Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tournament Poker Frustrations

Even though you can make more consistent money at cash games, I've been starting to play more tournaments again recently just because I think they're more fun and more competitive. That is they have a beginning, and an end and a winner. Whereas cash games you just come and go as you please, win some, lose some (and if you're good, consistently win over time). But they don't really satisfy the competitive drive as much, plus don't have that possibility of the huge one time score like tournaments do. The only downside to tournaments is that you have to block out large chunks of time where you're going to be at home and not have to do anything else.

Anyways, anyone who plays tournament poker knows how frustrating it can be. Not just the individual hands where you may get unlucky. But the times when you play well, make good decisions, and DO have decent luck (that is don't get UN-lucky) for a long time, and you get close to that big score and then get unlucky just one time at a vey crucial point. I don't even mind getting knocked out early in a tournament by someone drawing out against me, because I know that I would have still had to go through a whole lot more before it even became significant. But when you play an online tournament for 5+ hours and you're down to the last 1% of the field, and you've already made some decent money, but are inching closer to HUGE money and THEN you get unlucky, it's just painful.

In 4 of my last 5 tournaments I made it to the top 1% of the field, which is very rare. And every time I made somewhere between 7-30 times whatever the buy in for the tournament was, which is a great Return on Investment. And despite what should be considered a very successful little run, I was way, WAY more frustrated than if I had played 5 straight tournaments and busted out of all of them and cashed for nothing. Just because the mega scored loomed so close, but didn't come. And every time it was definitely within reach. Not to mention the 1 tourney I busted out of was a big buy-in, and all the ones I cashed in were medium to low buy ins.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

You Get What You Vote For

I've noticed since the election of this man there has been an outcry against the direction he is taking the country in by a lot of people. That outcry is just and warranted of course, as he is in fact making atrocious decisions, based on unsound policy, and leading the country down a path toward destruction and ruin. However, it is nothing other than precisely what he said he would do during the campaign. And we as a nation elected him by a decently wide margin. Therefore this outcry must becoming from one of a few different places. 1) People who didn't vote for him in the first place. 2) People who didn't vote or pay attention much during the campaign, but are now. 3) People who voted for him, were aware of his ideology and proposed policies, and now are surprised that he's doing.. exactly what he said he would do? There's not much to say about groups one and two. I'm in group one, I knew what his policies were, I didn't like then, and I don't like them now, but they certainly aren't taking me by surprise. Group 2 was just ignorant, and when you don't pay attention, bad things can happen. Again, not much to say about that. Just pay attention.

Group 3 is the group that I'm interested in. They may not even be a large group, but I know they do exist because I've heard a lot of people on talk radio, or posting online say things like "Obama, I voted for you, but this is crazy!" or other similar notions. How could you have sat through the campaign, listened to everything the man said, understood it, and now feel bamboozled? How is that possible? He is the quintessential big government, tax-and-spend liberal, and he told you as much during the campaign. If you didn't know what that means, especially given the conditions he was coming into where a REPUBLICAN president was already nationalizing private industries, then you're just not very bright. Yes he's going to nationalize everything within arms reach. Yes he is going to spend 10x what Bush did, which is tough to do when Bush himself was a pretty massive spender. Yes he is going to raise taxes. Yes his policies will cripple the economy and bankrupt your children. Yes he will expand government's role in your life and infringe on your liberties whenever possible. Yes, yes, yes. Of course. What did you think was going to happen? That you'd elect a quasi-marxist ideologue and he'd govern like someone who loves the country's founding principles and be a defender of capitalism?

That's why none of this, nothing that has happened to date in this administration, has so much as made me raise an eyebrow. He's doing what he said he would do, and we elected him, and so you get what you vote for. It's that simple. Now, the majority of people who voted for him probably don't have a problem with what he's doing. Not yet anyway, until they see the consequences. And the majority of people who voted against him don't like what he's doing, but they never did. It's that small middle segment that really boggles my mind, who both voted for him, and now express discontent and frustration. It is YOUR fault that this is happening. If you want someone to blame, look in the mirror and blame that person. Blame yourself. I'll blame you too.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Some Watchmen / Rorschach thoughts

I still haven't had a chance to see the film, but I've been reading the novel for a second time and just has some thoughts I'd like to share.

Rorschach is such a brilliant and amazing character, and really the heart of the story. And I love that he's a right-wing ideologue, and that the author of the story is about as nutty left as you can get, and although the portrayal of the character isn't favorable, it isn't complete disdain that the author has for the character either. Which is admirable.

The defining moment in the novel for me is when, after Veidt has revealed his plan, the 'camera' so-to-speak, zooms past every other character's reaction to the plan, with Rorschach in the center of the frame in the background getting closer, and then his subsequent reaction. Within the context of the story, and being aware of the author's philosophical and political leanings, this seems to be a shot at the Rand-ian ideology that Rorschach represents. And yet as a reader, you seem to identify more with Rorschach and sympathize more with his motivations. At least I did. Despite the fact that he would rather see the world literally destroy itself, and every human on Earth die, than let peace be built upon a lie. This is a character who puts principal and truth over the importance of life itself. That was the moment I knew this novel was a great piece of art because I can look at this moment which is supposed to be critical of this character, and how his 'black and white' ideology doesn't conform to the real world, and I can take something else entirely away from it. Exactly the opposite of what I believe the author intended.

But then the character is named Rorschach for a reason. That is; I suspect Moore knows that when you view this character and his motivations, how you interpret them largely depends on who you are and what you believe to begin with. A la a Rorschach test.

Also, as a footnote, I haven't seen the film, but I'm curious to see if Snyder included any dialogue that mentions what a big fan of Harry Truman Rorschach is. That mostly shows up in the non-panel supplemental materials in the novel, so unless Snyder shoehorned it in somehow, I'm guessing it's not in the film. But I always found that interesting, that Rorschach defended Truman for 'killing thousands to save millions' (and doing so openly), but yet opposes Veidt who 'killed millions to save billions' (but did so deceptively). Which again I believe was meant to show the hypocrisy / duality of the character, but doesn't really.
Anyway, read the graphic novel. Phenomenal stuff.