Thursday, March 27, 2008

Research on skill and poker

I've been meaning to comment on this paper. But Random Shuffle said pretty much everything I intended to say about it. Not quite everything, but close enough.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Removing thorns from UIGEA

I wonder why the PPA hasn't been trying to support this legal effort rather than trying to have online poker declared illegal?

Online poker isn't currently illegal. If PPA has it's way then online poker offered by companies not approved by the US government would be illegal.

Here's some more on it.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Absolute Poker update

Monday, March 10, 2008

This is a better story than one about David Sklansky's sex life

Elliot Spitzer, the Governer of New York, the guy who caused PayPal to retreat from the gambling site payment services business back when he was Attorney General of New York, got caught with a hooker.

A $4,300 hooker, which is more than even Sklansky has to pay to get layed.

Although four people have been indicted for Mann Act and money laundering violations, he hasn't yet been charged with anthing. If (when?) he is charged it likely won't be on prostitution related charges, it will likely be for structuring bank transfers and money laundering.Structuring is the sizing and timing of bank transactions designed to keep them under the radar, for example making frequent $9,900 cash deposits.

It appears that he has been a long time customer of the escort service (they refer to him as Customer #9). The federal investigation didn't begin as an investigation into prosecution. It began becuase his bank transaction structuring caused the Feds to suspect that he was trying to launder bribe money.

There's a lesson here for poker players. Don't structure bank transactions.

As you might expect, Wicked Chops Poker is all over this story.

Also, Simple Justice, a blog of a NY criminal defense attorney has some thoughts. Simple Justice is written by a better man than me.

I doubt that Spitzer has the good sense to actually hire a real criminal defense attorney, I'm sure he'll rely on some political hack for his defense. That isn't likely to work out for him real well.

Update II:
Letterman Top 10 Spitzer excuses.

Labels: ,

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Getting banned at 2+2

I'm probably the only person around who got banned at 2+2 for not posting there.

I used to post there. It was long ago, back when Mason didn't ban people but did delete posts he found offensive. Offensive pretty much was defined as a post that pointed out some error that Mason had made. Mason made a lot of errors and I often ponted it out. So he'd delete my posts often.

So I quit posting.

A few months later he banned me.

Now he has a whole team of volunteer banners moderators.

Other blogs on bans at two plus two.

If you say it often enough it becomes true

Neverwin tells some stories about various encounters with Sklansky. One of the stories is a good illustration of the truth of the title of this post.
Then the game gets shorthanded like 4 or 5 handed, and he says, I'm done too unless anyone is interested in some Omaha hi low with no restrictions, or maybe it was Stud hi lo with no restrictions. The other players pretty much said no fuckin way I'd play that game with you, your a fuckin math genius. Moral of the story : Sklansky is a feared Hi LO no restrictions specialist be careful.

I'm pretty sure the game he suggested was stud hi/lo with no restrictions. He used to play that game in college (Yes, David did go to college for a year). Ever since then, whenever he gets a chance he'll tell whoever wants to listen that he's the worlds greatest expert in the game. After all, he beat the game regularly in the Student Union during almost the entire year of 1967 (or whenever the hell it was).

The truth is that what David is is a nit. stud hi/lo with no restrictions is not a game that's often spread in cardrooms. When it does get spread it will be likely populated by people who don't know how to play hi/lo split games. Against that kind of opposition then all it takes to clean up is to be a nit. It doesn't take any more than that, against weak opponents being a nit is being an expert.

So whenever he gets a chance David will claim to be an expert at it. It's good for his reputation.

As far as David being a math genius. Well, that must have been a joke.

I actually like David. And I think he's written a couple of very good books. He's also written a couple of very bad books. And even his good ones have some major errors. David's not very well educated, he has some amazingly stupid beliefs (such as inbreading causes blindness and that autistic women have the mental capacity to give consent to sex with men 40 years older than them) but I still like him.

I'll still like him when he ends up in prison for statutory rape. But David's not actually an expert on much of anything and he's far from a math genius (his math skills are mostly computational). He does have some fun delusions though.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Tax and destroy

I don't understand why so many people seem to think it's a good idea for the government to view online poke as a potential cash cow for government tax collections.
Some in Congress are beginning to recognize the potential financial windfall of legalized online gaming.

Back when the mob ran the numbers game the payouts averaged 60% of the take, now that the state runs it a Pick 3 pays $500, 50% of the average take.

It's even worse for the big prizes. State lotteries target the million dollar payouts at 50% of projected sales, but that's the nominal payout, the actual payout is discounted from that based on a 20 year payout.

You got a better deal when crooks ran it.

Excessive taxation is destroying horseracing. Even New York City is in danger of losing it's off track parlors to high state taxes.

Find another arguement for justification of keeping poker legal. Don't use "if you legalize it you can destroy it and make money while you're destroying it" as your arguement. It's really self-destructive.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Brandi Hawbaker causes two plus two upheavel

There's enough other blogs out there that will tell me about what's going on at that I don't need to read it anymore. It's like all you have to do to follow the soap opera storylines is go to the beauty parlor. I learned about the most recent storyline development from Wicked Chops Poker.

David Sklansky has been banned from posting on It's a temporary ban, but even after the ban is over he'll be on probation and his posting activity will be monitered closely by Mason.

That's pretty much what Mason promised me when I stopped posting over there. He promised to allow me to post again if I promised to be nice to him. Of course Mason never figured out that I wasn't actually banned until a few months after I'd stopped posting. None of those guys are what you might call real bright.

Maybe if Mason started a new policy of not employing 60 year old men who dated 16 year old runaways, 21 year old autistic women, or 30 year old alcholoic hookers then some of this stuff would not happen so often.

What's the law in Nevada about men having sex with women who aren't mentally capable of giving consent?

I'm glad the writer's strike is over. Mason would never be able to come up with these story lines without his team of comedy writer's back in action.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Slow Play

Slow play is really overrated. Here's a slowplay that probably cost the guy a bet.

It's a razz game. $2/$4 with 25c ante.

I'm dealt a (A 2) with an 8 up.

Relevant cards showing are a couple of 4's, a 7, a 2, and an A.

A Q brings it in for $1 from my immediate left (which makes me last on 3rd street).

The 2 raises to $2, the A calls. I call. The Q folds.

My hand's not so hot since my weakest link (the 8) is shown to the world. But the A 2 is a pretty good hidden start and it's not going to get re-popped.

On 4th street the 2 catches a 3 and the A catches a J. I catch a 2. It pairs me but nobody knows that.

The 2 3 bets, the A J folds. I probably should fold. But I think the chances are pretty good that the 3 paired him. If I catch little on 5th street I'm going to look like a made 8 with a nut redraw and if he catches a brick on 5th I might be able to steal it right then. It's a little bit FPS thinking on my part, but that's what I was thinking.

But it doesn't work out that way. He catches a 6 and I catch a brick (a K). I'm done now. But this is where he gets just really stupid. He checks.

Check? With a 2 3 6 board against a probable made K with a draw to a smooth 8?

He might as well have just turned his cards faceup. He has a made 6. I have no doubt.

If I didn't have the pair, if I actually had a draw to a smooth 8, then I might well call a bet from him here, still thinking that he's paired. But when he checks even if I'm drawing to an 8 and make it I'm done with this hand.