Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

The Savannah Bananas

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Written by Leisureguy

10 June 2022 at 4:23 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life, Games

The 147 That Broke The Record | Ronnie O’Sullivan’s 9th Maximum | 2008 World Snooker Championship

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Written by Leisureguy

14 May 2022 at 7:52 pm

Posted in Games, Snooker, Video

Life’s little pleasures: Food masher division

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Perfect Masher™

The Perfect Masher™ by Kitchen Innovations has two good ideas: using blades (though not actually sharp, but still blade-ish — more blade than bar) and rounding the ends of the masher. The first makes it easy to break down potatoes, beans, or whatever else you’re mashing, and the second makes it easy to get to the very edge of the pot in which you’re doing the mashing.

This required a long-ish drive to Lee Valley Hardware, which is where I had seen it but hesitated to buy, but as a bonus we drove past Market Garden, a little local grocery store, and I was able to buy a lion’s mane mushroom about the size of a Chicago ball. I just enjoyed a couple of slabs of the mushroom — perfect little steaks, cooked in a spray of olive oil with a pinch of pepper.

And BTW, if you’ve never played Chicago softball, with the16-inch softball, you’ve missed a great pleasure. No mitts required, and be ball is actually fairly soft. Very fun. 

And here’s an actual game. Note the pleasant simplicity of this game: a bat, a ball, and 4 bases — elemental ball.

Written by Leisureguy

23 April 2022 at 5:16 pm

The first 147 in a snooker world championship (1983)

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Written by Leisureguy

6 April 2022 at 8:16 pm

Posted in Games, Snooker, Video

Ronnie O’Sullivan shows how to escape a snooker

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Written by Leisureguy

30 March 2022 at 5:31 am

Posted in Games, Snooker, Video

Judd Trump’s 6th career maximum break in a 4-minute video

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Written by Leisureguy

13 March 2022 at 1:25 pm

Posted in Games, Snooker, Video

Casino Cheating Expert Reviews Card Counting and Casino Scams From Movies

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Written by Leisureguy

19 February 2022 at 7:11 pm

“Alphago”: The full documentary on YouTube

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This is well worth watching. Alphago has now been well outclassed by Alphazero, the next generation of game-playing AI.

Written by Leisureguy

14 February 2022 at 6:57 pm

Posted in Daily life, Games, Go, Video

Highest Break In Snooker Shoot-Out History | Mark Allen

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The snooker shoot-out format is a timed contest with its own rules:

Snooker Shoot-Out Rules

This isn’t like other tournaments. The Shoot Out has several notable rule changes, though the introduction of the snooker shot clock is perhaps the most influential.

Frames are capped at a duration of 10 minutes. For the first five minutes of a frame, players have a maximum of 15 seconds to play a shot. In the second five-minute chunk, players have just 10 seconds to hit the cue ball.

This obviously hurries the spectacle along. There’s no time to ponder safety shots. Failure to hit the ball in time results in a five-point penalty or for the value of the ball which was ‘on’, whichever of the two is greater.

Similar to pool, players must also either pot a ball or hit the cushion with any ball whenever they take a shot.

Again, failure to achieve this results in a five-point penalty or a penalty for the value of the ball which was ‘on’, whichever of the two is greater.

Here’s Mark Allen setting the record for the highest-scoring break:

Written by Leisureguy

23 January 2022 at 2:01 pm

Posted in Daily life, Games, Snooker, Video

Mini-golf game based on Congressional districts

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The Washington Post has an interactive mini-golf game that’s actually a lot of fun, while also displaying just how aggressive gerrymandering has become. That’s a gift link, so no paywall.

Written by Leisureguy

19 January 2022 at 1:14 pm

How A.I. Conquered Poker

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In the NY Times Magazine, Keith Romer describes how poker has now been solved. (Gift link, no paywall.)

Last November in the cavernous Amazon Room of Las Vegas’s Rio casino, two dozen men dressed mostly in sweatshirts and baseball caps sat around three well-worn poker tables playing Texas Hold ’em. Occasionally a few passers-by stopped to watch the action, but otherwise the players pushed their chips back and forth in dingy obscurity. Except for the taut, electric stillness with which they held themselves during a hand, there was no outward sign that these were the greatest poker players in the world, nor that they were, as the poker saying goes, “playing for houses,” or at least hefty down payments. This was the first day of a three-day tournament whose official name was the World Series of Poker Super High Roller, though the participants simply called it “the 250K,” after the $250,000 each had put up to enter it.

At one table, a professional player named Seth Davies covertly peeled up the edges of his cards to consider the hand he had just been dealt: the six and seven of diamonds. Over several hours of play, Davies had managed to grow his starting stack of 1.5 million in tournament chips to well over two million, some of which he now slid forward as a raise. A 33-year-old former college baseball player with a trimmed light brown beard, Davies sat upright, intensely following the action as it moved around the table. Two men called his bet before Dan Smith, a fellow pro with a round face, mustache and whimsically worn cowboy hat, put in a hefty reraise. Only Davies called.

The dealer laid out a king, four and five, all clubs, giving Davies a straight draw. Smith checked (bet nothing). Davies bet. Smith called. The turn card was the deuce of diamonds, missing Davies’s draw. Again Smith checked. Again Davies bet. Again Smith called. The last card dealt was the deuce of clubs, one final blow to Davies’s hopes of improving his hand. By now the pot at the center of the faded green-felt-covered table had grown to more than a million in chips. The last deuce had put four clubs on the table, which meant that if Smith had even one club in his hand, he would make a flush.

Davies, who had been betting the whole way needing an eight or a three to turn his hand into a straight, had arrived at the end of the hand with precisely nothing. After Smith checked a third time, Davies considered his options for almost a minute before declaring himself all-in for 1.7 million in chips. If Smith called, Davies would be out of the tournament, his $250,000 entry fee incinerated in a single ill-timed bluff.

Smith studied Davies from under the brim of his cowboy hat, then twisted his face in exasperation at Davies or, perhaps, at luck itself. Finally, his features settling in an irritated scowl, Smith folded and the dealer pushed the pile of multicolored chips Davies’s way. According to Davies, what he felt when the hand was over was not so much triumph as relief.

“You’re playing a pot that’s effectively worth half a million dollars in real money,” he said afterward. “It’s just so much goddamned stress.”

Real validation wouldn’t come until around 2:30 that morning, after the first day of the tournament had come to an end and Davies had made the 15-minute drive from the Rio to his home, outside Las Vegas. There, in an office just in from the garage, he opened a computer program called PioSOLVER, one of a handful of artificial-intelligence-based tools that have, over the last several years, radically remade the way poker is played, especially at the highest levels of the game. Davies input all the details of the hand and then set the program to run. In moments, the solver generated an optimal strategy. Mostly, the program said, Davies had gotten it right. His bet on the turn, when the deuce of diamonds was dealt, should have been 80 percent of the pot instead of 50 percent, but the 1.7 million chip bluff on the river was the right play.

“That feels really good,” Davies said. “Even more than winning a huge pot. The real satisfying part is when you nail one like that.” Davies went to sleep that night knowing for certain that he played the hand within a few degrees of perfection.

The pursuit of perfect poker goes back at least as far as the 1944 publication of “Theory of Games and Economic Behavior,” by the mathematician John von Neumann and the economist Oskar Morgenstern. The two men wanted to correct what they saw as a fundamental imprecision in the field of economics. “We wish,” they wrote, “to find the mathematically complete principles which define ‘rational behavior’ for the participants in a social economy, and to derive from them the general characteristics of that behavior.” Economic life, they suggested, should be thought of as a series of maximization problems in which individual actors compete to wring as much utility as possible from their daily toil. If von Neumann and Morgenstern could quantify the way good decisions were made, the idea went, they would then be able to build a science of economics on firm ground.

It was this desire to model economic decision-making that led them to game play. Von Neumann rejected most games as unsuitable to the task, especially those like checkers or chess in which both players can see all the pieces on the board and share the same information. “Real life is not like that,” he explained to Jacob Bronowski, a fellow mathematician. “Real life consists of bluffing, of little tactics of deception, of asking yourself what is the other man going to think I mean to do. And that is what games are about in my theory.” Real life, von Neumann thought, was like poker.

Using his own simplified version of the game, in which  . . .

Continue reading. There’s much more — and no paywall.

Written by Leisureguy

18 January 2022 at 3:44 pm

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s Immortal Game vs Kyren Wilson | 2018 Champion of Champions

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Written by Leisureguy

15 January 2022 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Games, Snooker

A very interesting AI chess game: “Proof AI Can Write Poetry”

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Written by Leisureguy

5 January 2022 at 10:05 am

Posted in Chess, Games, Video

Magnus Carlsen Queen Sacrifice in Blitz Championship Game

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This is quite a game — and it’s also interesting to see how blitz tournaments are now played.

Written by Leisureguy

1 January 2022 at 5:41 pm

Posted in Chess, Games, Video

The game is called “snooker” for a reason

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Ronnie O’Sullivan makes some skillful snookers to get the 8 points he needed to beat Neil Robertson.

Written by Leisureguy

20 December 2021 at 2:00 pm

Posted in Games, Snooker, Video

A great break from an earlier era

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Written by Leisureguy

6 December 2021 at 1:33 pm

Posted in Games, Snooker

Building a table to make solving jigsaw puzzles more convenient

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I have to say that I totally relate to this, although they have more skill and more tools and more room for tools than I — but plowing ahead toward the goal even when the cost and effort seem disproportionate: that I understand.

Written by Leisureguy

15 November 2021 at 12:37 pm

Dominoes galore

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Written by Leisureguy

14 November 2021 at 5:59 pm

Posted in Daily life, Games, Video

Aaron Rodgers Didn’t Just Lie

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a powerful post that begins:

Professional athletes have come so far from the dark days when the public saw them as perpetually partying adolescents, mean-spirited bullies, and worse: dim-wits one step above tackling dummies on the evolutionary scale. Today, many players are eloquent spokespersons as well as admirable athletes. This hard-fought change occurred gradually over decades as more and more athletes proved themselves to be passionate and articulate advocates for a better, more inclusive society.

This shift in public perception is especially important when we understand how impactful athletes are in influencing our children. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study, children 10-17 years old admire famous athletes second (73 percent) only to their parents (92 percent). That’s a sacred trust not to be abused. Unfortunately, the pandemic has revealed several athletes who abuse their position and responsibility, not just to the public, but to other professional athletes’ livelihood.

That latest egregious abuser is Green Bay quarterback and three-time MVP Aaron Rodgers who directly and deliberately lied to fans and the public when he assured everyone he was “immunized,” knowing that word would be interpreted as his being vaccinated. He wasn’t vaccinated. And he got COVID-19. And he went maskless during in-person press conferences, which not only violated NFL rules, but put everyone else’s health at risk.

Instead of consulting immunologists, he consulted anti-vaxxer and podcast host Joe Rogan, who also contracted the virus. If he ever requires open-heart surgery will he hand the scalpel to romance writers because they know about matters of the heart? While many who came into contact with him thought he was vaccinated, Rodgers had embarked on his own regimen to boost his “natural immunity.” He failed, as any scientist could have told him—and as they have been publicly telling us for over a year. University of Michigan microbiologist Ariangela Kozik explained that achieving “natural immunity” through these homeopathic methods is a non-starter because vaccines inform our immune system what the virus looks like so the body can build its own protection.

Rodgers compounded his lie by adding another lie. While being interviewed about the backlash on the Pat McAfee Show, he claimed that a league doctor told him “it would be impossible for a vaccinated person to catch or spread COVID.” However, the NFL responded by saying no doctor from the league or consultants from the NFL-NFLPA communicated with the players. And if they had, they wouldn’t have given such clear misinformation, which anyone who’s read a newspaper or watched a legitimate news show would already know. No medical expert claimed the vaccine prevents getting or transmitting the virus, only that their chances of spreading it to others or developing severe symptoms themselves are significantly reduced.

What’s especially bothersome is that . . .

Continue reading. It is a great post.

Written by Leisureguy

9 November 2021 at 7:51 pm

Traditions of the season: Who’s on first?

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I had never before seen Abbot and Costello’s vaudeville routine in its entirety, on an abbreviated version, trimmed down for audiences who had not come to a vaudeville theater to be entertained for an evening. Here’s the whole enchilada, filmed as it would have been seen back in the days before vaudeville died.

Written by Leisureguy

30 October 2021 at 11:21 am

Posted in Games, Humor, Video

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