6/29/2004

6-29-04 - 3

6-29-04

This Ken O'Keefe guy is pretty fruity link , but I have a lot of respect for him, really doing something to stand up to the warmongers of the world. He organized the human shields in Iraq - link and now is in jail in Israel for trying to bring a force of westerners to Palestine to document and protest the atrocities the Israelis commit daily - link . I do like the general idea of getting 10k Americans/Westerners in Palestine. Then just stand in front of the Israeli bulldozers when they try to knock over the homes of some more innocent Palestinians.


Michael Moore is obviously a little fruity, but pretty much all of his points are correct, even if he does push the facts a little bit. The one thing that he's absolutely right about is that our media has been shamefully cow-towing to the white house since 9/11, not challenging anything, not asking the tough questions.


I hate people who treat the American people like idiots, but I also have no faith in the American people. I mean, the freaking people believe that Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden were good buddies (thanks to the lies of our government). The moron masses will belive the BS they're told, and then they see the media, which is under the thumb of our government, showing the "harsh other side" (which is some softball debate), and they think they've seen both sides. If something major happens in the next few months, the stupid people will vote based on that, and totally forget everything that's happened.


The democratic party and the republican party are both scum. The party machines both just want power and the money from lobbyists and special interests. Ok, fine, that's true on both sides. Now, there are different views on issues, the republicans claim to be more small-government, laissez-faire, etc. (though, historically, that's not been true at all). The actual difference on issues is that republicans are pro-rich, pro-big-business. Even if you just take that as an issues matter, ok, that's a difference on issues and we can debate that and we can respect different opinions. If you subtract off all that, you're left with the people who are on both sides. If you look at the people, it's just scum on the republican side. You have Karl Rove, the Shrub, Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld, Reagan (the doddering, Alzheimers-inflicted actor), Nixon, etc. On the demo side you have Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Gore, Kerry. Now, remember, we're subtracting off the fact that both sides are political scum and there's a difference of issues. With that basis subtracted off your left with liars and criminals in the good old boy network of big business on the republican side, and perhaps somewhat naive and personally weak good guys on the demo side. Personally, I think the absolute morality of Jimmy Carter stands far above any other politician we've had in recent memory. Sure, maybe he made some mistakes in office, but they all do, but if you look at his record after office - he's the only president, the *only* president in modern history who has continued to work to better the world, rather than just taking lucrative speaking engagements and board seat or partner positions at big businesses that he illegally helped during his term. I believe Jimmy Carter is the only recent president who was deeply moral and trying to help every person in the world with his decisions.

6-29-04 - 2

6-29-04

One thing that lots of people fuck up is not having hysteresis in their game triggers. For example, let's say you have some volume trigger. When the player is inside that volume he's considered "hidden". If you just do a normal volume check, he can flicker in and out every other frame. If you add hysteresis, you prevent these sudden changes. The easy way to do it is by having a slightly larger volume for the "exit volume" and smaller one for the "entry volume". That way if you are considered "out", you don't switch to "in" unless you qualify the smaller entry volume. Then you stay "in" until you are rejected by the larger "exit volume". This gives you a little transition fuzz region where your previous state is held. Of course if you can use an analog key instead of a bool, that makes it a smooth transition. More generally, if you can key the transition off an analog, you can have hysteresis with biased transition points. Let's say you have some simple distance trigger, you generate a float in [0,1] based on the distance to some point. You want to generate a boolean for whether you are "near" or not. If you did it trivially, you'd just say :

near = f > 0.5

But with hysteresis, you make the previous value "sticky" like this :

if ( ! was near )
        near = ( f > 0.6 );
else // was near
        near = ( f > 0.4 );

here we've encoded an 0.2 "hysteresis" region, where the previous state is preserved, whatever it was. Another way to encode this is :

if ( f > 0.4 && f < 0.6 )
        // no change, leave previous state
else
        near = f > 0.5


or


if ( f < 0.4 )
        not near
else if ( f > 0.6 )
        near
else
        // no change, leave previous state

6-29-04 - 1

6-29-04

I like burgers and beer. I like burgers and pickles. I don't like pickles and beer. What am I to do?

The hippocracy of the Republican machine is just shocking. They clearly intentionally have made this election a referendum on personalities, but then they say "why don't the democrats stick to the issues?". Cheney goes around saying "Bush is for optimism, Kerry is for pessimism", and "if you want a leader who's tough on terrorists, vote Bush". Ok, that's fine, but then don't bitch when the dems attack Bush. It's like The Trial (Kafka), the Judge says "now, stop all the personal attacks, Mr. K, we won't stand it. The court now calls Theresa M. who will testify on the poor character of Mr. K". It would be funny if it wasn't so sickening. Of course, this whole administration is a sick Kafka-esque nightmare. All the "environmental programs" like "Clear Skies" which are really rolling back regulations. Reagan was one of the masters of cutting funding for medicare and then taking a photo-op with elderly in the hospital the next day. Slimy sucks.

The laptop boom is going to create a whole new generation of people who are badly crippled. Laptops are terrible for ergonomics, the keyboards are cramped, and worst of all you tend to use them with bad elbow position, and the screen is usually way too low. You should be looking straight at your screen, or even slightly up, never ever down. The keyboard and monitor should generally be 12 inches or more apart, not directly adjacent. Invest in physical therapy and wrist & neck treatment.

Invest in OldCo. The big business of the future is taking advantage of the elderly. This is already somewhat true, but it will be ever more true going into the future. More and more of the population is old. In many countries (Japan, Sweden) it will become catastrophic soon (in 50 years), with over 50% of the population retired!! The old give up their money quickly, and then are subsidized by the government, which pays outrageously high prices for unnecessarry services. It's one of the big ways money is pumped from the masses to private business. So, I'm starting OldCo (TM). OldCo will focus on exploiting the eldery with a many-pronged attack. We will invest in pharmaceuticals, retirement housing developments, nursing homes ("assisted living"), telemarketting scams, bad clothing, golf, Matlock, Murder She Wrote, Cadillac, etc.

6/26/2004

6-26-04 - 2

6-26-04

good read 1
good read 2

The one thing that's very true is that military action only makes terrorists stronger. You cannot defeat terrorists with direct action. Even if you kill most of the terrorists, that just makes them stronger, because it increases recruitment from the millions who support them. The way to defeat terrorists is to get rid of the things that give them support - the Israeli violence against Palestinians, the poverty and oppressive regime in Pakistan, the corrupt monarchy in Saudi Arabia, the corrupt US-run "democracy" in Indonesia and the Phillipenes, etc. etc.

Hezzbollah and the IRA have nearly been defeated, two fo the world's worst terrorist organizations, and the method was not military - it was negotiation and withdrawal. When Israel occupied southern Lebanon, the Hezzbollah attacks were fierce and it was supported all over the Middle East; for every guerilla they killed, ten more took his place; now Israel has pulled out, and support for Hezzbollah as crumpled, and now when the Israelis do strike back at Hezzbollah there's not much uproar from the Arab community. The IRA was engaged in negotiation and brought into the government, and their acts of violence have almost entirely stopped.

You cannot possibly eliminate all the safe-havens for terrorists, not any time soon anyway; any country with massive poverty and anarchy (of which there are many) can be a safe haven. Even the war in Afghanistan was only a temporary setback for Al Qaeda; it forces them to disperse a bit more, but does nothing to destroy them.

When you see children playing terrorist, as you do in Palestine, and now in Iraq, you're losing the real war on terror.

The other argument, that Saddam may have had weapons that would be dangerous for Terrorists to get their hands on - that has some merit, though the evidence was weak, and invasion is a major over reaction. The big problem I have with that argument is that we've done nothing to secure dangerous weapons in the past. We sell our own military equipment to countries that may easily give it to terrorists to use against us (like Yemen, the rebels in Afghanistan, etc.) We did nothing to secure the huge amounts of deadly material in Russia when it broke up - there are literally unaccounted for nuclear weapons from the Russian stock piles. The huge Russian germ development labs were never secured or properly cleaned. There were countless Russian scientists who were experts in developing all kinds of weapons - many people around the world pushed for these guys to get hired by the US or UN so they wouldn't go on the open market, but no one did anything, and those guys can now sell their expertise to the highest bidder. Why did we help India develop nuclear reactors? Why did we allow Pakistan and Israel to develop nuclear weapons?

6-26-04 - 1

6-26-04

The difference between a great programmer and a really valuable coding leader is that the leader does far more than their job description. They don't just do what they're told - they actively look for problems and solutions, they foresee pitfalls and prepare for them before they arrive. They handle bad managers and do their own scheduling; they foresee demos and prepare for the unexpected; they handle art & design problems. A good coder who's a bad leader will just do their task assignments, perhaps very well, but not follow-up. This is part of why I advocate "feature teams". It encourages codes to take a holistic approach - if the result isn't good, make it better. Good code that's not used well is just a crappy result.


It's odd how we have so many smart people in the industry thinking carefully about game design, and yet so many of the games that even these smart people make are full of design decisions that are just frustrating and not fun. I think there's a big problem between the theory of games and the practice of making good games; it seems very hard for people to sit back and objectively make good decisions on their own game creations. A lot of people will blame it on the schedule and such, but taking your schedule into account is part of the process. A lot of artists in all media will blame their failures on schedule constraints or budget constraints - that's a total bullshit excuse, it just means they didn't take their situation into account properly.

I see a lot of the Junior High Theory of Game Design - add more skulls, make bigger explosions, make my hero a hot chick with huge boobs, yeah that'll be cool, make my shotgun shoot nukes, etc. I also see the I Know What's Best For You theory of game design - the holier than thou game designer who knows that "real fun" is, and doesn't let the player do what they want so that the experience will be pure or "true to his vision", and winds up just making something painful and frustrating.

People cling to features in game dev just because they've gotten used to them. You must remember the real audience has never seen any of this before. Just because some way you've been playing is "broken" doesn't mean anything's wrong - that's not how the new audience will play.

People do things the wrong way, you keep telling them to fix it, and then it becomes too late to make the changes, and you're stuck with shit. Smart people try to do things right before it's too late.

6/22/2004

6-22-04 - 3

6-22-04

The unbelievable lies and manipulation of this government have succeeded in one big way - their massive crimes in Iraq have completely distracted the left wing movement from all the horrible things they've done internally - insane tax cuts for the rich, cutting capital gains for god's sake, cutting the inheritance tax, such huge tax cuts for the super-rich, rolling back the environmental protections that Clinton put in place, rolling back the rules on power plant emissions, intentionally covering up the mad-cow problems, and probably a thousand other horrific things that would be big deals, but are dwarfed by the unwarranted invasion of a sovereign state with completely false evidence and the continued lieing to the American people and Congress. The things we did to *legal* middle eastern immigrants was totally immoral, the way we're holding American citizens hostage in Guantanamo with no trial and no evidence is sickening. The hippocracy of preaching free market and cutting taxes while *increasing* subsidies and protections to big agri-business (Monsanto & ADM), tobacco farmers, the steel industry, Boeing, and of course all the many military contractors involved in the war.

That damn MoveOn.org goes too far, they spew a bunch of half-truths to try to make their case. Damn you Move On ! It's not necessary to lower yourself to the partisan lies - the truth is bad enough!!

6-22-04 - 2

6-22-04

One of the more callow things that's come out of 9/11 is this valuation of human lives. This is totally separate from peoples' life insurance and savings and whatnot, remember that. The government in all their wisdom has decided that people who made more should get more money from the victim's fund. So, basically, if you were successful in life, your life is worth more, and the subsidy from the American people to the victims should be greater. So the firefighter who died trying to help, or the janitor who was just unlucky, get much less than the stock trader. Of course the stock trader's widow is accustomed to dining on the brains of the poor and buying handbags made from endangered species, it would be quite a horrible unjust shock to her if she had to live on less than $300k a year. Isn't that what America's all about?

One of the myths about the people of the world is that the mass market really wants crap. That's just not completely true; people are very easily cajoled and carried along with trends, but they usually come to their senses eventually and go "wow, that was crap" (while, of course, jumping onto the new crap-wagon). So, people will say, wow I can't believe we liked New Kids on The Block, that really was shit, but this Nickelback, it's good stuff. Occasionally you see shining exceptions, like the success of Radiohead, or Amelie, that show you interesting, intelligent stuff really can have a pretty wide appeal; there are a lot of people with good taste out there. It's the producers and marketting goons who are really dominated by short-sighted small-minded people. They can't tell quality from crap themselves, so they go with what's easy. The thing that saves the music industry is that you really can still make a record very cheaply; you may not be able to get it distributed, but you can record it, and then shop it around and try to get some money for disribution with a finished product. With games and movies, it's hard to have much of anything to shop around before you get some big money commitment.

6-22-04 - 1

6-22-04

Look, the Bush administration intentionally lied going into the war on Iraq. I've written about this before, but you people just don't seem to get it. People still seem to talk about "intelligence failures". Sure, there were intelligence failures, like when the CIA came to Rumsfeld and said they saw no evidence of WMD's in Iraq, and Rumsfeld told them "you're not looking hard enough", which was when they found the so-called "weapons vans". When Colin Powell when to testify before the UN, he was visibly pained, you could tell he was not confident and comfortable with the case he was making. They intentionally fabricated the story about Saddam trying to buy uranium. They intentionally fabricated the supposed "link" between Iraq and Al Qaeda, (which, ridiculously, they still claim). The great thing about this administration is that they stick to their guns so thoroughly even when they're obviously caught lying, there's a very "Empereror's New Clothes" aspect of it all; I cam imagine Rummy with blood all over him and a knife in his hand insisting "no, I didn't kill him, I'm given a lot of information that you haven't seen, and I know I didn't kill him, oh and by the way, we've restored dignity to the white house!".

Why in the world did we go to war in Iraq? There were no WMD's, there were no terrorists in Iraq to speak of (not compared to Pakistan or Saudi Arabia or Iran or Lebanon or Indonesia or the Phillipenes, etc. etc.), there was zero immediate threat from Saddam to anyone in the US (except perhaps to big oil business interests). You can't say it was "humanitarian", as we do nothing in Chechnya, Darfur, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Colombia, North Korea, Palestine, and countless African nations where rebels and government death squads roam freely. You can't say it was to prevent terrorism; if anything, it's escelated terrorism; it's rather like poking a tiger with a stick, it doesn't make you more secure, it makes you much much less secure. In fact, we're dangerously close to destabilizing Saudi Arabia, which would be a major disaster. Saudi Arabia is run by a US-backed oppressive monarchy; 95% of the people are Muslim, and' a very large percentage are very militant. The stability of Saudi Arabia is hanging by a thread; if their government is seen to be in cahoots with the US, there may be an uprising. Already terrorists are forming and being recruited from the streets. Hmm... maybe that is the master plan; now, this is pure speculation, but it's amusing. Let's say you have a revolution in Saudi Arabia. Then the US military will have to go in to restore the peace, we set up US Oil Companies and make it a "democracy" (what we really mean by "democracy" is a "free market" controlled by US megacorps). Suddenly the oil profits from Saudi Arabia go to US corporations instead of to the people, as they do now (with a large chunk going to the monarchy).

Who was in Cheney's secret meeting on energy policy? Probably Ken Lay. Perhaps a bin Laden, certainly a few Saudis. Perhaps some military advisers? One of the thinly kept secrets of US government is that our domestic energy policy and our Middle East foreign policy have always been tied; they're generally both led by a few very high up people, not separate groups. This administration is very wise about the use of the stone wall. They know the media are fickle and won't stick to issues if they aren't exciting. The administration just keeps stone-walling and denying, and eventually the issue just dies from lack of interest.

One of the funny things about Ronald Reagan is that the reality of his domenstic policy was exactly the opposite of what his fans think it was. In reality he created a massive tax-and-spend stimulus; his government spent more than all previous governments combined (not inflation adjusted). He also presided over the largest import tarriffs, which provided cozy protection from international competition.

6/21/2004

6-21-04 - 2

6-21-04

It's very hard to pitch actually realistic good game ideas. For one thing, if the guy next to you is promising all kinds of whiz bang and "things that have never been seen before", etc. your modest idea doesn't sound like much. For another thing, the bits that actually make a game good are the core mechanics, and they're just not that sexy. Another problem is that "pitching" is like story telling, it's a verbal exhance, you want to paint pictures, tell stories. That's inherently anathemic to good gameplay! It means you're making game ideas that are good in little descriptions, not in actual extended play sessions.

6-21-04 - 1

6-21-04

One of the things that kills me is people who have a problem with something I'm doing but don't say anything about it. I get it at work, in relationships, just with friends, all the time. People just sit and steam and get all peeved but don't say a damn thing until it becomes so annoying that they crack and then lay into me. Then I'm like "whoah, why didn't you tell me? It's no big deal, I can do what you want". I used to just never do what I wanted for fear of it inconveniencing someone else. Now, I think, fuck 'em, if they don't speak up, I'll do it my way, and they can just suck it up, if they don't speak up it's their fault. I can't stand to work/live/date people who do this over and over. In relationships I've always admired the saucy Italian stereotype; if someone pisses you off you just scream at them, throw your spaghetti in their face, work it out, then have hot sex. Let's have real aggression rather than this damn WASP passive-aggression.

6/20/2004

6-20-04 - 3

6-20-04

Hey! If you live in Santa Barbara, go support the Hard To Find Showspace. They rock. Bring some canned food.

Lots of horrific animal accidents at the house recently. A little while ago some baby birds fell out of their nest before they could fly. The cats immediately pounced on them and started playing with them. I tried to save them, but it was too late; they were probably doomed anyway, falling out too soon. Today, a big beautiful bird flew straight into one of my big plate glass windows. Again, the cats pounced in a second and broke the bird's neck.

Holy crap, the freaking mayonaise and butter have big stickers on them that say "0 carbs". The freaking vodka ads are touting their "0 carbs". This is just like the fat-free craze, when all kinds of shit like rice got "fat free" stickers on them. The marketting industry treats us like morons. The sad thing is they're right to do so.

Cakes coated in fondant are disgusting and look terrible. They look and taste like plastic. Food should look like food.

People who are freaky weirdos in some little way tend to be rotten to the core. Perhaps you have a friend who's excessively clean, or who has a freaky obsession with Disney shit. You might thing "eh, he's pretty cool except for that one thing". In my experience, that's not the case. That one obvious freaky thing is usually just the small outward sign of a rotten core, bad mental shit going on inside. He'll betray you, keep him at arms length.


Pretty good result in a multi-table today. $30 NL Holdem, 600 entrants. I placed 25th, it paid like $150 or something crappy like that, all the big money is in the top few places. The blinds get so big near the end, that it gets very random at that point. The blinds were $1000/2000 when I went out, and the average stack was about $20,000 , so the big blind was like 1/10th of my stack, that's a lot. I had 8T from one off the button. Now, you may say that's not a very good hand, but it folded around to me, and everyone is playing very tight. I'm one off the button; in this scenario, I will raise it with almost any two cards - they're just folding so often, it's +EV to raise any two. 8T is actually not bad, because if he does call, I may hit something. In fact, the big blind did call, and I did hit - top pair, the flop was like 23T. I know I'm good. The guy in the big blind is a bad player, I've been watching him and have him picked out as one of the guys who's going to pay me. He bets big on the flop, I go all in, he calls. He has overcards, AQ. He's played it terribly - he should have raised me preflop. Instead he let me flop top pair and make the best hand. He has only 6 outs - that's about a 25% chance of winning the hand, I'm way ahead. Of course, he spikes his Queen and knocks me out of the tournament. I just can't see how anyone can win a multi-table. You have to get in so many times as a 75/25 favorite, you won't win all of those.

Which reminds me - an example of doing math with powers of two. I can hardly do math any more, but I'm a master of powers of two. So, to win a big multi-table tournament you'll have to get all-in at least 5 times, and at best you'll be an 80/20 favorite. To win, you have to win them all, so your chance of winning them all is 0.8^5. That's (2^3/10)^5 = 2^15/10^5 = 32768/10^5 = 0.32768 , about a 33% chance.

6-20-04 - 2

6-20-04

The stock market is an interesting sociological problem. In the long term, you get paid my investments that are actually smart, eg. buying good companies that are undervalued. Generally that means going against popular opinion - if most people are under-valuing a company you know is solid, buy it; if the public are over-valuing a company you know is no good, avoid it. The problem is that in the short term, you make money by doing just the opposite. When the public latches onto some company and keep driving the price up, you do very well to get on that band-wagon, even though you know the price is over-valued and won't hold up in the long term.


Poker has lots of little "bad beats" that aren't the normal kind. Today I played a big multi-table. Some of my funny "bad beats" were - I hit an ace on the flop, play it cautious, make 2 pair on the turn, I trap and pull a nice check-raise, I bet the river; he calls - we have the identical hand. Split pot. Another - I flopped a straight flush (!!), but it's just me and the big blind in the hand! I check the flop, bet the turn, he folds. Damn! Got zero pay on it.


Any potential job I think of just seems a bit tedious, including game programming. One of the fundamental problems I have with "work" is that in America to be at all successful, you have to totally focus on one thing, work 60+ hours/week, live that thing. There just isn't any single one thing I could stand to do 60 hrs/week. I love music, but just a few hours a week, movies, same thing, reading, same thing, eating, cooking, poker, exercise, programming, managing, etc. How can anyone stand to do any one thing with such single focus? It sucks.

6-20-04 - 1

6-20-04

I'd like to do a series of history books like "What Really Happened, 1968-1972". I'd use all the new research and de-classified government papers to document the reality of the major world events in those years. The difference with other books would be that I wouldn't just focus on the crimes and scandals and revelations, it would really just be a summary of the major world events and political figures, but telling the truth instead of the official story. The problem with current expository books is that they don't summarize the history, put it in context, remind us what the official line was. Kids these days coming out of college have almost zero knowledge of recent American history, which is either a shame or an intentional scandal, and even if they did have much knowledge it would be a thin sanitized version of recent US history. I would say most kids know more about Grover Cleveland than they do about Jimmy Carter, which is stupid. The focus of education on the ancient past is a huge mistake; sure, it's good to know ancient history, but not nearly as important as modern history.


The NYT today cautions that the S&P 500 is getting too heavily weighting with financial service stocks. I disagree; that's not some anomaly or mistake in the balance of the index - it's just a reflection that American business is more and more just financial services. We are the puppet master, the controllers of money flow; we make nothing, do nothing, we just own the people who do. I read another interesting figure recently. These days, the amount of money (liquid assets) that are transferred around the world each day is roughly equal to the total amount of hard liquid assets (cash and cash equivalents) in the world. In other words, 100% of the world's wealth is transferred each day. That's quite astonishing; that percentage has been going up rapidly since 1900. Even in 1950 it was below 10%, and in the last 50 years it has grown nearly exponentially to the current 100%. The way that so much money is transferred is because our financial institutions are very highly leveraged; they control many times the amount of liquid assets as the amount of hard cash they can back it with; those liquid assets are in the form of debt ownership, bonds, loans, stocks, etc., and it can be transferred and purveyed into further leveraged assets. This is part of why small problems in any part of the world can cause massive disasters in the financial markets. Let's say some country suddenly can't pay out the bonds its issued to cover its debt; all the finance companies were relying on taking that payout and rolling it back around to other loans; suddenly they have to cover their contracts some other way, so they start calling in their bonds and loans, a chain reaction forms where people have to cover their funny paper with real money, and there's a massive short-fall of real-money; the market instantly tightens up like a python, and crashes catastrophically.

Part of the problem with corporate governance these days is that there's basically no downside to taking ludicrous risks. Let's say I'm some CEO guy; I get the job running a nice solid company like Johnson&Johnson. Now, I could just run it well, stay in our core business, and make money and give jobs to lots of people. The problem with that is it doesn't make me massively rich. Furthermore, the stock holders are pushing for massive increases in the stock, not moderate growth, but big jumps. The only way that can happen is if I go into new businesses, take big risks. So, let's say I see some opportunity; 50% of the time, we'll be massively successful; the other 50% we go out of business. Well, that's really a win-win situation for me; if we're a big success, great; if we go out of business, I get a nice big severance payment, perhaps a massive retainer for "continuity" when the company goes into bankruptcy, I can take a few years off, and then get a new job as a CEO somewhere else. Of course all the staffers get screwed, but it doesn't affect the executives who make the decisions. There needs to be way more connection of management's personal wealth and happiness to the success of the companies they run. This is the principle of "personal capitalism".

6/16/2004

6-16-04 - 2

6-16-04

The home theater craze in America is very telling. Once upon a time there was this concept of communal goods and activities. If you have a bunch of people on a street, not all of them need a tractor. Maybe betwen them, a tractor would be useful, so one of them buys one, and then all of them share it and use it as need; they certainly couldn't afford to each buy all the things they would rarely need, and it would be silly. A big fancy theater was once the same - not every could buy a giant screen and big speakers, so you would go to a movie theater to see movies on the big screen. These days, people want to stay home more, talk to their neighbors less, and live by their own schedule, not anyone else's. So, everyone buys their own setups, and they lock themselves in, and the blue light flickers from their windows at night.

6-16-04 - 1

6-16-04

It'll be fun to code for the Xbox 2 and PS3. "Fun" in a challenging sort of technically stimulating way. You get lots of processors/threads and you have to organize your world cleverly to parallelize well. One processor to coordinate the game logic, one to stream everything off DVD, two to perform the physics calculations, three to render all the objects in the world to see, seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, nine for Mortal Men doomed to die, One Ring to rule them all, one Ring to find them, one Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

Some interesting tech things that will be possible in the next gen that could lead to game ideas -

1) Really *really* big worlds, with procedural content, like enormous terrains with lots of detail and trees that just go on forever. Could lead to some interesting play involving some really macro/micro scale play, like you fly a Dragon or a space ship or something and you can zoom all around this planet, and then hop off and run around on the ground and coordinate things and take things back and forth across huge distances.

2) Lots and lots of NPC's. Like you could play in the middle of a war with thousands of guys on each side fighting it out. You're in the mess fighting it up (ala Onimusha), or commanding a squad, or something.


Some game ideas I've always wanted to do - 1) a modern Trade Wars; nobody has done this decently yet; Eve Online is probably the closest thing, but it's too complex and too slow and there's not enough of a macro goal. I actually prefer Galactic Warzone to Trade Wars - simpler, purer, more combat, and more of a goal. 2) a mature Tamagochi game; this is an MMO where you can play single player and build up your avatar, but then get together and fight in arenas or do little co-op runs, and also trade items and do training and such with other people as you need.

6/14/2004

6-14-04 - 3

6-14-04

Damn. I want to do persistent MMO games on cell phones with internet and GPS. Imagine this - you jack into the game in SF; as you log in you get a couple alerts - a rare item drop has spawned in Oakland, and there's a big battle going on downtown; you also see a few bogeys around you that you could hunt for and take on. You decide to go for the item drop; you hop in your car and drive out, navigating in the game world; as you travel some random encounters pop up that you run away from. As you get into Oakland you see bogeys light up all over your radar; lots of people are circling for the item drop; you hook up with some of your team mates and talk voice and decide to meet up at a pizza place; while chowing you talk strategy; you decide that you'll first try to sabotage some of the other teams and then make a run for the item while they're out of commision; one of the guys on your team is a double-agent, he pretends to be friendly with another squad; he goes off to meet them and send them into a trap. Another guy heads out to find your main threats and try to drop an energy net on them. Your main crew heads for the item drop. When you get there a mad battle is under way; a bunch of players are fighting the NPC's guarding the goods; the drop is in a park, so the players are running around all over more or less; your crew tries to go under cover (spread out and look confused and not too geeky) to get close, then you break for a run and try to avoid the other players as you go to the core; you're dropping buffs and using skills, trying to focus totally on the phone while trying not to trip. There are a lot of tough gameplay issues that I haven't worked out, but that shit would be fun.

6-14-04 - 2

6-14-04

Semi-bluffing (mainly a big raise with a flush draw) is not nearly so good as it was 20 years ago. Semi-bluffing is only valuable if they will fold pretty big hands often. It's risking a lot of chips (in No Limit) when you are an underdog. The problem is that it's so common these days that people look for the semi-bluff, they sniff it out, they almost put you on the semi-bluff rather than actually having a hand. Because of that I think the semi-bluff-bluff is actually the great play of the modern era. This is a deceptively simple play, it's also known as "betting your good hand". You might slowplay that hand normally, but when you get an inkling that he may put you on the semi-bluff, you go ahead and bet it in the straight-forward way; your hope is that he'll call you down trying to catch a semi-bluff. This play then makes your semi-bluffs valuable again for a while.

6-14-04 - 1

6-14-04

Terrorist organizations are a very dangerous thing to create. They are generally created by The West (mainly the US, and previously by the USSR), either through directly creating them by giving them funds and arms, or through tolerance and creating a power vacuum and letting them succeed, or by creating a situation where terrorists *must* arise; we've done this by establishing corrupt dictators in countries with great inequalities, or approving invasions, etc. The problem with terroist organizations is that they are generally created by some true hardship (eg. the Soviets in Afghanistan), but once they get power, they will not give it up even after their cause is gone (eg. the Taliban remains).


The Enron tapes are quite shocking. Just like the torture in Abu Ghraib, they bring us viscellary close to the crime, even though these crimes are relatively minor compared to what the US Power Structure commits on a regular basis. One of the really interesting things I see in the Enron transcripts is how arrogant and small-minded and greedy these traders were (great Republicans!). Several of the conversations were about the price caps that California was trying to establish to get control of the price-gouging that was screwing the CA economy. One trader says about the price caps "it goes against what this country was founded on". The guy sees what he's doing as good capitalism; if he can manipulate markets to make more money, that's good capitalism, what this country's all about, right? Another guy rails that the price caps are "fucking him" out of 500 million dollars. He really believes he deserves 500 million dollars for trading energy contracts, and by trying to keep control of their prices, he's being unfairly fucked.


Fox has taken Andy Richter out of "Andy Richer Controls the Universe" (creative, funny, different, but didn't always work) and put him in "Quintuplets" (predictable, bourgeios, recycled, shmalz). Way to go, America.


The thing that makes America great is the same thing that fucks it. The poor of America really believe they can make it big, buy a nice house, move up and get rich, etc. Of course the reality is that 99% of them won't. But, they still vote for tax cuts for the rich, because they hope to get there some day themselves, and didn't those rich guys earn it?

6/13/2004

6-13-04 - 2

6-13-04

One thing I struggle with in Poker is giving up on a hand. Sometimes you just have a lose a hand, give up the pot, but I have trouble accepting that, especially when the pot is big and I've already put in a lot of chips.

I've started playing $50 single-table tournaments just as practice for my tournament mojo. So, I'm playing today and I'm totally dominating the game, if I do say so myself. I get the big stack near the end, about 30% of the chips. Everyone tightends up, trying to slink into the money, so I start raising and raising, and I just keep taking the blinds; a few times people play back at me, I fold the bad hands and get all-in with the good ones and catch them a few times. By the time it gets heads up, I have 90% of the chips. I figure I'm a shoe-in to win. Ah, Poker's not so nice! First he gets all in with the Q8; I have the K7. I hit the K on the flop, and he proceeds to hit two running 8's ! Now he has 20% of the chips and I have to worry a bit, but I can still just get all-in a few times and knock him out. We steal each others blinds a few times, until I pick up 44. I raise, he goes all-in (we're both playing very aggressive at this point), I call. He has KT. I'm a slight favorite. He hits trip tens. Now our stacks are roughly even. We go back and forth a few more times, the blinds are getting very big now. I'm stealing more often, but every so often he comes over the top of one of my raises and I have to let it go, so we're staying about even. Finally I raise, he reraises, I go all-in with the A9, a pretty good hand heads up; he has the A4. I figure I'm gold. The board comes all junk, no pairs, I'm starting to dance, then I see all the chips moving to him - what's this? He made a flush! Damn you Richie Rich! Richie played well, but if I'd only hit one of those hands where I was a slight favorite, I'd be in 1st instead of 2nd.

My style in poker tournaments is very aggressive, constant raising. That's not because I particularly want to play that style, it's because my opponents' bad play *forces* me to play that way. When I see people folding to the minimum bet, that just cries out to me "please, take my money, I'm weak, just breathe on me and I'll fold up like origami". So, I have to bet at them. So many players never adjust properly, or they do try to adjust and do it wrong. Many players just always play poker a certain way; they've learned from experience what hands are good, they play by patterns. That's completely the wrong way to play poker; poker is about situational strategies and adaptation; the way you play should be entirely based on how your opponents are playing and responding to you. Since most people don't respond well to variations, you can beat them simply by playing very differently than they're used to. Generally that means playing very aggressive; against some people you can kill them by playing very loose (surprising them by hitting junk flops), or playing very tight (letting them take small pots, but then taking their whole stack when you show a monster).

6-13-04 - 1

6-13-04

Of *course* interrogations should be taped. If you're legally interrogating a suspect, the tape would provide the evidence that the questioning was not coercive, and it would keep an incontrovertible record of what's said. The only reason you would not want it taped would be if you were doing illegal things in the questions (torture). Of course the US Military doesn't tape an interrogations, and much of law enforcement opposes it.


Our medical system is inherently corrupt. What we have are private contractors (doctors) who get to choose their own jobs, and they get paid more the more complicated & expensive their work is. They are inherently motivated to do more surgeries, prescribe more drugs, etc. They have no motivation for preventive care, because they're hardly paid for that. Also, there's a complete disconnect between what the patient gets and what they pay. Patients have no motivation to choose cheaper care, though by choosing the expensive care it comes back to bite us all in the long run. Patients may choose a $10,000 epidural shot rather than the $4 bottle of aspirin, even though all studies show they are equally effective. In fact, with insurance it's sometimes cheaper for patients to choose the $100 bottle of Clarinex (covered by insurance) rather than the $10 bottle of Claritin (not covered).

Medical insurance is fucked up, but all insurance is fucked up these days. Insurance is supposed to take a premium and hold it (invest it) and pay it out for people who need it for unexpected problems. It's a sort of hedge, it takes out the spikes in random events and puts everyone more at an EV (expected value). The problem is that insurance companies are for-profit companies, and you don't have much choice, and you must have insurance, legally and just because the consequences are too great if you don't. The first problem is that when people make insurance claims, they're way higher than they need to be. When mechanics are working on an insurance claim, they way over-charge, same with doctors, etc. there's lots of collusion and kickbacks between the insurance companies and the people who do the work. The second problem is that your monthly payments have to cover punative damages. Your car insurance and medical insurance are partly going to the big jury awards for accidents and malpractice. The third problem is that the insurance company makes their money right back when something goes wrong; this is legally limitted for medical insurance, but for car insurance, if you have an accident, they immediately raise your rates and make back the value from you quickly. You say, wait a minute, what were all those monthly premiums for?! The final problem is that whenever something really bad happens, they get bailed out by the government. They take your insurance premiums, they pay them out to themselves as salaries and profits, they use them to grow their business, advertise, etc. Then when a big flood hits, or whatever, hey, they don't have the money to cover it, they need the government to step in and pay the people. Well what the fuck did you do with all those insurance payments!? You're supposed to be a hedge that can handle those occasional spikes and make it up over time.

6/12/2004

6-12-04 - 2

6-12-04

I think America will get much fatter because of the Atkins diet, just like it got fatter from the "fat free" craze. In the fat free craze, people ate sugar-filled Snackwell crap. Now, people will load up on bacon and butter. Americans are really stupid; they go way overboard with every craze. You always do well to bet against the average American.


Ben Stiller is not funny. No he's not.


The false casting of the New York Times as a liberal rag is one of the masterstrokes of the Republican machine. It's actually a very mainstream paper; they're generally supportive of Bush, they said nothing substantive against the war on terror; their reporting is generally directly fed by the administration, and they don't even fact-check or apply any criticism to the garbage they're fed. By casting this main-stream view as "liberal", the Republicans succeed in marginalizing the true left. You see the trick? If mainstream people think the NYT is left-wing, then anything farther left is crazy. With tricks like this you can slant and push baseline of popular debate. People are really dumb; people who think of themselves as "mainstream" don't actually have their own views that they stick with; they just sort of take what they're hearing and making a mash of it. If the Republicans go way to the Right (as they have, with massive tax cuts for the rich, complete rollbacks of environmental protection, a total anti-welfare, anti-social-security, anti-medicare stance, invasions of foreign countries, etc. etc.), then the middle goes to the Right.


Eddie Merckx was the greatest cyclist ever. He won the Tour de France 5 times, just like Lance, but Eddie also raced in all the other major races, and won almost all of them at least once. He was a great climber, a great sprinter, he could beat anyone at anything. Lance focuses entirely on the tour, and has a great team focused on helping him. Eddie would take off on his own in Tour stages, leaving the rest of the rides behind, and ride a solo breakway for a hundred miles. Lance is a very carefully tuned machine, he trains and builds for the tour and rides smartly, he doesn't chase down breakaways that aren't necessary. Eddie would chase anyone, he had raw ability unlike any other. Just to try to put it in context - just about any pro cyclist is amazing by normal human standards; those guys can ride for 8 hours, up steep hills, *fast*, like they ride up hill as fast as I ride on flats. In our modern era, Lance has lots of science, he can tell that he almost never goes "Lactic", that is, starts the anaerobic metabolism process that builds lactic acid; that burn in your legs when you've pushed it too hard - Lance never even gets there after 6 hours riding up hills. And Eddie could crush those guys. Unfortunately, biking in those days is somewhat stained by drugs; lots of cyclists took stims. Pretty much any athletic performance from 1950-1995 has an asterisk on it, because drugs were available and testing was basically non-existant. Of course, the baseball goons are still doping up, as are some people in every sport, but these days it's much reduced in most sports.

6-12-04 - 1

6-12-04

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.

6/11/2004

6-11-04 - 1

6-11-04

More bad results in the multi-table tourneys. I sit down at the $50 multi-table NL tourney. Right away, this guy "downtown" starts raising every hand. You get a lot of these guys, just insanely aggressive. I see him show down pure junk a few times, he wins some of those so his stack stays about even. I'm staying out of the way of the action, until I get AQs on the button. Downtown raises it up to $175 (we all have about $1000 stacks). Another player calls, but that other player has also been showing down junk, so I'm a little cautios, but I figure this is my time to play back. With someone who's being over-aggressive, the correct response is to come back over the top some time when you're pretty sure you have them killed. So, I make my move, I raise it up to $500. The blinds fold; Downtown thinks a second and calls, the other guy thinks longer and calls too. Flop comes KT3, with two spades, so I have the flush draw and the gut shot, 12 outs. That gives me a 45% chance of winning, even if I'm beat, which I may not be! Downtown bets his remaining $400, of course I call. He shows the K7. He's got a pair of kings now, but K7 before the flop, my god. I read it perfectly, played it perfectly, and of course I don't hit my draw. I have a lot of sympathy for Phil Helmuth.

6/10/2004

6-10-04 - 1

6-10-04

It's interesting to me that the French seem to be very good at interesting, creative, unusual CG (computer graphics). In contrast, the US is by far the leader at technical advances in CG. There are a lot of little cultural differences like this. I don't think they're related to any particular aptitude in the people, more to to a cultural value base, what's considered valuable serious work, and also to corporate structure differences; the French value individual freedom, etc. which helps to create more variation in creative works.

6/09/2004

6-09-04 - 1

6-09-04

More big money on Party Poker. I've been playing a lot of 5-10 6-handed lately. It's great because A) the limit is low enough you have a lot of fish still, B) you get more action with 6-handed, I get bored playing 10-handed, C) you can really study all the players and get good reads on them because there are fewer D) I can play two tables instead of four and still get a lot of hands, which lets me focus more on each table.

Lately I've really been noticing the way the pros circulate on party poker. There are a lot of pros on all the time; "pros" in the sence that they play poker for a living. The pros are like sharks, circulating, sniffing for blood, they come and go from the tables looking for the big money bleeders. If a table lights up, someone starts pumping money out, the sharks attack, they line up in the waiting list trying to get in. The fish don't even realize what's happening, that they have a big giant target on their head. They think they're playing pretty well, just getting a bad run of cards. We're talking to them, chatting with them, trying to keep them relaxed and happy.

In gambling, the only big long-term winner is the house. Just like in the market, the big winner is the brokers, the hedge funds, and the investment banks.

I've been reading about so many scandals recently, it's just mind-numbing. The justice department believes torture is justified if ordered by the commander in chief; of course American citizens who are even *accused* of terrorism are "enemy combatants" and can be held and tortured outside the law. Bernie Ebbers who ran WorldCom was one of the great corporate robbers of the modern era; he falsely inflated profits, took giant loans from the company for himself, etc, and now it's come out that Citigroup, which underwrote Worldcom and took stock public for Worldcom, knew that Worldcom's finances were shaky, and nonetheless encouraged their customers to buy it and talked it up on the street. I've been reading "The Trial of Henry Kissinger". The crimes commited by Nixon and Kissinger and just staggering. The war in Iraq is a horrific crime against humanity, but it's nothing compared to what these maniacal men did; endorsing genocide in Bandladesh, committing genocide in Laos and Cambodia, assasinating democratically elected officials and conspiring with a criminal dictator in Chile, etc.

6/07/2004

6-07-04 - 1

6-07-04

Perforce is a solid product, but the company is run by tech-smart business-morons. They have that stupid unix attitude of "we've exposed the functionality in the command line, our job is done". Uh, no. We have artists using p4win, and it's clumbsy and hard to use right. Any sensible programmer knows that they job is not only to provide the capabilities, it's to make it easy to use, and to make it easy to use *right*. There are very simple ops in perforce that artists should be able to do, like renaming a file, rolling back a check-in, etc. which p4 makes very difficult. The other giant fuckup is their case-sensitivity; it causes tons of problems, since we're running on windows which is not case-sensitive. Now, all you unix bangers should just hold up before you send me emails, no, stop, stop it, you're wrong - case sensitivity is a huge mistake. Maybe, *maybe*, it's a nice thing if you're a hard core sysadmin guy, but when you have a bunch of barely-computer-literate people making files called "heLlo" , "Hello", "hello", and "HELLO", and they come down and ask why their computer is acting all weird ("I make changes to my files, but then when I load it up, the changes aren't there!"), it's just a huge mistakes to have case-sensitivity in your file system. Ok, now, even if you think it is a good thing, it is *ridiculous* for p4 to not provide the option for insensitivity. It can't hurt anyone to provide the option, they're just banging their holy war by not doing it because it's "wrong". Any time your customers are asking you for something and you refuse because "it's not the right way", you need to stop talking to customers and go back to your cubby hole and build a tower of Mountain Dew cans; clearly that is a more suitable occupation.

6/06/2004

6-06-04 - 3

6-06-04

Ronald Reagan is dead. All the memorials are out touting his greatness. Reagan was indeed a charismatic speaker, he was a good actor, and he was buffled, just like the people who loved him. Reagan spent huge amounts of money on silly defense projects, drove our economy into great debt, which partially led to the recession at the end of his term and into Bush 2's. Reagan continued the tradition of cold-war "realpolitik", supporting the regimes in Iran (even making secret deals to keep Americans hostage), Iraq, Panama, Columbia, Nicaragua, Indonesia, etc. Looking back we can now see that this was the beginning of cultivation of the great terrorist upswell - our government was providing arms and money to oppressive totalitarian regimes all around the world, which led to the populations of those countries forming deep anti-American feelings (while also stock-piling American arms and CIA training). Reagan presided over Iran-Contra. Worst of all, it seems that Reagan truly was unaware of what was going on in the world and in his government. He has some old simplistic vision of capitalism = good (not democracy, capitalism), and communism = bad. I think he seriously believed the Soviet Union was a major threat to our safety, which of course it was not. Many silly republicans claim that Reagan somehow broke the Soviet Union and brought democracy to them. That's ridiculous. The Soviet Union broke on its own due to horrible internal mis-management. There was no way it could survive with the corruption and poverty going on inside. We now know that the United States Government knew nothing about this. The CIA's intelligence on the S.U. was completely wrong, all the way up to the very end. We grossly over-estimated their fighting abilities; in reality they could not deploy a functioning army 1/10 as strong as ours; their machinery was in horrible disrepair; many of their nukes were only partially built, they had horrible supply shortages and staffing and training problems. The CIA had no idea what bad economic shape the S.U. was in. If someone should get credit for the SU coming down, it should be Gorbachev (and then Yeltsin), because they helped push it to democracy. The SU collapsed on its own, but it could have easily turned into a dictatorship run by their military, rather than a democracy; it was the strength of Gorbachev and Yeltsin that pushed it to democracy. Of course, in death, the reality of the puppet Reagan will slowly die, and his foolish followers will swell the myth of the "great leader" Reagan.

6-06-04 - 2

6-06-04

In the one year 2004, slot machines will make more money than video games have made in the entire history of video games. Gambling as a whole makes more money that any other form of entertainment, even porn (and porn makes more money than all other forms of entertainment). I could work in slots, bring them into the video-game era, make them more appealing to the younger generations that are growing into the slot demographic.

Go Pistons! I despise the Lakers, prima-donnas, babied by their coaches and the refs, freaking Shaq the bruiser who fouls basically every time he touches the ball (it's not called); Kobe the sexual-assaulting ball-hog (but damn does he have skills). Rick Fox is no longer much of a factor, but he's such a ridiculous pretty boy, I bet he calls himself "sexual chocolate".

The Nuge Tribe is awesome. Their credo is basically "preserve nature so we can shoot it". Why do so many girls have sex with lunatics like Ted Nugent?

I burned my fingertips bad, it's right on my typing pads, it hurts to write this. I was barbecuing some crusty bread for bruschetta, and I figure "it's bread, I can bare hand it", so I grab it and carry it in the house. Of course I forgot I had painted some olive oil on the bread, so I'm holding scorching hot oil in my hands basically.

I loved playing rugby with a real team, cuz everyone is serious, everyone is giving their all trying to win, and everyone is doing their job, getting their assignments, in the right place. I love playing pickup games too, but it's not nearly as good, it's not the same.

The whole Paris Hilton thing disgusts me. You have all these super-rich trust fund babies (Paris is not even close to the top of the money list), there are thousands of them, and they have some several hundred billion dollars depending on exactly how you count them. What they've done is made it sort of entertaining to the masses to watch these robber-baron's heirs. Of course the Bush repeal of the estate tax just helps cultivate this super-rich ruling class. The world is their playground; the working men are like serfs, but the working people have been conned in the most despicable manipulation into admiring and following the lives of these inhuman bitches.

6-06-04 - 1

6-06-04

Apparently they are doing the thing I talked about of using LCD panels as piezo speakers - 1, 2


Party Poker provides free, no-fee money transfers between accounts, no questions asked. The business is in Antigua, the records are totally off-limits to the US Govt. It's the perfect mechanism for money laundering and illegal purchases. Two people make accounts, one puts money in, transfer to the other, they take it out. On paper it just looks like one person had gambling losses, another had gambling profits. Guns and cocaine are exchanged in the real world, the money is all wired and untraceable. Your party poker account can also be directly linked to an offshore private bank account for extra security.

6/05/2004

6-05-04 - 1

6-05-04

More money making at the Party 5-10 tables. I can make money at the limit game whenever I want. I still haven't figured out the no-limit cash games. I can dominate single-table tournaments, but I haven't cracked a multi-table. I've made it pretty far in the multis, but I never get a huge stack, and I always get a run of bad cards and then lose my focus and blow it.

Today I tried another $50 multi-table tourney. Very first hand I get two pair on the flop with a Q9. I bet, he goes all-in, I call. He has TT, which is really a junk hand, all I need is a Q to beat him, and I have Q9! He has two outs, guess what card is on the river? Is this shit going to follow me forever in the multis? Maybe my multi-table play should be more aggressive, more risky, like Hoyt, Barry, and Phil Ivey. That's easy to say, but at the Party Poker tables there are a lot of people you can't bluff out of pots, so big moves with poor hands aren't really a good idea. My strategy has mainly been to make smart steals, come over the top of their bluffs, try to get into a lot of hands cheap and hit big flops and get paid by all the bad players. I mostly try to avoid 50/50 shots (unless it comes from me putting big-raise pressure on them) because I figure I can do much better than that. Maybe it's just been bad luck; I've only played like 10 multi-tables now, so that's still a very small number for statistical variance.

old rants