Monday, December 31, 2007

Quick 2007 Year in Review

I kind of don't feel like writing a big long year in review, so I'm going to do the cliffs notes version instead. I started the year with basically a $50K roll online not counting the money I won live over WSOP that I didn't want to touch, and a PCA seat. In 2006 I had pretty decent success at the bigger tournaments online and had started learning 3/6 and 5/10 NL cash games online with a lot of initial success. Enter 2007, here's a post I made from 2+2 in an end of year reflection thread with some grammar fixed and extra details added:

Man what a sick year I had.... I started the year playing most of the big online tournaments and having a lot of success learning cash games playing 3/6 and 5/10 NL on like a 50K roll. I continued to do well in those games and also started shortstacking 25/50 and killing it. I was running good and winning pretty big, and I also had a few 20-25K tournament scores. Then I began taking shots with timex shortstacking nosebleed cash games on Full Tilt. Initially we just crushed the games, but we eventually went on a big downswing and quit as the players were adjusting, but still finished up pretty huge overall. During this time I had also moved up to fullstacking 10/20 and 25/50 cash games when they were good and continued to run really hot. Next, the World Series came and I didn't do anything great despite having a bunch of cashes, but I won Super Tuesday online for $75K while I was there.

When I got home from WSOP I decided I just couldn't deal with grad school anymore and there was no way I could finish. I dropped out and grinded 25/50 on Cake back before all the 2+2ers invaded when the games were really soft. I immediately put in a +$200K month, and decided this going pro thing was pretty ok. Since then I've basically just been losing a lot, but I'm still so far ahead of where I ever thought I'd be on the year that it's hard to be too upset. My goals for 2008 include breaking out of 0/17 slump in 5K+ buy-in events, first 6-figure tournament score, win anything on a Sunday, get back to putting in more cash hands, and the usual trying to live a bit more healthily. Monetary goals are kind of foolish since all you can really control is how well you play and the variance is pretty big (especially playing so many big buy-in live events). Also, you never how good the online games will stay as time progresses, but that being said, I'd like to make a million this year.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Sunday: $100K bubbles and Aussie sats

This week's Sunday heartbreak comes from a new source! Pokerstars added a $5K 20-player winner-take-all tournament which I decided to give a shot. I'm an idiot and haven't fixed my laptop so I couldn't play Party Poker, and I couldn't deposit money onto some of the European sites I've started playing on either since I was in the US. That left a lot of open screen space early in the day when I'd usually play Eurodonkaments so this seemed to fit in the schedule pretty well. The field didn't look too bad, it was definitely pretty tough but there were some soft spots and most of the real top tier players weren't in it. I got off to a very slow start but as we closed in on the final 10 players I started making some hands and picking up a lot of chips. I won a couple huge pots against JCarver (taknapotin) when I flopped big hands. In the first he mistimed a big bluff and in the 2nd he ended up folding the river after putting in a fair number of chips against my flopped set.

Things were going well as we got to 4-handed play but I lost a key pot where I slowplayed QQ preflop just calling a reraise from TheCleaner, who would prove to be my nemesis. An A flopped, and when he checked the flop to me I knew I was in trouble. He bet the turn blank pretty strong and although I had expected him to bluff the flop with most hands I beat, I didn't really know his game that well and I decided folding such a strong hand for one barrel was too weak, and called. He decided to check the river so I got to see his AT. This hand really killed my momentum and I was shortstacked shortly thereafter as he was really attacking my blinds hard and I couldn't find much to defend with. I got lucky to suck out on the river with my KJ vs his KQ and then finally got action on a couple of my bigger hands against the other player (Rickiee I think?), winning AT vs A8 and AK vs A2 all-in preflop. I was still way behind heads up though and never got much going. I got as close as 35K to 65K but he played very well and I was probably a little unlucky also to not get much action when I had a hand. He ground me down and I ended up resorting to some really risky bluffs to try to hold my ground. In the end I moved in on one of his raises with KTs even though I felt he had switched gears and was not planning to fold to my push. I figured I wasn't in too bad shape against his range and I was so far behind and nothing was working that I'd rather just gamble to try to get some chips (of course my read could always be wrong also). He called with AQ and I outflopped him but he rivered an A for the win. Tough guy to run into HU, I'm told he's a very good Dutch midstakes HU cash player and he got the best of me. Anyways the exciting part of for me and all of you I guess is that the final table of this tournament will be replayed with hole cards of all players exposed, presumably some time during this week. So keep an eye out for that and we'll find out how badly I got owned or if he was just running good.

I had a few deep runs in some of the Sunday majors but no major cashes. I did however finally win a seat to the Aussie Millions main event. I've been playing the satellites on Full Tilt and Cake every Sunday for this and Stars finally started running some this week as well. I still run pretty ok in major satellites on Stars apparently as I won the seat on my first try. The play was really incredibly bad, it was kind of shocking. I'm used to playing against weak players who have won seats into these bigger buy-in satellites through small stakes subsatellites, but a lot of these guys were just on a whole different level of bad. Open shoving 10 times the pot with Q9o preflop in MP fairly late in the tournament bad (I obviously luckboxed into picking up KK to take the donation). So this saved my day more or less. Anyways I'm stranded in the airport for now, my flight is super late because of all the snow in Toronto. I thought it was only 5 hours late but it's actually going to be at least 7. Vegas was a lot of fun as always, but I think Australia is going to be even better.


Friday, December 14, 2007


Spent more time on the colour up to start the day than I actually played in the tournament. I folded a bit, moved in once, and was down to 7700 when the CO open shoved for 10K (still 400/800 a100). I called with AQo OTB and then the BB overcalled. CO had KQo, BB 99 and the nines held. Oh well I'm Vegas for the weekend, could be worse. I'll probably party a bit and play online. Home for Christmas soon!


12.3K for Day 2

Today was up and down, but overall pretty poor. I don't feel like running through all the hands again right now. My level by level chip count went 30K--->22K--->11K--->22K--->20K--->12K. I got dealt a ton of premium pairs but either got them beat or won small pots with them mostly, and I think every time I put chips in the pot preflop once the antes kicked in without a premium hand it got reraised behind me, it was really frustrating. I likely made several smallish mistakes throughout the day but avoided any outright blunders, so at least I still have some chips.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

"No, we're brother and sister"

I haven't played at all the last 3 days, my sister came down to visit me when she finished up with school for the term so I've just been hanging out with her. We saw a few shows, Wayne Brady on Monday night and KA by Cirque du Soleil on Tuesday. Wayne Brady was pretty good, if you're a fan of his you'd obviously like it, he did a lot of the usual stuff though, I wasn't overly impressed but it was fun. KA was great, the only other Cirque show I'd seen before was Love, the Beatles one, and I liked this one a lot more, I'm going to have to make sure to see the others when I get a chance. We also had some nice meals. Social House, the Japanese/sushi place at Treasure Island was the best meal we had by far. Unfortunately she left this evening so it's back to work for me with the $15K main event. I play Day 1B tomorrow.

In previous events I played the $5K tournament on Saturday. I grinded for 11 hours, never really getting much going. I peaked at around 22K chips (10K starting) when I sucked out on Roy Winston when I moved in on his blind with 87o and he found AKs. I couldn't do much with those chips and eventually had to push A8s which got called by TT and lost. I can't remember much from the $3K anymore other than a few key hands:

Hand 1: 200/400 a25. EP big stack limps, I complete T8dd in the SB and the BB checks. Flop Q82 one diamond, checks to limper who bets 1000. I call and the turn is the 3d. I check, he bets 2500, and I move in for 8200 total. He quickly calls with AQ but I river a diamond.

Hand 2: I somehow have around 35K now. I open in EP to 2200 at 400/800 a75 with QQ. The SB with about the same calls and we see a J64 2 club flop. He checks, I bet 4K and he raises to 10K. I don't know anything about the guy, and I can't really see folding this hand so I call and let him fire the turn if he's bluffing. Turn bricks and he shoves, I call and he says "nice call" and tables the AJo. What, you really thought you were bluffing? Looks more like he has no idea what he's trying to do but he had top top so he had to wager all his chips. I dunno people play bad. Now I have a really big stack, and I managed to build it as high as 85K winning small pots/

Hand 3: Unfortunately from there things didn't go well. I went a little card dead and was down around 60K when we got in the money. Now at 1500/3000 a500 it folds to the SB who is a tight guy and he makes it a suspicious 7500. I find AQs though so whatever, I make it a third of my stack or something and he instashoves so I call and lose to his KK. TRICKY RAISE SIZE SIR YOU GOT ME.

I'll probably call in some voice updates on TwoRags tomorrow during the breaks if people want to follow my progress live. Assuming I make it out of level 1 for a change that is.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

A Final Table and Another Cash

So I finished 2nd for $26.5K in one of the nightly $1K 2nd chance tournaments, and then 23rd in the $3K the next day for $5K. Let's see if I can remember how I managed to pull that off...

$1K 2nd Chance

Hand 1: I managed to double my stack to 10K by the first break. One hand that was sort of interesting was when I saw a flop with T9o in the SB at 25/50 after 2 limpers. Flop AJ8 2 spades, EP limper bets 200, button calls, and I call as well. Turn is a low spade and I lead for 500 and take it down.

Hand 2: I just got seated at a new table and arrive just in time to post my ante @ 100/200 a25. I'm still unracking my chips as it goes raise to 650 from EP, next to act calls, and I look at AA and make it 2050. Both call, the flop comes ten-high, original raiser bets 1K with 1100 behind (lol). Next guy folds I ship it and lose to his JJ that backdoors a flush to drop to 5800.

Hand 3: I open AJs in the CO to 1100 at 200/400 a25 with another 4K behind. Button ships on me and I decide to fold because he hasn't really done anything and it's live poker. As it turns out I definitely should have called this guy because he knew what he was doing but I think it was kind of a close decision.

Hand 4: 2 hands later open to 1100 with JJ, SB ships it on me with A5o for some reason even though he has no fold equity and I hold.

Hand 5: UTG ships around 5K at 300/600 a50 and he has shown he doesn't need a monster to move in already. 3 players later moves in for just under 9K, it fold to me in the BB and I find 99. I think for a while and decide their ranges should be wide enough that I should call. They have AT and AQ and I flop quads to get to 25Kish.

Hand 6: With 14 left a seemingly very tight player opens for 23K with 12K behind at 800/1600 a200 in MP. I really thought he had something like JJ or AK here given how much he shoved and how close to the final table we were and decided to pass TT in the SB. As it turns out this guy was not exactly a nit.

Hand 7: Guy from last hand now has a ton of chips. grafyx told me a hand he played with him that let me know he's far from a nit like I thought. He opens to 6K at 1k/2k a300 in EP. We're now playing 10-handed at the final table, 9 spots pay. I find AKo in LP and ship 35K, he instacalls with JJ and I luckbox the flip to not bubble.

Hand 8: After that hand I didn't do a whole lot. I was fairly card dead but made it down to 4-handed. The guy from last two hands has gone psycho. He is raising like every hand. I don't know what happened. The way he was playing and acting at the table I seriously thought he must have got high on the last break or something. He was spite calling any time someone pushed on his raises and drawing out on tons of players. Anyways I open TT to 11K at 2k/4k a500 in the CO with maybe 40K behind, he shoves from the SB and I call and outflip him again, he had AK this time.

Hand 9: I'm still really card dead and 2 of the other 3 guys are insane so I'm just staying out of the way, occasionally shoving on the guy opening every pot when I find an ace or something. Finally the guy on my left busts and we get to 3 handed. The crazy guy is just running over the guy in the middle and he's clearly not going to do anything about it except wait for a big hand. I'm treading water still by moving in on his raises from time to time, mostly card dead though. Crazy guy folds one hand and guy in the middle is now short and shoves his SB for like 65K at 4k/8k a1k. I find ATo and call but lose to his J9o.

Hand 10: I'm now pretty short and move in with some random SB hand to pick up the blinds and antes and increase my stack to 70K still at 4k/8k a1k. I find ATs on the button and ship it in. BB thinks and calls with A4s which has to be correct against my range but I hold.

Hand 11: I open AA on the button to 20K. This is the first button I opened 3-handed in a long time. Crazy guy folds, BB ships in his shortish stack and I hold vs his KQo.

Hand 12: 6k/12K a1K. I limp the button with 9s6h and he checks. Flop JT8 2 spades, he checks and I check. Turn Ks he bets 13K, I make it 40K and he folds.

Hand 13: I'm now around even in chips. He limps the button and I check Q8o. Flop AA4, I check/call a 12K bet because Q-hi is going to be the best hand here an awful lot. Turn is another A and we both check. River is a 5, I check and he bets 40K. I've seen him make a big river bet like this once and he showed the goods when the guy folded. I really felt like he had rivered a 5 or he had nothing, and he might be using the fact that he had it last time to make a bluff more credible. Or he might just have it again. I decide to call and lose to his 42o :-(, not sure if I like this one.

Hand 14: I open 66 to 30K, he reraises and I ship it and lose to his QQ, flop Q6x for extra spite.

Oh well still a pretty good score and it was good to make a deep run live again, and have a final table go reasonbly well again for once. Bed time, $5K event tomorrow I'll do the $3K report another time I guess.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Quick Cliffs Notes of last Couple Days

I went semi-deep in the $2K NL event on Tuesday busting 37th when 27 paid. Then I played drunken 2/4 mixed games at TI for 12 hours straight which was a blast. I didn't want to play the $2500 on no sleep up for 24 hours already so I crashed for 5 hours and then played the $1K 2nd chance at 7:15. 11 hours later I finished second in that tournament for 28.5K, managed to get home and get a couple hours sleep, and now I'm off to play the $3K event today. There's only a senior's event tomorrow so drunken mixed games are likely to follow tonight, but I'll write a tourney report for these eventually.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Venetian $15K Report

That was probably the worst 2 levels of poker ever. I didn't win a single pot that had anything in it. My table was actually pretty good. Other than Greenstein, Juanda and a couple good internet players, the other guys were awful. Here is what I can remember from the trainwreck, sorry if I leave out details I'm trying to do this quickly so I can move on to pretending today never happened.

Hand 1: 100/100 30K chips. I'm sure I've spewed off a bit already. Beth Shak limps in MP, I make it 500 with KQo and she calls. Flop KQT 2 spades, she leads for 1200 I call. Turn 2c making a backdoor flush draw, she bets 3K I call. River Ac, she bets 6K I fold. Given that she bet this river I'm guessing there's a pretty good chance she flopped the straight, either that or she had like KJ I guess. I didn't really feel like bloating the pot earlier since her line seemed strong and even she might fold a lot of worse hands to too much action.

Hand 2: There's like a million hands where I call once and fold to further action which are pretty sick. I basically always flopped something marginal that I just couldn't call down with and lost my stack a bit at a time. Either that or I fire the flop with nothing and get called then give up. It was basically awesome.

Hand 3: AllusivePinkBunny shoves 6600 at 200/400, I call with JJ and 5700 in the SB, terrible old guy on my left obv has AA in the BB and we both get to go home. Back to Bellagio tomorrow I guess. Weeeeeeee.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Bellagio $5K report

Yo. My 0-for streak continues in $5k+ buy-in events. Here's how it went down.

Hand 1: I made the nuts against David Pham a few times and managed to basically win the minimum by trying to play way too fancy. Oops. Still chip up to 17K from 10K starting stack by first break.

Hand 2: I got moved from my original table with Greenstein, Pham, etc... to a new table with a bunch of good online players on my left but it didn't really matter because I never played a hand anyways. My 3rd table is awesome though and I win an ok pot here: 300/600 a50. Spewy guy on my right raises to 2K in MP, I call with KK and gigabet (darrell dicken) unfortunately does not squeeze, just making the call on the button. Flop is an ugly QQ2, and it checks around. Turn is a blank, raiser bets 3K, I call, and gigablocks calls. Turn blank, raiser now checks, I check, and gigablocks checks and shows 88, raiser has AJ and I win a decent pot, but not a great flop.

Hand 3: At this point I just nit it up for a while as I'm pretty card dead. Finally, at 1k/2k a300 Max Pescatori opens to 5500 in the CO, I shove 25K on the button with AJo, and he calls and wins with 55 to bust me 30th (18 pay). Fun 11 hours. I'm sure there were other interesting hands I'm forgetting but so much poker it's all blending together.

Tomorrow I'm planning to play Sundays online, and then most likely I'll still play the 15k at Venetian on Monday even though it's probably going to have a small, tough field.


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Vegas in the winter is wierd

Something just seems off here.... I have only ever been to Vegas in the summer during the WSOP. It's scorching hot every day, and the very thought of a cloud in the sky, let alone a raindrop falling from one, is laughable. While it's certainly much warmer here than Canada this time of the year, it's actually pretty cool out. Not only that, it rained all day today. I was in shock. However, one constant remains to let me know the world is alright. Me losing money in poker tournaments.

I was originally planning to play the $5K event at the Venetian today but their events have been getting basically no attendance. So instead I played the $3K tournament at the Bellagio. I still expect the $15K at Venetian to at least get a playable turnout on Monday, but that's the only tournament I'll be playing there now. The Bellagio tournament today attracted 220ish players iirc, so it was a pretty nice sized field. Unfortunately things didn't go very well for me, though it was partly my fault for sucking.

Hand 1: 25/50 I have 5750. Raise to 200 with AKo, 3 callers, BB makes it 650, I am extremely confused and call, only the last limper calls who is a seemingly aggressive but competent looking asian guy. The flop comes AK6 all spades. The reraiser now leads for 1K, I'm still confused as hell so I call and the overcaller instashoves. Reraiser now folds (wtf could you have had?), and I ended up tankng and folding. Pretty sure it's really clear that I should shove the first time around and then call. I was tired of calling and having live players show me the nuts over and over again, and I'm sure not wanting to bustout in the first level AGAIN came to mind, but I can't justify folding here at all getting big odds on the call. I figured it made way more sense for him to have 66 or some kind of suited connector preflop than a hand like QJo with the Ks, and it does, but whatever it's not like people don't play awful preflop, especially live.

Hand 2: Skip to bustout hand, I took a bunch of chips back off the aggro asian guy but then went card dead and got moved to a new table. 100/200 a 25, I have 7500. A seemingly tight/straightforward guy opens to 600 UTG. 2 people who basically never have a hand call, and I find JJ OTB. I'm torn between just calling and taking a flop and reraising. If I reraise I basically have to call a shove so long as AK is in his reshove range, but it's really not clear that's the case. In fact I'm sure a lot of live players wouldn't have to think too hard about laying down AK in his spot, but it's still pretty awful to reraise and then fold. In that case the fact that I have JJ is almost irrelevant if I do that. I'm basically just bluffing and I might as well have any two cards. If the two callers weren't there I would just call, but with their dead money in the pot it makes reraising a lot better, and calling a lot worse. So I made it 2500, UTG moved in pretty quickly. I really didn't think he'd be so confident with AK, but getting over 2.5:1 I call and lose to AA.

I then went to dinner at Mesa Grill I think it ws called in Caesar's Palace with Kyle (grafyx) and Jason (JP_OSU) because Kyle said it was really good. The waiter began by asking us if we knew about who their chef is. Ummm nope. It's [name]. OK... You've probably heard of him as the Iron Chef. Oooooh, I've heard of that show, cool. Anyways, he told us about how he uses a lot of southwest style spices, combining "sweet and heat" to bring out the flavour in the chiles and other hot spices he uses. At this point I was already getting pretty excited about the meal because I love those types of sauces, a bit spicy but with a lot of flavour, not just burning. And the meal delivered. My main course was a ribeye steak in a chipotle glaze with two kinds of chile sauces. Also, mixing mashed potatoes with a pesto was a delicious twist, and shrimp in corn-based sauce as an appetizer was also excellent. So kudos to the Iron Chef. I'm still not going to watch your show though.

After dinner we headed back to Bellagio and registered for the $1k 2nd chance tournament. We had some time to kill so Kyle and I played a shoe of blackjack and ran insanely good, I made $100. Perhaps i should just stick to -EV gambling. The $1K tournament was relatively uninteresting. The play was really really bad, and I got off to a good start but then went card dead and eventually pushed into the aces. $5k at Bellagio tomorrow should be a fun one though. Gonna get some sleep now.


Monday, November 26, 2007

It feels like I've been kicked in the groin repeatedly

Today was the best Sunday I've had in a long time, I doubt I've ever gone deep in as many tournaments in one day as I did today. But it was the same story that's been happening every time to me lately, things just didn't go well when I got down to two tables. I final tabled the $530 tournament on Party but busted 9th for $1100. I went pretty deep in the $100 massive overlay $150K guaranteed tourney on Mansion before shoving all-in with 53o to win the blinds not realizing there was an UTG raise because the chip was almost the same colour as the felt in the interface, which is still a completely stupid thing to do, and I busted 35th when his AK sucked out on me. Next was the Full Tilt 750K Guaranteed, where I ran 88 into QQ to leave me with 400 chips at the 300/600 level. 90 mins later I had 50K, well above average in the money, but my cinderella run ended in 150th or so when I finally lost a race. Next up was the UB $530 tournament, again I made the final table, with a solid stack this time, but I made a small mistake that cost me a few chips, and then got busted when my AK was unable to hold vs AT on the river. Alright, well at least I have a few tournaments left I guess and I happen to be doing reasonably well in them.

The Full Tilt $150 buy-in was a roller coaster where I had a huge stack early, then donked it off, and then grinded my way back. In the end my AKs was no match for an opponent's Q2o (on the river yet again) in a pot that would have given me an average stack with 15 left. Nonetheless, I was running so good in the early part of tournaments today that I had yet another chance to make that big score. My last tournament of the day as usual was the Stars $200 rebuy, and it's a pretty big one. As we got close to the money, which was the final 3 tables in this case, I finally started to pick up some hands and by the time we got down to 15 players I was in the middle of the pack. Anyways we'll proceed to bustout hand I'll at least talk a little strategy because so far this entry is just me whining.

So it folds to me in the SB with 55. The effective stacks are around 21xBB deep, so against a good aggressive player like roothlus if it comes down to it I'm almost certainly going to have to play for my whole stack, my hand is just too strong to allow myself to get pushed off of in this situation. However, with so many short stacks still in and approaching the final table I'd prefer to play the hand in such a way as to avoid a big coinflip, but without forcing myself into a spot where I'm getting the worst of it. The standard play would just be to raise, and if he moves in on me I'm not happy about it but I'd have to call since there would be dead money in the pot and his range would be pretty wide. If he shows up with a bigger pair it's just unlucky. The problem with this is if he just calls I'm in the awkward spot of playing 55 out of position in a pot that is already big, or if he decides to move in on me as a bluff he's still going to accidentally only be a coinflip most of the time. So I feel the superior play I made was to limp. A lot of players will raise this limp with an extremely wide range of hands, and then I can move in on him putting the ugly decision back on him, and often just picking off a steal attempt. Of course if he ends up calling it's probably still a coinflip, and if he has a bigger pair I was likely destined to go broke anyways. If he checks behind I have a pair in a small pot where I have more room to maneuver. Of course as it turns out he did have the bigger pair and busted me in 12th.

In the end I probably made around $3K today I guess, too lazy to add it up right now. Oh well, so Thursday I head to Vegas which I'm obviously looking forward to. With any luck I'll break out of my tournament slump at just the right time for the bigger tournaments there. And of course that means more frequent and likely more interesting blog entries for you as well.


Monday, November 19, 2007

It was a good week until Sunday

I'm just on such a cold streak in tournaments right now though. The live final table at Foxwoods was great but busting 7th really sucked and other than that I've just had no final tables lately. I've busted with two tables left so many times it's pretty frustrating. Anyways I made the money in the big FTOPS $2500 event just grinding on a short stack the entire tournament, then sucked out to double up and then got it in with 99 vs 88 and held to get an above average stack for the first time in the tournament. From there I got outflopped in basically every pot I played and probably paid off more than I had to. I then busted out on this attempted hero call against a guy who kept calling my raises with weak hands and flopping gin on me.

The call was maybe bad because he likely thought I was a huge call station at this point and was therefore less likely to try to bluff me, but there's so many busted draws out there and I played the hand passively so it's quite possible I can have the best hand, especially as I doubt he makes this bet with anything except trips or better, or a complete bluff. I made a thread on 2+2 about the hand and a lot of good players said they like the call, though one guy who said he played with the opponent earlier in the tournament didn't think he was likely to run a big bluff like this, but of course I couldn't know that at the time from what I'd seen anyways. So it was a pretty crappy way to go from finally getting chips for the first time after 8 hours of play over 2 days to immediately donking them all off and busting for only $6k (first was over $400K) in 32nd or something.

I had no cashes in anything else on Sunday, and not on Saturday either iirc, so it was still a pretty bad weekend. Cash games had been going well all week until I lost $20K playing 200/400 PLO Sunday night. It's a lot of money but in relation to the stakes it's nothing to even write about really. Still up to $20K on the week at that, and also had good success in my 10/20 and 25/50 NL games though I didn't play a ton of hands, so overall I guess it was a pretty good week, just a sour end.

I'm in Toronto for another week and a half and then I'm heading down to Vegas for a bunch of tournaments. First is the National Poker League Vegas Open at the Venetian. I had never heard of it either but there's a $5K event and a $15K event that I'm going to play. I like the poker room at the Venetian a lot from the one tournament I played there over the summer. These will likely have smaller fields, which usually means tougher fields and not such huge top prizes, but it also decreases the variance a lot which isn't bad when playing such big buy-ins. After that I will be playing a ton of the Bellagio Cup events culminating in the $15K Championship event. Then I leave Vegas, fly back to Toronto for a couple days, and then head home to St. John's for Christmas. I'm back in Toronto for New Years and then off to Melbourne, Australia on Jan 2 for the Aussie Millions where I will be for just over 2 weeks playing most of the events in that series as well. I'll probably take a nice break from travel for a month or 2 after that, but who knows.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Back in TO, Sunday, FTOPS

On Thursday I played some live cash at Foxwoods, the big games were super tough so I mostly played 25/50 and lost around $5K. I didn't really make any hands and I made one bad river call for $2K. Steve busted on Day 1 also though so we left Friday morning. I crashed at his place in Kingston again after the long drive, and then I drove back to Toronto Saturday morning in time to play the FTOPS events on Saturday, and a full Sunday schedule. Saturday went pretty poorly for me, but Sunday was fairly successful. I made a bit playing cash, and then had several tournament cashes, unfortunately nothing really big though. Going deep in several of the major tournaments earned me the win in a sidebet I was in with 10 other people on 2+2 about who would do the best in the big tourneys on Stars/Full Tilt so I won like $3K from that on top of my cashes. Unfortunately I made a bad play deep in the 2nd Chance on Stars which cost me a chance at a big score and busted me in 15th.

Tonight I played some more tournaments including the big FTOPS event and a little cash. I didn't make the money in any tourneys though and I think I lost a little at NL cash. However I saw Gus playing a bunch of 200/400 PLO tables and decided to randomly take another shot shortstacking that game. Probably not a very smart thing to do but I think I'm prboably slightly +EV. The swings are so huge though but a little controlled shot taking isn't the worst thing. Anyways here are the big hands: - ty Gus? - I was going to quit after this hand regardless, an unfortunate end to the session.

Anyways I still definitely don't want to get in the habit of playing these games too often it's just too big and I'm not confident enough in my PLO game even playing only 20xBB deep, but it's pretty sweet when you're on the right side of these hands.

I'd really like to put in some serious effort to improve my PLO and HORSE games at some point but I just never get around to it, especially when there are still lots of good holdem games I can be playing and making money in instead. When I think about how long it took me to get to the level I'm at in NL Holdem and how there's still a lot I don't know it seems like a pretty daunting task to try to master more complicated games like PLO, O8, Stud 8, etc... but it'd definitely be a really good option to have when I get a little tired of playing Holdem all the time. Anwyays for now I'll be focusing mostly on FTOPS and the other usual tournaments and cash games.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Fucking gutshots

I believe I was either the 4th or 5th person eliminated from the main event today. I played some really crazy hands in level 1 today, most involving someone hitting a gutshot. Gutshots have really been killing me lately. Rewind back to Niagara last week I lost a $22K pot to a gutshot.

I was playing 25/50 NL cash again and was up like $3K just playing aggressively and winning a lot of small pots by following up preflop raises with flop bets most of the time whether I hit or not. Standard stuff (but not to the live nits). So I raise QJo in MP to 200 and get called on the button by some guy who likes to call my raises and then fold when he misses. Effective stacks $11Kish. The flop comes Q95r, I bet 400 and he instacalls which I'm pretty confident is a sign of weakness. Turn is a J, I bet $1000 and he quickly makes it $4000. In retrospect this is probably the easiest fold ever but I had top two pair and kind of thought he might be making a move getting sick of me running him over (hint: live players will never adjust they just try to "trap" you) so I shipped it in and lost lots of money to his obvious KT.

OK so back to Foxwoods main event:

Hand 1: 50/100 30K starting chips. CO limps, button limps, SB completes I check K8o in the BB. Flop K84 2 hearts, I bet 300 and button calls. Turn 3c, I bet 750 button calls. River 6h, I decide to go for thin value and bet 1500, he calls with 75o. OK wtf...

Hand 2: I've been pretty aggressive so far, raising a lot of hands and firing on the flop most of the time. Unfortunately I've been getting called a lot and having to give up so people aren't giving me much credit anymore. I'm down to 25K now and raise KQo to 400 in EP. 2 players call in MP, the latter being David Pham. Flop AJ8r, I bet 800 and Pham calls. Turn T, I bet 2K and Pham calls. River is a low diamond completing a backdoor flush draw, I bet 5K he calls and mucks. These gutshots are a lot more fun when you're the one hitting them.

Hand 3: So Im up to 33K and lose a little randomly raising and missing some more when I find KK in EP and raise to 400. An older guy calls in MP, he doesn't look like a huge nit but I have to assume he's prboably on the solid side and not going to mess around too much without a big hand postflop. Pham now reraises to 1500. He's since lost another big pot and only had 12.5K to start the hand (our table is crazy), and there's a good chance he's just steaming at this point. I decide to just call to trap since I'm not sure how often he'll get all-in preflop with a hand like AK or QQ/JJ even if he's tilting a little and the old guy also calls in the middle. Flop 89T, and it surprisingly checks around. Turn is a 3, I lead for 3K, old guy calls, and Pham now shoves for around 8500 more. I have no idea what to put him on here, I can't imagine he would ever check that flop with a big hand so something like QQ/JJ seems fairly likely, I guess maybe AA but a set should be unlikely. However I'm very concerned about the old guy in the middle it seems like he could very easily have a set and be willing to risk a bad river card to try to trap Pham. I end up folding and old guy instacalls with a set of 3s, Pham has QQ and busts out. It was pretty sick that this hand went the only way it possibly could go where I don't get his stack.

Hand 4: Guy limps UTG, UTG+1 who seems fairly decent makes it 350, I call next to act with QQ, we get one more caller and the limper calls. Flop QT6 rainbow, check to me I bet 1K (should bet a little more), folds to the original raiser who calls which is pretty weird. Turn is a J and he now bombs into me for 3K. I really didn't think he'd call the flop with AK, and he wouldn't have raised a limper with 89, so I figure he prboably has JJ or TT and decide to valuestack myself by raising and getting another 18K in against his AK. I definitely should have just called down here it was a pretty clear mistake in retrospect. So I have 2K left now.

Hand 5: Down to 1200 now at 100/200, loose asian guy limps UTG, folds to me on the button I shove 66 and he calls with A5s. I manage to hold and double to 2700. I then shove over a raise with AJ to get to 3600 when he folds.

Hand 6: I raise in EP with QQ, asian guy calls, guy after him makes it 2500, I move in and he calls with TT. 4 bricks and a river T later I'm the 4th or 5th bustout of the tournament :-(.

So Steve plays tomorrow. I finally got my wire transfer money today so I have enough cash to play some big cash games, so I think I'm gonna take another shot at them, I've heard a lot of stories about the games being pretty good. I also had a nice session playing 5/10 NL yesterday where I made $7200 basically just running over the table and hitting every flop. I got AA against KK twice and stacked the guy both times as well which was pretty insane. As long as I remember that they're never bluffing and and get back to making ridiculous hero folds I should do well.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

Foxwoods $2K NL Day 2

Sigh I busted 7th for $22K. I basically just did my shortstack thing for a while and amde the final table with a whopping 87.5K in chips, easily last. Then I finally got dealt some hands and won some big pots with KK twice to get as high as over 600K in chips putting me in 2nd/7 place. Then lost K8<85s against the microstack and restole A7s over a CO raise from an aggressive player and he called with JJ and held on the JcTd5cQh9s board. Now I had like 200K left and with 44K in the pot preflop I had to open shove J9o in the SB and run into AQs. Sigh, 7th for $22K. When I finally got chips I figured I'd probably win. Oops. Anyways $5K tomorrow and $10K Wednesday. I'm pretty exhausted so I don't really want to go into any more detail about today right now. O ya Steve finished 12th when tight players kept randomly picking up monsters after he raised their blind.


Foxwoods $2K Event

So today was my first Foxwoods donkament. People here are really bad at poker. Steve and i both made it through to day 2 of the tournament, play starts up at noon tomorrow with 27 or 28 players left. I don't feel like I played very well today but I shortstack ninja'd my way along despite never getting dealt a hand. I have 73.5K going into tomorrow, average is around 130K.

Hand 1: I have around the $8K we started with. Limp behind an EP limp at 25/50 with J9cc. Flop JsTc9s. Checks to me I bet 200, SB makes it 600 I call. Turn Kc, he bets 1K I call. River 2s, he bets 1K and I kind of shrug as I'm going to muck my hand then realize the other flush draw just got there and I could almost certainly just shove and win the pot, but decide I've probably tellboxed too much to try to bluff now so I fold.

Hand 2: <3 Foxwoods. Guy raises my blind to 525 at 100/200. I make it 1600 with JJ and 3100 behind, he calls. Flop KJ6 two clubs, I jam and he calls with 42cc. Turn 6 leaves him drawing dead. Yeah that reads 42cc, I couldn't make this shit up.

Hand 3-10?: Fold til blinds get big then open shove my stack for various amounts with various hands, mostly complete garbage, and never get called.

Hand 11: I have too many chips to open shove so I raise to 2400 at 400/800 a100 with ATo. Some old guy on my left shoves 6K more, I have to call and he has A5s. Board comes 8828T. Woot.

Hand 12-20?: Fold a lot more then go allin a bunch and never get called. Highlights include shoving 20K with Q6o at 1k/2k a300 from the HJ and watching the button tank for a minute and claim to fold AQ. lol good times.

Hand 21: CO open shoves I call on the button with KK to get to 48K.

Hand 22: Open to 8K in the CO at 1500/3000 a400 with A3o. Old guy in the SB calls and leads for 8K on the J93 flop. It's kinda near the bubble but I'd do this anyways and shove like 35-40K more or something because he's never calling. He mumbled something about AT and folded. Up to like 70K and I make the money.

Hand 23: Open to 11K in the HJ with A2o at 2k/4k a400, the BB shoves like 19K more and I have to call getting 2.5:1. He has JJ and I river an A, everyone calls me a donkey etc...

Hand 24: Shortly after last hand I open to 11K in the CO with KJo with another 80K or so behind. Button makes it 27K and he's pretty aggro. I really want to shove because I think he's completely FOS but I decided to pause and think for a second before I do. Then he says something about A2 no good this time and whenever people talk I figure they have something so I fold. Sigh I wish I had just quickly shoved on him I play so bad.

Anyways 73.5K going to tomorrow. Steve is also still in with like 190K or something. Hopefully I can make some hands tomorrow I was pretty brutally card dead today.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

WPT Niagara Day 2 Report

Sigh today went pretty bad and I busted on the 3rd last hand of the day. Early on I busted a fairly shortstacked guy with AA vs his A9 to get to 88K. Then I proceeded to fold every hand until I had 70K when...

Hand 1: ...I finally raised in the SB with AQo to 3600 at 600/1200. The BB who is supertight makes it 10K which is pretty gross. I hadn't even raised his blind before but it was still blind vs blind so I decided to call. Flop AT8 he bets 10K I call. Turn 6 I chk/chk, river 9 chk/chk AK is good sir.

Hand 2: Randal (RandALLin) open shoves 20K in the CO, I reshove with AK and lose to 22. Down to like 30K now.

Hand 3: I shove 64o in the SB and the BB instafolds ATo face up, wheeee donkaments.

Hand 4: Aggressive chipleader opens to 4800 at 800/1600 a300, I shove Q2s in the BB for 32K and he thinks for a bit and shows ATs before folding. I don't know if this was for show because I really didn't think there was any chance he'd call me without a huge hand there.

Hand 5: I open to 6600 on the button at 1200/2400 a300 and the BB shoves 20.7K more. I have to call and lose to AJo.

Hand 6: Shove like 11.5K with K3o and they all fold lol.

Hand 7: Shove 17K with K5s UTG and get called by A9o and lose.

I also played a really long live 25/50 NL session the day before which went terribly and lost 9K as I never made any hands that day either. So basically the last two days have been pretty painful, online it's the equivalent of like a few hours of play, but live it's stretched out over 2 days because everything is so much slower. Anyways I'm hanging out here today before heading back to Toronto tomorrow and then driving to Kingston after that to check out Steve's (Paul-Ambrose) new ridiculous house and getting a ride to Foxwoods from there in his new Lexus. When the hell did he become such a baller?


Saturday, October 27, 2007

WPT Niagara Day 1 Report

Not much really happened in the first few levels. At one point I restole preflop with 6d7d and the flop came 9d5d3d and he folded to my bet. Another time a fairly active guy opened in MP to 600 at 100/200, very loose guy called next to act, the button called, and I decided to reraise in the SB with anything reasonable. Found QJo and made it 2600, original raiser instacalls, others fold. Flop K9x I just check, and he checks. Turn J chk/chk. River pairs the bottom card and chk/chk I win. He looks disgusted and says "Nice raise" to which I politely say "Thank you". So I have around 28K at my peak just winning a few small pots and eventually get moved tables. My original table was pretty soft in the everyone is super nitty way except they then randomly decide to not fold. My new table is just crazy. Several players limp a huge % of hands and there are huge pots being played all over the place. I lose some small pots at this table and drop back to 20K when my I play my first big pot of the day.

Hand 1: 150/300 a50, I have just under 20K last hand before break. UTG limps, he's bad, UTG+1 limps, he's bad, and two other guys limp who are also not likely very skilled I can't remember who. I find AQcc in the BB and raise 1500 more. UTG instacalls as does UTG+1. Flop T82cc, I bet 5500, UTG folds, UTG+1 instashoves, I instacall. He has J7cc, the turn is an offsuit 9 :-(. River club though and I double to 40.5K.

Hand 2: Early in 200/400 a75 level, folds to me in the CO with 22 I make it 1200. Button calls, he's bad (obv) and we see a 933 flop. I decide to check even though I probably have the best hand to stop him from doing anything something goofy that I can't really call and hopefully induce a bluff at some point. He bets 2K and I call. Turn is a 2! I check and he bets 5K. I think for a bit and decide if he has a big hand he'll probably just bet the river anyways and there's a good chance he's bluffing and will fire again so I can't raise and push him out now so I call and river is a Q. I check and he bets 20K, I shove and he instamucks. I think I have around 75K after this hand.

I don't think I play anymore really big pots. I win a few small pots punishing the weak limpers with raises in position and usually just winning with a flop bet whether I hit or not. So I have today and tomorrow off and Day 2 is on Monday. Average stack is around 45K so I'm in excellent shape with 76.1K.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

New Car, WPT Niagara and TwoRags

Hey all, I ended up going with the Mazda3 Sport I looked at and managed to get everything taken care of in time to drive it up to Niagara for the WPT here. Maybe I'll post a picture at some point I don't have any on my laptop atm though. I'm definitely very happy with the purchase so far. Anyways I'll be playing Day 1A tomorrow, I'm not sure if anyone will be following me online. The guys at PocketFives Live might keep an eye on me. Otherwise, I'll be blogging at the end of the end of the day, which will hopefully be more than 2 hours after it starts this time.

Also, I'm now cross-posting this blog over at TwoRags. A lot of my friends blog there and it seemed like a good way to get more people reading this and also hopefully to help get them some traffic as well. The guys over at TwoRags have set up a phone number I can call and give live updates throughout the day, and they'll post them on my blog on that site, so I might try that out if you want to check over there. OK Steve just got here, gonna watch some TV and crash a little earlier than usual so I'm fresh tomorrow. Good luck me,


Monday, October 22, 2007

Decent recovery, Ladbrokes 100/200 NL report

I ended up making back a lot of the money I lost to start the week and not taking too bad a hit on the week. Tournaments were still really disappointing though with no major scores. I did make a pretty deep run in the Sunday Million today, but then i decided to get my money in with the best hand for the first time in 2 or 3 hours and that was that. Should have stuck with 56 against AA, and T4 against 88 type situations I guess. Finishing 104/6524 only paid $1800 so I lost a bit on the day. I actually had big stacks aearly in a lot of tournaments today but I didn't even end up cashing that many of them. I was chipleader in the 100 rebuy at one point before taking a beat and then donking off the rest in some way I prboably shouldn't have, top 3 in the 2nd chance fairly early on before taking a bunch of beats in a row, etc.... Oh well. Cash games went pretty well all week though so I made a 30-40K at those (minus the 55K hole I dug myself). One thing I did this week was play in a big cash game on Ladbrokes with timex.

I ended up heading to Waterloo on Thursday to Timex's new house to play with him in the Ladbrokes Reunion cash game thing. The idea was to bring back all the big names that used to play on the site by offering a bunch of added money. There were 2 100/200 NL tables of 6 players, and you buy-in with your own money and play for 5 hours. You can reload for $20K as often as you want just like a cash game. At the end of that time whoever had the biggest stack at each table played heads up matches the next day for $60K contributed by Ladbrokes. So with 12 players that added money would be worth $5K in EV to an average player. We figured we were likely an underdog against the fairly tough lineups, but not by so much that we weren't +EV with the overlay. Anyways a lot of the people they invited couldn't play so they needed anyone to fill the seats, and since Americans can't play on there it wasn't easy to find people. Timex ended up getting in and was able to get one of the other players to trade us $60K on the site for money on Pokerstars to play with. I took 25% of our action.

I haven't done any hand analysis on here in a while and I think we played some very interesting hands, so this should be pretty good. - You're probably thinking wtf are they doing calling the river and you're kind of right. However, while the A does mean a lot of his bluffs now beat us, it is also the perfect card for him to bluff at, so any hand he was bluffing with on the turn he would be almost certain to fire the final barrel with on the river. We probably still have to fold though. I mena I almost wanted to fold the turn when he made that big bet because I find those bets are usually for value, but folding 77 there does seem pretty weak. I kind of froze up on the river and didn't really know what to do though and timex wanted to call. I think my job was mostly to talk him out of doing such crazy things so I kind of screwed up on this one. On the plus side it was very unlikely anyone would try to bluff us for a while which is a pretty good image to have. - We didn't let it get to us though and started hitting a few flops and winning some decent pots. We thought we might get it all back and more here but it didn't happen. Maybe should have just raised the flop but we decided to slowplay instead. Sadly no one had a queen. - The first really big pot we won that got us back close to even. It's pretty debatable whether we should fire the turn or not. I kind of felt he may be trapping and talked timex into checking. We should probably bet bigger on the flop so there's more in there on the turn for us to win with a bluff if we're going to fire again, which in retrospect I think we probably should. However, our standard continuation bet in reraised pots was typically smaller like the bet we made so it's good to be consistent. Fortunately we got there and he timebanked forever before calling, I'd guess he had a hand like AQ or JJ. - For the most part we'd been playing very straightforward, mixing in some small bluffs of course but nothing major. usually we were giving up after our continuation bets got called so we decided to fire a 2nd barrel here since he'll probably fold any king and even some aces with weak kickers. - Huge pot that we prboably played really bad. We decided to check the flop for pot control/to trap since if we bet and getraised neither of us had any clue what to do this deep. He fired pretty big and we called. On the turn we just check/called again. I think we really should have checkraised all-in here. There are so many draws and so many ugly river cards for us. If we're going to call the river anyways it has to be way better to just stick it in here. Unfortunately we didn't really know what we were going to do on the river yet because we suck so we ended up just calling. The river figured to be a good card for us as we now beat flopped 2 pair hands. It shoudln't have helped him unless he has JT, and it's pretty unlikely he would play that hand this way. We check to him of course to give him the chance to fire again and he shoves it in. We thought for a long time and decided the way we played the hand we had to call. At the very least he could be shoving a worse hand for value like KK or QQ or have a busted combo draw or something like 87s. He told us after he had the only straight draw that missed, I guess that means something like 78 or 56 maybe. Anyways we're now up pretty big on the day and we have a big chiplead. - Decided to check behind the flop for deception. We probably still should have folded the river. The bet size screamed value bet, and although he might have AJ or AT it's far more likely we're beat. - Just straightforward keep on firing. Up really big and looking good at this point. But then the very next hand: - The river raise might be spew but it just seems so much more likely he has 2 pair than a set. However he had been playing very solid and we're not even guaranteed to get looked up by a worse 2 pair so maybe just calling the river is better.

Now that we're plauing just 3-handed you might expect the action to pick up, but in fact the 3-handed play was generally very careful and solid on these deep stacks. Also playing for position to finish as chipleader is very important so trying to conserve the chipklead became important. - This hand was really gross and we felt like huge pussies for playing it so soft. I talked timex into folding the river this time, though it may have been wrong. terken didn't seem like to running big bluffs on us anymore though. The chiplead now went back and forth between us and terken, it was incredibly close and exciting, but still there weren't a lot of huge pots being played. - We were 3-betting him pretty recklessly at times when he took the chiplead since he wants to avoid big pots. Here he made a little move to try to stop that. timex obviously wanted to reraise the flop or float and bluff a later street but I talked him out of it. We'd seen him make these small rasies as bluffs before though so it actually might not have been such a bad idea. - This is a pretty sick bluff I'm not gonna lie. Surprisingly this wasn't me trying to hold timex back and him saying no way we have to fire. As soon as the river card hit I was actually the first person to immediately say "$20,000". So we reraise preflop because we hadn't in a while and he was raising almost every button. Fire the flop get called. The turn is a good card to represent AK or a big pair and gives us a diamond draw which could be good, so we decide to fire again figuring we fold out most middle pocket pairs, especially those without a diamond. Unfortunately he calls again and the river pairs the king. At this point it's basically impossible for him to have a king, and it's quite reasonable we could play AK this way, so it's always strong when you can credibly represent a hand your opponent can not possibly beat. It's also possible we could play a big flush this way since we figure he can't have a boat. The only problem with our story is that we might not have bet the turn with AK fearing the flush and playing for pot control instead, but we'd value bet aggressively enough so far that it was believable that we would. Of course the turn is also kind of an obvious scare card so he might realize there's some chance we decided to keep firing away with air. However, neither of the other 2 players had shown any propensity to make huge calls in big pots and we hadn't shown any huge bluffs like this either. He folded very quickly. - We were now playing semi-reckless to try to take chips from terken. Here we win a nice pot to get back in contention. - Such a sick turn card, the only card in the deck we stack off to. When he shoves the turn it's definitely not an automatic call, in fact it seemed fairly likely he had flopped a flush, but when you throw in the extra $30k in equity for winning the pot and the match we have to call. And of course there's lots of ways he can be semi-bluffing or just thinking he has the best hand and we're overplaying our hand to try to build our stack.

The on the last hand pokerkong raised to $800, terken called, and we shoved $43,000 with AJo because timex is a psycho. It's actually not that bad because a double up gives us the win and an extra ~$30k in equity in the HU match the next day but still pretty crazy. terken tanked and folded QQ, some rough math shows he prboably would have been correct to call and risk the seat in the HU match to try to take our money right now. Eek.

So we finished up a whopping $2K, so I made $500 and still averaged $100/hr. Could be worse I guess.

Oh yeah so this Thursday I'm heading to Niagara for WPT at Fallsview which I'm very very excited for. After that it's WPT Foxwoods in Connecticuit. Gotta go to sleep now, car shopping tomorrow. Going to test drive a Mazda3 Sport in the afternoon.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Biggest losing day ever :-(

And it's only 5am. Sunday went like Sundays usually go. I played a million tournaments and some cash, had a few little scores and more or less broke even in the end. I finished 4th in the 50 rebuy on Cake for 6Kish, and 3rd in an Aussie Million satellite when only the winner got a seat. It did pay $4k though. I also went deep in the 2nd chance on Stars and finished 30th or something for a whopping $750. I was down a little at cash though so I was only close to even at the end of the day. So I stopped playing for the night more or less and watched some tv etc... Around 4am or so I did a scan to see if there were any good cash games going and found a big "fish" playing on Cake. I'd played with him before and when I noticed how poorly he was playing in the ring game I decided to take a shot at playing him heads-up 50/100 NL since he was sitting at those tables, even though it's I don't usually play that big and i don't play muich headsup. I quickly made like 30K off him picking off his predictable bluffs but then he started making hands and I just paid everything off. Before I knew it I'd lost almost all $30K, and decided to quit as I felt I was no longer playing well. I did manage to win one final hand to finish +7K.

So when I saw him tonight and he was spewing a bit in the ring game as usual I decided to taker another shot. It was weird because he didn't play me any more after that the few times I saw him. I had changed my screenname though so i guess he either didn't know it was me or felt playing tonight. This time things started out poorly, I couldn't hit a flop and he was just winning every pot. We opened a 2nd table and things started to turn around. I made some hands and picked off some bluffs and was ahead a few thousnand on the match. Then I flopped the nut flush against his smaller flush and won a huge pot. I was up a bit less than 20K probably at this point and then just like the time before things started going wrong. I flopped a pair of aces in a reraised pot with A7s and decided to just call him down. This time he had the goods though and I just paid off his set of jacks. OK no worries I'm still ahead. On the other table I 4-bet to $3000 with AQ and he moved in for $8000 more. I had to call and was happy to see his A9 until a 9 flopped. Now I was stuck again but I mean the guy just put in $11K preflop with A9 I'm obviously not going to quit him. From here things just kept getting worse and worse.

He made a ton of hands and I just paid off almost every one of them. Hell I called him down with A-hi once even, I couldn't have found the fold button with a map. A few were unavoiable such as when he flopped a set of 6s against my AA and led into me on all 3 streets. Others were optimistic calls by me at best. He was obviously getting the best of the cards, but I was getting outplayed really badly too. Finally I called it a night when we got it in on the 457ss flop in a reraised pot preflop and his 56o outraced my AJss. Definitely his preflop play was really poor at times, but he was hitting everything and I just spewed. By the end I'd lost about 55K, and I was up $3500 in the ring game, so he took me for about 6 buy-ins. I kind of get the feeling that this guy might actually be a really good player and he splashes around a lot to try to get action from fish like me. On the other hand the variance in heads up is really big and losing 6 buyins to a hot run of cards is probably not an uncommon thing. As much as I'd like to play him more and see what happens it's probably not a good idea.

I haven't been doing well in the games on Cake lately at all really. The 25/50 is just not very soft anymore, though I feel like a few of the TAG regulars are not really that good and I have an edge on them, and there are still some fish from time to time. The only game I've been winning in consistently lately is the 10/20 6-max on Party. I think that will be my main game for a while with the usual mix of sitting in whatever good games on can find on the other sites up to 25/50. If there aren't enough of those games I'll mix in some 5/10 as well, and of course the usual tournaments.

In other more exciting news WPT Niagara is in 2 weeks and WPT Foxwoods is right after that, so I'll be playing a lot more live poker soon. Niagara only has the main event but Foxwoods has a series of tournaments and the plan is to play the 2k, 3k, and 5k prelims as well as the 10K main event. The only other live tournaments Im' planning to play this year are some of the Bellagio series for it's next WPT event in early December. Vegas in December sounds a lot more reasonable than that July heat.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Exploitability as it relates to tournaments

There's not a lot of interesting stuff to write about from this week so I figured I'd try writing about some strategy/theory stuff after a quick recap. I lost about $20K playing some big buy-in sit and go tournaments trying to earn some frequent player points on Stars to get to Supernova status in their VIP promotion for the year. I figured I was around a break-even player in these tournaments and I'd be quite happy to breakeven or even take a small loss to rack up a lot of points since there's a pretty decent amount of value in becoming a Supernova. Unfortunately since I've more or less stopped playing cash games on Stars I was no longer on pace to make it for the year. I ran pretty bad though and didn't cash anything so I dropped a bunch of money and I still need 24K VPPs on the year. Cash games and tournaments didn't go great either so it was a pretty crappy week. I got killed on Sunday cashing only one tournament despite playing the busiest schedule I ever have. Oh well. I made back a little tonight by having a good cash session and finishing a disappointing 12th in the $1K Monday on Full Tilt for $4k. OK on to some strategy stuff. A few people have asked me something about exploitable play recently so I figured why not write about that.

In a loose sense, when I talk about playing exploitably I mean playing in a predictable way to which there is a simple counter-strategy. If your opponents figured out what you were doing they could exploit your predictable play by implementing the counter-strategy. At first glance this may seem like a bad thing. You might think we should try to balance our play more. For example, instead of always having a big hand when we make a big bet we should also bluff sometimes too so we're not so easy to figure out. Of course in general this is good advice, but overall the situation is not so simple. It's been suggested by Sklansky and others that there is some unexploitable strategy, perhaps based on game theory in some way, to randomize your play such that you can not be beaten. The best an opponent could do is play the same strategy and breakeven. Fortunately, as I know next to nothing about game theory (and I probably know a lot more math than you), in the real world such a strategy is not ideal. The reason is simply that our opponents are not that good, and we can make a lot more money from them playing exploitably. There are two simple reasons:

1. Our opponents are not observant enough to figure out what our strategy is.

2. Even if they do figure it out they won't know how to counter it properly.

In particular, for mutli-table tournaments, realted to point 1 is the simple idea that due to the structure of these tournaments we don't play against the same people very often, therefore making it difficult for anyone to play enough hands with us to figure out what we're doing (of course if you're a high-volume regular player this rule doesn't apply as much).

Let's look at a very basic example. Suppose we're playing against a player who always calls our bets. How do we counter his exploitable play? Simply, we will never bluff this player (and we'll bet more of our marginal hands for value since he'll call with so much worse). But now we are playing exploitably ourselves of course. If he realized we were never bluffing he could just stop calling us without a good hand. But anyone who has played microstakes poker at all has run into one of these types of guys who just never folds if he has any kind of pair or draw, and never really changes his strategy even though everyone with half a clue never bluffs him. The fact that we are playing exploitably is irrelevant, and in fact clearly leads to maximal profit against this player, whereas someone mixing in bluffs to remain unpredictable is wasting money.

That was obviously an extreme example but it illustrates the point. Now let's focus on tournaments more specifically. It's not a big secret that there a lot of players in tournaments at every level who aren't really the best poker players. That combined with the fact about not playing against the same people frequently in tournaments means the general rule in tournaments is that we don't need to worry very much about playing exploitably. By the time people figure out how you play your table will break and you'll have 8 new people who have no idea how you play. For the most part we just worry about maximizing our advantage against the typical mistakes our opponents will be making. However, there are a lot of situations that happen frequently enough that it's important not to be too predictable. Here are a few common things people do:

1. Raising preflop. If you vary the amount you raise preflop based on the strength of your hand, the strong players at the table are going to catch on fairly quickly. Also if you always raise when it folds to you in late position everyone will notice, but a lot of people won't adjust properly.

2. Reraising preflop: Same as above about raise amount. There are also a lot of players who will never reraise in most situations without a huge hand. This is often not really such a bad thing, but it lets strong players off too easy.

3. Continuation betting: Again if you change the amount you bet based on whether you like the flop or not in some constant way, people will pick up on it since you're going to be c-betting a lot usually.

However, beyond these simple things it's going to be hard for anyone to pick up anything much more complicated. The other thing is that beacuse of the typically fast structure of online tournaments it is often very difficult to exploit anything but these most basic tendencies even if you pick up on them. Having some detailed information about how an opponent plays the river won't help too much when you're all-in after the flop every hand. OK I'm pretty sure this post sucks but I'm too tired to try to fix it and Im going to bed.


Monday, October 01, 2007

WCOOP, Royal Cup, New Setup

WCOOP ended yesterday with the $2600 main event. Before that I cashed one more event during the week, the $320 NL 6-max event on Wednesday. Unfortunately I lost a big pot just when it seemed things were starting to go right when my AA got taken out by 66 when my opponent called a reraise and got it in on the 432 flop. That would have been the first time I had a decent chip stack in any event. Despite being my 4th cash I had still not reached ten times starting stack in any event. In basically every tournament I grinded along on a short half of average type stack, often surviving long enough to make the money but never threatening to make a deep run. I was 0bviously hoping that would change in the biggest tournament in online poker history. The main event got 3000 runners for a prize pool of $7.5 million. First paid almost $1.4M. In fact there are only a few live tournaments with a bigger prize pool than that each year.

As usual, the structure for the main event was excellent. 20K in starting chips, 30 minute levels with Stars new and improved more gradual blind structure and reasonable-sized antes. The tournament would last at least 20 hours. I started slow but eventually began to pick up some medium-sized pots to increase my stack. I then won two fairly big coinflips, winning from both sides of an AK vs QQ confrontation to increase my stack to 120K, almost twice average. From there things went downhill though and I dropped as low as 50. I managed to win some small pots to get back close to 90K as we entered the money. I blinded back down to around 60K but then shoved with AK and doubled through AJs. After that I won another coinflip with AK against two tens to break the 10 times starting stack barrier for the first time in all of the WCOOP, and my 220K stack was approximately average. Unfortunately it was downhill from there, I lost a few pots in a row and started having to play push/fold poker again. Eventually I moved in with 77 and got called my KingDan's 99 and that was that. I probably didn't have to push that hand but I don't really think it was a mistake. Oh well, I got $9K for 121st.

I also final tabled a $50 rebuy on Cake but busted 7th for $2200, but I've never laughed so hard in a poker tournament. There was a stretch of about 5 consecutive hands I played (and won) towards the end where people made terrible/hilarious plays continuously. Things such as making a pot sized bet of 22K on the flop and folding to raise with 9K behind. Or betting 9K into a 45K pot as a bluff on the river with a busted flush draw, forcing me to call and win with 88 on a AcQc79A board when I'd all but given up when my flop bet got called. I also had a big stack in the UB 200K Gntd. but I donked it off on the first hand after the bubble burst because I'd been raising every hand on the bubble and I thought some guy was just sick of me raising when he actually had KK. Oops.

Anyways I made a decent profit on the day, and now that WCOOP is over I will probably be playing a lot less for a while, though anything is a lot less comapred to the hours I was putting in the last 2 weeks. Even when I took Saturday off it was to go play in a fun little live team tournament in Kitchener with my friends from back in my $20 home game days. I played 3 7-player single table tourneys and managed to put up a strong 7th, 7th, 6th performance, likely making most of the room contemplate going pro at least briefly figuring if the biggest donkey in the room can do it.... I did however manage to grind out my heads up match which ended up making the difference between the top 2 teams. At least I got to crush some dreams despite my team being well behind.

In other news I got my new desktop and monitor from Dell, to go with the new desk and chair I bought earlier in the week. All-in-all I'm pretty happy with my new workspace, it beats the hell out of staring at my laptop screen like I had been for the last 6 months.

Oh yeah I also wanted to write something in response to a comment to my last post re: sponsorship. Regarding specific people, I believe thayer was offered a sponsorship deal after he final tabled WPT Mandalay Bay but he ended up turning it down because it was a very poor contract. Junglen says he's talking to a few of the major online sites right now and seems to be close to having something worked out. He's not someone I talk to a lot, but PearlJammer was recently signed by Full Tilt after some big online scores and several solid live results. And of course Steve has been on Team Pokerstars for a while now. Basically, it's not just about being the best player though, it's more about how much advertising you can get them and if you'll be a positive ambassador for the site. Remember, they're marketing to the average Joe watching poker on TV who might occasionally try making a desposit online, not the hardcore player/fan. They already have your money.

With that in mind, live results are obviously important. They want people who have been on TV so the public might have some idea who they are, and who figure to be on TV more often in the future. Obviously a big part of this is being a good player since you figure to make more final tables, but also people who are going to attract the cameras in other ways. The "personalities" like Humberto, Rainkhan, etc... are loud painful examples of this, and also basically any attractive fermale player who plays a lot of tournaments, even if they're not very good. With respect to people like Humberto and Khan, it's unfortunate that what makes for good TV is often nearly the opposite of what is considered proper etiquette at a poker table. Negreanu really mixes being entertaining while playing respectful serious high-level poker better than anyone else. It's kind of unfortunate that most online players like myself have never really had to learn some of these skills since with so many games going online trying to keep a joking friendly atmosphere so the live ones keep coming back really isn't an important skill for the online pro. And of course when we play live we're generally just trying to focus on the game and make sure not to give away any information during hands.

So what does this mean for me? I'm a quiet online pro with no big live results and no one in the mainstream poker media has any idea who I am. Most obviously this means I've got to get some live results. Make a televised final table and try to come accross well in all the interviews and other coverage that come along with that would be ideal, and hopefully put up another deep finish or two around the same time so people see I'm out there all the time putting up results. Of course this is coming from a guy who has never made the money in a $10K event, that seems like an awful lot to ask. On the other hand, other than for potential sponsorship purposes I could basically care less whether anyone has any idea who I am. Hell it's probably very advantageous for me to remain an unknown in these live tournaments. As long as I keep making good money and have fun doing it anything else is just a bonus.


Monday, September 24, 2007

I played a whole lot of poker this week

With the WCOOP going on I played a lot of hours every day this week except Thursday when I decided I should leave the house. Unfortunately the results for the week were pretty craptastic. I lost a bit playing cash, and had little tournament success so I definitely lost some more on those, but nothing too bad. With the Canadian dollar soaring though it kind of sucks to be losing on top of all the money that is just magically disappearing each day. Nonetheless I feel like my tournament play has been pretty good all week despite playing a lot of hours. My cash play has been sloppy though, when I pick off a few bluffs I start thinking top pair is the nuts again and take a beating.

So let's see, I cashed 2 more WCOOP events, the $215 limit holdem and $530 limit O8, for very small amounts because the 15% payout structure gives you nothing until the final table. Yesterday I finally made a decent final table, but finished 6th in the Stars $320 for $3200 or something to breakeven on the day basically. Today I went deep in a couple satellites for big live events but didn't win, and took a bad beat deep in the Stars 2nd chance tournament to finish 43rd, which once again paid under $1000. I'm going to pass on the WCOOP event tomorrow because Stud hi is the worst game ever, but I'm pretty pumped for my "specialty", the $320 PLO8 on Tuesday.

In other news I ordered a new desktop computer from Dell which should be pretty sweet and a second 20" Dell lcd screen, so I'll finally have a proper setup. I ordered a few poker books from Amazon that I've been reading, though nothing too heavy on strategy. "The professor, the banker, and the suicide king" tells the story of the huge heads-up limit holdem games between banker Andy Beal and a group of Vegas pros, and was a very interesting read. I'm currently reading "Ace on the River" by Barry Greenstein, which has some hand discussion, but so far is focused more on everything you need to do to be a successful poker pro other than how to play the hands. I tend to think I do these other things very well.

With my personality a lot of it came pretty naturally to me, and while I definitely have become very skilled at playing the game, I think I manage myself better than lot of my peers. Things like not tilting, good game selection, quitting when I realize I'm off my game (I'm still far from perfect here but better than most probably), and not wasting too much money on all sorts of bad habits. There are a lot of young players who learn how to play pretty well, but are still unable to succeed at poker. They tilt and therefore can't play to the best of their ability, or let their ego take control and play in tough games to try to prove they're the best instead of just making money, and play in big games they're not bankrolled for. Some do make money consistently but then lose it playing blackjack or whatever and can't move up to the bigger games, or move up anyways underrolled and go broke.

One thing that has occurred to me recently is I should really be making an effort to get a sponsorship deal, most likely with an online poker site. The free buy-ins/travel for big live events as well as some of the other perks that are typical with these contracts are such a huge boost. All that guaranteed money would be pretty nice in a job where nothing else is a certainty. So basically, I really want to get some good live results under my belt. Hopefully if my timing is good, that combined with my online resume can get me on the gravy train. It seems like more and more of my peers are talking to the online sites and getting signed all the time, and I wouldn't mind getting a piece of that action.

Alright so this entry seems to be a bit all over the place, I guess that's what happens you try to write immediately after a 13 hour session. I'm gonna get some sleep and hopefully own some WCOOP events this week.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Back in Toronto and early WCOOP results

After busting out of WSOPE I really didn't play much poker for the rest of the trip. I mostly spent a lot of time hanging out with the other online players, checking out some bars, eating fancy meals, and even a small amount of sight-seeing! Timex was able to play WSOPE and busted out on day 1 in incredibly hilarious fashion: First, he had his stack up to 30K. Then he got all-in with 42 on the A53cc flop and lost to 42cc when his opponent rivered the straight flush. But he managed to work that 10K back up to 20K when he got moved to the feature table, with none other than former world champion of poker Jamie Gold! For those not in the know, Gold won the 2006 World Series of Poker main event for $12 million by getting luckier than anyone ever. He's really comically terrible at poker, and likes to run lots of hopeless bluffs etc... Here is my post from 2+2:


Just moved to the feature table, the following hand took place at 100/200 a25

Jamie Gold limps UTG, CO limps, MFNTIMEX raises to 1000 on the button with JJ and is covered with 17K behind, Jamie Gold asks if he's button or SB, Mike says button obv, Jamie limpraises to 3200. After a quick thought MFNTIMEX calls. Flop T74dd, Jamie now checks, MFNTIMEX bets 2500, Jamie shoves. The following conversation occurs:

MFNTIMEX: what's your screenname online?
Goldfish: I don't play online. This is my first tournament.
MFNTIMEX: I know who you are, I just want to know your online name there's a lot of people who claim they are you.
Goldfish: says something retarded
MFNTIMEX: I call. (Gold flips 33 LOL)
Watts (to ch0ppy next to him on the rail): LOL!
Goldfish: I knew you had it I just didn't think you'd call.
Watts (yelling with half-empty pint in hand): YOU SHOULD HAVE ASKED WHAT HIS ONLINE SCREENNAME WAS!
*Dealer turns a 3*
Watts (to ch0ppy): lol that's so sick.
Watts: lol that may actually be the funniest thing that's ever happened.

We then laughed right in timex's face about how he got pwned by Jamie Gold, timex did a bustout interview where he basically sounded like a baller dropping such memorable quotes as:

"Today is my 18th birthday. I decided to celebrate I wanted to lose 10,000 pounds so I flew over here for this tournament", and

"Live players are so bad it's hilarious. So unreal"

Other memorable events include going for a really nice dinner with timex, ch0ppy, ActionJeff, and skier and losing credit card roulette. It was this cool little restaurant themed like a nightclub (but it's just a restaurant not a club). The food was all asian-style, but a mix of different types of things, not your typical chinese or japanese restaurant for sure. Anyways the food was amazing albeit expensive, and once you add on 2 bottles of fancy champagne and other drinks I ended up getting stuck with the $1200 bill when my credit card roulette skills failed me. The only night I played much poker was Friday, when like 10 or 12 of us all brought laptops to shaundeeb's suite to play the first events of the WCOOP. I had no luck with those, but I did end up 25K on the night playing some really good cash games until 6am or something. That more or less covered my losses on the trip to that point so that was pretty nice.

On Saturday I went to the Chelsea game with skier, Shaun, Schaefer, and a couple of his non-poker friends. It was a good game but not nearly as exciting as the Barcelona match. They played Blackburn Rovers who were very stingy in the back and managed to hold them off the score sheet despite several quality chances and one goal called back because it was offside. Chelsea just didn't have the dynamic playmakers that Barcelona did and Blackburn were much more competitive than Bilbao had been against Barcelona. Drogba was out for Chelsea which sucked, and they were forced to play the more typical European style of playing the ball down the side and swinging in a lot of crosses, whereas Barcelona played more of a Brazilian style. In the end it finished 0-0, but it was still a lot of fun.

I flew back here from London on Sunday, just in time to play the huge WCOOP event that day.
I got off to a pretty good start and managed to make the money, but busted shortly thereafter. I played the $320+r PLO yesterday but didn't have much go right after the first few hours there either. I'll probably be playing most of the remaining WCOOP events. I've already done better than last year with that one cash, but hopefully I can put up a big score in one of these. Alright that's about it for now, still trying to get setlled in here completely. Also it's kind of weird having all this free time with no school to worry about. I'll prboably be playing a ton of poker during WCOOP, but after that it's going to be fun finding things to do with that time to balance with playing. This whole pro thing may take some getting used to.


Monday, September 10, 2007

lol I'm busto

Sigh that was a short day. I'd splashed around a little and was down to 18K of my starting 20K when this hand happened:

A player who had already shown himself to be quite weak opened to 400 in the CO and I called with black fives in the SB (50/100 blinds). Flop Q95 two dimanonds, I check he bets 600 and I make it 2000. He quickly makes it 5000, I shove and he thinks a minute or 2 and calls with Qd9. Turn dimaond, oh crap, river diamond, gg.

I did however manage to get back in front of the cameras much sooner than expected, as the first player eliminated at the "Fifty" casino PokerNews did a bustout interview with me which should be up on their site some time soon I guess. Check the live coverage/videos section. On the plus side it looks like timex may be able to get into the tournament now which is pretty friggin sweet as his 18th birthday is tomorrow. Anyways I guess I'll just do the tourist thing for the rest of the week. Oh well,


Sunday, September 09, 2007

I'm in London yo

I got in yesterday afternoon and last night I hung out with my friend Paul from Waterloo who lives here now, and some of his other friends in the financial industry. Paul moved here after grad school and is working at Barclay's now. They showed me a taste of the London night life which was a lot of fun but, like everything in this city, ridiculously expensive. It's pretty nice being able to speak english to people again, even if they have funny accents and use lots of weird expressions =). I'm hanging out with Adam and the Waterloo guys (ch0ppy, cutiepi aka Will, and timex) in Adam's new hotel room right now, after playing a few of the earlier Sunday tournaments. My hotel room kind of sucks. It's really small and the internet doesn't seem to like working in the room. I guess you get what you pay for for "only" 66 pounds a night. Really though the room should be fine and the location is very good, 2 blocks from the Underground and only a few stops on there from the casinos. Adam's new hotel room on the other hand costs 200 pounds a night (400 USD), and is probably on par with a room at one of the cheaper hotels in Vegas. That's just how they roll in London.

Let's see.. I had a few other minor touristy adventures the last few days as well. Before the World Cup final Adam and I ventured on foot into Barcelona carrying a big bag of laundry since we'd run out of clothes and it cost 5 euro per item at the hotel. We'd been warned no one spoke english there so we came equipped with a few key googled spanish phrases. It ended up costing us only 17 euros and most of the route was along the beach so it was a nice walk. In London when our internet wasn't working at the hotel I was able to guide myself and Adam to within a block of the Casino at the Empire on memory of a map I'd looked at online when picking a hotel around 3 weeks ago, having never been in London before. Unfortunately we were forced to ask for directions once we got to Leceister square since the map wasn't that detailed. So, we got checked-in and registered for the tournament.

I play Day 1A of WSOP Europe tomorrow at "Fifty", starting 2pm here, 9am EST, on table 18. I'm quite excited for this tournament and looking forward to getting back on the felt. It appears the field will be a lot smaller than I was expecting with the WPT Borgata in Atlantic City at the same time taking some players. However first prze still figures to be around 2 million US and a smaller field reduces the variance somewhat which is nice in these huge buy-in tournaments. I've shaken off the finals in Barcelona and learned from the experience like always, I'm sure I'll be better this time around. With any luck I'll be back in front of the cameras soon with a nice training run already under my belt, but playing for a lot more money.


Friday, September 07, 2007

lol I must have looked like such an idiot

Anyways that sucked, Raymer accidentally limp-minreraised me and then owned me which was pretty awful. Made a completely retarded fold to him, etc... I can only guess what the commentators were saying about the world champion outplaying the inexperienced Canadian. In any event I'm going to London tomorrow I guess I"ll just have to win WSOPE to redeem myself. Oh yeah we finished 4th for people that didn't watch, Danny lost a flip to busto after I lost a bunch of our chips. Congrats to the US who got lucky at first but then played well to take it down behind my buddy Shaun [censored] Deeb's very strong play at the end.

edit: PS. Thanks so much to everyone who has supported us or followed our progress throughout the tournament. It seems the local press at home has run several stories on us and we've accumulated various unexpected fans. The whole idea is still a little strange to me to be honest, but it's pretty awesome. And to the whole team and our #1 fan Michelle, it was great to meet/play with you all.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

On to the finals

After a little scare when Jody ran KK into AA and busted 8th we still made it through to the finals behind Ed's 4th place finish in the later heat. Our competition tomorrow will be Romania, Iceland, and the US. We start at 5:30pm local time, so 11:30am EST, but I think the webcast lags an hour behind so starting at 12:30pm EST on Hopefully we can take it down. In other mildly exciting news I played some live 5/10 PLO against Europeans and beat them for 1800 at their own game. The game was pretty soft, though I admittedly got lucky in some of the big pots I won hitting big draws etc... Time to go get some sleep, hopefully we can take it down for Canada tomorrow.


World Cup update

Daniel put in a strong showing yesterday finishing 2nd, leaving us in 2nd place overall with 32 points. Barring some sort of disaster today we should easily make it through to the final round on Friday. The format of the final is a "tag team" event. Each country substitutes players in and out to play their chipstack at the end of each level. There are a few rules about mandatory changes such as at least 3 players have to play in the first 8 levels and have to play at least 2 levels each. Jody and Ed play today, probably going to be a long day watching. And yes, since every seems to have noticed, I did pretty much always have a drink in my hand watching Daniel play yesterday. Why wouldn't I?


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

WCP Heat 1 Report

I'd love to see the internet feed of this so if anyone knows some way I can get it please let me know. Let me see what I can remember.

Hand 1: Call behind an EP raise from Germany with 33 in BB at 50/100 behind the SB (Iceland) call. Flop set and checkraise but I guess the guy had unpaired big cards and he folds.

Hand 2*: Fold a lot of stuff I might otherwise open because it's correct in this tournament/I'm just a huge nit anyways.

Hand 3: CO, Romania raises to 400 at 70/140. I make it 1200 with AK in the BB which is basically a clear mistake. He calls and I check/fold QJ9 flop getting shown top set.

Hand 4: Get AK a few times and cram over raises, they fold.

Hand 5: Blinds 300/600, 6 or 7 handed and me and Romania have all the chips. Romania opens UTG to 1500. I forget he has raised and throw 1500 in the pot and announce raise, with TT. Raymer tells the announcer I said raise and he announces I will be raising. I'm like wtf is going on, OH CRAP THE ROMANIAN NIT UTG RAISED AND NOW I HAVE TO RERAISE IM SO SCREWED IM ABOUT TO RUIN EVERYTHING. Somehow I manage to keep a poker face and play it off like I was deciding how much I wanted to reraise and then shove for 7500 more or something because it's really all I can do at this point. Miraculously everyone folds and and I breathe a sigh of relief, I would definitely have just folded preflop normally because given the structure/chip counts and how tight he had been there was no reason to get involved here.

Hand 6: Purtugal shoved 3600 UTG at 300/600, I shove JJ, Ireland calls with AK in the SB and 3700. QQ holds and I'm down to like 6600. Daniel thinks it's not worth gambling here and I should fold preflop but I'm pretty sure I'm just so far ahead on average and it's not a crippling % of my chips I really can't fold.

Hand 7: At some point Germany shoves 3800 UTG at 400/800 5-handed. I have A7s and basically want to call but Romania only has 2400 chips UTG+1 so I think he's stronger than usual here even though he's pushed several times before and fold.

Hand 8: Daniel calls timeout and berates me for even thinking about calling last hand because I'm so much better than everyone. I try to explain the reason I'm better is because I can recognize spots where it's correct to gamble with marginal hands but agree with his point about opening all-in more than calling all-in in general. Obviously the next hand I iso-shove KTo over Romanian's UTG push for 3xBB in the SB since I'm getting 2:1 assuming BB folds which he does. Romania has A8s and holds. Daniel was like wtf I just told you not to do that but this was for a small % of my stack and is clearly very +cEV getting those odds so I think I have to get it in here.

Hand 9: From here I think it's just pushbotting. Random comical things such as Romanian showing an ace and folding when I was shoving almost any 2 cards from the SB occured. Of course I happened to have KK that time and he'll go to his grave thinking he's a genius if he ever hears about the hand.

Hand 10: I hero fold QJs to Raymer's shove even though it's clearly +cEV because it's so much easier to just steal blinds from the guys on my left. Then I go ahead and rob them blind.

Hand 11: Call Raymer shove with A2. Clearly very +cEV and if I lose I may still have fold equity vs the nits on my left, if I bust Raymer I basically win because the other 2 are really bad at push/fold poker. I luckbox the hold against K5cc.

Hand 12: Rob more blinds, snap call shove with AK and hold vs A7 to get heads up.

Hand 13: Fold some 5-highs then beat KQ with A2 aipf when I catch the ace on the river like Barry G. Board Q77KA, weeeee.

Hand 14: Drink a lot and watch poppyoppy get us some points despite playing waaaaaay too tight.

That's about all I can remember. Was pretty fun playing in front of the cameras and really good feeling to win and get us off to a good start.


I'm playing Heat 1 today, streamed live on the interwebs!

Captain tilterino put me in the first heat for the World Cup which starts today at 4pm/10am EST. Just like the EPT featured table the event will be streamed live online, you can watch the feed at In the live part it turns out we're no longer playing against the person who qualified the same way as you from each team, it's just all mixed up. The only pro that I recognize at my table is Raymer, who I have position on. I'll have to go do my research and figure out who's who at my table. So yeah check that out today, I'm looking forward to getting our team off to a good start.

On Sunday I went to the FC Barcelona game, and it was really amazing. Barcelona is one of the bes teams in the world and they showed why by dominating Athletico de Bilbao in a 3-1 win. Seeing how fast and how skilled these guys are in person was amazing. It wasn't even that Bilbao played poorly, Barcelona was just so ridiculously good. Ronaldinho scored twice, on a free kick and a penalty, and this huge African midfielder Toure-Yaya "scored" on an absolute rocket from outside the box. Scored is in quotation marks because the ball hit the crossbar and never looked like it went in, but for some reason the linesman completely unexpectedly called it a goal anyways. I'm told replays confirm he was quite wrong. In fact there was quite a lot of questionable/outright poor officiating towards the end of the game but this time going against Barcelona so we got to hear 100 thousand angry fans whistle at the ref. It was an incredible atmosphere, but I'll get back to that in minute.

Also playing for Barcelona was Thierry Henry, though he looked a step slow recovering from some injuries. He still very nearly scored in the second half but was denied by the post on another of Barcelona's good scoring chances. The most impressive player that day behind Ronaldinho was Messi, who consistently made defenders look foolish throughout the game in helping set up a lot of Barcelona's best scoring chances. The stadium is just enormous, it seats 99000, and most of those were filled for this game. 99000 people cheering and applauding every scoring chance, whistling at every foul or missed call, and gasping at ever close call makes for an incredible atmosphere. The cliffs notes is that watching live soccer in Europe is just awesome, so much more exciting than on TV. Schaefer and I are trying to get tickets for a Chelsea game while we're in London now.

Because of the time difference I got home in time to play Sunday tournaments, so I lost some money. Yesterday was the beginning of the World Cup, we had a welcome dinner at a Japanese restaurant, Shoko, near the hotel. I finally got to meet the rest of the team as well as some of the players from other teams. We discussed some strategy and socialized for a bit before heading to the casino where I quickly donked out out of the $1600 freeroll pushing blind half the hands. Then I just went back to the hotel and crashed. Unfortunately I'm up kind of early as I only woke up at 4pm yesterday so I didn't sleep for long. I'm gonna go get the free breakfast buffet and see if it tastes better when you sleep before it.