Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"The Mandibles"

This morning I finished reading a fine new novel by Lionel Shriver, The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047. It's set in a frighteningly realistic near-future America after a total economic collapse caused by unsustainable federal spending and debt. Hyperinflation sets in, and US currency becomes nearly worthless. But Nevada secedes from the union and becomes a free, rogue state.

I like how she describes Las Vegas:

Monday, October 24, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

PokerNews article #134

Last week I saw a tweet from Teller, of Penn & Teller, and instantly knew that it was a poker lesson waiting to be explicated:


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

PokerNews article #133

Today I try to teach you about how to use a binomial calculator, and what kinds of poker math questions it can answer for you.


Sunday, October 09, 2016

Lee Jones, Deuce-Four skeptic

Yesterday I finally met Lee Jones, who is the director of communications for PokerStars, and author of the well-regarded Winning Low-Limit Hold'Em (which Amazon helpfully informs me that I purchased on June 8, 2006). I say "finally" because I had learned from a mutual friend that he lived around Asheville. As a result, I had expected to bump into him a lot earlier, but he moved away around the same time that I was moving here from Vegas.

He kindly reached out to me to say that he and some friends would be at Harrah's Cherokee Saturday, and would I like to join them? I would indeed, and I did.

Delightful fellow, as I had expected based not only on his writings but on reports from others who know him. But I have to say, for somebody so steeped in the poker world, he has a shockingly poor grasp of the game's most powerful hands.

The group of us split between two tables. Lee was at the other with a friend who was taking her first stab at casino poker. After a while, Lee came over to tell us her unhappy experience. She got all in with a set of fives, on a flop of A-3-5.

Would you like to guess what hand beat her? (Hint: Not pocket aces.)

Any regular reader of this blog knows the answer without a moment's hesitation: The Mighty Deuce-Four, of course!

Despite his years in the poker world, Lee has somehow not learned that this is the most powerful hand in hold'em poker. I tried to explain it to him, tried to tell him that I now have 177 blog posts documenting the invincibility of Deuce-Four. I assumed he was in one of those moments that make one subject to seeing the light, having just beheld the power with his own eyes.

Sadly, rather than embracing the truth, he hardened his heart and would not hear the message of the 2-4 Gospel--even though it was coming straight from the High Priest of the Holy Order of the Deuce-Four himself.

Lee, my new friend: I forgive you your unbelief. But I will patiently continue to try to get you to accept what must now appear to you as foolishness. I have confidence that in time the scales will fall from your eyes so that you may see clearly. And I'll be waiting to anoint you into our cult community of faith when that great day arrives.

All Hail the Mighty Deuce-Four!