(These ideas are explicated in this sloppy manifesto)

Saturday, May 24, 2003
On-line poker player wins WSOP...

Chris Moneymaker, playing in his first ever live-in-the-flesh poker tournament, has won the ultimate championship of the World Series of Poker, the no-limit hold-'em tournament. This is from PokerStars, where he plays:
In an incredible final of the 2003 World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event, Chris Moneymaker (money800 on PokerStars) took first place, $2.5 million in prize money and the coveted World Championship bracelet.

Chris came to the final table as the chip leader, which he maintained for several hours before losing a key hand to Sam Farha, well known high stakes player, giving up the chip lead for several hours. In a back-and-forth match, he and Sam eventually were in a virtual tie at about T3.5 million each, with former World Champion Dan Harrington the short stack at just over T1 million. But the two big stacks had difficulty eliminating Harrington, who repeatedly came back from under T500,000.

Chris finally took Harrington out when Harrington moved all-in with second pair against Chris' top pair, setting up a short heads-up match between Sam and Chris.

After a back-and-forth match lasting about 30 minutes, Sam bet out on a board of Js 5s 4c. Chris raised, Sam came back over the top all-in and Chris called with 54, having flopped two pair. Sam had flopped top pair. The turn and river brought no help for Sam's single pair, and Chris Moneymaker became the new World Champion of poker.

Chris won his seat in a satellite on PokerStars, and although he has played many tournaments on PokerStars, the WSOP Main Event is his first live tournament.

PokerStars is thrilled and proud to have helped Chris achieve the ultimate goal of all poker players. Congratulations from all of us on the PokerStars team!

PokerStars players have won a total of 37 seats in the 2003 World Series of Poker, making PokerStars the single largest source of WSOP players other than Binion's Horseshoe, the host of the WSOP.
Like many young poker players, Chris was inspired by the film Rounders, to which you can refer to decipher all the poker notation in the quoted paragraphs. His total cash investement to get to the $10,000 seat that led to the $2.5 million payday: Eighty bucks. The rest he got by winning. This is a kind of 'gambling' Bill Bennett knows nothing about.

But: Rest assured the state is trying to shut on-line poker down. Gotta protect guys like Chris Moneymaker (what a great name!) from themselves...

(If you want to play before they take the game away--if they can--PokerStars is a good place to go. The founders are Libertarian/Objectivist influenced, as are some of the employees. You can play with 'play money' at first, or at extremely low real-money limits. PokerStars has astounding multi-table tournaments, hundreds of players at a time. If you want to take the time to learn to play, see my Amazon list of poker books for beginners. And if you don't want to take the time to learn to play, you are always welcome at my table...)

Tuesday, May 20, 2003
"Only the most extreme elements have ever suggested that the military or police departments be privatized"...

The most extreme elements are on the ropes in Scottsdale, AZ, America's Most Liveable City. Today voters in that city will decide whether to retain Rural Metro, the private emergency services company that has been Scottsdale's fire department for more than 50 years, or to create a municipal fire department. The debate is interesting. Every lie ever told about the efficiency of Socialism has been trotted out. But the tale serves as a caution for libertarians: The people of Scottsdale are older, richer and far more capitalist than ordinary Americans. This is the actual Goldwater country. If we can't make our case there--not to privatize but to stay privatized--where can we make it?

Update: Capitalism won

Sunday, May 18, 2003
Us, too...

Sez Drudge:
American households that connect to Internet via high-speed broadband grew 50% in last year to nearly one-third of all home users...
A big time-sink in my life right now, very busy otherwise, is building a network of our disparate machines to take advantage of a new broadband connection. I have thoughts on this--some of the printable--but the DrudgeStat is revealing of the Marketing Mindset: "The features are here, so why won't they sign up?" It's because people don't buy features, they buy benefits. Broadband doesn't sell broadband. Infuriating dial-up sells broadband. And infuriating Wintel networking hassles, which people are certainly wise enough to anticipate, make dial-up tolerable and broadband deferrable. As with everything else in the digital world, Steve Jobs has almost all of the answers and Bill Gates has almost none of them. When I am done with this network, I will have eight nodes with very high-speed, always-on internet for $50 a month, an incredible bargain. The cost of the added hardware and software will be less than $500, including a rockin' print server. But the cost of my time will run to a very fat four figures. This is because absolutely nothing produced by MicroSoft works! Why don't more people get broadband? It could be because they made the regrettable mistake of buying Wintel and not Apple machines.