Thursday, March 16, 2006

Back in the saddle again

FullTiltPoker is running a promotion consisting of twice daily freerolls of up to 1800 entrants, where the top 36 from each event roll up into a weekly freeroll of about 1000 entrants, of which the top 9 from each week in a given month join frequent players and other good customers of the service in a tourney where the top 20 are given $10k seats for the big dance. They're giving away 20 seats per month for the next five months.

I found the combination of:

  1. free
  2. often
  3. convenient
to be too much to not obsess over.

So, I discussed with my lovely wife whether she would divorce me and/or kick me out of the ouse if I decided that I wanted to try and win a seat through this series. This in mind of the fact that I've already taken my yearly foray at the Oaks, as earlier reported. This in mind of the fact that she and I had previously discussed my annual foray being executed on-line, instead of in a cardroom, and that was roundly rejected as the temptation and availability of playing online for money was too disquieting to her.

In preparation for this discussion, I ran an experiment. I installed the client and registered for one of the daily tourneys and then just left the seat unoccupied to be blinded away, just to see how long it lasts. My hypothesis being that with the insanity of free play, I wanted to see how long it took for the 'real' tourney to begin. Turns out that of the 1800, generally 1300 of them are gone in the first hour. My test subject lasted until 283rd place.

That's a lot of crazy and/or dead money in there, I decided.

Armed with these facts, Jen & I had our discussion, and she actually agreed to a trial run. A big part of it is that they dailys generally start after the kids are in bed and are running when we are usually just watching TV or reading in bed, anyway.

So, I get to play in the dailys until:

  1. I win a seat
  2. I'm too grumpy in the morning to take care of the kids

I've played in four of them so far, and have not finished higher than the low 400's. Three of these times I went in with the best of it, and the most recent time was ended with a total brain fart with a double gutter on the flop to which I made the idiot end of a straight. I was actually on my A-game up to that point and had about a 4x average stack. I am not as upset and I could be about the brain fart, as up to that point, I'd identified and avoided stupid situations I'd fallen for in the past, as well as having identified and exploited obvious weaknesses in other players to take pots.

So, for now, I'm in and I'm stoked. I still have faint hopes for the Oaks freeroll, but now I've got a second chance.

I figure that given the competition, I'm about a 500:1 against getting a seat. With each of the three rounds taking about 5 hours from start to finish, it could be as little as 15 hours to get a $10k seat. An additional part of their promotion is if you play on FTP money and get to the final table, you get $50k extra prize money, $100k for top three and $10MM if you win the event. The $10MM is $1MM/year for 10 years as part of an endorsement contract, where you have to play 10 hrs/week on FTP and promise to wear only their t-shirts.

Anyway, hopefully see you at the WSOP :)

Friday, March 10, 2006

I Heart Lemurs

Apparently so does this guy. A rather comprehensive collection of everything you'd ever want to know about lemurs of all types. Also some good pictures of the critters, like rruffed02.jpg and ringtailed07.jpg

Originally, I posted direct links to the pictures, but the host appears to be blocking access from external referrers. Maybe I can cut & post them here...

ruffed lemur twins
ringtailed lemurs eating

Monday, March 06, 2006

Not Visiting South Dakota Any Time Soon

I was disheartened to read a story about S.D. passing a law making abortion illegal, even when the mother was raped or if the fetus is endangering her life.

This seems reactionary to the point of irrationality. There were, of course, the required quotes from Operation Rescue. It made me think, how come there isn't an 'Operation Choice.'

Instead of Operation Rescue people blocking access to clinics and acting in an intimidating way towards women choosing to exercise control over their reproductive functions, Operation Choice people would provide emotional support and a calm environment within which a woman could make a considered and informed decision about a very important thing going on in her body.

I didn't mean to be a politician

So I was recently up for consideration to be part of Los Altos, CA's Planning Commission. I actually live in the County of Santa Clara, not within the city limits of Los Altos proper. I do have a Los Altos postal mail address, and do consider Los Altos to be the town I live in. However, this fine distinction became an issue, apparently.

I was in the past involved with the Bernal Heights East Slope Design Review Board when living in San Francisco, and I enjoyed the task of keeping an eye on the neighborhood architecturally, and providing a conduit for compromise between the needs of the existing neighbors and the needs of those wanting to improve their properties. So, when I saw an ad inviting applications for the Los Altos Planning Commission, I tossed my hat in the ring.

The original city council election almost four weeks ago resulted in a couple of congratulatory emails and welcomes to the commission. However, the next day, I heard from the City that there had actually been a tie in the voting that wasn't detected until after the meeting, and that there would be a run-off at the next council meeting. I thought it was no big deal, and raised the question about city vs county at that time. I was told that my address had been cleared through the registrar of voters, so I let the issue slip from my mind.

Between then and the next council meeting, I met with the one city councilperson who wasn't able to be at the original interview, and we seemed to get on quite well regarding the planning commission's job and what my role would be on it. We also discussed in passing where I live. It once again didn't seem to be an issue.

I came to find out that it actually is a very important issue. I guess I'll read the city council minutes when they get published to find out the details, or maybe I'll read the article in the next edition of the Town Crier, since I got an email from a reporter and spoke with her briefly on this subject.