Ring games yo, SnG no
Tuesday February 28th 2006, 2:41 am
Filed under: Casual Play,Full Tilt Poker,HORSE,MTT,No-Limit Hold'em,S&G,Tournaments

Not much time to play today as I’ve got a uni exam coming up on friday – so I better get my lazy behind into gear and away from the poker tables. After spending the day with the books it was time for a little poker tonight though….so I fired up FTP and play some NL HE ring game, got my hands on some bucks and went on to try to get my hands on another token. No joy there though as I busted out in 11th place. That officially makes me 1/6 now…I guess it’s time to reassess my SnG play, especially when it comes down to short handed play (either final table or final two tables).

After the disappointment I thought I’d give HORSE another try, but no joy there either. H: uneventful, O: nice, but only 1 pot and even lost a pot with AA double suited when my 78 was the idiot end of the straight on board, R: yuck…no..a King on 5th street doesn’t help me, S: good, but no big pots, E: IGHN…out 8th of 8. Hmm….
So I’m down some bucks again and it’s time to get some of that back, so NL HE ring games it is, again. Not much to report, got back to almost even for the day. Listened to the last Lord Admiral Card Club Podcast in the process – Dr. Pauly interviews Wil, Columbo’s one minute mystery and discussion about Zee Justin’s cheating…a nice episode! Go get it: Episode 64

Lots of poker
Monday February 27th 2006, 3:04 am
Filed under: Full Tilt Poker,No-Limit Hold'em

…mostly watching it though.

Just played some ring games and one SnG today (finished even in the ring games, bubbled in the SnG, so slightly down for the day). Apart from that I watched poker:

  1. The first match for the title of “HU Goddess” between Yosoyveneno aka Poison and Katitude which ended abruptly with Veno turning quad 4s to crack Katitude’s boat. Wow! So it’s Veneno 1-0 Katitude with two matches to go! Read more about it: Veneno’s post and Sir “Don King of Poker” Waffles’ post
  2. Tonight I watched the tourney entitled “Suckout on Leukemia” on FTP (initiated by the guys/gals over at fulltiltforum.com)…152 players entered the 10$+16$ tourney including pros Jen Harman, Andy Bloch, John D’Agostino, Rafe Furst and Erik Seidel…a lot of bloggers showed up too, including but not limited to: Garthmeister (who finished 8th while busting out one of the initiators to claim a nice FTP jacket), Boobie Lover, MrsCantHang, Joanne, SirFWalGman, Spaceman, change100, Daddy and many more! Nice to see what some people can put together for a good cause! I would have loved to play too, but I missed it by some minutes…I’ll probably try to get some contact info to contribute something in another way….

Sunday February 26th 2006, 2:47 am
Filed under: Casual Play,Full Tilt Poker,No-Limit Hold'em

A short summary of today’s play:

  • Playing best hands hard on scary boards*: -5 Buyins
  • Winning everything back with a single hand**, clearing another 5% of the signup bonus in the process and finishing the night slightly up: priceless πŸ™‚

* (i.e. 10-10 on a 7d-10d-Qc board – flush draw, most certainly a 9 outer, at least it’s going to be a hard decision to draw with my All-In to call…)

** (beautiful when you smooth-call a preflop raise with 7-7 to see the flop come down Q-Q-7…even better if someone decides to reraise you All-In with A-7…)

Get over it, AA is just another hand
Saturday February 25th 2006, 1:33 am
Filed under: Casual Play,Full Tilt Poker,MTT,No-Limit Hold'em

So I played two sessions of 0.05/0.10NL HE today. The first one was really cool, I couldn’t do much wrong and ended up 4 Buyins. Tonight I played in a 5+0.50$ MTT and found AA in LP on the 12th hand of the tourney…folded to me…damn…so I pop it up to 3xBB…1 caller…flop comes down K-Q-J…argh…that can’t be good, but I hope that my opponent only hit a part of the flop, so I shove after his min bet…he insta-calls…and flips over 10-9…damn…sure enough no 10 on the turn or river, so I’m out in 197th of 277. What does this tell you: even if you’re holding Bullets you can still easily lose a hand…especially if you don’t jam preflop (In this case it wasn’t a real error I think, with the blinds at 30/60 the save variant would have been to push preflop and take down the 90 chips, but who wants to win 90 chips with AA?!? Bad thing that he totally connected on the flop…)

Another session of ring games later and I’m down one buyin…one noteworthy hand: I hold 3-3 on the button…3 limpers…I pop it to 3xBB…two callers…flop comes down 3c-Qc-Ac, EP leads out with 2xBB…LP calls…I call…turn is blank….EP shoves…LP calls…now I’m faced with a tough one…did or didn’t he hit the flush or is he just holding a drawing hand like KJ or maybe just Ax….I fold…river is another blank…and to my surprise EP shows AQo and takes down the pot…argh…I would have so busted his behind…damn.

After that hand I think I was on slight “chicken tilt” and donked off my remaining winnings of the session in the next few hands (I was up 1Buyin at that point)…ah well…still slightly up for the day…so nothing to complain about.

Full Tilt Rock
Friday February 24th 2006, 1:56 am
Filed under: Full Tilt Poker,MTT,No-Limit Hold'em,Omaha H/L,Pot Limit,S&G

After I missed the 17ET tourney I started the night with a donkfest (9player SnG with a HUGE buyin of 1$ + 0.25$ fee). I gotta say that this format is the biggest crapshoot I’ve seen in my life. It was really fun to watch the donks draw and draw and draw and hit…unbelievable…I guess it’s safe to say that I’ve never had more fun for a dollar…on another note: I’m never playing that again.

Just as I busted out in 6th place I noticed that one of the 90 player 1$ SnGs was red, so I checked it out and sure enough Andy Bloch played in it. That’s what rocks at FullTiltPoker (affiliate link) – although the pros mostly play higher stakes ($3/$6 and above, mostly above $10 though) they do play in low buyin SnGs and MTTs, too! Name me another site were you can play with the pros for a dollar? Cool stuff!

andy bloch

After the donkfest it was time to mix up my game a little again…so I hopped into a 5$ PLO8 SnG. The main hands I play in PLO8 are the 3 card wheel hands, but you gotta mix it up a little, so I took down a nice pot with pocket Kings which made me a nice full house. Five hands in the board exploded in my face though and I couldn’t hold myself back…sure enough I only flopped the 2nd best boat and yes another player held the nut boat. Too bad…out 9th of 9. But I don’t feel bad about that one, if you think you’ve got the nuts, play’em like that…

boat vs boat

After the PLO8 distraction another try at the token front was in order and to make a long story short: after 1h 31m of ups and downs I finished 2nd and won my first 26$ token. W00t!


Sidenote: I know that with 5 tries (1 token, 3 busts, 1x 5th place = -2.6) the 26$ token cost me 30.4$, so not really a good deal – but I hope to win more of these buggers in the long run with fewer tries, so everything should work out

In related news: I’ve changed my avatar from the donkey to the lemur (I think that’s what it is, right?)…I just couldn’t stop laughing at the following pose, so I just had to get this avi..


Bubble plus one
Thursday February 23rd 2006, 2:57 am
Filed under: Full Tilt Poker,MTT,No-Limit Hold'em,Tournaments

Nothing much to report today – with the dentist appointment today (he repaired three teeth in one session, yummy) and exams approaching I only play one MTT. Despite finishing as bubble boy + one I had fun playing for over 2 hours and broke the suckout-cycle.

After getting sucked out on time and time again I thought it was time to turn this thing around. Early in the tournament I felt that KdQd was good enough to push on a 10 high flop with 2 diamonds…two callers….no diamond on the turn…no diamond on the river…still I won…I was up against 88 and AQo and I spike the King on the river to push me up to 5.6k (average at that point was 1.8k)! Now I know how all the donks, who usually suck out on me, feel πŸ˜‰

Played my usual tight game after that and ran into the same problem as usual: getting short stacked when it comes to the bubble. There’s some things to be learned here though – I just noticed tonight. I have to loosen up at or prior to the bubble and not just a little, but a lot. I just play to tight and if I don’t catch a decent starting hand (didn’t hold any pair higher than 5 tonight, AQ once and AJ once) I’m in a tight spot. The blinds are usually so high at that point that my All-In push with two decent cards are no scare to anyone anymore…hence it’s inevitable that I get called at least by one player who usually has me dominated.

So, note to self: even if it’s boring, review hand histories of recent MTT and analyze which hand selection should be the “bread and butter” during that phase of the tourney.

bubble plus one

Ingoal 0 Donks 4
Wednesday February 22nd 2006, 2:44 am
Filed under: Full Tilt Poker,No-Limit Hold'em,S&G

Argh. Another try at a 26$ token and another bubble boy finish (or bubble boy + 1 as I finished 6th, top 5 paid, but only top 4 get a token). I don’t know what it is, but I can’t seem to get through in these buggers. Side note: Thanks Garth and TripJax for the encouraging comments on yesterday’s post. I guess I just have to try again, although I’m starting to lose confidence and motivation – whatever I do I just can’t win the “deciding hands”, maybe it’s the 5 minute crapshoot format or the poker gods laughing at me, whatever it is it sucks!

Evertime I push my stack in the middle with confidence (and the best hand at that particular time) a donk turns over his crap and connects (i.e. 77 on a Q-10-7 board, i have him covered, he decides to call with J8o and sure enough the turn is a 9; AQo preflop All-In he calls with A-10, and guess what? – see below)


No joy today may mean more joy tomorrow, we’ll see, although I doubt it with a dentist appointment coming up tomorrow πŸ˜‰

Help a brother out: Please send me some suckout mojo, cheers!

No token again
Tuesday February 21st 2006, 2:48 am
Filed under: Casual Play,Full Tilt Poker,No-Limit Hold'em,S&G,Tournaments

I played my usual NL HE today and was able to finish ahead more than 5 buyins. Nice. Because of that I played another 2 table 6$+0.60$ token satellite (top 4 get a 26$ token, 5th gets 4$). One player at the table had the deck hit him in the face most of the first half dozen orbits and so he busted out 6 players in no time to chip up to 9k (1.5k starting chip count). Wow, haven’t seen that before – although I imagine that this has got to be a cool way to play such a SnG (get cards at the right time or maybe even cards at all time, then just sit around and watch the others bust out as the token is a lock unless you do something stupid). No such joy for me, but I hang in there until we were down to 5 players…at least I was down 2.6$ at most…unfortunately I was a big dog with 1.3k chips to over 4k (places 3 and 4), so I had to get something going with blinds at 100/200. I’m in the BB and look down at AKo…All-In…UTG who tried to limp in calls…the rest folds…he shows Ad5d…5 on the flop…no help for me…so that makes me 0/3 in those 2 table satellites for a 26$ token. Hmm…can it be so hard to get one of those? Not really as I’ve seen bad players hit it big more than once now…I guess it’s just a matter of time until I can catch a break on one of those buggers. Until then I’m going to win the buyin on the cash-tables first and then try again πŸ™‚

Online poker “scandal”
Monday February 20th 2006, 2:38 am
Filed under: Opinionated,PartyPoker

As the whole poker blogospehere (and poker forum scene for that matter) is buzzing unlike I’ve seen it in my short stint in the community, I thought I would add my 0.02$…

The situation: For all of those who might have missed it a quick summary…online playerΓƒβ€šΓ‚ JJProdigy was caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He played with two accounts in the same MTT…sure enough he won with one of the accounts (“ABlackCar” – 140k in the PartyPoker 500k guaranteed tourney on February 12th 2006). As he was stupid enough to tell some friends about his win, one of those was even more stupid and posted congrats on the pocketfives forums…which in turn led to complaints to the PartyPoker support, which investigated and subsequently banned both his accounts and took all of his money sitting in there. All his tries to cover up the whole thing with the “grandma story” were futile and he came clean in the mean time.
Two sides of the same story:

  1. Sorry to say it that harsh, but “Yes!”. He was cheating and got caught and punished. Hat tip to the PartyPoker support.
  2. You gotta ask yourself something though: do you really believe that this is a singular occurence?
  • I highly doubt it. It’s just that this is the first major case that spread fast around the web.
  • The reaction of PartyPoker is good, but what worries me more is that the chances are high that there was and still is the same thing going on. After all the logic behind it is quite simple: The player(s) tell themselves that they’ve got a bigger chance to cash (true) and they’re willing to pay the buyin numerous times. The company (which poker room it might be is quite irrelevant) could be thinking the same thing…more buyins, more profit for us.

If you look at it that way, there’s a whole set of other questions to ask: Why aren’t there proper counter measures? Why isn’t there a (real-time) monitoring of events? Are they even interested in busting those guys?

I guess there’s some different possibilities here:

1. I think that even a simple monitoring process would be enough to find most of the cheaters – and don’t tell me it’s “too hard” to do. Little example: I played a little online game (“Die Staemme”) for quite a while and although it’s a free game (ad supported) they had a simple monitoring process: If > 1 player connects from same IP at the same time start investigating (after all you could be behind a private or corporate router, at a dorm or similar, so this isn’t total proof yet). If > 1 player connected from the same IP + machine – immediate questioning of the player and temporary ban until situation is evaluated. etc etc – the latter should be quite easy to accomplish and it would at least identify the most obvious cheaters! (I know that it’s much harder to catch the other cheaters – same IP but different machines, possibly two accounts registered on a married couple and similar cases…but at least try to catch the blunt cheaters for crying out loud!) So if a free game site can afford to monitor > 20k players at any given time, why can’t billion-dollar-companies do the same for some 100k at any given time?
2. The company isn’t really interested in catching them! There, I said it. How could someone come to such a conclusion? – (Yes this is just a theory and no accusation due to lack of evidence, but hear me out) – What if both of the accounts are playing regularly in high buyin tourney and maybe even in mid/high level ring games. Then those accounts are really interesting for the company, because of the rake (read: income for the company) the produce on a steady basis. The company couldn’t care less about who wins the tourneys or sngs or ring games. As long as they’re playing on a regular basis (read: generating revenue). – On another note: such a theory isn’t limited to online poker by any means…I have witnessed similar occurences with other only sites (i.e. ebay) as numerous powersellers were (and probably still are) running numerous accounts in an effort to bid on their own stuff…to my surprise, almost NONE of them were ever contacted or banned. Why? Because higher sales prices = higher comission…
3. …is related to 2. with a twist: Consider 2. to be true, but after all they need to keep the “normal” (read: non-cheating) players happy, too. So they’ve got the means to catch (at least the) obvious cheaters, but they won’t unless there’s something to be gained from it and/or if the public outcry makes it necessary…think about it: Outcry in the community…possible and existing customers might jump ship…catch one “big fish” and deal with quite quickly…company shines in the limelight, customers are feeling better again…etc…

4. The are very well interested in catching the cheaters. After all there seems to be something like an “Investigation / Fraud detection / … – team” on every major poker room, but they do their work in the background hidden from the public eye and there’s nothing more to it. It’s just that this time all the information was made available by the users themselves (and/or the staff), because the interest in the whole matter was so big…
Decide for yourself which explanation is the right one…that’s just my 0.02$ for now…so feel free to join in on the ongoing discussion.

I’m off to watch the NBA All-Star game…Go West!!!

Don’t be afraid of the bubble, but beware of the suckout
Monday February 20th 2006, 2:03 am
Filed under: Casual Play,Full Tilt Poker,No-Limit Hold'em

Wow, I think that’s the new record for title length. I don’t want to go on and rant all the time about getting sucked out on, after all nobody wants to hear the same “Bad beat” stories over and over again, but hey, this is my blog…so here it comes:

I played the usual 17ET tourney at FTP and was running good…there weren’t all that many hands to remember, but I picked up bluffs, played a solid game, so nothing to cry about. What sucks though is that I can’t win THE hand – when it counts. Two critical hands (at least IMO) and two times I can’t win the thing:

1. I’m sitting in late position and look down at 4-4, not the best hand in the world, but a small pair in LP, folded to me, so I pop it up to 3xBB…two callers (Cutoff + Button)…flop comes down 4-K-6…now I’m thinking…yatzee…bottom trips, but I doubt that someone would have limped with K-K at this point…that and the fact that I got both players covered by a long-shot makes the decision easy: All-In…both call…CU shows 10-Q (wtf?) and button shows Q-Q…at least I’ll only have to dodge a one outer (Q) and two perfect running cards…sure enough the latter happens…J on the turn…Ace on the river…
Summary: I would have busted two players and as a side effect would have been up to over 10k (around 1.5x the average at that point)…
runner runner

2. The second critical hand was just before the bubble. I’m in the BB (800 + 100Ante already in the pot) and look down at A-Q…considering my chipstack of < 3k it's time to test the water...Cutoff+2 raises to 2k...it's folded to me...what to do what to do...I read his move as a at least semi-steal as he's a big stack (> 10k) and probably hopes to pick up the blinds + antes easily (2.1k)…so I push…he reluctantly calls…with Q-J…totally dominated…as the flop comes down 9-Q-K I’m in a half-happy/half-worried mood and yell something along the lines of “no ten, no ten, no ten” at the screen…to no avail…the river kills me…

not again

Even my opponent can feel my pain and apologizes…I say “It’s all good…” and leave. After all I didn’t do anything wrong, maybe I could have sneaked my way into the money (which starts really small…remember that this is a 1$ tourney, so 54th-46th is 1.76$), but as mentioned above isn’t really worth it without a (at least half-) decent stack. So this was the chance to double up right before the bubble when (at least some) players tend to stall, but it wasn’t to be. Nontheless a fun tourney again with 2h of ups and downs (mostly ups)…

In related news: At least play at the cash tables went fairly well, so nothing to dwell on.. πŸ™‚