Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Venetian MTT Cash

I am out in Vegas right now. Tuesday night, Joe Speaker, Drizz, and Spaceman were in town as well, and Joe suggested we play in the $165+15 nightly MTT at the Venetian. In Joe's own words, the tournament offers "lots of play". Maybe too much play. You get 4500 in chips, and there are 30 minute levels, and tons of them. 6 1/2 hours later I would cash. The very interesting thing about the MTT which had 100 starters plus 51 alternates, was that I never once in 6 1/2 hours of play had a hand that was better than a single pair. Yet I still managed to go that deep, and get ITM. I played my standard very patient MTT game, and I am now completely convinced that this is the correct way to play these deepstack type tournaments. Against the types of players in this one this was easily the best approach. If the play in the WSOP ME was similar, I would be stupid not to play it every year, but I imagine it is quite a bit tougher. I am going to recap the tourney from memory and cover just about every hand I played in the 6 1/2 hours (about 12 I guess).

Sat down and folded every hand for the first hour of the tournament. This was entirely due to lack of anything remotely playable. My stack was hardly dented at all after this. Joe Speaker gets through the alternates and is added to my table.

I get a free look from the BB, and flop middle pair on an all small board in a three way pot. I lead out, and am called by one player. Turn is an over, but also small. I lead out again, and am reraised. I muck, and the raiser shows a straight.

Next hand I complete the SB with Qx, and flop comes Q high. Again I lead out, and again I am reraised pretty big, and my kicker is crap. I muck, and raiser shows top 2-pair.

An orbit later I get 99 and raise preflop. Three callers, and flop comes KQJ. I fold to the first bet.

At this point I am down to 2800 and things are not going well. I pick-up QQ UTG with blinds at 100/200. I ask when did the blinds go up, and tank a little, then raise to 700. 2-pair guy from earlier reraises me to 1600. I tank and act like I am going to make a crying call, but decided to push instead. I announce all-in, and am insta-called with ATo. I double through and I am up to about 6000.

I pick up AKs and UTG raises 7x to 1400. I reraise to 3500, and he tanks and folds.

I pick up TT, and after an open raise to 2500, I jam. Other guy folds.

They break my table when I am on the button. This would happen twice which sucked.

I take about 9k to my new table, but the blinds and antes are starting to grow. I bleed to about 6500, and am in push or fold mode.

I get A9, in the SB and push when it is folded to me and pick up the BB and antes.

I get AJ and open push. No callers.

I get 99 and open push, No callers.

Whenever I pushed during this tournament. I folded my hands up in front of my mouth (like Helmuth does) and would stare at a point on the wall and remain completely motionless. I really think this looks strong.

Table breaks.

I got about 8k in chips and pick up AA (finally). There is an open push for 4100. When it gets to me there are two more behind. I stall, and fidget, and recheck my cards. Eventually I just call, hoping to price in someone behind me. I get another call. Flop comes low, and I put the other caller all-in for his last 1300. He calls, and I hold-up and am close to 20k in chips.

This next hand would be key, and was about an orbit after the AA hand. I am looking to start using my stack, and get AJo and open for 4000 (blinds 600/1200 + 50 ante). A guy pushes for 10,400. A shorty pushes for 5k, and it is back to me. The pot is pretty huge with the deadblinds and antes. I need to call 6400 more. I try to convince myself that I am priced in for the call with AJo. I tank. I start to convince myself that he has 22-TT so I am easily priced in. I make the call, and he has KJ, and shorty has QJ. Nobody improves and I am now up to 39k in chips and at or near the chip lead. The table breaks after this hand, and I am moved to a new table where I have the chip lead, and only one other large stack on my immediate right.

Things are looking good, and I really want to start leaning on the table with my stack. There are 40 left, with top 18 paid, and the average stack at about 16k. But I am still pretty deep, and I don't really want to get too out of line and bleed off chips. It would not matter, as I would not see a playable hand for the next hour, and just folded every single hand preflop. This would bleed me down to about 30k, and we would also be down to 3 tables.

I pick up 66 and open raise 3.5x preflop. Everyone folds and a guy even said he put me on AA.

I get a walk in the BB.

We would get stuck at 20 players for a long time, and I continued to get crap and bleed chips. Eventually the money bubble would burst at 2AM (started at 8PM). I still had chips that would last for about three more orbits, and figured people would start to fly out. Not really, lots of play remember. So I start to get a little desperate, and open push 15k with ATo. An active player tanks, and makes the call. I flip my AT, and he says your good, and flips A5s. He flops and turns a 5 and I am out in 16th place.

With the dead blinds and antes that was a 40k pot, and would have put me right back in it for a run towards the final table. I got $226 for 16th (a $46 profit) after 6 1/2 hours of play.

The interesting thing about this tournament is I had horrible cards the whole way, folded preflop about 95% of my hands, never had a hand better than 1 pair, and still cashed. I could have easily won that last hand, started to pick up some cards, and made it deep at the FT. The donkey tourists though gave me zero respect, and paid me off every time I had a big hand preflop (twice but nice pots). 6 1/2 hours is a longtime to play, and it was very boring to me. I pretty much hate live MTTs now, and will not be playing in the WSOP Saturday. I actually think I have a really good shot if I play it like this, and just catch a couple extra hands here and there. I just don't think I have another 6+ hours in me of playing like that. Live cash games are not as boring (I guess because there is so much more on the line every hand), so I think I will stick with that for the rest of my time here in Vegas.

I don't think the uber-patient playing style I used was very difficult to do. It is just very tough to keep it up forever. I would imagine that many, many players take this approach in the very deepstack MTTs like the WSOP ME, but just can't mentally keep it up. Those who have the mental toughness to stay on their game for the full MTT have the best shot. The play at the Final two tables was just horrible. It was getting late at night, and people were just begging to donk out. The few people who could stay on their game were doing well. I am not sure at what point my game breaks down to push monkey poker, but it is somewhere after the 6 1/2 hour mark. I would guess that not too many even get that far, before sheer boredom requires them to start getting out of line.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Shot Heard Round The World

I contacted Pauly about seven months ago about the idea. I sent him a cryptic email about how if someone fired the shot heard round the world where would it be heard the loudest? Definitely not on my site that's for sure. I had met Pauly twice in person before that point. Once at my first blogger gathering in the summer of 2006. Later when I came back to play in my first WSOP event shortly there after. When I met him the first time he said that he knew of me and was very gracious. Not really sure if he did. It must be tough being him. When I was just out of high school I used to DJ and would do parties pretty much every weekend. Everyone knew me by name, but for me it was tough remembering everyones name who "knew" me. I have never been great with names unfortunately. For Pauly it must be like a 1000 times worse. I mean, tens of thousands of people know and love this guy, and he is supposed to remember everyone by name. When I somehow found him in the expansive halls of the Rio, he asked me my table number, and came by and took a photo for his blog. What a great guy!

So I had this idea. A web idea. I knew it could be really big. It was an epiphany that hit as I was reading the UIGEA. I have always been waiting for that big idea to build a business around and there was no doubt that this was it. But a web idea ain't worth shit unless you can get some eyeballs to the site. My pathetic little blog would not do. Not even close. So I leaned on Pauly, someone that I had barely even met, to assure me that this would work and we could get the word out. That's the type of assurance that you need before you invest many months of your life and tens of thousands of dollars in search of the American Dream. And the timing would be good to. The whole industry is in flux as a result of the UIGEA, and what I did is going to plug a huge gap that has been created. So what did I do? What did I invent?

I invented a new way of playing Fantasy Sports. A way that would be 100% legal in the good ol U.S. of A, yet at the same time provide the action fix that people will need as all of the other offerings get pulled away and criminalized. This is something the poker blogger community can appreciate for a couple of reasons. First, most of you like to bet on sports and while this is technically not betting or wagering, it is pretty hard to tell the difference. Secondly, all of this was made legal by the bill that made transferring funds to online poker sites and sportsbooks next to impossible. You can thank Bill Frist himself for making a website like this possible. There is no way me or anyone else would have had the balls to do this before the UIGEA, although you possibly could have gotten away with it. The UIGEA clarifies everything on Fantasy Sports and makes something like this possible.

So I bring to you a website that compresses the Fantasy Sports experience to just a few action packed hours, offers you the ability to profit long-term from your sports knowledge, and eliminates all of the hassles of standard fantasy sports offerings like season long commitments, fees for adjusting your rooster, waiver wires, free agents, trades...

I bring to you

Just choose your stakes, draft a team of starters from the contest's games, and test your sports knowledge against others from around the country. We run the contests like sit and goes. They form up real-time, and close when the maximum entries are registered. Players then have until the start time to complete their draft. Once the contest starts, you can see the fantasy players on the teams you are against and a leaderboard shows the real-time contest standings. Also, by law all of our cash prizes are guaranteed. If we don't get the maximum entries it is like an overlay for those that are entered.

What I did was rewrite the rules of fantasy sports. I hope you enjoy the results. You can click through on the web ad or use bonus code "Blinders" for a $10 instant bonus on a $50 initial deposit, or $20 for $100, or $30 for $200. It is a no obligation bonus to try the site out with. You just need to use it before making a withdrawal or we take it back. Seems fair right? So check us out. We also have an affiliate program that works like rakeback. If you think you can drive some players to the site, sign up as an affiliate and join in on the profits. The whole plan is to seed the site with this community and by word of mouth to friends and family. When football season starts in August, the marketing effort will get much more mainstream.

Oh, yeah. Before I forget, I have to thank Mr. Joe Speaker. I really wanted the site to be different then what is industry standard. I wanted an edge, but not the typical T&A card that is always played. Not that I am against that, and we may go there at some point. I just did not want some dumb bimbo being the image of a website that is all about sports knowledge, and sports action. So I spun it more from a humorous, yet knowledgeable sports perspective and Joe was absolutely perfect for this. His stamp is all over the site from the FAQs to the Tour to the about us, and he did a great job.

Lastly, my props out to mookie who hooked me up with the web ad that to me easily holds its own when lined up against the big poker sites.

Enough with the hype go check the site out, and lets me know what you think.

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The $20 FullTilt Transfer

I was not able to play the Mookie last night as I had another commitment, and wanted to lay low after the MATH fiasco. It pains me to watch these things if I can't play, so I was just doing some work at home, when a $20 transfer to my FT account came through from Bayne_S. I did some handicapping of the BBT a while back, and put up odds for the favorites. I tried to do my best, and was willing to put my money where my mouth was (biggest mistake was leaving BuddyDank out). Bayne_S after moving into the BBT lead decided to hedge himself, by taking oossuuu754 to win at 5-1 odds. At the time of this request they were sitting 1 & 2 at the top, so I was a little reluctant, but took the bet.

So last night, Bayne_S goes ahead and pays off the bet out of the blue and well before the end of the BBT. WTF? It dawned on me what must have happened. I went to FullTilt and checked the Mookie results, and he just took it down as expected. Congrats to you Bayne_S. You are winning the BBT title not by just having the persistence to play all events. You are clearly the cream of this blogger crop when it comes to the BBT. Well done sir!

My first experience with Bayne_S was when we went heads-up for the CC title earlier in the year. It was a long and interesting heads-up battle, that I was lucky enough to eventually win. I actually did not think much of his game at that point, but I just think he had not figured out how to play back at me correctly yet. I'm sure I was new to him at that point as well, and he has a plan for me now when I am at his table.

I also met Bayne_S at the Summer 07 blogger gathering. I did not get to spend too much time with him, but he seemed like a good guy with a great sense of humor. I tried to Jinx him with this post, but nothing was going to stop him.

Congrats to the first BBT champion Bayne_S. We could not have found a more deserving guy for the title.

Now for hint #2:

I have a new sponsor of this blog.

BBT Points/Event standings through the mookie is shown below.

BBT Points/Event (17 events min.)

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Nuclear Option Part 2

It was just about 1 year ago that I posted about the Nuclear Option. Luckily, I have not seen a repeat since. That is until this weeks MATH tournament. For some of you who wonder, what someone like me goes through at home, this is a great example. I barely play poker anymore. Without the BBT, and the $300 bonus challenge, I would probably have about 20 hours in all year at the tables. I used to play a shit-load more than this (2-3 hours a day). So this week I wanted to play the MATH. I prefer it's structure, and buy-in to the other BBT blonkaments. So I sat down for my first BBT event in a week, on a Monday evening (7PM). I am normally not allowed to play at this time (how the hell did I get so many events in then?), but the kids are out of school now for the summer so I thought this would be OK. Plus I have been busting my ass on an important project, and I deserved a break to do something that I enjoy. Not so fast, as the Nuclear option would be in play.

About an hour in to the tournament, my (ex) step mother came by to drop off some presents for our B-Days. The whole family has June birthdays. I was focused on the tourney, but broke away for a moment to open my present. It was some kind of roll out beach mat wrapped in a garbage bag. I ripped it open, took a look, said my thank yous and got back to the MATH. about 15 minute later, the step mom left, and this happened.

The wife started yelling at me for ruining the trash bag the present was wrapped in! Holy shit, this is exactly what I need. I opened a fawking present by ripping the wrapping, and now I am catching shit for it. If you have every tried to play a MTT with a nagging Biatch yelling at you, it is not a pretty thing. I told her to drop it immediately. I am not going to be yelled at for opening a present, and I guess wasting a 10c garbage bag that could have been saved. WTF! So I fired back and told her to shut up, and I would not listen to her nag me about a stupid trash bag. Fold would have been the better option, as she went straight to the nuclear option and pulled the plug on the PC mid MTT. I got her settled down and the PC back up about 5 minutes later, so it was not as bad as the first one where I was deep in the money, and had a good chance of winning the MTT, but was not allowed to continue. It's great being me.

If you got through all that, and are checking here for the big official announcement, it will happen tomorrow night. For those of you who can't wait, and are willing to work to figure all this out I will provide a single hint below:



Monday, June 18, 2007

Playing a Small Hand for a Big Pot in NL Holdem Cash

As you play more and more NL cash games, most players begin to realize that when the pots get big, somebody involved usually has a big hand. Often multiple players will have big hands. When I see massive pots played with small hands at my table, I will usually make a note next to the donkeys involved. The rule I am talking about here is the "Big Pot = Big Hand" rule. It is vastly important to success at NL Holdem cash that this rule is understood and followed. MTT specialists usually can't cut it at cash games because this rule is not nearly as important in MTTs where the stacks are typically not as deep (except very early). Small hands are typically one pair or less (including overpairs). A big hand is usually top 2-pair or higher. Having said all this, you need to keep in mind that I am talking about a NL Holdem rule. There are no generic, absolute rules in NL holdem.


I will say it again. There are no generic, absolute rules in NL holdem. Everything is situation based in NL holdem, and generic rules always leave the situation out. You can always find specific situations that violate the rule. I will throw out a generic rule that most would say is never correct to break.

Never fold AA preflop to a raise in NL Cash Games.

There is a generic rule that is always correct to follow right? Not so fast. Lets say you decided to take a shot a 25/50 NL live. You have 2k with you, which is about the size of you online bankroll. You are in Vegas, so why not take a shot, and you have been running well at the lower limits. You get on a roll and build your buy-in to 6k, and then get into a massive 4-way pot when you flop a set. You win, and 20k now sits in front of you. This is more money than you can imagine and is somewhat life changing, as you have been in paycheck to paycheck mode for a while. You are dealt AA on the very next hand. There is an open raise, a push and an over push before you act. Initial push and overpush both have your 20k covered. Pot odds say that you push as well, but are you really ready to lose $20,000 on this one hand (a distinct possibility in a 4-way pot). Bankroll considerations, could make fold the AA and cash out the correct play here. All other NL holdem rules are much less solid then this one, and much easier to find situations to break them in. Anyone got a golden generic rule that in all situations should never be broken?

I break the "Big Hand = Big Pot" in NL Cash games a lot. It is based on situational things that are not defined by the rule. I think that if you do not break the rules based on specific situations you are leaving money on the table. Let me give you some ideas of where I take exception, and an example hand for clarity (although I played the hand very strangly).

First exception:
If you make the pot "Big" preflop when you have the 1st or 2nd nutz I see no problem breaking the rule. If I get it all-in preflop with AA or KK, I technically did not have a "big hand", but I got it in when I was likely ahead, so this is +EV and a correct play.

Second exception:
If you have a very strong read on your opponents holding, and are confident your one pair is ahead, you might as well go ahead and make the pot big. This is normally due to the preflop action. There are lots of times you will be able to put your opponent on a narrow range of pocket pairs based on what happened preflop. Sometimes the range is AA-KK, or it might be JJ-KK, or it might be "middle to small PP". If you feel strongly that is what your opponent has, and you are ahead of that entire range, go ahead and make the pot big.

Third exception:
You can't really put the guy on a tight range, but you raised real big preflop (say with AA or KK), and he just called. If the guy calls 1/5th or more of his stack preflop, go ahead and jam all flops when you hold AA, and all non A flops when you hold KK. He did not have odds to hit a set, and all other hands like 2-pair/straight/flush are all much more rare than a set. If your opponent did not have odds to draw to the set, you can jam the flop every time you have an overpair (assuming you have eliminated higher overpairs from your opponents holdings). The guys preflop call was -EV even if he hits and stacks you, so don't worry about getting stacked the betting sequence was very +EV for you. The Jam on the flop will also get called by lower overpairs and draws so you can really get -EV boy to hang himself if you play it this way.

Forth exception:
You are up against a certifiable maniac, and have a great read on him. You almost must play big pots with this guy with moderate hands, or you will be locked out of the action too much. If the guy is a donkiac, your small hand could likely be good. If you are not going to try to take the donkiacs money by playing back slim, you are better off finding another table.

Fifth exception:
You flop a monster draw, and are mathmatically ahead, but currently behind. If those conditions are met, you can go ahead and make it a big pot while you draw.

Other exceptions:
Probably too many to list, and I do not pretend to know them all. Lets just say that in general I follow a very important rule in the "Big Pot = Big Hand", but also take exception when the sitiuations make it right to do so. Below is a hand where I have AA and I am taking the second exception. My read on the other guys hand was so strong, that I had no problem going big post flop. I don't think I played the hand very well, though. It would not have mattered, but you really should question yourself if you are slowplaying AA ever in a cash game.

Full Tilt Poker Game #2688508680: Table Majesty Palm - $1/$2 - No Limit Hold'em - 2:04:31 ET - 2007/06/17
Seat 1: Blinders ($220)
Seat 2: Supamannn ($152.30)
Seat 3: giveusakiss ($200)
Seat 4: ClayDizzo ($140.35)
Seat 5: unbeeweevable ($44.40)
Seat 6: hiheat54 ($206.30)
Seat 7: Coox ($190)
Seat 8: mike7071111 ($214.55)
Seat 9: Mplizzy2882 ($184.80)
Supamannn has 5 seconds left to act
Supamannn posts the small blind of $1
giveusakiss posts the big blind of $2
The button is in seat #1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Blinders [As Ad]
ClayDizzo folds
unbeeweevable folds
hiheat54 folds
Coox folds
mike7071111 folds
Mplizzy2882 raises to $6
Blinders has 15 seconds left to act

I pretty much always reraise AA preflop in this situation. If the guy is short, I will reraise enough to take away set drawing odds. This guy is deep, so that is not going to be easy. I make more of as standard reraise

Blinders raises to $14
Supamannn folds
giveusakiss has 15 seconds left to act
giveusakiss raises to $49
Mplizzy2882 folds
Blinders has 15 seconds left to act

Could you ask for anything better than that. You have three options here. Push, reraise back, or call. For some reason I mixed it up and just called. My thinking was that I know this guy has a hand like QQ-KK (possibly AK), so he is drawing to 2 outs. I will know if he hits the flop, so might as well make him hang himself. I might push him off AK and that would be horrible. The guy is going to be pretty pot committed, so I should be able to get him in post flop. That is some pretty bad logic. If he has KK he calls a push, QQ 98% call my push. Fawk, AK prolly feels priced in and calls as well. You are much better getting them in preflop if they have a big pair, as the flop might scare them. I am a retard!

Blinders calls $35

*** FLOP *** [2h 4s 9d]
giveusakiss has 15 seconds left to act
giveusakiss bets $40

Very safe flop. This guy has a 4% chance of catching up. I will plan for a reraise push on the turn.
Blinders has 15 seconds left to act
Blinders calls $40

*** TURN *** [2h 4s 9d] [Ts]

giveusakiss checks

Don't really like that card. TT is possible I guess. Now the guy acts weak. AK? My turn to bet, and it will look a little "stealy".

Blinders bets $54
giveusakiss has 15 seconds left to act
giveusakiss raises to $111, and is all in

If he does not have exactly TT he is dead. I don't think that is what he has. Remember I have a strong read of QQ-KK. Everything makes sence but the check/raise on the turn.

Blinders calls $57

Before I show you what he had, take a guess, and lets look at another hand where I prevented someone from doing to me, what I try to do to others when I break this rule.

Full Tilt Poker Game #2688571472: Table Cathedral Rock - $1/$2 - No Limit Hold'em - 2:13:26 ET - 2007/06/17
Seat 1: Kid-B-Tight ($81.10)
Seat 2: ilduce222 ($121.50)
Seat 3: Blinders ($181)
Seat 4: MichaelApproved ($107.75)
Seat 5: PChiphop ($78.25)
Seat 6: djtanlaw ($328.55)
Seat 7: giveusakiss ($205.55)
Seat 8: Cuernavaca ($0), is sitting out
Seat 9: Hammerhorn ($268.60)
Hammerhorn posts the small blind of $1
Kid-B-Tight posts the big blind of $2
5 seconds left to act
Cuernavaca adds $50
Cuernavaca has returned
giveusakiss posts a dead small blind of $1
giveusakiss posts $2
The button is in seat #8
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Blinders [Qd Qh]
ilduce222 folds

No way I am doing anything but raise my bitches from this position.

Blinders raises to $10
MichaelApproved folds
PChiphop calls $10
djtanlaw folds
giveusakiss folds
Hammerhorn raises to $42
Kid-B-Tight folds
Blinders has 15 seconds left to act

Fawk! I don't think hip/hop has me, but a bigstack making that play smells a bunch like AA or KK. I need to ask myself right now if I trust this read. If I push and am right, I am dead. If I am right and call, I have no odds to hit the Q, and will face very tough decisions postflop. This guy is raising enough that I can only call with a big pair that I think is ahead. He will have my range very much narrowed. I trust my read.

Blinders folds
PChiphop has 15 seconds left to act
PChiphop calls $32
*** FLOP *** [6c 2c 5h]
Hammerhorn bets $226.60, and is all in
PChiphop has 15 seconds left to act
PChiphop calls $36.25, and is all in
Hammerhorn shows [Ac Ad]
PChiphop shows [Qs Kc]
Uncalled bet of $190.35 returned to Hammerhorn
*** TURN *** [6c 2c 5h] [6s]
*** RIVER *** [6c 2c 5h 6s] [2s]
Hammerhorn shows two pair, Aces and Sixes
PChiphop shows two pair, Sixes and Twos
Hammerhorn wins the pot ($168.50) with two pair, Aces and Sixes

If Hammerhorn does not pick up AA, I stack the clearly retarded hiphop, but at least horn did not stack me! Now for the results of the first hand. Ready!

giveusakiss shows [Ah Ac]
Blinders shows [As Ad]
*** RIVER *** [2h 4s 9d Ts] [Kc]
giveusakiss shows a pair of Aces
Blinders shows a pair of Aces
giveusakiss ties for the pot ($202) with a pair of Aces
Blinders ties for the pot ($202) with a pair of Aces

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Vegas 07 Trip Report Part Trips

Just after the live blonkament, I found out that we would be playing cash again at the MGM Saturday night. This was great, because I was staying at the Trop, and could rest-up for the nights festivities, as well as be on foot vs. driving. This would be key with the number of beers I would put down in the next 8 hours. After the previous nights charity fest at MGM, I was ready to turn things around. I got to the MGM around 8pm. Jumped right on a table with Hoy, Miami Don, Crackin Aces, Smokkee, Iakaris, and later colombo, geek and proud, and StatikKling.

I would get off to a nice start chipping up right away. I raised from SB with AJo and behind a couple of limpers. 3 callers. Flop came AJx. I checked, chad opened for $10, rock calls, and I reraised to $30. Chad and the local rock who would eventually be the last non-blogger at the table called. The turn is a J, and this time I check to make it look like the J scared me, and I got some crap Ace. They both check behind. River is a blank, and I lead out for about $40, and chad folds and rock calls. I show my boat. I think Chad knew exactly what I had, but had a big draw that probably pays off my value bet if it hits. I would work my $200 buy-in up to about $350 before this hand happened. According to Hoy, it was against Statik, but it was against a tourist, as Statik was not there yet.

I pick up Tc9c in the cutoff, and most of the table limps. I announce "Min-Raise" and raise it up to $4 total. Don folds the button, and the rest of the table calls for a 7 way flop. The min-raise accomplished exactly what I wanted it to. It bought me the button, and built a nice multiway pot with a hand with lots of potential. Flop comes ATx with 2 clubs. Rock opens for $15, Tourist calls, I call, and one blind calls. Turn gives me the flush. Rock checks, tourist opens for $25. I announce "Reraise", and slide a $100 stack of fives in the middle. Blind and rock fold, and tourist tanks, then calls. River is a blank. Tourist has about $120 left. I open push, and he calls and flips KcJc for the nut flush. I add-on $100, and bleed off a few chips before, me and smokkee would raise and reraise each other all-in pre-flop. I have KK, and smokkee flips AA, and stacks my last $125 off. Yeah me! I'm down a quick $300 on the night I am supposed to be making up for the previous nights losses.

The stacking off left me in a bit of a predicament. I only brought $400 with me to Vegas. I was planning on building that up and not going to the ATM. My stubbornness kept me from the ATM until about 2AM Friday night to pull another $400. So now I am down another $300, at about 9:30PM Saturday, and basically out of money. I will not be able to use the ATM for another 4+ hours. Luckily, I had found out that Iak was buying up FullTilt funds, as he had no way to deposit. He gave me a buy-in so I could continue, and I wired it to his account the next night.

I would finally get things together, and double up my buy-in, and stay close to $400 for the rest of the night. I even dropped the hammer! Hoy kept asking me if I had the hammer when I was involved in big pots, and I kept telling him that I never play the hammer (true). I picked up the hammer in the cutoff after a limper, and showed Hoy. I raised it up to $10, and Chad called. I caught a piece of the flop when a deuce landed, and c-bet up $20. Chad insta-called. The river brought a card that gave me an outside straight draw to go with my pair of deuces and Chad checked again. I fired out $35, and Chad thought then folded. I flipped up the hammer to show everyone. I think Hoy was proud of me. If someone catches me doing that again though, slap me. I ended the night down $150, which was a nice recovery from being down $300 earlier, but I was still a bit disappointed. Good times though.


Friday, June 15, 2007

BBT Standings, Exposing Stuff, and the WSOP

This will be a bit random of a post. First off, There were lots of great guesses as to what the announcement would be. I did not write a book. Lots of people already know how to fold, and I just can't offer much there. I am not pregnant with Wawfuls child. I am not gettind a sex change operation. So what is it? I can't tell till next week, sorry.

Next up is the WSOP. I had zero plans of playing in an event this year. I played last year and it was a great experience, but I was kind of thinking along the lines of "been there, done that" this year. I have not played a single sat, except the riverchasers (no seat in that one anyway). But, the double stacks this year make things a little more interesting. The structure in the $1500 events last year was like a turbo, even with 1 hour levels. You start with an M of about 20. This year you get 3,000 in chips and an M=40 to start. This change is very much to my advantage, as the deeper stacks support my playing style. I am going to be in Vegas for a family gathering in a couple of weeks. I am penciling in a direct buy-in to the event below.

June 30, noon
Event #49
No-limit hold 'em (3 day event)

Lastly, below are the BBT Points/Event standings through 32 events (16 to min. to qualify) I skipped the last two events, and have dropped a bit. Bayne with his win last night, has taken over the P/E lead. With the number of events under his belt already, it will be hard for anyone to catch him in P/E or overall at this point. Nice job Bayne! Just remember to ship the $20 over when you take it down.

BBT Points/Event Standings

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Selling Your Seat and Stack Mid-way Through an MTT

A little bit of controversy came out of last nights OCPT event. It revolves around accommodating someone in an MTT home game who is not eliminated, but needs to leave for some reason. In a casino, they would blind you out. But, in a home game you have some options. One of which is to sell off the seat to someone who did not play or was already eliminated (highest bidder or otherwise). Another option is giving them some kind of payout from the prize pool for surrendering their stack. I would prefer to offer some flexibility in home games, and prefer the first option as it does not change any of the payouts.

So here is the situation. My son who is 9 and has a B-day this weekend wanted to play for some reason. I guess he wanted to take a major MTT down, before getting up to double digits in age. A solid accomplishment for your poker resume. The structure is $10 + rebuys/add on, so I figured I would give him $10 for entertainment value to get him in. No rebuys or add-ons though. In the past I did this for my 13 year old daughter, and other hosts have done so for their wives or kid, so this alone was not that unusual for the OCPT. I just wanted him to give it a try and have some fun, and $10 is a small price to pay for that.

So he played a bit like a calling station, but hit quad 9s and some other hands and chipped up. He ended up making it past the break. At this point it was getting late, and the wife wanted him in bed (school night). The little stud then flopped a set of 5s, and pushed saying he needed to go to bed, and talked a guy into the call. Pure brilliance! Then he called off some chips, and got back down to T200 with the average stack at T500. I was having no luck in the tourney getting it in way ahead over and over and losing to suckouts. Eventually, I donked out on my own horrible call. So my son really needs to quit at this point, but he has 2x what he started with. I offered to buy his seat for $20. There were a couple others eliminated at this point, and I am not sure if they were aware that a spot was being sold. So he took the money, and I took his seat.

To my immediate right was the chip leader, who I have used to build my stack-up late before many a time. I doubled through him twice in the next orbit, and then knocked out a semi-big stack a couple hands later. I was now in the chip lead, 10 minutes after I took over his stack. I would ride my stack to heads-up where I would be eliminated calling an all-in from 64o with TT, seeing a flop of 993, and having the board find some way for the 64 to catch up (runner/runner straight). I cashed $130 out of a $550 prize pool, and gave the money to my son. The next day there were quite a few complaints about this. They said that I was a better player than my son (true, I hope), so it was not fair to let me play his stack. I understand this, but this is a home game and I was really just trying to accommodate a player who needed to leave the tourney. I would have sold the seat to anyone willing to pay for it. That is my philosophy in these things, as I would rather bend the rules a bit if it makes sense. It's a little strange in that I am also the TD in these things, so I am approving a deal that I cut myself. Please tell me I am not a total TD tool like the Orleans guy, or let me have it if I am.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Vegas Report Part Duece

Saturday morning was the live blonkament at the Orleans. A lot has been written about this and I must concur with what was written. The structure sucked and the tournament director was a total tool. At one point with two tables left, I think Fuel sucked out runner runner quads to win a pot and we made a bit of a commotion. The TD came over and told us to keep it quiet. I said "I guess you are not allowed to have fun in Vegas anymore". Pathetic.

The blonkament, which was my third, went just like all the others. I hung in, chipped up to keep about average, then got decimated by the rising levels and lack of cards a few hours in. I think I got up to about 7k in chips (2.5k to start) with about 20 left. 7k was not much though as it was already push or fold mode and I was not catching the right type of cards. Finally I picked up 88 and open pushed from the cutoff. Astin who was the shorty at the table at the time and on the button called with 99. He only had about 1.5k so it did not crush my stack, but it would have been nice to pick up the blinds and antes at that point. Moments later we broke to the final two tables. Like last time, I am eliminated calling an open raise by the hammer. This time I picked up pocket sixes and was happy to see someone push before me, as I might get them heads up against overs. Unfortunately, grubettee and Astin called as well. Grubette was a total card rack at the table, so I knew I was dead. My 66 was against 72o, AQo, and AJo for the lead, and a slim but decent chance of chipping up bigtime. Grubette's AQ would improve and eliminate all three of us. I think I ended up around 16th. Shortly after that, the final table formed and this is where the fun really began.

I have always been pretty good at setting lines, and I guess with my recent BBT handicapping people were looking to me for final table prop bets. First up was STB who wanted action on Wawfuls. Waffle was third in chips, but grubbette had a massive chip stack. I offered 3-1 odds, but STB wanted better (who wouldn't with waffles?). He eventually agreed and we put $20 to the test. Next up FallStaff wanted action on Grubbette. Guess he likes favorites. She was still in the lead but there were 6 or 7 left and some other decent sized stacks. I offered up even money, and we put $20 into action. Later on, Rachel (spacette) won a massive pot calling a preflop push with 96s and flopping trips. This put her solid in second place. Spaceman wanted action on his wife. How can I refuse? I offered up 3-1 which at first he protested wanting better. I said before that hand you could have got 12-1 or better. He put $10 down on her. I did not really see her taking it down, but the way she was playing was correct. I don't have much of a shot with this type of structure, as turbos benefit the gamblers quite a bit more than me. Anyway, we would end up with the three ladies I had action against (Grubette, Spacette, and Wafflette). I am a freaking genius. The only good thing was I could only lose if Wawfuls took it down. Wawfuls would go out third leaving me with a profit of $10 no matter who won. I started rooting for Spacette, as I thought it was pretty cool spaceman had bet on his wife. He would look pretty good as I paid him off after she took it down.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

BBT Points/Event Through June 12th

I updated the BBT Point/Event Standings below. This is based on 15 minimum events (1/2 minimum). I came up just short of the points bubble in last nights MATH, and that has dropped me down to second overall behind Miami Don.

BBT Points/Event Standings (15 events minimum)


Monday, June 11, 2007

Vegas Summer 07 Trip Report Part A

I'm back from the blonkertainment in Vegas. While some of the big names were not able to make it out to this one, It was still a blast. The best part about the weekend were the cash game marathons at the MGM. Both nights, we took over a 1/2 nl table and played well into the next morning. Friday night, the line up was Iakaris, Miami Don, Crackin Aces, Hoyazo, Weak Player, Smokkee, myself, and three spots for some very lucky tourists. The tourists kept sucking out on us, chipping up, filling up a tray, and walking to the cashier's cage. Then a new one would show up for some free money. I think as a group we sent close to 2k to those three seats over the night. $300 of it was mine. I was playing a little more loose and a little more aggressive than I normally do, and that probably cost me about $100, but I was pretty card dead most of the night, and was getting slapped around when I picked up anything decent. A couple of interesting hands from the session are below.

I pick up K9o from the cutoff and raise to $8, and Miami Don calls from the BB. Flop comes all clubs, and Don checks. I say I have a real big club (thought I had the Kc) and bet 3/4 pot. Don calls. Turn brings a Kc confirming to me that I don't have the Kc, and Don leads out for about $20. I reraise to $50, and Don tanks. He exposes the Qc which is the second nuts. I tell him that "I practically told you what I had", and he eventually mucks. I flip up two red cards.

That hand was early, and marked the high water mark for my stack. Things started to fall apart starting with this hand. I pick up AKs in the SB. A bunch of limpers, and the cut-off raises to $10. I decide to just call hoping for a few more callers and hitting something big. About 5 total see the flop. Flop comes KJx and I check, and it checks to the initial raiser who bets $20 into a $50 pot. Initial raiser has about $90 behind. I reraise to $60. I figure this pot commits the raiser, and I am pot committed as well unless someone else comes along who has more chips. It folds to the initial raiser who tanks, and calls. At this point, I plan on pushing the turn no matter what. Turn is a Q, I push, and initial raiser calls with KQo. I don't improve.

Then I got into this big draw that did not pan out. Limp with As5s, and call a raise to $8 for a 5 way pot. Flop comes KsQsx for a flush draw. I check call $15, for a 4 way pot still. The turn is a J giving me the nut flush draw and a gutshot to the T. Iakaris leads out for $45, and has about $200 behind. It looks like I am close to priced in. Then a tourist lady makes the call as well. So we have a $45 bet, a $45 call, and about $120 already in the pot. I can call $45 for a $250 pot. I have pot odds for sure, and can be pretty sure some more money will go in on the river if I hit. I call, the river bricks, and Iak bets out around $60. I fold, and Iak shows a turned straight for a big pot. I think I played this one pretty good. The problem with playing a big draw like this in a cash game is the variance. I will not get the chance to run the similar situation a bunch of times during this session, so I drop about $70 on the hand on decent play, without the chance to make it up on a draw that I will hit later.

After this, I kept pounding beers so the memory gets a bit fuzzy. I ended up playing from around 9:30 till 4AM when we all got up. I didn't get stacked once, but had to reload $100 when my stack got low several times. This would be a pretty rare loosing session at the MGM 1/2 nl tables, but at least most of it went to the tourists, lol.

That's all for now. Stay tuned for Prop bets at the Final Table of the WPBT live tournament, and another marathon cash game session on Saturday night.

Oh yeah, I was asked to update the BBT points/event, but last weeks mookie results are not up yet. I will update in a day or two.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

I'm About To Expose Myself

Not in the way you are thinking, sicko. You see I have been keeping a pretty big secret for a while now. It's a project I have been working on for about nine months. It's a project, that has taken up most of my free time, greatly reducing the amount of time that I have for poker (boo!). Some of you out there are in the know on this. Thanks for keeping this quiet for this long. I know it's been difficult.

But now is the time to reveal the secret to the world. Time to expose myself. The timing really could not be any better. So I head out to Vegas tomorrow afternoon with the plan letting this little secret start to trickle out. If you find me, ask me what it is. If you can't make it to Vegas, look for a major announcement here, and elsewhere next week. I will accept any and all guesses as to what this post was about, but only if you are not "In the Know".


Tuesday, June 05, 2007


A few weeks back I sized up the BBT competition, and picked my favorite to win it. Since then SummerBabe has been unable to earn a single BBT point. I clearly Jinxed her. So at this point I am changing my pick the the current odds-on favorite, bayne_s. Sorry, buddy.

I also seem to be good at Jinxing Jeciimd. I have seen him quite a few times lately at my BBT table with a lot of chips late. I always chat "Is tonight the night Jeci?". Last night in the Hoy Jeciimd was nicely out in the chip lead with about 1/2 the field gone. I asked the question. Again no cash. Sorry, buddy.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Third in HORSE, and the New BBT Points/Event Leader

Might just have to uber it up a bit here, because there is so much to talk about. First of all, there has been a lot of chatter about the point system in the BBT. While it may not be fair or the best way to judge the best player, it is what it is. A lot of people think I am out there just folding to the points, which is great. I just happen to have a MTT style that works with the BBT point system. I have made zero adjustments to my MTT game based on the BBT point system other than a couple of folds here and there in marginal/borderline situations at or near the points bubble. That's it. I have always been someone who 9/10 times makes it to the second hour in MTTs which puts me in the BBT points more often than not. Its my proven MTT formula, and there is no reason to change it to maximize BBT points. I have been accused of folding into the money as well, so I am used to the abuse, and people thinking this is +EV for me so I don't really care.

Now for the good stuff. I took third in tonight's doublestack HORSE event. After dipping down to third from last place early, I rallied hard, and held a big chip lead most of the way. I played really well, and got some good cards at the right times, but I was really donking it up at Omaha which was pretty lame. Stud is my weakness in HORSE, but it was Omaha for sure tonight. I just don't play enough Omaha to read the hands properly, even though I know better. Omaha is usually my third best HORSE discipline behind Holdem and Razz. So early on I gave unneeded chips away by misreading my hand or the strength of it. It would not cost me that much because after folding through the first orbit of Razz, I was absolutely crushing the Razz sections from that point on (my props as usual to F-Train for this). After we got ITM, Omaha again would be my downfall. I was in third with a playable stack, and gave away about 6500 of my 8000 in chips when I thought I had flopped Broadway, with a redraw to the second nut flush and not many low possibilities on the board. In fact, I was using three of my hole cards to make the straight. I still have a pretty good hand here, but it was not the high nutz on the flop like I thought it was, and I bet it completely wrong as a result. Oh well, I will learn next time. At the bottom of the post are a few screen shots of the HORSE leader board, and a couple semi-interesting FT hands.

With the third place HORSE finish, I have taken the BBT lead in Points/Event which is what I am personally using to see how I measure up. I knew from the beginning I would not play many BBT events, though I have played way more than I thought I would. Before the BBT I had played about three Blogger touneys all year. This is my first time in the lead. I am also first in In The Money % for all BBT players with 13 min. events, and am 4th in Final Table %. If my strategy is folding to the points, it is interesting how I am leading in ITM% against players whose styles should be working better for this. Hoy can you explain it?

BBT Point/Event Rank (based on 13 events min.)

BBT ITM% Rank (based on 13 events min.)

BBT FT% Rank (based on 13 events min.)

Now for a few screen shots from the HORSE event. I so rarely jump out ahead like this and I thought they would look real pretty in my blog.

So I got the the FT and still had the lead when we got to 6-handed. See screenshot below:

Everything was pretty much going my way until the bubble when the hand below happened.

Full Tilt Poker Game #2576450493: Riverchasers Special Event #4 (19403555), Table 2 - 1000/2000 - Limit Hold'em - 18:43:57 ET - 2007/06/03
Seat 1: cemfredmd (5,174)
Seat 3: DaBag (27,480)
Seat 7: TCGRO (15,526)
Seat 8: Blinders (14,820)
Blinders posts the small blind of 500
cemfredmd posts the big blind of 1,000
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Blinders [Js Ah]
DaBag folds
TCGRO folds
Blinders raises to 2,000
cemfredmd calls 1,000
*** FLOP *** [Ac 7d 2s]

cemfred was short, so I wanted to see if I could slowplay this into getting him pot committed.

Blinders checks
cemfredmd bets 1,000
Blinders calls 1,000

Not really scared of the board, so let the slowplay continue

*** TURN *** [Ac 7d 2s] [9c]

Slowplay continues

Blinders checks
cemfredmd bets 2,000

He is committed now

Blinders raises to 4,000
cemfredmd calls 174, and is all in
Blinders shows [Js Ah]
cemfredmd shows [9s Kd]
Uncalled bet of 1,826 returned to Blinders
*** RIVER *** [Ac 7d 2s 9c] [Ks]
Blinders shows a pair of Aces
cemfredmd shows two pair, Kings and Nines
cemfredmd wins the pot (10,348) with two pair, Kings and Nines

Kinda lost my momentum on that hand, but got some payback with this one

Full Tilt Poker Game #2576476902: Riverchasers Special Event #4 (19403555), Table 2 - 1000/2000 - Limit Hold'em - 18:47:24 ET - 2007/06/03
Seat 1: cemfredmd (8,348)
Seat 3: DaBag (27,480)
Seat 7: TCGRO (17,526)
Seat 8: Blinders (9,646)
TCGRO posts the small blind of 500
Blinders posts the big blind of 1,000
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Blinders [Tc Jc]
cemfredmd raises to 2,000
DaBag folds
TCGRO folds
Blinders calls 1,000
*** FLOP *** [Jd Th 8d]
Blinders checks
cemfredmd bets 1,000
Blinders raises to 2,000
cemfredmd raises to 3,000
Blinders raises to 4,000
cemfredmd calls 1,000
*** TURN *** [Jd Th 8d] [2c]
Blinders bets 2,000
cemfredmd raises to 2,348, and is all in
Blinders calls 348
cemfredmd shows [Ac As]
Blinders shows [Tc Jc]
*** RIVER *** [Jd Th 8d 2c] [7s]
cemfredmd shows a pair of Aces
Blinders shows two pair, Jacks and Tens
Blinders wins the pot (17,196) with two pair, Jacks and Tens
cemfredmd stands up

After this Omaha came up and I proceeded to donk my chips off. At least I made the money I guess, but this was one I could have won.

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