Thursday, August 31, 2006

San Antonio Bookie

You may have been living in a cave in northwestern Pakistan the last few days and not know about Richard Lee's ongoing drama with the San Antonio Police Department.

It started with Lee finishing 6th in the World Series of Poker.

More recently his house was searched and a lot of his personal property was seized by the police.

The original newspaper report was pretty vague about what he's suspected of, some kind of gambling offense that's somehow related to the internet.

Michial Craig seems to think he's being accused of some kind of sports book operation. I think that's probably right. Poker's not illegal in Texas, and although it's illegal to run a raked game I really doubt they'd be making this kind of fuss if that's what it was about, and a poker game wouldn't have anything to do with the internet.

My advice to Richard Lee is talk to a lawyer, but he's rich now, he doesn't need my advice, so he talks to the press instead.

Friday the SA police released the affidavit for the search warrent. According to the SA Express News Lee's in trouble

According to the cops he wasn't just making book. He was running an internet site from his home rather than from Costa Rica.

A business card with a local phone number and mailing address? How stupid can a man be?

Now he's lost his cars and his friends don't know him.

This story isn't over. I'm surprised there isn't more about it in the blog world. I found a few blog entries but nobody really had much to say about it other than Craig, in the link above.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

a limit holdem flush draw

FeleciaLee made a post about a limit holdem hand she played recently. I was going to comment on it, but I apparantly am not an acceptable poster on her blog. I'm blocked from commenting. So, I'll just make the comment here.

Here's the essence of her post.
I positioned myself to the left of a southern California thinking maniac. She was the small blind, I was the big blind. I had Q4s.

The flop came with two hearts (my suit), and a straight already possible. She bet out, I called, we got four overcalls.

The turn brought my flush, she bet. I felt that my best move was to smooth call her, hoping for the overcalls. I didn't raise because of the loose/passive opponents left in the hand. I also felt that given the odd chance that I was beat, I would lose less. If I won the hand, I was hoping to get many overcalls by our passive opponents who were basically playing defense against the maniac and would call down with any piece of the flop.

On the turn, two passive players called her bet. On the river just one.

My first instinct, which was to go for the overcalls, seemed like the best at the time. There were seven big bets to start the hand. After the flop, there were ten. After the turn, fourteen. After the river, seventeen.

She showed J2s for the jack high flush.

My comments --

This is an example of why it's better to be on a maniac's right. You want them acting after you, not you acting after them.

In this situation if you'd been first and the maniac second, you could have check raised the flop and trapped the other two players in for a capped pot. Once they call that first bet by the maniac they'll keep calling (and you'd be getting 3-1 as a 2-1 dog, so you profit from the raises).

On the turn you'd have the same situation. You check, maniac bets, they call, you raise. The maniac then re-raises and you probably lose one of them at that point, but even if you lose them both you got one bet out of them.

Overcalls are nice, but if you plan ahead and try to get a better seat you can go for both overcalls and extra bets.

But, given your bad seat you did about as well as you can expect. I might have raised the river. But might not have.

Probably just as well that she has me blocked from commenting on her blog. I needed to make a post here anyway.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Strip Poker

The math and poker blog is back online.

I ran across this news story on a strip poker tournament in London.

I don't have a comment on it. I have no idea what the rules are. The news story says it's no limit hold'em. But my experience with strip poker is that it's an ante of one item of clothing and no betting rounds. Or if it's a group game the worst hand sheds an item of clothing which is won by the best hand and the other's get a wash. And sometimes the lost items go to the winner, sometimes they're just discarded.

I wonder what the buyin is.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Errors in probablility

My math and poker blog is broken right now. I screwed up it's database when I was setting up a new wordpress blog, Off Topic Rant. The host will get it restored for me soon, but in the meantime here's a Math and Poker related post I ran across in another blog.

Among other things he talks about the error made in asking the question "what's the odds of that happening" after something has already happening. It's one of my pet peeves and he does a really good job of explaining why the question isnt meaningful and the attempted answers to the question are misleading at best.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Mathematics Genealogy

The Mathematics Genealogy Project has a goal of listing every person who has ever gotten a PhD in Mathematics (or related fields such as statistics, computer science, or operations research), and their dissertation advisor and students they supervised the dissertation of. It's a big goal, but they've gone a long way in getting there.

I don't have PhD in mathematics. But I do have a master's degree in operations research (actually two of them, one in business and one in industrial engineering) and the advisor (John Pisa) of my master's thesis (Fat-tailed distributions in chance-constrained portfolio models) is listed in their genealogy data base. So I thought I'd take a look how far my linage went.

Pretty far.

There's a couple of branches, some of the antecedents had two advisors listed, so there's actually three branches that go back from Pisa. There's some impressive names in the lists. They are listed below. Probably it's not that unusual for somebody in mathematics to be able to trace their linage back through some well-known names.

Waclaw Sierpinski had two advisors and so did Stanislaw Zaremba

Erhard Weigel
Gottfried Leibniz
Jacob Bernoulli
Johann Bernoulli
Leonhard Euler
Joseph Lagrange
Simeon Poisson
Michel Chasles
Gaston Darboux
Stanislaw Zaremba
Waclaw Sierpinski
Jerzy Neyman
George Dantzig
John Pisa
Gary Carson

Josheph LIttrow
Nikolai Brashman
Pafnuty Chebyshev
Andrei Markov
Georgy Voronoy
Waclaw Sierpinski
Jerzy Neyman
George Dantzig
John Pisa
Gary Carson

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Carson on Omaha HI/lo split

From an old rgp thread where somebody asked me about whether I'd written anything on O/8.

> On Oct 31 2005 2:17 AM, garycarson wrote:
> > I think there are some very old posts on rgp where I laughed at people
> > who developed point count systems for O/8, but that's probably about
> > all I've posted here.
> Come on Gary!
> You know very well Hutchisons point count system is a great tool for new players
> just learning the game. It gives them a base line to start off with.

William Travis gave the defenders of the Alamo a base line in the sand
and look how they ended up.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Mensa and poppa Lederer

Thought this clip was interesting.

The father Katy Lederer (author of <Poker Face) and of poker players Howard Lederer and Annie Duke is giving talks to Mensa.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A dialogue on words and thought.

There's a thread on rgp where I made some unwelcome contributions. It's what prompted my post here about the old stud game at the Desert Inn. And the original poster on that thread responded to that as anyomous. I'm continuing that discussion here.

Here's what anoymous said here:

I posted (actually my first) at rec.gambling about strategy to counteract a
hyperaggressive player. Glad I could spark your memory. For what it's worth, I
never meant to nor did I express a desire to obsessively focus on making the
aggros life miserable, nor focus solely on getting his money...just was looking
for some general advice/playing strategies vs. that type of player

To anonymous.

I gave you some very good general strategic advice. You didn't like it because it didn't fit your world view nor did it fit your view of self.

That's fine.

The language you used throughout -- starting with the title reference to punishing the player -- suggested an obsessive focus on the hyperaggresive players. You used language indicative of a "just world" view where you think that good people should be rewarded and bad people should be punished.

Throughout, everything you said was about that. Punish. Beat. Proper. Knucklehead. Boob. Don't respect their playing style.

Here's" the thread

Taking the words you used, from all your posts in that thread, what you said was that the maniac needs to be punished by you beating him because he's a knucklehead boob and you need to do so in a proper way rather than the way he does it because he's not respected by others.

That's what I read from your words.

You just keep thinking that way. It will make you feel superior. It just won't win you any money.

If you want to win money then you should start thinking in terms of winning money rather than in terms of respect or reward and punishment for proper behavior.

I think this is a lesson for everybody. The words you pick to frame a situation will determine the approach you pick to deal with the situation.

Words matter in way deeper ways than you realize.

The WPT lawsuit

The F-train blog has a thread on the WPT lawsuit. I made a comment. As you might guess my comment was about the relevance or value of Danny's opinion on the topic.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Long, long ago, I played in a small tournament at the Desert Inn. Myself and two other players had traded shares and me and one of them busted out at about the same time. We started a 1-3, 6 on the end stud game while we waited to see if our other horse got any money.

It turned in to a very wild game that lasted three days. I subsisted on poker room hot dogs and sponge baths in the restroom for those three days.

One player announced that he intended to lose $8,000 before he want back to Kansas City. Yes, this was a $1 to $3 spread limit, with a 1-6 spread on the river bet.

What he did was raise every bet blind until 5th street, then he'd look at his hole cards. He did that very hand.

I got a set on the guys left, and my freind sat on my left. I've since learned that was bad seat selection, but the popular wisdom at the time was to sit on the maniacs left.

I won't go into all the strategic blunders I made in the game, it was so long ago and lasted so long that I don't really remember any particular hand anyway.

But all my blunders, and my bad seat choice were all based on a single mistake. A mistake in thinking.

I was thinking in terms of winnig his money. Not winning money, but winning his money. There is a huge difference.

After three days my freind and I left. The maniac had lost $4,000. I won $57. My friend lost $9. I learned in important lesson about the importance of thinking about the table, not just thinking about the maniac.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Made another stop at Lucky Stars in Concho, Oklahoma, outside of OKC. Played the 2/5 nolimit. They ate me alive.

But, some more details about the room. Mon-Thursday you can call in and get on the waiting lists (although they never are very long).

They have seperate servers for bar service, other drink service, and food service. They charge for bar service and food.

When you log into a table by giving the dealer your players card you earn $1 an hour which can be cashed out as actual cash. So, I guess everybody is a prop.

The room is smoke free, but the smoke drifting in from outside does get a little troublesome. But for some reason I like the room. I think it just has a cozy, freindly atmosphere that makes me feel comfortable.

The games are okay, not great, except when I'm in them of course, games that I'm in are always great games.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

More Random Poker Thoughts

Many people think that you have to sometimes
slowplay your big hands to "mix things up" but if you
just play your draws strongly you're mixing thing up
just fine and you don't have to give up any bets to do

You can do a lot of advertising without actual advertising in the sense that most people think of advertising. Just playing straightforward but aggresive poker can often establish a gambling type image for you.

One thing that often comes up in wild type limit games that makes opponents think you're nuts is making thin value raises from late position pre flop then giving it up when you miss the flop.

You can often raise for value from late position against a large, loose field with as weak as 97 suited. Jamming that kind of hand again when you hit a good flop then showing down that hand on the river tends to generate amazement. Giving it up on the flop if you miss is key and people will notice that part also. In large multi-way pots it actually is often right to raise then fold but it just seems wrong to others and they'll never be convinced you aren't nuts if they see it a few times.

The idea of raising preflop with a hand that you'll
often abandon is one that many players just can't seem
to process. And, if they notice you doing that it
will just totally convince them you're nuts.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Tom Weideman and rgp

Tom doesn't post much on rgp anymore, but when he did he often posted some gems of clear thinking and straight talking.

Some of Tom Weideman's posts