Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Future, Yes It Is Here

What a speech, what a speech. Not too rah rah, firm enough, and certainly somber enough for our times. Definitely a candidate for the ten best speeches of all time, even if it didn't hang on a single catch sentence. Now, let's see if Congress can make the same hard choices that our new 44th President says we need.

I do think one specific moment during Barack Obama's speech was worth additional mention. Specifically, I believe it was the moment when he said, "But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed." At that moment, the Fox cameras panned off to Bush 43 for a reaction, and were rewarded with something akin to a casual sneer. As if he still didn't get it.

The fundamental problem with our last president is not so much that the economy went to shit, or that bin Laden's still running around, or that No Child Left Behind has resulted in "A" students who can't do simple addition in their head. It's that he came into office in the first place with no actual agenda other than trying to get family vengeance on Saddam Hussein, and he walked into the White House eight years ago truly looking to do nothing more than to find an excuse to do just that.

But that is now in the past -- it is up to the new administration to lead America into a restoration of its place in the eyes of respect of the world for its actions. It is up to the new administration to show through action and deed that their word can be trusted, unlike the previous band of cronies. It is up to the new administration to govern for the benefit of all Americans, and not simply Halliburton and Blackwater board members. It is time, and time will tell.

I'm anxious to see all the video and photos the Good Doctor Mondo took from the National Mall today. Alas, she's now off to Boston for the next few days, but for now, I can only imagine how much more energy of the day will leap off the first person work than it did through the TV in our firm's training room.

Oh yeah, I got back to some online poker last night. Suffice it to say, my roll would have appreciated me not playing. Out of about a dozen events, all I had to show for it was a Tier One token (that I lost to some -65% ROI uberdonk in the $32k guarantee, when he overshoved from the big blind with AJo to my standard button raise with QQ. A on the river, naturally. He said he thought I was trying to steal, but could only muster "A-rag" I asked him "steal with what?". Well...that, and a mincash in the Bodog $5k guarantee, where I was never really in a strong position, chipwise.

Okay, here's a situation where maybe I could use some advice or analysis:

I bubbled the Bodog $5r when a couple hands previous, I'd gone from a final table stack to crippled when my 77 went down to TT on a very dangerous AKss flop. I made a standard late position raise, and called a three-bet from a somewhat aggressive button player. I can't believe how badly I played it post flop, where I called his small flop raise. I compounded the problem when I bet the turn (a 3rd spade), trying to represent a flush. On the river, I was already down to about 5k in chips (had started the hand at 31k, and I did the worst thing possible -- check. Of course, he checks and shows TT behind me. I have a feeling if I shove that river, he folds.

But that's what made the hand such a bad play for me, in that only an A, K, or flush possibly calls a river shove, and if I could put him on one of those hands, I don't make the stupid call on the flop and the needless pot-building bet on the turn. If I put him on an A or K, I fold to the flop raise (and have about 22k chips left). If I convince myself he has neither, then I shove the river to a possible fold. So basically, no matter which way my read is in that spot, it feels as if I bet it as if I had the opposite read. Honestly, I should have folded to the flop raise, and cost myself dearly, since my Bodog roll is down to about $250, and every one of the $5r costs me $15-20 to play. Five spots deeper, and I'm at least up instead of down, and before the hand, I was right at average chips, so I had a strong chance at reaching a final table.

Obviously, I was out a couple hands later when I called a cutoff raise in the big blind with J9 sooted and 1.5BB remaining (ran into KK, gg me). Once his raise went in, and I saw I had an M below 1, I simply said "well, I didn't come here to mincash" and called. Of course, in any rebuy, a mincash really isn't that bad if you're pretty much only in for the minimum.

There were certainly plenty more....I got wrecked in the Stars $3r and $10r, again getting run down from behind post-flop after having raises called by dominated or other non-racing hands. And then I bubbled the PLO tourney at Full Tilt when my flopped TTT lost to flopped AAA. I could have folded my BB on that hand, but he'd been really aggro preflop, and I was double-suited and single connected, and thought it worth seeing a flop with about 18BB remaining and six spots from the money. the ATx flop sealed my fate, gg me.


Easycure said...

A good speech does not make a good administration or good governance.

We are not going to be able to spend our way out of the mess created by Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd.

You may want to adjust your tinfoil hat, your BDS is showing.

Better luck next time at poker.


lightning36 said...

I saw the all-time funniest chat thread title on the internet yesterday:

"Obama has been President for 14 minutes and nothing has gotten done"

I was surprised that his address was so understated. Made me wonder if he should have just said, "Shit -- what did I get myself into?"

Let's hope we can begin to get the economy back on track. Glad I locked in my refinancing rate a few weeks ago.