Aug. 31st, 2008

peterbirks: (Default)
There's a fad which, I regret, seems to have originated in US documentary programmes, wherein the narrator insists on speaking in the present tense. "It's September 16 1550", he says ( to take an example I heard this evening on a non-American programme). "No it isn't!" I cry in response. "You are a fool! Were it September 16 1550, you aould not be narrating a television programme. You would be a peasant wallowing in the mud, as you deserve".

I'm not quite sure why this style of narrating has become popular, and I'm not quite sure why it drives to incandescent rage. An otherwise excellent series on the US Civil War a few years ago was almost unwatchable (for me) because of its insistence on the use of the present tense. Am I alone?

The FT continues to reach new height of hopelessness in sub-editing land. One well-known publisher of dailies (Montgomery) wants to eliminate the sub-editor altogether (he wants to eliminate offices for journalists as well, so perhaps he isn't all bad). However, assuming that the FT still uses sub-editors (which I'm beginning to doubt), I'd love to know how the following got through in a feature (i.e., one where there is no time pressure, in theory!) and, indeed, how the writer, Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, let it get past his own read-through.

The article is a review of Paul Auster's work in general and of his latest book, Man In The Dark in particular.

At the end, this sentence brought me to rather rapid attention:
The latter stages of the novel shift awkwardly to Brill, as he delivers a mini-memoir of his marriage to his granddaughter in dialogue so excrutiating it's almost cruel to quote...

What? I asked? Auster is writing about a man's marriage to his granddaughter?

Oh, no. I think not. The sentence should read: " he delivers to his granddaughter a mini-memoir of his marriage...".

I'm sorry, but this is truly dreadful. It's not a split-infinitve kind of error, where one could perhaps argue that the whole thing is really a matter of taste rather than rules. This is writing that causes the reader to pause and have to do a double-take.

Unless Brill does marry his granddaughter -- in which case, apologies all round.


I won 32 big bets an hour just two-tabling for an hour this evening. Bad news, it was at 2¢-4¢.

I was experimenting with an auto hot-key (ahk) script. The I-Poker network as neat buttons for betting half the pot, three-quarters of the pot and the pot. On other sites you have to type in the raise amount or move the slider. It's all rather unsatisfactory, and I've been thinking for some time that autohotkey might be a solution on Stars and Party.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get the system to work that's meant to generate bets relative to the size of the pot. I got the call and fold buttons right, plus the auto reload, and a few other not-that-important keys, but the bet generator steadfastly refused to generate a bet. However, if I have numlock on, I can just type the amount into an activated bet-size box without going near the mouse. I'm not sure whether this will prove quicker than using the mouse, but I think it would definitely be less straining on the wrist and on the tendons in the body of the hand.



Aug. 31st, 2008 07:26 pm
peterbirks: (Default)
Coding is a dangerous thing.

I played today for about 90 minutes with Auto HotKey rather than using the mouse, and, sad to say, the strain on the hand seemed about the same. However, I can swap from mouse to keypad and back to mouse, which seems to use slightly different muscle movements.

Ninety minutes in and Party Poker spotted that I was running a script. A popup appeared asking me to type within 90 seconds the five letters displayed. This failsafe anti-bot system is fairly pathetic, to be honest. I could quite easily have had a bot_script (Pokerpad merely exchanges mouse movements and mouse clicks for keystrokes) running and be doing other more interesting things like watching TV or reading a book. But I guess it filters out the "fire it up and go out to work" botters.

The trouble is, the guy who wrote PokerPad is no longer updating it, which is causing the donks on 2_+_2 no end of irritation. This seemed a clear challenge, so I downloaded WindowSpy and started looking through the PokerPad code. It seems fairly obvious where the numbers are that have caused IPoker to stop working (or, rather allegedly stop working; I haven't actually tried AHK on IPoker yet) and it seems to be to be a matter of finding the right screen co-ordinates for the various boxes.

This should also solve the PartyPoker "won't bet a proportion of the pot" problem. I just have to find the right co-ordinate on the screen that displays the size of the pot. I suspect at the moment that AHK is just looking in the wrong place, and therefore is trying to calculate 75% of _blank_.


I made some progress with Pokertracker 3 reports as well, and I managed to generate a list of players with a VPIP of less than 22% and an attempt to steal of more than 35% (min sample size, 200 hands, which might be a bit low). I leave it to the reader's imagination to what use I might put this.

My various att_to_steal stats are 29%, 27% (NoIQ and Betfred), 25% (Party) and 25% (PokerStars). The average of all qualifying players was 19.5%. I might put in another filter to have a minimum pre-flop raise percentage, to see how that changes things.

(Just threw in a minimum PFR of 9% as an additional filter. Average att_to_steal went up to 27.5%.)

Of the 20 big winners per hundred (once again, in very small samples of hands -- you really need about 3,000 hands as a minimum, I reckon) 12 raised less than the 19.51% and eight raised more than the average 19.5%. Which seems to indicate that it's not how often to attempt to steal (or, rather, how tight your range is), as how much you raise and how you play it when you get called and/or reraised.

Fold to 3 bets among the big winners ranged from 50% to 100%. The more frequent stealers, unsurprsingly, fold to 3 bets more often (generally 75% to 100%). These are, of course, extemely small samples for individual players, but the trend looks constant.

Interestingly, the player with the highest steal rate (82%) only folded to a 3bet half the time. Clearly he was getting used to being 3bet and had a second string to his bow. However, he still only went to showdown 20% of the time. So, playing back against this kind of guy probably needs some gutsy commitment if you want to stand up to him successfully.

The average win rate for players with a VPIP of less than 22% was 56 cents a 100, btw, mainly at $100 buy in with about a third of the hands being $50 buy in and about a 10th being $200 buy in. The average $ per hundred for players with a VPIP of less than 22% and a PFR of at least 9% was $2.41 per 100.


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