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Tom Courtney

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removing a poker crutch [Nov. 28th, 2016|11:36 am]
Tom Courtney
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]

I use a watch with a randomizer app to vary how I play hands. At my level of play, this works great, but experts might notice and object - I'm sure if it came down to it, I expect the house would rule against using the app, though not necessarily against wearing a watch. I did in fact, once have a dealer notice that something was going on, but he thought I was consulting a heart rate monitor. I do try to make things as unnoticeable as I can, but there's no getting around that I look at my watch and press a button a lot.

Yesterday, I forgot to put my watch on - I had it charging in the car. Rather than go back out and get it, I just tried to randomize by volition. It worked out decently for the majority of hands, because I did things sort of by rote. In early position, for example, I'll fold suited connectors half the time, limp a quarter of the time, raise small 15% of the time, and raise large 10%. I just collapsed the last two into "raise something" a quarter of the time, and then let my past history dictate what I did next. Not perfect, but it all worked reasonably well.

I did lose the 1 in a 100 complete bluff plays. At my level I don't think that means I lose a lot - one makes those plays to either exploit too-tight tables or to demonstrate to the observant that you can have anything in any position. $1/$2 are almost never too tight, and it's rare for people to draw any but the broadest conclusions from seeing what you had.

I could have used my hole cards as randomizers. There are 16 suit combinations you, and you could grade finer if you also differentiated whether the first card was higher or lower than the second. The problem with that is that the randomizer is connected to your holding, which means if you don't shift the meaning of combos between hands, you'll end up making the same choice with those (or similar) cards next time that suit combo comes up.

At the end, the big takeaway I got from the experience is that having forced myself to vary my plays by using a randomizer for a while now, I'm more disposed to doing it even without the external aid.

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Self-delusional poker players [Nov. 23rd, 2016|02:55 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]

The subject line pretty much says it all - at the low levels at least, self-delusional poker players are common.

I was four hours into a session. I had given a fair bit of action throughout - sometimes with strong hands, sometimes with speculative ones, sometimes where it wasn't clear which category the hand belonged in. A couple of seats behind me was a know-it-all wildman. Because the intervening player got up for a few minutes, he was the small blind when I was the large. 3 people limp in, Wildman raises to 16, I reraise to 60, the limpers fold and he calls.

Flop comes QT6offsuit he raises to 60 I shove for his remaining 150, he calls with KTdiamonds, and explodes when I show AA. It holds up, and he goes into a tizzy about how badly I played the hand.

Now its true that against many players I'll just call the flop bet, and there's one regular I know whom I'd actually fold against, at least sometimes, but this guy fell into neither of those categories. I was quite sure that when I shoved he'd think I was bluffing, and so he did. But what was lost to him was that he went -270 on a hand that he probably ought to have -2 on, or perhaps as much as -20. Let's have a look see.

The preflop raise is certainly not the normal play, but if he wants to take a stab at stealing then I've got no beef with that - varying one's play is good, and if he gets by me, then he has a decent shot of scooping the pot, so let's say he risked 16 to win 10. My raise to 60 is a huge warning bell going off though. I could be semi-bluffing and still ahead of him. Our stacks are way too short for him to call, hope to hit, and then collect out of position. (Though with a wild man, collecting is not so hard - I'd have paid off QT in this case, for example.) I think he want both of us to have 600+ left before calling my 3-bet.

Leading out on the flop with second pair is overly aggressive. And yes, when I put him all in for the rest of the chips, he can probably fold there too, since unless I started with AQ or 99, or I guess JT (unlikely that), I'm going to be way ahead of him. He's getting a bit short of 2-1 on his money for a five-outer plus runner-runner flush or straight where I don't improve more than he does. If I'm bluffing here, it probably should work. Sometimes you can't really recover your hand and position.

Really, the big lesson for the game is to look to yourself before blaming other people. Hard to do sometimes, both in a game, and elsewhere.

This entry was originally posted at http://herooftheage.dreamwidth.org/140340.html. Please comment there using OpenID. There are comment count unavailable comment(s) to this post there.
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something to talk to my ophthalmologist about [Nov. 21st, 2016|04:33 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |amusedamused]

Before my cataract surgery, I was left-eye dominant. Now, I can't tell. The normal test for that is to find an object in the distance, frame it between two fingers, and bring your fingers in closer until you just barely have the object between your finger-goalposts. Then close and open first one eye and then the other. The eye for which the picture doesn't change is your dominant eye.

However, now when I bring my fingers in to make the minimal goalpost, I end up seeing two images at the same time, which is mighty disconcerting. Fortunately, it doesn't affect any day-to-day activity, and I suspect it might be one of those things that the brain eventually compensates for to get right, but as I'm going to see an expert of Wednesday, I may as well get an informed answer.

This entry was originally posted at http://herooftheage.dreamwidth.org/140264.html. Please comment there using OpenID. There are comment count unavailable comment(s) to this post there.
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Second verse, same as the first [Nov. 17th, 2016|01:22 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |busy]

The ophthalmologist looked at me today and proclaimed that everything looked good. My vision in the right eye also tested out to 20/20. I picked up some reading glasses. I decided on 2.00. I could see print just fine with 1.50, but they made me feel cross-eyed.

Walking back from the CVS, I got to notice that some of our roses seem to have no clue that winter is coming, and are in full bloom. The red looks very striking against the purple background of the house.

This entry was originally posted at http://herooftheage.dreamwidth.org/139825.html. Please comment there using OpenID. There are comment count unavailable comment(s) to this post there.
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Tom Courtney, Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D. [Nov. 16th, 2016|09:22 am]
Tom Courtney
[mood |s;eepy]

Omce again, everything seems to have gone perfectly, though I'll know more tomorrow. Sleep now.

This entry was originally posted at http://herooftheage.dreamwidth.org/139562.html. Please comment there using OpenID. There are comment count unavailable comment(s) to this post there.
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check twice, cut once (scheduling version) [Nov. 14th, 2016|07:08 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |embarrassedembarrassed]

The good news is that when senility hits me, nobody will be able to tell.

My cataract surgery is on Wednesday, not tomorrow. Good thing I kept the piece of paper with the information on it, and that Meredith had me check.

This entry was originally posted at http://herooftheage.dreamwidth.org/139419.html. Please comment there using OpenID. There are comment count unavailable comment(s) to this post there.
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My take on the Dr. Strange movie [Nov. 14th, 2016|06:25 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |amusedamused]

cut for your protectionCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://herooftheage.dreamwidth.org/139031.html. Please comment there using OpenID. There are comment count unavailable comment(s) to this post there.
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What a real populist looks like [Nov. 8th, 2016|01:44 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |amusedamused]

People mostly remember William Jennings Bryan as on the wrong side of the Scopes trial, or perhaps as a the Adlai Stevenson of the early 20th century, failing to win the Presidency three times. But he was a tireless campaigner who did a great deal to reshape the Democratic party into a more progressive one.

Apparently, he was also satirized by L. Frank Baum as the Cowardly Lion in The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz.

This entry was originally posted at http://herooftheage.dreamwidth.org/138921.html. Please comment there using OpenID. There are comment count unavailable comment(s) to this post there.
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I'm clearly an interested party [Nov. 8th, 2016|12:28 pm]
Tom Courtney
[mood |accomplished]

... and therefore my claims about whether I voted or not should be received with at least some skepticism. If you really want to know, you'll have to go get the info for yourself. I'd start by looking at the how to request a public record page at the Mass. Public Records website.

However, I will say that the Tuscan Fish Stew that I got at the Daily Table Grocery next to my polling place was very good.

This entry was originally posted at http://herooftheage.dreamwidth.org/138602.html. Please comment there using OpenID. There are comment count unavailable comment(s) to this post there.
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Decisions, Decisions [Nov. 8th, 2016|11:11 am]
Tom Courtney
[mood |geeky]

Do I go play poker tonight, or come home and watch CNN until tomorrow sometime? Watching the results won't change the outcome (those many-worlds interpretation people not-withstanding), but I'm mildly interested in whether we're in a state of armed insurrection tomorrow.

This entry was originally posted at http://herooftheage.dreamwidth.org/138370.html. Please comment there using OpenID. There are comment count unavailable comment(s) to this post there.
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