MileHiCon 47

Hmmm … it’s gotten to the point where the main thing I use my blog for is posting MileHiCon schedules. I need to change that. There are a lot of changes afoot, and my blog can be much better utilized than it is.

Anyway, MileHiCon is around the corner again, running October 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency DTC, as usual. Here’s my preliminary schedule:

Friday, October 23, 2015, 5:00 pm
Gained in Translation — Mesa Verde C

What genre novels originally written in other languages have seen success when translated into English? This seems like a fun and fascinating panel; I’m looking forward to it.

Saturday, October 24, 2015, 2:00 pm
MHC Poetry Reading — Mesa Verde A

David Lee Summers is back as moderator for this year’s poetry panel. I will read a few of my older SF poems and hopefully I will have something new to share, as well.

Sunday, October 25, 2015, 1:00 pm
Strange Stars: How SF&F Transformed Popular Music — Wind River A
This should be a fun panel. I’ve participated on panels like this before at MHC, and they were always a blast. There is a surprising amount of crossover influence between SF and music.

I will also be participating in the Texas Hold ‘Em tournament on Saturday night at 9pm, so if you’re a poker player, come join the game!

Poker Can Help the Economy

I got a note today from the Poker Player’s Alliance (of which I am a member), urging me to support legalization of online poker on, the website that Obama’s administration is using to take the pulse of the American public on issues relating to government.

Okay, before anyone jumps on me for having my priorities out of whack, yes, I do think there are much higher priorities than legalizing online poker, namely ending the war in Iraq, closing Guantanamo Bay, fixing a drastically broken health care system, and bolstering an economy that’s currently flying without a net. However, legalizing and regulating online poker could conceivably have a positive effect on the economy.

Here’s what I had to say in the topic contents at

As an accomplished poker player himself, I hope that President Obama recognizes that online poker is more a game of skill than a game of luck, and that legalizing and regulating online poker is just one more way that people can infuse money into the flagging economy. Millions of Americans play online poker already, and the money that could be made from taxing those online games is a staggering amount.

As I write this on a Wednesday afternoon, just one of the online poker sites is hosting nearly 175,000 people on over 42,000 virtual tables. Imagine if those 42,000 tables were hosted by an American company and taxed at $1 (for round numbers), along with any other tables that are generated on that site each day. Then consider that numerous American companies would be in this business space and the number of Americans playing online poker would easily increase with the repeal of the UIGEA, and it’s easy to see how regulation and taxation of online poker could generate millions of dollars *per day* to benefit the economy.

Or, we could keep the current system, continue to force banks to reject transactions that they could be making money on, continue to stigmatize skillful online poker players while honoring much more random Internet gambling systems, and continue to encourage an offshore shadow industry with no oversight.

Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

What do you think?


(I had a full post ready to go, and then my web host decided to go offline. Joy. This post is a distilled version of what I had already written.)

I finished 153rd in the WBCOOP on PokerStars. I was doing well until about two hours into the tourney, when I went all in with Big Slick (ace & king of spades) and my opponent had a pocket pair of jacks

*********** # 117 **************
PokerStars Game #23130684510: Tournament #170000000, Freeroll Hold’em No Limit – Level XI (125/250) – 2008/12/21 16:53:08 ET
Table ‘170000000 26’ 9-max Seat #3 is the button

Seat 6: AllJyn92 (3077 in chips)
Seat 9: Lytspeed (9055 in chips)

*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Lytspeed [As Ks]

AllJyn92: raises 2797 to 3047 and is all-in
Lytspeed: calls 3047

*** FLOP *** [8c 9s 5c]
*** TURN *** [8c 9s 5c] [6s]
*** RIVER *** [8c 9s 5c 6s] [Td]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
AllJyn92: shows [Jh Js] (a pair of Jacks)
Lytspeed: shows [As Ks] (high card Ace)
AllJyn92 collected 6739 from pot
Lytspeed said, “nh”

After that, I was short stacked, and had to make a move. Twenty-two hands later, I followed two other players all in with 99, which was good until the flop. When we showed hole cards, both had Aces, and one had AK. The flop held two kings, giving the latter three of a kind (kings.) I hoped for another nine on the turn and river to make a full house, but I guess I didn’t hope hard enough. He caught an Ace on the river to make his own full house.

Ah well. That’s poker. At least I won a ticket to a Step 3 tournament in the qualifier. That’s worth about $82 overall, and gives me a chance to win real money without having spent a dime.

But next year … next year will be different.

WBCOOP — Qualified!

I played in my qualifying tournament for the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker today. Here are the results:

PokerStars Tournament #124189663, No Limit Hold’em
Freeroll Super Satellite
549 players
Target Tournament #170000000
72 tickets to the target tournament

Tournament started 2008/12/20 15:00:00 ET

Dear Lytspeed,

You finished the tournament in 16th place.
You qualified to play in Tournament #170000000 and are automatically registered for it.

Yep, 16th out of 549, well within the top 72 to qualify for the Finals tomorrow. I also placed well enough to receive free entry into a $75 + $7 Step 3 tournament, but I haven’t received the registration ticket for that in e-mail yet. The chances of coming away with a prize of some kind in tomorrow’s finals are good. There are only 369 entrants at this point, and the payout table (near the bottom of the page) goes through 100 places.

Looking forward to it! If you have a PokerStars account, drop by and watch me play at 1:00 PM MST. You can find me through Requests | Find a Player in the PokerStars software, and my username is Lytspeed.

PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker

It’s that time of year again. I’m registering for the WBCoOP, assuming the Powers That Be approve this entry. I entered 2007 and 2005, as well, but didn’t do so well either time. This year has been better for me in the world of play money tournaments; the highlight was one of the giant freerolls that PokerStars hosts, the Hubble No-Limit Tournament. Out of 12,000 people I took 5th place. Yow! Here’s a paste from the results e-mail (emphasis mine.)

PokerStars Tournament #95460789, No Limit Hold’em
Freeroll Super Satellite
12000 players
Target Tournament #95435810
99 tickets to the target tournament

Tournament started – 2008/07/17 – 22:32:00 (ET)
Tournament finished – 2008/07/18 – 01:43:32 (ET)
1: SirKenin (Unmouse me heathen), (qualified for the target tournament)
2: edabbott (orlando ), (qualified for the target tournament)
3: aleman 72 (berisso), (qualified for the target tournament)
4: mariellexx (cornwall), (qualified for the target tournament)
5: Lytspeed (Federal Heights), (qualified for the target tournament)

I’m hopeful that the incoming Democratic presidential administration and Congress will repeal or at least revise the stupid law (link goes to PDF file) hindering online poker that were passed in October of 2006. I hear that Obama is a pretty good poker player himself. Here’s hoping the Poker Players Alliance, of which I am a member, will gain some traction in the next few years.