Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Earthquake damage

Humpf. The earthquake really did do some damage.

Two things, in fact.

One of Scarlet's porcelain angels fell over on the bookshelf and broke. I'm not sure what it cost, but though I offered to glue it back together, Scarlet said it was a total loss.

And the shaking must have rattled something a bit too hard between the hot water heater and the circulation pump I installed. It started leaking. Fortunately, it was caught by the flood sensor I installed as part of our alarm system. We got a call at 6 AM from the alarm people that the flood sensor had gone off. Just to be on the safe side, we called our favorite plumber (Gus from Castle Plumbing) to come out and fix it - mostly just so we could get him to check to make sure it wasn't more serious. He said it was just loose, so he tightened it. $100.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Earthquake etiquette

We had an earthquake this evening. It was a 5.6.

Everybody has an opinion, and here's mine: A quake doesn't even count until it's a 4. Between 4 and 6, it's either an amusement or a nuisance. 6 and above, and you can expect stuff to actually break. A 6 in the Bay Area, and you can expect the San Francisco marina district to (once again) fall down and burst into flames. Why they simply don't pave it over, I'll never understand. It's not as if San Francisco couldn't use the extra parking. But I digress.

Of course, anytime there's an earthquake big enough to get on the news, the first thing everyone does is call us. That's the worst part of anything between a 4 and a 6 - the phone won't stop ringing. It's damn annoying.

We get it that you're concerned. Thank you for that. It shows you care. BUT...

1. If it's not at least a 6, don't be concerned. Maybe it knocked a picture or two off the mantle. But probably not.

2. If it's a 6 or better, well, then you can expect that the phone lines will be needed for much more important phone calls. People needing emergency help from fire and rescue folks, for example. Your call will be taking the place of a potentially much more important one.

So, in short, let us call you. If things have really hit the fan, we'll call someone out of town and let them relay the news. If not, we'll probably want to talk about how fun it was.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Recognize counterfeits

A little cash game action, for a change.

Full Tilt Poker Game #_: Table Churchfield - $0.10/$0.25 - No Limit Hold'em - 17:17:17 ET - 2007/10/27
Seat 1: ($26)
Seat 2: hero ($6.45)
Seat 3: ($34.80)
Seat 4: ($10.90)
Seat 5: ($25.35)
Seat 6: ($7.65)
Seat 7: villain ($13)
Seat 8: ($39.95)
Seat 9: ($23.65)
Seat 6 posts the small blind of $0.10
villain posts the big blind of $0.25
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to hero [4d Td]
Seat 8 calls $0.25
Seat 9 folds
Seat 1 folds

Let's gamble. They're soooooted. :)

hero calls $0.25
Seat 3 folds
Seat 4 calls $0.25
Seat 5 folds
Seat 6 calls $0.15
villain checks
*** FLOP *** [Th 9c Tc]


Seat 6 checks
villain bets $1.25
Seat 8 calls $1.25

Let's not scare anyone away yet.

hero calls $1.25
Seat 4 folds
Seat 6 calls $1.25
*** TURN *** [Th 9c Tc] [7s]
Seat 6 checks
villain checks
Seat 8 checks

Now the potential straight is too scary. Time to pull the trigger.

nsayer bets $4.95, and is all in
Seat 6 folds
villain calls $4.95
Seat 8 folds
hero shows [4d Td]
villain shows [9d 7h]

Now, I'm fairly confident that the villain here called because he thought his 9s over 7s was good. What he neglected to notice is that pairing his 7 was worthless - his hand was already two pair (9s and tens) on the flop. It was actually a really dumb call. Let's look at it from his perspective. He flops two pair with the over pair on the board. That means that probably nobody else at the table hit, but if they did, he's almost certainly crushed. He leads out and gets 3 callers. That should scare him. Perhaps one of them has a straight draw, but at least one possibility is that there's a ten out there. If I'm in his spot, I shut down. The turn was a potential straight card (68, 8J - remember, nobody raised before the flop). Of course, it also gave a boat to pocket 7s, but you can't look for monsters under the bed. So he checks and a short stack moves in. What is his 3 pair hand beating? Maybe he's got one card to come to pull what he sees as a 6-out draw for a boat to beat a straight (which is already pretty thin odds - about 7:1). In actual fact, he was drawing completely dead. Any card that gives him a boat gives me either quads or an over-boat.

*** RIVER *** [Th 9c Tc 7s] [2d]
hero shows three of a kind, Tens
villain shows two pair, Tens and Nines
hero wins the pot ($15.35) with three of a kind, Tens
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $16.15 | Rake $0.80
Board: [Th 9c Tc 7s 2d]
Seat 1: didn't bet (folded)
Seat 2: hero showed [4d Td] and won ($15.35) with three of a kind, Tens
Seat 3: didn't bet (folded)
Seat 4: folded on the Flop
Seat 5: (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: (small blind) folded on the Turn
Seat 7: villain (big blind) showed [9d 7h] and lost with two pair, Tens and Nines
Seat 8: folded on the Turn
Seat 9: didn't bet (folded)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Stupid call du jour

Full Tilt Poker Game #_: $10 + $1 Sit & Go (_), Table 1 - 40/80 - No Limit Hold'em - 0:14:57 ET - 2007/10/14
Seat 1: (1,285)
Seat 3: (1,975)
Seat 4: (2,540)
Seat 5: villain (1,220)
Seat 6: (2,040)
Seat 7: (675)
Seat 8: hero (2,535)
Seat 9: (1,230)
Seat 1 posts the small blind of 40
Seat 3 posts the big blind of 80
The button is in seat #9
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to hero [5h 5c]
Seat 4 folds
villain raises to 220
Seat 6 folds
Seat 7 folds
hero calls 220
Seat 9 folds
Seat 1 folds
Seat 3 calls 140
*** FLOP *** [7h Kh 7s]
kcher checks
villain checks
nsayer bets 1,000
Seat 3 folds
villain calls 1,000, and is all in
hero shows [5h 5c]
villain shows [Qh Qc]

And that, dear readers, is the stupidest call I've seen all week. There's no way I had a king? I'll admit that having a 7 would have likely made me slow-play, but how could he not put me on a king?

*** TURN *** [7h Kh 7s] [6s]
*** RIVER *** [7h Kh 7s 6s] [Ts]
hero shows two pair, Sevens and Fives
villain shows two pair, Queens and Sevens
villain wins the pot (2,700) with two pair, Queens and Sevens
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 2,700 | Rake 0
Board: [7h Kh 7s 6s Ts]
Seat 1: (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 3: (big blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 4: didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: villain showed [Qh Qc] and won (2,700) with two pair, Queens and Sevens
Seat 6: didn't bet (folded)
Seat 7: didn't bet (folded)
Seat 8: hero showed [5h 5c] and lost with two pair, Sevens and Fives
Seat 9: (button) didn't bet (folded)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Intelligent comments on meat and adrenaline

I have a couple videos on YouTube. One of them is rather popular. One of the downsides of that is that it is a target for comment spam. Comment spam sucks. Whether it sucks more than other kinds of spam, I'll leave for some other debate, but one thing you can definitely say about comment spam is that the subject matter is far, far less varied. Virtually all of the comment spam is one of these exact topics:

  • heaven

  • naked chicks

  • read this comment and you will die in an hour unless you spam 19 other videos

  • hit F5 for the name of your next gay lover

  • go sign this petition to tell the Japanese to stop slaughtering dolphins

That's it. The Nigerians are at least more creative.

The last one on the list is the topic for today. The spam decries the Japanese for engaging in a dolphin or whale slaughter or whatever and makes particular mention that the hunters involved attempt to inflict in their victims a maximum amount of fear and pain because the adrenaline released makes the meat taste better.

Now, the spam is bad enough, but the claim that frightened animals taste better than others always seemed like something rife for either confirmation or rebuttal. Well, after googling relentlessly for a minute or so, I've found the best argument on the proposition I think I could envision.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Get in touch with your inner Gus

Of course, by Gus, I mean Gus Hansen.

Full Tilt Poker Game #_: $10 + $1 Sit & Go (_), Table 1 - 15/30 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:11:08 ET - 2007/10/07
Seat 1: (1,485)
Seat 2: (1,455)
Seat 3: hero (1,425)
Seat 4: (4,515)
Seat 5: (1,500)
Seat 8: (1,500)
Seat 9: (1,620)
Seat 4 posts the small blind of 15
Seat 5 posts the big blind of 30
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to nsayer [?? ??]

Let's just play this one in the dark for now.

Seat 8 folds
Seat 9 folds
Seat 1 folds
Seat 2 folds
hero raises to 105
Seat 4 calls 90
Seat 5 folds
*** FLOP *** [Jd Ac 7h]
Seat 4 checks
hero bets 240
Seat 4 calls 240
*** TURN *** [Jd Ac 7h] [4d]
Seat 4 checks
hero bets 530
Seat 4 calls 530
*** RIVER *** [Jd Ac 7h 4d] [5s]
Seat 4 checks
hero bets 550, and is all in

Ok. I'll let you all in on it. My hand? Qc 9c.

This isn't about what I have, it's about what I can make him think I have. I'd like to think that he's thinking hard about A4o, or at least AKo. Maybe even pocket 4s.

Of course, the danger is that I'd be up against a donkey who likes his 3rd pair despite the evidence in front of him.... and makes the spectacular suicide call.

Not this time, however.

Seat 4 folds

I always wonder what I got my opponents to fold in spots like this. I'm thinking perhaps it was a small ace. Nothing else makes much sense. Why would he hang in there with anything less? For that matter, why would he keep up with me worrying about his kicker?

Uncalled bet of 550 returned to hero
hero mucks
hero wins the pot (1,780)
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 1,780 | Rake 0
Board: [Jd Ac 7h 4d 5s]
Seat 1: didn't bet (folded)
Seat 2: didn't bet (folded)
Seat 3: hero (button) collected (1,780), mucked
Seat 4: (small blind) folded on the River
Seat 5: (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 8: didn't bet (folded)
Seat 9: didn't bet (folded)

Friday, October 5, 2007

MST3K lovers rejoice: RiffTrax!

Those of you more connected to MST3K than I am will deride me for being so out of touch, of course, but better late than never.

Since the MST3K crew reunited as The Film Crew, I've come to realize how much I missed MST3K. I also managed to connect to a bit of my own personal history having found some clips of Disasterpiece Theatre, which was an MST3K like show that aired on XETV in San Diego when I was 12. I used to stay up way late to watch Sal U. Lloyd and The Other Guy skewer bad 50s B movies. They mostly used chroma keying and Chyron rather than voiceovers, but it was still funny stuff.

Anyway, by chance I managed to learn that Mike Nelson came up with a compromise allowing him and his co-riffers to skewer movies without having to actually obtain rights to them. How? By writing and performing commentary tracks that you play along with the movie. Of course, you need to synchronize the two streams, but they have a pretty ingenious method for doing so - a disembodied computer-like voice periodically chimes in during the commentary with lines from the movie that should synchronize precisely with an actor in the movie delivering the same line. If the movie line is late, you pause the commentary for a little bit. If the movie is early, pause the movie. It even works with Netflix's instant watching feature (I tried The Matrix).

Keeping them in sync isn't as hard (or as critical) as it sounds, and the riffing is just as good as it ever was on MST3K or The Film Crew. And to top it all off, the RiffTrax are for movies you've actually heard of!

Go check it out. Most of them are either $2.99 or $3.99 and they're DRM-free MP3 files.

FTP tiered satellites

I think I've found something fun.

FTP, for a while now, has had $26 and $75 satellite tokens you can win in some tournaments. They're good for any tournament of any kind with the given buy-in amount. I haven't been too hot on them in the past, since they're usually available in tournaments with fairly low percentage payouts - usually you have to win the thing outright.

Well, I've discovered a pair of satellites in the structure that are much, much better. They are 18 handed, but pay out the top 6 players (though 6th place gets cash). That's 30% - certainly doable. In fact, I won a $26 token last night. Tonight I will try and parley that to a $75 token. Once there, there is a $69+$6 satellite into the $200+$16 $750,000 guarantee tournament on Sunday. At the moment, that tournament will pay over $130,000 to first place. For a total cash investment of $8.70!

The one thing that's odd about satellite tournaments at FTP is that once you get to the point in the prize structure where everybody gets the same thing, they should just end the tournament, because any further play is moot. They don't, though. I guess they figure people are going to want to play it out for pride. The trouble with that idea is that a large fraction of the table all simply goes all-in with any two cards just to get it over with. I did and lost 3 hands in a row, coming in, officially, in 4th place. But who cares? 5th through 1st were all the same. So if you want to stick around to collect first for pride, it's meaningless since you're going to play it against people who have nothing to lose or gain. Like play-money tournaments. Why waste your time?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Justice is served!

This was quite nearly another lament about a bad beat dished out by a donkey making a horrendous call. But then, shit changed.

Full Tilt Poker Game #_: Tier One $8+$0.70 (_), Table 2 - 30/60 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:53:12 ET - 2007/10/04
Seat 1: hero (3,830)
Seat 2: (3,155)
Seat 3: (725)
Seat 5: villain (1,100)
Seat 6: (1,720)
Seat 7: (2,085)
Seat 8: (3,005)
villain posts the small blind of 30
Seat 6 posts the big blind of 60
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to hero [7d 7s]
Seat 7 folds
Seat 8 folds
hero raises to 180
Seat 2 folds
Seat 3 folds
villain calls 150
Seat 6 folds
*** FLOP *** [2d 3d 3s]
villain checks
hero bets 920
villain calls 920, and is all in
hero shows [7d 7s]
villain shows [3c 5c]

35?! I haven't played a hand the whole tournament so far and you call my raise with 35? What, because they were sooooted?!

*** TURN *** [2d 3d 3s] [Qd]
*** RIVER *** [2d 3d 3s Qd] [8d]

Serves him right!

hero shows a flush, Queen high
villain shows three of a kind, Threes
hero wins the pot (2,260) with a flush, Queen high
villain stands up
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 2,260 | Rake 0
Board: [2d 3d 3s Qd 8d]
Seat 1: hero showed [7d 7s] and won (2,260) with a flush, Queen high
Seat 2: didn't bet (folded)
Seat 3: (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: villain (small blind) showed [3c 5c] and lost with three of a kind, Threes
Seat 6: (big blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 7: didn't bet (folded)
Seat 8: didn't bet (folded)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Go Cats, 2007 AFL premiers!

Just finishing up watching the AFL Grand Final for 2007 between the Geelong Cats and the Port Adelaide Power. Geelong thoroughly pwn3d. The final score was an incredible 24.19 163 to 6.8 44. I've never even heard of a margin even half that wide, much less in a Grand Final. Wow.

Alas, that means that there's no more footy until next year. Sigh.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Watch me play!

I've decided to join the latest poker blogging phenomenon - I bought some screen recording software and a USB mic and have recorded myself playing a SnG at Full Tilt!

I was fortunate enough to actually win the tournament on my first attempt to record one - I would have posted it regardless, though.

Check it out:

Idea for Apple

We have a mac Mini hooked up to our HDTV in the living room. Originally, the thought was we'd use it as a media player (DVD, Netflix Watch Now via VMware, games, etc), but over time it's become the machine I spend a large fraction of my time using. It's just very comfy to sit in the recliner and... well, whatever.

So when we upgraded from the old full sized plastic bluetooth keyboard to the new aluminum one, I was quite pleased.

But there is still one thing that isn't quite nirvana.

The mighty mouse is nice, but it needs to sit on a flat surface to be conveniently used. We have a mouse pad sitting on a fold-down faux table built-in to our sofa, but that's not very convenient for right handed users sitting on the right side. It's ok, since I usually set on the left, but I've got a better idea: A bluetooth trackpad. Such a device could be designed to attach to either side of the new aluminum BT keyboard, or Apple could come out with a new BT keyboard and trackpad combo. In fact, the trackpad could be designed to work with both the USB and BT keyboard. It could use some sort of mechanical attachment system combined with a (proprietary or USB) electrical connection that could be provided by both versions of the keyboard.

So let's get cracking, Steve!