31 December 2010

End of 2010 Results

OK. I think I've started to figure this out. My test run of SnGs 9-man to 180s started on September 24th and have been met with decent results. Since the vast majority of my play has occurred at Full Tilt and PokerStars, I'll make my comparisons there.

Single Table Tournaments [STTs]: My results are skewed because I have virtually no results - only 33 across the various types and buy-ins. Certain early trends are visible. I'm not playing Double or Nothings very well. Stars standard STTs are not going well. Don't know if this is an indication of 10 player STTs vs 9 player, however. The $3.40 STTs on Stars are woeful. However, the two best results are in the $4.10 Stars KOs and the $5.50 Full Tilt STTs. Possibly less horrid play as evidenced in $1 STTs. Also, the added prize money in the KOs may speak volumes in my earn rate. Overall: +4.36% ROI.

18-man SnGs: Nothing really to say. I only played 4 altogether and ran horrid. Too early to tell. -73.91% ROI.

27-man SnGs: More results here. I lost slightly in the $1.20 FTP 27s and badly in the Stars $2.25 and $3.40 SnGs. I think the 18s and 27s give me problems because I can generally make the final table, but the 4-5 payouts mean that I don't necessarily do well even if I get there. I also didn't win any of them. -21.71% ROI.

45-man SnGs: I should play more of these. If I had started looking at these numbers in detail earlier, I think my win-rate would be much higher. I think I was seduced by the big final table payouts of positions 1-3 in the 90s and 180s. Instead, I should have realized the variance was much lower int he 45s. I won at an alarming 104% ROI in the Full Tilt $1/45s and by 35% in the Stars 1/45s. I also managed a slight profit in the Full Tilt $5/45s. Overall my winrate in the 45s was +54.12% ROI. Now I know!

90-man SnGs: These were, by far, my most played SnGs during this initial run and they were broken down into $1/90s on Full Tilt and $1/90 KOs on PokerStars. My ROIs were +55.62% and -7.66%, respectively. My Stars results were propped up by bounties, but other than this I really can't see why there is such a disparity between sites. Perhaps I play much too cautious in the KOs? I really think it is a combination of playing a bit tighter in the KOs as well as my opponents in the KOs playing much more loose and willing to wreck their stacks when they call my raises and pushes in the hopes of taking my bounty. The other thought is that Stars 90s pay 12 places, whereas Full Tilt pays 18. Although the payouts are flatter, getting a lot of 13-18 payouts could make a huge difference in overall ROI. I'll really take a look at this in 2011. Meanwhile, the Stars $2/90s left me at -15.90% ROI through 34 total SnGs. I also had a small sample size of $0.25/90s. These were usually fillers or standbys for the bigger SnGs. Overall my 90s netted me a +12.54% ROI.

180-man SnGs: Well this has me a bit chagrined. I was doing phenomenally well in the Full Tilt $2/180s. Then a terrible thing happened. Full Tilt decided to change them from $2/180s into $2/45s On Demand. basically what they did was launch them as $2/45s, at which time they'd appear on the MTT menus as "On Demand" MTTs and players would have 30 minutes to register and play. My problem is that they are no longer SnGs, but glorified MTTs. There was a reason I was playing SnGs. The limited fields. When they changed these, I was marking a +169.68% ROI through 31 tournaments. Certainly a small sample size, but an inclination that I might be doing well in them. Part of the big reason I was focusing on the $2/180s at Full Tilt was to make them a stepping stone to two other 180s. The Stars $4/180s and Full Tilt's 180-max $8.80 MTTs which run throughout the day. The top payouts in the $2/180s would be a good start and stepping stone to these higher buy-in SnGs/MTTs. I'm hoping Full Tilt brings them back. Meanwhile, I dabbled in fifteen $4/180s on Stars and none too well. I managed one min-cash and one 8th place finish. ROI in the $4/180s was a poor -58.55%. Despite these losses, and most of the $4/180s were played after Full Tilt abandoned the $2/180s, my 180-man ROI finished at +58.72% overall.

Final ROI across all sites and all types stands at +18.95%, a profit of about $170. Although I cannot figure my BB/100 and ptBB/100 because I've played at various buy-ins and limits, I finished up in cash games over this stretch around $220. MTTs, well, that ROI finished at -55%, bleh.

I'm looking forward to 2011. I will hopefully move up to higher SnG/MTT buy-ins online and start playing $3/$6 LHE and NL200 consistently in a live environment. Stay tuned.

29 December 2010


What a bad day. I played three MTTs and a load of 90s and didn't hit a final table, nor do much better than min-cash. The MTTs were really bad.

I played a DNG Freeroll. I don't like it. It was basically a turbo with 40K runners. Top 7 get their tickets, 8-60 get $5.50. Sure it was free, but with that many runners and the rapid blind pace, it's a slot machine pull. I made top 1500. Wheee. I played a $5 Deepstack MTT on Full Tilt as well as a $3 MTT. Never got anything going. I was basically staying afloat in each through smoke and mirrors, but got nowhere near the money.

I also played seven $1/90 KOs and five $1/90 SnGs. I managed two min cashes in the $1/90s and none in the KOs. I did manage seven bounties total and bubbled 16th twice. Overall, it was a pretty sad experience.

Lost $18.93 while sporting a hefty -78.55% ROI. PokerStars' overall ROI through 221 SnGs has fallen to -14.08%, while Full Tilt's is holding steady, through 202 SnGs at +65.78%. All sites combined, my SnG ROI is at +18.55. Definitely slipping. Even 500 SnGs is no indication of overall ability. Also, I started in late September. I will finish what I consider my "trial run" in a few days and then start anew in 2011. In those blog posts I'll just fish out wins and losses each day and leave the ROI to end of month cumulative numbers.

Overall, I'm happy with my SnG and cash game stats. I'm disappointed with my MTT stats, but then again, I've never been a decent MTT player. We'll see how 2011 shakes out.

Cash Games and SnGs

Started Tuesday off playing some NL [and accidentally LHE] at a few sites. Namely played at Bodog, Cake, Lock, PDC Poker and PokerStars. The plan was to try to cover the day's buy-in of SnGs.

Bodog: Always very loose in their NL games. I played NL10 and scored a small pot early, but it became apparent that there was a huge fish at the table. You know the player. He calls a raise with utter garbage, flops bottom pair, donk bets, get's raised then pushes only to be called by an overpair. He luckboxes a two pair or better and stacks the player. So my strategy is simple. Compliment the player then get him to eventually double me up. Well I get whacked a few times [never stacked] and do a $5 rebuy to get me to about $9.80. I'm still lying in wait when I land a set of 8s and double through him. I could have stayed longer , but was happy with my slight $2.65 profit. With the major fish leaving, it made my exodus that much more easy.

PokerStars: Well this was a riot....When I was originally deciding what to do< i was angling towards playing LHE. But the smaller sites have virtually no LHE traffic. Problem is, once I decided to play NL, I forgot to switch tabs at PokerStars. So I opened up a "NL 10" table. I was wondering, why the heck can I buy-in for $1,000? It made no sense. And I was clueless until I flopped a set of Js and realized I could raise to 10 cents.....I stuck with it and despite getting as far down as 30 BBs, managed to finish at -$0.07.

Lock Poker: I played a real short session here, logging in a double up on hand 19. I definitely could have stayed longer and had thought of doing so, but wanted to play a bit higher since the Merge network is starting to increase traffic dramatically. I decided on playing some NL10, but am not rolled near enough at Lock to do so. So I moved to another Merge site, PDC Poker, and opened a NL10 table.

PDC Poker: Well a few small beats at NL10 and I'm not too optimistic on my move. I do manage to turn a small $0.35 profit in 180 hands right at the end of the session. I do like Merge. I'm going to have to play here more often. The biggest reason is that I have 35% rakeback at Lock and 33% at Poker Host. Other than that, my only rakeback deal is through Cake Poker.

Cake Poker: I really have no clue why I run so bad playing NL4 here. I get stacked twice by some really horrid bad luck, having gotten in well ahead only to see some weird runners crush me. So, down 2 buy-ins, what does the smart player do? They don't move up to NL10 chasing losses like me.....But it turns out well. Flopping straights vs AA and getting in on the flop will do that.

Cash games: +$8.55. That's not a horrible haul for the stakes. I do need to spend more time playing cash games online, both LHE and NL.

The usual session mix of Multi-SnGs: Two $1/90 KOs on Stars and two $1/90s on Full Tilt. I manage 3 KOs between the two KOs, finishing 16th and 25th. I manage a 9th place final table finish and a 26th at Full Tilt. Buy-ins cost $5 and I made $3, so a -40% ROI on the day.

+$6.55 overall however. It's better than a stick in the eye.

27 December 2010

Monday Poker

Played a pair of $1/90 KOs on Stars and a pair of $1/90 on Full Tilt. I was runnign well in all four with about 20-25 left when I hit a rough patch. Finished the two Full Tilt 90s in 23rd and 27th place.

On Stars managed a bounty before bowing out 17th in one, but final tabled and finished 5th in teh last one with four bounties. I managed to get it in good versus smaller stacks three times but only once did I garner a bounty. Worst player at the table gave away his chip lead and most his chips overplaying TT on a AKQA board vs AJ. Very next hand, I'm under the gun with A5s and push. Worst player wakes up with another good hand, AK and busts me. Sigh. Donkeys and their card racks.....I might play later after dinner.

Up $2.55 so far.

26 December 2010

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. My wife and I had breakfast, then proceeded to make snacks for Christmas dinner at my cousin's house. After dinner [and Pie], we came home and watched a movie before crashing for the night.

However, Christmas Eve day I managed to win a $1/90 on Full Tilt. Bad news is that I overplayed my bankroll a bit and crashed and burned in four $4/180s.

If I play $1/90 KOs, even if I lose all four, I finish with a $10 profit instead of a $1 loss. That'll teach me for overplaying. -8.16% ROI for the day.

Today, Sunday the 26th, I managed to lose JJ to AK all-in in the $18K Superstack [using the Step 3 ticket I won earlier in the month] on Full Tilt. I can't seem to hit a flip for a good stack in a more expensive MTT. Although the MTT was basically just a $3/30 loss, it feels bigger because of the real buy-in cost. I also failed to advance in the $2.20 $5,000 Guarantee. Finished out the day with a pair of non-money finishes in a $1/90 KO on Stars and a $1/90 on FTP. Managed three bounties in a 15th place finish at Stars.

24 December 2010

Good Thursday

Played two sessions of SnGs today, as well as two sessions of LHE. Did well overall.

Played a $0.25/90, a $1/90 KO, two $2/90s and two $1/45s. Bubbled the final table in the $0.25 for a meager profit and finished 9th in the $1/90 KO with four bounties. Neither of the $2/90s, nor the $1/45s went anywhere. However, I had a quick $0.50/$1 LHE session before dinner and a 3 hour session after my wife went to bed that I managed to turn into a $5.85 profit. Not fantastic, but the 1.24BB/100 was decent considering my online LHE is rusty and online, in general, is a much different beast than live.

Full Tilt:
I played a $1/90 and three $1/45s. Nothing happening in 90s right now and two 45s went awry, but I won the last $1/45, which was great. I hit the final table 9/9. Within a few hands a mid-size stack went all-in and lost. I doubled a couple times when bigger stacks gave me mercy calls on my pushes and I really started chipping up. We got to three handed pretty quickly with all three of us in close proximity, stack-wise. One was a very loose-passive player, the other was a rock. My choice was to get HU with the rock. I ended up HU with the loose guy, who started playing a bit more aggressive. After about 10 minutes, I was controlling the tempo and he was making mistakes. I got up huge a few times and he'd get some miracle card to save him. In the end, it came down to him limping A6 to my 86o and me getting the 862 flop while he pushed into my two pair. I won it there. Feels real good!

Overall up $14.35, including LHE results. ROI for the day: +66.51%

23 December 2010

Online leading up to Christmas

Decided not to play live this week, but am contemplating it next week if I can get some stuff done at ITH and still leave myself with a decent amount of time to play. Have been playing a mixed bag of MTTs, 90s, 45s, 27s and STTs and am down overall -$23.38 for a -49.48% ROI.

Playing as we speak. I played some 90s this morning into early afternoon and took a break for a doctors appointment. Have had some bumps forming on my abdomen and arms. Decided to have them looked at and to meet my new doctor, seeing as how my last one left Kaiser. They're lipomas. Hyper-aggressive, benign fat cells which form when your metabolism is out of whack. Yes, I'm fat. I've already decided I'll be changing my eating habits and continuing my gym workouts. I really did go off the deep end and eat these past two months. Goal is to drop a pound a week in 2011. More if I can, but I'm going to shred it gradually. Back to the lipomas. Doctor told me weight loss will shrink them a little, but they won't go away. I then asked if they could be cut out. They can, but the choice I have is little fatty lumps or scra tissue and the discomfort of surgery.

So call me lumpy. More Christmas Eve.

20 December 2010

Sunday at Bay 101

Sunday was Geek Day in San Jose. I was the Geek Master. Let's leave it at that.....

My wife was in Sacramento and since we start Sundays at 2PM, I decided to go down early and play 3/6 LHE at Bay 101. I got on a table about 10:45AM. Uggh. I blew through my first $100 and rebought an extra $40 in about an hour. I managed no winning hands. Missed draws and one folded winner. I folded 99 on an AKx flop after two other players decided a bet and raise were prudent with their T high and pair of deuces. I hit a couple winners in the second hour, but nowhere near what I had already lost. I had a monster broadway straight that ended up splitting when a guy on A4 hit a gutshot on the river.

Guy on my left elbow was on a heater. Straights, flushes, fullhouses. Oh, to see him at my next Bay 101 table. :)

I left at 1:15PM down $240. Not a problem. The $365 win on Friday leaves me up $125 and some losses just happen.

18 December 2010

Online vs Live

It always strikes me funny, the differences between online and live poker. I've stopped playing online LHE and instead play a bit of NL because it is easier to protect your hand and generally people don't tend to pay off big bets while chasing gutshots or worse. In online the play is much better in LHE, despite the poor playing chasers, simply because the lowest limits are filled with the fish and the higher you progress, the better the average player. I've played a few live sessions lately and the 3/6 LHE game I've been playing in is akin to a $0.10/$0.20 online game. Seriously. You raise, you might get 7 or 8 callers, dependent on how many limped before you raised.

Thursday I played a Stars $1/90 KO and $2/90 as well as a $1/90 on FTP and a $2 On Demand hybrid. I only cashed the On Demand for 2nd tier. I was well ahead when I pushed only to lose to a 3 out bad kicker when my AQ lost to A4.

Friday night I played another online session with exactly the same spread of SnGs and bubbled the $1/90 KO and the $2 On Demand hybrid. In each, it was Go Big or Go Home, although losing the flip with my AK vs TT, was a bit painful when he runner runnered a straight to pour salt in the wounds.

However, I'll run like this if I can run like I did when I played 3/6 live. Let me set this up:

My wife has been trying to get our new kitty in to get her spayed. Problem is, they haven't wanted to do it because teh kitten has had a case of ringworm and they wanted that cleared up. Well, here in California, you cannot adopt a kitten from the Animal Shelter unless you also get it spayed or pay for the spayign process up front. I think this is somewhat barbaric myself, because I think competent adults who take care of their animals might want to breed a cat that they are very fond of in the hopes of getting offspring that emulate their cats. The other side of that is that there are way too many irresponsible people who would have 40 cats running the streets because they didn't care for their responsibility. And don't get me wrong. If you get a kitten fixed before she has had a chance to go into heat, they tend to be playful their entire life. Long story short. We had to get the kitten in Friday. And the Animal Shelter is about a mile away from the Casino, so.....

I had 4 or so hours to kill. I went to the casino, bought in for a rack and settled into my seat at the 3/6 HE table. There were a few real characters there. A guy on my left elbow was really talkative, obnoxiously punny and just the kind of butthead that normally would have me seeking a table change, His brother was at another table and much better behaved. He had a friend to his left. There was a retired butcher shop owner thatthey both knew as he'd been a fixture in the community for years. The table was rounded out by a myriad of horrid players, chasers and fish. OK, maybe all of that was oxymoronic. Anyway, I felt the obnoxious guy was softplayng his friend a bit as well as the butcher shop owner. I didn't say anything but merely kept it in my head. I ran up 10BBs early and thought I was on my way to an average, decent session. I then got a few hands beaten by some of the bad players. AA lost to 84o who called a capped preflop, a capped flop before hitting his trips on the turn. A flopped two pair got river gutshot. It was getting ugly. I was down to $20 and did a $40 rebuy to get me started. I know, I should have rebought for another $100, but I was still contemplating a table change. That's when I decided to loosen up my game a bit. I can play as loose as these donks, but still control my losses.

I went on a buzzsaw heater. And despite people saying I was lucky [sometimes] an how well I was playing [most the time], they continued to pay me off. The punny, obnoxious guy actually told a few others that "when he bets the river, you know he has it." But this didn't stop anyone from hero calling to "Keep him honest." All I kept muttering is stuff like, "Boy I got lucky there", or "Wow, I didn't put you on that..."

Well the two online SnG sessions were a loss of $11.03 for a -79.35% ROI.

And the live 3/6 LHE session? 3.5 hours netted me $365. Now that was monster.

15 December 2010

Jury Duty Woes into Poker Bliss

Got a notice just before Thanksgiving that I had jury duty on the 8th of December. Only one problem. I was going to be on the road back from Tunica during that time. So I requested them to move it out. I could have had them ship it all the way to February, but I wanted it done with as soon as possible. They ended up moving it out a day. Then they moved it out another week. So it was slated on December 15th. I was to call in on the 14th after 5PM to see if my group was being called in. When I got the answering machine message, it said all groups needed to call in between 11:30-12Noon on Wednesday. OK. So I still didn't know. I finally call in at 11:40 AM and they took groups 1-6. Ahhh! Nice to be group 7. My jury duty was thus completed and they didn't need me. Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!.

OK, so poker on the 14th. It consisted of two Full Tilt $1/90s, a Full Tilt $5 STT, a $1/90 KO, a $2/90 and a $4 KO STT on Stars. I did horribly in the 90s, except for yet another 12th place finish in a Full Tilt $1/90. I finished 2nd in the Full Tilt $5 STT as well as 2nd in the $4 Stars KO, with 3 bounties.

$5.70 profit and an ROI of 25.91%. Good day. I'm might need to concentrate my efforts on single table SnGs and have a couple of 90s in the background.

Today, I did pretty well. Still not knowing if I had jury duty this morning, I decided on a $3 Step 1 on Full Tilt. Managed to win a Step 2 ticket. Finished about 11AM, so did some other stuff waiting to make my phone call. Once I got the all clear, I settled in to play some SnGs. Signed up for a Step 2 SnG, but forgot to use the ticket I had just won. D'Oh! No problem, got a Step 3 ticket in that one too. Woot! Played three Bodog $4 Beginner SnGs. First one I took 4th for a small $1.60 profit. I realized that I had cashed all seven of these I had played. Jinxed myself. I went out 10th and 7th in the next two. I played a $2/27 and two $1/90s on Full Tilt but got nowhere. In the last $1/90 I managed to pretty much bust, when a donkey made a horrible call of my shove and got stupid lucky. You be the judge of this.  Went out 24th in a $1/90 KO then finished 2nd [with a single bounty] in another. A bit down on that one. Once we got HU he had a 2:1 chip lead and we were extremely deep stacked. I managed to gain a substantial chip lead when he caught AQ vs my KTs and neither improved. I get A6s later and shove all-in. He thinks for around 20 seconds then calls. He shows AA. OK, asshole. Slowrolling is not cool. There is no reason for it.

Manage to finish up $25.15 with a 77.5% ROI when the value of the Step Tickets are valued in. Nice day.

14 December 2010

Sunday Blues and Monday Woo-hoos

Sunday first. Played four MTTs: $3 Stars $5K, miniFTOPS #11 [the KO], a $1K Guarantee at UB and a $1 Donkament at FTP. All I managed was finishing 13th of 470 in the donkament, although I did get a bounty in the miniFTOPS.

On the SnG side of things, it was miserable in two $1/90 KOs on Stars and two $1/90s on FTP, although a 15th place finish at FTP did net $0.70.

Loss of $18.47. ROI: -75.39%

Monday was better. After working and doing some stuff around the house [read: dishes...] I squeezed in four SnGs of varying types. I played a Bodog $4 Beginner STT, a PDC $5 Double or Nothing, a standard $5 FTP STT and a $4 Stars STT KO. The FTP standard STT saw me push AK into the table donk, er chip leader who called my push with 32s and managed to catch a two. I may never understand some players. Meanwhile, despite a bad start in the PDC Poker DoN, I manage to chip up after a few kamikaze steals and winning AK vs QQ. I get into the money shortly after securing my chip position. At Bodog I finish 3rd for $8 after busting AK into AJ. Finally, after yet another slow start I started hitting hands in the $4 Stars KO. Finishing with a flourish as I rack up 5 bounties and the win. Winning hand was A6o and I felt like he was either getting tired or bored. He pushed 82o and I snap called for the win.

Nice hour and a half session for a profit of $15.85 for and ROI of 81.70%

12 December 2010

A Saturday Where I Win

Not too shabby. Only posted a small win, but I played a diverse range of SnGs and MTTs and managed to bring a little profit.

I started by registering for a $1K [$1.10] PL O/8 MTT on Stars as well as a $5K NLHE [$2.20]. While I was waiting for them to start, I fired up a $1/90 KO on Stars as well as a $1/90 on Full Tilt. Went out really quick on Full Tilt SnG when I lost KK to AQs that flushed the river. I was plugging away, as standard, in the KO, when the MTTs started. I fired up another Full Tilt $1/90, so I had 4 tables going.

The PL O/8 MTT was real squirrely early on. I was getting only the low ends with plenty of low-card hands. I actually won a horrid low when my nut turn high got counterfeited by some player who caught a 4 out fullhouse with no low potential. I didn't make the money ultimately, but it wasn't for a lack of effort. I was getting some spectacular hands. In particular, I had A234 and AA23 and neither improved, especially considering all high flops. How it goes sometimes.

I fared a bit better in the NLHE tournament, moneying for $4.60. I had been in good shape for a long while until a shortstack badbeat took some chips and then a folded JJ after a raise and push convinced me I was beat preflop. 406 out of 5,000 runners. I wasn't too happy how it all fell apart really quickly, but when playing poor players it happens.

I bombed the Full Tilt $1/90, but had another up and running as well as a $4 STT KO on Stars. I monied all three of the remaining SnGs. I didn't get a single bounty in the $1/90 KO on Stars but finished 7th. I also didn't get a single bounty in the $4 but somehow managed to revive a 260 chip stack after losing A9 to TT while the BB was 200. I somehow finished 3rd. Eventual winner was a drooler who called my AKo that I 10BB pushed with 32s. Whatever. I bounced 88 off of AK in the last Full Tilt $1/90 on a flop of KK5. Player was an absolute rock who checked flop and turn. He surprised me well enough and I bubbled the final table finishing for a small profit in 10th.

$3.70 win for +30.58 ROI for the day. All in all, a decent day.

10 December 2010

First Day Live

Decided to go play at the new California Grand Casino. They used to be located in a real small casino across the street. It was always crowded. Chairs and people bumping into one another. Waitresses maneuvering around tables with inadequate space. I never gave it much thought.

They started construction on a new room back in 2008 and it was completed very early this year. I checked the new place out about a year ago while my wife and I were going to dinner. I liked it. Roomy, flatscreen TVs on every wall, good food, good dealers, chip runners and very well-upkept chips and cards. I also liked that all teh tables had automatic shufflers. Given the pace, I estimate about 40 hands per hour as a good estimate.

They offer $3/6, $6/$12 and $15/$30 LHE. I didn't check out the NLHE, but it seemed to be standard fare: NL200 and NL400. They also run Limit O/8 and occasionally 7-Stud. As added bonuses there are two Badbeat Jackpots: The Super which requires Quad 8s to get beat and the $5K which pays out to losers who only manage getting their AAAJJ beaten by a clown on 22 hitting runners. In addition to this, there is a $100 High Hand Jackpot which pays off every 4 hours for Holdem and Royal Flush Jackpots for both HE and Omaha with each royal suit jackpot at whatever it is. As little as $50 and I saw two suits up to $300 each.

So, being a first-timer I got in on their new player bonus. Buy-in for $20 and get $50 in chips. I decided I wanted to play the $3/$6 LHE, because Bay Area poker is rife with more donkeys than the Quarter Mill on PokerStars on Sundays. It has always been this way. Retirees, unemployed ballcap kids, business owners ducking out for the day and the occasional decent player looking to capitalize. I bought in for $100 and sat down at my table with $130 with a few more Benjamins as close-in support. It didn't take long to start sorting the good players from the bad. There was one kid who rolled up a huge stack based on playing any two and having the dealer reward him. I managed to roll my $130 up to $330 in about an hour and a half, but lost most of it back. I was contemplating forfeiting the $30 [you have to agree to play for 2 hours to keep the degens from buyng in and cashing out....] I dunno. For some reason, I expect to hit the occasional 12 or 15 outer at least as often as the droolers hit their gutshots and runner runner flushes. But that's just me. I had a real problem-child in seat 2 [I was in seat 10 the whole session]. He liked bluffing habitually. I liked letting him bluff. On numerous occasions he'd have A high and I'd have some crap like two pair. But if I bet out or raised him, he was folding faster than the French Army listening to German Marching Songs.

Long story short. My fullhouses, straights, flushes and sets [and quite a few two pairs] let me finish up $70 plus the free $30, for a nice tidy profit. All figured I ran at 4.49 BB/100. Profit [incl Bonus]: $100.00

I'm planning on playing 3 times per week. I'll be short-rolled until I can build it up, but this was a nice start.

09 December 2010

Run-of-the-Mill Results

I'm back from Tunica, and.....

I'm not running well. Part of it is my fault. I'm losing focus and sometimes not making the right decisions. Other times I'm just getting it in good and getting squashed. Today I missed draws and flips [except the last one which won me my 5th bounty in a $4.10 STT at Stars plus the 1st place prize. Over pairs losing to under pairs. Three outers after raising preflop. Maybe it's just me, but way too many people think A-rag is the nuts preflop. Lost KK , QQ and JJ to A-rag today. So what did I play today?

Started with the Daily Ninety Grand [DNG] $1R satellite on Stars as well as a generic $1 MTT on Full Tilt. Add to this three $1/90 KOs and three $4.10 one table KO SnGs at Stars as well as four $1/90s and a $2 "On Demand" SnG/MTT hybrid.

Overall lost $13.61 for a -38.50 ROI. I can't keep running like this. I need to play volume, but when in a rut, volume is kicking my ass. I may need to play some cash for a few weeks. Of course, most of my loss came from going rebuy crazy in the DNG satellite. I think I should only play this once a week and only for a rebuy and the add-on. If I get knocked out before rebuy period is over, so be it. I think that will keep the costs down while allowing for a T$ win. When I won a seat a few weeks back, I was in for $3.10. Since, I have dumped $11.10 twice.

I hate the "On Demand" hybrids. Basically they start out as 45-man SnGs. When they fill up to 45 players they then show up on the MTT menu. Dumb crap, if you ask me. If I wanted to play a $2 MTT, I'd sign up for a $2 MTT. Give me back my $2/180s. I want to play 180s, not a bunch of 400 runner MTTs.

I'll be working on a Tunica trip report. My plan had been to blog every day, but between tiring drive times and then hanging with the guys in Tunica, I just didn't get around to it. Stay posted.

29 November 2010

The Poker is No Better in Albuquerque

Got in about 5PM from Kingman, AZ. My was it cold! Average temperature along the way was around 32-33 degrees. Hit a few snow flurries [minor] and otherwise clear skies. Northern Arizona and New Mexico are beautiful as a matter of fact and even more so with a touch of snow.

I ate dinner at a "Family Style" Restaurant, which in these parts means buffet. The place is called "Furrs". Don't know why. I do know that, other than the rolls I chose [should have went with my gut and hit the fresh rack], the food was very good. Very good mashed potatoes and gravy. The roast beef was very good. Good salad and spinach. Topped it off with an IBC root beer and a slice of apple pie.

After dinner, I settled into my hotel room and loaded up some 90s. Bleh. I don't run any better in New Mexico. Played two $1/90 KOs and a $2/90 at Stars. Also loaded up a $1/90 on Fullt Tilt. First $1/90 KO, I died when AK split it's outs with another AK and we both lost to TT. In the $2/90 I ran AA into K8s. Flop came 876. He donk bet, I raised, he shoved, I called. He nailed another 8 on the river to bust me. In a bit of irony, he shows up at my other $1/90 KO table. I get JJ in middle position and raise. He is, once again, in the BB and flats my raise. Flop comes 763. He donk bets again, I raise, he pushes, I call. He shows 76o. Turn is a 3 and the river is an emphatic J and I bust him. This would prove to be my only bit a money - his $0.25 bounty. This starts me on my climb into a good chip position. It lasts about 40 hands. A new player shows up at my table. I get dealt QQ. We end up all-in as he was somewhat short. He has KK. Turn K seals it. An orbit later, I manage to get A8s all-in and lose to A7s on a 877 flop. Sigh. I lose AJ to AK in the Full Tilt $1/90.

Lost $5.85. Woeful -95.9% ROI.

28 November 2010

Kingman Arizona

It's Sunday and I've headed out to an unofficial ITH poker weekend meet-up in Tunica, Mississippi. I like to drive so that is what I am doing. I usually drive during the summer when the weather conditions are better, but since I didn't this year, I'm doing it now. Left at 5AM California time and was in Kingman at 5:30 Mountain. Not bad considering traffic was a bit dicey going down I-5 to Bakersfield. Stopped in Bakersfield for a Schlotzsky's Original sandwich, something I got hooked on in Texas at Fort Hood. We don't have one anywhere near us. They used to have a pair of them in Reno, so since I go there a few times a year, I always sated my appetite for them. The closest now is Bakersfield. Yeah, that's my eyes bulging out. Told myself whenever I drive to Vegas, that was going to be my stop. Well, no Vegas, but since I was passing through.....

Just finished dinner...Arby's. Another place I have to drive some distance to get at. Don't know if I will be playing poker tonight. The early start and the time change, plus long stretch has me tired. I also have to get up and do a few hours work tomorrow before heading out for my destination.

I'll see you then. If I do play, I'll add it to tomorrow's post.

Nothing Working on Saturday and Sunday

Saturday was grisly. I managed a 3rd in a $5/45 on Full Tilt for $11.25. I was crushed in all of my MTTs. I actually played in a couple of low buy-in PL O/8 MTTs and although I was doing well, I eventually hit a bad spate of cards where nothing worked.

Finished down $25.05 with a -81.6% ROI. I took too many shots in MTTs I wasn't rolled for after my sat win on Wednesday.

Sunday was a little better. At least on Full Tilt. I took 2nd in a $1/90 for $13.95. Meanwhile at Stars, I lost my $1/90 KO, both $2/90s and bombed after 9 rebuys in a Daily Nightly Grand satellite. I had tables full of bad players, but could never get a stack going. The salt in the wound was getting AA stuffed by some guy who fell in love with unimproved JTo on the flop of 843. He like his overcards because he must have felt my preflop raise and flop shove meant his two overs with a backdoor straight was money.

Daily results: -$4.05 with a -22.50% ROI.

25 November 2010

Thanksgiving: Before and After

I had a decent enough run today before going for Thanksgiving over at my older sister's house. Two Stars $1/90 KOs, a Full Tilt $1/90 and a $5/45 for the before dinner session.

I managed a pair of bounties and a 10th place finish at Stars which saddled me with a 10 cent loss. The day was saved when I min-cashed the 45 on Full Tilt for a $5.75 profit. Overall I was up $3.55 on the day.

Had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family. Good food [well the stuffing was a bit sub par], but got fed, watched Dallas lose [wheeeeeeee!] and good pumpkin pie.

Came home and loaded up a $2.20 $5K Guarantee on Stars as well as a $2 MTT and $3 KO MTT on Full Tilt. I started statting-up players in all three through OPR. I mean what the hell. After 5K MTTs, you're running at -42% ROI? Not one but the majority of the players. The indignity was getting it all in good to these bozos and getting sucked out on. I had one guy running a -96% ROI through 121 MTTs. He was good for a suckout on another player before calling my AQo push with his T9s. I flopped out an AQ and he ran diamonds to bust me. 44 down to A9 after I knew he was pushing light. 55 went down to JT that flopped AKQ.

If this is the caliber of player at 8PM PST, I may need to switch up my schedule a bit and plan for some night action. I would say 70% of the players at both sites who were at my tables were of the -40% ROI with 3K MTTs in OPR. It's was the Meeting of the Muttonheads.

Anyway, despite the decent before session, I finished bombing with -$3.15 for a daily -18.42% ROI. Meh. At least the turkey was good.

24 November 2010

The Stars Daily Ninety Grand [DNG] Satellite

A few years ago I played this satellite a few times a week for a few months. This is an awesome satellite with a great risk/reward scenario.

It goes off daily at 2:00PM EST and it's a $1.10 rebuy. Stars adds 5 seats, so right off the bat, no matter what happens there is a $275 overlay. An average satellite will post 25 or so seats. Winning a seat is worth the $55 buy-in, redeemable, of course, for T$. You can find it under Tourney > Satellite > All, but it is easier found under Tourney > VIP > BronzeStar. The field is usually very bad.

I played and won a seat today for the sole purpose of taking the T$. There was no way, with tomorrow being Thanksgiving, that I could play the DNG. I also think it would be too high of a shot for my Stars bankroll and the T$55 would finance a lot of multi-SnGs over the coming weeks.

In all, I played this satellite, four $1/90 Stars KOs, a $1/45 on Stars, three $1/90s, one $2/180 and a $1/45 on Full Tilt. Oh the beats started early and often. I lost some flips one as AK vs JJ, another as QQ vs AK. I had AA go down to a real drooler who wouldn't fold QJo on a JK4 flop. Sheer ugliness. Final $1/90 KO saw me on the final table with three bounties before going out 6th. I still can't win one of these. I went out in the Stars $1/45 also. Horrible results at FTP through the $1/90s and $2/180, but I redeemed those losses with a 3rd in the $1/45 for a total of +$0.55.

Overall, however, with the satellite win, I won $51.12 for a whopping +308.88% ROI. A good day.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

23 November 2010

Single Tables Show a Profit

Decided yesterday to do some single table. Played standard and DoNs today. Felt like doing two SnGs at each of 11 sites, but only did 10 sites because Poker4Ever simply has no full ring SnG traffic ever.

AP - Found $0.48 there. And yes, AP keeps telling me it's there in emails. Played a pair of $0.12 SnGs. 5th in each. This isn't poker. :)
Bodog - I really like their "Beginner" SnGs. They are much like DoNs in that half the field gets paid, but they pay out 30-25-20-15-10% for 1st through 5th. Obviously 5th will get buy-in minus fee back. I get a 2nd and 3rd in a pair of $4.40s for a profit of $9.20.
Lock Poker - Played a pair of $2 DoNs and split the pair, losing $0.32.
Cake - Sees me playing a $2 DoN and $1 Standard. I bomb the DoN and place 3rd in the standard, losing $1.40 in the process.
PDC Poker - A $5 standard and $5 DoN sees me ousted in 7th in the standard and bubble the DoN. Boy this one really set me on end. The table walked a shortstack who had less than a BB twice and I get AQ in my BB [I was short but with 5 BBs]. Get called in two places, once by A9 and another by KQ. 9 on flop kills me. Uggh. Lost $10.90.
Full Tilt - Rocking and rolling. Two $5 standards and I finish runner up twice, but good for a $16 profit. This will be the theme for the day. No better than 2nd.
Poker Host - I play a $5 DoN and $5 standard. Out 7th in the standard but hitting the double up for a slight loss of $0.90.
PokerStars - Two standard $1 SnGs and I manage a 6th and 2nd for a slight $0.30 profit. Not happy. I had eventual winner on the ropes despite him starting with a 3:1 chip lead and he wriggled free on two occasions.
Sportsbook - I only have about $14 here so I played a pair of $1 DoNs and managed to split the pair for a slight loss of $0.16.
UB - The end of the day for me. Playing a pair of $0.60 standards, I manage a 5th and 2nd. I started pretty even, took a lead, lost lead when he hit running diamonds for a flush. A few hands later, I get coolered and get it all in on the flop of A59 with A5. He has A9. Zoinks. A whopping $0.15 profit here.

I got HU five times and couldn't seal the deal. It's like every time I had high, flop came low and vice versa. Or coolered. I know I kept the pressure up, but just couldn't get on the high end of the HU battles. I think I have a big advantage here as many players at this level are so passive that I can take advantage of their passivity. I run into problems, however, when they get any piece of the flop. I simply have to get a bigger piece because they don't lay much down unless the board is really scary.

$11.97 profit good for a +21.73 ROI. Thank goodness I ran well at Full Tilt and Bodog.

22 November 2010

Sunday was a great day!

Didn't play any poker. :) Monday was more of the same as last week. Just not clicking. Played:

$1/90 KO and $3/27 on Stars
$1/90, $2/180 and $2/27 on Full Tilt

Together I managed a whopping two bounties in the KO for $0.50. That was the total sum of my profit. I had KTo lose to 92o in the KO and busted 13th, with 12 paid. Ran TT into JJ and AA in the Stars $3/27 to bustin 12th. Busted 99 into QQ in the Full Tilt $2/180 to finish 19th, with 18 paid. Busted the Full Tilt $2/27 when I made a move from the button with A9o and ran into AJ. I had my share of bad breaks, but sometimes when you run into bigger hands, there is nothing that could have been done. I just wish they wouldn't all bunch up together.

So -$9.90 with -95.19% ROI.

I may play cash tomorrow or single table SnGs and Double or Nothings. Something to do a little shake up.

21 November 2010

Saturday's Still Suck

Jiminy, I need to stop playing on Saturday. I think it's the one day when bad players all come together to play on my tables. Oh, sure, we want bad players, but I think there is a threshold where x-number of bad players make poker -EV for even the best players. Think about it this way. If you are constantly raising and getting 3-4 callers, even your best hands are going to get beat regularly. Say you raise from UtG with AcAs and get 4-callers. Not a bad situation. So the flop comes AhKd3d. Great. You've flopped top set, so you make a 1/2 to pot sized bet. Two of the 4 callers fold. 5h comes on the turn. Big Blind bets out. How comfortable do you feel? You raise or call and other guy calls also. Td on the turn. 3-way all-in and your AA just lost to 42 off, which in turn just lost to 8d4d. Happens way too often. And twice on Saturdays. Bleh.

Played 8 SnGs and two MTTs on Saturday. Made no KOs, missed the money horribly in all of the SnGs. Did manage to finish 52nd out of 613 in a $1.10 Deepstack $400 guarantee on UB. For $1.90. I got bad beat. No way around it. I had ATo in the BB. Folds to button who limps, while small blind completed. Button was new to the table, while small blind was a drooling donkey who never played a hand he wanted to raise with [Well it felt this way since his preflop raise percentage through 125 hands was 0%]. I thought about raising, but with an unknown button decided to see the cheap flop. I had 30K [about 16BBs], the others had me covered. Flop comes KQJ rainbow. Beauty. SB bets out, I raise, button folds, SB pushes I call. He has QJ. He nailed his four-outer on the river. Of course he did. It's Saturday.

Lost $29.60. ROI staggering -93.97%

I need to stop playing Saturdays. Or, more honestly, play back down to my roll and stop with the $4/180s and the FTP $8.80 180-max MTTs until I'm rolled for them. I also might need to step away for a few days. Not that I'm playing bad, but my frame of mind is getting affected by the losses recently.

At least I won't be playing today. It's my turn to be the Dorkmaster in my D&D game. Boy I sure hope I don't take it out on my friend's characters....mwuhahahahahahhahaha

19 November 2010

Righting the Ship A Bit

Had a pretty decent day. Played the following:

Two $4/180s and a $1/90 KO on Stars
$2/180, $1/90 and $8.80 [180 max] MTT on Full Tilt

Entered IRC to chat with some friends and realized that Tall Paul and I were sharing the same $4/180 so asked for a swap. This is usually 10% stake in one another payable if you make the money. He agreed. We were both rolling well and he was the chipleader while I was struggling to find anything playable especially considering my table was hellishly aggressive meaning I really had to have a hand to play. I got forced into pushing a few times and got lucky. When we got down to 10 players I really thought we were actually going to hit the final table together. Not to be. I pushed 88 thing I was going to get another bubble steal when a rock woke up with AK. Flop of QJx gave him 10 outs and he buried the gutshot broadway on the river. Tall Paul still had a good stack on the final table but ended it against the only player with more chips when his QQ failed to improve against the chip leader's KK. The swap made me an extra $1.66.

I failed in the $8.80 and $2/180 on Full Tilt, but managed to finish 5th in the $1/90. Bust hand made me a little irritated though. I had A4s in the BB and an aggressive button raised 3x. I flatted him and saw an all-heart flop of A49. I checked to him and he made about a half pot-bet. I shoved over the top and he snap called with ATo, no hearts. He got there on the river. It's irritating that he didn't think one bit. Just his cards. I'm hoping to see him with regularity.

At Stars the other $4/180 saw me bust about an hour and a half in. AJ < AT. Another 3-outer. The KO was a different matter. Once again, only one bounty throughout the whole SnG. Can someone explain to me how I manage to get 3-handed in a 90 KO with only one bounty? My only explanation is that I'm patient. In other words, if I don't double quickly, I don't have the chips at hand to start busting people. I tend to build my stack up slowly and double here and there vs players who have more chips. I did finish 3rd. I started three handed with more than a 3:1 disadvantage vs the other two, but I erased it at one point and was 2nd within about 10K chips of 1st. AT fell to KJs and I slowly busted out. I did go out with the best hand, but that was irrelevant considering my chipstack.

I posted a +$5.44 session. ROI +24.34%. I know posting daily ROIs is meaningless of such small sample sizes, but it's just what I like to include.

18 November 2010

WTF? Really?

Had a decent day. The night was off-the-charts BS through and through.

Crushed on Stars in one $1 90-man KO and two $2 90-man SnGs. In the KO, I witnessed a player who called two all-ins with K4o bust AA and KQ. This same donkey crushed my AQ with Q6 and finally stripped the rest of my chips with Q4 on a 742 flop. I had 77.

At Full Tilt, things were much better. I'll let the italics sit there. I did make the money in both of my $1 90-mans, but failed in the $2/180. 12th place and 2nd. I was up for the day.

Decided to play some 27-man SnGs at Full Tilt while watching television with the wife. Six $1 and four $2. Bombed each and every one of them, most in spectacular fashion. 8-15 out draws, all whiffed. Big pairs crushed by absolute rubbish. Lost to gutshots, 2-outers, 3-outers, runner runner flushes. Ran stuff like AK into AA. I mean every draw that would give me a great chip stack, missed. Every time an opponent needed a 3 outer, it came.

The problem I have is this. I NEVER run as well as my opponents did today. They do it all too consistently.

-$10.52 in losses. ROI for the day: -39.77%.

17 November 2010

Bad Beats and Better Hands

Well I'm officially in a dreaded downturn. No excuses today other than some bad beats and some sick coolers or simply running into better hands when you least expect it.

A few of the same bugaboos that have pulverized me at the wrong time. 34th place finish in a Stars $1 90-man KO when QQ went all-in pre vs 88 and flopped an 8. Would have had a good stack for the end game going on a passive table. Another AA falls to 22. What he's doing in the pot is beyond me. A push with KK called by QQ and 66 loses to the 66's big stack. I'm really dumbfounded by this one. I had 12 BBs in the CO. EP player limps as does MP, so I push. Button wakes up with QQ and pushes [he had slightly less ~10.5 BBs]. BB with 66 calls these two pushes for 3/4 his stack. Unreal.

Had another hand that really blew my mind. I get QQ on the button and it folds to me. I have about 16-18BB and raise about 2.7BBs. SB flats me, but the super loose [62/27] BB raises. I push, SB pushes, BB pushes. Never had a chance. SB had KK and BB had AA. Now that's sickness!

On and on it went. Had a 13th place finish in another $1 Stars 90-man KO. Never close on anything on Full Tilt.

Finished in the money in 11th plus 3.5 Bounties for a small profit on the last SnG of the day. I can't complain too vociferously. I got it in good a majority of the time, and in a few cases behind where the play was right. I can't fault my play. I was much more focused than yesterday. Just one of those things. I'm hoping it's short-lived and my good play holds up over the next couple of days. If I continue to run poorly it could be a long weekend.

-$17.47 for the day. Makes for -83.99% ROI. Yuck.

Full Tilt's ROI has dropped to 90% and Stars 2.5%. Overall still running at 38%. Let's hope I can improve it.

16 November 2010

CIV 5 and Poker Don't Mix

Got a quick start this morning and played a Stars $1 90-man KO, a $1 90-man on FTP as well as the 13:45PM EST $2 Cashout on FTP. Never got anything going on either SnG, but did manage 27th in the cashout for $3,88. LMAO. I could have finished for more money if I cashed out my 7500 chips after reaching final 45. Woulda been around $7.50. :) No worries, I cashed.

Had a conversation a few days ago with friends who are playing CIV 5. With my latest spate of poker, I've pretty much shelved CIV5 for the time being simply because it sucks up a lot of resources and if I play it, I can't do anything else. Not so! During one of the breaks I found out through Google that there is a toggle in-game to switch from fullscreen to a window. Since I have two monitors, I set up the resolution to fit the second, somewhat smaller monitor. Away we go.

I played CIV5 for about 3 hours while I loaded up my Holdem Manager, and my usual run of four Stars/FTP 90 and 180s. Well I bombed in all four but did come close in the $2 90 finishing 14th [12 pay] after A9 lost to QT on the river.

I never built a stack in any which is extremely uncommon when I open four together. I actually timed out on QQ early in one which made me very upset as I was in the middle of decimating a Barbarian tribe with my Japanese pikemen. It saved me from busting early as flop came KJJ and one player had AK while the other had AJ. Bleh.

Needless to say, a game like CIV5 is way too distracting to have open and play while trying to play poker. So I'll save a bit of time each day for CIV5. Maybe play a session of SnGs, break for lunch and play some CIV5, then back to another SnG session.

Lost $7.52. That's -64.55% ROI for the six SnGs and the Cashout MTT.

On the plus side, my Japanese Empire has its own continent that it shares with the City-state of Florence. And they love me. :)

15 November 2010

Need a Breakthrough

Loaded up my regular mix:

$1 90-man and $2 180 on Full Tilt
$1 90-man KO and $2 90-man on Stars

Bombed Stars right away, so what do you do when that happens? Tilt and load up a pair of $4/180s. :)

Full Tilt finished first when I managed 12th in each for a $4.03 profit.

180s were horrible. Couldn't catch cards and when I did have something playable in position, the inevitable raise ahead froze me out. I think I went out 59th in the first one with AT losing to QJs.

Second one, I caught a few hands when forced to push light. Then I went on a torrent. AA held versus JJ. KK held versus ATs that flopped a flushdraw. Before I knew it I was on the final table with 50K and 2/9.

I was getting few hands again when I was dealt AA after dropping to third with one person busted. MP2 opens for a min-raise of 3200 and I come over the top for 8K. He pushes, I call. He shows QQ. Flop Q high leaving me with less than a BB.

I mean c'mon Stars? Really? Twice in four days I get beaten by a smaller pair when a huge stack or the chiplead is on the line?

Don't know how I am going to break through and start moving up the buy-ins if every time I get into a situation to take a significant step in that direction I get slapped around.

Edit: Added a $5 DoN and $5 SnG at PDC Poker to the mix. Made money in the DoN and 3rd in the standard $5, bringing my total profit to $19.45 and a 72.98% ROI for the day. Despite the horrid finish in the $4/180, the day was a success.

14 November 2010

Sunday donks and slight profits

Played two $1 KOs [90-man] on Stars as well as a $2 90. Also played two $2 180s, a $1 90-man deepstack and the Daily Dollar rebuy on Full Tilt. Bombed the Daily Dollar. KK ran into AA and that was it.

Close calls on the first KO and the $2 90 on Stars saw me out 14th and 20th, respectively. Top 12 pay. In the 2nd KO, I managed 10th with 1.5 KOs. Sigh got QQ all-in versus table donk who had AJ. He flopped a J then rivered another. I am getting tired of this. Winning that puts me in a good position to get on teh final table.

On Full Tilt I managed to go out poorly on the $1 deepstack and the first 180. In the second 180, I get on the final table in 3rd. Two quick bust outs in the first orbit. I then turn a flush three handed and get all-in with a short stack who had the Ace of the suit and rivered the nut flush. Uggh. This makes me the shortstack. A few orbits later I get AK and push. Chip leader flats my call, but player who hit the flush on me earlier pushes over the top. Chip leader folds and opponent shows AQ. Very nice, thanks for isolating. But not only does he isolate, he gets rewarded for his donk move with a Q on the flop.

I'm simply getting donked right now. Finished with a profit. Unsure if I'll play more before turning in tonight. As is, I'm up $2.47. ROI for the day +18.16.....coulda been much better.

13 November 2010

Saturdays Suck

So far, through five 90s and a 180 I've managed a 16th and 14th as well as one bounty in the two KOs. Down about 1/3 of my total buy-ins. Of course, these are $1 and $2 SnGs, so par for the course. Theme so far today is running decent hands into donkeys who are calling my pushes with the top percentage of their call ranges. Like pushing AJs and them waking up with QQ. Of course, there is the omnipresence of me pushing AT and that loose 50/25 player UtG who limped calling me with QQ. The final straw was in the $2 180 at Full Tilt. I have 9 BBs in the BB with KK and loose aggro player on button pushes his 40BB stack with A2o. Flop comes 34J, 2 turn......

Second and final set of the day. Played four $1 45-man SnGs. Two Stars and two Full Tilt. First of each went awry quickly. AJ < AK then an all-in of A6s running into AK on Stars. Pocket Js went down to AT on Tilt. Second batch was better. I nailed big hands on both sites. AA on each as well as KK and JJ. Ended up on final tables. Got in the money on both. Overall a mere $0.80 profit on second set.

Down a whopping $0.18. I can live with that. If that is a down day for me, so be it. Slowly grinding. All about volume.

Damn Cal came close to knocking off Oregon.

12 November 2010

I'm Back!

I was going to wait until the new year to start blogging again, but decided not to wait. I wanted to do something different because I never know when to cash out, add to my bankroll or really when to move up [or down] in my play.

I typed a few short words into Google and found Jennifear's article on "SNG/MTT BR Management and Cashout Strategy"

I really like this article. In the article, she explains how the system works and why the system works. Certainly, the system is two years old, but is one of those posts that will be relevant for years to come. Since it is extremely difficult for me to move funds [American - guilty], I have set up each of the ten sites on individual bankrolls. I've also set up a spreadsheet to track my progress in SnGs, MTTs and NL cash games. Although her article doesn't cover cash games, I've decided that I'll play each site on 25BIs each in NL. I'll move up when I have 25 BIs at the next level [or down if I drop 5 BIs]. I've also decided to add 25% to the cashout pool when I get to 150% of the next level. This'll still allow me to playthat level [with a bit of a cushion], but get me to cash some out also.

I started this project on September 24th and have concentrated mostly on SnGs, with the bulk of these in the 90 and 180-person types. I've played some MTTs, but not many. I've also played some cash. In the end, however, I'm finding I'm really enjoying the $1 and $2 90-180s.

So far, through today, here is how I am running across the sites:

In SnGs, I'm running a combined +46.96% ROI through 222 of them. The predominant mix is 90s and 180s with representation in STTs, 18s, 27s and 45s. Heck I've played some DoNs as well and one All-in or Fold that I accidentally regged in. Yeah, that was fun. Pushed QQ and lost to A4o. Most of my SnGs are through Full Tilt and PokerStars. I'm at +112.88% ROI at Full Tilt and +7.58% ROI at PokerStars.

In MTTs, I'm running at -58.72% ROI through 36 contests. I'm finding $1 and $2 MTTs to be a grind. I finished one $2 deepstack at Full Tilt in 21st place out of 702 runners and won $5.65. It's gonna take a while to punch through to the real money and right this start.

IN NL Cash. I'm running decently enough:

NL2: +21.05 ptBB/100
NL4: +7.32 ptBB/100
NL5: -9.11 ptBB/100
NL10: +8.07 ptBB/100

Since I am playing roughly every day, I've decided I'll be posting my progress here in the blog so any of you can follow along.


12 May 2010

2 for 3 in the miniFTOPS

I've had some success this time around in the miniFTOPS. Started off a bit shaky with an exit in hour three of Event #1. I felt a bit dejected because I was playing pretty well and a $22 buy-in coupled with the bad week I had leading up to it was eating into my Full Tilt bankroll.

Things turned around in Event #5, the $10+$1 rebuy. I manage to get through the first hour with a minimal buy-in of $31 and have a stack of around 15K. Once again I play well and do actually get lucky in a hand when I push AQ and run into QQ. I river an ace and build my stack. I lasted into the 6th hour losing KK to AQ when he lands running Qs to cripple my stack. I get A8o all-in a few hands later and exit 366th. I made $124 quadrupling my buy-in.

The next day, Sunday, I decided to play the $33 Event #9, which is the big Sunday miniFTOPS event and had 14396 runners. I play well again, managing to make timely folds when I just didn't feel right about certain hands in multi-way pots and more times than not my uneasiness was justified. With 52K in chips, a loose player raises in front of me and I have TT. I've seen him raise like this a few times and figure he's just making a move to gain chips, so I push in. Unfortunately, the BB wakes up and calls me. As does the Early Position player. BB has QQ and original raiser has KK. Flop comes 988 with a turn of 7, so I'm praying for a T, J or 6, but none come. I finish 674th for $114, another money finish.

I keep seeing those $75K+ first place prizes, but I can't even get to the Final Table.

I'll be writing a series of articles and posting them here as well as at ITH and IPR. There focus will be about micro and low buy-in tournaments with guarantees and the opportunities they provide you.

28 April 2010

World Series of Poker Satellites

I've never played in the World Series of Poker. I've always wanted to but for one $10,000 is a lot to part with, especially someone like myself with a modicum of talent and no real live tournament experience. Certainly there are a lot of satellites out there, but therein lies another problem....I've never been a good satellite player. In fact I could imagine myself squandering a ton of money and still never quite getting there.

However, Internettexasholdem.com asked me to put together an article showing the different satellites offered to the WSOP Main Event. I decided on 8 sites and put together some graphs [seen below] with what I believe are the best satellite opportunities online. Click on the pictures and see what I mean.


Full Tilt

Party Poker

Bodog Poker

bwin Poker

Cake Poker

Everest Poker

Carbon Poker

Good Luck on your journey.

21 April 2010

Bubble, bubble, Toil and Trouble....

Call me bubble boy. Call me Mr. Almost.

It's been a tough road these past few weeks. I've had a lot of money bubbles and Final Table bubbles lately. Certainly, I seem to have cashed some, but the bubbles have been stacking up:
  • Four 6th place finishes in $2 and $3 27-person SnGs
  • One 19th and one 20th places finish in Stars $4/180s
  • 10th in a $2 Rebuy on Full Tilt with 480 runners
  • 14th in the Full Tilt Daily Dollar Rebuy with 4200 runners
Despite not being able to get over the hump [and not being able to close out my multi-table SnGs with a win], I've managed to make a small profit these past two weeks.

Just need to remain focused and eventually, I'll push through.

Good luck at the tables!

02 April 2010

Sporadic Play while on the Road

Visiting in-laws and family tends to detract from adequate poker playing time altogether. I like spending time with my relatives and let's face it, as I age, so do they, so the more time the better. Old stories that I remember, new stories they remember.

I've seen a ton of movies though. A lot of stuff I wouldn't pick out myself, but some that is agreeable. Some that stand out:
  • All Hat with Keith Carradine
  • Storm of the Century by Stephen King
  • Zombieland with Woody Harrelson
Poker has been relegated to a few Daily Dollar rebuys on Full Tilt [one of which I ended prematurely with a hefty stack because I was getting very sick], a few PL O/8 MTTs on Stars and a cash game run of NL5 on FTP. Nothing substantial. Still miffed about getting sick when running well. :(

24 March 2010

Poker on the Road

I like to visit my mother-in-law. She lives in a small town of 40 some people called Helmer along Idaho State Highway 8. Three miles to the west is Deary with a population of around 300. But anything resembling a chain store is simply non-existent. Certainly Helmer has a very fine cafe with, and I'm going to sound bias here, the best damned hamburgers anywhere. My mother-in-law owns the place and I tend to gain about 5 pounds of blubber every week I'm there. Moscow or Lewiston are roughly 30 and 45 minutes away, respectively. Certainly these cities have "modern conveniences" and chain outlets, but there is something to small town life that is so appealing and comforting....as long as I can get into my non-smalltown comfort zone.

You see, I like playing poker. But in Idaho? I can go to an Indian Casino, but for some reason they don't spread poker. Oh, they'll do slots and weird table games [plus a few automated blackjack tables], but no poker with the exception of "for fun" games. So the internet is my life-line when up here to real for money poker.

The problem had always been, however, the geographic location of my mother-in-laws town and home. Nestled between two hills with satellite towers, Helmer was excluded from both as neither tower has line of sight to Helmer and neither overlap Helmer. For the longest time, the populace of Helmer were truly stuck in the early 20th century. They'd manage the big 3 stations on television as well a few locals that would penetrate due to the modern convenience of rabbit ears. Internet was even more archaic up to about 2006. I was literally stuck with 14.4 connection over-the-telephone connecting speeds. Yeah. Not a single one of my poker sites would run on my laptop because of the constant speed interruptions. I'd had enough. In 2006 my wife and I convinced my mother-in-law to get DirectTV to come in and set up a node in Helmer. The people were ecstatic. The cafe is now the local internet hotspot. The townsfolk all have access to the service.

More importantly....I have access to high-speed internet. In fact I'm updating my blog from here now. I get poker in every day I want while here. Indeed, I can do my work at InternetTexasHoldem.com from here and I have been. Life is good here in Helmer.

Now, if I could only figure out a small-town solution to the badbeats I've been suffering....

08 March 2010

Staying Patient

Well, I wasn't exactly patient, but it paid off. So I had time Saturday to play some MTTs and SnGs. There is a real dearth for good low buy-in MTTs at Cake Poker, so rather playing above my comfort level [or playing a satellite for a Sunday MTT I couldn't play], I decided on sprinkling in some 30-person SnGs from Cake with the MTTs I played.

I decided on a Deepstack $2 and $2 rebuy on Full Tilt. I added an $8 Stars $5,000 Guarantee and $4 Stars $2,000 Guarantee. Finally, I loaded up a $1 Cake 30-person and settled into playing some poker. All I managed from this first burst of energy was a 73rd in the Deepstack for a $3.84 prize. Way behind. I managed two final tables in Cake $1 30-person SnGs, but that didn't pay as 8th and 10th is out of the money. This made me sick to my stomache. I hit the final table at 2/10 and 1/10 only to suffer some bad beats. I had loaded up a $6 Bounty 30-person SnG on Cake right after I busted the deepstack MTT on Full Tilt, finishing 13/30 with nary a bounty.

This is where I decided to chase my losses. I loaded up my final stab at winning by loading another $6 Bounty 30-person SnG on Cake. Nothing was going right. I don't know why, but I don't seem to collect bounties in KO MTTs. I managed, finally, to catch a shorter stack, and get a bounty, but I figured that was it, I'd lose $3.60. A combination of poor hands and aggressive opponents kept me from being able to make a move while I still had FE. The other telling blow was losing a pot to a shorter stack. Anyway, I was down to about 3 BB when I pushed K2, getting called in two places and managing to triple. I started rolling it up a bit and managed getting to the final table with a bit more than 22K which set me up with 11 BBs. I started getting dealt a few hands, but the key hand was flopping the nut flush versus a K-high flush. When we got 4-handed, I started pushing almost everything. I was so short with basically 5 BBs for 3-4 orbits. I get all-in vs the two chipleaders and triple. Then I hit two back-to-back hands against the former chip leader and move into a commanding position over the final two. 2nd player knocks out 3rd setting up the final see-saw battle heads-up. He was really awful. I could raise him off most anything and he either limped or folded his SB. I finish winning the SnG for $36 and 4 bounties. Overall, I only made a bit over $8, but it was gratifying.

Monday I played some cash games. Once again, I am struggling with NL4 at Cake. I managed to lose $7.16 [almost two buy-ins!]. Oddly enough, however, I did well enough at Poker Host [now on the Merge Network with Carbon Poker/PDC Poker]. I finished up $11.48 at a NL10 cash table. Overall win. Just wish I could figure out Cake.

06 March 2010

NL Cash Games

I've been running in opposite direction with Cake Poker and PokerStars. It's starting to even out. Early in the year when I switched from Fixed Limit to No Limit, I was doing quite well at Cake in NL4. I was, however, getting beaten up on a daily basis in my NL5 games at PokerStars. Of course, it's simply too small a sample size to draw any real conclusions.

I got tagged with a big 3 buy-in loss at Stars in early February which was the reason for my hideous ptBB/100, but Wednesday and Thursday say me bring my ptBB/100 to -0.59, which is a far cry from where it was.

On the Cake side of things, I had a big positive ptBB/100 with a nice 2 buy-in win in late January. A couple of average days and my ptBB/100 was running well. I'm settling into an average which has brought the curve down to a respectable 2.44 ptBB/100, but I'm not happy with this. If I can't utterly flog my competition at NL4, I'm going to have a very long process earning my bankroll up to higher NL levels.

As I stand now, I'll need to win another 10 buy-ins at NL5 at PokerStars to move up to the next level, which is NL10. If I do well enough in my tournaments and SnGs this week, I could be playing there next week. Of course, if I don poorly, it'll set me back. I've got a long way to go at Cake Poker, however, so I'm not in a hurry there.

Other than PokerStars, Full Tilt and Poker Host [Cake Poker Network] are nearing a bump up in levels.

02 March 2010

Close but no cigar

Fresh off of Sunday's success I managed to get some 180s and 90s played before bedtime. Don't know if I was just running bad or going for the chip accumulation and push to the final tables, but in 2 of the 180s I finished 19th. Call me bubble boy. I also managed a 20th in a 90. Overall loss of just over $25. I think I played well enough. Did have a hand in one of them that really blew my mind. I had AA and raised from UtG. Folded to some novice [literally, this was the 2nd MTT/SnG he played on the site] and he flats me. Flop comes KJ2, two diamonds. He checks and I C-bet to just a bit over pot. He pushes. This really has me wondering, but he's showing 80/26/Inf for stats after 54 hands. I call. He has J8o. You know how this story goes. Running diamonds and I'm history.Certainly he still has non-running-diamond outs, but c'mon now. Does it really have to get this stupid?

01 March 2010

SnGs and MTTs

Friday, February 26th - Multi-table SnGs. I played two $2 90-person SnGs and a 27-person SnG at PokerStars. I also played two $1 90-person SnGs at Full Tilt and a 30-person SnG at Cake. Didn't do well overall. Busted the bubble of one of the Full Tilt SnGs. I did manage a final table appearance at a 90-person PokerStars SnG, but finished in 9th when I ran QQ into AK and lost the flip. Overall lost $5.40 for my trouble.

Sunday, February 28th. Ah MTTs. Haven't played many lately. Last time I played was on 7th of February and I didn't do very well. What a difference a few weeks make. I managed a 6th place finish in a Full Tilt 180-person scheduled tournament for $79.20. I also managed a 179th place finish on PokerStars' $7,500 Guarantee, which was a bit more than $10. Finally, I decided to play a bit more poker after dinner and landed a 17th place finish in a 8-Max, $2,000 Guarantee tournament. I was so dead in this tournament at one point. I had roughly 25K in chips when I pushed with QQ and was called by AKo by a slightly shorter stack. He managed to outflip me and there I was saddled with 3500 chips and blinds of 800/1600 fast approaching. I doubled when K8 beat AK. Before I knew it I was up to around 100K at one time. Card dead in abundance, aggressive opponents led me down to around 10BBs. I get all-in on a J high flop with AJ versus QJ, but he hits a 3-out Q to knock me out. Easily could have made another final table without that beat there. Overall, I profited by $81.21, so I'm happy overall. Let's hope the next time I play some MTTs that I can hit some more final tables and actually win one.

25 February 2010

Single Table Woes

I ran bad on Tuesday in single table SnGs. Managed a 3rd on a Bodog Beginner which paid $4.00, but didn't cover both Bodog buy-ins. A PDC Poker $2 ended in a 7th place finish. Added to that was a final table appearance on a 3-table Stars $3. I finished 8th, a few spots from the money.

Wednesday was much better. I managed to load up a Full Tilt $1 90-person and a $2 90-person on PokerStars. The Full Tilt tournament SnG ended very badly. I had a good size stack at about 14K versus 200/400 blinds when a loose guy in the cutoff decided to push all-in with his ~6700 chips. I was dealt KK on the button and there was a rather loose player in the small blind. I figured if I just call, he's coming along and I don't want a raggy ace in with me. So I push all-in to isolate. SB snap calls and yup, he has AA. That's been happening a lot lately. But nothing I can do. In any case I'm probably seeing all my chips gone no matter how it gets played preflop.

So I concentrate on my sole 90-person SnG at PokerStars. I run very well in this. I get KK beat by Q3 at one point and am left with 370 chips far from the money. I push my next hand K8o and manage to double up on AK. Next hand I get AK and double again versus JJ. In fact, between my aggression and picking my spots I get to the final table in 6th position. I start raising, pushing and beating up the table. A few times I knock people out, a few times short stacks get my number. In the end I go out 4th for a decent profit. I get KdJd in the SB. The BB is a bit of a weird player. He's aggressive int he wrong spots, passive in the wrong spots and generally hard to read. After two folds, I limp, which is about as horrible a play as I can make here. I really should have raised. He raises 3x and I flat the raise, another mistake. Flop comes 643 with two diamonds. I push. He snap calls with Ac3c. Now, I think this is a horrible call by him, but he made it and I didn't manage to pick up any of my 15 outs. Not that this isn't the normal outcome anytime I have a strong draw....I suck at draws for some strange reason. I just shook my head atthe call, but what can you do?

19 February 2010

Another Set of 6 Bodog Beginner SnGs

Still playing the $2+$0.20 Beginner Bodog SnGs. Started off pretty horribly. I quickly ran decent hands into better hands after getting initial reads off players, One such was a player who called a 5xBB bet preflop from another player with 75o. He doubled when he flopped two pair vs JJ. I ran AQs into his AK. I know, I know. Never go broke with AQ. Sigh.

Another poor choice and another SnG down. I loaded up another pair bringing me up to my 6.

Meanwhile 2 of my originals went pretty well. The first saw me lose raising AKs first in while 6 handed. Shorter stack pushes on me [I have him covered by 380 chips]. I snap call and he shows J8o. Flop comes Q75, 2 on turn, 8 on river. Smacked. I push next hand with K4o. I get called by A8. This time I double. A few hands later I get all-in with QJs and triple. Managed to salvage a bad situation. Long story short, I end up 3 handed. Chipleader has a massive stack. He's pushing every hand, but I'm sitting on a stack of 2200 chips with 200BB, so I have 11 BBs. The 3rd player gets impatient and calls with Q8o. Chipleader has AQ and stacks him. He continues to bully me. I pick up A8s and limp [complete]. He pushes I call, he shows A4 and I double. He has about 10K to my 5K. I lay in wait again and wait for him to push. This time I'm on KQo and he pushes Q4. I double again. He now slows down and I win a few small pots by 3-betting his completions. I get AKs and complete, He decides to push and I call. He shows J8o. Rivers a J to double. Uggh. I go down a few hands later when my A5s goes down to his A3o. 2nd.

The other original table sees me dominate from start to finish. I knock a player out on hand 3 and never look back. Certainly get challenged a few times, but overall, this table is easily manipulated and I cruise into the top finish.

My two added SnGs go horribly awry. I bust KK into AA in one and finish 10th. The other I manage to get nothing going. Flop top pair with KQ on K84 flop and villain has 84. Did manage to save my stack. Later I lose to same villain when I flop a set of 3s. He flops a set of 7s.

Overall $11 profit, but $13.20 in buy-in/fees. Running ROI through 12 SnGs: -5.30%. Still real early for my SnG play this year. Let's see how it is at year's end.

18 February 2010

Bodog Poker's Beginner Sit and Gos

I like Sit and Gos [SnGs] because they allow for a lot of poker action in a large variety of situations. You get the early stages, the mid-stage where being good at bubble play is important and the late stage where, hopefully, you get heads-up with another opponent for the top prize. Certainly, SnGs don’t pay the top positions nearly as much as a real deep final table run in a multi-table tournament, but the added benefits of SnGs more than make up for the larger fields of MTTs. Good SnG players can make a good living at poker and most of the time with less variance than the typical tournament grinder.

An added benefit of a SnG is the field size and start times. Heads-up, 6-Max, fullring and anywhere from 1 to 20 tables are all available to the SnG player. The ultimate benefit, however, is the start times. You register, wait for the SnG to fill up with opponents and start play. There is no necessity to put the family on hold for that special 8PM tournament you like. You don’t have to worry if that late breakfast with your dad is going to make you late for that morning’s $100 rebuy. In the era of high-speed internet connections and rapid lifestyles, SnGs are the ultimate in plug-and-play poker.

This brings me to Bodog Poker’s “Beginner” Sit and Gos. When I first found their Beginner SnGs I initially thought that players would only have access to them for a limited amount of time after signing up for a new Bodog Poker account and depositing. This is not the case.

The name is a bit of a misnomer. They are listed as “Beginner” SnGs due to the very different prize structure. Rather than pay out to the top 3 spots as per traditional SnGs, the Beginner SnGs pay out the top 5 spots of players [10-person tables]. This is very user-friendly for players who are new to SnGs….and to good players who are looking for a little less variance. I know what you are thinking. Aren’t these basically just Double or Nothing SnGs where the top 5 players earn double their buy-in sans fee? On the surface, yes. The top half of finishers get prize money, while the bottom half do not. Where they vary is in the payouts.

In a Beginner single table Sit and Go, the prize pool is split 30%-25%-20%-15%-10% paying out 1st to 5th, respectively. Players get less variance, but at the small cost of less of the prizepool when they finish in the top two positions. The added benefit of the Beginner SnGs is consolation prize money when they hit 4th or 5th place.

So how do Beginner level SnGs compare to regular SnGs? If you were to play ten $2 SnGs of each type and finished in each of the 10 possible positions, both SnGs would garner you a return of $20. This would give you a Return of Investment [ROI] of -9.09% in each type of tournament. Keep in mind that even though you won as much in prizepool as you paid into it, you gain a net loss of $2 because that is how much you paid in fees to play. Now, let’s switch it up a bit. You play ten $2 regular SnGs and ten $2 Beginner SnGs. This time you win twice, finish 2nd and 3rd once each and finish 4th twice and 5th once in each. The other 3 times you finish somewhere between 6th and 10th. Here is what your results would look like:

You’d make an extra $1 in profit playing the regular SnGs under this example with an ROI of 36.36% compared to 31.82% for the Beginner SnGs. However, just finish one more time in 5th place and the ROI for the Beginner SnGs increases to 40.91%. These “bubble” finishes in regular SnGs won’t pay off like they will in the Beginner SnGs.

Like anything else, players need to find what they are comfortable with. I like both regular and Beginner SnGs. The key, however, is that Beginner SnGs are only available at Bodog Poker, so when I play there I like having the opportunity to play them.

Single table Beginner SnGs are available in the following buy-ins: $2+$0.20, $4+$0.40, $8+$0.80, $16+$1.60, $32+$3.

Beginner SnGs are also available in 2-Table $4+$0.40 and 3-Table $2+$0.20 variety, paying 8 and 10 places, respectively.

I played a set of 6 of the $2+$0.20. I managed to win $14, meaning a measly $0.80 profit. For having not played any SnGs in probably 2 or 3 months, I'm happy with the roughly 6% ROI. Let's see how I do in the future!