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Old 12-20-2019, 08:38 AM   #1576
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

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Nice thread, I've enjoyed catching up and reading it.

Sorry to head backwards a little bit, but on the AK suited vs. Queens plus, I get much less than 42% equity. Can you walk through how you arrived at that number?

Thanks!
Thanks jetfish! I added in AK to QQ-AA, thinking that while he wasn't always going to 4-bet with AK, he could be mucking around with enough combos of other holdings to use the rest of the AK combos as a placeholder.

When I described him as a "standard" $1/$2 player I wasn't implying that he was an ABC player. He was a tourist type who didn't come to Vegas to fold and so had at least a little gamble in him. I should have been clearer in my description of him.

Since we were at Red Rock, it would be easy to assume that he was a local, but that wasn't the impression I got from him.
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Old 12-20-2019, 06:13 PM   #1577
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

I sat down at the Golden Nugget just past 8 AM, having noticed that they have a regular early morning game, unlike the Caesars properties's irregular selections, and having seen that it's often a decent game and not nit and reg infested.

This time I caught the end of the overnight crowd, and I knew that I was in a special game from the first hand. It started with 5 limps, then the BTN made it $30 to go, the SB called, I folded 83o in the BB, and everyone else called, making a 7-way $212 pot before the flop even hit.

The two eventual winners made their Wheels on the river, holding 32s and 32o respectively. I don't remember if they had a gutshot or an open ended draw when they called the turn but the former wouldn't surprise me.

The table finally settled down after 4 hours, and I left, having lost a few hands towards the end but still wanting to book a nice win. This, again, was not a professional mindset play, but at least I stuck around while the game was very good and left when it got worse.

Golden Nugget: 4 hours:
$+400

Last edited by suitedjustice; 12-20-2019 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 12-22-2019, 04:12 AM   #1578
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Another good early morning game at the Golden Nugget which once again dried up after a few hours. I'd like to either get there earlier or much later at night, but the quick and easy bus from near my place to downtown runs on a limited daytime schedule.

I'm starting to pick out the regs in the game. Most of them are nitty and not particularly good, but there is one good player who appears to buy in for at least $1500, and he's there pounding limpers well in position and getting a lot of value post. He was the player who made it $30 to go yesterday and got 6 callers, though most of his limp pounds are more successful than that--he generally has a good feel for the Threshold of Pain preflop raise amount needed to get things down to 0-2 callers at a loose table.

As far as my image goes, he's only ever seen me show down value so far, so when a good spot came up I felt that it was time for us to establish some things. I had jumped over to sit on his left as early as possible, but our hand came when I was out of position in the SB.

Two limps from EP and MP and the good reg on the BTN makes it $17. I make it $50 from the SB with our Hand of the Month: AKs (clubs in this case), folds to BTN and he calls. I have around $400 to start which he covers several times over.

(Pot $106) - Heads Up

Flop: 862

I bet $60 and he calls.

(Pot $226) - Heads Up

Turn: 4

I bet $130. I almost default to swinging out my usual hundo stack, but I don't think it will be enough this time. Somehow the added little stack of $30 looks more to me like I'm trying to swing some value.

He tanks for a minute and says, "I knew it had to be aces or kings. I'm sure it's kings. I don't know why I called the flop."

He folds and I show.

Golden Nugget: 3 hours:
+$80

Last edited by suitedjustice; 12-22-2019 at 04:35 AM.
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Old 12-23-2019, 11:46 AM   #1579
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Yesterday I played at the Orleans. I was card dead for most of the session and breaking even until I picked up our friend AKs towards the end. I don't remember all of the details of the hand, so I'll give a slightly less detailed rundown than usual.

UTG straddles for $6, gets some calls, and I make it $38 to go from the BB with AK. I get 3 calls. Maybe 1 player folds? I have $400 behind and cover everyone.

(Pot: $158) 4 Players

Flop A78

I bet $75, UTG puts his remaining $60 in, fold to BTN who shoves for $262 total.

(Pot: $555) 3 Players, 2 are all in.

This is not a tough spot. The effective SPR on the flop is 262/158, or 1.7. The short stack complicates it a little bit, so let's take his $38 preflop contribution out of the flop and run the numbers again. That would make it 262/120 or 2.2. That's still a low enough number that I'm shipping the nicks with TPTK, and it's not terribly close. The fact that the short stack would feel pot committed for his last $60 with a fairly wide range makes my call easier.

I call.

(Pot: $742) 3 Players all in effective.

Spoiler:


Orleans: 4 hours:
(-$299)
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Old 12-23-2019, 06:10 PM   #1580
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Introduction:

Memory is a fickle thing, or is it just subservient to our expectations, which are themselves the fickle things? My high school memories of Notes from the Underground peg it as a political rant, which is wrong and not even close.

I don't remember how I came to know it, but I knew back then that Dostoevsky, while in his late 20's, had fallen under the spell of a group of socialist reformers in 1840's Tsarist Russia, and that the Tsar had promptly had him and most of his group arrested and sentenced to death by firing squad.

Dostoevsky had already suffered a reputational death in his early 20's, having been declared a genius by Russia's most famous critic for his first novella, Poor Folk, only to see his second novella The Double go down in flames and find himself a literary laughingstock just 2 weeks after his triumphant debut.

A few years later he then found himself, after 8 cruel months of solitary confinement, standing out in the yard of the Semyonov Square drill grounds with two other members of his group, blindfolded and told to say his last prayers.



The executioners were told to ready and aim their weapons. Then at the last second the drummer beat the reprieve signal, and Dostoevsky was told that the Tsar had commuted his sentence to 10 years of hard labor in the Siberian Gulag.

Dostoevsky wrote Notes from the Underground after he came back from Siberia, so it was silly of me to expect it to be a political rant, given that the same Tsar was still very much in power when it was written, and given that Dostoevsky enjoyed a long and illustrious career after Notes from the Underground.

To be continued...
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Old 12-25-2019, 10:07 PM   #1581
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

I am a sick man...I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. [...] Now I am forty. I used to be in the government service, but am no longer. I was a spiteful official. I was rude and took pleasure in being so. I did not take bribes, you see, so I was bound to find a recompense in being rude, at least. (A poor jest, but I will not scratch it out. I wrote it thinking it would sound very witty; but now that I have seen myself that I only wanted to show off in a despicable way, I will not scratch it out on purpose!)

Fyodor Dostoevsky
-Notes from the Underground

The painfully self aware anti-hero is a distinct specialty of Dostoevsky's, and never more so than with his unnamed diarist in Notes from the Underground. When presented with the wretched and the despicable, our first instinct should be to look away in disgust, but somehow the true masters of literature (and plays, and films and television) make us want to draw ever closer, ready and willing but seemingly unable to flinch away.

Dostoevsky's male characters are often hysterical, not in the American 1940's-80's sense of being very humorous, but in the sexist 19th century sense of being overly dramatic and making terrible scenes. The unnamed Underground Man (hereafter I'll refer to him as U.M.), now middle aged and stuck in a shabby retirement from a small inheritance, takes us back to his mid-20's and through three painfully cringeworthy instances of his anti-social hysteria.

He addresses us, the reader, as "Gentlemen" and carries on as if he were hosting an 1860's TED talk, or writing in a blog that he knows no one is going to read, or perhaps he's just penning a long suicide note addressed to the unlucky near-strangers who will find his cold stinking body days or weeks after the fact.

So, yeah, a deconstructive blog by a self-critical middle-aged loner who rejected the corporate rat-race to live poor but free. For some reason this caught my interest. Only this guy is a real jerk.

What U.M. has going for him--thanks to Dostoevsky--is that he can write several orders of magnitude better than he can speak, and given his behavior it appears that he can't think very well either, unless he's getting it down on paper, and by then it's far too late; he's already done the damage in his life.

Before U.M. takes us on his shame tour of the past, he spends the first section of his Notes railing at us, the "Gentlemen", for believing that we can someday perfectly predict the behavior of men by assuming that they will always act in their own self interests, making it only a matter of precisely calculating what those interests should be.

Notes from the Underground was written during an odd time in Russian thought. It came out only a year or two after Darwin's On the Origin of the Species had been translated into Russian, and one of the ideas going around was that if men were truly just animals, and animal behavior could be predicted along the lines of self interest, then so could man's behavior be similarly predictable.

Of course, it's easy enough to attack the base premise if you've been around animals long enough. They can be very ornery and often act against their own interests. I once had a hungry lab rat go on a sit down strike because I made his Skinner box puzzle too tough for him and he wasn't going to play the game any longer for any amount of food pellets.

This had a profound effect on me that's difficult to explain, and I reacted by stealing him out of the lab and bringing him home to a life of easy meals, affection and play whenever he wanted, causing me to flunk the required course and to leave college without a degree.

And why are you so firmly, so triumphantly, convinced that only the normal and the positive--in other words, only what is conducive to welfare--is for the advantage of man? Is not reason in error as regards advantage? Does not man, perhaps, love something besides well-being? Perhaps he is just as fond of suffering? Perhaps suffering is just as great a benefit to him as well-being? Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately in love with suffering, and that is a fact.

There is no need to appeal to universal history to prove that; only ask yourself, if you are a man and have lived at all. As far as my personal opinion is concerned, to care only for well-being seems to me positively ill-bred. Whether it's good or bad, it is sometimes very pleasant, too, to smash things. I hold no brief for suffering nor for well-being either. I am standing for...my caprice, and for its being guaranteed to me when necessary.


-Notes from the Underground

To be continued...

Last edited by suitedjustice; 12-25-2019 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 12-26-2019, 01:44 AM   #1582
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Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Quote:
Originally Posted by suitedjustice View Post
Yesterday I played at the Orleans. I was card dead for most of the session and breaking even until I picked up our friend AKs towards the end. I don't remember all of the details of the hand, so I'll give a slightly less detailed rundown than usual.



UTG straddles for $6, gets some calls, and I make it $38 to go from the BB with AK. I get 3 calls. Maybe 1 player folds? I have $400 behind and cover everyone.



(Pot: $158) 4 Players



Flop A78



I bet $75, UTG puts his remaining $60 in, fold to BTN who shoves for $262 total.



(Pot: $555) 3 Players, 2 are all in.



This is not a tough spot. The effective SPR on the flop is 262/158, or 1.7. The short stack complicates it a little bit, so let's take his $38 preflop contribution out of the flop and run the numbers again. That would make it 262/120 or 2.2. That's still a low enough number that I'm shipping the nicks with TPTK, and it's not terribly close. The fact that the short stack would feel pot committed for his last $60 with a fairly wide range makes my call easier.



I call.



(Pot: $742) 3 Players all in effective.



Spoiler:




Orleans: 4 hours:

(-$299)


Uh stick to the GN.

Do your records show what room you have your best hourly at?
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Old 12-26-2019, 01:55 AM   #1583
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Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Quote:
Originally Posted by suitedjustice View Post
I am a sick man...I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. [...] Now I am forty. I used to be in the government service, but am no longer. I was a spiteful official. I was rude and took pleasure in being so. I did not take bribes, you see, so I was bound to find a recompense in being rude, at least. (A poor jest, but I will not scratch it out. I wrote it thinking it would sound very witty; but now that I have seen myself that I only wanted to show off in a despicable way, I will not scratch it out on purpose!)

Fyodor Dostoevsky
-Notes from the Underground

The painfully self aware anti-hero is a distinct specialty of Dostoevsky's, and never more so than with his unnamed diarist in Notes from the Underground. When presented with the wretched and the despicable, our first instinct should be to look away in disgust, but somehow the true masters of literature (and plays, and films and television) make us want to draw ever closer, ready and willing but seemingly unable to flinch away.

Dostoevsky's male characters are often hysterical, not in the American 1940's-80's sense of being very humorous, but in the sexist 19th century sense of being overly dramatic and making terrible scenes. The unnamed Underground Man (hereafter I'll refer to him as U.M.), now middle aged and stuck in a shabby retirement from a small inheritance, takes us back to his mid-20's and through three painfully cringeworthy instances of his anti-social hysteria.

He addresses us, the reader, as "Gentlemen" and carries on as if he were hosting an 1860's TED talk, or writing in a blog that he knows no one is going to read, or perhaps he's just penning a long suicide note addressed to the unlucky near-strangers who will find his cold stinking body days or weeks after the fact.

So, yeah, a deconstructive blog by a self-critical middle-aged loner who rejected the corporate rat-race to live poor but free. For some reason this caught my interest. Only this guy is a real jerk.

What U.M. has going for him--thanks to Dostoevsky--is that he can write several orders of magnitude better than he can speak, and given his behavior it appears that he can't think very well either, unless he's getting it down on paper, and by then it's far too late; he's already done the damage in his life.

Before U.M. takes us on his shame tour of the past, he spends the first section of his Notes railing at us, the "Gentlemen", for believing that we can someday perfectly predict the behavior of men by assuming that they will always act in their own self interests, making it only a matter of precisely calculating what those interests should be.

Notes from the Underground was written during an odd time in Russian thought. It came out only a year or two after Darwin's On the Origin of the Species had been translated into Russian, and one of the ideas going around was that if men were truly just animals, and animal behavior could be predicted along the lines of self interest, then so could man's behavior be similarly predictable.

Of course, it's easy enough to attack the base premise if you've been around animals long enough. They can be very ornery and often act against their own interests. I once had a hungry lab rat go on a sit down strike because I made his Skinner box puzzle too tough for him and he wasn't going to play the game any longer for any amount of food pellets.

This had a profound effect on me that's difficult to explain, and I reacted by stealing him out of the lab and bringing him home to a life of easy meals, affection and play whenever he wanted, causing me to flunk the required course and to leave college without a degree.

And why are you so firmly, so triumphantly, convinced that only the normal and the positive--in other words, only what is conducive to welfare--is for the advantage of man? Is not reason in error as regards advantage? Does not man, perhaps, love something besides well-being? Perhaps he is just as fond of suffering? Perhaps suffering is just as great a benefit to him as well-being? Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately in love with suffering, and that is a fact.

There is no need to appeal to universal history to prove that; only ask yourself, if you are a man and have lived at all. As far as my personal opinion is concerned, to care only for well-being seems to me positively ill-bred. Whether it's good or bad, it is sometimes very pleasant, too, to smash things. I hold no brief for suffering nor for well-being either. I am standing for...my caprice, and for its being guaranteed to me when necessary.


-Notes from the Underground

To be continued...


I always considered Crime and Punishment as on of my favorite books, I’ll need to give this one a go as it seems fascinating.

Weird but I feel life needs in some form, some sense of suffering, it’s a requirement and kind of sad. Without it we’ll find some way self inflicted to ensure we suffer. We have it to easy these days.
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Old 12-26-2019, 05:55 PM   #1584
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

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I both know and appreciate that the rules on this site are strict against spamming your own books and whatnot, so I'll try to tread lightly.

I have a story published in Oh, No, Not Again: The 2019 Fark Fiction Anthology, which has just come out in electronic and paperback form. It's called Open Container, and it's published under my Fark s/n Garza and the Supermutants. I won't post the link here.

Some of you would recognize the story as being The Trial from the Nit-tastic Tales thread. Other than having undergone a title change and a professional editing pass, it's the same story only a bit more sleek, so there's no compelling reason to go out and buy it.

I'll get it because it's my first published story and I'm pretty psyched about that.


Just read your story as well as a few others. Really enjoyable. Reading just about your trial related to the open container charge and as you said “more sleek” was great. You should post the newer edited form here.
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Old 12-26-2019, 08:59 PM   #1585
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

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I always considered Crime and Punishment as on of my favorite books, I’ll need to give this one a go as it seems fascinating.

Weird but I feel life needs in some form, some sense of suffering, it’s a requirement and kind of sad. Without it we’ll find some way self inflicted to ensure we suffer. We have it to easy these days.
I could get on board with that if we classify failure as a subcategory of suffering. While I think that my reaction range to physical and emotional pain is fairly moderate and conventional (at least in my biased assessment), I do have an irrational fear of success, the corollary of which is that I fail a lot at my various self-improvement projects, generally just after having met with some incremental successes.

One "positive" aspect of my failures is that I get to satisfy the predictions of my internal critic, and through these shortfalls at least a part of me is proven right in its assessments. And the internal critic will, of course, always attest that it is the smartest and most important part of me.

That might be one of the reasons why I found the otherwise execrable Underground Man to be a compelling character. We watch him self immolate several times in some dramatic fashion, and then he sits back and views the aftermath of the destruction placidly and with a satisfied air. "There, you see! There it is." he says through a ****-eating grin. "I really am a horse's ass."

I think that this feeling might also be tied into the compulsive gambler's need to lose everything, and the sort of relief that they commonly describe which falls over them after they finally go busto, but I'm getting ahead of myself and I ought to save that for my review of The Gambler once I get my paws on it.

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Just read your story as well as a few others. Really enjoyable. Reading just about your trial related to the open container charge and as you said “more sleek” was great. You should post the newer edited form here.
Having good people out there encouraging you makes it a lot harder to fail. Thanks for that, Da_Nit!

Last edited by suitedjustice; 12-26-2019 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 12-26-2019, 09:08 PM   #1586
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Today I spent a uneventful session at the Golden Nugget, with the exception that two players called out my exact hand in two spots a la DNegs, which is either a coincidence or an indicator that I'm playing a little too ABC. I did pull off one nice semi-bluff, but nobody got to see that. I am fairly happy with myself for going out to catch the bus in today's cold steady drizzle, rather than using that as an excuse to stay home.

Golden Nugget: 4 hours:
(-$47)
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Old 12-27-2019, 01:58 AM   #1587
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

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I could get on board with that if we classify failure as a subcategory of suffering. While I think that my reaction range to physical and emotional pain is fairly moderate and conventional (at least in my biased assessment), I do have an irrational fear of success, the corollary of which is that I fail a lot at my various self-improvement projects, generally just after having met with some incremental successes.

One "positive" aspect of my failures is that I get to satisfy the predictions of my internal critic, and through these shortfalls at least a part of me is proven right in its assessments. And the internal critic will, of course, always attest that it is the smartest and most important part of me.

That might be one of the reasons why I found the otherwise execrable Underground Man to be a compelling character. We watch him self immolate several times in some dramatic fashion, and then he sits back and views the aftermath of the destruction placidly and with a satisfied air. "There, you see! There it is." he says through a ****-eating grin. "I really am a horse's ass."

I think that this feeling might also be tied into the compulsive gambler's need to lose everything, and the sort of relief that they commonly describe which falls over them after they finally go busto, but I'm getting ahead of myself and I ought to save that for my review of The Gambler once I get my paws on it.



Having good people out there encouraging you makes it a lot harder to fail. Thanks for that, Da_Nit!


I’m probably completely nuts with my thoughts here on the need for suffering. I think if your self help requires some form of suffering you may succeed. Physical fitness that requires some pain or suffering, “feel the burn”. Success professionally through some sacrifice of aspects of your life whether it’s family, social life, physical health. Anyway Im talking gibberish.

I think you need a routine, get up a decent time, decent time tailored to your profession. Have a routine that involves physical fitness, poker training and review. Time at the tables centered around peak poker earning hours.

If I ever did something like you I always figured besides working on my poker game and ensuring my hours at the table where during peak hours I’d find other +EV gambling advantage plays. Stuff that are likely less stressful, and actually less variable. Low level crap but stuff you can do during off peak poker hours taking advantage of promos etc. sort of similar to some of the stuff you use to do the last time you where in Vegas. Not card counting. Only issue is you’d probably need to be more mobile.
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Old 12-27-2019, 10:12 AM   #1588
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

I too used to love Russian literature when I was in my late teens early twenties. And like you, I hardly remember it. I should go back to it but I'm trying to catch up on American/ English literature. There is so much good stuff out there that I almost feel sometimes that a have to read in order to catch up but it's almost a futile task as I never put in the time to read as much as I could.
But I often ask myself, am I prioritizing correctly? Let's say I'll sit down to read a good book and get engrossed in it. I then start feeling that maybe I could have better spent my time studying poker. Or in my case right now, trying to improve in sports betting. It's even frustrating sometimes!
I don't know. Maybe I'm just a bitter, self critical middle aged man.
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Old 12-27-2019, 08:20 PM   #1589
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

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I’m probably completely nuts with my thoughts here on the need for suffering. I think if your self help requires some form of suffering you may succeed. Physical fitness that requires some pain or suffering, “feel the burn”. Success professionally through some sacrifice of aspects of your life whether it’s family, social life, physical health. Anyway Im talking gibberish.

I think you need a routine, get up a decent time, decent time tailored to your profession. Have a routine that involves physical fitness, poker training and review. Time at the tables centered around peak poker earning hours.

If I ever did something like you I always figured besides working on my poker game and ensuring my hours at the table where during peak hours I’d find other +EV gambling advantage plays. Stuff that are likely less stressful, and actually less variable. Low level crap but stuff you can do during off peak poker hours taking advantage of promos etc. sort of similar to some of the stuff you use to do the last time you where in Vegas. Not card counting. Only issue is you’d probably need to be more mobile.
Interesting that both success and failure are accompanied by suffering. Actions both positive and negative are hounded by acute bouts of pain. We're taught that the suffering endured during actions which are necessary for success eventually lead to joy and a feeling of satisfaction, but Dostoevsky's U.M. only talks about the sort of satisfaction he feels on his journey towards failure.

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I too used to love Russian literature when I was in my late teens early twenties. And like you, I hardly remember it. I should go back to it but I'm trying to catch up on American/ English literature. There is so much good stuff out there that I almost feel sometimes that a have to read in order to catch up but it's almost a futile task as I never put in the time to read as much as I could.
But I often ask myself, am I prioritizing correctly? Let's say I'll sit down to read a good book and get engrossed in it. I then start feeling that maybe I could have better spent my time studying poker. Or in my case right now, trying to improve in sports betting. It's even frustrating sometimes!
I don't know. Maybe I'm just a bitter, self critical middle aged man.
I'm a fan of rereading stuff decades afterwards. If I liked something when I was a young man then I generally still like it now, only now I appreciate it in a different way because I've changed.

The exception to this statement lies with stuff that I liked when I was a kid, age 12 and under. I watched and liked a lot of really bad television: Three's Company, BJ and the Bear, Love Boat, Fantasy Island, A-Team, Airwolf, Laverne and Shirley--none of these shows are worth a fart in a sewer. When you're middle aged you're supposed to consider everything to have been better when you were younger, but I tell you that we're in an absolute Golden Age of television compared to what it used to be.
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Old 12-27-2019, 08:34 PM   #1590
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

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Old 12-27-2019, 09:56 PM   #1591
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Laverne and Shirley!
How dare you blaspheme like that!
I'm pretty sure I'm older than you but yeah, we all watched those same shows. There were only three national channels. That's all there was. I don't know if those days were better, but they were different. We watched loony tunes at night and mimicked bugs Bunny the next day at school with our friends. Everyone watched the same things. We had common interests and it connected us. Because of TV, as lame as that sounds. But our days, there are a thousand shows. No connection.
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Old 12-28-2019, 08:36 PM   #1592
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

ridiculous that I haven't stumbled onto this thread (I usually stick to PGC) but glad that I finally have. Really enjoying the latest writeups, esp on Dostoevsky and Notes, and I always enjoy a vicarious Vegas pro life sweat, especially when the Nugget is involved.

Have you read Joseph Frank's Dostoevsky: A Writer in His Time? Probably the single best work of criticism I've ever read; it blends biography, textual analysis, psychology, cultural commentary, etc. into one readable volume.

Good luck with the grind!
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Old 12-28-2019, 11:19 PM   #1593
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

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Originally Posted by bob_124 View Post
ridiculous that I haven't stumbled onto this thread (I usually stick to PGC) but glad that I finally have. Really enjoying the latest writeups, esp on Dostoevsky and Notes, and I always enjoy a vicarious Vegas pro life sweat, especially when the Nugget is involved.

Have you read Joseph Frank's Dostoevsky: A Writer in His Time? Probably the single best work of criticism I've ever read; it blends biography, textual analysis, psychology, cultural commentary, etc. into one readable volume.

Good luck with the grind!
Welcome aboard, bob_124. Thanks for the kind words! That Frank book looks awesome. If it's still in print I'll order it from B&N. I have The Gambler arriving in a few days, but next I'm going to read Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves for the first time. Before all that I'll finish with my Notes from the Underground comments in the next day or three, hopefully.
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Old 12-28-2019, 11:28 PM   #1594
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Short day today at the Golden Nugget. The encouraging "baby steps" part of it is that I'm dragging my carcass out of the apartment more often to play. The game started out good and splashy and I was up and down like a condensed sine wave, but at the two hour mark the four spots at the table all busted out or racked up within a few minutes of each other, and there was no one on the waiting list to replenish them. Putting in for a transfer at a short-handed table is an exercise in waiting too long in a meh spot for questionable future value, so I racked up for the day.

Golden Nugget: 2 hours:
+$17
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Old 12-30-2019, 07:08 PM   #1595
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Part 3

We first know the Underground Man as a sour and agitated middle-aged shut-in with no friends or loved ones, and no interests outside of penning an eloquent procession of rants dedicated to an imaginary group of auditors to whom he refers as Gentlemen, extolling the dubious virtues of self-defeating behavior and its concomitant suffering.

In the latter half of Dostoevsky's novella his U.M. takes us back in time to his 20's to give us an explanation, of sorts, as to how he first steered himself towards the nowhere land which he now inhabits in 40's, focusing on four youthful incidents in which he tries to strip the dignity from four very different intended victims.

What struck me is how U.M. becomes more and more verbally eloquent as his various target's overall social status drops. Throughout the story, U.M. is always a compelling writer, and his writing talent serves three functions: (1) To keep the reader from abandoning this story with a main character who is a complete ****face, (2) to serve as a contrast to U.M.'s speaking ability, which tends to fail him whenever he desperately wants to dish out challenges to his higher caste subjects, and (3) to subtly mask the fact that Dostoevsky, the master, is sitting one level up from the story, darkly laughing at his creation.

U.M.'s first dust up comes when he impulsively tries to get in on a random bar fight that has broken out, only to find himself physically picked up and moved out of the way by a military officer, who doesn't even glance at U.M. while he casts him off to the side like an abandoned hamper at a laundromat.

"I could have forgiven blows, but I could not forgive his having moved me without noticing me. Devil knows what I would have given for a real regular quarrel--a more decent, a more literary one, so to speak. I had been treated like a fly. This officer was over six foot, while I was a spindly little fellow. But the quarrel was in my hands. I had only to protest and I certainly would have been thrown out of the window. But I changed my mind and preferred to beat a resentful retreat."

"I did not slink away through cowardice, but through an unbounded vanity. I was afraid not of his six foot, not of getting a sound thrashing and being thrown out of a window; I should have had physical courage enough, I assure you; but I had not the moral courage. What I was afraid of was that everyone present, from the insolent marker down to the lowest little stinking, pimply clerk in a greasy collar, would jeer at me and fail to understand when I began to protest and to address them in literary language."


So, U.M. walks away without a word; but it's not over. After that, U.M. sees the military officer around town quite a bit. And every time he runs into him, U.M. hits him with the stinkeye, and the officer always and completely fails to notice it. According to U.M., this series of one-way interactions goes on for two years.

"Sometimes I was positively choked with resentment. At last I determined to challenge my enemy to a duel. I composed a splendid, charming letter to him, imploring him to apologize to me, and hinting rather plainly at a duel in case of refusal. The letter was so composed that if the officer had had the least understanding of the good and the beautiful he would certainly have flung himself on my neck and offered me his friendship." [...] "Only fancy, this was two years after his insult to me, and my challenge would have been a ridiculous anachronism, in spite of all the ingenuity of my letter in disguising and explaining away the anachronism. But, thank God (to this day I thank the Almighty with tears in my eyes) I did not send the letter to him. Cold shivers run down my back when I think of what might have happened if I had sent it."

U.M. finally manages to gain his "revenge" on the narrow pathways of Nevsky Prospect park, when after several trial runs of walking the pathway straight towards the officer, only to move out of his way at the last second (as the officer himself never moves out of any oncoming person's way), "I closed my eyes, and we ran full tilt, shoulder to shoulder, against one another! I did not budge an inch and passed him on a perfectly equal footing! He did not even look around and pretended not to notice it; but he was only pretending. I am convinced of that. I am convinced of that to this day!"

It's become obvious to me that I'm not going to finish the review here in this part--far from it, in fact--so I might as well throw in a personal story while I'm at it and make the whole thing even longer.

So, during my first year of middle school, towards the end of my disagreeable stint as a schoolyard bully, a certain kid challenged me to a fight on two separate occasions. The kid was probably a grade or two older than me, but I had at least a foot and a half and 40 lbs (41 cm and 18 kg) on him. Both times he challenged me after I'd just finished bullying someone else. Both times he planted himself in front of me and said, "C'mon man, you wanna fight? I'll fight you." Both times I "pffed" at him and kept walking straight, barely even looking at him, and both times he stepped out of my way and let me pass.

I never gave the kid a single thought outside of those two moments, and I did not remember him again until I reread Dostoevsky's passage above. Now, I don't know if I'll ever forget about the kid again.

Who knows why the kid came at me the first time: maybe he didn't like bullies, maybe he didn't like me in particular, maybe he wanted to test his mettle against a bigger kid who had already shown that he didn't mind getting into a fight, or maybe I'd slighted him somehow even before then and I'd forgotten about it.

And why did he step aside both times? He had two perfect opportunities to punch me right in the kidney, but he decided instead to fade away both times.

His second challenge to me, though, is what I believe indicated a firm grudge on his part; and what I want to know is, did he carry on with his grudge against me after the second challenge? Did I live on in his head long after that and never know of it? And if so, for how long?






To be continued...

Last edited by suitedjustice; 12-30-2019 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 12-31-2019, 09:46 PM   #1596
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Happy New Year everybody! Here's to hoping that 2020 will be a breakthrough year for every one of us who might be looking for such a thing.

I'll kick things off with a random observation on time travel: Don't forget that we are all barrelassing through space along several vectors: first we're stuck to a spinning Earth, which is also revolving around our Sun, which is also making its way around our Milky Way, which itself is rotating in relation to our local galaxy cluster, all of which is hurtling its way through our expanding universe.

Any successful travel through time will have to include some form of teleportation if we want to either keep up or meet up with the Earth; even a hop of a second or two with no accompanying travel through space would find us hundreds or thousands of feet in the sky or buried forever deep below in the bedrock. The other option is to make our time machine into a space capsule, and to go back or forth long enough in time to make sure that we're clear of the dirt, and to start chasing after the Earth once we get to when we're going.
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Old 01-01-2020, 06:55 AM   #1597
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Old 01-01-2020, 04:18 PM   #1598
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Happy New Year! All the success in poker and writing. I love your writings, I'll probably get your e-book when I'm back in HKmöller. To start off the year with total Nerdmöller I think your time travel musings were trapped by a common fallacy though. The existence of absolute space, which Einstein elegantly proved does not exist. While we do not know how a time travel machine would be like or whether it is even possible, as long as you build it on Earth there is no reason to believe we would leave that reference frame when we time travel. We do move in the time dimension always within our local gravity well, why would it be any different if we accelerate or move backwards in it? General relativity theory basically
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Old 01-01-2020, 06:11 PM   #1599
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

Happy New Year, Fire! Thank you for the kind words! I hope to see you in Vegasmöller again before long. I like the idea of the gravity well carrying us along as we go forward in time. It's elegant and it meshes with the way that space/time might behave, and while there is little historical or contemporary evidence of time travelers arriving here from the future, the idea of time travelers still going to the future remains open if we assume that the machine hasn't been invented yet.

Now, as to going back in the past, I'll posit that even if we stayed on Earth somehow, the radical reversal in angular momentum would turn us into a fine flattened mist a few molecules wide.

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Old 01-01-2020, 06:14 PM   #1600
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Re: Suitedjustice's Ongoing Mid-life Crisis

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It's enough to give you the spins. Hopefully no one was drinking much last night.
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