Occam’s razor

I find it rather fun to listen to crazy theories or ideas that some people believe to be true.  This can range from economic theories to how rigged online poker is.  Most of the time the simplest answer is the correct one.  This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give a bit of consideration to other possibilities.

Let’s start with  a non poker related situation.  My friend Garrett is a pretty smart guy.  Back in the day, 06, I was a massive donkey and played a live home game at his place.  We became friends.  I remember talking to him after a night he went out and met a girl.  He ending up hooking up with the lady.  Few weeks later he told planned on going out and was like “I’m wearing my lucky pink shirt.”

I laughed  a bit but wished him luck.  He went on to tell me that this shirt had landed him lots of numbers/ladies.  Let’s break this down a bit.  Is  that shirt lucky or since Garrett got complements on it, is his confidence higher while wearing it?  Pretty sure it’s the second one.

 

Understand that Garrett is kind of a math guy so I’m sure he didn’t really believe in luck or this lucky shirt.  Before I even knew pot odds/implied odds and that stuff he was the man.  I do have to admit I put a fair share of suckouts and beats on that guy.  Sorry G.  I was a fish so what do you expect.

 

2nd example:  Poker related.

Any seasoned pro poker player while have heard the great “poker is rigged debate.”  I’ve seen it all from people saying it’s based on your name to birth date to site just wants your money.  You can find tons of youtube vids about this subject.

Let’s look at why it isn’t and why you just might suck at poker .

Online poker sites and casino’s make money off of poker by taking rake.  Rake is taken from every hand/tournament that is played.  Doesn’t matter who is in the hand or tourny.  The site/casino gets paid.  Unlike other casino games where it’s player vs house.  Blackjack is a great example.  If you win 1k, you won that money from the house.  You, +1k  Casino:  -1k.  In poker, house still got paid and didn’t lose any money.

No reason to rig the game since it doesn’t matter to them.  With Blackjack the casino does want to limit the edge a player might get since it could be very costly.  Take those MIT BJ teams that took millions off them.

Anyone who knows a bit about UB/AP scandal will most likely throw that back at me but if you look at those situations it was certain people who abused the software for their own gain.  AP had inside guy abusing a flaw to see hole cards and ub had owner doing the same thing.  To me this is just horribly retarded to do.  UB site was making so much in rake a day compared to the extra he was skimming.  The AP guy was a employee probably not making that much.

FTP:  Another black eye was FTP handling of Blackfriday.  This was just a case of poor management.  Spending too much on everything and not having a reserve for rainy day.

The other thing is that you might be unskilled at poker!  So which is it.  A very profitable company has made it so certain players win even though they make money no matter who wins the hand/tourny OR you aren’t as good at poker as you think.

Pretty easy to see from my point of view.  

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Bumps and Marginal gains.

Bumps:

It’s a been a boring 3 days for me.   I’ve spent them basically updating/studying some new things.  I know that they will pay off in the long run but I can’t helping a bit worried since I’m not grinding.  My coach is in Hawaii, on his month long break and it’s killing him so 3 days isn’t bad.  1 week into it, he was like send me 10 Hand histories so I have something to do.  I still haven’t done that.  Note to self, do that.

The new Tech.

Poker is an evolving game.  It’s a game of incomplete information but our technology is improving to help “solve” the game.  I say solve in quotes since it’s never going to happen.  Never.

Icmizer:  http://www.icmpoker.com/

I’m a bit behind the times with this one.  I’ve heard it was much better than sng wiz but like a stubborn mule I wasn’t ready to upgrade.  I finally did and Wow, it’s amazing the difference.  So I spent about 4 hours re doing my push/fold chart and calling ranges.  Other sng players might ask why don’t you have those memorized and I would say I do but it’s always nice to have a bit of refresher on those iffy shoves/calls.

To normal people, who don’t know what a push/fold chart it’s like this.  If I have certain number of blinds.  (Blinds being how many times can you go around the table without playing a hand.)  So 10 big blinds means 10 times around without playing.

I think the chart looks good.  I had some other sngers look at it.  They seemed to think it’s fine.

Notecaddy:  http://www.holdemmanager.com/buy/231/note-caddy-premium—hold-em

The other new tech I repicked up is notecaddy.  I do mean repicked up.  I had this before but never spent the time to learn it’s true worth.  What is notecaddy?  Basically, it’s a program that goes over your hand histories and makes notes on things.  So much faster and easier than typing notes while 16 tabling.  This program automatically does it for you.  Since that time tons of packages have come out for it but they are all very costly and to that I say:

I do it myself but it’s taking it’s sweet time.

Marginal Gains:  http://jamesclear.com/marginal-gains

That blog is an amazing read about making small changes to see massive improvements over time.  It’s a pretty simple concept but drastically effective over time.  Anyone who has played poker pre Black Friday (http://www.cardplayer.com/poker-news/13127-black-friday-the-day-that-changed-online-poker) and post knows how important keeping up has become.  With over 10 million Americans leaving the market it has meant a slightly tougher ecology for some of us.  I do think Russians are trying to take the fish crown from Americans but time will tell.

I’ll just keep waiting for notecaddy to finish these notes so I can learn your ranges.  😛

Be like water!

Truly, a smart man.  I wonder how he would have done with poker?  My bet is very well with that attitude.  Why?  Well, he would adapted and over come his opponents.  I’m not saying physical combat is similar to poker but it shares common themes.

How so?  Easy:  1st:  When faced with a stronger opponent (IE) a bigger stack.  Put them to the test.  Bully the bully.  2nd:  Take them out of their zone.  Most sngers are great at push/fold but post flop/turn play is weak.  Be water!  3rd:  Make them think this is a fight they don’t want (ie).

My chips and  my blind!!!!

Random but fun gifs:  Enjoy bro,  Too my buddy Lucas in China.  Don’t get her pregos yet.  😛

That’s for you and Mike S.  in Thailand.  See you soon, bitches.

Wait:  Last gif.

Never give up, Never give in! Plus results.

Everyone has had a very bad/shitty day(s).  We’ve also had amazing wonderful days too.  Overall, how would you rate your life?

If was honest, I’d say this 2 months ago:

Why?  Sick? Broke?  Nah, I just got down on life.  Feeling sorry for yourself does nothing!  Don’t get me wrong, if you keep getting dealt 72o you have ever right to hate life.  I can’t imagine being born with CD or cancer but if those people can be positive then SHUT THE HECK UP  about a 100 Buy in Downswing.   

You click buttons for a living.  I’ve done much worse for cash and I’m pretty sure so has the local hookers.  Nobody loves punting off 2k or 5k but crying won’t help.  

Rant over:

So this last month wasn’t bad.  Results

Under ev but happy with results and stuff.  To all the regs in my game.  Plus no more spit calls when someone is sitting out.  We have to work together.

You see the nice little downswing near the end of the month.  I swear poker was saying this to me.

Then it all changed.  I was like.

Anyways, it’s 6 am here so I should go to bed.  GL

Recs, chip dumping and leaderboards.

Swim on friend:

I’ve always found that any job you have has good and bad things about it.  If you like 60% of your job I consider that a win in my book.  One of the biggest stresses of playing online poker is variance and dealing with recreational players (ie Fish) doing horrible things and making your life harder than normal.

This is no different than having a bad customer or crappy task.    My point is to remind myself and others not to berate the recs for doing something weird.

Example:  On the bubble with around 10 bbs for few players but 1 huge bigstack with over 50 bbs.  Normally a bigstack like this would be pushing/raising ATC but this Rec was limping utg vs my bb.  So I pick up a mid pair and reship only to get called by j9o.  Not a great call but I survived.  Now it’s easy for a sng player to know that’s pretty hurtful call vs my range but to a rec he only saw pretty cards.

Even easier is to fire off in the chat something nasty but why?  Does help the stress but remember we make money off their entertainment and nobody likes getting called a fish or moron.   Imagine you go to fix your car and the mechanic laughs at you?  Would you go back?

Chip Dumper/chatting with rec:

So playing a session of  sngs, I left my chat on which isn’t normal.  Not wanting to mess with it I left it on as the session came to end.  Interesting thing came up while I had huge stack vs bubble shorties.  On the button I raised into super short stack with junk.  23o.  Seems spewy but this guy hadn’t played a hand in 7 orbits and it was obvious that other guys were waiting on him to bust so getting past sb wasn’t a problem.  He found a hand and snap shoved.  I let my raise go and 2 other guys immediately called it chip dumping.  I laughed and typed misclick in chat.

Another game in the same session I found a British person complaining about me jamming his bb.  He echoed my thoughts of years past about playing sngs as rec.  I once thought a guy was a bot for not being able to search him.

Durp.

lol

As of right now I’m holding at in top 20 for leader board at my level and it’s second time this year I’ve been on there.   My staker keeps telling me to relax and not check it 4 times a day.  I could poke fun at his obsession with his red line even after having 5+ years of solid results and lots of profit  Then again, he’s pretty cool guy and waffle crushes me in poker in all aspects so I should be quiet.

Hope I run good and get on both orbits next week.   Until next time.  BT

Goals and a night out.

Happy New Years to you all.  2013 is gone like the wind and we speed forward for another year.  Overall, 2013 was a mixed year for me.    Poker wise it was lowest number of games I’ve played in years.  Part of me lost the drive to play but recently poker has become fun again.  Even if I have a losing session I have been finding it fun again.  I even found myself congratulating a fish for sucking out on me on the bubble.  lol  I hope it keeps up.  

Goals for 2014:

This is my second attempt to turn pro but I feel it’s different this time.  Last time I lacked discipline that I have now.  Also, I really didn’t enjoy the games I played as much.  Now I find myself enjoying a long grind.  Heck, I almost came home to grind after going out for New years but decided to wait for the morning so I was fresh.  

2014 Goals:

200K plus vpp’s.

5% Roi over 75,000 games.

Move up to the next level.

Be in the top 15 for my level on leaderboard.

Make PS sng leaderboard 6 times.  Top 10 2 twice.

Night out:

Spent the night with a friend of a friend for New Years.   AJ and I did the usually by have a drink at local bar but then ended up making it to the only dance club in my small city.

First thing I saw was a very drunk middle aged women slap the hell out of the guy trying to help her stand up.  The guy took it like a champ and just rubbed his face.  I can’t say I would have been so nice about it.  I think she would have been sleeping in the street if she was my girl for that but I didn’t see why she did it.

So we get in and it’s pretty busy but it’s weird mix of middle aged people with few 20 somethings.  I was the only foreigner in the place.  AJ order 3 beers and fruit plated for 36 Dollars and saying it was a rip off is too nice.  Only good thing about it was watching the table behind us have women after women pulled over to chat with them.

It’s one of the funniest things I’ve seen in Korea.  Men and women go to a place and the staff brings over women to the men.  Now, before you get a little freaked out remember, women and men know this is the deal.  They chose to come to these places.  Most of the time the girls act all surprised and try to play  passive about it.

Usually, the men pours her a drink and they chat for a few minutes before the lady runs off to her friends.   She might even enjoy chatting with the guy but I think social standing makes her run off.  To be fair, my Korean isn’t that great so I don’t know how it works all that well.  It sure if funny to watch.

In fairness, I bet Koreans love watching drunk foreigners try to game up each other and fail.  I know i do.

Well, until next time.  I hope God mode gets enabled for you just not vs me.  GL at the tables.

The start, poker and plans.

I’m not sure who, if anyone, will read this blog but here we go.  I might just be writing this blog as an outlet for my thoughts, feelings and emotions.  One of the hardest things about living in S. Korea as a Esl teacher is the lack of human contact you receive from other English speakers.  Sure my first year I had over 30 friends but as I’ve stayed it’s like I’m playing a game of last man standing.  Well I’m definitely winning this game after 6 years.  Besides my 1 buddy in my new town it’s been 4 months since I’ve seen another foreigner.

Some might ask what made me move from Wisconsin to S. Korea and that’s simple.  

The winter of 2006 my buddy called me one day and told me about his adventure of teaching in S. Korea. I really had nothing keeping me in USA besides my family.  Saying my parents were unhappy would be a massive understatement.   Like any good parent they worried about many things but the idea was set and in Fall of 07 I was off to the land of kimchi.

Before I knew it 6 long years have passed and I’m still here.  Not to say that’s a bad thing but it’s probably time to get out of here.  I really only see one way out.

POKER:

Now before I get a bunch of comments about the evil of gambling or someone wanting to save my soul from hell hear me out.  Everyone gambles!  I love hearing people say they never gamble since that’s huge lie.  You’ve never walked up to a person in a bar/restaurant and started a conversation?    That person hold up a sign telling you they wanted to chat with you?  Probably not but you took a risk.  Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t.  Ever get stumped on a test question and guess?

Why poker?  Well, I like that I can work hard and see my winnings increase with effort.  Unlike working my ass off for most of my bosses while never getting a cent more.

I think this is a good first post so I’ll leave it open to comments or questions.

later, BT