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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Obama- A "One And Done" President

This is not a political post, but rather a "sports bet" one, if you will.

Intrade is currently listing President Obama's chance of being re-elected as 54.1%. You can currently buy shares of the President at $5.41 each, or sell shares (short them) a $5.40. Intrade works just like the stock market, except each decision you make is proven completely correct or totally wrong. For example, if Obama is re-elected this November, each share will be worth $10 ($10 = 100%) or $0 if he loses. That doesn't happen in the stock market, unless a company goes out of business, so place your bets!

Are you familiar with the "Bread and Peace" Model? Formulated by Douglas Hibbs, it's an accurate predictor of the results of presidential elections in a two party contest. The model only looks at two areas, per capita real personal disposable income (RPDI) growth and the number of American military fatalities in foreign conflicts during the President's term.

Here's the equation:
Got it? Yeah, me neither : )

Using Hibbs' "Bread and Peace" formula as of October 2011, it looks like President Obama is in trouble, with only a 44% chance of re-election. In fact, PCRI growth must average at least 4% per year over the last four quarters of Obama's term for him to win another four years. And the odds that there will be a recovery that is strong enough? Here's Hibbs' take on it.
If the US economy gets into robust recovery mode, real income growth could be high enough to secure the President Obama’s re-election. However, the pace of recovery from the 2008 Great Recession remains sluggish, and the famous 2009 book This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly by Reinhart and Rogoff documents that recoveries from contractions originating with the bursting of speculative financial bubbles are not V-shaped as in garden-variety recessions, but instead are typically prolonged U-shaped affairs lasting 5 to 6 years. The statistical properties of the time path of US per capita real disposable personal income indicate that the chances of year-long quarterly growth rates on the order of 4% or higher are no better than 1/7.
So we have an incumbent President with a 44% chance of re-election. The chances the economy will improve fast enough to save him are 1 in 7. Intrade has him at a 54-46 favorite to win. 

I like those odds. It looks like a +EV play to "short" Obama's re-election stock!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tourney Time At Tin Man's

We had a light turnout for Tin Man's $5 buy-in NLHE Tourney, with only six runners making an appearance. Big Daddy brought his girlfriend Edie. Philly Phanatic also showed along with Lil' Annie Okie, Tin Man, and myself also pulling up a chair to the table.

I got off to a quick start on the first hand, picking up pocket sixes and hitting a set on the flop. Edie, who was playing for only the second time, had limped with pocket aces. The turn paired the board, giving me a boat and half of Edie's stack by the time the hand was over.

Not too long after that hand, I felted Big Daddy. I limped from middle position with Very Josie's favorite hand (J-T) and had an open ended straight draw after the flop. Big Daddy bet about half the pot and I flatted. The turn gave me the nuts and after Big Daddy bet it again, I raised him all-in. His top pair left him drawing dead and he was the first one out.

Philly KO'd Edie in fifth and I toe-tagged Lil' Annie Okie in fourth. Tin Man took care of Philly, and since our stacks were about even, we decided to chop the $30 prize money, plus the $6 bounty since one of us was the bounty. As it turned out, it was me.

Philly was the big winner in the $2 buy-in cash game, crushing the table. I lost $6, but still walked away with a $6 profit on the night. Hopefully, we'll have a bigger turnout next week.

Till next time, win the flips.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Duck Plucked

We had nine runners for J-Dawgs Poker Extravaganza. Seated to my left was Ray-Ray, followed by Stamps, Bobby Dee, Ollie the Accountant, J-Dawg, Farmer Harry, Glass Man, and Dealer Larry.

After downing some fried chicken, we started pitching cards in this $20 buy-in, dealer's choice limit game. The game moved along pretty slow because several of the players were distracted by the Baylor/ Oklahoma ladies basketball game on TV and had to be continually prompted that the action was on them.

I split a pot with Glass Man early in the evening, and find didn't pick up another pot for over an hour. I never could get over the hump and ended the night with a $14 loss.

Farmer Harry won the High Hand Jackpot with quad kings in a hand of Omaha High. He also hit quad dueces a little later. Stamps was the big winner, cashing out with a $33 profit. Glass Man had a nice stack, walking away $25 to the good and Bobby Dee won $15. Ray-Ray was the biggest loser, dropping $27, with Ollie losing $18 and I was next in line with my $14 scalping.

Baylor won the game by the way. That's 20-0 for the women. Not too bad.

Till next time, win the flips.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

23 And Counting

Our family just got back from celebrating my daughter's 23rd birthday with a nice dinner. Her birthday isn't until Saturday, but she will be in Dallas with her boyfriend. I guess that means dear ol' Dad has dropped to #2 on her list.

Here's a picture of her from last Halloween.

She's a cutie huh? And the handsome lad in the picture that you've mistaken for Elvis? That would be your humble scribe : )

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Road Trip To The Dallas Gift Mart

Ms. Duck and I took a road trip to the Dallas Market to look for some new gift items for our store. As I may (or may not) have mentioned in an earlier post, we have a small showroom in a local antique and gift store, which we opened about 15 years ago to help pay for our kid's college expenses. The Dallas Market actually consists of several buildings, including Market Hall and the World Trade Center, and is a massive cathedral to capitalism.

We drove up to "Big D" Friday morning, returning home late Saturday night and found a couple of new lines that we're excited about and feel could be big sellers for us. Being a baseball fan, one of my favorite items was a "classic look" tabletop baseball themed pinball game. It's solid wood, well made, and is a nice sized game. We'll probably shoot for a $100 price point on it.

We also added some new items to some of our established product lines,

like this music box by Mr Christmas, and this Magical Motion clock by Rhythm. I know Gary and Lightning are both big Beatles fans, so I don't know how they'll feel about having some of the Beatles' classic tunes played on a clock : )


We also bought a lot of home accessory items and a few small furniture pieces, including a tooled leather trunk and table set that are pretty unique. "Unique" doesn't always equal "sale" however, so we'll have to wait and see if other folks like it as well as Ms. Duck and I do.

Hopefully, we made some good decisions that will pay off. With both our young'uns in college, we can use the money!

NFL Picks- January 22nd

Conference Championship Sunday. The Giants travel west to San Francisco in search of gold and a ticket to the Super Bowl. In the AFC, the Pats host the Ravens.

I think the NFC game basically comes down to Eli. Both teams have excellent defenses and decent running games. NY has better receivers, but the Niners are a little better on special teams. So it comes down to the quarterbacks and Manning is the better of the two QBs. Alex Smith has had an above average year, but Eli has been hotter than a $2 pistol lately. The rub is that you never know whet you're gonna get with Manning at the helm. He could throw three interceptions as easily as he could three touchdowns. So I think I'll pass on this one.

$11 @ 11/10 on New England (-6 1/2) over Baltimore
Brady versus Flacco. Who would you take. Yeah, the Raven defense is better, but New England's QB is light years ahead of Flacco. Plus, the Pats can see that window of opportunity closing and I don't think they'll allow anything to get between them and another Super Bowl. I got in early at 6 1/2, but I'd still take New England at 7 1/2.
Starting Bankroll         $2,000.00
Profit/Loss                     $128.00
Current Bankroll          $2,128.00

All picks are for entertainment purposes only with no guarantees implied. Any money wagered is at you own risk.

Good luck!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mid-Winter Cookout

We had eight runners show at J-Dawgs to pitch a few cards. Bobby Dee threw a few burgers on the grill, a little unusual for mid January, even in the heart of Texas. We hit 80+ degrees today and this evening was perfect for a cookout. Go figure.

I got off to a good start, winning two of the first three hands in this $20 buy-in, dealer's choice limit game, and never looked back. After my quick start I went card dead for the better part of an hour, but picked up a few pots in the last hour of play.

The big pot of the night happened in a hand of Omaha High. I peeked down at double soooted kings and connected when I hit the set on a K-J-8 rainbow flop. Bobby Dee and Stamps both checked, I bet and Farmer Harry, Bobby, and Stamps all called. The turn was another J, giving me the boat. Bobby bet with Stamps calling. I slow-played my monster with Harry coming along for the ride. At this point, I put two of the three of them on jacks full of kings. Bobby started the betting after a blank hit the river and Stamps raised him. I three bet my kings full with Harry and Bobby both calling. Stamps folded his jacks full and Harry tabled a flush. Bobby had the case jack, but it wasn't good enough and I pulled in a nice $18 pot.

Ollie the Accountant won the High Hand Jackpot with aces full of kings. Even with the jackpot he only managed a $2 profit for the night. Ray-Ray and Bobby both lost around $15 on the night, with Farmer Harry, Dealer Larry, J-Dawg, and Stamps all breaking even. I was the big winner with a $34 profit. Sah-weet!

A fun time with good friends, plus I left with a little jingle in my pocket. There are worse ways to spend an evening.

Till next time, win the flips.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Porn Industry's "Erector Detector"

I read that the Los Angeles city council had approved an ordinance by a 9-1 vote that requires actors in adult films to wear a condom.

I have a few questions.

First, how do you enforce this ordinance? Do you hire someone and if so, what would be their official title?

I'm thinking "Erector Detector" might work 8^)

Click here for the details.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Vegas Or Bust Poker League Inaugural Tourney

The action was hot & heavy at the VOB Poker Tourney!
We had ten runners for the first tournament of our Vegas Or Bust Poker League. The league will have 16 monthly tourneys and will send two players to the 2013 WSOP in Las Vegas.

The league was my idea and combines players from both of the home games that I play. From J-Dawgs Poker Extravaganza we have J-Dawg, Bobby Dee, Stamps, Ollie the Accountant, and Dealer Larry. The bunch that plays at Tin Man's were Tin Man, Lil' Annie Okie, Philly Phanatic, and Big Daddy.

I lost the first pot I played, which wasn't the start I was looking for. With blinds at $15-30 (we started with $1,500), I opened raised to $90 from the cut-off with A-J offsuit. Stamps called from the button and both blinds folded. The flop was all low cards and both of us checked. The turn was another brick and I checked again, ready to give up on the hand, but Stamps checked behind. The river was a 9, which was the highest card on the board and Stamps checked out of turn, leading me to believe I might be able to buy the pot. I bet $120 into the $200 pot and Stamps hemmed and hawed awhile before calling and tabling A-K.

I got things going against Big Daddy when I looked down at pocket rockets. With blinds at $40-80, Big Daddy had limped from UTG. It was folded to me in the cut-off and I raised to $200, hoping to get a little action. It worked with Big Daddy making the call. The flop was A-J-7 with two diamonds. Big Daddy checked and I bet $300. Big Daddy check-raised me to $600. Sah-weet! I smooth called and put him all-in on the turn. Big Daddy flipped over a J for second pair and was drawing dead to my top set.

A little later I was dealt black pocket kings . . . twice in a row! I got action both times and was able to build my stack to respectibility.

Down to seven players with blinds up to $150-300, I pushed J-J  for $1700 from middle position. Philly Phanatic called with A-Q, but didn't improve. My double-up got my chip stack healthy and I was able to stay alive until we were down to three players.

My final hand was a J-5 soooted (clubs) which I pushed on an A-K-8 flop, all clubs! Both J-Dawg and Philly Phanatic called, so I was thinking about my upcoming triple-up when another club fell on the river. I wasn't too disturbed since I had the second nut flush, but when J-Dawg bet and Philly called, I knew I might be in trouble. J-Dawg checked the river, and Philly pushed all-in, putting J-Dawg to the test.

I read Philly better than any of the players at the table, and I could tell I was beat before he ever flipped his cards. Unfortunately for J-Dawg, he had never played with Philly and made the call. Philly tabled the queen of clubs, beating both my J and J-Dawgs 9 of clubs. Philly had us both covered, but J-Dawg had more chips than I did when the hand started, so he got second and I finished third.

It was a fun evening, but it felt a little strange having both the J-Dawg and Tin Man gangs playing together. Everyone seemed to mesh together well, so I 'm hopeful the league will be a big success.

Congratulations to Philly Phanatic for taking down our first tournament!

Philly celebrating his big win!
I was able to pad the ol' bankroll a little by winning eight bucks in the cash game we played after the tourney. I won a lot of it by busting Philly. As Ms. Duck says, "Paybacks are hell!"

Till next time, win the flips.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

NFL Playoff Pick- Jan. 14th

The NFL begins its second round of playoff action this weekend. Of the four games, the one I like the best is the Saints/ 49ers tilt.

$11 @ 11/10 on New Orleans (-3 1/2) over San Francisco

The Saints have been the hottest team in the league over the last few weeks and continued their run with a dismantling of a good Detroit team. Brees and company have also covered the spread in nine consecutive games. I think they'll move the ball well enough to win by at least a touchdown.
 Starting Bankroll         $2,000.00
Profit/Loss                     $139.00
Current Bankroll          $2,139.00

All picks are for entertainment purposes only with no guarantees implied. Any money wagered is at you own risk.

Good luck!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

J-Dawgs Poker Extravaganza

We had eight runners at J-Dawgs Poker Extravaganza. Gentleman Jim brought some tasty homemade chili, which was perfect for a cold night in the heart of Texas. The temperature was already below freezing when I got to J-Dawgs around seven o'clock and had dropped into the twenties by the time I headed home. I don't want to say it was as cold as some of you have it in the north, but I did count three dogs frozen to fire hydrants on my way home :)

From left to right on your radio dial in this $20 buy-in, dealer's choice limit game were J-Dawg, Ray-Ray, Bobby Dee, Stamps, Ollie the Accountant, Dealer Larry, Gentleman Jim and yours truly.

I got off to a good start when I took down the first hand with jacks over fives. I was winning the High Hand Jackpot with kings over fives when the following hand occurred. Bobby Dee was dealing a hand of Omaha High and tossed me 5-6-7-A, double suited. The flop was 4-5-K, with the 4 and 5 both popcorn (clubs). It just so happened my 6-7 were both popcorn, putting me on an open end straight flush draw. I bet my draw and got four customers. The turn was a blank, but I continued to bet on the come, building a nice pot with three callers. I hit Yahtzee on the river when the three of clubs made an appearance, completing my straight flush and giving me a tight grip on the HHJ.

I was the big winner on the night with a $29 profit. Gentleman Jim took the biggest hit, losing $35. Bobby Dee and Stamps both lost around $15, with Ray-Ray, Ollie, and Dealer Larry booking small wins.

Tomorrow is the first tournament in our Vegas Or Bust Poker League. There's quite a buzz about it among the players. I'm hoping to get off to a good start and finish in one of the top three positions. I'll write up a report sometime this weekend.

Till next time, win the flips.

Mouse Eats Blackjack Table

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Ms. Duck and I had a gig for a New Years Eve casino party. What I didn't mention was that while grabbing a blackjack table for the party, I noticed that a mouse had chewed a large hole in the felt.

Not good.

Obviously, I couldn't use this one, so I loaded another and off we went.

I waited until the temperature warmed a little and since it got up into the low 70s yesterday I replaced the felt.

Much better, no?

The mouse? Lets just say that my blackjack table was his last meal.

Monday, January 9, 2012

TEBOvertime Shoots Down Steelers


Now known as Tebovertime.

The Steelers had clawed back from a 20-6 deficit to tie the game late at 23-23.

Then lightning struck . . . well, lightning . . . and Vegas Vic.

On the first play of Tebovertime, Tebow did what he does, and 80 yards later the Steelers were done, as was lighting36 and Vegas Vic.

Congratulations to "Undercover," winner of the Small Potatoes NFL Picks Contest (Part Duex)!

Undercover went with the Saints, and although he had a sweat at halftime, New Orleans came out in the third quarter and took control of the game.

Your shirt is on the way sir!

Well done!

Thank you to everyone who participated. It was a lot of fun!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Ups And Downs Of Poker

Ahhh . . . the ups and downs of poker.

We had 11 runners assemble at the poker table last Thursday at J-Dawgs, the most we've had in a while. Bobby Dee smoked a brisket, which was awesome. Once everyone had their fill we started pitching cards.

It was an evening of big winners and losers in this $20 buy-in, dealer's choice limit game. Unfortunately, I was on the "loser" side of the equation, dropping $17 on the evening. Bobby Dee was the big winner, collecting a little north of $50, including the High Hand Jackpot that he won with quad aces. Gentleman Jim also cashed out for around $50, with Glass Man getting beat up to the tune of $45.

Friday night was much better for me. Lil' Annie Okie and I got heads up in Tin Man's $5 NLHE Tourney, with Annie holding an 8-1 chip advantage. I hit a good run of cards and was able to pull even and we ended up chopping the prize money.

The $2 buy-in cash game was also profitable. The biggest pot I was involved in was with Big Daddy and Philly Phanatic. Philly had raised 2.5X the big blind and I called with Q-T soooted from the BB. Big Daddy also came along for the ride. The flop had two of my suit, one a king, so I was drawing to the second nut flush draw. I checked, as did Big Daddy, and Philly tossed in a 1/3 pot bet. Both Big Daddy and myself called.

The turn brought an ace, which completed my flush and I was sitting on the nuts at this point. I checked my monster, counting on Philly to do the heavy lifting for me. Big Daddy checked behind. Philly didn't disappoint, pushing in his remaining chips.


I hem-hawed for a minute, hoping to get Big Daddy to stay in. I called as did Big Daddy, sliding his remaining chips forward. Philly tabled A-K for top two pair, and Big Daddy showed K-J. The river was harmless and I raked in a nice $10 pot.

I walked away with an extra $29 in my pocket, giving me a $12 profit for the week.

Next week begins our Vegas Or Bust Poker League, so you can expect an upcoming report.

Till next time, win the flips.

NFL Picks Contest - Playoff Picks

Here are the picks of the three players left in the Small Potatoes NFL Picks (Part Duex) Contest.

Good luck everyone!

Vegas Vic- Pittsburgh
Undercover - New Orleans
lightning36 - Pittsburgh

Thursday, January 5, 2012

NFL Picks Contest (Playoffs)- Picks Due Friday

We still have three players left in the Small Potatoes NFL Picks (Part Duex) Contest.

As the playoffs begin, the slates are wiped clean and the players can pick from any of the remaining teams . . . once. Just like the regular season, once you pick a team, that team is "off the board" for you and can't be picked again.

My advice is to pick a playoff team :)

Please send your pick to by midnight (CST) Friday.

Good luck everyone!

Vegas Vic

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"Five-O" by BSO

Grange95 and Poker Grump challenged each other to come up with the 25 best TV theme songs to have passed thru those old tinny Philco speakers over the years.

Grange originally went with "Hawaii Five-O", but moved "Cheers" ahead of it on his final list. Poker Grump listed "Five-O" at number one. Since the ringtone on my phone has been "Five-O" for several years, I guess I'd have to put it at the top of my list too. Plus it gives me a chance to listen and share a cover of it by one of my favorite bands, the Brian Setzer Orchestra.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Years Eve Casino Party!

As you may or may not know, Ms. Duck and I have a side business to help pay for our youngins' college education. We got a last minute gig for a small casino party on Saturday night. It was actually a combination party, as the client was celebrating both New Years Eve and a 30th birthday party. The birthday cake, made by a local cake designer was really cool, with a lighted sign on the top, similar to the "Las Vegas" sign we are all familiar with.

Cool, huh?   

We only had two blackjack tables, and the client wanted to separate the girls from the boys, with the girl and guy with the most chips at the end of the party winning a nice door prize.

Being the gentleman I am, I immediately volunteered to deal to the girls.

Lucki Duck's Table!
 I know . . . it's a tough job, but someone has to do it!

Till next time, win the flips.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Gift For Very Josie

Josie mentioned in her blog that she was waiting on a couple of drawings from Waffle's son. She also said that she would like to have a drawing of a Red Sox player or maybe the Sox logo.

Always one who's out to please, it just so happens that I did a portrait of a Red Sox player a few years ago and thought it would give Josie something to enjoy until Waffle's offspring comes thru with the goods.

Enjoy VJ!

Well, it's a former Red Sox player ;^)

Maybe she would like to make it her screensaver!