Wednesday, 29 December 2010

200k VPP Tomorrow

Tomorrow's my last day. Finally. It's been a very tough grind since I decided in early November to get to work on reaching 200k VPP, I believe I had about 145k at the time. I was starting to lag behind last week so I decided I needed to increase my VPP production since I am fairly burned out and the thought of putting in more volume per day than I have been was just gross. Played some 100NL FR with some mixed results, not terrible but I hated the larger dollar swings.

Then I decided to switch it up and mass table 6max. 20-50bb 6max. What a gong show. The variance is actually kind of low ime, which is weird since people are absolutely terrible and willing to get it in a lot. It is very refreshing to bet/bet/shove your TPTK for value again. I mean you can't really go wrong shoving turns against half-half stackers.

Also fixed a lot of my game the past few days using a fancy poker program I call a calculator. It's free, just search your computer for calc.exe. Started punching in numbers in terms of required success frequencies and came out with some very obvious answers. Of course I've known for a very long time that aggression doesn't have to work often and that's why it wins, but it has always seemed very counter-intuitive to me for some reason. I said enough is enough, just do it. And it works! Still selective aggression obviously. But there's a lot of spots that go under selective.

I have 800 VPP to go and should finish it up tomorrow. Or the next day if I slack off. It's another 3 hours of play basically and I've been doing 4 hours per day. Today was extremely fun. Aggression got me the following results: + mucho Sklansky bucks, lots of 6max 50bb reg beration for doing apparently stupid things and skydive without a parachute off the EV cliff to end the day. I'm so happy about being finished with this race that I'm finding a lot of things funny again.

Still deciding on 2011. No official announcement from Stars on buyin structures. The 2011 VIP thread was apparently for announcing the non-changes to the loyalty program while, to paraphrase Stars' rep in that thread "buyin issues will be dealt with separately." Like Stars is actually going to set off the bomb to start another flame war between short and full stacks to announce they aren't changing anything.

I've noticed my blogroll over on the right hasn't updated in a lot of cases, which is completely understandable as blogs typically come and go as does motivation to write. I won't remove anyone since they're still good reads, but I am looking to add some fresh content so if you'd like to do a blog link exchange send me a message here or on 2p2.

Happy New Year everyone! Good Luck in 2011!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

lol Poll Spinaments

I was just reading an article on CNN headlined "Bad News for Palin" in which a new poll stated that 6/10 Americans would not consider voting for Palin. I'm personally not for or against her as I haven't really paid much attention to her policies. My initial impression in 2008 was that she was a bit of a gimmick, and my 2nd impression is based on the only episode I watched of Palin's Alaska in which she seemed like that loud relative that is often out of line but is someone you can depend on to stick up for you when you're in trouble.

Anyways, I just found the spin on the poll results to be kind of silly. I'm going to round this to make it simple. 6/10 said they would not consider her. 3/10 said they would consider her. 1/10 said they would definitely support her. This is apparently bad news for Palin if you believe the media. I'm no statistics or poll expert but a little bit of rational logic works wonders here.

Assumptions to keep this simple:
The US is 50/50 Republican and Democrat
All Democrats said they would not consider her.
All people that said they would consider her are Republicans.

If 50% of the no consideration results are Democrats, that means the remaining 10% are Republicans that would not consider her. Lets then break down the Republican vote which will double the remaining numbers to total 100% of the (R) vote:

20% will not consider her.
60% will consider her.
20% will definitely support her.

Now maybe the general US population has not been exposed as much to the effect of splitting the vote among multiple candidates as we are here in Canada with 4 major parties and 1 or 2 legitimate fringe parties which lets you form majority governments with less than 50% of the vote, but these poll results are hardly bad news when you consider the number of candidates in the primaries.

Lets say there are 10 candidates that make it to the debates. Her 20% definite support alone is double her fair share. If she were then to receive only her fair share of the 60% considering her, she'd be sitting at 26% of Republican support. This definitely puts her into contention when you split the vote. If she were to receive no extra share of support from the 60% considering her, she would still have more than her share of total support until they were down to 4 people due solely to the 20%. 25% can put you in the top three vs two other 25% support candidates with the remaining 25% split up between a number of long shots.

So already, 2 years before the election, she's already ahead of, if not leading, the pool of Republican candidates. And in the end if she were to win the nomination, it's most likely those 20% of Republicans that said they would not consider her would suck it up to prevent a Democrat from winning, or at least not vote at all, it's not like those 20% are ever going to vote (D).

No one would say, wow Phil Ivey only has 5% of the chips at the final table of the WSOP, yet he's estimated to win 20% of the time, that's terrible news for him. Contrary. That's great news for him. Yes it's true that Phil Ivey and Sarah Palin will both not win the majority of the time. That holds true for all politicians as a whole. The majority will lose most of the time in races when there's one seat and more than 2 people running for it. Simple math.

Kind of reminds me of the financial 'experts' they put on the news saying XYZ stock is probably going to drop today. They base their analysis on the fact that the stock is expected to drop 70% of the time. They then go on to ignore the pertinent fact that if it drops 70% of the time and loses 10% of it's value, but goes up 30% of the time and gains 100% of it's value, it's a better bet to buy it than not due to expected value. Of course the experts are more concerned with appearing right most of the time than actually saying something right most of the time.

I find it odd that these are the people that we let govern mainstream thought and public discourse. Whether through shear ineptitude or outright playmaster spin they somehow always make statistics and polls say whatever they want them to say, even if it's exactly the opposite of reality.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Variance: Disillusioned

My test-pro project is coming to an end. My goal was to be able to consistently win and put in a long term winrate of 4-6 bb/100 over a large sample.Variance has thoroughly scuttled my attempts. While I don't have an extremely large sample because of the demotivation to put in volume I've experienced the past 6 months, it is still a relatively large sample of 288k hands. I'm becoming somewhat disillusioned and synical with poker and it's going to take some crazy sick run good in the next 2 weeks or a 1 outer announcement of rake reduction to even make me want to sit down at my computer next year. I'm in all out grind my milestone and be done mode as of right now.

It kind of sucks that this blog has turned into my personal whine centre but I don't really have much else to do lately.

2010 graph so you can kind of see where my head is at right now. That point where the green goes down and red continues to go up is where Stars changed the structure. Maybe the structure isn't really that bad in terms of game quality. But for some reason they decided to doomswitch me at the exact same time to make me think it was that instead of someone cranking up the variance voltage.

Here's a better look at the carnage since that point.

There's only so many times I can say I'll wake up one day and it will all turn around. Extremely frustrated with everything. Now I'm in this stupid milestone chase that's eating up insane amounts of my day because I took so many breaks the past couple of months, especially a wicked November, and don't feel like playing at all.

Oh and we can't forget the SECT street by street EV graph which is a much better measure than all-in EV. Yes that's 120 buyins.

gg Pokerstars RNG.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Bad session, some thoughts about goals

This post is more for my own reflection more than anything - some whining, some complaining, some thoughts. Skip this one if you don't like hearing about other people's bad luck.

I ran terrible today. Played about 4.5k hands and managed to run 14 buyins below EV. AA

The past 6 months have been an utter nightmare in my EV world. Not just the standard stuff that shows up in the graph but all the tops of ranges that don't show up in the graph as well. I've gone from being a 100nl reg taking successful shots at 200nl earlier this year to struggling to breakeven at 50nl. I still have a lot of confidence in my game but I'm not sure how worth it it is to put myself through this breakeven hell and sweating every AA AIPF. I've become a fairly grumpy person and I don't want my life to reflect whatever my graph is doing.

I've got a long way to go in terms of emotional control. I need to make some major changes in my approach to the game if I'm going to continue with it in 2011. I've put a lot of pressure on myself to get better so I could go (semi)pro and make what are to me the insane amounts of money 200nl+ regs make but instead seem to have taken a few steps backwards this year although I am starting to move forwards again. That pressure is leading to a lot of forcing things while playing and it's become one of my major stumbling blocks on my road back up.

A little brainstorming for my options:

Play less tables. Try to improve. Try to play competitively at small and midstakes. I hope the Peter Principle doesn't apply to me at 100nl already, but it seems you have to be fairly competent there already just to be a small marginal winner. I would be extremely happy if I could get back here with my former winrate. This all takes a lot of work and effort which is tough when you don't have as much time to watch videos and review hands and do sweat sessions and discuss strategy compared to the time my competition spends doing those things.

Continue to mass-table micros. Possibly drop to 25nl where it's basically easy money. This is my life for the past 2 to 3 years and it's the definition of insanity if I'm trying to improve. Same thing year after year with the same results - getting no where. Seriously how many people out there have put in more than a couple million hands and they're still playing 50nl with the intention of moving up?

The problem is I need to align what I'm doing with my goals to get rid of my stress. Alternatively, align my goals with what I'm doing. So it looks like I can set my goals to either put in serious study and less tables to improve and get to the stakes I want to, or just accept playing micros without any intentions of moving up. I haven't decided which is my new goal yet but right now my actions and current goal are conflicting and it pisses me off to no end.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

VPP goal down to the wire

I'm coming down to needing to put in some serious hours to finish up 200k VPPs and get milestone bonus. I currently have about 22k remaining. My situation isn't that much better than before as I thought in my last post now that I consider it. The days that I do work will most likely result in maybe an hour of play at the most due to longer days, whereas before I would have gotten in 3-4 hours after work.

So that means that I need to get down to business during the days I do have off to make up for it. 20 weekdays left to play. Assuming I don't play at all on Saturdays or Sundays, that's 1100/day. At about 225/hour playing 50nl, that's 5 hours/day. Sounds very doable if you don't understand how much time I waste getting sucked into checking my hockey pool for potential sleeper free agents in a league that's winner take all that I have no chance of winning at this point along with all the 'interesting' stuff going on in the zoo and checking 4x per day to see if Stars has announced changes for 2011. I'm going to try my best to put in 2 hours on days that I work to chop off 900 more each week which should leave me an extra hour of room to slack off each day that I don't.

The Stars VIP program is really great but it does have that one caveat that it runs as an annual program and everyone throws good play and improvement out the window in December in favor of mass grinding to purely put in volume. I think that whatever I decide to do next year, I'm going to pace myself to hit it at the end of November instead so that I can ignore the program after that and keep working on things in December and take advantage of all the people like myself.

Here's to FPP pro-ing the next 4 weeks!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Good news for me!

I thought I was supposed to work 13 days this month and use 5 days of my personal holiday time + 5 days of Christmas vacation. Instead, I am supposed to work 9 days this month and use 0 days of personal holiday time + 5 days of Christmas vacation. And still get paid exactly the same thing. Yay me!

200k VPP is going to be lol-easy now.

Current state of upper-micro / low-small games on Stars

Something needs to change in 2011. Either Stars has to unkill the games or I have to get better. Hopefully both. Prepare yourself for a very long read. I suggest an x-large coffee.

Jesus Lester posted a very sobering comment about the current state of the games and I am tending to agree with him a lot on these points. I'll just quote him in entirety (names wrt graphs omitted, bold is my emphasis):

"At $0.5/1 20-50 tables, the games are almost unbeatable right now, I don't know if this is true at other limits but I'm guessing everyone's winrate has taken a hit. Very good shortstackers like xxxxxx or xxxxxx are still doing well by feasting on chumps like me, as are solid fullstackers like xxxx or xxxxxxx who adjust well to the games. However, their winrates have also taken a hit and if they aren't beating the game, nobody is.

It's not that the 20-50 games are a terrible idea, however; it's that the games are loaded with semi-competent regulars who can still be beaten by great players, but the edge for anyone who is actually going to put in time at 100nl is so small. Take a look at the graphs of myself, xxxxx, xxxxx, xxxxxxx, and others starting at about the middle of this year and while all of us are terrible, we're all losing a lot more than we used to, so much so that if the games continue to get tougher many of us are going to be forced into retirement. I don't know how much those guys in Mexico are willing to play for but I'm not gonna go crazy next year for $50 an hour, it's either get better at poker, which I am unlikely to be able to do, or go back into the workforce.

Now, looking at these graphs, or the graphs of any other serious volume player at 100nl, will surely bring a huge smile to many in this thread, but remember you reap what you sow. It's not only shorstackers that are suffering, but the weak, nitty fullstacked regs who the solid players used to crush. These guys are playing 20-50 because, though most of them are losing there, having to play in the deepstacked games against solid regulars is even worse. Guys like xxxxxx, xxxxxx, xxxxxxxx, or xxxxxx have all seen their winrates drop precipitously.

I know MT2R gets absolutely no respect on here, but his concerns about the games being broken up and the shortstackers unintentionally protecting the fish are on point; this is demosntrated by the dwindling winrates of the weak regulars post-changes. Many of these regulars were sick of playing against shortstacks but they, like many of you, cannot see the forest through the trees.

Now, there may be other explanations for dwindling winrates or a bunch of previous winners becoming losers-- for example, capping the buy-in at 50bb is obviously going to hurt the winrates of the fullstacked regs-- but primarily it is about the new environment the games were in, and the failure of the whiners and complainers to recognize that they had it a lot better than they thought they did. The current system is going to lose players one-by-one as the effect of the rake upon a game that has gotten significantly more difficult is huge.

Unfortunately for me there is no going back to the times where a pretty awful poker player can make money in games. I guess the best fullstacked regs are really getting over on this sytem, but even they should be suffering as the number of games they can play dwindles while all the breakeven-to-losing regs try to hold onto their glory as it slips away from them in the 20-50 games.

I know it might be classless to list weak players by name in this post, I want to make clear that almost all of these guys play better than I do and while it is obviously an insult to list them in this manner, I did so only so those of you who don't know what has happened to the games can take a look at PTR graphs and see the horror that has been foisted upon a significant portion of the population by a vociferous population of the best players (along with weak fullstacks who foolishly thought the changes would benefit them) and foolish Stars executives."

So I did some research of my own to figure out if it was true that other people were experiencing the same thing as me. There were a lot of players who's games are far better than mine that are still crushing everything they play and are still able to move up. But there are also a lot of players who's games are better than mine that seem to have severely stagnated like myself. I'm providing a sample of what I've found, my graph is included here as well. Names are obviously not needed. I'm just trying to establish a trend. The red line indicates approximately early June:

To add to what Jesus Lester said while thinking back to pre-changes, I can kind of see where everything went wrong now. Thank you captain hindsight. Fullstacks were complaining about playing against shortstacks. I was one of them. We were begging for a change -- although I don't think any of us wanted or anticipated the 20-50 games but rather hoped for 20-35 and 40-100 games. I do recall a lot of comments about overlap in game structures being a bad idea immediately after it was implemented.

That said, we used to have 20-100 and 50bb min games and I think a very important point that hasn't really been discussed is exactly how the segregation and migration was put in place but here's a snapshot:

20-100 --> Shortstacks + Fullstack Regs + Fish in nearly equal amounts
50bb min --> Fullstack Regs + Fish, my estimate being a 3.5:1 ratio.

20-50 --> Shortstacks + Halfstack Regs + Fish, 4:2:3
40-100 --> Fullstack Regs + Fish, 7:2

The fact that a ton of fish are playing 20-50 is only half the problem. And fwiw it's only in terms of the ratio of fish per table compared to regs. Less regs playing 20-50 obviously results in "more" fish and I think the argument about fish preferring shallow games is kind of silly. Take for example a pool of 5 players, 2 fish and 3 regs. 3 regs play 5 tables each while 2 fish play 2 tables each resulting in 15 reg seats and 4 fish seats. Reduce it to 2 regs and 2 fish. Now it's 10 reg seats and 4 fish seats. No more fish than before but it looks like there's more of them.

But back to segregation and migration... Pre-changes, regs were evenly spread out between games. Post-changes, regs have migrated to 40-100 in swarms. So what's happened is that you now have a choice between reg-infested 100bb poker with a smaller skill edge if any at all, or tolerable shallow games with a smaller inherent edge than what you were used to pre-changes due to stack size. Thus, Stars relatively killed their games by restructuring the ratios of player types per table along with buyin amounts.

I'm not sure how I would go about fixing this at this point. There will always be fish depositing and there will always be geniuses waiting to take their money. But I think the vast majority of a site's profit comes from the average non-genius regs (short and fullstacks) like myself who fill the tens of thousands of seats in between trying to get their small piece while sifting money through the rake machine. If you eliminate their edge and their piece and force them out of the game, you destroy your profits as money moves fast between fish and geniuses. We are the middle men grasping to hold on to nuggets here and there while they get chipped away by better players and the site.

I'm coming to accept that from a business standpoint, shortstacks generate a lot of rake and they will probably never get rid of them. That said, somebody in management really needs to come up with something to make everyone happier than they are now by adding more skill edge back into the game. I don't know if that means scrapping current structures and going back to 20-100 to right the ratios, or reducing rake a point or two, but in my opinion the current system is very clearly not sustainable when I, as a 200k VPP Supernova have to seriously consider site selection because tables are that bad and/or I'm just not that good and competition is only getting tougher, nevermind the guys that run closer to breakeven winrates or put in less volume.

I already used my one time applying for Online Pro so hopefully the player panel will step in and use their's to turn this thing around. I don't know first hand about what the games are like higher or lower, hence the title, but hearsay says the higher games are even worse off. 30 days and counting.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Not much happening

Quick update on where I'm at:

  • Racing to 200k VPPs. Worst case scenario is I have to grind out 800/day in December if I continue to slack off in November. Very doable. I only work half the month. Thinking about 100nl and/or 6max for a good portion and then taking the last week off.
  • Mostly 50nl right now with 100nl shots. Running bad but still being able to maintain a good winrate is very enjoyable (understatement).
  • Feeling very good about my game and where it's headed. Figuring out regs. Maximizing value.
  • Anxiously awaiting Stars' announcement about 2011 changes.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Card Mod: Quarter Suit Stars Deck

Hey guys, I'm going to start working on some card mods for Stars. It's been quite the learning process compared to what I understand is a relatively simple process on FTP decks. I've always been a bit of a photoshop hobbyist and thought it might be interesting mixing two of my hobbies together.

Here's my first crack at it. I had actually conceptualized this about a month ago but it took me a while to figure out how to put it all together. Quarter Suit Stars Deck seems to be an appropriate title. I really enjoy using it for Omaha as the colors contrast nicely. It also comes with a full set of card backs - 5 bright, easy to see colors that should be very visible on most tables and 1 dark color. I'll be introducing this one at $5.

Quarter Suit Stars Deck

Quarter Suit Stars Deck - $5.00
Also available with cardrank suit removed.

I will email your card mod within 12-24 hours (most likely sooner) after payment. You will need Winace or a similar unzipping program to install.

Contest Winner!

And the winner is... bobby13!

Sorry to bobby and Splitsuit for the extra sweat. I didn't realize I had to moderate comments on the last post already =)

bobby13's guess of 3500 is within 163.36 bb of my actual 3336.64 bb below AIEV. Congrats! If you could post your 2p2 screenname as a comment below or give me some other way to contact you I'll get you your free copy of Tilt Breaker.

Thanks to everyone who put in a guess! And now it's time for me to slam the lid on this graph and get back to trying to run average =)

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Tilt Breaker Contest Update

Ok so since you guys are a bunch of nits and don't want to send in your tilty stories I'm forced to change this up =)

I'll make this easy. To get your free copy of Tilt Breaker, you need to guess how many big blinds below all-in-EV I ran during my Summer of Runbad 2010. I am including all full ring hands between June 1 00:00 and September 30 23:59:59. There's a total of 124,776 hands.

Post your guesses as comments below to 2 decimal points. You have until Friday, November 12th at 12:00 EST. 1 guess per person. Closest guess over or under wins. In the event of a tie, the over will take it.

Monday, 1 November 2010

200k VPPs: On Pace

I'm currently on pace to hit my 200k VPP goal by the end of the year on Stars. I need 625/day for the rest of the year and have been averaging about 600. I do have the last 2 weeks of the year off of work so it shouldn't be a problem.

Starting to think about goals for next year. Some preliminary thoughts:
  • Decide on 300k or 400k VPP pace and hit the ground running January 1st.
  • Find an optimal improvement process.
  • Continue to smash my thought processes apart and put in serious study.
  • Move back up.

My game improvement really stagnated this year and I kind of fell behind the learning curve a lot. There was a ton of run-bad this summer, but I honestly think if you are serious about this game that you should strive to make your game good enough to show profit even during run-bad at these stakes. Regs are slowly getting better as a group and I was starting to fall behind. I don't know, probably due to burnout.

I kind of feel like I've been in an all-out-sprint to catch up this month and I feel pretty successful. At this rate I think I can pass a bunch of them again shortly. This game is so swingy, not just results, but everything that goes along with it. Results --> motivation --> volume --> improvement. Everything is connected. That's the wrong order but I think it's the one that most of us live by. Not only do you have to rearange your in game thought process, you have to rearange how you think about the game.

If only I could cut results out of the equation and have improvement be my motivation to put in volume.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Tilt Breaker Contest!

*** Terms of this contest changed as of Saturday November 6th. Updated contest info HERE.***

Here's your chance to win a completely FREE copy of Tilt Breaker. As I stated in my last post, this is amazingly effective, must-have software for helping you keep tilt from severely damaging your bankroll. Lifetime licenses are currently retailing for $49 at

To re-cap:
  • Play more of your volume on your A game.
  • Trailing stop loss to keep you from blowing away your profits.
  • Stop checking the cashier during your session.
  • No more bankroll crippling monkey-tilt sessions.
I got in contact with the people from Tilt Breaker after my last post and they would like to give one of my blog readers a free copy of their software.

Here's what you have to do:

Send me your best (worst) or funniest poker related tilt story. You can use whatever format you would like. Written, video, photoshop, mspaint, xtranormal or whatever else you can think of.

Email me with your entries by Monday, November 8th. I will pick a winner on Friday of that week and post the winning story on my blog.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Software Review: Tilt Breaker

As I'm writing this, I'm on a "tilt" break. I'm pretty impressed with Tilt Breaker.

This software has been in beta testing for a while and I believe they are almost ready to officially launch. There's a ton of stuff in here for helping you control your tilt, and beyond that, just plain helping you play within the specifications of your A game. I've been using it for a couple of days, and although I think it may cut down a bit on your volume, it's going to make sure the volume you do put in is solid.

The big feature with this is the ability to auto-break your sessions. There are 4 ways to do this and they can be used in conjunction with each other:

  • Stop Win - for the people that are into that sort of thing
  • Time Played - if you're optimal play is within a specific time frame
  • Hands Played - similar to Time Played
  • Stop Loss - This is the big one for me. It's not a simple stop loss although you can set it up that way as well to calculate from $0. For me, the best thing about this software is the peak stop loss. It prevents you from blowing away your profits during a session. If I have my stop loss set to 1.5 buyins, my session ends if I start off losing 1.5 buyins since the peak is $0. But just as important, if I win 4 buyins and then proceed to lose 1.5 buyins from that point, it tells me I'm done and my session ends at +2.5.

Once it's running, you're not getting around it. Can't reload. Can't open cash tables. Can't reg for tournaments. And there's a delay countdown timer that says you have x amount of time to finish your hands before we're going to shut you down completely. I tried killing the process a couple of different ways but it's pretty stubborn and pops back up. Serious business. ** Tournament tables already running will continue to run so no worries there.

Several other interesting optional features:
  • Tilt Breaker Panic button
  • More detailed session info similar to HEM Table Manager tray icon
  • Block your cashier box during a session

Everything is fully customizable in terms of what you consider to be a break, how long you need to take a break and how long you want to be locked out for each individual option.

A+ software. It's like Table Ninja for your mindset and your bankroll.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Rebuilding My Game

I'm sure you're all aware from previous posts that my results have been less than stellar since right around June. I am happy to say that I am finally having a great month again. I've started rebuilding my game from the ground up (with a LOT of help).

Where I'm at right now:
  • Learning how to play poker. No. I mean really learning poker.
  • Confidence is about 90% of all time high.
  • Still grinding some 50nl FR - but starting to see glimmers of possible crushing coming back.
  • Figuring out why people do the things they do.
  • Figuring out why I do the things I do.
  • Excited about future implications and looking forward to 2011.

It's nice to be back to being an optimist. It makes life a lot easier.

On a side note: I got a sick "mouse mat" today.

I will end up literally buying everything in the store that has the new spade logo on it.

On a life note: My 2.5 year old daughter has nearly perfected the art of getting out of being scolded and I am definitely in for trouble. "You're my faaaaaavorite," is tough to counter =)

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Finally! (non-poker related)

WARNING: Canadian entertainment ramblings below, eh, not an ounce of poker in this post.

Netflix finally launched in Canada last month -- streaming content -- and I signed up right away for the 30 day trial. I've spent a good couple of hours in the movie rating section already so that I can get some good suggestions. It's also oddly addicting. Apparently I've watched at least 700 movies that I specifically remember were bad/decent/good in the past 12 years. That comes out to 1 movie every 6 days, which is kind of an understatement considering that the standard equation for movie watching is movies/week = 2 - (x)(children) unless of course you count The Tigger Movie and the Sesame Street movie Follow That Bird as movies.

So despite the 700 I've rated so far, there are a total of 80 in the Watch It Again section. Not terrible I suppose but they really need to get their act together in terms of selection. I'd estimate that of 2009-2010 material, it's probably closer to 5% max of total movies and TV out there. I was instantly disappointed when my first search for The Office came up blank.

I'm not really sure why this is, but it wouldn't surprise me if it might have something to do with our overzealous cultural protectorate over at the CRTC which requires some obscenely high % of content shown in this country to be Canadian produced. So we end up with a boatload full of half assed filler material designed to make sure you sleep-in or put you back to sleep when it's all crammed into early Sunday morning when no one's watching and runs until NFL afternoon kickoff. I think the last decent Canadian show I've watched in prime time would have to be Corner Gas. I can't remember anything else before or after that. My bet's on CRTC shenanigans or Netflix is just slacking when it comes to licensing

Oh well, can't really complain when I'm paying crazy amounts for cable and satellite's no better. I can live with paying $7.99/month for poor movie selection and cut out half of the cable packages I don't watch anyways instead. I did manage to find about 100 movies they have available that I haven't seen yet that might be worthwhile. Hoping that will tide me over until they start ramping up availability.

I've been holding off on buying a PS3 and a new TV for a while now so I've been watching movies on everything but my TV. Desktop, netbook, ipod. Kind of funny that I have a Wii and was looking through their app store on Saturday saying this is stupid, they should have a Netflix app, while I was waiting for the required disk to show up in the mail. I finally get it in the mail today and simultaneously check my email on the way back home to find out that they've just launched a downloadable Wii app ("don't worry about sending the disk back," gee thanks). Read my mind, good job guys.

Come on Netflix. The Office (US version). One time!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

New Avatar

I figured it was time to change it up in the avatar department so if you're looking for the old happy flower on 2+2, it's gone into retirement.

I was image-googling synonyms of facepalm -- is that possible??? -- and "exasperated" came up with this gem on the first page as part of a gambling addictions ad. I didn't even type in facepalm or poker or anything but exasperated, lol.

Good times!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

ABC Poker

I wrote this up yesterday in what appeared to be a bit of a trainwreck of a thread on 2+2. The OP of the thread was questioning whether "ABC" poker was still applicable in today's games. I was decently surprised at the way it came out so I thought I might as well post it here for everyone, too.


ABC poker is not nitting it up waiting to easy-bake a fish with TPTK+. Sure, a lot of advice on 2+2 is a hold-over from the boom where people c/c down 3 streets with J high at 25nl. It's all advice about how to stack people that are literally throwing money at you faster than you can pick it up. It's the most LDO advice out there, but it certainly doesn't mean you apply it to everyone at x stake. It used to make up a huge portion of ABC strategy because that's the type of player that made up a good portion of the player pool and was, and is, still the easiest money to take.

ABC poker is simply (imo):
  • Playing your hand in a straightforward, optimal, exploitative way based on your opponents' tendencies.
  • Maximize EV for this hand.
  • Not getting sucked into the FPS bluff vortex.

Conversely for comparison, ABC poker is not:
  • Playing hands in a sub-optimal, balanced way.
  • Maximize EV for future hands.
  • Being overly creative.

The worse your opponents are -- and by 'worse' I mean in a hand reading sense because this is what everything boils down to -- the closer you need to play to ABC. The better your opponents are, the closer you need to play to non-ABC. Optimal ABC strategies for playing K9s on J95r against a 40/5 are going to be vastly different than optimal ABC strategies for playing the same hand against a 10/9. There is no single ABC strategy.

Yes games are tighter. Yes games have a lower fish:shark ratio. Yes, not everyone stacks bottom pair anymore. None of that has anything to do with ABC poker. The fact is, all that has happened is that your average card advantage has decreased due to the above circumstances. Despite that, I really don't think the level of hand reading has increased that much, which means that solid ABC poker still wins money in the micros. The majority of the pool is still level 1 thinking, they're just playing their hand. It's just that they've decreased their disadvantage by tightening up and show up with showdown value more often than they used to.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


I took a break from cash games the past couple days and played a few more tournaments. Along with the SnGs I had loaded up last night, I entered 4 MTT Guarantees. I min-cashed one of them which was a little disappointing after 3 hours for a 100-ish place out of 1000 but I was still super deep in my other remaining 6max MTT.

Nothing really interesting happened except for the fact that I managed to maintain my mid place position from 200 left down to 15 left before I dropped to 12/15. Oh and also that I limped the very first hand with A7s and checked down 4-way on 875K7 and made a 130 river bet in a 150 pot that got shoved on for 2k chips by T9o; I couldn't force myself to fold. So at 12/15 I loaded up the other tables and was a little frightened to see that while I had 18bb and was in decent shape, nearly everyone else was sitting with 40bb except for a couple 5bb stacks. Despite that, I managed to get down to the final table of 6 by just maintaining my stack through blind stealing while people busted around me.

First hand of the final table I pick up AKo on the button and it folds around to me with 500k for 10bb and the pot is 105k and I'm just hoping to start taking down the ever increasing antes. I get snap-raised by the SB who has 750k - I think he's using the auto action buttons as some sort of meta to get people to fold which kind of backfired on him earlier when he did the same thing with QTo in the BB vs a button steal and I was in between with KK. Anyways, he flips over 44, the board runs out 325ss (oh noes), offsuit A (yay! oh... wait...) and that's it for me.

I don't really like his play at all since he's sitting with about 15bb and has a lot of room to play but he's going to be completely crippled if he loses plus the BB is chip leader and will call this pretty light since it's only 1/4 of his stack. So he's best case flipping against everything when he doesn't need to be and would be better off shoving any two the next time it's folded to him in late position in terms of saving his seat vs needing to make a move.

So close to a decent MTT bink. Finished 6 out of 3673 without using my one time. I already wasted that last week on the 50 billionth hand and according to Isaac Haxton you only get a new one when you get a hair cut. Congrats to tbvle on the $56k, but I don't know what he was doing at 5nl when he's capable of finishing 83 out of 2443 in the WCOOP for another $10k.

It does feel nice to know that I can make these deep runs. I've been reading Timex's blog on Card Runners along with watching some of his videos and I'm pretty happy that I'm understanding what's going on and that I'm actually turning it into some decent runs that I would have never had before. My MTT strat from a couple years ago was to basically survive and wait for monsters and this usually ended up with me busting close to either side of the bubble. I'm a lot more aggressive now and I've noticed a huge difference in being able to chip up in the mid stages and accumulate these 20-30k chip stacks required to make deep runs. I'm fistpumping more as well, with the highest frequency being when I bink the turn after all in preflop as a 40/60 dog and whiffing the flop.

I've also been messing around with a bunch of different SnG formats to figure out which ones I like best. In terms of overall structure, the regular 180s are miles ahead but I just don't have that kind of time to sit and play for 4 hour stretches. I've tried out some of the turbo 180s and 45s and I think the turbo 180s might be where I'll put in a bit of volume when I feel like playing something different.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Promo Tilt and Mass Donkaments

So Stars is coming up to their 50 billionth hand which I estimate should hit sometime after 11am EST on the 22nd. I'm a little tilted that they continue to run these silly milestone hand promos. So far I've played about 20-30k hands 24 tabling each time that they've run them and I'm still batting .000. Considering that they have a massive lobby banner, the play is stopped for 1 to 2 minutes, and the host mod chats it up explaining what's going on and people are still folding pre to the shovefest left and right, it seems like it's not really catching on with either the mass tabling grinders who've stacked their tables and AHK fold as soon as it pops up nor the random recreational who has no clue that there's about 5 buyins worth of overlay on their shove.

Sure it's just sour grapes that I can't for the life of me get in on this awesome payout, but I honestly think that it would be better to take the thousands and thousands given away every hour and run a promo that everyone can be part of. For instance, a decent reload bonus in the 50% $300-$600 range once a year when we hit the next 10 billionth hand would be so much better ainec.

Poker Update:

Still grinding out 50nl 20-50bb tables which have been amazingly good so far. I had been running at 7.5bb/100 until I slashed that in half today with a 5k hand breakeven marathon. Just one of those can't win a coinflip and every overpair runs into perfect perfect c/c c/c. I do think I've got nearly everything back under control and am feeling a ton more confident than the past few months. I'm at 17k hands of 50nl right now and I'm considering moving up again at 20k-25k hands if my next few sessions produce good results. Still sticking to the plan.

180 man turbo mass table attempt TR (somehow tournaments seem worthy of reporting on, don't ask me why):

I tried out the MTT/SnG grind yesterday. Haven't done that in a few years and I was probably 2 tabling them back then. I managed to get Table Ninja set up to continually register me and managed to get twenty $2.20 180 mans going. The play in these is obviously atrocious but I ran fairly bad against dominated top pairs turning 2 pairs a lot. I was actually planning on loading more to see how many I could play before attempting this at higher stakes but decided to cut it short due to the run bad. I think I might be capable of 30 at a time at this point.

I finished about 6 or 7 of them on the bubble with 19-23 players left and 18 cash while getting premiums in and whiffing a lot of AK. Most of those would have put me in top 5 and contention to win so that's a decent amount of confidence boost considering I haven't really played anything resembling these in nearly 2 years. I haven't even read HoH because it felt a little dated on my skim through and a ton of it seemed ldo.I am going to be reading Kill Everyone shortly so I'm excited about that.

Thankfully on the very last 180 I had open I hung on into the money with about 4bb left and decided it was time to take some chips. I doubled up 4x by winning 60/40s and 40/60s to make it to the final table in 8/9. At this point I really got into it considering ranges vs equity vs payout which is weird for me considering it's a $2 donkament and while the pay jumps are large, the actual $ amount isn't. I pretty much sat around taking a few blinds to maintain my stack at 20bb while 4 players knocked each other out. Once we got down to 5 handed I started to cardrack a ton and took down some decent 10-20bb pots to get into 2nd and 3rd place range.

No one adjusted at all throughout the final table and I was just waiting for opportunities to exploit. I was nearly out several times but managed to fight back and win some coinflips to end up 2/3. The guy in 3rd place didn't stand a chance against myself and the overagressive chip leader as he was running about 8/8 over the 50 or so hands that I had seen him and blinded out fairly quickly and eventually getting his 88 in against my KK.

Going into heads up I had about 90k of the 270k chips in play. A couple hands in I managed to pull ahead after getting AK aipf against AJ. At this point I don't think he really adjusted from his 26/20 style except that he now played every hand exactly like how he had been playing the button throughout. His basic strat was to float a ton with any piece (his stack had been extremely volatile the entire FT) and fire at scare cards. He had a standard open at this point of 2.5bb but he was open shoving every 5th hand which makes me think he was shoving any pair, any ace and a couple KQ type broadways.

After a bit of this I offered up a chop with even stacks because I felt that this was going to become a coinflip with no edge pretty fast and it was an 18 buyin difference between 1st and 2nd. I wasn't even sure if it was possible in that format, but he didn't respond anyways. Shortly after, I finally caught him calling my KK in against A6 and holding to put him down to 30k chips.

I thought now I just have to win 1 of 2 all ins to take this down. That didn't happen when AK whiffed against JJ and lost to AT to put us back to even. He really just continued this open shoving concept for a while and I finally called with 44 not wanting to get down past 100k chips with blinds getting up to 5k/10k soon since his style and the blinds were reducing the skill edge pretty fast. He flipped over KJs and spiked a K on the turn to end it and take the $108 while I was left with the $72 consolation. In retrospect I don't really like my call since I'm flipping at best with everything and taking whatever tiny edge I had with 8bb left would have been better than this gamble. Overall I was pretty happy that I ended the day with an 83% ROI, probably not sustainable but I'll take it =)

I don't know if I'll get back into SnGs since they're overrun with DoNs unless you're playing turbos and I'm really not a fan of the DoN. The 50/50 payout is just too flat for my liking since better players should want top heavy structures since they'll win more than their fare share of matches, while imo it keeps the money circulating longer thus being raked off more resulting in lower RIOs for everyone (I haven't done the math on this, just seems logical to me). Regardless, the strategy is more similar to satellites than to real tournaments and it invites too much collusion in being able to chip dump while using the excuse of weird survival techniques wrt the large ITM satellite style structure.

I don't mind the turbos but it would be nice if more stakes were running consistently. It would be extremely difficult for someone to move from the bottom up, for example there's a ton of $2.20s and typically only a handful of $7.70s running, with a huge jump in player pool size again in the $12s forcing people to play 6x higher instead of the normal 2x to 3x stakes.

In other news, I finally met an irl poker player. There are basically zero within a hundred mile radius of my house so this is kind of an anomaly. Hoping to head out to play some live $1/$2 and from stories I've heard, it's definitely beatable =)

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Planned Poker

I decided late last month that I need to do something different to get myself out of this 3 month funk. The eventual plan was to actually plan my next chunk of hands instead of running around stakes and games like a chicken with my head cut off.

So I set up a simple Excel file to implement a plan for my next x amount of hands and I would stick to it until that chunk of hands was completed and keeping a comment section updated with a running dialogue of my mindset and how sessions were turning out.

My first entry: 20k hands while 8 tabling @ 25nl FR. I needed to drop down to regain some confidence and start rebuilding.

Result: I'm at 19k+ hands right now. The first 10k hands went amazingly well and I was running at about 23 bb/100 (big blinds). I went on a sick 10 buyin downswing over the next 4k hands getting coolered left and right and spewed about 2 or 3 stacks. At that point I had color coded nearly 1/3 of the 25nl 40-100 game player pool and it was an overwhelming sea of yellow nits with few green loose-passives to be seen. And the ones I was seeing were of the 30/5 variety.

So I finally resigned myself to the idea of taking a serious look at the 20-50 bb games and sure enough, there's a really decent distribution of yellows and greens and the greens are all shapes and sizes ranging from 30/5 20bb stacks to 80/20 50bb stacks with even some pink 80/60 maniacs showing up once in a while. I ended the last 6k hands on a large upswing winning back the 10 fullstack buyins and finishing at 11 bb/100 over the sample. I did switch back to mass tabling these since there's so few late street decisions and I found myself sitting around a lot playing 8 tables.

This is kind of sad since I thought this structure change was the solution to the shortstack issue which made 20-100 games seem unbearable to me. It sure seemed that it was going to work for the first couple of months. And then the 80/20s voted for the 20-50 games. And I guess I learned my lesson that it's about what the fish want to play, not what I want to play.

I marked about 300 hands over the course of my 20k hand chunk in the last 2 weeks so I'm going to go over those spots and decide what my next 20k hands will entail. Some of them are seemingly mundane 3bet spots that I take down pre or flop raises that end the hand but I think that it's good that I'm actually marking these hands that don't go to showdown for analysis. I certainly felt like I was on top of my game during sessions where I put in a flop bluff raise with AJ on T63 achieving a fold and then had the mental capacity to think about wanting to analyze that spot later.

Right now I'm thinking about either jumping into 20-50 50nl games or potentially doing 10k more at 25nl and then using those profits to move up while becoming more comfortable in this shallow game. Will depend on my analysis of my play in those hands and what I want to work on.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

A couple common misconceptions

A couple of illogical misconceptions have been frequently popping up lately that I'd like to address.

Raising for information, finding out where you stand, defining hands.

These are all essentially the same thing and none of them are a reason for throwing money into the pot.

Poker is a battle for information. Correction: Poker is a battle of incomplete information. It is not about who is going to gather the most information to use against their opponents (while paying the price for doing so). It is about who can make the most correct wagers based on the information already available.

That only leaves 2 options. Getting worse hands to call: Value. Getting better hands (or significant equity shares) to fold: Bluff. Information, initatiative, and any other reason that people cite for betting or raising is merely a by-product of one of those 2 options.

A prime example of people betting to see where they are at is that 38/4 that donkbets 100% of flops against you to see if you have AK or not. I always let them know where they're at by raising my AA every time they donk.

Leave this one to your home game buddies and try to control your giggles while they spew their flawed strategy along with their money.

You can't fold on blank rivers if you called the turn.

I don't know for sure where this idea came from and It's been a while since I read bits and pieces of Super System but it seems to be in that sort of thought process framework - putting your opponent on a specific hand, trusting your instinct, etc.

Maybe it's been carried over to No Limit from Limit. I'm certainly no poo-flinging expert, but it would seem more applicable to that game and maybe it still applies there since turn and river mistakes are not the huge disasters that they are in NL and you're generally getting ridiculous pot odds to call a lot of rivers. So it ends up working in a right action, wrong reason kind of way.

Relatively recently in poker history, we have switched from putting people on hands to putting people on ranges. Those ranges narrow each street as villain acts and reacts. Villain has as many subset ranges in a hand as he has decisions to make. He raises range A preflop. He cbets range B on the flop. He checks range C on the flop. He raises range J on the river...

In some cases our hand is going to be +EV against his turn betting range. His range for betting the river is then going to narrow and we might be -EV against that range. In that case, calling the turn and folding the river is the correct play.

For example, we might have AA and be playing against someone that we know will double barrel the turn with top pair on a K763 board but we know that he will only triple barrel sets or better. So we know that we should call the turn and fold the river while thinking about bet/folding the river if checked to us.

This one should be relegated to the table captain of your local card room while he encourages everyone else at the table to become a station for large bets.

Monday, 19 July 2010


*** WARNING *** Standard 80/20 flop hand history beat. Move along, nothing to see here. It nicely sums up my life for the past 7 weeks which is why I'm posting it as a semi-update.

Standard 1/2 pot cbet in 3bet pot for induceaments since I expect this 40/30 to ship all flush draws, Jx, KQ, AK, AQ if I haven't "committed" yet.

Poker Stars $0.25/$0.50 No Limit Hold'em - 8 players - View hand 811834
The Official Hand History Converter

CO: $74.35
BTN: $50.00
Hero (SB): $52.00
BB: $50.00
UTG: $26.65
UTG+1: $51.55
MP1: $50.00
MP2: $50.00

Pre Flop: ($0.75) Hero is SB with Q of diamonds Q of clubs
1 fold, UTG+1 raises to $2.50, 4 folds, Hero raises to $6.75, 1 fold, UTG+1 calls $4.25

Flop: ($14.00) 5 of clubs T of diamonds J of clubs (2 players)
Hero bets $7, UTG+1 raises to $22.50, Hero raises to $45.25 all in, UTG+1 calls $22.30 all in

Turn: ($103.60) 4 of spades (2 players - 2 are all in)

River: ($103.60) A of diamonds (2 players - 2 are all in)

Final Pot: $103.60
Hero shows Q of diamonds Q of clubs (a pair of Queens)
UTG+1 shows A of hearts J of diamonds (two pair, Aces and Jacks)
UTG+1 wins $100.60
(Rake: $3.00)

Re-listening to Tommy's 8 fold path which is helping me get through this shit.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

BR Rebuilding Plan

I mentioned in my last post that I'm going to pretend I have $500 and work my way back up to re-pad my bankroll since I'm a huge life nit. I'm still actually rolled for 100nl by most people's standards but other people's ability to withstand variance without moving down makes me sick. My BR took a large hit between cashing out a decent amount at the beginning of June and the ensuing soul crush.

So far so good. Played 10k hands at 25nl for 8 ptBB/100 in the last 3 days so I only have about 4-5 buyins to go to move back up to 50nl again. That's a solid $40/hour 12 tabling 6max so it's really not that far off my 100nl 18 tabling FR hourly. And there's virtually zero stress and zero risk. The only really difference is that bonus $/hour drops from $19.90 to $7.75. I'll cut that difference in half once I move up again next week.

I'm starting to catch up on the DC podcasts and they're really interesting with a lot of interesting and good information. Just downloaded all of the Stars/2p2 Podcasts but I'm a little tilted at them using long titles that don't let me see who's in the interview on my podcast list on my iPod. I put a text file with the list on a different app so I guess that will have to do.

25nl Observations:
  • TAGs and nits are extremely straightforward and transparent.
  • LAGs are extremely bad and spewy. All of them.
  • People limp a lot. Limpers are 100% fish and generally won't fold any piece postflop.
  • Everyone calls down and stacks off much lighter than I am used to.
  • Implied odds are ridiculous.

  • Play straightforward most of the time.
  • Punish limpers.
  • Let LAGs hang themselves and induce spazz. Widen your 3bet value range against them.
  • Take cheap draws with high implied odds instead of semi-bluffing a lot unless you're the PFRer making cbets.
  • There are a lot of very floatable TAGs on good boards with position.
  • Bet/Bet/Shove your monsters.
July 9th Edit: I just hit my 20 hypothetical buyins last night and this continues to run so well that I'm seriously considering going for 25nl July Ultimate Grinder instead of moving back up. Seems like such a beat to play for a badge that's not even real lol. But that's probably not going to happen since I'm going to start splitting up my volume between Stars and FTP playing Rush and that's not tracked (thankfully).

But the hourly is really good, the variance is virtually nothing (38 ptBB/100 standard deviation compared to my usual 34 ptBB/100 for FR), I have had 3 stress free days feeling happy, and my confidence is building a lot at the same time. Everyone had a 5 day head start and I'm now in the top half of the list.

    Tuesday, 6 July 2010


    I'm at a loss as to how to explain my last 50k hand stretch. I find it kind of funny that I'm positive $ in pots smaller than 50bb but making pots larger than that activates one sick doomswitch monkey. I'm actually being a ridiculously accurate psychic and calling out cards while sweating all in pots as a decent favorite lol.

    To top things off lately a lot of the fresh batch of noobs on 2p2 seem to have monster egos which is always good for the game. Apparently I'm a troll (standard) and a demagog -- yes a demagog,  "gaining political power by appealing to the prejudices, emotions, fears and expectations of the public—typically via impassioned rhetoric and propaganda, and often using nationalist, populist or religious themes," (Wikipedia) you know, like Hitler, for pointing out obvious logical flaws in thought process.

    Funny how I never seem to see this message in any threads within 2 weeks of adding someone to the list. I guess they either move on, create a new account once they realize good posters don't put up with douchebags, or go busto.

    Graphs since beginning of June.

    Pots smaller than 50bb:

    Pots larger than 50bb:


    I got some coaching yesterday which helped me find some spots where I was missing a lot of value and spewing a little too much and I'm feeling really confident again postflop. I'm just waiting for variance to turn around, all-in hands to start holding up, and the worst runner runner cards in the deck to stop slapping me in the face.

    Still feeling like I'm playing some of the best poker of my life so amazingly my confidence is still high. Would be huge if that turned into actual dollars instead of having to spend them at the Sklansky Mall.

    My plan right now is to pretend I have 20 buy ins for 25nl and run it up how I would if that was actually the case. I think this will force me back into the strict value bet frame of mind. Ran up 5 buyins there in a couple hours playing 6max this evening and will get back up to 50nl once I win 15 more in the next couple days. To the people asking wtf am I doing at 25nl in chat, I have been self-imposed chat banned for the last few months, it's too much of a distraction for me.

    Friday, 25 June 2010

    End of June Please

    I'm ready for July. June has been an absolute full ring disaster:

    But instead of making a whine post, I am actually quite happy with my play. I've been doing a ton of work on figuring out people's ranges and taking optimal exploitive lines and I feel like I'm playing the best that I ever have. For all the talk of games getting harder, there sure are a ton of TAGfish that refuse to fold anything postflop.

    Also not checking the cashier/HEM graph while playing nearly as much so that bad habit is starting to go away.

    As soon as I start getting my ability to fade draws and win flips vs FPSing reg's dominated hand's kickers AIPF I'm going to be crushing. fwiw I think I only have about 2 tilt shoves in there where my equity was still pretty decent with turn NFDs even though I know they're never folding and everything else is super standard so that feels like a really good accomplishment.

    Thankfully I'm up a decent amount in the bit of 6max I played this month. The sick runbad vs kickers carries over into the 280 turbos but I'm still managing $0.0182/FPP over 150 games for the month so that's fine, too.

    Wednesday, 9 June 2010

    FPPs: Trying Something New

    *June 16th, UPDATE at bottom of post*

    I just cashed in my 100k vpp milestone bonus and I've decided to try turning my FPPs into cash in the Sunday 1/4 million 280 turbo sats for $11 a shot.

    I've always cashed in 100k FPPs for $1500. I really couldn't bother to wait the extra 2 months to get the best deal of 250k for $4000 even though I know it's illogical to care about when I get the money when it's going to be more. I hate clearing huge bonuses.

    So instead of my $0.015/FPP, I did the math on the 280 turbos:

    Out of 100 turbo sats and 28k FPPs, if I can cash in 40%, that's already $440 in instant cash as opposed to $420 worth of bonus. Add in 10% 3rd place retries and I get back 2800 FPPs. Cash in 40% of those and that's another $44 for a total of $484.

    That comes out to $0.0173/FPP which is better than Supernova rate with no clearing required. And the way these play out I wouldn't be surprised if 55% ITM is possible despite the variance due to structure. These are generally 5nl cash and nanostake tournament players trying to get something besides a Chris Moneymaker poster for their FPPs. Somewhere around $665 per 100 sats and $0.023/FPP is sustainable imo.

    At 1000 hands an hour at Supernova multiplier it comes out to 3 to 4 sats worth of FPPs per hour at 50nl and 100nl. Considering they finish in 5 minutes on average and fill up fast, it doesn't really take away from opportunity cost unless you're mass tabling 400nl+ and would need to play something like 6-8 of these for every hour of cash play.

    I'll obviously try this out until I run significantly behind my regular bonus rate. So far so good with ITM of 50% and 3 retries out of 20 sats.

    ^ Cue donkament doomswitch.

    * UPDATE*

    I've played nearly 100 of these now with some reasonable results. I've cashed in 44% of them which is a little lower than I expected and I've won 3rd place retries in 15%. Quite a bit of sickening villain ability to hit kickers while dominated going on in the last 30 tries. If I remove the 3rd place finishes and discount the FPPs back making it a 2/5 pays satellite, I'm showing an ITM of 50% and an FPP rate of $0.0192/FPP. That's pretty decent considering Supernova is $0.0160, plus this is instant cash.

    I'm going to run these up until I hit 186k VPP for the year at which point I'll have to save the next 14k so I have 50k FPP to buy the next milestone.

    Sunday, 30 May 2010

    No money in full ring...

    [ ] everyone's solid.

    Had a sick good run in a short 45 minute session last night finishing up nearly 4 buyins. I found the following hand a little amusing.

    Back story:

    I sit down at this table specifically because of this guy sitting 2 to my right. I've only got 75 hands on him at that point but so far he had been running 45/30 and had stacked top pair 2x and 2nd pair 1x vs regs, losing all 3 hands obviously.

    My 2nd hand at the table I'm dealt KK in the SB. An MP reg opens, my target 3bets, I pretty much snap-cold-4bet. MP reg flats which I found slightly disturbing and fish flats too. Whatever I'm not folding KK if the board comes out low, which it does - 973 two tone. So I obviously bet/call the flop although I think it's close between checking and letting the reg ship his QQ+ but I'm scared that being OOP it's going to check through which I don't want. Reg tank-calls his QQ (yay!) and of course this genius to my right shows up with 77 and ships. He then goes on to say how hard he owned us both.

    The very next orbit, he's already lost $100 out of the $300 stack immediately prior to this hand (another bad 1 pair stackoff where he was actually ahead):

    Poker Stars $0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em - 7 players - View hand 726635
    The Official Hand History Converter

    UTG: $131.10
    UTG+1: $43.20
    MP: $134.25
    CO: $100.00
    BTN: $203.40
    SB: $188.40
    Hero (BB): $120.50

    Pre Flop: ($1.50) Hero is BB with K of clubs A of hearts
    3 folds, UTG says "nice ha", CO raises to $3, BTN says "brutal", BTN calls $3, 1 fold, UTG says "lol", Hero raises to $14, UTG says "only at pokerstars", BTN says "only at jokerstars", 1 fold, BTN calls $11

    Flop: ($31.50) 8 of clubs 4 of hearts K of spades (2 players)
    Hero bets $19, BTN calls $19

    Turn: ($69.50) 4 of clubs (2 players)
    Hero bets $34, BTN calls $34

    River: ($137.50) 3 of clubs (2 players)
    Hero bets $53.50 all in, BTN calls $53.50

    Final Pot: $244.50
    BTN shows T of diamonds K of hearts (two pair, Kings and Fours - lower kicker)
    Hero shows K of clubs A of hearts (two pair, Kings and Fours)
    Hero wins $241.50
    (Rake: $3.00)

    BTN says: "wtf"
    BTN says: "how did i lose that hand?"
    BTN says: "we both have top pair"
    UTG says:  ;)

    I lol'd irl. Good to see that there's still actually people out there that don't fully understand the rules. I miss the days of Jack high call downs, but this confirms that poker is not dead.

    Saturday, 22 May 2010

    It's a Boy!

    We finally had our 2nd child 13 days overdue last week. I was waiting to post until I was able to put a few pictures online but life has been a little bit busy so far with two kids now. Busy but fun!

    8 lbs 12 oz and 21.25" tall. Very hungry little guy who we've knicknamed "Starvin' Marvin" (no that's not his real name lol).

    Managed to grab this photo off of Facebook so far. Need to get better ones online still. Thanks for the comments guys!

    Thursday, 20 May 2010

    OTF OTT OTR = tilt

    Just a little rant here but it appears that some forum somewhere has started using acronyms for "on the flop," "on the turn," and "on the river" and the influx of noobs with less than 50 posts seem to be bringing it with them in waves to 2p2. I don't know why it bothers me considering a ton of other stuff is standard to acronymise (is that a word?) like UTG and SB and EV but it does.

    I will continue posting using all three words with respect to which street I'm talking about out of spite. I'm also rather old in terms of online poker players (late 20's) and I am probably just resistant to change.


    Tuesday, 11 May 2010

    6max so far...

    First week of May was absolutely amazing and I made a lot of money because 82% of "regs" call down with absolutely any piece

    Second week of May has been absolutely terrible because 82% of "regs" call down with any piece and have added +78 to their weird 2 pair making skill. The apparent strategy reminds me of homegames. "If I can hit my Queen... (Q5s on T42r)..."

    I find it amazing that cbets have been working approximately 34% over my last 12k hands while I manage to win at showdown 42%. Easy adjustments obviously but I need someone to turn off my doomswitch so I can get my run-average back. Here's to hoping I can start fading luckboxes again. I do find it comforting that the vast majority of 50nl puts me on AK 52% of the time. The other 48% of the time the flop is Axx or Kxx and they put me on KQ or AQ.