Poker History

I’ve decided to write down all of the poker I play and how I did. Since I’m writing it down, of course I am going to blog it.

Sunday night I got on and played some single table tournaments on pokerpages and poker room. I’m in the process of getting a neteller.com account so I can actually lose real money, but it hasn’t come through yet. So part of the reason I was playing was to get a feel for how people play on the two services. I think in general pokerpages have better players, which is logical as it is a poker school first. Poker room has worse players and worse software.

Now worse players is a good thing from my perspective. I’m not sure yet which I’m going to play. I won’t be able to play these single table tournaments because the minimum buy is in $100, which is going to be my whole bankroll. I will play some multi-table tournaments because the buy in is small and you get a lot of play. Probably spend some time on low limit tables as well, trying to build the bankroll.

Anyway, here’s the play for Sunday night.

1. Single table, pokerpages, finished 5th.
2. Single table, pokerpages, finished 6th.
3. Single table, pokerpages, finished 1st.
4. Single Table, pokerroom. finished 1st.

One thing that really sucks about pokerroom is how they handle the last hand. I won the tournament, but don’t have any idea what I won the last hand with. As soon as the tournament is over the text just says you won, not what you won the hand with. Then five seconds later it closes the window. You can’t get a hand history either.

Written while listening to “Thief Of Hearts”
album Erotica
by Madonna
Written while listening to “Just A Girl”
album Tragic Kingdom
by No Doubt
Written while listening to “Califonication”
album Califonication
by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Blog Tweaks

Learning more and more about BlogCMS and adding new features.

I got another plug-in that let me have the number of posts in a category next to it name so I added that. Had to actually change the code in the plug in to make it look right though. Then I had to change my CSS sheet to make it all buttony.

Turned on another plugin that let me add something I’ve wanted for a long time. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will see a “Go to page: 1, 2, “. This lets you page backwards through the posts. Man was this needed.

Now that I know how many posts I have in different categories, I’m going back an re-cateogizing things in General. General is the default and that generally means I didn’t remember to set the category.

Written while listening to “Little Red Corvette”
album 1999
by Prince

Presidential Succession

The other night I was wondering who was third in line for the presidency but didn’t get around to looking it up till today. Here’s the current succession list. An interesting footnote is they are thinking about changing it so that Homeland Security is 8th, before the Secretary of Agriculture.

An About.com article on presidential succession was obviously written awhile back and doesn’t have Homeland Security in it. It is also interesting that Strom Thrumond was #3 at the time.

Another interesting point in this article talks about Tom Clancey’s Executive Orders, in which all of the government is killed by a plane crashing into the capital and Jack Ryan becomes president. The author points out the only time this could happen would be during a State of the Union address and the government has a plan. One member of the cabinet doesn’t attend that meeting.

The author also says in Clancey’s book, “person-from-the-street” is made president. Which isn’t really true. Jack Ryan was National Security Advisor, which is the position Condoleezza Rice currently holds. And the reason there was a joint meeting in the book was to announce Ryan being appointed VP because the VP had turned in his resignation. So at the time he was sworn in he wasn’t really in line, but he was suppose to be. They could have sworn him in as VP and then made him President.

Poker Again

Best beat of the game. I had a pair of jacks, so I raised. Guy to my right bets enough to put me all in. There are 212 players left and I really want to get under 100 tonight. But can I lay down pocket jacks? I won a big pot earlier with pocket jacks. My little hand chart says to raise with JJ, but not reraise. I decided it wouldn’t get better and went all in. The raiser had a pair of kings.

Expletives deleted.

But just like you can drown in the river it can save you. River was a jack. My play was mostly right, but I won because of luck.

Next hand I go in, after folding a number of them, I’ve got QQ on the big blind. Everyone folds.

Later…

Well I’ve made it to the second break. There are 56 players left and I’m one of them. I’m not the worst off but not the best by any means. Bluffing will not work because I have 22,500 and the big stack is 262,00 and there is a 248,000 as well. They’ve already be betting more than I have. So unless everyone has crap, I’ll probably be pushed all in.

Even later 12:25AM…

Finished 54th. Not bad and a new record.

BTW the tournament was No-Limit Texas Hold’m at PokerPages.com.

Since I seem to be doing this alot, I’m adding a new category for poker. I’ll go move some old messages into it.

Boy’s Baptism

This weekend was a big event in our family. Both of my boys got baptized. If you aren’t a Christian this probably means nothing to you. If you are you know it is probably the most important thing to happen in their lives.

My wife and I grew up in the churches of Christ. One of the core tenants of that faith tradition is that salvation occurs at the moment of baptism. While we’ve come to believe salvation happens when you dedicate your life to following Jesus, we still believe God commanded everyone to be baptized and did it himself. So it is a big deal for us.

Our boys have called themselves Christians for a number of years, but have never decided to get baptized. As a parent you want to encourage your kids to do what you know they should, but in this choice you want to make sure they are doing it on their own. So we’ve mentioned it in passing a few times, but never really got into a discussion of it. Last Saturday night we were at dinner and it came up. It went something like this:

Elijah's Baptism
Me: “So do you think you need to be baptized?”

Elijah: “Yeah. I mean Jesus said you should and he was baptized.”

Me: “So are you going to be baptized?”

Elijah: “Yeah”

Micah: “Yeah”

Me: “When?”

Elijah: “I don’t know. Someday.”

When you kid says “I don’t know” they don’t usually want to know. They think that answer means they don’t have to answer the question. It’s the easy way out. But I wanted them to think about this.

Micah's Baptism
Me: “Someday. Someday in the far future? Someday soon?”

Elijah: “Soon”

Me: “So why wouldn’t you be baptized tomorrow?” (Tomorrow was Sunday.)

Micah: “OK. I’ll be baptized tomorrow.”

Elijah: “I don’t know.”

My wife said something about that Sunday being fathers day and short notice to get her family to come to church with us.

Micah: “Then next Sunday.”

Elijah: “I don’t want to get baptized in front of the whole church.”

Micah: “I do”

Me: “Why not? Are you afraid?”

Elijah: “I’m not afraid, I’m shy.”

Me: “Isn’t that what shy is? Being afraid of something? Anyway, we can do it some other time in front of just family and friends.”

Elijah: “OK”

Micah: “I still want to do it in front of the church.”

And that was it. We decided to do it a week later. Micah went forward during the invitation song and was baptized during church. We invited a bunch of friends to come up to the church at 2 that afternoon and baptized Elijah.

One other thing that happen that was important to me. I performed the baptisms. I was baptized when I was 9 at Garrnet Road church of Christ in Tulsa Oklahoma. I remember going up front during the invitation song and sitting on the front row. Garrnet had over a 1000 members even then – or at least it seems that way to me. The minister, Marvin Phillips, knew why I was there because my father and I had gone and talked to him about it earlier. And he did something I’ll thank him for forever. He asked me if I wanted my father to baptize me. The thought hadn’t even occurred to me, but I’m glad it had to him.

So I wanted to baptized the boys, but when I asked Micah he said he didn’t want me to. Needless to say, I was a little hurt. But it is his big day. I did ask my wife to talk to them. I don’t know what she said but they both wanted me to do it. So I did.

Update: More pictures uploaded to my .Mac account.

Fahrenheit 9/11 vs. The Passion


There has been a lot of hoopla around Fahrenheit 9/11,Michael Moore’s new movie released this weekend. The Monday morning press has consistently touted ” highest grossing documentary of all time”, which is true. But how did it do as a movie in general? Not all that great.

The reason it is doing as well as it is because of the controversy surrounding it. Which immediately made me think of another movie that came out this year and was surrounded with controversy, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ. While the subject of these films is dramatically different, they have many things in common from a movie business perspective.

Both are small budget independent films.The Passion was made for $30 million and F911 for $6 million. Compare that to the last Harry Potter film ($130 million) or Shrek 2 ($70 million), which was animated. Neither were commissioned by a major studio.

Both had trouble finding a distributor because of the subject of the film. Disney wouldn’t let Miramax distribute F911. The Passion struggled to find someone to risk a religious, controversial and violent film.

Both were all over the news before release. In the case of the Passion, the controversy was the portrayal of Jews in the film, with Jewish groups saying Mel Gibson was anti-Semitic. F911 is a direct attack on the President of the United States, making many claims critics say aren’t true.

Both brought out a different crowd than you average movie goer The people who went to see the Passion were not your normal movie going public. Marketing to churches and Christian groups brought in people who never go to the movies. F911 is similar. Many people who don’t normally go see movies will see F911 because they agree ideologically with Moore and hate the President.

Both opened to little competition. The Passion actually opened on Ash Wenesday, but had only 50 First Dates and Twisted as competition. F911 opened against White Chicks and Dodgeball, neither highly anticipated films. If Moore had waited till next weekend he’d have been opening against Spiderman 2, and wouldn’t have even been noticed.

Now that we see the similarities, let’s compare performance and make some predictions.

Per theater gross doesn’t tell the whole story. As Box Office Mojo points out F911 had the highest per theater gross of any film, including the Passion. They also point out this was because it was in so few theaters, the incredibly low 309. Many of these theaters were throughly behind the film and showed it on every screen, helping the per theater average. Few if any of the Passion’s theaters did the same.

$23.9 million isn’t that much. Everyone is making a big point of the $23.9 million. That’s pretty good on 309 screens. Its paltry in comparison to even an cheese ball comedy like Dodgeball, which opened last weekend for $30 million. Nothing compared to the last left-slanted ideologically controversial film Day After Tommorrow, whose opening weekend was $68.7 million.

The Passion opened for $83.8 million its first weekend. And stayed #1 for 3 weeks, every week making more than Moore.
Just as an aside, the Passion made $23,567 last week on 90 screens.

Now for some predictions. When F911 won Cannes I predicted three things, it would open at #1 in the US, it would win an Academy Award for best documentary, and it wouldn’t do as well as the Passion. We’ll have to wait till the end of the year so see what the academy has to say, but the other two have already come true.

Next weekend is one of the biggest movie weekends of the year, and Moore’s movie will be engulfed by Spiderman 2. Will it hold on to #2? Maybe. A quick look at the movies willing to take on Spiderman doesn’t show much competition, and it is a big weekend for movies.

So my prediction is a quick decent out of the theaters for F911. If the number of theaters it is in now is not the result of no one wanting the film. If it was an intentional move to generate buzz before a bigger release, all bets are off on my box office predictions. But I don’t think that’s the plan because Moore has already announced the DVD will be out in September. Which sure means he doesn’t expect his film to be big in theaters then. He’s already said he’s releasing the DVD then because he wants to influence the election. Look for strong sales of the DVD as political groups buy lots of them and give them away.

If Bush wins in November Moore’s film will be quickly forgotten. If he loses, it will be remembered as a foot note in history books. Either way no one will be watching this film in a year.

Lastly a couple of predictions about the Passion. Despite Hollywood’s love for independent films, the Passion won’t be nominated for any Academy Awards. DVD sales of the Passion will be many times F911’s. People will be buying the Passion for decades. While political groups will buy lots of F911 DVDs to give away, Christians will buy more Passion DVDs for the same purpose. In the end Christians care more about people getting saved than Moore ideologues care about defeating Bush and the Christian’s mission will continue long after November. (And who knows some of these two groups may overlap).

Poker Again

106 tonight. I could have folded and probably made a couple more points and beat last night, but I also might have one the hand. Oh well.

I’ll post about the big event tommorrow.

Update: Opps I went back and look at last night entry and I was 109. So I did beat my record.

Written while listening to “Hello”
album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
by Oasis