Thursday, November 29, 2007
Screw the NFL - Screw Cable
Everyone knows the cable companies are greedy blood sucking bastards. They are not the only ones to blame in this confrontation though. The greedy NFL is trying to develop a "property" at the expense of their fans. "Call your cable company!" they shout in public as they demand double the rates of a normal channel in private. And for what? Has anyone actually watched the NFL Network? Besides the 8 exclusive games it sucks. No wait, it sucks huge donkey balls. I don't need to see The NFL Tonight replayed 24 hrs a day thank you.
According to my not-quite-two-year-old son today's bet is the Packers +7 and under 52.
Here's to you NFL and Cable
Monday, November 26, 2007
Weekend Recap – and Why I will never be Really Good at Poker
Wednesday is Little Royal’s 4th birthday and she is jazzed beyond belief. The funny thing is she couldn’t care less about the presents. I mean she knows they are for her, but the actual contents mean very little at this point. When we asked her what she wanted for birthday or Christmas she really had very few requests. I personally think our kids are already too commercialized, though maybe we’re doing something right? She’s much more concerned about what her birthday entails. The cake, party, special lunch, dinner, etc. are what really matters. She has a pretty strong affinity for attention and that moment when everyone is singing happy birthday just for her, that might be her happiest memory of the year. I still remember the smile on her face and the gleam in her eye during her 2nd birthday. As if to say “They are singing this song just for me and I really like it!”
I had a little chance to play cards this weekend (12 tournaments on Friday and 2 on Sunday). Half of the Friday tournaments were turbo in which I bubbled several satellites. I also played the $26 / $27.50 - 20:00 EST events on Full Tilt and Stars respectively with not much success. I played decent on Tilt and sucked ass on Stars. I also played the Stars $3 rebuy with the same start time. Once again I cashed, once again it was for little cash. How little you ask? Would you believe $0.06 per hour?
I had a little more luck in the last two tournaments. I still have some money on Poker.com from the blogger poker tour last year. If I’m playing on other sites I’ll usually pull up the software and check for any interesting tournaments. Almost always my search ends with a pass. This time the $32.50 / 2.5K guaranteed stuck out with a small overlay and I gave it a shot eventually making the final table for a small profit.
I also played in Kat’s Friday Donkament on Tilt. Somehow I managed to only be in for 8 RAs and after some solid play post re-buy period I even managed to cash! It was fun to sit at a table again with the Rooster and on_thg. Man do I wish I could join you guys in Vegas. :(
Saturday I played in the Dime on Stars, built a big stack and lost most of it with AQ < style=""> I also played in a $50K Guaranteed Freeroll on the Poker.com network. I qualified through a $5.50 PocketFives.com Cruise tournament on CarbonPoker. There were1680 entrants with top 300 getting at least $5. I managed 12th for 160x that after my AJ < style=""> It’s a shame the short stacks didn’t bust a little sooner since the top 5 chopped for ~$3K each.
Why I will never be Really Good at Poker
A post about volume and an article about variance, both over at PocketFives, got me thinking about my own game. The basic summary is you need to play lots and lots to ever be successful at poker. We of course know that’s not completely true. There will always be Moneymakers who win million’s from a few bucks. The vast majority of long-term winning poker players are not in that group though.
While few would argue that poker has an element of skill, the fact remains that luck (variance) plays a significant role in being a winning player. Poker players like to say that skill wins out in the long run. The problem is most players underestimate what the long run is. Back several years ago I had a quest to start back down in the doldrums of $0.50 / $1.00 LHE and work my way up 10,000 hands at a time. I picked 10K hands because it seemed like a significant amount that would prove I was a winning player at that level. What I learned was 10K hands was a tiny sample size. It might be statistically significant enough to prove that I was a winning player, but it was by no means enough hands to establish a statistical ROI. You need to start adding zeroes to approach statistical significance there.
In the article nowapowa discusses this from a MTT and SnG perspective. Most live poker players will never play enough tournaments in their lifetime to truly tell how skillful they are or aren’t. Online it’s a different story and with some crazy pros playing 500 - 1000 MTTs a month a statistically significant ROI becomes possible.
Let me try and frame this for some of my more local readers. There’s a weekly poker league that typically runs 3 seasons of 14-16 weeks each every year. Let us assume you play every week in a given year for an average of ~50 events. These events get about 20 players every week which closely matches the 18-man 2-table SnGs on Stars. Using the ROI simulator how many tournaments does it take to verify your ROI?
-Around 2500 Events-
So in only 50 years you can prove your ROI in the weekly league.
Of course statistically verifying your ROI and statistically verifying you are a winning player (your ROI is above zero) are two different things. If you happen to be doing bad this season rest assured it doesn’t mean much. ;)
So what does this all mean for me? So far this year I’ve played an average of 7 MTTs a week or about 30 a month. If you take away the 1st quarter it drops to less than 24 a month. My volume isn’t even close to where it needs to be and that’s unlikely to change much. I can be a decent recreational player. Probably even continue to make some money at this enjoyable hobby. I might even get lucky in a major event sometime. What I won’t ever be is a professional player. And long time readers of this blog know I’m completely fine with that.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Ship the Turkey!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
PokerNews Continues Absolute Poker Scandal Coverage
Having said that, I've been very impressed with the continued coverage by PokerNews. Haley has written several excellent summary pieces and followed those up by interviewing Nat Arem. Nat was key to unraveling this mystery and he actually had a chance to visit the Absolute Poker offices. Here are the interview links:
Absolute Poker Situation: Q&A with Nat Arem, Part 1
Absolute Poker Situation: Q&A with Nat Arem, Part 2
This story can not simply disappear if we want to prevent something like this from happening in the future. Thanks for showing some integrity PokerNews!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Chop it Up Nine Ways?
During the Vegas trip I played poker just once. It was the Saturday 7PM $105 NLHE at the
You started with 5,000 chips, 25 / 50 blinds, 20 minutes levels. After the 1st hour the levels increased to 30 minutes. The 30 minutes levels made for a decent hour 2 and 3 and not a complete shove fest. The antes ramped up really fast and many people seemed to have trouble adjusting their play to the larger starting pot size.
I voluntarily played exactly 1 hand the entire 1st hour. I saw a couple of flops from the BB and the only hand I played was a limp with 77 UTG. Our table had been crazy bloody with QQ smashing JJ twice, AA > KK, etc. I got to see a 9 high flop with the 77 and check folded to the big stack. I might have been good here, but this guy had a lot of chips and was very solid. I basically didn’t want to get involved. This would be the only time all tournament I limped. After the first hour I’m down to ~4475.
Second hand after the break I pick-up KJo in the high-jack and make a standard 3X raise to 600. The BB re-raises to 1700 or so and I’m forced to fold. So 90 minutes in I still haven’t won a hand and my table gets broken up. I have ~3500 chips which is basically a re-stealing stack. At the new table a few hands in I finally get dealt KK in the BB. The button makes it 1300 (150/300/25a blinds) and I end up shoving on him. He thinks for a bit and makes a pretty bad call with A3. I’m not re-raising light here very often and he has to assume he’s a 3-1 dog up against Ax or any PP. He has to call ~2200 which means he needs a ~6600 pot (before call) to make it the correct play. Even if you add KQ and KJ to my re-shove range he’s not getting the correct odds. Plus he’s not a big stack. If he calls and loses he’s only left with ~2000 chips. Whereas folding leaves him with ~4200 which is still a manageable stack. Somehow I avoid the suckout and now have ~7000.
The blinds continue to go up and I pickup a few chips here and there with some position raises, but my stack continues to get eaten by the antes. At 300/600/50a I have ~5500 left and shove A8s from middle position. This is a pretty big raise from a BB perspective (9.5x), but with 1400 already in the pot any normal raises commits 1/3 of my stack and therefore my whole stack. The Korean guy to my left thinks for a long time and then calls. He seriously asks if I have aces and shows me KK. My A8 makes two pair and I’m up to ~13,000. It was funny listening to him describe the hand in Korean to his wife / GF later on. I couldn’t understand what he was saying except pocket kings and Ace Eight. He probably said donkey or luckbox, but I’m not sure. J
Next hand I get AK and win the blinds / antes with a standard raise. There is very little action for the next hour. I win a few pots with position raises and lose a small pot when I’m priced in to calling a short stack all-in from the BB. We get down to ~30 players left (top 10 cash) and with blinds at 500/1000/200a I pickup TT UTG and shove. The same Korean guy calls and I tell him his KK is good again. He shows 99 and I’m over 20,000 in chips.
My stack stays about even for the next hour or so. With ~16 players left I’m in ~13th spot and need to stay aggressive to have a shot at winning. I’m in the BB with blinds at 1500/3000/500a and everyone folds to the SB who limps. I find KQ and shove in another 20K which is a no brainer with ~10K already in the pot. My heart sinks as the SB immediately yells call and flips his hand over. I’m in the one seat and he’s in the 10 seat so the dealer is in between us. All I see is a K and I’m obviously up against AK or KK. I stand up and look and he’s got K9 in front of him. WTF!? Ship the 50K stack please!
I’m now 2nd in chips at the table and get to abuse the bubble a little bit without showing down a hand. When we get to 11 players it is agreed that the bubble will get a safety. Basically they took $200 from 1st / 2nd place to give to 11th place. Soon after that the bubble bursts and we move to the final table. Someone busts in 10th and I win a good pot with AJ.
With 9 players left I’m 4th in chips with ~70K. The chip leader has ~170K and there is another big stack with ~140K. The short stacks have 30K-40K with blinds at 2000/4000/500a. Someone proposes a 9-way chop where everyone would get 3rd place money. Somehow they convince the chip leaders to take a few bucks more and we have a deal. 1st / 2nd =$1180 and 3rd – 9th = $1000. I actually didn’t want to chop, but getting guaranteed 3rd place money with my chip stack and those blinds was just too good a value to pass up.
Tournament Length: 6 hours
Times I limped: 1
Times I called a raise (includes both pre-flop and post-flop): 2 (both times I was in the BB and called shortstack all-ins)
Times I re-raised: 4
Number of all-in coin flips: 0
Number of all-ins called: 4 (KK>A3, A8>KK, TT>99, KQ>K9)
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Back From Vegas
Here are a few of the highlights from out trip.
- Visiting the Pinball Hall of Fame was pretty sweet. It's a little out of the way, but worth the trip if you enjoy pinball machines...especially the classics.
- As usual the steaks at The Steak House (TI) was fantastic. I guess most of the upscale Steak Houses in Vegas are pretty damn good. We managed either our most or 2nd most expensive meal ever this trip.
- It was our first time trying the Spice Market Buffet at Planet Hollywood, yummy! I like the new Planet Hollywood.
- Final Tabling the $105 NLHE evening event at the Orleans. This included a rather screwy 9-way chop for 3rd place money. More actual poker details in a later post.
- Blackjack at Orleans, TI, Planet Hollywood, etc. We were ahead almost every session.
- Watching football in a nice Vegas sportsbook is always a treat. The Pats / Colts game was absolutely nuts.
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