Saturday, May 31, 2008

One Down

Well I busted the 10K PLHE pretty quickly. I screwed up this hand:

I have 19.3K of 20K starting stack at 200/400. Eric Assadourian (I think?) raises UTG+1 8-handed to 1100, Will Durkee pots it next to act to 3900. I find QQ in the CO. My first thought is just to fold, but then I ask Will how much he has behind and it's only 7K more, which makes me think his range can be slightly wider. Something about the way he raised made me think he didn't have KK/AA but Im obviously a live poker fish so I shouldn't put much faith in that. Anyways I talk myself into reraising, Eric reshoves, Will folds and I call. Eric has AA and Will had to fold AK after putting in over a 3rd of his stack. I don't win and am crippled. Definitely a fold is right there, and coldcalling is probably also better than reraising. I manage to run my stack up to 2800 then find QQ UTG at a new table. I pot it and get it in on the 987 flop and lose to TT. Oops.

I went to register for the huge $1500 event this weekend but they were only letting people register for Sunday at the time since too many people are registered for the Saturday starting day. I decided not to bother and just play online this weekend. The Ongame grand tournament is running this weekend and I can still play it from here so in addition to the usual other good tournaments there's just way more value online and I'm not all that crazy about playing live again right away. Maybe I'll decide to play the starting day on Sunday if I don't make day 2 of the Ongame tourney but I doubt it. On the plus side it turns out my wire transfer had arrived but I sent it to the wrong place. I was able to get that sorted out though so I have lots of money in my account at the casino to lose in subsequent tournaments now. Hooray!


Friday, May 30, 2008

WSOP 2008 Preview

Hey gang, welcome back. I arrived in Vegas today and got to our house for the summer with no problems. I'm living with a bunch of different people this year: Serge (Adanthar), Tony (Bond), Celina (Bondgirl), Tom (LearnedFromTV), Nath, and Kyle (grafyx). We have a pretty nice house rented off the strip. Whoever designed the layout for this thing really butchered it, the main area of the house is one huge open room which is kind of weird. I usually like a nice open space but they took it too far. Also, the big TV kind of sucks it's a bit flickery. Nonetheless there is lots of space and it should have everything we really need including an outdoor pool. Yes, the pool really is a necessity.

I went down to the Rio today to check out the new set up and see if my money had arrived. I had read a few reports that they had made a lot of improvements this year and it looks like that's definitely the case. They have a separate room dedicated to satellites with its own cage, as well as a separate room for tournament registration which should hopefully help eliminate much of the congestion that was present last year. There's also a few more food options, most interesting to me is the new Sushi & Noodles place. It was open today so I tried it out and was pretty happy with it. It's All-You-Can-Eat, just noodles is ~$20ish and just sushi is ~$29. For a combination of both menus it's $38. I just had the sushi and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the fish. It's certainly nothing amazing by any means, but it was pretty good and definitely exceeded my expectations for a small little place like it is, so I'd definitely recommend it to people looking for a relatively quick delicious meal near the poker room (it may not be quite so quick during the Series when you're not the only person in the room, but the simple all you can eat format is clearly designed to make your options simple and get people in-and-out). They have all the usual basic sushi options; salmon, tuna, shrimp, crab, eel, mackerel, yellowtail, nigiri and sashimi, as well as various rolls.

So while that was very good, it was the high point of my trip to the Rio as once again my wire transfer had not yet arrived. You'd think I'd have learned from last year, and I intended to send it much earlier this year, but I also had to send a lot more this year and it took me a little extra time ot get that money wired to my bank account after returning from Europe as I was waiting to get my MoneyBookers account set up properly. So I've repeated my mistake and will probably end up skipping the 10K PLHE event tomorrow, which isn't the end of the world since it figures to be a relatively tough event, though I would have liked to play. I'm still definitely planning to play the $1500 event on Saturday which will be no problem to borrow money for if need be. Oh yeah if by any chance someone in Vegas reads this and has 10K they can lend me for tomorrow's event that would be awesome, please get a hold of me. After that I'll basically be playing the NLHE events almost every day plus some PLO, and who knows what else. I do plan to skip some of the $1500 NLHE events later in the series though to try to avoid the burnout that hit me by the of the series last year. So wish me luck, hopefully I can do better than last year and come home with some jewelry and a bunch of money.

Edit: Looks like I found money and will be playing tomorrow. GL me!


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Last Week before WSOP!

Well let's see where was I last time I posted. Oh yes FTOPS was running. I ended up staying home last weekend and losing lots of money playing in those events. I did however finish 4th in the Party 300 on Saturday for ~$4800 to get me even for that day, but I had no luck on Sunday either. This week I played a bit as well. My only tournament success was finishing 7th in the AP $1K for $3500 when I came into the final table with a big stack then did nothing for a while before losing a big flip since everyone had absurdly short stacks. Today I finished 5th in the FTP $100r for $5K when I took the chiplead into the final table but lost JJ vs 69s aipf to Zpaceman. It was pretty awesome. That's about all I can recall wrt tournaments, other than to say that ECOOP II (Euro Champ of Online Poker tourney series) is running this week so I'm going to play a bunch of those events on the iPoker network before I move to Vegas for a month and a half and can no longer play on most of the sites that I actually make money on during that period.

Paragraph 2 of this post will be dedicated to some more Omahizzle. I've actually been playing a pretty decent number of hands for me lately when I don't have too many tournaments running to try to get a lot of the necessary experience under my belt to improve at PLO and gain confidence in my game. I definitely want to have a 2nd game I can play with confidence during the WSOP so I can mix up my schedule a little and hopefully help keep me fresh from the grind of just playing NL Holdem tournaments everyday. I've now put in 10,000 hands at 2/4 - 5/10 PLO and the results have easily exceeded my expectation. I've almost certainly been running super hot over this period but nonetheless I'm very confident I have a substantial edge at these limits, especially on the European sites where a lot of the play is just awful. The games on FTP and Stars definitely seem tougher but I'm pretty sure I'd be a winner in those as well long run, just not for nearly as much. Anyways here is a graph of my results for my first 10K hands of mid-stakes PLO. As you can see there is a lot of variance in Omaha so I put a lot more faith in the fact that I constantly see my opponents making big mistakes to believe I'm a winning player than in the fact that I've won over this period. Averaging 10 ptBB over these hands is pretty solid though :D.

Anyways given how bad play typically is in Omaha tournaments I definitely feel I'd be +EV in pretty much any Omaha tournament at the WSOP so I will look to add some extra PLO events to my schedule. I'm going to end this post here and save room to write a big WSOP pregame show post before I leave this week. I'm only playing a few early tournaments tomorrow again, but with ECOOP running I don't imagine I'll be taking much of a break from poker or anything like that before WSOP.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

There might be hope for me yet...

Hey hey! I've rebounded pretty nicely the last couple days. Let's take a look at the list of things that were going wrong in my last entry. First, I finally won a step 6 to the WSOP. I ended up playing my friend ch0ppy HU and of course the first time I play a good player I manage to luckbox the win. So I got my first WSOP seat at last. Next, I had a nice tournament score. I just finished 2nd in the Stars 100+rebuys for $24K. I got heads-up behind 3:1 in chips and started to mount a comeback before blowing up. I made two really stupid spazzy plays heads-up trying some new things at bad times. Once again on my bustout hand I ignored obvious bet sizing tells and made a stupid bluff when the guy hadn't played back at me in any way for probably 20 minutes. If I just folded like I always used to and kept grinding away at him there's a decent chance I may have made the comeback. I also made a hero call earlier in the HU that had no chance of being right because I just want to be a fucking hero alright. I dunno, I guess that's just something I'll have to work on, maybe play some HU sit n gos or some bs. Gotta learn not to listen to that stupid game theory voice that says "Dude, folding here is so exploitable and folding is no fun anyways!" and listen to the common sense voice of years of me playing poker experience that says "Watts, listen to me. I know it's really exploitable to fold, but he's not bluffing. Here are several good reasons why. He's going to show you the nuts and you're going to feel like an idiot. Again." Just read that and tell me which voice sounds like he knows what he's talking about, I mean seriously, which one would you trust?

Alright, moving on, I also kicked ass at Omaha in the last 2 days. I still haven't played anything resembling a decent sample size, but I am now winning at a solid rate over the hands that I have played. I ran so stupidly hot though that it would have been impossible to lose, so it's far too early to make any statements about whether I'll be able to beat the games in the long run, but I do feel like my opponents make a lot of mistakes that I would avoid, and often substantial ones, so I think I have an edge. I guess we'll have to wait and time will tell. It's not like I don't make my fair sure of blunders. However I will say that Omaha is a pretty easy game when every time you get in a reraised pot you flop the nuts. Practically every time my opponent had AAxx I outflopped him (and my hand held), and if I had AAxx in a reraised pot I usually flopped two pair or a straight with my other two cards and instead of having lots of outs against just a pair of aces my opponent got the rest of his money in on the flop drawing practically dead. Of course the times they did outflop me I would just get there. Let me find a few examples. - I'm pretty sure Kongsgaard was just tilting hard from losing some big pots, but I always thought he was complete nutcase at tournaments too. I don't see how getting 2 times the pot in on this flop this way can ever be good for him though. - can't blame him for thinking he has 11 outs, but he's obv drawing to runner runner against my luckbox. - Sometimes it's ok to check! (and get there obv) - They finally outflop me but I still have a lot of outs and get there of course. - This is probably the pinnacle of running good. I mean seriously this isn't even fair.

Hand Pot equityWinsTies
AhAcKcQh 85.12% 639 118
Kh9hQs6s 14.88% 63 118

Here is a graph of the last 2 days because everyone loves pictures! Pretty much all 3/6 and 5/10 PLO.

I even had a nice winning holdem cash session too. I haven't seen many good 25/50 games lately but I can usually track down some juicy 10/20 games. Anyways more FTOPS tomorrow. I haven't made it out of the first hour in my last four FTOPS events (not counting the HORSE event because it's limit) due to ridiculous coolers. There are 2 good events tomorrow but they may be the last 2 I play since I'm probably going to my roommate's cabin for the weekend. It'll hurt to miss the $2500 event and $500 final event but I've been grinding so hard lately that it can't be a bad idea to get out of the house for a change. I guess.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Brutal week...

Well I haven't posted in a while, I guess i didn't really have much to write about because I've basically just been getting my ass kicked all week. I've started playing some 2/4-5/10 PLO full stacked to try to learn the game, and while I feel like I'm playing reasonably well the results just haven't been there so far. I might be running bad, but I don't really have the experience playing PLO to really be able to tell. I've even been taking a bit of a hit at Holdem cash games lately, though for the most part I'm pretty happy with my play in those and I think I've just been running bad. Here is an example in which I get "Matusowned" (when he made his little speech I thought he had AA for sure hence my chat).

Even tournaments haven't been going that well. I've been playing a lot of the step 5 and step 6 WSOP satellites. I won 6 or 7 seats for the main event last year but this year I haven't been able to win a single one. I've been heads up for the seat in Step 6 three times against fish who probably qualified from like step 1 or something and lost every time. Unfortunately a lot of that is my own fault for playing poorly. MTTs have been going a little bit better but still far from stellar. FTOPS began on Wednesday and I've played several events. I got heads up in round one of the $500 triple shootout, but I lost again. This time I feel I played pretty well though, and I was very unlucky to lose on this hand:

I also final tabled the Stars Super Tuesday this week but finished 7th for just $12K. Today I had a big stack deep in Event 7, $100+rebuys NLHE, but in the span of a single orbit I went from a top 10 stack to busto 69th. First I doubled up a shortstack with 99 vs AK, then another with AQs vs K9, and I still had an average stack when I lost AK vs JJ for the rest in three completely standard boring coolers. Today there was also a sick tournament on Everest, a $3000 buy-in with a $1 million guaranteed prize pool against almost all the complete morons who play on that site who satellited into a tournament way above their bankroll. Unfortunately I lost this sick pot to end my tournament really early.

I probably should have folded the river because satellite winners usually don't have the guts to run a bluff like this, but I was almost certain he didn't flop a set from the flop action and his timing, I was pretty sure he'd raise the turn with AQ, so that just left a KJ or KT type hand and I had one of the kings.... On the other hand he instashoved the river which seemed super strong, but it's especially hard to fold the hand in practice after having been so huge on the flop. Anyways tomorrow night I have a softball game which seems infinitely more fun than poker right now, so I think I'm going to just play some of the early tournaments and go to that assuming I don't go deep in anything. If I do then cool hopefully I make some big money or something.


Friday, May 02, 2008

Epic Fail

The PLO heater came to a crashing halt the last couple nights, as expected really. At my peak I was up around 100K but I lost most of that back. The thing is that PLO is such a sick high variance game and shortstacking it in particular is even swingier that winning/losing 12 buyins or whaetver is really not statistically significant in any way. It's a whole lot of money at these stakes though obviously. Anyways seems only fair I post some of the hands that led to my demise if I'm going to brag when I win. This time I will include some strategic musings for my benefit as much as yours. - The flop is weird. I will often run into the straight, but I have a ton of equity against the straight and there is a lot of value in protecting my hand when it's best. I will also get called by worse hands sometimes (smaller sets especially) so there is definitely a lot of value in betting. My hand is so strong that if it's beat I will be getting all-in regardless since I have a short stack, so I need to play in such a way to maximize value when it's not beat. In holdem this often might mean checking and taking some line where i give worse hands a chance to bluff. In Omaha you've got to bet to protect your hand a lot more in these situations and inducing bluffs is not a big part of your overall strategy. - Sigh.

7c 5c 3c 4d 30%
Ac Ah 9h 5s 34.9%
Qs Kd 9d Jh 35.1% - This spot really sucks. I should probably just fold preflop too. I'm pretty much either dead to a set or flipping against a wrap straight draw but I'm getting 2:1. Oh I have backdoor flush draw too that's pretty hot. - Another weird one where I bloat the pot preflop with likely a small equity edge and everyone calls. The flop is awkward though because I'm pot committed. Betting didn't really seem to accomplish much, maybe I should anyways because two of the guys are being squeezed in the middle and may have to fold a lot. Anyways I call the shove obviously with my gutter and backdoor nut flush draw and some random overcards and incredibly the others fold and I have 40% equity. - Sigh again. - Benyamine takes more of my money. He was me and timex nemesis when we shortstacked the big NL Holdem games. - Yawn - I dunno I think I have to call the flop because there's so many ways he can be drawing and I do have at least a few outs regardless getting big pot odds. - Dang. - Sigh this was a tilt hand. In general I think my bluff on the turn is a very strong play. Against this player it's just awful and I need to check behind and get there.

Oh well I still made a little money and overall it was actually a really good learning experience. I'll take it easy on the high stakes PLO again for a while but if I see a game that's just really good since I know all the players now it might be hard to resist. There's definitely money to be made in these games. The stats on here are just crazy: