Monday, 1 December 2014

Ups and Downs

Well, after saying potential buyers of world markets should be committed, its me who has done my absolutes.

Whether its various Govts generating growth, or reductions in interest rates, the end result has all been largely the same .. continued rises in various indexes, and more (repeated), margin calls on short positions.

The Dax has gone from 9000, to 9900, .. which is more than unpleasant, and, its been a pretty miserable end to the yr.


Added to this misery, is the relentless expense of building a new house .. which has become a runaway train .. with completion dates, now moved out a month, due to rain, which has restricted building before the key December holidays.

Maybe we can see the project finished by April .. but, will need the weather to help us.

Sport has been ok, but, exceptionally tiring, as games seemed to be scheduled further and further apart, geographically, and its just one plane after another.

Tiring doesn't even come close ..


Golf went on a serious decline, with 100 a more likely candidate than 90, thou, I did manage to shoot a v respectable 93 last week, in v windy conditions. This felt like shooting a 90 .. but, clearly doesn't count.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Little grey cells

Sometimes. the key to winning, is putting all the clues together.

Last night, in the 3rd game of a triple header, it rained, on and off, lightly at first, for about 90 mins.

Much as at Paarl, earlier in the week, it was apparent, the umpires wanted to play, if at all possible, and a cut-off time of 9.18pm, was established, from a scheduled start of 6pm.

Many times, just as play seemed about to start, the rain came back, to scupper the plans. The Completed match Market (CMM), went from 1.25 or so, during the 1st innings (someone had an idea, rain was coming), to flipping, at least 5 times.

As the 1st innings had been completed, just 5 overs needed to be found, from about 7.40 pm, but, the rain was persistent.

As it approached 8.45 pm, it seemed everyone had had enough .. the tired ground staff, had moved away, the scoreboard showed msgs giving details of the next game, and asked everyone to have a safe journey home - before the scoreboard, turned the lights off.

We then saw, the cameraman, start to pack away .. and yet the people in the ground still got told nothing - and even the CMM .. had 1.07 No game available.

If ever there was a time, to empty your account .. 25 mins before cut-off, rain falling, puddles everywhere .. this was it.

..

Some pics from the night  ...  weather trading can be brutal.








Friday, 31 October 2014

Month-end round up

Gonna be a busy few weeks ahead, with the Ram Slam tourny on, so will try and tie up, a few loose ends.

Been playing golf, sometimes 3 times a week .. and scores have become regular 93/94/93 .. which normally includes 2-3 lost balls (out of bounds). The driving is an issue - especially early on in the round,when I am not warm - but, there is hope.

Have hit some phenomenal shots (just not enough of them) .. with the highlight, being a v tricky, and long, 452 yard par 4 (stroke 2), albeit downhill. It needs a v straight and long drive, and then a v long second. In previous hits, have never been within 100 yards of the flag, but, one day, I hit a great drive, and a 3 wood, to 2 metres !!

Hopefully the elusive 90 will come next month .. will definitely try.

The stocks markets behaved in the first half of the month, but, although I closed my shorts at a good time, I reopened them, at a bad time, and gave a lot back. The kids recovered all their losses, and are now showing profits of 700 and 200 respectively .. shows what can be done, if u just trade to 1-2% of your bank.


(I forgot to add, WorldStock markets are at all-time highs, or as near as dammit, following the opening of the various candy stores, by 'people in charge')

Anyone who goes long (buys), is, IMHO, certifiable .. at least on a 1 yr basis .. but, as we all know, the market can stay 'wrong' for a long time.

Monday, 13 October 2014

A few good calls

 2 weeks ago, I mentioned in my Blog ..

I am negative of the financial markets, and think the AliBaba IPO, may have marked a top, in the US and UK exchanges. I am aggressively short ..
 

Well,  we have had some ups, but, many more downs, in the last 2 weeks, and this is working out, real good.

Unfortunately .. or maybe fortunately .. the kids, have turned, respective profits of 700 and 80, into losses of 2000 and 450 .. but, I am happy they are learning.

//

I played some Poker last night, for the first time in about 8 mths. It was a cash game, 50c/$1, with a high rake, so, it was more relaxing than anything else, but, ran like Bolt, for about an Hr, and finished winning, $400, having cleaned everyone out. No real great hands, just didnt lose many. Towards the end, small stacks, were putting it in, fairly light :

Seat 1 .. UTG , all, in, for $20
Seat 2, calls for $20
Seat 3, calls for $20 (a fish, I had beaten, relentlessly, last 4 hands - for maybe $80)

I look down, at 4♦, 5♠  .. so call.

Seat 5, also calls .. Big pot ..

Flop comes,  A♥, 4♥, 5♣ ..

Its checked to me, and I bet $45, into a pot, of $100. Seat 1 is All-in, and just Seat 3, calls.

Turn, is 9♠ .. I bet $75, and he calls again.

River, is 2♠, making a board of .. A♥, 4♥, 5♣, 9♠, 2♠ .. anyone with a 3, has a straight, but figure I am good, and bet, $40, to put the fish all-in.

My 2 pair was good .. Happy days.


//

Am reading an excellent book, on Professional Blackjack .. its a must-read, if into Blackjack/Casinos/etc.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14645585-the-blackjack-life


Thursday, 9 October 2014

90 in reach

I played my normal Tuesday four-ball, on a windy day, and wasnt thinking a 90 was remotely possible,as the wind will normally take care of a ball or 2.


Starting on Hole 1, I managed a 5(on a par 4), which wasnt great,as its quite an easy Par 4, but, as I can be a slow starter, was happy.

Hole 2, another uphill par 4, I drove well, hit a good 5 iron and 2 putted for a solid Par.

Hole3, a down hill par 4, I drove into the wind, (short), but hit another glorious 5 iron to 4 metres, and made another solid Par ..

On the 4th hole, the mental side took over.

The 4th hole, is easy, but, has a tree, about 150 metres from the tee, on the right. U can put the ball anywhere-else, and u will be fine .. and most days, if I go right, I am over the tree .. but, thinking about my 90,and intothe wind, I knocked it right behind, and had to chip out sideways ..

Thinking about receovering, I shanked my 3rd, and finished with a lousy 7 .. which put me on the back foot again.

The next 3 holes, my mind wasnt focussed, and shanked 2 more balls .. which, is never good, but, played some good golf after that.

Highlight of the day was the 18th. Normally, its a good drive, a solid 5 iron,and then a 3 wood to the green (which I have landed on twice).

Today, I killed the drive, and hit a lifetime best 5 iron,an absolute mile, leaving me a 9 iron to the pin. I landed this, 1 metre past, and it just rolled off, for an easy chip/putt par.

Good golf .. a 93 .. and the 90 should soon be in reach.



Phil Ivey - Court Judgement

In a judgement that surprised me, the Judge John Mitting found in favour of the casino :

In his ruling, the judge said that the case turned on whether there was cheating: "If Mr Ivey cheated, he is not entitled to recover his winnings. If he did not, he is."

What Mr Ivey and Ms Sun did was to persuade the croupier to turn some of the cards in the dealing shoe to permit them to know that they were or were very likely to be sevens, eights or nines, and in circumstances where she did not realise she had done so - and, if she had, would have immediately stopped play.

The fact that Mr Ivey was genuinely convinced that he did not cheat and that the practice commanded considerable support from others was not determinative of the question of whether it amounted to cheating.

Mr Ivey had gained himself an advantage and did so by using a croupier as his innocent agent or tool.

It was not simply taking advantage of error on her part or an anomaly practised by the casino for which he was not responsible.

He was doing it in circumstances where he knew that she and her superiors did not know the consequences of what she had done at his instigation.

He concluded: "This is, in my view, cheating for the purpose of civil law."


This will be an expensive time for Mr Ivey. He has to pay all his costs, which probably run to £200k, and (maybe) all or a good portion of Crockfords costs.

There is also doubt now, whether he can get high level sponsorships (should he need them),as, his value as a top-class poker player/representative, may, arguably, be tainted.


I am not sure,the UK Gambling Commission would look to sue him as a cheat .. so, the case will probably just lie on the books - but, apart from the money, it now issues a whole can of worms, as to what 'contract' a pro-gambler enters in-to, when he manufactures an edge.



The case seemed to revolve around the way, Mr Ivey entered the contract to play :


"The club argues the use of edge-sorting is not a legitimate strategy.

Genting Casinos UK, which owns Crockfords, says Mr Ivey's conduct defeated the premise of the game, meaning there was no gaming contract"


In British law, the statutes are written differently to those in the US .. and it will be interesting to see what happens, to a similar case, being brought by a US casino (The Borgata).

The full detail of the judgement has yet to be released, but, it may mean, pro-gambers in the UK, now have a judicial precedent to beat, if they resort to law.

It appears My Ivey bet small, when his edge was low, as the cards were being set-up (and his edge was low), but by betting big, when he had a v big edge, that amounted to cheating.

Casinos, now have another edge to beat customers.. and I for one, would be reluctant to give them a shot at my money. 


Other edge-sorters, or Advantage Players,may now be comprimised, due to the sheer public nature of the case.

Some interesting reading :

http://apheat.net/2013/12/10/edge-sorting-101/

http://apheat.net/2013/05/11/phil-ivey-won-7-8-million-pounds-by-edge-sorting-baccarat/

http://apheat.net/2014/10/08/edge-sorting-is-not-cheating/

http://ggbmagazine.com/issue/vol-12-no-2-february-2013/article/surveillance-special-report-making-a-mark