Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Great Texas Poker Debate

DISCLAIMER: The author's opinions are his own, and he is not speaking on behalf of any agency or other person.

Back in the November/December 2004 issue of The Prosecutor, the official periodical of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, Markus Kypreos wrote an article starting on page 41 titled "A hold on Texas Hold'Em" in which he opined that most public Hold'Em tournaments are illegal. Kypreos reiterated his opinions on page 13 of the March/April edition in "Texas Hold ’Em: Three months later, it’s still illegal". At the time of those two articles, I debated them with a few other prosecutors and peace officers. I took the position that Kypreos was wrong about the tournaments being held by the Amateur Poker League because there was no "bet" involved. In short, I believed that the Texas Gambling Statute should be read to mean that unless there is a risk of loss to the player, then no bet occurs, and thus no gambling is occurring.

My main objection to Kypreos' articles was not that he reached a conclusion different from mine. My main objection was that he seemed unwilling to even acknowledge that another interpretation was possible. It is this smug attitude that leads to attorneys in general and prosecutors in general having a bad reputation. If Kypreos had taken a more scholarly approach to his articles and acknowledged that his conclusions were merely his opinions, I don't think he woudl need to be eating any crow right now.

BUT, he does.

Greg Abbott, the Texas Attorney General, who is no fan of gambling, has issued Opinion No. GA-0335, which supports my interpretation.

The Opinion states,

"Pursuant to the test promulgated by the court in Odle, this lack of "tender of a gift of something valuable" means that no "bet" has occurred.

I am happy that the AG's office got this one right, and I hope Kypreos will acknowledge his error in the next issue of The Prosecutor.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 33

Ate late a few nights, and I didn't drink anywhere near enough water.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 223.5

Today's Weight = 225.5

Weight Gain in past week = 2.0 pounds

= 41.5 pounds

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 32

Thought I had a pretty good week. I'm not sure why I gained weight.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 221.5

Today's Weight = 223.5

Weight Gain in past week = 2.0 pounds

= 43.5 pounds

Free Poker

While my wife is out of town, I decided to go out yesterday and this evening to play some free poker. There are no locations close to me that are part of the Amateur Poker League, so yesterday, I drove a pretty good distance. Tonight, I went somehwere that was sort of on the way home.

Sunday's sessions weren't that bad. In the 6pm tournament, I started slow, but picked up after the first break. I caught one lucky set of community cards when we were down to about 14 players. I was short stacked and forced all in on the blind. I think I had suited cards, but they weren't worth much. The Board hit with an Ace High straight. We wound up with a three-way split of the pot. I was still pretty short-stacked, but I managed to make it to the final table of 8. Went out first for an 8th place finish.

In the 9pm session, I hit two big hands early and rode it to the final table again. I was second in chips, but because of the turbo-style blind structure, I still wasn't in great shape. I played a hand I shouldn't have, which left me with a medium stack (by comparison to the table—it was a short stack in relation to the blinds). I decided to take a stab at it before being forced all-in on a blind, but I couldn't hit the cards I needed. Slightly better this time with a 6th place.

Monday night, the location was thankfully snoke-free, but much more crowded. the guy to my left busted out another player early, so he had a pretty good sized stack. I was dealt A-10 in the big blind for $40, big stack raised to $100, and I re-raised to $300 when it came around to me. He called. The flop came A-J-10, so I had two pair. I bet out $300 and big stack raised to $1000. I immediately re-raised all-in. He called and turned over A-Q suited. At this point there were only 7 cards that would kill me—the 3 other Queens and the 4 Kings. The turn was a King. I still had 7 outs on the River. And Ace or 10 would give me a winning full house, and a Queen would result in a split pot. No such luck, and I got to leave early. In fact, they should be finishing up just about now.

I wasn't happy to be eliminated, but I told myself that you can't beat yourself up when you play it right and it just doesn't work.

CORRECTION: It dawned on me this morning that the other player actually had 10 outs. If another Jack had come up, we would both have had 2 pair (Aces & Jacks) and his Queen would play over my 10. Now, I'm not as sure I made the right play.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Rove-Plame Affair

Karl Rove may not have done anything illegal with his leak (accidental or otherwise) of Valerie Plame, but what he did was wrong, and now it is time for him to go. I can imagine that President Bush figures that Rove deserves the benefit of forgiveness on this one. Bush can afford to think that way because he isn't seeking re-election.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

In case you were wondering

I have been writing in my Journal, but some of the stuff in there isn't for public viewing. Nothing too secret, but things that are better kept to myself. At least for now. As a Government employee, I have to be a little careful about what I say about work. In fact, I believe I have left my job out of this blog completely (but I could be mistaken about that). There's just too much risk to posting everything I think.

Getting in Shape Update 31

Snacked much less and did better not eating in the evening after dinner.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 224.5

Today's Weight = 221.5

Weight Loss in past week = 3.0 pounds

= 45.5 pounds

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Why I hated Grad School

I just had an epiphany about why I was so miserable while I was in Graduate School. I went The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to get a Master of Arts degree in Speech Communication right out of college. During the first year of the two-year program, I felt burned out and almost dropped out. I had always thought that burned out feeling was because I had been in school practically my entire life, but now I think I discovered the real reason.

I didn't have any friends in Grad School.

I am a very social person. I love to talk and spend time with others, and I genuinely like almost everybody. I have lots and lots of friends. However, while I was at Chapel Hill, there was nobody with whom I would just "hang out" and do stuff. I've always had many friends, but perhaps more importantly, I've always had a best friend (or two). In High School, it was Jay and Kim. In college, I had K-Bob and O-Steph. I met Rod at orientation at Law School, and I can't tell you how many hours we spent playing Super Nintendo or eating queso at Chili's. When I lived in Houston, I spent time with the gang from my Singles Sunday School class. Now, I have my friends at the Theatre.

In Grad School, I had squat. There were 29 or 30 other students in our program, and I got along with all of them, even if I was one of only two Conservatives (and the other one never got into political discussions), but I wouldn't say any of them were friends. The only times I really enjoyed Grad School were when I was teaching as a Teaching Assistant and when I performed in a play. During that production, I did hang out a few times with the other cast members, but as soon as the show was over, that interaction came to an end.

Who knows, if I had just made a good friend or two at UNC, I might have wound up a college professor instead of a lawyer.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Blog of Local Interest

I discovered a new blog this morning that might be of interest to folks around here (northeast Texas):

The Kaufman County Pundit

I told some people about it this afternoon at a wedding reception, but I got the name wrong.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Another Openin', Another Show

Tonight was opening night for The Foreigner, the show I directed for Kaufman County Civic Theatre. The audience was small, but responsive. A good show overall. It runs for 8 more shows on our stage, and then we are taking it on the road for one weekend to the theatre in the next small town over.

Great job tonight, gang!

Here's a an image containing a couple of shots from rehearsals:

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Worth the Weight

I know I always seem to beat myself up when I have a week in which I gain a little weight, but other than the fact that it delays my reaching my ultimate goal, the minor "setbacks" really don't bother me that much. I typically step on the scales every morning, despite the fact that most "experts" say one shouldn't do that when engaged in a weight-loss plan. When I was at my heaviest, my weight would fluctuate as much as 5 pounds from one day to the next. One morning I would weigh 263; the next, 258. The day after that, I might be back at 261. So, I know that minor fluctuations aren't that big a deal.

In fact, this morning, the scale read 222.5.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 30

I had a bad week. I didn't pay much attention to what and when I ate.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 223.0

Today's Weight = 224.5

Weight Gain in past week = 1.5 pounds

= 42.5 pounds

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Button Happy

I fired up Adobe Photoshop in the Classic environment on my MAC today and created some buttons for my blog links to the right. Yes, I know the "convention" for size on these things is 80x15 pixels, but at that size, the text was very difficult to read. The font is "Sand".

Feel free to copy and use any of them if you'd like, but please download them to your computer and then upload them to your own host site. I use Geocities, and if the images get accessed too often, my geocities website actually becomes unavailable for a short time.