Thursday, May 31, 2007

Interesting Flame Out In Riverchasers

Well I did not get anyone from my list at my Riverchasers BBT table. See the three hands below that I did get over about a 10 hand span early.

Full Tilt Poker Game #2554598354: Riverchasers Online Tour #11 (17986090), Table 1 - 25/50 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:22:54 ET - 2007/05/31
Seat 1: Don Morris (1,500)
Seat 2: boneyardxxx (1,510)
Seat 3: NightRanger (2,150)
Seat 4: DaBag (1,175)
Seat 5: Blinders (1,755)
Seat 6: MoonShadow58 (830)
Seat 7: dpweave (1,420), is sitting out
Seat 8: drmindbendr (1,600)
Seat 9: snakster (1,545)
DaBag posts the small blind of 25
Blinders posts the big blind of 50
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Blinders [Kh Kc]
MoonShadow58 folds
dpweave folds
drmindbendr calls 50
snakster folds
Don Morris folds
boneyardxxx folds
NightRanger folds
DaBag calls 25
Blinders raises to 185
drmindbendr has 15 seconds left to act
drmindbendr calls 135
DaBag calls 135
*** FLOP *** [7h Qc 5c]
DaBag checks
Blinders bets 450
drmindbendr has 15 seconds left to act
drmindbendr raises to 900
DaBag folds
Blinders raises to 1,570, and is all in
dpweave has returned
drmindbendr calls 515, and is all in
Blinders shows [Kh Kc]
drmindbendr shows [Ac As]
Uncalled bet of 155 returned to Blinders
*** TURN *** [7h Qc 5c] [3s]
*** RIVER *** [7h Qc 5c 3s] [7s]
Blinders shows two pair, Kings and Sevens
drmindbendr shows two pair, Aces and Sevens
drmindbendr wins the pot (3,385) with two pair, Aces and Sevens

So this is just a typical KK vs. AA hand. If AA open raises or reraises preflop we are all-in for sure, but instead he goes for the super-rare double slowplay of rockets preflop. I can get away from an over pair in a cash game pretty easy, but look how the stack sizes are already pretty light even though it is very early in an MTT. I had chipped up a bit to this point, but only have 35BBs. When I raise to 185 pre, the callers are calling 135 which is close to 1/10th of either ones stack. So I throw out a typical preflop raise with a big hand, and I am close to taking away the "rule of 10" set drawing odds this early in the MTT (I actually wished I had raised 200-250 total just after I did it, but 185 is pretty close to 200). With an ace on the flop I might get away from this. In a highly coordinated board, possibly. In a cash game, I know I can depending on the read, based on the depths of the stacks compared to the pot. In this situation though, I am going to the felt. There is just too good of a chance that I am against AQ, KQ, or a draw to let this go. If they hit the set, they barely had the odds to draw to it, even if they knew they would stack me after hitting it. Also in an MTT, I would much rather be on the overpair vs. the underpair drawing to a set, because of the limited possible trials that can be taken. So I pushed figuring I am ahead or I am looking at a lucky set or some draw, but was very surprised by the AA. If I am able to get away on this hand at all, AA made a huge mistake in how it was played. I was just in a very bad spot, oh well.

So down to $130 I get KK again.

Full Tilt Poker Game #2554636207: Riverchasers Online Tour #11 (17986090), Table 1 - 25/50 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:27:41 ET - 2007/05/31
Seat 1: Don Morris (1,700)
Seat 2: boneyardxxx (1,635)
Seat 3: NightRanger (2,275)
Seat 4: DaBag (990)
Seat 5: Blinders (130)
Seat 6: MoonShadow58 (580)
Seat 7: dpweave (1,420)
Seat 8: drmindbendr (3,260)
Seat 9: snakster (1,495)
snakster posts the small blind of 25
Don Morris posts the big blind of 50
The button is in seat #8
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Blinders [Ks Kd]
boneyardxxx folds
NightRanger folds
DaBag folds
Blinders raises to 130, and is all in

Shorty jam always looks a bit suspicious

MoonShadow58 folds
dpweave calls 130
drmindbendr folds
snakster folds
Don Morris folds
Blinders shows [Ks Kd]
dpweave shows [4s 4c]


*** FLOP *** [Ad 4d 7s]

I hate cowboys

*** TURN *** [Ad 4d 7s] [Kc]

I love cowboys

Blinders: lol

*** RIVER *** [Ad 4d 7s Kc] [Ac]

Blinders shows a full house, Kings full of Aces
dpweave shows a full house, Fours full of Aces
Blinders wins the pot (335) with a full house, Kings full of Aces

I fold my BB to a raise and catch JTs in the SB.

Full Tilt Poker Game #2554659527: Riverchasers Online Tour #11 (17986090), Table 1 - 25/50 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:30:39 ET - 2007/05/31
Seat 1: Don Morris (1,875)
Seat 2: boneyardxxx (1,560)
Seat 3: NightRanger (2,250)
Seat 4: DaBag (990)
Seat 5: Blinders (285)
Seat 6: MoonShadow58 (430)
Seat 7: dpweave (1,365)
Seat 8: drmindbendr (3,260)
Seat 9: snakster (1,470)
Blinders posts the small blind of 25
MoonShadow58 posts the big blind of 50
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Blinders [Th Jh]
dpweave calls 50
drmindbendr calls 50
snakster folds
Don Morris folds
boneyardxxx folds
NightRanger folds
DaBag folds
Blinders calls 25

I am looking for any piece/draw before committing everthing

MoonShadow58 checks
*** FLOP *** [9h Ad Jc]

Have a piece, but hate that Ace in a 4-way pot.

Blinders checks
MoonShadow58 checks
dpweave checks
drmindbendr checks

That was pretty nice with all the backdoor opportunities, plus there is a decent chance I am actually ahead right now.

*** TURN *** [9h Ad Jc] [Qh]

Could a better card have dropped? (well a J would have been nice). Lets try to count the outs. 2 outs to the mortal sraight flush nuts. 7 more flush outs, 6 straight outs, 2 outs to trips, and assumming I can push someone off a King if I jam here, 3 more outs to the 10 potentially. That's about 20 outs total, obvious jam.

Blinders bets 235, and is all in
MoonShadow58 calls 235
dpweave raises to 600
drmindbendr has 15 seconds left to act
drmindbendr folds
MoonShadow58 calls 145, and is all in

dpweave shows [Qs Ac]
Blinders shows [Th Jh]
MoonShadow58 shows [Qd 5d]

Sixteen of my outs are gold, which is worse than I expected, but I just bet $265 for a $905 pot With $905 I'll be back!

Uncalled bet of 220 returned to dpweave

*** RIVER *** [9h Ad Jc Qh] [4s]

dpweave shows two pair, Aces and Queens
MoonShadow58 shows a pair of Queens
dpweave wins the side pot (290) with two pair, Aces and Queens
Blinders shows a pair of Jacks
dpweave wins the main pot (905) with two pair, Aces and Queens
Blinders stands up


MoonShadow58 stands up

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Perfect BBT Starting Table

For someone who just stumbled upon this here blog, I play a pretty tight style of NL Holdem. Everyone else knows this already. So what am I looking for at an MTT table. Yeah, I know you don't get to choose this. Let's say that you could though. Who would I put at my starting table, that would give me the highest likelihood of chipping up? Lets just say I love hyper aggressive starting tables. Tables where nearly every pot is raised preflop, and often reraised as well. Where the pots are huge when the flop comes out, and post flop bets will need to be large as well. It could not get any better than this for me. I will sit back and fold, fold, fold all day long. When I wake up with something no reason to raise, someone will take care of that for me. Possibly a reraise to before I act. Everyone will be so busy battling each other out, they will not be properly factoring in what will happen if I enter a pot. So I lose a blind and a half every orbit, but take a massive pot down every 40-50 hands. That's enough to keep an average stack right there, and I have done this so many times it is laughable. So below is my ideal BBT starting table. I know I am leaving a ton of people out here, so comment on why you should be at my table if you would like, and I may reconsider later.

Lucko21: Hyperagressive, and tends to rattle the table enough to get others off there game (i.e. play looser). Also tends to play tighter than advertised early in MTTs, so might prefer having him more in the middle stages.

Fuel55: Gets into push or fold mode preflop by around the 2nd or 3rd level of an MTT. AA or KK is a sure double-up and possibly a triple-up with Fuel at your table.

Smokkee: Loves to relentlessly attack my blinds. Other than that, plays about as tight as they come. I can sit back and rope a dope him with a solid hand or get into it big when someone else picks up something, and plays back at smokkee first.

HighOnPoker: High on aggression should his name. Don't think I need to go any further here.

Hoyazo: So busy with his skilled steals and resteals, that it is hard for him to be accounting for me. If I catch him making a move on someone else, and wake up with something, many chips will get dragged my way.

NomeyMyHomey: Loves to push-in from the SB into my BB reguardless of stack sizes. About as free of chips as they come IMO.

Zeem: Gets a little push happy in MTTs. Love to bait him into pushing into me when I got the goods.

Iakaris: Crafty aggressive MTTer who can disrupt a table if he gets a stack. Not running too well right now. Loose agressive + not running well is a reciepe for spewing chips. I want to be around to grab a good portion.

Like I said this is not a comprehensive list. Make a case if you would like to be included.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

4th At The Hoy

Another Final Table Run at the Hoy. This would be three FTs in my last four tries at the MATH.

Early, I would see with this action in front, and a pretty good starting hand. I was planning on calling the shorty, but figured I was behind with the reraise.

I would have rivered the straight, but the preflop fold was correct. Later on I would play this hand below. Not very proud of it, but I am much more willing to go to war with an overpair in an MTT vs. a cash game. Stack sizes played into it as well, as I would have some chips left if I was behind.

Full Tilt Poker Game #2533275822: Mondays at the Hoy (17511709), Table 4 - 60/120 - No Limit Hold'em - 23:12:49 ET - 2007/05/28
Seat 1: BuddyDank (4,230)
Seat 2: NomeyMyHomey (6,370)
Seat 3: Blinders (4,495)
Seat 4: Wippy1313 (2,785)
Seat 5: hoyazo (3,955)
Seat 6: Fuel55 (5,335)
Seat 7: willwonka (4,230)
Seat 9: irongirl01 (4,895)
Fuel55 posts the small blind of 60
willwonka posts the big blind of 120
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Blinders [Tc Th]
irongirl01 folds
BuddyDank folds
NomeyMyHomey folds
Blinders raises to 360
Wippy1313 calls 360
hoyazo has 15 seconds left to act
hoyazo folds
Fuel55 folds
willwonka folds
*** FLOP *** [7s 2s 9d]
Blinders bets 600
Wippy1313 has 15 seconds left to act
Wippy1313 calls 600
*** TURN *** [7s 2s 9d] [6c]
Blinders has 15 seconds left to act

Figured there was a good chance I was ahead, would have 6 outs if I was not, and would be getting decent odds on a push. Wippy being a little short help cinch the decision.

Blinders bets 3,535, and is all in
Wippy1313 calls 1,825, and is all in
Blinders shows [Tc Th]
Wippy1313 shows [9c 9s]


Uncalled bet of 1,710 returned to Blinders
*** RIVER *** [7s 2s 9d 6c] [6d]
Blinders shows two pair, Tens and Sixes
Wippy1313 shows a full house, Nines full of Sixes
Wippy1313 wins the pot (5,750) with a full house, Nines full of Sixes
Blinders: nh

After this, I would get QQ all-in preflop vs. JJ and win. Get KK all-in preflop vs QQ and win, and call one of nomeys pushes from the SB with AQo and double through. At the second break this is where I was at.

I would make it to the final table as a shorty, but was playing the shortstack pretty well. I was ahead every time I put it in preflop (except the hand I knocked Bayne out with where I had two live cards). My hands were holding up as well which is a nice touch. I doubled through a few more times when my jams were called by K high hands, and my Ax or AK was good. At the third break we were 4-handed, and ITM. I was second in chips (barely), and the chip leader had a little more than 2x my chips. I went out on the hand below:

Full Tilt Poker Game #2534239191: Mondays at the Hoy (17511709), Table 3 - 1000/2000 Ante 250 - No Limit Hold'em - 1:19:12 ET - 2007/05/29
Seat 1: TripJax (54,343)
Seat 4: NewinNov (19,878)
Seat 7: Blinders (19,940)
Seat 9: NumbBono (13,839)
TripJax antes 250
NewinNov antes 250
Blinders antes 250
NumbBono antes 250
Blinders posts the small blind of 1,000
NumbBono posts the big blind of 2,000
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Blinders [9h 9s]
TripJax folds
NewinNov raises to 19,628, and is all in

Can't put him on AA-QQ with that raise. Given this and frequency of these types of moves at this table the range is pretty wide. It is a +EV call.

Blinders raises to 19,690, and is all in
NumbBono folds
Blinders shows [9h 9s]
NewinNov shows [As Js]
Uncalled bet of 62 returned to Blinders
*** FLOP *** [4c Kh Ac]
*** TURN *** [4c Kh Ac] [7c]
*** RIVER *** [4c Kh Ac 7c] [8s]
Blinders shows a pair of Nines
NewinNov shows a pair of Aces
NewinNov wins the pot (42,256) with a pair of Aces


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My Money Is On The Babe

Now that we are a little over 1/2 way through the BBT, we can start to get a feel for who is likely to take this thing down. My money is on SummerBabe. She seems to have a great handle on how to work your way through these bloggaments and score big points. No one thought that she would make such an effort to attend these lowly MTTs. They are much below her stakes, and the poor level of play must be hard for her to adjust to. But, she is clearly making the required adjusments to be successful in these events. I will list my favorites with odds to take it down and comments.

Summer Babe: Current points leader and second in points/event. If she continues to play in most of the remaining events she is the favorite. (2-1 to win)

Bayne_S: Has played in all of the events and is a very consistant performer. Also has the ability to put a big score up. The guys above Bayne_s better watch out. (5-1 to win)

oossuuu754: Second overall, and has played in all of the events. Started off hot, and is starting to put things together again. Has a big chance if he plays them all out. (5-1 to win)

MiamiDon: Started out hot, and looked like he would just leave us in his dust. Has slowed a bit, but still sits in 4th overall. Has the ability to win these, so is always a threat to move back into the lead. (5-1 to win)

Astin: Current points/event leader and 6th overall. If Astin can find a way to play in most of the remaining events, he can make a solid run at this. (8-1 to win)

MikeMaloney: Current cash leader on the BBT, and 5th/6th in overall in rank & P/E rank respectively. I like people who have the ability to take these down because they are always a threat to jump into the lead from nowhere. Mike will need to play most of the remaining events for a good shot (8-1 to win)

RecessRampage: A solid performer (8th overall, 5th in P/E), but is not currently playing in enough events to have a great chance. If he can find a way to play most of the remaining events he has a shot (12-1 to win)

Waffles: Got off to a good start, but has cooled a bit. Plays in most events so should continue to accumulate points. He will need a couple of top 3 finishes soon to move back into contention (20-1 to win)

Longshot Pool: I would put Drizz, Mattazuma, Mookie, and myself in here. All of us are top 10 in points/event, but have only played 13/22 events so far. If all of us continue to play at this pace then the chance that one from the list wins is (20-1 to win). If someone from this group (will not be me) steps up and plays most of the remaining events that persons chance will be (10-1 to win).

BBT Points/Event Standings (11 events minimum)
BBT Cash Standings


Monday, May 21, 2007

The Mathematics of Rake/Bonuses

The mathematics of rake is pretty poorly understood, even though on the surface it seems so simple. I rattled some numbers off the top of my head during my last bonus challenge that probably should have been questioned, but were not. So I will try to formalize it a bit here. The results may be more interesting then you imagine.

I will use FullTilt as an example here, but the rake structure is pretty much the same at most sites. FullTilt rakes 5% of the pot in 5 cent increments up to $3 maximum. There is no rake if there is not a flop (the “no flop no drop” rule), and no rake after $3 or after the pot reaches $60 for the mathematically challenged.

The question is, how much of the rake do I get credit for (when working a bonus), and how much did I actually pay? How much did I get credit for will determine how much bonus that I earned, or how much rake back I will get. How much did I actually pay determines what it is actually costing me to play. To simplify things, I will assume that every hand has a flop, and no pot exceeds $60 (all pots are $20 for simplicity). If you are playing at a preflop aggressive table, or at stakes where the pots go over $60 routinely your rake will be less than what this analysis shows. The first term is "Personal Rake Credit" which means how much credit does the site give me for the rake generated at my table.

Personal Rake Credit = Pot Size * Rake Percentage / Number of Players Dealt In

PRC = PS *(0.05) / # of Players

Note that number of players = number of players dealt into the hand, and not the number of seats at the table. Now for an example let’s assume that there was a $20 pot at a full-ring table with 8 players and a $20 pot at a 6-handed table with 5 players.

PRC = $1 / 8, PRC =$1 / 5

For the full ring case you get credit for 12.5c or 1/8th of the rake, for 6-handed you get credit for 20c or 1/5th of the rake. This is the credit you get, not the actual amount that you paid. It represents the average rake paid for everyone at the table for that hand. So based on this you can see that your rake expense on average is a lot more for 6-handed than full ring. If on average 60h/hr are played full ring and 90h/hr at 6-max, you pay about $7.50 per table hour at full ring, and about $18 per table hour at 6-handed.

But people do not pay the average rake. Some pay more, and others pay less. I claim that I pay about ½ as much as the average player. How do I claim this? Let’s look at actual rake paid, and not just what you get credit for. I now add to the equation your Personal Rake Factor (PRF) which is based on how much on average that you contribute to the pot. For a perfectly average person this would be equal to 1. For looser players it is greater than one, for tighter players it is less than 1. For any given table it always averages to 1. If you contribute mainly to pots that you win, you keep this number small. If you fire at a lot of pots, including a bunch that you don’t win, your number will be greater than 1. For the tightest possible play where you always fold preflop, you get a factor of about 0.075. For the loosest possible play where you play every pot heads up you contribute 1/2 of the table rake for a factor of # players / 2 (4.25 for the 8.5 player case) Most people should be in the 0.5 to 1.5 range with a mean of 1.

So let’s look again at the full ring case for someone like me who does not play a lot of pots, and does not contribute much to pots that I do not win. This time I will assume 8.5 players at a full ring (which is about average long term).

Actual Rake = Personal Rake Factor * Pot Size * 0.05 / # of players

AR = (0.5) * (20) * (.05) / 8.5 = 5.9c/hand

Now for a 6-max expert who plays an aggressive style with a personal rake factor of 1.25, assuming 5.5 player average.

AR = (1.25) * (20) * (.05) / 5.5 = 22.7c/hand

So the actual rake paid can be 4x as much for an aggressive 6-max player vs. a tight full-ring player. That is a pretty huge difference, and may be hard to overcome with good play. The 6-max tables are clearly great for the website as they take in much more rake, but is it good for the players?

Now, I will try to pull things together from a reload or deposit bonus perspective. When you are working a bonus on FullTilt you get 6c credit per dollar raked at your table. For a 9 player full table FullTilt would pay 54c per dollar raked in bonus. For a 6-max full table FullTilt would pay 36c per dollar raked in bonus. For the full-ring, 0.5 Personal Rake Factor, and 8.5 player tables you can see that you are getting 100% of your actual rake back in bonus. For the loose 6-max case you get about 26% of your actual rake back in bonus. So us tighties get a pretty good deal on reload bonuses, but not so good a deal on rakeback (100% vs. say 32%). For loose players it does not matter as much, but they are getting less credit than they deserve (26% vs. 32%).

Why does any of this matter? When you are trying to clear a reload bonus the most cost effective way is by tight/aggressive full ring play. You can get close to all of your personal rake paid back in bonus this way. You may be able to clear the bonus faster playing 6-max, but you will get much less of your personal rake back. Playing styles and full-ring vs. 6-max can have a huge impact on the amount of rake that you actually pay and what you get credit for. The rake is much/much larger for 6-max tables vs. full ring. It is easier to beat full-ring vs. 6-max tables with everything being equal due to the huge difference in rake.

Your personal rake factor is difficult to derive, but if you have PokerTraker, you can figure out what it is when completing a bonus. During my $300 bonus challenge, it took $411 in personal rake to clear the $300 bonus while averaging 8.5 players/table. My personal rake credit per hand (based on $20 pot) is below.

PRC/hand = ($20 * 5%) / 8.5 = 11.8 cents / hand
Bonus earned = 6 cents / hand
I earned 73% in bonus of what I paid in rake. I actually paid
($411/$300)(6c)= 8.2c / hand

My Personal Rake Factor = 8.2c / 11.8c = 0.69

This means, I pay about 69% of average person's rake. If I am paying less than somebody (a loose player) is paying more than 100%. Because I was not running as well as normal during the challenge this factor was higher than normal. If you play a few big pots and lose the factor can be thrown off a bit, so I will still say my long-term PRF is in the 0.5 to 0.6 range.

If you are paying less than the average person's rake, this is extra profit in your pocket. This may be a place where some of us are leaving money on the table.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Streak Ends and Updated BBT P/E and Cash Standings

Below is the updated BBT Points Per Event Standings based on 9 minimum events entered.

BBT Points/Event Standings

BBT Cash Earned Standings

For those who did not notice my streak of 10 straight BBT events in the points ended last night in the MATH. I went out with AQo, everyones favorite to-the-rail hand in MTTs. I think I played the hand ok, but I thought hard about folding it three different times during the hand. I did not save the history, but I will summarize below.

Blinds at 25/50, and Mike Maloney raises up 3x. I have AQo and position on the raiser. I thought about folding, but I think you need to make the call and take a flop in position with AQ0. The stacks are pretty deep, so there are some nice implied odds if I hit the flop pretty big. I think at least one other called as well. Flop comes Ace high, all hearts and I have no heart. Mike leads out for 1/2 pot. Very dangerous flop, but a good chance I am ahead with an exposed hand. The size of the bet made me think that he did not have a hand that was already ahead of me. If he has AK, two pair or a set, I think he bets more to protect the lead. I see this as a c-bet with air/weak flush draw, or he is on a good draw. I also think that If he is on the draw, it will be hard to push him off it, since he had me nicely covered. I thought about just letting the hand go right there, because I was so exposed to another heart coming, but decided to min. raise back to get some info. I figured this would push him off air or a weak flush draw, and if he just calls it I can reevaluate after the turn comes. He min. raised me back. So it is push or fold time at this point as the pot is getting too big relative to my stack. I still am reading him for a draw here, and think that I am ahead based on this. If I am ahead, I have easy pot odds to call. I am behind a flopped flush (not likely), AK, a set or two pair. Again, I don't think the betting pattern indicates AK, set or two pair. I really wish you had more time to think online because this was a tough one. I decide to Jam, and Mike tanks, making me convinced it was the correct play. He eventually calls, and flips up AxQh for the tie, but a freeroll to the flush for him. Turn and river were both hearts, and IGHN. Jam may have still been correct if I knew what he had, based on pot odds at the time. Oh well.

Going to skip the mookie this week as it is home game night on Wednesday. Hopefully, I can get a run going again soon.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Seven Things

Nobody tagged me for this, but I thought I would do it anyway. I hope I am not breaking any rules here. There is a small bit of poker content at the bottom, but nothing in the seven.

1) I know how to beat a lie detector test: Back in the old days before they used your piss to screen you for a new job, they would use a lie detector test. Because I had some stuff to hide from prospective employers I developed this scheme for passing them that went 3 for 3. First, you drink one Foster's oil can (24 oz) on an empty stomach and chew some gum to mask your breath. This tends to dampen your response to the test. Second, you come up with your own questions that you can safely answer yes and no to. When they ask you a question that you need to lie on, just ignore the question, and ask yourself in your head the safe question. Works every time.

2) Me and a group of my friends were responsible for instigating the Huntington Beach Riot at the OP Pro: We did not plan for this to happen and were no way involved in the actual rioting, but it would have never started without us. I have planned to do a series of posts on the dynamics of a riot that can start for apparently no reason in a large crowd. May save that one for a book, but who am I kidding. If you guys bug me enough, I will do it. I promise it will be fascinating.

3) I met my wife at the Shark Club in Las Vegas: I also met many a one night stand at what was the premiere night club in Vegas well before hotel clubs were in vogue (or even existed). It is actually possible to meet a nice girl in such a shady establishment.

4) I invented a baseball betting system that is simple and actually works: While attending UNLV for my undergrad degree, I came up with a system for betting baseball that worked for several years (and I am sure it still does). Although I did not have much money back then, I would bet $1000s a day on baseball, and was probably considered quite a high roller by a few of the sports book. I will not reveal the system here, but ask me in person sometime and I will tell.

5) I have spent time in jail on three different occasions: I was pretty broke and irresponsible in my early driving days. I got lots of tickets, and would blow off paying them for lack of funds. The next time I would get pulled over, they would find a warrant for one of my previous tickets, and I would serve out the time in jail vs. paying. OC Jail twice, San Bernardino Jail once.

6) I was once a member in a punk band: When I was 14 a group of friends and I formed a punk band called "Task Force". I played bass with the stage name "Jack Shit", and wrote most of our original songs. We played a handful of parties, and even had a gig as an opening band at the infamous Cookoos Nest. I am in no way a musician, but playing Bass for a few 2 minute punk songs was not that difficult.

7) Not going to reveal this one yet: I am going to keep number 7 a secret for now. I will reveal it at the summer Vegas gathering in a couple of weeks, and update this post afterwards. It is too big of a secret right now, but belongs on the list.

Now that that is over, just a small bit of poker content. I cashed in the blogger bracelet race tonight.

Nothing to special about the 4th place finish. I had loads of chips most of the way. What was interesting was the bubble play. I actually folded TT to the chipleader's (ScarKnight) raise on the bubble. The chipleader was way ahead and raising constantly, so I know my TT was a big favorite. You know I am tight, but am I insane? I have been rereading Harrington 3 recently, and he talks a bunch about bubble play in S&Gs. It turns out that if you have a safe amount of chips, and you are looking to call a raise for everything on the bubble, the calling requirements are very strict. With the number of entries and top four getting paid this was basically a S&G structure. There were a couple others with similar sized stacks and a chip leader who was way ahead of everyone else. Folding TT is actually the correct move 5 handed and on the bubble in this situation. It maximizes the expected value of the cash in the MTT. No reason to take a coinflip or even a 60/40 type hand on the bubble if you can safely fold to the money. So I folded and as expected the bubble burst shortly after that hand. Now in the money, and in third place, I went ahead and got it in with AQo against the leaders preflop raise. I would lose to a rivered flush, and watch the shorty get eliminated on the next hand. Probably could have folded again and moved up another position, but at this point I was playing to get heads-up and I needed to chip-up to compete with Al's stack to get there. The history from my last hand is below, but as I said above it is a bad beat so no reason for comments.

Full Tilt Poker Game #2419385215: Chasers/Blogger Bracelet Race (16567662), Table 1 - 500/1000 Ante 125 - No Limit Hold'em - 21:44:53 ET - 2007/05/13
Seat 1: ScarKnight (65,604)
Seat 2: Blinders (6,866)
Seat 3: IslandBum1 (3,494)
Seat 4: AlCantHang (17,036)
ScarKnight antes 125
Blinders antes 125
IslandBum1 antes 125
AlCantHang antes 125
ScarKnight posts the small blind of 500
Blinders posts the big blind of 1,000
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Blinders [Ad Qc]
IslandBum1 folds
AlCantHang folds
ScarKnight raises to 5,000
Blinders raises to 6,741, and is all in
ScarKnight calls 1,741
Blinders shows [Ad Qc]
ScarKnight shows [Ks 4s]
*** FLOP *** [6s Ts 3c]
*** TURN *** [6s Ts 3c] [Ac]
*** RIVER *** [6s Ts 3c Ac] [8s]
Blinders shows a pair of Aces
ScarKnight shows a flush, King high
ScarKnight wins the pot (13,982) with a flush, King high
AlCantHang: gg blinders
Blinders stands up

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Time To Stop Dropping The Hammer?

I am taking a huge risk with this post. The bad karma associated with disrespecting the hammer can be devastating. At last winters blogger gathering, during the Caesars tournament I disrespected the hammer. I was starting to get short with about 1/3 of the field remaining. I picked up AQs in the BB, and Mattazuma raised it up from the cutoff enough to put me all-in. I called and said "show me the hammer". He did, and sent me to the rail when he out flopped me.

The concept of dropping the hammer in theory is sound though slightly flawed. It is a way to prove to yourself that the cards do not always matter. It is typically played for a raise as the worst possible starting hand. When you play it for a raise though it is not really the worst starting hand. 72o is the worst possible hand in a multiway pot. The worst heads-up hand is 32o. When you raise preflop you are looking to reduce the competition. So if you are trying to get heads up with the worst possible hand you should be raising with 32o. If you want to play the worst multiway hand (72o), you really should limp it to get the pot multiway.

The hammer and bloggers go back a ways. The hammer has been dropped for a few years now. If the concept of dropping the hammer, is to show yourself that you can win with ATC, and that hand strength does not always matter, I would imagine most of us hammer droppers have learned this by now. But lets face the facts. Raising preflop with 72o is -EV for even the tightest players like me. For the looser bloggers, it is even more -EV. I thought the point of this community was to collectively improve are games. Is this not correct? Is the point to look cool in front of your cyber freinds at the cyber tables? If that is why the hammer continues to get dropped, and if you are honest with yourself you know this is true, then why still do it?

I stopped dropping the hammer a while ago, and you know what. My game is better as a result. In the blogger MTTs it is like free money when the hammer gets overplayed. It has fattened up my stack on many an occasions, and is probably one of the reasons a cash game player like myself can hold my own against a bunch of MTT specialists. So the next time you get ready to drop the hammer, ask yourself a question. Are you doing it to look cool or fit in, or are you honestly doing it as a way to expand and improve your game. If your motivation is to be cool, then don't do it! Fold the hammer. Focus on improving your game. Playing -EV hands to be cool it a great way to make your game worse.

It is like the whole weak/tight vs. maniac argument. The weak/tight (or tight-aggressive) is the easiest way to make money at the tables based on your skill level. There are some highly skilled individuals who can make the maniac style work for them, but most just do it because it makes you look cool, and is funner then the tighty whitey style. Use dollars earned per hour as your metric, then you will know if your play is getting better or worse, and play the style that maximizes this. This is how people improve there games. It is not by doing something that long ago stopped playing dividends.

Am I wrong here???? Poker Gods please spare me on this one. I am writing this for an important reason

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BBT Points per Event - Through 16 Events

The above standings are based on 8 events minimum (at least 1/2 events played). If you do not have enough events to qualify, but want to see where you would be, divide your points by number of events and take a look. I have now dropped to 3rd overall, after the impressive run of Summer Babe. I will put my streak on the line in tonight's Mook.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

512 to 1

I final tabled the Hoy last night. It was my 9th time in the points in 9 tries. Getting into the points in a BBT event is no big deal. No more difficult than winning a coinflip. But winning 9 straight coinflips, that is 512 to 1. I am now 12th place overall, even though I have only played slightly more than 1/2 of the events. Me and Drizz are the only two in the top 20 with less than 10 entries. I also passed the smack talking, so-called MTT specialist Smokkee which feels particularly good. It would not come easy though.

My starting table was as tough as they come in a blogger event. It was a very aggressive table, and the combination of the constant preflop raising and my lack of anything remotely playable kept me from seeing any flops. Weak/Tight is now the new tight aggressive, or at least it seems to work better in these blonkaments. I got pretty frustrated about 1/2 hour in, and played back at MiamiDon who was rightly, relentlessly, attacking my big blind from his button. The hand history is below.

Full Tilt Poker Game #2376026316: Mondays at the Hoy (17511686), Table 3 - 30/60 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:35:32 ET - 2007/05/07
Seat 1: MiamiDon (2,230)
Seat 2: InstantTragedy (2,235)
Seat 3: Blinders (2,700)
Seat 4: Mattazuma (4,525)
Seat 5: AlCantHang (1,820)
Seat 6: jeciimd (5,410)
Seat 7: VinNay (2,620)
Seat 9: irongirl01 (5,460)
InstantTragedy posts the small blind of 30
Blinders posts the big blind of 60
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Blinders [Ks Tc]
Mattazuma folds
AlCantHang folds
jeciimd folds
VinNay folds
irongirl01 folds
MiamiDon raises to 180 (here we go again)
InstantTragedy folds
Blinders raises to 420 (KTo is not great, but Don could have abything. He will put me on a big hand if I reraise)
MiamiDon calls 240
*** FLOP *** [Ad 7d 6s]
Blinders bets 500 (AK is a very believable holding for me, I will represent it)
MiamiDon: nut flush draw with a pair (I did not even catch this comment at the time)
MiamiDon: ready to go?
MiamiDon has 15 seconds left to act
MiamiDon raises to 1,810, and is all in (FAAAAWK)
Blinders: ready to go home???
Blinders has 15 seconds left to act
Blinders: not me (bluff got busted)
Blinders folds
Uncalled bet of 1,310 returned to MiamiDon
MiamiDon mucks
MiamiDon wins the pot (1,870)

This would drop me down to about 1600 in chips, but it was early. No reason to get overly concerned, but the streak is in jeopardy. I don't like what I did though. In these deepstack MTTs there really is no reason to make a big move like this in the first hour. If you are not catching cards it is better to just keep building a weak/tight image that you can exploit later when the blinds/antes matter. Shortly after the first break my stats looked like this.
That is 82 hands without seeing a river, only seeing one turn, and a squeaky tight 6 flops. I was not in good shape. I would catch some cards in the second hour and start to rebuild my stack. With the blinds starting to increase, and my stack at about 2k, I jammed from the button with 77, and got two callers. I would triple through. I would jam later from the button with KJo and get called by both blinds. An Ace would flop, but KJ would hold for a chop with Waffles of the other guys money. I would arrive at the final table as the short stack with the stats below.

2 showdowns, 3 rivers, 4 turns, and only 7% of flops, and here I am at the final table. Weak/tight is the new tight aggressive. I made a questionable fold on this hand, and called a jam from the other shorty on the next hand. I had QTo vs A2o, so I was not in horrible shape. Also with the dead money in the pot I could triple up to about 5k in chips, and some room to maneuver. I would not hold though and go home 9th.

Towards the end of the tourney, I jumped on a blogger 100NL cash game. After complete card deadness for about 1/2 hour, my nut peddling ways would pay off. I would flop the Nutz with 99 on a 9 high board, and double though against a flopped 2-pair that was drawing dead to all but runner/runner quads. I would flop the nut flush and build a nice $65 pot before a forth heart on the river would spoil my action. I ended up quitting up about $120 for the table. That plus a 10th place in a 90 player $10 S&G, would make for a decent night overall.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Updated BBT Points/Event and Some Huge Laydowns in the Mookie

I updated the BBT Points per Event standings for those interested. This includes the top 35 ranked players. I said from the beginning this would be the measuring stick I would use for myself, since I would miss quite a few events. As you can see, I now rank second overall behind MiamiDon, after my 13th place in last nights mook. A couple other statistics of note. I have the highest points of anyone with 7 or fewer events. My 7 out of 7 in the points is also tops among all BBT competitors. So how do I do it. It's called making some huge laydowns. See my recap of last nights mook below.

I caught some great cards early and built my stack up to about 2300. This was a nice change from the last few BBT events, but would be short lived. I caught 99 on the button, and raise 3x after an EP limper. Limper checked the flop, I c-bet, and limper check-raise jammed the flop.

This might be an autocall for a lot of MTTers, but I folded. The lost chips on the hand would put me back below 1500 where I would stay for the next hour.

I would get blinded down to 1167, when I woke up with AA in the BB. I played this one very unusually, but it worked out great. I had one limper, and the SB folded. The limper was well stacked, and I had a super-weak image. I thought about raising 3x, but was afraid the limper might fold due to my tightness. I was desperate for a double-through so I took the use your image line, and checked preflop and the flop. Limper almost had to try to buy it, but the 600 bet meant he could not fold to my 927 push, and I double through.
I then catch AK, and jam over a preflop raise, but end up chopping with a boat.

I pushed from the SB with Q8s and doubled through Al when his AJo was no goot. We would eventually get down to the last few tables, and donky mcfish was the chip leader. I pick up AQo and am facing this action in front of me.

When Fishy 5x raised from UTG I was ready to Jam as I did not put him on much, but Recess beat me to it. I figured there was no way my AQo is good against both of them so I folded.

I was right, but would have rivered Broadway for a chop of fishys money.

I pick up 99 and here we go again. Fishy opens, Recess makes a huge reraise. Again I was going to Jam over fishy until Recess jumped in. I fold again preflop, as I figure I am way behind or at best will need to dodge 4 overs.

After the 99 I would not catch much. I jammed a few times, and won preflop or sucked out. I would end up 13th. Should be in the RiverChasers tonight.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Time to Make a Run

After missing the last two events on the BBT, I only slipped to 21st overall. It looks like I will be able to play in tonight's mookie, and most of the events for the next two weeks. Time to make a run up the standings if I have any shot at this. A brag post tomorow would be perfect.