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ObamaCare’s Trillion-Dollar Pot

September 24th, 2013 - 10:30 am

Bourré (boo-ray) is without a doubt my favorite card game, because it can make you sweat just like Texas Hold’em — but even faster. It’s one of those deceptively simple trick-collection games like Hearts, but you don’t play for points. And unlike poker, there’s no betting, but just a simple 25¢ ante. It’s best played with seven or more players, and you’ll understand why in a moment.

First, of course, everybody antes up.

Before the cards are dealt, the dealer shows one out of the middle to reveal the trump suit. (The deal rotates each hand.) The player to the left of the dealer starts the first trick, playing any card in his hand, so long as it isn’t trump. The rest of the players follow in order, with the high card of the lead suit taking the trick. If the first card is the eight of hearts, the high heart takes it — assuming nobody plays a card of the trump suit. In case multiple trump cards come out, the highest trump card wins.

You must play suit if you have it, and you can’t lead trump until trump is broken. The winner of the current trick begins the following trick, again using any card he chooses (provided trump has been broken).

Non-lead-suit, non-trump cards may not take any tricks.

When all cards have been played, the player with the most tricks takes the pot — if they’ve collected a minimum of three tricks. If nobody collects three tricks, then the pot stays, the deal rotates to the next player, and another hand is dealt.

But here’s what makes Bourré so sweaty.

If a player doesn’t collect at least one trick each hand, then they must match the pot. So if you have seven players, there will be seven tricks per hand, and it becomes almost a sure thing that at least one person is going to match the pot at the end of each and every hand. And with every pot-winning hand, a minimum of two people are going to have to match the pot. To be clear: Matching doesn’t mean you have to match the initial pot of a buck-fiddy or two dollars. You have to match the current sum total.

The initial pot of just $1.75 (seven players putting in 25¢ each) will grow geometrically, especially since it usually takes three or four hands before anybody manages to collect three tricks and win the pot. If you really want to turn up the heat, get eight people to sit down and play. Fewer tricks dealt out over more players means the pot grows faster and that it’s likely to take even more hands before there’s a winner. I’ve seen a two dollar pot shoot up to 50 or 100 or more in pretty short order.

Oftentimes it’s just one player, with a couple of losing hands in a row, putting in half of the money. The good news is, you may fold before any new hand is dealt. The bad news is, you can’t get dealt back in until the pot is won and everything starts anew.

You may find yourself in a place where you can’t afford to match the pot again, but you also can’t afford to fold because you have so much of your own money already sitting on the table.

This is the point where you become what is called “pot committed.” You can’t afford to lose, but you can’t afford to fold.

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All Comments   (26)
All Comments   (26)
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Not true. Boehner holds the trump card, but lacks the virtue and courage to play it. The notion that we should surrender, lose the war and come back later with a rebellion is stupid and infantile.The affordable care act is unconstitutional. The government has no constitutional authority to regulate health care or, for that matter, to issue executive orders. We need courageous congressional leaders who will clean out congress, the current administration and the Court. The inmates now have charge of the asylum. That must be corrected, drastically and quickly.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
America officially sucks.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
September 19 2013 Washington Sees Incomes Soar as Most of U.S. Declines

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/09/19/washington-sees-incomes-soar-as-most-of-u-s-declines/
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I disagree. Not meaning to be snoty, this is not a card game, a sporting event or politics as a contest moment. This is the future of our country.
The Let It Burm idea assumes we get to put the fire out and rebuild afterwards. We do not get to do that. The oceans no longer give us time and space to regroup. Many of the INTERNAL combatants will seek outside troops. And I mean troops.

We must fight and be seen to fight, winning preferrabley, but win or loose, we must fight. Surrendered ground must be regained.

43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment

That sounds like the pre-assault pep talk given to the Light Brigade.

In military terms, the GOP has charged straight onto a prepared field, covered by interlocking fires and supporting artillery. If they survive, it will be glorious.

I wouldn't bet on that, though.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yup. They're fully committed to the myth, and they know if they don't break the law they'll be exposed.

Obamacare was supposed to destroy the nation, bankrupt us, ruin our health care, kill people off by fiat, etc. etc. etc. And the base, to which the party is now beholden, believed, and believes, that rhetoric.

(Nevermind that its been the law for 3 years already, and health costs have risen more slowly since 2010 then they did over the previous 2 or 3 decades.)

Now they're stuck. Stuck with a bad political position. Stuck with a base living in fantasy land. Stuck with a number of colleagues, elected by that fantasy base, that inhabit the same fantasy land.

Unfortunately, those are the wages that must be paid by a party that puts Sarah Palin one heartbeat from the Presidency.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well aren't you adorable.

ObamaCare is working? Really? That's where you want to make your stand?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Stephen: Were you aware that the growth in medical spending has slowed over the past couple years? If not, now you do!

Second, don't you think that piece of information is relevant when evaluating the many fanciful claims about Obamacare?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
General Tso is too spicy for me. Obamacare will go into effect,God forbid! on October 1, 2013, no? Now, listen up, please! If we add the cost of medical care for 30 to 50 million more people to our present cost, it is going to increase that cost astronomically. The rate of growth will explode. Adding the cost of governmental, read bloated and inefficient, administration of the program spikes the overall cost drastically. And that is part of the price which must be paid when a Party puts a certifiable sociopath in the White House.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The growth in medical spending has slowed over the past couple years?

Well HOO-RAY!

Of course, so has net job creation. And income nationwide has fallen.

Now the dispensers of EBT cards and Obamaphones are doing swell, and so are Temp agencies.

You don;t suppose that the decline in real income and an anemic job market would have ANYTHING at all to do with the alleged slowing of medical spending, do you?

Naaaaaaaah!
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I also know that most of the decrease is attributable to an explosion of people buying high-deductible, catastrophic plans which ObamaCare makes illegal next year for people over 30?

We're about to lose the only remaining inexpensive plans, while mandating tons of extra coverage many people don't want, or don't beleive in, or simply don't need.

Come back in a year or three and brag about that cost curve. And I'll laugh and laugh and laugh -- through my tears.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's an interesting hypothesis, but we know that its not true. How? Well, the slowdown in health costs is even stronger in Medicare (no HDHPs there) and is just as strong in fixed benefit private plans.

It's vital to know these sorts of data when evaluating the many fanciful claims about Obamacare.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'll miss you, when your $13/hour spamming contract runs dry.

(Not really.)
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
That well ran dry awfully fast.

Oh well, there's always "Obamacare Sux (tm)!"
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The slowdown in Medicare is attributable to at least two factors. 1. Doctors receive about one third of the amount they bill for. 2. Ordinarily they are paid about nine months after billing. That leaves almost a year's worth of revenue "out in front" and not showing in measureable costs. Doctors cannot survive on the small amounts paid. The small net per patient seen means that doctors must spend little time with most patients, or divert them to Rns or others who are not as qualified as physicians. It also means that patients cannot be seen in a timely fashion, as so many more must be seen for a medical practice to survive. Personal note: I am an 82 year old Korean War veteran. The last two times I applied for a VA medical appointment it took five months, each time, to see someone, and I never did see a real doctor. If we really want to cut costs and provide quality service we need to get the Government out of health care altogether and save the multi billion dollar cost of that intervention.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Honey, I've been writing about ObamaCare's many failures for years. You need a lesson, you just hit the handy search bar at the top-left of the screen.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gen. Fake chicken will not be back in a year nor even much past the 2014 midterms. It is a complete sockpuppet of a OFA minion. Or then again it may be a DOH J lawyer with nothing to do on its coffee break.

I personally think it is Wiener's other alter ego...
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
(High profile column + New and anonymous commenter) / (Already disproved talking points - Laughability factor) = Troll.

Turns out, math is pretty easy. Except for "General Tso," I expect.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Beautiful card analogy, but you fail to explain how the strategy can possibly win.

It cannot. The most it can do is shut down the government, for which Republicans WILL get the blame (polls already show it BEFORE the media effort), and distract the spotlight from Obama's string of incompetent bumbling. As a bonus, it helps him reunite his splintering support against a common enemy (us).

Whereas, left alone, the CR enshrines the sequestration cuts into the baseline going forward and gives no new spending.

Not to mention that most Obama-Care spending is by statute or tax code and not subject to budgetary appropriation . . . but you knew that, right? Right? OMG, we are surrounded by idiots.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I answered the survey questions Mr. Green was touting a week or two ago. When I got to the 7th one, about whom I would "blame" for the Government Shutdown, I ended up choosing Obama, but that's only because my *real* answer wasn't there. I wanted to say I would *give credit to* the House Republicans.

My greatest hope is that, if the Senate does put back in Obamacare funding, the House stands firm and refuses to pass it.

As much as I'm a fan of Stephen Green, it's always bothered me that he didn't like Sarah Palin. She and Ted Cruz are my heroes right now.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
You're preaching to the choir. I've spent the 10-plus months since the election arguing in favor of what I called "Let. It. Burn." That is, let the law go fully into effect -- even if that means passing new statues forcing the President to execute the old one. Because the only way to get the voters to demand repeal is to give them ObamaCare, good and hard, but without giving the Democrats any valid reasons for pinning the blame for ObamaCare's failures on Republicans.

The GOP didn't take that advice, neither Establishment nor Tea Party. So now they find themselves pot committed.

I'm not the one who stayed in this long, losing trick after trick. I don't know that there is a way out of this, one which doesn't result in Obama winning back much of his squandered capital. But I do know that backing down at this point is going to cost the GOP seats next year, because the base wants to see a fight, now that they're finally getting one.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree. Either way this falls it will be glorious: the Israelis at Entebbe or the Spartans at Thermopylae...
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obamacare is a pyramid scheme.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's worse than that. It's armed robbery.

Essentially, ObamaCare uses the IRS to stick a gun in the ear of Healthy Youth and make them subsidize through the mandated insurance policies against diabetes, cancer and heart disease, the maladies that afflict the Elderly.

The monies that the victimized youth have to spend on paying for Osteoparotic Granny's 19th test for her 28th prescription are NOT being used to do Stupid Young Person Things...like shack up, get married and have babies.

Obamacare forces us to eat our seed corn...the Young and Fertile.

Without them doing the things that one does when one is young and fertile, there IS no future.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Moreover the young ones at the base of the pyramid are also sponsoring healthcare for the 1%-ers at the top. Hopeandchange is going to screw them royally.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
And the youth can't find jobs, so they will end up on medicaid.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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