Luck or Skill?

It’s hard not to believe in luck when you have a run of results like this evening’s.  Much as I’d like to think I was playing exceptionally skilfully, the fact is that I was getting a lot of good deals and then everything seemed to be hitting and connecting. Continue reading

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spamAn open letter to Extravision.

By some people’s standards I have a lot of e-mail addresses spread across a variety of ISPs and domains.  This is partly because of the number of businesses and other organisations in which I’m involved and the number of other online activities in which I participate.  I therefore expect to get a lot of spam – it goes with the territory. Continue reading

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Reversal of Fortune

full houseNeither of these two hands is particularly remarkable, but… Continue reading

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Women in Science & Technology

pulsarDespite decades of effort, there’s probably still some way to go. Last weekend, The Sunday Times magazine featured a “Life in the Day” of Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell who is a shining example of not only how to persevere in overcoming barriers but also how not to bear grudges. Continue reading

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Dog breeders and the KC

Ben on IoW ferry 060610If you’re a dog breeder or a dog show judge, you may be offended by what I’m about to write, but here goes. Continue reading

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What can you do?

Three hands into a tournament that should have lasted an hour or two depending on how things went, I received a sign from the poker gods that tonight was not my night.  Pocket Jacks is not a bad deal in the big blind, so when it came around to me I went over the top of the original raiser and his followers.  Lo and behold, he takes offence and goes all in.  Oh well, with the Jacks what can you do but call?  Tens is it?  That’ll do.  But there’s a ten on the flop.  Bummer.  I need a Jack on the turn or river or I’m toast. But it’s a ten on the turn and my pocket Jacks have run into quad tens… talk about rubbing salt into it!  Out in 174th place.  Embarrassing :-(

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eBook Published!

Starting Online Poker Cover BL (large hi-res)My new book, Starting Online Poker, is now available from Amazon for $2.99/£1.99.  I will donate 25% of net royalties to UNICEF.

I enjoyed discovering the world of eBook publishing as much as I enjoyed writing the book (and gaining the material in the first place!)  Check it out at Amazon using the following link:

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Etiquette – live vs. online

ID-100286802When I only have a short time available, I tend to play cash games because I can play for just as long as I like.  Different tables play differently, depending on the mix of players.  My natural tendency is to play fairly tight, so I’m not keen on playing people who turn every hand into a coin-flip for high stakes.  I therefore tend to join tables where the average pot is quite low. Continue reading

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Poker Blog

poker cover imageTowards the end of 2014, I finally started playing poker online. I’ve always enjoyed watching poker on TV, and have often thought about having a go.  It’s so much faster than playing live games, so you learn very quickly.  I’ve written a book about what I’ve learned so far, which will soon be available through Amazon.  For every £1 net of costs that I receive, I will donate £0.25 to charity. Continue reading

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Will we ever get PR?

Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan at www.freedigitalphotos.netI was 18 in 1969, when the voting age in the UK was lowered from 21.  In those days, Liberals (not LibDems) were as rare as unicorns and the first past the post system of one person, one vote and first past the post made some sense.  We had what I remember Quintin Hogg (later to become Lord Chancellor) remarking upon as a revolving dictatorship as we alternated between Labour and Conservative governments. Continue reading

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Progress – plus ca change (, plus c’est la meme chose?)

Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.netThe pessimistic French saying may make sense at some deep philosophical level, but certainly not in the field of technology. I’m a fan of the quirky website WaitButWhy. Although I don’t always agree with the main author’s conclusions his posts are always thought-provoking, and he obviously does a lot of research. A recent post about the Artificial Intelligence Revolution caught my attention even before it got onto its main subject, by illustrating Kurzweil’s Law of Accelerating Returns. Continue reading

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Software standards and the NHS

nhsLast week I attended an open debate at the British Computer Society (BCS) in London, which was a discussion on Personalised Health & Care 2020 (PH&C 2020). This is a “framework for action” produced by the NHS National Information Board. It runs in parallel with the NHS Five Year Forward View (which contains a commitment to exploit the information revolution). Continue reading

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Greek tragedy

greek-flagI don’t agree with everything I hear from Alexis Tsipras, but it’s hard to argue with a word of the following quote:

“In 2010, the Greek state ceased to be able to service its debt. Continue reading

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Cycling to the stars

Proxima_Centauri,_our_nearest_neighbourReading an interesting but in some ways rather silly interview with Elon Musk, about Space X and his plan to colonise Mars, I was stopped in my tracks by his reported assertion that “you could cycle to the nearest star in a few hundred thousand years”.  That didn’t sound right and a few moments’ mental arithmetic brought me to the conclusion – since checked more carefully – that he was off by a couple of orders of magnitude. Continue reading

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Creativity and AI

Brain - origin_544928According to folklore, good things (and bad things) tend to come in threes. I was reminded of this last week, when I read three things that all served to reinforce a particular idea. Continue reading

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British values?

pepe mullerSeveral times in recent days I’ve heard media debates about “British values”, with no-one really able to come up with a ready definition of what these may be.  Recent World Cup coverage has featured some really good examples.  The pivotal incident in Germany’s 4-0 defeat of Portugal came when Thomas Muller collapsed as if he’d been pole-axed when Pepe waved an arm in his face.  Continue reading

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UKIP irony

The growing number of UKIP voters are often casually dismissed as racists or xenophobes. Many are simply resisting the sovereignty over this country of a federal Europe that is largely the creation of a Franco-German axis.  How ironic that the fuss over UKIP’s recent election successes has been played out while we commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

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“Your tax dollars at work”

If government ministers are trying to figure out where to make more public spending cuts, they could apparently do worse than start with the Cabinet Office.  Surely it can be no part of its function to commission and publish a “how to” on organising and running voluntary and community events? This guide is nothing more than the wheel re-invented, and I’m willing to bet it didn’t come cheap. Continue reading

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Is God dying? – Scientific American

atheismI enjoyed reading this article about the decline of religion and the rise of the ‘nones’, which I thought was very sensible.  However, much as I like to hear that religiosity is declining in the Western world there are a couple of things that worry me, both of which are related. Continue reading

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Mission Accomplished!

IMG_0793_medal_buck_houseMany thanks to all who supported me in this endeavour.  My fundraising page will remain open for a while yet, so if you feel moved to contribute, do please go ahead!

My main mission, of course, was to raise funds for the Cardiomyopathy Association (CMA) and I’m happy to say that the running total (including Gift Aid) stands at £626, with a trickle of donations still coming in.  Continue reading

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