Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ante Up magazine cover

I have now seen the April issue of Ante Up magazine, and it included a brief note from the publishers about the anomaly on the March issue cover, which I mentioned here:

On a quick side note, we'd like to thank the pranksters at Beau Rivage for putting two 9s in front of John Dolan in the Million Dollar Heater victory pose we ran on our March cover.

We were seeking a quick way to find out how many people actually look at our cover, and judging by our full inboxes and bloated voicemail from readers wondering how Mr. Dolan won an event with two of the same card, we happily have our answer.

My amazing week

To say that I am not normally a social creature would be the understatement of the year. But this week saw a confluence of events and out-of-town visitors that brought out my inner mingler. Most notably, my pals Grange95, WriterJen, and PokerLawyer all came to Vegas to celebrate my birthday a few days early. (Well, they all had other flimsy cover stories, but I know the real reason. It's all about me, obviously.) We were joined, at various times, by a bunch of others, including some I always enjoy hanging out with--LasVegasPokers, PinkLadiesPT, PokerVixen, CKBWOP, CureMTM--the last of whom tied us into a new circle of friends, as seen in the first picture below.

The festivities included, in various subgroupings of the above people:
  • Penn and Teller at the Rio (my fourth time seeing their show, which is always fantastic)
  • Driving and hiking around Red Rock Canyon
  • Long but cheap rubdowns from massage therapy students at this place
  • Dinners at Lindo Michoacan, Simpatico (former mayor Oscar Goodman's brand-new restaurant inside the Plaza Hotel--maybe the best Italian food I've had in Vegas), and Delmonico Steakhouse
  • Profitable poker sessions at Binion's and Venetian
I had expected this to be a rather expensive week of socializing, but for nearly all of the things that cost much, one person or another was generously stepping up and insisting on paying either with casino comps or their own money. I have such nice friends!

Here's the gang at Delmonico. That's right--it's me and eight lovely ladies (seven here, but one hadn't yet arrived), cuz that's just how I roll. (They do not all have devil eyes as it might appear.)

Here's another gang at Simpatico:

One small bit of the scenery at Red Rock:

A nice pair of Ferrari f430s (the convertible version of the car I drove last month) parked at Red Rock:

All in all, it was one of the best weeks I've ever had since living in Vegas, and almost certainly the best one that didn't include Cardgrrl. In fact, one downside to spending so much time with other people is that, paradoxically, it reminds me more acutely of how much I miss her.

Almost all of the visitors have now flown back home, so it's back to the grind for me--which this weekend must sadly include a big chunk of time doing my federal income taxes. Ick.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I can do basic probability calculations

In my RSS feed reading today was a pointer to a site that administers a brief quiz of your ability to quantify probabilities:

I took it and got this gratifying summary of my results:
Congratulations on completing your statistical and risk literacy test!

Your numeracy score is better than about 75-100% of all college educated individuals. Roughly, this means that out of every 100 people who take the test, you will do better than about 90% (90 people) of all other people. This is the highest score one can receive on this test.

Technically, relative to the general population, you are among the most statistically literate in the world.
Based on your score, you are not very likely to experience the extreme difficulty most people have when faced with common types of statistical thinking. However, you should still take care and may want to double check your calculations or seek additional advice when it comes to important decisions involving risk and statistics (e.g., some medical decisions, financial investment, taking consumer debt).

In our uncertain and complex world you are likely to find that your higher levels of risk and statistical literacy are very beneficial and important.

Indeed, your levels of numeracy reflect a skill level that very few people ever achieve… one that is the result of considerable practice.
As the saying goes: " Practice makes perfect."


Two odd poker-related visuals have caught my eye this week.

First, I got an email from Bovada (formerly Bodog), saying how much they've missed me since I haven't played there in a few months. It includes a nice tournament ticket, which I will definitely use, so I kept this in my email in-box to remind myself to check the schedule for when I can use the ticket. But the longer it sat there, the more I thought something didn't look right. I finally looked closely and realized the problem:

It's the geography. Paris is indeed just across the street from the Bellagio, but that establishes that we're looking south on Las Vegas Boulevard from Flamingo Road. But then we see Caesars Palace further south, and facing us. This is wrong, because CP would be behind us, and facing east, the same orientation as Bellagio.

Then there's this weird cover photo from the March issue of Ante up magazine. Pay particular attention to the cards:

This is what has become pretty much the industry standard tournament winner's photo, with all the chips, the winner's trophy, and the hole cards the winner had on the last hand. (The only thing missing is the traditional cash.)

But did he really win the final hand of the tournament holding a nine of spades and ANOTHER NINE OF SPADES? Let's all say it together: "Fouled deck. Take your bets back."

Weirdness abounds.