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critter
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I also collect books and tea sets.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
LobowolfXXX
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On , LobowolfXXX wrote:
I won $4,900 in a poker tournament at the L.A. Poker Classic (7-stud high-low split; the final five of us cut a dal for the remaining prize money after the other hundred or so were eliminated).


I'm not dialed in to the poker world. Does that happen a lot? Is that the poker equivalent to a grandmaster draw?


It happens a lot in medium-cost buyin tournaments. I entered three events at the LAPC, each with entry fees in the $350-$570 range. Not really a pure "grandmaster draw," but maybe kind of similar. What happens is this:

You start with X amount of tournament chips, and you play until you lose them all. They have no cash value. If there are 100 players in a tournament, then the first one out finished in 100th place, the next guy out in 99th place, and so on until one person has all of the chips. In order to force players out, the limits are periodically raised. This raises not only the maximum bets, but the minimum ones, as well; other than in a couple of games (no-limit hold 'me, pot-limit Omaha), the bet size is completely fixed, i.e., you can't decide how much to raise! you can only decide whether to raise.

Because the total number of chips in play is finite (the sum of each of the original members' starting chips), as the limits go up, the game gets more random (variance becomes an increasingly relevant factor). That's less true in big tournaments, because the structure is "slower" - the bets are smaller in relation to the starting stacks, and the limits increase more slowly. In medium-limit events, the fluctuations get big quickly. For instance, in the event I cashed in, I was the chip leader at the final break, with about $360,000. In one hand, I went down to about an average stack of $250,000.

The prize structure at poker tournaments tends to be quite top-heavy. First prize in the event I was in was $8,900, and fifth was $2,200. Fourth was $2,900. At the limits we were playing, one hand could put a person from first to fifth, often essentially on a coin flip (for instance, a flush draw after 4 cards has about a 50-50 chance of getting there). Because of the variance, often a deal will be proposed by somebody. Of course, if unanimous agreement is not achieved, then you play on. We had one guy at the table who was short-stacked but still had enough chips to be dangerous. We had about $24,000 in prize money (1st-5th) to work with. One guy was pushing for a deal (not the short stack), a couple didn't really care (the short stack and I), and a couple were a little adverse.

The first proposal was an even split, but one of the adverse guys objected that the short stack shouldn't get an even split. The next proposal was give him $4,000, and everyone else split the rest evenly. The short stack objected to this (which was really nuts...only two people were going to make as much as $4,000, and he wasn't likely at that point to be one of them), but he said he'd take $4,200. The pusher said, ok, we all give him fifty bucks, and we give him $4,000 and split the rest. The adverse guys said they weren't going to give him anything. The pusher then appealed to me, and said "You and me, let's give him a hundred," so that's what happened. We gave him a hundred each to get him up to $4,200, the rest of us split the rest, then we continued to play for a trophy, with accelerated rounds (limits up every five minutes).

Also weighing on the decision is the fact that we'd all played until 2:30 a.m. the night before to get down to the final 12 (we reconvened at 3:00 p.m.), and there was a new event starting that a couple of players wanted to join.

You can sometimes pick up great equity dealing with people who don't understand the math. A player's chance of winning is essentially equal to his percentage of the chips in play. A popular way of splitting is by chip count, but you have to keep your eye on the ball. For instance, let's say two players remain, and one has a 3-2 chip lead on the other. First prize is $10,000 and second prize is $5,000. The guy with the short stack says, "I've got 40% of the chips, and there's $15,000 at stake. Give me $6,000, and let's call it a day." The second guy thinks about it and agrees to it. Good deal for all concerned?

Well, no..the short stack hosed himself. They're both guaranteed $5,000 (second prize at worst); they're playing for $5,000 (the difference between first and second). The short stack's actual equity is $5,000 + 40% of $5,000. The fair split is really $8,000-$7,000. Stuff like that happens all the time (though there's actually tournament directors software that will calculate equitable splits, but players often work it out themselves...frequently to their detriment.). Another option might be that if two players have even stacks in a $10,000-$5,000 situation, they'll agree between themselves to narrow the gap, maybe continuing to play, but for $8,500-$6,500.

Another thing that happens is players will agree to a "save." For instance, we went on break with fifteen players left. 12th place was about $900; 13th-15th was zip. At the break, one of the short stacks sought out another, and they agreed that if one of them cashed and the other didn't, the one in the money would kick $200 to the other. Or sometimes players will swap 10% of their action, increasing the odds of getting some payout (about 90% of the players in a tournament finish out of the money altogether).

Deals occur less than half the time, but still pretty often. Mostly due to risk aversion and a desire to reduce variance. It adds an interesting layer when it comes up.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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Here's another thing that happens...players (and non-players) back other players in exchange for a piece of their action. I've made money doing this (my best was when a roommate and I put up a guy's entry fee in exchange for half of his action. The EF was $530, and he won the event for just under $21,000, so I got back $5,000 (gotta tip those dealers) on $265. All in all, a pretty good day), and I've also taken backing now and then when I wanted to play a tournament but didn't have enough cash to sink into the entry fee comfortably. Happy to say on balance, I've turned a profit for my investors.

Well-known players get a lot of offers for backing (my former roommate who was a dealer says of Phil Hellmuth, "He hasn't paid an entry fee in 25 years. Let me play every tournament I want for free, and I'll win a lot of them, too"). When I played a lot more than I do now, there were always stories of unscrupulous players who sold off more than 100% of their action and had to find a way to finish out of the money (of course, often they'd be out of the money anyway). So you win one medium-big tournament for, let's say, $90,000. You get a reputation in the club you most often play at...the next tournament rolls around for $550. You might not know someone who'll stake you entirely, but you can probably find seven guys to give you $150 for 25% of your action. Now if you can, you get close to the money to maintain your reputation, but either way, you make $500 for the day as long as you don't finish in the money - you pocketed $1,050 and paid $550 in entry fees.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
imgic
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"Recreational Math?" isn't that an oxymoron? Actually, I'm pretty good at math, but it doesn't come easy for me...always a struggle.

I'm a "foodie wannabe" in that I'm not nearly expert or knowledgeable about cooking and food as I'd like. But do enjoy cooking, trying new foods and techniques. I watch a lot of Alton Brown's "Good Eats." Excited to hear Mobility will be posting about his sous vide cooking soon...something I've always wanted to know more about and try.

After several years of being a slug behind a desk due to work and completing my PhD, I've joined a running club...so that's my newest hobby.

Speaking of work, my company re-organized and my position, along with about 200 others, was eliminated. I've started doing some independent consulting, but not sure if the entrepreneurial thing is for me...but then again, the gig I have right now puts me on pace to earn more than my previous job.

There's probably lots more, but should get back to work...
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
landmark
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Lobo wrote:

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I'm a former lawyer (stopped renewing my bar dues)


How come? Folks don't usually make it through law school (and law school debt, I assume) only to give it up fairly soon afterwards. What gives?
LobowolfXXX
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Lobo wrote:

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I'm a former lawyer (stopped renewing my bar dues)


How come? Folks don't usually make it through law school (and law school debt, I assume) only to give it up fairly soon afterwards. What gives?


The practice of law is on the time-consuming side. There are too many other things I enjoy doing more than practicing law.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
General_Magician
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The practice of law is on the time-consuming side. There are too many other things I enjoy doing more than practicing law.


Why not become a professional magician? There is no downside to it if you ask me. Well, there is a downside when you first start out. You will have to build a reputation and assume full responsibility for paying for everything out of your own pocket plus do a lot of footwork that you wouldn't have to do working for an employer. It's hard work but great fun and rewarding not just with making money but knowing you are working hard and following your own path. You become really independent after awhile working for yourself. You might already do that with your law firm though. I just started my own Individual 401(k) account for my company and made my first investment from the profit sharing contribution from my company. I love investing and it's great fun. Vanguard is a great company to invest with and offers some really good index funds or fund of funds that include various different index funds within a fund.
"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby." -unknown

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Dollarbill
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Originally from Lakewood California (whats up Cliffg37) now residing in CO. I fall in and out of magic. I use to be a member of (SCAM) So. Cal. Assoc. of Magicians. My passion is cooking and my love is competition BBQ. I quit performing in the mid 90's because my anxiety got so bad. If you were to spend a day over here at the house you Will be eating, you will be drinking cold beer or you WILL be asked to leave. Smile

Oh and I have a chikin' named Walter.
MobilityBundle
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The practice of law is on the time-consuming side. There are too many other things I enjoy doing more than practicing law.


Why not become a professional magician?

I wouldn't presume to answer for Lobo, but your suggestion sounds like trading one grind for another. I think I share a bit of Lobo's sentiment -- although not to his degree, since I am still practicing law. But it's definitely a grind, and it swallows up other interests. It's an especially insufferable grind when one doesn't REALLY like practicing law.

An old joke likened the practice of law to a pie eating contest, where the prize is more pie. No matter how much one likes pie, one eventually bows out of a contest like that.
Theodore Lawton
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Thanks for sharing! This has been some really interesting reading.

We have people that collect everything from kazoos to tea sets and have pet chikins named Walter. Keep it coming, I love reading about what your lives are like on the other side of the screen.
LobowolfXXX
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MobilityBundle wrote:
I wouldn't presume to answer for Lobo, but your suggestion sounds like trading one grind for another.


I couldn't have put it better myself. I do about six paid shows a year, and that works great for me.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
General_Magician
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I wouldn't presume to answer for Lobo, but your suggestion sounds like trading one grind for another. I think I share a bit of Lobo's sentiment -- although not to his degree, since I am still practicing law. But it's definitely a grind, and it swallows up other interests. It's an especially insufferable grind when one doesn't REALLY like practicing law.

An old joke likened the practice of law to a pie eating contest, where the prize is more pie. No matter how much one likes pie, one eventually bows out of a contest like that.


I agree. Being a professional magician is hard work. I enjoy what I do, but I don't view it as a grind. But it does take up a lot of time and you are constantly busy and working and in my case traveling to gigs. But you have to expect any profession or career is going to be hard work and time consuming (if you intend to be any good at it). If you enjoy what you do, it is the lubricant to where the hard work and the time consumption isn't such a grind. Plus you can feel proud and good about a company you are building and that your work is about entertaining people, creating wonder, astonishment and happiness for others. But you know you are still have to work hard to do it well and get that end result. You definitely appreciate every dollar you earn too. I would assume, with being an attorney, many also have to worry about paying on student loan bills as well. That might take a little while to pay off if you went to a good law school. But I can see where being an attorney, especially one that goes to court a lot, can be time consuming. It's only a grind if you don't enjoy being an attorney.
"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby." -unknown

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Daryl -the other brother
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I retired after 30 years in the power industry and now, once the snow melts you will find me on the Frisbee golf courses. I also spend some weekends at the local DZ (drop zone) packing parachutes for cash and talking to friends. I don't jump anymore due to unrelated medical problems. Fishing and guitar playing are high on my list and I also enjoy cooking, especially at my outdoor kitchen (see attached).

I was never a full-time magician but I made some good money doing it. (mostly wedding receptions.) I still do magic weekly but it is volunteer work at our local hospital. I do shows in the pediatric units and visit patients with my therapy dog BlackJack.

Click here to view attached image.
Theodore Lawton
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I'm jealous of your outdoor kitchen!

We just bought our first house last April and the good news is our backyard is a blank slate with nothing in it.

The bad news is our backyard is a blank slate with nothing in it.

What was the process to get a therapy dog?
imgic
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Also jealous of Daryl's outdoor kitchen. Had a plan drawn up for a wood fired oven, smoker, grill set up made if brick. Was ready to start building it when job took me halfway across the US. Love cooking outdoors.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
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On Feb 26, 2014, Theodore Lawton wrote:
I'm jealous of your outdoor kitchen!

We just bought our first house last April and the good news is our backyard is a blank slate with nothing in it.

The bad news is our backyard is a blank slate with nothing in it.

What was the process to get a therapy dog?


I was curious if you would not mind telling us a little bit about yourself and then I will be glad to tell you about me.
"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby." -unknown

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LobowolfXXX
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On Feb 26, 2014, General_Magician wrote:
Quote:
I wouldn't presume to answer for Lobo, but your suggestion sounds like trading one grind for another. I think I share a bit of Lobo's sentiment -- although not to his degree, since I am still practicing law. But it's definitely a grind, and it swallows up other interests. It's an especially insufferable grind when one doesn't REALLY like practicing law.

An old joke likened the practice of law to a pie eating contest, where the prize is more pie. No matter how much one likes pie, one eventually bows out of a contest like that.


I agree. Being a professional magician is hard work. I enjoy what I do, but I don't view it as a grind. But it does take up a lot of time and you are constantly busy and working and in my case traveling to gigs. But you have to expect any profession or career is going to be hard work and time consuming (if you intend to be any good at it). If you enjoy what you do, it is the lubricant to where the hard work and the time consumption isn't such a grind. Plus you can feel proud and good about a company you are building and that your work is about entertaining people, creating wonder, astonishment and happiness for others. But you know you are still have to work hard to do it well and get that end result. You definitely appreciate every dollar you earn too. I would assume, with being an attorney, many also have to worry about paying on student loan bills as well. That might take a little while to pay off if you went to a good law school. But I can see where being an attorney, especially one that goes to court a lot, can be time consuming. It's only a grind if you don't enjoy being an attorney.


I find both writing and LSAT tutoring quite relaxing, and I can write from home and often tutor from home online (many of the people who contact me are from out of state). The LSAT tutoring and teaching is quite rewarding as well; just yesterday, I heard that one of my students got into Boalt (the law school at Berkeley - a top-10 law school), which definitely would not have happened with the LSAT score he had before we began working together. Another of my students is partway through his second semester at a school that he would have had no chance at getting into (his words); after working on the LSAT with me for a few months, he not only got into the school, but they also offered him a $10,000 scholarship.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
imgic
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Lobo

What do you write? For profit or for fun?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
General_Magician
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Quote:
I find both writing and LSAT tutoring quite relaxing, and I can write from home and often tutor from home online (many of the people who contact me are from out of state). The LSAT tutoring and teaching is quite rewarding as well; just yesterday, I heard that one of my students got into Boalt (the law school at Berkeley - a top-10 law school), which definitely would not have happened with the LSAT score he had before we began working together. Another of my students is partway through his second semester at a school that he would have had no chance at getting into (his words); after working on the LSAT with me for a few months, he not only got into the school, but they also offered him a $10,000 scholarship.


That's awesome! Thanks for sharing Lobo! I was also curious what sort of writing you do as well.
"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby." -unknown

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LobowolfXXX
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I've written two books on the LSAT; one is available on Amazon, and the other was licensed to a test prep company and goes to all of its students four times each year. I've written about 70% of two books about boxing. One is specifically about betting on boxing, and the other is a history of the welterweight division. I'm also about 1/4 of the way through a detective fiction novel (murder mystery), and about twenty pages into a self-improvement book. The latter of those will almost certainly be self-published, but I'll shop around the boxing books and the mystery, and self-publish as a last resort. I have a couple of specific targets in mind for the book about betting on boxing - Cardoza Publishing and 2+2 publish various titles on gambling, as does the Gamblers Bookstore in Las Vegas. Those are probably the only options for that one; the others will have more possibilities. I'm also working on a humor book tentatively called "99 Ways Not to Be an #%^*," and an English book using hard rock/heavy metal lyrics to illustrate grammatical rules and literary terms.

The LSAT books were for profit; the others are hopefully for both fun and profit. For fun and no profit (yet), I also write short stories and poetry. I've submitted a few to the Weiters Digest competitions and a couple of periodicals, but no sales.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
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