It has been a while since I’ve updated the website and added new content. There are a few articles that I’ve updated and submitted to academic journals. Covid-19 Media Project has been updated and submitted to a sociology journal as well as a combination of a few articles chronicling the dellusion of systemic racism in policing. There were a few errors in Covid-19 Media Project but none of which affected the conclusions concerning the risk of being infected with Covid-19 or the exaggeration of the risk by the media, politicians, and activists. The most significant was an error in the review of a story where I began with criticism of a different story and accidentally incorporated into the critque I mentioned.
I also submitted a revised version of Sequencing, Comparison, and Assignment to two psychology journals. The one journal rejected it without allowing it to be reviewed and I am posting the rejection as well as my response to the rejection. It is still being reviewed in another journal. I also submitted Liberty as the Basis for Objective Morality to a moral philosophy journal which was rejected without explanation. A new article, called Balance in Morality is being reviewed by the same moral philosophy journal.
I’ve been spending a lot of time playing poker tournaments trying to make money. I’m up a few hundred dollars for my effort and I’m posting an article about poker, strategy including some of the hands I’ve played poorly. In every hand there are things you could have done either to get more chips out of winning hands, to win hands you lose with, or to lose less chips. If I write down what happend in a hand I usually do so to try not to make the same mistake again.
I have two short articles about the Lomachenko v. Lopez fight and cryptocurrency investment.
I haven’t been following the charade that is the US presidential election. Biden and Trump represent the business interests that contribute to their campaign. Typically this means the only difference between the two is what industries will be priortized in public policy. With the exaggerated danger of Covid-19 and the mass dellusion of race, gender, and sexuality as sources of disadvantage there are certainly some differences in this election that will have a great impact on the lives of the general population.
While I would usually be indifferent I do hope that Trump wins, but I’m not very confident that he will. An often overlooked element of Trumps 2016 victory is the amount of Bernie Sanders supporters who voted for trump to have an opportunity to run Sanders again in 2020. There was a survey that reported 10% of Sanders supporters voted for Trump in 2016 which numerically represents at least 1 million people. In a close election Sanders supporters likely put Trump over the top. The question is whether these hard core supporters think Sanders will live long enough to run in 2024 and if they are still comitted to the same course of action. I don’t think they are.
Beyond the BS factor, the election will ultimately come down to how many American’s understand that Covid-19 has been exaggerated to further the interests of the media, other business interests, and the interests of the democratic party. I’m not confident in the ability of the general population to understand how the danger (Covid-19) has been exaggerated, and that restrictions are unnecessary and harmful. Polls reinforce my lack of confidence. The election of Biden is likely to result in the strictest restrictions we’ve seen in states like California, New York, Kentucky, and elsewhere being imposed at the federal level. Especially since having Covid-19 and the Flu season in effect together is likely to create real stress on the health care system. Bad flu seasons in recent history (2017-2018, and 2014-2015) have caused hospitals to reach capacity and having Covid and even a mild flu season is like having 2 flu seasons at the same time.
If you think 2020 was bad, 2021 under the Biden adminstration will have you yearning to return to 2020. Unless you’re like most people and you’re stupid as fuck anyway, then it doesn’t matter either way.
(2021 Comment: The scenario above where restrictions would be imposed at a federal level under Biden was anticipated because at the time the comment was made, it was unknown whether or not a vaccine would be created by this time)
These are just a few thoughts to introduce the short articles I’m about to post. In addition to what I’ve submitted to academic journals, I’m reworking the balance stimulus to submit to an economic journal and I’m creating another version of SCA to possibly a physic journal as theory to explain the variables of motion for conscious beings.
Loma v. Lopez
I was recently consumed by the hype of Lomachenko watching highlights of his past fights and I was very excited for the opportunity to see him fight Lopez. Loma seemed so far ahead of all the other competition he faced, like many I thought he was unbeatable. He seemed to possess the ability to hit his opponents at will and not be hit. I likened fighting Loma to fighting multiple people because he would be in front of his opponent landing punches, then be on the side landing punches, and then be on the other side landing punches and I imagined it must have felt like being attacked by multiple people.
I didn’t watch Lopez fights, only saw a few highlights in previews of the fight. I didn’t think he’d be able to hit Loma despite his power and accuracy displayed in those hits.
I never bet on sporting events because I don’t like to put money on something where I don’t have some control over the outcome. I was so confident in Loma’s ability I put some money on him. Since he was a 4 to 1 favorite, it wasn’t about winning money, the amount of money I would have won was insignficant, it was more about a representation of my confidence in him.
The fight was much closer than some of the judges had it. Loma did not win the fight but he could have. Loma gave away the first half of the fight. I scored the fight a draw. Other than one exchange in the second round, the first 6 rounds Loma was not throwing punches. I scored the 1st round for Lopez, along with the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th.
7th round Loma became the aggressor and was landing solid punches while avoiding or deflecting what Lopez was throwing back. Even the first 6 rounds, where Lopez cleary won 5 because Loma wasn’t throwing punches, Lopez wasn’t landing clean or effective punches. As I said, he won those rounds because Loma wasn’t punching. The 7th through 11th round Loma clearly won, and in the 8th, 9th, or maybe 10th round Lopez was in trouble where he looked dazed and maybe could have been knocked down or knocked out. Had Loma began pushing the pace in the 4th round how he did in rounds 7 through 11 he would have won the fight. 12th round Lopez pushed the pace, landed some punches, and although Loma had the better of the exchanges in the last 30 seconds, Lopez clearly won the 12th.
I told my guy who I was watching the fight with I had it as a draw.
Loma won 2nd 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th for 6 rounds.
Lopez won 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 12th for 6 rounds.
Andre Ward’s scorecard came on the screen and he had it scored exactly the same way I did.
The only round that could be controversal was the 2nd round. Loma had the better of two exchanges but other than those exchanges there wasn’t much action in the round. The judges all scored it for Lopez, with one judge scoring it by a margin of 4 rounds. It’s hard to know what he saw to give Lopez any round between the 7th and the 11th because Loma was dominant in those rounds. Much more dominant in those round than Lopez had been in any round except the 12th.
I have a few explanations for why the fight turned out the way it turned out. 1st, Lopez may have caught Loma with a shot early and this is why Loma was so defensive and cautious for the first 6 rounds.
2nd, his corner based on the translations did a poor job of motivating and advising Loma. In the 4th or 5th round his dad told him to continue to be paitent. A good corner should have told him he has to be busier, more aggressive, and to throw his combinations which seemed to land whenever he decided to throw them. They should have told him in the 4th you’re down 3 rounds, or in the 5th you’ve given him a 4 round lead, but instead he was told to be paitent.
Lopez denied Loma an immediate rematch saying he was a basic fighter. This is upsetting because Lopez had 1 belt. Loma went through the rest of the division to accumulate the other 3 belts. 1st it’s poor management where Loma’s team should have had a rematch clause in the contract. 2nd, Loma whooped Lopez ass in rounds 7 through 11 and had the most effective and exciting offense in the fight in one of those rounds where he may have been close to finishing him. Had Loma pushed the pace earlier he would have won that fight. Maybe we’re a year or two away where Loma will pick up a fight, Lopez will defend his title, and then the next fight after that will have to be the Lopez and Loma sequel. The fight was close enough that there should have been an immediate rematch.
Few Thoughts on Poker
I’ve known how to play poker since I had a single digit age but I didn’t understand the game until I began playing about a month ago. By poker I mean I Texas Hold-Em, and everything I mention in this article applies to tournament play not cash games. I don’t play cash only tournaments.
Successful poker isn’t about your ability to bluff or even necessarily about being able to read your opponent although that is a big part of it. Successful poker is primarily about understanding probability and playing the odds of you hands versus the odds of the pot.
Preflop, in order for me to get into the hand I have to either have good cards or good pot odds. A good hand to me represents ace king through ace 10, a pocket pair or king queen. Other popular hands like king jack, king 10, queen jack, or queen 10 will get you hurt. I play these hands strong early but I don’t like them in a top pair capacity unless I hit the bottom pair. If someone calls 3 bets or more or they’re raising 3 bets or more they probably have AK through A 10, and when you have K J, or K10 and the K is top pair, it can be awfully difficult to get off it and you end up out kicked. K J, K10 and QJ Q10 if you hit the J and J is top pair is good because a lot of people play J10, 10-9, and even J 9 and J 8.
With that said what hands you play depends on how many people are in the hand and how far in the tournament you are. I like to play suited connectors, suited 1 and 2 gaps of any cards early in the tournament when there are at least 3 other people in the hand. The cost to get in the hand is typically insignficant compared to your stack and if you hit your hand you can build the pot from the flop especially if someone hits top pair. It is low risk high reward. By that same reasoning, I also call raises from the big blind and limp in from the small blind without raises frequently, no matter what cards I have. If there is a 2 bet raise and three callers before my decision with antes, I get 10 to 1 on my money to see the flop. Whatever hand I have is going to hit the flop hard at least 1 out of 10 times. If I flop a straight, a flush, or 3 of a kind it isn’t only the 10 to 1 on my money, it’s probably at least triple that if not more against an over pocket pair or even an A high they’re going to bet not knowing how much trouble they’re in.
This rule also depends on how big the bets are relative to my stack. If I have 10 or 20 blinds if its very late in the tournament, even with 4 opponents I may not be able to afford taking the risk on low percentage hand. Of course against multiple callers low cards become strong since there are fewer high cards left in the deck because they’re in those players hands.
I always raise at least 3 bets depending on the action at the table or more if it’s early in the tournament. If I have a good hand I want to isolate 1 opponent because the more people who are in the hand the greater the likely hood that I will lose the hand. 2 bet raises encourage people to call, especially the big blind who if there is 1 to 2 callers should call with any hand because he’ll be getting 5 to 1 or more on his money.
I typically don’t like chasing a draw for half pot bets or over unless there are multiple opponents giving me good odds on the call, or if I have at least 15 outs, which means I have a straight or flush draw plus 2 over cards. Chasing a straight or flush draw out right puts at about a 1 in 3 shot. Chasing a straight or flush draw with 2 overs means you have about a 50/50 shot of hitting it from the flop to river.
Bovada has a feature called the rabbit card where they show the next card that is coming in the hand even if the hand concludes. This can be a problem because you see all the hands you would have hit. Of course you have to know when the flop has 3 over cards, you fold a small pocket pair and it would have hit on the turn that you still made the right decision because that only happens about 1 out of 20x. Meaning you’re going to get burned more often then you get lucky.
Bluffing is situational and is way overused among poker players. Most poker players think the hallmark of a good player is his ability to bluff but frequent bluffs is typically the sign of a poor player. Poker is a game of paitence, you have to let the game come to you. Wait for your cards and then hope that your cards hit.
I typically bluff after I raise preflop and miss my cards. If my opponent missed his cards he has to assume I hit mine or I have an over pocket pair, and unless he has a draw he’s typically going to fold. There are a lot of places to bluff, but it’s all situational and it’s a bet that your opponent doesn’t have anything. Anytime there is an action you have to account for that action. If you raised an he called based on what’s on the board what was he calling for? If he has connectors or gaps is there a straight draw on the board? Is there two of one suit on the board? Is he calling with second pair or raising on second pair or a straight or flush draw hoping to improve? These are the things that determine whether or not you should bluff. If the river comes and doesn’t complete any draw from the flop that is a good situation to bluff because your opponent is probably on a busted draw and will fold. If you bet the flop and turn, if you bet the river he is likely to fold second pair. Some people will call you all the way down with an A high. I prefer not to bluff.
In hands when people are bluffing I always have to ask myself why my opponents are raising as much as they are raising. If you have a strong hand you’re not always going to raise 3/4 pot, or over pot because you don’t want your opponent to fold. While I’m thinking about the strength of my hand and my pot odds, I’m also thinking about what my opponent has based on how he is betting. If I raise and my opponent reraises 2 bets over my raise I’m often skeptical because that is a bet that encourages folds, whereas if his hand was really that strong he’d call and expect for me to raise again. Of course if there is a draw on the board it may make sense if he has a strong hand to come over 2 bets or more figuring I’m betting my draw and him not wanting me or anyone else to draw out on him because he has the hand at that point.
The most difficult part of poker is trying to maximize the value of your hand. If you hit your hand on the flop depending on well you hit it, you may want to pot bet bet or even over pot bet because you don’t want people to draw out on you. On the otherside of it you leave money on the table because typically your opponent will miss his draw. I prefer to be safe and take my money as soon as it’s mine unless the hand is in little danger. If I raise with AK and hit an A I’m raising the flop and I’m content taking the pot there. However, if I have a pp and flop a full house if my pp is bigger than the pair on the board I know I have nothing to worry about. I’ll check and hope someone else raises.
With all this said, if you play disciplined you will place in tournaments and win over the long run, but poker is also a game that will punish you for making the right reads and the right decisions. There is a great deal of chance in the game.
I’ll share some hands I’ve written down with you. Most of them are losing hands or hands I’ve made mistakes on. There is rarely a perfectly played hand. In fact unless you double up your chips or take all of your opponents chips in a hand, there is typically something you could have done to get more chips. On that note I hate to go all in or call all ins preflop. I feel good pushing or calling all ins preflop with AA, I am fairly confident with KK, but I don’t feel good with all other hands unless I have them covered by a large margin. I push my chips if I’m in a tournament with a very short stack. Otherwise I prefer to see the flop. Hands that I wouldn’t win if I pushed I can still win if I see the flop because my opponent will probably miss the flop also and if I have chips I can still win. Nothing says I don’t know how to play poker louder than pushing your chips in preflop.
HAND ONE Busted Flopped Straight
There were 4 people in the hand early in a tournament. BB was 70 chips and we started with 88k in chips. There was a 3 bet raise to 210 preflop I called from BB with J 9. Flop came Q 10 8 all different suits. I lead out with about 1/4 pot raise to give the impression that I was weak and hope maybe second pair would call and maybe top pair would raise. Two people called and the 3rd came over the top with a big raise, almost 2,000 chip raise. I figured him for either top pair or he hit a set. I assumed the other two were going to fold and I was tempted to reraise him but I didn’t want to spook him from giving me more action. I have a gapped straight and there is no flush draw, at that moment there wasn’t much for me to be worried about. I called and so did the other two callers which was very interesting to me.
On the turn the only cards I don’t want to see is a J or an A. On the turn an A of diamonds hits which is the second diamond on the board. Now I have worries that someone called on a straight draw with K J hoping to hit an A or a 9 for the higher straight. Why else would 2 people be calling such a high bet? The original raiser pushed his stack. I’m thinking he could have pushed with two pair. Hit the Q on the flop and now hit the A on the turn. I didn’t think he had AA because I would have expected a larger preflop raise. I was fairly certain he had KJ. This tournament was still open to rebuys, otherwise I may have folded the straight there because with 2 other callers it seems certain that someone had KJ and was calling on the open ended straight which they’d have hit on the turn.
I called, and to my surprise so did the other two people in the hand. Now I know someone has KJ. LOL. They turn over their hands one caller has K10 diamonds, he has a gut shot higher straight draw and a flush draw. He should have folded on the big raise at the flop. You’re going to call a bet that is 2x the size of the pot on the flop with 1 overcard and needing 2 cards for either a straight or a flush. It was bad call for him to even be in the hand on the turn. Once the turn came an A of diamonds from that point he isn’t in a terrible position having a one card straight draw and the flush draw.
The other caller had 9 7 diamonds, he had an open ended straight draw from the flop and his call on the flop makes more sense and even more sense on the turn with a straight draw and a flush draw. The raiser had 10 8 and flopped 2 pair, seemingly oblivous to the fact that there was the possiblity of a straight on the board and the possiblity that someone hit a set with a pocket pair.
Of course I had the straight with the J9. Initially I’m relieved to see that no one has KJ. I have to dodge an 8 a 10, a J and a diamond on the river. Unfortunately a diamond came on the river and I lost a hand I was way ahead in from the flop.
How could I have won this hand? I put the person who reraised me on either being on the same hand as me or having hit a set. What I could have done is pushed on the flop and there is a good chance that the person who reraised me would have called with 2 pair. There is also a good chance that K 10 having second pair and needing 2 cards for a straight or a flush would have folded. It’s also likely that the second caller who on the flop had a straight draw would have also folded because it doesn’t make sense to risk all your chips on an open ended straight draw alone. If I pushed they both fold and 2 pair likely calls and I win the hand. 2 pair is going to call because his hand didn’t improve on the turn and he still pushed.
To be good at poker is to accept responsibility for what you did or did not do that could have potentially led to winning the hand or not losing as much as you lost. This is why I write down hands I lose that have implications for where I place in tournaments.
HAND TWO Ace King Diamonds No Call All In
Very early in tourney, maybe 10 to 20 minutes in. I call large preflop raise (over 5 bets) with AJ. Board comes AQJ. Preflop raiser raised at flop and I called. On turn he pushed his chips and I called. He had AK. I doubled up plus a little extra from the other preflop callers who folded on the flop.
A few hands later I get AK of diamonds. I raised either 3 for 4 bets and an opponent pushed, and two people called. Action came back to me and I put at least one of them on a pocket pair and potentially a high pocket pair like AA or KK. Yet even a small pocket pair still has the edge against me and although I have them covered 2 to 1 and they could be pushing on undercards, against 2 players I’m not ahead in the hand preflop and do not want to risk half my chips without seeing a flop.
I fold. The first person to push pushed on 9 7 clubs probably trying to buy the blinds and my raise. the 1st caller had K J and the 2nd caller called with A 10 clubs. He hit his 10 on the flop, I don’t remember the turn, and on the river my king showed up.
I was upset that I didn’t call, largely because my king showed up. Being that it was early in the tournament and I didn’t really need the stack I just doubled up with it sat with me as a bad fold. Even if I lose it’s early in the tournament and I have time to gain those chips back. If I win which I would have the high is much greater than the low of still being up about 15% from where I started. I just hate committing more than 10% of my stack preflop. I should have thought about this call longer.
HAND THREE 67 Off Suit
In the same tournament I had another bad fold that likely cost me a spot at the final table. There were 5 people in the hand, myself and 4 others. I either limped in from small blind or I was big blind and I had 67os. Flop was two low cards and a 9. The turn was another low card that gave me an open ended straight. I was 1st action and considered betting it.
Here is where we were. The pot is 120k, blinds are 20k, I have 390k and most players at the table have more or less what I have except for one player who has about 800k and this player is on the button this hand.
After the turn the board checks again until it reaches the button where 800k makes a 60k bet on the pot. He’s in a position to lose 60k where 60 k means alot more to the rest of us at the table. I folded and the rabbit card showed I would have hit the straight.
The reason I thought this was a bad fold is not because I would have hit the straight. It was a bad fold because every card on the board except for the 9 was lower than a 6 and 7. I’m looking at my 6 7 and thinking I only have a straight draw, when in fact I have a straight draw and 2 overs. No one has the 9 and no one has a pocket pair. When the pots means as much as this pot did to everyone in the hand no one with a 9 or an over pair is not going to bet. If I would have hit a 6 or a 7 I would have won the hand even if I missed the straight draw. This is why I looked at this hand as a bad fold because I misread my outs.
HAND 3 AJ Lost When I Could Have Won
I get AJ. I raise 2 bets preflop and one player called from BB. Flop was 444. I check and he checked. The turn was a king. He bet and I called. River was inconsequential and I called another bet. He turned over K9.
If I raise 3 bets preflop he probably fold preflop and I take the blinds. If I raise on the flop he probably folds and doesn’t hit his king. I could have won 10k preflop, or 15k post flop, and instead I lost 20k on the hand playing it poorly.
HAND 4 KQ missed flop donkey called reraise on bluff.
KQ I preflop raise 3 bets. I missed the flop with low cards. I was last action and the other players checked. I raised half pot. I was reraised. There were two of one suit on the board. The only hand he could have hit the board with was a small pocket pair. I didn’t think he hit it because if he would have, the only hand he could assume I was raising with was an over pocket pair, and if he hit a set, why would he want me to fold? He didn’t have many chips left after the reraise so I put him all in instead of calling.
My read was essentially correct, he wasn’t on a flush draw, he was on a straight draw with a 9 7 off suit. I was mad that he called preflop with that hand but I was at least correct that I was ahead in the hand at that moment. He ended up sucking out the straight and I lost the hand.
I was less upset about him calling the preflop raise on such a weak hand and less upset that he hit the hand than I was about calling the reraise to begin with. The reason being is I was on KQ. Even if he is on a flush draw draw he’s probably on an ace as well. In that situation, I would have been behind on the hand looking for 6 outs to pair my KQ. I should have folded on the reraise and saved the chips.
I’ll add more hands as time permits.