Feb. 6th, 2008

Bits & Bobs

Feb. 6th, 2008 11:19 am
peterbirks: (Default)
The currency markets have been behaving themselves these past couple of weeks, and I've profited accordingly, getting back the hit I took a couple of months back, plus another hundred or so on top. Basically sterling looks range-bound and there are some distinct tops and bottoms where you can either dive in or close out. It's not clear where the exact bottom is -- one would expect to see a few repeats of the low being tested before a big push upwards occurs again -- $1.92 is my current favourite, but I'm not dogmatic about it. The short-term upside is easier to spot — $1.9950 or thereabouts.

With the March future on Sterling still anticipating a sterling drop, it pays to go short intra-day and long on the March future (not simultaneously, though), depending on your current view.


Lots of restaurant movement in Wardour Street. The old perpetually doomed 139 appears to be turning into a -- wait-for-it, a bakery. Talk about time turning full circle.

Of course, this isn't your ordinary bakery. This is Princi, a bakery that will doubtless charge £3.50 for a loaf and will get away with it.

Meanwhile Spice of Life opposite has given up the ghost and is to become a Côte. Olly Olsen's gave it up, Luigi's remains shut. It's a fairly depressing row of shops there, with only Mario's the Coffee Bar on the corner of St Anne's Court making the place look like anything but downtown Baltimore.


I actually made the money in the Betfred Freeroll for heavy-duty cash players last night. I definitely do better when I play "my way" than according to Snyder, or whoever. That's not because my way is better -- it's just that I play so few tournaments that I can't develop the right "feel" for what one might call the Roland de Wolfe way. And I'm not sure that that is the right way for freerolls anyway.

One of the things that annoys me about tournaments is how lots of little things get in the way of playing "proper" poker. I've no moral objection to this. There's nothing sacrosanct about the rules of poker. But I'm not the type who can adapt instinctively to rule-changes.

So, in tournaments, one of the things you have to look at is how chip value varies from its 1:1 cash equivalent as the tournament progresses. And you have to assess how this will affect other players' attitudes (a technique that comes with experience). Thus in this tournament, on the bubble you get $0. This goes to $25 for 10th, $30 for ninth, $35 for 8th, $40 for seventh, and then starts moving up sharply, to $300 for first. Obviously this distorts the chip value vs cash value, but how you adapt to this depends on how you think other players will adapt to it. Inlive games, you can have this "prize structure", only to see most of the other players vote to change it unilaterally. It's as if the rules of a board game could be changed by majority vote as you got to near the end.

An additional problem was posed when we got to the final table. The "bounty" player was sitting there with the second-shortest stack. I was in eighth place (more than twice the bounty player's stack), but from eighth to third was only from $10k to $20k. The top two had about $30k each.

First prize was $300, but there was a $100 bounty on a low-stacked player. The prize money only moves up slowly from ninth to sixth.

So, what I really want to do is go for a double up when I'm even marginally plus EV. Until we get down to six players, chips and cash value are fairly closely aligned. I'm just in a short-stack cash situation as far as I am concerned (except, of course, that I don't often play in short-stack cash situations).

And, in addition, there's this bounty. What I also really want to do is hang around for the opportunity to knock out the Bountyman. How much should I let this affect my style?

Well, it was all academic. Blinds were $750-$1500 and I went all in for $10K in MP1 with QJo. Player behind with $15k flat called with 99. Board came KT5 rainbow, which gave me unjustified hope. Blanks on turn and river.

However, having to allow for all these extraneous "non-card" matters just, well, irritates me. I don't think it's an insult to poker or anything like that. It just wasn't what I signed up for when I started to play the game nearly 40 years ago. If I wanted all these intra-game calculations, I would have become an expert in German board games.


It was fascinating to hear last night on the radio that Simba Maconie was standing against Robert Mugabe in the Zimbabwe presidential elections. Could he be a relation of Stuart Maconie on Radio 6 The Freak Zone, I wondered?

Unfortunately, it's spelt Makonie, not Maconie. So it goes.


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