WWdN – FishyMcDonk Invitational and some Party Fish
Wednesday July 19th 2006, 3:18 am
Filed under: MTT,No-Limit Hold'em,PartyPoker,PokerStars,S&G

What many fellow bloggers and players in general already told over and over again is really true: (some/most/a lot of) players at PartyPoker are weak. So I hit the SnGs the last few days, although I mostly dislike the costs. What am I talking about? I mean at the limits I play (usually 5$ SnGs) Party is by far the greediest poker room I’ve seen in my life – 5$ for the SnG, 1$ fee (all other rooms I play charge .50$). So that sucks, but it’s not all that bad if you’re running good. I played 4 SnGs (3 shorthanded, 1 full) and cashed in 3 (would have been 4, but we’ll leave the bubble suckout of J7o vs my QQ out of here)…so I’m up with one win and two second place finishes. All good.

Tonight I decided to get some cash into Stars again and play the WWdN. 52 players showed up and I busted out in 44th. Really ugly if all you see is 23o, 24o, etc all the time. Then you see some semi-decent hands and bust out quickly. I hold AcJc and get the blinds, in the very next hand I hold AsJs and get reraised…what to do…roughly 900chips, blinds will reach 50/100 when they hit me…so nothing much left to do, although I could have let that one go, but no…I decide that this is a good time to call the push…sure enough opponent shows AKo…K hits the flop, not that she needed it…but better out quickly than to run low on chips again after x hours of poker. So I’m not all that bitter. Off to catch some sleep now…cya all at the WWdN next week…

Weekend live poker and online non-poker
Monday July 17th 2006, 2:04 am
Filed under: Casual Play,No-Limit Hold'em,Opinionated,PartyPoker,S&G

Playing while drunk can really be fun, although it still hurts if you lose with Ax vs Kx three times in a row, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Friday started out with some SnGs at FullTilt and trying to catch up with all the revealing trip reports of all those in attendance of the WPBT Summer Classic. Man, I really really wanted to be there, but it wasn’t to be. Maybe next year when I’m finally done with my degree at university.

So we headed to a mate’s birthday (the host of our regular home game) and we basically had no intention to play any poker πŸ˜‰ but in the end it was the good ol’ drunk early morning game. I was able to finish ITM in the first one, then quickly donked out of the second one. In the third one I was the monster chip leader at one point – 3000 chips were in play and I held around 2200 of them. Then the already mentioned three in a row Ax vs Kx hands happened: I called a double-All-In with my Ace rag and one of the other players almost tripled up. Then we were All-In again, same result. Then again and it was over with. Let’s just say that neither luck nor concentration was on my side – we were approaching 8am (!) and were slightly buzzed up to say the least. Come next friday we’ll play our regular home game again, which brings me to the next topic…

…we talked about finally getting a (semi-) decent poker table for our game as we were playing on a regular table with some felt thrown over it, which is kind of ugly. So I ordered one tonight, a foldable one, a true bargain considering the regular listings around here. I’m really looking forward to play at a real table.
On saturday, after the ultra-relaxing (note: lie) 2 hours of sleep on the couch I already needed to get up again as I was picked up at 10:30am to play a private footie (that’s soccer for the americans) tourney which involves drinking, too. Well, it basically revolves around drinking…nothing like getting your buzz on again easily with a nice cool beer. Play and drank the day away and when I finally made it home at 9pm I was so knackered that I almost fell asleep on the spot. Then I remembered that I should take a shower and treat my sunburn from drinking and playing footie in the sun all day. Almost needless to say that I was well awake again after the shower, so I watch a movie and at midnight I was finally going to bed…just to get up again at 9am today (sunday) to help clean up the location of our tourney.

So some live poker friday, no poker on saturday and only one SnGs on Party – a one shorthanded table donkfest which I won after I successfully trapped two donks in a row (nice to flop or turn the boat, seeing your opponent chasing the useless flush and pushing when it hits: priceless). Apart from that I was looking around at FullTilt and PokerStars and unbelievable how many players turned out to play the monster seat tourneys (FTP: 100 seats, Stars: 150 guaranteed) tonight. Good thing that you don’t need to win those things to earn a seat, but by looking at the numbers I would say that the guy/gal who wins the one on Stars should save some himself some time and stay at home – after beating a field of 7737 (s)he should have used his/her luck for the whole year, so no point in showing up in the main event πŸ˜‰

Alrighty…enough babbling for tonight…I should catch some sleep anyway after this quite exhausting weekend, especially considering that I’ve got a dentist appointment tomorrow…

First royal flush ever and other stuff…
Thursday July 06th 2006, 3:43 am
Filed under: Full Tilt Poker,No-Limit Hold'em,PartyPoker,UltimateBet

Well, tonight I thought I’d give some other (cash) games a whirl to clear my head. So I finally hit a royal flush tonight in the ultimate low level donk-fest called “Royal Hold’em” over at UltimateBet – why Royal? Because all deuces to nines have been removed, so the chances are way higher to catch one, and boy did I catch one…for a massive pot of 38cents…lol…still waiting on one in the real game though in what seems like a gazillion hands…

royal flush

In all other cash games I pretty much sucked. Whenever I caught piece of the board someone else caught the better part (TPTK vs small set, etc etc)…so not too much joy, but still refreshing – the joy of sitting down and standing up whenever I please…

I’ll save a dollar or two..
Thursday June 22nd 2006, 2:42 am
Filed under: Casual Play,Full Tilt Poker,No-Limit Hold'em,PartyPoker,PokerStars,S&G

…by not telling some random “bad beat” stories πŸ™‚

All I’m going to say about today’s sessions at PokerStars, Full Tilt and Party is: …at least they were s00ted…nice call sirs… πŸ˜‰

Taking the plunge…
Thursday June 01st 2006, 2:07 am
Filed under: No-Limit Hold'em,PartyPoker

After the recent grinding at the usual poker rooms (Stars, FT, UB) I thought it was time to test some new waters, so I signed up at PartyPoker and yes, I used the good old bonus code Iggy πŸ™‚

As I haven’t played at Party for a while (I started playing online poker at the Party play money tables ages ago), so I started to play at the “beginner” tables (micro limit). Some beginners there, but it seemed that the shark/fish ratio at the tables I played was like 30/70 maybe 40/60, so not all that much awful play and I cleared my bonus within an hour (I only deposited my standard 50 bucks, so I only needed to play 50 raked hands). After that I jumped into one of the new depositors “lucky dollar” tourneys and boy did those new depositors stink out the joint – nontheless it was once again enough to “stink me out” of the joint AK vs K9 s00ted…ugly river flush and I’m out…hehe…same ol’ same ol’…

Long story short: prepare to hear some new Party Poker stories in the days to come πŸ™‚

Side note: This is the first account that I had to validate via phone, fair enough, they play it safe with their customers. On another note: You never know how rusty your conversation skills are, when you haven’t spoken a language in a while, hehe….I write english stuff each and every day, either here, on my other (english) sites or at sites I’m involved with (i.e. SitePoint.com/forums), but writing is totally different to speaking – after all english is only my second language, or third if you count swabian (my native german dialect) 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!!!

FTP and PP-24.11.2005
Friday November 25th 2005, 1:34 pm
Filed under: 7 Stud,Free Play,Full Tilt Poker,PartyPoker

So, I continued my quest to become a better stud player and it’s looking good. I was able to get up from 1000 to 7000 chips in two hours over at FTP and from 57.000 to around 62.000 over at PP. Nice going so far, the only sad part is that most tournaments and S&Gs are really Texas Hold’em and not much going on the stud tables. Can anyone recommend a Poker room with a decent stud crowd when it comes to tournaments or S&Gs?