Different Floors of the House

Friday, March 5, 2010

Poker with Al Gore

Here is PJTV's interview with Chris Monckton.  It's a good'n.  Only two things bothered me about it.  First, why do British Lords come over here and quote Thomas Jefferson?  Isn't that like one of Satan's henchmen quoting St. John...and believing what St. John said was the gospel truth?

"Uh, yes.  I am the horned beast which comes from the sea to devour your children and wreak havoc across all your lands. Isn't that great!"

Yeah, never mind the title, I guess.  It means nothing.  I guess.  We'll get to an altogether different horned beast in a minute...

The other thing that bothered me was the "doubling down" analogy Bill Whittle uses at the very beginning of the interview (he's always doing this, using useful analogies and I love him for it, but this was a little simplistic, I thought).

Well, I started thinking about how I could make that analogy better, and while I haven't made it better, I certainly complicated it and made it less accessible--at least to those who know nothing of poker.  Ahhhh....I love this stuff! 

Well, although my analogy is not as simplistic as merely saying "doubling down", it is at least correct.  You see, we know Al Gore knows he is lying and is in this global warming racket for the prospect of power and dividends.  We know that for a fact.  So, in essence, Al Gore's Op-Ed article was a bluff...a very, very unconvincing bluff to anyone who knows anything about Texas Hold 'Em.

In Texas Hold Em each player gets two cards that only they can see.  The players then look at their hands in turn and decide to raise, fold or call.  Let's say there are nine people at this table you're sitting at and everyone folds around to you.  You look at your hand and you see a pair of nines.  There are only three people left behind you, so you raise three times the blind (which is like an ante that only the two people in the very end of the table have to pay).  Nines are pretty good, especially so late in position where the odds of anyone having a better hand is greatly diminished...because there are less players left to beat you.

So you're sitting in late position and have raised with a modest pair (9-9).  Two guys behind you fold but the guy on the big blind (the weakest position in most cases) raises you twice your bet.  Now, usually when this happens you can pretty much kiss your ass goodbye.  Players on the big blind know they have to bet big to "get you off your hand" when they are holding a weak ace (A-9 to A-2) or a small pocket pair (3-3).  But this guy didn't bet "big" he bet a modest amount to get your attention.  We should be scared, but we aren't.  We aren't scared because there is only one thing in poker more important than the cards in your hand, and that is:  who is the guy I'm playing against? That guy on the big blind in this case is Albert Gore, a player renowned for his, shall we say, uncanny ability to sell a bluff.  And he's only raised you the minimum.  Ok fine.  We'll consider Al's case as an Inconvenient Truth and simply call his bet as opposed to re-raising.  So now, we're even money, heads up to the flop.

The flop comes (4-4-Q).  Ok.  So we missed the flop, and the odds are, so did Al.  But we need to see where we are so we launch a little independent investigation, if you will.  We bet 2/3 the pot.  This is relatively safe because it's enough money at this point to make a weak player leave and small enough to get away from if our opponent decides to raise it up.  But almost immediately the guessing game is done.  Albert Arnold Gore immediately pushes all his chips to the center of the table and yells out emphatically:  "ALL IN!"  And he does this so that the entire casino can hear him...

Crap. Right? Now in order to win this hand, we are being forced to do like Al did and put all our money on the line.  Man, my mother hates no limit Hold 'Em, for this very reason. It's insane, and pressure packed.  But we, who are in the know, are cool, calm and collected.  We are calculated in our reserve because we know what Al does not know.  We know the Orangutan.

The Orangutan Theory is an obscure Game Theory projection that very few people (even avid poker players) know about.  It is a theory that says basically this:  If you are in the lead position in a hand where the flop is paired (4-4-Q) and you bet (your hand doesn't matter) and your opponent goes "over the top" with a crazy bet, that bet he has made is almost certainly (91.1%), a bluff.  And here is the reasoning behind it:  If your opponent has a 4, he most certainly is not going to overbet because he's got you by the rocks, He'll call with his 4 and try to milk more money from you (there are two more cards--or streets--to come down with which we can make our hand).  If your opponent has a Q, he may bet, sure, in fact he should, but he'll certainly not go "ALL IN!' because that hand too, should make him money on the fourth and fifth streets.  Granted, 7.8 percent of the time, that player will have either the Q, a higher hand than you (J-J), or a low percentage draw he's willing to gamble on in order to force you out.  But this is Al Gore.  And his carbon footprint looks scientifically equivocal to those of an Orangutan.

So there's no question what we do.  We call Al's bluff--for bluff is exactly what this is.  And when Al sees our chips go in the middle, be ready.  This is Texas Hold 'Em after all.  And men have been shot down for far less than calling a status quo bluff in this wild west bonanza.

No comments: