Tuesday, August 31, 2010

WCOOP 2010!

The World Championship of Online Poker is back! The 2010 edition of the WCOOP will feature 62 events over 23 days with $50,000,000 in guaranteed prize money! What the WSOP is to live tournaments, the WCOOP is to online tournaments. This is the biggest thing in online poker.

I've had solid success in the WCOOP in the past. There have been 166 events since the WCOOP started in 2002 (they add more every year) and last year there were over 45,000 unique users from over 100 countries who played at least one event. I'm not sure how many events I've played, but I think it's about 75. I do know, however, that I'm 29th all time in WCOOP cashes with 17. That's pretty cool for a series of tournaments this big.

This year, I'm going small relative to years past. Usually I take $10,000 or $15,000 and go for the gusto. But since I haven't done shit in a tournament with a buy in over $200 in recent memory I'm going to take it easy and go in with a $5,000 bankroll.

That's enough for me to play 16 events if I get totally blanked and more likely 20-25. Hopefully I can have a few solid cashes or one final table early and then really go for it.

Here is my schedule for the first week (all times are pacific):

Event #1 9/5 10 am, $215 NLH 6-max ($1.25M Guaranteed prize pool)
Event #3 9/5 2 pm $215 NLH ($2M guaranteed prize pool)
Event #5 9/6 2 pm $320 6-max shootout
Event #11 9/8 11 am $215 NLH "Ante up"
Event #12 9/8 2 pm $215 Heads up matches
Event #14 9/9 11 am $265 NLH 6-max knockout ($50 bounties)
Event #18 9/10 5 pm $109 8-game mixed games (10 minute levels)
Event #19 9/11 10 am $109 NLH (10 minute levels)
Event #20 9/11 2 pm $215 Limit hold'em

Here is the full schedule if you want to check out all of the events.

Hopefully this will be the year I knock one out of the park and have a six figure score.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Equity Comments

After my drubbing at the hands of mental midgets in L.A. I made some remarks about the equity I'd generated in a few of the tournaments. Afterwards there was feverish debate in the comments section of my blog!

Actually there were only two comments, but they were both great (amazingly no one called me a pussy in either of them!) and deserving of a response.

Here are the comments:

Before I say my comment, I'd like you to know I enjoy your blog. It is entertaining and sometimes informative, so please don't stop what you are doing based on a negative comment or two.

I feel like you put too much emphasis on the "Equity" of your chips at a certain stage. The reality is everyone has a similar equity, but only ~10 actually realize some of it and cash. And, nobody ever gets the equity of what their chips were worth. When you bust in the money and had an average stack (call it 12x buy in), you still probably only get 2x your buy-in back. When you get all the chips in the tournament, you still only get the top prize (call it 20% of the prize pool).

What I'm trying to say is, you will always feel like you are running below expectation if you look at that. I don't know specifically what you should look at, but I know that isn't it.

Here is the second one:

"Actually dollar value and chip value usually correspond pretty well throughout the middle portion of MTTs. for example, when playing cashout tournaments, the best EV option is to only rarely cashout for dollar value.
you're right, though, that toward the end, like the final table, chip values and dollar values won't correspond- larger stacks will represent inflated EV, and shorter stacks will underestimate EV."

btw i enjoy the blog-

I agree with both of you. If you have 1% of the chips and no money has been paid out then those chips are worth 1% of whatever is in the prize pool, but that's not really what you should be focused on.

First of all, if you start looking at the equity of the chips you had at your maximum for every tournament you'll convince yourself that you must be the unluckiest person in the world. The frequency with which you double or triple your starting stack is not even close to the frequency that you'll end up doubling or tripling your money.

Also just because you have what it takes to accumulate some chips early on doesn't mean you have what it takes to be a long term winner in tournaments. Plenty of players have no trouble in the early stages and then get nervous when they get close to the money. The give up clear advantages to avoid the risk of going broke and in the end kill their long term chances of profit. The same thing happens to an every greater degree at the final table where players use the lowest risk tactics, instead of the best ones.

I only mentioned the equity I'd generated in the L.A. tournaments because I was trying to think of the best way to quantify that I'd actually played really well in the L.A. tournaments even though I had nothing to show for it.

Thanks again for the comments!

Also briefly to Luis, I don't expect to go for Supernova Elite on Pokerstars next year. The effort required is more than I'm willing to put in, and I've found the limit games on other sites, to be for the most part, a little (or a lot) softer. I do miss playing on pokerstars though. Their software, service, and game selection is by far the best, but the profit margins are not there.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

$216 FTOPS PLO/PLH Recap

I played well in this event right up until the end where I made a rash decision.

We were down to about 220 players with 120 spots paying and blinds of 300/600. I had 15,000 chips (average was about 25,000) and was in the big blind. The small blind had about 40,000 and 100% of the time that it was folded to him when he was in the small blind or on the button he'd raised.

So when it was folded to him the the small blind of course he made it 1,800 to go. At this point I had his range being all 169 possible combinations of two cards. I got dealt K9 so I made it 5,400 to go.

Up to that point everything is good. But when he put me all in I should have folded. I'd be leaving myself with 17 big blinds which was plenty to continue. But I got too attached to my initial read that my opponent was full of shit. I was looking at that pot and thinking that I was getting 2 to 1 on my money when I was probably a 3 to 2 underdog (like I would be against Ax) or maybe 55/45 (like I would be against a small pair).

The problem is there is no way for me to ahead at this point unless I'm against a 4 bet pure bluff. It's a recipe for disaster to put an opponent on a total bluff like that. I didn't need to make the "hero call" here. I'm sure I could have found a better place to get my money in the pot.

In the end my opponent rolled over AK flopped an ace and that was it. This felt like another wasted opportunity.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

FTOPS Briefly

I'll be taking a few shots at the tournaments in FTOP 17.

$216 Half PLO half PL hold'em is underway and I have my 5,000 chip starting stack up to 8,000.

The rest of my schedule is $216 7-game on wednesday at 11, $216 cashout NLH on Thursday at 3, $216 NL 6-max Friday at 11 (hosted by Joe "The Elegance" Beevers) and $216 limit rush friday at 3.

I'll make sure to recap if something interesting happens.

Monday, August 09, 2010

L.A. Misery

I'm home now and finally after many delays ready to give a synopsis on my 6 tournaments at the Bike.

The first was a $335 re-entry tournament. There were four "day 1s" for this event and if you played day 1A and went broke you could try again on day 1B, 1C, or 1D. I ended up playing on day 1D and on that day alone with had almost 600 entrants. In total I think there were 1,500 or so paid entries and a first place prize of $130,000!

We started with 8,000 and I ran my starting stack all the way up to 40,000 before I had two hands go against me. On the first I got a little frisky and it didn't work out. The blinds were 500/1,000 with a 200 ante and I was in the big blind. We took the flop 4 way and it came down A 2 8. After 3 checks the last player to act bet 4,000. I thought there was a fair chance this was total bullshit and I felt like he was a player who could fold a hand as good as a weak ace so I made it 11,000 to go with total air. Before my chips were out of my hand he was all in for 25,000. I folded and he rolled over a set of deuces.

Some time later I was down to about 18,000 chips and the blinds were 800/1,600. Again there were three callers in front of me and I was in the big blind. With the antes there was about 9,000 in the pot and I thought there was very little chance I get called so I moved all in with 34s. Shockingly the second preflop limper had JJ and I was out. I finished about 100th of 600ish needing to get to the top 28 to make day 2.

The equity of those 40,000 chips was $1,500, but I couldn't turn that equity into cash.

The next event was $225 shootout. The structure was pretty fast and I got TT when the big blind had AA. Not much to do there, but go broke. Interestingly I'm 99% sure the guy who busted me was Bill Fagerbakke who played "Dauber" on the TV show Coach.

Later that same day I played $275 NLH with $50 bounties. 10 minutes in I made a set vs top pair and doubled up (I just missed the bounty leaving my opponent with 500 chips). Later in the tournament I picked up one bounty when I busted a short stack, but never really got anything going.

The next day should have been a good one for me. At 1 pm was 6 handed no limit and then at 6 pm was HORSE. Again we started with 8,000 chips, I played great and ran my stack up to 37,000 at my peak.

Then I had three hands go against me. On the first I had QQ and lost about 15K chips to KK. On the second I raised with JJ, got called by Q6 suited, all the money went in on the flop (he flopped a flush draw) and the river was a queen. Finally I had 77, raised under the gun, got called by the player to my left who had A2, and the flop came three aces. Annoying!

The equity of those 37,000 chips was $925, but I couldn't turn that equity into cash.

The HORSE tournament was the hardest loss to take. We started with 160 players and I finished 23rd. We started this one with 5,000 chips and at a time when the average stack was 18,000 I had a chance to scoop a pot that was 70,000 chips. We were playing stud hi-lo and I made an ace high flush and a 7 5 3 2 A low, but the guy who lost his mind with trips and no low made a full house and I got half.

That still put me with 35,000 chips and twice average, but I couldn't get the job done. On my final hand I made trips (playing Stud), got it all in by 6th street and at that point my opponent had a straight draw and a flush draw. I think I was about a 3 to 1 favorite to win a 35,000 chip pot and be above average very close to the money, but he hit and I missed.

Between the 6-max and trhe HORSE I played from 1 in the afternoon to 3 in the morning with no more than a 10 minute break every 2 hours. It was not easy, and it sucked to put in all that effort and lose $500. I did get to spend a few hours playing against Laker's owner Jerry Buss who is an avid poker player and is clearly playing because he enjoys it, not for the money.

The equity of the 35,000 chips I had at my best in the HORSE was $1,400, but I couldn't turn that equity into cash.

My final tournament was another $335 re-entry. Again I doubled my starting stack of 8,000 to 16,000, but didn't get the breaks I needed when the stakes got big.

The total damage for my trip was -$1,620.

I have to say I'd give the people who ran the tournament a C-. Every time a floorman was called to make a decision they seemed like an idiot who took forever to grasp the situation. Also once I saw a decision that was flat out wrong.

Another thing I didn't like was the juice. I everyone one of these tournaments the juice was more than 10%. Then on top of that for an extra $10 (that went to the staff as a tip) you could get an extra 2,000 chips. So for $335 you could get 6,000 chips or for $345 you could get $8,000. What a fat pile of shit. If you're going to make the juice 15% and give some of it to the staff, fine, but don't make it seem like there is a choice to be made.

Actually, not fine. 15% juice is fucking ridiculous. If you can't run a $300 tournament unless you make it 15% juice, make it a $500 tournament with 10% juice.

I also managed to drop $3,000 playing online while I was there and bricked in a $535 FTOPS HORSE event (with 7% juice - just for comparison). I was not a profitable week.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A Comment Response

Someone put a nasty comment on one of my posts asking how I could be down $33,000 on pokerstars and still call myself a pro poker player. While I'm not going to post the comment I am going to address the issue.

It's true that if you look up Acesedai on pokertableratings.com it will show that since August 2008 when they started tracking me I'm a substantial loser in the game play. But that is a small part of the story. It also says that I've played 465,000 hands.

That many hands earned me about 700,000 VPPs. I was supernova for about half those hands and supernova elite for the other half so that's about 3,000,000 FPPs. Those FPPs are worth $48,000. Also pokerstars has milestone bonuses. I won't go through the specifics, but I made more than $25,000 in milestone bonuses during that stretch. Then there's the supernove elite year end bonus which was $30,000 in free tournament entries.

The long and short of it is I sacrificed profit in the games, played many games at a time and many hours to get all the FPPs and bonues. It's not glamorous, but it's money.

Let's not forget that I have accounts at 6 different poker websites and use them all.

Also this doesn't take into account the fat pile of money I made playing tournaments, during this stretch. All you have to do is read my blog and you can find out about the 20 wins I've had in my career of over $10,000.

Also none of the money I've made playing in person shows up in anyway
Look up Patrik Antonius and you'll find him losing 2.6 million on fulltilt, but he's one of the top 50 players in the world. As of a month ago Daniel Negranu was losing $300,000 on pokerstars and he is also one of the most famous and successful players in the world. No database takes everything into account.

So that is how I can be "down $33,000 on pokerstars" and call myself a poker pro.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

L.A. Update Coming

I've been busy playing tournaments here in the L.A. area. I haven't been doing great, but I have been busy. I don't have anything planned for tomorrow so I'll be recaping all the action then.

My WSOP 2023 Plans and Missions

After four and a half years working for StubHub I wrapped up my time there in March. I've been at the poker tables 3-4 days a week since...