Tuesday, March 22, 2005

May You Live in Interesting Times

It's crazy to think that I've only been "online" (as far as a regular user of email and Internet services) for ten years or so. Jebus only knows the things we'll take for granted ten years from now, embedded in the fabric of our every day lives, that might seem like so much science fiction right now.

Many ideas bouncing around in my monkey skull right now. Ahh, the sweet blissful manic energy of caffeine...

I've been dipping a cautious toe into exploring the waters of offshore incorporation, as far as business stuff. If you have any significant income from poker or affiliate programs and live in the US, it'd likely behoove you to at least consider the opportunities offered by incorporating offshore. As long as your source of income is largely virtual (e.g. online poker play, revenue generated from online affiliate programs, etc.) you can in many cases completely eliminate any taxes on profits. Yes, it involves a certain amount of rigamorole, yes it costs money, yes, if you do it but still reside in the US after incorporating you're walking a fine line with the IRS, but the long-term savings can be enormous. Especially if you're wise with those savings and immediately re-invest it smartly.

DoubleAs has some great recent posts about NL strategy, if you haven't read them. I've been playing a bit more deeper-stack NL lately, which is both a humbling and eye-opening experience. More and more I see the value in "playing wrong", limping with trashy hands more often. It's hard to do, and you have to be able to accept the fact that you'll post some empty, wasted sessions where you piss away lots of money limping with less than premium hands that get insta-mucked on the flop. But there's a lot to be said for it, and it makes me appreciate the seemingly ridiculous loose and lucky play of the Gus Hansens and Negreaneus of the world more, when it comes to NL. There's the obvious value of deception you get, when your opponents have no clue what two cards you might be playing this time, but there's also the fact that you're playing in the lower end of the spectrum when everyone else congregates in the higher end. When you get a piece of the flop you're almost never counterfeited or dominated, as is often the case when playing only premium hands with multiple people involved in the hand.

Still working out the details for the next Omaha 8 tournament at Noble, which should be finalized soon.

I'm still on a pretty incredible run at the online casinos. I'm not going to post all the crass details, but, umm, yeah. Crazy. I still have to pinch myself, looking back to where my bankroll was in November, right before I signed up at StarLuck and started my jaunt into the world of online casinos, and seeing where it is now. I was lucky to hit it fairly big with the first two and never really looked back, riding out the occasional inevitable bumps in the road.

I guess I do believe in luck. And, as much as it pains me in some ways to say it, I'm pretty lucky. I'm a fairly analytical monkey but I've run out of ready explanations for some things in my life that work out much better than the mathematical expectation would suggest. Yeah, part of it is hard work, and putting yourself in a position to be "lucky", and I do work pretty damn hard at nearly everything I would say I'm "lucky" with. But there's something more to it, methinks, in the end. Maybe you can explain it away scientifically, as far as studies that suggest that some people are subconsciously able to pick up on minute patterns, differences, and other tells that aid them in, more often than not, making "lucky" choices.

Gambling is such a freaking interesting phenomenon, especially the psychological side of it. Last night I was clearing a blackjack bonus, clicking away, doing my normal thing of mentally calling for the card I need when I would draw a card, when I realized, out of the blue, that I never mentally call for the card that gives me 21. If I have a 15 and the dealer is showing a 10, I hit, but I always mentally call for a 5. As if it's asking too much to call for the 6, despite the fact that drawing to 21 is obviously > 20. That somehow it's more beneficial to be less greedy, in a cosmic sense, to ash for more than enough but not too much.

Interesting, that. Especially since it took me playing probably > 20,000 hands of blackjack to even realize I did that.

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