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playing poker and teaching science: May 2010

playing poker and teaching science

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle school science teacher, wrestling coach, poker player, scuba diver, aikido black belt, amateur writer, and student of life. In the past I have tried to give back a little by volunteering at a children's home in Belmopan, Belize, Central America. I also love Frosted Flakes. I have taken a year sabbatical from my teaching position in order to sail the Caribbean. Does that sound crazy to you?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Day At The Races

It was a beautiful day for a 500 mile race and having seats overlooking the first row of cars was simply amazing. For an Indy 500 virgin, having the chance to sit so close to the action and also spend a day schmoozing in Fuzzy Zoeller's suite made for an unforgetable experience!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

T minus one month

I just realized that the Vegas trip is only one month away! It's become a yearly ritual to tuck my poker bankroll into my undies and travel to Sin City during the World Series of Poker to observe the best of the best and to win a few dollars here and there.

Last year I was all-in on my first hand. I can do without a repeat, but since I won.... bring it on!

What's a blog without a good story. I hope to bring one back...

Big Ideas

I'm an idea man; I always have been. New story lines, inventions, and alterations of machines and procedures pop into my head all the time, but I don't have the time or financial resources to pursue them. Somebody may however and so I'm going to list new ideas when they pop up and if someone wants to make a gazillion dollars with one of them, they can feel free.

Karma is a wonderful thing. If someone profits from one of my ideas, I'm sure fate will smile on me as a result.

Here's the first that come to mind:

1. Vertical-axis wind mills attached to every telephone pole in the country: This is a simple solution to easily renewable energy resources. Efficient vertical-axis wind mills already exist. (Vertical-axis as apposed to the traditional horizontal-axis that we see used today and that Don Quixote slew mercilessly.) All you need is a pole to put them on and we have millions (I can't seem to find the exact number) of utility poles throughout the United States. A windmill on each, along with the appropriate capacitor to store and transfer the energy to the grid, would provide a huge boost to our energy supply.
2. Sound resonance to detect pre-natal heart conditions: This seems like a no-brainer. An infant's heart pumps blood. If there is a heart condition, such as a small hole in the heart, it HAS to be making an abnormal sound. With the sound technology that we now have, it should be possible to detect these unusual sound signatures.
Take the idea and run with it, if you're so inclined...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The beginning of summer

Jimmy Buffett has never had a concert in Indianapolis before mid-July, so last night was a real treat. Summer came early this year and the crowd wasn't in the least bit bothered by the slightly cool temperature. A great time was had by all.... except for perhaps the driver of the SUV that the county police had pulled to the side of the road near home.
Note to self: It's hard to be buzzed and inconspicuous when you hav a huge inflatable shark on the roof of your vehicle...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A piece of the pie

I've had some inquiries and so I've decided to try an experiment and offer a piece of myself at the upcoming World Series of Poker. You can purchase anywhere from five to ninety percent of me in any of the following games:

1. $1500 H.O.R.S.E.: June 16
2. $1500 pot-limit Omaha 8b: June 22
3. $1500 no limit Hold Em: June 19, 21, or 23

Naturally, I'll be keeping ten percent for myself. If you are interested, drop me an email at my super secret email address and we'll work out the details:

Mr. Reed @ carpejeep13@yahoo.com

The more the merrier!

Small pairs and the RUSH poker pounding

Rush poker goes fast.

In thirty minutes last night I chewed through more than 300 hands playing two tables with two short-stack buy-ins. I’m still in the experimental stage with Rush poker so I tend to buy in shorter than usual to avoid huge swings in my on line bankroll.

I also set a timer to keep track of how long I’ve played. I know from experience that long sessions can lead to sloppy play and so I’ve taken steps to avoid that as well.

All the things that make no limit hold em exciting are amplified by Rush poker, in particular the chance you can double up or go broke on every single hand. All the things that make no limit hold em so scary are also amplified by Rush poker, in particular the chance you can double up or go broke on every single hand.

I had suited connectors and small pairs that paid off big last night, two to the detriment of one particular player.

After winning a hand I often go back and look to see why I got called down when I was holding a monster. Last night I caught my set on a paired board to table a full house, and win when the nut flush draw also hit.


Against the same player.


This has to be one of the reasons players tout on line poker as being rigged. On a board of KQ66 with two hearts, there is only one single card in the deck that makes both the nut flush and a full house when I am holding 33. I hit the tree of hearts on the river.

This was a poor play for the flush draw though. He checked until he had the flush AND I had a full house. He bet, I raised, he called. I double up on that table. Had he bet at any time with his draw, I would have folded.

On my other table I hit a nine to make a set on the flop and I bet it. The same player now pushes all-in with his nut flush draw and hits while I improve to a full house again and double up on my other table.

Therefore in thirty minutes I doubled up on both tables I am playing through the same player out of 600+ Rush poker players.

Again…. Ouch.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Feel the rush!

Full Tilt's "Rush Poker" is an interesting concept, but it's easy to get lost in the action and the pace of play... which is exactly what Full Tilt wants to happen, right?

In preparation for my usual summer playing time, I experimented with Rush during the last few days, and here are my observations as they apply to how I think I should play Rush:

1. Set a timer. Opening up two tables and rushing through a few hundred hands Sunday, I realized that an hour had passed in no time at all. If I don't set a timer I could play way longer than experience tells me I will play optimally.

2. Expect a low percentage of hands played. After an hour of play on two tables I was playing less than 17% of the hands. That's pretty low. Even playing fairly tight I usually play well over that.

3. Don't set the auto-rebuy function. It's really easy to lose a buy-in and then another and then another while the money magically appears in my chip stack. I prefer to be prompted to re-buy. That way I can keep track of exactly how much money I have on the table. Evaluating how many buy-ins I have on the table helps prevent tilt loss.

4. Play my game. I know I'm a winning player and I know how I like to play. Just keep playing that style.

5. Jack/Jack. Pot raise the hand and drop it when pushed, especially by two players. In the rock-fest game that Rush inspires, jack/jack is way behind the push!

6. Swim with the fishes. The fish are still out there. I hit a set of 3's on the flop, bet it, turned quads which also brought a flush board, checked, bet all-in on the river and was called by TWO PAIR. There was a possible flush on the board, a pair on the board, and the caller didn't even have a good kicker, and he called down quads. Yikes.

7. Keep evaluating...

It's that time again!

My favorite day has arrived. Actually, I think it was a day earlier that it really occurred, but it was cloudy and I couldn't tell for sure. My favorite day of the year is when I'm driving to work and the sun is just peeking over the horizon. That means summer is almost here and for a school teacher, that spells 70+ days off in a row!
*Sidebar: I HATE daylight savings time! I could go through all the reasons why, but that would be a long post indeed. The only thing about daylight savings time I do like is the fact that they changed the date it goes into effect. When it first started in Indiana would have my favorite day of the year with the sun greeting me on my way to work bringing with it the promise of summer, and then the time would change and it would be dark again! A pox on daylight savings time!
Back to summer....
Plans have been made, purchases have been made, all that remains is for summer to arrive. Here's the line up so far:
1. Jimmy Buffett concert
2. Four days in Vegas
3. Tom Petty concert
4. Volunteer trip to Belize
Tentative plans are in the works for a possible rafting trip, and naturally a few hands of poker, but summer is definitely coming.
My favorite day says so!
Thanks for reading.