Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker, damnit! 

Whoops, I almost forgot to post episode three of the top stock picks from 2007.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Las Vegas Cabbies 

I'll be slowly migrating to all things poker once again, as I regain my composure over all things anti-Hillary pro-Obama.

But I wanted to take a brief moment to pass along two fine links.

This first one is an oldie-but-goodie that I had forgotten about, but had some fun digging back through his archives: Las Vegas Cabbie Chronicles

And a co-worker sent me the best Obama web site ever.

Poker Cheating 

Nice. Very nice.


Did cheating spark poker killings?

The man charged with shooting and killing three men at a private poker game in Palatka over the weekend believed he had been cheated during the contest, deputies reported.

Officers arrested Duane Demaris Crittenden II, 28, of Palatka in Marion County on Sunday morning on three charges of first-degree murder, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office reported.

The owner of a building at 108 Carver St. found the three men dead at the location just outside the Palatka city limits Saturday morning. Jerome Anthony Henry, 48, of Seville, and Richard David Smith and Robert Erwin Ford, both 50 and from Palatka, were killed inside the structure, a former bar that officers said people had been using as the location for a "high-stakes" poker game.

All four men had been involved in the game, which started Friday afternoon and continued through the night, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Major Keith Riddick.

Crittenden had been in the game and lost, officers reported.

"We understand that he felt that they were cheating, and he went back apparently to confront them about that," Riddick said.

The men were last seen alive between 8 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. Saturday, Riddick said. Investigators believe the confrontation occurred between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
All three victims were shot in the head and neck area, Riddick said. Henry and Smith were both shot once. Ford had been shot twice and stabbed.

Investigators are trying to determine what happened in the building among the men. Riddick said the Sheriff's Office plans to try to reconstruct events inside the building.

Crittenden left with money taken from the game, according to deputies. Riddick said investigators don't know how much was taken. Estimates have been between $2,000 and $9,000.

Crittenden was located in Marion County in the area of SW 22nd Place and South Pine Avenue after an all-night manhunt. Riddick said he did not know what ties Crittenden had to the area but he had previously listed Ocala as a home address.

Investigators have recovered some of the money taken from the poker game, Riddick said.

Officers have spoken with Crittenden, and Riddick said he is cooperating with the investigation to a certain degree.

Crittenden has a lengthy criminal history with 18 felony convictions in both Florida and Georgia, Riddick said. None of the charges were violent, however. Most involved "paper crimes" such as fraud and forgery, he said.

The three victims also had prior criminal histories although none had been arrested on significant charges in recent years, according to the Sheriff's Office.

"I will fight every moment of every day in this campaign to make sure that Americans are not deceived by an eloquent but empty call for change."
John McCain

I had some fun reading the Fark political threads this morning. If I had time, I'd love to post some of the pictures here, but alas.

Let's throw out some linkage this morning, shall we?

Clinton Could Turn Toxic as Options Dry Up - London Times

Wisconsin Voters Give Obama Decisive Victory - Washington Post

Another Grim Result for Hillary - New York Observer

Michelle Obama Gets Tripped Up - Chicago Sun-Times

How Obama won Wisconsin - Salon

Online Poker Name and Judiasm 

A reader sent me this. What the hell?

Daniel Negreaneu is interviewing some online poker player who somehow manages to throw out the line "he dealt with the Jew problem" regarding his online poker moniker.

It's Over 

The Fat Lady might not yet be singing, but she's waiting in the wings.

From the National Review:


It Is Over

Please allow me a dose of hardened market realism concerning Obama's landslide victory in Wisconsin. The race is over. Hillary is finished. The Clinton Restoration is over. President Bill Clinton's political invincibility is over. Hillary's electability is over.

Obama got to the far Left faster than she did. He out organized her in the precincts. He out fundraised her. He out speechified her. He out-hustled her. He out-dressed her. He out-presidentialed her. He outdid her and he outbid her for votes, one promised government check at a time.

A 15-point margin in Wisconsin is incredible. Wisconsin is a lot like Ohio except for the wacko ultra-Left Madison college population, which is even worse that Columbus's Ohio State. But there are so many campuses in Ohio that will go for Obama that it is no matter. Think faculty voters, grimly determined for a left-wing takeover of America " from the bottom up" to use the former Saul Alinsky community organizer's phrase. As goes Wisconsin, so goes Ohio.

Not even Hillary's last-minute bashing of business and free-market capitalism, which is a complete repudiation of her husband's presidency, could save her. Obama got there first, with a style and elegance that Hillary simply cannot match.

Bashing Obama for plagiarizing Deval Patrick? That negativism backfired. Go after Michelle Obama's incredible anti-American speech? You must be kidding. The women are coming 'round to Obama. Going super-negative over the next two weeks? It'll kill her. Obama will beat her by 35 points instead of twenty. Lift the sanctions on Michigan and Florida? It's an Obama trump card. Bribe or rent the super-delegates? Make my day, Obama is thinking.

Hillary's best bet to preserve her career as a professional politician? Pull back significantly in Texas and Ohio, as a prelude to withdrawal. Bill will say no, 'cause his career is even deader than hers. But Hillary has more class than he does. She still has some vague sense of reality, of the difference between right and wrong, even if he does not.

The Intrade pay-to-play prediction market shows Obama with a 7.5-point gain tonight, giving him a 78 to 20 lead. That's right, 78 to 20. Hillary has suddenly become an incredibly steep inverted yield curve, with a rapidly declining credit rating and a complete drying up of liquidity. She won't be able to raise two wooden nickels, and not even Bill can raise enough money in Dubai to keep her out of bankruptcy.

As of tonight, the market has officially pulled the plug, terminating her campaign. The only thing left for her is to muster some grace, humility and character to begin the process of pulling out. To do otherwise will destroy the Democratic party and what's left of the Clintons' badly tarred and tattered reputation.

The real winner tonight? That chap from Arizona. Captain John McCain.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Anything to Win 

Another fine piece from the politco:


Clinton targets pledged delegates

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign intends to go after delegates whom Barack Obama has already won in the caucuses and primaries if she needs them to win the nomination.

This strategy was confirmed to me by a high-ranking Clinton official on Monday. And I am not talking about superdelegates, those 795 party big shots who are not pledged to anybody. I am talking about getting pledged delegates to switch sides.

What? Isn’t that impossible? A pledged delegate is pledged to a particular candidate and cannot switch, right?


Pledged delegates are not really pledged at all, not even on the first ballot. This has been an open secret in the party for years, but it has never really mattered because there has almost always been a clear victor by the time the convention convened.

But not this time. This time, one candidate may enter the convention leading by just a few pledged delegates, and those delegates may find themselves being promised the sun, moon and stars to switch sides.

“I swear it is not happening now, but as we get closer to the convention, if it is a stalemate, everybody will be going after everybody’s delegates,” a senior Clinton official told me Monday afternoon. “All the rules will be going out the window.”

Rules of good behavior, maybe. But, in fact, the actual rules of the party allow for such switching. The notion that pledged delegates must vote for a certain candidate is, according to the Democratic National Committee, a “myth.”
See Also

* Economy prompts GOP defections
* How Hillary can still win
* Weak GOP-ers eager to stump with McCain

“Delegates are NOT bound to vote for the candidate they are pledged to at the convention or on the first ballot,” a recent DNC memo states. “A delegate goes to the convention with a signed pledge of support for a particular presidential candidate. At the convention, while it is assumed that the delegate will cast their vote for the candidate they are publicly pledged to, it is not required.”

Clinton spokesman Phil Singer told me Monday he assumes the Obama campaign is going after delegates pledged to Clinton, though a senior Obama aide told me he knew of no such strategy.

But one neutral Democratic operative said to me: “If you are Hillary Clinton, you know you can’t get the nomination just with superdelegates without splitting the party. You have to go after the pledged delegates.”

Winning with superdelegates is potentially party-splitting because it could mean throwing out the choice of the elected delegates and substituting the choice of 795 party big shots.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has warned against it. “I think there is a concern when the public speaks and there is a counter-decision made to that,” she said. “It would be a problem for the party if the verdict would be something different than the public has decided.”

Donna Brazile, who was Al Gore’s campaign manager in 2000 and is a member of the DNC, said recently: “If 795 of my colleagues decide this election, I will quit [the DNC]. I feel very strongly about this.”

On Sunday, Doug Wilder, the mayor of Richmond and a former governor of Virginia, went even further, predicting riots in the streets if the Clinton campaign were to overturn an Obama lead through the use of superdelegates.

“There will be chaos at the convention,” Wilder told Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation.”

“If you think 1968 was bad, you watch: In 2008, it will be worse.”

But would getting pledged delegates to switch sides be any less controversial? Perhaps not. They were chosen by voters, but they were chosen to back a particular candidate.

And it is unlikely that many people, including the pledged delegates themselves, know that pledged delegates actually can switch.

Nor would it be easy to get them to switch.

If, however, after the April 22 Pennsylvania primary the pledged delegate count looks very close, the Clinton official said, “[both] sides will start working all delegates.”

In other words, Clinton and Obama will have to go after every delegate who is alive and breathing.

Tuesday Links & Poker Stars 

Just a few links right now.

The Clintons' Unforgivable Crime

I don't read much DailyKos, but someone sent me this interesting piece entitled: Why I’m Switching from Hillary to Obama

And hey, some poker content!

Thanks to Yoyo for blogging about the chance to play in the next National Heads-Up Poker Championship on PokerStars.

Hell, it's over in a few days, so if you're feeling like taking a shot a big payday, it's now or never.

Here's the lowdown.


Free tournaments run every day at 7:00 and 10:00 PM ET and can be located in the PokerStars game lobby by clicking the "Tourney" and then "Freeroll" tabs and scrolling to find the next tournament named "Heads-Up Qualifying – Round 1A (U.S. players)" or "Heads-Up Qualifying – Round 1B (U.S. players)".

Play Heads-Up on National TV for $1,500,000 in Cash!

The National Heads-Up Poker Championship is the ultimate test of one-on-one poker skills. It’s a super-exclusive 64- player tournament where, each round, you play against one other player in a heads-up poker match; the winner advances and the loser goes home.

Every year the National Heads-Up Poker Championship is one of TV’s highest rated poker shows, and in the past has been reserved for poker’s elite on an invitation-only basis. The tournament is being held in Las Vegas, home of many great sporting events in the past. It’s the perfect place for some truly competitive poker. This year PokerStars has your invitation!

If you think you have what it takes, you could get the chance to face off against the world’s greatest players, including Team PokerStars Pro members Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Joe Hachem, Vanessa Rousso and Greg Raymer.

From Tuesday, January 22 until Saturday, February 22 we will be holding free-to-enter qualifying tournaments every day.

Daily Round 1 Events:

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Best of all, it’s completely free to enter. All you need is a FREE PokerStars account.

Monday, February 18, 2008

What Went Wrong? 

WTF. What is this?

Part #2 of the retrospective look at the Best Stocks of 2007:

2007 Statewide Nevada Casino Gaming Win Numbers 

"Betting is pretty much like liquor: you can make it illegal, but you can't make it unpopular."
Arthur Baer

I read a lot of numbers and data in my day job, trying to understand the lay of the land.

So it's pretty cool to see the numbers behind the casinos in Nevada, and how they earn their massive stacks of cash.

Here's how much money Nevada casinos (all non-restricted locations) won in calendar year 2007 along with the numbers of games statewide:

Slot Machines - 174,677 units - $8.5 billion
Table Games - 5,801 units - $4.2 billion
Poker tables - 907 tables - $168.0 million

If you want to see the breakdown by table game, go read this short and easy-to-read one pager on the numbers from the fine folks at UNLV: 2007 Statewide Nevada Casino Gaming Wins

From my buddy, Drizz, I got this op-ed from the NY Times per the super-delegates.


Superdelegates, Back Off

On the first Wednesday in June, the morning after the last day of voting in the 1984 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, the long, drawn-out battle that began with Gary Hart’s stunning victory in New Hampshire ended — but only after one last plot twist. I was Walter Mondale’s delegate counter, and I had stayed up all night to estimate the delegates won and lost in the five states, including California and New Jersey, that had voted the day before. I realized we were in big trouble. Mr. Mondale was not going to deliver on his pledge to be over the top in the delegate count by noon on the day after the last primary. He fell 40 delegates short of a majority.

We began a frantic morning of telephone calls to superdelegates, the party leaders and elected officials who only two years earlier had been given 15 percent of the vote in the Democratic nominating process. By noon, the former vice president had persuaded enough delegates to ensure himself the nomination. The superdelegates did the work they were created to do: they provided the margin of victory to the candidate who had won the most support from primary and caucus voters.

Now, a quarter-century later, the Democratic Party is once again engaged in a nominating process — this time between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama — in which the margin of victory will be achieved only with broad support from the superdelegates, the nearly 800 party leaders and elected officials who become delegates not on the basis of votes cast in primaries and caucuses, but because of their status under party rules.

Democrats created these superdelegates after the 1980 election with several purposes in mind.

Party leaders had been underrepresented on the floor of the 1980 convention, which was the culmination of a bitter contest for the nomination between President Jimmy Carter and Senator Ted Kennedy that left our party deeply divided and contributed to the party’s loss of the presidency that year.

Many party leaders felt that the delegates would actually be more representative of all Democratic voters if we had more elected officials on the convention floor to offset the more liberal impulses of party activists.

But the superdelegates were also created to provide unity at the nominating convention.

They are a critical mass of uncommitted convention voters who can move in large numbers toward the candidate who receives the most votes in the party’s primaries and caucuses. Their votes can provide a margin of comfort and even victory to a nominee who wins a narrow race.

The superdelegates were never intended to be part of the dash from Iowa to Super Tuesday and beyond. They should resist the impulse and pressure to decide the nomination before the voters have had their say.

The party’s leaders and elected officials need to stop pledging themselves to either Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Obama, the two remarkable candidates who are locked in an intense battle for the Democratic presidential nomination.

If the superdelegates determine the party’s nominee before primary and caucus voters have rendered a clear verdict, Democrats risk losing the trust that we are building with voters today. The perception that the votes of ordinary people don’t count as much as those of the political insiders, who get to pick the nominee in some mythical back room, could hurt our party for decades to come.

The damage would be amplified if African-Americans or women, two of the party’s key constituencies, feel that a candidate who represents their most fervent hopes and aspirations is deprived of a nomination rightfully earned by majority support from voters.

Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama, and their campaigns, are pressuring superdelegates to pledge support to them before Democratic voters in the remaining primaries and caucuses have made their decisions. But Democratic leaders need to let the voters sort out which one of these two remarkable people will lead our party and, we hope, the nation.

After listening to the voters, the superdelegates can do what the Democratic Party’s rules originally envisioned. They can ratify the results of the primaries and caucuses in all 50 states by moving as a bloc toward the candidate who has proved to be the strongest in the contest that matters — not the inside game of the delegate hunt, but the outside contest of ideas and inspiration, where hope can battle with experience and voters can make the right and best choice for our party and our future.

Top Stock Picks Revisited 

You know, with all the talk during this election and, "It's the economy, stupid," type-logic going around, I thought I'd re-share this classic video on the top stock picks in 2007.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

My sister was lucky enough to meet Obama yesterday in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. To sum up her experience: charisma, the man has it.

I understand most of the problems people have with the man, and his supposed lack of experience.

I don't see this as a problem.

And for what it's worth, Obama made his bones in Chicago, working with the first black mayor in Chicago, Harold Washington, in the early 80's.

This American Life, the best damn radio show in the world, recently did their 20th anniversary show of Harold's death and took a look back at how he got elected and his legacy. Hit the link for the show.

Host Ira Glass reviews how black candidates have fared in white wards since Harold, with someone uniquely situated to know: David Axelrod, who was a political advisor to Harold Washington during Washington's second mayoral race and who is also chief political and media advisor to Illinois Senator (and Presidential candidate) Barack Obama.

Ira also checks in with Judge Eugene Pincham, ten years after their first interview.

Then, WBEZ Chicago reporter Robert Wildeboer goes out to several wards where Harold Washington did very poorly in the '80s, including one where he got less than one percent of the vote, to find out if a black man ran for mayor today, the same kinds of things would happen. (11 minutes)

I guess I just don't understand how people can think Hillary is more electable than Obama in the general election versus McCain.

The silent majority is everything in the general election.

In this case, I see it this way:

Hillary will bring people out to vote who have never voted before, to vote AGAINST her.

Obama will bring people out to vote who have never voted before, to vote FOR him.

Seems like an easy call to me.

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