Thursday, February 28, 2008


I just can't wait for the Bush administration to go, man, these have been like the dark ages of politics in the US. I can't believe the guy has been in office for 7 years, hopefully the nightmare is over and the Democratic nominee will be the next president. As today there are still 2 candidates standing for the democrats, Sen Hillary Clinton (NY) and Sen Barack Obama (IL); I like Hillary, but for me this election is all about the Iraq war and that's the main difference between the 2, I have always been an antiwar advocate, since the beginning, now it's easy and even kind of cool to be anti-war, but back in 2002-2003 we were in the minority; Hillary voted for the war and as you can see in this youtube video, Barack was against it from the beginning, I have read the whole Barack's speech of October 26, 2002; and there are 2 amazing things, one, how right he was and how he predicted the whole mess the war is right now, and two, it's like hearing me talk back then at the antiwar rallies we were.
The man is amazing, after I listened to his keynote speech at the Democratic convention on 2004, I told my wife, this guy is going to be president.
Yesterday we went to a meeting with the Obama campaign here at El Paso, my wife and I are volunteering and we have some phone calls to do and many other things between today and Tuesday. I'd say Texas is looking good for Obama and I have no doubt he will beat Sen John McCain (AZ) on the general election next November to became the next US president.
Now let's hope the change is for real, USA and the world can use some of it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dinero que deje ir en los Oscares: Gambling discipline

Me fue muy bien con mis picks, 18 de 24 is pretty good; lo unico malo es no haber podido apostar por no tener dinero en los sportsbooks, mala planeacion de mi parte, en vez de apostar un monton en la NFL debi haber dejado para invertir en los oscares. Como quiera pude ganar algo, a traves de mi amigo Oscar aposte a No Country For Old Men a mejor pelicula y a Tilda Swinton a mejor actriz de reparto, ganando ambas apuestas (unos $600). Ademas gane $1200 en la polla que se hizo en el MTT forum en 2+2, asi que no me puedo quejar, fue un buen dia, aunque de haber tenido el capital, hubiera ganado bastante al igual que el año pasado. Las apuestas que hice en la NFL a pesar de perderlas, siento que eran buenas apuestas, pero para nada se compara con la ventaja que tengo en las apuestas de Oscares. Un error tactico de mi parte que espero no cometer el año entrante, rompi una regla basica de un gambler profesional, dado un capital limitado, no usarlo de la manera mas eficiente posible.

Note to self: If you have a finite amount of money to invest with 2 possibles option investments A and B where A is marginal and B is HUGE, just wait bonehead !!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

My Oscar Predictions

Since after my January NFL debacle, I'm not betting for a while; I won't bet this time for the Oscars, but still I love to predict the winners and here they are my predictions:

Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Jason Reitman, Juno
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd
Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises

Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie, Away from Her
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Laura Linney, The Savages
Ellen Page, Juno

Since Julie is the overwhelming favorite (I don't know exactly why), there's value in betting for Cotillard. I still think Julie has the odds to win, but I liked Marion more and as a gambling man, I'm taking Marion.

Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War
Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
Ruby Dee, American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Here I think there's value betting both, Swinton and Ryan; Cate is the favorite but I don't see her winning this.

Diablo Cody, Juno
Nancy Oliver, Lars and the Real Girl
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
Brad Bird, Ratatouille
Tamara Jenkins, The Savages

Christopher Hampton, Atonement
Sarah Polley, Away from Her
Ronald Harwood, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Beaufort, Israel
The Counterfeiters, Austria
Katyn, Poland
Mongol, Kazakhstan
12, Russia

Surf's Up

Dario Marianelli, Atonement
Alberto Iglesias, The Kite Runner
James Newton Howard, Michael Clayton
Michael Giacchino, Ratatouille
Marco Beltrami, 3:10 to Yuma

"Falling Slowly", Once
"Happy Working Song", Enchanted
"Raise It Up", August Rush
"So Close", Enchanted
"That's How You Know", Enchanted

Arthur Max, Beth A. Rubino, American Gangster
Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer, Atonement
Dennis Gassner, Anna Pinnock, The Golden Compass
Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo, Sweeney Todd
Jack Fisk, Jim Erickson, There Will Be Blood

Roger Deakins, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Seamus McGarvey, Atonement
Janusz Kaminski, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Roger Deakins, No Country for Old Men
Robert Elswit, There Will Be Blood

Albert Wolsky, Across the Universe
Jacqueline Durran, Atonement
Alexandra Byrne, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Marit Allen, La Vie en Rose
Colleen Atwood, Sweeney Todd

Here, I'm split between Atonement and Sweeney; if the Academy decides Atwood has already too many Oscars (2), Durran may end up winning

Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald, La Vie en Rose
Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji, Norbit
Ve Neill and Martin Samuel, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

No End in Sight
Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience
Taxi to the Dark Side

No end in Sight is the favorite, but I just love Michael Moore, and Sicko is a pretty good film

Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis, The Bourne Ultimatum
Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland, No Country for Old Men
Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane, Ratatouille
Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe, 3:10 to Yuma
Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin, Transformers

Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg, The Bourne Ultimatum
Skip Lievsay, No Country for Old Men
Randy Thom and Michael Silvers, Ratatouille
Matthew Wood, There Will Be Blood
Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins, Transformers

Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood, The Golden Compass
John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier, Transformers

Christopher Rouse, The Bourne Ultimatum
Juliette Welfling, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Jay Cassidy, Into the Wild
Roderick Jaynes, No Country for Old Men
Dylan Tichenor, There Will Be Blood

Prery rare a film without best pic nomination wins here, so NCFOM may be a better bet, but I still think Bourne will take the Oscar

"I Met the Walrus"
"Madame Tutli-Putli"
"Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)"
"My Love (Moya Lyubov)"
"Peter & the Wolf"

"At Night"
"Il Supplente (The Substitute)"
"Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)"
"Tanghi Argentini"
"The Tonto Woman"

"La Corona (The Crown)"
"Salim Baba"
"Sari's Mother"

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Card Player Article: Sirio11 plays back at the bubble abuser

On the last Card Player Magazine, there was an article by Craig Tapscott on the Inside Straight Authors section (well, at least looking at the online version, since I don't have the magazine with me), about a hand I played in a $1000 buy in online tournament. Craig made very good questions and I think the article is pretty good.

This is the link, there are some other pretty good articles in that section, like the one by Dani Stern (a must read), a 2+2 friend and a very successful online player.

Sirio11 Plays Back at the Bubble Abuser
By Craig Tapscott

Want to study real poker hands with the Internet's most successful players? In this series, Card Player offers hand analysis with online poker's leading talent.

Event: PokerStars $1,000 no-limit hold'em tournament
Players: 313
First Place: $70,425
Stacks: sirio11 - 19,494; Villain - 56,984
Blinds: 400-800

Craig Tapscott: Set up the scenario at the beginning of this hand.

David "sirio11" Cossio: This hand happened on the bubble with about 47 players left. It shows a way to play versus bubble abusers, like the Villain was in this hand. He was the chip leader at the table and was raising a lot, since 46th paid nada and 45th, $1,700. His activity had increased proportionally as we approached the bubble. I knew his range was huge, and decided to take advantage of his play, based on his image, my image, and the stage we were at.

CT: What was your image at the table previous to this hand?

DC: I was involved in very few pots, so my image was solid/tight.

Villain raises to 1,800 from the cutoff. Everyone folds to sirio11 in the big blind, holding the Jd 9d.

CT: Do you reraise him now or wait to see what the flop brings?

DC: One option here is to reraise, but with my stack, I don't like the play. I think that by just calling, I can win the pot most of the time when we both don't flop anything, and I can win even more when I flop something. Even when my play backfires, I'm not afraid to lose half of my stack, since I play pretty well when short-stacked.

Flop: Kh 8s 8c (4,000 pot)

DC: Perfect flop, as he most probably doesn't have anything.

Sirio11 checks.

CT: Why perfect? You missed. What are you going to try to represent?

DC: There are no draws at all, and no coordinated board. So for him, if I play back, I "must have" the 8 or the king at the very least (I can't be drawing), and he may fold a hand like 9-9.

Villain bets 3,400.

CT: I'm sure you were expecting the continuation-bet. What's the right bet size here to take it down and why?

DC: Yeah, I was expecting it. My bet size of 8,000 will look like I want to take the pot now. I would be check-raising almost any continuation-bet versus this player.

Sirio11 check-raises to 8,000.

DC: I had a good image, and that helped me with the check-raise. With my image, he'll think I can't be bluffing, since we're on the bubble. And he can't bluff me back, because it looks like I'm committed.

CT: Some people will call with medium pocket pairs here. When do you know that someone is a thinking player and "knows" from your bets that you're committed?

DC: Given the flop, my image, and my action, I think it is pretty hard to call me with a medium pocket pair, even if you're a bad player. This was a $1,000 tourney and we were at the final stages, so chances were that he was a good player.

Villain folds. Sirio11 wins the pot of 11,360.

DC: I showed my hand. I wanted to send him a message, and most importantly, a message to the table. I had some walks after that.

David Cossio lives in El Paso, Texas. He has a master's degree in mathematics. He has been playing poker since 1997, and has eight World Series of Poker cashes, including a third-place finish in 2005 for $79,450. He also has multiple tournament wins online and is a solid threat in any cash game.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Superbowl and the pursuit of perfection, New England and what could have been.

This Sunday was the Superbowl, the biggest event on TV each year. The New England Patriots (18-0, at the moment) and heavy favorites were to play the New York Giants, an otherwise semi mediocre team, who turned things around in the playoffs. New England was about to make sports history, it will be remembered for ever if they won, but fate and the Giants had different plans. NE lost 17-14, NY was the better team this Sunday, NE just could not decipher them and everybody at the end but the NY fans were like "What the hell just happened?". Mr. Perfection Tom Brady looked very human, Eli Manning was playing over his head all postseason and this Sunday was no different. There was an incredible play in the 4th quarter between Eli Manning and David Tyree, a miraculous scape from the New England Defense by Eli and after that a miraculous catch by David Tyree, the type of catch which defies physics and logic, It was THE PLAY of the game, after that play, even I really wanted the Pats to win, I kind of knew it was over. A Plaxico Burress reception for a TD with about 30 seconds left sealed the game and shocked the sports world. I had mixed feelings, I really wanted the perfect season by New England, but NY played with all heart those final minutes of the game and they deserved to win.
For me, it was the end of my sports betting career (at least for now) my SB bankroll is gone, thanks to the unlikely postseason by the giants (I bet against them every game) and the choking of the Indianapolis Colts versus San Diego, game that cost me a lot since I had so many teasers depending on it. I had pretty bad luck betting on Sports last month and it's time to concentrate just in poker. I still think there's money to be made betting on sports, but until I have a good bankroll for it, I'll stay away from sports betting. I kind of feel like the NE Patriots, a little depressed, dreams shattered, but there is always chance for redemption and the new season is coming. Perfection is pretty hard, hell, being pretty good is pretty hard; but we as humans aim for it. Evolution demands it, we can't help it.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Mario Galaxy !!!

Historic day today, I just finished Super Mario Galaxy !!!!, 121 Stars for Mario and 121 stars for Luigi, such an awesome game. To be honest I didn't do all the stars, my 4 year old did a lot of them. There were pretty difficult stars (challenges) to do, wonderful game by Nintendo, I spent countless hours playing, but I really enjoyed all of them, and my kids love it !!!!
Ha, I just have to post it, it's not exactly like winning the world series of poker, but if you play the game, you will be pretty proud if you finish it. Interesting how a video game can give us such sense of accomplishment.