Monday, November 24, 2008

Mo' Gold

I've easily been on the biggest online heater of my life this month and this week was just more of the same. I didn't really play all that much this week, mostly just 200/400 PLO when I saw a decent looking game running and 5 tournaments. I final tabled 4 of them placing 2nd, 4th, 4th, 5th for a total of ~54K. On Wednesday night I played the four 9pm majors, and for the first time in my career I made 3 final tables at the same time. I got yet another 2nd in a tourney on Absolute, 5th on UB, and 4th in the FTP 100r. I recorded the end of these so there's a pretty good chance I'll turn them into a training video at some point. I also played the AP $500 tourney on Saturday and got 4th this time after just losing every pot at the final table after having the chip lead at one point. The play at this final table was some of the most ridiculously hilariously terrible play I've ever seen and I recorded that as well so maybe I will turn it into a video where I mock everyone relentlessly for entertainment.

Speaking of videos I finally finished my 1st video for PokerSavvy which I expect to actually be up this week. It didn't turn out as well as I might have hoped but that was probably inevitable the first time around while still getting used to the software etc... I think it still turned out pretty good though, I guess I'll get to see what people think soon enough. I believe PokerSavvy still has a short free trial promotion going so you might be able to go check that out once it's up. So that brings us to PLO.

I basically have just continued running stupidly good all week at 200/400 running up short stack buy-ins. I'm just going to tell you the story of Thursday night/Friday morning since that was my biggest shot yet and also my biggest win. I jumped into a game just after midnight and did my usual luckbox thing: - Not sure if my flop semi-bluff is good in this one as my wrap can easily be in bad shape on this board with the flush draw. Still, I feel like if either of them had a hand they really wanted to go with they probably would have just bet it themselves so I think I have a decent amount of fold equity. Gus ended up calling the flop real light though he's a coin flip against my actual hand but I am too lucky.

So that was pretty sick I quit up my 55K and the games broke so whatever. I was still up in the morning though and there was more 200/400 PLO action going than almost ever with like 6 tables running. I started running up stacks on them but this time I didn't quit when I got deep stacked if I had good table position. I ended up 4-tabling for around 4 hours and having a really swingy session. The variance of these games is really sick and from my +55K starting point I went as high as +110K then dropped as low as just +16K. I bounced back and ended +95K. It was a really crazy session but it was also really fun and a great learning experience. I've never had anywhere close to that much money in play before in my life or played that many high stakes tables at once before. I definitely made some mistakes but I didn't feel like they were related to the amount of money on the line, I've just still got a decent amount to learn about PLO and even the best make mistakes sometimes. Here are some more key pots: - Ups. A slightly lighter 3-bet from me here. - This looks ugly but it's actually pretty standard. I have to call the flop with possibly 6 outs and preflop is correct too. Oh yeah I do lose some pots too: - I guess I could jam the flop but I have 3 hearts and I have to be concerned about whether my 7 is actually live. Certainly I don't figure to have much/any fold equity at all so I decided to just peel. - Having 3 diamonds sucks but I don't really see what else I can do here there should be enough semi-bluff hands in his range that I have good equity against.

Heading to NYC this week so probably not much poker will be played for a bit. Take it easy and watch my video let me know how bad it sucks.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Winning All the Gold

That's what I've been doing this weekend. Well, just Saturday to be more accurate, I gave some back today. Saturday was one of the best days of my internet pokers career though so I'll tell you all about that now. The day started at 2pm with a bunch of tournaments and some 200/400 PLO shots. I made 24K at PLO so that was pretty sweet. Here are the biggest pots I won:
- 3-betting preflop is probably more standard but stack sizes make it awkward when he calls and I hadn't been 3-betting much. Obviously get it in on the flop and hold the 56-44 how lucky.
- Flop pretty good turn better river ok also.
- I guess I have to get it in on the flop, though if I run into the nut flush draw I'm fairly dead. Getting called in two spots was unexpected, as the hand played out I'm not really sure what they had. With the blockers against the nuts bombing the turn definitely merited serious consideration but I went the more conservative route this time. When Ozzy checks the river I'm almost certain my hand is good and decide to go for a checkraise since Patrik should either have made a flush himself and be looking to value bet it or turn something into a bluff a lot. Pretty easy checkraise for value once Ozzy folds since Patrik would almost surely have raised the flop with the nut flush draw.

After that I just concentrated on my tournaments. The awesome $5K 6-handed FTOPS was on but I busted super early losing a big flip with AK vs JJ. It was just a spot where even though we were 200xBB deep I had to put the money in. I did much better in the other early FTOPS event though, the $500 heads-up tournament. I was actually really happy with how I played these HU matches for once and I was making a lot of pairs and winning races and stuff as well which obviously helps a lot. I think I was doing a very good job getting maximal value in a lot of spots where in the past I may have made the mistake of playing for pot control too much. I rattled off five quick wins with more than a bit of luck on my side (my 88 beat QQ all-in preflop for most of the chips in the 5th) and as I was waiting for my 6th match I ended up playing HU in two other tournaments!

The first was a Step 6 satellite for a PCA seat. I got heads up around even in chips with jorj, one of the regulars who plays every single step 5/6 that runs basically, and I got lucky to win a coinflip for almost all the chips to take down the $14K package. I'm definitely glad I was able to get that seat out of the way early and without spending too much on satellites. Next up was the AP $500 tourney. I had a huge chip lead throughout most of the final table which I was able to increase easily as all the short stacks had around the same number of chips and several were clearly just playing to try to move up a few spots. I just moved in preflop uncontested time and time again to pick up the large blinds and antes. When we got 3-handed though I lost a big pot to apestyles with 99 vs AA and then doubled up the short stack when he finally called one of shoves to all of a sudden find myself as the short stack. Ape did something crazy and sucked out on the other guy to get us heads up but with me way behind in chips. I doubled once but then lost QJ vs J8 aipf to bust 2nd for $24K.

As the heads up of the AP tournament was being played my 6th round in the FTOPS tournament started. My new opponent was actually pretty weak but after I grinded him way down he doubled up twice to take the chip lead from me momentarily. I got back to a 2:1 chip advantage and then ran my 88 into his 77 to end it. The next round I ran into a much tougher opponent though and got behind early. I won a flip to get back to even and then another big pot where I turned the nut straight to take the chip lead. I had a 2:1 chip lead when I checkraised him on the turn of a QT96 board with Q6 and called his shove only to run into 87. I won A7 vs A5 to get back in it but on the final hand I got all-in on the flop with J8 vs his KJ on the J-hi flop to end my run. I finished 9-16th for $7500.

So as you can tell all those scores added up to a pretty big day. Not final tabling a $10K+ buy-in tournament big but still probably a top 5 online day for me. Then I got to watch a pretty sweet UFC 91 card so it was just an all-around super day. The hot run didn't carry over to Sunday though unfortunately. I only cashed the early $100 buy-in FTOPS event and the $200 rebuy on Stars for less than $2K total. Now that FTOPS is over this week figures to have less poker. I'll keep working on my PLO game and maybe play a couple of the bigger tourneys but that's likely about it. I also need to get my first PokerSavvy video out asap. That's all I've got for now, keep it real homies.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bad Habits, a Donkament Score, and High Stakes PLO

Since arriving back in Toronto I've quickly gotten back into my normal lazy at home routine. I stay up too late, then sleep away the hours of the day in which I could actually go out and do productive things, then play some tournaments and cash games, watch TV, download the TV I miss, and various other lazy activities which keep me up all night. It's not like I'm super upset about it, not having any real obligations and being able to live on such a ridiculous schedule if I want to is a pretty sweet luxury to have. I'm enjoying my time relaxing, but at times the unproductive and lazy feeling of a day mostly spent at a computer or TV screen can be pretty gross, even if I've spent a lot of that time "working". As an example, this blog is being written at 7:30am and I assure you I did not just wake up. I'll get to what I was doing tonight shortly but first let me recap what else I've been up to since the last time we talked.

FTOPS started and I've played a handful of events. I didn't have much luck at all with tournaments through this weekend unfortunately. I final tabled the $100 single rebuy $100K Gtd tournament on Ongame on Sunday but busted 9th for ~$1600 and didn't have any other particularly notable cashes until tonight. I've also been playing some more big PLO. 25/50 and 50/100 Cap games as well 200/400 shortstacking shots have been up and down quite a bit but overall going pretty well, and of course some 10/20 and 25/50 games on Cake when they are good. OK so on to tonight.

I skipped most of the nightly tournaments but decided to play the 9pm ones on Stars/Full Tilt. There were two FTOPS events tonight, the $500 HORSE and $200 turbo NLHE. Both of those are really fun formats even though I seem to suck at HORSE. Anyways the turbo was where I picked up a big score. Running good in a turbo donkament is really really fun. There were almost 2600 players and the whole thing lasted just over 3 hours (it ended before the 3rd break). The beauty of the turbo donkament is you more or less skip all the boring deep stacked play and get right to the best part: Jamming your stack in with crap and hoping they all fold or you suck out.

I mean really, what's better than pushbotting? Every hand there is a very real possibility you could double up or go broke and that's pretty exciting. Well I'll tell you what's better, pushbotting deep in a tournament when substantial money is on the line and everyone is too scared or too bad at poker to do it properly. Obviously running sick hot and winning every time you have to call someone or they call you makes this significantly more fun, and that was what happened tonight. I held the chip lead for a decent while in the latter stages of the tournament before slipping a bit as we got down to two tables. But then I owned some chump's 99 with my K6s and made the final table 3rd in chips. The final table got off to a bad start as I lost AT vs AK and was super short. I luckboxed a couple double ups and some blind steals though and made it to 3-handed play 2nd in chips. Unfortunately djk had a big chip lead though, and he's even better at going all in every hand and winning every time they call with an obviously superior hand than I am so when he shoved my BB and I called with A6hh I was eliminated by his Q8ss. I still got $50K for 3rd though which is a solid three hours work in my opinion.

So then I ended up playing a bunch of high stakes PLO all night as the games were really good and only lost around $9k which wasn't too bad. Overall it was a pretty solid night. I even recorded a session 2-tabling 50/100 Cap PLO which I think I will turn into my first PokerSavvy video, hopefully by the end of the week. I'll let you all know when that actually happens. Anyways I should probably go rest up now I've gotta do this all again in 12 hours or so.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

November and Future Plans

Now that I've been home a few days I've had some time to sit down and plan out the next few months. The rest of this year is going to be pretty laid back in terms of live poker, but it looks like the beginning of next year is going to be really really crazy. So for November I'm probably not playing any live tournaments. There's a chance I could go to Vancouver for the BC Poker Classic but it's looking pretty unlikely at this point as the buy-ins just aren't that big. There's another FTOPS starting today though so I'll play some of those events. I certainly don't plan to try to grind the events every day like I have in the past but I'll play when I feel like it and don't have other plans. The $5K buy-in 6-handed 2-day event should be awesome and is the only one I feel like I can't miss, but I'll try to play at least all of the bigger prize pool events. Then at the end of the month is the ECOOP on the iPoker network. I might have to miss a couple of the bigger events in that one unfortunately as I have plans to go visit my friend in NYC for American Thanksgiving (and all the football and partying that comes with it).

After that I'll be headed back to Vegas for the Bellagio Five Diamond series at some point. I may skip some of the prelims as turnouts for preliminary events have been way down lately and as much as I love Vegas I was just there for a while and I'm not getting comped this time :-). Once I'm done there it's back to Newfoundland to see my friends and family there for Xmas. As always I'm reeeally looking forward to that. Then January is when things look like they're going to get crazy. I really wanted to avoid doing this but I think I'm going to play both PCA and Aussie Millions. The travel is horrendously awful, but Aussie Millions is not going to be as good this year without Full Tilt sponsoring it and PCA is going to be insanely huge and the High Roller event should be sick as well. So the tentative plan appears to be to rent an apartment in Melbourne with timex and stay for at least an extra week after Aussie Millions because Melbourne kicks ass.

Now, depending on the LA Poker Classic schedule it's possible I could end up going straight from Melbourne to LA for that. This would be an incredibly long trip as I would stay in LA until early March, but on the other hand it has to beat the hell out of winter in Canada. I'm still far from settled on any of this but it does kind of make sense and would be fairly awesome, though barely being in Toronto for a 3-month span is really crazy. Sooooo I dunno.

In other news I am going to give the video training site thing a try and do some videos for PokerSavvy Plus this month. I'll add more details about that as I figure them out, but I'm going to try to make my first video for next week. Oh yeah I haven't played much poker this week but I'm up over 100K. I bought a piece of a friend in a big game which he ended up absolutely killing and making me ~90K, and then I had one of my random 200/400 PLO shots where I ran 8K up to 38K in 23 hands or something. I played 3 big pots and won them all, and they all happened to be against Gus. Once I got him in drawing almost dead, the 2nd I got it in horrendously bad (but in a standard spot) and sucked out really badly, and the third I got it in really bad against his aces preflop (but again I think it's gotta be fairly standard against Gus) and sucked out again. Sooo I'm a lucksack, but you probably already knew that.