The video clip alludes to the film Loser, with Jason Biggs playing a nerdy character similar to that in the movie and Mena Suvari as the love interest who unexpectedly invites the protagonist to an Iron Maiden concert. In some versions of the music video a large glitter ball falls from the ceiling and strikes him on the head, after which he wakes up having fallen asleep while doing his homework revealing his brief romance with Suvari to be a dream
Mena Suvari was pretty hot. Was always a fan. Never saw the movie Loser, but I suppose it's on the list of films I should watch, eventually. It's probably terrible but I really like this song. I never really liked Iron Maiden, but singing about going to Iron Maiden always brought the lulz to me. I've played that song more than any other the past week; Wheatus was very much a 1-hit wonder.
I've been reading the Signal and the Noise.
I am very much enjoying it; I should be finished with it by mid-week. I actually know Nate Silver, sort of, through twoplustwo. He used to be a poster, and would occasionally drop knowledge on sporting events section, although stuck largely to baseball. (Being the PECOTA creator and all) Any show/segment with him on it as a guest is pretty great; I've seen him recently on the Daily Show (good) as well as the Simmons Report (Podcast, also good).
www.pointsperpossession.com Have to link that, of course. Will have a 1/4th season summary up shortly, as well as a new podcast in a day or two, starring the creator of RAPM, Jeremias Englemann. If that is German to you, well, that's because he's German. (Huzzah, whatta joke!) But really, RAPM is a powerful utilization of ridge regression applied to adjusted plus-minus. http://stats-for-the-nba.appspot.com/
That is Jerry's site. So far this year, only a few players are rated as better than +1.0 on both offense and defense. They are: Danilo Gallinari, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Tyson Chandler, Jason Kidd, Thad Young and Paul Millsap. Yeah, just 10 guys, and probably not the 10 you'd expect. The top 10 players overall, according to RAPM, are LBJ, CP3, Dwight, Manu, Tyson Chandler, Duncan, M Gasol, JSmoove, KG, Durant. (Then Love, Blake Griffin) No complaints here...
I got back the paper I had to write on medical ethics. I'm really enjoying that class, since it's a mixture of current topics, ethical philosophy, and as everything relates to the medical world. I hadn't written a paper in years - so I was a bit worried. But it went well, with a solid B+. I suppose my stance on abortion and euthanasia got 1.5 thumbs up.
The semester is actually winding down; I have just 3 more weeks. Coincidentally, I'm also in the process of selling my house. (Have I written about this yet?) It looks like I'll be here until the New Year, which lines up with school. The big question that I need to answer - and soon - is whether I stay in Cambridge (which I'm slightly leaning in that direction) or go back to Western MA.
Thanksgiving was terrible. I am choosing, deliberately, not to write much about this, but normally I focus and complain about the actual drive, since it takes far longer than it "should", due to an inordinate amount of traffic. (I suppose some people would argue it's perfectly ordinate, given it is Thanksgiving) Regardless, that was the least of my worries; was roughly on time, some family was there, etc. I was a bit exhausted.
I'll leave that segment with the note I was dragged into some fights and arguments that I rather would never be dragged into, and as a direct consequence my weekend was ruined. My sister Martina had flown in from San Francisco, and it was a particularly rough weekend for basically everyone there or around or near or any other prepositional phrase you could possibly envision a mouse with a house.
I have played basketball the past 2 days. This is great for me; it had been difficult to get into the gym (due to Tufts changing things up a bit) and between Alex Wilson having a girlfriend now, Thanksgiving break, and my busy-ness at night due to classes, I haven't had ample opportunity to play. So it had been a solid 2 weeks of no activity. I'm pretty happy with my current shooting ability - I also have been making plays off of postups. The big issue is just conditioning, which just comes from playing back into shape. For 1 game I can crush the competition etc. but then my play radically falls off. I'll be back in the rec league swing when the next season begins. (Late January?)
My friend Dave Klaver is getting married next week. Dave is an Australian mate who moved here for a PhD postdoc. He posted on 2p2, and lived in Alex/Nathan's house, which is where I met him. Just a great guy. The way to explain him is in my world, I enjoy making lists. And for the list of "people I genuinely want to succeed because I admire them for their kind heartedness and so-on" he's like top 2 or 3. Maybe even in contention for the top spot, although I'd have to truly think about that more in depth. So, that's cool, and I'm excited for him, but the downside is he's moving back to Australia. It's not so much that I hang out with him all that often - in fact, I haven't seen him in 2 months - but there was a nonzero effect of having a friend closer, that when he's in Australia, that's literally zero.
I'm coaching a little bit again. I wouldn't mind coaching more, now that I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things although I understand the market is quite different. In a weird way not playing whatsoever, or largely thinking about poker, has allowed me to gain an appreciation for the direct non-poker aspects of poker itself. I was on a date the other night and was trying to explain what goes into being a good poker player (SIDE NOTE: If you're a single guy, and you play poker, this kind of conversation is largely counter-productive to ANY goal you may have. However, if you don't really care about the date, and are just conversing because that particular topic whets your appetite, go full guns-blaring. With this one, she was very attractive - a Ukrainian girl, I have far more success with European girls than American girls, for whatever it's worth - but we just weren't clicking whatsoever so I pretty much went into talk about whatever I'd like to talk about since that was the highest Me EV for the moment) and I found myself explaining the discipline side of things as well as game selection and so on. Don't worry, I didn't explain it like that, but I voiced the psychological self-control and all those little things that over the past decade (it hasn't quite been a decade that I've been connected to Poker, btw, that would be dating myself, but it isn't that far away either) I had largely previously ignored.
On the dating topic, I went Speed Dating (!!!) this past...
My older cat, Evie, was euthanized two days ago, late November 18th.
Hopefully the youtube embed works; that's the only video I had of her.
Evie was a wonderful pet. I loved her very much. I got Evie (andBelle) at the Animal Rescue League in Boston roughly 3 years ago. At the time they weren't sure of her age, but guessed it to be 5. This was a great pairing with Belle, who was still a kitten, and barely eligible to be adopted. I wasn't sure if I wanted 2 cats, but I figured since I was home so much, and really enjoyed animals, that 2>1. I thought they'd be able to play with each other, in the event they found me boring or preferred a feline companion.
I knew I wanted a kitten, since aside from small fluffy furry animals being overbearingly cute, I wanted to be able to bond with them immediately. A cat, although it's sad when they are up for adoption, would be harder to forge a bond I wanted. I wasn't sure if I was ready.
Evie was different. I fell in love with her from the moment I saw her in her cage: She was tiny, looked like a kitten, but behaved very much like a cat. She jumped on me immediately, and it seemed all she wanted in the world was to sleep on my lap.
This was different for me. I was used to active cats chasing balls and with the attention span of a 2 year old. I was told Evie had been the cat of an older lady who was no longer able to take care of her.
She had no teeth; they were removed at some point, but it did not cause Evie pain, and if anything, made her more adorable. In fact, often times she would "nom nom" on my fingers, trying to eat anything off my hands, which often felt like little kisses. I also called this "gumming" me, since that basically was what it was.
Evie had an insatiable appetite. We learned, over this past summer, this was likely due to hypothyroidism, but it always astounded me how a 4 pound cat could eat and eat and eat and yet never gain weight. I always wanted to fatten her up; although she was cute-skinny, this bordered on unhealthy-tiny this summer. I just wanted her to be healthy and happy.
My first year with the cats was a little odd; I wasn't technically allowed to have cats in that apartment, (I'm not one to follow those sorts of rules...) and I didn't respond to the idea of my cats sleeping with me. I had 2 bedrooms in that apartment, with an upstairs that was carpeted; it was an ideal play-area for Belle. Evie, on the other hand, would spend hours just sitting outside my door, pawing at the knob, trying to get in. All she wanted was to come in and sleep next to me. Sometimes I let her: It was me, not Evie, who forged the bond slowly.
I always tried to engage Evie by playing with her. It wasn't that she lacked energy; she expended a fair amount warding off Belle-attacks, and was always quick to follow me around the house, whether it was because of the possibility of food or simply because she loved companionship. It was that most of the time Evie just wasn't interested in whacking a play mouse. I made it a point while playing with "teasers", (such as a stick with some rope/mouse attached to it, or a thin wire with cardboard on the end) that Evie always "won". I never wanted her to lose interest simply because she wasn't able to catch her prey. I had an idea of leaving a 12-sided dice on my hardwood floor, a few months ago, and this quickly became her favorite toy. Really, the only toy that she would play with. She would follow the "clunk clunk clunk" religiously, only stopping to look at me when she knew I was staring.
It was amazing how Evie was capable of purring immediately when you put your head next to her. I couldn't use her as a pillow - she was much too small, far too frail - (I can with Belle, which is nice, as she's a bigger and softer) but just my presence near her would do the trick. I would rub her ears or her paws, and although she was slightly bothered by this, she never complained. The only time she meowed, really, was in anticipation of being served wet food. Oftentimes it was merely a "cmon Daddy, feed me already!" My favorite moments the past year were walking to the kitchen - the daily ritual which was a clear signal it was time for wet food -and having Evie and Belle RACE to me, as though the amount of food received was directly tied to who finished first. Evie normally won.
When I got home this summer from Vegas, after leaving them with my family friend Dick Wynn, (who had looked after them 2 summers ago) Evie was much skinnier. She wasn't well, and was having difficulty breathing. I had a vet appointment coming up, but changed it to an emergency appointment so she could be seen earlier. When I arrived, the vet fairly quickly told me she needed to go to the hospital. I had no idea her condition was as serious as it was.
At the animal hospital I feared the worst. Vets, like most professions, don't like assigning probabilities or making clear certainties. I asked what was wrong, and it was a wide ranging answer, which pretty much was hidden by "we wont know until we run some tests". She had a lot of nasal discharge which got to such a point that her constant sneezing was giving her bloody noses.
She was at the animal hospital for 3 days, where she was stabilized, and diagnosed with hypothyroidism (explained the weight) as well as URI. (Upper respiratory infection, explained the difficulty breathing) It wasn't clear what the root cause of the URIs were, although they suspected, although didn't come out and say it, cancer. The MRIs were exorbitantly expensive, so instead I chose the rational route: We'd treat her URIs with antibiotics and put her on drugs for hypothyroidism, which would in turn make her stronger, which again would help fend off any other infection. If it was cancer, it would become clear, and treatment at that point is too expensive, so we'd do this without all the expensive diagnostics.
At this point they told me it was more likely Evie was 13-15; that is the normal age range for hypothyroidism, and they suspected she had been dealing with it from the onset of when I adopted her. (Which explained the small stature)
The antibiotics sorta worked, then the nasal discharge would come back. There were good days - when she had full energy and no sneezes - accompanied by some bad days - which involved 20 second long sneeze attacks, resulting in a bloody nose. If you had never heard her sneeze before, it would be thought of as comical. I suspected the worst.
I put her on another trial of antibiotics 2 months ago, and again, it worked for a short time, but it was a short term gain followed by short term loss. She did gain some weight during this time, which made me hopeful for her recovery.
Evie had a checkup 2 weeks ago, exactly, with the vet. It was to monitor her blood levels. Apparently, although she was gaining weight, she wasn't taking enough drugs. We ~doubled her dose in the morning, and got a different antibiotic for her to try. (Clavimox; she previously had used Azithromycin)
It was amazing! The past 2 weeks she gained some weight and looked as healthy as when I...
I bet I fooled a whole lot of you, eh? Thinking I went to Amsterdam? Well, I didn't! In fact I haven't gone anywhere in a while.
Many would say Coldplay only produced one good album (Parachutes) but I beg to differ. Parachutes is a special album that (rightly) deserves its spot in the pantheon of greats. "A Rush of Blood to the Head" was great in its own right, and thusly I give it praise. We'll forget about their recent work for posterity sake.
I have been buying "Kefir" lately. (Pictured below)
Eva, my ex girlfriend, (sounds weird saying that; she is still a close friend) would always buy the plain Kefir. Plain Kefir, let me tell you, is disgusting. Strawberry Kefir is pretty good; it's a lot like yogurt. Apparently it's incredibly healthy.
Last weekend I went to my best friend's soccer championship game, played on Sunday. He wasn't playing - he got offered a job to coach a Waldorf School's soccer team, and he happily accepted. He's been incredibly into it, and I think he got the best out of his team. (It's a very small school of about 50-55 kids I believe)
His team ended up losing in the Championship 4-2, to a school approximately 4x its size. They had previously beaten this team once, 3-0, in what Dave told me (pre-match) was "The Game of their season". (Yes, Games in caps) Even though Hartsbrook (his school) went into the match undefeated in league play, this team played most of its matches out of league against bigger public/private schools, so the record was somewhat deceiving.
There was quite a crowd on hand - it was played @ The Stoneleigh Burnham School. Apparently Stoneleigh is known as a world class school for dressage. Dressage is a fancy word for horseback riding, FYI. There were a lot of horses around the field where the match was played. I never have liked horses; I consider them somewhat of a "dumb" animal.
When I was in Iceland when I was little we rode on Icelandic ponies. I remember the experience because I almost froze to death; I have great body circulation but very poor hands/feet circulation. (I don't have Reynaud's syndrome, so my circulation isn't THAT bad) Anyway, being outside during the winter riding on this tiny pony that smelled while I couldn't feel my hands or feet really kinda wore me the wrong way.
I ended up watching QPR (this was the week before last; they just lost to Stoke in a completely boring affair 1-0 this Saturday) play Reading in a must-win game for us. We obviously drew 1-1 at home in a fairly lackadaisical effort. I watched w/ Neil and Teddy (Neil is Dave's dad; I'm pretty close with him, and Teddy is Dave's younger brother, who is ~best friend #2) but DB was obviously too cool for school, as he bailed on us to hang out with his new girlfriend.
His new girlfriend is named Ari, which is a guy's name. But she's definitely a girl; I met her @ the game! She's fairly cute, and she baked treats for his team, so that gets a pretty strong plus. The only Ari I've known, that wasn't shorthand for Ariel (I've known a few guy and girl Ariels) was Ari Kestler, who long ago was a high stakes poker player. He was a mod on 2p2 for a while, with the name of AZK. He was a friend, but then quit poker to pursue Medical School. I think he recently graduated; the time frame would make sense. Nice guy, but since he's a Maryland guy, I can't say I really kept in touch, aside from a few random Facebook notifications. I think he may even be married, which would be pretty weird.
Back in the day we had a minor crew that was Fslexcduck (Vanessa), AZK (Ari), Chaostreezie (Josh), and flawless victory (Brian). This was literally my first year of potentially going to Vegas; I was 20. I bailed on them, actually, because last minute I thought it was a bad idea to go underage. That was probably a good idea, but it's unclear. I'm not really friendly with any of those people, although I obviously hold Vanessa in very high regard, and I'm sure I'd get along with anyone if we happened to go get a coffee.
Joan (Dave's mother) was making butternut squash while we watched QPR. In Western MA, there is far more farm fresh produce; around Boston, I'm sure there may be a farmer's market or two, but it's inconvenient. Joan offered to give me 1, and I almost took her up on it. But I said no, and instead, when I got home, bought one.
It's in my fridge ATM, and has been in there about a week. I need to make it soon; I was looking at some recipes, but haven't picked one yet. IF you'd like to recommend one, please do so, as the ETA on me making something is about 4 days, so I should be able to read blog comments and evaluate properly.
I really like living social a lot. There was a deal for proflowers.com. It was 15$ for 30$. Now, I don't think that's the greatest deal around, but you know what? I like flowers! I hadn't bought any in a while. My original idea was to buy some and send them to my mom, in a sweet surprise, but I realized I kinda wanted them more than I wanted to give them away. So I bought asiatic tigerlilies and had them delivered to myself. That is my favorite flower, btw. If anyone feels they should surprise me with flowers, I'd be thrilled to accept.
I upgraded to a deluxe. They smell great and are occupying the island in my kitchen. I have to say it was one of my better recent purchases. The only qualm, perhaps, is that both of my cats are inquisitive. They know they shouldn't hop onto my kitchen island, but they just can't help themselves! They've both brushed across the vase/played with the flowers, and now they are slightly dyed yellow.
Actually, it was a bit concerning; my all white cat looked as though she peed on herself, so it took me a few minutes to realize it was the pollen residue. The other one has yellow around her claws, so clearly she's taken a liking to swiping at the lillies. I'm happy to say the lillies are holding firm and haven't taken too much of a beating.
The really good news was I had an econ midterm today. Well, yesterday; today is Tuesday. I think economics is pretty stupid. It's not a hard science and it's not intuitive. It also is fairly simple on the surface but for whatever reason it's made more difficult than it should be. In any event, I studied the practice test and nothing else; felt it was the most appropriate usage of my time.
THE TEST WAS THE PRETEST! A 2hr exam took me about 15 minutes, and although I couldn't remember a few of the answers, I'd be kinda shocked if I got less than a 95 or 97. So that feels wonderful. The return to school has been less than stellar, so this felt really good.
According to Lennon, the inspiration for the first two verses was the death of Tara Browne, the 21-year-old heir to the Guinness fortune who had crashed his Lotus Elan on 18 December 1966 in Redcliffe Gardens, Earls Court. Browne had been a friend of Lennon and McCartney. Lennon's verses were adapted from a story in the 17 January 1967 edition of The Daily Mail, which reported the coroner's verdict into Browne's death.
"I didn't copy the accident," Lennon said. "Tara didn't blow his mind out, but it was in my mind when I was writing that verse. The details of the accident in the songŚnot noticing traffic lights and a crowd forming at the sceneŚwere similarly part of the fiction."
Pleasant. Wikipedia delivers, as usual.
The NBA is upon us! I watched opening night, obviously, instead of preparing for an assignment on abortion. YOLO and all that.
I went to the gym earlier, and had the misfortune (towards the end) of playing with teammates who were terrible. Not terrible in the athletic sense; I can deal with that. But terrible in the basketball sense. They were completely selfish, and it was due to ignorance, rather than play style. They just didn't know any other way to play. Defensively they were terrible as well. It really left a chalk taste in my mouth.
Speaking of chalk tastes, I had to use sour cream in my coffee today, since I ran out of milk. I should rephrase that; I drank all my milk the day before. A whole gallon of whole milk (say that a few times fast) - I only buy whole milk, FWIW, it just tastes better - but I figured with power going out (Hurricane Sandy) I better drink all my milk. These are the things you think of.
I only lost power yesterday for the afternoon. Classes were still cancelled, which is a bit of a shame, since I'm rather bored without classes. But just as my laptop was dying, it came back on! So my afternoon wasn't a complete waste. I did buy some sweet candles, which did not really illuminate the area I intended. They did smell nice though.
Anyway, back to the sour cream: I do *not* recommend this. I understand some cultures (African, I think) use butter in their coffee. Some people actually like black coffee, too. I do not. Anyway, I figured all dairy products would suffice. I've put ice cream in my coffee before, and that's good. Except for coffee yogurt, which oddly is a double negative, or something like that.
The problem with sour cream in your coffee is it leaves substances floating around in the coffee. And it's hard to avoid drinking that. And that substance doesn't taste good. The reason I even buy sour cream is because I use them in my eggs. (My eggs are the best ever, according to Gordon Ramsey) I do recommend this, however.
That's instant espresso. I've pretty much become a full blown convert, as of 2 weeks ago. GOOD BYE AUTO DRIP FOR ME! Well, not 100%, but this instant espresso is ridiculously good I can't stop drinking it. I bought a 6pack on amazon because I couldn't find it at my grocery store. Full thumbs up here.
Coming full circle, I've been a pretty good blogger for PPP, at least so far. I have 3 articles pumped out, 2 podcasts, and a 4th article that I will release in a few days. (And there has only been 1 day of regular season action! Wow!) If you don't know what PPP is, it's www.pointsperpossession.com. It's the site that features me, Aaron Jones, and Assani Fisher. So far the podcasts, this season, have featured me with Matty Bush. You should check it before you wreck it.
Sonically, the Pixies are credited with popularizing the extreme dynamics and stop-start timing that would become widespread in alternative rock; Pixies songs typically feature hushed, restrained verses, and explosive, wailing choruses. Artists including David Bowie, Radiohead, PJ Harvey, U2, The Strokes, Weezer, and Pavement have cited admiration of or influence by the Pixies. Bono of U2 has called the Pixies "one of America's greatest bands ever", and Radiohead's Thom Yorke has said that, while at school, "the Pixies had changed my life". Bowie, whose own music had inspired Francis and Santiago while they were at university, has said that the Pixies made "just about the most compelling music of the entire 80s".
Credit goes to Wikipedia.
I walked to the bank just now. It wasn't raining, but it was GOING to. I could have gotten my umbrella, but I chose not to. I like walking in the rain. I was wearing a new sweater my mother got for me for my birthday (which coincidentally was about a month ago). It's a great sweater. I normally don't like what she buys me, but this is an exception.
I had to go to the bank because I don't have my ATM card. Mine expired sometime earlier this year. I walked in, and immediately sat with a Caribbean woman, She asked me if I had today off. I told her, Yes, in a manner of speaking, I do.
I've recently been reading "Inverting the Pyramid"...
Which is a book, as the sub-title says, that is essentially about the history of tactics in football. It's somewhat of a sluggish read - I expected it to be more of a Moneyball thrill ride, but instead it contains a million different Eastern European and South American names that, frankly, are impossible to pronounce. The story isn't really woven well - it probably would work better as a textbook. Regardless, it has served it's purpose, and I've found out why various countries played various formations, how conventional lineups changed, and who the innovators were. (And what led them to the said innovation!) And a thought occurred to me.
The concept of "Dynamicism" applies to many fields - in Chess, for example, a player who is thought to be dynamic may avoid some moves which dumb down the position (like trading pieces) in order to create a more confusing/complicated position. In Football (the real football; "Soccer"), a dynamic player is one who is, in a sense, able to create "something" out of "nothing". (Rather than slow buildup, a player who can carve the defense, beat people off the dribble, and rip a great shot after such a fancy display, like Lionel Messi, is a demonstration of a dynamic player in action)
Sometimes the lure of dynamicism replaces what could be a simpler, more effective, strategy. It's almost as though winning pretty replaces the simple fact that the games are played to win. In basketball, fans "ooh" Kobe's turnaround jumpers, but his eFG% on those particular plays aren't really that hot. Those aren't the plays that generate the Lakers' edge over other random teams, and yet those are the plays which garner the highlight footage. They simply look the best.
In poker, this is common. The player who makes the amazing hero call, wild bluff, or incredibly thin value bet is often credited for his genius, his creativity, his dynamicism. And sometimes the plays are incredibly good - although perhaps unconventional, they are things that should be conventional, only because they are grounded in theory. But there are also many plays that are praised and gawked at, but when you actually boil it down, are pretty fucking terrible. In other words, an individual has sacrificed the bottom line (perhaps not even knowingly!) in order to provide entertainment. It's not enough to win, they also have to impress while doing so.
No real point with this blog, other than to jot down a view on various styles that can succeed. In the past I've tended to side with dynamic play, almost out of loyalty. My friend JC Moussa, for example, is a very good high stakes player. I also think his style is the complete opposite of dynamic. I pretty much know how he's going to evaluate a hand, ("fold") and yet at the end of the day... He's still really good. Maybe dynamic poker is overrated?
One final comment - I went to Foxwoods last week from Tuesday to Thursday. The game plays 10 handed there, dealers do not collect their own tips (but will in a month or so), and there are many regulars, most of whom act slowly and tightly. Apparently one of the regulars (an older Asian man, Alex told me he's there often but probably doesn't lose much - it's impossible to think this guy is a pro who wins) late in the night leaned over and whispered to Alex, "Does your friend [me] have a gambling problem?" Alex responded "Uh, no, why?" And he said, completely seriously, "He has played every hand, I haven't seen him fold before a flop yet". Thought that was funny...
Hey fellas, I am creating one (or, possibly, depending on turnout, two!) coaching groups. I've done a fair number of these in the past, and I'd say they've been wildly successful. I believe my students would say the same! I'm still figuring out details (as in, pricing) but it will be lower than what it was in the past.
In any event, please PM me, post comments, or message me on skype (robert,eckstut) if you're interested. I'll have clear guidelines soon, (which I'll probably just re-edit into this post) when those are settled.
THIS HAS BEEN EDITED IN, WAS TOO LARGE FOR A COMMENT:
I don't take any offense at all Jason. I think all prospective students should ask similar questions, as they are all valid. So I'll just answer everything here...
i'm curious how much online poker you have played in the past 2 years
Obviously not enough The past full year (from just after 2010 WSOP to now, including Black Friday) I actually had a losing year. I played just under 16,000 hands, so somewhat of a drop in the bucket. I also had a losing live year, although that's mainly attributable to this summer's performance. The previous year I am unsure how many hands I played, although I played a fair number more than this previous Aug-Aug, and with much better results.
and what makes you think you can still effectively evaluate the state of the games?
The game has changed. To insist otherwise would be terrifically backward. That said, there are a few things going for me:
1. The more the game changes, the more it stays the same. The same concepts which are fundamental, proven, and vital to be a winning player haven't evaporated. In other words, I know that stuff inside and out.
2. To say I have a weak connection to the game isn't really true, either, as I have continued to coach throughout this period.
3. In some ways, not being in the midst of the changes actually helps one recognize them from a distance. For example, I know what trends were hot, I know how things have changed, and if there's one thing I can do, it's recognize patterns as well as anyone. This helps project how things will be. (As in, changes that haven't even yet occurred in the game!)
I did your group coaching a while ago when i just started playing mid stakes 6max before I started playing any HU and I thought the coaching sessions were a decent form of group discussion and interaction, however the content wasn't necessarily up to par or worth the price.
One qualm here: If I recall correctly, for your purposes, you wanted to focus specifically HU play. Everyone else within the group was focusing on SH/6m. For your individualized sessions we did a bit of HU, (everyone else did not) so you're right, for you specifically the content probably wasn't the best bargain.
I also recently read though some of the content in your book you put out ages ago, and I honestly do think the game has evolved to a point that makes a lot of that content that may have been very good 3 years ago pretty obsolete (especially the HU content).
This is sorta a 2 part answer...
1. The coaching involves a lot more than the book. If this was just me repackaging what I wrote then, it wouldn't be worth the money nor would it be billed as "group coaching". If that also is the extent of which you view my poker abilities (or teaching abilities) then I suppose I should take that as a pretty large insult.
2. There was no strictly-HU content in the book, so either you're misremembering something that someone else wrote or you misinterpreted something I wrote. There was one small piece (literally an attachment) that showed why playing 100% IP HU is fundamentally correct. (And some raw preflop HU stuff)
This isn't a flame towards you or anything,
Well, it is what it is.
i just think that a lot of the games now are very difficult and way more technical, even at the 50nl-200nl levels, where without constant playing and review with use of hem/stove/stoxev you are going to fall way behind
If there's one thing you should have taken away from the coaching, it was my constant nagging to self-analyze one's play. Consistently checking up on not just your specific line, but also the hypothetical line with various parts of your range. And alternative responses to your opponents play. I am big on Hem + stove. Less so with stoxev but that doesn't mean I'm unfamiliar with it completely!
For me personally, I was probably one of the bigger winners at midstakes 6max and hu playing a decent volume every month for the past 2 years, and after taking a 2 month break from online poker to grind WSOP, i sort of find myself a bit rusty and clueless in seemingly standard spots just from a small break from the games.
I think every time I play poker after a break I've blogged about how I'm rusty. It's natural. That said it comes back quickly.
Well, I left Las Vegas more than 2 weeks ago, but I haven't actually updated the blog in a bit. I'm on a bus right now, and had pictures to include, but I can only link some of them. I went to San Fran for a few days following Vegas and then I came back to Cambridge. Figured I'd briefly detail my SF trip and what's been going on with me while I've been back!
After my Main Even bust out, I was still set to stay in Vegas for about a week. Everyone from the house busted before the money except Alex Wilson, (Gary Stevenson, Dubness 1, "Mr Consistent") who made a mini-run. We were all eager for Alex to do well, and he did aiiight, but we ofc wanted a final table run... I think I mainly just played video games with Asa and so forth, I played maybe 1 live session after the Main Event. I also watched all the Women's World Cup I could.
My Dad came to visit the final 2 days - in the past we went to Vegas Summer League, but since the NBA is locked out, (the first order of business was canceling SL, which is a bummer!) there was no SL. We went to Lotus of Siam and Asa underwent a prop bet (eating a shrimp dish as a "10," a Lotus-10 is incredibly spicy) and he managed to succeed. The dude's a hero.
I flew out with Asa on US Airways. We got to the airport and were alerted that we were on Stand-by. SO, potential to have been a bad beat. Lucky for us though, we got seats... 1st class! Unlucky for us, we were grounded on the runway for about 2 hours, due to complicating weather in SF. (Heavy fog and rain, naturally) Without being too poetic or wallowing in my own pity, this has been emblematic of the past ~6 months or so. A step back, a better step forward, then a worse step back. Hopefully the cycle breaks soon.
I finally got in and had late night dinner at a diner with my dad (not that most of you care about the actual dates, but I believe I flew in the 16th, and was in SF until Tues the 19th - was a very short visit!). I was a little upset because the majority of the purpose of the trip was to see my sister Martina, who sorta blew me off all weekend. (She somewhat recently moved to SF, well has been there for like 8 months I suppose. On Sunday Martina got me Mozart tickets for free (she has a job w/ the San Francisco Chronicle, so gets free tickets) but I didn't use them since the Women's World Cup USA v Japan was on and went into extra time. (Hopefully all of you know the result, but it was a great game - Japan won 2-2, PKs)
We had a BBQ that night, Asa and his mother/brother came, that was cool. The following night I met up with JC (who flew in) and we went to Asa's house, this time for a BBQ there. That was cool too. On Tuesday I did a short hike w/ Amanda and snapped some pictures. On one hand my phone quality sucks, on the other I think the pics turned out VERY well. See for yourself:
I flew back on the Red Eye, jetblue, and I sprung for the emergency row. The reason this bares mentioning is the flight was completely packed - like 3 ppl/row, every row. Except for the emergency aisles. Aside from 1 other dude, no one else wanted to spend the extra 50 or so. (FWIW that baggage, upgrade, etc. costs are redic, but it also makes the flight far more comfortable) So everyone else had no space whereas I got to lie down. Unfortunately for me I can't sleep on flights. And, apropos, all the TVs on my row didn't work. (They worked for everyone else) I did get a "15$ off!" coupon for next time because of that though. Call it poetic justice.
A day after arriving I took a bus with Eva to CT, where I was supposed to handle my car stuff. FWIW, that's been the biggest pain in the ass. (They took my car away from me a day before Vegas - when I say "they," I mean the state of Connecticut) The reason why it's so difficult is at the CT DMV, since I have a MA license, they wouldn't let me register my car. And, I lost my car title. So I waited for an hour+, they said "you can't do anything", all the while some ridiculous towers are charging me ~35 a day (the tally is up to 2.2k or so, it feels sick) since I didn't take care of this over Vegas. (In all fairness, a. I couldn't do anything because I had to physically do stuff at the DMV in both CT and MA, but also b. I didn't know they'd charge me so much for leaving my car in this gigantic lot with tons of space. In hindsight, c. I should've halted Vegas for 2 days or something just to get my car back)
We went to Stonington, CT (a beach town) because my mom rented a house for the month. My friend Dave Bach came down so that was sorta fun, I can't post pics because they're hosted on facebook and for whatever reason Facebook has changed their picture-linking ability policies, so it's a hassle and I don't really feel like C+P -> Imageshacking right now.
The weekend was fine, DB on Sunday drove Eva and me back to Boston (Which was INCREDIBLY nice, he lives in W Mass so that's nearly 2 hours out of his way) and the reason I'm on the bus (since I couldn't do anything in MA until I got my car title back, which apparently is BACK in CT - yes, chalk up more time spent at the DMV/RMV!) was to retrieve the title, go back to MA, get registered in MA, then come back to CT and pick up the car. (And pay the insane fee) Hopefully by Friday this is all behind me because it's driving me nuts.
I took Eva to a WPS game last week (Women's Professional Soccer) and it was great! I wrote a recap in 2p2 SE, so I'm just going to repost...
Originally Posted by BobboFitos
Pics of the game etc...
ok some thoughts.
1. I looked up tickets online, and they had 27/20/15 (3 tiers). However, you had to eprint it, and since I don't have a printer, I said wtf, I'll just buy it at the game. Got to the game and not only did they not offer the promotion (online only wtf) they didn't allow me to buy the 3rd tier. (I intended on just moving wherever) So a 15$ game ended up costing me 40$. (I bought 2 tickets in case that's not clear to everyone) Concessions during halftime were also insanely overpriced - I got a "large" "home made" lemonade which was mostly cold water, a pack of sugar, and half a lemon. For 5 bucks. Also got a large pretzel, which at 3$, was reasonably priced. So I ended up spending roughly 50$ for something that I intended spending only 20$ total, which makes me less-happy.
2. I got there about 10 minutes early, since I had to buy tickets, and they did a bunch of national anthems. That part was cool. Also, the stadium (Harvard Colosseum) is very friendly, in the sense that although we bought "2nd tier" seats, it was pretty much FFA sit wherever you want. There was
Just as a prelude, it's a few hours before Day 2 (I made it to Day 2, spoiler alert!) and I figured I'd patch hands together to post a recap. My phone died in the middle of level 3, so level 4 and 5 I'm just going to go off memory, as I was sorta live blogging the adventure up to that point. I didn't play many hands in level 4 and 5, so it won't be too difficult. Here are 2 live-action shots!
Angrily looking at my cards...
Hopefully not *as* angry...
I go sit down at table 133. I thought that was my table. The dealer doesn't say anything, just confirms my ID etc. A few people sit down, Holly Madison says "Shuffle up and deal!" and we're away.
1. Only 5 people are sitting, and I'm UTG with black 4s. Sweet, I make it 250. An older man on the button calls, the blind (sb was not at the table) folds. Flop comes K53 all spades. I bet 325 and he calls. Ok, he has a pair or a spade, he didn't think long and didn't even consider raising. Turn was a 6, I have an open ender. I bet 1.025k, he snap calls. Ok probably doesn't have a spade anymore, outs are clean? River 7, booyah, I bet an even 2k, and he snaps me with AK no spade. I win the first pot of the day, and I'm near my high point. (I win one more hand to briefly put me at 34k, the rest of the day I was much lower)
2. As noted I win a few more pots. The table is short, the opponents seem terrible, and I'm stoked to have some early easy chippos. I get a tap on the back, and lo and behold, it's a player and a tournament director. The player is wearing a Santa suit and apparently I'm in the wrong seat. I'm supposed to be at table 113, not 133. Well, that sucks. I go sit at the new table and it's not even close as appetizing.
For the record, this table didn't break the entire day and we lost just 2 players (out of 10). Play wasn't PARTICULARLY aggressive, but it was fairly tight. Everyone except for 2 players (1 of whom busted) was solid. On my side of the table was a Danish pro named Simon who looked like Justin Timberlake (someone pointed that out to him) who played well and in the middle of the table a Montreal pro named David who said he played HUSNGs. He played well, although I suspect he hit a fair amount of hands. (That said he value bet phenomenally, very wide and got paid off repeatedly) On the other side of the table, players were a tad older, but 1 guy was fairly LAGGRO who had some tricks. (Again, could just be hands, but he was 3betting a fair amount, c/r, showed a few bluffs, etc.) It's hard to say within a 300 hand sample (we played about that many hands) but I did not think this was a good table. In year's past I've maintained that the play was worse than a low stakes cash table, but this year I think my table would not have been a good cash table. (At any stakes)
3. So we're an hour into the day and I have very few reads on the table at this point. Danish pro raised to 250 in EP and the guy on his right (named Lance, nice fellow from Texas who works with Oil/Gas stuff, he played well - talked about how he has cashed 4 of the 6 events he played this year or so, not in a nit manner like "I'm going to fold/survive/cash!" but in a "yeah things have gone well/I'm having a good summer") calls. I overcall T8ss and the Button and SB call. (Wowza, ~1300 in there!) Flop comes K95 w/ 2 spades, including the 9s. Pretty decent flop. 5 way I'm reticent to semibluff especially when it's difficult for a smooth caller to have 2pair (I hate mono-repping sets or nothing) but my plan changed when the PFR bet 400 into the pot. Lance smoothed quickly on my right, didn't even think about raising, and the 2 other guys looked disinterested. I made it 2125. Fold/fold/fold, and the last original caller called. At this point he had just smoothed pf (quickly), didn't think about repopping either the flop bet or my raise, and had played mildly snug. I don't see how he could have an overpair, set, or 2 pair, so I figured KQ, KJ, KT or some draw. (I had some of the key cards, but he could have had 45ss or AXss or QJss etc.) Turn was a Jx, giving me the boatload of outs. He checked. I bet 5.1k... This is questionable? My understanding is this has a reasonable chance of moving him off top pair, it's very difficult for him to call with a FD unless he has specifically AJss, AK/ATss, or QJss, and I'm never in jeopardy of getting c/r. (Even KJ probably just flats? But I can call most c/r as we're effective 30k+ deep) He thinks for a while and calls. River is a K, which isn't the worst card - this lowers the frequency he has Kx and doesn't his a random pair with the NFD. (Nor is it a broadway to hit the straightening draws/random K+2pair) He checks. I considered checking back, but with 16k in the middle, I'd feel disgusted letting someone win with ace high, 45ss?, or Jx. I also considered shoving, thinking that someone would pitch KQ, but I think that's minorly suicidal. So I bet 6k, which is a tiny tiny bluff, but I figured about half his range folds to this, making it far better than checking. I could be wrong. He was THRILLED I just bet 6k, calls me w/ AK (I don't think a shove would have worked) and I feel like a jackass, as that was a 28k pot that I bluffed off with ten high.
4. Things spiraled a little quicker out of my control. I started to raise 99 UTG to 250, but "David" raised to 300 in MP - he didn't notice I was raising. I was unsure what to make of that. I put my raise in and he just flatted. The button called and we were 3way to the flop for 850. It came 872 w/ 2 clubs (I had the 9c) which was pretty good. I figured since the 1st caller really wanted to put money into the pot I'd let him bet, if the button did anything funky I'd fold, otherwise I'd call down and have a reasonable bluff catcher/keep the pot small. (I'd hate hate hate to get raised on this flop, as it could be a bet/fold...) The dude bet ~700, which is a pretty strong bet, and button quickly folded. I called. Turn was the 4c, filling in the flush, and I checked. He bet 1.1k which was pretty tiny and I don't see how I can pitch it there. I suppose he could have a flush, he could be afraid and just betting 8x to get to showdown/make sure I don't get a free club, could be a set which wants to put money in, or simply K or Q high just trying to get me off an ace high or weak pair w/ no club. Whatever let's see a river. I called and the river brought a 7. I checked and he bet 4,025. Fack. I played it in such a passive manner I'm not sure I really look like an overpair, but what really do I have to call/call/call as the pfr from EP? Could this guy have 8x? Does he have to have a flush+? Am I getting value bet by like JJ? Knowing what I know now, I made a bad call. (This guy didn't get caught bluffing once, it could be that he just made a bunch of hands, but I just don't think he was a bluffer) He had T8cc and I felt like an idiot, as I was down on chips early. (This brought me to ~20k?)
5. I jotted this one down, so I figure I may as well share it, but one of the last hands from the 1st level. Older guy who was played very actively raised in the hijak to 300, I had KJcc in the SB. I made it 1025 and the guy on my left (seemed like a German pro) cold called....