Thursday, 28 November 2013

Can You Fold The Nuts?

You’ll never make a poker player unless you can make a big lay down, but can you fold the nuts? If you are a dedicated hold ’em player, you may find it difficult to credit you would ever do that, but consider the following. Playing a tournament you’ve had a good run and are now on the final table. Sitting in the big blind, you are dealt pocket rockets; the first player raises, the player in third position goes all-in with his short stack, the next player re-raises, and the big chip leader in the small blind comes over the top. What do you do? Sure, you are a big favourite against any of their hands heads-up, but one player is all-in already, and if the other two call and one of them gets lucky, you will be crippled. If one of them not only gets lucky but has more chips than you, you will be busted out, and if the big blind gets lucky...The sensible thing to do is fold, that way you are almost certain to finish one place higher, and if the other two call only for the small blind to flop a house of kings...so it is not simply a fold, but an easy fold. Now how about folding the nuts on the flop?

If you are playing Omaha, either straight Omaha or hi-lo, and especially pot limit, this is something you need to be able to do. Let me give you two examples from actual play. The screengrab below is from a hi-lo cash game played in the small hours of August 14, 2013. In the big blind with a total garbage hand I flopped the nuts, but it is a hand that cannot improve. To begin with, it is not totally impossible that another player could also have flopped the nuts, but how many ways can I scoop? Come to think of it, how many ways can I win even the high? Any club makes a potential flush, the board pairing makes a potential house, and a 6, 7 or 10 makes a bigger straight. Even if I hit quads runner, runner, I can win only half the pot. I did the sensible thing, and folded. Look at the final board, there is no lo, and a potential flush, a plethora of houses, and quad 8s beating my humble straight. The only sane thing to do is check the flop and fold to any bet.

The next two screengrabs are from a hi-lo tournament played on November 27, 2013. Again, I flopped the nut straight, and this time I made a small bet; as you can see there was a minimum raise followed by a not-so-minimum re-raise. I let the hand go without hesitation, and would have even if this had been a hi only tournament. To begin with, another player or two of them could have the nuts as well and a redraw.

The next screengrab vindicates my decision. As things turned out, I was actually ahead on the flop, but how many ways could I win? If the board pairs, I lose to a house, and two other players - one with a garbage hand - had draws to a bigger straight. One of them got lucky, and scooped. I cashed in this tournament, and clearly would not have had I been unwilling to fold the best hand on the flop. This is often a painful decision to have to make, but the alternatve is almost always more painful. By giving up a small amount of money or chips you are in fact saving a lot more.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Rise Of The Black Serial Killer

The struggle against ‘racism’ is a job forever, but there is one field in which blacks are fast catching up with whites: serial murder.

Murder is not exactly unknown in history of course, from the first - apocryphal murder - of Abel by Cain up to the present day. There have also been men, and very occasionally women, who could be called serial killers. Probably the most notorious - in chronological order - are Gilles de Rais (Bluebeard); Vlad the Impaler (the real Dracula);  and Erzsébet Báthory (the Blood Countess).

These three were without doubt serial killers by today’s standards, because they murdered for pleasure. It was though only during the 20th Century that we saw the rise of recreational murder. Why?

This is undoubtedly a simple question with a complex answer, but clearly for some it fulfils Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; for others it brings a strange, perverted, sexual thrill; while others murder just because they can.

There was also far more opportunity in the 20th Century and on into the 21st.

Why has the number of black serial killers risen? For all the whining of black activists, most blacks in America have never had it so good. They can afford guns, cars, and have the spare time in which to plan and perpetrate serial murder. Cars are very important; the rise of the motor vehicle more than any other factor has facilitated the perpetuation of crime, in particular professional or habitual crime.

So how many black serial killers have there been? A lot more than you’d think from the mainstream media, and unsurprisingly, most of them have been Americans. In no particular order, here are a few of the most notable:

Timothy Wilson Spencer who targeted white women. Obviously of low intelligence, Spencer achieved true notoriety by becoming the first person in America to be convicted of murder on the basis of DNA evidence. He paid the ultimate price in 1994; unfortunately the first man ever to be so convicted of murder did not.

Maury Travis was a more typical serial killer, he targeted and murdered black women, most or all of whom were prostitutes. Like Spencer, Travis has a dubious claim to notoriety; he became the first serial killer to be traced by his computer footprint, and although probably not the first, he made "snuff films", ie he filmed his victims as he tortured them to death. Maury Travis died by his own hand in June 2002, thus saving the state the expense of a  trial.

Terry Blair is another sicko who targeted prostitutes. In 1982, Blair murdered the pregnant Angela Monroe for which he received a 25 year sentence. The victim was the mother of two of his children. Whether or not Blair deserved a second chance, he was considered suitable for parole, and in a three month period in 2004 he murdered six women then phoned the police and told them he had done so because they were scum - although there is some doubt about the provenance of the call. It is possible indeed likely that Blair committed at least one more murder.

Kansas has the death penalty, in theory, but Blair avoided the possibility of that by foregoing a jury trial, and was convicted on all six counts of murder by Judge John O’Malley on March 27, 2008.

In February 1982, Wayne Williams was convicted of two murders for which he received two life sentences. Although the authorities could have brought more charges, they were content to leave it at that. Williams was responsible for the Atlanta Child Murders, although he murdered at least two adults. A closet homosexual who came from a fairly privileged family, it is possible that he was responsible for murdering at least one young girl but it is generally accepted that with the two adult exceptions, all his victims were boys. There have of course been attempts to muddy the waters by dragging in race, in particular the Ku Klux Klan, but most of the victims disappeared from areas of the city that remain de facto segregated, and a white man or men preying on young boys would have stuck out like a carrot in a bunch of bananas, as was once said of James Hanratty.

Here is the man who prosecuted him explaining thirty years on why Williams was tried for only two murders instead of twenty-eight.

Until the shocking crimes of Ariel Castro came to light, Anthony Sowell was arguably Cleveland's most notorious resident, and is still the most deadly. The irony is that if had continued his military career he could have killed people legally and been praised for it. Sowell served with the USA Marine Corps for seven years during which time he proved himself to be Class A material. He was discharged with a good conduct medal and glowing references having reached the rank of corporal. Alas, back on civvy street, things soon went wrong. You can find some background to Sowell here. Unfortunately, the video to which this article alludes has been removed by YouTube, but  there is plenty more documentary material on him to be found there, including trial testimony.  Convicted of murdering eleven women, he is currently on death row.

Andre Crawford is an even more depraved individual than Anthony Sowell; he too murdered eleven women, raping them both before and after death. Like the white homosexual serial killer John Gacy, Crawford hailed from Chicago, where he committed his crimes. He was convicted in December 2009. Both Claudia Robinson, the only woman to survive Crawford, and the families of his victims, wanted to see him executed, but two white liberal jurors decided for some unfathomable reason that he did not deserve to die.

Just as serial killers are not a white male phenomenon, neither are they or black serial killers an entirely American one, though Guy Georges did have an American father. The man who became known as the Beast of the Bastille raped and murdered seven women in Paris between 1991 and 1997. He was arrested in March 1998 and brought to trial 3 years later. Georges exhibited extreme violent tendencies from the age of 14; his long list of non-lethal violent crimes included attempting to strangle his adoptive sisters, and the rape of a young woman in November 1981. She was also stabbed and left for dead.

South Africa has produced two notorious serial killers in recent years. The worst and indeed Africa’s worst documented serial killer is Moses Sithole. His first recorded rape was in September 1987, but it appears not to have been reported at the time. In February 1989 he raped another woman, who reported the assault. Sithole was given a six year sentence but was released early. This is said to have taught him an important lesson: dead rape victims don’t file police reports. Between January 1995 and the time of his arrest, he murdered 38 women, tying them up with their own underwear before raping and strangling them. He was soon public enemy number one; even Nelson Mandela, at that time president, visited the site where Sithole had buried no fewer than ten of his victims.

He was brought to book not by the police but by his colossal ego, which led to him boasting of his crimes, as did Terry Blair. Sithole was sentenced to over 2,000 years in prison, which is as good as life without parole.

Another South African serial killer who is every bit as depraved as Sithole is Sipho Thwala; an excellent documentary about him can be found on YouTube. In about a year he murdered 19 young women; he was convicted of 16 murders in March 1999. Like Sithole he was also a rapist, and like his countryman, he will never see daylight again.

Finally, before we move on to black women serial killers, it should be pointed out that there is one very major dissenting opinion here. Justin Lee Cottrell appears to have done his homework. If you want to hear him discourse on this subject at length, check out this radio interview. The bottom line is that he believes there have been many more black serial killers than the mainstream media reports on, for the usual politically correct reasons.

If black men are rapidly catching up with white men in the depravity stakes, black women serial killers are almost as rare as unicorns. Almost, but not quite. Although she was convicted only of one murder, Kimberly McCarthy is known to have killed two other women, but she cannot be classed as a  serial killer in the true sense of the word, rather she was a crack addict whose addiction drove her to murder. Likewise, Debra Brown was the partner-in-crime of Alton Coleman, and although a willing participant, it is doubtful if this borderline retard would ever have committed any more serious crime than shoplifting had the two not met.

Josephine Gray was not just black but a black widow - ie a woman who murders her husbands (plural) usually for material gain. There have been quite a few of these over the years, but Gray appears to be the only black one. You can read a bit about Gray here; although she may be odious, she is nothing special, but the last female on our list is a true anomaly.

At the time the perpetrator confessed to committing thirty murders, she was a teenager, but because of her age, her name was not released by the Brazilian authorities. Little or nothing has been heard of her since.

Finally, last month Anthony Sowell was back in the news again. While he languished on death row, the family of his victims held a memorial event in Imperial Avenue, Cleveland, to mark the fourth anniversary of the grisly find of eleven bodies at his home. Unfortunately it will probably be years if not a decade or more before he is executed, even though his date of execution was set for October 29 last year. Something that is unfortunately far more certain is that although Sowell is one of the most notorious black serial killers, he will be far from the last because serial murder is now truly an equal opportunity employer.

Friday, 1 November 2013

A Game For Morons And Broken Hearts

I said a long time ago that poker is a game for morons and broken hearts. I was referring specifically to no limit hold ’em at the time, but I included limit hold ’em too.

To that you can add Omaha, the game which has seen more money lost with aces than won with them. And Omaha hi-lo, especially at pot limit. There are three forms of poker in which skill counts for something: stud hi-lo, razz, and (I thought) 5 card stud. After last night’s performance, I am not so sure about 5 card stud either.

I ’ve played 5 card stud on and off for years, far more off than on because it is a rarity. Previously I’ve played at pot limit and I think maybe one or two tournaments at limit. I did okay with it and am definitely showing a profit over the years, albeit a tiny one on account of its said rarity. The only place you can play 5 card stud at present is Ladbrokes. There was another site, but that is long gone. Recently, Ladbrokes introduced a small no limit tournament called Hey, Stud (€50 Guaranteed). No limit anything is a  dangerous game but what the heck, with a €.20 buy-in, I thought it was worth a shot. I played it the night before last - October 30 - but I had truly terrible cards and came nowhere. All the same there were 4 places paid, so I decided to give it another shot. Last night it paid only 3 places, a massive difference (in my book at any rate), but I got off to a fine start, and at times the cards were nothing but spectacular.  Here are a few screengrabs. This was a slow hand so there was very little in the pot even though I got paid, but how often do you make a flush at 5 card stud?

 

Then I made a full house, and got paid properly; how often do you make a house at this game?

Then I won a big pot with 3 kings, and was clear chip leader.

 What could go wrong? Enter the moron. Dealt jacks, I raised. It’s always a good idea to raise with a pair at this game - unlike at hold ’em. This time I was faced with a reraise. As I was clearly ahead, I whacked it all in, and the moron followed. I was expecting him to have a pair of 9s, but no, he had 9-10. No, he did not misread his hand, and he was not on tilt, he was simply a moron. And when the cards were dealt, after making 2 pair, I stared in fascinated horror as he filled a gutshot.


By this time, although still chip leader, I had that sinking feeling. As things were, I got lucky and was soon among the chip leaders including briefly the leader. I made another flush, heads up, and picked up a reasonable pot, and I had some real luck when bringing in with a deuce a guy flat called me with jacks. I hit a queen, and whacked it all in. Obviously thinking I was bluffing, he called.

Finally, after the moron had given away all his chips, we cashed, and again I got lucky, finishing runner up. I was very unlucky with the last hand, losing with back to back 5s, the other guy pairing his 3rd card and winning the pot and the tournament with a pair of 6s leaving me with the  €15.00 runner up prize. I have no complaints about that, and will be giving it a third shot tonight whatever, but that hand with the moron proves yet again as if it needed further affirmation, that poker is a mug’s game, even those variations in which skill counts for something.