Thursday, November 30, 2006

2006 Poker Goal Update

Tomorrow will be December, leaving me one month left for my 2006 goals. Below are the goals that I listed in last December with progress comments.

These are my goals for next year in no particular order.

1) Start playing higher stakes on-line. I would like to be playing successfully at 5/10 NL which is 10x my current stakes. If I am still playing .50/1 at the end of next year my game is going nowhere

I am just starting to get around to this which is a little pathetic. I do have some hands in at 2/4NL, and may get a shot at 3/6 and 5/10 nl if the ladder challenge continues to go well.

2) Generate $100+/hr profit long term playing online.

I probably ran at about $20-25/hr for the year so far with around 8k in online profits in 2006. I can see how that rate is reachable at 2/4 NL and up, and I am currently running at around $80/hr at the higher stakes, but in a very limited sample size.

3) Play in the first $2000 buy-in event of the WSOP. This one starts on Saturday July 1st, and I have the following Monday/Tuesday off from work for the 4th of July holiday. Of all my goals, I will guarantee this one right now.

I ended up playing in event #27 which was $1500 buy-in. I held my own, and outlasted over 1000 entrants (about 1/2 the field). Late with still a starting stack, I got my money in as a 60/40 favorite twice, but could not win either time. I will say this one in COMPLETE.

4) Play in the WSOP main event. It would not crush me if I miss this one next year, but I got to make it a goal. If I cash in the 2k buy-in, the main event is a given. I love the deep stacks and slow levels of this structure which play right into my game.

Did not try to qualify online other than the a couple 20 seat freerolls on FullTilt. Not really a hard goal, but the goal was FAILED.

5) Win the season for the company online tournament

This one hurts a little. Smokkee jumped out to a decent lead, and I rallied back to have it all on the line in the final event only $3 in winnings behind the infamous Smokkee. He was out out early in the last event, and I had a huge stack. Unfortunately, I thought I could get to third and the season championship without playing any more hands. It was a big mistake, as I ended up bubbling out and handing Smokkee the title. It was a very close second, but second does not count. Goal FAILED

6) Play more 3/5 NL live casino games. I have been pretty much beating up this level, but it is still a little out of my comfort zone. By the end of 06, I need to start thinking that 3/5 NL is low stakes and it is time to move up.

Did not play very much live cash games at all. I did win when I played, but did not play any 3/5 except a drunken session with doubleas at the summer blogger gathering. There is the winter blogger gathering to turn this around at, so we will see.

7) Play in some big home tourneys and get some big wins.

I dominated the Orange County Poker Tour, cashing in an 8 out of 10 stretch at one point, and getting a couple big wins. I also competed in the Orange Poker League, qualifying for the single table championship and taking 5th overall. I played in just a couple other big buy-in home games, and was out early both times. I will call this goal COMPLETE, but I did expect a little more.

8) Upgrade my monitor so I can see all four tables at once. I am so cheap, that for some reason I will not do this yet. Now I have to tile the four tables, which can lead to an occasional accidental raise as you switch from table to table. Also you can't follow all the action as you can only see parts of all four tables.

Did this early in the year. Hi-RES rawks. Goal COMPLETE

So what do I need to work on in December? Play higher stakes cash games, live and online. I will do my best in this area. I still have a shot to hit these goals.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stacking Phil Ivey

No, not me. I wish. I just watched this go down on FullTilt. With about 60k each to start at a 300/600NL heads-up table, sb rugby took Phils entire stack in about 1/2 hour. Lots of 25k ish pots. Some crazy sheet. Below is coming over the top of Phil Ivey for 40k total. Below that is getting Phil all-in on a draw, and stacking him for the last of his 60k.

$1843 - Some Success at 2/4NL

I played about 100 hands at 2/4 NL for about a $130 profit. I finally started catching some good starting hands, and my stats are starting to get more in line with my 1/2 nl stats, although the sample is still very small. I don't think I need to be making too many adjustments for 2/4 NL, so the stats should line up pretty well over time. I am amazed at the donkey play even at this level. I am focusing hard on table selection, so that I am sure to have a few bad players around. I am also watching the conditions closely at the table, and bailing if conditions change for the worse. Its not a great way to get a ton of hands in, but it is a great way to get your feet wet at the higher levels.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

$1711 - Back On Track And Moving Up To 2/4 NL

I played a brief session of about 100 hands for about a $270 profit. The roll now says I need to play 2/4 nl. I will try to get some hands in at 2/4 nl before blowing it at 1/2 nl like last time. Wish me luck. I abandoned my quest for the Iron Man Silver freeroll as it will take place during the blogger weekend in Vegas. It is also not looking like I will clear the full $500 reload bonus on FullTilt. I need to clear another $240 in bonus in about a week, and have not been playing enough to get there. I hate leaving bonus money on the table, but this will be like the 4th time I have done it. I think its about time for another FullTilt reload bonus anyway.

Below is some chat from a game yesterday that I thought was pretty funny.

Dealer: lagwagon shows two pair, Aces and
Dealer: lagwagon wins the pot ($115) with two
pair, Aces and Threes
Dealer: Hand #1315524562
Jimmy_Money: fkn gays
Jimmy_Money: sucker
Dealer: Fishy Bait wins the pot ($3.80)
Dealer: Hand #1315528268
Jimmy_Money: fkn online co ck suckers
Blinders: u?
Dealer: Fishy Bait has 15 seconds left to act

After no reply I needed to make him pay for that comment.

Blinders: r
Blinders: so
Dealer: Fishy Bait has timed out
Blinders: gay
Jimmy_Money: me
Jimmy_Money: fk you
Dealer: full_tilting wins the pot ($5.70)
Dealer: Hand #1315540533
Blinders: u wish
Jimmy_Money: i did, ask your mama as well
Dealer: lagwagon wins the pot ($5)
Dealer: Hand #1315543671
Blinders: straight to the mamma stuff
Blinders: typical
Jimmy_Money: my bad
Jimmy_Money: but i reall y wish to fk you
Dealer: FrewDiggs wins the pot ($5)
Dealer: Hand #1315546451
Blinders: just leave mama out
SoltiBichon: totally uncalled for
Dealer: Jimmy_Money has 5 seconds left to act
Blinders: thats sick
Jimmy_Money: ok my bad
SoltiBichon: stop harassing players
SoltiBichon: please
Jimmy_Money: fk you too

SoltiBichon: why is it that smallest stack always
has biggest mouth?

Blinders: cause they suck the most?

Blinders: lol
SoltiBichon: lol

Monday, November 27, 2006

$1439 - All Good Streaks Must End

Between Lunchtime Wednesday and Thursday night, I ran the roll up $700. I ended up giving about $500 back on Friday. During the run, I was not taking any bad beats, and my hands were holding up. All of a sudden this ended and the bad beats were back with authority. I did get a chance to play some 2/4 nl, and I am now lifetime up at that limit. My downfall was at 1/2 nl entirely. I played a little on Saturday, and flopped top set with 99 twice in a span of about 5 hands. It would not turn the streak back to positive. I took Sunday off. See the 99 hands below they are in the order I got them.

FullTiltPoker Game #1304476531: Table Hidden Quail
- $1/$2 - No Limit Hold'em - 19:26:23 ET - 2006/11/25
Seat 1: CallingDummy ($38.85)
Seat 2: Blinders ($187.80)
Seat 3: Brettyng45 ($57.40), is sitting out
Seat 4: Roofus Cash ($210.70)
Seat 5: al_lupner ($423.80)
Seat 6: champ420103 ($127.90), is sitting out
Seat 7: BanhXeo_916 ($196.30)Seat 8: mariojr ($291.05)
Seat 9: beakcooppatty ($150)
Blinders posts the small blind of $1
Roofus Cash posts the big blind of $2
beakcooppatty posts $2
The button is in seat #1

*** HOLE CARDS ***Dealt to Blinders [9c 9d]

al_lupner calls $2
BanhXeo_916 folds
mariojr folds
beakcooppatty checks
CallingDummy folds
Blinders calls $1
Roofus Cash checks

*** FLOP *** [6s 5c 9h]

Blinders checks
Roofus Cash checks
al_lupner bets $8
beakcooppatty calls $8
Blinders raises to $18
Roofus Cash folds
al_lupner folds
beakcooppatty calls $10
*** TURN *** [6s 5c 9h] [Kh]
Blinders bets $28
beakcooppatty raises to $130, and is all in
Blinders calls $102
beakcooppatty shows [7d 8h]
Blinders shows [9c 9d]
*** RIVER *** [6s 5c 9h Kh] [Kd]
beakcooppatty shows a straight, Nine high
Blinders shows a full house, Nines full of Kings
Blinders wins the pot ($309) with a full house, Nines full of Kings

FullTiltPoker Game #1304503820: Table Anthem Club
- $1/$2 - No Limit Hold'em - 19:31:48 ET - 2006/11/25
Seat 1: puppytoes 1 ($202.10)
Seat 2: pdawg31 ($88.90)
Seat 3: fin2win ($191)
Seat 4: IndianCardPlaya ($142.85)
Seat 5: Blinders ($204.30)
Seat 6: SoootedMagic ($197)
Seat 7: JebBush2008 ($158.25)
Seat 8: whathefukeva ($354.40)
Seat 9: fitzw ($278.70)
whathefukeva posts the small blind of $1
fitzw posts the big blind of $2
The button is in seat #7

*** HOLE CARDS ***Dealt to Blinders [9d 9h]

puppytoes 1 folds
pdawg31 calls $2
fin2win folds
IndianCardPlaya raises to $7
Blinders calls $7
SoootedMagic folds
JebBush2008 folds
whathefukeva folds
fitzw calls $5
pdawg31 calls

$5*** FLOP *** [9c 8s 6c]

fitzw bets $20
pdawg31 folds
IndianCardPlaya calls $20
Blinders raises to $197.30, and is all in
fitzw folds
IndianCardPlaya has 15 seconds left to act
IndianCardPlaya calls $115.85, and is all in
Blinders shows [9d 9h]
IndianCardPlaya shows [Th Tc]
Uncalled bet of $61.45 returned to Blinders
IndianCardPlaya: nh
*** TURN *** [9c 8s 6c] [Jd]
*** RIVER *** [9c 8s 6c Jd] [Td]
Blinders shows three of a kind, Nines
IndianCardPlaya shows three of a kind, Tens
IndianCardPlaya wins the pot ($317.70) with three of a kind, Tens

No real comments on these hands, other than it would have been nice to win them both. The roll swings are huge at 1/2 nl and up, and I need to get used it.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

$1927 - My First Big Pot At 2/4 NL

I have a few hands in at 2/4 NL right now. I flopped quads on one of my first hands in a multiway pot, but could not get it paid off. I then got the hand below that was good for a $450+ pot. The poor guy slowplayed bottom set. I need to make a little tweak to the challenge. The 2/4 nl selection at FullTilt is much more limited than 1/2 nl. Table selection has been key so far to my results. It is pretty difficult to find a good 2/4 nl table, and I am not going to be stupid and just play anywhere. So basically, I will try my best to play at the suggested limit per the ladder challenge, but if I can't find a good table and still want to play, I will play the next level down. I think this adjustment is required, because I don't want to be forced to play at tough tables just to get some hands in at a higher limit. Below is my biggest pot in a while.

FullTiltPoker Game #1294717293:
Table Hollow Pine - $2/$4 - No Limit Hold'em
- 22:23:24 ET - 2006/11/23
Seat 1: TopSalesBaby ($103.20)
Seat 2: Blinders ($390)
Seat 3: Milly019 ($308)
Seat 4: Fitz420 ($276.30)
Seat 5: Brunswick ($292)
Seat 6: BriceRice ($286)
Seat 7: BBBill_92679 ($409.10)
Seat 8: BillyBreathes ($154)
Seat 9: PoorNapoleon ($400)
Milly019 posts the small blind of $2
Fitz420 posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #2
*** HOLE CARDS ***Dealt to Blinders [Qc Jc]
Brunswick calls $4
BriceRice calls $4
BBBill_92679 folds
BillyBreathes folds
PoorNapoleon folds
TopSalesBaby folds
Blinders calls $4
Milly019 calls $2
Fitz420 checks
*** FLOP *** [Ts 3h 9c]
Milly019 checks
Fitz420 checks
Brunswick checks
BriceRice checks
Blinders bets $14
Milly019 folds
Fitz420 folds
Brunswick calls $14
BriceRice folds*** TURN *** [Ts 3h 9c] [Ks]
Brunswick checks
Blinders bets $20
Brunswick raises to $40
Blinders raises to $60
Brunswick raises to $80
Blinders raises to $124
Brunswick calls $44
*** RIVER *** [Ts 3h 9c Ks] [5s]
Brunswick checks
Blinders bets $80
Brunswick calls $80
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Blinders shows [Qc Jc] (a straight, King high)
Brunswick mucks
Blinders wins the pot ($453) with a straight, King high
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $456
Rake $3
Board: [Ts 3h 9c Ks 5s]
Seat 2: Blinders (button) showed [Qc Jc] and won ($453) with a straight, King highSeat
Brunswick mucked [3d 3s] - three of a kind

$1656 - Moving Up To 2/4 NL

OMG, That was fast. In just over 1300 hands, I am up $694 at 1/2 NL. I have cleared the $1600 threshold and will now be playing 2/4 NL per the ladder challenge. Those statistics up there are amazing. If I could play 1/2 NL like that long term, I would quit my job right now and go pro. That's $53 per 100 hands profit. I have been three tabling which is about 180 hands/hr. I am kinda reluctant to move up because I am running so well, but could there be a better time then now?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


$1263 - Get Ready for a Holiday Weekend Donkfest

I played about 200 hands of 1/2 nl for a slight profit. I am now up over $300 at 1/2 nl since I started the ladder challenge. This is only 1 1/2 buy-ins, but I will take it. My comfort level with 1/2 nl is about as high as it's ever been right now. I have just been kinda grinding though the play. In about 950 hands, I have not been stacked once, but have also not obtained a full double up. In PokerTracker, I am down $7 with fullhouses. It appears I have not even seen one yet (all were folded before the boat formed). I also would have had a royal on one hand, if I didn't fold. I pretty much have not seen any sets either. I finally, got a couple last night, but could not get one paid off. So far this has been pretty much done with small-ball type play. Which brings us to this weekend.

Holiday weekends are as fishy as they get.

4-day holiday weekends are even fishier. I plan on taking advantage of this, stepping up the number of hands I have been playing, and try to ladder up to 2/4 on the fast track. I need about $300 more in winnings at 1/2 nl which is not really that much. So everyone, good luck on the virtual felt this weekend, and make sure to make the fishies pay!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

$1253 - It Seems I Barely Pay The Rake

Well, I'm up to $1253 in the ladder challenge. I am not really playing as much as I thought I would, but seem to making some progress up the ladder (baby steps). I am getting a little bored posting the tracker screenshots all the time, so I will prolly only show this once a week or so from now on.

One thing that jumped out at me is that I get raked a lot less than the average player. I always kind of knew this deep inside. I play tight, and don't usually go too far in a hand unless I plan on winning it. PokerTracker calculates your actual rake that you contributed. It's about $54 so far in the challenge. Bonus on fulltilt uses a calculation that shares the rake equally between all players at the table. I have cleared $43 in bonus during the same period. I am also qualifying for the Iron Man Freeroll, Aussie Millions Freeroll, and earning 1000s of FTP points. When you add the value of all this stuff up, it appears that FullTilt is paying me to play (assuming there is a bonus working). I am earning more in bonus and incentives than the value of my personal rake, and this is without rakeback, lol. Not sure if anyone else has looked at this before. The more aggressive styles, and poorer players must get over raked at FullTilt compared to me, but I'm not complaining.

Monday, November 20, 2006

$1170 - Played Some 2/4 with AC, and Folded KK Preflop

My ladder challenge stats through the weekend are shown above. I did not play as much as I would have liked over the weekend, and even blew off the big game, because I was real tired, and did not think I could bring my "A-Game".

Saturday afternoon, Allen Cunningham was 8-tabling 2/4 nl on FullTilt, so I sat down. The bankroll per the ladder challenge was not there yet for 2/4, but I thought it would be ok to get my feet wet, and observe one of the best players in the world. I bought in for $200 which is 1/2 a full buy-in. I did not want to drop $400 at 2/4 before I was technically allowed to play it. I played 41 hands and won two pots. I never really got involved with A.C. in any hands. I did see him push-in from the BB after a cut-off steal preflop. The guy called with 77, and A.C. had AKo. He would spike a K and double through. It was an interesting play. I ended up dropping $38 at 2/4 so I will have red on my stats for 2/4 until I can correct that. I am feeling pretty confident at 1/2 nl right now though.

The hand below is a first for me. I folded KK preflop in a cash game. I have never done this before, and was not sure if I ever would be able to. I was pretty much convinced the preflop reraiser had AA, and did not want to push-in to find out. It would have been an easier decision against a bigger stack to fold there, but I did it anyway. Go ahead and rip me for it. I will understand. He could have had QQ, or AK possibly, but my read was AA. Sometimes you just feel it. The big stack after me folded, so I will never know. It felt good though, to be able to do something I have never done before.

Friday, November 17, 2006


I only played about 100 hands, but made a small profit at 1/2 nl. I am focusing very hard on table selection. If I don't see some easy tables, I don't play. It seems to be working, but too early to tell. Table selection has to be huge for those who crush the higher limits.

Smokkee thought I was hiding my post flop aggression on the last post. I am not, see above. If you compare to Smokkee, I am more aggressive post flop than him. There is a big reason for this, but I will make smoke try to figure out why. My stats are getting more in line with what long term will be, but the win rate is higher than I will be able to maintain (its close to $100/hr right now). I think you need about 3000-5000 hands before the sample size gets significant, and I am not close to that yet.

I kind of donked out of the DADI last night, when I pushed in on a flush draw. 6-handed is not my strongest game. If I get chips early in 6-handed, I can cause some problems, but If I don't I'm in a lot of trouble. So after I drifted well below an average stack, I made a questionable move against the chip leader, that didn't work out, ooops!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

$1127 - The Ladder Challenge Begins

I started the ladder challenge and got 253 hands in at 1/2 nl for a $127 profit. I was running pretty good, but also had to make two huge laydowns in substantial pots with TPTK. Above is an image from my fresh "ladder challenge" database. The tracker statistics are better than I will be able to maintain, but they are nice to look at.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Back To The Old Grind

I have hardly been running any cash games lately. I have been focusing on S&Gs and MTTs. I have had some success with the S&Gs, but was not able to bring my MTT results into the positive. It is going to take a big cash to do that, and I am not giving up yet.

I have a $500 reload bonus on FullTilt that expires in about 3 weeks. I have $370 left to clear and will never be able to do it playing S&Gs and MTTs. I played some cash games last night just to get the rust off, and things went pretty well. One of my goals this year is to play higher stakes cash games. Now is the time, a perfect storm I would say, to launch my ladder challenge. Basically this is a spin on the Doubleas ladder challenge. I will start with $1000 bankroll and play at a level based on the size of the roll. If the roll grows, I move up. If it contracts, I move down. See Below:

Starting Bankroll $1000

Play .50/1 nl - Bankroll >$800
Play 1/2 nl - Bankroll $800-1600
Play 2/4 nl - Bankroll $1600-2400
Play 3/6 nl - Bankroll $2400-4000
Play 5/10 nl - Bankroll $4000+

A couple of notes:

1) My starting bankroll is just a small portion of my overall online bankroll, so it will not be too painful if I bust.

2) If I can get to $5000, I will remove the $1000 starting amount so I can freeroll the challenge.

3) My ultimate goal here is to make one of the higher levels my ATM. $.50/1 nl is my ATM right now, but it needs to be a higher, much higher.

4) Bonus earned does not count. I should clear $370 in bonus early on in the challenge.

I am going to start a new poker tracker database, to monitor my results. I will be doing this on FullTilt. As I move up, I need to watch out for HellaStacks. Last night he has over 7k at a 3/6 table, and over 4k at two 5/10 tables. 7k+ at a 3/6 table seems pretty impressive. It would be like getting to 1200 at .50/1 nl. Watch out for HellaStacks!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Anatomy of a Slow Play

I thought I would go a little deeper into the slow play that cost me so dearly. First off, I don't disagree with any of the comments. It was a questionable play. To me a very borderline decision. To others a big mistake. I really don't think that if I play it by reraising the flop the results change, but that does not really matter. I guess the heart of the question is, "is it ever correct to slowplay"? I am not a big fan of slow playing, but it is in my bag of tricks. In the most recent Big Game, I flopped top set with AA on a flush board, and got it all-in on the flop, so I am not somebody that slowplays sets all the time (or even often). So lets just take a quick look at the hand in detail, to see if my read that slowplaying was borderline EV wise was correct, or if it was clearly a -EV move.

First, I call a MP open for 105 with 77 from the button. Assuming that we will get heads up and I am playing for a set or will fold to pressure (which I was), I will hit the set about 1 in 8 times. For this to be profitable, I will need to win about 840 when I hit my set. With 3000 behind, I have adequate implied odds to play it this way so its an easy call.

Range of a MP 3.5x open raiser?

Too early in the tournament to get a real read on anyone yet. So lets assign two ranges. One for TAG and one for LAG. I may need some help here. It is early, so theoretically no one needs to be getting way out of line.

99-AA, AK, AQ, AJs, KQs

LAG: 22-AA, AT-AK, KJ, KQ, Medium and up suited connectors, and some suited 1 gappers

Flop 567 Rainbow.

Against the TAG, the best he has is a gutshot (outside if you include 88). Otherwise, it is an over pair or overs. I would hate to chase away either of these types of hands on this flop.

Against the LAG, he could have 44 or 88 which would be pretty good draws, 78s is not likely as 3 of the 7s are taken. 89 and I'm already pretty dead. T9s, T8s, and other hands are possible as well. So even for the LAG, I am safe against the upper part of his range. Against a couple of specific hands 44 and 88, I am in trouble. What are the odds he has 44 or 88? About 105 to 1. I would say the odds of T9s, T8s, 89s, are pretty rare as well given the entire range that include these hands. Though it is possible a LAG hit this flop, with the range I get from the preflop action, it is still very unlikely.

So against the TAG, I think it is an obvious slow play. It might be the only way to extract more money, and you are safe against his entire range (even 99 which would be a 4 outer). Against the LAG you are most likely way ahead, but there are a few rare possibilities you are in trouble. The LAG will almost surely fire again, even if he misses on the turn.

So when is it ok to slow play?

1) Heads-up. Never slow play against a large field.

2) When your hand is very strong, and not very vulnerable. My hand was very strong. It was vulnerable, but not against a TAG, and barely against a LAG.

3) When your pretty sure an opponent will do the betting for you. I was pretty sure.

4) When your in position. I was

5) When the risk/reward ratio make sense. There are times when it makes a lot of sense to take a risk if it means more valuable chips. It was too early to be taking big risks. The reward of an early double up was pretty big though.

6) If it supports your table image. Too early in the tournament for this type of play.

So I kind of went through the thought process, and came up with it being a borderline decision. In my mind, I was committed to the hand after that flop based on the range I put the other guy on. I was not going to be pushed off the hand even if a scare card hit on the turn. In fact, I was hoping that one would hit in a way, if it would make him bluff at the pot. I need to make 840 on average playing for a set, and had only made 370 so far on the hand. If I reraise his c-bet and he folds, I don't make enough on the hand to justify the preflop call. If, he has a hand that justifys calling a flop reraise, he will probably fire on the turn anyway. One last factor, is that with the level of competition in this tournament, I felt I would be willing to take some risks to keep from getting outplayed. One of those risks is not letting someone push you off a set (in most cases this being one). A flush flop and a 4th flush card would have been different. I may have just pushed on the flop on a flush flop, but 567 is not very scary for his range. Of course he had Q9 sooted which is outside of both ranges. What are the odds of someone raising with that crap instead of a real hand. Pretty low me thinks.

Edit: Does anyones thinking change if the results were different?

What if the other guy has AK and folds to a flop reraise and would have hit his A or K on the turn? What if the same guy fires again with AK after a blank or scare card falls on the river? What if this LAGgy fucktard misses the 8 on the river, but fires at the turn anyway. He has bet preflop and the flop with pretty much air so far. 91% chance he does not catch that exact 8. I think he fires at the turn for sure. What I am saying, is first the odds of him holding a 9 were already small (based on his range). The odds of him holding a 9 plus hitting the 8 are way low. 9 out of ten times, I push the turn hard and stack the guy, or squeeze out some additional profit. Was it wrong to slowplay those 9 times that it worked against the LAGtard, or the 98/100 times it would work aganst a TAGs range? This was not a limped pot, it was played heads-up against a preflop raiser.

Also, I don't think I bet enough to push him off the apparent strength of his hand. I don't think anyone would recomend pushing all-in over his c-bet with top set. I think a min to 2x (500-750 total) reraise would have been what I went with. This guy had 2 overs, a gutshot, and a runner/runner flush (about 12 outs). If I raise him the maximum that I would have raised (about 500 more), he would need to call 500 for a 1750 pot. He has pot odds and implied odds if he is not putting me on 2-pair or better already. I think a LAGtard has to make that call, and I have to get stacked when he hits the gutshot.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Well, not sure if I got my money's worth there.

I went ahead and did the cash buy-in for the FTOPS #2. I pick up 77 on the button about 8 hands in. Blinds 15/30, and MP open raises to 105. I call and I'm heads up with the raiser and in position. Flop comes 765 rainbow (top set for the poker challenged). Initial raiser bets about the pot. I am thinking how can I get this guys whole stack. I am putting him on a couple big cards or a decent pocket pair. I am not overly concerned about the board, as I don't think he likely has the 4 or 8. I think this guy will fire again with overs or an over pair if I show weakness.

I call with the intention of making a big bet on the turn and taking it down. Turn brings a nightmare 8 making it four cards to a straight. Initial raiser leads out again about pot size. Well, I hate that card, but I really can't put him on the 9. My read was I could let him take one off with this board because he did not have an 8 or 4. Lets add the 9 assuming he was not drawing to the gutshot. He did raise preflop in MP at a full ring 3.5x. I don't think I can fold my set here, but need to end things quick. If he has the miracle 9 (99?), I still have outs to a boat or quads. I reraise big (but not all-in?). He pushes. At this point I have to call, and have the odds against all but 88. He has:

Q9 sooooted.

Details are below. Bummer. I think I played it all right, but possibly not perfect. I probably get stacked even if I play it perfect. Not going to let flopped top set go in a tourney, unless I got big reasons to think I'm beat, and I didn't. Quick exit kind of sucked because I thought I had a real shot at this one. Congrats to smokkee, who hung in for a cash in the event, and my condolences to Iakaris, who declined a last longer bet with me that would have been in the bag after the 1st orbit.

Full Tilt Poker Game #1236534258: FTOPS Event #2 (8101354), Table 6 - 15/30 - No Limit Hold'em - 18:08:34 ET - 2006/11/12
Seat 1: SlickSlySpy (3,030)
Seat 2: AllInFirstHand (2,940)
Seat 3: Bluechip200 (2,955)
Seat 4: JACKontheRIVER (3,135)
Seat 5: Ltchc (2,955)
Seat 6: I Am Ari (2,760)
Seat 7: Blinders (3,000)
Seat 8: unodostres (6,525)
Seat 9: rhino2 (2,640)
unodostres posts the small blind of 15
rhino2 posts the big blind of 30
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Blinders [7c 7d]
SlickSlySpy folds
AllInFirstHand folds
Bluechip200 folds
JACKontheRIVER has 15 seconds left to act
JACKontheRIVER raises to 105
Ltchc folds
I Am Ari folds
Blinders calls 105
unodostres folds
rhino2 folds
*** FLOP *** [5c 7h 6s]
JACKontheRIVER bets 255
Blinders calls 255
*** TURN *** [5c 7h 6s] [8c]
JACKontheRIVER bets 765
Blinders raises to 1,770
JACKontheRIVER raises to 2,775, and is all in
Blinders calls 870, and is all in
JACKontheRIVER shows [9c Qc]
Blinders shows [7c 7d]
Uncalled bet of 135 returned to JACKontheRIVER
*** RIVER *** [5c 7h 6s 8c] [Qh]
JACKontheRIVER shows a straight, Nine high
Blinders shows three of a kind, Sevens
JACKontheRIVER wins the pot (6,045) with a straight, Nine high
Blinders stands up
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 6,045 Rake 0
Board: [5c 7h 6s 8c Qh]
Seat 1: SlickSlySpy didn't bet (folded)
Seat 2: AllInFirstHand didn't bet (folded)
Seat 3: Bluechip200 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 4: JACKontheRIVER showed [9c Qc] and won (6,045) with a straight, Nine high
Seat 5: Ltchc didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: I Am Ari didn't bet (folded)
Seat 7: Blinders (button) showed [7c 7d] and lost with three of a kind, Sevens
Seat 8: unodostres (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 9: rhino2 (big blind) folded before the Flop

Friday, November 10, 2006

FTOPS Event #2 or Bust

I want to play in event #2 of the FTOPS. I have several reasons for this.

1) It's a doublestack tournament which suits my style.

b) It's a deep payout schedule which suits my style. Currently 351 out of 316 entries get paid! How do I pass that up. You could fold to the money immediately, lol.

3) I have been running pretty good in MTTs lately, and have not been playing cash games. i.e., I am primed and ready

d) I have not run a big buy-in online tourney like this in a long while. I used to run the STARS big one 18 months ago. Still run the $100 on bodog once and a while.

5) I have never had a 1k+ online MTT cash (a few live ones). It's a lot easier to get a 1k cash with a higher buy-in.

f) A Final Table appearance would look good posted in this here blog.

So what to do, what to do?

a) Satellite in? Sorry, don't have that kind of time. It goes against my cash game tourney qualifying strategy anyway.

2) Buy-in direct? Wow, that would be pretty easy, and I gots the funds. Simple stuff.

But wait. There is a $50 sat the morning of the tourney that pays about the top 25%. Easy money me thinks. Ill go that route. If I don't make it, its a direct buy-in unless i'm feeling like an uberdonkey. Iak, want to do a last longer? Anyone else going the direct route?

On an administrative note (ala hoy) I'm playing in a $50 buy-in $2500 added single table live tourney Saturday night. It is the Orange Poker League championship. I'm gonna take this bitch down, I can feel it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

WWdN Afterthoughts

Hey thanks for everyone who noticed my WWdN win. Hoy, yes you are right. This was my first victory in an organized blogger event. As I said in my last post, I really don't get a chance to play too many of them. This was about my 10th try if you include all the DADI, WWdn, MATH, Big Game, and blogger freerolls I have been in. I have held my own I think in the ones I have played. Having the chip lead semi-late in a few of the DADI tournaments before taking some ridiculous 2 and 3 out beatings that prevented me from a run at the title (dig through the archives for those interested). I took third in a 1k blogger freeroll after the wife pulled the plug on me late at the final table (see nuclear option). And of course a couple decent showings in the recent Big Games. In fact, I see me leading the triple crown of BG1+BG2+WWdN. Ahead of even the infamous Iakaris if you count just those three. I am pretty much not allowed to play online until about 10pm pacific on weeknights due to family obligations. Tuesday, the wife was working late, and I had the bug, so I jumped into the WWdN.

The tournament just went extremely well for me. One of those nights when the stars are all aligned. I felt I played it pretty well. My final table play was as perfect as I can squeeze out of my game at this point. I had tons of chips the whole way, and that really opened up my options. Early on, I just felt like opening my game up a bit. Getting A4 over and over again helped. I wanted to come over the top of Iak a lot preflop with my position, and did with A4 once. I really did not care if I got knocked out doing it (I guess because of the low buy-in). So I was looking like some maniac to a bunch of players that have not played against me very much. My overpair probably gets paid because of this and I get some chips to work with early.

When I jump out early in a tournament it really helps my chances. I don't feel pressed at all, and can sit back and play my game. I think that is why I do well in the double stack structure. It gives me the time to get in enough profitable situations to overcome the slow drain from my ubertightness. Now I think for anyone jumping out to a lead in a tournament helps their chances, so I am not saying much here.

My other patented approach is to skim the bottom all the way to the final table and try to get lucky.

So I played pretty wild early, locked down to ubertight mode, and kept chipping up. This was easy because I won all my coinflips and people wanted to get out of my way when I was involved in pots. At the final table I was pretty aggressive. It's one of the advantages of building up a tight image. You can grab some pots late, from those who have been paying attention to your apparent "weakness".

The key hand by far was the coinflip I decided to take with Spock at the final table. I was basically willing to flip a coin for 5th place money ($20 something), or 1st place ($132). I had a good read on the rest of the table, and was almost positive I could close it out if I won the hand. I won, which actually put pressure on me not to blow it. I picked and choose my spots real well after that and was able to knock the rest of the players out without really taking any risks. I really think that is the way to play it out. I have seen many a bigstack at the final table be a little to eager to end it, and end up not getting the win. I had to get this win.

There was one crazy hand from the tournament where Wes Hoyed me preflop, leaving $1 behind. I called, and flopped a hand. I bet the flop, and Wes folds when getting over 2000-1 pot odds. That's some crazy shit.

My run was not exactly mistake free. There was a guy who had been sitting out the whole tourney at our table. His stack was almost gone, and had not had a chance to steal yet. I ended up popping it up to T600 to get through two players to get to SoxLovers 75 SB, and the other guys 70 all-in BB. SoxLover, who had already pushed over the top in similar situations a few times, pushed in again and I had to release the hand. 600 to steal 145 in blinds from MP with crap. Brilliant.

I have never really run through a tournament like that so it was a blast. If there is any blueprint here it is:

1) Get some chips early so you never need to do anything stupid.
2) Win all of your coinflips.
3) Pick your spots semi-carefully when leveraging your big stack.

Not really the lucko approach, but works for me.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Finally I have something to blog about, and the definition of squinty rockets

I just took down the WWdN. Yup, Blinders is king of the blogosphere (for a day at least). It was an extremely rare (for me), near wire to wire dominating performance. In a very rare WWdN appearance for me. I thinks it was just my 2nd time in the WWdN. I have played the MATH once, and don't think I have ever played the mook. I try to turn out for the DADI and the bigger events whenever possible, and of course the Big Game.

I drew Iak's left, and said "nice, free money on my right". For some reason, we were discussing A4. I have always considered this hand close to AA. It looks almost the same and has the nickname "two pointies". I said that if you squint your eyes enough it looks like AA. Squinty Rockets. I would get squinty rockets and KK in a 5 out of 8 hand stretch early. Playing them all like AA or KK, and getting played back with TPTK to my overpair (this time) for a double up on the third consecutive hand. I was practically running the table. Straight to the top of the leader board where I would be more or less the whole time.

I had the lead at the 1st break, and was close near the 2nd. I eliminated 10th place, and retook the lead going to the final table. Spock was playing aggressive, and I feared him the most. My stack allowed me to remain aggressive, but I was pretty card dead at the final table. When we were down to about 5 handed, I had raised about 3 hands in a row and then picked up 88. I raised again, and this time Spock reraised. I was pretty sure it was overs, because he was fed up. I had the pot odds easy, and figured that if I won, I would be able to win the whole thing. It would have crippled the player I feared the most, and and gave me a huge chip lead if I won the hand. I also thought I might be able to push him off weaker overs.

So I pushed. He called with AK, and my 88 held. Set in fact. From that point on it was pretty much over. I picked my spots, and knocked out most of everyone else. Heads up was like 43k to 6k in chips when it started. The heads up battle took a while, but never really went anywhere until the final hand when I had KJ vs QJ. Yeah me!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Question #1 What Is Your Excuse?

Question #2 Why do you suck at poker?
Question #3 Are your friends and family aware that you suck at poker?
Question #4 What is your excuse for living?

Above are from last nights Big Game, where is was decided that the first eliminated would be interviewed by Miami Don (the anti-mookie approach).

Thank god it was not me who was first out, because I am not prepared for the public humiliation. I do have thick skin though. You need to have it if your me. I get no respect.

Things started off for me just like last time. I was getting decent cards early, and slowly chipping up. The big hand for me would come quickly. I get AA in one of the blinds I think, and after a bunch of limpers, pop it up 6x. Lucko calls. Flop comes A4x all hearts. Well I have top set, but am in a little trouble with all the hearts. I bet out about T400, and lucko reraises to T1000. I am not going to put him on the flush, and I would have outs even if he has it, so I push. Lucko correctly states that he can't put me on the flush, but unfortunately he flopped bottom set. He has to call and does. He is drawing to one out, and I hold up to get north of 6k in chips.

After, all the chatter after this hand, I felt like I needed to apologize for that hand. Sorry, I think I played it pretty well. I got all the money in on the flop, which was key because a forth heart hit on the turn. Not saying I outplayed lucko. He played it right to. I just got lucky and found myself in a great situation. Do I have to apologize for that?

So I was in great shape early, but there was a lot of poker to still be played. I started bleeding chips away. Cmitch outplayed me on a key hand, that further lowered my stack. When the final table formed, I was 8 or 9th in chips, and a long stretch from the money. It folds to me in the SB, and I have 66. Superstoner who I have labeled as a "nut peddler" is in the BB. I want to take it down right now, so I pop it up big (almost 1/2 my stack). I figure he is folding 85%+ of his hand to that raise. Superstoner raises enough to put me all-in. I figure him for overs and not a bigger pair. I call and am racing against AK. A king on the flop and IGHN in 9th. I think I had to play it that way so those are the breaks. Congrats to superstoner who won the event, and to my pal smokkee for taking second.

I have run 15 of the 90 player S&Gs on FullTilt, and am loving them. I have 2 top threes, 3 final tables, and 6 cashes which is pretty good for 15 tries IMO. You just play them ubertight until in the money, then try to chip-up as required after you get down to two tables. If you double up once, you can cruise to the money. Another thing I like about them is there are no antes ever. This structure is about as good as I can get for my playing style. They also run pretty quick. Bubble is around 1 1/2 hours in. Final table in about 2 hours. It is a quick way to get end game experience in MTTs. Try em, you'll like em.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Two MTT Final Tables

I made two final tables tonight in the 90 player S&Gs. Ended up 2nd in a $20 and 3rd in a $10. I also cashed in the midnight madness as well. I rawk!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Adjusting Your Play to Counter a Bubble Preserver

I had intension of doing a post about this earlier, but didn't so I figured I better get it out now, just in case lucko decides to run over us again in the big game. Who invited him anyway? There have got to be some good $200 buy-ins running around the same time that would be more profitable. Anyway, I digress.

A fundamental theorem of Poker is that for ever effective strategy there is an effective countermeasure. Ok, I made that up, but I believe it to be true. I don't care how good you are. If someone is smart enough to figure out what your doing (your strategy), they might be smart enough to find out a way to exploit it. There is a way to exploit any strategy. That's why the good players must "change things up" from time to time when playing smart/good competition. Otherwise their strategy or actions would eventually be exploited.

So now for the bubble preserving strategy. You have a big stack on the bubble, and no one wants to be the "bubble boy". So you raise and reraise almost constantly looking to find resistance. When no resistance is found, you chip up. Eventually someone will take a stand though, and the bubble preserver has to decide if it is +EV to try to knock out the person taking the stand by calling, or to fold to resistance and get back to chip up mode. The bubble preserver, is raising with next to nothing (say top 60% of hands), so most often it will be -EV to call someone with a significant stack who resists. Unless of course the bubble preserver actually has a hand this time. Now for the short stacks who provide resistance. From a pure pot size perspective, it is almost an automatic call. The shorty is coming over your pressure with the rest of their stack, which probably is not much more than you have already raised. You have pot odds for days to call. But if you call and knock them out, the bubble is burst and you lose the ability to chip up easily. So the bubble preserver does not really want to call the shorties push (even though the pot odds are there), and also in most cases will not call the middle stacks push (for lack of a real hand).

Is this all obvious? Well let me go a little deeper. The key here is what % of the total chips does the bubble preserver have? At some point, the bubble preserver will figure they have about all of the chips they can get on the bubble, and stop trying to preserve it. So what percentage is that. I will throw out something north of 60% of all chips in play. At that point the bubble perserving mode is over, and counter measures will fail.

So the key is to recognize that bubble preservation is taking place, and counter this before the chip leader has fully chipped up. This is pretty dangerous, because bubble preservation is a pretty rare thing. It has to be a great player with chips. Don't expect a donk or newbie to try it.

What are the signs? First, a huge level of aggression by the chip leader. Second, some laydowns that appear to be questionable pot odds wise by the chip leader. If the chip leader reraises say to 3k a 1k open, and a short stack pushes in for 4k total. If the chip leader does not call, this is a bubble preserver. It should be semi-obvious if you look for the right signs.

How do you counter it? If your short, push-in if you can get heads up with the bubble preserver. Cards are irrelevant. He will not call. If you have a medium stack, you will need a decent, but not great hand. Any pair, or a decent Ace will work. Keep in mind that his range is huge, and as a middle stack you can make a nice dent in his stack. He may even fold with a real hand to preserve the bubble against a middle stack. The person who figures this out first has the most to gain. They can probably lock up second place money on the bubble by doing what I say above. But watch the bubble preservers stack. The bigger it gets the less likely your counter measures will work. You need to use them early and often.

At the last big game, I had never even thought this concept through (though I remember reading about it). By the time it was obvious what was going on, I already had an irrelevant stack. I think I will be ready this time, so bring it lucko!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Anyone running the new 90 player S&Gs on FullTilt?

FullTilt has new 90 player "double stack" S&Gs that pay the top 20%. It is about as good of a structure as you can get IMO. They have, 1, 5, 10, and 20 buy-in versions. I ran a few last night and did an experiment as well. I entered a $1, and decided to sit the whole thing out to see where you would end without playing a hand. I figured there would be a decent shot at cashing by sitting the tourney out, lol. I ended up 23/90 in that one, 5 spots out of the money. It shows that in this structure if you can just sit back and play ubertight you should be able to cruise right into the money. Then depending on stack size etc. you can get aggressive and try to play for a deep final table run. I think these will be very profitable for me.

The three I actually played in, I did ok. I took 12/90 in a $5, and got 34/90, and 67/90 in a couple of $10. I was very card dead in the two $10 ones, and got eliminated in a battle of the blinds in the 34th one while short, and pushed in with 18 outs on the flop on the other and missed. I am going to try to run a bunch of these in the next few days, plus they are great practice for the big game, with a similar structure.

I was in a tier 2 token race as well last night, and their was an ubermaniac at the table who was raising 80% of his hands, and calling all reraises. The guy had luckboxed his way up to 10k in chips and was running the table. I pushed over him with 77 and he called with A5o and I doubled through to 3k in chips and about 4th out of 12 left. The guy just kept raising and raising. These things are marathons, and I was in great position with a double-up and a maniac to force the action. This guy was retarded though, and I was very concerned he would give all the chips back, and even things out. I kept getting middle pairs, and kept folding them to the maniac, because I figured I was already close to the $75 token. Eventually, I just got fed up, and pushed over him all-in with 88. I figured one more double-up, and I would be at 6k which is generally enough to sit-out and get the token. However, I knew this guy would call with anything so I'm risking my stack. He called with ATo, and sent me to the rail when he flopped a T. Did I F this one up?

Lastly, I made a deep run the the 12k last night. I got up to $5200 in the first hour, and then treaded water in the second hour. Early in the third hour, I got a rush of three consecutive hands where I ran my stack up to 15k. I then held out into the money. Then I got AQ on the button. You prolly know what's going to happen, so you can quit reading if you like.

Blinds are 1600/800. UTG limps, chip leader in MP limps. I have AQ, and there is already 7200 in the pot with the limpers and blinds/antes. I have everyone but the MP limper covered. I figure that if I push and get a single caller, I have pot odds against a pair JJ or lower, and dominate AJ and lower. No strength shown yet, so I don't think I am against AA, KK, QQ or AK, though one of the blinds could wake up with a monster. So the decision is pretty obvious and I push. Blinds fold, UTG calls, and MP tanks. I want him to fold, because he has me covered, but he overcalls the two all-ins with KJo. UTG limper has AA. There is about a 10k side pot, so things are not that bad, but the flop brings a J and IGHN in 30/595. I hate the chip leaders overcall preflop there, but he lucked out. If I take that pot down uncontested or double through, I am close or in the top 10 in chips.

I have cashed in about 1/2 of my MTTs lately which is a nice change. Still need to get that big score. If I can somehow force myself to play more of these, It's just a matter of time. I also, ran some cash games for the first time in a while and won a quick $200 at .50/1 nl with a combination of some good play, and good situations. Kind of a rambling post, but it feels good to be playing more, than I have in the past few weeks. Can't wait for the next Big Game.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Peep Show Mistake?

$8 Token Race FullTilt
1200/600 blinds
7 players remain.

In the BB you pick-up 88. It folds to SB who completes. SB is chip leader and has 6200 behind. You have 3600 left after posting the BB. Shortstack at table has about 2600 left. 3600 would currently be good for 6th.

I could check, raise or push.

Any kind of raise pot commits me, so it really is check or push.

If I check, I will be in position, but against the chip leader post flop. Almost any stab at the pot post flop will pot commit me. If I check, I can be pretty sure the chip leader will fire at some point, and I will be put to the test on the bubble.

If I push, I will put the chip leader to the test. If he calls and loses, he will be the shortstack on the bubble. If he folds, he still can fold to the token. I can't imagine a lot of hands that could possibly be ahead of me that the chip leader does not raise with in this situation. So I am almost positive I am ahead, and I am pretty sure I can get him to fold his hand that is behind. If I take this down right now, I can fold to the token.

This is a token race though. You have to consider that. There is a decent chance, I can fold to the token, and a great chance I can fold to the boobie prize. There is a shorty, who has less than 2 orbits left. 1200/600 is steep, and any contested pot will have an all-in at this point. I could play it safe, but if I check/fold to post flop pressure, the shorty could fold through his blinds, and put me to the test next orbit.

I Push!

Chip Leader tanks and then calls with JTs

The result is not that important here. Did I play it right/wrong EV wise?