Saturday, October 23, 2010

I did it.

For the first time in two months, I played poker. 150 hands in total - wouldn't want to overdo it the first session I play after my break. So a short session, a buy-in of profit, and maybe I'll do it again soon. I suppose it's premature to claim that my break is over.

What I have done in the past three months when I haven't blogged (and hardly posted on forums) and haven't spent an hour a day on poker? I've read books. I've worked - oh boy, have I worked - I've hung out with friends and family and I've watched a decent chunk of TV. Oh, and I've played some video games.

Anyway. I'm back, I guess. We'll see how this pans out.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Progressive Tipping

I think it's customary to write trip reports on poker blogs, especially when your travel takes you to Las Vegas, the Mecca of gambling. And I'm sorry if I've let you down. Rest assured that the lack of stories does not in any way correspond to an uneventful time. I had a great time, and a lot of fun things happened, but today I'll just focus on one of them: My experiment with progressively increasing tips for the poker room cocktail waitress.

The idea is simple: I tip the standard $1 the first time she brings me a beer. Then I up it to $2 the second time around, etc. I didn't explicitly mention my intention of doing it - hell, I didn't even have the intention of doing it until I was already well under way. Besides, cocktail waitresses seem to have a very sophisticated sense of tip, so I feel confident that most of them will pick up on it without having to be told.

The end result of this was that as the session went on, my beers became more and more frequent, which is hardly surprising. But here's the kicker: About 90 minutes into the session, my waitress came by our table and went up to me and offered me a last Corona (my beverage of choice this evening). I say "offered" and "last" because

1) I hadn't ordered it (I was still working on the last one she had brought me), and
2) she was getting off her shift but wanted to make sure I wasn't without a drink in the time it would take the next waitress to start her shift and get to our table.

So: She had ended her shift and brought me a beer (that I had not - yet - requested) on her way out. Out of kindness and generosity and care for customers? Maybe. But I bet she also wanted the $7 tip that was coming. So that was funny in its own right.

What made it even more fun is that BelgoSuisse (from Cardschat) who was sitting two seats to my right had tried to order a beer from her just a few minutes prior to her bringing me this Corona and had been told "no, sorry, I'm getting off my shift now." Had I known about this exchange as she brought me the last drink, I would have tipped her $20, because that's awesome.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Yesterday, we had our first home-grown salad: Tomatoes and lettuce, with a sprinkle of (our own) parsley and then cheating a bit by adding some store-bought olive oil and garlic. I can honestly say that I'm not sure I ever want to buy tomatoes again. If you've never had home-grown tomatoes, you don't know what tomatoes taste like. I kid you not. There's just such a huge difference in sweetness, texture and aroma that it's not comparable. The best analogy I can come up with is comparing Heinz Ketchup to a really old bottle of generic ketchup mixed with two parts of water.

There's another thing that's in bloom and maturing wonderfully, and that's Sean Gibson's career as a poker reporter. Sean and I go back a few years from CardsChat, but I got to meet him last year in Las Vegas, when he was trying to break into the world of poker reporting. He had some various writing jobs, among others for PokerTableRatings, but at the time (if I'm not mistaken) his future was pretty much up in the air. I got the feeling that he wasn't sure if it was going to work out or not.

Fast forward one year, and we have who I can honestly say I consider the best on-camera poker reporter in the world right now. To combine the two traits of actually knowing what he's talking about and at the same time keeping the interviews light-hearted and being able to connect with the interviewee and make them feel relaxed is, I think, unprecedented in this (admittedly so far relatively small) field. Privately, he seems to have changed as well; more relaxed, much more confident and overall having that look of someone who's really, really enjoying his job and his life, and that's just awesome.

Sean, my friend, you're the home-grown tomato of poker reporting. Keep it up.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Next Stop: Vegas

Heading out tomorrow morning, and should be at the Venetian around 11:30, by my calculations. Taking only a carry-on and checking in online cuts the airport time down to a minimum, which. Is. Awesome. I really don't like airports. To me, they're buildings with thousands of people who can't wait to get out of there, which makes the overall mood in the place pretty damp. Whatever, I'll have my book. Or books, rather, seeing as there's three of them in my bag.

Once in Las Vegas, I'll be meeting up with Debi almost immediately for lunch. After that, I have exactly zero plans - and that's how I like it. Will I play poker? Who knows. Maybe. I'm bringing some change just in case, but I don't expect I'll be spending a ton of time at the tables, unless for hanging out with friends who want to play.

I'm excited about going there, I'm excited about coming back and doing a truckload of shopping, I'm excited about going to my parents after that to get back to my cats, and I'm excited about going home a few days later still. Once home, I'm excited about going back to work for the first time in 6 months, and I'm excited about grabbing my poker career by the horns and turning this year into my best one yet. I'm overall very excited about what's happening in my life right now.

Did I just jinx it? Let's hope not.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Two random observations:

1. I'm under the impression that oil is used for a lot of very specific things, among them making plastic. It's a really neat substance. I don't know how much of the "stuff" we have today in which oil is a necessary ingredient, but I'm guessing it's a whole lot.

2. Also, oil is probably one of the most rare substances in the universe, based on the fact that it's what happens to organic lifeforms after millions of years. We don't know any other planet on which it exists.

And we're burning this stuff?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bwin Blows (and blost a bcustomer)

There's a ton of stuff I could put into this post, including quoting all the emails that have been sent back and forth, but I'll keep it as short and to-the-point as I can (which is still pretty long).

Basic timeline:

Wednesday, June 9th: I open an account at BWin. I deposit $5,000 (their maximum deposit), which is probably a lot for most people, but not exactly an outlandish amount if you're planning on playing the midstakes. I play about 150 hands or so, figuring out how their software works, configuring Holdem Manager, yadda yadda. Some quirks I'm not happy about, some features I wished they had done differently, but game selection looks pretty good and there are no deal-breakers in how their software is built. I'm reasonably content.

Thursday, June 10th. I log a more substantial session, something like 600 hands, trying out what multitabling is like and how I can tile the windows and stuff like that. I win a buy-in or so.

I don't log in on Friday.

Saturday morning, I can't login. Says my password is incorrect. I thought that perhaps I didn't remember it right (I obviously use new and different passwords for all sites, and they're random strings of numbers and characters; easy for my memory to play tricks on me), but I go through their password recovery procedure and have a new password emailed to me. Try to log in. It won't work.

"What the hell?"

So I go back to their webpage and try to log in there - maybe there's something wrong with my client? Success! I can log in on their webpage! Except now there's a little information box that tells me that my account has been closed.

What the hell?

I browse around. No information available as to why my account has been closed. I check my GMail spamfolder; no email from Bwin. I email them, but when I hadn't gotten a reply in the afternoon, I called them. Turns out that their security team have closed my account because they were doing a "routine review." In order to re-open the account, I have to supply them with the customary passport/utility bill combo.

Do you see the problem here?

The problem, of course, is that they closed the account without notifying me. Without telling me why they did it, or for that matter that they HAD done it, and I had to contact them in order to find out what they needed from me. I think that's outrageous. Blocking my $5k without telling me why is not a good way to handle a new customer.

Now, if this was the matter of just an individual security team member accidently forgetting to send an email to me, I would have shrugged it off. On the contrary, though, I was informed (both over the phone and in writing) that this is in fact standard procedure: They do NOT inform customers when they close their accounts. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. What kind of weird rationale could possibly be behind this? I can't think of any. And trust me, I've tried to think of one.

Either way, within minutes of having been told that I need to upload a photocopy of my passport and a utility bill, it's done, and a few days later (Tuesday) I get an email saying that they've re-opened my account. Here's where things really turned sour. Basically, my confidence in how they handle their customers was already shot to hell, and so I went ahead and ran the "cash-out test". That's to say that I wanted to find out if they were the kind of company that would put up a fuss in order to prevent people from withdrawing.

And they were.

"It has come to our notice that you requested a pay-out before having wagered the total amount you paid into your account on our website. Please note that pay-outs generally can be made only from obtained winnings"

At this point, I asked for a supervisor to call me. I was called back a few minutes later, and was told that this rule (about "waging the total amount I paid into my account") was stated in their Terms and Conditions. I told her that it wasn't. She told me that she was certain that it was. I told her that she could keep repeating that all she wanted, and while probably almost no one ever reads the T&C for these things, I'm that one pesky guy who does (my mom is a lawyer and has taught me well) and I then proceeded to bring up their Terms and Conditions and started reading them to her over the phone. After a minute or so, she told me that I didn't have to read all of it to her. So then we were at an impasse: She claimed that there was a rule that was "clearly stated" (her words) in a text where this rule was nowhere to be seen.

She promised, however, to email me a link to the rule in question. Turns out that it was in the FAQ, not in their T&C (quite a difference, if you ask me), and its wording is:

"- If you request the withdrawal of the amounts you paid into your account instead of using them to participate in our broad line-up of services, bwin is entitled to cancel such requests instead of paying out the money as requested. "

I repeat, emphatically, that their T&C does not state anything of the kind. This information was available in their FAQ under the heading of "Why Is My Cashout Not Processed?" or something of that nature. I think it's fair to require customers to read the terms before depositing. I don't think it's reasonable to require them to read through the entire FAQ as well.


At this point, quite a few more angry emails (some of them less-than-totally-polite from them as well) ensued, but I did finally get my money back. It's impossible to say exactly what caused them to change their mind, but I'm betting that me informing them that they pay to advertise on my blog might have had something to do with it. I assume they don't want bad press in a blog they pay to advertise on. And yet, here this post is. Why? I got my money back, at last, possibly specifically in order to avoid this post being written - is this me being vengeful and petty?

Actually, no. I'm not above being vengeful and petty, but this post was written because of a very specific suggestion of mine that was summarily dismissed: Namely that they change their Terms and Conditions to reflect the policy that they enforced on me. If they have a rule in place that you have to wager a certain amount before being allowed to cash out, they should really state that. That's all I asked. Update your T&C. I have to wager $5,000 in order to cash-out - how much of it had I wagered when I requested the cashout? I don't know. It doesn't say anywhere. The supervisor lady on the phone couldn't find out either, she had to send a request to a separate department to find out and they were going to get back to me about that (they never did).

So, Bwin:

For closing my account without notifying me, for blocking my cashout in reference to something in the T&C that isn't there, and for ignoring a simple request to update your T&C to reflect what is apparently a well-known rule internally, you officially suck.


I'm back at Party Poker. The contrast was made very explicit when I emailed Party and asked if I perhaps would be allowed to come and hang out for a little while in their VIP lounge at the Rio when I arrive in Vegas, and they explained that although that lounge was intended exclusively for those playing in the WSOP, all I had to do was ask for Sinead when I arrived; she had been informed that I might be showing up, and it wouldn't be a problem.

Thanks, guys.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Back in the saddle

After a few weeks of licking my wounds and contemplating what I want out of poker, I'm back in the saddle with a great deal of enthusiasm and am enjoying the game again. Unfortunately, I only have a few more days of enjoying it before I go away for three or four weeks, during which time I probably won't be able to play at all - at least not online. I might play a little during my brief stop in Vegas, but my online accounts will lie dormant.

But that's a fairly convenient problem to have.

I'm trying to hook up with Taylor to talk over hands as often as we can - although time zones, babies and life in general makes it a little tricky to find an hour of the day when we're both available. Still, we chatted for 90 minutes yesterday and some of the stuff we talked about will be a pretty major step forward if I can just incorporate it properly. I might save a few of the hands we talk about and post them here along with a brief summary of the our discussion.

On top of that, I'm working diligently on watching (and learning from) DC videos. In terms of mid-stakes content, they're a few notches above any other site I've tried out. Learning what I've yet to learn is a huge part of what's making me enthusiastic; if poker is reduced to just grinding out money, I'd... I don't know if I'd quit, but a very large part of the appeal of the game would be gone for me.


Pet-peeve time! Note to the world: Chimpanzees do not have tails.

That is all.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summer Plans

Summer is approaching rapidly, and while a lot of my summer plans are more or less set in stone, some aspects of it are in flux. Among them, how I'll get any poker played at all. The problem, if you can call it that, is that I won't be spending a lot of time in front of my computer in the upcoming months. Step one is leaving for Karlstad (where most of my family lives) a few days after Lori's students graduate and she's off for the summer. Once there, we'll drop off Bennie with my parents and head up to a spa for three days, after which we'll return to celebrate midsummer - a very significant holiday in Sweden. And a few days after that, we'll be leaving for Minnesota to visit Lori's parents, and for a few days during that two week stretch and I'll hop down to Vegas to meet up with some CardsChat friends.

So, I'll be out of town for half of June and half of July and in all of this I want to try to get some poker played. My plan, as it stands right now, is to make sure I wrap up Palladium VIP at Party (similar to Supernova for you Stars players) and then try out another site for awhile. I've mentioned before my preference to have multiple sites my regular ones, the reason being game selection. I can't always play when the games are good, so I want a lot of options in order to make them good for myself. The last network I tried was IPoker (specifically WilliamHill) which was OK, but not everything I had wished for. Next stop: bwin. I'll let you know how it works out. I'm having a little bit of difficulty figuring out what my effective rakeback would be with their "binside" VIP program, but first and foremost I'm looking for game selection and site quality.


Now that Taylor's set-up in his new place, we're trying to make our tiny discussion group (that would be him and me) a more frequent occurrence. We'll see how that goes; we have the time zones against us, but we'll find a way. After talking to him for an hour yesterday, it's readily apparent that I've developed some bad habits in the last few months, and I'm pretty excited to get those sorted out.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Progress or Regress

I remember reading (and I've probably said it myself several times) that when it comes to poker, you have to stay ahead of the curve. Everyone's studying and getting better, and if you're just sitting around and not learning new things, your opponents will overtake you. This is one sense in which it's true that you're either progressing or regressing. However, there's a much more direct way in which it's true, too.

If you made a list of all the things you know about poker, how long would that list be? Hopefully pretty long, but also pretty fuzzy - what counts as "something you know?" Let's be a bit more specific: If you made a list of every situation you know how to play, how long would it be? Still, hopefully, pretty long. I'm not sure I can even estimate it, but there are certainly hundreds of situations I've figured out, like

- Nutflushdraw versus reg with wide range OOP
- TPTK on dry flop in the blinds versus standard button open
- Weak top pair OOP on the river after the turn checks back

... etc. Clearly I could be more specific in regards to stack sizes, reads, hand strength and so on, but the point isn't so much what the list contains, but the fact that it's long. And here's the thing about a long list of knowledge: If you don't maintain it actively, it will deteriorate. I used to be able to cite the entire list of Swedish monarchs that I learned in high school. Not anymore. I've forgotten large parts of it - that's what happens to stuff we commit to memory.

The point, which I hope is becoming clear, is that all the things you know today about poker may not be something you know a month from now. Some of it will start get blurry. Some situation you worked out in painstaking detail a year ago might be a little confusing to you now - should you bet for value here? Or is it a check/call? And what's happened is that you've regressed.

I notice this in my own game when I go back and review some hands I wasn't sure about. Some of them seem eerily familiar, and I realize that I've worked these things out before but couldn't get to the knowledge when I needed it. Seems like bad news, but the coin has two sides. Let's expand on the bad news first:

The fact that I'm forgetting or getting worse at situations I used to have a really good grasp at means that I don't need to just work on new aspects of my game, but I need to actually rehearse some situations. It seems like something that should take care of itself, doesn't it? I mean, if I've worked out the situation at one point and came up with the "right" play, doesn't that mean every time I'm in that situation at the table, I'm rehearsing it? Only, and this is important, if I consciously say to myself "right, and here I'm going to bet for value because ." Otherwise, I'm not reinforcing the knowledge - because the outcome will. In other words, my brain will register how the play worked out (success or failure) and then create some kind of emotional association to it. This is also one of those things that doesn't sound like a problem on the surface, but it is. Because emotional associations aren't necessarily weighted by profit, but by... Other things.

Take the case of check-raising all-in on the turn with a big draw. When it works, I'll be a little bit happy. When it doesn't work, I'll be very sad. The little bits of happiness don't add up the same way that the dollars I make on the play do, because I'm risk-averse: I hate losing more than I enjoy winning. So, given time and repetitions, my brain will gradually start to associate that play with bad feelings, despite the fact that I'm making money off of it. If I don't consciously reinforce it, I'm most likely ending up someday simply not doing it anymore. I might - consciously, whatever that means - want to do it, but I don't get to make that decision before my subconscious has already gone ahead and clicked the fold or call button. Only afterwards might I think "wait, wouldn't this have been a good spot to shove?"

So that's the bad side of the coin. There's an upside, though: This, presumably, happens to everyone in one form or another. Unless they actively rehearse and maintain their game, they will slip into bad habits. And that's good, because that means that despite competition becoming tougher and tougher, there's still a way to outwork our opponents, still a way to stay ahead of the curve even though we're perhaps barely advancing at all in some objective sense. The games are definitely getting harder to beat, but this is not a trend that can go on forever. And the trend will slow down WAY before any kind of "optimal" poker is being played, because we will all build up longer and longer mental lists of "stuff we know" and they will become harder and harder to maintain. Somewhere, I guess, there's an equilibrium between how good we are and how much we work on our game. We work on our game, we learn new things, but we don't really become better. So perhaps our goal should be to have our equilibrium higher up on the learning scale than our opponents.

(A brief related note: If you know whether you're risk-averse, risk neutral, or risk-seeking, you can use that knowledge to examine plays you feel you're in danger of losing due to emotional reinforcement. I was going to say more about this, but not today.)

So, in a nutshell: progress or regress. At some point, we're like Alice in Wonderland: Running as fast as we can to stay in one place. That place needs to be further along than that of the guy we're playing.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dusty "Leatherass" Schmidt

If you don't know who Leatherass is, then chances are you don't spend a lot of time around poker forums. Basically, he's a poker player who started out heavily multitabling the small stakes games and then moved up the ladder, heavily multitabling, and is now heavily multitabling the 5/10 and 10/20 NLHE games. He was, up until recently, a StoxPoker coach and is now producing videos for DragTheBar. What can be said about him?

If you read about him on forums, the answer is apparently "anything." I think he's been called just about everything a poker player can reasonably be called (although I couldn't say if he's ever been accused of cheating, but I'm sure it's been implied somewhere), and while a lot of people seem to appreciate what he does, his overall online image is, as is usually the case on the internet, drowned in negative sentiments. If you don't have something mean to say, keep it to yourself.

He apparently ticks people off, for whatever reason. Usually something along the lines of being a bumhunting ratholing shortstacker. I won't deal with those accusations here, though, because this post isn't in defense of his character, or an attempt to add new insults of my own. Instead I want to put in writing a couple of thoughts, disconnected and somewhat random as they are, and try to piece together an idea of how Leatherass works that is starting to take shape in my head.


He recently (well, by traditional standards, anyway - in the self-contained world that is the Internet, it was ages ago) published a book, Treat Your Poker Like A Business, which I ordered the eVersion of when it became available and read it. My overall impression of the book? Good. Probably even Very Good. Not enough people think about their poker career the way, for instance, a corporate manager would. If I may flaunt an old article series I wrote for CardsChat, I touched on some of the same ideas in what I called 8 Poker Lessons. What stood out from his book, however, wasn't the lessons he was trying to teach me, but a more nuanced picture of Dusty, the person. I had half-heartedly followed his career and his thoughts through the StoxPoker blog, I had watched some of his videos and I had occasionally followed a little of the drama often surrounding him on various forums, so I thought I had some idea of what he was like. Reading his book cemented that idea.

All serious poker players are, it's said, in it for the money. That's all that matters. Old (by the new standards) books by Sklansky et al make this point over and over again. It's not about prestige, not about pride, it's about money. Dusty is the personification of Sklansky's ideal. He will buy in short when the fish at the table is short-stacked (this is why his antagonists call him a shortstacker) and he will only sit at tables where he knows there's a big fish (bumhunter). Et cetera. He plays an insane amount of hands every year, because that's how he makes the most money. Not necessarily the most money per hand played (although he doesn't fare too badly by that standard either), but the most money at the end of the month.

In watching some of his videos after having read his book, an idea started to form about how his overall philosophy of making the most money influences how he plays. I've never actually seen him make this case himself explicitly, but I have reasons to believe it's true nonetheless: If faced with a decision in a hand where the easy decision will yield a clear profit, he's taking it. Alternative lines that may potentially be better are discarded if they're doubtful to work out properly.

This seems like a no-brainer at some level, and completely backwards at another level. The no-brainer part is because it's obviously good to take the easy profit if you're not sure that the "tricky" line is better. Why not just take the money? Well, because it's not always enough for a play to be profitable for it to be good enough. Case in point, open-shoving aces 100bb deep is quite obviously a winning play - but it's a terrible waste of money. And that's the "completely backwards" part: Any play that is by definition not maximally profitable is burning money. Why would Dusty willingly burn money when making money is precisely what he's aiming to achieve?

Obviously I don't think Dusty is intentionally taking a less profitable line in a hand. But I think you have to view some of his actions in a larger perspective: He's often playing 15 tables. When faced with a decision, any decision, he's not just looking to make money in that particular hand, but to maximize earnings across all tables at that particular time. Taking a less-than-optimal line on one table may well make him more money overall if it means freeing up a second of time he can spend on an even trickier decision elsewhere - or even add another table. I think this is a key part to Dusty's success (and he's been called a lot of things, but I don't think anyone will even begin to argue that he's not successful): His ability to repeat profitable decisions over and over and over again for a million hands each year. Even if some of them are less than optimal, he wins that back by playing more tables, more hands, more hours than others.


This, I think, is what keeps him from the nosebleeds, where every possible edge in each hand needs to be maximally exploited. But he doesn't need the nosebleeds to make a million bucks playing poker. His is a different recipe for success, and it's certainly viewed as un-sexy by a lot of people. I don't think that's a bad thing, necessarily. Though, and I'm back to flogging an old horse of a pet-peeve of mine here, a good case can be built that his style of play may certainly not suit everybody. I'm personally convinced that 95% of all people who play 10+ tables would make more money if they just tried to play solid poker on fewer tables and stopped viewing bonuses and rakeback as their salary for grinding out a break-even month. But, alas, I've said that before, and I'm certainly convinced that it's not true in Dusty's case. Forever the grinder.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


So I ran like crap in March. The whole month was mostly a yo-yo around break-even, which for reasons I can't quite explain feels worse than having a huge downswing followed by a huge upswing, or vice versa. I had a great session followed by a lousy session followed by a great session... Etc. I felt like Sisyphos. Frustrating. On March 30th, I scored a big day, enough to put me back in the black for the month, and I decided to just take the small win and be happy with it, not playing yesterday. I was obviously hoping for more than a 0.12bb/100 win-rate for March.

But, at the same time - and the reason for the title of this post - I also acknowledge that I've learned so much in the last year that had this happened a year ago, I wouldn't be just above break-even for the month. I'd probably be something like down 5 buy-ins. That's the perspective I have, and that I want to have. It's easy, when having gone through a rough stretch, to feel like all the work I put in isn't worth much when I can still get so royally screwed over by the deck. But that's not true. All the work saved me a lot of money. The money saved has as much of an impact on my yearly earnings as anything else. I must remember this.


Bennie is learning how to walk. Or, rather, he's learned how to walk, now he just needs to practise not falling over quite as often. He's also getting pretty loud. With his (almost) complete lack of vocabulary, he tends to compensate for that with volume. I presume most of us can identify with that, if we consult our Inner Drunks. The same goes, I guess, for the walking difficulties.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Carl Sagan

I read Sagan's books Cosmos and Pale Blue Dot last year, and can wholeheartedly recommend them for anyone interested in science in general and history of science in particular. Just a few days ago, I re-read his fictional work, "Contact" (later a major motion picture starring Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey). It's a good book. It's also a good movie, with a surprisingly true-to-the-book script. As always, movies take away a lot of the learning experience of a book because it doesn't make good drama to have a voice-over explaining all the science, a problem CSI has solved by invoking corny conversations between their characters ("what the DNA-analysis does is...", explained to a person who's supposedly an expert on the topic).

I'm sliding off-topic here. Anyway. My somewhat recent elevation of Sagan as a scientific hero of mine (a promotion earned not necessarily for his academic achievments but for his contageous enthusiasm and efforts to make others interested in the subject) made me think the video below was a little bit more cool than I think most of you will find it.


My last post, on river bet-sizing, sparked some misunderstandings when discussed on CardsChat. I'm not saying that a small bet-size is optimal for a river bet. I'm saying that a smaller bet-size is what you should be shooting for. Smaller isn't necessarily small, if that makes sense. Now, bet-sizing for value was actually just a build-up to the post I was going to make next: Bet-sizing for bluffs. I'll put that up later this week, but cunning readers may guess where I'm going with it.


Okay, one more video to link: Sam Harris spoke at TED in February. I saw that his name was on the speakers' schedule and have been waiting for them to publish it ever since. Now they have, and I wasn't disappointed.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

On river bet sizing with the nuts

Here is the graph outcome of my simulations that I mentioned in the last post I was going to make. I'm using a very simplified model in these simulations and I'll explain some of the problems with it at the end of the post, but for the time being we'll just go with it. In order to understand the graph and what it says, I should explain what the program does and what I'm trying to show:

When we have the nuts on the river, extracting value is the only thing that should be on our mind. How do we make the most money? Often, the answer is "bet big." In fact, that's usually what books suggest, and while the correct decision always hinges on board texture, our opponent's range and varying degrees of level thinking, what I want to get across is this: If your opponent is likely to have a medium strength hand and you think he'll on average call a bet-size of X with that hand, then you should bet less than X.

Let's give it a number so we don't have to have that frightening variable name 'X' looming over us: Let's say that our opponent will on average call a bet of $100 and then compare what our outcome is if we bet $90 compared to $100. What we mean when we say "on average" in this case is important. It means that the bet our opponent is willing to call lies somewhere around $100. If we bet over whatever his breaking point is, he's just going to muck his hand because he's not willing to pay that much to see a showdown, and if we go below it, we're guaranteed a call. So far, so good, yes?

So what we mean when we say that he'll on average call $100, that means that his maximum amount for calling lies somewhere in the range of perhaps $80 to $120. Or differently put, he'll always call $79, but never $121. In between those amounts, we're not sure exactly what he'll do. But then our bet size should be much closer to $80 than to $120. And it's relatively easy to explain even without a graph, because if he'll call on average $100, that means - with this usage of average - that our expected value for betting $100 is $50. Half the time, he'll fold and half the time he'll call, and so we'll make $50 on average. Right?

But our expected value for betting $79 is $79, because he'll always call. So we're doing much better betting smaller.

The horizontal axis is the bet size. The vertical axis is the average profit.

a and b denote the min and max of our opponent's calling-amount range. x is the average amount he'll call. The straight line that rises up to the left of a is the amount of money we'd make if we bet less than his minimum, and then our profit will go up linearly until we reach a. Making the maximum bet, b, is clearly the inferior option.

The easiest way to understand the conclusion is perhaps to consider a hypothetical opponent where we happen to know exactly where his breaking point lies. Let's say that Bob has his breaking point at $80. That means that if we bet $81, we make absolutely nothing but if we bet $79, we win $79. That's what this graph reflects.


But, like I said, the model I used for the simulations was heavily simplified, and so let me be clear on how:
  1. I used a uniform distribution for their calling amount. In other words, their breaking point was as likely to be $85 as $115, when the reality probably is different; perhaps a normal distribution around the average? This would affect the shape of the graph, but not the conclusion.
  2. I did away completely with psychology, obviously. It's not entirely out of the question for some situations that larger bets are more likely to get looked up than smaller bets because they think a bigger bet looks suspicious.
  3. I also didn't factor in the possibility of getting raised. While simplification #2 builds a case for a bigger bet than what my model suggests, the possibility of a smaller bet inducing a raise (bluff or otherwise) should counteract that at least to some extent.
  4. Most importantly, this model targets a specific hand that our opponent has. In reality, our opponent is going to have a range of hands, some stronger and some weaker, and it's not at all as clear cut exactly how we should bet when his distribution of hands includes some strong hands. For instance, 90% of the time he may have middle pair top kicker and the graph above applies, but 10% of the time he has an overpair and will in fact call a much bigger bet. Now the distribution is definitely different and this will have quite an impact. In fact, we might end up with a graph with several local maximums.
  5. I'm also assuming we have the nuts (or rather, that we'll always win when he calls). This is not a big problem with the model, though, because firstly there are plenty of river decisions where we can feel confident that the risk of our opponent having a better hand is negligible, and secondly it doesn't actually affect the conclusion: if some of his calling range beats us, that (mostly) speaks in favor of betting smaller.
Despite these shortcomings of a very simple model, I think the conclusion is an important one and is often valid: A bigger bet isn't necessarily more profitable. If our opponent's likelyhood of calling it goes down, we're mostly better off just betting smaller.

Friday, March 19, 2010


So, uh, yeah. If anyone happened to catch a post I wrote earlier today with a weird picture of Bennie in it; just ignore it. I had a friend over who wanted some help with and I was going to show her basically how to add a picture and some other stuff; long story short I accidentally posted the sandbox experiment and that was that.

Anyway. Poker related:

Sometime this weekend, I'm going to do some coding (I'm on paternity leave and need to stay at least a little bit sharp) and make a program that runs some simulations on what I think is a fairly important concept in no-limit poker. The idea is to use the output of the simulations to create some Excel graphs to illustrate the concept. So keep an eye out for that.

I'm normally hesitant to post teasers like this because every so often it ends up not getting done and then I feel like a schmuck for saying I'll do something and end up not doing it, but I wanted to post something other than "if you happened to see my last post, pretend you didn't see it." So there. And maybe now the code will actually get written instead of the idea just staying in my head in the category of "neat, but I'll get to it when I have some time."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Books Arrived

Yay! Excitement! Happiness!

I'm currently reading Uncle Tom's Cabin and while I'm enjoying the book, I still look longingly at the pile that arrived today and feel like the kid who needs to finish his vegetables before he can have chocolate cake. Oh well, the veggies are good for me, I suppose. In the meantime, I get to walk around the pile and think about which one I'll dive into first.

Better than christmas morning, this is.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Now Playing at iPoker

I hinted in the last post that I was doing alright so far this year, and that has brought on a convenient problem to have: I'm seriously overrolled for 1/2 and feel like I should really move back up to the midstakes. Why is this a problem at all? Because I get most of my poker played between 10 to 11a.m. and 2:30 to 3:30pm, European time - and those are not prime hours for picking good tables at Party Poker. In fact, in the morning hours I'd be lucky if I could even get a seat at six tables in the hour I have to play.

So I decided to give iPoker a whirl. So far, I'm so very not impressed. I've played iPoker before, but I didn't realize how many issues there were with their software that bugs the hell out of me. I have to make three clicks in order to get on a waitlist? What the... Non-resizeable tables? You've gotta be kidding me! Taylor hinted that I should install MiniMaxMod, so I did - and promptly spent three hours trying to get it to work in a way that made sense at all, and failed. So I gave up, at least until someone can help me figure out how to get it to work. I'm also not getting my BetPot script to work (despite it supposedly having iPoker support) so now I'm doing it old-school. Not happy about it. Not sure if I'll stick around for more than just this one month that I decided to spend giving it a try. We'll see.

I'm amused by the fact that apparently iPoker has set a "quota" of how many winning players a specific skin is allowed to have. I thought this was a joke at first, but it appears it isn't. I have no idea how they figure this is good business, but if I'm informed that I'm limited to playing 10NL, off to greener pastures I go. Anyone have any suggestions for greener pastures? Requirements include a decent number of tables running 24/7 at the midstakes and it being a European site for taxation purposes.

I just wish Stars or FTP would move their servers to Gibraltar. Would make my life a lot easier.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Home, Snowy Home

That week in Spain sure went by quickly. It was really nice to leave a -20C (that's about 0F, I think) snow-up-to-my-ears Linköping and spend some time where it was +20C (uh... 70F?) and sunny, but the downside is how depressing it is to come home to the snow again. Although, on the plus-side, the snow IS melting. We'll see how long it takes for the weather gods to change their minds and turn down the thermostat again. Hopefully not until next winter.

Made me want to buy a house in Spain or some other mediterranean country that we could escape to during winters. Downside to that is that we both have jobs and, specifically, Lori is a teacher - and teaching is not a good career for telecommuting. Maybe when we retire.

I hope we retire when we're 50.


In the meantime, Taylor published the video he and I did together for StoxPoker. The original intention was to just do a regular sweat session but when we got on to record the audio for it, we looked through some hands that I had marked for review and decided on a whim to include those as an intro to the video. Ended up recording 48 minutes of commentary for those hands, so the sweat session was canned altogether.

The downside to doing what we did is two-fold, though:

1. It doesn't provide a real theme to the video. It was just a couple of hands (4 or 5, I think) that I for one reason or another thought presented tricky or difficult decisions, and
2. We didn't really have the hands "solved." We talked through them briefly but didn't really work much with PokerStove in order to make sure some of our assumptions were correct. For that reason, there's a risk that we're wrong, even if we agree.

Still, I think there's value in the material. Not necessarily for learning what to do with the second nut flush on a monotone board, but more of a "these are things that should be discussed with a poker buddy." If that makes sense.


Book order is going through tonight or tomorrow. The list I posted earlier is mostly adhered to, with some last-minute revisions and some additions thrown in for good measure. Caught some book recommendations from Skeptic Magazine (an awesome, awesome publication) and I can't wait to get my hands on a new big pile of books.

Yay, books!


Quite awhile back, I decided to stop posting results or monthly tallies or anything like that. I still feel that this is the right call; I don't think my results are anyone's business but my own. I do, on the other hand, have to admit that I like seeing how other people are doing at the tables. Does that make me a hypocrit?

For now, let's just say that I'm doing alright this year and I'm in fact on target for the goal I set out for myself late December. And that was a pretty high-reaching goal, so while anything can happen between now and 2011, I'm cautiously optimistic that I'll at least get a respectable portion of the yearly total I'm shooting for.


Books ordered! Final list (including some children's books and some stuff Lori wanted) here; the numbers to the right is just the price in Swedish Kronor because I couldn't be bothered cropping it - exchange rate is about 7.20:1 to dollars, if you're curious:

1 Collapse (9780140279511) 108.00 108.00
1 Eric (9789132435027) 31.00 31.00
1 Moving Pictures (9780552134637) 84.00 84.00
1 Sourcery (9780552131070) 84.00 84.00
1 The Greatest Show on Earth (9780593061749) 141.00 141.00
1 What the Dog Saw (9781846142949) 131.00 131.00
1 Wyrd Sisters (9780061020667) 74.00 74.00
1 Year Of The Flood (9780747585169) 133.00 133.00
1 Bear About Town (9781841483733) 69.00 69.00
1 Bear at Home (9781841489254) 69.00 69.00
1 Contact (9780671004101) 77.00 77.00
1 Fear Of Physics (9780465002184) 133.00 133.00
1 Food Rules: An Eater's Manual (9780143116387) 96.00 96.00
1 Guards! Guards! (9780061020643) 77.00 77.00
1 Physics Of 'star Trek' (9780465002047) 126.00 126.00
1 Pyramids (9780061020650) 77.00 77.00
1 The Story of English (9780142002315) 140.00 140.00
1 The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal (9780060845506) 126.00 126.00
1 Farewell To Alms (9780691141282) 159.00 159.00
1 Geneva Deception (9780007230433) 95.00 95.00
1 Going To Bed Book (9780689861147) 83.00 83.00
1 In Defence Of Food (9780141034720) 127.00 127.00
1 Little Stranger (9781844086061) 108.00 108.00
1 Omnivore's Dilemma (9780747586838) 112.00 112.00
1 Sneetches And Other Stories Mini Edition (9780007175932) 62.00 62.00
1 Supersense (9781849010306) 122.00 122.00

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I like to move it, move it

So I mentioned before that I was trying to get back in shape and drop about 15 pounds before christmas. How did that work out? Not quite. In reality, I've lost about 5 pounds since then which is nothing short of a colossal failure - in all but one important sense.

I've actually been pretty good with what I eat. I've also picked up a new hobby: Squash. I've tried running (boooooring) and I try to play a bit of golf when possible (but can't play at winter, requires an insane investment of time to play just one round during summer) and I try to be good and walk or ride my bicycle to work, but not until now have I found something that fits the bill of being both fun and one hell of a workout. If you're having doubts about just how tough of a workout squash is, think again. The first 30 minutes I played, I was almost blacking out at times. Fortunately for me, getting the heart back in shape doesn't take too long and after only a couple of weeks I was playing an hour at a time and I've been reaping the benefits; I'm in better shape than I have been for the past 13 years, and it's only getting better. My weight hasn't dropped as much as I had originally wanted it to, but a fairly hefty portion of that has to be discounted by the new muscle mass I'm putting on.

Swedish Open took place in Linköping last weekend, and my most regular squash partner and I went to watch. We're both, let's say, "enthusiastic beginners" but even for us the event was well worth watching. They had some of the best players in the world present for the event, and I'm in awe over the shape these guys are in when I see some of the rallies they play. If you're interested in what it looks like when the pros play, I found the free highlights of the games we saw (the semi-finals):,,12933~1961663,00.html.

So I'm trying to play 2-3 hours a week and usually succeeding. I get all sorts of fun bruises and pains from it, and I've yet to win a single match against either of the two guys I usually play, but I'm still enjoying myself. And I'm getting a hell of a workout, which - really - is what it's all about.


Now I need to get away from the computer; guests arriving in an hour and we have to make dinner and I also need to get the bread that I'm baking into the oven. Yeah, you heard me - I'm baking. I'm an exercising vegetarian who bakes bread. Funny how things change.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Books, Spain and even some Poker

The one thing every parent who's been on parental leave tells me is that "don't make any grand plans for when you'll be home; you won't have time to do anything but take care of the kid."

The one thing every prospective stay-at-home dad thinks is "poppycock; the kid sleeps for at least three hours during the day - plenty of time for pet projects!"

The truth, as is so often the case, is somewhere in between. I don't have time to read three books a week, play 60k hands of poker each month and keep the house sparkling clean, but I have time for something in between that, and "no books, no poker and the house is a mess." In practise, I'm trying to play about 25,000 hands a month - the majority of which takes place when Bennie takes naps, which is certainly not an ideal time of day to be playing from a game selection point of view, but you work with what you have - and I usually end up reading in bed at night. The house gets randomly cleaned here and there, usually while Benjamin is chewing his food; I give him a piece of bread and during the 45 seconds it takes him to chew and swallow, I empty some of the dishwasher, etc. Works out nicely.

Now, about books... It's February, and it's time for that weird annual Swedish "book sale" tradition in a few weeks. It stems from earlier times when every year about this time the book stores would try to clear the shelves in preparation for the new books that I guess were published in March. After awhile it became a tradition; every late February all the book stores have huge sales and great prices on books and by now it's such a big deal that the publishers actually print extra copies to be sold during the book sale - quite defeating the original purpose.

I love book sales. But that's because I love book stores. Give me a Barnes&Noble and I'll come out a few hours and a couple of hundred dollars later. In practise, I very rarely actually buy any books that are on sale, because they tend to be mystery novels and the like, and I don't really read those. Only rarely will I find a book on sale that I actually want, although I usually end up randomly buying some books that I never read anyway. So why am I mentioning the book sale? Because we - for reasons I'm not entirely clear on - decided that we'll place our big book orders at this time of year. I guess "just in case" some of the books we want would happen to be on sale, but they never are. So, in effect, that means that I'm only a few weeks away from my next Big Book Buy, and boy am I excited!

Here is what I'm planning on getting:

Food Rules by Michael Pollan
In Defence of Food by Michael Pollan
The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

I was originally going to get The Omnivore's Dilemma after a recommendation by Dan Dennett but remembered that he (Michael Pollan) had been on The Daily Show and decided that maybe the other books would be interesting too. Cooking/eating is something I'm interested in, so why not?

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive by Jared Diamond
The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond

I'm currently reading his Guns, Germs and Steel and am loving it. So I'm picking up some more of Jared Diamond, because that's how I roll.

Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett
Eric by Terry Pratchett
Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett
Sourcery by Terry Pratchett
Pyramids: The Book of Going Forth. by Terry Pratchett

... and I'm also continuing my trek through Discworld. I started reading that series from scratch this summer and am now on book... I guess it's book number five? Something like that.

Prisoner's Dilemma by William Poundstone

Another book recommended by Dennett. If there's one book in the list that I'll skip, it's probably this one, no matter how interesting it may be. I'm a little bit worn out on Prisoner's Dilemma explanations.

The Greatest Show on Earth
by Richard Dawkins

Okay, I'm probably overdoing it now on evolution, and I certainly don't need to be persuaded by evidence anymore, but as I like Dawkins's style of writing and find the topic itself fascinating, I figured I'll pick this up as well.

A Farewell to Alms
by Gregory Clark

Look, Belgo! Finally!

What the Dog Saw: and Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell

I've liked every other book of Gladwell's, so I'm keeping with my tradition of buying basically everything by authors that I like until I don't like them anymore.

Contact by Carl Sagan

I've actually already read this, but don't own it, and I'd like to read it again. I've obviously seen the movie too but from what I (vaguely) recall of the book, the plots weren't entirely similar. In the book that was some funky business going on with Pi. But we'll see.


So that's that.


We're going to Spain for a week starting next Saturday. It'll be nice with a break from all this snow, and my parents are coming down a couple of days after us (we'll be staying in their house down there) so we'll have the dual pleasures of having available - and highly willing - babysitters nearby while also getting spoiled by my dad's cooking and getting to enjoy some sun. Our book order won't go through before we leave, but I'm not entirely out of reading material to bring with me. Yet. I think what both Lori and I are looking forward to the most is this excellent Indian restaurant that is near the house. Mmm, Indian food.


And poker is... Well, poker is as poker has always been. This year, overall, has gone OK but not great. The entire month of february has been a rollercoaster around the break-even line, largely from running like crap but probably a little bit from tinkering with some fundamental parts of my game as well and breaking some stuff in the process; specifically, my 3-betting frequency plummeted to 3% because I started changing my ranges; removing hands from ranges is easy - adding them is hard, because my reptile brain still autofolds a lot of them. It's on the rise again, though, and I'm not entirely sure where it will end up. Anyway. I do feel like a much stronger player than I've ever been, and I have great hopes for 2010. How great? Well, we're buying a new car. The idea is to make enough this year to be able to easily cover the cost of it, and I'll leave it to you to try and guess what kind of car we're getting and how much we're paying for it.


Alright, Bennie's awake, so I'll leave it at that.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Package Delivery

So I thought I had it figured out. I had put Bennie down for his afternoon nap, I had poured myself a cup of coffee, 10 tables up and running, feeling good, playing well, everything was the way it should be. I wasn't worried about Ben waking up because even if he did, it's not like he'll be in any trouble if I don't rush in to him immediately; I could easily afford a few minutes of waiting for the blinds to come around on all tables.

What I hadn't figured in was the fact that a delivery guy rang the doorbell while I was playing said 10 tables. What do I do then? Well, fold all the trash hands (including not set-mining 33 OTB) and sit out on all tables where I'm not involved in a hand is the first easy step. But then there was this hand:

$1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Cash Game, 6 Players
Poker Tools by Stoxpoker - Hand Details
Replay This Hand With Audio
SB: $257.80 (128.9 bb)
BB: $388.85 (194.4 bb)
Hero (CO): $219.23 (109.6 bb)
MP: $484.21 (242.1 bb)
BTN: $345.55 (172.8 bb)
UTG: $204.30 (102.2 bb)
Pre-Flop: Hero is CO with Q of hearts A of diamonds
UTG raises to $6, MP raises to $10, Hero calls $10, 3 folds, UTG calls $4

Flop: ($33) 9 of clubs K of spades A of clubs (3 players)

Here is where the doorbell rang (reasoning behind not "4-betting" AQ preflop to isolate the bad 3-bettor can be given on request, for now just assume it was the right play)

UTG checks, MP bets $31.35,

Okay, what the hell do I do now? Both UTG and MP have taken their sweet time with their decisions and now the guy at the door rings the bell again. Goddammit! Okay, I'll minraise. That should confuse them enough to give me a couple of extra seconds to run down and take care of the package.

Hero raises to $62.70, UTG folds, MP calls $31.35

Turn: ($158.40) 9 of diamonds (2 players)
MP checks,

Here I come rushing and panting up the stairs again, and enter the workroom just in time to see that I have three seconds left in the timebank. Bet or check? With no time to ponder what the action was, ranges etc, I just opt to check before my hand gets automucked.

Hero checks

River: ($158.40) 5 of spades (2 players)
MP checks,

Uh, okay. My kicker is no longer in play. Can I valuebet? What calls? Can he have a king? Will he call a small bet with a king? Let's see.

Hero bets $50

Results: Package was received, pot won and Bennie had woken up from the doorbell.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Paternity Leave

Sometimes it's hard not to think that maybe Pangloss (surely you know your Voltaire?) was on to something; it can sure seem like all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. Or, to adopt a more modern perspective, from the movie The Ladies Man: Things will randomly work out.

And they have. Again.

The plan, before Benjamin was even born, was for Lori to be on maternity leave until December 31st, and me to be off from then until summer. This plan was somewhat upset by the fact that Lori was laid off as the company she was working for was downsizing. However, if she had to lose her job, the timing for when it happened couldn't possibly have been any better. As she had already - that is, before they announced the cuts - declared her intention to be on maternity leave, she was still entitled to the same reimbursement as had she kept her job. In practise, she actually kept her job until her maternity leave ran out, at which point her 4 weeks notice started ticking (which was December 31st until January 31st). And since she had never intended to keep that job indefinitely anyway - she's a teacher at heart, and teachers want to teach, not program automatic tests for cell phones - looking for new jobs right at the start of the spring semester wasn't all bad.

Searching for a job was a little tough, but to keep a long story short(ish), she - yesterday - scored a job at the school she used to teach. She left because of, uh, irreconcilable differences with her boss. That boss was later "relocated" (as far as I know, to a different company - you get the idea) and Lori was, at least a little bit, beating herself up over not sticking it out since she loved the job but not the principal. But now, alas, they have a new principal. And Lori's back.

Things will randomly work out.

And so here I am, at home with Bennie. He takes two naps in the day, during which my plan is to get some poker played. Since I'm playing at less than an optimal time of day at Party Poker, game selection can be a little bit of a problem at the midstakes, so instead of spending a third of the narrow window of time I have to play waiting for good tables to pop up, I decided to cash out a significant amount of money and simply move back down to 200NL where even in the mornings it's easy to find 8 juicy tables. I think my bottom line works out better for it, even if my e-penis shrinks a little bit because I'm no longer playing 600NL. But when the choice is between 8 tables of juicy and readily available 200NL tables or two-to-three juicy 600NL tables, I opt for the former.

"But FP, couldn't you sit at the 600NL tables and just fill up your open slots with 200NL?"

I've tried that. It doesn't work for me. I really hate mixing stakes. Hate it hate it hate it.

So no.


I'm trying to come up with a realistic way in which my life could be better right now. I'm not sure I can. So, Dr. Pangloss: I think you may have a point.


But not everyone is as well off as me. I hope you will join me in donating to the Haiti victims. One of the best inventions I've seen lately is the LiveSaver Bottle. If you're curious, check out the TED talk where the inventor demonstrates it. You can of course donate via PokerStars or FullTilt, but on top of that, getting these bottles onto the island is probably a really good idea. And getting the word out about them and increasing the production of them will ultimately come in handy for other disaster areas in both the present and the future.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Potential Psychology Study

A lot of new players in online poker are unaware of the fact that the poker sites expose all cards at showdown, by ways of writing the data in a hand history file. Therefore, every player at the table can in theory check what you had, if the hand went to showdown. Many of us get this automatically displayed by Hold'emManager or PokerTracker.

For those who are unaware of this fact, it may seem like a reasonable of the game to try some free "advertising" by lying about what they had when they lost a big hand. It's amusing for most players around the table, of course, but they often persist. (On a related note, I find that calling them on it - exposing their lie - is a big mistake; it very often shames them into leaving the table and you probably want to keep inexperienced players around.)

There is a pattern in these lies that I'm fascinated by, and it's that the hand they almost always pretend they had is pocket kings. Not aces, mind you, but KK. Why? Why specifically kings? What does this say about the human psyche? "I'm going to make something up; I'll pretend I had the second biggest hand." Are they too scared to go for the Big Lie?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I feel so unwanted.

Although my application wasn't technically rejected, I guess four months of not getting an answer is as good as a "no." Last I heard they were waiting for their QA team to report back. Although, in fairness, I'm not sure video poker coaching is an activity I would really have been able to find the time for, so perhaps I should see it as a blessing in disguise.

Without further ado, here is the video (published here in three parts as it's ~25 minutes long) I sent as my application. I figured it would be a shame if it just died alone on my harddrive.

In case someone happens to read this post a minute after I posted it, the third video might not be available yet; YouTube is still processing it at the time of writing.