Monday, 24 October 2011

Looking at Mesas

Last night I was pondering how I managed to go from a nanonoko style graph up until 2009 to a sudden, Saskatchewan style watch your dog run away for 3 days flat plateau breakeven graph in 2010.

Specifically speaking, what the hell happened in early 2nd quarter 2010? And it's not just me. Those that were crushing are still crushing, but a ton of the mediocre / above average regs like me somehow ended up with these weird mesa graphs and we've subsequently seen a lot of people that played small stakes consistently for years having to move down.

And, like the mesa over there --> it wasn't a gradual flattening out of winrates either. It was a sharp, sudden change, and most of us have never recovered.

The obvious event to point to was the advent of the 20-50 games on Stars which happened around that time. But that doesn't explain why most seem to still have not recovered now that 20-50 is gone.

I'm at a loss as to why this is:
  • With the dissolution of 20-50, you'd expect winrates to start to resemble 1st quarter 2010 even if they were somewhat lower due to tougher games. The end of the plateau.
  • Are cap games still having that large of an effect on the player pool?
  • Black Friday hasn't really affected winrates at all afaik.
  • It can't be that the money's drying up because that doesn't explain the sudden leveling off and the continued breakevenness. Plus the player pool has been fairly constant.
  • Concepts have trickled down and it's ridiculous that 25NL is now running at 15%+ table 3bet vs PFR, but again, that should show gradual progression.
  • There's so many graphs out there like mine and the time frame comparison is just eerie.

So what exactly happened between A (pre 2010) and B (post 2nd quarter 2010)? I would love to hear some theories. Note: In before someone blames it on sucking at poker, I acknowledge that fact. But there has to be some sort of catalyst for the sudden change between March-May in most of these graphs.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Point Form Ramblings. Check.


  • Started upswinging again after my last rant.
  • Trying to stay calm.
  • Remember to valuebet.
  • 2.5x multiplier sucks. I can see why recreational players that are smart irl but are just bad at poker think this is a bad deal when they're capable of shopping around.
  • 4 days ahead of pace to get Supernova back by end of the year.


  • Jets get blown out in home opener. 5-1. Ewww.
  • First goal against them within 3 minutes.
  • Byfuglien needs to step it up. Or fight someone.
  • Fantasy hockey league HUD-matrix = Great Success!
  • 102 points out of a max possible 120 so far. 2nd place has 77 points. Easy Game.
  • 2% of the season is complete so my sample size is obviously large enough.


  • Updated the straw poll results chart again.
  • Herman Cain is scooping polls left and right and is now 1st Tier right behind or tied with Ron Paul imo.
  • Front-runner Rick Perry has a total of 6 Top 3 finishes to tie Gingrich's 6 and has yet to win a straw poll.
  • Front-runner Perry has been relegated to 2nd Tier with Bachman and Huckabee.
  • Front-runner Perry is somehow still regarded as Front-runner Perry.
  • Ron Paul remains 1st Tier with little change to his numbers other than winning yet another poll for a leading 8.

Standard GOP Skype Group Session:
Paul: Well, the Federal Reserve...
Gingrich: You're alllll nuts...
Palin: Wait for it... WAIT FOR IT...
Bachman: : menacing stare :
Perry: Hey guys watch this: [quote] CNN: Front-runner Perry | click | FOX: Front-runner Perry | click | CBS: Front-runner Perry [/quote] Neat trick huh?
Romney: attentionwhore.jpg
Paul: and the IRS... nation building... bail outs and moral hazard...
Gingrich: I'm surrounded by morons...
Romney: : rolleyes :
Perry: Ok Ok I'll tell you how it's done, see if I change my first name to "Front-runner... "
Palin: Just kidding!
Paul: : tap : : tap: Is this thing on?


I've also been reading Mark Steyn's After America. Amazingly good book and to paraphrase one of the Amazon reviews: Mark Steyn is incapable of writing a dull sentence. Concise, witty breakdown of the breakdown in society, economics and politics.

Some gems:

As Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado fumed to a room of voters in 2010, "We have managed to acquire $13 trillion of debt on our balance sheet. In my view, we have nothing to show for it."

If something cannot go on forever, it will stop. - Herbert Stein.

If you're careening along a road toward a collapsed bridge, you'll certainly stop, one way or the other. But it makes a difference, at least to you, whether you skid to a halt four yards before the cliff edge or whether you come to rest at the bottom of the ravine.

According to CBO projections, by 2055 interest payments on the debt will exceed federal revenues. But I don't think we'll need to worry about a "Government of the United States" at that stage. By 1788, Louis XVI's government in France was spending a mere 60 percent of revenues on debt service, and we know how that worked out for the House of Bourbon shortly thereafter... So take your eye off the far prospect, and instead look about fourteen inches in front of your toecap. Within a decade, the United States will be spending more of the federal budget on its interest payments than on it's military... by 2020 the government will be paying between 15 and 20 percent of it's revenues in debt interest. Whereas defense spending will be down to between 14 and 16 percent. Just to clarify: we're not talking about paying down the federal debt, just keeping up with the annual interest charges on it... The superpower will have evolved from a nation of aircraft carriers to a nation of debt carriers... If that trajectory holds, we'll be spending more than the planet's entire military budget on debt interest [by 2050].

We've spent too much of tomorrow today - to the point where we've run out of tomorrow.

There's nothing virtuous about "caring" "compassionate" "progressives" demonstrating how caring and compassionate and progressive they are by spending money yet to be earned by generations yet to be born... It's not just about balancing the books, but balancing the most basic impulses of society. These are structural and, ultimately, moral questions. Credit depends on trust, and trust pre-supposes responsibility. So, if you have a credit boom in an age that has all but abolished personal responsibility, it's not hard to figure how it's going to end.
China is dangerous not because of its strength but because of its weakness... the People's Republic has a crude structural flaw: thanks to its disastrous one-child policy, it will get old before it gets rich... That's actually worse news than if China was cruising to uncontested global hegemony - because it means that Beijing's calculations on how the Sino-American relationship evolves are even less likely to align with ours. China has to maximize its power before demographic decay sets in. In other words, it has strong incentives to be bold and to push, hard and fast.

Industrial power [which Steyn compares to today's government power] should be decentralized. It should be scattered into many hands so that the fortunes of the people will not be dependent on the whim or caprice, the political prejudices, the emotional stability of a few self-appointed men. The fact that they are not vicious men but respectable and social minded is irrelevant. - Justice Marshall, 1948.

In Europe, there are no kids or grandkids to screw over. In the end the entitlement state disincentives everything from wealth creation to self-reliance to the survival instinct, as represented by the fertility rate. If the problem with socialism, as Mrs. Thatcher famously said, "is that eventually you run out of other people's money," the problem with Greece and much of Europe is that they've advanced to the next stage: they've run out of other people, period.

Steyn goes on to detail a lot of issues in society and how they affect the economy. One that really struck me as profound was the technology issue. If you took someone from 1890 and transported him to 1950, he would be blown away by the advances of the past 60 years. Leaps and bounds in the fields of transportation, medicine and communication. Transport him another 60 years in the future to 2011 and he's rather underwhelmed by how little has changed. Everything is slightly faster and the toys are a little more shiny but, aside from the advent of the Internet, that's it. We haven't cured anything despite the plethora of cure  _____ support bracelets. We haven't solved any energy dependencies. We're still using the same basic TV, radio and phone technologies. Where's my jet pack I was promised in the 80s?

He's a little on the liberal-bashing bias side of things but to be fair he gives it to the conservatives too since they haven't done anything to fix it when they've had the chance and he states quite frankly that government grows and grows regardless of who's in charge. If you're looking for a good read regarding today's economic and social issues this is definitely one you want to pick up.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

NHL Season

Besides being overly excited at not having any chance of actually going to a Jets games in the next 3 years unless I win what I expect to be 1 of 1000 tickets with ~800,000 people trying to win the right to buy them and having to watch games on TSN, I picked a rather exciting (eccentric?) team for my fantasy hockey league.

It's a rotisserie league, which means that you get points towards your overall score based on how you do in different stat categories. We use the standard Goals, Assists, +/-, Penalty Minutes, Shots and Time On Ice, Goalie Wins, Goals Against and Save % along with a few role player categories like Hits and Blocked Shots to keep it interesting.

I got crushed in last years league. So I re-thought the strategy behind trying to win multiple stat categories and came up with the conclusion that it's fairly useless to aquire all the "best" players and crush the Goals and Assists categories and fail miserably at the other 8 or so categories. Case in point: Stamkos. Nets a lot of points, doesn't do a damn thing besides that. He's about number 4-5 on most peoples' lists. He's 30th on mine.

So being the HUD-bot that I am, I grabbed the top 400 ranked players and their projected 2012 stats, threw the whole mess into Excel, figured out the average for each stat and then gave each player a relative ranking for each stat and summed them up for an overall relative rank. The result: I have a bunch of guys that are either extremely good in one category (Downie's PIM) and will nearly crush that category by themselves or are above average and very well rounded. I am going to look like a genius if my theory pans out or an idiot if it doesn't since the majority of my players were listed by ESPN rankings as 100+ on the draft list. According to my calculations I have a 20% edge over the field of 9 other teams at this point.

Besides the few top scorers who are the most valueable for being able to win the scoring categories outright (Ovechkin, Sedin's), there is a very fast drop off in relative value for forwards while defenceman become important quickly, especially the ones that can contribute a ton offesively due to their high value in Blocked Shots, ATOI, Hits, and PIM. I consider goalies to be on the lower value end since they're only participating in 3 categories so the fact that the rest of my league picked goalies in the first 3 rounds helped a lot in getting me Sedin along with stat monsters Lucic, Hossa and Chara.

When it was all finished I was pleasantly surprised to find the majority of my team coming from Boston, Vancouver, Chicago and Detriot. I thought I might as well continue with this HUD-bot strategy and I'm going to be tracking Power Rankings trends to decide which players I want to play against which teams. For example, if I have 2 starting goalies and the teams they're facing Ottawa, Edmonton and Tampa Bay, clearly it doesn't matter so much which of my 3 goalies is best compared to which team they're playing against. Vice versa for which goalies / team defence my skaters are going to be playing against.

Should be fun.