6-12-04 - 1


I keep getting stuck with big draws that I can't possibly fold, and then not hitting them. I'm starting to understand why top pros play very conservatively with draws - you really want the best made hand. Even when you have a great draw, you will have less than a 70% chance of winning, and you can do better than that. Today I hit a straight flush draw again. I had the 8Ts from late position, and I made one of my favorite moves - stealing from the button with hands like that. You want to just steal the blinds, which you usually do, but if the blinds do call, you have something you can hit. What's more, you've represented an Ace, so if an Ace comes, you often win it that way. In a sense, you have more cards to hit than you do with a hand like A5 - with the 8Ts, I can hit the flush draw, the straight, the 8 or T, or the Ace ! Anyway, I hit the straight and flush draw, 9JK (K and 9 in my suit). He checks, I bet to just steal it, he calls. Turn comes an Ace. He goes all-in. I figure he has the ace, so I'm beat, but I still have 15 outs, a 32% chance of winning. The pots giving me like 5:1 at that point, so I have to call. I think in this case I do have to call, but I'm starting to question the idea of pot odds in tournaments. The thing is, you're not playing for cash, you're playing to evenually win the tournament. If the call isn't much of your chips, then sure, you still call on pot odds, but if it's your whole stack, the issue becomes different. In my case, I have a 68% chance of being eliminated - zero EV. I have a 32% chance of winning a big stack, like 4000 chips, 40% of the chips in the tournament, so we'll say that gives me an EV of something like a 40% chance of winning; the net chance of winning is 40%*32% = 12.8%. If I fold, I have 700 chips all the time, so that's a 7% chance of winning. Already it's becoming a close decision, but if you add in the 3-place payout and the fact that I'm close to the end - those 700 chips may give me something like a 50% chance of making 3rd place, it's become much more possible that a fold is correct. I think in my case I still had to call, but it's become clear to me that chasing draws in tournaments is a very bad idea indeed.

Ronald Reagan's Chief of Staff was Donald Regan. That's weird. Reagan's own trusted staff said he was inattentive, inaffective, often confused and unaware of what was going on around him. I think it's pretty obvious he had Alzheimers, or some form of senility, while in office. Of course it will always be denied, but he was obviously doddering and not involved in running his own government. He was like your befuddled old Grandpa who keeps calling you by the wrong name and telling the same joke over and over. RR armed the Taliban and created the military force there; he gave arms to Iran (illegally, in exchange for hostages), and fed arms to the Contras in Nicaragua (also illegally, the CIA also had operatives in Nicaragua helping and training the Contras), his "great" negotiation with the Russians was stalled out because he wouldn't abandon SDI ("Star Wars") which never would have worked anyway. The fact that we had a President in office with Alzheimers is just terrifying.

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old rants