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I confess. I am accused of taking my best friend's life savings.

Moreover, I do not even deny the possibility. I can even provide evidence for the disbelievers.

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Formal Investigation

No doubt this admission of guilt is shocking to my readers, but I confess, the incident is true.

It was even the subject of a formal investigation by the priests at my Catholic high school, Danville, Schlarman.

The image shows me proudly displaying a winning hand. The guy on my left (right of me in the image) with the bad look on his face is my best friend.

Shocking Details

This event happened at a Catholic "retreat". We were supposed to be praying.


I stood accused by Father Ted. It was a subpoena of first order magnitude. Father Ted demanded to know how much we were playing for.

Caught red-handed, I immediately confessed.

"Father, we were playing 2-cent ante, 15-cent limit," I replied.

Readers, I know this is shocking. And I sincerely apologize for playing poker at a Catholic retreat.

More Confessions

My yearbook is full of incriminating evidence. I will leave the names of the accusers anonymous to protect the innocent. I can make copies available if necessary. These are actual comments in my high school yearbook.

  1. "To the king of cards with many aces in the hole"
  2. "I hereby declare that I owe you $12.00 as of Aug 23, 1971"
  3. "To the luckiest kid poker" That's where it ended. I do not know who wrote that. The ink was fading and ran out.
  4. "You are the finest Euchre play in history. I will never forget all the pointers on trump"
  5. "To that good old card shark. I finally wised up and quit playing with you guys"
  6. "Mike ... I am going to clean you at poker"
  7. "I never played against you due to my thriftiness, but I always admired your gambling skills."

Outside Retreat Card Discussion

We played 15-cent limit at retreat. Outside retreat is another matter. But it was not outrageous. My favorite form of the game was 10-cent ante, $1.00 limit. High-stakes was 50-cent ante, $2.00 limit.

I did far better at $1.00 limit. Hint: think of the ante to bet ratio.

I kept detailed records, regardless of stakes.

My record at high-low games was about 90%. At straight high, it was in the low to mid 60% range. But even then, my average win was way higher than my average loss.

High-Low is easy. NEVER play for high. Seriously, I once threw away QQQ as starting three cards in 7-card stud high-low, and I assure you that is the correct play.

Amusingly, people think a pair of jacks is a good hand. JJ is NEVER good at high-low. Heck, QQQ is not good. Perhaps I can explain in an addendum.

I financed my way through college playing poker. If that sounds impossible, note that tuition at the University of Illinois was about $250 a semester in 1972.

A $150 win was over half a tuition. My average win at $2 limit was about $65. My average loss was under $20. My average win at $1.00 limit was higher and I rarely lost.

I capped my losses at $20. And I won far more than I lost, even at straight-high. Occasionally, I racked in $100 wins.

If I was ever up $40, I would quit if I dropped below +$20. I never turned a $20 ahead into a loss. This is simple money management. It's not applicable to table stakes Hold-em.

By the way, if you think you are an excellent Euchre player, most likely you are not. Understanding the rules of the game are one thing. Knowing what to do in every form of the game (two-handed, partner, 6-card bid with 4 players, three-handed) is another.

I started a book on Euchre once, but I decided there was not enough interest. I suspect no one would answer my euchre quizzes properly.

I believe I am amongst the world's best, while freely admitting overconfidence is extremely rampant. Anyone interested in a euchre quiz?

Fickle Water Color Memories

With poker and euchre discussion out of the way, let's return to point 8.

"Mike, you said my party is the best you ever went to. THAT is what I will never forget" (emphasis on THAT is hers).

The person who wrote number 8 is female. At a later reunion, she did not recall what he wrote. She forgot. Totally.

So much for "THAT".

Scroll to Continue



People think they will remember things, but they don't.

Worse yet, the vast majority of people cannot self-assess.

In general, people overestimate their recollection of things as well as their abilities.

I have a near-photographic memory of some things. I know where I was sitting in grade school and high school, in most, but not all classes. I know where I was sitting and what direction I was facing, and where everyone else sat when I played critical hands at poker, bridge, and even euchre, from decades ago.

But I am damned lousy at names. Last week I called someone Jason, when his name was Josh. I live in constant fear of introductions. Even if I know a person's name stone cold, minutes before an introduction, I can stumble at the introduction.

I suspect fear of making a mistake causes mistakes. But that is not the point. Memory and self-assessment are the points.

People think they remember things accurately, but they don't, and they don't recognize what they are bad at.

Turning to the political.

Believing Ford vs Believing Ford Believes What She Says

Belief that Ford's allegations are true are vastly different than believing Ford believes what she is saying.

Memories change. They can be planted. They can be totally imaginary. They can be dreams.

In general, people believe what they want to believe.

Vivid Dreams

I have vivid dream memories.

Currently, my most frequent dreams are being chased by someone in Danville, Illinois or Mexico.

Previously, my most common dream was that of being one credit hour short of graduating. This happened very frequently after graduation and for decades after.

I would wake up, seriously wondering how the hell I was going to hide to my employer that I never graduated.

I also had frequent vivid dreams that a girl I dated in college and who broke up with me called me and wanted to get back together.

On two occasions, I was happy all morning about phone calls that never happened.

If I can believe for hours that something happened that did not come close to happening, is it not possible for someone to perpetually believe a falsehood?

Are we really supposed to believe the memory of a 15-year-old female who may have been stone drunk at the time, when there is no other evidence?

People Believe What They Want

I suspect that 70% of the alleged MeToo allegation are in fact accurate. Perhaps another 15% or so are reasonably accurate.

If so, that makes it 85% likely such accusations are reasonably correct.

Heck, add another 5 percentage points and call it 90%.

The problem is 10% of the accused are innocent.

If there is a reliable witness, the odds have to increase. If not, they have to decrease.

In the case of Kavanugh, there is no reason to believe any of the accusers. Evidence suggests there is every reason to believe the accusations are either false memories or purposeful lies.

This is not a court of law where one is obligated to specified standards. Yet, that does nor morally justify presumption of guilt.

Benefit of the Doubt

  • Let's give Ford the benefit of the doubt because that is what the evidence suggests.
  • Let's also give Kavanaugh the benefit of the doubt because that is also what the evidence suggests.

What do you have?

False memories by Ford. That's what.

Admit Now, Before It's Too Late

Meanwhile, people peruse yearbooks and take things totally out of context.

Admit now or be damned forever.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock