Friday, May 07, 2010

A Big 4 days of SCOOP Action

Brick city in the Mixed hold'em and the 7-card stud. Not much to tell. If you want a little more detail you can look back at my twitter updates.

At 11 PT Friday I have $162 NLH with antes from the start and I might play $55 limit Omaha 8 at 3.

On Saturday I have $215 triple shootout in the morning and then $22 and $215 limit turbo (5-minute limits) at 5 PT.

On Sunday we're back with $215 NLH "big antes" (not sure exactly what that means) in the morning and $215 NLH in the afternoon

Monday is $162 PL hold'em/PLO at 11 am, and maybe $11 and $109 with rebuys turbo at 5 pm.

Tuesday is going to be an off day with 5 days of SCOOP after that.

It only takes one good one to make this whole thing a big success.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Wednesday's Action

Today I have $215 half Limit hold'em, half NL hold'em which is underway, with about 900 entrants. The action is 6 handed, so this one is right in my wheelhouse (whatever that means).

At 3 PT I have $320 Stud. I've actually played a fair amount of Stud (50 times more than your typical online poker pro) so I like my chances in that one too.

I'm ready for a SCOOP victory!

The Race - Days 3,4

These Carbon Poker games are making me crazy! For some reason I'm not playing well in them. Many times at the end of a hand I ask myself "why the hell did I do that?"

I have played in all kind of limit poker games. After a couple million hands I feel like I've played just about every type of opponent you could face. But some weak players are easier for me to beat than others. The players easiest to beat are the ones who play too tight and are predictable. That's not how the games play on Carbon.

The Carbon games are really loose with lots of multiway action and frequent raising and reraising. The players are much more showdown bound than their AP counterparts and while in the long run I know I'm going to crush them (because they suck!), I can't just go on autopilot and use my standard plays. I have to do things like check when I miss the flop (gasp!) or check when I miss the turn (double gasp!).

My default when I raise preflop and am only facing one opponent is to fire the flop and the turn (and often the river too) whether I have it or I don't. It makes it tough for my opponents to put me on a hand and if we both miss the flop (which is the most likely thing to happen) then I usually win. You might think that players would catch on to this and start coming after me with nothing, but it takes balls to bluff hard enough to be effective and of course some of the time I have a good hand. After you crash face first into a real hand with a total bluff it's really hard to summon the courage to try another one right away.

Anyway, these fuckers on Carbon Poker seem to be calling me down left and right no matter what they have so I need to change my tactics a little bit. It's not hard, I just need to be explicitly conscious of what I'm doing.

With all that bitching you'd think I was getting killed, when I'm actually just about even. I just feel like I should be winning more.

As far as the race itself I've earned 9,000 points in 4 days. In order to make it through level 13 of the race and pick up $5,000 in prizes I need to make it to 75,250. I think that's my target right now, since I'm way behind pace to make it to the next level which is 125,000. Actually I need to step it up a little to just make it to the 75K mark, but I think I have it in me.

In other news, I'm still beating the shit out of the players on Absolute Poker. I'm +$3,000 or so this month on AP in 2,000 hands of action.

SCOOP Badugi and Heads Up Matches Recap

The Badugi tournament was interesting, but not profitable.

One of the things that is frustrating about badugi is that your hand doesn't often improve that often. In hold'em the best hand you can start with is one pair, and you only have two of the seven cards that go into making a showdown hand.

In Badugi if you have a playable hand it means you have 3/4 of or your entire showdown hand already. If you have A23 (the best possible draw) - let's say it's one club, one diamond, one heart - then the only cards that improve your hand are the 4-K of spades. That's only 10 cards out of the remaining 49 in the deck. Clearly starting out with a made 4 card hand is a huge advantage.

In the end I played for about 4 hours, but never got my starting stack of 5K over 7K. $162 out the window in that one.

I got much closer in the heads up matches. We started that tournament with 2,048 players. It takes 3 match wins to make the money and 11 to win the tournament. Somehow it seems like it shouldn't be that hard to only beat 11 guys.

In my first match my opponent was not great. I'd say under these conditions I could beat him 7 or 8 times out of 10. We went back and forth for a long time and while I was ahead almost the whole time it took 120 hands for me to finish him off. In the end he got his money in good with JJ against my 77, but I hit a 7 on the river to win the match.

In match #2 my opponent was much better. I'd say we were very evenly matched. After 82 hands we got it all in (I had him significantly covered) with a small pair for him and A9 for me. A nine came on the river and I was on to match #3.

Match #3 came to an end much quicker. About 10 hands in I got dealt AKs. He raised, I reraised, he popped it again and I put him all in. He called me with 88 and I missed. I still had 1,000 chips to his 9,000 and actually got it back to 2,500 when I got it all in with AJ vs 55. If I win that pot we are back to even. Instead I was out the door, just short of the money.

After 13 tournaments in the FTOPS and SCOOP my $7,500 bankroll is at $6,183.

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Race - Day 2

I was mostly focused on tournament on race day 2, but I did manage 2,100 points, which was enough to finish the 2,000 point milestone 4 and get most of the way through the 2,500 point milestone 5.

Once I get through milestone 5 I will have made $67.50 from the race which is of course total bullshit. But significant prizes are right around the corner.

As far as the game play goes these Carbon poker players are making me crazy! On AP I know everybody and have notes on them all. I don't have a feel for the field on Carbon yet. I'm getting a handle on it, but it's taking longer than I'd hoped.

The thing that's throwing me off is some of the players are pretty good and the rest are incredibly bad but in a very aggressive way. I'm taking a lot of weird bad beats which I know is a good thing in the long run, but tough in the short run.

I hope today is a good one!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Monday SCOOP Plan

Tomorrow in the morning is 6 max NLH with rebuys. The medium stakes is $55 with rebuys which is nothing special and the high stakes is $530 with rebuys and is a little too steep. 1% chance of my playing either of those.

At 2 PT is limit badugi which I'm about 85% to play. For those of you who don't know what badugi is, let me give you a quick run down. The way it works is you get 4 cards and then there is a round of betting with blinds just like in hold'em. Instead of a flop there is a draw where you can throw away cards from your hand and get new ones. Instead of a turn there is another draw, and instead of a river there is another draw.

The goal of the game is to get the four lowest cards you can with all four suits represented. A 2 3 4 with four different suits is the best possible hand. If you make a pair or if you have two cards that are the same suit then you can only use three of your cards to make your hand. Any four card hand (ie one with four different ranks and suits) beats any three card hand.

Of course if you're comparing 3 card hands to each other the lowest one wins (IE 5677 beats 3389).

Sometime you'll only be able to use two cards to make a hand if you have for example two hearts and two spades in you hand or two pair or three spades and a club. Any three card hand beats any two card hand. Similarly any 1 card hand loses to everything.

A little confusing, but not once you get the hang of it! We'll see what I can do.

Sunday, Shitty Sunday.

I won't leave you in suspense. 4 tournaments, 4 bricks.

In the first event which was SCOOP #1 I went down the tubes with AA. At one point I had my starting stack of 10K up to 15K, but was back down to 10k when the following hand came up.

The blinds were 150/300 and my opponent made it 600 under the gun. I reraised to 1,500 and he called. The flop came down 8 3 2 all clubs and I had the ace of clubs. He checked I bet 1,800 and he put me all in with 44 (with the 4 of clubs). 4 on the turn, no club, ace or 5 on the river and that was it. That was a very frustrating hand.

The second tournament was the FTOPS knockout. I did bust two players and picked up $80 in bounties. I don't know if I played this hand poorly, but I would have won a huge pot if I played it differently. We started that one with 5,000 chips and I was up to almost 15K when I got dealt QQ. I made it 600 to go and got called by the button and the small blind. The flop came down 9 high with two spades. I bet the pot which was 2,000, the button who had about 10K left called and the small blind moved all in for about 8K.

When the button smooth called me preflop I was thinking it could easily be AA or KK, and after he called my bet on the flop I couldn't think of what he could have that I could beat. Add in the other player raising us both and I thought it was time to bail out. It turns out the button had TT (he called the raise) and the other player had 87 of spades. The turn was a red ten and the river was a red queen. ACK!

I got it all the way up to 22K before coming back to earth. I drizzled away about 6K. Then with blinds of 250/500 the small blind raised to 1,500 and I put him all in for 10,000 with A9s. He called with AQ and I was down to 6,500.

On my final hand I had about 8,000 and went all in vs a raise to 1,500. I had KQs (which was a little thin given my opponents position) and he called me with AJ. The flop came with an A and a J. While the turn gave me a flush draw and some hope, the river was a blank.

That tournament felt like a wasted opportunity.

In SCOOP #2 I got KK twice, was able to reraise twice, but had to fold on A high flops after getting resistance twice. On my final hand I had about 5,500 and got dealt AQ in the small blind. I raised to 600 and got called. THe flop came down 6 7 3 and I bet out 1,200. My opponent put me all in. Given his stack size, my stack size and the flop texture I felt like his raise was total bullshit. I called and he showed me 89 which was more than I gave him credit for. The river came a 9 and that was it.

The FTOPS main event was also a wasted opportunity. Early on I made a straight on the turn when a player with KK got cute before the flop and then checked a set of kings on the flop. When I made my straight on the turn he bet I raised and he called. On the river he just blew all in, I called and took him out. I had my starting stack of 7,500 up to 16,000 after that one.

Later I won a few small pots, and then took out a short stack who went all in with AK vs my 55. I made a successful bluff at a big pot and found myself with 35,000 chips and in the top 100 of the 3,000 remaining players (we started with about 4,500).

Even after a few miscues I was in 429th of 2,300. Then I let someone double through me when I overplayed 99 and they had JJ. After that one I had 7k left and by that time the blinds were 250/500. I never recovered.


Brick city in my first two tournaments of the day. Full details coming later.

The Race - Day 1

I ended up earning about 2,800 points on Day 1 of my quest to beat the shit out of Carbon poker's Race promotion. Coupled with day 0's 700 points I knocked out out the 250, 500, and 1,000 point milestones and got most of the way to the 2,000.

I found out a little bit of bad news about carbon poker in general. I thought I'd paid $350 in rake to get my 3,500 points, but because of my 35% rakeback deal I only generate points at 65% of the normal pace. I guess the good news is I paid over $500 in rake so when I got my daily rakeback payment I got close to $200 which was 35% more than I expected.

I didn't have a great day in the games losing $700 or so after being up $500 early, but there were two $10/$20s and two $5/$10's at one point which is promising.

The Race isn't going to be a huge as I thought, but it's still worth thousands of dollars and will be great motivations to get me working hard.

Big Sunday Action!

The FTOPS winds down today with $256 knockout, and the $640 main event while the SCOOP kicks off with $216 no limit 6-max and a standard $215 no limit hold'em.

SCOOP #1 is underway and looking at the structure this thing is going to take forever! 10,000 chips to start, 20 minute levels and blinds starting at 25/50, then 30/60, then 40/80, then 50/100 and so on. I'm thinking 6 or 7 hours to make the money and maybe 15-18 to win.

I registered late so I've only played 15 hands, but the tournament is an hour underway and I'm up to 13,830 after taking out someone who way overplayed a hand. I had about 9k and raised to 240 with TT. He moved all in for 4,000 which was clearly not a big hand. I snap called him, he showed me A9 and I managed to dodge an ace.

6,783 players to start, with a 1st place prize of $203,493 and the edge of the money at 1,020th place which pays $310.

Starting now (11 PT) is the Knockout on fulltilt. The FTOPS main event goes off at 3 PT and SCOOP #2 starts at 2.

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...