Really want to be able to bet the money I have on me on the gulag winner
We should be able to see gulag records of the players going head to head and be able to bet on the winner. Winner of the gulag should also get 10% Vig of all the money placed on them to win. I think this would make the gulag 100 times better. Could even do a little intro like when apex starts the game off with the champions showing K/D and wins. Let’s make this happen!!!
The craps scene at the Horseshoe in Hammond is out of control. Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Illinois is closed for COVID -- so everybody is slowly but surely making their way to Indiana. 1 hour+ wait for a spot. Even pre-COVID, some very good dealers carrying some very weak dealers. Huge craps culture clash between the two crowds (IL and IN) -- but for the most part, lots of friendly interactions between players, though. Today -- 3 players to a side -- I am in the middle of two players. Guy next to stick buys in for $5,000 -- 10x$500 chips. His strategy: lays 4 on come out rolls only, for $2500 (no up-front vig in IN when you lay 4,10) -- once point is established, places $500 on the 4,5,6,8,9 for 1 hit and then turns his bets off. 8 shooters later he cashes out for $6,000. "I ain't greedy," he says to everybody, "I just want to win $1000 a day. I have been doing this for 43 days now." Me, thinking that was oddly specific: "Huh, that is $43,000." Player in hook, dry as a piece of toast: "Precisely"
DKNG has seen huge gains this week, mostly focused on Tuesday and today, Thursday. Both days saw intraday spikes on sports-world news: on Tuesday afternoon a presser with Gary Bettman was announced and on Thursday it was announced that the Premier League would return in June. Oddly, the stock did not move back down at all after Bettman’s announcement turned out to just be an expanded playoff format, and nothing about a return to the ice. The Premier League news didn’t seem to have much impact on other sports betting stocks either. Both of these events point towards something that seems obviously clear: DraftKings’ stock is hugely overpriced, but seems to keep being driven up just by trading. I think there are cases to be made for short term bull or bear, and for long term bear. I’m already in on the long term bear case with Nov ‘20, Dec ‘20 and Jan ‘21 Puts that have all taken a beating, but debating what the profitable short term play is. For some context, I used to trade bonds on one of the biggest desks in NY, but moved to be closer to family a while ago and run my own business. My state is not supported by DraftKings, so keep in mind when reading that I am a bit salty towards the company and their ability to sniff out VPNs. Been a long time lurker here, but this is my first post. The company’s Q1 earnings was pretty enlightening and quite the spin job. I was shocked to see the stock rise that day after what I read to be a pretty poor outcome. Growth in marketing expenses can be written off as entering new states, but seeing no growth in net revenue despite 30% growth in gross revenue means that the company has a growth problem, in other words almost all the revenue growth was driven by giving away free bets and reducing vig. Let’s look further at revenue growth though. I found it very interesting that the company led with “30% revenue growth” when, in fact, that was only at Old DraftKings, which makes up about 75% of New DraftKings revenue. SBTech makes up the rest and grew at only 3%, giving the public company a 23% growth rate for the quarter, not 30% - spin job. The company also gave us an interesting insight into coronavirus’ impact on their business, maybe unintentionally. At Old DraftKings, they noted 60% growth through March 10th. If we assume each day through the quarter is equal, that means the last 21 days of the quarter would have been down 70% vs Q1 ‘19, that’s big. However, we know not all days are created equal in the world of sports, and Q1 included 5 NFL playoff days and the Super Bowl. If we assume NFL betting days are 3x a normal day and the Super Bowl is 3x a normal NFL day, you can see your way to revenue post-March 10th being down 95%. A similar look at SBTech’s drop from +19% to only +3% means revenue post-coronavirus is down at least by half. Another interesting lens to use in looking at the company is how they pitched themselves when the merger was announced five months ago in December. On slide 22 they compare their valuation to a variety of comps, trying to show that the valuation is fair, probably trying to alleviate the fact that the valuation for DraftKings was about 4x what Paddy Power paid for FanDuel 18 months earlier. I’m going to ignore the “EV / 2021E Revenue – Growth Adjusted” multiple that they highlight, because adjusting a forward looking multiple based on your own forward looking growth projections is absolute garbage, and instead look at EV / TTM 3/31 Revenue for those same comps. At $39 per share, DraftKings has a market cap a bit over $15 billion on TTM revenue of $451 million, giving them a revenue multiple of 33.7x. For those of you that haven’t been around the block a few times, that is outrageously high. The “High Growth Consumer Internet” category that they selected is at 8.1x and “EU Sportsbook Operators” at 3.6x. Their best comp is probably Flutter, which is Paddy Power + Fanduel + Stars, trades at 7.8x. DraftKings deserves a higher multiple than Flutter given that they are pure-play USA vs Flutter which has a lot of retail european revenue that isn’t high growth, but the two companies currently have the same market cap, despite FanDuel being a direct comp to DraftKings with more market share in the fast growing business segments. Even if you said DraftKings should trade at a 50% premium to Flutter, which is being very generous, that implies a share price of only $13.50. I know what you’re going to say: “this is all about more states allowing sports betting.” Fine, let’s look at what would need to happen at the state-level to get DraftKings’ current valuation to be reasonable. Going back to the December investor presentation, DraftKings estimates their sports book net revenue at $2.3 billion given 25% market share and 65% of the US having online betting, with a 22% allowance for promos from Gross to Net. That let’s us back into $4.5 billion of gross revenue at 100% of the population. Let’s then give them a 30% bump on that for iGaming. Using the company’s current $15 billion valuation and the same 50% premium to Flutter’s revenue multiple above (11.7x) that means they need $1.28 billion of revenue, or $831 million more than they currently have. $831 million more revenue needed means they need 14% more of the population to legalize in the very short term. Of the big five states, CA, TX, FL, NY and PA, none are going to add any population, with PA already online, NY choosing retail-only and the other three being no where close to legalization and widely considered by researchers and lobbyists to be years away. The remaining 46 states, including DC, average 1.3% of the population each, meaning you need a windfall of states to add 14% of the population. Don’t get started on nationally legalized sports betting, no one is even pushing for that and it is never going to happen. The SCOTUS repeal of PASPA was as much about taking away the Federal Government’s ability to make national decisions like allowing or disallowing sports betting as it was about sports betting itself. Sports betting will roll out throughout the US, but it is going to be a state-by-state slog. Another thing to consider is what the company might do with its highly valued stock. As we saw with Tesla a few months ago, a big run up in stock price is a great time to do some financial maneuvering. I think there are two very good options for management right now. The first is obvious: follow-on equity offering. In going public via a reverse merger with a SPAC, DraftKings barely tapped the big institutional investors. A follow-on would be a great way to load up the coffers further - anyone that watched TV in 2015 knows they love to spend money on ads - at a very attractive valuation for the company. The problem with this is that new shares coming in, or the follow-on pricing poorly, could be a big drag on the current share price. Another option might be a little less obvious, but I think could make a lot of sense for the company: Buy William Hill. William Hill currently has a market cap of about $1.5 billion. They have a huge footprint in Europe, a market that DraftKings previously tried and (largely) failed to enter, are a big threat to DraftKings’ DTC approach in the US and have the tech that powers much of the land-based casinos’ sportsbook operations in the US. DraftKings could buy them with their cheap stock, or issue new equity to raise money for the acquisition. DraftKings would add a ton of revenue, could cut lots of duplicated costs, diversify across geographies and sports to temper their seasonality, and replace WillHill’s outdated tech with their much better apps. The big downside is that the CEOs of the two companies seem to really dislike each other. One reason that I think the stock could be up so much since the “IPO” is that there are a very small number of liquid shares. Remember that this wasn’t an IPO at all, it was a reverse merger with a SPAC, meaning that a much higher percentage of outstanding shares are currently locked up than would be in a typical IPO. That constraint on supply with big retail demand could be a huge driver in the stock gain. Circling back to be three cases for what I think could happen: - Short term bull: Sports come back, stock (irrationally) trades up on it - Short term bear: Correction to a more realistic valuation, bulls taking gains, any of NHL, NBA, MLB announce they won’t play again in 2020, financial maneuvering by the company - Long term bear: Correction to a more realistic valuation, bulls taking gains, any of NHL, NBA, MLB announce they won’t play again in 2020, financial maneuvering by the company, Q2 or Q3 earnings disappoint/are eye opening, any blip to the NFL cash cow, NBA or NHL ‘20-’21 season delays, lockup ending in October Just giving my two cents on how I’m looking at this and trading it, and curious to hear any other thoughts or theories on real reasons why the stock is moving and where it is going. Last thought: for those of you that like DraftKings at this price, you should LOVE Flutter at this price.
Hi folks! Lurked for a while but thinking I'd start contributing and hopefully get some good discussion going. I am in the process of establishing my portfolio after switching brokers and making the switch to an options-based portfolio instead of entirely long stocks. I figured I'd share my approach and reasoning - maybe this will be useful for some people looking to build their portfolio, and maybe I'm making some rookie mistakes that others will call me on! TL;DR: there is no TLDR. Not that kinda post. Some notes up front: - Whenever I refer to delta here, I am generally referring to beta-weighted delta. I beta-weight my portfolio to SPY. If you've got a better way of doing it, I'm all ears. - This is a very small account. I'm learning and growing it gradually. Most of my investment dollars are socked away in index funds in tax-advantaged accounts. That's not what this is for. - Nothing I'm writing here should be misconstrued as advice for crying out loud. I'm an amateur at best and probably have no idea what I'm doing so only a fool would follow my lead on any of this. - My strategy is selling premium. I'll occasionally open trades for a debit if the situation is right in my eyes but generally speaking I establish my trades for a credit. I watch IV rank and tend to favor selling premium on underlyings with IV rank above 50 if possible. That's a huge generalization but you get the idea. Buying options just feels weird to me. The Plan - set aside roughly half of the cash in the account and don't touch it. With the remainder, establish a "core" part of my portfolio and a more "dynamic" portion of the portfolio. I'd like to keep the "core" part as close to delta-neutral as I can, with positive theta. The dynamic portion I'll scale up and down as volatility changes and opportunities arise. Generally, I'm not bullish or bearish on anything. My approach is really putting on or taking off risk, selling premium when its juicy, and managing the greeks of my portfolio as a whole. I don't really like trading individual stocks as underlyings because I won't pretend that I have a clue what a single stock is going to do short-term or long term. I might trade options on stocks if the opportunity looks good but otherwise I'd prefer ETFs. I can trade futures or options on futures but I'm going to wait until I scale the account up a little for that. Obviously a true delta-neutral portfolio is impractical for a retail trader like me, but I'll shoot to get it pretty close. Right now I'm sitting at a beta-weighted delta of 3 which I think is pretty good. I considered shooting for a slightly negative delta to hedge vega risk in case volatility increases on my positions. I like the idea but at least for now I'm ok with a slightly positive delta (account vega is -2). I might try to bring that negative over the next few weeks. I don't have a feel yet for what is the "correct" amount of theta for a portfolio like mine so right now I've got a theta of 4. This is close to 0.1% of this accounts value which seems reasonable. I've seen the tastytrade guys advocate a theta of around that much, but I'll have to get a sense of how the portfolio plays out. I'm interested in optimizing my delta-theta ratio a little, but I need to do more research on how best to do that. Phase 1. I had an existing position on ALLY so my Core portfolio segment consists of long shares of ALLY that I'm selling calls against, as well as a SPY 279/280 call credit spread expiring May 1. I also have a couple crappy LEAPs on F that I'll probably offload sometime soon and a $8 LEAP on USO . Today I established part of my "dynamic" portfolio portion:
Sell-to-open (STO) 3.5/8 strangle on USO. Volatility is high, USO is very liquid and lots of volume today, and I'm holding a Jan21 $8C LEAP if this goes belly-up. I'm just getting familiar with selling strangles so this seems like a low-risk way to get started with them as well as a good opportunity. Trade has around an 80% Probability of Profit (PoP) and I sold for a $0.30 credit against $250 of BPR. If either strike is tested I'll roll the untested strike up/down for more credit, then roll out in time if necessary. If all goes well I'll close this once I hit about 50% of the max profit, or $0.15.
STO 127/128 call spread on IWM. This and the next couple trades were done in conjunction with each other intending to increase the portfolio theta while reducing my overall delta a little. I saw an opportunity to collect $0.30 on a $1-wide spread with about 70% PoP while reducing delta and went for it. I'll manage this at 50% of max profit if the trade goes in my favor, but don't plan to manage a losing trade early since its a defined-risk, 1-pt wide spread.
STO 211/212 call spread on QQQ. Collected $0.32 on a $1-wide spread which I like. As above, reducing delta here and really just putting on a few small, basic trades to set the portfolio in motion. 70-ish% PoP
STO GLD 148/149 put spread. If I absolutely had to pick a directional opinion on gold I'd be a little bullish, but this is mainly on because it has a negative beta-weighted delta and brought the account in-line some more. $0.30 collected on another $1-wide spread. PoP is sitting around 65% right now but that's fine.
Those are all the positions I'm putting on today. I might add tomorrow, we'll see how things shake out overnight. In general you're probably looking at this like "1-pt wide spreads? seriously?" and that's fine with me. I'm keeping all of my positions SMALL for now to spread around my buying power a little. I think I'm biased a little towards defined risk which might be a bad thing. But given the account size (4 figures) I'm hesitant to sell strangles on all but the cheapest underlyings. My plan for the rest of the week is to do some more research on portfolio greeks, look to put on a couple more trades, and consider opportunities for undefined risk plays in a small account. Naked puts might be the move for now. I'd like to move into trading tax-advantaged underlyings such as SPX but the account size is really prohibiting that for now. I'm also going to learn more about FOPs this week. Thoughts? Criticism?
Hey y’all, hope everyone is doing well. So quick backstory, my buddies and I bought a craps table and have been playing while in quarantine. And we’ve been playing for awhile and I’ve started to notice something. Also sorry if I get any technical terms wrong, I’m not an expert here. So once there is a point, is taking the odds on 4&10 a sure fire victory? I did the math and if you bet on 4&10, you have the same odds as rolling 4 or 10 as you do 7. But they pay 2 to 1. Am I missing something here, or are we simply playing wrong? Because the way I see it, you could just throw your money down on 4&10 and just keep winning money forever. You’re gonna lose sometimes but when you win it’s double. So what am I missing here?
Vig is 5%, I was charged $2 on a $30 buy tonight, casinos round UP on $1.5 vigs? 5% of $30 is $1.5 and I was charged a $2 vig, does it depend on casino or is this pretty standard? (I normally just bet increments of $25, but thought you could go to $35 and still only pay a buck, 5% of $35 is $1.75, so no rounding would make the vig $1).
Part 5: Amazing In Depth Essay About Sopranos Symbolism and Subtext (credit: FlyOnMelfisWall source: thechaselounge.net)
Tony Defies His Father’s Life Lessons
Season 6, part 2, depicted Tony as a heavy gambler, one who risked far more money more often than had ever been suggested before. While he always profited significantly from bookmaking and loansharking enterprises (his own and those of his crew), his personal wagering was limited and low-key in the first five and a half seasons, consisting mostly of casual card games or the odd day at a casino or racetrack. He certainly had never been depicted as the kind of man who gambled enough to endanger his liquidity or to necessitate six-figure loans just to stay even with his bookies, which describes the state of affairs in the episode Chasing It. His gambling problem becomes so significant in that episode that it’s even addressed in therapy. Tony admits he’s been sending “good money after bad” but quickly defends the practice. “If you couldn’t lose, what’s the fuckin’ point, huh? See, you need the risk,” he tells Melfi. She asks, “What are you chasing? Money or a high from winning?” His shake of the head indicates that he doesn’t really know the answer to her question. Many viewers couldn’t provide an answer either and felt this sudden gambling crisis reflected a writing failure, an attempt to manufacture drama by imposing unnatural or contradictory behavior on a well-established character. I felt a bit that way myself until I began to consider the gambling in light of Tony’s contemporaneous, burgeoning, and subconscious anger towards his father at that point in the series. In that context, the gambling began to make perfect sense, and, once again, it all goes back to the night of the incident involving the cleaver. That was the night when Johnny emphatically imparted to Tony the lessons that gamblers are scum and that gamblers who borrow money and fail to make timely repayment are even bigger scum. If, in the last half of season 6, Tony’s subconscious was stuck on the cleaver incident as the true genesis for his life trajectory and was subtly pushing him to rebel against his father 35 years after-the-fact, then borrowing huge sums of money, gambling it all away, and shirking the responsibility to repay the loans would be a natural, safe course for that rebellion to take. Making Hesh the victim of his irresponsible borrowing would be a bonus, since Hesh’s age and relationship to Johnny and to Tony himself make him another natural father figure. Of course this is exactly what happens in Chasing It. Having already borrowed 200K from Hesh in the prior episode, Tony visits his home one night. In a near-replay of his gift to Beansie, he brings Hesh a Cleaver hat while expressly denouncing the movie itself as unfit for viewing, a blatant self-contradiction reconciled only in that it signals Tony’s ongoing subconscious preoccupation with the movie’s cleaver logo and themes of violent retribution against a father figure. In any case, Tony shares gossip about Phil’s “boss” party from which he’s just returned and offers an almost stunning sentiment when Hesh questions why he left the party and the company of his crew so early. “I look at my key guys . . . what’s number one on their agenda, you know? They’re all fuckin’ murderers for Christ’s sakes,” Tony jokes, only you get the feeling he’s more serious than not. “What I’m tryin’ to say is, it’s nice bein’ here.” “Here” of course meant in the company of a guy who he fancies is able to put friendship above business, who makes his living under the auspices and protection of the mob but without directly participating in its violent aspects. The warm fuzzy feelings disappear pretty quickly, however, when Hesh reminds Tony of the outstanding loan. Even though Hesh makes clear he is only wondering about repayment of the principal and is not looking for a “vig”,” Tony unreasonably seizes on this debt reminder as grounds for judging Hesh to be a stereotypical, money-grubbing Jew. He insists on paying Hesh a vig anyway and rubs two quarters together in derision when Hesh stops by the pork store the following week. Suddenly Tony is offended at the notion of folks collecting debts and profiting from gambling loans, something he’s unapologetically done himself directly or indirectly all his adult life. Then again, his subconscious is in a different place than it’s ever been before, fixated on the pivotal events and people in his past that contributed to him becoming what he is instead of what he’d like to have been. The always-prescient Hesh ominously notes that this is not the usual Tony. “He’s all worked up, or something. I don’t like the way he talks. Hostile remarks. It’s not like him. Makes me worry.” A secondary thread in this episode deals with Vito Jr. experiencing behavioral and social problems in the wake of Vito’s death. He dresses full tilt “gothic” with black lipstick, overturns headstones for fun, kills a neighbor’s cat, bullies a handicapped girl at school, and craps in the gym shower as revenge on hateful peers who tease him because his father was gay and notoriously died with a pool cue rammed up his butt. Marie Spatafore asks Tony for $100K to move far away where Vito Jr. can start with a clean slate. Reluctant to give her that kind of money, Tony tries first to make Phil, as Marie’s cousin and Vito’s executioner, assume financial and quasi-paternal responsibility, with predictably bad results. Underscoring yet again the fatheson/surrogate theme of season 6, part 2, Tony tells Marie, “It’s not easy to substitute for a dad. I know. But maybe I can fill in here.” Tony does talk to Vito Jr., employing a tact reminiscent of his intervention with AJ in Johnny Cakes and polar opposite of the one his father undertook with him after Satriale’s. He tries to plant or reinforce in Little Vito’s own mind a fundamentally good self-image by praising that he’s always been a “good kid.” Vito rejects Tony’s presumptuousness, noting that Tony is such a stranger to their family that he often mistakenly calls him “Carlos, Jr.” instead of “Vito Jr.” Still Tony tries to accentuate the positive. “Look, all I know is I couldn’t shut your dad up about what a good kid you were,” he scolds. “We were friends you know.” “But buddies?” Vito asks sarcastically. After excusing the zinger, Tony offers some genuine compassion for what it’s like to lose a father you loved and yet who caused you shame or disappointment at the same time. “I’m sure you miss him . . . a lot . . . whatever he was.” Obviously this encounter is included in the story for what it says about Tony, not for what it says about Vito Jr., an inconsequential character in the overall scheme of the show. Tony’s counsel reveals his own latent conflicts, that despite what Johnny Boy was, and what Junior was, they were his father and uncle, the most important men in his life, the men who were around him throughout his formative years and who provided what measure of paternal love he knew. Not all of it was bad. Very much like what Tony recounts regarding Christopher’s childhood -- holding him as an infant and riding him around on his butcher bike -- there were endearing memories and experiences, enough that he could still love these men despite all the harm they caused him. Little Vito is correct that Tony has no idea whether he (Vito) is an intrinsically “good kid”, and we have no idea whether Vito Sr. ever said or harped on that fact to Tony (probably not). But it doesn’t really matter whether either is true. Tony says these things because he intuitively recognizes how damaging it was to his own psyche and self image as a kid to hear his father euphemistically tell him after the cleaver incident that he innately possessed the sadistic, evil, or predatory nature to do what he witnessed in Satriale’s. He knows at a core, unconscious level that living up to his father’s concept of him was more important than living up to his fledgling concept of himself, a self-concept which, stripped of his father’s corruption, is revealed in all its relative innocence and idealism in Join the Club. That Tony is a mild-mannered salesman, loves his wife and kids so much that he sabotages his one chance at an illicit affair with an attractive woman, is naturally uncomfortable with minor credit card fraud, and is positively stunned at a level of violence in which another person merely slaps his face. So his effort to make Vito Jr. think of himself as a “good kid” and to internalize his father’s ostensible view of him as the same is Tony’s effort to help Vito Jr. avert the self-doubt and sense of innate moral inferiority that paved his own path to a life of crime. Though I don’t think Chasing It asks us to make this juxtaposition, I can’t help but recall another, early episode featuring Hesh, Denial, Anger, Acceptance. There the Hasidic motel owner tells Tony he is a “golem”, a “monster, Frankenstien”, prompting Melfi’s question near the end of the episode, “Do you feel like Frankenstein . . . a thing, lacking humanity, lacking human feelings?” We don’t hear Tony’s answer in the therapy room, but it’s provided years later in his Test Dream when Tony the “mobster” (“monster” minus an “n” plus a “b”) runs from a torch-bearing, lederhosen-clad mob. Yes, he feels like Frankenstein, a monster, albeit one created by other people, against whom we can presume he bears a serious grudge.
Chris’ Displaced, Murderous Rage as a Precursor to Tony’s
In Walk Like a Man, Chris finds himself “ostrafied” by his mob cohorts because, in his effort to stay sober, he spends very little time with them at the Bing. When he does see them, he is ridiculed for drinking non alcoholic beverages and witnesses his once-favored status and earning opportunities in Tony’s crew being usurped by Bobby Bacala. Chris seeks Tony’s understanding for the fact that he inherited alcoholism from his mother, making sobriety especially difficult for him to maintain. But Tony doesn’t buy this “excuse”. Tony: I know a crutch when I see it. Chris: So my dad? You obviously musta knew he had a crutch. Tony: What the fuck are you talkin’ about? Chris: Com’e on, Tone, huh? Between the coke, the vodka, whatever the fuck else he was squirtin’ up his arm. Let’s be honest about the great Dickie Moltisanti, my dad, your hero. He wasn’t much more than a fuckin’ junky. Tony is speechless. He doesn’t know what to think or say in the face of a son calmly debunking a lifetime of false paternal myth and hero worship and replacing it with naked, unvarnished, and unflattering truth. He is undoubtedly also disturbed to see the pedestal he built under another of his own father figures crash to the ground so suddenly and emphatically. Elsewhere in the episode, Paulie provokes a squabble with Chris over stolen power tools that ultimately results in Chris beating and throwing Little Paulie out of a second story window and Paulie driving his car like a high-speed plow over the expensive new landscaping at Chris’ home while Kelly watches in terror. Tony forces a truce, which Chris seals with a drink to placate Paulie. This sacrifice and effort to fit in is rewarded when Paulie mocks Christopher’s drunken soliloquy about his daughter and makes her the butt of two cruel jokes in front of the crew. As Chris’ “friends” convulse in laughter, and especially as he absorbs the depths of betrayal written in the broad smiles of his “father figures”, Paulie and Tony, Chris storms out of the Bing and to the home of JT Dolan. There’s a natural symmetry to him showing up in that moment at the home of the screenwriter who helped him express his covert hatred of Tony Soprano in a movie script. But on this night, the hatred spurting out of him is far more urgent and tangible. He threatens to “bring everybody down” by revealing sensitive secrets, like the truth behind the murders of Ralph and Adriana, and notes the rewards of the Witness Protection Program. He even mentions that Sammy “The Bull” Gravano is “living large” in the program in Arizona, a remark with some portent for the next episode. JT repeatedly warns that he doesn’t want to hear these things that could get him killed and is unmoved by Chris’ plea for sympathy. “You know my father abandoned me,” Chris cries. “I thought you said he was shot,” JT fires back coldly before trying to shock Chris back to the realities of the life he chose: “Chris, you’re in the Mafia!” Clearly Chris doesn’t subscribe to the “don’t shoot the messenger” theory. He impulsively draws his gun and blows a hole through JT’s head, but driving the action is the anger accompanying his sense of paternal betrayal and abandonment. It’s a transparently displaced act of rage reminiscent of the beatings Tony administered to Georgie through the years when the motivating anger was actually aimed at others or at himself.
A Reprise of Tony’s Paternal Guilt
Just as Christopher’s paternal hatred was exploding, Tony’s was imploding. And, once again, the explicitly acknowledged guilt Tony feels as a father and the unacknowledged blame he dispenses as a son are part of the same, swift current. In Walk Like a Man, Tony has decided to quit therapy once and for all following Melfi’s demand that he honestly assess its value to him and whether he is serious about continuing. But before he can share his decision with her, Blanca ends her engagement to AJ, plunging the younger Soprano into a deep, suicidal depression. When AJ cries that Blanca was “the best thing that ever happened” to him, Tony makes his most concerted effort of the series to boost AJ’s self-esteem and convince him of his intrinsic worth, telling AJ that plenty of girls would love to have a guy like him. AJ tearfully scoffs. AJ: Yeah, right. Like I’m so special. Tony: [earnestly] You’re damn right you are. You’re handsome and smart . . . a hard worker. And, let’s be honest, white. I guess Tony had limited raw material to work with, but he did his best to sell all points. AJ’s crisis causes a reversal in Tony’s decision to quit therapy, making his position in his next session paradoxical. On one hand he declares that therapy has been one big “jerk off” but allows that he is now “trapped [there] forever”. The immediately striking aspect of this scene is that Tony is intellectually aware of the reasons for AJ’s depression: painful, personal rejection and the demise of his first, serious romantic relationship. That could happen to any young person in any walk of life with any kind of father or background and produce serious depression. But Tony’s awareness of this fact doesn’t stop him from feeling he is to blame for AJ’s plight. Tony: Obviously I’m prone to depression . . . a certain bleak attitude about the world. But I know I can handle it. Your kids, though. [His watery eyes and frangible voice betray the sincerity of his emotions as he continues.] Tony: It’s like when they’re little and they get sick. You’d give anything in the world to trade places with them so they don’t have to suffer. And then to think you’re the cause of it. Melfi: How are you the cause of it? Tony: It’s in his blood, this miserable fuckin’ existence. My rotten fuckin’ putrid genes have infected my kid’s soul! That’s my gift to my son. A long pause ensues as Melfi absorbs the importance of the moment. These words are almost a verbatim echo of Tony’s emotional outpouring years before in Army of One, the only time he came really close to condemning his gangster way of life and particularly its harmful effects on his son. His verbiage here is even stronger in that he speaks of having “infected [AJ’s] soul”, a metaphor with considerably greater moral and spiritual weight than implied by the innocent, biological conveyance of a defective gene for regulating serotonin uptake. So, as before, this confession of guilt and sorrow is clearly about more than genes. It’s about more than Tony wanting to save AJ from romantic heartbreak. This is about Tony feeling an inexorable corruption of his own humanity and sense of worth by the influence and value system of his violent father. And it’s about his concomitant guilt for fearing that, as a man like his father, he has done the same thing to AJ. Just as in Army of One, Melfi’s gentle tone of voice signals how much she’s pulling Tony to make these realizations while his angry tears show how much he’s pushing to resist them. Melfi: I know this is difficult. But I’m very glad we’re having this discussion. Tony: Really? Really? ‘Cause I gotta be honest. I think it fuckin’ sucks. Melfi: What does? Tony: [yelling] Therapy! This! I hate this fuckin’ shit! And there, in a nutshell, is the problem. He can’t stand to feel sorrow or indulge the pain of deep introspection, a theme recurrent through the series and explored openly in House Arrest and The Ride. It’s no coincidence that Walk Like a Man and a number of other episodes from the final nine essentially begin by showing Tony soundly asleep in his bed. It’s also no coincidence that, after waking in Walk Like a Man, he plods downstairs while singing a verse from the Pink Floyd classic “Comfortably Numb”, a song which also features prominently in the following, culminating episode. Remaining numb to his deeper feelings of conscience and humanity is both the secret to Tony’s success as a gangster and the reason why some of his most personal, tactile acts of violence have followed moments of great sorrow (e.g., belt-whipping Zellman, killing Ralph, viciously beating a drugged-out Christopher after the Adriana hit.) Psychological distraction and extreme sensory manipulation are the keys, whether achieved by adrenaline-inducing violence, compulsive sex, compulsive eating, compulsive spending/material acquisition, or compulsive sleeping. The objective in all cases remains to either feel anything but pain or to feel nothing at all. Walk Like a Man brings these deeply repressed feelings close enough to the surface that Tony glimpses the price of dredging them all the way up. And it’s not a price he’s willing to pay. He knows that in order to “grow”, to truly progress in Melfi’s office, he has to be willing to essentially condemn an entire lifetime of immoral choices and acts that inflicted immense suffering on other people. He has to be willing to experience the guilt and remorse associated with that process. He has to be willing not only to smash the pedestal he erected under his father and denounce his way of life and his example but to own the fact that he willingly followed in his footsteps as an adult, compromising the potential of his children and especially of his son. In short, he has to do what the monks in his coma dream were suing to make him do: take personal responsibility for his life and actions. No more blaming Livia consciously or Johnny Boy unconsciously. No more blaming Junior or Paulie or Dickie because they were equally poor surrogate fathers. No more “going about in pity for himself” because of his upbringing. All of this is why the explicit admission never comes, the breakthrough never truly occurs. It’s too hard. It opens him up to too much sadness and regret and sense of waste and failure in his life. As hard as it is at times for him to live with the repression of those feelings, repression is easier than confrontation and all its consequences. Of course the very fact that Tony has such feelings to repress has always been paramount for me. Though his actions grew increasingly dark over the course of the series, he always betrayed evidence of some conscience, some capacity for love, some capacity for sorrow and moral conflict, without which I can’t imagine that I would ever have been as obsessed with this show as I became. I cared about him and devoted so much passionate energy to trying to understand him only because his vulnerability and shreds of goodness made him, in my judgment, worthy of caring and understanding. The humanity was often microscopic, but it was there, even in relation to some of the darkest deeds on the show: the way he was haunted briefly after killing Matt Bevalaqua, who he recognized was barely more than a “kid”; his reaction to the way Richie Aprile maimed Beansie; his long resistance to the idea that Pussy was a rat that had to be killed as well the way the murder troubled him well afterward; the way he uniquely (among the crew) was saddened by and took moral issue with what Ralph did to Tracee. We glimpsed his humanity in his red, grief-swollen face and defeated voice in All Due Respect when he instructed Chris where to find and bury the body of Tony B. We even saw it after he coldly ordered Adriana’s execution, both in the angry beating he administered to Chris (classic distraction from sorrow and punishment of Chris for having “created” the whole situation to begin with) and in his lumbering, emotionally oppressed frame and countenance in the closing scene of Long Term Parking. So by the time of Kennedy and Heidi, even though there was nothing new about Tony killing people for whom he felt some form of affection, there was something entirely new about him killing a loved one without any trace of regret, sadness, or moral conflict. That’s why his seemingly remorseless, defiantly triumphant murder of the young man he thought of as a surrogate son forever changed the way I view Tony Soprano. Or at least I thought it did. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 6
TLDR: IOC, Japan, or Olympic contenders are going to flinch in the face of Beer Virus. EWJ $42p 3/27 EWJ $42p 4/17 PLAN A) CDC's WORSE CASE SCENARIO HAPPENS: The US continues to shit the bed, Millions infected, 0.5-1M die, and the coronavirus continues to be a big enough issue on social gatherings that the IOC or Japan say sorry bois, we gotta cancel. PLAN B) THE NBA EFFECT: So the NBA season is pushed back a minimum of 30 days. I foresee the players, owners, and all financial interests (casinos, sponsors, Nike, etc) in the NBA not wanting to lose all of their regular season games, but they may settle on aborting the regular season. If they jump straight to the playoffs, all the bubble teams fighting for playoff spots are going to complain, as well as lots of lost revenue for all parties for every game that is skipped. Teams have already been pursuing extensions with their arenas to ensure they can schedule games into the summer months. American companies stand to make much more from the NBA season than the Olympics. If the playoffs are pushed back a month, they are going to have the world's best players for the USA, Spain, Australia and all the other countries busy with the NBA playoffs, making the basketball events insignificant. And NBC is going to have to fight for ratings with ABC covering the NBA playoffs/Finals. PLAN C) OLYMPIC TRIALS: But u/thaddeuscastle, the Olympics are not until July, and I think the NBA will still figure their shit out before then, or the IOC just won't care about losing one event?! Currently olympic trial season should be going on around the world. Last week, Atlanta hosted the US marathon trial pre-corona. Now many olympic trial events are being postponed, the upcoming ones are facing cancelation threats, and basically the timeline will be absolutely crunched when the trials could be rescheduled. Not to mention that other sports leagues are going to have more than normal conflict (Soccer = Top Teir Club Leagues PPD, Baseball = MLB PPD, Golf = The Masters PPD, Tennis, etc). Usually big name players skip olympics if there is conflict anyway, but anyways for the top tier league play anyways, so no big deal. So there you go, three contingency plans that would all point to the Olympics being postponed, moved, or canceled. Puts on EWJ. Less contract vig than individual Japan-exposed stocks. Also, consider CMCSA (NBC/Comcast).
I was at my local Hollywood casino. I have never made a buy bet in the 4 or 10 before and asked the dealer when they collect the vig and she said they collect two vigs. Once when you place the bet and once if you win. How terrible is that
I notice this in a few different betting options, but maybe understanding the advantages/disadvantages of this choice may help me to understand the others. On a $1,000 bet, I stand to make $1,800 (9:5 odds) when making a Place to Win bet on 4 or 10. I can also make a Buy bet on 4 or 10 and would make $1,857 (39:21 odds). Assuming a Craps game offers both options (many craps machines and online play have both of these options available while table games may or may not), what is the advantage of a Place to Win bet on 4 or 10 when I could make a Buy bet on the same numbers and have what appears to be a better expected payout?
The logistics of all of Tony’s business enterprises are so complex... is it not crazy that nothing ever gets written down?? Keeping track of all those different owed interest rates... c’mon... is that Sil’s job or what?
Assuming I'm at a $10 table, buying the 4 or 10 requires a 5% vig, right? So technically, 50 cents, but since they don't take that, most players throw them a dollar. But if you're buying both the 4 *and* the 10 - the point is something else - since they should be 50 cents each, would still just a singular $1 chip satisfy the vig for both bets? Or would they expect to round up both separately for a total of $2? I generally play MGM casinos on the Strip if that helps, since I'm sure every casino is different. Bonus questions: I have a bit of a set up at home to play with, but I don't have the buy/lay/on/off lammers. Anyone know where these can be found cheaply? Everywhere online wants $1.50 each plus shipping making buying 10 of them prohibitive.
Casino in Vegas that charges the buy on placement in Vegas
Binions. I laughed at the guy when they asked for a dollar when I bought the 4 for $25, I asked if this was the only casino that charges buys on placement in Vegas, he just shrugged. I went there after seeing Casino Confidential (documentary series on Amazon Prime), it was filmed back in 2012. FWIW the cowgirls dealing Craps are long gone unless they only work at night.
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One bet to double-up in movies is always Roulette...should be baccarat for better odds...lol
In the movies, you always see the down and out hero taking the last of his money and putting it all on "Red" at the roulette. Of course, it's more dramatic to watch the ball spin around and finally land, but if he REALLY wanted to win, shouldn't he bet the Banker at the baccarat table since the house edge is smaller? Is there a better even money bet in the casino? What are your choices? The outside bets at roulette and bankeplayer at baccarat are really the only true "50/50"-ish bets right? The Pass/Don't at craps and blackjack aren't true 50/50 bets if you're only playing one roll or hand. Sports betting? Maybe? I guess the vig would get you, but at least if you know a little, that might be really close. Plus, you can hang out and get your free drinks while you await your fate...haha.
Idea here: Wouldn't it a lot better if Bill did $10,000 picks every week where he paired up with some sports book and the would probably help pay for the picks anyway. He could do his picks, actually bet on whatever website/casino, and then just post the slips or whatever. Maybe that's not available in CA, I'm not sure, but it seems like a much better idea. We all know he probably puts a few bucks down, so why not make it a reasonable number and do it for real. Then we wouldn't have to hear everyone complain that he doesn't understand vig and he could probably sponsor the segment anyway.
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