Prop Bets, Cash Games, and Coachella

Last night I played for my 2nd time at the Hard Rock’s “Trash Talk Tuesday’s”. Shyla came up with this kick-ass idea to create a unique game that would be a draw every week, and this is what she came up with. $2-5 NL. Mandatory button straddle, $10-100 (your choice), button acts last like a kill, action starts UTG. $500-$3k buy-in. Any win with any deuce-seven is good for $10 from every player. Any win with a full house is a mandatory shot for every player at the table. Drunkenness is encouraged. Slowrolling is encouraged. You can order shots and beer at the same time. You can talk shit during the hand. And, magically, because this is how all poker players want to play poker deep down, kitchen table guys night out frat basement style, it works great. There’s no hurt feelings, more laughter than any other game in town, and they have gotten 4 games going every Tuesday night which all kick ass. Super good games.

So, since they’ll let the players do basically whatever they want, myself and this dude that I played with in Canada get like $600 in pre-flop; he opened to $50, I made it $150, he ships, I snap and say, “Wanna run it twice?” We discuss a lil, I say I don’t care I just like to reduce variance, he says fine run it twice, flop an ace first board good, flop a king 2nd board good. Ship. Then we start discussing whether or not running it multiple times changes your equity or not. I said it didn’t, he said it did, we got into a dick measuring contest, and I make the 2nd $1k prop bet over an argument of my life.

The last one didn’t turn out so well. It was against Jason Newitt during the Incredible Journey in Vancouver last year. We were at an expensive dinner that Gavin left early yet still lost at credit card roulette via satellite. JDN and I began arguing about the line from Anchorman where Ron Burgandy says, “Ah yes, San Deyago, I believe it’s [Spanish or German?] for whale’s vagina.” I took Spanish for $1k in this fashion:

“Dude, Devo, it’s German. I know it for a fact.”
“Nope, It’s Spanish. For sure dude.”
“Want to bet?”
“Sure.”
“How much?”
“I’ll wager… mmmm… up to one thousand Canadian.”
“Then I’ll bet one thousand loonies.”

I promptly was liberated of ten Brownies (way cooler name than Benjamins or Greenbacks imo, however the Bahamanian Pindling is my favorite) and felt like a moran for the rest of the night. This time though things went better.

I text Gavin asking for Bill Chen’s number, he graciously takes time to respond and says, “I’ve never seen a case where running it multiple times changes your equity.” So far so good. Next I text M Binger who is most responsible for this prop bet because he’s super smart and probably can prove either side in like a sentence. When we were in Biloxi earlier this year I got killed in every big PLO pot I played and was angsting about deciding to run it twice, not run it twice, and I was going over the times that it’s better or worse to run it multiple times. He basically said, it doesn’t matter. And I’m like, but, what about, “It doesn’t matter.” Gotcha. So, he takes time to respond last night by text from Monte f’n Carlo. You’re the man thanks dude. Anyways, I get back to even lifetime on retarded prop bets, maybe even up a few bucks on the exchange rate, but last May the dollar was par to the loony. LOL the loony.

Dude pays me at the end of the night which was cool, I made a similar $1k prop-bet vs. Antonio Esfandiari’s (ex?) assistant regarding equities of two specific video poker situations, and while I’ve seen her several times since and she’s acknowledged the bet every time I still haven’t received a cent. As he’s paying me he offers another bet that we had talked about earlier, this time for $500.

On an American Roulette wheel, two players have two chips each. On one spin player A bets both chips, one on zero and the other on double zero. Then, Player B bets one chip on zero for one spin, then the other chip on double zero the next spin. Who has the greater equity? Is it Player B because he can win both wagers? Or is it equal equity?

Posted it on 2+2, waiting on the answer to that one.


So, anyways, I took two weeks off from tournaments in there. I made a final table of the Caesars WSOP-C $1k event #1, my first live final table in eleven months, and I take a disappointing 7th place. Can’t beat KQ ever. I then discover that day that I’m not being put in the $25k by my backers. I can’t say I blame them really, as tourneys have gotten harder in the past few years and I’ve been on a quarter million downswing in the past year, but I am two for two in that tourney lifetime and the reason that I’m being backed is to have an opportunity to play the bigger events. I don’t care about playing small tournaments for a backer, but I do because it’s fair to give all your action in exchange for shots at the bigger events.

Unfortunately the tournament circuit costs money that I cover myself. Unfortunately I haven’t run well in cash games, nor have I made any money from tournaments in a while, and although I made a bunch of money last year, it goes quick. I’ve gotten back to the point where I have to consider my bankroll again, and I’ve made the decision to transition back to playing more cash games, at least until I get that padding behind me (cost of living) to return to the circuit full time.

So, motivated and under-rolled I head to the Venetian, lose $500 in a bad 5-10 game in 30 mins. I leave there, trying to exercise game selection, and go to the Bellagio where the 5-10 is always good. I find a great game. Get top two vs. bottom set, busto, go home depressed and stuck $1500.

Tuesday and Wednesday I grind my ass off, end up $300 on the week. I’ll take it.

Thursday is day 0 for Coachella. Now, last year’s Coachella has been a weekend I think about all the time. I had a great time and it was a wonderful adventure. I was also very euphoric and emotional at the time, on the tail end of my sickest career rush, and starting to deal with the emotions of having that dude die on me the week before at the car accident. This year it was kinda the opposite; I just needed an escape.

I’m glad I went. It was a pretty selfish decision to go but I needed to. Got down there Thursday night, set up camp, and had learned a few lessons this time.

Last year it was hot as hell. Also, there was no shade, and you couldn’t go into the event area until 11am. It was so hot that it was impossible to sleep past 9am in a tent. Solution: EZ-UP. Not only does it provide overhead shade, but you can zip-tie or duct-tape tie-dyed sheets, flags with peace signs on them, and one love flying carpets so they hang on the sides to provide privacy and more shade.

Last year I was never sober at 12:30am when walking back to the tent. I was living in a two man Mountain Hardwear tent in the middle of the biggest tent city I’d ever seen, and I’ve lived in many a tent city. Solution: Duct-Tape bright yellow Gadsden Flag (the Revolutionary War ‘don’t tread on me’ flag) to the side of the EZ-UP so that it sticks up high into the air. Show your libertarianism and provide a point of drunken reference at the same time.

Highlights:

Paul McCartney played what may be the most amazing show I ever see in my life. I can’t think of one that compares to it in my experience. He played on stage for two hours and forty-five minutes, a journey through his musical career. Some Beatles, some Paul, and then he tells us that it’s the eleventh anniversary of Linda’s death. Then he sits at the piano, tears knocking at his eyes, and plays “Maybe I’m Amazed.” I cry. He plays some more, then starts talking about John (Lennon), plays a song that he wrote for him, maybe Imagine, or Yesterday? Not sure… anyways, also a powerful moment, and mid-song this creative cameraman spots a t-shirt in the crowd which is that famous John Lennon silhouette Obama-ized in the Red and Blue. Crowd loses it again. He finally leaves the stage, gets called out for an encore, comes back and plays what is an excellent but obviously planned encore. He finishes, leaves in a grand finale with fireworks and everything, and nobody moves. I was in the back of the crowd, and nobody moved. Nobody. The crowd pressed forward, and incessantly cheered for at least five minutes when Sir Paul took the stage for the third time, was handed an acoustic guitar, and began a third and final set. It was amazing.

The next day I’m in boardshorts and barefoot from the minute I wake up, comfortably after 9am. Nice TY EZ-UP! Do my standard routine, into the festival, having a great day seeing some great shows, hungry… healthy? Caesar salad? Not bad, ok I’ll take it,…. beer! 15 feet away. One light beer please. Wallet. Wallet? Oh no. Wallet! Walk back 15 feet, yell, “Anybody seen a wallet?!?” like a crazy mother looking for her firstborn son the first time he disappears. Gone. All of my $, about $550. ID. Thank God for my green wristband otherwise I might have gone insane. Platinum Card (which is a joke cause it’s a debit card and they might have gotten me for like $900. Hah and they thought they hit the jackpot). Gone. I canceled the card on their ass immediately, and found myself flat broke at Coachella.

I didn’t even have gas money. I didn’t have food, but I did have bananas, so I knew that I would be fine in the hippy bartering community. I still couldn’t trade fresh fruit and cold water (which I had) for a carne asada burrito and a Heineken Light (which I wanted). This sucks. But, I realized that there was a reason for everything, and this was all part of the adventure. Cool no worries.

First, I need water. I have to have fluid to go with this Caesar that I gotta eat, cause it’s gonna go bad quick and who knows when I’m going to get food next. So, I find ten empty water bottles and take them to the exchange station where you can trade ten empties into recycling for one new bottle of water.

Eat salad, drink water, stay hydrated in 95 degree desert heat.

Go amongst the people and find trade networks. Two minutes into this mission I run into Poker Bob. No way. Professional poker player, limit hold’em specialist, from Minnesota, met him at Canterbury, he moved to Pasadena to play the SAGs at the Commerce on a regular basis, and was spending his Saturday at Coachella. I’ll be damned. After good to see you’s, I said, “Man, I hate to ask this and feel like a total busto-nit, but can I borrow $20-$40? I just lost my walled in the beer-garden with all my money.” He insta-ships $40, offers to give more, but I say I don’t need it cause my buddy from Vegas is coming down later and will have $. I just needed beer money :). He laughs, I buy him a water with his money and backpack my backup water, and we go to watch one of my favorites from the weekend: Fleet Foxes. Acoustic Harmonic Folkish, I’ve listened to their album at least five times since I downloaded it last week. By the time they finish playing my buddy arrives, ships $400, and I have money again. Pay the marker to Bob, he takes off, and we go to watch the Killers. Good show, sleep, Sunday.

This was just an all around good day, but the obvious climax was The Cure. The played a great, nice long two hour set, left, and their roadies immediately started re-arranging the stage for an encore set. K, cool, encore coming, good encore, several songs, but it’s like midnight, the crowd wants more, and we call them back out. I was close for this one, probably row 20 at this point. The Cure takes the stage; Robert Smith giggles, says, “Alright, we’re going to play til you leave.”

Many songs later, immediately after a song ends, the sound is cut. The band is still playing, but you can only hear the drums acoustically, the bass and the guitar amps cranked at eleven. You couldn’t hear the lead singer. Slowly the house lights start coming on, the big screen is turned off, and the overhead flood lights on the stage are turned on. The crowd realizes what is happening, hears “Boy’s Don’t Cry,” and becomes Robert Smith’s microphone, singing loud enough to compensate. It was an absolutely incredible music moment. Producers are running up backstage going “WTF?!?” They finish the song, then go into “Jumping Someone Else’s Train”, finish that song, then go into, appropriately, “Grinding Halt”. At 12:40 am the Stage Amps were turned off, the drummer Jason kept playing, and the crowd got mad at Coachella officials.

I shot about 30 seconds of the start of Someone Else’s Train, and shot some other video of McCartney and Tesla Coils. Check it:

Awesome trip.

Came back Monday, began working on my newest project: PokerVT. I have been invited to sign with PokerVT as an instructor and I have accepted, signing my contract last week, currently uploading my first two hours of video which will be from the HORSE tournament on Stars that I finished 2nd in last month. I’m super excited to be a part of the PokerVT team and for the opportunity to make videos, it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Especially since I can do mix games.

Also CardPlayer has kicked me up to bi-monthly, so I actually have a decent amount on my plate at the moment. I’m super stoked about it though because it gives a little bit of structure to my life, I am supposed to have a stable enough income to cover my nut now at one video a week and two articles a month, and that will relieve the strain on my bankroll. Stoked :).

Peace and Good Luck,

Devo

5 Responses to “Prop Bets, Cash Games, and Coachella”

  1. Hey Brian! According to the numbers on wiki, player A’s ev is -.105 ish units. Player B’s ev is the same. Player A loses 2 units 36 times and wins 34 units (net) two times leaving him down 4 units after 38 trials. Player B loses 1 unit 37 times and wins 35 units one time in 38 trials, except he repeats this bet one time on the other zero costing him the same .105 ish units over his two bets.

  2. For the record, Trash Talkin’ Tuesday was the creation of three players: Sanford, Charlie, and Dave. No Hard Rock employee had a hand in it.

  3. good to know, thanks for clearin that up Zeke.

  4. Great blog!!!!

  5. i went to coachella last year…. did you see roger waters last year?

    wondering if mccartney was way better or what… that roger waters show was the best thing i have ever seen. period.
    man… sucks i couldn’t be there

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