better off watching the action around me than typing updates into a smartphone.  

But it does seem like an interesting experiment for following the ups and ups of a tournament.

So here we go.  

I am going to play World Series of Poker Event #43 that starts this Saturday June 23rd at noon.

You can follow me here.


Friday, June 08, 2012


I created a twitter account.

Who would have thought that @thevegasyear would still be available?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spurs are +160 tonight at Oklahoma City.

The San Antonio Spurs have won 20 games in a row. 

Someone needs to stop this.

And Vegas is offering me plus 160 to break their winning streak?  

Lets bring in the cooler!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Vegas Facts #15, 16, and 17

Was in Vegas this past weekend.  Got a flat tire on the way there.  Got caught in a snowstorm on the way home.  For some reason I decided not to play any poker.  Look who respects luck.
Drove by the house I rented in 2007 and it inspired some housing bubble analysis.  The previous owner who got foreclosed on had paid $620,000 for it back in December 2006. 

It sold for $250,000 in February 2010.

The second house I rented was bought by it's owner in March 2006 for $299,000. 

It sold in November 2011 for $115,000.

Looks like some people got lucky in 2006. 

And some others did not.  

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.