Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A lot has happened...

... in the last 2 days.

I quit my job yesterday afternoon. I just felt it was time to try to change my career path. I will really miss all those guys that I worked with, but the rational side of me said that it would be easier to move on if I cut it off now than to drag it along.

I was sick for 12 hours last night. I think it was some variant of food poisoning, and I was in and out of the bathroom 3-4 times an hour. After 11 hours I decided I needed to go to the emergency room at the local hospital (luckily it's only 8 blocks away). Hopefully they didn't cut my medical coverage right that day.

I came out of the hospital ok, they gave me some fluids and said there was no infection or anything serious. That was a relief, and when I was just about to go home and get some sleep, the landlord came by to tell me that the owner is taking back the house (for renovation or sale I don't know) and that I have until the end of the month to move out. Given that my flight for Hong Kong leaves on the 16th, that leaves me with 2 weeks to completely move.

I will probably elaborate on these things in later posts, but for now I just wanted to catch people up and gain some pity for all the shit (literally) that I've been through the last 2 days. Wellwishers welcome!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

VBOTD (Value bet of the day)

Under 8.5

Same story as always. Two possibly dominant pitchers getting a good under. While Kazmir has been consistently good but not dominating this year, he does have a lifetime ERA of 2.60 against Boston. Matsuzaka has been awesome at times, but also generally suffers from a lack of run support. This might not be a pitcher's duel, but I think getting it at 8.5 is good value.

Running total: +535
Record: 10-5

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dinner at Smith and Wollensky's (Restaurant Week)

My first experience with the high class steakhouse chains was Morton's. Even though the whole push cart presentation of the menu got old really quickly, the food was still very good and the prices were definitely not cheap. In fact, when I ate at Morton's in Hong Kong about 4 years ago, they were asking US$55/lb for lobster. Yikes. Since then I've also tried Ruth's Chris, but I never made my way to Smith and Wollensky's, even though they took up the space at the historic and impressive Castle at Park Plaza in Boston. So when my friend asked if I wanted to join her group to try S&W's for Restaurant Week, I decided it was worth stopping by because if I liked it, I'd have an excuse to visit the castle next time I was in Boston.

Atmosphere: Not a fancy power-lunch steakhouse crowd, this place was filled with diners chatting away amongst themselves and occasional tables with small children. The place was clean and there was lots of white and some green in the color scheme. The same white and green combination was on all the servers' jackets and it was just not for me.

Service: While not being a Del Frisco's type of atmosphere, this was also definitely not Del Frisco's type of service. Thick New York accents and dishes being almost dropped onto the table instead of being gently placed, the service reminded me more of Peter Luger's except that this wasn't a Peter Luger steak. Instead of coming back and refilling my water frequently, they just dropped off something that looked in between a jar and a decanter filled with water so that I could do it myself. Which wasn't bad in a way, but didn't ooze class.

Food: So for the Restaurant Week prix-fixe, you get an appetizer choice, an entree choice which includes a 12-oz filet, and a dessert choice. Except that the filet isn't dry-aged. This is exactly what I was writing about in my post on Restaurant Week. They end up going out of their way to serve something that wouldn't be on their menu regularly. With the filet not being dry-aged, it kind of defeats the purpose of coming to a big steakhouse. I'm sorry but I am definitely a steak snob. I don't order grilled skirt steak (unless Argentinian or Brazilian) when I go out and I shudder at the thought of paying US$20 for USDA Choice steak at Outback. So in our party of five, only one ordered from the prix-fixe and the other four ordered off the menu. We decided on the double sirloin for two and the chateaubriand for two as well as an order each of creamed spinach and wild mushrooms as our sides. The portions were not big and I ended up ordering a piece of chocolate peanut butter cake with a scoop of ice cream for dessert because I needed to eat more. Not something I usually do. Usually for me dessert at a steakhouse is purely indulgence.

Double Sirloin: The double sirloin wasn't bad but it certainly was not anything exceptional. I would have thought that any big hunk of steak would come on the bone, but there was none. Maybe that affected the (lack of ) flavor. The accompanying steak sauce which as usual is some variation of the A1 style, wasn't needed to cut into the richness of the steak because it wasn't that rich.

Chateaubriand: The chateaubriand is a classical preparation of a thick cut of the tenderloin. It is not always seen on steakhouse menus because, like all filets, it is tender but not as naturally flavorful. As such, S&W's at least did bring some Bearnaise sauce to go with the filet. The seasoning on the outside edge was actually quite tasty, but it didn't permeate and I definitely needed the Bearnaise sauce for most of the meat. Unfortunately, the meat was quite inconsistent, as my three pieces were correctly medium, while my dining mate had 2 pieces that bordered on medium rare and beyond.

Creamed spinach: Again not my style. Not only tasted like a spinach dip, but the texture was definitely more like a spinach dip than any other creamed spinach I've had at the big steakhouses.

Wild mushrooms: Sadly, this was perhaps the best part of the meal. Nothing that couldn't be replicated elsewhere, but it had a nice herby, earthy taste.

Chocolate and peanut butter cake: Again, nothing that can't be repeated anywhere else. Except that they'd probably do it better at most other places. The crust was crisped rice covered in chocolate except that the rice wasn't crispy and the whole crust was more chewy. And yet it wasn't the nice gooey chewy like a real rice krispie treat.

Overall, a huge disappointment. For the price, there are just too many steakhouses in NYC with better meat and better service. That being said, we probably should have just stuck with our original reason for going there. The restaurant week menu, at US$35 and including a 12-oz filet, is pretty decent value for 3 courses.

Lunch at Tabla (Restaurant Week)

I did not even realize it was Restaurant Week. Tabla has always been one of those places strongly recommended by friends who know food and I was going to pay a visit sooner or later. Since I had to discuss some work-related things with a friend who worked in the building, I thought stopping by for lunch would be perfect for killing two birds with one stone.

Atmosphere: The decor was very interesting as I noticed a lot of colors in the design while I walked upstairs to the dining room. The crowd was a busy bustling lunch crowd, and I would imagine that this is the normal crowd even without restaurant week, since Tabla offers a prix-fixe lunch normally anyway.

Service: Seemed to be friendly when our main server was happy to take away our wine glasses and come back with water, except that she never came back with the water. She was then again happy to remove our bread plate and come back with more bread, except that she never came back with the bread. Like I said in my previous post, something like this could be caused by restaurant week, but she didn't seem to realize we ended up asking other employees for our water and bread.

Food: Choosing the best choices from a menu is usually my specialty. No matter where I am, I tend to be able to pick the right things off the menu to have as enjoyable a meal as possible. There were some tough choices here off the prix fixe in terms of traditional items versus more adventurous items, but in the end I went with the watermelon carpaccio, the pan roasted amish pork, and the tahitian vanilla kulfi.

The bread: The naan was nice and tender and the clear oil that was still all over it definitely kept it moist. However, I didn't get the real charcoal-y feel of the tandoor oven from this naan. It was still tasty though and we did ask for more.

Watermelon carpaccio: This was my decision to go adventurous and it just didn't work for me. Essentially it is some tiny slivers of spice-cured salmon mixed with a frisee salad over a thin round slice of watermelon. I thought that the watermelon would be very thinly sliced (as in carpaccio with meats) and be a sweet accent to some savory spiced salmon salad. Instead, there was a good amount of watermelon, and the salmon had a more salty flavor than a savory flavor. The combination of salty and very sweet just did not work for me and it was not refreshing in any way.

Pan roasted amish pork: This dish was very very good and is probably an example of why people I know give such high praise to this place. The pork was cooked and spiced perfectly and the accompanying broth with the fricasee of zucchini, summer tomatoes, and mustard was perfect. The perfect sweet and slightly sour kick to go with the pork and a hint of a spicy kick at the end from the mustard made this a memorable dish overall. Pretty decent sized portion too.

Vanilla kulfi: Living within walking distance to one of the biggest Indian neighborhoods in NYC, I come across kulfi all the time. This did not disappoint with a nice rich and dense flavor and texture, but what really made the dish was the accompanying warm ginger-peach compote with pecan streusel. I don't even eat peach but the combination was just so fabulous when mixed with the rich kulfi.

Except for the appetizer which might have just been an issue of my palate against the chef's, the meal was fantastic for restaurant week and certainly tempts me to go back and see what they can really do at a dinner service. To top it all off, there was a coupon equivalent to the price of the restaurant week meal for anyone who wished to go back for dinner during the summer. I will definitely be using that coupon before the summer is up.

Restaurant Week NYC

I am not a fan of Restaurant Week at all. If you can afford to eat at these restaurants in a normal dinner service, you shouldn't go during Restaurant Week. First, the menu is contrived. It is specially designed for the prix-fixe price and because of that is much less likely to reflect on what the chef is actually good at. Second, the higher volume and turnover than normal will usually lead to rougher service. Kitchens and servers in restaurants do well when they get in a groove with the tempo. To completely change how the restaurant tempo runs takes away a lot from the service. Lastly, Restaurant Week is definitely a social experience rather than a dining experience. Rarely does one go alone to a restaurant during Restaurant Week. Rather, people use the occasion to go out as groups and have an extra topic to talk about.

All that being said, I did go to two restaurants during Restaurant Week as I am not completely anti-social. Tabla for lunch and Smith and Wollensky's for dinner. I'll write reviews in my next posts.


Under 8.5

Buehrle got rocked last time out, but that shouldn't take away from his string of 8 consecutive quality starts before then. Halladay, meanwhile, put together a complete game shutout in his last outing. Yet again, this is a case where getting under 8.5 is a good value when either of these pitchers is capable of going deep and dominating.

Running total: +435
Record: 9-5

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Under 9

Was sick yesterday so missed out on the under last night, but it may not be too late. Daisuke and Sabathia both shut down pretty potent offenses but both the pitchers tonight are capable of doing it again. No matter how good the offenses can be, any time you can get under 8.5 or better when both starting pitchers are capable of going deep and shutting down the other team it's good value.

Running total: +335
Record: 8-5

Monday, July 23, 2007


The number of quality TV shows dies down significantly after May sweeps, so I haven't been watching much TV of late. However, I do watch Hell's Kitchen (FOX Mondays 9pm) and I love it. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I love watching how the kitchen works, how a master chef thinks and all the little parts to the restaurant business. Also, there were a lot of characters on the show this year that definitely made it even better, including the fat, 48-year old, asian guy who wore a cowboy hat and fainted with his eyes opened. Right now they're down to 3 contestants left, one of whom is Roc, the guy who supposedly will win this according to a leak that made Bodog suspend all betting on the show after about the third week.

Another food related show that I've been watching was The Next Food Network Star, which just ended last night. This was another show with some interesting contestants, including a gay guy who actually looked somewhat like the Jack character from Will and Grace. I thought Amy was the most qualified to win, but that Rory was more of a crowd-pleaser. In the end, Amy won in the fan voting, after she was eliminated but made it back due to JAG's resignation for lying about some of his past experiences. I actually think that the Food Network had intended JAG to be their Latino food personality, and that was why he was given a lot of leeway on some of the challenges and managed to continue till the very end. But when JAG resigned from the competition due to some facts popping up, they had to scramble to put another Latino food program on. And I think that is why every time I'm watching the Food Network they keep bombarding me with this commercial for Simply Delicioso.


CIN -120

Cincinatti just cooled off a bit recently but they have their ace on the mound at home. Capuano, on the other hand, started the season 5-0 and has not had a win since. In his last 10 starts, he's had 6 losses and 4 no decisions, and the Brewers haven't won a single one of those starts.

Running total: +235
Record: 7-5

Needed all 8.5 runs yesterday, but it goes to show the value of getting unders at 8, 8.5 when there's a pitcher on the mound capable of completely shutting down the opposing team.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

RDT (Random daily thought)

Scott Baio is 45.
Brett Michaels is 44.

First of all, I'm still a little shocked that I've been watching both their shows on VH1. But most of all, it's shocking to realize two icons from my childhood are now into middle-age. Reminding me yet again that I'm no spring chicken. This is not the first time, however, that I've felt my age and felt the shift into adulthood. I think a person realizes he is no longer a kid when the major sports/pop icon of the era is much younger than he is. So for me, the moment of realization came about 4 years ago when Lebron James entered the scene. For those who are still young at heart, when did this moment of realization come for you? My guess is for people a few years older than me, it was Britney Spears.

VBOTD (Value bet of the day)

Under 8.5

While both Halladay and Hernandez have been quite inconsistent this season, both certainly have the stuff capable of shutting down the opposing team. With both Seattle and Toronto not hitting that well of late, getting 8.5 when either pitcher can shut down the opposing team is always good value.

Running total: +135
Record: 6-5

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Under 9

Detroit has been facing a lot of tough pitchers of late, but it's not clear that their bats will wake up yet. Verlander, on the other hand, has given up 2 earned runs in 21 innings from 3 starts against KC in the last 3 years.

Running total: +245
Record: 6-4

Friday, July 20, 2007


Under 10

Since getting rocked by Oakland, Carmona has come back with some solid performances. At the same time, McCarthy hasn't pitched that badly either, although he doesn't tend to go deep into games. More importantly, I don't feel that either team has been hitting particularly well of late, so 10 runs could be tough to manage.

Running total: +145
Record: 5-4

Thursday, July 19, 2007


DET -125

The Tigers have continued to be hot, winning 9 of their last 10, and in the process stopping Minnesota's winning streak in the last two games. Bonderman hasn't dominated, but has consistently pitched well enough to win all year. Bonderman's splits are quite even, winning 5 games each at home and on the road, while Detroit is actually 8 games better on the road than at home right now. Getting "road odds" for a team that plays just as well on the road as at home is usually a good value.

Running total: +45
Record: 4-4

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


CIN +145

Cincinnati has been pretty hot, winning 7 of their last 10 including the last two against Atlanta. Atlanta counters by bringing Smoltz back, but this will be his first start since being on the DL and missing the all-star game. Getting +145 for one of the best pitchers in the league (Harang has certainly qualified this year) against an older pitcher just coming off the DL is mindbottling (Blades of Glory was hilarious).

Running total: -100
Record: 3-4

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Let the weight loss begin!!

So after having my "last meal" at L'atelier, it is time to begin the diet.

I have a lot of motivation as one, I'll be going back to Hong Kong in a month for vacation and I haven't been back in 4 years, so I want to look good. Two, I have a weight loss bet with one of the SVPs at work. The only problem is that we had the same bet earlier in the year. Between the end of January and the end of April, we both lost 10% of our bodyweight to push the bet. Since then, I've gained back maybe 20% of that weight lost while he gained all of it back. So for me to lose another 10% is a lot tougher than for him to lose the same 10% that he had already lost. Oh well, it's motivation....

So how will I go about losing this weight? Well, heading back to the gym is a must. When I was doing the weight loss earlier in the year, I made sure to go 3 times a week. But trying to lose 10% of my bodyweight in 4 weeks, I might try going 4 or even more times a week. Also, I usually have a diet regimen that I follow when I want to lose weight. Usually there's one week of dieting, one week of moderation, and one week of eating whatever. I guess I'll have to do two weeks of dieting and two weeks of moderation perhaps. It's going to be rough.

I make my own diet and meal plans, usually based off of information that I find on the web. One of my favorite sources for diet and nutrition information as well as up-to-date news is http://www.diet-blog.com/ . The site is updated daily on the weekdays and it has a large number of archives that one can look through. Right now the "diet" day consists of a breakfast of juice (carrot/apple/parsley mix or orange juice), an early lunch of pasta (carbs only) from my own recipe, a balanced snack (usually celery dipped in something), a small dinner that is mostly lean protein (chicken, fish, etc.), and a small portion of lowfat dessert (usually a frozen yogurt). Wish me luck! I'll post an update in 2 weeks.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Starting from scratch

This has been a pretty dreadful month so far. My birthday passed by serving no purpose except to remind me that I was getting older. My slump at work continues and I'm down about the equivalent of 3 good months for me to get back to flat. My blowup at online poker was unwarranted considering how well I was doing with the experiment. And most recently, one of my roommates completely left with no notice and was secretly doing her packing in the middle of the night. At least it wasn't the hot one.

Sometimes when everything collapses all at once, there is nothing better to do than to join in and blow everything up. Start from scratch with a fresh mind.

In trading, there are many suggestions as to how to do this, such as taking a break, cutting down in size, setting smaller daily goals and daily loss limits, etc. While all of these are excellent advice, I'm going to offer two of my own here.

One, get some sleep. I think I need to sleep better, get in and do some final research, and make sure my focus and concentration are at a prime for that first crucial hour of the market.

Two, focus on small successful trades. All successful traders make trades that are either big winners with higher risk or small winners with a higher probability of success. Since I need to get back on track, I need to focus on the latter. I need to refocus on getting the correct entry points and take my quick profits. Riding out the winners is a lot easier when there are more of them.

So that will be my focus for the coming week. I will generally cut down the size and risk on these trades and focus on taking quicker profits. The goals that I will set for myself won't be P&L related, but rather focused on finding a certain minimum number of these easy trades. When things don't work out or I don't behave according to the plan, I'll record it and look back at it. So hopefully I will have good progress to report in a week.


Is it so hard to find responsible, considerate people these days?

The story begins about a week ago...

Late at night I was hearing noises from the room next to mine, mostly moving, rearranging type noises. This went on for about 4 days of the past week and I thought maybe my roommate's boyfriend is only free in the middle of the night to help her rearrange her room. She had only moved in 2 months ago and the noise didn't really bother me so I didn't bother to ask any questions.

So today I was home early, trying to clean up the place a little, and she came home. So I asked her if any of the stuff in the living room is hers so I know what things to throw out. She said no, went back to her room, and then left again not long after. About 20 minutes later, I go downstairs to throw out the trash, and in the mailbox is an envelope with my name on it. There were 3 keys and a note:
"Hi Henry, Sorry could not tell you face to face. I am moving out due to personal reason. I left my key with this letter. Thank you."


So here I am now searching for a roommate with 5 days left in the rent cycle. She had the audacity to write "sorry could not tell you face to face" when she had been secretly doing the move in the middle of the night and still had the chance to tell me 5 minutes before she actually left??? I don't mind advancing the rent, since that's what the incoming deposit is for, but to leave so secretively and abruptly while leaving me so little time to find a new roommate? How inconsiderate and irresponsible!! I remember when I went and opened the door to her room and saw it completely empty and spotless. It was like one of those scenes in a movie where the people go to the sham company and find the office that they had visited just the day before to have completely ceased to exist.

Let's just hope the next roommate is a better person...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

RDT (Random Daily Thought)

The definition of "hooking up".

Back when I first started college, hooking up with someone meant to make out with that person. Then a few years later, it started to mean having sexual relations with someone. So what happened? Did the general population just get sluttier and we had to adjust definitions to fit?

This is a great definition that helps explain it, from http://www.urbandictionary.com :

hook up

to engage in any type of sexual activity.
1. purposely ambiguous, equivocal word to describe almost any sexual action. usually used to exaggerate or minimize what exactly happened. a hook-up can range from a make-out session to full out sex.
2. person you hook up with
a: "so what did you guys do last night."
b: "welll, you know...we hooked up."
a: "come on! that could mean anything. give me details!

Dinner at L'atelier de Joel Robuchon

For my "last meal" (See Random daily thought from Friday: http://http://ramblingsandgamblings.blogspot.com/2007/07/rdt_13.html )
I went to one of my favorite places in NYC to eat that didn't need a reservation: L'atelier de Joel Robuchon.

For those who don't know, Joel Robuchon was the elite culinary genius who helped revolutionized cooking 30 years ago in his restaurant in Paris. He was credited with playing a major role in moving French cooking out of the nouvelle cuisine stage and into contemporary classic French cooking. He was once voted Chef of the Century by one of the most influential French Restaurant guides and is only one of two chefs to have ever had two different Michelin 3 star restaurants. He retired from the scene but has since made a comeback with his L'atelier chain of restaurants, with locations in Paris, Japan, New York, Las Vegas, London, and most recently, Hong Kong.

I first knew of him when he was a special guest judge on the original Iron Chef series, and had my first taste of his food when I ate at L'atelier in Paris about 4 years ago. The food was beyond anything I had eaten at the time, and the Euro was much cheaper too. Since then I've eaten a few times at this New York location, which has only been opened for a little less than 2 years. I still feel it consistently serves some of the best food in New York but it is often very empty and reservations are not needed for solo dining. I think this is because for the price tag, New Yorkers would rather be at a place where they can see and be seen, while this experience is more about just you and the food.

Atmosphere: Located inside the four seasons hotel, the feel is definitely very upscale and maintains the coloring scheme that has been a signature of all his L'atelier restaurants. While the original Paris one only had the counter seating, this location has both tables and the famous counter seating surrounding the open kitchen.

Service: Very efficient and friendly. My server recognized me from the last time I went which was at least a couple of months ago. I tend to ask a lot of questions and have a lot of requests, but he tended to them well. Water was always briskly refilled and plates and silverware were changed with every course.

Food: While not nearly as good as the food I had in Paris, there are still a few favorites that I order over and over and are always consistently excellent. Since this was my "last meal" I decided to splurge a little and have the Kobe beef as well. In all, I ended up ordering the langoustine en papillote, the quail stuffed with foie gras, the burgers (sliders), the spaghetti with ham and egg, and the pan fried Kobe beef; finishing it all off with the almond souffle.

The amuse bouche: Not very memorable, as I seem to have forgotten what it actually was. Their winter amuse of foie gras mousse in a port wine reduction topped with a parmesan foam was one of the tastiest things I've ever had there.

Langoustine en papillote: There used to be only one when I first ate there but now there are two rolls. Fresh tasty langoustine wrapped en papillote and fried crispy with a little basil dipping sauce. Still fantastic, though it never seems to match that first bite I had in Paris.

Quail stuffed with foie gras: Two small pieces of rich delicious quail that exploded with the nice soft foie gras inside. Very rich but I always wished there was a bigger portion. Came with the signature truffled potato puree, which is a mixture of potato and butter (I think almost half butter) pureed to the point where you get the texture and silkiness of butter with a nice potato taste. Topped with mini slices of summer truffle. A simple comforting side dish but always a favorite, this heart attack in a bowl.

The burgers: The best value on the menu, I think. Two small sliders piled high with hangar steak meat, seared foie gras, and roasted peppers in a brioche bun. Again incredibly rich and a fantastic assortment of flavors. Comes with nice crispy french fries accompanied by a ginger infused ketchup for dipping.

The spaghetti: This is the first time I've had this version of the spaghetti. Spaghetti surrounding a lightly poached egg with Spanish ham, more truffle slices, and a dusting of parmesan and pepper along the sides. After mixing the egg with the pasta, this becomes a very comforting dish, with all the ingredients working together nicely, but nothing spectacular.

The Kobe beef: I ordered the 3 oz version ($80) but I think the chef ended up giving me two pieces (6 oz) for the same price. It seems to me that ever since I started writing about restaurants on this blog I've been getting free food. The beef was cooked exactly right and was indeed rich, fatty, and flavorful. The little salad of greens with a vinagrette helped to cut into that fattiness, and the dish also came with another bowl of heart attack (see above). While I'm not an expert on Kobe beef, I thought that the whole point was the complete marbling of the beef. Here, however, it was clear where certain mouthfuls were fat and certain mouthfuls were meat. Overall it was delicious anyway. And it's a great value if you can somehow finagle a 6 oz portion for $80.

Dessert amuse: There's a pre-dessert, again served in a small glass like all the amuses here. This time it was a Verona chocolate cream topped with a milk mousse. This was very good, although I think it would have been better if I could have gotten more dark chocolate taste out of the cream.

Almond souffle: For dessert I chose the almond souffle which came with almond ice cream, almond foam, and a piece of almond brittle. The original dish was supposed to feature cherries but I decided to skip the cherries and focus on the almond. This was a wonderfully executed dish, with the nice almond flavor everywhere and the souffle being perfectly crisp on the outside and light and fluffy inside.

Petits: There were two petits, one a macaroon and I forgot what the other was. So tasty I almost asked for a couple more to go. I probably should have.

During dinner, I had a very pleasant conversation with a friendly older gentleman sitting next to me. He is a professional photographer (http://www.billthompson.com) and a real foodie. He described how he used to live in France and eat at Jamin (the original Robuchon restaurant). He also went to El Bulli back when it was a 1 Michelin star restaurant and not the holy grail of restaurants that it's now become. He gave me a suggestion as to where to try next in NYC and perhaps that will be another blog entry in the near future. Wait, I thought this was my "last meal"....

VBOTD (Value bet of the day)

Under 8

Oakland has lost its last 6 in a row, and have not been able to score more than 3 runs in any of those games. While Haren had a subpar outing last time out, he still only gave up 3 earned runs in 6 and a third innings. This figures to be a low scoring game, and there is a lot of extra value getting the under at 8 because if it's 3-3 late, that's a very important run cushion for a push.

Running total: -200
Record: 2-4

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Tor +190

Daisuke has pitched consistently well all year but usually doesn't get any run support. McGowan has been all over the place in his last four games, either getting shelled or completely dominating and giving up no runs. With no injuries to the Blue Jays starting lineup getting +190 seems to me to just be overwhelming value.

Running total: -110
Record: 2-3

Friday, July 13, 2007


The "one last meal" phenomenon.
This is something that I'm sure many people, including myself, suffer from. Basically, when you're about to start some big diet and exercise routine, you give yourself the excuse to have one last big meal where you go crazy. The idea is kind of like that of a bachelor party. Except some things then happen and you haven't started your diet. A week later, you're about to start your diet again and decide you need to indulge one last time. This goes on and on and the weight gain from those meals will probably be more than whatever you're able to lose on your diet.


NYY -1.5 +105

Wait, there's value betting on the Yankees now? Against Kazmir, no less? Yes, there is value because the Yankees are hot right now. Having won 6 of 8 while Tampa Bay has lost 14 of 15 these two clubs are just in completely opposite directions. Clemens has pitched sensationally in his last two starts and the -145 moneyline actually is pretty good value too considering the Yankees lines are usually skewed to begin with. I vote for the runline because I don't see this game being close. Either Clemens dominates or he gets shelled.

Under 8

With 15 games going today, it's not that unusual to find 2 value bets. Even though both these teams are capable of being offensive monsters, there is usually good value in getting an under of 8 when two aces are pitching. Both are definitely aces and both have the ability to completely shut down the other team for 1 run through 8 innings. Usually Cincinnati eats up bullpens but the Mets actually have a pretty solid bunch and the extra all-star break rest never hurts. By the way, it's Endy Chavez bobblehead doll night.

Running total: +100
Record: 2-1

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Wow, after two tiebreakers the defending champions were eliminated in the first round. No, it's not tennis, it's the World Series of Pop Culture on VH1. Although this is probably popular with a wide audience, I think that guys definitely enjoy it more. What is it with guys and competition, trivia, lists, and rankings?

One man's view of the market

Being a daytrader, it helps to go into each trading day fresh and unbiased. However, sometimes having the right macro view helps to explain a lot of the things that I see day in and day out. With the market soaring to new highs, stocks like Apple in the $130s and Google in the $540s, and not much casual talk about it among the nonfinancial crowd, I had to sit back and absorb the bigger picture.

While relative valuations to bond yields, interest rates, the US dollar, and rates worldwide are all contributing factors to the current market conditions, I am more interested in thinking about how a lot of these stocks have run up to very high prices and continue to climb. I now present my view on what is happening and how it explains some of the things I've seen in the market.

I believe that the current bull market is caused by two supply shocks. First, there's an oversupply of money going into the markets. A lot of the money comes from incoming investments from overseas, including the opening up of China to invest in the US. But there is also the issue of increasing use of leverage among speculators and investors. There are so many hedge funds, private equity funds, mutual funds, etc. out there right now, and they all need to put their money to use. Every day that their money isn't being put to work, they're losing interest and so the money flows into the market. But with so many of them right now, can they all make money? Well, one solution is to leverage the money so that the same expected return can be generated with a smaller edge.

Second, I think there's a supply crunch in terms of stocks for investing. With the dot-com crash, a lot of companies contracted or disappeared. Consolidation and stock buybacks have continued to limit the actual number of shares and companies for people to invest in. So what we have here is a scenario where there's too much money that needs to go somewhere and not enough shares for them to go into. This is why I think that the market is soaring even though the underlying economic demand isn't keeping the same pace.

So if the above views were true, what would they explain? Well, it would help to explain why I kept hearing on CNBC about how bullish this market was and yet there's not much sign of retail buying coming in. This is not the bull market of the 90s where the dot com age brought about a huge increase in demand for growth stocks to make use of the internet. Rather, this bull market is caused by the supply issues and so the demand from retail investors has not kept the same pace and that is why I haven't heard much talk on the street about how the market continues to go up.

If those two assumptions were true, another thing that could be explained is why the higher priced stocks keep going higher and higher. For example, AAPL is in the 130s, GOOG is in the 540s, RIMM is around 200, FSLR is around 115, along with many others. If in fact our bull market is fueled by a supply of money and not by an increased demand in growth, then it would be both safer and easier for all these funds to put their money into already strong, high priced stocks as they would own less shares. Sure it's probably harder for a $500 stock to double than a $30 stock, but according to the assumptions, demand for growth isn't the top priority.

So where do we go from here? In the short term, I don't see anything pushing these supply imbalances back to equilibrium. There are still plenty of takeovers, and the supply of stocks will only continue to dwindle because of that. So I see the market continuing to pump until one or some combination of the following three things will happen. One, the US economy starts to pick up and retail demand picks back up along with it. This will lead to an even faster bullish run eventually leading to another hard crash somewhere down the road. Two, more shady companies are taken public to fill the supply of stocks and as these IPOs begin to fail, they will take the oversupply of money with them. Three, rates start rising until the money has somewhere else to flow other than the stock market.

Even though I took economics in college, I'm no economist and this is just my guess.

Poker session results

I give up.

It's not just tilt. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's a personality defect and I'm just not fit for the grind. The session was going well, and I was recovering most of the losses from the previous big downswing. Then I saw a big game open up in Stud/8, actually one of my better games, with no particularly strong players. So I sat in and got bad beat. Again and again, higher set would lose to a boat on river, made two pair would lose to higher two pair on river, higher two pair would lose to boat, set would lose to 3 runner boat, opponents' drawing to a flush on river would hit, opponents' drawing to a low would hit a gutshot against my set, it just didn't end. [I apologize. I said this wouldn't be a bad beat blog but this post is right after the session, and I had to get it off my chest somehow.] In the end, I dropped more than 1300 big blinds and had nothing left in the account.

So I've arrived at two conclusions. First, I'm going to leave poker for a while, and focus back on trading. This way I'll have one less thing burdening me and I'll be able to enjoy my vacation in August. Second, the experiment worked as far as I was concerned. It was profitable over a sample of over 70,000 hands (I lost count) with a respectable but not spectacular win rate per 100 and per hour. Because of this, I do believe I will come back to doing this, but right now I'm burned out.

It is a grind after all, and takes up a lot of my time. With only one month left for me to lose weight and look as good as I can before I go on vacation, I need to be at the gym and playing my Wii in my spare time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dinner from Spicy Mina's

One of the websites I browse often is http://www.chowhound.com/. Usually just the manhattan and outerboroughs boards, but sometimes I do a general search as well. Always a lurker never a poster, I've found many good places from the posters' recommendations. However, there do tend to be a few favorites, certain places that almost all the posters continue to rave about. I don't always agree with these lovefest posts, but there's been one that I've wanted to try and that was Spicy Mina.

Spicy Mina is located in Queens and is actually in the same zipcode as where I live, even though it's about a 12 block walk for me. I live right at the edge where Jackson Heights, Woodside, and Elmhurst meet. I'm within walking distance (14 blocks) to all kinds of authentic ethnic food, including but not limited to: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Malaysian, Indian, Bengladeshi, Burmese, Tibetan, Nepali, Cuban, Mexican, Colombian, Ecuadorian, Argentinian, Brazilian, Irish.

Spicy Mina is Bangladeshi food prepared by Mina, who used to cook in restaurants around the area, and who now runs the restaurant and does most of the cooking. I decided to stop in around late afternoon, eating what I could and taking the rest home for dinner.

Atmosphere: Typical of the area, nothing fancy. There are about 8 tables with plastic covers over the tablecloths and the napkins are made of cloth. There appears to be a bar being built but nowhere near completed. I was the only one there at this time, and even though it was hot outside, she didn't turn on the old air conditioner. I got the fan moved in front of me which was nice.

Service: While I don't know how it is at night, when I went there the place was only run by Mina and her assistant, both pretty much doing everything (serving, cooking, collecting money). Her assistant was not very fluent in English, so she wasn't very helpful when I had questions about the menu. Then again, neither was Mina. When asked for recommendations, she basically went over most of the menu, and she didn't mention any of the "off the menu" stuff that I read on chowhound.

Food: No complaints about the food, which was very nicely spiced and delicious. The problem is that since everything is made fresh when you order, it took more than 20 minutes for just the appetizers to arrive. And this was with just me in the restaurant. I don't know how they do it when they have a bunch of tables at night. I ordered the pakoras, lamb vindaloo, daal fry, rose lassi, and a beef biryani to take home. Well, they gave me what I think is beef curry (it was in a lot of oil) instead of the biryani, but they also forgot to charge me for it, so I guess that was a push. (It was delicious anyway)

Rose Lassi: Nice subtle flavor although I would have preferred it iced. This was one of those "off the menu" things that I had to ask to get. Nice rec chowhounds.

Pakoras: Fantastically light, crunchy, and flavorful. Onions and I think lentils mashed into pretty big portions then fried and seasoned with some spices over the top. This was really great but did it really need 20 minutes? Did they really just cut the onions and make the mounds fresh? Perhaps I was there before they did their kitchen prep for dinner service.

Lamb Vindaloo: Another treat, with nice chunks of lamb and potatoes in a sauce where you could taste the spices and the tang just before the heat hits you. The heat does hit you though and this was great for me since I've been feeling like nearby Sripaphai has been going light on the spicy on me the last couple of times. The prices on the menu are not cheap, especially for the area, but the portions definitely make up for it.

Daal fry: I'm not really a big fan of daal, but I feel that if you're going to try an ethnic cuisine, you should really make sure to try things made with the staples of their diet. It was again nicely spiced, complex, with a mix of different flavors and ingredients that you can clearly see. Unfortunately I'm still not a fan of daal.

Beef whatever: Nice flavor though very oily, not as complex as the other dishes. I have no idea what it was since I ordered the biryani instead, but it was free.

I want to say again, nice rec chowhounds, but I think I'll be calling ahead and either picking up takeout or getting it delivered next time.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Of course immediately the morning after I have this rant about going on tilt, I replicate it at work trading. Went from a pretty good day to a pretty bad day in a hurry, fighting in a stock that I should have realized to stop trading in. One of the more interesting things that I read in Trading in the Zone was his suggestion to time yourself when you're having that downward vicious spiral moment. By knowing how long this feeling of tilt lasts, you'll be able to know when to step away and come back, and be more consciously aware of yourself while in this mode.

Another one of the things I've gotten out of the poker experiment is a different perspective on what is "good" poker or "good" trading. Conventionally good poker and the skills that tend to define someone as a good poker player don't always equal a successful money-making poker player. In the end, it's all about your opponents and how you adapt your skills to them. If your opponents' like to gamble, then perhaps it is better to overbet more preflop when there are less cards out and the opponent still feels like he has "a lot of outs". If you have good reading skills and your opponent is easy to read, then you can slowplay your hands until you get bad beat then make the tough laydown, like Phil Hellmuth.

I also feel that this perspective applies to trading as well. It's not so much about the rules or guidelines that we tend to believe is good trading, but again it's about how we adapt to our opponents. Which, in this case, is the market. So even though I'm a firm believer in the basic "axioms" about trading - not averaging down, cutting losses quickly and riding winners, etc. - it really comes down to what the market conditions are for the frame of trading that we do. A couple of weeks ago, I remarked to some coworkers that a certain strategy seems to be the way to make money, even though it completely goes against what we've learned so far in our careers. Perhaps I should have listened to myself. By staying put with my strategies, I've been struggling and in a slump the last 2 months. The lesson, as always: do as I say, not as I do.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Poker session results

After the last post, I had a quick session where I was winning everything. Whether I was ahead or behind, I was winning everything. It felt to me like the crazy buying right before the market crashes. My gut was telling me to cash out, but my analytical mind wanted to continue the experiment. Well, it was more like 2000 than like 1929, but the crash was still hard and fast. I gave back most of what I made from even before I started keeping records.

What was worse however, was that I went on tilt. Really bad tilt. Everything went wrong. I lost the majority of my coin flips. On the hands where I was favored, the sicker the opponents' calls, the more likely I got beat. And I was dealt a whole bunch of queens under kings or aces and kings under aces. So tilt it was and I started playing games that I shouldn't have been playing and kept rebuying. In the end, I lost about another 380 big blinds of the NLHE stakes that I'm experimenting with.

I'm pissed at myself for allowing myself to go on tilt. I'm pissed at myself for losing that extra 380 big blinds. One of the main purposes of this experiment was to play a strategy that helps me to minimize tilt, or at least minimize the monetary impact of tilt. It's the exact same feeling I get when I go from having a good day trading to having a horrible day, where I'm fighting a stock for no reason. I am still too prone to tilt and it's affecting my life, my trading, and my poker, and I hate myself for it.

That being said, I pulled away in time with enough of a bankroll to perhaps continue the experiment (if it goes to zero, it goes to zero, but I'll have learned a lot). It used to be that when I went on tilt, there was no pulling away. It always went to zero. Let's hope this is an improvement. So back to the grind it will be, and just take the monetary loss as the cost for another lesson at the school of tilt.

So every time I go on tilt I tell myself I can never do it again, it feels terrible, etc. And yet, it happened once again. Should I see a shrink? Get some medication? I was reading Trading in the Zone by Ari Kiev, and I seriously think that a psychologist/coach would immensely help my trading/gambling. Besides, everyone has a shrink these days.

This is not a cry for help or pity. I write about this because I've seen plenty of people more talented than myself have similar "tilt" situations that ruined their chances at reaching their full potential, whether they be traders, poker players, or bridge players. I just hope that this will be my last "wake-up call" and that I will find a way to overcome it. And I want this as a written record for myself as well as paving the way for me to share any insight if I do end up being successful.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Poker session results

Since reaching a mini-milestone at the beginning of the week, I decided to be a little more meticulous about keeping records. I've thought of getting the usual programs (pokertracker, pokeroffice, etc.) but I think regular hand recording is fine for now. My problem was that I wasn't sure what units to measure my profits and losses in. Back when I used to play limit holdem, using big bets/100 seemed to be the standard. But I couldn't find anything similar to relate to for no limit holdem. After looking through some of the twoplustwo forums, I came across the mention of ptbb, which is poker tracker big bets, and essentially is just 2x the big blind. My personal view is that since the average raise is between 3-4x the big blind in NLHE, the big bet comparison might be better using that multiple of the big blind.

Since I'm posting these and letting others do their own interpretation, I'll post P&L in terms of big blinds and let readers use their own multiple. I couldn't seem to copy and format from my Excel, so I'll just post a summary.

hours played 20.5
hands played 10122
hands/hr 493.76
big blinds won/lost 525.1
big blinds/hr 25.61
big blinds/100 5.19

I'm pretty sure these results were on the plus-side of variance and that my true mean numbers will be much less, but it's been fun to have a good run.

RDT (Random daily thought)

Woke up a little past noon and turned on the TV to see that the Wimbledon final was still going on. It was 2-2 in the fifth set when I started to watch and Nadal had 2 break points at 15-40. I glanced at the scores of the previous sets where Federer had won in tiebreaks and Nadal had won with one or two breaks. I was wondering whether this was going to be the time for Nadal to break out and start winning everything, not just on clay. Then Federer reeled off four straight points, including a service winner and an ace, and we were back on serve. I was setting up a couple of tables for my online poker session and didn't notice the match resume from commercial. Before I knew it, they were about to go to another commercial break as Federer took a 5-2 lead in the set. What happened? Wow, that was fast. Nadal played well but Federer turned it on in that last set and it was all over. Federer won his fifth Wimbledon championship.

On the ladies' side, Venus Williams continues her amazing comeback by winning her second Wimbledon in three years. For a sport where the players start playing professionally at such a young age, I'm kinda surprised that there have been a good number of Wimbledon winners over the age of 25 in the last 25 or so years. This is remarkable to me because Wimbledon is the only grand slam played on grass, which is the fastest surface and would tend to make me think that youth and foot speed would win out more often.

The grand slam that seems to cater best to older players seems to be the US Open. My guess is that this has to do with the cooler temperature and the night matches. It also seems that the older American players tend to do really well, and that could be from the crowd support.

VBOTD (Value bet of the day)

KC +110

Tamba Bay has been in a huge slump, losing 9 of their last 10. And while Kazmir has been decently consistent, he hasn't had a dominant outing since early in the season. Tampa and Kansas City have split all their games this season, with the most recent two being decided by 1 run. Since we normally have to plunk down -110 for a bet that's theoretically even money, getting +110 for the home team here is good value.

So Marcum finally got battered for the first time since they made him a starter. No problem, can't win them all.

Running total: -10
Record: 1-1 (not recording pushes)

Is it just me or does it seem like Houston always gets into 14+ inning games? I feel they certainly do it more than any other team in the league.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


I was out eating dinner with friends yesterday for my birthday and we had a pretty good time even though the food was pretty lousy. Comparing it to my solo dinner at Del Frisco's the other night, I began to see how two phenomena from my social cognition days (psychology was one of my three majors back in college) manifested themselves when people go out to eat.

The first is cognitive dissonance. Basically this theory is that our minds prefer our thoughts and cognitions to be consistent with one another. So when we go out to eat with a bunch of people, and we're all dressed up and paying 18% enforced gratuity for our group, we really don't want the dinner to suck. So we find ourselves more eager to say the food was satisfactory than if we were just stopping in someplace alone.

The second is groupthink. This is where people's reactions in a group dynamic tend more towards reaching consensus and avoiding conflict and critical analysis. So if all your friends seem to be enjoying their food, you'll be more likely to shut up about the fact that your food seemed mediocre and start thinking that perhaps you'll like it more with a few more bites.

I'd like to reference some studies here but don't know where to start so I'll just say that I got my information from wikipedia and that there are references there for anyone who wants to know more about those topics.


Under 9.5
Since being made into a starter, Marcum has pitched very well, giving up 3 or more runs only twice in 10 starts. The only concern is that he does not go very deep into games. Carmona also doesn't go very deep into games, but has been very consistent on the road and is 6-0 with a 1.58 ERA in day games this season. While I don't expect either pitcher to dominate, I also don't see either offense really breaking out against these pitchers. With that view, 9.5 runs is a good value for two solid starters and allows for a lot of winning outcomes.

Running total: +100

It took a subpar performance by Haren, 5 errors, and 2 unearned runs to push the O/U at 8 yesterday. But in the end it was still a push and that is why it was such good value getting the O/U at 8 instead of the usual 7.5 for Haren's starts.

Friday, July 6, 2007


Under 8
Taking the under in Dan Haren's games this year has certainly proved profitable. But more importantly, Jeff Weaver has actually been pitching exceptionally well of late and Seattle was shutout by Haren last time. A few of Haren's unders have come in under 7.5, so getting 8 is really good value.

Running total: +100 (The ARZ@STL game didn't count as Randy Johnson didn't start)

Who would have thought that a matchup of the two hottest teams in baseball would be CHC@PIT?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Poker session results

Taking advantage of the two days from the holiday, I got in quite a number of hands, about 6000 I think, of NL Holdem. I went on quite a rush, and over the course of the 2 days, was up about 25 buyins.

I don't want to fully describe the strategy as it is still a work in progress, but the following are a few of the key points. It is a NLHE 6-handed table strategy that focuses on playing strong hands, limiting post-flop decisions, limiting pot size variance, and limiting opponents' implied pot odds. I also use randomized automated betting decisions and of course factor in the opponents' betting tendencies.

What are "randomized automated betting decisions"? Well, for example, a continuation bet is more powerful if you do it "all the time" whenever the flop is clean (not a dangerous texture). The fact that you make the same bet when you hit the flop and when you don't makes it powerful and makes it seem automated. However, if you continuously do one thing your opponents will soon be able to figure it out, so one way is to randomize it over time. One simple example is to toss a coin every 10 minutes. Heads you make continuation bets consistently, and tails you only bet when you hit the flop.

Dinner at Del Frisco's

Most of my friends know me as a real foodie, so it's been quite surprising that I hadn't been to Del Frisco's yet (a favorite among coworkers). Since I was in the area last night, I decided to stop in and here's my review.

Atmosphere: Great location, nice classy feel. Definitely good for the power lunch/business dinner crowd.

Service: Impeccable. I was seated at one of the cocktail tables and the server was fast and efficient. Again, more business-like than warm and friendly. When he forgot my glass of wine (I thought he purposely waited for it to come with my steak), they gave it to me free of charge.

Food: A little disappointing given all the praise I've heard from coworkers. I ordered the crab cake appetizer, the double eagle strip, the spinach supreme, the mac n' cheese, and the chocolate souffle cake.

Crab cake: Nice fresh crab flavor with a creamy rich sauce. Big mound for big price.

Strip steak: Disappointing. The outside was nice but I wasn't thrilled by the beef flavor inside, especially for a bone-in cut. Maybe needed more seasoning?

Spinach supreme: I tend to like my creamed spinach to be mostly spinach with a touch of cream. This version with the cream and bacon bits felt more like a spinach dip than a spinach side dish.

Mac n' cheese: Nice old-school style with elbow macaroni and sharp cheeses. Rich cheese flavor and creamy.

Chocolate souffle cake: First it was the ubiquitous flan. Then it was the omnipresent creme brulee. Now it's the copied and pasted molten chocolate cake. They have this everywhere now and it's pretty much the same as everywhere else that I've had this. There was less of a molten center than at other places, but the vanilla ice cream and drizzle of rasperry sauce was a nice simple touch.


What an amazing hot dog eating contest it was yesterday. As I said before, Chestnut sets an amazing pace that pushes Kobayashi whenever they battle together. It was always a case of Chestnut being faster but Kobayashi having the better stomach capacity. With this victory however, I think Chestnut has finally taken the next step, and I don't think Kobayashi's jaw had anything to do with it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


One of the things I like about July 4th is the Twilight Zone marathon. The old black and white episodes. It's really quite amazing how consistently good the writing and acting was and the shows were created almost 50 years ago. Besides the usual favorites (To serve man, time enough at last, etc.), I also really like "A Stop at Willoughby".

I would have been really excited about the hot dog eating contest except for Kobayashi's injury. Kobayashi and Chestnut are probably the most fun match race to watch because the pace of one of them really affects the other. Woah, there's a new skinny asian woman in this year's event.

Speaking of competitive eating, I wonder if 30 years down the road they will have a pension/disabilities coverage debate like the NFL does now. I mean, seriously, we have no idea what the lasting effects of competitive eating could be.


MIN -115
This is probably the best price you'll ever get on Johan Santana. He always pitches well in the second half and he's already starting to catch fire. That and the Yankees have never beaten him in the regular season.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

RDT (Random daily thought)

Coworker was showing off his Iphone yesterday. It really is awesome. Makes me wonder why I got the sidekick 3. It has horrible PDA functions, is big and heavy, and the vibrate mode is pretty loud. But I've been a Tmobile customer for years. Guess brand loyalty affects everyone.

VBOTD (Value bet of the day)

STL +120
Yes, Randy Johnson's second start back from the DL should be better than his first, but the Diamondbacks have been slumping and St. Louis is actually 6-0 in games Wellemeyer has started this year.

My first post!!!

After having taken this blog name for almost half a year I've finally put up a post. I'm currently hoping to post a couple of features regularly, including baseball value bets of the day, poker session results (this isn't a bad beat pity blog), and random daily thoughts.

Here are some of my views on baseball and poker so hopefully you can understand where my picks and session results come from.

Baseball: I don't believe in home field advantage during the long baseball season. However, which team is at home has a major impact on the runline 1.5 and the O/U because of the half inning that might go missing. I believe that starting pitchers and streaks are two of the most important things to look at, as baseball is a sport where adjustments take a long time. An example of what I thought was a tremendous value bet over the weekend was Oak@NYY on Sunday, with Dan Haren against Andy Petitte. You were getting +125 on one of the leading Cy Young candidates against a slumping team. Yankees lines are always skewed.

Poker: I play a lot of online poker and one of the things we all hear about is the bad beats. Reasons for a higher frequency of bad beats than one would expect include the larger number of hands that get dealt and the skill of the players being significantly worse than most would find in a live game. They say that the luck evens out in the long run and that if you're +EV when you shove your chips in you'll come out a winner in the long run. However, for bankroll building purposes I don't believe this statement to be entirely true. My feeling is that pot size volatility is a major factor in that equation. For example, let's say you are all in with an overpair 5 times and win 4 of them as expected. If the pot for the one time you get bad beat is larger than the other 4 pots combined, you will still come out a loser. Now, I understand that true poker should be very deep stacked. On the GSN show High Stakes Poker, the amounts at the table range from 100K to 1m, with blinds only at 300/600. But online, it's a push-fest most of the time. So I'm testing a strategy which aims to limit the pot size variance. It's an experiment that I began 2 weeks ago and still interests me as I suffer beat after beat. I keep score of my sessions in terms of buyins and not BBs. Hopefully this will prove to be a profitable experiment in the longrun.

Well, thanks for reading my first post and I'm sure now you understand why this blog is called Ramblings and Gamblings.