Thursday, 30 June 2011

June Review

June started off with a huge rollercoaster over my first 10k hands winning and subsequently losing back 15 buyins. I then started the slow climb at a respectable 6 bb/100 over the next 3 weeks with a nice even graph. I was pretty much in the hand reading zone for the longest stretch that I can remember.

Hand reading is more important than every other skill set combined.

June ended off with another rollercoaster via taking a shot and running really well only to lose it all back the next day. Allan Boston says don't play the day after a huge win. It's too much of a careless freeroll.

I didn't quite hit my goals for the month as a few life projects came up.
  • 80k hands, 72 hours
  • Did not even look at the M100 program yet
  • Spent the past 2 days outside in 32 degree heat / 90% humidity staining my deck
  • Finished up my wife's online store
I think I would have likely accomplished 100k hands if I didn't have the other projects to work on so I feel pretty good about how much volume I did put in. This turned into the 2nd best month I've had so far this year overall, and best month in table winnings if you disregard rakeback.

I'm at 60k VPP and will lose Supernova if I don't finish the other 40k up by the end of September. This is going to be really dependent on if I move up or not since my current stakes makes 10k VPPs in a month a bit of a stretch with my schedule. Moving up a stake would make 15k per month pretty easy. Even if I drop back to Platinum for a month or two, I'm only going to lose between $150 and $300 in VIP value so it's not that terrible.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Poll: Reading Material

I'm trying to get back into reading some books. I used to be quite a nerd and thoroughly enjoyed reading 200 pages a day back in high school. I need some reading material at work and picked up a bunch of the free public domain classics on Amazon that I haven't read or finished reading yet and thought might be interesting.

I've posted a poll over on the right with what I would consider to be the top 5 of what I have downloaded right now. I'm also still trying to finish Stephen King's The Dome as well (massive book measured in weight instead of pages).

 If you have any other suggestions on awesome books to read please comment below. I'm partial to:

  • Dystopian / Post-Apocalyptic -- 1984, On the Beach
  • Sci-fi -- Azimov, HG Wells
  • Political satire -- Gulliver's Travels, Animal Farm

type stuff with the odd King or Koontz style horror/thriller thrown in, although I used to read a ton of Tolkien and Robert Jordan, too.

CRTC Broadcast Rant

Access Denied
I'm trying to watch some WSOP on ESPN3. Impossible. I live in a modern, western, high-tech, democratic country that somehow manages to impose Chinese style censorship for fear of having our little Canadian minds flooded with non-Canadian content. There's a reason some people call us the friendly dictatorship.

This is the mandate of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission:
"The CRTC’s mandate is to ensure that both the broadcasting and telecommunications systems serve the Canadian public. The CRTC uses the objectives in the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act to guide its policy decisions.


In broadcasting, the CRTC ensures that all Canadians have access to a wide variety of high-quality Canadian programming as well as access to employment opportunities in the broadcasting system. Programming in the Canadian broadcasting system should reflect Canadian creativity and talent, our bilingual nature, our multicultural diversity and the special place of aboriginal peoples in our society."

High Tech
The Broadcasting Act hasn't been overhauled since 1991. To put 1991 into technological perspective, it's the year Nintendo released the SNES in North America.

So here I am trying to access some great content online from around the world and I'm met with a stream of "Access Denied. This service/product not available in your region," over and over again. Here's a sample of some of my issues:

  • ESPN3 - Access Denied
  • Various live sports feeds  - Access Denied
  • Netflix Online Streaming - Reduced Library
  • Hulu - Access Denied
  • Cable TV - Somewhat decent Canadian networks unwatchable on Sundays while they try to cram every last half-assed Canadian production (ie. hunting/fishing/travel shows with about 75% dead time to boot) out there into the everyone's at church time slot to get  their required content percentage in for the week before they switch back to the ABC/NBC feed of football or golf.

I'm not really about to go the VPN workaround route since I can just fill my time up doing other stuff anyways but it's just so damn annoying that you can't do something online when you want to do it.

Government sponsored cultural engineering, based on technological rules written 20 years ago, being run by a 65 year old, ftw. In 2011. Canada needs to get with the program.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Adventures in Mouse Repair

There probably aren't that many hobbies or professions out there that where out a mouse so quickly. clickclickclickclickclick... 2000 rapid fire clicks per hour. At least for those of us who aren't comfortable doing everything by hotkey.

The past couple of weeks have been somewhat frustrating mixed with the odd weird two pair. I stack my tables, and my left click was worn out leading to a lot of mis-calls raises and folds. It's an odd mix of emotions when you click it back 3bet 73o thinking "Oh shit, this problem has cost me more than a new mouse already..." flop two pair and think "LOL, this problem has won me more than a new mouse already."

Today I had enough but couldn't stand to part with my MX Revolution after being through so much with it and decided a DIY repair was in order. I found a pretty great guide here for my specific problem. 3 hours later, problem solved! 1/2 hour to read the guide and watch a Youtube video for verification to take it apart carefully. 5 minutes to bend the paper thin contact switch back into shape. 1 hour to figure out how to put the contact switch back in properly. 1.5 hours trying to find the 2mm x 2mm white clicker plastic insert on your white rug after it jumps out of it's casing only to say "F this my old one can go without a right click," and steal one from there.

Instructrions: DO NOT LOSE !!!

So to all the regs out there, you can rest assured I won't be making any more spazz looking 3, 4 or 5 bets from now on.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Hand of the Year

And the winner is... today's Royal Flush!

Poker Stars $0.10/$0.25 No Limit Hold'em - 9 players - View hand 1344825
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter

BB: $25.00
UTG: $25.60
UTG+1: $25.17
UTG+2: $27.59
MP1: $8.65
MP2: $11.10
CO: $18.34
Hero (BTN): $25.00
SB: $69.69

Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is BTN with T of clubs Q of clubs
UTG raises to $0.75, 5 folds, Hero calls $0.75 and is in before "Fold Pre", SB calls $0.65, BB calls $0.50

Flop: ($3.00) A of clubs 5 of diamonds K of clubs (4 players)
SB bets $1, BB folds, UTG raises to $2.75, Hero calls $2.75 thinking "Wouldn't Jc be so sick?" SB calls $1.75

Turn: ($11.25) J of clubs !!! (3 players)
SB bets $5, UTG calls $5, Hero deceptively calls $5 (plus he has all the cards that let anyone continue vs a raise)

River: ($26.25) K of hearts (3 players)
SB bets $25, UTG calls $17.10 all in, Hero takes a screenshot while trying to figure out if he's misread his hand and calls $16.50 all in

Final Pot: $76.95
UTG shows A of spades A of hearts (a full house, Aces full of Kings)
Hero shows T of clubs Q of clubs (a Royal Flush)
SB shows K of spades J of diamonds (a full house, Kings full of Jacks)
UTG wins $1.20
Hero wins $73.75
(Rake: $2.00)


I'd like to thank all my fans, my mom, and especially PokerStars RNG for such a sick set up!

Other than that poker has been going relatively well again. I continue to get smacked around to the tune of -100bb / 1k hands in EV at 50NL in the few sessions I've put in there but have been consistently beating 25NL and will probably stick to my plan of playing there for the rest of this month. I'm a bit behind on the number of hours I wanted to put in with only 38 so far - on pace for 100 hours would be 56 so that's about an hour per day that I've been slacking off. I've been fairly busy with a ton of yard work, hauling in crushed rock for finishing up my landscaping and seeding some new grass. But I am keeping up much better in terms of actual volume at 45k hands so I'm pretty happy with that.

For anyone who doesn't have this poker news site bookmarked yet, check out Subject: Poker headed up by NoahSD and crew. The updates are little sparse but their reasons for that are pretty solid and I like their approach to covering poker news.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Welcome Back NHL!


Winnipeg is getting an NHL franchise back. To celebrate, I cooked up a new avatar for the forum. It's been a long time coming and a ton of big let downs along the way for this city to get a professional team back since the Jets moved to the desert and became the Coyotes.

We seem to have always been number one on the list to get one of the disasters that are the failing teams in the southern US, but the conditions were never just right. We've come so close to reclaiming the Jets from Phoenix numerous times but it's never lined up perfectly as the suburb of Glendale seems to be willing to flush debt guarantee money down the toilet year after year.

Listening to some of the ex-pat Canadians living in Atlanta, it sounds like it will be a few years before people there realize the team even left. As an owner you have got to know that your ship is sinking when the few people that are willing to pay for tickets and show up are confused by icing and offside calls. This is going to be in very stark contrast to Winnipeg and the younger players on the former Thrashers team who haven't known anything else are in for a pretty huge awakening when you go from a no-name face walking the streets of Atlanta to being the biggest celebrity in town. I imagine being a professional hockey player in the south is somewhat similar to being a professional poker player anywhere outside of Vegas. No one understands what you do for a living.

Note to Commissioner Bettman: The NHL should adopt a bylaw stating your city requires 30 days of near or below 32F weather per year or be north of the 37th parallel to even be considered. You know about the 3 Advantages of Poker. The 3 Advantages of hockey marketing are just as simple: North. Cold. Population.

Back to Winnipeg. The MTS Centre is a small, but new arena smack in the middle of downtown. The cost of living and wages here are relatively low and this has always been the sticking point to getting a team back. Not enough money. Not enough seats. Enter Mark Chipman and True North Sports and their marketing plan. Pure. Genius. It's a 15k seat arena. They had a plan to not only sell the place out, but to make it sustainable long term: Lower the cost of the relatively small number of high end tickets, raise the cost of the nosebleed seats slightly to compensate. And sell them for 3, 4, 5, 7 and 10 year blocks at a time with better seats requiring longer commitments. No more huge season ticket drives every summer trying to re-sell every seat. Targeted, staggered groups instead, every few years.

Their goal was to sell 13k season tickets. There was a meeting for the business community to continue to buy their box seats, but now at $180k annually on average, more than 3x the price of what they were paying for Moose games (AHL hockey). The overwhelming response was "Where do we sign?"

First dibs on season tickets were then given to long time Moose season ticket holders and they were sold to groups of fans online over a few days with timing depending on how long you had owned your seat, creating this feeling of tickets being somewhat rare. They sold 7158 tickets over the course of a few days. Tickets were then offered to the general public, and all 5842 tickets were gone in 17 minutes. I predict a huge spike in keyboard sales in Winnipeg due to mass F5-ing. And the marketing continues even for those left out with a waiting list membership that gives you team store discounts.

The name of the team is still up in the air and rumor has been that TNS has been trying to distance itself from the Jets name and history. Personally, I think by using the old Jets name you've got a huge built in fan base. Where else on this continent (outside of perhaps Quebec City) do you see people buying and wearing fan apparel en masse for a team that left more than a decade ago, and wearing it throughout their entire exile? People want their history back.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

June Goals

A few thoughts about what I want to accomplish in June. I haven't been one for goals lately because they either don't get accomplished and the realistic ones that I do set and accomplish don't really give me any satisfaction in getting them done. So I've kind of taken a whatever happens, happens approach for the last while.

But this month I want to set goals for a different reason. I want to keep myself on track instead of just slacking off. I seem to be somewhat obsessed with spreadsheets and wanting to fill them in with new data as often as possible. Nerd, I know.

So here's my June plan:

100 hours and/or 100k hands at 25NL. I get these confidence boosts at lower stakes and then jump up to deposit money into regs accounts at 50NL and 100NL and I end up with lower confidence than I started with. If I can stick to something I know I can crush for a extended period of time, I'm going to be happy.

Try the M100 workout I've seen on a few other blogs. Apparently it's impossible.

Continue to lose weight. I'm only 5'11 and 5 months ago was a half pound short of 240 lbs. Contrast that to the healthy 175 lbs I was with daily high school basketball and soccer practices but this is what happens when you keep the eating routine and drop the exercise. Today I'm feeling much better and have a ton more energy at 209 lbs. I seem to get into these weird cliffs and plateaus where I'll lose 4 lbs in a week and then stay there for 2-3 weeks before the next big drop. I haven't exercised at all over that time period besides a 3 mile walk we've started doing with the kids every other night. I've cut fast food from 4 meals a week to 1.5 meals a week and eat chicken nearly every day. I also basically replaced my entire pop consumption (which was at least 1 can every 2 days) with Crystal Light singles packs and Tetley instant ice tea packs.

I've already got the poker spreadsheet going for the year so I'll have to make one up for the exercise thing if I decide the M100 program is for me.