Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Year in Review

Here are some stats and charts for my 2008 year in review:

Here is a chart by month. I managed to have just two minor losing month in May and July, the rest were profitable. My monthly average is $692/month. It was a profitable year compared to 2007 where I lost $1429.44 My average in 2007 was a loss of -$120/month, so this year was pivotal as a poker player beginning to make more money then lose more money.

Here is a Cumulative Chart with each session mapped out. In total, I played 108 sessions in 2008.   That is about 1 in 3.3 days playing poker or about 29.5% of the days in 2008 playing the game. My average winning per session is about $76.94 per session. As you can see I don't win all the time, but it was a steady rise after a bad start to the year. I ended at my 12 month high of $8309.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Vegas Trip!

Just got back from Las Vegas! Its been over a year since I last went in November of 2007. I had plenty of opportunities to go this year, but never made the time for it. I figure I better go now that I have a little time. It was a nice trip and I didn't lose money!
I stayed at the Tropicana. Its one of the cheapest places on the Strip. The room isn't anything special, but I don't need a fancy room, just a place to sleep and shower. It's in a really good location with the MGM Grand and New York New York right across the street. I only played Poker at the MGM and Luxor (The Tropicana's Poker room was shutdown).
My first night at MGM started out good. I made a quick $100 within the first hr. Then I hit a long streak of nothing cards and ended up losing $300 for the session. I reloaded another $100 after I got my stack down to around $50. Nothing was really hitting for me. No sets and a table of really tight players. I kinda felt like it was a losing night and I should have quit when I made the quick $100. I have always said, if you get lucky early then you better quit early. Its good advice, I just need to keep reminding me of this.
My second day I decided to try Luxor. I read that it was a pretty new room and was within walking distance from my hotel. This session did not disappoint. I hit 4 sets with two of them turning into boats. A set of Queens, 333s, 555s and 444s. I played for over 12hrs and cashed out $710. I bought it for $200 and reloaded another $100 after I got down to $80. So I netted $410! I made up all my losses for the previous night actually made some money. It was a sick session and the table was good. I have never scene so many terrible players. I saw some huge pots won with Ace high. A guy that really didn't know what he was doing called down some guy on a draw and won with Ace 4. It was sick. His stack was up to over $600 before he lost it all! Some to me and some to others..
On my last day, I had a 2:30pm flight. So I decided to play some poker before I left for the Airport. I played at the MGM since its a short walk from the Tropicana. I only played for 1.5hrs but made about $45. During my last hand I had pocket 88s and hit my set on the flop! No action, since it was top set and the other guys had nothing. Then right afterwards I get pocket 33s. So I have to play this. I hit my set again! The flop was 37j. I bet $15 and I get one caller. The turn is a King. I bet $50 and he calls again. The river is another King, I just filled up! I bet $75 and the guy folds!
Everything said, I only made about $150 for the trip. It was fun and I should have quit early the first night. And then just played the second night and it would have been a really good trip. But as with any form of fun, its good not to lose any money.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

South Austin Players Meets The Silent Assassin From North Austin.

I flew back to Austin on Saturday. The weather was in the 70s and I was glad to leave the cold behind in Michigan. I got in around 4pm and went home to unpack and rest a bit. I decided to play some poker at a new place in South Austin. The place is hosted by the same guys where I had been playing on Friday night. I haven't had to play in their Saturday for some time since I kept hitting my weekly goals on Friday night. But, now I have a loss and break even session behind me, I can get back to winning some cash!

Saturday night did not disappoint me. It was my biggest winning session in over one year. I cashed out for an even $800. I started with $200 and hit an Ace for the button bonus for another $20 in free cash. I haven't made over $600 in one night since my birthday 1.5 years ago. That night I made over $840 in a $2/$5 game in Motor City Casino.

I built my stack up fast! The second hand of the night I have pocket Aces under-the-gun. I raise to $20. One girl calls and everyone else folds. I put her on a big pair, Jacks or Queens. I have never played with most of these people so I have to go with my gut, girls generally play pretty tight and wont call a $20 raise with anything, but a big pair. The flop is all rags, nine high. I bet out $35. The girl calls! Now, I know she has an over pair. The turn is another rag, a 6. I bet $40. The girls announces that it will be a short night for her and calls again. The river is a 10 and I decided to check. She also checks and I show my Aces and she folds.. I see paint under her cards and pretty sure she had Jacks or Queens.. Now, I am up to $300.
The very next hand I have pocket Queens in the Big Blind! A maniac raises it to $12. I have never played with this guy, but the very first hand he raised it to $12 so I profile him as a maniac raiser that likes to play many hands. The girl that I just took down for $100 also calls. I decided to raise to $47, all day. The maniac calls and the girl folds. The flop is 683. I bet out $50. The maniac calls! The turn is a King. So I check. The maniac checks. The river is a 9 of clubs and now there is a possibility of a flush. So I check. The maniac bets $100.  I have decision to make. A king beats me, but he checked it. A flush beats me, but do I believe him, he is a maniac and probably likes to push on weakness? I have to go with my instincts, I decided to call! He says, "six". I think pocket sixes for a set.. No, he just one pair of sixes. I show my pocket Queens and take down the $370 pot. Now, I am up to over $500! A girl says, "Wow, pocket Aces then pocket Queens.." Sometimes you never know when your hands come. They can come early, they can come late.
Shortly later, my final big hand of the night. Zane, a guy that I played with before and who likes to straddle allot raises to $15. I am directly to his left and I have AQ, I decide to call. Everyone else folds. The flop is A7Q, I just hit 2 pair. Zane checks and I bet out $25. Zane smooth calls me. The turn is another Queen! I just boated up. Zane now bets $50. I think for a moment, does he have pocket Aces? I decide to just call. The river is a rag. Zane now bets $75. I think of a moment and decide that he cant have pocket Aces. I have Queens full so the odds are pretty small, he probably has AK. So I decide to re-raise him to $150. He thinks really hard and actually shows me his hand. He says, "I have a good hand.." and shows me.. He did have AK... and decides that he is pot committed and has to call! I show my Queens full and take down the $480 pot! Now, I my stack is over $700 and I am the chip stack leader.
I continue to just play solid poker and build my stack up to over $800. I eventually come back down losing a few dollars and cash out for exactly $800.
Current Stats

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Quads twice and I still loss?

I was back to my Michigan home all week. I went to work for a software company in Austin, TX. I was in the middle of recommend usage of there software at my previous place of employment in Michigan. After my old company let me go, the software company offered me a position to work there. My old company did decide to purchase their software and now I get to go back to my old job place and install it.

Needless to say, the weather in Michigan is colder then Texas. I left 70F to goto 13F and snow on the ground. I felt like I never left Michigan. The feelings of Michigan all came back to me and I felt like I never left. I thought I would feel the cold, but I got used to it pretty quick and it was like I never left. I did have to find my jacket and winter clothes. I packed it all away and was hoping to never used them again. I wish I was back in Texas with my "novia" I miss her.

I only had a chance to play poker on Friday night. It was a tough night at Palace Poker. I had some big hands. Pocket Aces once, no action. Pocket Queens like 4 times and cracked 3 time, someone hitting a set and trips on me. I did hit quads twice, 7777 and 9999! But had little action on it. I should have cleaned up, but got short stacked after losing $100 with my pocket Queens. The Palace had a prize pool for the top 3 hands of the night. My Quads didn't even make it, since you needed both cards to play and by 1am there were 3 straight flushes... Damn, those are some big hands..
I did suck out on one guy that is worth mentioning. I was in the small blind and short stacked at about $45. I had 94. Everyone limped in. The flop is 939. I check hoping that someone would bluff at it. The button bets $15 and I go all-in. He instant calls my $45 all-in. I asked if he had a flush draw. He said no and shows pocket 33s. He flopped a boat! Damn I am screwed. I think I need to hit a 4 or runner runner pair. Well the turn is a 7 and I think its over for me. The river is a 9!! I hit quads for the second time that night! It was sick!
I should have re-buy earlier. I should never had let myself get so low. The guy would have called my all-in and I would have been up for the night. You never know when you hit your hand and you better have money when you do. Sometimes to win big, you have to win from behind. Its sad, bit sometimes its the only way. This is the second time I hit quads on someone after the board trips up. The other lesson to the story is never slow play bottom boat! Even though it seems like a strong hand, you never know what the river will bring. You play it hard and you play it fast!
At the end of the night, I had loss $134. Not to bad, all things considered. The table was super tight and all regulars that remember me and hardly ever gave me action. I had to lose sometime, I am glad it was a small amount.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Winning streak over.

I finally didn't win, but I didn't lose either. I broke even. After getting up to $300, I donked off my winnings and left with what I started with $200. I consider that better then losing. You cant always win at this game and if you can minimize your losses then you should come out a head. I am headed to Michigan next week and will try playing at my old place, Palace Poker in Flint, Michigan.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My 2nd best month ever!

After taking Thanksgiving day off, I played on Friday night ("Black Friday," as they call the shopping day after Turkey day...) Friday night is my normal night of playing and I was ready for it after a long day of shopping for gifts. I cashed out for exactly $400 after buying in for $200. I am up over $1100 this month and only played 4 sessions. So far this month is turning out to be my best month in 8 months since I lost my job and went pro for two months. During that time I played almost everyday in April 2008. April was an over $2000 month. I really thought I could go pro, but my better instincts told me that would be foolish and my mom would kill me.
I played for 7 hours. I actually got my stack up to $400 within the first 1.5hr. Then, I was in reverse for 5 hrs, slowly donking off most of the winnings. I got back into the game when I hit a hand with Jessica. She is pictured right getting a massage from the new game girl "Jess". Both of which had some nice knockers.. Yes, her shirt is off and I had a very nice view. It looks like she is topless, but she really just undone her straps on her tank top. She was already wearing a skimpy little thing and it was a real distraction see her unstrap in front of me. Luckily, I don't get to distracted, but I told her I did. (You can see Stan in the background just drooling over the chicas... ha ha..)
I am actually a very discipline player and try very hard to never go on tilt. You can see that Jessica at that time had $400 in front of her. She got that when she hit Aces and another pushed her all-in with pocket nines. I saw another guy push all in with pocket fours. I told him to stop watching the girls. I told Jessica, see what you did to the poor guy. He pushed all-in with pocket fours, thinking that were Aces... These little comments go a long way to making people think about what you are thinking. Just remember everything you say and how it might be perceived. The most important mind aspect about poker is what you think the other player is thinking about you. If you can master that, then you have the edge.
Unfortunately, I made most of my money from Jessica. I cracked her Aces with a set of Jacks. She asked to check it down pre-flop and I got lucky to hit my set. If we didnt check it down, then she probably would have lost her stack to me. Later in the night I turn the nut straight with AK when she had two pair (AJ or A10 not sure.. she never showed). I didn't slow play her, but maybe she thought I was distracted by her boobs and was just going to give her my money. I really hated taking her money, since she is a super nice girl (in a bad girl kinda way), but I have to play my game and take my profits from whomever falls in my way. Sorry baby! better luck next time, it was other peoples money anyways on temporarily loan to you...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Back in the saddle!

Got back onto the table last night. Took a little break last week. Had to entertain a lady friend. Isn't it just like a girl to ruin your normal game play? I should find a girl that plays poker, that would be sweet! Oh wait, I tried that and it didnt work out. Luckily, I was up big last week and didn't need to play for 2 weeks. I seem to do better anyways after taking a break and so far this month I am up over $900 again.
It was the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving and we played a little short handed. It seem like everyone was playing with scared money and it was mostly newer players that have not played me. It was slow and easy playing and no really big hands to get me into much trouble. It was slow steady climb. I bought in for $160. There was a $100 button bonus and I hit an Ace to get an extra $25. So I started with $185. It was a nice feeling to get some free money. Then I hit with AQ a couple times to build up. Everyone was chasing flushes and straights and I made them pay. Luckily, they didn't hit and I took down pots without having to show much. Made $220 total.

Above is a chart by month of my current statistics, not bad if I do say so myself...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Solid night, but no big hands?

Back from a solid night of Poker. I played for about 4.5hrs and made $400. What is unusual about tonight was that I had no real big hands, or no really large pots and just a few showdowns. I just played solid and people folded. I built my stack up a little at a time. I did hit with a suited connector, 78 early on with some guy betting $50 into my nut straight. Luckily, for him he was smart enough to fold to my all-in bet. Pocket nines were still hot for me. I turned a set of nines and rivered a boat. The flop was all hearts and I had one guy chasing the nut flush to pay me off somewhat. I had AK once in the small blind and raised $20 preflop, I had 5 callers! Luckily, I hit my Ace on the flop and everyone folded to my continuation bet.

The table I was playing had some familiar faces. German, Melvin, Eagle Eye and the always gorgeous dealer, Jessica. BTW, Jessica reminds me of Nicki on HBO's Big Love. She is played by Chloƫ Sevigny. She has a girl next door look and every time I see her I think of Nicki on the show. What do you think. Does Jessica look like Nicki?
Anyways, as I sit down German says, "Hello, Anthony." I say, "Do I know you?" German says, "You know me, you are the tightest Asian player in Austin." I tell him, "Don't scare away my action." Jessica, the dealer, confirms German's comment to the rest of the table. I haven't seen German in a few weeks. I guess he has been running badly and lost a ton of money to Billy, a really loose player. I saw Billy take German down for about $500 one night. I generally don't like to socialize to much at the Poker table. Poker is a tough game and any edge that you have you need to exploit. Even the smallest of advantages will pay big dividends in the course of hours of play. So now everyone at the table knows my reputation. I need to consider this in my play. They now know I am super tight and the fact that another solid player told them this is information that they will try to use against me. Unless of course, I know they know this and I use it against them, ha ha...
Anyways, I think in my first big hand I had a guy that bought in for $500 and tried to buy my pot. I had 78 suited in hearts. I limped in. This guy limped in under the gun and then tried to raise the pot after the big blind just called. He had to take back his bet, but it was a suspicious move. Anyways, the flop is A56. Everyone checks, including me. The turn is a King. It's checked to me and I bet $10. The under the gun guy reraises me to $35. I call with my open ender. The river is a nine, I hit! The guy comes out betting $50 into my nuts. I have $150 in front of me and push all-in hoping he slow played a set of Kings or Aces? The guy thinks for a while, and folds. How can he bet $50 and just not call, unless he had nothing and was trying to buy the pot against the "tightest Asian player in Austin". Most people cant fold a set, even to the tightest Asian player in Austin, can they?
This night makes me ask myself, why was I successful? I made more money then average, but I didn't get involved with to many big pots. I just took down many middle sized pots to people who folded to me. I think it came down to image and respect. Everyone heard that I was tight. The dealer confirm this to everyone and another player confirmed it to the table when I hit quads last Friday. I think the best image to have at the table is a super tight aggressive. Someone that waits for hands and then plays any hands like the nuts. Allot of people argue that they rather show people that they are loose and hope to double up on someone that makes a loose call to them. I find this strategy very risky. Because people will always try to crack you, because they never believe you. Sure every now and then you can get up big, but it's a losing strategy in the long run, I am convinced of that. Its always better to be respected and have people fold to you, then be disresepected and have people river you.
This makes 10 straight winning sessions in a row. I guess I am on a multi-month heater! I will take it. Its nice to just slowly make a few bucks and have some fun.
Current Stats

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Quads Again?

I'm home again from another successful night of poker. It was a fun night. I never got down to much and hit some hands when I needed to. I bought in for $200 and cashed out for $550. My stack high was $600 and I just couldn't break thru it so I quit after 8.5hrs of play.

I hit a nut flush on a river to suck out on someone with 2 pair and got up to $300. My big hand was pocket nines. I pre-flop raised $12 and got 4 callers. The flop was 998. I could hardly believe it. I flopped quads again! The odds of flopping quads with a pocket pair is 1 in 407, a very rare event which i have done a few times. I checked the flop and a loose guy bet $2. After 2 callers I re-raised to $5. Everyone called. The turn was a 10. Everyone checked around. The river was a 7 and now 3 spades for a potential flush. A really lose guy bets $20. I re-raise to $60. Another guy behind me calls and the initial raiser calls. He says my flush is good. I say, "no but I have the nuts". They say, "you got a boat" and I show my quads and take down a pot over $250. Someone says, "you meant you had the nuts, nuts..." I guess no one ever excepts someone to hit quads. But if you play with me, you will know that I hit quads once a month. I just hit quad queens a few weeks ago, so I am running strong and haven't loss on a Friday night in 2 months..

Friday, October 31, 2008

Gas under $2!

I filled up my tank today at the lowest priced gas station in Texas, maybe the United States at a small town called Taylor. Regular unleaded was going for $1.89/ gallon. I thought I would never see prices this low again. I use an online search site to the lowest prices. Below are a few links by cities where I am from.

For Austin TX -- >

For anywhere in the USA -->

For Michigan prices -->

And for my unfornate family that lives in NY you have the higest gas prices anywhere. Check out --->

State Gas Tax Map 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sick night... The Silent Assassin Returns

What a sick night! Set over set.. boat over boat!!! Luckily I was on the high end of both of my set over set and boat over boat. It was just one of those nights and where I didn't play many hands but maximized the few hands (3 big hands) that I did play. I cashed out over $700 and started with $160.

My first 2 hours were fairly uneventful. I did get pocket kings twice. The first time I raised $12 and got 2 callers. The flop was 224 and I bet $35. I got one caller from early position. The turn was a 8 and he bet $35 on the turn. I re-raised to $100 and he folded. I get pocket kings again on the Big Blind a few minutes later. There were 5 limpers and I bump it to $22 all day and everyone folds and I take a small pot. A short time later I get pocket 10s. A girl pushes all in for $48 in late position. Everyone folds to me and I call. She had KQ. She does not hit anything and I hit a set of 10s on the river. I am now up to $300 in front of me.

The hand of the night: I am in the big blind and look at pocket Queens. A loose guy raises it $7 and two people behind him call including the big stack with over $800 in front of him. I re-raise another $20 to $27. I get 3 callers! Stan the host calls and says, "Just what you wanted.." I say "Not really, I would rather just have one caller.." thinking that the odds increase of someone hitting there set with more callers. The flop is Q7K. I hit my set of Queens! I bet $50. The original raiser thinks about calling and starts counting his chips. He eventually folds, putting me on AK or Aces. The button, who is also the big stack, re-raises me another $100 on top. I am not sure what he has. Maybe AK and he is trying to push his big stack. I immediately re-raise him all-in. I have $230 in front of me. The big stack instant calls and now I wonder if he has pocket kings, the only hand that beats me... He rolls over pocket 77s, he hit bottom set!!!! The river actually pairs the board with another king and its boat over boat. I take down the $650 pot and am now the new chip leader at the table!
The Big Blind Special: A few minutes later I am in the Big Blind again. Just a few limpers and I have 63. I am hoping for lightening in a bottle. The flop is 664. I hit trips. I don't really like my 3 kicker but I bet out $10 into a $8 pot. A fairly tight girl calls and the former big stack re-raises me to $35. I call the extra $15 and the girl calls. The turn is a low card like a 7, but now there are 3 hearts and a potential flush. I check and the girl checks. The former big stack bets $35. I don't put him on a flush so I call and the girl calls. The river is a 3! I just filled-up. I don't believe it, but I can get a big blind special every now and then. I decided to bet $100 into a pot over $200. The girl folds and the former big stack calls asking if I have a boat? I say yes... He shows pocket 44s. He flopped a boat and I river a bigger boat, sick!!!! I take down the $400 pot and now have over $800 in front of me... I am not sure why he didn't re-raise me. He flopped a boat! yet just calls my river bet! What did he put me on? There are only a few hands that beat him, yet he takes the conservative route and just calls. This tells me that he respects my play and is a solid player.
If you don't respect my play, then you just are not paying attention. Maybe losing the previous huge pot to me put the fear of God in him. He said early on to me that he wasn't going to play any pots that I raised. He noticed that I didn't play many hands. He should have taken his own advice and stayed out of my pots. He would have been up over $1k if he just didn't play in the 3 pots that he played with me. I generally do put the fear of God in most poker players. You just don't want to play a guy that only plays one hand every 2 hrs... lol.... The dealer, Sterling called me the "Silent Assassin..." Noticing that I don't talk much, but when I do play they generally don't see me coming. The dealer said that he was afraid of me, even tough he was just dealing... If you want a good image at the poker table, don't talk much, play tight and only show sets. If that doesn't scare them, then take there money.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cracked 3 ladies with a nut flush draw..

Another successful night. It was a long 12hr+ session. I didn't quit at my high point, but I did quit a winner at $110. My high was $250 up, but just couldn't quit... Ahhh, what is wrong with me.. I should know that whenever I get up over $200 I should quit.. Anyways, it was fun and I keep my winning streak alive. I had to risk my entire stack chasing a nut flush draw. It was against a lady. She raised it $17. She played tight and I put her on a big pair. I was in the big blind with AK suited in clubs. The flop is Q23 with 2 clubs. I check. One guy bets $15 and the lady re-riases to $60. I put her on a set of Queens. I have a draw and about $100 in front of me.. I haven't played in 2 hrs.. I have to hit to win, without pairing the board.. I don't usually make this kind of call, but wasn't hitting anything all night. So I call... This scares the previous better and he folds. The turn is a 7 of hearts. I check and the lady puts me all in. I only have about $35 left and am pot committed, so I call. She turns over a set of Queens and I show my nut draw. The river is a 10 of clubs! I take down a $300 pot! I feel bad for taking out her set. I know she is a solid player and would rather take chips from a weak player, but sometimes you gotta gamble... From then on I built it up another $150 before giving it all back. We played a little Omaha and I leave up $105..

Current Stats

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I made $5, better then losing..

I played last night for 8 hrs. My total profits? $5.. A minor success since I was never up more then $50 and got down to around $90. I did hit a set of 33s early on and a set of 22s, but didn't get paid off. If I would have called a $12 raise with 22s I would have hit another set. The flop was A23 and the guy that raised had Ace something. Normally I would call, but just wasn't feeling it in the small blind. I had Aces once in the big blind and the button re-raised to $60. I went all in with around $85. Another guy called and the button guy called, he had pocket Kings, but my Aces held up. I doubled up with pocket Queens when a loose guy went all in on a rag flop. He had pocket 10s. Not sure why I couldn't build my stack, since the table was very loose. I guess it was just one of those nights. I did lose $75 in one hand when I had pocket Queens and an Ace hit the flop. I bet $50 on the flop and had a caller. I checked the turn and he bet $100 on the river. Sometimes you just gotta fold those big pairs..

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A short night hitting quad Queens again.

Back from a relatively short night of Poker at Sheldon's. I made $240 in about 3 hours. I played from 8pm to 11pm. I figured I was averaging $80/hour in a very steady climb up. I bluffed one big hand to make it a good night early so I decided to call it a night and get some needed rest. Pocket Queens was the hand of the night. I had them 3 times, along with pocket Kings once, Jacks twice and Aces one. That's a lucky streak to get those big hands within 3 hrs.

I hit Quad Queens in my first big hand. I look down, under the gun, "two ladies". I raise $15, haven't played a hand since they started for 25 minutes. The guy in the big blind calls and he ask if I want to run it out. I don't like to do that, but want to be friendly so agree. The flop is AQ3, I say I have a set, turn is a Queen, then I say, "now quads" the river doesn't matter. The guy shows pocket 88s. He probably wasn't calling any bet on the flop with 2 overs and an Ace on the board, so I won as much as I could... I hear another guy say "that guy is solid.." and another say, "wow, quad Queens.." I can tell my tight reputation is without question and I put it to good use later on. This is like my 4th time ever hitting Quad Queens. I guess I am lucky with the ladies...

A short time later I get pocket Queens again in the Big Blind. The button raises it $17. The small blind calls. I re-raise to $57 all day. The original raiser calls, the small blind calls. The flop is A23. I think, dam an Ace. I have to bet to win. I pause for a second and think I have to bet if I am going to win. So I bet $50 into a $171 pot. The big blind folds reluctantly and the small blind thinks really hard and folds. The button guys says, "tell me that AJ is no good.." and the small blind said he had a mid pair. He thought I had pocket Aces and my $50 bet was just begging to be called. He knew I was tight and called me the "tightest Asian player in Austin".. Did my bluff work? or did he just have a mid pair also? I guess being the tightest player at the table helps make people fold to you. I was glad to take it down without a fight.

My last big hand: Same exact setup as before... The button raises $17. The small blind calls. I am in the big blind and see two ladies again. I raise another $40 to make it $57 all day. There was one limper already in the pot. He goes all in for around $35. The button guys says, "we have been here before.." I say, "Yes, we have and you should have folded before, will you make the right decision?" He finally folds.. The small blind is upset, he wanted "pot odds" to call. He takes his time and finally folds, showing pocket nines. I roll over my ladies and hit my set on the turn. The guy that went all in never shows his hand, but I assume he had a small pair. He is one of the looses players at the table and I have taken him down many times before.

Current Stats

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Closing my Wells Fargo puts

I just closed my WFC puts. I purchased 500 of them at .85 and now sold them at $4. The stock is down 10% and I decided not to get greedy and take what I could. I think Wells Fargo will probably go under, but you don't want to be a pig in this market. Eventhough the SEC ban shorting of financial stocks, you can still profit from a stock going down by just buying puts. Short all financials!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How did we come to this Financial Crisis?

If you have been following the news, you know there is a pending Financial Crisis. While you might not be feeling a crisis personally, there is a crisis in the financial industry. Below is a link to a really good article that describes how we got here. The reasons are fairly technical, but the author does a good job in writing it in simple terms to understand.

If you still don't get it, then give me a call and I will explain..
In simples terms here are the reasons for this crisis:
  1. Government creation of GSE, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy Mortgage Loans
  2. Desire to increase home ownership: Bush pushed GSEs and Fed to lower rates and lending standards to allow more people the ability to own homes
  3. Sarbanes Oxley Act comes along after Enron scandal, requiring Mark to Market accounting for all public companies, including banks
  4. Interest rates start to increase and people with ARM start foreclosing
  5. Wall Street stops buying Mortgage Back Securities
  6. Banks requiring to "mark to market" there unrealized loan losses do so, causing rating agencies to downgrade there credit
  7. Banks sell and buy Credit Default Swaps to protect against loan losses
  8. Investment Bankers that sell CDS, go out of business when they are required to pay out and cant.
  9. Banks go into bankruptcy after there capital requirements are not meet and the CDS protection they purchase goes into default.

Thinking about buying this dip?

By Helene Meisler Contributor

I'm not writing the following to scare anyone and I'm not writing it to be dramatic. I am writing it because I kept hearing folks who in the interest of being calm were telling us what great opportunities there were to buy stocks Monday. I kept hearing "for the long term" and how if you'd bought the low in 1987 you'd have made a fortune. So let me share with you what I saw in that photo from nearly 21 years ago. Keep in mind that these were the stocks to watch back then.

General Motors
(GM - commentary - Cramer's Take)closed the day down $16 to $50. GM is currently trading around $9. Ford Motor (F - commentary - Cramer's Take) closed that day at $69, down $15 on the day. Ford is trading with a four handle last time I checked.

OK, so you want to scoff because they are auto stocks? Note how I didn't bother to mention that Chrysler isn't a public company anymore. So let's look at some of the tech stocks that were deemed important back then.

Prime Computer. Who? That's right. I can't even remember what happened to that company. Unisys (UIS - commentary - Cramer's Take) is still around although it now trades with a two handle. At the low of the crash of 1987 it was $30, down $7 on the day. Digital Equipment was IBM's (IBM - commentary - Cramer's Take) biggest competitor then. DEC, as it was called, actually traded about 25 cents shy of $200 during the final week of September 1987. On the day of the crash it closed at $130, down $42 on the day.

DEC was eventually bought out in the late 1990s. I can't recall the exact price but something in the $60s rings a bell. And no, that price isn't split adjusted. It was bought by Compaq. Oh yes. I'm sure you remember Compaq which got bought by Hewlett-Packard (HPQ - commentary - Cramer's Take) for peanuts I recall!

The list of brokers and banks will bring back memories too. E.F. Hutton, Salomon Brothers, Chemical Bank, Chase Manhattan Bank. Manny Hanny as we called Manufacturers Hanover Trust. Bankers Trust was there too. It took me a few minutes to realize that GS on the screen back then was not Goldman Sachs (GS - commentary - Cramer's Take) but Gillette, the razor company.

But the one that really shocked me was Kodak (EK - commentary - Cramer's Take). I had forgotten what an important stock it was. It was in the Dow Jones Industrial Average back then. It closed the day down $26, at $63. It is currently a teenager.

There will be great bargains when this decline is done. There will be great stocks to buy. But whoever tells you what a great opportunity XYZ stock is today clearly doesn't know that the market rotates its favorite names, its favorite groups. I have often said that last year's winners are rarely this year's winners. Well, we can expand that to say something a bit more general: The winners of today are rarely the winners of tomorrow and I believe this trip down memory lane from 1987 proves that point.

Monday was ugly, and it felt a bit panicky too. The VIX jumped. The Index ratio zoomed over 200%. Volume was relatively high as well. So we ought to get an oversold bounce shortly but I can tell you that I would rather be late to the party than early in this case. I've given the market the benefit of the doubt lately by ignoring the intermediate-term indicators and their continued down-trending ways. They were clearly sending us a message and I will now wait until they tell us it's safe to go back in the water.

For more explanation of these indicators, check out The Chartist's primer.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Why do they ask, "Do you have a set?"...

What a grind..! 12 hours straight... it's amazing how time flies by playing poker.. Where does the time go? I started playing at 8:00pm Friday night to 8:30am Saturday morning. Slept all day Saturday and now just getting up to relax and watch the financial news about the rescue plan. I made $155 or about $12.90/hr.. I was up quickly in the first 30 minutes with a profit of $150. I actually wanted to quit and relax, but it was to soon, so I kept on playing and loss $200 and had to keep playing to make it back. I eventually did, but it wasn't easy. Most of the players were new and we got shorthanded and decided to play Round by Round. Omaha and Hold'em.. It was a nice change of pace. I actually hit quad fours in Omaha and then flopped a boat with pocket fours in Hold'em. Another girl hit quad fours with pocket fours the same night. So the hand of the night was pocket fours. .
I actually loss with my flopped full house. Here is they story. A fairly tight girl raised $10 preflop. I called with my pocket fours and two other guys called. The flop is 884. The girl goes all-in with $45. She was short stacked. I decided to go all-in with over $200. The other two guys fold. I show my boat.. She keeps her card faced down, looking depressed. The turn is a Queen and the river is a King. I see her face lite up and realize that she must have hit her 2 outter... She rolls over pocket kings and takes down the pot... I was due of a set over set, at least once every 3 months it happens to me.. At least it was with someone short stacked and only cost me $55.
At the end of the night I eventually got my money back from her after bluffing her with pocket 10s. She said she had pocket Jacks. Then the hand that put me back into the black. I have AQ and raise $17. I have not played a hand in a long time. Everyone is now scared of me since they saw me lose with a flopped full house, hit a set of nines and Aces and hit quad fours. I have the total fear and respect of everyone and they call me the tightest Asian player they have ever played with. Two guys kept asking, "Do you have a set?" Most holdem players are working about top pair, but with me everyone is worried about hitting a set. I guess most Asian play pretty loose in Austin. I want to make money and playing tight is right.
Anyways, back to the hand. Everyone folds except the girl that hit the two outer on me. I feel that she is still steaming over folding pocket Jacks and me hitting a two outer on her early with a set of nines of the river. The flop is AQ3. She bets out $25. I re-raise her to $50. She calls. The turn is a 10. She checks and says to me don't bet.. I say I have too.. I bet $100. She thinks really hard. She looks shocked that I bet that much. She takes forever to decided, but eventually calls. The river is a blank and she rolls over A5. I show my two pair and take the pot... Now I am back up to $360 in front of me.. Basically where I was 11 hours ago with a $160 profit. I sit for a few more rounds and leave. I was glad to leave with a little profit and keep my winning streak alive at Sheldon's place.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Covered my WB and GS...

I sold my WB puts yesterday and covered my GS puts this morning. Made about $750. The trading environment is tricky and I think all these financials have a long way down before they go back up.

The news on GS seems puzzling, the media is hyping that it is all good, but the stock offering scares me? Why do they need $5B more, if they are so well capitalized? Why are they issuing preferred stock? It sounds like they are in a cash crunch just like all the other firms that have collapsed. Every other financial firm did the same thing. Raised money by offering preferred shares or issued more stock. Something doesn't seem right with this story.If I were Jim Cramer at his hedge fund, I would be long the preferred shares and shorting the common? Oh wait, we cant short now.. Wow, amazing how that has worked out.. I guess Paulson is helping out his old firm after all..

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Short Wachovia!

Short WB!!! That's my hot tip.. Since you cant short financials now.. then buy some puts... It is the next big bank to go bankrupt.. I have a good tip by someone that knew about Bear, Lehman and Merrill Lynch going under months before it happen.. I should have stayed with all those shorts.. Would have made out like a bandit..

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Can you fold a set?

Wow! Another great night of poker. I found this new place that I call Sheldon's place. I have played there 3 times and have won each time. I have won over $950 this month alone there. Mostly from this guy named Ed. He is a very solid player ( a dealer too, I think..), but really wants to crack my ass. That is a big mistake, you should never take poker personally.. Not sure why anyone would want to try and take me down, but you can certainly try. You better be able to beat a set.. Since I don't put my money in the pot unless I have a set or better.

Now for the poker story: I buy in for $200. At this game they have a $130 button bonus. If you are the first 8-10 people to play, Sheldon will give out $130 for free. He deals everyone 5 cards and each Ace gets $25 and the best 5 card hand gets $30. I won the best 5 card hand with a pair of 10s. So I start with $230. I am the 2nd big stack, everyone else buys for between $80-180 except for Ed who gets $500 in chips. I don't see Ed actually buy in, so I think he has house credit as a dealer.

The game starts out slow and everyone seems to be playing tight. Standard raises are $7-$12.. I finally get my hand. Pocket Jacks. I am fairly early in position so I raise to $15. Ed in the big blind calls and someone in early position who limped in calls $15. The flop is J83, with 2 hearts. I hit top set! No real straight draw but there is a potential flush draw. The two callers check to me. I bet $35, not expecting to get paid off, since there is no over card. Ed thinks about it and calls. The other guy thinks really long. He start counting out $100. He pretends like he is going to push all in. I am thinking, do it fool, I flopped the nuts! He eventually decided to fold. I put Ed on a flush draw. The turn is the 10 of hearts, now there are 3 hearts. Ed bets $95. Damm, I put him on the flush, but I instant call with top set showing no fear. The river is another 10, giving me Jacks full of 10s. Ed quickly checks and I push all-in for $140. Ed looks shocked and thinks for a while. He wonders what I instant called him on the turn.. He eventually calls my bet and pays me off. I say do you have a flush? He rolls over A6 of hearts, the nuts on the turn! I show my boat and he starts steaming.. Calling me a donkie for calling $95 on the turn. I had 10 outs. Who could fold top set? Ed should never have called my $15 pre-flop raise with A6 suited. Yes, he had the nuts, but I had the best hand starting, on the flop. He took over on the turn, and now expects me to fold top set. Forget that.. I am tight, but not that tight.. Now I am up over $580 in less then 1 hr of play.

The Classic Hold'em Showdown: I continue to play tight. Getting no cards for 40 minutes. Then I pickup pocket Aces under the gun. I think, dam I hate when that happens (a big hand under the gun...). Now many people will just limp in and hope someone raises behind them. I think that is a bad play and my best advice for most players is to never slow play a big hand unless you got quads or unless you can fold Aces. So I raise $20, which is the biggest pre-flop raises all night. I expect everyone to just fold to me, the tightest player at the table, ha ha... The guy next to me calls! The guy after him calls.?.. Everyone else folds.. a guy near me says how do you get all that action after not playing a hand for an hour. I say, "I don't know, I guess I got no respect.. I will have to teach them a lesson.." The flop is 57Q. I am first to act and bet $50. The guy next pushes all in, raises to $110. The last guy asks, "Do you have AQ?" He looks over at me and says I must have Aces or Kings. He throws his hand over showing AQ, and says "he will call.." (pointing to me...) Which I do... The other guy had pocket kings and I take him out.. I am up over $750 now and have only been playing for just 2 hrs, that is $275/hr, just sick... The guys say that I will be having a thousand dollar night. I think to my self, I am just happy to take what I have now.. Anyways, I owe them some play, so play till closing 2:50am.. some guy slowed played pocket Aces when I had AK and hit a King on the flop.. I walk out with $600, happy with my night, but still wishing I would have quit at $750.... Anyways, I had fun.

I treated myself to some PF Changs. I read some good reviews about them. I tried there Orange Peel beef, it was pretty good. It was the first time that I was there. It was a pretty nice place, I will have to go back and try a few other dishes.

Current Stats

Friday, September 19, 2008

Im out! 20pt gain in 2 days...

I just sold my Goldman at $130/share for a $20pt gain in two days. That's $2000 in two days of investing.. The trading before the open up 40pts to around $144.. I was getting ready for work and missed the opening and a friend text me the news. He was also in the stock, just by coincidence. I have not traded in 4 months and I pick the same stock as my buddy to buy. I had not spoken with him in a month. Anyways , the stock came back down to $120.. then back to $130.. I decided to take what I got, a 18% move in two days.... There is a saying in trading, "Bulls make money, Bears make money, pigs get slaughter..!" Basically don't get to greedy in the markets.. Take what you can get.. try to find the middle ground. It's to hard to find the exact bottom or the exact top. I just shoot for something in between...

The SEC is banning short-selling for all US financial stocks. This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. I guess the UK did this yesterday for just financial stocks, also. This tells me that the government really don't understand the market. Short-selling creates liquidity and for every short seller they are a buyer at a later date. When a stock is going down, sometimes the only buyers are short sellers that are covering. I just don't get how they think this will help. In China, short selling is outlawed and it has done nothing to keep its markets up. Its been in a bear market all year long. This ban will just create more volatility down the road. After the shorts cover and there are no buyers left, who do you think will support stocks in a downward spiral.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ugly days in the stock markets!

What the heck...? The stock markets is really tanking. I have been out of the market for some time now. With my relocation and new job, its been hard to focus on any investments. But the bottom must be near... The best time to buy stocks is when everyone is selling. And now is that time. I finally put on a trade after months of being on the side lines. I got 100 shares of GS: Goldman Sachs for $110 each.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Quad Eights!

I'm home from another late night session of poker. I played from 8pm to 2:45am. I cashed out $530, bought in for $190... About $50/ hr.. damn good night considering I made most of it during the 2nd half of the night. My low point was about $90 when I had pocket 88s in the Big Blind. Five people limped in for $2, I think about raising and decided against it, since I was out of position and short stacked. The flop was perfect A83 with 2 diamonds, I hit my set with an Ace on the flop.

There is nothing better then hitting your set on the flop and also having an Ace. I bet out $12. An aggressive crazy guy re-raises me another $30 on top. I push all-in for about $80. The guy takes forever to call.. Hemming and hawing.. He calls and shows AQ... The turn is another 8 and he is drawing dead... I was just thinking to myself that its been a while since I hit quads. I generally average hitting quads once a month and its been at least 2 months since my last quads. This is at least my 2nd, maybe 3rd time hitting quad eights. The last time was in Detroit in Motor City Casino. That was a huge pot also with an Ace on the flop. AJ called me down and I hit quads on the turn... If you think I hit quads more then normal, you are right.. I think the secret is to just play tight and only pocket pairs.. It's not easy to do, but when you make a hand.. its usually better then most. I know of a loose player that plays allot and he only hits quads once a year.. That is hard for me to believe, but since he plays lots of different hands.. he makes more straights and two pairs then I do.. By just playing pocket pairs.. you are basically going for sets, boats and quads... Who do you think will win more at the end...

After that hand I was up to over $200. I hit a set of Jacks later on also. Then the guys started playing crazy.. Straddling and double and triple straddling and all in my blinds. In one round I am in the small blind and there is a triple straddle of $25. Someone already straddled for $6 and $12. So there was already $46 in the pot pre-flop. I look down at AJ. Everyone folded to me, just blinds bet left, so I decided to bump it to $75. Everyone folds except the 4th straddler who was in blind for $25. The flop is Q89 all hearts. I go all-in for around $110. The guy calls... The turn is a 6 and the river a 10. The guy called with pocket sixes and hit his set on the turn.. I hit a straight on the river.. that was a lucky hand for me.. Now I am up over $300.. They guy is steaming...

Another round shortly later, the same guy straddles for $6 on my button. I look down at pocket Aces, my first time of the night... I pop it to $25.. Big blind calls and straddler pushes all in for around $190. I go all-in with over $300. The Big blind guy folds and shows A10. The straddler shows AK and announces that he is drawing dead. My Aces hold up and now I'm over up over $550....

Now, I am thinking about last time I won this much and my advice to quit while I am ahead. I want to quit, but feel like I atleast owe the players some time. I play for another 30 minutes and cash out after losing $20..

Current Stats

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Quit when you are up fast...

Why didn't I quit when I was up over $600 after only 2 hours of play? I know the my own rule. If I am doing significantly better then $30/hr then I should be gracious and consider myself very fortunate and just leave the table a big winner. Well, I was at almost at $200/hr and it was a $1/2 game. That is pretty sick.. The simple fact is that I got lucky. I hit a couple flushes and got paid.
I hit a boat with of 55s and the pot was huge. I was feeling good so I raised with pocket 55s $12. Seven people called and then a short stack guy goes all in for another $13. I call and the other six player just call. That is $25x 8 = $200 in the pot pre-flop. The flop is A53, I hit my set with an Ace on the board.. Poker heaven! I bet $50... another short stack calls with only $24. Everyone else folds. The turn is another Ace and the river doesn't matter. My boat takes it down!
In another hand I had AQ off suit. The flop comes Queen high with 2 clubs. Blind guy bets $15, I re raise to $45. He calls. The turn is a club and he goes all in for $51. I notice I got the Ace of clubs and decide to call. The river is a 4th club and turn over the nuts. He said he had a flush, but never shows it...
At this point I am up over $600 in front of me. I started with $200. I am the chip stack leader. Every kept busting out. I want to leave, but feel that I owe the game some time. So I decide that I will just play tight and hang around for a little while longer. That was a big mistake.
Now we are playing short handed, 6 players. I start losing small little pots. I get down to $550. Now, I really want to quit. I just hate losing money.. I get A7 suited in diamonds. Everyone limps in and I am on the button, so I call for $2. The flop is 95J. Everyone checks.. I check. The turn is a 6 and there are 2 diamonds and I got 2 diamonds. Everyone checks again, so I bet my flush draw $15. Two players call. The river is a 8 (so the board is 95J68). I just hit a straight!! One guy bets $30.. another goes all in for $71.. I double check my hand.. I got a straight, but obviously not the nut straight. The all-in guy is a loose player so I decide to just call and the originally better calls. I show my 7 for the straight to the 9. The first better shows 10-7 for a straight to the 10. The all-in guy shows Q10 for a straight to the Q.. Just sick they both had me beat!!!!
I have a saying "You have to get lucky to make money, but you have to be good to keep it..." I was lucky early and made money. Then someone else got luck and made money on me. I should have folded, but didn't. So again, the hardest part of poker is keeping the money you make. That is the real secret to successful poker player. Trying to keep the money you make. After that beat I was down to around $460. We got really short handed to 5 players and I loosen up and lost a few more small pots. After we got down to 4 handed I decided to quit. I was at $421, but just feeling sick that I donked off $200 in some bad plays.. My rate was now at $55/hr for about 4 hrs of play. Still very good, but I should have known when things are running well, they invariable turn bad. Reminder me never to do that again...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Advice of the day....

"Whoever walks with the wise will become wise;
whoever walks with fools will suffer harm."
Proverbs 13:20

In other words: "Your companions are like the buttons on an elevator; they will either take you up or they will take you down."

I got this book of sayings. It changes everyday.. I though today's saying was inspirational..

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Winning Streak is still alive

My Poker winning streak is still alive. I just made made another $143 (cashed out $343 after buying in for $200). I made most of it just winning lots of little pots and staying out of trouble. I did get some big hands early on. I had three pocket pairs in a row. Pocket 77s, AAs and 99s. I hit my set of 777s but no callers on my continuation bet. I seen a guy earlier hit quad 7777s on the flop earlier. I raised $7 on my pocket 77s (hoping for a 7) and the flop was K7Q. I bet $30 on the flop and everyone folded. I didn't get any action on my Aces since I raised it to $15. I am pretty happy with this weekends performance. I did get a little lucky, but you need to sometimes to get ahead in the game. As my saying goes about poker "You need to get lucky to make money, but you need to be good to keep it..."

Current Poker Stats

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Poker Roller Coaster Ride!

Just got home from a crazy night of poker. It was a new 1/2 game that I found online 4 weeks ago. The guys finally got around to emailing me back and telling me where and when it was. It was suppose to start at 8pm in an office building. I got there around 9:10pm and they only had 2 players so I went to eat dinner at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant TC Noodle, on Lamar.

I returned around 10pm and played 6 handed. I bought in for $200 and quickly got up over $100. I hit a set of 33s with my first pocket pair. I also hit a pair with AK. This crazy Asian guy was raising every hand $12. Then he would make a $20 continuation bet, no matter what. I seen him buy in 4 times at $100 a pop. Then he decided to buy in for $500. He basically made himself the chip leader. He busted out a guy 2 times and before you knew it, he had over $1200 in front of him.

I finally get a hand against him with pocket 55s. He does his standard $12 preflop raise. I call. The flop is J43, with 2 spades. The maniac bets out his normal $20. I call. The turn is a 6. He bets $50. I call again. The river is a 5 of spades. I hit my set! He bets $150.. I cant put him on a flush draw, so I just call. He had 107 of spades!!! ouch!!! That hand took me for over $200 and now I am down to around $60.
I start playing tight again. I manage to win a few hands with AK and pocket 99s and work it back up over $150. Then I go card dead for 2 hrs. I am back down to around $100. Then somehow I start slowly coming back. Just winning a few pots here and there. I double up first with AJ suited in diamonds. An Ace hits the flop with 2 diamonds and I check it. A guy behind me goes all in for $89. I call, he shows A8 and is pretty much drawing to 1 out. That now puts me up to around $250 in front of me.
I am starting to feel that my game is turning good and I am happy that I managed to get back over break even after being down to $60. Then I get A6 suited in the big blind. Everyone limps in. The flop is A108. I bet out $20. I get one caller. The turn is a 6, so I bet out $50. The guy decides to push and go over the top of me $100. I push all in for the rest of his stack, another $100 approximately. He had AJ and my 2 pair hold up... Now I have $560 in front of me, all from the same poor guy I beat out before. I stay for another 30 minutes and give back $10. I cash out at $550, which means I made $350 in about 6 hours.. Not a bad night for me and a great comeback...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thoughts on Politics...

They say never to talk about politics or religion at the dinning room table. Do you know why not? Because it's to way to easy to get into a heated argument. Those are subjects that anyone can be passionate about, yet know one is ever sure who is right. So people can get into hostile debates about politics or religion with no real end. If you think arguing or debating is rude, you want to avoid those topics. Think about that... Whatever your politics are or religion is, can you be sure your belief is correct. If you think about it objectively, you can not be sure. Both subjects are based on faith and opinions that can never be truly validated to one point of view or another.

That being all said, it is another Presidential Election year and I used to love to follow government Politics. I have pretty strong opinions about government Politics and while it's considered rude to talk about Politics in friendly company, its okay to blog about it. So here I go....

I think most people are reasonable and down the middle somewhere in the political spectrum. I think we all have the same general goals in mind for the future. Those basic goals are a peaceful life, food on the table, a healthy body and a safe environment to live in. Now how we achieve these goals is where we disagree and that is what Politics is all about. How do we reach our common goals?

In the most general sense, the American system of Politics consist of liberals and conservatives. Also, know as the left or the right, respectively. Now lets take the goal of having peace. Both sides would agree that this is good for society. But how do we attain a more peaceful life? A liberal would say that we need more laws and rules to control peoples lives. A conservative would say that we already have enough laws and rules and don't need any more to complicate life. In a general sense, Liberals want change and Conservatives want the status quo.

Lets look at the goal of having food on the table. A liberal would say lets give them food or a welfare check. I conservative would say, lets educate them so that they can get a job and feed themselves. Liberals tend to like short term solutions and conservatives like long term solutions. Liberals tend to live and see life in the present, Conservatives tend to plan and worry about the future. Now both want the same end result. No one should be hungry, but the solution is vastly different and you can argue endlessly to which direction to take.

I tried to take a balance approach. I try to look at both sides and make my own decisions. This can be extremely frustrating to some people, since I might seem to never make up my mind. but I don't make snap decisions, but I think it is necessary to try at look at the complete picture before making any decisions. This is why I love the study of Politics. You can be passionate about either side and yet never be right, but its fun to discuss and challenge each other as long as you have respect for each others point of view.

I consider myself a libertarian. Fiscally conservative, but socially liberal. If you are not sure what a libertarian is, then click on it and look it up. It's hard to define all your beliefs to one "label" but libertarian most closely matches my point of view. I will outline a few of my basic core beliefs and you can decide what I am.

I believe that governments primary role is to protect its people and property. Government should have a very limited role with its people lives and should let them live in freedom. Government should enforce the rules but not control your lives. People should be allowed to live as they wish, as long as they do no harm to others.

I believe that governments and people should be fiscally sound, meaning they should not spend more money then they have. I believe issues like health care, welfare, and social security should never have been apart of government. People should be in charge of there own health care, welfare and retirement. Whenever you have a large organization or bureaucracy handle things like this, it is inefficient and costly. People should be trusted to handle there own personal affairs.

Government does have a role in law enforcement, defense and building infrastructure for the common good. Things like maintaining a stable currency, build roads and enforcing the law should be the primary role of the government

I think the capital punishment is wrong (death penalty). If it's against the law to kill, then how can the government break its own laws? I think all drugs should be legalized and controlled like tobacco and alcohol. There should be education to teach people the harm that they do, but we do not need to be wasting our efforts on enforcing laws that mostly effect individuals. If some wants to do drugs in there own home, then let them. As long as it doesn't effect my life, then I am okay with it. I am pro-choice. Women should be allowed to decide what they want to do with there bodies. While I would hope that no baby is killed, we are talking about an embryo that has not really experienced life. The worst thing that would happen is that a baby is brought into this world to a mother that isn't truly ready for it.

I believe in long term solutions that address the root causes. I do not believe it short term fixes. I don't like the idea of government "hand-outs" or bail outs. There was a saying by Jesus Christ, "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime..." What ever solution is suggested, it should always look into the future as much as possible.

All this being said, who do I want for President this year? That is a tough challenge for me this year. For all previous years that I have been able to vote, I have always supported the Republican candidate. This year, I feel ambivalent. I am not excited by McCain. Obama is exciting, but I can't support his liberal views on things. I think Obama is brilliant, well spoken and very articulate. Everything that Bush is not.. But if you look at Obama's ideas, or lack of ideas, I can't support Obama. I will say there is something about Obama. He reminds me of Bill Clinton. He speaks in a way that is easily understood and non-offensive, even for a conservative mind like myself. I find myself liking him for his ability to communicate, even if he is communicating the wrong ideas.

My gut feeling right now is that Obama will be elected President. If I can like the guy, even though he has bad ideas, I would imagine a less informed public could elect him into office. It will be a historic time when we finally elect a "black man" as president of the United States. Technically Obama is mixed, half black and half while, but to look at him, you would think he is a light colored black man. In any case, it will be a historic time. We shall see if this country can do it. I would like to think Americans can elect a Black man, but I have some doubts. There is definitely racism still in America, but I think it is blown out of proportion by the media. This election will be really revealing. I know my own mom has said that she could never vote for black man. Mom voted for Clinton, because she thought he was good looking. If my mom thinks like that, then how many other misinformed voters are there out there. How many other people can never vote for a black man? I think times have changed, but this year we will finally know if times have really changed or stayed the same.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Another average Poker game night...

Just got home for another poker game. I made $155 in about 6 hours. Pretty good, considering I had no high pocket pairs during the entire session. The game started at 7pm with a free roll tournament. I basically got blinded out. I did hit pocket Aces in the small blind and doubled up, but was in no real contention for the tournament since it was late in the tourney.

The cash game started around 9pm and I hit a few hands early on and everyone just folded. I managed to stayed up all night long. It was a slow steady game for me, just how I like. I didn't get involved in to many large pots. Mostly just playing big cards and hitting. I did suck out once with KJ suited in hearts. The flop was A93 with 2 hearts. A guy bet $15 and then another guy went all in for $43. I was already up over $100 and hadn't hit a flush in a long time, so I decided to gamble and call. Luckily the heart hit on the river and I took down another pot. The all-in guy at A10.

This is the second time I have played at this location. The first time I cashed out $633, after buying in for $200. The game is $1/$2 with a $5 kill for pots over $100. I do like this level of game. There is another game where the blinds are $1/$2, but its always $5 to come-in. Basically its like someone straddling all the time. It's hard for me to consistently make money at that game, buying in for only $200. I think I will stick with the $1/$2 games. I feel that whatever the big blind is, or the come-in bet is you should start with 100x. You just can't play short stack poker at a cash game effectively in my opinion.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Final Household Sale Results...

I put my house up for sale or lease after relocating to Austin, TX for a new job. I realized that Michigan is probably the worst Real Estate market in the country. Anyone that I know, that has tried to sell a house in Michigan has had to sit on it for years and typically if they are fortunate to sell it, it goes for less then they purchased for it. Michigan is automotive country and as the American auto industry struggles for survival so does the local economy. In fact, when I purchased the house 4 years ago, I got it for $39K below the original owners cost.

After about one month, my agents found someone interested in renting my Michigan house. The potential tenants intention is to buy it someday, but have some credit issues that they have to work thru first. They wanted to move in by Aug 15th 2008. So I had about 2 weeks to move everything out.

I decided to sell everything on Craig's list. Amazingly, it went really well. Here is a list of everything that sold... and the prices, as much as I can remember. I initially used my neighbor and friend to show the items and collect the money. I gave them my bank account and they deposited the money into my account. Last week, I flew down to have a "garage sale" to sell all the small stuff. I sold 95% of everything I wanted to. I posted the sale on Saturday night and had people lined up at the door at 10:50AM to be the first to check out the place.

If you haven't tried Craig's List, I highly recommend it for selling anything. It is free and very effective. The advantage over EBay is that you get cash right away and it is organized by location. You can meet the sellers and you don't have to worry about shipping and hoping to get your stuff. If this company every goes public, I would buy stock!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Last day in my Michigan House

This is my last remaining hours in my Michigan House on the Golf Course. I have spent the last 3 days selling all my possessions and packing a few personal items and shipping them to Texas. I will have very little after today, except my car, allot of clothes and paper work. I even sold all 4 of my beds. I have been sleeping on the floor, ontop of an old feather bed. I do still "own" 3 houses in Michigan, but I dont live in any of them. The are all rented out, while I share a home in Texas. The picture to the right is the last remain items I need to sell. I was able to sell just about everything. Now just allot of odds and ends and tons of cables. You know you are a techie, when you have a house full of cables and cords. Do you need anything? Just drop me a note. Maybe the new owners will mail it for me.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My first Blog...

Wow.. I finally got my own Blog.. For a guy that is so into technology, you would have thought that I would have done this a long time ago. For most people, I seem like an early adopter of most technology. But to me, I always see someone else ahead of me and that makes me want to leap ahead. I guess it all depends on where you are in the technology road map. There is always someone that knows more then you and then someone that knows allot less then you. That's what makes technology fun. Everyone is at a different point and you can always share something with someone about something. I am learning something all the time. Blogging has been around for a while, so its not really new to me. It's really just something that I finally decided to do like the last few things I decided to get on board with:

Gmail account ( I moved recently and had to cancel my Comcast cable.. I should have known better and stuck with a web mail account years ago. Hopefully, Google stays around for a while and I don't have to change my personal email for awhile.. I do have a Yahoo, AOL and Hotmail account, but yahoo has to much junk, AOL sounds like they are going under soon and Hotmail is just to slow. Gmail is simple and works on my phone, a Motorola Q9c with IMAP protocol. It also has a cool Photo upload feature to share photos. I used it to sell all my stuff on Craig's List. You can check out my public album at

New Cell Phone - My current phone is a Motorola Q9c, from Sprint. I had to get a new phone after losing my job. I had Razor before, and several Blackberry phones from Sprint, Nextel and ATT. We tried them all. The Blackberry's are nice, but a bit to expensive for a personal phone. I got the Q9c using the Sprint SERO plan. $30 for 500 minutes, free data, unlimited nights and weekend. It was the best cell phone deal out there. The cost now is double that. So I was lucky to get it. I also got $100 off the phone. The best part is that I can use the phone as a "modem" and its unlimited data for about $35/month with taxes. The speed is like 128Kbps and plenty fast for what I need. It has really come in handy when I travel for work and cant get Internet access. I use a USB cable most of the time, but it can also connect with Bluetooth which is just a bit slower and kills the battery. Using the cable keeps the phone charged, which is convenient. The phone also works during the data session, but if a call comes it, it will drop the Internet connection until you hang up. All-in all its a great phone with great features... The phone also has a GPS chip in it, which means I can use google maps to navigate with my car. It comes in handy especially if you want to do a search for something local.

MySpace Page - I finally got a MySpace page. It seem everyone was doing it, so I did too.. Not to much on it, but I have meet a few interesting people on it and found some old friends. I think I might try Facebook next. It seems to be more professional and less junk. MySpace has lots of junk and people trying to get you to sign up for some porn site. - This site is simply amazing. Its a free online classified ad site. You can post things for free and buy or sell just about anything. It's like an Ebay, but better.. Its all local. You sell you stuff to people that live around you. Or you buy stuff from people around you. There is no bidding, just the stated price and you go to pickup your items. I sold all the contents of my house in about a week. 80% of my large furniture was sold within 6 hrs. I was simply amazed!