## The King Returns

I am back! Have no fear! After a long time away I would like to kick start my blogging again with an update on where I am at. Â

In June and July I did not play as much poker as I would have liked.Â  June was a pretty breakeven to slightly down month, but July turned out pretty good with my first month of 4 digit profit at 50nl.Â  Letâ€™s hope I can keep this rolling through August.

Iâ€™ve accepted an offer for admission to Columbia Universityâ€™s Masters Program in Mathematical Finance.Â  Itâ€™s a one-year program that starts in the fall.Â  To that end, I have really been putting in the time learning C++ coding and studying advanced probability theory, as well as reviewing methods for solving differential equations.Â  Hopefully I will be in a good place come September.Â  I am starting off at a disadvantage though because I will be missing the orientation and registration period for fall classes.

The reason I have to miss registration is that Karen and I are going to Machu Picchu from 8/26 â€“ 9/6.Â  My classes start 9/7 and, in a lapse of judgment, I assumed that I could just show up for my first day of classes without thinking that there might be critical happenings the few days before.Â  Oh well, we live and learn.Â  Columbia is notoriously bad for communicating with students, so I was informed of this yesterday after asking if there was anything I needed to do before I go on my vacation.Â  Iâ€™m not sure, if I hadnâ€™t reached out to them, when they were thinking of contacting the incoming class; perhaps a day or two before orientation?

Everything else has been pretty status quo.Â  I am slowly catching up to Karen in climbing, to her dismay.Â  We are both climbing 5.10s at the moment, and Iâ€™m working on V3 and V3+ problems in the bouldering room.Â  I suspect that Iâ€™ll have much less time to climb during the school year, so weâ€™ll see if I keep the progress I made over the summer.

Thatâ€™s it for now.Â  See you in a few days.

## May Overview

For the most part, May ended up turning out pretty awesome. I was able to get in 20K hands of poker, despite having serious computer issues in the beginning and a slew of exams and applications to deal with.Â  I won at a rate of 3.26BB/100, getting help from an awesome heater in the last 5,000 hands or so.Â  My bankroll is up to $2,100, so I may start mixing in a couple of shots at NL50. I started a skype group with about 10-15 other NL25/NL50 players, and have found the overall discussions really really helpful.Â I am feeling much more confident in my standard game (e.g., which boards to c-bet, when to double barrel, etc.). I am now really focusing on making adjustments and exploiting my opponents tendencies.Â Basically trying to take better notes and rely on my reads to make some non-standard plays.Â Should be fun! I finally got my applications in to NYU and CU and am waiting to hear back from them. I've been doing some math studying on my own in probability theory, though I continue to struggle to get work through the C++ book.Â I think my fundamental knowledge of computers really hampers me, because my compiler starts whacking out or something goes wrong in my IDE and I don't know how to fix it so I get frustrated and stop working on it.Â It's not that the actual algorithms or computational complexity or problem-solving issues are hard, it's that this god-damn computer sucks.Â I know they always say a craftsman never blames his tools, but I'm fairly certain that the people who say that have never worked in Windows Vista.Â Grade A piece of shit software IMO. Climbing has been going unbelievable awesome.Â Karen and I are top-roping 5.10s and I'm a regular at the V3s and have even attempted some V4s.Â I can't wait to try outdoor climbing, though I imagine it will be much more difficult. We've started to crank up the wedding planning.Â So far, I've met with 2 caterers and 3 photographers.Â Karen already picked out and ordered the invitations.Â We have our venue and I'm feeling really good about where we are in the whole process.Â I am a groomsman in my friend's wedding at the end of July, and I feel less prepared for that.Â I haven't thought about speeches or even gotten measurements for a tux.Â I really need to get my ass in gear. My birthday is coming up on June 9th.Â My mother is going to take me and Karen out to dinner at A Voce in Columbus Circle.Â I am very excited.Â Karen has been twice with her firm, while this will be my first time.Â I'm also going to hit up Le Bernadin the following week with a good friend and poker buddy who lives in Philly.Â Should be a good time.Â This summer will be interesting, because I don't have a "job" per se.Â My personal goal is to break into the 5 digits in my bankroll as well as work through several math books.Â This made slightly more difficult because my parents don't really know that I play cards, so they essentially think I'm doing nothing.Â Also, I think that Karen is less than thrilled about the proposition.Â I think her skepticism is good, because it makes me feel guilty when I'm not working at poker or math, which keeps me motivated to work harder and harder. June Goals: 30-40K hands with 10K+ at 50NL. Chapters 3-6 in the probability book.Â Chapters 1-3 in my Diff Eq book.Â 5:45 mile time (I was reminiscing about my old track days the other day with my mom and it's motivated me to run a sub-5 minute mile again!). #### Posted By erby at 10:58 PM #### 0 Comments #### May 05, 2010 ## Political Compass Test I just took the political compass test to see where I stand. TEST LINK No surprise, I was -2.50 on the economic scale and -5.28 on the social authoritarian/libertarian scale. The test posed some interesting questions, but all in all I felt that there was a severe flaw. Namely, the questions were asked in a way that appealed to how we perceive an ideal world, rather than what is practically viable, given that we are human and must create a society that allows for normal human error. Letâ€™s look at a specific example, and then attempt to generalize (though not rigorously by any means). Here was a question, which may not be exactly as written but presents the central theorem uncorrupted: â€œOur rights are being impinged upon in the name of counter-terrorismâ€ Letâ€™s not even bother with the fact that the answer to this question has to be yes. If you have ever been on an airplane, you have sacrificed some rights, plain and simple. But there is a more subtle flaw here. Letâ€™s suppose that the response to this binary question is instead given by a point, A, such that 0 <= A <=1. We interpret A=0 as believing that no rights should be sacrificed for counter-terrorism and A=1 being a belief that derogation of all rights is acceptable in the name of counter-terrorism. In practicality, we may allow for slightly more rights to be derogated. We let â€œLâ€ denote our acceptable limit in a practical reality. Then A <= L. In other words, our practical belief is limited by the answer to the question. The test uses an algorithm to assess your answers to various questions and posts a final score as a point (x,y) in a 2-D box. Here, the x-axis represents economic beliefs and the y-axis representing social beliefs. If we assume that we have an ideal political bias and that this is carried through all questions, then we are free to generalize the above argument to all questions on the test. It would then seem reasonable to think that our ideal political inclination, (xâ€™,yâ€™), is bounded in some manner by the output (x,y). Neutrality Proposition: It is my belief (here is the non-rigorous argument) that |x|-|xâ€™|>=0 and |y|-|yâ€™|>=0. What this means is that, once error is introduced into a perfect world, our beliefs tend toward neutrality. This can be interpreted as the statement: A liberal (resp. conservative) will get more conservative (resp. liberal) once human error is introduced into an ideal setting. Now, we implicitly assume that the error is small relative to a given personâ€™s ideals, or else the inequality could fail due to a massive swing through the origin. For example take x = 1 and xâ€™=-5. Then the error is so large that the inequality does not hold. In reality, I donâ€™t think the world is harsh enough that it turns idealistic conservatives into strong liberals and vice versa. Hence I ignore this possibility. Finally, if we accept the above proposition, then we see that |(xâ€™,yâ€™)| <= |(x,y)|. In other words, the test gives us a limit on our liberal or conservative viewpoints. So when Karen said she was surprised at the outcome of my test, I think she was noticing a disparity between my output (limit on my liberal inclination) with my practical beliefs, given real-world complications. The above argument just tries to rationalize this disparity. There are clear holes in this argument. Obviously, the Neutrality Proposition is difficult to prove and may not even be correct. Furthermore, we are assuming that every answer is either <= 0.5 or >=0.5 (some sort of pseudo-monotonic assumption). Despite these gaps, I think that the argument is sufficiently straightforward. I would be interested in hearing if others results corroborate or contradict my argument. #### Posted By erby at 03:09 AM #### 0 Comments #### Tags: mathPoliticsNerds #### May 04, 2010 ## MAY GOALS Well, itâ€™s been a month and I havenâ€™t blogged at all. I knew when I started that there was a very good chance that this would happen. But I am determined! I will blog. So here it is. My MAY GOALS THREAD! Letâ€™s review the goals for April: POKER 1. 25k Hands: A-. Only got 21.7k. Bankroll is at about$1,650.
2. 5 hr sessions: B. Was only able to get 1 in, however I was out of town this weekend and had been having computer problems the entire month (thank you windows vista).
SCHOOL
3. Getting through the first 5 chapters of C++ Primer: F. Got through chapter 1
4. A/A+ in all my classes: A. Second highest grade in the class on 2nd midterm for analysis, perfect score in complex midterm. Finals in about a week
5. Applications: C+ Need to complete statement of purpose and request transcripts for one of the schools. However, I did get my recommenders squared away and have gotten all the test stuff overwith.
FINANCE
6. Abnormal Returns: F. Just didnâ€™t read it
7. Ch1-10 of GDSA: A.
CLIMBING
8. 5.9s on top rope: A. Karen and I have even gotten some 5.10s!
9. Get every V2: A-. Aside from the occasional tough problem, I can climb pretty much all the V2s
10. Run 20 miles a week: B+. Only logged about 10 miles this last week, but have been keeping up otherwise.

I figure Iâ€™m going to simplify my goals list for May, mostly because I just realized how annoying it was to write all that out. I am going to put only 1 goal for each section, and make sure I get it:

1. Poker: 25k hands, 4+bb/100 winrate.
2. School: ch1-5 of C++ Primer
3. Finance: 10-17 GDSA
4. Climbing: 5.10s or bust! (also V3s!)

## April Goals (Late I know)

Poker

25,000 hands at 25nl and gold star on Pokerstars. I need to get back to Gold Star, the multipliers and bonuses really help out the olâ€™ BR. The hands should be fine, but Iâ€™m making more of a conscious effort to only play when Iâ€™m in the right frame of mind. I think I need to work on my focus though so I am going to force myself to play a 5hr session once a week, just to get my endurance up.

School
1. 1. Get through first 5 chapters of my C++ primer. This is a crucial goal for me. I know very little computer program for what I eventually want to do after school. I rationalized never taking classes because I could always just teach myself. Well now itâ€™s time to man up and actually do it.
2. 2. A â€“ A+ in every class. This should be a piece of cake.
3. 3. Get my applications in to NYU and Columbia before the end of the month.
Finance
1. 1. Read Abnormal Returns every day
2. 2. Get through first 10 chapters in Graham and Doddâ€™s Securities Analysis
Climbing
1. 1. Move up to 5.9s on top rope
2. 2. Get every V2
3. 3. Run 20 miles a week (this is to cut down weight for climbing) and work the hang board during the week

Thatâ€™s all for now. It seems like a lot of stuff, but I think itâ€™s doable.

March
17,665 hands
5.02BB/100

## Lazy Sunday

It is absolutely wonderful out today, so itâ€™s so hard to be inside. I wanted to get some hands in early today as Karen and I are going to the rock gym tonight and after that I have to study for my exam on Monday (topics are rings, fields and extension fields). Test shouldnâ€™t be that bad. I know my stuff.

Poker: I was able to log 1,139 hands in 3 hrs (+$104.20, 18.3BB/100) playing on my laptop. When I use the laptop, i cut my tables down to 4 instead of 6. It looks like this is a positive for my winrate (go figure). Today went pretty well. Got QQ up against A6 on a 66x flop that sucked, but my KK cracked someones AA for 125 BBs so that was a nice redemption! I think I was mostly running good, but i really feel like I was able to focus more on player ranges and extracting value post flop. I think I might stick with 4 tables for a little to see if I can keep a solid winrate (targeting 4-5BB/100 over like 75-100K hands or so). Climbing: So my finger is pretty cut up and I am feeling like climbing is going to be a little bit of a bitch tonight, but I just got new shoes and am dying to try them out. Thereâ€™s this tricky 5.8 at the gym that has been giving me some trouble, so hopefully with my new shoes it will be no problem (iâ€™d been using rentals for the past month). Karen and I are at about the same level, which is nuts because my upper body is so much stronger than hers. I call climbing the â€œGreat Equalizer,â€ because it seems like whatever helps you also hurts you equally. My size and strength is good for pulling but terrible for hanging. Iâ€™ve started running again to slim down to make climbing a little easier. Weâ€™ll see how that goes. Other: As I said, Iâ€™ve got a midterm coming up tomorrow in Abstract Algebra. Iâ€™m not that worried about it, but will probably put in a good 4 or 5 hours of studying tonight for it just to be sure. Until next time! Erby March 11,740 hands +$256.35 profit
4.4BB/100

## First Post

Hey guys. Erby from DC here. Wanted to start a blog to track my poker career as I (hopefully) move up the limits! Iâ€™m 26 living in NYC (manhattan) and post occasionally on DC and 2p2. Iâ€™m a 25nl player right now with a bankroll around $1,500 or so. I think 60 BIs is probably more than I need at this limit, but I want to log$2,000 of profit at 25nl before moving up. I hopefully will hit that by May or June. Iâ€™m in school right now, so I am getting in a solid 35K+ hands or so a month. Iâ€™ve got a platinum star on Stars, but canâ€™t decide if I like stars or ftp better. Players on ftp seem much less nitty, which I like.

Today I didnâ€™t actually think I was going to get any play in, since we had to talk with wedding photographers and buy new rock climbing shoes. We went to EMS in SOHO which had a pitiful selection. I was able to find a pair that I liked, but they had absolutely no womenâ€™s shoes so Karen (my fiancee) was out of luck. We then trekked down to Tents and Trails in Tribeca and their selection was much better. Karen got a pair of lime green shoes (theyâ€™re hideous, but she thinks theyâ€™re comfortable which is not something you hear all that often when talking about climbing shoes).

When we got home, Karen took a nap and I managed to log 780 hands on FTP (+$34.58, 8.77BB/100). Had a great session, players seemed really terrible today. Was up over$80 but ran AKo into JJ in an all-in preflop coin toss and lost (He limped UTG, I made it $1.50, He made it$4 and I shoved). It was a terrible shove on my part. I should have called and played post flop against this guy. It ended up a coin flip, but I could have easily been crushed. I guess if guys here are limp raising and calling shoves with JJ then this play is even worse. Anyway, other than that I was pretty happy with my play overall. Itâ€™s just that one hand thatâ€™s pissing me offâ€¦

March:
\$146.72
10,565 hands
2.78 BB/100