Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Mookie of 2008 Last Night

I played my first Mookie of 2008 last night, as a way of getting back the the virtual felt. I got nothing against the mookie, it just lands on a bad night for me. Mookie has done a bunch of the ads and banners for, and is a great guy, so I just had to play. I also wanted to be a part of the spectical that is the Wawfuls mookie challenge. I love it when bloggers set up tough goals for themseleves, and then go out and get it done. Wawfuls had ballz to set such a lofty goal, but he also had a plan. To move up the leaderboard in a blogger MTT, it takes 2 things, quantity and quality. First off, you have to play them all (quantity), and if you do this you have an advantage over all of those like me who don't play them all. Second, you have to play good (quality) poker. I think Wawful's game has grown a bunch lately, and he is finally seeing how to beat these things. Play solid ABC poker early and donk it up late gets it done in blogger MTTs. Wawfuls just needed to get his ABC game in order and stick to it early on, which he appears to be doing. Of coarse this is all speculation, as this was my first mookie of the year, so I really have no idea how he is getting it done. Unfortunately for me, Wawfuls would make an early exit on a cooler/bad beat.

My run in the mookie would be semi-interesting. I got no cards in the first couple of hours. Other than banging heads with Miami Don who was attacking my blinds relentlessly, and stealing from twoblackaces, I sat out much of the first two hours. When I got down to 2k in chips, I started taking a few chances, and was rewarded with some nice suckouts. I opened 3x to T600 with QJs, and was priced into a push from AK. I would spike a Q for a double through. I insta-called with KJo in the BB when it folded the the SB who pushed. SB had an Ace, but I would out flop him. I gave some chips to Schuabs when he jammed preflop and I called with 88. He had K5s and would make a wheel. So after a couple hours I was at around 3k in chips, basically where I started. Two orbits later I would have the chip lead. I caught TT and got all-in preflop 3-way vs AK and A6. I would spike a T and turn a T for quads, and a full triple up to 9k. An orbit later, I would steal the blinds with AJo, and AQs on consecutive hands, and then catch QQ on the next hand. After a limp of T600, I raised to T2400. I forget who it was, but I got reraised, so I jammed. Reraiser had the powerful AJo, and I doubled through to the chip lead with 18 players left (see screenshot below).

I few hands later, I caught AKo on the button, and there was a late position push of about 6k. Blinds were 400/800 with an ante. I thought for a while on this one, and basically figured that AA or KK does not push there, so at worst I am coin flipping with enough dead money to take the flip. I also figured there was a small chance I was up against a AK, AQ or AJ. I went ahead and called off about 1/3 of my stack. Julius Goat called as well. I was against QQ and 44 so I was very priced in, but a 4 would spike on the flop, and I would miss giving up my chip lead. I would get to the final table in about 7th place in chips. On the hand below I would catch QQ and be facing an open from Mattazuma, and a push from Loretta. Loretta had been raising a ton preflop, so I was not going to give credit for AA or KK there. I probably do not fold QQ anyway at a Final Table in the chip position I was in. So I called, and loretta had AA. IGHN.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Back To The Grind

After a long 10 day vacation to Yellowstone/Jackson Hole, I am back to the grind. I have a few photos from the trip below. I did not gambool too much on this trip. We stayed in Mesquite, NV the first night, and I played some 1/3 NL at the Eureka Casino. It was a pretty interesting session. I did not have a ton of cash on me so I bought in light for $170. The table was running 6 to 7 handed most of the time I was there and 3 of the players were obviously regulars, who were playing pretty decent poker. I probably should have just passed, as I don’t like shorthanded no-limit, I had a light buy-in, and there was not much dead money at the table. I played anyway. It was a pretty jacked up session. I played tighter than you probably should play short-handed with the idea of grabbing a bunch of free drinks without doing much damage to my minimal stack. So I stayed on the sidelines most of the time. The two times I had a decent hand and played aggressively, I got re-raised all-in by decent players, and was put to the test. Both times I was able to fold, and not get stacked, but I bled down to below $100. An hour later, I had still not won a hand, and was pretty much over it. I picked up AQo and raised to $20 preflop willing to stack off as required since my stack was so low. I ended up stealing the blinds for my first pot, and walked away down about $90. I don’t play a bunch of live poker, but this was very close to my second live session of my life where I played for a significant amount of time without winning a single pot. Anyone out there ever play a live session, and walked without ever winning a pot? It’s a pretty tough thing to do, but when things are not going your way you just need to stop the bleeding.

So I walked out of the Eureka, and headed across the street to the Virgin River Hotel where we were staying. I ended up playing some $2 blackjack at VR and had a blast. It was a super fun table with some talkative drunk locals. We were messing with the dealers and getting as loud as a craps table does. I played for about 90 minutes and won $60. –EV games rule! What was I thinking playing poker?

Later in the trip, we were staying in West Yellowstone Montana. They had casino signs all over the place, so I was hoping to get in some poker action at night. What they actually had was video poker functioning as some sort of state lottery. They had old school video poker machines that had typical Vegas type payouts, except they were pair of Aces or better instead of pair of Jacks or better. I was never that into video poker or slots, so it was not very appealing to play video poker with a massive rake so I passed. That was it for the gambooling. I am looking forward to hitting the virtual felt tonight, and running some beginner S&Gs over at Bodog. I guess there was some kind of layoff at Bodog that got Smokkee to suspend his challenge. Not sure what is up with that at this point. I guess I will find out tonight. Hope everyone was profitable while I was gone.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Summer Vacation

Me and the family are heading out to Yellowstone for a week on Friday. I have not been since I was little, and my kids have never been there. It will be a bunch of driving, but well worth it me thinks. I may get a little bit of live poker in, as we will be passing through Vegas both ways, but will probably not be posting again until I get back.

In the meantime checkout smokkee and his $5000 Beginner S&G challenge. He is giving himself 60 days which is way too much time IMO. If I was playing poker full-time, I would clear at least 5k/month playing those things with pretty much zero variance. You really are leaving money on the table if you are not playing the beginner S&Gs on Bodog.

Also, for those who can't wait for Fantasy Football to start, we launched preseason fantasy football at today. You can enter daily fantasy football contests throughout the preseason on any day with 2 or more NFL games. With the cap levels already set to where they will be on week 1, preseason fantasy football is a great way to prepare for the regular season. When I get back I will roll out the details of the Blogger Fantasy Football Battle #2 and other season long football promotions at FSL. Get in the game!

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Poker Meh

Its been tough lately to put the time aside to play online poker. I have the time, but I guess I just got a case of the Mehs. I played a couple times this week. I got 82/516 in Pauly's 5 year bash. What a turnout. 4x bigger than any other blogger tourney. I ran rivered straight into turned boat early to get low, then I sucked out huge a couple of times when all-in. A7 vs. A8 jumps out as one of the uglier ones. Then I settled down and got pretty deep before jamming 33 from the BB over the SB's open who had been tilting off his stack. He took the coin flip with KT and rivered me. I needed the chips at the time, and knew he would call with ATC pretty much, but I liked the play/read still. In the riverchasers, I donked off some chips early and then donked out with AA a bit later, for a rare early MTT exit. I can't really justify my play in the RC, other than I took an early double up or go home attitude after dropping 1/2 my stack. Way too early to be thinking that way.

While running the Pauly and RC this week, I went ahead and moved up to the $32+3 beginner S&Gs on Bodog. They don't fill as fast, so it's hard to run three at a time. I have been getting in one or two 32s mixed in with 16s to get to 3 tables. This week I am off to a 2nd, 2nd, 4th, and 5th start in the 32s in 4 attempts. Still no sample size there, but similar results to the 16s so far. The 32s play just as easy IMO so win rates should jump to $40+ an hour.

There is not much strategy in these things, but I can give you a few poker tips on how to profit from these things. You basically fold everything except pocket pairs, AK, AQ, KQ for the first 1/2 hour or so. Play middle to small pocket pairs for set value, and play all non-paired starting hands very safe and keep the pot sizes low, even when you connect. You should only look to play a big pot if you hit the flop hard, or have a monster pocket pair to start. Once you get through the first 1/2 hour, you evaluate your situation. If you have enough chips to fold through 1/2 hour more of blinds you continue on with the safe strategy. If you don't, you look to increase your activity level as required to make it to the money. All the strategy is based around making the money in these things. When it gets down to 5 players, 1/2 of the prize money has already been paid. Getting a double up early with a big starting hand or big flop is just another way to get to the money. Once in the money you then can start to play for the win, but only if you are low on chips. If you have chips, after the bubble you should wait until 3 or 4 are left before playing for the win.

The nice thing about playing crazy weak-tight for as long as possible is that when you throw the switch to tight-aggressive or even loose aggressive, anyone paying attention will be giving you way too much credit. When Foldy Mcfolderson starts ramming and jamming people tend to get out of the way. Let them watch you fold early, and jam late and get the wrong reads on you, while all you are doing is playing the correct strategy. Probably the best strategy is to play everyone of the $32+3 beginners that forms on Bodog. If I can hold my ROI its $16+ in profit lost every time I miss one of these things. How much profit are you leaving on the table by not playing beginner Sit and Goes on Bodog?

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