follow me on Twitter

    Monday, July 31, 2006

    Dweeze's Poker Prayer

    God save us from idiots who don't know when to fold.

    So anyway, playing a 90 person 2,000 chip sit and go. Doing okay, about a half hour in, get dealt pocket aces, Ac, Ad. I'm first to act, and raise it 200 chips, or five times the big blind. Five times the big blind, which should chase all but good hands. I get called by three people, including the small blind. So we go to the flop with about 850 in chips.

    Flop comes down 2c, 5c, 3s. I don't like this flop. Small blind checks, I go all in with about 1,400 chips. First person after me calls - he's the chip leader and this is about a quarter of his stack. Second person to act also calls, but it puts her all-in. Small blind mucks.

    Cards are shown. First person to call has 9c, 10c, and is playing for the flush. Second person has Qh, 4h, and is playing for the straight.


    So of course she won, hitting a 6 on the river after a the turn was 3d, which took the other two Aces out of play for the straight.

    Later on, a different table, I get dealt pocket Ks. Again, raise pre-flop of five times the big blind. One person calls. Flop comes down 8-8-Q. Now, I figure there's a chance the caller might have A-Q or a small pocket pair. So I go all in. She calls, shows Qc-8c, and I'm meat unless a King comes up. Which it doesn't.

    Here's the thing. Both times I did the right thing pre-flop. Good size raise, should have chased anyone with crap. It didn't, but it was the right thing to do. And in the first hand, the huge raise on the flop again should have chased anyone thinking about drawing to a hand. Again, it didn't, but it was the right thing to do.

    Of course that, and $1.00, will by me a bottle of Pepsi at work.

    Only One Thing To Say

    Fuck it's hot.

    End transmission.

    Friday, July 28, 2006

    Keep It Gay?

    Interesting little story on Talking Points Muckraker:

    “I posted yesterday about a decorated Army Arabic linguist who was kicked out for being gay.Among other questions posed to him by an Army investigator attempting to confirm his gayness, Sgt. Bleu Copas of the 82nd Airborne Division says he was asked if he was involved in community theater.”

    The army kinda gives a non-denial denial

    "I expect that that question was not actually asked, but there are more than one million Soldiers in the Army and at my level we work Army policy, not specific cases, so I know nothing about this particular case."

    Hmmm. So many thoughts about this one. I think it best to just turn it over to Mel Brooks.


    Do it? Of course not.
    The theatre's so obsessed
    With dramas so depressed
    It's hard to sell a ticket on Broadway
    Shows should be more pretty
    Shows should be more witty
    Shows should be more...
    What's the word?



    No matter what you do on the stage
    Keep it light, keep it bright, keep it gay!
    Whether it's murder, mayhem or rage
    Don't complain, it's a pain
    Keep it gay!

    People want laughter when they see a show
    The last thing they're after's a litany of woe

    A happy ending will pep up your play...
    Oedipus won't bomb...
    If he winds up with Mom!
    Keep it gay!
    Keep it gay...
    Keep it gay!

    And of course, much later in the song is the ICCT motto:

    Comedy's joyous, a constant delight
    Dramas annoy us and ruin our night.

    Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    Is It Me

    Is it me, or is there something incongruous about seeing a lavish spread of leftover food from management meetings being placed in the breakroom for anyone to eat right next to the place where people are putting food donations for “Thanksgiving in July”? I mean, couldn’t someone find the time to set a good example and drive the leftover food to the homeless shelter?

    Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    Stones Would Play

    I keep forgetting to mention this. Not sure why, probably because of that whole
    "I don't want your pity" thing I discussed in an earlier post.

    As some of you know, I develop kidney stones relatively frequently. As a general rule, they pass without treatment besides good drugs to help me with the pain. The first time I got one, the pain was so intense I figured I had to be dying. Now, after several years of developing them on a more or less annual basis, the pain is as intense, but it is a familiar pain, one I know the cause of and one I usually don’t think twice about except when my supply of percoset is running low.

    That may have been part of my current problem. I see my urologist a couple of times a year, but I am not as faithful about that as I should be. In fact, when I went most recently in May I had skipped since last summer. Perhaps if I had gone sooner he would have discovered sooner what he discovered in May – that I have a huge, or as he put it, abnormally large, kidney stone in my system.

    That’s right. I have an inch diameter stone in my kidney that, as the good doctor put it, is not going anywhere by itself.

    I know, I know. It's teh Internets. Guy says he has an inch kidney stone, he probably has a half-inch kidney stone, maybe 3/4s. But my doctor said it was an inch, not me. And really, he has no reason to lie.

    My urologist gave me five options. First, try to shrink the stone to a size where it will pass. There are chemical methods by which stones can be shrunk. However, these take months, if not years, and are not always successful. He didn’t recommend that option.

    Option two is traditional surgery. Put me under, cut me open, cut open the kidney, take out the stone. Fairly effective at solving the problem, fairly invasive and effective at causing new problems. For instance, it’s tough to completely stitch a kidney up. Again, not on the recommended list.

    Option three is lithotripsy. Under lithotripsy, doctors bombard the kidney with sound waves, breaking the stone up sonically. I’ve had this procedure done before, and while it removed the stones (none quite as big as the one currently residing in my kidney), I was in the hospital for several days as I passed a lot of little tiny stones. Further, with a stone the size of what I currently have, the doctor thought I would need two treatments. The process would be go in the hospital, have the procedure done, be in the hospital a couple of days, go back for a CAT scan the next week to see how much was left, then go back into the hospital for a second round of lithotripsy. No thanks.

    Option four involves a relatively new procedure. A small hole is cut through my back down to the kidney. A camera is inserted until it locates precisely where the stone is. At that point, a suction tube is inserted to suck the kidney stone out. Recovery time is a bit more extensive than lithotripsy (probably three nights in the hospital), but the stone is pulled and nothing is left to pass. It’s also far less invasive than cutting the kidney open.

    There was a fifth option, but we both rejected it out of hand. Under this option, Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, and a crew of oil company drillers would be shrunk, injected into my body, work their way to the kidney, then drill a hole in the stone and plant a teeny-tiny nuclear weapon. The bomb would go off, blowing the stone to bits. We rejected this option because who wants a teeny-tiny nuke going off in their kidney? Certainly not me.

    After reviewing the options, I agreed with my doctor that option four was probably the best. So, I need to have surgery sometime in the next month or so. I’ve been putting it off until Lesa comes back because a: I need someone to look after the dogs for a few days, b: I need someone to look after me for a few days, and c: I really don’t want to spend three days in the hospital by myself. However, the frequency of pain has been increasing over the past week or so.

    I’ve been having incidents every day, several times a day if I do any strenuous work, like mowing the lawn or vacuuming the pool. For instance, I spent about a half hour this morning working on the pool after I first woke up. Not that I am usually a hard worker at 7:00 am, but the temperature for working on the pool was the best it has been for several days. Plus, the chlorine I put in yesterday really cleared the water up, making it easy to identify where I needed to vacuum the most.

    The drawback is that I have had pain since I got done, and I still have it. It’s tolerable if I just sit in one place, but as soon as I get up and walk around it gets bad. I started this post around nine, it’s almost three (work gets in the way sometimes), and I am still in pain. My evening is clear and I may go home to take a perc and rest. Problem is, if I take a perc, I’m pretty much non-functional for the next four-five hours. So I have to measure that factor against the extent of the pain.

    I would not wish kidney stone pain on anyone, and I worry that Ethan will suffer from it someday. It tends to be hereditary, and my father was in fact a sufferer. It’s a dull, throbbing pain – it feels like someone is hitting me in the side with a ball peen hammer every five seconds. For the past seven hours. I had a female former coworker who had two children who was a kidney stone sufferer who told me that as far as pain goes, childbirth had nothing on kidney stones.

    So if you see me walking, hunched over like a 70-year old, that’s why.

    Monday, July 17, 2006

    Is This A Guy Thing?

    So I’m at the local pool supply store, taking in a water sample to be tested and picking up some chemicals. The employee on duty, who I believe is the owner’s daughter, is quite hot, in an unpolished way. Do you know what I mean? She’s someone who probably would not look comfortable, or maybe even all that attractive, in an evening gown, but in a bikini top and shorts, which is what she was wearing, she looks good. Damn good. Dayum good. Especially since the bikini top was filled with nicely sized, perfectly tanned breastesses.

    So, of course, during our conversation my eyes kept moving downward. I caught myself several times talking to said breastesses, gave myself a mental kick, and readjusted my line of sight. If she noticed, and she would have had to be the densest person on the planet not to notice, she didn’t call me on it, which was good, because I would have had no defense.

    Now here is what I am wondering. Two things, actually. First, is there any comparable phenomena for the ladies? Are you ever talking to guys and find your eyes wandering to a specific body area? Cause all men, except for those of the gay persuasion and even including some of them, talk to the breastesses when the breastesses are as nice and as present as these were. Don’t deny it guys. You do it. Accept it, admit it. But do women?

    Second, if you wear a bikini top to work, and you have nice breastesses to put in the bikini top, do you do so with some expectation, and further, with some acceptance of the fact, that said breastesses will get ogled at some point? Help me ladies. Help me.

    More Poker Boringness

    Yesterday was a pretty fruitful poker day for me. I placed 60th in a satellite tourney of 1,200 players, qualifying me for a tourney in August where first prize, indeed the only prize, is a entry package for a WPT event at the Red Rocks Hotel in Reno. I also did fairly well in several other tourneys. So what stands out for me? A hand I lost, which would have brought out the Mr. Rant in me if it hadn’t dumbfounded me so.

    It’s in Full Tilt’s daily 500+25 chip tourney. We are down to around 70 players from the 900 that started, and we have all placed. I’m sitting about 20th with over 15,000 in chips when I get dealt A-K spades in the big blind. I raise 3,000 pre-flop, get two callers. The flop comes down Ac, Kh, 3s. I check, the second person to act bets 2K, next person calls. With the antes and the blinds, there is now over 15K in the pot. With my bets and the blind, I am down to about 11K. There is a straight draw on the table, so I decide to just take down the pot right now if I can. I go all-in. The first person to act, who had bet the 2,000 after the flop, calls. She has about 9,000 in chips, so, as they say on the WPT broadcasts, her tournament life is on the line. The other person folds and I get about 2K in chips returned to me. Our cards are flipped over and I show my A-K. She shows pocket 7s.

    That’s right, pocket-fucking-7s. Pocket-fucking-7s when there is an A and a K on the board and someone has just reraised you all-in. It was a mind-boggling, stunningly-insane call, which of course paid off for her when a 7 came up on the turn. There was no A or K on the river, and I was effectively crippled.

    Using the poker odds calculator at shows that I still had better odds of winning the pot after she made her set (my odds of winning at that point were 9%) than she had of winning when she made the call (her odds of winning at that point were 8%). Even if I only had an A or a K instead of both, she was still only a 9% to win. The only way she becomes favored is if she thinks I have a pair smaller than hers or if my two cards include neither a A, K, or 3. There is no other scenario. The only way she makes that call is if she is, as Goth said in a comment to the last poker post, only playing her cards and not giving any thought whatsoever to what I might have.

    It’s one of the most aggravating things about the game. A person makes an absolutely idiot call and gets rewarded for it. Nine times out of ten – correction – eight times out of a hundred – she loses that hand and is knocked out of the tourney. Yet she won’t remember that, she’ll remember that pocket 7s paid off for her very nicely one time and she’ll continue to bet them in the future.

    Song For Ethan

    I know this was probably written as a song to a lover, but it really captures how I have always felt as a parent.

    When You Come Back Down
    Nickel Creek

    You got to leave me now, you got to go alone
    You got to chase a dream, one that's all your own
    Before it slips away

    When you're flying high, take my heart along
    I'll be the harmony to every lonely song
    That you learn to play

    When you're soaring through the air
    I'll be your solid ground
    Take every chance you dare
    I'll still be there
    When you come back down
    When you come back down

    I'll keep looking up, awaiting your return
    My greatest fear will be that you will crash and burn
    And I won't feel your fire

    I'll be the other hand that always holds the line
    Connecting in between your sweet heart and mine
    I'm strung out on that wire

    I'll be on the other end,
    To hear you when you call
    Angel, you were born to fly,
    And if you get too high
    I'll catch you when you fall
    I'll catch you when you fall

    Your memory's the sunshine every new day brings
    I know the sky is calling
    Angel, let me help you with your wings

    When you're soaring through the air
    I'll be your solid ground
    Take every chance you dare
    I'll still be there
    When you come back down

    Take every chance you dare,
    I'll still be there
    When you come back down
    When you come back down

    Friday, July 14, 2006

    Dottie Ray

    Nice article in the PC about the Dottie Ray show. I did Dottie’s show several times during my years as ICCT President, and it was always a delight. You can’t slip anything past Dottie.

    Wow. That was remarkably snark free.

    Thursday, July 13, 2006

    On Dogs

    Dogs are always happier to be in a car than you are. Think about the happiest you’ve ever been in a car. Maybe it was the first nice day after a long winter and it felt good just to be able to drive with the windows down. Maybe it was driving around town at 3:00 am trying to get your newborn son to go to sleep. Maybe it was losing your virginity in the front seat of your parent’s 75 Buick LeSabre to a girl whose name escapes you right now, but before anyone starts accusing, it was almost thirty years ago, and sometimes at this age you forget what you had for lunch yesterday. But I digress. The point is, no matter how happy you were at that moment, if a dog had been in the car with you, the dog would have been happier. A dog’s life is pretty good, but any dog would trade it all for the right to get a driver’s license and opposable thumbs.

    A Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sub from Subway, for those interested.

    Linkage Tweakage

    Did some severe linkage gardening. Added the soon to be ever popular Kissing Suzy Kolber, the always hilarious How To Write Screenplays Badly, and personal faves I Deserve Everything That Happens To Me, Father Knows Shit, and The OT Blog Roundup. Enjoy!

    Saturday, July 08, 2006

    Driving Tips - Because I Care

    To the guy in the white Range Rover:

    If within seconds of the two-lane road you are driving on becoming a four-lane road five cars pass you, then perhaps you weren't going fast enough. Those signs with the numbers on them? Don't just treat them as an indication of how fast you can go, look at them as an indication of how fast you should go.

    A driving tip. Because I care.


    To the elderly lady driving the tannish sedan:

    I know making a left turn can be somewhat intimidating, especially on a road that is somewhat busy. And I'm sure it doesn't help that there is a line of cars behind you getting impatient. But one of the things the road people do to alleviate these concerns is to install what they refer to as, in their technical jargon, a left turning lane. See, that way, you can sit in that lane waiting to turn while all the other cars who don't want to turn can keep driving and no one will ever start honking at you. That's why there were signs and those arrows with the word "Only" painted on the road.

    A driving tip. Because I care.


    Friday, July 07, 2006

    You May Already Be A Winner

    No maybes about it my friend. I am a winner. I AM A WINNER! So to those of you who laughed at me, who said I would never amount to anything, who said "Dweeze doesn't have what it takes to be the eighth caller", HA! WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?

    You know, the advantage to having your clock radio go off at 6:15 is that 6:15 is just before when KXIC has their first give away of the morning. The other advantage is that at 6:15 it takes a lot longer to get eight callers than it does at, oh, say 9:15. Or 5:15, for you Who fans. So you can think about it a minute, grab the phone, and still wind up winning the free passes for next week's John Deere Classic. Sure, the restraining order says I have to be at least 100 feet away from Michelle Wie, but that doesn't mean I can't stand 101 feet away. And I will. Oh yes. I will.

    Thursday, July 06, 2006

    Status Update

    So, I hear a lot of you asking, how are you Dweeze? What's new in your life?

    I know what you mean by this - you want to know when the pool will be ready and when you can come over. Bastards!

    Heh heh. Just kidding. For reasons I'll detail below, a pool party sounds like a blast.

    Anyway, we had a slight setback on our way to pool readiness. The filter motor burned out, meaning we were unable to run the filter for a couple of weeks until our landlords got in replaced. So, this allowed the tadpole population to revive slightly, necessitating another large scale liquid chlorine attack. Many tadpoles knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the liquid chlorine that day, I can tell you.

    However, this put the whole cleaning process back a couple of weeks. Things were further complicated by the fact that, while the chemical levels in the water are fine, more than fine, the water is still incredibly cloudy. I finally deduced that the reason for the cloudiness is the large amount of leaves that got into the pool over the winter. I had scooped out a ton, but there were still a lot slowly decaying into dirt and silt. Thus the cloudiness of the water. I am in the process of vaccuming out the bottom of the pool, but it is somewhat slow, tedious work. Further, because the best time to do it is when the sun is directly on the pool (which allows me to better see which areas need cleaning), I can't do much during the week. So the process is going slow.

    See, over the winter a lot of leaves got in the pool. The answer to the problem for next winter is for either our landlords or us to spring for a hard cover for the pool. The landlords put a tarp over it this last year. This was bad for two reasons. First, a ton of leaves fell on the cover. Because it was a soft cover, and because there was still water in the pool (except for the most northern areas, it is recommended that you leave water in an outdoor pool over the winter) I was unable to clear the tarp. Then, when it snowed, the weight of the snow drove the tarp out of it's holdings into the pool, effectively dumping the leaves into the pool. Where some of them still are. But I'm getting them. Oh yes. I'm getting them.

    The pool is probably swimmable now. In fact, I've been wading into it to clean it, due to the fact that, well, it's easier to clean a pool that way. It would be like swimming in a chemically treated lake. You wouldn't want to swallow any water because of the dirt and silt, but you really shouldn't swallow the water in a pool anyway. As I've mentioned before, it is amazing the amount of chemicals that get put in a pool on a daily/weekly basis. Enough chemicals, as I've written, to kill a nation of tadpoles.

    So why would a pool party be fun? Because we are now in week two of Dweeze in empty house. Lesa and Ethan are gone for the summer. Lesa was gone last summer, but Ethan stayed. She left again a week ago, and now it's just me, the dogs, the cats, and the fish, and, quite frankly, the fish really aren't that much fun. I went three days over the long weekend without talking to anyone in person other than a clerk in a store.

    The empty house isn't the worst part. The worst part is being without Ethan. This is the longest stretch I've been apart from him since he was born. Prior to June 27th, there had only been 11 nights since he was born in October 2002 where he and I didn't sleep under the same roof. Now there's been 11 nights in a row, with more, perhaps a lot more, on the way. Hell, there is probably a possibility that this will be the rest of my life, several month-long stretches where he is not around.

    Now, I'm not telling you this because I want sympathy. I hate pity parties, hate them even more when I am the guest of honor. I'm tempted to not have comments on this post, because someone is going to post a "hang in there"or a "I'm thinking of you" or something like that. No need. I don't want it. If you're one of the folks with my email and want to drop a line, fine. But not here, not in public. Give me mock. Give me snark. Just don't give me pity.

    That being said, this is tough for me. When I think of myself, the first thing I think of is father. Not son, not brother, not friend, employee, co-worker, or even husband. I think of me first and foremost as a father. But right now I am a father without sons. Drew is at his real father's for the summer. Ethan is gone. I still feel them both, particularly Ethan. I've had to deal with Drew leaving before. I haven't had to deal with Ethan being gone. I miss him. Terribly. I miss how his vocabulary increases each day. I miss him singing "You've got a friend in me" along with Toy Story. I miss reading to him, playing with him, hugging him, putting him to bed. I don't want to go all Shane Powers on you, but I can understand how a father would regard his son as his best friend. I don't feel that way - after all, it would be a little bit creepy for a 46-year old to have a 3-year old (almost 4) as his best friend. But I understand how having a son, or any child for that matter, completely changes your life, completely changes your outlook and, at a more fundamental level, who you are. I am a different man than I once was.

    Right now I am basically living the life I used to live, able to do what I want when I want. There are two differences. One, now I'm living that life in a great house instead of a one-room apartment. Two, I hate it. I didn't know before what was missing from my life, and now I do know, and I hate it. I want my son here.

    Sure, as he grows up it's becoming obvious he isn't going to be an ace pitcher or a quarterback like I hoped. He doesn't love throwing a ball as much as he did when he was younger. No, now it's obvious he will be a linebacker. He loves to run full speed head on into anything - people, the dogs, walls - bounce off, then run full speed into them again. But a linebacker is okay, and really, it's far better to be delivering the pain than receiving it. At least that's what my dominatrix says.

    But I miss him, and can't wait til he gets back, whenever that may be. I miss Lesa too, and want her home too. I want my family in one place and the problems we've had for the, oh, past 20 months to resolve. And yes, I realize how that sounds. But it's what I want.

    I don't want pity, though. So bring the hurt. Do it now, for free, so I can cut back on my "getting the hurt" spending.

    Oh, forgot to include this when I first posted. It's the lyrics to Godspeed, a Radney Foster song that the Dixie Chicks recorded on their Home CD (and later rerecorded on the Top Of The World Live disc). If I recall correctly, Foster wrote it for his son when he and his wife got divorced. I sing it every night now, even though it always makes me cry. It's beautiful. It was beautiful before, it's even moreso now.

    Dragon tails and the water is wide
    Pirate's sail and lost boys fly
    Fish bite moonbeams every night
    And I love you

    Godspeed, little man
    Sweet dreams, little man
    Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
    Sweet dreams

    Rocket Racer's all tuckered out
    Superman's in pajamas on the couch
    Goodnight Moon will find the mouse
    And I love you

    Godspeed, little man
    Sweet dreams, little man
    Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
    Sweet dreams

    God bless mommy and Matchbox cars
    God bless dad and thanks for the stars
    God hears "Amen," wherever we are
    And I love you

    Godspeed, little man
    Sweet dreams, little man
    Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
    Sweet dreams

    Another Boring Poker Post

    I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "So Dweeze, seen any cool poker hands lately?"

    Well you know what I say to that? I say b'scuse me mother fucker, do I look like I could eat all that chicken by myself?

    Okay, I don't say that. But if I did, it would be more than appropriate for you to respond with a hearty shut up bitch, I don't know your life.

    With that out of the way, there are a couple of hands I want to talk about, one I was in and one I watched. The hand I watched was notable for what happened, the hand I was in notable for how someone reacted to it.

    First the hand I watched. I was in a 90-person tourney, about a third of the way through (meaning about 30 people had already busted out). There were three big stacks at the table, all three with more than 5,000 chips, one with more than 7,000. Hand starts and I get dealt crap in the big blind. The first three people to act muck and we get to the big stack. He raises 500 chips. Next person to act folds and we get to the second largest stack. He re-raises 1,000. Next person to act is the third stack, and HE reraises another grand. Small blind folds, I fold, back to the big stack who smooth calls the 2,000 chip raises. The second stack rereraises all in, the third stack calls as does the big stack. So we've got a 15,000 chip pot at stake. The cards reveal and we see the big stack with A-Q hearts and each of the other players with pocket kings. The two sets of cowboys aren't in bad shape. True, the only way to improve their hands is to hit a flush, a straight, or a boat. But A-Q needs to hit either the heart flush, an ace, or a set of queens to win. So what is the flop? Queen of spades, queen of clubs, queen of diamonds. Big stack flops quads.

    I don't know if it's ever happened to you - it's occurred a couple of times to me - but there a few things as nice in poker as flopping quads. Flop quads and you can pretty much consider that hand yours. In fact, as long as there is no straight flush draw or another quad draw on the board, you can't slow play quads too much. Let the betting come to you, or, if you feel compelled to bet, just make little value bets that give people the right odds to call. (One of the best way to improve the flopping quads experience is to have someone else at the table decide to represent that THEY flopped quads. This has happened to me twice, and both times I was able to bust the person by calling their raises after the flop and the turn. As someone said once, you can't bluff quads out of a pot.)

    But the wierdest thing about the hand was yet to come. The turn comes up an Ace. The river also comes up an Ace. So not only does the guy flop quads, he also flops a set of Aces. Showing on the board at the end of the hand were four queens, four kings, and four aces and that was just with three people in the hand. Talk about your impressive boards.

    As to the hand I was in, it's a 18-person tournament that pays four places. There are six of us left, and I was in fifth place but well within striking distance of both fourth and third. I get dealt K-8 on the button. First person to act, the fourth place chip holder, calls as does the next peson, the chip leader. The next person mucks, I call, the small blind folds. The big blind checks.

    Flop comes down 5-5-K. Big blind checks, next guy raises 250. Big stack calls, I call, big blind folds. I figure at least one of the two others in the pot has a 5, but I'm getting pot odds to call with my two pair.

    Turn comes out another K. I've hit a boat, Ks over 5s. Doesn't matter now if one of them has a five - in fact, I hope they both have fives and I'm the only one with a K. But even if I'm not the only one with a K, I'm still almost certain to split the pot.

    First guy to act bets 500. Big stack reraises 500, I don't hesitate to call. First guy to act then goes all in, with quick calls from both the big stack and me. This means both first stack and I have our tournament lives on the line. Big stack shows K-10 for a full house Ks over 5s. I show my K-8 for a full house Ks over 5s. Next guy shows 9-5 for a full house 5s over Ks. He's meat, unless of course the fourth five shows on the river. Which it doesn't. What does show is an 10, meaning big stack takes the pot with a full house Ks over 10s.

    I'm out, but I stick around to wish the guy a nh. We had been talking throughout the game and I felt I owed it to him. However, the first guy, the guy with the 5s over Ks, starts ranting about getting beat by the river. I helpfully point out that he didn't get beat on the river, he got beat on the turn. I got beat on the river. Guy keeps ranting, calls me an idiot noob poker player. I point out the need for him to check the hand history and that, if he does, he'll see both big stack and I had better full boats on the turn and that he was beat at that point. He must have checked, cause a moment later he comes back with "Well I had a set on the turn and you guys called me," a statement that provoked a round of "lol"s from the people at the table. I pointed out that at the time he was probably ecstatic that we called him, that if he hadn't wanted us to call him he should have made a huge bet that we couldn't call, and that if you can't handle the fact that people will sometimes hit their draws, you shouldn't get greedy and make value bets that people will call, but by that time he had already taken off.

    See, the thing is, if he had been paying attention he would have gotten more than enough information to make the right move at that point. But he didn't pay attention to anything other than the fact that he had a full house, 5s over Ks. If he was paying attention, he could have deduced when we called his initial bet that we were calling with either another 5, a K, or an over pair to the 5s or the K. Those latter two events were unlikely considering the pre-flop action (or lack thereof). And because he already had one of the 5s, if he was thinking he would have known that at least one of us had a K.

    Then, after the turn, when big stack not only called but raised, he should have known that, with all probability, big stack had a K. At the very least, big stack was representing a K. Once I called, he had to know, if he was paying attention, that at least one of us, and probably both of us, had a K. Maybe you bluff-raise and represent the K, but you don't call that raise without actually having a K. Breaking it down, there were five possibilities.

    The least likely is that big stack and I were both bluffing and neither of us had Ks over 5s. Like I say, extremely unlikely, but the best possibility as far as Mr. Rant was concerned. If we are both bluffing, Mr. Rant comes out no worse than a split pot (in the unlikely event a third K hit on the river). This scenario is one of only two where Mr. Rant's all-in makes sense, and, like I said, it is the least likely scenario.

    The second possibilty, also unlikely, is that one of us was bluffing and one of us had 5s over Ks. While this is also unlikely, as no one paying attention would call the bluff with just 5s over Ks, Mr. Rant called with just 5s over Ks so I can't discount it completely. This is split pot between Mr. Rant and whoever had 5s over Ks (with, again, the possibilty of a third K on the river giving a split pot between everyone). Mr. Rant's all-in makes sense under this scenario, because the person with 5s over Ks might think Mr. Rant had Ks over 5s, but again this is an unlikely scenario.

    The third possibility is that one of us was bluffing and one of us had Ks over 5s. In that event going all-in would chase the person bluffing, but it would not chase the person with Ks over 5s. At that point, Mr. Rant would be all-in against a better hand, needing the unlikely fourth 5 to stay in the game.

    The fourth possibility is that one of us had 5s over Ks and one of us had Ks over 5s. In that event, going all-in might chase the person with 5s over Ks, but it would not chase the person with Ks over 5s and, even if it chased the person with 5s over Ks, Mr. Rant is still dead because the only card that would win the pot for him, the fourth 5, got mucked when the other person with 5s over Ks mucked.

    The final possibility is that both of us had Ks over 5s. In that event, going all-in chases no one and Mr. Rant is, for all practical purposes, drawing dead, needing the fourth 5 to win the hand.

    So, five possibilities, only two of which give him any reasonable chance to win the hand. The two least likely possibilities.

    What then should Mr. Rant have done? Well, he could have just called, checked the river, and then folded at any sign of a bet from big stack or me. He could have also made another small rereaise, say 500 chips, an information gathering bet to see how the two of us reacted. If one or both of us were bluffing, we would fold. If one or both of us had a boat, we would call or reraise. At that point Mr. Rant could act accordingly on the river.

    But he didn't, and for the sake of this blog, he shall remain forever as Mr. Rant. To Mr. Rant!

    The Devil Went Down To Iowa

    The following thought prompted by Charlie Daniels playing the Fourth of July Concert in Coralville this year. (And, in all seriousness, props to the Coralville folks for mixing it up with their music in the park selections: George Clinton and Funkadelic, America, Kansas, Charlie Daniels - the only thing in common is that their earning power has dropped drastically over the years, which means they are available to play a free concert in Coralville, Iowa.) (Oh, and to the clerk who excitedly told me that friends were saving her seats at the concert. If you are excited about seeing Charlie Daniels, we really don't have anything else to talk about. Although in terms of full disclosure, I did see Charlie Daniels at an Iowa Jam in 1978 along with the Marshall Tucker Band, the Climax Blue Band, Firefall, and Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. At least I think I did. It's been 30 years and I can't find a listing for it online anywhere and, well, I was a touch messed up at the time. But I digress again.)

    Anyway, who judged that damn fiddle contest - American Idol voters? The devil was more technically sound, more musically capable, and overall did a better performance. Johnny had a backwoods charm, was a better showman, but musically was derivative and bland. Yet he won. Rigged I tell ya. Rigged.