Trip Report: Poker in the Court of Public Opinion

I attended a pretty interesting meeting yesterday about the UIGEA and strategies for legitimating the game of poker in general. It was an impressive crowd consisting of some prominent lobbyists and lawyers for the gaming industry, Poker Players Alliance president Michael Bolcerek, professional poker players Annie Duke, Howard Lederer, and Andy Bloch, some researchers and statisticians, some experts on gambling addiction, and some other academics from fields such as artificial intelligence, psychiatry, and psychology. It was obviously kind of random that I ended up being there at all. The meeting was convened and moderated by Charles Nesson, a professor at … Read more…

California’s Loss is Massachusetts’ Gain

I got a note today from a young woman I first met last summer while teaching at a debate camp for the Los Angeles and Southern California Urban Debate Leagues. She was one of the smartest, nicest, and most mature teenagers I’ve had the pleasure to work with, and she’s kept me updated throughout her college application process. I just now got this note from her announcing that she’ll be attending UMass Amherst in the fall. This is good news for me because she’s already told me she’d like to volunteer with the Boston Debate League. As I’ve said before, … Read more…

The Deep Stacked Home Game

We took a break from out usual Wednesday home game to play a $1/$2 game with a $500 buy in at the home of another Harvard Law student named Josh. Only Logan, Darren, and I elected to play, so it was a very deep, very loose and aggressive four-handed game all night. Josh was a super nice guy and a very good host. He bought some badass sea salt and red pepper corn chips that were absolutely amazing. Although he played higher stakes than the rest of us did, sometimes as high as 10/25 NL at Foxwoods, he was pretty … Read more…

Boston Debate League Luncheon

Sorry for the recent silence, but I’ve had a busy few days. On Tuesday, my non-profit organization, the Boston Debate League (BDL), co-hosted a luncheon with the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL). To be brutally honest, the BDL’s organizational and institutional capacity is severely underdeveloped right now. That is to say, we’ve accomplished a lot in terms of bringing schools into the League, teaching kids to debate, hosting competitions, etc., but not nearly enough has been done to raise money, build relations with important institutions like the Boston Public Schools, or establish a sustainable infrastructure. If I were … Read more…

Perfect Day

Ever since I first heard it on the soundtrack to Trainspotting, I’ve been a huge fan of the Lou Reed song, “Perfect Day.” Cameron from 2+2 just sent me this amazing link to a live performance in which Lou Reed sings a duet with a most unlikely partner.

Folding Queens Pre-Flop

This isn’t really all that interesting of a hand, but I’m supposed to do one from every day I play, so this is from the $500 Sunday tournament that Full Tilt has quarterly or whatever. We’re about two hours into the tournament, which has a very good structure. Blinds are 120/240 with probably some kind of ante. I am dealt Q’s in the SB, which is the best hand I’ve seen all tournament. A very tight player min-raised to 480 UTG+1, and already I wasn’t happy with the situation. He had around 8000 chips, which was going to make things … Read more…

A Welcome Change for a Saturday

I ran like ass in everything I played yesterday except the Stars $300, but I ran very well in that and finished 3rd for just under $9000, so it was still a quite good day. I’ve uploaded the entire hand history from the tournament using Pokerxfactor’s hand history replayer. This is an amazing tool for reviewing and analyzing tournament play, and frankly it’s the only reason I’m still a PXF member. Their videos are good, but not great, and I feel like you can get most of what you’re going to get from Sheets or Bax after watching a few … Read more…

The Unproductive Profession

I found a kind of interesting article on Card Runners recently by one of their guest pros named Zimba. The piece, entitled “The Myth of the Socially Non Redeeming Activity“, disputes not only the claim that poker is actively harmful but also the claim that it is, “inherently unproductive from a social perspective,” that is, that it contributes nothing to society. I was expecting to disagree with him, and while that’s not exactly how I ended up feeling, I believe this was only because he didn’t ultimately prove what he intended to prove. In other words, I agree with what … Read more…