Week 4 NFL Picks
I went with quantity over quality this week so be fore warned.
N.O. +7 @ Carolina
Seattle +3.5 @ Chicago
Dallas -9 @ Tennessee
Jacksonville -3 @ Washington
Atlanta -7.5 vs. Arizona
St. Louis -6 vs. Detroit
Take the blinders off and find out what the "real" story is.
I went with quantity over quality this week so be fore warned.
I am well into a single table S&G. Seven left. Blinds are 100/200, and I have about 2500 in chips. Chip leader is on my right and has 2700 in chips. The chip leader opens UTG for T600, and I look down at TT.
Well, I hit 3/5 of my posted picks for a slight loss for the weekend. I had too much on Chicago, and they missed covering by 1/2 point, or it would have been a great weekend. After reading Scurvy's writeup on sportsbook bonus whoring I thought I would give it a try. I did find something pretty cool.
I usually shy away from betting too much on the NFL until about week 4. Too many crazy things happen, and you have no idea where teams stand early. I ended up placing one bet on Indy in week 1 which won. Week 2, I through caution to the wind and hit 7 out of 9 picks picking up a decent amount of scratch. I have not announced any picks ahead of time, so you will have to take my word for it. Below are my week 3 picks.
I'm still playing tons of the $10, 9 player regular S&Gs on FullTilt, and I am running pretty good. I know I need to move up, but it's fun when your easially the best player at the table. My S&G strategy is pretty simple. I play my ultra-tight cash game strategy for as long as possible. I am also quite a bit more aggressive with the bet sizes than I would be in a cash game. If I am accumulating chips, I may play this way down to three handed and not really make any adjustments for short handed play. Once I get down to about 750 chips or 3-4 handed like above, I flip a switch and start playing a hyper loose aggressive game. This tends to throw off anyone who was paying attention to my tightness early, and usually allows me to pick up some much needed pots late.
Now that the challenge is over, I have been mixing it up, playing single table S&Gs, and last night a bunch of MTTs. I ran the 8k on FullTilt, the 4k on bodog, a 180p S&G on Stars, a $20 MTT on Stars, and a small MTT on WorldPx. I ended up getting through more than 1/2 the field in all 5, but no cashes. That puts me down $91 for the night. It is pretty rare that I will drop that much in one night in cash games, but I think you need to expect that if your running all MTTs. So you have to survive a bunch of nights like that, until you get the big score that makes up for it. Thats pretty tough mentally. I will probably stick with S&Gs for a while, and maybe run 1 or 2 MTTs a night.
I need to raise here to get down to 1 or 2 opponents, or just take it down.
Blinders: raises 600 to 800
*** FLOP *** [3s Ts 8s]
Now thats quite a flop. I have the nut flush draw and 2 overs. Thats 15 outs, If I am behind, but there is a good chance I am still ahead as well. AA and KK are not likely holdings of my opponent, so all my outs should be good. I am thinking, how can I get all of my money in with this hand.
Blinders: bets 1000
AugustXII: raises 6105 to 7105 and is all-in
Well looks like AugustXII is going to help me get the chips in. The push makes it very unlikely he has much more than a pair. My 15 outs are probably good, and I should have a 60% chance minimum of winning the hand, and am getting 3-1 pot odds to call. The win would put me at about 9k in chips, which would be well above par. I think this is an obvious call. Let me know if anyone thinks otherwise.
Blinders: calls 2275 and is all-in
*** TURN *** [3s Ts 8s] [4d]
*** RIVER *** [3s Ts 8s 4d] [6h]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
AugustXII: shows [Td Qc] (a pair of Tens)
Blinders: shows [As Kh] (high card Ace)
AugustXII collected 8650 from pot
Well, I missed my outs and IGHN. I still like my play. What about the other guy who won the pot. Anyone like the way he played it? He is the table chip leader, and I have enough chips to cause him some major problems.
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 8650 Rake 0
Board [3s Ts 8s 4d 6h]
From the villans perspective he did the following.
Limped from EP with QT0 (not a great play in my book)
Called a 4x raise from me preflop (I am way to tight preflop for him to make that call, what is he hoping to flop? Plus I am getting close to pot committed already)
Flopped top pair (Queens) with a T kicker, and then check raised me all-in. (why not lead out to see where you stand. I could have AA, KK, QQ, AQ, KQ, As Xs ( all of which has him dominated. When I bet the 1,000, I am pretty much pot committed, so I am not folding if I have any piece of that flop, so why push?)
Anyway, he won. Nice hand sir, but this is the play of the table chip leader when we are down to 60 players.
I did not really want to delve into my thinking about the challenge during the challenge. I thought it would be better to let the thing run its course first. So now that it is over, here are my thoughts and suggestions.
I did not play online on day 29. I did play in the Orange Poker League home tourney. I have blogged about a couple of these events. Basically you play a series of 5 tournaments, once 1/2 the field is eliminated, you start earning points. One point for each place higher that you finish, and one point just for playing. They total up the points for the five events (after you drop your lowest event), and the top 10 points play a championship game. 10% of the buy-in and 20% of the rebuys are skimmed and forwarded to the final event. Over $1,100 is already in the final prize pool. I had a horrible run of cards in the first two events, but managed to earn a few points, then missed event three while in Hawaii. I was sitting in 18th place going into event 4. There would be 38 people this time, so up to 20 points were availiable. The players are pretty bad, but the structrure is pretty crap-shooty.
I did not play much, but a I ran three $10 9 player S&Gs and got a 2nd and third. I also used a token to plat the FT 8k, and went out 218/588. Smokkee argues that burning a token should not count as a loss since it has no cash value. Ok, I will buy it.
I just ordered the 1000pc chip set above. They are real Paulson clay chips, just like they use in most casinos. I am freaking nuts because they are way-way expensive, but you have to pay for the best. I got it with 300 - $1, 250 - $5, 200 - $25, 150 - $100, 50 - $500, and 50 - $1000 chips. I should be able to handle tournaments with up to 30 people, and even run some WSOP type structure tournaments. Not sure what to do with my 1300pc set I currently have. Prolly will sell it on ebay or something.
FullTiltPoker Game #1000330893: Table Anasazi - $0.50/$1 - No Limit Hold'em - 15:03:38 ET - 2006/09/14
Sorry for the bad beat story. I am pretty much over the challenge right now. Prolly will play a few S&Gs or something, but no more cash games for a while.
FullTilt 249h -171.20
WorldPx 45h +7.85
WPx rake refund +2.30
Day 27 Total-161.05
Challenge Total +600.60
Just played a short session online, and would have won a decent amount, but my AA got cracked by KK when a K turned. I played the OCPT home game last night, and rallied back from the short stack on the bubble to get the win. I had the chip leader on my left the whole night which was tough, but I played well late and accumulated a ton of chips. A few key late hands are below.
Well I did it. I won during both sessions on day 25. Blogging about your problems helps. I also decided I needed to chase some sort of bonus, so I played some at World Poker Exchange for the full rake refund. I am going to need to have some big days soon to get to $1,200. Tonight is the OCPT home game, so I probably will not get many hands in online.
I can't seem to put back to back winning sessions together right now.
I tried to turn things around today, and things are going to have to turn around soon, or there is no way I make this challenge. I had a pretty good session early. Then in a later session I got into some troble early when, I open raised with KQo one club, and the flop came Q high all clubs. I hate to get myself into too much trouble with a flop in all one suit, but this is one of those situations that is hard to avoid. I have top pair good kicker, and a draw to the second nut flush. As long as this guy did not flop the flush I am probably good (heads up on flop). The guy had $30 behind, so when he reraised my flop bet, I went ahead and put him in. He had the nut flush, and a K on the turn brought me some outs, but I blanked the river. The day before, I got into the same type of situation when my KK one diamond, flopped an all diamond J high flop. This one the money did not go in until the river (and after the flush hit), but I was also against the flopped nut flush.
I kind of forced myself to get some hands in in the afternoon, even though I did not feel like playing. It was a bad idea. I did not play extreemly bad, just was one of those horrible sessions where nothing was going quite right. 100+ hands into my FullTilt session, I had won 1 hand, and that was preflop. Eventually I got tired of it, quit and called it a day avoiding a late night session.
I ran some more single table S&Gs today. Five $10 buy-ins with 2 second place finishes, and two $6 turbos with a third place. Overall it was a slight loss. I ended up not playing anymore so I could watch the big game, and then skipped a late night session. I am going to need a big weekend at the cash games to get the challenge back on track.
I ran 6 $10 single table S&Gs early in the day to get ready for the Newport Poker Open to be held the night of day 19. The play was horrible in those things compared to my normal cash game competition. I jammed the turn with monster hands three times, and got called each time only to get sucked out on by a 2, 3, and 4 outer on the river each time. In the other 3 I got a first, second, and third for a decent overall profit. My profit would have been real nice if one of the monsters held up. I may try running them 6 at a time, and see what hourly rate I could make. It might be higher than my cash game rate.
It's about time I write about blogger day in Del Mar. Joe Speaker was kind enough to set up this event, and it would be impossible for me to pass it up. I had to pull some strings with the wifey to get permission, but I lobbied long and hard (if you know what I mean). When Bill Rini suggested a TJ trip afterwards, it sounded great, but there was no way I could pull that off. In fact, if I were to even ask, the Del Mar trip would surely be nixed. I was not about to let that happen. The plan was to hook up with Joe, at 15 minutes before the first post at a bar on the 4th level of the stretch run section. I don't own a cell phone, and I don't think they allow pay phones at the track, so it was very important that I arrive on time. I left my house about an hour and 20 minutes before the first post. With no traffic I would get there in about 50 minutes.
I had a pretty good early session on Day 18 and gave it all back in a late session. I am suddenly finding myself paying off flushes and that has to stop. Tonight is the Newport Poker Open on PokerStars. Smokkee is ahead of me in the season standings $342 to $340. Since this is the last event of the season, I will need to finish ahead of Smokkee, and cash to take the title. Smokkee was kind enough to put a $10 bounty on me for tonights event. He must be worried. I have pretty much been only playing cash games lately. Today, I am going to run a bunch of Sit & Goes to get the tournament rust off, and be ready for the big event tonight. One of my stated goals for 2006 was to take the Newport Open Title. Tonight's the night to seal the deal.
It was a good thing that I waited until this week to place the bet. With Big Ben out, the line moved from Pitt -4.5 to a pick over the weekend. Today I put the $1,100 on Pittsburg at Mansion (line was pick). I went to Pinnacle for the hedge based on Scurvy's advice. I really do not like Pitt to win this game, so I decided to over hedge it. This actually has quite a few advantages. I was able to get Miami +1 (-104). You really can't beat that line or price. The other thing that was cool is Pinnacle gives an instant deposit bonus, which makes hedging the bet +EV compared to just letting it roll on Pitt. I deposited 600 which with the insta bonus gave me $660. The Pinnacle betting interface is a little strange in that you put in how much you want to win, not what you want to bet. I ended up laying $655.20 to win $630, after depositing only $600. Overhedging it buys you some insurance in case Mansion decided not to refund your $1,100 if the Pitt bet loses. If you assume that Mansion will pay the Pitt bet if it wins (You have to assume this, unless they shut down the site this Friday), my results will be as follows.
Going into the day, I thought I had a decent chance of closing the challenge out. It looked like I would have some time to play, and the tables had been real fishy over the labor day weekend. One huge day would do it. So what happened? I made a bad call, went on tilt and started spewing chips. I suck. This is how it happened.
Well, I made the effort and got in about 850 hands in on Day 16. The sites seem extra fishy on three day weekends, and I had a pretty good day.
I did some backbreaking work around the house, that kept me from getting too many hands in. I was planning on making up for it by playing a lot at night, but I ended up playing in a 6 handed home tourney instead. We ended up chopping when we were down to 3 players and I made $20. However, I am only including online winnings in my 30 day to $1,200 challenge.
I played mainly at FullTilt for some reason today. Neither Tilt nor Party has any big incentives going right now. I ran into MiamiDon at a FullTilt cash game, and we were running the table. Well, actually I stacked a guy who wanted to get all-in preflop with 88 against my AA, and Miami was constantly beating down the fishes, and thats how we ended up 1/2 in chips. I sat with my big stack and could not get much else going.
I played just enough to clear the $100 reload bonus on Party Poker. It was a pretty wild session where I won a few big pots, which made up for quite a few tough situations that I got into. The biggest trouble I seem to get into at Party and other sites, is when people play super weak with a decent holding. On one hand I had TT and bet it the whole way against a safe looking low board. KK called me down and won. On a very similar hand, I had KQ hit a Q high flop, and bet it the whole way. Again KK shows up out of no where. Now that the bonus has cleared, I am not sure If I will go back to FullTilt or not. I need to check out what incentives the two sites are offering for September.