Monday, October 31, 2005


Not surprisingly, we have witnessed snippets of poor behavior from the current broadcasts of the 2005 WSOP. Rather than pass judgement on Steve Dannenmann vs. Howard Lederer (bragging phone call), or Corey Zeidman vs. Jennifer Harman (slowrolling the nuts), I present 2 cases of douchebaggery which I've personally encountered.

The first occurred during a $2-$5 NLHE game at the Mirage in November, 2004. The exact details of the hand are irrelevant - suffice it to say that the final board was

Q J 2 2 2

3 players, each with about $500, were all-in. I had QQ, another player held JJ and a boorish tourist took down the $1,500 pot with K2s. Till that point this remains within the realms of a bad beat and I would have probably forgotten this particular hand but for what happened next. Boorish tourist stands up and yells across to his friend at another table

"Hey Bill! I just won a grand with quads!"

He temporarily forgot that poker is a zero-sum game (ignoring rake) and that 2 people just lost $500 each and weren't exactly in the mood to be publicly reminded of the fact.

The second also took place in November, 2004, but this time at the $10-$20 NLHE game at the Bellagio. I limp in with T9 spades and after a flop of

T T 9

it is just me and young engineer tourist who is to my immediate left. We started the hand with about $1,500 each. The turn and river are rags by which time I put him all-in. Young engineer tourist goes into the tank, his head in his arms. He is clearly in no rush to make a decision and his time spent thinking is not bothering me as much as the accompanying monologue.

"If I win this pot I'll be able to get my wife a real nice Xmas present."

I put him on trip tens. Then more head scratching followed by

"This is difficult. But if I win this, I'll be able to really surprise my wife."

This went on for about 4 minutes till he finally called and his AT wasn't good enough. I didn't even acknowledge his dejected presence and he left the table shortly thereafter. Say anything you want during a hand, but don't tell me about your plans of spending my money, thank you very much.

Edit : Having seen the rest of the WSOP broadcasts, it is clear that Steve Dannenmann is a great guy who was having the time of his life. The "phone call" was just part of the fun.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Since everyone's doing it...

My blog is worth


How much is your blog worth?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

People often ask me how I spend my free time at the shelter. Lately I have a lot on my mind so boredom is not a problem. I feel that I have to break out of my current (8 year old) slump. A quick glance at the figures to the right only serves as encouragement. My NL game is ready for a much needed advancement and I intend to bring this about with a multipronged assault on 3 fronts :

(1) NL simulations
It shouldn't be too difficult to define simple player-specific models by which one can garner all sorts of statistics regarding bankroll fluctuations. I consider this a macro approach and will reference the following among other sources.

(2) The application of [0,1] games
I would like to apply aspects of Bill Chen and Jerrod Ankenman's excellent work on [0,1] games to specific NL situations. This would be the micro approach.

(3) Implementation of (1) and (2)
Optimal play may be psychologically discomforting. With this in mind, I believe that having the discipline to follow through with a predetermined strategy will be my biggest challenge.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Good music, good times

Went to the Aladdin on Saturday night to hear the Alan Parsons Live Project who were playing with the Las Vegas Philharmonic. Really awesome, especially lead guitarist Godfrey Townsend and drummer Steve Murphy, both of whom I know from my New York days, when they played in Queens bars as There and Back.