Wednesday, December 24, 2003


Last night was a Hellish night at work.. Well, night and morning, really. I usually get home around midnight on a decent night, but this morning I got home around 2:00am.

Good times.

The wife woke up around 7:30 to go to work and then to Chicago to visit family, and of course I couldn't go back to sleep for any appreciable amount of time, so after 6 hours or restful napage I was up for the day. My eyes are still bloodshot.

I decided to take the day off from Party and instead went to the less stressful environment of UB for a little bit. I sat down at a .25/.50 table and spent about 30 minutes collecting rags. Then I got the brilliant idea that I'd play a $5+$.50 sit and go. This being the first sit and go I've played on UB, I noticed right away some differences. First off, they start you with T1000 in chips. Already, I'm liking this. Then I noticed that the blinds progressed both in a more intelligent progression and on a timer vs. every 10 hands.

Then I started noticing some things I didn't quite like. First off, seems like, at least during the day, these guys know how to play. Well, okay, that's not ENTIRELY a bad thing.. After all, the only way to improve your game is to play against people who are better then you. Seldom did I see the "all-in" tomfoolery that is so common in the Party sit and goes. There still is a smattering of terrible players in there playing crap. In fact, both times I busted out were to people playing crap and pulling cards out of their ass to beat me, but there were also a lot more "tricky" players.

That being said, I played two and busted out of both. These tourneys, because of the more relaxed blind structure and overall better players, take almost twice as long as the Party S&G's, so I'll be playing them simply to break up the boredom of grinding on the .25/.50 tables. Anyway, I was none too pleased about busting out of the two tourneys, so I went to a .50/1 table on UB to exact my revenge. I sat down at a table with only 4 other folks on it and started playing fast and loose. Ended up not gaining or losing any ground and soon the table filled up and I reverted back to my tight/aggressive style.

It didn't go well. Today was one of those "anything you have, someone has it better" kind of days. Nothing I'd get would hold up, and granted, I wasn't getting much. Top pair top kicker downed by two little pairs. Three of a kind falls to a flush. Twice. Busted straight draws. Busted flush draws. Blah blah blah.

I don't have it in front of me right now, but the UB bankroll is down close to $25 again, so it's time to get back to the .25/.50 tables and scratch back up to $100. I think at UB, I'll head to the .50/1 when I get to $100 and then $1/$2 when I get to $200, and fall back if I lose half of it. It's a little more aggressive then the Party plan, but I think since UB bankroll is "bonus cash" anyway, I'm not as troubled by swings in that bankroll.

My Party bankroll is over $200, so it's at the recommended 200BB level for the .50/1 games. I'm still tossing around whether I want to wait until I get to $400 (200BB) for the 1/2 game or if I should make the jump at $300. The disadvantage is that I'd have a relatively thin bankroll to handle the variance of 1/2 with $300, but the advantage is I get out of the bottom-rung game faster and, theoretically, my rate of return should stabilize as I encounter slightly better players. I'll have to see how long it takes me to scratch up to $300. If it's not a killer, then I'll just keep grinding to the $400 before I switch. After all, I did manage to go from a low of $35 to $215 in about 3 weeks. Using this formula, one would think that by February at the latest I'll be where I need to be for the 1/2 game. Of course, a lot of that $215 came from sit and goes and not grinding. Technically, the money should come faster from the ring games, but the S&G's saved me from the huge swings. We shall see.

HDouble was talking about randomization and the theory of "rushes" and "hot seats". I'll poke my unsolicited opinion into this fight.

The words Random and Infinite are interchangeable, in that, neither can truly be quantified. No matter how "random" something is, there's still a trace of pattern in it. Random number generators for computers must first be "seeded" with a start value. If you seed a random number generator with the same value continuously, it will produce the same pattern continuously. The human mind can't comprehend true randomness, so it naturally seeks pattern. In the absence of a discernible pattern, it will make one up.

Let's use the coin flip as an example. Though still a "seeded" value, in that you start the coin on one side and flip it with a certain rotation (though it might be different every time, it still impacts directly how the coin will fall), it is as close to totally random as we can get simply. In this case, every flip of the coin is mutually exclusive of the last one. Using the 498 flips as an example, we will, naturally, see patterns. Streaks, if you will. It is very likely that, during that period, one would see 17 heads in a row. The mind, seeking some sort of logical pattern where one doesn't exist, will "anticipate" subconsciously the next result.

Though I agree that a typical dealer shuffle of a deck doesn't necessarily produce a "random" result, I would also argue that, to a normal person, the resulting distribution of cards after the shuffle cannot be accurately determined to the point of being useful. Thus, it is "random enough" to satisfy a fair and equitable distribution of cards, though one who has been playing in casinos for years can be expected to notice a change in the pattern without being able to quantify what that change is, apart from "it's just different".

I think this is also where a lot of this "action flop" theorizing comes from. Something about the way the cards fall doesn't "seem" straight to the old crusty B&M casino card player, and since he's not having the success online he's used to in live games, it's obviously something intentional is going on.

Lacking a degree in Psychology, this is as close to an explanation as I can give to the concept of being "on a rush" or "in a rut".

Depending on how I feel tonight, I might try to pop into Party for some of the late night goodness I've heard talk about.


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