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Sports Betting Strategies That Work – Professional Sports Picks

Sports Betting Strategies That Work – Professional Sports Picks submitted by ProSportPicks to sportsbetting [link] [comments]

Greyhound Matched Betting Strategy - How To Lock-In Profit Professionally

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Tales from 2+2: The Biggest Loser at Microstakes of All Time, A Story of Struggle

Link to Previous Tales From 2+2: Poker player steals $1m+ chips and tries to sell it on 2+2 poker forums
More Tales From 2+2: A Very Controversial $70k prop bet
Tales from 2+2: Homelessness, Grinding and the Biggest Shot of a Grinder’s Life: The Jared Huggins Story

The Blossoming of TV Poker

The Year is 2006. Online poker is thriving. Partypoker has the highest traffic of any poker site but Pokerstars are gaining new players quickly with aggressive marketing strategies. Lots of poker sites are investing heavily into marketing and one key place to channel their advertising budget is TV. New innovations, improved graphics and increasing funding meant that poker TV is at an all-time peak of popularity.
40% of the the 2006 WSOP Main Event’s attendance is from online sites and poker sites are offering large amounts of cash for players on TV to wear an advertising patch. According to Dan Goldman’s blog, Pokerstars spent over $730,000 on WSOP players’ gift bags. The WSOP is seeing more TV time and this year the $50k HORSE event is added to the TV schedule alongside the WSOP main event. This year’s $50k WSOP HORSE final table saw some huge names including Chip Reese, Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius and Doyle Brunson.

The Path of a New Player

In Finland, Mikael Paisting is watching the 2006 WSOP on TV. He enjoys watching poker broadcasts and is fascinated by the game. It’s a very common story for players to catch an interest by watching poker TV and sign up with to one of the many poker sites available. He chooses to deposit on Partypoker. Mikael is a committed learner and player. He reads several poker books from well-known authors such as Dan Harrington and David Sklansky. He also watches many training videos. Like many players starting in online poker he begins at the microstakes cash tables.
Microstakes are a rite of passage for many online poker players. The limits range from 2nl to 10nl, so the standard buy in is $2-10. Some will play microstakes for weeks, months or even years improving their game and increasing their bankroll so they can move up to small stakes, 25nl and above. Some players see the microstakes as a job and play as many tables as they can to eke out a living wage. Some players have never played microstakes and skip it entirely for higher stakes. Mikael starts to play and doesn’t do well, this is normal for many beginners, even those who study. However, over the next few weeks Mikael continues to lose. Months go by and Mikael still hasn’t turned a profit. He discovers problems with tilt and often takes his frustration out in the chat box. An example of his rage:
Paisting:THAT IS NOT NORMAL OMG!! JUST UNBELIEVABLE
Mikael doesn’t play 10nl very often and spends the majority of him time playing 2nl and 5nl. He continues to multitable cash games on Partypoker but he just can’t win. He starts to lose big, thousands of dollars, mostly at 2nl which is known as the softest cash game on the internet.

Getting Noticed

Mikael continues to play long sessions over the next five years, he claims to play 5-7 days a week for 4-8 hours a day. By 2011 he had played 2 and a half million hands while playing 6 to 9 cash tables at one time. Mikael is still mostly playing 2nl and is down a colossal amount: $7000. Mikael has been suffering from major tilt problems and has a very wild and noticeable style of playing microstakes. He starts to get noticed on 2+2, a very popular poker forum. A player posts a link to his PTR graph, a site which tracks online cash games. They are shocked at his losses over so many hands:
yegor: wow such a massive fail
he played 2.5m hands at 2nl and 5nl and he's losing
Donkey111: I remember him from my 2NL days.
often goes on some massive tilt sessions and spews like 20 BI in 500 hands by shoving any 2 cards preflop.
He even gets hate from his PTR account where he is ridiculed on his profile comments, he also replies:
VELAir26: Spend your time with family, friends or other hobbies instead
Paisting: im fine with this you stupid idiot
Mikael continues to play his reckless and tilting style over the years. By 2014, he has been playing for 8 years and is down five figures at microstakes; he starts to look for excuses for how much he has lost. He posts a thread on 2+2 detailing how he feels that he wins at the start of the month and then inevitably starts to lose. He asks how he can take legal action against Partypoker. His fellow posters tease him:
5thStreethog: Did the thought ever cross your mind that it might be possible that the reason you cant beat NL2 in over a million hands might be because you arent very good at poker?

An Attempt at Redemption

2019 comes and Mikael Paisting has been playing microstakes for 13 years, and steadily losing a lot of money. He got a new computer in late 2018 and has been grinding away on it. Mikael is getting mentioned more on 2+2 and he is well known on the tables of Partypoker as he drops stack after stack. Many players on Partypoker furiously try to get on his tables to call his tilt shoves; when Mikael is present other player’s stacks can get as high as $100 at 2nl as he shoves buy in after buy in to button steals. Some were said to be using seating scripts to instantly be placed on a table with Paisting. At this point he is feeling very low. But despite years of losing money and insane tilting he is determined to improve. Mikael is aware of his losses and has a fierce desire to make back the money he has lost since he’s started tracking on his new PC.
He decides get help and he looks to 2+2, the very same forum that had mocked him over the last decade. He logs in as Paisting, his last name. He starts a new thread, types out a post and chooses a title: 'Biggest loser in online poker history wants to grind $16k'. He posts this thread in the sub-forum Poker Goals & Challenges, a place where players post their goals and try to update their thread with their progress. He posts graphs of his losses from his database on his PC. He starts the thread by posting some shocking graphs of $8700 lost at 2nl, $6000 lost at 5nl and $800 lost at 10nl. At 2nl he had an incredible rate of -170BB each 100 hands. The final graph of his microstakes losses posted show $15,000 lost over 365,000 hands. An average loss of $75 a day.
The 2+2 poker community are stunned by the graphs:
HorseofHell: I'm actually shocked it's possible to lose this much at 2nl
Mahsjdj: This can't be real can it?
Mikael posts about the hard work he’s put into poker and mentions that has watched videos, read many instructional books and is honest with his astounding losses:
Paisting: I've lost literally all my money including all my life savings to online poker. I want to try one last time to win those money back and little bit of extra. That's why $16k. What I need is support and guiding.
The community react to his plan to grind all the money back at microstakes:
Fodersneso: This is really disturbing.
Why on earth would you try to grind this all back? Losing at this rate is traumatizing. You're going to grind out 3000 BIs @nl5 now or what's the plan? Really curious how you think you can turn this pile of insanity around...
The community show disbelief and doubt that his story is real but several posters claim that what he says is true. He has been active in Finnish forums for more than 10 years and players starts to share hand histories and stories about his playstyle. He posts about his regret of picking the game up:
Paisting: Never had a winning week in 13 years.
If it were possible to go back ten years I would say to myself "Do not never play single one hand!"
He then goes on to tell 2+2 posters a disturbing source of his funds for his staggering 2nl losses:
Paisting: I've taken huge amount of fast loans.
He sheds a little light into his personal life:
Paisting: My age and relationships has nothing to do with this. But not working, no kids or wife and middle aged. What I have is time to play.
I get a little unemployment benefit that goes straight to the rent. My eating costs are very little because I'm only eating one meal per day. There are times when I must take more fast loans if need of clothes, unexpected bills, sickness etc. That's why getting back those $16k is so important to me.
No disability, never played anything else than poker or lottery when pots are bigger, maybe 5 times in year. Playing poker does not give me any excitement or I'm not cheering won pots.
Posters try to give him strategy advice, they try to persuade him time and time again that shoving 100+ blinds to a minsteal isn’t a good idea. Some others question his sanity and tell him to quit:
FazendeiroBH: Not trolling, I´m actually serious here. You lost an absurd amount of money playing the easiest stake in the world (nl2). You keep losing doing the same faulty strategy. No book ever said you should jam 100 bb preflop rfi. It´s quite obvious there is something wrong with you and your brain, and the more you delay seeking professional care for your mental problems, the worst it´s gonna be for you.
Paitsing updates his thread with highlight hands from his cash sessions. He seems to cherry pick hands to post and will only post hands where he loses all ins as a 70-95% favourite. He delusion leads him to blame the site, his luck and the other micro grinders. He often writes about specific players and gives his opinion on how badly they play. He often quotes their HUD stats and wide calling ranges while ignoring that they are probably adjusting heavily to his own playstyle. Some time passes and he discloses that he has lost almost $500 at 2nl since starting the thread three weeks ago.
He updates his followers with the first monthly graph of the thread from his 2nl play in April 2019. He plays for 90 hours in April and his average daily loss is $50, 25 buy ins each day. 2+2 players start to analyse the graph. They notice that there are several breakeven spots where he may be playing reasonable poker but also huge 150 buy in downswings, some drops in the graph are so steep that he is losing about a buy in every 5 hands for periods of hundreds of hands. He says:
Paitsing: Only trying to get my money back from guys who are playing nl2 forever and never moving up. When I started poker long time ago I tought it's exciting to read watch videos if it gives me more money. After 2 years figured out it's just sitting on computer like in work and if I'm someday +-0 never ever playing this stupid game. This is like war.
The thread goes on like this for almost a year. The thread repeats itself over and over. He will post a few selective bad beats, ignore good advice and berate his microstakes tablemates. A fellow microstakes grinder makes his first appearance in the thread: 6betpot. 6Betpot would play at Paisting's tables and often win many buy ins, 6Betpot would go on to post highly contrasting hand histories to the bad beats that Paisting posts, he would also reveal Paisting’s preflop 3 bet is around 30%. Some players would criticize 6Betpot for predatory behavior but 6Betpot would maintain that he would try to persuade Paisting to stop playing in a spewy manner. Someone asks to see the hands and 6Betpot posts some, here is one:
888 Poker - $0.02 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
BTN: 250.5 BB
SB (Paisting): 425.5 BB
BB: 101.5 BB
UTG: 100 BB
MP: 106.5 BB
CO: 84.5 BB
Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) BTN has AdQs
fold, fold, fold, BTN raises to 2 BB, Paisting raises to 425.5 BB and is all-in, fold, BTN calls 248.5 BB and is all-in
Flop: (502 BB, 2 players) Kh4s4c
Turn: (502 BB, 2 players) 3h
River: (502 BB, 2 players) Jc
BTN shows AdQs (One Pair, Fours)
Paisting shows 5s Js (Two Pair, Jacks and Fours)
Paisting wins 471 BB<
Later in the thread Paisting would reveal his line of thinking during hands like these; a poster asked why he though 3 betting hands like J5 was a good idea. Paisting replies:
Paisting: If you don't want them to run over you, you must do something. Blind play is very important and you can't let them run over you. When 80+ habit stealer gets shoves straight to his face he must learn at some point that I'm not giving blinds.
Many tried to reason with him and show him clearly why this was wrong, he not only refuted their strategy but would argue against them, often citing his opponent’s HUD stats.
Later on in the thread Mikael posts horrifying news. He explains that he didn’t transfer hands from his old computer to his new computer. The graphs he posted at the start of the thread only showed the tip of the iceberg. He reveals that $16k loss from the graphs was from just 7 months of play!:
Paisting: That 16k is in 209 days and in about 1 year as you can see from the first post. Big part of my losings has left to hard drive of my old crashed computer. That's past and I don't wanna think about it anymore. Main goal is this database I have here in my computer. But yes what I have been repeating many times, moving to 888 poker has sky rocketed my losses although I can play only 6 tables compared to party's 9 tables.
Posters speculate that his lifetime microstakes losses probably amount to six figures:
SpinMeRightRound: I mean if he's lost $20k in the last year, and he's been doing this for more than 10 years, he may have lost $200k or more.
In late 2019, Paisting claims that there was a ring of players were colluding against him. He goes on to say that the new site he plays on, 888, were asking for hand histories from certain players. He showed emails of his communications and posted that 8 players had had their account frozen. He also shows screenshots that his account is temporarily frozen during the investigation. Posters speculated:
CrunchyBlack: Pretty sure they think you're chip dumping lmao
.isolated: They think you're chip dumping to him. Funniest. Thing. Ever. The irony here is nearly palpable.

2020: The Struggle Continues

At the end of the year Paisting posts his 2019 graphs. He says that he hasn’t had a winning week yet and he’s still committed to making back 2019’s losses. His graphs show down 12k from 320k hands of 2nl in 2019.
In January 2020 he continues to post regularly and makes comments about him hunting down players worse than him:
Paisting: When you hunt really bad player (yes enzet there are plenty of worst player than me on 888 look those hand histories really carefully) hours and hours and wait good hand just to site let them to suck out it is affecting your game really badly.
He posts about his continuing struggle to win back the $16k:
Paisting: I have years dedicated for this project and anything back from that amount is winning to me. At this point it’s impossible to make any profit because of horrible suckouts.
He also posts about the high interest loans he’s taken out:
Paisting: I have huge amounts of loans that are basically all taken for poker. I don't eat much and all my other costs are very low.
And because of those loans I must get back so much money that is possible and these suck outs must stop.
February 2020 arrives and he posts his January chart, the worst posted yet. He takes a gigantic loss of $1,550 at an eye-watering rate of 210bb/100 hands. Often when he posts monthly graphs he would highlight that he ran a few buy ins below EV when he would be down hundreds of buy ins for the month.
The months pass and the cycle continues. Paisting posts the usual bad beats, posters berate him and try to give him advice and Paisting resists their efforts. Here is one of many similar hands posted in February:
888Poker, Hold'em No Limit - $0.01/$0.02 - 6 players
UTG: $1.46 (73 bb) Paisting (MP): $7.45 (373 bb) CO: $15.44 (772 bb) BU: $2.00 (100 bb) SB: $3.47 (174 bb) BB: $2.00 (100 bb)
Pre-Flop: ($0.03) 1 fold, Paisting(MP) raises to $7.45 (all-in), CO calls $7.45, 3 players fold
Flop: ($14.93) 6c7c4d (2 players, 1 all-in)
Turn: ($14.93) Ts (2 players, 1 all-in)
River: ($14.93) 8h (2 players, 1 all-in)
Total pot: $14.93 (Rake: $0.93)
Showdown: Paisting (MP) shows 7dTc (two pair, Tens and Sevens) (CO) shows JsJc (a pair of Jacks) Paisting (MP) wins $14
March comes and the regular monthly graph is posted. The uploaded graph shows is he down $1900 or 950 buy ins for last month. Mikael refutes that he is a gambling addict:
Paisting: 888 has given many 10 dollar bonuses to me play slots. I have never played them and in fact my account has 20 dollars freeplay bonus to play their slots. I will not use those money now or in future. So that's gambling addict to you.
April and May roll by and the monthly graphs are posted. He played fewer hands than normal, 43,000. But is down $1,250, all at 2nl.
In June he posts the usual monthly graph with -$1900 and it’s the lowest win rate he’s posted before, a colossal -335b/100hands, the graph has some alarmingly steep downswings with one section where he loses $500 in 1000 hands. That’s a loss of one buy in every 4 hands. Getting these monthly updates shows how quickly he loses money at 2nl and collaborates with earlier estimations that he is likely down more than $100k at microstakes over the past 14 years. Approximations indicate that Mikael has paid over $20k in rake to poker sites over the years.

The End, for Now

Mikael is still playing microstakes to this day. His poker story isn’t over yet but so far it is a sad one. My previous two Tales from 2+2 stories had mostly happy endings but not this one. This story is like a car falling down a cliff and it hasn’t hit the bottom yet.
Let this story be a lesson that poker isn’t for everyone. Players with addiction or mental issues should reconsider if the game is best for their lives. Serious poker players should consider bankroll management and how tilt affects their winrate if they do choose to play.
Seek help if you think you or others need it.
Original thread (Still active)
submitted by GiantHorse to poker [link] [comments]

NBA Defense: Chicago's aggressive pick and roll scheme

The Chicago Bulls play an attacking style of defense when guarding the pick and roll that differs from much of the league. Is it terrible? Is it genius? Stay tuned to find out!
For those of you who may not remember, the Chicago Bulls are a professional basketball team that played a whole 65 games this year. Kris Dunn played some phenomenal on ball defense and Zach Lavine got some slight all-star buzz. One can assume other things also happened.
However, what is interesting about Chicago is their hectic defensive identity, an identity which resulted in them being 13th in the league in defensive efficiency, and lead the league in opponent’s turnover percentage. Moreover, this aggressive mentality extends to their pick and roll scheme.

Pick and Roll Rotations

The primary tactic you will notice when watching Chicago defend the pick and roll is how high they bring up their big man who is guarding the screener, thereby pressuring the ball with two defenders and often attempting to trap the ball handler.
https://reddit.com/link/htmzbo/video/ertpmw5c3ob51/player
Here Christiano Felicio is guarding Nerlens Noel, the man setting the pick, and comes out past the point of the screen to pressure the ball handler, Chris Paul. In doing so this sets off Chicago’s defensive rotations on the back side.
Nerd Note: when a big man comes out this high on a screen defensively, it can be referred to as a ‘high show’ or ‘hard show’. These can lead to double teams and traps on ball, but not always.
Super Cool Photo #1
By putting two on ball, Chicago is then forced to guard the roller and the two weak side shooters with only two defenders. Chicago’s rotations call for the weak side corner defender to rotate over to the rolling big man and for the weak side wing defender to split the difference between his man and the corner shooter should a cross-court pass be made.
Super Cool Photo #2
As it turns out a cross-court pass is made! The defenders now must recover out to the open shooters on the perimeter. The weak side wing defender, Tomas Satoransky, closes out to the corner and the weak side corner defender who rotated to the roller, Adam Mokoka, closes out to the wing.
Basketball bigheads call this an “x-out”. Because obvious.
Unfortunately for Chicago, Paul’s pinpoint pass doomed this defensive possession, but by the time Danilo Gallinari shot the ball over Satoransky’s contest, the Bulls had recovered from their brief disadvantage through their rotations and were back in position.

Benefits

In essence this scheme that Chicago employs is attempting to force mistakes by the opposing offense. The most obvious of which are turnovers by the lead ball handler which generally consist of bad or inaccurate passes out of the attempted trap.
https://reddit.com/link/htmzbo/video/k9l336rj3ob51/player
Here James Harden reads the double team and attempts to make the correct play, a quick pass to P.J. Tucker who slips the screen into open space. However the pressure caused by Lauri Markkanen and Satoransky results in a deflection which leads to transition. Chicago leads the league in opposing pick and roll ball handler turnover percentage by a very large margin.
Should an opposing player attempt to make a long pass as Chris Paul did in the first clip, Chicago is betting they will be inaccurate or ill-advised due to the on-ball pressure.
https://reddit.com/link/htmzbo/video/49qm5von3ob51/player
Here Portland runs a pick and pop with C.J. McCollum and Carmelo Anthony. McCollum doesn’t deal with the double well, retreat dribbles toward half-court, and makes a bad pass attempt to Damian Lillard in the corner. Kris Dunn got the steal for this play, but Zach Lavine and Lauri Markkanen caused the turnover with active hands on ball.
The philosophy of this defensive strategy is to cede nothing, and force offensive mistakes by getting the ball out of primary creator’s hands, while maintaining constant pressure.

Drawbacks

Teams that pass well can really dice up this scheme. Ball handlers that can hit the weak side corner shooter or the rolling big man quickly can give this defensive strategy real problems. Moreover the backside rotations can be difficult for players to reliably execute, especially if they have minimal experience in the league.
https://reddit.com/link/htmzbo/video/nwswsbly3ob51/player
Portland runs a high pick and roll with Skal Labissiere and Lillard. Wendell Carter Jr. shows high enough to force Thaddeus Young to rotate over from the corner, and Lillard dimes up Anthony in the corner for three.
If you have been paying attention you would notice that Coby White doesn’t sink appropriately on this play, instead staying attached to his man and forcing Young to both rotate to the roller and close back out to the corner shooter, his original man.
Super Cool Photo #3
White(appropriately circled in White) needs to take a couple steps back here, in order to close out to the corner should the ball go there, he doesn’t, and Portland get themselves a wide open corner three. Rookies struggle on defense. It is known.
Another counter to doubling the ball as Chicago does is to quickly hit the big man in his roll, allowing the big to pressure the basket or hit shooters on the weak side.
https://reddit.com/link/htmzbo/video/iwen7lue4ob51/player
Brooklyn runs a high pick and roll in which Deandre Jordan slips the screen and Spencer Dinwiddie passes to him early. In getting rid of the ball so quickly, Dinwiddie effectively negates any advantage Chicago’s gains from having a second defender in his face and puts tremendous stress on Chicago’s rotating defenders.
Nerd Note: early passes to the rolling big man like in this clip are called a ‘short roll’. This is in contrast to Jordan rolling all the way to the basket as a lob threat.
Super Cool Photo #4
At this point in the play, Chicago’s goose is cooked. Satoransky has depth, but he is faced with guarding two three point shooters as Denzel Valentine has rotated over from the corner to Jordan. Satoransky chooses the closer of the two in Caris LeVert, and Joe Harris drills the wide open three after Jordan makes the simple pass.
Nerd Note : Harris moves from the left wing to the top of the key while Dinwiddie is passing to Jordan. This subtle movement made it basically impossible for Satoransky to split the difference between him and LeVert, ultimately resulting in a wide open look.
The greater point here is how the short roll and cross court corner pass are the built in flaws of this defensive scheme, ones which this strategy doesn’t really have adaptations for.

Final Thoughts

Something I have yet to mention is the role of personnel in the execution of this defensive style. Mobile big men that are comfortable guarding and pressuring on the perimeter is a must, as well as heady versatile wings that can rotate multiple times on the weak side and contest shots at the rim. The Bulls’ big men performed admirably in this capacity, as it was their backside rotations that often let them down.
Needless to say you don’t want giants like Brook Lopez or Joel Embiid in this strategy attempting to double ball handlers so far from the basket. Nor would you want undersized guards like Kemba Walker attempting to rotate over from the weakside to tag rolling big men.
In a perfect world, this scheme would want a very mobile big man pressuring the ball while all-world athletes roamed the weak side looking to contest everything at the rim, get steals off bad passes to the short roll, and turn turnovers into transition highlights. Maybe this team would play in a tropical climate, have a bad pun nickname, and win not one but two titles.
Thanks for reading.
And that’s all friends. I plan to compare Chicago’s aggressive strategy to Milwaukee’s drop scheme next week in order to emphasize how broad the spectrum of pick and roll defense in the NBA can be. See you then!
submitted by lazyeurostep to nba [link] [comments]

[Online Poker] The Biggest Loser of All Time at the Lowest Online Stakes, a Story of Struggle

Link to my online poker HobbyDrama posts: Poker player steals $1m+ chips and tries to sell it on 2+2 poker forums
A Very Controversial $70k prop bet
Poker Forum Help Homeless Player Attempt The Shot of a Lifetime

The Blossoming of TV Poker

The Year is 2006. Online poker is thriving. Partypoker has the highest traffic of any poker site but Pokerstars are gaining new players quickly with aggressive marketing strategies. Lots of poker sites are investing heavily into marketing and one key place to channel their advertising budget is TV. New innovations, improved graphics and increasing funding meant that poker TV is at an all-time peak of popularity.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the biggest event in the poker calendar, it features many poker tournaments culminating in the prestigious $10k Main Event tournament. The Main Event is a popular televised tournament. 40% of the the 2006 WSOP Main Event’s attendance is from online sites and poker sites are offering large amounts of cash for players on TV to wear an advertising patch. According to Dan Goldman’s blog, Pokerstars spent over $730,000 on WSOP players’ gift bags. The WSOP is seeing more TV time and this year an extra event is added to the TV schedule alongside the WSOP main event.

The Path of a New Player

In Finland, Mikael Paisting is watching the 2006 WSOP on TV. He enjoys watching poker broadcasts and is fascinated by the game. It’s a very common story for players to catch an interest by watching poker TV and sign up with to one of the many poker sites available. He chooses to deposit on Partypoker. Mikael is a committed learner and player. He reads several poker books from well-known authors. He also watches many training videos. Like many players starting in online poker he begins at the microstakes cash tables.
The standard buy in for microstakes online is $2-10, if a player plays microstakes for an hour they would probably win or lose a few dollars. 2nl means the big blind is 2 cents and standard buy in is $2, the standard buy in at 5nl is $5 and 10nl is $10.
Microstakes are a rite of passage for many online poker players. Some will play microstakes for weeks, months or even years improving their game and increasing their bankroll so they can move up to small stakes, 25nl and above. Some players see the microstakes as a job and play as many tables as they can to eke out a living wage. Some players have never played microstakes and skip it entirely for higher stakes. Mikael starts to play and doesn’t do well, this is normal for many beginners, even those who study. However, over the next few weeks Mikael continues to lose. Months go by and Mikael still hasn’t turned a profit. He discovers problems with tilt (when players get angry and it negatively affects their play) and often takes his frustration out in the chat box. An example of his rage:
Paisting:THAT IS NOT NORMAL OMG!! JUST UNBELIEVABLE
Mikael doesn’t play 10nl very often and spends the majority of him time playing 2nl and 5nl, buying in for $2-5 at a time. He continues to multitable cash games on Partypoker but he just can’t win. He starts to lose big, thousands of dollars, mostly at 2nl which is known as the softest cash game on the internet.

Getting Noticed

Mikael continues to play long sessions over the next five years, he claims to play 5-7 days a week for 4-8 hours a day. By 2011 he had played 2 and a half million hands while playing 6 to 9 cash tables at one time. Mikael is still mostly playing 2nl and is down a colossal amount: $7000. Remember that he is mostly playing 2nl, with a buy in of $2, even losing $1000 at 2nl is unheard of. Mikael has been suffering from major tilt problems and has a very wild and noticeable style of playing microstakes. He starts to get noticed on 2+2, a very popular poker forum. A player posts a link to his PTR graph, a site which tracks online cash games. They are shocked at his losses over so many hands:
yegor: wow such a massive fail
he played 2.5m hands at 2nl and 5nl and he's losing
Donkey111: I remember him from my 2NL days.
often goes on some massive tilt sessions and spews like 20 BI [buy ins] in 500 hands by shoving any 2 cards preflop.
He even gets hate from his PTR account where he is ridiculed on his profile comments, he also replies:
VELAir26: Spend your time with family, friends or other hobbies instead
Paisting: im fine with this you stupid idiot
Mikael continues to play his reckless and tilting style over the years. By 2014, he has been playing for 8 years and is down five figures at microstakes; he starts to look for excuses for how much he has lost. He posts a thread on 2+2 detailing how he feels that he wins at the start of the month and then inevitably starts to lose. He asks how he can take legal action against Partypoker. His fellow posters tease him:
5thStreethog: Did the thought ever cross your mind that it might be possible that the reason you cant beat NL2 in over a million hands might be because you arent very good at poker?

An Attempt at Redemption

2019 comes and Mikael Paisting has been playing microstakes for 13 years, and steadily losing a lot of money. He got a new computer in late 2018 and has been grinding away on it. Mikael is getting mentioned more on 2+2 and he is well known on the tables of Partypoker as he drops stack after stack. Many players on Partypoker furiously try to get on his tables to call his tilt shoves; when Mikael is present other player’s stacks can get as high as $100 at 2nl as he shoves buy in after buy in in bad spots. Some were said to be using seating scripts to instantly be placed on a table with Paisting. At this point he is feeling very low. But despite years of losing money and insane tilting he is determined to improve. Mikael is aware of his losses and has a fierce desire to make back the money he has lost since he’s started tracking on his new PC.
He decides get help and he looks to 2+2, the very same forum that had mocked him over the last decade. He logs in as Paisting, his last name. He starts a new thread, types out a post and chooses a title: 'Biggest loser in online poker history wants to grind $16k'. He posts this thread in the sub-forum Poker Goals & Challenges, a place where players post their goals and try to update their thread with their progress. He posts graphs of his losses from his database on his PC. He starts the thread by posting some shocking graphs of $8700 lost at 2nl, $6000 lost at 5nl and $800 lost at 10nl. At 2nl he had an incredible rate of losing an average of $75 a day. The final graph of his microstakes losses posted show $15,000 lost over 365,000 hands.
The 2+2 poker community are stunned by the graphs:
HorseofHell: I'm actually shocked it's possible to lose this much at 2nl
Mahsjdj: This can't be real can it?
Mikael posts about the hard work he’s put into poker and mentions that has watched videos, read many instructional books and is honest with his astounding losses:
Paisting: I've lost literally all my money including all my life savings to online poker. I want to try one last time to win those money back and little bit of extra. That's why $16k. What I need is support and guiding.
The community react to his plan to grind all the money back at microstakes:
Fodersneso: This is really disturbing.
Why on earth would you try to grind this all back? Losing at this rate is traumatizing. You're going to grind out 3000 BIs [buy ins] @nl5 now or what's the plan? Really curious how you think you can turn this pile of insanity around...
The community show disbelief and doubt that his story is real but several posters claim that what he says is true. He has been active in Finnish forums for more than 10 years and players starts to share hand histories and stories about his playstyle. He posts about his regret of picking the game up:
Paisting: Never had a winning week in 13 years.
If it were possible to go back ten years I would say to myself "Do not never play single one hand!"
He then goes on to tell 2+2 posters a disturbing source of his funds for his staggering 2nl losses:
Paisting: I've taken huge amount of fast loans.
He sheds a little light into his personal life:
Paisting: My age and relationships has nothing to do with this. But not working, no kids or wife and middle aged. What I have is time to play.
I get a little unemployment benefit that goes straight to the rent. My eating costs are very little because I'm only eating one meal per day. There are times when I must take more fast loans if need of clothes, unexpected bills, sickness etc. That's why getting back those $16k is so important to me.
No disability, never played anything else than poker or lottery when pots are bigger, maybe 5 times in year. Playing poker does not give me any excitement or I'm not cheering won pots.
Posters try to give him strategy advice, they try to persuade him time and time again that his strategy isn't working. Some others question his sanity and tell him to quit:
FazendeiroBH: Not trolling, I´m actually serious here. You lost an absurd amount of money playing the easiest stake in the world (nl2). You keep losing doing the same faulty strategy. It´s quite obvious there is something wrong with you and your brain, and the more you delay seeking professional care for your mental problems, the worst it´s gonna be for you.
Paitsing updates his thread with highlight hands from his cash sessions. He seems to cherry pick hands to post and will only post hands where he loses all ins as a 70-95% favourite. He delusion leads him to blame the site, his luck and the other micro grinders. He often writes about specific players and gives his opinion on how badly they play. Some time passes and he discloses that he has lost almost $500 at 2nl since starting the thread three weeks ago.
He updates his followers with the first monthly graph of the thread from his 2nl play in April 2019. He plays for 90 hours in April and his average daily loss is $50, 25 buyins each day. 2+2 players start to analyse the graph. They notice that there are several breakeven spots where he may be playing reasonable poker but also huge 150 buy in downswings, some drops in the graph are so steep that he is losing about a buy in every 5 hands for periods of hundreds of hands. He says:
Paitsing: Only trying to get my money back from guys who are playing nl2 forever and never moving up. When I started poker long time ago I tought it's exciting to read watch videos if it gives me more money. After 2 years figured out it's just sitting on computer like in work and if I'm someday +-0 never ever playing this stupid game. This is like war.
The thread goes on like this for almost a year. The thread repeats itself over and over. He will post a few selective bad beats, ignore good advice and berate his microstakes tablemates. A fellow microstakes grinder makes his first appearance in the thread: 6betpot. 6Betpot would play at Paisting's tables and often win many buy ins, 6Betpot would go on to post highly contrasting hand histories to the unlucky hands that Paisting posts which shows the hands Mikael was not posting. Some players would criticize 6Betpot for predatory behavior but 6Betpot would maintain that he would try to persuade Paisting to stop playing in a crazy manner.
Many tried to reason with Mikael and show him clearly why this was wrong, he not only refuted their strategy but would argue against them.
Later on in the thread Mikael posts horrifying news. He explains that he didn’t transfer hands from his old computer to his new computer. The graphs he posted at the start of the thread only showed the tip of the iceberg. He reveals that $16k loss from the graphs was from just 7 months of play!:
Paisting: That 16k is in 209 days and in about 1 year as you can see from the first post. Big part of my losings has left to hard drive of my old crashed computer. That's past and I don't wanna think about it anymore. Main goal is this database I have here in my computer. But yes what I have been repeating many times, moving to 888 poker has sky rocketed my losses although I can play only 6 tables compared to party's 9 tables.
Posters speculate that his lifetime microstakes losses probably amount to six figures:
SpinMeRightRound: I mean if he's lost $20k in the last year, and he's been doing this for more than 10 years, he may have lost $200k or more.

2020: The Struggle Continues

At the end of the year Paisting posts his 2019 graphs. He says that he hasn’t had a winning week yet and he’s still committed to making back 2019’s losses. His graphs show down 12k from 320k hands of 2nl in 2019.
In January 2020 he continues to post regularly and makes comments about him hunting down players worse than him:
Paisting: When you hunt really bad player (yes enzet there are plenty of worst player than me on 888 look those hand histories really carefully) hours and hours and wait good hand just to site let them to suck out it is affecting your game really badly.
He posts about his continuing struggle to win back the $16k:
Paisting: I have years dedicated for this project and anything back from that amount is winning to me. At this point it’s impossible to make any profit because of horrible suckouts.
He also posts about the high interest loans he’s taken out:
Paisting: I have huge amounts of loans that are basically all taken for poker. I don't eat much and all my other costs are very low.
And because of those loans I must get back so much money that is possible and these suck outs must stop.
February 2020 arrives and he posts his January chart, the worst posted yet. He takes a gigantic loss of $1,550 at an eye-watering rate.
The months pass and the cycle continues. Paisting posts the usual unlucky hands, posters berate him and try to give him advice and Paisting resists their efforts. Here is one of many similar hands posted in February, this hand shows him making an awful play and raising huge with a weak hand:
888Poker, Hold'em No Limit - $0.01/$0.02 - 6 players
UTG: $1.46 (73 bb) Paisting (MP): $7.45 (373 bb) CO: $15.44 (772 bb) BU: $2.00 (100 bb) SB: $3.47 (174 bb) BB: $2.00 (100 bb)
Pre-Flop: ($0.03) 1 fold, Paisting(MP) raises to $7.45 (all-in), CO calls $7.45, 3 players fold
Flop: ($14.93) 6c 7c 4d (2 players, 1 all-in)
Turn: ($14.93) Ts (2 players, 1 all-in)
River: ($14.93) 8h (2 players, 1 all-in)
Total pot: $14.93 (Rake: $0.93)
Showdown: Paisting (MP) shows 7d Tc (two pair, Tens and Sevens) (CO) shows Js Jc (a pair of Jacks) Paisting (MP) wins $14
March comes and the regular monthly graph is posted. The uploaded graph shows is he down $1900 or 950 buy ins for last month. Mikael refutes that he is a gambling addict:
Paisting: 888 has given many 10 dollar bonuses to me play slots. I have never played them and in fact my account has 20 dollars freeplay bonus to play their slots. I will not use those money now or in future. So that's gambling addict to you.
April and May roll by and the monthly graphs are posted. He played fewer hands than normal, 43,000. But is down $1,250, all at 2nl.
In June he posts the usual monthly graph with -$1900 and it’s the lowest win rate he’s posted before, the graph has some alarmingly steep downswings with one section where he loses $500 in 1000 hands. That’s a loss of one buy in every 4 hands. Getting these monthly updates shows how quickly he loses money at 2nl and collaborates with earlier estimations that he is likely down more than $100k at microstakes over the past 14 years.

The End, for Now

Mikael is still playing microstakes to this day. His poker story isn’t over yet but so far it is a sad one. My previous two Tales from 2+2 stories had mostly happy endings but not this one. This story is like a car falling down a cliff and it hasn’t hit the bottom yet.
Let this story be a lesson that poker isn’t for everyone. Players with addiction or mental issues should reconsider if the game is best for their lives. Serious poker players should consider bankroll management and how tilt affects their winrate if they do choose to play.
Seek help if you think you or others need it.
Original thread (Still active)
submitted by GiantHorse to HobbyDrama [link] [comments]

The truth about risk:reward

I'm going to let you guys in on a bit of a secret. This is from someone that has been in this Forex game for over 8 years now, and has traded professionally at financial institutions for short stints.

What you know about risk reward is probably why you've been losing money.

The common knowledge is this. Use a 2:1 or higher risk reward because that way you'll make twice the profit when your right and half the loss, thus you only need to be right 33% of the time to make a profit!
It SOUNDS good, but actually there's a fatal flaw.
It has everything to do with market noise. Market noise is generally a lot larger than most people realise. I'm willing to say anything less than a multi-day time frame is almost dictated by market noise most of the days.
Market noise can either be your greatest ally, or worst enemy. You can never predict if the market is going to go up, or down.. but you can almost be 99% sure that the market is going to by noisy. Most of the time VERY noisy, up down.
Here is the kicker:
When you setup a 2:1 trade. You are effectively making this bet:
"I bet you that the price will hit X.. BEFORE it hits Y." By making X twice as far away as Y.. you are effectively betting against the STRONGEST and MOST PROBABLE force on the market.. market noise.

In order to win a 2:1 R:R trade.. you not ONLY have to be right about your underlying trade idea. You actually have to HOPE that the market noise won't cuck you out of a profit. i;e You are betting AGAINST market noise.

So how can we thwart this demonic force?
I'm going to say something controversial:

1:1 Risk:Reward trades are hands down the BEST ratio to use on anything less than the daily timeframe Why? because your just as likely to get fluctuated into a profit, as you are into a loss. Over time this cancels out and what your left with is purely whether or not your strategy is profitable.

Most strategies ARE in fact profitable. Fibs, cup and handles, all this junk. They are >50% win rate. The problem is people use greater than 1:1 R;R and end up getting fluctuated out of 70% of the trades.


So moral of the story:
Use 1:1 Risk:Reward. The reason why most people dont make money in Forex is because most of the marketing and educational material spew crap about 2:1 R;R or 4:1 R;R. There is a place for that kinda R;R and it's the monthly timeframe.
'
submitted by Coalandflame to Forex [link] [comments]

CLSK - Goes Through Everything

A lot of you are on the edge of buying CLSK and it was the most wanted stock so here is the DD.
TL;DR at the end.
Update to DD process at the end.


Catalysts:
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cleanspark-announces-california-off-grid-130000433.html
CLSK announced the successful commissioning and deployment of their mPulse software, this software reduces fuel consumption a eliminates high energy operating costs for business of all kind.

This software is one of a kind as has huge potential in U.S. and foreign markets, businesses all over the world will want to minimize fuel consumption which will, in turn, save them potentially millions of dollars.
Deployments like these create opportunities for long term SaaS revenue.
CLSKs sales pipeline has continued to grow and they are seeing increased demand across all types of businesses.

The software was installed in a off-grid installation system from California City, CA.
CLSK provided the system with software and controls as well as battery storage

They have a microgrid Value Stream Optimizer (mVSO) platform; a SaaS-based software and industry-leading solution for energy project analysis and modeling.
Energy resiliency and savings were the primary vectors in mVSO's modeling exercise for the end-user, a controlled-distribution agricultural facility.
Based on this and a variety of factors, mVSO provided a 20-year economic model outlining the cash flows of the system and detailed cost-avoidance benefits.

Zach Bradford, CEO and President of CleanSpark, stated, "Given the remote location of the end-user's operation, local utility companies were unable to provide electrical grid service to the facility in a timeframe that supported their business plans. By going completely off-grid, CleanSpark and Good Energy Solar have allowed the customer to create and independently own their energy system to meet their current and future power requirement.

The system is fully expandable and provides its users with a variety of controls.


https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cleanspark-announces-significant-upgrades-cutting-130000880.html
CLSK announced an improvement to the UI and energy analytics software to mVSO.

mVSO is used by microgrid developers to efficiently create money-saving energy proposals for their client projects.
The new UI will improve the user's flow through the application.

Amanda Kabak, CleanSpark's CTO and Principal Software Architect stated, "Our mission for mVSO is to provide distributed energy and microgrid developers an easy and effective way to educate their end customer on the full benefit of a proposed project. The recent upgrades and improvements we've made to the software are specifically geared to that end. The ability to share reports with any number of parties, the capability to download an effective proposal, and the increased visibility into customer interaction with these artifacts will undoubtedly help drive sales for our users."

The new updates will greatly improve user experience which improves sales of their services.


https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cleanspark-provides-strategic-acquisition-announces-130000947.html
CLSK has announced that p2klabs Inc, a recently acquired subsidiary, has seen significant growth in revenues.
Revenues have increased by 80% and more growth and revenue is expected.

The company attributes the increase of revenue to a combination of factors, including increased access to capital, expanded product offering and the ability to attract and retain key personnel as a function of being a component of a much larger organization.

p2klabs has spearheaded the redesign of CleanSpark's corporate website, developed an entirely new suite of marketing materials, and significantly enhanced the interface, usability, and user experience of the company's SaaS energy modeling tool 'mVSO' and its mPulse controls platform.
Additionally, p2klabs has continued to grow its core business by gaining multiple new clients and increasing its revenues.

Amer Tadayon, CleanSpark's new Chief Revenue Officer added, "The access to capital as a result of the CleanSpark acquisition has allowed p2klabs to bolster its team and to enhance its service offerings, allowing us to accelerate our revenue growth by contracting both with new clients as well as existing customers. p2klabs' business is thriving since being acquired, and our entire team is pleased with the overall contribution to CleanSpark's initiatives for its core products, while also increasing our consulting revenues."



Financials:
https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgadata/827876/000166357720000136/clsk10q.htm
This is based on their most recent 10Q SEC form.
All values are unaudited

Current Assets:
- Cash value of $4,506,510 as compared with $7,838,857 last year.
- Net Account Receivable value of $1,441,512 as compared with $777,716 last year.
- Contract Assets value of $4,282 as compared with $57,077 last year.
- Prepaid Expense And Other Current Assets value of $595,831 as compared with $1,210,395 last year.
- Derivative Asset value of $824,891 as compared with $0, unreported, last year.
- Investment In Equity Securities value of $502,000 as compared with $0, unreported, last year.
- Investment Available For Sale Debt Security At Fair value of $456,744 as compared with $0, unreported, last year.
Total current assets value of $8,331,770 as compared with $9,884,045 last year.


Non-Current Assets:
- Net Fixed Assets value of $143,895 as compared with $145,070 last year.
- Operating Lease Right Of Use Asset value of $63,554 as compared with $0, unreported, last year.
- Net Capitalized Software value of $1,060,417 as compared with $1,055,197 last year.
- Net Intangible Assets value of $7,328,789 as compared with $7,430,082 last year.
- Goodwill value of $5,562,246 as compared with $4,919,858 last year.
Total non-current assets value of $14,158,901 as compared with $13,550,207 last year.

Total assets value of $22,490,671 as compared with $23,434,252 last year.


Current Liabilities:
- Accounts Payable And Accrued Liabilities cost of $3,121,117 as compared with $848,756 last year.
- Contract Liabilities cost of $590,241 as compared with $499,401 last year.
- Lease Liability cost of $64,033 as compared with $0, unreported, last year.
- Due To Related Parties cost of $20,000 as compared with $86,966 last year.
- Convertible Note Net Of Unamortized Discounts cost of $822,498 as compared with $0, unreported, last year.
- Loans Payable Net Of Unamortized Discounts cost of $0, unreported, as compared with $67,467 last year.
Total current liabilities cost of $4,617,889 as compared with $502,590 last year.


Long Term Liabilities:
- Convertible Notes Net Of Unamortized Discounts cost of $5,124,658 as compared with $2,896,321 last year.
- Loans Payable cost of $150,000 as compared with $150,000 last year.
Total long-term liabilities cost of $5,274,658 as compared with $3,046,321 last year.


Stockholders Equity:
Total stockholders equity of $12,598,124 as compared with $18,885,341 last year.


Net Revenues:
- Sales Of Goods Revenue value of $3,352,098 as compared with $373,568 last year.
- Service, Software, And Related Revenues value of $306,185 as compared with $350,331 last year.


Cost Of Revenues:
- Goods Sold cost of $2,921,548 as compared with $330,882 last year.
- Services cost of $32,698 as compared with $261,136 last year.
Total revenues cost of $2,954,246 as compared with $592,018 last year.

Gross profit of $704,037 as compared with $131,881 last year.


Operating Expenses:
- Professional Fees cost of $1,005,991 as compared with $1,406,269 last year.
- Payroll Expenses cost of $984,380 as compared with $313,170 last year.
- Product Development cost of $0, unreported, as compared with $341,081 last year.
- General And Administrative cost of $311,131 as compared with $159,408 last year.
- Depreciation And Amortization cost of $674,587 as compared with $499,636 last year.
Total operating expenses of $2,976,089 as compared with $2,719,564 last year.


Other Income Expenses:
Total income expenses cost of $3,543,046 as compared with $5,176,857 last year.


Total net loss of $5,815,098 as compared with $7,764,540 last year.



Fundamentals:
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cleanspark-provides-strategic-acquisition-announces-130000947.htmlHere's a description of the company:
CleanSpark a software and services company which offers software and intelligent controls for microgrid and distributed energy resource management systems and innovative strategy and design services.
The Company provides advanced energy software and control technology that allows energy users to obtain resiliency and economic optimization.
Their software is uniquely capable of enabling a microgrid to be scaled to the user's specific needs and can be widely implemented across commercial, industrial, military, agricultural and municipal deployment.
Their product and services consist of intelligent energy controls, microgrid modeling software, and innovation consulting services in design, technology, and business process methodologies to help transform and grow businesses.

The address of the company:
70 North Main StreetSuite 105Bountiful, UT 84010United States801-244-4405http://www.cleanspark.com
They have 20 full-time employees.

The company is located in the U.S. which provides a potential for massive opportunities from Fortune 100 companies and cities.



Technicals:
Stock Info:
https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/CLSK/key-statistics?p=CLSK
- Usual 10-day volume of 1.16M.
- Usual 3-month volume of 3.19M.
This is a good volume for a penny stock, it allows for easy buying and selling of the stock, it also ensures that there will be price movement.

- Shares outstanding are 9.86M.
- Float is 8.39M.
A low float makes it easier to push the stock price up, but it also makes it easier to drop it.

- 30.97% of shares are being held by insiders.
- 1.33% of shares are being held by institutions.
This is both good and bad, those insiders could sell all their shares, and since they hold a very large number that would significantly lower the stock price. The good is that this shows that insiders are confident in the stock.
It would be better if more institutions held the stock since instituions only invest in companies they see as profitable for them.

- Short % of float is 0.91%
This is good, it shows that investors are confident that the stock will go up since most are not betting on the stock falling.


Indicators:
Moving Averages:
- Candles are above 5 SMA, buy rating.
- Candles are below 10 SMA, sell rating.
- Candles are below 20 SMA, sell rating.
- Candles are above 30 SMA, buy rating.
- Candles are above 50 SMA, buy rating.
- Candles are below 100 SMA, sell rating.
- Candles are below 200 SMA, sell rating.
- Candles are neutral on ICBL, hold rating.
- Candles are below VWAP, sell rating.
- Candles are above HMA, buy rating.
CLSK is rated as sell based on Moving Averages.
The stock is in an overall downtrend.

Oscillators:
- Stock is neutral on RSI, hold rating.
- Stock is neutral on S%K, hold rating.
- Stock is neutral on CCI, hold rating.
- Stock is neutral on ADI, hold rating.
- Stock is neutral on AO, hold rating.
- Stock is negative on Momentum, sell rating.
- Stock has negative MACD , sell rating.
- Stock is neutral on SRF, hold rating.
- Stock is neutral on WPR, hold rating.
- Stock is positive on BPP, buy rating.
- Stock is neutral on UO, hold rating.
CLSK is rated sell based on Oscillators.

Based on indicators, CLSK has a sell rating.


Support And Resistances:
- Weak Daily Support of $1.
- Normal Daily Resistance of $2.48.
- Normal Hourly Support of $2.01.
- Normal Hourly Resistance of $2.43.



TL;DR: CLSK is a fast-growing company that has potential. Their applications have huge uses like a major reduction in fuel consumption for businesses and cities.
Their subsidiaries are making lots of revenue that supports the company.
Their applications and software are one of a kind and have massive potential in U.S. and foreign markets.
The indicators aren't good which can cause the price to drop.
This is not a short term play.


TL;DR;DR: This is for people on the edge about buying or selling
- Buy point is when candles cross $2.43 resistance with some buffer.
- Instant buy point is when candles cross the 200 SMA.

- Sell point is when candles cross below 50 SMA
- Instant sell point is when candles cross below $2.01 support with some buffer.

Update: It takes me around 4 hours per stock to make DD for the community.
I recently made a Patreon for anyone that wants to support me and get some benefits.
This is completely optional and I still will be posting some DD for the community.
https://www.patreon.com/maxgainz

Sorry mods if this isn't allowed, I will remove if asked.



This is not financial advice, I'm not a financial professional.
Do not buy this stock just because of this DD.
I'm not to be held liable for any losses or missed out gains due to this DD.
I do not currently hold any shares of this stock.

Please trade responsibly and take days off when your portfolio is falling, the market has its bad days.
Robinhood has UI errors sometimes, please be aware of that.
submitted by Bogashi to pennystocks [link] [comments]

Retail investors who believed they were investing in crude oil get a rude awakening

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/21/retail-investors-who-believed-they-were-investing-in-crude-oil-get-a-rude-awakening.html

edit:
from the financial times: https://www.ft.com/content/2669d6de-a381-400b-a678-64506dc60eed
Investors who have flooded into the oil markets to bet on a rebound in crude prices are risking big losses, say commodity specialists, as the exchange traded funds they use are swept up in the current market turmoil. The United States Oil fund, the largest oil ETF known as USO, saw inflows of about $1.5bn last week, as US crude prices hit their lowest levels since the early 2000s on plunging demand.
Professional traders said retail investors, in particular, were trying to pick the turning point for oil, betting that the market will recover quickly once coronavirus-fighting measures are eased. But prices had further to fall. On Monday, West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, crashed below zero for the first time in history, dropping as low as minus $40 as traders dumped the contract for delivery in May. The June contract, where most of USO’s investments currently sit, lost 15 per cent to about $21 a barrel.
Investors are not just at risk of placing a wrong-way bet, traders say, as oil contracts do not trade like equities. Instead, they expire monthly so the underlying crude can be delivered to buyers — something specialists fear could be poorly understood by greenhorn investors. “Investment in ETFs currently harbours high risks to investors who might be tempted to passively invest in oil due to ultra-low prices,” said Michel Salden, head of commodities at Vontobel Asset Management. Losses can occur when tracker funds have to “roll” their exposure when contracts expire, Mr Salden said.
If the oil market structure shifts into “contango” — an industry term for when spot prices are trading below contracts for future delivery — then an ETF might have to sell its contracts at the lower price, then buy the next month’s contract at a higher price just to maintain its holdings. Ole Hansen, Saxo Bank’s head of commodity strategy, said that the largest long-only oil ETFs had seen their net holdings rise by 400 per cent in the past month.
These ETFs, he warned, “are predominantly positioned at the front of the futures curve and will be exposed to rolling losses every month until the market fundamentals eventually stabilise”. That process “could take several months,” he added. USO was the fourth most actively traded ETF in the US on Monday morning, with more than half a billion dollars changing hands before lunchtime in New York, as the WTI spot price plummeted.
Investors’ move into USO is reminiscent of 2009, when many investors bought the ETF as crude prices slipped to near $30 a barrel, before almost tripling over the next 12 months as the world economy emerged from the depths of the financial crisis. Investors found their ETF returns did not match the oil-price gains, as they had lost a large chunk of their investment each month through the process of rolling contracts. The USO fund, launched in 2006, typically absorbs cash from investors when crude prices hit bottom. Inflows previously peaked in early 2009 and in early 2016, just after oil-price crashes. Since March, the number of shares outstanding in the fund has doubled as new cash comes in.
As of Friday, the fund held the equivalent of 146.5m barrels of WTI crude futures for June delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange, a division of CME Group. That was more than a quarter of the total open interest in the contract, exchange data showed.
Nymex market rules impose “accountability levels” of 10m barrels equivalent for most US crude futures contracts, above which traders can be ordered to reduce their position. CME declined to comment on whether it had communicated with USO. The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a government regulator, has proposed a 6m-barrel limit on individual fund positions in US crude on the brink of delivery, but refrained from setting caps for positions in contracts for delivery later on.
Some traders say the USO fund is big enough to exacerbate price moves between different contract months as it rolls out of one position and into another. “That definitely can put downward pressure on the market,” said Joe Raia, a former senior executive in energy futures at Nymex and Goldman Sachs.
USO announced last Thursday that it was moving 20 per cent of the WTI contracts it holds into later months, in a move widely believed to have been influenced by the blowout in the spread between crude prices. The position “just got to the size where it makes sense to spread it out,” said John Love, chief executive of US Commodity Funds, which runs the USO fund, on Friday.
The USO next rolls its contracts on May 5 to May 8. The fund extended that process to four days early last decade to make it harder for other traders to front-run its moves. Additional reporting by Gregory Meyer in New York

submitted by smt1 to investing [link] [comments]

Earning Plays for Dummies: $UA is Under Water (Basic TA & Obvious Catalysts)

Earning Plays for Dummies: $UA is Under Water (Basic TA & Obvious Catalysts)
TL;DR: $UA is taking on a lot of debt because of historically low retail sales causing near bankruptcy cash flow. Largest athletic apparel retailer or not, when the business isn't making money it's losing it. Taking on LARGE amount of debt, to raise cash, to keep the doors open is not the nail in the coffin, but it is damn near close. ER this Friday 7/31 could be a historic miss and future projections, margins, growth and competition will cause a sell off.
Super BEAR: 7/31 $8.50-$9 Puts
Conservative BEAR: 8/14 $7.50-$8 Puts

To Bearish Autists,

Alright retards, this DD is not done by a professional CFA, CPA or single employee LLC day trading firm. I'm a college grad, with a BS in Chemistry, and i'm 100% self taught on trading for the last 5 years. It's a hobby that pays for other hobbies, not a job and definitely not a thing i do without being informed. That being said heres my hypothesis.

$UA Has Struggled

This is no secret as many of us have brand name recognition of $UA and many of us own it. We know its not Nike and it's a step above Champions and other retail store brands, but it is simply the cost efficient/value brand for people that want quality and but aren't willing to pay Nike prices or get chafed nipples from the $WMT brand. It's become the largest athletic apparel brand in the US, with growth potential in China, signing one of the NBAs biggest star Steph Curry.
Heres the problem, the company is facing increased competition and Covid may of burned down the house when they closed retailers. $UA helped prove there is a middle ground between $NKE and $WMT in quality and price, but they failed to build beyond that, and now $AMZN and other other brands have saturated the market. When i need workout clothes, i look online, a small part of $UA business model. I look for value, and although i'm not buying Nike i'm not buying $UA either. There are tons of other brands that provide the same quality cheaper, and i don't care about brand at they gym, just comfort. $UA failed to build a signature style, they got Steph Curry, but i never hear a 24 year old sneaker head dying over their new pair of shoes. They failed to push online channels of distribution, "have you been to their website?", and some compare their pandemic model to $LULU but they are completely different brands by quality, price and consumer segment.
The companies lack of success could be bad marketing, they have the largest athletic apparel market share, but they can't turn a decent YOY earnings report. So it comes down to poor financial management and high levels of competition driving lower margins. In 2016 $UA was nearly $50/share and its lost billions YOY. Now it's facing an unpredictable pandemic, and record low revenue on a house of debt.

Important Factors for ER


  • Covid
The pandemic closed retailers and one of the largest retailers of $UA is Kohl's ($KSS). Because nearly 80% of the companies worth is in their merchandise revenue, this is a major hit. The other 20% is a licensee program that they get from selling the right to 3rd party manufacturers to make and sell the brand. They get revenue from licenses, but i'm not sure about royalties. This means that wholesale manufacturers could sell to other online retailers at a lower competitive rate than $UA if they are crafty enough, and their is supposedly low oversight on this. You can buy $UA on $AMZN but that doesn't mean you will be buying directly from $UA, and this could be true in open retail stores now. from 2017 to Q1 2020 online sales on $UA website have only grown 4%. $UA has had a tough time to have a direct to consumer channel over the past two quarters. The pandemic has lead to huge losses in retail sales, and the brands themselves. This leads us to our next subject.

  • DEBT DEBT & More DEBT
$UA Market Cap: $4.837 Billion
Liabilities: $3.387 Billion (Q1 2020)
Assets: $1.550 Billion (Q1 2020)
Cash is KING and $UA is in desperate need of it with a recent convertible note offering that raised over $400 million dollars. I'm not a finance expert, but here's a snippet that explains the liquidity crunch.

As of March 31, Under Armour had just $959 million in cash. Now, it recently raised another $460 million or so in a convertible note, so its total liquidity is about $1.41 billion. But if it burns through $400 million over the next two quarters, the balance would fall to $600 million or so.
At that point, the company would likely have to raise permanent equity and/or a mixture of equity and debt. Right now the company’s tangible book value per share (TBVPS) is just $1.02 billion, or $2.26 per share, according to data compiled by Seeking Alpha. >So, here is the problem: By the end of Q3, with another $800 million in FCF loses, the tangible book value will fall to $224 million or so, and the TBVPS will be just 49 cents per share. If that’s the case, there is no way that UA stock would still be trading at $9.28 per share, where it was earlier this week. -InvestorsPlace (Mark Hake)
Simply put they need to be frugal and cut cost to prevent bankruptcy. this is shown further in the last two weeks when $UA announced they will sell their running/social app, MyFitnessPal. They also sought to break a sponsorship deal with UCLA to conserve cash (nearly $20mil/year).
The price tag for MyFitnessPal in 2015 was $425million, i don’t think $UA will have a easy time getting anyone to buy it, much less gain on the investment. Also the sponsorship deal isn’t broken, yet, and if they do it may come with a huge monetary penalty....exactly what they want to avoid.
This weeks earnings report will announce a huge amount of new liabilities along with massive reductions in revenue expectations. This is the most important part of the ER this week.

  • China
Good news this week for $UA is that they won a branding lawsuit in China this week...against a competitor that you nor I have and will never hear of.
China is a very interesting component in the American economic and political world. They are a huge market, but politically they are neither our ally nor our foe. India will give us the same problem in 10-15 years. With increased tensions between DC and Beijing the risk of tariffs and american companies suffering are on the rise, especially retail and manufacturing.
However, China presents a huge growth opportunity to whichever lucky retailers and brands can bribe the right officials and not get caught. $UA is one of those lucky companies, but they are competing in a tough sector. Nike, Adidas, New Balance, a zillion new brands that nobody has heard of and of course knock offs. I lived in Shanghai for a year in college, and theirs “Fake mall” everywhere selling the new Jorban’s and Rolex’s and of course $UA and the Chinese government will never stop it because they don’t practice fair trade practices, at least correctly.
30% of revenue for $UA is international business including several asian and european countries and Australia. China could eventually be more of a cash cow than the US for $UA.
The international opportunity is real, but $UA may never see the light at the end of the tunnel due to this dark period of financial ruins and a competitive marketplace.

  • Upside?
The ER for $UA is going to be devastating as it has been in quarters past. you’d be insane to think any differently as the company has only seen worse and worse circumstances with little navigational correction. The only thing that could prevent a total 15-25% downside is some sort of good news. What possible good news could they have, i personally can’t think of any if they are being honest and don’t give BS projections like $TSLA. IF you think of any, or i’m missing any honest upside to this ER please comment.

  • Expectations
EPS: -0.4$ (Big miss)
Revenue: $536mil (Near miss)
Revenue is key, but the Cash flow and added liabilities will be the dagger.

A LITTLE TA & CHART PRICE ACTION

6 month Daily candle
The price of $UA has been hovering around $6.40 & $10.60 for nearly 5 months. $UA has found a solid support at $8.25 and has an upward channel trend, and this has been a very slow recovery relative to other retail brands.
RSI is inching toward overbought. MACD is unsure of the last two months progression and is looking to swing one way or the other after the ER, my bet is down. i expect that $UA will continue on trend nearing $10.60, if the stock price does not fall below the three day trend line(Lilac) then i will wait until thursday afternoon to buy the Puts for the morning ER Call. IF it falls below the lilac line before thursday afternoon i expect my downward channel to be correct and i purchase puts immediately.
Still pondering my strategy for entry and optimizing the return, between there two option ideas.
Super BEAR: 7/31 $8.50-$9 Puts
Conservative BEAR: 8/14 $7.50-$8 Puts
$UA has a great value product. It has not done a good job financially due to massive oversight in fiscal management, not creating a better direct to consumer interface, and not being competitive enough in a market with stagnant margins and retail competition that can undercut and or be more popular than the other with celebrities and fashion. $UA is not $LULU, and its drowning in debt with no end in sight. Their model has failed, and their leadership has failed. I suspect retail traders who know $UA by name recognition are propping this up, not understanding their in trouble. As soon as institutional money abandons so will the pocket investors, not to poke fun at you retards.

But hey, i may just be a fucking retard.
P.S. - IF $UA goes under, or is bought out, which athletic apparel company gains the most? My guess is $NKE (long) or $AMZN.
Edit: 7/27 today the SEC notified $UA that they will enforce action against the company for accounting practices seen as fraudulent in 2016 and 2017. It keeps getting worse.
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Mid Split Write up of LCS Teams.

Hi I'm just a scrub and user who loves LCS and wants to see teams improve. I made this write up based on my perspective of watching every game and team in LCS so far and hope that we see these improvements from each team/player. I go through not only every team, but also every player on each team.
Starting from the bottom of the standings here we go:
Cloud9- I lied I'm going to get this out of the way now. Team is too good to have anything to actually tell until they reach the international stage. Stream the high ping scrims against G2.
Licorice- I bet you can't win with Teemo top in the LCS. If you find a way to do it I will make a shrine praying to you every day as my new lord and savior of top laners.
Blaber- I bet you can't win a LCS game with Amumu or Warwick whichever one. Just think it would be the ultimate flex to pull it off in the second half.
Nisqy- I bet you can't win a LCS game with Annie mid? Do it you coward.
Zven- I think you should play a game of Syndra bot against TSM specifically. Just for the lols and to flex that you are a better mage player than DL.
Vulcan- Xerath would be fun to see you bust out. I don't know the situation, but take it into consideration? Is anyone else flabbergasted at the fact that this guy has only been around for like 1 full year and is already one of the best supports this region has ever seen? He is better than CoreJJ. I need people to take in this as fact right now. CoreJJ is not a scrub and this young kid comes out of nowhere basically and is already top tier.
Dignitas - Shits fucked man. Even games that it feels Dig should have won are losses due to poor decision making as a team. What sucks is that I see them trying to play around their strength of Johnsun and Aphromoo, but it still isn't working. I think at this point you just have to stick with that as a strategy because I quite frankly don't see them winning any other way as far as an avenue for success. Maybe if they are feeling desperate they should start asking Lourlo for any major counterpicks he wants to play for a 4-1 split push set up.
Lourlo- It's sad that this guy is actually playing pretty well and won't be able to get the recognition he deserves. He hasn't been poor and just needs a little bit of oomph for the team to pull a win. I watch a ton of Lourlo streams so I'm a bit biased towards him and want him to succeed. I think if they continue to not find success as a team just give him a game with a hard counter for a split push win. Bust out a Nasus if you have to. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Viper- I don't know what happened to here, but this is not the leap we were hoping to see this year from Viper. He has just regressed so much it's kind of crazy. I hope that he is able to come out of his slump because when he is good he is really good. Unfortunately we don't know when he will step back up.
Akaadian- Pathing seems wrong. Aggression seems dumb. Decisions seem reckless. I think the epitome of the jungler struggles for this team came when in week 3 against TL I saw Akaadian die bot side 1v1 to Impact trying to make a hero kill as Olaf into Jayce with phase rush. It isn't that heroics aren't needed, but that was definitely not the smartest moment to try and find out. This isn't a problem with just Akaadian however since Dardoch is did the same exact thing except a different team in a different moment.
Dardoch- Maybe, just maybe other people trying to tell you how to play certain things is for the good of the team? We have seen you with Graves try and play as if you are Olaf/J4. We have just seen you get outplayed and be overagressive and throw what could be winning fights over and over. The sad part is that you are a slight upgrade over Akaadian so you can't even be immediately replaced. However both of you tend to have the same flaws.
Froggen- I like old players like Froggen. I like seeing long standing veterans still having a place in this league. I'm not going to go as far as to say Froggen should retire. More that he needs to go into the lab and refine his style. People will say that Froggen needs to change his style to more of the roaming style that others have gone in, but I think there is a way to maintain his lane dominant style while also adapting to the times. It doesn't need to be Anivia that he uses, but there have been picks like Ziggs showing up in the LCK that offer some of the same zoning and wave clear she does that could be useful. I don't think he is washed, but he should really look at better ways of adapting.
Fenix- I'm amazed I can watch the same PROFESSIONAL PLAYER make the same mistakes with vision he made years ago. That's all I got to say about that.
Johnsun/Aphro- Bot lane duos count as one unless one is so disproportionately bad compared to the other for an example here think TSM Yellowstar. The only real bright spot on this team. I'm very willing to call Aphro the adc whisperer at this point since he is almost always working with young talent and somehow they all tend to shine when he is working with them. Turnaround season for him and a rising season for Johnsun. Now get these two maybe on to GGS and I honestly think GGS would be at .500. We will get to GGS in a bit.
Immortals- The current roster is 1-3 as far as I'm concerned. I like what I'm seeing from Allorim and Insanity so far, and I'm really glad they are getting their shots and showing what they are made of. I am however dissappointed with Xmithie.
Soaz- This is going to be a shock, but Soaz... is actually good?! In terms of overall skill I think he is still better than Allorim, however, I will not be putting him as a starter. It's okay to still be good Soaz, but can you be better? The team needs you to be more than what we know of you right now. You shouldn't be catching so much flak for the team underperforming, but all anyone thinks about when your name comes up is how you have been dunked by Ssumday twice. They forget how you make game saving plays because you don't always create the leads needed on your own or through any synergy with your team. This is just my perception from the outside, but whatever weird thing bias you have against NA specifically needs to be put down with your ego. There is something weird that happens to some EU players when they come over in thinking they are overall so much better than the NA players, but then you find out the hard way that the skill gap isn't as big as you think it is and you can't get away with mediocrity. I think you can EARN the spot back. You are great enough to be able to.
Allorim- The only thing I really have to say to about Allorim is that I was for some reason expecting you to pull out a Yorick into the Wukong pick since it's a solid matchup for Yorick, but I understand that it pigeon holes the team into a split push team comp that can be risky in the current roam everywhere you can meta. Still at this point picks like Urgot and malph have been great for the team, and he has shown up to play. I really hope this is something that can be sustained by you overall.
Potluck- Alright I'm saying it. You have been better than Xmithie this split. I'm a huge Xmithie fan boy. Even when he was on team Vulcan I was a fan. I think this is his worst split ever. Even worse than his last split on CLG and you deserve a shot.
Xmithie- I don't think I have ever watched Xmithie be the worst player on a team before, but here we are in 2020. New experiences for everyone all around. Everyone has slumps and since you are a multiple time champion I EXPECT you to pick yourself up. The only argument I have for keeping this guy as the starter is that the synergy with Hakuho is pretty great. Especially because both of you are cerebral players. However sometimes in league you need to be cerebral and other times you have to be able to show you can just press buttons better. It's been a while since I have felt you can press buttons better than the opponent.
Eika- I don't want to come across as a bully. I just don't feel you are worth the import slot. You are a good player, just not one for this league right now. With someone like Ryoma, you see those moments where he slides in with Azir and 1v3s with a nice shuffle to bring the game back from the brink and it let's you know there is potential in the guy. Or in his best of series in playoffs last split you see he learned from getting smacked around. When I think of you Eika I think back to game 1 of the split where you have Galio and you are taunting over the wall around the 16 minute mark for at best a terrible looking taunt, then I realize you are trying flash taunt. They took that out of the game man... I just don't see those same sparks of brilliance from you. Sorry.
Insanity- Alright everything I said about Eika is opposite here. The fact that you weren't at least given a shot earlier is a blunder and it makes sense why the old GM was fired for not letting you start after game 2 of the split. I really hope that the overall poor standings of the split don't deter your growth, cause kid you got the moves.
Gate/Altec- While losses haven't been on this bot lane, what I feel seperates them from the duo of Hakuho/Apollo is that when given a winning match up they seem to flounder it. I do feel as if Gate is the worse half of this duo just due to how much he seems to get caught out, but it definitely doesn't feel like Altec does a lot in regards of carrying either. Sometimes I watch and it's as if Altec is playing for his stats whereas Gate is playing for the win, but making the wrong plays to do it. Just from my eye test.
Apollo/Hakuho- About what I expected. That is both a good thing and a bad thing. At this point I feel like these guys are the measuring stick for how good a bot lane should be at minimum to be in the LCS. You are the height requirement for this kiddie ride we call LCS. If you aren't at least as good as this duo, then you aren't good enough to be here. Again, both a compliment and an insult.
100T - Although I understand shake ups had to happen, I'm personally on the side of Stunt in his good bye message. It is a really big shame that he won't be able to prove that they can rally later in the season again like they did last split. I understand that changes had to happen, but who is to say that the group with Meteos and Stunt couldn't do it again. It is now one of my great what if scenarios as well.
Ssumday- Right now still a top 3 top laner in this league. Tanks? Got the team. Bruisers? Yeah sure. Carries? Yeah he can do that. I think one thing that urks a lot of fans is the lack of hard carries put in Ssumdays hands, but he is a great tank player as well and for a lot of the scenarios it isn't ideal to have a top lane carry oriented pick for this team. They have been on the side of scaling for as a team for a bit now and players like Cody need multiple big boys in front of them to be the most effective. He just does his best and respects all, but fears none.
Meteos- Let's ignore the twitter debacle and really focus on just the gameplay and if Meteos as a player can look at those Olaf VODS and say "yeah I was right to make that decision" with a straight face, then he deserves the bench. Something that I feel maybe him and a few other old guard players are actually not good at is criticism. They are always looking to justify why the play or decision they made was actually the correct one and others clearly don't know what they are talking about. The results however have shown that maybe he isn't always right. Maybe there are things he seems to be lacking or missing. It's okay to be wrong as long as you grow, but there seems to be a lack of growing this split. If he gets another chance in this season to start I hope he is ready to prove everyone wrong.
Contractz/Poome- It wouldn't be fair to do an assessment based off what we have seen so far, so I'll give it until the end of the split.
Ryoma- As stated above in Eika, I fully understand why any team not just 100T would have wanted Ryoma as a starter. Clearly he is consistent yet, but I believe that he can be. Every once in a while Ryoma will have a play that makes me go " Oh that was really nice" or "That's really clutch" I just wish he weren't making so many of those plays from behind.
Cody Sun- Still Lite Doublelift. Both a compliment and an insult. It's sad because he does not win lane as much as DL so I kind of feel like I'm insulting DL by calling Cody a poor mans version of him. I really want to see Cody start separating this label on himself because it will follow him and begin to haunt him forever if he doesn't.
Stunt- shrugs You tried your best. Unfortunately it wasn't good enough. Part of me thinks you were able to rally so easily last split because you knew your spot was guaranteed that split no matter how you played. It alleviated that pressure that you always had on you from previous teams and really allowed growth. Unfortunately a slow start this split and not being able to pick up where you left off came and bit you in the ass. Hopefully in the next team you join there is a chance for you to succeed. Good luck man.
Golden Guardians- Clear upgrades and there is clearly a diamond in the rough here. Although I'm surprised at not keeping Golden glue for growth purposes. I really was hoping you would be one of the teams to keep the entire roster the same as last split. That way you get an actual full measure of your team. Ousting Goldenglue wasn't the bad, but it's kind of the same situation as Stunt where you really don't know if the team could have grown more from having a stable roster.
Hauntzer- Every once in a while Haunzter makes some either really poor decisions or has really poor communication with his jungler. I'm not sure which one it is exactly. The TSM game sticks out to me as one of those times. Why didn't he ask Closer to come and help push the wave in with him when he was by Krugs?! Sometimes his wave management and trade timings are questionable and I'm so confused as to whether he is good or bad because sometimes it's immaculate. Another thing that's super filthy(in a good way) is how he uses vision at times and I wet myself from the big brain moments he can have. They are just ruined by him wearing his headband too tight in some games. Top half top laner, but I don't see Hauntzer pushing this team into the top 4 any time soon.
Closer- This may sound like I'm insulting Closer here, but I think GG was under appreciated by him. There were a lot of small things that were done by him that Damonte does not do in terms of vision and positioning that really made Closer look good. Of course no one will care to look back now, but there were plenty of times last split where GG would die for Closer to clean things up and get the highlight, but that isn't happening as much this time around. Although I admit laning wise Damonte is an upgrade there is something to be said about the soft skills bringing up players as well on a team. Still a good jungler and worth the import slot, but I'm going to need a bit more in terms of carry performances here since overall this split has been underwhelming.
Damonte- Definitely deserved a starting spot, too bad it's a rough start. I feel like there are too many times I have seen Damonte late to the play when going for a roam. Even when on something that should have priority. Or times when I see that him lose a trade and can't be as aggressive when heading towards objective fights since he made too many mistakes in trades. I need this to be cleaned up so that way the objective fights can actually start on even footing. Too many times this split I'm seeing Damonte walk to the dragon/baron with half health because of a bad trade he took right before it. The prime example of this is against TL where he eats a Jensen shockwave right before drag spawn. The team can't commit to a fight because of how low he is. Overall the lane was played well, but getting shoved out before objectives over and over was not fun to watch.
FBI/Huhi- The weakest link of this team is here. There are some points where I see FBI and I'm thinking this guy is Uzi in secret. Then I see him just randomly misposition and I'm thinking "ThIs GuY iS uZi!" However a lot of that flies under the radar because Huhi has far more obvious mistakes. It's clear that Huhi is watching VODS on CoreJJ because it feels like he is lite version. From the way he positions himself to the timings he has for going for vision it all reminds me of Core. It's a good place to start for learning, except there he is still getting caught in crucial moments unlike Core. I think if we give Huhi enough time he will be amazing, but I don't know if GG will give him enough time since FBI seems to be ready right now in comparison.
CLG - Already doing better than last split which is a great start. The only place for you guys to go in comparison to last split is up so I'm glad the fruits of your labor is starting to show. There are still major gaps that need to be filled.
Ruin- I miss the ruin that played a different champion pretty much every game and showed he is skilled enough to do so. There is just something so deadly about a top laner with a vast champion pool that can reach in and grab a niche pick that his team needs or really abuse red side in some creative way. I was hoping to see a reurn of that version of Ruin. The top lane meta is far more open than people think and I'm just surprised in how underutilized his versatility is right now. If there is one improvement on this team I would want this more than anything.
Wiggly- Alright I'm going to be honest. I didn't expect Wiggly to be good this split. I thought he would be replaced, especially after the perfect game for the season opener. However I have been pleasantly surprised. Synergy with Pob has not been bad at all pathing has been solid. Just a good middle of the pack jungler. I'm not expecting a hard carry performance out of Wiggly, but I have come to see him as a reliable jungler who knows what his role is in each game/team comp he is placed in. If he could fit a couple more hard carry performances in that would be really great to make the team more dynamic
Pobelter- Funny how this guy couldn't find a team at the beginning of last split. Still the paragon of a great LCS mid. Whereas Hakuho/Apollo are the bar for LCS play I think of Pob as the bar for international play. You have to be at minimum as good as Pobelter to compete on the international stage. At least by NA standards. Still showing that the boomers still got it. Every once in a while a poor decision is made, but nothing that can't be smoothed out.
Stixxay/Smoothie- Look which bot lane decided to remember things they were good at. Glad to see a bounce back to more stable form after the terrible showing from both of these guys last split. Smoothie has really started playing around vision well again and Stixxay has finally been positioning properly to take advantage of the opportunities handed to him. I actually would love to see a bit more roaming out of Smoothie. Lately it seems he is super attached at the hip to the lane, wheras when I think of the best of smoothie it is his random roams towards even the top side that I remember most. He seems to be on the same page with Wiggly more this split which has helped tremendously.
FlyQuest- The addition of Solo has definitely made this team better than the spring split version. Mash is still up in the air if he improves the team overall, but the team is definitely in position to finish second again this split. Most of the mistakes on this team are very few and far between.
Solo- Staying untiltable. The only criticism that has ever really been part of Solo from his career is how he can tilt and not be very good to work with when things are going poorly. I don't think his play is really anything that needs to be worried about. However I fully expect people to start taking away Sett from him at some point. Just been ridiculous on that champ both in and out of laning phase. It's like the champ was made for him in a way.
Santorin- I used to be one of the harshest critics of Santorin. I always felt that he was never really the carry his team needed to be, but for the past few splits he has really been putting any haters down. Me included. The little invisible things like simply providing pressure and vision for Solo in top side so he doesn't just get ganked are just huge over sights into what he is able to provide. Most of the mistakes that I see stem from set up around pits during the mid-late game, but that is a team wide issue and not simply a Santorin thing. I imagine if this team is losing it is mostly going to be around the pit area for either drag or baron.
PowerofEvil- If C9 did not exist he would be my ballot for MVP. He is just too valuable to what this team needs and has made adjustments in his play to accommodate different styles. The team lives and dies by how he and Santorin are playing.
Wildturtle/Mash/Ignar= WT's willingness to play weakside should not be seen as a weakness, what should be seen as a weakness is giving him a winning match up and he doesn't push the advantage. That is a weakness and that is why I can understand why the team felt the need to step back from him a bit. Mash has been solid, but I don't think he has done anything that WT isn't capable of or hasn't shown he is capable of. Ignar has been great and is a top 3 support in the league most likely the 3rd best and ends up second best if CoreJJ is having an off day.
Evil Geniuses- This is going to be a banger of a review #Live Evil.
Kumo- If it wasn't for the last two games where he got demolished I would have been okay saying Kumo is the 4th best top laner in the league. I really liked the Volibear pick in Kumos hands, but teams seemed to have taken it away. I also really would like to see Kumo on a bit more Poppy. It just seems to work so well for him when he is on it and I don't know why EG seems to shy away from picking it for him when he is so good at executing on this champ. If he is able to force Poppy bans then mission accomplished. Pick it for him more often is all I'm asking for.( of course when it is more appropriate to do so)
Svenskeren- #Live Evil. Svenskeren has been playing really well with Jizuke despite a couple int games here and there for him. I don't know what happened to picks like Xin disappearing for him, but definitely would like to see him on stuff like that again so he can take charge of some games. I appreciate that he has been able to maintain some form of agency despite the focus of the team not being around him at all. #Live Evil
Jizuke- Definition of a coin flip player right here. You either get the guy who is able to TF ultimate into the perfect spot every time and the pull Misaya level bait and perfect game a solid team. Or you get the guy who is so tilted and ineffective he doesn't even want the extra damage that Kogmaw passive does because it will be useless. I wish I could tell him to change, but part of what makes him bad is also what makes him so great as well. You want a random play that just basically ends the game? This guy will do it. Just heads or tails as to whether it results in a win or not.
Bang/Zeyzal- I'm a fan of this bot lane. I think Zeyzal is the weaker link in this duo, but not by a huge margin or the extent he is holding Bang back like he was held back in 100T. (Sorry Aphro). It's just the only bastion of consistency on this team of what feels like wild cards. When the ball has been passed to them to carry though they seem to handle it so easily.
Team Liquid- The best top 3 team in the league right now. I'm not sure whether I should praise Jensen and CoreJJ for keeping this team together and squeaking out wins, but that's exactly what they both have been doing. Although it feels bad and looks bad. The wins column is adding up pretty nicely. Say what you want about their draft choices or the sloppy execution, but good teams find ways to win and despite what people may say this is a good team and likely is heading to worlds if they clean up the early game.
Impact- There is a huge misconception that Impact is a tank player and I need it to stop. He is not a tank player. He is an independent type of player who knows when and how to group with his team at the right time so he can ahem have an impact on the game. The picks he is being given in Mordekaiser, Jayce, and Kennan are all proof of that. These are all champs that are able to handle themselves in isolation/side lanes and have great flanks or disrupt the team fight in different ways. He has been great this split and is highly undervalued in what he brings to this team.
Broxah- The issue people have in how ugly TLs wins are because they have had to smite fight so often for their objectives lately. On top of that we are not seeing Broxah on picks like Elise or Lee Sin a whole lot either and those type of picks really do make him shine as compared to Trundle with his sick pillar play. Overall what we WANT to see out of him isn't what is needed out of him. He is doing exactly what his team needs and that is to support his solo laners as much as possible so that they can carry the games. If he is going to be playing this supportive style he plays a mean Ivern if I remember correctly.
Jensen- I have a love hate relationship when it comes to Jensen. He is really good, but doesn't always back it up in the way we want him to. He still does Jensen things where he is almost always up in [email protected] by 11. It's just that TL early game as a team has been so ugly to watch that we miss the greatness of Jensen and his individual skill. My gripe with Jensen isn't individual talent. It is elevating the people around him to another level and that's where I see his contemporaries(Nisqy, PoE, Bjerg) simply be better at it than him. I'm of course not behind the scenes so I'm not sure what actually goes on behind the scenes, but that's just my perception.
CoreJJ/Tactical- It's fair to say that Tactical slots into this team nicely, but it helps having one of the best support players in the world on your side while you come into your own. CoreJJ actually shifted the entire support meta when he showed you can start shrines with Bard and give your mid laner two shrines to start the game. In case people forget the shrines also give move speed so good luck out sustaining and landing hits during any trades early. After he did that almost every single support in NA has copied it. So yes he is still one of the best supports in the league.
TSM - This is a good team. Not C9 levels of good, but still a good team. They have integrated Spica so seamlessly into the line up that I'm actually sad there was a split of mediocre Dardoch instead of giving the kid a chance earlier. Bjerg also seems to be on a mission to prove he is still the best as well. This team went from not having an existing early game to being one of the best early game teams in the league. The biggest flaw they have is that every once in a while they make a mistake that throws their lead away. This can't happen on the international level, but I'm all for you guys making as many mistakes now so you can patch it up as time passes.
Brokenblade- Synergy with Spica has been nothing short of near excellent. Stats say he is the best top laner in the league right now, but until C9 falls I have to leave it in Licorices hands. Otherwise firmly the second best and it shuffles between Licorice, Ssumday and Impact for this top spot here right now. For improvement the only thing I think of is getting caught before objectives like drag. That's about one of the only noticeable flaws I see from my end. Team fighting and knowing when to sacrifice himself have been great. Almost no death with BB goes without meaning in someway or he simply won't die and reads ganks pretty well. I'm just hoping he gets better at protecting himself in the mid game lane swap. That tends to be the only time he really gets caught out for mid game mistakes.
Spica- Look at this spicy kid here. What I'm most impressed by more than the raw mechanics is the ability to manipulate where he is in vision and being in the right place at the right time so often. Once or twice is luck, but when a player is at the right place so often it is just a skill that they have in reading the map and flow of the game. Along with the mechanics and the proper aggression shown the only improvements are things that come with time and experience in decision making, but that is what Bjerg is there for and boy has he lived up to that for the guys this split.
Bjergsen- If C9 didn't exist Bjerg would be second in MVP voting behind PoE. Part of the reason I have PoE ahead is because somehow he has come up just a tiny bit more clutch than Bjerg the last few times they have matched up. There is just something so great about watching a great player do their thing and I definitely feel like that is what we are witnessing from Bjerg. Both the eye test and stats are showing he is no less than top three as a mid laner and if you still think he is the problem then God have mercy on your soul.
Doublelift/Biofrost- You guys are good, but have had some questionable games along with some really hard pop off games as well. I'm excited to see if you they have a way to break C9's bot lane the way that CoreJJ broke down you guys at the beginning of the split.
TLDR I watch too much league of legends. I'll do one for LEC tomorrow.
submitted by accountforjerk to leagueoflegends [link] [comments]

I fixed our company fax machine. I wish I didn't.

I know what you’re thinking.
It’s 2020. Who the hell still uses fax machines?
You’re right obviously. There can’t be many people who are still using them in this day and age, but apparently, my office is one of them. They don’t actually use it of course , but it sits there in the printing room, unplugged and gathering dust. For some reason, nobody ever dared throw it away. My guess is that nobody from management ever took enough interest, or were worried one of the old guard would throw a hissy fit if it disappeared one day. I suppose it’s one of those relics people keep around “just in case”.
Whatever the reason, we’ve got one. And despite working in coding, whenever something electrical breaks in the office, I get asked if I can help fix it. (Here’s a life lesson - never show anyone at work you’re good with computers. Suddenly you’ll be working two jobs for the price of one.) Since I’m a sucker for a pretty woman, and too polite to say no, about four months ago when a pretty woman asked if I could fix the fax machine, you bet your ass I quit scrolling on reddit and headed to the printer room.
Turned out to be an easy fix - it was just out of ink. But, since pretty much all our cartridges are those rip off branded ones that only work with a specific printer, sourcing new ink meant I had to order some online. After searching the cubicles I finally found the girl to let her know it should be working in a couple of days. I was hoping for “My hero” and possibly a bit of light swooning, but she didn’t even look up from her phone and all I got was a “K, thanks”. She’d just been asked by her manager to do an inventory check and passed it down the line to me. Great.
This was back when Covid-19 was still just a rising trend on twitter, before the world went into full blown panic mode. Despite my best efforts to ignore current events, I still got sucked into the standard water cooler conversations that everyone was having, and I forgot all about the fax machine until the ink arrived the next week. Even after filling the fax machine up, one of its little lights was still flashing. The machine was so old, whatever symbol had been placed directly under the electric diodes had long since faded. Despite the missing symbols, I realised it was trying to print something but had no paper.
Ink and paper. Heroic fix, right?
The moment I loaded it with A4, this ancient little machine snatched the paper and began churning out page after page. It was that archaic nineties sound, when you could hear the ink plotter whirring back and forth. Just printing one page seemed to take almost a minute, but the pages soon piled up and just kept on coming. I supposed that even though the fax machine had been off all these years, it had just instantly resumed whatever print queue was still in its internal storage. If the fax number had been live all this time, it could well be processing every single file that had been sent to our company fax number since nineteen-ninety-whenever.
Looking down at the pages it had spat out, I could see how it ran out of ink. The pages were full black and white pictures. The resolution was terrible though. I hovered around for a minute, but this machine would not stop printing. Flicking through the images, I checked to see if someone had accidentally punched in too many zeroes when they chose how many copies to print, but each page was different. They all followed the same format though, a full black and white image, and a big number in the top right corner. I puzzled over it, trying to make patterns out of the numbers, but they were all over the place.
2
782
45
99999999999999
1.315
800
The images didn’t seem to form any sort of logical grouping either. They weren’t adverts or presentation materials. They didn’t look professional or creative. They were just random. People. Things. One was just a weird floaty ball thing; it looked like a space hopper, but for aliens. I let the pile of paper flop back down and scrolled on my phone. Eventually it would print everything, surely?
I was getting a little bit too distracted by the girls of ‘GoneMild’ when an abrupt halt to the fax machine’s endless whirring made me look up. It had finally stopped printing. When I moved closer to look, the light was flashing again. Out of ink....
Grumbling to myself, I headed to the supply cupboard to grab the bottle I’d bought. Luckily, I’d had to buy in bulk, so still had plenty left. Since the fax machine was running low on paper, I topped that up too. Knowing I couldn’t spend the whole day standing next to this fax machine looking at abundant cleavage, I scooped up the images, set them to one side and let the fax machine do its thing.
Just before I left for the day, I went to go check on it. It had stopped printing, but only because it had run out of ink. Again. Cursing whichever moron had sent an entire graphic novel collection to the fax machine twenty years ago, I tried to see if I could somehow clear the print queue, but the buttons didn’t do anything and there was no display panel, just lights that blinked when it needed something. There’s a joke about my ex-girlfriend there somewhere, but let’s not go there.
Figuring maybe it would finish overnight, I moved the fresh stack of printed pictures - still just numbers and images - next to the previous pile and reloaded the fax machine with ink and paper. It dutifully resumed whirring and spitting out new images.
It wasn’t a surprise the next day to find that the fax machine’s thirst for ink (and my time) had not yet been quenched. It almost seemed proud of its new collection of prints, and I quickly flicked through to see if this pile was any different, but it was just as nonsensical and bizarre as the rest. I could - and probably should - have left it. But I was curious to see how much longer this queue would last before I reached the end. Without sitting there and counting them, there must have been easily three hundred pages of weird images. How many more could there be? Besides, the ink I’d bought wouldn’t be compatible with any of the other printers our company owned, so I might as well use it. I topped up the machine again and left it humming and chewing through a fresh pack of A4.
Halfway through the day, there was a knock at my office door, and an extremely pissed off woman from upper management asked me what the hell I was printing on company time. She practically dragged me to the printing room, whilst I did a less-than-spectacular attempt at explaining the situation.
“Look at this!” she said, gesturing wildly at the fax machine. The light was blinking again, as if to taunt me. On top of the fresh stack of paper was the number ‘84’, and an image of a man’s face, close up, clearly in pain. Agony might have been a better way to describe it. Even with the pixelated and crappy monotone quality of the printer, you could see the man’s facial muscles contorting, eyes clamped shut, teeth bared.
“I haven’t printed any of this,” I said quickly, holding up my hands, “this is just whatever is left from the last time it was on.”
“Even so, you can’t just leave them lying around,” she hissed, splaying the pages and pulling them out to show me. I’d just been looking for patterns, but she was searching for offensive images, and in the stack of hundreds, there were plenty to choose from. Images of fire and blood, people wearing sinister masks, dead bodies just lying in the street. When she pulled them out and lumped them together, it didn’t look good. “This is completely unacceptable! Get rid of them.”
She picked up the rest of the papers and dumped them in my hands. As she scrambled around, the only thing I could think to mutter was “it’s still not finished printing.”
“Just leave it,” she snapped, pulling out the plug and sticking the fax machine on its old dusty shelf, “it’s 2020, who still uses these things?”
She was right, of course. I’d known the only reason they’d wanted it turned on was for an inventory check. Nobody actually wanted to use it. But I guess programmers are naturally curious about how things work. Or I am, at least. I still wanted to see how deep this particular rabbit hole went, but it wasn’t worth losing my job over. I’d not really noticed how bad some of the images were. I turned the pages upside down as I walked back to my office, to avoid anyone else seeing them.
Hovering over the bin, I was half tempted to keep them. They were kind of cool, in a weird way. But what was I going to do with hundreds of random images and numbers? I dropped the whole stack into the bin, and forgot about it. I browsed reddit, and when my colleague came in we talked about how crazy this whole coronavirus thing was.
That was before the lockdown. We started working from home before the Government shut down the country. It’s been a weird few months - like living in a really boring movie - but I was actually kind of glad to get back to work. I’m a creature of routine, I guess.
Not everybody was as eager or as willing to go back to the office as I was, so the place was pretty deserted when I got to work. I did a little bit of catching up with the few faces I saw and knew, then sat down at my computer. No word of a lie, it actually had cobwebs on it. I grabbed some tissues from my drawer and wiped the screen, then as I slid across to throw it in the bin - I froze.
The papers from the fax machine. In all the lockdown craziness, I’d forgotten all about them, but even the cleaners had been sent home when it all kicked off. The papers were still in my bin. The top page was still the one that I'd been yelled at for. The pained face, twisted in an excruciating grimace. Only there was a difference now that made the skin on my arms tingle.
I recognised the face.
The whole world recognised that face now. On a four month old piece of paper, printed in monotone black, was George Floyd.
When I’d first seen this image, I had no idea who he was. It wasn’t the face the TV was showing though; the normal photo of him looking into the camera, alive and well. It was the face that you had to go on internet videos to see. Pinned down. Knee on his neck. Dying.
For a moment, me and George just stared at each other. Then I reached down and slowly pulled all the papers out of the bin, shaking my head. Was I remembering things wrong? Had George died before lockdown? Even if he had, why was a fax machine printing pictures of his death? I pulled up google, and checked. George Floyd died May 25th 2020. We left the office the first week of March.
I just sat there, slowly spinning in my chair, completely unable to process the image in front of me. Then I remembered there were hundreds more pages underneath. Scattering them around the table, my mouth hung open as I began to recognise things I didn’t know the last time I saw them.
The weird blob that had just looked like an alien space hopper, my eyes now instantly saw it was the coronavirus, viewed under a microscope. If I’d have been paying more attention at the time, I’d have probably known. There were riots and protests, a police officer with bullet wounds in his chest, a black teenager hung in a noose, the dead bodies in the street were wearing face masks. A shiver wrapped its way around my entire body as cold realisation spilled over me. Only a few images made any sense to me, but every single one had happened after it had been printed.
It couldn’t be right. Someone must have changed the pictures. They were so low quality, I must just be seeing things. I snatched the picture of George up. It was him. There was no denying it. It was him. My eyes flicked to the ‘84’ at the top right corner. Should I put them in order? I slid the papers around, searching for an ‘83’ or ‘85’, then I paused. He died almost three months after this was printed…
Pulling up the calendar on my computer, I started counting backwards from May 25th. As my finger moved closer and closer to the week we’d left the office, I forced myself to count out loud, but each number just came out in a strangled whisper.
“Eighty-one, eighty-two, eighty-three…”
My finger pointed to March 3rd and fell away. I couldn’t physically say the number. But it was the same as the one printed in black above George Floyd’s final moments. Casting my mind back, I tried desperately to remember what day I printed off these pages. I knew I got the ink delivery on a Monday, and I was printing for one more day before I got told to stop.
March 3rd was a Tuesday.
The fax machine hadn’t just printed the future. It had told me how many days until it happened. As if it had been trying to warn me.
In that moment, I became extremely aware of how cold it was in my office, and how quiet. My hands slid by themselves to the pile of papers, rummaging around until I could find another to verify. All the rioters were too vague; I needed something more specific. At first I passed straight over an image of Big Ben and empty London streets, but then I realised that it could represent the UK going into lockdown. Only when I pulled out the paper did I see the number.
31080
I couldn’t remember exactly how many days had passed between printing and lockdown, but somehow that seemed a little high. Maybe my day theory was just a coincidence with George. Still, here I was surrounded by hundreds of images that the fax machine had somehow known would happen before they did. I was just about to go and check the machine was still in the printing room, when my eyes landed on a page that made me pause.
It showed a man in an untucked shirt and jeans carrying a large box. One that looked a lot like the fax machine. And the man looked a lot like me, even down to the clothes I was wearing.
Despite the cold air, I was starting to sweat. Both my arms were trembling with faint shivers, and I puffed out a deep lungful of air, half to hear something familiar and natural, half to break the silence that was digging under my skin. I ignored the man who looked like me as best I could, and concentrated on the number. 128. Frowning, I turned back to the calendar and counted the days. One hundred and twenty eight days from March 3rd would be tomorrow. So, tomorrow I’d grab the fax machine? In the clothes I was wearing today? If I’d not seen the image, I would have gone to grab it and bring it into the office right now. Looking back at the picture, it was impossible to tell where I was going or even where I was. The background might as well have been a snowstorm for all the grainy blots and faded ink.
Why was it printing pictures of me, or at least, someone who looked like me? And why such a mundane event? Fighting the urge to rip that page into little pieces, I decided to go to the printing room and see if the fax machine was still there. Weirdly, I was sort of relieved when I saw it was. Maybe I was worried someone might have taken it, and the mystery would be over. Raiding the supply cupboard for the remaining bottle of ink, I scooped the fax machine up in one arm and headed back to the office. I didn’t want to hold it like the man in the picture was, but because of its awkward shape and weight, I ended up doing exactly that.
Placing it down on my desk, I unravelled the cord and plugged the fax machine in, topping it up with ink and paper. Almost immediately, it resumed screeching and chewing through the paper. Mind racing, I looked at all the printed images and numbers, spread chaotically all over my desk. Snatching up the image that looked like me, I clutched it in both hands and stared at it so hard, my eyes must have been close to boring holes right through it. It didn’t look like me. It was me. There was no denying it. Desperately glancing back and forth at the number and my calendar, I realised that most of these pages had been printed on Monday 2nd March, not Tuesday 3rd of March. By searching through them like a frantic idiot, I’d mixed them all up. If this one of me had been printed on the Monday, the number was accurate. 128 days until it had come true. The machine had predicted exactly what I’d do, and even though I saw the image, I still did it.
I threw up into the bin.
Some part of my brain had still been holding onto the possibility that somebody was messing with me, but the page clutched in my shaking hands was proof that this was something else entirely. The fax machine was printing the future. Hundreds of pages of events that happened after they were printed.
I threw up again, dry heaving until there was nothing left in my stomach.
Wiping my mouth, I screwed up the image of myself and the fax machine and tossed it in the bin. It wasn’t like the others, and I had to wrestle with myself not to grab a lighter and set the thing on fire. George Floyd and the others had been creepy. The image with me in it - that I’d literally just fulfilled - took my soul and shook it. I was sweating so much I began to stain the other papers as I ruffled through them. All the images I recognised seemed significant for one reason or another. The kind of events that history would document. How was I included?
Fumbling through my colleague’s drawers, I found what I was looking for. His cigarettes. I normally only smoke when I’m drunk, but needed something to stop my brain racing. As I lit it and took a deep drag of hot vapourised tar, I dimly realised I’d never had a cigarette sober, and there was a reason for that. Puffing out thick plumes of foul tasting smoke and biting down a cough, I searched through the other images. How many had happened? How many were still to come? Were there any that were wrong? Since I’d already messed up the divide between Monday and Tuesday, I decided to take out the ones I knew had happened.
It helped a little bit, and stacked together I could see my theory about the numbers equalling days needed some refinement. Images of the riots following George’s death had all sorts of digits on, ranging from 2.6 to 7862027. Since I knew they’d definitely happened, I played around with the numbers a bit, and realised that if I treated the big numbers as seconds or minutes, they would fit the timeline much better. The small numbers generally worked out as months or weeks. Except for some that I could tell were actually days. It didn’t take long for my head to start hurting, and I didn’t think it was the cigarette.
So the image showed what would happen, and the number referred to when, in varying time formats. I was trying to think how I could organise the remaining images when the fax machine stopped printing. Out of ink again. God dammit.
The top page was just money on a counter, and I noticed something that had eluded me on the other images. The fax machine didn’t print text. Other than the number in the corner, there were no letters or symbols of any kind on the image itself. The bank notes were blank, with Queen Elizabeth’s face the defining feature that let me know it was currency. The top left number on this one was very small. 0.0329
Placing the stack neatly on my colleagues desk - I did not want to mix these up with the others - I reached for the bottle of ink and my heart sank. It was practically empty, with only a few dribbles of black ink at the bottom. Immediately, I jumped online to buy more.
With delivery times, I’d likely have to wait a couple of days to print more of the future. I bit off a laugh. What was I thinking? I couldn’t just sit on this, this was more important than some office schmuck waiting for a parcel. I needed to tell someone. The government needed this, or the UN or something. Someone who wasn’t me.
Pouring the last remnants of ink into the fax machine, I took out my phone. Who to call? My boss? The police? My local councillor? My fingers hovered over the numbers, wondering how I’d prove it. All my proof had already happened. Only that angry upper management woman had seen them beforehand, and she didn’t exactly seem like someone who I could get easily get on board. I didn’t even know her name.
Paralysed, I looked back at the papers, as if they might help me. The one with the money. That was a small number. It should be happening soon. The currency was British. That meant I’d got both space and time within at least some close proximity. But what did it mean? Money on a counter. That could be anything. Everybody in the country had money. I could reach into my wallet right now and put money on the-
I took out my wallet and opened it up. Two fivers and a twenty. Comparing the size and the pictures didn’t take long to see that the image showed the same. There were coins on the counter too. I unzipped my wallet and began to dig out my coins. I had four, and the image only had three. Relief washed over me as I figured it was likely just an extreme coincidence. Then, as I pulled out the coins to check closer, one slipped from my fingers and clattered to the floor, bouncing and rolling away. I lurched after it, but it disappeared underneath a filing cabinet.
Cursing, I examined my remaining coins. They were identical to those in the image. The one under the filing cabinet wasn’t there. This was my money.
The fax machine sputtered to a stop and I leapt out my chair, half in shock, half spurred to action. It was my money in the picture. The fax machine was predicting what I’d do again. I placed my money on the table and stepped back, waiting for something to happen. Nothing did, of course. I even tried rearranging it, to closer match the image. Nothing.
Looking at the fresh papers, it hadn’t even finished printing the latest one. It was still half stuck in the machine. I carefully pulled it out, and my blood went cold. At the bottom of a set of stairs, was a tangled heap of limbs. The face hadn’t been printed yet, but I recognised the untucked shirt. The trainers too, I recognised, even underneath the blood. And tauntingly, just on the edge of the image, was the fax machine.
This was me. Dead.
Swallowing, I became painfully aware of the number printed above the image. 6.
Six? Six what, days? Years? Minutes? Seconds?
If I’d had anything left to vomit, it would have come out. I needed to get out of here. I needed to take this machine and prove it was real to someone else or smash it to bits and throw it in a river or burn it or -
Forcing myself to take long, deep breaths, I studied the image. What if seeing this image made me panic and leave with the fax machine? What if, in my blind panic, I slipped on the stairs, and that’s what made the image come true?
Calming down a little, I realised I could just wait. There were no stairs in my office. If I just didn’t leave for a little bit longer, that ruled out seconds and minutes. I still had seven hours of my shift left, so I could rule out hours too. That just left days, weeks, months and years to worry about, right? And I could worry about them later.
So I sat still for a few minutes, sickly smile growing on my face. After what could well have been six minutes, one of the lights on the fax machine lit up, blinking red. That particular LED had never lit up before, and I found myself wishing I could have some idea what symbol would have been underneath it.
I decided it was because I’d beaten it. I’d not followed the future it had predicted for me, and so it wasn’t happy. Jokingly, I fed the paper back to it.
“Want this back?” I said out loud with a smile.
My smile shattered when the fax machine took it. It snatched the paper out my hand and garbled it in reverse, spitting out a clean white paper back into the feed tray. There was the briefest pause, and then it began printing again.
Once more, it ran out of ink before finishing, and the image came out incomplete. It was almost identical. A mangled body wearing my clothes, blood covered pages scattered all around, and a fax machine lying on its side. Instead of stairs, skid marks of a tyre ran underneath the pages and my body.. My face hadn’t printed this time either, and the number 0.00476 hung ominously above me.
Part of me wanted to immediately run the numbers, to see how long I had to avoid roads to stop this becoming true. But part of me knew the truth. The similarity of the images was too striking. The exact same prediction, just a different cause in a different place. Same death, just slightly later. The fax machine was apparently convinced this was my destiny.
On my computer, I closed the calculator and opened a Word document. This Word document. In a moment I’ll save it and email it to you. Please note the timestamp.
I’ve managed to push back my destiny once. The fax machine has shown me what to avoid and roughly how long for. The blinking red light even tells me when it’s safe. I’ve got a few strategies to survive, but this is my failsafe in case I’m wrong. It’s not like I can stay in this office forever. The pictures are important, and I’m amongst them, which means my actions are important.
I can’t sit in my office hiding away, whilst the literal future of humanity sits in my hands.
I’m going to get more ink.
***
[ error code 54 ] (846)
[ highlighted for retrieval and clean up ]
submitted by RyanHatesMilk to nosleep [link] [comments]

I Read It So You Don't Have To: Secrets of the Southern Belle (by Phaedra Parks)

I hope the past few days have been restful and rejuvenating for you all, but -- as I'm sure you must have learned by this point -- the journey to personal betterment is an eternal endeavor. We haven't got a moment to waste, so let's bid adieu to the sunny serenity of the California coast and settle in down South with Real Housewives of Atlanta's Phaedra Parks, as she descends from her ivory porch swing and illuminates the esoteric in Secrets of the Southern Belle: How to Be Nice, Work Hard, Look Pretty, Have Fun, and Never Have an Off Moment.
True to the title's descriptive and straightforward sentiments, Phaedra begins the book with a concise synthesis of the worldview she hopes to present:
I believe every woman should be a Southern Belle or minimally aspire to being more ladylike, charming, and intelligent, because we should all be treated well.
As she continues, we get our first glimpse of the deep well of compassion that underlies Phaedra's mission to improve the lives of those around her.
Honestly, I sometimes feel sorry for women of northern persuasion. There they are rushing around in their baggy, drab clothes, doing everything for themselves and looking like they just rolled out of bed. They don't seem to understand there's a better way.
Thankfully, I no longer have to count myself among that witless horde. I feel like, until this fateful moment, I have been living like one of those people from the black-and-white "before" footage of an infomercial -- haphazardly bumbling through the most menial of daily tasks with no way of knowing how much brighter my world could be. Phaedra has freed me from Plato's Cave, and I have no choice but to follow her instruction and strive to shape myself in her image.
A true Southern Belle is known -- first and foremost -- for her fundamental kindness and compassion towards others, so it is only appropriate that the book's first section is succinctly titled, "Be Nice." However, even this simple directive has been trampled by the corrupting influence of the modern world. As Phaedra laments,
Unfortunately, as we see more migration from other parts of the world, we also see an increase of poor manners and rude behavior.
She elaborates, providing specific examples of the personal injuries incurred as a result of these unmannered interlopers.
I find it particularly odd in business, when the salespeople or tellers don't speak or thank you for your patronage. Don't they realize that without customers they would not have a job?
I, too, find it offensive when minimum-wage workers have the nerve to act like actual human beings rather than automatons at the mercy of my personal whims, and I appreciate that Phaedra is bold enough to ask the question that has undoubtedly been on the tip of our collective tongue. Yet somehow, she still remains humble enough to freely admit where she has room to learn; here, she lets the reader in on "something I've never quite understood about non-southerners:"
They're suspicious of basic southern warmth because they're worried it's insincere. But at the same time, they will tell you the most inappropriate things! They tell you stuff about their health that you don't want to know. They launch into crazy stories about their terrible childhoods and how misunderstood they are. They complain about what happened long ago, and they fret openly about the future. Then they tell you what they paid for things and you want to crawl under the table.
Frankly, that's not very attractive.
What is attractive, then, you may ask? Effusive compliments, for one thing -- "I don't know why some people are so concerned with being sincere, when being nice is so much more effective." We also learn to "never contradict anyone, even if you know they are wrong." Phaedra illustrates this particular lesson with the following example:
If someone tells you that your taxes are due on April 30 instead of April 15, you look puzzled and say, "Goodness, I had no idea. Did they change the date?"
And what happens after that? Either the person says yes and you're forced to play along with whatever bizarre delusion and/or power-play your companion is currently indulging, or they say no and you say -- what? "Right, of course, I knew that the whole time!" Or, "Gotcha! It's April 15th, you incompetent fraud!" Or maybe, "I don't even know what taxes are -- money is for menfolk!" I just can't imagine any of those scenarios playing out with less discomfort than a simple correction, but after four years living in New England, I can only assume that's just northern negativity clouding my vision.
We are next presented with a list of "compliments that come in handy," a few of which I've transcribed below for immediate incorporation into your own phrasal repertoire.
What an interesting way to think about it. (Good for a point on which you disagree with someone.)

You thought of every little detail; I love a meticulous lady!

Wow! That is so original. I would never have put it together like that. (In this South this might mean, "I hate it," but in a polite way.)
Boss Babe is out -- Meticulous Lady is in! Phaedra reminds us to keep health concerns -- "especially female issues" -- far from polite conversation, then shifts gears to a much-needed lesson in verbal comportment. It's not just their "attractive regional accents" that distinguish Southern Belles from their less-attractive northern counterparts; they also devote great attention to evoking grace through their cadence and tone.
Sometimes northern women can sound awfully abrupt. It's just a habit they have, poor things.
If you'd like to take your place amongst esteemed gentility, however, I urge you to change your ways! For one thing, when speaking, "slip in something affectionate so that a very harsh reality doesn't come across as rude or abrupt." For example, see how much unpleasant confrontation is avoided with the following turn of phrase:
Darling, don't you know you're too smart and pretty to be the town drunk?
Silly girl, haven't you heard? Addiction is for ugly people! You should also feel free to use these compliments liberally throughout conversation -- "You don't have to mean it, you know." As an example:
If you can tell that someone has put a lot of effort into a particular aspect of her outfit, just draw attention to it. Sparkly stars-and-stripes high heels could be terribly tacky, but you bet they're supposed to be noticed, so go ahead and do it. "Those are certainly patriotic shoes!"
Let me take a crack at it -- This book certainly has a lot of words in it! Writing a book is such an impressive achievement -- I'm sure it feels so rewarding to finally see it In print! And I love the way you occasionally use infinity signs as bullet points -- it's so evocative! I think I'm getting the hang of this!
"Another southern difference?" As Phaedra informs us, "we try not to make direct requests. It just sounds so forward and frankly unpleasant if someone comes right out and says what they want from you." Phaedra's Starbucks barista must really despise her -- If it isn't too much trouble, could I bother you for something to drink? No, anything's fine -- I wouldn't want to impose.
Almost like a modern-day Rosetta Stone, the next passage introduces us to the nuanced connotations that pervade a true Belle's vocabulary. For example, Phaedra tells the reader that "if I tell someone 'Goodness, you must have spent all day on your hair. I am so impressed!' it really means I hate it." Before I manage to convey how impressed I am by the book before me, I read on to learn that "when you're discussing a homely girl, you generally say, 'She's so smart!' The general thought is you can't be both ugly and dumb. God wouldn't be that cruel." Please excuse me while I take a few hours to re-analyze every compliment I've ever been given in my entire life.
Now that that's done, here are a few more translations to help you decipher the Belles in your life.
Belle-Speak: She's a nurse-in-training.
Unvarnished Truth: She dates only old men.

Belle-Speak: She's a butter face.
Unvarnished Truth: Everything looks good but her face.

Belle-Speak: Hope he's got money.
Unvarnished Truth: He's unattractive and pays for affection.
The second one is not even really a euphemism so much as Phaedra trying to demonstrate her knowledge of hip modern slang, but I digress. We transition into advice for conversation starters -- "don't throw them complicated or controversial subjects like politics, animal rights, or local zoning." Truly, I can't tell you how many times I've been approached at a party with an opener about municipal ordinances, and it just kills the mood like nothing else. Worried about how you'll ever find something to talk about under these restrictions?
Don't worry about sounding interesting. "Interesting" is an overrated notion. Just fill the empty air.
That…explains a lot, actually.
Our next lesson is in reference to dinner parties -- "don't make a fuss, unless you're complimenting the cook." In case you're confused as to how this guidance should be interpreted, Phaedra clarifies with some examples -- "'Is there meat in here? I'm a vegetarian' is the wrong kind of fuss." Since I typically ask this question while flailing my arms wildly and making intermittent whooping noises, I completely understand how it could be disruptive amongst refined company. Although I'm starting to get a bit nervous that I won't be able to keep track of these seemingly countless rules, Phaedra's next assurance puts my mind at ease: "If all else fails, remember the secret weapon of the Southern Belle is delicate helplessness."
In the next passage, we learn that, "if there's any characteristic that defines a Southern Belle, it's her habit of firing off little notes on any occasion." Just as with verbal compliments, these notes require little to no basis in factual reality -- "obviously it's perfectly all right to exaggerate." But while truthfulness is more or less dispensable, your choice of writing implement could have grave repercussions. As Phaedra exhorts, "Never, ever write a letter in pencil. You might as well not bother at all." Within the realm of pens, however, "blue and black are perfectly acceptable, even if they do lack panache."
We return once again to the topic of appropriate subjects for conversation, and are cautioned against asking anyone their age. Of course, wild speculation is encouraged, "as long as you're out of earshot." In the next tip, Phaedra declares: "Don't discuss the cost of anything. Any discussion of cost is just in poor taste." I just can't help picture how much of a nightmare this woman must be at a fast-food drive-through. Our final instruction?
Don't discuss hair color. Men always pretend they don't dye their hair, so you just have to go with it.
At first glance, this seems reasonable enough, especially in the context of the social graces espoused by the book so far. However, Phaedra's attempt at further explanation quickly begins to careen off-course.
For women, it's a little bit more complicated because you have the question of whether the drapes match the carpet, so to speak. And I do know some who dye the carpet to match -- that was the big thing in high school. Now with all this weird waxing, you don't have to do as much dyeing, but that's another thing you don't talk about either!
Let's see if I've got this straight: I should always believe a man about his purported hair color no matter what, but if a woman tries to lie about hers, she'll get caught…because I will inevitably be forced to confront the realities of her pubic hair? An intimate partner, sure, but I just can't imagine this situation arises with enough frequency to merit even the few lines its given in this text. And honestly, at this point, I don't even think I want to know what Phaedra means by "weird waxing."
This section of the book concludes with a final catalog of "the 'She did what?' mistakes." The list starts off strong with "wearing white to another woman's wedding." However, by the time we end on the most unimaginable of atrocities -- "drinking beer from a bottle" -- I'm beginning to wonder if this list was actually supposed to have been titled "things the sexy homewrecker does in a bro-country music video."
The following section is titled, "Work Hard," and I am immediately inspired to do exactly so by the implicit challenge thrown down in Phaedra's opening lines, in which she coquettishly asks, "Who always delivers a presentation on time, with the printed materials perfectly written and proofread?" I'm usually quite good at taming my most pedantic impulses, but contrarian passions I never knew I had are foaming at the mouth to find an upcoming typo and self-righteously call her bluff. Although perhaps I should find a more feminine way to phrase that; as Phaedra cautions, "we don't like to think of ourselves as driven, because that sounds so neurotic and unpleasant."
We next learn that "you cannot be a Southern Belle unless you understand what it is to be ladylike." But unfortunately, it is all too easy to be caught up in the ways of the world and lose sight of this primary calling.
A lot of women today enjoy being the feisty, brassy, foul-mouthed kind of gal who drinks with men and shows a lot of flesh. They think it's cool.
Phaedra continues and reflects that, "I've heard the argument that this is progress, from the feminist point of view, but I don't necessarily agree." I can never remember -- which wave of feminism was the one with all the feisty gals? But clearly, their agenda has gone too far! How, in contrast, does a delicate Southern Belle behave?
She looks as if she's heard of sex, probably has had sex, but has no plans to have sex with anybody in the immediate surroundings.
I'm not sure exactly how to convey this highly specific sentiment in any other way than purchasing a t-shirt custom-printed with the phrase, "I have heard of sex, have probably had sex, but have no plans to have sex with anybody in the immediate surroundings," so I hope that approach will suffice for now. Phaedra follows up by cautioning us that,
A lady never puts in the shop window what isn't for sale.
Personally, I like to think of myself as more of a museum than a gift shop, but to each their own! We next learn more about the delicate balance a Southern Belle must achieve in order to maintain her esteemed position. For example, while "she doesn't cuss and doesn't talk dirty," frigidity is similarly unbecoming -- "if somebody tells a good dirty joke in her vicinity, she'll laugh." I'm barely a third of the way through this book, and I'm already exhausted at the prospect of having to remember all of these hyper-specific edicts. It's no surprise that the Southern Belle has to remain consistently vigilant; as Phaedra intones, "coming from a Pentecostal family, I hate to see a woman down more than two drinks." It seems to me like the simplest way to avoid such emotional turmoil would be to simply refrain from compulsively tallying the beverage intake of strangers, but I soon learn there are far more perilous hazards lurking around every corner. Phaedra shares her personal strategy for avoiding the very implication of incivility in the following excerpt:
I don't ever go to the bar at a party; I think that just looks terrible. If I must have a glass of wine or crave a fruity adult libation, I'll ask a nearby man to procure it for me.
Sir! Procure me a fruity adult libation -- tout de suite! But I would hate to diminish the male gender by implying that they're only good for the acquisition of potables; no -- men can be leveraged in an increasingly broad array of day-to-day tasks. As Phaedra shares:
I have friends who have never in their lives pumped gas for their own cars. They will ask a complete stranger to do it for them. One of my besties from New Orleans will flag down a man, give him her credit card, and have him pump and pay for her gas.
Honestly, I can't help but wonder if this might actually be some kind of avantgarde performance art, in the tradition of Marina Abramović's Rhythm 0. Because the idea that this gambit has never gone horribly, horribly awry truly strains credulity. As I read on, however, I learn that my current train of thinking is sorely misguided.
Sometimes when I'm at a grocery store the fellow bagging the groceries will ask if he can take them out to my car. Why would you say no to this? But sometimes women do. And I look at them and sigh and think, "Poor thing. She has a lot to learn."
Thankfully for my personal development, the next chapter — titled "A Crash Course in Being (Selectively) Helpless" — promises exactly the sort of content that I so desperately need to understand. As Phaedra explains, a Southern Belle is "never intimidating, because some things she just can't do on her own." She goes on to offer concrete examples of how to incorporate this ethos into your life on beginner, intermediate, and expert levels.
Experts: assume help will arrive. Flat tire? Pull over to the curb, and don't sweat it. Can't figure out which wrench to buy at Home Depot? Or how to program your DVR? This is what former boyfriends and other gentlemen are for. Believe me, the age of chivalry is not dead.
Rent due? Don't sweat it -- a gallant gentleman likely already has a check in the mail. House burning to the ground around you? You should know a Belle doesn't walk down the hallway on her own two feet! Bear attack? I'm sure a male bear is just around the corner, ready to jump in and defend your honor!
Without a hint of irony, we transition to Phaedra's advice for the workplace. We learn that the quintessential gentlewoman is savvy, competent, and always at the top of her game. For instance, at her workplace, "she figures out how to work the coffee machine and the copy machine." With that kind of go-getting attitude, the Southern Belle will be bound for the C-suite in no time! Provided, of course,
She never does that thing I hear of in the North sometimes of telling you how little she paid for something. Why would you brag about bargains?
I can't hear the phrase that thing I hear of in the North in anything other than the voice of Tinsley's mother, Dale. Except she would probably use it in reference to something like "giving compliments to your daughter" or "weight gain." Regardless, a more appropriate question at this juncture might be, "Are you sure this book was proofread quite as judiciously as you claimed?" As I scan the page, my eyes happen upon the line:
10 percent for tithing, if your religion encourages tithing, which mines [sic] does.
Of course, it would be entirely uncouth for me to brag about my typographical superiority in this context, so now seems as good a time as any to exercise some of my newly acquired techniques. Oh, Phaedra -- bless her heart! I suppose we can't all be detail-oriented, can we? It must be nice to be so casual and carefree when you express yourself!
Without further ado, however, we move along to our next lesson -- "People don't know when you're hungry, because they can't hear your stomach growling, but they definitely know when you're homeless." To be honest, the more I think about this statement , the less sense it makes to me (people…can hear your stomach growling?). Luckily, with the jam-packed schedule of a Southern Belle, I simply don't have time to dwell on the issue for a moment longer!
Our next tutorial? "If you have one fabulous pair of shoes, you will wear them to church. It is the very least you can do for Jesus." As we all know, Jesus appreciates sweet kicks, so he loves nothing more than to see you rock the newest styles when you drop by on Sunday. And besides -- the higher the heel, the closer to heaven! Phaedra summarizes the Southern Belle's can-do attitude with the line: "We all may not be sitting around big ugly Formica boardroom tables, but we get things done." As someone who has only ever attended meetings held around moderately sized tables, I find this to be a validating sentiment.
When it comes to extracurricular pursuits, "beauty pageants are important." However, "as much as she loves performing, the Belle will not take to the stage: some of those theater people are just too peculiar, bless their hearts." Honestly, Phaedra and I come down on the same side on this one. But I will have to heartily disagree with her next passage -- with respect to traditions of stepping within Black Greek Life -- in which she states,
The traditionally white organizations don't have anything comparable.
Um, excuse me? Have you never seen this iconic video?! However, Phaedra does reassure us that she's far from ignorant in the ways of the world. As she states, "I have read about hookup culture and known a few easy women." Of course, easy men don't exist -- or at least, that's what I've read in all the most prominent textbooks regarding hookup culture. But don't mistake Phaedra's awareness for acceptance -- "that doesn't mean I like any of it." However, this sentiment is belied just a few paragraphs later, when our author recalls:
I offended the mother of one of my best friends once by booking some exotic entertainment at this friend's birthday party. My friend loved the anatomically exceptional dancer, but her mother was livid.
I'm sure that it was only your friend who loved the "anatomically exceptional" dancer, and I assume this must have been one of your aforementioned token "easy" friends, besides. A Southern Belle, in contrast, is interested in serious, long-term relationships. And for this purpose, "it would be much better to marry a young man that you can train. I have always said that I would rather be a babysitter than a geriatric nurse." Yet even these kinds of discrepancies seem trivial in comparison to the boundless passions of eternal love. As Phaedra shares,
I want Apollo and me to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary, so I try to overlook momentary annoyances.
That aged well. Bless her heart.
We're soon treated to a cheeky list of "what her husband doesn't know," which echoes several key themes from earlier in the book -- most notably in its bizarre fixation with pubic grooming.
He doesn't know what her true hair color is, because the curtains always match the carpet.

He doesn't know how often she waxes, or exactly what waxing entails.

He doesn't know that she has her own credit card, her own savings account, and a safe-deposit box.
I've got to say, that last one hits just a little bit different with hindsight. Always timely, however, are Phaedra's views on the importance of the homemaking arts. In this evocative passage, she describes the primal horror of an encounter with a woman tainted by an unimaginable curse:
A nice lady from another part of the country recently confessed to me that she doesn't know how to do any crafts. In fact, she said, she gets all nervous and antsy in crafts stores, because they're so full of things she doesn't understand. I laughed like I thought she was joking, but really, I felt bad for her. Imagine not knowing how to make all those cute objects that brighten up lives in the South! I shudder to think what the inside of her house looks like!
With that fable still ringing in my ears, we transition to the next section of the book: "Look Pretty." Phaedra reflects, "I am always shocked when I leave the South and encounter the enormous number of women who don't seem to understand how their clothes should fit." Now feels like an appropriate time to draw attention to the book's back cover, in which an open-mouthed Phaedra swivels her torso in such a way as to create a bulging protuberance across one half of her chest. In awe of her commitment to inclusivity, I now realize this could only have been an intentional choice to make herself seem more approachable to us northern oafs, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Phaedra goes on to inform us that, "personally, I prefer skirts and dresses over pants." However, although "high-waisted pants and pants with visible hem cuffs are quite elegant and ladylike," one should take care never to forget that "minimalism and menswear looks are just puzzling and not appealing to a Belle." I, too, must admit that I find menswear looks puzzling -- a girl? in boy clothes? I just can't make heads or tails of it! And this is far from the only contemporary fad that baffles the true Southern Belle. As Phaedra continues:
I've never understood the appeal of the natural look. It's so easy to improve your appearance; why wouldn't you take advantage of the many beauty aids available to you?
In a frankly unexpected dig against the ceramic arts, Phaedra notes that "unless you are a professional potter (and I don't think Southern Belles generally are), your nails need to be clean and filed." More generally, your physical proportions should remain mild and inobtrusive:
Ever since voluminous behinds became fashionable, I often see these lumpy, huge derrieres on women with legs as thin as a chicken's, and I think God would never put a rump roast on toothpicks, so why did you do that?
That's why I always caution my friends to pair their butt implants with a battery of leg implants, in order to really round out the overall contour of the body and mimic that structurally stable, God-given look. After all, as Phaedra quips: "'Knowledge is power' -- that's my motto." But this knowledge doesn’t come without a price; being as world-wise as Phaedra often requires direct confrontation with the atrocities of today's world. As she recounts, for example: "I was astonished to find out that not every woman possesses a lint roller." It's truly a tragedy to learn how the other half lives!
We are next informed that, "you have to have your ears pierced, but only one hole in each ear." The consequences for an infraction of this critical edict are left unvoiced, from which I can only assume that they are swift and merciless. Any self-respecting Southern Belle has a taste for the finer things in life, and Phaedra is no exception. As she remarks:
I love diamonds; I'd have a diamond duvet if I could afford it.
Because I am less fiscally endowed, I have had to settle for stuffing my duvet with assorted Swarovski crystals, at least for the time being. However, I'm eager to upgrade -- I can only imagine that the extra hardness of the diamonds will add a satisfying acupuncture affect to my nighttime regimen!
Phaedra moves on to fashion advice, and cautions the well-heeled Belle to remain conservative in her fashion choices. But don't worry -- there is a time and a place to let loose and express your more artistic side. Or, as Phaedra says, "something a little funky or ethnic may even be appropriate from time to time." To further illustrate this principle, she explains: "If I were going out West, for example, I might wear some turquoise bracelets."
But some things are a bridge too far! Any woman with a modicum of dignity would know never to be caught dead in "polar fleece," "a naughty-nurse costume," or "footed pajamas." We are also encouraged to carry around a hand fan -- "the elegant way to stay cool" -- as well as a "small leather-bound notebook for jotting down inspirations." I lose my train of thought for a moment, caught up in a daydream about the ingenious wonderings that must be contained within Phaedra's hallowed journal. But I'm brought back to reality by a declaration of "what's not in my purse," beginning with the stern pronouncement: "any kind of contraband substance."
Our pilgrimage to polite society continues with a comprehensive exploration of the monogram's social gravitas. As Phaedra intones, "I've even seen cars with a very discreet monogram on the driver's door." But with light must come darkness, and the next chapter bravely confronts an issue many others would fear to face: "Looking Like a Tramp" ("There, I came right out and said it," Phaedra breathlessly gasps below the harsh text of the passage's title). She gathers herself together and courageously reports, "some women look downright sleazy."
Alas -- even more tragically -- couture catastrophes are not restricted to those of legal majority. Phaedra heroically pulls back the curtain on a nationwide epidemic of wardrobe misconduct being perpetrated against society's most vulnerable:
I saw a picture not long ago of some hippies or hipsters or whatever you call them from some remote city. The parents looked the way you'd expect them to look, a little bit bedraggled, but the worst thing was they had this adorable little baby all done up in a black onesie. And as far as I could tell, it wasn't even Halloween!
How to combat this terrifying trend? Phaedra offers words of wisdom: "Little Southern Belles always look sweet and appropriately girlish." Specifically, we are encouraged to incorporate design elements like "tasteful, conservative rickrack." By way of further explanation, she clarifies that, "what they don't do is dress like Lady Gaga in dresses made of butchers' best cuts of beef." I'm disappointed to learn that my idea for an Etsy store selling bespoke meat-based children's clothing might be a nonstarter, but I suppose I appreciate our author giving it to me straight.
Another childcare commandment?
No costumes outside the house. Of course every little girl loves to play dress-up. But I truly dislike seeing Snow White or a fairy princess trailing along behind her mother at the Piggly Wiggly.
As she sits in her living room, most likely waiting for a man to come to her aid for some reason or another, Phaedra is struck by a sharp, blazing pain. As the flash of blinding torment subsides, she catches her breath and shakes her head wearily -- another costumed child has gone into a grocery store. Forgive their guardians, for they know not the harm their actions have caused to our author's delicate and genteel sensibilities.
But it does us no good to dwell on the darker side of life! Rather, we'll move right along into the book's final section, "Have Fun." However, this does not seem to be exactly the same kind of "fun" colloquially mentioned in mainstream circles. Rather, the Southern Belle defines fun with the principle, "everybody needs to know that you made an effort." For example, "if you're pouring punch into paper cups for a gaggle of seven-year-olds, put a spring of mint in it." My previous experiences in the general vicinity of children lead me to believe that at least 75% of the seven-year-olds in this group would respond to this elegant enhancement by dumping the punch out on the ground because it has a gross plant in it. Maybe that's part of the fun?
No analysis of Southern culture would be complete without a discussion of that most hallowed of pastimes -- college football. And although "only a really unusual woman watches football alone," it is imperative that a Southern Belle attend the social events associated with the on-season. What's more, she should take care to do with impeccable style. As Phaedra laments:
Sometimes I see pictures of women in store-bought football jerseys and I feel sorry. A store-bought jersey does nothing to flatter the feminine body.
As for the game itself, minimal understanding is required -- "Naturally a Belle knows how much men enjoy telling her things, so she isn't shy about asking questions." True to her generous spirit, however, Phaedra nevertheless provides a basic primer in the rudiments of the sport:
Basically each team is trying to get the ball through the tall H-shaped goalposts at the end of the field. […] The problem is that the ball can look awfully little from pretty much anywhere in the stands. There's no shame in watching the video replay to see what really just happened.
As a final tip, Phaedra suggests that "belles whose husbands have season tickets might even invest in matching linens and china." Our next unit of instruction concerns the arrival of a newborn bundle of joy; as we learn, "the birth of a baby is a big deal in a southern family." It's so interesting to learn all of these unique cultural details! I don't know if I've ever heard of another culture that places such importance on birth -- I'd love to get an anthropologist's take! There are also strict guidelines to which one must adhere regarding the naming of a debutante-in-training:
A Southern Belle's name:
-- is obviously feminine.
-- is two syllables or more (names like Ann or Joan seem abrupt, like so many Yankees).
-- is a real name, not a geographic feature like Sierra.
-- means something. Preferably something nice.
Once born and appropriately christened, children should be painstakingly shielded from the contaminating influences of the world at large. Phaedra explains that "pop culture is full of children behaving disrespectfully." Without the slightest suggestion of self-reflection, she goes on to declare that "besides, we think TV characters are basically tacky."
Phaedra reiterates a few of the courtship commandments mentioned previously, most concisely in the adage, "Belles don't date losers." And, as any suitor worth his salt should know, "a date with a Belle is no time for a boy to experiment with 'alternative' clothes or grooming either." Instead, a Southern Gentleman takes care to keep his language clean from distasteful or offensive language -- "For instance, why say 'liquor' when you can say 'adult refreshment'?"
As we near the end of the book, it seems only fitting that we take a few pages to cover the traditions and rituals associated with life coming to a close. Buttressed by her extensive knowledge of mortuary science, Phaedra instructs us:
Postmortem is no time to experiment with cosmetics. No one wants their sweet aunt Gertrude looking like some ashy Jezebel when she meets Jesus.
The passage concludes with the brassy observation, "we don't usually cremate in the South; we figure if we wanted to burn we'd just live recklessly and go to hell."
Before the book closes in earnest, Phaedra shares a few of her special, meticulously developed recipes. The most evocative of her culinary optimizations is a recipe for sweet tea, in which she thoughtfully informs us, "sweetness can be personalized by adding more water or ice to the tea."
The book's final pages contain an instrument designed to measure the effect of the preceding 252 pages on one's essential courtesies, charmingly titled "The Belle-O-Meter Quiz." As Phaedra explains:
So, ladies, how are you doing? I'm sure you've all been very attentive to my suggestions and are amazed by the results. You're probably totally used to a steady diet of compliments and flirtation and invitations. But here's a little quiz in case you feel the need to measure how far you've come.
If you'd like to take the full quiz, you can do so here. But if your busy Belle schedule doesn't permit you to devote that much time to something so self-indulgent, a few example questions are provided below:
Your routine greeting when you meet a new person is:
a. A surly glare.
b. "Hi."
c. "Well, hello! How are you today?"

If your gentleman friend brought you a corsage to wear on a date you would:
a. Put it in the refrigerator. Nobody wears corsages nowadays!
b. Pin it to your coat collar and check your coat.
c. Pin it in an unusual spot like your waist or behind your ear, after extracting one little blossom to put in his lapel.
The answer key informs us that answering mostly C's means that "you are a genuine Southern Belle." As Phaedra goes on to suggest, "maybe it's time to share your new skills with a friend and pass along this book. I hope it's been helpful to you." As a book hoarder of the highest order, I will have to skip that suggestion, but I am nevertheless thankful to move one step closer to self-actualization with the help of another Real Housewife. Until next time!
Upcoming plans in comment below!
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Betting for a living is like any other job in some ways. However, it also has some huge advantages. We will look at those benefits a bit later on. What Are the Best Strategies Professional Bettors Use? There are plenty of people who work as professional bettors. How exactly do they do this? What strategies do they use to make the maximum amount Betting Strategies A betting strategy or betting system is a structured approach to gambling intended to counter the inherent bias held by the house in casino and card games and by bookmakers in horseracing and sports betting, and gaining in this way a mathematical advantage while gambling. Betting Strategy C: Fixed Betting. This system requires you bet a fixed amount for each bet. In this example, it is $100. With a 55% probability of winning, this method means you won’t lose your entire balance quickly. It also means any chance of winning will also be slow and steady. Betting Strategy D: Proportional Betting To become a true professional bettor you must continue applying a sound staking plan and treating your betting and your betting bankroll as an investment. Whether that be an investment that you wish to skim regular profits off as a secondary or perhaps primary source of income, or treat your betting bankroll as 'hands off' investment fund is up With SBD’s comprehensive guide, you too can master the betting strategies used by the pros. Learn to shop for the best lines and make the most of time-tested strategies to get an edge on the public and your sportsbook. Sports betting is hard, and we want to see you get the best possible return on your investment.

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Betting strategy - How to always win at betting in the long run

Sports Betting Explained: Pros vs Joes (Sharp Sports Betting vs Square Sports Betting) - Duration: 8:21. WagerTalk TV: Sports Picks and Betting Tips 44,815 views 8:21 Monday 20th July Betting overview I am a professional gambler and bet on a wide variety of sports and games these are but a few selections hand-picked for viewers pleasure Time stamps: 1. Real ... Say we start by betting one chip on Low numbers (1-18). If it doesn't hit after 1 spin, we bet 1 chip on 1st Dozen (1-12). If it doesn't hit after 1 spin, we bet 1 chip on Double-street 7-12. The Sharp 600 podcast welcomes professional handicapper Steve Merril to chat about winning strategies for NBA and NHL playoff betting in a wild week for sports. Steve and host Rob Cressy discuss ... FOOTBALL BETTING STRATEGY (Make an Income Betting on Football Matches) // Want to make an income betting on football matches? This video will show you a football betting strategy that will have ...